Destin Commons Playground and Shopping Area

When I moved to the Destin area, I was thrust into a temporary stay-at-home mom life. My busy two-year old needed outside time and playgrounds and kids…and I needed adults. I searched online in the Destin area playgrounds and didn’t find much. I asked neighbors and explored and found great playgrounds, which were a life-saver. This is the first review of my playground series for the primary playgrounds in my rotation for those new to the area and those visiting on vacation.

If you are new to the Destin area or you are visiting and need a fun, physical outlet for your kiddos, the playground at Destin Commons is fantastic. From a 2 year old’s perspective, everything is happy pirate and nautical. Mac loves the colorful pink and yellow ray he calls Mr. Ray, from the movie Finding Nemo, the boat because…it’s a boat, and the cannonball pile from which he thankfully still has not jumped off the very top. I keep waiting for that one.


The playground equipment is typical of what one sees at many malls these days: soft foam sculpted structures that are bright and colorful. The ground is padded as well. Pirate and nautical themed benches surround the border of the playground and there is a clear view of all play structures – very open. 

Mac was able to handle most playground equipment at the Destin Commons playground very well, so I have been able to sit, watch, and relax and not have to follow him around. It’s nice for quieter days after there’s been a lot of activity and we need a day to recoup, yet he still needs entertainment and activity.

If you’re visiting and want to go to a movie, there is an AMC directly across from the playground. A children’s train runs most weekends, and tickets are $4, although that may have changed during season. There are plenty of stores to tempt: Pandora, Brighton, Sunglasses World, Sephora, H&M, Guess, Hollister, Build- A-Bear Workshop, Bass Pro. It’s an outdoor mall, so there is an abundance of shopping, including some adorable boutiques. You can visit the Destin Commons website here


We moved here in October. Leave it to us to move to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and not be able to go in the water because of cooler weather. Yes, this is north Florida and temps can get into the teens. We love the water and often say we would live in the ocean if we could. Despite the colder weather, we did log in plenty of beach time on a few of the rogue, warmer days.

When the weather is rough, we loved going to visit Bass Pro, let Mac climb in and out of boats and on the side-by-sides, and dream of future warmer days.  (Please always attend your child if they’re on any equipment for their safety, and to teach them to respect property.) Mac loves to see the fish – they have an enormous Grouper he loves, a huge Red, and three Jacks. There is a cool doamed window kids can sit in and feel like they’re in the water with the fish. Bass Pro in Destin Commons is two-story wonderland of fishing, hunting, and camping goods and other outdoorsy merchandise. We like to visit the playground when the weather permits, and then we may stop at El Jalisco for lunch, but that’s when we’re there in a weekend family outing.

Last week we had more warm weather after a cold front had passed through. When I took Mac to Destin Commons, We approached the playground and I heard it before I saw it: water! The splash pad was up and running! It’s spring break, so tourist season is in full swing. I knew he wouldn’t leave dry. I had no bathing suit for Mac and no towel in the car. Hadn’t I figured that out by now? Toddler life in a beach town? Have bathing suit, have towel, will travel? Come on, now, Janie.

My kid. After I told him we would go to the playground, first, and then maybe the splash pad, he agreed and ran to the playground. He played for ten minutes- maybe fifteen. I had my eyes on him the entire time, and I saw it. The stop, the little blond head turned toward that rushing water, and he darted to the water. All I wanted to do was remove the shoes and socks for which I had no replacements! Like a slow-mo action sequence in an action film, and I bolted after him…the shoes! Take off the shoes! I jumped from the bench, leaped across the playground, dodged children, yelling his name. Did I actually think I would catch him? We had other errands to run and planned on meeting my husband, Mac’s daddy, “AP” for lunch. I did have a spare change of clothes and a pair of his sweatpants, which substituted for a towel. 


He had a blast, of course. A dozen or so other children were politely playing on the playground. My child was chasing the sprouts of water, soaked through, head to toe, having the time of his life. We later went about our errands and lunch, and he got carried everywhere. I now have a spare pair of flip flops in his clothes bag.

If you visit the playground during the spring and summer months, be prepared for spontaneous water escapades and enjoy.

Love, J.

Paddle Boarding – Anything but Boring!

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Saturday, the water at Dune Allan Beach here on 30a looked like northern lights had infiltrated the water. The array of colbalt, aqua, green, and blue appeared absolutely majestic. The sandbars that rose in two stripes of pale terquoise gave a lighter end of the blue spectrum and a place on which to stand and observe the surroundings. On the first sandbar, we clearly saw a sting ray swimming about seven feet from us. Once I pointed it out, crowds on the beach came to observe.

