Happy Halloween!

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Elsa Drinking Game

Happy Halloween friends!

I saw this Elsa Drinking Game on Facebook and had to laugh out loud because my 5-year-old, along with millions of other little girls will be donning an ice princess dress tonight. There was no talking her out of it.

Yep, Elsa is coming to your door.

Again, and again, and again…

DRINK UP!

Have a fun and safe holiday!

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Tattling Vs Reporting

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Tattling is second nature to my 4-and-a-half-year-old right now. He tattles on his sister, on the parent he’s not with, the dog…you name it, my little man tattles.  Although I know this is totally normal for kiddos to do, I realized it may be time to write a blog about teaching kids the difference between tattling vs reporting – and implement it at our home home, stat.

tattling vs reporting

Now, to be fair, my son doesn’t think he’s tattling. He’s just “sharing.”  And amidst some of his tattles, he really is “sharing” important information.

So I started thinking about how to best extract the necessary information from him, when it comes to safety issues or important tidbits, in his rambling of tattles and chatter.

Here We Go…

First, I sat down and asked him: “Do you know what it means to tattle?”

I figured this was a great place to start.  Because I could ask him not to tattle a 100 times a day, but unless he really knew what it was, it would go right over his head.

He answered, “Talking mommy?  About a lot of stuff?”

Well, sort of. Okay, “problem 1″ identified.  Define tattling for my kid.

I explained it this way:

Tattling is when you tell on someone who is doing something that maybe you don’t like or agree with…but isn’t hurting anyone or anything.  You are telling the information to get someone in trouble. 

Reporting is when you give an adult information - like mommy, daddy, or your teacher – that will help someone or keep someone safe.  

He mulled that one over.  I think we will have to reinforce this concept a lot during this process.

Tattling Vs Reporting Charts

I’ve seen some “Tattling vs Reporting” charts for kids…and one of my friends actually has a poster up in her house, defining the two.

It was time for me to pick a chart I liked.

And after searching around, I decided to try this one I found on Pinterest, via the website Lessons4Now.  I found this very simple, very easy to make T-chart on their site that explains the differences pretty simply.

reporting-vs-tattling

My little man and I studied this chart together, and I read it to him.  Then, we talked about examples…

Me: “So if your sister walks out the front door without an adult, and you tell me, is that tattling or reporting?”

Him:  ”Reporting!”

Me:  ”If daddy cooks you peas for dinner, instead of giving you applesauce, is that tattling or reporting?”

Him:  ”Definitely reporting, mommy!  I don’t like peas anymore.”

Okay, so we have some more work on this – lol. But I’m going to keep having these discussions with him, and ask him to tell me the differences between tattling and reporting….and if you have a little tattler, I encourage you to do the same.

I also printed this chart out, pasted it on heavy card stock, and taped it up in the playroom.  (It’s good reinforcement for my 1st grader, too).

Who knows….I may even throw in a reward chart for the first week or two, as extra incentive for him to correctly differentiate between the two!

How do you handle tattling with your children?  Any tips or tricks to share?

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Guest Blog: &*it Happens.

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Potty Accidents in Older Children

I asked my brave sister to share her unfortunate experience with potty accidents in older children to help any moms who might be experiencing the same challenges.  Because I KNOW she is not the only one who has had to deal with this parenting issue.

Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing.

Here is her story…

So, we all know potty training can be one of the WORST parts of parenting. Like, ever. The messes, the anxiety of accidents in the car or in public, the “I don’t have to go!” we hear from our kids thousands of times when you KNOW they have to go.  Even less fun is when your formerly potty-trained child regresses, but potty training regression in older kids can make life a living nightmare.

I know because it happened to us.

However, there is hope! With the help of our pediatrician, we nipped the problem in the butt (hee hee) so I felt compelled to share our experience with you.  I also feel that this regimen will help us immensely when I am ready to tackle getting our younger one to go on the potty!

Our initial try at potty training was pretty much a success.  My son was 2 years, 9 months when we spent a weekend in the backyard au natural. I was on bedrest with my second son and it was Mother’s Day weekend.  Good times.

He finally decided he wanted to wear his big boy Yo Gabba Gabba! underwear and we went for it.  I was pretty impressed how quickly it did happen with going #1 and #2 still took a few more weeks (I may have been blocking it out…it may have been a few months!).  So I thought we were finished potty training.

He went off to preschool a few months later and only had one tiny accident there in 2 years.

Flash forward to summer…

Pool Time = Poo Time (YIKES!) 

At 4 years old and totally potty trained for over a year, that summer during every trip to a public pool (or my parent’s jacuzzi…sorry mom and dad…) resulted in massive #2 accidents.  It was HORRIFYING.

I felt so out of control of the situation.  And since he was a BIG 4 year old, they don’t make disposable swim diapers that size. Luckily we found these swim diapers for big kids online and began to call them his swim underwear.

