Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear Ben.

Dear Ben,

Today your behavior helped mommy feel like an awful mommy.  I felt like the second half of the day was full of disobedience and a lot of shouting by mommy.

I don't want to shout at you.

I don't want to feel like the only way to get you to listen is by me shouting.

We are struggling with night time potty training and you're taking advantage of free trips to the bathroom as an excuse to delay bed time and that's making mommy very angry with you.  I don't want to tell you "no, you may not go to the bathroom" because what if (that time) you really have to go?  What if I say "no, you may not go to the bathroom" and you pee your pants?

However, going 5 different times within 10 minutes of bed time is not okay.  Especially when you didn't actually go to the bathroom ANY of those times.

Delaying bed time is one of your new favorite passtimes.  You used to sit and listen and actively participate in bed time stories.  Lately, you insist I read a story while you say you're listening and instead jump around the room, run down the hall and generally NOT listen to stories.

Then bed time comes and we do our routine: music on, lights off, mommy hugs, tell daddy good night and in to bed you get.

And then the requests roll in.

Can I see the clouds?
I want a couple sips of milk.
Can I have a quick cuddle?
I want to play with your hair.
I'm scared of the dragon.

And now we add "I have to pee" or "I have to poop" - neither of which you actually do.

I'm tired of shouting.

I'm tired of your attitude.

I'm tired of you not listening.

I'm tired of your sass.

I'm tired of feeling tired and like a bad mom.

Let's stop the nonsense, shall we?

Potty Training: Part 2, The Overnight Adventure

disclaimer: this is a super old picture
We did it.

We bit the bullet.

We went (forgive the expression) balls to the wall (what does that even mean?  You know what, never mind.  I don't want to know).

Monday afternoon, I looked in Ben's closet and noticed we had one diaper left.  I realized that Ben waits to go poop til nap time and goes in his diaper.  That would mean I'd need two diapers to get us through nap.  I only had one.

So I said "we're doing big boy night-night's.  no more diapers"

and then we did.

It's been hit & miss.  That first nap, we had a few trips to the bathroom before he finally fell asleep.  He woke up an hour & a half into his nap (Ben usually does a solid 2.5-3 hours for naps) and peed & pooped in his pants and then refused to go back to sleep.  That night, we did the same - a few trips to the bathroom before he fell asleep.  He woke up once or twice (complaining that his blanket wasn't on) and I asked him each time if he had to pee and he said no.  Stayed dry all night - wahoo!

The next day, he peed his pants at nap and at bed time.  Yesterday, again accidents at nap but a dry night.

Today... well, we'll see.  I'm bribing him with our Halloween candy.  Today's bribe is: if he can go all nap with no accidents, he can have a big peanut butter cup AND we get to call Nana and tell her how great we're doing (we'll still call nana and tell her how great he's doing even if he has an accident, but no candy). 

I'm hoping this takes off pretty easily!  I'm hoping for a few days (a week?) of some adjustment and accidents and then I'm hoping for smooth sailing after that.  We'll see!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch: 2012

I haven't blogged in forever.  Instead of one massive brain dump, I think I'll attempt to break it up into a few, more easily digestible posts.

First - the pumpkin patch!

We headed out to Linder Farms last Saturday and had the best time.  There were a few "uh oh" moments out in the pumpkin fields where Ben lost his cool a few times (kept tripping, wanted to do the wagon all by himself even though he really needed help, wasn't get his way, typical almost-3-year-old stuff), but mostly it was the best day ever.

First we met a friend from my mom's group and her son & Ben went through the hay maze.  Then we took a hay ride out through the corn fields and into the pumpkin patch where our options were sadly picked over.  We took home the smallest pumpkins in our pumpkin carving history (Ben & I are the only one with carved pumpkins (dad & Matthew haven't done theirs yet) and they're already shlumped). Then we took the hay ride back to the farm, did the barrel train, the swings and the pony ride.  A great day all in all.

Peek a boo

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.

Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

I was busy today.

The Mommy Taxi Service took Ben to school, husband to work, Matthew & mommy to the baby book club play date, then to the grocery store, then we picked up daddy from work, Benny from school and came home.  That was my out and about day before noon.

My in and around day included getting kids to bed, balancing check books, paying bills, bringing in garbage cans, preparing dinner, working (did you know I got a job?  I'm sewing for a living - isn't that a hoot??? I'll post more about that later), entertaining Matthew who was in a fantastic mood and not at all interested in napping...

I'm exhausted.


