Friday, February 24, 2012

Remember the Little Things

It's Friday!! The end of the work week.. AS I reflected over my week today I thought of all I got done, all I didn't get done.
I usually see myself as a person with a pretty positive out look but I was shocked as I looked back over the pictures in my phone from this week that a lot of those LITTLE MOMENTS I had already forgotten. If some-one where to ask me about my week I would have said:

 "It was a cold and snowy week, we didn't play out side, Nothing really exciting, Just lots of doing the same motherhood tasks over and over again. I didn't get a whole lot accomplished."

BUT when I look at my pictures It was a great week!!

It snowed and we walked through gentle falling large flakes to have coffee with friends!
We made baked oatmeal and ate it with Frozen blueberries for breakfast!
we read stories!
We played a game of Wednesday afternoon monopoly!!
We colored pictures!
We had ice cream!
We visited a nature center!
We had a great AHG troop meeting!

It's lime to unload!! Unload all the stress and frustrations of the work week!
Maybe you're a Mama who works outside of the home, and maybe you are a Stay At Home Mom or a Work at home Mom, Whoever you are.. the weekend is nigh and it's time to let down your hair, get into your comfy clothes and distress!! Make yourself a cup of tea and relax. Think back over the week and try hard to remember all the little happy things that make life worthwhile!!

We all have to unwind sometime. We need to slow down and smell the sweet breath of our babies. We need to take time to color a picture with our preschoolers, heart to heart talks with our preteens. It IS those things that matter after all. It's the little moments that counts. 

So here's to Remembering the LITTLE things! You and me Both!! Each Friday we will meet here to create a Link -up of Photos from your week to help you and me both to remember all the little happy moments. To help each other count our blessing!!

So Go ahead. Dump your Photos unto a blog post and link up!! It doesn't have to be anything with fancy words or fancy pictures!! Just a bunch of moms sharing the highlights of their week!! Follow the other linked blogs and stop by to encourage other Mamas!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Potty training tips

So it's time???

 Time to say good by to diapers??

 Or maybe it's not time yet but you want to be prepared for when the time comes. I have successfully potty trained my 4 children, some with much less stress than others. But when it came 'time' to potty train my 4th and last baby I realized that with all 4 babies the stages we hit were all very much alike! So if your a first time mom or even a mom that wants to make potty training less of a struggle this time, please have a read and feel free to add in the comments what were some things that worked for you and what didn't. This way moms can gather a whole bunch of tips all at one place!
I did have a bit of an attachment to my cloth diapering habit and, ummm... didn't act on Hadassah's 'Ready to train' cues as early as I probably should have! :)
Because cloth diapered babies are just so stinkin cute!

My Potty Training Outline
  • Potty training starts much earlier than most moms think. It's not just a 'Now we're going to potty train' kind of thing. It starts as soon as your baby toddles with you into the bathroom when you 'Go'. yes! that's right. You let that baby toddle with you to the bathroom and tell them exactly what you are doing. "mommy's going potty'. "Listen, mama is peeing". "now we wash our hands." This isn't exactly 'Potty Training' but it IS laying the ground work for it. You are getting your child familiar with all the lingo of potty trained toddlers.

  • Talk to them about what happened when you change their diaper. "Oh, your diaper is WET, Lets get you a DRY diaper!"   "That feels MUCH BETTER."  Try not to let your baby get used to the wet feeling. Changing them when they are wet especially after 12 mo of age is helpful. They need to learn that dry feels MUCH BETTER than wet.

  • Poop!! this one is easy if you are willing to do it! When your baby is a toddler, and you change a poopy diaper, have them follow you to the potty and watch as you dump the solids out of the diaper and into the potty all the while telling them, "This is poop, we will put it in the potty and flush it. All better! Good Job!!"       Doing this only a few times will start that connection with 'this is where poop belongs'. You can do it Mama!!!  It doesn't have to be EVERY time.  I did this with my last 2 babies a lot (because I cloth diapered) and by 18 month both of them were successfully pooping in the potty 90% of the time! :)

This 'Pre-training' stage will start when your child is around 12-18 mo and continue until you see signs of the next stage. This will become a subconscious effort on your part over these month. It won't be EVERY time. Just TALK to them about whats happening and DON'T close the bathroom door unto their natural curiosity! :)

  • The next stage: this can happen anywhere from 18mo. to 3 yrs. It usually starts with your toddler bringing you a clean diaper when he needs to be changed. This Normally does NOT mean that they are ready to be potty trained. BUT it IS a normal and VERY healthy part of the journey!  This is also an important stage to change them As soon as they are wet so they don't get used to the 'wet feeling.' Continue to talk to them about the functions, "You are wet because you peed in your diaper." etc.

