Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potty Training

Well. It's official. Rory is 100% potty trained. She is 3 years, 2 months old and she rocked it.  
We started "potty training" (if you could call it that) around Valentine's Day. We bought a potty, started putting her on it, getting her excited about it...but she wasn't having it. She just wasn't interested. She liked the potty but wasn't ready. Fine, okay. Whatever.
 Then one day she did it. SUCCESS.

That was that. By Easter, she was entirely day trained. No pull ups or diapers at all during the day. Nighttime not so much. Honestly, I wasn't sure when night training would be a success.

Then last week, my mom told Rory girls who wear diapers to sleep can't go to preschool.

And since then? NOT ONE ACCIDENT. I moved her little potty in to her room. She wakes up and uses it during the night and puts herself back to sleep. She is completely done with diapers. She even got out of the pool the other day to go the bathroom.

Sorry, non-moms. I'm sure you could care less but I'm thrilled. My life just got 50% easier. Now it's time to start training little man. Considering Trace takes his diapers off every 10 minutes or so, I'd say he's ready.

Pray for me. I'm going to need it. ;)

Here's my top 10 Potty Training Tips

1. Let your child try but if they aren't interested or don't seem ready, back off. Frustration is no good for anyone!

2. Give small rewards with each success. We did an M&M for each #1. Now we backed off and she only gets a treat for umm...how to put it nicely...a BIG success. ;)

3. Don't be afraid to hold off on night time training. Going 12 hours without peeing is a lot!

4. Get a toddler potty. Totally worth it. Rory loves having her own potty.

5. I carried a potty seat in my car with us everywhere we went for a few months. Big toilets can be scary.

6. In public restrooms, hold your hand over the automatic flusher. They are loud and can scare little ones.

7. Always carry extra clothes with you. A full set. Even shoes. Trust me.

8. I'm not a huge fan of Pull ups, but Rory did wear them on longer car trips at the beginning. They were life savers a couple times...like on the plane to Florida. Yikes. I just wasn't ready for THAT bullet yet. ;)

9. Have fun! Celebrate each "victory!" We made a huge deal about it and still do. If she wakes up dry, we cheer and clap. Rory has called relatives to tell them her "very exciting news," gotten to wear "makeup" (glitter) for a day when she woke up dry the first time...any little thing I can think of that would keep her wanting to stay dry, we did. Special undies were a big deal for Rory too.

10. Stay relaxed. It will happen. The more you stress, the harder it will be!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fall...hurry up!

How was your weekend? Ours was kinda...blah. It was cloudy all weekend, but still warm and humid. It rained a lot, which was much needed and appreciated...even though I'd been hoping for a pool and lake weekend. ;)

This weather is making me think of fall. Oh how I can't wait! So much good stuff happens in fall.
For example...(all images via Pinterest and link to pin when clicked)

Source: google.com via Kate on Pinterest


Cool enough weather to drink hot coffee. I'm already looking forward to white chocolate mochas.

Boots, leggings, long sweateres and scarves...to work and at home. I love.

This kind of scenery. Pennsylvania is gorgeous in fall!

Rory goes to pre-school!

Decorating for fall. I fully intend to a pretty fall porch this year. Someone hold me to it!

Good smelling Fall Candles...Mocha, Pumpkin, Autumn Wreath...mmmm! They all smell so homey.

Are you looking forward to fall like I am? What do you like best about our next season?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Social!

Linking up again with my sweet peas, Ashley and Neely, for Sunday Social!

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This week's topic: Jobs
1. What is your dream job?
Other than what I do right now (run a dance studio) I'd want to be a choreographer at Disney World. I think I could do a heck of a job choreographing shows and parades. I'd be in heaven.
2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
Anything I wanted. Shop. Spa. Take cooking classes. Spend time spoiling my family. Oh that'd be so nice!

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Rockette.
But I have boobs. And I'm only 5'5. Sooo....yeah....
(The real Rockettes, taken from the Radio City Website)

Me in high school! Can you find me?? 4th from the left. ;)
4. What piece career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

To own a dance studio, you need tough skin. You need to be able to let things roll off your back. You need to have nerves of steel. But you always have to have a desire to be creative every day and work harder than you ever had before. Rely on yourself and no one else.

5. Biggest Pet Peeves either in life or in blogging or at work
Work: People not paying their tuition. I understand it's easy to forget but come on. I have bills too.
Life: People who chew loudly. I seriously can't handle it. It causes my anxiety to go in to hyper drive.
Blogging: People picking fights on Twitter. Grow up.

