Archive for November, 2010

After a fabulous 5-day trip to visit family for Thanksgiving, we are home again!

We spent Thanksgiving and Friday at Chad’s brother’s house in Chicago.  It was great to see their new house and be able to visit with everyone.  Thanksgiving dinner was so good and as usual, we ate way too much!  Unfortunately, Kelvin got sick right after dinner and threw up all over me (several times).  He then proceeded to have diarrhea for the next several days.  I’m so lucky that my sister-in-law cloth diapers too….she let me use her diaper sprayer and her washing machine so I didn’t have to drag as many stinky diapers around with us!

I had a blast shopping on Black Friday with the girls.  We didn’t go out at 4 am like some of the crazies, though….we actually didn’t leave the house until 11 am!  I didn’t buy much (just some things for the kids) because I didn’t think the deals were all that great, but it was still fun.

On Friday night, we left to go to my grandparents house and we spent all day Saturday with them.  We ended up going to the mall just to let the kids run around mid-afternoon.  I don’t even think we went into any stores (other than the grocery store)…the kids just had way too much energy and needed to get it out!  They were much happier after that!

On Sunday, we went down to visit my parents and brothers and sisters.  I hadn’t seen my little sister since right after she was born so it was so much fun to snuggle with her.  Luckily, she’s not one of those babies that gains 15 pounds before they’re 6 months old (like Kelvin)….she’s still a little peanut!

That night, we went back to my grandparents house and had dinner with them and my brother, sister-in-law and niece.  And then my grandparents were nice enough to babysit while the four of us went to see the new Harry Potter.

On Monday, it was time to go home which is always hard.  I think it’s so tough on me because our trips to visit family remind me of what we’re missing out on by being so far away.  Even though we see each other lots of times each year, it’s still not the same.  Combine that with bad weather on the way home and it was a stressful trip that I’m sure I’ll be seeing the effects of soon…and will probably need treatment for acne to remedy!

Today was spent trying to get back into a routine.  The day after we get home, I always feel very disoriented.  There’s so much to do…laundry, unpacking, decluttering, catching up, as well as taking care of the kids…it’s hard to know where to begin or what to prioritize.  I made huge progress though…all the unpacking is done and all the laundry is washed and waiting for me to fold it while I watch The Tudors tonight!

The vast majority of our “vacations” involve going up to Wisconsin and visiting family.  Because we have our own business and Chad can’t just skip an entire week’s worth of work, we end up leaving at the end of one week (Wednesday night) and coming back at the beginning of another (Monday night).  This makes it a little tricky to schedule Ava’s schooling.  I can’t squeeze an entire week’s worth of school into one week, but I don’t want to take off two entire weeks.

We’re testing out a solution this week that I think will solve this problem.  This week, she’ll be doing school on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll have Wednesday off to pack before we leave that evening.  Next week, we’ll have Monday to travel, Tuesday to unpack and she’ll do school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  This way, we’re only skipping one week, instead of two!

We’ll also be bringing along some of her non-messy, more compact school activities such as file folder games and lapbooks for her to do in the car.  And she’ll have her Leapster games and a couple of games I downloaded for her on my phone (it’s a Droid…similar to htc desire hd but not that exact one), so she’ll have plenty of educational activities to keep her busy even on our days off.

I hope all of you have a fantastic Thanksgiving week/weekend!

Take it from me….during the week before a holiday, lock yourself in your home!  Do not, I repeat do not, venture into any stores for any reason!  Especially Wal-Mart!

How do I know this?  Because of the morning I just had.  It probably would have been better if we had made it out of the house earlier in the morning.  As it was, we were getting there around 11, which isn’t really a good time even on a normal day.

But the crowds!  It was absolutely a mad house.  And then Ava decided to start melting down because she didn’t want to ride in the cart.  There’s no way she would last a minute in those crowds, though.  I may or may not have lost my cool and told her she was going to ride buckled up in the cart until she was 15 years old.  That’s awesome parenting right there, huh?

Somehow we made it through and I do not intend to set even my little pinky toe in a grocery store until Thanksgiving is over.  I’d better hope I didn’t forget anything.

….or lack thereof.

Kelvin’s enthusiasm drastically dropped off after last weekend.  I’ve still been putting him in underwear when we’re at home and running him to the bathroom, but I’ve been cleaning up at least 5 puddles of pee per day.

I definitely do not expect perfection from him, especially since he’s only 2 years old.  I just don’t want to push him too hard if he’s not ready yet.  The last thing I want to do is make the potty seem like a negative thing and then have him in diapers until he’s 5.  We have time on our side here.  But I fully expect a pair of tanzanite earrings or something as a reward for all my pain and suffering when he’s finally potty-trained!  Just throwing that out there.

Also, we’ll be traveling this week for Thanksgiving and I am absolutely not potty-training in other people’s homes.  If he was doing really well with it, I would try to continue with him in training pants.  But he’s not interested right now and I’m not going to have him making puddles all over other people’s carpeting.

So at least for this week, we’re going back to diapers.  Even though we’re not leaving until Wednesday, I know that any progress we’d make in the next couple of days would be undone by putting him back in diapers, so what’s the point?

Here’s to a puddle-free week!

A few weeks ago, we had some MOMS Club friends over to our house and made Oreo spiders!  It was so fun and easy and the kids had a blast.  They had even more fun being all hyped up on sugar and driving me crazy for the next couple hours!

As you can see from all the Oreo fragments around the spider, it took awhile to perfect the art of opening the Oreos.  We finally discovered that we needed to slice them open with a knife.  Then we cut up pieces of licorice and stuck them in the Oreo filling and then closed it back up.  We slapped a couple dollops of frosting on top, stuck mini M&M’s in for the eyes and we were done!

