An amazing thing about documenting my children-specifically my baby and puppy-every day is I get see how they have grown so incredibly rapidly. Normally, I feel as though they just happen to wake up looking older and wiser than they did the night before.

Theo and Beau have a really large audience now, and many continue to remark at how large they are both getting. It’s very true, and while their personalities aren’t changing all that much, Beau’s daily routines are starting to. We’re gearing up for a visit from the “pacifier fairy”, the sleeptime bottle is a memory, and most significantly, it’s time to actively start potty training Beau.

We introduced the potty to him about 4 months ago and have talking about it daily, with periodical re-introductions to this new routine. The potty sits in the bathroom he shares with his siblings, so he knows that it’s there and what it’s for.

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I brought out all the books that I have on training toddlers to use the toilet, and remembered why I eventually just completely stripped Jack and Zoe when it was their time and let them figure it out themselves over the period of about two days. It was messy, but it was effective.

The difference now is we have a lot more carpet in our home in Santa Cruz. When we were potty training Jack and Zoe, our apartment in NYC was all hardwood flooring and easy enough to clean any and all accidents, and unfortunately now we have a fully carpeted living area along with a few nice rugs that I really, really don’t want stained. While living in NYC, we were also out walking everywhere, all the time. I brought with us a portable potty everywhere we went-I’ll never forget pulling the stroller over in the middle of Manhattan on 5th Ave in a desperate attempt to avoid an accident and setting up a mini bathroom for Jack.

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Beau is home a lot of the day with Theo and me. It’s a much more conducive environment for a peaceful experience for him, though there have already been more than a few accidents (as expected). It’s hard to believe he’s old enough to start telling us that he needs to use the potty-in most cases he tells us afterwards-but I’m really excited to embrace this major change with him. Even if it means being completely diaper free before starting all over again with the new baby in September!

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We’re longtime lovers, users, and subscribers of The Honest Company. I’ve written (Beau meets Jessica Alba here) and shared more than once my appreciation for their products and their philosophy and I have happily been buying them since Beau was born. Now, I feel incredibly fortunate to not only work with them, but to get to try their entire line of products that they have developed over that time frame. Along with the Honest Training Pants, we’re using a ton of their Bathroom Cleaner and Stain Remover as well. Huge perk: For every product refill sold, $1 goes to the Nature Conservancy.

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We started Beau on The Honest Company diaper line so graduating to their training pants was a natural progression. Their super soft, easy to use, just as effective as their regular diapers and they come in adorable designs. You could say I’m a fan.

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The training process is definitely still a work in progress, but I feel prepared with not only the knowledge of potty training two children before Beau, but also with the best, non-toxic and eco-friendly products.

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There’s nothing like that monumental feeling watching your child hit a milestone that they worked hard for, and I revel in his triumph every single time.

Lucky for Beau, he has his buddy for constant moral support.

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Deal alert!

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This post was sponsored by The Honest Company. All opinions are my own.

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When Theo came home with us, he wasn’t afraid. I was so worried that he would feel completely displaced from his siblings and everything familiar to him, but I quickly realized that the journey he had already been through during his short 7 weeks of life was much more hectic than adjusting to our home would ever be. I don’t have any experience with shelter dogs, but Theo already seemed so much more adaptable than the puppies I had as a child, and even more mild tempered than any we had met up until then. He potty trained fairly quickly, he didn’t chew things up that he wasn’t supposed to, and he has always been incredibly tolerant of Beau’s pokes, tugs and bear hugs. I certainly wouldn’t know if that has to do with his early life, but Theo is without a doubt an incredibly loving, amazingly old soul.

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Theo and Beau’s relationship was immediate. The media craze came right as we were getting to know Theo and he was getting more comfortable with us. I got busier, the kids were just getting their feet wet in a new elementary school, and our lives were ramping up at an incredible pace.

Theo and Beau defied the chaos. They played and cuddled in perfect parallel and got to know each other in the most adorable way possible.

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It always seemed as though they saw beyond their species and regarded each other as playmates of the same feather, eventually evolving into a full blown brotherhood.

