2.28.2011

potty training 101.

The day finally came where I said, That's it. I'm doing it. It's potty training day.

So, this past weekend we spent A LOT of time cheering on a little girl to go in her potty.

And she did.

Now, we just finished up day three. But it seems to be working. And not really that stressful. I did not want to stress about it and get upset over it or get her upset over it.

I'm going to share what we have been doing. But, it's not for everyone. It's just what we have decided to do. [Which is what parenting is all about, being able to choose what is best for you and your child.]

I knew Audrey was ready because a) she is at that age, almost 2.5 b) she could tell us when she went potty in her diaper c) she would have a couple of hours of dryness throughout the day d) she woke up dry in her diaper after 12 hours of sleep a lot of the time.

Our method? Kick it in the butt without looking back. We decided to go full-force panties only, even nap and night. We didn't buy any more diapers or pull-ups. [Because if we did, I know I would have used them just in case.] We knew she would have accidents. But once she figured out how to actually go in the potty, she wouldn't want the yucky feeling in her panties anymore. [She hates getting dirty.] Her first day, she had quite a few accidents before she went in her potty. But once she did it (which we practically threw a party for her and she got a present), she kept doing it. I took some advice from a friend who sent me a three day potty-training guide and made sure I didn't say Do you need to go potty? Instead I said Tell me when you have to go potty. (It makes the child feel like they have control.) This seemed to make a difference as far as her not getting so annoyed with us talking about it consistently. For the first five times she went in the potty, she got an actual present. I picked up some small princess items from the dollar section at Michael's Craft Store. She thought this was totally awesome and great motivator. Then we moved to just a small piece of candy. And now she just gets a sticker.

It really seems to be working. She has had one accident since she "got it" on the first day. I was so skeptical of following some three day potty training guide, considering my child had never even peed in the potty prior to this. But here we are, day three, and she can go all by herself, and sometimes without even telling me. Now, she hasn't mastered going ahem, number two, but it's just a matter of time. I'm hopeful.

[I was going to post this cute picture of Audrey sitting on the potty. But then I thought, she probably would hate the fact that when she is 16 there is a picture of her on the potty with public access to the world.]

2.25.2011

to the ocean.

Yesterday we took a trip to the ocean. We gathered sea shells. Went swimming with life jackets on. Talked to Ariel and Flounder. Laid out on the beach.



For a second, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and felt like I was really there.

But there is no denying it, this is where we are at...


Come on March, I can't wait for you to be here.
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(I thought I would be away for a bit, sick and all, but a miracle happened. I didn't get that sick and felt fine in less than a day. Amazing. I will never forget the Stomach Flu Invasion of 2011.)

2.23.2011

see ya soon.

Well, folks. It hit me. This afternoon the cold chills and the ache-y body started. I have eaten half a banana today. So, I may not be here for a couple of days. [And Naomi is still sick. And the husband is sort of starting to recover.]

But I did (thankfully) get some new items posted in my shop, before the sickness took over. Purty please go check them out- they have been so therapeutic for me to make over the last couple of days. [And if you can spread the word, it would be totally awesome. And yes, I'm trying to promote my shop. I love you guys, thanks.]


Also, I'm thinking another giveaway is in order, maybe next week when all this sickness has hit the road.
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See ya soon.

2.22.2011

decorating with the unexpected.

[I'm writing this post to distract me from the sickness that is still in our house. Poor Naomi now has it. It's pitiful.]

When I see something at a thrift store or garage sale (usually it is sea-green, turquoise, or some blue color) and I'm not sure how I will use it, I try to think outside the box.

Like a vintage suitcase. I use it to store magazines inside and place old books on top.

Vintage thermos. This shelf is not complete. But I took down my Valentine's decorations and I'm not really sure what to put up since it's not quite spring yet. So this is where I'm at with it. I'm going to fill the thermos with flowers to add some "spring-feel." And get some art up there too.

Old picture frame. I love having old frames hung in a collection. But when I have just one I like to put a picture up in the middle or a wreath or even a plate.

