H2O Nail Spa in Valparaiso: Pedicure Heaven!

Every six months time when I get a pedicure I swear it is worth the cost to do more often.  Annnnnnd then six months go by, I get another one for the summer or my birthday and swear all over again I will come more often.  I have 'been going' (twice) to Diamond Nail Spa by Target, which is AMAZING when it comes to Ken for nails and their massage chairs.  The Alexa Chairs massage so well!   Not just your whole back but your gluteus maximus too!  I seriously asked if I could just pay ten bucks to sit in the chair for thirty minutes.

Then a little place opened up right downtown which means I do not need to use a car to get there.  I was THRILLED to get that raved about pedicure money for Valentine's Day.  I lured asked a dear pal to watch my kidlets one afternoon so I could go for some much needed pampering.  (NOTE:  My heels were so dry and nasty despite daily application of quality moisturizer that I snagged our new silky sheets!)

H20 was like a typical nail salon, but brand new.  And this was the only line of magazines available.  I was so bummed about that I will probably bring my old World Vision and Good Housekeeping mags right on over.  (You are welcome, H20!  Us mamas want to veg out with mags we would never buy, thank you very much.  It is SO REFRESHING to read a magazine for more than three minutes hunkered down in the bathroom.  With someone pounding on the door the whole time.)

I was mortified they only had one pedicure for $25, the rest (six of them) were all $45 each!  I don't spend more than twenty bucks on a shirt I wear every week...so the only way I got that much of a splurge was their grand opening 20% which brought it with tip under $40.  But.  Then.  I. Saw. THIS.


I chose the "Sun Kissed" citrus pedicure and realized this would be a blog post when I saw the prettiest set up ever.  It says the fragrances are all essential oils and I kind of wanted to verify that by reading a label but didn't feel like being obnoxious.  And I was happy either way, but pure essential oils instead of chemical scents would be a HUGE plus.  The pedicure was just great.  Especially when she hit me with the foot cheese grater I love and need so dearly.  Look at that wonderful nastiness.  OOH!

I always try to choose a color I do not own, ie: not in the mauve or starlet red family.  I picked out a vunderbar OPI coral that I will probably go back & buy when they have it in quick dry polish.  Right.

So I didn't plan well and had to kind of rush out of there.  This is the latest look on the street.

Save your pennies and get to H2O nail spa while they have the grand opening deals....tell them the girl who hates their magazine and loves their aesthetic presentation sent ya!

My New Girlfriend, Blanca! (AKA Shark Navigator Vacuum Gorgeousness)

Oh Yeah, this happily married mama to two had a girlfriend.  She makes me deliriously happy.  I have often joked that I need a wife to run our house for me.  Well...I got one!  Here we are:

NOTE lifted leg indicative of romantic delight!

OH. YEAH.  The Shark Navigator "Lift Away" is my new gal pal, girlfriend and wife all in one.  I asked my littles what we should name the new addition to our household and Portia said "White Vacum".  Not being one to go with such a dull moniker, I dubbed her "Blanca".

If you are already beginning to wonder if my life is so dull that I am excited enough about a VACUM CLEANER to take a PICTURE of it...well this won't get any better so go read something else more interesting.  And I did not get any compensation for writing a word of this, unfortunately.  Maybe Shark will offer to donate a vacuum to give away?  Let's see y'all comment and I will share the Shark Love with their twitter etc.

So I had just vacuumed our living room area rug and with the old vacuum but it was seriously acting up.  My Beloved Husband once again messed with it and declared it broken down and replaceable.  At long last.




I have wanted to break up with my current Eureka Vacuum cleaner with it's Replace all the time for $20 bucks a pop Hepa Filters for about two years.  When I was pregnant and on bed rest even my cleaning lady friend said it was ridiculously heavy and needed to go. NOTE:  If you are blessed to have a cleaning lady (or man, not to be sexist here) even if only three times in your life and they criticize your tools....LISTEN!

About a year ago I polled my playgroup on what vacuums they used(we had lots of other interesting conversations too! Plus we drank champagne.  SO there.)  Every single one of them had a Dyson.  We live in a pretty swanky town and so this wan't a big surprise.

If you are unfamiliar, the Dyson Vacuums cost about the same as a college education.  Or $500, but my math has never been awesome.  Since we live simply and have seven scatter and area rugs over hardwood I was pretty sure we werent' going to dole out that sort of jack for our new vacuum.