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I watched and casually observed and snapped photos, but I don’t think I was really understanding that Theo was filling a spot in our lives, specifically Beau’s life, that was anxiously waiting to be filled. He craved that companionship, as his older brother and sister have always had each other and that camaraderie.

This little pup has changed our lives in so many wonderful ways that it almost physically pains me to think about our life pre-Theo. He is truly magic.

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Not much has changed since last fall, aside from their appearances.

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At nearly 7 months, Theo is just beginning to be a little unruly by testing his boundaries. Every so often he’ll quickly steal some of the kid’s food from wherever they’re eating, or hide under the bed chewing up something he knows he’s not supposed to. It’s almost as though he’s doing it out of sheer obligation and age, because his ultimate reaction is always guilt; His ears go back and he drops whatever he’s doing. It’s almost impossible to be frustrated with him, but we’re all working on new learning training tactics together and things are getting smoother.

If only I could manage the same with my two year old, who does things deliberately to cross any and all boundaries specifically for the reaction.

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They are still very much just enjoying their youth and companionship together.

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When I look at the early photos, it seems like it was nearly forever ago that we brought Theo home. Babies and puppies grow at a nearly heartbreaking rate though. I’m constantly reminded that we are still at the beginning of their relationship and our story now that Theo is in it is changing all the time in the best ways.

I guess this has been the biggest surprise for me personally, over everything that has happened over the last few months. I never thought that the process of rescuing and raising a puppy would be this wonderful, and this influential on my children’s lives. Theo continues to teach us all about love, patience and compassion and it’s taking everything I have not to run out and adopt them all.

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They’re still napping together, too. My daily dose of reflection and zen.

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Sweet, Simple and Organic: Gifting with Apple Park

April 8, 2014

Perhaps it’s the number of years that I’ve been parenting, or maybe it’s the number of children that I have that have ultimately made me increasingly more opinionated across the board. I suspect that this is something that comes with age as well, and I am embracing it with the fervor of the buying power […]

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Back to NYC, Back to Me

April 7, 2014

My first trip to New York City after our move to Santa Cruz in August was in late February this year. I was so anxious to stand amongst the towers of endless buildings and see if I felt any different than I did when we lived there. Secretly, I was hoping that the magic, mystique […]

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Splendidly Simplifying with Polarn O. Pyret

March 25, 2014

As I’m watching my big kids get bigger and older, their lives are also changing rapidly. We’ve phased into this space of doing nightly homework, reading chapter books, and making our way to and from sports games, practices and twice weekly swimming lessons. Jack wants to be outdoors shooting hoops or riding his bike with […]

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Getting Dolled up with Melijoe

March 19, 2014

Every morning at our house starts out the same: Jack wakes up and races into our room to let us know that he is going downstairs to watch a show. Zoe trickles in later fully dressed to say good morning and starts into a story about her dreams or what was going to happen at […]

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Into the Belly of 2014

March 18, 2014

The response we received from our announcement that we are expecting a new baby later this summer was completely heartwarming. I am consistently touched and surprised by the love that we are receiving on a daily basis from so many people from all over. It is always humbling. We’ve read each and every one of […]

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Project 4.0

March 13, 2014

We are finally able to share our exciting news and we all couldn’t possibly be happier. Coming September, 2014. Our blessings are so, so many and I couldn’t be more honored to share it with you. This post wasn’t sponsored by anything but love. Thank you for that last lovely photo, Belabumbum.

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The Twenty Freshpet Team Cuddle Finalists

March 5, 2014

One of my favorite things to come from the attention we’ve received over my photos of Theo and Beau has been the community. I’ve read and loved every (well, almost every) comment and sentiment that you’ve left, and I’ve loved the photos you’ve shared with me personally and publicly even more. Honestly, I was so […]

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Celebrate Your Style|iPad Mini & Lookmatic Giveaway

March 1, 2014

Personally speaking, there are relatively few things that have stayed the same since my transition into motherhood. Aside from being an almost entirely different human being mentally, of course there are the physical changes that have come along with three babies and 7 years. I’m not throwing a wrinkle and gravity party, but I am […]

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