Tag Archives: SAHM adventures

The boy that potty trained himself (or not)

So we might be crazy.


That would be Sprout wearing a pair of big boy undies. He isn’t even two. This is kind of ridiculous. Maybe I am crazy.

But hear me out (Also, I am apparently in good company with Lorie and my sister).

For the past month or so, Sprout tells me, in a very whiny voice I might add, “Nee go paaawwdee!” and then proceeds to the bathroom and nearly dives in head first. Then, after I get his diaper off and place him up there, he begins demanding “fush, fush!” (flush) and “je-bee,” (jellybean).

At some point he started actually going instead of just sitting there. About a week ago he started going almost exclusively in there and rarely in his diaper.

His main motivation is getting to flush the potty and jellybeans. This actually started awhile ago, pre-potty interest, when he would demand a jellybean upon seeing his sister get one.


I don’t know. Bean went through kind of the same thing and potty training wound up being months and months of successes and then total regressions. She still just has random days that are full of accidents. It was/is really frustrating.

I thought I would “learn my lesson” and wait until what seems to be the magic age of three when potty training is supposedly a breeze or so I am told. But he is really motivated.


This morning he pulled out the big boy undies all on his own and really wanted to wear them. I gave in. He had one accident, one milk spill at breakfast that required a change and more successes than I can keep track of. When I put him in a diaper for nap time he just kept crying, “Undies! Undies! Undies!” from his crib and pointing at the pair that was laying on the changing table.

Then there is the whole issue of there being so much that I have to help him with still. And hello, nursing a newborn doesn’t make it exactly convenient to drop everything and go tend to the child in the bathroom.

In conclusion, potty training is the worst, even when it’s this easy.


***Evening update: things were going great. He went twice in the Target bathrooms. Then at the farmer’s market he told me he had to go (no bathrooms) and held it all the way until we got home. Then the kids started going crazy and Papa still wasn’t home. Gave him a call and from the time I called just as he was leaving the office to when he walked in the door (about 20 min max), Sprout had four pee accidents. So I gave up and put a diaper on him. I stepped in a hidden pee puddle tonight during the great toy cleanup. Also, why do little boys continue walking around as they are peeing? Pee trails all over. I hate potty training. The end.


Filed under Family, Parenting

Happy Harvest

We went to the Underwood Family Farms Harvest Festival with these guys. It was so much fun and unlike other Harvest Festivals I have been to in the past, there was actually a fall harvest there to celebrate (like veggies and other farm stuff). I picked up a couple pumpkins that I will be turning into some homemade puree for pie and soup. There was lots to do there and all the kids had a blast.

We wore our Autumn attire:

Some of us did in fact get “corn-fused” in the corn maze…

…but thanks to a friendly guide we finally made our way out.

There were lots of games and activities. Bean and her cousins had a lot of fun in the bean bin (very appropriate).

Bean got measured at the “How tall this Fall?” photo spot (cheeseball, I know, but I did it anyway).

We of course saw a lot of pumpkins and tractors.

And when we got home we were just plain tuckered out.

Special thanks to Cara for being the only one of us to actually remember to bring a camera so we could document it all. 🙂


Filed under Family, Ramblings

I love cloth diapering, part 3: Potty training and swimming

Just because your child is just getting out of the diaper phase, doesn’t mean you have to forsake cloth. There are several different options for training pants in cloth. Plus, I’m fairly certain that the concerns I brought up in part one of this series are probably still relevant with disposable training pants.

There are different training pants to consider for various situations in potty training. Some of them are meant for during the day to only catch little dribbles and encourage the child to make it to a potty, while others are meant for overnight when you would need much more absorbancy. There are a bunch of different brands to choose from as well.

From what I can tell, basically the training pants come in three varieties:
-There are pockets, which just like pocket diapers, have a pocket you can stuff inserts into. These are great because you can control how much absorbancy you want the training pant to have. So, if it is night and you know your child is going to wet a bunch, you’ll probably want to stick 1-2 super absorbant microfiber inserts into the diaper. If it is during the day and you want your child to feel the wetness or you just want to catch little dribbles, then you might stuff it with a thin cotton prefold. Some have snaps for easy accident accessibility, others just go on like underwear.

