The Trials of Poop & Potty Training

Life around here right now has a lot to do with poop. Yes, seriously. Poop is a huge point of discussion around our house because it is our biggest potty training challenge.  I’ve talked about a bit before, but I must admit that poop has been my nemesis when it comes to boys and potty training.  Thank goodness for Pull-Ups!  We tried to move immediately into “Big Boy Underwear,” but at the suggestion of a number of early childcare educators and our pediatrician, we quickly returned to Pull-Ups.  And let me tell you, the clean up from a kiddo wearing Pull-Ups versus big boy underwear filled with poop is an entirely different experience– do you know what I’m talking about?  I’m sharing this because I want to be honest– particularly as a person who is supposed to know something about child-rearing.  Dealing with little boys, poop and potty training is NOT EASY and NOT for the faint of heart.  Somehow, it’s easy to get little boys to pee standing up, and much harder to translate that into pooping.  Some days I feel like the poop is winning, and I’m not so great with potty training.  However, I remind myself that I’ve done this before, and that sooner or later, it will work out. And then I think, “Good grief, I hope it’s not too much later!”   Here are a few of the things that we are struggling with in our house, and ways that we are dealing with them.

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

Constipation and anxiety.  Who knew, but this is a huge issue for potty training tots!  Basically, our sweet Monkey is a pretty constipated dude.  This means that we have to up the fiber intact– did you know that he only eats about 8 foods in the entire world because he’s that kind of kid?!  We’ve also been giving him a stool softener in his Apple Juice.  Do this under the advice and guidance of your pediatrician.  I want families to be aware of this because costipation can make the pooping scary.  Constipation can make pooping hurt.  For us, adding apple juice has helped, but we have to be consistent and make sure he’s drinking it regularly!  He’d rather drink milk and eat dairy and that can plug him up!

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

Flushable and Portable Wipes.  The thing about potty training, and a kid that is struggling with poop, and is needing the support of Pull-Ups is that he wants to feel like a big kid.  I know the Monkey wants to be my “Big Little Boy,” (his description of himself.)  However, if I use baby wipes and change him like a baby after a poop mishap, he feels discouraged.  Going through the process of wiping and flushing like a “big boy,” helps reinforce what we are supposed to be working on.  I like flushable wipes right now because they work better than toilet paper on little bums.   And they are flushable– so the Monkey gets to use them like toilet paper.

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

Stay focused.  This is the biggest challenge for me.  It’s easier to go back to diapers.  It may smell more, but when you are already changing one little one, it’s easier to just give up.  Don’t do that!  (I’m chanting this to myself on a daily basis.) The struggle is real, but it will be accomplished with perseverance.  I know because I’ve gone through these Poop Trials before the Big One.  I’m happy to report that he doesn’t poop in his pants anymore!

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

Be Prepared:  Take your supplies with you wherever you go.  I’ve got wipes and Pull-Ups in my car, and in my bag.  We take the potty with us on the road.  Seriously– it sits in the back of our car.  And the most recent pack of Pull-Ups that we got at Sam’s Club had a cute little backpack— perfect for his potty training supplies!  He loves that it holds his Pull-Ups, Flushable Wipes, a few boy treasures like rocks, and it isn’t too big for him to carry.  In fact, he’s been wearing it wherever he goes with his pottying supplies there and ready for use!  (Don’t worry, there is a cute girls’ option too!)

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

I’d encourage you to stop by Sam’s Club, enjoy your favorite samples (like my Peanut!), and pick up Pull-Ups for your own Little along with a pack of Cottonelle Flushable Wipes.  Right now (until June 30, 2016), you can purchase any two Pull-Ups® Training Pants and/or Cottonelle® Fresh Care® Flushable Cleansing Cloths and receive a $10 Sam’s Club e-Gift Card.

Are you struggling with Potty Training? Me too-- particularly dealing with Pooping! Here my confessions an things that i'm trying over at My Mom Made That. Pooping and potty training can and are a huge challenge. {Information sponsored by Kimberly Clark}

See you on the other side of the Poop Trials!

Room Sharing: Knowing Our Littles Are Safe

I have a friend who told me that she would never have her children share a bedroom. I’m not sure why she felt that way although she did share that she had concerns about lack of privacy and always having to share. For better or for worse, and I’d like to think for better, our Little Boys, the Peanut and Monkey are sharing a room. As an only child, I like to imagine the two little boys whispering and telling secrets to one another in the years to come. Right now, I fret a great deal about the room sharing. I worry that my toddler will hurt my infant, not out of malice, but rather out of the desire to “help.” Luckily, we’ve found a way to keep the boys safe— the Levana Ovia Baby Video Monitor.

