Monday, April 14, 2014

Ham it up!

"I can't wait to put all of this ham in my belly!" ~Liam

Friday, April 4, 2014

Eliminating artificial food dyes series part 1: The Why

It's taken me a long time to write this post, even though it's something I've written in my head a hundred times and to be honest, I'm still not sure how I want to approach it.  As I've said before, one of the reasons I keep up with this blog is that I want to have some type of record of the kids...but that's a catch 22.  I want a record, and I want to be honest, but where's the line?  Once something about them is "out there", it's out there.  I try to be careful with what I share, knowing that it won't bother them now, but being respectful about the fact that eventually those little kids will be grown up and may not be happy that mommy overshared parts of their childhood.

On the flip side, I also said that some things I want to share just in case it could help someone else.  Which brings me to my current topic: food dye and behavior.  You may be wondering how the two are related (because I would have wondered the same thing just a few months ago), but it turns out there may be a huge correlation.

The short story here is that Jake has always had a strong personality.  He's strong-willed, he's independent, and he is very vocal about his feelings.  We often joke that he was that way coming straight out of the womb; it truly seemed like his personality had been set from the moment he entered the world.  And while those characteristics are wonderful and they're what make him Jake, they can also be exhausting and frustrating.  And the older he got, the more strong-willed he became, and the more intense his feelings and reactions about things became. 

We hit a rough patch a few months ago; he had started kindergarten and we really kept thinking it was just that.  That he would adjust.  That he'd snap out of it.  That he would stop the hour long tantrums, the throwing himself to the ground, the hitting, the yelling, the throwing....all of the things that would happen when a situation would escalate.  It would start over something so small, so seemingly insignificant that the reaction would come out of nowhere.  One minute everything would be fine, the next minute a hurricane would be tearing through the house, and we were powerless to stop it.

We were frustrated and upset, and felt helpless and guilty. We both felt guilty thinking that we had messed up somehow, that somewhere along the way we screwed up big time.  And I felt guilty because I would watch him during these fits and while I was angry with him for acting like that, I also felt sympathy toward him.  It was like he couldn't control what was happening, and no matter what we said or did, he couldn't pull himself back together.

His fits would go on for what felt like forever...30, 40, 60 minutes...and when it would stop, it was almost like he had no recollection of what just happened. Once the hurricane passed, there was a calm....sometimes that calm would last the remainder of the day and he'd return to being my sweet little boy, other times, a cloud would hover and we would brace ourselves for other potential tantrums. 

Finally, sometime around Thanksgiving, we knew we had to do something.  There wasn't a particular occurrence that sent us over the edge, it was more just the build up of months of frustration and the realization that 3 months later, maybe this wasn't just kindergarten adjustment.

To maintain a bit of privacy, I'll edit this part...but I will say that we spoke with our pediatrician and other doctors at this point.  After a few meetings, someone asked if we had ever tried any type of elimination diet, specifically artificial food dye.  I sat there and numbly shook my head while thinking "What?  That's absurd.  We don't even eat that much food dye, how could that possibly be the root of this?" But this person was persistent, and talked to me for awhile about the negative side effects of food dye, and how it's in so much more than we realize.  She spoke of how it's been banned in other countries, and how some other countries still sell it, but have to place a warning label on the product that states, "this product may have an adverse effect on attention and behavior in small children". 

I was still skeptical, but I promised to take it under consideration.  Later that night, Brian and I spent a long time combing article after article online, astonished that we hadn't heard of this before, but also feeling a weird sense of relief as we read accounts from parents that sounded identical to what we had been going through.  We weren't alone!  And maybe we weren't failures, either. 

Now that I've written part of a dissertation on this topic already, I'll stop this post here and will pick up soon with the rest of the story: the how and the results. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Liam's first skiing adventure!

Brian had been saying all winter that he wanted to take Liam skiing.  This hadn't happened yet for a few reasons, the main one being the horrific polar-vortex temperatures that kept sweeping through our area.  Brian knew he'd need an "assistant" to help with both kids, and since that assistant would be me (even though I'm probably like having a 3rd child along when it comes to skiing but I guess I'm better than no one?), he had to wait until a warmer day as he is smart enough to not even think of asking me to go skiing when it is below 35 degrees.

