two and a half.

It took me months to dig through and pick out the pieces of our Disney footage where we weren't drenched in sweat. I'm only kind of kidding. I also threw in a few other of our latest & greatest activities. Here's another video for the (blog) books.

big bed


I don't know crib transitioning etiquette. How, when or why. Not a thing about it.

With my particular two-year-old, there's no time for petty research.

But I do know that Carter was starting to look cramped in that crib. (I'm editing out the part where he invariably insists on sleeping with five stuffed Winnie the Pooh characters, a teddy bear and an elephant pillow.) I talked to him about getting his own big bed before we swiped his crib from under him, but I don't think he grasped that this meant actually changing his sleeping life. I'm betting he thought a big bed would be added somewhere in the house for his own daily, jumping amusement.

Because that's what the other beds are for.

I notice most parents in the facebook/internet world gradually remove crib rails, then buy a small toddler bed with plans to eventually buy a larger bed when the child grows.

Yeah. We skipped all those steps.

One day a couple weeks ago, we pulled apart his crib and turned it into a headboard and footboard for his new, full-sized, big boy bed. I like to think of this cold turkey strategy as having a couple bits of genius to them. Most obviously, this will be his first and last bed transition until he leaves home. Since the crib is in pieces, there's no confusion about going back. I love that he'll be sleeping with that crib, in some form, for his whole life here. I'll always be able to see my baby in that wood while he's all growing up-ish.

While we were on the floor setting up the new bed, Carter was jumping around, squealing with widened eyes when he was finally, truly convinced this new bed would belong to him. But when it came time to go to sleep in it? No thix, Mommy. I was a little annoyed that nobody'd tweeted, facebooked or just screamed out their window that bed transitioning takes the same type of persuasion as say, potty training.

Ok so really, it's not as hard as potty training, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a book or two out there called Toddler Bed Training. Or somebody's at least written a small, dog-eared chapter in a dusty library about it.

Night one was a small fight, but that's it. The freedom to get in and out of his own bed sunk in fast and has almost completely eliminated bedtime battles. The little rebel giggles in hysteria when he slides out of his bed, as if he's single handedly defied the most militant law on the planet and lived to see an extra minute. He's just been released from years full of hours of solitary crib caging.

Which is a thought so happy, that it would make any toddler sleep pretty solid at night.

If you need a little Big Bed video drama (you do.), have a watch.

missy's portraits giveaway winner


The winner of her own, customized Missy's Portraits 5x7 painting is:


Jayme wrote:

I liked on FB!!

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered!


I'm kind of a big deal.

At last. I write about something that coincides perfectly with the title of my blog. I'm feeling cautious about this one. I'm no parenting writer.

But I guess I'm still a parent.

A lot of a toddler's frustrations are channeled into his inability to tell you what he wants. Once he can talk, most of those crying fits are eliminated.

So they say.

Ahem. Let's jump to the unwritten chapter where Carter can mostly tell me in broken words and small sentences every single thing he wants. Except? The sentences gravitate around anything and everything I don't want him to do.

I watch Mee-mouse. I want to watch Mickey Mouse.
I want pop. I want a lolly pop.
I want dat peece, peas. I want that Pepsi, please.
No bath. I not!
No like dat [insert any given food I make here].
I get tattoo. Kidding. But he may as well say it.

Saying no has truly started beating me down. Not because the crying bothers me, but having days full of battles wears on our supposedtobehappy relationship. I can't stand that my discipline has my little prince personally and tragically offended. I want to tell him yes as often as I can for his entire childhood.

And you know what? No matter how much I explain to him why he can't have or do certain things, it's not going to change the toddler rule of thumb. Kids love things that are bad for them. They hate doing things that are good for them. At his age, disrupting this causes screams and tears.

Since he understands everything I say, I started approaching the requests differently. Instead of outright saying no, I'll figure out a way to work in a yes.

I'm going to interrupt myself for a second here with a typical parenting disclaimer. Children do need to learn to hear no. I'm working on saying no in different ways so Carter can learn right from wrong and still be happy at the same time. There are still tons of circumstances where I have to outright tell him no. And before anyone writes it, he's not spoiled.

Momma, I watch Mee-mouse.
I get my voice super excited. Yes, you can! But first we're going to get a nap.
He's so thrown off and thrilled by the sound of Yes, that the nap doesn't bother him. The nap isn't even for another hour, but I skipped the battle and turned his request into a reward.

