Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best Friends



There is nothing quite like hearing your kids laugh and play together. I just love sitting and watching as Little Dude and JR crack each other up; I'll listen to them laugh and my heart just overflows with joy at their joy in each other.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hitting is a NO NO

As I embark on the wonderful world of toddler hood with my son, I learn more and more every day how to find some inner zen, not freak out over the little OR big things, and to figure out new ways to hide the veggies.

But one thing I don't think I am doing so well at? Teaching my son not to hit. Yes, I have to admit it: I have a hitter.

In ways, I am glad he is not the kid getting hit, so in a way I am happy he stands up for himself. Like yesterday at the park he hit a kid BIGGER than himself. Yea, my Little Dude sticks up for himself very well when the bigger kids run him over.

But what about when the kids haven't done anything to him? Like at the park, the bigger kid had actually done nothing except play with some mulch. Little Dude marched across the playground and let that kid know that the mulch was his and his alone. Thus, Little Dude was in huge trouble, had to say sorry, and then had to come home and not play at the park anymore.

But how can we prevent the hitting? What can we do? We do discipline him quite well, I think. Mostly time outs, occasional, rare spankings (like if he runs into the road, or tries to get a knife out of the drawer and other such very dangerous activities that apeal to him...) and losing toys. Those all work pretty well, except with the hitting.

When it comes to hitting, Little Dude will show remorse, and even tell us if his trains hit each other (because in pretend land they sometimes do..) and then he puts them in time out and takes away their toys(stick with me, we are in pretend land). Anyways, he KNOWS it is bad, that he shouldn't do it, and that there is punishment. Yet, he continues to do it, and sometimes unprovoked.

So how do I go about teaching him stick up for himself, but at the same time teach him not to hit? Any ideas? I think we will get it under control as he gets older, since he is only 2 and a half, but still, if anyone has any ideas that might work, I would love to hear them. I certainly don't want my sweet Little Dude to be the playground bully!


Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

And I wish I were snoring! I am up early to try to get a head start on some Dakno Work, and I think I am almost caught up. It is still raining, lighting, thundering, and there are tornado warnings in effect right now.

Tornado watch=conditions are such that a tornado might form.
Tornado warning=a tornado has been spotted.

Um, yea, needless to say I am a little nervous. The storm is really bad, and has been really bad for a whole 24 hours in our area down here in the Gulf. I am hoping that I don't have my first tornado experience here; I'd really rather keep that to whenever I watch Twister.

In un-weather related news, I just won 4 tickets to see THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE ON STAGE!! *SQUEELLLLLLLLL* I know, actually, I'm not crazy excited myself for Thomas, but I am CRAZY CRAZY EXCITED to take Little Dude. He is IN LOVE with Thomas and all train things in general, so getting the tickets and getting to take him soon will just be such a little dream come true for him!(and us!) I just can't wait for the tickets to get here...oh I am SO EXCITED. I have to send a HUGE THANK YOU to the great people at Mom Select for making this happen for us. Even with tornadoes floating around me, I am on cloud nine thinking about Little Dude getting to "meet" Thomas!

Though I do have to admit I applied to go to the performance so long ago, I can't remember if I entered our AL address or our NC address to get the tickets at...at any case though we will be going to the show in Raleigh at the end of May, which times up perfectly with when we were wanting to make a trip home to visit everyone! Whoo hoo!

Well, if I am going to get any work done for my boss I better stop blogging and start working...I hope everyone has a happy weekend! With Patty here visiting, I probably will be neglecting the blog a little, since there are only so many hours in the day-perhaps one day Moms will come with a Zach Morris "Time Out" ability...wow that would be nice!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reflect

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It is OK to not know where you are going, so long as you learn from where you have been.

We all make mistakes-I surely have made many that I wish I could go back and re-do. However, I don't dwell on any of them, and honestly, I am quite happy with how everything in my life has turned out so far-some of which would not have happen to me had it not been for some of the "mistakes" I made earlier.

