Saturday, June 30, 2012

Potty Training Tips and Tricks

I can honestly say that potty training is something that makes me a little anxious to begin. Although I long for the diaper days to be over, I also dread potty training.

I am currently potty training Madelyn and I have realized a few things this time around while potty training:

  • It is not easy. It cannot be done in a day. Did I mention that it isn't easy?
  • Try to plan when to start potty training in advance. Going on a vacation? Wait until you are home to start potty training. Do not start potty training the month of said vacation.
  • Have patience. There WILL be accidents. You will feel defeated. It's okay to feel defeated. Just keep pushing through it and have a plan.
  • Don't start too early. I have heard many parents brag that they are potty training their one year old. Sure, introduce them to the potty. Have them sit on the potty while you are in the bathroom. But don't have your heart set on your child being "ready" to start. 
  • Look for "signs" that your child is approaching the potty training age. 
  • Have a reward system! Stickers, lollipops, buying their own underwear--potty training should be fun and exciting for your little one! 
  • Be consistent with the timing of taking a potty break. Pull-Ups has a timer that you set as a fun reminder to your little one that it's potty time. Being consistent with potty breaks and following the guidance from Pull-Ups has helped me tremendously with potty training. 
  • Staying home was helpful in the beginning with each of my girls. I tried to let my husband do the errands and running around. If it was necessary that we leave I would utilize Pull-Ups in case of an accident.
  • I learned that Pull-Ups are GREAT for naps, bedtime, car trips. While at home my girls were in their underwear. Try out different methods and find what works best for your child.
  • Make potty training a fun time for your child. It can turn very stressful for a little one very quickly. Come up with a fun plan. Talk about potty time and be excited! This should be a very fun and exciting time. If you feel like your child isn't ready? That's okay! Wait until you think they are ready and it will be a much more pleasant experience for everyone.

Pull-Ups are a great way to begin potty training. Not only do they have fun designs that your child will love, but they have a great community of tips, hints, tricks. One of my favorite things that Pull-Ups offers is the phone call from a Disney character! We had Cinderella give Madelyn a call and she LOVED it:

Below is a great way to get started with potty training. Remember, it may not be easy, but you will get through it. Good luck!

Browse more data visualizations.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pull-Ups. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Cuteness Factor

Holy cow.

See the little girl above?

She is a blessing. A blessing that I am thankful for every single day.

That smile alone is enough for me to realize that the little things in life are the the things that truly matter.

The hair. The front teeth. The wrinkled nose. So stinkin' adorable!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The One Where Breastfeeding Begins to End...

Brynlie is *almost* 13 months old now. I am proud to say that out of my three daughters she has been my little breastfeeding champion.

Breastfeeding sort of just happened between us. I had planned to bottle feed and literally at the last minute I told my OB that I wanted to breastfeed. I got my hands on any and all breastfeeding literature that I could find. I watched many, many YouTube videos. I felt prepared.

After we both got the hang of it, because let's face it, breastfeeding is a two way street for both mom and baby, I loved it. I loved the feeling of calmness that would wash over me. I loved knowing that my body was doing what it was supposed to. I loved knowing that when I got overwhelmed I could escape with Brynlie to a quiet room and feed her.

As her first year crept forward I started to dread weaning. Why did she have to grow up so quickly? I love breastfeeding and I love the bond that it gave to us. I feel so connected towards my Brynlie.

 Once she turned one we started to cut out some feedings. I am pretty sure that this is way more emotional for me than it is for her. Now she is only eating at night and through the night. Pretty sure I am her pacifier, but right now I am just holding onto that. Selfish? Perhaps. But my hormones are so out of whack from this weaning process. I feel so sad, as if a part of me is fading away.

I know that the night will come that she will sleep through the night and not nurse at all. But until then? I will continue to treasure the night feedings and our time together.

Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark {Book Review}

There is something about summertime and reading that makes them go hand in hand. Although my days of lounging in the sun reading the day away are over for the time being, I still try to squeeze in time to read whenever my life allows me to do so.

I recently sunk my teeth into Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark and let me tell you that I devoured this book in no time at all. When I heard about the book tour the title alone screamed at me that I must read it--and that I did.


Meet Julia Sullivan, a travel writer who finds herself traveling around the world in order to write her article for a travel magazine. From the Caribbean to Europe she has seen it all. But Julia has missed many deadlines and her writing has slacked so much so that the magazine's desire to keep her on staff has dwindled. She is given one last chance to prove that she is the writer that she once was. Her task? Head to Eufaula, Alabama and produce a story that readers will connect with and desire to go and visit.

After arriving to Eufaula she makes it her mission to dive right into what southern living in Alabama is all about. Sweet tea, southern nights and the annual Pilgrimage. Her guide is handsome and charming, the city grows on her, but once there in Eufaula there is a shocking discovery that could ultimately ruin her career and the Pilgrimage.

My Thoughts

I loved this book from the start. Julia was funny, witty and I loved reading her thoughts and experiences  about the South, being that I, too, live in the South. Dancing Naked in Dixie was written in a humorous and witty manner. I loved reading about Eufaula and Lauren Clark's writing had me craving to go on a road trip. It was a delightful read and I loved reading this as a way to kick off summer. The overload of southern charm had me smiling and grateful that I get to live in the South and made me relate to the book so well. Loved it!

My Rating

I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. Fun, witty, and just full of southern charm, this book is sure to be a great read during the stifling summer months ahead!

About the Author

Lauren Clark is the author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. She writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.

A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.

Where to Buy:

Kindle Edition

Paperback Edition

Nook Edition 

I received the book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was given. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

And Then? She Was One.

As I sit down to write this post I am overcome with emotion. Blissfulness. Sadness. Recollection of every little detail of labor and delivery.

I remember wanting to stop breastfeeding after a lack of sleep for what seemed like months. I smile as I remember when she finally understood breastfeeding. Like a light went off in her baby brain and it told her exactly what to do and how to do it.

I remember waking up at night and watching her breathe. Her tiny little chest going up and down rhythmically. Me slipping my finger in her sweet hand and the grasp that told me she would love me forever.

I remember her first smile beaming up at me. Funny how that gummy little smile could melt my heart in a mommy minute.

I now have an official one year old (well, she turned one on May 21...I'm a slacker these days!). A walking, babbling, 18 1/2 pound one year old.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Novel Spotlight: A Contented Mind by Samantha Hoffman

About the Book

Sometimes it takes seeing the dream before we find the courage to face the nightmare.

Remember when you were little and afraid of what may be lurking in the dark, in the shadows. But as we get older we realize what really is scary...that is living life that isn't fully lived, having desires that have yet to be fulfilled, and a past that makes you paralyzed and afraid to move forward.

For Meg Scott, a young and vibrant author, she has moved to a home of her dreams on the West Coast. Having been a victim of a crazed fan she has stepped outside of her comfort zone. She has joined a rock band as their violinist. They are about to depart for tour in Europe and when she shakes hands with the band's drummer, Jadon Hastings, there is a love and electricity that she never knew existed beyond the words and stories that she wrote about. 

Meg will come to realize that she has to confront the past, the present, and the future. And once she does this she will come to discover that sometimes those we trust are the ones that we should not trust at all...

About the Author

Samantha Hoffman began to write books as a young child. Although those roughly hewed books are now kept under lock and key, they possess the same need to understand life as her current novels. In the past Samantha has written numerous columns on heath and spirituality for a local newspaper. Currently she writes the popular blog Insanity-A Writer's Commentary On All Things as well as two novels A Contented Mind and its sequel Chasing Nirvana. She has also written the children's chapter book series Dainty Delaney. Currently she is at work on her third novel. 

Where to buy