Monday, October 31, 2011

Goodbye October, Hello Week

It's a chilly, drizzly Monday here, and we're dragging a bit. I have a sore throat knocking at the door, so my husband put me on water-drinking duty. :)

Our weekend, however, was jam-packed. We had a date night (thanks to some awesome friends who babysat for us!), went to a birthday party, I did a photoshoot, and we finished off with a baby shower, church, and a very dirty, messy house.

The pregnant lineup--6 babies total
Pregnant friends at a baby shower. I think we were 17, 31, 37, 38, and 41 weeks respectively. :)
Menu-wise, so far I am loving my Betty Crocker cookbook! Both the Hungarian Goulash and the Spicy Peanut Chicken recipes that I made from it were a hit. I'll post the peanut chicken recipe soon!

Here's this week's menu. I'm feeling uninspired concerning Saturday's meal...any suggestions?

This week's dinner menu:

Monday--Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Tuesday--Mediterranean Tuna Casserole with Olives and Capers (from my Not Your Mother's Casseroles Cookbook)
Wednesday--Chicken, Avocado, and Cheddar Melt Sandwiches (from The New Basics Cookbook)
Thursday--Pizza Night with salad
Friday--Steak on the grill with veggies
Saturday--Help me out here, will ya? Need something simple and budget-friendly. This cold is making my brain blank out.
Sunday--Leftovers.

As far as weekly goals, I was surprised at how many I was able to cross off the list this past week. Who-hoo for exercise success! I hope it makes labor easier this time around...
  • Exercise x 3. Success two weeks in a row! Hurrah!
  • Write outline for blog post reviewing The Mission of Motherhood. Yes! Did this. Need to contact the publishing company for permission to quote her book in a blog post...
  • Finish Around The World in 80 Years.
  • Schedule a hair cut for Squishy (he is looking pretty..um...shaggy these days). I cut his hair myself, with Andrew's help. We were proud of ourselves.
  • Schedule a doctor's appointment for Squishy. I have a very hard time remembering to make appointments. Yay! Finally done.
  • Work for one hour on a photo project. This was mainly spent editing photos.
  • Order Christmas cards. This was partially completed. I'm ordering from different companies in order to save the most money. One batch arrived yesterday!
  • Arrange for a friend and I to take our kiddos to storytime at the library. Still lagging on this.
  • Oh yes, and I haven't ditched the bedtime/waketime goal. Bedtime goal=10 pm. Waketime goal=6 am. Oh my. Pregnancy is making this near impossible it feels like! I have been in bed by 10 most nights, but sometimes don't fall asleep until 2 hours later. Which makes waking up quite painful. I'd say I woke up between 6-6:30 about 4 days this week.

I'm making a fairly short list of goals for this week, mainly because I know I might be feeling under the weather. They are:
  • Edit 4 photos/day (28 photos total).
  • Complete Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
  • Exercise x 3 (can I pull this off 3 weeks in a row?!?).
  • Order more Christmas cards.
  • Make Christmas card list w/addresses.
  • Bake bread.
Is your week off to a good start?



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

#25 On The List {Try New Adventures Thursday!}

When I was a little girl, my godparents showed up at our house unexpectedly one morning to make us breakfast. And not just any breakfast. Eggs Benedict. My godfather took charge in the kitchen, poaching, blending, and assembling. Until then, I had no idea such an exquisite breakfast existed.

15-ish years later, and I'd never tried to poach an egg or make a hollandaise sauce myself. It's #25 on my list of 27 things I want to do this year before I turn 27.  So on Monday, I attempted it! It was not completely successful, but I'll show you how it went.

Eggs Benedict assembly

1st off, while there are several steps involved, none of them take very long. 2 1/2 minutes or so to poach the eggs, 5 minutes to toast your Canadian bacon and English muffins, a minute or so to melt your butter, and then maybe 5 minutes to make your hollandaise sauce (but I could be off on that, because mine didn't come out exactly right). So it's best to get everything out and ready so that you can actually serve the end product hot. Above you can see my assembly line of sorts.