6. Biggest Fears
Work: Not having enough students to continue doing what I love. It is my biggest fear and honestly, I worry and pray about it every day.

Life: Losing my loved ones. And horses. Shudder.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Okay...a year later!

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Today I'm linking up with two of my favorite bloggers, Neely and Amber, for the one year anniversary of It's Okay Thursday. I really like this link up and it's one of the two I try to do often. The other, coincidentally is also hosted by Neely and Ashley, is Sunday Social. Give them both a shot! They are really fun ways to meet new bloggers! :)

This week, I'm saying It's Okay...

to sit down and watch Good Luck Charlie with your husband when Rory is not even in the room...I can't help it. It makes me laugh! :)

to have very strong opinions on children's television shows. Some of them are just plain awful. Pocoyo, I'm talking to you.

to be totally ready for fall.

to be beyond excited to be back to work soon!

to have to duct tape your son's diapers on at night.

to use spike tape (tape to mark a stage) when you can't find said duct tape. You know your mom is a dance teacher when...

to already be thinking about Halloween costumes for the kiddos.

to block people from your news/twitt feeds when they talk about Penn State and don't even have the FACTS right, let alone base opinions off other people's opinions. Live in Central PA. Read our newspapers, watch our news...we have way more facts than you do.

to not be afraid to be a Penn Stater for life. WE ARE more than football

to vow to never watch ESPN again.

to be plain exhausted day in and day out. What is wrong with me?! Yawn.

to need a vacation. Stat.

to be super excited for your sister's wedding...next year!!

What's okay with you this week?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What's Cooking?

(I will not be blogging about Penn State. So...sorry.)

I've been trying to cook a lot more lately. On Sunday, I made two recipes that I thought were aaaamazing.

First up, Skinny Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas

Source: skinnymom.com via Kate on Pinterest

(via Pinterest, originally by Skinny Mom)

This dish was super delish. I left out the cilantro and onions, because I didn't have cilantro and Dave prefers no onions in our food. It was *soooo gooooood.* It's great because you can amp up the spice as you prefer. I used mild Rotel and a whole jar of chiles. It was perfect spiciness for even the kids. If I was making it for just me, I would have used spicier stuff. ;) 

Start to finish, it took about an hour. 30 minutes or so of cooking chicken, making sauce and assembling the whole she-bang. Then I baked it for 30 minutes because I like the cheese crunchy.

As a side dish, since we're trying to eat healthier up in here and chips and queso aren't exactly waistline friendly...I made baked zucchini fries.

This recipe from pinterest was my inspiration. But. I had no panko bread crumbs, my italian seasoning is missing in action and I was feeling adventurous. So here's how I did it.

Bread crumbs
Parmesean Cheese
Ranch seasoning
2 eggs

1. Wash your zucchini. Chop it into sticks. Or circles. Or whatever shape you are feeling. It doesn't matter! Put it in a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top. Let it sit in sink and "de-moisturize." The recipe called for an hour plus. I did about 45 minutes...or as long as it took for me to make the enchiladas and put Trace in bed. :)

2. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, parmesean cheese and ranch seasoning. I used 2 medium zucchini, 2.5-3 cups on bread crumbs, 1.5 cups of parmesean cheese and half a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning.

3. Rinse zuchinni to get the salt off. Pat dry with a paper towel.

4. In a bowl, scramble two eggs together. You're going to bread the zuchinni now. Prepare yourself. I hate this step.

5. Dip zuchinni in eggs first then roll them in bread crumbs. Lay on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or wax paper, whatever you have on hand. Continue with all zucchini. Try to remember wet hand-dry hand...whatever. It never works anyways! ;)

6. Bake zucchini in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them. When it seems the bread crumbs are crunchy, they are done!

We dipped ours in fat-free Hidden Valley Ranch. SO GOOOOOOOD!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rory and Trace Update

My original plan was to do this once a month. I did in in September and then forgot. HA. Okay, trying again. :)


Age: 3 yrs, 2 months
Height: About 40 inches
Weight: 36 pounds
Eyes: Grey-brown. They are beautiful.
Hair: Brown and short. She hates bows, headbands, etc so we keep it a cute little bob. Easy!
Shoe size: 7 or 8
Pants: 3t
Shirts: 3t or 4t. She has long arms.

