Thursday, April 18, 2013

Potty Time Pete

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We've been trying for almost a year to get my 3-year-old interested in getting out of diapers. And I keep finding myself saying "he just isn't ready" as, everything technique we try... he just isn't buying it. We've purchased Big Boy undies in every character or theme he loves. We've tried to set goals of new toys or candy and his day care provider even offered "skip nap time" if he goes on the potty. We had his own potty chair with his own toilet paper and books. Each of these seemed to have sparked interest at the time, but, he quickly catches on and decides he ISN'T going to play along. He WANTS his diaper. And can you blame him? LOL. Potty training is WORK... it means he has to quit what he is doing (playing) to go and sit on the toilet.

So, I decided to scour the web to see what I could find. I found a blog post that talked about potty training in a day. But... really... it wasn't REALLY accomplished in one day. The first day was spent doing nothing but playing games and going to the potty every 15 minuets. Which, I get the idea... keep doing it until it clicks. Only, what happens on day two, three, four, five? The SAME thing. The blogger confessed that it took almost a full week to get the routine down and the diapers out. As a mom who works outside the home... how could we do this? Would my day care provider be willing to follow OUR routine that we created that day at her house the rest of the week?

Before we jumped in full force with potty training boot camp... I had one last little idea. While reading some tips online, someone mentioned placing targets in the toilet. Now, this could be fun! Make it a game! As I read some other blog posts about targets, items were listed such as cheerios,  fruit loops,  and I found a website that makes ALL KINDS of paper and floating targets for the toilet. But, when I saw the word "Ping Pong Ball"... the light bulb went on. And...the idea for Potty Time Pete was created.

On my drive home from work, I thought up Pete's story, the games he likes to play, and the logistics for making this work. A quick trip to Wally World, and the plan was in place.

Items used to create Pete:
A package of Ping Pong balls
A Sharpie (color of your choice)
small containers with a lid (Pete's House)
A small gift bag

I threw Pete together in the car, put him in his "house", wrapped him in a gift bag, and walked in the door.
My son was SO excited to get a special surprise gift from Momma. It started off positive and exciting.
We turned off the tv and we all (Momma, Dadda, and son) sat down together to open the special surprise. Everyone is on board and excited to welcome Potty Time Pete into the family (cheesy or not, folks... it gets better). My son pulled the container out of the bag and saw Pete's smiling face. He shook the container and asked - "what is this, Momma?" and I told him about Pete. 

It goes like this...

"This is Potty Time Pete! This little guy LOVES potty time! When you are ready, he wants to float in the water of the toilet and play two really fun games with you. His first favorite game is called Twirly Whirly! When you go pee pee with him, he spins around and around in the water! Isn't that FUN?!?! Pete's second favorite game is called BOMBS AWAY (I shouted this part in a fun voice). Do you know how to play BOMBS AWAY? When you go poo poo in the toilet, the water splashes like waves and Pete rides on the waves! He LOVES that game! What do you think? Would you like to play these games with Potty time Pete?"


...and all three of us were off to the bathroom to play with Pete. 

Obviously, Dada had to demonstrate the Twirly Whirly game. As I stepped out of the bathroom, to give them some privacy, It was SOOO cute to hear my husband do the "Twirly Whirly Twirly Whirly" voice as he played the game. LOL. My son couldn't wait to try. He didn't even need us to demo the BOMBS AWAY game, as, he understood exactly what to do. He couldn't get his diaper off fast enough... he was so excited to try.

After all was said and done, we flushed the toilet and good ol' Potty Time Pete didn't go down the drain with the rest... he floated on top and was rinsed clean. (LOVE that Ping Pong balls float and don't get sucked into the toilet!). We picked him up out of the water, washed him off in the sink along with our hands. and put him back in his home for next time. Super cute.

I created multiple Potty Time Pete balls and homes so that one could live at day care, at Nanna and Poppa's house, and one in the diaper bag for when we are on the go. 

Hoping Potty Time Pete keeps the excitement about potty training alive, and we can skip the week long potty training boot camp, because, going to the potty with Pete is A LOT more fun anyway. :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

And so it begins

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Whew. I have to say... it feels SO GOOD to finally have a plan mapped out and started for completing my son's scrapbooks. I am in LOVE with the mini albums by Becky Higgins. Each page holds 2- 4x4 photos and 2 - 3x4 note cards. Just enough space to get creative, but, not overwhelmed at the same time. I went a little crazy on my first page, as, it's the first page for the month of march, so, I guess you could call it the March Title Page. The pages to follow won't have SO many embellishments, but, more journaling and full size photos. :)

Each month, Studio Calico will mail me a small box FULL of Project Life kit goodies! I will use what's inside the box to scrap each month. Easy Peasy.

