Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Top Ten Reasons Not To Potty Train and Five For

Potty Training
My hubby is trying to potty train our 4th LOL
Potty training is one of the biggest time-consuming stresses for a mom. With my first son, I fell into the potty training mom trap, where you put them on the potty every few hours, every day, and even if they don't go, you cheer and praise them for just sitting there. Then you reward them with a treat. M&M's was the special treat I bribed my son with. 

How did it go? Well...I started potty training him when he was 2 1/2 years old. That's the age my mom said my sisters and I were potty trained. (the pressure was on!) Months went by. Frustration and failure set in. But I never gave up. 

Every day, I would put him on the potty, cheer and get him excited. And every day, I would be mentally exhausted and frustrated, feeling like a failure as a mom.  Then one day, right around my son's 3rd birthday, he looked at me and with the biggest excited smile said he wanted to go potty. I put him on and from that day on he was potty trained.

I will never forget that look he had on his face. It was the look of "I'm ready!" And it was that look that made me only potty train one out of four of my kids. 

Top Ten Reasons Not to Potty Train!

1. More time for mommy. It takes a lot of time and patience to potty train. I used that extra time to write and do other mommy projects.

2. Shopping is quicker. It took me twice as long to shop once my kids were potty trained. Every time I walked into a store, they would have to go to the bathroom, which would take a good 20 minutes out of my shopping time. They would sit on the potty and talk and giggle and talk. With diapers, they can urinate in it in the shopping cart and I could continue shopping.

3. Less laundry due to accidents. My boys would always wait to the last minute to go to the bathroom, causing bathroom accidents and resulting in more laundry and clean-up for me.

4. You don't have to worry about putting your toddler on a disgusting port-a-potty. 

5. Less toddler tears and tantrums, trying to get your toddler to sit on the potty.

6. Mommy stress reduction. Potty training is beyond stressful. It's your will against your child's will. And somehow the child always wins. 

7. Long car trips without having to stop for a potty break. Our vacation drive time increased almost an hour due to having to constantly stop for potty breaks.

8.  Mom's have more confidence. 

9. Sleep through the night. Diapers help take care of those nightly bed wetting moments.

10.  One day it will just click and your toddler will want to be potty trained. Here is a potty training readiness checklist I found at babycenter.com that may help you in the process.


Top Five Reasons to Potty Train:

1. Cost savings. There was a time, where I was using 30 diapers a day. With potty training, comes more money in your pocket.

2. No more stinky diapers. Huge benefit!

3. No more baby got a big butt. Seriously, there are some pants that my toddler doesn't fit in because we can't get them over her diaper.

4. No more diaper rash.

5. To feed your mommy ego. I swear its a competition for some mom's that their child was potty trained so much faster and earlier than another. If you feel peer pressure from your mom or friends, then go for it.

It is totally up to each mom on if they want to spend hours upon hours a week trying to get their little toddler potty trained. If you do, check out the 20 Best Every Real Mom Potty Training Tips from Parents Magazine. 

My recommendation for potty training is to not push it. Ask your toddler if they'd like to try going to the bathroom. If they do, then go for it. If they don't, why force (or bribe) them to do something they aren't ready for. Keep asking every couple of weeks, but don't get stressed out if it doesn't happen immediately.

Please feel free to share how potty training your toddler went for you!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Patriots Cheating! Are They Deflating Kids Faith?

Please tell me it's not true! Please tell me that my favorite NFL Team -"The New England Patriots", didn't deflate the footballs just to win! Please tell me that you would never stoop this low just to win! Please tell me that you will always be honest and play with integrity!

We, NFL Patriots fans, deserve an honest answer to if you deflated 11 of 12 footballs prior to the NFL Super Bowl Playoff game as reported by Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

If it comes out that you not only cheated, but lied about it, my kids and I will be wearing blank red, white or blue shirts on NFL Super Bowl XLIX 2015 (#NoPatriotsLogo), signifying that I as a parent will not support cheating or lying just to win a football game. 
My kids NFL Patriot Fans

I have been a loyal New England Patriots fan since I can remember, having been raised in southern New Hampshire. And I raised my kids to absolutely love the "Patriots". But I'm torn, and my kids faith in this team has been deflated.

The word "Patriots" means a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. They are the ones we love because they are there for us, the people! They represent us as a nation. They are the ones who wear red (valor), white (innocence) and blue (justice). 

