Friday, April 30, 2010

She Never Ceases to Amaze Me!

So a few weeks ago I was painfully talking about how difficult Abigail was to potty train. Bribery was my middle name those first days. I wanted to give an update on how she is doing.

As difficult and rocky a start it was I have to admit she has ended up potty training way easier than her over-eager-to-pee-like-a-big-girl older sister. What do I mean? Well while Elaina was eager to go she wasn't consistent and wouldn't tell me she had to go until she was already peeing her pants (she sometimes still does that and she's going to be 5 soon!). Whereas Abby drops what she is doing, wanders upstairs, goes potty.......... and I don't even realize she has done it until I hear the toilet flush or ask her.

I am so incredibly proud of her for overcoming her potty training fears and for being consistent. She is definitely aware of her body.

It sounds like I'm saying she is better than Elaina but I'm not. I certainly don't feel that way. I just think this is one area Abby has excelled in that Elaina needs continual encouragement and work on. Elaina has many strengths over Abby and vice versa. I guess I'm just shocked that after all the fighting over going potty Abigail is going all by herself and hasn't had accidents. She even stays dry at night!

So way to go Miss Abigail!

And since I bragged on her I have to brag on Elaina and just say that girl can sing. Her music teacher made a special visit to us during our parent-teacher conference just to tell us that not only does Elaina have great pitch but also tone and all sorts of interesting music words (I'm musically challenged, ha ha). She told us she's not telling us this lightly but that Elaina truly is excelling in her singing. That she is singing way above what she expects for children her age. The teacher said she can sing a note and Elaina will match it. And that she will hear a song and be able to repeat the tune without music.

Last night I really got to see this for myself. I will sing but not in front of people other than my kids. I won't even sing in front of my husband. Probably because he sings REALLY well and it intimidates me. Anyway so I'm singing with my daughters and Elaina starts harmonizing with me. I'm talking perfect harmony. I changed my voice and she followed fluidly along. When I videotape her she gets all goofy and silly but one of these days I'm going to catch her singing!

When Elaina was a toddler she could harmonize with me as well but they weren't songs. We'd just make silly noises. To say that Elaina's musically talented Daddy is proud is an understatement. He wants all of his kids to be musical in some aspect. Though I know that if one or some aren't he'll be fine with it too. But he was absolutely BEAMING when the music teacher came to talk about Elaina's singing.

Okay this proud momma is off to bed! Busy errand day tomorrow not to mention paying bills. Blech!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sitting Pretty!

Zoë was sitting by herself a lot today!

Mommy standing ready to catch her if she should fall! Don't want her banging her head on hardwood.

So excited! All by herself!

This is just the sweetest picture!

Abigail was brushing her teeth but finally joined us for a group picture!

This was Spirit Week at school so Elaina wore pajamas to school today. I put her hair in those pigtails, too. Can't have pajama day without some pigtails!

So I cannot believe it is already May on Saturday. It's already been almost half a year in 2010! I feel like it has warped by. I hope the laze of summer slows things down a bit.

Daniel's youngest brother is getting married at the end of May. So we have a bachelorette party and bridal party all in one week. I really want to find a pretty dress to wear to the wedding. I have no nice clothes at all. I'm starting to shrink (yay!) and really needing to find new clothes. I'll probably just wear a black top with jeans to the bachelorette party.

I've been holding off on buying clothes because I want to lose weight and of course it isn't coming off very fast. But I'll be honest when I say I haven't been trying that hard. I need to find time in my day. The problem is finding enough time to workout AND take a shower. People are crazy if they think stay-at-home-moms have all the time in the world to do whatever they want. I can't seem to manage my time very well at all these days.

And I will end by saying that I now weigh 173 lbs! I weighed 178 when I got pregnant with Zoë. My next goal is to reach 160. I like to make my goals in increments of 10 lbs. I got to the 170's and now I'm working toward the 160's. I might just have to break out my 30 Day Shred tomorrow and get back into it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Half a Year Ago

Zoë is going to be 6 months old tomorrow! She's already half-a-year-old. Just today, while she was on the floor of the playroom squealing, I thought back to when Elaina was this age. It is really hard for me to believe it but Elaina was crawling at this age; right before she hit 6 months old. I can't imagine Zoë crawling! Considering I hold her all the live long day and all.

I'm going to do pictures of her tomorrow; hopefully the sun decides to grace us with it's presence.

She does not like it when I put her in this chair! 
She will cry and cry until I do this:

 (Pick her up if you didn't catch that.) 
She's getting more hair!!!

Oh I forgot to tell you! I gave her applesauce! Her doctor didn't care what order I started anything if I even wanted to start anything. Well the other night we're sitting down to dinner and she's smacking her lips and watching us eat. It was so cute and so pathetic! Applesauce was all we had and I thought it wouldn't hurt to try a couple little bites.

