Toddler Activity Calendar

Pinterest is great for finding lots of ideas for things to do with your tots.  I have a board dedicated to it.  My problem is that I hardly go back and look at the ideas I’ve pinned, and every afternoon I am scrambling for something to do with my toddler.  Our mornings are usually packed, but after nap time, we tend to hang out at home.   I try to take care of all my errands and chores in the morning and before she gets up from her nap, so that I can give her my undivided attention for a few hours before starting dinner or heading out for whatever evening plans we may have that day.  I decided to create a monthly calendar that plans out one special activity to do with Ellis every day.  Then I can see what’s coming up, prep all the materials I need, and have a fun surprise for Ellis when she gets up!

It was fairly easy to set up.  I found an editable calendar from, scrolled through my pins, made a list of the activities I wanted to do this month, and then chose the best day to add it to my calendar.  I think the hardest and most time-consuming part was figuring out which day to do what.  I had to look at what we have going on in the month to determine when we had time to do what.  I chose days that she had off from school to do “field trips” and days where I knew someone would be babysitting Ellis, I didn’t add an activity.

I tried to include a variety of activities including special outings, cooking/baking, learning fun, and crafts.  I also went ahead and included the letter of the week that we’d be working on to hold myself accountable.  I used to have a checklist of everything I wanted to do every day with Ellis including story time, puzzle time, crafts, imaginative play, etc. but I could never make it work, and I ended up just feeling like a failure.  Now, I’m only holding myself accountable for one thing, and everything above and beyond that is icing on the cake.

We just started this week, so there is nothing listed the first week of November.  I have big plans for December with lots of Christmas activities!  Find me on Pinterest if you want to see where I got a lot of these ideas.


Ellis painted the mat of a picture frame for my grandmother using cotton ball paint brushes.  The picture above explains it all:  paint, cotton balls, and clothespins.  Boom.

Download my November Activity Planner here: Toddler Activities November 2015.

What I Made: October’s Meals

With our new, strict budget, I have had to cut back on

  • trips to the grocery story,
  • willy nilly meal plans in which I buy all the ingredients and then let the food expire in the fridge before I get around to making it,
  • giving in to temptations and grabbing whatever sounds good at the moment,
  • forgetting coupons at home,
  • and not paying attention to the prices I’m paying on items, among other things.

We’ve always been spur-of-the-moment people, so planning always seems like such a commitment.  After overspending in August and September, we broke down and started implementing the cash envelope system.  This really puts us in check, and I have to be a lot smarter about where our money goes and how to make it last.

Reasons I haven’t been cooking in a while:

  • I hate cooking.
  • Nobody eats it.

Ellis is on a food strike.  She hates just about everything except cereal bars and frozen waffles.  There’s no point in trying to prepare a nutritionally mapped out, wholesome meal for her because it’ll just end up in the garbage or on the floor.  Travase is often not home for dinner, and he’s been on a rice and beans kick lately, so even if I cook something, he’ll come home and make a pot of rice and beans for himself.  So what’s the point of cooking?  Well, me, dammit!  I’m still hungry and eating Ellis’s leftovers or whatever I scrounge in the kitchen just encourages me to either snack on junk or order out.  I hope that by making a habit out of cooking dinners again, my family will come back around to eating with me.

1st step was creating our budget for October and then pulling out the cash for our grocery funds.

2nd step was a trip to Trader Joe’s with no plan and no list.  (Not recommended, but I’m still learning this store and what is worthwhile to buy there.)

3rd:  I high-fived myself for spending only $50 on my trip, then I came home, put away groceries, examined my fridge and pantry, looked at recipes on Pinterest, and came up with a list of meals and grocery list.  I tried to use as much of what was already in my kitchen so that my grocery list was fairly minimal.

4th:  Look for coupons (somehow they no longer exist when you actually look for them).  Found none.  Oh well, I’m not perfect.  Head to store and buy ONLY what’s on the list!  I still ended up spending $71.00 at Publix, but it’s better than what I normally end up dropping there.  I am, afterall, still a work in progress.

I’m also keeping track of grocery prices on items we most frequently buy in a Price Book.  This is a new concept to me, so we’ll see how it goes.

