Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Potty Pointers.

Right when Adalyn turned 20 months it was put in the books that she was officially potty trained {during awake hours}. 
And when I say put in the books, I mean put in my mind.
And by put in my mind, I mean the place that forgets everything. 

And guess what?
It's a big ol' pain in the butt.
It's nerve wracking.
It's inconvenient.
It's bittersweet.
It's exciting.
It will eventually be easier.

Since it's been official I've gotten a few people asking how I did it, how she is potty trained at a fairly young age, what are the tips/tricks. 
And the fact of the matter is, I have no idea!
The only thing I keep saying is she was ready.
And I think that's key.
This is one of those situations where we, as parents, have little to no control. 

I've heard good things about the 3 day training method.
But in the summer that's just not ideal for us. 
We are never home 3 days in a row. 
Now, if we were doing this in the winter we could do the 6+ day training method.
Winter = Pj/no pants... for days. 
Wish I was kidding.
But not really because it's pretty awesome.

She was definitely ready before I began to make it official, but we had a few trips planned that I knew would be easier if we just held off a little longer.

But a few things that I think helped her get ready:

Poop on potty. It's hard to tell when they are peeing, but most of the time it's very apparent when they're doing their business. Since she was about 6 months old I've put her on the potty {real potty} to poop. It seemed ridiculous, but when we started on solid food she got constipated quite a bit and it took her awhile to poo. So when I could tell she was straining...
{this is technically her peas face}, I signed potty and brought her to the potty. Making a 20 minute event a 2 minute event. Much easier for her and much easier for me. 

By doing this she quickly caught on and therefore became comfortable with the potty. 
I would joke that she would be potty trained with poop before pee and it's usually the other way around! I honestly don't even remember when she became potty trained with poo, but it's been a good while and was closer to the year mark. 

- Pull ups.  We switched to pull-ups a couple months ago mostly out of ease/sanity/patience.
 They're a step closer to big girlhood and are so much easier than diapers!
 Once you start these, there's no going back!

- Look for opportunities. #2 was taken care of, but we had to find ways to connect #1 with the potty. We started bringing her after she woke in the morning, before nap, after nap, before bath, before bed.

There really wasn't much "training" for Adalyn- for the most part it just happened, but tips that helped:

- Candy. For mommy and potty-trainee. Mini M&Ms are like gold. 

- Big girl undies. The ultimate potty training necessity. And these suckers are a little on the pricey side, but just convince yourself to think of the $$ you're saving by not buying diapers. We went to Target and bought 3 packs - Dora, Little Mermaid and My Little Pony. She was so excited to put them on. 

- Draw attention to accidents. It only took a few accidents in the undies for her to put two and two together.
I mean, why bother going to the bathroom when you can just move to a new spot and continue playing??

-Travel/Little Potty. Consistency is KEY. A couple weeks ago I finally bought a little potty. I prefer for her to go on the big potty, but I realized that it was hard to be consistent without one. It was hard when she was telling me she needed to go potty, but there was no potty around. I was sending mixed messages and I imagined it was probably pretty confusing! So I bought a little bjorn potty that I keep in my car- so far it's been primarily used for the pool and the boat and it's been great! 

Once trained:

-Bite the bullet and go do life in big girl undies. 
How's that for a motto?
And for the record, I didn't see that on Pinterest- I came up with it all on my own. 
{first outing in big girl undies!}

- Find the bathroom right when we get to the store and I excitedly ask her if she wants to use this store's potty. Of course, it's a yes. 
Get her bladder empty, shop in peace- ha, that's a lie. shop with less fear- ask a few times if she needs to use the potty, use the potty before leaving the store. 
{Day 2 of errands in undies complete! 6 stores, 2 potty times, ZERO accidents!! So proud!}

- I use her stroller or cart cover as often as possible- in the {rare} event that she does have an accident in public- so it won't be as embarrassing or noticeable. 

- Pit stops if necessary to avoid accidents. There are times when she asks {and asks, and asks, and asks} and there are times when I just bring her because the time/location is convenient and I don't want to risk an accident. 
{1.5 hour drive to the lake- the first time we ever stopped at the rest stop!}

- Pay attention. I try my best to be fully aware the first time she says "hottie, hottie, hottie!".
 Lord knows how much time we have to make it to the hottie before it's too late! 

