Archive for June, 2009

I’m going to start potty-training Ava tomorrow!  If you want to follow our progress, you can do so at my personal blog.  I’m sure I’ll need your encouragement and advice…so consider this your party invitations to the potty party!

So for those of you who have gone before me, what’s your best tips or advice for potty training?  What kind of plan or rewards did you use?  How long did it take?  Oh yes, and do you think 4 pairs of cloth training pants are enough?  If not, I want to order more as soon as I can.

There’s nothing more overwhelming than waking up at 6 am with two small children, knowing bedtime is 14 hours away and having no idea how you’re going to fill that time!

For us, during the school year, it’s not so hard because playgroup is an option every weekday morning.  But during the summer, it takes a little more creativity.  So I decided to come up with an activity for us to do each weekday.  This gives me a sense of direction for the day and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed trying to think of enough things to keep the kids busy at home all day.  It’s totally flexible, though.  If we had a rough night or someone isn’t feeling well or several feet of ceramic tile come off the bathroom wall (that’s a story for another day), I don’t feel pressured to do follow the schedule for that day.  It is summer, after all!

Here’s what our schedule looks like:

Monday: Grocery Shopping/Errands
Tuesday: Playground Day (if it’s too hot, we go to the play area at the mall)
Wednesday: Water Fun Day (city pool, wading pool in the yard, sprinkler, or water table. If it’s raining, I put them in the bathtub instead)
Thursday: Zoo Day (if weather interferes, we substitute an activity from another day)
Friday: Library Day

What are your favorite activities to keep your kids busy all day during the summer?

I’ve expanded my baby-food-making efforts this week.  Kelvin has just started eating meat in the last few weeks.  When I first started him on meat, life was crazy and we were out of town and stuff, so I just fed him the jarred baby food dinners with meat in them.  He didn’t seem to care for them much, but he tolerated a little bit at a time (and filled up on fruit instead).

This week, I made him a Chicken, Carrot and Rice Dinner and a Beef, Peas and Potatoes Dinner (I made lots of each of them and froze them, of course).  I think he’s in love.  He just gobbles up several “cubes” at a time!  It looks kind of gross (maybe a little like pet supplements ), but he thinks it’s great!  I think the main reason he prefers my homemade food over jarred food is the texture.  Mine isn’t perfectly smooth and he seems to like things that he has to chew a little.  And I’m perfectly fine with that…my homemade baby food costs a lot less, is better for him and I know exactly what’s going into it!  It’s a win-win situation!

I cannot believe both kids have decided to teethe at the same time.  Kelvin has been teething non-stop since he was about 2 months old, so it’s nothing new for him.  But lately Ava has been putting everything in her mouth and she’s been really cranky.  So last night when I brushed her teeth, I got a good look in the back of her mouth and sure enough….the lower 2-year molars are almost through.

Here’s what works for us….if you’re going through teething issues like us, try these tips before you start researching free insurance quotes !

  1. Orajel…and lots of it!!  I didn’t used to think it worked very well, until Kim (my sister-in-law) convinced me to try it.  That stuff numbed up my whole mouth!  It wears off after about 15 minutes though, so that’s why you need “lots of it”!
  2. Popsicles.  This really works well right now since the weather is so hot!
  3. Letting babies chew on frozen washcloths also seem to help.
  4. Buying stock in Children’s Ibuprofen.  LOL Maybe you don’t have to go quite that far, but we do use a lot of this during teething-time!

What tips do you have for dealing with teething?

To start off, this is *not* a sponsored post. This is a program that I use many times a day that I’ve had great results with.

It’s called Swagbucks. It’s a search engine that rewards you for using it. You can easily download a toolbar to make it even more convenient to use. Then every few searches, you’ll be rewarded with swagbucks (usually 1-3). And be sure to keep reading, because right now you can earn 5 swagbucks just for signing up!  The swagbucks build up and you can trade them in for gift cards or other prizes.

I’ve only been using it for a few months and I’ve gotten $30 in Amazon gift cards (in fact, the bath seat I bought Kelvin was completely free thanks to Swagbucks!)You can get gift cards for other places, too, of course…Target, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Victoria’s Secret to name a few.

You can also make extra swagbucks by referring friends. Whenever your friends earn swagbucks, you earn the same number they do, up to 100. If you sign up, please go through the links in this post!

Until Sunday, Swagbucks is offering my readers a swag bucks code to earn 5 swagbucks right off the bat, just for signing up!  The code is: LORASCODE  Just click here to go to the registration form.  All you have to do is enter that code in the blue box that says SwagCode.

It’s so easy and you don’t have to do anything that you wouldn’t normally be doing. I highly recommend Swagbucks as a way to make a little extra spending money!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

And especially to my husband Chad.  He’s an awesome dad to our babies and he makes it possible for me to be the kind of mom I want to be.

He’s the ultimate fort-builder and nose-wrinkler (he and Kelvin go back and forth wrinkling their noses at each other.  It’s the cutest thing ever).  He’s great at building block towers and sipping pretend tea.

I’m so lucky to be married to him.  He is so supportive of me…there’s never been anything I’ve wanted to accomplish that he hasn’t supported me in.  He helps me keep it together every day.  He tells me I’m an awesome mom when I feel like I really stink at this whole parenting thing.  He goes to work every day so I can stay home like I’ve always wanted to.  And he’s been a big part of me losing all the Kelvin weight, too (without effective diet pills of course!)…he goes with me to the gym every single time and we keep each other accountable.

What more can I say?  He’s our rock.  Happy Father’s Day…we love you!!

I can’t believe Kelvin is going to be 8 months old tomorrow!  For some reason, 8 months old seems so much older than 7 months.  I can barely believe he’s getting so big…before I know it, we’ll be planning his first birthday party!  *sob*

Right now, he’s getting into the phase where he wants to be entertained all the time, but his attention span is about 2 seconds long.  Talk about wearing Mommy out!  He’s not interested in his baby toys anymore (rattles, etc.)…he wants the more interesting toys that he has to press buttons to make them light up and make noise.  You know…the annoying ones!  We ended up buying tons of these kind of “big-baby” toys when Ava was in this stage…now that we have Kelvin and he has an even shorter attention span, I think we should have bought them in wholesale lots!

One thing I learned about buying toys for babies or toddlers is to look for toys that do more than one thing.  That way, each toy keeps them busy longer!  One example is the toy pictured here.  My kids have one that’s similar to this and it can keep them busy for quite awhile…once they get bored of one side, you can just turn it and they have something totally different to play with!  It will even keep Ava busy for a little while because it has a shape sorter on one side.

What tips do you have for keeping older babies and toddlers busy?  Feel free to share in the comments section!

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