Happy Birthday, Avery!

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  Today is Avery’s Birthday, and guess what, it’s mine too!  She was the very best Birthday present I could ever ask for!

232323232fp53243_nu=3235_74__5_9_WSNRCG=346734;;35327nu0mrj232323232fp53274_nu=3235_74__5_9_WSNRCG=346734;;37327nu0mrj  Here she is:

10 pounds 3 1/2 oz. 

3 days old in this photo!

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Hard to believe this is our lil’ bitty Peanut, isn’t it!?

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  Avery has always been sunshiney with the occasional storm clouds.

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  She has such a heart for the Lord, loves to raise her hands in worship, and asks Him almost nightly to help her future husband be a Godly man and a Mr. Fix It like her daddy.

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She beams when praised, and gets tearful when she can’t get it done the way she has imagined it should be accomplished.  But she has drive and stubborness that we are asking God to use for HIS glory!

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She’ll being going to Preschool 3 days a week this year!  I will miss her terribly!

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Oh my little one, you are growing up so so fast, you make Mommy’s heart ache to keep you a baby, but I know my job is to give you wings and prepare you for the day you will use them.

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Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Avery!

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You’ll always be my baby girl!

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I love you to the moon and back!

~Mommy                      xoxo

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OH Pax! No-no!

  Destiny and Tylan did NOT prepare us for Avery and Paxton. 

Guess the Lord likes to keep us as parents humble, doesn’t He? 

The first 2 were easy, laid back, didn’t get into trouble much, were very tender-hearted and then…….

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We had Avery.095

  Sunshine to thunder clouds and back, all in a matter of minutes. 

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No middle ground. 

 Crabitha I will never forget when she was 5 months old and threw her first fit, arching her back and practically sliding down my leg, limp as a spaghetti noodle.  I gasped and stared at Dale across the room, whose mouth had also dropped open.  We knew then, we were in for a WHOLE new ballgame!

    I wouldn’t have it any other way, my sweet, sassy little Peanut!

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  Then there is Paxton, who takes Mischievous to a whole new level. 

He is the naughty to her theatrics.

  Did I tell you about the time I went out to photograph Banana Caramel Pinterest Pie and when I came back he had dragged over a kitchen chair and helped himself?

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How about the morning where he dumped the entire bowl of Oatmeal on his head?

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Or, when he dumped flour all over the place?  Escaped out the back door for the first time, or helped himself to the contents of the fridge?

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   In the last 2 weeks it has been as follows: 

Threw his binky in the toilet.  (Yes, the toilet was being used, otherwise the lid is not allowed to be left open. Yuck.)

Threw Avery’s special prayer bunny in the toilet, again it was being used.  Ew.

Hit Avery in the head with Dale’s golf club.

Hit Avery in the head with a golf ball.

Hit Avery in the head with her high-heeled church shoes.

Hit Avery in the head with a utensil. 

Hit Avery in the head with a train.

Poor Avery needs a helmet!  Paxton will smack his own bottom afterwards, “No no”, he says. 

  If you know it’s a no-no, THEN QUIT, DUDE!  Your sisters health depends on it!

  This torment seems mostly directed at Avery, as you can tell!  He just frustrates Destiny when he trashes her room and Ty when he knocks down his lego towers.

  He stands at the island to “help” with supper, those little grabby hands dumping salt and noodles faster than I can stop him.

  I clean up water messes at least 5 times a day as he crawls up on to the table and dumps his siblings cups out, then plays in them.

{Sigh}  A mother’s job is never done it seems.  If it’s quiet and you can’t find Pax, don’t walk, RUN to find him. You will be sorry otherwise!

  Now, our latest issue is……….

Markers.

  I hide them, he somehow finds them.  I hide them again, higher.  He finds them again, using a kitchen chair to do his job.  Hopefully they are all so high he can’t reach them (I barely can) and this will stop.  OF COURSE, I didn’t think to take a photo of my “decorated” walls, doors, couch and carpet before I scrubbed them, but here is how he looked afterwards:

(When he first came to me, I was very concerned that he was bleeding. This quickly turned to exasperation, as I realized he had found yet another marker!) 

