Monday, January 25, 2016

The Missing Potty Book

The Missing Potty Book
Written By Renee Arbia

At the tender age of three and a half Xavier is pretty much fully potty trained. He still uses a pull-up diaper at night, but he already gets up a lot at night to use the bathroom himself. It is only when he is sleeping very hard that he needs it.

You have previously read about our Next Generation Stay AtHome Mom Potty Training Method which involved the book, Once Upon A Potty By Alona Frankel. Before bedtime and naptime we always read a book. I always let Xavier pick whatever book he wants to read. Once he was mainly potty trained the only accidents we had were mainly his fault. He would be too busy playing and not pay attention to his body. He would wait until the absolute last minute and would wet himself in the bathroom. I was unsure how to combat this issue at first, as I did not want to scold him too much because he was trying, but he was not paying enough attention. So as a way to combat the issue I would say “oh no, you had an accident! It’s okay to have an accident once in a while, but perhaps we should read the potty book for nap (or bedtime) so we can be sure to get it right next time”. Xavier did not like this idea at all. It only took once where he could not pick his book for story time for him to now loathe the “potty book”.

Although it is hardly ever read now it is still threatened once in a while. We do not have as many accidents thanks to that method. Except now when I ask him to go potty before we get in the car, or bedtime it is always “no I don’t have to go”. Even if he has not gone for hours he will refuse. So I started saying “Xavier if you can’t go potty before we get in the car perhaps we should read the potty book for bedtime”. He has promptly started going to the bathroom when asked.

Yesterday, we were getting ready for bed. I asked Xavier to go to the bathroom. “No I don’t want to go potty” he yelled back at me, “Okay, fine, I think we should read the potty book tonight before bed so you are sure how to use the potty” I said back. “Maybe I can go” he replied. While he was going I glanced on his bookshelf where the potty book usually sits. Suddenly, I noticed it was missing. It may sound odd, but my three year old is very particular about where things are in his room, books in particular. We have some on different shelves and some in bins. If you ever move one book, just one, he will know and notice where you moved it. As a result of his crazy book shelving obsession I knew he must have moved the potty book. I quickly flipped through a couple books on the shelves and bins looking for it to put it back on the shelf and I could not find it anywhere. The little sneak moved the potty book so he would not have to read it. I told my husband about it and we were quietly laughing and looking for the potty book. Once we got Xavier ready for bed, I figured I should at least address the issue of the potty book as I could not let him get away with hiding it. So I casually asked Xavier where the potty book was and his face dropped, and with it came a very guilty look. I knew he did not just move it or misplace it, he purposely hid it. So I calmly said “Xavier either you get the potty book and put it back where it belongs or I get the potty book and we read it”. I was really hoping he remembered where he hid it as I had no clue where it was, nor did I feel like searching in front of him. He promptly went to the opposite shelf across from where it normally sits and pulled back six books and showed me the potty book hidden. “It’s right there mommy. It is okay” he said. “No let’s put it back where it belongs please, and you can pick another book to read” I said. He promptly put it back and quickly grabbed another book to read. Needless to say the potty book is now prominently displayed on the shelf where all can see it.  Oh, the joys of having a three year old.

#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #pottytraining, #parentingtips

Monday, January 18, 2016

Guest Post: New Year's Workout Tips

 Since we are expecting a new arrival this summer, my workouts mainly consist of yoga this year. My resolutions are more to get the nursery and baby items in order. However, if you made a resolution to get into shape this year you are in luck. Darci Maxwell is our guest poster today with some great tips to help you keep your New Year's Resolution to get in shape! Check them out!

New Year’s Workout Tips
By: Darci Maxwell

If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight or to get in shape, you are not alone! The number one New Year’s Resolution in America is to lose weight, and the fifth most popular resolution is getting fit and healthy. Part of getting fit and losing weight is exercising. You should exercise 3-5 times a week with a 30 minute cardiovascular session. However, if you are trying to lose weight or bulk up, you may need to exercise more than that. If your resolution will be benefited by exercising, read on for seven tips to help you exercise more effectively and efficiently.

