More Tips and Tricks for Potty Training with Paulina!!!

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

Potty training can be tricky!  And based on my experiences with just my three kids, I can confirm that every child is different!  Here are so more fun tips and tricks on how you can use Paulina to make this process easier. 

Paulina, we're not ready for potty training!  Help! 

Often times, toddlers with older siblings observe them using the bathroom and get a little too excited to start their own potty journey.  This can result in stripping kiddos with diapers torn off and thrown aside, and endless babble about going “bafroom”! 

While this is an exciting development in a toddler’s life, it is not always the best time to begin.  Quite often, a toddler is ready to start the potty training journey before their parents are.  Timing, after all, is very crucial to potty training, so how do you delay an anxious potty trainer?

            Paulina can help!!  

Explain to your child that he/she must wait for the Poo Poo Fairy to come before you can start potty training.  This is your chance to read The Poo Poo Fairy book over and over again to get your toddler excited for Paulina’s arrival.  You can plan the perfect day and start a countdown.  As you remind your child that you will not start potty training until Paulina arrives, you can use the time to make preparations for the big day.  Stock up on special treats and prizes for your child, gather several packs of underwear, let your child pick out a potty seat.  And be sure to read the Poo Poo Fairy Book often to keep your child excited for Paulina to help them potty train!

How to keep the magic going while flying solo?

The magic of the Poo Poo Fairy is exciting for a toddler as they embark on the often scary and difficult journey of potty training.  However, Paulina’s magic requires someone to keep up the magic by placing a special treat or prize next to Paulina as your child has a success with his or her training.  This can sometimes feel like a two person job. 

However, quite often a mom or dad is alone while attempting to be at their child’s side near the potty as well as keeping Paulina’s magic alive.  Here are some tips to make this easier:

Change Paulina’s location each time your child has a success.  Have a stash of treats and possible prizes in a place that is easily accessible.  Once your little one has had success and has washed their hands, send them on a journey around the house to search for where Paulina has ended up this time.  While your child is off searching, this gives you a moment to grab a prize or treat and place it, along with Paulina in a new spot for your child to stumble across.
What do you do if Paulina is in the bathroom with you and your child to cheer you on?  (Some toddlers love to have Paulina close.)  Place some small prizes and treats in spots that are out of reach of your child.  You may do this the night before, in preparation for your day of potty training.  Here’s where your acting skills come in handy.  Have Paulina whisper in your ear the location of where she has hidden a special prize for your potty trainer.  Tell Paulina “Thank you” and send your child off to grab the prize that Paulina has left for him or her.

Paulina travels!

Have you ever had success with potty training at home but your child struggles to find the courage and motivation to go potty anywhere else?  Luckily, Paulina loves to travel!  It’s so easy to take Paulina with you wherever you go.  Put her in a grocery bag, along with some small treats and prizes.  Now, Paulina can offer support and deliver prizes and treats wherever you need her to.

 Here is Paulina delivering a treat for a potty success my daughter had while we were at the grocery store:

Paulina at the store!

A motivational sneak peak!

Often times pooping in the potty can be the most difficult and scary part of potty training.  A parent may feel frustrated knowing that if their poor toddler could only go poop just once in the potty, they would see how easy and rewarding it is and it would become much easier afterward.

It is at this point -- when just one successful poop is needed to start the ball rolling -- that some added motivation might be helpful!  Paulina loves to save her most special prize for the first poop in the potty.  And if necessary, she will allow a sneak peak at this very special prize so the potty trainer knows what magical fun awaits them when they get that first poop in the potty!

After the initial success, pooping in the potty becomes much easier.  And the potty trainer is generally much more excited to have another success knowing that more magical fun and prizes await them.

When an accident discourages future progress!

When the inevitable accident occurs, it needs to be dealt with kindly.  An accident can be quite scary and discouraging for a new potty trainer and can prevent them from wanting to continue trying. 

This is the perfect time to read Paulina’s story again.  Paulina herself was unsuccessful at being a helper fairy at first.  She failed over and over again before she finally found success as the Poo Poo Fairy.  The little boy in the story also struggles to learn how to use the big-kid potty.  This is good way to remind your child that it is ok to make a mistake, but that they must not give up trying.  If they never give up they will eventually succeed, just like Paulina did! 

It is also helpful to remind your child that Paulina is still around, ready and waiting to reward and surprise them when they succeed!

Worried about spoiling your child?     

