5 Essential Tips for Successful Potty Training

So, my little miss sweet Eliana is fully potty trained. I was dreading this milestone which is why I waited this long to transition her although we've really been potty training since she turned 2. I'm happy to say it went smoothly and was easier than I thought.  She pretty much got potty trained in one weekend. We can home from school on Friday, changed her into her big girl panties, and that was the beginning. We had a couple of accidents that night which was expected. I think the first one caught off guard as she was just standing there and you can tell she was surprised when she noticed it was leaking onto her body and the floor. We had a couple more accidents over the weekend and by Monday, she was good to go. I was surprised when I picked her up from school and she had gone the whole day without any accidents. Proud mommy moment.

Her teachers had told me just the week before that they feel she's ready and I knew she was as well. With them pointing it out, there was no more waiting, so I took a deep breath and made the change.  In that first week, I think we had one or two more accidents at school and those were during play time. I mean what kid wants to stop playing to take a potty break. Since then, no more accidents, even during nap time and overnight. Although I still put her in her pull ups at night just because sometimes she finds her way into our bed in the middle of the night. Staying dry during naps and bedtime means going right before and right after she wakes up.

Here are my 5 essential tips that aided our successful potty training experience.

-First and foremost, make sure your child is ready for this big transition. It just makes the process easier and less stress for both you and your child. It’s like the saying goes; you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink. If you child has no interest in using the potty, then the transition is going to be harder. So, the trick is to get them familiar with the potty and all it entails at an early stage. Like I mentioned, Eliana started playing potty when she turned two but it was nothing serious, just pretend which slowly grew into occasional usage until we fully transitioned.

-Don't force it. This sort of goes along with the first point. It is not a competition and there is no gold medal for first kid to be potty trained by any age. So, take your time and make it a fun experience for everyone involved.

- Be consistent, be committed and be present. I’m lucky ours went as smoothly as it did, but with that still comes some key factors.
 Being consistent is not switching between panties and pull ups during the day. I am personally guilty of this one early on, before I noticed and cut it out. At home I'll put her in her panties and any quick trip outside, I switch to pull up. This can be confusing for the child and delay the process rather than seeing progression.
Be committed in terms of time and energy, as least for the first few days or weeks. She tells me every time she needs to go which requires me dropping whatever I was doing at the time to attend and escort her to the potty. Now, she’ll still tell me and go by herself or request I come with her. In some cases where I can tell by her body language she waited too long, I scope her up and off we go.  
Being present is as easy as encouraging her while she sits there, whether it’s an easy one or hard one. Just be there to provide support and keep cheering her on.
-Offer rewards. Mine comes easy; all she needs is lots of cheers, applause, hi-5’s and woo-hoo with fist in the air. I'm sure if I offer her yogurt every time as well she’ll gladly accept. So, find what your form of rewards is, stickers, candy, ice cream…etc

- Lastly, having the essential and right products helps as well.

Here are some trusted products that works for us and why we love them.

Our in-house potty. It’s easy to handle, clean and take apart. She even sometimes clean up after herself with supervision. It 3-in-1 so we’ll definitely get a long use out of it. She’s been using it as a steeping stool long before she officially started using it as a potty. The middle part also  comes off  for when she transitions to the adult potty for extra support and balance.

To-go potty - At this stage, they need to go when the need to go. They pretty much can't hold it. Which means you have to be ready as well whenever, wherever. Getting to or finding the closet restroom is not always guaranteed, trust me, I know. For all those scenarios, this little to-go potty comes in handy. Very easy to use and ready in seconds with just one click extension of both legs. Is stays permanently in the car but for extended outings, It’s something extra to lug around. I know it won’t be forever and it saves both of us from mishap, so it's worth the little trouble for now. When I’m carrying one of my big tote bag, it fit perfectly inside. What I do to make the set up even faster is having a bag already installed so when she needs to go, I'm not just fiddling with trying to get the bags open and fitted over the seat.  Also closes very easily after use. I like the bags that come with it because it has a little padding that soak up most of content, but a regular grocery bags fits and will get the job done as well. Another great thing is that the potty comes with a pouch that fits the potty and a couple of bags nicely. One thing I will like to point out is that since it is a to-go potty, it is reasonably lower in sitting height than a regular potty. So that may take a bit of getting used to for your child.
Readily available set of wipes in the car

And lastly, of course I have to accident proof the car, well more like her car seat. You never know until it happens in this case and I'm not waiting to find out whether it will or it won’t. Just want to be prepared.  I bought this car seat protector to line the inside of her car seat. In the event of any accident, all I have to do is remove the liner and wash as opposed to disassembling her whole car seat.
Hope you find these tips helpful in your potty training journey. Be sure to share any tips you might have as well.