Let's go get a bath.
No bath! I not!! Eyebrows are furrowed and fists are even clenched at his sides.
Normally, I pick him up, kicking and screaming, and carry him to the tub. Except now, he gets a choice.
Ok. Mommy's going upstairs. You can stay here by yourself or come get a bath.
{Or the harsher route} Ok. You can sit in Time Out or come get a bath.

We fight less and play more. I'm not teaching no with the ease and simplicity I'd envisioned my previous parenting self, but my house isn't full of constant, heart-broken battles anymore. I think that children carry the early happiness you teach with them for the rest of their lives. When he was a baby, I smiled at him constantly through my tiredness, but I never knew that someday just smiling would come to be this challenging. I've wondered more than once when the crying will stop. After more than two years, the day will come when I've tucked him into bed without having seen a single tear. But I have a feeling that when it happens, I'll be missing his chubby cheeks too much to even notice.

In the meantime, I've taken my Pepsi addiction, poured it into an inconspicuous mug and convinced him that it's yucky coffee.

[now closed] giveaway! missy's portraits

Melissa from Missy's Portraits just added mini portraits to her custom painting sizes! Now you can choose from a 4x6 ($35) or a 5x7 ($50). These make personalized home decor and gifts even more adorable and affordable!

Want her to paint one of you, your baby or pet? You can win a FREE 5x7!

There are a few different ways to enter; you can do as many or few as you want. Leave a separate comment with your email on this blog for each:
♥ Like on Facebook
♥ Favorite on Etsy
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missy's portraits

The winner will be chosen on Monday, 3/26



Up to my elbows in a strange poopie diaper scent I've never really sampled before, I say to Carter, Phewwww-ieee! What did you eat?!

He doesn't even pause to think this one over. I eat poop!


Are you ok? It's still me under here (Carter's running around here somewhere, too!). If clicking this page is part of your daily (or weekly) routine, I'm sorry to startle you!

It's going to take some getting used to for me, too. I had my sleeping baby photo up top for more than two years. Hold on.


Ok, now that life's feeling a little more predictable for all of us, I'll keep on with my explanation. I was so in love with that picture; for years it sent a squeeze of satisfaction around my heart every time I clicked over to my page. But lately, the squeeze stopped coming, and I get more of an annoying, 1985 vibe when I see the same old photo with the raggedy text sitting on it. The sleeping bumble picture was just starting to feel tired. (Pun totally intended.)

I stumbled across a new blog not too long ago, and at first sight I was hit with a killer urge to get this page looking as pretty as Bobbi's. Stalking in a little farther, I read that she designs blogs and felt like I'd hit the jackpot. If ever you venture beyond the mommy blog category, Today, I'm Bobbi is where you start!

I think it's turned out absolutely adorable. She was so fun, talented and hilarious to collaborate with. I'm not big on change, but I feel like I was really careful and soo ready for this one!

mommy monday


I haven't been writing much about my take on parenting a two year old lately, but I'm still finding minutes between play dates and temper tantrums to get wrapped into other people's parenting worlds. These two little bits really inspired me and had me wishing I'd thought to write/vlog it myself.

♥ Read this and feel better about your mommy self today.
♥ A hundred ways to be kind to your child. Take a listen.

bring it on, santa claus

We came home from practicing for some major, scary holiday characters last week. If Carter cries when we see Santa this year, I'll fall on the mall's floor in a big puddle of igiveup.

MOMMY!! Jyook!


I have a couple hundred pictures from our trip to Disney World, and honestly, it really overwhelms me when I've thought about putting on my blogging hat since we got home. Here's the gist of our trip.

♥ The crowds at Disney World made me feel so incredibly small and insignificant as a human on this planet.
♥ We waited in 30 minute lines for everything - meeting characters, rides and food. It took a lot of explaining and sweaty stamina before Carter found his patient place in the world of line-awaiters. Being a Disney virgin, I guess I thought that for the crazy ticket prices, the lines would have somehow been deleted.
♥ Little boys can get made over as pirates with black eyes, facial hair and smudges on their face. Carter sees a little pirate sitting in front of us, tugs at my shirt and whispers, Momma, dirty face.
♥ The most fun we had was at a water park sending him down water slides and catching him. I haven't seen Carter that excited. Ever. We put a tiny life preserver on him and called him a fish. Except that the happy little fish had a really nervous mommy at his side pulling his mouth away from the water.
♥ Watching Carter's face was far better than anything we'd waited in line to do. Which, I'm thinking, is the point of the entire place. And of having a kid in general.