Category: All Posts

Tent Rocks Adventure – Kasha Katuwe, New Mexico

I’m a little behind, but I wanted to share our awesome experience in New Mexico when Steve, Marie, Austin & I got to explore the Tent Rocks in New Mexico. The best part was, Grandma and Grandpa watched the kiddos so we could go on a much needed double date. Trust me, camping with 3 kids under 3 was a little challenging in the middle of the night for at least one of the babies. So, we escaped and let the grandparents deal with the collateral damage of 3 little ones with little sleep. ūüėÄ

Tent Rocks in New Mexico

These were awesome! It looked like man had somehow formed them, but they didn’t. They’re just all natural and it made me wonder if we were somehow on an alien planet. I loved going through the ravine and exploring God’s beautiful creation.

Below is a slideshow of our fun adventures. And of course, I had to pick the song, On Top of the World, by Imagine Dragons. I felt it was only fitting after hiking up a mountain. It seemed like a big one to me, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I’m just old, post-childbirth and a bit of a wimp. We had a blast!

Let me just say that there is a pic in there where my sister and I are both flexing. Those sweet guns are from lugging my extremely precious, extremely heavy baby boy around. Yep, off the charts for EVERYTHING. If you had an extremely wiggly little human latched onto you for much of the day, you would get some big guns too. That’s all I can say about that.

Hope you enjoy some of the beautiful views and me and my family’s goofy personalities. So fun to go hiking with my sister and brother-in-law. Next time we can take the kids??

My Grandpa’s Funeral – which I didn’t attend

My Grandpa’s Funeral

I didn’t get to go to my Grandpa’s funeral. It was in Idaho and I am currently in Michigan. As I type this, my family is driving to the gravesite to say a final goodbye to him.

Although I didn’t get to attend, I did get to create a Memorial Slideshow for him. I love my Grandpa. Sifting back through years of pictures to see him at his best moments was truly a treat.

I especially loved seeing the pictures of him when he was my age, or when he just had a couple of kids, like I do now. I wonder if he was as clueless as I feel sometimes. I wonder if he and Grandma weren’t as pro at their relationship as they were in their later years. He must have had moments when he wondered what his life would be like. I wonder if he was happy as he lay there in his final days at what his life had become. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Tribute to a Great Man at My Grandpa’s Funeral

I will always remember brewer’s yeast, playing cards with him, and listening to his jokes. Once when we were hiking back from our fishing spot on the Russian River, I remember joking with him about if there was a bear, all we had to do was run faster than Grandpa. He didn’t think that was so funny.

I miss you Grandpa. I’m glad you get to be with Grandma now. You were an example to me throughout most of my life about how to be happy in every circumstance. I loved your joking around and harassing us all, even up until you knew you were knocking on death’s door. I know I will see you again and I can’t to play cards with you in the eternities. I love you!

Life after Death

For more information on what we believe happens after we die, feel free to visit this website and watch their sweet video. It explains how we can have hope for the future, even when our loved ones slip from this life into the next.

Spoiled Camping with Two Little Ones

Austin and I had the awesome opportunity to go camping with our kids. Granted, it was a very easy, spoiled camping trip. This trip took very little effort on our part, but at least it inspired us to do more camping in the future.

Here’s a video of our fun!

Why I Call it Spoiled Camping

Spoiled Meals

We went with my parents and they had a motorhome, an awesome tent for us and a fun little pool for the babies. Unfortunately, the campsite didn’t allow campfires…. ummmm… isn’t that what camping is all about? So as much as we might have liked to make campfire meals, we used the motorhome instead. Pasta one night, yummy sandwiches, yogurts and fruits.

So, let’s be honest. It was less like camping and more like hanging out in a motor home with televisions and cell signals. But, Austin, the kids & I all slept in a tent.

Spoiled Sleeping in a Tent

Yes, we slept in a tent. Siena had a cushioned cot above the ground. Grayson had a pack and play. Austin and I had an air mattress. In case you haven’t put the pieces together, it was a really big tent. Again, all of this stuff was provided by my parents. So, yeah, we slept in a tent. But really we slept on 3 different beds for four people.

spoiled camping in a tent

Spoiled Hygiene

I took a shower right before we left, preparing for the worst. We were going to be gone two nights. And we probably weren’t all going to take turns in the motorhome shower.