This week's "You Capture" was on finding pictures that displayed a reflection, but as I went looking for things to put in my mirror I realized that I began to reflect on, well, me.

As I started to reflect, I realized that I could allow my past to control me, or, even worse, refuse to learn from what my past contains, and thus probably have the same things happen over and over. Instead, I have learned, and become a better, stronger person for all the things I have been through or done.

And though, sometimes it is hard to determine what I want to accomplish in the future, I will always remember my past, and remember the lessons I have learned, so that as I travel in this world, my path knows how to avoid the "mistakes" that it has already encountered.

On this rainy morning, as I catch up on work and watch my Little Dude play trains, it really has hit me to stop and take a moment of reflection on myself and to be thankful for all the little "mistakes" that have lead me to where I am.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

Today I get to drive to the airport to pick up my Mother In Law, Patty!! I am so very excited she is able to come down to visit for two weeks! I am hoping we can go tackle all the local entertainment that would be a little hard to do alone, like the zoo, the kids museum, the train museum, and more. Not that those places would be hard to go, but with trying to find potties for Little Dude and places to nurse JR, it will be much more fun for me to have the extra hands!

On the potty training front we are doing FANTASTIC, with only a few accidents so far that are oddly enough only at home.

On the nursing front, I am beginning to debate if I should stop nursing JR at a year or try to go longer. I'm leaning towards wanting to nurse longer; however, right now I think that feeling comes more from me not being ready for him to grow out of babyhood, than from him really needing to nurse. He is nine months now, so I have a few more months before I need to start deciding what we are going to do.

Overall, everything has been really busy around here, and I can't believe it is only Tuesday....


Monday, March 23, 2009

A Few Pictures Monday

JR's first time sitting in a high chair at a resturant. Bill and Little Dude hamming it up for me.
Playing and having snack outside: Jr decided he liked the leaves better than the crackers.
Is there anything better than eating WHILE playing in dirt? I think not.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The ULTIMATE Blog Party!



Well, this is my first Blog Party, and I have a great giveaway for you guys here!

Since the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party is about getting to know one another, I'll tell you a little about myself:

*I like to be organized, but since having two boys that has kinda flown out the window.

*I work from home for the most awesome real estate marketing company, Dakno Marketing. I LOVE working there and am so thankful to work from home.

*I currently live in Mobile, AL for my husband's job, but our real home is in Raleigh, NC.

*I have moved shortly after the birth of both our sons. I have joked to my hubby that having a baby is a sure way to get him transferred somewhere.

*I went to NC STATE UNIVERSITY and am a die hard Wolfpack fan. We go to all the football games and try to see a few basketball games when we can get tickets.

*I majored in English lit and dream of teaching medieval literature at the college level someday.

*My hubby and I met at a party at school. We connected because we both had 3 jobs to get through school and a huge love for ketchup.

*We have been married 5 years this May and I am amazed at how quickly time flew-married life has been so fun!

*I am really short. Like crazy short, esp when I stand next to my hubby barefoot.

*I loved being pregnant and want to have a third baby for sure.

*I love wearing my babies, and just got my first mei tai carrier-yes, it is love! And I got it crazy cheap at a consignment sale.

*I am an Ebay, Craigs List, Consignment Sale junkie. I will hunt for an item I want til I find it at a bargain. I rarely pay full price for anything.

*I've blogged on and off since 2006, but really jumped into it this past year. I LOVE all the great friends I have made.
You can find out more about me here!

*One crazy, random fact: I have been sky diving and loved it. I'd love to go again, actually.

Thanks for stopping by, introduce yourself and tell me one crazy, random fact about you! I am excited to get to know all of you and read about you on your blogs! You can also check out all the great ULTIMATE Blog Party fun going on at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
Prizes I would *die* to win: The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, The Ergo Carrier, the kid's crayone apron, the kid's apron, and any of the Target gift cards. Whoo hoo!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cord Blood Stem Cells


Anyone that knows me knows the recent announcement that tax payer money will be used to fund Embryonic Stem Cell research has cut me to the quick.