My friend Lori who did have a Dyson revealed that she also had a Shark Navigator vacuum, which she liked better than her Dyson!  I was  all ears.  She said it was lighter, nimbler, didn't need replacement filters and she could vacuum her carpeted stairs with the extension hose & wand.  It also had a switch to change from the spin brush on carpet to a setting for hard floors instead.  LOVE.  Oh yeah, and it was only about $180 vs. $500.  Being the nerd that I was and needing a thrill that day, I asked Lori if I could USE her vacuum.

That is right.  I got wild and crazy and vacuumed that woman's house.  I am not sure who was most amused.  I did end up being the only one to leave that playgroup last year.  But.   She still calls and likes me so I think she appreciates my kind of crazy.

Now about this I did also borrow a friends Ergo Rapido cordless stick vacuum.  I am realizing how weird I truly am here.  I loved the simple ease of the cordless feature.  It was WAY quieter and stronger than my detested Dirt Devil stick broom. That thing sounded like a jet engine.  The Ergo also had a detachable dust buster so for a house with two little bitties and a great big dog it was ideal.  We bought that right away to replace the dirt devil and the Black and Decker dustbuster.  AWESOME simplifying.

I still wanted the Shark.

One year later I FINALLY GOT IT.  See, we live debt free ala Dave Ramsey so even thought the cost wasn't 'much' it was something we budgeted for and did not buy with a credit card.  Oh yeah, and my hubby likes to wear things out instead of throwing out something "perfectly good" (definition is VERY relative.) so we had to wait until I could craftily sabotage our old vacuum stopped working to feel good about replacing it.

Cue this fine image:

When I started out this amazingly detailed post about Blanca, I said I had JUST vacuumed the carpet with the old vacuum.  I knew it wasn't working well, but when Blanca's dustbin was THIS FULL(over half full) I had only vacuumed 1/2 of the carpet.  It is an 8x10 rug.  I FILLED A DUSTCUP with dirt and dog hair  on only half of a previously vacuumed rug.  We were GROSSED OUT.  My sweet hubs actually apologized for not getting our new Shark Navigator sooner.  I immediately proceeded to vacuum the rest of the house.  And our window blinds. And our ceiling fans.   I tried out the pet hair extensions.  And the floor dusting extension.  Did I mention this was a Sunday night?

I need to get out more.  Maybe I will take Blanca with me.

What about you guys?  Vacuum heaven, troubles, advice or envy?  Please share your sucky adventures in the comments below!

Bodacious Blog of the Week: Food Network, does it count?

You had me at "one handed cooking recipes" was my first thought when I read this Food network post my friend Laura sent to me.  "Bringing Up Baby Scratch Cooking"  covers naptime meals, one handed dishes, etc.  What a great book this is, I will be seeking it out.  I thought this article listed lots of bits of information that made it worthy of sharing.  ENJOY!

FASTING: Sugar Free Day FIVE: Wanna THIN MINTS ransack the THIN MINTS freezer with me?

I have just eaten a entire three serving bag of Pop Chips, not bad at 300 cal and 12 fat grams, but that was the beginning.  I had a frozen burrito, baked Cheetos and a cheese stick wrapped in a piece of honey ham.

What I WANT to be eating is the heavenly Granola Girl Granola I ordered last week before the sugar fast started.  It is mouth watering granola that I keep trying to justify is cereal, and during my sweets fast I allow Kashi cereal which is sweetened but not *WHEEEEEEEEEE* sugary.  The granola is VERY *WHEEEEE* for me, so I do not 'want' it.

I also want to bust open the THIN MINTS one and a half Girl Scout cookie packages THIN MINTS that are 'hidden' in the basement chest freezer.  I was just down there to switch the laundry and I found myself practically caressing the deep freeze.  Sad, huh?


Not as sad as ferociously ripping into the Thin Mint box and the Samosas box and eating them all while standing in the basement mad at myself for eating them all and not having the self control to say no for a few more days!  Not that sad.  Go me? (Thanks for you fine folks PRAYING for me. The shred of self control is from you!  Well from Ol Padnah.  Right?)

I hate that I think so much about sweets.   I hate that I cannot have a few little cookies and not want MORE.

