Potty Training and Public Toilets

I thought the days of a giant diaper bag were gone. But, I was wrong. We’ve been working on potty training a little. It just kind of happened. AJ is still young; not even 2. But, he seems to be doing pretty well. He is pretty predictable about pooping after lunch. So one day I asked if he wanted to go on the potty and I offered to read him a book. He said yes, and it all just grew from there. He did great right from the start. No poopy diapers for 9 days. And then we went away for the weekend. We had been using a Mother’s Helper seat that goes onto the big toilet at home. I asked my in laws (where we were heading) if they had a small toilet top potty seat and sure enough they did. So, I let ours at home. Big mistake.

First, AJ didn’t like the seat they had. I don’t blame him, it was hard and had a small opening. It did seem uncomfortable. So, he started holding his poop. Normally he would poop 3 times a day and he didn’t go all day long. Then, we went to a different house and he decided he had to pee. We had no small potty seat, so I tried to just hold him on the big potty. Pee went everywhere. I told him it was ok, but I think it freaked him out. I felt bad that he was holding his poop, so we went and bought the same potty seat that we had at home. I took him into the bathroom at the store and it wouldn’t fit on the elongated shape of the public toilet! We tried several other public toilets and had the same problem. Poor kid got so traumatized that he gave up on potty training for a few days. Soon after we got home, he pooped in his diaper and wanted nothing to do with the potty for several days after.

It appears that we are back on track now though. We got a potty that fits on public toilets (a Prince Lionheart weePOD Basix), he successfully went in a public bathroom, and we have only had one poopy diaper in 3 weeks. Peeing on the potty is a whole other story. He often runs around naked on the bottom half, or he wears big boy underpants. Both of those tactics seem to help. I just wish I could get him to go when I ask. Or not even go, but at least try to go. It never fails that he waits until the last second to tell me he has to pee and then we don’t always make it in time. I’m thinking about making a sticker chart. What do you think? What has caused success in potty training in your house? I don’t want to push him since he is still so young. But, it is clear that he can do it.

More Halloween Sensory Fun

A few months ago, I picked up some Halloween window gel decals at our local Big Lots. They were cheap, about $1 a package. I figured I’d tuck them away for a day when we need a little extra entertainment to make it through. Yesterday was one of those days! No matter what I did or did not do, AJ had a melt down over it. Since Halloween is just a few weeks away, I figured it would be a perfect time to dig out the window decals. AJ was very excited when I got the package out.

Owl is one of the words that he can say, and we’ve been reading Halloween books with ghosts (at first he was afraid until I told him that ghosts are just little boys with blankies over their heads) and bats.

I honestly had no idea this was going to be a sensory experience. The decals are very sticky and stretchy. It turns out that AJ doesn’t like the feel of them! So, it was kind of a bust. I had intended for him to put them on the window. But, he wanted me to do it. He does keep pointing and saying “owl” but he won’t touch them. I keep telling him he can take them off and put them back on. No go. Oh well!

Fall Fun

Most of our free play time this summer and into the fall has been outdoors. AJ is definitely an outdoorsy kid. He loves to hike. He has been impressing us with how far he can walk. We are fortunate enough to have a nature trail that is right in our neighborhood and connects one playground to another. The trail goes through the woods, along a stream, and has several bridges were we can stop to look for fish, or throw rocks. Really we couldn’t ask for anything more perfect. All total, the walk is over 2 miles and AJ is able to walk it all on his own! Not bad seeing as how he isn’t even 2 yet! He loves to explore the fallen leaves, acorns, and walnuts along the way.

Now that it is October, we are starting to get into Halloween mode. I’m not sure how much, if anything AJ remembers from Halloween last year. So, we’ve read a few Halloween books, picked out pumpkins and started to decorate the house. This past weekend we went to a Pumpkin fest and got to go on a horse drawn carriage ride through the farm. I think the giant pumpkins were AJ’s favorite.

I’ve mentioned the Play at Home Mom blog before. They always have such great ideas and they recently posted a few ideas involving pumpkins. I decided to try out the pumpkin/jack-o-lantern magnets. Here is there original post with the how to.