 Have a great day.

Currently Loving...Slow Down

*Insert teary face emoji all over this post*

I cannot listen to this song without crying but I love love love it. 
It is that perfect song with all the perfects words about how I feel being a mom and watching Eliana grow.

Gosh, she's going to turn 3 in three months and with every milestone or just simply watching her grow each day, it's hard not to get teary eyed listening to this. 

Reflecting on bringing her home as a baby, now she's this toddler and just imaging the young lady she's going to grow into...Yes, please, Slow Down! 

What makes this even more emotional is being pregnant with Baby2 and being reminded of how it all started, knowing what's to come. 

Each day we are blessed with is a gift from God not to be taken for granted. So, this song is just another reminded to cherish each and every moment and hug her tighter than before.

I'm pretty sure i'm not the only parent that feels this way listening to the song.

New Decor Plans

Hi Loves.
You bet I can't wait to get in and start putting stuff in place in our new house.
I love decorating and haven't really gotten the chance to fully go all out until now since I didn't considered our past residents permanent. Since we always knew at the back of our mind when the next move will be, I didn't see the point in making every nook of the place special. This time around is different, I can finally and surely call it our home. 

As you all know, designing and decorating can get expensive very quickly and I'm of course trying to do this on a reasonable budget. So, that means, some potential DIY’s, shopping around sale season starting with the upcoming 4th of July sale for our essentials and need-right-away big ticket items, and, lastly taking my time to find the right product that fits our space. I will also be incorporating some of our old items/ furniture’s as well so that will save some. A mix of old and new is never a bad thing.In fact I think the new pieces with bring new life and perspective to the old stuff.

I have a vision for every room in the house and can't wait to start bringing it to live. Clean, simple and airy with pop of colors will be the best way to describe my theme. So in essence lots of neutral colors with pop of bold colors here and there. 

One item already purchased is our bed. I searched high and low for a decently priced upholstery bed and finally settled on one. 

Here are some other similar options.

First Timers : Building Part II

Some of our selections
Hi loves, it been a minute. Lots happening keeping me busy from family affairs to work and life in general.
It’s been a while, so let’s pick up right where we left off on the home project. There’s been major progress on our first home and moving is not too far away. I can't wait to share that but don’t let me jump ahead of myself. In the last post I talked about how we choose building vs pre-owned and how we choose the community we ended up in.

We did a bit of research going into this whole process and lucky enough for us we have a realtor in the family so that helped with the pre-work from budgeting and financing and knowing what you can truly comfortable afford. Knowing what the lender is looking for and putting the numbers together even before we got there so by the time we get there we can't be swayed wrongly. These includes basic things like our credit scores, debt to income ratio, loan option types, rates, taxes and such. I have to say it felt good knowing all that information ahead of time as opposed to working into it blindly and getting surprised .

Anyways, let’s move on, that’s the boring part but I suppose most crucial part of the whole process. 

One thing I did learn as we progressed in is that when buying, the price is not set in stone. You can put in your best offer and negotiate until you both come to an agreement. Building is quite the opposite. There is no going down or negotiating; the base price is set and there’s only going up from there. One of the most important things to keep in mind when looking at new build listings online is that the price listed, which is the base price pretty much includes nothing, literally; unless you’re buying a model home. Everything from flooring to lighting to door knobs are all add on/ extra. So picking the right floor plan at the right base price is very important because you can easily spend close to you base price in upgrades and picking design features and element of the house.

 I couldn’t be more pleased with the builder we choose.  They are easy to work with, very responsive and on target. Prior to deciding to build, I’ve heard horror stories of builders especially tract builders; being behind schedule and not meeting their timelines, but ours has been pretty good. I guess I'll call them semi-custom builder. Reason is that I feel they offer more opportunities and range of options to personalize your home than a regular tract build.

Now on to the process, keep in mind the process we’re going through is going to be specific to our builder as I'm sure they all have their differences.

