Thursday, May 27, 2010

Potty Training: Scared to Poop

*Warning: TMI - if you can't handle the reality of mommy-hood and all the gross things that come with might want to skip this first paragraph...

Before I started potty training Little Miss a wise woman told me her experience training her son...he was so reluctant to poop on the potty, he would hold it until he was so constipated he couldn't get anything out. Which led to her scooping out his poo with a spoon...pretty traumatizing for both of them I'm sure. She wished she hadn't previously got upset at him for having accidents.

Once I heard this story I was bound and determined to never get upset at Little Miss if she pooped in her panties during training, or on the floor, or anywhere. We celebrate poop at our house! This is the way I looked at it - she already knew how to poop. She knew what it felt like. All I had to do was guide her to the potty and help her learn that that is where her poop should go and how nice it was to be clean.

Our potty training for poop started when Little Miss was about 2 months old. Every time she was pooping I'd hold her little hands, get our faces close together and grunt with her. Soon she was just grunting on her own to let me know she was pooping at 3 months! This was a tactic my grandmother used to teach her kids. By 6 months she would have them pooping in the potty so she didn't have to scrub out the cloth diapers. Brilliant. We never got that good. But at least I knew when she was pooping!

Teaching her to grunt and let me know when she was pooping was something we kept up and it made potty training a lot easier. She was pooping in the potty pretty consistently (as long as I was paying attention to the signals) from about 14 months on. It was the pee that took us awhile to master.

So that is my pooping experience.

What happens if your little one is scared or embarrased to poop in the potty and just plain refuses?

First - Check your attitude. If you're visibly grossed out, or upset when accidents happen - then don't expect your child to make the jump. You are your child's world. Your child lives to please you. And if pooping gets a negative reaction, they're going to hold or hide it.

Remember too that most children have a issues with pooping in the potty - you're not alone.

So once you are ready to keep a smile on your face as you scrub out poopy underwear and lovingly, but firmly, remind your child that "Oops, it was just an accident. That's okay. Let's try to get your poop in the potty next time where it belongs" - then things will start to change.

Second - Poop is awesome! Make your child believe that! Little Miss knows that poop means her body works and is healthy! She also understands if I tell her she can't have anymore cheese or bananas because it will make the poop hard to get out.

Consider the reasons why your child is having a hard time pooping on the potty...

Constipation - If your child is constipated do not force pooping on the potty until this problem is resolved. Make sure to balance his/her diet - not too much cheese or bananas and make sure there is lots of fiber! Buy the whole grain fish crackers instead of the regular. Buy whole grain bread instead of white. Eat apples with the skins on and make sure veggies are being eaten even if you have to sneak them in.

Embarrassment - Maybe your child is old enough to want privacy. If this is the case have him/her help you make a special pooping tent that goes over the potty. Or if your toilet is positioned right next to the shower curtain - use that. Tell them it's a special pooping curtain that makes them invisible so they can go poop without anyone seeing, but it only works if they sit on the potty.

Fear - Don't push them. Ease them into it. Make pooping be a really cool big girl/boy thing to do. Let them see you poop. Tell them everyone poops - mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts - and they all put their poop in the potty. Flushing poop is the funnest, Little Miss still waves and says "Bye-bye poopy" when she flushes.

If it's the splash that scares your child - try laying some toilet paper in the water first, this will reduce the splash.

Never punish or humiliate. Be kind, loving, and gentle - but firm with reinforcing where the poop belongs. If there are accidents your child is more than likely scared of your reaction. Tell him/her that it's okay and you know they can do it next time! Have your child watch you place the poop from the diaper or panties into the potty and let them flush it away.

If your child is regular then get him/her on the potty for a potty party about the time poop is going to happen. Keep them on there longer with lots of fun games and books. Here are some books that might help the situation...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Drop-Side Cribs Recalled

A recall for drop-side cribs has been all over the news today. So if you've missed it - here's the scoop.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the official information on which cribs are being recalled here. And this is why...

A New York Senator has taken the Cirigliano's story to heart and is fighting to get all drop-side cribs banned.

Do you have a drop-side crib? Have you ever had problems with it?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summertime Safety: Swimming

With summer here and weather getting warm enough to swim I am seriously considering getting Little Miss into a swimming class. I would love for her to learn this...

Have you taught your toddler or baby how to swim or float? What methods worked?