I then created a fancy list of dinners for the month of October.  It’s not exactly a meal plan, because I don’t like to be tied down as I’ve said, so it just reminds me what I can make with what we’ve got.  I also try to remember to cook the things that will go bad first so that nothing’s wasted.

Meals for the Month

Final Thoughts to Recap The Month

I’ll try to share recipes and pictures next month.  As it stands, my computer’s hard drive crashed last week, and the repair shop I took it to did nothing to try to save or recover my files.  They are all kaput.  And it’s looking like I’m going to be needing a new laptop soon.  Sigh.

Nevertheless, the meal plan worked up until the last week of the month when I was back to being tired of cleaning up mess after mess in the kitchen, and we had so much going on that it was necessary on several occasions to eat out.  Also, this list of meals was for the second half of the month.  I never ended up making the quiche.  The broccoli went bad.  The steak and chicken thawed at the same time, so I decided to prepare both meals the same night, having the steak for dinner and saving the honey garlic for the next.  Bad idea.  I overcooked the steak, and with my uber-craving for meat this pregnancy, this made me very sad.  The honey garlic chicken was delicious the first night, but did not taste good heated up.  I think it had too much soy sauce and not enough honey, and it needed a vegetable, which I never got around to making.  I will retry it in the future.  And last thought, Trader Joe fish nuggets are delicious.  Those will be a staple.

Toddler Must Have: Puzzles

1-27 Months - Aug-Sep 2015Ellis started preschool in September, but I am still doing my part at home to help her with learning her ABCs, 123s, fine/gross motor skills, etc.  I’ve been calling these activities I do with her “learning fun,” but some parents on the internet are calling it Tot School, so you pick how you want to refer to it.  I know my daughter is learning something at school, but I think it’s more social and listening skills.  I just had a conference with her teacher last week.  On the evaluation, the teacher checked Never under the category Uses a Spoon on Her Own.  She said she checks Never only because she has never seen it.  Um, I pack a spoon with her yogurt for almost every lunch.  When I reminded her of this, she replied, “Oh, that’s right!”  So, I understand she’s got a lot of little ones to look after, and I just need to do my part at home as Ellis’s main teacher.  Because really, everything else is just supplemental, including preschool, at this point.

One great fun learning tool that we have a large supply of in our house is puzzles.  Her very first puzzle was a Melissa & Doug that has cut outs of three large animals – a giraffe, elephant, and lion.  She got the puzzle sometime in the summer after she had turned one, and she didn’t really seem to grasp the idea of it at the time.  So I waited until Christmas last year, and she got another Melissa & Doug puzzle with farm animals that make their animals sounds when you put them in place.  Initially it was challenging, but after about a week, she was a pro.  That’s when I realized maybe she was ready for more puzzles.  Today, she does a pretty good job of putting up to 24 pieces together by herself.

I mainly get her puzzles at exactly two places: the dollar store for cheap, cardboard puzzles, and Tuesday Morning for wooden puzzles, including Melissa & Doug.  Retail, Melissa & Doug is expensive, but at Tuesday Morning, I can get those puzzles at least 50% off.  I normally pay between $2-$8 for wooden puzzles at Tuesday Morning.

There is good and bad to buying puzzles at the Dollar Tree.  Good:  They’re cheap and have all the Disney characters and designs that Ellis loves.  Bad:  They warp very easily, so they can be played with only so many times before they end up in the trash.  But puzzles get easy for Ellis after a while, so it’s nice to be able to get her new ones to challenge her after she’s mastered the old ones.

Here are some of our favorites.  (There aren’t too many cardboard puzzles to share because they get thrown away frequently.)

How To Buy a Lot without Spending a Lot: Toddler Clothes


My girl doesn’t pose for pictures. She gets her stubbornness from her mama. Bow: Target Shirt: Target  Shorts: H&M (found at a consignment store) Shoes: Stride Rites (We don’t skimp on shoes. Ellis has thick feet so regular, cute cheap-o shoes don’t seem to fit.

