Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking Advantage

Some things are making their way out of the garden these days.  There are copious amounts of cucumbers.  We aren't really pickle-people, so we're eating them up raw (dipped in salad dressing) or slicing them up for Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad or slicing them and folding them up in flat bread with hummus (swoon).  We're still finding zucchini under all those leaves and they are making their way into zucchini bread (with blueberries or chocolate chips) as well as every. single. dinner. I make.  We're still picking wine berries and red raspberries.  Jamey pulled our garlic and it is drying out a bit before I braid it.  If our resident ground hog hadn't eaten our first planting of green beans, I'd be swimming in them right now, but instead, we're waiting for the second planting to produce.


So.  While there is stuff happening, it is far from as busy as it's going to get.  The beans will eventually come as will the nectarines I ordered as will the tomatoes and later the grapes.  My feet are starting to swell just thinking about it.  That said, I've been trying to take advantage of this quieter part of my summer because later...I won't get much of anything else done.  Here's what I've been working on...

~ I've organized almost all of our school stuff for the fall.  I have everything in hand, so I've been able to assign shelves- putting all of Sam's books on one and all of Sadie's on another.  I've gone through and determined how many days/lessons there will be of each subject and distributed them evenly over our 36 school week plan.  Sonlight's teacher books are behemoth, so I've made up smaller teacher binders for each child so I have four weeks of lessons at my fingertips instead of 36.  I've made copies of reproducibles and a list of supplies we still need.  We could start tomorrow if we needed to and that's a good thing because all of a sudden, with my arms up to my elbows in tomatoes, I'll realize this.

~ Sam and Miriam switched rooms.  We have three bedrooms in our house (all upstairs).  Two are large and one is very small.  Before indoor plumbing, the small room was also large, but then they added a spacious bathroom which chopped that bedroom in half.  It was perfect as a nursery, but it was time for Sam to have his own space and to put the girls together.  Swapping rooms didn't take as long as we thought and the change has (miraculously) been seamless.  I was expecting intense disruption (wondering how the girls would get along at bedtime and when waking up) so I wanted to get it out of the way.

~  I'm (gulp) potty training Miriam.  This is one of my very, very, very least favorite parts of parenting.  Once they're trained, I'm in heaven, but this process is SO time consuming and...can I say frustrating?  I initiated it because Miriam was showing signs of being ready (telling me when she was peeing or pooping and having had some successes using the potty several months ago) AND because I wanted to train her 1) when I had the time and 2) when I could let her run around in her little undies.  If I didn't give it a go now, I knew my next chance would be in the spring because being interrupted every 10-15 minutes to set your child on the potty is not conducive to teaching.

We're a week in (she's two years old) and so far, I'm able to catch most of the pee (thankfully, she's takes care of other business in her diaper as soon as she wakes up) by sitting her on the potty a lot.  I think she may be starting to hold it until I make her sit, but she isn't telling me yet when she has to go.  As a reward for peeing in the potty, I give her two berries.  You would not believe how happy this makes her.  Who needs candy when you have berries?

~  The last project I completed which I will mention is that we went through all our books and will be sending a large box off to give away.  Our shelves were bursting at the seams and it needed to be done.  This makes keeping what books we do have easier to organize and get to.

So, this is what is keeping my busy these days.  My hope is that when everything from the garden hits at once, I'll be ready. Let's just hope Miriam is potty trained by then.... Pin It


  1. Best wishes on the potty training! Not one of my favorite aspects of parenting either.

  2. This is the best time of summer. The fruit is starting to roll in the door, but at a much more relaxing pace then 4 weeks from now! Best of luck with Miriam. That will be me and Tage next summer...

  3. Berries are way better than M&M's...that's what we rewarded with. :) Potty trainin was my least favorite part as well...NO fun...

  4. Thy Hand... i'm potty training, too... i have a 2 yr. 8 month old daughter...i waited to PT for a few reasons...season (summer, as you mentioned, allows for less clothes :)), and i had a baby 4 months ago...i knew my toddler was going to have enough change... :)
    soooo, we're in week TWO here...had a "too good to be true" first week...only a few accidents...and days without any accidents... we took some major steps back this weekend, so we started anew on Tuesday morning - and she's doing a bit better... what is your advice when it comes to this phase? :) how do you help them tell you before it's too late and they already go? this seems to be our challenge...when she has to go, she knows and tells you (most of the time), but the steps to the potty from that point are just too many... (and we have a potty in our living room and our bathroom has a kiddie potty and a kiddie seat for the big toilet) our bathroom is probably 15 steps from our living room...
    should i set her up to go potty every hour or so? sometimes she tells me she has to go, sometimes she doesn't... so, i've been having her go every hour or so, and also, during the times i notice she has more accdients (typically after meals, but not b/c of #2...she's got that down pat with the potty). :)
    she's VERY impatient when she has to go at our encouragement...if it doesn't come QUICKLY, she's impatient and starts to whine... we set a timer, now, for 5 minutes...and she can get up after 5 minutes if she hasn't gone...
    sometimes i wonder if she's just too busy to focus on potty training, too...
    we reward with a few M&Ms, too, (no plethora of berries for us :( ), and she's taken to SAVING her M&Ms for meals instead of the instant gratification...intersting...
    i don't want to push my sweet girl...she's ready, i think... perhaps i'm just expecting it to be quicker... but i'm OK with things so far...just would love your advice (again) with this phase :)
    cheers to simultaneous potty training... :)

  5. Oh, Robin! We are in the same boat! I have no idea how to teach them to notice the feeling that it's soon going to come. Before I head off to the bathroom, I try to remember to say, "Uh oh, mommy feels like pee might come out. I have to go sit on the potty quick!" I feel like such a dork saying this, but whatever it takes! I set Miriam on the potty every 15 minutes or so, more often if she wasn't able to go the last time she sat. I read books to her while she's on it and that keeps her seated but it means I get nothing else done in the meantime. It IS a good use of my time if it means no diapers in the near future. We move our potty everywhere- in the living room (on hard wood) if she's watching something, in the kitchen if that's where I am, etc. I have no idea if any of this is helpful to you- or to me for that matter! We must just muddle through- there is no formula that works for every child. It's trial and error and knowing your child. Oh, and puddles, too. Best of luck!


  7. I was so fortunate that my husband did most of the training with the three boys and I only had one girl. I can remember drinking a 12 oz. glass of water every time I went to the bathroom so I could remember to take HER in frequently. I'm convinced cloth diapers made PT easier because they hated being wet from the get go. Rejoice in the day, they grow up soooo fast.
    As an aside, have you tried shredding and freezing zucchini? You don't need to blanch it or anything. It works great in soups and in bread. It takes less space in the freezer than bread. You are heating your house in the winter instead of the summer.
    I love your site, keep up the good work.


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