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poopsies blog - follow along in the daily life of poopsies creator Annemarie Waters.

Monkey Buisness

Liz Toledo

Before my first daughter was born I fantasized about how adorable it was when a kid was uber attached to a stuffed animal. Oh the photos you could take with your darling and their lovey by their side. To me, it was a huge deal to pick out the right “best friend” for my girl. Am I alone in this? Have you felt the pressure too? 

 

After all of my hard work and mental photo planning, my first daughter refused to be attached to anything but my hand. This was a major let down. My hand just wasn’t the photogenic prop that I had my heart set on. Also, it’s hard to take a photo when you’re attached to the prop. I tried blankets, stuffed animals and toys, anything that would give her comfort while I was away.

 

Even though nothing panned out, I didn’t give up. I went through all of the planning again with my second child. Once again, I seemed to be the only one attached to these items. It was 2004 when my second daughter was born and I had just discovered Little Giraffe blankets, and yes, I wanted to sleep with the blanket more than she did. Four years later I found the adult version of these blankets. No brainer, of course I have one. 

 

Three years later, six months into life with our third child, the dream of any of my children being addicted to a stuffed animal had greatly diminished…until I met Monkey. Enter center stage (I’m told it’s impossible to enter center stage, but that’s the way it happened in my overly visual memory), the most adorable monkey I have ever laid eyes on. It was Christmas and Anthropologie had these monkeys behind the counter that you could donate after purchase to a child in the hospital. I was blinded by love. I knew as soon as I saw him that he had to come home with me. I politely asked if you could purchase one and… not have it sent to the hospital… (I know, evil). After a manager’s approval, a swipe of my card, and a sweeping wave of mental photo ops, Monkey was mine. 

 

"Monkey"

"Monkey"

I took Monkey home that night and I was brimming with inspiration. I just knew he was the one! He was the one that at least one of my kids would fall for. Monkey has this tail that’s about a foot long. I envisioned my son learning to crawl around the house with Monkey’s tail in hand and monkey dragging behind. I envisioned him learning to walk while holding monkey’s tail and dragging him over the hardwood floors. I could see him falling asleep at night with Monkey snuggled in right next to him and that soft little tail rubbing up against my son’s nose. 

 

Christmas came and we gave Monkey to my son. Christmas went and it was clear that once again, I was the only one enamored with the animal. I sneakily tried to place Monkey’s tail into my son’s hand during random times of the day. When I nursed I would rub his cheek with Monkey’s tail, when he slept I would tuck monkey next to him. Yet, all of this was to no avail. 

 

 

My first son is now seven, in these seven years we have had one more child biologically and three more in our home through foster care. In these seven years I have tried to attach everyone to monkey. It should not come as much of a surprise to me that, to this day, I am still the only one attached to him. After talking about this blog with the poopsies’ staff it has become clear that, possibly, Monkey was sent to fulfill something in me, more than in my children. So tonight, maybe I will try to sneak Monkey under my pillow or my side of the bed. shhh…don’t tell my husband.

Here are some of my favorite stuffed animals that I found! Post some of your favorites and tag us in the post. 


Tan Lines and Summertime: Bathing Suit Picks

Liz Toledo

Beach belly bum

Beach belly bum

Summer is on the way, which means it’s time to store up on popsicles, beach towels and bathing suits! While shopping for swimsuits for myself is never something I want to do, picking out suits for the kids is one of my favorite summer activities. There is nothing more adorable than a cute little baby belly hanging over a pair of nautical themed swim trunks. I mean, how cute is it to see the tan lines that come from a bright, polka-dot bikini on your cutie?

We decided to pull some of our favorite suits to help you with this summer tradition.

All pictures are links to where you can find these suits. 

This adorable H&M two piece suit mixes patterns and has a ruffle detail your little girl will love. It is a great deal at $12.95. 

Zmax had trunks similar to these last summer and we could not get him out of them! On sale at Zara for $14.90

Bright colors and adorable designs! So fun and easy to wear. You can snag this suit at Zara, just under $20.

You can find this precious Tucker + Tate rash guard at Nordstrom for $24

These beachy colors and designs are perfect for summertime. Stella Mccartney: $80

Here is a great choice for the super hero lover in the family! H&M has these at $12.95

#KYCH Booger Picker

Liz Toledo

0886e99a0520fd22498a7a0528e0a2c4.jpg

I have a booger-picker for a kid. I have four kids so I’m not going to tell you who it is, but my girls would be mortified if any of you thought it was them, so I will tell you now that it’s not one of my daughters. Ethan wouldn’t be too happy either if you thought it was him, and it’s not, but still....you’re not going to get me to name the culprit.