Definitely a good “cooking” project for kids since it’s very difficult to mess up!  You probably won’t be fitting into any setai 5th ave for awhile, since there will be so many leftover spider ingredients sitting around, though!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

{This is an early WFMW post, huh?  I just know I will have no time to write it later, so I’m getting it up a little…or a lot…early!}

Before Kelvin was born, I was brainstorming ways to make life with two small children as streamlined and easy as possible.  One idea I came up with, that we still use two years later, is the snack drawer.

Especially during those first few months when I was stranded on the couch all day nursing a newborn, I needed Ava to be able to get her own snacks and bring them to me to open for her.  Even though they’re a bit older now and I’m not on the couch all day, it’s still so nice for them to be able to get their own snacks when they’re hungry.  I like not having to drop everything to get them a snack when I’m doing school with Ava or throwing laundry in or reading to Kelvin or throwing dinner in the crock pot or working out (no thermogenesis for me).  It’s also nice that Ava can pack their snacks when we’re going out (I have to check what she decided to pack, though).

I designated the bottom drawer in the kitchen just for them.  I keep it stocked with healthy snacks such as raisins, fruit leather, crackers, applesauce, granola bars, etc.  The contents of the drawer changes regularly based on what items are on sale.

In the back, I keep their cloth wipes (baby washcloths) for washing their faces and hands after meals.  I also have a bunch of cookie cutters back there and I’m not quite sure why.  I guess it’s left over from when they were babies and I needed things to keep them occupied in the kitchen while I made meals.

I also have half a shelf of the refrigerator just for them.

It’s mainly yogurts, yogurt drinks and g0-gurt, but I usually have string cheese there for them as well.  On the top shelf (not pictured), I keep their filled Tummy Tickler water bottles and they have Capri Sun pouches or juice boxes in the door of the fridge.

Having a snack drawer for the kids works for me!  Even though it’s a little bit of work to get it all set up and accessible for them and it’s a small extra expense (I use coupons and shop sales, so it’s not really that expensive for me to buy convenience items like these), it’s worth it to me!

Today we made paper bag turkeys.  Aren’t they adorable?  We made two (one for each of the kids), but only one is pictured because apparently Kelvin went hunting.  For Ava’s turkey.  And he definitely got it!

I got the idea from a craft book (it looked like a homemade one…it was even bound with Velo binding), but modified it quite a bit to make it easier for the kids.

We started with an orange paper lunch bag.  Next time, I would use slightly larger bags than what we had, but we made this work.  We cut long slits (about 4-6″) all the way around the opening of the bag to make the feathers.  Then we stuffed the bag with crumpled newspaper and gathered the feathers together with a rubberband.  We made the face on the plastic spoon (the beak and gobbler and bowtie were made out of construction paper).  We taped the spoon on the front, glued construction paper feet to the bottom and voila!  A turkey!

In case you were wondering…My winter wardrobe is in desperate need of an update!  I mainly need some everyday items, especially jeans.  I also need a few women’s dresses to wear on our trip to Vegas that I can also wear for church after we get back.

In a perfect world, it would be nice to take an afternoon and shop by myself, but with Chad’s work schedule right now, that isn’t going to happen.  Since the kids and I walk at the mall once a week, I’m planning on hitting a few stores and seeing what I can come up with.

My plan of attack is to stick with stores with wide aisles and spacious fitting room areas since I’ll have the double jogging stroller with me.  Armed with plenty of snacks and drinks (for the kids, not me lol), I’m hoping the kids will be content to stay buckled in their stroller while I power-shop.  Even 30 minutes would be nice.  The beauty of this plan is that if they kids get grumpy, we can leave and try again the next week!

Wish me luck!

You know how “everyone” says boys take longer to potty-train than girls?  Ava potty-trained at two and a half, so I assumed I was in it for at least three years with Kelvin.  And then I figured it would be like pulling teeth….I thought it would easier to work at a healthcare job bank than get him to use the potty!

Imagine my surprise when a couple months ago (before he even turned two), he started using the potty several times a day!  When we were in Florida, he even made it two days without any wet diapers (except his night-time ones).

In the last few days, he’s kicked it up another notch.  He’s spent a ton of time on the potty each day and began wearing underwear all day, except at bedtime, naptime, and when we go out (I’m not that dumb!).  He still has several accidents a day, so we had to stock up on some extra underwear.  He now has Cars, Toy Story, and Diego gracing his little bum.

I’m excited for him that he’s so motivated to learn to use the potty, but I’m also a little reluctant.  Of course, I don’t show it to him and I encourage and praise him when he uses the potty.  But….I don’t know why people  can’t wait until their child starts using the potty because it will be “so much easier”.  To me, it’s way easier when they’re in diapers….and I cloth diaper!  I’d much rather change diapers, wash them, and stuff them,  than make numerous runs to the bathroom each day (especially when we’re out of the house).  My addiction to cloth diapers may play a teensy-tiny role in this, too.

I feel like a bad mom even admitting that.  What kind of mom “isn’t ready” for her child to potty-train?

But even with all that, I’m still completely and totally proud of him and feel blessed that I got two super-easy-to-potty-train children!  It doesn’t get any easier than they’ve been!

Today is the cloudiest, gloomiest day we’ve had in quite some time!  Not to mention it’s cold too!  I was very glad to realize that we had nowhere to go today and could simply stay home in our pajamas and wait out the yucky weather.

It’s been a good day to get a little cleaning done (changing sheets, soaking garbage cans), snuggle on the couch and read books, play the PS3 (or Xbox, in our case), and watch a few movies.  We had an unexpected from good friends, too, and that brightened up our day quite a bit.  I’m so thankful for friends who don’t care that I’m still in my pajamas and didn’t even consider putting makeup on or doing my hair today.  🙂

I hope all you readers have a fantastic weekend!

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