Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lessons In Potty Training The Second Time Around

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pull-Ups®. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

It's been two months since we embarked on this potty journey with JJ.  As stated in my first post, this is not my first round or rodeo when it comes to potty training.  I was able to get Moo potty trained fairly quickly.  It was a bit of a challenge, but once we got into the groove and she knew I meant business things smoothed out.  This time around, things have been different to say the least.

For starters, I'm potty training a boy now and not a girl.  That brought up questions like do I teach him to pee standing up or sitting down?  If I decided to go the standing up route, is there some proper holding technique that I need to learn?  My husband couldn't remember how or who potty trained him, but thankfully, I had you other moms out there with boys to give me advice and suggestions.

Also, having the access the Big Kid Academy via the Pull-Ups® website was a huge help as well.  The Rewards Wheel has become one of my favorite tools on there now because you want to switch up your celebration routine to keep kids motivated to make progress.  The Rewards Wheel takes the guessing out of choosing that activity.  If you want you can enter your own rewards in addition to the ones already listed like arts & crafts, sing a song, parent's choice, etc and then you give it a spin and the Rewards Wheel selects a choice for you!  We're still using the Big Kid App, too.

So, what have learned in round 2 of potty training?  I've learned to:

Have Realistic Expectations

I went into this potty training journey initially thinking that I had everything in the bag since I had done this before.  In my mind, I just knew we'd be fully potty trained in two months or less.  Wrong!  I've come to senses and realized that those exceptions weren't very realistic.  For starters, I wasn't potty training a girl again, but a boy and I knew absolutely nothing about that.

Also, I hadn't taken into account that Moo and JJ have two different personalities.  JJ definitely has Moo beat in the stubbornness department.  He wanted nothing to do with potty training.  So, my advice to parents would be expect nothing and you won't have to worry about being disappointed or feeling like a complete failure when all your techniques from round 1 don't work.  Keep an open mind and remember that every child is different.

Be Patient

I really had to work on my patience because at first JJ was terrified of sitting on the potty seat that fits on the toilet.  It freaked him out that his feet did not touch the floor.  This was weird because he sits on tons of other things where his feet don't touch the floor like the bed and the couches.  He also wasn't a fan a the training seat.

Potty Sear

Potty Training System

And speaking of training seats, they are not all equal.  Some work better for girls.  And some kids prefer an actual potty training system aka potty.  Pull-Ups® has partnered with The First Years, a maker of potty training seats and systems, and will be offering a FREE sample of Pull-Ups® training pants with each purchase of a specialty potty training system.

Learn Your Child's Potty Language

With Moo, she was good at letting me know when she had to go.  Often times, she waited until she could just barely hold it to tell me, but she told me nevertheless.  As you all know, JJ is a special needs child.  He has delayed speech and sensory overload.  So, with him I have to look for clues.  Like for example, when he's about to poop, he gets really still.  That's easy to notice because he stays on the go nonstop.  

Therefore, if he's ever quiet for more than two minutes, he's either into something he shouldn't be or he's pooping.  He's getting better though at trying to come to me when he does feel like he has to go but sometimes he's already in the process and you may or may not want to attempt to put your toddler on the potty while they are mid-poop unless you don't mind possibly having extra cleaning up to do.

In addition, try to refrain from referring to your child's training pants as a diaper.  We actually call JJ's training pants underwear because in a sense that's they are.  They're just more absorbent.  I actually did an experiment to see if it made a difference and it did.  I put JJ on a regular diaper and he didn't think twice about going to the bathroom in it.  I put him on a pair of his 'special underwear' and he definitely minded getting those wet.

So, learning your child's potty language isn't just about reading their body language but also verbally using the right words that will trigger good potty training behavior and habits in them.

Dress Your Child in Potty Training Friendly Clothing

Ok, so I know I was just asking about where I could find oneies that snap at the bottom for toddlers in sizes over 2T, but he will only be wearing those at bedtime.  I've found that the extra two seconds it takes you to undo them can be two seconds too long and your child might end up wetting themselves.  Also, as much as I love seeing JJ in a cute pair of jeans, I've gone out and purchased him pants without snaps, just elastic waists.

Not only does it make getting his pants and training pants down faster for me, but it makes it faster for him as well.  Isn't that why we're potty training to start with?  To make our children more independent?  You don't want your child to have to wrestle with getting their clothes off when they really have to go.

Ask For Help/Research Tips

I wish I had asked for help and researched potty training boys long before we were ready to start potty training.  I think that would have helped us out a lot in the beginning.  I also, wish that I had talked to other moms with special needs kids and asked about some of the issues they had to overcome.  Maybe, if I had, I would have know that he might or might not freak out because his feet didn't touch the floor and we could have worked on that.

I definitely would have just gotten him a potty system from the start instead of getting him a potty seat.  So, don't be afraid to reach out.  If you have access to friends and family who you trust and who have been down this road, ask questions so that you can be informed.  And of course, I mentioned this before but check out the Big Kid Academy!  Also, try connecting with and seeing what other parents are saying on the Pull-Up® Facebook wall and Twitter account.

Reward Accomplishments

You already know what your motivation for potty training your child is, but what is your child's motivation for potty training?  Rewarding accomplishments can be a great motivator and incentive.  JJ is definitely more likely to do something that he's unsure or could care less about if he has a reason to other than the fact that I want him to do it.  And the rewards don't have be anything huge.

Use the reward wheel for ideas.  And if you download the Big Kid App, it comes with rewards like songs and videos that you can your little one can rock out to in celebration of an accomplishment.  At the end of the day, just as we enjoy it when we are praised by our spouses, children and bosses; our children are the same.

Well, I hope that by sharing what I've learned that this helps if you if you're a mom who's potty training or thinking about starting.  Good luck and I will continue to share updates until we are completely potty trained and accident free!

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday!!  I know I'm posting a little later into the day, but y'all I spent all morning trying to catch a nap.  Why?  Well, both went to bed and were asleep by 11:30.  I decided to do a little writing on Forever Branded, answer some emails, and then do a load of laundry.  So, once the laundry finished I went to bed and that's when it all started.

First, Moo kept tossing and waking up.  She didn't have to go to the bathroom and it wasn't too hot.  I couldn't figure out why she was so restless.  Then somehow JJ undid one full side of his Pull-Up.  I'm sure that I don't have to tell y'all what happened next, but it involved a change of clothes for him and me, a quick bath and change of bed covers.  If anybody knows a good store that sells oneies for older kids let me know because now that he's size 3T moving into 4T in everything, I've had to transition him to regular shirts that don't have snaps at the bottom.

This causes a problem because he's not a fan of too many things covering his bottom and will unfasten his Pull-Up quickly.  Not a problem during the daytime because we can just use the potty, but at night there is nothing worse than settling down for a good sleep, getting halfway to dozing off and then feeling a warm gush of fluid running across your back.  Anyways, on with Thankful Thursday.

This week I'm thankful that the Mr had a day off earlier this week after working almost 7 days straight.  We just hung out around the house.  Not that we had much of choice since it was wet and cold outside.  Yea, I don't know what's going on with this weather because it was just 80 degrees and sunny last Saturday.  Moo was too thrilled when she woke up from her afternoon nap and discovered that he was still home.  I wish I had hidden cameras to catch the look of pure joy that spread over her face y'all.  My baby is a daddy's girl for sure.

I'm thankful that JJ had a good therapy session.  As of late, he's been kind of acting bashful with his therapist and we have no clue why.  We aren't doing anything out of the norm.  I keep his schedule and our day to day routine the same as much as possible.  I've learned that change makes him anxious and a little standoffish.  I'm kind of worried now about how he's going to adjust to his new therapist that will start in August.

We've added four new signs into his sign language vocabulary-thank you, please, cookie and grandparents.  He hasn't signed them back to me, but I know that he knows thank you pretty well and I'm sure with a little incentive, he'll get the rest down, especially cookie. LOL.  I'm also thankful that I'm not as emotional about our situation as I used to be.  I still have my days where I question why this happened to him, but for the most part I haven't had any meltdowns.

Now, my big news and surprise that I hinted at in yesterday's blog (read it here) that I am most thankful for this week is that after almost 10 years of being together, the Mr and I finally going a vacation together!!  And yes, the kiddies are tagging along, but I'm too thrilled that he'll be able to go.  Keep your fingers crossed that his job doesn't change their minds.  This vacation will double as a work trip and I'll have an official post with more details up by the end of the month on that.

Nevertheless, I'm too excited that I get to travel with the loves of my life and make new memories.  And I'm thankful that I'll get to visit my older sister and brother in-law on this trip.  We're calling our reunion The Turn-Up and officially started a countdown! LOL.  It's truly a party every time the three of us get together.  My brother in-laws family kind of adopted me and Moo as their own during our stay down there a few years back.  

They spoil us food, Moo with toys and clothes and me with drinks and adult company!  They met JJ for the first time last summer, but they welcomed him into the fold too.  I'm excited for my husband to finally get to meet this people that I've been talking about for the longest.  I'll be documenting our preparation for our trip here on the blog and on my vlog channel!  By the way, I hit my 800th post yesterday!!

What are you giving thanks for this week?

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Surprises & Winners

I want to start this post off by thanking everyone who entered my giveaway for the animated movie, The Nut Job!  It's really a good movie for those of us who have young kids and who enjoy family movies without all the adult content.  It is came out yesterday on DVD and Blu-ray.  So, I had originally planned on giving away just one copy and thought it would be just the plan DVD, but I woke up to the best surprise Tuesday morning.

Guess what it was?  It was news that I would have two more copies to giveaway any way that I wanted.  So, I decided hey why not pick another winner from the Rafflecopter entries and then I decided to giveaway a third copy to a deserving family that I know.  And guess what else?  It's just the DVD copy, but all three winners will be getting the DVD & Blu-ray combo pack that also includes a code for a free download to your smartphone, computer and tablet!  

I love it when my surprises trickle down to my blog readers.  You guys are the best and continue to support me day in and day out.  I don't giveaways often, but when I do I look at it as my way of saying thanks for reading my review post.  And I'm thankful to the companies who are gracious enough to provide free product for you guys when I ask.  Yes, I'm thankful for them giving me free products, but I always like to ask if they can chip in something for my readers since their main intention is for you all to gain awareness about their product/service by reading about my experience here on YUMMommy. 

Also, I don't want y'all to just take my word for it.  I like to give you the opportunity to try out the product/service and see how you like it for yourself when I have the opportunity to do so.  So, thank y'all for entering and don't forget that I have another giveaway going for The Little Rascals Save The Day!  

Be sure to enter it.  I'm not sure if they will surprise me with extra copies of that one, but you never know.  I got another AWESOME surprise today, but I will save all the details for tomorrow's Thankful Thursday post.  Just know it involves traveling and one of my favorite brands!  Also, another surprise that is on the not so good end is that my friend from Life of Rylie...and Bryce too has had to make her blog private due to a safety issue involving her family.

I feel so awful that there are some people in this world who would threaten the lives and safety of other bloggers and their families.  But by no means, do we have the right to stalk, send threats or violate others.  I will miss her because I had been following her blog for a while before we got to meet in person at my first blog conference.

Keep her in prayer and pray for the other party or parties who are behind this nonsense.  It's situations like this that have made me take pause and caution about sharing photos of Moo and JJ and while I did say that I was going to be revealing their real names soon, I've started to rethink that as well.  However, I will continue to share about our journey as a family and remain as transparent and honest as I've always been.

I've read about bloggers who have had similar issues, but I didn't know them or I wasn't reading their blogs.  This hit home for me because this time it is someone I know and a blogger I've been following and supporting for years.  The good news here that they are okay.  Who knows, she maybe back blogging a year or so from now depending on the situation and how she feels.

Anyways, look below to see if you were one of the blog winners for The Nut Job! 

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Little Rascals Save The Day

Disclosure:  I received product to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed below are 100% my own.

I don't know about you but growing up, The Little Rascals was one of my all time favorite movies.  And guess what?  Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Darla, Spanky, Petey and the rest of the gang are all back in the new movie The Little Rascals Save The Day!  This time around Grandma's bakery is on the verge of being foreclosed if she doesn't come up with $10,000 to pay back the loan she owes.  Well, of course the Little Rascals can't let their grandma and favorite bakery owner go out of business, specially with their enemy Waldo Kaye and his father Mr Kaye trying to buy up the bakery and turn into a mall complex.