However, after being there for about 24 hours, we found out there was a shower there. I didn’t want to go and shower immediately, but I was starting to smell. So, that night, Austin and I went down to the showers.

My preconceived notion was cement floors, gross plastic shower curtains and fluorescent lights that had been darkened by millions of moth wings.

No, no, no! The bathrooms were well-lit, showers had stalls that locked and tile floors. AND, there was a giant heat lamp over the shower stalls. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

And of course while I’m showering, a couple of girls come in and are using the stall next to me. One of them says, “ew! There’s spiders in here.”

I looked around and couldn’t identify what they thought were spiders. I didn’t see any bugs.

“This shower is horrible!”

What were they expecting? It seemed way nicer than any camping shower I’ve ever been to. We’re not at a hotel. I couldn’t help but chuckle at our drastically different reactions.

Spoiled Camping because of All the Time

It was awesome being able to spend time with my family and my kids. Our kids loved playing together. They loved splashing around in the pool, especially when the days got super hot.

We went on a hike with my sister and brother-in-law.


And we got to play games and enjoy each other’s company. All in all, it has inspired Austin and I to go on more adventures with our kids and make some more memories. We can’t wait to get back to Michigan and go on some journeys.


If you want to read about how we managed to get across the country with our two little ones, click here.

Across the Country with 2 Little Ones

It’s been awhile since I posted and the truth is, we’ve been getting ready to go out of town. And it will be quite the journey. We have stops in four different states and I’ll be doing part of the traveling alone. Going across the country with 2 little kids is a feat all by itself, but combine that with our grand mistakes and you have quite the adventure.

ready to fly across the country
So naive, before we traveled across the country.

The First Leg Across the Country

In our infinite young parent wisdom, we thought it would be a great idea to save some money and only fly to Denver instead of paying the extra $300 per ticket to get to Albuquerque. Then we could rent a car and drive the rest of the way. We were going to have to rent a car anyways. Genius!

The Airport

At 4:30 in the morning, our alarms went off. I felt like I should get up, but stubbornly remained in bed. I kept feeling like I needed to get up, so finally I begrudgingly rolled out of bed around 4:40. We got ready and it took a little longer than we were anticipating. We didn’t end up leaving the house until 6:00. Which would have been plenty of time if we didn’t have to battle Detroit early morning traffic.


It was crawling through the city. Everyone was trying to get into work and we had an early flight to catch. We finally arrived at the airport with about an hour before the flight left. We loaded all of the stuff inside and checked our bags and then Austin had to go and drop the car off at the parking lot. I took the kids through security by myself.

me with the kids across the country


We waited and waited and waited for Austin to get back from dropping off the car in the satellite lot. The first zone went, the second zone (which we were in because of the kids) went and as I paced around the gate trying to keep the kids happy, we waited and waited. I started the preliminary anxious text messages. “Status?” “Almost here?” “Everyone is leaving…”

As the last people boarded the plane, I saw him emerge from the main part of the airport. The first leg of our across the country journey almost had a very different beginning. We were there in just enough time.

Someone was Looking Out for Us

Sometimes you see God in the little things. Honestly, we would not have made our flight if I had stayed in bed that morning. He knew we’d be running late and that traffic would keep getting worse and He helped us make it just in time.

The Flight

The flight was long and I’m sure frustrating for people around us. But I couldn’t feel too bad for the lady who sat in front of us because she had the whole row to herself while there were four of us on the row behind her.


snuggling with my boy across the countryAt first Grayson was just fascinated with every aspect of the airplane. The tray table in front of us, the arm rests, the windows, Siena’s reaction to his grabbing the seatbelt, everything. Maybe Mama’s mouth felt different inside the airplane? Maybe Daddy’s eye was more fun to poke in the airplane? But after about a half an hour of exploring his new surroundings, the toll of being awake since 5:30 had started to hit. He started fussing when he realized he was nowhere near a bed…specifically his bed.

