Saturday, April 19, 2014

16/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Lincoln - oh, potty training. It's been a long week.
Addie - I turned on the lights to take this. Definitely worth it.
 
Linking up at Practising Simplicity.

Friday, April 18, 2014

So, I Don't Like Potty Training

Full Disclosure: I'm going to talk about poop. And pee. A LOT. So if you don't want to read it, move right along!

Wearing 5 pairs of underwear.

I didn't want to write this post. I wanted to be the mom whose kid just learned how to use the toilet in a reasonable amount of time - not the two or three day method, but you know...a couple weeks. Maybe a month. That seemed acceptable. I knew he wasn't ready when he was two years old, even though lots of sources said to start then. It just wasn't going to happen, so I didn't stress about it and we started learning about potty use a few weeks before his third birthday.

At first, I thought we had done it. We took Lincoln to Target and bought a package of toddler superhero underwear. He was so excited. He declared them to be his "super capes" and was thrilled to try them on. We talked about how he wouldn't wear diapers anymore and would pee and poop in the potty like mommy and daddy.

It was all hyped up and over the top and seemed like it was going to work. And it did - for the first couple of weeks. He did fantastic with peeing in the potty. To start, I took him every 15-20 minutes for several days. After maybe a week, he started telling me when he needed to go! Super success! Poop was another story. We hadn't yet had a successful poo in the potty even after a few weeks, but I read lots of things that said that was the hardest part and would come later. No big deal.

The thing is - it's now been two full months. We've had maybe three poop successes. And we've had a lot of really yucky "super capes" that have to have stains removed. There's an incredible amount of emotion attached to the idea of pooping on the potty. He has so much anxiety about it that half the time he doesn't even tell me when he has to pee. Which means he decides to go off to a corner of the room and pee all over his books or toys, usually when I am nursing Addie or trying to get her to sleep.

It's frustrating, let me tell you.

I'm at the point where I don't know what to do. I've tried everything I can think of. I'm not even a bribing parent and I beg him to poop on the potty so we can have ice cream and candy and cookies! He never ever eats any of that, so I thought it would work. Unfortunately...it hasn't yet. And we're all really stressed out.

So, share your knowledge, moms of boys! What do I do?!

My Favorite Day Trip from KC {Omaha Adventure Card Giveaway}

When I was a teenager, my parents decided that we would road trip to Omaha, Nebraska to see The Phantom of the Opera on its tour stop at the Orpheum Theater. That trip started my Broadway obsession (and that's a completely different story), but it also made me aware of the coolest place to take my kids - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. As a kid, I thought it was so fantastic. As a mom, I love that it is within a day's driving distance and is an attraction that will keep my busy toddlers entertained. We've driven up to Omaha twice in the past two years just to visit the zoo, and we are planning to go back again sometime this year. It's that amazing!

Andrew and Addie at the Omaha Zoo in 2013.

If you're close to Omaha, it's worth the trip for the zoo alone, but there are lots of other attractions to visit as well. As our kids grow older, I'm sure we will be making stops at all of the local spots for families to explore.

Lincoln with "Pa" (my dad) at the Omaha Zoo in 2013.

What's your favorite day trip location?

Giveaway

Omaha Adventure 2014

This summer when you take your family vacation to Omaha, let me help with the expense! Visit Omaha is giving 4 lucky readers an amazing Omaha Adventure Card.

Here is what is included on the Omaha Adventure Card:
Attraction Discounts (for up to 6 individuals):
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo – $2 off Admission
Omaha Children’s Museum – $2 off Admission
The Durham Museum – $2 off Admission
Lauritzen Gardens – $2 off Admission/Tram Combo
Joslyn Art Museum – $2 off $10 at the gift shop

Shopping & Restaurant coupons include:
Amazing Pizza Machine – $5 off RiVT90 buffet & pack
• Over $300 of coupons to Village Pointe Shopping Center
4 Winners will receive a Omaha Adventure card!

 

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • One Omaha Adventure Card
  • One $40 Gift Card to Village Pointe Shopping Center
  • Visit Omaha t-shirt & water bottle

Giveaway will run through May 9 at 11:59pm. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18+. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation to participate in this giveaway. Bloggers participating in giveaway are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

80,000 Is A Really Big Number {#FightToxins}

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Seventh Generation. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating. All opinions expressed are my own.


Does anyone else spend an awful lot of time worrying about the contents of food and products that come into contact with their kids? I know it can't be just me. After Lincoln's birth, I started really researching things like household cleaners and their toxic contents. I have always been aware that you shouldn't ingest cleaning products, but the knowledge takes on a whole new meaning when you live with a mobile infant who is teething.

