You my darling girl are one of the greatest things your father and I have ever been a part of creating. I couldn’t help but let a few tears fall when I realised that you were not going to be my only baby come April. You have only known the undivided and devoted love of your dada and mama but come April there will be another set of tiny little feet in our home. I’m not worried about loving you less or loving your new sister as much, I believe everyone when they say that my heart will grow, but I am mourning the loss of not being a family of three anymore.
Over the past few weeks you have been spontaneously telling me that you love me- my heart feels like it’s going to explode every time – I image it’s how the Lord feels when His children tell Him they love Him, spontaneously.
You have been talking about the baby in mummy’s tummy almost every day- we talk about her eyes and ears and how she’s going to watch Banana in Pajama’s with you. We talk about how she is going to be your best friend and how you’re going to help mumma give her a bottle and wash her hair. I’m sure you will never remember doing this but often you check my belly with my iphone charge cord – one end around your neck the other against my belly- I’m assuming you’re copying the sonographer- you are one smart little girl my baby!
Today you asked to pray for the Baby. I bowed my head, you closed your eyes and you prayed “Dear Jesus, I pray for Baby Raegan, in Jesus Name, Amen.” You went on to pray for the stuffed animal that you were holding as well but I’m sure it’s because you were feeling the presence of God. I don’t know what your little heart was trying to convey to Jesus about your new sister but I know He heard you.
You are going to be the most amazing sister and friend… I know this because you are an amazing gift from God.
We love you forever and always.
If you remember back in November, 2017 Ava began telling us when she needed to go number 2’s instead of using her nappy- she was 1 and 3 months old! She got the hang of going number 2’s in the potty within a week with only a few accidents here and there over the course of the next year or so but number 1’s were not catching on at all. Every time we’d have a great few days in undies she would have a few major accidents and we would revert back to nappies- after a month or so we gave up altogether and went back to pull-ups full time with the hope of trying again after she turned 2. We tried stickers, chocolate, rewards- the whole kit and kaboodle!
While overseas last November (2018) we stayed with my husband’s father and step-mum, well they have 4 dogs who use the “potty” every few hours- they ring a bell hanging from a door and go outside. Ava quickly caught on to this and started telling us 99% of the time when she needed to use the bathroom for 1’s and 2’s! I couldn’t believe it.. Would you believe me if I told you that she only went through roughly 25 pull ups in a 3 week period? I have those dogs to thank!
When we got back she came to me the next morning and said “no nappy, undies mumma”.. In December we had a few accidents but we haven’t had any since well before Christmas. We’ve been on adventures to the grocery store, the library, a restaurant, friends’ houses- not one accident! Another “baby” chapter has closed and it’s amazing but so so sad!!
My tip for nap times is to make sure your child goes to the toilet directly before nap time and directly after nap time. This has helped us to not have any accidents while she’s napping.
My top tips when potty training/thinking of starting potty training:
- Consider- is your child ready? We tried a few times and she just didn’t catch on. Instead of having accident after accident we decided to stop the process and start again in a few weeks.
- When they are getting the hang of using the toilet buy them some really cool undies- we went with Emma Wiggles ones, Moana ones and Minnie Mouse ones. It was such a novelty for her to wear them!
- When you start the process ask your child if they need to use the potty every 20-30 minutes. Sometimes they need a little coaxing or encouragement to recognise the urge to use the bathroom. After a few weeks though trust that their instinct has kicked in and lay off the hounding (ha- I think Ava was sick of people asking her constantly “do you need to go wee-wee!”
- Try not to stress too much- everything is washable!! I washed a couch cover, a car seat, undies, dresses- it’s all a huge learning curve for kids- approach every accident with lots of grace.
- Carry around an emergency bag- In the bag I keep the following 4 items: 1. A change of undies 2. A spare dress 3. A ziplock if the original clothing was dirtied and 4. a nappy (for emergencies).
At this stage we’re still using a nappy for nighttime’s as she still has a bottle. We’ve weaned her down to two bottles a day- we’ll be working on dropping the night time bottle in February/March.
I don’t have much of a recommendation by way or potty training charts or reward charts but hopefully there’s something in our experience that can help you along your journey!
Skirt: Cotton On (similar linked here)
Flower Crown: Lovisa (similar linked here)
Top: Cotton On (Similar linked here)
Shoes: Big W
Jumper: Cotton On (Similar linked here and here)
Skirt: Cotton On (Similar one here)
Shoes: Big W (Similar one here)
Have you heard the term- Helicopter parent? It’s a mum (or dad) who pays very close attention to their children at playgrounds/out in public- I think we all know them- it goes beyond the general caring for your child to make sure they don’t die while at the park- I’m talking about the parent who is one or two steps away ready to jump in when needed. They are hyper aware, standing at attention to defend and protect their child. Was I a helicopter mum.. am I a helicopter mum? Thinking introspectively- perhaps. I make super conscious efforts not to be when out with friends or at a safe park but sometimes it just happens, especially with the sacredness that comes with your first child.
Last week at an indoor play place I let Ava go. It probably wasn’t the best play area to do so as it is a HUGE indoor area with really really high climbing areas (which she wouldn’t be able to climb to without my help.. I think).. but nonetheless, I let her go. I let her go and play independently- so much so that I actually couldn’t find her at one point. I had seen her enter one area of the large child magnet contraption but not come out so I headed over to see what she was up to. I called her name, I scanned all the little girls to see if I recognized her strawberry blonde hair- I couldn’t find her. My next thought was (though fleeting)- did someone take her.. quickly countered with, no- I was sitting near the door no one could have walked out with her without me seeing..
Eventually we found her coming down a makeshift slide that started up pretty high (how she got there I don’t know) but it was definitely a test at letting her go.
She came running to me, crying, twice because of “the ball.” We’re assuming she slipped on a ball twice, coupled with the fact that we were 2 hours overdue for a nap who knows what actually happened, but all in all she did great.
It took all the will power in me to not know where she was at all times. She’s not even two- what if she breaks an arm or a finger or gets a concussion and I can’t find her.. those were very real possibilities that quickly raced through my mind.. and then my logic kicked in- broken arms mend, broken fingers mend, there’s mum’s everywhere- she wouldn’t be concussed without anyone knowing.
When your little one suddenly becomes independent and starts to do things on her own, it’s as if the moment you have been dreaming about collides with this very real motherly need to be needed.
After a long day of being generally overtired she woke up at 9pm inconsolably crying- I picked her up, carried her into bed with me and we slept the night away.
While I worked on not hovering that day I think she realized I needed to be needed just a little bit extra.