I went by Ree Drummond's recipe, and here is her glorious result:


She makes it look easy as pie! See how incredibly thick her sauce is?

Everything went well until I got to the hollandaise part. Then, sadly, I couldn't seem to get it to thicken! In hindsight, I think I poured the hot butter into the blender with the eggs a tad bit too quickly.

My end result:

The half-way successful product

My hollandaise didn't thicken, but can I just say that all together, it still tasted great? Please, Julia Child, don't turn in your grave. We ate it and enjoyed it (and I'm rejoicing in the fact that I now know how to poach eggs!).

Speaking of Julia, I should have referenced her cookbook before I started. She gives all kinds of tips for hollandaise sauce and speaks about how every cook should be familiar with "egg yolks under all conditions." Next time I attempt the sauce (I will conquer it eventually!) I'll read that section 10 or so times before I start! I did get a laugh out of what she says about making hollandaise in a blender:

"...the technique is well within the capabilities of an 8-year-old child, it has much to recommend it."

Well, don't I feel brilliant! Maybe she meant an 8 year old French child....
___________________________

Ok, link up your adventures below! Participating in Try New Adventures Thursday is easy, simply link up your particular blog post below, link back to Alicia's Homemaking in your post, and visit a few fellow participants with cheerful comments!









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Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Happenings, New Cookbooks, Menu, and Goals

This past weekend we stuffed our tiny apartment with 8 people and had oodles of fun. Andrew's family came to visit, and we filled the weekend with a steak dinner, s'mores, craft shopping (with my sister-in-law!), book shopping, coffee, root beer floats, a fall festival, and nutella hot chocolate. {The events were a post unto themselves.}

Smores, minus the campfire.
We perfected the art of making s'mores over the grill

I came away from the book sale elated, because I found Volume 1 and 2 of Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking (for a total of $14!). I also added Betty Crocker's cookbook to my collection.

I've been perusing my cookbook collection and trying to incorporate more recipes from my cookbooks in our weekly menu plan. My cookbook shelf holds some awesome resources that I have left somewhat untapped. This week I'm trying two recipes from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook (the 1996 edition).

Here's this week's dinner menu: 

Monday--Eggs Benedict
Tuesday--Stuffed Buffalo Chicken with carrots
Wednesday--Pinto Bean and Brown Rice Burritoes
Thursday--Spicy Peanut Chicken with Brown Rice (from the Betty Crocker Cookbook)
Friday--Pizza Night
Saturday--Hungarian Goulash (also from Betty Crocker's Cookbook)
Sunday--Leftovers

I'll let you know what we think of the recipes!

Next, weekly goals. Last week I crossed off the following: 
  • Exercise x 3. Yes! I did it!
  • Finish Around The World in 80 Years. Made progress on this book, but didn't quite finish it.
  • Finish The Mission of Motherhood (and write blog post outline). I finished the book (yay!!!), but not the outline.
  • Finish the letter to my friend.
  • Gather Operation Christmas Child supplies. I got a start on this. I have the box and a few starter gifts (crayons, pencils, chalk, etc.).
  • Plant herb seeds. I need fresh parsley in my life again. Nope. The basil is still lonely.
  • Work on wedding scrapbook for one hour. Nope. Instead, I worked on editing pictures because there are tons of great photo deals around right now.
  • Consistently go to bed by 10 pm and wake up at 6 am (getting up at 6 gives me at least an hour before the little one is up!). Hm. I think I did this 3 days in a row and then I had trouble sleeping and woke up later.
  • Arrange for a friend and I to take our kiddos to storytime at the library. Not yet.
 
Now, for this week:
  • Exercise x 3.
  • Write outline for blog post reviewing The Mission of Motherhood
  • Finish Around The World in 80 Years.
  • Schedule a hair cut for Squishy (he is looking pretty..um...shaggy these days).
  • Schedule a doctor's appointment for Squishy. I have a very hard time remembering to make appointments.  
  • Work for one hour on a photo project.
  • Order Christmas cards.
  • Arrange for a friend and I to take our kiddos to storytime at the library.
  • Oh yes, and I haven't ditched the bedtime/waketime goal. Bedtime goal=10 pm. Waketime goal=6 am.


