The day I ran out of diapers

I knew the day would come when I’d have to bite the bullet and start potty training my son, now 3 years old. I had told myself several boxes of diapers ago that I’d start when that box of diapers was gone. Then the timing just didn’t seem right (like we had too many places to go that I didn’t feel like dealing with potty training at the same time).
The day finally came. Diapers are gone.
More of a deadline for me than it was for my son, obviously. I guess I was secretly hoping that he’d just train himself before I had to really try. I mean I’ve given him all the clues to be able to figure it out…
I’ve had the potty chair sitting in the bathroom since he was 18 months old.
I’ve let him watch daddy go.
I’ve put up a goal/sticker chart.
I’ve got the glass of m&m’s ready for rewards (of which dad also thinks he gets when he goes “potty”)
I have the plastic pants, which he refuses to wear, and I can’t say I blame him!
But for some reason, he just doesn’t mind diapers. And quite honestly, most the time I think they’re quite convenient. I’d much rather have him just go in his diaper than abandon my shopping cart to run him to the bathroom, or stop along the side of the road (although this should be much easier with a boy than it was with girls!)

So I’ve read, and read, and read… articles, blogposts, etc.
I’ve asked my friends.
And now I’m asking you… any words of advice on potty training boys?

The best advice I’ve received so far is…. send him to daycare. I have to admit, that worked really great with my 2 girls. But they were actually regulars at daycare, not just there for potty training. ūüôā

Some other advice I’ve heard:
Have him sit backwards… then he can play with cars or tractors and will sit there longer.
Let him pick out new underwear.
Put cheerios in the toilet for him to hit.
Stand up.
Sit down.

I even have a special toilet seat ordered that has a little seat built into it… that way my elmo seat isn’t sliding all over.

I know, like most things, it’s worth it once you get through it. And patience and persistence are probably the keys.

Any other advice??

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My favorite parenting books

Any other moms out there ever feel like there’s just not enough training for this job?? ¬†I guess being a mom is more of an on-the-job training type of gig. ¬†With that in mind, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite training manuals (books) that I have used, or continue to use. ¬†As if we have time to read! ¬†That’s why I take baths (in addition to the obvious reason).

We all need inspiration, guidance, support, and a good laugh Рand books can be a good source for that.  The problem I find is knowing what books are in sync with our style of parenting.  There are a lot of great books out there Рhere are just a few of my favorites:

Favorite quick reads (little reading for each day):

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Moms”

“Jesus Calling” – by Sarah Young (not specifically aimed at parenting, but a great way to start the day)

“Because I Said So” – by John Rosemond

Books – Funny and Helpful:

Am I Messing Up My Kids? – by Lysa TerKeurst (one of my favorite authors – anything she writes is fantastic)

Unglued – by Lysa TerKeurst

For new mothers – ¬†“Girlfriend’s Guide to the first year of motherhood”. ¬† A great read for new mothers because it’s a hilarious account of what you deal with your first year. ¬†A nice break to all the overwhelming and serious books we tend to bury ourselves in. ¬†Warning – ¬†it’s a little bold… and intended to make us laugh at ourselves and not take it all too seriously. ¬†It is NOT a reference book.

Resource Books:

John Rosemond Books – He has great advice for discipline and child rearing.

“The Strong Willed Child” – by James Dobson

An oldie but a goodie.  If only they could just read it and behave accordingly.

An oldie but a goodie. If only they could just read it and behave accordingly.

 

So what are your favorite mom-support books or magazines? ¬†I’d love to get some fresh reading!

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The best birthday gift

“The most important thing to spend on your kids is time”

Even when they’re adults.

A few years ago, my mom gave me the best birthday gift… and she’s given it almost every year since. ¬†A mom & daughter day out. ¬†Time together to do things we both enjoy.

Coffee.

Pedicures.

Cheesecake.

Shopping.

It’s not an all-expense paid day (although she does pay the bill on a few things). ¬†But that’s not the point. ¬†The point is that she takes the time to spoil me. ¬†And to do things that I love. ¬† It’s all about me. ¬†And at a stage in life when it’s rarely about me (and that’s how it should be), it’s refreshing to have my mom recognize the value in giving me this gift.

