We’re not having school here this week, and I’ll be working hard to accomplish several things, including some that never happened this year, despite being on my-to do list many times.



1. Dig out non-producing Libery apple tree

2. Plant Katy apricot tree in its place

3. Prune grape vines

4. Weed raised bed

5. Plant garlic (late, but still doable and better now while it’s cooler)



1. Hem all needed pairs of my husband’s pants

2. Make pajama pants for Elsa

3. Mend hole in Ivory’s sweater tights


Blogging Goals:

1. Photograph and publish new recipes 🙂

2. Edit photos and update home page of website



1. Buy onions

2. Trip to Target

3. Trip to Sam’s Club


Other goals:

1. Go for two walks

2. Set goals for the year

3. Watch videos on learning some things for my goals

4. Bucket beans

5. Potty-train Ivory (daytime training)

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  1. How old is your daughter Ivory? I have a 15 month old that I want to start potty training as soon as she’s ready (she’s not there yet). She’s my first, so I’m not sure where to start, apart from giving lots of praise and reinforcement for success. We’re expecting a second one in July, so I feel the potty training clock ticking, haha!

  2. She’s 2 1/2. I will be honest here–I think potty training is one of the hardest things to do! This child seems much more ready than my others were at this age; she has an interest in trying and actually cares if she gets wet. My other children potty trained late–at 38 months for most of them. They just didn’t care one way or the other. And for me, personally, I can only tolerate so many accidents before I delay it; if its 6-8 times on the carpet in a day, I don’t seen any success, and I spend the entire day with the carpet cleaner, then the child isn’t ready. I think she’s ready this time; she is interested and she is staying dry for longer than an hour in between going. I know people who potty train earlier with success. I’m not one of them!

  3. My goals for the week are usually manageable -I’ve never set goals for the year yet. I been thinking on it since the weekly goals have been helping me so much.

  4. Brandy, I would love to start potty training my 2 1/2 yr. old, but she is not interested. Her two older brothers just decided to become “trained” once they were three years old or so. I guess I’ll just wait with her, too!

    Thank you for all of your inspirational blog entries, etc. 🙂

  5. We plan to cook one of our turkey’s from the freezer on New Year’s day this year. My goal is to make broth from the carcass and make more turkey pot pies for the freezer with the left overs in the next week.

    I may also bake some healthy treats or prepare some quick and healthy snacks that I can use in my daughter’s school lunches next week. Her lunches have to be nut free for school (due to children with severe allergies). Much of the baked goodies left over from Christmas have or been in contact with nut products, so I can’t use them.

  6. Looking forward to seeing your new recipes. We have really enjoyed the ones we’ve tried from your website. I’m off from work this week and have been trying to set some goals for the coming year, as well as doing some sorting and purging of various things that are no longer used or needed (books, clothing, jewelry). I’m also trying to reorganize some of my collected recipes.

  7. I see a trip to Sam’s and a trip to Target on your list. In a past post you mentioned purchasing Target brand diapers and combining coupons with receiving the Target gift cards. I have been purchasing diapers at Sam’s (the club off brand)…do you think doing the coupon gift card double up at Target is less expensive? If so I may have to switch my diaper strategy.

  8. Not quite ready to share my goals for the year but have been working on them and intend to let this week be a planning week.

    Now curiosity demands I ask! I heard on the weather channel that Las Vegas would be getting snow…Seriously? If your children think rain is a treat I’ll bet snow would cause unbearable excitement! lol…Let us know if you actually get any!

  9. Oh boy! It sounds like I might need to surrender to having two in diapers for a while. Good luck potty training this go round! I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the messes on the carpet either. I’m thankful we have hardwood and tile with just a couple area rugs.

  10. It was cheaper–that’s why I switched from Sam’s to Target. But Target recently raised their prices twice in the last few months, so it’s worth checking it out again to be certain. Usually it’s buy 2 boxes and get a $5 or $10 gift card, and the boxes are on sale besides, and then sometimes there is a coupon to stack on top of that, I buy when those deals come around.

    They are very similar to the one from Sam’s. I really like them.

  11. This is me being cynical – but in my experience, more often than not, those “my babies were all potty-trained by the time they were 1” are, for the most part, fooling themselves. I’ve had this conversation soooooo many times: “Oh, my little Chloe was all potty-trained before her first birthday.” “Really? That’s amazing! It took my daughter until she was 2 and a half to be potty trained. But I’m very proud of her, she hasn’t had an accident since.” “Really? No accidents? Oh, Chloe still has an accident now and then. Nothing too bad, maybe two or three a day.”

