Mommy Panda Blog

I may not be super crunchy, but I'm no softie either!

Potty Training Update

I just wanted to do a quick update on the potty situation, since I don’t think I’ve dedicated a blog post to it since October of 2013! O.o There have been a couple of mentions in Currently…ies, but that’s it!


The good news is that The Munchkin is pretty much potty trained during the day. We didn’t start it up again until we were settled in our house here in Kansas, but once we did, it went fairly quickly when compared to all other attempts.


The Setup:

The method I ended up going with was a little brutal, but if it worked, it was worth it right?! First, I set up the boys’ bathroom as a bribe center, with a sticker sheet and his “prize” for when the sticker sheet was all filled up. I drew a Minion on a piece of yellow construction paper and drew lines inside of that, one for each day of the week. I didn’t change out the sheet every week; he just used the same one until it was filled. Actually, there were two prizes – a short term goal of filling up a week (Minion pajamas) and a long term prize of a t-shirt of a minion eating ice cream that he’d get once he filled up the whole sheet. I also bought Minion underpants so he would be excited to wear them. (Guess what The Munchkin was reallyreally into at the time?) I ended up needing to buy some Mickey underpants too, because he went through the Minion ones QUICK and I couldn’t keep up with the laundry.

We started around Easter and ended by the end of summer. At that point, honestly, the concept of a sticker sheet wasn’t appealing to him any more and he didn’t care about the t-shirt. Once he filled the sheet up, I didn’t make a new one, even though he wasn’t 100% trained at that time. The idea of using the potty wasn’t anything to really think about by that point, which was good; it was just something that he did.


The Method:

Actually getting him used to going to the bathroom on the toilet was kind of brutal. The only method I found effective was to set a timer and have him sit on the potty every 15 minutes. All day. Every 15 minutes. It was not the most productive time, but it was ultimately worth it. We started with a potty chair and eventually moved to a potty seat on the toilet, then just to the toilet itself.

If we left the house, he wore a diaper, but eventually we moved to underwear under the diaper once his potty usage got down to once an hour at home. At school he wore a diaper, but by the time his summer session started, he was going to school in underwear under his diaper and they’d take the diaper off once he got to his classroom. By the end of the summer session (about three weeks) he was staying dry at school!


Well, Except…

It wasn’t a perfect system by any means. There were lots of messes (Basically until he learned that the way he sat affected the direction of his stream…) and he needed to be reminded to go to the bathroom. Poop was a little bit of an issue, but not that much worse. We were lucky that he doesn’t fear public bathrooms and didn’t freak out at the idea of pooping in general, which I’ve read are common problems with children.

To be honest, he still gets distracted by fun stuff and has to be reminded to go. In these cases, if we are distracted and don’t remind him, he might still have an accident, but they’re not even weekly at this point. He wears underpants 100% of the time during the day, but I don’t even know how to begin night training, so he still wears diapers to bed. He’s only gotten out of bed twice to use the bathroom, so I don’t think we’re quite there yet. When we made our road trip to Florida, I put him in diapers, but we still stopped every couple of hours so he could use the toilet. I’m happy to report there was no regression on that trip.

Oh, and Also…

One thing that is a little problematic is that he forgets to flush a lot of the time when we’re at home. Only at home…never at school or in a store. I don’t get it, but I can only assume it’s because The Bean loves to flush the toilet, so maybe The Munchkin fell out of habit doing it at home? We usually have to remind The Munchkin to flush and turn off the lights, because he usually rushes out of the bathroom to continue doing whatever he was doing once he washes his hands.

But back to that no-flushing thing. A while back, Kohler contacted me about promoting their Touchless Toilet Flush Kit, and I was intrigued. It was supposed to be stupid easy to install, which was good because John was gone at the time I needed to install it. I decided it was worth a try, because if it made flushing fun, maybe The Munchkin would actually remember to do it for once! I filmed a little video of myself installing it that you can check out if you’re interested, or you can watch the video below and see how easy it is to use once installed.

I installed it when The Munchkin was at school and meant to get a video of him reacting to the toilet’s handle being gone, but I was in the kitchen when he used the bathroom. I heard his reaction though and it was pretty funny:

Mom! Oh no, Mom! The potty is broke! The flusher is gone! Oh no, Mom! HALP! MOM! The flusher is GONE! I can’t flush the potty! (He must have noticed the sensor sticker) Hey look at the hand… (flush noises) Oh wow! Oh wow, Mom! Look at that! Whoa, cool, Mom! I pushed the right button. I pushed the magic button!

The Bean couldn’t figure it out at first, probably because he’s too short to notice the sensor, but once The Munchkin showed it to him, he became obsessed! Video:

I actually had to edit it down because he flushed it about four more times. Hopefully, the novelty will wear off. OR maybe it will encourage The Bean to use the potty. I should make a “No pee, no flush” rule for him. Right now, he is NOT interested in using the potty, and I’m not going to push it. I don’t want to spend two more years potty training one kid. Yes, it would be nice to only have once kiddo in diapers when Lil’ Miss comes, but ultimately, it’s not worth it if I’m pulling my hair out trying to potty train him.