The water has been rather chilly, especially since we had a cold front pass through last week. I don’t mind getting in, however, especially when the sun is out. I have spent my life swimming in the natural springs of north Florida, and I’ve surfed the Atlantic in cooler months, so I am used to the colder temperatures. Come late summer, some days the gulf is so warm, I prefer swimming pools, cooler, spring-fed rivers, and boating farther out in the gulf.

While we were relaxing and playing on the beach, a man who as about our parents’ ages came off the water with his paddle board. We asked how his session was, and after chatting for a few minutes about boarding – paddle, surf, and the beach in general – he offered us the opportunity to try out his board. I have known I wanted to give paddle boarding a try, especially after watching paddle boarders catch some nice rides. My husband insisted I go, so I did. I don’t know why I was surprised our new friend, Dave, who was down from Tuscaloosa, AL for the weekend, offered up his paddle board, but I was. It was good old fashioned southern hospitality and the surf sharing culture in action.

Strapping on the leash, guiding the board out onto the water, parallel to me and perpendicular to the shore, I felt right at  home. I hopped up on the board, but stayed on my knees. The paddle – the inverted side is not the side that pushes the water. It’s contrary to what one might think.

Kayaking and surfing all in one! Brilliant. With my years of kayaking our rivers back home- I paddled out well. The boarding differences were another challenge. Okay – can’t lie down because you have the paddle; control with your core and legs while kneeling but not while lying down; paddle and don’t run into those kids!; don’t stand up because it’s choppy and you have your prescription sunglasses on- can’t lose those.

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An audible, “I’ve got this. I can do this,” sent out to the vast blue stretching in front of me. Nothing but ocean. I was alone. Isolated. In no time, I was on the second sandbar, my destination. It was fast! Easy compared to paddling on a surfboard through wash and chop.

Before I moved to Santa Rosa Beach, paddle boarding seemed boring. Dullsville. Why work for no fun? No waves? In surfing, your willing to kill yourself paddling out to soar back in on a killer ride. Who wanted to paddle flat water, endlessly?

I figured I’d give it a try…sometime. When there weren’t waves. SUP yoga looked like a fun challenge. But, in general, paddle boarding looked tame.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

On the way back in, I felt a few lilts of the board. It was nice – not a crazy rush, but fun. I will be able to catch waves one paddle board here on the gulf on a quiet day. The clarity of the water and view of the ocean and shore while moving slowly over the water is spectacular. Paddle board stoke, baby! I have it! Really…I know I sound cheesy, but who cares.

The coolest thing about boarding and kayaking – you can get to places in nature you never could by foot or boat. I have always said that about kayaking, and I see it with paddle boarding. I am looking forward to exploring some of the freshwater rivers and gorgeous and rare tidal pools unique to this area.

I have a lifelong love affair with water and nature. I am so glad my husband and son do, too. It makes the Florida life so much better, after all. I’m happy to add paddle boarding to my water exploration.

Aloha.

 

Namaste Newbie


I admit, I am new to yoga even though I’ve been doing yoga for years.

I’ve been “doing” yoga…not “practicing;” thus, I am a newbie, a rookie.

While I have enjoyed yoga in my life as a yummy workout, complete with all things a childhood ballet dancer and cheerleader holds dear: stretching, lifting, balance, strength, movement, I haven’t begun to grasp the benefits of the deeper side of yoga until lately.

Yoga, and my physical therapist, saved my back. I am able to run and play with my two year old, I feel amazing, and I don’t wake up in pain. I had days where I wondered if I would ever be able to surf again.

I’ve met some amazing new friends in my recent move, and one of them teaches Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. When I learned that, I was like, “Hell yeah! I’m in!”

And then I realized, “Oh, yeah. I’ve got serious work to do to get in shape for that!” Truly, I don’t. Since I have a basic foundation, I have since learned that I can enjoy practicing SUP yoga.

My SUP Yogi friend, who is also a life coach and photographer, Lindsay Havlicek Bell, who can do scorpions and all kinds of fun tricks that I want to learn to do…someday, during a casual conversation about Yoga a few months ago while chasing our toddler sons, asked how often I “practiced” yoga.

Practiced? Well, I “do” yoga a few times a week, when I’m working out, when I’m not unboxing a house and chasing my 2 year old. I hadn’t done yoga in a while, and I have never “practiced” yoga.