I am going to go color my hair now.  One absolutely cannot eat cookies with stinky dripping red haircolor on.  And I am speaking tonight to encourage a group of mamas.  Won't I smile bigger and feel healthier as I stand before them still sugar free on day five?  I am made for more than this.  I am made to crave. Are You?

Haiku Challenge Friday: Pinterest or Facebook?

for Haiku Thursday, it is moving to Fridays from now on. It will be called...wait for it...Haiku Friday...instead. I won't let it go
it makes ME happy and isn't that what blogging is all about?

A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

Biggest time waster:
Pinterest  or 
I'll test happily. 

Your three words are: Pinterest, or, happily

Let's hear your haiku!

FASTING: Sugar Free for 30 or 43ish Days? DAY THREE

Here are other posts from this Sugar Fast:

Fasting is abstaining from something, usually to focus more on thoughtful things.  Or to make your rump less rumpier.

I told my husband I was planning to go sugar free for thirty days and he helpfully suggested I do it for Lent, for 40 days.  I started Sunday because that was when I felt passionate and motivated.  Thus the 30 or 43ish days part.  I don't like to follow rules much I guess.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if I would post about this.

I thought:  Who cares about you and your sugar addiction issues Heather?  Who cares that some days you most definitely love something sugary more than you love Jesus? And that you can talk more about the food than about anything that Matters?  No one, that is who.


Maybe if I share about the struggle someone else will say :  YEAH!  Me TOO!
And maybe their step will be a little lighter and their mouth a little emptier because I shared my mess out loud.

I eat a lot of sweets.  Like three or four desserts a day on average.  Once I have one bite....ol Lordy I want to gobble MORE.  I am not particularly noticeably overweight but I should be.  I could be.  And I do not like this out of control part of my life being in my life.  I feel weak and since it is completely in my own control  I feel even worse about it.

I will be sharing  some of the highlights of my food journey I think you might be able to use.  If you care that somedays I love sugary things more than I love myself.  And I am pretty happy with who I am.  I just want to be....unsweetened.

Et tu?  Got any foodie issues you would like to fast from for a while?

Here are other posts from this Sugar Fast:

Fasting: Sugar Free Day Five Wanna THIN MINTS Ransack the THIN MINTS Freezer With Me?

Fasting Day 10 Confessions and Sugar Free Substitutions

Fasting FAIL: Sugar Free for 30 Days? Uh Yeah- Whatever!

Epic Playdate Fail: An Ordinary Terrible Tale


Flushed cheeks, close to tears, I left my friend Whitney's house with a wailing one year old and a whining and frustrated three year old.  I was angry, mad, overwhelmed.

What I wanted to do was hide in a bathroom while someone else took care of the chaos that belonged to me and only me.  What I did was take my chaos and leave.

I left because that really was my only move.  Cookies we had brought to bake and decorate there stayed there.  Dishes and frosting in bowls left on the table practically spinning I left so fast.  The tension of Chaos One and Chaos Two made spasms creep up my back as I lugged child and diaper bag to the car while shepherding my eldest to the car.  Our  other friend Katherine left the room to give me space to make do.  (Or she couldn't watch the train wreck that became our afternoon so closely!) Whitney was upstairs nursing her sweet babygirl to the soundtrack of our Novak Family meltdown.

Nothing really had happened.

It was life as usual, just badly timed.

A baby teething, tired and beyond the optimal nap time.  A Mama eating a one handed lunch as I tried to keep both girls steady and safe, correct, feed, clean up after, rescue from a fall, check pants on day four of no diapers, serve and butter some cornbread in between.

I think there was beautifully made vegetable soup.

I think Katherine talked about an interesting way to make steak

The circus of children and my own shortcomings converged on Weston Street today.  It was an epic playdate fail.

Do you have one of your own?  I could use a good bad story right now!

Tiny Red Kitchen: Is Your Cart Fulla Potty Training Junk Food?

Oh, yes.  My lesser parenting moments usually circle about poop in someone's pants other than the baby's.  Toddler toilet training/begging/yelling/bribing/cajoling and such the like is a HOT TOPIC for many reasons.  The most important one being you just cannot force someone to go potty on command.

Of course you can BRIBE somebody by withholding Sesame Street, etc.


So mainly out of aggravation from the above mentioned occurrence we are attempted Potty Training Booty Camp.  Mostly because we expected to get snowed in and my hubs would be home to referee our baby away from the training arena.  And because it required junk food.

