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Saturday, February 28, 2009

WooHoo!!


Just found out that Vivianna's birthfamily is coming to her birthday party in two weeks! Yeah!! They came to her first birthday, but because they have to drive up~we never know if they will be able to make it every year. We have not seen each other since November, so I am really grateful that we will have a couple of hours for the kids to play and for them to soak up all her big girl antics, like climbing on the playground ladders!


The party plans are all under way, but I have been on the hunt for a decent pinata, which is something I want to do every year at her party now that she is getting older, to celebrate her Latina background. Party City only has an expensive Mickey one- so I am trying to just find a pretty girl one or birthday-themed one that is less than $15. I would also prefer it to have pull strings vs. being beat with a stick! The above cupcake one would be perfect but shipping would put it close to $25 and I only have two weeks to get it here, which makes me nervous. I am going to Austin next weekend for my friend's baby shower and they have a Party Pig- so I may have to look into that. Who knew a pinata could be so tough to find!

Pizza....Mmmmmm

We have been so good at our budgeting, that we had some extra money in our entertainment envelope, as well as a really really good coupon deal for this place, so last night we surprised the kids with a night out! We had to purchase a pillow for Vivi and something else at Ikea, so Isaac was so excited to be able to play in their play center while we shopped. Then we went over to Gatti town- a pizza buffet and arcade room. Vivi was so excited she was jumping up and down in the arcade. She rode her first carnival ride ( a big boat that rocks) and was all smiles on the carousel. Isaac ate so much pizza we had to call it quits before he exploded. I am very nervous about how we are going to feed him in 10 years if he can eat this much now and still be nothing but skin and bones.
I had the camera, but my batteries were dead.
There is SO much freedom in paying cash for everything along with having everything budgeted out before you spend it, because you can do something fun with the family and not have to fret about the cost. Yeah!! Also, we realized to date we have paid off nearly $4,000 in debt since Sept. Woo Hoo!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Darling Daughter Turns Two in Two weeks (Tomorrow)! Wow.


Indulge me, as I take a walk down memory lane...


Vivianna Hope

Born March 14, 2007



Baby's First Easter



3 months old


6 months old




Baby's First Halloween




9 months old


Baby's First Christmas


Baby New Year


One Year Old




Baby's First Birthday



18 months old


I was told once that when your children are young- the days go by so slow, but the years go by so fast. I think about this phrase often as I have struggled and celebrated with my children these past few years. I cannot believe that in two weeks, I will no longer have a baby. I LOVED having a baby of my very own, and tried to never take one day of it for granted. That baby is gone now and been replaced with this climbing, crying, trouble-making two year old. But despite the long days of dealing with a toddler, there are so many moments where Vivi just captures my heart. We have a bedtime routine now where I put her to bed before Isaac and I read and sing to her. She requests songs in her tiny baby voice "twinkle", "bridge", then she holds up her feet and says "piggies" and I do the piggy toe rhyme. She aks for her Barneys and snuggles in for the night, saying "yuv you, Mommy." During the day, she has gotten into the habit of saying "mommy mommy mommy" when she wants her songs on the radio or a snack, or anything really. Just a dozen "mommy's" over and over again because I guess I am the source of ALL things! She is my little doll and precious, precious to me-even putting a smile on my face sometimes when she is in the throws of a fit.

She is so passionate and I think she must get that from me!


I will post some baby videos in the weeks leading up to her turning two, for nostalgia sake- and the sake of her Grandmothers and Great Aunts who will just eat up all of her cuteness!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Transracial Adoption Part 2



Isaac's Adoption Day
December 13, 2006
He can hardly contain his excitement!


First, you will want to read Part 1.

