Potty Training: Day Tres

Oh boy.  We are done.  Done for now.  Pardon the time lapse between this post and that of Day Two, we were busy recovering/cleaning/cleaning/sanitizing/recovering.  Since the twins have graced our lives, we’ve never had a more rough few days than the three days we tried potty training them.  Tried and failed.  Yep, we’re back to diapers.

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Anthony had three and half days off of work so we expected to use all that time training and we did, but now those days are over without the results we were hoping for and he’s back to work today which leaves me and the three tots alone and heck if I’m going to nurse a babe, cook, mother, and clean up potty all the day alone.  Not.Happening. 

It feels a little like we wasted three days and I’m really, really bummed that the girls didn’t train like we had hoped and thought.  However, we learned a lot and I think we definitely planted a few seeds about using the pot.  I’ve mentioned this before, but we purchased and followed the ebook, 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen.  I read the book a few times before we started, made notes, and relayed everything to Anthony.  During the three days we trained we followed Lora’s instructions to a T.  We used positive reinforcement and no matter how many times we wanted to slam our fists through a wall, we flashed smiles and encouragement to the girls at all times.  They didn’t see an ounce of negativity in three days.  We followed them around everywhere, we told them to let us know when they needed to go, we caught 98% of their accidents and ran them to the toilet during those accidents (that one left a nice picture in your mind, didn’t it?)  It was misery for all but no one ever said potty training was fun, right?

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Poor Sebastian was neglected (the number one reason why we should’ve gotten another person on board to help) and spent the majority of the last three days in his swing.  Besides the emotional stress of trying your darndest to nicely teach your kids that excrement belongs in the toilet, the stress of knowing that I couldn’t cuddle our three month old killed me.  I missed him so much. 

Potty training brought out the worst in me.  I’m a pretty positive person but when I wasn’t within a five foot radius of both twins at all times (a must with the three day method), so during naptimes, I was exhausted and perched next to their bedroom door while they slept listening for any signs that one needed to ‘go’ and browsing Instagram where I wanted to comment “you suck”, “you suck”, “you suck”, “you suck” on all my followee’s pictures because everyone was happily living life and I was stuck cleaning up gallons of pee (and that is probably more literal than figurative). 

Anyway, it’s over.  Life is back to normal and I love all my Instagram friends again so I’ll not focus on the misery but on what we took away from the crappy experience (more figurative than literal thank God).

photo 1 (1)
[I know you’re dying to see pictures of my kids in their skivvies, so I’ll just keep on postin’.]

The girls can be potty trained.  It is possible at their age – 22 months.  They learned how to hold it.  They know how to control it.  The first day was spent cleaning up accidents because they’d just release not knowing what they hay was happening.  Day two was different.  We pumped them full of liquid that they gladly drank but they became afraid of having accidents so they held it until they couldn’t hold it anymore.  They learned to tell us when they had to go – they’d run to us and get all panicky and want to be held.  But, here’s the kicker, every time we set them on the toilet they’d throw a FIT.  Seraphia actually did pretty well on the morning of day two until she observed Cecilia throw a fit on the toilet and decided she’d do the same.  It wasn’t that they were afraid of the toilet.  If we set them on it and handed them a book, they’d be perfectly fine and would sit there reading.  For some odd reason, they just didn’t want to release into the dark abyss below.

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In the end, we learned that not every method, not matter how many successes it touts, works for every kid.  Lora says you should never say “no” or “bad” and I agree and disagree.  Seraphia responds pretty well to “no” when we say it upon her doing something we’d like her not to.  She’ll stop and move on.  Saying “no” to her when she goes to the bathroom on the floor would probably resonate well.  Cecilia on the other hand seems to think that the word “no” signals a game.  She’ll give us a wry smile, continue doing whatever it is she’s not supposed to being doing and laugh in our faces.  You can imagine how she’d react then if we told her no peeing on the floor…actually, don’t imagine it because…yuck.  Saying “bad” to either girl however would probably make them think that peeing is bad in general, no matter what or where. 

