Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Milestone....Now Introducing the Big Girl Bed!!

We reached 2 milestones with Kate this week end. (By the way potty training days #2 and #3 were frustrating and wonderful respectively.)  We believe in big moves around here! The day she started potty training I went upstairs to remove the side rail on her crib (now big girl bed). Yes I did it myself. I am the same woman who went crazy 6 months ago when I was  informed by my husband that he had taken the side rail off of Kate's crib for nap time that day. I remember him saying, "Betsy, I think she's ready!" and then I remember saying, "Well she may be ready, but I'm not!" So back on it went. Well I guess this week end I was ready. How has she done?? Wonderful! That first night she pointed to the side rail leaning up against the wall and asked for it to be put back on. (Probably the only 3 year old in the world who wanted it put back ON.) The first night  she slept until 9:30 the next morning. She has always loved her bed so we had that working in our favor. Couple that with the fact that she may not have caught on to the fact that she can get up anytime she wants. Shhhhh... please don't tell her. :)

Do you see that pink stuffed worm tied to her bed?? I tied that on the first day we put the crib in her room. Months before she was here. And it has never come off. I love that. :) That little pink worm has seen ALOT in the past 3 years!

Save the Strawberries!

I've had this little problem with strawberries lately. My 2 silly gooses love them and gobble them up nearly every day, BUT usually not fast enough. There is a point where I open up the carton and they are just teetering on the edge of viability. Translation: I probably need to pitch them tomorrow. Jared bought this great big carton last week which was great but when I went to slice Kate some this morning I realized that they were strawberries on the edge. What to do??? Make homemade fruit leather of course!! I have to say it turned out pretty tasty for the first time. I used THIS fruit leather recipe. VERY easy and a great way to use up fruit. Any fruit!! I think I will use apples next time. :)  If you have fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and an oven you are good to go.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kate's Potty Party

Warning: The following post is filled with potty talk (REAL potty talk) and is a play by play of the day for my records. If you aren't interested, skip to the pics!

The journey began last summer when I decided I would potty train 2 1/2 year old Kate. She had always passed milestones with out a lot of problems so imagine my surprise when the first morning we tried, she loudly proclaimed, "I no potty Mommy!!" and then proceeded to use our carpet and tile as her personal port o potty. The whole time we tried she did not pee in the potty once! Shortly after this attempt I went  back to work and obviously I put it off.... ALOT! I decided that this was our week end. A good long week end. 3 days to be exact. Here was my plan (and there are a lot of plans out there.Just ask ANY Mom and they will give you their personal philosophy on potty training) Ok back to my plan. It was simple. Watch Kate like a hawk, stick to her like glue, and when she started to pee run her to the bathroom. The whole morning this was our routine. She would be standing/sitting there and I would hear "Uh oh!" And then look to see pee running down her leg and then I would pick her up and book it to the bathroom where she would (amazingly) finish in the potty. I was so happy that she was actually finishing in the potty. I was so happy that I was actually hearing the sound of tinkling in the potty. A sound I had never heard before from this little girl. I went crazy the first time and she gave me a look of fright so I toned it down a little. My resolve was weakened a little when she finished on the potty and looked up at me and said, "I want my diaper." But I pushed on.  Then I had her pick out a sticker to put on her potty chart. She was as pleased as punch about the stickers and was quite upset when she realized that she had to pee in the potty to get a sticker. Yes I am talking fit. :) The next bridge was crossed when I asked her if she needed to go potty and she said yes and then actually went on the potty. You can imagine how excited I was by this!! I couldn't hold it back and I could tell it was clicking because she smiled and kind of ducked her head all shy like. She knew she was doing something amazing. She said, "I pee pee in the potty and not my panties!" Bingo!!!! Then the most wonderful bridge was crossed when I was sitting there folding laundry and she suddenly gets up and says, "I go pee pee Mommy." I took her hand and we rushed to the potty with her saying "Hurry!" and "Get out of the way!" even though there was no one in her way. And....... my girl!!!! The second she sat down I heard that wonderful tinkling noise and I was jubilant and my overabundance of excitement for her was not lost on her this time. She got it. For the rest of the afternoon and in to the early evening it was the same routine. She would announce it, walk/run to the potty, and then proudly do her business. I was so proud. And of course I documented it in pictures.:)

I made this potty chart 5 minutes before she woke up. Look at all those stickers. We were busy today! I orginally had it divided up into pee pee and poopy and then had to laugh because I had about 20 spaces for poopy. What was I thinking?!!? Thankfully we didn't use 20 spaces.Now that would have been a deal breaker. We didn't even use 1 of the poopy spaces. She just started placing the stickers anywhere.  

