Friday, February 27, 2009

Milestones in Pictures

This past weekend, we trekked out to the mall for the girls' pictures. Addi needed three year pictures and Sam just hit nine months, so she was in as well. They turned out great (if I do say so myself! What do you think?

Good News / Weird News

We are officially on a streak in the Ralph house. Addi has officially slept in her room every night this week (and went to sleep with only mild angst, I must add)!

The weird news... she doesn't always sleep IN her bed. This is where I found her this morning.

I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

40 Long Days

For us Catholics, Lent started yesterday. And I use the term "Catholics" loosely in my case. I am turning into a Chr-eester Catholic (only going to church on Christmas and Easter, with a few random Sundays thrown in for good measure). It's just so easy to skip with two kids who don't like sitting still for an hour - we end up spending 1/2 the time disciplining Addi, which seems a bit contradictory.

However, we have started to see a need for us to pick church back up. A little while back, Addi and I were looking through Sam's scrapbook pages and came to her Baptism page. Addi pointed right at Father Tony and proudly proclaimed, "Look mommy! It's Jesus!"

Now, I could be happy that she knows who Jesus is. Or I could be concerned that she thinks the priest is him. I went with happy.

So, with Lent starting yesterday, Jay and I did well with the not eating meat part. He loves fish and it goes well on our diet, so that's not a terrible struggle. The harder part is deciding what to give up for Lent. We always try to add "Going to Church" as one of our sacrifices, but picking something else is always hard for me.

So, I thought long and hard about this. What is a bad habit I have that I want to give up? What is something that drives Jay CRAZY and causes fights on a regular basis?

My BlackBerry. Namely, me talking on it all the time, especially while I'm driving. It's like a nervous tick for me. I pick it up constantly. Now granted, I do get to actually talk to my parents and friends more often because of this terrible habit. BUT, is me keeping in touch with family and friends really keeping my kids safe, especially if I am rear-ending someone in the process? Probably not.

So, it's official. No more talking on my cell phone while I am driving. Now, if someone calls me I may answer it, but I will not place any calls unless absolutely necessary. This morning I got my first taste of life without chatting, and it was HARD. I had to literally put my phone down five times.

It's going to be a long 40 days. But, I guess that's the point, right?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Time Out for an Update

Overall, Addi's behavior has made some great strides in the last week. She is listening more and overall being a better kid. And although we love her regardless I admit I love her a TEENSY bit more when she's not biting my butt while I'm holding her in time out with my legs.

Today, however, was a bit of setback. Addi did NOT have great listening ears and sat in time out several times. But she went to bed in one piece (although she moved her bed across the room). For the better behavior before bed, I am grateful, because it gave me a bit of downtime.

And, I am also grateful that she went to bed because today I have already taken away her dollhouse, Dora table, scooter, doll, and stuffed animals. The guest room is officially full of contraband toys and next on the punishment list was the toy kitchen. And that thing is a NIGHTMARE to move around.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Addi knows her colors. She will name them and also let me know what outfits she likes, based on color. Her favorite (this week, anyway) is PINK.

However, I have noticed lately that Addi is colorblind. And it's this kind of colorblindness I hope she never ever gets over.

A while back, Addi and I headed to Walmart to pick up a few things. Once inside we ran into a friend of mine and we stopped to chat. Addi looked over and yelled, "There's Daddy!" and started waving like crazy towards the center of the store.

I looked that way, and saw who she was waving at. It was a man... approximately the same age as Jay. He was also heavy-set like Jay and was wearing glasses.

You could see a resemblance. Except for one major difference. This man was African American.

And Addi didn't even notice the first thing many people would see. To her, he was just a guy who looked like Daddy because of his glasses and size.

Food for thought......

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A "Bad" Mistake

Tonight I was giving the kids a bath and was ready for bath time to end. Addi and I had a date to play Cariboo and I was trying to entice her out of the tub. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Addi, come on. I really want to play Cariboo. Really badly."
Addi: "Mommy, why do you want to play badly?"
Me: "Because I really like the game. It's fun."
Addi: "Mommy, I don't want to play badly. I want to play nicely."

True Love

I am so happy they love each other so much... At least while they are sleeping, anyway.

And, for what it's worth, although they are both in my bed (I finally gave up around 4 a.m. and let them come in - I had walked Addi back to her room twice) Addi does NOT have a paci. At least I'm sticking with one of the rules.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Laying down the law

Unless you have never read my blog, you know that Addison is what could be deemed a strong willed child. She is very set in her ways and every day learns how to manipulate us get her way whenever and wherever she can.