Just Do It!
Be a Nike ad and just do it! You won’t burn calories if you are sitting on the couch, so get up and start moving! You don’t have to go running or to the gym to work out, you can do it in the comforts of your own home. Get a workout video that you like, or even browse YouTube for a workout channel that you can follow. Invest in a pedaling machine to put under your desk at work or next to the couch so that you can work out while watching TV. Go for a walk around the block. If you need to, make a sticker chart or reward chart to help you accomplish your goals. Buy workout clothes that you feel comfortable in so that you are more motivated to exercise. Find something that will motivate you to work out, and then, just do it. Any change is hard, but as suggested here, think of what you will gain from the change to help you stay motivated.

Drink Enough Water
You should be drinking water before, after and during your workout. Your body needs to be hydrated in order to take care of itself, help you lose weight, and repair itself after a workout. You should drink about a half gallon of water a day (or about eight cups a day). Luckily, you don’t have to just drink water to get that much hydration. That water can be from tea, soups, lemonade, etc. However, if you drink soda, you need to drink at least that much water to make up for how much the carbonation will dehydrate your body. You shouldn’t just down all this water at once, either. You should be drinking consistently throughout the day. Get a big 32 oz water bottle for your desk at work, and make a goal to drink the whole thing during the day. Make sure that during your exercise, you are drinking plenty to stay hydrated.

Stretch and Warm Up
Before and after you exercise, you should stretch and warm up your body. While specialists disagree whether it is better to stretch before or after working out, you should do something before you start to loosen up your muscles to prevent injury. Do a couple of lunges, arm rolls, stretches, etc. to help your body loosen up before you start your workout. If you are following a workout video, they probably will have a short warm up segment as part of the workout. Your warmup doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to get your blood pumping and muscles loose! Here are some warm-up ideas for you to do before you shovel snow, but they can also be applied to any workout.

Get a Workout Buddy
Working out with a friend will help you work out harder, more frequently, and have more fun while doing it. You will hold each other accountable for doing your workouts and you will have someone to laugh alongside. Studies show that people can even lift more if they are lifting in front of people than when they are by themselves. Ask your best friend, your spouse, coworker, neighbor, or cousin to go with you. If you’re not sure who to invite, post a request on Facebook to see who works out at the same time as you. Gyms often have a “call board” so to speak where you can put your information to find a workout buddy. You can also just go to the gym and try to make friends who would be willing to spot you while you lift. Just make sure that you return the favor!

Mix it Up
While this photo of the Hulk-Who-Skipped-Leg-Day is quite funny, it also rings true. While working out, make sure that you workout your entire body, and not just part of it. Work your core, legs, arms, neck, back, etc. There are easy ways to make sure that you have a full body workout. If you are going walking or running, carry weights. If you are looking for one workout that strengthens the whole body, do one exercise per body part in sets. If you do legs one day, work out your arms or core the next. (Photo from

Track Your Progress
A great tip to help you keep working out consistently is to track your progress every day. Set a goal (repetitions, weight loss, fat percentage, etc.) and then track your progress daily. Get a sticker chart, an app, a notebook, calendar, etc. It will be fun to watch yourself reach your goals and watch yourself get a little better everyday. Even track things like your personal record for lifting, for repetitions, miles walked/ran, time spent exercising, etc. Reward yourself when you reach your a goal, and then set a new one!

Darci Maxwell is a walking contradiction, and she loves it. You are just as likely to find her outside tearing up a mountain as you are to discover her curled up at home with a steamy cup of herbal tea watching Dr. Who. She is terrified of heights, yet she is the first one to run to the edge and marvel at the spellbinding sight. As an introverted extrovert, writing is her favorite way to connect with many people while still enjoying the comforts of her own home. Her favorite quote is “Here’s to the movers, the shakers, and the mischief-makers.”

Friday, January 8, 2016

10 Healthy Winter Habits For Your Family

10 Healthy Winter Habits for Your Family
Written By Renee Arbia

Originally published 12/2/14

So many families have been battling colds, coughs and respiratory infections this season. I thought it would be a good time to revisit our healthy winter habits. I know with my family I needed to be sure we are doing all ten! How does your family stay healthy in the winter?   

     According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, we are expecting an especially cold winter season this year. I can almost bet the groundhog will be predicting a long winter to go along with it. It is a proven fact that our immune systems can be somewhat comprised more in the winter time, and with so many colds, flus and virus' going around, you need to be sure to keep your family as healthy as possible. Here are ten easy tips to help keep your family healthy this winter.

