Thursday, September 4, 2014

Potty Training, getting started.

Years ago when my oldest was getting ready to potty train I picked up the phone and called my grandmother, who better to get advice from than a woman who successfully potty trained all 16 of her children, and this was before the internet! Even though she was 1200 miles away her support and encourage meant was there.
The clock was ticking and I was in a hurry, pregnant with my second, there was no way I was going to have two kids in diapers.
 I asked her  many questions about when would I know she was ready and how do I even start to potty train? She went on to talk about how every child is different and it takes patients, her earliest was trained at 12 months (that was my mom, way to go!) and others took until they were three, but her best advice was to reassure me it would happen and not worry, she never had one leave for kindergarten in diapers.

First thing I did was run out and buy a package of Huggies Pull-Ups, I couldn't believe how easy they were to get on and off, she had no problems potty training and within 2 months she was wearing underwear and I delivered baby #2. My second was just as easy to potty train but #3 and #4, well I contemplated buying stock in Huggies many times. My boy took the longest, I actually gave up at some point and just let him be. It wasn't until the morning of his third birthday, he literally  woke up, went straight to the toilet and never had to use another Pull-Ups after that. Crazy.

I have several friends who currently are in some stage of potty training their toddlers, we're always sharing stories and advice, wondering when the last package of Pull-Ups will be. That right of passage and sweet victory can sometimes seem so far away, but it also means they're growing up and the next thing you know it's the first day of kindergarten.

Over the Labor day weekend we got to hang out with old friends, eat lots of handmade taffy, watch the annual parade of volunteer fire trucks, say goodbye to summer and take a ton of photos... especially of these two adorable kids and their doubly adorable dimples.

The 10 Signs of Readiness
Whether the start of potty training comes earlier or later for your child, you’ll get your cues on “when it’s time” from your child. That emerging independence starts shining through and they’re eager-to-please. Now is the time to start actively watching for these signs of readiness for potty training. Ask yourself if your child:
  • Stays dry for at least two hours.
  • Is dry after a nap.
  • Is uncomfortable in soiled diapers.
  • Shows increased interest in the bathroom.
  • Asks to use the toilet or potty chair.
  • Has regular and predictable bowel movements.
  • Asks to wear Big Kid or “grown up” underwear.
  • Uses words or body language when he or she needs to go.
  • Follows simple verbal directions.
  • Walks to and from the bathroom, helps undress his/herself.
If your child shows two or more of these signs, it’s a good indication that they’re ready to start potty training.

Pull-Ups® products are all about getting kids interested in potty training. That’s why our training pants have fun designs, and stretchy sides that let kids put them on and take them off — just like Big Kid® underwear.

Pull-Ups is all about saying “bye bye” to diapers and using Pull-Ups from the start of the potty training process, they enable learning and offer support tools and resources through the Big Kid Academy. Potty training is a journey that mom and child go through together, and Pull-Ups are a great help, teaching kids how to “pull up” their big kid underwear. 

In addition, they will learn about Pull-Ups® which can make the transition to Big Kid® underwear an easier one. Lastly, they have the opportunity to find more support and tips by enrolling in the Pull-Ups® Big Kid Academy.

Today’s post is sponsored by Pull-Ups, by my love for their Big Kid Academy option is all my own!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tea Tree Oil Homemade Healing Cream

A couple years ago I had a life threatening reaction to Neosporin, it was our go to remedy for all cuts and boo-boos but I was directed by my doctor to never use it again. So I went in search of an alternative. 

Turns out Tea Tree Oil a great  natural way to fight everything from Minor scrapes to Acne, Lice and Yeast Infections, to Cold Sores, Dandruff, Fleas, Warts, Psoriasis, and More.
 It can also be use to make your own Shampoo, Lotion, Soap, Face Cleaner, Body Wash, and Toothpaste. 

We already use Tea Tree oil de-tangler on our dog to keep her coat nice and smooth and ease the pain of brushing her.

 It can also be used as a natural Household Cleaner, Shower Sprays, Bathroom Disinfectant, and Kitchen Spray. Just a few drops goes a long way!