And then he started wriggling every which way. Trying to hold him is like trying to hold an angry cat that doesn’t want to be held. It is a constant battle of counterbalancing his bowling ball body. He throws his 27 lbs around like it is no big deal. And FINALLY he got settled and fell into a little slumber on my chest.

This doesn’t happen very often, so to say that I was happy would be an understatement. Because not only did I get to snuggle with my baby but I wasn’t having to wrestle a lion cub.

snuggly boy
Seriously, so snuggly!


Siena was content to eat some food, revel in the glory of her own seat and watch her shows that I had downloaded for her. But at some point the novelty wore off and suddenly Grayson’s limp feet dangling off my lap were just too much for her and the tormenting began.

siena in her own chair across the country

At first I didn’t notice her moving his foot up and down with her foot and then she started kicking him. I told her to stop, which startled Grayson. After raising my voice at her for something else, he was awake again…

Grayson & Siena

Sometimes, they were great as we flew across the country. They would watch shows together. Siena would share her toys or give him Veggie Straws. Sometimes they would get along so well, much to our detriment. Meaning they would scream and shout in unison so that everyone on the plane had to look and see what was so exciting in 22 A, B, and C.

show watching across the country

And then other times we were having to pull them off of each other as Grayson grabbed Siena’s hair or Siena hit him because she was mad or because they were wrestling in the middle seat.

Wet Diapers

It was also after Grayson woke up that Austin and I realized their diapers were either soaking wet or completely soaked through the pants too (in Siena’s case). He was the brave soul who changed them.

father and sonsnuggling with dad on flight across the countrysleeping with daddy across the country

Apparently Siena’s was completely drenched and he said he had filled up the entire bathroom with a thick, foul urine smell. The poor person who followed after them was probably not amused.

But he also used two different bathrooms to equally distribute the smell. One for Grayson and one for Siena.


We arrived at the airport, got our belongings and then waited for an hour with the kids in the stroller until Daddy came back with the car.

stroller in airport

Remember our “genius” plan?

Someone was Looking Out for Us Again

Somehow, Austin managed to get upgraded from a Sedan to a Chevy Tahoe! And it was for free! One of his main stresses was how we were going to fit all of our stuff in a Sedan with the kids and our bags and haul it across the country. Luckily we didn’t have to find out.


The kids were exhausted and both of them crashed within a half an hour of getting in the car. But Siena woke up about a half an hour later when we got food. I wish I could say that she went back to sleep, but she never did…

Grayson slept a little longer and was not happy when he woke up. This was only about an hour after being in the car (including time to get food). We still had SO far to go.

We stopped because I suspected he was poopy. After getting them both changed and fed, we were off and Grayson finally settled back to sleep.

Siena watched her show. And this went on for a while. It was relatively peaceful, except for the growing trepidation at the remaining length of the trip.

Someone was Looking Out for Us a Third Time

At some point, Austin asked me to check the map and as I put in the route so I could get the amount of time remaining, I realized we had just passed a fork in the route that would have cut off a half an hour. We quickly rerouted and only lost a couple of minutes as opposed to more.

What we Saw

The drive was long and the kids were at the ends of their rope but experiencing all of the little towns along the way was kind of once in a lifetime. Driving across the country on little known roads leads to big memories. We got to see so much culture and life that we never knew existed.

One of our favorite moments was when we saw a bearded old man with white hair to the bottom of his shoulder blades, shirtless and carrying a box on top of his head with a globe poking out of the top, walking along the freeway. What?!

We saw tons of Adobe structures and little towns we probably never would have seen if we would have just flown to Albuquerque.

And to be honest, we probably won’t see them again. Because after all of this we have learned that going across the country this way is not what we want to do again.


We were about twenty minutes from the house and Grayson woke up after his second nap during the drive. This one was only about half an hour long. And he immediately thought Siena was the most hilarious thing ever. Because I have¬†never heard him laugh that hard. I caught a little tiny bit of it, but this went on the whole rest of the way to my parent’s house.