Vintage trunk. These are great to use as side tables or a coffee table. DVD's are stored inside of ours.

Lately, I have been seeing stumps being used as home decor. And I think it's pretty awesome. [Just wish I could afford one. Perhaps I can talk the husband in to finding a stump somewhere and making one.]


All the items in the above pictures are from garage sales or thrift stores (except for the stump, of course). I'm definitely getting the itch to go to garage sales. Can't wait for the season to start. Do you enjoy the early Friday and Saturday wake-ups to find a deal? 

2.21.2011

impossible.

Audrey is at that age where taking pictures of her end up with awkward smiles or some weird position or movement. Then when you add a four month old in the mix, it is nearly impossible to get a good picture.

Today I dressed the girls in matching shirts and the skirts I made them. [First time for this, I'm not a huge matchy-matchy fan. But I think it's cute when they coordinate.]

I couldn't even get one great picture. But together, they make a pretty funny collage. Not to mention, Audrey insisted on eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich during the photo shoot.


Ah, sisterly love. It is pretty stinkin' cute watching Audrey love on her sister and then Naomi get so tickled about it.

And, it is so so good to have Audrey almost completely back to her normal self. [While I pretend that I am not getting sick. I refuse.]

2.20.2011

survival.

I didn't mean to be MIA for this long. I attempted three posts this week, but never completed them. And now, so many days have past I'm not sure where to begin. I guess with the fact that sickness has taken over our house. Audrey has been very sick for the last five days, and just now today, seems to be on the mend. Just in time for Andrew to get really sick last night. I'm hoping his body can kick it a lot faster than Audrey did. I'm also praying (really hard) that Naomi or I don't get it. You don't even want to know how much gross stuff I have cleaned up this week. [On a related note: I'm so glad Audrey is not potty-trained yet. Okay, gross. Sorry for sharing.]

On a happier note, I am loving my new iphone. Especially taking pictures. Are you a part of the free instagram app? If so, we should be friends- find me under Better Than Cupcakes.

Here are some of my pictures from my phone. Mostly of Naomi because she is the only one that has been healthy and happy this week. (She is a very smiley baby.)





This last one of Audrey is when we attempted to go to the park for some fresh air
even though she wasn't feeling well.

I have also been working on adding some new things to my shop. I don't have them posted yet, but be on the lookout this week. Have you checked out the new Easter skirt I made? Spring is just around the corner! 

Here's to starting a fresh, new week, folks!

2.16.2011

lots.

It's suppose to be around 60 degrees today. It's a February tease, but I'll take it. It makes this would be a difficult day, so much better. The warmth energizes me. It makes me want to reach out and take everything in for the day. To do this and that and live. Yesterday was a lot of that. A lot of {good} doing. Then came the night. Between Audrey getting sick FOUR times and Naomi nursing, sleep didn't really happen. And now, I have been short on patience. So I may just take a moment to bask in the sun and breathe. Just breathe.

I don't really have anything to complain about. I shouldn't complain. In fact, good things have been coming our way. On Valentine's Day I went on a date with Andrew and I keep dreaming about the amazing food we had. And the fact that I put on a dress, made me really happy. See.

(Normally, I wouldn't be able to wear this dress, because it doesn't really allow for easy nursing access, but I dusted off the cobwebs and put it on for the night.)

Then, yesterday, I feel like I finally entered the 21st century by getting an iphone. I had the same phone for three years. It didn't break, so I didn't really want to get a new one. But my tech savvy husband talked me into it. And yeah, I like it. A lot. I am already obsessed with instantly posting pictures on facebook. [Are we friends yet on there? Let's! Search for my first name, Abra, trust me, there aren't many around.] 

Alright, I must take a short nap while the kiddos are napping. Tootaloo.

2.14.2011

happy valentines.

I'm sitting here eating not one, but two cookies that we decorated this morning and drinking a glass of milk. Both girls are napping (ah, bliss). I have two loads of laundry that need folded, three skirts that are half done, a dishwasher to unload, and numerous things to put away. But, you know what, I think I'm calling it a day.

