Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do The Potty Dance!

A couple of weeks ago, our friend Steph had a potty training party. It was a great time to get together with my Mommy group and start the next phase of our toddlers lives.

Dominic and Logan were pretty easy to train, especially being that they are boys. (I have heard girls are easier to train than boys many times) Dominic and Logan we introduced at 18 months, same as with Charlie. Dominic was completely trained before 3, including at night. Logan was completely trained by 2.5 and just recently started wearing undies to bed. (he does still have accidents and we do not always skip a pull up)

I will admit that I was not all into getting Charlie ready to train yet. All for selfish reasons. A-I have one toddler to take to the bathroom seven million times a day and we still only have one bathroom currently. B-I was just not ready to let go of all of her as a baby. However, Charlie is showing us more and more that she is ready to start training.

About a week and a half ago, Charlie wanted to be naked. We let her because we weren't going anywhere. Dominic happened to be home from school on a holiday. The potty chair was in the living room with them, as it always is. Dominic put Charlie on the potty and she pooped! I was in shock. I assumed it was a fluke but we made a big deal about it. We danced. We sang. We gave high fives.

Now onto Wednesday....I am still not all 'hey I need my LAST BABY to be potty training' so I just go with the flow. When Charlie wants to be Naynee, as she calls it, I let her. That is how we potty trained Logan and it is how we will train Charlie. Let her run around without anything on for a few days. Wipes, lysol and paper towels in hand. Be free child, be free! Then we will continue with just undies for a few days, eventually moving on to wearing pants. Bam, potty trained. Since Charlie wanted to be naked again today, Gary and I let her. She was coloring on her table and stopped. She ran over to her potty chair and sat down. Next thing you hear is the rush of pee!!! She did it, all on her own. No one told her to go. No one sat her on the potty.

So apparently my child is ready to start the transition of training. I am going to let her. I am sad that this is the last step in her being a full on toddler and no longer a baby. However, the money we save in not buying diapers will be well worth it!

How do you train your children? At what age did you start?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sleep Training

I know that I have said a few times about not sleeping through the night. Logan wakes up about 2-3 times a week and comes in our room. Charlie wakes up NIGHTLY and heads into our room too. And if those two are not enough to make you get black circles under your eyes, there is also me who just cannot stay asleep because of pain/numbness etc.

Then Charlie started screaming and crying in the night without even being awake. Night terrors from what I can conclude between my Twitter Mom friends and Mr Google.

This week it hit me. I am DONE. I need to get Charlie better and sleep through the night. It is for her own good and my sanity. Maybe my husbands sanity too, maybe. And so it began. Sleep training for the seven million time with her.

Like I said, we have tried before but she just would not break. It was draining to hear her cry for hours. Draining to our spirits and my Mommy heart. So we gave up. Many times, we just let her fall asleep in the living room or with us.

Charlie had her crib made into a toddler bed but it was not working with night time. So we turned it around so that she cannot get out. Once she is completely trained, we will turn it back around again. 

Last night we started the sleep training again. We had already had a pretty normal bedtime routine. (Dinner, baths every other night, kids play time/tv time/story time, wind down and bed) We switched it up and began a slightly different routine. (Dinner, play time, baths, tv show, story time, bed) Last night was a bit hard but Charlie only cried on and off for an hour. I took that as a success and we did it again tonight. She only cried on and off for 30 minutes tonight. WIN! It is working.

We started to sleep train Logan at about this age too. He goes to bed now with his big brother since they share a room. He is usually not an issue with going straight to bed. They watch another show and chat for awhile and then go to sleep. Some nights they read, play on the Ipod and Iphone, or play a game. Whatever it takes to wind them down, they do it. And it works. No messing with them!

I will keep you all up to date on our progress but if things keep going the way they are, then I think we will be done training by the weekend! I needed this as much as Charlie did. I thrive on routine and apparently, so does she :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Time to P-A-R-T-A-Y

2 parties, 1 child, loads of fun!

Awesome birthday weekend for Dom!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2 years from being a teen

Happy birthday Dominic!


You are 11 years old. How on earth did this happen so quickly?  Who allowed you to get so old because it certainly was not me! You are growing so tall, so thin, so handsome. When I look at you, I have a hard time remembering the last time you fit in my lap. It feels like a whole other lifetime.

Over the weekend we found numerous baby pictures and I melted into a puddle of Mommy goo. You were the cutest little chubster around. With your big blue eyes, light hair and awesome smile! You were very much a Mommy's boy and I am pretty sure that has not changed. Your voice was so scratchy and full of life. Hard to believe that your voice is beginning to show the signs of the change.