The beautiful part is, I don't have to roam the isles at a scrapbook store, trying to decide what "theme" or color scheme I want to go with... the hard work is done and packaged in adorable little bags. The kit has everything - note cards, stickers, embellishments, etc. And
each month will contain a varitiy of new items that are trending in the
scrapbook and memory keeping world. Be sure to check out the latest and greates kit by clicking the sneek peek graphic in my side bar. :)

A lot of scrapbookers are using 12 x 12 albums for their project life books. I would personally LOVE to try that, but, feel a little overwhelmed with it. So, I decided to start off with Becky Higgins's Mini Albums. These are the perfect size for my son's books. Small enough for him to set and flip through and carry around.
I began my project by dividing the album into three months. That will give us 4 books for each year. And, by having a set number of pages for each month, I won't end up having 2 pages for one month and 10 for the next month. LOL. it will all be divided evenly and keep my OCD in check.

The next step was to print off all my photos that I took using instagram. Did you know that Walgreen's now has an app for your phone that you can order your instagram photos from? In two minuets, I selected 100 photos, and sent them to the print center at Walgreen's  all from my phone. They were ready to pick up 45 minuets later. I was impressed with the quality of the prints too, not to mention their cute 4x4 size.

Some of the photos will stay 4x4 and some will be cut down to fit the 3x4 slots or to fit in photo frames that came with the kit. So, the next step was to decide what order and where each picture would go. I organized my photos by date and started to slip them in to the pages I had dedicated for March. Instead of doing one page at a time, I found that by using the photos as place holders for the whole month, I would be able to include everything and nothing would get left out. Once the photos were in their spot, the next step was to fill in the holes with items form the kit. Aka - THE FUN PART!

And there you have it! It was pretty quick and easy and I could still get creative. The best part is, I had all my supplies spread out on the living room floor last night as I put together my first page. My son (who was supposed to be sleeping) creeped into the living room to see what I was up to. I was so sure he would tear into my stickers and embellishments like a tornado, but, instead, he ran right to the book, like a magnet and started to touch and feel, flip the pages, and ask questions - "Momma... is this ME? what was I doing?" and the story telling began. Made my heart happy.

To learn more about Studio Calico - Check out their website here
You can learn more about the Project Life method here

Here's to HAPPY! (hugs) - Leslie

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scrapbooking in a new way

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If you follow my blog, you know that I take scrapbooking to a different level. I am proud to say that a lot of my digital artwork has been featured on many big Digital Scrapbooking websites, and, my technique has been inquired on many times. I was asked to create a tutorial for Digi Shop Talk, and, my tutorial was featured in a challenge for Sweet Shop Designs. I love love love to come up with "out-of-the box" ways of using documenting and art together.

Here's the pitfall... I don't get to scrap the "everyday" things that happen in our life... why? I just don't have enough time to create it all, using my unique style. And sadly, I really only have 5-6 pages for my son's scrapbook... amazing pages... lol... but I didn't capture the funny and important everyday things.

So, after stepping back, researching different styles and methods of scrapbooking, I finally made a decision to use the Project Life method by Becky Higgins to document out life. If you saw this post  last year, I was super excited about it. lol. But when 2013 rolled around, I soon realized that the Project Life products were in high demand and you almost had to sit and wait on the computer to buy them when they went live, or, you missed out.
So, what was I going to do? Ugh...

April's Project Life Kit - SPENCER'S

That's when I found Studio Calico. And I have to say... GOOD things come to those who wait... patiently. Studio Calico is a crafting and scrapbooking site that you subscribe to! You sign up for a monthly kit and it is mailed out to you on the first of every month. And let me assure you... this is no cookie cutter kit... Some of the biggest names in scrapbooking are put together to make up each kit! Basic Grey, Hero Arts, Project Life, etc. Each kit is a coordinating mixture of awesomeness. And the best part is, I don't have to hunt for all of these items in stores or online. They are already put together and in some of the most cutest packaging I've EVER SEEN! I plan to use the BAGS that these items were packaged in, IN my scrapbooks! Can we say Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

I don't want to spill ALL the beans in this one post, so, I'm going to continue to tell you more about Studio Calico in the days to come. Can't wait to show you some of my layouts and introduce you to some AMAZING scrapbook ladies too! This month's kit is sold out, but, You can sign up for a subscription and get on the list for next month's kit! Only 3 more days until the big reveal on what's included in May's Kit!! :D