Potty Training Papillon

Round about the end of last year, when Papillon was not even 18 months old, I began to find myself fielding the "when will you potty train?" question.  It seemed early for people to be asking, but I think it was partly inspired by the fact that I was expecting and the general consensus that it is ideal to only do one in diapers at a time, if at all possible. 

However, since they are less then 20 months apart, I decided potty training before Hibou's arrival would have been a bit ambitious. And potty training immediately afterwards would have been insane.  Those two fairly reasonable decisions were followed by a series of excuses with varying validity. "We'll start after our cross country vacation" "We'll start after Mon Amour returns from his next trip" We'll start next time Mon Amour leaves for a trip"  "We'll start on a day that I am feeling less lazy" etc etc 

Finally, we picked a date. It was time to just go for it.  
July 17th was the date. 
And it was a disaster. 

We opted to have Papillon just abandon diapers, pants, etc that day and see what happened. Assuming that she would have a few accidents after which we would run to the potty and try and talk about "next time".  And after a few accidents, I was hoping for at least 1 or 2 successes. 

Nope. 100% accidents, 1 roll of paper towels, and a ton of lysol later it was bed time, and we were definitely going for the diaper overnight. 

As providence would have it, that night was also terrible in the sleep department.  Between Hibou and Papillon, I was up every hour.  Not a lot of sleep happened that night.  So in the morning I decided I would be quite foolish to take another stab at potty training. 

But when I got Papillon out of bed that morning, the first thing she said was "Wear underwear please?"

How could I refuse.  So, with bleary eyes, and a healthy dose of pessimism, we started day 2 of potty training.    Luckily a friend sent us this blog post.  Which was sort of the philosophy we had been aiming for on day one, but with some subtle, key differences.  Armed with this new information, we got out the kitchen timer, set it for 20 minutes, and started drinking and drinking and drinking. 

At 20 minutes, we grabbed some books to read and headed to the bathroom.  We proceeded to hang out in the bathroom, reading, singing songs, drinking more juice, until we had a potty-success.  It often took up to 30 minutes, but we weren't going to leave the bathroom until something happened!   

When it did, it was a huge part! M&Ms, high-fiving, and then we would call someone fun on the phone to tell them the good news.  (I thought this suggestion was silly and unnecessary, but Papillon actually loved it! Many thanks to all the family members who fielded "I peed on the potty!!!" phone calls from us that day)

And so the day progressed. 20 minutes out. 30 minutes in. (Give or take) Hibou joined us when she was awake, but luckily took some good naps that day. 

By the end of the day we had had 1 accident, and 13 successes! 

The following week was amazing - excluding that first disastrous day - we had 2 accidents in 7 days.  

I call that a potty training success. 

Since then we have had a few more accidents, but she's only 2 years old, and accidents happen.  I would definitely call her 100% potty trained.  She takes naps in her underwear (we've only had 2 naptime accidents) and we only wear a diaper at night (though a good 75% of the time her diaper is completely dry in the morning)

Papillon is the proud owner of 33 pairs of underwear:
Excessive perhaps, but I figured I should be prepared for lots of accidents, and occasionally, allow myself the luxury of just pitching the dirty underwear if it was that bad (it hasn't been that bad yet). And when it's only like $6 for 11 pairs at Target...why not buy 3 packs! 

Even though some accidents have been unpleasant, and even though running Papillon to the restroom every time she asks (which is often!) seems like a lot of work,  I am so glad we finally took the plunge! It was such a satisfying feeling to potty train her. She was so proud of herself, and I found myself surprisingly proud of myself as well! 

Also, 20 cloth diapers for 2 children doesn't go very far (think, diaper-laundry every day without fail)...but 20 diapers for just Hibou is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Nice work, Papillon! I am so proud of you!

Crazy Fun Weekend!

While Mon Amour was away most recently, we spent one weekend with some good friends. They have two boys that almost line up with our two girls in age - so there was a friend for everyone.

Hibou and her little buddy who 3 months older, and much much more active!
Papillon and her little buddy.  6 months older.  

Reading their Bible Story Books together.

Hibou, about to get trampled by cuteness

The main aim of our weekend together (or at least the excuse we used to get together) was to attend an event in DC that was intended to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding.   So, on Saturday, after packing up the 4 kiddos, we found ourselves here...

...on the Capital Lawn. 

It was a bit hot that day.  Note Hibou's lethargic over-heated face. So cute...and pathetic.  
It was a bit hot that day. Note Hibou's lethargic, over-heated face. So cute...and adorably pathetic.