The Little Rascals get very creative with coming up with ways to raise $5,000 after Grandma is able to pay off half of the loan.  They do everything from getting jobs to starting their own pet washing salon.  Their last hope is the win the local talent competition, but can they all get along long enough to win it?  Furthermore, will they have enough time to practice so that they sound great by the night of the talent show or will Grandma's bakery end up a mall complex and the Little Rascals treehouse a swanky playhouse for Waldo?

What we loved about this movie is that it's family friendly and suitable for children of all ages.  There were quite a few funny moments in this film.  Our favorite is the scene they attempt to make a red velvet cake.  I don't want to spoil it, but you'll have see how the cake comes together and whether or not it makes it to its intended customer.

Grandma is played by Doris Roberts, who does an excellent job.  I also loved that there were several messages in this movie.  The most important message was probably  that: Being  a leader of group doesn't necessarily mean that you get to make decisions for the whole group.  Spanky has to learn this lesson, but will he learn it in time before he loses his friends and their last chance at saving Grandma's bakery?

I definitely recommend that you get this movie and watch with your kids.  It's available here for DVD/Blu-ray purchase and for digital download.  You can also use the Rafflcopter widget to enter for a chance to win a copy!  Giveaway ends April 22nd at 11:59 PM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Celebrate Your Skin

Disclosure: I am BzzAgent and received a sample of the product below to facilitate this review.  All opintions expressed are 100% my own.

I recently got invited to try out the new Petal Soft body wash by Tone®.  Now, I'm no stranger to Tone ® products.  I've used their Coco Butter line quite a few times.  It was actually one of my go-to product lines  when I was college.  So, I had nothing but great expectations of the Petal Soft body wash.

And I have to admit that it did not disappoint.  Scented with pink peonies and rose oil, this body wash smells divine!  I've been using it for 30 days now and have not had to use perfume at all unless I wanted to layer on a different scent.  The first time I used the Petal Soft body wash, my husband did notice that I didn't smell like my usual perfume.

It was actually quite funny because we were getting ready to head out to park and he passed me by to get the kids' sippy cups.  He kind of stopped and reversed and gave me a sniff.  Then of course being the curious child that she is, Moo asked, "Why are you sniffing Mommy?" LOL.  Kids miss nothing.  Anyways, he asked when I had gotten a new perfume and I went and retrieved the body wash from the bathroom and showed it to him.

He was kind of impressed that you get such a lovely and lasting fragrance from a body wash.  Another thing that I've been enjoying while using the Petal Soft is that it makes the skin naturally soft.  So, after I try off my skin is soft without even having to apply any moisturizer or lotion.  And that's important for me because as someone with severe dry skin, my skin can really feel a little rough if it's not moisturized properly and regularly.  It's something I inherited from my father and have been dealing with all my life.

Now, I wouldn't recommend that you use this on your face simply because it does have fragrance in it.  For me the skin on my face is super sensitive.  I made the mistake of using a perfumed soap on my face once it broke out so bad that I had to get medicine for it..  I did get a little of the Petal Soft on my cheeks once and I didn't have a severe reaction to it because I quickly rinsed it off but a small cluster of bumps did pop up.  However, I put some acne cream on it and two days later they were gone.

That did not change my opinion of how much I liked the body wash and I did continue to use it as I didn't break out anywhere on my body.  Like said, fragrances just aren't made for the face period.  Therefore, I definitely think that if you're in the market for a new body wash or you like to switch up your bath products, then give Tone®'s Petal Soft a try.  It also comes in bar form.

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday

It's feels like this week is going by slower than last week.  I'm not complaining either.  I'm actually thankful that the days and time seem to be slowing down because guess what?  My little man turns 3 next month!  He's trying to be so independent and it's just a little bit overwhelming.  Anyways, no clue as to what we're going to do for his special day yet.

We've made the choice to switch JJ's speech therapist.  While his current therapist is good and he's gotten used to her, I feel like he could better benefit from the resources and therapy offered through the school system.  Not only would we have access to a speech therapist if we go through their program, but behavioral therapist, a psychologist and special education teachers as well.  I just couldn't pass up those resources for him.  

Anyways, we had our first meeting with two of the teachers who will be involved in his upcoming re-evaluation and screening in two weeks and it went really well.  I'm very thankful for that because I wasn't sure how the meeting was going to go or how JJ was going to do.  But he did well and so did Moo.  Our caseworker was able to make it and so was the Mr.  They showed us the mock preschool classroom that he would be getting evaluated in and went over what all it would entitle. 

