Ask Callista 4/13 –New Weekly Feature–Get Your Questions Answered

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A Little Background

Kathleen Garber aka Callista of Callista's RamblingsI love knowledge and I love helping others. When I started my blog, one of the things I wanted to do was impart knowledge to others. Not that I claim to have all the answers of course but what I don’t know, I have fun looking up.

When I was a kid, my mother and I would pick a topic, research it, and present it to each other in a fun way (demonstrations, bristol board displays etc.) Yes like a grade school project, but for fun.  As a teenager I research Autism and made my own binder full of notes and research. I still have it I think.  I didn’t really know anyone with Autism, it just interested me and still does.

So yeah, I love knowledge. It`s why I read almost exclusively nonfiction.

On to the Feature

So every Friday, I will answer questions submitted to me by readers and friends. They fall under one of three categories: General Knowledge (Something I could look up if I don`t know), Advice/Opinions (My advice on the subject or I will gather advice from others if I don’t know or feel qualified to answer) and Personal (questions about me or my blog.)
You can submit your questions here.

The Questions

Samantha asks: What do you suggest for a child who is interested in potty training some days and will do good for a week or two, but then will stop and not want to use the potty at all for a few weeks? My daughter will be 2 and and half in May and I would really like her to be potty trained by the end of the summer.

Callista says: Potty training is difficult because we control so much about our children’s lives and potty training is the one thing that we can’t control. We can’t MAKE them go. We can put them on the potty, we can reward, bribe or threaten all we want. But we can’t make them go.  Many parents have a goal of when they would like their child potty trained by and it’s okay to have a goal but ultimately, the decision rests with the child. If she is showing interest and has even gone a few times, then she does want to do it, but she may either feepottytrainingl pressured and be pulling back or she may be nervous about moving to the next step.

Make sure you not only praise her when she goes but when she chooses to just sit on the potty. If she goes in her diaper, don’t make a negative comment. It’s tempting to say something like, “You know you should really do that in the potty” or “Big girls go on the potty” but that may backfire on you. Just change her diaper as if it’s no big deal, do it quick. One trick to try is to start dumping the poop into the toilet before throwing out the diaper. It’s a subtle message about where it should be, without saying anything. Depending on how often she is going in the toilet and if she is interested in wearing underwear and if you are willing to deal with a lot of mess, some parents (including me) have found just switching to underwear a good way to go. Once they actually have to FEEL their mess, they are more apt to go to the toilet. However you don’t want to switch back to diapers so take this step only if you are both ready.

Jen asks: When milk is heated does it lose any nutrients or calcium?

Callista says: I had a lot of trouble finding an answer to this one! There is a lot of Glass of Milk - Is It Safe to Heat Milkconflicting advice around and the sources I would trust, didn’t seem to have anything on it.  I think the main consensus seems to be that heating at high temperatures can make milk lose some of it’s nutrients but that heating up milk in the microwave for a baby or a hot drink should be okay if you heat it up in short bursts, for as little time as possible. Heat no more than 30 seconds at a time, and you really shouldn’t need much more after that anyways. I will look into this furthur and see if I can find a more concrete answer from a reliable source. If I do I will be sure to share it. Also remember I am not a medical professional and will not be held liable for my advice.

Rebelle of Dishin with Rebelle asks: What is some advice you can give to new bloggers or even bloggers that have been around awhile but are still struggling?

Callista says: My two biggest tips/advice for new or struggling bloggers is this:

1. All is Not What It Seems
It may look like that bigger blogger has it all, has more time to devote to their blog than you, is just better at blogging than you, got lucky when it comes to opportunities or has a huge fan base that comments on every post but NOT NECESSARILY.  Those bloggers have a larger fan base and great opportunities because they work hard for it and they’ve figured out shortcuts to save time. They use scheduled posts, scheduled tweets and post/email templates. They often spend many hours on their blog, getting little sleep. Most of all, they have #2 on my list.

2. You Need a Community
ShePromotes-1I’ve blogged for years, some of which were on and off, but fairly steadily since at least 2007 yet I got piddly stats until just recently (2011).  The biggest help to my blogging has been the blogging communities I’ve found and joined. I bounce ideas off of them, they help me with problems and they exchange comments, retweets, giveaway entries and stumbles with me. (Also pins, follows, +1s and visits) It takes some time to find the right one(s) for you. I’ve joined some and found they weren’t for me and moved on. My two biggest community groups are the Canuck Bloggers Network and She Promotes. Just make sure you follow any communities rules.

Okay that’s it for today, this post has gotten really long! If you submitted a question and I didn’t answer it, check back next week! If you want to submit a question, fill out this form.

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