I could’t make sense of the situation because it seemed he was regularly going #2.  I thought he was maybe swallowing too much chlorinated water???  Whatever the case, we took a break from the pool.

[You're welcome.]

So along comes the following summer and now he’s FIVE.

We had been having a lot of struggles in the #2 department over the previous months.  He began to hold it in because of a few instances where he was a tad constipated.  There is actually a term for holding poop in ~ encopresis.  Yep, always something new for us to learn in parenting, isn’t there?

The fear of going became a constant struggle between us.

#MomFail

Then, matters were made worse when I unknowingly gave him an accidental “juice cleanse”  with my excitement over my new  NutriBullet ”smoothies” (affiliate link).

Let’s just say that more than one kale smoothie a day CAN be a little too much of a good thing.

So then he became fearful after having diarrhea and would hold it in also.  I was at the end of my rope with what to do.

Kindergarten Is Coming (Time to PANIC)

He was starting kindergarten in 4 weeks. The thought of him having consistent accidents there was giving me the worst anxiety.

The pool time accidents were still happening. He was (in our opinion!) old enough to know when he had to go and run to the stairs in time.  But it seemed as if he had no bodily control of it once he was in the water. It was one of the hardest parenting issues we have had to deal with.

What was I going to do about this problem? I called my amazing pediatrician for help, and she SAVED us.

If you are struggling with potty training accidents in older children, I hope this might help give you some ideas too. I know firsthand just how awful big kid accidents and potty training regression in older kids can be. I only wish we would have done this sooner.

Our Doctor’s Advice 

Our pediatrician helped my son understand the pee and poo are trash in our bodies and we have to take it out.  Every day.

And that when when mommy or daddy say go and you don’t feel like you have any in you…GO and try.

It was so nice to get some back-up on this!

She then explained to me that a pool (or bath) can be like a mini-enema and if he was holding ANY #2 in at that time, it would automatically need to come out once he was in the water.

We needed to get him on a regular bowel movement schedule, so his bowels were being emptied daily to help stop any urge to hold it in.

Operation Bowel Regimen was on.

Yes, a regimen was to be put in place to try to regulate his bowels. We were skeptical, but it WORKED. Moms, it worked. Here’s how we did it.

OPERATION BOWEL REGIMEN 

The goal is to get your child on a bowel regimen to go poop on a schedule, same time daily, with stools that are soft enough to not cause discomfort.

You can use a stool softener like flax seed oil in a smoothie, prune juice, apple juice, dried fruit or we found that fiber gummies worked the best for him [Please ASK YOUR DOCTOR before putting your child on any sort of stool softener FIRST.]

Time to Poop!

After a meal is usually the most successful time to go so choose a time that works for your family.  We chose after breakfast so that he could go before school.

Sit them on the potty with an activity…books, crayons, a small game, etc. whatever they can do to sit an relax.  I wouldn’t suggest an iPhone unless you have an Otterbox on it.  We lost one in this process in the potty.

Then wait.  Until they go.

Then PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE.  Make it a positive experience for them!!!!

It took us a few days of getting the formula right, but now he runs into the bathroom by himself after breakfast and just does his business.  All is right with the world.

I really hope this piece of advice can help someone out there struggling with this!  Do you have any potty training regression in older kids tips to share? Things that worked for you? Please share! 

© Ekostsov | Dreamstime.comToilet Paper On Holder Photo

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Dealing with Mattress Attachment [and Knowing When It's Time for a New One]

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Disclosure: I am a Serta brand ambassador and am compensated for my participation in the program and have received complimentary mattresses for review. I LOVE my Serta mattress. Love! 

When to Replace a Mattress

Today’s post is about when to replace a mattress, and how that process can sometimes be delayed due to, what I call “mattress attachment.” Could you be dealing with mattress attachment?

First, let me share our story.

Back in 2011, when Serta Mattresses launched their first generation of memory foam mattresses, the iComfort Sleep System, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be a brand ambassador and received an iComfort Prodigy mattress to report our experience.

It was a serendipitous opportunity as our previous mattress was close to 12 years old, and I had no idea just how poorly we had been sleeping until we got our new iComfort mattress.

The difference my husband and I experienced sleeping on our iComfort mattress for the first time (an upgrade from a very old mattress) was extraordinary.  I became VERY attached to my bed.

Mattress Attachment 

We LOVED our 2011 iComfort Prodigy, so much so that when Serta contacted me about returning for my 3rd year as a brand ambassador in 2014, with the opportunity to select a new 2014 iComfort mattress to experience the improvements Serta had made, I became a little anxious because I was quite attached to my 2011 iComfort.

I was having mattress attachment issues. Big time.

How many people out there put off shopping for a new mattress, even though it’s TIME for one, because of the attachment they have to their bed?

Think about it.

When traveling or away from home, how many times do you wish to get home to “your own bed?” Or, when you are sick, how all you want to do is curl up “in your own bed?”