Oh my gracious sakes! Who drew marker all over the walls?

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Ok, ok, you are right.  It was me.  {sigh}

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  I decorated my sock, too!  See?

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What do you mean that is a “No no”?

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This is some of my BEST work!

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You aren’t going to tell Daddy about this, right?!

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You ARE????????

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Sorry about the mess, Momma.

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Even though I am naughty, you think I’m pretty cute, don’t cha!?”

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Come on, you know you do……

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I sure love you, Momma!  I will be a good boy now.

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Sweet baby Tank, what would my life be without you and your siblings?  I love that each and every one of you are different and special in your own way!

  God is good and life with kids is great, so we’ll just smile and roll with it!  🙂

~T 

Pinterested: Making A Sock Bun

This is Post 2 for today, be sure to head back to Post 1: Buckeye Cookie Bars!   

So I saw this cool thing on Pinterest, which lead me to a video of how to make curls using a Sock Bun.  Destiny LOVES when I take time to curl her hair, but let’s be realistic, it just doesn’t happen on school mornings.

  THIS is the answer to my “Who in the World has time to use a curling iron on a CRAZY school morning?” Problem’s!

What you’ll need:

Socks that you don’t mind cutting.  I used my size socks.

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Roll it up tightly, continuing to tug as you roll, to keep it smooth.

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Your Sock Bun should now look this:

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Mine actually looked like this one, on the left, so I unrolled and cut the top “lip” of the sock as well.  Much better!

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How to roll a sock bun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=3FV-YO46E8Y

Basically you take damp hair up in a high ponytail, and slip the sock bun over it.  Grasp hair straight up in the air, as you pull the sock bun to the tippy top, and wrap the ends neatly.  Then you roll down, spreading the hair as you go, clear back down to the base of the ponytail. 

{You are going to want to watch the video. This is hard to explain!!!!}

  When you are done rolling it looks like this and is actually nice enough to be worn this way on day 1. 

Super cute!

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  The next morning, it was time to find out if it worked!

  We had one that worked great, and one not so much.

Poor Avery with her thin, silky hair!!!!!  But Destiny’s was amazing!!!!!

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That’s ok, Mommy.  We can try again tomorrow!

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2nd time around, I cut a stray baby sock for Avery’s hair and made sure it was very damp this time.018

  When we took it out the next morning, I could already tell a big difference.

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  She was THRILLED to have curls like big sis.

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  Supposedly this works great for adults as well, but I already have curly hair, so I haven’t tired it.  If you try it, make SURE to come comment and tell me about it!

   Go make a Sock Bun, your daughters will thank you!

~T

Update: 12-29-2012
Since posting this, we have done many a sock bun. Usually with freshly washed, damp hair on bath night, and I have a tip for you.  I have found that if I spray Avery’s baby fine, satin hair with leave in conditioner, the curls stay way better!
Case in point:

Avery sock bun

With Cherries On Top….

  I am lonely today!  Did you know Avery started 3-School last week and will now go every Friday?

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Yup, it’s just Paxton and I here a good portion of the morning.

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{SIGH}  How is it that all my kids are so quickly approaching school age?

   3 of my 4 are in some form of school, 1 or more days a week. WAH!  My years as a Stay at Home mom seemed to stretch as far as the eye can see, but in reality, they are quickly passing by.  I don’t like it.  You know what they say, “Days are long but years are fast.”

  Anyhow, I thought since it was so quiet here, with Pax taking his morning nap and all,  I’d use this time to update you on things at the Ferguson home……..

 

This is the space formally known as my front yard:

  Apparently we have a crushed lateral pipe that needs fixing, promptly!

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This was taken day 1 of digging. You should SEE it NOW! Twice this at least!

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Look at Ty’s shovel parked next to his daddy’s,  AWWW!

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This is poo water: 

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Every time my kids go outside they ask “Ew. Who tooted?” Yup, it’s disgusting!