Finding magnetic printer paper was a bit of a challenge for me, as was getting it into the printer correctly (had to ask hubby for help with that). But the result is super cute.

As PAHM suggests, I just used clip art for the pumpkin and a few eyes and mouths. But, I was working with felt that day, so I I also glued a few pieces of felt to the magnetic paper. I was afraid (and right) that AJ would have a difficult time picking the thin magnetic paper off of the fridge. I also glued a few googly eyes to magnetic paper as well.

I don’t think AJ was expecting to see eyes on the fridge when he came around the corner so he was a little startled at first. But, he quickly came to explore it. His favorite pieces are the eyes, most of which have gone missing from the fridge.

Sensory Fun – Water Beads

I’m always looking for new sensory “experiences” for AJ. Plus, I like to have a stash of small toys or treats for those afternoons when he’s a bit grumpy and I’m trying to get dinner on the table. We certainly try to avoid a lot of blingy, flashy, noisy toys in our house. One of the blogs that I follow, Play at Home Mom, always has great ideas on ways to interact with your kids without all the bling. That’s where I found out about water beads. I had never heard of them before and I gotta say, they are really neat. My son, my husband and I all had fun playing with them!

These are what we got. I wasn’t expecting much with a price of just over $2. And my expectations were right. The package is very small. Here is the package, in my hand:

They start off looking almost like small beads that you’d see on a necklace, but then you soak them in water. The directions said to soak for at least 4 hours. I think AJ is still too young to have the patience for that, so I let ours soak over night, without him knowing that I had bought them. They grew to be roughly the size of marbles, some larger than others.

As you can see from the photo below, the color isn’t great. The red ones got sort of swirly looking. The other colors were very faint, and there were many clear ones in the package. But, that didn’t stop the fun!

Initially, I gave them to AJ in a plastic tub, and gave him an empty coffee can. He had fun exploring the textures of the beads and dropping them from one container to the other. Once the beads are full of water, they are wet, slippery, and bouncy. So, it didn’t take him long to figure out that if he squeezed them, they’d go squirting out of this hand and onto the floor. We also took them outside and threw the to watch them bounce. That’s when we learned that they do bread if the are thrown hard.

We have a lot more exploring to do, but from what I understand, some lower quality beads leach color into the water. While the color of ours was not great, they did not leach. I’m also told that these can be dried and then rehydrated for later use. We didn’t get a chance to try that yet, as most of ours exploded on the driveway.

This was the best $2 I ever spent! Even though the package was small, I only used about a teaspoon, so we still have plenty left for another rainy day. Of course, these are not meant to be ingested, so close supervision is recommended.

Kale for Winter Smoothies

We got a Vitamix in the Spring and have been loving smoothies this summer. I especially love that I can sneak extra veggies into AJ that way! We have a small garden, that we manage to plant a huge amount of produce in. We plant way more than a family of three could ever eat. My friend Melissa, of Namaste Yoga, gave me a great idea to process kale and freeze it for winter smoothies. So, that’s how I’ve been spending my nap times lately.

It is pretty simple, but a bit time consuming. You pick it, wash it, tear into small pieces, lightly steam it, and then blend it up (you can use some of the water from steaming if you need to). Once it is all blended, you pour it into ice cube trays and put them into the freezer. After they are frozen, you can pop the cubes out and store them in a plastic freezer bag.

Kale can be expensive in the grocery store, so I’m happy that we’re actually using all of ours, that we’ll be saving money this winter, and that I can keep sneaking veggies into AJ.

Family hike time!

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Who else loves a good hike? How do you keep your little ones warm when the weather turns colder?

Win Cloth Diaper Accessories!

Welcome to the Accessorize your stash in August event, hosted by According to Jenny and So Easy Being Green, We’re taking a fun spin on the Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop Events and bringing you one with lots of accessories to use with your fluff!

This event will run from August 24th – 31st. Each blogger has a great prize for you so be sure to hop around to all of them and accessorize your cloth diaper stash!

