I don't really like the term "potty training". It sounds so harsh. But I don't know what else to call it so potty training it is.
There are so many methods to accomplish your goal. Pee and Poop in the toilet instead of a diaper. Everyone accomplishes this goal differently as every kid and ever parent is different so obviously you have to do what is best for you.
Here's what has worked for us. Did I mention Lucy has been diaper free during the day for over 2 weeks? woohoo! yea! So all that second-guessing myself in my parenting abilities might have been wrong after all!
We've actually been "potty training" unofficially for about 6 months. Sometime before Lucy's second birthday I bought some little potties and seats to set on the big potties and started sitting her on them before and after naps, before and after bedtime, and randomly throughout the day. Sometimes she would read a book, sometimes she wouldn't want to sit there, and sometimes she would magically pee. That was reward time. Her choice was a jelly bean.
So it became a bit of a routine. No pressure. Just something we did throughout the day.
Then a few weeks ago we decided that we would take her diaper off for the day, set her on the potty more often and see how it went. It wasn't really planned, we just decided that morning as we had kind of a quiet weekend (finally) and would be home quite a bit. She had 2 accidents that morning but quickly caught on and went on the potty every time after that. That evening we were watching a movie with Lucy was sitting between us on the couch. About halfway through she said these magical words, "dad, mom, I have to go potty". I almost melted. She got it!
Because she hasn't quite figured out for sure if something needs to come out, something is coming out, or if it is just a toot, I have set up a little potty station in the kitchen. Oh, and we had a lesson in pulling down your own pants so that mommy doesn't have to come over every 5 seconds to put you on the potty when it is just a toot. I am also learning to not be embarrassed when we are in public and she announces "Mom, I have a big poop coming out!" Or a term my wonderful husband taught her "Mom, I need to lay a big brown egg!"
So it hasn't been totally smooth sailing for the past two weeks. I had to get over my paranoia about leaving the house with her in panties instead of that diaper that soaks all of that gross stuff up. She's been fine. I've been fine. She actually likes going into public bathrooms, making a nest out of a toilet paper and having mommy hover her over the potty. It's like a fun adventure.
Here's the only problem I've faced so far. Leaving her in a setting where there are a bunch of other kids and only a couple of caretakers. For example: I go to a tuesday morning bible study and she is in child care, we have MOPS meetings ever other thursday and she is in child care, and she goes into the nursery every sunday morning. I would have never understood until I worked in the nursery for the first time this sunday morning. It is nearly impossible to get the potty trainers taken care of. It is nearly impossible to keep them all happy while keeping your own sanity in there. (child care was obviously not my calling in life) I doubt if Lucy is ready to speak up to a stranger to tell them that she needs to go. We'll work through it.
So, all in all I would consider this past few weeks a success. I totally expect to hit a few bumps in the road along the way (read: peeing on the floor at Rudy's market). They happen. I'm learning to go with the flow, have back up clothes and not stress out about accidents.