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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