Potty Chart Extravaganza

We are deep in the throes of potty training Wyatt. In our house we use a sticker reward system. Luckily my kids see the sticker as the reward and don’t need anything extra special for completing a chart. He gets a little sticker for “number one” and a big sticker “number two.” Wyatt is thrilled enough to pick a new character each time he completes a chart, which on a good day is about every day. I make simple charts using whatever character he picks and circled numbers using Paint and I thought you might get a giggle looking at the different characters he picks, and maybe I could save someone else some time if they are looking for a abominable snow monster potty chart. That’s normal, right?

We started with a Thomas potty chart

ThomasNext he wanted Zurg. The toy Buzz Lightyear fights in Toy Story.


Then he wanted Olaf


Next it was Buzz.

Buzz LightyearThen it was Marshmallow (the snow monster from Frozen)

Marshmallow_(Frozen)He also wanted Woody.

woody-toy-storyAnd like I mentioned the Abominable “Bubble” snow monster from Rudolf

AbominableFlynn and Rapunzel for his sisters’ birthday party

flynn-rapunzelAnd today he picked Percy

PercyFeel free to right click to save any of these charts for your own personal use.

Published in: on February 3, 2015 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Our Next Step

If you are my friend on Facebook, you may have already figured this out, but we have decided to home school our kids. This is not a forever decision and we may change our minds in the future as circumstances change, but for right now this is what we think is the best thing for our family.

There are many factors in our decision, but the greatest one is that we truly feel like home schooling will give them the most positive experience to nurture their own inquisitive desires. We want them to grow up with a love of learning, rather than the ability to memorize facts for a single test, only to forget it quickly after.

I grew up in the public school system all my life and while I don’t think I ever had a truly negative experience, there wasn’t much I can say was overwhelmingly positive either. I was fortunate enough to be in an Art Academy in high school that let me focus on the more creative side to many things, but I will confess that is wasn’t until I was in college that I really learned some things that I now consider to basic foundations. I did have some really great and passionate teachers along the way, and I am sure I had my moments that I was less than receptive to what they had to teach me, so I am not trying to blame anyone for my situation. I do feel that practicing some principles like unschooling and child-led learning I will be able to encourage and show our kids just how much cool stuff there is out there to learn.

If you are trying to make a decision about what school option is best for your family, I’d like to recommend the book Many Voices, Many Choices: Choosing Your Child’s Education by Yvonna Graham. She discuses the many options out there and the pros and cons of each.


Published in: on January 13, 2014 at 1:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

The One At The Doctor- 18 Month Stats

Wyatt had his 18 month check up on Monday and it was quite the experience. I had scheduled it for Monday so Russell would be off work to stay home with the girls. Then the day before Alyssa and Kylie decided they needed to go to the doctor with Wyatt because he might be scared and need his big sisters there with him. Although the thought of all of us going was not my ideal, I love the logic and don’t want to down play their helpful and protective feelings for each other. Then we found out our doctor had moved offices. In fact, it was their very first day in the new office. Computers weren’t working, insurances couldn’t be verified, and even though we were one of the first appointments in the morning (9 am) we waited for an hour to be seen. The signs were confusing and a couple of sick kids made their way into the well child waiting room. So we also had a vomiting baby and possible strep throat germs floating around in there with us too. Great. Russell took the girls out to run in the hallway and climb up and down the stairs while I waited with Wyatt for our name to be called. Finally we got called back and he was seen by a very tired looking doctor. Here are his 18 month stats:

Height: 33 1/2 inches, 75th percentile

Weight: 26 lbs 15 oz, 50-75th percentile

Head Circumference: 47 1/4 inches, 25-50th percentile

He did need one shot in the arm and did not even cry, or seem to notice it. I guess maybe he did like having his sisters there! They all got stickers and we got to head out. As we were waiting for the elevator someone, obviously from the staff, came by and apologized for the craziness of the morning. I also noticed she was carrying a more clear “sick child” sign to put up. We have another appointment in 3 months so hopefully more of the kinks will be worked out by then.

Published in: on September 11, 2013 at 7:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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18 Month Man

Wyatt is officially one and a half today, so of course I had to take some pictures!

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For size reference:

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And to compare, here he was at one month old… so chubby and yet so tiny!

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And here is one of the girls at 18 months.

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We have a doctors appointment next week so I’ll post his stats once I know them. For now I’ll just say “Happy half birthday, Little Man!”

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

15 Month Man

Wyatt had his 15 month check up today, and even though he hated laying down to be examined, he still did great. The doctor was impressed with the amount of words he understands and his ability to follow simple instructions. (“Go get your shoes”, “Let’s go back to sissy’s room”, etc) The girls tagged along, and although I usually try to avoid having to bring them with me, today went very well. We were a little early, but were taken back almost immediately and after getting Wyatt weighed and measured were told there was just one person ahead of us.

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The kids entertained themselves watching the cars come and go. Wyatt crawled back and forth on the table. A lot.

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Then we saw the doctor. Here are Wyatt’s 15 month stats:

Height: 32 inches, 75th percentile

Weight: 25lbs 6 oz, 50-75th percentile

Head Circumference: 46 1/2cm, 25-50th percentile

He had to get a few shots, which are never fun, but I believe are worth it. The whole visit took only about 20 minutes, which is not usually the case for us. The girls had perfect behavior and were rewarded with stickers and “lickers” (a sucker) for being such big helpers.