Every year I look forward to this gift, and hope that she doesn’t do something else.

And a BIG thanks to my mother-in-law for filling in for me at home while I’m soaking up the “me time”!

Sometimes it’s exhausting being the mom… so it’s nice to be the kid once in awhile.

Thanks Mom. ¬†I’m going to pay it forward and do this with my girls someday too!

 

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Supper Simplified

Occasionally I like to look through a cookbook to get inspired for an idea of something to cook or to try a new recipe. ¬†We are expected to provide our families with a delicious & nutritious meal, and sometimes I allow that expectation to morph into meaning it should be complicated. ¬†If it’s simple to cook, I’m probably not doing it right.

Not true.

Sometimes I think the more complicated it gets, the less nutritious it is and quite frankly, the less my kids like it! ¬†But somewhere in the back of my mind I picture this old-fashioned farmwife with a meal that took her all day to cook… and think I need to be like her.

I’m going to push her further back in my mind and I hope you do to (if you have someone like her in your head)

We’re a meat & potatoes kind of family – so that’s where I usually start with my meal planning. ¬†Then I throw in some sort of fruit and veggie for the side. ¬† Best case scenrio that is.

Here are some quick, and simple meal ideas that are a hit at our supper table:

Spaghetti with meatsauce (whole grain noodles)   Optional additions: garlic bread, tossed salad

Roast beef (cooked all day in the crock pot)  we love it with dry onion soup mix cooked on it.  Sides:  Potatoes & Carrots & Onions cooked in the crock pot with the roast

Goulash (I cook hamburger, add tomato sauce, onion, a little Heinz 57 sauce, a few cubes of velveeta). ¬†For young kids, I like using the ditalini noodles – then I don’t have to cut the noodle up! ¬† Sides: ¬†Corn ¬†(we like to mix it into the goulash) and fruit

Crockpot chicken breast.  I hate chewy chicken Рso I like to cook it in the crockpot Рit comes out fall-apart-tender.  I just dump in some cream of mushroom soup to cook with it.  Sides:  Steamed broccoli and fresh fruit

Chili & Cinnamon rolls.  I love Rhodes cinnamon rolls (frozen).  For easy chili, I brown hamburger, add tomato sauce (1 or 2 cans), chili seasoning packet, 1 can Mrs. Grimes chili beans, and onion, and sometimes some frozen corn.

Caught sneaking a cinnamon roll!

As much as I love salads and vegetables that you actually combine things to make them, I’m thrilled to have a main dish put together for supper – so usually some fresh fruit and some cooked frozen veggies are what I serve for side dishes. ¬†I save the fancy salads and veggies for holidays or potlucks! ¬†ūüôā

Sometimes we just need an idea of something to make to freshen up our usual menu… not a fancy recipe, just an idea. ¬†What are your favorite simple suppers?

 

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Birthday Party Simpleness… or not?

Every time a birthday of one of our kids comes around, I wrestle in my mind with the “issues” of birthday parties. ¬†So many questions to consider… like: ¬†Do we have a party? ¬†What kind… family or friend or both? What theme? ¬†What food? ¬†When – on their birthday or on the weekend? ¬† How much should I decorate? ¬†Do I mail invitations or e-mail or call? ¬†Is it too much? ¬†How can I keep it simple AND special?

Anyone else have this problem??

I think we try to find balance between what we did as kids and what we see other parents doing for their kids now.   We also try to balance what our pocketbook and our patience can handle.

As a child, I spent most of my birthdays in the dairy barn at the State Fair (not as my choice as a place to throw a party, but because we showed dairy at the fair and my birthday always falls at State Fair time). ¬† Birthdays were special, but not a big production. ¬†We always had a birthday cake, homemade by mom. ¬†We also usually had a family supper with grandparents. ¬†We had gifts, but nothing extravagant. ¬†That’s how I remember it, and they’re good memories.

Now you can find any extreme of birthday celebrations – all of which are probably fine. ¬†For each to decide, and for others to criticize. ¬†ūüôā ¬†(joking – kind of) ¬†They may not be how I would do it… but that’s how life is right?