So after a long day, this was definitely a great way to end it. We were so happy to see my parents and family and I think they were just as happy to see us.

37 Weeks!! …………………………………….Postpartum

37 Weeks!

That’s right, if I were pregnant, I’d like to think my baby would be knocking down my uterus door but she wouldn’t be and I’m not. My baby would probably want to hang out for another month in my apparently very comfortable uterus. And while I may not be 37 weeks pregnant, I am 37 weeks postpartum. Check out my baby bump.

37 weeks postpartum


My Baby Bump

It’s true. There is no actual baby inside of it. But it’s still a baby bump because it was home to two babies at different points. It stretched and ballooned up, and like a balloon, it just didn’t return to it’s pre-blown up state.

Balloon Blown up and released and new

I didn’t pop. The air, or baby and all of the gory, juicy things that came with it, went out of me. And what was left was my used balloon. I blew it up again. My mom blew hers up 5 times. I have a friend who’s mom blew it up 18 times. Each time, the balloon sustained some wear and tear, but weren’t the prizes worth the slightly damaged shell?

My Badge of Honor

I am still trying to lose weight and get in shape. I want to be healthy so, I’m eating healthier and working out. But even with all of my efforts to change, I don’t think I will ever go back to the pre-blown up balloon. My skin might be a little looser, I may not be able to jump on a trampoline and I can probably write off modeling as a future career option.

my little creations

But look what I helped to create! My body sacrificed and I paid the price to have these beautiful little humans in our family. I never want to go back to the pre-blown up balloon, because that me-balloon hadn’t experienced the strongest love that can only be brought about by the greatest sacrifice.

I am 37 weeks postpartum and my heart has never been more full.

37 weeks postpartum with my two babies
Grayson looks angry, but he is really just extremely focused on splashing.


Read my son’s birth story for a riveting tale of endurance, or my daughter’s birth story for an adventure of even more endurance.

God’s Love & Parent’s Love – Finding it

God’s Love

It’s usually a small thing. Sometimes I barely notice the trigger. But usually at some point throughout the busy, hectic, stressful, frustrating, fun, crazy day I have a moment where I remember just how deeply I love my children. It might be Siena volunteering to snuggle with me. Or my son, Grayson raising his arms as far as he can and looking at me as if I am supposed to know what he wants. I do. He wants me to pick him up. And if I take a moment and contemplate on my love, I am always left with a small impression of how great God’s love must be for His children.

The Deepest Love

I can’t even begin to fathom how anyone could love their children more than I love mine. And I don’t say that in an arrogant way. It’s more, I really cannot comprehend of a deeper love. My husband and I love each other. But I think that love is more built rather than instinctual. Loving your child has to be some sort of biological necessity, because even after the tantrums, the headaches you get, the sleepless nights, the bitten fingers and stressful talks, you are still hopelessly in love with your babies.

Deeper than My Deepest

Then to learn that God’s love is more than we can comprehend, is literally beyond comprehension. Now I know what it feels like to love someone so much it hurts. And I can’t imagine someone having that kind of love for me. I can’t fathom that.

God's love greater than a mother's love

God’s Love

At times I haven’t always believed that it is real. I have struggled and prayed to feel His love and been left with an empty feeling. Fear clutched at me as I thought that perhaps He didn’t love me. I kept praying. It has taken a long time. But in case you are feeling the way I have felt, I did receive an answer.

How I Know

It wasn’t a booming, in your face, heart warming expression of love. I kept waiting for something unmistakable. If he wanted me to know of His love, isn’t that how it would come? There would be no denying an answer to a prayer like that. Or so I thought.

As I’ve gotten older though, I learned that I can’t always trust the experiences that seem so crazy out of the ordinary. Because the further away I get from it, I question my own memory. It seemed real at the time, but it doesn’t always after coming back down to reality.

Instead my answer has been a constant flow of reassurance. I study my scriptures, I tell Him my doubts, my concerns and my emotions. And in response, He guides me to the correct answers. He helps me solve my problems. He listens to me even when I’m screaming at Him in my prayers. And after I have calmed down, He shows me the truth. God doesn’t tell me He loves me; He shows me.