Happy Heinys Pocket Trainer

Happy Heiny's Pocket Trainer

-There are really thick cotton underwear. These obviously would not be good for overnight and don’t have a waterproof cover. They are just extra thick so that if there is an accident your child can run to the bathroom. I don’t know much about potty training since we’re no where near there yet, but I’d probably only use these if I knew we were going to be home all day and really working on potty training.

Under the Nile organic cotton training underwear

Under the Nile organic cotton training underwear

-There are all-in-ones. Just like the all-in-one diapers, these have everything in one piece — no inserts to stuff. They range from overnight to trickle catchers among the various brands. So, you might have to go with more than one brand to meet your various potty training situations. They have waterproof material on the outside. Some have snaps for easy accident accessability, others do not.

Imse Vimse Bumpy Training Pants

Imse Vimse Bumpy Training Pants

Now I know most of my friends who read this live in climates where swimming during the summer months is a must. So you may think that you have to give up on cloth for this as well, but you don’t! The My Swim Baby site, the sister site to the very popular cloth diapering site, Nicki’s Diapers, pretty much sums up the reusable swim diaper subject perfectly:

Swim diapers have a waterproof layer on the outside and a soft absorbent layer on the inside. Swim diapers should fit snugly. They are designed to be worn alone but may be worn over a disposable diaper or under a regular swimming suit.

Why use swim diapers?

Many states require swim diapers when diaper-aged children use a public pool. When a swim diaper fits properly, most bacteria including E.coli are prevented from entering the water. So prevent messy pool accidents by using a swim diaper!

Swim diapers won’t fall apart in the water and therefore won’t clog pool filters. Because they don’t absorb water, they don’t become waterlogged and heavy. Therefore, they do not absorb urine (so please beware so you don’t get a wet lap!). If swim diapers would absorb urine they would also absorb water, potentially pulling baby under water. This is also true for disposable swim diapers.

Some like to use pocket cloth diapers or diaper covers as swim diapers. Please be aware that water can get trapped in the cover not only causing a mess but could potentially be unsafe to your baby.

Reusable swim diapers can be washed and reused all season! There are many different styles, colors, and prints to choose from.

We actually found some great swim diaper options at our local Toys R Us. I got a tankini swimsuit for her there that had a swim diaper, matching top and hat that all have SPF protection built in. If she’s not actually in the water, we just use a regular diaper on the bottom and then when she gets in we put on the swim diaper. I want to get 1-2 more of these though to have as backup. I’ll probably just order some individual swim diapers online though since I don’t need three tankini tops for her.

With the swim diaper, in the water at the beach.

With a regular diaper, playing in the sand.


Filed under Natural Living, Parenting

Garden Update

Today I was finally able to make it out into my garden to see what the heck is going on out there. I was disappointed to discover that one of my lettuce plants had gone to seed and was really, really bitter. Straight into the compost bin it went!

There was copious amounts of grass growing out there. So I tried to pull a lot of it out. Then I harvested five of my remaining lettuce plants.

Needless to say we are having some big salads over the next couple days!

I stirred up my compost. And this is the barometer for how very different this pregnancy is. The compost literally smells like day old puke. Really gross. But I don’t even come close to gagging when I open the bin or stir the stuff. It is so weird. I’m planning to apply all that yucky goo to the ground this fall and maybe even renting a rototiller from Home Depot to really get the soil turned up and loosened. Then I’ll try my hand at a winter garden.

I’m wondering if I can convince Stephen to let me plant some dwarf citrus trees back there.

Yes I have big plans.

Anyway, when I was done stirring my compost and putting back the D-Fork, I nearly screamed when I saw this guy because I thought he was a snake at first by the way he kept his legs so close to his body.

Nope, just a lizard. Probably cashing in on the red fly population that has taken up residence in and near my compost bin. Bleh!

Also exciting in my garden today? I finally have some little green tomatoes! I am so excited!

