When Can You Say They Are Potty Trained?

So, I would like to take a second to talk about something only moms find themselves obsessed with, poop. It’s at this point that some of you might want to stop reading, but I suspect you might be like me. From the moment your newborn is born you start frantically worrying about their poop. Do they do it enough? too much? are they having too hard of a time doing it? What exactly does this color mean? With every new milestone also comes changes in babies potty habits.

And then of course you hit potty training. Tempest is extremely stubborn and attempts to potty train her (starting at about 15 months old when she showed interest in the potty seat) mostly ended in screaming and crying and her begging to put on a diaper. So it never seemed right for us to force it. I wasn’t in a hurry.

Honestly, diapers don’t bother me that much. Without diapers she would do ok, until she had to pee, then she would hold it and cry until she couldn’t anymore then she would pee all over the floor. I didn’t want to traumatize her by forcing her to sit on the potty, so we backed off and left her be. At around 3 she still wasn’t potty trained, but she was doing much better. When we were home we would let her run around naked and as long as she didn’t have clothes on, she would go in the potty. But when we went somewhere she had to have a diaper on all the time.

Until last week. A week ago on thursday (the 21st), after 3 days of being home naked and no accidents, we put a diaper on her for gymnastics because she wouldn’t go without one. As soon as we got home the diaper came off and she continued to run naked. This is the last time a diaper has been on her.

The next few days we let her be, then went for the test. We went out to lunch, no diaper. We brought a little travel potty seat and a change of clothes and a towel in case of any messes and went off. She did great; she tried the potty there twice, and got annoyed with mom asking if she had to pee 20 million times.  Later we went over to my in-law’s house for dinner and she continued her streak on no diapers.

Yesterday, it was time for gymnastics again. Until this point, she had been doing good in dresses with no underwear, but for gymnastics she had to wear pants. I, of course, was a nervous wreck the entire time. She was fine.

It’s now been over a week since my baby has had on a diaper, and she has only had 2 accidents that entire time, but I just don’t feel confident to say she is potty trained yet.

But the truth is, I don’t think there is a line. I don’t think we can say with certainty that potty training is done, and potty trained began. It’s slow, sometimes painful, fairly exhausting, but she is also so proud. She is so excited to be a “big kid” and go in the potty chair.

I hope to have this same excitement with Alice (Hopefully soon and not wait until she is 3 1/2) and soon enough we will be done with diapers. And maybe I won’t have to ask tiny humans “Do you have to pee?” every ten minutes.

Snack time while trying out potty chairs
Family · Household · Toddlerhood

Preparing to Prepare to Move

You may have noticed a little extra silence around here. We’ve been busy around here. As some of you might know, we have been working to sell our house. The thing about selling is that as soon as your house hits the market you think about moving, but you have no idea when that will happen. For us our house has been on the market for almost a year now. With any luck we will be moving very soon. The worst part of this whole experience has been living from month to month. You think that at any time you need to be prepared to move within the month. Throughout this last year we have learned a lot about our family and how we live

1. How much stuff we actually have.

Even after a year of pairing down junk, we still have a house full of stuff. It’s amazing how much that we actually have. Every day I find another thing we don’t need. yet still our basement is half full (which is an improvement from all the way full). We don’t buy hardly anything, yet still our life is run by stuff.

How little stuff we need

When I really started thinking about things we absolutely needed to live, the list is very small.

We of course also have the list of stuff that we could manage to live without short-term, but not if its going to be another year. This sort of categorizing has driven me a little insane. I have been tempted to stick post it notes on everything we own to tell me when and where it is going. So far my house has avoided post-it note collages, but I make no guarantee about in the future.

How much my family lives for schedules

Besides the instant decision to clean house, another side effect of listing your house is that you have to start planning your life around showings. I hate showings. I hate life with showings. The house must be clean and show ready at all times, this leaves little time to do anything else.

But the benefit to this has been my family has found a love of schedules. Because I know I have little time a week we have begun to plan everything. This is also another reason for the silence on this part. With our new schedule, we leave little down time. It means a lot of family time and fun activities, but not so much time to write.