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This is the Tahoe:

Well, the wheel of the Tahoe…hey, it’s the only photo I could find in a hurry! 071

It died on me in the middle of the gas station, multiple, multiple times. The middle, as in the DRIVEWAY. Not the side, not at the pump, the MIDDLE.  Of course!  It will cost $700 to repair. 

This is Saprina, our beloved kitty:

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She is MIA and my kids are totally broken-hearted over it. Lots of tears last night and this morning.

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This was my checking account balance as of last night:

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$250 worth of bills will hit in the morning.

This is the pile of dishes.  Nasty, crusty dried Mexican night dishes:

  I decided to leave them as they were, as in all over the kitchen counters, to go get the kids down early.  They all had school the next day, so it seemed like the right choice. I usually AT LEAST give them a good rinse and stack them neatly, before doing bedtime, but this time? Nope, that would’ve been TOO convenient!

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This is where I did dishes last night after Dale hit the point of no return on the pipes during bedtime songs and prayers…..this occured BEFORE he could warn me that no running water was going to be allowed until further notice!

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Super crusty dishes plus cold water doesn’t equal very clean dishes. Yuck. I will re-do them as soon as the water privileges are back!

The list of things that broke this week goes on longer than I’ve mentioned, but I am going to choose to quit here, lest you think I’m a complainer.  Rather, I’d like to say this:

 

God is SO good.

Here is the tractor, loaned to us for free to fix the broken poo-water pipe, saving us from renting one:

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By the way, here is the culprit of the broken Lateral line aka Poo Pipe:

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ROOTS!

Here is the Lowe’s gift card we were blessed by early this morning by one of the Lord’s vessels:

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We used it for NEW poo-pipes. Thank you for the blessing, Angel from the Lord! This Do It Yourself Project just saved us the $1500 it would’ve cost to hire it done!!!!!!

This is my ride until the Tahoe is fixed, loaned to us by a generous uncle:

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I might be a truck girl after all! 

*I am jumping in here to add a new note before I publish this, I just got off the phone with Dale.  Remember how the Tahoe cost $700 to repair? Guess who is getting a $700 commission check in 2 days.  YUP, us!  God is GOOD!

Here is Pax, totally entertained while I make supper:

No crying baby at my feet!!!!

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Yay for free entertainment!

  I wish I had good news about little Saprina, but she is still nowhere to be found.  We did drive around last night and talk to some neighbors. We also put up a few signs to make Destiny feel like we are doing SOMETHING to find her wayward friend.  Even our wiener dog, Sophie runs around outside, whining and crying, running to and fro looking for her BFF, Saprina.   😦

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May the Lord guide her little furry steps safely back to us, or may the right people see the signs and return her….Amen.

Remember my $4 account?  Here is our bank account the next morning: 

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PTL! Just in time and just enough to cover the $250 in outgoing bills, with a little extra even!
Know why?  Because God is a God of EXTRAS. 

He is lavish in His love.  Even down to details we deem “silly”.

And there is more…..

Here is my cherry on top for the day:

Sweet treats from a precious friend who knows my need for comfort food, as well as my major Ice Cream weakness!  She even picked one of my top 2 favorite brands, and look at all those flavor choices!!!

One scoop of each? Why yes, please!

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And….another cherry on top!

WHAT?!

A Bonus bonus?!

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Another person sent over the Christmas décor I wanted from her garage sale but knew I couldn’t buy!  What a great surprise!

God is good all the time, All the time God is good……

He always provides, and sometimes even throws in a couple cherries on top!

Praise His name!

~T

 

My Little Ladies: 8 & 3 Year Old Photo Sessions

  My little ladies are 8 and 3 now.  I grabbed a shot or two of each girl at Destiny’s party, but I wanted a few more.  And, of course, some of them together too.

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  I am pretty happy with how these turned out, considering it was past bedtime on a school night and they were exhausted & whiney.  A lot of Avery’s turned out blurred. 😦  I’ll have to get some more of her another time…..

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“Looky, Momma! My dress spins!”

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The rickety old junk-filled outbuildings on our property that used to drive me crazy, are looking more and more appealing all the time!  What a fun place to take photos of my sweeties!

