Friday, October 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Queen of the Snot Princesses is done.  The good news is that I have moved over to a brand new site at Queen of the Snots!  I highly encourage you to stop on by and check out the new digs.  I promise to post more.  The summer hiatus has given me a renewed focus and you can read more about it over there.

So see you soon!  (I hope!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Like you didn't already know..

This blog is taking a summer break.  It actually started it out as a spring break that has quickly become a summer one.  I want to do some serious revamping of the looks of this site (have you seen my header? my girls haven't been that little since 2009!) but alas it is now summer.  Summer means Miss M is home all the time and wants to do things!  One of those things is not watch me work on this blog.

So...hang in there.  We shall return with hopefully a newer and fresher outlook and such.

In the mean time, stay cool (105 degrees today in Chicago!).


Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons Learned: TV Turn Off Week

Today marks the beginning of TV Turn Off week.  I wouldn't have known such a week existed if it wasn't for M's school sending home a flyer with "helpful" suggestions of what one could do instead of watching tv.  Darn you, public education!  So we took the plunge and said no tv to M and C.  We even took it a step further; no tv episodes on the iPad or computer.  Since we don't have cable, this fact was a bit harder for M to swallow.  But after some eye rolling (seriously, when did this start? and, already?) she agreed.

Here are some things we learned after a full day of no tv:

  • I learned that the girls played longer and with each other more
  • I also learned they got on my nerves a bit more
  • More disagreements between sisters
  • It is OK to make an exception or two for a certain two year old that is potty training and sees the iPad as a reward.
  • The afternoon didn't drag on as long as I thought it would
  • Charades is actually quite fun to play with a 7 year old and a 2 year old.  Especially when the 2 year old acts out Wonder Pets.
  • This has the potential of being a very long week...
Have you tried TV Turn Off Week yet?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Potty Training: The Ongoing Saga

So we are still in the midst of potty training (as I suspect we will be for quite some time).  I have tried very hard to just stay calm and not push it if C doesn't want to sit on the potty.  We have ventured out of the house on many occasions and have had only one accident (and that was outside at the park while her sister played soccer).  Today she went the entire day with no accidents but also absolutely nothing in the potty!  I swear she holds it until she has that diaper on for nap and bedtime!  We are now considering getting her into her big girl's bed (she is the crib right now) and then taking away all diapers.  I know it will be messy for a while then but I don't know what else to do.  She is so stubborn.

The funniest thing she does when she has a pee accident is that she will stand very still in one spot and place her hands over her eyes.  It is as if she is saying "I can't see you, so you can't see what I have just done!"  I find it always good to have a sense of humor as a parent and I think I am trying to use it now more than ever!

Thanks so much to all that have voiced concern and offered words of encouragement.  I deeply appreciate it.  This too shall pass and then we will be on to the next challenge -- getting rid of the pacifier!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 5

Relax.  Take a deep breath.  I am constantly telling these words to both my girls.  I have even heard the two year old tell them to her seven year old sister when she (Miss M) was upset.  Today I took my own advice.  And it was a much better day.  In fact it was the best day of the week.

We ran lots of errands.  Ate at a restaurant.  No accidents.  The best part?  Poop in the potty!  Cheers were made and happy dances performed.

So we are getting there.  I am learning the less I talk about it and the more relaxed I am, the more relaxed C becomes.  Baby steps.

Who knew that a toilet could teach you so much?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 4

I really don't know how much longer I am going to be doing these daily posts.  One of my friends has already referred to my blog as "your potty blog" so that might be a sign that I may have to tone it down a bit. : )'s word is Frustration.  My girl she is a stubborn one and one that has no problem poopin' on Dora (or whatever else character she has on her underwear).  She did that not once, not twice, but, yeah, three time's (a lady -- not really).

We did leave the house today and had no accidents while running a couple errands.  So there's that.  Perhaps C will be one of those kids that has no problem when she is at school (in the way of accidents, etc.) but at home will be another story.  Or she could be like Miss M, who I swear only pees twice a day.  Bladder of steel, that girl.

It has been a long day and I'm tired.  But I have not given up.  I can be just as stubborn as my little friend C can be.  I have been given good advice from a couple good, trustworthy friends and I intend to use those tactics tomorrow.  No more iPad on the potty.  No more asking "do you have to go potty?"

Frustrated but resolute.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 3

"Do you have to go pee?"  I can't tell you how many times I asked this question today.  Did she ever answer me with a yes?  Good gosh, no!  Patience...patience.

Two accidents today.  Both times when she deliberately left my sight and went to "hide."  What frustrates me the most is that this kid KNOWS what she is doing.  Patience....Patience.

