Christmas Trees and Potty Training


I don’t know what it is, but every year we seem to have a doomsday sort of christmas tree experience. We are cursed to have the most ridiculous things happen. It never fails. This year it all surrounded the potty and little miss Rowan.

She has been completely out of diapers now (except for naps and bedtime) for about 3 weeks. We have been doing the no diaper thing at home for months, but we finally decided to bite the bullet, get over our fears of peed pants in public places and just make the full commitment. She has been doing great! Hardly any accidents at all (poop may be a different story but…) We always bring the Bjorn potty seat in the car and make sure to bring her to the bathroom just “to try” in each store or place we go.

Now, lets talk about Sunday at the Christmas tree farm. We had just gotten back from having thanksgiving at Kev’s parents. We left our beloved potty seat there by accident, so we didnt have it in the car with us. Strike one. The farm we went to was suppose to be a pretty large deal. Cafe, Trolley rides, Animals, I thought for sure there would be indoor bathrooms. Ha! I was wrong. All they had were porta potties. Ugh! When we first found that out, Kev and I were joking back and forth who would have to take her. Let’s face it, bringing a 2 year old to a public rest room leaves no room for germaphobes! I think we ended up making too big a deal out of it in front of her and scared her. When Kev tried to bring her she freaked out crying “yucky” the whole time. Strike two. I figured (wishful thinking) maybe she just didnt have to go and when she did have to, it wouldn’t matter if it was in the porta potty or not.

We had to take a 15 min trolley ride out to the trees. It was fun and all, but all I was thinking was please let there be a porta potty out there. I noticed one when we got off the trolley. Score. Off we went to find a tree. We had walked quite a distance when Rowan said what I was hoping she wouldn’t “peepee”. Great. We thought maybe, just maybe, we could get her pee in the woods. I dropped her pants, scooped her up and told her to pee. Ha! Yeah right! Poor girl, she had no idea what was going on. She refused and started getting upset. Kev said he would run with her back to the porta potty. Off they went. About 10 mins later I heard him calling for me. I ran out the the path and saw a very upset Rowan, waddling like she was very uncomfortable. Strike Three. After refusing to go in the porta potty, she had peed her pants on the walk back. She probably had to go so badly and just didn’t know what to do anymore. DOH! We decided to cut any tree quick, take the trolley back and then go change her in the car. After the whole incident we were left with a dinky $65 dollar, over priced tree and a girl who is now scared for life of peeing in a porta potty. Well done Kev and Jen. Well done.

When I was trying to get her to pee outside.
Running off to the potty.

When you are potty training, going out with out wearing diapers is a very scary thing for a parent. Here are some items that I keep in what I call my “potty training survival bag”…


1. Wipes
2. Extra Undies
3. Extra easy to put on pants. I don’t worry about matching outfits or anything. Just easy pants to throw on in a jiffy.
4. Towel. This is key! When your kid pees and is standing in a puddle in the middle of a store (yes, it happened in old navy to us) you can quickly soak it up. Then wipe the area with wipes. I would feel terrible about leaving the puddle.
5. Thirsties Wet Bag. We used this for our cloth diapers but now its our potty bag. I use it to hold all this stuff in my purse, but when an accident happens it will hold any wet, dirty towels and clothes.
6. Treats. Also key! We use these YummyEarth Organic Vitamin C Pops . Never underestimate the power of treats and using the potty.
7. Socks. You would be surprised how many times her socks get wet too when she has an accident.

Oh the joys of being a parent! As hard of a journey potty training is, it’s pretty exciting to see them becoming little functioning humans. Rowan gets so excited. I can’t help but laugh every time we are at a restaurant and Rowan runs out of the bathroom screaming (so everyone hears) to Kev that she peed on the potty.

  1. michelle •

    holy cow – this is funny. im sure it wasnt so much at the time however… lol

    what farm did you go to by the way? we are going this weekend and i think we might hit up ellms farm… i want to say its in ballston spa

  2. The one with her pants down is cracking me up!

  3. OMG! I am laughing so hard at this post. At least you took great photos to remember it by:)

  4. omg i was cracking up…had to keep quiet at work! oh the joys of a 2 year old 🙂

  5. You sound just like me!! When our first son did #2 on the potty for the first time, I screamed. I still have no idea why I did. It was just … I screamed! haha… and he wouldn’t potty for MONTHS after that. He was about 1 year old, though, so the “setback” wasn’t that big of a deal.

  6. She is seriously adorable, I could eat up her cheeks.
    We’re in the middle of potty training with our little guy & haven’t ventured out without a diaper on yet. I think we just have to do it though! Good luck as you continue through this oh so fun time hah. & Good luck in your labor, you must be getting close! I’m only 19 weeks!

  7. Oh geez, Jen. I was laughing the whole time. Poor little Rowan. Portapotties and peeing in the woods are both things I hate, too. Pretty sure we all do. But this is such a sweet story, and I’m sure she’ll LOVE you for that photo of her when you were trying to get her to go outside. Love your stories, as usual. Hang in there!

  8. When my now 23 year old daughter was potty training, I felt like I was on a world tour of restrooms. She had to know where the restroom was EVERYWHERE we went. Love reading your Rowan stories and looking forward to stories of Rowan as a big sister!

  9. Oh, the look on her face in that pic of you trying to get her to go pee outside- so cute!

  10. Poor little girl! Don’t blame her for hating the portapottie, I refuse to use them either and I’m 29 lol. Her jacket is freaking adorable!