Anyway, I know that if you haven’t already clicked off that I’m boring you to death talking about human excrement so leave the rest of my thoughts to myself.  Our goal is to have the girls potty-trained within the next few months and so, when success finds its way to us, I’ll let you know how we achieved it.  Until then, it’s back to the 20+ diaper-changes-per-day grindstone which I will gladly take over the nightmare of our first experience with potty training.  :)

If you have any tips or tricks that got your kid from diaper to pot, please leave them in the comment section or email me!!  I’m not going to say that we’re desperate but we just might be…a little bit. 

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P.S.  One little tidbit of info I did pick up – I bought size 4 toddler undies for the girls even though they’re barely in size 2T because they were literally half the price and we needed 30 pairs for training.  After washing them and drying them on high heat they shrank a little and, even though they didn’t fit tight, they worked perfectly!

Potty Training: Day Dos

Let me tell you what I am.  Too physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted to write.  So, hopefully this moment in time fills you in on how potty training went today – day two:

Let’s just say that there are three people here who are at medium to high risk of getting their pants wet.

If you’re interested – Day One.

Pray for us.  Please.

Potty Training: Day Uno

Well, we started the day off with a bang…rather, the twins did.  I’m guessing they were uber excited after the last ditch effort to infuse toilet knowledge into their noggins…

…because at 4 am Cecilia wanted out of her confines.  We let her whine it out, which she did until around 6, when I finally went in to find both her and her sister awake and in the most miserable moods (they usually sleep until 8).  And, even though we’re no pros and very much first-timers, we thought about it and made the executive decision to delay the training until after the girls first nap when rosy cheeks and dispositions were a lot more likely and therefore, a couple of doses of semi-cooperation in making friends with the toilet (the initial plan was to start after breakfast).

Naptime came and went and we started the process around 11ish and it’s been accident after accident ever since.  I’m not going to go much into the process because I don’t want to rob Lora of monetary support but let’s just say I thought maybe I’d be able to tell a tad if one girl or the other was about to let go.  Nope, nada, your guess is as good as mine.  The best way to describe to you the difference in the girls expressions when they’re about to pee vs. not about to pee is that it’s the same difference in expression they’d have as a miniscule gnat wizzed three feet above their head vs. no gnat.  No help whatsoever. 

Needless to say, we’ve got the rewards at our sides, ready to be doled out…waiting, waiting, waiting…
Nary a lid has been twisted yet but I’ll let you guess which have been longingly touched and untouched for the sake of patience and bedtime (cough-the alcohol-cough).

I’ll let you know how the rest of the day fares in the rest of this story tonight.  At this moment, I’m perched with the laptop atop my legs outside the girls door as they take a second nap, waiting for a wimpering beg for the bathroom.  I’m hoping and waiting for a cue but most likely I’ll go in after the deeds been done with a clean sheet and out with a wet one…

>>> Six Hours Later <<<

Well.  I suppose the stats will give you the best glimpse into how day one of potty training two kids at once went.

Number of sheets washed:  2 (there will more than likely be more as the night rolls forward)
Number of wee undies soiled:  36
Number of M&Ms doled out as rewards:  2
Number of times we told the girls to tell us when they had to ‘go’:  403
Number of sprints to the bathroom holding a flailing, dripping child:  36
Number of sprints to the bathroom holding a flailing child we thought for sure had to release:  25

On a positive note, towards the very end of the day Cecilia started being bothered by having wet undies and I’m calling it a milestone. 

Anyway, you might get the point and if you don’t, lucky you.  I have high hopes that people who live through potty training twins can, afterward, live through anything.

Smirnoff Ice, come to mama.

