The Relapse - Potty Training Tips from Paulina!

Posted on February 21, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

It’s me, Paulina!!

I couldn’t wait to share more of my potty-training knowledge with you, so here goes…

Snag 3: The relapse

A relapse is not uncommon in certain situations.  If you have big life changes coming up, such as a move to a new house, a new nanny being hired, or a baby being born, this may cause a fully potty-trained child to have a relapse.

When choosing a time to begin potty training, such circumstances should be considered, and if possible, potty training should be put off until after things are more settled and a normal routine is again established.

Should a relapse occur in a seasoned potty-goer, remember the ideology of the “Poo Poo Fairy.”   Staying positive is key.  If your child has already graduated as a trainee and said goodbye to me, I will not be able to come to your home to help - which makes me sad.  But you can remind your child that they have already mastered potty-training.  Remind them of how proud we all are and we know they can keep using the big-kid potty.  You might want to re-read my story and remind your child of how I never gave up even though I wasn’t very good at many of the fairy helper talents that I tried to master before I became the Poo Poo Fairy. They can follow my example and never give up, even though we sometimes make mistakes!!

If you as parents really think it is best, I can come back to visit for a day or two.  But I suggest doing that only if my trainee truly needs me!

Good Luck!  And have a magical day!!


Posted in Potty Training with Paulina!

The Dreaded Accident - Potty Training Tips from Paulina!

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

Paulina here again!

I was fluttering with excitement to continue giving you tips on how to handle potty-training snags that may arise.  So, without further delay, here is another helpful suggestion!!

Snag 2: The inevitable but dreaded…ACCIDENT

Though unpleasant, it is pretty typical for your trainee to have several accidents before they get a full grasp of potty training.  This is natural, and it is important to remember not to get angry but to remain positive and encouraging!

You can minimize this occurrence by making sure you are continually asking your child if they have to go potty.  A timer is super helpful in the beginning for you both to remember. 

As your trainee progresses, though, you want to ask less and less.  You would like to help them realize they are capable of holding it.  You know your child’s capabilities better than anyone so your judgment is the best source. However, a good rule of thumb is to ask every hour or so if your trainee needs to go potty. As they become more seasoned potty goers, you will be able to ask them fewer times throughout the day.

If you expect a few accidents, you will be less likely to react negatively.  Just like learning to ride a bike, you cannot expect perfection without a few stumbles along the way.  When a new learner falls, you encourage them to be brave and to get up and try again.  You would never get angry with them for falling down.  Rather, rejoice in their willingness to pick themselves up and keep trying. Think of potty training as you would riding a bike.  It would be very difficult to be perfect without a few stumbles along the way.  You must avoid anger or disappointment.  In its place encourage your child by reminding them that they are still learning and will get better with practice.  Remind them that I am still watching them and waiting for them to succeed. Tell them you and I, Paulina the Poo Poo Fairy, believe that he/she knows that going potty in their pants is incorrect and that they only get rewards from me if they go in the potty.

If you are using big-kid underwear, an accident here or there may actually be beneficial to your journey!!  By experiencing an accident, children are given the opportunity to realize how uncomfortable it is to have wet or dirty pants and will most likely try to avoid that feeling in the future.

Good luck and have a magical day!!


Posted in Potty Training with Paulina!

Parenting Wins in the Waiting Room - The Brain Challenge!

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

Have you ever had to wait for an absurdly long time in a waiting room?  Hasn’t everyone?  For some mysterious reason, every waiting room I have ever been in has always lived up to its name and has required me to wait in it for an excessively annoying amount of time.  These long waits become particularly bothersome when you have small children with you...  Believe me, I know from personal experience.

Due to the fact that I have found myself caught in a long-waiting episode, in a dull and boring waiting room on so many occasions with my kids, I have been forced to get creative with my methods of entertaining them. The novelty of being in a new place littered with a few shabby toys and books, surrounded by unfamiliar humans wears off pretty quickly. Thus I have often found myself in the middle of a roaring battle between allowing my children to be the crazy, energetic kids they are and the need to prove to all the stink eyes shooting in my direction that I am actually a good parent who has control over my children.

