Getting Ready for “3 Day Potty Training”

You can read my previous posts regarding potty training HERE and HERE

We are going to try our own little version of the ever popular “3 Day Potty Training” program. It fits with my values, and Mark is very much ready for a big push in potty training so that we can get to the point or being diaper free. You can read the basics of the program over HERE.

There are lots of variations on this program, but we are keeping it pretty simple. Mark will be home and naked from the waist down wed-fri. Wednesday we aren’t going anywhere and at least one of us will be watching him closely all day. We will be taking regular trips to the bathroom and encouraging him to use his little potty, as well and bringing him there immediately after any “misses”. Every time he uses the potty we give a little cheer say “Yay! Pee pee in the potty!” or something to that extent, then help him to flush it down the toilet (that is usually his favorite part).

Anytime he pees anywhere other than the potty we say “Look, your going pee pee!” Then rush him to the bathroom to attempt to finish on the potty. If he gets ANYTHING in potty at all its a win and we do our little cheer and flush routine. If he doesn’t do anything in the potty we get a rag and go clean up the mess, very calmly. Mark is already getting this concept and tried to clean up a mess 2 days ago by himself. He is such a sweetie.

Thursday we will be staying home, except for one short trip out in pants or shorts, but no diaper or underwear. We will probably take a walk in the neighborhood.

Friday we will take a short trip out in the morning a short trip in the afternoon.

A big part of this program is NO MORE DIAPERS. If its going to work you need to be prepared for a few accidents along the way. Once they get a diaper back they realize they can use it to pee in and it backtracks the whole program. Some people also reccomend no underwear or anything tight for several months after you start as well, only lose pants. We will see how things go and play that by year. I will probably end up using our great Hanna Anderson training pants when going out just so we dont have a REALLY messy incident. Diaper Free Before 3 has no issues with training pants and even recommends them (given they are cotton).

Hanna Anderson training pants. The are padded briefs that can soak up a decent amount of urine in the case of an accident.

Besides training pants there are a few things we have bought to help out in this process. We own 2 Baby Bjorn potties with the back support. This type of potty is highly recommended in the book ‘Diaper Free Before Three’. We own one other small potty for the car, that will probably come in the house for our 3 day training program.

A great potty for toddlers.

We also bought a waterproof pad for the carseat as I expect that to be the place we have the most accidents. We got the sunsine kids one. It doesn’t fit perfect in our True Fit Car seat, but it will do the job for a few weeks (hopefully that’s all we need it)!

Dry Seat Pad, designed for a Raidian, but will work in any carseat or stroller.

I’m going to do a big shopping trip monday or tuesday so I have no need to go to the grocery store over the three days, and thats about it! We are still doing our normal at home diaper free time leading up to this. Instead of traditional 3 day potty training going from almost nothing to everything, I’m looking at this as a big final push towards full potty training. We are almost there, and I really hope to be 100% diaper free (during the day) by the end of the summer. I have no idea how to approach nights, so we will cross that bridge when we get there!


Healthy Eating: The Basics

I am by no means any sort of expert on eating well. In fact I can’t even manage to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight on a consistant basis! But I’ve made a lot of progress the last 3 years or so, so here I am writing about it! 

Today at Meijer I met a bagger I actually liked.

That alone is a miracle.

Anyway, he commented on my groceries saying, “I notice all the young people eat pretty healthy while the older people eat really bad”

First of all, I’ve always wondered if baggers judge what people are buying or more specifically if they judge me for buying all organic but never bothering to use reusable bags and thinking that I’m a hypocrite. Apparently the do! But, back to the point….

I told him that having a kid really makes you re-think what you eat. And he told me how in general more and more of his college friends are paying better attention to what they eat and noticing that they feel better when they eat well. He also told me that he cooks all his own food at his studio apartment and that hes a vegetarian because its cheeper to eat healthy if you don’t eat meat.

Some people like this kid are really catching on. What we eat matters! It matters A LOT! Some people want to change but still need a little help, others just need a reminder of how to keep up. Here are my very basics on eating healthy:

1. Eat Organic

Search the “Dirty Dozen” to see where you should eat organic first! Its an expensive switch that we’ve done over time. We started with dairy and meat, then added apples, then added veggies, then other fruits. Now we barely eat any dairy, so that is a non-issue. Organic meat is amazingly different that non-organic. Free range meat is even better.