I have a disclaimer that I want to start out by addressing. For us, adopting transracially was not something we set out to do. We opened our home to any child God had for us. And, thankful as we are, this happened to be what His plan was for our family. I have talked to other white parents raising African American children and what we all have in common is having to face the fact that even though there is a whole group of people who are against Transracial adoption, there is a whole other group who see it as almost "trendy" and "hip". Not sure if certain celebrities have been the cause of this, but I will say this is something I find myself uncomfortable with. Ya'll remember when toy breed puppies that you could carry in a handbag became really popular and everyone rushed out to get one. Well, children are not a breed of dog- and they are not a possession to covet. If I had a dollar for every time I have had someone say to me "I've always wanted to have a black baby!" I would have enough money to pay for our next adoption. Seriously. All I have to say about this is please, please check your motives in this. Adoption is not a trend, it is a way that God builds families, just like birth. And our choice to be a Transracial family was not a political statement we were trying to make of racial unity or a "novelty". This is our child.




There are LOTS of children that need forever homes, all I am stating is why should race be a factor at all?


So now that I have cleared the air with that!



********************************************************

I really believe that the challenges of adopting transracially have a lot more to do with society's views on it- then the actual effect it will have on the child. Caucasian people often have the belief that African American people make too much out of racism. That they often "look" for racism around every corner. I challenge this viewpoint with the fact that as white people living in America, we have NO idea what racism feels like or looks like, except from an outsider looking in. We can read accounts of it, hear about racist acts on the news and in history books- but to live it, is a whole other world.

Adoptive Families magazine did an article on "Facing Prejudice" in their Nov. 1994 issue. In that article, it states that most white parents wait until the first injury occurs before talking with their child about racism, but that most African-American families, along with other non-white races, warn their children about the cruelties of racism long before they encounter it. Why? Because you do not want your child to internalize these acts or taunts and feel that it is about them. The reality of it is that prejudice is about the person perpetrating it, their ignorance, their biases, even their hatred- not the person who receives it.

The article goes on to tell parents to teach their child a way to handle it, not to ignore it. They must be empowered to be able to say something, or even stare back at someone who is trying to intimidate by staring. If we teach our children to take charge of the situation, then we give them their power back that was so selfishly taken by the taunter. The old adage of "ignore it" when faced with a bully of any kind, just isn't the right advice. Ignoring things does not make them go away. And finally, if your child faces racism from an adult- it is your job as the parent to handle that.

A great resource for Transracial families is Pact, An Adoption Alliance.



They have an article called "Building Racial Identity", by Beth Hall. I was so pleased to see on their Strategy list, that we have implemented so many of these in our daily life. Here are some of those:

-When choosing professionals, allow race to be a factor in your choice. (Isaac's 1st Dr. was Afr. American. as well as his current Dentist) This helps to counterbalance some of society's negative stereotypes, and show them that those of their same race CAN have successful professions.

-Drive a few extra miles if needed to shopping places, movie theaters, libraries, parks, etc. where there are lots of people of varying colors. (We do this often, even driving further to eat at McDonalds. We also just purchased a year pass to the Dallas Zoo, located in a very diverse part of town).





-Groom your child so they look good all the time. Because they are a part of our families, they may be more critically judged by their own racial group. The article says, "African American hair should be oiled, combed, done up (girls) and well 'coifed', Latina girls often wear pierced ears from infancy...these physical manifestations not only become vehicles of good self esteem, but also provide connecting links between them and others of their race." (I am careful to make sure Isaac gets his hair cut by African American stylists, who know how to 'edge' it; has nicely hydrated skin, as well as the fact that we pierced Vivi's ears at the age of one. I always make sure her hair is done when we leave the house. We also chose names for them that we felt fit their racial identity).

-Expose your child early and often to the history of "their" people. Don't shy away from negative aspects of the history, for they need to understand the whole truth. Also let them hear these stories from people of their own race so they can understand the pride and importance of shared history and experience. (We have been to read-ins, done by black males and females sometimes dressed in traditional African apparel at the library during Black History month, attend parades and celebrations every year that are important to African American heritage, and plan to involve him in sports that are typically played by African American males- so he will be in touch with his peer group as he grows).