Hopefully this is over soon

We continue to plan for our big move, without a completely clear idea of when that will happen (although we hope it will be soon). In the meantime, I’m enjoying clearing out the clutter, having extra special family time, and getting life simplified and in order.

And if any one has tips on how to move with two little ones, please, please, please share. That will be a whole other ball game.

Mom Life · Toddlerhood

Lazy Mom’s Survival Tool Box

Mom Confession: I don’t want to spend all my time making my kid’s lives magical. Most of the time I love creating fun things for them to do and planning trips and outings. But sometimes I just want to stay at home and not do anything. Or at the very least catch up on housework and the latest American Ninja Warrior (that’s right I’m obsessed).

Today is one of these days. It’s hot outside. Way too hot to want to do anything. And even with the air conditioner on, our house will be hot. The girls love outside time and need it to burn off extra energy. Without it the energy converts to whines and complaints. But outside is just too hot for two little girls who overheat at 60 degrees. And I’m tired. I’m running on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. I’m sore and whiny too. We will be staying inside today.

While on some days like today I will create fun art projects or science experiments to do. Some days I just don’t have it in me. When this happens is when I feel the most guilty. I’m tired. I want to try to do something around the house for me or for the house. And planning, setting up, playing, and cleaning up after children the entire day isn’t it.

So, I want to take a second to go through the survival tool box of stuff. This stuff is the things that help me keep my sanity. They also ease the guilt a little because the girls have fun.


While outside stuff does require me to be outside and watching the girls. It is nice because they can keep themselves occupied which means I can take a kindle and read or catch up on shows or just spend some mom time facebooking.

The Pools

I love this blow-up pool because the kids think it is amazing and a big deal. I love it because I can watch them and put my feet in the water to stay cool. And maybe occasionally throw a ring or ball.

Inflatable Play Center

We also have a small cheap plastic pool for our deck. That is much easier to clean and take care of.  This was just one of the ones from the dollar store that we bought for like $5. If you just want something quick to cool the kids off, this is the best thing. Don’t spend the extra money for a big one unless you know they will love it. Our $5 pool is filled with buckets, cups, and little toys. The girls mostly spend their time pouring water from the pool on their (or mom’s) feet. I frequently have to refill but in between I get about 15-20 minutes to myself.

Water Table

Speaking of things on our Deck. Before we trusted the girls to play in the pool we bought this water table. Tempest has loved this from day one. We don’t use sand with it because I am sure that would make just a big sand/mud mess. But even with just water Tempest loves this. I will say that the paddle wheel is designed for sand so with water it spits all over. Tempest thinks this is even more fun.

American Plastic Toy Water Wheel Play Table

I bought this one because it was on sale for $15 but I really recommend looking at all of the other ones. I wouldn’t typically pay more than $20 for this one. There are a ton of super cool ones out there. I totally would love to buy like 10. I think the girls would love them, but even I want to play with them. This one actually ends up like a large bucket for water pouring more than a play table. I probably could have spent the $15 on plastic totes and gotten the same effect. Although this is much cuter on my deck and since I really want to better homes and garden house (even though I know it isn’t realistic) I’m glad we got it. We have our’s set up right next to the pool So the girls can bounce back and forth. this allows mom to sit for longer. Mint Julep, anyone?

Inside: Sit Down Please

Play Dough

This is one of the very few activities that my children will sit still for. When they are playing I can even come downstairs and get on the computer or do laundry. I hear so many parents who say they have a hatred for play dough, but I really just don’t understand it.

Play dough is super cheap. Tempest gets to pick out a new color every time we go to the store, it’s less than a dollar and makes her so super happy. I’m sure one day the girls and I will be super crafty and make our own, but for now I’m happy to keep buying it.

The best thing about play dough is that when it dries it turns hard which means I can just sweep it away. I already have to sweep daily because the children are crumb machines.

