October 2008

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alex's life book

  • In early 2006, I began creating a life book for my daughter, Alex. Click here for links to articles describing my experience.
  • And for those of you who are more digitally inclined, in late 2006, I recreated key pages of Alex's lifebook for an article I wrote for AlphaMom, using Scrapblog.

    You can see the final digital result (and leave comments, if you'd like!) here.

what's been on my nikon lately

  • And you can view my favourites here.

if i'm not here, i'm here

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Margaret in Germany

I totally agree...let the school have the puddles.

Kennedi goes to a daycare on an Air Force base here in Germany, and the under 2 year old rooms do not have toilets, so if your 20 month old is potty trained at home, you had better bring extra clothes, because he/she will be making puddles at school!!

Pull ups in high school? Not without bling!


Hi Chookooloonks Pals,

Tha flower called Red Torch Ginger.Being asian, we used this flower in many asian dishes especially in cooking fish.I love the frangrance-spicy and kind of hot.They are available in many colour-pink,white and red

Karen:I love reading your blog no matter what you write.
Your asian fan
Aishah Malaysia


Been there, done that. Well, without Auntie Tess. I also say, screw Madonna.

I let my kiddo figure it out on his own WITH the Pull-ups. Want to know what happened, near 3, he just decided one day after naptime, to go potty. Accidents have been almost non-existence.


Hehe. I love how all over the map kids are about potty training (as in so many things.) On my roster (I am a childcare provider) I have a 2.5 year old who, except for naptime and nighttime, is potty trained. He will inform me when he needs to pee, and he least some of the time, when he needs to poop (otherwise he takes care of that in his diaper at nap.) On the other hand, I've got a 2..5 year old who, if you mention the potty to him, will firmly and somewhat violently declare "I NO POTTY!" which seems pretty clear.
See? All over the map.
Alex sounds like shes doing brilliantly.
And I second the screw Madonna. She probably has a nanny to potty train her kids.


forgot to add (but remembered to sign in the right way this time) that I LOVED the pictures of Alex in the last post. She is SO beautiful, Karen. You are one lucky lady.


Two things. One: Madonna, big difference between a mom, nanny, whoever, being potty trained,(which means putting the kid on the potty all the time) and the kid being trained, which means they know and let you know when they need to go! Two: Look at any two high schoolers and you will be hard pressed to tell which one was "potty trained" at 18 months and which one was 3 1/2. Go on, try it! Keep listening to Alex, she sounds like she knows what she is doing!


i am not in the phase of having to do this yet, as kai is only 14 months, but the plan is to get a potty this spring just so she gets used to seeing it.

all the opinions in this comment section are so refreshing... such a healthy and calm approach (some women that i have encountered are so black and white with it all, and the rules!- no later than x months, and x hours per day on the pot, and never use a reward system, and....- sheesh! ) and it is great to know that it does not have to be the scary experience i seem to be anticipating!! (although, i cannot, cannot CANNOT WAIT to take my newly potty trained daughter out to get "big girl panties" for the first time!!)

congrats to miss alexis on her journey, and karen... honey, what a fabulous reason to invest in some wellies! (smile!)


Ah, she'll get it eventually. My 3-1/2 year old still puddles now and then.... OK, to be honest.. 3, 4 times a week. Hubby jokes we will have to tear out every carpet in the house when the kids move out. Actually, come to think of it, there is a bitterness in his tone that is not in the least joking. Poor guy! You'd think he was the one mopping up the puddles. BTW, thanks for stopping by the other day.



We're going through this same EXACT thing right now - times two. Yes, times two. I'm going out next week to buy a few more potties so that we'll have them in almost every room in the house and in every corner of the back yard. If that doesn't work, then, well, they can just wear diapers to college, for all I care. But, by then, I'll refuse to change them anymore.


BTW, we also have a potty in my car for those longer road trips and outings.


This is NOT advice, just my experience...