-Help your child master skills and experience personal success and accomplishment to help balance out society's often lowered and negative expectations. (We enroll Isaac in one activity every semester and varying Bible classes throughout the year: i.e. Awana, VBS- to help him experience little successes.)

Isaac is the one in the headband.


-Strengthen their sense of family identity and unity to help them manage the challenges of Transracial Adoption. Develop and reinforce family rituals and traditions, giving a strong sense of family membership. Little things you do often will ensure that we all feel like fully entitled members of our families. ( We eat dinner together every night, we visit the library every week, I have specific and repetitive traditions on every major and some minor holidays, we visit farmer's markets in the summer, and we celebrate their unique adoption day every year with cake, presents, and a fun family outing.)


Right now Isaac is at an age where he doesn't understand what adoption means because he doesn't get where babies come from, but we have lots of books that talk about adoption. We also have lots of books that show characters of all different races. He knows his skin is a different shade then lots of people he knows, and that his race is called African American, but he doesn't get why yet. We will continue to have these conversations with him as he grows.


I firmly believe that if God gives you a challenge, and we all know parenting is a BIG challenge- that He will equip you with the tools you need to do your best, if you seek out those resources. We continue to educate ourselves on these things, knowing that what we do now will need to change and grow with our children. We cannot protect them from what they may face in the world, and shouldn't if we could. Their unique struggles will help to build character and resilience in them. It is our job as parents to be a soft place for them to fall, an ear to listen, and a word of advice and instruction.




I pray the Lord continues to guide our path on this amazing life journey.

Roll Call

I wrote the Transracial Adoption post late Monday evening, and look at the Tuesday traffic on the blog it generated! I hope to get around to writing Part 2 today, but first I wanted to get a roll call of everyone who is reading. So if you are a new reader, or an old reader who has never said "Hi!", please leave a comment! I'd love to meet you. You can comment under Name/URL, if you don't want to post your blog publicly.
I'd love to know my audience!
P.S. If you are new to the blog, you can catch up with us on the sidebar by reading the kid's adoption stories. They are long, so sit back and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Foodies

Billy and I have a joke that if while you are in the middle of eating something, you are thinking about what your next snack/meal will be, you have a problem. Well-these are my problems. The above snack has become my afternoon staple. Italian tomato and herb crackers and light garden vegetable cream cheese. It is insanely good. And nothing to feel guilty about, if you eat it in the right portions. 17 tiny little crackers is a serving size, pretty decent if you ask me!
So then there is this pizza...


Fajitas and pizza.... two of my favorite meals combined!! Heaven.
Do not even think about sharing this little guy. He is ALL yours!


Okay so, when we have it on hand which is not for long after I go to the store,
we limit ourselves to only one soda a day max...
Cherry Coke Zero
Doesn't even taste "diet". I promise you.
It is hard to keep it to one.


And here is my indulgence...



What is the DEAL with this popcorn?!!
It was my fav in the early 90's and it has made a serious comeback in my life. I get one big bag maybe every 2-3 weeks. It lasts about 4 days, if we play our cards right. Billy and I have been known to sneak it past Isaac in the hopes that he doesn't hear us crunching and have even hid it under the coffee table when he came in the room. "Nothing to see here, Son."
I know...we are bad.
Today I gave him a serving with his lunch and he said, "Mom, how long have we had this?!" Ummm....
Billy coined the term "dessert appetizer". This is something sweet that you eat before your actual dessert. For instance...M & M's would be the dessert appetizer to icecream. A sugar cookie is a dessert appetizer to a slice of pie....you get the gyst.
Needless to say, we don't keep a lot of desserts or their appetizers around the house.
It just doesn't go well for "Foodies" like us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Transracial Adoption Part 1

Isaac and Mommy
Pensacola Beach 2008

When the subject of adopting outside our race comes up, it is interesting to me the typical reaction people give. Most people seem to have no problem with white parents raising an Asian or Russian child adopted overseas, or a Hispanic or Native American child adopted right here in the U.S. But for some reason, when the topic of white parents adopting an African American child comes up- that is when the opinions fly. It is the common consensus that Caucasian parents cannot bring up an African American child to understand and appreciate their culture, or to understand racism. Therefor, it is unfair to even try. Somehow, as a society we think it is easier for people to learn about the Chinese culture, Mexican culture, or varying other ethnic traditions and backgrounds- and to incorporate them into their adopted child's upbringing- but not so with the African American culture.