TV Show: Peppa Pig and Doc McStuffins
Song: The Angel Song (They play it on Kids' Place Live on Sirius)
Movie: The Princess and the Frog. Forever and always, I think. :)
Food: Cheese sticks, chicken nuggets, grapes.
Color: Pink
Thing to Do: Play in her room, swim, go to the park 
Misc: Rory went to Bible School in the afternoons for a week earlier in the summer. She LOVED it and asks to go back every day. So preicous. She's really into playng Mommy and takes her babies very seriously. She is working on her "school work" (letters and numbers workbooks) and spends time every day doing her educational games on the iPad. She has all her colors and shapes down pat, sings the alphabet and counts to 25. We're working on letter recognition.


Age: 21 months
Height: 35 inches or so
Weight: 26 pounds. Tall and skinny!
Eyes: Greenish, greyish.
Hair: Super blonde. He has had several hair cuts now. Such a big guy!
Shoe size: 6
Pants: 18 mos
Shirts: 18 mos

TV Show: Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Song: Life's a Happy Song from the Muppets
Movie: THE MUPPETS. Every day.
Food: Ketchup (even just on a spoon...gross) Toast and Yogurt
Color: Yellow
Thing to Do: Bother his sister, make a giant mess, take off his diaper. Typical boy things. :)
Misc: Trace is a total dickens right now. He hates wearing diapers but won't pee on the toilet. He takes his diaper off as soon as we turn around. He has to have it duct taped before bed. He makes the funniest faces and talks in a growly voice when he wants to make someone laugh. He is caring and so sweet....except to Rosie. :)

My kids are at a really great stage right now. Their behavior gets better and better. Rory is fully potty trained. Trace is showing interest. Our diaper days are dwindling (YAY!). They are learning to play together. Summer has been great for them. Lots of outside time, swimming time, water table time, bike riding and ice cream truck trips on Thursdays. I hit the jack pot with my kids, that's for sure.:)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If you really knew me...

Yeah, everyone's doing it. For example...Neely, Meghan and Amber! :) I'm jumping on the bandwagon and you should to!

If you really knew me...

you'd know I've been married for five years yet still sign my maiden name if I'm not thinking about what I'm doing. It's like my hand has a mind of it's own!

you'd know I prefer hot Starbucks to cold, but iced McD's coffee to hot.

you'd know I work constantly. My phone is always dinging with emails and texts for work.

you'd know I wanted to be a Rockette for my entire life. But then I got boobs. And stopped growing at 5'5.

you'd know I wouldn't leave my current job for anything except to be a choreographer at Disney World. Yep.

you'd know I'm sensitive, emotional and incredibly opinionated but I'm also the ultimate smoother-over-er. I need to fix every situation and apologize even if it's not my fault.

you'd know I think Dance Moms does bad thing for the dance world but love it like a fat kid loves cake.

you'd know I watch Gilmore Girls every day. EVERY DAY.

you'd know I almost exclusively drink Diet Coke and ice water with lots of lemons.

you'd know I love to cook and bake and try new recipes all the time.

you'd know my kids exhaust me! :)

you'd know I can't wait for my kids to be in school. I want to be a fun school mom! I can't wait for soccer games, football games and holiday parties. :)

you'd know I'm not an outdoorsy person...except boating. I love boating! I really dislike camping. I don't like the beach in the summer. Way too hot! Give me a pool or a theme park anyday.

you'd know I'm a Disney addict and not ashamed. :)

What should we know about you?!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shutterfly Long Live Summer Photo Contest!

Do you all use Shutterfly?! We do! We've gotten lots of prints and gifts through their great photo processing site over the years. Right now, they are running a really fun photo contest on Facebook.

Here are the details...

Long Live Summer – Facebook Photo Contest details - 7/9 – 8/12 Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes. http://bit.ly/sweepS

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever. All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week. Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.


• Week 1(7/9): Americana

• Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors

• Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun

• Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities

• Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations


•; Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!

•; Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)

•; Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.

•; Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Want to enter?!? CLICK HERE! I mean...it takes 2 seconds to upload a picture and the chance to win a trip to the Bahamas?! Who wouldn't want to enter? I know I'm going to!!

This week's theme is the Great Outdoors. I kinda hate camping so I'll probably sit this one out...next week's theme is water fun. I'll have to get some pics of the kids in the pool tonight!

Check out Shutterfly's Facebook page for more info. How fun!

I was provided a free 8x8 photo book for blogging about this contest. The opinions expressed are all my own.  I mean come on, it's not hard to blog about a potential trip to the Bahamas! Who wouldn't get excited about that?! ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let's get honest, Moms.

You know what drives me nuts?
Pinterest moms.

