Saturday, August 29, 2009
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Friday, August 28, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup Carnation Evap
1/4 cup water
400 grams ground round
100 grams ground pork
1 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pieces eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can crushed tomatoes, 28 oz. can
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 pieces basil leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place bread crumbs, milk and water in a medium bowl. Allow to steep for 3 minutes.
2. Add the ground meats, onion, garlic, parsley, fennel, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
3. Mix until just combined.
4. Add the eggs and mix until blended.
5. Cover bowl with a plastic film and allow mixture to rest for at least an hour.
6. To cook, using a 1 oz. scooper, scoop mixture and roll into balls.
7. Fry meatballs over medium heat in oil until browned and finish off cooking in the tomato sauce for another 5-7 minutes.
8. For tomato sauce: Place garlic and olive oil in large sauce pan.
9. Turn heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and lightly browned.
10. Add the crushed the tomatoes and tomato paste.
11. Add basil, salt and pepper.
12.Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of My Favorite Recipes
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
You'll miss many things once your baby grows up, but changing dirty diapers probably won't be one of them. Still, it doesn't pay to be in a hurry: Teaching your son how to use the potty will require time and patience on your part, and a reasonable degree of cooperation and motivation on your son's.
The key to potty training success is starting only when your son is truly able to do so. While some kids can start as young as 18 months, others may not be prepared to learn until well into their fourth year. As you may already have discovered, boys tend to stay in diapers longer than girls, and second (or subsequent) children often learn faster than firstborns. There's no point in trying to get a head start; studies show that when parents begin potty training too soon, the process simply takes longer to complete. In other words, you arrive at your destination at the same time, no matter when you start. So the first thing to do is use our checklist to see whether your son is primed for potty training.
Once you've determined that your son is ready, focus on timing. Make sure your child's routine is well established; if he's just started at preschool or has a new sibling, he may be less receptive to change, or feel too overwhelmed to tackle this new challenge. Wait until he seems open to new ideas so you can potty train successfully. To train, follow these steps:
Let him watch and learn
Toddlers learn by imitation, and watching you use the bathroom is a natural first step. He may notice that Daddy uses the potty differently from Mommy, which opens up a great opportunity for you to explain the basic mechanics of how boys use the bathroom. When talking about body parts, it's important to be anatomically precise. Teaching him to call his penis a "pee-pee" when every other body part has a more adult-sounding name may imply that his genitals are embarrassing.
Buy the right equipment
Most experts advise buying a child-sized potty, which your toddler can claim for his own and which will also feel more secure to him than a full-size toilet. (Many toddlers fear falling into the toilet, and their anxiety can interfere with potty training.) If you prefer to buy an adapter seat for your regular toilet, make sure it feels comfy and secure and attaches firmly. If you go this route, you'll also need to provide your son with a stool, since it's important that he be able to maneuver his way on and off the potty easily any time he needs to go and to stabilize himself with his feet to push during bowel movements.
When buying a potty-chair for your son, look for one without a urine guard (or one you can remove). While they may protect your bathroom from a little stray pee, more often they tend to bump into and scrape a boy's penis when he sits down on the potty, potentially causing him to associate going to the bathroom with pain. Yikes!
You may also want to pick up a few picture books or videos for your son, which can make it easier for him to grasp all this new information. Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, is a perennial favorite, as is Uh, Oh! Gotta Go! and Once Upon a Potty, which even comes in a version with a doll and a miniature potty.
This early in the process, your child needs to get used to the idea of using the potty. Start by letting him know that the potty-chair is his very own; you can personalize it by writing his name on it or letting him decorate it with stickers. Then have him try sitting on it with his clothes on. After he's practiced this way for a week or so, you can suggest he try it with his pants down. If he seems at all resistant, avoid any temptation to pressure him. That will only set up a power struggle that could derail the entire process.
If your child has a favorite doll or stuffed animal, try using it for potty demonstrations. Most children enjoy watching their favorite toy go through the motions, and may learn more this way than from you telling them what to do. Some parents even construct a makeshift toilet for the doll or stuffed animal; while your child is perched on his chair, his favorite toy can be sitting on its own potty. For other tips on how to get started, click here.
Motivate with cool underwear
Get your son focused on the benefits of being potty trained by taking him on a special errand: buying underwear. Let him know that he gets to choose whatever kind he wants (superhero briefs or boxers, or ones emblazoned with other nifty designs). Talk up the outing ahead of time so he gets excited about being old enough to use the potty and wear "real" underwear just like his dad's or older brother's.
Set up a training schedule
Getting your toddler out of diapers will depend on your daily schedule and whether your son is in daycare or preschool. If he is, you'll want to coordinate your strategy with his daycare provider or teacher.
