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It’s just potty training, right?

I woke up last Sunday morning realizing that THIS IS THE ONLY WEEK I HAVE AVAILABLE for potty training unless I wanted to potty train in a hotel. Yeah… no. So we ate breakfast, and then Zane and I jumped in the car and went on a “special date” to Target to buy Mini Marshmallows, M&M’s and “big girl panties”. I let Zane choose which set of underpants she wanted to get, and if this can serve as indication to you as to how much confidence I had going into potty training, as I placed the chosen princess panties in the cart she screamed at the top of her lungs “NO PANTIES – I WANT DIAPERS”. She proceeded to say that all the way to the check out, and all the way home.

I knew I had my work cut out for me.

Turns out potty training has been the hardest things that I have done as a parent thus far. I am not even kidding. NOTHING has mad me want to throw in the towel and quit as a mom like potty training did. At least the first 5 days.

We attempted the 3-day Pottywise bootcamp and my expectation was to be done in 3 days. Potty trained. I did sleep training with the “Babywise” way, and had huge success with that (my newborn slept at 5 weeks and has always gone right to sleep in her own crib) so I figured that potty training would follow suit. But that is the thing with kids, sometimes most times it doesn’t go as planned. After the first few days, we were supposed to have this potty training thing down. She was crying for a break, and so was I.

I was so frustrated because she was old enough (3 years old) and she SHOULD physically be able to learn this process. I honestly didn’t believe it was a physical thing, but a mental/will thing. Zane is SO strong willed, and she just really didn’t want to. Which makes for very interesting times. And LOTS of pee to clean up.

Friday night after Zane went to bed, I fell into my bed alone and burst into tears. I was so tired & frustrated with the whole process. Why wasn’t she “getting it”. All of her friends were potty trained, and it didn’t seem like any of them had had real trouble, and yet Zane had peed ALL OVER the restaurant at dinner. What was I missing?

Then it hit me. I was absolutely part of the problem.

Zane and I are like mirror images of each other, both in looks and in a lot of behaviors. We are both fairly stubborn and very independent. So imagine two people who like to be independent and in their own space learning things on their own time shoved into a little bathroom staring at each other and trying to force learned behavior. All it lead to was frustration. So I decided that night to back off. She “knew” what she had to do. We had had minimal success and she knew what it felt like to actually go potty IN the potty. So now it just needed to be her choice to actually do it. That night, before I went to sleep, I prayed that I would have renewed strength the next day to just LOVE on my daughter. I would stop comparing what the books say should work or what all the other kids her age were doing and just know that in the right time, she will get it. Oh, and we are SO using pull-ups out in public. I am not going to deal with the anxiety of having to potentially clean up pee everywhere we go.

So Saturday morning we woke up, and I put Zane on the potty just like every other morning.

Nope, she didn’t pee. Normally this would have sent me into a panic because we were planning to be out all day and I DONT WANT TO WASH YOUR CAR SEAT AGAIN. Instead I just pulled up her “big girl travel panties” (read:pull-ups) and we left for Seattle for a fun day of celebrating. I decided to relax and just have a great day out, and not be concerned about the potty training. It would happen when it did. And you want to know what? She stayed dry ALL DAY and even went potty when we stopped to use the potty.

A successful day out! Finally!!! We did it!

Since that day we don’t have a perfect track record, but I am ok with it. Once I just let it go and relaxed and realized that I have a pretty amazing kid who goes with the flow of our life most of the time and she just needed me to relax a little bit and let her learn, I was much happier and she was as well!

What I have learned is that every child TRULY is different, and you can use all the books you want to each your kids how to do things, but you have to take into account your child’s personality and tailor things to them to have success in WHATEVER you are doing. It is the hardest and most rewarding part of parenting: figuring out our children and how they work.

So, how did potty training go in your house? Did the 3-day bootcamp work for your child, or did you have moments of pulling out your hair like me?

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Snow White’s Queen in Disneyland

Have you been to Disneyland? If you have, then chances are you saw the queen above the Snow White ride – she peeks out (animatronically) every minute or so, peering down over all of the people waiting in line… and it is kind of creep if you ask me!

However, it was one of Zane’s favorite parts of DisneyLand. I am not even kidding. We had to visit the queen a few times each day. She loved the anticipation of waiting for the queen to peek out – she would scream “There she is!!!!” every single time.

We got home safe and sound and went about our normal daily lives, and I wondered what sort of impact taking my two and a half year old to Disneyland would have had on her.

And then she did this.

