Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Being Pregnant a Third Time

Even with varicose vein troubles with this one, and acid reflux problems with the previous two, I have to report the third pregnancy has been my favorite so far.


For one, I'm no longer a "new" mom. I'm sorta a "pro" at this point. Little unknowns,like "how will I remember to feed the baby at night???" Don't have me worried like I did back as a new mom to be, pregnant with my first son.

I have come to realize that the baby WILL let me know what it needs.

Having a second child enabled me to realize that I can't break the baby. And it is OK if he eats a cheerio off the floor. That was certainly something I would have swooned over with my first, by with the second, I would shrug and go, well, the germs will make him stronger....and at least he isn't crying.

With the THIRD boy on the way, I have to say, I feel completely relaxed about it. A sorta "I got this" kinda of sentiment. Sure, I know three is way more outnumbering to me than two, but on the flip side, the two have each other to play with, and unlike when I went from one to two, I already know what a shock the whole juggling thing will be. In fact, I do really anticipate the juggling act to be a bit easier with the third, just because the other two do play and entertain each other so very well.

When Little Dude was not yet two, we had JR, and let me just TELL you how much of a shock that was, so suddenly juggle entertaining a VERY active Toddler (that couldn't talk yet either) and a very fussy preemie. OMG is all I have to say to that. And thank GOD (and Fisher Price) for this swing.

But now, with Little Dude being 4 1/2 and JR being almost 3 when Champ gets here, I really do have a calmness about it that I certainly did NOT have with my other two. I could sum up the last trimester of my other two pregnancies as a "bundle of nervousness" , but this one, so far, I still just feel excited to hold a little baby again, and in a way, I am looking forward to the midnight feedings.

Perhaps because I know they will be gone all too quickly, and this will probably be last time to experience them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time And Again

How in the world has December almost gone by without me finding the time for a single post? Wow. I really can not believe it is the 20th already! That just seems crazy to me. Time has certainly come up on me way too quickly this year!

For a baby update, our little Champ is growing perfectly, kicking and moving tons, and likes to scare me with sudden, hard jabs. It is pretty fun being at this point; I love feeling him moving and growing.

My varicose veins are doing horribly though, so while I will miss being pregnant when this one is over, I will also be happy and relived, as I am not sure I can handle the veins getting any worse. Apparently they get worse and more painful with each pregnancy-not sure, but I think it will take a super long time and lots of memory loss for me to want to take on this pain again. Let alone if it keeps getting worse at the same rate it has with each pregnancy...that thought makes me cringe.

But we will see. In 3 years when this guy is saying bye and wanting to go to school I might decide the pain isn't too bad and decide we need another baby....we shall see.

On a Christmas update, Christmas is ALMOST here!! WOW! I am so crazy excited. Since the boys can't read yet, I'm safe to say they are getting what they asked Santa for. JR is getting a bike and Little Dude is getting a trick scooter. Supposedly you can do jumps with it-not sure I want him doing that yet, but I'm prepared with all the safety gear, and hopefully he won't be able to do any jumps for a few more years. I can't wait for the kids to open their gifts!!

Starting mid January I won't be watching Emily anymore, as we get ready for the baby to come. I'm really sad about that; she has been so fun to have around. I just bought some new sparkly red nail polish so I can make sure we have one last "manicure" moment together. Sigh, girly stuff is just so fun to do with her. I am hoping it works out that I can watch her again after the baby comes, but we will see with that, too. I'm sure it will be crazy enough with three boys, let alone adding a fourth to the mix all day as well. We will see.

We will see-that has certainly been my motto here lately. It goes for Bill's job as well. We have been a bit nervous, as the construction industry just has not been strong lately; hopefully they will land some work, and if not, hopefully he will still be employed until the baby comes. I don't even want to think of what kind of insurance nightmare it would be to try to change things just before the baby comes.

With work, I have been SO super busy-and that partly is why I have not been able to make it to my own blog much. I am glad we have been busy, but I am again nervous about how having the baby will force me to back off on my hours; especially if Bill gets another pay cut or gets laid off...but then, we will see.

So, the new year has many unknowns for us, as well as many exciting changes that are coming. I know if we just trust in God's plan and leave ourselves open to His ideas, then many great things will happen, even if we don't understand-or even like-what it takes to get to them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keeping Christmas Simple

I love Christmas so very much-and my favorite part is getting gifts for everyone.

One thing I really want to make sure for this year is to keep everything simple. I don't want my kids opening truck loads of toys, nor do I want to be just buying little gifts for people just because-I want to make sure everything has meaning.

Quality over quantity is what I'm going for this year, and that means most of my gifts are coming from sites that benefit charities. I'm very excited about that.

But does anyone have any advice on how to get the kids on board to scale back the presents? To help them understand that it is far better to give than to receive? I was thinking about signing us up to hand out food at the local food shelter, but I'm not sure the kids will "get it".

I'm going to take the kids with me when we buy gifts for the angel tree at church, and hopefully they will not have meltdowns over buying toys for other kids without getting. I'm pretty confident they will be able to do well, but kids live to surprise their parents, so we will see.

What do you all think? Any ideas you have in your family for teaching compassion and sharing to your kids? Are there any traditions you have for keeping gift giving simple, budget friendly, and charitable?

I hope that in a few years, I can have quite a few wonderful traditions in place.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's A .......


We found out a few weeks ago that we are going to have a third son here soon!! I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to get on here an update.

We are super duper excited and it is SO FUN to pull out all the itty-bitty baby boy clothes and remember all the things the other two did in them-and wonder about what this new little guy will do in them!

I have to admit, at first I was a bit bummed it wasn't a girl-this pregnancy has been SO DIFFERENT from the other two, that I think I just had it in my head that it was a girl, so the ultrasound was a bit of a shock.

All the Men (little and big) are SO EXCITED for another guy to play with, and I have to admit, it is SO nice to know what to expect. Been there, done that, I think I know how to handle a boy-and from what I've been told, I seem to do a pretty great job of raising boys, thus far at least.

