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Ain't Life Grand?

Updated: 2018-03-06T21:10:26.534-05:00


Good Friday with 3 and 5


In explaining to Audrey why she doesn't have school today, I found myself wondering if she'd be at all skeptical to hear that someone was dead for three days and then came back to life. Her facial expression was so oddly blank that I actually found myself asking, "Does that sound weird?"
Her eyebrows lifted, and she said, "No, Mama. That's why Jesus is a miracle!"

About ten minutes later she approached me with a piece of paper and a marker and asked me to write, "Thank you for dying on the cross so that we could go to heaven" on the top of the page where she had already carefully drawn and colored in a solid brown cross.
Alex walked up behind us and said, "Mama? What is heaven?"
Audrey said, "Al, that's where you go when you die and your body becomes a skeleton."
Which was completely satisfactory for alex who said, "OK." and walked away.

A Day in the Life


On Thursday Jason was worked a double shift, so I had no choice but to make the trek down to the first floor with children, quarters, soap and laundry basket in tow since Audrey's sheets and precious blankie were victims of an overnight accident. But first, keep in mind that Jason was already gone when we woke up at 7. I was on my own to shower, feed and dress the girls and pack the diaper bag to take both of them on Audrey's 1st field trip to a local pumpkin patch. Great fun, but no pics since I forgot my camera. And my phone. Post-field trip (11am), we went to the playground. Post-playground, we came home, up to the 3rd floor, muddy clothes off, lunch, Alex down for her nap.Our building has two coin-operated washers and two dryers. $1.50 to wash, $1.50 to dry. I was thrilled to have scrounged up twelve quarters to do one load, and when I was satisfied that Alex was settled into a deep sleep in her crib, I tip-toed out into the hallway with Audrey, locking our apartment door behind me before I realized that Audrey had set down the bag of quarters I'd given her to hold. Back in, found the quarters, back out, and downstairs. I descended the stairs slowly and awkwardly with my three-year-old quarter bag holder and pee-smelling laundry basket only to find that both washers were full of somebody else's already-spun-dry and just-sitting-there clothes. I couldn't sit and wait with Alex up sleeping alone in her crib so we headed back upstairs.Thirty minutes later, back down. Same clothes still sitting in both washers. Thirty more minutes, same deal. On the 4th trip down I was mad enough to take the person's stuff out of one of the washers. Alex was due to wake up any minute, and although I had the battery operated baby monitor on my hip, I didn't want to have to sprint up to the third floor because Audrey can't sprint up stairs. Just imagine that for a minute.Thankfully the offending party had left their basket next to the washer, so I put their stuff in it and set it on top of the 2nd washer that they were occupying.Washed my load, back upstairs. Alex did wake up in time to make the trip down to the first floor with us to move the load to the dryer, and again all three of us down an hour later to retrieve the dry load. It was around 6pm at this point, and I realized we were almost out of milk. Bundled up the girls, trekked over to ACME for a $4 gallon of milk, and yes, we picked up some M&Ms to reward ourselves for getting through the day.The M&Ms were clearly a bad choice. Like, the worst choice ever. Both girls whimpered and begged for them from the minute they went into the cart until the last bite of dinner that was rushed down in an effort to obtain said M&Ms. Let the sugar rush party begin. I can't even detail the zoo that was our bedtime routine. It was bad. I think that I got them both down around 10pm. Ugh. Sometime around midnight, Audrey woke up, came in our room and woke me up to insist that she needed some water. It was after 1am when she woke me up by yelling, "MOOMMM, COME WIPE ME!!!" Over and over again from the hallway bathroom. Which of course, woke Alex up. Alex wanted a bottle. I caved. She'll be two next month and clearly doesn't need to be using a bottle anymore, let alone in the middle of the night, but what can I say? I thought, naively, that if I let her have a bottle, it would guarantee that she'd drift right off to sleep. When the bottle was gone, I carried her into the bedroom. She went into her crib with no complaint, but twenty minutes later was calling out, "Momeeeee, Momeeeee!" very sweetly, but definitely loud enough to wake Audrey back up. I went in to retrieve her, and brought her back into bed with me. Who knows how much later, I was half asleep, but realized that Alex had climbed on top of me- was straddling my neck, actually, and climbing onto my head, slammed a knee tino my chin. I firmly told her, "OK, baby, it's bedtime." Carried her back to her crib, where she went right to sleep. I think. Not sure because I passed back out the minute m[...]