That day finally came last weekend, the forecast was nearly 50 degrees and sunny.  Time to hit the slopes! Here we are, putting approximately 42 tons of equipment on each child.  I was sweating and exhausted before we even made it out of the lodge. 

Finally, we were ready to head outside and get on the lift!

ski lift selfie!!

Funny story here: while on the lift, Brian told the boys that we would do one run down the mountain, which would then put us near the little bunny hill area that has the "magic carpet" tow system for the kids to practice on.  Jake was fine with that plan, Liam got excited.  Like, really excited.  So excited that, in hindsight, we should have been suspicious because he really didn't know what we were even talking about. But instead, we were all "Oh yeah, yay...magic carpet...Liam is being so cooperative!"  Here is a video during that very first run, where Liam even mentions going on the magic carpet (pay no attention to the awkward woman in the green and white coat, trying to not die):

Fast forward to a little bit later after the first run, and we started to head toward the magic carpet...Brian pointed it out to Liam, who promptly burst into tears and threw himself into the snow.  He was hysterical, inconsolable.  It was not even 11am and I thought we were going to have to throw the towel in for the day.  I finally got him calmed down enough to the point where he could speak, then put it all together:  he thought we were going to the magic carpet ride.  As in, the magic carpet ride that we went on in DISNEY WORLD.  Oops.  That explained his over-enthusiasm when we were talking about it.  Poor kid.  He genuinely thought that we were about to ski to Disney World.  That also explained why he asked if the ski lift was a plane, and not even thinking I responded "Oh yeah, we're high up in the sky buddy, just like a plane!" Thankfully, we were able to get him calmed down and onto the lame magic carpet located at the ski resort. 

After lunch, we decided to go back to the regular runs and avoid the drama with the magic carpet again.  Here are 2 videos of Liam going down the slopes....along with his little special helper, Jake :)  It was very cute that Jake wanted to help him out so much and hold his hands, we just kept having to remind him that he was going to trip Liam if he kept skiing so close to him. 

It probably killed Jake to ski so slowly all day, but he did a great job of helping his little brother and his mother :)  He skied with me a lot since Brian had to handle Liam, and gave me some helpful pointers and encouraging words.  Other times, he said things like, "Mommy....why are your poles so out of control?  Keep them to the side, you are going to hurt someone!"  Thanks, buddy.  :)  Here is a video of Jake, hitting some jumps:

 Overall, Liam did an awesome job and seemed to love it.  We skied from around 10am-3:30pm, with about a 45 minute break for lunch....and even though he had fallen asleep on the lift during our last run, he still cried when we told him it was time to go home :) 

Needless to say, Liam was asleep in about .002 seconds of being in the car and they were both just done the rest of the day. 

The only person in worse shape than Liam by the time we got home, was me. 

Oh, did I mention the part where I fell off the ski lift?  Very first run of the day, I panicked when it came time to exit the lift...and I just didn't do it.  I hesitated and before I knew it, the lift was getting ready to make the turn to head back down the mountain!  I wasn't sure what would happen, but I knew I really didn't want to get separated from everyone and ride it back down by myself (Brian later told me for future reference that they would have stopped it to help me off....WAY TO TELL ME THESE THINGS AFTER THE FACT!) but since I didn't have that bit of helpful info, I proceeded to throw myself off the lift. Sideways, for some inexplicable reason.  Let's just say that my pride was hurt and I'll probably need a hip replacement surgery in a few years.  Also, FYI: snow under lifts is not fluffy, powdery snow that makes for a soft's actually a very thin layer of extremely hard, compact ice.  There's your lesson for the day, kids.  You're welcome.  Safety first.

That wraps up our skiing adventure for 2014...see ya on the slopes next year!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Disney on Ice!!

Me: Hey guys, remember how daddy and I gave you tickets to the "Disney on Ice" show for Christmas?  That show is this week, we get to go on Wednesday!

Jake: Really?  This week?  Oh, I'm so excited! I can't wait to ice skate with Mickey.  Do we just rent the skates there?

Me: um....

Liam: YAY!  I can't wait to see my fwiends again!  Where's my autograph book?  I give huggies? 

Me: um.....

