Friday, September 30, 2011

Foto Friday–Books

(It seems that all I’m coming up with these past few weeks has been Foto Friday posts.  I’ll get another post explosion soon I’m sure)

This theme made me think of my time spent at Mommy Retreats.  Every year, ladies from our old kinship (small group) from back in the day (like late 90’s, early 00’s) get together every spring for a Mommy Retreat.  I got to join the last two years and hope to attend every year that I’m not breastfeeding.  Since I’m not pregnant now, looks like I’m all ready to go next spring.

At this retreat, we bring whatever reading materials (and games and even recipe boxes to organize) we want to peruse during the weekend.  Last year’s retreat seemed to be a big reading weekend.  There were so many books that we had to get pictures of them all stacked up. 

100_1341 copy

I added a Kim Klassen texture called Ugglove (I think) and then a Paint the Moon black and white action that I added a bit of the color back to. I love how the color turned out in this, but I’m not sure if this texture was the best choice.  I do like it, but if I had more time (always the case), I could have tried out more textures to find maybe a better one.

Until next time……


Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foto Friday–S curve


I was stumped with this one!!! 

So I cheated. I used my son’s bath toy letter. It’s all I could think of! 


I added a Kim Klassen texture (Free!) and then The Pioneer Woman’s Vintage action (Free!) It’s not my best work, but it’s what I came up with this morning on the fly.

Have a good weekend!

P.S.  I’m going on a date with my hubby tonight!! I think this is April’s date night.  We’re a little behind.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Potty Training–a Huge Growth Chart Moment

I have to say that I was pretty nervous going into Potty Training Week. I had read this post from Marriage Confessions about her Potty Camp, and I took a few ideas from her training for Jack’s training.  . I’ll try to make this short, sweet, and to the point., but if you’ve been a reader for long, you know that I don’t seem to try very hard at that.

How did I know Jack was ready to potty train?

The biggest clue what that he started running to the bathroom to poop in his diaper.  He’d stop what he was doing, run to the bathroom and just stand there, grunting.  Every time he did that, we’d ask if he wanted to poop in the potty.  “No.” 

He also went to the potty right after we saw a friend of his use the potty.  He didn’t have any issues sitting on the big potty without any seat adaptor, so I knew he didn’t have any fear of the big potty anymore. 

A lot of when you potty train (as a SAHM) is admitting when the mom is ready to put the work in.  I knew it was a lot of commitment on the part of the mom, so I waited until I was ready to put in the time that was needed.  That helped a lot.

What tools did I use?


I borrowed a seat adaptor from a friend.  I knew Jack could sit on the big potty, but I also thought it might be easier on him if he didn’t have to hold himself up the whole time he was sitting.  This was invaluable for training I think.

I made a potty chart.  It was a sad little potty chart. I wrote “Jack’s Potty Chart” on a piece of paper and taped it up by the potty.  Then I got a sheet of (45) smiley stickers from my sticker pile.  (ex-teachers have LOTS of stickers). I put one sticker up on the ‘o’ of Potty so he knew that a sticker went on the paper somewhere when he used the potty. 


I bought a jug of Gatorade.  This stuff goes right through Jack and makes him need to use the bathroom a LOT.  I figured that if he was going to get the idea that ‘pee goes in the potty’, it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot of opportunities to see that in action.  I diluted it with some water.


I set my phone alarm to go off every 20 minutes and downloaded a ringtone called Potty Dance.  From Katie’s post, I liked that she took her son to the potty every 15 minutes. I changed that to asking him if he had to go every 20 minutes.  He got pretty annoyed with that, so I stopped this after day one.

imageI purchased some big boy underwear.  Some were trainers with some padding in them in case he didn’t get it right away, and some were just normal little boy underpants.  So cute!!

So, How did it go?

Day 1

It went much better than I expected!!  The first day, I took his diaper off after his morning change and didn’t replace it.  He was uncertain about that, but I said we could sit on the potty if he needed to potty.  He didn’t have an accident that morning at all.  But he didn’t want to poop in the potty, so I put the diaper on him later in the morning when I knew he’d probably poop.

That afternoon I put underpants on him.  He forgot that they weren’t diapers, so he peed in them.  If he didn’t have the underpants on, he was fine and remembered to run to the potty.  So I left him without anything on the bottom for the rest of the day.  (If I left the house, I put a diaper on him).

