Tuesday, October 23, 2012

play groups, twins club, meeting new people!

Since the girls have been born, I have stepped out of my shell.  Litttle history- I am a very shy and quiet person, before kids I would have not made an effort to meet new people, I have a hard time striking up a conversation.  That all changed when I had children. 

The girls were about 10 weeks when I decided to look for a play group to join.  I was thankful to know someone in a play group so that helped a lot.  I remember Ian's face and reaction when I told him I had joined a play group and already went to a meetup.  He was very shocked, but so happy and proud of me.  I loved that play group and miss them all dearly!  We are sad because we have not found one out here that compares to the one back home.  There was also a twins club back home that I really wanted to join.  It was not possible with all of Ian's traveling he did every week and it always landed on the day the meeting was.  I was determined to join one where we live now.

When we moved, Ian's new position did not require him to travel.  I decided this would be a great opportunity to join the twins club out here.  Well what I didn't know was that this club was recognized at state level and national level (NOMOTC).  I was able to go to the meeting, meet other twin mommies, and really enjoy myself.  I have mom's I can talk to who know what I am going through and who have been through it.  It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to play dates with this group and the meetings.  Also our club is hosting the state convention this year, so that is exciting! 

We also have some pretty awesome neighbors who the girls love to play with.  The girls and I are starting to be little social butterflies.  My husband loves it too, and loves to see me come out of my shell!  It also feels good, I hold my own now and have really enjoyed this experience.  I also wanted to show the girls that they can do it too.  What I once thought was an uncomfortable situation, is now a joy!  I am trying to be better in areas that I was not for my children!

Apple picking with friends!

First bonfire at OUR new house with a some of the neighbors!

Had to put one of my baby girls and me in here!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

potty training tips and tricks!

Well...Harly is potty trained!  She did it in two days!  It was easier than I expected, so here are some tips and tricks.  Hopefully they help you, and potty training was not as bad as I had first thought!

1.  Stay calm-  I know how stressful and frustrating it can be when children pee on the floor.  It stinks, but you can't show them your frustration.  They will not want to do it if they see you getting frustrated.  I learned that telling them, "its OK  pee goes in the potty."  They would walk around and say, "no pee in underwear, pee in potty."  Just remember it takes time, stay calm, and they will get it.

2.  Don't expect them to get it the first time they pee in potty.  They will get very excited, but that doesn't mean they will do it again.  That is a huge step though.

3.  Don't have too many distractions.  I tried to stick to one thing during potty training.  We colored a lot, played with playdoh, and made castles with mega blocks.

4.  Twins may not be ready at the same time.  Remember, even though they are twins, they are individuals and still may not be on the same track as the other.  I never compared them to each other, I know they are their own person. My girls potty trained a week apart.  We do a lot of things together, but when it comes to leaning and experiences, we try our best to keep it separate in case one is not quite ready.

5.  YOU have to be ready.  Not only does your child have to be ready, the parent has to be ready for it too.

6.  If one learned something before the other, I let them help teach the one that has not mastered it yet.  Zoey did a great job on getting her sister to potty train.  I did not push.  They definitely helped each other, that is a great thing about having twins!

7. I recommend two potty chairs if you have twins.  They always have to go at the same time, so its great to put them on their own and watch them cheer for each other.  "Yay, sissy you peed, I so proud of you."  Those are normally their lines to each other!

8.  There have been a lot of recommendations of a potty schedule with twins.  So they both go at the same time, instead of one goes and then a half hour later another one goes.  But, I have not had to do this.  They are pretty much on the same schedule and go at the same time.  If your little ones do not, than I highly recommend a potty schedule.

9.  Cloth diapers-  I think this has definitely helped with potty training the girls.  With cloth diapers, you know when you are wet.  They would run up to me from the time they were 18 months old, telling me to change their diaper.  Disposable diapers have so much absorbency in them that it pulls away and they don't know when they are wet.

10.  The earlier you start the better.  We put the girls on the potty starting at 18 months.  We put them on in the morning, at nap, and at bedtime.  They never peed in it, but it got them comfortable with the potty.  They also watched me use the potty.  They would never let me go alone, they were scared the minute I left them alone to just pee.  So from the time they could move til now, they have watched me every time I used the bathroom.  I think that helped a lot too.

11.  We did do a sticker chart and M&Ms.  Some people don't do this, but it helped me.  They also didn't get an M&M every time they went.

12.  We use pull ups at nap time and bedtime.  From the time they both used the potty (about two weeks ago for Zoey, one week for Harly) they have kept their pull ups dry at nap.  I have been leaving them in their underwear at nap and they have not had one accident.  This doesn't go for every child, this is the last step and it takes time.  The girls just hate that wet feeling.  They have started keeping their pull ups dry at night (the past two nights), but I am going to wait a little longer before I stop using them at night.

13.  Traveling potty sit.  I was against this when I heard people putting potties in their car, but I am one of those moms now.  We have only taken one on our long trip to see Ian's family.  I don't put one in the car when we run errands.  I have them pee before we leave the house. They don't really ask me to use the restroom while we are out.  There have only been two or three times they have, and have done a great job holding it til I located the restrooms.

