Monday, December 21, 2009

Getting Ready

Soooo much to do.  I've got lots of blogging topics piling up in my head, but just came on here to say that I don't have time to write about any of them! ha!

I've got laundry to do, presents to wrap, clothes to pack, food to make, and many, many, many, more various tasks in preparation for our 13 hour drive to CT on Wednesday!  YIKES!  Wish me luck.  I'll be back on here soon, I promise.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Amazed

We all have moments where our children amaze us.  Somehow, at Christmastime I find myself thinking of how quickly these little people in my house are growing up.  I can't help but think back to our first Christmas with Joey.  He was only 5 months old, just a little baby.  Remember this? He had no idea what the whole Christmas thing was about, yet Santa brought him loads of presents anyway.  We dressed him up in all kinds of "Santa Loves Me" outfits, took a million pictures, and felt truly blessed to finally have the baby that we had been wanting for so long.

Fast forward 2 years, and I still feel truly blessed.  But this post isn't about that.  This post is about how much changes in 2 years.  Joey is now a big brother.  He is potty trained.  He feeds himself, brushes his own teeth, and talks like a typical 2-year old.  He has his own idea about everything, and can't wait for Santa to bring him some new pens.  In just two short years, Joey has grown into such a little boy and I just can't believe it.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When Will It End???

Before I had Katelyn and Olivia people would ask me if I was planning to breastfeed them. My response was always indifferent, because I honestly had no idea what to expect with twins. I did not want to be one of those mothers who had both tits hanging out from under her shirt with a toddler sucking away on each one. (Sorry for the graphic description... I saw a picture like that in a LaLeche League Book for mothers of multiples... it scared me.) So anyway, I would always say something like, "Well, we'll see how it goes." or "I'm going to try." or "I'll nurse them for as long as I can." I truly did not expect to be nursing long, as we supplemented with formula right away and both babies took to the bottle easily. At first.


Somewhere around the 11-week mark Olivia decided she hated the bottle, but loved the boob. I mean LOVE the boob. This kid is a Momma's-girl to the 10th degree. In fact, before I actually sit down to nurse her in the morning she sucks on my neck or my shoulder while I walk around making my tea and getting Joey his sippy cup and Cheerios. It's like she can't wait to get a hold of it. She just loves nursing.

Roundabout September I was in dire need of a new nursing bra. All of the ones that I owned at the time were the ones that I used when I had Joey so they were pretty worn out. While on a trip to JCPenney I contemplated buying one. I did not really want to buy one because I was still hopeful that the kid would be on the bottle sometime in the very near future. But I broke down and bought one anyway. Good thing I did because I wear it almost every day. (Don’t worry, the washing machine is always running in my house so it stays relatively clean.) Well, today I got tired of only having one decent nursing bra so I went out and charged 2 new ones to my JCP credit card. They were only $15 each, so not a huge deal, but still. I can't believe that this kid is 8 months old and I'm out buying new nursing bras because she shows absolutely NO signs of weaning. NONE. Will I be nursing her past my intended cut off point (10 1/2 months)? You betcha. Will I be nursing her on her 1st birthday? Most likely. Will I be nursing her next summer? Oh my goodness I hope not, but probably.

Don't get me wrong. I love nursing my babies. I love that it's the one thing I can do for them that no one else can do. I love the convenience of it in that you don't have to mix formula, heat bottles, or pack anything extra in the diaper bag. I love the quiet calm that takes over a fussy baby when they snuggle up and latch on. I even (sometimes) love sitting in a dark room in the middle of the night with a sleepy baby nursing away. I really do. But after 3 babies in less than 2 years a girl needs a break. I need to feel like I can leave my house for more than a 3-hour window at a time. I need to feel like my body belongs to me and only me. I need to feel that my husband can put our children to bed without my boob help. But that day is probably a long time coming.

So in the meantime I guess I should just enjoy my new lingerie.  Even if it does have plastic hooks for easy access.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Solitary Shower


These days it's hard to do anything in my house alone.  More often than not, I'm followed just about everywhere by a little red-headed boy who wants to do everything I do.  I brush my teeth, he needs to brush his teeth.  I do the laundry, he needs to do it too.  I go to the bathroom, he needs to go too.  He pretty much loves to do anything I'm doing.  As you might remember from this post, he even likes to breastfeed his toys.  This happens all day long. 

Joey's latest favorite grown-up activity is showering. Someone in the house goes to take a shower, and he has to take one too.  Seriously?  I can't even shower alone anymore?  Since the babies were born showering has climbed the chart to one of my Top 5 Favorite Things To Do.  This is entirely because it used to be the few minutes a day that I could enjoy some peace and quiet and actually be alone.  No one attached to my chest, no one balanced on my hip, no one in need of a snack.  Just me, the steam, and good old Herbal Essences.  (I'm having visions of that old commercial with the Carole King song, are you?)

Anyway, a few months ago I started to take Joey in the shower with me once in a when he was in need of a cleaning and bath nights were few and far between.  Since then, his interest in taking a shower has more than peaked.  My husband and I actually have to spell s.h.o.w.e.r. to each other and discreetly leave the room in an effort to not be followed by the small red-headed energizer bunny otherwise known as our son.

Yesterday was no exception.  I made the mistake of announcing that I was headed for the shower, and Joey (who seemed like he wasn't paying any attention to us) popped up off the couch and said, "my shoor too Mom!"  I tried to divert his attention to the TV, I offered him a snack, I asked him to go find his Elmo toy.  None of these worked.  When I returned with his little bowl of goldfish, he was already pulling off the remaining clothes left on his body.  He stood up, completely naked, announced, "My shoor now, OK Mom!" and made a run for the bathroom before I had time to think of another reason why he couldn't come with me.

I hated to disappoint the little guy, so I grabbed a couple of tub toys, turned the water on, and put him in the tub.  So much for my few minutes of peace.  Guess I'll have to think of a new way to get a small amount of mommy-time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Move Over Gerber, a New Biter Biscuit is in Town!



I've always enjoyed making my own baby food.  I don't always do it, but when I do I feel so good about myself as a mommy.  There's just something about making something for my little ones from scratch, not from a jar, bottle, can, or box.  So I've always been experimenting with different recipes, tastes, and textures for my babies.

8 months old is a great age.  The babies can now sit up in their high chairs and eat things like puffs, biter biscuits, toasts, and other exciting finger foods.  Why do I think this is so great?  Because it gives me a few minutes to get things done.  Like eat dinner.  And we all know how much I love anything that gives me an extra minute or two.

Katelyn is addicted to puffs.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure that the child would sit in her high chair for hours on end as long as the tray continued to be replenished with a endless supply of puffs.  In fact sometimes I catch her almost doozing off before I shake a few more puffs onto her tray. 

Olivia likes puffs too, but has a harder time manipulating the tray-to-hand-to-mouth sequence.  Most of the time she just ends up with two fistfulls of puffs and she doesn't know what to do next.  She prefers to be fed the puffs.  How helpful is that?  I have to feed my child her "finger foods."  Hmmm... not really sure that's the arrangement I was going for, but whatever.

Olivia really loves the biter biscuits though.  She catches a glimpse of one of those and her little feet start kicking away in excitement.  And she knows just what to do.  Hold in hand, insert in mouth, and suck, suck, suck.  Did that sound dirty to you?  Get your mind out of the gutter.  We're talking about my baby here people... geesh.

Anyway, we are going through a ridiculous amount of puffs and biter biscuits these days.  (Partially due to the fact that Joey insists on having puffs and "baby cookies" as well.)  In an effort to save a little money, make less frequent trips to the baby snack-food aisle, and give my babies something that is natural and delicious I decided to try to make my own biter biscuits yesterday.  I tried this once when Joey was a baby and ended up with a chewy, bendable, flavorless, rubbery version of the beloved Gerber Biter Biscuits.  Nevertheless, I did a little internet searching and found something that sounded yummy for my kiddos.




