Happy (belated) Easter!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday!  I spent the day playing with Ian and Jon and enjoying candy and the other goodies Ian received in his Easter basket.  Easter is such a happy and joyous holiday- and the weather yesterday only served to highlight that fact and put the whole family in a wonderful mood.

It was so fun to see Ian explore his Easter basket and marvel at the items the Easter Bunny delivered.  We didn’t go too crazy, and definitely avoided a huge pile of candy, but he was supremely excited with what he did find: books, hand stamps, bubbles, 2 little water guns, sidewalk chalk, 2 small bags of candy, a chocolate bunny, and “Frozen” (the movie). 

image

He was especially thrilled with the hand stamps and the bubbles, and we spent most of the gorgeous afternoon blowing and catching bubbles outside.

image

I also was the reluctant recipient of an assortment of hand stamps.  It was a little ridiculous how excited he was to have HIS VERY OWN hand stamps, but hey- if he’s happy, I’m happy!  And that $3 package of stamps and ink was WELL worth it!

image

We also tried our hand at dyeing eggs (via the shaving cream and food coloring method).  It was EXTREMELY messy, and I haven’t cleaned the shaving cream off yet to see how our eggs turned out, but it was a lot of fun.  So even if our eggs have absolutely zero color, I’d still consider it a success.  We got to do a project together that we both really enjoyed.

image

Later in the evening, we snuggled up together on the couch and watched “Frozen” while Ian ate some of his chocolate bunny.

image

All in all, it was a wonderful Easter. 

How did you spend your Easter?  Does the bunny visit your house or do you have some other tradition(s)?

Oiling… One Week In

It’s been about a week since I received my complete Premium Starter Kit (affectionately called PSK from here on out) from Young Living.  Since then I’ve started dipping my toes into the world of Essential Oils, and I’m learning a lot.

One of the things I love most about being part of Young Living (and maybe it’s just the team of folks above me?  But I’d like to think this is reflective of the company as a whole) is the mantra of education over sales.  Sure, there are people who are part of Young Living to make money (it’s a business- why wouldn’t money making be part of the equation?), and that’s not a bad thing… but I love that there are always an abundance of free classes and workshops available, as well as no shortage of people willing to chime in and provide insight on ways to safely use your oils.  It really is a community of people just looking to help out others and there is no pressure to buy anything.  If you simply want to attend a million Facebook classes about oils, and never buy a single thing, you can.  If you want to go to a make-and-take (which generally does have a small fee) and experiment with the products in a low cost/low risk setting, you can.  And if you do eventually decide to make a purchase (whether that’s something retail through a Young Living member/distributor or by signing up for the PSK), you’ll be met with enthusiastic teammates ready to take your hand and lead you along on your oiling journey.  It is a pretty amazing environment, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

As I mentioned on the blog previously, there were a lot of reasons why I decided to take the plunge and sign up with Young Living.  And now that I have my PSK, how have I been using my oils?  A lot of ways, actually, but one of the first things I did when I got my kit was put my Young Living diffuser to work in an attempt to support Ian’s respiratory system at night to help promote restful sleep.

diffuser

Young Living diffuser in the PSK

I actually really like the Young Living diffuser that came in the PSK- it’s small, lightweight, and super easy to use (plus, it’s attractive).  I set it up in Ian’s bedroom and added 3 drops of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil, 3 drops of Frankincense, and 2 drops of Lavender.  The Melaleuca and Frankincense were to help support his respiratory system, and the Lavender was to help promote restful sleep.  Ian didn’t seem to notice or mind the scent coming from the diffuser (or if he did, he didn’t complain about it).  I can’t say that I found it to be an extremely pleasant smell, although I certainly didn’t find it unpleasant, but if it had the chance of helping Ian, I was all for it- and since it didn’t bother him, I was OK with it.  I’ve since gotten used to the scent and hardly even notice it when I turn on the diffuser.  It really is quite subtle (or at least, I think it is).  My husband, on the other hand, found the scent to be pretty overwhelming and he was not at all a fan- and even now he still doesn’t like it.  I chalk some of this up to personal preference and some to the fact that he’s even more of an essential oil skeptic than I am.  I’m at least willing to give them a shot (I mean, what do I have to lose? Nothing else has helped this cough).  My husband, on the other hand, is pretty staunchly against oils.  He sees them as just another scheme or a pricey placebo, so we’ll have to see some definite and concrete results before his mindset changes (if it ever does).  But, that’s ok… he’s not stopping me from using them; he’s just not convinced they’ll make a difference.  I can live with that.