What has changed is you. You have grown into a pretty spectacular kid. Sure you have your challenges, all people do. You get nearly straight As, are respectful of others and always want to help out those in need. When Christmas comes around, you get very excited to donate money and buy gifts for those less fortunate. I am very proud of that! Now, you have had the tween attitude going for quite some time but I am happy that it is mostly just with us and not others. That attitude will get adjusted.

You have had many firsts this past year. You moved into the Centennial school. You started playing the sax in bad. You were picked to do a solo for your holiday music performance. You did your first geography bee and moved into the second round.

Everything around the house is challenging with you. You are not one to want to do your chores. So we had to implement an earning time on your gaming systems or phone. I never wanted it to come to this but it has to be done. Your Dad and I are full believers in teaching you that things come to those who earn it and you have to work very hard to get it!

My hope for you this year is that you continue to grow as a person. Keep on helping others. Continue to get awesome grades. Be more respectful or your Dad and I. Be nice to your brother and sister, even when they get into your stuff.

We love you buddy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A chewed up nipple is all it took!

Charlie has given up her binki. We call it a B in this house. However you want to call it, B-Bink i-Pacifier, it is gone! Officially for a week!

I am shocked at how easy it was. We had only a couple of them left and Charlie continued to chew on them since she is teething. Once they would get a slit in the nipple, she would hand it to me. "Ewww, no!" So after the final one had a slit in it, that was that!

She has not asked for it AT ALL! What the what? Seriously, not at all. I am so proud of my little princess!!!!

With Dominic, Gary took it and he asked for it for a few days. He was told no since he was a big boy. Logan, I forgot his B at home for daycare and he went all day with no fuss. So I took it and when he would ask for it for the next 2 days, I would say it was gone. No big deal for either boy, they did it with ease.  Charlie followed in their footsteps. Easy as pie. SO THANKFUL because Charlie can be a bit of a Diva!

We are moving up in this house. Moving to be a family without any babies. This takes us one step closer to having all big kids. *hold me!* This makes me happy and is so bittersweet as I cry a little inside. The last step is for her to be potty trained and then that is it. HOLY CRAP you guys!

Were your children easy to take away a binki?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Over the last few weekends, Gary and I have gone through every single box and bin that we had moved 2.5 years ago. It has been a long time coming! When you move into a new house that you plan on completely remodeling, you tend to keep some things in storage. Mix that with moving with an 8th month old and getting pregnant only a few weeks later, well then you just do not have time to do those extra things!

So we had decided it was time to get everything out of here. We need the basement space, we plan on finishing it for an extra room. We started and finished in just a few days. We had no plans in the afternoons or evenings and had Dominic watch his brother and sister.

We donated a total of 3 full SUVs to goodwill. Some of these things we donated were brand new. Bought for us or Dominic and not used. I hope these things get a great new home! I am a bit embarrassed at how many toys Dominic had that were in great shape. To say that he was spoiled would be an understatement. He had so much that we couldn't even keep track of the sets of toys nor keep them together in bins. I KNOW some of this is my fault for not keeping up with getting rid of older things when it came time for new Christmas and birthday toys. I will not and have not made that mistake with Logan and Charlie.

There were bins of stuff from when we were little. Boxes of our wedding stuff. Boxes of cards given to us. All of which was so awesome to relive. I cried a few times when I found certain items that were from my Dad. The bear that he made for me when I was pregnant with Dominic. (if you knew my Dad, he was not a softy so him walking into Build a Bear and building me this was huge for him) The wedding card from my Mom and Dad. Pictures of Dominic when he was little. We packed 2 full boxes of memories to keep and the rest were discarded or sent to goodwill. We love everything about the items, however, you cannot keep everything. The memories and pictures are here and will last a lifetime!

It feels so awesome to have this done. We still need another weekend or two to get to the attic and pitch that stuff. Move boxes and bins up there that are currently in the basement. We did clean out one of our garages these past few weekends as well. We have one more garage to go and then, we are done! Spring cleaning has hit this family early and I hope it continues through 2013! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easing Up...or trying to

This is one of those posts that I have written a crazy amount of times yet I have always deleted them. I do not want to be seen as one of those peopleI do not want to be a frequent complainer. Seriously, no one likes that. I do not want to be whiny person. Seriously, no one likes that either. However, I do live with some constant battles daily and feel like now is the time to dump it out. Let my mind free itself! Bitching here is so much cheaper than therapy ;) I am a very hard on myself type person. I do not cut myself any slack. Ever. There, I said it!