It took me all of 15 minutes to whip up a batch of these bad boys, another 25 minutes in the oven, 10 minutes to cool, and voila!  I had myself 13 brand-spanking new biter biscuits that had a yummy flavor, perfect texture, and wholesome ingredients.  And all three of my kids thought they were fantastic.

By the way, I'm happy to share the recipe with anyone who wants it, just contact me and let me know you'd like it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2 Winners for Yoplait Kids Prize Pack

I'm still trying to figure out how to post the random # generator on my blog, so bear with me...  But I don't want to keep you waiting, so I'll announce the winners anyway!

2 lucky readers will be receiving a Yoplait Kids Prize Pack!  According to Random.org, comment #3 by Eczemommy and comment #9 by Jamie were our winners.  Congratulations ladies, hope your kiddos love the yogurt!  I'll email you and make sure your prize packs get shipped out ASAP.  A huge thanks to Yoplait for providing Thou Shall Not Whine with this great giveaway.

As for my blogging future, don't go anywhere!  I have more giveaways planned for after the holidays, but I'm afraid that a trip back home will take precidence over my blogging in the coming weeks.  And I'll always have stories about my kids, and those are fun too right???



December 4, 2009 10:29 AM

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Despite what you are about to see in the following pictures, Joey is really in the Christmas spirit these days.  Whenever he sees or hears any reminder of Christmas he says, "Go see Santa now Mommy, ok?"  He's been saying this for a week.  Every mention of Christmas, trees, decorations, Santa, or the like.  Several times a day.  It's the first thing he asks for when he wakes up, and the last thing he talks about before he goes to bed.  After last year's visit though, I was hesitant to subject myself (and my children) to another less-than pleasant Santa encounter. Remember this:



Well, Joey was persistent.  His requests to visit Santa became more and more frequent, and I was running out of excuses.  Ron insisted that he would be fine.  He continually reminded me that he wasn't scared of the characters in Disney World, or Elmo on his birthday.  My will was getting weaker, and I just couldn't listen to any more "Go see Santa now Mommy, ok?" without taking the poor kid to go see Santa.  So off we went. 

After naptime yesterday we packed up the kids, headed on over to the mall, and got in line to hand our kids over to a large man, dressed in a red suit, with a southern accent.  I tried to prepare Joey while we were in the car.  I said things like, "Are you going to sit with Santa?" and "Santa is going to give you a present." Another one I tried was, "Santa is going to hold the babies too!"  Joey was in complete agreement at this point.  I got lots of "Yes, Mommy," "Oh-Kay," and "My sit Santa lap, ok?" He was so encouraging that I actually started to think that this might not go so badly afterall.

While we waited in line Joey froze.  He wouldn't say anything to me, Ron, or Santa's not-so-helpful elves.  He just stared at the strange man in the big red suit. I tried to remain positive, but deep down I knew how this would go.  I also knew that there was no turning back now.  We started with the babies.  Being fairly confident in the fact that they wouldn't cry, I handed each of them to Santa, then said in my most cheerful mommy voice, "Look Joey, the babies are sitting with Santa now!  C'mon, lets go sit with Santa now too!"  In a sad, scared, little voice Joey responded, "No, go nigh-nigh now."  Oh boy, I thought.  At this point I had no other choice.  I grabbed hold of him, tossed him onto Santa's lap, and jumped out the way so the "helpful elf" could capture the moment for us.  So without further ado, here's what happened next:



I actually love this picture.  I love it for so many reasons.  I love the absolutely miserable face on my son.  Given any other circumstance, someone might think that he was actually being tortured.  I love the way my daughters are just staring at him, as if to be saying, "What the hell is your problem, kid?"  I love the way that the strange man in the big red suit is looking straight ahead with his ever so cheerful smile, as if nothing terrible is happening.  I truly love this picture.

I knew the only way that I would be able to get Joey to stop crying and lessen the chance of doing any long term damage was to hold him and sit with Santa myself.  As I did that, Santa asked Ron to take hold of Olivia for a "nice family shot."  My husband looked at me as if to say, "I can't beleive we are putting ourselves through this."  Ron held onto Olivia and tried to lean into the picture with the rest of us.  At that point, Good Ole' Santa was nice and friendly in offering his knee.  "Aw, sit right here on my leg Son," he said to Ron.  "OH MY GAWD," I thought to myself as I thought of my 32-year old husband sitting on the lap of a strange man in a big red suit.  I thought I would burst out laughing right then and there.  Well, who can refuse a request from Santa?  Ron did as he was told, and carefully sat on the old man's leg while the "helpful elf" took yet another picture:



So there we are.  Me and Joey on one knee.  Ron and Olivia on the other.  And little Katelyn just hanging out in the middle with the strange man in the red suit.  I actually love this picture too.  I love the way that the three grown adults in the picture are smiling despite it all.  I love the way that it looks like my children have made a pact not to smile.  And most of all, I love that we went to a mall so far away from our old house that we had absolutely no chance of running into anyone we know.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, December 4, 2009

Date NIght: Bella Acts Foolish in New Moon

OK, I won't spoil this for anyone who hasn't yet seen the newest Twilight movie, but I have to comment here briefly about my latest date night. Ron and I went to the movies tonight to see New Moon. We don't go to the movies very often. In fact, I think we've gone a total of 3 times since Joey was born. Including tonight. Wow. That's sad, I know. But as soon as I saw the trailer for New Moon, I just knew that we had to see it in the theatre. And I'm so glad that we did. But I have one small complaint: how can someone do such foolish, dangerous things over and over again? I know it's just a movie, and obviously not real life but elements of this movie seem so real. I tend to get sucked in and forget that it is, in fact, just a movie.

However, it wasn't the vampires' red eyes, pale skin, freakishly fast movements, or quench for human blood that brought me back to reality. Nor was it the unbelievably cool on-screen transformation that turned a bunch of very muscular young men into growling, mouth-foaming, wild dogs. It was the fact that no one in their right mind goes off into the woods (alone) time and time again to be confronted by "thirsty" vampires and ginormous werewolves. I mean seriously, a lot of Bella's troubles could be avoided if she would just STAY HOME. Regardless of this character's lack of good judgement, the movie was great. Awesome special effects, action-packed, and seriously intense. I can't wait for the third! And going out with my hubby was great too. We snuggled, ate loads of popcorn and Reese's Pieces. And we were greeted by a little, smiling, red-headed baby who likes to stay up late as much as her mommy does...

Don't ask me why I chose to write about this tonight. If you are a Twilight Fan, feel free to chime in with a comment about Bella's stupid ways. If you aren't a Twilight Fan you definitely should be... the books are amazing, and I've loved both of the movies so far.

And no, I'm not becoming a movie critic blogger. I'm sticking to what I know... all things mommy. Just off on a little tangent tonight, that's all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Giveaway! Yoplait Kids Prize Pack

I have yet to meet a kid that didn't like yogurt. Joey has always been a big fan, and I am so glad that there is a healthy, lower-sugar alternative to some other brands. Yoplait Kids Yogurt has 25% less sugar than other brands. It's creamy, thick, and delicious, even for grown-ups.


Thou Shall Not Whine has teamed up with Yoplait to offer TWO of my readers a Yoplait Kids Prize Pack! The prize pack includes a cooler bag, a coupon for a free pack of Yoplait Kids Yogurt, a color-changing spoon, a reusable placemat, and a fun twisty toy. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post. As always, you can earn extra entries by doing any of the following: (leave a new comment for each extra entry)
  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (3 extra entries!)
  • Grab my button and display it on your blog (3 extra entries!)
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it.
  • Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post.
  • Subscribe to Thou Shall Not Whine in a newsreader.

This giveaway will run until Friday, December 11th, 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via Radom.org and contacted via email.


Winner Annoucement

It was a long busy weekend, so I apologize for not announcing the winners of the LilyBugs Giveaway sooner. With only 3 people entered, I wish I had 3 to give. And I wish more people entered (what's up with that?) But I don't, and they didn't. Congratulations to Kathryn and Janice. I'll be in touch, and I'll send out your prizes right away.