I have to wonder if this is less a concern for our children being raised by white parents, and more of a bias toward this particular race- that of course one would never want to admit. It is important, however that we explore this as a family and with our children. It has come up, it will come up, and dealing with it head on seems to be the best choice.

When Billy and I spoke at our adoption agency about Transracial adoption, we knew we were speaking to 90% of couples that had already made up their minds that they wanted a white baby. I talked about how most couples go into adoption opposed to adopting an African American or biracial child, for 3 main reasons. These reasons are:

1) You don't want it to be so obvious that you adopted. No one wants a scarlet letter "I" stamped on their forehead announcing to the world they are infertile.

2) You have family members that would not be okay with this family dynamic

3) You wouldn't know a thing about how to do their hair, take care of their skin, and all the other areas of importance in raising a black child.

Are these valid reasons for turning away a child? And one has to ask themselves, if everyone felt this way, what would happen to these children? Where would they go? Because there simply are not enough African American adoptive parents available.

Can you not help educate your family members who are still living in the 1960's? Can you not learn how to care for your child's unique needs? We all have to learn how to care for a newborn from someone...how is this different?

The fact is, it is just easier to adopt within your race.

But who said God wanted us to take the easy route?

This is the question we wrestled with, and well...God won. Once He opened our hearts to stop the craziness that is trying to conceive, and began to open the door for us to adopt- He also worked in our hearts to kneel before him and open our arms to whatever child He had chosen. And boy, oh boy, did He pick a child for us! You can read that story HERE.

And the blessings of raising this boy have just overflowed.

The challenges, we know, lay ahead of us.

And this is what I will specifically explore in my next blogpost on this topic, so stay tuned!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tae Kwon Do

We believe it is important for the kids to try lots of different activities throughout their childhood to be well-rounded. We reserve toys, DVD's and other prizes for holidays only, and instead set aside our money for things that will keep them moving and active.
Isaac has done basketball, swimming, Gymboree, music class, and now Tae Kwon Do. We only do one activity a semester per child, so that they are not overwhelmed and can work at that skill. If they really take to it, we consider keeping with it- but so far Isaac has not taken to much. He has a hard time following directions and staying focused. But, today was a different story!
Here he is at his first class! His uniform is PRECIOUS on him!! Even if it is about 2 sizes too big! He will grow into it!
Our boy is in the front row, far right.



He really loved it. He was so focused for the whole class. A far cry from his flightiness at basketball! Here is the description of the class, "your child will learn respect and manners, learn to keep their hands to themselves, follow directions, and be in control."
Sounds perfect for our very active and impulsive boy, doesn't it? Billy said afterwards that this was a really great idea. We both enjoyed watching him work hard!

And here are some videos. You can hear him in one of them!


video




video

Friday, February 20, 2009



We are involved with an organization outside of Fort Worth that is tailored to adoptive parents who are raising African American children. We were recently asked to be the "family in focus" on their website. Check it out!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soap Box


Okay I know I am spending precious sleep time by blogging about this but enough is enough...I can't be silent any longer!! What is up with the overuse of technology beginning at a younger and younger age? True story- I was at Costco a week or so ago sharing a frozen yogurt in the food court with my little shadows and literally ALL around us were kids with their heads down. Two boys in a shopping cart playing handheld games. An entire table of pre-teen sisters with their dad, eating pizza and texting. Another mom and dad with their son who was playing a video game and a 4 year old walking next to his mom working some kind of game on her cell phone. What?! Not a single one of these families were having a conversation. It was the quietest food court I have ever been in, aside from my own two jabber-mouths.