God Doesn’t Tell Me He Loves Me; He Shows Me

God’s love is a parent’s love. Sometimes expressions or declarations of ‘I love you’ fall on deaf ears. Children forget. And after being a child and a parent, I know that as a child, you can never comprehend the love of your parents until you are one.

I don’t remember one time hearing ‘I love you’ that had a profound influence on me from my parents.

God and parents impress their love upon their children by teaching, guiding, correcting, and showing you the way to be happy. That’s what God does for me. That’s what my parents did and still do for me. So, that’s what I hope to do for my children.

God's love evident in our family

Healthy Popcorn Snack – Less Prep Time than Butter Popcorn

Delicious popcorn with my movies is something I could never live without. But buttery crunchy, poofy goodness is not exactly compatible with a healthy lifestyle. And because I have to continue eating this for the rest of my life, I had to come up with a healthy popcorn snack.

healthy popcorn snack

Tools for Healthy Popcorn Snack

Before you start, there is a tool you need. You need a hot air popcorn popper. This kind is important because air doesn’t add any calories and still gets the popcorn out of its kernel state.

I included all the ingredients I use. You could also substitute the Pam for an Olive Oil spray. I just haven’t tried it, but I think that would work fine and be a little healthier.


How to Make Healthy Popcorn Snack

Pour a 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels into the hot air popcorn machine. As the popcorn is coming out in the bowl, spray each layer of popcorn with the Pam. Usually I have about 3 layers.

Then sprinkle with sea salt. It is very important to use sea salt instead of regular salt. Iodized table salt is granular and doesn’t stick as well. Sea salt is more of a powder. When you sprinkle it, just rub it between your thumb and index finger. It will stick to the fine layer of Pam sprayed on the popcorn.

healthy popcorn snack


Husband Approved, but not Husband Adored

Austin likes this okay, but if truth be told, he would much prefer big globs of butter. He suggested spraying more of the Pam and adding more salt. You’ll have to play around with your own portions for taste.

With a little adjusting, I think Austin and I will have a healthy popcorn snack that we both adore, but for now, it is just approved.

I’m all about full-disclosure.


I have more yummy snacks to share with you too.

Potato Wedges

Spicy Fry Sauce

Power Protein Pancakes – A Staple for Healthy Eating

When it comes to healthy eating, Power Protein Pancakes are a staple for me. They’ve got protein, complex carbohydrates and fruit.

I’d be curious if adding some spinach to it would give you some added vitamins too without sacrificing flavor.

The Power Protein Pancakes recipe is SO easy. I will literally just block off a couple of hours to make 6 batches or so of this. Because once they are in pancake form, I just pop them in some gallon ziplocks and keep them in the fridge. To reheat them, just put them in a toaster.

They never get soggy and they never dry up. My husband likes these better than regular pancakes for that reason.

power protein pancakes with strawberries

Power Protein Pancakes


3 eggs
1 cup oats
1 cup cottage cheese
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Dump everything in a blender and blend. Use batter like regular pancake batter.


Healthy Topping Ideas

I like to put Unsweetened Apple Sauce on it and it is a perfect, healthy meal that I can eat a lot of. I usually make a ton of this recipe and then I have a really easy meal every morning when I wake up. There are so many yummy toppings that are also healthy. Try to skip the Maple Syrup and go for one of these instead!

  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • Healthy Fruit Syrup
  • Honey
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Bananas
  • Cinnamon

Eating Healthy can be a challenge, but having some sure fire foods around the house at all times will guarantee a more successful venture. When we are trying to eat healthy, we always try to have easy-to-grab healthy food on hand at all times. Power Protein Pancakes are one of those things.

Give them a try and if you find more delicious things to add then please put your ideas in the comments below. New tips and secrets are always great from allies in the pursuit of health.

For more healthy recipes from One Helluva Homemaker!

Creamy Crab Pasta – Healthy & Delicious

Lately, I have been trying to come up with healthy, delicious recipes because my body is just not shedding weight as quickly as it has in the past. Creamy Crab Pasta not only is delicious, but it is also super healthy, despite it’s naughty sounding name.

