Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Adventures in Potty Training - We Survived!

Ahhh potty training twins, what a job! Don't get me wrong, I won't brave to say they are completely potty trained 100% but our week long extravaganza was overall a HUGE success and we have said adios to daytime diapers! Max and Emma are now 30 months old and I think that has been a big part of our success. We attempted potty training back when they turned 2, but decided after a couple days that they weren't quite ready yet (especially Max). Over the years, I've heard a ton about the "3 Day Potty Training Method" from other multiple mamas that have had great success with it. So, I went to the website and downloaded the book. It's a super quick read, only about 50 pages, and I think I may have read it like 10 times just to be sure I didn't miss anything! Obsessive much? From what I gather from other moms, the method works about 99% of the time, pretty good odds if you ask me! Not to say there are NO accidents from there on out, but for the most part they've got it. You can download the book here.

Let me start by saying, that this is in NO WAY a manual on how to potty train. Jason and I just wanted to write down our thoughts so we can always remember this crazy week! Basically you stay HOME for 3 days (which we actually stretched into 5 just to be safe) and do nothing but focus on the potty while downplaying accidents and celebrating any little drip of pee that hits their little potties. We had told the kids the night before that they were going to get to wear brand new big boy and big girl underwear the next day, and that they weren't going to be babies anymore, but BIG kids! Emma seemed pretty excited about it, Max couldn't really care less (which is pretty much the norm). So Monday morning rolled around and when the kids woke up, we took their LAST diapers off ever!!! and had them throw them away and put on a new pair of underwear. Max chose Spiderman and Emma chose Dora.
Max so proud in his Spidy-roos

 Emma so pumped for her Dora panties

Let's do this!
 
Next, we marched around the house finding every diaper and took turns throwing them all away (we didn't actually throw them away, but donated them to a friend). I had stocked up on stickers, poster boards, prizes, treats, etc. the day before and was ready to hit the ground running! Since Max and Emma have been pretty comfortable with the potty for a while now (we have always had it in the bathroom since they were a year old), I feel like that put us at a little bit of an advantage over say someone just introducing the potty for the first time. The book recommends that you not ask them if they need to go potty, or force them to the potty every 20-30 minutes like some other methods, but rather say, "Be sure and let Mama & Daddy know when you need to go pee pee on the potty." And,  "You guys let Mama & Daddy know when you need to go pee pee on the potty..." and "Be sure to keep Spiderman/Dora clean and dry, we don't want to get Spiderman/Dora wet"- literally, we probably said these phrases 90 million times over the course of 5 days (no joke)!
Emma went potty first, which is just sooooo her personality! She got her princess sticker and a "white pretzel" (her treat of choice). We kept reminding Max and watching him like a hawk all morning, anxiously waiting for a giant puddle to appear on the carpet, but FINALLY, he went potty - I swear the kid's like a camel!
Big girl peeing on the potty
 
So big!
 
Emma so proud of her princess stickers
 
 
Max peeing like a big boy!
 
Max and his cars stickers

We had a few accidents here and there on day 1 (both poo and pee), but overall not bad. The book suggests training them during their naps and at nighttime too. I was all on board for nap time, but wasn't sold yet on the nighttime. Sure enough, they both wet the bed during their naps; we apparently did not empty our bladders enough before hand - whomp whomp! We also did not have any pull ups aka "big boy/girl nighttime underwear" for that first night, so we kinda knew that was going to SUUUUCCCCKKKK! And it did. By mid morning of day 2, I think I had already washed urine filled loads of laundry 2 or 3 times. And I gotta tell ya - stock up on the undies y'all! You couldn't pay me enough money to get the poop out of some of these underwear - bag it up and chunk 'em I say!

So Day 2 pretty much sucked! I was like. "what the heck?! what am I doing wrong here, why are they regressing?!" Emma had like 3 pee pee accidents - ugh it was awful! We did leave the house to go to swim lessons down the street, but they did really well in the car thank goodness! Max didn't poop at all on day 2, which made me start to worry that he was holding back and might be getting constipated, so I was sure to offer only high fiber foods - seriously, their lunch on day 2 consisted of strawberries, bananas, brown rice, toast with tuna, applesauce and broccoli! Luckily, he pooped the next day, granted it was the size of a freakin baseball! Poor little guy!

