Thursday, January 26, 2012

POTTY TRAINING!

In the last year, we've faced hospitalizations, the "testing two's," the adjustment of a newborn & having three under three.... but nothing even comes close to matching the experience of potty training.

In short.... LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE!

Okay, to be fair, Addison has done well with only a few accidents & has only been at it for four full days in which only one was at home with a normal routine, so it's hard to count the others! Also, this is MY first time so I'm already learning from my mistakes & victories. And while there are moments that I want to give up, I see the light at the end of the tunnel... which resembles a dollar sign...! 

So in hopes that my experience may help you in some form or fashion, I've written out a few things I've learned so far:

If your contemplating to potty train your child soon and you're expecting, do it before the newborn comes or wait until you're no longer nursing/pumping every 3-4 hours. Trust me, this becomes VERY inconvenient..

Potty charts work for some, not for others. I made one & put a picture of a "special prize" every five stickers so she had something to look forward to & could see what it was. While I thought this was genius on my part, I quickly learned that Addi didn't care about being rewarded, she was just going to go when she wanted to.. I'm not gonna lie, I was more excited about the chart than she was!

If your little one has siblings that aren't potty trained & you don't plan on training them at the same time, ship them off. Ha. No, but seriously. My mother-in-law took my 19-month-old for a couple of days, leaving me with just Addi & Cobi (who sleeps most of the time).  Huge blessing! This gave me the ability to give Addi more attention than I could've with her sister around.

Pull-ups took us a step backwards. She couldn't distinguish between those & regular diapers. We had to bite the bullet & just put her in "big girl undies" right off the bat & know that messes were going to be harder to clean up. BUT, the payoff was she instantly realized she had to hold it until she made it to the potty. 

If you have a kiddo like mine, you will need patience, patience & more patience. There were a couple of times that Addi knew she had to pee & refused to stop trying until she went... Good, right?! Well.. that left me sitting on a bathroom floor for an hour straight, right around the time I needed to pump (again, not good timing on my part) & make dinner. 

Lastly, but most importantly, trust your instincts. Heed advice from those around you, but know that what worked for them may not work for you. You know your child better than anyone else.. So whether you realize it or not, you're the only one that knows how to train your child in a way that they will respond well.. 


I'll reiterate an earlier point... This is only day four.. I am not an expert. So please post some useful tips for me or others that may need them! 

Happy Training. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Friend or Foe?

What is a true friend?

Now, don't give yourself the dictionary answer. I encourage you, take time to evaluate what characteristics you think a friend should have...  Loyalty... Trust... Adventure... Humor... Encouragement..... If you are struggling with an answer, just look at those surrounding you. What are they like? What makes them special to you? Why do you choose on a daily basis to care about those individuals?

So out of these "friends," how many edify you on a regular basis? I'm not talking about how many make you feel good, I mean how many help you grow... Stretch you... Push you to be better... Are you surrounded by people who say "go for it" even though they see you headed towards a dead end? Or are you surrounded by individuals who love and care about you enough to look you straight in the eye and graciously say they are worried about you, even if that means losing you as a friend?

Just like a marriage & parenting, sometimes friendships aren't pretty, but the healthy ones are there to help you achieve who you are called to be at any cost, not to be there as mere cheerleaders.

So... which friend are you? 

This is something I've been faced with a lot lately and as a parent, I'm going to have to help instruct my children on how to choose their friends wisely, but I must first be that example.. 

"He who walks with wise men will be wise; but a companion of fools will suffer harm"
Proverbs 13:20

"A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray."
Proverbs 12:26



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ideas for the kiddos.

Keeping it real, when you are trying to balance household chores, a newborn, cooking 3+ meals a day & just life in general, it's pretty easy to sit the older two girls on the couch with the iPhone & iPad & let them play "educational" games quietly...   That being said, it's not my FAVORITE thing to do.  I really do wish I had the time to just play with them (no electronics) & not have to worry about anything else, but that ain't happenin' anytime soon!!!

So, at the beginning of the year I decided to pick two days a week that we would try a craft, new game, or just something different from their everyday toys. Thanks to Pinterest, but mainly the awesome book where I think most of those ideas came from, "The Toddler's Busy Book," I was able to compile a list of 104 things to do over the year.

It has been sooo much fun doing these things! The added bonus of making your own list is picking two games/crafts/ideas with similar materials, making it easier on the pocket! However, I love Hobby Lobby so I have to limit my travels there & try to get a month's worth at one time so I'm not tempted several times a month!

