Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts...

Okay... as a Mom I have these random thoughts that I know other moms with small kids must have....namely, why isn't there a show with JUST ELMO in it? My kids care NOTHING about the rest of Sesame Street, and they complain until Elmo comes on, then get mad when his segment is over. Come on PBS, Viewers Like Us pay good money to make our kids happy and educate them simultaneously.... if Elmo were on the whole hour, they would learn more because they wouldn't be complaining.
Oh, and Little Zack broke our Nintendo Wii.... I thought my husband would explode but he stayed very calm and collected.... I am proud of him. Thankfully, the Wii is still under warranty and Nintendo will fix it, even if it does take 2 weeks, which I know will be painful for my husband.
Ben has been taking more steps!! I am so proud of him.... I will try to post a video of him later!
It amazes me how fixated kids can get on certain things.... we had a light go out in the den yesterday, and little Zack worried about it all day, and like to have driven me to the insane asylum (where I probably should be by all rights anyways). He dragged me over to point at it all afternoon yesterday, daying "Broke...light....Daddy Fix.... Broke light...LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT." I about went nuts. Finally, Dadoo came over last night and replaced the bulb while he was here, and now little Zack, who was amazed by the ladder and light replacing process, keeps pointing at the light and saying Dadoo LIGHT! I hear those words more than any other.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Been a Long Long TIME




WOW. I am so sorry I haven't posted in so long!!! We have been so incredibly busy that I've forgotten or haven't had time to write it all down!!! Let me start back at the beginning of December. Benjamin Bunny turned One on the 9th!!!! What a huge milestone and reality check THAT was for all of us... I cannot believe my baby that I just had what seems like two weeks ago has turned a year old. He is a happy, healthy little angel and I cannot imagine life without him! We had planned the cutest little birthday party for him .... it had a racing theme and we told all of his little friends to bring their ride on toys! Well, we had to cancel the main party because little Zack got sick. So we just had the family over, which was still tons of fun!! Dadoo made Spaghetti, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The best part was when Ben got his very own birthday cake... he DUG IN! He even buried his face in it at one point. I have never had so much fun watching a kid eat. He and little Zack opened the presents and of course, Little Zack took over some of them. The price you pay with a brother around. It was wonderful. We have really enjoyed the Christmas season and took the kids to see Christmas lights one night....we even got to see a live Nativity scene! We had little Zack's window rolled down so he could see better, but he started yelling COLD! COLD!, so we rolled up the window and moved along.
Christmas was fabulous. We took the boys to church on Christmas Eve, with the help of Sity and Dadoo, and they behaved so well! I was very proud. Then we came home and put them in their Christmas PJ's. After Ben went to bed, we made the mistake of letting him open his Godfather's present, which happened to be a little air gun thing that shoots out foam discs. THANKS CHARLIE~! haha No seriously, I thought Zack wouldn't even know what to do with it....I was wrong...way wrong. He immediatly took hold of it and started loading the discs into it. Noone even showed him how. Then he figured out how to work the trigger. Let's just say that I had to let him take it to bed, or it would have been World War III. The next morning, the boys woke up to Santa's bounty and little Zack ran around crazy like a winner on the Price is Right. Sity Dadoo and Aunt Mandy came over to play Christmas morning, then after naps, we went to Mamaw's and Mimi's. I will write more later, but I hear someone waking up from their nap!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ben can Bust a Move

Oh my goodness...my baby boy LOVES to DANCE!!! He will hold on to a piece of furniture and bounce and swivel his hips and tap his toes.... ADORABLE! The great thing is, and I have said this since he was younger, he FEELS the beat... he's always in time with the music! I will upload a video of him dancing, for your enjoyment!
videoToday went pretty well, except for Zack's meltdown in Hancock Fabrics... I take partial responsibility for it because I took them there about an hour before nap time and it was packed so it took awhile. I bought two patterns of flannel with the intention of making the boys' matching Christmas PJ's (the flannel is of Santa's clothes all hanging on a clothesline) and just another fun pair of PJ's for little Zack.... and I couldn't help myself so I went ahead and made the sock monkey pattern pj's tonight. Here is what they look like:
And I also sewed Benjamin two new cloth diapers today, in stunning lime green:



I am loving domesticity. It agrees with me. I get joy from hanging clothes on the line and sewing clothes and cooking meals for my family. I am so grateful to God for putting me in the position I am in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Whirlwind Week!

Wow! This week has flown by, but then again, they all seem to do that these days!! Zack was home from work on Monday, so it was nice to get to spend some extra time with him and it was good for the boys to get to have him "all to themselves" for an extra day! We viewed Zack's two year old portraits this week, and they were so BEAUTIFUL... it showed his personality perfectly! We splurged and got something called a "Jump Panel" as part of Zack's and my Christmas to one another ... they took a series of pictures of Zack jumping up and down, swinging his arms all crazy like he does, and the jump panel consists of one picture where he appears to be jumping upward, two of him in the air or mid-flight, and one of him landing. Priceless. He wore the pale blue Jon-Jon that sewed for him, with a white A monogrammed on it, courtesy of Mark and Azar's Uniforms. I get such joy from making things for my boys! We went to the Zoo on Friday with Jocelyn and Danielle and all of their kids, and it was a blast! Our little crew looked like some crazy daycare group! Zack had a blast growling back at the Jaguar and Ben enjoyed talking to Ben Castanza! I have been really busy with Spa stuff this week too! I had two Spas! The first one was at Lacey's house, and it was fun and successful, then the second one was at Margaret Crimi's house and 3 girls decided to be spa girls like me!!! That is a huge accomplishment for me, because it puts me one recruit away from being promoted to Unit Vip! and I will earn a free IPod from BeautiControl...pretty cool! I feel so blessed to have this in my life, and I have even contacted a couple of schools about coming to pamper their teachers, and those are looking promising! Go me! I would love to do a spa for you and some of your friends, or even just a one on one spa! I promise you it will be the most relaxing thing you have done for yourself in awhile! Also, I have been working on my Natural and Thrifty blog, Running on Empty is Okay! (http://runningonemptyisokay.blogspot.com) Go check it out, you may learn something, and I would love to hear all of y'all's suggestions and ways to be thrifty! We all need it with the way the economy is!

