We Got the FUNK: August 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Potty Training Regression With a Stubborn Child #SP



Last week my daughter proved that we are not done potty training.  In a awful moment my super clean conscious child decided to poop in her pants and then paint with it all over our babysitters bedroom while she was "napping".  This is commonly referred to as potty training regression and it sucks but with the help of Pull-Ups, I think I have a plan that can hopefully help you too.

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We made a couple mistakes potty training this little princess.  First we put her back in diapers periodically when it was inconvenient for us.  We broke the cardinal rule folks, never put a diaper back on a potty trained kid.  Second, because she wanted to wear panties we just put those right over the diaper so as not to fight the angry peanut anymore.  Finally we were also putting her in diapers for naps and nighttime. Can you say lazy parenting.  Yup it happened and yes I completely realize that this is part of the issue we are dealing with.  She went from her "Big Girl" mentality to going around saying "I am baby" and refusing to be a big girl, having several accidents and being outright nasty.


After that awful day with the babysitter and the painted poop we knew something had to change. Telling her that she was a big girl and not a baby was not going to fly with the sassy princess and she was going to continue to be a gross poop smearing kid if we didn't figure out something.  I talked things over with my babysitter and some of my coworkers and came up with a plan.


  1. Take away the baby diapers forever: The stubborn child related diapers with still being a baby and clearly needed to go. 
  2. Move her from a crib into a big girl bed: She was napping in a playpen and instead of yelling that she needed to use the potty she decided that she would "paint".  Combine that with the fact that playpen's are for babies we needed to change this quickly.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Any training should be positive and rewarding, whether it is with praise, stickers, candy or whatever, give the child something to feel proud of. 
  4. Have her earn things she loves: The girl loves Frozen so we awarded her with watching the movie, wearing Frozen panties and other clothes and even earning back her frozen doll that she had an accident on.  We would say that she could wear the panties or stay the night with grammy if she had a good potty day.  
  5. Reaffirm that she will always be the baby, but that it is ok to be a big girl and use the potty. This was critical.  I had to tell her over and over that she is always going to be my baby, just like her brother is and the buy in was that her brother would help and say that he was my baby and he used the potty.  
  6. Use Pull-Ups instead of diapers only at night and naps as needed. Our household is not ready for bedtime potty training, so we needed an alternative to diapers. 

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I realize that nighttime potty training is partially a brain connection that needs to happen to allow a child to wake themselves up to go potty.  I also know you need to cut off liquids.  Well in our house the peanut sleeps pretty hard and in addition has no business stumbling around our house with stairs in the middle of the night to potty.  Also she is stubborn as all get out so trying to cut off her sippy cup of water is not happening just yet.  We are just not ready for this aspect of potty training and truthfully I am going to wait a while until we start pushing this issue.  She has never woken up dry even on times that I successfully cut off liquids and made sure she went potty before bed.  Clearly we are not ready and that is ok, that is why Pull-Ups are great. 

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Luckily we only live about a block from our local Family Dollar and they have a great sale happening right now!  If you text CARE to 28767 you will get a message back with a coupon for Pull-Ups for only $8.50!  In addition the Disney designs are a favorite and similar to the ones on her panties so we just try to tell her not to get her padded panties wet.  It does help that the Disney characters are on them because she likes them and tries to keep them clean.  She gets pretty upset when she is wet, especially after a nap. 


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Potty training is no easy feat, and one that I will be glad to be done with.  Until then I will continue to support my child and use Pull-Ups to help us be confident and successful.  Make sure to check out Pull-Ups at Family Dollar for more potty training tips and tricks. 


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Water World: A Perfect End to Our Summer #WWFindYourSummer

Summer officially ended for us August 11th.  However, the beautiful and sometimes awfully hot weather in Colorado still lends some of our weekends to summer activities.  I was elated when Water World contacted me and asked me to come hang out for the day.  It was the BEST end to our amazing summer.