Much to my husband’s dismay, our daughter continues to grow out of her clothes about every six months.  Add to that she’s a fairly messy girl who easily stains her outfits, and where we are in Florida, we still experience 3 seasons:  cool, 2 weeks of nice, and unbearably hot.  When we had a couple of 80 degree days in the end of February, I realized I had no summer clothes for her that fit.  She looked a little goofy at the park in some booty shorts and non-matching Jaguars jersey because that was the best I could do.  Also, family and friends don’t like to buy your kid clothes once he or she has exited your womb.  Sure, they will load you up with fancy little onesies and newborn boutique outfits that your kid will ruin within seconds of wearing, but pretty much after baby reaches the 3-6 month size chart, you are on your own.  Basically, I have to buy my child an entire new wardrobe 2-3 times a year to accommodate for her growth and the changing seasons.  This can get expensive if you don’t shop smart.

My general rule of thumb is I don’t spend more than $5 on an item of clothing unless it’s a dress or pajamas.  Pajamas are usually in sets and even on clearance or on sale, the best deal I can usually find is $11.  I initially looked at consignment sales to find clothes but quickly realized that I could buy brand new for the same price and actually get what I want.

Carter’s and Osh Kosh B’Gosh are great places to find deals.  They always have items on sale, clearance, and what they call doorbusters.  The only downside is that you can’t use coupons on already discounted items, so sometimes you have to play with the numbers to get the best discount, and I only buy when there is free shipping.

Target also has a rack of clearance items as well as a table and rack of affordable mix and match play clothes.  Even still, I prefer to wait until those clothes also go on sale before I pick anything up.

Old Navy can sometimes be a good place to get good deals, but their sizing isn’t very reliable (much like all of their clothes), and items tend to be cheaply made and ill-fitting.  I prefer to shop in store as opposed to online for this reason, otherwise I end up having to return a lot of my purchases.

H&M‘s children’s section is adorable, but their sizes are all over the place, too.  I have to eye the size and guess whether it’ll fit Ellis.  (I rarely take her shopping at the mall because I will get nothing accomplished except spending $$$ on light up rides and mall food.) The prices and styles more than make up for it, though, and you are much less likely to run into other tots with the same threads like you do with Target and Carter’s clothes.

Children’s consignment stores are yet another option (even though I discounted it early on in this post).  This requires a bit more work scouting the racks and multiple trips, but I have found some adorable dresses there (2 if I’m being honest) and other items for about $4 each.


Hello Again, Old Friends!

IMG_2873Hi!  It’s been a while.  My name is Bethany for those who have forgotten, or didn’t know in the first place.  I have a two-year-old, and she basically is my life right now.  We were out of town for a month-long vacation (okay, 2 weeks and change) in August, and by the time we got back, there was no slowing down.  September was fast and furious  (with a few changes), but we are getting into a rhythm, and life is starting to settle down a bit.

We had a week from getting back from vacation to Ellis starting preschool.  Let me tell you, I couldn’t have been more excited.  The transition to school couldn’t have been more smooth and easy.  Unlike other classmates who would kick and scream all the way to the classroom door and then scream and fight to run back out the door, Ellis completely dismissed me the moment she walked through the door.  And the only reason she gets excited to see me at pick up time is because my arrival means she can go play on the playground.  The playground is right outside the classroom, so there is no avoiding it. Ever.  Rain or shine, she demands to play before agreeing to leave.  I’ve done the whole dragging her kicking and screaming to the car, but it’s not fun for either of us, so I just schedule it into our pick up routine.  She was initially going two mornings a week, but we switched to three mornings halfway through the month.  It’s so nice to have those couple of hours in the morning to run errands and get housework done when I’m at my most productive.

In addition to preschool, Ellis was promoted to Sunday school at church.  Now she gets to learn a little Bible lesson and do crafts in her own classroom instead of going to the nursery on Sundays.  She’s in the same room as her classroom for preschool, so she’s very comfortable being dropped off.  I’ve signed up as a helper, so I’m excited to see what they do in there.

We “graduated” from Financial Peace University in July, and at the start of September began a new Wednesday night study.  We were going back and forth between the marriage study and the membership class.  We decided to put membership on hold and focus on the more important issue of our marriage.  We also wanted a place to meet other couples and find new outlets for fun and socializing – something we’ve been lacking lately.  This is a really fun, caring group of people, and I’ve already grown and changed my perspective on marriage to Travase in a positive way.

