My 5 Steps for Potty Training Progress

In Questions about potty training I was just starting trying to get some answers for the best way to approach potty training my 2 year old son. I have tried some things that didn’t quite work out and now am doing some new things. Notice in the title of this blog I said “progress” not “success”. We have been on this potty training road for 4 months with little to show, but I’ve made some changes to our approach and we have seen improvement in the past couple of weeks.

1. Rewards

The first thing we added was a reward system, in which he got a sticker for every time he uses the potty, asks to sit on the potty, and stays dry. The sticker itself is a reward, but for every 10 stickers he gets he can choose a small toy from a prize box. We he fills the entire chart he can choose from reward cards the include: ice cream/frozen trip, McDonald’s trip, park, using mommy/daddy’s phone, computer, tablet, or game system, a bigger $5-10 toy, or going to the pool. Potty Time was a section on a bigger behavior chart, but we decided to separate it and make the rate in which he got prizes different because he was getting overwhelmingly more stickers for potty related tasks versus the others. Some have warned against using a reward system, but it has been working for us. And there are rewards for some things in life so why not introduce working hard to earn things early on.

2. Cold-Turkey

I tried going turkey as in him wearing nothing on his bottom and it resulted in pees and poops all over the house. Then I started using pull ups. It was a big mistake to use them, at least for as long as I did. So we are going “semi” cold-turkey. For now he is wearing underwear while he is at home. When we are going out it public or daycare he wears pull ups. If we are going to a friend or family members house he will wear underwear and I bring the potty cover and a few changes of underwear and clothes. He will do this until the end of the month, then I’m letting his daycare teacher know he will not be wearing pull ups any more. We will keep them for night time a little longer, I’m not ready for those struggles yet. But this aspect was all me being prepared to deal with the inconvenience. I am ready to attack this thing head on now.

3. Characters

The thriftster in me was buying the generic hanes or fruit of the loom patterned underwear, but I saw much better results when I bought the more expensive underwear with characters he loves like Paw Patrol, Minons, Spongebob, Batman, and Ninja Turtles. But they cost SOOOO much, I still struggle with it at the register. There are sales now for back to school and he is in a boys 4 now so I’ll rack up while I can. The first day I put on a pair of character underwear he stayed dry. This hasn’t been the case everyday, but he has more dry day with them. So for now I will sacrifice a few dollars to save tons in diaper cost.

4. Timing

He is able to tell me he has to potty, but I cannot rely on that alone. There are 4 main times I automatically set him on the potty; before sleeping, after sleeping, returning home from daycare or going out, and after eating and/or drinking. At those times I sit him there for no more than 15 minutes. If he goes I will sit him down every 20 minutes or if he asks, if not I try again in 10 minutes. If he has an accident I sit him down every 10 minutes.

5. Talking

I feel like I am constantly repeating “If you have to pee pee go in the potty”, then it gets condensed to “pee pee in the potty”, and then its just “pee pee potty”. Every 5 minutes I’m asking and/or telling him “do you have to pee?” or “tell me if to have to pee.” I just want to engrave the concept that he needs to use the potty, not his underwear, or the floor. For some reason if I ask him where he is supposed to pee he will never respond and say “potty”, but if I ask him in a yes or no question like “are you supposed to pee in the potty?” he will say “yes”. I’m not sure if that has something to do with his cognitive development or if there’s some disconnect and its the reason he doesn’t fully get it. He seems to do better after he’s had an accident and his daddy talks to him in a very stern voice and tells him he’s disappointed and that he needs to try harder. Usually after that he stays dry. Either way we will continue to have these conversations until it finally clicks.

So these are some of the changes we have made within the past couple weeks to see progress and this horrible process. Why can’t humans be like cats and just know what to do? Things like night time training, and standing up to pee are on the back burner for right now. I’m not even too stressed about number 2’s since he doesn’t do those as often. We just need to get the main peeing under control then we will focus on the rest. Has anyone else had these experiences? What worked or didn’t work for you while potty training?