ALSO-I found THE PERFECT little boy outfit for this guy and snatched it right up, so I am pretty happy. Pictures of his new outfit to come in about 5 months! Whoo hoo!.

So, boy it is, my three sons. I see lots of football, baseball, and soccer in my future. And, if I'm lucky, maybe I can get one of them to be in band! That would be SO awesome.

And Bill has said I must come up with another blog name for "pumpkin" as that is just not manly enough. Pumpkin has kind of grown on me though, so we will see :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting To Know You

I'm 18 weeks, exactly today, and tomorrow we find out if a little boy or a little girl is growing and kicking inside me.

I'm terribly excited and CAN.NOT.WAIT. to find out.

But on the flip side, I am a little sad, because I know today will be the last day of our "wondering" what if it is a boy, maybe we will do...or what if it is a girl, we will do this....

I feel the little kicks, the little flutterings and I want SO badly to know who it is growing inside me.

But on the flip side, I can't believe I'm already about halfway done. I want to slow down time and hang onto these last few moments of "early" pregnancy. The unknown, the excitement of counting down the days to knowing.

Time just seems to be going too quickly for me, and perhaps because it seems that the holidays get promoted earlier and earlier every year, and that just seems to coincide with my pregnancy going by so quickly this time around, unlike my other two.

Or perhaps it is because this will most likely be our last pregnancy.

And I'm just a basket of tears lately; finding the silliest things to cry about. I cried thinking about not watching Emily anymore when the baby comes, I cried during Toy Story 3 like no other. I mean, heck, I'm crying over the fact that I find out tomorrow what the baby is...even though there is no way I wouldn't want to find out. I know, I'm crazy.

Anyways, today I'm 18 weeks, and I don't know who is baking inside me. Tomorrow I'll be 18 weeks and one day, and I'll know who is going to be here in April. And I'll finally be able to go through the increasing piles of baby clothes and things that have taken over the nursery.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Little Dude's Birthday

I'm way late posting photos, partly because awhile back I got a huge memory disc and it holds THOUSANDS of I don't save to my computer as often as I used to.

Actually, I had forgotten what all was on there until I realized it was full! Whoops!

Anyways, here are some photos from Little Dude's fourth birthday:
Gus going over fire safety rules and how to get out of the house quickly. Little Dude got a special seat for the talk.
Little Dude putting on the fire fighter outfit Gus and Liz had so he could "drive" the truck with Gus, Daddy and JR. I got a ride later with Little Dude, of course.
Liz putting on the breathing mask and talking-it sure did make her voice sound scary! Though the kids didn't want to put it on themselves, it was cool they got to see it on and hear her talk; you don't usually see that when you visit the station and it was great for the kids to know.
JR and the Birthday boy getting ready for another ride.

Needless to say, he is WAY into firefighters right now, and make a trip every few weeks to the local fire stations.

We had Gus and Liz, a couple I found here in our home town, come and do a big demonstration for the kids. They have a restored fire truck from the late 60's early 70's, so they brought that and gave all the kids rides, let them play with the hose, and try on all the equipment. Gus and Liz also went over fie safety, how to get out of the house and have a meeting spot, and put on the gear so kids could see what a fully geared up firefighter would look and sound like. It was SUPER cool and the kids seemed to love it.

For food we got a bunch of Fire House Subs and gave out all the little hats as party favors for the kids, so everyone had their own fire hat.

After the truck rides, food and cake, the kids also got to climb up on top of the truck and pretend to operate the big sprayer up there. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or my husband who went up with each one for safety!

And everything was super budget friendly, with around 12 little friends and their parents.  I think around total for all decorations, food and the truck we were just over $200.00, and if we had really wanted to it could have been cheaper for food by just making sandwiches, but the subs were just so fun to go with the whole firefighter theme, and it enabled us to get great hats for all the kids to have while playing with the fire gear.

It was SO much fun, and I'm so glad we were able to do it for him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Felt The Baby Kick

On the 27th of October, I felt the first, huge KICK from Pumpkin. It was right in the middle of dinner, and seriously I about jumped out of my skin; I just wasn't expecting to get smacked on the inside at that moment.

But now, the few kicks and pushes that have come are not quite the surprise, since I am now aware Pumpkin is big enough and strong enough to say hi.

I need to start taking photos of my belly each week; I'm at 17 now and just starting to really show a baby bump-which is nice, since now I don't just feel fat with my jeans not wanting to zip. I've broken out the maternity items early-really as soon as my jeans got snug. No messing with rubber bands and do hickeys to make my pants last longer-I figure I'll have to buy (or bought) maternity pants, so I might as well get some good use out of them.

For being super short, I did get a treat from my super hubby in the form of TWO pairs of short maternity jeans from Motherhood. They are divine and fit my leg length perfectly. Love. Really.

And I have a nice group of mom friends who are letting me borrow/have winter maternity clothes, since both of my other pregnancies were in the summer. Love them, too.

Those are all the updates for now. The countdown is on to blue or pink day-we go in on the 11th to find out and seriously, I don't know how people wait til delivery day to find out. I think I am going to pee myself with excitement and anticipation and I still have 8 WHOLE DAYS we have to wait. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Lost My Domain

I've been gone for awhile, even though I had said I was going to keep everyone updated more often.

Why the absence? Well, any of you reading this now have come to realize my old url, the most awesome, alliteration happy Coordinated Chaos dot com is no longer functioning, and it is all to my own silly self to blame.

So now I am located here:, which I feel is just way to long and not as fun, but I didn't want to use my last name (I feel weird sharing too much info about my family on the internet) and the default blogspot url was my last name at blogspot dot com. And was already taken, much to my dismay.

I changed my defualt url quickly, and then set about trying to update all my ads, sponsors, family, and of course, you, my awesome friends and readers, so I wouldn't lose touch with anyone.

So how did this happen? I neglected to realize my domain renewal was up, until the domain had been sold. I last renewed my custom domain back in 2007, and it completely slipped my mind that it was coming up this fall to renew again. Then my blog went down last week, for which I posted many a pleas for help in the blogger forum, and could not figure out what in the world was going on.Then, my url started going to So I called them to find out what was up, and found out my url had JUST been sold that same day to someone.