So if this wasn't enough to send me picketing outside Best Buy on behalf of our children, I took Isaac to a park and twin boys were on a bench playing Nintendo DS. At a park! On a beautiful sunny day. Isaac kept leaning over the bench to watch as I was trying to motion to him with dirty looks to get off his hiney and go play, without offending the twins dad who clearly saw nothing wrong with this picture. Video games are no longer reserved for Saturday night sleep overs and long road trips. They are everywhere, all the time! I know a family where every child has their own personal video gaming system; Leapsters to Gameboys. The girls systems are pink. So family time now looks like 5 kids sitting on a couch working their thumbs. Look at the below picture and tell me there is not something wrong with this!!


Look how happy they are to be together but not having a single face-to-face conversation involving eye contact and the exercise of thinking something and having that thought come out of your mouth. Now our fingers do the talking. We don't have to care about weighing our words on the other person's facial expressions or body language, or even waiting for their response. We just chat away at whatever we want to talk about and call this a social life. I have to wonder if these three teens are texting each other!

We have "educational software" for babies as young as 9 months old. And check out the latest from Leap Frog:


Yikes. That name is scary. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over the age of 2 have no more than two hours of screen time a day, including computer and video games. I'll let you google the reasons why. I would say the average American preschooler is WAY over that amount. And somehow if we tack "educational" or "learning" onto the label, we can justify letting our kids punch away at the keys.


And why is this so important to regulate? Because our children and teens are becoming more distant, less able to be socially appropriate, and more likely to be sedentary. Reading a book is almost as extinct as the dinosaur. We wonder why young boys can be so strange to be around...have you seen lego star wars on the DS?
Worse..have you watched and had to listen to a kid play it for 2 hours?

The only thing Isaac gets to do is occasionally throughout the week we will let him do PBS kids activities online for about 30 minutes. I even worry if this is setting him up for a life long lure to a glowing screen. We were in the car on our way to the vitamin store today and Isaac asked Billy and I if he could get a video game. I said "not until you have a car and a job. And even then it will still be open for discussion. Let's revisit this when you go off to college and are finally allowed to drink soda."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Random Pics

These two really do love each other. Very rarely do they fight.
Our favorite thing to hear is "Vivi, come to Isaac!"



Little Miss Valentine

My mom has turned their dining room into a playroom for the kids in her home daycare. This benefits the grandkids as well, as now they have a place all their own when they go over there. She did this fabulous border using her "Cricut" machine in her scrapbook room. She can make anything from a cupcake to Mickey to Winnie the Pooh! And she even did popsicle stick puppets for my niece of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
You can see the Sesame Street characters on the wall.
(Click on the picture and you can see the details better)
Now that took some time!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Once Again...




In the March/April edition of Adoptive Families Magazine, this picture of Isaac will appear in the "family album" section. Funny enough, Billy also has another article coming out in that one as well. The fun part is that his story is about Vivi's birth and it is coming out in her birth month! I'll let you know when it is on the newstand, but if you are an adoptive family- I highly recommend getting a subscription. We have had one since 2006 and we LOVE that magazine. The director of our agency even said that when she flipped through it she said to herself "this is all the information we want to convey to our adoptive families!" Aside from being really fun reading, it is a gem of a resource.

**Here is the March issue!!

If you subscribe by March 2nd- it will begin with this issue!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Heavy Heart

Sadly as of today, I am no longer a toddler teacher. It has been extremely difficult to work at the preschool I have been at due to lack of curriculum, structure, and poor leadership and decision-making. A series of events transpired last week that essentially forced me to ask for my replacement. I fully expected to finish out the month and have a chance to explain myself to the parents in my class as well as to say goodbye to the children, but shamelessly my director called and told me not to bother coming into work tomorrow. I asked to finish out the week and she said no. So there you have it. 6 months of devoting myself to the children, having had no complaints from parents, always coming to work early and being fully prepared in all that I did and this is what I get. My aide is in shock and said she will be lost without me. The part that grieves me are the rumors that will inevitably fly about my departure and the fact that my children do not have a chance to say goodbye to their teachers and classmates. It especially frustrates me when people claim the name of Jesus and choose to behave in such a harmful way to those around them. I took for granted that I was applying for a "Christian" preschool, when in reality there was not much Christ there.

