7 Easy Steps to Potty Train Your Toddler

pexels-photo-589062.jpeg1. Wait

Sure, your Aunt’s cousin’s girlfriend’s son was potty trained by age 2, but that is the exception, not the rule. Personally, I don’t even begin to think about potty training until after my children’s 2nd birthday. Waiting until your child is a little more mature will save the both of you a LOT of frustration.

2. Look for the signs

There are several signs a child will exhibit when they reach the maturity level needed to potty train:

A. Interest in mommy and daddy’s potty times.

B. Talking about the act (“pee pee, mommy?) before they go.

C. And this is the BIG KAHUNA – dry diapers when they wake from sleep; in the morning or after nap. I personally use this as the catalyst into potty training. If they are not going the bathroom during their sleep it means their bladder is large enough to retain a decent amount of urine and (and this is the biggie) they are able to hold that urine for a long stretch of time.

3. Start slowly

Begin by inviting them to use the potty before bath time, bed time, and first thing in the morning. It might be helpful for you to go at that time as well. Keep it very casual at this point. You want the child to be intrigued, not overwhelmed.


4. Take off the diaper

The quickest way to potty train a child is to make them aware of when they actually go potty. Sound like circular reasoning?? Here’s the thing: diapers are so well made these days, most kids can’t tell they’ve even gone potty. So, wait for a warm season and get those buns in the sun! Head into the backyard and let your little guy run around naked (at least from the waist down). When he eventually pees, he’ll be instantly aware of it and will start to connect the urge to go to the actual act.

If you cannot get outside and going diaperless indoors is just not for you, try putting underwear on underneath the diaper. The underwear will get wet and, eventually, cold and uncomfortable. Your child will begin linking the urge to pee with the yucky feeling which he will want to avoid.

5. Get a potty seat

I personally prefer the potty seats that fit right over the toilet. This is the one we use at home and which I highly recommend. Whether you buy the full plastic potty that sits on the floor or one like the above, you will need something to accommodate that cutie little patootie.

6. Small rewards


Mini marshmallows

Chocolate chips

Tic tacs

Or, my personal favorite, jelly beans. It’s, honestly, unbelievable what a jelly bean can motivate a toddler to do. Unbelievable! That scary potty suddenly seems like a friend when a small reward is included.

7. Don’t punish


This is a don’t rather than a so. Don’t punish for small accidents, especially in the early days of potty training. You want the child to be excited and engaged, not frightened and overwhelmed. Punishing a child for an accident, as frustrating as it may be, will never speed up the potty training process. Rather it will delay it as the child will become fearful and will feel the desire to hide when the urge to potty comes on.

And now…Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!


Now that your toddler is such a big boy or girl, be sure to take them out to buy their first set of underwear! This is such a thrill for a child and is well deserved after making such a giant leap forward! And pat yourself on the back too, Mama, as you strut right past that diaper aisle!


Part 2: Jolie Charlene

I can’t believe I actually had the gall to this a summary.  This is legit longer than any actual birth story that I have read! For the 3 (optimistic estimate) of you who are actually still reading this, my apologies.  I have deceived you.

I clearly had to make a Part 2, though, bc how depressing would it be to end my birth story summary (lololol) with the words, “I saw a very blue, eerily quiet baby.”  Bad Mom Award Winner Forever.

I think about 20 minutes passed, of which I have absolutely no memory as I was flying high on the aforementioned anxiety medicine. Shaine was with Jolie in a different room so there’s no one to tell me if I started belting show-tunes or challenged the cadaver-nurse to a sword fight or whatever.  My best guess is I slept.  Eventually, they wheeled me into a room that blessedly held no trays full of knives and torches and other such instruments and I lay there for a few minutes until someone wheeled her in.  My baby.  My Jolie.

She’s in this little cradle thing and I reach my hand out to her and she actually (honestly, not making this up) reaches her little hand back out to me and it’s this wonderful, miraculous moment that I will never ever forget.  I ask the nurse if I can hold her, as I have literally not even touched her at this point, and she goes, “um, you’re kinda shaky.” Which is an understatement.  The uncontrollable flapping has ceased, thanks be to God, but now I’m trembling from head to foot, teeth chattering and all.  But still. Give me my baby, lady! She tentatively hands her to me and right away Jolie starts making this fishy-gulping movement with her mouth and I say, “I think she wants to nurse,” to which the aforementioned emotional robot/nurse replies, “She’s never going to nurse right now.  She’s way too groggy.” A statement I flatly ignore, pulling down my robe, and bam! Contact is made, baby nurses, and continues nursing for the next hour or so.  Casey 1, Robot Nurse 0.