Oh sigh.

So, no more custom domain for me, and I tried to rationalize how this is good, since it means I now have $10 I can spend at Target instead, but I only got an eye roll from my husband...

Anyways, I'm annoyed at myself for not being more on top of everything, but in the long run, it isn't a huge deal.

After all, this blog was started to update friends and family while we lived far away after the birth of our first child. (Yea, we moved 4 days after giving birth)and then it continued when we moved, yet again, after the birth of our second son. In the last 3 years I felt pretty accomplished; meeting lots of moms, getting to do product reviews, having the chance to do MomTalk radio appearances, and participating in mom forums and being part of a mom test group for Wal-Mart, Avon, and more.

So, losing my domain, after putting all the time in, was quite upsetting, but you know, I'm pretty used to moves coming with each kid, so perhaps, this will be the only move we have to do with baby number 3? And if that is the case, then I say piece of cake.

And on that note, I am going to get something to eat, because I'm pregnant, and typing the word cake, made me really want the cheesecake yogurt I have in the fridge. Pregnancy is awesome that way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So I Walked Into The OB's Office

Last week I had a heartbeat checkup for Pumpkin. Exciting, but not quite as exciting as the other visits, since we didn't get any pictures of the baby. Our next appointment we find out if Pumpkin will be wearing blue or pink-squeal!! So, yea, this one, while fun to hear the heart, the actual visit with the doc. was super short, and more of a circus.

Oh, OB visit and circus don't automatically seem to go together? Oh but they DO, that is, IF you are pregnant, and go to your doctor toting 3 kids between the ages of 4 and 2. That in and of itself is enough to scare all the ladies there getting refills on their birth control.

But the REAL fun, is, if, let us say, the moment you get in the office and go to sign in, one kid starts to LICK the walls like she hasn't eaten in years, another starts rolling on the floor and the other declares very loudly that he has to PEE NOW-also doing the typical potty dance in a very exaggerated form.

Did I mention we had JUST walked in the door? And we had all eaten, peed, and done all that fun stuff RIGHT before the left the house to go to said doctor?

So, that, my friends, is how you scare all the pregnant ladies at the OB office and officially turn your group (I like entourage) into a traveling circus.

I am quite certain I will be the topic of discussion at many dinner tables, and many smug first time mama's-to-be will be declaring that THEIR child will never behave in such ways.

Trust me, I was was there 4 years ago.

And in 4 years, they too will realize, sometimes kids just do what kids do best:

Be sweet, silly, crazy, unpredictable even in predictable moments, able to humble confident parents, fun kids.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Sucks About Pregnancy

So, I am pregnant. And Loving it. And so excited.

But I have to tell you, there is one aspect of pregnancy I have always hated, and will always hate.

What could it possibly be? Peeing all night? Heartburn? Varicose Veins? Those ugly stockings you wear to help with Varicose Veins? Nausea? Nausea from your nausea?

Nope, none of those. All of those, I can deal with, peeing, it's cool, it's getting you used to getting up with the baby. Heartburn? Tons of tums. Varicose Veins, they suck, but really, having the heavy stockings are a good excuse to not shave everyday. Nausea is a great excuse to eat what I want when I want, like some yogurt and cheese RIGHT NOW.

All of that, I don't see as being bad, or annoying even. I just see it as part of the excitement and changes of pregnancy, not bad, not good, just IS.

So what do I find is just horrible about being pregnant?

When you are sick, there is absolutely NO medicine you can take.

I HATE it. And right now, I have the most awesomely echoing cough, an almost non-existent voice (that the kids are taking full advantage of pretending to not hear) and a runny nose that literally is dripping. Sorry for the awful visual there.

My doctor said I could take Tylenol for the aches, suck on lozenges for my throat and do a nasal spray for my nose, which I think I did incorrectly because I started coughing more after I did it.

So for now, I am dying on the couch, trying to get some work done on my laptop as the children take over and ignore my hoarse whispers to quiet down, share, and play nicely.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Craving Yogurt

OK, so I need to buy stock in Yoplait, like now. I am totally keeping them in business now, because it seems that all the baby wants to eat and decides smells good are the following:

Ketchup/Mustard (however, cooking meat of any kind is making me feel sick, including deli meat, so sandwiches haven't been enjoyed lately, and french fries with the least bit of grease makes me feel nauseous. Sad day, sad day. )

I just dipped carrots in vanilla yogurt and though writing it sounds so gross, it was SO yummy. And I even discovered that freezing the small yogurt containers makes an AWESOME frozen Yogurt treat. Which is good, cause I went crazy at the store, blinded by a 10 or $4.00 deal and a hungry alien in my belly, and bought WAY more Yogurt than my fridge could really hold. So now the excess is in my freezer and it is SUPER yummy.

And since I am working on my 4th month, if I go at this rate with Yogurt, I am going to end up having a peaches n cream or strawberry blast colored baby. Seriously, that is all we (me and baby) are eating, and it really is all I want to eat. Even last night I made an awesome roast, but all I could think about was Yogurt.

So I promptly ate some AFTER dinner, much to the amusement and bewilderment of my husband.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Third Pregnancy

I am pretty blessed at having easy pregnancies, labors and births. This one, actually, has been my best, so far, because I haven't even had any heart burn, like I did BADLY with the other two.

Instead of heartburn I have nausea; however, eating small bits throughout the day keeps it at bay. And drinking some yummy ginger ale. And I've only thrown up once, so I'll take nausea over chronic heartburn any day.

So far, I am craving dairy like crazy and REALLY loving spicy stuff-partly because now without heartburn problems I can actually eat spicy things, like my favorite wing sauce, and I am on cloud nine about it.

The baby's room is pretty good to go, since we already moved the boys into the large room with bunk beds awhile back. I got all gender neutral bedding and decorations just so I'd be able to use them with boys or girls, so there really isn't anything to do in there. I might buy a pink blanket if we do have a girl this time, but really I have SO MANY that I might just make her use a blue one and put the money into cute clothes and bows instead. Anyways, we will see.