Are you ready to tackle this new week?



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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas in October {Try New Adventures Thursday!}

I'm usually one of those last-minute Christmas people. In part, I think, because the weather in Florida takes so long to catch up with the cooler seasons. It doesn't feel like Christmas until the holiday is literally upon you. And then sometimes (like every 15 years) there will be snow flurries, and other times you're still in a t-shirt.

Mantel at my parent's last year...
The mantel at my parent's house last Christmas...:)

But enough excuses. This year at Christmastime, I might be in the hospital having a baby (I'm due on the 29th...1st baby was 3 days early). So I'm going to be a little occupied or I'm still going to be gigantically pregnant. Either way, not quite up to running around to gather last minute supplies/ingredients/gifts related to the holiday.

This will also be our first family Christmas at home, away from family (unless they come to us). A little sad, and a little exciting. If I haven't had the baby yet, I would like to have some sort of Christmas meal planned, although necessity may require it to be simple.

We like to keep our Christmas stress-free and minimalist in general. I love to give away baked goods, and we treasure our few family traditions. Our gifts to family and friends will be primarily homemade/handmade. And the budget is tight. All the more room for creativity and fun, right (if I'm not napping, that is)?

So, back to planning ahead. I printed some nifty Christmas planning sheets from Life...Your Way and am in the process of deciding which handmade gift to make for who, what supplies I need, what I want to cook (and can I freeze it ahead of time?), who to send Christmas cards to, what addresses I need, etc.

Shaa-zam! Somebody pinch me...this must be the pregnancy nesting urge kicking in. :D

Pinterest (are you pinning yet?) is my new Christmas search engine. Here are a few festive things I might try this year:






                                                                                                                 

Source: wohnidee.wunderweib.de via Alicia's Homemaking on Pinterest

I love candles in the wintertime! They are particularly cheap at the Dollar Store.



                                                                                     Source: prudentbaby.com via Alicia's Homemaking on Pinterest

A Salt dough ornament may work perfectly for our family ornament this year. :) Remember the handprint snowman ornaments we made last year?

                                                                                         Source: tidymom.net via Alicia's Homemaking on Pinterest


I've been wanting to make peppermint bark for awhile now...sounds scrumptious.

            
                                                                                            Source: christmas.yourway.net via Alicia's on Pinterest


Homemade hot cocoa mix sounds like a fun gift for the neighbors!

                                                                                 Source: danielleburkleo.com via Alicia's on Pinterest


I would be very proud of myself if I managed to make a wreath that looked this cute.

                                                      Source: fromthetortoiseandthehare.blogspot.com via Alicia's Homemaking on Pinterest


In our 700 sq. ft. apartment, I have very little room for Christmas decorating. But these cute winter wonderland jars might find their way onto the coveted space on our one kitchen shelf...

Here's to a festive holiday season full of sweet memories, a huge stomach (because of the baby, ya'll, not the goodies), dear friends, and, of course, the proper amount of food. May there be lots of last minute spontaneity and very little last minute scrambling....
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It's Thursday, so link up your recent adventures below! The rules are simple: link up your blog post, link back to Alicia's Homemaking, and then leave an encouraging comment or two on someone else's post!








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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Week of No Complaining (Kinda-Sorta)

"Do all things without complaining and disputing...
Philippians 1:2

I heard someone say once that they were making an effort not to say anything negative or complaining in nature to their husband for a month. "Well, that sounds like a good idea...but hard." I thought, and continued on my merry, casually complaining way.

It came to my mind again this month, because I have been focusing on being more intentional in loving my sweet hubby. Each week, I'm trying to think of ways I can bless him/love him and asking God to help me (I know my natural love is shabby).

<3 him
See? I have nothing to complain about. :)
So I revisited the idea of being more aware of what comes out of my mouth. In reality, we're not supposed to complain at all. Not complaining to my husband is just a start. And it's certainly not going to be accomplished without the grace of God.