Mac following the tracks left by beach patrol at Grayton State Park.

What is “practicing” yoga? What makes someone a “yogi” and how on earth can someone go from “doing” yoga casually, like me, to doing a handstand and curving your back so that your toes touch your head? I mean, I’m flexible, but I am not a contortionist! And, I don’t know if I’ll ever truly get to that level, but I believe yoga is more about the journey than the destination. So, with full curiosity and thirst for knowledge, I did what any 40 year old wife and mother who has no time to go out to a yoga studio would do: searched YouTube.

And there I discovered delightful and quirky yogi, Adriene. Yoga with Adriene has over 2 million subscribers.

I started Adriene’s 31 Day Yoga Revolution #yogarevolution. I wanted something to encourage the journey of yoga and to learn from a true yogi. I didn’t want yoga for weight loss or hot yoga. I’ve done that. Race in, roll out the mat, enjoy the breathing and stretching. At the beginning of a class, I’m as tight as a coil, and afterwards I’m gumby. It’s awesome! But I knew there was more.

Adriene’s 31 Day Yoga Revolution has a theme for each day. Day 1:  Practice Ease

Lesson one:  how you are on the mat is how you are off the mat.

And, boy, was I distracted.

While practicing, ideas were flying through my mind: I’ll blog this experience – how often will I write? daily? weekly? writing…need to get up earlier every single day…need to finish my calendar, organize my to-do list for the day, week, month, year! I need to finish the dishes, fold that pile of laundry, get materials together for Mac’s learning time, and on and on. I was so distracted on the mat as I had been in life off the mat.

Day 2: Practice with Intention; off the mat? Live with intention. While in the transition of setting up house in a new town, getting used to a new life, looking for jobs, making new friends, starting a new business, and working at home taking care of my toddler, it’s easy to feel pulled and stretched like saltwater taffy. Intention was exactly what I needed both on and off the mat.

The immediate days following consist of the following themes: Honor your practice; PRANA Practice; Practice Rhythm; Attention (And Abs) Practice; Stability Practice, etc.

Themes of yoga practice spill over into daily life. I have received more from this practice than any class or other DVD yoga practice as I don’t feel rushed. I don’t feel the need to burn a certain amount of calories during a session. I don’t care about how I look other than proper posture.

Also, I have really focused on listening to Adriene as she instructs as opposed to watching what she is doing. I anticipate less. I need to anticipate less in life, as well. I find much of my practical daily life and even my faith is more focused. I hear better. I anticipate less. I wait. I steadily do what I know I should, and I move through my practice, as well as my day, taking everything as it comes. This is huge for me. I am a problem solver. My family and I joke that sometimes I try and solve problems that don’t even exist, yet. I anticipate potential outcomes and try and plan to avoid potential disasters or problems. That isn’t bad on a small scale, occasionally, but it can be a hinderance to living because that isn’t living in the present moment – the now.

Grayton State Park – appears virtually untouched.

Your time on the mat reflects your time off the mat. Listen, don’t anticipate. Don’t worry about what is coming next, but remain in the present. Learn. Enjoy the journey.

Thanks Lindsay. Thanks Adriene.

Namaste, J.

 

“It’s Your Destiny, Destiny!”

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The ocean has no walls. Who knew?

Who would’ve thought living in Destin would be my Destiny? However, it’s not just destiny that leads you someplace, rather an intricate tapestry of hard work, failure, successes, focus, and rhythm that is your life.

It is because of my husband’s years of hard work that we are here. Not because of luck or chance.

Lately, I have been swimming around, bumping into walls, clicking apply, apply, apply on job sites, repeatedly getting headaches in the monotony of being one in millions (okay hundreds) of job applicants. Teaching jobs? Wrong time of year and I live in a small area. Substituting? The pay doesn’t justify putting my son in daycare or finding a nanny. My wine business is growing, but that’s supplemental income. Trying to find employment has been discouraging, especially when I’ve never had difficulty finding employment. Now, yes, I work every day in my home. I am not idle. I teach my son, I potty trained him, and we spend our days together learning and playing. I have saved us in the cost of daycare and diapers. I love being with my son. These are precious days. However, we have goals for our family, and I need full time employment.