Friday, October 31, 2008

HALLOWEEN!!!






Wow! I am blogging two days in a row.... that seems to be a record for me these days! We took the boys, who were dressed as a Hunter and a Deer, out trick or treating in our neighborhood earlier, which was FILLED with kids! I am so glad we are living in a place where our kids will have lots of friends to play with. So many cute little costumes! After we made the rounds at the houses of people we knew, we headed to the Catholic Game some the boys could show Dadoo their costumes and get in on a little bit of the football action! Little Ben even made the Friday Night Football Fever on WSFA in his deer costume, along with a bunch of other costumed kids. Here are some pictures from today. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Bunko and More!

OKAY...time had really flown since I last had a chance to blog. The boys have been going continuously, and Ben has a new tooth, which makes a grand total of 2. He is also letting go of objects that he has used to pull himself up on, and standing alone for a few seconds before he crashes to the floor! He will be walking in no time! Then I will have two running toddlers to chase, no doubt in separate directions. Sity and I took the boys to have their picture made with Santa at Holiday Market last week! They both cooperated beautifully, although we couldn't manage to get a shot where both of them are smiling. This is the picture we selected as the best: Zack also had his two year old portraits taken this week, wearing a pale,pale blue jon-jon that I made for him, that has a white block "A" embroidered on it, courtesy of Zack's Uncle Mark at Azar's Uniforms, to whom I am very grateful for helping us out! Zack was all over the place at the studio.... trying to grab light flashers and cameras and anything else that was nailed to the floor... his Daddy is a pistol and he's a son of a gun, let me tell you. But we survived the session, although he did manage to knock over a huge display portrait, which I caught with my hands, that was on an iron stand or easel, that I caught with my foot. My foot STILL hurts and that happened Monday. No one ever told me that being a Mom involved so much physical abuse! My legs look like my elementary P.E. teacher's most of the time (all bruised up) but thankfully, it's pant season finally, so I don't have to cover them up anymore. I have also been doing spa parties at people's homes, and attended my Day of BeautiU last Sunday, where I learned a lot of helpful information to make me a better Spa girl.
I am hosting Halloween Bunko tonight in our garage/ playroom, and have been planning the menu. Benjamin and I went to get all of the food necessary for the Ghoul's Night Out this morning... I am making "Mummy Wraps " which are hot dogs wrapped in a breadstick that has been baked around it, Smores, Transylvania Punch ( it includes Vodka'd Jello) and a dip with chips. And of course, CANDY! Some people are wearing costumes, some are not.... I believe I am going to resurrect my old Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader outfit from YEARS ago, not only because it's cute, but because, dangit, I'm 25, have had 2 babies, and still look good in it. Gotta do it while I can. And if I look dumb, who cares! There's Transylvania punch to make me forget. Zack had his Pumpkin Party at school today, and they said he ate 3 slices of pizza. What will I ever do with my hungry little boy??? Between him and Ben, I will have to get a night job to feed them! My money saving efforts are paying off, though, as our power bill is already lower, and I saved $45 dollars at the grocery store today, by planning my buys around the sales and what coupons I had that went with them. Well, I better go work on the garage and get it ready for company... I will post pictures from tonight later!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Patch!!!



Friday, we went to the Zoo for the 2nd time this week, this time with Danielle and her Ella and Ben, as well as Jocelyn and her three (Harper, Violet, and Iris). Those kids had a BLAST! They 4 older ones were all running around holding each other's hands and showing things to each other... so precious. Jocelyn and Danielle, who had met briefly a couple of times before Friday, had a great time chatting and we all had fun watching the kids have fun. Plus, it gave us Mom time.... that is, time to talk to someone other than toddlers, and someone who doesn't mind hearing potty stories.
Sunday, Zack and I took the boys to the Dreamfield Farms Pumpkin Patch! I had to practically beat my husband to get him to go, but once we were all there, I think he had as good of a time as the rest of us. There was a "petting zoo, where the kids could meet, pet and feed real animals that live on this working farm. Zack went crazy over the baby goats and calves! They were all very eager to eat the corn he offered them. Little Ben loved petting the lamb, probably because he was so soft! We watched Racing Piglets, which were hilarious, and Zack got to pet the winner of the race. We tried to do the 5- Acre corn maze (a corn field that has had patterns cut into it like a labyrinth) and got VERY lost, but Little Zack still enjoyed tromping around in his Cowboy boots that Mimi gave him for his birthday.