How did it go? Well, I certainly didn't succeed 100%. Complaining can fly out of your mouth less than two seconds flat. On night #2 of the week I found myself complaining during a disagreement with my husband. Oops. Several nights I would catch myself saying things in a grumbly manner and would backpedal, saying, "I'm not trying to complain! I am very grateful for fill-in-the-blank." There were times when I would be on the verge of voicing dissatisfaction with such-and-such and I would remember "No complaining!" and bite my tongue.

Overall, it was humbling. The Psalmist prayed that God would set a watch over his mouth...to put a guard at the door...and I need the same.

I told Andrew about my week-long challenge last night and asked if he noticed a difference. He said that in hindsight, yes, he did. So that was encouraging (and also humbling?).

I should mention here that I did not make this goal because I feel like complaining about my husband frequently. Far from it. The man is wonderful--my best friend. But I do find myself complaining to him. (Just FYI, in case it was confusing.)

The entire week was just another reminder that my whole life is supposed to reflect gratitude, not discontent. I'm continuing my list of gifts from God in my notebook...

#221: Long naptimes.

#222: Goldfish crumbles on the floor.

#223: Fall leaves.

#224: The chance to go to my midwife appointment by myself this week (hurrah for a babysitter!).

#225: A solution to one of my pregnancy induced sleeping problems (puffier pillows behind my back, in case you were wondering). 

#226: A clear day, visit to a lake, and DUCKS.

#227: Squishy's "Bye ah-body!" (Bye everybody!)

#228: Toasted English muffins with cream cheese and homemade blueberry peach jam.

#229: Waiting for packages to come in the mail.

#230: Andrew washing the dishes as I type.

How do you feel like you would fare on a "no complaining" challenge? Keeping in mind, of course, that God has already commanded us not to grumble!



P.S. I should mention that during the writing of this post I got mildly irked with my husband for interrupting me a few times as I tried to write. Remember the part where I mentioned "my love is shabby?" Um, yeah.

Sorry 'bout that, hun!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello Week!

After an enjoyable weekend of visiting my family, it's back to a (mostly) normal Monday. I have yet to put together a menu plan because I got too wrapped up in my book on our drive home yesterday.

Planning for the week...

But it's a beautiful Monday here. Squishy and I have already been out for a morning walk and started a load of post-trip laundry. I had some lovely alone time this morning and had a chance to think about some goals for this week. Looking over the list from last week, I realize that there are still quite a few goals left unfinished...but I'm very much ok with that. I'm still much more focused than before... and I'm trying to stay flexible and let my own goals go if they get in the way of doing something God gives me in the moment. All my time is His--something I'm trying to keep fresh in my mind.

Here's how I did last week: 
  • Continue potty training! Yes! We have reached a do-able place with potty training. Squish now has very few "pee-pee" accidents. During the day he wears two pairs of undies and a diaper cover, so he can feel when he goes but it doesn't make a huge mess. We're still working on #2...and from what I hear, that can take awhile!
  • Exercise x 3. Only exercised twice. I'm wanting to get out of the house earlier this week for walks, because the weather is so nice.
  • Organize that last remaining kitchen cabinet. I mean it this week!! Finally, success. :)
  • Write my friend a letter. Started the letter, haven't finished it.
  • Work for 1 hour on our wedding scrapbook. Didn't get there.
  • Plant herb seeds. Can't seem to get to this. All I have growing right now is Basil.
  • Bake bread (something I've only done once during this pregnancy!).
  • Read the last chapter of The Mission of Motherhood and write an outline for a blog post reviewing it. I only have one chapter left and was planning on reading it this weekend while we visited my parents. Instead, I got caught up in (and have almost finished!) one of my Dad's books (Around the World in 80 Years: The Story of Aurthur Burt).
  • Gather some supplies for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox. I ran very few errands last week, so this goal was pushed to this week.
  • Lastly, I have a marriage goal to work on that I'm not going to tell you about until next week. It's an experiment of sorts, and I can't blow my cover, cause my hubby sometimes reads my blog! Ok, so my goal was to not say any complaining words to my husband all week (certainly not a goal I could accomplish without God's ability). I'm going to let you know how this went tomorrow....