One thing different with this one is that my belly has popped out a good bit sooner than the other two and my chest has gotten rather large. Even my mother in law commented on how much it has increased, so I KNOW it's not just in my head. And my mother in law is the best, since she swears that my stomach hasn't gone crazy yet. I seriously love her.

I think I will have to break out the maternity stuff soon, as my current pants probably won't make it a few more weeks of buttoning!

My next appointment is the middle of Oct, where they just check the heartbeat, THEN the next appointment in Nov. will tell us what Pumpkin is-I seriously don't know how I will make it! It is so hard to look or think about baby names until we can focus on the gender. Especially since Bill and I can't ever agree on girl names. Boy names seem easy for us, since we mostly use family inspiration and stay very traditional.

So, that is the quick update on things I wanted to try to remember. Thus far, all is going great-I'm super tired, but that could be the three preschoolers that run circles around me all day while I try to squeeze in some work hours on the computer, and not so much the pregnancy itself.

I have been trying to think of a good blog name for the new baby, and I am thinking Pumpkin. After all, fall is my favorite season ever and I am SO ready for it to be here-sorta how I feel about this baby. I LOVE being pregnant, but really, I just can't wait to be snuggling this baby.

So I guess that is that, Pumpkin it is.

Alight, my ramble is over, feel free to continue about your day now.

*UPDATE-Now that we know it is a boy, Bill feels Pumpkin is a little too girly for him SO, we will now refer to the new baby boy as Champ, a name suggested by our awesome friends Caitlin and John, since we couldn't figure out a good blog nickname for the little guy :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

We Don't Eat Babies

So, part of the fun of having little kids is all the fun things they say! Even when they say these super fun things at somewhat embarrassing times.

Like when you are at the park and your son keeps talking about blood and how he likes blood and how he wishes he could see it move around the body. (And you are the only one that realizes the fascination with blood is from seeing Mom give blood earlier, while everyone else in the park just thinks your kid is *creepy*)

Or like, how your other son thinks the word "dukie" is the MOST HILARIOUS EVER and continues to yell it and laugh hysterically while your are trying hard to find the best deal on bread.

Or perhaps how, while you are cooking dinner, you see one boy run by screaming and wielding what looks like his plastic golf club, only to see the other dash by, also screaming, and holding stuffed num-chucks over his head. All of which sends you to retreat further into the kitchen, because you just DON'T WANT TO KNOW what they are doing.

Or, our current favorite, is if you and your husband are sharing a special moment, talking about how you have a bun in the oven and rubbing a still sorta flat belly, your eldest will walk up and declare loudly:

MOMMY!! DADDY!!! Do we EAT BABIES in THIS family???!! NOOOO! We do NOT eat Babies!! In some families? MAYBE, but NOT this one!!

Then he may or may not cross his arms and glare at you for even CONSIDERING having a Bun, er, Baby, in the oven.

And where do you even start to explain how that phrase came about, because seriously, I need to know.

Because, you see, we REALLY do have a little bun in the oven, all set to finish cooking in April!!! YAYAYAY!!!

We will soon be a family of 5!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Missing A Kid

Little Dude started preschool this week, and it has left a weird empty spot in the house.

JR and Emily LOVE that he is gone, because it means they get to play WITH HIS TOYS!! The JOY!!!

So, I don't think they mind at all in the least. Me; however, I'm a little sad when I drop him off. Today, he even asked that I not walk him in, but do the "car drop" (the carpool drop off) that most of the other kids do.

OH it has started.

So, I did. I did the car pool lane, and let him out of the car, and called by as he ran inside. At least I did get a wave.

Then I ran errands with the other kids, and now I am supposed to be working, but decided to take a break from doing a press release just because. Normally Little Dude would have already come in to talk to me, giving me a little mini break by default, since the time after lunch is usually just me and him time while the little ones nap.

But today, no, he is still at school. And I have to wait a whole 40 minutes before I can go get him.

What in the world am I going to do when he starts real school?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hiking With The Boys

Here are more photos from our camping trip:

Little Dude and JR on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Sitting in a tree stump chair
Babywearing in the mei-tai at the Linville Caverns. The Caverns are AMAZING.
The boys hiking together to the Linville Falls

Bill and Little Dude in the Caverns

I'm so ready to go back; the kids had a blast playing in the woods and exploring all the trails. Bill and I had a wonderful time getting to discover the outdoors with the boys, too-somehow seeing it with them was like seeing it for the first time. Just awesome.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moon Dough

My kids and I love playing with play-dough, and I have quite a few home-made recipes that are great, from edible to not edible to easy to to clean.

I LOVE play-dough.

So, when I saw Moon Dough at the stores advertised as "never dries out!!", I was instantly intrigued and had to try it out.

And try it out we did. We have used it for weeks now, and the kids have enjoyed it about as much as they enjoy play-dough.

And it hasn't dried out.

But you know what I have discovered that means? It means is is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to clean up. Because even sweeping it on my laminate floors squishes it into the broom and leaves streaks on the floor of moon dough moist dust.

It also appears that, since the Moon Dough never dries out, the makers felt there was no need to also have a container to PUT and STORE the Moon Dough in. So for now, it is in a baggie from my kitchen. Because, trust me, you DON'T want this stuff getting onto your furniture. Unlike play-dough, which will harden and become easy to clean up, this stuff STAYS moist and mailable-making it IMPOSSIBLE to get out of fabric. My couch was the sad guinea pig to that.

Also, I found that the molding toy (we got the farm one) is not very sturdy in a 4 year old's hands, even though the toy is for 2-4. The lever for making the forms kept popping off, which meant I was there every 2 seconds having to fix it, and then just finally doing the molding myself while they watched.

Since we play with all the play-dough molds ALL the time,and the kids are quite great (even the 2 year olds) at maneuvering them, I was surprised this one couldn't stay together.

So, while it is a cool idea that it never dries out, I feel this product would be better if it came with a container for the dough, instead of just the bags you cut open to get to the dough, and if the molding toy was all one piece, without the lever being able to just pop off. I also feel it is best as an outside, on the deck type activity, since it is a pain to sweep up.

