Monthly Archives: January 2014

Frugal Mama

We’re digging deep and trying to get rid of our debt.  We just paid off our van, so we no longer have a car payment.  Most of our credit card debt has been paid off.  Now we’re moving on to the last credit card, our 2nd mortgage and a lingering student loan.  To speed up the process, we’re looking for ways to save in other areas of our life.

We’re already pretty frugal. We spend our winters cold and our summers hot. It’s 59 degrees in my basement as I write this (it’s 65 upstairs, but always runs cooler down here.)  We meal plan and aren’t afraid of store brands. The kids wear hand-me-downs or garage sale clothes most times.  But…I’m sure there are more ways we could save.

So, share your best money saving tips with me! I want to hear them all – big and small, ordinary and extreme.

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Crafty Mama

I should buy stock in JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby. Goodness knows I’ve been to both stores enough recently!

For Christmas, I made these stick horses for my kids, 2 nieces and a nephew.  I followed this tutorial.  It was really pretty easy and I was happy with the results overall.  Although if I were to make one again, I’d make the heads just a little bigger.  IMG_1067

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Our biggest project was this quilt we made for my mother-in-law.  I had never made anything even remotely similar to a quilt, but with a little help from some friends, we got it done – and it turned out pretty well.  I’m already thinking about making a quilt for Chloe.  Hopefully my sidekick is willing to help out again.  I’m not sure I could have done this without my superstar husband, the amazing ironer!IMG_1078

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In anticipation of our trip to Disneyland (35 days!) I made Snow White Play Aprons for Chloe and her friend, using this tutorial.  We’re hoping this will be much more comfortable to walk around all day in – and easy to take off, put back on, take off and put back on if the mood strikes. Which it probably will with 4 year-olds.  I’m super happy with the way these turned out and am already planning on making more!IMG_1123

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My latest project was making Devon an apron.  Chloe has had an apron for a couple years now and Devon has been asking for one when we’ve worked in the kitchen recently.  He loved his apron and even awkwardly posed for me in both sides of the apron 🙂IMG_1134

IMG_1135Thanks to Pinterest, I have a lot more ideas floating around in my head.  Pretty soon, I’ll have to find a way to make my sewing hobby profitable, just to cover the supplies for my own projects!

 

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Potty Training, Boy Style

It’s that time again. Potty Training. The time of my children’s lives where I talk about their bodily functions to everyone like it’s no big deal…

I remember when we were potty training Chloe and everyone, seriously everyone, would say, “You’re so lucky to have a girl first. It’s so much easier to potty train a girl.”  She was potty trained by 2 years, 2 months.  We put some time and effort into it on the front end, getting her used to the potty and encouraging her to try starting at about 18 months, long before we were really ready to jump into it.  But overall, I think we were pretty lucky and it was a fairly easy process.

Now we have Devon – my wonderfully stubborn boy.  At 2 years, 2 months, we knew we would not have him potty trained on the same schedule as his big sister. Devon can’t get himself dressed like Chloe could, he doesn’t talk as much as she did (or at least not as clearly – he certainly makes plenty of noise) and we don’t have the undivided time to focus on potty training like we did with Chloe. However, we needed to do something. Every morning, he would wake up dry, then subsequently soak through his jammies and create a giant puddle on the floor. After a while, I discovered that he was actually “assuming the position” similar to a dog and peeing down the side of his leg.  It was time to get this boy on the potty 

So we moved the little potty into our bedroom and let Devon try every morning while watching cartoons. But he would want to get up after a few minutes and we didn’t want to push too hard.  Fast forward a few mornings (after I’d cleaned up a few more puddles) and we were ready to push.  So Devon spent 30+ minutes with us repeatedly making him sit back down before he finally – wonderfully! – peed. 

That’s where we’re at now.  Devon uses the potty every morning after he wakes up.  Luckily it no longer takes 30+ minutes 🙂 We do a little dance for him and give him an M&M, preferably blue.  On occasion, he might go before a nap or some other time when we’ve found him dry.  Once we even managed to time it just right to get him to poop.  And we’re happy with that for now.  We’ll get there eventually. Maybe this summer when our house isn’t so cold. All. The. Time.

The work we have done has opened up a dialogue with Devon.  He talks about peeing, pooping and tooting quite often.  At breakfast the other day, I heard him toot. I said, “Devon, did you toot?” To which he immediately responded, “No. Daddy toot. No me toot.” He didn’t miss a beat before he tried to pass blame – such a boy!

So there you have it, an update on my son’s bodily functions.  If you have any tips on approaching potty training with a boy, feel free to share!

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