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.

Anyways.

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 www.shredsled.com, and you can buy it nationwide a retailers, as well as at www.shredsled.com. 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.


Children

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 TWO!: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. DO NOT GO BACK IN! (Good rule)
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:

http://michereviews.blogspot.com/2010/07/splits-for-cause.html

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!

Miche

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.