The cost? For me, I hate this stuff and enjoy play-dough SO much better, so no price would be good for me. Honestly, unless they changed the items I mentioned above, I won't ever be getting any more of the Moon Dough. Don't waste your time, stick with good ol' play-dough.

You can check out Moon Dough for yourself at It is hypo-allergenic and wheat-free and can be found at Walmart, Target, Kamart,, Toys R Us, eToys, Michaels and A.C. Moore.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Camping With Kids

Cooking and Eating Breakfast:
Our "camping cabin":
More of the cabin; it didn't have a/c, but the lights were great for the few rainy days we had!

Camping was so very much fun; I can't wait to go back. I'll show some of our hiking pictures tomorrow; the boys had a blast!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm Back

I know I have been silent for a few weeks now-and I really let all of August go by without much blogging about the family! Time this summer has just gotten away from me; and I wish I could slow it down to the pace January usually takes.

Anyways, things have been crazy around here.

We had our 6th wedding anniversary in May, then a ton of Birthdays in June, my work got super buy in July, and then August ushered in birthdays, vacations, and general fun chaos.

Two weeks ago we went on vacation to Bear Den campground off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville, NC (and super close to where I grew up). It was a BLAST camping with the boys. We had a "camping cabin" which was like a tool shed with beds and electricity; next time we go I will have to remember the electricity and bring the coffee maker, instead of having to drink instant. But in a way, that was super fun, because each morning Bill surprised me with a super awesome cup of hot coffee.

Trust me, there s nothing like sitting around a campfire, drinking coffee, and enjoying the sunrise over the mountains. It made me miss the mountains a bit, which was something I thought I'd never say when I got out of there as fast as I could 11 years ago.

Lots of other awesome things are going on, but for the sake of keeping it short, I will just leave you with a photo from out camping trip:

This is at Linville Falls; the kids were awesome troopers and hiked everywhere in the mountains with us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sometimes, We Just Hang Out

After church we went to the art museum! It was pretty fun, though to be honest, I don't know why they built the new building, just to have the old one stand empty. It is a lovely building, but it just seems a waste to have an empty building there, that was serving just as well for displaying everything.

I must say, the museum feels super duper fancy now-I actually was glad we looked nice from church, because otherwise I would have felt funny walking around the fancy building in jean shorts and flip flops-my usual lazy day attire.

I found out there are some GREAT trails for the kids to enjoy once the weather finally cools off, and I am super excited to hit those up with everyone; it would be a great group playdate place, too.

Now that I have a great group of moms around, I need to get everyone together for a group playdate so they can all meet. Perhaps this fall the cool weather will get me motivated to plan something for everyone.

In the meantime, I am hot. And tired. And really ready for fall.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not Feeling Well

Oh goodness; where did July go? I have been so very busy lately that time has just slipped by and somehow I am still behind on everything.

Like, I need to get to the library today before I own a bunch of dimes. And I need to mail baptism gifts for my nephews. And I need to play catch up on my never ending pile of things at work.

Oh sigh.

And on top of it, I'm not feeling so hot. Simply put, I am just tired and feel run down and since it looks like all the kids are developing colds, I have a feeling I'll be sick here soon, too.

I really just want to crawl into bed and go to sleep. Or read a good book. Hmmm. I guess it is a good thing I need to go to the library. Nothing like feeding procrastination with a book....

Friday, July 30, 2010

We're Going On A Bear Hunt

We are going camping with the kids in a few weeks and I am SO super excited. We will be taking the kids back closer to my childhood home, deep in the mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway-YAY!

Though I love my current home town-and would really rather never move away from here-a little tiny part of me misses the mountains, though when I was a senior in high school I couldn't get away fast enough.

Funny how that happens.

Anyways, I am crazy CRAZY excited to go camping, and hiking, and ROAST MARSHMALLOWS with Bill and the boys. And Bill and I are super excited the boys have reached the ages to make this a fun trip.

The place we are going has a play ground, swimming lake, fishing, hiking, and quick access to the Linville falls and caverns-whoo hoo!

I can't wait to do some hiking with the kids.We do a lot around here, so I think they will be good, but since this will not be mostly flat hiking, I am a little worried about JR making it the whole way, and so I'll have my mei tai with me, just in case.

Though, with as hot as it has been, I am worried that might be too warm for him. I found the new Ergo Baby Performance Carrier and I want the gray one so badly, but it seems everyone is sold out of them right now, so not much chance they will be back in stock I could order one in time for our hiking trip. Oh well, it's all good, because we are going CAMPING!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Kids Always Prove Me Wrong

That really is the only truth in parenting, or so it seems. No matter how well of a routine, or plan, or experience you have with any given situation, the children will make sure you get comfortable with your successful parenting, and then WHAM, pull the rug out. I'm pretty sure they time it and wait for just the right moment to go crazy.

Even though most of the the day, and 99.95% of the year they are angels, don't be fooled.

They will stop at nothing to prove that, indeed, they are uncontrollable, separate entities that can make their heads spin around, snarl, and kick with the best of any horror movie creature.

And for me, the kids decided I'd had enough of well behaved little boys while I had my sister in law over for a playdate.

The sister in law that just had twins.

Twin boys.

And I was JUST telling her how great the kids are and how everything will get easier once the twins can interact more and communicate and JUST HOW SWEET THE BOYS ARE TO EACH OTHER.

I obviously pushed my luck, and luck decided that was a good moment to laugh at me.

Because, in the middle of a peaceful conversation about fun baby-isms, JR knocked over Little Dude's block "tower/bridge/road/building" and Little Dude LOST HIS MIND.

He then hit JR with a block. HARD.

So, I told him he had to go to the corner (and totally thinking, ah perfect, my sister in law can see how discipline works so well here)But Little Dude LOST IT MORE and declared he WASN'T GOING TO THE CORNER.

So, I got up, smiled at my sister in law, and went to Little Dude, saying something about how he can't hit JR and we can fix his "tower/bridge/road/building" after he is good in the corner, but he must go to the corner for hitting-he knows that isn't allowed and knows the result of hitting is going to the corner.