~T

Happy Birthday, Sweet Avery!

Today is a special day!

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n762190229_4175882_1385Today is Avery’s Birthday!  And mine too.  She’s the best Birthday present I have ever received! 

She was born 08-01-08 and I was born

08-01-81!

 

Neat, huh?! 

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She turns 3 today, and this Momma turns 3-0. {Oh boy!}

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  My dearest Avery, no one would ever guess you weighed a whopping 10 pounds 3 1/2 oz at birth, (Or that your daddy made the nurses weigh you on 2 different scales because he thought they had to be wrong!), or that you would be our biggest baby ever. 

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Avery 11 hours old                                              Avery 1 day old

You’re such a teeny little thing now!!!! 

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  And boy, do you have spunk! You always have had that onrey twinkle in your eye. I like to tease you that it’s from your Daddy. 

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You look just like his side of the family you know, right down to the baby blue almond shape eyes.

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Your happy grin brightens any room. 

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You look like an angel when you sleep.

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Sometimes when you’re awake too.

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“Look, Momma. I push him. He cry.”

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Your cry can pierce any ear drum, as it has from the get-go.

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Your love of reading started at an early age.

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You are so creative in your play.

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You aspire to be a wife, already praying for your future husband at times. 020021

And you want to be a mommy, too…….

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You’re going to be great!031

 

You’re always eager to be our big helper!

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You melt my heart whenever you reach up and slip your teeny hand in mine. “Can I hold you hand, Momma?”  064-3

  Oh precious girl, how the years have passed us by.  057-2

  How I wish I could stop time and just really hold you and give you the one on one moments you deserve.

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It’s a good thing a Mother’s love doesn’t divide, it multiplies, because you joined our family when Tylan was 17 months old.n762190229_4666440_1214n762190229_4666441_1530

And, 2 weeks after you turned 2, your baby brother, Paxton came along.

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“I’m da baby too, Momma……”

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I may not always get to hold you in my arms as much as you ask me to, and that makes me cry.

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  I may not always stop and listen to your whole story because of the demands of the other children.

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I may not get to rock you as long as you’d like me to each night before bed.

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Sometimes, I can’t play Hide and Seek right when you want to.

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But you know what?

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I love you so much…… 

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My little Peanut, my blessing from the Lord.

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I promise to stop and hold you just a moment longer each night.

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I promise to give you the time and attention you need.

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I promise to never make you feel like I am too busy with the baby to give you what you seek.043

You are SPECIAL!  And you are my favorite Birthday Gift of all!201

Little Avery, you make my heart smile and I love you to the moon and back.

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Happy 3rd Birthday, my sweet little one!

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All my love and kisses too,

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Your Momma      xoxo

Tangled & Sausage Wontons

Playing Rapunzel has always been a popular game at our house….. 004Even more so now that we’ve seen the movie “Tangled”.

For those of you who haven’t been privileged to watch it yet, it’s a darling spin on the Rapunzel story.  We loved it!  In the movie, Rapunzel battles it out with a “bad guy” several times, using a cast iron skillet.

  Guess who has changed the way she plays Rapunzel?

“Ima gonna KNOCK doze bad guys!!!!”

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Watch out Tylan, Avery has a skillet and she knows how to use it!

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I love it!

  All that battling makes me hungry, so on to the Sausage Wontons……………a big thank you to my friend from church, Shanna for sharing the recipe for these tasty morsals with us!

  Oh my goodness, you’d never in a million years guess how much flavor is packed in these little cups of goodness. Comes together easily and makes for a beautiful appetizer platter!

Sausage Wontons

Ingredients

  • 1 package Wonton Wrappers
  • 1 pound ground Sausage, Cooked And Drained
  • 1 cup Chopped Black Olives
  • 3 cups Colby Jack Cheese Shreds
  • ½ cups Chopped Green Pepper
  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing

Preparation Instructions

Spray muffin tins and press wonton wrappers into cups. Lightly spray again. Bake at 350* for 6 minutes. While baking, combine cooked, drained sausage, cheese, pepper, olives and Ranch. Remove cups from oven to cookie sheet and divide mixture between them. Bake 5-8 minutes at 350*. Makes 48 wontons.