Other posts in this series:

Summertime Safety: At the Park

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Potty Training: Boys

I am not experienced in the boy department - but I've heard from a lot of reliable moms who have been there - boys are harder to potty train! They just are. They're usually quite a bit older, more stubborn, and have more accidents.

This might be due to the fact that for boys it's a two step process - first they learn sitting down, then they have to transition to standing up. Also, moms are usually the primary potty trainer - without dad around all the time to observe, boys take longer. Girls have the advantage of watching someone with the same equipment use the potty.

Some tricks I've heard that motivate the little guys...
  • Aim & shoot some cheerios in the water when learning how to go while standing

  • Place red or blue food coloring in the bowl prior to using it so your little man can watch the water magically change color as he tinkles

  • In the summertime if you're fortunate to have a fenced yard, let him have some naked outside time watering the bushes

  • In the wintertime, let dad teach him how to write in the snow

  • Character underwear of his favorite show is a must

  • Take your little man to the store with you to pick out a really great toy you know he'd love. Let him play with it for half an hour when you get home. Then remove the toy and tell him he can play with it again when he uses the potty like a big boy. After success, let him play with it for half an hour and then remove it again - telling him the same thing. A timer would be appropriate in this situation. He is less likely to get upset if it is the timer, not you, telling him he can't play with the toy anymore.
Pretty much anything to make it super fun will help! Have you successfully potty trained a little boy? Have any tips or tricks to share of what worked and what didn't?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Break Time = Mommy Rejuvenation

Every mom needs a break. A daily time to rejuvenate. A time to be alone. And I'm talking more of a break than going to the restroom or taking a shower after everyone is in bed...

For me a good break consists of...
  • getting lost in a good book
  • working on that craft project I dreamed up
  • taking time to learn something new
  • working out
  • church service
  • blogging - a shocker, I know
Most of my break time happens during nap time and intermingles with doing dishes. I am a very task oriented person - so sometimes to make sure my me time happens - I schedule it in on my to-do list...pathetic, but it works!

Besides short daily breaks - we all need some big breaks every once in awhile. My sweet husband gave me a day away to go shopping in the "big city" for Mother's Day - love him. I need it. Getting a pedicure with a good friend is also a nice break.

Getting a break to do something relaxing will decrease your stress level and if things are really hectic at your house - your blood pressure will come down too! You will always come back happier and ready to take on the rigors of daily mommy life with a better attitude.

"Chronic parenting stress (is) associated with lowered perceptions of emotional support and greater symptoms of depression and anxiety." - American Pyschological Association

So if we get that emotional support - husbands watching kids and time to be with girlfriends and talk - then we will be happier and calmer when we return!

What do you do for yourself? How do you rejuvenate so you can be a better mommy?

Monday, May 17, 2010

For the Love of Daddy

Little Miss is definitely a mommy's girl - which is to be expected since I'm a stay-at-home-mom. She's with me all the time and is used to daddy being gone. When I do want to get away, even for a few minutes she usually loses it. Panics. Cries. Doesn't want daddy. Sometimes even when we're both home she'll want me to cuddle her, not daddy...little stinker.

I'm sure you've seen those know the ones. Their child cries for mommy while being held by daddy and mommy swoops in saving her child from that mean ol' daddy's cuddles.

Umm...does this bug anyone else? Stepping in when you are obviously not needed and just wanted has so many negative effects...
  1. Your Child. You are an enabler. You are reinforcing her beliefs that she needs you, and no one else to be comforted. This means she will not learn to trust or rely on others, and probably will struggle when it comes to self-soothing as well.
  2. Your Husband. In one fail swoop you have cut him down. He no longer believes in his skills as a parent or that he has any at all. He feels useless. Unloved. Not trusted. And isolated from the bond you and your child have. His manhood - shot down.
  3. You. You have just enlisted yourself as a staple for all late nights, bad dreams, bumps, bruises, insecure moments your child will have. No one else will be able to comfort - so expect a lot of work as a single parent since you just single-handedly alienated your husband from the tag-teaming equation.
So what do you do when your child goes through the mommy (or daddy) stage? You chat with your husband when little one is sleeping and make sure you have a game plan and are on the same page. Consistency is the key.

Mr Man & I are quite the tag-team. We like to share the work equally and spend time with Little Miss individually. We rotate nights - who puts her to bed and who gives her a tubby. If she's having a rough night we also take turns getting up with her.

Usually the night wakings are the hardest for me to stay out of. Mr Man is an awesome dad and does great with Little Miss. But when she is sleepy, crying, and calling out for mommy it is hard to stay away. But I do because I know going in there would do all of the things mentioned above.

