Potty Training Failure

I am a first time parent, but I am sure that potty training for 36 hours should not result in panic attacks for myself and near panic attacks for my three year old.

My daughter is three years and five months old. I and my husband are more than ready to be finished with changing diapers. My daughter had been showing interest in her potty chair. We’ve had it around since before she turned two.

Because she was showing some interest, when it was time to order new pull-ups, we decided to try her on underwear. She was terrified at first, but with some coaxing (and bribery) from grandma she kept them on for a while. She was very excited and telling everyone that she was wearing pretty undies with a bow on them. That lasted until the first time she wet herself a couple of hours in.

The whole ordeal was about 36 hours. She never once made it to the potty. She had a full blown freak out every time she wet herself and the floor and we were all done cleaning up the puddles after the first three or four accidents. We didn’t make a big deal out of it. We gave her lots of cuddles. The only advice I had ever heard on potty training was from people that love my daughter and the advice was to put her in underwear and not let her back out. She’ll figure it out and in a week or so we’ll all be better off for it.

So every time she would have an accident we would change her underwear, get her cleaned up, and calmed down and we would wait for it to happen again.

I did all the ‘right’ things according to the advice I received. I didn’t make a big deal about accidents, but did make a big deal about any effort to sit on our use the potty, I sat her on the potty every half hour or so, I gave her a sticker chart and fun posters by the potty, I read her books while she sat on the potty, I didn’t let her go back to pull ups. It just didn’t work.

That night at bedtime she hid herself in the big comforter on my bed and wouldn’t let me take the blankets off even though she was sweating like crazy. She couldn’t really tell us what she was doing, but our guess was that she was hiding her undies or trying to feel more safe. She would have another freak out every time we tried to take the blanket off. It was scaring me. I finally got the blanket off and she cried until she wet the bed. We got her cleaned up and one of us gave her cuddles while the other one changed the bedding. We discussed it quietly and decided to give her back a pull up for bedtime under the condition that she have undies back when she woke up. She agreed. We agreed. Everyone slept.

The next morning when she woke up she sat on the potty and then got her underwear back on. She immediately peed on the floor after she made it to the livingroom. Another giant freak out and I was done. I cried and squished her and asked if she wanted her diaper back. And she cried and squished me and said yes.

She’s been back in pull-ups ever since. During the underwear incident she stopped allowing herself to poop and we ended up having to get her a stool softener after about 4 days.  It took several days for her tummy to get back to normal.

It’s been a couple of weeks and she is still slightly traumatized by the experience. She still confirms that she is allowed to pee and poop in her pull-up and that she doesn’t have to use the potty yet.

The momma guilt is strong. It feels like I tortured my poor baby. But all of the advice I received I followed. All of the checklists say she’s ready. I did all the ‘right’ things. But they were only the right things according to someone else and according to the lists online. They were not the right things for my sweet, stubborn, and sensitive little girl. My daughter may be well past the ‘normal’ age of potty training readiness, but she is not ready to be potty trained yet.


For now, the potty has been put away, we’re letting her look at books about the potty, but only when she wants to, she’s watching dvds about potty training (and loving them). And we’re not pushing. We’re reassuring her that she can use her pull-ups as long as she wants to or needs to. And I’m working on better trusting my mommy instincts and believing that I know my daughter better than anyone else.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself for those 36 hours, but I do know that from this point forward, first time mommy or not, I will not use any potty training advice that doesn’t feel right for MY daughter.


Currently I am reading this book. Potty Training Girls The Easy Way by Caroline Fertleman, MD & Simone Cave. The advice givers scoffed at this book when I mentioned that I thought this approach would work the best for my daughter. It advocates potty training sessions, an hour at a time where she is in underwear and playing one on one with an adult. And that hour slowly gets elongated until she in underwear at all times while at home. Then we tackle outside of the house and then at night. It is all about following her lead and not pushing her farther than she is ready to go. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but it feels like the approach my family needs to take.

I let the pressure get to me before. I gave in when people told me that my daughter was too old to be in diapers still and that there was only one right way to potty train her and I let my daughter down. And I’m sorry my sweet girl. I’m just doing my best and I’m sorry when that’s not quite good enough.

I’ll be over here giving my girlie squishes and letting her be little as long as she’ll let me.


April, May, June 2018 Book Haul

In the second quarter of the year my husband lost his job. The budget has been significantly tightened. Somehow I still managed to purchase or receive 24 physical books. And I haven’t finished any of them yet, though I am in the middle of three. Not very good numbers here. At the beginning of this quarter I was already in the middle of way too many books and I just haven’t caught up yet to begin many new books. I always get stuck in a cycle where library books have to take priority because they are going to have to be returned. I hope to begin reading my newly acquired books soon.


