We have spent the last week-and-a-half camping out here:
Nice accommodations, right?

Yes, sitting on that hard-wood floor there is very comfortable.

This girl has given me a run for my money:But I have to say that I think she’s got it.

None of us around here could be any happier about that little fact, including Lu. She has been a total trooper and I’m so proud of her.

Potty training Lucy has been different. Very different. She didn’t really fit in my mold of what I’ve gotten used to with my other kids. My tried and true system that I thought I had down to a “t” wasn’t exact science anymore. I had such mixed emotions knowing in my heart that she really was ready but I was so darn nervous because of her syndrome. I know that sounds silly, but it is so hard to decipher what to be really pushy about and what to give some slack on.

There are kids with BBS (Bardet-Biedl) that have such trouble with potty training even into their teens. We got so many mixed messages as to whether we should wait, whether she would really “get it,” and without getting too graphic, whether she would be able to even feel the sensation she needed to in order to get in a habit of using a toilet.

But Dave and I (knowing her and her own particular issues better than anyone else) both felt like it was time…developmentally, socially, emotionally…you get the picture.

The first two days Lucy had me on the verge of tears all day long. Excuse my language but it was H-E-double hockey sticks. I was so worked up with stress wondering how hard to push.

This is how her sticker chart looked for two whole days:(Yes, you can see that I spared no expenses there…maybe the chart itself was my problem…maybe it needed to be more dolled up and there would have been miraculous results…)

But then Dave gave me a pep talk about all this patience mumbo jumbo (which I got really huffy about and then realized he was right), and then I read this (thank you, wise Sarah) and the article it led me to which is here, and realized I needed to calm down a little. Why get so darn worked up about it? Lucy’s been slower at all her developmental milestones. Did I really just think that she would miraculously potty-train herself overnight?

…or even after we read this book approx. 134 times?

Having these cheerleaders did help:
(Those little sweetie-pies really did do exactly this…they were SO excited for her.)

And I totally looked like this the whole time:
(totally happy and supportive…you know I kid about that one)

This has been typical Lucy:
I love the one braid in, one braid out, Dave’s phone, no clothes on, yogurt on her face, purple-colored hands (coloring was one of her past-times while sitting on the toilet…really).

Here’s what her sticker chart looks like today (held up by one of her cheerleaders because Lucy was too grumpy when I wanted to take the pic.):It’s no wonder she’s been grumpy lately…this is a HUGE step for her. But she is also suddenly seems SO much more mature. This has given her a big boost of confidence and I love watching her announce to strangers how big she is now.

The reason I titled this post “in training” is because I have realized over the last week that Lucy isn’t the only one in training. We are all in our own form of training. Every day we are learning something new to help us better adapt in life and become who God wants us to be. We have all kinds of choices to make and comfort zones to break out of to keep growing and “becoming.”

In our family, not only is Lucy learning a new skill (which is still totally a work in progress because although she’s been dry for days, we still have to tell her to go), but I’m trying to be open to training myself in new ways as well. As a mother, especially as a mother of Lucy, I have had a rigorous training on how to be what she needs. Our whole family is in training on learning new ways to eat right to model for her. To distract her from bad moods when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. We have learned that Lucy needs tons of choices or she can hardly function. And she likes routine…her routine. But little by little we are all being trained. We just have to be open enough to change ourselves.

Although it’s been a tough, different week, pulling in the driveway the other night noticing Dave had put the good ol’ diaper pail out on the curb for the bulk trash pick-up this week made my heart flutter a little bit.

Some baby things are tough to let go of. They pull at my heart strings. But that thing? Not so much. I think we’re due for a serious celebration.

Go Lucy!

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  1. Such a great post! I love how you recognize that raising Lucy is a family affair. I love how the sisters cheered her on and were so happy for her. What a great family Lucy was born into. Jesus knows. HE knows. Congrats on potty training…to ALL of you!

  2. We just went through potty training at our house over the past couple weeks. I was lucky, my almost 3 year old pretty much just decided he was ready on his own. My oldest three were all there to cheer as well. The emotional part….I got sad in the diaper aisle at B.J.'s a couple weeks ago. The baby foods were up one aisle and all I needed was one size 6 and I knew it might be the last one I would buy. Last year at this time I was buying cases of two different sizes. Now I realized that I really almost didn't have any buisness in that aisle. I was SAD! I felt sick. I can't believe that this part of my life is really over!! I just have to think of all the extra money we will save! Congratulations on Lucy!!

  3. I'm glad I helped…EVERY kid is different that's for sure. I still have to remind my little one to go…he always has to come and get me first and needs help with the pants and the stool and the potty seat. And we've had plenty of accidents.
    Your photos are priceless.

  4. Good job for Lucy. Remember what Anne Shirley always said, "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it". I always try and remember that when I'm working on things that are hard. 🙂

  5. Thank you for this, and congratulations! While the days of toilet training are long gone at our house, we have a new hurdle: reading. Reading has posed no problem for my older two children, but it is proving to be a real challenge for Sariah. With her recent new diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, I'm left wondering, too, how hard do I push? When is it beyond my ability to help? At what point do I demand testing? Why do so many things have to be hard for her? I felt like I'd become such an expert with her other medical issues, this one has really thrown me for a loop! So, I appreciate the reminder that it is okay for me to be in training, too.

