In addition to all the big changes and successes at school, Ella has been doing some pretty awesome things here at home too. A few months ago (it actually might have been before Christmas time.. I'm not really sure) Hudson started climbing out of his crib. It wasn't a big deal, but when Daddy got home and I told him what happened he promptly said to him "You need a big boy bed! Let's go get it out of the attic." And proceeded to spend the next hour disassembling his crib, moving it to our room for Levi, and getting out the toddler bed while I simply stared with my mouth gaping open. I was not prepared for that. Well, when Ella saw all the excitement over Hudson's new bed, she decided she wanted one too. Since we had an extra at Grandma & Papa's house, Daddy and Ella drove and got her bed (which made it all the more exciting for her) and put hers up too. (Me, standing with mouth still gaping open) And then of course that same Daddy left for the rest of the evening, leaving me to put 2 toddlers (and 3 other children) to sleep in brand new beds for the very first time. Thanks.
We had tried Ella in a big girl bed a few years ago, but she just wasn't ready. She wouldn't stay in it, wouldn't nap as long and only if I laid next to her until she fell asleep. This time she was ready though. She did pop out a few times, but I put her back in and she eventually stayed put. Now she pretty much always stays in her bed after we lay her down and goes right to sleep (maybe after a few rounds of singing "Twinkle Twinkle" so sweetly to herself).
That being said, Ella has pretty much always come to our bed sometime in the middle of the night. We've tried putting her back to her bed, but she immediately pops out and comes back to ours. This has gone on for hours on end before we finally gave up. We've tried laying by her in her room to get her back to sleep, but usually wakes up again anyways. We've found out she can outwit, outlast, and outplay us any day of the week. It's generally just easier to let her come sleep in our bed, especially if its 3-4am. BUT the past 2-3 weeks she's decided to sleep in her own bed every single night, ALL night long. (I hope I'm not cursing it by writing about it..) Whether it was because we decided to sleep train Levi that week and let him cry for a few minutes a couple nights and she just decided she didn't want to come in and have anything to do with that, or what.. I don't know. And I'm still fully aware that it could change at a moment's notice, but for now all five children have actually slept through the entire night multiple times during the last few weeks for the first time in... ever.
And perhaps one of the very most exciting things to happen is ELLA IS POTTY TRAINED!! Yes, I just said that. For the most part at least.. During the school year Ella would follow the same potty schedule as the rest of her class. She would go in the potty at the same time with her aide. Sometimes they would just go in and just look at the potty and turn back around, sometimes she would sit for a few seconds, and then wash their hands and go back out. We really let her set the pace. But for the last 2-3 weeks of school there started to be a few times she actually went potty, then it built up to a few times a day! About the 2nd week into summer break I decided to see what would happen if I just put her in big girl pants, and she did AMAZING! She didn't have an accident the entire first day. What did the trick you ask? M&M's. That's it. Every time she goes potty she gets 2 M&M's and gets to give 2 to her brothers and they all cheer and give her high fives and thumbs up and tell her good job. We're already almost through a 3 lb bag. I'm hoping to phase it out over the next few weeks, but I'm not sure she'll let me or not..
It's been about 3 weeks now that's Ella's been in big girl pants I think and she does have accidents occasionally, but for the most part she is doing so so good. Needless to say I'm a little nervous about flying across the country with her, but she has been wearing big girl pants everywhere for a few weeks now.. to the store, church, camping, and the girl even peed off the side of the boat for Heaven's sake, so I'm hoping we're good! We are so so proud of her!