Tales from the “Potty Train”

by Rachel on September 10, 2015

Potty Training a 2-Year-Old

Truth: I dreaded potty training long before I even had kids. I am a total germaphobe, so the thought of taking my tiny child into a public restroom completely grossed me out.

Fast forward a few years to this week, where I found myself sitting Parker on a toilet in the women’s restroom at Busch Stadium. Was it gross? Yes. Did I cry a little inside when he insisted on flushing himself? Undoubtedly. But did I survive? Here I am writing this blog post.

The real truth is, potty training has been surprisingly easy. Parker was excited to wear his Olaf underwear, and pretty much understood the concept of staying dry and using the “potty train” (he is going through a total choo-choo phase right now, so his misunderstanding of the phrase has worked to our advantage) from day one.

We didn’t use any special method or books; what worked for Parker was spending a full 3 days at home with the potty in the living room as a constant reminder to use it.

There have been some accidents on occasion, but after a few weeks of training, I’m thrilled to say that I only have one child in diapers now. Funny, my spending at Target hasn’t decreased as significantly as I thought it would…

Having a potty-trained child is still a lot of work, between the nonstop reminders, incessant trips to the bathroom, and tush-wiping duty. And the thought of all the public restroom adventures in my future kind of makes my skin crawl, but I’ll get over it. Maybe.


This is My Self-Care

by Rachel on September 4, 2015

Fridays at home Every week, I ask my podcast guests about their self-care practices. That is, what they do to nurture their spirits and recharge their batteries. 

Some do yoga, others grow gardens…the list goes on. And then there are some who admit that this is an area where they fall short. I get it; I’m not good at self-care either.

All my current hobbies (songwriting, recording, website geekiness) are related to my work because I gave up the ones that weren’t (biking, working out regularly, scrapbooking) when I had kids and no time to pursue them. 

So yesterday during our intern’s weekly supervision meeting, I felt a little like a hypocrite talking how important self-care is and assigning her to partake in self-care activities each week. 

And then I woke up this morning and felt like a kid on Christmas when I remembered that I don’t work on Fridays anymore. Not that I don’t absolutely LOVE my work, but there is nothing better than ending the week with a day devoted to my babies — nowhere to go, nothing around which to plan our day, the whole weekend spread out in front of us. THIS is my self-care. 

My first non-work Friday has been awesome. My friend Angie came over so that Parker and Janie could have a play date while we got to hang out with the baby girls.  

Playdate with play-doh

And while Parker is napping, I’m typing this blog post with Mia asleep on my lap, not running around trying to accomplish a million things like I do on work days.

Mia Belle sleeps

I may never work on Fridays again, and instead of feeling guilty about that, I’m just going to call it self-care. 


The Longest Shortest Time

by Rachel on August 25, 2015

The Longest Shortest Time

You know that feeling you get when you look in your closet and are overwhelmed with so many choices that you just can’t make a decision, and end up in yoga pants and a t-shirt?

(I used to know this feeling, back when I wasn’t dealing with a postpartum body and the clothes in my closet actually fit. So now I’m wearing you pants and t-shirt for LACK of options.)

But back to the original scenario. That’s how I’ve felt about this blog lately — SO much has happened in the last month and I have SO many things to write about, I don’t know where to start…so I haven’t.

I mentioned over at Listen & Learn recently that this season of having young children really is the “longest shortest time” (shout-out to one of my favorite podcasts). The days go by so slowly and seem to be a million hours long, but when I look back at the past 3 months, they seem to have flown in the blink of an eye. Seriously, wasn’t Parker just an infant learning to roll over? Now he’s talking in complete sentences while my second baby (what?!) begins working on her rolling skills.

These long days/short weeks have been filled to the brim — with playdates, potty-training, swimming in Mimi’s pool, walks in the double stroller, and all the other things you do with a toddler and an infant. Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll write more about Parker’s interactions with his little friends, his favorite games to play in the pool, and all the times he’s fallen asleep on our walks while Mia stares at me wide-eyed the entire way. I want to remember all these things and read about them many short years from now.

But that day is not today, because right now the days are long and full in the best possible way.


World Breastfeeding Week

by Rachel on August 5, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week

This is the 3rd consecutive year I’ve celebrated World Breastfeeding Week by — wait for it — breastfeeding. We’ve attended the annual World Breastfeeding Week Zoo Walk, hosted by the West Central Illinois Breastfeeding Taskforce, each year since 2012, when I started providing musical entertainment during the event.

In 2013, I was just a couple months in to motherhood and still working to get the hang of nursing Parker. He was a huge supporter of breastfeeding from the start, as you can see ;)

World Breastfeeding Week

In 2014, he was down to nursing just in the morning and at bedtime, but neither of us were quite ready to give it up altogether. (He self-weaned a little over a month later, literally on the day I found out I was pregnant.)

World Breastfeeding Week

And this year, I’m right back at the beginning with Mia, who is just 10 weeks old. Nursing her has been so much easier than it was with Parker, which I attribute to knowing what I’m doing this time around and feeling much more confident.

World Breastfeeding Week

We always have a great time getting together with friends I’ve met through the mom & baby group at St. John’s Hospital, and this year was especially fun now that Parker is old enough to really enjoy the zoo.

I’m hoping that I can celebrate this week next year by continuing to breastfeed at least until then, if not longer. As exhausting and consuming as it can be at times, there is nothing better than having this girl snuggled up to me.


The Best Stage Yet

August 4, 2015

The other day, I took Parker and Mia over to my friend Crystal’s house for a playdate. She has four kids ranging from under 1 to 10 years old, so I pretty much consider her a seasoned expert on parenting. We were talking about how the time goes by so quickly, and she said something […]

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A Day in the Life With Two

July 12, 2015

I hate to admit it, but I dreaded those first few days at home alone with both Parker and Mia. Aside from the fact that I was still healing and exhausted from waking up several times a night, I had no idea how in the world to take care of two kids — both in […]

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Mia’s Newborn Photos

July 10, 2015

At just 5 days old, Mia was the perfect model for her newborn photo shoot — she slept the entire time! Our photographer, Tara Long, took advantage of her sleepiness by using lots of different fun props and even taking the shoot outside. I couldn’t believe that despite all the outfit and prop changes, Mia […]

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Peace Out, Paci

July 3, 2015

I find it more than a little amusing that we’re weaning one child from the pacifier while simultaneously trying to teach the other child to take one. And it’s going better than expected…for one child, at least. Mia isn’t a fan quite yet, but if she’s anything like her big brother, she’ll develop a deep […]

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A Lullaby for Little Sis

June 23, 2015

The question everyone is asking these days: “How is Parker adjusting to the new baby?” I think this video pretty much sums up his relationship with her. In all honesty, I thought we were going to have some serious jealousy issues to deal with once Mia arrived. Parker is used to having 100% of our […]

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Mia’s Birth Story

June 3, 2015

The story of Mia’s birth begins on Friday, May 22. It started out like any other Friday — Parker and I ate breakfast, played in his playroom, read books, and went for a walk. I kept the walk short, though, because I didn’t want to tempt the baby to come. As much as I was […]

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