Enter here for your chance to win:

  • Cloth Diaper Butler ($12.95)
  • Bummis Bio-soft Flushable Liners ($8)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US residents, 18 years and older. According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, The Balanced Mama and participating Accessorize Your Stash bloggers are not responsible for participating sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.
 

Ella’s Kitchen Organic Baby Food Review

It turns out that my little man is a very picky eater. I had hoped to make all of his baby food, and was enjoying doing so. But, I’ve had such a hard time getting him to eat any solid foods that I decided to try some store bought food. I wanted to get a better idea of what his preferred flavor profile was, without wasting a bunch of food making every combination I could think of.

I’ve preferred organic foods for years. When I got pregnant I was even more insistent about eating only organic. And that hasn’t changed since I’ve been nursing AJ. So, of course, I wanted him to eat organic foods as well. I also look at the labels really closely (my health counselor gene coming out I suppose). It is really scary what some baby foods are made of.

I’m thrilled that there are great options like Ella’s Kitchen! Ella’s Kitchen foods are made with fresh, organic ingredients. They believe in producing foods that is healthy, delicious, and easy to pop into a backpack or diaper bag for on the go lifestyles.

They currently offer 8 different types of foods: First Tastes, Ella’s 1 Baby Food, Fruit + Baby RiceBaby Brekkie, Ella’s 2 Baby FoodSmoothie Fruits, Nibbly Fingers, and Yum Yummy Baby Cookies. We were sent a great selection to try:

We haven’t tried all of these just yet. And, I really do mean “we”. I always try the food before I give it to AJ just to see what it’s like. His favorite from this selection so far has been the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples and blueberries. It makes me feel so good when he actually opens his mouth wide and acts excited for food! YAY! Neither of us were a fan of the vegetable bake. But so far that is the only one that I wouldn’t get again.

Here are just a few of the things that I love about this brand (aside from the wholesome ingredients):

  • The pouches are really easy to travel with. They fit nicely into the pockets of our diaper bag and I don’t need to worry about glass jars breaking.
  • The spout at the top of the pouch allows you to squeeze virtually all of the food out, so there is practically no food wasted.
  • If you happen to forget a spoon, the spout allows you to just squeeze it directly into your little one’s mouth. We tried this as an experiment. I thought that maybe AJ didn’t like the feel of the spoon and that’s why he ate so little. He did enjoy chewing on the spout! The novelty may wear off over time though.
  • They are resealable, so you can squeeze out what you need and save the rest for a little later. (I wouldn’t save it if I happened to let AJ put the spout in his mouth.)
  • Each package tells you if it will freeze well. Since my little man eats so little, one of these pouches will last several days. I freeze the leftovers in individual portions for later use. It appears that the ones with grains are not recommended for freezing. I’ve done it anyway. The consistency does change, which I’m sure is why it isn’t recommended. But, they still taste good.

Learn more about Ella’s Kitchen on their website, facebook page, and twitter page.

Tommee Tippee Review

We received the Closer to Nature Chewther trainer which is designed by a pediatric dentist to support jaw, lip and muscle development. It helps prepare the baby to chew mushy foods. AJ really hasn’t taken to his other similar toys. We have several sets of teething “keys” and he much prefers to hear the sound they make when he throws them on the ground then to actually chew them. But he actually likes to chew on these Tommee Tippee ones.

The teethers are chunky, and flexible which make them easier for AJ to hold. They are really very different from his other teething toys.

We also received the explora weaning bowls with lids and a weaning spoon. These are spill proof lids. And the really neat part is that the spoon actually snaps into the lid so that you don’t loose it in your diaper bag and so that it stays clean. I did find that I had to snap the spoon into the lid before I put the lid on the bowl or I couldn’t get the spoon cover to securely attach. Also, the spoon is really neat in that it is flexible. The bowls are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. These bowls are designed to work with the Tommee Tippee easy mat, to hold the bowls in place. But I don’t have the mat to try it out.

Learn more about Tommee Tippee on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Wordless Wednesday

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Running the food processor with our Baby Banz earmuffs!