Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Parenting 101

Tonight I kick off my first in a series on Parenting Tips/Techniques. These are little tidbits that I don't want to forget in case we are blessed with more children. And maybe I'll even help out a few likewise struggling parents. (I hope you can sense my sarcasm...)

Don't let these sweet, clean faces fool you.

First bit. Postpone the potty training venture until you are both ready. Don't be pressured to start early just because everybody else is doing it. If your daughter is the only one in her class still wearing a diaper, don't sweat it.....even if she does look like a five year old. I'm just saying. It's really nobody's business.

Because, just as you already knew, they will learn to use a potty when they are ready. You probably don't have to worry about your child walking across the stage to accept her high school diploma wearing diapers. It's just not gonna happen.

Do yourself (and your child) a favor. Assess your situation. Do you have the time or patience to teach them? Do they have the attention and interest to learn? If so, by all means, knock yourself out. But if they're not ready, it's no big deal.

Eveley is very tall for her age and is often mistaken for being much older than she is. So I have gotten some "looks" from people when they saw her in a diaper or when I had to stop and change her. But she was only 2. Sure, maybe she was 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 but she was only 2. I didn't sweat it. I believed it was easier to lay her and Caleb down at the same time and knock out the diaper changing than cleaning up soiled britches and floors all day.

So, we waited until March. We talked about it for a while, bought Dora and princess panties, made a sticker chart, and bought lots of jelly beans. And now she's potty trained! She even naps in her panties. I'm so proud of her (and me) and can't belive we've reached this new milestone.

Second thought. I would also suggest that you postpone teaching your kids to talk. Eveley is a very verbal bird. Not only does she have a remarkable vocabulary, but she has also picked up quite a few mannerisms and gestures that I did not teach her. With her ability to talk, comes her ability to embarass me.

Case in point:

We were at church on Sunday and the service was getting ready to start. I had met a new middle-aged couple that was visiting the church and Eveley was out in the hallway with Bob. He came to tell me that Eveley had just ducked into the bathroom and that I should go check on her.

I walked into the ladies room and called for her.

"Eveley, are you okay?"

"Yes, mom. I just did a stinker!" she excitedly told me.

"That's great. I'm so proud of you." I told her as she exited the stall. Just then, another lady came out from the adjoining stall. She was the guest I had just met.

"That lady just did a stinker too, mom. And it was disgusting."

Doubt the couple will be there next Sunday.

Third tip. Let your kids be kids.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Fairytale

I've been married for nearly 7 years. And I absolutely LOVE weddings. I love the details, the possibilities, the creativity. So I have been looking forward to the day when my younger sisters would begin the wedding planning process. They kept me waiting for quite some time, but I am finally getting my wedding fill this year.

Kate's wedding was this past Saturday and it truly was perfect. Absolutely perfect. It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to. And if I've been to your wedding...no offense. I'm even including my wedding in the list. It was just beautiful.

The event was at some friends' home, where they also have a large commercial nursery. The ceremony was outside and the reception was inside a large barn. We were on a very very (very) tight budget. But you would have never known it. My mom, sisters, and I had our hands in most every detail, and things came together so wonderfully. I made chocolate-covered spoons for Kate's coffee bar, favors for the tables, and reception programs. I can't wait for you to see the pictures!

I couldn't have my big Canon camera strapped around my neck throughout the wedding so you'll have to wait for the photographer to pass on some of the more professional pictures. But I did get a chance to capture some of the activities beforehand.

We had a lovely bridesmaids' brunch at my grandmother's house.

We couldn't stop laughing.

Kate and her BFF Ruthie. She's like our other sister!

Then we enjoyed my aunt and uncle's awesome outdoor space for the rehearsal dinner.

Eveley got a boo-boo and insisted that the dog kiss it.

We had lots of fun hanging out in the bridal suite before the ceremony began. Kate looked absolutely beautiful!! I can't wait to see the professional pictures. (the ones without the Cinderella toys on the floor which were keeping our garden fairies occupied!)

Kate and our SIL Beka with her daughter Layla.

Our other sis Carrianna

This was Eveley's first wedding experience. She had never even been to a wedding before. But this time, she would be a flower girl -- or garden fairy - with my niece and the groom's niece. I was a little skeptical but she did a great job!

And after she actually made it up and down the aisle, I didn't really put up a fight to keep her ladylike. I didn't feel like pushing it that day!

My sweet Caleb's very brief wedding appearance.

We WISELY had babysitters meet us after the appetizer hour and take the children home so we could enjoy the reception sans kids. Very smart idea!

After a yummy dinner, some amaretto wedding cake and coffee, and a little electric slide, the couple took off for the Carribbean. And we were left to pick up the pieces (and the remaining wedding cake!) Not a bad trade off.

But no rest for the weary. Carrianna's wedding is in 3 months and counting!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Afternoon at the Spa

Last week was very busy as we were preparing for Eveley's birthday party and Kate's wedding. There was tons of cooking, cleaning, washing, packing, and creating. I was tired and, once again, experiencing pretty significant back pain.

So after the birthday party, my hubby took the kids home while I went to an afternoon "spa" appointment.

I drove in silence to the building. They offered me water and coffee when I arrived. After a few minutes, a lady called my name and took me in. She showed me to my own personal dressing room and handed me my locker key. A cozy gown was provided for me. She led me to the back and helped me lie down on a comfortable table. They fluffed my pillow, propped my knees up, and covered me with a warm blanket. Serene music was playing.

"Please lie completely still for the next 30 minutes," they told me.

"No problem!" I responded.

I closed my eyes, listened to the music in the headphones, and went to a calm and peaceful place.

Thirty minutes later, they helped me up, gave me some water and snacks, and I was on my way home. And they only charged me 20% of the total price.

So, what procedure did I have?

A massage?

Body wrap?


Nope. I was lying in one of these.

(I had an MRI to try and determine the cause of my back pain.)

These days, I'll take whatever "spa" experience I can have. And it was pretty relaxing if I do say so myself.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rainbow Fun

We are headed to TN for the week. My sister's wedding is next Saturday, the 17th, and we're all so excited! But Eveley Joy's 3rd birthday is the 18th and I didn't want her special day to be spent in the car driving back to Virginia. So we decided to have her 3rd birthday party a week early.

A while back, I asked her what kind of party she wanted. She said it had to be a rainbow party. Eveley is obsessed with rainbows and the rainbows colors. She learned a song from Mickey Mouse:

Red Orange Yellow Green Blue
And don't forget there's Purple Too
Rainbow colors for me and you.

We sing it many times a day. And she is very picky on having the colors in the proper order. Rainbow party it was!

I immediately knew the perfect rainbow cake and cupcakes. I saw this idea on the blog of a friend's friend. Although it's pretty time consuming, Eveley and I had tons of fun making them together.

Even the mess was pretty!

Having an April birthday almost demands a park party! We were blessed with gorgeous weather! Here comes the birthday girl.

Notice her rainbow shirt!

Mr. Caleb decided to make his own rainbow by doing a face plant on the cement sidewalk moments after getting to the park. sigh.

Fun and bright party favors!

The cake looked pretty basic.

I held my breath...


Happy 3rd Birthday Eveley Joy!

Monday, April 5, 2010


A Day of Anticipation

A Day of New Frocks ~ reminding us of our new life because of Christ

A Day with Family and Friends

I pray your family had a beautiful Easter too.