Potty Training a Spirited Child

Here we are.  Discussing a topic I never thought would grace the presence of my blog … potty training.  I debated for awhile whether or not to post on this and ended up deciding that there were probably other moms sitting in my shoes that may need to hear what I have to say.


Last summer when Emmie was 2.5 I felt this incredible need to try and start potty training her.  It seemed like all of my friends had trained their toddlers already and I was falling behind the curve.  But the thing is, those kids are my kid.  You see, Emmalyne is spirited.  She likes to do things a certain way and pulls back when you try to change her.  She feels her feelings passionately.  She is a complete joy and there is not a single thing about her spirited personality I would change.  However, that spirit made for a difficult potty training experience.  So here I am sharing what I have learned about potty training a spirited child.

potty training a spirited child


Are you ready for my crazy words of wisdom?  Forget everything you have read about potty training and just go with your gut.  Remember how much we loved baby led weaning in our family?  Well that carried over into toddler led potty training.  We tried everything before just letting go – the three days method, bare bottomed … you name it, we tried it.  Nothing worked and led to tears (both hers and ours) and extreme anxiety about the potty.


So we baked off.  We let Emmie take the lead.  We would ask her if she had to go and if she said no, then that was that.  No more timers, no more potty breaks, nada.  And you know what?  It worked.  Once she felt like she was in control of the situation she decided she was ready.  And while there have been some accidents since, our lives are that much better.


Another fun thing that may have helped?  My mom got her a “potty baby” … basically a doll with her own talking potty.  Em became obsessed with it and the day she got it was the day something changed in her.


potty baby


So my final advice is this … if you’re facing an uphill battle with your toddler about potty training maybe it’s time to back off.  It doesn’t matter if everyone else’s toddler is using the potty.  All that matters is what is working for yours. And you both are doing awesome.

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I would be remiss not to say that there is a certain point where not using the potty may be a medical problem so always talk about your concerns with your healthcare provider!

Tips for Managing Stress

Stress.  It’s something we all have to deal with at one point or another.  You might be able to say I have been the Stress Queen over the last 15 months of PA school.  Juggling being a Physician Assistant student in an intense program with being a mom and wife has been challenging.  Add in Chris’ job and travel it has been at times overwhelming.  And I know I am not the only one.  In just a few weeks I am going to be helping to treat real patients with real stresses.  Honing my own personal skills has been important not only for myself but for my patients.  So today I am also sharing my tips for managing stress with all of you :)

Tips for Dealing with Stress

1.  Center Yourself

Great ways to manage stress include centering activities like yoga or meditation.  I have a mantra that I repeat to myself while sitting in a quiet room to help bring my focus inward.  Yoga is incredibly effective for me as well.  The second I start a class I can instantly feel the stress start rolling off my shoulders and out of my body.  These methods are particularly effective when I start feeling overwhelmed.


2.  Break a GOOD Sweat

At the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes a hard, heart pounding workout is the best thing for you.  Busting out a HIIT workout is how I manage anger-driven stress.  IE: when Chris tells me that he has to go out of town again.  In three days.  Oh and that means you have to cancel the clinic you were going to and have to find a sitter for a Saturday class.


3.  Eat Right

I’ve told you guys this before but when I am stressed I turn to junk food which is not good.  Instead, focus on healthy foods so that you feel good.  Junk food can make you feel lethargic and just blah.  Couple that with intense stress and you have a pretty terrible combo.  So load up on fruits and veggies!

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

4.  Vent if You Need to

Whenever I need to just let it all out I either call Chris, my mom, or my best friend.  I give them a heads up at the beginning that I just need to get some things off my chest and I am not looking for them to fix it.  I just need to be able to share my feelings.  Invariably I feel a lot better after just airing it out.  If you don’t want to say it out loud I encourage you to write your feelings down.  It’s ok to feel your feelings and sometimes things just plain stink.  So get it out!


5.  Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can just make your stress levels rise so make sure you are getting enough shut eye!  One of my biggest problems though is if I am SUPER stressed I find it really hard to go to sleep.  So I slather on some lavender oil and pop a RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melt into my mouth.  RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts are a natural and homeopathic remedy to help ease you to sleep.

RESCUE Sleep Liquid

A little bit about the RESCUE brand:

Trusted for generations, RESCUE Remedy is the natural way to help restore your inner calm and regain control in stressful situations. RESCUE Remedy contains nothing but natural ingredients.

Developed by a doctor, more than 80 years ago, the formulation of flower essences in our RESCUE brand has helped millions around the world stress less, stay calm and in control.


The RESCUE brand products are made with all natural ingredients and are non-habit forming.  You can find them at your local Walgreens, CVS, Whole Foods, or Sprouts.  Save some money and use this coupon to get yours!

What are your favorite ways to deal with stress?