Ahhhh, naptime...#currentlyreading

For this week my goals are: 
  • Exercise x 3.
  • Finish Around The World in 80 Years.
  • Finished The Mission of Motherhood (and write blog post outline). 
  • Finish the letter to my friend.
  • Gather Operation Christmas Child supplies.
  • Plant herb seeds. I need fresh parsley in my life again.
  • Work on wedding scrapbook for one hour.
  • Consistently go to bed by 10 pm and wake up at 6 am (getting up at 6 gives me at least an hour before the little one is up!). 
  • Arrange for a friend and I to take our kiddos to storytime at the library. 
I am so happy to see a difference in how much I am reading since I started setting a reading goal each week.  The flow of new ideas and wisdom from others has been encouraging me on a daily basis. :)

Do you have any goals for this week?



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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Kale and Baguettes {Try New Adventures Thursday!}

I cooked with kale for the 1st time this week. But don't go thinking I was all health-nutty about it. I cooked it right along with 4 cups of half and half. And some whole milk. And some sausage. But no butter (can you believe it?).

Yes, obviously I had some help from the Pioneer Woman.  She seems to make her way into the menu plan every week, and we are never disappointed. But this meal was of company-impressing caliber.

Sausage, Kale, and Potatoe Soup
The delightful soup, somewhere in the simmering process.
Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup...a copy-cat of sorts of The Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup (I think the homemade version is even better!). It's loaded with red potatoes, fresh kale, and Italian sausage in a rich, creamy broth. It's worth eating salad every night for the rest of the week if the fat content makes you feel guilty. My conscience, however, felt quite clean (maybe I'm crazy).

I've found an easy and quick recipe for homemade baguettes, and I've been tweaking it to our liking. So far, for this recipe I've found that you actually need around 5 cups of flour (not 3-4...the dough is way too wet with only that amount) and this time I did a ratio of 3 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups wheat flour. It's fabulous to be able to make a yummy yeast bread without having to wait for it to rise. It's healthier than biscuits, but just as fast.

A deceitfully humble-looking meal.
A deceitfully humble-looking meal that will actually knock your socks off.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can grind my own wheat and slowly move my family away from refined white flour. In the meantime, I'd like to try some white whole wheat flour in some of my recipes and see how they turn out. Have you ever used it? What ratio of white to whole wheat flour to you usually use in your recipes?

Also, do you have any yummy kale recipes to share? I know many of you put it in smoothies, but I'd love to hear what else you do with it.

That's all the adventuring I've been up to this week (besides a few things that are in the works). I think it's time to brainstorm some fun adventures for the future and see what I come up with. For now, it's your turn. Link up your blog post below, link back to Alicia's Homemaking, and then leave some sweet comments on some other people's adventuresome posts.






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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gratitude As A Habit

Since early February, I've been documenting a list of things I am grateful for. The huge, slap-me-in-the-face-I-can't-believe-this-is-my-life gifts and the tiny, rarely-noticed kindnesses God puts in my path on a daily basis.

IMG_8556 copy1

When I read the Bible, I'm blown away by all the times God commands us to be thankful. So I'm trying to cultivate that attitude as a habit. Nothing gets me out of a funk faster than simply telling God (sometimes outloud!) thanks for whatever comes to mind in the moment. Talk about a perspective adjuster.

SummerRoses

Today I'm seeing God's goodness in: 

1. The note my husband left on my to-do list.

2. Squishy's book-reading routine, complete with a blanket, a pillow, a sippy cup, a book, and me. 

IMG_8554 copy

3. Little boy clothes mixed in with the laundry.

IMG_8495

4. A husband who is patient when I doubt.

5. Potty-training progress.

IMG_8520

6. A neighbor to go on morning walks with.

7. Skype for talking to a sister in London.

IMG_8487
 
8. Kicks on my bladder.

9. Borrowed maternity clothes.

campuswalk

10. A new morning, a fresh start, and a sleeping little boy.

What are you thankful for today?



