Cleaning up poop: Potty training accidents happen so arm yourself

Poop happens when you're potty training. At the beginning, it happens a lot more out of the potty than it does in the potty.  That means you're left cleaning up poop and pee stains as you navigate your way toward one of the biggest toddler milestones there is.

Since potty training my two kids, I've been asked quite a few times - what products are best for cleaning up poop and pee?  The answer is:  it depends.

Potty Training: Won't Poop? Sh*t happens... eventually

One of my kids' favorites books
Both of my kids were potty trained before they were two and the biggest struggle was to get them to poop on the potty. It's normal. It's frustrating. It's messy. It's perhaps the most common potty training problem out there. But rest assure, my fellow moms...after pee, poop will come. It may take an extra few days, it may take weeks, months or upwards of year -- but eventually your potty trained kid will poop on the potty.

My daughter was one of those kids that would simply wait until she had a Pull Up on for nap to take her after lunch dump. My son, well, he has a harder time holding it. It's actually pretty comical to watch him walk around on his tip toes, run to the potty every other minute, sit down, fart, and then pop back up to an empty potty.   


Best hair brush for tangled hair...finally my daughter isn't screaming

Knot Genie: Best hair brush for tangled hair!
"Mom, this brush is evil!"  Yes, my 4 year old recently said that to me as I tried to navigate my way through her knotty hair with the only brush I could find as we were running out the door.   Me, trying to choke down the laughter over her use of the "evil" as if the brush was the devil or something, was probably only making matters worse.

Anyway, we've been through a lot of hair brushes, but recently a friend recommended trying the knot genie.  I immediately ordered the brush.  It couldn't arrive fast enough...and now that we have it I swear I won't use any other brush (unless of course we're running out the door and I can't find the little bugger.)


Potty Training Boot Camp update: One Week Later

It's been one full week since I started potty training boot camp to get my almost 22 month old son out of diapers.  I am thrilled to say it's been a complete success and beyond my every expectation.

A week ago when I stripped off that diaper and said "commando it is" I never dreamed he'd be crying when I put the diaper on for nap...nor did I think he'd be waking up from naps dry and calling for "potty" instead of "mommy." But yes, that's exactly what's happening.

After five days of basically not leaving the house, in the last two days I've been able to leave my underwear-wearing son in the child care at my gym, run an hour's worth of errands, and skip Pull Ups altogether...all while he stays dry!

Prevent water from boiling over with this easy trick

Prevent water from boiling
 I am notorious for having my pots boil over making a huge mess of my gas stove.  Recently I read about this trip to prevent water from boiling over while cooking and thought I'd give it a try.  It totally worked so I just wanted to quickly share it with all of you.

All you need is a wooden spoon.  Simply place it across the top of the pot as the water is boiling and wa-la...it will stop the water from boiling over the pot while you're cooking.  

Check out this picture you can see how the bubbles are being broken up by the spoon but they won't go over it.

Also, I should note, by using a wooden spoon, it doesn't get hot!

Have a cool kitchen or cooking tip? Share it with us!


Potty Training Tips: 10 ways I trained my 22 month old son in less than a week

The Internet has no shortage of potty training tips...many of them from well-intended doctors and other self-proclaimed and actual experts.  If you ask me, when it comes to potty training the best person to ask for advice is a mom who's been through it.  (Hello, nice to meet you!)   That's exactly what I did and with the support of my girlfriend I successfully potty trained my 22 month old son in under a week using the 3 day Potty Training Boot Camp Method.

Now, I'm on the other side and am here to offer you my 10 tips for potty training quickly and successfully:
  1. Take advantage of interest: My son started showing signs of potty training readiness around 18 months old.  I made a half-hearted effort to potty train him then, but it didn't work so I quit because come on the kid was soooo young.  However, when at 21 months and 3 weeks old he started pulling off his diaper when he had to pee, I knew I had to take advantage of it -- 6 days later he's telling me when he has to pee and staying dry in his underwear. 
  2. Start pre-2 years old:  If possible start potty training your child before their second birthday.  By doing so, you avoid that stubborn and controlling behavior they begin to display... you know, during the "Terrible 2s."

3 Day Potty Training for Boys: Days 3, 4, 5 and beyond

I HATE this potty (it was my daughter's)
So we're 6 days into Potty Training Boot Camp (PTBC) and my almost 22 month old cadet is basically potty trained. Can I tell you how freaking excited I am at the thought of NO MORE DIAPERS!!!  In case you haven't followed this potty training experiment from the beginning, may I suggest you read how Day 1 and Day 2 went with my little guy before continuing...

So as you can see after two successful days, Saturday marked Day 3.  I was looking forward to not being the only one around to make sure he didn't pee all over the house.  But the day quickly turned disastrous.  He peed one or two times in the potty early in the day, but after that it was a fight.  He seemed really resistant and distracted and I'm sure a lot of it had to do with my daughter being home.  What made my frustration even worse was my husband seeming to question if he was really ready.  Sure, he still hadn't pooped on the potty - heck, he barely had pooped at all.  But now it just seemed like he was being stubborn.


