Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Potty training fashion

The last week or so, I have been realizing that I hate dealing with wet stretch pants when potty training, not to mention putting on dry stretch pants in public restrooms.

So, at least until it gets colder and/or the potty training finishes up, I'm going to try to keep Baby T in knee-length dresses.  That length seems to work really well.

Baby T's crocs are another very functional fashion choice--very easy to wash off as needed!

I don't think I mentioned that Baby T got through her first day in the pre-k parents'-day-out classroom with only one accident.  That was really good!  I had been concerned that one change of clothes would not be enough.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


C had her cake decorating class last night.  She isn't really a flower person, so she didn't care for that part of it.  However, she does want to do a Star Trek (!) cupcake thing as her final project.  I don't know how this is going to work, but I am trying to keep an open mind.  We are both delighted by how easy it is to clean up royal icing as compared to greasy buttercream.  The cleanup is probably the worst part of dealing with buttercream.

C took two ukuleles to school today for her instrumental music class.

Baby T went to PDO today in cotton underpants.  It was scary, but I dropped her off dry.  Baby T had reacted to meet the teacher a couple weeks ago by lying down on the floor and not wanting to meet the teacher.  Today, she got up happy, had breakfast happy, helped make lunch happy, and walked right into school happy (perhaps reassured by the presence of many familiar faces in a new room).  It's amazing how fast all of that goes when you have a child who is on board with the program...I was gratified to see her trace every single letter of her name on a sheet her teacher had given her.  Awwww!

It feels like the beginning of a new era.  

Monday, August 29, 2016


After some initial bumps (on the first day of school, I went through four different kid pickup areas, plus needing to park and take all the kids into a school building on foot to pick up some stuff), the kinks have been worked out and today I only had to go through ONE carpool line to pick up two kids.


It's a miracle.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Round up

Here's some of the stuff that's happened in the last week:

  • Baby Girl had hand foot and mouth and missed the first week of the new term of parents' day out.
  • Theoretically, she's supposed to be in cotton underpants for her pre-K PDO class Tuesday.  Funny!  (I do have a nice bribe stash, though, and we're working on it, but she's only been in cotton underpants twice.)
  • C and D had their first week of school (that was OK, but a lot of scurrying--it took three days to get the carpool straightened out, and I'm not sure it is yet). 
  • The fridge door is wonky and we had an appliance guy in.  They've ordered the parts and we're waiting to hear from them.  
  •  My husband was away for two nights.
  • Just before he returned, I discovered that the kitchen sink was leaking and that a small puddle had been collecting under the sink and that's why the area smelled mushroom-y.  My husband got the leak to stop and then put cat litter under the sink--we have no cat, but a big bag from a previous project.  It looks like it's going to be a household maintenance staple from now on.
  • On a happier note, C's pink cupcake project turned out exquisitely.  The white-on-white cherry blossom ones with white sprinkles looked very fancy, as did the fondant cherry blossoms brushed with diluted pink dye and the gold sprinkles.  So pretty!  The white-on-white ones would be amazing for a wedding.  
  • Baby Girl is working on a Kumon upper case letter book.  Her tracing skills have really come along the past few months.  
So, things are improving, but I can't wait until the mushroom-y smell in the kitchen goes away.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Royal icing

I was just doing a google image search for "royal icing."

I'm just blown away--people are amazing!

Pink cupcakes

We are in the middle of a project.  When we were at the store today procuring meringue powder and powdered sugar for use in mixing up the royal icing for C's Wilton level 2 class, C noticed the fondant and asked me to buy a box.  (Previously, C has not wanted anything to do with fondant.)

Currently, some pink (the cake mix said "pink velvet") cupcakes are baking.  We have a tub of white buttercream, a box of fondant, an elegant box of white and gold sprinkles and a never-used cherry blossom fondant mold (a birthday gift).  C also wants to experiment with painting on fondant.  Lots of great options!

I'm very curious as to how this is going to go.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Good News/Bad News

Bad News:  Baby T has mystery spots that I'm concerned may be hand, foot and mouth or one of the various infectious illnesses that causes spots.  Baby T may need to miss part or all of the first week of parents' day out, depending what the doctor says.  And school is about to start for the big kids, too, so I was really hoping to get some time to catch up my school papers and emails.

Good News:  We get more potty training time before she goes to the pre-k room where everybody wears cotton underpants.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Here's some of what's happening:

  • The last 2-3 days Baby T has been using the home!!!  Not every single time, but very often.  C has been helping a lot with taking her.  
  • This process started about a year and a half ago when Baby T seemed to be interested and making progress--but that didn't go anywhere, and I was left with a big shelf of prizes collecting dust.
  • I switched things up a few weeks ago by starting to reward just trying, not succeeding, and eventually that led to her succeeding (initially with C).  Baby T has now earned every single one of the My Little Ponies that I had on the prize shelf.  
  • Initially, I was just giving her a small prize every time she succeeded, but she's now working toward a Melissa and Doug ice cream play set that Baby T has wanted for a long, long time.  She just needs one more successful visit to get it (it's a 10 point item).
  • Here's the recent process:  reward for trying > reward immediately for success > reward with larger item for a large number of successes.
  • Baby T also has a huge appetite for craft supplies right now (Scotch tape, Play Doh, etc.) so I should probably put those into the potty prize system.   
  • I also need to suck it up and put her in cotton underpants for a few hours at a time.  This is a scary step for me, but it has to be done soon.
  • The funny thing is that Baby T is 3 years 10 months old now, and this is just about exactly when an older sibling (let's not be too exact about who) potty trained.  
  • The heat is on because while we're on break from parents' day out right now and Baby T's teacher says that she's moving up to a new classroom and she should start trying the underpants.  So it's crunch time...But I think it can be done pretty soon.    

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Austin Ukulele Society

Here's what's been happening:

  • On Thursday the five of us made a long-awaited day trip to the Austin Ukulele Society.  
  • We stopped on the way at a large suburban indoor play gym with adult-sized habitrails, an arcade and surprisingly good food (fantastic fries and very good quesadillas).
  • My husband dropped me and C off at the AUS meeting site in Austin and the rest of the family (husband, D and Baby T) went off to play at the playground near the Thinkery.
  • A caution about the meeting--we arrived right as the meeting was starting and almost didn't manage to get chairs.
  • They opened with playing and singing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds and then there was a tutorial on how to play Elton John's Rocket Man.  Then they had open mike and finished with On the Road Again.
  • The open mike performances were very impressive:  there was a teenage virtuoso, a guy simultaneously playing the kazoo (he makes and sells kazoos) and the ukulele while singing St. James Infirmary Blues, a woman playing and singing City of New Orleans (which eventually turned into a sing along), and a couple of groups from Kevin Carroll's Austin ukulele school
  • I have a lot of interest in Kevin Carroll's school for C, as they have both weekly lessons (a bit too far for us) but also weekend workshops (which is more manageable).        
  • C had a very good time and really would have liked to do the open mike if she could have gotten on.  I asked her what she liked and she said she liked playing with other people.
  • We were in a back row, but it is a very interesting feeling sitting in the middle of all of these vibrating strings. 
  • Oh, and AUS has beautiful t-shirts.
  • They have at least several other children coming to the group, including the teen virtuoso.
  • For our geography, the AUS meeting date of every second Thursday 7-8:30 PM is kind of awkward during the school year, but we should be able to come again at least next summer.  My husband was thinking that in future he could take the younger kids to a movie.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Just a suggestion

Baby T, how about next time you not copiously glue stick your toy muffin pan?

Just a thought.