One of those "Is this for REAL?" days


It has been one of THOSE days. All day, I kept hearing myself ask, REALLY?! to no one in particular. The girls knew that I wasn't asking them- or at least I didn't get a response from my chatty 3.5 year old, so ... humph. Now I love my husband dearly, but somehow he has worked out this deal where he gets ten to twelve hours of sleep per day. I know, RIGHT? What is up with that? He's been pulling this off since Audrey was born. He has this big important job to go to- if he makes a mistake, that could be thousands of dollars down the drain for the company, blah blah blah ... so he has to be well rested. Granted, he works 4pm to midnight, so I'll give the guy some sleep in time. But every morning? Till NOON? This morning was no different. I'm woken sweetly by that tiny little 3-yr-old voice that I love. "Mommmmmy ... the sun is up, it's time to wakey, wakey!" I've tried explaining to her that the sun rises at 5:48am, but that has had no reasonable impact on her desire to get up and start her day. Twenty-month-old Alex is never far behind. The girls and I have a nice little morning routine. They have their morning beverages in sippy cups while watching this that or the other thing on PBS or The Disney Channel while I sit blurry eyed with coffee in hand, waiting for the caffeine fairy to sprinkle some of her magic dust on me. Breakfast is served with love. "Who wants strawberries and bananas?" Alex only has a few words in her repertoire, but hearing her tiny little timbre holler out, "I DO!" is pretty much the best part of my day. In case you were wondering what else she can say, here's the list: Mama = I want you to hold me, Mom. Now. Baba = I know I'm too old for a bottle, but I love it and you love me so ... what do ya' say? Aww-eee = Audrey Dada = That guy who sleeps or is at work most of the time I'm conscious Stop = Stop doing that or ima bring the hurtin' on you. I DO! = Yes, that sounds great, I'll have some! I can, I can! = I'm one, and I can do this myself. Let me or I'll pitch a fit. O doh O = "Go Dog Go" is my favorite book, and I'd like you to read it to me again. peeas = please ahk oo = thank you ai oo = Caillou (kids cartoon that she's addicted to) That's about it. She can also imitate all animal sounds known to man including but not limited to: monkey, bird, horse, cow, dog, cat, bat, moose, wolf, loon, sheep and goat. She's got her Baa's and her Naa's down, people. So anyways- after breakfast, I showered (which is like juggling, at best, to do with small children trying to strip and climb in with you) and woke Jason so I could go tour a nearby preschool. YES, Audrey is starting preschool already. I know, I can't even go there. On my way out the door, I got instructions from Jason on what to bring home from lunch and from where. I got home with the pizza, and I'm pretty sure Jason snuck off for a nap before he got ready for work? The rest of the day was just a blur. I got Alex down for her nap at some point, Audrey wasn't tired, so I let her play on the iPod touch in my bed so I could get a little nap while Alex slept- I think I was asleep about 7 minutes before Audrey woke me up to tell me that the iPod's batteries had died. So I said, "Well, OK, let's go out and watch cartoons in the living room." Audrey, "Does the TV have good batteries?" Me, "Yep." Tried to doze on the couch, that didn't work. Got Alex out of her crib, let them watch cartoons while I fixed dinner, cleaned up dinner- herded them into the bathroom for their bath, and like the ever-cautious mom that I am- whipped off Alex's diaper while she was standing next to the tub- SURPRISE, it was filled stem to stern with brown nastiness. NOSE. Where are you when I need you the most? Seriously. Sent Audrey to run and grab the baby wipes for me since I clearly had to stay there to ensure that Alex's hands stayed far away from her bottom- which I failed at anyways, gross. Audrey returned with a wipes container that only contained one wipe. Nice. So managed all of that- post-bath, I pulled a[...]

Our New Life


(image) At some point last year, my husband was told in no uncertain terms that the area where he worked was going to be shut down, and he would eventually be laid off. At least they gave him plenty of notice! He started applying for other jobs right away, and after many stressful months filled with uncertainty, he was offered a position at the Merck plant in a suburb of Philadelphia.
So on May 12th we packed up our little life and said goodbye to our first home and many dear friends in Sanford, NC, and headed north in a Penske truck loaded with everything we own in this world. Quite the experience!