The good news is I have an interview this Wed. for a substitute position and a permanent position in the fall at a new school. The application required I write my testimony, church history and involvement, and how I would share the gospel with a child. This is a far cry from my experience in getting hired at the current school.

So I take my heavy heart tonight to the feet of my Savior, knowing that only He can restore peace within my soul and comfort me in my grief. No matter how I am treated in this world, He endured far worse and He knows and understands all of my discomfort. Regardless of what man may do or say in regards to my reputation, Jesus stands at the throne of God as my Defender. I stand faultless and blameless because of the price He paid. And my treasures are not of this earth. If God is for me, who can be against me?

"When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted." -Eleanor Roosevelt

"Never 'for the sake of peace and quiet' deny your own experience or convictions." -Dag Hammarskjold

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

I need sleep!

What is the deal with my child's sleep? This is getting REALLY old. It is 5 a.m. on Monday and I have been awake since Billy left for work in the 4:00 hour. Vivi got in bed with me at 4:30. She has been doing this at 5:00 am for the past week or so. She doesn't go back to sleep but instead thrashes around kicking me in the ribs. So I move her back to her bed where she proceeds to scream sometimes up to an hour. I have now anticipated the fit that ensues once she gets up, so I wake Isaac up and move him out to the couch where he can atleast doze in and out without her in his face. But she is so loud I can't get any sleep from across the apartment- I don't know how he does it.

Last night I went to bed at 8:30 because I was so exhausted. That means I didn't get to see any of my favorite show Brothers and Sisters. I just could not stay awake, it felt like torture. And because of my insomnia, once I get woken up- getting back to sleep is next to impossible. So here I am at 5:00 a.m.- I organized some stuff in my closet, checked my email and am angrily blogging as she wails away. Every time I go to the pediatrician I ask about her horrible sleep and they have no suggestions, just siting that she has always been like this. Thanks alot, Doc.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birthday Prep!

Today I am going to my Mom's scrapbook room to work on the invitations, banner, and cupcake picks for Vivi's birthday party. You can see from the picture above what the theme is! I am not purchasing all that stuff, but those are the plates. It will be at a park this year with a really nice gazebo and astro-turf flooring instead of woodchips, which I love! So after church, it will be an afternoon of black paper, pink ribbon, and mickey ears for me!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!


I love Valentine's Day.

My favorite colors red and pink come together for one beautiful little tribute to love.

Last night I went to see a "chick flick" with some girlfriends from college, because we figured we loved our husbands too much to drag them to this movie on Valentine's weekend. It was a lot of fun. I felt like I was young again, instead of 30 and the mother of two. I told Billy it's funny because if we had seen that movie 10 years ago, the longing and pining we would have felt on the eve of Valentine's day for our one true love's to come along, might just have ruined the whole experience. But knowing that I have the purest love waiting for me when I get home, made the touching parts of the movie all the more special to me.

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On that note, the love of my life has to work until 3:00 today and there will be no special date tonight for us! Same old Saturday as usual, but we will give the kids their little Valentine's day backpacks (see pic below w/Viv) filled with fun prizes and treats and I will make molten lava cakes for dessert tonight. We had a lot of fun getting Valentine's in the mail over the past few days and the kid's Nana sent a nice package with books, clothes, and candy. Thanks Nana!!

Here are some pics from Valentine's Day last year:


They both have these little red backpacks that I hook onto their chairs. Today they will wake from their naps to find them, since I want Billy to be here.