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Kids And The Park

One great thing about living in Las Vegas is that there is no shortage of city parks. We have quite a few that we frequent within a couple miles of our house. I think it can be easy for a lot of parents to get caught up in TV, video games, and battery operated toys thinking that these will help keep kids occupied. I find some of my easiest times as a parent (and the most fun) are watching them play and explore their world. Today the kids and I went to a park nearby that has multiple play structures, baseball fields, a dog park, and more. They climbed and slid of course, but they also had so much fun watching a little boy and his dad practice hitting a baseball, chasing birds, picking flowers and blowing dandelions. Wyatt practiced walking up and down a hill (is anything as sad/funny as watching a new walker try to accomplish this?) and enjoyed a lot of time simply digging in the dirt. I got to spend time laying in the grass, I didn’t have to yell or discipline at all, and their natural curiosity was sparked. Win win win.

Published in: on June 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Special Day

Today is a special day for a number of reasons. On this day back in 2005 Russell asked me to be his wife. One year ago my brother married a wonderful woman who I am proud to call my friend (let alone my sister!)

And this year something else special is happening, although a little less romantic 🙂 I am shipping off another cooler of breast milk. I had mentioned last year when I sent off the first cooler that I donated and gave some examples of babies who might receive the milk. You can read that post here. I haven’t talked a lot about it on the blog, but most of my friends know I have continued to pump and donate milk all year. I still have about 5 gallons saved in our deep freezer for Wyatt, and rotate it out to keep it fresh. What makes today’s donation special is that it fulfills a goal I had set for myself months ago. I wanted to donate 50 gallons of breast milk.

50 gallons is 6,400 ounces of milk. For the preemie babies that are most likely to receive this milk just one ounce averages 3 feedings. That is almost 20,000 meals for little babies.

Those are numbers I am pretty proud of. Currently, the woman who holds the Guinness World Record for most breast milk donated gave 87 gallons. When I told Russell that he said “Well, 50 is respectable.” Today’s donation will hopefully not be my last. Wyatt has not started to wean yet, and until he does I will continue pumping and sharing what I am so fortunate to have.

Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Adventures In Potty Training- Part 3

After months and months of little to no interest in potty training the girls are finally ready, and there is no slowing them down. We are leaving soon for a trip for their birthday and so I had intended on simply getting them more comfortable on the potty before then, and then focusing on training after our return. But it doesn’t seem like they really want to wait now! For the past month or so they have been able to go pee (in their diapers) before bed, so they would stay dry a good portion of the night. Last week I brought in their portable froggy potties into their room and had them try to pee in those before bed. The first night they sat, but were unwilling to pee. I decided to put their diapers back on but return them to the potty to go there. Alyssa did, but Kylie did not. The next night Alyssa actually did pee sans diaper, and Kylie peed with her diaper. The night after that they were both peeing on the potty before bed. That was the extent that I was planning on doing before our trip… just to get them a little more comfortable. BUT, the girls have more in mind and started asking to go before nap. And then the next day it was a couple times a day. Now they are asking to go use the potty every time! We have an insert for the regular toilet that they use too, so we will be bringing it on our trip with us. (The froggy potties are too big to bring both with us) But we will also be bringing plenty of diapers for the whole trip. The way I see it, I don’t want to make them worried about it on their birthday vacation so there will be absolutely no pressure. But if they ask and want to use the potty I don’t want to have to tell them no either! Every time they pee they get to wash hands with special potty soap in a hippopotamus dispenser and get to put a sticker on a potty chart.

I made these charts way back in April of last year. They still love Elmo thankfully! Last time we tried introducing them to the potty Alyssa had slightly more luck (and luck was all it was) and had more stickers on her chart. Kylie was trying, but it made her sad. I hated that and didn’t know how to reward one without the other one feeling left out. So we decided to just give stickers and let them put them anywhere on either chart and it has worked so much better. For them picking a sticker is enough of a reward and working up to something else is not needed. Today Kylie asked me to print off another chart since these ones were all full. What a good problem to have!

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January 2013 128


Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Comparing & Coloring

I have twins, and they are identical too. This invites a lot of people to try to compare them to each other. It happened much more when they were babies.

“Have they both started to crawl yet?”

“Who is the better sleeper?”

“Do you have the same discipline problems with both?”

I get it. Twins are interesting and people are curious, but it makes me crazy. I feel like there can be so much pressure on them to do things in the same way at the same time. Since their little egg split these two are different people. They may save the same DNA but have different personalities and interests. It didn’t matter that Alyssa started crawling a month after Kylie, she ended up walking first. And so what if Kylie isn’t as good at catching a ball as Alyssa? She is better at drawing. And in a couple of years if one wants to do karate and one wants to take piano lessons then that just sounds perfect to me.

And just because I am a proud little mama, here is a picture Kylie colored yesterday. I think she did a pretty good job for still being two years old! She is getting better at coloring in the lines (all on her own, we don’t tell her she needs to!) and worked especially hard on Big Bird’s beak and feet.

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Published in: on January 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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We Forgot The Girls At The Store

I know it has been too long since I have posted anything. Sometimes life gets busy and I forget for a few days. Then, too much time passes and I feel like I have to post something really entertaining to make it up to the dozens of people who read my blog. Because the pressure is so high I don’t post anything. For like a month. Or two.

I hope I got you interested with the title today. I did, didn’t I?

While we did not actually forget the girls (or anyone for that matter) at the store, the title isn’t totally unrelated. For the past week or so, anytime we go anywhere, Alyssa and Kylie like to pretend we left them there and that we accidentally brought frogs home instead. Then they are frogs for the rest of the night. They’ll tell us “Mommy, ask Froggie to open her mouth really wide” while brushing teeth, or “Give Lissie Froggie a hug” after bedtime stories. Sometimes they like to look for themselves in the garage, and will often pretend to bring in miniature versions of themselves. Multiple miniature versions that they throw on the floor and then presumably vacuum over with the popper. I do not understand all the intricacies of the game, but it is so fun to see their little imaginations at work.

Next up for them to discover: the floor is made of lava!

Published in: on November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment