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Potty Training

Potty training is something that I have been DREADING like the plague for the last year. Let me start out by saying that it was not as horrible as I thought it would be. Yes it was a LOT of work, but very necessary. Obviously. Here I will tell you about our personal experience, and also tell you about the tactics we used to teach her. Lets start at the beginning.

When Roo turned a year old, every time she was naked and about to get in the tub, I would put her on the potty first. It worked like, twice, over the next year and a half, but at least she was getting used to the idea of sitting on a toilet.

As she crept up to being 2 1/2, I thought, “ok, she’s got to be ready now!” So one Saturday morning, I took the girls to the local dollar tree. I. LOVE. THAT. PLACE. Roo would pick up something and say, “Mommy, I want this.” Usually I say something like, “Maybe a different day. You can just say hi to it right now and give it a hug.” But this shopping trip was different. So I excitedly said, “Ok! You can have that when you tee-tee in the potty!” And into the cart it went.

I let her pick out five different items, and when we got home, I placed them all in a box on top of her bathroom cabinet. The prizes were in clear view and I told her that I would get the box down for her to choose a prize when she went tee-tee or poop in the potty.

The next day, I decided to let her run around without a diaper while we were getting ready for church. Church doesn’t start till one o’clock, so I knew that was a long time for her to be diaperless, but guess what! She had NO accidents! By noon, she had tee-teed four times and pooped once. In the potty! She got every single prize out of her box before noon.

I was so proud of my girl, but too scared to go through three hours of church diaperless, so I caved and put her in a diaper. 🙁 I was regretting the fact that we started potty training that day because I didn’t want to back-track and put her in a diaper, but it is what it is. Honestly I wasnt expecting her to catch on so quickly, either. Surprise, surprise!

That night, I was again debating whether or not I should put her in a diaper to sleep. Some people say “yes” to still using diapers at night, while others advise not to so the child is not confused. But after spending half the day in a diaper, I decided to diaper her one last night, and start potty training hard core the next day.

As most potty training advisers suggest, we did stay home for the next two days while she was learning the ropes. I used several ideas from this mothers blog. One of the best things we did was call someone after every successful potty experience. I would get real excited and ask, “Do you want to call _____ and tell them you went tee-tee on the potty!?!?” So of course she would get excited too! (I tried to text the person prior to our call to give them a heads up to be a good cheerleader) We called all the grandparents, and a few other family members and friends that she is close to. I was so proud of my girl and we had very few accidents, in my opinion. So by Wednesday, we were ready to make a special trip to the store in search of “big girl panties” and also to the library to pick out a Mickey Mouse book.

**Side note about toddler underwear: The smallest size they come in are a 2T. Roo is a skinny minnie and I was afraid that a 2T would be huge, considering she still wears 12 month shorts, but much to my surprise, they fit! Thank goodness for that elastic. Before I figured that out, I went on eBay and bought diaper covers in 18-24 months size. Someone was selling a lot of 11 pairs for about $16. Who says you can’t use bloomers as underwear?**

Ok back to the training. So the first week went great. Much better than expected. She had about three days of no accidents, and then Sunday hit. And Monday hit. And poop and pee was hitting the floor. I was devastated.

Back to the drawing board I went, and I realized I needed to remind her more often to sit on the potty, and not slack with my rewards. After we ran out of dollar tree prizes, I gave her options to have one of three things that are considered treats in our home. Gum, M&M’s, or iPad time. Bribing is not beneath me.

Another issue that we had, was happening during nap and bed time. I make her try to tee-tee before bed, and then it’s hugs, kisses, and “sweet dreams”. Two seconds after I shut the door, she would be out of bed, open her door and sweetly smile while saying, “I need to go tee-tee.” Who knows if she is telling the truth or not! So I let her get up three times, and then consequences are in place if she is just crying wolf. The consequence is that I take away her Minnie Mouse that she sleeps with. (don’t worry, she still has Mickey to snuggle with) In the beginning, all it took was that little threat and she wouldn’t get out of bed again. But you know how kids are. They like to test the waters. So during week three of potty training I turned the lock around on her door.