Let’s see… I’ve put teaching Sh’bam on the back burner for obvious (or not so obvious) reasons.  Did you even know I taught Sh’bam?  Do you even know what Sh’bam is?  I’m going to guess not, so I’ll fill you in.  It’s a 45 minute dance workout set around “popular” songs and simple moves that anyone can pick up.  If you like to dance, you’ll like this class.  If you claim you have two left feet, well, you’re harder to convince.  The majority of my Tuesday morning class is made up of  AOAs (active older adults), so I had been teaching low impact to them for a while, but I still had to give that class up because it’s a 30 minute drive (hour round trip) for a 45 min class, and with Ellis starting preschool, I didn’t want to be unavailable if the school were to call and need me to get there ASAP.  Also, my endurance was slowing down, and my bladder was holding me back, so I had been asking other instructors to team teach with me.  We’re paid so little as it is, that it wasn’t worth the gas money.  I miss it, but I can always get back to it next year.  I’ve been doing yoga/pilates/bodyflow and bodyvive to keep up with my fitness regimen.

And finally (I think), Ellis started swim lessons.  We started out taking a “Mommy and me”-type class at our Y, but having me with her made her unreceptive to the swim instructor and all the skills she was supposed to be practicing.  Though we are still doing that, I also signed her up at a swim school that has gotten a lot of positive reviews from other families.  It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s 30 minutes once a week, and Trader Joe’s is only 10 minutes away, so I have an excuse to get some shopping done there before we head to her lesson.  She’s only had two lessons so far.  Her first one, they did a ton.  It was just her and another girl her age, so they each had their own instructor.  She was dunked more times in that half hour than in her entire life.  The second class was a far less pleasant experience.  There was only one instructor to 3 girls, and one of the girls looked at least twice the age of Ellis and the other girl.  They basically sat on the edge the entire class, and then five minutes till the end of class, Ellis’s swim diaper leaked, and there was a major poop catastrophe.

Oh, I didn’t even mention potty training!  That’s happening.  She’s been out of diapers and in glorified diapers (pull ups and training pants) for a couple of weeks now.  That deserves its own post!  And we’ve been listening to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat.  I practically know all the lyrics now, and by gosh if those songs don’t grow on you!  You think it’s annoying until you hear your two-year old singing it and realize that’s reason enough to have kids.  It’s the most adorable thing ever.


The weather is starting to cool off a bit, and it’s October, my favorite month, so I am looking forward to all the new memories we’ll be making in the coming weeks.  For now, you’re basically caught up to speed.  Hope all is good in your world.  ‘Til next time!

Ugh, Finances

Here’s a shocking revelation: we are not rich.  In fact, we are far from it.  My husband and I never went on a honeymoon.  The only vacations we take are back home to visit family, or someplace within driving distance.  These aren’t complaints.  We just haven’t seen much any of the world, let alone the country.  We made a big decision at the beginning of the year that has improved our quality of life, but at the cost of, well, costing us.  We made a naive decision ten years ago to buy a home when we first moved to Jacksonville instead of waiting to understand the market (and Jacksonville’s neighborhood’s) better.  A decade later, we were still in what was supposed to be our “starter home”, perfect for a family of 2 20-somethings, not perfect for a growing family.  We did as much to it as we could to make the house work for us, but we knew any money we threw into it, we’d never see again.  The value dropped significantly about a year or two after we purchased it due to the market crash of 2007.  Additionally, the house is located in one of the least desirable neighborhood’s of Jacksonville.  Though we could afford our home, we couldn’t afford to sell, but we also knew we just couldn’t live there any longer.  It was not an ideal place to raise a family.  So we made the decision to rent out our home and rent a home in a new neighborhood, and in February we moved.

We are happier now where we are, but now we have to be a lot more aware of how and where we are spending our money.  I stopped working when I had Ellis, so we are living on one salary (though as a private school teacher, my salary was pretty dismal to begin with).  We now have not only a mortgage to pay but rent as well.  And I haven’t mentioned our debt from school loans.  Again, I was a dumb teenager making dumb decisions that would affect the rest of my life.  I just assumed everybody paid for college with FAFSA, and private college over a state school was a better choice.  We will not let Ellis make the same mistakes we did.