Fortunately, we were able to talk the kids down and maintain reasonable expectations for the Disney on Ice show. (although now they're begging us to go back to disney world, even more than they were before!)  They had a blast!!  Here they are, waiting for the show to start (forgive the poor picture quality, they're from my phone):

That grin. Look at that grin!

I paid $12 for our seats, some type of opening night special...and we were the 6th row back from the ice!  The seats were great, and the show was very enjoyable.  We will definitely go again next year!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


The boys love to listen to music, and their taste is quite eclectic; one day they will request rock and roll, the next day a Disney soundtrack, and 10 minutes later, the latest pop song.  Not only is it cute to hear them sing these songs, but it's even better when they flub the lyrics.  Sometimes it's less of a flub, more of a when Jake sings "Hakuna Matata" from the Lion King and in the part where it says, "'s our problem-free philosophy", he says "phisosofy" (fi-saw-so-fee)

 I understand their difficulty in lyric interpretation; for years I never knew the name of the Rolling Stones song "Beast of Burden" and I thought the lyrics were "I'll never be in your big suburban".  It wasn't until I was singing it in the car a few years ago and Brian called me out on it, and then pointed out the fact that no one was driving around a Suburban car back when the song was written.  oops. 

My most recent favorite was when Jake was singing the Lorde song "Royals", and instead of singing "you can call me queen bee", he said "You can call me green bean!" with absolute certainty that someone would request to be called a vegetable. 

Liam always questions the name of the song on the radio, as well as who sings it.  If I know the answers, I supply him with that information.  Last week we were driving and "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters came on, so I told him the song and the artist.  When the song went off he said "I really like that song!"  Fast forward to this week and it came on again in the car and Liam said "I love this song!  This is the Food Fighters!" :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Move over, Olympians! There's a new skater in town.

 In case you haven't figured it out by now (due to the lack of me in all of the pictures involving skiing or snow), I'm not an athletically-talented person, nor do I enjoy the cold weather.  However, the one exception to that rule is ice skating.  I grew up in a small town (though it has since expanded) and while there wasn't a ton to do, my friends and I were never bored because if we had nothing else to do, there was an indoor ice rink nearby.  That was year-round entertainment! (and bonus points for the fact that it was obviously not too cold since it was inside!)  I spent many, many weekend nights there with friends, for years. 

I hadn't been ice skating in a looooong time.  Brian and I went one time, but it was definitely before I was pregnant with Jake, so it's been at least 7 years. Fast forward to last weekend, and it was a beautiful, sunny, 50 degree February day.  Jake had been asking to go ice skating since watching the olympics, so I decided it was a good time to take him.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's pretty much like riding a bike. 

And even more importantly, Jake loved it as well!!  Two rotations around the rink and he wanted nothing to do with holding my hand.  We skated for a little less than 2 hours; I think he would have stayed all night, but it was break time for the Zamboni to clean the ice so it was a good time for us to head out.  Here are 2 videos, showing his progress...they were taken about 10 minutes apart.

We got home around 4:30 and Jake was pretty much done for the day at that point.  After vegging out in front of the TV, we forced him to eat some dinner.  After that, I hopped in the shower, and when I came out, I found this in my bed:

Fully dressed, passed out cold.  This was at 6:30pm.  He ended up being done for the night...I was finally able to at least move him to his own bed (though he stayed in his clothes!), and he slept until 6:30 the next day!  Now I know how to tire him out!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Jersey Shore: Toddler Edition

Leave Brian unsupervised in the morning, and later you will receive a video that shows you toddler dressed in an Adidas track suit, memorizing lines from the Jersey Shore, and learning how to fist pump.

Move over, Pauly D....there's a new bro in town.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why am I here?

The "here" in the title is referring to this blog.  Why am I here, blogging a few times a week?  Putting my thoughts out there into cyberspace?  I thought about this shortly after Christmas; I hadn't blogged for awhile (hellooooooo, holiday hiatus) and I briefly considered just not doing it anymore.  Not opening it back up, not writing another post, not sharing any more pictures. Nothing.  The end.  Would anyone really care?   At the time, I felt like I had too many pictures to share, too many holiday events to recap...just too much.