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Enjoy!

~T

Tub Time Traditions

  There is just something so darn cute about babies in the bathtub!

066069                          At around the 8 month mark, we take a bath time photo of our children in the sink.  I am not sure how this tradition got started, but it seems once I decided to decorate my red & black bathroom with black & white bath time pictures of baby Destiny, taken by my cousin many years ago, it was deemed necessary to continue,  as other little Fergusons turned 8 months old.

  Forgive me, but I am far too lazy to take these out of their frames and go scan them……

Destiny

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Tylan

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Avery

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Paxton

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Here they are as you see them in the bathroom…..I need to get Paxton’s photos ordered and into the frames already!

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  You have no idea how many years I walked into this bathroom, and dreamed of the day when I’d have 4 babies to photograph and fill this frame.     044

  Funny the things that can make you sing praises to your Heavenly Father, isn’t it?

~T

 

“Ima Big Girl!”

Avery wants to tell you something……

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“Ima Big girl!!!!!!”

HURRAY!

  For a whole week now, she has stayed clean and dry during the day, and she has done her business in the potty.

  Hallelujah and praise the Lord! I thought she was never going to train, stubborn thing! (She will turn 3 this summer you know.)

  053Last week, she got the clean and dry part down, no problem.  The issue was she wasn’t relaxing as she sat, so she wasn’t going……like at all. 

  Like barely even a potty diaper after sleeping, because she wanted it to be clean and dry so bad. 

  After a few days of holding it, she became very uncomfortable, sweaty, and flush cheeked.  We were getting worried!  A friend suggested we let her drink Apple juice all day long to promote going (both ends) and it WORKED!  Don’t you love having other momma’s to run things by and get fresh ideas!  After she finally went, we had a “Potty Parade” and marched around the house cheering, singing and handing out Sixlets candy to celebrate!

   When I trained the other kids, they got 1 little candy for pee, 2 for poo. Avery?  Well, she is a bit more strong-willed, and her poo and pee “cost” more. Maybe inflation at work?  Who knows. She is 2 Sixlets for pee and 3 for poo. 015-2

  I have had 2 in diapers for so long, I almost don’t even know how to act! I’m sure I’ll adjust juuuust fine.  🙂

  Avery’s Nana promised her if she could stay clean and dry for 7 days, she’d take her on a “Big girl ice cream date” in her Jeep. (BTW, riding in Nana’s Jeep or Daddy’s car is Waaaay cool at our house!)  Sunday was day 7, as well as the first morning she woke up dry overnight! Yay, more progress! 🙂 

  After nap was over, Avery came out and announced she was ready to call her Nana for her “Ice Cweam Date”.  She also announced she’d be wearing her “fancy shoes”. 

  In the land of Avery, fancy shoes can vary from her church shoes, to tap shoes, to my shoes, to dress up shoes.  Today’s fancy shoes?  These hot little numbers…..

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Just a note here:  1st time Mommy Tonya, would’ve never let her child leave the house in dress up shoes, not matter how cute. 4th time Mommy Tonya….Sure, why the heck not? It’s sure not going to hurt anything! 🙂

Avery is so excited!

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We needed a picture with Nana’s shoes too……

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Nana and Avery

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Off they go!

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Bye, have fun!!!!

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So if I have learned anything from potty training 3 of my 4 children it is this:

No matter what, it can’t be your idea. 

Not even if you are super stubborn, make cute sticker charts, make them sit in their poo diapers, encourage, punish, or even buy a new toy and put it on top of the fridge to be earned…..

It just won’t work until THEY are ready. Until their BODIES are ready.

Huh, what a thought!

  Without further ado, here are the 3 readiness signs to watch for before embarking on what can be an oh-so frustrating journey!

3 Readiness Signs

1) Child says when dirty or wet. (This happens soon after they start hiding when going.)

