forget Partying at the Oscars, we're all about: PARTY AT THE POTTY

Our first attempt at potty training at 19mo did not go over well.

Our first attempt at potty training at 19mo did not go over well.

PARTY AT THE POTTY

If you follow me on social media, you know I’m in the middle of potty training Hayden. 

Hayden’s pediatrician believes we need to work on weaning diapers before I try to wean the thumb sucking (that’s a polarizing topic for another day). I thought there was a good chance I’d be working on set on a show this week, so when that didn’t pan out, I had a few free days. Hayden seemed to understand what I was talking to him about (I know, he’s TWO, but he really did seem to get it). So one full day we discussed it, then off went the diapers the next day.

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I must say I was dreading potty training, but maybe since I expected the worst, it’s not as bad? I tell you one thing- I’m over diapers!! For all you parents out there about to start the process, I feel for you, but just go for it IF YOU FEEL your child is ready. I tried potty training Hayden at 19 mo. and he was NOT ready. His imagination came alive, creating many other uses for the potty other than the intended one (see photo above!). I’m weary to say much just yet because we are only on day 3. So, what I will discuss is preparation

Here goes:

I did nearly nothing. Ha! We read some books on the topic at night on and off recently. Not books for me, books with stick figures that talk about walking to the potty and sitting down on the potty, etc. I talked to my friend Willa Ford @wfordinteriors that went through this process before me and she recommended some products that I highly suggest using! So, I spent about 5 minutes amazoning the below. I’ll link them. I bought them all!

I’m grateful Willa gave me her list! I would have NEVER thought of the “piddle pad” for the car seat until it was too late and been super frustrated trying to clean it! Trips anywhere we don’t want to carry a potty with us, these portable silicone fold up seat covers with liners are genius. My biggest thing is not letting Hayden touch anything. This basic POTTY book really helps them understand what is happening. And I ordered the padded undies because they will catch the initial dribbles! The thin one that come in packs of 10 will NOT do that. And finally, I’m keeping the travel potty in the car. I have one at home that is simple, but this one had a COVER LID if we need to hold off on dumping for a moment.

Potty training must be one of those things that is hard to recall once it’s all over and time has passed. I met Huck when he was about Hayden’s age. We went through potty training together. I helped implement “no more diapers.” We used pull ups for a short period at night, then big boy underwear. I remember moments of the process, having to rush home after accidents, Huck holding my neck as he pooped in the potty for the first time telling me he was scared. But, over all, I don’t remember that much. Is it human nature to selectively forget the hard parts or we would never want to do it again?? I can’t imagine that time was a super easy process for any of us, especially Huck, because he was going back and forth between his mom and his dad. But, he adjusted, as kids do.

I know there are books on the subject that outline it all. I skimmed the jist of them on google and just went for it. Lemme tell you one thing I quickly noticed: there are two schools of thought.

1) Never put the diaper back on them again. Even for naps or nighttime.

2) Put the diaper on them for sleeping or traveling distances. 

I chose the latter.

For now, it’s all “party at the potty!” ha! We’re handing out little mini prizes and limiting the sweet treats as much as possible. Stay tuned for how it goes. Do you remember potty training your child? Or are you thinking about starting??

Please please share any ideas, tips and tricks. One of you (I don’t share names without asking first) shared Brandi Bruck’s Potty Training in 3 Days. I may order that book! Thanks for those of you that are so encouraging of this process!! #MYtribe is awesome.

xo

AJH


SINCE I POSTED THIS, OTHER ISSUES HAVE COME IN TO PLAY. CONSTIPATION WAS MY BIGGEST CONCERN.

UPDATE 2/24/19 10am

While many I know were at Oscar parties last night, we were home partying at the potty! I got concerned that Hayden had not pooped. Now, it’s been over 2 days. Who has dealt with potty training constipation? I’m googling and it can quickly turn into an alarming situation. I’m feeding him more foods that might help that issue right now. I’m reading I might need to give prune juice. He is peeing in the toilet every time, but clearly holding the poop for one reason or another. Is anyone else dealing with this or have you recently?

Also, I am so grateful and overwhelmed at everyone’s comments on DM, but I would rather us all share here where others can benefit from your wisdom. I know it’s frustrating to have to sign into squarespace before you leave a comment, but it’s pretty easy- give a name and an email. The email is not for my purposes, but squarespace security. (Honestly, you could probably make one up…not sure, but it is not connected to my website, so I will never know). We only see addresses if you voluntarily sign up for newsletters (which we are working on finally accomplishing!). All that to say—- PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT so others can benefit;)

I’ll be leaving updates here of anything that works for us. For those of you that are just now tuning in and are questioning potty training, the main thing I’ve learned so far is that YOU have to be more ready to do this than your child. It’s really TRAINING THE PARENTS.