MASS amounts of junk food.

As I let Portia pick out items that have never before made it into our home, I was happy to see this face.

Whitney is a great friend and neighbor who looked in to my cart.

And laughed.  Later in line as I explained my cart full of crapola food to the checker Whitney laughed again.  It is OK, she understood my need to explain the purchase.  Even if she did laugh at my expense.

The deal is the kid can eat and drink as much junk as they want which facilitates....uh...the reason for training.  Since we are hanging out in one toyless bookless room ALL DAY there oughta be some perk, right?

I do not mind the poundage I could put on, as long as PK's poundage finally makes it into the toilet bowl basket.  Prayers appreciated.  And no, you cannot stop by for some junk food!

Haiku Challenge Friday: Christina Aguilera

for Haiku Thursday, it is moving to Fridays from now on. It will be called...wait for it...Haiku Friday...instead. I won't let it go
it makes ME happy and isn't that what blogging is all about?

A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

Only watched once but
Christina Aguilera
could read me phonebooks!

Your three words are: once, read, phonebooks!

Let's hear your haiku!

What I Wore Wednesday: Camel Vs. Black

Since I am hardly fashion savvy when I do talk of clothes it is usually "what not to wear" that I wore.  I have always been fairly classic in my clothing;  not too big on accessories  and purses and shoes and such.  I like a bit of retro action and once in awhile a pop of something more interesting.  I am a black girl at heart...I always feel sleek and artsy wearing black, aren't I original?

I bought a wonderfully warm bright red full length down coat last year.  It took me two years to decide on a new winter coat.  I bought it with budgeted money and birthday moolah.  It is  incredibly....un-useful.....this year.  It is too warm and too slippery to carry one or two children in.  It is big and bulky and impractical for the flow of my outings.

So I had to buy another coat.

A jacket rather.

It was on clearance for $20 and a size too small yet I LOVE it.  This little camel number has opened heavenly gates of "AHA!" and switched up my fashion viewpoint.  Kind of the way my viewpoint changed on the necessity of necklaces for my aging neck!  CAMEL!  CAMEL!  Not black or red or purple but (boring old?) camel.  I feel ridiculously pretty in such a staple and unassuming item because of the color.  With my red hair and the colors I wear I think it does so much more for me than black or any of my other basics.  Is it just me or are you guys seeing this too?  This was date night tonight.  I felt pretty stinkin' cute, yeah?

I am loving this retro hair thing I have going on.  John likes it straight but this little (second day dirty hair) 'do makes me feel about as close to a Bond Girl as I am ever gonna get!

Here is my sweet hubs who just robbed a bank.

Annnnnd these two items were in my jean and jacket pockets for date night.  Yup your peepers are not lying, those are Buzz Lightyear underpants and a binky.  What, you don't take these with you to the movies?  (And no, I do not have a boy, just a girl with a big Buzz crush I am OK indulging.  Even if it is a bit weird she has a guy on her undies.)

So I have two questions:  Your thoughts on black vs camel (!!!) and what is the weirdest accidentally inappropriate item you have discovered on your person.

Tiny Red Kitchen: Snickerdoodle Cookies

My Mom made snickerdoodles when I was little, and since she died when I was thirteen I can get kinda sentimental about them!  I think these were my chocolate chip cookie of my youth and beginning baking efforts.  I still laugh about a time a good friend baked me the most SUCCULENT batch  of snickerdoodle cookies for my birthday, but was not forthcoming with a recipe.  It might have been a year later she confessed they were from a tub in the frozen aisle of our local Martin's Grocery Store!  I was just happy to be able to recreate them.

Fast forward ten years and I hit the kitchen to make up a batch of Snickerdoodles! (I just love saying the name!)
I found a great recipe in The Farm Journal Country Cookbook.  I usually search for ideas online but at times thumbing through a well worn cookbook offers much more aesthetic satisfaction.

Here is my assistant Portia!

All went well with the mixing and baking and tasteing EXCEPT for the klingon babygirl.  That is my apron she is leaning against.  I am a big apron girl.  That is not a stove she is wall walking with, just a harmless dishwasher.

Here are our gorgeez num nums.  Note the small babe scootching on her bum in the background!

Lots of folks did these cookies, read more interesting accounts here, and here.
If you want the recipe comment and I will repost it up here.

What is your first food creating memory?

