I love for my children to get the “I told you so” from their own choices.  I try to warn them and keep them safe as much as I can, but there does come a time when they have to experience things first hand in order to get it.  That is exactly what happened today.  My youngest and I do our shopping when the big sister is at preschool.  My youngest gets to feel important in our very own one on one time.  When shopping, I usually let her walk next to me unless we are in a hurry.  If we are in a hurry, she gets the choice of sitting in the small baby part or the large basket part.  She usually asks to be in the larger part, however, she tends to want to stand instead of sit.  I told her on numerous occasions how unsafe standing in the cart could be.  She never listens and instead of fighting with her, I just kept a good eye on her.  Usually this really is not a problem because most shopping cart baskets are tall enough to keep her safe.  However, today we visited a store with much smaller, shorter baskets.  So I go through my whole “its unsafe to stand in the cart.  You could fall out and hurt yourself” lecture and she kept on standing.  Today was the day where the natural consequence unfortunately came into play.  She was leaning backward on the cart as I was slowly pushing her and out she tumbled onto the floor.  I hear a small thump as her head bumped the floor and the eruption of crying and screaming.  Lucky for me this is winter in Michigan and she was wearing a winter coat with lots of padding and her hood, so that cushioned her fall.  But she unfortunately learned a very valuable lesson.  Now I don’t recommend this as a teaching tool, because kids can get seriously injured falling out of grocery carts.  She had a little guardian angel with her today as she recovered quite quickly with no apparent bruising.  However, she probably will never stand up in the cart again!  Mission accomplished??!!

Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about shopping cart safety:

Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.

– St. Augustine of Hippo

I read these words today and cannot be more blessed for all the wonderful people that have walked into my life.  I am forever grateful to have known you all.


The other morning, I was enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee and watching my oldest child pretend to be the mom to my youngest.  She was covering her up with a blanket, bringing her a drink and some snacks, reading stories to her.  It was the sweetest thing, that is until one of them crossed the line with the other.  I don’t know what or how it happened and I was in the room with them.  But all of a sudden, the mood changed.  Being only 20 months apart, they still have a problem with the yours, mine, and ours part of their relationship.  They tend to get into some pretty heated disagreements that to me resemble a girly, WWF match.  Imagine lots of scratching, hair pulling, and smacking during one of their love fests.  Mind you, this typically lasts only 30 seconds, because I will intervene and have them get back into their separate corners (insert bell sound here), but nonetheless they both end up crying and losing.  Some days I feel more like a referee than a mother.  They find out quite quickly and concretely that there are no winners when problems are solved with violence.  Kids are so smart to figure this out at such a young age.  Too bad the leaders of our country don’t take advice from young children. 


So not only are we cooped up inside due to illness over here, but we are stuck inside due to an Arctic Blast storm that continues to dump snow on this part of the world for what seems like forever!  Mothers definitely are earning extra special bonus points with the Big Guy during these points in our lives.  I think I actually grew wings today.  I have two sick kids, a sick husband, I too am recovering from the flu, and still manage to make sure that everyone is medicated, fed, and wearing clean clothes.  When I am able to dig out of this house child free, a major pampering will be due without hesitation or budget discussion!  Amen!


When I had children, I knew that they would be the most beautiful of God’s gifts that I could ever receive.  What I didn’t know was that this also gave me superhero like qualities.  I used one of those magic abilities last night.  I was in the deepest sleep imaginable, however, I was still able to be wakened by the sounds of a convulsing child in the other room.  Unfortunately my husband did not inherit this gift, because he didn’t make a sound.  I secretly believe his special gift is to ignore the outside world when sleeping with an almost stealth-like ability. 

Anyways, you might wonder how this is turning into useful information to share?  When having to change sheets in the middle of the night, whether it be for infant spit-ups/drool, bed wetting, or vomiting in my case, I layer the bed.  I put a crib size waterproof mattress pad down first, then a fitted sheet, and repeat for a couple of layers.  So when your half asleep in the middle of the night, all you have to do is take off the wet layer and a fresh clean layer in underneath.  These mattress pads can be found at most stores that sell crib sheets.  You can usually get 2/$8.  When I registered for baby gifts, I asked for several of these.  I also found a bunch on clearance a few years ago.  I now layer both of my girls’ beds at night incase of night wetting or random vomiting. 