Every now & then I'll post some pictures of our fun times. Hopefully inspire some of you moms out there!

Our first fun idea was putting Tempera Paint in a Ziploc bag. Mess free (thank you Jesus!). They were able to draw or just have fun moving the paint around. We kept these on our sliding glass door for several days & they kept going back to them.


My oldest, Addi, LOVES coloring so I thought it would be fun to get window crayons and let her go at it & keep it on there to show her dad when he got home (her favorite part!)

Our second activity of that week was color sorting.  Jae, 19 months, hasn't quite mastered the skill, but had fun learning to do it & say all the colors! I basically roamed all the aisles of Hobby Lobby trying to find cheap small items that matched the color of their eating bowls that we already owned.  I put all the items in a tub & let them go at it! Of course, they had a little bit of parental help.


This next idea I got from Pinterest. The original idea was to print a picture off, cut it & put it on popsicle sticks to make a puzzle. Well, with my children, paper taped or glued on anything is just asking for it to be ruined by the end of the day.  So, for a more permanent & reusable option, I drew shapes out of glitter glue directly onto the sticks.  This is a little too advanced for Jae, so Addi & I did this during her nap.  But when she woke up, she had fun just stacking the sticks! Bonus.


So be inspired moms & have fun with your little ones while you can! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Reality of 3 Under 3.

Just want to throw something out there for ya:

If you've ever come across someone that says having three kids under three is easy, they are either delusional, just trying to comfort you since you're going through the same thing, or too old to remember reality........ Haha. I'm kidding, but seriously... My children are pretty well behaved, eat & sleep well, but I don't think easy would be an accurate description of my day... In fact, it'd be a flat out lie! I mean, changing at least 15 dirty diapers a day, cleaning up orange juice out of the carpet, stepping on toys a million times, changing outfits several times due to blowouts, feeding & dressing three at the same time in the morning... all on five hours of sleep... it is a bit on the challenging side!

So here is my truth for those of you who've been misled:

Having three under three can be stressful, will probably be exhausting, and will definitely stretch you... BUT... I wouldn't have it any other way. At the end of the day, I could list out all the negative things that happened, but I couldn't possibly even begin to count how many smiles & hugs I got, how many giggles I heard, or how many times I heard "Love you mama." Those are the things that I want to remember forever.... Just so I can be one of those delusional old people that said it was easy.


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Oh yeah, and PLEASE feel free to comment. Whether it's random or pertinent to what I wrote, I'd love to read it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

here we go.

For months I've considered blogging, but really had no clue what I would write about... So here I am... Writing & deleting my opening statement a thousand times because I STILL don't know exactly what to say...

I guess I'll just start with the basics: In the last three years I graduated college, got married, became a homeowner, bought another dog (hindsight- probably not the best idea... but we'll get to that another time I'm sure...), stopped working and had three kiddos that are all one year apart in age.

Needless to say, I'm not sure how I'll find the time to write or what it'll be about, but I hope in one way or another, my transparency about being a stay-at-home mom will encourage, inspire or plain ol' entertain at least one of y'all... !!!

So here we go...








Wednesday, January 4, 2012

thank you.

You may or may not know, but this last year has been pretty tough in regards to the health of our family...

Long story short, our youngest daughter Jaelyn, at 6 months old had to be put on oxygen for over a month due to a virus.  We thought we were in the clear, but a few months later she got sick again, causing her to be on the oxygen once again.  The doctors said it's common for little ones to be hospitalized and need oxygen supplement for a few days when battling illnesses, but not twice in one year.  That being said, we have spent the last five months trying to figure out why she needs oxygen every time she gets sick.... Test after test... Specialist after specialist... Everything always comes back "normal." We still don't know why...

On top of that craziness, our other daughter Addison was hospitalized last week due to low oxygen caused from a simple virus... My first thought was, "WHAT THE HECK? SERIOUSLY? HER TOO?" I normally like to look on the bright side, but when your baby is crying and saying she's sad and just wants to go home, you can't help but break down and wonder why your kids are having to go through this..

I still don't have the answers to a lot of my questions and may never will... But what I do know is that in times like these, God dumps a big dose of humility on me.. I am so encouraged and humbled by how much support we have from those around us.. Whether it's getting a text asking if we need something or seeing a message on Facebook saying, "Praying for you," it gives me that much more strength and faith..

So... thank you. If I haven't been in the past, I hope to one day be the encouragement to you that you've been to me.


"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" - Proverbs 27:17