The cost of living is 3x higher here, so we traded in our 1700 sq. ft. two car garage home for a 2 bedroom 3rd floor apartment (with no washer/dryer or microwave?!). I'll admit it- minutes after we walked into our new 'home' I cried. I cried because I was homesick, and because I was afraid that we had made the wrong decision. I was afraid that our house in Sanford wouldn't sell, that I wouldn't be able to find a job that would come anywhere near rivaling my sweet teaching gig in NC, and I cried because this wasn't the life that I had envisioned for myself.

But guess what? This move has turned out to be pretty much the best thing that has happened to our little family. My husband loves his new job, we SOLD OUR HOUSE in Sanford after only 28 days on the market, and once we got all of our stuff moved into this 3rd floor pad, it really does feel like home! The pic is the view from our balcony. The girls LOVE having 'their own' playground, and yes, that's a pool behind those trees on the left!

Beyond all these miracles, I've already plugged into a couple of local moms groups and met some great new friends- not to mention the fact that I keep FINDING old friends who live in this area! No joke- a few weeks ago thanks to the miracle of facebook- I realized that some dear old friends (who actually sang in our wedding) live TEN MINUTES from us. Not only that, but their son is Audrey's age, and it looks like they might be in the same preschool class this fall! Seriously.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes ...


We've moved to Pennsylvania! Woah, right? Big update coming soon ...



(image) I was looking through some pics of my oldest tonight because I miss her. She rode along with Jason to bring Granny back to West Virginia after her two-week visit.

We've been apart overnight before (like when I had Alex) (and emergency surgery 10 days later), but this is somehow different.

She won't turn three until January, but is able to carry on entire conversations via phone. This is a rough reproduction of our chat tonight.

Jason: Audrey, your Mom's on the phone!

Audrey: OK, Dad. (running over to Jason and putting the phone up to her ear) Hi, Mom.

Me: Hi sweet-pea! Are you having fun at Granny's house?

Audrey: Yeah, Mommy - I was just doing some puzzles!

Me: That sounds like fun, Aud! Want to know what I did today?

Aud: Yeah, Mommy!

Me: I took baby Alex up to my friend's house near Raleigh, and my friend has a little girl who is the same size as Alex, and they
played together on the floor ...

Jason: Em?

Me: What?

Jason: Oh, just making sure that you were still there ... Audrey wasn't saying anything.

Audrey: (in the background" But daddy, I was wistening to Mommy tell about her fun day!
Jason hands the phone back to Audrey.

Audrey: What else you do at yo fwends house, Mommy?

Me: Well, we ate lunch together, then when I got home, I took Alex and Honey on a walk around the block, and that's about it! It's been a busy day, and I'm almost ready for bed. Don't forget to brush your teeth before bed, OK kiddo?

Audrey: OK, Mom.

Me: Love you Bean.

Audrey: Love you too, Mommy!

Me: Bye, bye.

Aud: Bye, Mom! (phone disconnects).

Someone tell me where my tiny little baby girl has gone! Time i speeding by too quickly. I'm finding myself hoping that Alex wakes up in the night tonight just so I have a really good excuse to cuddle her before she grows up too!



(image) So we took the girls to the fair last night. It was hot - still in the 90's at 5pm, but we had a great time!

Alex was a little trooper in the stroller, and Audrey has been asking to go back since the minute we left. Times like this remind me how important it is to not take the little things for granted.

Nothing like watching a two-year-old enjoy a carousel ride to remind you how much you love your kid.

What is it with men, anyways?


Today I found out that another friend is getting divorced. Is it just me, or are the men usually to blame? I swear, if I hear of one more cheatin' good for nothin' husband announce that he isn't happy in his marriage, I might just buy him some big girl underwear.

Marriage isn't easy for us either, MEN! Give me a break here. We're the ones that cook, clean, bear your children ... I'm truely at a loss. My poor friend didn't even see it coming. The man in question was a little grumpy for a few days prior to slapping her with the, "I don't love you anymore" line.

Seriously Mr. NeedsaGripOnReality? The world doesn't revolve around you.

Not Me Monday



(image) This week I did not watch my tiny baby turn 9 months old.

Oh, no, I did not! And I did not stand by and let her father feed her delicious licks of an ice cream cone at Syracuse's Bavarian Festival last Saturday.