Day 2

downsize-2(I just want to say I wasn’t the one who painted the bathroom.)

The next day he didn’t want to leave his diaper off, but I kind of forced the issue.  I just didn’t put a new dipe on him.  He didn’t have any accidents, and he even pooped in the potty. Day two and he was already pooping on the potty!??  That was too good to be true!! He was happy to be rewarded with stickers and saying “YAY!!” after he flushed.

But it was too good to be true.  that afternoon, he pooped in his underpants.  But he kept saying he did it on purpose.  He knows that when I change his poopy diaper, I go plop the poop into the potty. (I didn’t mean to use alliteration, but that’s a fun sentence to say…go read it again) His idea was that if he pooped in his underpants, he could just plop it into the potty.  He tried to.  I asked him how that worked out for him and he said “not good”.  Since then, no more poop accidents.

Day 3

The next day he had a pee accident, but it was because he was upset about having to come inside after having played outside for about an hour with no bathroom time. He was so upset, he peed as Daddy brought him in the house.  Poor guy.  Poor Daddy.

Day 4

The next day we went to Kroger to do some grocery shopping.  I did put a diaper on him, but told him that he could use the bathroom at Kroger if he wanted to.  He did!!  It was our first ‘out of our home/foreign potty’ experience.  He loved it.  That morning he had finished up his sticker sheet. That means he had used the potty 45 times in about a week.  That Gatorade is powerful stuff! And he only had three accidents.  That’s pretty good in my estimation, so I let him pick out a new toy.  He was very happy to pick out a new semi truck!


Day 5

The next day, we went to work at my church office for a few hours, and he went to the bathroom there 3 times, even pooping once!  I think he’s good to go without a diaper now if I know there will be bathrooms around for him.

He did it!!


I know he’s not even three yet, but I could tell he was ready to start learning to do his business on the potty.  We are still wearing diapers at night, and they’re still pretty soaked in the morning, so we’re not nighttime potty trained yet, but I’m okay with that.  I thought that I might be sad about him being out of diapers – you know, growing up and all – but I’m so happy for him.  He’s so proud.  He’s getting the hang of pushing down his pants and can kind of pull them up by himself too.  He’s Mr. Independent for sure.

Now if we could just figure out how to get him to go to sleep by himself…..

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foto Friday–Pattern


It’s here again!  Foto Friday.  This week went by pretty quickly around here.  Not much to tell…except that my son is POTTY TRAINING!  And he’s doing a great job.  I can’t wait to tell you about it.  I’m a proud mama.

I couldn’t get a good “pattern” picture to save my life, so I went into the archives.  And these are OLD archives.  3 years old to be exact.  My mom, Rick, and I went to Alaska before Jack was born (I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time).  It was the best vacation.  I’ve been a lot of places, and besides Wales, Alaska is my number 1 spot to visit in the world.  I have two number 1’s.  It’s my blog, I can do that.

A few friends of mine have recently been to Alaska and they’ve been sharing their pictures.  It makes me want to go back!! So, I did…via my picture files.  It was a lot less expensive this way.

Here are the three pictures I found that I felt fit the “pattern” theme for this week.  I should put a disclaimer on here that I’m pretty sure my mother took these pictures.  Not me.  But I came from her womb, (and they’re on my computer) so I say that’s allowed. Enjoy!

(Skagway, AK) (Those were my initials before I was married)

(Fairbanks, AK)P1010007 copy

(Talkeetna, AK)

Obviously, this doesn’t show you Alaska at all, but they’re cute pictures.  I wish my Alaska pictures had turned out better.  My camera at the time was unknowingly set on ‘email quality’ pictures, and the date was stamped on them all.  I blame that on being pregnant at the time.  I had already started losing brain cells by then.  Thank goodness my mom was camera-happy that trip!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Since I’m Not Pregnant…


If you are male, or squeamish about menstrual cycles, and would rather not know these types of things about me, please DON’T READ THIS POST.  Really. 

If you are male, or squeamish about menstrual cycles, and would rather not know these things about me and you choose to read this post anyway, please don’t ever mention it to me.  Thank you.