Yesterday was no exception. I did what no parent should ever do - I had well checkups for both girls at the same time. BIG MISTAKE. BIG. H-U-G-E. At first everything was going fine - then we got called into the exam room. Addi refused to put on the gown. Then she yelled because she wanted her paci and her juice box, both of which were in the car. Then she just yelled to yell. Doctor Becky finally had to put Addi in time out twice (and even that didn't go well) and we finished the appointment after a LONG 45 minutes. And after that, mommy needed a cocktail.

We headed home with strict instructions to focus on Addi sleeping in her own room and listening, using time out and consequences as reinforcement. The paci and potty training could be put on hold for a few weeks to get this little monster’s behavior under control. And none of this was rocket science – read any childcare book or talk to any parent and it’s a no-brainer. However, THINKING and DOING are two very different things, especially when you tend to cave out of per exhaustion.

Once we got home Addi and I sat down and wrote out a list of her new rules. Then we went over the consequences for not obeying – she gets one warning and then it’s time out.

Her new rules:
  1. No hitting
  2. No pacis until bedtime
  3. Use your words (no whining)
  4. Have good listening ears
  5. Hug Mommy, Daddy and Sami everyday
  6. Sleep in your own room

After repeating these to me, Addi asked for her own paper so she could write her own rule down and put it on the fridge next to my rules. She scribbled a line and when I asked her what her rule said, she answered, “No time outs for Addi.” OK, whatever!

The rest of the night was frustrating. Lots of time outs, her dollhouse got taken away, and Jay and I were exhausted. But we had one success – she slept in her room the entire night.
I definitely don’t call this a victory yet, but hopefully we are on our way to a more peaceful home.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scenes from a weekend

Addi's "car" - complete with sleeping baby, car keys, broom, paci, and Jay's wallet:
Bad kids in time out (offense: hitting):
What I saw when walking into the bathroom... A rare picture of our cat, Bandit:

Sisters showing off their matching pacis:

Happy Belated Valentines!

Addi was very excited to get a balloon for Valentine's Day... I was more excited to get diamond earrings. Jay was thrilled with his card. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Furniture Row.... Why do you hate us?

About a year ago Jay, Addi and I headed to Furniture Row to look for bedroom furniture for our room. With a new baby on the way, we had quickly come to the realization that a king sized bed would behoove us. And what do you know.... We sleep with both kids at least three times a week. Smart decision.

Anyway, after walking around for a few minutes, I felt... funny. Like I was going to yak, actually. I excused myself, waddled to the bathroom, and prayed to the porcelain gods. We left and never returned.... Until today.

This afternoon we headed back to try to make amends with the store. Actually, we are in the market for furniture for Addi's room and wanted to check there. We started looking at the bunk beds when Addi said, "My tummy hurts," then burped really loudly. I asked her if she was going to throw up and she said yes. Jay rolled his eyes and said, "Of course she will say yes, she always does."

Mommy instinct kicked in and I moved Addi towards the back of the store, just in time. She puked all over their storeroom. A lovely sales guy ran right over and mopped it up while I took Addi to the bathroom to clean up. Word to the wise.... Puke and Crocs don't mix.

The bad part is, I found a bedroom set that interested me. But there is no way I am going back. Why do you hate us, Furniture Row???

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is she ready...

... to walk???

Not quite. But she's getting close! VERY scary. Addi walked at the exact same age as Sam (9 months).


Her "People"

A few weeks ago, while in Indy for Addison’s birthday, Jay and I headed out to a surprise party for some friends. We left the kids in my mom’s capable hands and when we got back we asked how things went.

My mom said that it was a very informative evening. While making dinner, Addison informed her that what my mom was making was NOT “mac and roni. It’s mac and cheese.” I’m sure there was an eye roll here as well.

Next Addi told her about her new school. She said that one day she went to time out for hitting. My mom asked what she did in time out.

“I cried, Grandma. I sat there and cried for my people.”

In between laughs my mom asked who exactly Addi’s “people” were.

“You know… My mom. My dad. Sami. Anyone who would love me.”

She’s got people. Good to know.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The title-less blog

I am not one for formalities. I’ve even been described as being loose with words. But try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a title for this blog. Not the title that I wanted, I mean. Because what I want to title it is “Who gave my kids crack before bed?”