    Gotta say, though, this is some kind of marathon I'm training for. I hope I can make it!

  6. Good times. Good times 🙂 Hooray for Lucy and hooray for you! smiley all the way 🙂 Love the part about us all being in training for something… so true. In the large scheme of thing, we're all in it together on a much more even playing field that I think we realize. That is all the philosophy I can pull out this morning. Have a great week! At tough times, we try to remember Pres. Monson's reassurance: The future is as bright as your faith!

  7. What great insight to potty training. It was great to see you in action as well. When my little Easton gets to this point in his life I will be sure to remember your advice as well as your friend Sarah. What a great way to capture the moments especially one of your face in the mirror! So awesome!

  8. Go Lucy! My daughter is almost 8 years old and has Down syndrome. We've been potty training for about 2 years and I know what a huge celebration it is to see progress. Morgan has FINALLY gotten the idea of how to hold it for longer than 1-2 hours but I still have to take her every 3 hours. She has no desire to go in the bathroom and do it herself. Maybe because I've done it for her for so long now.

  9. I am laughing only because I did this last week with my daughter as well and I thought I was going to lose it! I kept telling myself hold in there! At least now my trips to Costco will be more exciting because I won't have to spend $400 on diapers and now I can buy fun things like cream puffs!!! Thanks again for the great post and motivation!

  10. Hi!! I've been following along on your blog for a while now after finding it through someone else and I absolutely love looking at your pictures and seeing pics of your house for great ideas. I LOVE your decorating style and am often inspired by it. I know this comment is totally unrelated to your most recent post, but I really wanted to ask a question. I've seen glimpses of your pool, but not the entire thing and from what I saw, it's exactly what my husband and I would like to do someday. I was wondering, could you post some pictures of the entire pool???
    It's a pleasure reading your blog!!

  11. We are still in potty training mode for my 5 year old (going to k-garten in 10 days!) and he is not developmentally delayed….just wants to be in control! I am going to embark on potty training my nearly 3 year old next week because honestly we coule really use the $50 a month we pay for diapers for other things right now! Not looking forward to it, but such is life!

  12. Hi Shawni…

    Loved this post! Especially loved the picture of your two girls clapping for Lucy. Just love sibling love!!

    I finally got my #2 boy potty trained…he'll be 5 in a month. I'm not sure if it had to do with his liver disease, his gross motor delay (my theory) or something else, but it was difficult and frustrating. But when he got it…he got it! So I'm right there with you. This parenting thing certainly isn't "by the book". Especially when you have a child with special circumstances.

    I continue to be inspired by you! (And it was really great to see you at the reunion and to meet Dave. ) 🙂

  13. YAY! I'm so happy to see her progress! I KNOW first hand how difficult it can be and the questions that go through you mind when potty training a child with special needs. That said, I decided to potty train our 2 yr old "typical" son last Friday using yours and Sarah's methods and it is working like a charm! So thank you for the advice, and I'm so happy for you and Lucy!

  14. I love this post. We are going through the same thing with our youngest, Audrey (she's almost 3). Potty Training is so exciting (hahaha), especially when it's over with!

  15. such cute pics and a story! Well done and what a milestone for your lucy

    My 1st was so easy to toilet train but I'm not looking forward to TT twins…..oh my talk about spending my life near the toilet!


  16. elsie came over and said "beautiful underpants…snow white"
    she was sitting on the toilet yesterday waiting for me to help her brush her teeth and she fell in…just dipped her whole butt right in there. toilets

  17. Oh what perfect timing to visit your blog. I haven't been in a few weeks and decided to stop by. Well, you can imagine my excitement when I came upon the "Potty Post" as I reminded my little guy literally 3 minutes before (while changing a diaper!) that this was his last box of diapies and we were going to the store for big boy undies. My 2 others were trained lickety-split at 2. This is one is 3+ and nothing. So, although I don't have the challenges you do due to Lucy's syndrome, I do FEEL you sister. Let's pray for us all!

  18. GO LUCKY! That is one heck of a great sticker chart! GO SHAWNI! You have to learn more than she does!

    Congrats (I hope)! We have to write that nice doctor who said to wait another year! He was too nice!

  19. Thank you for this post. We've been trying again and again with the potty training, but she just doesn't want to do it.She is very stubborn. It's so frustrating and Savannah's going to preschool in September, but she's still in diapers, and she'll be 4 in January. I didn't know that children with BBS have such a hard time with potty training. That makes me feel a little bit better. It's amazing how much Lucy sounds so much like Savannah. How old is she now? She is so cute!

  20. This is so beautiful, Shawni–yay for Lucy and WOOHOO for the potty-training! I'm so impressed with both of you! Also, Sera's new favorite activity is looking at pictures of Lucy on your blog–I think she really bonded with her in that little slice of an hour. Hugs!

  21. Shawni, I loved this post! Great perspective on the training aspect of parenting and of life. I need to grab onto that more often 😉 And congratulations on success!

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