I am blessed in my spouse because he sees in me what I sometimes fail to. I was stuck in a box of what I have done and what I think I can do and what I’ve experienced. This new life, and this new area has pushed me in a new and unique direction that I never would’ve gone had we not moved here.image

My husband’s vision and a potential opportunity because of my past hard work has inspired me, along with a series of events. These strands of the tapestry are come ing together for our benefit; even so, I still had mental blocks. Through loving conversation and discovered information, I was freed. I finally saw the walls that have been blocking me. And they were all in my head! In the ocean, there are no walls. In life, there are no walls!

We watched Finding Nemo all the time. Now we watch Finding Dory all the time. 🙂 In Finding Dory, I am  the near-sighted whale shark, Destiny because I am freaking blind. I am really near-sighted. So without corrective vision, I bump into things. It was while I was having this epiphany that I saw the part in Finding Dory when Destiny realizes her destiny…we are more alike than just being literally near-sighted.

(Spoiler alert):  the whale shark Destiny in Finding Dory, has spent her life in an ocean institute that practices “rescue, rehabilitation, and release;” however, Destiny who is a near-sighted whale shark who literally bumps into walls all the time, needed to get out and help her “pipe pal” Dory. Bailey, her beluga whale neighbor and friend who has the “world’s most powerful pair of glasses,” in his echolocation ability, helps her see that in a moment of desperation, she can escape to help her friend Dory and he will go with her and be her eyes. She panics because of the walls that are in the ocean; she isn’t ready!

Bailey:  “There are no walls in the ocean.”

Destiny: “No walls?”

Bailey: “It’s your destiny, Destiny.”

Destiny: “Well, why didn’t you say so?” and she swims through her tank, leaps over the tank wall, and flails into the ocean in total abandonment! She is liberated and she can help her friends and go lead a new life. But she didn’t see, literally and figuratively, that she could. It also took trust in someone else to help  her see, experience, and live. image

It took trust in someone else to help me see, experience, and live. I am leaping so that I can further help my family. I am leaping so that I can reach my full potential. It took someone else to help me see in myself what I have always encouraged others to see in themselves! Relationships are powerful. Marriage is powerful. Listen and trust, speak and encourage, and you can move not only mountains, but walls.

What do you want for your life? What walls do you think are blocking you? Who is in your life to encourage and support you?

Love to you and Carpe Diem!

 

3 Day Potty Training – Success!

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He did it!

 

Two weeks out – the entire experience was a great success. I highly recommend this method. Knock it out and you’re home-free…diaper-free…pull-up free…wipe-free…no. Never wipe free. Wipes are gold – useful for so much more than little bottoms.

That being said, here’s the worst:

The first big disaster: I think this was day four or five when Mac was sitting on our loveseat and I asked him if he had to potty and he said no. He was watching a show and he peed on the loveseat. This is a piece of furniture that was given to us by good friends who moved cross country and have three children, two grown. She knows her stuff. It’s an older loveseat/small sofa with a couch cover, and the cushions are brilliantly wrapped in plastic. Thank God she is a smart mama!

Scene straight out of classic chaotic mom movie: naked toddler, toys scattered, couch cover stripped and in the washer; couch cushions unzipped and waiting to go in washer; plastic-covered foam couch cushions on floor; clean red blanket ready to be wrapped on top of cushions to sit on because – oh yeah! – we had company in a half hour to watch the FSU basketball game.

And did I mention the other pile of sheets and bed cover waiting to go into the washer with the couch cushions because there was a nap-time accident (one of three since all this started). Dog running around. Kitten bouncing overhead. Full-on family circus mass hysteria! Cue husband entry through the front door. He hugs me, assesses the situation, and directly makes me a lovely martini. (I am not a big drinker, especially when I am in full-on mommy mode, but I relished the cocktail.) Good man. And our company was our good buddy who would get a kick out of everything…so no pressure there. At that point, I was no longer concerned. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Pants, No Problems over here in Potty – Training Land! Ok. for the little guy only, please.

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Minor disaster…nothing time, a washing machine, patience, and love and laughter can’t fix.

 

That’s the worst it got. So, in the beginning, there was a mommy…

As I researched this and talked to others, I heard day one was the hardest. Of course my craziest was well after the initial three days. But, I was ready! I had the potty we have been using with us in the living room since that’s where we spend most of our time. However, when we played in his room, and I moved the potty in there, he had a problem with it. I understand. Who wants a potty near their bed…unless you live in the medieval or renaissance periods. We had our coloring books, movies, toys all lined up. We had watched the potty training video and started each day with it. I was prepped with Reece’s Pieces and marshmallows, and gummy bears as treats. (Let me state here that I did not, and still do not, discipline if he has an accident. This is a learning process and it takes patience.)