2) Can pull pants down and access the potty on their own. (this is important for those times you need them to RUNNNNN because you can’t clean the supper ingredients off your hands fast enough to go help)

3) Wakes up from at least nap time dry.  This is a sign of bladder maturity.  If they cannot hold it during those few hours of sleep, they are not ready to train.

  Trust me, I learned the hard way with Destiny. She showed 2 of the 3 signs at 18 months, so I started training her.  She got scared by some runny (noisy!) poo and next thing I know we are in an all out War to use the potty.  6 exhausting months later, after trying everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING!!!! I packed the whole thing up and said FORGET IT!  A few weeks later, on her own terms, she asked for her big girl undies.  She had 3 accidents EVER.  It was a breeze. (In fact, I still have her original package of Pull ups, that Avery is using now since we only had used a few of them!)

  Tylan was different, I had heard boys are just a bit harder to train, and it seems to take them longer to be ready.  My pediatrician told me the new potty training average is 3-4 years old for boys. (Rather than age 2-3 years like in the past.)  Ugh. Do you know how BIG a 3 year olds poo is?  Do you know that I had that kid in the BIGGEST diapers money could buy, the Overnight version, PLUS rubber pants and he’d STILL wet the bed every night.  His bladder did not “mature” until after he turned 3.  Once that happened, he started to wake up dry and proceeded to train in a week and a half.  I made him wear Pull Ups at night for a long time after for my own peace of mind, but he kept them dry.

  If I’ve learned anything, it’s not to promote “False Starts”. It’s better to never start at all, then to stop and start, stop and start and confuse them.  One day we poo in diapers, the next mom announces no more diapers, and I am supposed to sit down and go in this big hole? Then when it doesn’t work, we are back to diapers?  How confusing!  (Poor Destiny! I totally did that to her, several times!)

  Here are some methods or tips we’ve picked up on the way, but as is true with everything else…..what works for one kid, does not work for another.

~Move potty chair out to the living room where it is easily accessed. (Works great!  Just not with a sibling who is a crawler, Ew! I don’t even need to go there. You know what I am referring to.)

~Train in the summer. Less layers to deal with.  Girls can be in sundresses for easy access.

~Let the child go naked so they can start to recognize the “I have to Go” sensation. Be ready to sanitize well and clean your carpets when you are through! 

~Another option is big kid undies with a pair of rubber pants over it. The idea is for them to experience the wetness. Pull Ups still pull too much of it away from their legs.  We save those for outings and sleep times and talk a LOT about keeping the “Big Girl Pull Ups” clean and dry, just like underwear!

~Do not go back to diapers. A lot of children will wait to pee and poo once they are on. It’s safe and familiar and doesn’t get them out of their comfort zone to be ready to learn something new.

~Start boys by sitting to use the restroom.  I won’t tell you the story about the time Tylan stood to pee, didn’t recognize the sensation and poo’d too….on the way out the door to church no less!!!!  Oh wait, I guess I just told you the story.

~Remind boys to tuck their pee pee between the legs while seated and doing their business. This will save you lots of cleaning in the long run…you never know WHEN that thing will go off!

~As they get big enough to stand, help boys aim better by floating Cheerios down in the water to aim for.  We used to just tell Ty to aim for the hole down there and try to make his pee bubble in the water.

~When an accident occurs, have the child “practice” going to the bathroom from that location 10 times.  This worked well with Tylan.  If he had an accident next to the train table, then he had to run to his bathroom and back, 10 times.  (we let him keep his pants on and just sit on the toilet lid for this practice)  This helps them realize that no matter where they are, there is an easy route to the bathroom.

~REWARD REWARD REWARD!  Destiny had a sticker chart. I made a curved path with squares. She got a sticker each time she went, 1 for pee, 2 for poo and 1 for staying dry at nap and 2 for staying dry at night. At the end of the winding path was a reward. She picked out a doll house she wanted reallyreally bad.  At the end of 2 accident free weeks, she got it!

Destiny4

  Hope this can be helpful to one of you new Momma’s out there!  Learn from my mistakes and save yourself a whole lot of banging your head on the wall in frustration with false starts and lofty plans! 

~T

At our house, there’s always a “Potty Party” goin’ on!

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