We had a play date with our buddies Becca + Peyton last week. It was a gorgeous, sunny, 75 degree day in NOVEMBER, so we knew we needed to take full advantage. We ventured to a local park with a lake and trails and trees, and while Jackson slept most of the time (bum!), we set P free and let her lead the way. Jackson finally woke up and I couldn’t resist taking 12894372842 photos that day. I love this season.
We did it you guys! I am proud that I can FINALLY say that my big boy is going on the potty these days! We have been diaper free for nearly three full weeks now, so i think it’s safe to say that we have made it past the point of no return.
I really wanted to get Jackson comfortable with the potty before baby brother makes his debut (anytime now little dude!). I knew that I absolutely didn’t want to be running him to the bathroom while trying to nurse a newborn 24/7. A few weeks ago was going to be our last opportunity due to work/school schedules to really buckle down and get to learning. Essentially, it was the last time before brother that there would be a solid week of days he was either home with me all day or at grandma + grandpas when I was in the office. Prior to this, we had started potty training no less than 10 times over the past several months, but man, it is really easy to throw in the towel (literally) and put him back into diapers. This time, I knew we needed to commit.
J was waking up daily with dry diapers for almost a year, and they say this is usually a sign that they’re “ready.” We have also been sitting him on the potty before bath for well over a year, and sometimes he would even go. So, a few weeks back I buckled down, bought a TON of extra undies and training pants (NOT pull ups. Those are just diapers that are harder to change. I’m talking the undies with a little extra padding in the lining), stickers, and treats and set to work.
Here’s a basic overview of how we tackled the potty:
- Committed myself to NOT leaving the house for several days straight. Also committed to not caving into diapers, no matter just how frustrating the accidents were. And let me tell ya, those first 2-3 days are full of accidents
- Talked to Jackson about going in the potty and provided with motivation and incentives (aka bribes)
- Day 1: visited the potty every 30 minutes. I know. It was exhausting. I also loaded him up with fluids so he could possibly make a connection with drinking and having to potty. There were DEFINITE accidents the first few days, but the key was to not scold him for it. I would just say “oh no! This pee pee is supposed to be in the potty! Next time, maybe we can try letting it out on the potty!” and other phrases along this line
- Day 2: we would sit on the potty every 45-60 minutes; Day 3 we sat on the potty every 90 minutes. By this point he was starting to understand much better and would go almost every single time we put him on the potty, but he still wasn’t telling us when he needed to go. We are still working on that one, but I find that if I ask him often enough and if I just make him sit on the potty when he wakes up, and every couple of hours throughout the day, we have exactly zero accidents.
The first time he went to school with undies on, I was really nervous and sent three pairs of pants/undies with him as backup. When Zac picked him up that evening, he was wearing the third pair of pants and no shirt. This past week, I sent the same amount of clothes with him, and luckily he had only one accident at school. Having him tell us has been the biggest hurdle, but he is definitely making progress, and can now hold it in until we get to the potty.
I think the most successful motivator for Jackson was the sticker chart. He loved picking a sticker every time he went on the potty and placing it on the chart, getting a visual of his progress. Treats were nothing to him-he could have cared less either way, although whenever #2 would happen he was pretty happy to get a Popsicle. The other real motivator was getting to brag about his progress. He would absolutely beam when we would say how proud of him we are. (I also get praise from HIM now for going on the potty too. I’m not gonna lie-it’s pretty nice to have someone tell me good job ;)). He has been great about going in public and has gone in not one, but TWO port-a-potty’s, in the forest, and at a handful of stores. With all of that under his belt, I think it is safe to say that he is officially potty trained - and just in time ;).
37 Weeks | Full Term
Final countdown ya’ll! We hit the 37 week mark today, and as you know, that means this baby can come at any time. I don’t have crazy high hopes for anything in the very near future, though. I mean Jack was two weeks late, so I have no real reason to think this one wants to come early.