You'll have to decide whether to use the back-and-forth method of switching between diapers and underpants or the cold-turkey method of going to underwear full-time. While disposable training pants are convenient, many experts and parents find it's best to transition right into underwear or old-fashioned cotton training pants, both of which allow your son to feel immediately when he's wet. That, of course, will make it more likely that you'll be cleaning up some accidents. You'll have to decide what's best for you and your son; his pediatrician may recommend one or the other. For a while, at least, you'll want to continue using diapers or disposable pants at night and on long trips out and about. And your daycare provider or preschool teacher will have her own opinion on when to switch to underpants at school.
Teach him to sit first, then stand
Since bowel movements and urine often come at the same time, it makes sense initially to have your son sit for both poop and pee so he learns that both belong in the potty. Also that way he won't get distracted by the fun of spraying and learning to aim when you need him to concentrate on just mastering the basic procedure.
Once your son is comfortable going to the bathroom sitting down, he can try the standing position (but there's no reason to rush this; he can sit as long as he likes). This is where having a readily available male role model is key. Make sure your son can follow Dad, an uncle, or a good family friend to the bathroom to watch him pee. When your son seems to get the idea, let him give it a try. If he seems reluctant, try floating a few pieces of O-shaped cereal or other small, flushable objects in the toilet bowl for target practice, and expect to clean up a few messes as your son perfects his aim. If you're not squeamish about him peeing in the yard, you can paint or tape a target on a tree.
Set aside some naked time
Nothing helps your toddler figure out when he needs to go like letting him spend some time bottomless. Put the potty in an accessible area while he plays, and encourage him to sit on it at regular intervals. (But of course if he's going to play naked, you'll have to steel yourself not to get upset when the floor gets wet. Putting plastic over the carpets can help with this.) Watch for signs that he has to go (clutching himself or jumping up and down in place) and use these cues to suggest it's potty time. You can do this on several consecutive days, in the evenings when the family is all together, or just on weekends. The more time your child spends out of diapers, the faster he'll learn.
He will undoubtedly have a few accidents, but eventually your son will enjoy the accomplishment of getting something in the potty. Celebrate this moment with fanfare. Reinforce the idea that he's reached a significant milestone by rewarding him with a "big kid" privilege such as watching a new video or getting an extra bedtime story. But try not to make a big deal out of every trip to the potty, or else your child will start to feel nervous and self-conscious under the glare of all that attention.
If at first he doesn't succeed, try, try again
As with any other skill, the more he uses the potty, the better he'll be at it. But there are some things you can do to make it easier for him. Dress your child in loose-fitting clothes that he can easily take off himself, or buy underpants a size too big. If he still has trouble with the concept, don't overreact or punish. Nothing can disrupt potty training faster than making a child feel bad for having an accident. Keep in mind that even children who have used the toilet successfully for months occasionally have accidents when they are engrossed in an activity. If you feel frustrated, remind yourself that scolding your child for wetting his pants might mean months of diapers ahead.
Raise the fun factor
If you approach potty training with a little panache, your child will be more likely to stay motivated throughout the entire process. Drip some blue food coloring into the toilet and your child will be amazed at how he can turn the water green. Put several favorite books in the magazine rack next to the toilet so he can read them whenever he has to go — or better yet, read to him. Maybe he'd like to cut out paper shapes and use them for target practice.
If your child starts to lose interest but is well into potty training, you may want to consider offering rewards. One popular method is to use stickers and a calendar to keep track of his successes. Every time he goes to the potty, he gets a sticker that he can then paste onto the page. Watching the sticker bounty accumulate will keep him inspired. If the stickers themselves aren't enough of a thrill, you can offer an additional reward such as a treat from the candy aisle at the supermarket or a wished-for toy when he amasses enough stickers or stays dry for a certain number of days in a row. For more ideas, click here.
Move into night mode
Once your son stays dry all day, you can start formulating a game plan for nights. Wait until he's securely potty trained, then start checking his diapers in the mornings and after naps to see if they're dry. Many children start staying dry during their afternoon naps within six months of learning to use the toilet. Nighttime training is trickier, because it depends on your son's body being able to hold the urine for an extended period of time and on how deeply he sleeps. If he wants to try sleeping without diapers, go ahead and let him. Should a few nights of this experiment show he's not ready, put him back in diapers in a non-judgmental way. Tell him that his body is not quite ready for this next step, and reassure him that he'll soon be big enough to try again. If your child stays dry three out of five nights, make your "all-underwear, all-the-time" policy official. Support his attempts to stay dry by restricting how much he drinks after 5 p.m. and getting him up for a final bathroom trip before you go to bed. But if your child takes longer to stay dry at night, don't worry; nighttime accidents are considered normal up to at least the age of 7.