Playroom ideas: Decorating with kids art is a budget saver

It's been two years since we moved into our house and finally we have something on the walls in the playroom.  I've been searching for playroom decorating ideas for a few months.    I knew I wanted to use the kids' art work to decorate, but I wanted to decorate the playroom on a budget.  The tough part is we have four huge walls, so to cover them with anything -- art or otherwise -- wasn't going to be easy or cheap.   

Easter Basket Ideas for Kids: 55 Non-Candy Easter Basket Stuffers

If you're like me, you're looking for at least a few ideas for Easter Basket fillers that aren't candy.   My kids are honestly more happy about a new electric toothbrush with Dora or Lighting McQueen on it than they are about a chocolate bunny.  Here are 55 Easter Basket ideas for kids -- both boys and girls.

  1. Bubbles
  2. Coloring Books
  3. Crayons
  4. Easter themed cookie cutters
  5. Stickers
  6. Little People Easter Egg Hunt
  7. Easter Thomas the Tank Engine trains (girl version too thanks to Easter Rosie!)
  8. Cotton tails and bunny trails (marshmallows and mini chocolate chips
  9. Bunny & Chick Lego set (or any mini leg set)
  10. Foam Easter crafts


4 Day Disney World Itinerary with Kids: What First Timers MUST see and do

Since my family recently got back from our first family vacation to Disney World I've been writing on all the tips and tricks I learned along the way -- you did read my Top 10 Tips for a First Time Disney World vacation didn't you? One of the best things I did for my family, was not only plan ahead, but make an actually itinerary.   
My kids were 4 and 20 months when we went in early February 2013 and this 4 day Disney World Itinerary worked out perfectly.  I've highlighted our family's daily highlight in green.
First Day: Magic Kingdom
** = MUST DO
Hours: 9am – 10:00pm  (check hours specific for your tour dates)
Leave hotel:  8:15
FIRST THING TO DO: Get FASTPASS for Winnie the Pooh (send one person -- DAD -- with all the tickets to get all the FastPasses, that way you're not all trekking across the park to get them).
·      Dumbo - FP
·      Peter Pan Flight
·      Seven Dwarfs
·      **Winnie the Pooh - FP
·      Country Bear Jamboree
·      Unspecified Counter Service Lunch  11:30 (we ended up eating at Liberty Tree Tavern)
·      Return to hotel by 12:30 pm for naps (click to read why this is soooo important)
·      Depart hotel for Magic Kingdom by 3pm
·      DINNER: 4:15 Cinderalla’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom CONFIRMATION #: xxxx

·      Carousel
·      Small World -
·      7pm: Main Street Electrical Parade Main Street, U.S.A., Liberty Square, Frontierland
·      **8pm: Wishes Nighttime Spectacular -Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Main Street, U.S.A.

For Day 2...

Disney World the First time: 10 tips for taking little kids

My family recently got back from our first trip to Disney World...and now I feel like I'm one of those Disney experts...everyone knows one, right?!  Anyway, I thought a Disney tips series might be beneficial so here goes my first one...

We basically had no plans to go to Disney despite our four year old princess' pleas because our son was only 20 months at the time.  However, when my husband had to go to Orlando for business, we decided we'd at least save on his airfare by the rest of us joining him on the last day of his business meeting.  We only booked our trip about 3 months out because that's when we learned of the business trip so I was a little behind the eight ball to start.

I did a lot of research for our first Disney trip with the kids including reading The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 which I found extremely helpful and talking over tips with friends who frequent WDW.

Here are my top 10 tips for Disney World first timers.

1) Go off season: Disney World's off season varies, but any time during the summer, long holiday weekends (MLK, Presidents Day, etc), and holiday weeks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Spring Break) are by far the busiest. We just so happen to pick one of the least busy weeks of the year -- the first week in February. The crowds were minimial -- relatively speaking.  We waited no more than 5 or 10 minutes in line for any rides and we got to go on all the kids rides and even some of the headliner adult rides like Rock & Roll Roller Coaster and Soarin' in Epcot.  This site has a great visual graphic of the crowds during each week to see what part of the year is the best time to visit Disney World. 

Easter craft with peeps...my take on the popular peeps topiary

So as I said I'm on an Easter Pinterest hunt and one of the things I kept seeing when I searched for Easter Kids crafts was this Peeps Topiary.  Woman's Day Magazine published the original story/idea and it's super cute. It's been repinned a bunch of times and I totally understand why.  I mean, I'm not a huge fan of eating Peeps, but decorating with them...why, yes, I could do that!

Like I mentioned in my post about the Easter 2-for-1 dessert, I went on a little (okay, BIG) Easter shopping spree at Walmart the other day...oh, and I might just have also happened to swing by AC Moore for a few crafting supplies. Anyway, I had four boxes of peeps, spray paint, and the easter grass that was needed.   I knew I had a little clay planter pot in the garage, but I was still on the hunt for a dow needed as the "stem."  (I got a few old cross stitching rings from my mom.)

I'm in the middle of potty training my 22 month old son, so running around looking for this dow was not my top priority.  However, when I get an idea in my head - look out because it consumes my thoughts...keeps me up at night and drives me basically crazy until I do it!  To say I was being a bit inpatient about getting this thing on my mantle might be an understatement so I went hunting for a stick in my front yard.  Basically that means I stepped out the front door and picked up the first one that looked long and strong enough. But I almost underestimated the power of peeps.

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