I am a person who lives in a constant state of pain. I had back surgery a few years ago. It helped for a bit, however, the pain is back. No pun intended, ha! My lower back, hips and left leg throb constantly. I do have good days where it is not as bad. I tolerate it. I HAVE to. I have a job, a family and a house to take care of. I put myself last, always. It is what a mother is supposed to do, right? But the constant pain leads me to be harder on myself in reaching goals since some things take me longer than it should. (keeping the house clean, having fun with my family, trying to working out, carrying my kids around...because those all cause me even more pain but I feel horribly guilty if I do not do it) I just do not talk about it a ton because of the fear of turning into one of those people.

With my job, I have to basically be perfect. Very little mistakes can be made or it could cost you the job. I get very anxious every time my work is audited. I get angry with myself if I make a dumb error. Sometimes I cannot let it go and it eats me up inside. My job is not easy, especially on a perfectionist! What makes it even harder is that it is NOT my career. It is my job. I like the people I work with and enjoy working from home. However, I did not go to school to do what I do. I am not paying tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to do this. (I cannot find a job making the money that I do with the degree that I have, too many companies want 10-15 years experience and I will never get that without actually finding a job first, heh) The stress of the job and the stress of paying for something that I am not using makes me very hard on myself. WHY can I not find a job? WHAT am I doing wrong? All a perfect storm for someone who is hard on themselves.

The kids. I love them but they are all at challenging ages. All in those special  years where you feel like hiding from them in a corner. Rocking back and forth like a baby. They make me feel like a less then adequate Mom when they do not listen or are not respectful and blah blah blah.  I know that it will end and they will begin new stages and be so awesome all the time. It just kinda bites when they are all tantrum and melt downy.

At home, I am even harder on myself...if that is even possible?! I cannot stand when my house is not clean. I hate it when there is clutter, it truly gives me anxiety. And yes, I do have 2 toddlers and a tween. see where I am going with this, right?  Gary and I do all the cleaning, we have no hired help. It is not easy to keep up with when you both work full time.  And yet I do not cut myself slack, I just can't. Our bathroom has been under remodel for months. We have a billion other things that need to be started and finished. We must finish up this house so that we can put it on the market and buy our forever dream home BEFORE Dominic finishes high school.

So...with all of that said, I am trying to ease up on myself. I am trying to know that everything will get done and that my house does not need to be perfect. That when you are a full time working family with multiple kids, things need to be put aside so that you do not loose your mind. Someday soon, I hope to actually realize this!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Toddler Talk

Logan talks up a storm. Some of the things he says is just too cute and too funny not to share!

"I can't. It will crack my belly up."

"This is really bad for my life!"

"Really? This is happening?"

"Bubba, you are grounded. Go to your vroom!"

"Daddy, can I have/do/see ______" then comes over to me and asks me the same thing. After I ask him what his Dad said, he gets upset and says "Daddy said no. I askin you!" (or vise versa in the parental department)

After you tell Logan he cannot do something "I said no, you said yes!" (reverse psychology doesn't work on parents kiddo!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

House of Horror

We currently have one flu toddler in the house. And a husband who is unsure if he is feeling sick or just thinking it since Logan is.

Gary and I did not go to bed until Midnight. I awoke at 12:30 by a coughing Charlie and then could not fall back asleep. After finally getting a few hours of shut eye, Logan came in our room after having an accident at 4:45 am. After hubs and I dealt with that, I put him to bed on the chair in the living room. Not even an hour later, Logan is in our room gagging, barfing and saying "I am not going to froooow up!" Oh buddy, yes...yes you are. *sad face*

We got him resettled back down on the chair with me and I called off of work. As soon as he fell asleep, I attempted to get some shut eye in my own bed. This lasted for a mere 10 minutes until Logan called for me with a "bell-wee ache" and I came into the living room and was hit with a wall of odor. I awoke Gary for the day to help me clean him up. As fast as it took me to get hubs out of bed, Logan was asleep. On the hard wood floor. (poor little man) Gary picked him up and took him to the changing table. Oh the horror as I was in the kitchen and came through the living room, slipping in poo on the floor. I...ah...yeah. GROSS! We threw away everything that Logan was wearing, gave him a bath and started our day.

We have spent the entire morning cleaning up after him. Sanitizing the house. Doing laundry. Changing him and bathing him repeatedly. Washing our hands a bajillion times. Keeping Charlie away from Logan and his sickies. 

I am praying that it is contained to Logan. It has been 7 hours since it started and he has not gotten sick in over 2 hours. No more potty disasters at this time either. (although he is now in a diaper because OH EM GEE I am not throwing away more pajamas!)