She did poop in the potty twice but I think that was just because I caught her in the act and rushed her to the toilet.  I did give her some stickers, though, since the poop did go into the potty.  Patience.  Patience.

I repeatedly have asked her "Where does the pee go?" and she replies "In the potty."  Side note: tonight when I asked her this question in front of her dad, she replied "On the refrigerator!"  Wise guy.

Kinda feel like I am stuck like in the Groundhog Day movie.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 2

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday.  C was very willing to sit on the potty, especially if she got to play with the iPad!  Despite sitting on the potty for numerous times and for very long spurts (sometimes 15-30 minutes long!), she never went.  Frustrating!  She only had one accident and that was in the afternoon.  In the morning, she held her pee until she got her nap-time diaper on.

So here we are.  She does not self-initiate to go to the toilet at all.  I continue to watch her like a hawk and attempt to get her on the potty as much as she is willing and is possible.

The journey continues....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tales from the Toilet: Potty Training Day 1

Today was it.  The first day of no more diapers.  To be truthful the diapers are still here for naps and bedtime, but that is all.  I don't really have an approach or method.  Just good ole "you are almost three and you need to not be wearing diapers anymore" philosophy.  So we did it.

How did we do?  Two accidents, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  No actual pee, etc. in the actual potty.  Some tears and lots of iPad watching on the toilet.

C was clingy this morning.  You could tell she was sad about not having a diaper.  As my mom said she was mourning.  I don't know if I would go quite that far, but this kid does not like change.  So it is probably a little of it.  After her nap she was not too pleased about having to wear underwear again.  But didn't fight me when we put the underwear on.

Biggest accomplishment of the day: C actually sitting on the big girl's toilet.  Before today she would only sit on her little potty despite picking out an insert for the regular toilet.  Today the little potty was gone so she had no choice.  She clung to me the first time we sat on it but by the second time she was sitting there with no problem.

Funniest moment of the day: After she sat on the potty for the first time this morning, C tells me "I go to preschool now."  (She has been told that once she starts going on the potty she can go to school like her big sister).  I explained to her that first she has to actually GO in the potty and also that school doesn't start until after summer but maybe she can take a class in the summer.  She was kinda disappointed at this news.

Stay tuned for what will be, I am sure, an exciting week....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

1940 Census: Now Available For the FIRST Time!

Do you know where your family lived in 1940?  Are you curious to take a step back in time?  Perhaps take a glimpse into their lives on April 1, 1940?  Well, as of today, at 9am EST, you can.  The 1940 US Census has just been released to the general public!  Since 72 years has now past, it can now be released for public viewing.

Some Questions You May Have:

Where can you view it?  The National Archives

Can I search by my relatives name?  Not yet.  Ancestry and Family Search are two sites that are working hard at indexing by name.

If I can't search by name, how will I find my relative?  By the Enumeration District or E.D.  This is a number that was given to the area in which the census taker was assigned to cover.

How do I find the ED number?  Go to Steve Morse's wonderful 1940 Tutorial Quiz.  This is a terrific and easy step by step way to find an ED number or at least point you in the right direction.  If you already have an ED number from a previous census (like 1930), then another option is to convert the ED numbers.  Steve Morse has a tool for that too!

Have more questions?  Please leave them in the comments or check out the National Archives site.

I hope you will take some time to check out this wonderful resource.  This is the first time that the National Archives has fully digitized a census for immediate availability.

Please share if you make any interesting discoveries!  Happy Searching!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Baby From Times Past

The above arrows point to my paternal great-grandparents.  Caroline Albrecht McAuley was a Leap Day baby.  She was born on February 29, 1880.  So today she is either 33 or 132 depending on how you count!
This picture was probably taken in the early 1900s from one of the bike trips that they would take as a couple.

Do you have any leap year babies in your life?  My great-grandmother is the only one that I know of.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Mmmmm....Chocolate Buttercream Paczki from Busy Bee Bakery.

Did you have a paczki yesterday?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Not all of these boxes are for us!  They are the total ordered (49 boxes - each box contains 12 boxes of cookies) from Miss M's Daisy Troop.  They did really good for their first time at it.  In fact they raised $457 for their troop.  A good portion of that money is going to be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  The girls decided to do this instead of receiving incentives for sales from the Girl Scouts.  A member of their troop has juvenile diabetes.  Thanks to all that ordered from us!  You will be getting your cookies soon.

What's my favorite G.S. cookie?  Tagalongs.  Hands down.  And yours?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Clothing Resales in Chicago Suburbs

It's resale time again!  Yay!  Below is a list I have compiled of upcoming resales in the Chicagoland area. Many are conducting sign-ups right now in case you have some things you might want to sell.  They aren't just for clothes, either.  At some of them you can sell toys, sporting goods, baby equipment and even junior/adult clothes.  Check 'em out!  Save big money!

