Friday Finds: Bliss

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Ring dish by Chrissy Ann Ceramics 

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Chunky snood scarf by VeraJayne

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Deer pillow cover by GargaProject 

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Heart padlock by The Lonely Heart

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Wooden earrings by The Paisley Mill

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Love sign by old.new.again. 

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Card by Hello Small World 

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Soy candle by Sydney Hale Co.

Have a fantastic weekend!

You Know You’re a Parent When…

1.  The laundry hamper actually fills back up with more dirty clothes as you are filling the washing machine.  Oh, and the dishwasher, too.

2. You spend half your day in the bathroom, most likely sitting on the floor next to the toilet, singing songs and reading books just so your child can relieve him/herself.  Oh, and the whole bathtime routine…

3. Your new signature scent is called “spit up.”

4. You’ve had the abc’s or some other kid song stuck in your head for two weeks.  And once you finally get that one out of your head, a new one magically appears.

5. You’ve caught vomit.

6. You’ve caught poop.

7. You’ve started saying the phrase, “That’s so neat!”

8. You say the words “More please,” “Thank you,” and “Excuse me” 18,000 times a day (to model polite manners of course).

9. You’ve been surviving on nothing but coffee and cold scraps of food leftover from your toddler.

10. You’ve become quite skilled at using the NoseFrida, a.k.a. the Snot Sucker, and you’re pretty damn proud of it!

11.  You’re an expert at doing things with one hand, most often the opposite of your dominant hand, while standing on one leg, squatting to pick up something that dropped on the floor (most likely a pacifier), while holding your infant and helping your other child/children accomplish some important feat that obviously cannot wait (ie. getting a snack, going potty, finding the one ball that’s rolled under the couch yet again…)

12. You now soley rely on text messages to communicate with the outside world because God forbid there be no screaming, singing, or drumming children in the background of your phone conversation.

13. Your car looks like a landfill.

14.  You forgot what color your refrigerator is because it’s covered in your kids’ masterpieces.

15. You love eating puffs.

16. You have to hide to eat your chocolate.

17. Going to Target alone at 9:00 pm is a relaxing night out. 🙂

18. You can’t stay awake for any movie.

19. You have no idea what’s going on in the world, but you can recite every Sesame Street episode.

20. Your body inadvertently rocks back and forth no matter where you are or what you’re doing, even when you’re out at the bar.

I hope you enjoyed my list, which was actually prompted by a comical visit with the kids’ pediatrician.  Feel free to add more in the comments section!  I’d love to hear yours!  Have a great weekend!

 

Friday Finds: Bold Patterns

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Buffalo art print by Melinda Wood Print Designs

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Zippered bag by Honeyflower Designs

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Rainbow birthday outfit by Lil Nicks

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Geometric pillow cover by 5C Home Decor

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Rainbow paper straws by Little Free Radical

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Geometric cat collar by Made by Cleo

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Geometric iPhone 5 Case by Happy Rabbitz 

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Geometric wood beads by LikeBeads8 

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Bunting flags by Boo Bah Blue

Friday Finds: Summer Nights

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Smoky Quartz Kyanite Statement Bracelet by by Jodi

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Cosmetic bags by jayciMay

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Mint dress by Baymut

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Linen scarf by LAEVIDESIGN

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Druzy necklace by burnish

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Essential lotion by Winsome & Green

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Stackable bracelets by STIACOUTURE

Have a great weekend!

Packing for two: What’s in my diaper bag!

Once Ally got over her 3 month colicky phase, and we actually started taking both kids out into the world ( 🙂  ), I found myself packing two (TWO!) bags!!!  One was the actual diaper bag, and one was another bag filled with extra clothes and anything else that wouldn’t fit in the diaper bag.  Now, I totally realized that this was so ridiculous.  But we had so.much.stuff.  I loved my stylish (and very expensive!) handmade diaper bag that I had purchased off etsy (view it here).  But I was quickly coming to realize that it just wasn’t big enough for two kids.

It was killing me to think about spending more money on another diaper bag…I had already purchased two!  The first one was a Lisa Lill bag that was so big but the problem was that it had no pockets (if you’re a mom then you know this is essential otherwise your diaper bag quickly becomes the black hole of baby goods).  The second one (the etsy bag) had lots of pockets on the inside, but it just wasn’t big enough.  I started searching online for the perfect combination of these two bags:  big enough for two kids but with lots of pockets inside and out.  And then my prayers were answered:  I am currently part of two Facebook groups for local moms.  The purpose of these groups (many areas have them) is for parents to connect with other parents in their area to ask questions, get referrals for local goods and services, and to buy and sell goods (pretty much an online garage sale!)