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Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan, Goals, and the Potty Training Saga

If you had stopped by randomly last week you would have been greeted by an unusual scene in our house. Me, probably still in my pajamas. Squishy, running around in his undies. Andrew, asleep all day in the back bedroom. A potty in the kitchen. Books scattered all over the floor. Abnormal was the theme. Andrew was working nightshift at the hospital, which added a funny twist to our schedule. And then I decided to tackle potty training while I still have some energy left during this pregnancy.

Kisses!

By the end of the week, things were feeling pretty topsy-turvey. We had taken a couple of steps back with potty training, which was slightly discouraging after all the work that had gone into it. But then, ahhhhh, the weekend! We got out of the house, saw friends, went on a date, and had our 1st accident free day yesterday. A milestone!

My cute date tonight
My cute date

Late night Settlers matches...#weekendfun
Most hilarious Settlers game I've ever played...

Squish and I are still plugging away with the potty training this week, but I'm hoping it will be a little less intense. We're falling into more of a routine with the whole process. At least momentarily.

With everything going on, I knew that planning for this week would be really helpful. So here are my ideas for meals:

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, Toast with jam, Eggs, Cold Cereal
Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches



Dinners:
Monday--Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole with The Best Broccoli Of Your Life
Tuesday-- Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup with Homemade Baguettes
Wednesday--Salad Night with Baked Sweet Potatoes
Thursday--Chipotle Chicken with Peppers
Friday--Pizza Night
Saturday--Potentially out of town
Sunday--Leftovers

Like I suspected, some of my weekly goals went out the window since I decided to spend most of my week doing potty-training laundry and sitting on the floor reading books about bodily functions to my almost 2 year old. But I was pleasantly surprised at what did get done!
  • Write Immaculate. Yay! Finally accomplished.
  • Write a letter to a friend. Not yet.
  • Exercise 3 times. I exercised twice. This was one of the things that got pushed aside, since I was a bit nervous at first to go on long walks with Squishy with no potty nearby (kind of silly, really). But by the end of the week, we'd gone on two walks with no accidents! Yay!
  • Read 2 chapters of The Mission of Motherhood. Yes! Only 1 chapter left!
  • Buy potty training supplies (ooooooh!). Did that and more.
  • Resume work on wedding scrapbook. I actually did this during a long naptime on Saturday. I'm going to keep working on it...hoping to finish before baby comes.
  • Organize last kitchen cabinet. That pesky cabinet. Will it ever get crossed off the list?

4 1/2 years later, I'm working on our wedding scrapbook. Look at those baby faces!
Aw, fun memories of our wedding day when I worked on our scrapbook...
And now for this week's goals: 
  • Continue potty training!
  • Exercise x 3.
  • Organize that last remaining kitchen cabinet. I mean it this week!!
  • Write my friend a letter. 
  • Work for 1 hour on our wedding scrapbook.
  • Plant herb seeds.
  • Bake bread (something I've only done once during this pregnancy!).
  • Read the last chapter of The Mission of Motherhood and write an outline for a blog post reviewing it.
  • Gather some supplies for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
  • Lastly, I have a marriage goal to work on that I'm not going to tell you about until next week. It's an experiment of sorts, and I can't blow my cover, cause my hubby sometimes reads my blog!

That's a rather long list for this week. I'm sure a few things fall to the wayside, but we'll give it a shot! Who knows, potty training might take all my energy again. It's all an adventure. :)



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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Potty Training: Day 2 Update {Try New Adventures Thursday!}

Sometimes the details of being a mom crack me up. I laugh at the conversations I find myself in with mom friends: Whoever knew we could so thoroughly converse on topics such as the best cloth diapers or sleep routines?

And now--potty training! My last two days have been consumed with it. I can't count the number of times I've said the word "potty" (and with such enthusiasm and earnestness!).

Evidence of hard potty training work
Evidence of hard potty-training work: Hand-washed big boy undies hanging to dry. :)
The household routine has been considerably thrown off. The living room (carpeted) stays barricaded off, while Squishy's little potty has taken up residence in the kitchen...along with a plethora of books and toys. The potty even accompanies us when we go outside to play.