Our beds are a source of comfort and security – a symbol of home. Which is why shopping for a new mattress can be somewhat upsetting. If you have put off buying a new mattress because you too, have mattress attachment issues, I get it. I feel you.

But mattresses, even quality ones, have a lifespan, so it’s important to know when it is time to replace your mattress.

And, once I got over my mattress attachment, and we had the opportunity to sleep on the 2014 iComfort Prodigy mattress, well, let me just say, I didn’t know it was possible, but now I am even MORE attached to my mattress because it is a little slice of heaven. Full 2014 iComfort review to come. Stay tuned.

When To Replace a Mattress? 

The National Sleep Foundation states that a mattress has an average lifespan of about 8 years.

How Do You Know if It’s Time to Replace Your Bed? 

If you have any question about whether or not it’s time for a new mattress – take note of your sleep quality.

Do you wake up with any sore muscles? Are you tired or stiff in the morning? Do you toss and turn or wake up a lot during the night? Do you find you actually sleep better in a hotel than you do at home?

If you answered yes to any of the above, and if your mattress has been around awhile, it might be time to go mattress shopping.

And believe me, it will be the BEST thing you ever did.

A Prime Example of Mattress Attachment 

Just the other night, we were out to dinner with a bunch of friends when one of the men complained about being up for two hours the previous night because he hadn’t been sleeping well.

They had NO idea they were sitting next to a Serta brand ambassador. I almost wanted to apologize in advance for the earful he was in for with that innocent comment.

I casually asked how long they had had their mattress?

They looked at each other, and said, “I don’t know, maybe at least 10 or 15 years old.”

I told them, “Time for a new mattress!”

His wife then said, “You know, I DO wake up with a sore neck every morning!”

“Time for a new mattress!”

“But I love my bed!” the husband exclaimed.

Prime example of mattress attachment.

Again, I GET it, but I the level of love and attachment you will have to your NEW mattress once you are sleeping full nights’ of quality sleep will pale in comparison and you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.

His wife got on board, “We probably DO need a new mattress!”

The husband had no idea it would turn out to be a very expensive dinner now that he was going home with a wife on a mattress shopping mission. Sorry. But, actually I’m not because I KNOW just how happy they will be when sleeping well, really well on a new mattress.

So, I ask you, how long have you had your mattress?  Is it time to replace your bed?

Here are some resources to help you:

1. Mattresses 101

2. Mattress Shopping Tips

3. Mattress Shopping? There’s an App for That!

4. iComfort Mattress Review

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A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends [Giveaway]

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Day Out with Thomas 2014

sponsor 

I don’t know about you, but my 4-year-old son is obsessed with trains.  Obsessed. Especially with the beloved Thomas the Train and his best bud, Percy.

So when I learned that this year’s “A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” annual event in Perris, CA is showcasing a talking Thomas, AND including Percy in the fun, we were elated!

If any of you have little Thomas fans in your family, mark your calendars for next month and plan to make your own”Day Out with Thomas,” and enter to win four FREE tickets in our giveaway below!

thomas-tank-engine-(2)

All About ”A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends”

A Day Out With Thomas™: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014 offers families the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with the famous #1 engine – Thomas.

And, for the first time, Percy, the locomotive, will be joining him at the Orange Empire Railway Museum.  When I told my son, his little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. This is a big deal.

Oh, and I did mention that Thomas will actually be talking, right?!  Plus, you can meet Sir Topham Hatt®, the Superintendent of the Railroad. (Does anyone else think…”You’ve been a very useful engine”???)

You and your kiddos can spend the day enjoying a wide range of activities, like playing at train tables, participating in building activities, train artwork, temporary tattoos, train crafts, storytelling and videos.

There will also be games, coloring, live children’s music, a petting zoo, bounce houses, sing-alongs, a Thomas gift store…and that’s not even all of it.

Take a street car and trolley ride, and explore the amazing Orange Empire Railway Museum. More than plenty to do and see and enjoy while you’re there!

About The Orange Empire Railway Museum

The Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA (close to Lake Elsinore) is a fantastic destination spot for any train lover in your family.

In addition to special events, like this Day Out with Thomas, you can also meander through their museum…their website calls it the West’s largest collection of railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings, and other artifacts dating from the 1870s.

A Day Out with Thomas 2014 Details 

Departure dates are Nov. 8, 9, 11, 15 and 16.

For ticket purchases and information, call the Orange Empire Railway Museum office at 951-943-3020 or visit www.thomasperrisca.oerm.org.

Please arrive no later than one hour prior to your scheduled departure. Tickets start at $21 for ages two and older and this is a “rain or shine” event.

A Tiny Oranges Giveaway!

It’s giveaway time!  They will be giving away a package of FOUR FREE TICKETS to A Day Out With Thomas™ the Tank Engine & Friends.”

Isn’t that great news?!  If you win the tickets, you request your date…request a morning (9 to 9:30 a.m.) or afternoon (after 2:30 p.m.) preference…and they check for availability and choose the specific time.   GOOD LUCK!
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