So excited to try some "Appuh-sus!"

Until she realized how tart it was!

Oh fun times, fun times! I think I'll stick with baby cereal for now. We haven't gotten any yet but probably will the end of next week. She's so eager to eat with us that I'm fine with trying it, though if she wasn't showing signs of wanting to eat I wouldn't even give it a second thought. The big sisters are REALLY excited to feed the baby!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not much

Just uploading some pictures of the kids! I hardly get any pictures of Elaina anymore because she's at school all the time. But I got some of her at the park. I'm so glad spring is here. Anyway, here are pictures of what is going on in our little corner of the universe!

Breaking out the onesies!

I love those chunky baby thighs!

Testing out our new Sleepy Wrap!

Daddy even tested it out the day I got my wisdom teeth out so he could be hands-free while he played Mommy.

I just thought this was a super cute picture of Abigail!

So I found one of our binkies and I thought I'd see if Zoë would take it. Success! She likes to play with it and chomp it more than suckle on it for soothing purposes, which is fine by me. I think babies with binks are so cute!

Last weekend we went to the park and it was so wonderful!

Elaina is getting so big! She tried doing the monkey bars and did pretty good so long as we helped her.

Daddy... a kid at heart! I walked over and they yelled that I was an alien and they were going to shoot me. Niiiiiice. 

I'm doing much better from my wisdom teeth removal! The worst part was the pain pills. After I stopped taking them I felt so much better. I just take regular Tylenol for pain/soreness. I didn't even get chipmunk cheek (only one side was done, LOL). Now I'm trying to convince Daniel he needs to get his lower ones out. We'll see! He really needs to do it but he was almost having a panic attack just from taking ME to the dentist.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Little Less Wiser

I finally did it- I got my wisdom teeth out. Well, half of them anyway. I just did the ones on my right side. I was a big baby about it, too, I'll admit. I was awake for the whole thing and only had topical injections to numb the area (so no loopy, crazy fun much to Daniel's dismay). It took less than 30 minutes from the moment I walked in, got numbed up and he pulled the teeth. Am I making you shudder?

The bottom tooth had an abscess (puss-filled sac in my gums from the infected tooth) so it has been draining and is so gross. But at least I'll feel a ton better and won't have anymore pain from that area once this is all healed up.

I am doing great today since I stopped taking the Darvocet (pain killer; supposedly safe while nursing). That junk made me feel dizzy and nauseous and achy. I finally decided I'd rather be in pain than feel like I'm going to vomit all day and night long. So now I feel like I can function!

Zoë decided that on the night of the tooth extraction, when I was feeling sick and dizzy, that she wasn't going to go to bed and was instead going to cry her heart out. Poor thing was overtired and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. But we made it through. I just held her and calmed her down. But I had a very difficult time sleeping. Luckily Daddy stayed home and took care of her so I could sleep.

Ahhh, stupid wisdom teeth. What on earth did they do in the past about wisdom teeth?!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Blog Swap!

My wonderful package from my swap partner over at Live, Love, Laugh with the Pondering Princess arrived super early! I was excited to open up and find a bunch of wrapped goodness:

Oh my goodness so she sent me...

-A book of spring poems!
-Lollipops that the kids immediately hovered over and snatched the moment I took the picture (not kidding- if I could span the picture you would see them to the right, their eyes glued on them)
-Really neat metal cookie cutters in the shape of a flower and butterfly. We're going to make cookies with them or I might use them to make their PB&J sandwiches more fun! I LOVE cookie cutters!
-Tulip soap that smells great!
-A really neat Butterfly Garden kit (grows flowers that attract butterflies). We did this one the same day the package arrived and we're waiting for the seeds to sprout!
-Pomegranate body lotion that I have yet to try but it smells DIVINE. I love good smelly things.
-Cherry lipgloss that I LOVE and have been fighting to keep my kids out of
-Candle; my favorite part of my box and it smells absolutely heavenly! Yum, yum!

Thank you so much partner! I hope you enjoy everything I sent you, too!!! I absolutely love mine!

If you want to check out what I got Pamela click HERE!
And if you want to see what others got check it out HERE!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was about ready to sit down here and write out something meaningful but a few other bloggers beat me to it. If you find the time you should read these because they were moving and speaking exactly from my own heart.

Natalie's Sentiments
Hearts Make Families

So since I'm not motivated enough to write my own profound post I wanted to share those. I've been thinking about time a lot lately and how fast it seems to be slipping away. And about the hopelessness I feel to slow it down. So instead I am going to slow down. I'm going to try to chill out, to not rush things, to just enjoy life, to create new memories, to just BE and let be. I can't control everything except what I choose to do with the time we have. Which means I'm off here to go snuggle my baby before she grows into a toddler, then a child, then an adolescent and teen.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party from 5 Minutes For Mom!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hey! It's a party!