2. Eat Local

Know your farmer. Seriously, if you know where you’re food comes from you know what’s in it. Factory food is is awful, full of chemicals, anti-biotics, hormones, and more. We buy most of our food at our local farmer’s market and literally know some of the farmers! I get my eggs from various family members that raise their own chickens, some of the chickens I’ve met! There are more benefits to eating local that I can list but in short; you know what’s in your food, you are eating what is in season, and you aren’t wasting money or energy on gas to trasport food across the country.

3. Pay attention to WHAT you eat

I read recently “People on any diet are healthier than those that aren’t on any” and it went on to say that if you are paying attention to what you eat and being strict about it, whether its low carb, paleo, vegetarian, doesn’t matter. People that pay attention to what they eat are healthier. It also mentioned to be careful what friends you hang out with when you eat. If you hang out with friends with poor eating habits you are much more likely to eat poorly. My only direct advice on specifically what to eat or not eat would be to avoid sugar as much as possible and to limit carbs. More and more studies are showing how blood sugar spikes are horrible for all aspects of health and limiting carbs and eating lots of protein is the best defense against this.

4. Eat at HOME

When you meal plan and eat at home you can know what exactly what you are eating. There are no lingering questions like, “Did they make this with milk?”, “Did they wash this salad?”, or “Is there corn syrup in  this?” You know what you make. Also you end up eating less, and most often, end up paying less. Around here it is hard to come by restaurants that use organic ingredients anyway so by eating out I’m already lowering my standards. I’ve found that lack of planning is what kills me in this department! Meal planning is your friend! Even if its only 1 or 2 days out, PLAN!

For more info on eating healthy I would highly recommend watching “Food Inc.” and “Forks over Knives”. I also learned a lot from the book “Master Your Metabolism” which has a lot of info about how chemicals change how our body functions.

Mutt Monday: Josie!

I’m starting a series of blogs about each of my dogs. Each monday I’ll do a little post on one of my pups for “Mutt Mondays!” I’m very excited to share more about my family with you. I’m going to start with our first dog, Josie.


Josie was supposed to be a surprise. We were newly married with 2 cats and Ace wanted a puppy, BAD. He said he’d never lived in a house without a dog. I decided to secretly look around. He insisted he would have a dog named “Josiah” I hated that name, at least for a dog. After some prying I discovered that the name “Josie” would be acceptable for a female, and we both wanted a corgi. Then, fate happened. I popped in “corgi” and “young” to pet finder and this adorable chihuahua/corgi named “Josie” popped up! It was too good to be true, but I went and visited here and she chose me right away.

I got her for Ace on Valentines day. We had no idea that really she had picked me.

Josie and I

The day after we got her.

She was so happy. After being brought to a shelter for “Behavior Issues” and then transferred to a no kill shelter she finally ended up with us and she was over the moon. So were we. I had no idea I wanted a dog so bad, but I LOVED her. After a little trained she turned out to be one of the most well-balenced dogs I’ve ever met. Her and I are very close and even though she was meant for Ace she is my little girl!

Two days after she came home.

Josie is confident, loyal, loving, sweet, and gentle. She became the cornerstone for our ever growing dog pack and she is still my little shadow, even sitting with me as I write this. The joy she’s brought into our lives has been more than I ever could have imagined and she helped me realize that I totally am a “Dog person.” Since getting Josie we’ve saved 5 more dogs. I’ve worked at a doggie day care and volunteered at shelters. We’ve done obedience classes and agility classes. And Josie is AWESOME at agility.

Josie at agility class.

Josie hanging out at agility class.