Ditch the diapers
By the time your child's ready to say good-bye to diapers altogether, he's accomplished a lot. Acknowledge this and reinforce his pride in his achievement by letting him give away leftover diapers to a family with younger kids or send them away with the diaper delivery service one last time. Or assist him in choreographing a joyful jig around the house and call it the "No more diapers" dance. The entire family can form a conga line and head to the potty when nature calls.
It probably seems like just yesterday that you changed your toddler's first diaper, and now you're wondering if it's time to start potty training. There's no magic age at which children are ready to start learning how to use the potty, but some develop the necessary physical and cognitive skills between 18 and 24 months of age. Many parents don't start potty training until their children are 2 1/2 to 3 years old, when daytime bladder control has become more reliable. And some children aren't interested in potty training until they're closer to 3, or even 4.
Use the checklist below to measure your toddler's progress toward readiness, and keep in mind that starting before your child is truly ready doesn't mean you'll finish sooner — it's more likely that the process will just end up taking longer.
You don't have to wait until you've checked off every item to start training. Just look for a general trend toward independence and an understanding of what it means to go to the bathroom like a grown-up.
Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
Urinates a fair amount at one time.
Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.
Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.
Can pull his pants up and down.
Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).
Gives a physical or verbal sign when he's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.
Demonstrates a desire for independence.
Takes pride in his accomplishments.
Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet.
Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.
Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy."
Understands the value of putting things where they belong.
Has words for urine and stool.
Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.
Reviewed by Sarah Pearson, M.D., September 2006
Most parents eagerly anticipate toilet training as a milestone in their child's development, if for no other reason than that it means an end to changing diapers. But few moms and dads are prepared for how long toilet training can take. Sure, some children master it within a few days, but others can take several months. In fact, it's generally true that the earlier you start, the longer it takes.
You and your child have a better chance of success if you understand the elements of training and approach the process in a clear fashion. Here are the basic steps:
A. Assess your child's readiness — and your own
Some children are ready to start potty training by 18 months or so, but others aren't interested in the process until they're closer to 3 years old. Many parents begin potty training when their children are about 2 and a half.
Watch for signs that your toddler is ready to start (can she follow simple instructions? can she walk and sit down?) but try not to put on the pressure. Rushing her when she's not ready will be counterproductive. And remember that what worked for your older child might not work for this one — boys tend to train a bit more slowly than girls, while second (and subsequent) children may learn more quickly than firstborns.
Look beyond your toddler's developmental readiness, too. If she's experiencing any turmoil or major change in her life, like a new school, caregiver, or sibling, the potty-training process is likely to hit some snags and should probably be put off until things have settled down.
There's also no sense in beginning potty training when you — or your child's primary caregivers — won't be able to devote time, patience, and a dash of humor to the process. If you're in the middle of remodeling your house, have just taken a challenging new job, or are suffering from morning sickness with your next pregnancy, it's probably not a good time to try to potty-train your toddler. Wait a couple of weeks — or months — for other pressures to ease.
B. Buy the right equipment
First and foremost, invest in a child-sized potty chair or a special adapter seat that attaches to your regular toilet. This eases the anxiety some children feel about the grown-up toilet — some fear falling into it, others dislike the loud noise of the flush. Figure out what equipment is best for your toddler before you go shopping.
If you have a boy and are buying a potty chair, look for one without a urine guard or with a removable one. You may have to wipe up a little more stray pee, but the guards tend to bump into and scrape a boy's penis when he sits on the potty, which can discourage him from training.
If you're using an adapter seat, make sure it's comfy and secure, and buy a stool to go with it. Your toddler will need the stool in order to get up and down from the toilet quickly and easily, as well as to brace her feet while sitting, which helps her push when she's having a bowel movement.
C. Create a routine
Set your toddler on the potty seat, fully clothed, once a day — after breakfast, before her bath, or whenever else she's likely to have a bowel movement. This will help her get used to the potty and accept it as part of her routine. If there's not an easily accessible bathroom around, bring your child's portable potty outside, to the playroom, or wherever your toddler may be.
Once she's fine with this routine, have her sit on the potty bare-bottomed. Again, let her get used to how this feels. At this point, let her know that this is what Mommy and Daddy (and any older siblings) do every day. That is, taking off your pants before you use the bathroom is a grown-up thing to do.
If sitting on the potty with or without clothes is upsetting to your toddler, don't push it. Never restrain her or physically force her to sit there, especially if she seems scared. It's better to put the potty aside for a few weeks before trying again. Then, if she's willing to sit there, you know she's comfortable enough to proceed.
D. Demonstrate for your child
Children learn by imitation, and watching you use the bathroom is a natural way to understand what using the toilet is all about. If you have a son, it's simpler to teach him to pee sitting down at this young age. Later, when he's mastered that, he can watch his dad, older brother, or friend pee standing up — he's bound to pick it up quickly with just a little encouragement.