Because this morning. This is what happened at our house.




We had 13 kids three and under at our house for a Valentine's Day party. There were six moms, two of which are expecting. We decorated baggies, passed out Valentine's, decorated cookies, ate heart shape jello's and heart shape pbj's. There was laughing, playing, and even some crying. But we all had a good time. I'm so thankful I have a close group of young mamas to share these times with.

For the rest of the day, I plan on relaxing. The hubster said he is going to try to come home early today. (And if you know him, that will be a miracle. He usually works really late. Everyday.) He made dinner reservations somewhere, but we aren't sure if we are going to use them or not with the two kiddos around. So we will see. I will be just as happy staying in with my little family. (And watching The Bachelor, which I'm ashamed to admit.)

What is your Valentine's Day looking like?

2.13.2011

a girl of many faces.

I seriously could sit and talk to Naomi all day long. (Which I practically do.) Because her faces are the best.


Also? I really like yellow on her.

That's all. Happy Sunday.

2.12.2011

it's a boy.

I hosted a shower for one of my close friends today. And I was super pumped to do it because it was for a boy. And around here, we just see a lot of pink.

One of my favorite things from the shower: mustache straws. You read it right, mustaches all around.


(Here I am modeling one for you. I might just use one everyday because it's that fun.)

The mustaches are made from the cardstock-like felt. I just folded one in half and cut out mustache designs. Then used a hole-puncher for the holes. 

For the favors I made no-sew blue felt flower pins. Easy, peasy. Just cut, wrap, and glue. (To cut the flower, I just basically kept going around in a circle like a swirl.)



It was a fun day. Not to mention it was really sunny today, which always makes the day better.

2.10.2011

a clean house.

I'm kind of a clean freak. Not in the sense that I dust weekly or scrub the toilet everyday. But I just don't like clutter and things out of place. Which can be good and bad. I try really hard to keep our house decent looking most of the time. But sometimes I get stressed out about it and let it get to me and oh wow, I'm about to have a break-down because of a messy house. Then when I look back at the situation, I think-- dumb. Houses get messy. Every house gets messy, don't try to prove me wrong on this. And honestly, I think if your house is always clean and tidy, then too much time is spent cleaning and not enough time living in the moment.

So, I randomly thought I should go around and take a picture of my house right this second. (Yikes.) Without rearranging things or stuffing it all in a corner for a picture, I mean I have never done that, ahem.

Because, folks, I'm keeping it real.



(I really need to organize my sewing area. Poor Andrew, this is what he looks at every time he comes into our bedroom. And usually leaves with a piece of thread hanging from his foot.)

An always clean house is for the birds.

And by the way, I've been around. Check me out here (and read all about my looooove story with Andrew, and say hello to Morgan, she is pretty cool), and then I just found out someone featured me on their blog here. (Which totally makes me feel special. Thanks, Stacey, for the feature!) And lastly, I added a new skirt design here.

update: The new design (deer) skirt already sold! Thanks, Jessi, for the purchase! Now you will have to excuse me, I'm off to mail THREE packages today.

2.09.2011

life goes on.

A conversation between me and my husband yesterday:

Andrew: Are you blogging somewhere else?
Me: No, why?
Andrew:  Because it's been three days since you last posted.
Me: Ha. I know. I've been busy with life.

Now how cute is it that my husband reads my blog? And not only that, he tells me he checks it all the time throughout the day. You know, to see his girls. So I figured I better get a post in, for his sake, at least.