This is not only one of my favorites, but it is husband approved. There are few recipes that get my husband to rave about it and then to be stuck in a dilemma. Eat it all now, or save it so that he can enjoy it again tomorrow?

So, because I want this to be super easy for you, the recipe is below. I’ll add pictures when I make it again. But, delicious!

If you’re into not having to go grocery shopping, I included all of the available ingredients from Amazon Pantry down below.


Creamy Crab Pasta


  • Wheat Pasta (Spaghetti works great)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • Crab or Imitation Crab
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • Red Pepper Flakes


Fill up a pot with water and salt it. Heat on stovetop until boiling.

1. Crab of the Creamy Crab Pasta

While it is heating up, Pour 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a frying pan on low heat. Saute minced garlic until it starts to sizzle. Put crab or imitation in with garlic and allow the crab to absorb the garlic flavor.

2. Creamy of the Creamy Crab Pasta

Also, while waiting for pot of water to boil. Pour 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in 4 Tablespoons of flour or until it starts to form a paste.

Once a paste has formed, pour in milk. Allow it to heat up until it thickens. Add in salt and pepper to taste and the red pepper flakes.

3. Pasta of the Creamy Crab Pasta

After the salted water has started boiling, pour in pasta and cook al dente.

Creamy Crab Pasta

Put the pasta on your plate first, then the cream sauce and then the sauteed crab on top. Spicy, creamy, sweet, delicious.

I included the Lindt chocolates, because first of all, DELICIOUS! Second of all, Stracciatello happens to be one of my husband’s favorite gelato flavors from Italy. And since this is Italian… enjoy your indulgence!

For a delicious Healthy Dessert!!!

Keeping Your Toddler in Bed – The SECRET!!!

Keeping your toddler in bed is no easy feat. I am no expert. In fact, as I sit here and type this out, I am literally sitting in my daughter’s room waiting for sleep to overcome her while she repeatedly asks me, “wha-doin’?” I have been doing bedtime battles since we moved the baby monitor out of her room. Unfortunately, baby brother needed more monitoring for safety reasons and now Siena thinks she rules the roost.


But, WE FIGURED IT OUT! I mean, I hesitate to even say such a thing, for fear of jinxing ourselves, but I really think we know how keeping your toddler in bed can be the easiest thing ever.

*You should know… this worked for about a month.

Our First Mistake

Our bedtime battles began when we thought, “we must be genius parents. We’re going to transition our daughter into a twin bed at the age of 18 months. That way we don’t have to pay for a toddler bed and our son can have the crib.”

Well, we ended up buying another crib anyways, because Siena’s was a piece of junk. Needless to say, she was a big girl now in a big bed.

And for the first 6 months, this was working out great. Not a problem at all. In fact, we still would pat ourselves on the back every now and again. “Geniuses I say!!”

Our Second Mistake

At some point, Grayson finally transitioned to his own room. Along with Grayson into his room went the video baby monitor. We loved the monitor for Siena and now that she was a big girl, we could use it for Grayson.

She had other plans. We underestimated her intelligence. She was very quickly aware that the monitor was gone and now we did not have eyes on her at all times. Within a matter of days, she was getting out of bed constantly, repeatedly, every night without fail.


Our First Attempt

Keeping your toddler in bed with threats perhaps? We decided to take away some of the toys that she insisted sleeping with every time she got out of bed. It worked for a couple of months. Again, we patted ourselves on the back. GENIUSES!

Of course there was always tears when we would take the toys away, but then that was the consequence, right?

Unfortunately, she must have started emotionally detaching herself from her stuffed animals. Inside of her little toddler brain, she must have been smart enough to realize, ‘if I don’t care about my baby, or the animals or my blankie, my parents have no power over me anymore’.

I would not have believed that such advanced rationale was possible for a toddler, until she really¬†stopped caring about her toys. We’d take one away and she’d get right back up again. We could¬†strip her whole room¬†of happiness (we did on many occasions) and she would still get out of bed until we wanted to throw our own heads against the wall in frustration.