Max's sticker chart after day 2
 
Emma's sticker chart after day 2

Day 3 was AWESOME! They were really getting it! I think we had one pee accident that whole day! Poop was another story. Neither of them wanted to poop in the potty, but I tried not to stress about it too much and not make a big deal about it, but rather make grandiose praises for everything they did do right. Surely, they won't poop in their pants for life, right?! RIGHT?! BUT... Emma did take it upon herself to poop in the potty - woo hoo! I couldn't believe it! Completely unsolicited! We had promised them ice cream, treats, stickers, Sea World, the Zoo, Bounce House, new toy, a kidney, the world, ANYTHING THEY WANTED if they would just poop on the potty! Yes, apparently I AM that mom. Who knew? During their nap on day 2, I ran up to target and bought some night time pull ups - Jason and I were both on the same page - Hell to the No were we going to go through panties at night time again! Ahhhh, it was soooooo much better. It really makes you wonder how on earth we survived those early months of getting up countless times a night for feedings?!
Emma so proud of her poo poo!
 
Enjoying some pink and brown ice cream for her victory!
 
After day 3

After day 3
Day 4 was a breeze! The only accidents we had were poop related. Aaaaaand... Max pooped on the potty! Halle-freakin-lujah! He was the one I was most worried about in regards to pooping, but my boy pulled through and surprised us all! So, as promised, he got some green ice cream! I was really hoping that Emma's  jealousy would force her to step up and do it  too, but no dice. Naps were also going soooo well, this was the second day in a row that they both woke up dry! It was finally clicking and they were getting it. We even left the house again today for more swim lessons (which by the way, Emma finally started doing really well at since starting potty training - weird). Of course, Jason will hate that I'm telling you this, and I know Max will too one day, but yeah, he straight up wore Emma's panties, numerous times... princess ones, Dora ones, even the homemade Bubble Guppies ones. What kind of mother would I be to not let him wear the characters that he wants to wear?! He's 2 and just wants to do whatever his sister is doing, and I get that. My sweet innocent little baby boy - so cute in his little princess panties. These pics may or may not resurface MANY years from now on a wedding slideshow of some sort :)

reviling in his glory with some green and brown ice cream

Day 5, we were accident free again (except poop)! Jason and I would look at each other in amazement at night at how well this was going! This was also a HUGE day, because we decided, spur of the moment, to take the fronts off their cribs, making their cribs into toddler beds. I had been dreading this for months! But, Emma had been resisting all naps and bedtime for about 2 weeks and it was becoming quite violent, scratching, clawing, attempting to bite, just no bueno, and we were at our wits end and were desperate to try something... anything to make it stop. So, Friday morning, Jason made a couple big boy/girl beds, and the kids LOVED them! We are now on Day 6 of the big beds, and I cannot even begin to tell you how well they have down with them. It's a miracle really. God has clearly spread mercy on us. They seriously stay in their beds and don't get out, like at all. No more fighting at bedtime. It has done wonders for my sanity! Poor Emma does keep falling out though! Guess we should probably do something about that! #momoftheyear

Emma and Max in their big girl/boy beds
 

Sticker charts after day 5! Check out all those princesses and cars and trucks!


All in all---the 3 Day Potty Training Method definitely worked! (for the daytime at least). You just need to mentally prepare yourself to stick with it NO MATTER WHAT! Don't quit on Day 2! Hang in there!!! Be consistent! It WILL work! Going back to diapers was NOT an option. Just take that off the table from the get-go. The hardest part was being able to catch every single accident as it was happening--which is imperative for this particular method to work. I was pumped and so ready to be DONE WITH DIAPERS - woo hoo - it's like winning the lotto! Granted we aren't there quite yet - I know it's close - I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's glorious! I also can't wait to go to Sea World in a couple weeks as my their reward! Hyatt Hill Country San Antonio here we come!

