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This is the keeping it real post for this month LOL! While my daughter is amazing, often very mature for her age, and seemingly an easy child that likes to please....she has her moments, and lots of them. Not everything is peachy perfect in our world, even though it may appear that way at times when you read a blog about how caring and patient my daughter is. That's just one snapshot. Those are all true things, but she's 2.5. She has plenty of 2.5 year old moments...

Today my daughter screamed for 1 hour. 1 full hour. Why? She'd asked me to change her from a dress into a shirt. "Sure," I said, as I did the dishes after breakfast, "just go get the shirt that you want to change into, please". All out screaming ensued. Screams are a new addition to her repertoire lately. Caroline is very emotional, strong willed, and stubborn. She's also very mature and knows all of the methods that she has available to her to help calm down.

I immediately tried to stop the screams before they were escalated. I reminded her that I said "YES" to her question and tried to focus on the positive. "You do it!", she yelled at me. I reminded her that she needed to talk nicely, and that I was going to help her as soon as she got the shirt that she wanted. I tried to get her excited about picking her shirt out. The screams intensified. I then reminded her that if she wanted help calming down, I was there for her, or if she wanted to continue screaming that she'd need to go to her room. I reminded her of all of her options to calm down, and offered a hug. She continued screaming, so I took her to her room to calm down. I stood outside of her door for about 30 minutes, all the while reminding her that once she was calm, I'd come in. I reminded her again of all of the ways to help calm herself down, and I offered her hugs. There was no break in the screams, and no acceptance of my hugs.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a preschool math activity! It is always a goal of mine to keep STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) enjoyable and easy for parents to incorporate into their daily activities. This activity is brought to us by They have TONS of activities for all ages on their site. This particular activity is practicing fractions, and I see a lot of opportunity with just this one activity!

Don't worry, if your toddler is too young for fractions, I have some great ideas listed on the bottom of this post as to how you can adjust this activity to learn about counting, addition, subtraction, and even make fractions super easy for a young toddler as well!

Breakfast Math

Waffles and berries make for a great way to help your child learn her fractions. It’s fun, easy and best of all, super delicious! Get your little one's brain going in the morning as you show her how yummy math can be. 

What You Need:

Dear Caroline,

Thank you for being so strong. Thank you for being so compassionate. Thank you for taking care of me. This pregnancy has not been the easiest on me, but you always notice and show me your love.

Two nights ago we got home from a fun family dinner out. I was nauseous the entire drive home, and when we got home, the walk into the house made things so much worse. It was a little past your bedtime. Daddy took Moose outside and went to get him dinner. I was going to get you ready for bed. I took a moment downstairs and had some water, then climbed the stairs with you and made it into the bathroom to brush your teeth. It was all downhill from there.

Car Seat Options When Flying to Your Travel Destination
If you are traveling with a baby or toddler this summer, it is inevitable you’ll need a car seat at your destination. This then poses the question– do you check the car seat on the plane with your other baggage, or do you buy your child a ticket and put the car seat on the plane? Or is there another option?
Before you make the decision on whether to check the car seat or bring it on-board, there are a few options to keep in mind:
This adorable and active baby in my belly is now the size of a peach! About 2 weeks ago, I swore I could feel the baby move, but knew it was super early.

The feelings were much different than gas pains, or bubbles... they were little thumps- little flicks. The first time I felt it was when Caroline touched my belly and said "Hi baby!"

I figured I was imagining things since I was only 11 weeks. Well those thumps have only gotten stronger. I only feel them at night when I'm super still, and rarely at that, but they are definitely there.

The other night we stayed up past Caroline's bedtime listening to music and singing. We had such a great family time, and Baby V #2 was joining in with lots of dancing inside of mama! So much fun to feel. I can't wait for my husband and Caroline to be able to feel it as well.


Today I'd like to take a moment to officially introduce the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. I've been writing with these wonderful ladies for 1.5 years now, and it has been an amazing experience. All of these mamas have used Babywise principles and all have their own unique take on it. Our goal is to share our experiences with parents across the world, and I think we are doing a phenomenal job at that! It's wonderful to be a part of!