But I couldn't do it.  I had to come back.  Obviously that's what happened, since I'm here now! But I came back with a fresh perspective.  The nice thing about having a blog that is not related to my job, and a blog that does nothing to contribute financially to our family is that I'm not on a deadline.  No one is breathing down my neck or caring that my Christmas pictures get posted a month after the holiday.   So what's my motivation?  Why did I come back?

I started this blog shortly after Jake was born; I was on maternity leave in the winter with a lot of time on my hands, and a lot of friends and family out there who don't live close by. (here is the very first blog post on this site, 2/19/2008:   I thought the blog would be a nice place to share the pictures and videos I was constantly taking, and even more importantly, share the moments.  The moments that I didn't want to forget, and the moments that my sleep-deprived brain would often neglect to remember to share when I would talk to loved ones.

It didn't take too long before I realized that I'm a much better blogger than I am a scrapbooker, or even a basic baby book keeper.  I failed miserably in those areas.  But here, on this blog?  For some reason, it was easier for me to come here and record Jake's most recent weight at his pediatrician appointment, or his new word that he learned, or a cute thing he did during the day.  It was a two birds/one stone kind of thing: I was documenting his childhood and everything I wanted to remember, AND I was sharing that info with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who cared to follow along.

Since then, this blog has become my catch all....a place to keep track of the books I've read, recipes I've enjoyed, house projects, and more. Not only has the material expanded, but we as a family have expanded since the beginning of the blog.....this was a place for me to share news and feelings on a second baby, a second home, and everything else that has shaped us into the family we are.  I've written posts about our house buying and moving process, documenting my pregnancy with Liam, and stories and challenges about raising the kids.  This blog has become the story of our family.

I have also found that it's a good place to share my vents and thoughts on things, especially parenting things. It's not only therapeutic to know get it all off my chest, but also to know that there is an ever so slight chance that maybe someone else will stumble across my blog and come across a post that is helpful to them when they're feeling the same way.  Or are scared about something.  Or just want to see if any other kids are doing what their kids are doing.  I can't tell you how much time I spent scouring random blogs when I was pregnant with Liam and experiencing all of the issues with my blood pressure....I wanted to find hope, I wanted to read that other people had also been through pre-e once before and didn't get it again.  I wanted to know that a baby could be born before 37 weeks if need be and be fine.  I wanted to know that I wasn't alone. Or even less drastic day to day searches that I've found myself doing....what does a 9 month old baby usually eat? How can I help my kid prepare for kindergarten?  Those are all things that I've searched for and found advice and support on blogs, so who knows?  Maybe someone will find that same sense of "ok. it's ok, someone else has done this, too" on my blog.   And maybe this blog is what I need to be able to work through some things, and just get out there into the cyber world what frustrations I'm having, as well as what things I'm most proud of.  And at the rate I'm going, this blog will be the only record of any milestones or small memories I may have of the kids! 

Regardless of the exact reason, I've realized that I've come this far and I'll hold onto the blog for now.  I love looking back at old posts and reading stories about the kids, or seeing how much they've grown.  I've seen sites that turn your blog into a memory book of goal is to one day do that.  One day, down the road...for now, I'll keep filling it up with things to include in that book.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"I'm your little!"

I've mentioned on here before that Liam's nickname has become "Little" of the nickname can be found here.  The other day, Liam was smothering me in kisses and hugs, and I said "aww, you're my lovey Liam, aren't you?" and he replied with, "No, I'm not.  I'm your little!"  :) 

Who can argue with that?  Let's just keep it that way, shall we, Liam?  You're just going to stay little forever, that's what we agreed on....right?? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Broadway Baby

Liam loves to sing, and once he decides that he likes a song, watch out!  That's all he will want to listen to.  Right now, his top song selections are 2 songs from Frozen (Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Let it Go) and One Republic's "Counting Stars".  This video is a compilation of those three faves:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Telling the truth.

Every night at dinner, Brian asks the kids what their favorite part of the day was (since he gets home so late, dinner is really the first chance he gets to talk to them in the evening)  Jake's usual response to this question is gym, recess, or lunch.  However, when Brian asked him one day last week, we were met with a brief moment of silence, followed by some shifting around in his chair, followed by this:

Jake: um....not getting on a warning space.

