Friday, May 15, 2015

Six Magic Words

I have discovered that there are six magic words that you can say to your picky eater to help with dinner stress. Seriously.

Gus is a VERY picky eater and usually when it's time for dinner, he picks from a limited selection of: hotdogs, eggs, waffles/pancakes, mac-n-cheese, or a quesadilla. If we're having pizza for dinner, he'll usually eat the bread, but doesn't actually like the pizza. I've recently discovered that he WILL eat pizza if there's no optional bread to dissuade him.

So what are these six magic words? Repeat after me:


Really. It's that simple.

So how does this phrase work? I thought you'd never ask. :-)

I cook whatever I know Steve and I want for dinner. I make one dinner and I put a portion on a plate for Gus. We sit down to eat dinner, and he's got on his plate the same thing that Steve and I have on ours. He typically says, "I don't want that." or "I'm not eating that, it's yucky!" And trust me, he puts his little foot down and throws a tantrum about dinner.

In the past, I'd just make him something that I knew he'd eat, and I'd say I was choosing my battle. That was fine and dandy, but then I realized I don't want a picky eater at five to be a still picky eater at 10 and even pickier eater at 15. The only way to stop the continuation was to just put an end to the options.

When dinner is placed on the table, the fridge lock (for babyproofing) goes on the fridge door. Gus cannot open it. The pantry already has a lock, so he can't get into that either. He's told, "You don't have to eat it..." and he usually continues with his ranting about not eating his dinner.

We don't fight or argue, or raise our voices. We simply repeat, "you don't have to eat it." Then we add the part that makes this so perfect. We say, "You don't have to eat it, but that's what's for dinner, and that's all that you're getting tonight."

He's then told that there will be nothing else to eat and he'll go to bed hungry. He's given until 6:30 (his bedtime) to choose what to do. He usually keeps on with "I'm not eating that" and that's totally cool. We enjoy our dinners and keep saying, "You don't have to eat it."

When we finish eating, we start giving him a count-down to how much time he has left to eat. He's told that once he's finished with his dinner, he can have more, or can have dessert. It's usually not enough of an enticement to make him eat. So he digs in, and keeps fighting and we just keep repeating the six magic words.

Right around 6:30 something fantastic happens though. EVERY time we've had an issue with him eating his dinner, we get to this part of the night and the magic happens. 


Not kidding. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I used to think he'd go to bed hungry and would have a battle of wills with me, and then I'd feel guilty and upset that he was hungry. I mean, what kind of mother lets her child starve? But it's all about power and I know he's testing limits and trying to see what he can get away with.

Every time we've had an issue, he's gotten to the 6:30 window and the thought of going to bed without anything to eat has been enough that he's actually consumed everything on his plate. Yes, EVERYTHING.

This is what Gus has had for dinner that he's thrown a tantrum over:
Hashbrown casserole (ham, potatoes, cheese)
Tacos (Beef, cheese, hard shell)
Grilled chicken, steamed potatoes, and green beans

While it may not seem like a big deal that he's eating these things, it's HUGE. Tonight was the battle over tacos. He did NOT want the ground beef on his taco. He only wanted the cheese and shell. No can do. I filled a shell with beef and put cheese on it and it sat at the table ready for him to eat it for 45 minutes. He finally took a bite and said, "I like it!" LOL

I'm not sure if this is something that will work for everyone, and if you've got a picky eater, you're probably saying, "No way would this work with my kiddo." However, I dare you to give it a try. You've got to be 100% committed to following through with your word. No negotiating "If you take a bite... blah blah blah." You need to set the rules from the start and that's what you do.

If it works, you'll be as elated as I am and wonder where would you be without the six magic words.

Monday, May 04, 2015

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge : Rain/Water

Rain/Water Challenge 
(Click the image to view it larger)

Friday, April 03, 2015

Bible Study

I think I mentioned this before, but I joined a local MOPS group this year. If you don't know what MOPS is, it's Mothers of Preschoolers. It's totally different from my MOMS Club because it's all faith-based. At first, I wasn't sure if I'd like that aspect of it, but as the year has gone on, I've found myself really looking forward to my MOPS Thursdays.

Every other week, I go to a local church and meet with other moms of preschoolers. Hugh goes to their nursery with other kiddos his age and he plays for two hours while we meet in fellowship. There's always food (there's a sign-up and at least once during the year you're asked to bring something). There's usually a craft, and there's always some theme for the week.

Yesterday I had MOPS and we discussed a book that we were all given at Christmas as a gift. I wish I had started reading the book sooner than Tuesday (lol), but I was able to read about 100 pages of the book and had enough info from it to participate in the conversation during the MOPS meeting.

Something interesting came from yesterday's meeting. While reading the book that we were to discuss, I found myself asking a lot of questions and questioning things. Mainly, "Am I the only person that doesn't hear God when I talk to Him or ask questions?" I know prayers are answered in their own time, and I can usually look back and see reasons for things, but I've never had a flat out discussion with God with back and forth.

I asked the women at my table if any of them had experienced this. In the book, the author discussed her many conversations with God and Him talking to her. Like, for real, legit talking to her. 

