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Thrift Store Finds

Do you like shopping for clothes at thrift stores?  I didn’t use to but since I have been reading some great blogs by very fashionable ladies I have discovered what fun it could be.  Back in high school I went through a very unflattering phase where I wore only old men’s clothes that I found at Goodwill.  Like polyester pants and and button-up shirts.  And of course they didn’t fit because they were made for an old man.  That is what I would always think of regarding used clothes.  I would seriously post a picture if I had one.  If you knew me in high school and have a picture send it to me.  I could use a good laugh!

Thrifting requires some work.  It’s not an activity I engage in with a 1 and 3 year old in tow.  It is only possible when I have some alone time out and about, so needless to say, very rarely.  It is best to have a strategy unless you have all day long to go through one store.  One of mine is to have a list of things I am looking for.  When I am looking through magazines and looking online I come across things that I would like and they go on the list.  On my latest list was: bright blazer, gladiator sandals, and pleated skirt.  That way I don’t have to sort through everything, I can go straight for what I am looking for and hope that it is in good condition and my size.

Another way to shop if you have more time is to look through the racks at each item (quickly) just to look for designers you like.  Recently I found some Anne Taylor shorts with the tags still on them and a Calvin Klein dress that fits perfectly.  Labels are definitely not everything but they can help you gauge quality.

Here is my first attempt at an outfit picture.  This is from last Sunday before church.  I had to use the timer on my camera and prop it up on the picture so I apologize.  I wanted to show this blazer that I got for $3 from Goodwill.

Here is the thrift store outfit I wore to church today.
The dress was less than $3 from Goodwill.  I had to remove the shoulder pads.  The belt was brand new from Target with tags still on it for .25 from the Salvation Army store.

Stay tuned.  I have more finds to show you.  I just need an excuse to dress up.

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More Flowers

G is a lucky boy.  On Wednesday night his friend (see previous) post and his dad Luke invited G to go see Sesame Street Live.  I don’t think either of the boys really knew what was going to happen but I hear that it was a fun time.  When I dropped G off both the boys were so excited and I am told that their level of excitement did not drop until they fell asleep in exhaustion.

I finally got around to taking pictures of the rest of the flowers.  As I was taking them, a guy walked by and laughed and then told me they looked nice.  I guess I was caught.

I like our front landscaping more than the rest because I actually put thought into where to plant things.  All of the hostas were given to me by my mom, stepmom, and mother-in-law.  I love that there are so many different kinds.  They are overdue for being split so that is going to have to happen this summer.On the side of the house G and I began another project.  When retaining wall blocks go on sale (this week at Menards according to the flyer I just got) we are going to build a retaining wall like the one on the other side of the house.  It is a pain to try to mow around all of this stuff so I am like this idea.  Plus more places to plant stuff!

And I will leave you with this cute picture from the other day.  Pretty Lady and H watching Veggie Tales together.

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What if I had 4 Kids?

And there were two sets of twins?  It might look a little something like this:

I would probably have to get a bigger table.  And my grocery budget would be much higher.

The other day I doubled the amount of children so that my good friend Audrey could relax a little bit on the day before her due date.  These four get along well so it wasn’t hard at all.  There was a time when watching any more than my one child terrified me.  I must be learning something.

This is G’s best friend.  Let’s call him C.

Here is his little sister. Let’s call her Pretty Girl.

And here is G not wanting to get his picture taken.  He usually doesn’t.

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Not Cool, Iowa, Not Cool

Well literally it was cool, but you know what I mean, right?

If it looks like we just threw sheets over stuff at 9 p.m. it is because we did.  And good thing because there was frost on the ground.  On May 17th.  Not cool.

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Potty Training

Every parent knows that potty training can be so frustrating.  Unless you have one of those fabled kids that potty trains in a day.  In that case I don’t want to hear about it.  Seriously, I am happy for you, but I think stories like that give parents a false sense of hope.  Let me be straight: that probably isn’t your kid.