Valentine's Day: Is your Hallmark Holiday Hijacked?

I am vlogging today  about my hijacked holiday, my views on frippery and Valentine's Day with kids.  If that interests you, c'mon ovah to YOU Tube!

DAY TWO Timeline of Housebreaking a Toddler 2012

7:43 AM Today we start off the day with clean bedding and dry panties.  Oh yeah, and waffles PLUS Fritos.  *eye roll*  I woke Portia up around 6:30AM and hustled her to the potty without incident.

LAST NIGHT:  She went to bed in panties, John added the recommended pullup after she was asleep.  She woke up around two AM with wet pants and was shucking them off before I even got there!  SO GLAD there was a pull up & we left her twinkle lights on so she could see the potty in her room.  She REFUSED to wear another Pull Up.

2:30 AM She really wanted to read books in bed and

3:00 AM there was enough drama that I lost my patience and sent in the Daddy Whisperer.  (Even though he was really sore from working towards a Lazymans' Triathlon, shoveling 5 inches of snow and helping our friends move.)

6:30 AM I found them both fast asleep when I went in this morning.  Wish I had a camera to snap Daddy's big man feet hanging over the edge of our girls' green footboard....*heart swells*

8:10 AM Portia comes to us, "I leaked".  She was wearing pajama bottoms so the mess was  *ahem* blanketed.  John went through the routine so I could finish my breakfast waffle.  And coffee.  Mmm.  We pulled her toys and books and she didn't love that.  We explained it was so she could focus on her body instead of the toys, and that she could earn things back by putting something in that potty.  I am already a little tired.  More coffee?

9:20 AM Small melt downs because she doesn't have any toys or books.  Nothing happening in production department.  Here, eat some chips, here have another fake juice drink. I have started cleaning, folding laundry, counting wall cracks.

NOTE:  We are on pair 8 of underpants.  as of DAY TWO at 10:37 AM we used two pair today and FIVE on Day One.    If you care about that kinda thing.

12:05 PM OOPS...but it was so close, she was barely damp and did get to the potty.

12:15 OOPS FOR REAL.  Pee everywhere but the seat.  UGH.  UGH.  She about cried cleaning it all up.  Me too.  Good thing John handled it.

1:27 PM  Sorry that I am not tracking better.  This has gotten old and frustrating.  I cannot WAIT to get out of this house in a little bit.  I think I will go look at yarn.  Or go look at a stiff drink somewhere.  Or go look for a school you can ship kidlets off to and get them back in one week (or six...no rush!) fully housebroken.

6:08 PM  All afternoon the Bitty Beast has stayed dry.  Not that I was here, I went shopping.  Retail Therapy after being home in the house two days focusing on.....oh.  wellllll.  You Know.

11:10AM DAY THREE, woke up with pretty dry panties.  (Portia, not me!) and  has stayed dry and clean ALL DAY so far!  She is also using the big potty again now and has free run of the downstairs.  I am scared to leave the house, but we will do that tomorrow.  To go buy her Buzz Lightyear underpants.  For boys.  But you know, girls will be girls and that Buzz is a HUNK!

Good luck to all of you who are  housebreaking young folks.  GOD BLESS!  You gonna need it.

Bodacious Blog of the Week: Clover Lane

My darling friend Iris Beard of The Bearded Iris Blog I shared with you here sent me a million dollahs last week.  Well, not literally.  You see as a newbie blogger (It will be one year in May!)  I make lots of mistakes.  And my banner with that big distorted mug of mine was one of the biggies....but better than nothing.  Or so I thought.  A few days after I asked Iris for tips in the free banner department, she shared this million dollah link with me:  THIS LINK RIGHT HEAH!

I had not found Clover Lane yet, but I sure hope to help YOU find it too.  This woman is phenomenal.   Her beautiful theme is "Slow down and everything you are chasing will come to you!"   We all need THAT reminder.  She covers cooking and life and crafts and great topics like how the US Census Bureau considers Dad just a babysitter or how to get rid of your wrinkly 'ol chicken neck. So check out  the blog Memories on Clover Lane and ENJOY!

And how to give you that gorgees style of banner you see up there.  So now the bad banner picture is gone, tell me how awful it really was and how lovely and professional this one is.  Go ahead, tell me now!