Here's what we're making this week:
Monday: Taco Potato Skins with Corn
Tuesday: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken with Rice
Wednesday: Penne Pizza Bake with French Bred and Green Beans
Thursday: Sloppy Joe's with Steamed Broccoli
Friday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!!!): Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan with Bread Sticks and Salad
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Glazed Carrots and Baked Beans
Sunday: Hot Dogs with Steamed Cauliflower and Mac & Cheese

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Here's what's cooking at our house this week:
Monday: Tortellini Soup + french bread
Tuesday: BBQ Baked Chicken + Mashed Potatoes with gravy + corn
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup OR the risotto from last week that didn't get made
Thursday: Crock Pot Mexican Lasagna
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
Saturday: Quick & Easy Pasta Primavera
Sunday: Dinner at Lisa's

Last week I ended up grocery shopping for 2 weeks of groceries and I spent $166.  Today I ran up to the store (I went to Fred Meyer instead of my regular WinCo because it was closer and I only needed a few items) and I spent $50 supplementing the fresh items we ran out of.  I probably would have spent closer to $30 by going to WinCo, so an extra $20 saved me about 20 minutes of extra driving time.  Worth it?  Maybe.  Matthew is teething (he cut his first tooth over the weekend - yowza's) and grouchy so minimizing driving time was a consideration. 

Where I stash my recipe inspiration:
 Follow me on Pinterest for more meal ideas!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Big Boy Bed.


Tonight you're spending your first night in your converted big boy bed.  Mommy & daddy planned ahead when we found out we were expecting you and purchased a bed that can grow with you.  It converts from a crib to a day bed with toddler rail and finally to a full bed.

We've been putting off converting your bed.  We watch friend after friend move from a crib to a big kid bed and we say "he's happy in his crib, there's no need to move him".  And that's the truth.

trying to climb in, but never out...

You never once tried to climb out of your bed.  You never once fell out of your bed.  You have always enjoyed your bed (and in fact, it's one of the few beds you've ever slept in - you spent your first night home from the hospital in your own bed while mommy tried to sleep in her own bed, with the monitor clutched in my hands all night long).

One month old
Your bed is your safe place.  You have Teddy and Pooh and your baby (Glow Worm).  You have your yellow bucket of toys that you entertain yourself with in the mornings when you wake up before mommy & daddy.

2nd birthday wake up, Teddy & baby keep your bed safe

You've always needed your "wake up time".  After you wake from your nap or first thing in the morning, you require a good half hour to 45 minutes (or longer) of play time by yourself in your bed before you're ready to get up.  If we're rushing to get to something and I have to go get you before you're ready - it's not pleasant.  Your "wake up time" is mommy's cup of coffee.  It's essential to your day.  I'm interested to see if you'll keep that quiet alone time now that you're able to get in and out of your bed.

Right now you're delaying sleep.  Mommy has been in several times already this evening, chasing away the dragon, giving extra cuddles, more sips of milk, showing you the clouds... now I can hear you playing with toys instead of sleeping.  Daddy thinks you'll be fine til morning when you decide to get up and out of your room.  Mommy fully expects to see you wander out to the living room at any moment.  I guess we'll have to see!


10/07 update:
the night went very well!  It took you a while to fall asleep but you didn't get out of your bed (as far as I know).  At about 6:00ish this morning you fell out and that made you cry.  I can't convince you to sleep the other way.  All your life you've slept with your head at the left end of your bed.  This crib only allows the rail to attach on the right end of your bed.  Mommy & daddy asked you several times to move your pillow to the other end but you don't want to.  I thought after you fell out that you might be more willing to move... nope.  So we'll see how it goes.  If you keep falling out, daddy will add holes to the other end of your bed so he can swap the rail to the other end.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


So I was doing really good at posting several times a week and then I stopped.

It happens.

Last time I really did an update, I posted about Ben's 1st day of preschool.  He is LOVING it.  He is not pleased to see me when I come to pick him up after lunch.  I'm so glad we made the choice to send him, I think it's working very well for him.

They did an assessment on him and he did very well.  According to their worksheet, by the end of 36 months (3 years) he should be able to recognize:
  • shapes: circle, oval, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, star & heart.  According to them, he's mastered all but circle, triangle, rectangle & diamond (which, I don't agree with - Ben knows circle, triangle and diamond.  I'm not sure how the assessment is performed, so I don't know why he didn't get it correct when they asked him)
  • colors: brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black.  He is still working on purple (he often calls it pink) and black (which he often calls brown)
They also say by the end of 36 months he should be able to:
  • count out loud to 10
  • sing the ABC's
  • walk up stairs with alternating feet
  • put on shoes
  • open door by twisting knob
  • turn pages in a book one page at a time
  • play with other children for a few minutes
  • repeat common rhymes
  • use 3-5 word sentences
  • use the toilet
  • express affection openly
  • express a wide range of emotions
  • jump up
  • name 6 body parts
  • build a tower of 4 blocks
  • wash & dry hands
  • sit for a story
  • sing songs and participate in finger play
  • put together simple puzzles
  • hold a crayon and make marks
The only one of those that he can't do is put on his shoes... and to be fair - what shoes? ;) He can put on his boots just fine.  His sneakers he can't.  So those are things we'll work on, help him nail down those shapes, figure out what colors purple & black are and start practicing with shoes.