So what are we doing differently now than we have in the past?  Well, for one, we hardly ever go out.  Ellis has been really helpful with this.  Fridays and Saturdays are the same as every other day of the week.  Sunday is probably the most exciting because we get to dress up to go to church.

Food.  We eat at home.  Sometimes this makes me sad.  Cleaning my kitchen 3x a day and preparing a meal that often is not my ideal way of spending my day.  I try to look on the bright side. Eating out eats our budget and makes us fat.  So I like to think of eating at home as a diet for my waistline and pocketbook.  When we grocery shop or do eat out, we try to use coupons.  Depending on how hungry we are we might share a meal or skip the appetizer.  Leftovers never taste as good anyway.  Sometimes I just share Ellis’s meal because she only eats 1/4 of it anyway.  Do you feel sad now, too?

Shopping.  Currently we are in a period where Ellis has a full wardrobe of clothes that fit her in the appropriate season.  It should last hopefully another two months, although I just bought her new socks, and they are already too small.  That girl has big feet.  I challenged myself for the month of July to never step foot into a Target.  I’m going on two weeks here, and I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  I’ve been able to get what we need at the grocery store or the Dollar Tree.

Budgeting.  Trav and I enrolled in Financial Peace University about 5-6 weeks back.  I’ve been tracking our spending more closely and took over bill pay to have a better understanding of our debt and monthly expenses.  We’re doing our best to follow a lot of the advice of Dave Ramsay, and hopefully he will give us more tools in the upcoming classes that will help us make wiser financial decisions and investments in the future.  (Ahem, home buying.)

Ellis’s 2nd Birthday

You know, the only way Ellis could have been more spoiled this week for her birthday is if we had gotten her a pony.  That girl had a good week.  Trav’s parents drove in Monday evening, and my mom and Oma came over, so we had family dinner together.  On Thursday, Mom brought over her and my grandmother’s gift to Ellis, a play kitchen, and we she spent a total of 6 hours putting it together for her.  The plan was to put it together during her nap, but that turned out to be far too optimistic.  Ellis’s favorite baby sitter also came over to drop off a birthday gift.  But Ellis was far too interested in the kitchen her Noni was putting together to care about anything else.  She also received a gift from Teresa, Mom’s friend, who had come over as well.  It was finally put together around 6pm, the same time Trav got home from work.  We had dinner and sang Happy Birthday to Ellis because Mom wouldn’t be here for Ellis’s birthday or birthday party.

Friday, Ellis’s actual birthday, I took her to Krispy Kreme for a chocolate icing, rainbow sprinkles, glazed donut (her choice).  The rest of the day was spent making last minute preparations for her party.  We had family dinner again, and Ellis opened Trav’s and my gifts to her.  She had already gotten a tricycle, train table, and ride on car, so on her birthday we gave her a couple of doll clothes since she likes to give her dolls diaper changes, a pack n’ play for her dolls, a couple of water brush coloring books, and a kitchen apron/chef’s hat set that came with a spoon, spatula, oven mitt, and pot holder.

Saturday was party day.  We spent the morning cleaning house and getting ready for it.  After Ellis’s nap, she was ready to party.  We had a Curious George theme and a bounce house out back.  Guests arrived around 3, and the last ones left around 7:30.  Ellis had so much fun having so many kids to play with and being the center of attention.  It may have gone to her head a little bit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Toddler Discipline

Umm… what?  The last two years have been a lie?  Real parenting doesn’t start until now?  And I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.

Ellis is a normal toddler, and as such, sometimes she can be challenging, like when she death kicks me in the face while I’m trying to change her diaper and then laughs when she does it again after I tell her not to do it again.  Or when she keeps yanking on the dog and making him yelp after repeatedly being told she’s hurting him.  Or throwing her milk at me across the table when we’re out to eat.  Or absolutely refusing to even try a bite of the meal that was her favorite thing to eat two days ago.  “No, don’t like,” she says.  Again, all normal toddler behavior.  But how I react is what is going to make or break my relationship and my authority with my daughter.  And lately, I’ve just been staring dumbfounded asking myself, “Oh, crap.  What do I do?”

So I bought a book.  I didn’t do any research.  I didn’t read any reviews to see what was popular out there.  I browsed the parenting section of Barnes & Noble for 5 minutes (or what I like to call a vacation these days) and found what I thought sounded promising, but also to the point – John Rosemond’s Making the “Terrible” Twos Terrific!