Anyway, so far it certainly seems like the diffuser is helping.  The only problem- the diffuser only runs for about 6-8 hours max.  So that means that sometime in the night (generally around 3am), the diffuser would stop and, inevitably, Ian would wake up.  After a few nights of this, I finally decided to just go into his bedroom overnight and refill the diffuser.  But that was really starting to be a pain.  So I set about looking for a longer-running diffuser hoping this might solve the issue.  After endless research and comparing, I decided on this one by Welledia.

Welledia Diffuser

Welledia Effusion Diffuser

It has a 700mL tank and overall the reviews are very positive.  With my Amazon gift cards (and free Prime shipping), it ended up being hardly any out of pocket cost to me… can’t argue with that!  The new diffuser arrived on Saturday, and I used it that night.  I definitely like the look of the Young Living diffuser better, but MAN this one really does run ALL NIGHT LONG (I’m still trying to get the right amount of water in it so I don’t have a ton left over to dump in the morning).  Since using the new diffuser, Ian has slept all night for most nights!  We are definitely seeing an improvement for him.  Last night, for the first time, I tried Thieves and Lavender in the diffuser, and I also loved that combination.  It’s nice to have options so that I can change things up every now and then if I want (or if an oil is running low). This is another nice thing about Essential Oils- there are generally a number of combinations and choices available.  I’ll definitely be using the new diffuser in his room every night from now on, and in a few weeks, I’ll do another update.  I was just pretty excited about our initial results (and my new long lasting diffuser) that I felt compelled to share.  After all, this was one of my main drivers for taking the Essential Oil plunge, and so far I’m not sorry.

Do you use Essential Oils?  How do you use them?  If you haven’t used them, have you ever given it any thought?  Want to learn more?  We always have Essential Oil Facebook classes going on- and they are open to everyone!

You can reach out to me through a blog comment or email, and I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned so far and any other information about Young Living and Essential Oils. I have a ton of resources at my disposal, and I can always find out the answer to your question if I don’t know it myself.  You can also like my team’s Facebook page (Healthier Oil the Thyme) or visit our team’s website to get more information (as well as tips and recipes for your oils).  Happy oiling!

Nursery Update

It’s been a few weeks since I mentioned that I am in the process of refreshing the nursery in preparation for this baby girl (May 9 no longer seems all that far away!).

In that time, I’ve been busy working on a few projects for the room, and I finally have one successfully crossed off my list- baby girl’s crib skirt!! This was a BIG one, and it took me quite a while since I really took my time and wanted it to look nice, but I absolutely love how it turned out.

I knew I wanted to do a ruffled crib skirt this time around (last time, for Ian, I did a box pleat crib skirt, which I really liked and was SUPER easy). There’s just something so fun and girly about ruffles; I knew I had to at least try it.

Finding just the right color of fabric was a bit of a challenge, but I did finally manage to locate just the right shade of deep purple. Thank you, Hobby Lobby!

image

I turned to Pinterest for guidance/advice on how to go about creating the crib skirt, and found some really good resources, which I pinned to my Nursery Refresh board. I ended up using Ian’s old box pleat crib skirt as my “base” crib skirt (since I needed something to sew the ruffles onto, and I didn’t feel like spending money on fabric that no one was going to see anyway), and it worked beautifully!