10 Healthy Winter Habits For Your Family

1) Drink Plenty Of Water
   You need to stay hydrated and water is the best thing you can drink. Staying hydrated helps with your circulation. Children are particularly susceptible to be dehydrated as they usually do not drink as much water as they should. Water or coconut water (for children older than 1) is best to keep yourself hydrated as sugary drinks do not hydrate very well at all. Beware of sports drinks they do not hydrate either they have too much sugar. For breastfeeding moms, if your baby is under six months old, do NOT feed them water instead consider nursing more frequently or for longer periods of time to make sure your little one has extra hydration, very similar to what you would do in the heat.

2) Wash Those Hands
     It does not matter if you think they are too chapped to be washed. This is the easiest and most effective way to ward off germs. Teach your entire family good bathroom habits. Be sure to wash your hands after even entering the bathroom, before preparing food, before eating food, when coming inside the house from anything, and after leaving a store or restaurant. (Hand sanitizers work just about as well as hand washing when necessary). Also, be sure to wash your hands in hot or warm water. You can teach little ones to wash their hands in the soap, while they sing Happy Birthday. That is about the length of time your hands should be soapy. Parents of infants be sure to wash their hands often, but be sure to use gentle cleansers. 

3) Get To Sleep
      Our bodies need more rest in the winter to help keep us healthy and warm. Be sure you and everyone in your family is getting the recommended amount of sleep they need on a regular basis. Getting a good night's rest also can help improve your overall mood for the next day.

4) Keep Up The Vitamins
     Pretty much from birth to senior citizen everyone should be taking a vitamin, especially in the winter time. Now is not the time to consider dropping that vitamin due to the expense. Children need a lot of iron and calcium this time of year. Adults always need an immunity boost as we are usually the worst at taking care of our vitamin needs. So go get a regular multivitamin and be sure everyone in your family takes one specifically designed for their needs. Also, check out some immunity boosting items when they are needed such as these Soothie Suckers (click the link to not only read about them, but also get the code for a $2.00 off coupon good through 12/31/14).

5) Eat Plenty Of Veggies
   Just like vitamins, now is not the time to skimp on what your body is in need of. Be sure to eat plenty of leafy green and colorful vegetables. Some strong immunity boosting foods are mushrooms, carrots, sweet potatoes and almonds.

6) Get Your Vaccines Up To Date
    It's flu season if you have not already gotten your flu shot for you and your family, now is the best time to do it. If you are worried about your child, be sure to talk to your pediatrician about the different options they have now. You can get a regular shot, smaller needle shot or the nose mist with the live virus. Most insurances cover flu vaccines and you can even go to CVS Minute Clinics now and get your flu shot.

7) Coconut Oil
    Many people and parents swear by coconut oil. It works best when you think your child is first developing an illness. Rub it on the soles of their feet at bedtime and it should ward off the illness. Many other essential oils can help with colds and virus' as well, but be careful when using essential oils on children as some are much stronger than others and are too strong for the sensitive skin of a child. Try out my homemade all natural Toddler Cold and Cough Remedy.

8) Eat Your Probiotics
    Probiotics can ward off illness and help you rid yourself of an illness. Look for yogurts with active cultures in them such as bifidobacterium lactis or lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

9) Practice Sick Etiquette
    Even though you feel horrible and think your head may explode, getting into these habits can help to keep a cold from spreading around your house. Be sure to practice sick etiquette all the time and teach it to your children. They are never too young too learn. Always sneeze into your shoulder or elbow, cough into your elbow and throw out your own tissues and wash your hands after blowing your nose. Also, be sure to dispose of old tissues quickly so they do not sit in a garbage can for a long period of time and spread germs.

10) Sterilize
    Right before anyone gets sick and right after someone is sick is the best time to sterilize things so that germs are not sticking around. Be sure to sterilize water bottles, sippy cups, baby bottles, door knobs, stair railings, and even toothbrushes. Most items can be put in the dishwasher with hot water, you can wipe items with vinegar and water, and a wet toothbrush can be carefully (watch to be sure of melting) microwaved for 10 seconds or run in the dishwasher with your utensils.

     It is estimated that the average person gets at least four colds a year, hopefully this will reduce your odds this year!

Sources for this article were: Kiwi Magazine December 2014/January 2015 edition


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