Just like I don't feed her tiny bites of anything she grunts at with any kind of interest since she's such an itty bitty, nope, not me!

(image) I didn't let her crawl under the exersaucer at my mom's while I watched, amused. I would never do something like that! I would rush right over and scoop her up before she got hurt.

(image) I didn't stand by and snap pics while she giggled and played peek-a-boo under that exersaucer seat for five minutes.

(image) I didn't pull my wedding dress out of mom's upstairs closet just to see if I could still fit it over my hips.

That didn't turn into an epic fail, then I didn't talk my two-year-old into trying it on. Not me!

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival was created by MckMama, congrats to her on bringing home baby #5 this week!

Syracuse Squirrels


What is it with the squirrels up here? There are eight windows across the front of my mother's house. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a squirrel out of the corner of my eye - I'm about ready to jump out of my skin. At least they are outside ... right?

We have had a phenomenal time up here, I can't believe we have to fly home on Friday! Jason just drove home yesterday, the girls and I were glad that he was able to get away from work to enjoy part of our vacation with us.

For now, I have too much going on to slow down long enough to post pics, but they will be up when we get home this weekend. Yay for Grandma's house!

"No way!"


I'm not sure where she picked this up, but Audrey has started saying, "No way" instead of no. And we are not talking about a simple statement, either. She says it passionately - with an undertone of disgust and an overtone of emphasis.

How many times do I gently encourage her to say no thank you before I step up my game? She's generally speaking a very polite and mild-mannered child, but this could get out of hand quickly.

In other news little sister is already eight months old. EIGHT.MONTHS.OLD. I can't stand it. She's started creeping (almost a crawl, but not quite) and my heart can't even handle her two little crooked bottom teeth. Love!

Little Things


I am happy this morning!

The key to my mood must be getting some decent sleep, finally! Jason and I went to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. the last couple of nights and I feel like a new woman! Of course this is the first day of a 3 day work weekend for Jason, meaning he will sleep all day today, tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, and work all night tonight, tomorrow night, and Monday night.
I'll get him back sometime late Tuesday afternoon, and it will be a glorious reunion!

Another reason for all the joy in my heart: I need a root canal! That's right, party people. Tooth #15 gets to STAY in my mouth. I found a wonderful dentist here in Sanford, Dr. Kelly Faulk, who put in a great effort to save the tooth with just a 'bigger filling'. I wasn't surprised with the news that the damage went down to the root, but thankful. When Audrey was born, I was told by a newbie @ Dr. Lane and Associates that the tooth was a lost cause and needed to be pulled.

Two years later, here I go for my root canal. Nice. Save the tooth!

Why did I wait two years? The question is more like why did I finally go to the dentist? My mom had a minor dental emergency when she was here in November and found Dr. Faulk herself. Knowing I needed some help with infamous #15, I made an appointment for a clean and check, and x-rays, hoping for a better outcome than, "It needs to be pulled." And I got it! He was going to try to expand the filling, worst case scenario, root canal.

I made my appointment for the filling, but then caught a stomach virus that week. Sent Jason for a clean and check instead.

Put it off, and put it off, then while we were in West Virginia (at a UFC Fight Night party, no less) my tooth CRUMBLED. I mean, I was eating a piece of one of those chocolate chip cookie cakes, you know, slathered in frosting? Between bites I suddenly felt this gaping hole in the back of my mouth. The tooth, beloved #15, finally gave up the fight. The filling (along with part of the inner wall of the tooth) was gone. Not good!

Thankfully I was in no pain, and was able to make it almost a week until I could get home and get into Dr. Faulk's chair.

I'll call the root canal specialist in Pinehurst on Monday to schedule the procedure, can't wait!

Crappy, Crappy, Super Happy


I used to be happy all the time. All.The.Time. Then some crap fell on my head. OK, lots of crap. It didn't happen all at once, but in big ugly chunks. The first load of crap felt like it was never going to end. I'm of course talking about when I lost my sister. I was 20, she was 11 - died in her sleep. Shock. Crappy shock.

I thought the crap was never going to stop raining down on my head. She died in May, then I ended up saying goodbye to my "first love" that August. It truly seemed that we were simply headed in different directions with our lives, but it still hurt to say goodbye.