Let me elaborate. My kids are not the best sleepers. They go in spurts – one night, we will have 10 glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep. The next night, I want to run screaming down the street. For those of you who are missing out on all the fun we have, let me give you a brief rundown of a typical night for us. Try not to be jealous.

7:30 p.m. – Sam has a bottle and drifts off to sleep. We take her to her room and shut the door.
8 p.m. – we finish reading 3 (or 4 or 5) books with Addi and take her to her room, shutting the door. Addi goes to sleep without a peep, and Jay and I go to bed around 10 p.m.
1 a.m. – Addi wakes up and comes to our room. And requests help finding her missing paci.
1:05 a.m. – Addi begins yelling for an “animal” to sleep with.
1:06 a.m. – I clamp my hand over her mouth and tell her to stop screaming, kicking Jay and telling him to retrieve said animal.
1:07 a.m. - Addi bites my hand and I cry silently into my pillow.
1:08 a.m. – Addi happily settles down to sleep in our room.
1:09 a.m. – Sam is now awake from Addi's screaming and is inconsolable. She joins us in our room.
1:10 a.m. – Addi freaks out because she either a) wants to hold Sam’s hand and Sam won’t let her or b) wants to sleep next to me and Sam won’t let her.
1:30 – 3 a.m. – Every 5 minutes, Addi or Sam stir, waking the other. I am in major pain by now from being contorted into an unnatural position, trying to not squash children.
5:30 a.m. – Jay and I wake up, exhausted. The kids are happily dreaming away.

Now, I SAID don't be jealous.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Whine Connoisseurs

Our kids are sick. S. I. C. K. - sick. Going on two weeks here of runny noses, coughs, fevers, and whines. This week really sealed the whiny deal when both girls had to start getting shots of antibiotics - the regular ol' bubblegum flavored one I remember so fondly from my youth hasn't made a dent in whatever it is they have. And actually, they are sicker than when they went on them last week. The overview - both have double ear infections, sinus infections, and bronchitis.

And did I mention the whine????

Treatment: aforementioned shots of antibiotics and lots of nebulizer treatments. And when I say lots... I mean each kid, four times a day for albuterol and twice a day for Pulmacort. LOTS. Don't they look like they LOVE the neb?

They aren't fans of the mask. I'm totally not a fan of the mask. Or the kicking that goes along with it. Luckily Sam is pretty patient with it... See? I even got a bit of work done while Neb-ing her.
Today after the last round of shots, I took both kids to school. Sam was easy... she was smiling before I left the room. Addi proceeded to cry and whine for 30 minutes before I finally gave up and walked out, while she clung to the teacher in tears.
I really hope lots of hugs does the trick this weekend.

Reduce.... Reuse.... Retrieve?

Sam is just making sure Mommy REALLY gets her use out of her magazines. At least she kept herself occupied so I could shower! And I didn't even have to jump out to retrieve a piece out of her mouth. (She waited till I was out to eat it.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Any guesses?

I had no idea what she was doing. Do you want to take a guess?

According to Addi, her animals were getting ready to jump in the swimming pool.
That was not my guess.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Addi!

As promised, here are pictures from this weekend's birthday celebration. It's hard to believe our girl is so big! Although she's still addicted to her paci, so there's still a little baby left for us to love on.

We spent Saturday at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis with my mom, Lee, Roxi, Sabrina, Lorelai, Uncle Phil, and my friends Mandee and Jason and their son Jack. The museum is huge so we didn't even make it through the whole thing. And I think the fact that Addi didn't feel 100% worked in our favor... Generally when she gets an audience in a large open place she starts acting like a drunk baboon. But Saturday, she was almost on her best behavior.

The new exhibit is Lego's Castles... so all the kids got crowns.

Addi's favorite part of the museum was the dog house and dog outfits.

Addi and Sabrina in a "Cat" machine.

Busted! Apparently, Jay's dislike of reading is really because he doesn't know how. Didn't he see that this area was only for kids?
We ate lunch and Addi got to open a gift from Mandee. Sam did not enjoy this part.

Later we went back to my mom's house for cake, ice cream and presents.

On Sunday we went home and Addi opened her last gift from us... a Big Wheel! She was so excited to ride it so we went to the basement - and she promptly fell down the stairs. We'll try again another day.

Here's to a wonderful, potty trained, paci free third year!

To see all the pictures from this weekend, check out

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Official

We have a three year old on our hands!

Hard to believe she once looked like this!

I'll post some pictures and a recap of her very exciting birthday weekend tonight. And I assume now that she's three she won't do any of the crazy two year old things anymore. Right?

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