Where They Are At
When we are at home they all tell me when they need to use the potty and I always go with them to help (mostly because I'm afraid of someone falling into the toilet, it's happened twice already). If they only have undies on or a soft pair of pants they can pull them down and up themselves but a lot of the time I have to help because the elastic gets all twisted. Eli almost exclusively uses the toilet (not a little potty), which is fine by me, less to clean up! Caleb mostly pee's in the toilet but likes to poop in a little potty. Thomas prefers his little potty for both but when we are out he is fine with using the toilet.
All bets are off when we aren't at home. They get very distracted and forget to tell me when they need to go (they do a lot of the time but can't be trusted just yet), so it's up to me to keep track and just take them to the bathroom without asking them. I don't think they can go more than 2 hrs so ideally I take them every 1.5 hrs when we are out (small bladders run in this family).
Accidents are still happening but each week it feels like there are less and less, at the moment we have one maybe two tops each day (that's between all of them, so each boy has maybe one accident every other or third day). Today no one has had any accidents : )
What I've learned
My patience has gone way up since starting potty training mostly because I wanted to be diaper free more than anything! I really tried to figure out what was upsetting each kid (for unrelated potty matters) and keep them as happy as possible so they would be more cooperative in the bathroom. Instead of giving up after a few seconds or just sending them to time out because they were being unreasonable I worked harder to make everyone happy. Not easy but it payed off!
My Two Cents
Here's what I've concluded after everything I've heard, read and all we've been through. Most kids are developmentally capable of potty training by 18 mo (as can be seen in recent history or in other countries, click here if don't believe me this is actually really interesting). BUT you really do have to start when they are very young, like before they can walk. From what I've read it's not a daunting time consuming process. You just start off by taking them to the potty once a day and making it a fun event. From there you keep building up, twice a day, three times a day. If by coincidence baby goes in the potty give it lots of praise! Babies are VERY smart, they will catch on quickly and you can kiss your diaper bill goodbye before you kid(s) turn 2. WHY OH WHY didn't I know this sooner! I should have registered for potty's not Bumbos!!!
So if you start late (after 2 yrs) like I did, plain and simple, you are at you kids mercy! If you've ever dealt with a kid during the terrible two's (or three's for that matter) you know what I mean! Who know's what's going on in their brains, with all their crazy whims, impulsiveness, and tantrums. Honestly, it's a miracle that any kid potty trains between the ages of 2-4! The term 'potty training readiness' really should be changed to 'does your child want to.' With the little resistance Caleb gave me I realized you cannot make a child do something that they don't want to! I struck gold with my three, yes I'm bragging, I deserve this one after all those sleepless nights, living attached to a pump for 4 months, and sacrificing everything else I've sacrificed since their conception! 'Thank you, thank you my boys for giving me this precious gift!' I just could not imagine another year of diapers! No No No No NO! Even though I was all stressed out, after thinking what it could have been like, it really was a piece of cake! I can't take a lot of credit, it was mostly them, they wanted to and they did. But a lot can be said about being as patient as possible and being as encouraging as you can be while the process is taking place. So that's my two cents and that's probably all it's worth, ha!
And a very special thanks to all that gave me advice, you know who you are! : )