Here are a few quick tips if you're getting ready to take the plunge with your little one(s) provided by my friend Heather, a mom of quads (if she can do it, anyone can do it!):

- Commit to staying home for *at least 3 consecutive* days.
- Bring in reinforcements, DO NOT attempt to do it alone, especially if you have multiples!
- Introduce them to the potty a few weeks before so they're a little familiar with it.
- Stock up on cleaning supplies & small rewards you know they'll enjoy.
- Don't stress the small accidents and CELEBRATE every drop of pee that hits the potty!
- As in everything, consistency is key, don't give up. As a mom of quads I LIVE by this.
- When traveling, pack the "just in case" necessities as well as a portable potty.
- My only other words of wisdom would be wait until they're older. All of the moms I know who have done this method has waited until their babies are closer to three years old. Not saying your 20month old can't use this particular method, just sayin' the success I've seen has been with older toddlers.
- Remember when things get tough, at least you are not potty training 4 at a time ;)

Good luck!

-Candice

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Avocado Taco Boats

I've only got one word... YUM-O! You have to check out these de-lish tacos:

http://peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com/2012/01/avocado-taco-boats.html#more

Enjoy!

Eggplant Parmesean

OK, so this recipe is DELISH! We try to do meatless Monday at our house and this is a go to recipe for us.

Here's the link for the homemade marinara sauce that I use - super yummy and easy to make:
http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/09/quick-marinara-sauce.html

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Flour, about 4 ounces (side note - you can buy this by the pound at Sprouts and it's cheaper than the pre-packaged bags at the grocery store)
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, 4 ounces
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt, to taste
2-3 eggs
12 1/4-inch slices eggplant
Olive Oil Spray
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cups of marinara sauce (see link above for homemade recipe)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1 cup
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Breading mixture:

1 cup Almond Flour (if you have a nut allergy, you can also use crushed up pork grinds)
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, 4 ounces
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt, to taste
2-3 eggs

Combine all the dry ingredients in a pie pan. Break 2 of the eggs into another pie pan and beat well with a fork. Start with 2 eggs and add the third one later if needed.

12 1/4-inch slices eggplant
Olive Oil Spray
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cups of marinara sauce
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1 cup
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Cut the eggplant into twelve 1/4-inch slices and you'll use 2 slice per serving. In a large skillet over medium heat spray Olive Oil Spray. Dip each eggplant in egg to coat, then lightly coat them with Parmesan-almond mixture. Fry the eggplant in hot oil until browned. (NOTE - you can also oven fry if you prefer) Place foil on a baking sheet and lightly cover with Olive Oil Cooking Spray then arrange the eggplant 1 inch apart; season lightly with salt and pepper.

Top each piece of the fried eggplant with 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce and 1/6 of the mozzarella. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350ยบ about 20 minutes until eggplant is heated and soft through out and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Now, we like to serve this over a bed of spaghetti squash (which we now use in place of all pasta now), a side salad, and a piece of Ezekiel garlic toast. Enjoy!

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

You must try these stuffed peppers - they are AMAZING!

http://peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com/2012/06/philly-cheesesteak-stuffed-peppers.html

The only thing I did differently was boil the peppers before stuffing them to make them softer and not as crunchy. And you should know that somehow, they are even better as leftovers! You can serve this with some cauliflower "rice" or corn or whatever you want. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holiday Bucket List

So, my friend Erin (fellow b/g twin mom life, love and lagniappe) posted this awesome holiday bucket list last year for her almost 2 year olds. After reading it, I could NOT WAIT for this year so I could steal her idea ;) I LOVE this time of year and wish it lasted longer than a month :( So because I'm tired and a little lazy, I literally copied and pasted the bucket list from the Ortuzars!

Holiday Bucket List

This year since the bambinos are two, I wanted to try and do as many holiday / winter things as we could this Christmas season. I want to start creating some family traditions and it is SO fun to see their little faces get all excited about something new and magical. I found a Winter Bucket List on pinterest that I thought could be a start for some fun and exciting things to do with the kids. I've added a few of my own ideas on it. Here are some things that we are going to try to get to before Christmas gets here (which is fast approaching, by the way).

1. Elf on the Shelf. I LOVE this tradition. If you don't know this story, you can check it out here. Now, I'm not sure if the kiddos will really get into it this year, but we'll see. 
2. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
3. Go to see Santa.
4. Decorate the Christmas tree as a family.
5. Go ice skating
6. Make / decorate a Gingerbread house
7. Give a gift / toy to a child in need.
8. Go for a carriage ride.
9. See the Nutcracker
10. Make fireplace s'mores.
11. Watch Christmas movies
12. Write a letter to Santa
13. Make Reindeer Food
14. Leave cookies and milk out for Santa.
15. Go look at Christmas lights.
16. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
17. Go to a Christmas program / play
18. Get new Christmas jahmmies
19. Go see a live Nativity
20. Read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible.