I am amazed at how many people, even politicians, are in the dark about Stem Cells. The difference between Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells? The cells are the same blank canvas that may lead to cures; however, embryonic means they were taken from a killed embryo-an embryo that would have been a person had it been implanted in a uterus, or not taken out of one. Regular ol' stem cells? Taken from Cord Blood at no cost of life. The same research can be done, the same cures found, just no one has to die, and tax money doesn't have to be used to support cutting up little embryos.

As I watched the news, one politician in a wheelchair claimed that now he had hopes of walking again. DUDE, Embryonic Stem Cell research has always been legal-it just wasn't TAX MONEY paying for it. It wasn't MY MONEY. If private people wanted to fund the research, then they could, out of their own pockets. Do you think if anyone had stumbled upon ANYTHING promising they wouldn't be out getting funding and support? And still, should my money be used to kill babies? I consider them babies, and I don't feel it is right that my tax money be used to now kill them.

BESIDES, you will get TONS, BILLIONS, more stem cells from CORD BLOOD than you ever will from an embryo. If you want a good amount of stem cells to research with, do it with the stem cells you get from having a baby born. It is the same, wonderful blank cells that can *possibly* be used to find cures to all our ailments, but no one has to die to get them.

My husband and I donated the cord blood from both of our babies to research and others needing transplants to fight leukemia or other ailments. If the hospital you are delivering at or your OBGYN does not offer cord blood donation, check here to see what you can do. Search around a few months before you are due, too, because everything does need to be set up to occur right after birth so the cord blood cells are viable for transplants or research.

The only way now, it seems, to fight the death of embryos is to offer another source of stem cells, and that my friends, is Cord Blood.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Wish People Still Spoke This Way

I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.


I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character -- not wealth or power or position -- is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in all-wise-and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individuals highest fulfillment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., quotation as inscribed at Rockefeller Center, New York City

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Marching Green

Today is one of my favorite smaller holidays. St. Patrick's Day is super fun for me because I love the color green AND my dad's side of the family is Irish, so we always did up a corned beef brisket, cabbage and potatoes, along with making everything we possibly could green!

And this year Little Dude is finally getting old enough to really help and get excited, so he will be my little kitchen helper today too!

And in honor of St. Patrick, I will share a fun activity my preschool kids loved:

Make Shamrocks
What you need:
Sandpaper
Scissors
Crayons
Paper

Cut shamrock shapes out of sandpaper. Depending on the age and skill of your child, you can let them cut or you can cut for them. If your children are younger, make sure you are using safety scissors and watching.

Once the shamrock shapes are cut, show your child how to place his paper over the shamrock and rub with the side of a crayon to get a St. Patrick's Day design!

This is a really fun activity to learn about texture and appearance of texture. You can also cut the shamrock shapes out after rubbing on a textured surface if you want to go take the kids outside and have them find textures in nature-like tree bark, sand, concrete, leaves, bricks, etc. Rubbing those textures will be easier with a big piece of paper, then have the kids cut out shamrock shapes from the bigger piece.

There is all kinds of fun you can have too-make green Kool-Aid, put green dye into juice or water, make green pancakes (either by pureeing veggies into the batter or just adding dye).

Have tons of fun, and if you feel like it, take the time to teach your little ones about St. Patrick.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheese

My son instructed me the other day to say "cheese". All day. And followed me around with his toy camera. He even insisted on taking it to the park and took pictures of Every Single Thing we walked past, particularly the ants.




Since toddlers are huge on mimicking what they see (thus actions are WAY louder than words with kids his age) this could be a sign.

Perhaps I take too many pictures....