The Queen

She gets behind the curtains and closes them, and from behind the curtain, you can hear her saying “Where’s the queen??” until we repeat it. Then she ever-so-slowly opens the curtains, peeks down for a second, and then closes them just as slowly.

It is one of the funniest things EVER.

I would say she remembers her trip!

What is something YOU remember about a trip to Disneyland?

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Zane Loves L.A. Beaches!

First time on the Beach!

That face says it all.. Zaner loves the beach!!! We had a great time exploring different L.A. beaches a few weeks ago, and I have to say it is hard to choose favorite. Each beach is different and I have basically fallen in love with each of them for different reasons.

This is Huntington Beach – which has a cute little diner at the end of the pier called Rubys. They were PACKED so we ended up getting fajita’s at Gregs along the shoreline.




Unfortunately it was a little cold and windy to really ENJOY the beach and all it has to offer (AKA swim or even really touch the water at all) but that made for a beautiful day for flying a kite! All of these were from ONE guy who had them all set up. He was giving Kite lessons!! I want to go back and take a lesson – HOW FUN!


We ended our day at Laguna Beach – the most relaxing beach to me. They have a fun little play area for Zane to run around, slide, play in the sand and SWING (her favorite).


So do you have a favorite beach?

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So… I quit my job.

Today marks the end of a season for me, and the start of something new!

Today is my last day on staff at church. It has been a transition two years in the making, and now that it is here, I have very mixed emotions.

I have been on staff at our church working in the business office for almost 7 years, and on and around the staff since I moved to Washington in 2002. I LOVE my church. I LOVED being on staff. I LOVE working with our staff (we have one of the best!). And now I enter into a NEW season!

I have had a lot of people approach me and ask what’s next – so I thought I would blog it!

The short answer is I will be a stay at home mom. In other words I am not leaving to take another job somewhere else. However, I hardly plan to stay home :) With Brandon traveling a lot, and Zane the age that she is, it is very easy for us to take the opportunity to travel together! We love building the local church and being a resource to Pastors around the country as we represent our home church of Champions Centre and our Pastors Kevin and Sheila Gerald. It is an honor and an opportunity I have great appreciation for when Zane and I get the chance to travel with Brandon. I am happy we get to do this together. God has been so faithful as Brandon walks in his path of purpose, and this is just one more step for us as we follow after what God would do through us in this life.

Of course, we won’t go on every trip (thank goodness, because there are a lot of them!) That is when I am so excited to spend more time with my girl for the very short time we have until she is school age. She is such a sponge right now, soaking up everything she learns. So I am excited to get her in some classes (ballet maybe?) and spend some time outside!!!

To the question ARE WE MOVING – NO!! We are very firmly planted here in the PNW and in our home church Champions Centre and we are very happy to call this home base. Our roles are a bit different than they have looked in the past years, but we are very much still involved with the life of our church.

To the question ARE WE PREGNANT – NO! I am not preggo – and I don’t plan to be any time soon. Unless the Great Lord has other plans, we will just be the 3 amigos for awhile.

To the question AREN’T YOU GOING TO BE BORED – NO! I literally have never been bored a day in my life, and I don’t plan to start now. I have so many plans and looking forward to the freedom to explore!

All in all, I am very excited for my new season. I am excited to experience new things on the road as a family, and to pour into my little one at this very crucial age.

So what does this mean for my blog?
Well I will potentially have more time to think, be creative and produce more, which means there will be more to blog about! I will also be blogging about my experiences traveling – especially with a toddler (OH THE STORIES) and I hope to be a resource for you in many different ways!

Thank you for coming along with me on the journey so far, and I look forward to what this new season holds!!!

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I kill you… I kill you… the things toddlers say.

Toddler talk. It’s so fun, right?

Thumbs Up!

Until you are walking though the airport with your two and a half year old is walking behind you yelling “I kill you… I kill you”. The things toddlers say.

Then she did it again in the car. She was in her car seat, we were in the front driving (obviously). Brandon and I looked at each other and shrugged. Surly she isn’t ACTUALLY saying that. There must be something lost in translation.

It took me a week or so to actually figure out what she was saying. We were walking through the San Antonio Airport this past weekend and Brandon and I were taking turns running the hall with Zane trying to wear her out for the 4 hour flight we had ahead of us. It was my turn, so we were following the orange stripe on the ground all the way down to the last gate. On the way back to our gate, Zane lost some steam. She slowed her run to a walk, put her arms up and started yelling “I kill you… I kill you mom… I kill you!”