Normally I complain about the dry hot days in Texas, but not today! It was perfect for drying panties fast!.:)

I know this falls under the category of "someday she will kill me for this" but I am so glad I took this picture. This is the first time that it really clicked with her as to what she was doing. See that smile?? Pure pride baby!

The stickers were her reward today and it was all she needed.

Counting the stickers. She really loved picking out the stickers after every success but the last time she pottied today she didn't seem to care about getting a sticker. Progress???

The Elmo panties. We have 7 more pairs.;)

I never realized how much attention I would have to give Kate. I felt like Carson was kind of left out today. But don't worry, he survived and added a lot of comic relief. Bless his heart.

I think Carson is none too happy about Kate joining him on his "show ottoman" where he was in the middle of putting on an impressive gymnastics routine. He is saying, "Man Kate. You've got that potty thing going on today AND you're stealing my thunder on my ottoman??"

But the show must go on. So the gymnastics continued.

He takes a break to wrestle with Kate.

Back at it. His most impressive move of the day.

After one of our potty sessions Kate and I emerged from the bathroom to find this. Carson had turned his shirt into a strapless little number. (Don't look Mimi!! The neck on this shirt was WAY strecthed out!)

Ok so sue me! We did a lot of this today. (Watching TV if you can't tell.) But it worked because I could keep a very close eye on Kate all day. And no they don't always watch TV that way. I just thought it was funny they were in the same pose.

The potty dance! We danced a lot today and I loved it. Who could resist their little girl saying, "Mommy dance with me!!!" Not I!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Best Day

I had the best day! Once in awhile I get to stay home with my kids during the week when they aren't sick and just really enjoy them. Oh we had the best day. I made them liquid sidewalk chalk, homemade pizza for lunch, chased Carson around with the vacuum cleaner hose (trust me he loved it), played ball, and just hugged them and kissed them a lot. I loved it when Kate said, "Mama count with me!" She is getting really good at counting. Not all over the place counting like she used to. Really careful slow counting. And then when I put her down for her nap she said, "Thank you Mama." Oh I loved it. And then I rocked Carson a little before he went down. I kissed him with little kisses on his forehead until his eyes got heavy. Exactly like I used to do when he was a newborn. Oh my heart was full today! Thank you God for my bonus day!!!

Liquid Sidewalk Chalk 1 cup cornstarch+ 1 cup water and then add food coloring. Brushes on like water colors but dries brighter. Thanks to my sis in law Stacey for the idea. :)

Kate Girl loves my homemade pizza.

The easiest recipe. 30 minutes from the time I start making it to the time it is entering K&C's mouths.

Carson loved it. And it is allergy approved!

One of the ways you can tell it's summer is when strawberries go from looking horrible to these bright red beauties. Also when they go from being $4.99!!! to $1.50! Oh yeah! The kids had a good dessert of strawberries today.

Relaxin' Carso style!

What a girl!

My nap time craft. (Oh how I miss nap time crafts!) I had been wanting to do this shirt for Carson for awhile. Can't wait to see his face when he sees it. :)

Resident Goofball

I love my son for many reasons. One of those many reasons is his slightly (???) quirky nature. What do I mean by quirky? Oh you know.... like putting on Mr. Potato  Head glasses and wearing them for over an hour. He wore them around like he needed them. Like the doc had given him a prescription and told him to never take them off. I only know this because every time they would fall off he would shout "Mommy! Gasses!!!"

Not exactly a perfect fit.

Bifocals can be rough!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Kate

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chalk Talk

Last Saturday I broke out the box of sidewalk chalk that I had been keeping in the laundry room for the past year. Why??? This stuff is the ticket to 30 minutes of Mommy "free time." My kids went to town drawing "robots" and endless circles and squares all over our back patio. An amazing rain storm wiped  the slate clean on Friday. Just another chance to use the chalk.

He's serious about his robots

Doesn't she look much older than 3 in this picture?


I love how Kate has her legs up behind her in that "teenage girl I'm talking on the phone" kind of way.

Kate getting a perspective on her drawing.

Mommy's Day Pictures- Take 2!