Here is the solution that has emerged from my many waiting room battles…Brain Challenges!!  It has been my experience that every kid loves a challenge and rises to the occasion, so this little game has worked swimmingly as a means to pass the time in the ever-familiar waiting rooms of the world. 

Here’s how we play:

I give each one of my children, in turn, an age appropriate math, science or English question to answer and we keep score…it’s that simple!

My kids love the challenge and have a grand time watching me try to stump them over and over again.  Meanwhile, the waiting room minutes are ticking away while my kids remain subdued and engaged in learning.  And the stink eyes of the room are all wafting in the direction of the lady in the opposite corner having an obnoxiously loud phone conversation and safely away from us!  For heaven sakes if that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is!!

I hope this little tip saves you from all the stink eyes in your next waiting room…enjoy!!

Posted in Parenting Wins!

The Reluctant "Goer" - Potty Training Tips from Paulina!

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

The Poo Poo Fairy


Hello, Paulina here! 


 Throughout my many exciting potty-training escapades, I have learned a thing or two about how to handle potty training "snags," as I like to call them. I have found that potty-training fun often comes with a twinkle of a problem here and there. The happy news is that this is very normal and must not be a reason to be discouraged.  There are many ways to handle these problems with a touch of magic and patience!

I thought it would be fairytastic to share with you some of the magical ways I have discovered to handle potty-training snags that may arise.

Snag 1:  The Reluctant “Goer”

“Just let it go!”  All parents have said these words.  The solution seems so simple to parents. However, to a child who has never done this before, the idea of “letting it go” in the potty rather than the diaper seems scary and foreign. The result is a battle between exhausted parents and an uncertain child with tightly clenched butt cheeks!

With the “Poo Poo Fairy” goal in mind to make potty training a whimsical and fun experience, frustration and tempers are unwelcome company.

Should you have a “reluctant goer,” try adding a little extra whimsy to the process.  Get your sweet child’s mind off of their fear and onto ME by reading my story while they sit on the potty!!  Remind them that I am there and excited to see them succeed.  A reminder that I have rewards waiting for them if they succeed couldn’t hurt either!

Not working?  Try this.  You will need a willing helper, if possible.  To further distract your trainee from any fear they might have, have my “helper” stand outside the closed bathroom door so they will not be noticed.  And have them play some fairy or pixie noises from a mobile phone.  These noises can easily be found and played off of the internet. While your child is listening with wide eyes of wonderment, remind your child that the Poo Poo Fairy is there outside the door, hopeful and waiting for them to succeed!  You may also have your “helper” throw small treats such as chocolate chips or stickers under the door as your child calms down, begins to show a willingness to cooperate and then gives some valiant attempts. This will show my support and encourage your child to continue trying.

Good Luck and have a magical day!!


Posted in Potty Training with Paulina!

Veggie Fairies!!

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

One childhood hurdle is learning to eat healthy!  Let’s face it, eating vegetables and other healthy foods is not something a child always looks forward to.  Luckily, the Veggie Fairies at Helper’s Hollow know just how to make eating healthy fun and even tasty. 

Along with the Veggie Fairies, I would love to share some of the most helpful, healthy and delicious recipes for snacks and meals that we have found that kids will love!!

I’ll start with a family favorite!  This is a dinner that all my kids (including my almost 2 year old) love that has lots of hidden veggies and healthy foods!!

Thank you to Our Best Bites for the amazing recipe!!


Black Bean Soup

1 T olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)

3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)

1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 3.5oz can green chilies

2 cans low-sodium beef broth

1 t kosher salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 t chili powder

1/4 t cumin

1/2 t dry oregano leaves

1 bay leaf

1 lime

Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

 Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat.  When pan is warm, add olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.

 Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup.

Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. 

Puree soup until completely smooth.  Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges. 


Posted in Veggie Fairies

Poop Adventures!