The day my diaper bag prayers were answered was the day I happened to be lucky enough to come across THE bag.  A gold authentic coach diaper bag (see the same bag here).  New with tags.  For $100.  My first thought was this probably isn’t authentic.  My second thought was it looks big, but is it really big enough?  I quickly messaged the seller and asked her all the essential questions: Is it really authentic?  Can you show me the serial number?  WHY are you selling it new??  And of course:  What are the measurements?  To my surprise, it was the exact same size of the huge Lisa Lill bag I had, BUT it had TONS of pockets, inside and out!  I was still curious though, how she was selling it new with tags for only $100.  Then she gave me the scoop.  Long story short, she had purchased the diaper bag on Black Friday for 50% off at the Coach outlet store.  She later decided she didn’t need it because she already had so many bags.  When she tried to return it, they wouldn’t take it back since her credit card had been used during the Target breech.  So she decided to sell it on the facebook moms group and take a small loss.

Now I’m not saying I was happy to spend $100 on another diaper bag.  But it was one of the best purchases of my life as a mother.  And here’s why:

1. The size – measuring at 21″ x 12″ 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ – it fits all the crap for TWO kids!! 🙂

2. The many, many pockets inside and out.  Did I mention that the pockets on the sides hold not only one, but two bottles?!

3. The fact that it has shoulder straps AND a cross body strap…sooo important!

So what exactly is all this crap i need for two kids?!  Here’s what I’m carrying in the diaper bag these days (luckily Brandon is now potty trained so I only have to lug around one set of diapers!) and how it all fits in the awesome diaper bag:

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Front view.  View the Coach bag here.  {Disclaimer:  depending on where we are going and what the weather is like, sometimes the bag is more full than in this picture because I will pile hats, blankets, coats, etc on the top of everything 🙂 }

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 Back view.  Huge pocket!

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Close up of the huge back pocket.  The bag also comes with a large and soft changing pad which I now use instead of the other one I had.  This pocket also holds my container of wipes (the First Years brand I took out of my old changing kit), Ally’s diapers, and a pull-up for Brandon (in case we go somewhere in the evening and I need to put his pajamas on).

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Each of the huge side pockets!  We use Dr. Brown’s bottles and each one of these side pockets fits two bottles!  They also fit sippy cups.  On the one side I’ve also clipped the bag dispenser for dirty diapers onto the crossbody strap hardware.

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The front of the bag has two zippered pockets.  The top larger one I keep two burp cloths and 2-3 bibs in.  I love that these stay clean in this pocket since it’s separate from everything else and zipped up.  In the bottom smaller zipper pocket I keep a few bags of snacks for Brandon.

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The inside of the bag is completely surounded in different sized pockets, some flat and some with elastic around the top, making them extra stretchy.  The one side has two large pockets where I keep Brandon’s sippy cup, hand wipes, and sunscreen.  In the other smaller pockets I keep my wallet, Ally’s pacifier pod, my chapstick and lipgloss, and any other random things I might need.  The inside also has a smaller zippered pocket (right photo), where I keep any other essentials for myself and/or the kids such as bandaids, tylenol, hair rubberbands, bobby pins, etc).  When I’m out with the kids, I don’t use a purse – so I need everything for myself in the diaper bag, too!

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In the main compartment of the bag, I have bottle parts on one side, and my wet bag on the other side.  For those of you that don’t know what a wet bag is (I must admit I had no idea what this was until a few months ago) – it’s essential for moms and their diaper bags!  A wet bag is similar to a cosmetic bag, however, it is lined with waterproof fabric so that it is capable of holding wet clothes (think swimsuits or potty accidents), clean clothes, or even baby food!  These bags are so versitile that they are a must have!  Mine is from a friend’s etsy shop – www.RefurbishedTeacher.etsy.com – who makes awesome wet bags in several different sizes and fabric choices and she is now able to monogram them – SO cute!! (detailed review of them coming soon)

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Close up views of my wet bag.  I got the large size so it holds a ton of stuff, but it can also be folded up if needed (I usually end up folding it over to put into the diaper bag).  I use mine for the kids’ clean clothes and I love that it keeps everything clean, separate, and organized!

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Here’s the bag fully packed.

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Two other essentials:  Brandon’s (virtually spill-proof) snack cup and Ally’s formula dispenser (THE best one!)

So as I said, this diaper bag has been a life saver for me!  I highly recommend it if you are willing and able to spend a little more on a diaper bag – I promise you will love it and it will be totally worth it!!!

Friday Finds: Let’s be spontaneous!

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Tote bag by  Dvoot

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Vintage clock by DesignAtellerArticle

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Lip salve by Little Seed Farm 

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Vintage bicycle by Lynne + Marie 

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Vintage picnic basket by Expat Vintage 

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Picnic blanket by Modern Cabin

Can he really be potty trained??