The more I think about this birth, the more I realize how truly awful it was.  I spent the next 3 days in a recovery room with a handful of other newly made mothers, none of whom I saw even once as we were all separated by curtains. I was not once cleaned, given a way to brush my teeth (I couldn’t really walk due to the c section so I couldn’t get to a sink), or had any of the multitudes of sticky hospital pads attached to me removed.  When I was finally released to go home, I was still covered (covered) in dry blood from the labor and my husband had to get in the shower with me and scrub it all off as I had limited mobility from the C section.  The first night I spent in the recovery room they did not want to leave Jolie with me (still not sure why) so I told them to bring her to me every time she cried so I could nurse her.  I hate myself now for not being more assertive about keeping her with me.  This hospital was seriously over-crowded so who knows how quick they were to bring her me when she cried.  She could have cried for hours and I never would have known.  Also, there was no point in separating us if the reason was to let me rest after all the trauma as I can never sleep after I’ve had a baby and so I just laid there, alone (there was nowhere for Shaine to sleep and he was exhausted, having barely slept for 2 days), obsessing over the fear that someone might steal my baby.

I know, I know, it could have been worse.  We’re both alive.  I suppose I could have given birth in a pig pen underneath a bucking rodeo bull, but still.  It was hardly ideal.  Jolie has always had this grit about her, like she could survive anything.  Maybe her terrible entry into this world has something to do with that. Anyway, that’s my birth novella. Stay tuned for birth 2, which thankfully does not occur in a Soviet-era Russian hospital (aka Sacramento, CA).

jo birth

One hour


One week.


One year


2 years


3 years


4 years


5 years


6 years


7 years


8 years

So so so so so worth it.  My special angel.  My gift from God.  My Jolie Charlene.

Catching Up

Guys, I don’t know what it is but I’ve been running catch up alllll year. I mean, I’m not even pregnant!  I actually think I might be more productive when I’m pregnant as, in the in-between pregnancy stage, I always have a needy 1-year-old running around like an escaped chimpanzee from the zoo.


No pants, no problem.  (Yes, that is a hideous stain on my carpet, thanks for asking.)


Not seen: Anna climbing on the back of the couch to escape an attack by pictured drumstick in said needy baby’s hands.

Side note:  You might not know this if your husband’s not a drummer like mine is, and thus do not have dozens of drumsticks laying around your home, but they (drumsticks) are basically the most painful things on earth.

Ok, case in point of how behind I am this year:  We celebrated St Nick day on December 7th.  In case you don’t know, St Nick day is December 6th, but I was too whatever to get my crap together (AND Trader Joe’s sold out of golden coins AGAIN this year before I could get my hands on any.  I blame all this on you, TJ’s.) So, I lied, gulp, and told my kids that this year it was being celebrated on the 7th.  Going to Hell, fo sho.  It gets worse.  As I said, we were sans chocolate coins and I obviously had done ZERO planning so I had no holy cards or icons or religious whatever on hand, so we filled their boots with TROLL BOOKS.  Troll freaking books.  If you were wondering who gets the prize for worst Orthodox convert this year, wonder no longer.

(I would insert a sweet picture of their boots lined up here but SURPRISE I took zero pictures.)  (Help)

I probably don’t have to tell you I’m not doing a Jesse Tree this year, but I’m not.  I’m going to be honest with you for a moment here.  I know the Jesse Tree is like The THING to Christian homeschooling families everywhere, but…I don’t really get it.  No judgment.  If you’re into it, power to you.  But, I don’t know.  The cute little story, the Bible verse everyone is too distracted to listen to, the little camel/donkey/candle ornament to color?  Eyeroll forever.

Is this post too negative?  Probably.  Sorry, peeps!

Ok, I’m going to end this with some positivity.  Here we go.  My three fav things right now.  Why?  Because.