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Healing Cream


  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 TB beeswax (where to buy) equals 2-3 oz. if using bars 
  • 1/2 TB raw honey
  • 10 drops tea tree oil (where to buy)
  • 3 drops black walnut or pecan oil
  • diffused lemon verbena 
  • glass jars 

In a saucepan melt over low heat the coconut oil and grated bees wax (or beeswax pellets), while stirring mix in the olive oil and honey. Once everything is fully dissolved, turn off heat then add in oils. Pour into jars and stir for 5-10 minutes until fully cooled and smooth. 

It's really trial and error to get the cream to your liking but this recipe will get you started with using Tea Tree oil as a healing cream.

Adding more or less beeswax will determine the thickness of your healing cream.

I really enjoy the aroma of this Tea Tree Oil and I look forward to a more natural way of healing.

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting Organized with LyveHome and a Giveaway!!

I'm on vacation photo overload!

Our phone and iPad were totally full by the time we got back. Sometimes I have no idea what to do with all of it.
Photo organization is not my specialty.

The kids were completely exhausted after being in the van for 27 hours and I had mountains of laundry to, so needing them occupied started us on yet another hunter for our forever missing iPod.

Have you ever lost something and spent the next 10 months looking for it? Well then you'll understand the absolute frustration we've had searching for the kids iPod Touch. 

I remember the first thing I said when it went missing way back in November 2013 was to my son asking him to check the leather chair. Of course he looked and found nothing.

 Now jump ahead to August 2014, our first day back from our latest road trip and my 11 year old decided to look again to try and find it. I was no longer loaning out my iPhone for them to play Minecraft and it felt like every other sentence out of my mouth was, well if you only had the iPod.

 Stream decided after an hour looking around the cupboards that she'd go to the seen of the crime, the last known place where we saw him playing it, his favorite leather chair. 

A few moments later I almost didn't believe what heard, "I found the iPod Touch!"

 No way! right? and where had it been for nearly a year? Yep, the leather chair. The one he sits in almost daily. The same place he said it wasn't.

It was perfect timing too! We wanted to immediately copy and save all 1000+ photos from the iPod.
This was the same day LyveHome arrive at our door!!!

My urgency to collect and protect our photos on all handheld devices came after last years emergency rescue of my son from the bottom of the swimming pool (he's totally okay now, thank goodness) and on a lighter note, the funny story of my friend's daughter dropping her iPod full of vacation photos in to a port a potty. 

So needless to say I'm pretty eager to start protecting our memories and having easy access to sharing them with our family.

 I set up Lyve right in the livingroom, better known as grand central station around here. A perfect place to copy, share and organize our daily adventures.

After copying everything to our LyveHome the kids had a great time thumbing through the photos. 

My girls were freaking over the photos from last weeks trip of the giant alligator Zen and I spotted in the bay just 10 feet from us! And I was freaking over how grown up Luna and her friends, feels like just yesterday they were 7 years old in braids running our house playing dress-up. 

Taking photos has become crazy popular, camera phones have come along way and everywhere you look someone's clicking a pic or selfie and sharing it to a 100 friends within seconds. 

Makes me feel a bit old remembering how I use to wait a week before get my photos back from the lab and ordering double prints to share, yikes!

We already have over 3000 photos on our LyveHome!! Now the fun part, sharing with you a chance to have one of your very own.

GIVEAWAY the details:
LyveHome and the LyveApp allow you to collect, protect and rediscover over 1M photos, that's over 1,000,000 photos. 

Busy moms don’t have time to scrapbook; every family vacation, any many firsts, from baby's first steps to first day of school and Dad's first marathon can now live together, you can count on LyveHome for protecting your photos and #LyveMoments. 

LyveHome fits perfectly in to your home without losing the “homey” feel of family photos, on a bookshelf like I did, to a coffee table or on a hallway entry table." I especially love that it can display the time along as it scrolls of our latest family photos.

 Today, you have a chance to win a Lyve Home to protect, organize and share your family’s memories!!!

Here's how to enter to win a LyveHome of your own:
  1. Click on over to the LyveHome site (it will open in a new window).
  2. Take a moment to watch the “View Product Video”. 
  3. Then come back and leave a comment telling us how it would be most useful for your family. Winner is selected through comments made on this post.
Only one person will receive a LyveHome. 
Winner randomly chosen August 28th, prize value is $299.

 Winner of the LyveHome :
Kristen dreaperAugust 18, 2014 at 9:17 AM
How awesome! This is just what we need and I had no idea! I've been switching between 2 outdated computers with 3 cameras and 2 iPhones. This would eliminate all the frustration and anxiety over missing photos by not wanting to deal with the hassle to just plan missing them because they were lost on a device.
 U.S. Residents Only.