Not sure what Babywise is? Check out this post!

You'll find that we are all a bit different in how we parent. Yes we all use Babywise, but when it comes to everything else, we cover the parental spectrum. From formula to breastfeeding, cloth diapering to disposables, spanking to a hands off approach- you'll find it all here. One of the things I love the most about this group is that we can all write on the same topic, and all be open minded and nonjudgmental of other methods.

The BFBN has a combined total of 8 moms and 26 children at the moment! Yes you read that correctly! I am the only mom with 1 child! All 7 of the other moms have 3 or 4 children, and we have 3 twin moms!!! Not to mention we have 2 more on the way (one of those being my second child, and one mom has an adoption in process).

To my husband this Father's day, 2017. 

If I could plan the perfect day for you, here's what we'd do:

We'd let you sleep in as long as possible (although we both know you never would). 

I'd make a big breakfast with eggs, potatoes and bacon (although we both know you'd make it better). 

We'd take Caroline and Moose somewhere to play. They could splash in the creek together, and we could enjoy our family time.

We'd make it home in time for a nice big lunch. We'd make the best sandwiches ever- piled high on fresh bread, and we'd have potato salad, fruit, and chips.

Caroline would go down for her nap after lunch, just about the time golf coverage was getting going.

You'd get to sit and relax and WATCH golf!

Caroline would get up from her nap, and watch with us. She'd ask questions and you'd love teaching her about the wonderful game of golf.

We'd barbecue hamburgers and have corn on the cob, while watching golf.

Caroline would get to stay up late to see the final putt at 18.

If it didn't go to playoff and end too late, we'd go out for ice cream at coldstone.

At some point during the day we'd give you your homemade card and present (which will probably always be pictures or something our child(ren) made for you). 

It would be the perfect day that you so deserve.

Your day won't look like this, however. Instead...

So I don't know about you, but during the summer, with my 2.5 year old, I plan on spending as much time in the pool and in water as possible. She just loves the water, and wants to go as much as possible.

We spend time at our community pool, we go to a free fountain nearby, and she's just begun swim lessons with British Swim School. We also frequently go to creeks to splash and explore.

All of this water, means wearing a swimsuit pretty frequently.

There are 2 problems with the typical swimsuit that I used to wear:

1. When holding a toddler or baby in the pool, their hands are everywhere. I am constantly worried about my swimsuit keeping me covered when there are little hands pulling it off (even if those little hands don't mean to). That is the last thing I want to worry about when I'm trying to enjoy pool time with my daughter.

Caroline had her 3rd dentist appointment yesterday, and she rocked it! You fully expect toddlers to be a little unsure of the dentist with all of their odd looking tools, etc. Well, Caroline was cool, calm and collected. She sat in the chair all by herself this time. She listened to all of the hygienist's requests when her teeth were being cleaned, and overall had a great exam.

During this visit they:

- Cleaned: They brushed her teeth, and also had her show them her technique. They scraped in between her teeth and did all of the usual cleaning we'd expect. They used the suction tool as well.

This post originally appeared on the Team Cartwright blog on April 13, 2017. Please see this link for the original post.

Why? Why? Why? Why?

This question probably sounds familiar if you have a young child! While it probably gets annoying at times to answer question after question, it is an amazing quality that children exhibit- curiosity! From birth, our babies are little scientists as they figure out how the world around them works. They may not know the word gravity yet, or what it means, but they test it's presence every day as they drop items on the floor, and even test jumping off of things themselves. Our babies don't know what adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension mean, but they certainly test the capabilities and properties of water as much as they can. They learn and they absorb so much knowledge through open play that allows them to explore their natural curiosities.

Why is the basic question of science, and our children are natural born scientists! Our children form hypotheses and test them without even knowing it! Our children are little observers, just as the best scientists are. I think it is so important to celebrate these natural tendencies, and encourage them to embrace these qualities. As parents this can be unknown territory, especially if you were not a fan of science. But, the reality, is that it is so easy to help our children embrace their natural scientific tendencies, and I bet you love science more than you realize (just maybe not that high school chemistry class) LOL!