-Patience. I'm trying hard at this one, but it's getting old fast. There are times I bring her and the second we sit down she's telling me she needs to go again. I want to encourage her to tell me when she needs to go.....but mommy wants to eat her Chick Fil A before it gets cold, darn it! 
There are times I think -and know- that she is using the potty as a way to get out of eating her meal. 
It's no coincidence she just so happens to need to use the potty 5 times during dinner. And guess what? She's not crying wolf- she will push out every last drop.every.single.time. 
She will find ways to make drops. 
Very rarely do I bring her when she asks and she doesn't go. 
It's a bit annoying. You seriously just went. 
So I'm praying for patience and I'm praying this will be a short-lived phase.
Please, Lord Jesus. 

But at the end of the day, I am so proud of my big girl! 
She was ready and she made it so easy. 
Just another way of her telling me she's growing up-whether I like it or not!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursdays Thoughts

Yesterday we celebrated 4 years of marriage!! 
It feels much longer- in a good way!

We ordered take out from one of our favorite pizza places and snuggled with our favorite girl.
I love living life with these two and I wouldn't want to spend our night any differently. 

Okay, that a little bit of a lie.
But I do love living life with them!

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I'm not pregnant. Again.
Happy Anniversary
On to take 3.....
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Adalyn recently turned 20 months!!!
You better believe the party planning has started and I may or may not have already made some purchases. 

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Adalyn is officially potty trained, with the exception of night time. 
I will write a more detailed post soon, but she was ready and made it easy! 

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It's ridiculous how fast summer goes by. We only have a couple more times to enjoy the lake.
I'm thankful for seasons, I feel like they come at the perfect time. 
With the exception of winter. 
That's last wayyyy too long. 

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We love Puddle Jumpers. 
Best floaties. ever. ever. 

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I don't feel like cooking, but there's chicken in the fridge that will go bad if I don't.

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We had fun blueberry picking this morning. 
I enjoyed it so much more than strawberry picking.
Like, tons more. 

It was a little cool out and the perfect reminder of what's to come.
But not yet. 

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I never update my phone and the other day I finally did. 
And of course, now one of my lifeline favorite apps isn't working. 
If it ain't broke....

And now, Instagram is stuck on waiting. 
I've seriously tried every.thing. to fix it. 
Next up is to restore my phone to factory settings. 

In the meantime I feel like my life is stuck on waiting. 
I feel lost. 
I feel like everyone else is probably lost, too. 
No one knows where we are, what we are eating, what Adalyn is wearing...
Not sure how they're surviving, because I'm struggling. 
More than I should be....

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I love that my parents have farm animals- feeding the goats with Mimi is something she looks forward to. 

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I'm in love with her and this picture

the end.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2WW {Round 2}.

Well that was fast.

I didn't even get another blog post in between by first 2ww- which is also slightly depressing btw. 

The good thing about TTC while having a toddler is you're so busy with: 
beach days

and strawberry picking days

and two year molar teething days

and big girl undies days

and pool days

and holidays

and days with sweet personalities

and days filled with drama
that there's really no time for me to have a pity party.

Oh yeah, and of course, that fact that someone can usually be found having a big enough pity party for the both of us. 

So the weeks pass by and I continue to remain hopeful.
I will continue to thank the Lord for our first miracle and the love and joy that she brings to us.
I continue to be confident that He not only knows the desires of my heart, He put them there. 
{thank you shereadstruth for that simple revelation}.

When you have a toddler there's really no drawn out 2ww.
So in the meantime, I will continue to watch the days pass by too quickly as our first baby turns into a big girl.
Always bittersweet.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Well, I'm officially back on the 2ww roller coaster.
Nearing the end actually.
If you don't know what "2ww" means... consider yourself very blessed! 
Not that I'm not blessed, because I so am.
But when it comes to fertility and the waiting game...2ww stinks.
Big time. 

It's filled with suspense.
Made up symptoms.
And wasted money.

I am a former POAS addict.
If you don't know what that means...see above. 