My poor husband, on the other hand, didn't fare as well.... it wore him out almost as much as it did his son! At the end, we went on the hayride that led us to the Pumpkin Patch, and Zack got to pick out his very own Pumpkin. I put Ben down in the patch and let him explore the pumpkins, too, and making sure all the while that he didnt find an ant bed to sit in. I will be uploading pictures later of this wonderful excursion... it will always be a treasured memory for me, even though I know the kids will only have the pictures to remember it by.
I have spent my day hanging diapers and clothes outside on the line to dry, taking care of the kids and all that it entails, and I have been sewing reusable napkins/ paper towels out of cotton flannel. We are not going to be buying anymore paper towels (people get so confused when they come to our house and there are no paper towels... a nice clean rag or towel can clean up anything that a paper one can!) I am considering learning to sew cloth diapers and sell them as well. There is certainly a growing market for it with the way the economy has gone! I have also been unplugging everything that is not currently in use and turned off the A/C and opened the windows to cool the house. The rates for electricity just went up, so I will be doing everything I can to cut that bill as low as possible!!! If anyone has any other ideas on saving money or doing things the way they were done before convenience items came about, let me know!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Zoo!

I took the boys to the Zoo yesterday to meet up with my friend Jocelyn and her little ones, Harper, Violet and Iris. They had soooo much fun. Zack had not been to the zoo since he was 6 months old, and little Ben had NEVER been before, so this was truly a thrilling outing for all of us. Zack ran the entire time, except for when I put him back into the stroller for disobeying or running off from the group (he has to learn somehow!) and chattered excitedly about each of the animals. He especially enjoyed the Spider Monkeys and the Bengal Tigers, who were EXTREMELY close to the glass that day. Zack kept pointing at the tigers and saying "ooooooooo". The tiger seemed to be thinking "oooooo that little curly-headed boy would make an excellent snack!", but we all survived to tell the tale. The baby elephant was also a huge hit with the kids, and I enjoyed getting to see her as well! Ben LOVED the Pink flamingoes..... they kept squawking and flapping, which he thought was HYSTERICAL. I do love these outings so much with my boys and know that these memories are priceless. They are getting so big so fast! Ben is letting of things that he has pulled himself up on, then falling. It won't be long before he tries to take that special first step!
This weekend the boys and I delivered invitations to half of our subdivision about the "Neighborhood After Work Spa" that another consultant and I are having here at Woodland Creek on October 16th. It was a good long walk, and a nice end to our weekend. If anyone else would like to come, they are more than welcome to attend! There will be lots of drawings and ideas for Christmas gifts!
Friday night I went to "First Friday" mass and rosary at church, which honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and I can honestly say that was one of the most peaceful, prayerful times I have enjoyed in a long time. I have decided to take on this devotion, by where I will got to church each First Friday out of the month and pray for the crimes against the Sacred Heart. I took Ben to Daily Mass today and he behaved beautifully (Zack was at Pre-school) and I really enjoyed the time with God, even though I was keeping a baby happy the whole time! This may become part of our weekly schedule, where we go to mass after we drop Zack off at school. Tonight we are going out to celebrate Gerri's birthday with Mexican Food, so that will be lots of fun!

Monday, September 29, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wow Last week flew by so fast that I didn;t even have a chance to write about Little Zack's Birthday Party! It was a marvelous occasion, with so many of his little friends in attendance. Jake and Zack made a huge sandpile in the backyard, and all of the kids had a ball playing with all of the sand toys and bouncy balls. And of course, playing on the swingset! They were all taking turns going down the slide and swinging on the swings. Then Sity (Gerri) starting blowing bubbles for all of the kids to chase and pop! It was a veritable Toddler wonderland. The cake from cake designs was INCREDIBLY beautiful as well as tasty... it featured a scene with kids playing in a sandbox, complete with three-dimensional icing people and sugary glitter to make the sand look more realistic. Those kids (and the adults!) tore that cake UP.... not much left at all! I caved and had to have a piece... or two.... which was not in compliance with my gluten-free diet, but hey, it tasted good and I only felt yucky for a day afterward. Small price to pay for sugary goodness on your oldest child's second birthday. He received a huge amount of great presents (which I have yet to write the thank yous for...I mean ZACK has yet to write the thank yous for) and we have been slowly doling them out to him so he will enjoy the excitement for longer. All in all, it was a fairly stress-free party and everyone had a great time.
For a good bit of last week, I was planning my 1st Beauticontrol Spa, which I held at my home. There is so much that goes into starting a small business! I want to do this right and to be effective, and make money for our family... a little extra spending money would be good too! It's a nice chance to have something for myself, and spend time with other ladies! The spa was yesterday, and went really well. Julie Lopez and Amy Sadler came, and although I was expecting more people than that, we had a BLAST and Julie decided to book a party! So I am headed in the right direction, at least!!! If anyone wants me to do a spa for them, they are so much fun and I would be happy to do so! I have another spa this coming Saturday, at my house again, starting at 3 o'clock. If you want to come, just let me know!
I went to my 1st Women of Holy Spirit meeting this week, and it went well. It was nice to meet so many ladies from our parish that I did not know, and it sounds like we will have a year filled with many fun activities!
Little Ben will have his 9 month pictures made this week....and he now has his 1st tooth!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I can not believe it....