Booger-picking is one thing - fine, pick it and flick it, everyone has done it. But pick it and EAT it???? One of my kids (who will remain un-named) has recently picked it up (ha-ha, no pun intended, but it totally works - my husband will be so proud)!

I have tried asking him to stop; telling him his “girlfriend” will not approve; telling him it’s dirty; and, I think around Christmas I may have said that Santa didn’t bring gifts to kids who ate their boogers. Too far? I wish. It didn’t work.... and he still got all of his presents.

I really wish that this behavior only reflected on my child as a person and I wish I could say that I didn’t take it personally when we’re in public and people are clearly disgusted with my parenting after watching my child pick and eat his boogs

Elaree Prints

Elaree Prints

This week we’re taking about how we “keep our crap hidden” as parents. In a desperate attempt to do just that, I finally explained to my child that it was “ok to pick and eat as long as no one else saw you do it.” It seems to be working so far…don’t judge me. I said, “You can do that in your bedroom and in the bathroom and in the car when it’s just me and you, but when we’re anywhere else you just can’t.” I don’t know if they will grow up and always be a bedroom picker, but I guess I’ll never know, and I think I’m ok with that.

 How do you “keep your crap hidden?” Tell us your stories HERE and be entered to win two poopsies! 

#KYCH Messy Hair, DON'T CARE!

Liz Toledo

Maybe I’m the only mom with this problem, but just in case I’m not, can you share your secrets too?

Esther and her beautiful hair 

Esther and her beautiful hair 

Out of our four kids we had two gorgeous daughters first - Esther and Ellie. Esther was born with two inches of thick, dark, amazing hair, and it has never stopped growing. Ellie was born with a beautiful bald head covered in strawberry peach fuzz…and it has been growing at that rate ever since. Since I can remember Ellie being able to talk she has always wanted Esther’s long, thick hair. I remember while on the airplane to a surprise Disneyland trip, I asked Ellie what she was hoping for when we got to Disneyland and her first response was “long hair”. We left that trip with some ponytail hair extensions from the Bippity Boppity Boutique.

That long luscious hair of Esther’s has come to haunt her. As her mother I feel a need to not let her out of the house with dreads. As the girl who has that beautiful hair, she feels the need to cry and get extremely agitated and upset when I try to brush it.

Over the years the way that I have decided to “keep my crap hidden” and keep her happy is to only brush the top layer of her hair. This keeps her looking good (as long as she doesn’t move her hair) and me looking good because you can’t really tell that the underside is completely dreaded. Don’t judge me. This is my first time being a mom.

What is your secret? By now you know I need them. Click HERE to tell us your stories and be entered to win two poopsies. 

#KYCH Doughnuts>Cookies?

Liz Toledo

sincerlyjules.com

sincerlyjules.com

A year ago we moved to an area that made it possible to walk to school. It was tough to get my kids on board with this walking-to-school thing, so I decided to bribe them with a donut at the market that was on the way to school if they would walk. Living in Seattle I had no idea that a year later we would be walking to school 90% of the time and that my kids’ normal morning routine would be to have a donut.

Almost daily we get to the shiny donut case and my kids ask for one of the beautiful, sparkly cookies instead of a donut. If there are any other parents around (in an effort to keep the fact that I feed my kids a donut every morning hidden) I quietly whisper that they are allowed a donut and nothing else but a piece of fruit. Yeah, I say that part loud: “You can have a piece of fruit if you don’t want a donut.” Unfortunately they usually reluctantly grab a maple bar instead of the cookie they were hoping for. We pay for our donuts and the sweet cashier whom I have come to adore (because she sees me buy donuts every morning and still loves me) cashes us out and we finish our walk to school.

Zmax is our doughnut king.

Zmax is our doughnut king.

I always ask myself would letting them have a cookie be even healthier for them than the frosting-covered, fried, sweet bread that they are eating? I don’t know, it actually might be, but in an effort to “keep my crap hidden” there’s no way I’m feeding my kids cookies for breakfast. I agree, it’s totally insane that a donut is an acceptable breakfast food in our culture, but for now, if it gets my kids out the door and on their feet instead of in a car and gives me an extra mile to talk and laugh with them as we walk, then it’s well worth it. As long as no one knows that 3 of my kids have a donut 5 out of 7 days a week for breakfast, we’re good. And when people ask, I only share that we walk to school every morning, not that we eat a donut every morning. :)

How do you ‘keep your crap hidden?” Share your stories HERE and be entered to win two poopsies! 


