Archive for September, 2010

…and you know what that means!!! For anyone with children, the change of seasons always means SHOPPING TIME! I love hunting down good sales and coupons to buy super-cute baby clothes for the kids for the upcoming season. Sometimes I wish I had an excuse to buy a brand new wardrobe every season, too, but that would mean I would still be growing….and the only growing I’d be doing at my age would be side-to-side and I definitely don’t want that!

We haven’t needed any Fall clothes here yet, but the mornings are starting to get a bit chilly, so if I have some extra time I’ll be doing a little bit of online clothes shopping before we leave on Tuesday. A friend offered to let me ship them to her so they’ll be here waiting for us when we get back…and hopefully the Fall weather will, too!

Ava has come up with yet another nickname for Kelvin….Winnie the Pooh.  Except, instead of Winnie the Pooh, she calls him “Wendy the Pooh”!!  I think someone is a little bit confused!

It’s shocking that Kelvin responds to all of the numerous nicknames she’s given him.  It’s gone from “Baby”, to “Babycakes” and now “Wendy the Pooh”, with plenty of other ones scattered in between!

How many times do I end up saying the words in the title of this post during each church service?  Probably at least 20.  And we’re about to do go the Feast of Tabernacles, where we’ll have church every single morning for 8 days!  If I don’t come back alive, that’s why. I’d better stock up on firming face cream for the wrinkles that are sure to result from this!

Here are some things that I’ve found helpful for us:

  1. Have snacks for during church.  A juice box and granola bar or crackers buys us at least 5-10 minutes of quiet so we can listen to the sermonette.
  2. Bring quiet toys.  Each of our kids has their own backpack with things like coloring books, crayons, magnetic books, toy animals, cars, Barbies, shape sorters, etc.  I try to rotate them out frequently to keep it fresh.
  3. Sit by the kids’ friends.  You’d think this would cause even more noise, but at least in Ava’s case, it doesn’t!   Kelvin isn’t quite old enough to play quietly with friends, but Ava pools her toys with her friends’ toys and we barely hear a peep out of her the entire service!
  4. Don’t do the diaper change before church.  Let’s face it, 1.5-2 hours is way too long to expect a 1-year-old to sit quietly in church.  I save the diaper change for about halfway through the service when he’s starting to get antsy.  That way, he doesn’t feel like his fussing got him his way (I’m not letting him run around in the hallway), but he still gets to get up and stretch his legs and get a clean diaper before we go back in.

Do these tips always work?  No.  Are there still some weeks where we end up in the hallway with a screaming kid?  Yes.  But these are the best ideas we’ve come up with so far to be able to listen to as much of the service as possible.

I don’t fully understand why children are so instinctively drawn to puddles, but they are (one of the many things that accelerate the time until I’ll need under eye cream LOL).  The second they spot one, it’s like they just can’t control themselves!  Usually, it’s when we’re out and I don’t want to hear whining about wet shoes until we get home, so I try to distract them.  But when Chad’s van is not in the driveway, there’s an area where a big puddle forms and I let them play in that whenever it’s there.

This picture was taken just after they’d been splashing around in the puddle.  They were on their way up the steps to go in the house and I noticed the tiny footprints left on the steps!  It was so cute that I just had to run in and grab my camera before they disappeared!

When we were up in Wisconsin for a week visiting family, my grandma bought a WEDGiTS Deluxe Set – 30 Piece Set for the kids.  Little did I know that this would end up being one of our favorite and most versatile toys!

There are countless different designs they can make with them and it can keep them busy for almost an hour!  That’s crazy, if you consider that their typical attention spans are about 5 minutes.  Honestly, they even entertain Chad and me.  They’re fun for all ages, and way more interesting than researching how to lose weight fast!

If you have toddlers or older, I would highly recommend these sets.  I am certain that my kids will be enjoying these for many years to come and I’m excited to see how their designs become more complicated as they get older!

**Disclaimer**  I was not paid by the Wedgits company for this post, but the link is an affiliate link so if you buy through it, I’ll make a small percentage of the sale price.

Since Ava just had a post completely devoted to her, I can’t not write one about Kelvin!