I go back and forth between thinking how not ready I am to have this baby, and willing him to get the heck outta there already. With Jackson, I hit a point where I would do anything to get him out of there. I was beyond ready to meet that boy by the time he finally decided to make his appearance. I can’t say that I have really hit that point yet, but there are definitely moments where I feel like I have. Like when I have unbearable hip pain, mixed with heartburn, contractions, and other unpleasant things that come with the end of pregnancy. But most days I worry about how Jackson will handle his baby brother having the audacity to come out of my belly and into his little world. What was I thinking changing his entire life? He is going to be so confused when this tiny demanding being is monopolizing all of his mama time. what if he hates the baby? What if he is too rough with him and hurts him? what if, what if, what if… I am sure we will figure things out as we go along, and most of the time I feel really confident in my ability to give big love to two tiny boys, but there are moments where I am already feeling really guilty. He didn’t ask for this, so if he has a hard time adjusting, I will feel pretty bad about it. Only time will tell us what his reaction will be, though, so I these days I am savoring every single moment of these last days of Jack as an only child, and giving him as much love and attention possible.
We talk alot about his baby brother, and how he will come out of mommy’s belly soon, and I ask him what he thinks he will do when he comes out. My favorite responses so far:
"He will cry"
"I will play with him"
"I will rub his head"
"I teach him to play trucks"
He is dead on about the crying, and I can’t wait to see him do all of those other things. In the meantime, we will be over here soaking up our last days as a family of three, and waiting for this tiny boy to come out and meet us.
Has anyone seen my Waldo?!
Happy Halloween Ya’ll!
(the glasses! I cant evennnn handle it!)
2.5 | Jack’s Half Birthday Tradition
Half birthdays rock. While birthdays are special and a great time to celebrate the life of a little one, I think I might be partial to the simplicity of a half birthday. Each year on October 17th (or a day early - i work in the office all day tomorrow, so I couldn’t be sure I’d have time for cake baking between work & bedtime) I make half of a cake for my little man, and we celebrate the joy he has brought into our lives. I have had people question this tradition, and tell me that it was a waste of time, or that ‘i should stop that now, because soon i will have TWO babies, and that’s a lot of cake to have to make…’ - um. its a cake. its not that hard to mix a box of powder with some eggs and water and let it sit in my oven for thirty minutes. Its also not hard to spread some sugary paste called icing on it. I make cakes all the time for no reason - I am happy to actually HAVE a reason for once ;).
Half birthday haters aside, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jackson. He is so full of life, innocent, and FUN that sometimes I have to actually pinch myself to make sure that he isn’t a dream. I could tell you that he talks in full, complete sentences and uses every pronoun correctly, or that he loves puzzles and pasta and Mickey Mouse, along with a MILLION other things, but instead, I will just tell you that he brings so much joy to this life, and that even though it has only been two and a half years, I don’t know how I ever existed before him.
In keeping with tradition, I made a half cake (really its just one whole cake, cut in half and stacked - people keep asking what i do with the other half - there is no other half!) to enjoy after dinner. This year I did a tie dye cake with white icing and a sprinkle heart on top.
Jackson was REALLY excited about it this year, and kept pretending to eat the cake and threatening to stick his fingers in it. He did eventually eat it, and he was more than happy with the outcome!
In other news - today I found an old point and shoot camera that I had back in college, and told Jackson that he could have it. Kid was so flipping happy, and walked around for a good hour taking random photos of random things, all of which were hysterical. When it came time to have cake, he ran to get his camera and took some photos of it too ;).
I snapped this photo two weeks ago at 23 weeks, and I have definitely gotten much larger since then.
The second photo is one of the first photos I took of my Jackson bump - at 26 weeks. I think I am much bigger this time!
I am 25 weeks now, and at my appointment yesterday I was almost in shock realizing that this is the last time there is a 4-week break between appointments, and that I am about to do the dreaded (but really not that bad at all) glucose test, get a rhogam shot, and begin bi-weekly OB visits. It is absurd how quickly this pregnancy is flying by compared to the last. Maybe it is because last time I just worked full time, but this time I work AND have a two year old keeping me busy. In any case, I can’t believe that I am well over halfway through this last pregnancy, and actually trying to slow things down a bit and savor the last time I will experience the amazing miracle that is growing another human. There really is nothing more fascinating in this world. SO. here is a rundown of where we are these days: I am up 10 lbs. The baby should weigh about 2 lbs (mine are big, I am betting he is 3.5 lbs ;)), dreadful hip pain set in at Disney, but luckily I stopped walking so much and it went away, we cannot agree on any names (kid will be nameless forever, i think), and all I want to do is eat peach anything. I’m also thinking of taking up the daily (sometimes two daily) milkshake habit I had with Jackson - that was really fun, and I think quite necessary. Another really fantastic development (sense sarcasm here) is that I suddenly feel like I don’t have nearly enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done before this baby comes (105 days till my due date, by the way), so now I am frantically trying to get Jack’s big boy room put together, create a nursery, finish moving into our house and settling in, and so much more. I also have 3 weddings, a couple birthday parties, and other miscellaneous events happening before birth day, so the pressure’s on now. Probably unnecessarily so, but still…hormones, ya’ll.
