Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Kids

So today is a practice run of my upcoming new job, nanny. Hmmm, actually, not sure nanny is right, it makes me feel like I should be British. Kid watcher? Kid observer? Kid jungle gym/food source? That is probably more applicable.

Anyways, my friends, Mike and Beth, have the most adorable little girl, Emily, and starting in Feb I am going to start watching her (Emily) full time! I'm super excited because one, I get to justify getting a few girly things around here for her and PLAY WITH HER LOOOONG HAIR!! Two, I make some extra money on the side and three, Mike and Beth save a ton on daycare while Emily gets to be one of three instead of one of 12. And did I mention Emily has the longest hair? I am dreaming about playing with it.

So wish me luck, today I'm just planning a little park trip and pretty much keeping around here. I am looking at getting a family pass to Marbles and I have been told the Durham Museum is super awesome-though I am super lame and haven't taken the time to drive out there yet, even though I keep saying I'm going to.

Ohhhh, and I am going to need some dress up clothes for her, don't you think? I mean, come on, she NEEDS some here, right? I might have to hop on ebay now....


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Being Grateful

My friend, Heather, got to be a part of a video on how to teach your children to be grateful. The video is GREAT, so you should check it out:



What are some of the things you want to do or have done? Every year, our church raises funds for feeding and helping local people in need-and in the case of Haiti, sending food, resources, and personal help. So this year, we let the kids be a part of our contribution.

At first, it was hard for Little Dude to pick out things to give to children in need or food for those that are hungry. The one thing that helped him find it fun was we reminded him that we could buy more. We are blessed and can go to the store anytime we want. Others are cold and don't have beds tonight.

So, Little Dude helped me pick food out of our pantry and set aside some toys and books that we could give to those that need. We also let him and JR put extra money in the basket when it came around for Haiti donations, and we explained to them that this money was to help all the people that needed food and shelter after the earthquake. And we told him, that someday, if we need help, people will be there to help us. So as long as we are able, we need to do our part and do as much as we can to help. I think he understood a little and I think it made him feel good to know he could help in such a huge way.

When Little Dude and JR are old enough, we want to have them help with Habitat for Humanity, too. It is something I did while I was in college, and along with learning great skills, it really makes you appreciate what goes into a home and providing shelter for someone.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiny Talk

My son, Little Dude, LOVES his gummy vitamins, so when he noticed Bill and I had LARGER gummy vitamins, he was intrigued. He used every skill he had to try to convince us that he needed one of our BIG gummies.

When he realized he had lost the quest, the conversation got interesting:

Him: "When I grow up, I'm going to eat BIG vitamins."

Us: "That's right, Sweetie, then you'll be big and strong."

Him: "And I'm going to say BAD words. Oh Yeeeaaa."

Us: "Uhhh..."


Needless to say, we tried not to laugh, because he was so serious about it.

I've decided there isn't much cuter (or more fun) to be around then an imaginative 3 year old.




Monday, January 25, 2010

What Are Twins Like

I might start watching a friend's little girl weekdays to help cut their day care costs in half. And a little extra money is always nice, right? So, all in all it is a great solution for them and a nice little bit of extra money for us. But I do have to admit I am a little bit nervous.

Emily is only 2 months older than my JR, so, in a way, I'll find out what it is like to have twin toddlers. Emily is talking more than JR, so that is nice, and hopefully soon they will both have enough vocabulary that tantrums can be worked out or avoided quickly. And even though I did work at a daycare and take care of three little guys that were all the same age; somehow knowing that I still need to get things done around the house-and get grocery trips done, or get everyone loaded up to go to the park-has me running plays in my head on how to best organize everything, so when the big day comes, and I take ALL THREE out with me, I will be relaxed.

I do think though, that I might sign up to use the Lowe's Foods online grocery shopping and I will definitely be utilizing the bag boys to help me carry groceries to the car. Do you tip them for that?

Does anyone have advice for how to best get out and about with three kids three and under? Our area parks are great, with a lot of open space between play areas, so there will be no risk of one getting way from the play without me noticing.

It is going to be so fun to have a little girl to play with-and I think it will be good for the boys to have to share with a guest on a daily basis. I think also, for the first few weeks Emily comes to play with us, at least, that all three will be pretty entertained with each other and rediscovering the toys.