UPDATE: 2/24/19 10pm

Ok, I got so preoccupied with stuff- sorry for the delay here. Thank for those of you checking on us! He ate a lot and had quite a few apple slices. Nothing was happening and it had been 2 days. I read a great deal online and got concerned. I didn’t want to develop contipation issues. At 4pm, I rubbed a bit of vaseline back there with Joel helping me hold Hayden (tiny bit, on the outside). He finally started pooping around 5pm (cried a tiny bit). I said he could poop anywhere he wanted - in a diaper, in his (padded) big boy undies or in the potty whenever he wanted to. He started to go in his undies, then I gently took him to his little potty. He finished there and was very excited to show daddy and flush it. He continued to go in the potty (pee) the rest of the night ( 2 more times). One of you mentioned that I should explain he is a big boy and he can come tell Mommy or Daddy when he needs to go to the bathroom. I tried that and it did work with pee, but I still reminded him he could go potty every hour. I put a diaper on him for bed tonight.

UPDATE: 2/25/19 10:16 pm

I’m so tired. This gets draining. I do believe this will help others, so that’s why this is so detailed.

I’ll start by saying he waited till 4pm to pee AT ALL today (even with a ton of food and water and milk in him). He just kept saying he didn’t need to potty. At nap time, I put a diaper on him and it was bone dry when he woke up. I’m less concerned today, but still went to the store to get some raisins and more apples. He ate them. Finally at 4pm, he went. He waited till 5p to poop. He started in his big boy pants, then I lured him over to the potty with the promise of a little toy car. He was so excited to flush it, he forgot about the toy. I brought it up anyway and praised him.

NOTE: I am SO happy with these slightly padded undies I wrote about below. I wasn’t sure if they would work, but he loves to put them on and feels very comfortable in them. If he starts to go, it doesn’t soak up like a diaper, so he is aware, but it also doesn’t leak immediately. We have 4 pairs (one pack). I got a 3T, which are perfect for him.



Hayden much more “relaxed” about the process now.

Hayden much more “relaxed” about the process now.

MOM/DAD ALERT: MOST affordable Back-to-School run ever! Plus, a $50 OshKosh gift card for one lucky reader.

Back to school Alert Post is brought to you by OshKosh, but of course, all opinions are my own!

Back to school Alert Post is brought to you by OshKosh, but of course, all opinions are my own!

Last week, Huck asked me if I would get him some new "stuff." He said, "You know, for my closet." So, I did. And boy, did I score. 

I went to OshKosh for new items for Hayden and came home with a huge bag of clothes for Huck for under $50. (And right now, there's free shipping online!) I knew the clothes would be great, but I didn't realize how genius the prices would be. And if I had a girl to buy for...it'd be over! I'm a sucker for unicorns and rainbows and sequins. I may be too "big" to wear stuff like that myself (although it sneaks its way in), but it's pure cuteness on little girls. Seeing tweens walk around shopping created a sense of nostalgia for the innocent years of my youth. Getting so excited over a unicorn. Remember when life was that simple? A unicorn t-shirt made you so very happy. (Okay, fine, truth be told, a perfect unicorn t-shirt would still make me pretty happy for the moment!) I digress, I tried to get Huck some pieces that he would think are really cool for his first week in FIRST GRADE. He isn't too picky about his clothes yet, but he knows what he doesn't like. I present things asking, "Do you like it, or do you love it?" No other options. Ha. And if he loves something, he gets very excited. It's like Christmas morning kind of excitement that makes the giver of the gifts feel like Santa. Rewarding.

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Huck is seriously developing a sense of his own style. He likes to button ALL the buttons of his shirt (up to his neck cause it's way cooler that way, he tells me). And he loves hoodies. I can't believe I met this child when he was was 2 and could barely talk, still in diapers.

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Hayden, on the other hand, just likes to be able to move and dance.  That's pretty much his only requirement at this point. He just started wanting to see what his outfit looks like in the mirror once we get dressed (so I just got him a little mirror for his room;) When I can, I like dressing him with a nod to southern prep. Is that what one would call it? I'm kind of copying a vision I have etched in the archives of my brain of boys when I was growing up in the south. A button-down, slightly collegiate look. I love the boys matching at times, but with Huck developing his style more, I'm going to get away with that look less and less. I got them both the dark denim skinny jeans from OshKosh, so they'll be twinning that way. #winning. FYI- make sure you wash the dark denim together for the first time. 

I got Huck the "piece out" long sleeved hoodie (with a pizza on the front, one piece out...), three new pairs of jeans (it's buy one pair get TWO free right now!!) and some t-shirts. And l wrote all text above for this moment here: I was Santa Claus. He didn't just like what I got him, he loved it!