*warning over*

Remember when I said that I craft out of necessity? Well, this is another example of that. It’s also an example of how I’m going old school.  I am a woman.  I am not pregnant.  I am not breastfeeding (man do I miss that!!).  Put that all together and it means that I still get a regular monthly visit from, you know, Aunt Flow.  (yes, I’m a teenage girl who still gets embarrassed talking about it)

I’ve been wanting to buy some Mama Cloths for a while now, but every month, I think “this will be the month we get pregnant, so I better not spend money on something I can’t use right now.”  Then we aren’t pregnant after all, and it turns out it would have been nice to have already ordered some cloth. 

My other stumbling block is that I can’t decide who to buy from.  If you search on Etsy for Mama Cloth, there are a ton of WAHMs who make what look like great products.  How is a girl to choose??

So, I decided to make my own.  A friend sent me a link to this site that had links to lots of other sites with patterns.  This site was the one I used to kind of copy the pattern from. I just eye-balled what I thought looked like a pad, then made it a bit bigger.  She has since put a pattern out on her site if you’re an actual pattern follower.  I have yet to follow a pattern. This is the site that I used to guide me through the steps of putting my pieces together.  It was very thorough and helpful.   Here is my step-by—step ‘tutorial’ for how I made my very first Mama Cloth.

First, the fabric! I have a few questions as to what fabric is best for this purpose, so I went to my cloth diaper sewing board on BabyCenter, and read about how fleece is used for the outer layer of diapers and flannel is used for the absorbent layer.  I decided to buy three fleeces and three flannels and test out how they work at home.  I washed and dried them then did a water test. I put a few drops of water on the fabric, and for the water that beaded up, I pushed my thumb on it and saw how quickly it went into the fabric.  I also checked a paper towel I had put under the fabric to see if the water went all the way through or just into the fabric.  Flannel soaked through every time, very quickly, and Fleece soaked in but didn’t go all the way through each time.  So, flannel was used for my ‘inserts’ and fleece was used for my backing – or layer that’s against the panty.

Here is my pretty fleece I used for the backing.  I eyeballed the pattern,   (even with the seam allowance it was too wide in the long run, but still useable) then cut it out and used it to trace onto my flannel.

Free hand pattern making on Fleece (backing)

I then took some flannel and folded it a few times to get four or five layers of absorbency in the pad. I sewed it a pink flannel top so it would stay in place even after washing. 

Trimmed the corners off to fit it betterP9050013

I decided to try out different ways to attach the inner layer.  I thought maybe adding channels may help direct the flow, or maybe just a big open rectangle.  I don’t know what will work best, but I’m guessing that there won’t be much difference.

Sewed the lining onto the top flannel piece.  Made channels in one, just two lines on another, and a rectangle on a third

After sewing the pieces together, good sides facing each other, I turned them inside out and gave them a top stich.  Officially, I was done then, but I wanted to put Velcro on my wings so they’d stay together.  I don’t have snaps or a snap applicator, so this was my alternative.  You could also sew a button on one and a button hole on the other. I’ve even seen how you can omit the wings all together and add a button on the bottom of the pad and put a button hole in your underwear.  Not sure I’m down with that. One of my friends uses a safety pin to keep it in place. 

added velcro for a closure.

Here are my finished Mama Cloths!  Aren’t they cute?  I love how girly they are. 

Sewed them together and gave them a topstitch to finish themAll done.  (velcroed wrong for the picture.  The wings will go down around the panty)

After realizing that I am again not pregnant, I decided I better have more than just three ready to use, so I whipped three more up with other flannel and fleece the very next day.  From start to finish, it takes me about an hour and a half to make three.  I’m guessing if I made a bunch (why would I?) that I could get it down to 30 -45 min. from start to finish easily.  I’m just a slow seamstress. 


These turned out pretty patriotic I think. It was completely unintentional, but cute all the same.  *and see the sewing machine cover behind the pads?  I added some denim to the bottom of my cute cover – you can see the original post here.

I have to admit though, that I use the Diva Cup for my cycle, and I don’t need a lot of pads anymore.  Just one a day in case of any leaks and one at night for a few nights.  6 may be all I need to complete my week, but we’ll see. 

Oh, and in case you’re interested, I spent $27 on 6 fabrics and thread and I’ll never need to buy fabric again (for this purpose).  I still have another fleece and some flannel left to make a ton more.  I bought a half a yard of 5 fabrics and a yard and a third of another fabric.  It would have been cheaper had I not picked out fancy fabric.  That blue was $9 something a yard!  And that was after a sale.