13.  Stick with it- Once you start, don't look back.  Even if it takes a couple weeks, keep up with it.  The minute you step back, they win.  Then it will turn into a power struggle.

14.  Every child is different!  Don't force it!  GOOD LUCK!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Potty Training 101: potty train in a day!

We have been putting the girls on the potty since they were 18 months.  They never peed or pooped on it, but they sat on it three times a day.  On their 2nd birthday, we got them potties.  With the relocation, living in temporary housing, moving into the new house, traveling, etc. we knew that we wouldn't start potty training til after summer was over.  This was the only thing out of parenting that I was dreading (and the teenage years!).  I had a lot of built up anxiety about potty training.  But it went better than I had expected.

The girls were ready, they would tell us when they were going potty in their diaper, and they would take their diapers off after they pooped.  I decided to start talking to them about the potty in September.  They would wear underwear some days, but pee in them.  My goal was just to get them used to underwear, the potty, and how it feels when you pee in your underwear.

We have a lot going on this month with every weekend booked, whether its parties or traveling, so I wasn't going to push potty training til at least November.  That all changed when Zoey asked me for underwear on Monday.  I was not about to say no and discourage it just because we were leaving Saturday.

I put them both in underwear.  Here is how it has been going:

Day 1: Monday
Harly: Every time she had to pee, she would pee in her underwear.  She would sit on the potty but never pee in it.
Zoey: No accidents!  Pee'd on the potty three times today! Sticker chart pulled out, and M&Ms to reward!

Day 2: Tuesday
Harly:  Accidents still, not peeing on the potty.  She is starting to become scared of the potty.
Zoey:  No pee accidents again!  Did have a poop accident in her underwear. Got M&Ms for going on the potty.

Day 3: Wednesday
Harly:  Crying every time she had to pee, begging for a diaper to be put on.  I have decided to not push her until she is more comfortable with the potty.  But so proud of her for trying!
Zoey:  No accidents!  Stickers, and M&Ms for reward

Day 4: Thursday
Zoey had three accidents today.  I knew we would end up regressing when she saw Harly in a diaper.  These accidents are partly my fault too.  Reason being- in the morning, Zoey was playing with her toys and she got up, ran, and stripped.  She sat on the potty and pee'd, never once telling me she had to pee.  So I got lenient and wasn't asking her throughout the day if she had to pee, which resulted in accidents.

Day 5: Friday
Zoey had no accidents.  She is starting to get sick of M&Ms as her reward, so we are going to go to the store and get new candy to keep her on a roll! Again she went on the potty without being told or asked too!  Daddy got to witness this too!  So proud of her!

I will start with Harly again, the issue is that these girls are outsmarting me with EVERYTHING (and I mean everything, they are way too smart)!  Harly knew that if she held her pee til naptime (which she did one day) that she would be getting a pull up on.  The minute I put it on her, she said, "I peeing."  With her it is going to come down to a power struggle.  Part of me feels guilty for not starting sooner, but there was just way to much chaos in our lives.  I also thought it would be the complete opposite because Zoey is very stubborn and strong willed.  We will get there though, and I am not worried.  I have all winter!

How I potty trained in one day:  I waited til they said they were ready.  We continued our normal routine.  They have been sitting on the potty for almost a year.  We have had a lot of talks about the potty too. I will let you know how potty training with Harly goes.  The hard part will be these next couple days with Zoey, due to I am sure the place we are going to won't have a potty 5 feet away from us.  I will be that annoying mom asking her child every 5 minutes if she has to go to the bathroom (sorry to everyone ahead of time!)  I know there will be a lot more accidents til she gets used to having to hold her pee til we find a potty, but I refuse to back down.  I don't want her to be discouraged and go back in diapers.  I will survive this, and I will have a ton of extra clothes on hand!  Plus daddy will be there to help, thank goodness!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Start of family nights: Family, Finding Nemo, snuggle time

I am so excited to do family nights!  The girls aren't old enough for board games yet, but I can't wait to have a family game night.  Two weekends ago, we decided to have a family movie night.  We don't let the girls watch a lot of T.V.  They watch about a 1/2 hour, but when they have bad days, we throw it on for a little longer just to get things done.

We didn't know if they would sit through a two hour movie.  The longest movie they watched was an hour movie on the car ride to vacation.  We wanted to give it a shot though and knew we could just turn it off and play.

I took the girls to the library and gave them some options.  In the end, they picked Finding Nemo.  There were a lot more scary parts than I realized and just had to reassure them that Nemo, Nemo: (aka Marlin), and Dory were OK.  They sat through the whole movie and loved it.  They continue to ask to watch it every day now.

They then found all the board games.  They were still wrapped and never opened.  We played candy land with the girls and they had fun picking out the cards for daddy and me!

It was a great family night, we all snuggled together and it was just perfect!  I look forward to many more family nights!