Friday, March 13, 2009

9 Months in the Making





JR, 9 months old today.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Corneille: The Birth Of Cornelius

I have great giveaway going on for all you music lovers out there. And this CD doesn't have "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" either. Get your headphones, put the kids down for a nap, and enjoy some relaxing "you" time with The Birth of Cornelius. Check out the Miche Reviews page to get the scoop and win yourself an autographed copy!



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Early Start

I don't have much to share today beyond that potty training is going very well so far! Only a few accidents AND yesterday Little Dude pooped all by himself and without getting upset about it. Oh I am so very happy and proud of him; I know he has been scared of pooping hurting, so to see him starting to get over that fear is so wonderful.

Today I have a nice pile of work, and I am actually up way earlier than normal, sipping a cup of coffee, so I can get to work on trying to finish what I couldn't finish yesterday. I have more work coming today, (and the boys will be up as soon as the sun comes up)so I really hope in the next handful of hours I can be caught up.

Should be a lovely day, and I plan on spending most of it outside with the boys. And I'm planning on getting a nap in; hopefully the boys will nap at the same time for me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Wonderful Bad Day

Yesterday was a bad day, so say the least. The vacuum stopped working. JR is teething, and cried most of the day-and simply refused to be put down. Little Dude actually peed on me, and somehow I made the oven catch on fire while trying to cook a chicken casserole for dinner. And by the time Bill was due home, I had yet to finish washing the dishes from lunch, let alone clean up the mess I made fixing the dinner that was smoking its way into being inedible in my oven.

So, needless to say, I was rather frazzled and on the verge of tears by the time my sweet husband came home.

And you know what my sweet hubby did?

He grabbed my wedding rings from the counter, got down on one knee and told me he loved me and asked if I would marry him again.

And then none of the mess, getting peed on, the constant crying OR the fire in my oven mattered. Oh yea, in the middle of all that, I was in heaven, thanks to my sweet hubby. He always knows just how to cheer me up and cheer me on. I'm so lucky to have him; my wonderful, sweet and thoughtful, Bill.






Monday, March 9, 2009

Flying With My Hearts


Our playgroup went to the Air and Space Museum over in Pensacola, Florida. Little Dude loved it and got so excitied to see all the planes; it was an hour drive away, but well worth it. We will have to go again when Bill can come too!

I wore JR the whole day in my sling, and was SO GLAD I didn't have a stroller with me. Little Dude was so excited to run all over to all the levels, and it was so much easier and comfortable to keep up with him by having JR tied to me! I think I converted a few moms from their strollers after I let them try my sling; they all loved how padded and comfortable it was! Whooo hoo for babywearing!


While there, we met a lot of vetrans, and I couldn't help taking a picture of these soldiers as they stood before our flag. Quite beautiful, don't you think?


I wish I could have run into them and told them how thankful I am to have them protect us and serve in our military. I also wish I could have gotten another angle on this shot, but they walked away before I could.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Upon THIS Potty

Oh yes, Little Dude is officially going through potty training! Whoo hoo! He has even been able to go out and about in big boy underware without having ANY accidents! I am SO PROUD.

Potty training has to be one of the biggest challenges you face as a parent. Why? Because there is NOTHING you can do to control it-it is totally up to your child. AND sometimes, just sometimes, when your child realizes you really would love for them to use the potty before the pee their pants, they will defiantly say "NO" at the top their lungs, much to the amusement of all the people in the public restroom.

But, I digress. We have moved past that stage, I think; this is my first time potty training, so I will let you know. Anyways, Little Dude is now proudly pulling his pants down, doing his business and OH SO EXCITED to flush the toilet, and wash his hands!