To keep me from getting overwhelmed, I broke the project into manageable steps spread over a few weeks, and tried to limit myself to working on it no more than 2 hours at a time. I find that if I work on something longer than that I get tired or frustrated and start making mistakes.

image

image

I HATE ironing...but unfortunately it is a necessity to get nice, crisp hems and seams

Of course, even with that self-imposed limit, I still made mistakes (what’s a project if you don’t use the seam ripper at least once, right??), but they were much smaller in scale and easier to fix.

And in the end, taking my time definitely paid off. The crib skirt is now on the crib and it looks fantastic. I especially love all the colors together- they look so fresh!

image

Now I just have a few projects remaining: changing pad cover (which is actually underway), name art (which I started but put on hold to focus on the crib skirt), rocking chair cushions (not yet started), and print outs of book covers for the wall art (also not yet started). I can’t wait until this whole nursery comes together (and of course, we have a baby in it)!

Countdown to Baby #2: 9 Weeks to Go

Well I am officially into the single digit-week countdown with baby #2!  Saturday marked 31 weeks of pregnancy with this little girl.  AHHH… I can’t believe we are already here.  Where did the time go?

It’s funny how the concept of time is never constant.  I remember when I was pregnant with Ian feeling like time was absolutely dragging.  I couldn’t wait to meet my little boy and every day felt unbearably long.  And then, of course, he was 10 days overdue, so that didn’t help.

But now, with this new baby, I feel like my time has just evaporated.  Maybe it’s because in addition to work and the pets and the house (everything I had to deal with during my first pregnancy), I also have an extremely lively and rambunctious 2 year old ruling my life.  My evenings and weekends are full of Ian, and I love that- but it also means that time goes skipping along at an incredible pace.  SLOW DOWN, darn it!!

It also means that I’ve had significantly less pre-baby documentation time.  Or maybe I’ve had the time but have just been too tired (er…lazy??) to actually follow through.  With Ian, I took belly pictures every week and tried to jot down a few thoughts each week about how I was feeling and what was happening with my pregnancy.  This time around, I’ve only taken a handful of photos (sorry baby #2- you are not loved any less, I promise!), and I’ve only had the time to jot down just a few fleeting thoughts and feelings.  I feel a little guily, but then I am off doing something else that demands my time and attention and my guilt receeds- at least for a while.

Fortunately, I’ve at least recognized that I’m having this issue.  And that means that when I do have some time to breathe, I’m trying to use it more effectively and efficiently.  I have a nursery to refresh and make ready for a little girl, after all, and that does take time and energy.  I already have it planned out, and I’ve slowly started making progress on the execution.  With 9 weeks to go, I should have plenty of time (if I don’t procrastinate!) to get it all done before this little girl makes her arrival.  So, baby girl, I can’t wait to meet you- but, please, don’t rush.  Please- hang out until your due date (or close to it), so that I can finish getting your room and our lives ready for you.  I still have a lot of things to get done before you get here.

Week Round-Up

So you probably noticed I’ve been MIA recently. Between traveling, sickness, bad weather, and more sickness, it’s been hard to find the drive (or free time) to write. But I’m hoping to change all that starting this week. I’m feeling much better, and even though we still have sub-freezing temperatures to contend with, I don’t think any more snow or inclement weather is on the horizon…or at least nothing that would sideline me for too long.

So, what have I been up to since I’ve been away from the blog?

1) Ian and I went on a mini trip to Washington, D.C.
One of my very good friends from College is having a baby in April (HOORAY!), and her baby shower was February 15th. Fortunately, with Monday being a holiday, I was able to justify making the plane trip to visit some friends and go to the shower. I am so glad that we went. Ian loved being on the airplane, I had a fantastic time at the shower, and it was so lovely catching up with old friends. It was cold, but it was a great trip.

image

Watching the airplanes at the airport

2) Both Ian and I battled stomach bugs
Unfortunately, on the last night of our stay in D.C., Ian got pretty sick and we were up all night battling vomit. I’ll spare you the details, but it was not pretty. On the plus side, he was over it in a few hours and he was perfectly fine the next morning and during our plane trip home (thank goodness!). But, on Tuesday night, I managed to come down with the same mystery illness and was sidelined most of the evening and almost all day Wednesday. Then I thought I was better until it resurfaced Thursday night as I was trying to fall asleep. I wasn’t totally out of commission on Friday, but I was definitely not 100%. I seem to be better now, finally, so hopefully it stays this way.