Anyway… so we had a birthday party last weekend. ¬†I wouldn’t call it “simple”

Birthday girl with her pinata – all ready for the party!

necessarily… but it fit with how we like to do things. ¬†I mailed invitations that I had made – because I like to do that. ¬†She wanted a Bubble Gum birthday party… so the invitations and few decorations were bubble gum related. ¬†It was a family only party (grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins, great grandmas). ¬†I think friend parties are fun, and we like to go to them – I’m just not ready to host those quite yet. ¬†We served some appetizers (sliced cheese & meat, chips & artichoke dip) and had supper (bbq beef sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, fruit, chips) and punch (recipe below). The cake was made by me and we had bubble gum ice cream (from Goodrich Dairy Store) to go with the theme! ¬†Kids love pinatas – and I found this one on Amazon.com. ¬† I found her dress on zulily.com… I just couldn’t resist – it fits her personality perfectly! ¬†She had so much fun wearing it that it was worth it! ¬†I had also found gumball wrapping paper on current.com – so that was fun to find to go with the theme.

So I wouldn’t call it “simple” necessarily – but it fit the birthday girl, was manageable and fun for me to put together, and hopefully a special day for her to remember…. or at least have some great pictures for her to look at to remember!

What do you do for your child’s birthday parties? ¬†Any opinions on birthday parties that you’d like to share?

Punch recipe…. yummy and easy!

Fruit Punch

1 64oz Fruit Punch chilled

1 64 oz Pineapple juice chilled

1 2liter bottle ginger ale

1/2 gal orange sherbet (add when ready to serve)

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Traditional Sunday Dinner… or not?

I’m a sucker for tradition. ¬†Some traditions from my childhood have continued, and some we’ve started new for our family. ¬†One that has been a work-in-progress is Sunday Dinner. ¬†As in lunch. ¬†Or whatever you call it… the mid-day meal after church.

I have memories from my childhood of my mom’s fried chicken on Sundays. ¬†Yum. ¬†I don’t know that it was so much what we were eating, as much as it was the tradition of having the same special meal that seemed to be reserved for Sunday. ¬†I’ve been trying to establish what that could be for our family, and nothing has stuck for us. ¬†We tried going out to eat for brunch after church, which is fun and less work for me… but becomes less fun with small children to tend to after they were already expected to be on their best behavior at church. ¬† Translation… after dealing with a 3 ring circus in the pew at church, the last thing we feel like doing is another public 3 ring circus at a restaurant.

So I’ve tried out several dishes to find something that seems fitting as our traditional Sunday meal, and I think we’ve finally found something that we all enjoy. ¬†It’s simple, it’s quick to fix, I typically have the supplies on hand and everyone seems to like it… ¬†Breakfast! ¬†The last several Sundays, I’ve been making a big breakfast/brunch after we get home from church, and it’s worked out great. The menu has consisted of eggs (usually over-easy), hashbrowns, sausage or bacon, pancakes, and juice. ¬† Seems weird, but I’m so excited to have found our traditional Sunday dinner and I hope that it continues to stick. ¬†When my kids are grown and think back of special memories of their childhood… I hope the tradition of a family breakfast after church on Sunday (and followed by a good nap) is one of them!

Do you have a tradition for Sunday Dinner?

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Welcome to Keep It Simple Mom!

As a mother of 3, who lives in rural America, I love the information sharing that goes on through blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, and all other internet sources. ¬†But it’s also easy to get overwhelmed with ideas and advice… so I wanted to start a blog that focused more on simple parenting, simple living, and simple ideas. ¬†I have to admit that I don’t always do things as simply as possible… so some may argue that my purpose and title are inaccurate. ¬† It’s all relative I guess.

Basically, it boils down to this… I value living in a way that puts God 1st, Family 2nd, and Career 3rd. ¬†I like making things special, but not over the top (like birthday parties). ¬†I encourage parents to do what’s best for their situation… and to be truly honest with ourselves about what that is.

I’m not perfect. ¬†I know that. This blog will be a way to remind me to Keep It Simple and provide a point of reference for keeping me inline with my values and parenting intentions.

I look forward to your comments and feedback!

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