This month I'm trying not to be. 
And it's hard.
But I'm just not ready.
There's a fine line between being confident/hopeful and being doubtful.
Being optimistic and being real. 

I'm not expecting to get pregnant on the first try.
But I'm also not ready to see the negatives over and over again.

When trying for Adalyn I bought a big value pack of tests. 
You better believe I tested 6 days before I was due for my period every.time. for days.
You really better believe that I continued to test after getting my first positive
  a. for continued confirmation and 
b. it was so exciting to see two lines day after day.

I'm not ready to see the one line.
I'm okay with not getting pregnant in the first month- really, I am.
But a negative is a reminder that we are officially back on the roller coaster.

It's been a nice break. 

I wish I could turn my mind off.
I wish I could stop overanalyzing every.little.thing.

But I can't.

In the meantime,  I remind myself that my hope is in the Lord.
He knows my heart.
He knows the perfect time.
He will knit this baby in His time. 
He will.

For now, I'm buckled in and riding the ride. 
And thanking God for my first miracle that was in His time! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


In October I started posting a few pictures I had taken for friends and before I knew it I had people I had never met asking me to take their pictures. 
It all happened so quickly.
It felt like I was now running my own photography business overnight. 
It most likely felt like that because...that's how it was!
Funny how that works, huh?

During those fall months I was enjoying what I was doing, but I was struggling with the balance of being a working mom. 
Thankfully we were in a position where I didn't need to have a job.
And, I didn't want to have a job or my own company; it all just happened. 
It was hard for me when I was just a couple sessions in and I could see Adalyn's pictures getting pushed to the side because I needed to work on my "clients". 
I took the winter months off and prayed about what to do.
I ended up taking some newborn pictures {which I loved!} for a few friends and that only increased the demand.
As spring was approaching, I knew a decision had to be made.
I was told over and over that I had a gift.
That this was a talent. 
So I was feeling compelled not to waste it if it was a truly a gift.
I prayed about it some more.
Talked a lot about it with Mr. B and those close to me.
I decided to become more official- to have a website, raise my prices, have new packages and only shoot a few days a week with hopes that I'd be able to have more of a balance for the spring/summer season.

With just two months in {now}, I became overwhelmed.
I don't know how working moms do it. 
Finding the balance of being present, cleaning, cooking, enjoying, relaxing, playdates, family, friends, wife, mom and sleep is... hard. 

The fact of the matter is you really can't give both your work and your homelife 100%.
You can't.

It was always my dream to be a mom.
I honestly never dreamt of being a photographer.
It's still weird to say that I am one.
The more I edited and posted, the more people would contact me for their sessions and I would get overwhelmed.

Some people have joked around with me saying
 that's a business,
 that's success, 
that's how it works.
But as "successful" as my short-lived photography company was, it wasn't where I wanted to put my success.
It wasn't where I wanted to give my time and attention.
I was behind on the pictures that mattered most to me. 
The ones that I take of my moments to capture and freeze because they are going too quickly. 
The moments where I try not to blink because they're gone.
So fast.

As much as I love to bless others, and I will continue to do so for family and friends, the business aspect is not where my heart is. 
It's not where I want my time and energy to go. 

In this season of my life I'm called to invest in our daughter and Lord-willing, future children.
I'm not interested in making investments.
Although the extra money was nice, it's not worth it.
I'm happy with my decision. 
I feel relieved.
I feel a weight lifted.
I feel like I'm back in the game.
I love that right now it's 12:30am and I am documenting our life and not editing someone else's.

I have truly been blessed by blessing others.
I love how many clients have become new friends and I am thankful for the support that I know I will receive from those around me. 

I know the Lord has given me this gift and will continue to use me in other ways until I am in a new season of life where I could possibly pursue photography as a career.
Until then, I will continue to capture these precious moments,
because this is where my heart is.
This is my gift.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Bar

Lately I've been struggling.
Partially due to social media.
Partially due to the way my brain works and how I over analyze everything.

When we were trying to conceive I was bitter- pregnancies were being announced left and right.
When I finally got pregnant there was a constant fear of having a miscarriage- I was reading it everywhere.
When she was born there was a paranoia of childhood cancer- stories were always popping up.
When I fed her formula there was judgement and justification and the appearance of not being a "good mom".