3) Ian’s new big boy bedroom received attention
Ian’s new twin bed arrived at the beginning of February, and Jon and I were able to put it together with relative ease. We did have some faulty pieces which required slight modification (thank goodness for a handy husband!), and one of the drawer pieces was broken so we couldn’t assemble the under-bed drawers right away, but all in all it went together pretty well, and I really like how it turned out. Ian likes his new bed, too. We bought him Disney Planes sheets (which he picked out), and moved most of his stuff from his nursery into his new room. He has adjusted pretty well to sleeping on a twin bed, and he seems to really like having a new (bigger) room. Last week, the replacement drawer piece arrived, so I was able to assemble the drawers (by myself, no less!) and put them under the bed.

image

4) Baby girl’s nursery is starting to take shape
Now that Ian is (mostly) moved out of the nursery (we still need to get him a dresser!), we have started turning it back into a baby room. The side rail went back on the crib and the mattress has been raised back up to its highest setting. I’ve picked out the color palette (future post on that to come, I’m sure!) and started planning the décor. Once I can get out to the fabric store (couldn’t on Saturday due to the level 2 snow emergency- basically, don’t drive unless you HAVE to), I can start knocking out some of my sewing projects (crib skirt, curtain tie backs, rocking chair cushions/pillows, etc.). I am starting to get a little nervous that we are 11 weeks away and still have a decent amount to do to get the nursery (and our lives) ready for this new baby.

So there you have it- the highlights of our lives the past week or so. Anyone else battling snowy (or COLD) weather or sickness?

Working on Valentine’s Day Cards

Last night Ian and I worked on his valentines for his daycare class together.  No, we did not do any of the numerous crafty imaginative valentines that I have been pinning all month.

image

Like this cute card...

image

...or this one.

Instead, we bought a box of Valentine’s Day cards from Walmart when we went grocery shopping on Sunday and those are what we’ll be giving out. 

Did I want to do something grand and creative?  Sure.  But in the big scheme of things… he’s 2.  He’ll have lots more Valentine’s Days ahead of him and plenty of opportunity for clever and fun valentines in the future.  So this time I opted to walk up and down the Walmart aisle and let him pick which of the myriad of boxed valentines he wanted to give his friends.

He ended up chosing valentines that feature “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (he got this movie for Christmas and loves it).  They are your typical kid valentines, where you write the TO and FROM, pop in one of the included temporary tattoos, and seal it closed with a heart sticker.

So then, how in the world does a 2 year old help with valentines if he can’t write or read?  And there’s no crafty handprint or footprint component?  It’s pretty simple (and fun!) to have your toddler help, really.  

• I laid out all the valentines from the box and asked him to pick out one for each of the kids in his class.  Before I could even start reading names (THANK YOU DAYCARE FOR THE LIST!!), he was handing me valentines saying, “This is for Addison” or “This is for Colin”… as he gave them to me, I wrote in the TO and FROM names.  We got through probably 5 valentines this way before Ian stopped.  At this point, instead of waiting for him to grab a valentine and tell me a name, I read a name off the list and prompted him to pick out a valentine.

• Once we got through everyone on the list, and all the TO and FROM names were written, I grabbed a box of crayons.  I wanted Ian to put his mark on the valentines in some way, so I told him to pick a crayon (or more than one) and color around where his name was written.  He picked lime green for some reason, which was really pretty fortunate because the black pen I used to write his name was still 100% visible beneath the coloring scribbles he added.

• When he was done coloring all the valentines, I laid out all the temporary tattoos and told him to pick one to go with each valentine.  We went through the list of names again, and he chose the tattoo he wanted each kid to recieve.  Then I poped them in the holder in each card (which admittedly was a little tricky- they could make the slots a bit easier to access).

• Finally, I asked him to grab a heart sticker off the sticker sheet so we could seal the cards.  He needed a little help with this since the hearts were small, but he was able to peel off all the hearts and hand them to me, and I applied them to each valentine.

The whole endeavor probably took about 30 minutes.  Could I have done his valentines myself in a lot less time?  Definitely.  But we had fun doing them together.  He loved getting to color the valentines and grab the stickers. 

He is so big on helping these days that I take any advantage to let him do just that.  And it made a potentially dull task (writing out valentines for 14 kids and 2 teachers) more exciting.  Plus, if someone asks if he did valentines for his friends, he can proudly say “YES!”  There’s not much better than seeing that look of satisfaction on your kid’s face, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything (not even a beautiful, crafty, pin-worthy valentine).

A Family Ski Trip

skitripimg

Over the long Martin Luther King, Jr holiday weekend, Jon, Ian, and I joined my family for our annual ski trip. This little tradition is something my parents started over 5 years ago, and they’ve continued to foster it so that each year my entire family gets together and enjoys each other’s company while hitting the slopes. It’s always a lot of fun, and even though I couldn’t actually go on the mountain this year, I still enjoyed myself. We had a packed house- 9 adults and 4 kids (ages 3 months, 2 years, 9 years, and 11 years), but the house we rented was nice and spacious so it didn’t feel crowded or overrun.

I could probably write a hugely long post about this fabulous trip, but instead I’ll just hit the highlights (though it will still probably be long!).

  • The weather was actually pretty great
    The weather was not too cold, but also not so hot that the conditions on the slopes were terrible. It hovered around the 30s on Saturday and the 20s on Sunday. All in all, pretty nice. This allowed me and Ian to go outside and play in the snow a large majority of the weekend. He LOVED tromping through the snow.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

    • Seeing family was fantastic
      Since we do live 10 hours away from my family, it was so nice to be able to get together with everyone and just relax. The house we rented this year was enormous- each family had their own bedroom and bathroom. There were also two large gathering areas and a really big kitchen with a table that fit everyone comfortably. It was wonderful to have a bit of your own space to balance the family togetherness.
  • Ian rode a horse and got a cowboy hat
    On Sunday, only my dad, mom, brother #2, and Jon went on the slopes. The rest of us decided to get out of the house together and do something together. We found there was a little farm not too far away that offered hour long trail rides. Riding a horse was out of the question for me, but they told us there were pony rides for younger kids, so I decided to tag along for Ian’s sake. Well, the pony was not a pony- but a full size horse! After some coaxing (and yes, maybe even a bribe of ice cream), Ian finally agreed to get on the horse and ride around the field a bit. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but before too long he really seemed to enjoy himself. He was talking to me and the horse and even cracked a smile or two.

ianhorse

    • Ian also let a llama eat out of his hand
      At the same farm where we did the horribly misnamed “pony ride”, there was a petting zoo. Ian was intrigued by the alpacas that were out grazing in the field. He also seemed to really like the donkey. Inside the small barn, we met some rabbits, a llama, and a goat. After watching me feed the llama, Ian decided he was brave enough to attempt it. He stuck his hand out flat, we poured the feed into it, and he let the llama eat all the food from his hand! I was amazed and also a little proud.
  • Caring for a toddler and an infant is HARD!
    On Sunday evening, everyone trekked out to the tubing park and spent 2 hours going down the runs. Since my doctor told me tubing was not in the cards for me, I ended up babysitting Ian and my baby nephew. Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law had a baby carrier, so I was able to strap my nephew to me, and he fell asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately, Ian was so annoyed that he wasn’t able to tube with everyone else that he became cranky and whiney and insisted on being carried, too. Carrying three kids is tough. Thankfully, my brother came to my aid about halfway through tubing and took his son off my hands so I could focus on Ian. And then for the last 30 minutes of tubing, Jon came and played with Ian (putting him in a tube and pushing him down a small hill) while I carried my nephew in the carrier again so my brother could tube more. Having help made such a big difference. I went from feeling so incredibly overwhelmed (and frankly, a little scared of what things will be like when I have 2 like this of my own) to feeling like things were easily under control. If anything, this showed that I will need to learn to accept (and welcome!) help when this baby comes in May.

