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 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 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?


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...


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