My baby is two. And he knows it... if you say, "How old are you, Zack?", he will answer "TWO!" or something that sounds very close to it. He is growing so incredibly fast, in personality, spirit and body, and it gives me such joy to see the person he is becoming. This morning, his Uncle Jake and Aunt Mandy came over to deliver the sand for his "Sandcastle Birthday Extravaganza" to make a huge (and I do mean HUGE) sandpile in the backyard. Zack and Jake had to drive around in search of a random wheelbarrow at a jobsite in Woodland Creek, and finally found one to aid them in the depositing of the sand. When they finished creating the pile, we unleashed Zack on it and he acted like someone had given him GOLD... I gave him a few of the sand toys I got for the party to test drive, and he had a BLAST. I love that he isn't afraid to try new things and has enough confidence to play alone, but that he loves the company of others so much that he will demand you play with him, which of course, I wound up doing.
Aunt Mandy and little Zack and Benjamin and I all went to Wal-Mart in search of paint pens, so Mandy could label all of the buckets for the children that will be attending the party. She did an INCREDIBLE job on them.... they look like something you would pay to have personalized... I guess if she ever gets tired of being a nurse, she always has that to fall back on! :) Today will be spent finishing the preparations for the party.... which means cleaning the house.... YUCK!!
Last night, we took the boys to the Catholic High football game, where Dadoo is the press box announcer. Ben and Zack had a BLAST and were anxious to meet and hug everyone they came into contact with. They both thought the pressbox was totally cool, and Zack tried to break away and run down the field a few times....maybe he WILL be an athlete when he is older! Zack loved the music of the band, and we had to fight him from trying to join them as they marched into the bleachers. Little Ben also had fun, but was so worn out that he passed out in the car on the way home (well, it WAS his bedtime). I can't wait to take them to their next game!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Hairstyles and Progress

Okay, so I had my first experience with at-home, do it yourself haircolor this past Sunday. It was harder than I thought it would be, and I got dye splotches all over my body (which, thankfully came off in the shower) . The color turned out to be darker than I had intended, but that's okay... it's a new look for me! And at least I don't have six-month old highlights creeping halfway down my hair anymore. That was the main thing.
I have begun a Gluten-Free diet as oreder by my doctor to combat several health concerns of mine, and let me tell you, it is not easy. Then again, it's not as hard as I thought it would be, either. I can no longer have normal wheat products like bread and pasta and cake and cookies.... and ANYTHING with wheat, rye, barley or oats in it. I do like the food choices I have though, it's just a pain to cook a separate meal for myself. At this point though, I will do anything that will help me to combat the fatigue and other issues I have going on, and so far, it seems to be helping!!
Little Ben continues to cruise around on furniture and get into everything that he now has discovered that he has access to. Zack is LOVING his school. He came home with a custom Zack-made headband yesterday. I asked his teacher if he had tried to eat anyone else's lunch again, and she said no, but that he was sitting next to a little Korean girl who was eating sushi for lunch. He looked at her, pointed at her food, and said EWWWWWWWWWWW. She didn't seem to mind though... she was probably just relieved he wasn't going to attack her lunch.
We are in the rapid preapring stage for Zack's little birthday party this Sunday .... I cannot believe my baby will be TWO! He is budding with so much independence and indignance though.... I suppose it's time! We are putting a HUGE sandpile out back for all of the kids to play in, and I bought a ton of sand toys at CVS' summer clearance sale (90% off everything!) so they should have a blast!!
Zack and I went to see Bill Engvall, of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, last Friday night at The MPAC. It was a BLAST!!! We laughed until our bellies hurt. It was so nice to have some alone time together, even if we were laughing with a stadium full of people! MPAC is having a Big Screen Showing of Gone With The Wind tomorrow night, so let me know if anyone wants to go with me!!!
I went to the My Kids Attic consignment sale and got all of both of the boys' wionter clothes, a bike for Zack for Christmas, a walker thing for Ben for his Birthday, a Leapfrog Table with a Leappad built into it for Zack's birthday, a magna doodle, a talking Elmo, and a bunch of other stuff, for $150.00. I was pumped.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flying High and Right On By

This week has FLOWN BY! Little Zack has gone to preschool twice this week and loved every minute of it. He has been bringing home various art projects, and luckily, no diseases thus far. His teachers told me that he is adjusting well and enjoying the other kids. I am so glad that we made the decidion to go ahead and send him, as I know he needed time away from me to grow on his own a bit...and the break has been very helpful for me as well in terms of getting things done, and it's nice to be able to give Ben more one on one time. Ben had his 9 month checkup this week, and got glowing marks from the doctor! He weighed 21 and a half pounds, and was 30 inches long, which means he is in the 75th percentile for weight and the 95 percentile for his height... my tall lean boy! He was very puzzled by the alarm installation as it was going on yesterday, although he didn't cry when they set it off to test it, THANKFULLY! He has slept better the past couple of nights now that we are giving him a tiny bit of liquid Melatonin, per the doctor's recommendation, to help him sleep. Ben is also pulling up EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING... it won't be long until he is walking up a storm!
I am so excited, because I get to go to the My Kids Attic Consignment Sale today and buy the boys their winter clothes!!! I think it will be a bit of a madhouse, but I'm sure I will find plenty of great things for them.
This evening, Zack and I are having an AWESOME date night! We get to go see Bill Engvall and have supper together! I think the concert will be hilarious, and it will be nice to get away together for an evening.

Monday, September 8, 2008

AND HE SLEEPS!