Now if only it would quick raining and storming so I can make sure all three of them get to run wild in our backyard. Can you imagine three of them cooped up in the house
for a few days? The horror.I think I'll be looking into that family membership for Marbles, too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Help For Haiti



Did you know that many children in Haiti are fed dirt to keep their tummies from hurting, because there is no food? And that was before the earthquake.

You can check out the link above to see how to send aid to Haiti. The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood and platelet donations, as well as monetary aid to buy what is needed. You can contact the Red Cross at www.redcross.org to see how to donate formula (though I think they will be best with already prepared formula, as who knows the conditions of the water there right now). There are also places where you can donate breast milk, like the Breast Milk Project: http://www.breastmilkproject.org/haiti.php(and donations to this organization also help orphans and children of HIV mothers in areas where clean water is scare and disease rampant).

If you have been thinking about adoption or feel called to adopt a child, you can also see about adopting a child from Haiti at Bethany Christian Services at http://www.bethany.org/. I believe they are in charge of the adoptions for the 53 orphans that just came from Haiti to Pittsburgh. You can contact Bethany for more information.

I'm sure you can also stop by any local church to ask about giving donations to Haiti.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Potty Training The Second Child

Potty Training Little Dude was relatively easy-he has only had a handful of accidents in 2 years, including just wetting his bed once. The only issue we had was getting over his fear of pooping; which we have thankfully finally moved beyond. (yay!)

But with Little Dude using the potty all the time, it seems JR has been motivated to also sit on the potty. So, for the past 3 months I have actually be discouraging him from using it. (I know, I know, but I'm just not ready. And besides, he is JUST NOW starting to say a few words).

Anyways, today, JR adamatly wanted to use the potty, and since it is a rainy day, big brother has a cough, and I don't have much else to do today, I figured we would give it a go.

So, JR is wearing big undies today (which I discretely stole from Little Dude's drawer; if this goes well for the next few days, I'll get JR his own so we can avoid the "THAT'S MINE" issues)

JR is 19 months, but so far today has not wet his undies and has gone in the potty 4 times. Nice, so far. We will see how this turns out. In some ways it would be nice to be done with the diapers; however, THEN I will have TWO boys telling me they have to go potty while I'm in the middle of grocery store check out. Oh my.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christmas Morning

**Disclaimer: I can't get the video to work and I'm getting annoyed with it. I'll be trying to figure out what is wrong with it after dinner. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe tomorrow I'll just post something different and pretend this post didn't happen....**

So I am finally getting some of the videos off my Flip camera (which I love, by the way) and I have this cute one of Christmas morning at our house. I know you guys have been dying to see what the Miche looks like first thing in the morning. This is even after I had some coffee, so prepare to be amazed with the awesome camera skills and rambling amazing commentary:

video

And just think, if I find some more gems on the camera, I might just share them with you guys. I know you know you're scared lucky.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Reading Stories






JR, reading his favorite story about NC State University. I know, adorable. It is crazy to think that someday, he will be reading to me.

Time flies way too quickly; today I'm going to enjoy the nice weather by taking the kids to the park with some friends.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Working From Home

I'm blessed in so many ways, but one HUGE blessing is that I get to work from home. I work for the amazing, wonderful real estate marketing company, Dakno Marketing. I do a little of everything, from creating web pages to writing press releases, and everything I do is just a little bit different; needless to say I have learned a lot!

Working from home has many upsides-the biggest? I get to stay home with my little guys. Instead of spending money on daycare, or missing out on their days, I get to spend every moment with them, and work in my free time to earn money.

Another amazing part of working from home? In times when everyone is sick (like we all were for the last two weeks) I can still work a little, and get maximum rest and snuggle time on the couch. I can take time off whenever I need. Like yesterday was crazy (found out my cold has turned into a sinus infection, so now I'm on MORE meds) so I didn't work. I didn't even turn on the computer.

Though that does mean today I probably have a million emails and I have work that MUST get done by this afternoon. But that is OK, and working a lot today is worth it, because I got to deal with my toddler's never ending tantrums and my doctor visit without any worries about work.

Working from home is also great economically because I don't use gas to get to and from work. Since I am a contract worker (meaning I sorta run my own business though my only "client" is Dakno)I can make my printer ink, paper, pens, and office supplies I used daily as part of my business expenses for tax purposes. Nice. I also don't have to worry about business suits or dressing up, unless I really just want to for me. Sometimes I do put on a cute outfit and go work in my office. Other times, I set up the laptop where the kids are playing and work in whatever I feel like wearing. Super nice.

