Hold it! A Few Words on Potty training an unwilling toddler.

When we decided to get rid of his diapers, Toddler boy was the first to say, ” I don’t wanna go potty!” Making us think that he would not be ready for potty training for quite some time. So we kind of tip-toed around the idea, giving him stickers here, maybe an m&m there, but the potty training just didn’t seem to be successful because he was simply unwilling.

Then, as his third birthday rolled around, we decided it would be best for the stimulation of his mind to enroll him into preschool. And it started in two weeks! Problem was, he had to be potty trained! There was no more playing around. We didn’t even entertain the idea of pull-up diapers, training pants, or whatever. As a friend and preschool teacher advised, the best way to do it, was just to take off the diaper, and train him cold-turkey-style. There was no more buying diapers for us (Especially because Baby Girl had started on her cloth diaper adventure).

So that’s what we did. We took his diaper completely off, and put little boy underwear with his favorite characters on him. And I kid you not, within a couple of days, Toddler Boy was potty trained. Sure, there were accidents in his pants,  multiple car seat cover washings, etc. But it was the quickest, best way to do it if you ask me. And after they are potty trained you wont have to hold on to that diaper pail anymore.

We didn’t even have to use a sticker chart, candy rewards, cheerios, or whatever you want to call it. We just used good old-fashioned praise, hugs and kisses when he went in the potty – both number one AND two.

Even at night his accidents in the bed seemed to stop within a week. The trick is to cut out excessive juice and milk drinking, because that’s what he would drink over and over again because he would crave the taste and sugar (Even when he was in his diapers, he had leaks in the bed at night because he drank so much juice and milk). Therefore, I’ve completely cut out juice drinking, and limited milk drinking to only at Breakfast, and directly after dinner. The rest of the day if he’s thirsty, he gets water, and even that is limited after bath time. That way, he has time to process, digest, and dispose of any liquid before falling asleep.

So, you want to potty train your toddler? Here’s a review of what worked for us.

  1. Made sure that we had a potty that Toddler Boy felt comfortable with in size (He’s a little guy).
  2. Said good bye to the diaper, and did not use pull-up diaper products.
  3. Kept him home as much as possible so the accidents weren’t that big of a deal, and I could simply toss his clothes in the laundry, or even let him run around naked throughout the day to make it easier on him.
  4. If we did go out, I brought 2-3 changes of clothes, plenty of wipes, and paper towels.
  5. Praised him like crazy any time he pooped and peed in the potty by himself.
  6. Paid extra attention to any signs or language telling me that he had to go.
  7. Had him wear fleece diaper covers and diaper liners (As suggested by author of All About Cloth) at night just in case, and bought a mattress cover as a precaution.
  8. Cut out as much liquid intake as possible after dinner.
  9. Ta da! He was potty trained within a week!


Kid Friendly Recipes – easy tips to sneaking fruits and veggies into your kids’ tummies

vegetablesAt times it can seem like kids are programmed to automatically hate fruits and veggies, and love things like candy and cookies. But there’s ways for you to change that. Here’s 10 easy tips for kid friendly recipes with fruits and vegetables. And trust me, they actually work. Take it from the mommy of a toddler that usually craves cookies and candy. I’ve been able to follow the tips below to get him to demand the good stuff instead!

  1. Get rid of the junk – Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually harder for moms to do. It’s easy for us to buy things like cookies and potato chips if that’s what we crave. If you stop buying junk food and start buying things like craisins, apples, and mini carrots, your kids will have no choice but to eat them. And for moms-to-be, if you stop having the junk food around now, your kids won’t be introduced to it, therefore won’t crave it. But if you really have a sweet tooth like me, just hide your stash away from tiny prying hands!
  2. Add cheese – This used to be a technique of mine before I started to suspect that my toddler was lactose intolerant. I would top broccoli with lots of Parmesan cheese and mix it. He would see me mix it, and would end up eating pieces of the broccoli to get to the cheese.
  3. Veggies First – Don’t present them a plate with the chicken fingers and side vegetables  next to them. Serve them a small plate of veggies first, that way they think that’s their meal, and they’ll eat it rather than going for the chicken first and then demanding more chicken rather than eating their vegetables.
  4. Peanut Butter and Caramel Galore –Serve things like celery, carrots, apples with a side of natural peanut butter or hydrogenated-free  caramel. Show them how to dip the vegetables and then bit off the dipped part. They’ll love it.
  5. Special Sauce – Make some steamed vegetables, and then pure’ them into a food processor. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce, and mix that all together. Use that as your spaghetti sauce, and your kids will never know the difference!

  6. Apple Crisp – My husband sneaks apples into my toddler by baking them into an apple crisp. The Food Network’s web site is full of great recipes.
  7. Smoothies – My toddler and now even my baby girl love love love smoothies. I have a couple great recipes in one of my blog entries. And the great thing is, you’ll love them too!
  8. Local Farmer’s Market – My local farmer’s market has fruit and veggie picking events from their own fields. Call your local market to see if they’ll let you do that. That way, your child makes an activity out of it. They’ll pick their own fruit and be proud of it, so it’ll be fun for them to eat it, too.
  9. For the Love of Ice Cream – Your kids love ice cream, but you don’t like the fat in them or in yours, so you could visit Oak Lawn’s Best fitness and wellness clinic in Dallas. A healthier alternative to it is making gelato. Here’s some great recipes. And it is absolutely delicious.
  10. Layer it up – My toddler loves yogurt. I let him watch while I layer strawberries and berries with his favorite yogurt. I put the fruit on top, so he has to dig through it to get to the yogurt I even got a yogurt machine from Village-Bakery.com to prepare it everyday. Using a clear glass helps too, because your child can see through it and it’s kind of a cool visual for them to see what their spoon is doing as they mix things up.
  11. Sneak veggies into a frittata – Beat some eggs in a bowl – about two eggs per person. Then, in an oven-safe non-stick pan, fry up some veggies – broccoli, onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc. Once the veggies are done, pour the eggs onto the frying pan on top of the veggies. Put it in the oven at 350 for about 10 mins. Once it’s done and out of the over, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese. Voila, you have a delicious frittata, and if your kids like eggs and cheese, they’ll never notice the difference!

