When my daughter, Lucia, was born everything was new and we had many, many first times with her. First time nursing, first time enforcing a bedtime and nap time routine and first time potty training. These were all difficult first times for me. Nursing was painful but I ended up mastering the breast feeding arts and Lucia was breastfed for an entire year. Enforcing a bedtime and nap time routine was both tiring and stressful, but our new baby ended up sleeping through the night after endless days of sleep training. And last, but not least, potty training; after trying several times, once we decided to take the diapers off, she was potty trained within a week without any major accidents.
Joaquin was born twenty months after Lucia and everything seemed easier with our second child. Both Enrico and I felt better prepared to tackle the newborn and toddler demands for the second time around. Nursing felt like a breeze and enforcing a sleep schedule was way easier with Joaquin. Unlike Lucia, my son was a heavyweight. We had a chunky, overeater that was breastfeeding 24/7. I was tired and engorged in the middle of the night by his feeding demands and while he was pleasantly asleep, I was expressing breast milk to ease the pain. Enrico and I had our first post-baby official date when Joaquin was around four months. That night, our sitter bottle fed my son for the first time. Ever since that moment, Joaquin did not want to breastfeed anymore. My guess is that he thought Really? I already know that I can chug 8 oz. in five minutes, instead of 45! Gimme that bottle, Mami!! But I felt rejected and could not understand how he preferred plastic vs. the real thing. My nursing days with Joaquin were gone in the blink of an eye.
Everything else has been easier in general with our son, other than his series of unfortunate diseases, he has been a good baby and now toddler. When I signed them up for Summer camp, one of the requirements was that all kids must be potty trained. At home, every time we raise the potty training subject, all I hear coming from his mouth is I am still a baby, Mami. I am YOUR baby, Mami. My heart melts every time...Manipulator!
Joaquin turns three in May and we know he is more than ready to start his training. Having said that, just last Friday we decided to bite the bullet. I started reading potty training books and told Joaquin that we were going to start going to the potty on Saturday. He just smiled and said OK, Mami, I am a big kid now. Last Saturday we took the diapers off and we were ready to have our half naked baby roaming around the house. Mop - Check. All purpose cleaner - Check. Carpet cleaner - Check. Extra underwear - Check. We were ready to tackle all potty training related accidents that day. At sunrise, Joaquin wakes up and to our surprise, he goes straight to the bathroom...First big boy pee-pee - Check. We made a huge deal and he was so proud of himself I did it, I did it! I am a big kid! Within an hour or so he disappears when all of a sudden we hear I'm done, wipe my butt! I just pooped! As you can imagine, we ran to the bathroom and he had done number 2! We were so proud of him and he was loving it!
After the first potty training day, our baby boy was ready for underwear and we took him out for ice cream. Sunday was a very successful day as well, just one small accident in the morning and a great day filled with lots of number ones and also a number two in the big potty. It was literally as easy as 1, 2, 3. I guess that when they are ready they just let us know, don't they? Ay Mama!
After Joaquin tasted his first Samoa Girl Scout cookie he now loves the chocolate and coconut combination. As a treat for his excellent potty training skills I baked a brownie German torte. This is a delicious and quite simple recipe that a friend sent me from a Women's Day Magazine. It is to die for and definitely a keeper. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick melted butter
1 box Family Style Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix (19 oz)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 15 x 10 inch rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil extend above pan on both ends. Coat with non-stick spray. Mix coconut, pecans, brown sugar and butter and set aside.
Prepare brownie mix according to box directions for cake-like brownies. Pour batter into pan and spread. Top with coconut mixture. Bake for 25 minutes and cool down in wire rack.
Lift brownie by the foil ends and place on a cutting board. Cut brownie crosswise in thirds. Beat confectioners sugar and heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
To assemble, place 1 brownie layer (nut and coconut side up) and spread with 1 cup whipped cream and spread. Repeat with remaining layers and cream ending up with nut and coconut side. Frost sides with remaining cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To serve, cut with a serrated knife in 1 inch slices and cut them in half. Buen Provecho!