State of the Sharpie Mugs & Painted Rug

Hello one and all!  My fingers are flying at the keys to bring you the first of a series of posts I want to continue with the title “State of the…”  There are lots of projects and painting, sewing and scheming that go on around here and I want to make sure that I not only give you all the details on how things are done, but occasional check-ups on how they’ve held up.  Hopefully all report cards will read A+ but some projects, like one that I’m about to open back up, don’t hold in their marbles as well as I would’ve liked them to.  So, without further chitting and chatting…

>>> The Sharpie Mug Planters <<<

I wrote in the original post that the coral, fine-tip sharpie seemed to scratch off a little more easily than the thicker-tipped sharpies.  Well, it wasn’t a little easier, it was a lot easier.  So much so that I scrubbed the whole mug clean last week and redid it using the same type of sharpie I used on the other two mugs but in silver.  Here’s what the sad mug was looking like:IMG_4451

And here’s what it looks like now after I rewrote the words (sans spaces) of our wedding song (When God Made You by Newsong) on it and stuck it in the oven:

I also grabbed some small mint, cilantro, and basil plants and stuck them right in as my seedlings from last year disappointed in the growth department.

IMG_4456As you can see, the other two mugs have held up great!  I’d still take note of the sharpie art tips in the post, but I’d say they’re winning!

>>> The Stamped & Spray-Painted Rug <<<

PicMonkey Collage

[Original posts:  The striped side & the stamped side.]

From the pictures you can tell that the paint on the rug has lightened up a little.  Mind you, I’ve washed this rug at least four times since I’ve painted it so I’d say it’s holding up pretty well.  If I could go back, I’d have washed the rug before painting since washing it ‘fluffs’ it up, revealing all the unpainted areas that were previously hidden from any paint because the rug was so matted.  Make sense?  The final verdict though is that you CAN paint a flat-woven rug and it will hold up, even when washed.  Good thing because I’ve got another one coming down the assembly line for the entry way.  Stay tuned for that.

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In other news, we’re going to start potty-training the girls this Thursday using this 3-Day Potty Training method.  I grammed this a few weeks ago after I had all the prep work done and ready to go.  After the tots are nice and tucked into their clean sheets each night in their snazzy toddler panties, I might hop on and give an update on the blog here just to vent.  If you care to read about crap, you should stop by.  Just make sure it’s not during your sit-down breakfast break, lunch break, or dinnersnackdrivethru because, well, it’s potty-training people. 

DIY Globe Chandelier

You’ve probably heard of them.  They’ve acquired a name on the www that first makes you gasp and then realize, “Ha!  Who knew?!”  Few like them, most hate them.  What are they?  ‘Boob’ lights.  We are the not-so-proud owners of two…er, one.  We used to have two but this one in our entry way…
entry blog

got swapped for this:

Inspired by this globe chandelier from Shades of Light (designed by Young House Love) - photo (1)

…and this DIY chandelier that the incredibly creative Mandi from Vintage Revivals made, we whipped up one of our own for around $20.  Since you already know the ‘why’ (décor shouldn’t look like body parts yo), here’s the fairly simple ‘how’.

First up, the actual light.  I found this miniature chandelier at Goodwill last year ($5 holla) and have been hoarding it away ever since, just waiting for this project to get the green light.IMG_4271 (533x800)

The only thing I needed to make our globe chandi was the light kit on the inside.  If I didn’t have this light, I could also have purchased a pendant light from a Home Improvement store (like this one) that would work just as well.  If buying a second-hand chandelier and taking it apart intimidates you, don’t let it.  It’s so easy.  There’s no re-wiring or sawing or anything like that involved, in my experience anyway.  There’s just lots of unscrewing and un-piecing.  Starting with the top, I simply worked my around my entire thrifted chandi, unscrewing whatever could be unscrewed.


After a few minutes of doing that, I had the light kit separated.

Next, the hanging baskets I used to create the globe.  I used two of these from Lowe’s:

Here are a couple other baskets that I think would be fantastic for this project:  basketoptions
(Top: this one. Bottom: this one.)