And lately, I've been struggling with the bar.
Not the bar that is set to where she "should be".
 The bar that is set to where "other" kids are at, in the social media world I'm surrounded in, therefore  that is where she "should be".

Facebook is great.
Blogs are wonderful.
I am so thankful that I have milestones documented.
From trying to conceive to pregnancy to 8 months old {where I slacked off big time and I'm now disappointed that I didn't keep up!}.
Because of the simplicity and awesomeness of blogs they'e now become a virtual baby book-a place to post every.thing your child is doing for everyone to see.
But, they are often times hard for me to read.
Sometimes it's because it stirs discontentment in my life.
Sometimes it's because the grass is greener.
Sometimes it's because it's too much for me to handle and it feeds a fear that is not from the Lord.
And sometimes, like in this season of my life, it creates an unwanted, unneccessary comparison of my child to another child.

Some are talking.
Some are signing.
Some are potty trained.
Some know their alphabet.
Some know their states.

Some know their shapes.
Some know their colors.
Some know their countries.
Some can read.
Some can write.

Those things are great.
Really, they are.
And, of course, I would be proud if it was my child, too.

But what I find happening is that I become frustrated or concerned when Adalyn isn't doing x, y and z.
I get angry when she throws her flashcards instead of pointing out the animal and the letter.
I get irritated when she puts all the colored stars onto the page instead of choosing one and matching correctly.
I lose my patience when she purposely presses the wrong button on an educational ipad game because she likes the sound that it makes when it's the incorrect answer.

And what I seem to be forgetting is that Adalyn is made in the image of God.
She was perfectly and uniquely knit together in my womb by our awesome Creator.
He made her exactly who she is.
And I need to- more than accept- I need to embrace where she is at today.
Right now.

To think that at least she is almost potty-trained and can say and whine and scream and repeat 1,000 times a day Mama.
To think at least she's got that going for her....
It's wrong and it's ridiculous.

She is loved.
She is loving.
She brings us so much joy.
She is sweet.
She is caring.
She is silly.
She is observant.
She has the craziest bedhead.
She loves to give hugs and kisses.
She loves to praise Jesus.
She has an expressive face.
She loves to read books.
She loves to dance.
She loves to laugh.
She loves animals.
She loves to play outside.
She loves to get the mail.
She loves to eat.
She loves her giraffe, blankie and paci.
She loves to say "hi".
She loves to help me sweep.
She loves her car and her wagon.
She loves to swing.
She loves Curious George.
She is obsessed with babies.

The list could go on and on about how great she is and how much I love her.

It's not fair to her for me to be comparing her to "the bar."

Before Adalyn's 18 month check up, I was telling Mr. B how they were going to see how smart she is- what body parts she knows, how many words can she say etc. We estimated how many words we thought she was able to say and that night I went to bed worried.
What if it wasn't enough?
I feel like she is a little delayed.
Her speech isn't very clear, but I can usually decipher what she's trying to say.
So I made a list and I decided it would be more accurate to say she can say/uses 25-30+ words a day.

I get to her appointment and guess what?
The doctor asks me if she is pointing to things.
She asks if is able to demonstrates things that she wants.
If she can follow simple directions.
She never asked about the number of words.
She didn't care about states or countries.
Alphabet or numbers.
Colors or shapes.

And you know what else?
The paper the Dr. gives at the end of the appointment, under the "What I Can Do Now" section, said: speak 8-10 words.
The bar- the social media childhood development bar- is too high.

Adalyn's appointment was perfect.
And it wasn't because she knew or didn't know.
It was because she was healthy, happy and growing.

The things that other kids can do are awesome.
I believe some kids thrive more in certain areas than others.
It's just how God wired them.
But I forget that some days.
It's important for me to remember that she is only 18 months.
The bar tends to be getting set higher and higher and it's so easy to push aside that fact that although she's not really a baby anymore...she is just a baby.
She's not even 2.
I need to let her be.
She's my sweet girl, a child of God, who will learn all these other things in time.
Right now- what she really needs to know- is that she's loved.
And she does.
                                                               And that's what matters most.