World tour, year in Colorado, summer in Ely. Met a new LOVE, finished college, married the love and moved to NC. Crap storm #2 starts with some fertility issues. After four years of marriage we were finally ready for our bouncing bundle of joy, but for the life of us could not get pregnant. Crappy enough right? Nope, dad up and dies from Pancreatic Cancer. CRAP!

Mere months after dad died, I got pregnant with Audrey, who was born just days before the first anniversary of his death. Healthy, beautiful Audrey. The following winter, my sister had her son, Dominic. This past winter, Alex Rose made her debut, and this fall, my sister will bring my first niece into the world. All beautiful, healthy babies. Life is good.

So why am I always so grumpy? I've caught myself consistently dwelling on the negative. Can I blame it on all the crap I've waded through? Maybe, but I shouldn't. Even after making a concerted effort to be positive (the end of my ER post), I haven't been, plain and simple.

On the not-so-rare occasion that Audrey gets really excited about something, she turns to me and says, "Mommy, I'm super happy!" How sweet is that? She knows what it means to be happy, and her childlike optimism and joy push her to what she considers above and beyond happy - super happy.

As I look around, I'm realizing that I have multiple reasons to be not only happy, but super happy. Honestly, I'm not sure how much of this crappy business stems from my growing tendency to lean towards the cynical, but crap be darned, I'm aiming for super happy!

The Bee Shouter


You've heard of the whisperers, right? Dog, horse, ghost, baby ... it seems there is a whisperer out there for many of God's creatures.

(image) Today we found out definitively that our eldest child does not have the title 'bee whisperer' in her future.

It seems like child, for all intents and purposes, straight up grabbed a bee in her little fist this morning as if she were intending to smoosh it with one hand. Go girl.

As life goes, I had (just prior to the incident) decided to relocate her away from the bee-laden picnic table. Of course I grabbed her snack container and sippy cup first while she was busy ... er ... bee chasing.

Nice one, huh?

Watch out Yankees, here we come!


(image) Not the baseball team, the NORTHERNERS. That's right, our tickets are booked, and we are Syracuse bound!

What is Jason going to do without us for three weeks? At least he'll have the dog to keep him company, right?

I found this shirt at Kohl's last week (LOVE KOHL'S) and couldn't resist. Of course it didn't hurt that it was a steal, $1.90something after it being on clearance and my 15% off. Gotta love a bargain, especially a bargain that is going to look cute on your kid and impress your mom!

We aren't flying to NY until mid-July because we are spending the 4th in West Virginia. It will be the first time we have gone anywhere with both girls AND the dog. Good times ahead!

Don't you just hate it when ...


you go to get your precious baby out of her crib in the morning and her room smells like poop?

you want to send a friend a message on Facebook, and realize they've deleted their account?

you have enough energy to make home-made bread, but not the cleanup afterwords?

you get stuck in line behind some old lady paying for her groceries with a check?

you only run into people you know when you've got baby food on your shirt?

the FedEx truck pulls up to your house, but brings something boring?

it's too hot outside to drag your poor kids anywhere?

the highlight of your day is naptime?

Me too.

Fountain Fun


(image) My daughter thinks that she is a fish. Got water? We'll be there!

We braved the heat this morning and met some friends for some serious watery fun. Thanks for inviting us, Melissa, we had a blast!

Next time I'm getting in the water too. Despite having a beach umbrella for shade, baby Alex and I decided that we were ready for air conditioning after about an hour or so. It's been in the high 90's here all week, we are ready for a break from the heat!

Loving the Little


(image) Audrey decided to take her dad out to breakfast for Father's Day. She was a complete ham and kept saying, "Happy Favers Day, Daddy, I wuv you!"

Audrey has always been a mama's girl, but it is really neat to watch her realize how cool her dad is. It warms my heart to watch them enjoy each other's company. The last several days, Jason has volunteered to get Audrey up from her nap, knowing that if he catches her in the right mood (still sleepy) that she will cuddle with him in the rocker for a few minutes.

We both suddenly have a very acute sense of how quickly time has started to pass since we've become parents. These little people grow fast ... too fast. If anyone figures out how to slow the passage of time, let me know.

I am so tired of stupid.


