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Monday, October 3, 2011

Bye-Bye Binkie

I am happy and proud to say that Cavan has been binkie free for almost 2 weeks now! It was completely not planned, but the tip of his last one was ready to fall off, so rather than deal with the worry of him biting it off and choking in his sleep, I told him it was broken and had to go to the Binkie Fairy. He didn't like that explanation so I ripped the tip completely off and gave it to him. He tried to put it in his mouth and then threw it and told me it was broke. Well, ok, bye bye binkie then!

All was fine during the day, he really didn't seem to miss it all that much and really only asked for it a handful of times. Night time was a different story.  For 18 months this was his nightime soother... or so we thought (but I'll get back to that in a minute). He had a really hard time the first few nights. He fought us on going in his crib and when he would wake in the middle of the night, he was almost impossible to comfort. I honestly contemplated giving in and getting him a new one, but held off. He was in our bed every night and kept us up for most of it.

Then, all of a sudden, it started to get better. He started going to bed a little easier. Then he stopped waking in the night. Let me make a note in here that my son has slept entirely through the night about 5 times in his life prior to this. Now for the last week he has slept through the night every night!

So was the binkie the source of his bad sleeping habits? I'm going to go ahead and say yes based on my own observations with him.

Kaylie, on the other hand, well she's not happy unless she has all 4 of her binkies in sight or hand at all times. We've got a long road ahead of us with her, but the "Binkie interrupts sleep habits" theory I have for Cavan, SO not the case with Kaylie. She has always been an amazing sleeper because of her binkie.

Monday, September 19, 2011

SWINGS!

Kaylie has a slight obsession with swings. Once she sees one she wants in and as soon as she's in it's almost impossible to get her out!

Exhibit A:
video
Exhibit B:
Swings at the Fair, Dream Big

Sunday, September 18, 2011

No Business Like Showbusiness

3 Reasons why Cavan should be in showbiz...

1. He can sing!


video
2. He can dance!

video
3. He can act!
video

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Phases of Parenting - From a Non-Medical Point of View

I've decided to share my take on the phases of parenting from a non-medical point of view, you know, because I don't have a Ph.D at the end of my name. Just thought I'd share for any of my friends/family/readers who just had a baby, are pregnant, or thinking about trying. Or for any of you who can relate to any of these, you at least know you're not alone! Obviously these are just from my own experience and are infused with a little humor, but are all 100% true in my case. Enjoy!

Phase 1: Birth - Bliss Phase
Feelings: You're baby(ies) were just born and nothing else in the world matters. They are wonderful and such a little miracle.
Relationship with Spouse: Pure adoration. You can't believe the two of you could make such beautiful and perfect little creatures.
Finance: Woohoo, free diapers and formula from the hospital. These will last us a while right? Life is great!
Big Question: "What the heck is the football hold?"
Looking Forward to: Going home and enjoying the comfort of my own bed WITHOUT a nurse checking my vitals every hour!

Phase 2: 2 weeks - 4 months - Delirious Phase
Feelings: Reality and Fiction are interchangeable. Sleep is no longer in your vocabulary, although your children love to taunt you throughout the day by sleeping away the majority of it. And OMG, did I fall asleep feeding the baby.. Nope that's just the dog laying in my arms (True Story). What do you mean "So-and-so's" baby sleeps through the night? I never liked them anyways.
Relationship with Spouse: GET UP! GET UP! GET UUUUUUUP! It's your turn to feed the baby(ies)!
Finance: What do you mean that outfit doesn't fit anymore? I just bought it LAST WEEK!
Big Questions: "How exactly do you get the onsie off when there is poop ALL the way to her neck?" and "How do I sleep when the baby sleeps while simultaneously doing the laundry, washing bottles, and keeping the house clean?"
Looking Forward to: Sleep... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Phase 3: 5 months - mobility: - Super Mom Phase
Feelings: I can conquer all. My kids sleep between x hours and eat at x times throughout the day. We go shopping at this time, read at this time, and our bedtime routine consists of bath, book, song, bed. DO NOT BREAK MY SCHEDULE!
Relationship with Spouse: Why are you letting them nap at 5:00??? SERIOUSLY?
Finance: No no sweetie, we swallow the mushed up carrots because they cost $0.97 cents/jar and you each need 3 per day. Did you honestly just poop in your diaper after I just changed you? Do you know diapers are $44 per box? I'm deducting this from your future allowance.
Big Question: "What time can we run to the store when it won't interfere with a nap or feeding?"
Looking Forward to: Crawling/Walking! Won't it be so cute when they're mobile? And there'll be SO much more to do with them!