I’m excited for next year’s trip… I’ll be able to participate, and Ian might even be able to strap on a pair of skis or go tubing with us (he just might be 42 inches next January!).

Do you go on a trip with your family during the year? Where do you go/what do you do?

Baby Frankenfield #2… Gender Revealed!!

genderguess

Well we had our 20 week ultrasound last week, and the waiting is over!!  We now know the gender of our newest little nugget!

Last week I wrote a gender-prediction post, just for fun, based on some old wives’ tales.  The results were pretty inconclusive, as 2 gave a girl result and 3 gave a boy result.  So that meant we had to leave it up to the ultrasound results.

The ultrasound went well- baby F looks healthy and whole.  The doctor was pleased with baby F’s size and everything else she saw on the ultrasound photos.  It’s always amazing to see that little baby up on the screen… to see (and hear) the heart beating and watch the baby wiggling and kicking and flipping and spinning.  Right now there’s lots of space for baby to move around, but if this one is anything like Ian, before this whole thing is through there will be hardly any space to spare!  This baby was a little shy in showing us a profile, but we did finally get to see one, and we sure have a cutie!!

Baby2Profile

Baby Frankenfield #2!

I found our ultrasound picture of Ian at 20 weeks, and put the two images side by side… they look like they have the same little nose (I think it’s interesting they are facing different directions, though)!

babysidebysideOk, so what is our new little bundle of joy?  Drumroll, please………

BabyGirlPhoto

We are so thrilled and cannot wait to see what adventures a little girl will bring.  I had a sneaky feeling that I was carrying a girl this time around.  When I was pregnant with Ian, I had this gut feeling he was a boy.  This time, things felt different and my gut was telling me girl.  But having it confirmed on that screen was something else!  I’m excited for frills and bows and cute outfits.  I’m also excited for Ian to bond with his new little sister and take care of her… I know he’ll be a terrific big brother.  In fact, he has even started helping us with name suggestions.  His current favorite: Ian’s Sister.  What a goofball!

And since this girl thing will be totally new to us, advice and tips are ALWAYS welcome!

Tackling Potty Training: The HOW

image

Earlier this week I mentioned that we decided to give potty training a shot.  It was quite an ordeal the first few days, but I was actually pretty surprised at how quickly and easily (all things considered) Ian took to the whole thing. We still have the occasional accident (typically with #2), but it’s nice to be done with diapers!

There are plenty of resources out there that explain how to potty train and various methods that can be used, so I’m not going to go into too much detail about that.  But I will hit the high points of what we did and what worked (and also what did not work).  I’ll also show the tools/potty aids we used.  This is certainly not the only way (or even the best way) to potty train, but it’s what we did, so take it for what it is- just another potential source or tool as you prepare to embark on your own potty adventure.

1) We started in the morning, as soon as Ian woke up.  We used that morning as a fresh beginning, and even theatrically said together “BYE-BYE DIAPERS!” as we took off the diaper Ian wore overnight and tossed it into the trash.  We then sat him on the potty and encouraged him to go (he didn’t) before pulling out the “big boy” underwear and throwing on some sweatpants (easy to remove and not a big deal if they get soiled).  I opted to use regular underwear instead of disposable or cloth training pants so that Ian could feel an accident and be negatively impacted by it.  I did use disposable training pants for nap time and bed time, though, since I wasn’t quite ready to start night training.  I also put him in disposable training pants before we took a trip in the car for the first 2 or so weeks (since I did NOT want to clean up the car seat if he had an accident).  Other than that, though, it was underwear the whole time… which was messy but I think definitely helped the process.