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I am a Colorado native.  I am proud of that to no end and love my state.  No plans on moving folks so Colorado you are stuck with me!  Growing up Water World was a summer staple.  We had season passes and although 20 years ago the park was smaller and the attractions were basically a few slides, a couple wave pools and a lazy river we still had a blast.  Over the past 20 years Water World has grown exponentially, just as Colorado has, however, it has not lost its awesome atmosphere and great amenities. 

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The park has grown and includes some great family tube rides and basically an area for everyone. They have two large kiddie areas complete with slides and toys galore.  My son could have easily spent the entire day playing around in Wally World and the Caribbean Family Adventure areas.  They were awesome and I loved that the slides were just perfect for him.  Also Water World offers free rental of child safety gear.  I had forgotten our "water wings" at home and when we went to guest services the amazing staff just handed me one and said that we could return it to any guest services when we were finished.

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The family rides like Voyage to the Center of the Earth (Dinosaur themed) and the Lost River of the Pharaohs were my personal favorites.  These were the big tube rides and what made them rock even more was that Water World now offers Splash Bands with Tube Valet which means NO MORE lugging around your tubes.  It does cost a bit more but I will tell you that it was 1000% worth the money to NOT have to wait in line for a big tube and then carry the thing up the hills and then wait in line to get on the actual ride.  It literally cut our wait time down drastically.  The best part is that they only sell a certain number each day so when they are gone, that is it.  On the splash bands you can also purchase your lockers, tube rental and the all you can eat Pharaohs Feast.  Not having to carry around a poky locker key and worry about losing it was awesome.

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Water World's customer service was fantastic.  Very helpful, very available and very knowledgeable. We had no issues in the park but everywhere we went there was a smiling face and helpful person to direct us to the next best ride.  I also found out that about 10 of my students (past and present) work there which was fun as well.

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The park itself was pretty clean.  I am not sure if it was because we went towards the end of the season but there was an awful lot of leaves on the ground and sand in the pools, however, I saw huge amounts of staff continuously cleaning up the park and working to maintain a wonderful atmosphere. The flower beds were extremely pretty there which I just adored. There is plenty of shade to park your stuff, you can rent cabanas or throw your towel down on one of the grassy areas and you are also welcome to bring in coolers and lunch.  We wanted the full Water World experience so we chose to eat in the park. 

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We tried every one of their main food options.  Mister Man had the pizza, the hubby went with a double cheeseburger and fries, I had a burrito and the hubby's aunt opted for a chicken quesadilla. The food was ok, not great but ok.  I would probably pack a lunch next time.  We also spent about $40.00 on lunch.  I will say that the dessert there is TOTALLY worth the cash.  We had a funnel cake and ice cream and it was easily the best thing I have ever eaten.  Perfection on the dessert scale. 

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We spent 6 hours in the park and it did not even feel like it was that long.  We rode a ton of rides, laughed, and enjoyed our last tastes of summer.  I cannot thank Water World enough for inviting us out for a wonderful day of fun and family.  Easily one of the best hosts in the Denver area!

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It was hard to say goodbye after such a great day, but we decided that next summer we will be purchasing season passes and spending many more days enjoying Americas Best water park.

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The boy didn't even make it out of the parking lot he was so exhausted but he had the best time and I couldn't imagine a better way to spend a day as a family.

If you are interested in checking out Water World before the season officially ends, please visit their website, follow them on twitter and check out their Facebook page for discounts!  Also it would be awesome if you helped out this company and gave them a quick vote on USA Today's 10 best!


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Disclosure: Water World provided us with free admission, however, the statements and opinions are all mine and we will absolutely be returning!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weekend Trip to Estes Park

This weekend, as a final summer get away we took a little day trip up to the mountains and played tourist for a bit.  Estes Park Colorado is a beautiful place known for its Elk herd and the Stanley Hotel from The Shining among other things.  However, to native Coloradoans, Estes is simply a nice place to get away for the day, do some shopping, eating and enjoying the scenery.

Driving up the mountains their was a crazy amount of haze that was a real bummer.  The fires around us from other states have left our state pretty hazy and unfortunately I didn't get any photos that were worth sharing.  However, as soon as we got up to Estes and started wandering around we had a few little photo opportunities that we just couldn't pass up.