It has been busy over here. [Aren't we all feeling busy all the time?] Yesterday I went to the dentist and had three cavities filled. [Don't judge, I haven't been to the dentist in like three years. Shame on me. I know.] Now you probably could care less about that, but, folks, I was in a lot of pain for the whole day. You should have heard me trying to read books to Audrey before nap. I was still numb at that point, that's all I'm sayin'. Then today we made our way to Naomi's four month check-up. She weighs in at nearly 15 lbs (75 percentile) and tops the height chart at 26.75 inches (97 percentile). Everything is looking great with her, which I'm so thankful for, I don't ever want to take a good check-up for granted. Also, I've been sewing a lot while the babies sleep. I haven't posted any new skirts  in the shop per se, but I have been working on some custom orders. And can I just say, thank you, to those who have sent me encouraging words and even made a purchase to support this little dream of mine. This weekend I am hosting a baby shower for a friend and then on Monday I'm throwing a toddler Valentine Party, so I have been using my time coming up with ideas for both. Then you mix in the daily grind of dishes, laundry, and pretending to be Prince Eric, and my days just fly by. [Audrey always turns me into the prince with her wand. And she gets to be Ariel. I don't think that is really fair, do you?]

But there is always time to snap a picture.

(Both of their facial expressions crack me up.)

Quick, let's do a flash back to just three months ago, when Naomi was one month old...


I promise you, Naomi isn't taking any steroids, just good ol' mama's milk.

2.05.2011

4 months.

There is no denying it. My little Naomi is growin' like crazy. Today marks four months. And each day she gets squishier and cuter.

Ah, love.


My Dear Naomi Fae,

Here it is, another month has passed. And I'm going to say it, you are still a good baby. (Thank you so very much for this.) You are very smiley and we have even got some good laughs out of you. You like to talk, which could be trouble because your sister is a big talker (and singer). Speaking of your sister. You adore her and get so tickled when she talks to you. I think this is one thing I'm looking forward to most- watching your relationship blossom with her. I hope that you are best of friends. So, you have become a drooler. And your sleeping through the night has passed. (Yes, very sad.) But, on the brightside, you still go right back to sleep after you nurse. I'm not sure how big you are, but I think you are on the bigger side of things. You are about to grow out of your 3-6 months clothes because you are so dag'on long. Which makes me wonder- will you play volleyball or basketball when you are older? Okay, let's not go there, I like you little and squishy right now. Oh, Naomi, I'm so thankful you are apart of our family. We love you.

Now look how much you have grown each month!


(The numbers on her shirt are just stickers.
My friend got them for me off of Etsy. They are totally cool.)

2.04.2011

winner winner {chicken dinner.}

[I couldn't resist.]

Hot-diggity-dog we have a winner to the skirt giveaway I posted about on Monday. And let me tell you, all your sweet comments really did make my week. I had folks telling me they shared it with their friends on facebook and twitter. Multiple times. Now that's true love. Thank you, thank you! I'm really excited about the doors that could open up from this skirt thing. I already have something in mind that I want to do with it, something really good. But more on that later. On to the winner.

Using Random.org I put in the numbers 1 to 40 and it came up with comment #23 as the winner! So congrats to Shanea! She said "I absolutely love the Whale of a Tale skirt!! I will definitely spread the word. Thanks for sharing about your mom...I feel like I get know her more and more."

Again, thank you for participating and encouraging me. And don't forget, if you see a skirt you like, but not in the size you need, I am more than happy to do custom orders.

And now, I leave you with this cutie-patootie.



(Even her tush and thighs are to die for.)

Happy weekend, folks. We are going to be crazy, crazy parents tomorrow taking Audrey to see the Dora and Diego exhibit at the Children's Museum on opening day. [I know. DUMB.] But it is going to be worth it to see her face when she sees the characters there. [Along with the other zillion number of kids that will be there as well.] Do you have any weekend plans?

2.03.2011

i walked outside for the first time in four days.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time my time stealing things. Yup, I'm a thief. I would get on Facebook and see my friends post things they are doing with their kids and then I would proceed to do them. My friend, Jade, talked about making homemade pancakes. So what did we do? Make homemade (blueberry) pancakes. Then she talked about a tea party. And what? Yes, we had a tea party. Then my friend Mindy talked about making clean mud. And you guessed it- we made clean mud.

I'm always for sharing ideas, that's one of the many, many reasons I love blogging and just social networking in general.

So, now you may steal the clean mud recipe from me. (Which is really not my recipe at all.)