It’s one of the easiest art projects that I can possible have. The girls have a ton of stamps that help them with numbers and letters, so it is even educational


This is a classic staple to parent sanity. We have color books for restaurants. We have big ones, little ones, ones with stickers. We even have a big easel for the girls to color. I love coloring. And as you can tell anything that gets them to sit down for more than three seconds is ok with me.

A warning though in case you are just getting into toddlerhood. Toddlers are crayon smugglers. I don’t know how it happens, but Alice will find a crayon and hide it for later. She brings them out when alone so she can decorate things like, her bed, the walls, random books, Mom’s work notes. Pretty much anything and everything in this house has crayon on it.

So while this does provide a moment of peace, it can potentially have longer consequences that are detrimental to your magazine cover house.

Vtech’s Go!Go! Sets

The Vtech sets are awesome. Tempest has just gotten into putting the tracks together. Alice just really likes the cars right now. I can see them playing with these for at least a few years, and really anything that gets more than a year’s worth of use with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, is amazing. These sets do keep the girls occupied. We have both animals and cars and they mix together.

Forewarning for Parents: These cars are alive and have a mind of their own. Turn them off after they are done playing with them, otherwise you will be sitting there watching TV and hear “I’m Frank, and This is my fire truck” (This is Alice’s favorites and always the one that seems to go off).

Fire Command Rescue Center Playset

Inside: Get Moving

My girls still need to be active during the day (see note above about whines and complaints). So, I have stuff for that too.


If you have room in your house for a little slide like this. Buy it! Buy it right now! This is the number one thing I could have bought my active children. We bought it for Tempest for her first birthday and it is used every day. Not only can the girls run and slide on it, they can also slide balls down it and then go and chase the balls. I cannot say enough about the slide. We can take it outside or leave it in. I like it inside because they can run around and I can write.

Little Tikes First Slide, Red/Blue


We bought Tempest a little trampoline for Christmas after her first birthday. She loves bouncing.

Galt Toys Nursery Trampoline

This is the trampoline we bought. I will say about this particular model the turtles head ripped after about 6 months and now just lies on the floor, and the skirting bunches up a little after a year of use. But we have gotten our use out of this thing. It is really sturdy so even when both girls are on it and are screwing around it won’t tip. I love that it isn’t super bouncy so it was perfect for Tempest when she was one and two. Now that Tempest is a little older (and Alice is the size of a 5-year-old) we could use a more standard gym trampoline. But I didn’t want anything with too much bounce when they were little.


We only have about a million. Seriously, for a child a ball is endless fun. Blow up beach balls, balls with handles to bounce on, kick balls, bouncy balls. It doesn’t matter.

The girls even have a ball pit because they are spoiled. My thinking would be it would keep the balls all in one spot. This of course is not actually the case, but at least the girls can use it as a tent.

Hexagon Pop Up Ball Pit Tent

The Key

If you’ve made it this far in this post congratulations, you now know how I keep my little bit of sanity I have left when we are home all day. There is a key to all of this though. And it is to not have all of the toys out all at once. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. When everything is reachable all the time they will play with nothing. But when I have things  put away and bring them out, it’s now a new fun thing, even if they have played it a million times.

*This post contains affiliate links. They are only for the products I use. If I recommend them, I love them wholeheartedly. I have included amazon links because I’m obsessed with ordering from them. I don’t have to leave and with Amazon Prime stuff gets to my house in 2 days (which is way before I could make it to the store). It’s a great way for me to show you what I use. And if you want them too, it’s easy for you to find. You should feel under no obligation to buy these products or buy them from my link.

Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial



I feel like I should say something about recent events about the deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and the mass murders of Dallas Police Officers, About all the senseless violence in the last few years and all the fights over political bullshit. It should be my duty, as anyone with a voice’s duty, to stand up and say something about how our country has become. But I really don’t know what to say. Nothing I can say is going to do justice to how I feel. My heart is heavy for the world my children are growing up in. Instead I will leave you this letter on behalf of my children.



One Month

It’s been a full month since I have started this blog. So, I wanted to take a second to say thank you. Thank you to the 137 people who have collectively viewed my blog 363 times this month (that’s over 2.5 times per person). Also thank you to everyone who has chosen to keep up to date with me and liked my Facebook page. And a big thank you to those of you who have helped share my words.