All I had to do with the baskets is separate them from their chains (Lenten pun?), which was as simple as removing three clips.  I saved those clips to attach the two baskets like so:
If you wanted your baskets to be touching vs. having space between them like mine, you could use zip ties or smaller clips/hooks.  Just make sure you remember to paint them the same color as the rest of your chandi.  (Side note:  You might’ve noticed in the above pic that the lines on the basket don’t match up.  I didn’t realize this until after everything was painted.  If you’d like yours to line up, put a few baskets together in-store before you buy to find two that are constructed with similar spacing.) 

The last thing we had to do before painting was drill a hole in the bottom of one of the baskets, the one that would be on top, so that we could attach the light kit from the thrifted chandelier.
Anthony did this using a drill bit that was the same size as the threaded rod at the very top of the light kit.  You’ll see what I mean a little further down. 

So, paint.  With the baskets being a darker metal and the light kit a shiny gold, the whole shebang needed to be painted.  In prep for paint, I carefully taped off all electrical wiring and anything I didn’t want painted.  Then I spray painted everything with a couple of thin coats of primer.  (In my haste to get this painted that day, I forgot to take a picture of the primer I used so, an hour after these things were primed, I accidentally grabbed
the wrong primer and snapped the below shot.  I actually used Clean Metal Primer by Rustoleum.  Sorry!  I’m not sure if there’s really that much of a difference between the two primers though.)spaintchandi
(See where we had to drill the hole for the light kit?  Some baskets have an open bottom and some have a round plate over them, like the ones we bought.  The ones with an open bottom would require an extra large washer or even a piece of circular wood with a hole drilled into its center to accommodate a light kit.)

Once the primer was dry, I painted everything with several thin and even coats of Krylon spray paint in Catalina Mist (the rest of what I had leftover from painting these).
Next up, assembly.  Putting the chandelier together was a cinch.  All I had to do was attach the light kit to the top basket and then attach the bottom basket to the top with the clips.  Here’s a picture showing how the top basket is placed on the top of the light kit (the blue line representing the basket):
IMG_4344 (800x533)
The threaded rod goes up through the hole in the basket and then the top piece in my hand just screws right on to hold it together.  Last you attach your chain and ceiling cap (technical term?  I dunno…) and mount it to the ceiling like you would a regular light fixture.  I’m lacking a tutorial on Anthony’s electrical install but here’s one for ya

I thought there’d be a few more steps in there because I figured that after we removed the old light, we’d have to add popcorn texture to the ceiling and do a little ceiling paint touch-up but none of that was needed.  ‘Twas exciting to see the ceiling look like it had never been covered by a boob light…at least I thought so!  #lessworkphoto 3

Lights out:

And !surprise! - the super-cool pattern the light emits onto the ceiling and walls when on:IMG_4445

And that’s it!  A fairly simple and very effective way to get chest parts off your ceiling...call it a reduction.  ;) 


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P.S.  We’re still chugging our way through the entry way.  In case you missed it:
>> the hook system <<
>> the roman shade (made from a curtain panel + a mini-blind!) <<
>> the thrifted mirror <<

P.P.S.  It’s party time!  Linking our work-in-progress entry way up with East Coast Creative’s home décor rendezvous!  You really should go check out some of the incredible projects over there!


A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to a company named “Treat”, a company I had never heard of, a company by Shutterfly.  Right after surfing over to their website, I immediately fell in love.  Treat (now Shutterfly as of 2015) is one of those companies that you see and think “I wish I would’ve thought of that.”  On top of having an ingenious idea, their products and services are right up my alley…like right up there.  They sell greeting cards.  But not just any greeting cards.  Customizable greeting cards that they send out for you (you can even schedule them months in advance!!!!)  I don’t know about you but we are theee worst at sending out birthday cards, anniversary cards, wedding cards, you name it, we just don’t (but we do call!).  1) We forget, 2) we forget and then the thought of loading the kids up to make a “quick” trip to a card aisle ain’t happenin’, and 3) we’re awful jerks who are horrible at making thoughts count.