DAY ONE Timeline of Potty Training Booty Camp Style 2012

My Cupcake Girl will turn three next week and we need to be OUT of CLOTH DIAPERS.  I cannot even guess how much we have spent on disposables and pull ups since we began potty training her at 18 months.  She was like 75% trained...all poops in the potty with M&M rewards.  I thought she had it so we changed to a bigger reward for a day of clean pants....and derailed everything.  Oh yeah, and we had a baby too.

So my friend Mark gave us the Booty Camp training DVD and notes to try.  He has a special needs child who after nine years in dipes was successfully trained using this method.

February 10th: Purchased an obscene amount of junk food for training weekend.  For Portia. Well I did eat a lot.  To test it out.  Actually I might have eaten the entire package of Keebler Elves' chocolate covered creme wafers. Rotten Elves.  1,200 calories later...

Febuary 11th
Cupcake Girl wakes up at 6:30am.  Immediate fail:  I was suposed to wake her up earlier and catch her before she "used her diaper as a potty"  Oh well.  I went to bed at eleven so I really do not care about this one.  I had her sit on the potty, no dice.  But she did try.  She got out a pull up and I told her we weren't using pull ups anymore.  I reminded her we were wearing panties from now on, no duckies.  "Like no diapers for Ducky?"  (A book we enjoyed.) I said YUP!  I had her go get her panties and she asked if they were going downstairs, I said YUP!  She said (!!!) "We should take this potty downstairs!"  You bet darlin'.  You bet.  That was part of the plan but her bringing it up worked GREAT.

7:00AM Feasting upon Suzy Qs first. Then Cheetos.  Then powdered donuts.  Most of me cringes at the junk food diet today.  The rest of me is just jealous.  Capri sun non juice juice drink. I didn't even know where these were in the store.  Funny enough...juice aisle.  I slurp one down with her.  For solidarity.  She pees on the dining chair.  (I think...awesome? Grrrr.  Doesn't this happen magically?)  The good thing is she reacted immediately, where in dipes we wouldn't know till later. We do clean up.

7:25 AM  Pee in the potty nets Portia a toy, a book or 15 minutes of TV.  She picks TV and eats more Cheetos.

8:00 AM Portia's show is over and to watch more she needs to put something into the potty.  She sits on the closed lid like she has no idea...pretty focused on TV.  Then she saucily stands facing the potty legs astraddle, we correct her she says "I'm doing it like Daddy!" So we (I) laugh and Daddy corrects her that she sits because she is a girl.  She sits and pees.

8:09AM  Clean and dry she sits eating MORE Cheetos and sharing with the dog.  Steve the Dog is a happy guy.  Mama considers begging for Cheetos too.  Daddy sets her up with more TV during which there is a small meltdown over Mickey vs. Scout and Violet.

8:15AM Pee in the Potty!  More TV.  Dunno if I am more icked out by all the junk food or all the television.  ICK.

8:35AM  Pee in the Potty again.  More TV.  The baby wakes up  and I realize Cheetos will look pretty good to her too....OH NO.  Well, Good thing PK polished them off then.

9:45 AM  Several more attempts, more snacks, more drinks.  NO ACCIDENTS.  Mama spends her time on Pinterest at the dining room table.  Libby spends her time pulling PK's hair & trying to dismantle the potty chair.  Both girls visit the time out chair.

NOTE:  Do not let your toddler pick out her own  dry pants/potty attempt treat (M&M and Conversation Hearts)  or else they might throw a fit if they do not get the color or shape or whatever they want.  Just give them a little something and only let them select their 'food' and 'drink' today.

10:00 AM Daddy leaves for the gym and to help a friend move.  Before you think he is a horrible husband and father, know that okayed it all.  I do not love it, I planned this day because we expected a blizzard and John would be home to help and keep Libby busy.....but...friends need help and honestly for the most part I am getting great computer time in between all the action.

10:15 AM two more pees in the potty.  She earned a few toys...her new Russian Matroyscha dolls.   Mama and baby split a hummus wrap.   Mama dreams of Suzy Qs.  PK hands over a few Cheetos to Mama and the babe.  We enjoy them and eye her still full bowl.

10:25 AM Libby refuses hummus wrap for Cheetos.  The epic parental dance to encourage healthy food consumption  begins.  SUCCESS as long as I maintain eye contact!

11:15 AM  Lots more pee in the potty, Portia can do everything herself from the pee, the clean up and Mama is pleased.  She has been able to do it all for a long time, but today feels like the first time.  The TV has been on for awhile because she keeps peeing so she keeps earning TV time.

