Toddler Times: Potty Training, Please Send Wine!

After a very long week at work and in preparation of our big weekend, I truly thought I wouldn’t have time to blog for a Friday post. Surprise, here I am!

When I picked E up today, the following note was posted outside her classroom:

Saying E loves the water is a lie. E is OBSESSED with water. I must have heard “Look Momma. Water!” in her sweet, excited voice a million times when we were on vacation. We were at the beach so you can imagine how much water we saw.

The second bullet on the notice is where I had one of those moments that all parents have – a time when I question if I am parenting correctly. E is two and a half years old and is still not 100% potty trained. Go ahead and cast your judgement. I can handle it.

Deep down I feel she could have been trained months ago. Maybe. How do you know when it’s time to pull the plug on diapers? What was your plan?

On an average weekday E will use the potty before we leave school and before bedtime. This week I have been trying to put her on the toilet in the morning after she wakes up. Like her mother, she is not a morning person. If she’s not in the mood, then I don’t push it. She typically wakes up wet, but we also have dinner about an hour before bedtime and she thinks it is hilarious to chug her milk.

I have no idea what she does at school. Her teacher and I are on opposite schedules so we rarely see each other. It is my understanding that they were sitting her on the potty, but I have no idea if she has made any progress. A few months ago her teacher said “If she’s distracted, she could sit in her diaper all day.” Great… Hence, I think we will pass on pull ups. Yet, she tells us 90% of the time when she needs to go. Decisions, decisions.

One of my sorority sisters shared a “Three Day Bootcamp for Potty Training” document with me, but we haven’t had three days to be confined to the house.

Here is where I need you. What did you do? What worked for you or was a complete fail? I am open to any and all suggestions.

Help us! And as always, #sendwine. 

Summer Savories: Nom Nom Paleo’s Orange Dijon Chicken

Have you ever tried a recipe and thought to yourself “Hmmm. Could this become a staple in my meal planning?” Or as I like to ask, “IS IT AN OLD FAITHFUL?!?”

Back in college, my friend and I had a couple of items we referred to as Old Faithful. What is an Old Faithful you may ask? My Old Faithful category included a royal blue bikini and a black sleeveless shirt. My friend’s Old Faithful was a green tank top. Old Faithful was something you could rely on. Big plans for the night and nothing fits? No problem! Old Faithful is reliable during your time of need. I suppose Old Faithful could also be like an ex for some people…

Anyway, I get so excited when I discover a dish that has the potential to be an Old Faithful. Y’all, this is one of those times. Allow me to introduce on of the most delicious chicken recipes. 

In order for a recipe to have the honor of being placed into the Old Faithful category, it must meet certain criteria such as:
·         Easy – Dishes that can be prepped the night before or are quick to assemble can be particularly useful for this working mom.
·         Healthy – After completing a couple rounds of Whole30, recipes with real, wholesome ingredients are very important to me. Now, I definitely do not follow this lifestyle as much as I should or need too. See, I told you this would be an honest blog. Regardless, you can bet that unless it is a special occasion, all meals I cook follow the Whole30 guidelines.
·         Delicious – Obviously the meal must taste good, but it needs to pass the toughest food critic in the world, a toddler. Confession: I admit that I have a very good eater, but she’s still two.
·         Affordable – There are certain items I keep on the regular that may not be found in your average pantry, but recipes consisting of ingredients that cause me to shop on Amazon typically don’t make the cut on a regular basis. I also want to point out that when I say affordable, I mean economical for our family. I am willing to pay more for quality and sometimes negate the cost by drinking cheap wine. #cringe

Aside from being quite tasty, I loved that I could quickly whip up the marinade, toss in the drumsticks and stick it in the fridge to sit. As an added bonus, there are hardly any ingredients. Seriously, check out the list.

Chicken Drumsticks
¾ cup Dijon-style mustard (Whole30 followers, make sure your mustard is compliant. I used an organic Dijon from Publix.)
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons of salt (I used my favorite pink Himalayan salt

Fix It
Get it from the source herself at Nom Nom Paleo.