Who knew you needed so many books for potty success?
The scene in the kitchen.
So...is it working? Our daily tallies are as follows:

Day 1

Accidents: 6 (all before naptime)
Successful potty trips: 7
Times Squishy told me he needed to go: 2 

Day 2

Accidents: 3 (including once where he told me he needed to go and we couldn't get there fast enough)
Successful potty trips: 9 (including his 1st ever "poopy in the potty")
Times Squishy told me he needed to go: 8

Potty training day #1...helping mommy cook breakfast

We are making definitely progress, ya'll. In just 2 days, he's figured out how to actually make himself go and how to tell me when he needs to go! I'm in awe.

And I'm also wiped out.

And can I just say that it is very surreal to see my baby boy scampering around the house in underwear? It's adorable, but he looks quite small for it! Time is crazy.
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Ok, so maybe your adventure this week includes less bodily fluids (good for you! hehe), but go ahead and link it up below! Link back to Alicia's Homemaking and leave some comment love for a few other participants. I'll be tweeting some of your posts using the hashtag #TryNewAdventures! If you're lucky, maybe you'll even get PINNED (oooooooh).







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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Potty Training Kick-Off Day

Today's the day! We are officially kicking off potty training. Our little Squishy boy is just over 22 months old and is showing multiple signs of readiness. Baby boy #2 is due in less than 3 months, and it would be SO AWESOME to be a mostly diaper free home by the time he arrives (I'll get to the mostly part in a minute).

1st potty try
The 1st time Squish tried "going potty"--several months ago.
Everyone has a slightly different approach to potty training. Mr. Squish has been using the potty on and off and has been very interested in the process for the last several months. Today we're kicking off a marathon potty-training week of sorts. Our plan consists of:

1) His own potty. He likes to sit on it and read books. We'll probably keep it in whatever room of the house we're in for quick access.

Big boy underwear!
In Walmart, picking out "Big Boy Underwear"
2) Hello big boy underwear and goodbye (mostly) diapers. He is very excited about the fact that Nemo and Woody are on his big boy underwear. This week he'll be primarily underwear-clad for the 1st time. We are saying goodbye to diapers except for at naptime and bedtime. Since we don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment, the cost of washing all of those dirty linens would be too much right now (um, not to mention the energy! The laundry facility is up the hill). Once he's mastered day-time dryness, we'll work on sleep-time dryness. But that probably won't be until a few months after baby's born at the earliest.

3) Staying home. At least for the next 3-4 days, we'll stick to the house and immediate outdoors.

4) Lots o' liquid and salty snacks. We have goldfish and pretzels, water and juice (a rare thing for him). The goal is lots of peeing action so Squishy can figure this whole thing out!


5) A timer. At least for the 1st couple days, I am going to try setting a timer and taking him to the potty every 20-30 minutes. {Oh boy oh boy. Should make for an interesting day!}

6) Excitement, Encouragement, Patience. Going in the potty = celebration! But I know we'll have our fair share of accidents today. That's ok, too. And, Squishy is pretty young, so if he seems to be struggling with the concept after a good try-out, we'll postpone intense potty training until later. No biggie.

Potty treats and potty books. Guess what tomorrow holds?

7) Potty books. The Elmo one makes flushing noses and hooray noises and just noises in general. Squishy is a fan.

8) Potty chart with stickers. Because why not?

9) Treats. After each successful potty run, Squishy gets a "teet!" (as he calls it). 3-4 chocolate chips or a couple fruit gummies. Exciting times, I tell ya. In general, he doesn't receive many desserts, so this is definitely fun for him. After all this work, Mama's going to need a few chocolate chips, too. And a nap.

10) Bucket of soapy water and rolled up carpets. Our floors are tiled (thankfully), and I'm rolling up most of the rugs in preparation for the inevitable accidents. Soapy water and clean cloths for quick clean up!

What's your best advice, mamas? What was your potty training method? Having never potty-trained before, it seems surreal to think that it could even work! I'll keep you updated on our progress...



P.S. Oh yeah. Since we decided to initiate potty training this week kind of last minute, some of my other goals may get pushed to the side. We'll see.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works For Me Wednesday.
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