Wow I have been MIA lately!!  Ally has been so much less fussy this month (I swear she had classic colic because the day she turned 3 months old she started to magically become less fussy – she even loves her play mat and bouncy seat, smiles and laughs a ton, and started cooing!  She is soooo adorable now that she doesn’t cry all day and night 😉  ) Despite this, I feel like I’ve been busier than ever!  I’ve had two amazing months selling on etsy so needless to say I’ve been busy with orders and getting some business stuff ironed out. I’ve also been going through some weird post baby nesting or something because I’ve been incessantly cleaning out stuff from our house, cleaning closets, getting rid of stuff, and going through everyone’s clothes!  Oh, and one other thing…last Tuesday Brandon randomly decided he was ready to use the potty.

Now, I shouldn’t say it was totally random.  When Brandon was 18 months old, he started to tell us when he was pooping.  He was also in love with cars.  This prompted me to buy the Lightening McQueen potty seat.  When I brought it home he was so excited to test it out!  First he sat on it with his diaper on.  He thought it was so cool to push the handle of the “flusher” and listen to it “vroom.”  Then he got brave and decided he was ready to actually test it out.  So, with no rhyme or reason, I hapahazardly would have Brandon sit on the potty when he wanted to (Disclaimer:  I was pregnant at the time).  There were even a few times he actually went potty in the potty and I was so excited.  However, once again, I was pregnant.  And as we all know, my pregnancies don’t allow for much “normal people” stuff.  So of course, my pregnancy started to take a turn and the more anxious I became about it, the less I felt like dealing with a toddler on a potty seat.

Needless to say, I didn’t stick with it and Brandon of course lost interest.  For the next several months he would still tell us when he was going in his diaper.  But every time I mentioned him going on the potty he would run away and scream “Nooooo!”  So I didn’t push it.  I kept telling him “Ok but in the summer you’ll use the potty.”  So when anyone asked him when he was going to start using the potty, he replied, “In the summer.”  Too funny!

Well here we are in the summer.  My plan last week was actually to cut out his pacifier (yes, he still uses it!).  It makes us all crazy becuase he’s so attached to it and no one can understand a word he says when it’s in his mouth!  But for the first three months Ally has been with us, she was so colicky and fussy that I just didn’t even want to deal with Brandon and his pacifier.  So my plan was to cut the tips off his pacifiers last week because I’m a softy and feel bad making him quit cold turkey 😉

Tuesday – Day 1 – My pacifier plan randomly changed – Brandon asked to try the potty!  He had already pooped in his diaper that morning so I thought why not, I’ll just let him try it out.  Well, the first time he tried really hard but nothing came out.  I rewarded him for trying with a butter cookie (the only type of sweets he will eat!) and told him he would get more if went in the potty.  He was excited to try and was motivated to get that cookie!  So I thought, ok this is my chance.  My mom had already bought him “big boy underwear” so they were already washed and in his drawer.  I had known about the 3-Day potty training method (you can read about it here), but I had never actually read up on the specifics of it.  All I knew is that it was going to be my method of choice.  So I let Brandon choose a pair of underwear, and we went and got his cookie.  I told myself if I was able to potty train a dog, I could potty train a toddler (it’s actually very similar!) ;-).

After he ate his cookie, I took a deep breath and told myself I was going to commit and get it over with already!  So I spent the day encouraging Brandon to try the potty every 15-20 minutes.  He had two puddle-on-the-floor accidents and lots of pairs of wet underwear but to my surprise he didn’t freak out or cry during his accidents.  He simply said, “Uh oh Mama!”  (SO cute!)  And I simply responded, “It’s okay honey, let’s just go finish in the potty.”  And off we went!  We got him cleaned up and went about our business.  I made him try to go before nap time and then put a diaper on him.  I simply explained that diapers were all done from now on execpt for nap and nighttime.  Again, to my surprise, he was fine with this idea.

Wednesday – Day 2 – We spent A LOT of time in the bathroom!  Poor Ally had so many interrupted bottles but she was a trooper!  My mom actually came to help me out since she’s a teacher and she’s off work in the summers.  She spent the morning with us and helped take care of Ally while I focused on Brandon in the bathroom.

We had tons of Elmo books (including the Elmo potty book) and we sang all the potty songs so much I can’t get them out of my head!  He was already starting to “get it.”  Only one puddle-on-the-floor accident and one or two pairs of wet underwear becuase he didn’t make it to the potty in time.  At this point, he began telling me when he needed to go.  He also started asking to use his Elmo potty seat on the big toilet.  He tried it a few times and he was really motivated by it because he loved to flush the toilet!  For the most part, he began to use the big toilet almost every time.  Things were going great except for one thing – he still hadn’t pooped!  This was very unlike him.  I knew he was scared.  But I was mean and refused to let him poop in a diaper 😉  I figured it would have to come out sooner or later!