Me:  Oh.  Were you on a warning space yesterday?

Jake: Yes, it was my first time on a warning space.  Only one time!

Me:  Ok. Well, let's talk about it...what happened that you found yourself on the warning space?

Jake: I was talking in class.  I told on myself.

Me:  What do you mean?

Jake: Well, my teacher was trying to tell us something and I was talking, but she couldn't see me.  Giovanni gets on a warning space a lot for talking, and she thought it was him.  She was going to move him to a warning, but he wasn't was me! So I raised my hand, and I told her that it was me and not him. 

Brian looked at me at that point and just shrugged his shoulders, probably thinking the same thing as me....what do you say to that?  Do I even need to discuss the fact that he was talking, when really, I was just proud that he confessed to something that he did, rather than letting his friend take the fall?

The subject quickly changed at the table as the natives grew restless, wanting more food, more milk, or whatever the case was that night.  Brian and I talked about it while we were cleaning up the kitchen, and as we were tucking him in that night, we talked about both things to him.

It's funny the things that you find you're most proud of as a parent.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday mornings are hard for everyone.

In keeping with the spirit of the "uncensored" part of the name of this blog, I will share a video with you that Brian sent to me at 8:35am this morning that is solid proof that things are not always cheery and fun in our house....especially when there are 2 kids who don't want to go back to school on a Monday, got too distracted with playing to eat a proper breakfast, and choose to cry that they're hungry right when they're supposed to be walking out the door to catch the bus. Oh, and one of them has a teeny tiny obsession with mommy and gets very weepy if I'm not there.

Happy Monday, everyone!! :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Grocery Store Showdown: Round 2!

 If you're just joining us, check out my introductory post here that explains why I'm shopping around for the best prices in town!

After swearing I'd never do it, I found myself pushing my cart around Giant Eagle, examining prices and trying to remember what the same items cost in other stores.  Some things I buy so much I have the price memorized (take Nutrigrain bars for example...I know that at Walmart and Target, they run about $2.69, target sometimes has sales for $2.49)  Giant Eagle had them for $3.09, so I skipped buying those and knew I could grab them at Target next time instead.

Ok, let's get to the comparing!  These are the prices taken from the receipts of both Walmart and Giant Eagle.  I will also factor in coupons and try to indicate if the item was regular price vs. sale price at Giant Eagle.

Honey Nut Cheerios (Family size box)
Walmart: $4.48
Giant Eagle: $4.39
Winner: Giant Eagle

Whole Wheat Penne (store brand)
Walmart: $1.00
Giant Eagle: $1.00 (on sale from $1.09)
Winner: Tie due to the sale

Campbells Kids Soup
Walmart: $1.58
Giant Eagle: $1.00 (on sale from $1.60)
*I had a coupon for these soups, .40 off of 3 cans; since GE doubles coupons, that went to .80.  So the price per can when taking the coupon into account came down to just .73 per can!)
Winner: Giant Eagle due to sale, normal price is a tie....unless of course, I have a coupon, then Giant Eagle is the winner :-)

Yoplait Kids Yogurt (4 pack)
Walmart: $1.78
Giant Eagle: $2.00
*I had a coupon both times I went to these stores, so taking that .35/2 coupon into account, here is the math for that:
Walmart with coupon: $1.78 x 2 = $3.56 - .35/2 (coupon) = $3.21 for 2 packs / 2 = $1.60 per pack
Giant Eagle with doubled coupon: $2 x 2 = $4 -.70/2 ( doubled coupon) = $3.30 for 2 packs /2 = $1.65 per pack
Winner: Walmart, by just a bit

Ritz Peanut Butter Crackers
Walmart: $2.48
Giant Eagle: $2.39 on sale ($2.58 regular price)
Winner: Giant Eagle for sale price, Walmart for regular price

Frozen Veggies (same size bags)
Walmart: .98
Giant Eagle: $1.00 on sale (regular price $1.50)
Winner: Walmart in either case; though to be fair, the walmart veggies were the great value brand; I purchased Birds Eye at Giant Eagle since that's what was on sale for $1.  I will need to check next time to go to see if the Giant Eagle brand is closer to $1 regular price.