I'll be posting some pictures and stories of our adventures of our Bucket List!
 
Much Love,
Candice

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Eek! My babies are 2!

How can this be?! How is it possible that this year went by even faster than their first year! SLOW DOWN!



I've come to terms with my lack of updating skills in blog-land, and will no longer make foolish promises to keep more up to date stats on the goings on in the Miksovsky household, cause honestly it probably ain't gonna happen! These crazy 2 year olds keep me pretty busy these days. You may want to kick your feet up and get comfy, this is going to be a LONG post - sorry!

So, what have Max & Emma been up to lately???


Well... Emma LOVES babies, both real ones and her dolls. She likes to be the mommy and put them to bed pretended change their diapers feed them their bottles.

 
 
Emma and Max also love to color and paint and have completely mastered holding crayons, pens, and markers the correct way although, it appears that Emma is destined to take after her uncle Tim and be a lefty, whereas Max seems to favor his right hand.

 

They both also love school and all of their friends and teachers and beg to go all the time. Emma came home from school one day after three weeks of in MDO and was able to name every single kid in her class (the teachers made little photo books) - she is so smart! Even her teachers have told me several times how smart she is and that she is the 3rd teacher in the class! She's so bossy assertive. Max learned all the names pretty quickly after watching and listening to Emma tell us over and over and over!
Emma and Max can tell you every color (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, pink, black, & white). They are both working on counting to ten and their shapes (circle, square and triangle) and they are really pretty good, although not real consistent just yet.

Emma is in such an independent stage/phase right now, which I can only image will last for the rest of her life! I really don't want to crush her independent spirit, so I try hard to let her make as many choices/decisions as possible, which is not always easy!





Max doesn't seem to share the same kind of independence, but definitely knows how and does stand up for himself!
 
Max loves his new workbench that he got for his birthday from Mimi & Poppy and his Spiderman action figure that shoots spider webs. He also loves to push Emma's baby stroller around but couldn't care less about the babydolls! It's pretty funny - after they got it they were taking turns pushing it around the house, and as Max was pushing it, the baby fell out and Emma cried out, "Oh no!" with grave concern as Max rolled over the baby and eventually kicked it out of the way when it got caught in the wheel! Oh, boys! Yes, Max has been known to ask for bows be put in his hair and his nails to be painted too - future embarrassing photos... priceless :)

Max has been rather honery (sp?) lately; hitting, pushing, shoving, rough-housing, body slamming, etc. Emma and sometimes even mommy and daddy - not cool! He has been spending ALOT of time in time out lately. We've been trying to follow the Love and Logic principles, but some days I'm not sure that I am doing anything right! I guess every mom feels like that sometimes. I know he's just doing it to test his limits and to get attention, especially since Emma tends to demand attention from us, whereas Max is usually more reserved, I mean don't get me wrong, he def has a wild and crazy side!
In other Max news, he is doing really well in PT and recently got a free tricycle to help build his core strength. He LOVES running and jumping all.the.time! He is 100% BOY!
 