In exchange for an honest review on this blog, British Swim School of Central MD has provided my family with free swim lessons. All opinions and thoughts are my own

Level: Tadpole

Water Acclimation: 3 Months to 36 Months with Parent
(6 Children Max, Parent-assisted class)

"A water acclimation class for infants and toddlers to introduce them to the water for the first time, reducing their fear and the potential of tears. We’ll introduce an assisted back float and submersion in this level. You should expect a lot of songs and splashing in this class while your infant freely and independently explores the water environment."

Caroline is exactly 2.5 years old and, while she is super comfortable with the water, it sounds like they like to start all children under 3 in the tadpole class. I am definitely on board with this, because the tadpole class is mostly focused on fun and positive experiences in the water, with a brief intro to some basic skills. We live in a place with true seasons, so, while Caroline was jumping in from the side of the pool last year, she was hesitant to get in this year after many months away from the pool. The drains and the lines at the bottom of the pool caught her attention in our first attempts this season at pool time, and she was clinging to me like a little koala!

A look at all of their programs can be found at here. 

The Lesson
If I had to pick one word to describe the tadpole lesson, it would be ENGAGED. The lesson was so much fun. Caroline was having a blast. The class was small (only 3 children), so the instructor was able to really engage and interact with all of the children. It was easy to see that the instructor was fabulous with kids, and knew exactly what to do to get their attention.

The lesson was JAM PACKED with songs, general fun, and tons of skill exposure! I have to say I was really impressed with all that we did in just 30 minutes. Not only did we focus on several skills, the instructor had time to work with each child individually on all of these skills!

Here are the skills that were focused on (amidst the songs, laughing, and playing):

The heat has arrived. We are 11 days into the "90 Days of Hell" that is the Turf life. We are already praying for rain, and are in a stretch of 90 degree weather.

It's hot and it's hard. Let me be clear- the "season" is way longer than 90 days, and seems to stretch longer every year, but the approximate 90 days that comprise June, July and August are often the hardest.

My husband is a golf course superintendent and, while it's hard to convey how hard his work is, there is one line that seems to do it justice in my mind- the grass never gets a day off. 

The grass is getting exposed to the humidity, the heat, the bugs, the foot traffic and cart traffic of golfers, etc. every day- on weekends, on holidays, on special occasions, and all days in between. 

The heat of the day doesn't go away at 5 o'clock, and the sun doesn't set when it's time to "clock out". This makes for long hours, and nonstop working (7 days a week), until the cooler fall weather sets in and allows the grass (and my husband) to take a breath.

The days are long for my husband (3am to sunset). At home, we often find ourselves eating dinner without Daddy, and the weekends are just another long day for us. No breaks.

The season is hard for my husband and me in very different ways, but we do our best to stay focused and positive through it all.

Really I should say, I do my best... my husband seems to never complain, and never let the season get to him.

He has a bit of a love hate relationship with the season. I know he hates the hours, and missing family time, but he is also so passionate about what he does and he lives for the thrill of it and to see his success.

He's amazing at what he does.

This industry is tough. I equate it to being a coach. If you have one bad season, you are often fired.

The turn around is so scary, and so many wives tell stories of being displaced yet again and having to find another job, and move to another state.

We've been so lucky in finding such amazing courses to settle in at. The courses my husband has worked for have all been so family oriented, that I've never once worried about him losing his job.

The superintendents he's worked for have all been amazing men, amazing fathers, amazing workers. They are all people that we keep in touch with and will for the rest of our lives.

His current course is, of course, his first job as the superintendent. The management staff is comprised of yet again, two amazingly wonderful men.

They have a working knowledge of the day to day of my husband's job, which seems to be a rarity in this industry, yet a gem for us.

Often, the management staff has no idea what goes into keeping the golf course in tip top shape, and thus superintendents seem to get fired at the drop of a hat.