I have another giveaway set to run until next Wednesday, but with my very low entry status, I'm thinking of making it my last. And I'm thinking of taking a blogging-hiatus for a while too... Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Where is Everyone?

Does your child use a sippy cup or a bottle? Or maybe are hoping that they will soon... (as I am!) Perhaps you have a pregnant sister, cousin, friend, or neighbor? If you found yourself answering yes to any of those scenarios, than it's time for you to enter the LilyBugs Giveaway. Hurry up, time is running out! Click here to get your entries in. You can enter up to 6 times, depending on how much you interact with my site. Giveaway is open until 11:59 pm EST on Saturday, November 28, 2009.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Sound of Clean

Some people love the smell of clean. Others love the look of clean. I, on the other hand love the sound of clean. You know what I'm talking about. The sound that the vacuum makes as you suck up all of the food crumbs, shoe-clinging sand, dirt, and other household carpet particles that your family brings in. For some reason, I just love hearing my big pink Dyson suck all of those little pieces into it's bag-less canister, where they swirl around as I finish the job. (and no, Dyson did not provide me a product sample, nor are they paying me to write this post) I generally love that sound. It is so satisfying.

The previous random blog-fart was brought on by my pre-holiday cleaning, in preparation for Turkey Day. This will be my very first time hosting a holiday. I've worked for two days getting everything ready, and I am really looking forward to staying home tomorrow, watching the parade on TV, and visiting with 9 people that I love very much. I have made mashed potatoes, stuffin' muffins, banana bread, rolls, and prepared an appetizer. The rest is being brought in by my guests (including the turkey!) I've also unpacked my china (for the first time EVER!), prepared a centerpiece, and picked out a lovely festive ribbon to tie my cloth napkins with.

It's a little weird because for the first time so much of our family is so far away, and I wish that everyone that we love could join us tomorrow. But I feel very fortunate to have some special people to share Thanksgiving with, and I truly feel that we have a whole lot to be thankful for. I am very thankful to have a great place to call home, delicious food on my table, 3 healthy and happy children, a husband who loves me, and many wonderful friends and family members.

So all of this leaves me wondering, what are you thankful for this year? Please comment and share...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Banana Bread

Banana Bread is one of the few things that I bake from scratch, and it is a big hit in this house. Ron can consume an entire loaf on his own, although he usually isn't allowed to... he must share with me and Joey. In fact, I really think that Ron enjoys watching a couple of extra bananas sit on the counter day after day getting over-ripe because he knows that the banana bread is coming soon.

Since this is my first year hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, (and I had a couple of over-ripe bananas) I decided to add my authentic banana bread to the menu. I had a little extra time this afternoon before the children woke up so I whipped up a batch. I love saying that. Oh, I just whipped this up. Easy-peasy. Ha. So anyway, Joey watched as I poured the batter into the loaf pan. He called it baby food because to usually most semi-solid/semi-liquid mixtures in our house is baby food. I said, "No honey, this is banana bread. Mommy is going to put it in the oven to let it cook and we can eat it on Thanksgiving." "OH-KAY!" He responded. So in the oven it went, timer started, and I went back to playing choo-choos on the living room floor.

Ron came home from the grocery store a bit later, took one whiff, and said "mmmm, smells like Mommy made banana bread." Somehow I figured he knew it was for Turkey Day, and didn't need reminding not to eat this particular loaf the minute it was on the cooling rack....

I suppose you can figure out what happened next. Well actually, what almost happened next. While I was walking down the hall from the afternoon diaper changing station, I caught Ron standing over my perfectly brown banana bread, knife in hand, Joey and Daisy prepared to go in for the kill. "STOP! That isn't for today, it's for Thanksgiving." All three perpetrators turned to look at me. All three were equally disappointed as I quickly snatched up the banana bread, wrapped it in foil, a put it way back on the counter. In fact Joey was so disappointed that I had to bribe him with gummy bears to get him out of the kitchen. (Ron too!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Breastfeeding Toddler


Joey spends most of his morning following me around the house while I do various tasks. He rarely sits down or stays in one place for longer than three and a half seconds. Until 10am, when I give him a snack and turn on his favorite show of the moment: Sesame Street. Then he actually sits and watches. But the rest of the time between breakfast and lunch is usually taken up by him bouncing from room to room, often doing silly things, making me laugh, and talking my ear off.

Yesterday as I was folding laundry in my bedroom, in comes Joey. I noticed right away that his shirt was all crooked, but didn't pay much attention to it. He caught my attention though when he turned around and there was a Fisher-Price Little Person figurine trapped between his body and his stretched out shirt. So I inquired about what he was doing. His response? "My feed gurl mommy. My feed gurl baby milk."

I had to conceal my amusement, as I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm for this innocent role play. I was actually kind of proud, because it was obvious that Joey is paying close attention to the world around him, and mimicking the behaviors that he is observing. But I did make sure to have a discussion that involved me explaining to him that only mommies make baby milk, and boys can't be mommies. Now I am having visions of my darling child in preschool tearing his shirt off to expose his nipple and sit down to nurse the baby doll.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not A Proven Weight-Loss Method

Today was the day that changed one family's life forever. My sister and her three children have started a new chapter. Selfishly, I am excited to have them so close by (they moved into the same apartment complex!), but I have a deep sadness in my heart knowing the circumstances that have brought them here. In an effort to make sense of all that has transpired to lead up to this event, I am having faith that God has a plan for all of us. Good things are ahead for these 4 strong, beautiful, talented, and amazing people. I just know it.

Knowing that my sister was alone in her new home, without so much as TV hooked up yet, I decided to take a walk over to keep her company for a little while before bedtime. She lives on the opposite side of the complex, a decent 5-7 minute walk. We fixed ourselves a drink and sat on the couch together discussing the dramatic events that have led up to this move for herself and her children. We laughed, cried, and (hopefully) comforted each other in knowing that our sisterly-bond remains strong through her difficult time.

As the clock neared 11pm, I decided I should go home to get some sleep, and told my sis that she needed to do the same. Before heading out, I dug through her boys' bucket of Halloween candy for a couple of pieces to enjoy on my walk home. I'll admit, I complained about the selection but managed to find a Snickers and Twix that would suffice.

My sister walked me out, letting her dog have one last pee before settling in for the night. As I walked away I called out to her, "Hey, maybe the walking back and forth between our apartments will help me lose weight!" Her response: "Not if you stuff your pockets with Halloween candy on your way out!" I laughed all the way home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mommy Time

Each day, I try to get all of the kids down for a nap at a similar time so that I can have a few moments to myself. Unfortunately, I don't usually use these few moments for anything exciting... mostly just laundry, cooking, dishes, or some other necessary task like showering.

Yesterday I was able to get the Joey down for his nap somewhere around 1:00. The babies went in for their afternoon nap about an hour after that. I was optimistically hoping for at least an hour to myself where I could clean up the house, shower, get dressed, and make myself look decent enough for a job interview (more on that later...). I even started to think that maybe I'd be able to catch up on a DVR'd episode of Oprah. I quickly picked up the toys, tossed the laundry in the dryer, and headed for the shower.

As soon as I turned the water off and opened the shower curtain I heard the dreaded sound. It was coming from Child #1: "Moooommmmmmyyyyyy!!!!" it yelled over and over and over again. As if that wasn't enough notification that nap time was over for my dear 2 year old, he then continued with, "My done mommy! My done night night!" I threw on my clothes, wrapped up my hair, and ventured down the hallway to retrieve him. I glanced at the clock at this point and it was exactly 2:19. Boy was I disappointed to discover that the napping overlap was a mere 19 minutes. 19 minutes of peace and quiet. 19 minutes where no one asked for anything, spilled something, spit up on me, or made a big mess.