I can also tailor the amount of work I do to whatever activities the kids are wanting to do. A rainy day? I might work a lot and let the kids play with their trains. A nice day? I can put off work until night time and spend the day at the park or even just in the yard.

Working from home also enables me to keep up the house, take care of everything here, and cook dinner, so that when my sweet husband gets home from work, we can all just spend time together and relax.

One of my favorite things though, about working from home, is that it gives me another hat to wear
. Instead of "just" being mom and wife, I also get adult interaction and something separate from the family that is just for me. When my husband talks about his work, I can also share antidotes about my work. And in a way that many moms can relate to-having my job gives me a place to "escape" housework and kids, and lets me come back to said housework and kids refreshed.

Though working at home, being at home with the kids, managing the house and supporting my husband in every way I can does tend to give a bit of chaos to our days, there is nothing in the world I would change. For me, working from home is the perfect solution to keeping our crazy world organized.

YOUR TURN: What do YOU like about working from home/staying at home? If you work outside of the home, what do you like about that?

Meet Some More Work From Home Mamas I enjoy reading:


Metropolitan Mama

Casual Friday Everyday
To Think Is to Create
I Should Be Folding Laundry
Adventures In Babywearing
Rocks In My Dryer





Monday, January 11, 2010

Grocery Shopping

It is really cold here, but we haven't gotten any snow. I'm a little bummed about it; just about everywhere around us has gotten a little bit of snow, but we just got missed.

I can't complain too much though-I am not a fan of big snows; I just like enough of a dusting to play in, make snow cream with, and then have it all melt in a day or two.

Anyways, the weather people called for snow, twice, last week, so the kids and I ran out to get the ingredients for snow cream. Since Little Dude and JR were still getting over ear infections, Little Dude got to ride in the cart, too, instead of having to walk, as usual:




The boys had a blast sitting like that. Ahh, the simple things.








Saturday, January 9, 2010

Potty Training Poop Issues? Try Fiber Gummies

Potty training is a not-so-fun part of parenting. Sure, then they make it into the potty, or get there in time, it is super exciting. But when they don't and pee on the floor? Or worse, POOP their pants as you are RUNNING for a potty? Yea, I have been there.

I also have FINALLY overcome the final road block our family was facing with Little Dude's potty training: His fear of pooping.

Yes, I know, my son was afraid to poop. And I have no idea how that started, or what I did in the potty training process to cause this fear, but for MONTHS he has been holding in his poop for A WEEK AT A TIME. So then, when he finally couldn't put off pooping anymore, it DID hurt, because he was just, well, backed up SO MUCH.

So, we took him to the doctor, we've had him on laxatives, but ever time we started to wean him off the laxatives (which we had to do-we couldn't keep him on them forever, or that will cause a whole different problem) he would go right back to being scared to poop. I almost think it was because the laxatives made everything SUPER soft, so when it started to go back to being more normal and solid, he would be scared and fight it.

And even though Little Dude is usually a decent eater, it seems like any time of fiber rich food-fruit, veggies, what have you, Little Dude just isn't getting enough. (obviously, since he has so much trouble) But try as we might to increase his consumption, he just picks at the extra food, or won't touch it at all. It has been very frustrating!

I know, too much info, eh? But surely I'm not the only one out there with a kid that hates to poop? Or am I? I dunno...

Anyways, I have GREAT news now to share, and I owe it a lot to the invention of gummie vitamins! There are gummy FIBER vitamins, and we tried the Pedia-Lax Fiber Gummies, to great success! We are now able to guarantee Little Dude is getting enough fiber to ensure he has enough fiber in his system for easy poops. We have been laxative free and pooping easily every day for the last 3 weeks-OH I am excited, because that is a record for us! And I have been looking over my poop chart for him (I mark a calender, yes, I know, maybe too much info) and it has been MONTHS since Little Dude pooped everyday for a week straight, let alone everyday for 3 weeks straight.

And you know what? Saturday he pooped two good poops! IN THE SAME DAY. I am so excited. You just don't know!

So, I really hope this info helps any of you that might be facing the same issue (or if you haven't gone through the potty training phase yet, it could be handy to keep this in the back of your head).

January is also Fiber Focus Month, and you can learn even more about how important fiber is to a healthy body, get fiber recipe ideas, a food journal and poop chart go to www.fibergummies.com and become a fan of Pedia-Lax Fiber Gummies on Facebook.