Did he go? No. I started to panic a bit, and then threatened a swift spanking if he didn't go chill out for a minute in the corner. Usually, at the times when either child decides they don't want to go to the corner for discipline, the threat of a spanking makes them decide the corner is not so bad, and generally no spanking is even given. (and when I say spanking, it really is more of a swat). I have some deep seeded issues with overthetop spanking that would take years to explain.


Little Dude looked at me (and at this moment, I felt my stomach drop as I realized THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN WAS ABOUT TO ENSUE) and he then declared HE DIDN'T LIKE ME AND WASN'T GOING IN THE CORNER. Oh, did I mention he can yell pretty loud?

At this point the twins were watching, taking notes, I'm sure, and their mom was looking a bit scared.

So, I was left with no choice but to swat him, confident THEN he would just go get in the corner. Instead; however, he simply started to scream, snarl, attempt to bite and kicked at me. OH MY GOD, WHAT TO DO? Why do kids not come with a manual????

Again, I smiled at my sister in law-who was by then looking at her twin boys and my boys with a little bit of horror-and scooped Little Dude up and took him away from the room, back to his room, where I figured a change of scenery, away from an audience, and all alone in his room might calm him down.

I learned you should not reason with an upset 3 year old and changing the scenery does nothing but make him yell louder about his "tower/bridge/road/building".

Eventually, I left him in his room, while he yelling about the injustices of the world, and came back out to see my sister in law.

Even though she was sweet about it and said some things about boys being boys and kids being kids, I don't think I'm going to be able to convince her to have another playdate anytime soon.

And the kicker? I had totally wanted to show her how manageable everything is, and to not be nervous about the twins, and how she will find a routine that works and yes, her house will be clean again and yes the kids will play nicely and share....

I'd been up late the night before-and even spent time that morning-cleaning the house just so she would be impressed and feel like, "Hey, you have two two year olds and a three year old here all day-if you can do it I can do it with my twins. This is doable, eventually all will be smooth again and not so crazy!"

But instead of instilling her with glimmers of wonderful sharing and hugging moments between the boys, I showed her some of the worst meltdown moments EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MELTDOWNS.

Sigh. Every new mom needs to witness a good meltdown, right? RIGHT?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Preschool, I'm Not Ready

So yesterday we got the packet of information for Little Dude's preschool. What day he starts, the schedule for the first week, when full days start, what to not pack in lunches, and when tuition is due.

Needless to say, Little Dude IS SO EXCITED and plays like he is at school EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.NOW.

But I'm not ready.

He won't be around for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that makes me SO SAD.

I even cried about it last night.

I'm just not ready to let go of him yet; 'cause I just know it will never, ever be the same.

This is an aspect of parenting I never counted on; this wanting to be around them all the time and not wanting to miss anything-because lord knows it has already flown by far too quickly. I am SO thankful that thus far, I haven't had to miss anything-that I have been able to be home with them for every good AND bad moment. It certainly was what I needed to have happen; I just wish that I could continue it.

And I know, I could home school, but I don't think Little Dude would like that. He watches the bus come for other kids in the neighborhood (though much to his dismay, I am driving him to school no matter what) and he wants to go SO BADLY.

The first time we visited a preschool, he turned and told me to leave.

He is ready, and I'm so glad. I just wish I could get myself ready.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shred Sled Shox Scooter

My kids were recently able to try out the Shox Scooter by Shred Sled-and all I can say is that it is a HUGE it.

The sled is EXTREMELY well made, durable, and though it is made for getting bigger jumps and tricks out of it, when I messed with it it seemed to be VERY sturdy and easy to balance-which would explain why my son was suddenly able to do some small jumps with it, after having never even been on a scooter of any kind before.

And even though, as a parent I was a wee bit nervous about letting him try out a "tick" sled, I have to say the traction and wheels were fantastic for keeping a good grip on our driveway (which is paved but rather old and bumpy in spots).

The Shox Scooter is built with a new, innovative spring shock deck to absorb impact when landing jumps and stunts, and to also spring back to increase the rider's power. The deck's rough grip surface provides excellent foot control and traction while performing tricks and the scooter's sturdy back brake further enhances control and safety while riding. The handles also adjust to various heights to accommodate children of all sizes.

While the price is a bit steep, at $59.99, I think it is a PERFECT Christmas or birthday worthy gift. My son is in love with it and has been enjoying riding it up to the park, and I enjoy feeling that he is on a well made, sturdy scooter with strong brakes.

Of course, your kids should always wear helmets and safety gear while using the scooter. I'm that mom that makes my son wear elbow, knee, and head gear while on it, as well as pants so there is little chance of him scrapping up his legs if he falls. Yea, I know, I'm a bit overboard. But really, you should see the fun/crazy things he can do with this scooter....

Anyways, you can check out more about the Shred Sled Shox Scooter at, and you can buy it nationwide a retailers, as well as at We love it, I highly recommend it as a great, strong and well made item for you child, should you be looking at a scooter that can grow with them from preschool on up to middle school sized tricks.


I love having kids-love it like crazy-but there are moments when it is really hard.

Like when I am trying to work and everyone wants to sit in my lap. It is incredibly hard to type copy when everyone is in my lap.

Or when I FINALLY get to sit down and eat, everyone comes running wanting some of my food, because, after all, they didn't get enough just a few minutes before at their lunch. This is the reason all the baby weigh has come off-I just never get to eat a meal.

Or like when all three go bonkers on me when we are running errands. That is always awesome, because then everyone is looking at me and I feel pressure to do something, though I have no idea what....I sometimes wish the people staring at me as all three run circles around the grocery cart would just tell me what they want me to do, or else move along their business.

And like, when sometimes, the kids grab stuff from the counter, resulting in strawberries and strawberry JUICE all over the dinning room carpet, or pour syrup all over the table and chairs, or somehow get green finger pain on the couches. (And miraculously, baby wipes got all of that clean...)I yelled a lot strawberry disaster day . And then felt so incredibly guilty afterward (especially after it all came clean with some scrubbing) that I got the kids ice cream.