11:45 AM I had to take the baby upstairs and nurse her down for her nap.  I was VERY NERVOUS to leave Portia alone.  Guess what she did while I was upstairs?  POOPED.  She pooped in the potty, wiped her own butt and put it in the big toilet all while I was upstairs, I saw the *ahem* tail end of it all.  HUZZAH!  I promise her she can have the Buzz Lightyear underpants even though they are for boys when she keeps her underpants clean all weekend.  I am actually tempted to leave them  home alone and go gettem RIGHT NOW but I know not to be too confident.  Plus it is illegal to leave kids alone, pretty sure.

NOTE:  Right about now I am REALLY MAD AT MYSELF for not doing the bare bottom roll up the rugs one or so days dedicated just to the potty A LOT earlier.  I am thinking about starting with Libby soon.  She is 12 months...ah...probably a bit ambitious since she can't really walk yet.  But I heard about naked/pantied training and now have no idea why I didn't try this more often.  The time or two I let her hang out like that as soon as she peed I buttoned her right back into dipes.  NOW I see how dumb that was.

12:55 PM Portia had been doing so well (see where this is going?) I got a book and her new otter toy and we cuddled up on the couch with her on a towel to read.  After about five minutes she wet her pants.  UGH!  I took all toys and books she had earned away and we are starting over.  WHAT a BUMMER.

1:27 PM Both of us are tired.  She is slap happy and parking on the potty to avoid another accident.  I keep telling her to get up and that she can try again in a minute.  I now think I was wrong, that she wasn't just being defiant or lazy  about going in her pants...I think a lot of the times she just didn't know it was coming!

Both of us are sick of the junk food.

2:20 PM  After her 15 minutes of TV was over Portia headed to the potty but didn't quite make it in time, peeing on and in and around the potty.

2:25 PM After the clean up and redressing she was playing with her sister's baby toy under the table and peed again.  I am tired and more than irritated, but the more mistakes we make today the more learning opportunity,  right?  Also it is VERY obvious the busier or more distracted she is the less attentive to her body and such.

 I am ready for a NAP.  I want to order a pizza.

3:49 PM John is home now.  Grandparents just arrived.  Chaos may ensue but we intend to continue with training.

4:30 PM  We warned Papa several times when he is tickling and bouncing PK that she hasn't gone potty for awhile....luckily she did jsut go in the potty.  It has been a rough afternoon with lots of mistakes.  Luckily everyone is on board....but I never did get my nap!

6:00 PM No accidents but a Melt Down begins after Portia is dismissed from the dinner table for poor manners.

6:05 PM Daddy whispers magic into her ear which results in her peacefully rejoining us at the table.

6:54 PM PK is being read to sleep by Baba & Papa.  Her potty seat is in her room and she is sleeping in panties which we will cover with a pull up once she falls asleep.  I too am ready for bed!  WHEW.  I wouldn't say day one was a huge success, but everybody did learn a lot.

Haiku Challenge Friday: Bloggers!

Due to the jaw dropping lack of popularity and responses for Haiku Thursday, it is moving to Fridays from now on. It will be called...wait for it...Haiku Friday...instead. I won't let it go
it makes ME happy and isn't that what blogging is all about?

A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

bloggers help bloggers
oh, what a community!
so glad I have joined.

Your three words are: bloggers, oh, glad

Let's hear your haiku!

What Would YOU Tell the World?

What would you tell the world if you had their full attention for one minute?  Come on over to Mothers Voices Blog for Mothers & More today to hear my two cents.  

Or check it out HERE on You Tube if you are in a non reading sort of way this fine sunny day. 

I would REALLY like to know what you would tell the world, please share in the comments below.

Thanks all!

Madonna and I are Bicep Twins!

Herein lies a vlog wherein I am makeup-less but for my MAC Twig lipstick.

Probably won't blog naked again.

Apologies in advance.

Watch it at your own risk!

How to Make the Working Spouse Understand Your Day

I literally cannot add anything to this to make it better. ENJOY. THANKS BABBLE!

Read this marvelous list HERE!

"Life (with toddler) Rules" Talk

Here is my first video project, a clip from my latest parenting talk, "Life (with toddler) Rules".  Forgive the crummy video and editing hack job.

 "...other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"