Now that I've calmed down a little bit more, I'd like to go ahead and share a little bit more about my experience at the Central Carolina Hospital's ER on Saturday.CCH has a horrible reputation. A couple of local friends have lauded their new labor and delivery wing, but other than that I've heard nothing but horror stories. We actually have one of our own. A few years ago, I flew to the ER with Jason in the passenger seat, struggling to breathe after an allgergic reaction. I parked next to the door, and helped him in the main ER doors, and there was NO ONE THERE. The place was empty!Jason and I had to walk through an intake office to find a triage nurse. It was horrifying to say the least.When Alex fell on Saturday, she seemed OK. The real danger would have been a brain injury - or some kind of a brain bleed - something you can't see until it's too late. Time is of the essence in these matters, so we decided I should take her to the hospital here in Sanford as opposed to taking the time to drive up towards Raleigh. I parked and walked in the front door. There were two people manning the front desk this time. Next to hysterical, I quickly told them what had happened and expected to be ushered back to see a nurse. Instead they handed me a clipboard to fill out. To say that they took their time entering the information into the computer is an understatement.What I assume was a triage nurse came and escorted us to a mini staging area to the right of the front entrance. She looked at the paperwork, and said, "So she fell off the bed this morning?"I said, "Yes. She did cry right away, but not as hard or long as it seemed that she should have, and she's been acting a little sleepy."To which she immediately responded, "Oh, sweety, she's a baby! Let her sleep if she's tired! I'm sure she'll be fine."Seriously? At this point I made a point to check out her badge. Under her photo ID in big red letters it said RN.Common knowledge is to check to see if the pupils are the same size, and to keep the injured party awake. At least I thought that was common knowledge?So (I'm not joking) I said, "Well, if you are sure about that, we will just mosey right back to our car and head home.""Oh, no, well ... um ... we will let the Doctor decide that for sure," she said. OK then, but the encounter got even more interesting. Alex was still in her gown. With the seatbelt on, one leg was tucked up in the gown, and the other leg was completely out of it. I reached over and touched it, and it was ice cold. I pulled a little receiving blanket (light cotton) outi of the diaper bag, and put it over her legs.The nurse reached into the baby carrier, grabbed the recieving blanket, PULLED IT OFF OF THE BABY, put it on the desk and said, "Oh, she doesn't need that. She's not cold, she's burnin' up!" She turned to Alex and addressed her in a southern accented baby talk, "They are just cookin' you well done, aren't they darlin'? They like you well done!"Then she took her temp. It was normal. Without saying much else, she walked us to our room back in the ER.The nurse hadn't been gone for more than two or three minutes and the doctor (Peter Messick M.D.) came in to take a look at Alex. His bedside manor was phenomenal; I surprisingly felt like we were in good hands. I'd recommend that ER doctor to anyone. He gave the baby a clean bill of health, and his parting words were, "Let me just get have them your paperwork together and you can get out of here." Wow!Thirty-two minutes later, a woman came in with some papers for me to sign, and she told me our co-pay was $100. I gave her a[...]

Alex's Big Fall


(image) Well, mom of the year here fell asleep while nursing the baby in bed this morning. I woke up to a horrifying thud, can you imagine? Alex cried right away, and seemed OK, but we still took her to the ER for peace of mind.

She smiled and cooed at all the intake staff, nurses and the doctor. She smiled so much, in fact, that I noticed that her 2nd bottom tooth has officially broken through her precious little gums.

Slowly, smile by smile, my racing heart started to calm. For those of you who haven't experienced putting your child in a potentially life-threatening situation, I don't recommend it. Not sure if I'll ever stop feeling guilty, but it certainly helps that she seems to have come through the entire ordeal unscathed. I kept her guardian angel on pointe this morning, that's for sure!

Our Matchmaker


No, not little Billy, his mom! Although from the pic you can see that Billy is quite the ladies man ...
We had a lovely visit last night from the girl who introduced Jason and I in Ely. KyLee was a fellow intern with Jason that summer, and when I waited on her one day for lunch she walked away thinking that I was the perfect girl for Jason, and she was right!

Her husband wasn't able to make the trip, but she has a little boy who is my nephew Dominic's age, so Audrey knew just what to do with him - fight over toys! No, just kidding, she did pretty good with little Billy, but there was an incident over a little piggy that we won't get into ...

It was so great to see Kylee and meet her little boy. Jason had to work last night, so we just sat up for hours and had some girl talk.

Another "Working" Weekend


Jason is working this weekend, so the girls and I are on our own. Again.

His days off always fly by so fast, and his working days drag on and on to infinity.