If you’re brave enough to cross over into the world of cloth, let me know if you try making your own.  Or if you have already made some, add your link in the comments section.  I’d love to see how other people are making their own – and steal your ideas!


After trying them out this month, I can say that I have NO IDEA if they work or not.  Every month I need a pad a day as a backup. but this month I didn’t leak once.  Ugh.  I’m happy about that really, but I can’t tell you if they worked or not. I liked them, and I would not recommend using Velcro honestly, but I managed to make it work.  If you have any questions, leave me a comment or send me an email and I’ll get back to you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Foto Friday–Fill the Frame


Last month, there was a free hot air balloon festival in our neighboring, small town’s, county airport. It was free to the public, so we jumped right on that event.  I have always loved hot air balloons since I was a little girl.  I used to wish upon a star that I’d get to ride in one someday.  Since Rick would rather jump out of an airplane than ride in a hot air balloon, my chances for going up in one look slim.  I’m okay with that. The older I get, the less brave I become.

As a hobby photographer, I was in photography heaven that night.  The balloons were so colorful, the weather was beautiful, and there were no restrictions on how close you were allowed to get to the balloons.  I couldn’t believe that I could get as close as I wanted to the balloons.  I could have touched them.  Oh man!  Why didn’t I touch one? I did stick my head inside a few to take some neat pictures. 

All of these pictures are my “fill the frame” photos for today’s prompt.  And all I did to edit them was (in Photoshop) add an overlay layer and either a hard mix or screen layer.  All levels were adjusted down to make the colors pop just right.



There were 10 balloons in all, but I could only get 8 in the frame at one time because one went up pretty early and left the scene for a while, and one was late in getting started. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Start Your Day With a Rainbow


The other day I decided to make rainbow pancakes.  I can’t say what possessed me to do such a thing, but I’d seen it before and I thought Jack might enjoy it.  Plus, he was asking me for blue pancakes, which I thought was weird and would look gross, so I turned it into a rainbow of pancakes.  He loved it, and it didn’t take much effort to make them. 

It wasn’t hard to dollop out my batter into 5 small bowls, then add about 5 drops of food coloring to each.  The orange was the only one I had to mix. I think it’s a 2-3 ratio of yellow to red. Or a “mix until you like the color” ratio.


I have to admit, it was kind of freaky seeing colored pancakes cooking on the griddle.  Fun, but freaky.


In the end, I was impressed with how colorful they turned out.  I really enjoyed making these, and I see them happening in my future.  Not often of course, but I’ll do this again for a rare treat I’m sure.


Have you ever tried Rainbow pancakes?  They will start your day off with a smile.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Best Friends

Jack has a few buddies his age that we love to hang out with.  Jack is the oldest, and these three boys are almost all the same age –born the same month I believe.  Of course, I’m friends with their mamas, whom I love to hang out with as well.

I thought I’d show you some sweet “Best Friend” pictures I’ve captured recently while the boys were hanging out.






They're our little monkey boysI'm so glad I like the backs of their heads!!! That's allI can ever get of our toddlers

Did I ever mention that I like the back of my son’s head?  I feel the same way about his friends too.  Little boys are meant to be pictured like this.  It shows off their curiosity and sense of adventure.  They’re always on the go!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This is my first Scavenger Hunt Sunday, and it’s about darn time!  I’ve loved seeing these posts on various blogs I read, including the host,  and I’ve always wanted to join in.  But 5 topics and 5 photos is, evidently, hard for me to get together.  Maybe it’s that it is a weekend post, and I’m not very good with those.  Whatever it is, I’m so happy to be finally participating.  (I hope it’s not my last time, but don’t hold your breath next Sunday)

The idea of this photo challenge is to take 5 new photos during the week for the 5 prompts.  I have to admit that I’m cheating a bit.  These shots weren’t all taken this week.  Most of them weren’t.  But that’s not stopping me.




These are steps up an Indian burial mound in Marietta, Ohio.  We were just there 2 weeks ago.


It's....More than Cool

Yes, Yes I am. And so are you!



I took this a few weeks ago. I posted the SOOC shot before.



We went to a hot air balloon festival a few weeks ago. I was able to stand right beside the basket of this one and stick my head in there to get this picture. So cool!



It’s rare that I take a self portrait that I like.  Or that I share.  So here is one that fits both bills.


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