Two Way Dinners

So as you may have noticed in my previous post my diet is a little vegan, mixed with a little paleo. I basically try to eat a plant based paleo diet. It is very difficult for me at times, but I do it because I feel it is the healthiest option. That being said my son and husband don’t always see it the same way. I am trying to be healthy and lose weight. They don’t have the same goals or ideals, so I don’t force my choices on them. As the main cook in the house I have to adjust to be agreeable with everyone’s dietary choices. My son is 2 and a picky eater. I have to find a balance of creating meals with foods that are good for him and he likes, not including junk. My husband is a BIG man, he does not eat “rabbit food” as I’ve been told I eat by colleagues. Having a healthy family is very important for me, but it takes compromise. I usually end up cooking two versions of meals. One to fit my dietary needs and restrictions and one that my family will actually eat. My goals for my family are less fast food and processed foods, as well as more fruits and especially vegetables. I will fry foods for them from time to time, usually a weekend meal. They still eat grains like bread, rice and pasta, but they are whole grain. They also typically eat meat with every meal, while I restrict my meat to once a day, usually dinner. Here are a few of my “2 way dinners”.

Hamburger Helper

I make a homemade hamburger helper with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, and a sauce from real milk and cheese, not whatever powdery substance comes in the box. I got the recipe from Pinterest, and honestly its just as easy and quick as the boxed version. My version is made with squash or zucchini noodles made with a vegetti, a vegan cheese sauce, and ground turkey. I mix some of the vegan cheese sauce with my sons because he rarely eats the vegetables that are put on his plate so I hide it whenever I can.  With this dinner a include a vegetable side like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or salad. I never tell my husband that its homemade, but he looks up and asks “is this real hamburger helper?” I say, “of course”. He follows up with “did you make it from the box?”, and I say “no, is it nasty?”, He says “no, but I can tell its different.” He continues to eat, and I shrug my shoulders and say “your the only husband in the world that complains about scratch made meals.”

hamburger helper
There’s vs Mine

Tacos/Tex Mex

Whenever I make tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas, my version ends up being some type of taco bowl or salad. I change the base to keep things varied, like it might be a salad with whatever fillings they had topping lettuce minus the sour cream and cheese. I may do a burrito bowl substituting quinoa for rice or a may roast some sweet potatoes.

sweet potatoe taco bowl
Sweet Potato enchilada skillet bowl

Asian Nights

I tried making potstickers once and my husband loved them. I knew I couldn’t take them away from our Asian night dinner line up. So I typically eat a meatball made from the chicken or turkey filling inside the potstickers. I make a sauce from soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. They dip the potstickers in a drizzle it on top my meatballs. We both have stir fried vegetables, I usually have a bigger serving. They have fried brown rice.

Another meal in the Asian dinner lineup are various Chinese dishes like orange, sesame, sweet and sour chicken, and Mongolian beef. I fry theirs in a cornstarch and egg batter with stir fried vegetables,and fried brown rice. I bake my chunks of meat in the oven and top with the same sauce with vegetables and no rice.

asian meatballs
Asian Meatball Bowl

So with just a few tweaks and some compromise, everybody can get what they want and need out of dinner. I had adapted some of our favorite restaurant and packaged meals to be healthier and still had my more drastic dietary changes. That’s what we call, in education, differentiation. Does anybody else tailor meals for their families or I am just a push over? Also, message me if you would like any of the featured recipes in detail.

 

4 Reasons I’m Loving Pokemon Go

Aside from the recent tragedies, social media is all abuzz about Pokemon Go. The beta dropped on July 6th and it was an instant hit. My husband told me about the game and I let it pass through my mind like most of his rants and excitement about up coming games. It didn’t register actually what the game really was. On the release day when he downloaded it and said, “look I caught a Pikachu”. Time paused, and I thought “wait a minute, what?”. He showed me the Pokemon character sitting right in out living room and I instantly downloaded it, to experience the fun for myself. Here are the top 4 things I’ve gotten out out the ever so popular fad.

1. Increased Physical Activity

There is a meme currently circulating that states “Pokemon Go has done more for childhood obesity in the past two days, than Michelle Obama has done in 8 years.” Please don’t get me on that soapbox, but yes Pokemon Go gets you up and moving. When you see that symbol that says a Evee is 300 years away, it doesn’t take much for you to jump up an go after it. You travel through neighborhoods and parks going from Pokestop, to Pokestop to gather pokeballs, potions, and eggs, and ect.  Mind you, its not vigorous physical

pidgey
A Pidgeot on my window shield!

activity for the most part, but its better than nothing. Its been great for me because during the summer, even while teacher summer school I am up walking around only a fraction of what I usually do on a typical school day. Since my everyday calorie burn has decreased it had become difficult for me to lose weight even with proper eating habits and exercise. So the extra steps that I’ve been taken looking for Pokemon will do my body good.