I had no idea how often this really happened, until joining the Wives of Turf group on Facebook (yes there's a group for us LOL).

The course Joe is at now, is like our second home. We feel comfortable visiting at any time, and I am so very thankful for this. We plan on sticking around for a very long time to come.

In the summer, we visit as often as we can. Yesterday Caroline and I joined Daddy as he watered greens. He literally has to stay until the sun and the heat break, and hand water the greens.

We ride along in the cart for a couple of hours, holding on as my husband drives as fast as he safely can to get to every inch of his course as quickly as possible.

We "help" by staying out of the way, and just giving him company. We bring dinner when we can. We support him however we can.

Honestly, I wish we lived closer so we could do this daily and help him more.

Caroline has been coming out to the course since she was a newborn, but now that she's 2.5 years old, she's starting to take more of an interest.

She wants to walk around with Daddy and do what he's doing. Luckily, she also listens when we ask her at times to let him work!

She looks at the root samples he takes from the greens, and tries to punch some out herself. She walks around with me at times to pick up sticks and rocks.

She's noticing details on the course such as the collars around the greens, the tees, etc. She really enjoys going for rides, and spending time with Daddy.

As the summer ramps up, we cherish every single second we get with Daddy, and I remain so thankful that he works at this current course.

I'll probably never get used to his hours, or the fact that I can never include him in plans (since his plan during this season is just do what he needs to do as long as it takes). I'll probably never get used to not knowing when he'll be home, or no weekends.

But, we make it work, and I know how to get through these tough turf days now.

We are so lucky to have Baby V #2 with a due date in the winter this year, as well!

If pregnancies and due dates could be planned out perfectly for golf course superintendents, they'd be the November and December dates that we got lucky with! There's no better time in our world!

More Turf Life Posts:

Rain Dances

I Fall In Love With My Husband More Every Day

A Night Under the Stars

When Summer "Break" Is Hardly a Break At All- How to Get By

A Day in Our House- Mama and 2 Year Old

We have a wonderful guest post on the blog today by Emily from The Journey of Parenthood. She's talking all about how to prepare your little one for their first day of preschool, and has some great advice! 

Summer is in full swing and if you're child is attending preschool for the first time this fall, then this is a great time to start preparing them for the big transition!

Here are some simple things to work on this summer to make the first day of school a breeze:

A Solid Routine

Having a set routine has MANY benefits but it's easy to let it slide during the lazy days of summer. School teachers have a set routine for their day and it's best to help your child adapt to that now so they will more easily adjust in the fall. If you're able to, ask the school in advance for a rough outline of their day and it may allow you to go ahead and align meal-times, snack times and potty breaks with what your child will be experiencing throughout the school year. It's also important to keep a solid sleep schedule during the summer. You don't want your child being sleepy on the first day so in the weeks leading up to school starting be sure to wake them when they will need to be awake to get ready for the day! 

Independent Playtime


I'll be 11 weeks as of tomorrow! The first trimester is actually coming to a close here shortly! I can't believe it! The baby is the size of a brussels sprout.


My symptoms have eased up a lot! I am just slightly nauseous, and can't remember the last time I actually got sick (YAY)!

I'm starving and wanting to eat every couple of hours (which also keeps nausea at bay). Snacks are still at the forefront of our days, and I eat an extra snack or two in the evenings (depending on how late I'm up).

Fatigue is unreal. By lunch I'm just feeling like I'm hardly functioning. I actually try and nap while Caroline naps, although I'm highly unsuccessful in my attempts!

Weight Gain

Caroline was potty trained at 18 months of age. It is now exactly 1 year later and she's been begging for MONTHS to do night and nap potty training. She no longer wants to wear her pull up, and wants to sleep in her big girl underwear. 

Usually the begging, turns into me attempting the process with her. We put her to sleep with a training pad under her sheet, a stack of towels in the hallway for easy clean up, and just her underwear on.

She goes potty right before bed, and we remind her to call us if she wakes up and has to go potty. We've tried a few different times, and every time we've stopped for one reason-

I am not willing to sacrifice Caroline's sleep to potty train her for night and naps at this young age. It is simply not the priority. Sleep is. 