The scariest part of Josie’s life was the day we almost lost her. It was April 2009 and I was gearing up to go to an income tax protest and even had a special bandana picked out for Josie! I went to get her to leave and she wouldn’t come out of her crate. She threw up and the collapsed. She couldn’t stand. I freaked out. I threw her in the back of my car and rushed to the vet calling them on the way. I was worried she was going to die in the car. They rushed her back into the OR as soon as I got there and only told me she was in shock. Eventually I had to leave to go to work. At work I got a call telling me she was bleeding internally and they didn’t know why, but they had done everything they could and I needed to come get her and take her to a bigger animal hospital an hour away. The day only got harder from there. At the animal hospital they took her to the doggy ICU then told us they would need a very large sum of money for her to stay. Thank God I had enough in my bank account to cover it! She was my baby and she was the best dog ever I would do anything for her! She had to stay there 2 nights before she was stable. Our vets had removed over a pound of cat litter (Tidy Cats) from her stomach and the hospital considered removing her gall bladder but was eventually able to stop the bleeding without doing that, so we actually got much of our money back. The only thing any of the vets could say was that either the cat litter poisoned her, or she also got into something poisonous. I agree with House M.D. in that I don’t like coincidences and I’m going to assume it was the cat litter. Josie made such a great recovery that most people don’t even believe this story when I tell them, and we have since switched to all natural cat litter and I highly suggest everyone else does the same!

Josie, Waldo (RIP), and Cedric (my mom's dog).

Josie, Waldo (RIP), and Cedric (my mom’s dog).


Since Mark was born, Josie has become second in our life but she’s put up with it well. She (mostly) respects Mark as above her in the pack and puts up well with him beating on her (Yes, I do stop it as quick as possible). The first 6 months Mark was alive (and the month before) she was kicked out of our bed because we planned on co-sleeping. Once mark was bigger though we allowed her back in and now she happily shares space with him.

Mark and Josie sleeping on me.

Mark and Josie sleeping by my legs.

Mark and Josie sleeping in my armpit.

Josie is the best dog anyone could ever ask for. I never thought I could love a little dog this much but I do. Oh! And after having her a little while we realized that if she has any corgi in her its very minimal. We believe she has Chihuahua, jack russel, and pug in her. Heres a few more cute pictures from the last 4 wonderful years.

Showing off her fantastic athletic abilities running in the yard.

Josie my shadow sitting with me at the kitchen counter.

Josie jumping for beer!

“Aren’t you proud of me!?”

Potty “Training”, Round Two!

Today is our “restart” to potty training. We did E.C. for a long time, but when we had to take a very quick unplanned trip to Portland (thinking we were going to buy a house) our E.C. kind of ended. We were forced to use disposable diapers for travel and had little time for toddler potty stops. We did do very very limited diaper free time and used some cloth diapers at the hotel. After that it was only 3 weeks till we were going to vegas for a week knowing EC would be hard on that trip and that Mark was very much resisting going potty we just decided to take a break. He was diapered (in cloth) all the time.

On our trip to vegas our luggage got lost and our half a dozen cloth diapers I packed got lost too, so we were stuck in disposables the whole trip, between that and Mark getting a nasty virus he didn’t use the potty at all.

Now we are back and settled and I’m all over the potty and so is Mark! He gladly tells me when he poops (not every time) and he isn’t resisting our trips to the potty! Every time we take him he tries to go potty and occasionally he is telling us when he needs to go. Last night I got home and asked him “Do you need to go potty?” and he responded with “Poo poo!” I took him and he went! Totally awesome. My plan is for the next week to stay home a lot and keep him pants free inside and use non-waterproof trainers (from hanna anderson) when he’s outside. Today he is 20 months old and we are starting fresh and hoping to be done with diapers by the time he is 2!

A Closer Look: Our playroom Spring 2012

I recently did a major overhaul on our playroom. Mark seemed to get lost in there and only play with the toys he could see, so I went with a “Less is More” attitude. I also went with a Montessori feel. Its not a 100% Montessori room, but it has that kind of feel with child sized furniture, open shelving and having many toys with a purpose.

Here is a look at what is on our shelves this spring.

First is one of the few “Homemade” activities. This is a sorting activity that helps develop fine motor skills and develop the grip they need for writing. This is both a pre-writing activity and a math activity. Mark mostly has taken the pom-poms and transfered them one by one to other places in the room then back to the bowl. Only once did he want to put them in the ice tray.

Sorting Activity

This is the inside of our food basket. Before we had a huge bin of food out and Mark would just dump the food out and walk away. I decided to par the food down to a smaller amount, both Mark and his cousin Vincent have enjoyed playing with this smaller amount of food. In the basket are 2 plates, 2 forks, a cutting board and knife, 1 “cutting apple”, and several meat items.

Food Basket

On these two shelves we have our “Big Cars” even though one is lion on wheels! We have a lot of bigger wheeled items so I rotate them making sure I always have at least 2 out so the boys don’t fight as much!


