Category Archives: Daily life

Potty girl!

“Me peed AGAIN, Mama!”
That’s my girl.
One happy mama over here!


Three Day Potty Training

Yes, I’m serious.

No, it isn’t a gimmick.

No, you don’t have to give me any money to learn about how I potty train.

This is the third time I’ve potty trained. So far, I’ve consistently managed daytime potty training by 2 1/2 years old, and nighttime potty training by 3 years old.

Here’s what you need:

  • a toddler who is showing signs of being ready.
  • potty chair (I use the basic one from Wal-Mart)
  • a gated room with hard floors
  • drinks and salty snacks
  • a timer (I use a free app called Potty Baby)
  • washable toys in the gated room

Pick a room. When we lived in a different house, I used the kitchen because there was a bathroom attached and it was the only hard floor in the entire house. Here, it’s the dining room.

The potty chair and the toys go in the dining room, and a gate gets put across the doorway to keep the accidents on the hard floor. The toddler plays in this room all day for the three days while she is being potty trained.

IMG_20130924_102515Some of the washable toys in the potty-training room

IMG_20130924_102705And a happy little girl in a long shirt with no pants.


So, here’s what you do.

  • On day 1, make a REALLY BIG DEAL out of not wearing/needing diapers anymore: “Since you’re such a big girl, you don’t need diapers anymore!”
  • Give the toddler lots to drink, and snacks like crackers and watermelon.I allow sweet tea and punch in larger quantities than usual.
  • Sit the toddler on the potty EVERY FIVE MINUTES until she goes once, then every fifteen minutes after that. (Yes, this is a very labor intensive 3 days).
  • You may have to build awareness of elimination. This is why you go COMPLETELY NAKED below the waist. She can directly see what she is doing, as it is happening.
  • If the toddler starts to have an accident, whisk her over to the potty chair before she finishes. Praise her for making it to the potty before finishing.
  • Get SUPER EXCITED every time she goes in the potty!

For the first little while, I give a small piece of candy every time she succeeds in using the potty. This time around, I’m using chocolate chips because I had them on hand. Two chocolate chips for #2, and one chocolate chip for pee.  Eventually the candy is phased out, but it really helps at first to build motivation.

I do still use diapers during naps and at night, until I start to see consistently dry diapers during these times. Then I put a waterproof pad on the bed and try a diaper-free nap!

Oh,  I should probably note that the poor kid isn’t by herself in one room for three days! Her siblings are with her a lot of the time, and I’m in there most of the time too. I sit at the table with my laptop, sewing machine, or a book.

You can read more about the three-day method here.

On Motherhood and Grace

I grew up in Roman Catholic schools and churches, and spent a lot of time in confusing and poorly presented Theology classes.

One thing I do remember learning is that we receive grace through our struggles and tribulations. It didn’t make much sense to me as a 12-year-old, but viewed through the lens of parenthood this teaching becomes much more clear.

As a parent, it is hard to be vain. I barely have time to brush my own hair and swipe on lipstick, let alone spend some quality time with a curling iron. I’m disheveled, but happy. I get more joy out of brushing my girls’ hair than my own.


As a parent, it is hard to hold grudges. During one particularly good sermon, my pastor said, “Holding grudges doesn’t hurt the person you’re angry with. Grudges hurt the person who is choosing to stay angry.” My kids keep me so busy that I don’t have the energy to hold grudges, even when I am very upset.

As a parent, it is hard to be selfish. As soon as these tiny, wrinkled people came into the world, something changed in my heart. Of course I loved them while I was pregnant, but everything changed when my first baby was laid in my arms. Putting my children first is less of a choice and more of an unconscious instinct. Their needs, desires, and dreams are so much more important than my own selfish desires.


It is also incredibly difficult to be lazy! I have two kids in diapers and I change an average of 15 diapers per day between the two of them. There are also dishes, laundry, and baths to take care of. Sitting at the computer is a luxury that I can only partake of once all these other things are done.

I do think that parenting has made me a better person, but it hasn’t been conscious decisions so much as just adapting to my life as it changes. Does self-improvement “count” if it is not a conscious change?  I think so. My children help me to spend time wisely, be loving and patient, and to be humble. If that isn’t grace, I don’t know what is.

I’m Baaack!

After an agonizingly long summer without internet, The Mister and I have discovered a new high-speed internet option in our own little corner of the world. Now I can quite thankfully say that I have as much internet access as I desire, which is great because my fall classes have started!

I’m taking three online classes and one traditional in-person class. I’ll be graduating with my degree in Early Childhood Education in the spring! Then I’ll be able to devote all my time and energy to homeschooling. This first year of homeschooling will be rough – I have full time classes and Kid #1 starts Kindergarten. Fortunately, there’s nothing too heavy-duty associated with kindergarten!

I’m hoping to post more regularly again — there’s certainly enough going on around here to post about! We’re starting some major renovations and repairs after a few huge storms collapsed a ceiling and ruined some flooring.

Simple happy things


Today’s simple happy things included
ugly, but delicious loaves of fresh bread,
Thunderheads rolling in,
The happy sounds of content ducklings,
Blooming sunflowers,
And laughing children.

It’s the simple things that make life beautiful. The smell of rain is on the wind and I’m watching lightning silhouetting the mountains. Life is indeed beautiful.