2. Bringing Gaming to the Real World

Pokemon Go is essentially the opposite of virtual reality. Instead of bringing you into the gaming world, its brings the game into the real word. You are actually embarking on a Pokemon adventure. You can choose to remain within your neighborhood, or venture out into your community and even the world period. There are water  Pokemon available around bodies of water, and common Pokemon like Pidgey, Rattata, and Weedle are found around are home. You have to travel to places that are verified as Pokestops to get supplies and go to gyms to fight your Pokemon. It is like living the game and I’m loving it. You could literally get a backpack and become Ash Katchum.

3. Creates family bonding

We have created a routine of everyday after I get off work, my husband comes with me to pick up our son from daycare and we go to a nearby park that has an abundance of pokestops and gyms. We walk together and stop and each pokestop, my husband beat gyms, and our son enjoys walking and running through the park. It is a historical park so my two year old looks at the forts and historic buildings in amazement. He actually said today that it was “the best day ever”, and that’s just from walking around the park. We also witness other families and couples playing Pokemon as well. This could replace T.V., video games, and social media for some. Although people still have their phones in their faces, the interactive part make it a little different, and more personable. This only works if everybody’s into it thought. If its just the husband or children its pretty much just another video game.

4. Takes me back to my childhood

As a mentioned in My Kind of Nerd, I felt into nerdom late in life. Pokemon is different. I grew up watching he anime (although I had no idea it was called that at the time) and playing it on my Game Boy pocket and pocket color. My sister had the blue verson and I had red. She also chose Squirtle first and I Charmander. Just for nostalgia I picked Charmander first for this as well. I have seen some post on social media pretty much making fun of or blasting adults playing this game. And I’m thinking how is the different that people obsessing over the outcome of a basketball or football game. Or any other hobby or interest that is thought of as “adult”. I do a lot “adulting”, so this is just one more thing that helps me keep my sanity. This was especially good timing with all the turmoil that has been going on in the world. I can escape all of that and catch me some Pokemon.

Amazing though it may seem, it has not been all peaches and cream. My experience has been overall positive. Of course their are serious problems with the server, but this is a beta with an enormous amount of traffic so that’s to be expected. Then there’s the “play to win aspect”. You can pay real money for money within the game or earn it. But it is very difficult to earn it, especially where pokeballs are concerned. I’m not trying to create an extra expense to I’m just playing the best I can with what I can get for free, needless to say I won’t be able to be “the very best, like no one ever was.”  The game itself has some questionable aspects. The whole action of catching the Pokemon sometimes seems random, although that could just be my lack of skill.  From Girlie to Nerdy offers some great tips about how to be more successful catcing Pokemon and battling gyms. But you have to remember that its still just in the beta stages. There are also be reports of things like car accidents, robbery, and harassment due to the game.  I even read a post about how Pokemon Go Could Be a Death Sentence for Black Men. Pretty much stating that black men could get in trouble to looking suspicious while travelling various neighborhoods looking for Pokemon. So even while I was playing it as an attempt to escape the realities of the world, they still have a way of finding me. People have to be better than this. Play the game responsibility and just to people have their fun. I sure have.

Return of the Healthy, Nappy, Nerdy, Mommy!

Its been a while since my last post, a month to be exact. It all snowballed from one busy, lousy, tiresome, week. But I am back now to give the people what they want, or maybe what they don’t want. This is an overall update about what’s been happening and what is to come for this healthy, nappy, nerdy, mommy.

Healthy

I pretty much been doing the same song and dance. I’m still trying to get back into the groove of healthy eating and consistent exercise. My biggest weight loss since having my son had been 51 pounds, and I’m still 15 pounds from that not to mention my goals of losing another 20 after that, so I’m at 40 pounds I want to lose. I already mentioned in my previous post 7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan that I am exploring veganism as a healthier option. I’m not hard core with it. I typically eat meat with dinner and try to be vegan for the rest of the day. I am also incorporating some “paleoism”. There is just so much information out their about what is the healthiest diet to have. And when I say diet I am referring to an overall lifestyle not how you eat for a couple weeks to lose some weight then gain it right back. I researched some about eating for your blood type, which interestingly enough is pretty much paleo for me being that wheat, dairy, and beans would be no, no’s for my type O blood. But there were some other things like mushrooms for example that I’m just not giving up. But it was also a little scary because it went along with my food allergies. As far as exercise, I’ve tried a free week of Cross Fit and I’m hooked. During the summer I’ll go to the free community day on Saturday until the school year starts and I have the funds to become a member. Bottom line, the workout at home thing does not work for me. I need a gym or facility to attend in order to hold myself accountable. For the rest of the summer, though, I am not stepping on a scale or entering my calories into anybody’s calorie counting app. I am just going to eat clean and get some kind of physical activity everyday and see where that gets me.