  1. Praise Babies.

Oh, Praise Babies, how I do love thee.  In case you don’t know, Praise Babies is kinda like a Christian version of those Baby Einstein videos where pretty pictures float dreamily by only worship music is played in the background instead of Mozart or Bach or whatever.  Said needy baby is determined to cling to my leg (or preferably, breast) every minute of every day besides the thirteen minutes or so she is napping UNLESS Praise Babies is on, and then I am free for a whole mind-blowing 35 minutes.  Guess what is playing as I am typing at this very moment?  Praise Babies, friends.  Praise Babies.

2. Having an 8-year-old.

(Side note: Do you guys have these little cartoon cars at your mall, too?  Bc my kids almost crash into innocent shoppers about 10 times every time they ride them. How is this legal?)


What?  You can hang up your own clothes?  What? You can empty the dishwasher?  What?  You can take your little sister to the bathroom at the restaurant?  What? You can basically be my own personal slave?  (kidding kidding)  But, seriously, my girl, I love every inch of your moderately independent self.  I always thought that I would love the baby stage the most and be kinda sad when my kids grew out of that and were official Kids, but I gotta say, official kid age has major major perks.  I still love the niblets out of the baby stage, but there is soooooo much to love about the older stages too, I’m finding out.

3. Instagram Stories

How lame am I?  Very very lame, apparently.  But, I’m addicted.  I love watching ppl’s little home movies.  Movies of their kids, their cats, their burritos, whatever.  Bring it on.  Oversharers of the world, I love you.

Welllll, that’s about it for now.  Another random aimless post brought to you by Yours Truly.  As it is fairly unlikely I’ll get it together to put up another post before Christmas, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas!!! right now.

Oh!  On the Christmas note, I’m going to add one more thing.  I would just copy the video and paste it here so you could watch it but, as I’m cheap and have the most basic of basic plans, WordPress won’t let me (cheers, WP):

4. Carrie Underwood singing How Great Thou Art.  Have you guys seen this?  It is A-MA-ZING.  I love it.  I weep over it.  It’s just…the best.  Do yourself a favor and goggle it now, k?


The Simple Post

*I wrote the following to myself because I can’t seem to remember it.  Maybe if I publish it, I’ll feel too much a hypocrite to forget it again.


The only thing children need is love.  If we want to prepare our children for what really matters, then we will love them unconditionally.  We will forgive them.  We will see the best in them.  What truly matters will always matter and the only thing that will always matter is love.  “The greatest of these is love.”  “Only love will remain.”

If it is possible to love too much, then we do not know God.  God loves when it is stupid to love.  God forgives when no one would forgive.  The reason we are alive, that we even exist, is because God loves when it is stupid to love.  Of course, I’m talking as a man.  Men think there is a line where love should not cross.  God doesn’t know about this line.


The thing that homeschoolers talk about, think about, obsess, blog and read about is how to prepare our children for the future.  But we forget that the future is God.  We can’t push love aside and take care of it after the scholarships are earned and the mortgage is paid. Those things don’t even exist.  Not really.  We will not be grateful if we forget love and pursue these things.  We will not say, “I’m so glad I took care of that.  Now I can bother with the religious stuff.”

If handwriting or math or saying, “yes, ma’am” is the focus of every day of my children’s lives then they will grow up and they will not know that God is love.  If the focus of every day of my children’s lives is coerced prayers and forced readings of Scripture and “keep quiet during church”, then they will grow up and they will not know that God is love.  And they will not believe me if I tell them, though they might believe it if God tells them.

If the only thing I did all day, every single day of my children’s lives was love and forgive them, that would be enough.  That would be everything.



Things I Never Want to Forget

Anna, aged about 3, speaking to some friends of ours who speak Greek:

A: Will you get me a box?

Don: A box?

A: (nodding) A wittle box. Filled wit toys.

D: Mmm, ok.

A: Oh, and “wittle box” is Greek for big box.


Ruby, crawling into my bed, wrapping her arms around my neck and saying, “Mama, I need some youuuuuu.”


Jolie announcing, after daydreaming in the car, “Mommy, if somebody stole Zoe and were about to throw her into a volcano, I would rescue her, even if I had to fall in the volcano!”