It may not seem like much, but I can tell this is the start to something amazing. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer (the first time I said I wanted to be a writer was 3 years old) and this is just the start. It seems fitting that my one month blog-iversary is on Independence Day because for me this is my own type of independence. I was always too scared to put my writing on the top of my to-do list. I believed that it wasn’t as important as working, finding a job, cleaning the house, because it was fun. If it’s fun, it can’t be important. But the truth is, that makes it that much more important. The start of this blog is much more than just a side thing I do with free time.  I have all of you to thank for that. All of you who have already joined me and all of you who will in the future. You are as big of an inspiration for me as I hope to be for you.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you in on three things that you can expect from me in the future.


This month is Camp Nanowrimo (If you don’t know what that is check out all the details here: ). I have participated a few times in the past and have decided to participate again. For this camp’s project, I am working to write my first book. It’s all about my life as a parent of toddlers. More of the crazy, fun-filled, antics that I post here, but new stories, new insight, and book length. If all goes well, I will finish the draft for Camp Nanowrimo this year, edit during the next few months, and this will be out to buy in October.


I have been working as a writing coach for about 6 years now. Between working on my Master’s degree and having babies I have taken it easy and only took on a few projects. But I’m ready to start building up again. Over the next few months I will be working to bring information and inspiration about writing. Expect more information about that later (it’ll be posted to my Facebook and twitter, so make sure to follow me to keep up to date).

In the meantime, I have just a few available spots for writing coaching open if anyone is working on (or wants to get started working on) a story they have inside of them. If interested, contact me through Facebook, twitter, or email.


The final thing that you can expect from me is more posts. Yes, this is my commitment that I am going to keep this blog going. I love sharing my stories and insight with you and most of all I love hearing what you have to say. Expect more of my thoughts about parenthood,  more about our journey in homeschooling, more about our trips and explorations, and more updates from our crazy family. And I hope you will all keep sharing with me.

I am also planning to give you all some extras with my blog posts. I’m working to develop some printables, tables, charts, and lists that will be available soon. I am an organizational freak and anything that makes my life easier or more organized I am in love with. One of the best things in some of my favorite blogs have been these type of extras. So, I really want to be able to provide them in the future. If you have any ideas of things you would like to see from me shoot me a message.

Thank you again for all your support. Happy Independence Day from my Family to yours


Family · Mom Life · Toddlerhood

The Helicopter Mom

I would be classified as a helicopter mom. My kids are still very young so maybe this is justified, but I do understand that sometimes I go a little overboard when we are out in the real world. I hear tragic stories that happen to children and think “That could never be my kids” This isn’t because I think I am a better parent than those parents (I’m not), or because I think my children are more well-behaved (they aren’t), It is simple because when we are out in public I have a hand on my children always. And this is everywhere, the grocery store, the park, a secluded field with nothing around, it doesn’t matter. I realize this is ridiculous and that at 3 1/2 and 2 They probably don’t need to hold my hand at the grocery store if they are right next to me.

Yesterday we went to an amazing park with a farm animal barn, playground, and nature center. My children love places like this, but they get easily overwhelmed. I knew this would be the case when we pulled up to the Barn and there was a bus full of kids on a field trip. But we went anyway. We started off the same as always, hand in hand. By the time we got to the goats, Tim and Alice were already ahead of us looking at the ducks. The ducks are one of Tempest’s favorite animals so she was beyond excited when she saw them.

This is when I did the unthinkable. I let go. I told her to go ahead and catch up to Daddy and watched her run to her sister. It may have been less than 50 ft, with my eye on her the whole time, but there was other people around and this was a big step for me.  The rest of the day I remembered to check in with myself. Was I being too overprotective? Could the girls walk on the path without holding my hands? could I trust Alice to walk over the bridge without falling over the edge? I know I can’t protect them from everything. I can’t save them from getting hurt always. They are going to have to experience pain, sadness, and mistakes. For now, I will celebrate one tiny step in allowing them more freedom.