Here in the US, there are over 80,000 available chemicals that have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health and environment (source: National Resources Defense Council). I find that pretty discouraging. Moms have enough to worry about without having to wonder if we are exposing our kids to toxins that may cause cancer, Alzheimer's, asthma, or learning disabilities.

I don't know about you, but I think those stats are a little scary.

The first thing I did after I did more research was to stop using products that contain chemicals I don't trust. I'm a big fan of Seventh Generation, a brand that knows parents are looking for better products for their homes. I feel better about my responsibility to take care of my family when I know that my toddlers won't be ingesting something dangerous when they lick the floor (yes...this happens).

I also signed Seventh Generation's petition to Congress to reevaluate the Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time since 1976. If consumers don't demand that the products we use are safe, we can't complain when they are not. Will you sign the petition as well and join me as a Toxin Freedom Fighter? Click the badge to sign now and #FightToxins with me!


The goal is to gather 100,000 signatures and right now the petition is so close at over 95,000!

We're striving to be greener all around this year - in our diet, our carbon footprint, and the way we clean our house. I'm not going to lie - it's kind of overwhelming, and it's a lot of work. But for these two?


It's so worth it.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Seventh Generation. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Super Mario Bros. Nintendo Inspired Nursery & Toddler Room

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
Like it? Please Pin!
I had very little say when it came to the decorating scheme for our son's first bedroom. Sometime after we were pregnant, but before we knew Lincoln's gender, my husband said to me, we should make a Super Mario Bros nursery! I said, what, are you crazy? A Mario nursery? Who does that? But I told him that it would probably work if the baby was a boy. And guess what - he was!

We debated about doing a full Nintendo nursery theme, but it seemed to make sense to stay (mostly) in one video game world. There just didn't seem to be anywhere to stick Hyrule, and it was agreed from the beginning that Peach's castle would be on the wall - so Zelda would have to be represented in a smaller fashion.

Nerd alert: I didn't know any of these characters until we planned a whole room around them, for real.

 The entire room was, at first, based on four plush toys:

1. The over-sized Fire Flower that Andrew purchased one time while visiting friends in Arkansas.
2. The huge 1-Up Mushroom (same trip) - this was later used for monthly photos and Lincoln's 1st Birthday.
3. The medium-sized Bowser, purchased at the Nintendo Store at Rockefeller Plaza on our honeymoon.
4. The small Princess Peach, purchased at the same time as Bowser.

We started brainstorming and scouring the Internet for ideas. This was back in 2010, when there were only one or two Nintendo room idea photos floating around the web, so much of our planning was just from scratch. We decided we really didn't like the look of decals and asked Andrew's mom if she would be willing to do a custom paint job for us. You can clearly tell that she is brilliant - and we're so grateful she agreed!




This room has been such a joy to me. The kids are now sharing the nursery, and it is the brightest, happiest room ever. It was created especially for them and no one else has a room just like it - which I love. My earliest memories of being a mom are primarily from this room...rocking a tiny newborn who didn't know how to nurse, changing diapers, and organizing teeny-tiny clothes. Anytime we even think about selling our house someday, the first thing we say is...but the nursery!

I'm sharing lots of photos below in case they are inspiring to anyone seeking to create a cool gamer nursery for their own little one! Have fun creating!

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
This is the changing table. I haven't used it for diaper changes in a long time, so the
changing pad is put away right now. I found a great matching pad cover at Target (Munchkin).

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
My uncle made this custom shelf for us and Andrew's mom painted it to match.
The ? lifts up to reveal another storage area. Photos from babyhood and Halloween.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
Do you see the small Legend of Zelda tribute?

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
I made the mobile out of metal hoops, chenille ribbon and various other ribbons,
plus some small plushes we found on eBay.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
My favorite wall in the room!




Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
Triforce Shield Pillow from Halloween.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
The castle is by far my favorite thing in the room.
The Mario and Peach were first displayed on Andrew's Groom's Cake at our wedding.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
Shoe or Diaper Basket and Lamp.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
Canvas Paintings that we love from one of Andrew's college friends.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
What hides behind the rocking chair: things that don't match the theme.

Mario Nursery Inspiration at directorjewels.com Super Mario Bros, Nintendo Theme DIY Decor and Ideas
View of the Nursery when it only had one occupant, before the toddler era!

How did you decorate your child's first room?
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