    Parenthood is not a competition. Your child will let you know when he or she is ready. Leave it until then – otherwise it’ll be miserable for you and for your child. As my mom used to say – “Well, he’ll be potty-trained before he’s ready to go on his first date.” It seems to take forever sometimes until they’re ready; but there’s no point rushing it; it just won’t work until they’re ready.

  12. Hey Brandy,

    I was wondering if you ever used cloth diapers and if so, what your experiences were with them. A lot of frugal bloggers I follow say it is more economical and environmentally friendly to use cloth diapers, especially if you plan on having more kids, and I was curious for your take on the subject. 🙂

  13. My goals for the week are fairly manageable. I’m wanting to change jobs so I’m hoping to find another 2-3 to apply for; I want to finish up some little presents for the kids for next Christmas; and I am trying very hard (and so far with great success!) to not buy any wrapping paper on the after-school sales as I already have 8 partial rolls and 5 full rolls left over!

  14. I’m not an expert, but 50+ years ago when I was raising my kids, potty training was more or less expected between 18-24 months and most kids did meet that goal. My two were 18 months and 5 days apart—believe me, it didn’t take long to train the first after the second one arrived! I think there is usually a “moment of opportunity” and if you catch it, the child is happy to oblige–I usually found that if they woke up dry from a nap, then physically they were ready. The first was easiest—I put them in panties with no slacks over them, and pretty much followed them around most of the day. The second child had a cold at the optimum time so I waited a couple more weeks and although she was a little more resistant, she trained within a few days. One or two days usually does it. A few years later I was watching another child in the daytime and she also trained within a couple days at about the same age. I have NO experience with boys, however!! Today I think most Moms have a more relaxed attitude about it, and also most aren’t washing cloth diapers, which makes the whole thing more bearable (my granddaughter wore disposables!) But I have seen kids go well beyond age 4, and that just seems silly–you can spend your money on better things than diapers after that much time!!

  15. I got (almost) everything done for Christmas that I wanted to and thought things would slow down from there. But, no such luck! I have a birthday gift to make for my mother in law-an embroidered throw pillow-for this coming Sunday. I had originally volunteered to buy pizza and bring it to her house to celebrate her birthday after church (she is widowed), but I’ve decided since my husband will be without work until late February and is self employed that I will make dinner and bring it instead. We definitely don’t need to spend that $35 on pizza, but cooking a meal for her, our family, and my brother-and sister-in-law and children is just one more thing on my to-do list. I also have to assemble portfolios for my two that are in school for our mid-year homeschool review on January 12. I want to get it done before we start lessons again on January 5th. And somewhere in there, I will finish birthday gifts for my little boy who will be 2 on January 15th. Guess I’d better get busy!

  16. Marcia, you’re right–that is considered the norm. I have tried them at that age, and followed around for a week–with no results other than every pair of clothing training pants (I use the old-fashioned cloth ones) being wet and poopy throughout the day, and my rugs and carpets, too. So, I have tried again later–more than once–for each child. Interesting that you mention the nap–my youngest is older than 2 1/2 now, and though she is showing other signs of being ready, she wakes up wet from every nap.

    I chose this week because we are not having school. It is very difficult to follow a child around and keep on top of potty training when I am helping children with schoolwork. But, even when I just had two and three children and no one in school, I found that they had accident after accident, even right after using the toilet. I have a friend whose children trained in 2 days at that same age as yours, and I’ve tried those same things with each child–but no luck. The children weren’t interested in stopping play to use the toilet when they needed to 🙁 Yesterday she had three accidents–2 right in a row– and I put a diaper on her at naptime–which was wet afterwards. I wish I had better success at a younger age! I do keep trying!

  17. A lot of those say it costs $1300 to $1800 a year for disposable diapers. I spend $240 a year for wipes and diapers for one child, so I think those numbers are very high. We have tiered water rates here; I hit the third tier even in winter (not hard with 9 people), and there is a fourth one, too. For each tier we are charged a higher rate. I do 20 to 24 loads of laundry a week right now. I have a front loader that doesn’t use nearly as much water as a top loader (one of my reasons for having that one) but my water and electric costs would definitely go up. My water bill last month was $95. Summer bills are more than double that. If you live in an area with lower water and electric rates, that would affect your costs in a different way.

    When I had three in diapers, I really tried cloth. It took so much of my time that I was changing diapers and nursing and couldn’t get meals on. That was my whole day. It was too much. I had planned on using cloth from the beginning and I really hated it.

    I have been much happier with disposables.

