I'm Kristen. Mom to Luke and Zoey, two-year-olds extraordinaire. Trying to keep a foot in the advertising world (I freelance part-time as a writer/creative director out of San Francisco and Boston). Recently relocated to Albuquerque, NM for my husband's job (I love it). Trying to do the creative stuff I did before babies, but it's hard. Hoping to be an outdoorsy/backpacking/ snowboarding/surfer girl again someday, but fear that may be in the past. Really, just trying to embrace change and find balance--and to be grateful for all the things big and small that are good in my life.

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!






Three-Day Potty Training With Twins

The short version:

Friday: 25 changes of underwear (mostly Zo) and tears (again mostly Zo), refusal to go to bed (Luke and Zo), and utter exhaustion (me).

Saturday: 25 changes of underwear (mostly Luke) and tears (for Zo and for me). Refusal to go to bed (Luke and Zo). Utter exhaustion (me).

Sunday: 3 change of underwear (Luke), refusal to take a nap or go to bed (Luke and Zo), and utter exhaustion (me). I also miss my husband.

Bottom line: It's hell, but it works (knock on wood).


A guy at my husband's work potty trained his kids with the 3-day potty training method, shared the ebook with us, we picked at weekend (this past one), and gave it a try. Here's the blow-by-blow:



I took the day off work. Breakfast and then big-kid underwear all around. Luke for the most part got it right away. We were giving out M&Ms as rewards and he was all about M&Ms--to the tune of a trickle every 5 minutes. Sissy had lots and lots of accidents...didn't really get it at all, but that's OK, that's why you have three days. I had help with meals etc. and my husband set up the toddler beds. 

All and all, the day wasn't so bad until bedtime. (Honestly it was kind of nice to have all that kid time...and not have to do anything else.) Bedtime though was 2 1/2 hours of Luke going potty every 5 minutes, and Zoey, having not gone potty since before dinner, trying every 5 minutes and everyone getting incredibly frustrated. The night ended with her having a big accident and in hysterics.

Bed next door to the kids, fully expecting to be up most of the night.



Luke woke me up at 5 AM, crying because he and his bed were soaking wet. Sis slept for another hour and woke up dry. (!)

Followed by breakfast and lots of juice and Luke having a bunch of accidents and Zo holding it, not peeing since the night before until about 10 AM and having an accident and again in hysterics...BUT she also peed a lot in the potty...and that seems to be the moment it clicked.

No more accidents from Zo, but lots from Luke (after almost none on Friday). I swear I'm not exaggerating when I say I went through 50 pairs of underwear Friday and Saturday.

Bedtime again, over and over every 5 minutes to the potty until I felt like I was going to lose my mind and my mother-in-law, bless her, agreed to take over so my husband and I could go out to dinner. She sat with them and sang them to sleep...apparently without me around there wasn't the constant running to the bathroom.

When we left for dinner I realized I had not been out of the house for 48 hours.

I cried at dinner for no reason.

Slept right next to the kids again. Luke fell out of bed twice during the night, the first time about 12:30 AM, put him on the potty and he went.



The kids both woke up at 6:30 AM, both dry, both peed right away. There was a minor accident shortly after with Luke, and a couple in the afternoon as well. Kids went potty over and over, pee and poop. Grandma was more involved as I have to work Monday morning and the kids did great with her, too.

Naps were a nightmare, with it taking a couple hours for Luke to go down, both getting up to pee over and over and over. ("I don't know if they're working the system," I said to my husband, "or just really want to make sure they stay dry so any little thing they feel they feel like they have to go.") Zo never slept.

Started trying to put them to bed around 6:30 (their normal bedtime is 7:30), reading and stories and cuddles and somewhere in the middle threats and raised voices (mine). They finally went down about 8:30 or 9:00, after a talking to from Daddy.

(Note: Above photo is Sunday night, the 10,000th time Luke got out of bed to pee.)

Luke was up with me once in the night. Monday morning they both woke up dry.

I posted a comment on Facebook Friday night that essentially said, "Potty training. Good Lord." My husband's best friend said something to the effect that before you know it they'll be out of the house and cherish this time, which is so true...I'm so lucky to have these kids and know all too well how fast they will grow up...amd this is all going to make a good story someday and I'm sad I don't get to do this again. And I'm so proud of them...they did such an amazing job.

But still, in the middle of it? Not easy. Not easy at all.



May in Pictures and Stories

The first half of May we spent in Colorado (glorious), the last half at home in New Mexico, spring easing into summer, the kids growing and changing every day. Some favorite pictures:

One of my favorite things about the twins at this age is how much they are starting to interact...it's generally friendly, such as when I give them the "wrong" forks at a meal (they are very particular about whose things are whose) and they will hand the forks back and forth and say, "Here you go, Luke." "Here you go, Zo." Or Luke watching Zo do a puzzle and saying, "Good job, Zoey!"

There is the flip side, too, which mainly involves Luke playing "Tackle, Tackle Zoey," which she almost never likes, and Zo stealing Luke's Hot Wheels and running across the house with them, leaving him in tears.