This was my favorite find of the month. On our anniversary we husband and I went to a local bookshop to sip coffee and look at books. I ended up leaving with four books and he left with one. This book caught my eye quickly. It is Captain January by Laura E. Richards. It’s a small, pretty, blue, hardcover, copyright 1902. It has illustrations scattered throughout. And I immediately thought of the Shirley Temple movie by the same name. Shirley Temple was a favorite when I was little and I have a whole box of VHS to watch with my kiddo at some point. My initial thought was correct. The book is the basis for the movie! I can’t wait to read this one, but love to just look at it too. I paid just $4 for this book.


These are the other books I purchased on that shopping trip. How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson, Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier, and That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam. All were chosen simply based on reading the back cover descriptions.

Of the Trio the one I’m most excited about is How to Buy a Love of Reading is about  parents who have a book written specifically for their 16 year old daughter who doesn’t like to read.


These three books are ones that caught my attention at Dollar Tree and I purchased them for only $1 each. I don’t know much about them besides what is on the back cover.  These three are The Mahé Circle by Georges Simenon, Stir by Jessica Fechtor, and The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips.


The next set of books is three parenting books. Love that Baby by Mildred E. Cawlfield was a gift from my father-in-law. I started reading this one, but haven’t only made it 30 pages in so far. The other two books, It’s OK NOT to Share by Heather Shumaker, and How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber & Julie King where both purchased after watching a video on the subject on Charly Troff’s Youtube Channel. It was a great video that I really enjoyed watching. I’ve begun reading It’s OK NOT to share, but have not yet started How to talk.

You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/S_B6HH0qIpA


These three books are Dear Mr. President by Jennifer Armstrong, a book my mother got for me because I love books that don’t follow a traditional novel format and this is filled with letters.

Come As You Are by Emily Nagostki, Ph. D. a book I’m enjoying so far.

And How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. I purchased the latter because I was hoping it would give me some more insight on how to best annotate my books. I haven’t started it yet, but I hope to soon.


This picture is a set of books that I ordered from Discover Books. It was a Ten-Pack of Mass Market Paperbacks that I purchased for $6.80 after coupon. I don’t know that I would do it again, but it was a fun affordable surprise and there are at least a few that I can see myself reading at some point.


The last book I got this quarter is The Demon in the Trees by Ben Sanders. This book I won in a giveaway he was holding on his Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC41rwV3Nv27UCnlsZ3FGeHg) I received this book and a candle that smells great! I was so excited to win, now I just have to make the time to read it. Soon!

These are the books I gained in the 2nd quarter. Lots of things I can’t wait to finish or start reading. I can’t wait to see what great books the 3rd quarter of 2018 brings my way.

Happy Reading!

Read Alouds for Kindergarten

Read Alouds for Kindergarten

My daughter will be just over three and a half years old when we begin her kindergartner year of homeschool in September. I’ll be going over all of the things I’ve chosen to use with her this coming school year over the next 8 weeks.

First up are the books I’ve chosen to read aloud to her while she plays or colors. This is how I’m planning to start her school day. The books get progressively longer throughout the year. I pulled from lists of books for kindergartners, our own shelves, things I remember loving as a child, and things I came across that I thought she would enjoy.


We will begin our year with Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Monkey House by David A Adler, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, and Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.


Followed by Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne, Junie B Jones has a Peep in her Pocket by Barbara Park, and Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary.


The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, Wellspring of Magic by Jan Fields, and Shark School: Deep Sea Disaster by Davy Ocean.


During the first week of December we will begin Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel, My Explosive Diary by Emily Gale, and then Clementine by Sara Pennypacker.


The first book in The Boxcar Children series will be started in the last week of January. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame will begin next. Followed by Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C Wrede.


Finishing out our novels for the year will be Matilda by Roald Dahl, Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, and Harry Potter and Sorcerers Stone by J K Rowling.

These 18 novels will be read four days a week spread out over the course of the kindergarten year. Things are always subject to change of course. My daughter is only three and half after all. And things are too strict yet because we have two more years before we need to report to the local school board about homeschooling.


In addition to the novels we will be reading from these books of poetry each day.

I’m hoping for a great year of reading ahead of us.

Preschool Homeschool Tag

I recently saw this set of tag questions on Youtube in the form of a colab hosted by Lindsey at Momma Schmooze Homeschool Reviews.

My daughter is just about three and a half, but we’ve been homeschooling for a little over a year. All of our schooling so far has been led on her time frame. Once she showed an interest in learning and doing worksheets I set up a curriculum for her that covered all the bases I felt she needed and would enjoy.