I read the first chapter last night, and while the core of what he was saying made sense, he also has a very old school mentality that sounds much like “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”  I knew I would need to read some reviews to make sure I wasn’t accidentally getting advice from Parenting Hitler.  I’m going to go forward with this book because I think the core of what he is advising is helpful, even though he is delusional in thinking that parenting in the 1950s was perfect, and we’ve been screwing up our kids ever since.

What I agree with:

  • The Seasons of Parenthood – The first two years of a child’s life are child centered, and it is the parents’ (though he expressly states mothers have the greatest parenting responsibility) job to meet the needs of their child and provide a secure, loving environment.  Between ages 2-13, parents should become an authority figure.  The attention should be centered on the parents, not the child, and it’s the child’s job to please his parents and learn to self-govern, or do things for himself.  And the final season of parenting (though, to editorialize, we parent until we’re dead really) is where the parent becomes a mentor to the child in helping him to finally be “emancipated” or an adult who can go out into the world on his own with all the good character traits instilled in him by his parents.  I mean that’s our goal as parents, right?  To provide the world with remarkable, good human beings?  Rosemond emphasizes the focus on the character of the person we want our children to be, not their accomplishments.

What I have issues with:

  • Rosemond believes the father plays a supporting role in parenting, and it is really the mother’s job to get it right in effectively disciplining and raising her children.
  • Paying less attention to our children makes them better people.  I don’t believe in helicopter-parenting or doing my child’s homework for her, but parents do have be involved in what their children are doing.  There has to be involvement.  I might be misunderstanding him, but he makes it sound like now that my daughter is two, she should be dressing, entertaining, and feeding herself by now while I watch TV on the couch undisturbed.  I should probably be smoking a cigarette, too, while running my feet through thick shag carpet.

I’ve only read the first chapter, and haven’t gotten through the Q and A at the end of it.  I plan to write more reflections as I continue through the book.  Also, have you parented a toddler?  Are you doing so right now?  What has worked/is working for you?  Any other good book recommendations, podcasts, parenting websites you’d recommend for navigating the year ahead?  

A Case of the Mondays

June 15th, 2015

Please let this morning go more smoothly than the last two Mondays!

June 8th, 2015

It’s 10:30, and I’m exhausted already.

I woke up at a quarter to 4 this morning and willed myself to stay in bed as long as I could, but by 5:30, I gave up and came downstairs for coffee and internet.  Yesterday it dawned on me that Ellis’s birthday is less than a month away, and I really haven’t done any planning or pre-planning.  Last year, I started Pinning 1st birthday ideas months in advance.  This year, I am a complete slacker.

Somehow I managed to find myself on Craigslist looking for used, but acceptable and affordable, birthday gifts.  In between my two cups of coffee, I shot out a few emails to see what might still be available and made up a batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast because I was starving.

I got replies from a couple of things, including a $15 train table.  Yep, $15.  But he needed me to pick it up ASAP.  Ellis was awake, but I hadn’t gotten her up yet, let alone brush my teeth.  So, I scrambled to get her fed and get us out the door for a 30 minute drive and a meeting time of 8:30.  I was feeling a little apprehensive for my and my daughter’s safety, so I let the Facebook world know where I was going in case the worst should happen.

Turned out he wasn’t a scary murderer and was extremely helpful in helping load the hulking table into my car.  I hadn’t even thought about the fact that it might not fit with Ellis in the backseat.  I had to move her car seat, but it all worked out.

We headed back to our side of town and were only 10 minutes late for My Gym.  I should probably also mention that Ellis was still in her pajamas.  But at least she got to burn off some energy after having been in a car the first hour of her morning.

I spent the rest of the morning cleaning up our kitchen, cleaning up after/taking care of Trav who was sick, and cleaning up after our dog who is just a turd.

June 1, 2015

This morning at My Gym, Ellis was jumping on the trampoline with another little girl.  They were holding hands and hugging while they were jumping up and down.  Inevitably, they knocked into one another – Ellis’s head and the little girl’s mouth.  Ellis was fine, but the girl cut her lip.  She took it like a champ, but I felt horrible being part of the reason a little girl was bleeding.