  • The next stage is when the toddler learns to 'hold' their pee or poop. (you CANNOT teach them to 'Hold it', it is developmental stage and they cannot 'Hold it' before that muscle/brain development has happened.)They will do this because they know they will feel wet or dirty when they 'let go'. You will know when this happens because you will come to change the toddler, say, after a nap or before going out, and their diaper will be DRY! :) THIS is a happy day!! :)  excitedly comment on the fact that they didn't wet the diaper and ask them if they would like to put their pee in the potty. (by this time these words, Pee, and potty are very familar and they will know EXACTLY what you are asking. Encourage them to sit on their little potty (preferably right close to yours) and try to pee while you sit and go yourself!! Yes!! You couldn't pee either if someone stood their waiting and staring at you! :) If it happens GREAT!! if not. no big deal! You'll just try again the next time the diaper is dry!

  • Start showing and talking to your toddler about underwear. show them how your (or a sibling's) underwear is DIFFERENT than diapers. Tell them that soon when they are a bit bigger they will wear them too and they will put their pee and poo in the potty and no longer in their diaper. Underwear should become a HUGE part of your bathroom conversation.

  • When your Child comes to you and asks to wear underwear, THEY ARE READY!! It's a GREAT day!!  Take them to the store, let them pick out the underwear (NOT TRAINING UNDERWEAR the point is to let the accident pee run right through the thin underwear down their legs so that they get a real good feel for what happens) all the while talking about how you can't pee or poop in underwear because it feels REAL yucky! Buy a couple pairs of legwarmers too and a pair or 2 of HaddyGrace shoes that will wash up perfectly, clear your calendar as much as you can for a few days to a week so that you can focus on the trainee as much as possible

  • On the DAY of first wearing under wear expect accidents. Take your child potty at least every 45min. More like every 15 min if they drink from their sippy all day. If the child has too many accidents take them more often. If the child has success make a big deal out of it!! If after a day or 2 the child even with lots of encouragment starts NOT wanting to go potty, It's ok, put the underwear away and back up to the previous step again! No big deal! :)

  • If you are having success, gradually let the time go longer. 1 hr maybe and if the toddler is still dry, Great!! they are definitely 'Holding it.' this is when you can start relaxing a bit and watch the clock. :) when the toddler comes to you and says 'I have to Pee!' that's even better!! any progress is cause for great celebration!!
your looking for less accidents and more success as the week progresses. after a week you should be able to look back and see that the toddler has made progress. Do not switch back and forth from underwear to diapers (except for night time) this is confusing. When you go out just plan an hourly stop and take a change of clothes or 2.

If after a week there is NO progress the child isn't ready. NO big deal!! take comfort in the fact that there is a reason diaper sizes quite at a certain weight! Kids don't need them anymore! :) Your child won't be the exception! :)

The independent stage: Most toddlers go through a 'I can do it MYSELF' or 'You can't MAKE me stage.' If they choose to make pottying a part of this establishing Independence stage, Don't fight it! YOU cannot MAKE a child Pee! So don't turn it into a battle! just put them in diapers and go back to the pre under wearstage until they are ready again! And THEY will be! :)


Things that are detrimental to Potty trainees:
Sippy cups

Please feel free to add your tips in the comments! I would love to hear them!!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Annual 'I Miss Summer' post and link up party

It's that time of year!!!  Yes time for my annual 'I miss summer' Blog.

 I always know I am coming down with a BAD case when early in February I stop reading blogs from Florida or any other warm place on earth! (can't take the Jealousy). 

 It usually happens gradually with things like:
 Buying an excessive amount of fresh food from the grocery store trying to re-create the taste of garden fresh veggies of summertime.
Trying to go for walks and bike rides on days when it looks sunny and warm outside but having to turn around and come back into the house because the wind is coming straight from the Arctic.

 And finally one day I succumb to the malady completely by looking through last summer's photos!!

Endless hours of fun in the sun!!!

 Bare toes and green grass

 Parades, picnics and the smell of sunkissed toddler skin!!
Photos by my BFF Beka Fox ! Take a look at her Etsy shop !! All proceeds of her shop go into funding her family's dream to ADOPT!! Isn't that exciting??

 SUMMER!!!  no doubt my FAVORITE season of the year!!

What's your favorite season???

Here's what's Happening in my Etsy shop!! We're gearing up for Spring and Easter!!!!

Peasant style Pink and cream dress WITH legwarmers!! Buy it here

And another pillowcase dress!!  Buy it here

 AND the matching boy outfit!! here

Manic Monday Link up!!!!
here's a glimps of a photo shoot.

Link up your Blog and follow others on the link up list!!  Tell them you found them on Manic Monday Link up!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Valentine Cards ; Make Something Monday

Valentines Day..  A day for Lovers, an excuse to get a babysitter and go to a fancy restaurant. But what is Valentines Day when you are in Elementary school?? Hmmm?

 A Day of CANDY!!  Oh yes there are cards too, the ones with candy attached go onto the 'Priority' pile. the ones with no candy get, at the best a 2nd glance. And it really doesn't matter who sent you which card, or which card was from a boy or  girl. All that matters is how big is my pile of candy! 

