1. There ought to be a service available to come by and potty train your kid (as suggested by a kind person on instagram, though really I don’t think anyone other than myself or Willy could actually do the deed — so I guess this is kinda a joke, but not really, because really, it sucks and there’s lots of services for lots of things that people have deemed as shitty-to-have-to-do-
themselves… like Molly Maids).
2. Because there is no number one (no pun intended), there ought to be an alcohol and massage distributor that comes and makes deliveries for those suffering through the stab-myself-in-the-eye-out-of-
boredom and rub-my-back-and-neck-because- I’ve-been-wiping-a-lot-o’- butt-and-floor-and-toilet-and- hands days of potty training. I guess I should be careful what I ask for, because I think there are a lot of people that are actually in the business of dispensing alcohol and massages, if you know what I mean ::nudge nudge::
I don’t really remember potty training Hooper, to be honest. I know I did it because, again, no number one existed. I also know that I followed some sort of methodology because I recall writing posts on it — posts I would probably benefit from going back and reading.
The actual peeing-in-the-potty part has been going well. The accidents all occurred on the first day and have been seldom since. Well they were seldom and then we had a few days where we were lazy, or went to Disneyland, or just said “screw it” for the sake of our sanity. Since then, there have been more accidents. We’ve ventured out without a diaper on, which feels risky in the same way as leaving the house without a tampon when you know your period is coming feels. And, no accidents in the first week or so. Then we went out to eat and left the restaurant with wet pants after Willy and I both ignored his request to go potty because he had just. went. potty. It’s draining, people, let me tell you.
The hard part, this go-around, has been dealing with a fiercely independent and downright stubborn two year old. Things like insisting that he get on and off the potty by himself, flushing the toilet for even the littlest trickle, flushing the toilet multiple times before the water has even refilled, insisting on playing with the gross plunger or the toilet bowl cleaner, sticking his hand in his urine stream, flexing his “weapon” while his peeing so the urine goes up and out of the toilet, asking why he can’t pee when it’s “big”, pulling all the toilet paper off the toilet paper roll, going potty – getting his reward – then immediately going potty again and asking for another reward (manipulative bastard, I tell ya), and throwing a tantrum because farting on the toilet is not the same as pooping on the toilet and he cannot pick a “special prize” until there is an actual log. Oh ya, and we’ve said goodbye to at least 4 toys that he has dropped in — some intentional, some accidents.
I was prepared for the patience it would take to clean up after a butt-booty-naked toddler running around and was pleasantly surprised when he caught on to where to make the mess relatively fast. But my patience has wavered considerably in dealing with everything else. Like the dump he took on the floor the other morning. Though, arguably, he did make up for it when he requested to hug and kiss the “baby” piece of poop and went on to call it “cuuuuuute”. The video of that has gotten me through some of the more challenging spots during the last few weeks.
Deep breaths and a cold one (or two) for the next few days, weeks, and months. Wish me luck.
A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week in 2014
Van: Loved handing out Christmas presents.
Hooper: Stoked on his new “race car”.
And just like that, another portrait series is in the book. I have an idea for the coming year, but we’ll see how it goes — I never want this space to be stress-creating, so it’s to be determined. Are you doing any sort of portrait series for 2015?
One was star struck and the other could have been sitting on anyone’s lap, even Edward Scissors hand’s, and I’ll bet would have remained just as apathetic.
Wishing everyone a smooth night of last minute wrapping and a very happy holiday. xo
Erin, James, Hannah, & Henry
Laguna Niguel, California
Interested in booking a session? Email me: ashley @ thestorkandthebeanstalk.com
It’s never exactly how I envision it to be. I have delusions of grandeur; of us trekking out into the woods and actually finding and cutting down a tree — much like the Griswold’s. Then I’m reminded, immediately, upon entering the lot that we live in California; where we wear t-shirts in December and deck our trees out in some fake white shit we desperately try to pass off as snow.
Nonetheless, the wood chips under our feet, the complimentary popcorn and hot chocolate, and the smiles from all the kind workers made – more or less – for a festive and successful outing. And with that, I’ve added “vacuuming pine needles” to my
daily weekly to-do list.
A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week in 2014
Van: Found a bouncy ball on the ground, then had it taken away from him and thrown down the street.
A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week in 2014
Van: Is all about the reward aspect of potty training.
Sara, Clayton, Hazel, & various animals
San Clemente, California
Interested in hiring me for a session? Email me: ashley @ thestorkandthebeanstalk.com
I’m a last minute person, I know how it goes. So here’s your last chance before Christmas. All orders placed today will be shipped via USPS tomorrow. Use coupon code holidaybustle over on The Bee & The Fox to receive 20% off your order today only. Here’s what’s in stock:
Happy Camper – sizes 2,4,6
Homegrown – sizes 2,4,6
Boys will be boys – sizes 2,4,6
Free as a bird – sizes 2,4,6,8,10,12
Keep on truckin’ – sizes 2,4,6,8,10,12
Mama bird – sizes S,M,L
Are you on instagram? Follow along, @thebeeandthefox / #thebeeandthefox. And, as always, thanks for your support.
Two years ago (wow, where does the time go?) I wrote a post about baking Christmas cookies. Well, not actually baking them… because we never ::cough cough:: got around to actually making them. They sat on my counter and taunted me, “hey you piece of shit mom, why don’t you forget about those dirty dishes and bake me already”. I swear they gave me a complex; so-much-so that it’s been two years and I can still remember writing that post and the feeling I felt by never getting around to baking those cookies.