To my surprise, the women at my table had all had some kind of conversation with God and had heard answers in some form. One said she has had arguments with God (lol) and clear as day knew she was hearing the voice of God through different means. Another shared that she hasn't had a voice, but has been lead to follow God by different signs that she's learned to pay attention to. Another said she just follows God's lead by reading various passages in the Bible, or will head a voice in her head saying to read different verses and she knows that's God talking to her.

I was dumbfounded. I have never had an experience like this. Then we talked more about the Bible and I admitted that I don't know the Bible, don't read it, and wasn't raised reading it. I was Catholic after all. They all agreed that the beginning should start with the Bible and it's never too late to start.

One of the ladies said she had something for me and would give it to me at the end of the meeting. We made cards as our craft, said our intentions and prayed for all that were shared, and then we were done. She said she'd meet me down at the nursery (where I was heading to get Hugh) and when I came out with Hugh, she gave me a women's devotion book and an audio book thingy that I can listen to in my car.

I was really overwhelmed by her kindness and gave her a big hug. I texted Brittany after and told her about the meeting and the discussion and we got to talking about Bible Study. She suggested we do one together.

I honestly feel like God works in amazing ways. I asked Britt if we should ask some of our other friends and see if they'd be interested in doing a women's Bible Study together and she said absolutely. I emailed a few friends last night, and we now have a group of seven that will be starting our Bible Study on April 13th!

The book that's above is the one that we'll be starting with. It sounded interesting and I like Jen Hatmaker (I follow her blog). I'm eager to deepen my relationship with God, and to experience the fellowship that comes from sharing and opening up with friends. 

I feel so fortunate to have people that I can depend on and that support me. I think we'll all grow and connect even more through our Bible Studies together!!

I'll be sure to post again once we start and share how it's going!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


ECLP stands for Erin Condren Life Planner

I used to be really into scrapbooking and then for whatever reason, I stopped. I think it was a combination of being too busy and a certain little boy entering our lives, that scrapbooking was put onto the back burner. However, I've always loved stickers and decorating and different styles of lettering.

When I was making money selling Jamberry (I still sell it, but haven't had a sale in a while), I had enough money to buy a planner. I've always preferred writing down things to just entering into my phone, and having something visual in front of me helps me remember events and plans. I went ahead and splurged and bought myself an ECLP.

I went on Facebook to see if there were any EC groups and I could not believe my eyes at what I found. Talk about a community of people (mainly women) dedicated to sharing images, pictures, and ideas on how to use your planner for more than just plans.

Steve bought me a Silhouette Cameo for Mother's Day, but I never had time to sit down and learn how to use it, so it sat in the box... for months and months. Being on the different EC FB groups, I saw lots of people making stickers for their planners and I thought, "Hey! I can totally make my own with my Silhouette!!" With that, I set out to learn how to use my machine... and now I am officially obsessed.

Seriously. Just ask Steve.

Here are a few of the things I've made:
My very first set of stickers... it was a bust, but I got my machine to cut

Here's a sticker in my planner :D

Some of my weekly spreads with stickers:

I really enjoy my planner. I love making stickers and love the feeling of satisfaction that comes over me when I've created something that I can use.  I've even made my own covers! My favorite is my Burn Book cover. I love the movie Mean Girls and love love love this cover. If you've never seen the movie, you won't understand this cover, but if you've seen it, you'll likely enjoy this.

This is what I use to cut the stickers:
It's been a jerk lately and acting like a fool, so some days I have to just turn it off and walk away before I throw it out the window for not working as it should. LOL

Anyway... wanted to share my latest obsession and hobby. If you think you'd like a planner... you can use the link on the side of my blog and save $10 on your first order!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Movie Review: Into the Woods

I went to the movies with two of my best girls a few weeks ago, and we saw Into the Woods. This is a Disney movie, but it is NOT kid-friendly. This movie is fantastic, but it's not your usual Disney family-friendly take on fairy tales. Instead, it's the dark and graphic version that you likely have never heard, unless you've read Grimm's Fairy Tales. 

The story is an interesting one, in that all the characters interact and are woven together through an unusual plot. You've got Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk), Cinderella and Prince Charming, Rapunzel and her prince, Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp), and then there's the witch (Meryl Streep), and the Baker and his wife. 

I do not remember a fairy tale with a baker and his wife, but in this movie, the baker and his wife are infertile because of a curse the witch placed on the family after she found the baker's father robbing her garden. The witch appears immediately and tells the couple that in order to lift the spell that she placed upon the family, they would need to get specific items, bring them to her, and then she would be able to lift the spell and the wife would find herself pregnant. They were desperate, so they set out to find the items she requested.

The items needed included: Red Riding Hood's cape, Cinderella's golden slipper (not glass), a cow as white as milk (Jack's cow-- "Milky White"), and hair as yellow as corn. Because they needed these four items, they intertwined with each of the characters in some way.

I enjoyed the movie and found it to be really entertaining, but there was a LOT of singing. Like 85% of this movie is all song. It is, a film adapted from the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical, "Into the Woods."

I definitely recommend it to someone that likes musicals and wants something fun to watch while the kids are in bed.  :-)