Here is a great Idea for making your own Valentines day cards.  Take a photo of your child with an outstretched fist. Upload it to your favorite photo editing site (I use my Creative Memories software) to add words or anything you like to make the photo more festive.

After you get your photo developed take a razor blade and cut to slits like this, and insert Lollipop!

  VIOLA!!  Happy Valentines Day!!

And here is what's new in my Etsy Shop this week is the very first of the HaddyGrace spring line!

The "Daisy" dress, Buy it here.

There will be plenty of items for baby boy in my shop this spring!!! including a new style of shoes and plenty of Easter outfits!!

So link up your Blog!! Don't worry if it's not a crafty Blog.. Writing a blog is 'Making Something' So link up and find and follow new blogging friends!
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe: Make something Monday

Do you  find it challenging to keep fresh fruit in your fridge in the winter time??  Me too!!
It's not that it's not available.. Grocery stores have a beautiful display of fresh fruits and veggies. BUT it just isn't as tempting as 'In-season' fruits and veggies..  Fruits and veggies just look so much more tempting on a farmers market table with the grower smiling over them, or even better warm from the sun a directly from your own garden or a pick-your-own field.

So When I do Buy fresh fruits:  Grapes???? my family eats them like candy and they are gone in 1 day, Strawberries are gone with in hours. Bananas last for a few days.. however,  ... APPLES.... they are inexpensive, last for weeks and make the perfect snack!!  Until about January then everyone gets tired of them and it takes me a couple grocery trips to realize that my apples are piling up and I have a whole bunch of wrinkly apples on hand!

That's when I make this super EASY APPLE CRISP!!!

2 Quarts sliced or diced apples, approx 8-10 apples
1 cup white sugar
3 TBS flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Mix these 5 ingredients together and put in greased 9x13 pan

3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
mix together until crumbly, put on top of apple mixture.
Bake at 350 for approx 40 min, or until it looks slightly toasted over the top.

this is a great recipe to let your little ones get hands on with because if the need to sample it all you don't need to worry about raw eggs!

On my To-DO list for this week is to get these photos of my Daughters turned in to Valentines day Cards!
I will put some Valentine words on them using my Creative Memories software and then when I get them printed we will cut a slit above and below her fist and insert a lollipop.

Staci's will say 'I will be your friend "NOW AND LATER".

With the "Now and Later" being the candy double-stick taped onto her hand!

Don't forget to keep an eye on my Etsy Shop as I will be adding Easter outfits real soon!!!  Brother sister outfits among them!!!

Go ahead, Link up your Blog! Visit all the other blogs that are linked up and let them know that you are stopping by from 'Make somethingMonday'

This is a great way to gain new followers!!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Warning: All Mothers of Sons

Do you have a son? If you do then you will probably be able to relate to what happened to me the other day. If you don't have a son yet, you might want to read this anyway because it will prepare you for what is ahead.

It didn't happen right away. When he was a baby it was pretty similar to  mothering my girls. But suddenly around 12 mo he started doing things and having an interest in things that I had never noticed before. The more wheels something had the longer it held his interest. The more dangerous something looked the more he was likely to try it. The noisier something was the bigger it's 'cool factor'..

Here is the SON at 2 yrs old!!

This interest in all things macho left me struggling to entertain him! I struggled all day trying to come up with 'Cool' things for him to play with, and just when I'd think I finally found something with the required 'macho' factor Daddy would walk in and I would be left out in the cold.

UNTIL I read a blog post about this one mama who bought old kitchen appliances and let her son's dismantle them! YES that was exactly the thing for me!!  And Mitchell loved it although he looked at it as fixing things for mom because mom doesn't know how... And we all know that letting boys/men know they are needed is important, so I just let him think he was fixing it for me because I didn't know how.

Until Yesterday: His 'Job' was to dismantle the old blender. (always cut off the cords to prevent them from trying to plug it in).  I was paying a bit of attention because he kept going out to the garage to get more tools and I needed to watch that he doesn't bring in something dangerous.  He needed a wrench to take off a bolt, headed to the garage and came back in with ONE wrench... AND it was EXACTLY the right size!!!! 
Now I don't know about you, but if that would have been me I would have come back in with about 6 wrenches and NONE of them would have been the right size!!!

Yes, it was an important day in our mother son relationship.. It was the day that He no longer needed me to find the tools of the trade for him. It was the day I realized that he had passed up all my knowledge of all things tool related.. 

Tires are made for burning out!!

So here's a salute to all Mothers of Sons! And to all of you who are about to be mothers of sons, Prepare your heart to fall completely and totally in love with that little man.. And If you think you are crazy in love with your little man now.. watch out because when he starts walking and talking just like his Daddy,...  Mush!! Your heart will be JUST MUSH!!!

Like father, Like son!!!

Thanks for reading and Enjoy your SON!!!!