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Happy New Year everyone! It is a great thing indeed to be able to see the ending of one year and beginning of a new one; another opportunity to be happy, lively freely, and enjoy life!

I for one tend to shy away from the “new year, new me” mentality because I don’t strive to CHANGE myself, but who doesn’t want to improve? I don’t necessarily wait for the new year to arrive to decide to implement these changes, but it feels pretty natural to want to reset at the dawning of something new right?

Any who, I’ve been writing on Squally Muffin for a little over a year now and I just want to recap on some things that worked, didn’t work, changed, stayed the same, and things of the like for the Squally Squad!

So when we first started this blogging journey, we started trying to potty train Lariah at a little over a year old. Hahaha. Now, while I don’t think it would’ve been impossible if we were willing to spend half of our lives in the bathroom and on the toilet, we just decided that it wasn’t worth the struggle and that we’d wait for her to show more definite signs of potty training interest! Now at 26 months, Muffin does love to flush the toilet, but still takes sitting on it as a joke unless she’s constipated and reallyyyy trying to push out a big one! So we’re not going to press the issue with potty training again until she seems more interested and open to the idea. Why? Because forcing potty training isn’t something that we HAVE to do in our household. Riah is watched at home, so there’s no day care to appease. She’s in cloth diapers, so it shouldn’t cost us any extra to continue cloth diapering (I say shouldn’t because I have a nasty cloth diaper shopping habit I’m working on hahahaha), and despite popular belief, its perfectly normal to not be potty trained yet at the age of 2! I honestly won’t truly be concerned about potty training until she’s closer to 3. Maybe later. Everyone has their own opinion and that’s just mine.

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January 2016

 

IMG_0583December 2016- look at the peace on her face from not being forced to potty train before she’s ready. haha.

Speaking of cloth diapering, when I started this cloth diapering journey, I immediately jumped in buying  a bunch of cheapie diapers to get a large stash so that we could cloth comfortably with our crazy schedules. Now that I have more experience with the cloth and have had ample time to do more research and narrow down my options, we decided to cloth diaper exclusively with Grovia that you probably see me posting about a ton on the SquallyMuffin Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, the cheapies and other nice brands we tried also get the job done, but I have a great appreciation and respect for the quality, values, and effectiveness that we get from our Grovia diapers. Our leaks and blow outs are essentially none existent other than some occasional traveling mishaps and fit errors. My obsession with Grovia led me to apply to be a Content Creator for them and so far its been nothing but LOVE! Needless to say, there will be more Grovia specific posts on the blog as I am also an ambassador for them and can honestly recommend them as a cure-all to most cloth diapering issues. So if you have any cloth questions, comments, concerns, or need recommendations, I will likely bring up Grovia and turn you into a believer too. 😉

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https://www.grovia.com/blog <—- *check out their website, we’re on it. 🙂 *

I just did a post the other day about my ridiculous spending habits and movements toward parental fiscal responsibility, so its safe to assume that we’ll talk about that some more too! Yes, we should want to give our children the world, but that doesn’t mean that every time something is on sale or clearance, that we have to get it. (I am mostly talking to myself. Putting it out in the atmosphere and hoping someone will hold me accountable! Haha)

Child nutrition and health is always going to be a big topic because we all want our babies to grow up healthy and strong! We were so blessed to have had Lariah participate in the Strong Baby campaign here in Knoxville and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing her sweet, crib throwing face around the city as we continued on with our daily lives! With us having had so many issues with Muffin & constipation as this year came to a close, I will definitely be reaching out to some nutritionist for some incite on where to go from here to help prevent those types of issues and always looking for great ways to incorporate fun, healthy foods into picky toddler diets! I don’t want stool softner to be a part of our daily regimen forever!! Also, I am forever grateful for our EZPZ mats for the reduced amount of messes and increased amount of interest in new foods they provide for us! I am also an affiliate of theirs and can answer any questions about that if you’ve been curious about whether to take the plunge and try one! We have like…10 of them.. probably more than we need, but I love the colors and the options. We also take one in her diaper bag everywhere we go in case we end of eating and would prefer to not have food all over the table or floor. Fits in there perfectly too.

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EZPZ mat reducing the chaos at our lunch date with our besties. <3

I don’t talk about my experience of being in school and being a wife and mom much, not only because its hard and sucks a lot, but mainly because I didn’t realize that the interest was there. So first and foremost, I want to apologize. I didn’t realize how inspirational my successful struggles could be to other people trying to also better themselves for their own sake and the sake of their families and I am ABSOLUTELY here for that; I want to encourage that! It’s temporary suffering for much more permanent reward. Its not about the journey nearly as much as it is the destination, so for better or worse, I will bare my truths with the intention of keeping it real. It’s hard, but it’s possible. You just need a little faith, trust, and pixie dust!

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Helping mommy study at school.

 

Extracurricular activities for children will always be important to me! As the product of parents who kept me heavily involved in several different activities, I can attest to how much being in those groups molded me into a better, well-rounded individual and not only do I want that for my own children, but for anyone else who bothers to read my mindless chatter.

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Dressed and ready to attend her first ballet class.

I am always open to product recommendations, advice, and input for anyone who wants to contribute! All it takes is the tap of a couple of buttons. I appreciate those of you who have supported us thus far and I hope that I do a decent job of entertaining and educating! As always, I’m striving improve, do better, reduce, reuse, and recycle; so bear with me please!!

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-Squally Mama

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lariajenae

I'm a wife, a mother to Squally Muffin, a student at UTCVM, a friend to many, and a future Dr. 💁🏽

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