On the flip side though?

None of that matters. Who cares if my house is messy, or the kids are covered in dirt and eating something that looks like a worm?

The snuggles, the kisses, pleases and thank yous, and the little voices and toys scattered everywhere; that is what matters and makes all the crazy parts melt away.

Eventually these years will pass, and busy teens will take over, so even as I sigh with exhaustion, I have to remember how lucky I am and how wonderful these years are.

Even when the crazy parts include coloring the wall with permanent marker.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Potty Training Part 3

So it has been about a month since we started potty training JR, and you can read part 1 and part 2, or read all of my potty training adventures here.

We finally got him pooping in the potty AND a huge break through over the weekend-he is now going to pee on his own!!!*Happy dance, happy dance!*

Bill and I were cleaning the kitchen when JR came in wanting his undies put on, and I immediately assumed he had peed somewhere and wanted new undies. However, much to our surprise, he said he had peed in the potty, and took us back there to show us. Yippiee! NO PEE ON THE FLOOR OR CLOTHES!!

If you ever potty train a child, you will appreciate the caps.

Anyways, we are doing great. We even went to see Toy Story 3 over the weekend, and JR took one potty break in the middle of the movie.

So, overall, here are my tips:

*Get a cheap potty, the big fancy ones aren't worth it-all the bells and noise and lights become toys and that is the last thing I want my kids playing with.

*For boys, the frog potty and the sea turtle ring I mention in part 2 above are PERFECT. the shields are huge and high so pee doesn't go all over the floor now matter how they sit and move, and the seat part is one piece, so no crevices to clean. Quick and easy. Nice

*A few treats in the beginning (we did chocolate) really helped motivate wanting to sit on the potty (and poop), but as it became obvious the potty stuff was clicking, we have started backing off on treats.

*I keep a frog potty in my car, so when running errands, I make JR use it before going into a store. So far he has only peed while out an about; however, I do have some bags and wipes on hand should he poop.

*To protect car seats, I have a puppy house training pad folded to cover the seat area. I think a 20 pack of pads at Pet Smart were $10. I also have one under the potty I keep in the car, just in case there is a spill (which I haven't had yet-usually after using the car potty I discretely dump the pee onto a patch of grass near the store, which I hunt out far from the store and other cars partly to provide JR some privacy and to not gross anyone out when I dump the pee)

*Start boys out sitting; it is much easier and cleaner.

And on that topic, if you have older boys that are standing, then you may end up with a two year old that wants to stand, as well.

If you have any idea on how to help with that, let me know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rolling Eyes

Little Dude has been showing a little attitude lately-not all the time,and nothing horrible, but just enough to irratate Bill and me a bit.

This morning we were talking about the kids and laughing at their latest antics, when I brought up how Little Dude has started sighing and rolling his eyes when he gets annoyed.

Then to my annoyance, Bill started laughing.

Because, he said, Little Dude was ME.

It seems, unbeknown to me, that I sigh and look to heaven when I get annoyed.

So, today, I am making an extra effort to make sure I DON'T let myself get annoyed and behave like that, because, surely if it irritates me to see Little Dude do it, it must irritate others when I do it to them, right? And if I have ever done it to you, I SWEAR I didn't realize I was doing it and I am sorry.

Yet another lesson I have learned from my kids.

And a good note to me-I must remember little eyes and ears are closely watching so they can mimic my every move, good AND bad.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When I Grow Up

Little Dude and JR are at the phases now where they just say the cutest things. Right now JR talks with a little bit of a lisp and rolls his r's with skills that would make Spanish teachers giddy.

And Little Dude? Well, all he can talk about now is pre-school starting in September and being a firefighter.

He talks about being a firefighter, playing firefighter, and telling me the firefighter rules All.Day.Long.

The rules go something like this:
(imagine Little Dude yelling them loudly for all to hear, no matter where we are)

RULE NUMBER ONE!: DON'T BUG FIREFIGHTERS THEY ARE DOING AN IMPORTANT JOB (this rule stems from me having to ask him not to chase any and all firefighters we would run into while running errands, and yes, it has happened a few items)
RULE NUMBER THREE!: DON'T TOUCH FIRE! (Have to say, another good rule)
RULE NUMBER FOUR!: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE (Sometimes we remind him he already stated this rule, but that interrupts his flow and makes him start all over again)
RULE NUMBER FIVE!: CALL 9-9-1!! (This stems from us trying to teach him 9-1-1, but he always says 9-9-1...)

He also explains that if there is a fire, we all have to go to the neighbor's house. One day, after discussing that with the kids and doing a practice drill of getting out of the house, Little Dude asked what we should do if the neighbor's house is on fire.

So I told him we would then go to a different neighbor's house. That then led to a long list order of which neighbors to go to in the case of a neighborhood wide fire. When we came to the end of the list of all the neighbors we know (which is a lot), Little Dude asked where we should go if THAT house has a fire TOO!!?!

So I told him, if EVERYONE'S homes are on fire, just run down the street screaming for help.

And then I didn't think anything of it.

But now, every time we run into someone that shows the least bit of interest in hearing his fire rules, Little Dude also announces: MOMMY SAID IF ALL THE HOUSES ARE BURNING GO RUN DOWN THE STREET AND SCREAM LOUD!!!!

And I ususally get some funny looks from whomever he is talking to.

Oh parenting.

*This is from visiting our favorite firefighter, who we end up seeing at least once a month. Someday I'll frame this and display it when he gets hired as a firefighter.*

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Splits For a Cause

To help fight ovarian cancer and enter my giveaway for a $25 dollar giftcard, please read all the details at my review blog:

Because the giveaway is sponsored by a company not affiliated with BlogHer, my BlogHer membership rules dictated the post needed to be removed to a separate review blog.

Thanks so much!


PS-I'll be entering comments left on this post as well as on the review blog post above, so don't worry-everyone will be entered to win :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy July 4th!

I can't believe July is already here-June just flew by so very quickly! Between birthdays, anniversaries, mothers/fathers days, and more, mid-May and June are just crazy times for us; so the days have flown.