Zoe, bursting into excited giggles each time she realizes she’s about to breastfeed.


Jolie and Anna letting Ruby win every race.

The endless conversations of exactly how big Jesus really is: “The sun!” “The sun times google plex!” “Bigger than you could imagine!” Also, every compliment given to me being diminshed slightly by Mary: “You look pretty, Mama, but not as pretty as Mary.” “You’re a good mommy, Mommy!” “But she’s not as good as Mary!” “That’s true.”

Telling Jolie, “I’m your mommy, not your friend,” and her looking at me in shock and exclaiming, “You are too my friend!” (at which, of course, I apologized immediatly and assured her she was right.)

And this:



Why, Part One

Since I am nothing if not original, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my BFF’s Jenna and Blythe (why, no, the fact that we’ve never met and they don’t know I exist hasn’t hindered our friendship at all, why do you ask?) and write out my Conversion Story.  Excited? Maybe? A little?  Stick with me.

I planned to have this be about why I converted to Orthodoxy from Evangelical Protestantism, but changed my mind and decided to go waaaaay back and explain why I am a Christian in the first place.  Because the two really go together.  It’s been one path, not two, after all.

I was raised in a Christian home (my parents actually met in Bible college) but, at age 9, my parents split up and my siblings and I moved with my mom to SoCal while my dad remained up north.  My mom still loved the Lord and believed in Jesus as the Son of God, but she was going through a searching period and certain things fell by the wayside. (I hope you’re cool with me writing this, Mom!  Love you!)

~Side Note: My mom is very much a Christian these days and actually converted to Orthodoxy about 1 year after our family did.~


Fast forward to 15 years old.  My dad, who was still very much a devout Christian, took me and my sister to Italy on a summer vacation.  As I mentioned, my faith at this time was not at all what one would call foundational.  I still prayed, and had even had a few experiences with the Lord, but my worldview was far from Christian.  I was very much a southern California teen, who valued bleached blond hair, my best friend’s rad new car, and losing just 5 more pounds over such laughable things as sanctity and chastity.

One of the stops on this trip was St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  I’m pretty sure I knew who St. Peter was but this stop was nothing more than a tourist attraction in my mind, like a museum or a cannoli cart.  I have some pictures that I took right before we went into the Basilica.  They’re a bunch of selfies (I was taking selfies before selfies were cool) where I’m pursing my lip-gloss soaked lips and trying to look coy, or seductive, or I don’t know what.  It’s hard to look anything more than sad when you’re a short, underdeveloped, semi-anorexic kid posing for the camera, but I was trying with all my might.


(I taught Kylie everything she knows.)

So, eventually, my dad pried the camera out of my red-nailed fingers and we went into the church. My dad mentioned that St. Peter’s bones are supposed to be buried under the church and that tradition holds he asked to be crucified upside down so as not to steal any glory from Christ by emulating His death.  I’m listening, maybe half listening, and I say something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t think he’d like all this then,” referring to the utter magnificence of the Basilica named in his honor.

And then it happened.

Or, maybe it’s more accurate to say, He happened.

God showed up.  I really don’t know how else to describe it and I certainly don’t want to be one of those people who describes a holy event by just repeating, “It was indescribable!  Indescribable!” But it really was. They say that for a reason.  The best way I can present it is by saying that the One who knew all, who knew me, and loved me, on a deeper level than any person had ever come close to knowing or loving me, wrapped me in an invisible embrace and said, “I know you. I forgive you. I love you.

Real quick, before I go on, I want to be clear that I HAVE NO IDEA why God gave me this gift.  I don’t think it was some confirmation that, yes, St. Peter is, in fact, stewing in Heaven over how much he hates his Basilica and someone give that girl a cookie for finally saying so.  I’m Orthodox, for goodness’ sake.  No one loves fancy churches more than Orthodox people. I think it was just…grace.  The whole thing still just stuns me.  I probably think about it every week, if not every day.  The thing that blows me away most of all is I that did absolutely nothing to deserve it.  I wasn’t praying.  I wasn’t reaching out to God in any way and probably hadn’t in quite a while.  I wasn’t living a holy life or even a halfway decent life. Frankly, I wasn’t a decent person.  I was a mean, popular, superficial teenage girl who alternated between drowning in self-hatred and self-adoration.  I was the worst.