Thank you LyveHome for sponsoring today's discussion and helping me protect my precious memories!"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

You Look Amazing! #imENOUGH

A look back at the last three years feels like watching people puck on a roller coaster. From divorce to losing my job to a failing industry, starting a business, transitioning the children from homeschooling to public school and maybe back again, a new dog, a new house, a different state, and trying to adjust to a very different financial situation makes it hard to feel like I'm enough. I feel more like crawling under a rock. But I've been getting through it thanks to a few loyal friends who kindly remind me that I truly am enough, that my children are amazing because of me and that I'm an amazing person. You are awesome! Now it's time to look in the mirror and say those things to myself, I'm enough! But even harder is turning the camera on myself, yikes!... I usually leave it up to my kids to fill up this blog with cute photos. So here it goes....

Surrounded by my children's artwork makes me smile.

"The Mrs. will be releasing their debut EP this fall. Although the music may sound like what’s being played on pop radio right now, the lyrics tell a different story. As women in their late thirties/early forties, songs about teenage heartbreak and wild nights clubbing weren’t things they could relate to. They decided to write about their own lives - like the challenge of juggling a career, marriage, motherhood and friendships, while still trying to maintain their own identity. They set out to foster a connection through their music with other women at the same place in their lives. The Mrs. is comprised of drummer Andra Liemandt, lead vocalists/guitarists Mandy Prater and Jennifer Zavaleta, vocalist/keyboardist Larissa Ness, and bassist Jenny Mason."

What a fun video!   

Selfie on the left is me at 4pm still in my pj's and the selfie on the right 5:30pm finally dressed and ready to run errands. 

click for more on #imENOUGH AND The Mrs. Band

 Many thanks to The M sponsoring today’s story!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We've joined the Circus... so let's party!

Yes, putting together a mini Circus in our backyard was an insanely incredible feat for one!
 But so worth it, though sometimes I wonder if Pinterest is going to be the death of me. 
There are way too many great ideas which have taken my simplest of projects and spun them into hyper overdrive. 
... for example; applying contact paper to the wash tubs sounds easy enough but turned out to be a 8 store mad hunt for a product we all took for granted for decades, now it's almost impossible to find. I almost resorted to peeling it off my grandmothers kitchen shelves. 
Don't get me wrong I love Pinterest, but I was just as happy cutting a watermelon into triangle wedges , than I am spending hours creating a Sharkmelon.

three sisters with staches

So glad we found the Fred's crustache sandwich cutter, it was perfect for making mustache chocolate chip cookies.

Turns out the balloon pop was a huge hit and had kids lined up all afternoon, only to break away for the occasional snack and cake.

 I completely love that while everyone was singing happy birthday to "you", my birthday girl... I mean birthday unicorn hat girl, was singing happy birthday to "me"!
 and you can totally tell in the photos!

One of the highlights was having our wonder pup jump through a ring of fire! Little E practiced with her all week and to our sheer amazement she really did jump through the hoop on cue.

Clown noses and live goldfish went home in everyones goodie bags, I'm sure the local pet store's running on fish bowls this week.

I'm so obsessed with these Pottery Barn Kids birthday hats! Not only are they absolutely adorable and very well made, they stayed up on everyones head!

Pinterest inspired party pins:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

scouting we will go, a boy's life

It was a big weekend for cub scouts everywhere, continuing on to the next level and for us it was from Bears to Webelos. What do a few dozen scouts do in the woods besides becoming dinner for thousands of mosquitos? They do what boys like to do best; gather wood for the fire, go fishing, show off their pocket knives, run around, EAT and best of all have a great time (on the flip side my girls spent half the day in our minivan hiding from the bugs).

The big moment...his first walk across the bridge!!!

The boys were so proud of all their accomplishments for the year and it was group hug time for welcoming their new cub master. 

The fish weren't biting but learning to hook a worm and cast the line was just as much fun. Then it was time for the cub scouts perform a flag ceremony honoring the American flag by burning an old and tattered one, this one flew over our states capital.

Maybe next year we'll brave it and stay for the overnight camping. I can handle no running water, bugs and croaking bull frogs, but but they totally need to clean the outhouses before then. There's only so much "roughing it" a girl can take. 

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