Tackling Potty Training

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In the middle of December, we I decided to tackle potty training. We were taking two weeks off from work for vacation and I figured this would be the perfect time to work with Ian on this since we’d be with him all day long.

Jon was slightly extremely skeptical and not at all excited to undertake this adventure. But I was tired of diapers and tired of the “passive” potty training we’d been doing so far (basically just sitting him on his little potty at night before bed/bath). Ian was very familiar with the potty, and I knew he wasn’t afraid of it or the flushing sound. So at least our passive potty training helped with something…but since he never actually went when we sat him on his potty, I felt it was time to kick things up a notch and get serious.

I’m not going to lie…it was not easy (if you have time and need a laugh, read the potty training post I wrote for Cincinnati Mom’s Blog, here). But all things considered, it could have been worse. In fact, within about 5 days, we went from a son who never used the potty to one that wore underwear and had few to no accidents.

I (we) definitely went through a roller coaster of emotions to get here, but I’m so glad we dedicated the time and made it happen. It is so nice to have a diaperless kid, and it seems that Ian prefers underwear to diapers. So that makes everything so worth it.

Want to know what exactly I did (the steps/method) and what items I used? In order to keep this from getting too long, I’ll reveal all that in some follow up posts. Check back later so you don’t miss out!

Have you gone through potty training with your kid(s)? How did it go? How did you feel during and now, after?

Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

I am a Pinterest junkie.  I admit it freely.  I can’t get enough of the scrolling and pinning. But what I often fail to do is actually USE any of the stuff I pin.  I get inspired looking through the pages of fun activities, recipes, crafts, etc…and then after I’ve pinned it, I forget it.

But, I’m going to make a concerted effort to attempt more of my pins!  And I thought I’d share some of my favorites (and yes, some of my fails) via a weekly series.  So, every Friday keep on the look out for a new addition to this series- we may discover some truly wonderful (or disastrous) things!  And, if you have a favorite pin, share it with me!!  As you know, I’m ALWAYS pinning. 🙂

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Today’s Favorite is a recipe: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

OMG these were DELICIOUS!!!  I will admit they are a BIT of work in the prep phase (cooking the noodles and letting them cool, then preparing the filling), but once the prep is done, they are a snap! And did I mention delicious?  Oh, I did?  Well, it bears repeating. 

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Photo from Sweet Dash of Sass

I used canned chicken because I’m lazy, but you could also cook your own chicken and shred it.  Or use the precooked bagged chicken and cut it up.  Whatever you prefer (or have time for).  

I love that this recipe makes a lot, so you can half it if you want- or cook the whole thing and have leftovers.  Either way, you will not go hungry.  My husband even enthusiastically agreed that this was delicious (and he’s always somewhat wary of new recipes I find online, LOL).

So, if you’re looking for a new recipe to try for dinner one night, give this one a shot. And I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Predicting Gender for Baby #2

I’ll soon be finding out whether I’m having a boy or a girl (assuming the little one cooperates!!).  So let’s have some fun and do some predictions. 

I looked around online for some gender predicting wives tales, and all signs point to…. either a boy or a girl!  All of my results were conflicting and there isn’t one clear winner here.

– Pregnancy Acne: Not too bad actually (unlike with Ian! OMG it was bad).  Bad pregnancy acne supposedly indicates a girl (though obviously this wasn’t true for me the first time around).  So, BOY wins this myth.
– Dry Hands: Yes, my hands have been very dry!! This is supposed to point to a boy.  So, BOY wins this myth.
– Morning Sickness: No morning sickness is supposed to mean a boy (not true, since I had it with Ian). I had morning sickness this time around, too, though it was different- and more intense. So, GIRL wins this myth.
– Myan Method: If the mother’s age at conception and the year conceived are both even or both odd, this points to a girl.  One even and one odd points to a boy.  Mine are both even, so GIRL wins this myth.
– Chinese Gender Chart: There’s a chart that looks at your chinese age at conception and the month of conception and tells you whether you’re having a boy or girl.  The chart told me boy, so BOY wins this myth.

Tallying that up, that’s 3 BOY results and 2 GIRL results.  Guess we’ll have to wait for the ultrasound since these myths certainly aren’t cutting it!

Did you try to predict the gender for your kid(s)?  Were you right?  Did you have a feeling at all or were you totally shocked?

Baby Makes Four!

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I am so excited to announce that our family of three is growing to FOUR!  Yes, that’s right!  My husband and I are expecting, and our little bundle of joy should be making his/her arrival in May 2015.  We are both thrilled and excited- if not a little apprehensive about the changes to come.

We have told Ian, of course, that a new baby is coming and that he is going to be a big brother.  I don’t think he gets it.  But that’s ok- he’s only two.  I’m hoping that as I get further along and he gets a little older he’ll start to grasp the concept. And I hope he gets excited about it.  I loved growing up with siblings, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship will develop and turn out.

So far, this pregnancy has been pretty easy, and in some ways it’s been similar to my first.  But in others it’s been VERY different.