  18. I completely agree as well, but easier said than done. 1st boy potty trained at age 2 even though I didn’t want him to since I had to nurse a newborn sitting on the edge of the tub! My girl was a drawn-out mess and my 3rd I was so determined that I used cloth diapers and decided to try the quick 1-3 day training with plastic pants. What a mess. One day he stood on top of the dishwasher and made what looked like a “waterfall”. I did choose summer so that I could send him outdoors with no pants. It still took way too long and he will hold it even at age 6.

  19. It’s not always silly to leave it until after 4. Some children are not physiologically ready for toilet training until they’re 8. Some children do not have the command of muscle control necessary until much later than 18-24 months. Parents all think the day will never come when their little one is out of nappies; but as my mother said when I was stressing about it “Well, it’s not like he’s going to go on his first date in a diaper.” It’ll happen; but you can’t force it.

  20. Cloth isn’t always the environmental option. We rely solely on rain water for our entire household needs. When my children were in nappies, we were in a drought. I’d much rather use our limited water for things like, you know, drinking, than for washing poop off nappies. However, I find that flannel nappies make great dusting and wash cloths (my mother in law bought me several dozen before my first child was born – even after I said we’d be using disposable) and terry-cloth nappies are wonderful to keep on-hand for those inevitable spills.

  21. I am also hoping to potty train this week or next since I’ll be off work mostly. My son is turning 3 this weekend. I clothed diapered for the first two years and then switched to disposable training pants in hopes of potty training soon but he has never been very interested. I’ll be trying the sticker reward system I think to try to help move things along. Good luck Brandy with Ivory!
    My other big goal is to add two more meatless nights to the menu and not just the meatless Mondays I’ve been doing.

  22. When my middle boy was 2 1/2 I was really stressing because he was not trained . A neighbor asked me when he is 25 will it really matter at what age he was potty trained. That was such an eye opener.

  23. yep, my eldest toilet trained by two, next one wouldn’t have a bar of it till just after his fourth birthday (and since then has had only one accident – he will be six in Feb), youngest will be 5 in Feb and is still in nappies – she is autistic, and these things take as long as they take for her 🙂 Kids do it when they are ready. And yep, two in cloth is a lot of washing, but it’s manageable.

  24. We are on rainwater too, and we used cloth most of the time, unless water was low, and then we switched to disposables. Youngest gets terrible nappy rash if she is in cloth (yes, we’ve tried all the usual things to solve that), so now she is in disposables most of the time. We spend about $30/month for her on disposables, whereas we spent only about $450 for cloth for both DS and youngest. Eldest was in cloth too, but it was terry flats back then (a whole 13 years lol)

  25. We heard that on the news this a.m. on the radio…the said Las Vegas may have 1-2 inches of snow. Hope to hear a weather report from you.

  26. I never even began the process until they were three! When they are ready it is easy, if they’re not it is a messy headache. My mom reminded me, when I was despairing, “Everybody is potty trained by kindergarten.” I had two in diapers at one time, yes it’s work, but what part of mothering isn’t? And what seems eternal as we go through it seems but a small moment further down the road. I think mothers can get too stressed about it, comparing one’s child to another. Everyone is different, and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. I have one girl, the oldest, and then four boys. The girl was the easiest, then each boy was different in timing and ease of grasping the concepts.

  27. I have no goals this week, just be on vacation and relax and visit friends and family and make sure to keep some treats and snacks made for the drop in visitors and make more hot cider when we run out.

  28. Terri, my daughter is now 19. She didn’t potty-train until she was 38 months old. I tried earlier, around 2.5 years, but she was not interested or ready. I was (still am) a single working mom, so she was in daycare and they were not happy that she was three years old and still wearing pull-ups. She was usually dry when they went to the bathroom but they had to change her a few times and I heard about it each time and about how all the other kids were trained already. However, once she decided she was ready, she trained in about 2 days for daytime and within a couple more weeks was wearing regular underpants to bed because she was having no night time accidents either. In other words, she was in control of her body and ready to train. It was sometimes frustrating (and yes, expensive) in the months leading up to this, but I honestly don’t remember one accident once she was trained.

    Some of my friends bragged about their kids being trained at 18 months or two years, but in general it seemed to be the parents who were trained because they were constantly asking the child if they had to go and/or taking the child to the bathroom every couple hours. These children were also still wearing diapers or pull-ups at night until they were 3 or 4, so in my opinion, they really weren’t ready earlier.

    Don’t stress over it. Your child will train when your child is ready. That might be now, it might be later. If it doesn’t work now, don’t blame yourself or your child. Just try again in a few months. Recognize, too, that if your child doesn’t potty train until 3 or 4 or later, it is not a reflection on your parenting skills or your child. They just aren’t ready physically and mentally.