My boys ready to get our snack and shop on

The peanut and I.  Somehow she enjoyed being a "backpack baby" for the day
Estes is a big artsy community and has some great sculptures.  This columbine (Colorado's state flower) is one of my favorite!


These metal sculptures were fun for the kids to look at and some of them were really silly.  Slightly out of our budget or we would have came home with a giant rooster.


We definitely did a bit of shopping.  The kids fell in love with those Russian Nesting Dolls, the hubby bought a jacket and I grabbed up a great little purse but my most favorite purchases were the Salt Water Taffy and the Ice Cream!


We had a very nice day and minor complaints from the tiny folks in our lives.  They were on a sugar high probably from the amount of candy, taffy and ice cream we consumed but they still slept great! I am always so thankful for the fact that we only live a hop, skip and a jump away from some of the most beautiful mountains and great mountain towns in the world.  

Have you been to Estes Park?  

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Monday, August 24, 2015

#GoosebumpsMovie Fan Sweepstakes! #Sponsored

7th grade, R.L. Stein and reading by flashlight with my friends.  The Goosebumps series of books and subsequent TV show were my life.  I was hooked on the stories of mystery and a bit of horror. My friends and I would read these stories and then chat about the possibilities of those storylines happening.


I am so thankful they never did as some of those stories were scary...even now at 31 I think some are scary, but I loved them.  I was super excited when I heard that the Goosebumps movie will be coming out in October and really elated when I was asked to share the Goosebumps Movie Fan Sweepstakes with my readers!  What excites me more is that Jack Black is playing R.L. Stein and I just love him as an actor.

The Goosebumps Movie Fan Sweepstakes is fun to enter and unlike any I have entered before.  It has games and challenges and even some badges that you can earn to get closer to winning some awesome prizes.  The one I would be most excited about is the call with Jack Black himself! Some of the other prizes are:
  • ·       Signed Goosebumps books
  • ·       Skype call with Slappy (a Goosebumps character)
  • ·       Tickets & a trip to the movie premiere
  • ·       Goosebumps Creature Makeover
  • ·       Props used in the movie
  • ·       Hometown screening of the movie

To compete in these challenges and become a member of the Goosebumps Movie Fan Zone, make sure to click here and participate in the monthly challenges.  They are very easy and fun!  Also be sure to share the hashtag #GoosebumpsMovie on your entries!  Good Luck!

Have you read the Goosebumps books?  Which is your favorite?

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Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post that may contain affiliate links.  I received compensation for promoting this campaign. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kindergarten

Last week marked my little mans 1st day in full day kindergarten.  His new school does not offer half day kinder so we just jumped right in.  It has been a crazy experience getting organized and both him and I ready and out the door on time.  We took our token picture and headed out for our first day!


I lucked out this year as my son has all the same breaks from school as I do this year and he also started school 2 days before I did.  I was able to help get him situated without feeling rushed around. He normally rides the school bus and our mornings are early and a bit crazy!  On his first day however, I drove him out to school and really enjoyed the morning festivities. 


The morning started with a little playground time and then line up with the Pledge of Allegiance.  I did take photos of this, but I could not crop out the kids faces and didn't feel right putting kids that we just met on here without parent permission.  My favorite part was the school chant that all the kids did right before they marched into their individual classrooms. 


Once in their classroom they found their desks, took a seat and had a little breakfast snack.  Then the parents had to leave...and I DID NOT Cry!  I was so excited for my little guy and elated that he was not nervous.  I think preschool really prepped him. 

So far kindergarten has been great.  He is learning manners, classroom norms, math, reading, some science facts and a bit of history.  He is also very into the behavior clip chart that his teacher utilizes and has earned the highest level already.

One thing that I wanted to talk about with my readers is our approach to education.  As most of you know I am a public high school science teacher.  I believe in public education.  That said, education is in flux and educators are stressed, overworked, under appreciated and sometimes expected to pull off miracles.  In this current system an average classroom size in Colorado is between 30 & 40 students (yes even in elementary).  As a teacher and a parent it is insane to think that every single student is actually being served individually each day with such large classes.  Sometimes I am lucky to make sure that I touch base with each of the 180 students I teach every other day. 