I can't take it anymore.

You know exactly the type of moms I mean. The one who's kids are always dressed perfectly, never have a dirty face or sticky hands and manage to keep both shoes on for an entire grocery store trip. These moms have Martha Stewart houses, dinner on the table at 5:30 every night and still manage a 5 mile run each day. The teacher gifts they deliver? Handmade and adorable. The snacks for pre school? Homemade and incorporate at least 4 of the food groups. (And by that I mean the real food groups, not the ones in this house...fruit, cheese, carrots, pizza and sprinkles.)

I'm seriously going to lose it if I see one more peppy pin on Pinterest or Facebook status.

Today, my 3 year old daughter alphabitized her picture books and then taught herself Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Latin. My 2  year old son shot 10 consecutive three point-ers in the driveway and tied his own Nikes. During their naps, I managed to make fifteen apple pies for the church bake sale, crafted three wreathes and scrapbooked all the pictures from our dear puppy's first year of life. Tee hee! How did we get all this done and still have time for a trip to the local all organic, farm fresh, gluten free, sugar free, all natural ice cream stand? Giggle giggle smile smile.

Oh yeah?

Well. My 3 year old daughter had a giant meltdown at the dance studio today and spit all over the mirrors. Then she came home, ate a 1/4 pound of turkey and some pasta salad, which she insisted be heated up, drank what seemed liked a gallon of juice and water and promptly passed out for a nap. At the same time, my almost 2 year old son succeeded in taking off his diaper FOUR separate times within one episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, ate the tip off a black marker and now looks like a hobo with no teeth and spilled Diet Coke all over the kitchen floor. During their naps, I watched Dances Moms and trolled Facebook.

I'm NORMAL. NORMAL. We do colors, we do shapes. We do letters. We dig in the dirt, we play games, we play pretend. My kids have tons of experiental learning moments. They are clean for at least 20 minutes after each bath. They are fed, as best as I can get them to eat. They try new things. They color pictures, they make projects and they are learning to swim. They laugh a lot. They know to say prayers before bed and before meals. They are, in general, pretty well behaved. They know about consequences to their actions...(actually, they kinda taught each other that. Like this morning, when Rory stole the iPad from Trace and he tried to gnaw her leg off...action and consequence.)

Here's what I don't understand.

What am I doing wrong that my life doesn't match the Pinterest moms I see all over the place? How is my schedule that different? I run a business from my home and I work every evening but still. I should be able to keep up. I should be able to have a nice, well kept house and better behaved children.

Or at least that's what everyone tells me...

Well I'm calling bullsh*t on that.

I wake up every morning and I purpose to be the best mom I can be. I am aware that there will be moments through out the day that I am not a stellar mom. I will fail each day, sometimes big and sometimes small. I will overreact, unfortunately, at times. I am human. I will choose to play cars with Trace over dusting the furniture. I will let Rory be Doc McStuffins to me for a 9th time before I will ever unload the dishwasher. That's the kind of mom I am.

But I am also the kind of mom who sacrifices things I want to give my kids experiences. I am the type of mom who lays squished in between a three year old daughter and 15 stuffed animals in a tiny twin bed until the 3 year old's fever breaks so she'll feel safe. I read an extra book before nap. I'm human.

I am not and I will never be the mom who has a perfect house. I am not a Pinterest mom. I am a real mom. And I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Social!

I've missed a couple weeks of blogging but I'm back! Be prepared for lots of Disney retrospectives this week. ;) On to today's business...Sunday Social!


This week's questions...

Favorite TV show of the past...
Do you know me at all? Clearly it's Gilmore Girls! My daughter is named Rory, for pete's sake. ;)

(Courtesy of Pop Tower)

Favorite TV show currently...
I love Bunheads! Coincidentally written by the same person who wrote Gilmore Girls as well as starring Kelly Bishop , aka Emily Gilmore. It's fantastic!
(Taken from Entertainment Weekly)

I'm also a huge fan of Dance Moms (I know.), So You Think You Can Dance? and Bethenny Ever After and THE OFFICE.
Which Reality Show would you NEVER do?
Any of the dating ones, living in a house with randoms or ones where I had to eat gross things and touch bugs. Sick.
Which Reality Show would you LOVE to do?
So You Think You Can Dance! I want to learn from those choreographers. Wow.
TV personality/character that you feel is most like you?
Lucy Camden from 7th Heaven. We are pretty much twins. She's definitely my doppleganger and our personalities are identical!

TV character you'd want to date?
Jim from The Office.