My friend Julie came over to hang out with us tonight. We filled up the kiddie pool on the pack porch and chillaxed with a Little Caesar's hot and ready $5 pepperoni pizza. Audrey kept insisting that she was Max, of Max and Ruby fame, and that I was Ruby. She would not respond to us when we called her Audrey, except occasionally to say, "I not Audie, I Max."

When I came back downstairs after putting the baby to bed at 7, Julie had plenty to fill me in on. Apparently Audrey, er, Max - had fallen asleep on his princess towel, and Mickey Mouse kept waking him up - that naughty mouse!

At least we made some forward progress in potty training today - woke up dry after her nap, sat down, and scored! It is the small victories, people.

Potty training - HELP ME!


OK, so I just put Audrey down for her nap and the day of potty training so far has been a resounding EPIC FAIL.

In a few short weeks, she'll be two and a half. Yes, I know age shouldn't have that much to do with it, so fine. She's READY. She's so ready it's embarrassing!

She is speaking in full sentences, with (mostly) correct grammar, but more importantly she's saying things like, "Mom, I need a diaper change, please."

Despite all my efforts - hyping up being a big girl, telling her about all the special treats and privileges she'll earn by staying dry and even better rewards for putting pee in her cute little pink potty - she hasn't put one ounce of anything in the potty!

She comes and tells me right away that she needs a diaper change. Mind you this is usually mere minutes after I've encouraged her that it's, "Time to sit on the potty!" where she obligingly helps me pull down her pull ups, and tries to go.

I'll gladly take any tips!

Water, anyone?


(image) One thing that we did a lot of at Granny's house was playing in the water. Now that we are home in the much-hotter-land of North Carolina it only seems fitting that we do more of the same.

Audrey and I spent almost four hours at Jordan Lake yesterday, and I have the sunburn to prove it. I had Jason sunscreen my back before we left. I re-applied sunscreen on Audrey two hours into our beachy day, and spent half the time under our beach umbrella, but still got a pretty bad burn on my back.

I'm tired, achy, and cranky this morning. Great time to try potty training again, right? Third time is the charm!

West Virginia Women


(image) We really did have a wonderful trip.

The only snag, if you can call it that, happened only two hours into our trip. The baby started crying, as if on cue, right as I was careening off an exit towards a gas station/subway for our first break.

Now for those of you who haven't road tripped solo with two kids in diapers, here's how it goes:

- park the car
- pull out, open and lock the umbrella stroller
- sling carefully pre-packed diaper bag over one arm of stroller
- unbuckle little one, place in stroller and re-buckle
- push around to the other side of car and unbuckle 2 yr old
- push stroller with one hand, hold 2 yr old's hand across parking lot
- enter through subway door, head to bathrooms in back
- hit corner of chip rack with stroller, smile at sandwich artist
- open bathroom door and crestfallen realize there is no baby changing station.
- briefly consider trying to change 6 month old on lap, scratch that and head back to the car
- put 2 yr old back in car so she won't get hit by a car,
- try to change baby on front seat, but it won't recline because of 2 yr old's car seat, baby won't fit
- remove infant car seat base in backseat so baby can lay across back and middle seats so I can change her POOPY diaper. Ew.
- pack everybody back up, get back into the subway bathroom, go, change 2 yr old standing up, wash her hands, wash my hands.
- order sub combo, sharing with 2 yr old while I nurse 6 month old, thankful the seating area is mostly empty because it's barely 11:30.
- strap baby back into stroller, but both girls back in car seats, fill tank with gas, road.

Now, the 2nd stop, two hours later was a repeat of the above adventure except:
- it was RAINING.
- there WAS a baby changing station.
- we didn't have to eat.

Phew. We got to my mother-in-law's in a little over six hours, which was great considering all.

We stayed @ Betty's for three weeks, and enjoyed every minute. Jason took a couple of days off, and came for a visit in the middle of our trip. Audrey was so excited to see him, it was cute! The time flew as we visited family, went camping, to a soccer game, a water park, a public pool, lots of shopping, and Audrey's favorite - our three trips to the Disney Store!

They also had one of those cool kid's play areas in the mall there, so now I'm bombarded with daily requests from Audrey to, "go shopping at the mall." Of course, what she means is to go play at the play area in the mall, and wander around the Disney Store until her heart's content, but whatever.