My Mom Made That: Room Sharing and Knowing your Child is Safe (Sponsored by

In our house, the nursery is on a different floor from the master bedroom.  What’s more the helpful and enthusiastic Monkey is sleeping near the Peanut.  His presence in the room with the Peanut has increased my level of concerns.  Stuffed, cuddly toys end up in the Peanut’s crib because the Monkey is convinced that the Peanut would like them.  What would happen if the Monkey tossed a heavy blanket– would the Peanut be able to move out from under it?  When the Peanut was a lot smaller, that was a huge worry.  I am a firm believer in following the room sharing recommendation of the American Academic of Pediatricians.  However, at some point in time, Mommy and Daddy are ready for a good night’s sleep.  After the Peanut got his ear tubes in place a few weeks ago, we decided that it was time for that transition

We’ve worried about that transition, well, honestly, I’ve worried, and been fearful of potentially awakening to find that the Peanut had been smothered by love, blankets and toys left by the Monkey during the night.  Luckily, the Ovia Video Baby Monitor by Levana has provided some relief.  It’s amazing how much technology has changed since the Big One was an infant. When he was small, we had a little audio monitor that filled my room with the white noise of static to alert me when he cried in his room. It actually bugged me enough that I didn’t use it.  With this new monitor, there is no static feedback– when the Peanut cries, or the Monkey calls for me, all I hear are their little voices.My Mom Made That: Image of Ovia 2 Camera Video MonitorPlus, with two cameras, I can keep one next to the Monkey’s spot in the Master Bedroom, so that if he is sleeping the room with us, I can still keep an eye on him in his cradle.  The video monitor that is in the nursery give me a clear view of both the Monkey’s Toddler Bed, and the Peanut’s crib, and the monitor in the Master Bedroom lets me look right into the Peanut’s cradle.  What’s even better is that I can see the both, day or night.  The night vision on the Video monitor allows the camera to see up to 15 feet away, which is across the room in the nursery.

Room Sharing and Child Safety Post (Levana Ovia Video Baby Monitor)

I didn’t mount our monitor because I want the ability to move them when needed.  I can take them with me when we go to visit my Mother In Law in Florida, but one is able to wall mount a video monitor above the baby’s crib if one so chooses.   This gives a clear shot directly into the crib, which I think could be really useful, particularly if you are not room sharing during the first few months of life.

My Mom Made That: Image of Ovia 2 Camera Video Monitor

There are some other advantages I’ve learned about this new technology.  For example, sometimes the Monkey goes to his room when he is tired, but refusing to nap– we are at that stage where most days he doesn’t need a nap, but he can still be really tired.  Sometimes he get really upset about this and tantrums, as young three-year-olds are want to do.  The 4.3 inch LCD Video monitor allows me to keep an eye on him while he tantrums to make sure that he is not getting too out of control.  What more, there is even an intercom button that allows me to talk directly to him if needed.  I can also talk to the Peanut if he’s crying or too upset without having to go directly to him.  This increases the likelihood that he will fall asleep without me having to hold him.  I have learned that seeing me only increases the Peanut’s Desire to be held until he goes back to sleep.

If the white noise machine isn’t working for the two boys– no problem! Directly from the monitor, I can select several different lullabies to play. (I don’t really need this for my Littles, as they have been listening to their sound machines since birth and associate them with sleep, but this might be something that is very valuable to other families.)

My Mom Made That: Room Sharing and Knowing your Child is Safe (Sponsored by Levana Ovia Video Monitor)

If you are interested in getting a Levana Ovia Video Monitor for yourself, you can check out the deals that Levana has right here or stop by their Facebook Page. What’s more, right now there is an awesome giveaway going on where you could win one of three Levana Ovia 2 Video Monitors!

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        Can’t wait until the Giveaway is Over? 70001c80-19de-11e5-adfc-22000af93a2d   Do you think this kind of technology would help make you relax about room sharing with two Littles? Being a mom keeps us busy! What do you wish you could do more of? Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

To see how the monitor looks in our nursery, here’s a little YouTube video of its placement:

Distressed Key Holder

We have a menace in our home. He rules the entire house with his iron fist– his chubby, tiny fist. He’s our pint-sized ball of energy– the Little Monkey. He is in the midst of the tantrums and power struggles and emotional roller coasters of the toddler period. He is fascinated by doors and keys, particularly the remote control for the car. Our original key holder was low enough for him to snatch the keys and play with them. The Mellow Man and I would go to the car and find it unlocked and the sliding doors of the van open.   The third time this happened, we decided that it was time to move the key holder up higher.  When we did this, we realized that we’d need to resize it.  It worked out just fine that way– I wasn’t totally happy with the original product, and Mellow Man thought the green didn’t go in our Red accented Knotty Pine kitchen (as an aside, can one paint knotty pine?)  Thus, we decided to have a re-do on this DIY project, and created a new distressed key holder.