So our decision to locate a school that is 45 minutes from our house in a rural area that is non-traditional was somewhat alarming to our friends and family.  However, this school has class sizes of no more than 20, students are held to rigorous behavior and curricular expectations and not one parent that I have spoke to had anything negative to say.  It was an easy decision and literally we are only a week in and my son loves school, loves his teacher, his behavior at home is more positive and polite and even though the boy hates to wake up, he does so daily with excitement. 

I am eager to see how much my little man grows and changes and LEARNS this year. 

Have your kids started school?  How is it going?

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Friday, August 14, 2015

How #Disney Villains Stole My Heart #VillainDescendants {ad}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Disney #VillainDescendants #CollectiveBias

For as long as I can remember I have been a Disney fan.  I think this is true for many.  I fondly remember when The Little Mermaid came out and my friends and I were standing in the lunch line at school just belting out "Part of Your World."  I always enjoyed the princesses and in my younger years they were obviously every little girls focus.  I like most girls dressed as each of the princesses for Halloween and had every toy under the sun related to my favorite princess of the moment. However, it wasn't until recently that I shifted my focus from princesses to villains.

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A couple years ago Disney released Maleficent with Angelina Jolie and it told the story of sleeping beauty from the point of view of the villain.  It was beautiful.  It was probably the first time I felt true sad emotion for the "bad guy" and it was also the moment that I went from being fully immersed in the princesses and instead infatuated with the villains.  What made them bad?  Do they have good in them? What is their story?

I am a big fan of the earlier villains of the Disney movies; Evil Queen, Maleficent & Lady Tremaine. These characters are integral parts of the fairytales and without them the stories would be null.  I mean imagine Snow White without the Evil Queens spell or Cinderella without her wicked step mother? Those stories would just be two ladies singing to animals and falling in love with no pivotal point and no passion and excitement and hope for them to come out on top.  The villains are necessary and precisely why Disney includes them in most of their movies.

We watch a lot of the Disney Channel in our house and one day the previews for the movie Descendants came on.  I stopped whatever I was doing and watched it!  I kept thinking, YES a movie about villains for the younger ages.  How cool that I my kids can see hopefully see the softer side of these devious characters.  I set my DVR as soon as I could and started planning a family movie night with some villainous food!

Only one issue.  My DVR died the night before our movie night.  I lost the movie and was super bummed.  I knew that Disney released the movie on DVD the same day they played it on their channel so I ran to Walmart to grab a copy and while I was there I grabbed the soundtrack too!

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I hurried home to make some villain inspired foods to share in our family movie night.  I prepped a couple items.  I knew that my dessert items would take some time so I made these Cloaked Cheddar Dogs quickly and popped them in the oven while I went to work on my special villain inspired desserts!

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Ingredients:
  • 1 Container of Ready to Bake Biscuits
  • 1 Package of Cheddarwursts

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Directions:
  • Preheat oven as directed on the biscuit container
  • Open biscuits and cheddarwursts. 
  • Take one biscuit and roll it out flat
  • Lay the cheddar wursts in the biscuit and wrap it up as you see above.
  • Bake them for 15 minutes and then take them out, flip them over and bake that side for another 5-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. 
Like I said, dessert would take some prep time.  I started with these "magic wands" which were devoured by my family. 


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Ingredients:
  • Melting chocolate
  • Sprinkles in various colors
  • Pretzel Rods

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Directions:
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler like you see above.  I prefer this method to the microwave because I have more control over the consistency of the chocolate. 
  • Once melted pour chocolate into a taller container for easier dipping. 
  • Dip each pretzel rod one by one and lay them on a piece of wax paper to begin drying. 
  • Before the chocolate is fully dry, start putting the sprinkles on them. 
  • Allow to dry and eat them all...because you will. 


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The final dessert that I just had to make was these chocolate covered marshmallow poison apples. They almost do not look evil enough, but still so on with our theme for the night that I could not pass up trying them out!

