Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2013... In Retrospect


The year of change for us...the busiest, the most stressful, the happiest, the year of growth.
And ironically, the year with the fewest blog posts!

Admittedly, we knew going into the year {2013}, that it would be one filled with many ups and downs. 

We welcomed a new baby in March - Thad has been a delight to our family! He is definitely the most loved child - and not because we favor him over the others, but he has a brother and two sisters who just absolutely adore him! His ever-ready smile just lights up the room!

Also in March, our church voted in our new pastor and his family, and they moved here in June.  Their family has been such a breath of fresh air!! Their genuine love and compassion has been a healing balm after much frustration and hurt.  Our church has experienced phenomenal growth since - and not just in numbers. It is so refreshing to attend the services each week and fellowship with other thriving believers.

In my small little handmade business world, things definitely got put on hold.  I think my Etsy shop was open maybe 3 months total. And honestly, other than the extra income, I didn't really miss it.  I had a little more time and energy to focus on other areas that needed attention.

Tim's schedule and responsibilities pretty much quadrupled {and probably more} since June 2013.  And I've pretty much realized that in order to keep things balanced in our home and family, I have to remove outside responsibilities from my "plate" so that he can add more to his. It's a good thing I'm pretty much a homebody or I might go crazy!! I'm half kidding... :) I'm enjoying this season of diapers, play-doh, and morning cuddles. I know that if I take the time and energy to train my young kiddos now, then in a few years we will be able to serve in the ministry in many additional areas.  

Titus started Kindergarten this past fall, and that brought a whole new angle to our schedule.  What am I going to do when he has "real" homework?? We are busy enough in the evenings with his piano practice (he started official lessons, as well) and reading and writing homework. It has been good for my morning routine, though, as I'm up early every morning now. I look forward to Saturdays like never before! 

That's our year in a nutshell...and I'm a little sad about all the blog posts I missed. Soooo, every Friday I plan to do a Flashback post.  I really use this blog to document the events in our life, so I want to make sure I don't skip a whole year! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mothering Twins - How {NOT} To Potty Train

Potty training my twin girlies has been the most difficult part {so far} of having twins.

They've been potty trained for over a year now, and I still cringe at the memories!! During one particular two week period, I awoke EVERY DAY to find they had smeared their poopy diapers ALL OVER their Jenny Lind style cribs - including the mattresses, surrounding walls, and their person. Being pregnant with my fourth child only added to the extremely emotional frustration!

I think I am just now able to post about it without writing hundreds of paragraphs telling all the horrible stories... 

Sooo, I am NOT the one to tell you how to potty train twins!! I tried training them simultaneously and then separately. One would seem more ready than the other and would have accident free days,
and then they would switch roles!! AAGH! 

Pull-ups were not working - and with zero energy from pregnancy,  I couldn't keep up with the mess of training two girls with cloth training pants. I realized the Pull-ups were definitely a no-go, though,  when they actually asked me to put one on them so they could go potty in them - WHAT?!

Her preferred way to wear underwear!

So, the only advice I can offer is that it WILL happen! It may take multiple sticker charts, bags of skittles, potty dolls, potty books, many pep talks, and lots of tears, but it WILL happen. What ended up being the final incentive for us was new licensed character underwear.  My mom was in town to help with the new baby and she bought them for the girls as a reward for pooping in the potty. They were officially potty trained a month or so before their 3rd birthday. :)

 Really, it probably shouldn't have been much harder than training a singleton, but my being pregnant and thereby rather inconsistent made it extremely difficult. Hopefully training #4 will be a breeze in comparison!

One piece of advice I CAN give is to carry a potty chair with you at all times! A friend with 5 children of her own shared this "secret" with me, and it has saved my sanity more times than I can count! Venturing out is stressful enough with 4 kiddos ages 5 and under, and adding bathroom trips can be an impossible feat.  So we keep a potty seat in the back of our van for emergencies. This was a lifesaver on our 20 hour road trip - it was so much easier to pull over and let them use the potty in our for-the-most-part clean van instead of having to brave the gas station facilities! YUCK! I used cheapo dollar store diapers to line the inside so that when they were finished I could easily throw away the mess.  

So, hang in there!! And don't stress! It WILL eventually click and probably not overnight!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Face Play-Doh Valentine {Free Printable}

It's that time of year again!! 

This year for Titus's little kindergarten classmates, I made these cute little Happy Face Valentine mats. I found some Play-Doh packages for 70% off a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for Valentine's Day!

I assembled them in gusseted cellophane bags and stapled a card stock bag topper to close them. 


These are designed as 4x6 prints.  I print mine as photos at Costco to make it super easy! Just be sure to choose the option "DO NOT AUTO CORRECT MY PHOTOS" and print them as "lustre" prints.

I've include two color options suitable for boys and girls.  If you want to add your child's name, PicMonkey is a great free site for adding your own texts to photos.  

Credit: Blank Faces from UCreate

Printables and all designs are for PERSONAL USE only. Please feel free to download and share, but do not distribute for profit or self-promotion. If you would like to share online, please include a link back to my site. Thanks! ENJOY!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...