Disclaimer: I was sent this hands-free flusher in exchange for this post and my videos, but all opinions are my own, as always.

What We’re Currently up To: Week 56

Lately, our life has looked like:


Since John has been home, The Bean has been calling me “Mommy” more often! For those of you who didn’t know, he mostly calls me “Colleen” and it drives me crazy. No amount of me correcting him, or not helping him until he called me “Mommy” would make him do it on his own. It took Daddy coming home and referring to me as Mommy every once in a while to make the change. SIGH. BUT YAY PROGRESS.

My friend Tiffany has said that she’s going to miss her “deployment buddy” now that John is home, (Her husband is deployed too.) so I’ve got to remember to call her once in a while, ha. I don’t want to be that wife and abandon my friends just because my hubby came home. Sure, we might not be able to spend entire weekends together anymore, but I should still pop in during the weekdays every so often while John is at work.


The boys have been taking showers lately because I don’t have the energy for a bath. Does anyone else feel that way about baths? That they take so much more work? Ugh. With the splashing and the bath toys… I just don’t have the energy for it sometimes.

The Bean has been breaking down his train tracks. This is significant because I used to be able to set up epic tracks on his train table and they would stay put for WEEKS. Now though, he takes them apart and we’ll build tracks on his floor. Around the train table. Under the train table. Sometimes, once we’re finished with his floor tracks, I’ll build a fairly simple track on the table, and this seems to be his ideal set up. That way, he can play with trains EVERYWHERE.


I’ve been wondering if we’re all going to get pink eye. The Bean started having a little bit of a reddish eye on Wednesday, but I didn’t think too much of it. Then, he woke up this morning with super crusty eyes and I was like uuuuugggghhhh. I asked John what he thought about it and he said that we should wait it out. We did for a while, but thanks to Dr. Google’s input last night, I decided to take The Bean to the doctor’s this morning. Yup. Pink eye. I was given some eye drops for him and am supposed to put them in his eyes 4x a day. The rest of us are to wash our hands a lot, change pillow cases, and avoid The Bean’s eyes at all costs. I’ve put us on quarantine. We’ll be fine. Hopefully, no one else will get it. We’ll see. This thing’ll apparently take a week to run its course. Fun.

I’ll be linking up this week’s Currently with Lindsey and Randalin, as always.

Pictures: The Bean climbing the bunk bed | The boys’ computer lab | The Bean playing trains, again.

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John’s Home!


You guys! John came home last night! We’re super tired today! Uuuuggghhhh! But Yay!


We got to the ceremony site about an hour before it was supposed to start and the place was PACKED. We were all then told that the soldiers weren’t here yet and that they wouldn’t be coming for about an hour and a half. Oh crap. I didn’t prepare for an hour and a half of activities. I brought the Kindle and the boys’ iPhone, but I didn’t know if it would hold them. A lot of people let their kids run around in the open floor in front of the bleachers, but I didn’t want to do that. I knew both boys would run in different directions, I didn’t want to loose our seats, and I didn’t want to drag my giant bag that held our gadgets and coats around chasing them. The wait was filled with much anxiety, but it was worth it because eventually, we got John back!


All evening, while we were still home, The Munchkin kept coming up to me and asking if we could go get Daddy now. Both boys were very excited when we were finally able to leave. I got lost a little bit on the way and they did NOT like having to backtrack a bit, haha. Once we got there though, they were pretty well behaved. The Munchkin made friends with a young woman who was sitting in front of him and willing to let him look at her phone. She even let him play with it for a while, but I made him give it back to her because he had the Kindle to play with. Eventually, the homecoming movie started, which meant we only had five more minutes to wait!


After a very short speech that I don’t remember at all, the soldiers were released to join their families. I couldn’t find John in the lineup during the speech, (usually he’s in the front, but not this time!) so the boys and I just stood on the bleachers and waited for John to find us while everyone else rushed the floor. I didn’t want to mess with the crowd because it was INSANE. Finally, John found us and there were hugs and kisses all around. The Munchkin was besides himself. It was so so cute. He put his hands on John’s cheeks and just stared at him, like he couldn’t believe it was real. The Bean was happy too, but there was so much going on that he got distracted and wanted to explore the now-mostly-empty bleachers.

John was amazed at how big my bump had gotten! Honestly, I’m pretty surprised too. I owe you guys a few weeks worth of pregnancy updates. But anyway, aren’t these pics great? Big thanks to my friend Tiffany/Candid Three Photography for stalking us and taking creeper homecoming photos while we weren’t looking. I love them!

Yay! John’s home!