I just saw their "character" shirts with Mickey or Batman, etc. are under $10 right now! I'm grabbing a few for Christmas gifts for boys and my nieces, too. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page here to find). 

And while I was already there, I picked out some pre-school clothes for Hayden (even though he isn't starting immediately, we still have plenty of "school" mommy and me or camp-type classes). I love these prices, did I say that already? Sorry if I sound like Dori. I'm grateful to find places like Oshkosh that are so budget friendly for these growing weeds of mine. I feel like we need a new size too often.

So, this is the really fun part. Because Oshkosh was kind enough to sponsor this post, one of you will get sent a $50 gift card! All you have to do make sure you liked the instagram post HERE and are following @ashleyaubra and "Like" @AshleyJonesOfficial on facebook. That's it. For an extra entry, leave a comment here and tag friends in the comment section under the instagram post. The winner will be picked  randomly on Friday, August 17th. If you know a mama or papa that could use this gift card, tag them!! And if you end up winning, tag Oshkosh in your photos on social media so I can can see how your little ones got decked out for back-to-school. And if you don't end up winning the gift card, you're still winning with this coupon code below for an extra 20% off your $40 purchase (which will get you a lot!). 

I added more photos if you scroll down because the boys are so fun together. Just over sharing;) And last but not least, even though this post is sponsored by OshKosh, all the thoughts are my own.

 
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RASCAL RABBITS, SPRING DRESSES oh and a little help from our friends

Amy Davidson, Lennox Lockwood, Huck and Hayden

Amy Davidson, Lennox Lockwood, Huck and Hayden

Yes, this is a little post about Peter Rabbit's adventures, but it's also a post about the village we create for our own little rascals. I am so grateful for friends around me that are part of my kids' lives (and some said people don't even have kids). 

That particular Friday, I had a full day. I wasn't sure I would make it to the party and screening of the film. Between naps, picking up Huck from school (with Hayden and getting Huck dressed in the car!) plus my own work schedule, it didn't seem like it would be easy or even feasible. But, my other girlfriends were going through it, too. We knew the kids would have fun, so we encouraged each other to make it work (thanks Amy!). Sometimes that's all I need to keep going. ENCOURAGEMENT. I'm sure many of you can relate? Our preacher this morning at church talked about what to do when you're at the end of your rope. How do we create more energy for ourselves to just keep on keeping on? It sounds simple, but give out what you're not getting. If I feel under appreciated, tell other people thank you. If I feel discouraged, send out encouraging vibes to people. Sometimes we may only have the bandwidth to simply send a text, but it's a start. 

And laugher does wonders. It helps to laugh with each other when the angels turn into little rascals. And they can be rascals! I love how each of Hayden and Huck's friends all have such a unique personality and style!  Lennox is so hip! Huck loves his bowties, shoes and preppy style (he decides what he wants to wear). And I still love the little outfits my mom sends for Hayden!  Joel thinks Hayden ends up looking like a little Danish girl (not sure where/why he came up with Danish). Oh well, the time is limited here. Before I know it, I will no longer get a say in what he wears!

xo Ashley

Ps- I have been reading your emails and see the DMs about fashion and food and fitness posts. THANK YOU for those. So, for those wondering, I like this easy dress I'm wearing from Eliza J. I didn't know it came in pink when I ordered this one. I love the pink one. It's really great if you're looking for a versatile, easy staple to add to your closet. Also, if you don't mind scrolling though to find your size, look at the brand on Ebay. You can find new with tags for less. 

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This is our first elevator selfie! HA. 

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in this post....

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

I didn't know where to begin with this post because it's hard to comprehend it's been a year already since Hayden was born. But, here we are... celebrating his first birthday with a smash cake and all! Thank you to People and SoapDigest for writing about Hayden's day, but I also wanted to write a bit about it on my own site, too. 

My awesome friends at Good Carma Studio hosted the day with us. Ladies, you outdid yourselves. Thank you!!  I know the animal theme was part of my baby shower (and then his first nursery!),  but we came full circle with a "WILD ONE" jungle theme. It was a jam packed party full of love and fun, bubbles and special touches. We made sure no one left Adam's Garden hungry (thanks to StoneFireGrill---amazing!) and PolkatotsCupcakes!

My favorite part was sharing the day with friends and family. It's always a joy to see others have fun, especially Hayden and Huck having a blast with so many "little" friends at this indoor playground.

I had to combat the post party blues a bit...has anyone else experienced that? So much build up, then it's over! And it goes by so fast... the guest come, the kids play, everyone eats and visits and then you cut the cake! Huck said it best on the way home, "That was the best party. I wish it could last forever." I feel that way so often about moments in time. It's bittersweet to witness our babies starting to become independent. But, there's never a dull moment with the Hayden and Huck, more work coming up and getting situated in a new house. Always more to look forward to right around the corner. 