Hannah & Emma stayed the night - they had fun covering themselves in every available burp rag they could find...

Other than that, things are mostly the same around here.  Nick hasn't been asked to travel again, so my fingers are crossed that he doesn't.  I really dislike it when he's gone (and I know he does, too).  It's hard on Ben - before he was clueless but now he knows and he doesn't like it.  I got an opportunity to make some money from home that I'm really excited by.  A mom in my mommy group has an Etsy business and since the birth of her 2nd baby, she hasn't been able to keep up with her shop.  She hired me and another mama to help her with some sewing prep work.  I'm really excited and kind of nervous - excited for the extra cash but nervous that she'll think I suck and not want to use me any more.  Hopefully that doesn't happen!  I'm going over tomorrow to talk about the work and get started.  Wahoo!

I finished Ben's little 1st year scrapbook and I heart it a bunch.  :)  Now I'm working on a regular sized (12x12) book for his 2nd year but I'm slightly stumped.  Before I started the mini book, I had already scrapped his first birthday on to 12x12 layouts.... obviously I didn't include those in his 8.5x8.5 book but I'm not sure what to do with those pages.  Stick them at the beginning of his 2011 book?

why, yes, those are bat jammie pants... Ben's new thing is insisting on jammie pants at nap time
I'm still struggling to find that balance between the "job" and then "fun" - if I make time to do the "fun" (like scrap or read or whatever) it seems the "job" (or... house work ha ha) suffers.  If I spend my time doing the job, the fun stuff doesn't happen.  With Ben in school, I'm starting to find a routine a little bit but mostly my mornings go by in a blur.  Especially Monday's - Monday is grocery shopping day, so I take Ben to school, go shopping, come home, feed Matthew, put away the groceries and it's about time to go pick up Ben from school again.

So there you go.  An  update.  Of sorts.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3 Months!

Hey Matthew!

You're 3 months old!  Holy cow!  I feel like we're in the movie Click and life is stuck on fast forward.  With Ben, things seemed to go by quickly because we were so anxious to hit every milestone and get him to that next phase.  With you, it just feels like we blinked and it's 3 months later.  I can hardly believe that in about a month it'll have been one year since we found out you were coming into our lives....

There's no 3 month doctor appointment stats here, but I know you're huge.  You wear anything from 3 months to 6-9 month clothes.  Insanity!  You're in a size 3 diaper and long out grew the newborn inserts for your car seat.

Speaking of your car seat, you hate it.  Like the plague.  Like we're killing you the entire time you're in it.  You, my sweet, sweet little boy, make for very stressful car rides.  You get so worked up, you get all sweaty and just miserable.  I sure hope you outgrow that soon!

You're awake more and more.  You still give us great sleeps at night, which I love!  You still eat about every 2 hours during the day, but your nursing times are starting to dip.  Instead of 15-20 minutes, you might go 8-10 minutes... but not every time.  You keep it fresh.  ;)  At night you go anywhere for 7 to 9 hours (last night you went 9 hours.  Glory!), so I'll take the every 2 hours if that means mama gets to sleep all night.

You laugh now and it's so very fun.  There's a few things that we can count on to tickle your funny bone: shirts going over your head crack you up every. single. time.  and if I put my hand on your ribs and lightly shake you back and forth, you think that's pretty funny.  Tiny tosses in the air delight you as well.

You're so very chatty and boy, do you let us know if you're dirty.  You do not like to be poopy (and I can't blame you).  Another one of those things that make you smile is a fresh diaper.  ;)

You've grown since last month!  Here's a September vs October for ya to prove it:
We're starting to think about the holidays and I can't wait to watch you with Ben this Christmas!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.

Playing along with Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Woo hoo!  It's fall!  It's soup weather!  It's casserole weather!  It's yummy in my crock pot weather!  I don't care if the weather here is stubbornly getting into the 80's several times a week.  I'm ready for fall and fall food. 

Monday: Beef & Bean Burritos with mexi corn & spanish rice
Tuesday: Crispy Cheddar Chicken with glazed carrots & rolls
Wednesday: Baked Ravioli with green beans & salad
Thursday: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes & gravy
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings
Saturday: Italian Sausage Risotto with salad
Sunday: Waffles with sausage & fresh fruit

Where I stash my recipe inspiration:
 Follow me on Pinterest for more meal ideas!