Luke is big into cars and trucks, Zo into her kitties, Stanley and Fuzzy Britches; she'll have them interact with each other...I'm actually seeing a lot of imagination from these guys, from cooking up play meals (a favorite activity) to picking pretend grass to feed pretend bunnies.


Some commonly heard phrases from Zo this month:

"I have a pocket." 

"I need a Kleenex!"

"I love you Daddy!" (Mommy, too. Me-ma and Grammy and Papa and Uncle Ben too.)

"I'm making a funny face!" 

And from Luke:

"Not yet! One more minute!" 

"Let's DO it!" (eg, "Would you like to brush your teeth, Luke?" "Yes! Let's DO it!")

"I love you Daddy!" (Mommy etc, too.)

"No, no, I don't LIKE kisses. Don't kiss me Mommy!" (Followed by frantic wiping away of said kiss.)

"Let's whip up dinner!"

"I don't LIKE Mommy!" (Ouch. Oh well, he's two.)

"I don't do shirts!" (Said while trying his best not to let me dress him.)

Cuteness from Zo:

"I need to be careful around cars. And monsters."

"I made a terrible mess!"

And Luke:

"I hurt Daddy's feelings. I need to fix them."


There are LOTS of hugs from the kids these days. 

Luke misses his sister if I take him out alone.

They both love looking for trucks when we're "out and about," as we call it; they can name pretty much anything they see on the the road (eg, "Box truck! Semi truck! Auto carrier! Cement mixer! Etc. All said as an exclamation.)

We still rock and sing at night, although the kids aren't always into it. Sometimes they run around the room while I sing. Or sit in the other rocking chair. I don't know how this started, but I've been giving them the choice of the "Regular Version" or the "Oink Oink Version" of a song, the "Oink Oink Version" having most of the words replaced by oinks.

Both the kids like playing "Tunnel" with Dad, where they give him a "toll," he gives them change, and then they go under his bent legs. They also like playing "Boat," where they sit between his legs on the bed to keep away from sharks. And Luke has been playing "Hit Hit Daddy," where he'll hit his Daddy on the chest and Daddy will tickle him and then stop 'til he's hit again.

"Baby Races," are also a big deal around here, where the kids will start with Dad and he'll outline a course for them, eg, "Run around the coffee table twice, jump on your bunny or bear rocker and rock, touch Mommy and then run back to Daddy. First one back wins!" The kids love to play, and it's fun to watch because it's totally unpredictable who will wander off course when and thus as far ahead as any one baby seems the other baby always has a chance of winning.

Saying goodbye to Daddy in the driveway when he goes to work and welcoming him home are also big activities these days.

And both kids still chime in at random with, "I'm happy!"

"I'm happy too," I always say back to them.

And June, wonderful amazing June is here, so looking forward to it! We're attempting the 3-day potty training method starting Friday and switching out to toddler beds at he same time, so big stuff happening around here! Wish us luck!



Grace in Small Things, June 2, 2014

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday!

A few things that are lovely in my world:

  1. How cute is my girl in her sunglasses?!? (Snapped during a bonus playground outing with Daddy...what a treat...)
  2. Since I've been back from Colorado I'm doing a better job of staying on top of paperwork, etc. My mornings are more hectic than they used to be, but a lot more is getting done...
  3. Pool, birthday BBQ, the Script and One Republic at an outdoor amphitheater with my husband (and a new blouse and scarf and earrings to wear to it...also first big concert I've gone to since I was pregnant with Luke and Zo)...it was a good weekend...
  4. I think I've figured out how to order books online from the local library...something I've been meaning to figure out forever...makes the library 100 times more usable...
  5. Birds are singing so early in the morning here right now...if I'm not going to CrossFit I lay half-asleep in bed listening to them...such a cheerful way to wake up...

Hope you all have a great week!




Grace in Small Things, May 27, 2014

Hi Everyone! Happy Tuesday! Here are some things that are lovely in my world:

  1. Despite a cold and rainy holiday weekend, we still got in some pool time. And a couple BBQs. And a lot of relaxation...it was so needed and really great...
  2. Made it to CrossFit by myself this morning, which is usually pretty much impossible. But my husband needed some sleep after being up with Luke-with-bad-dreams last night. And I'm so lucky to have a husband who helps like this...
  3. All in all a pretty easy errand morning with the kids (including story hour, so something fun for them, too). It takes 10 times as long when I take them with me, but it's always nice to be spending the time together...
  4. We had friends over over the weekend and as soon as they showed up Luke offered the kids his brand new and favorite toys of the moment--a dmp truck and bulldozer--totally on his own...was so proud of him...
  5. Short work week...yay! And doesn't look like too bad a week, but I have a call at 2 PM that could totally change that...




Grace in Small Things, May 21, 2014

Hi Everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Some things that are lovely in my world:

  1. My son running up to me, hugging my leg, and saying, "I give Mommy a hug"
  2. Being able to rock and soothe my daughter to sleep when she's having a hard time going down for a nap
  3. The back yard starting to look spectacular...all thanks goes to my mother-in-law...
  4. Making it to 5 AM CrossFit twice already this week
  5. My boxer Newton lying at my feet as I type this...