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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

With clinicals looming and the thought of late nights ahead I am starting to think about how we are going to eat healthy through some of the rough weeks.  I am a huge fan of my slow cooker and have turned to it on many occasions to have healthy but satisfying meals that are ready to eat when we make our way home.  The feeling you get when you walk into the house after a long day and know that dinner is ready due to the amazing smells throughout the house is priceless.  To boost my arsenal I reached out to some of my favorite people for their favorite recipes.  Since I know I am not the only one who needs quick and delicious meals today I am sharing the goods with you!

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes


Slow Cooker Lasagna via ME!

Black Bean Soup via Marathon Mom

Tomato Basil Garlic Chicken Pot Roast via Mommy Knows What’s Best

Chicken Sweet Potato Soup via The Clean Eating Couple

Chicken Marinara with Roasted Vegetables via From Dancing to Running

BBQ Lentil Stew via Cotter Crunch

Faux-Pho Udon Noodle Soup via FITaspire

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken via Strength & Sunshine

Squash, Carrot, and Lentil Stew via Delights & Delectables

Two Bean Veggie Chili via Happy Fit Mama

Slow Cooker Minestrone via A Mind “Full” Mom


There you go!  Some awesome slow cooker meals to make dinners a little easier (and healthier!) around your house.  Let me know which ones you try!

What are YOUR favorite slow cooker meals?  I NEED MORE!!  Links welcome below in the comments.


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Emmie’s Favorite Shows

Sometimes a girl just needs an iPad … am I right?  I am all about limited screen time with my kiddos but there are times where I just need a little help.  Whether that be while Emmie “wakes up” in the morning because she isn’t a morning person (gets it from her mom) or I need to be able to cook dinner, sometimes a little show is a welcomed break.  Fortunately, we have a ton of variety via Netflix right at our fingertips.





I love that I can click on “kids” and let her have at it.  I know then that she isn’t going to stumble upon a show that isn’t appropriate for her or anything violent.  Over the last few months we have been able to discover some new to us shows that have been a lot of fun!


Kids Netfiix



Emmie is currently obsessed with Super Why, The Hive, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George.  Much to Chris’ dismay she also REALLY loves Barbie.  That is one show I think we could all do without though ;)


Emmie's Favorite Shows


Another great show that is a Netflix exclusive is the King Julian series!  King Julian is a favorite from Madagascar and now he has his own show.  Emmie thinks he is hilarious!


While we don’t turn to the iPad very often it is really nice knowing that there are some fun, and sometimes educational, shows that Em can enjoy :)


What are your favorite kids shows?


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This post is written as part of my participation on the Stream Team. No monetary compensation was provided.

A Belated Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday!  I am through the worst of it now and officially have THREE weeks left in didactic.  Hold me?  My unintentional break from blogging happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day and I didn’t get to share how Chris and I celebrated with you.  Normally I wouldn’t go back to it but since making a marriage a priority is important to me I thought I would still share :)


Chris and I had the opportunity to spend the night down in Savannah for the holiday because my mother-in-law was here to watch the girls.  I had a big test that I could have been studying for but chunking out the time for my main squeeze was just as important.  We happened to have a free night stay that was about to expire so it worked out perfectly and we hit up a a Marriott in Savannah for the night.  Is it wrong that I was just was excited for a full night sleep with tiny interruptions as I was to be out with my hubby?  #MomLife

PA School Tip:  If you’re in a relationship and want to still be in one at the end of your program you must make time for the people that matter.  You can always have the excuse that you don’t have the time but you have to make it.  No excuses.


For dinner we decided on a new-to-us restaurant called Pacci.  Pacci is dedicated to sourcing local and fresh ingredients for their menu.  You could definitely taste the freshness in everything we had!  It was a nice modern place and since we had an early reservation it was pretty empty.

Pacci Savannah
For appetizers we got truffle parmesan fries which were out of this world and the crab cannellone.  The  cannellone had lump blue crab, ricotta, bechamel sauce, lemon preserved tomatoes.  HOLY COW.  I could have just had a few of those for dinner!

Pacci Savannah 2
For my main dish I got the Gemelli Caserecce with garden‎ herbs, market vegetables, shaved parmesean, and added chicken.  Honestly?  It was just ok.  The star of the show was definitely the crab cannellone.


After dinner we decided to walk around Savannah.  I feel so very fortunate to live in such a picturesque city!  It was nice to just casually stroll among the oak trees and do a little bit of shopping.  The ability to just have conversation and not be chasing busy toddlers was a gift in itself.


We the made our way to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar for dessert but unfortunately the line was 45 minutes.  However, you can take dessert to go so we did just that!  A little strawberry suspension cake, chocolate chip cheesecake and champagne from Kroger made the perfect end to the evening.  We enjoyed it on the patio of our hotel and just got to talk about anything and everything.



Overall it was the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day. And yes – the quality of sleep was amazing.


How do you make your relationships a priority?


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