I have 4 kids - My first child, of course, was brightest thing to grace the world with her presence. I decided to potty train her when she was 15 months after my mother bought her a potty and I realised she could use it on demand. But by the time she was three years old, she was still having 'wee accidents'... which were no longer 'wee'. I decided that, starting her so young, I was just pleased with the successes and that I had made her feel there was not conscience with for the 'wee accidents'... and she didn't feel the need to use the potty all the time.

With my second child I decided not to start until she was two. She showed interest at 22 months but I told her she had to wait until she was a 'big girl'. That seemed to work for her. It made her so determined! One day, 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday, she went over, sat on the potty, did a pee-pee took off her diaper and told me in no uncertain terms she would not 'wear 'dem eber again!!' I cut a deal with her that she could finally be a big girl if she promised not to wet herself... we never looked back!

I used the same approach with my next to kids... making it something that they only got to do when they were big enough.

The other thing I did with the last two was to take 4 days out to train them. We didn't go anywhere or do anything for those days. We spent the days in the house with minimal clothing just reading books, playing or watching videos.

Good luck!!


Karen, it sounds like you made the right decision to me. I agree with the panties idea but also with the idea of a child being a little older. When Callie was a little more than 2 1/2, she started asking to wear panties. I told her she could wear them when she used the potty. When she was 2 and 9 months one day I surprised her with Nemo panties. Nemo was and still is one of her favorites! She had one accident and never looked back.

Preston is now 2 1/2 and he's expressing about the level of interest that Alex has. He'll sit if I put him and sometimes go, sometimes not. Being a boy, he has his own little, uh "toys" to amuse him while he's there. Sometimes he'll ask to go potty, though he usually doesn't produce anything. Sometimes he'll ask to wear his Thomas the train underwear which he usually wets in less than 20 minutes so I mop! We don't do the underwear thing too often for obvious reasons!!

I figure he's way ahead of where Callie was at this age and will not graduate from high school in diapers so I don't sweat it. Trust me, it's waaaaay easier to run errands with a two year old in diapers than one newly in panties!!!

Take care!


I am so sure Madonna potty trained her own kids. She's got nerve.
I am so not looking forward to potty training.


Boy, was I ever relieved to read this post! Because funnily enough, I just wrote my own post about it.
We are doing the exact same thing over at our house with our little boy (just turned two). Just putting him on the potty when he either wants to, or after naps and in the morning and such. He likes using it, and does well with it, so that is a plus. Except, my MOTHER won't get off my back about the potty training thing. JUST PUT HIM IN UNDERWEAR!- she keeps breathing down my neck. Ugh.
I agree with you though, no pressure, when he's ready type of thing.
Good luck!

Karen M

Eh. If I had a phalanx of servants like Madonna to help clean up after puddles, I'd have trained my kid when she was 2.

When Alena was 2, she was all excited about using the potty, so we bought her a potty chair. For the next year she ignored it. No amount of begging, entreating, or threats would do the job. So we put her in pull-ups and waited. When she was 3, it took a week. That was it. One week. She's almost 4 and has the occasional accident at night, but age 3 was the end of pull-ups for us.

Pont is, when they're ready, they're ready. There's nothing you can do about it, so why torture yourself? You made the right decision.


It's easy to potty train if you aren't the one that is doing (ie Madge has nannies!) LOL

I'm working on it with Alexis too, but it's a process and you have to do what is right for your child. Well intentioned suggestions is just that...suggestions! :o)


I'm sorry for laughing so hard at: MOmmy, bring me a book. That's a genius right there! I love it love it love it.
p.s. funny how ppl always have 'advice' or know exactly what you should do with YOUR kid. Alex is a genius and she'll do it in her own time i'm sure!


You'll know when its time to stop using Pull Ups. Be glad it was only puddles! ;0


Wow! For whatever it's worth, I'm impressed. My DD will be 18 months old on the 25th, and I didn't think we could even start thinking about potty training until after she turns two. I'm amazed that you have been able to do so much so soon. Kudos!