Today has proved to be no different. Except for the 19 minute part. I think I got 7 minutes. Maybe less than that. Katelyn went first. Drank a bottle, fell sound asleep, and went straight to bed. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. It was 12:26. Ron took Joey for a walk to the park to burn off a little energy, then he brought him in, washed him up and put him down at about 1:00. Olivia was next. I quietly sat and nursed her, she fell asleep, and went down surprisingly easily. Time check: 1:11.

On my way out of the room, I peek in on Katelyn in her crib. She had flipped herself over and was looking right at me. With a great big "I'm awake now," look on her face. "Crap," I thought to myself. Being spotted is the first mistake. She let out a little squeal of delight followed by arm flailing and a HUGE smile. "Oh no, little one," I whispered. "It's still nap time for you." I plugged her binkie back in, gave her her blankie, and said a little prayer that she'd go back to sleep. I left the room, switched over the laundry (what else is new?!?) and heard her squealing away. Loudly. It was as if she was saying, "My done mommy! My done night night!" The time was 1:18. I had to go back in to get her, because Miss Olivia is a pretty light sleeper and if she wakes up too early all Hell breaks loose.

So here we are. 2 down, 1 up. I guess that's better than the alternatives: 1 down, 2 up. Or 0 down, all up. But I'm still left wondering why. Why is this happening to me? Why won't all of my children sleep at the same time? Don't they understand that Mommy has things that she would like to do too? Like shower, check my email, and maybe even close my eyes for 12 minutes. They totally understand. And they are doing this to torture me. I'm sure of it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

But I'm Not Tired Yet!

Our children have conspired against us tonight. Again. Just like I said in a previous post, it never fails that when one is being a good sleeper finally, another one isn't. They are just determined to keep us sleep-deprived, cranky, and tired for the rest of our days. Here is what took place this time:

Ron and I were totally excited at 7:15 because all three kids were bathed, Joey was in bed, and Katelyn and Olivia were just settling in for their night-time feeding to quickly be followed by bedtime. I remember Ron saying something to the effect of, "Maybe we can actually watch two shows tonight..." Well, as most of the other things in my life, this didn't go as planned. Because at the current moment, Katelyn is making all kinds of noise in her crib and Olivia is rolling across the living room floor babbling to herself.

Ron started to give Katelyn her bottle but she didn't want it. She kept singing out and squealing which just frustrates him to no end. Before the singing/squealing started Olivia fell sound asleep while nursing. As I put her up on my shoulder to burp, the singing started, she woke up, and has been awake ever since. Every time I get her to start to fall asleep, I place the cute little bugger in her bed, and she begins screaming her head off. Waking her sister up in the process. This has gone on for almost 2 hours now. I didn't know what else to do so finally I just laid her on the floor and let her roll around. And she has been perfectly happy doing so.

Until now. We just made eye contact, and now she is crying her "I'm so unhappy, please pick me up cry." I'm tempted to just leave her on the living room floor and go to bed, leaving my dear husband with the dreaded task of getting her to sleep. Don't worry, I won't do that. But I'd better get off the computer and do something I suppose because her complaining is getting louder and I'm getting tired-er.

Lily Bugs Review and Giveaway

I'm thrilled to share with you another great baby product that I love. Lily Bugs! Lily what? Lily Bugs! This is an innovative bottle/sippy cup cover that can help teach your little one to hold their own. Developed by a mom, Lilybugs come in many fun colors and designs, many with that crinkle texture that every baby just loves, and they fit most any bottle or sippy cup. And they're machine washable too!

Founder of Lilybugs, Crystal Kane, was kind enough to send me the cute MissMonkey Bug for my girls, as well as two more Lilybugs to giveaway! I was anxious to get my hands on one of these. Well, actually I was anxious to get Olivia's hands on one of these. I thought maybe, just maybe this would be the ticket to get this kid off the boob. No such luck. She did have lots of fun rubbing, sucking on, and looking at the Lily Bug, but had absolutely no interest in what I was disguising: the dreaded bottle. It was like a formula-flavored toy and she ended up making a mess and still not drinking a thing...

Moving on to Katelyn's experience: she was psyched. Miss Independent was all for having her own special Lily Bug to hold while she enjoyed her bottle. She thinks the crinkle part is great, and she looks so freakin' cute holding it herself! I'm using the Lily Bug on Katelyn's bottle a lot of the time because she likes her formula really warm, and this helps keep it that way!

Now for the giveaway part: I have TWO LilyBugs to giveaway to TWO lucky readers: A LuLuBug and a SqueekyBug. To enter in the giveaway, visit www.LilyBugs.com and leave a comment telling me which Bug you like best.

As always, additional entries can be earned by doing some or all of the following: (leave an additional comment each time!)

  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (extra entry if you already follow!)
  • Subscribe to Thou Shall Not Whine in a newsreader
  • Link back to this post on your blog or website
  • Leave a comment on a Non-giveaway post
  • Grab my button and post it on your blog or website

This giveaway will end Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and contacted via email shortly thereafter!

Big Boy Bed

I'm considering moving Joey from a crib to a bed. He's not sleeping well in his crib anymore and I'm wondering if he's just not comfortable. The very frustrating part of having three young children so close together is that just when one (Olivia) starts sleeping through the night another one (Joey) starts getting up again. And the third (Katelyn) has been up off and on lately with teething issues and a double ear infection. I feel like I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in 3 years.

So anyway, I'm thinking about the bed for Joey. I'm nervous though. He has always (with the exception of the last few nights) slept so well in his crib, never tried to climb out or anything like that. I feel like I'm asking for trouble in giving him more freedom. I think I'll need Supernanny to come teach us the bedtime routine. A part of me thinks he is ready and needs more space to curl up for a good night's sleep. Another part of me thinks that he's had enough changes for now, he's probably not sleeping well because of all of the traveling and craziness we've put him through, and I should give it some more time.

Any advice is welcome here... been there, done that? I wanna hear from you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mommy Find, Mommy Do It, Mommy Help, Mommy Play

I try to live by the age-old expression, if you want something done right, do it yourself. I do this while encouraging my child to be independent to do things for himself. When he wants to know where something is I often say, "Go find it." This worked for a while, until he picked up on the fact that if he doesn't want to and he whines long enough about it I'll go get whatever it is for him. Joey has learned that he can try to avoid looking for it altogether simply by saying, "No, mommy find." I hear this simple sentence about 47 times a day.

He has become increasingly lazy in other independent tasks as well. If I want him to pick up his toys, he responds with, "No, mommy keen up." If I want him to do a simple task that he knows how to do (like take off his shoes, wipe his face, or take a bite of food) his response is "Mommy help!" The latest of Joey's not so independent responses is, "Mommy play." No longer does my son go pick up a couple of toys and play by himself. He must have a playmate. And unfortunately for me, that playmate is usually Mommy.

I'm hoping in a few short weeks this stage of "I can't do anything by myself" will wear off and we'll be onto the "Mommy leave me alone" stage. Somehow I doubt that will happen. He is a boy, after all. And we all know that boys can't do anything without the help of a girl...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Yesterday we spent a lot of time making this house a home. We unloaded our box of framed pictures and art, gathered some nails and a hammer, and got to work. Joey watched intently as Ron and I discussed in depth the placement of each piece. When we got out the measuring tape, pencil, and level is when Joey got very interested. He was so cute as he picked up a measuring tape, placed it on the wall and told us he was working on the wall. It was cute still as he grabbed a small framed picture and walked around holding it up against various walls of the apartment.

Then he took it one step further. (as he always does!) While we were preoccupied with our home decorating, he climbed up to the desk, took out a pencil, and began marking the wall where his measuring tape was hitting. He was so proud of himself as he exclaimed, "Mommy, I work! I work wall!" Without looking at him, I answered something to the effect, "Oh, that's great Joey!" I figured he was happy playing with his measuring tape and picture, and mimicking what we had been doing all day. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the freshly painted apartment walls to find Joey's pencil markings.