Anyway, I really need to do the sink full of dishes and find a place for all that lettuce. And I need a shower. So that’s about it from me today.


Filed under Natural Living

Adventures in DIY Cleaners Part 1: Laundry Soap

So even though I now live far away and didn’t get to go to the green clean party, I was still inspired by my friends making their own cleaning products that are more environmentally friendly and nicer on the budget.

Everyone that knows her, knows that Tiffany is the master of this stuff. Every time she posts a new recipe for cleaning products on her blog I really want to try it, but I’ve been too chicken and it seems like it is so much more convenient to buy the overpriced “green” stuff at the store. Another one of my friends, Grace, really inspired me too with her step by step photos on Facebook one evening during her laundry soap making process.

I have had it with laundry soap. Every time I find one that doesn’t have any stuff in it, they go and change the formula. And some soaps don’t even have ingredient lists which I find disturbing. I have changed laundry soaps 4 or 5 times in the last 6 months alone. I thought I had finally found a good one, Arm & Hammer’s free dermatologist tested blah blah blah stuff, but ever since we have been using that Bean has been getting diaper rash.

So I was determined to make my own this week and not buy more laundry soap.

But let me tell you, finding the ingredients in this city was quite the adventure in and of itself. Yesterday I went to Target, Home Depot, Smart & Final, Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, Vons, and Ralphs in search of my ingredients. I did manage to procure a box of 20 Mule Team Borax, but was still needing two other ingredients.

My search took me to Oxnard today where I graced both Food4Less and WalMart with my presence. I wandered around like a lost little lamb in the biggest WalMart I’ve ever seen and still could not find what I needed. Desperate, I called both my friends for their advice. They let me know that for future reference I could get one of the ingredients at a pool supply store and I could use an alternative that I saw at Trader Joe’s the day before for the third ingredient.

Determined to not leave Oxnard empty handed I walked out of WalMart with an 89 cent bar of Pink Zote laundry soap and a container of Sodium Carbonate. I skipped lunch and hurried home eager to put my ingredients to use.

I cut up my bar of Pink Zote and then placed it in my food processor to grate.

At this point I noticed that the Pink Zote was quite fragrant, but figured that the smell would get dilluted when I added it to the water.

I was wrong. The smell got stronger and stronger until my house started smelling like the perfume counter in Macy’s. Ugh! I was getting a headache. Then, while I was waiting for the stuff to dissolve I started looking over the wrapper and I saw a big red flag in the ingredients list: optical brightner.


This was the whole reason I was making my own laundry soap. I didn’t want perfume-y laundry, brighters or any other additives. I was pissed.

I dumped the whole pot down the drain. I packed up Bean and headed to Trader Joe’s.

I quickly grabbed a bar of Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. They only had peppermint, but it was from actual peppermint oil and was way better smelling than that Pink Zote stuff for sure.

So I was back to the beginning.

I grated the bar of soap in my food processor and added it to the fresh water on my stove.

The first thing I noticed was that this stuff dissolved way quicker. It also didn’t give me a headache from all the perfume.

Once it was dissolved I started adding in the other ingredients. This is where it got particularly interesting. In Grace’s photos she did this part on her stove top. So I assumed that was because she was heating the water and the ingredients. First I added the Borax. No problems went right in and dissolved just fine.

Then I added the Sodium Carbonate. The pot quickly foamed up so much that it spilled over the top. I shut off the flame immediately. Stirred everything and then added the rest of the chemical with no problems. It was kind of scary though when it bubbled up so much.

Then I followed the rest of the recipe, adding water at various temperatures until I had this:

Several gallons of liquid laundry soap that smells lightly of peppermint.

Oh, and a wreck of a kitchen to clean up.

Well, at least it isn’t like I have to make this stuff every week or something. I’m thinking all that laundry soap should last me quite awhile. Grace said her formula lasts her 4 months and she has twin boys. I think this stuff should last me even longer because I don’t have twin boy toddlers making messes all the time and I have a front load washing machine now which uses way less detergent.

I didn’t keep any of my reciepts, but the ingredients were all really cheap. I do know that the bar of soap was $3 and that’s the only ingredient I’ll have to buy again for making another batch. I still have tons of Borax and Sodium Carbonate leftover.