My Mom Made That: Distressed Key Holder
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Beware of Animals Vinyl Toy Box

The Christmas after the Big One turned one, I started a collection of little plastic animals.  It started with an African Elephant actually, by Safari Ltd.  He loved his Elephant, and well, I love collecting things, so the collection then grew to include a lion and giraffe, and then… an Okapi and a Yak.  I started getting him Schleich animals too.  I’ve lost count of how many animals we have, and the the Big One played with them until he was in First Grade.  He then moved on the Schleich knights, and I packed all of his animals up into a banker’s box and put them away.  It was a very full banker’s box.  Right before Christmas, I got the box out of storage, and showed the animals to the Monkey, and he was intrigued.  I was thrilled to get to have someone to share the collection with again, and even the the Big One played with them.  However, we really needed a better storage option, so I decided to make a special Beware of the Animals Toy Storage Container.
By layering vinyl, you can create dimensional and colorful designs, like this Beware of the Animals Toy storage container that used animals patterns and vinyl to create a colorful toy box.

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Big Bang Theory Baby T-Shirt {The World’s Best Number}

One of my favorite shows of all time is The Big Bang Theory.  Funny thing is that I hadn’t heard of it until shortly before the Monkey was born.   Twelve months later, I’ve seen every episode of Big Bang Theory!  I know what Bazinga means, the cultural purpose of a hot beverage, the paradigm of Schrödinger’s Cat, about the benefits of adding Lizard and Spock to the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” game, and I can sing my sick children to sleep with Soft Kitty.  Needless to say, The Big Bang Theory has become an integral part of my life.  I was so excited (and oddly enough proud) for Jim Parsons when he won an Emmy on Sunday for his role as Sheldon.  He deserved it.   While Modern Family is one of my other favorite shows, I was a little disappointed that the Big Bang Theory didn’t win the Best Comedy award.  I have been eagerly awaiting the season seven premiere on Thursday (September 26, at 8pm).   In honor of the starting of a new season of adventure with my favorite group of nerdy scientists, I created a shirt for Monkey to wear on Thursday.  I have my own Big Bang Theory shirt, actually I have three, but the Monkey didn’t have one.

My Mom Made That: Big Bang Theory ShirtOne of my favorite things to watch on the show is Sheldon’s t-shirt options.  He has a rotation of t-shirts, and starting in season 4, a new shirt with the number “73” appeared.  Mellow Man and I weren’t quite sure why until we watched the episode titled, “The Alien Parasite Hypothesis.”  Apparently, the number 73, is the best number in the world:

Sheldon: What is the best number? By the way, there’s only one correct answer.
Raj: 5,318,008?
Sheldon: Wrong! The best number is 73…  You’re probably wondering why.
Leonard: No.
Howard: Uh-uh.
Raj: We’re good.
Sheldon: 73, is the 21st prime number, its mirror 37 is the 12th and its mirror 21 is the product of multiplying, hang on to your hats, 7 and 3. Did I lie?
Leonard: We get it! 73 is the Chuck Norris of numbers!
Sheldon: Chuck Norris wishes! In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001, exactly the same. All Chuck Norris gets you backwards is Sirron Kcuhc!
Raj: Just for the record, when you enter 5,318,008 in a calculator, upside down it spells BOOBIES!

sheldons-73-shirt

Image of the 73 Shirt from CBS

It’s hard for me not to have a special warm fuzzy place in my heart for the number 73 now.  I decided to use a heat transfer flocked material to make a shirt for Monkey, just like the one I made for our Disney trip. I turned on my beloved Portia, Silhouette Portrait machine, and found a san serif font to try to imitate the appearance on Sheldon’s shirt, and put them inside a circle.  I found a 12 Month shirt in a multitude of colors (this is an Amazon Affiliate link, but the exact item I purchased!), and I liked all of the options, along with the price.  It only took Portia about 5 minutes to cut out the pattern, and another 30 seconds with the silhouette hook to make the image look like this:

My Mom Made That: Big Bang Theory ShirtI followed the directions for the flocked transfer material to iron it into place, and it took a little while, but I wanted to make sure that it was on securely!  Then came the challenging part of the project– getting a good picture of the Monkey wearing the shirt! I spent 90 minutes trying to get a good, post-worthy photo of the Monkey wearing his Best Number shirt.  He wasn’t much in the mood to pose for me.  I got out the train, because, like Sheldon, the Monkey loves his riding train.  As you can see below, that didn’t really do the trick either!  Hopefully, he’ll be in the mood to sit still and enjoy the show on Thursday!

My Mom Made That: Big Bang Theory ShirtDo you love the Big Bang Theory? If you are crazy about the show, and you’d like to check out some more Big Bang Theory projects to get you in the mood for the Season 7 premiere (Thursday, September 26th on CBS), here’s a collection of projects by some of my favorite craft bloggers:

My Mom Made That: Big Bang Theory Craft Button