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Mama's, you know the feeling... you have to use the restroom, and you are in a wet bathing suit. It is so horrible having to peel your bathing suit off. Not to mention it is near impossible to get it back on! The bikini has helped solve this problem, but it's still not perfect! We've all done it...pull it out of the way without taking your swim suit off. Not ideal, but it works...kind of.

Getting out of the house when you are potty training your child is insanely daunting! I remember being so nervous that Caroline would have an accident. We took short trips, and slowly lengthened our outings until we both felt comfortable.

Now that I can officially say my child is potty trained, going out is still not without its challenges. If we are going to be out of the house for awhile, we have to have access to restrooms. I have to research things ahead of time to make sure we'll have a restroom handy. If I am unable to tell online, or can't seem to get in touch with anyone on the phone, the first thing we do when we get to where we are going is scope out the bathrooms!

Well, now that we have made our transition to the big girl bed, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the results of the survey that we took a couple of weeks ago! I found these responses to be very interesting!

This survey was conducted to analyze the transition from crib to bed. We had 15 participants.

This post might shock you, but our fun idea for the week (yes fun), is trash collection! I don't know about your toddler, but my toddler loves to keep things clean! She has always enjoyed picking up her toys and putting things away. Now that she can say "away", she also points out when Mama leaves something out: "Oh no, Mama! Away", she says! LOL! It's all I can do to keep this house picked up good enough for her haha! I've started telling her if she wants it put away she'll have to help, or if she wants the dog hair swept up, she should get her broom, etc. Luckily, she's actually helpful!

Visit a Babywise discussion group, and one of the most frequently asked questions you'll find, is about babies & toddlers taking short naps, and what to do about it! We expend all of our energy, as Babywise parents, trying to solve the mystery of the short nap, trying to avoid it if at all possible, and trying to get our children the best sleep possible. We know that, if you can help your child sleep enough, and sleep well, they will thrive in all areas! So, I wanted to take a moment to discuss ways to avoid the short nap all together!

In my post "Waking Early From Naps- What To Do", I discuss how I handle short naps. I've broken it down by month for the first 6 months of age. In this post, however, we're going to discuss how to avoid the short naps all together, or how to troubleshoot them if your child is experiencing a short nap phase...which by the way... it's inevitable that they will at some point. The key is knowing how to get out of the phase and preventing the phases as much as possible!

There are two main things you'll want to first consider:

Oh my gosh, you guys....Caroline impressed me so so so so sooooo much! All of our preparation paid off big time! See our results below!

- She was so excited for her bed, she was laying in it before we could even get it built!
- She listened to all of our instructions!
- She is falling asleep faster and without any crying (see previous 22nd month hurdles post on what she was doing)
 Check out our plan here!

Night 1
We barely had her room ready when her clocked turned blue for bedtime! We got it done on time, however, and Caroline was really excited to get in bed. We read her story in bed tonight, since we could all fit on the bed! Our instructions to her were the same as they'd been all week "Stay in bed until your clock is yellow and you get a Daniel Tiger sticker in the morning!". She did SOOOO good with this that she earned stickers every day this last week! We also told her to call us if she needed anything.

Every once in awhile I have to have a Mama brag post LOL! It's only fair, since I also write up all of the craziness that comes with having a toddler :)

Today I just wanted to get out on "paper", how incredibly amazing my daughter is. I know I'm biased, but I'm so impressed with her abilities.

I'm Almost Two and I can...

- Say small sentences!
"Here you go, (insert name)", "Hi, (insert name)", "I got it", "Yes, Mama", "Thank you, Mama", "Yes, please Mama", "Green block", "Oh no, Mama. Away"....and many more!

When I started looking at the pros and cons of purchasing a toddler bed versus a twin bed, the answer was obvious which one worked best for our family! The truth is, each family is going to have a different preference, and different immediate needs. There are positives and negatives to both!

Switching from crib to toddler bed
- The mattress fits! This obviously saves money in the moment!
- It is smaller than the twin bed. If you are limited with space, this could be exactly what you're looking for. This will obviously leave more space in the room for play. 
- It has built in rails! No need to buy a separate item.

The time has come! We are moving Caroline to a big girl bed in a few days! We have been taking steps to prepare her for this transition for quite awhile now, and we feel that she's ready.

Honestly, until about a week ago, we weren't exactly sure when the transition would occur, but a couple of things helped us decide quickly and move forward:

1. She seems ready
She listens to our direction really well (even aside from her 22 month hurdles). She loves her bed, loves her sleep, and it seems like she'll be able to handle the transition smoothly. One of the key things that we noticed was her ability to read a book before her nap or bed, and then decide to set the book down, and go to sleep. This is a new privilege that we've given her, and she's done amazing with it. It is a very big girl thing to be able to handle making that decision and actually going to sleep. She's also really excited about doing big girl things right now, so we knew she'd be on board!

Any time we go through rough patches, regressions, setbacks, etc., I love to write a post and "think through/talk out loud" to figure things out. I hope this also gives you, as the reader, some good insight and reassurance that things aren't always pretty and perfect over here!

So, where to begin. Let's start by just listing all of the "issues" that have been going on for the last month. Which, by the way, almost all of them seem to be getting worse! Things kind of get better, and then when it comes back it's even more prevalent.

Please help me gather some data on the transition from crib to bed, by filling out the survey below. Once I've collected enough data, I'll be posting the results! We are planning to transition Caroline this weekend (she's almost 22 months old). I'll be posting our transition plan later this week, along with updates next week on how it's going! You'll want to check back in soon!

Hello to all of my Instagram followers!

I am so excited to be getting on the Instagram train....finally! LOL!