Since then, we are on week four of training and still having accidents, every 3-5 days. Is this normal? How long does it take til she is 100% accident free? Got any tips for me? I would LOVE to hear them!


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What happened to Negotiating?

I have had a hard time over the past few years with politics. I am going to try to not get political here but I will disclose that I tend to lean conservative but am always open to great ideas.

My problem with politics is this; what happened to negotiating? I thought the reason for checks and balances was to make sure we come up with solutions that are essentially a win for both sides. (and no one party ends or group ends up with all the power) I realize both sides have their own agendas and don’t want to be seen supporting something controversial but for goodness sake we still need to get something done.

The stalemates in congress recently really get under my skin; I wish politicians would understand that they are there to negotiate for the best outcome for their constituents. This does not mean, don’t vote for anything unless it’s 100% what you want. I think we all understand in life we have to negotiate and that sometimes means we won’t get everything we’re asking for.

 The polarization between the two major parties in America is really hurting our full potential. I don’t think the media helps with this either because they vilify anyone that may change their mind or make a concession to get something done.

We also are part to blame by holding politicians to an impossible standard of always winning 100% of the time on every battlefront. I feel this is a non-partisan subject because I really think both sides share equal blame for this.

My plea to any and all politicians and Americans for that matter is don’t be afraid to negotiate and make a winning plan for both sides.

What do you think?



How to Start a Website – Domain

I’ve had a few requests to post how we started LiveFrei.com. This will be the first in a series on how to start a website. For those that may not speak geek, a domain is the address for your website, e.g., www.livefrei.com. Hosting is where your website is physically stored. (will cover in another post)

First thing you need to decide when starting a website or blog is if you want to have an actual .com or something like LiveFrei.wordpress.com. There are several websites that offer free website domains and hosting; wordpress.com or weebly.com offer these types of services. Keep in mind that free domains and hosting have certain limitations for storage and bandwidth.

Go Daddy Deal of the Week: Get 30% off your order! Offer expires 8/14/12.LiveFrei.com’s domain name was bought through godaddy.com. It’s a fairly simple process. First, you need to find a domain name that is available, this can be done on godaddy’s website. Sometimes names are taken and not available; this can sometimes be fixed by creative variations of the same name. Godaddy will offer alternatives for you if the one you entered is not available.

Domain names can vary in price depending on the popularity of the words in the domain. I think I paid about $12 for a year registration of livefrei.com. If you don’t register it every year you will loose the domain. There are several other services that I was offered during the checkout process none of which I purchased. I have been impressed with the simplicity that godaddy has offered me as a relative newcomer to the webmaster side of the internet  Once you have a domain name it’s time to get your site hosted. Stay tuned.

Have any of you started a website? If you have share it here so we can all check it out.




Making Homemade Baby Food With Meat

Ever wondered how to make homemade baby food with meat? It’s quite simple, and you can even use leftovers.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t like to waste things.

Which is why I try not to let any food spoil in our refrigerator.

The other day, I made a random crock pot meal, (I made up the recipe in my head…) It consisted of ground beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, and a few seasonings. The meal was satisfying, but it was one of those things that I just wasn’t enthused about eating a second time around. Soooooo, here it comes little Moo!

Is that mean? I know it kinda looks like dog food…But honestly, she loves the finished product.

Here’s a look at my good ol’ processor. My mom found the base at a garage sale for $1 and gave me the attachment for free since she wasn’t using it anymore. Score for me, I use that thing all the time!

This thing is ready to rumble. So I add the leftovers and put on the lid…

Then I press the only button that works on my 1966 (?) Oster…I will buy a new one when this thing bites the dust.

This purée is pretty thick, so I will add water to it when I thaw it out to feed Miss Moo.

Time to start spooning it into ice cube trays to freeze. It looks a little something like this:

**This was Moo’s introduction to eating meat and she has done great. She really does love this stuff with a little water added to it.**

You can do this for your baby too! This is also a great way to use up homemade soup. There are endless possibilities to making your own baby food. I would love to hear what you have made for your baby, and I am happy to answer any questions!


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