Anyway, here’s Grace’s/My recipe for laundry soap in case you want to be adventurous too.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
• 1 bar Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap, grated
• 1 1/2 cup Borax
• 1 1/2 cup Sodium Carbonate
• water

Place grated soap in 8 cups boiling water until it melts/dissolves. Turn off heat. Stir in Borax and Sodium Carbonate.

Add 8 cups hot water to a 5 gallon bucket. Stir in soap mixture.

Add in 2 gallons and 12 cups cold water and stir. Let sit 24 hours.

For a regular washing machine she says she uses about 1/4 cup per load. I’m probably going to use 1-2 tbsp for my front loader.


Filed under Homemade, Natural Living

Crappy cell phone pictures, firemen, nature and lizards

Today I was bored. So I decided to take Bean to the park by our apartment and check out the Botanical garden there.

First I parked and walked around the park. Then we went to the play area and I pushed Bean on the baby swings. She really likes swinging! After walking around the park I figured out where the entrance to the Botanical garden was and that a stroller would not work there. So I decided to walk back to my car and ditch the stroller for the ring sling.

As I approached my car I was kind of freaked out because there were three fire engines and a bunch firemen running around shouting and rolling out hoses. After a couple minutes I figured out that there was no fire and my car wasn’t in danger. The Ventura County Fire Department was just doing some sort of wildfire hillside spray drill.

So I did what any good blogger would do and I whipped out my cell phone to document it…

After all that excitement I managed to wrangle Bean into the sling and set off for the Botanical garden. Once in the entrance there were about three different trails you could take.

I decided to take the “short loop” because it had the word “short” in it and I was hoping that was really the case. I wasn’t wearing proper shoes for the occasion, by any means.

It was the perfect length hike. Very naturey. I will definitely be going back in the future to try the other trails.

Though I will admit I was a bit freaked out along the way because of these guys running all over the place…

I kept thinking, “Oh no! Was that a snake?!?…. Oh. Just another stupid lizard.”


Filed under Eye Candy Friday

How to make a ring sling (finally)

I’ve been asked many times over about how to make a ring sling. When I made my first one, I just sort of improvised and then took a picture of the final project. I basically did the same thing with the second one I made for Talia, except that time I didn’t even remember to take a picture at the end (she did though at her shower and someday you might see evidence of it when she finds some time). So I found a tutorial online and was sending that to everyone. Unfortunately I think the tutorial is not easy to understand and knew I needed to put one together.

After making Talia’s sling, I was completely envious because her’s turned out so much better than mine, mostly because I used puchased fabric that was wider and could envelop the baby better, instead of cannibalizing a dress.

The budget has been pretty tight with the move and all that so I didn’t know when I would be able to purchase fabric and make a new sling that was better. Well luckily this weekend we sold my guitar to Jeremy (for Talia, how cute the guitar’s love story continues…) and so I had a teensy bit of cash that I was able to spend. Yay!

Today I found the perfect fabric at JoAnn’s and then headed home to make my sling and document all the steps. So for all of you wanting to make a ring sling here you go!

I just want to say really quick though that I am not in any way liable for any mishaps that should come from slinging your baby. Please research baby wearing saftey tips prior to doing it. There is a great chapter on the subject in The Baby Book from the Sears Parenting Library.

What you will need:
-2 1/2 yards of fabric
-sewing machine
-2 rings about 2 1/2 inches in diameter (mine are stainless steel from the hardware store, you can also purchase lightweight (and colorful) rings specifically made for baby wearing from SlingRings.com)

Step 1
Fold fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together and pin about 2ft along selvedge edge and sew (all seams are 1/4″ unless otherwise stated).

Step 2
You will now have a 2ft tube at one end of your 2 1/2yds of fabric. Turn it right side out and fold flat so the seam you just made runs down the middle.

Step 3
Fold the tube in half so that seam edge is on outside. Pin and sew about 2ft again.

Step 4
Turn your new, narrower tube right side out again and fold as you did before with the seam you just made running down the middle and the other end of the fabric ballooning out at the end.

