Friday, January 23, 2015

A Unique Potty Learning Chart

So yeah, potty training a boy is not happening as easily as it did with my girl. Most moms told me, now I believe it. I see now that it is more "parent intensive" with boys than with girls. Okay, so my sample size of two children doesn't mean it's true for everyone, but that's my observation! I really wish we started earlier, much earlier - like in some countries where babies are potty learning when they are less than one year old and guess what - it works!

Baby T turned 3 in November, his birthday came and went. Now I'm left with a boy who is mildly interested in the potty. Well at least he is over the fear of it he used to have. I kid you not, he would scream be very uncomfortable at the sight of it. What really helped us is abandoning the potty entirely and switching to the toilet with a Little Looster (awesome product, LOVE it!) that Baby E has been using since she was three. This marked the turning point of actually having time on the potty without fits, of course this means I had to entertain him long enough for him to sit there and eliminate. This meant books and stories with my hands as puppets. 

Then I had another idea that went off in my head like a bulb. I used to tell myself I'd never be the mom using potty training charts for my kids! Of course the moment came when I actually though it would be a good idea. I didn't want to make a boring traditional chart though, it goes against out free-thinking life-learning tendencies. So I came up with this quick road drawing and we got car and construction vehicles stickers (there are tons of fun ones like these and these and these). He loves it and there is definitely progress! Now I hope we will not be needing stickers forever, but it has worked to motivate him and now he sometimes asks to go, though half the time I just put him on the potty myself. 

There are also plenty of neutral stickers like these and these or girly ones if you have a little princess, my daughter would love these and these. You can get really creative with scenes and themes! Draw a jungle, a castle, a highway, or a zoo - whatever your kids like. Some of the Melissa and Doug sticker pads come with habitats already drawn, perfect if you're not really into drawing your own. 

The key for us is having little boy undies that he wears at home so he becomes very aware of when an accident happens and more thoughtful about when he has to go. Even better when he can run around without any bottoms at all, but it's not always possible with a very curious 6 year old sister. Unless he is wearing a long shirt that covers his bum, I will put undies on him It's been really hard to find ones without annoying cartoon characters! Are you with me on that? We've had success with the fit of these on our super slim boy. If finances weren't as tight, I'd love some organic undies for him like these and these.  

It also helps when there is an older sibling, these two are inseparable. He witnesses that his older sister doesn't wear diapers and goes on the toiler all by herself. She can also be helpful in telling me when he has to go even if I'm not in the same room and may be busy editing photos from a wedding or photo session for Borisyuk Photography. Other times she just let's me know that her baby brother is already stinky or there is "clean up on aisle two". Those are not fun! That's why when he is in real undies, I try to at least be in close vicinity to prevent accidents!

How is potty training going for you? Do you have a little boy? If you've been there, tips are welcome!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Not Babies {photos}

Are you in a season change in your life? I don't mean literally, but figuratively. New little ones arriving. Kids getting older. Kids leaving for college. I feel like we're in the midst of a change. No newborns or infants and finally nearing a time when I can leave the house with them without risking a tantrum in public. That coveted "diaper free" life on the horizon, potty learning... Then that thought of "we may not be done". Are we done? With kids? Everyone asks. Especially when you have one of each already! Like it's some sort of magic combination. 

I look at them and simultaneously think "We could be done and I want another one". I've always been indecisive, but when it comes to having children, even more so. Most moments I just try not to think about the future but live in the present because my babies aren't babies any more. Sad and happy at that thought all at the same time. They are still my babies. They are big to me when I look at newborns, they are little to me when I look at teenagers. They become so, so precious in moments when I hear of parents loosing their babies.

In the throes of homeschooling and life-learning, I'm surrounded by other moms on a similar journey that truly appreciate how short of a time we have with our children. Some have little families, some have big ones. Some are religious, some aren't. Some stay home, some work part time, some work full time while managing to homeschool. All of them from a great variety of backgrounds and cultures. We all have one thing in common though - cherishing the time we have with our 'babies'. We're not perfect, but we really enjoy simply being present for our families. Because babies don't keep and life is short. 

I don't want to paint a rosy picture. It's a great challenge and I'm not sure who is learning more, me or my children. I'm learning how to run a growing Boston area wedding photography business (new website and name by the way!). I have so much respect and solidarity for all business owning moms out there! I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My head is spinning with all the legal, bookkeeping, and financial stuff that goes into starting a business - hours upon hours of work that you do not get compensated for but have to pay for somehow. Then throw in a good measure of mommy guilt for the time I spend building the business while they nap, while they put on plays, play make believe, build with Legos, and just plain run around and drive each other nuts. I have to say though, this is also good for them, I can see how their free play time has shaped them into the little no-so-babies they are. 

Are you in a similar season or someplace else? Babies growing? Jobs changing? Homeschooling? New arrivals?

How do you "live in the moment" through the routine of daily life?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fluffmas | Mini Kiwi AIO Cloth Diaper Giveaway | US + CAN

We are really excited to be part of the FluffMas Giveaway Hop hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network! I know many of my readers cloth diaper or want to try cloth diapering, so this is a perfect fit. Each participating blogger in this hop has a fabulously festive and fluffy prize for you, so be sure to hop around to them all and don't miss the fantastic Grand Prize featuring Buttons Diapers, Balm Baby, and SprayPal!  You can enter to win the FluffMas Grand Prize here.

Our fabulous sponsor today is Mini Kiwi cloth diapers of Canada. This north-of-the-border brand crates high performing, super absorbent cloth diapers. Their impressive product line consists of this All-in-one diaper as well as a pocket diaper, nighttime diaper, diaper covers, bamboo prefolds, training pants, cloth diaper safe rash cream, detergent, cloth diaper liners, and wet bags. Here is a little bit about this brand...

Mini kiwi is born from the meeting of parents and entrepreneurs wishing to reinvent the baby world by offering a range of eco-friendly, modern and quality products. We have forged strong partnerships with designers, artisans and artists from here and elsewhere. Our primary mission is to make the cloth diaper a trendy and reliable object.
We work hand in hand with several local seamstresses that are at the heart of our creative spirit and high quality of our design.
Our collaboration with a Mexican entrepreneur, mother of three children living in a small village in Mexico has emerged following an impromptu meeting and a heated discussion revolving around motherhood and cloth diapers.
In Canada, we generally choose cloth diapers for ecological reasons and to avoid chemicals coming in contact with baby. In this small Mexican village, cloth diapers are used primarily to save money.
With time, our dreams became intertwined. We wanted to create a high quality cloth diaper and she wanted to start her own sewing business and create jobs locally. Through our partnership, we employ eight fairly paid full-time workers, in a workshop managed by a young mother and her family.
Mini kiwi continues to grow and we now manufacture products in Canada and Mexico. We have a dozen employees who work with us to manufacture, promote and distribute Mini kiwi products.
All of our fabrics, thread, velcros and elastics are manufactured in North America, Our packaging is manufactured in Canada and kept minimal for environmental concerns. We try to give a second life to our packaging. Discover our line of dress-up characters on each packaging.

One of you will win two Mini Kiwi AIO charcoal bamboo cloth diapers. It fits babies from 8 to 35 pounds, is naturally antibacterial and odor neutralizing, dark color hides stains, large absorption capacity, inner gussets prevent leaks at thighs, and has adjustable absorbency. It is available in many fun prints and colors, even owls and a space theme!

Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below:

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Don't forge to also enter to win the grand prize below and also enter the other cloth diaper giveaways in the linky at the bottom!

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