I’ve made this twice in the last few weeks and it has yet to disappoint. E ate three entire drumsticks by herself and J finished off the leftovers. If we had left any on the counter, I’m sure the foos would have stolen the rest. 

Now I want to know, do you have an Old Faithful? #exesdontcount


How to Vacay with a Toddler (Part II)

A few posts ago, I shared part of my list to help you successfully vacation with your toddler (well, at least it helped me on our trip). You can check it out here.

I’m equally excited to publish the second half of this list for your viewing pleasure.

Keep in mind that clicking on an image below will send you to the appropriate retailer’s site.

Without further ado, here are a few more items to add to your packing list.

1. Rash Guard Bathing Suit

In the past we have always dressed E in super cute, frilly bathing suits. However, I always wondered why parents would put their littles in short sleeve or long sleeve swim suits when there are so many other adorable options for swimwear. I debated about trying a rash guard suit, but since we were heading closer to the equator and I stumbled across the most adorable ruffled outfit, I gave it a shot. This suit fit true to size, had no zippers, claimed a high sun protection and was very attractive in bright colors with a pineapple print and ruffles. You can never go wrong with ruffles. After a few days at the beach, the hubs and I agreed that E should wear it for the remainder of our trip, if only to put our minds at ease. The sun is deadly, yall.


 2. Allergy Meds

While food allergies do not run in our family history, J and I took appropriate steps exposing E to seafood prior to leaving for the beach. #responsibleparenting Although she seemed fine after eating shrimp and fish ahead of time, I still brought allergy medicine just in case. Making a long story short, E developed a cough, J freaked out and took her to the CVS minute clinic. I passed on that field trip since I assumed it was nothing serious. J should have realized since I, of all people, wasn’t freaking out that it probably was not a big deal, but better safe than sorry I suppose. In the end, the doctor said all E needed was allergy medicine. Mom for the win! Even if you think you won’t need the meds, pack them. Anything could happen and you don’t want to run around an unfamiliar town in the middle of the night if it can be avoided.

3. New Hair Styles

This is geared more towards little girls than boys, but have an idea what will work best for hair control on vacation. E was blessed with insanely awesome hair. It’s long, decently thick and always in her face. In preparation for our wet and sandy days, I figured pony tails would be sufficient. Was I wrong! Pony tails did not fit well under her hat and the water (I’m guessing) would break her hair bands. #highponyfail I started experimenting with French braids and fishtails. Both were much better options and had the potential to be super cute if I had practiced beforehand. I love this assortment of hair ties and suggest putting Mickey Mouse on while you work your magic. How do parents get anything accomplished without Toodles and the gang? It’s like crack. #saycrackagain

4. Over-sized Beach Bag

Everyone will tell you how much more luggage you will have when taking a family trip. Even my mother said they made two trips from the condo to the beach the first time they took me on vacation. After hearing this multiple times, I began my search for an oversized beach bag. As always, Amazon delivered the most perfect beach tote at an affordable price. Plus, it adorned a navy chevron pattern. #winning Some reviews complained about the handle breaking, but we had zero issues. It was ginormous and every day it lugged three large, beach towels, five containers of sunscreen, beach toys, books, phones, wallets and E’s puddle jumper float to the beach. It could not have been a more ideal solution. This bag and our cooler tote were the only items we needed to carry.

5. Grandparents

When I polled the Facebook faithful about what I needed to bring to Florida, the cleverest reply was “grandparents.” Congrats to Flag who is 110% correct. If you have the option to bring a few extra hands, why not do it? While the time spent with the three of us was an absolute dream, I am looking forward to next year as we will have grandparents, aunts and uncles joining us. The more hands on deck, the merrier!

For those of you who still have a summer vacation to look forward to, I am green with envy. If you have a little munchkin (or two) traveling with you, my wish is that these items and the previous list will prove useful to you.

Have anything else to add? Please share! Like I said, we are already preparing for next year!