I CARRY YOU. She was saying I CARRY YOU!! She wanted me to carry her – she was sick of walking!! Oh my goodness – BREAKTHROUGH on the communication breakdown. It makes so much sense now!! I had a good laugh to myself as I picked her up and confirmed she was wanting to be carried.

Do you have any trouble with toddler translation?

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She is Pulling ALL Her Hair Out!

I have been having a hard time with something lately, and I have thought about sharing it on my blog a few times but I was always concerned how it would come across or what people would think about my daughter or myself as a parent. But I feel like sharing it will put me at ease and maybe hear from someone who has gone through the same thing.

My daughter likes to pull her hair out. Really, really pull it out. At first it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it has gotten so bad that I haven’t had to give her a hair cut (she basically gave herself one) and she is now almost getting a balding spot at the top of her head.

She pulls her hair out when she is more sedentary – in her car seat, laying in her bed (nap and bedtime) or if she gets into a tired daze.

Now I have read a few things online about what it COULD BE but I don’t really know how to react or respond. I am not really a “lets run to the Doctor” type person, which is what they suggest you do if it continues past a few weeks or if they become bald.

I am not really a worrisome mother, but I can honestly say it has me worried. I don’t feel like it is a habit out of stress – she seems overall very well adjusted and happy. She eats and sleeps fairly normal amounts for a toddler. She is just making herself BALD. Part of my problem is, I am sure, out of sheer vain. Her hair is super scraggly and uneven.

So – anyone have a toddler that did this for an extended period of time? What did you do? Anyone have some words of wisdom to put me at ease?

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Two Year Molars

2 Year Molars

I have been missing in blog-land lately, and the only explanation for it is Two year molars. I thought infant teething was hell. NO, no my friends. That was just getting me warmed up for the GRAND FINALE – the entrance of 2 year molars.

Zane was a dream infant – slept through the night at 6 weeks. Fed & slept on a great schedule.

Then she turned 2.

I didn’t even think turning 2 was THAT bad, but now the teeth are coming in and I am getting a glimpse into what the teenage years will be like (HA! I laugh so I don’t cry)

It is times like this that I have to remind myself that she won’t be small forever. She won’t need me like this forever. Even in the middle of the night, for the 4th time when I have to go and comfort her, I am trying my best to remind myself that I am her momma, and NO ONE can be to her what I am to her.

In the meantime, I will take any and ALL advice on how to get through this time.

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The Toddler Bed or Twin Bed Debate


(phone ringing)

ME: Hey Babe!
BRANDON: Well, it finally happened.
ME: What?
BRANDON: Zane just fell out of her crib.
ME: Oh no – is she ok?
BRANDON: yeah, I heard a loud thud, and then crying so I rushed upstairs and she was walking around from the back side of her crib. She was pretty shaken.

….. and somehow I am now searching craigslist tonight for the perfect toddler bed :)

I would like to re-decorate Zane’s room with this transition, and I am now on the serious hunt for a new bed for her. I know it was just the first time she jumped out, and it could be a little while before we ACTUALLY have to transition her, but I would like to be ready when we need to be.

My question for you – did you buy a toddler bed or go straight to the twin bed? What are your reasonings either way. I see a lot of arguments for both sides, and I am having a hard time deciding. Leave me a comment and help me decide!

Thank you ahead of time for your input!

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Toddler Yoga

This weekend, I took Zane to a free Toddler Yoga class they were holding at the local Land Of Nod store. It was free, so I figured it would be a great place to see if it was something that Zane would be interested in, and to see how she interacts with other kids in a class other than church.

The class started with put your finger on your nose. Easy enough – Zane did it. Put your hands on top of your head – Zane did that too! Maybe we have a chance at this class! I cant believe I ever doubted whether Zane would be able to handle this class or not!

THEN, the yoga instructor had them start a sun salutation, and…….

Toddler Yoga

Choosing the yoga mat directly in front of the play tent proved to be a counter-productive decision.

toddler yoga tent

She was the youngest little one in the class for sure. However, I would like to continue to expose her to classes. Mainly because I am hoping that eventually she will get the hang of it.

Did you put your toddler in any classes? What age did they start? What classes tended to be the most well received? I know I have a very independent little miss on my hands, and could use any encouragement in this topic.

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Stuck On You Library Bag – LAST DAY FOR GIVEAWAY!

Today is your LAST CHANCE to win one of two $30.00 give cards from Stuck On You! Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for your last chance to win!!!

Zane LOVES books, so I was excited when we got the Library Bag from Stuck On You! We used it for the first time last week – her dad took her to the Library while I was at work. *Photo Credit/Zane’s Crazy hair Credit to Dad :)

Headed to The Library

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