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Day  One: I had braced myself for potty training hell. He made it to the potty all day except twice, and those were just wet accidents, and he was dry all through nap and that night! I woke up at 2 am to take him to the potty. He went. After washing hands and everything, he went right back to bed. It was a breeze.

I dressed him in an over-sized t-shirt as recommended. Be sure to tie at the waist with a belt or sash. I used a bathrobe belt. It worked for the first day and a half. Then he was over it.

Dare I hope? That was the bad day?

Day Two: He did everything right away in the potty that morning. Seriously? Another good day except a wet bed through nap. The long t-shirt came in useful because it catches…things. We had one incident where we made it to the potty, but barely, so I recommend the long t-shirt thing. That night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and he had a complete meltdown. He did not want to go potty…tears…the works.

Right here, let me say this: listen to your kid. Yes, you need to sit them on the potty to try, and you may need to say something like, “If you go, you’ll get marshmallows,” but if they are full-on rejecting it, crying or bucking, like the song says, let it go! Return when things calm down.

So, I put him back to bed. What’s the worst that would happen? I’d have to wash sheets and give him a bath. Big deal. We all went back to sleep, and he stayed dry all night!

Day Three:  Last day! He had no accidents and went in the potty all day! Overall, the initial three days went well. We have recently moved into a two bedroom apt. when we moved to the Destin area – downsized greatly from a 3/2 and full garage of stuff. We don’t have much space. We have carpet (we prefer tile and wood floors). I have read some people in our situation camped out in a tiled area for the three days. That’s fine if you’re willing to do it. I was not. That may work better for an 18 month old, but my 26 month old is way too active. I have a fantastic carpet cleaner and our sanity was worth more than having to clean up a few messes.

Day 4 and After: It has been interesting on occasion. The three days worked. On day three, after my husband got home from work and we were talking, Mac ran to the bathroom and yelled, “I going pee-pee! I going pee-pee!” So, he felt he had to go and went.

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Running on the beach – pull-up free in big boy underwear!

 

You’re supposed to leave your child in only pants for one month – three months after the initial 3 day training. Basically, never put them in underwear because they are so used to the feeling of a diaper or pull-up that they mistake the underwear for a diaper or pull-up and can regress to going in their underwear. I get that. Makes sense. However, because Mac took to it so well, I was willing to try wearing nothing under pants for a few days as we slowly started to venture out. I put the little potty in his radio flyer wagon, and we walked to our playground in our complex. We were so happy to get out! We only stayed out for a short period, and I asked if he needed to potty. He said no. And he didn’t. He went when we came back inside.

As soon as we really left the house to go out, the underwear came on. Baby steps out the door…baby steps to the car…baby steps to the car seat…. I was not going to take him to the playground or anywhere with no underwear on. Again – maintain sanity. Also, Mac was doing well, and I didn’t think he’d regress. It’s totally your call because you know your kid. Know we did no underwear at the house for a week after and now he wears underwear and is doing fine.

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Child sized potty at a local WalMart family restroom. It was a big deal for Mac to see one his size!

 

When is your child ready? I understand when your child pays attention to the potty, wants to be out of diapers, and shows interest in watching you go potty, that’s the time to start. This intensive method is recommended for children 18 months and up. Mac had trained some before our move. When he ran to the potty once a few weeks ago to go #2 in the potty, I decided to go for it. I am glad I did!

Two tips: Take your child shopping to pick out his or her first underwear and make a big deal! That is the prize, not the candy or treats or stickers along the way, but to wear big boy or big girl underwear (like mommy and daddy). Also, choose one or two books to keep by the potty so that your child will sit and wait on #2. I use small, hard-page books for easy cleaning with a Clorox wipe. Teach that it can take a little while for that to come, and even if your child goes once, to sit and be sure there is no more coming. That second tip came from my former day-care director. She’s a pro, and I listen to those who know! This has helped us.

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Good Luck! Comment below and let me know how your experience is going. Have any tips for readers? Please share.

Cheers, J.