Something had stopped working.

Our Second Attempt

Maybe a combination of bribery and a threat to keeping your toddler in bed? Perhaps she needs some incentive?

Our next tactic was to tell her we would be doing something fun the next day and if she got out of bed we wouldn’t be able to do it. But if she stayed in bed, we would.

We thought we were geniuses with this one, until we tried it. She didn’t care at all. She acted like she cared when we told her but two minutes later she was up and at¬†it again.


I didn’t know what to do at this point. Our toddler had broken us. We were pathetic shells of parents who had been defeated by a two and a half year old. We would just let her play in her room until she collapsed and then deal with the collateral the next day.

Obviously my husband liked this idea because he got to leave in the morning and I handled the aftermath.

It was at this rock bottom of keeping your toddler in bed battle that I had my breakthrough. And maybe not all toddlers are alike, and maybe this won’t work for all, but I thought, just maybe… this will work for Siena.


The Secret to Keeping Your Toddler in Bed

I tried putting myself in Siena’s shoes. If I kept getting out of bed again and again and again, there had to be a reason, right?

keeping your toddler in bed when they have a twin


The Problem

Then I realized how frustrating and depressing it would be to constantly be in trouble at bed time. At the beginning, toddler is not in trouble, but she is probably sad because she has to stop playing with mom and dad.

If your family is like ours, dad just got home from work not too long ago and now he gets to stay up with mommy.

So, what does she do? She gets out of bed. Playing sounds way more fun then sleeping at this point. Unfortunately, as she is getting out of bed, or playing in her room Mom and dad are upset and scolding her. She still wants to play, but now maybe she wants some validation too. The need to feel love is compounded with the want to play.

Suddenly it becomes this vicious cycle of mom and dad are getting more and more frustrated, toddler is feeling less and less love and no one is getting any sleep!

How to Fix it

I added a new phase to our bedtime routine. Prior to this discovery, the routine ended after prayers, lights out, kiss goodnight and toddler was safe in bed. But, the magical key to success for us was the first ten minutes after the toddler was in bed.

Step 1

Wait outside the door for about 30 seconds to a minute. It can be a little longer, but ideally you want things to be just the same as when you put them to bed.

Step 2

Open the door and peak in. Hopefully your toddler is still in bed. If they are, praise them for staying in bed. Ours usually sounds like this:

“Wow! Siena, you stayed in bed! Thank you so much for staying in your bed. You are so obedient and well behaved. I love you. Night-night, Sweetheart.”

If she did not stay in bed

“Uh-oh. You need to get back in bed. It’s time to go night-night.”

It is very important to catch your toddler IN bed. Even if keeping your toddler in bed was not successful for 30 seconds, wait another 30 seconds (or less, depending on your child), open the door again and try again. Do this until your child has done what you asked successfully for any length of time.

Step 3

After the first successful praising. Wait a little longer. We usually give it a couple of minutes and open the door again. Since we started doing this we have not had her get out of bed after the first praising. Every time, she has been laying in bed, sometimes playing, reading or just laying there. And we lay on the praise again.

“Wow! You are still in your bed. Thank you so much for staying in bed. You are so great! Night-night, Siena.”

Step 4

You are welcome to repeat step 3 if you are worried about the stickability of it. We’ve tried it up to 5 times and every time, she has been laying in bed.

keeping your toddler in bed until they fall asleep

Keeping Your Toddler in Bed

Maybe our child is an anomaly. Maybe this won’t work for you. But if keeping your toddler in bed is one of your battles, start where I started and try and put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, why does he keep getting out of bed?

If this does work for your child, you can literally do it at any time. Sometimes we forget to show love or it’s the middle of the night and you are just now finding this article while you are in the throes of a bedtime battle. But, just give it a try. Show your child some encouragement.

After all, they are just learning these things. Maybe she really just knew what was a wrong thing to do, but didn’t know what was a right thing to do. This method also gives some clarity to what bedtime is all about.


Good luck Mamas!

When your child is just having a hard night…

When your toddler wakes up from bad dreams…

When your baby won’t sleep through the night…