This Super Bowl XLIX 2015 Playoff game has left a bad taste in my mouth. There are people who are trying to destroy the Patriots (and Bill Belichick's) reputation. Is that what is happening here? Or did the Patriots again do something unethical?

That leaves me as a mom, a fan, having to sit down with my kids and explain why our favorite NFL team cheated or why people are trying to ruin the Patriots reputation. What world do we live in? What message are we trying to teach our children?


My oldest son NFL Patriots Fan
I pride myself as a parent to raise my kids to be honest. That is one of the greatest messages I convey in the Wunderkind Family children's books. And when it comes to sports, or any competitive activity, my kids know that you win or lose with pride and portraying great sportsmanship. If you practice and try your best, then that is what counts - win or lose. 

The New England Patriots NFL team have left loyal, dedicated fans angry, disappointed and confused. They, the Ravens, the Colts and the media have left parents wondering if role models will truly exist again.

Cheating and lying are not acceptable in my house; as is making up stories that hurt other's. 

I hope the facts come out. And if it's true about the New England Patriots, my family will not be wearing their logo on NFL Super Bowl XLIX 2015. If it was a rumor where someone wanted to again tarnish the Patriots (specifically Belichick and Brady) reputation, I hope they are punished for the emotional ups and downs they have caused us fans.

Update, February, 2015! I'm really glad the Patriots won the Super Bowl! And after discussing with my kids, we ended up wearing the Patriots logo! 

Update, May 7, 2015! Ugh! The media is saying it's true - Brady was involved with deflating the footballs. I'm really bummed. Why can't people and teams be ethical and honest? Why can't celebrities be good role models for our kids. Brady really let us down. He deserves to be benched if it is true. Winning at all costs isn't a viable answer. Winning because you are the best, is!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

How to Paint Wine Glasses - Adding Glitter and Gems (Part Three)

Hooray! Your diy hand painted wine glass is almost finished! Now it's time to add some glitter and sparkle to your diy beautiful glass piece.

Custom hand painted wine glasses

Supplies you will need: 
  • Dried or baked hand painted wine glass. 
    • DO NOT bake your glass piece after you have adhered glitter or gems. They will burn and melt.
  • Glitter colors of your choice.
    • The glitter I prefer is Creatology Glitter Shakers.
    • I tried really fine glitter and it doesn't adhere very well.
  • Gem shape and size of your choice.
    • Gems for arts and crafts
    • I purchase most of my gems at Michaels Arts & Crafts right after a holiday.
    • Most gems I find on sale are located in the scrapbooking or holiday display craft aisle.
  • Gem glass adhesive.
    • Aleene's Glass and Bead Adhesive is what I use.
  • Glitter glue for glass.
    • Delta Air Dry PermEnamel Clear Gloss Glaze OR
    • Mod Podge - I found this doesn't work as well. But some people like it.
  • Paint brush for glitter.
  • Paper towel to remove glitter mistakes.
  • Medium-sized container used to catch excess glitter.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Tweezers to pick up and adhere small gems and beads.
Make sure you are in an air-vented room. 
  • The gem glue smell is extremely strong and could knock out a gorilla.
  • If you are pregnant, I would suggest doing this outside or not doing at all. 
READ all glue labels before you begin to know dry times and warnings. 

Adhere glitter first because the glitter glue will dry faster than the gem glue. This way you can do both steps within an hour of each other.

Steps to adhere glitter to wine glass:
  1. Dip tip of paint brush in the Clear Gloss Glaze.
    Clear Gloss Glass Glaze
  2. Paint a layer of the clear gloss glaze in the area you would like glitter. 
  3. Open the glitter container.
  4. Hold the wine glass in your hand over the medium-sized container.
  5. Pick up the glitter and sprinkle the glitter over the area of glue. I completely cover it.
    Glitter on Hand Painted Glass
  6. Carefully blow off the excess glitter into the container. 
  7. Make touch-ups.
    Adding Glitter on Hand Painted Wine Glass
  8. Carefully dump the excess glitter in the container back into the glitter shaker.
  9. Wait at least 30 minutes before adding glitter to another area. This way you won't mix colors.