Anyway, Treat handed me an extra large glass of creative juice as I got to thinking about how to display the greeting cards you get whether it be for your birthday, anniversary, get well wishes, etc…  I jumped at the opportunity to work with them and am so excited to share my ideas with you all because not only are we bad at sending out cards but when we do get cards for different occasions, they’re read and set in a neat pile on the kitchen countertop.  Boring.  Not anymore though because I’ve been brainstorming… 



1.  Clip ‘Em

Clipboards used as wall art have been popping up all over the design sphere and so I thought I’d try my hand at using them.  All I did was hang some Easter cards I sent to the kiddos by one corner so that you could see both the cover and the heartfelt, warm & fuzzies on the inside.


Oh and the clipboards?  Cute cards deserve cute clipboards, right?  I snagged some old clipboards, spray painted the stained silver clip gold, and cleaned the boards as well as I could so that I could freehand some lines with white acrylic paint.  After I had the thin lines on they seemed a little too psychedelic so I filled them in to make them thicker and then I dabbed some coral paint (leftover from this desk) on the outer edges of the board for a little surprise o’ color.

2.  Stick ‘Em

I think this idea is my fave and will probably be the way we display our greeting cards from here on out. First, I grabbed a vase and filled it with dried peas (my sister Farrah’s genius idea).  You could also use rice, rocks, glass pieces, etc…

Next I grabbed a bamboo skewer (I have tons leftover from this mirror project but you can find them in almost any grocery store) and threaded it through a card like so:IMG_4365

Then I simply stuck my card “flowers” into my pea-filled vase, arranged them a wee bit, and wa-la –> a card bouquet. 



You could also add some pretty silk flowers to the mix for more volume.  :)

3.  Hang ‘Em
There are lots of ways you can hang cards and even more places.  Using suction cups (like these on Amazon), I thought it’d be cool to display the cards by hanging them on a window.  IMG_4381
How cool would it be have all the windows in one room of your house sporting greeting cards?  Nobody would forget it’s YOUR birthday then, right?  ;)

Also using the suction cups, I stuck the cards to the mirror in our entry way.  It’s in a prime location as far as passing by is concerned and so you can’t miss the occasion by sticking it to this mirror.  IMG_4385

I also enlisted the help of some magnetic hooks (like these on Amazon) we had laying around to hang the cards from our fridge.
[I mean, Sebastian as the Easter bunny?  So cute, no?]


4.  Frame ‘Em
So, here’s what happened.  I ordered the Easter cards for the kids and then I got sucked into Treat again (it’s inevitable, trust me) when I discovered some blank cards that would make awesome wall art.  Behold: IMG_4387
So I framed them and hung them in our office.  I can’t get enough of them.  I mean, wall art these days, even printable downloads can range anywhere from $10 to $50 or more which is great and all except that I’d rather spend that on a coffee date or five.  These two cards cost $3.49 each and they instantly added a dose of happy to our space.

But, instead of leaving them blank and hanging them (which is totally cool), I used them to create a sort of time capsule.  I had the girls scribble in one and I wrote down a bunch of family facts in the other like how many kids we have right now, where we live, what we do for a living, etc… 



I think it’ll be really fun to take them out of their frames in a few years and look back on what was and see how it’s changed. 

Here are some more cards from Treat that I think would look great paired with a frame and a wall:
Sending these out with a frame to a special someone would also make a great gift, not only your words within, but the added fun of framing the card and showcasing a keepsake, don’t you think?

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So, how do you display cards when they arrive for a certain someone for a certain special occasion?  Are you like us and store them in a pile or stack or do you set them out for all to see?  I’ll admit writing this post turned me into a believer that cards should be seen and not stashed.  They’re a reminder of a celebration and usually a someone who probably deserves some visual love.  :)

Head on over to Treat (now Shutterfly) and check them out!  Here are some of my favorite cards: 

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A huge thank you to Treat for providing the cards I needed to make our displays come to life!  They were truly a pleasure to work with!  :)
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Bonus behind-the-scenes picture:
I had fun one day during nap time one day.  Only a third of a table set instead of the whole thing because you know the twins would have it all crashing down before you can say “Peter Cottontail”.  Hah!  :)