There are days or weeks where she won’t want to do anything and other times where we will go through two weeks worth of work I have set up for her in two days. I don’t push her yet. In our state she wouldn’t be allowed to start Kindergarten until September 2020 so we’re pretty ahead of the ball game here.

We will be starting her Kindergarten year here at home in September of this year though and that will be a bit more structured. I’ll be going through my choices for her subjects we’ll be covering in posts over the next several weeks.

On to the questions!

1. What is your preschoolers favorite picture book?

My daughter loves anything Pete the Cat. Pete the Cat and the Four Groovy Buttons is what really got her reading on her own, because we simply didn’t have time to read it to her as many times as she wanted us to.

Her first favorite though was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? That one she owns several copies of and has read to the other children at story time.

2. How do you teach ABCs, colors, shapes and numbers?

We didn’t really teach her those things. Not formally. We just talked to her about what was around her from day one. ‘Look it’s a yellow triangle’ etc. She also learned most of that from youtube and from her Kindle apps. We gave her a kids kindle fire for her 1st birthday and she was constantly surprising us with all that she knew. She didn’t really talk at all until just before her second birthday and as she could speak more we found out more that she knew including all letters, uppercase and lowercase, all of her numbers through 20, all of her shapes and colors, and more songs than I can name. She just needed to get her speech to catch up to be able to really show us what she knew.

3. Do you use a curriculum for your homeschooler?

We did and do. What first brought her desire to learn to my attention was when she kept asking for more workbooks from dollar tree. She would complete them, at 2 years old, in an afternoon, with my help for instructions and filling in the answers she gave me. I wanted to make sure I had something that was helping her progress and not just jump all over the place like the 30 page workbooks she was choosing.

We used Horizons Math Kindergarten level and we’re nearly finished with it. We’ve also  We used a pre k level Plaid Phonics program, some of the Explode the Code books, and various other workbooks. We do the lesson, she tells me the answer, and I write it down for her. She doesn’t have to be able to write the words to know the material. We’re working on handwriting in our upcoming Kindergarten year.

4. What are your favorite websites to use to teach preschool?

We don’t really have a website that we use. She watches a lot of youtube. She can launch it on the PS4 on her own and figures out her own search terms to find what she wants. She also uses countless apps on the Amazon Freetime subscription she’s had since her first birthday.

5. Do you take your preschooler to any community activities on a weekly basis?

Yes. We are in a mommy and me music class that meets one morning a week during the standard school year. We go to 33 lessons a year where we sing and dance and play. We started that just before her 2nd birthday hoping it would help her begin to talk. It helped a lot in that regard.

We also go to a weekly storytime at our library.  She usually goes to that one with grandma.

6. How long do you teach your preschooler each day?

That very much depends on the day. If we did everything on a daily list and only what was on the list it would be about 45 minutes of work. A lot of days we skipped formal work entirely and other days she wants to keep going after two hours in.

7. What are their favorite educational shows to watch?

Her current obsessions are Sid the Science Kid, Paw Patrol, and Blippi. She used to love Backyardigans, Daniel Tiger, and more than I can remember right now, but they all sort of ebb and flow. Her top choice these days is to watch yoga for kids videos. She tries to follow along too.

8. How do you occupy your little one while homeschooling your older kids?

She is an only child.

9. What is your favorite educational toy to use for teaching?

Puzzles. She loves everything puzzle. She likes her big bulky wooden alphabet puzzles, her regular thin cardboard piece puzzles from the dollar tree, and digital puzzles on her kindle. We use them for so many things and they lead to so many conversations while she is playing.

Current Planning System

Current Planning System

I was a hardcore bullet journal junkie last time I posted a planner update and I was for about 2 years. Then, this past February I received a Recollections planner from Michael’s for my birthday. And I fell in love. I have used it very heavily ever since. If it’s not written in my planner it doesn’t get done.

I’m still able to use all of the washi tape, stickers, and pens that I love and have collected over my bullet journal years and it works very well for me at this time in my life. Especially with the current chaos. It’s very easy to just open and go. That’s just what I need right now.

Recently my 3 year old decided she really wanted to have a planner like mommy so we wiggled a little bit of room in our currently very tight budget to get her one. They were on sale at Michael’s for just under $10. And my little girl was in heaven.


She now constantly asks me to play planning with her. She also, tells everyone that her planner says Let’s be Mermaids. Totally worth every sacrifice it will take for that $10 purchase. I’ve supplied her with some of my stickers, washi tape, and pens and she keeps her own “planner goodie box ” as she calls it available for use at any moment.