My son turned 2 in January but we aren't potty training yet. I think he will probably be closer to 3 when we start. My daughter was 2 1/2 and it only took her about a week to train, only a couple of accidents since. I doubt that it will be that easy with my son, things don't work like that. ;)

Have you tried the Feel and Learn Pull Ups? My sister-in-law has been using them and they seem to be working well for her.

I used the thick absorbent cotton underwear with plastic pants over them for my daughter. They worked really well for us, she could feel when she was wet and no puddles. :)

Good luck!


We put my daughter in underwear and after a week of cleaning up puddles, I gave up. That was months ago. She's now 2.5 and I have no idea when she'll be potty trained, but I'm moving along with the theory (the hope) that she'll let me know when it's time.

I wish both of us luck!


I guess I'm a bad mother (rolling eyes) since my daughter was just over 3 when she finally got the hang of it. We tried several different methods. Finally she decided she wanted to be like Mommy & Daddy, and the reward of Nemo panties also helped. All kids figure it out in their own way. Don't stress, it'll happen.


Don't give up. Have to agree with Tess. Getting rid of pull ups and using panties makes a world of difference, and Gerber cotton reenforced panties hold a lot, thus no puddles. All kids are really really different, though I believe that between 18 months and 22 months is a good "window of opportunity" if there has been some indication of interest.

Lots of fun, songs and rewards (we used character bandaids for every success) and no pressure/iritation made for an easy experience for us. Potty trained (no accidents) during day before two and (no accidents) at night just after two. Just my two cents.


Shao was 2yrs and 5 mos old. The potty chair had been a bathroom fixture since she came home from China at age 15 mos. They told me in China that she was potty-trained. I just smiled...cuz there was no way I was traipsing around China with a 15 mo. old, sans diapers. I believe THEY were potty trained, not Shao! She showed some interest in it, and I would always casually ask her, after naps, in the am, etc., "Want to use the potty?" For awhile she said yes, for quite awhile it was an emphatic "NO!" Finally, I realized she had been waking up dry every morning for a few weeks. Off came the reg. diapers, on went the pullups for a few weeks, then it was panties in the day and a pullup at night. There were a few accidents, spanning a few months, but mostly at night, after even the pullups were discarded. My theory is...let the kid dictate...the dry in the morning sign is a BIG one that their bladder muscles are strong enough to begin training.

Funny story...3 mos. after training, we went on a car trip with friends who did NOT have kids, and were clueless. They asked if Shao could wear pullups in the daytime, because they were worried about puddles on their car upholstery! We acquiesed, but after a day or two, stopped it, as we realized that we were stopping often enough for her to use the potty, and that she was NEVER wet.
Just how much pee did they think one little kid could hold? I know, Karen...you have proof it can be aLOT!!!!!! :)



Out of the blue, I decided to train the kidlet when she was about 23 months old. I planned to stay home for 4-5 days and let her run around in panties and see if it 'clicked'. After the first day and about 15 puddles, I was at my wit's end (so I can relate to the irritability). She obviously wasn't getting it. Didn't care about running around wet, loved to splash around in her puddles. But then the next morning, she stayed dry for about 3 hours, then went when I put her on the potty. Continued to go about once an hour, every time I put her on. After another day or so, she was telling me when she had to go (along with me putting her on the pot every so often). Since then, she's had 2 puddles, a few dribbles before catching herself and finishing up in the potty and she tells me every time she has to go now, about 3 weeks later. #2s are a whole 'nother story as she seems to only be able to that in her panties and/or pullup. If it's panties? MESSEEEE. Yuck.

I happened to luck out, but I was willing to throw in the towel for a few months if day #2 was ANYTHING like day #3. You just have to read your kid's cues. Alex is so smart, she's just focussing on other things right now!

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