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Ingredients:
  • Marshmallows
  • Straws
  • Red melting chocolate 
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Green M&M's


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Directions:
  • Using the double boiler method melt the chocolate.  
  • While the chocolate is melting, push a straw through each marshmallow.
  • When chocolate is melted dip each marshmallow into the chocolate.  to help smooth it out you can gently spin it on the side of the dipping container.  It is also ok if the underside of the marshmallow is not fully covered. 
  • Allow the chocolate to dry but before it is fully dry, take 1/2 a pretzel stick and push it in the center of the marshmallow and then add an M&M to really define the apple. 
Everything was ready to go at the same time and what was even better was that my kids were excited about watching Descendants and indulging in snacks and dinner in the front of our TV!

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My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed Descendants and the music was great.  In fact I was glad I purchased the soundtrack because it was the number 1 soundtrack on the Billboard 200 so I know it will be going fast.  The movie was great, the food was delicious and the time spent as a family was invaluable.  I think my kids are finding a new love for the Disney Villains too!

So tell me who is your favorite Disney Villain?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back to School with Carters #CountMeInCarters, #IC {ad}

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.”

You guys!  My son started Kindergarten yesterday and it was a great day for him.  However, the preparation to get him ready took a lot of work.  Like most parents we have school supplies, lunch preparation, personalization of some items and of course clothing and shoe shopping!  Thankfully Carter's made the last part easy peasy!

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Over the weekend the kids packed up and headed up to the mountains for some camping and fishing with grandma and grandpa.  While they were having a grand time I was only about 30 minutes away at our local Carter's store snagging some doorbuster items and exploring all their fall line has to offer.
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For under $120.00 I managed to walk away from this awesome sale with 5 shirts, a pair of shorts, a pair of pants and a pair of shoes for my son.  For my daughter I snagged 5 adorable mix and match outfits.  I could not wait to get my babies home and play dress up!  The minute they came home, we showered and then put on "fashion show 2015".

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This ladies man shirt, shorts and the shoes, stole my heart from the moment I saw them.  The fabric is soft and great for playtime.  I know kindergarteners need comfy clothes as they are learning all about manners, sitting still, being patient and listening.  The last thing my little man needs to think about is clothing that is binding.  He would not get out of this outfit and told me it was "the most comfortable ever."

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Although the peanut is not actually going back to school, I couldn't resist snagging her some clothes to spruce up her fall wardrobe with some modern, cute and colorful clothes.  She deserves to look great too!  I could not pass up the scalloped lace skirt and cute ballet shoe shirt.  However, dress up time was just not her thing.  She and her brother were all about playing the Incredible Hulk and less about taking photos.  So as you can clearly see the clothes are great for playtime.

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It was so bright and hot outside, and I wanted the kids to try on some of the warmer options that I purchased, so we hurried inside.  I pulled out this metallic space explorer tee and my little guy's eyes lit up and he finally took off the "ladies man" outfit.  I paired this shirt with some canvas utility pants and those adorable high tops again.

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In true princess peanut fashion, this was all I was going to get out of her in my absolute favorite outfit! This modern denim dress with a great splash of coral on the flower accent was the star of my shopping trip.  I grabbed some leggings so that this would work great for those cold fall mornings.

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I also could not pass up either of these outfits below.  The denim shirt, the jeggings, the tunics.  The girl in me let loose.  I am hoping that the tiny princess wants to play dress up soon as these clothes are just so stylish, sturdy and sharp.

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By this time in "fashion show 2015" my kids were done.  A long weekend of camping and the excitement of new clothes was enough for them.  They literally changed into their pajamas and both were asleep by 7:00pm.  Just like that back to school shopping was complete and we were ready for the year to start.

You know that I almost never shop without a sale and a coupon and Carter's has a great one out right now so that you can #CountMeInCarters too!  Make sure to show this to your sales associate and hit up the sale happening right now through August 31, 2015!

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I absolutely adore Carters and I do not know a mom who isn't a huge fan.  Their clothes last, they are comfortable yet modern and now, they carry clothing up to size 8 and shoes to 3y!  I love the value and durability that I get as a mom out of these clothes.  Please make sure to check out this sale and take some stress out of back to school shopping.

What is your favorite aspect of going back to school?

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