#KYCH

Liz Toledo

Ethan on a swing... kind of. #KYCH

Ethan on a swing... kind of. #KYCH

Oh how the times have changed. In a matter of years social media has changed the way we socialize, do business and express ourselves. It is so easy to view others via social media and feel as though we fall short, in comparison. As moms, we can be the most susceptive to this comparison. We look at the highlight reels of other moms and can feel insufficient. Sometimes as moms it’s just so hard to remember that that the perfect looking mom on the Instagram pictured probably just used a filter to take the baby puke off her shoulder, and from the angle you can’t see the kid-size chocolate fingerprints on the back of her jeans. The ironic part is that the moment our children have their hair brushed, their face cleaned off and their behavior is in check, we are the first to let everyone know. Of course, we aren’t saying this is a bad thing. We do it all the time and will continue to do so. But, what if we tried something new for a bit? What if we laughed at our mommy oopsy moments together, instead of keeping your crap hidden? Let’s air it out.

Poopsies is all about hiding your crap; after all, we have a product that LITERALLY keeps your baby’s crap hidden. In that sense, please continue to hide your crap and get a poopsies. However, let’s take a minute and confess those mommy faux pas that we are used to hiding. Poopsies’ mission in this campaign is to allow moms and dads to take a collective deep breath and believe that despite our oopsy moments we our excellent parents. 

What are some of your #KYCH stories? Post some of your stories and be entered to win two poopsies here

Christmas Lists Gone Wrong

Annemarie Waters

My, how things have changed

My, how things have changed

One of my favorite things growing up was making my own Christmas lists to send to Santa. My sisters and I would gather around the Christmas tree that we had just decorated with our homemade ornaments. We had our matching Christmas pajamas on and would write out what we wished to see under the tree that year. My list was usually quite simple and straightforward. I asked for things like socks with frills on them, a new diary, maybe a new coloring book or the latest cassette tape from Amy Grant. I was pumped when I would prematurely slit open a present hiding in my parent’s room and see Double Bubble Bubblegum or a homemade Cabbage Patch Doll. Looking back, I’m realizing I had very low expectations for what I would receive on Christmas. One year we got a Nintendo that we would have to share, we actually started crying tears of joy.  

My, oh my, how things have changed!

Ethan reading his list to Elijah

Ethan reading his list to Elijah

Ethan's Christmas list

Ethan's Christmas list

We had our kids write out their Christmas list this year. Come to find, their expectations are MUCH higher than mine were as a child. As my eight-year-old son handed me his list, I thought,Wow, when did my son learn to write hieroglyphics? Because that is exactly what it looked like to me.  I started to look some of these items up online, it took me no time at all to realize that it would come out to be over $3,000. Excuse me, son?! 

Some of the things on his list: 

- A Wii U

- An Apple computer, from the apple store!

- A dog from the shelter

- Season tickets to the Seahawks 

- Tickets to a Heat game to meet Lebron. 

- And to top it off, “gum, from a lot of places” 

Keep in mind I have four children, each with their own set of requests. 

I think it is safe to say that my kids might be a tad bit disappointed when there is no dog “from the shelter” wrapped up under the tree. 

What are some of the crazy requests from your kids this Christmas? 

 

Fall and Winter Maternity Wear

Liz Toledo

Exhibit A of my bad maternity fashion.

 

Here is the scene: you're lying down on the floor of your closet, feverishly trying to get your jeans to button together. With a desperate gasp of surrender, you let go of the jeans, with it, the dreams of going all nine months of your pregnancy without buying maternity clothes. I get it, some of my maternity clothing choices were less than fashion forward. My mantra is comfort over presentation when carrying a watermelon around for nine months. 

However, who says you have to choose one or the other? You don’t have to give up your personal style in order to stay comfortable during pregnancy. Here are some great finds and style choices that you can pick and choose from in order to create your personal fall maternity look.

people.com

people.com

 Keep this in mind: loose on top, tight on bottom. Whether you’re sporting stretch leggings or leather pants, think stretch, dark and tight on bottom. Partner that with a flowy, loose, long top that keeps you looking feminine and feeling covered. This is such a forgiving look that will accentuate the legs and make you feel slim and comfortable. Wear with boots or ballet flats and you are all set.

People.com

People.com

“A scarf a day keeps the fashion police away”. Pick out a few scarfs that are long and have prints that you like. I prefer chunky scarves; the bigger the scarf looks, the smaller I look. This is the quickest way to dress up any look while keeping comfort in mind. Scarves are by far my favorite accessory and are so easy to wear. Nordstrom has an awesome tutorial if you need help  learning how to tie a scarf.

 

The peacoat look is actually a look I prefer with a baby bump. There is nothing more adorable than a peacoat on a pregnant woman. You can button it up or let it hang open. If you do leave it open, pick a tighter top to wear underneath in order to keep your shape. This Asos.com peacoat is perfect. Also, take a look at some empire waistcoats that will allow for some extra room as your baby bump gets bigger.