When I do leave the house to run errands by myself she will sometimes fuss a little or cry. I don't buy into it - I make it a quick goodbye. Rip it off like a band-aid. "Bye you two! Have fun! Mommy will be back soon!" I don't even acknowledge the crying, because I know she is fine.

Mr Man has told me that each time the crying is less and less, and stops almost as soon as the door shuts now. I always come home feeling refreshed and I am welcomed by a giggly happy little girl who has been playing with her daddy. They need time alone together as much as I need the time away!

Your child needs you, as the mom, to not be there sometimes. Allow your child to rely on others and not be attached to you at the hip. This will ensure a well-rounded, confident, developed child.

Have you struggled with the mommy stage? What are some things that helped you & your husband guide your child to proper development?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Year Olds...

I have one. She is beautiful. And smart. And funny. And she brings me joy everyday with her spunky personality. I love who she is. And I love what she will become. She is amazing. She is also amazingly willful.

And no - it's not just a two year old thing - she's been willful from the beginning. If it's not her idea, it's not okay. The fact that she is two and exerting more of her independence has only intensified her strong will.

Lucky for me, and her, I am willful too.'s just really a waiting game. When we get into a bind, I usually just have to wait her out until she caves. Which sometimes can take a very long time. I try to avoid these situations with distractions - which usually works.

So what do I do when things don't work and she has a meltdown? My number one priority in that scenario is to stay totally calm. Being calm keeps me in control and helps me to see the bigger picture. It also means my head, and not my emotions, are driving my actions. I also follow through and remain consistent in our already established family rules.

So after she screamed hysterically the entire way home from the park (to the point of gagging) and then refused to sit on the potty. I told her she had to stay in the bathroom until she was done crying and she had to sit on the potty before we could watch her pre-nap Elmo's World.

She continued to scream. I talked in a very calm, loving voice and reminded her that she could "choose to be happy" - a phrase I am sure she will loath in her teen years. I then left the room. She screamed awhile longer. When I went to check on her she had peed all over herself, sitting on the floor right next to the potty...

My instant gut reaction was anger - she knows better! She's been potty trained for awhile now and loves sitting on the potty! What the heck is she doing!?

But before any of that reached the surface I took a deep breath and back tracked. I reminded her that tinkles go in the potty and then we had to change her clothes and she helped clean up. She wanted hugs. I gave them to her. A little pee never hurt anyone.

She was still uncontrollably upset and I asked her if she wanted to say a prayer. I explained that when we're sad or angry praying can help us feel better. She said yes. So we prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help her be happy and calm. Amen.

I asked her if she felt better. She said yes and gave me big hugs and cuddles and said sorry. We watched five minutes of Elmo and she remained calm when I tucked her in for her nap.

Whew! I am emotionally and physically exhausted. It took every ounce of my will to remain calm. I don't think I'm a bad mom to admit that I wanted to swat her little behind. My natural instinct was to spank her, yell, teach her who was boss, and leave her in her crib to cry herself to sleep. But what would that have accomplished?

I would have felt horrible after. She would be scared of me, and probably still crying instead of sleeping. More importantly - I would have missed a prime opportunity to teach my daughter about the power of prayer and to exemplify the Savior's love for us. Unconditional.

The Savior is who I turn to for my parenting skills - in any situation I can ask myself, what would Christ do? It helps me keep my cool and later, I don't have any regrets.

I usually try to keep religion out of this blog as to not isolate anyone. I don't want to be preachy.

I'm just curious - when you have been pushed to your breaking point - where does you inner strength come from? Do you think of your mom and what she would have done? Do you try to see things from your child's perspective? What helps you keep your cool and not raise your hand to your child?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giveaway: Winners of The Five Love Languages Book

Lucky girls! Thanks to the winners are...

Shirley who said..."I hope I win this! I have been wanting to read this for awhile! I have your button on my blog. I am a follower, and a fan on facebook. That's 3 for us! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks Barb!"

And -tAy- who said..."I would love to read this book! and I posted your button as well."

If you two could email me your mailing addresses at barb.themomblog(at)gmail(dot)com I'll get those out to you!

Thanks to everyone else for playing! If you didn't win and still want to read the book - you can buy it for super cheap and

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cleaning Your Stove Top: An Old-School Trick

Ever douse flames coming out from underneath your pot of boiling water with water thinking it was an electrical fire? Only to have your husband tell you later it was actually a grease fire?