Isaac always gets a tiny box of chocolates.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Potty Readiness


And so begins my first installment of my potty training series. As most of you know, our little daughter will be turning two in just one month from tomorrow. Big milestone as this means that for atleast another year or so, my baby days are over. :(
I am not happy about this as excited as I am for her and her development.
But regardless of my missing my baby, the fact remains that kids grow up. And part of growing up is getting out of diapers! I personally don't mind changing her diapers. Not a big deal to me, but since she was 18 months old- she has been showing signs of potty training readiness. Our ped. wanted us to start her back then, but I am a firm believer in 2 being the youngest appropriate age, for a more timely success, unless of course your child just "potty trains themselves" as some Moms claim. Then more power to you and your diaper free baby!
My anxiety is heightened about the fact that I have never trained a child this young or a girl before! Both the boys I trained were two and a half. They trained in 3 days. So, I anticipate my little darling taking longer simply because of her age. But we are going to give it our best effort!
Step One- Educate yourself!
I checked out the above book from the library and finished last week. Today I will be getting a different one. I like to speed read through them to glean people's varying ideas of what works and what doesn't. The consistent theme in these books is one that I hold to- once you determine to take them out of the diapers and have done so, don't go back! This can set you back months. I have seen it from other children I know, it's true.
The biggest mistake I see parents making is getting all ready to do "potty training boot camp" as in, getting them trained in a day, and by noon the Mom has pooped out and put her little darling back in diapers, stating the child is just not ready because she peed in her panties 14 times. Well, I think the more accurate account is that Mom is not ready. Those first 24 hours are exhausting!! And there are WAY more failures than successes, but most potty training experts will tell you that if you stick to the plan by the end of day 2 something usually just "clicks" with the child and they begin to get it. I have seen this! It happened for Isaac on evening two at The Olive Garden!! Now that was exciting!
Step Two- Look for Readiness Signs
You can read this signs in books, or google them- so I won't bore you with the extensive list here, but I will share Vivi's personal readiness signs:
**Tells us when she needs a diaper change by grabbing at it and saying "poo poo" or bringing me a diaper when she is wet, as she did this morning. They do not have to do this every time. Just most of the time.
**Can pull her pants down
**Says potty and goes to it, wanting to sit
**Wakes up from naps dry (again not all the time)
**Can go 2 hours without peeing in her diaper
**has a regular schedule of pooping
**wants to imitate family members
**Is atleast 18 months old
So with these readiness signs, it appears as though she could potty train, and therefor we will begin it the week after her birthday.
Step Three- Begin To Purchase Your Supplies
We have our potty chair set out in the bathroom, and she sits on it when she wants. Ikea has some really cute little ones that are less than $5 a piece, so if you live in a big house, you can get one for every bathroom. I bought a dora potty training chart and stickers at Target but will also be downloading free ones from the internet. I will also be getting a toddler toilet seat that goes on the big potty and a step stool. I have been purchasing underwear in her favorite characters, over the past few months to make sure we are well stocked, and of course- carpet cleaner. We have a baby doll that "pees", so we will be using that one when we are ready to train. Wet wipes that are flushable are a must, and pull-ups for night time.
As I am reading books from the library, I have also checked out some items for her.


These DVD's we will be getting from Netflix in the coming weeks.


I bought her this book.


And we checked this one and others out from the library. The library has a lot of great resources on potty training, and they are free! So take advantage of it!
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I will go into detail further on the remaining steps as our time nears. The reason I don't just strip her of her diapers and GO right now, is because timing is key. You have to make sure your schedule is free that for atleast 2 days so your child does not have to leave the house. I am waiting until Spring Break for the perfect timing. Also, it helps to not go it alone if possible. A Sat and Sun where mom and dad can tag-team the wiping, cleaning, and washing of all the mess and the constant trips to the potty, means you set yourself up for success. Support is neccesary so that you will not doubt yourself and your methods. When my friend was potty trianing her daughter last summer, I talked to her or emailed her almost every day to encourage her to keep going. She did, and within days her little one was on her way to full-time success!
A cheerleader and another helping hand makes the whole process a lot less stressful!
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So, if you are currently ready to get your little one going and you think they are ready to take on the task, follow along with me over the next few weeks as we get ready to board the potty train!!

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