Steps to adhere gems to wine glass:
  1. Add a small amount of the platinum bond glue to the wine glass. You don't need much. 
    Gems on Hand Painted Wine Glass
  2. Place gem on top of bond adhesive and press down.
    Adding Gems to Hand Painted Wine Glass
  3. Continue adhering all gems.
    Painting Wine Glass Stem
  4. You should not wash your wine glass for 10 days after adhering gems to ensure the platinum bond gem adhesive has completely dried.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Parenting Tweens: 10 Social Etiquette Do's and Don'ts for 2015

Parenting tweens (and teens) today is so different from when I was growing up. My parents didn't have to worry about my sisters and I sexting, maybe sex-talking, but definitely not sexting. This just wasn't possible because we had one family phone fixed to our kitchen wall which was analog.  

They also didn't have to learn another language to communicate with us - the language of Social Media Acronyms like...
  • P911 - Parent Alert
  • CTN - Can't Talk Now
  • FWB - Friends With Benefits
  • MOS - Mom Over Shoulder. 
And that's just the beginning! As a parent you need to be aware of The Secret Language of Teens: 100 Common Text and Social Media Acronyms.

Getting back to the differences. One major difference between my generation and my kids was that privacy existed.

So what's the big deal? 
Every parenting generation has its worries, right? Yes. But our parenting generation is faced with a much greater responsibility - teaching tweens social etiquette in a digital age.

The following are some social etiquette rules for parents of digital tweens that I've put together that hopefully will help instill some tween social awareness in 2015!

Parenting Digital Tweens Social Etiquette

  1. Commit to making 2015 a year of making eye contact with your children. It may be uncomfortable for them at first, but eventually they will get the hang of it. 
  2. Put down those mobile phones when you are having a conversation! I find it so rude when I'm trying to have a conversation with someone and their eyes and fingers are glued to their mobile phone. Here's what we do in my house. If one of my tweens is texting or playing a video game when I am talking to them, I politely ask them to put it down until we are finished. If they continue to text or play their game, I take their phone away for a week. Trust me, your tween will get the picture pretty quickly without you having to Instagram it.
  3. That leads me into meal time. Turn off all phones, eReaders and the television and be present. Sit down and talk. Find out a little about each other. Let your tween know that their friends will survive 30 minutes without an update on what they are doing in their house.
  4. When out at a restaurant, again have your tween turn their phone off or put it on vibration. This goes for mom's and dad's too. Kids learn from you. If you are constantly checking your email when out and about, your tween is going to think that is acceptable behavior. Seriously, why even go out to dinner? You could have just ordered in and saved yourself time and money.
  5. Medical conditions - exception to social rule #4: Our tween daughter has type 1 diabetes. When she is not with me, I always have my phone on and close by just in case she needs to reach me. It's part of my life. But I still respect my time when I'm talking with other people. I keep my phone's volume on low and glance at it if it rings. If it isn't my daughter, I ignore it. If it is, I explain to them that I need to get this call.
  6. One hour every day have your tween go outside and play a sport without their phone or electronic gadget. Exercise is so important. Kids today just aren't getting enough. 
  7. Bad Weather - exception to social rule #5 : On days where it's bitter cold or rainy, have your tween do an art project, build a puzzle or play a board game. It's not that I don't allow my kids to play a video game or text a friend or watch television. I just limit their time on electronic devices to one hour, so they can build other skills and get people interaction. 
  8. Parents, you need to teach your tween what is acceptable picture (and video) taking and sharing is, and what isn't. I'm amazed with some pictures people share on Facebook and Instagram. Seriously, who wants to see a bloody wound or a popped zit? Tweens need to know that they should never take or share pictures of themselves in their underwear or bathing, even if private parts aren't showing. And pictures of animal private parts should also not be taken or shared. They need to understand the consequence of taking pictures and having other's take pictures of them. An inappropriate picture posted and shared on the Internet can easily go viral.
  9. This leads me into teaching tweens that how they act out in public could actually be captured on camera or video. I don't know a soul who doesn't own a phone without a camera. Camera's are everywhere and pictures are being taken by everyone. Kids need to realize that how they act and what they do out in public can easily be video'd or caught on camera. There is a social responsibility for parents to help tweens understand that privacy is a thing of the past and getting caught doing something irresponsible or stupid (like vandalizing someone's property) is a reality.
  10. Lastly, tween parents bring back family time! One night a week, enjoy a meal together without any portable electronic devices or the television on. Share stories. Laugh. Listen. Then play a game. My kids love playing charades. Do you know what games your kids enjoy?
I welcome any other tips to help tween parents instill social awareness in their kids!