(my fire wasn't quite this dramatic)

Pretty sure you're not supposed to put out grease fires with water...good thing it worked! I was surprised enough grease had built up to cause a fire in only 9 short months. I either need to clean more often, or become a not-so-sloppy chef - maybe both.

So here is my trick to getting your burners looking like new again! My mom taught me this long ago and it has been the icing on the cake to get apartment deposits back when we're moving. It's cheaper than buying new burners. And especially good if you have fancy gas burners like these...

...which cost more to replace. But most importantly - it can save you from a grease fire when used often (note to self).

So here's what you do. First check out your disgusting burners...

All you need is some white vinegar and cream of tartar - buy the cheapest possible, so you don't feel bad using it...

First soak your burner plates in hot water and vinegar. I don't measure, I just pour in a good amount till it smells like I'm dying Easter eggs (1/2-1 cup I'm guessing)...

The longer you soak them the better. While mine soaked Little Miss and I ran errands and even played at the park - it was probably a good 2 hours...see all the little bubbles? The vinegar is working it's magic...

Then rinse all the crud off - a lot will just wipe off under water, leaving the horrible black stuff to contend with. I wear gloves so my hands don't smell like vinegar the rest of the day. And to protect my fingers from the sharp edges of the burner plate...

Get a score pad or rag damp...

Mix vinegar with cream of tartar until it is the consistency of glue, a nice paste. You'll need 1-2 Tbsp of paste per burner. For my horribly gross burners I used about 1 1/2 of those little cream of tartar jars...

Then start scrubbing. Coat the entire plate. Some spots will just wipe off while others need more elbow grease...

Voila! One down, three to go...

It only took about 20 minutes of scrubbing and my stove top is shiny again! Love it.

Some before and after...

You can use the same paste on your stove top as well to get those grease rings off...

Done and done. Do you have any old school cleaning tricks to share?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Giveaway: The Five Love Languages Book (closed)

After I graduated college I had (still have) a long list of books my professors recommended reading that I just didn't have time to read while I was in school. This book was on my short list. I'd heard so many great things about it!

My sweet husband gave it to me for Christmas and suggested we read it together...what!? I mean, I know he's great. But him, my left brained engineer husband, volunteer to read a "feelings" book with me!? Weird. But of course I was ecstatic! Since this is what I had intended to force him to do in the first place.

Let me just say...I. Love. This. Book. It's not often that I will recommend something so highly - but seriously, everyone needs to read this. It will change your marriage. Ry and I have always had a great marriage, but there is always room for improvement. And let me just say, it has improved!

We understand each other so much better now. It's amazing. So - if you think you're marriage is perfect, let me remind you that first - this is a *free* giveaway, so you've got nothing to lose. And second, nobody's marriage is perfect, so stop kidding yourself.

In fact, Ry (who also loved it) and I have decided to give this book as a wedding present from here on out...and I sure wish it wouldn't be awkward to give it to some couples I know who struggle understanding each others love language. Maybe doorbell ditching it would be appropriate. We'll see.

Anyway...I'm giving two lucky winners this book!

So here's what you need to do to enter to win...leave a comment. That's it. But, if you want to increase your chances of winning, for each of the following that you do (let me know in your comment what you've done) - your name will be entered again! This giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. address & will be shipped directly from a book seller.

1 - Grab the button on the right sidebar and link my site up to yours

2 - Post about this giveaway on your blog

3 - Become a follower (see right sidebar)

4 - Post about this giveaway on your facebook status

5 - Become a fan of The Mom Blog on facebook

DO ALL 5, and let me know in your comment and your name will be automatically entered in 5 more times --> you'll be 5 times more likely to win!!

The giveaway will close Thursday the 13th at 8am - so start spreading the word!

{ Have a great business you'd like to promote through a giveaway on our site? Please contact me - barb.themomblog(at)gmail(dot)com }

Monday, May 10, 2010

How To Get Your Kids To Take Good Pictures

Do you have a little one that refuses to look at the camera when you're trying to get some pictures? Here are some tricks...
  • Lately when I want Little Miss to look at the camera and smile I tell her to look at my crazy eyebrows and just when she looks I make sure they're going up and down really fast, she smiles and I snap a picture.
  • When I want a really good smile or a laughing picture I'll put a stuffed animal on my head and "sneeze" so hard he flies right off - all while holding the camera posed and ready with my free hand.
Really, the sillier I get, the better the picture is.