Right now, she doesn’t actually have much to plan, but we sometimes use it to make a list of what she might like to do that day. Usually we use it journal a bit about what she liked or didn’t like in a particular day.

I am so in love with this extra special time together.

June Reading Wrap Up

I finished 17 books in June. I’ve impressed myself considering I was working as much as possible. To be fair, 5 of them were started in previous months. Here’s what I read.

  1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvian Neuvel ✰2✰
  2. You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham ✰4✰
  3. Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks ✰2✰
  4. Crystal the Snow Fairy by Daisy Meadows ✰3✰
  5. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking ✰2✰
  6. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty ✰3✰
  7. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor ✰4✰
  8. Heat: Fated Mates by Wolf Specter ✰5✰
  9. Omega’s Fate by Wolf Specter ✰3✰
  10. Mad Passion by Naaju Rorrete ✰2✰
  11. Tonight by Karen Stivali ✰5✰
  12. Off Broadway by Sarah Kay Moll ✰5✰
  13. Swimmer Boy by Jay Argent ✰3✰
  14. When Fire Met Rain by Henry Reign ✰2✰
  15. Finding Finn by Kiki Burrelli ✰4✰
  16. Lexi the Firefly Fairy by Daisy Meadows ✰3✰
  17. And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard ✰2✰

This was no where near my normal reading month as far as subject matter. Two of the books were early chapter books I read to my three year old daughter. She liked them more than I did and that was the point really.

I also read 7 romances which I haven’t read since I was 16 and working at summer camp. I ended up really enjoying the first one I picked up for free on kindle and then continued down a rabbit hole of reading another one as soon as I finished one. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

Overall a great reading month for me. And in the spirit of obscenely long currently reading lists I’m in the middle of 19 books. Down from 22. Progress is the important thing I suppose. When I do a midmonth check in I will include what books I am currently reading. Hopefully I can whittle the list down a bit before then.

Happy Reading!

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I’ve been seeing this all around booktube and blogs. I wasn’t tagged in this but wanted to give it a try anyway. First, as far as reading goals, the only one I had for the year was to read 52 books. So far I’ve read 66 books. I’m tentatively raising my goal to 100 books this year now. And I believe I’m still ahead of schedule even if that is the case. Now on to the tag questions.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018

For this one I’m going to choose Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I re-read Illumina for the 3rd time and also read Gemina and Obsidio for the first time directly afterwards and I loved them all. I gave all of them 5 stars. I love the stories, I love the kickass women, I love AIDAN, and most of all I love the format.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018

Going to have to go with Obsidio again for this one.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book. It’s not usually a genre I’m drawn too, but I have to read this one soon.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I didn’t have an answer for this so I looked at lists of books still to be released this year and I spotted People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins. I adore her books and had no idea a new one was coming out. Officially so excited to read it. Not excited about the subject matter though 😦

5. Biggest disappointment

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I just could not read the book. I tried several times and couldn’t get more than a few pages in to the book. The language grated on me really fast. I hope to give it another try at some point as it is so loved, but I’m really not sure about it.

6. Biggest surprise

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I was worried about the subject matter of this one and the format. But it was written in such beautiful language and it was so atmospheric I couldn’t put it down and read nearly all of it in one sitting.

7. Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

Seanan McGuire! This year I read the three books currently out in the Wayward Children series. I can’t wait for the fourth to come out next year. I love the characters. I love the world. I need more.

8. Newest fictional crush

I don’t usually have crushes on characters, but I suppose I would choose Finn from Finding Finn by Kiki Burrelli. Or maybe Luke from the same book.

9. Newest favorite character

Binti from The Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor. I am loving this series. I have read the first two books so far this year and am currently in the middle of the final book. She is so strong and brave and I am hoping to find out how her story ends over the course of this weekend.

10. Book that made you cry

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. It’s a story about an old man that is so sad he just wants to die. Of course it made me cry. But it also made me laugh and believe in the power of people that love you. I loved this book.

11. Book that made you happy

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun. A quick, cute, and quirky story that I need to read again and again and again and again.

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

The only book to film adaptation I saw this year was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. My husband and I both love the book so we saw the movie in 3d for our anniversary. It was nothing like the book at all, but it was still a really great and fun movie.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

This particular post is the closest to a review I’ve written.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

For this I’ll choose Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph. D. I’m currently reading this book. I’m in love with the colors on the cover.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

At least everything that I’m currently in the middle of. 19 books. For sure Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor. Also my re-read of She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. One of my top two favorite books of all time.


It’s been a pretty great reading year so far. Here’s hoping the rest of the year is as wonderful.


Happy Reading!