Nappy

The summer time is always good for my hair. I have more time and therefore keep up with my regimen better. I’ve pretty much been able to keep up with my washes every week, to 2 weeks depending on if I have a protective style or not. I love the summer because I can do wash and go’s. I don’t have to wake up early for work (until summer school) and the weather is nice and warm so it fine if its still wet. This past week I went to the beach with my parents and have my mom put some corn rows (NOT BOXER BRAIDS, but that’s a whole post of its own) with added hair. I have taken them out to wear a couple days wavy until I wash this weekend.  It is my hope to get some crochets at some point. I’m not sure if a want twist, braids, or curls, but I know a want to lob (long bob). Until then I will continue with my own regimen.

Nerdy

We finished “Hunter x Hunter” which I really enjoyed. The anime was completely different in the end than it was in the beginning. Each season was like a different anime with the same characters. I do feel like it was ended very quickly and I hope that the last episode I saw wasn’t the last episode they will ever make, but I will give my complete review in another post.

Now in anime we have began the one that seemingly started it all “Dragon Ball”. I cannot watch an episode of an anime without my husband saying “they got that from Dragon Ball Z” or “that was so Goku”. I am starting from the beginning of “Dragon Ball” to get all the back story before watching (according to my husband) that greatest “Dragon Ball Z”. And I must say that I do see parallels between Goku and many anime heroes of today.

In a 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom I included some things that I was looking forward to, a lot of them occurring this summer. One event was seeing “X-Men: Apocalypse”. I’m just going to ask that we all take a moment of silence for this movie…….(and begin rant) I had such high hopes, I could have been so great. I saw it a few weeks ago and since it was such a disappointment for me and its been a while I’m just going to say what I have to say now and leave it at that. This was supposed to be the best X-men movie to date. Apocalypse is their main big villain. First, the actors in the film were horrible and the characters were weak. Everybody in that last fight was just getting their ass beat until out of nowhere Jean Gray said “oh yeah I can use the phoenix force” and obliterated him. They did not build on any of the characters they added, except for Magneto, who’s character has been giving plenty of background. We get it, he gets angry, and want to destroy humans for how they mistreat mutants. Storm was the biggest disappointment for me, because she’s my favorite and she didn’t do anything. If they do another movie like this they may as well give the X-men the Disney so they can work with Marvel and the Avengers, but no way Alexandra Shipp’s Storm would be able to stand with Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Maybe I just set my hopes too high, but though it was just not the greatest. (rant ended)

The most anticipated event of our nerdy lives is fast approaching, Otakon! And we have to make big plans because after this year it will be moving from Baltimore to DC due to increased attendance. This year I have been battling whether or not I want to dabble in some cosplay. It wouldn’t be anything elaborate, but just a little to get into the spirit. Although some of my party has threatened to leave me if I hold them back with photos. Last year I truly experienced it because the first year I was 8 weeks pregnant and just slept in every panel and searched for food every chance I got. One day we will attend comic-con in San Diego, but for us this is as big as it gets right now. All year I’ve been loading up on my anime, outside of Naruto so I can be prepared. I need to practice an anime theme song to sing in the karaoke lounge. Look forward to pictures and an entire page dedicated to highlighting Otakon 2016.

Mommy

The terrible two’s are in full affect. And potty training is driving me crazy. But I am determined to make sure I set the foundation for a well behaved child and get him out of these damn diapers before the summer is over. We are taking the pull ups away. Right now he still wears them at daycare, but I’m only letting him do that for two weeks. After this next 3 day weekend (no summer school on Friday) I am letting his daycare teacher know he is wearing underwear and sending him with plenty of clothes and underwear to change into. I have created some charts. One is the reward positive behavior. There are categories of potty training, eating, and following directions. He earned stickers and different levels of prizes. I also have a behavior correction chart. This is more or less for my husband and I. He thinks I am to tough and I think he is too lenient. The chart takes the question out of it. When he misbehaves he moves to another color, the lower colors have punishments. I will provide a full detailed post outlining this plan.

That in a nutshell is what been happening in my life. The remainder of the summer holds many experiences; still juggling working summer school and trying to enjoy myself before the start of another school year and accomplish all the goals I set for myself and my family. Is anybody else having some similar experiences, or I am just alone in my crazy world?