    Good luck and congrats on the baby coming.

  29. My daughter pretty much trained herself by the time she was 18 months. My aunt babysat her during the day along with 2 of her cousins that are 2 and 3 years older. She thought she should go potty since they did. It was so nice.

  30. One of my daughters trained on her own, over the course of a single weekend, when she was 22 months. It was done at her request. The other was three and a half. Because my sister had been a bed wetter and someone who had difficulties with control in the 50’s, when all of this potty training was so regimented, I was ultra-aware of the shame that could be attached to these issues. I didn’t want to push it if the child didn’t seem ready. I always offered opportunities but I tended to take Brandy’s attitude. These days, as thirty-something’s, there’s no difference in my daughters’ potty traits, as far as I can tell!

    I’d also like to offer another take on the whole issue. If money is a problem and you’re paying for disposable diapers, there’s a reason to gently push, but I found it harder, not easier, to manage once a child was newly potty trained. No matter what you’re doing–even if you’re on a conference call while working from home or making a dish that will absolutely ruin if you leave it–you have to drop that activity and rush that new trainee to the bathroom the moment that child says she’s has to go! Travel is harder. You ask and ask before you leave the house, and two blocks later, you have to double back for a child who can’t make it the ten more minutes you have to drive. Loaded grocery carts must be left while you stand in a grocery store bathroom for twenty minutes, trying to keep your other child from touching anything while the new trainee tries to . . . well, whatever needs to be done. Relax. My suggestion would be the same as so many others’: offer when the child shows interest, drop the current effort if it’s not working, and then try again later. I would not begin training right before a big trip or other family event. Although there will be some children who are still having accidents at kindergarten, that’s likely not because of the fault of the parents, but the lack of preparedness of the child’s plumbing.

  31. My goals for this week are fairly simple.
    1. Take the decorations off the tree in the library & the tree in the family room.
    2. Take down & put away the wreaths on the doors (there are 8).
    3. Take the lights off both trees.
    4. Take down & put away both trees.
    5. Take down & put away the nativity scenes.
    6. Put up the snowflakes that are our decor for January.
    7. Begin to take down & pack away the yard display. This is 2 shepherds, 10 sheep, & 5 angels. When there is snow on the ground, as there is now, I can only take down 2-3 at a time, leaving them to sit in the garage where the ice crystals will either melt off if it is warm enough, or sublime off if it is single digit temps like now. When they are dry, they go back in their boxes, & then back up on the high garage shelf for another year. The process generally takes at least a week.

  32. My oldest daughter went to daycare when she was 2 years old. She was placed in the “potty training” room with “Miss Mary” at daycare. Miss Mary took the two-year-olds (about 8) to the potty every 1-2 hours. The kids sat on the potties and sang the “potty song” (and not a naughty song) and all the kids clapped their hands while singing. At home, my daughter insisted we sing the “potty song” and clap our hands while she sat on the potty (even at 2 am). My daughter was potty trained within a week or so. I also put those old fashion cloth panties on her and I hardly remember her having any accidents even at night time.

    How the time passes…

  33. I used cloth diapers and plastic pants and my kids were trained at age 2 to 2½. I think 50 years ago we did not wait until the child was “ready”, we decided 2 was the age and that was that. At first its more a matter of training yourself to take them potty and having the patience to wait for them to go. Once they get the idea it goes smoothly. For ds it was letting him flush the toilet when he was done — he was intrigued. With dd it was fancy lacy panties that she could wear when she stayed dry for a few days. Also, I think pull-ups are just more expensive diapers and to the child doesn’t it feels the same. Not at all the same as having wet cold cotton training pants.

  34. Our water supply got so low with DD that we had to bring in a tanker to refill the tank. Unfortunately the tank was so old the sudden inflow of water put a hole in the bottom of it and we lost 100,000 gallons of water in 24 hours. That was heart-breaking. I knew we were losing it so I washed literally everything in the house so that it wouldn’t just go to waste. It took us several months to build up our water after that; so there’s no way we could’ve done the cloth nappy thing then.