This is one of our old bins I didn’t change at all, a bunch of small animals.

Small Animals

Here is our bin full of Bugs, this is a favorite right now!


I rotate one big music toy at a time in the playroom, right now this great garage sale find is out.


Our bin full of small-medium sized cars. This one is also a favorite. We have another bin of cars that is even more full than this, one of the two is always out.



This is a great one! A peg pounder, working that hand eye coordination!

Peg Pounder

This one is MY old build-a-bear I made long before Mark was born! I believe I made it before I was even married! But now he’s interested in changing clothes so I pulled it out and put the dog and all the accessories in one bin. He needs help getting the clothes on and off but he loves zooming the dog around on the skateboard.

Build-a-Bear … er… dog.


This is our newest toy a wooden shape sorter with an easily removable lid that I found at a resale store. This was a great find!

Shape Sorter


Not shown above is our bin of wooden blocks that always stays out, our book, and our shelves of art supplies. Currently out are crayons, paper, a coloring book, and stickers! Below is a picture of the whole shelf. On the top of the shelves left to right are: extra books, a plastic ring stacker, a puzzel, a wooden stacker/sorter, Mark’s “treasure box”, binoculars (in the red case), speakers, and a lamp.


Overview of our shelves.

Going to Class

Today we tried out a free trial toddler tumbling class. I had mixed feelings. I knew this would either be great or it would be disaster.

As we walked in Mark wanted to run off and play like he does for open gym. I had to stop him. This was not a good start to our class. The teacher said Hi to Mark and then invited the group of 4 toddlers aged 1-2.5 to follow her and find a spot on the floor (there were literal spots on the floor). The other 3 followed and quickly picked out a color. Mark looked right at her and said “No!” and ran to the foam pit! Once again I had mixed feelings. Part of me was so proud. He was interested in something else and wasn’t going to let some random lady he never met tell him what to do. But I was also embarrassed to be “That mom” with “That kid.”

I pointed out the circles on the floor to him and he was a little more interested. First they sang a song and he just stood off a little ways watching. Then they did a few minutes of stretching, which luckily  was (thanks to Tae Kwon Do) something I could do. So I sat him in my lap while I did the stretches. Eventually he did grab his toes, and he liked doing the butterflies. But toddlers don’t naturally put their legs straight out in front of them and Mark wasn’t going to have any part of that.

Next they headed to the bars, where she explained 4 different stations and basically in a kind way told me to make my kid do it. “Mom, help Mark grab the bars.” My kid was saying “No” and I wasn’t going to just ignore that. I did my best using the little animals she had out to make the bars interesting. It worked and he grabbed on a few times, but mostly just wanted to run away. I ended up just holding him most of the time.

Next was the tumble track. What a surprise,  he didn’t want to do it! He wanted to jump on the trampoline and guess what, he was ACTUALLY jumping! He’s never done that! And the teacher says “Mom, help Mark come over here and learn” I just wanted to look at her and shout “Damnit he is learning!!!” But I didn’t. I just picked him up and held him so he wouldn’t encourage the rest of the class to think for themselves. At this point I whispered in his ear “I’m so sorry buddy. Just try and hold still a little longer, I won’t make you ever come back.”

Eventually he did want to do the tumble track, but he just wanted to run down it and there were all these structured things she wanted them to do and she grabbed him and forced him to put his feet in a hoop on the ground while she said “inside” and then told me “He’s learning inside and outside” and I just nodded while I thought, “No he isn’t, he’s learning not to trust you.”

After that she FINALLY let them go in the foam pit! Mark was so happy! Then she announced “One minute to explore the squishy!”  Seriously, you finally let him do what he wants and you are going to drag him out after 1 minute?? Well after that she blew bubbles so it was pretty easy to get him out. At least the bubbles were timed well. But then she quickly put them away and all the kids seemed confused (one even found the bubbles and took them and was ridiculed for it, I thought it was pretty smart). Once again as soon as they all liked and got involved in something she stopped it.

Next was the little obstacle course that the other kids seemed to really like, but Mark was only mildly interested in. He did like doing the balance beam and was surprising good at it! After that came the best quote of the class, “Now time for 5 minutes of creative free play learning!” I could only chuckle at that statement. Basically she should have said, “I’m going to stop hindering you from learning now!”

