Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A post for moms... topic: potty training

This post will probably be boring to most and sorry for how long it is, but hopefully it will be helpful to a few mom friends who read my blog.  I have had several friends ask me what my technique was for potty training Hudson especially being that we potty trained him at 23 months.  So, here are my thoughts...

First off, I don't claim to be an expert.  I don't have all the right answers.  Potty training goes along the same rules as everything else.  I am definitely not a "my way or the highway" kind of mom.  I believe each parent has to decide what is best for them and their family.  For example, there are some parents who swear by living on a very tight and strict schedule and for them that might be the only way they can function.  Other moms, have routines but there is a flexibility within those routines.  Either way isn't better or right, just different.  Same thing goes for vaccine schedules, potty training and everything else.  So, just because we did this method I am about to share... does not mean it is the only method or the right method. When sharing thoughts or methods on parenting, I never want to come across with a sense of superiority as if my way is the better way.  There are always several ways to approaching situations and our potty training method was just best for us. 

So, here is our story.  When Hudson was around 21 months he was already showing significant signs that he was ready to begin potty training, but I kept blowing it off because nowadays it seems most moms wait until their kids are 2 1/2 or 3 to start potty training and because I have always heard "boys are sooo much harder to potty train".  However, Hudson began telling us at a very early age when he had a dirty diaper.  Then at 21 months when he was sick with pneumonia and right before a bath we sat him on the toilet and he both peed and took care of the bigger business (sorry if this is TMI).  We were shocked and excited that he was able to control and go on command.  But, again I just thought he was too young and I knew we were about to head to Europe in a few weeks.  I definitely didn't want a potty training toddler as we traveled across the UK. 

Finally, after we were home from the UK and a few days after he turned 23 months, I had a great conversation with the wife of one of my favorite professors from college (Elaine Lewis).  We started talking about the subject and I decided the next morning after church to head to the store to get the necessary supplies.  All Elaine said was that she started potty training as soon as her kids could recognize they had a dirty diaper.  She didn't want to teach them that it was okay to continue to go in their diaper once they were aware of it.  So, her daughters and her son all began the potty training process around 20-21 months.  She encouraged me to just take Hudson in our backyard without a diaper on and let him play.  Once he peed, celebrate it and then begin to ask him to go. 

So, that is what we did.  After church the following morning, I took him outside in our backyard.  The first two times he peed he was caught a little off guard, but then I was able to ask him to go and he went.  He just needed to realize the muscle that controls it and he was able to figure it out.  We only spent about an hour and a half outside then we came in put a diaper on and played.  However, I think this simple step was so significant in teaching Hudson how to control his bladder.  The following morning is when we began the process and because he knew what to do when we asked him to pee... it made the whole process so much easier. 

I also received some amazing advice from one of my friends from high school (Tiffany Booth) who has potty trained both of her oldest children at 20 and 21 months.  I didn't realize that there were so many moms around me who were training their children at such young ages.  Anyway, one of the major things she said that stuck with me was once you start remain consistent and plan on going all the way.  With that said, here was our plan of attack:

- The first 2 days we just let him run around the house naked and took him to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  Anytime he did go, we made a big celebration and gave him a m&m.  The only time he wore a diaper was for naps and bedtime.  One thing Elaine said was not to give him a ton of liquid because that is harder for them to control their bladder when they really have to go.  So, we just gave Hudson the normal amount that he would drink on a daily basis. 
-When Hudson did have accidents we didn't get upset or angry, but instead just explained that big boys go in the potty.  We didn't want him to be embarrassed as he was learning. 
-Day 3 we put him in underwear which really helped because was aware a lot faster if he had an accident.  
-By day 4, we headed out for our first outing and we were accident free.  I was a little shocked and excited that at only 23 months he was getting it.  We drove in the car about 20 minutes to Chick-fil-A, played in the playground, ate lunch and headed home... all of this diaper free and accident free.  I just took him to the restroom as soon as we got there and about every 30-45 minutes while we were there.
-Once we started... no more diapers even when we went out. We have to stay committed in order to not confuse him.  (Although, there have been a few occasions where we have put a pull up on, but we treat it as a underwear.  Most of the occasions have been when we are going somewhere where there isn't a bathroom near by.)

Another thing one of my friends shared is that it might take him a little longer to tell me he had to go.  Hudson was able to do this within the first few days, but he wasn't telling me every time he had to go.  So, we just took him regularly.  The longer he has been in underwear the better he has gotten about this.  He definitely knows if he has an accident and doesn't completely empty his bladder.  While he is not perfect, it has been so much fun watching him learn and understand.  And I am so thankful that we don't have to buy diapers for the next 7 months to a year.  

So, that's it.  Nothing amazing or different than anything a lot of other moms do.  But, since so many friends had asked, I figured I would share our experience.  For those of you who read through this entire post... I am impressed :)  haha... you are probably a mom of a child close to the age of potty training.  I just want to encourage each mom that you know your child best.  And you will know when they are ready... whether it be 20 months, 23 months, 2 1/2 years or 3 years... you will know.  

And here are a few photos from this morning of Hud running around outside.  He spends a lot of time at our house running around in just his underwear... because well, it is just cute :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

19 weeks!

So, earlier today I took my weekly belly picture.  I was slightly shocked when I came across a picture of me at the same point in my pregnancy with Hudson... I was showing so much less.  This makes me think that I will inevitably be huge by the end of this pregnancy.  