1) Morning Sickness
I had this with both pregancies for basically the entire first trimester (starting even before I had a positive pregnancy test).  With Ian, I just had a constant feeling of nausea- that unsettled stomach feeling that’s similar to motion sickness.  With this baby, I would go a few hours feeling fine and then BAM! Out of nowhere, I would suddenly feel ill.  Fortunately, I never vomited with either pregnancy… but that doesn’t make the feeling any easier to handle.

2) Showing
I didn’t show with Ian until I was 20 or so weeks along.  I mean, if you KNEW I was pregnant, you could probably tell earlier.  And if I wore a skin tight shirt or something you could tell something was amiss (but it mostly just looked like I needed to do some sit-ups).  But I was wearing regular clothes through my 20th week, including regular jeans.  Not true with this pregnancy.  I started showing by 8 weeks.  Not horribly obvious- probably about the same amount of obvious that I showed from weeks 14-20 in my first pregnancy.  And now, at 18 weeks, it’s pretty obvious that I’m pregnant.  I’ve been in pregnancy pants since about week 12, and pregnancy tops for about 2 or 3 weeks.  It’s insane how much different this is!

3) Cravings
I really didn’t have any cravings with Ian.  The only thing I could potentially put into this category is that there were times when all I really wanted to eat were hamburgers.  Jon would ask me what I wanted to eat for dinner, and I’d inevitably say that I could really use a burger.  I haven’t really had any cravings this pregnancy, either.  But I also haven’t been wanting hamburgers… this time around, it’s nachos.  If we are going out to eat someplace that has nachos, I’ll more than likely order them.  I don’t really count these as cravings because they aren’t things I MUST have- just things that sound good and I’d prefer to eat.

4) Overall feeling
With Ian, I never felt overly sick or tired or swollen or anything.  So far, that’s held true for this pregnancy, too (with the exception of some mild heartburn that recently made its appearance).  But I’m still less than half-way through, so we’ll see if this continues!

For those of you with mutliple pregnancies- did you find they were very different, or pretty similar?

Two Year Checkup

So I’m a little late on this, but my boy did GREAT at his two year checkup appointment a few weeks ago. The doctor even remarked that it was one of the easiest two year appointments she’s had.  Talk about a way to make a mom’s heart swell with pride. 

It was even better because he didn’t get any shots- just the flu mist (which I was a bit apprehensive about but figured we’d do it anyway) and a finger prick for an anemia check.  He took both remarkably well. 

He was a little weary of the flu mist (not that I can blame him- not sure I’d like having liquid shot up my nose, either), but overall took it fine. He even did find on the finger prick… until the nurse tried to apply the bandaid. Then you would have thought she cut off his arm. He shrieked and cried and wailed and made quite the fuss. When we finally got the bandaid applied, he walked around like he was missing his hand.  He wouldn’t pick up anything with that hand, and he held it out to his side awkwardly. And every single thing he tried to do resulted in a very pathetic sounding “…hellllp” whether it involved that hand/finger or not.  It was actually pretty comical (if not a little annoying), and I wish I had gotten his antics on video.

Does anyone else’s kid react that way to a bandaid on the finger? Or is it just mine?

Anyway.. here are the stats from his appointment:
WEIGHT- 27 POUNDS
HEIGHT- 31 1/4 INCHES

This puts him in the 70th percentile for height and 30th for weight!  Good growing, little boy!  But, you know, you can stop now…

Nightnight Song

Before Ian was born, I invented a bedtime song for him.  I kind of wanted a unique “sleepy song” and didn’t really know of any good bedtime songs anyway, so I set about trying to come up with my own…something that was just for him.

I ride a carpool to and from work every day… and it’s pretty boring.  So I have a lot of empty time on my hands.  It was during one of these rides that the idea for his bedtime song struck me- a tune, actually, and the outline of some words.  I spent the next few days piecing the rest of it together, and then I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it (not sure why I thought I’d forget it, as I had it memorized the same day, but pregnancy hormones can make you worry about weird things).

So here it is, our song:

Hush, hush- it’s time for bed
Hush, hush- lay down your head
Close your sweet eyes
And let’s say goodnight
Hush, hush- Ian, sleep tight

I’ve been singing this song to Ian every night before bedtime since we brought him home. As he got into a “real” nap schedule, I also started singing it before naps. Now that he’s older, it’s still part of our ritual… he climbs into bed with his blankies and flops onto his pillow, I cover him up and say “nightnight song?” and he says “yes!” and then I sing him his song. The really amazing thing is that just within the last month or so, he’s started singing with me.  It is so darn cute, and something about it just makes me smile. 

Ilove that we have this little thing that is just ours, and I am enjoying this ritual, even while dreading the day when he no longer wants “nightnight song”…hopefully that day won’t come for a while, but when it does, at least I’ll have these wonderful memories of singing together before bed.

Halloween Update

Oh my goodness, did October ever fly by!!  What a fun, crazy, busy, entertaining month.  We went to our 10 year high school reunion, celebrated our son’s 2nd birthday, carved pumpkins, and trick-or-treated like champs.