Date Day With Z-Max

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Date day with Z-max

Date day with Z-max

Everyone needs a date day. As my family grows, and grows, and then grows a few more times, it is important to set aside time with each of my kids. My husband and I both try to make individual time with each of our kids. Before you think I'm a gloating supermom who plans elaborate dates with my kids, our reality is that we're lucky if it happens once a month. When it does happen it's usually something spontaneous. Even though they may be few and far between because there are 4 kids to shuffle through, it's amazing what it does for my family. I'm thirty-four and I would completely lose my sanity if I didn't do frequent date nights with my husband, double dates with friends and sometimes most importantly for me, a date with myself (aka: alone time). A little date with one of your kids can really have the same refreshing effect on them! 

It is no surprise that each of my kids wants to do very different things on their days. After all, it is the one day that they each get to be the center of the universe, or so they think. It can get overwhelming to have to think about scheduling one more thing into your already busy life. Here are 2 things that help me able to maintain date days, even as life gets full.

  1. Keep it simple- every once in a while I will let the kids pick a place to go that they have been asking about, but a date day can be as easy as taking one child along for a quick errand. Promise something of worth to them at the end of your time, it's amazing what it can do for their mood and behavior during your time out. Some of my kids favorite rewards: a pack of gum, a stop by the park to feed the ducks, a chocolate milk at Starbucks.
  2. Keep it spontaneous- I like to live by this rule, simply because some days I feel like a fantastic mom and other days I do not. When I feel awesome, I know it's a good day to take one of the kids out. If things go sideways and a melt down occurs, hopefully, it will not come from me because I was already in a great mood.

Here is what our latest spontaneous date days looked like. It just happened to be a rare, sunny and warm day in Seattle last week. I love to ride the bus that leaves right in-front of our house and goes straight to Pike's Place Market. I love to get fresh flowers and my favorite Australian-style passion fruit yogurt that is only available in Australia and now Seattle! Woohoo! This would be an example of keeping it simple because I am doing something I already want to do, and keeping it spontaneous because one hour before we went, I decided I wanted to go!

Sibling Drama for Your Mama: Explaining New Babies to Older Siblings.

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Every kid is excited about a new baby . . . until that baby shows up and mom and dad start paying attention to her, right? Growing up as a middle child it was never just me. I never had my parents all to myself, or anything all to myself for that matter.  I guess that's why middle children are the most amazing, loving, peacemaking human beings (wink, wink) right? Kidding, of course . . . kind-of.

My sisters and I (that's me on the left)

My sisters and I (that's me on the left)

Welcoming a new baby into the family can be an interesting adjustment for a child who was previously the baby of the family. My experience was a horrifying one. Let me explain: Esther was two and a half when Ellie came into the world. She was excited for about 3 minutes after Ellie was born. Sibling rivalry starts before your kids even know how to say, rivalry. Ellie was all of a week old when I had her laying on my bed one afternoon. Someone rang the doorbell and I went down to answer it. 2 minutes into being gone I heard Ellie screaming at the top of her tiny lungs. I ran back upstairs to find Ellie bleeding out of her mouth as Esther sheepishly looked at me like she had no idea what had happened. Upon further inspection I found that Esther had crawled up on to the bed, stuck her hand into Ellie's mouth and scraped her gums until they bled. I was beside myself, I had no idea how to respond; my newborn was in shock and pain, and ironically so was my toddler.

There are some things that you can do to prepare the soon-to-be older brother or sister for this new chapter. Every child will be different when it comes to their reactions. The age of the older sibling is also something to take into account. If the child is 11, you won't need to point to your belly and say, "there's a baby in mommy's belly." I'm hoping, at that point, they get it. But if this is a new concept to your toddler, let me pass along some lessons that I have learned.

  1. Give Them All the Info: Bring them to an ultra-sound, let them hear the heartbeat of the baby. Explain that this is their little brother or sister. Then tell them when he or she will be here. Instead of using time (i.e. 9 months) give them a familiar reference point, she'll be here right after Christmas or he'll be here right before summertime. 
  2. Use Bribes: Okay, that sounds bad. But, you'll see what I mean. Have the "new baby" start giving their older sibling gifts before they are born. Buy the older sibling smaller presents to reinforce the idea that this new baby is a good and exciting thing. Then when the baby is born, bring one last present to the hospital. Upon meeting their new sibling, give the older sibling that one last gift.
  3. Special Date Days. Set aside time that you and your toddler can have dates, just the two of you. Make these a priority and make it consistent. When the new older brother or sister is struggling to give up the attention, reference the date day that is coming up. Let them know you still have kept them as a priority.
Luckily we have made it through most of the rough patches, and these two are great friends (my daughters Esther and Ellie). 

Luckily we have made it through most of the rough patches, and these two are great friends (my daughters Esther and Ellie).