Paulina’s magic and motivation are dependent upon her bringing fun treats and surprises for your child when they have success.  Though this helps to make potty training a quick and exciting process for you and your child, some parents might be concerned that this may spoil your child into believing that they get treats and prizes all the time.  This is a valid concern.  One I had myself!  Paulina, however, helps with this concern as well!

Paulina, as it is shown in the book, brings her magic when a child is potty training.   Once potty training is complete she needs to be off in search of the next child who needs her help.  This allows the parents of the potty trainee to plan a perfect end to the prizes and treats that come along with potty training.  When everyone says goodbye and thank you to Paulina, off she will go and no more prizes need to be given. 

If your child asks for more prizes and treats after your potty training is complete, it is easy to say that since Paulina is gone no more prizes or treats are coming.  That was simply part of Paulina’s potty training magic and fun and now that they are expert potty-goers she is off to help another child!  Since it appears to your child that Paulina was the one giving the prizes and not mom or dad, it makes sense to believe that you have no prizes or treats to give them.

 I hope these tips and tricks on how to use Paulina help you with your potty training.  Email me at for more help!


Posted in Potty Training with Paulina!

Parenting Wins -- Recycle Crafts Part 2!!!

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

As I continue in my quest to keep my kids' creative juices flowing, I wanted to share some more fun recycle-crafts projects.  This time we're answering the question:  What can I make with toilet paper, paper towel and wrapping paper rolls?!?

Rain Maker:  This works especially well with longer rolls.  Simply wrap one end of the roll with tin foil (using tin foil is important. It helps make the rain-like sound!) and make sure it is secured tightly with string, a rubber band or tape.  Take a long piece of tin foil and scrunch it together to create a long, tin foil snake.  Place the tin foil snake in the center of the roll.  Fill the roll ¼ of the way with uncooked rice.  Then tightly wrap the other end of the roll the same way as the other end.  To ensure that the rice does not break through the tin foil, I like to also cover both ends with tape or fabric. (Something that cannot be penetrated by little fingers…I have learned this the hard way!)  Then, as your kiddo turns the rain maker up and down, it sounds like rain.  This also makes a neat instrument!

Paint stamps:  You can be creative with what shapes you mold or cut your toilet paper rolls into.  I like to cut them in half so I can get two stamps out of one roll!  Let the kids go wild with creating shapes of their own to paint with! And have fun!!

Marble track:  Gather up your toilet paper rolls!  Once you have a good amount collected, tape them to a wall or a box where your toddlers or young kiddos can reach.  Arrange them in a fun way that will allow a marble or puff ball to travel down the rolls!  This is lots of fun for both little and big kiddos!

Maracas:  I’m all about making instruments.  The fun starts with making it, then it continues as you play and dance with it all day!!  Simply let your kiddos decorate a toilet paper roll.  Then, seal one end tightly with fabric, tin foil or whatever strong material you have on hand.  I prefer to use tin foil cause of the fun sound it makes.  But make sure to cover the tinfoil with tape so the kids can’t break through it and get beans all over your home!!  Fill the roll with some dry beans or pop corn kernels. Then secure the other end.   Now put on some music and let the fun begin!!



Posted in Parenting Wins!

Veggie Fairies - Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese!!

Posted on June 06, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

The Veggie Fairies are experts at finding the best recipes with hidden veggies and healthy benefits for kiddos!  Soup is one of the best ways to hide those veggies beneath delicious flavors!!

Creamy Tomato Soup

Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 T reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil

1 C chopped onion

¾ C shredded carrot

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 Tbs dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2/3 C sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (14oz) can chicken broth

3 oz reduced fat cream cheese

Optional: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish

  1. Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion,  carrot, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.
  2. Add sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (If you’re adding red pepper flakes, add them now)
  3. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover pan and simmer for 30  minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Place soup in a blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Process for a few minutes until smooth.  You could also add cream cheese directly to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine.
  5. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and then divide soup among bowls.  Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a fresh basil leaf if desired.

This delicious soup is so filled with flavor but also filled with tons of veggies.  We love to eat this soup with some grilled cheese sandwiches.  This makes for a perfect meal that all our kids just love!!



P.S.  Email me at!

Posted in Veggie Fairies

Parenting Wins - Recycle Crafts!!!

Posted on May 23, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

With my kiddos climbing the walls as we head into the summer, I find myself needing extra doses of creativity to find ways to help my kids get their creative juices flowing.  Often times for kids, the easiest way to find entertainment is to sit down in front of the TV or Nintendo and mindlessly be entertained.  While these things have value in some cases, I really try to encourage my kids to use their imaginations and to be creative.  This is so beneficial for kids!!  And it is super fun to see what amazing creations kids come up with when given the opportunity to be creative. 