Another easy, fun, sensory activity for the kiddos. I used one bar of ivory soap, had my little sister grate it, then took about 1/3 roll of toilet paper and had Audrey tear it up. Then mixed the soap and toilet paper with hot water, a little bit at a time till it was a consistency I liked. I think I had a lot more fun playing in it then Audrey, but she did want her pigs to you know, roll in the mud.


So fresh and so clean clean

Also? We left the house for the first time today, since basically Sunday. (Besides driving around on Monday to pick up my sister.) Fresh air is amazing. It also feels good to not be wearing pajamas. What? I've been wearing pajamas for four days straight? Never. Ahem. Audrey sported her skirt that I made. I haven't posted the deer applique one yet on my shop, but do plan to.



And those of you that look really closely at pictures (like I do) will notice my super dirty floor. And a crayon randomly on the floor. Folks, this is the norm in my neck of the woods. Mmmmkay. Now come on over and have some tea, would ya.

2.02.2011

v-day decor.

I have never been one to decorate for Valentine's Day. I'm not really sure why, I just haven't. In fact, I always tell my husband not to get me chocolate or flowers on V-Day, because the prices sky rocket and I think it's dumb to spend the money. Before you go thinking I'm all cynical, I'm really not. I like the holiday, I do. I just prefer to be more low-key about it, I suppose.

This year, however, I have decided to embrace the upcoming love holiday. It's going to help me get through these crazy snow days. It's only twelve days away, you know. Yesterday Audrey and I made some decorations for the house. She sat on my lap and helped me sew, which was basically one of the cutest moments eva. We made some heart garland, inspired by this post. The garland is super cute and easy. I just cut out some hearts from paper I had in stock (I don't even have a heart puncher), then literally just sewed the pieces together.



Then I came up with the idea of making heart sticks (that's what I call them). I lined up three pieces of the same cardstock paper and cut out hearts. Then used a hot glue gun to glue the pieces together and put a skewer stick in the middle. Why a skewer stick? Because that's what I had in the house. We are iced in, and I'm trying to get creative with my decorations by using what I have.


And why not line up some Scrabble pieces that say I love you.


There you have it, my Valentine's Day mantel shelf.


Do you decorate for Valentine's Day?

Also, if you are in the mood, I created my first treasury on Etsy. It's all about love, red, and hearts. Take a peek.

2.01.2011

welcome february with randomness.

We're snowed iced in today. I knew it was coming. I even tried to be on the ball and go grocery shopping Sunday evening. But it never fails, I still had to stop by the store yesterday evening. Audrey must have overheard me talking about going to the store, because she said "mama, you going to the mad house?"

Audrey has been obsessed with being a 'beautiful princess' lately. Like the second she wakes up she has to put on a dress-up outfit, her crown, find her wand, and get out some high heel shoes. I don't even know how she comes up with this stuff. The only "princess" movies she has seen are The Little Mermaid and most recently Tangled in the movie theater. She will also ask me to hold her hands and dance with her. Of course, I don't pass up an opportunity to dance.

We made homemade fingerpaint today and went at it. Don't be like, whoa your awesome, because, folks, it's super easy to do. Take 2 cups of flour and 4 cups of cold water. Heat on low until it thickens. Add a little bit of salt. Let cool. Separate into containers and add food coloring.

And bam. You have fingerpaints.



Did you enter my giveaway yesterday? I keep reading the comments because they make me smile and inspire me to make more. Friends, family, stalkers, all may enter. Also, I have been adding new skirts to the shop. So take a peek! And thank you to those who have already entered and spread the word via facebook and twitter.

I don't feel like making dinner tonight. (Tell me you have those days too.) But it has to be done, I suppose. I am kind of wondering if there are any fairies that bring dinner to your doorstep on icy days.

I had sunflower seeds, natural cheetohs, grapes, and blueberries for lunch. Apparently, it wasn't enough, because I'm still hungry.

Here's a picture of Audrey at lunch. It's nearly impossible to get a picture of her sitting still anymore or without any princess gear on. But restrain her to a chair and give her food, then snap.


February is here. Naomi is going to be four months in a couple of days. So bring it. I'm ready for the month I usually dislike the most.