3 Day Potty Training – New Adventures, New Town, New Year

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I am back. Since my last post, I have moved to a new town and we have a very new life on the Emerald Coast in Florida. My husband received a call from a recruiter and a great job opportunity with a really good company. We got the call in August, got the offer at the beginning of October, and after downsizing a 3 bdrm, 2 bath house with a full two car garage of storage and moving our family, we were in our new, albeit beautiful, but TWO bedroom apartment in 27 days. Whew. After more downsizing and the fun of the holiday season, I am back on my blog schedule. I wish I could say I’m organized enough to blog during extremely chaotic times, but that just ain’t true. I do continuously journal, however. So, I’ve missed you guys and I’m glad to be back.

wp_20170109_005And my first post on my first day back at it is on this whole 3-day potty training craze. We start today! I am home, for now, with my son. Before we moved, I worked full time and I had planned on doing the 3-day training a few months ago over a holiday weekend, but a little Cat 1 hurricane called Hermine hit us, and well, although I had still planned on potty training despite the hurricane, to the point that I went to Toys “R” Us to buy our Paw Patrol potty while everyone else was buying hurricane supplies (we were already stocked), the circumstances proved to be too much for me. So, here we are: a new home and town, a new year, and ready for a new phase of toddlerhood…and parenthood!

There are lots of sites that help with how to do this. You can even buy programs. I talked with friends about their experiences (thanks and shout out to my friend, Jonathan and my other friend, Blake) and read online. I like this article in Parenting magazine. What this article doesn’t include is that you should keep the potty with you in every room your in, which I learned from my friend Jonathan. That worked this morning until Mac was in his room, playing with his trains, and was all, “I don’t want to go potty, Mom! Take the potty out of my room!” I think he’ll be cool with it in the living room, since he hasn’t really noticed it. I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want my potty by my bed, either. Also, you’re supposed to let your kid go for a month without underwear – only pants. That’s also not in this article, but is what I learned from friends. So, we’ll see how that goes.

The article says you’re supposed to take them or ask them to go every 15 minutes. My kid started looking at me like I had 3 heads. So, I backed off a little. He has put everything in the potty, before, so he’s used to the feeling, a little. I think he’s ready. He just turned 2 in October, and he started potty training at his former daycare before we left. We had a pretty good rhythm. He regressed a little when we moved over. Out of nowhere, he wouldn’t even try, and I couldn’t get him to. Hopefully this works. We’ll know in 3 days…and then another month. I am trying not to annoy him by having him constantly drink. I have Honest Kids juice boxes which are fun for him to drink, so I plan to use those to get more liquid into him.

wp_20170109_001I put him in this extra orange t-shirt I had as an extra shirt from when I made (ahem…threw together) my husband’s Halloween Tigger costume this year. I grabbed a sash I had for a “belt,” and he loves it! He looks like a brightly adorned Jesus or like he’s wearing a kimono, haha. The article suggests putting them in an oversized shirt to cover everything, but for easy access (no pulling down and pulling up, just going). I’d let him run around in his birthday suit, but it’s dead of winter and the coldest days we’ve had (yes, I know, we’re at the beach how cold can it get? But, we’re north Florida or LA – Lower Alabama). A little coverage helps.

One final tool that my friend Blake sent me is a fabulous potty training video geared toward toddlers. It’s helpful and teaches sign language and cute songs that Mac liked. It repeats and is a little annoying for adults, but it preps them for their new adventure. As an educational tool, I like it.

Have plenty of Clorox wipes on hand! I wipe the potty after each time he uses it. Also, if you can stay on tile, do it. If you’re like me and you have carpet (not my choice) Folex is a cleaner my mom told me about and you can find it at Lowe’s or Home Depot. It is awesome! For stains, every mom needs a bar of Fels-Naptha! Thanks to my longest and best friend Jennifer and SIL Kelly for that info. It gets out stains like nobody’s business!

Find a reward for when your child actually goes in the potty. We potty, wash hands, and he gets 2 or 3 marshmallows or Reece Pieces. However, that being said, the only way I could get Mac to try and sit on the potty this morning was by letting him eat his cheese toast in his pop up tent, per his request. He didn’t go, but he sat on the potty! So, whatever it takes…within reason. 🙂

Since I wrote this, he has gone twice. The longer shirt proves very helpful as it caught some of the urine and the rest went in the potty. So, he’s now in one of my oversized old t-shirts and the second shirt has stayed clean! Baby Steps.

Be good,

J.

Halloween Read-A-Thon!

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I love to read, and I love to read classic scary literary fiction every Halloween! I am reading Dracula, now. Every year I reread Henry James’ ‘Turn of the Screw” and some years, I work in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” I also recommend Eudora Welty’s “Ghost Stories,” for sure! I am looking forward to joining in the community for Lauren’s Halloween Read-A-Thon.

Happy Haunting,

J.