Ian was extremely excited to be dressed up like Mickey Mouse this year. He absolutely loves everything Mickey, so we knew this would be a great costume for him. The challenge was that all the costumes I found were just ugly. I am not a huge fan of a lot of store costumes anyway because I think they aren’t well made (especially for how expensive they are!). So I decided to make his costume myself, figuring it couldn’t really be all that hard. And you know what? It really wasn’t. And if I hadn’t waited until Wednesday to start, it would have been all that much easier. But I did wait, and so I was up until 1am on Friday morning getting it done, and rushing home from work on Friday to put on the finishing touches.

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But seeing that little grinning face in the costume made it ALL worth it. And then some. He recognized that it was Mickey right away and was excited to put everything on- he even tolerated the ears! Definitely a memorable Halloween for us, and the start of (hopefully) many more exciting Halloweens to come.

What was your little one for Halloween??

Welcome to TWO!

Yesterday, my sweet little boy turned two. I have no idea how this happened. Where did the time go? I feel like just yesterday we were on our way to the hospital, anxiously anticipating his arrival. And now, here we are, two years later, with a little boy running around our house!

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We celebrated his birthday in true toddler style- complete with a trip to the zoo and a mickey mouse birthday cake.

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We also skipped our nap (not the best idea…but there was just too much to see at the zoo!). Grandma and Grandpa came into town for a visit, and Ian was thrilled to get to spend a long weekend with them. It was a full, exhausting, and wonderful weekend. But thank goodness we won’t be doing it again for another year!

This is definitely a happy, sad, wonderful, awful, exciting, scary milestone. And I know that time will only continue to speed along at a breakneck pace. So I’m doing my best to help it slow down and just enjoy each moment!

And now, a stroll back down memory lane with a look back at the last 2 years.

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Cincinnati Moms Blog

I am so thrilled to announce that I am a brand new contributor for the Cincinnati Moms Blog! This terrific blog just launched in September, and I actually reached out to the owners (Sarah and Jesika) initially to discuss partnerships and other opportunities in my capacity as a Barefoot Books ambassador.

We met at a location extremely convenient to me and chatted about our kids, the blog, and Barefoot Books. Sarah and Jesika are such sweet, wonderful women, and I am in awe of their vision for the site. Together, we came up with some possible partnership opportunities, which I am extremely excited about! I can’t wait to get Barefoot in front of their readers- I know they’ll just love them.

During our discussion, they mentioned they had read my blog and wondered if I’d like to be a contributor to their site. I was hopping with glee (internally), and of course I contacted them shortly thereafter to accept! I learned the ground rules, submitted my bio, and tried to jump right in tossing out ideas for content.

My first post actually just went live yesterday, and I am so proud of it! I’d love it if you went and checked it out (Fall Family Traditions)!
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I still cannot believe I have gotten this amazing opportunity to be in on the ground floor of such an amazing site. I am so looking forward to watching the blog grow and expand as we continue to spread the word and source great content for our readers. What an exciting time!

Things my toddler says…

Now that Ian’s talking has kicked into high gear, he has started to say some of the funniest things. I compiled a list of his frequent utterances for your enjoyment.

1. “Good job, ma!”
Yes, my son calls me “ma.” No, I don’t have a clue why. He calls my husband daddy, he calls our pets by their correct names. But I have always been ma. Thanks, kid. Putting that aside, this phrase seems to imply that I must reinforce his good behavior frequently. When he eats all his dinner, I normally say “good job, Ian!” Or when he takes a bite of food after some coaxing, “nice bite, Ian!” And when he gets up the playground steps and then down the slide all by himself, I normally congratulate him on that, too. So now the silly stink has started doing it to me. Case in point: I followed Ian down a slide, and he exclaimed proudly “Good job, ma!” He even threw in a little clap. Thanks, bud…thanks.

2. “Yucky, gross!”
This one is all me, too. When Ian would try to pick up something gross or dirty (like trash outside or whatever), I would say “No, don’t touch. That’s yucky…gross.” So now when he sees something he perceives to be nasty, his little brow furrows and he tells me, in a serious tone, “yucky, gross!”

3. “(insert name of anything here), Where are you!”
This is a favorite. Can’t find daddy? Why not call for him (“Daddy, where are you!”). Also applies to pets. And me. And even inanimate objects, such as Blankie (“Blankie! Where are you!”).

4. “I do it!”
Ah, yes…the strong, independent toddler has squirmed his way outside of my sweet little boy. It doesn’t matter what it is (throwing away trash, turning lights on or off, taking off a coat, etc)…apparently he has it handled and can do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love he is finding his independence and learning to do things for himself. But sometimes I forget and turn the light on myself…and then oh dear lord- the world ends. A toddler meltdown ensues until I turn the light off again and let him do it…

5. “I fall!”
This is used as both a prediction for the future and a statement of fact from a past event. For instance, Ian was climbing on a kitchen chair and apparently felt unsteady, so he said (in a slightly worried tone) “I fall!” To which I replied “You won’t fall if you are careful.” (This seemed to satisfy him). And then, we were playing outside and he tripped and fell. He stood up, looked at me and said “Ow. I fall down.” Yep, you sure did. Thanks for the announcement.

What are some things your little talkers say? Anything good that makes you just laugh out loud?