I also have a bottle of the Fiber Gummies to give away! If you would like to try a bottle of Pedia-Lax Fiber Gummies, leave me a comment below. Make sure I have a way to contact you so I can get your mailing address if you win.



Gone

One of the best things about this world of blogging-and what keeps me blogging-is all the friendships I have made with amazing women/moms out there. I have "friends" all over the world, and we share our ideas, our failures, our days, our tantrums, our joys and when things get bad, we sweep in quickly to lift each other up.

But sometimes, worlds crash.

And there aren't words, thoughts, or deeds to do. What does one do, when the world collapses beneath a dear friend?

You can read what happened, at To Think Is To Create, simply because I can't bring myself to write it and I don't know that I should.

My dear friend, Arianne and I have never met in real life. But we read each other's blogs, help each other out with occasional comments, and work together with the One 2 One network. She hooked me up with the Blu-ray Snow White, even though I was officially too late to sign up myself. She knew what a Disney fan/freak I was and slipped me in for the review. We may have never actually talked, though hopefully someday we will, but I certainly consider her a friend. A friend who I've turned to for parenting advice, and who I've turned to for simple chit chat when the kids were driving me crazy. We've been corresponding since back in the day when I only had one kid. Back when I needed help adjusting to a baby and a move, Arianne was there to share stories and cheer me up.

But now, I don't know what to say, or do, and I have never wished so badly to be a real life friend. I wish I could hold her and hug her.

I'm thinking of you, Arianne.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Behind

I'm still sick, and it actually seems to be worse. I don't think I have the flu, but I am achy everywhere, my head feels like it is going to explode and my chest hurts from coughing so much. I won't even tell you what is coming out of my nose when I blow it. It's gross.


The kids seem to be all better now that they are halfway through their medicine; 5 more days and they won't need the antibiotics anymore. Right now they still have runny noses (similar to mine, gross)but the coughs seem to be going away.

So, we are still alive, though I'm really not at all productive. The house is in pretty good shape, though the playroom is a disaster-mostly because we have been spending all our time there. (I'm there now, using my laptop on the couch, while the kids build with blocks)

I am stressed about my work; I am so very behind and HATE that feeling. I have the weekend to "catch up", and I am quite certain I will have everything done in time, but I still just hate that panicky feeling I get when I am behind. I just hate to let anyone down or fail. I think that is some of my first-born perfectionism coming through.

Anyways, I am now going to start working like the wind while I have a break in the coughing and the kids are entertained. Just wanted to let you all know I was still alive, barely.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Aarrrggggah

Muuuaaggggah. Uuuuggggah.

We are all sick with ridiculous coughs, colds, runny noses, ear infections (both the boys have DOUBLE ear infections, sigh) and on top of it I have no voice left. I thought the kids were getting better yesterday, but the coughs came back in full force this morning.

Though, unlucky for me, Little Dude and JR both have their energy levels pretty much back, so I have regulated us to the downstairs family room, where I can lay pathetically on the couch and whisper at them to be good.

Somehow "Be Nice To Your Brother; Share Your Toys" doesn't get the same result when whispered from a frog filled throat while only raising a hand from the couch to wave in the general direction of the toys.

I got a little spoiled over the weekend with my husband AND in laws around to pamper all three of us sick ones, but yesterday and today it has just been me, and I think that is why today I am pretty much dead. And it is only 8 am.

Oh my. I'm going to go lay back down on the couch and watch "Sid the Science Kid".



Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Lights

Our house, right after Santa came...

Our yard...
The neighbors went all out...
Seriously, they went all out...

And we had one of the most beautiful streets. With a three year old to really get into it, I think this was the most magical Christmas so far. I'm already excited to do it all again, next year.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting Off Right

Well, the kids and I are both sick and I am so happy that my wonderful husband was here this weekend to help me with them; otherwise I might have died on the floor while the kids piled toys on me.

It is hard when multiple kids are sick, but worse when you are sick, too. We went to the doctor yesterday, and both of the boys have DOUBLE ear infections-ouch!

We are on some great medicine now, and spent a lot of time snuggling on the couch while Bill brought hot tea. My wonderful in laws happen to also be around Sat. and today for a previously planned visit, so it turned out even better, having a few extra hands around.

Having everyone here with me and the boys made being sick actually a little relaxing. I will have to plan these things more often.

So, I am starting off the new year right, surrounded by family and snuggling with my boys. Who cares if I have no voice and can't stop coughing; I'm on cloud nine.

Yes, the new year has started off perfectly.