It didn't make me upset, because he didn't do this to be naughty. He did it because it is what he saw us doing, and probably thought to himself, "great, I can finally draw on these boring old walls because Mommy and Daddy are doing it too!" This was another time in my parenting career where I was extremely grateful for Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Baby Food Winner

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 9 Result: 9 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

I know I'm super late in finishing up this giveaway and even later in posting the winner. Please forgive me, I've been a bit busy. I've learned that keeping up with my blog while packing up my house and moving 600 miles away is a difficult task. I'll do better with my next giveaway, I promise.

That being said, congratulations to post #9, The Rosa Family! Hope your baby enjoys Happy Baby Food Products as much as my babies do! :) I'll contact you via email for your shipping info so we can get your prize out to you ASAP!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Withstanding the Test of Time

Joey enjoyed these toys so much as a baby, it's no wonder that he still thinks they are fun. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he had more fun with them today than he ever did as an infant. He laughed so hard as he climbed in and out of the exersaucer and jumperoo this morning, I thought he was going to hyperventilate. Apparently these toys entertain children throughout their early childhood years...
Here is a picture of Joey enjoying the exersaucer at 6 months:

Finding a new way to play with it at 11 months:

Rediscovering the fun today, at almost 2 and a half:

And finding out that climbing underneath it is still exciting...

But not a lot of jumping was happening in the Jumperoo as it sagged to the floor after Joey climbed in:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Last Call!

This is your last chance to enter the HappyBaby Babyfood Package Giveaway. It ends up being something like $25 in free Organic Babyfood. I know I said I'd end it last week, but I'm running it just a bit longer... until Wednesday 11/4/09! First entry is easy-peasy... just comment. Followers get another vote, grab my button and post it and enter again.. you can enter up to 6 times, so get busy!!! Winner will be announced Thursday or shortly thereafter...

Trick or Treat

Yesterday was my favorite Halloween ever. Since we are hardly settled in to our new home, we packed up the kids and drove to my sister's house which is now only 4 hours away! I know 4 hours sounds like a lot, but it's a short ride compared to the 11 hours it used to take to get to her house. Our traveling circus turned her house upside down, and my kids just love her and her kids to pieces. It was a crazy, hectic, and super fun 48 hours. 3 adults, 6 kids, and 3 dogs made for a "never a dull moment" type of weekend. Here are some pictures from the fun house:

Katelyn felt right at home on the purple couch. This was right before I put her in her Halloween costume. (Olivia isn't in this pic with her because we were letting her sleep right up until it was time to leave the house... she's like mommy, without sleep she's CRANKY!)

I had trouble deciding whether Joey was a Lion or a Tiger. At first I thought it was a lion, but now I'm pretty sure it was a tiger. Either way, he looked damn cute.

The cutest pumpkins ever.

Desperately trying to get a bite...



We're skipping the Cheerios, and going straight to the hot dogs.


If she likes hot dogs, she was definitely born into the right family.... Oscar Mayer is my BFF.

Trail mix is a good dinner, right?


I VANT TO SUCK YER BLOOD!

It looks cute, I know. But don't be fooled. That was Jack's back of chips. Joey stole it from him and then only gave him the small broken ones. Lesson learned: if you want your chips hold on tight or some nasty little wild cat might just snatch 'em from you!

Ready for trick or treating!

Don't worry, we told him to stay on the sidewalk and watch for cars...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Things I've Learned Along The Way

Moving 630 miles with three young children has been an adventure to say the least. We've had some good times, some sad times, some happy times, and some exhausted times. Here are a few things that I have learned that I'd like to share with anyone else who might be in the same situation:

*Getting a hotel room for one night is a good idea. While simple for most, for my family it involves carrying in two infant carseats (with infants); one toddler; a suitcase; a laundry basket packed with more clothes; a basket containing bottles, sippy cups, baby cereal, baby food, formula, and snacks; three pack and plays; a booster seat, and a contraband dog.

*A pen can keep a two year old busy for hours while strapped into a carseat. He'll write on paper, blankies, body parts, and clothing. But he'll be quiet and not ask for anything else so it's worth it.

*Packing with any sort of organizational strategy is overrated: when the moving truck arrives you will grab a box and throw anything and everything that isn't breathing into it.

*Sleeping in a new place 5 times within one week will hurt your back. A LOT.

*Gone are the days of a quick stop where you pee, get something to eat, get gas, and get back on the road. Now we have to unload all children, pee, change diapers, feed babies, feed toddler, feed ourselves, pee again, get everyone back in the car, and then drive away. It will take at least an hour.

*You will eat more fast food during your moving out/moving/moving in process than you usually do in a year.

*You will miss people before they leave your arms, but you'll be glad when the goodbye is over and you can look forward to your next visit.

*And lastly, focus on the big picture. Moving is hard. With children, or without. Emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting, it's hard. But its worth it to start a new adventure, make new memories, and enjoy life with your family.

Friday, October 16, 2009

HappyBaby Foods Review and Giveaway

HappyBaby is a great little company that produces an all natural, 100% organic baby food line. They have meals for toddlers, wholesome baby and toddler snacks, frozen baby food cubes, cereals, and more. HappyBaby has been kind enough to provide my family with some wonderful food samples which I am excited to review. Joey has really enjoyed his Happy Bites Mac and Cheese. It is organic, has protein, and hidden vegetables! How awesome is that?

The babies were really excited over the Happy Bellies Oatmeal Cereal, (much less binding than the standard Rice cereal. It has DHA too!)

paired with Sweeter Potatoes and Purer Pears. Yum, Yum, Yum.

In a couple of weeks, we are going to try out the Happy Puffs with them too! So not only are these foods super good for our kids, they also have adorable names. That's why I'm so excited to be giving away a package of HappyBaby Foods to a lucky reader. In the package you will receive vouchers for one of each of the HappyBaby Products, as well as a voucher for YoBaby Organic Yogurt.Most of the products can be found at any grocery store, so no need to go to a fancy store to pick up your free stuff! This giveaway will be open for until November 4th, 2009 at 11:59pm. Winner will be selected via Random.org and notified via Email.

To enter, leave a comment on this post. (how easy is that?!?!)
Earn up to 5 additional entries by doing all or some of the following: (leave an additional comment each time!)
  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (extra entry if you already follow!)
  • Subscribe to Thou Shall Not Whine in a Newsreader
  • Link back to this post on your blog or website
  • Leave a comment on a Non-giveaway post
  • Grab my button and post it on your blog or website

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye

With only a week and a half left before we make our 600 mile move, it's time to start saying goodbye. I'm excited about our new beginning and all of the new adventures in store for my family, but when I think about all of the people, friendships, and traditions that we're leaving behind I just feel sad.

Today I started to say goodbye to some very good friends that I have spent a lot of time getting to know in the last two years. It was supposed to be the last event that I attended, but I decided to squeeze one more in during the week so I can see many of them just one more time. Really, I think I'm just trying to put off saying goodbye. I am the worlds biggest procrastinator. I am dreading the hugs, the tears, and the goodbyes that I see in my very near future.

In order for anyone to understand what this group of friends means to me I need to back it up a bit and share the story of finding them:

When Joey was about 6 months old I found myself at home alone a lot of the time feeling bored, cooped-up, and lonely. When talking to my mom about needing to find some new mommy friends she jokingly said, "post an ad on Craigslist that you want new friends." (she is so helpful sometimes!) A few weeks later I was still thinking about how I could meet some other moms, and out of sheer curiosity I decided to "just browse" Craigslist, and see if anyone actually posts "friends wanted" ads. They do! Somewhere in my browsing, I came across an ad about a great site for meeting new people: Meetup.com. So I guess in essence, my mom's advice was right. Again.

Anyway, I visited the site, found a mom's group, and joined. I went to a playdate that same week and knew right away that I had found the right group. I just clicked with these ladies. The group was just starting off, so it was easy to join and we were all searching for the same thing: support, activities to do with our kids, advice, and friendship. I found all of this and more in this group. If ever I was having a bad day, someone was always there to listen, offer support, meet up for a walk, glass of wine, playdate, or Moms Night Out. When I had a question about my kids, everyone always had gentle advice, suggestions, and helpful ideas. When my twins were born, my family didn't have to cook for a month because so many of these wonderful women brought delicious meals and goodies our way.