So, how is your Tuesday going?!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fully trained in the bathroom department

This past week Logan completely gave up his pull ups. AT NIGHT! I am in AWWW at the fact that we currently only need to buy diapers for one child. One.

We had accidentally forgotten to put Logan in a pull up a few times and he had stayed dry each time. However, since our upstairs bathroom is still being remodeled, I was not about to have a 3 year old that needed taken down stairs at 2 am each night to go pee. So we never put him in undies at night. Until the other day.  Logan asked to keep his undies on and did not want to put on a pull up. So we held our breath and let him. He woke up dry. Every single morning. DRY! KABAM!

We are doing the potty training dance up in here. Dominic was a little over 3 also when he slept through the night in undies. The boys were super easy to train. Up next is Charlie...I am hoping she is as easy as her big brothers. She knows when she is going potty so I am hoping she is ready to start!

I will throw a party when I am done buying diapers and wipes completely :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Top Five Laughs

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Happy weekend!

5. Logan: "Is my penis big enough?" *grabs it and yanks* "Yeah, it IS!" (seriously no idea where he comes up with this stuff but man we laugh A LOT!)

4. Charlie had a veggie/juice box and was drinking it in her car seat. When I went to take her out, the entire back of her dress was soaked. How in the world does a little girl get soaked down her back and get zero on the front of her?

3. I have mentioned before how much Charlie loves shoes. She is obsessive. Lately, if you put the wrong shoes on than the ones she wants then she will give you a dirty look and tell you "No shoe!"

2. Dominic got a C on one of his tests, which is very unlike him. He is pretty much a straight A student. I looked at him and told him that he needed to try harder. "Mom, I tried as best as I could. I JUST did not get it until AFTER the test and the teacher re-explained it to us. And Mom, no one got a perfect on that test so you just need to not worry. I understand now."

1. When Charlie wants to talk to you or give you a kiss, she puts her hands on your cheeks and pulls your face towards hers. It is the most adorable thing in the world.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pulling it out!

I have had a trying week. (well months really) This week has been exceptionally horrible.

Dominic has not been doing well on his chores. Not doing well in school which is not him. He is a straight A student. His tests are lacking and his homework is taking forever. I thought it was just getting back from break but mixed with his attitude about it all, I guess it really is not. Half assed almost all the time and not even following directions. Talking back and arguing over EVERY SINGLE THING all the live long day.

Logan has hit the terrible three's full force. We had a few spats here and there from him during his two's but nothing major. Then BAM, over night he started the horrific tantrumy behavior. HE THREW A CHAIR AT ME. A Chair at me, his mother! He has been screaming at the top of his lungs until he can barley speak, moving furniture, stomping, throwing things and rolling around on the floor. It has been tiring to watch and not be able to help him share his emotions without having an outburst. He has been hearing his brother talking back and arguing, therefore he has started imitating that behavior as well.

Charlie has been starting to show signs of diva type behavior. Throwing small tantrums. Screaming and crying. Throwing herself to the ground. Hitting and kicking.

Every day this week has been full of all of the above. It is trying. Exhausting.

We are pulling out all the stops. I made charts. I made lists. I may have gone completely crazy and pulled out my hair.

How do you handle these tantrums, not listening bouts and all around crazy kid behaviors?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Saturday Top Five Laughs

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The first of 2013! Whoa. Still crazy for me to say or type that number. Last year flew by!

5. I just love it when Charlie says she is sorry: "I sah-weee" It is the most adorable thing, EVER!

4. Dominic told me this morning "Mom, there is a new girl in school. And she looks pretty cute!"

3. Logan was doing his business in the bathroom and all I hear while I am straightening up their bath toys "Ah, yeah. I am Pooping. Pooping GOOD!" and then I may have laughed hard enough to toot. Maybe.

2. While watching Tangled, Logan called the Priest: 'The God Guy' (We have no idea where he comes up with this stuff)

1. Three times this week I have been hit in the head with various toys and other objects. Once as I was sitting on my laptop, Logan called for me and I looked up. He shot me right in the corner of the eye with his nerf gun. Another time, I was sitting and talking with Gary. Charlie threw her bowl and hit me right in the middle of my forehead. Last, but not least, Dominic was playing nerf guns with his brother and hit me in the face with his disc shooter. I may need to outlaw all nerf items in the house. ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Recap

2012 was a year filled with some great times, some bad times and some crazy times.