The Experience of a Lifetime
Today was probably the most special day Jackson has had in his entire two years in this world. As you know, we are here in California hanging out at Disneyland for a few days; this morning we went to the character breakfast, which was awesome, Jack got to meet Mickey briefly, and had a bit longer visit with Daisy, Pluto, & Minnie. If you have ever been to Disney, you know that time with the characters is coveted and actually pretty rare. When we went to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Mickey didn’t even come out into the park for meet & greets, but is kept indoors under high security. and ventures into the park only for parades and shows. Disneyland is a little different in that you can actually catch up with Mickey in the park before and after parades & shows. Anyhow, today we were leaving the park and on our way to lunch when we spotted a line forming to meet with Mickey Mouse himself. If it were any other character I don’t think we would have bothered stopping, but man am I glad we did. We waited in line for a brief period of time until it was Jack’s turn. I was ready with my camera, and Jackson went in for a long hug.
He seriously loves mickey mouse and all he wanted to do is hug hug hug. Mickey apparently thought Jackson was pretty cool too, because he actually chose him to walk with him around the park!!! This is a VERY big deal and the kind of thing that you just don’t expect to happen, but I mean, when you have the cutest child on the planet, I guess you should learn to expect this sort of treatment ;). Mickey & Jack set off hand-in-hand around the park with a couple of security guards while I was trying not to cry my eyes out over how freaking SPECIAL this moment was.
Other kids wanted to join in, but Mickey only had gloves for Jackson! He led us over to a private area where he was to go backstage before the parade, and had another special moment with our guy before saying goodbye.
I am so grateful that Jackson was able to have this experience with Mickey - he really does love him so much! Just yesterday he was yelling “I’m your biggest fan!!!” during the parade, and I am just glad that Mickey was able to see it too :)
So many dreams are coming true here at Disneyland. Yesterday was a short trip to the park and J almost lost his mind when he saw Mickey and friends in the parade. This morning he will be having breakfast with Mickey and I think he might actually pass out from excitement!
Baby Brother | 21 Weeks
I cannot believe that we are at 21 weeks already! We are more than halfway through this pregnancy. This means that there are less weeks remaining than the number of weeks we have already kissed goodbye! I don’t know if it is because I have Jack to keep me busy, or just the heat of the summer, but this second pregnancy is going soooo much faster than the last.
Now that we know its a baby brother, we have spent a good deal of times disagreeing on names :).. Zac likes one name, and I feel just okay about it. I like a different name and he feels just okay about it. Maybe I will wait until I push the thing out so that he feels super grateful for all the work I did bearing his child, and this way I can pick whatever name I want ;). We have asked Jackson a few times what we should name him, and his responses so far are: Stu (the only actual name on the list), pshhhhh, ipad, & excagator. All totally acceptable options, don’t you think?
The baby is becoming more active and stretches out several times each day now. Last week at the 20 week anatomy scan the ultrasound tech told me that the baby already weighs a pound. It seemed like a lot for this early on, and got me dreading the giant birth weight this kid is destined to have. J was 9 lbs even and TWENTY TWO inches long with a 14.5 inch head circumference, and I feel like the second baby is usually bigger than the first. I had a drug-free (natural) birth with Jack, and intend to do so again, so the size is a concern for me. Last time I had no idea that he was going to be 9 lbs. This time it is the fear of the known, rather than the unknown. I know what the pain feels like, and while I am able to better prepare because of that, I also worry that I will not prepare as well. In any case, I don’t think it would have felt less bad to push out a 7 lb baby than a 9 lb baby. I had pretty much the worst kind of tear you can have, and I didn’t even really feel it happen (thank you adrenaline).
My favorite thing these days is Jackson’s involvement with his baby brother. He loves trying to sneak a peek in my belly button (and always says ” I SEE HIM!!!”), feel for kicks, and includes him in the most random thoughts throughout the day. We have a newborn photo of Jackson at the bottom of the staircase, and he swears that it is baby brother and will go try to give him things, and each morning he points to it and says “baby brother!!!”
Jackson = Minion.
The resemblance is uncanny.