So far today Jackson has been:
-Space Captain Cowboy
And it’s only 10:30 😂
We are still here, waiting for baby brother! Due date is Thursday, but if he is anything like his big brother, it’ll be another 11 days after that. I’ll just continue dragging myself to work and eating milk & cookies until he decides to make his debut.
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 ;).
Lord of the Gourds
We visited our favorite pumpkin patch/corn maze this weekend! (You might remember that we also visited this same place last year) It is in a quaint little town, and has plenty of pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, kettle corn, and barnyard animals you can imagine. Everything that makes October in Virginia lovely.
Grandma & Grandpa came along too, and Jackson had to teach grandpa how to milk a cow:
The highlight for Jackson was his prize pony ride. We have been working really hard on potty training this week, and I am so overjoyed to report that it appears to be working (many trips out of the house with no accidents!). I have found that bribery is my best tactic, and so I told him if he went potty (in a port-a-potty, no less!) then he could ride a pony. He did, so celebratory pony ride it was!!!
Grandma joined in on the pony-fun :)
He was also a fan of the slides:
The three amigos:
Of course, we did the corn maze too:
I can’t believe how much he has grown in a year:
Above: October 27, 2012 | Below: October 27, 2013
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 ;).
Airplanes | Big Boy Room
Back in April, Jackson made the switch from a crib to toddler bed. It was really simple considering the front of his crib just came off, and another rail took its place. We were a bit nervous about the change, and worried that he would never sleep in his bed again. Luckily, we were blessed with a child who loves his sleep, still naps for a 2-3 hour block each day, and never had a problem staying in his bed. When we bought the new house a couple months later, we decided to go ahead and use the crib for the new baby. It converts all the way to a full size bed, but we also had a full size bed sitting in storage. I took the opportunity to go a little crazy on the big boy room - if we were taking his crib away and putting him in a brand new space, we might as well make it really special first. I hopped on pinterest to look at airplane room ideas, and settled on a red & navy color scheme, and got to work.
I am a big fan of refinishing furniture, so I used my special chalk paint recipe and painted the bed white (it was black before) and lightly distressed it. I also re-purposed the dresser that used to be in my closet at the old house, which I had already painted red & distressed. I wanted to keep some pieces of his nursery in the space, so I reused his blue rug, hung the banner that my sweet friend Ali made at his baby shower (perfect colors, by the way!) and made sure to put the quilt I made him at the foot of the bed :)
I bought the kerosene lantern from the camping section of walmart. It was $6.00 and I liked that it was red. The wooden plane on the dresser came from grandma & grandpa’s house. I also bought wooden letters from Michaels and painted them navy to form the word ‘fly’ to hang above his closet. The Jackson bench pictured below was a gift to Jackson from his Grandma & Grandpa at his first Christmas. The letters come out and act as a puzzle too, which he loves!
I found these framed airplane photos at Home Goods recently marked down to $10 each, and thought they would be a perfect fit in the room as well.
The giant wooden list of life lessons was another great find at Home Goods for only $20!
I used bamboo shades & white curtains on the windows, and love the feel that it gives the room. The cubby was a gift from Grandma, who stumbled upon it at a local consignment store and knew how perfect it would look in the room - the jack and two stars inside of it were repurposed from J’s baby room, and I added a red truck, some model airplanes, and a few of his favorite books. Eventually more airplanes will live inside, and of course, his ears from his trips to disney live on top.
My favorite feature of the room is, hands down, that red airplane. I found it for TWENTY dollars at Ross, and knew it had to be Jack’s! It was the perfect colors, and I cannot believe that it was only $20!!! I went to another Ross location the same day and snatched up the grey plane and the smaller silver one as well.
Overall, I love the feel of this big boy room. It is the perfect amount of big boy, blended with some items carried over from my baby as well. Jackson loves showing it off to all of our guests as well. The greatest thing about the room - it cost next to nothing. The only things purchased were the bedding ($40), Planes ($50 total), All wall art ($50 total), Lantern ($6), blinds ($50) and curtains ($16 total) for a grand total of about $200.00! This doesn’t include the mattress & box spring & hideaway bed rails (best invention ever), which were about $200.00 total, and less expensive than any crib we would’ve gotten for baby brother. Everything else was either given to him (cubby, wooden plane, bench) or repurposed from another area of the house (throw pillows, dresser, nursery items)!
Aside from the $200 price tag, the best part is how much my little guy loves his space :)
Praise from a 2-Year Old
I had just finished showering and was drying off when Jackson burst into the bathroom:
“Mommy you all done shower?! Mommy you stay yellow!? Good job showering mommy!!!”
1. Lock the door
2. People are yellow
3. All the praise I’m receiving for ordinary thinks like peeing on the potty and showering these days is actually really nice
I need to be better about posting the small things that Jackson does that make me laugh hysterically for days, make me melt, and love him more than I thought was possible to feel for another human being. As of late, he has really started to say the funny things that all kids do - things that they create TV shows out of. I am going to commit myself to starting a Jackson Says series where I can just hop on here in the moment and type in a quick note about the incident, so that when he is big and doesn’t want anything to do with his mama, and is getting into trouble with his friends, I can look back and cherish the innocence of a sweet little boy. Here are a few of the favorite things he is doing nowadays:
- "I caaaan’t!!!" - I get this response whenever I ask him any kind of question, whether it be to pick up his toys, if he wants to have noodles with dinner, or if he is ready to ride his bike - his go to response is now a very adorable "I caaaan’t!" When I ask why not he says "because, I just can’t!" I giggle every time.
- "Nah, not today!" - this is my FAVORITE expression that he has adapted as of late. "Jack jack, wanna go shopping?" "Nah, not today!" - it is such a grown up phrase for a tiny boy and never fails to make me laugh at him.
- Dreaming. Recently Mr. Precious has started to dream and remember them. It is seriously hilarious to watch this develop in him, and I love to hear about his nighttime adventures. Sometimes I hear about it in the moment when he is talking in his sleep (ALL THE TIME!) about tractors and trucks and how he just can’t; but on Monday morning, for the first time he had a real response when I asked him what he dreamed about. He VERY emphatically announced: “Mickey and rocket and to the moon. And Martian Mickey lives there, and pluto in space!” so I am taking that as proof that he dreamed an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that night ;)
- Check Ups - after my prenatal appointment yesterday, Jackson asked “Mommy need a checkup?” so I said of course I did! He proceeded to run to the basement and grab his blood pressure monitor and a chain (?) and came back to lay the chain across my bump (measuring, of course), and checked my blood pressure. He even threw in a good “Let’s listen to the heartbeat” to make the experience complete. Seriously ya’ll, I am going to actually eat him.
Have I mentioned yet that THIS has got to be my favorite age?