Every time we've tried, we give it several days to make sure we put the effort in and give Caroline a good chance. Every time, she wakes up after she's had an accident in her bed.

It's upsetting to her and fully wakes her up. I try and get her back to bed as quickly as possible. We change the sheets in the morning, and simply put towels down on top of the mess for the remainder of the night.

Once waking like this, however, she's up for awhile, and her sleep is drastically impacted. The loss of sleep impacts her behavior during the day.

At that point, we stop the training. I remind her that it's ok to still wear a pull up. I tell her I'm proud of her for trying, and I tell her that we are going to go back to wearing them so she can get good sleep again. She never fights me at this point, and just goes back to pull ups and sleeping well.

Well, it's been months of this. Her begging to try, we try, and we stop.

It was very clear to me that while she had the desire to achieve this milestone, she just wasn't physically ready.

Fast forward to 2.5 years old...

She's exactly 30 months old, and she's night and nap training HERSELF! This amazing girl decided she was ready. No begging to try. She just did it.

About a week ago, Caroline started waking up around 11:30 pm and asking to go potty. Her pull up was completely dry.

I'd take her potty, she'd go right back to sleep and wake up at her usual 7 am. At 7 am she was still completely dry.

She is also completely dry for naps. This has been going on for about a week, and she's been very consistent in waking herself for the process.

It's been so impressive. It's impacting her sleep, but much less than before, and there's nothing I can do about it, since she's got her mind set on waking and going potty.

And she's succeeding- so this is the moment to let the process happen!

It's been a week of dry pull ups, so last night, per her request, we removed the pull up. Again, she was successful in waking up and asking to go potty, and staying dry through the morning.

I'm pretty amazed that she's been so consistent on her own and that she's seeing such success! Since she's doing so well, we are running with it this time and going full speed ahead! Go Caroline!

Download this potty reward chart, here:

About one year ago, I was seeing a rheumatologist and having a bunch of tests run. Long story short, she was looking for a reason that I would have tested positive for an autoimmune disease and what it might be.

In all of her testing, she found that I had positive antibodies for something called antiphospholipid syndrome.

Antiphospholipid syndrome is a blood clotting disorder that can cause miscarriages.

In order to be diagnosed, you have to run the blood work twice (at least 12 weeks apart), and have the antibodies come up positive.

She told me that if I was to become pregnant, I'd need to notify my OB immediately.

I hung on to these results and did just that. My OB recommended getting on low dose aspirin for the pregnancy, and seeing a maternal fetal medicine specialist.

I'd mentioned to my OB that I was supposed to have a second set of tests run, but oddly enough the two OB's I talked to at my practice said they'd never heard of that for a diagnosis.

They didn't seem concerned about the potential for this diagnosis, either- as I've never had any miscarriages (that I am aware of). 

After seeing the specialist, however, I was instructed to have the tests run again. As soon as they were run, I sent the results over to them, and my phone rang the very next day.

It was one of those phone calls where you see the number, and just know it's going to be important. I sat up from my attempt to nap, and answered the phone...

Today we went to a birthday party. We were the first ones to arrive, and as a result we were helping to set everything up. We carried balloons in to the tented area, and then had tablecloths to help tape down, since the wind was up. Little did I know, this was going to spell DISASTER for my child.

Caroline carried the balloons in herself. She was happy to do so and loving the little minions that were on the balloons. All was good until we set them down. Then the disaster started. The balloons were moving because of the wind, and my daughter was FREAKING out. She was terrified of the balloons, and she was scared that the balloons were going to touch something (the ground, the table, the presents, etc.)- she did not want that to happen. No amount of distractions or explanations were working. I tried explaining about the wind. I tried explaining that it wouldn't hurt her. I empathized and told her I understood that the sudden movements could be scary. I hugged her and held her. I tried moving the balloons far away from her. I tried distracting her. I tried ignoring her. Nothing worked. My daughter was terrified. She was screaming and crying and having a meltdown.