For more great ideas, head on over to Don’t Try This At Home who is hosting WFMW this week while Shannonis OOT.  

It is so hard to imagine what my life would be without my little ballerina princess!  I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to be her mom.  I never really knew real unconditional love until her. 


This fall I decided to take my oldest out of school.  I was very unhappy with the direction of the class, granted it is just preschool, but when I’m paying for it, I wanted it to be a worthwhile experience.  The teacher had many challenges at the beginning of the year.  She was a new teacher (not new to teaching, but new to the school) and many challenging children (not mine, of course).  I was quite unhappy from the start, but I was very patient.  I knew that I had very high standards and I tend to be overcritical when it comes to early childhood education.  However, there were only 9 children in the classroom and two paid staff.  The teacher was still asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom.  I certainly was not volunteering.  The reason I put her in preschool was for social time away from me so that she can gain independence and feel successful by her own achievements.   I went to the director with my concerns on several occasions, but the director thought that this teacher was wonderful and that things should work themselves out.  I even offered my assistance, but the director insisted that this teacher had all kinds of experience working with challenging children and she had all the faith in her ability to manage the classroom.  After two months of patience and nothing changing besides two of the challenging children finding alternative schools, I was done!

We took some time off and we started a little homeschooling.  I bought some bookshelves and set up a small work area to be separate from the play area.  The girls had fun doing their work.  However, everyday almost for two months, my oldest kept asking me to go back to school because she missed her friends.  She is such a social butterfly.  So, my quest of homeschooling had ended as I re-enrolled her in preschool.  I found a preschool that was in the afternoon which works better for her since she really likes her sleep.  She was so excited for her first day of school that she woke up on her own at 8:30, early for her.  She came downstairs already dressed and proceeded to get her coat and boots on.  Her preschool doesn’t start until 11:15.  I did manage to get her to take off her boots, but she left her coat on until it was time to leave.  When we got to school, she jumped right in and got to work.  She was too cute. 


***Disclaimer:  This is a somewhat graphic bowel movement story.  You’ve been warned!***

The toileting adventure is going better than expected.  Other than separation anxiety, she was always good at transitions.  She went into her crib after 8 months of co-sleeping with no problems or screaming.  She weaned beautifully, although I secretly wished for her longing need to hang on to this one.  She moved from a crib to a big girl bed without missing a beat.  So, I guess I’m not that shocked that she took to this new challenge with such vigor. She was a little concerned at first about letting go of number 2, but she quickly realized that she literally couldn’t hold it in.  I mentioned in the past, at home she typically is either naked or in panties.  Today she was naked and busy playing in the playroom when she exclaimed, “Momma, I gotta poop”!  Now, she is 13 stairs away from the potty chair.  She starts walking up the stairs when it starts coming out.  Lucky for me, it was not a runny one, and it was easy to clean up.  I carry her up the last few steps and help her to the potty where she happily finished her business while reading.  In the past, I’ve talked about ways to extend literacy at home and this is no exception. 


Please see my previous entry, The Readin’ Room, if you are so obliged.  She is coincidentally reading the book, Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi.  I have to say in the past four days, she only had one miss when Daddy was in charge and I was at the grocery.  He forgot that she might need some reminders while playing outside.  We had some unscheduled outings today and she did fabulous.   We visited a preschool for the older sister (she used the toilet there), we went to Target (she used the toilet there) and made two other stops before getting back home.  We were gone about 4 hours and no accidents!   If I didn’t think that she was up for the task, I wouldn’t do it, but she was so ready.   I know we still have some rough waters ahead, but for now, I’m so proud of my Big Girl!