Yet, God loved me.  He saw me.  He knew me.

I’d love (so so much) to be able to say that my life changed after this blessed event.  That I went home, threw away all my hidden packs of cigarettes, put away my oil-slick-thick eyeliner and started living my life for Jesus.  Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.  My life changed very little, on the outside.  But a seed, a very powerful seed, had been planted and, when it finally was given a little air to breathe, it would begin to grow.

Liebster Award

So, the lovely Amie Elna (love love love that name, btw) over at Becoming A wild Family nominated me for the Liebster Award!  Excuse me while I have a Viola moment:

In case you don’t know about it, the Liebster Award is basically a shout out to 5 of your favorite bloggers.  You ask them a set of questions, they answer, share, then ask 5 of their favorite bloggers a set of questions, who answer, share, and round and round it goes.

The fact that someone nominated me for anything, and it wasn’t my mom, makes me ridiculously excited.
Ok, since we’ve already established I’m a narcissist, I’m going to answer the questions Amie Elna has posed to me then list my 5 favs.  Ready? And Go!
1. Do you have pets?

Yes, I have an incredibly pathetic chi-weenie named Pippa.  Pippa always shakes, always, and seems to believe she has a great mission to complete and is just waiting for me to give me some code word decided on long ago.  Her life is basically following me everywhere, shaking, and waiting for my signal to save Gotham City.

dog and cat

We also have a cat named Johnny who is as laid back as Pippa is neurotic.  In fact, he’s so laid back he’s decided the litter box is simply too much work, he’d rather just use my bed/laundry basket/potted plants for his bizness.  Needless to say, he is now an outdoor only cat.

2. What’s the last thing you crafted/made?

Oh, you had to ask to me that, didn’t you?  Let’s see…I guess it would be what was supposed to be one of those blanket nest things for babies, you know with a closed end like a pea pod?  But turned out looking more like a beanie for the Rastafarian with the world’s longest dreads.  Annnd, just to prove how truly competent I am, I forgot about it until my baby was way too big to fit inside.

3. What’s your favorite season, why?

Up until a few years ago, I would have undoubtedly answered Fall, but I think it may now be Spring.  I think having children has really awoken the love of all things warm and flowery in me, but a big part of it is also the fact that I converted to Orthodox Christianity a few years ago and Easter (Pascha) is the focal point of the Orthodox year.  All year long it is referred to and anticipated and, when it finally arrives after a long loooonnnnggg Lent, the Feast is truly joyous.

4. What would your escape plan be for a zombie apocalypse?

I would defer to my husband as he has been anticipating such an event for many years.


(There’s an RPG under that baby.)

5. Would you rather hike on a concrete path or dirt path? Why?

Dirt path, all the way!  Because my true self is a fairy who lives in Scotland and has never seen or even imagined such a heretical thing as a concrete path.

6. What’s your favorite tree? Why?

Oh man, I love trees so much!  I could never be an astronaut or live in Mongolia (which strangely has no trees) because I simply cannot live without them.  I think my favorite would be Redwood Sequoias (the CA state tree, what WHAT) because they are everywhere up here in Northern CA and smell so so good.

7. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Hmm, this may lose me some blog followers but I don’t really like ice cream.  Unbelievable but true.  I don’t really like food that doesn’t require chewing, as I am a huge huge freak.  That is not to say I don’t like sweets.  I actually once went on a dessert-only diet, in hopes that if I ate only  dessert, I wouldn’t gain any weight.  Yeah, it didn’t work.

download(Any day now, the weight’s gonna drop…)

8. When in a beautiful garden, are you ever tempted to look for fairies… Just in case?

Of course!  It would hurt their feelings if I didn’t.

9. Any gardening tips?

Don’t water too much.  And don’t give up on them.  Many of my plants that have looked on the brink of death have been revived by new soil, position in the sun, or less water.

10. Favorite book read aloud?

Probably Harry Potter, which we are reading out loud right now, and which, contrary to some opinions, won’t transform your children into practitioners of Wiccan.  Actually, I think the story of Harry is incredibly allegorical and I see so much of Christ in Harry, as I do in all heroes.