I've never felt out of place, unwanted, or insecure at any of our group events. I've never felt like I had too many kids to go to a playdate. OK, well I know I have too many kids, but these ladies are always there to help get everyone out of the car, find Joey a snack, watch him in the pool, or hold a crying baby while I hold the other one. Recently, our life situation became tougher than we ever imagined, and these ladies provided me with a place to talk, cry, laugh, and find a shoulder to lean on. I love them dearly and would not have been able to survive the last two years without them.

This afternoon Ron and I took the kids to one of our Seasonal parties for the group. The group does this a few times a year, and it is a nice way to get everyone (even the dads!) together. It is always a pot-luck style backyard BBQ that is sure to have great food, tons of sweets, and activities for the kids. We had a great time, as we always do, and it reminded me of how lucky I've been to get to know this group of families. And while I know that this move is the right thing to do for our family, it made me realize that I'm leaving behind my huge support network in this life that I call mommyhood.

I know that we will be happy in our new home and maintain the important relationships that we are leaving behind, but it is still terribly sad and scary. I hope to find a group of ladies that will welcome me and my children in the way that this group has. I hope that the activities are fun and exciting, and not lame or boring. I hope they like to hold babies because I've got more than enough to go around. I hope that they like to take pictures of all the kids as much as this group does. I hope for a lot of things from this move, but mostly I just hope to find a few good friends to add to the many that I will take with me in my heart.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Many Happy Returns

I love shopping. I really, really love it. I love the buzz of a new store. I love pushing my cart around and filling it up with random stuff. I love the calm, quietness that I rarely get to partake in while browsing the clothing racks alone. I love clipping the tags off a new shirt and wearing it for the first time. I love picking out new adorable clothes for my kids to wear. As I said, I really love shopping. There is one small aspect of it that I don't love though. I hate that shopping always leads to a return.

It doesn't matter if I'm shopping for myself, Ron, or the kids, there is always an item (or twelve!) that needs to go back to the store. Wrong color, size, flavor, style, whatever. There is always something. The problem with this situation is that I'm really bad at just going into a store to return something. Like I said, I love shopping. So, as I enter the store to return the unwanted item, I usually end up finding something on my way in or out that I purchase and bring home with me. I can usually rationalize the buying part with the fact that I'm returning something, so it's like spending free money. And what good is free money if you aren't going to spend it? I know it doesn't really work that way, but just play along, OK? So anyway, buying while returning usually just leads to another return. And the cycle repeats itself. Over and over and over.

Today I put the babies down for their naps and headed out of the house with an armload of stuff in various store bags to be returned. I hit 7 stores within a 10 mile radius in 2 and a half hours. When I walked back in the house with a new armload of stuff Ron looked at me with raised eyebrows and said, "Were the stores not taking returns today?" I simply replied, "Oh, no, they were. I just picked up some things that we needed while I was out." Being the ever-loving husband that he is, he just shook his head and left it at that. He gets me. God bless that man.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back to Reality

The wedding was amazing, beautiful, and perfect to say the least. Kate and Justin were beaming, and their love radiated through every aspect of the day and night. Ron and I thoroughly enjoyed our time away from the chaotic life known as ours. Apparently our kids did great (at least that's what the babysitters told us), even Olivia survived and held out for breast milk for a whopping 12 hours!


Sunday morning we decided that we would pick up donuts to share with Mollie, Andrew, and company. As I buckled Joey into his car seat I was concerned that his nose was bleeding a little bit. He had been coloring earlier in the morning, and in my hungover haze I seemed to remember Ron saying something along the lines of "If there was a crayon in his nose we'd know it, right?" "Yes," I responded, "we would definitely know if there was a crayon in his nose." I figured it would be pretty hard to miss a 3 inch piece of melted wax hanging from my child's face.

As I wiped Joey's mysteriously bleeding nose, Ron again spoke up: "I never did find that little piece of crayon." WAIT A MINUTE... little piece of crayon? No one ever told me there was a missing little piece of crayon. Upon investigation with a flashlight and household tweezers, sure enough the little piece of crayon was in my son's nose. Operation Sunday Morning Donut Stop aborted, begin Emergency Room Visit with mischievous two-year old.

The staff at the hospital was very understanding, and was sure to give me the "these things happen all the time" vibe. They even gave me pointers for what I could try at home next time my son puts a foreign object in his nostril. Next time? We are already planning for next time? Given his history, I wouldn't put it past him (remember the noodle incident?). However, I'm hoping that four doctors holding him down while one shoved a long needle up his nose to fetch a crayon was traumatic enough that Joey will think twice when he's having one of those "I wonder what this feels like in my nose" moments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So Behind

This has been one crazy week. And it's only half over. I'm missing my bloggy-life, so I just came on here for a quick moment to let everyone know that I haven't fallen off the planet. (yet.)

A little of what's been going on: Ron was away for a few days at the beginning of the week in search of work and shelter for our family. That left me home with the three babes to fend for ourselves. I managed ok, and the only difficult time was the dreaded dinner/bedtime hour. Joey watched A LOT of Blues Clues on these two days and we were all glad when Daddy was home.

Yesterday I spent the day running around like crazy: to the grocery store, the mall, the tailor, etc. etc. It was a bit of a trial for Olivia in that she was without me for several hours. Still refused the bottle but she survived! Today is moving day. Not for me, for my mom. Such a hard, sad day, and my world feels a bit upside down now that this is actually happening. I know that there are good things ahead of us with all of these changes, but today I just feel sad. I can't even begin to imagine how I will feel in a month when it is our turn to move. Tonight we'll have our last neighborhood-family dinner, followed by a trip to Kohls for various last-minute items that I'll need for this weekend.

This weekend is the BIG DAY. My very good friend Kate is set to be married, and I'm a bridesmaid! So the next three days will be filled with errands, preparations, a secret project that I'm working on, and a couple of appointments to beautify myself. Oh yeah, and I still have 3 young children to continue caring for while doing all of that.

So, I apologize for being behind in my blogging. Don't lose faith in me though. I'll be back soon and I have 2 *awesome* giveaways in the works!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rejuvinated

Tonight Ron and I had a much needed "date night." His parents were kind enough to come over and take on our three children at my most dreaded time of day: dinner time. Followed by my second most dreaded time of day: bed time. It is not that I don't like spending these times with my children, I do. It is just extremely difficult to keep everyone relatively quiet, happy, and occupied during the hours of 5-8pm. So I welcomed the opportunity to pass on that responsibility to two other very brave (and very capable) adults. In fact, Nana and PopPop win the "I'm a good sport" badge of honor for the day!

So off we went. We left the house with a spring in our step and a flutter in our hearts. We were free. Free. Free. Free. In fact I had the urge to roll down the windows of the minivan as it cruised the neighborhood streets and shout, "Free at last, Free at last, God Almighty I'm free at last!" I did not actually do this, but believe you me, I wanted to.

We held hands as we walked to the restaurant. We rejoiced in the fact that there was a 20-30 minute wait, as that gave us time to peruse books in the nearby bookstore. At said bookstore we actually read the inside flaps to each other. Without interruption. We didn't have to buy anything that one of our children ripped, ate, or spit up on either. When our buzzer buzzed we again walked hand in hand back to the restaurant where we were handed two menus. We each read the whole menu. We contemplated what to order. We asked the waiter for MORE TIME! It was the most incredible feeling to be out with my husband without anyone crying, whining, spitting up, pooping, or sleeping on my shoulder.