  11. Aw haha! You’ll have a laugh at it later 🙂

    xo Jennifer

  12. Stephanie B. •

    Oh Jen! This is so cute! Thanks for the sweet story and helpful tips! 😉

  13. Here are a few things to add to your list: napkins and a grocery bag. What I do when I’m potty training a kid is put napkins in a plastic grocery bag (for absorption) and wrap the bag over the baby bjorn potty. That way, when they’re done “going” you can just throw the bag away and the potty stays clean. This is especially helpful when they have to go #2.

  14. It’s funny how every kid is different when it comes to potty training. My oldest was almost 4 before he potty trained. I didn’t push him into doing it..just let him decide when he was ready. He potty trained in 1 day! No accidents. No diapers for naptime or overnight. Just decided one day he was going to wear undies and that was it.

    My youngest potty trained when he was 2. Again, we didn’t push. He just decided one day he wanted to be like his older brother. He took a little longer, but was potty trained within a week. He wanted to wear diapers for naptime or overnight, but I just told him there were no diapers. I threw them all in the trash, I said. Once he realized there were no diapers to wear, I think he figured it wasn’t an option anymore. Every once in awhile, I can tell he needs to go potty but is refusing to stop playing for five minutes to we have to remind him. But we haven’t had any accidents since that first week.

    Sometimes I think if you make too big of a deal about it…the kid will think it’s too big of a deal and freak out a tad. I’m a super relaxed parent when it comes to things like this though…so maybe my kids just had that laid back genetic trait? LOL Again, every child is different. If they keep having accidents though, I start to wonder after awhile if maybe they just weren’t ready for potty training. Kids aren’t going to go to kindergarten still wearing diapers. I promise you (unless their is a medical reason). When they are ready, they are ready. 🙂

  15. I can totally relate on the not-sure-if-you-can-go-out-without-a-diaper feeling. Its a nail biting feeling!

    seriously though.. she is SO cute. LOVE those big cheeks!

  16. I love those Vitamin C pops. I had forgotten about them but a good treat with extra Vitamin C.

  17. oh my! i wish Jules could be potty trained over night! we are starting in a few weeks. hopefully it will al go well…
    btw: rowan’s beanie is soooooooo cute!

  18. I don’t blame Rowan one bit. I’m pretty scared of porta potties too. 😉

    Well, at least you got a Christmas tree (even if it cost a pretty penny).

  19. Best post ever! The pictures are adorable.

  20. aww, poor girl. 🙁 that whole experience must have been so confusing! if she ends up with some sort of complex about using the port-a-potty, we know what to blame.

  21. Oh the joys of potty training! Haha, we had a very similar experience this summer while waiting in the long line of traffic to get into the county fair!
    I just wanted to add that I also keep a pad of Post-it papers in my purse because the automatic flush toilets scare the heck out of my girl! Just put a stickie note over the sensor and voila! Problem solved! Hope it can help you or someone else too!

  22. Don’t worry, I cried once when I had to go in a porta potty. I was 15. (I’m serious.)

    As a preschool teacher, I feel your pain – at least, I feel it for about 25 hours a week! It will happen! You both seem so patient and understanding of Rowan’s needs!

  23. poor little bun! I love that boo boo face in the ‘trying to go pee outside’ pic. My girl makes that same face when I try to make her go on the potty! too cute.

  24. I’m not surprised at all about the socks! I’m teaching at a preschool right now, and a couple of the kids are being pottytrained. Their socks and shoes get wet all the time! The parents always seem surprised, though: “What?! His socks got wet, too?? How??”

  25. You should give yourselves a break. I am at the beginning of potty training my 22 month old and am not looking forward to the road ahead. Thanks for the advice on the “kit”. By the way, that tree farm was beautiful. I wish there were places like that in Southern California! :o)

  26. Well, she may have been freaked out and had an accident, but she looks so darn happy in all of the pictures, so it must have also been a fun day! Love the one of her running towards cameraman Kev with you behind her. Such a sweet little face! Good luck in your home stretch, Jen! Can’t wait to virtually meet your new daughter!

  27. such a cute post! I love your daughter’s coat, it’s adorable! We are in the same situation, but just starting out. yesterday was day #1 and I dread the day that we’ll go outside and hope for the best haha.

  28. Rebekah Kessler •

    i love this post… and i love Rowens face when your trying to get her to pee in the woods!!! so funny….

  29. That face she’s making as you try to get her to pee outside just kills me!

  30. Sarah M. •

    So cute! Love these pics. Pretty sure we went to the same farm; I recognize the goats, carts, trolley rides etc. 🙂 Took forever to find the right tree! Ours is an 8 1/2 foot blue spruce. I think we paid $70 for it. If it makes you feel any better, the prices here are good compared to what I paid in Northern California last year. It was $140 for a 7 foot fir, balsam or douglas I think and it was at a lot. No fun walking around a farm w donuts and cider or hot chocolate and cutting it down and all. so glad to be back in the area! 🙂

  31. Courtney •

    Super pumped ab this, thank you!! I’ve been struggling like crazy w my 2 yr old using the potty. She goes back and forth all the time on using it, but always asks to when were out! (Not that she ever goes) but this “survival bag” may be just what I needed to really make the public effort with her. Thanks again! P.s…Rowan is ADORABLE!!

  32. Arthur Bhuick •

    With me, when my pants were down too pee, I just only tried too open the fly of my briefs, due too that I couldn’t pull my briefs down, and esp I love my briefs! I am of severe/profound mental retardation! The same for her! She, must love her panties, that she just tries too pull the bottom and back of her panties, too one side, too pee!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

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