 Hopefully he will be able to stop treatment and graduate soon. We were a little concerned with his speech and verbal skills, so we asked Dr. Holt about it at their 2 year check up. He knows well over 100 words, but doesn't clearly articulate them, so we worried he may have some hearing issues, and come to find out, he has a lot of fluid built up in his ears which is the likely culprit. So... it looks like Max will need to have tubes put in his ears - poor Max - it's ALWAYS SOMETHING! We have an appt with the ENT next week to find out what our next step is. We also had his eye check up with Dr. B, which was actually a little disappointing. J and I both thought that his eyes had gotten better and was all but gone, but I guess we must have just gotten use to it :( Dr. B says it's still there and that he is 90% sure that he will need to have surgery, but that he wants to wait as long as possible before doing it. I hate the thought of my little baby having eye surgery - breaks my heart! I'm serious y'all, Max is the healthiest kid with the most medical issues I have ever seen! But honestly, I am so very thankful and feel so incredibly blessed that all of his issues have solutions or cures and are relatively easily corrected!
Let's see... here are some of your current favs:
*Favorite toys - baby dolls, stroller, baby bottles, spiderman, toddler game apps on iphone, forts, reading books, play kitchen, coloring, painting, playdoh, bubbles, workbench, kicking balls, and sliding.
*Favorite foods - raisin, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese w/ fruit, cheddar bunnies, PB crackers, waffles, toast, strawberries, cereal bars, cliff z fruit ropes (this is a very recent thing), and bananas.
*Favorite shows - the only thing they really ever watch is Bubble Guppies which they LOVE! But they also really like the Children's Favorite Songs DVD (Wheels on the bus is by far their fav), Baby Longhorn, and Praise Baby.
*Favorite phrases (most of these are Emma) "I do it", "Stop it", "I coming", "Need you" (which means hold me, something she wants me to do ALL.THE.TIME!), "bless you", that's sad", "don't want it", "Daddy fix it", "up here"(on the counter, her fav place to be when not in my arms), "love you", "I did it", "I find it", "don't like it", "it's pretty", "it's cute", "I pretty", "I cute", and of course "laungee" (laundry) - their FAV thing to help mommy with!

We tried the 3 day potty training at the end of September, and she did really good, but we decided that she wasn't quite there yet and we would try again in a couple months.

She LOVES to wear big girl panties and getting stickers when she goes potty. One day I walked in on her attempting to sit on the big potty - she almost fell in! Now she's got it down and refuses to go on her little potty - only on the big potty, and will even ask to go in public places.


It is soooo precious, they have gotten really good at praying before meals and even try to say the prayer: God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food. Amen. Melt my heart!
Both Max and Emma have mastered eating and staying mostly clean with a spoon and fork and drinking from a cup without spilling it or knocking it over (most of the time) although they still drink from their straw cups during the day. They still only drink water and a little milk in the morning and with dinner. I'm riding the no juice train for as long as possible!
So, at 2 years old here's what a typical day looks like:
Wake up between 6:45-7:30am and they get up with Daddy about 95% of the time while Daddy lets Mommy get a little bit more sleep - husband of the year, I know! They hang out, eat some bagels or waffles & drink some milk. I usually get up around 7:45 and make some breakfast, usually french toast on low carb bread and we all eat (Max aka the endless pit, is always up for more food, and Emma always wants whatever the big people have). After breakfast, Jason moves over to his office to work. On Mondays Max has PT at 9:00a, and we usually hit up the library afterward for our new letter of the week books. Then we come home, play a little bit, read books, eat some lunch (some crowd favs are grilled chicken, turkey and cheese roll ups, quesadillas, tuna/chicken salad, peas, corn, broccoli, strawberries, watermelon, raisins, bananas, cheese stick, yogurt, and applesauce). They usually go down for a nap around 12 and will sleep anywhere from 2-3 1/2 hours. When they get up we will usually play, make a letter of the week craft, read, go to the park, sing songs, dance, play outside, or go run errands. We typically eat dinner around 6/6:30 and they will almost always eat whatever we're eating plus some fruit. Unless it's cold, rainy or late, we will go on a family walk after dinner around the neighborhood in our trusty wagon while Uncle Tim does the dishes (ahh the perks of living with your brother-in-law!). Then it's back home for bath time. Daddy does bath time 99% of the time while I clean up the house and get everything ready for bedtime (pj's, lovies, etc.). After the bath, they get lotioned up, teeth brushed, dressed, and then we read some books, play a little bit, and then it's time for bed around 7:30p. We recently moved Emma to the guest room to a) let her sleep later in the morning b) not get woken up by Max at night when he decides to practice his singing and counting and c) open up more play space/book nook in their room. They both sleep great about 98% of the time (see above mentioned singing and counting late night sessions from Max)!
 
*Aside from them going to "school" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's essentially groundhog day every.single.day! But I wouldn't trade it for anything!
 
Here are some pics from the last couple months:
 






 



 



 



 



 





 



 



 







 






At this point I give up on trying to arrange pics in blogger (shoot me - there must be an easier way!)