January - We rang in the new year low key. Our friends came over for snacks, drinks and some fun. Dominic turned TEN, the 2 digit age milestone! He had a lego themed birthday party with friends and another with family. We finished up our living room redo by buying our finishing touches. I am in love with the neutral decor and warm inviting colors. Just a few more things to finish up in the future to have the room exactly the way we want it!

February - We decided to adopt a boarder collie for the kids. On the 2nd, we went to the breeder and Dominic picked his favorite. Libby instantly became the perfect addition to our family! Party planning was in full swing for Charlie's upcoming first birthday. Charlie under went tube surgery for her ears and all those infections. My Dad would have turned 60. I ended up buying a new SUV.

March - We booked our beach house for the first week in June. We were so excited, our first family of 5 vacation!  We took our first trip of the year to the Zoo. My mommy group took a much needed night out. We ate and ended up talking outside the restaurant for hours! We visited the History museum for the first time and the kids had a blast!

April - We celebrated Easter at my Moms. The kids were spoiled with candy and gifts from the entire family. Our sweet baby girl turned one. We had a blast at her birthday party in our local libraries party room. We bought the boys all new furniture and moved Logan into Dominic's room. The kids loved their new bunk beds.

May - We celebrated Cinco De Mayo with a huge party here at our house. This day is very special to Gary and I for numerous reasons. We got the never ending flu bug and it was awful.

June - We went to the beach with my family. We also went to DC on the way home. It was a great vacation, exhausting but good. We celebrated fathers day with a nice dinner. Then Gary and I also took a trip to NYC with friends. It was a much needed trip away. We do not get to do that enough! We started weekly play dates with my mommy group - going to the zoo and the spray park. We also started to go swimming weekly at our friends house. We had a cookout here with our group and introduced our husbands to the fun and chaos of all these toddler girls. What a great month it was!

July - We continued with our weekly play dates and our weekly swimming. We went to our friend's parents house for the Forth of July and the annual town parade. It was SO HOT but we had a blast. We then hosted my families annual picnic here for the first time. We attended our first member night at the Zoo and the kids had a blast. We mostly played instead of visiting the animals and it was not crowded at all. Gary worked on the bathroom remodel and I took the kids to my Aunts camp. It was such a fun weekend away as we went to The Deer Park, The Spillway, watched fireworks and went swimming at the beach lake.

August - We again continued with our weekly play dates and swimming with friends. I am so glad that we got to do so much with our friends, these memories will last a life time. We celebrated Garys birthday with a dinner cookout. My mommy group headed to the Farm for one of our play dates and the kids had a blast playing in all the houses. We had our last horrah of summer at Conneaut Lake park with my family. It is a pretty run down park but the kids still had fun. We went to the Spillway again and the kids loved it once more. And just like that, summer was over and Dominic started 5th grade.

September - Life went back to a normal routine with school. Charlie continued to get ear infections each month and this month she ended up with a Staph infection on her bum. Logan had a rough couple days with hurting his lip, including his first bee sting.

October - We started out the month with me being diagnosed with a mass in my finger, previously thought to be a cyst. Logan turned three and we celebrated with having a Halloween birthday party. I had my birthday and an MRI to determine what the mass was and unfortunately it was a tumor that needed removed. We went to the pumpkin patch and had a blast at the farm. We attended a Halloween party with my moms group. Charlie turned a year and half, seriously, a year and a half! Super storm Sandy hit and our trick or treating was held off.

November - We could not attend our local trick or treating because we went to the greatest show on earth, the circus! I had my tumor removed and took a week off of work. I returned to work still wearing a cast for a bit and it was awful. Even after the cast came off it was hard to work with the stitches. We had Thanksgiving day dinner here and then I went black Friday shopping. Then we had my families Thanksgiving that following Saturday. We changed Charlie's bed into a toddler bed.

December - We had our annual Christmas party with friends and even went to our local parade prior. We love this tradition with our close friends. I hosted my moms group Christmas party/cookie exchange and had a blast watching the girls run around the house. We attempted to go see Santa but the toddlers had melt downs at the diner and we ended up leaving before even ordering dinner. *that is a first in this family* So we did not get to see Santa this year except at the parade. We went to my Aunts for Christmas Eve. We had our Christmas morning, went to my Moms for the afternoon and dinner, then our final stop was at Granddads for dessert. I started physical therapy for my hand, ouch. Having your nerves come back to life is pretty painful, it even wakes me up at night. We ended the year with our close friends house at a pajama New Years Eve party!

And that my friends is one heck of a year. We started off pretty boring and with a surgery. Had an awesome fun filled summer. Ended with more surgery and lots of parties. All in all not too bad of a year for the most part.