This weekend we got some family pictures done by this amazing photographer...

...Nicole Anderson. I learned a new trick from her. She asked who Little Miss's favorite cartoon character was and then kept telling Little Miss that Mickey Mouse was in her camera but she had to look really close to see him...SMART! It worked like a charm and we got this cute picture out of it...

Thanks for the new trick Nicole! I hope you don't mind me passing it along. Thanks again for the amazing *free* photo shoot. Proof that blog giveaways are worth entering - I'd never won before, but I finally did! (FYI - giveaway tomorrow on The Mom Blog...)

Do you have any tricks for getting great pictures out of your kids?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Breast Is Best: How hard could it be? Hard!

I thought it would be good to have another perspective on breastfeeding. So I asked Taylor, mom of 2, to share her breastfeeding experience.

I always planned to breastfeed. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me that breastfeeding could be a struggle or that there was a possibility it wouldn’t work out. After all, my mom breastfed all 6 of us until we were old enough say, “Breast milk, please, Mama”.

I was so confident in my inherent ability to breastfeed that when my dear husband suggested we take a breastfeeding class, I laughed at him. Child birth class, yes. Infant CPR, of course. But breastfeeding? People have breastfed since the dawn of time. How hard could it be?

As it turned out, pretty hard. M., although a practically perfect baby in every other way, did not know how to suck. Not only that, but she had zero interest in nursing. The nurses were pretty laid back about it at first. However, when hours went by and she still had no interest in food, they pulled out the pump.

Our hospital was very supportive of nursing, so no one suggested a bottle but they did have me give M. the colostrum through a syringe. The next day, the lactation specialist came to help but she couldn’t get M. to latch on either.

Finally, out of desperation, they gave me a nursing shield (a little silicone nipple that goes over your actual nipple). M. still wasn’t interested and still couldn’t latch. If we dripped some of the colostrum on the nipple shield, she would nibble a little bit but that was it.

Hearing other women's nursing stories is so interesting. I have known women who were in similar situations whose doctor recommended supplementing with formula at this point. But my doctor just sent us home, and told us to keep pumping and trying and that maybe M. would be more interested when my milk came in.

Well, my milk came in in abundance. But M. still wasn’t interested in eating. And (big surprise here) she wasn’t gaining weight. We went back to the hospital and the nurse showed us how to hold this tiny tube hooked to a syringe full of milk next to the nipple shield so that M. was getting milk while she was nibbling. The idea was that the supplemented milk would get her sucking. S. and I got pretty good at this system (although it took both of us to do it) and I was feeling more successful.

Not wanting to leave any stone unturned, we also paid nearly $200.00 out-of-pocket for a fancy lactation specialist to come to our house. She couldn’t get M. to latch on either (which was actually rather validating; it wasn’t just me).

At our next doctor’s appointment, M. was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (heartbreaking) and still wasn’t gaining enough weight. The doctor told us that we needed to start giving M. a bottle and that we needed to feed her every 2 hours around the clock. I did ask about using a cup or a syringe but both my doctor and lactation consultants felt that M. needed the practice sucking only a bottle could provide.

My life became feeding. It consisted of an endless cycle of attempting to nurse M using the tube and syringe, bottle feeding, soothing, pumping and then waking her up to attempt to nurse again. Somewhere I had read that the first 6 weeks were the most crucial for breastfeeding (who knows if that is even true?), so I was determined to last that long. But, after that, if it wasn’t getting easier, I gave myself permission to give up.

And, amazingly enough, slowly but surely she got the hang of it. By 3 weeks, we didn’t need the tube/syringe system. By 5 ½ weeks, she latched on without a nipple shield and by 8 weeks, we were able to stop supplementing with a bottle.

I was so thrilled. We ended up nursing until she was 18 months (and I was 3 months pregnant) and I loved every minute of it (except when she went through that biting phase). But, here’s the interesting thing. Although I am glad I fought the battle, when I hear of other mothers in similar situations, all I want to do is give them a big hug and tell them that it is okay to give up. That, there are pros and cons to both nursing and formula and that either one is okay.

There are so many other factors to consider besides the litany of “breast is best” research. For example, if I had had any other kids; there is no way I would have had the time to dedicate to feeding. Or, if I had had any postpartum depression. Or, if my milk supply hadn’t been so abundant. Basically, I feel lucky that it worked out for me and have nothing but love and admiration for women in similar situations who weren’t so lucky.

