I'm a Big Boy Now!

Somehow, over the past month, Noah seems to have really become a big boy. I know he's only two. I know! Still, he has changed so much, and I am LOVING this new stage. I wrote last time about our potty training endeavors. His language just keeps exploding, as he's always saying something new. Some of my favorite conversations include:

Noah: "Where's my daddy?"
Me: "Daddy's at work."
Noah: "Daddy at work. Making money. I'm proud of you!"
(nothing makes me melt more than Noah looking Ryan or me in the eye and telling us he's proud of us)

Me: "Noah, you're a stinker!"
Noah: "I not a stinker anymore. I'm a good boy!
(It's already important to him to be a good boy. He gets really sad if I say he is being a bad boy, which I reserve for when he's being REALLY badly behaved.)

Noah: "What's wrong?"
Me: "Nothing's wrong, honey. Mommy's happy."
(He's always checking in to see if we're ok - though I think it's mostly because it's one of the only ways he knows to start a conversation.)

Setting: Ryan and I are having a conversation.
Noah: "Talk to me, Mommy! Talk to me, Daddy!"
Ryan or Me: "What do you want to talk about, buddy?"
Noah: [Begins talking about Mickey Mouse, his favorite]

Setting: I ask Noah to do something.
Noah: "Why?"
Me: Because Mommy needs to you to obey."
Noah: "Why?"
Me. Because it's important to listen to Mommy and follow directions."
Noah: "Why?"
Me: [Finally realize I'm 3 "whys" deep in this conversation, so I stop talking.]

Not only has Noah's language exploded, but he has been sleeping in his "big boy room" for over a month now! Once he conquered potty training, he just looked funny sleeping in a crib. Noah just seemed too big to sleep with bars all around him. We I looked for ideas to decorate his new room all over the place. I went to countless stores and as usual, I felt disappointed by the selection for boys. I used to get frustrated shopping for his clothes because there are always 3-4 times as many girls' clothes as boys' clothes. This time I was super annoyed by the ONE sports' themed comforter set that I found at each department store where I looked.

Finally, per some advice of friends, I went to Target and hit the jackpot! There was a really cute space theme and another one that was robot themed. There were some classic sports themed comforters and some neutral boys decorations. I ended up falling in love with this cars and trucks quilt set. I bought matching sheets, window valance, lamp, piggy bank, and wall decals. I also found some GREAT items at Home Goods: a step stool, a painting, and a big bookshelf. At the big Target toy clearance sale, I found some little wooden trucks that Noah can take apart and put back together. Check out the pictures and let me know what you think! We are pretty happy with it, and Noah LOVES spreading out in his big boy bed! Of course every parent worries that moving your kid from the crib to a bed automatically means you are fighting your child to stay in bed. We have been very lucky not to have that problem. We were very stern with Noah about staying in his bed until we come get him, and he does just that. I love that boy!

Noah's new train table! Thanks Aunt Kelli & Cousin Micah!
The headboard was another great find at Home Goods!

This was my dresser when I was a growing up!


Potty Training

The first week of July, Ryan and I decided to tackle potty training with Noah. With my job, I have a chunk of time at home in the summer and over Chrismas break. So, I knew that if I didn't try this summer, it would be Christmas or possibly the next summer before I'd try again. Over the previous six months, I had heard several success stories from different moms, and they all had some commonalities. Everyone said that when you decided to do it, you should just plan to stay inside your house and do nothing but potty train for a week. Many people also said that taking Noah to the potty in regular intervals would also help him learn faster. The last thing I heard several times was to not have any underwear on our kid during the first part of potty training.

When I heard the latter, I was like, "I don't think so! I can't have much child running around the house going to the bathroom all over the place." So when we woke up on a Monday morning, I put Noah right into his little under-roos and took a basket of books to the bathroom. Per some advice from a friend, I decided to take him to the potty every 15 minutes. If he went pee, he could get 2 M&M candies. If he poo'ed on the potty, he could earn 3 M&M candies. The kitchen timer went off in 15 minutes, and he tried to go potty but no luck. Minutes later, he proceeded to pee straight through his new roos onto the floor. Awesome.

After cleaning up that mess and a fresh pair of roos, we were at it again. After several trips to the bathroom, he was started to throw fits about having to go back there so often. I talked to a friend, and she gave me some great advice. Noah's refusal to go to the bathroom was disobediance just like anything else. I would have to be stern with him and have consequences for not obeying. With that, he began doing much better with going back when I asked him. After two more accidents on Noah's part, I thought to myself, "I am just making more messes to clean up. He might as well be running around without any roos." People had told me that their pediatricians had been the ones who suggested not wearing any bottoms during the early stages of potty training. Oftentimes, kids will think they can just go in their underwear because it feels similar to a diaper. So, I decided to give it a shot.

After his nap that Monday, I had him running around in just a t-shirt and socks, and guess what? He stopped having accidents! It was really that easy. Noah started going to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so, and he was earning lots of M&Ms along the way. We didn't really go anywhere all week, and that was the hardest part for me. I get cabin fever quickly! The only thing Noah was having trouble with was going #2 on the potty. I think he was nervous and just started holding it. I went to the library and got the book Once Upon a Potty, as my cousin's wife, Katey, had highly recommended it. When I read it to Noah, you could see something just "click" for him! It wasn't soon after that he poo'ed on the potty. Would you believe me if I told you that I had tears of joy in my eyes???

After many more days of staying dry and going potty consistently throughout the day, I felt like we were finally getting in the groove. Then Noah had one painful experience on the potty, which made him want to hold it. That led to having accidents despite having no trouble peeing on the potty. That was the most frustrating part for me. I felt like he was choosing not to go on the potty, but once I learned how normal it was for kids to have trouble pooing on the potty, it was much easier to for me to cope with when it happened. Because Noah is only a little over 2 years old, I do have to put him in diapers during his naps and at bedtime. He is still so wet when he wakes up. So, I told him that he has two choices - he can go poo-poo in the potty or in his diaper at nap/bed time. Ever since that conversation, we really have probably only had one maybe two accidents in the past 6 weeks.

I have tried to bribe Noah with everything imaginable for going poo poo on the potty! Thomas the Train toys, cookies, candy, Chuck E. Cheese trips - all of them have been offered as rewards for going. I made a sticker chart for Noah so that he could earn a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. He only needed four stickers, and although it took him probably 4 weeks to earn the trip, we finally did get to go a little over a week ago! He had a great time and was so proud of himself. I know he will eventually go consistently in the potty, and until that point, I'm trying to be patient. I know it's a control thing, and right now, it's one of the small things he has control over in his life. I've been so happy with how well he has done! He is staying dry at the sitter and at church, too. Potty training is probably one of my least favorite parts of parenting, but it was really just that first week that was difficult, especially the first 36 hours. After that, it has been pretty smooth sailing!

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