Thursday – Day 3 – I’m pretty sure Brandon told me he needed to pee or poop every 5 minutes!  I was exhausted and so tired of sitting in the bathroom!  But I dug deep and found all the positive energy I had left 🙂  Between me regulating his bathroom trips and him telling me he needed to go, he had zero accidents!  I was so proud of him – but he still hadn’t pooped!  My dad decided to try to motivate Brandon to poop by promising him a remote control truck if he pooped in the potty!  Brandon really wanted that truck and tried many, many times to go.  He was trying so hard on the big toilet but I could tell he was so stressed about it.  I asked him if he wanted to try in the little potty and he agreed.  And it finally came out!  He was so confused!  But after it set in that he finally went in the potty he got really excited and had to call Grandpa to tell him so he could get his truck!

Friday – Day 4 – More potty, potty, potty!  At this point Brandon was only wanting to use the big toilet – thank goodness!!  Much less to clean up!  He had one tiny accident but only because he was engrossed in playing and waited too long to tell me.  We went to my parents’ house that night and Brandon got his remote control truck!  He was so excited!

It’s now been one full week.  Brandon had one little accident yesterday but otherwise he has (for the most part) been telling me when he needs to go.  He is beginning to make it a lot longer in between potty trips (thank goodness!) and he even ran errands with me on Monday and we were gone for about two hours!  I am so proud of him!  And although it was a very long week I’m so happy I committed to it.  The no pull-ups method, whether you do the underwear version or the naked version, was so incredibly worth it!  Brandon is also beginning to stay dry during naps and nighttime, but we will continue to use pull-ups for awhile.  I am so, so excited to not buy two sets of diapers anymore!!

I am by no means an expert, but here are a few tips that I found helped my experience:

1. Make sure your child is ready:  Is your child telling you when he/she is going in the diaper?  Is your child telling you when he/she needs a diaper change?  Is your child asking to use a potty seat or the big toilet?

2. Talk to your child about toilets, little potty seats, pee, poop, and how everyone goes (including pets!).  When you see your child going in their diaper or in the bathtub, talk about what is happening and label it so they begin to understand what is happening and what it’s called.  Let your child in the bathroom with you so he/she can see that Mommy and Daddy use the potty too!

3. Do not use pull-ups!  Read up on the 3-Day method and use a version of it that works for you!  For us, it was using underwear only except for naps and nighttime.  This way, your child feels wet and uncomfortable when he/she has an accident.  They quickly learn the feeling and begin to recognize it before they go.

4. Pick a long weekend or a week that you can stay home with your child and COMMIT!  There’s no turning back once you start!  If you get lazy and don’t stick with it, your child won’t be successful.  It’s hard work but it’s worth it!

5. DO NOT scold your child when he/she has an accident!  Simply whisk them to the toilet/potty and have them try to finish there.  Then praise them for trying, clean up the accident, and move on.

6. Use motivators if necessary to start (eventually Brandon didn’t even want the butter cookies – double high fives from Mama were enough 🙂 ).  This can be small treats (ie. m&ms, teddy grahams, etc) or even stickers!

7. Always, always stay positive no matter how frustrated you get!  Your child needs all the encouragement he/she can get!  Always praise for trying, too, even if nothing comes out!  And praise for dry diapers/pull-ups at nap and nighttime!

8. Expect to have accidents!  Your child will still have accidents every now and then, and that’s normal!  Just clean them up and move on, but never make your child feel bad about it!

9. Don’t worry so much about teaching your child to pull up/down his/her pants and underwear – you can work on that later after they are able to better control themselves.  Just focus on making it on the potty in time!

10. MAKE IT FUN!  Take books into the bathroom, and sing potty songs!  Make up a potty dance for after he/she goes in the potty!

Resources for the 3-Day Method:

http://www.3daypottytraining.com

https://www.facebook.com/3DayPottyTraining

http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-in-three-days-or-less_10310078.bc

GOOD LUCK!!!

Friday Finds: It’s a Bonfire Kind of Thing…

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Wood sign by Painted Words by Remi

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S’mores kit by whimsy&spice

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Oak Tree Sweatshirt by nicandthenewfie

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Mason jar cover by LOOP by Rogue Theory

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Reclaimed wood chair by 3JsDecor

Have a great weekend!!

It’s Giveaway Time!! WIN an awesome tote bag from Independent Reign!

Etsy shop Independent Reign is giving away one of their awesome tote bags!!

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Click here to enter the giveaway!

Good luck!!!