Like I mentioned in the last post, the first step was meeting with the builder to pick a lot and that same day, we signed the contract, designed the first phase which pretty much entails the structural part of our home. This includes choosing from an existing option of floor plans and making any changes we want as long as it is allowed for that plan; like adding extra rooms, adding additional level up or a basement, adding square footage, upgrading kitchen to a gourmet kitchen, upgrading owners suites and pretty much anything structural and finally picking the elevation style and outer color scheme of the home.

The next phase was going to the design Center meeting that lasted four hours even though we've already done our homework and knew exactly what we wanted going in, it still took that long. That so far is my favorite part of the whole process, well until we move in.
So at the design Center, the best thing I think we did and I can't stress it enough is one, going in with a budget and two, knowing what we want. Once you get there, it is so easy to start pointing to stuff that of course looks great and then you quickly realize maybe a 10,000 counter top is just not what you need right now.

Design center selections are pretty much the whole interior of the home. From flooring, tiles, vanity style, faucet, lighting, window treatments, paint, counter top, knobs, fireplace finishing, cabinets, you get the gist. In almost all the selections in these category,  the builder offers one or two base options for free but of course you rarely pick the free stuff because they don't look just as nice as what you want so you upgrade to level 1, 2 or 3 options. There was one category we actually surprisingly went with the base option because it was not so bad when we saw it in person as opposed to the pictures online.

So I mentioned earlier you can't really negotiate the price on anything with a builder but what you can go if you get a nice enough sales person and are good at either charming people or know how to talk is to get the sales person to throw a few things in "for free", and the design Center is the best place to do that; little things, not huge things. Since we came in with a list, I had my must haves and wish list and at the end of the day due to some miscommunication on some of our paper work on their end, the lady was able to pull in a couple of my wish list items at no additional cost. That sure made my day, as if I wasn't excited enough that we get to pick all the finishing touches in our first home.  

By now your home price is almost twice as high as what you started with having just the base price. They tell you all your selections are final at this point. You can change some, not all if you want but it will cost you.
They can't really start anything on your lot until all your selections have been made both structural and design. So, the earlier you get into the design center and finalize your picks, the earlier they can get to work.

Next is the pre-construction meeting, which is usually few days to a week before they are scheduled to break grounds. Here you meet your project manager and go over all your selection one more time. 

That's pretty much majority of the process. Now you just stalk the progress on a weekly basis like we did and watch a bare ground get built up into your home. 

The other meetings prior to closing are not that time consuming but just as important. Will cover that in the next post and hopefully move on to the event more fun part, decorating,  from there. 

Talk to you soon!

Hello June

 Hi loves, Happy New Month! 
Almost half way through the year, grateful for all that has been and all that will be.  
 I'm not even going to whine about how long it’s been since I lasted posted but boy can't believe it's been this long. You can attribute that to me mostly being all in my feeling and just been "lazy" for good reasons if I may say. At some point I thought this was going to be the end of blogging but naaaa....even if it sporadic, I still enjoy blogging. 

So, since the last post, lots have happened, I’m sure we’ll catch up in time. Just got back from a much needed getaway; yes, without Eliana.  It was the perfect timing and just what I needed to get out of my "blue days". See it worked; I’m back on here :)  So we went away for a few days to Florida. We spent half the time in Miami and the other half in West Palm Beach.  While we wanted the active bustling lifestyle of Miami, we decided towards the end we just wanted some peace and relaxation and West Palm Beach was perfect for that. 

I mentioned in a previous post one of the pecks since moving to NC is finding a perfect sitter for Eliana. If you know me well you know I'm pretty picky with who I leave my child with. I mean I haven’t really left her with anyone for more than a few hours not to talk overnight for almost 3 years, with the exception of her dad. So fact that the first time I did, I left her in care of her sitter, that says a lot of her sitter and about how much Eliana loves having her around. She has truly been a blessing to us. It can be hard when you don't have family members or close friends around to help out when you need it; even then everyone has their busy schedule. Just glad we found her and how everything worked out. I have to say I was a little worried Eliana won't be super excited when we returned, like she'll be indifferent because every time we called she was having a good time and doesn't really seemed to be bother that we weren't around. I'm happy to say I was utterly surprised with her expressions and excitement when we walked in, although she did run straight by me and went to daddy first, she eventually made her way back to me and was stuck like glue to me the rest of the night.

Given the situation with Eliana, we didn't want to travel too far. Florida is just less than two hours direct from us, so it checks the box for both a quick travel and ideal spot for a a getaway. Although the two hours trip in did turn into over 8 hours of delay and multiple flights, the end result was well worth it. 
Talk to you soon!