Since it is January in Michigan and we really don’t leave the house much I figured now is a good time to be under house arrest.  No, I didn’t commit any crime (at least none that I can think of).  I’ve decided to start toileting my two year old.  I figure a good one week in the house should do it.  She actually has been interested in doing this since she was about 18 months old watching her big sister and since I am never able to use the bathroom in private, I too am an apparent role model.  I figure I should use the lack of privacy to my advantage and teach some useful life skills.  I dream of the day when I can be like their father and actually use the readin’ room without child assistance.  Oh, the dreams I have!!

Anyways back to my plan.  I have strategically placed potty chairs throughout the house.  Since we live on three different levels, I need the potty chairs to be conveniently placed within a few steps of the words, “I have to go potty”!  So, I have one near all three bathrooms of my house.  I keep her mostly naked (just in a pair of panties and perhaps an undershirt) since she prefers to be that way anyways.  Besides, clothing really gets in the way of emergency bathroom breaks.  This also reduces my laundry load.  Wet panties only take up a small amount of space.   Here is a picture of her usual wardrobe.


Today is day two under house arrest and things are going wonderful.  Yesterday we only had three potty misses.  Today only one, but that was my fault.  I forgot to put the potty seat back down on the floor.  In my experience toilteting success is only worthwhile if the adults help the child focus with lots of assistance, even more adult supervision, and lots and lots and lots and lots of reminders. 

In all actuality this is only one week or two of being stuck in the house.  It does take some planning, but we are finding all kinds of things to do.  We are packing away the holiday decorations, sorting the toys for Goodwill donations or to sell on Ebay, and de-cluttering the house.  I wouldn’t do this if she wasn’t physiologically ready for this step.  She was already displaying the typical signs of being ready to use the toilet: 

  • Can grasp a small object between her thumb and forefinger. This shows she is developing control over various muscles, including bowel and bladder muscles.
  • Uses words for urinating and bowel movements.  Child lets you know they have wet pants or needs to use the potty.
  • Consistently lets you know they have wet or wants their diaper changed.
  • Is aware of a full bladder and the urge to have a bowl movement. They may pace, jump up and down, or pull at his pants or genitals.
  • Can dress and undress herself.  Learning to use the toilet will be easier when they can do these tasks for themself.
  • They are dry for periods of two or more hours at a time. If they are not dry for this length of time, they are not physically ready to use the toilet.

When I was toilet training my oldest, I purchased the Once Upon a Potty set.  It was very helpful and useful.  We are excited for this rite of passage in our household.  Later this week we have our first outing planned as the big sister attends dance class.  I’ll keep you posted.  Wish us luck!

They say that imitation is one of the best compliments.  I found this so true after my second child was born.  To say that she was colic was a complete understatement.  She was born yelling and honestly didn’t really stop until she was about one.  After her first hospital bath, the nurse brought her back to me screaming of course, and replied, “Good Luck!”  Oh, the memories!  So my oldest spent lots of time mimicking me being a mommy.  She would sit next to me on the couch, breastfeeding her babies.  Everyone of her ‘babies’ still has Desitin smeared all over their bottoms.  (If anyone has a tip for removing diaper cream from plush, please send it my way!)  She would put her babies over her shoulder and follow me around the house, “shushing” and bouncing to get our babies to fall asleep.

To this day she is still so interested in doing everything her mommy does.  I mentioned in the past that I have a strong infatuation with Ebay.  My kids have watched me get my items ready, take the digital picture, package the item up, get it ready to post and ship.  They’ve spent hours with me at the post office entertaining themselves and the postal workers as they try to beat the world record for most Priority Mail Labels stuck to themselves.  I often see her get some of her baby doll clothes, wrap them up, and put them in some sort of packing.  I didn’t know the extent of her observation skills until I came home after a small night out with friends.  Awaiting me in the entry way was this:


Here are all her little Ebay packages waiting to go to the post office.  The next day, she brought them over to me and said, “Let’s see what Mr. Paul (our letter carrier) brought us today!”  She proceeded to open her packages with the same enthusiasm as one could imagine on Christmas morning!  I love her!