This first picture is of me and Trav when I was 19 weeks with Hudson:

And this is me with baby #2 at 19 weeks:

Hudson's 1st Hair Cut

On March 25th, we took Hudson to get his 1st hair cut.  We have trimmed it several times along the way, because we didn't want the totally and completely awkward growing out hair.  But, completely chopping it off was a whole different story.  Hudson's long hair had some really cool moments, but being the active fun little boy that he is... most of the time it just landed in his face.  So, we knew it was time.  The night before we cut it we did one last bubble bath mohawk with his hair to remember how long it was. 

Then before the appointment we took him to the park to get a few more pictures of his precious baby hair:
Showing off a few moves:
And yes, that is gum in his mouth.  Right around the same time, he asked for some gum and we couldn't believe that he chewed it for almost an hour without swallowing it:
We did have some really awesome hair moments :)

My cousin cuts our hair and she always does an amazing job.  I definitely didn't want Hudson to have the "little boy" hair cut and she did a great job keeping it really cute.  Although, he hated the process: 
We ended up going outside of the salon, so we didn't bother those who were trying to relax:
The chocolate shake we brought finally helped him calm down:

And waa laa... what a cutie:
And here is one cheesy smile of him the day after:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Steven Curtis Chapman Concert

Well, I really haven't blogged much the last couple of months.  There are several reasons for this, but I am ready to beginning catching up on our blog.  I realized today I haven't posted about the Steven Curtis Chapman concert, potty training Hudson, Hud's 2nd birthday, Easter, Mother's Day, and just life in general.  

Side note:  I am going to try to catch up this week before I head back to Europe in a little over a week!  This time I will be traveling to Denmark to shoot a wedding at a beautiful castle.  I am really excited and a little nervous about leaving Hudson for so long. I will be traveling with the sister of the bride, Lina and her husband, Eric.  Trav and I actually shot Eric and Lina's wedding last summer and now I will be heading to Lina's hometown to be a part of capturing her sister's wedding day!  Trav and I really love them and we had so much fun at their wedding last summer.  I remember walking away from their wedding saying how much fun their families were and how I think I would really like the Danish culture.  Needless to say, I am really excited to really experience Denmark. 

Anyway, here are a few photos and videos from the Steven Curtis Chapman concert that Travis opened up for.  It really was such an honor and a blessing for Travis and the guys to get to open up for someone who has had such a significant impact on music and the church.  

Before the concert, we had the greatest talk with Steven and his son's backstage.  We were able to ask Steven questions about how he and his family have managed life and family while working in such a unique area of ministry.  Steven was so honest and vulnerable about the struggles of life in this kind of ministry.  It really was great to be able to listen to him and just soak up any words of wisdom that he shared.  

We were also able to talk to him a little bit about how their lives have been impacted by the loss of their sweet daughter and how God has been their strength.  After our conversation, I added his wife's book Choosing to See to my "must read" list of books I want to read through.  Also, it was really sweet, but Hudson had just gotten his drum set a few days before the concert and he had blisters on his hands from playing for so many hours.  Steven's son, Will plays the drums and has since he was about Hudson's age.  He showed Hudson the blisters he had on his own hands which apparently he has been getting blisters on his hands since he was a boy too.  

The 3 of us backstage right before the concert:
I didn't have time to get a good picture, because I was running back and forth between handling the final ticket sales, managing the merchandize table and watching Hudson.  So, I just took a quick picture with my point and shoot camera of the guys running through the songs one last time before the concert started:

I think Brandon did a pretty good job imitating Hudson's look...haha:
I know... I am a dork for taking this picture.  I wish I would have actually taken the time to get a group picture of us with Steven and his son's instead of just taking a picture of their names on the doors backstage:
Travis, Brandon and Josh:

Here are a few videos I just took with my flip camera:

Steven Curtis Chapman with 2 of his sons and their guitarist:

p.s.  I hate calling this night a "concert" because it wasn't just a concert.  It really was just a sweet night of corporate worship with a group of believers.  I left so encouraged in my faith and refreshed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

15 weeks!

Well, I am 15 weeks along now and I feel that I have definitely entered the awkward stage of... "is she pregnant... or maybe she has just gained a little weight"... haha.  Regardless, I am enjoying this pregnancy just as much as I did with Hudson.  I can't believe that we are only 5 weeks away from finding out.

Also, I posted this on facebook, but since the news is out that one my closest friends, Natalie is pregnant, I can finally share that Natalie and I are due on the exact same day!!!  We both knew we were going to start trying for another baby, so we both figured we would hopefully be due within a few months of each other.  But, I think we were both shocked when we found out we had the exact same due date!!!  We knew it was possible that we could be within days of each other, but when our doctors confirmed our due dates... we were both so excited!

I had called Natalie while she was in class to share the news that Travis and I found out we were pregnant.  She wasn't able to answer the phone, so she just sent me a text asking what was up.  I just said I was calling to chat, which of course, she figured I was calling to tell her the news.  She responded by asking, "are you pregnant".  To which my reply was, "yes!!!!!!!!" and "are you?".  I had immediate butterflies and instant shock when she wrote back, "yes!!!!!".  It just has to be some kind of record...haha.  :)  So, we both have been sick at the same time, we both took the "magic pills" and we both have gained the same amount of weight!   I know our pregnancies will be different and our children will be different, but it just is so fun to go through this at the exact same time and to support each other through all the new changes.

So, here is a picture of Natalie and I at 15 weeks:
and this one was taken just a couple days before at the Steven Curtis Chapman concert:

and the weekly belly pic:

and this is for my mom (she likes to read the weekly updates on how the baby is progressing):

How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")