I have a good feeling about this transition.  I did warn them that whoever his therapist will be that they will need to know right off bat that he takes a long while to get used to new adults.  So, he/she will need to be patient and give him his space for the first month at least.    I'm also looking to connect with other moms with kids his age because there is probably a good chance some of them will end up in his preschool class when he starts next year.  Plus, it'll be great for the Mr and I to have other couples to talk and vent to.

I'm also thankful that things are still going well with my book and I looking forward to having it published by next month.  I'm thankful that Moo is being even  more of a big helper.  She's been volunteering to do things like sweeping and helping with the laundry.  I think that she knows that I get overwhelmed more often than I need to.  She told me that other day that we needed a butler so that I could have a day off.  It made me smile that she's so concerned about me running myself ragged.

I'm thankful that we're closer to being debt free!  It's such a rush when you see your debt number decreasing and decreasing.  We're looking forward the even bigger doors that having financial freedom will open up for us.

What are you thankful for?

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Nut Job

Disclosure: I received product to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

As a mom, there's nothing better than spending time with Moo and JJ.  They're getting to that where they don't want me hovering over them quite as much.  However, one thing that I doubt will change anytime soon is their love our family movie nights.  We do movie night at least once a week and they absolutely look forward to it.  Last week, I surprised them The Nut Job!

Moo is a sucker for any kind of animated movie that has animals in it.  And we've seen the commercials for The Nut Job like million times and she had been asking if we could see it.  Plus, I have to admit that I enjoy a good animated movie from time to time myself and this one looked like it would be something that I would enjoy as well.  So, when I got asked if I was interested in receiving a copy, I was like "Heck yea!"  So, what did we love about the movie?

Kid Appropriate

In today's society, it's getting harder and harder to find movies and shows that are appropriate for kids to watch, especially younger children.  Moo is 5 and JJ is almost 3.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a lot of shows and movies created for children now days have been slightly tainted with adult content such as overly suggestive jokes, overuse of violence and more.  It was refreshing to find that The Nut Job had none of those. 

 From start to finish, it was a good clean movie.  I didn't have to mute or fast forward through anything.  That was a good thing because once JJ gets into a movie, if you pause it or fast forward or rewind it, he gets really upset.  It disturbs his vibe.  And I'm glad he was able to watch it all way through without any disturbances. 


The Nut Job is pretty much a movie about Surly, a squirrel who is on a quest to guessed it, nuts!  However, he's not the only one on that quest.  The rest of animals in the park are on the same quest.  They need enough food to last throughout the Winter.  So, Grayson and Andie are chosen for the challenge of hunting down enough nuts for everybody to share.  However, this quest proves to be anything but easy for all parties.

We were so keeping our fingers crossed that this movie would be funny.  After all with a title like The Nut Job, how could you expect anything less?  Well, it was funny.  There are definitely some great laughs in this movie.  My favorite funny scene, or scenes I should say, are at the beginning of the movie and involve a runaway nut cart.  I don't give too much way.  Moo and JJ's favorite funny moments are almost all the scenes involving Precious, the pug.

Life Lessons

While The Nut Job was funny, there were also some lessons to be learned in this movie as well.  Yes, I'm that mom who uses movies to talk to her children about life lessons.  I feel like it's never to early to start schooling Moo and JJ about some of the challenges they will face.  And it helps when I have examples that they can understand.  One of the biggest, lessons of this movie was to never give up on doing the right thing no matter who pressures you to do otherwise.  

Again without giving away any spoilers, one of the characters in this movie has a hidden agenda and manipulates others to join in on his scheming.  I loved that Moo asked questions about why said character would want to do his friends wrong.  "Doesn't he care about his friends, Mommy?" she asked me.  And without getting too deep, I explained to her that sometimes greed and power can cause us to turn our backs on those who care about us the most.

Overall, we greatly enjoyed The Nut Job.  I do recommend it for those of you who looking for a great family movie.  You can purchase a Digital HD copy today from various retailers.  Check out the list here.  And the Blu Ray and DVD copies will be available on April 15th, but you can pre-order from any of the retailers listed here.  You can also enter below using the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win your own copy.  Contest ends next Tuesday, April 15th at 11:59 PM!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo BlogSignature_zps0dda2cf9.png