Since it took me so long, I want to offer something special just to you. I envision this page (along with my Instagram account) being a place for us to connect on a more personal level- the sneak peek into my life that might not always get posted on the blog, or to Facebook. Maybe even a few hidden posts or pages to keep things interesting! ;)

I tend to post pictures to Instagram before I have a full official post on the topic. Today was the perfect example... I posted a picture of Caroline testing out a big girl bed! I'll write up a post on our plan for the transition to the big girl bed later this week, and I'll post again as we look back and write down the successes and failures LOL! You'll get to know ahead of time what's going on and go on this journey with me, instead of reading about it all after the fact!

Below you'll find my Instagram photos and shares. This is the place to come to learn more about them! Click on the pictures below to get linked to relevant posts and more information! Have fun, and check back in soon, as I'll keep this page updated on a weekly basis!

Today we have a guest post from a Speech-Language Pathologist! I am so excited to be partnering with Susanna Weinberger for this guest post, and I am incredibly excited to announce that she is doing a 4 part series on the topic of encouraging your young child's communication development. Part 1 is discussing "The Power of Waiting" and is shown in full below. To see future posts in this amazing series, please check out her blog, by clicking here

How to Encourage Your Young Child’s Communication Development 

(Part 1 of a 4-part series)

Part 1: The Power of Waiting

The best way to foster your young child’s communication development is by thinking about and, if necessary, modifying the way you interact with him. When we integrate strategies into our daily interactions with our child, they become automatic and natural.

Is your child really great at getting in your way? When you fold the laundry, does it magically unfold and get put back into the basket while you are hanging up the other clothes? Is it impossible to get the cleaning done when they are around? You are not alone! Here are some tips to get them involved, instead of struggling to get things done, or even waiting for another time. Asking them to help in ways they can, will enable a LOT more to get done (by you and them). Head on over to my guest post at The Journey of Parenthood, to check out ways to creatively involve your toddler (so you can get things done)... Tips for laundry, cleaning, dishes, and cooking!
It's BFBN day! Today we have Natasha from Let's Be Brave guest posting on her fertility journey. 

I am guest posting over at Twinning Babywise. My post is called "Babywise “Couch Time”: Making Your Marriage A Priority". Couch time is an action principle that is mentioned in the Babywise books on how to keep your marriage strong. Click here to view the post! Enjoy Natasha's story below!

An IVF Story.
by Natasha Combs

Gary and I started trying to have biological kids about a year after I graduated law school.  We started out like any other couple, not forcing anything, sure that it would just happen when it happened.  Well, over a year later I started having some doubts about that.  Long story short, I had a blood test come back that indicated I may have low ovarian reserve.  I'm not even 30 yet, so that came as a big shock.  I immediately set up an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist, and he suggested we try IUI.  We did two IUI's - both failed.  

As we near the Fall season, I thought I'd share some ways to beat the summer heat! LOL Obviously, not the greatest timing haha! These are some great indoor play ideas that I documented for The Yogurt Dish blog at While, I wrote this late in the summer season for them, these ideas are actually great indoor ideas for any time of year! Check out the full blog post here.  Enjoy!

Getting out of the house is great for several reasons!

1. Prevents the SAHM from going stir crazy! LOL 
I found out very quickly that I need a change of scenery to break up the monotony of being a stay at home mom. Even if it's the simplest of outings to just run a few errands, it keeps me from going stir crazy in the house!

2. Enables you to teach real lessons in real scenarios
You'll start to think about safety lessons, sharing, being polite, being respectful and kind. Being out and about gives you opportunities to teach those real life lessons. Even at the age of 1 you'll naturally find ways to incorporate real world learning in ways that you wouldn't have run into at home.

A friend of mine asked for toy ideas for her almost 2 year old. As I reflected on my almost 2 year old, I realized that her interests have changed a lot. She is very rarely engaged with her toys. She is way more focused on running around, hopping, jumping, dancing, twirling, playing with her stuffed animals, getting to lay on mama's bed, looking at her books, and going out and about. Well, a lot of that is actually the same as it's always been, she just seems to engage with her toys less and less.

Caroline is starting to pretend play with her stuffed animal "friends". She feeds them, gives them water to drink, has them hop around and dance with her, etc. She is also needing higher skill level toys. For example, her chunky wooden puzzles are really easy for her now. She can put them together in a matter of seconds. That being said, if something is too challenging, she has so much energy, she moves on quickly.

If you give a toddler a snack, she won't be hungry for lunch. If she's not hungry for lunch, she'll need a snack before dinner....etc, etc! Rules are so important when it comes to toddlers and eating. Just like with any other aspect of their life, they thrive on boundaries and consistency.

Toddlers can be hard to figure out when it comes to food. They are often picky about what they eat, how they want to eat it, and when they want to eat, etc. Their favorite food yesterday can be on the list of foods that cause a tantrum today. One meal they'll finish their entire plate and want more, yet another meal they hardly eat a thing (and seem fine with it).

Instead of thinking as a parent all of the time, it is important to think about things just as a fellow human being. Are there days where my favorite food doesn't sound appetizing? Are there days that I just don't feel like eating much? Are there days that my appetite is through the roof?  Are there foods that I dislike? Are there foods that I thought I would hate, but when I tried it, I loved it? I can answer yes to all of these questions, as I'm assuming everyone can. That means that my toddler is allowed to answer yes to these questions as well. It is my job as a parent to make sure they don't go overboard, and that they are offered a variety of nutritious food throughout their week. And yes, view your child's eating habits as weekly goals. You may not get meat in them every single day, but if you are getting enough throughout the week, that's what matters!