Why? How? We got a new potty! No bells and whitles, very simple, easy to use, no distractions for Little Dude, and a GREAT "boy shield" and a nice big seat. This is the potty we got:



It is Fisher Price's Precious Planet Frog Potty. And it if FABULOUS. I can't sing it's praises enough. Little Dude loves to say "hi" to the frog as we go in the bathroom. Then it is straight to business-no having to adjust on the seat-it is plenty big and comfy AND the "hole" area is big enough for him to pee and poop at the same time. Also, it is light weight, doesn't take up much space, and is super easy to clean. It also was $10.00 on roll back at Wal-mart this week. NICE.

I also got a cute stool from Target that is red with cars on the side. That was $14.00, but I figured with two boys going up and down on it, it would be worth getting a good sturdy wooden one. It will also be cute someday in their room by a little chair or something for reading time. I'm digressing again.

So, that potty is working Super Well for us! Little Dude has gone 3 days now with no accidents and he is actually excited to go in the bathroom; before he hated the other potty and didn't even want to sit on it. He has even POOPED 3 times today in the potty!! OH MY GOODNESS, I am SO excited!

Ahhh, lets just see if potty training could really be as easy as getting a great potty.....


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Giggles For Me

Even in the chaos of my days, taking the time to giggle over nothing makes everything seem in perfect order.








Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not Upon This Potty



Little Dude is doing great peeing in the potty! Whoo hoo! After a few times of him taking his diaper off and showing he didn't like to be wet, we decided to go ahead and train him with big boy under ware. Though we are still having some trouble with his poop, we have gotten him to go every other day now, and he is doing his poop in the potty too! WHOO HOO!

But, remember that potty I bought? Well it stinks. I bought this "Summer Infant Potty":



It is from Babies R Us, and it is just not working. The seat "hole" is way too small, and Little Dude has to sit way back on the seat to keep his pee from going everywhere. But then he can't poop and get it in the "hole", so he has to sit way forward. The little boy "shield" came off after the first few times of using it because instead of being a solid piece, it is a flimsy, thing that is supposed to "slide" into place, but after a few times of getting knocked off by Little Dude, it now is bent out of shape and wont stay on the potty.

I thought the toilet paper thing would be cute, but it is a horrible idea too: All he wants to do is unroll the toilet paper. I had put some disposable wipes in the wipe case so he could do that himself, but those too end up getting grabbed in handfuls and thrown in his seat. And the last thing I feel like adding to the whole potty training routine is a fight over leaving the TP alone. Potty Training should be as fun and stress free as possible, right? Overall, much better if I just keep the wipes and TP next to me, and hand it to him as he needs it.

Also, it is advertised as being a step stool as well, but I have not figured that out yet-the lid is way too flimsy to stand on, and if you take the lid off there is no place to stand...so I don't know.

In any case, we are going out today to pick out a very simple, no whistles potty with a large seat and "hole" area. And then we will get a step stool too.

And this potty? I don't really know what to do with it-maybe donate it to church or give it to my neighbor here.

It might work for others, but it didn't work for me. Check out Kristen over at We Are That Family for other great Works for me (or in this case doesn't) Wednesdays!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Little Brother

My little JR is a second child, something my husband and I can't relate to very well because we were both first borns.

However, yesterday, I was so busy cleaning up Little Dude's mess from lunch, getting him in his potty, getting him ready for his nap and all the other such things I had to do for Little Dude, that my poor little JR got tired of, well, waiting.





Oh yea, he's asleep. In his highchair. Still wearing his bib. I felt so bad he had to wait so long to get out that I let him nap with me in my bed. Yea, Mommy Guilt, gotta love it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bath Fun Times 2



I have very few pictures of bath time with both the boys simply because it just isn't the best time to grab the camera. It's busy enough just keeping both boys from drowning themselves or covering the bathroom in water, let alone take a picture and keep the camera dry.

However, my awesome hubby snapped this shot the other day, and since today has been tiring, non stop, and very busy, I really don't have anything better to share at the moment.

Even though I am actually tired enough today to take a nap, which I rarely have the time to do, it was still nice to take a few minutes looking at the bathtub pic and thinking of how fun all these little moments that go speeding by are.