I skipped this post at the time BIG things were happening but it seems like if I'm keeping a record of everything else in B.'s life these were pretty important milestones.
It was our second attempt at getting rid of the paci so for anyone else who's tried and failed, don't feel bad. Just try again a few months later. This time was all about the lead up...every day for weeks before his 3rd birthday we talked about how he would be giving his paci to a neighbor's baby who really needed it. So the day after his birthday we made the swap, he gave away the paci and in return she "gave" B. a couple of trucks I bought and secretly dropped off the day before.
Nothing really registered until that evening when he realized what had actually gone down. He cried for a few minutes, cursed out the neighbor's baby (she's moving soon anyway so he'll never actually get to be friends with her and discuss this little bit of parental trickery) and then went to sleep. The same thing happened every night for 5 days. And then it stopped. He still doesn't like the baby but seems to have forgotten all about the paci.
As for the pee, we went cold turkey the week before his third birthday. No diapers. He had a week off preschool so it gave us the time we needed to spend at home. The first two days were probably a 50/50 ratio of pee to toilet versus pee everywhere else. And the livingroom rug will definitely be in the trash by the of this year. (At this point, it's probably twice as toxic as a hotel comforter). But he started figuring it out by day three and we were 99.9 percent there by day five. Now he's peeing exclusively in the toilet except for at night when I put him in a diaper. He's waking up dry but I'm not rushing the overnight bladder control just yet.
The most helpful thing for me was keeping a schedule of when he peed. The accidents and the successes. It helped me figure out that B. only pees every two to three hours. So when I was pressuring him to go every 30 minutes he would just get annoyed and refuse to go to the bathroom. Once I had his timing figured out I just left him alone until at least a couple of hours passed.
Now we're tackling poop. It's been a month since he started peeing in the toilet and he's just agreed to sit for number two due to massive bribery involving chocolate and trips to the toy store. Before this week he would tell me when he needed to poop, I'd put on a pull-up and then put him back in underwear after he went to the bathroom. Fingers crossed we're completely out of daytime diapers in the next week or two.