2) We originally were taking Ian to the bathroom about every 30 minutes and trying to coax him into going by offering 2 M&Ms for pee and 5 for poop.  This worked fine once he had his first success on the potty- up to that point, we may as well been speaking in Greek by offering some abstract candy for an abstract idea (going in the potty instead of his pants).  After he did realize how he could earn candy, he was more willing to actually go when we sat him on the potty, but about halfway through day 2 he went on a mini-strike and screamed bloody murder when we escorted him to the bathroom (I think he was annoyed by the mandatory breaks).  We changed tactics and offered 1 M&M for making the trek to the toilet and sitting on it. This was MUCH more successful, and he was more than willing to take a break from the day to walk to the bathroom if it meant candy was guaranteed. This was an easy fix for us and had no negative impact on the potty training process- in fact, I think it helped.  After the first day or so, we extended the time gradually until we were taking him every hour, to test his ability to hold it and ensure he was getting the hang of potty training. This also seemed to work well.

3) We started off using a small children’s floor potty (we used the Baby Bjorn Smart Potty, pictured above- LOVE THIS THING!) since it was portable and we could put it in the same room where we were. We did this for all of day 1 and most of day 2 before we moved the potty into the actual bathroom.  Ian liked having a potty his size to sit on and he also bizarrely enjoyed dumping its contents into the large toilet and flusing. Cleanup for the Baby Bjorn potty was super easy since it’s just a plastic bucket/insert that comes out and can be easily rinsed/wiped clean. I am so glad I bought this potty chair.

4) We also bought a portable potty ring/insert for our normal toilet (we bought the Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus via Amazon but I’m sure you can get it other places, too). OMG THIS THING IS AMAZING. I love that it nestles right inside the toilet seat and is very sturdy and secure.  I also love that it folds into a fairly small size and comes with a plastic carrying bag so it is easy to take with us wherever we want. We took it shopping, to restaurants, to the amusement park- everywhere!  I would buy this thing a million times over!  It allowed (and still does allow) Ian to use the bathroom ANYWHERE without issue… and as an added bonus, I don’t have to worry about him touching nasty public toilets.

image

The portable potty insert we bought. Seriously one of the BEST inventions!!

5) A few days into potty training, we switched from the floor potty to the big potty (using our portably potty insert).  We asked Ian which one he wanted to use, and he usually picked the insert.  I think because we had been out and about most of the day before and used the potty insert the whole time he was used to it and liked being on the big potty like a big person.  This definitely significantly shortened clean up time after he went potty!

We are still asking Ian if he has to go potty and taking him every 1-2 hours as a precaution.  He will occassionally tell us if he has to use the bathroom, but not frequently enough for my liking (and I’d rather just avoid the accident by forcing him to take a potty break than waiting on him to ask for one on his own), but I’m hoping within another month we will be done with that, too, and he’ll be telling us when he needs a potty break.

Potty training is definitely a process, but it is possible!  What potty products/aids did you use when going through this?  Any techniques or tips you’d like to share?

Painting with Family and Friends

image

A few weeks ago, I experienced my first ever paint nite. I’m sure you’ve heard of these- you go to a restaurant and order food/drinks and proceed to eat and drink while a painting “instructor” walks you through the steps of recreating a specific picture. It’s really just an excuse to get out for a girl’s night (though there were a few men there) and do something different.

I have to say, it was a lot of fun! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed myself. I went with my sister; my mom; my husband’s sister and mother; and my brother’s wife and her sister and mother. It was neat to get to hang out with everyone, especially my brother’s wife and her family since I don’t get the chance to do that very much.

image

Me with my mom and sister!

Our instructor was really fun and friendly, and she did a great job of breaking down the painting so that you could follow along. And in the end, everyone ended up with paintings that weren’t half bad!

image

My painting!

Have you ever done one of these painting events? What did you think?