Mark ran right to the trampoline he wanted to go on the whole time and jumped the whole 5 minutes away! Then the weirdest part happened. She took out a box and shook it and all the little kids (except Mark) came running. It was like trained dogs, I wanted to hurl. I let him keep jumping a little longer so I could see what was in the box before I took him over. I was worried it would be candy or fruit snacks or something. It was hand stamps and she was stamping the kids feet and hands, so I took Mark over where he reluctantly got a cow stamped on his hand then realized what it was and wanted his other hand done! The teacher asked for a high five and he high fived the stamp box!

I wished so bad I could let him play a few minutes more but we had to pack up and leave. I stopped by the front desk to tell them the class was way too structured and we would not be joining and got out of there.

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Today At The Convention….

I stand on principle, that principle being freedom. That is why I take the time and money to come to events like the Libertarian National Convention. This is my 3rd national convention, my 2nd as an adult. I’ve been to more sate conventions that I can remember. I am a libertarian and I support those people that support the libertarian platform most closely. When it came to the race for President that was without a doubt R. Lee Wrights, who wants to end income tax, end government education, end the fed, and end social security. Gary Johnson on the other hand wants many of these things to stay. He believes social security is salvageable and should continue to exist, he wants to end the department of education…. and give education to the states. I say give it to the parents! He claims he is anti-tax, yet he proposes a large national sales tax.

Somehow, he managed to woo everyone (apparently with his “electability” which means nothing to me) and is our candidate. ANOTHER REPUBLICAN. I’m not sure if he will get my vote this fall. It will depend on many factors.

When Lee lost the presidential nomination he threw his hat in the vice-presidential race, and lost (by a much smaller margin) to Judge Jim Gray. Besides one issue (jury nullification), Gray is very much a libertarian. In fact I think he would have made a good VP for Lee… But we’ll leave my dreams out of this.

After those races were voted on and wrapped up fairly quickly and cordially we moved on to the race for National Chair. I was not expecting this to turn into what it did. I was unhappy with the choices, but I really thought someone else would step up at the last minute and I’d have more libertarian choice. I refused to vote for anyone  already on the LNC (besides Mary Rewart) because they allowed the travesty that is the “floor fee.”  That is, this year it cost $94 just to go on to the floor as a delegate and vote. It is basically a poll tax, that in effect, makes the libertarian party not open to all libertarians. This to me is just unacceptable. Getting to the convention is hard enough already, but even those with low funds manage to do it by driving to the convention and staying at budget hotels or even camping (though I haven’t heard of anyone doing that this year. Maybe those folks couldn’t afford the floor fee). The convention is the one event that needs to be open to ALL members! What is the party with out the regular people? They argue this is to cover costs, but the basic convention costs should be covered by donations, dues, special packages, etc…. The convention is the most important event of the year, its worth paying for.

I was NOT The only one who refused to vote for the two people running, the current chair and the current vice-chair. It was suggested that someone speak for NOTA, None of the Above, an option that is on every ballot at the Libertarian National Convention.

You can see what happened here But be aware the story in the article isn’t exactly right. Reason seems to have an issue with getting their facts straight (see my previous post). None expected Lee to run or accept a nomination until AFTER Mark Hinkle was eliminated and it was clear just how little support the two candidates had. I still haven’t heard directly from him, but even if he doesn’t I still expect someone better than the status quo to step up.

I voted for and supported NOTA because I don’t support those who think its OK to keep libertarians out of the convention. We need as many here as we can get and this “floor fee” has been a disaster from the beginning. When the LNC had the chance to get rid of it (after many complained) they didn’t. If they don’t listen to us and represent us they need to go.

After several votes and re-votes and recounts. We ended the day with Mark Rutherford one vote shy of what he needed to win.


I could hardly believe it when I saw this. To win you need 50% + 1. Rutherford was literally 1 vote shy.

In the morning we will vote again on Rutherford vs. NOTA. I hope NOTA wins so that that we can re-open nominations and other people have the chance to step up and serve the party. I do believe that the message sent today was strong enough to get Rutherford’s attention though. Personally, if I were him, I would step down and let others enter the running, but I doubt he will do that. It is my hope that the message was loud and clear that he better start listening to what people want and making sure it happens and that because of that he will be a little more libertarian in the way he is running the party.

Today was incredibly exciting and I was glad to be a part of it.