The best part of the evening was when we finished dinner and while walking through the downtown area came across some live acoustic music. It was chilly outside so I went in to a coffee shop to get some warm beverages and Ron went back to the car to get me a sweatshirt. The only sweatshirt in the car was size 2T, but he did manage to find me a nice fleece blanket to cover up with. A fleece blanket covered in my favorite red furry monster. Yep, you guessed it, Elmo. So there I sat among the other childless couples, snuggled up to my hubby, sipping a hot cup of coffee, under a child-sized Elmo blanket. The blanket did its' job in keeping me warm, but it did something else for me as well. It reminded me that I have three of the most special gifts waiting for me at home, and no matter how much I enjoy my time without them nothing warms my soul quite like the time I spend with them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Calling All Cute Kids

We all think our own kid is the cutest kid. Obviously. We are their moms, we're supposed to think that. I'm pretty sure though that I'm not the only one who thinks that Joey is damn cute. Just to clarify, we're talking looks here, not actions. ('cause lately he ain't acting too cute...) There's just something about that striking red hair, blue eyes, and dimples that sucks me in. So when I heard about the Gap Casting Call, I was eager to sign him up. Do I legitimately think that he could win? Yes. Do I think that he will? Probably not. I mean seriously, what are the chances? But it's worth a shot, right?

After I submitted Joey's *cutest* picture today it brings you to a screen where you can send out an email, post to your FB profile, twitter, etc. encouraging friends and family members to vote for your kid. Well, every mom who gets that email is going to think to herself, "my kid is cuter than that kid, I should enter this too." So sending out a mass email encouraging people to vote for Joey is a double edge sword in a way. Good, in that I might have gotten him some votes and publicity. Not so good in that I totally just advertised this contest and significantly increased the pool of competitors. And let me tell you, there is some stiff competition out there....

So why am I writing about this tonight? I figure the damage is already done. I posted it to my facebook profile, sent out the email, haven't tweeted about it because I have no idea how Twitter works, but I figure I might as well mention it here too. Please go ahead and vote for Joey (everyday!) by clicking here. And please enter your own child too. Let's all just agree to the golden rule of cutest kid competitions: To a mom, there is no cuter kid than her own kid. But I'll vote for yours if you'll vote for mine!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nutritionists Beware

I'm embarrassed to admit that I gave my kid more sugar filled snacks in a 3 hour period yesterday than I usually do in a whole week. Call it bribery, laziness, or the unwillingness to argue, but I gave in to his every request for more snacks. During a ill-fated family trip to Walmart at 10 AM Joey consumed an entire snack cup of Ritz Cheese Sandwich Crackers. Not a little cup either. One that has 2.5 servings in it. This was well worth it to me though, as it got us through the store without a yelling, whining, screaming toddler. Now if only Katelyn and Olivia could be kept quiet the same way... (soon enough!)

After Walmart we went on to Tim Horton's for an early lunch. A lunch of doughnuts for Joey. Oh, and Doritos. ha. No turkey sandwich on whole wheat for this kid. Just doughnuts please. Well, it didn't end there. We can't possibly take a trip to Tim Horton's without bringing a treat to cousin Mollie. While we were out she actually called to verify that we were coming. Upon delivery Mollie excitedly sat down to have herself a tasty doughnut. And so did Joey. Again.

At that point I pretty much knew that any attempt to feed Joey lunch (or any other meal for the day) was completely shot. He napped for only an hour, woke up with low blood sugar (shocking!), and proceeded to starve himself of any "real" food for the remainder of the day. It's no wonder that he woke up this morning requesting gummies for breakfast. I'd say this calls for operation detox for the two-year old.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

As Seen On TV

For his 8th birthday, all my nephew Matthew has asked for is a Snuggie. You've seen the infomercials for this ridiculous item, I'm sure. It's the fleece blanket with sleeves. Matthew is the perfect recipient for the latest "As Seen On TV" product. In fact, those that know Matthew will agree that he is pretty much the perfect recipient for any "As Seen On TV" product. He loves infomercials. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he grows up to be the next Billy Mays!

I just ordered Matthew's Snuggie. Instead of the standard blue or pink choices, I did some internet searching and came up with one that is sure to make this kid's heart sing. I managed to find an Authentic Dallas Cowboys Youth-sized Snuggie. Now I just wish I could be there next week to see his reaction when he opens it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

OOPS! Winner Announced

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 4 Result: 3

So I was totally bummed not to have more entries for this. Where is every one??? With my injury this week, I forgot to announce the winner of the Stop and Shop Giftcard. Winner is post #3, Marie who said, "I hope I win as I have no groceries in my house ** haha" Congratulations, we'll get your gift card to you pronto! Big thanks to General Mills and MyBlogSpark for this great offer!

Stay tuned for more giveaways soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stall Tactics

Joey has figured out how to prolong the activities that he enjoys in order to avoid the things that he doesn't. For example, at bedtime he demands to have a bath. During said bath he must swim. After he swims we need to brush his teeth. Then use the potty. For using the potty he needs to have 2 M and Ms. Then it's back to teeth brushing. This is all to avoid the inevitable: going to bed.

When I sit to read him a book, I never choose the right book. So he needs to get out of the chair and pull ten thousand books off the shelf in search of (insert book title here). It is so interesting to me that at just 2 years young, this little person has figured out exactly how to get what he wants.

When I go in his room to cover him up before I go to bed he sometimes wakes up. I used to be able to sneak out after a sleepy "hi mommy," followed by a quick kiss. Now if he wakes up stands up immediately and announces that he needs milk. NEEDS MILK! MILK! MILK MOMMY! MILK! Because I can't stand the yelling and whining at 11:30pm, I always give in, drag my tired self back downstairs, fill a sippy cup and bring it back to my now wide-awake child. Last night he took many small sips and passed the cup back to me after each one. Every time I started to walk away he needed just one more sip. After this routine repeated itself several times over, I finally stopped the madness and proceeded into the hallway despite his protest.

Just as I think I'm going to finally get to go to bed, I hear Joey call for me once more. Another game has begun. He has announced that he needs to go potty. I throw my head back in utter exhaustion paired with a significant amount of frustration in being manipulated by a 2 year old. Well, given our current success with potty training thus far, I can't exactly ignore this final request. And boy does he know it. So I take him into the bathroom, remove his night time diaper (which I'm secretly rejoicing in the fact that it is still dry!), sit him on the potty, and wait.

At this point in my story I'm pretty sure you can guess what this oh-so-adorable child asked for next as we flushed the potty. Yep, chocolate. This is where I put my foot down. I may do a lot of things to avoid a tantrum, but this is not one of them. I refuse to reward this ridiculous display of "I'm not tired anymore, Mommy." with M and Ms at Midnight. So I sternly told Joey that we do not get chocolate in the night time. Only in the daytime. He protested at first, but soon realized I was done. Game over. Back to bed.

Stalling: He's become an expert already. I'm pretty sure the fun has just begun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Please Excuse My Absence

I'm on the injured list. While cutting sweet potatoes I sliced through my finger with a fancy Pampered Chef crinkle cutter. YOUCH! This resulted in a trip to the ER, 5 stitches, and a very awkward bandaged hand. Makes typing rather difficult. I'm compiling a list of blog posts in my head though, so I'll be up and at it again soon. Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Review: Rainy Day Kids

We recently received the cutest rainwear set I have ever seen for little kids from Rainy Day Kids. We received the boots, umbrella, and jacket from the brand new Monkey set by Stephen Joseph. See the whole set here. As soon as I pulled the cute monkey boots out of the box, Joey wanted them on. It didn't matter that he was naked. Within minutes, he was outfitted for puddle-stomping, and waiting at the door for us to take him out.


This set could not be cuter. The fabric is so soft, and the jacket is fully lined with a jersey-type cotton, making it nice and comfortable for little ones. I was told that the boots run a little big, but in my opinion they were just right because I ordered Joey's regular shoe size and they fit him just right. He loved wearing them too. I'm pretty sure he didn't take them off for 2 days. Aside from the adorableness of this set, Rainy Day Kids has great prices on high quality rainwear for kids! They have a fabulous selection of fun, comfortable, and practical rainwear that your kids will love wearing in any weather! And they have a great everyday shipping rate of $5.95, no matter how big your order is.