Finally, Ben stopped his week long sabotage on his parents' sleep. Starting Saturday night, he didn't wake up a single time... I attribute it to his Sity and Dadoo playing with him Saturday night and getting him good and worn out! He was having the best time with Sity... she kept putting her finger between his lips so it made that virbo sound when he would talk.... HE LOVED IT! He got mad when she stopped! We have been busy around here trying to get our house in shape for Zack's birthday party, which I need to finish planning anD send the invites ASAP. I cannot believe my big boy will be TWO this month... and his little brother will be 9 months old tomorrow... where does the time go??? Ben is pulling up on EVERYTHING now... so cute but scary too, because that means he has access to things he didn't previously have the reach for, and also, I will have 2 walking kids!!! YIKES! I knew it would come eventually, but he is EARLY. Zack was slower with these things, and I think that was good at the time because I was pregnant and it would have been even harder to deal with at the time. The boys are down for their afternoon naps at the moment, and I am going to get some Cha Cha Guide work done (I answer questions online for money) and snooze a bit myself!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Off To School... Off to School...

Today was little Zack's big first day of pre-school, and he did beautifully! I am just so proud of him. I have been debating the past week or so on whether or not I should go ahead and send him, partially due to Mommy "letting go" issues, partially due to he's an emotional kid and wasn't sure of how he would take it, and partially because I didn't want to derail his potty-training progress (which is getting better by the day), and finally, this morning, I decided it was time. He woke up in a good mood, and the fact that I needed a break only further motivated me to bite the bullet ... Ben has kept us up the past few nights with what I believe to be teething issues. We packed his little lunch together, and away we went! Zack walked into school, holding my hand, while I pushed Ben in the stroller, and we all found his room together. His teachers, Miss Christy and Miss Caryn are very, very nice ladies who are supportive of continuing his pottytraining while he is at MDO, and Zack was immediately excited when he saw all of the kids and toys. He started crying when I left, but I knew they would call if he was inconsolable. The crying I didn't expect to see came from little Ben!!! He, who had been perfectly calm two seconds before, got hysterical and irate when we left his big brother behind. I managed to calm him down, and told him that we would get Zack in a little while, but when we got in the car and he saw Zack's empty carseat he started whimpering again. It truly amazes me and touches my heart at how close these two little boys are already, at the ages of almost two and nine months. They play together every day, Zack "reads" and shares his toys with Ben, and they have already destroyed a few things together. They were playing some modified game of tag this afternoon that cracked Zack and me UP. I cannot wait to watch them as they frow older and even closer, and I hope they will remain close for the rest of their lives. The greatest gift one can give their kids is siblings!
So Ben and I picked up Zack after we ate lunch with my friends from ALFA, Jill and Jennifer, and his teacher said he did GREAT! She said he played hard on the playground and ate all of his lunch and even ate some other kid's cookies that he didn't eat... just like his daddy, my kid is an eating machine. He was all smiles when they brought him out to the carpool lane, and I felt like I had given him a huge gift of independence. He is growing up so fast, and I want him to be independent and confident. I hope all will continue to go well next week!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Adventures in Pottytraining

Okay, so I got completely and totally sick of cleaning up after little Zack everytime he wet his pants, because that kid can pee through ANY kind of diaper, cloth or disposable, leaving a huge puddle on the floor. So, at the advisement, of two or three friends, bought the E-book on 3-Day Pottytraining, and let me tell you, Zack is making HUGE strides! He is having very, very few accidents now, and tells me when he needs to go "tee-tee". He looks so cute, running around in his little Elmo Underwear... I mean BIG-BOY PANTS! And he is TREMENDOUSLY proud of himself. It makes me so happy to see the joy of accomplishment on his face.... that's something that noone can give you... you have to earn it, and I'm glad he is already learning that huge lesson. He has a little toilet seat that fits on top of the normal toilet seat and a step-stool to climb up, although I am still having to help him with that part. If it were up to him, I think he would try to stand on the pottyseat to use the bathroom. That's a toddler boy for you! Since we started training him Saturday morning, he has not wet the bed at all during his 3-hour naps, and has only wet the bed once each of the nights... this morning's accident happened just as I was coming in the room at 6:30 AM and he was trying to get out of the bed and to the door. If he continues to wet the bed at night, we may do "overnight pants" for awhile, but I think he is really starting to get the hang of "holding it".
We went to Zack and Gerri's house for Labor Day yesterday and had a great time! The kids had a b;ast playing with Sity,Dadoo, Aunt Mandie and Uncle Jake, Susie and Kelly. Dadoo even took Zack for a ride on the golf cart and let him steer!!! And Little Zack also used the potty at their house, so that's big stuff! I have my Bible Study tonight as well as a meeting with my Spa Party ladies, so I hope that goes well! I will add some pictures from this weekends adventures in a bit!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Park

*NOTE* - I Added some pictures to a few of the earlier posts where I had previously forgotten them, so be sure to scroll down and take a look!

This afternoon the boys and I met our friends Danielle, Ella and Ben Castanza at Vaughn Road Park to play. The kids had an absolute blast, and Zack dissolved into a two-year old temper tantrum when we had to leave... at least that means he enjoyed himself !! I tell you, Zack goes NON-STOP and doesn't even "check-up" as Danielle put it when he goes to do something... he was scaling the "big-kid" playground equipment like Spider-man, and was very sure-footed in his climbing. Ella, who is much more cautious, kind of looked at him like he was crazy, but then once he had reached the summit, she usually decided that if a boy could do it, she could too.
Here is a picture of Zack going down the "swirly slide":
and here is a picture of Ella in "Jail":


You know, it's really fun to watch them bask in sheer delight while enjoying the simpler things, like a swing going way up high, or the stomach-dropping feeling you get when you go down the slide, or rocks. Just the plain old rocks they use on the playground to absorb shock when a kid goes flying off the big slide. Those kids get so excited about the rocks. And of course, Zack wanted to hug every kid he saw on the playground, which did not go over well each time. At least he's friendly and loving... it's just painful to watch him get rejected sometimes... and I know that will only get worse as he grows older.
The two Bens sat in their strollers and had a blast "talking" to each other. They were very animated and laughed at each other the whole time. What's fun about this is that my husband, Zack and Danielle's husband, Sam, were best buddies growing up from the time they were very small, and now their sons will grow up together. Here is a picture of them chatting:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where to begin....