Ellis doesn’t like “separation time” there any more, but as long as the toys they bring out are interesting enough, they’ll hold her attention for a while.  Some other kids hate separation time even more.  It was another little girl’s first class this morning, and one of the coaches was holding her because she was screaming her head off.  Apparently, she’s one of those who makes herself sick when she gets upset, and she upchucked all over the poor coach and the carpet.  Fortunately, most of the kids were playing puzzles nowhere near where she got sick.  The commotion knocked Ellis out of her puzzle trance, and she came running to find me.  At that point, there was no point in getting her to try to stay through the end of class.  The smell of the vomit alone was making me want to dry heave.  Am I not a mom?  Am I not supposed to be used to gross bodily fluids?  Nope.  We were out of there.

Weekend Fun

It’s usually the mundane weekends that I always end up recapping; this one is no different.

Saturday morning we had signed up for a parenting seminar at our church from 9-11.  The bulletin wasn’t very detailed about what would be discussed, but I signed us up anyway.  Any parenting tools I can get I’ll take.  Turned out this seminar was probably more appropriate for parents of the tween/teen set, but we gleaned a few pieces of wisdom from it.


Pancakes made and served before 7 am. Who am I?


After the seminar, we had lunch and put Ellis down for a nap, and then napped ourselves.  I never nap, but it sounded like a great idea that day.  After everyone was up again, we played a little with Ellis and were starting a game of pool when somehow the idea to get Ellis a bike/tricycle came up.  We finished our game and headed to Target because sometimes we can be very impulsive.  We didn’t do any research, and we didn’t shop around save for stopping at Play It Again Sports where they did NOT have any tricycles.

We ended up going with the Radio Flyer tricycle in pink.  Also not a financially sound choice if ever we have a boy in our future.  But we got her a helmet and a cute basket to hang on the front of her trike, and it just looks adorable.  Ellis has been obsessed with bicycles for a while now, and I’m not sure where or how it started.  She just always wants to climb on them when she sees them.  We’ve got a little over a month before her birthday, but decided to go ahead and get her a gift early.  The weather was beautiful this weekend, so it was the perfect time to spend outdoors.


Helping her daddy put it together.

On Sunday, Ellis fell asleep in the nursery during service at church.  This is extremely unusual, but she also has been having a couple of middle of the night wakings where she wants someone to come in and rock with her for a while.  Not sure what’s going on there, but the fact that she fell asleep in a noisy and brightly lit nursery is almost unbelievable.  Of course, once we got her, she woke right up and wanted to play in the playground.


When we finally tore her away, we headed home, and Trav took her out on her bike again while I got lunch ready.  Then it was nap time, but I spent nap time cleaning and organizing our pantry.  I can’t stand disorganization, even though I’m always in a state of it.  I like being able to look into my pantry, see everything easily and know what we’ve got.  It was therapeutic, and I felt like I finally got something accomplished.  I was able to read two more chapters in the book I’m reading before Ellis woke up from her hour nap (since she slept at church).  I had also meal-planned and written out a grocery list during her nap (Yay for being productive!), so Trav took Ellis with him to grocery shop.  I took a trip of my own to The Dollar Store and Michaels.


My next big task was to get Ellis’s playroom organized.  She has two toy bins, but things get lost when they’re just thrown in there, even if I try to separate the toys by type.  Plus, Ellis can’t reach far into them, so she has trouble getting things out.  She enjoys helping to clean up, so I wanted to actually have a clean, organized room for her to be able to clean up when she’s done playing to help her with this skill.  I was also looking for something to contain Ellis’s bath toys that end up littering the bottom of the tub, or more annoying the foam letters that are scattered all over the shower floor.  She used to have a toy scoop that hung on the back of our shower wall, but when we moved, we didn’t bring the piece that attached to the wall.  Also, it was kind of gaudy and bulky to be used in our bathroom.  I found two bins at The Dollar Store that have holes on the bottom as well as the sides so that water can easily drain out of them, one for the shower and one for the tub.

As I was looking at containers, I remembered I had about 10 plastic shoe bins that I used to keep my less-worn shoes in.  I decided to use those to help separate her smaller toys and then sorted them in the bigger toy bin.  Finally, I could see her floor again!