I giggled to myself with the thought of that post in the back of my head as we went into the store, once again, to buy cookie-making ingredients. I tried to move through the aisles as quickly as possible for fear that Van would forget he didn’t have a diaper on. I was imagining the stream of urine falling off the cart like a waterfall. We made it through with only a few items torn from the shelves from happy little grimmy hands that don’t like to keep to themselves. We bought two packages of sugar cookie mix (ya, that’s right — I’m a-good-for-nothing-mom-that-
makes-nothing-from-scratch- and-I-don’t-care), some icing, sprinkles, a couple cookie cutters, and some butter.
The boys were a bit disappointed when we got home and they asked for the cookies and I revealed we had to actually make them before we ate them. Next thing you know, the counter that I had just cleaned that morning was filled with flower and small globs of cookie dough and the happy-to-help (oh he’s so happy to “help” these days) hands of a two year old would not stay out of the raw egg batter. There were tears and, obviously, a mess.
I had to ask a neighbor to borrow a rolling pin. Mom fail. Then I couldn’t get the batter not to stick to the rolling pin despite the amount of flour I used. Mom fail times two.
The boys were over it at this point anyway, so I made the executive decision and said screw the cookie cutters and opted instead for little round balls because let’s face it — shit tastes the same. When the cookies were done, there were more tears because they could only have one. Then there were spilled sprinkles.
And the moral of the story is this: Buy Christmas cookies from the bakery for $5 and go home and eat them. Making those damn cookies was the only thing I’ve ever had on a list that didn’t feel so good to scratch off.
The Kraus Clan
Alexis, Doug, & Rose
Los Angeles, California
Interested in booking a session? Email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com
‘the child must know that she is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like her.’ – pablo casals
Before I met my husband, I had never been backpacking. I’d been day hiking and camping, and kind of lumped backpacking into the same category. Then we did a week-long trek through the Sierras and I realized it’s so much different.
With backpacking, there is no car packed full of supplies. There is no cell phone coverage. There are no toilets. It’s just you and the trail. Suddenly, magically, your needs get very basic. A tiny tent becomes home and everything that matters to you is strapped to your shoulders. You get to know every pocket and pouch of your backpack. You arrange everything just so—head lamp, toilet paper, trash baggies, bandaids, sunscreen, snacks. At first it’s jarring to live this way. But, after a day or two, there’s something so wonderful about it. It’s liberating. You don’t have anything to worry about but getting from point A to point B with those things strapped to your back. And you learn to look forward to something as simple as a warm fire at the end of the day.
When I started hearing about the tiny house movement, I was intrigued. It didn’t take long for me to understand the appeal of confining yourself and all your belongings to a small space. My husband and I have talked about how we love our small-ish 1,000-square-foot house because it limits our ability to collect shit we don’t really need. But, the tiny house movement is not about 1,000-square-foot homes; it’s about 100-square-foot homes, like playhouses you might see in the backyard of a McMansion owned by parents insistent on buying their toddlers the very best. I mean, 100 square feet is small, really small.
“Tiny: A Story about Living Small” follows the journey of Christopher and his girlfriend, Merete, as they build their tiny house. There are many months of building, some setbacks, lots of how-to YouTube videos, doubts, frustrations, and, ultimately joy. Christopher purchased cheap land in Colorado and built the home in a friend’s backyard. When it was done, he towed it to his land. And that’s that—home.
Christopher and Merete are not alone in doing this. There are lots of people living in tiny houses. It’s hard to count all of them because most are doing it secretly. See, it’s not legal to have a home this small. Building codes demand a minimum square footage. Why, you ask? Well, it has to do with money, as all things do. The housing, banking, and insurance industries profit by selling the idea that “bigger is better.” There’s not much money to be made on tiny houses. They’re cheap to build and often mortgage-free. Many people get around the building codes by putting their tiny houses on wheels so they’re considered “temporary structures.”
Jay Shafer is one of the loudest spokespeople for the tiny house movement. He says:
“The primary asset you get with a tiny house is freedom. The world gets a lot bigger when you’re living small. I can afford to do a lot more now in terms of cash and time. The whole world is now my living room.”
Here’s what other tiny house owners say about the beauty of the lifestyle:
“Less to heat, less to furnish, less to maintain, less to pay for. No mortgage in certain cases. All around, you’re kind of beating the system” –Deek
“Time is a nonrenewable resource that you don’t get back… Do you really want to spend your time working at a job you hate to buy stuff you can’t afford? One of the great things about simplifying is I have the freedom to make choices about my career. What I do for money now is fun…and I don’t think a lot of people can say that about their jobs” –Tammy
“I get this one shot at life and I want it to mean something…I wanted to be larger than the small person I was in my big house” –Dee (Side note: The New York Times wrote an article about Dee here)
People choose tiny houses for different reasons. For some, it’s purely financial. Others are passionate about having less of an environmental impact. Everyone, though, talks about an improved quality of life. Living small is about stepping back from rat race, simplifying so the mind is free to focus on what it really wants. Too often, we get so caught up in this idea of the American Dream—mortgage, marriage, cars in the driveway—that we lose ourselves. There is simply no time to dedicate to being who we really want to be. Just like with backpacking, when you live small, you have mental clarity. Suddenly, everything becomes meaningful because there is no excess, no distraction.
Of course, most of us aren’t ready to pack it all in and move into 100 square feet. Many of the people in the film understand that and say it starts with small choices. It starts with making a conscious effort to determine needs versus wants. It starts with focusing on what matters in your life. It starts with “editing”—deciding what should stay and what should go. The film ends with one tiny house owner encouraging all of us to “think of living as an experiment.” I think those are good words of advice. There is no right or wrong. Just remember, we only get to do this once (as far as I know).
“Tiny: A Story about Living Small” streams on Netflix.
You can learn more about the film at their website.
Want more? Check out another documentary “We the Tiny House People” on YouTube.
This post is written by: Kim Hooper | Writer