As a special gift, business owner Lauri Stokes has offered a 15% discount for my readers at Rainy Day Kids now through October 31st. Just enter in discount code: WHINE when prompted. This is a great deal, and I might just get ahead of myself and order some Christmas presents!

And Then There Was Poop

I realize that I have dedicated a significant amount of my blog posts to potty training lately. You are probably beginning to wonder if I have anything of real importance to say. In all honesty, potty training is real important in my house right now. So in case you are wondering, the answer is no. I don't have anything else to say. And this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want. So there.

No, seriously, this will be my last post about potty training for a while. I promise. But I must brag for a moment and fill everyone in on Joey's progress. And boy has he made progress. He officially pooped on the potty today. All by himself. Meaning: he realized he had to go, told me, pulled down the unda-pans, waddled into the bathroom and did the deed! Hurrah! No accidents today, and we even went out! He is such a smart little goober, and I am such a proud momma!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What The Poop

Why won't Joey poop on the damn potty already? I'm getting so irritated. He's got the rest of it down: very few accidents, waking up dry, telling us when he needs to go, enjoying his 2 m and m's reward, but he flat out refuses to poop.

I KNOW he needs to go. How do I know? We won't get into it. I think the answer to that question teeters on the edge of too much information. So just take my word for it. I've tried lots of different approaches to get him to cooperate, and to no avail. I even pretended that his baby sister pooped on the potty this morning and rewarded her with a treasured popCheck Spellingsicle. When he wanted a popsicle too, I told him he could have one as soon as he POTP. (pooped on the potty) That didn't even work.

Ok, so does anyone have any suggestions for this situation? Please?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Port-a-Potty

Potty training Joey is still going extremely well for the most part. I'm finding it is more about potty training the parents and less about potty training the child. If I monitor his fluid intake, and take a trip to the bathroom with him every 1-2 hours we have potty success.

While I was inside making dinner, Joey was outside with Ron playing. I noticed that we were approaching that 2 hour mark, and Joey had consumed his fair share of "onge chew" (orange juice) throughout the course of the afternoon. Katelyn was fussy all day and had just fallen asleep in her swing. I knew that if Joey came bounding in the house making all kinds of noise, she would inevitably wake up, dinner would not get made, and I would be frustrated.

So I cheated. Instead of bringing the child to the potty, I brought the potty to the child. Literally. I brought his little kid-sized potty outside, put it in the grass and told him to go. And he did. Then I went back inside, washed out the potty, returned it to it's proper location (the bathroom), and went back outside to deliver 2 M and Ms to a very proud Joey. Now that is what I call a Port-a-Potty.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stop and Shop Giftcard Giveaway

Back to school time is a great time to find deals at all kinds of stores. Stop and Shop is currently running their back to school Savings Event. You'll find great deals on participating General Mills products, additional savings for your school, and bonus gas savings for select locations that sell gas. Visit your local Stop and Shop to take advantage of all the great savings from now until September 10th. MyBlogSpark, General Mills, and Thou Shall Not Whine have teamed up to give one of my readers a $10 Stop and Shop Gift Card!

To enter, leave me a comment telling me a way that you like to save at the grocery store. Up to 5 additional entries can be earned by doing one or more of the following: (Leave another comment for EACH additional entry!)
  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine
  • Subscribe to Thou Shall Not Whine in a Newsreader
  • Link back to this post on your blog or website
  • Leave a comment on a Non-giveaway post
  • Grab my button and post it on your blog or website

Giveaway is open until Monday, September 14th at 11:59EST. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Potty Progress

I refuse to call it easy. But it is definitely not as hard as I thought it would be. We are on day #2 of "unda-pans." We have had 2 official accidents, and both occurred yesterday. One pee didn't get to the potty in time, and an unfortunate accident resulting in poop on the floor happened a little later in the day. However, I am so proud to announce that Joey stayed dry all day today. ALL DAY! We even went to a birthday party. I'm cautiously optimistic in thinking that I may only have two children in diapers in the very near future! Hooray for Joey! Here he is in his new unda-pans.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the ISpy Product from Briarpatch.com is comment #5: Erin who wrote, "I'm an official follower now." Thanks for reading, and congrats! I'll be in touch so we can get your prize out to you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Working on it...

Sometimes writing things down helps to motivate me to do them. I am currently in the process of tackling some of the tasks on my lists.
  • I am happy to report that I have successfully completed all pending thank-you notes and remembered to enclose portrait pictures before mailing.
  • I have also begun operation clothing swap. This involves unearthing many plastic containers from the basement and sorting through items that are "not too boyish" for the babies to wear, as well as tossing anything with stubborn stains, and packaging up size-appropriate items to pass on to my nephew Cody. To make room for the hand me downs, this mission also requires me to sort through the girl's current collection of clothes and put away anything that is too small or too summery to wear in the coming months.
  • Potty training will take place in full force this afternoon when I put Joey in his new undies, and ditch the diapers for good.
  • Olivia is no better with the bottle, but it is not for lack of trying on our part. We might have to do the "cold turkey" approach to get this little monster to cooperate. Selfishly, I'm pretty sure that I'd like to quit nursing all together. I feel like that makes me a bad mom.

That's the update for now. As for sleep and the battle against the binkie... we're still working on those.

REMINDER: Don't forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for your choice of ISpy game from Briarpatch.com. You may do so by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Am I Asking Too Much?

I have a lot of things on my to-do list lately, but I'm having trouble motivating myself to follow through with any of them. Aside from my daily routine of laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and general clean-up of the toy tornado, these are some parenting objectives that I'd like mastered in the very near future:
  • Get my babies who were fantastic sleepers back on track. How did we go from 10-12 hours to up 3x a night again???
  • Stop procrastinating and go full throttle with the potty situation. He's ready, why aren't I???
  • Get Olivia to take a bottle in preparation for The Big Day. I have to leave her for my dear friend Kate's wedding in a month, and I don't want my baby to starve herself because my breasts aren't available at her beck and call.
  • Ditch the binkie for the walking, talking toddler. We started with bed time only, then bent the rules a bit, then a bit more, and a bit more from there. We're pretty much back to the drawing board.

That is my very intimidating list that is sure to invite many tantrums and lots of crying from JOK. A few less intense, but equally important tasks that must be completed in the very near future:

  • Cook, puree, and freeze the sweet potatoes that are in my fridge before they spoil.
  • Finish the long list of thank you notes on behalf of my children, and be sure to enclose the portrait pictures that we had taken of them with each note.
  • Do the clothing overhaul as we quickly transition from Summer to Fall. This includes: going through J's baby clothes to find some neutral, warmer items that will fit O&K; sorting, labeling, and putting away all clothes that are too small for JOK, locate the clothes that I purchased for J for this fall; put away my summer clothes and find some fall clothes that are a) not maternity and b) not ugly, worn out, or out of style.

I'd like to tackle everything all at once. However, I'm pretty sure I don't have to energy to do that. So creating these lists has helped me to prioritize. We'll start with sleep training the little ones back to sleeping through the night. If I'm able to get a good night's sleep I'll be better prepared to accomplish the rest of my daunting tasks. As of right now, I'm off to bed with yet another hope for a quiet night. Here goes nothing...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Baby Love

Oh, how I love the rare quiet moments that I get to spend with just one child. This morning Olivia woke up first, napped first, and woke up while Joey was out with Ron and Katelyn was still sleeping. As I brought up yet another load of laundry to be folded I could hear her beginning to protest being in the bouncy seat. She's a super faker though, because as soon as I came into the room talking to her, and she caught a glimpse of me she started to laugh with intensity. Luckily my camera was close enough for me to capture this sweetness.

video

You must excuse the shakiness of this video. Olivia was kicking her feet making the bouncy seat extra bouncy. Well, actually Joey jumping into it from the arm of the couch on a daily basis has made it extra bouncy.... Olivia's kicking just exaggerates this. Regardless, the video may cause some to feel queasy but I swear it's not my fault!

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