St. Pius X Childrens Clothing & Toy Resale
601 S. Westmore-Meyers Rd.
Lombard, IL 60148
Seller Registration:
Today! Feb. 9th 7-8pm and Wednesday, Feb. 15th 7-8pm.  Registration Fee $12.  Volunteer and get $5 refund.  Registration is located within St. Pius School.
Sale Dates (located at the school's Social Center):
Volunteer Pre-Sale: March 9th 4-6pm
Friday, March 9th 6:30-9:30pm -- NO children allowed, $1.00 admission fee
Saturday, March 10th 9am-12 noon -- children welcome, some items marked half off.
Stacy (630-993-0533) - Registration Coordinator
Alexandra (847-778-9412) - Volunteer Coordinator

Kingsley School PTA Toy, Sport & Baby Equipment Resale
6509 Powell Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Seller Registration:
Wednesday, February 15th 6-8pm and Tuesday, February 28th 6-8pm.  Registration Fee $5.  If you wish to donate your items for the PTA to price and sell then there is no registration fee.
Sale Date:
Saturday, March 10th 9am to 1pm -- NO children allowed from 9am to 11am.  Some items marked half off from 11am till 1pm.

Chicago First Church of the Nazarene Children's Clothing & Toy Resale
12725 Bell Road
Lemont, IL 60439
Seller Registration:
Now Closed
Sale Date:
Saturday, March 10th  9am to Noon

Epiphany Lutheran Church
Corner of Spring Road and Vallette Street
Elmhust, IL
Spring Clothing resale:
Seller Registration:
Saturday, February 11th 9am to 11am in the Epiphany Church Lobby
Tuesday, Feburary 14th  7pm to 9pm
Sale Dates:
Friday, February 24th 6pm to 9pm
Saturday, February 25th  8am to 11am
Spring Toy and Equipment Resale:
Saturday, March 17th 8am to 11am (some items half price during last hour)

Brook Park Council - Children's Clothing Consignment Sale
Brook Park Elementary
30th & Raymond
La Grange Park, IL 60526
Seller Registration:  Fee is $3
February 13th 5:30 to 7pm
Feburary 16th 6:30 to 8pm
March 2nd 8:30am to 10:30am
Sale Date:
Saturday, March 10th 8am to Noon

Couture Kids Resale
Aldersgate Methodist Church
1753 South Blanchard
Wheaton, IL 60189
Sale Dates:
Friday, March 16th 9am to 8pm (NO children under 12 allowed until after 2pm)
Saturday, March 17th 8am to Noon (Discount Day - many items 25% off!)

Interested in more resales?  Check out Consignment Mommies.  I love this site!  Very well organized.  It is good for the whole U.S. too, not just Illinois.  Check it out.  (That plug/link was not sponsored in any way..just spreading some love).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Little Sweet Monster

Exactly one week after he was born, my great-nephew came to my sister's (his grandma) house to celebrate her birthday.  He is such a tiny thing.  It was so nice to hold him, give him some love and then hand him right back to his parents!  I also love the fact that there is another baby boy in our family.  On my side, the last boy that was born is now 13!
Welcome, Baby K!  The fun has just begun.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blanket Kid

This is C's stripe blanket.  I bought it at a garage sale when I was pregnant with Miss M and didn't know the sex.  C is an attachment kind of gal.  On this particular day she wanted her "striped blanket" by her.  I had no clue what she meant.  The tears flew.  Tantrum ensued.  I brought her another striped blanket (not remembering that her blue blanket has stripes too).  This added to her anguish.  I told her to come and show me where the striped blanket was.  She quickly got up and lead me to her room.  There was her blue blanket and boy was she relieved.  She wanted to use it to build a fort with her sister.  It isn't big enough for that job so she found another use for it..on her head.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wherein I attempt to make my own laundry soap

On Sunday, I was in a bind.  I had put my last disposable diaper on C and was waiting for the order of EcoSprout laundry soap to arrive to clean my cloth diapers.  I realized that no mail was going to be delivered the next day since it was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  A trip to Target was in store but not just to get more disposable diapers.  You see, I needed to wash those cloth diapers stat before they became a biohazard!  I looked online (really, just on pinterest) and searched for DIY laundry soap.  I found a recipe that required three simple ingredients and I happened to already have two of the three!  All I needed was some Arm and Hammer Washing Soda.