Looking over that list, I'd say taking those items into account, it's pretty much a tie.

I'll continue to do a bit more research (hopefully comparing some of these items to Target and Aldi), but as it stands now, I'd say that if I choose to switch to Giant Eagle, I'm not going to be paying an enormous amount more, though I do think GE still has drawbacks (why is it so insanely crowded all.the.time??  Why are the aisles not arranged in a logical manner?)  So the question will be: are those drawbacks enough to send me back to my 30 minute drive to Walmart?  We shall see....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Grocery Store Pricing Showdown: Round 1

Where do you do your shopping?  For years, I've done the majority of my grocery and household items shopping at Walmart.   It's cheap, you can avoid crowds if you hit it at the right time, and I can get everything there (food, household items, paper products, etc) 

My usual routine was to go to Walmart about once a month.  I would stock up on items as much as I could, then supplement in the in between weeks at other places.  We have an Aldi about 2 minutes from our house, which is amazingly convenient and cheap.  Aldi is great for produce and some other common staples, so we hit that store once a week since my kids are fruit monsters. 

I have (no lie) 3 Targets within a 10 minute radius of my house.  Being able to hit a Target from any nearly directly made it easy to run in there while I was out doing other stuff to grab shampoo, paper towels, milk, whatever else I needed.  I would also go about once a month to Sam's Club, mostly to get meat.  I would use some that week, then freeze the rest, which would last us through that month or so.

So to recap, that was going to Aldi once a week, Target about every other week, Sam's Club once a month, and Walmart once a month.  It really isn't too bad, except there's one drawback: the closest walmart to our house is about 25-30 minutes away.

I don't know when it started to bother me, but at some point, it did.  So going once a month slowly turned into going every 6 weeks or so.  I would dread going there, and spending nearly an hour in the car there and back really started to bother me.  And since I was going so infrequently, my cart there was getting fuller and fuller to the point where it was almost, pushing this giant cart overflowing with groceries, probably looking like I live with 20 people.  Unloading the car and putting the groceries away was a marathon.  The last time I was there, loading up my car (in the rain, to add insult to injury!) I thought to myself that it was time to simplify. 

I've never made it a secret that I despise shopping at Giant Eagle.  The store closest to my house has a terrible layout, is crowded no matter when you go, and historically, has very high priced items. 


That store that I despise so much is about 3 minutes from my house. And, I had noticed that despite the fact that in previous years I know that store had ridiculous prices, recently when I would run in there for something or glance at their ad, it seemed as though maybe they were becoming a bit more reasonable.  They also double coupons up to .99 and you earn Fuel Perks.  Maybe it was time to reconsider? 

Stay tuned for round 2, where I compare some Walmart prices to Giant Eagle.....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's SNOW time!

While I can't say that *I* have particularly enjoyed the massive amounts of snow we've had recently, there are some people in my house who have.  Those people definitely include Jake and Brian, and sometimes Liam. He went out this past weekend and had a blast, but it was close to 50 degrees.  The weekend before that, I opened the door to ask him if he wanted to go out, he shivered and said "No way!  It's too cold.  Let's color."  Jake then tried to persuade him to go out with him, saying that he "needed a sled riding sidekick", but Liam was having none of it.  He looked up from his latest masterpiece that he was coloring and yelled "Jakey!  I said NO!"

But, as I said, he did make it out this past weekend and had a blast.  He even tested out some skis while he was out there :)  Some teaser pics:

Here is a video him giving it a go (unfortunately, it's sideways and I can't seem to fix it.  Sorry!):

Brian built a little jump, which Jake loved of course:

And then it was time for some good ol' fashion sled riding:


So how about your family...loving the snow or ready for spring?? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bye bye, binky!!

I can't believe I never posted about this...and I thought the day would never come that I would be posting about it...but we have officially said GOODBYE to the binky! (or, the "meep meep", as Liam so affectionately called it) 

You guys, this was seriously huge.  I thought I would be tearing that thing out of his mouth the night before he went to kindergarten.  He didn't use them during the day, but at night and nap?  He LOVED them.  He had named them all.  There was Greenie, Other Greenie, Circlely, etc...and they were all his beloved meep meeps.  He would lay in bed and talk to them.  He took inventory every night at bedtime to make sure they were all still there.  Did I mention the fact that he actually TALKED TO THEM AT NIGHT?? 