Posted on January 16, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

I know many moms and dads out there are enjoying what I like to call “poop adventures” every day!  "Poop adventures" are those daily events with potty training and newly potty-trained kiddos ranging from funny to just plain disastrous!!  Take my word for it that these events, while not always enjoyable and frustrating at the time, turn into some wonderful and hilarious memories!

 As the author of The Poo Poo Fairy, it seemed fitting to create a series of blog posts where I share stories of "poop adventures" from my own children as well as from my family and friends.  I love to hear humorous stories if you feel so inclined to share and will pass them along here!!  We are in this together!  Every parent must join this potty-training club where "poop adventures" can and will happen.  So, whenever you feel frustrated, here is a place where you can read of other people’s adventures with potty training and realize that you are definitely not the only one!

So to start out, I will share a "poop adventure" of my own:

Like every other night, we had begun our extensive bedtime routine with Jane, our first child. We had already attempted and abandoned potty training one time due to the fact that Jane stopped pooping altogether.  She wouldn’t do it in the potty and even stopped doing it in her diaper; she was just terrified to do it at all.  So, needless to say, Jane was - shall we say - long overdue for a "movement."

This night was business as usual.  Jane, in preparation for her bath, was fully nude and running around the house like a crazy lady while the bathtub filled up.  She was running feverishly, with an energy that I only wish I could muster at the end of the day, when all of a sudden she stopped rather abruptly with a quizzical, distant look.  My husband and I were so enthralled with her strange behavior that we failed to notice in time: the familiar focused look that began to emerge on Jane’s face that came accompanied with a reddish tinge and a popping vein on her forehead.

These were the tell tale signs that Jane was trying to have a…ahem…movement!  This realization came too late, and I was only able to scoop Jane up at the very moment that she had completed her task.  Unfortunately, the stinky results lay smack dab in the middle of my freshly mopped kitchen floor. 

I was torn between feeling happy that she had finally been able to have a much needed bowel movement and realizing that it would be my job to clean it up.  I suppose that Jane thought she would give mid-air a whirl as a place to poop since both the potty and the diaper were disliked at that point in time.  That is a moment in her potty training saga I shall never forget!


I love hearing from you!  Email me at or leave comments below!

Posted in Poop Adventures

A Happy Blunder!!

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments



We began the day like any other school day…busy, busy, busy!  All rushed and frantic, we ran through our normal morning routine: get dressed, make beds, brush teeth, do hair, put socks on, eat breakfast, make lunches, jackets and shoes., etc., etc., etc.  We loaded ourselves into the car and sped off to the school, ready to conquer our first day back after the holiday break!


The kids and I pulled into the parking lot of the school just as I was finishing my usual morning pep talk.  It took us several seconds of utter confusion and dismay to realize that the parking lot was nearly empty and the school grounds - which should have been bustling with people - looked deserted.  It slowly began to dawn on me that I may have mistaken the true day on which I should be bringing my children back to school.  Hiding my face from anyone passing by, I quickly grabbed my phone to check the school website.  Alas, I had indeed brought my kids to school...a day early…

I quickly tried to formulate a back-up story to explain my idiocy in case I encountered anyone I knew as I escaped from the school parking lot.  However, we made it safely out of the school grounds without being noticed and were free to have a good chuckle over our mistake.  My sweet kids and I giggled quite heartily as we drove home from school with the beautiful morning sun still shining down on us.

It was as I watched my kids’ giddiness over another day at home that I realized what a happy blunder this had all been.  I had been given another beautiful day free of responsibility or commitment with my kiddos.  We spent the day going out to lunch, playing play dough, doing kitchen science projects, watching movies, having laser-tag gun wars and dancing together!  This day was a blessing in more ways than one.  Not only was it just plain fun, but it was a day where I realized what a blessing these three children are to my life.  They are what bring magic to my life, and I feel so honored to be their mom!



Cherish every moment with your little ones, for those magical moments will be here and then gone faster than we realize!



Posted in Mary's Epiphanies