When I was pregnant with my second baby, I didn’t plan to breastfeed. I was too aware of the possibility that it might not work out. I hoped to breastfeed.

Thanks for your insight Taylor!! Your dedication is amazing. I probably would've been in tears the whole time. I'm glad it worked out for you.

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Semi-New AAP Carseat Recomendations

Am I the only one that missed this last year? Apparently the new standard is to keep your child rear facing until 2 years old or longer - whatever the maximum weight is on your convertible car seat (usually 35 lbs).

Wow. Little Miss was so happy when we turned her around at one. I don't know how I would have kept her entertained for another year. A new study shows that it is 5x safer to keep them rear facing until two. Five times!!

In Sweden they keep their kiddos rear facing until age 4 or so and have 90% less fatalities because of it. Hmm...something to think about. Wonder why my pediatrician didn't pass on the news.

I am one that likes to follow the recommendations once I understand the why - so our next kid will be rear facing until at least 2 and with Little Miss to help entertain I think (hope) that it'll be easier!

Have you kept your child rear facing beyond one? Have any tricks to keep them happy while riding backwards?

Joel's Journey - watch this video to understand the difference between rear/front facing for children during an accident.

Thanks for passing on this info Shirley! I had no idea.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Menu

Any reason to have an impromptu celebration that involves cake is okay by me. So Happy Cinco de Mayo!! And on the menu...tacos with homemade tortillas and Tres Leches for dessert. So good!

I love homemade tortillas. They remind me of my childhood. My mom made the best homemade tortillas. My sister can duplicate them perfectly, and although I have the same recipe, mine never turn out quite as good. But I think I figured out the trick last night. Time. So here is the recipe...

Homemade Tortillas (a dozen)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup luke warm water
Sift flour and salt together. Cut shortening into flour mixture. Add water. Knead 50 times. Divide into 12 balls. Let sit covered for 15 minutes (the longer the better - that's the trick!). Roll out and heat on buttered skillet till brown spots appear.

Fill with your favorite toppings! A couple of things to make your life easier when making homemade tortillas...

A tortilla warmer. So handy. And just in case you forget what is in your tortilla says tortillas on the top. These are pretty cheap and you can pick them up anywhere.
And my very favorite Bakers Mat from Pampered Chef. One of the best things anyone ever gave me. I make a lot of pies - so this is super handy. It's flexible so you can just curl it backwards to pry your rolled out dough off without ruining it. I hate flour messes on the counter and I hate trying to peel dough off of my counter. So...this is the best thing!

And for dessert...

Tres Leches - a traditional mexican cake

This cake is light, airy, and moist. My favorite part is the real whipped heavy cream topping (so much better than cool whip). It's easy to make and you really can't mess it up.

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream
  • _____
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/spray a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff.

Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. This cake is great when served with fresh strawberries!

Monday, May 3, 2010

3 Bags Full Puppet Pouch + Bicycle Man

I love fair trade crafts! I love that it is a unique item Little Miss can play with that wasn't produced in a factory with cheap parts. Fair trade crafts are handmade by women overseas with care.

I love that it's fair trade because that means these women are getting good money for their handy work!, unique toy for Little Miss + helping women in other countries make money to support their families. It's a win-win!

Our latest fair trade craft is a 3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouch. Little Miss has had this toy for about a month and loves it!

Inside a hand painted bag are 8 puppets. There are snaps on the scene & the puppets so we can move them around as we tell stories.

The pouch came with a list of books we could get from the library to help the creative juices of story telling start to flow.

I love that it came with a list of books! I would've never thought to go out and find some with the appropriate animals. Any educational toy is a winner with me.

Plus the snaps are good practice for Little Miss's motor skills. She even learned about a new animal with this pouch - the porcupine. Isn't he cute?!

This toy is nice and quiet and has become a staple to keep Little Miss entertained at church. It also helped motivate her during the first few days of potty training because we would only play with it while she sat on the potty. My stories got very animated and silly. This encouraged more potty time.

Another fair trade item we love - Little Miss's "bicycle man". My sister purchased this from a local store that sells fair trade items. It is probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Working wheels and legs that pedal. Little Miss insists on taking him on walks and pushes him all over the house and outside on nice days.

Not sure if there is a fair trade store near you? There probably is - you just have to search a little! Or go here and check out the 3 Bags Full Puppet Pouch! I love the farm, jungle, and ocean pouches too...I'll probably have to add those to our collection someday.
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