So off to Target we go.  M decides she wants to spend her saved up birthday/Halloween money to get a toy.  We look for the washing soda but no luck.  M still gets her toy and makes her mama proud by not just using her money towards a toy for herself but also spends half of her money to buy her little sister a toy.  Very cool.  And totally her idea.

Since Target was a disappointment, I decided I had to enter no man's land.  Yep, Walmart.  I despise Walmart.  I. Do. Not. Shop. There.  But the word on the street was that they sold this washing soda and desperate times call for me doing things that I really don't want to do.  So I go to the store whose-name-I-can't-type-anymore and there is the washing soda.  Yay.

The other two ingredients beside the washing soda is borax and fels-naptha soap.  The basic idea to make the detergent is to shave the soap and then mix it with some borax and washing soda.  It is not fun to grate that soap so I ended up only doing about 1/3 of the bar.  I then mixed it with 1/2 cup of both borax and washing soap.  Even though I didn't grate that much soap, I still had so much detergent!

I ended up washing not just the cloth diapers (an entire diaper pail full of them), but also five loads of laundry.  I still have detergent left over.  Some of the laundry was pretty stained and was pre-treated and ALL came out looking and smelling clean.  There is a lemony scent to the soap but your clothes DO NOT smell lemony.  They just smell clean.  I like that smell.  Much better than the smell they started out as.  Especially the cloth diapers.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe:
For about 15 loads or so.

1/3 shaved/grated bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (grater is from IKEA and is highly recommended!)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

Mix all together and place into a jar.  Use 1 tablespoon per load.  Adjust as needed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Much Fun!

Our Family

Not really liking the snow hitting her face.

Loves the Snow!

Miss M, on the other hand....Can you find her?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Birthday Queen (a day early)

To my beloved sister.
She is awesome.
She is strong.
She is joy.
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fog is Lifting

We have been in a funk lately.  It has been filled with cries, moans, sleepless nights and just general unhappiness from all of us.  Miss M has been sick and it has sent ripples of despair throughout the house.  OK, not despair exactly, but crabbiness for sure.

It all started last Monday night when she didn't sleep.  She kept moaning and crying out to us and then at one point I was in her bed and she was in mine.  It is all a big blur.  The next day was supposed to be her first day back at school after winter break, but she was a mess.  By the time the afternoon rolled around, she told me she needed a doctor.  When your kid tells you they need a doctor, you take them.  Of course, this happened to be the day that I needed to sign C up for preschool for the fall.  And yes, I did fit it in because I am crazy like that.  Get M to the doctor and it turns out she has an ear infection.  She is allergic to amoxicillin (horrible reaction "worse case they have ever seen" when she was 2) so the doctor prescribed her a similar but sometimes not as effective/fast as amoxicillin.

Day 3/Wednesday: Still sick.  Another bad night.  Stays home again.  On Thursday she starts to act more like herself but her voice is kinda funny.  I am not sure what is going on.  Her appetite is a little bit better and so we are hopeful.

Day 5/Friday: Goes to school.  She is not a 100% but she is wanting to go and she had a good night's rest so she goes.  When she comes home, the poor thing starts to cry.  School just utterly and completely wiped her out.  I feel bad that I had her go but she did.

Day 6/Saturday: Is back to where we started.  Not sleeping well.  Not eating well.  Voice is still "funny."  She doesn't want to go back to the doctor but the antibiotic has now ran out and our intuition is telling us you better get her in there (to the doctor) because tomorrow is Sunday.  We promise her a side trip to the library if she agrees to the doctor.  So J takes her to the doctor while I take C to the library.  Doctor says that ears are now clear but her tonsils are enlarged - hence the funny voice.  Could be a virus.  The antibiotic is still in her system but gives a new prescription in case she gets worse tomorrow.

Day 7/Sunday:  Still tired but getting a tiny bit more appetite.  Decide to hold off on filling the new prescription.  For dinner, I had the idea to give her tomato soup which she did eat.  This was such a great sign.  Also thought of putting vapor rub on her back/neck since she complained that that was hurting her.

Day 8/Monday:  Stays home from school again but there are signs of hope.  She takes it easy but does her homework and even practices her keyboard (something she doesn't like to do).  Appetite is much better.  Voice sounds better.

Day 9/!  She is back in school!  Hooray!

This has been the longest stretch that M has ever been ill.  I feel like I have been put through the ringer. When M would cry out for us at night, she would then yell at us for coming to her.  She didn't know what she wanted and was just as frustrated as we were.  We all just wanted her to feel better and felt hopeless that we couldn't just give her a pill and make it go away.  It is one of the worst feelings of being a parent.

So now we just hope and pray that with M feeling better, the rest of us will stay well, as well!