All the heat and excitement made us all a bit sleepy!

Gotta stay hydrated!

These two were hilarious! They started singing the alphabet song together; Papillon is not as accurate with the song as her friend is, so she would mess up, he would laugh, she would laugh, and they would both just explode into hysterics. They never really got further than the letter G.

Eventually they would just look at each other and laugh.  This went on all day...nay, all weekend long!

Just chillin in the stroller.

Enjoying one of the best parts of DC...the lightposts!

Totally zonked!
I would call this a pretty impressive group photo considering its of two toddlers and two babies!

Duck Ponds - Again! This time with more mosquitos

It's been a while since we've been to the duck ponds. But you can't keep us away forever.  We recently met a friend there for a little picnic dinner. The weather was perfect - we all got at least a couple dozen mosquito bites, but other than that it was lovely.

Before dinner began, we had to give the ducks (and fish) some bread.

Papillon got quite good at throwing the bread into the water (previously she had left that up to an adult)

There were tons of fish and ducks this time!

Between bites of dinner, Papillon and her friend ran around in circles. Actually, to put it more correctly, Papillon's friend ran around in circles incessantly and his poor mother had to chase him constantly.  Papillon did a tiny bit of running around, but mostly eyed her energetic friend with a cautious suspicion.  Next time we get together with this friend, we will aim for some place with more fences and less roadways and ponds.  Haha.

But, as always, it was a lovely time at the Duck Ponds.

An Elmo Party

A couple weeks ago, Papillon was invited to celebrate a friend's 2nd Birthday.  And we love a good party, so how could we say no.  Despite the ridiculously hot temperatures, and the fact that Papillon was just barely 2-days potty trained at the time, we ventured forth! 

Juice boxes, and the presence of one of Papillon's favorite friends guarantees a fun time!

And of course, the Elmo hats were a ton of fun.  (Every kid decorated a hat, but Papillon was  the only kid to actually wear it...she's that dedicated to Elmo!)

Who needs a playground when there is a bike rack to play on...and its in the shade!

The party included "Story time with the Professor" (the birthday boy's dad is a professor and he read a few books to the kids)

Hibou enjoyed the party so much...she fell asleep!  (she's on the corner of the blanket below) Or maybe it was the heat more than the party that put her to sleep...

The Birthday Boy! Ready for cake!

Still sporting the hat, and asking for cake.


Hibou: still sleeping.  Note the bug bite on her right knee. This poor kiddo gets more bug bites that you can imagine. But she's pretty chill about it.

A toddler and her ice cream

 These pictures don't require a lot of narration. Suffice to say, on a recently family-outing to our favorite fast-casual-chicken-restaurant, Papillon finished all her chicken and so she was allowed to have a bit of ice cream. 

Combine that with lighting that allows even us casual photographers to get good shots, and you get....a ton of cute photos. 


Oh, and afterwards we went to a playground. Tada. 

Cute Babies

Just some cute pictures of Hibou and a friend from a recent play date.
Would you believe they are 3 months apart (to the day!)

aren't they cute together?

Berry Picking

Another adventure with which we filled out time during Mon Amour's last trip was a little outing to go Berry (and Peach) picking.  Again, it was brutally hot, but we didn't let that wilt our enthusiasm.

Though, once again, Hibou took her cue from the heat to just chill, and move as little as possible.

First stop - blackberries.  Note to self: Picking blackberries is messy business. Next time, wear clothes that can be ruined. This poor shirt will never be fully pink again. Oh well.

Papillon and her friend had a lot of fun picking berries. Eating a good 2/3 of what they picked.
Papillon wouldn't let me put any berries in my box, they all had to go into her bucket. Which I figured was fine since there was no way she would eat an entire bucketful. I filled the bucket a solid 50% full, and Papillon made her self comfortable on the blanket to snack.  I was right, she didn't eat the entire bucketful....she just dumped the remainder on the ground when she was done snacking.  Alas.

After we got our juicey fill of blackberries, we headed to the peach orchards. We were debating whether or not we had the energy for more fruit picking, but when we saw how tasty the peaches looked, we couldn't resist.  Luckily, when the peaches weigh at least half a pound a piece, and you have 3 adults and 2 toddlers picking them, it doesn't take long to fill up a 1/2 bushel. (35lbs of peaches - yikes!)
Papillon reaching for the prettiest looking peach.

Papillon's friend showing off her gigantic peach.

Papillon's little friend (who she has a baby-crush on!) biting into a juicy one!

This little friend just recently started exploring "solid foods".  She was definitely a fan of the peach!