NOW, for my five favorite bloggers.  That is so so hard!  I love so many!  I guess they would be:

Stories of Unschooling Family: I’ve mentioned Sue Elvis’ blog before.  She has probably been the greatest inspiration to me in unschooling and parenting in general.  If you’ve never read anything by her, check her out.  Her blog is a goldmine.

Adventures with my Kids: An Orthodox homeschooling blog written by Jenny, a mom to three adopted sons in addition to three other children.

Penelope Trunk: Ok, PT is way famous and I’m sure she will never condescend herself to even acknowledge this little nod, but I seriously do love her blog so I am including her anyway.  I don’t always agree with everything she says but most of her posts are just fascinating.  In fact, I like her so much that I accidently subscribed to her Career Blog as well as her Homeschool Blog, and I never unsubscribed, even though most of it is completely irrelevant to me.  I get a thrill every time a post arrives in my inbox.  If you want to give her a try, I’d recommend these posts:

~Schools Holds Kids to Standards Even Adults Wouldn’t Meet

~ Search is the Most Important Academic Subject Today

~ My Kids are 4 Years Below Grade Level and I Don’t Care

Eclectic Orthodoxy: Written by Father Aidan Kimmel who seems to love George MacDonald as much as I do (and maybe more).

And I’m kinda cheating here but I’m going to nominate a Podcast – Autastic:  A podcast about autism by two comedians with autistic loved ones. It’s so good, so funny, so gets you in the feels.  I have an autistic brother so there’s a big connection there for me, but I really think anyone could revel in the greatness of this podcast.

My questions for the nominees:

  1. If you could choose to have one person as a dinner guest (living/dead/fictional/real) who would it be?
  2. At what point in your life were you happiest?
  3. What is your favorite virtue?
  4. If you could time travel, when and where would you go?
  5. What is your greatest fear?
  6. If you could choose to live forever, would you?
  7. What do you consider the lowest depth of misery?
  8. Did you enjoy childhood more than you are enjoying adulthood, or vice versa?
  9. Do you believe God loves you? Why or why not?
  10. What is your greatest strength? Weakness?

So there you have it!  Thank you so much, Amie Elna, for nominating me for this award!  And, please, check out these blogs/podcast listed here, and Amie Elna’s as well; Becoming a Wild Family.  You won’t be sorry!



We Loveth Spring

(Don’t be put off by my mastery of ye olde English, I happen to be a Shakespearean actor.)

Isn’t it strange how siblings can come from the same parents, be raised in the same surroundings, with the same values, and yet develop such startlingly different personalities?  My eldest (see how I used eldest rather than the uncivilised oldest? Shakespeare, friends, Shakespeare) is a shrunk down, girled up Steve Irwin.  Really, she’s our little naturalist.  She actually forages.  I told her off hand once that dandelions are edible and she now eats them like potato chips.  Same with hibiscus flowers and wild strawberries.  The look on people’s faces never ceases to amuse me when she grabs a handful of flowers and chows them down.

jo flo

(Does anybody have some ketchup?)

(Yes, I know, these are daffodils- not edible)

Now, obviously, I’ve always enjoyed Spring, I haven’t given completely over to the dark side, but enjoying it with a True Nature Lover is such a joy.  She just notices everything, which of course, makes me notice them as well.

“Mommy, the cherry blossoms are blooming!”

“I heard a Blue Jay this morning!  He sounded like he was laughing at me!”

Running to me with her hands cupped around something small and mysterious, “Mommy, a ladybug!” or “Look, an earthworm!” or, even better “The first baby lizard!”

Though not quite as savage as their sister, my younger daughters are fairly wild themselves.  She is a good influence.  And this is just another reason I love homeschooling/unschooling so very much.  I have a hard time believing they would be as immersed in the natural world if they were in school all day.  They simply wouldn’t have the time!  And, as we rugged public-school vets know all t0o well, shouting out in rapturous joy at each new blooming flower or writhing worm just isn’t, well, cool.