Step 5
Cut a rectangle of quilt batting about 10 inches wide and 20 inches long. Place inside your tube about 4 inches below the end of the fabric to leave room for the rings. See picture below for approximate placement.

Step 6
Pin in place and quilt. If you are into quilting, you can do something fancy for the shoulder pad. I just did three straight lines, one down the middle and one on either side of that.

Step 7
At the narrower end of your fabric, turn the unfinished edge under about 1/4″ and sew in place.

Step 8
Fold the corners of the narrower end to the center, so that the turned under edge is hidden.

Slide both rings on to the fabric.

Fold over, pin and sew in place along the same seam that you made at the begining of this step.

The pictures for these next two steps didn’t turn out, sorry about that! I think they are pretty easy to understand without pictures though.

Step 9 (optional)
My fabric had some ugly selvedge edges with writing that said “Designed exclusively for JoAnn’s”. So I turned under the selvedge edge and hemmed that to cover it up. If you like your selvedge edges there is no reason to do this.

Step 10
Hem the unfinished edge at the tail end.

Ring slings work like those t-shirt ties from the 80s or those double d-ring fabric belts that are still around. You slide the tail in through both rings and then back through one of the rings to secure it.

This allows the ring sling to be adjustable as your baby grows which is one of the main reasons I like this sling so much. I also like that there are so many positions to carry your baby in (again research baby wearing to find out what I’m talking about).

You will have quite a bit of tail left over. I just tuck mine back into the sling. You can also use the tail to cover up while breastfeeding which came in REALLY handy yesterday when we were at the funeral.

Happy sling making and baby wearing!


Filed under Craftopia

Bean meets Archie

I love how every time I say that my blogging is going to be sparse I find a million reasons to blog and then wind up blogging like regular.

Oh well.

So today no packing got done. Which is OK because a load of diapers and a load of dishes did get done.

My friend Tiffany came over today and we cut out the pieces for our Olive and Archie dolls. Except she’s only making Olive. So after she left and I finally finished cutting I just kept right on working on Archie. I just finished him and I love him! He’s so cute.

So then I had him meet Bean…

As you can see they are going to be great friends. Sorry for all the crappy photography and overexposed pictures. You know how it goes.

I’ll be finishing Olive up with Tiffany either later this week or next week. So there will be more to follow.


Filed under Craftopia, Family, Homemade

Because I needed to start more projects…

Yesterday I met up with my friend Tiffany for lunch and a trip to JoAnn’s. Tiffany just recently stopped working and we decided that once that happened we would be doing lots of stay-at-home-mom adventures together. Yesterday was the first one.

When we told our husbands we were going to embark on a sewing project together, they said, “Why don’t you just finish the projects you’ve already started?” (Well, something along those lines anyway). And while I’m sure that at some point I’ll get around to the quilt I bought fabric for over four months ago, that was not exactly what I had in mind for our first playdate/adventure.

Olive and Archie, however, were EXACTLY what I had in mind. Especially after seeing all of Cara’s examples, including Will’s Archie up close at Chinese New Year.

So I conspired with Tiffany and we decided this was the perfect project for our first adventure. We met up at Brinks for lunch (mmm… Ortega melt) and then set off for the fabric store.

Stephen, by the way, has no idea how much time can be spent in the fabric store and how that alone is enough for one adventure. Monday night he said, “Well aren’t you getting together after the fabric store?” I was like, “No, the fabric store will probably take up the whole time. A good couple of hours.” And it did. I left the house at 11:50ish, stopped at Kinko’s to print our patterns, then we had lunch then JoAnns and I didn’t get back home until 2:40ish.

Stephen said I could spend $20 and I miraculously stayed within budget (only went over by 47 cents). I was even able to procure fabric for the sling I am supposed to make for Talia.


Anyway, that’s about it for now. I will be back with a Bean update later today, but right now she’s doing the “I’m tired and cranky” hum so I’d better change her diaper, wipe her nose, feed her and hopefully send her off to sleep for an hour or so.


Filed under Craftopia