  35. My son “trained” himself at 17 months. No joke. He’s the youngest of 3 children so I figured he was just doing what everyone else was. His doctor said he’s regress. He didn’t. However, he’s not fully trained and turned 7 years old in November. He still wets the bed almost nightly. I’ve just begun – this past week infact – to restrict his drinks. Nothing except water after lunch. Milk and tea seem to make him pee more. But, it’s not a big deal with us. He felt like wearing nighttime pants was for babies. I had to talk him into wearing them and told him they’re just for nights and babies wear diapers not what he wears. He’s a smart boy and said he’s tired of waking up wet. Who would like to? So, he’s okay with only drinking water. He likes it with lemon. Each child will train when they’re ready. His doctor said that for some boys, they wet the bed until 15 years old. I don’t want that for my son but we don’t criticize him either. It is what it is and we deal with it. Night time underwear and lots of loads of laundry.

  36. I never forced my son into potty training…my Mom watched him from the time he was 8 weeks old until 4 1/2 yrs old when I worked. She tried Potty Training him when he was 2 but my son just wasn’t ready then. Finally, shortly after his 3rd birthday, my son decided that he no longer wanted to wear diapers during the day & wanted big boy underwear. So I bought him Thomas the Tank Engine briefs and viola, just like that, he was potty trained for #1…#2 took a little bit longer..I’d wear pull-ups on him at night and sometimes, he’d have accidents wth #2 during the day…but right around 38 months old, he was fully potty trained pretty much all on his own.

  37. Terri, we started potty training our son at 18 months. He was ready, though, and he was day and night trained before he turned 3. I think that it was a combination of readiness, cloth diapers (he could feel when he was wet), and positive reinforcement– we gave him a sticker every time he used the potty. We didn’t have any pressure to do it, though (other than he was growing out of his diapers and I had a hard time finding sizes in cloth to fit him!).

  38. I buy #10 can whote, tomatoes at Costco $2.79, #10 can tomato sauce Costco #2.59. I use Knorr Chicken in my rice very tasty rice pilaf & arroz con pollo (rice & chicken) Vitamins I get @ Costco when they have the coupon, multi & vitamin “C” Oh I get anti-biotic ointment @ Walmart .88 cnts for my FAKs (First Aid kits) Thank for your list gives me ideas to look for items in other store to compare prices. I keep a price book . Thank Brandy. Happy New Year 2015 Blessings!

  39. Lorraine, your comment reminded me to look at Sam’s Club vitamin prices! I keep meaning to compare and I forgot again!

    I haven’t seen antibiotic ointment that low at Walmart; I will look and compare price per ounce.

    Interesting that the Costco prices are lower for the tomatoes. I have been thinking to compare the two stores again this year. Of course, the membership is also higher at Costco. But it would be worth comparing items again.

  40. My mother swears to ME that I was trained by age 1. I was always in a competition with HER to get on the potty. She says I would hold my finger up and tell her ME. I am 63 now so I am not going to call my mother a liar.

    My own children did not train that easy. I had 2 sons. My first was almost 3 before he got it. I was trying so hard to get him trained so that he could take swim lessons. ( no swim diapers in the 70’s) My sons are 4 years apart. His brother trained quicker about age 2 because he wanted to do everything his big brother did. That made it a little more easy for me. Both of my sons wore cloth diapers.

    I do day care for a living now. Most of the time I find parents don’t even try to start till the child is over 2. Sometimes I think a child is ready. I will work with the child, but if the family is not working with the child at home it is a lost cause. With boys I put a cereal circle in the toilet tank and let them ‘aim’ for it. They love that. It does help. Girls we just sit on the toilet and we sing a song about being big boys and girls and clap when we make pee pee etc.

  41. This weeks goals….
    Enjoying our time off from work and being home. We are saving in gas money and meals have been around our kitchen table.
    *Would like to organize my sewing thread. I saved some great sturdy flat boxes from Christmas to put the spools in.
    *Use up our left overs, make some ham/bean soup.
    *Sew an eternity scarf from some fabric I have, makes an additional accessory for a work outfit.
    *Removing carpet from a bedroom, will varnish the oak floor beneath it. Plan to paint the walls and make some valences. Found a beautiful bedroom set on Craig’s list last year and will put in bedroom. A little elbow grease and this will come together. I have had the same twin comforters on the twin beds in that room for 20 years when our son was little. I bought a generic style and never changed them because they weren’t age/theme focused. Turned out to be a great value. Bought new comforters using a gift card and my kohls cash, looking forward to the change.
    *Water my geraniums that I am keeping over winter under grow lights in the basement.
    *Organize our “bill drawer” and start folders for future income taxes etc.
    *Enjoy the library books I have downloaded-find I am reading so much more with my kindle, it was well worth the investment.
    *Am committed to using up cosmetics, shampoo, soap, etc from my stash. I went on a trip for work and brought back all hotel room samples.
    It’s going to be a good week.

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