And this weekend (tomorrow for my town) we celebrate the 4th with fireworks and fun. The 4th always has me reflecting on our founding fathers (and mothers, you know their moms had to be amazing women to raise such men). They were so brilliant, and forward thinking, and carried such deep perspective that still holds strong today.

Our favorite founding father? Benjamin Franklin (one of our sons might have that name, though I vetoed Franklin as the middle name. Yes, my husband tried to get me to agree to that...)My favorite quotes from Ben:

All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanack, 1749

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738

Such a wise man.

Happy 4th of Juy!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Potty Training Part Two

Yesterday I talked about Potty Training JR, and you can read all my Potty Training successes and nightmares, if you happen to be starting potty training, or just want to laugh at me.

If you are starting potty training, just remember, your child will do exactly the opposite of what you expect at the worst of moments just 'cause he can. It is the sworn pact of childhood to spring surprise behavior like that, you know.

For me, I think that a bit part of successful potty training is having the right seat for your child (and you, none of us want to clean up messes). I have tried 5 seats, ranging in high price to low price, fancy and musical to just simple, and I have to tell you, of all the seats I have tried, this one is my VERY favorite.

Especially for boys, because the head of the frog is the PERFECT "splash guard" and it CANT COME OFF. That is my huge complaint with all the other ones-even the very expensive ones. The shield either wasn't tall enough and my boys would pee over it, or the shield would break off after a few tugs from the kids. The musical ones just added another "toy" I had to keep batteries in, and instead of getting to "business" all the kids would be in there playing with the potty-not using it. The ones with the roller for toilet paper? Very cute idea, but that lead to a whole role of toilet paper being used to decorate the bathroom.

So now another pointer-keep the toilet paper out of reach.

The froggy potty was the cheapest, at only $14.00 from Wal-Mart. This seat is sturdy, durable plastic, the inner blue part (they have pink too, if you have daughters or just prefer pink) comes out easily to dump in the toilet and wash out in the sink (or with your handy diaper sprayer). I keep a second seat just like this in the back of the car to pull out for potty breaks between errands or when a clean bathroom is just not nearby.

If you DON'T have room for a seat on the floor, then I will share that FOR BOYS all the general seats you can get at Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us SUCK. They are awful.

They all have flimsy plastic shields that just fall off, or, like the little Diego themed one we bought not long ago, the shield is too short, so unless the boys know to "point down" then the pee just goes all over the plastic seat-and into the crevices where the plastic seat and plastic outside snap together, and then run onto the floor. Nice. My oldest knows to point down, now, but during potty training, that usually takes a bit of practice to get; which stinks, (hahaha) because I'm stuck cleaning all the spills.

Then I came across this one:
It is super cheap at only $10.00-so I ordered it. I am really hopeful the "turtle head" shield works great and is tall like the frog head-thus ensuring no "splash over" onto my floor.

What I'm most excited about is that it is all one piece. Trust me, the different pieced seats only lead to groves and holes and PLACES where pee WILL end up-and then it stinks and you have to scrub at it with bleach and it is just a pain. With a three year old and two two year olds around all day, I need simple, and one hard plastic piece for quick rinse off and this one looks GREAT for the job.

So I will let you know how I like it; it should actually get here later today or tomorrow. Yippiee!

And that concludes today's edition on potty training two year olds.

The Froggy Potty and Turtle Training Seat are both by Fisher -Price and this was NOT a paid or compensated review. I got the potty from Wal-Mart and the seat I ordered from Amazon. I have bought every single potty with my own money and thought I would share with you the one I loved and what I hated about others. If you are really interested, leave a comment below with your email and I'll tell you specifically what other seats I had tried and hated and why, otherwise I won't completely bad mouth a product just because it didn't work for me or my kids-the same product might work great for your family. These are just my thoughts and ideas and I am in no way an expert, just a mom.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Potty Training

So I am in the middle of potty training my second kid, and so far it is going well.

We are still having trouble getting him to poop in the potty-it seems so far he is just waiting til he has a diaper at nap time or at night time and then pooping-though yesterday he did say he needed to poop, but I think by then he had already started, so it was all in his undies before we made it to the potty.

Pee; however, is going great. Over the last three days he has only had one accident, and that was yesterday while he was playing with a neighbor friend. And we made it through two doctor appointments yesterday (and he told me he had to go!)

Overall, it seems to be a success, and I am positive over the next few weeks-by mid July-we will be all good to go out and about with little worry over accidents. But we will see, that is always up for change; after all, switching it up on you is what 2 year olds do best.

My little bit of advice-which take it as you will, I have only potty trained one child completely-is to make it stress free for your child. It will be for you no matter what, simply because there WILL be accidents at some point, be them on your rug or car or at the store. Even months after you thought you were in the clear of potty accidents. Just realize that, and it makes everything all better.

Little Dude showed displeasure in being wet/poopy when he was about 2 years and 3 months (and I use cloth diapers, not disposables that make your child feel more comfortable)and he was pretty much potty trained in a week. We still had the rare occasional accident for a few months, and those "I need to pee NOW" moments when bathrooms were miles away (maybe yards, but when that moment happens, yards turn into miles) but overall, he was done.

JR is a little younger (just turned 2)and started taking his pants and diapers off when he got wet or poopy, so I took that as a sign to start the potty. JR was also extra motivated to do what his brother was doing, so that has helped with the process.

For the most part, there are no rewards, beyond making a huge event out of picking out big boy undies. No critical statements when accidents occur, no pressure or anger when we don't make it to the potty-just simply saying we will make it next time and "don't wet pants feel bad? Let's try again..." I said that a lot....

But here we are, two weeks from first potty training day, and I think we have hit the success point.

I'll let you know if we are still doing well after our lunch with the local fire fighters today (at LB Park, if you live in my area, around 11am).

And I wish SO badly I could post a picture of JR in his big boy undies or sitting on the potty, but alas, this little boy will be a teenager someday, and those photos are probably just going to have to be saved until he his going to prom. OK, that would be cruel; I guess I'll have to save them until he is potty training kids of his own.... Grandma and I will ooh and ahh over how cute they are until then.