It is also a big win-win when you can find ways for your kids to be creative with things you already have around the house or can get at the dollar store!  Here are a few ideas!

Shoe Boxes:

I rarely throw away a shoe box.  There are so many ways you can put a shoe box to good use:

Leprechaun Traps:  Every year we make leprechaun traps the night before St. Patrick’s Day. With a bit of green paper, St. Patty’s day stickers and some markers my kids have made some especially awesome traps!! They get better every year!

Treasure boxes:  With a few packs of jewel stickers, glitter glue, markers and paper your child can have a blast making a treasure box which can hold their many special treasures.  If your kids are anything like mine, they collect trinkets and little toys from all over that they are simply unable to part with.  These “treasure boxes” can be a perfect place for them to keep these special items! 

Mailboxes:  A mailbox or a box for Valentine’s Day:  We love to make new mailboxes and then write and send notes to each family member.

Diorama:  With random items we found around the house Jane and I made scene of a castle in an enchanted woods! We had a blast!


    Moving Boxes:

    Box huts: Being in the military, our little family has had several opportunities to move and collect all different shapes and sizes of moving boxes.  Most of which, we are anxious to get rid of.  However, I always like to reserve several large boxes to make cool box huts out of!!

    I even made a particularly awesome box castle for one of Jane’s birthday parties!!  I covered it in pink wrapping paper and had fun adding all sorts of castle-ish details!

    You can really make your “box hut” into any fun shape you want which will encourage your little one to have fun imaginary adventures…a rocket ship, race car, cave, castle, house, etc etc.  The possibilities are endless!!!

    Drive-in Movie Night:  Have your kiddos each decorate their own box cars any way they want. Then put a comfy blanket and a pillow in it.  Pop some popcorn, grab some treats, and let your kiddos watch a favorite family movie while sitting in the cars!!!

    Scenery for a play:  Cut the large moving box so it will lay flat. This will create a large area for drawing.  Allow your kids to draw whatever fun scenery they want on the box then when they stand it up next to a wall, it can be the back drop for a play!! Fun!!

    Puppet stage:  Those tall moving boxes are perfect for a puppet stage. Simply cut out a large hole on one side of the box near the top and a small door on the back of the box and let the kids decorate it as they please.  And then you will have a perfect puppet stage!

    Have fun being creative with your kiddos!!


    P.S. I love to hear from you, so email me at!

    Posted in Parenting Wins!

    Veggie Fairies - Hold the Sugar Please!!!

    Posted on March 07, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

    The Veggie Fairies are back with some yummy goodies that have limited or no sugar!!  Yes, it is possible to have a treat without the sugar!!

    Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches (Strawberry Banana)

    Thank you Divas Can Cook for the yummy recipe!  


    • 5 ripe bananas
    • ¾ cup sweet diced strawberries (can use other fruits)
    • 11 sheets of graham crackers (I used Organic cinnamon sugar & chocolate)


    • Slice bananas into disk.
    • Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
    • Freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.
    • Place banana slices in a food processor and blend until creamy.
    • Scoop banana into a large bowl and fold in dice strawberries.
    • Line an 8 x 8 dish with parchment paper.
    • Spread banana mixture into the pan in an even layer.
    • Cut banana mixture into squares (use a graham cracker as a pattern)
    • Assemble ice cream sandwiches.

    Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to store.


    Homemade Healthy Fruit Snacks


    2/3 cup fresh lemon juice or fresh orange juice (if you don’t like sour go with orange, but I definitely prefer the lemon!)

    2/3 cup frozen or fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are all great.)

    1 – 2 Tbs honey

    5 Tbs gelatin



    1. Pour juice and berries into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries become tender and begin to soften.
    2. Add honey and stir until completely incorporated. You will want the fruit to dissolve quite a bit until you have a compote.
    3. Turn the heat off, and quickly whisk in gelatin one tablespoon at a time. Whisk vigorously until completely incorporated, mixing the gelatin in very gradually to avoid lumps.
    4. Puree mixture using a immersion blender or small blender
    5. Pour into a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 glass dish. Refrigerate until set (30 minutes to an hour). Cut in small squares.


    3 Ingredient 1 Minute Flourless Chocolate Cake

    Just 3 Ingredients (or four if you add the zucchini!) and one minute is needed to whip up this delicious moist, fluffy and satisfying chocolate cake!