I have only potty trained one child thus far so I am no expert.  I am just going to tell how it went for us.  I started potty training G for real last June.  Before that we had gotten a potty and talked about it.  He had sat on the seat and played with it but no real interest at that point.  The reason I made the decision last June?  I was so tired of changing poopy diapers of a 2 year old who did not care if he was dirty all day long.  In hindsight that was not a good reason but I was sleep deprived with a newborn and toddler to take of.

I definitely do not buy into the idea that you have to wait for all the signs that your child is ready to potty train.  This is an interesting article about the history of potty training.  Before the invention of disposable diapers, children were potty trained earlier.  Why?  Because cloth diapers are a lot more work.  Here are some figures from the article:

In the 1950, almost a 100% of children wore cloth diapers and 95% of these children were trained by the age of 18 months.
In the 1980s, about 50% of children wore cloth diapers, while the other 50% wore disposable diapers and only about 50% of the children were potty trained by the age of 18months.
Today, almost 90-95% of children wear disposable diapers and only about 10% of children are potty trained by the age of 18 months.

It’s something to think about when people tell you that children are not ready until they are 3 or 4 years old.

When I decided to take the plunge with G I knew that I had to go all in and there was no going back or I would do more damage than good.  So after I changed that last diaper I told him that he was a big boy and was going to wear underwear from now on.  No more diapers unless he was sleeping.  Pull-ups were not an option for me.  They are diapers and I knew G would treat them as such.  So he wore underwear all day long from then on.

I took him to the bathroom every 30 minutes at first.  I gave him 1 M&M every time he sat on the potty and tried.  There were a lot of accidents and pee to clean off the floor.  I mean all day long.  Eventually he figured out how to pee when he wanted to so that was a break through.  But he still hadn’t figured out how to hold it.  Then he started to be able to hold it for longer periods of time.  Keep in mind that there were still accidents all day at this point and he hadn’t pooped in the potty yet.  If you haven’t done it before let me tell you that cleaning up poopy underwear is no fun.

Our next goal was to poop in the potty.  I tried many things.  I brought the potty out to the living room.  I promised a coveted toy from the store.  Eventually I made a tent out of chairs and a blanket and potty the potty underneath so it would “be fun”.  After lots of encouragement he finally did and we celebrated and went out and bought that toy.  Sadly it was over a week before he pooped in the potty again.  I think the phrase “two steps forward and one step back” very accurately sums up our potty training experience.

So from then on things would get better and then they would regress some, rinse, repeat.  We had to carry extra clothes and plastic bags wherever we went.  There are times when I would get so frustrated and feel like a huge failure, like what was I doing wrong?  When I could chill out about it all G would do much better.  Clearly he was picking up on my frustration.  A few months ago he stopped pooping in his underwear altogether.  He has picked up on those bodily cues and is doing great.

Now the issue is stopping what he is doing to get to the bathroom in time.  If he is busy with something he will pee just a little bit in his underwear and then decide to high-tail it to the bathroom.  Since he can dress and undress himself for the most part, when he has an accident to he has to put away his wet clothes and put on clean ones himself.  I don’t get upset about it anymore, I just have him change his own clothes.  I am hoping he will realize that it takes much less time and effort to go to the bathroom when he needs to instead of having to change his clothes every time.  This seems to be working.  He is getting better and every couple days goes a whole day without an accident.

At this point I am not concerned at all with nighttime.  That could be years and I am ok with that.  I know the whole thing will happen eventually and if I can manage to chill out it might happen sooner than later.

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Hot Fun

Monday night John had a softball game.  The boys and I came along.  I won’t say “to watch” because while making sure the boys don’t get into trouble I only see about 5 minutes of the game.  G had lots of fun playing in the dirt with his friends.Remember “Pig Pen” from Peanuts?  Here is his doppelganger.Here G is again, this time channeling Elton John.It has been hot and humid here the past couple of days so we busted out the slip n slide.  G doesn’t want to run and slide but they still have fun.  Random fact: last summer during nap time John and I would play in the slip n slide by ourselves.  I am sure the neighbors thought we were weirdos.  They probably already did though.  I used mow the grass with G in a backpack baby carrier.

Here is some cute to end with.

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