And a party isn't complete without a prize. If you'd like to enter to win my OVERCOMER Necklace you may enter at my giveaway blog Girly Girl Giveaways!

Hi, I'm Joy and I'm the mom to these three beautiful girls:

I am a birth junkie, breastfeeding, baby-wearing Stargate-obsessed woman with a passion for God, language and certain crafts. I'm married to a youth pastor and worship leader (who just started a worship band; watch out now!) and his name is Daniel. He's my best friend and I love him very dearly!

I also have THREE Etsy shops because I just can't stick with one thing. I like to try all sorts of different ways to make jewelry and due to my over-obsessive need to organize I find it easier to keep them in three separate shops: Creations By Chara (personalized hand-stamped jewelry), Chara's Creations (destash, magnets and beaded jewelry) and What Girls Are Made Of (glass tile magnets/pendants; with more girly goodness to come).

I cannot wait to "MEET" so many of you! Please do leave a comment here to let me know you stopped by so I may in turn come visit you!

***Prizes I'm interested in if I won***
My main three are USC13, USC35 AND USC39

But if those are already assigned winners then the following are other equally fantastic:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


SOMEONE has finally decided that going potty is the cool thing to do.

We went shopping yesterday and in the middle of the store she tells me, "I have to go potty!"

Okay so have you ever been in a store with a baby in an infant carrier, a cart full of stuff, and a toddler dancing to keep themselves from peeing all over the place?! NOT a fun position to be in. I flagged down an employee and they let me take my cart (baby carrier and stuff to buy) into the restroom.

And then joy of joys. Abigail proceeded to scream, cry, kick, throw a fit for 15-20 minutes before she finally couldn't hold it in any longer. When I come out of the bathroom with her there are people standing there glaring at me as though I was beating my child in the restroom. It was really hard biting my tongue and not being defensive so instead I said really loudly, "Good job going potty, Abby!" which made Abs glow with pride. I saw one woman glare at me, look at the "Employees Only" sign on the door and then stomp off to the front of the store.

Whatever. My baby went potty... not only in public but at home as well! She may have thrown the world's biggest fit about it but now it is a breeze. She has overcome her fear and is doing great. She went 5 times on her own today and only one accident on the floor. Each time she sits down I can see this fear flicker across her face but as she hears herself go it changes to wonder and she exclaims, "I did it!"

Go Abby go!

*She's a total mess in the picture above because I gave her chocolate for going potty, ha ha! Her new thing is wiping her face on her shirts. Needless to say we have ruined a few shirts around here lately with all sorts of stained loveliness!

I hate potty training but I love that we are only buying diapers for nighttime now. I've put her pottying off for so long because I was dreading it and now I'm relieved that we've overcome the biggest hurdles. There will be accidents (like the one she had all over a Walmart aisle) and setbacks but the biggest problem has been solved and that was getting her to actually sit on the potty. Now she is aware of when she has to go and runs to the potty before she pees herself.

If you are dreading the potty training as well I have some tips:

1). Prepare yourself! You have to be ready, mentally. You need to set aside a week where you won't go anywhere for about a week, too. Get your accessories and put them together as a gift for your child (or at least have your child help shop for their potty items). This could include the Potty Book, a DVD on potty training by their favorite cartoon/puppet friends, special handwash, special wipes, undies, a potty chair and reward stickers and candies (M&Ms work great).

2). BE CONSISTENT. This is the major part. Don't keep your child in their undies for one day and give up the next because all they did was pee all over your house the first day. It is a learning process. They have to learn about the sensations they feel when it is time to go. Children can usually go pee on the potty long before they'll go poop.

3). Part of being consistent also means making rules. "Wash your hands" after going potty. "We only wear diapers at bedtime" is another one for us. By being consistent with only putting her in diapers at night it has become part of her nightly routine. We no longer call them diapers but "Nigh-night panties". Your child might not be ready to be out of diapers in the middle of the night until closer to 4 years old and up. Don't add to the confusion by being inconsistent (diapers one day and undies the next).

4). Accept that there will be accidents. Keep the disinfecting wipes ready and confine your child to a room where the floor is easy to clean. Because they WILL have accidents the first day or two as they learn. And when you can accept there will be accidents then you can control how you react to accidents. Do not make a big deal about it, do not ridicule your child and do not spank. It will be embarrassing and scary enough for them. Give lots of hugs, let them know we all have accidents, drop the issue and clean it all up.

5). Reward! This is a tough one because you don't want your child to think they will always get a treat for going potty but you also want to reward them in the early stages of potty training. I've already stopped giving Abby treats for going potty after a week of potty training. She hasn't gone #2 on the potty yet so I will most likely reward her for the first time she does that.