    • 1 small extra ripe banana (almost brown is perfect)
    • 1 small egg (for the vegan option, use 1 flax egg)*
    • 1-3 T dark cocoa powder (I like a rich taste and usually go 3 T)
    • 1/4 cup zucchini, chopped (optional)



    1.  In a high speed blender or food processor, pulse the banana, egg, cocoa powder and chopped zucchini until a very fine batter is formed.

    2.  Grease a small cereal bowl or mug very well.  Pour the batter in there and cook in the microwave for 60 seconds or longer, depending on desired texture.

    3. Top with fresh berries and whipped cream!!  Yum!





    All these delicious sugar free goodies are tried and true in my home!!  It feels good to feed my kids these treats knowing that they are not terrible for their growing bodies!!  Don’t get me wrong, we eat plenty of sugar (sadly); it’s just nice to take a break from it every now and then!



    I love to hear from you.  Email any thoughts, questions, comments to me at!

    Posted in Veggie Fairies

    A Poop Adventure in DisneyWorld!

    Posted on February 29, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

    I am back with another “poop adventure” except this time it is a pee pee story and about my son, Beckham. 

    My husband is a bit of a Disney buff.  Ok … a BIG Disney buff!  So, as a result, we have made several wonderful trips to Disneyland.  Ryan, my husband, is like a giant kid when we go.  He just eats up every magical detail of Disneyland.  It’s actually pretty funny to watch!   So, when we finally got the chance to go to DisneyWorld, it was a big deal.  Ryan planned for a long time and made sure every detail was perfect. 

    One detail we didn’t fully anticipate was the fact that we had to be shuttled around in between the parks and our hotel due to the massive size of DisneyWorld!  So, most evenings we would leave the park early to avoid the rush and to get the kids in bed early.  

    One night, however, we decided to stay so we could watch the fireworks.  The kids were thrilled to stay up late … which for some reason, is the epitome of excitment for any kid!  Things got really exciting when it started to rain near the end of the fireworks show.  This began a mass exodus, everyone anxious to get home and out of the rain.  The second I saw this, I knew we had stayed five minutes too long, and it was going to be quite a long journey home.

    After waiting for nearly an hour in line to catch a shuttle, with tired, wet and cranky kids, we were finally able to board a shuttle.  The shuttle was packed to the max, so we had to stand near the front of the bus for the whole 15 minute drive to our hotel.  Beckham, who was 3 at the time, was too tired to stand, so I had the unfortunate task of holding a very heavy boy on a shaky shuttle.  This was a challenge, indeed, and I nearly fell into other passengers laps several times.

    Poor Beckham was so tired that he fell asleep in my arms, making his limp body feel even heavier.  We were all wet and very cold on the overly air-conditioned shuttle.  That is why it was odd when I felt something warm creeping down my leg and filling my shoe.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that poor little Beckham, who was potty trained but still had a hard time holding it for long, had wet his pants.  And I was in the direct line of fire! 

    He had apparently been needing to go potty for some time judging by the sheer volume of pee that drenched my shirt, pants, filled my shoe and was now emptying onto the bus floor.  And even worse still, I had yet another 10 or so minutes standing on the freezing bus to be followed by a walk to our hotel…

    Needless to say…we never attempted another late night at Disney again!!!


    I love to hear from you!  Send any comments, questions, thoughts to me at!

    Posted in Poop Adventures

    Veggie Fairies - Quinoa Enchilada Casserole!!

    Posted on February 25, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

    The Veggie Fairies are back with another yummy meal with hidden, healthy benefits!

    Quinoa Enchilada Casserole!!


    1 cup quinoa

    1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce

      1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

      1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted

      1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

      2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

      1/2 teaspoon cumin

      1/2 teaspoon chili powder

      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

        3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

        3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

        1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced

        1 Roma tomato, diced


        In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.

        Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8x8 or 2 quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.

          In a large bowl, combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.

            Spread quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and cheeses have melted, about 15 minutes.               

            This is such a versatile and delicious, healthy meal!!  We love to eat these like tacos.  We put some of this yumm-o casserole on a small wheat tortilla, then add shredded lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, and avocados.  My husband of course likes to add hot sauce!  My kids will eat two or three of these tacos!  And my baby eats the casserole with a spoon.  It is definitely a winner for all!



            Posted in Veggie Fairies

            1 2 3 Next »