Whew! The past few days have been CRAZY! The weather this weekend pretty well kept us inside, so the boys (and I) were getting serious cabin fever! Neither one of the boys have been wanting to sleep very well at night, so Zack and I have been tried from dealing with them, but then yesterday, the unthinkable happened...... NEITHER ONE OF THE BOYS TOOK AN AFTERNOON NAP. Oh-My-Gosh. They were screaming and disagreeable... I just wanted to run away! But thankfully, we all survived. Their Daddy watched them and put them to bed last night so that I could go to a Bible Study at St James Methodist with my friend, Shay Forbus! Let me tell you, that was the best Bible Study I have been to EVER.... the theme is Letting God make an Impact in your life.... and the biggest point last night was that it is not our responsibility to maintain the level of intimacy in our relationship with God.... we just have to be AVAILABLE. I am very guilty of being "too busy" to listen.... I walk around my house nonstop being busy and don't take time to really listen to what it is that God wants me to do. I needed that message last night like I need a million dollars.... priceless. Also, everyone keep your fingers crossed on this one, but I may have found a job writing with Montgomery Parents. I spoke with Jason Watson, the publisher, last week, and he says he thinking of starting a monthly segment called "Mom's Eye On Business" and is considering me to write it. Basically, I would be spotlighting Montgomery Businesses and their child-friendliness as well as what they have to offer. It would be a 3-page or so spread each month which is HUGE exposure for me as a writer. This is truly a prayer answered, whether it works out or not, because it shows me that there are things out there that I CAN do from home! I am also going to start doing spa prties in people's homes, so let me know if you are interested!
Zack got very excited this morning on our daily walk because a butterfly landed on him! And it didn't fly away immediately either... it just sat there. He was in amazement. He also got to see a gaggle of geese fly overhead and he tried to "honk" like they did for the rest of the walk. It is so incredible to get to watch him see these amazing things for the first time that we as adults take for granted, and it has made me appreciate their beauty all over again. Here is a picture of the boys in their stroller before a walk:
We are in the midst of trying to plan a 2nd Birthday party for Zack, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know! So far, I think we are going to buy a bunch of big bouncy balls and put them in the backyard and let the kids have a blast with those.... but then again that could turn into Toddler Dodgeball ( they will throw ANYTHING at ANYONE) so I'm not sure that's the best idea. We have also entertained the notion of putting multiple sprinklers in the backyard to let the kids play in and with....so who knows!
Little Ben has pulled himself up a couple of times this week.... this month has truly been full of milestones for him. He pulled himself up and was so excited he started to clap for himself and fell down again... buthe didn't cry! Tough little boys, they are.


Here is a Picture of little Ben playing in the tub:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ben's Coming Along!

Yesterday was a marvelous day for us, and Ben accomplished several little milestones! First of all, he had Macaroni and Cheese that I made for his supper... I made it for Zack and I to eat at lunch, then saved Ben some and put it in the food processor. He loved it! I also gave him some Gerber "Puffs" to sample, just to see if he could pick them up and get them into his mouth... AND HE DID IT! ON THE FIRST TRY! I was so proud of him, and he was proud of himself...clapping like crazy! I also took the boys for a ride in their red wagon yesterday, and Ben did GREAT! He sat up and rode around like a little professional. (A professional wagon rider, that is.) I also took the boys to their first nail salon yesterday (their Daddy LOVED that) because I was desparately in need of an eyebrow waxing (I was starting to look like a cross between Unibrow and Sasquatch) and they behaved BEAUTIFULLY! They were very impressed by the cheesy decor and lights that were everywhere. It's nice to be able to finally take them on a few personal errands and not have to wait until I can get a babysitter to do so.
Ben has also recently started sitting well enough for me to put him in the Big People bathtub. He LOVES the bath! Here is a picture of him from last night:
Zack and I went to eat at Applebee's with Mandie and Jake last night and had a great time, but the service was AWFUL. I seriously have not had service THAT BAD in a long time... we were there for 2 hours, and Zack had to go to the bar to get a second drink, because our waitress kept sitting down to watch TV. Unbelievable.
Ben is also learning to stand while holding on to something, although he is not pulling up yet. Here is a picture of him holding on to the couch!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Biloxi.. Sick Kids (Again) and more!