He’s been a sick little guy lately.  Unexplained respiratory issues have him on steroids, antibiotics and nebulizer treatments.  He’s been a little trooper, though, even though the steroids make him act certifiably insane!  I think I”ll be keeping him away from the outdoor fireplace and any other dangerous objects for awhile…he’s a live wire! He’s starting to feel a lot better, and he’ll be off the steroids by Saturday morning.  Here’s a picture of him doing his breathing treatments:

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The other night, I was changing his diaper and getting him ready for bed and all of a sudden, he grabbed my head and pulled it down by his face.  Ordinarily, I’d have thought he was going to give me a kiss, but his mouth was wide open!  I asked him what he was doing and he answered, “Bite you!”  Hey, at least the kid’s honest!

Yesterday, we had a really wild morning and by the time we got home, Mommy was DONE!  Ava went in the house and told Chad, “I was good, and Kelvin was naughty, and I’m going to Facebook about this on my computer downstairs!”

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Last night, I put Ava to bed and she immediately started calling for me.  This happens pretty much every night and it’s almost always just because she wants attention.  So I ignored her, I hear, “Steve!  Come in here, Steve!  Steve, I need you!!”  I don’t even know where she heard that name, but I certainly do not look like a Steve!

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Tonight while I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, Ava was going to the bathroom.  She started calling for me to wipe her and I told her to wipe herself.  We were going up to the bath in a few minutes, so I knew that even if she didn’t do a very good job, it would be fine.  She yelled back to me, “It’s not my job!”

No need for glucomannan diet pills around here! This girl provides plenty of laughs to keep our tummy muscles toned!

These days, a portable DVD player and a big stash of DVD’s is almost a necessity for traveling with children.  I don’t know how our parents and grandparents managed long road trips without electronic distractions!

We travel quite a bit and, until a few months ago, we were always packing an entire bag full of this:

It was a pain and took up a lot of space.  Then I had one of those light-bulb moments and came up with this:

Why didn’t I think of this earlier?  Every single DVD and CD from that stack in the first picture is in this case and look at how much room it takes up…about as much room as ephedrine diet pills!

And now I don’t have to worry about getting the right DVD back in the right case (until we get home at least).  It’s so easy to just slip it in the case and be done with it.

http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb437/Ava_Kelvin2010_2/9%20-%20September/DSC06705.jpg

A few weeks ago, I bought all the kids’ fall/winter shoes while Payless was having their Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off sale.  One of things I bought was light-up Airwalk tennis shoes for Ava (got to buy the cute light-up shoes while she’ll still let me…before anti acne cream and such).  I was really frustrated when I got them home and only one lit up!  I decided to bring them back and exchange them on Monday (I discovered this on the weekend).

Later, Chad asked why Ava’s shoes were on the counter and I explained the situation.  He picked up the shoe that wouldn’t light up and started slamming it against the wall.  Wouldn’t you know….it started lighting up and has worked ever since!

That’s definitely a guy’s way of fixing things….crazy, loud and unconventional…but it saved me way more time than my way would have!

There’s no denying that the newborn phase of parenting is hard.  Really hard.  But when I was in that phase, I thought that by the time the kids were toddlers/preschoolers, life was going to be so much easier.  I had visions of the kids playing nicely together with things that they’re intended to play with while I did chores or prepared craft projects for them to do.  Needless to say, I was seeing things through rose-colored glasses.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the MESSES!  Sure, I’m not holding and rocking and feeding a newborn all day.  But I’m running around from room to room putting out fires which takes just as much time and just might be more exhausting!  During any given day, you can find me wiping up pee, sweeping up the contents of a box of cereal from the floor, removing the kids from the counter displays (no joke…they climb up the drawer handles and get into stuff on the counters), vacuuming cracker crumbs off the couch, putting all the toys back in the toy box that got emptied for no apparent reason, etc.

I wish I was joking!  The other day, I needed to use up some zucchini, so I spent about 30 minutes making zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini cake while the kids were supposed to be watching a video.  Instead, Kelvin took off his poop-filled diaper and smeared it all over the floor, they dumped out a box of cereal all over the living room and Ava plugged up the toilet and made it overflow all over the bathroom.  And I was less than 10 feet away the entire time!

By the way, they didn’t make all those messes in a row.  It was like Kelvin got poop all over the place, I cleaned it up and went back to the kitchen, they dumped out the cereal, I cleaned it up and went back to the kitchen, etc.  They were not completely unsupervised, but hearing what’s going on only gets you so far!

I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that it won’t ever get easier, it will just be different.  Which is fine!  Accepting that parenting isn’t ever going to be “easy” makes it possible for me to enjoy the moment and not keep looking forward to the time when it will be “easy”.  Know what I mean?

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