Photo: Linger Photography -  Location: Adam's Garden LA (such a bright and cheery indoor space and staff. Clean and lovely- they use only organic cleaning products!) everyone seemed to love the playground:) The staff play with all the kids, too!

Hayden is proud of his   milestone chalkboard . It looks like he's telling his brother all about it. Thank you, Kelly Patrice

Hayden is proud of his  milestone chalkboard. It looks like he's telling his brother all about it. Thank you, Kelly Patrice

Sharing some of our favorite photos: 

My mom gave Hayden is little birthday outfit he wore, then we changed into Fayfaire's "I'm This Many" birthday t-shirt, which also comes in an adorable pink ruffled version, before we had the smash cake session. I love Fayfaire's mission to pay it forward by donating a onesie to the neonatal unit of Miracle Babies for every purchase sold. 

And since we're talking outfits, many of you have messaged asking about my pants and top, so here are the quick details!

Pants (love love) are on sale at Topshop for under $40 with free shipping and returns. And my TOP that I LOVE is under $40, too. It comes in three designs. And nude sandals...


I have to thank all the visitors that come by here and comment and enjoy sharing ideas and thoughts and support. A few of you sent the sweetest gifts and cards for Hayden's birthday. I look forward to sharing pictures in some upcoming posts. And wanted to share one of reader's birthday poem:

One year ago, on this very night Hayden Joel Henricks was born. What a beautiful sight. 7lbs 9oz 21 inches long with love and a heartbeat oh so strong. The world watching as you laugh, learn and grow bringing more joy than you'll ever know. Seeing things through your eyes has been the greatest gift and a big surprise. I can't believe you're turning 1, such an amazing little guy you've bcome. On this very special Birthday may all your dreams come true as everyone comes together to celebrate you. - Leslie McFadden

THANK YOU ALL.  XOXO ASHLEY

Friday is for Friends, #KindText and a Sprinkle of Magic!

I pray every day and night for this child. We are so blessed to have healthy, vibrant children. There are a great many things Joel and I hope to instill in Hayden and his big brother Huck. At night, when I'm holding the baby or saying goodnight to Huck, I just want them protected forever. And I want them to grow up protecting others. 

Right now, their innocence is palpable. Huck has such a vivid imagination. I want Hayden's imagination to flourish, too. I hope he believes he can do or be anything. And mostly, I want them both to believe in themselves. I pray that God enables me to be the best step-mother and parent I can be. I think of Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not part from it. 

I have great friends that are creative and are supporting healthy, positive messages for all of us, especially our kids. I'm no different than any other parent that wants their kids to dream big, be brave, but never ever compromise kindness. If you saw my instagram post, you know I'm thrilled to spread the good works of a friend's project called #KindText. Chrissy Kling started this movement with her pre-teens to develop healthy, kind habits for kids with phones and social media. As Chrissy pointed out to me, the world will always have bullies and mean girls, but let's not raise them! Our kids learn from us. If we are not being kind to one another, they see that. KindText is a fun but heartfelt (and sometimes very serious) movement worth sharing, promoting and getting involved. I love that the idea is to promote kindness in tweens and teens on social media, but it's working on adults, too. Pay kindness forward. It costs us nothing and slowly changes our world. If someone has done something like this for you, the feeling is magical... which leads me to...

My multi-talented friend Kimberly Brown has her own etsy store. I really appreciate the messages on her soft t-shirts like the "I believe in magic" one she's wearing pictured below. 

She has another one that reads: being normal is vastly overrated. This is a quote from her character Marnie in Halloweentown, the iconic movie in which Kim starred. Who else can quote lines from that film? I love this message. I've never felt normal! It's taken a lifetime to understand that is actually a good thing! I hope Hayden and Huck determine what's their own version of 'normal' and not let the world determine for them! 

I be remiss if I didn't also mention the t-shirts are under $18.  Kim's site does a great job at describing the sizing and fabrics, so check it out! And you can check her out if you are anywhere near Salem, Oregon at the Cherry City Comic Con this weekend! 

And follow #KindText 

And for the lighthearted, fashion portion, see below! This chic, very light sweater (you have to see it on) is on sale for $47 right now;) I also wore it the entire weekend my friend Ali got married. It was perfect with boyfriend jeans at the beach, dinner, morning breakfast, sunset walks with Hayden, etc. I'm into bell sleeves on unexpected pieces like this one and on the hoodie I wore in this post. I'm also into stripes;  this sweater has both! 

ps- Hayden never turned around in these photos, but if he had....a little frog prince!

As always, share any thoughts! Share your own experiences of inspiration when someone else sent a #kindtext or paid it forward to YOU.  xoxo Ashley