I’ve used all these tips, and they have worked successfully to make  fruits and veggies kid friendly, but always remember the number one tip. Get that junk out of your house, and stock your pantry with fruits and veggies! But to stay sane, feel free to have a secret box of cookies stashed in your closet! ; – )

Bringing the Second Baby Home? What will baby number one think?

Your first pride and joy is a whirl wind, a bundle of love, changes your life in the most positive ways possible. So much so, that you decide to have baby number two! Uh oh! What will center of your world number one think? Will you feel differently yourself? Will life change once again?

Yes, life will change once again; it’s another experience that will take some getting used to, but you can handle it. You’re a mommy, after all.

But most importantly, the first pride and joy will be okay, too. More than okay. With definite potential to building a great, new relationship with their brand new sibling.

But what can you do to help baby number one get used to the new baby?

  1. Don’t yell – Often kids naturally get confused and jealous about all of the attention the new baby is getting. And they’ll show that by hitting, pushing, and even more extreme measures. The important thing is to try and not just simply yell at the first child and then call it quits. Sternly look into their eyes, and tell them that it is not okay to hit the new baby. Then gently show them how to kiss the baby, hug the baby, and ask them to apologize to the baby, if they can talk yet. If they do it again, then put them in time out, and sit with them in time out, and explain why they are in time out, and that their only way out is to go apologize to the baby and to kiss the baby. And make sure your baby is sleeping with monitor
  2. in the room. So you can make sure baby is sleeping fine.

  3. Praise – Praise your child when he or she shows affection towards baby number two. Clap, cheer, and offer your own affection towards both babies. This will help child number one to understand that they will get more positive attention by showing positive interest into baby number one.
  4. Teach them to help take care of them – make it a habit to explain to child number one how much you love them, and that they should love their baby sister or brother just as much by protecting them and taking care of them.
  5. Get them involved – When you change the new baby’s diaper, ask child number one to help mommy by getting the diaper or wipes. Even have them fold the flaps over, and have them help you sing little songs to keep the baby happy as the diaper change happens. You can even have them help you throw the diaper into the Genie. This will give them a huge sense of pride and drive to help take care of the baby more often rather than want the baby to not be around.siblings
  6. Reach for them first – Baby number one doesn’t mind if they’re second to getting out of the car, or if you put them down to read baby number one a story. And infant also won’t know if they’re waiting for their feeding time because you’re taking care of your toddler in some way first. But if you do things in the opposite order, child number one might notice and get jealous. Take care of the older child’s needs first, and as baby number two gets older, explain to child number one that you need to take care of both babies in an equal importance scale.
  7. Keep ’em busy as your breastfeed – If you are done breastfeeding baby number one and are breastfeeding baby number two, get child number one a sippy cup of milk or juice, and have them sit next to you as you put your arm around them while you are feeding the new baby. This will keep baby number one involved, and less prone to feeling left out. You can also talk to them about what you are doing, and encourage them to talk to the new baby in order to keep the baby focused while you are breastfeeding rather than the baby falling asleep.  And remember, praise, praise, praise.
  8. Use them as a tool – The best thing about having older siblings to your new baby? They can help you! Make them feel important by telling them to help mommy and talk to the new baby while you try to cook, or have them get baby number two a towel while you give the baby a bath. Little things like that will mean the world to them.
  9. Share, share, share – Instill the sharing since the getgo. My Toddler Boy was terrible at sharing when Baby Girl was first born, and even has his moments of throwing a tantrum because she’s taking something of his. But when that happens, all I have to say to him is, “Hey, can you share with her, please?” And he just goes, “Ok!” And forks over whatever it is she wants. That’s because we have continuously praised him for sharing, and shown our disappointment when he is reluctant to share. He used to also refuse to share with myself and my husband, but we’ve never stood for it, so now he’s very open to sharing with us as well!

I actually used these techniques myself when I had the new baby, and for the most part, my toddler loves baby girl. Sometimes he does get jealous because I take the new baby to work only, when I used to take Toddler Boy to work before Baby Girl was born. But I try to keep him involved by having him help me shut the door behind us as we leave for work, or help me carry a bag to the car…and as soon as I get home, I hand Baby Girl to daddy, and reach for my Toddler Boy as soon as I can, showering him with kisses and telling him how much I missed him. Also any day possible that I think I can handle both kids at work with me, I take it. And we try to have fun things planned for Toddler Boy when I”m at work. So if he gets upset when I am leaving for work, I’ll remind him, “Hey! Grandma is coming to get you and take you to the park!” And that wipes any tears away instantly. And on my days off, I try to diminish the amount of time I spend cleaning or doing other chores, and save that stuff for when the kids go to bed. That way, I can spend my day doing fun things that refresh him like going to the zoo, or the pool, or on a trip to visit friends.

Today we were at the playground, and my Baby Girl caught a little boy’s attention. My Toddler Boy noticed and stood proudly next to my Baby Girl and hugged her, and said “This is my sister! I big! I brother,” with a huge smile on his face. So even though he has moments when maybe he just wants to bop his sister on the head because she keeps taking his toys, the majority of the time, he loves having her around.