Biloxi was a complete blast! Zack and I had so much fun just being "us" again and doing adult things.... like playing craps and eating supper without being interrupted to fetch a fork 6,000 times for little Zack. I played a new table game called "Mississippi Stud" and failed miserably, but still had fun doing it. We enjoyed getting to talk the whole way down and back, too. The boys had a good time with their "Sity" and cooperated well, at least that's what they told us :) It's good for them to stay with their grandparents and gain a little bit of independence from us, I think. Sity brought over lots of coloring books and Capri Suns so spirits were high around here! Little Ben pouted when we got home and wouldn;t look at me for leaving him, but that lasted for all of 5 minutes. He's a softie.
Well Mandie came over yesterday to hang out with me and the small sick people and brought her stethoscope to cheer them up! Here is a picture Zack enjoying it:














We have plans (Husband and I) to do something fun with Mandie and Jake Thursday night, so that should be great, as we haven't done something with them in forever!!
We took the boys to the doctor this morning to make sure they aren't coming down with something serious (the fever virus went away, and now they have the nasty upper respiratory junk that every kid in town has right now) and it turns out that she thinks their immune systems were weak after the fever virus and their allergies just got the best of them. They keep waking up at night hacking like veteran smokers and we have to soothe them to make them fall asleep... needless to say, we aren't sleeping well around here! Zack's thumbnail on his sucking thumb is falling off (I think it got a lovely fungus) so I also got the doctor to look at that, and she said to just leave it alone, and that he will lose the nail, but it will grow back. I sure hope so!
Oh, and Ben is now pushing himself to a sitting position, has learned to clap, and has tried to pull himself up a few times! Here is a video of some of his latest tricks!


video

Friday, August 15, 2008

Getting Ready To Go!

WHEW. Getting ready to leave your kids for a weekend is so crazy. I have made about a million lists, laid things out to make it easier and made a bunch of Ben's baby food so he will have a ready supply (he eats so much, sometimes I think I'm making it for TWO kids!). Thankfully, Zack's at an age where his instructions are easier.... basically feed him anything that won't send him on a two-week sugar high and that won't eat him first. I have been doing laundry and TRYING to make my house look like it's not a complete wasteland, although sometimes I feel like it is one.
I think I'm finally going to bite the bullet and start Zack's potty-training next week. He is wetting through every diaper I put on him (cloth OR disposable). I know he has control of his bladder because if I tell him to stop when he's wetting the floor, he can stop. He has also gone on the potty numerous times... he just happens to think it's funny if he sits on the potty for 10 minutes (smiling all the while) and refuses to go, then stands up and pees on the floor. How do you combat THAT??? Any ideas or tips are welcome. VERY welcome.
Can I just say that our dogs are escape artists. They have figured out how to back-up and barrel through the prefabricated boards on their dog pen. I have been out there multiple times re-nailing boards, then 10 minutes later, I see a black tail dart by the window, and Jack is slinging little Zack's Bubblemower around the yard. Insanity. Sometimes I feel like it's a 3-ring circus over here!!!! Am I absolutely crazy for eventually wanting more kids? Sometimes I wonder...
Today is the Holy Day of the Blessed Virgin's Assumption. Being that Mary is my patron saint, today is very important to me, and I am wondering when I will be able to go to church.... being that I can't drag my three ring circus to mass all by myself. Who knows... maybe we can go in Biloxi Tonight. Zack would just LOVE that :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Randoms Thoughts And Hurricane Zack


You know, I have been thinking... as a Mom, I have done some things, espcially here lately that I thought I would never do as an adult... When the days has been chaotic, and the noise hasn't stopped all day long, I take pleasure in making noise in the kitchen by banging pots and pans around.... it is truly a great form of stress relief, and I have NO idea why it is so refreshing... the kids stop whining and look at me like I'm nuts, and maybe I am, but dangit it feels good to bang pots and pans around. Another thing I caught myself enjoying this morning was Sesame Street. I was holding little Zack in my lap, and I was shocked to realize that we were BOTH very entertained by the Big Bird's Birdkateers meeting and The Letter of the Day ("O" ... We both kept putting our arms over our head in the shape of an O when it came on the screen).... It also never ceases to amaze me how nice it is to take a nap in the middle of the day and it surprises me that sometimes the most peaceful thing in the world is to rock your baby in a quiet room while they unwind to go to sleep.
So we all know that Little Zack is a Thumbsucking addict... it's not just a naptime or night-time habit.... he enjoys its soothing qualities all throughout the day... that is until yesterday when I noticed that his thumb was about to fall apart from overuse. Seriously, it looks like he might have an infection or a fungus of sometype growing under the nail, which is lifting up and trying to fall off his thumb. I called the doctor, who advised me to wrap it up like a mitten, so that he couldn't get to it, but I decided to try a different tactic.... Nasty Stuff application on the thumb. I bought a bottle of nail-biters be-gone and painted his thumb with it... let me tell you, he tasted that thing ONE TIME last night and I havent seen him use it as a pacifier since. It was bone dry when he got up this morning. I was thinking maybe he would switch to the other thumb, but I havent seen evidence of that, either. Could we have broken the habit this easily??? I'm still not sure that he's done with it, but I will keep you posted.
I am posting pictures of what my husband called "Hurricane Zack". Our Den that, which I will add, was completely clean this morning, now is a completely wasteland of toys, shoes, sippe cups, pillows, random kitchen utensils, and stuffed animals. Oh yeah and BOOKS .... books are EVERYWHERE.