With Elaina I would give her stickers and she'd stick them on her potty seat. With Abby I have given her a few jelly beans or M&Ms the first few times she went and TONS of praise. You'll have to use your judgment for your unique child and circumstances. But you'll definitely want to gradually cut out the rewards at some point, especially if they're a sugary treat. My thought is one week. I've even begun to tone down my verbal praise to be a little more nonchalant and normal.

5). Don't push it. If your child is scared or won't go those first days don't sweat it. Stay close to home (please, please believe me when I say it'll be so much easier if you stay at home those first potty training days!). Keep the potty chair in the open, watch the DVD, read the book and make it FUN. What worked for us was that I refused to put a diaper on Abby until she peed. She held her pee in all... day... long knowing she'd get a diaper at bedtime. So when I caught on I let her know she needed to pee on the potty or the floor because she wasn't going to get her diaper until she went. Well it worked because going on the floor is so embarrassed. I left the choice up to her, didn't push it, but made my point clear. It was the potty or the floor and she chose the potty... and was so proud of herself!

6). Undies, undies everywhere! When you are ready to potty train and you've watched the DVD with your child and picked out the seat the next step is to tell your child that it is time to put on their undies and say goodbye to diapers. Abigail fought me on this and threw a fit. So I just told her she could be naked or she could put on the panties. It was just rough for her and a big change. Once she had the new undies on she was perfectly fine. Leave the choice up to them. Running around your house naked as they potty train isn't a big deal.

7). Got milk? Or juice? When your child is in their undies (or running free as a bird) start offering them drinks. Keep the drinks coming. Give them a cup of milk, then a cup of juice, then a couple cups of water. Get fluid in them. The point is that they need to focus on what it feels like when they need to go potty. This is where tip #4 really comes in because you may have a couple accidents. Remember to give lots of reinforcement if your child does pee on the floor. Change them, clean the floor, give hugs and tell them, "Good try! Next time you feel like you have to pee just tell Mommy/Daddy or sit on your potty." Keep at it! Sometimes just having them sit on the potty all day (if they will sit there) can work, too!

So good luck potty training your child if you're going to be soon! Let me know how it goes for you! And remember... don't give up! It took 4 days for Abigail to finally go on the potty, a week to go in public and today she was going like a pro.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I entered some articles into a contest for a co-sleeping book and one of my articles got in! I'm so stoked. I don't get any money or anything but that's okay. You know when you read books and they have comments or stories from people and you wonder if they're made up? Well don't wonder with this book! One of those pieces will be from MOI! I cannot wait!!!

Another winner is Hobo Mama and I love her blog. She has recently listed some Carnivals going on right now so I'll be entering some of those. I have to blog the articles in order to enter which is great since I've been kind of lacking in the blogging department lately.

The main one I want to enter is at Science and Sensibility on not laying on your back while in labor and delivery and following your urge to push. I'm excited to post my thoughts and experience with that!

Well it is almost Easter. I have to admit I celebrate Easter separately from Resurrection Sunday. For me these are two separate events. Easter is more about celebrating the return of SPRING whereas Resurrection Sunday is about the King of Kings, Jesus. Today we did our Easter celebrations. Here are some pics (PS Our PAAS egg coloring kit was a piece of JUNK! The dye would rub off of our eggs. Anyone else have the same prob?):

Zoë has a really bad cold right now and felt a little feverish earlier so I gave her some Tylenol and she's snoozing on my chest at the moment. I feel so badly for her! She's up all throughout the night so we're not sleeping very well the past few nights.

Well I cannot remember if I blogged about this before or not but there have been some deep political issues going on with Elaina's school. I attended a board meeting this morning and it was so intense. One board member lost her seat as president and the principal was fired. (I wasn't there when the principal was fired.) I'm not really sure why or what is going on but I have my suspicions that it is partly due to her sexual orientation. Whether that is true or not I am not saying; completely speculation. Regardless of the why I am distraught and not happy with the decision to fire Elaina's principal. What she does privately had no bearing on the school or the children. I believe there is already someone new taking her place. She seemed to realize it as I saw her mouth, "There's the new principal" to someone near me at the meeting today.

Okay so I just had to get that off of my chest because the whole ordeal has been weighing heavily on me this evening. I know God is still on the throne and what will be will be. I just wonder what the repercussions of this decision will be on the school as a whole. Will the new principal be as hands-on and as loving as our former principal? How are other parents going to act? Will there be a strike or picketing or petitions? I just don't know.

So I don't want to end on that note and this is already long. Phew! Daniel is at her first worship meeting with his band tonight. I was supposed to go but because Zoë is sick the girls and I stayed home to do Easter baskets and the egg hunt. We also made pizza. I hope he's having a good time and that he gets home safely! And I cannot wait to hear how his first thing with his band went. Still no band name. They can't decide and keep coming up with goofy things.