I didn't know what to do.  He was 2.5 and becoming more emotionally attached by the day.  We would talk to him about how he was becoming such a big boy, he should give the meep meeps to babies who didnt' have any, the meep meep fair was going to name it, we tried it.  The funny thing was, he hadn't used them to nap in school for months.  One day, the teacher there just said to him, " are getting to be a big boy, you don't need those.  Let's try nap today without, ok?" and he just handed them over.  Like it was nothing!  I asked him to hand them to me one day, just to see what he'd say since it went so well for her, and he proceeded to start shoving them in his clothing to hide them. 

Since I knew based on school that he didn't need them, I was aiming to have him drop them by the new year (this was back in the beginning of November)  One night as I was putting him to bed, I started to plant the seeds, talking a bit more about what a big boy he is.  To my surprise, he popped the meep meep out of his mouth, handed me the rest of the collection and said, "I no need these.  I a big boy"  I told him I was proud of him, and took them out of the room with me, seriously expecting him to start yelling within minutes. 

It didn't happen. 

It didn't happen that night.

Or the next night...or the one after that. 

Just....nothing.  2.5 years of meep meep attachment, and he just handed them to me. I was floored.  And proud.  And a little sad for him.  I know he needed to get rid of them, but I also know how much he loved them. 

While the need for the meep meep never came back, the need for "friends" in the bed came on full force.  Since he was about a year, he's slept with "Sir Barksalot", one of those little blanket lovey things with a dog head.  After the gave up the meep meeps, he started asking for more friends, one at a time. 

The collection of stuffed animals has continued to increase, and while I don't have a super recent pic to share, here is one from shortly after giving up on the meep meeps....surrounded by his new source of comfort.

There are at least 2 animals hidden under the blankets that you can't see.  So, to summarize the positives and negatives:

Positive: he gave up his beloved meep meeps on his own accord, no tears required
Negative: his stuffed animals now require their own separate bag when we travel

If anyone has seen my baby Liam around, please let me know.  That kid is obviously a big boy.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Jake's 6 year old check up, other updates

Jake had his big yearly check up a few weeks ago, and everything was right on track!

Height: 44.75 inches (36th percentile)
Weight: 41 lbs (20th percentile)

Tall and thin seems to be his consistent body type for the past few years...though if he doesn't watch out, our little bruiser, Liam is going to catch up to him soon! :)  The doctor said everything looked great, and he was pleased with his development.  We discussed a bit of nutrition stuff, since Jake is a very typical 6 year old who would survive on chicken nuggets if given the chance.  But since we don't really give him that chance, he often times will turn up his nose to a meal that he scarfed down the week before (??  I don't understand it either)  The doctor assured me that this is all completely normal, and as long as I'm offering healthy choices and (within reason) giving him options that he can fill up on (fruit, veggies, etc) then it's fine.  He said kids this age are known for eating huge portions one day, and hardly anything the next...or eating a huge lunch, then just picking at dinner.  He said he is completely ok with his growth, which has been consistent, so there's no need to press the issue.  PHEW! 

Last week, I had the chance to go into Jake's class for what they call "Fantastic Friday"; basically, it's a chance for parents to come in and either showcase a talent that they may have, or just do a project or read a book to the kids.  Since my talents consist of analyzing celebrity gossip and discussing reality shows in depth, I was stumped and felt like I wanted to do a bit more than go in and read a random book.  A friend of mine suggested a simple magic trick (thanks, Meghan!) so I found this super easy one on the Real Simple site and the kids loved it!  I also checked out some story books about magic from the library, and printed out some magic hat/wand coloring pages.  we were set for the afternoon!  It was so much fun to see Jake in his little world, with all of his little friends.  I'm so glad that the school does that, it was really a fun afternoon.  I decided to surprise him after that since he lets out of school much earlier than I normally pick up Liam, and we went bowling! 

I would like to showcase the fact that he beat me fair and square in the second game.  With bumpers.

Game #1
Game #2.  My skills fell apart.

I leave you with a cute pic of my little Lego builder, showing off some of his finished projects recently:


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