What’s new in April (besides snow)

Hey everyone! Today is a little like a mystery flavor post. There’s just way too much great stuff going on to make cohesive sense, so I’m just going to mix it all together and call it good. It worked for Airheads, right? Anyway. It’s April 1, and it’s snowing. I want to say it’s some sort of April Fool’s joke, but who am I kidding. It’s just Minnesota.

First and foremost:
This month, we’re starting a month-long series on self-care around here. Why self-care? Have you ever heard the phrase, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”?


For the next three weeks, I have three different voices lined up to give you their thoughts on how they take purposeful care of their personal lives in order to help them in their vocations. I hope you can glean something from their ideas and find a few new, practical ways to care for yourself. Check back in on Thursday for our first post!


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Well rested babies are happy babies

Sleep training for the twins is complete. No more crying it out. No more muscle jerking, ear-splitting, teeth clenching wails at 3:00 am. We are finally all sleeping through the night – as in 7:00 pm to 6:00 am most days. The twins stopped wanting their “dream feeding” two weeks ago, and since then, it’s been a solid, 11 hour stretch of beautiful sleep.

No swings. No rocking. No more pacing the floor required. Our bedtime routine now consists of changing diapers, putting on pajamas, and then bringing them to their dark room to lay down with their nuks and loveys. We turn on the fan for white noise, and off to dreamland they go.

It was a long, dark road. But we’ve now emerged in a pleasant place. God is good.

The twins aren’t the only ones who got trained. Some sort of switch went off for Ellis, and she is suddenly potty trained. I’m dumbfounded.

Two weeks ago we did another round of undies training (same as a year ago). This time she had a 50% success rate, and I ran out of carpet cleaner. Then she got sick, and we put it all on hold. I figured she wasn’t ready. But this Wednesday, she requested undies again, and kept them dry all day. Thursday was the same. Since last Friday, she’s only had one accident.

I have no idea why now was the time. Nor do I think I’m any sort of oracle for potty training wisdom. Best I can say is that she was ready, and in typical fashion, just made her mind up and went with it. She never ceases to amaze me, my spirited, sassy, stubborn little Swede.

We’re going to learn how to make yogurt! Okay, maybe I’m the only one super excited about this. But my friend Lacey offered to show me her tinkered, tested, and perfected method for homemade yogurt, and I feel like I inherited the moon.

We are going through yogurt like WATER at my house these days, and it’s eating my grocery budget alive. So if you A. hate paying $4.50 for a tub of organic yogurt, B. hate paying $9.00 for two tubs of organic yogurt, or C. HATE paying $18.00 for FOUR tubs of organic yogurt a week, you should probably check back in next week.

That’s all I’ve got. If you want a good giggle, here’s an adorable video of Ellis making the twins laugh. We are loving the 8 month stage.






Weeks 19 & 22: Potty Training Ruminations

toiletWeek 19 – Potty Training Ruminations, Part 1

Before you think I have some fairly advanced aspirations for the twins, let me clarify. Miss Ellis has decided that it’s time to start potty training. She is 19 months old. We kind of think she’s crazy.

Here’s the deal – as long as she’s interested and shows signs of willingness, we’re going for it. To have her out of diapers before the babies arrive would be an amazing blessing for our budget. So, training pants are in, and diapers are out. (Except special occasions, like bedtime. And friends weekend. And church.)

Here are the things that made us realize she might be ready:

  • She was very interested in both of us using the bathroom. We have one bathroom in the house, and decided to keep an open door policy during this learning time.
  • Jason bought a plastic Prince Lionhart seat at Target that suction cups to the toilet. We figured it’d be good to have on hand, just in case. Ellie immediately wanted to try it out.
  • During the first three intensive days, it wasn’t hard to encourage her to use the toilet. She threw a few fits now and then, but was generally amiable to the idea of sitting on the potty.

We’ve decided to go with the three day method, which is nicely detailed here at a blog called Not Without Aim. (The author, Becky Olmstead, used to go to my church. She has potty trained 14 children – no small credential when it comes to this subject.)

 I’ll let you know how the process is going after a few weeks.


Week 22 – Potty Training Ruminations, Part 2

It’s not fun to hear someone tell you “I told you so.” It’s even worse when you say to yourself.

After three weeks of pretty intensive potty training, we are giving it a rest. Both Jason and I predicted Ellis was too young, but like starry eyed fools, we pictured a world with no more dirty diapers and little underpants fluttering happily in the breeze on the clothes line. So. Until Ellis regains her interest in the using the potty and ASKS to use it (instead us badgering her every hour on the hour), we are on potty training sabbatical.

Here are the warning signs you may want to watch for when deciding to call the game:

  • When your toddler makes a habit of kicking and screaming on the toilet, refuses to eliminate, and then throws wads of crumpled toilet paper on the floor, you might want to start keeping track of how often it occurs.
  • When your ever-patient friend and childcare giver sends you home with plastic bags of stain treated pants every day for a week, it’s time to assess the situation.
  • And when your adorable toddler suddenly refuses to even sit on the toilet, throws a fit, and then goes into the kitchen, takes off her pants, yanks off her diaper, and pees on the floor, it’s time to call it off.


It’s a little strange – this parenting and pregnancy thing at the same time. My attention is split. On one hand, I’m reading Mrs. McNosh Hangs up her Wash for the hundredth time and cajoling my toddler into peeing. On the other, I’m adjusting my pants, straightening up because someone’s elbow feels like it’s stuck in my left ribs.

This is only going to keep happening, I know. (The rib thing AND the parenting thing.) But there’s something daunting about parenting when I realize I will have to focus in on two different age groups of kids. Then again, life is all about balances, and here’s the truth of the matter.  I can make rice and stir fry veggies at the same time. I can kick around poem ideas in my head and write governance resolutions at work. I can fold laundry in a yoga pose and come away feeling relaxed.

The point is this: Multi-tasking is often mandatory in our lives. It’s rubber and road. And it’s possible, with a little practice, to do it well. And on the days when we don’t do it well, there’s always tomorrow. Or in the case of potty training, in another six months.