For all the other parents of budding naturalists out there:


Journey North is a website for Citizen Scientists (also not cool: proudly proclaiming, “I’m a Citizen Scientist!” to all your friends. Side note: why isn’t it cool to be interested in things? I don’t get it…) to report any seasonal changes they’ve observed.  So far, we’ve reported robin sightings, robin flocks, earthworms, frogs singing, blue jays, geese, and ladybugs. We’re anxiously awaiting our first hummingbird sighting as well as Monarch butterflies.  An additional plus from giving these guys (who, in my rebel opinion, are very, very cool) your email address is they send you updates they’ve received from other (ultra, mega, sunglasses-inside cool) Citizen Scientists across the country.  For example, we know that ruby-throated hummingbirds have been spotted south of us and so should be here soon.

Ok, well, as I’ve been typing this post single handed as my 1-year-old alternately open mouth kisses my face and screams into my now very wet shoulder, I think I’ll be signing off now.  I hope this was helpful to someone out there and how how how does one smoothly end a post?  Not like this.  Until next time.


Happy Days are Here Again

Sho…It’s been forever and approximately one day since my last post and I know that ALLLL of you have beside yourself with worry and grief over my absence, but Fear Not.  The Lady has returned.  (please please please note the sarcasm).

I touched on this a bit in earlier posts but I’m a wee bit (never say little when wee would work; one of my life mantra’s) torn over how I should style this blog.  Preachy McPreacherson or Let Me Tell You About My Boring Day.  If you’ve perused this blog at all, then you’ve seen all the muddy soapboxes cluttering up the place and can see which direction I was originally leaning.  But.  I don’t think I can keep that up.  I mean, its kind of ridiculous.  My oldest child is 7 years old.  Why am I telling anybody how to do anything?!  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I realize a certain blog I’ve been reading, that’s chock freaking full of parenting advice, is written by a mom of, like one 3 year old kid.  I mean, Gurl, (always with a u, always) give me a break.

PC moment: Yes, that mom may be the Albus Dumbledore of moms and could have gems and gems (pirate chests full) of wisdom.  That. Is. Possible.

Anyway, I’m think I’m going to start leaning toward the Boring Day Highlight Reel (everybody cheers woo hoooooo).  And, since I’m super spontaneous and full of that elusive edge every writer craves, I thought I’d tell you all about it before I actually did it.  So.  I guess that’s done now.

Actually, before I do that (this is the sort of blog that requires a lot of prep work), let me brush you up on the star players that will be featured on said Highlight Reel.

Okie Dokie (side note: I may or may not be a female manifestation of Ned Flanders) let’s start with the lucky first born who, prior to her birth, I actually expected to be perfect every moment of every day (cue hysterical laughter).


Jolie. 7.

Likes: 1. Kissing her sisters.  2. Tormenting her sisters

Dislikes: 1. Being alone, this applies to every conceviable situation.  Yes, that one too.  2.  Mom’s rice.  Any other presention of rice is fine.

Moving on.


Anna. 5.

Likes: 1. Ice cream (clearly). 2. Being alone (to the joy of above sister, as you can imagine).

Dislikes (you knew this was a page for Christian Mingle, right?): 1. Foods that don’t end in the word “cream”. 2. Driving anywhere that is more than 2 minutes from our home.


Ruby. 3 (who, judging from above picture may or may not be a pirate).

Likes: 1. Hopping, particularly into or on top of people. 2. Mommy and Daddy’s bed (forever and always. Never ever ever ever ever leaving) (ever).

Dislikes: 1. Mornings. 2. Every single article of clothing hanging in her closet.



Zoe. Almost 1.

Likes: 1. Boobs. 2. Small, potentially fatal objects.

Dislikes: 1. Not being held, for any reason whatsoever. 2. her sisters’ sheninanigan’s (because she will always be perfect and will never so much as dream of doing anything to upset her mother.  We have a pact.)

So that’s it.  Wait, oh yeah.

s and c

We live here too.  (It took a shamefully long to time to find a pic of only us together). He’s Shaine.  I’m Casey.

Thanks for stopping by and all that polite stuff.  I would type a witty yet surprisingly deep farewell paragraph here but the 3 year old pirate is screaming “I’m sorry!” at the top of her lungs which is officially my cue to go.

Clever farewell sentence HERE.

P.S. I don’t have some fetish for unnecessarily huge photos.  I just do not know how to make them smaller.