In my never ending quest to get pictures with my kids, I asked Jared to snap these Mother's day night. Smiling? Check! Looking at the camera? Sorta Check! All clothes on? Uncheck! I will someday have all 3 checks...until then get a load of the sweetness.

Pardon my white legs. It's just the no tan way I roll.

My Mommy heart really wants to believe that Carson is looking at me. But in reality, I think he is looking at the wall. But it's a sweet thought. Or maybe he is looking at me???

It's pictures like this one that will make me cry my eyes out the day that Kate and  Carson leave for college.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Appreciation seems like such a small word for the way that I feel about the  women that blessed my children with love this school year. When you entrust your kids to other peoples care even for just a fraction of the day and fraction of the week you feel so vulnerable. You want them to love them. Maybe not as much as you do ( I mean how could that be possible???) but you want them to be loved well. You want them to temper discipline with grace, you want them to have hugs and love, and learn about God and Jesus and as a topper maybe they can learn their ABCs, colors, and numbers. That's a lot to expect. And I can say with full confidence that all  of my kids teachers went above and beyond every thing I wanted this year for my kids. At the age Kate and Carson are they can't go on and on about their day at school. (Oh how I long for that day.) You have to look for their "report" about their day in other ways. I learn a lot by listening to Kate name all of her friends in her class, always starting with Jace, and then Jackson, and then kendal, Hannah, Lacey, Trey, ..I know them all and I've hardly even seem them. I just "met" Jace today in a Valentine's picture. I learn by hearing Kate say her prayers at night, "thank you for  Andrea and Mikki." I knew her teachers were special when they earned the coveted spot in her prayers right in between Daddy and Elmo. :) I learn by listening to Kate's new phrases. "Thank you for helping me Mommy." I learn by listening to Carson count quietly to himself. I learn by listening to him sing, "Why does God put rainbows in the sky L-O-V-E love that's why!" And the B-I-B-L-E yes that's the book for me........." I learn by hearing him consistently  say, "Thank you" when things are done for him.These ladies are reinforcing a thankful heart in my children. I am SO grateful for that.
 But mostly I learn by the way they carefully fold their hands together and bow their heads and start their little prayers the same way everytime. I love that these ladies love my kids enough to pray with them.  I have to tell this story about Carson's teacher Julie. At meet the teacher night at the beginning of the year I asked her if she would please remember to put a little note on his take home sheet. Just a little tid bit about his day. I was sad about going back to work and wanted to know something about his day. With out fail,  every time Carson was there Julie wrote a note on his sheet. I cherished them all "Carson enjoyed singing today in chapel." "Loved all of his hugs today." Julie will never know how much that meant to me. How I loved reading those little notes at the end of my work day.
 I am so thankful for these ladies. For their love, patience, understanding, discipline, and gentleness. But mostly I am thankful to them because they moved my children's hearts that much closer  to God and Jesus this year. Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart. You are so special to us. We love you!!!!

Mrs. Julie and Mrs. Kimla

Mrs. Andrea and Mrs. Nikki

I always think about this song "Thank You" when I think about the impact that teachers have on our children. It is life changing. Yes even at this young age. The first verse always touches my heart deeply.


Appreciation Gifts

Today was the kids' last day at YCW. I wanted to make something special for each of their teachers but seriously, I could carve their names out of gold and it still wouldn't express how thankful I am for these amazing women. See above post. But I tried. If planning and creating special gifts was a job I know that I would thouroughly enjoy it. I have such a passion for it. I always have this thought in the back of my mind that people are saying, "Oh dear here comes Betsy with her homemade gifts. Just smile and tell her how much you like it. " I hope that doesn't happen because I absolutely love it. And now for the gifts.

Homemade Peppermint Body Scrub. This stuff is amazing. I use it everyday. It's all natural. I've made so many jars of this scrub lately I could make it in my sleep. 1/3 cup mineral oil +1 cup sugar+2 Tbsp Corn Syrup+1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract. I got the recipe HERE.

I found these little jars at Hobby Lobby. I used the stamp set I bought last year and stamped each teacher's initials on them.

I decided these ladies were way too awesome for just an ordinary gift bag, so I sewed them drawstring bags from this unbelievably easy tutorial.

And something for the kids. Elmo Cake Pops. I dreamed about making these and they didn't turn out as great as I thought they would. Something is wrong with  the mouth and I think the pupils need to be bigger. Yeah it's one of life's bigger problems. Hmmmm...... I'm going to try to figure it out.

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6