He has also discovered the "fun" in using ANYTHING as a step to reach things that are too high for him, and taking his play broom (Thanks Sity haha) and trying to knock pictures off the wall. Seriously. NOT EXAGERRATING. I have done everything I can think of that's not cruel and inhumane to teach him to stop doing this....but he WON'T. I keep thinking it's the age, but I think it's the gender and the personality (he got my relentless tenacity and ability to be annoying at all costs) that makes him do these things. Crazy. Pray for me, Saint Monica (Patron Saint of Mothers with difficult kids).
Here is a great Picture from yesterday of Zack enjoying his Breakfast Yogurt:
So Zack and I are packing our bags and leaving town for a much-needed, overnight getaway to Biloxi tomorrow. He arranged for his parents to come take care of the kids, and I feel like I am writing an instruction manual on what to do with the kids for them to refer back to. I know they won't need all of the information (they did, after all, raise two well-adjusted, sucessful, happy kids themselves) but it makes me feel better to write it out, so I am doing it. Kind of like I am therapeutically writing it down to relinquish my control and not worry about everything while we are gone. I cannot wait to be alone in the car with my husband for 3 hours both ways, listen to music, eat great food, drink much alcohol (everytime I have been to a casino in the past two years I have been with child) and in general do what ever we feel like. We were going to see Jeff Foxworthy but tickets cost wayyy too much! We will be seeing Bill Engvall next month though, so it's all good.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Down, One to go

Okay, so Ben seems to be back to his usual self!! Crawling up a storm, Cooing like crazy, Eating like a piggie...But the story is different for Zack. He is one grumpy little man... screaming at me, little Ben, his toys... smashing blueberries then crying because all of his food is smashed up... horrible stuff! He even threw Doggie, his favorite stuffed pal, across the room AND LAUGHED. Well, at least he's napping now. Hopefully, he will wake up in a better frame of mind! Their Gigi (my mom) came over this morning and brought Little Zack a treat ( he has not drinking much liquid, which he desparately NEEDS) which was a coke Icee! There has never been a smaile as big as the one he gave when he started slurping it... until he got a brain freeze... then he started morphing into the incredible shrieking hulk. We brought the kids Pop-up tent into the den today (this has been an "I'll do ANYTHING if you stop whining day") and Little Ben THROUGHLY enjoyed himself. You can see that here:
I am now taking a break, as both of them are sleeping, and oh how I love the sound of silence. If anyone has any great ideas on how to make a little extra money, let me know! I am looking to make a little spending money for us! Also, if anyone has any money-saving ideas, let me know...I am already cloth-diapering, making Ben's baby-food, couponing and making our menus in advance! I will write More later!

Monday, August 11, 2008

FEVER VIRUS ALERT!

Oh my GOSH the past few days have been awful! Ben woke us up all night Friday just wanting to be held, so I knew SOMETHING was wrong...but I went to the Footprints Golf Tournament, which was a HUGE success, by the way, only to get a call from Susan (who was watching the boys) that little Ben was burning up and wouldn't eat. I came home and took his temperature and it was 101. I called the doctor and she said she needed to see him... I was betting on an ear infection. After running several tests and evaluating him, she decided he has a fever virus akin to Roseola (he had also broken out in a measle-like rash) and that it would last for 3 to 4 days. Yikes. We started doing the advil and tylenol routine and trying to get him to drink pedialyte. He slept decently that night (THANK GOODNESS) but when we woke up Sunday morning, Little Zack was running a 103 temperature. Great. TWO KIDS WITH THE VIRUS. Yesterday was AWFUL for the most part....much screaming and wailing and knashing of teeth (or gums in Ben's case)but thankfully they were in a manageable state that afternoon because I had scheduled a Spa Party at my house! The doctor said this was a kids only kind of virus (that adults wouldn't get it) so I Lysoled the house from one end to the other, and Zack took the kids fishing at Dadoo's house (Sity aka Gerri came to the Spa party!). Those boys had the best time down there!Both of them got to touch the fish that were being caught...and little Zack did much cheering when one was was brought to the surface. Our ladies only Spa Party went great! We all got to do relaxation exercises while listening to soft music and be pampered by Deidre Ceman, the consultant. I also had wine spritzers, so those added to the fun as well! Well I had better go tend to things! I will write more later.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Post


There have been so many things going on around our house lately...especially with the boys! Zack is now 22 months old and Ben will be 8 months tomorrow. TIME FLIES. Zack is saying more words every day, climbing on everything, opening doors he shouldn't, turning lights off and on, then off again, and in general, becoming a very loving, independent little person with a great sense of humor and energy. Ben is crawling (well, it's really more like a scooching or creeping...but whatever it is HE IS FAST) as well as sitting independently and bounces violently on his back (in time, nonetheless) when we put on any kind of music, especially Led Zeppelin. I am so blessed to have the wonderful husband that I do, and two adorable, loving children.

I have recently gotten involved with the Footprints Ministry through Heritage Baptist ( no, I'm not the lone Catholic in the group!) and have never gotten so much satisfaction in helping with a project as I have in working with this great group of people. So much good is being done through this ministry, and we are hosting a Golf Tournament tomorrow at Lagoon Golf Course (nearly 140 golfers will be there! Hooray!) and it is clear that God truly has had a hand in this work. I have to be there at 6AM, but it will be totally worth it!!! Just pray that it's not too hot tomorrow!

We went back to playgroup this week for the first time in FOREVER ( it has been really hard to go places because the boys nap at opposite times from one another, and they HAVE to have their naps... but it's slowly getting better as Ben gets older) and had a blast. It was so nice to see everyone and let Zack play with all of his friends... although he did insist on opening the backdoor even though we told him not to, and he nearly led a mass exodus of toddlers into the backyard... much yelling and screaming resulted as the kids were heartbroken that we made them come back inside.

I am hosting a spa party at my house Sunday, and thankfully my sweet Mother- in Law and Susan are coming over tomorrow to help with the kids and to help clean so people won;t run screaming from my house... I try to keep it clean, but with two kids under two, the work never ends!