When you demonstrate for your toddler, it's helpful to explain what's going on as you're using the bathroom and let her see afterward what you "made." Then show her how you wipe with toilet paper, pull up your underwear, flush the toilet, and wash your hands.
Even though you'll be helping your toddler with these activities for some time, especially wiping after a bowel movement, seeing you do it and hearing you talk through it will help her get used to the whole process. (When you wipe your toddler, make sure to go from front to back, especially after a bowel movement, to minimize the risk of urinary tract infections.)
If your toddler has older siblings or friends who are potty-trained, consider having them demonstrate, too. It can be helpful for your child to see others close to her age exhibiting the skills she's trying to learn.
E. Explain the process
Show your toddler the connection between pooping and the toilet. The next time she poops in her diaper, take her to the potty, sit her down, and empty the diaper beneath her into the bowl. Afterward, let her flush if she wants to (but don't force her if she's scared) so she can watch her diaper contents disappear.
You also may want to pick up a few potty-training picture books or videos for your toddler, which can assist her in taking in all this new information. Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, is a perennial favorite, as well as Uh Oh! Gotta Go! and Once Upon a Potty, which even comes in a version with a doll and miniature potty.
Keeping a book like this in the bathroom, or a poster or flipbook that illustrates the steps in using the potty, can help your toddler get familiar with the process and relate it to what she does in the bathroom.
F. Foster the habit
Encourage your toddler to sit on the potty whenever she feels the urge to go. If she needs help getting there and taking off her diaper, make sure she knows it's okay to ask you for help any time.
If you can, let her run around bare-bottomed sometimes with the potty nearby. The more time she spends out of diapers, the faster she's likely to learn, although you'll have to steel yourself to clean up a few more puddles. Tell her she can use the potty whenever she wants to, and remind her occasionally that it's there if she needs it.
Sometimes toddlers won't sit on the potty long enough to relax and let anything come out. Calmly encourage your toddler to sit there for at least a minute or so. You'll have the best luck getting her to stay put if you keep her company and talk to her or read her a book.
When your toddler uses the potty successfully, shower her with praise. Chances are that she'll continue to have accidents, but she'll start to grasp that getting something in the potty is an accomplishment. Still, try not to make a big deal out of every trip to the potty, or your toddler may start to feel nervous and self-conscious under the glare of all that attention.
G. Grab some training pants
Once training is under way, consider adding training pants — extra-thick cloth or disposables that pull on like underwear — to your routine. They'll allow your toddler to undress for the potty on her own, which is a critical step toward becoming completely potty-trained.
While cloth training pants are less convenient than disposable pull-ups, many parents say they work better because your toddler can really feel when she pees or poops in them. Whichever option you choose, introduce them gradually — probably for a few hours at a time — and stick with diapers at night for the time being.
When your child consistently seeks out the potty whenever she has to go, it's time to move on to "big-kid" underwear. Many moms and dads have found that undies with a favorite character on them give kids a dandy incentive to stay dry.
H. Handle setbacks gracefully
Virtually every child will have several accidents before being able to stay dry all day long. When this happens, don't get angry or punish your child. After all, it's only recently that her muscle development has allowed her to hold her bladder and rectum closed at all, and she's still learning why it's important to use the potty. Mastering the process will take time.
What can you do? Reduce the chance of accidents by dressing your toddler in clothes that are easy to remove quickly. When she has an accident anyway, calmly clean it up and suggest (sweetly) that next time she try using her potty instead.
I. Introduce night training
Don't give away that stash of diapers just yet. Even when your child is consistently clean and dry all day, it may take several more months, or even years, for her to stay dry all night. At this age, her body is still too immature to wake her up in the middle of the night reliably just to go to the bathroom.
When you're ready to embark on night training, your toddler should continue to wear a diaper or pull-up to bed, but encourage her to use the potty if she has to pee or poop during the night. Tell her that if she wakes up in the middle of the night needing to go, she can call you for help. You can also try putting her potty near her bed so she can use it right there.
If she manages to stay dry for five nights in a row, it's a good time to start nighttime training in earnest. Put a plastic sheet under the cloth one to protect the mattress, and put your toddler to bed in underwear (or nothing) and see how it goes.
There's not much you can do to help things along, short of limiting liquids before bedtime, so if your toddler doesn't seem to get the hang of it, put her back in nighttime diapers and try again in a few months.
J. Jump for joy — you're done!Believe it or not, when your child is mentally and physically ready to learn this new skill, she will. And if you wait until she's really ready to start, the process shouldn't be too painful for either of you.
When it's over, reinforce her pride in her achievement by letting her give away leftover diapers to a family with younger kids, or by packing up the cloth diapers and sending them away with the diaper delivery service one last time.
And don't forget to pat yourself on the back. Now you won't have to think about diapers ever again — at least, not until the next baby.