Phase 4: Crawling to Walking - Bubble Phase
Feelings: Can I get that with padding? You also assume the holding a bubble around your child stance. You know the one I'm talking about, arms rounded, legs bent, waddling behind your baby who is learning to stand/walk.
Relationship with Spouse: Teamwork, "You cover that one and I'll cover this one"
Finance: "It cost how much to baby proof the whole house?"
Big Question: Do they make helmets for babies learning to walk? (Yes they do exist, no I did not end up buying one, but thought very hard about it). And "Why won't they just sit still for one minute... just one?Why did I encourage this again?"
Looking forward to: Sitting, just for a minute!

Phase 5: Talking and Toddlerhood - Boundary Phase
Feelings: My child can say 5 words, does Harvard have an early enrollment program because clearly I have a genius on my hands.
Relationship with Spouse: "Did you teach him to say that, because that word would NEVER come out of my mouth!"
Finance: Wooo, milk is SO much cheaper than formula! CHA-CHING!
Big Question: "What's the earliest I can get the kids to bed without them waking up before the sun in the morning?" and "Is my child 1 1/2 going on 13? Did she really just tell me to COME ON?"
Looking Forward to: Potty training and no more diapers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Toddler Tidbit Tuesday

One thing a lot of people have told me is that my children speak very well for being so young. At 18 months they can already speak in 2+word sentences. I don't know if this tidbit has anything to do with it, but I don't think it hurt.

Being a stay-at-home mom, you don't get to have too many conversations throughout the day. So from the day they were born I just talked to my babies. I'm not saying we had political debates or anything, but I would basically just dictate everything I did while I did it. For example, when I would change their diaper, I would tell them when I was going to get the diapers, when I was changing their diapers, and when I was throwing away the dirty diaper (I know, what a conversation huh? but hey my topics were limited).

Now 18 months later, I can tell them to go grab their diaper and bring it to me, they know where to go to get changed (although they are not always cooperative), and they know where I throw away their diapers (Side Note - They love to throw things away and it is the first place I look when something is missing).

I've noticed that they have picked up on so much and they completely understand me when I say something. They know where things are when I ask them to go grab them. They even repeat certain things I say (i.e. "It's tubby time" when it's time for a bath or little songs I sing to get them moving to another part of the house).

I don't know if this is scientifically proven or if its the same for all children or if my children are just geniuses ;) but it kept me from becoming mute all day at least.

So to sum up my tidbit, TALK to your kids, from day 1! Trust me, they're listening.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

Now this isn't a post on co-sleeping vs sleeping in the crib, just throwing that out there. Every time my son is teething its almost inevitable that he will end up in our bed for the night. He always starts out in his crib and then sometime in the middle of the night, after several trips to his bedroom, I cave and bring him in just to get a "Good night sleep". Why is that in quotations? Because the only one getting a good night sleep is him. My son, folks, is a bed pirate.

We have a queen sized bed and there are already 2 dogs who join us. Let me just give you a diagram of what our bed typically looks like when Cavan joins us...
Totally drawn to scale, art skills at their finest!

As you can see, my son sleeps sideways to begin with. He typically has his head on my belly or wedged in my armpit! Poor Ryan though gets the worse end... the feet. Cavan literally kicks Ryan to the very edge of the bed every night.

I think at this point we have two options, get Cavan to stay in his bed (without waking up Kaylie) or get a bigger bed. I'm thinking we're in for the latter.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toddler Tidbit Tuesday

Here is my Toddler Tidbit of the week...

One thing I love to do is to get the twins actively involved in the world around them. So every morning we go into their playroom and on the window we have a color of the week, letter of the week, and then we check the weather and hang the corresponding weather icon (i.e. if its sunny out, we hang a sun, Cloudy we hang a cloud).

It has become a fun morning routine and the kids go running into their playroom as soon as I say, "Let's go check the weather!" They're getting very good at remembering what each icon represents and telling me what the weather is. They are also really learning their colors. They constantly point out different colors they see around the house or when they're coloring.

Some other activities I like to incorporate with these are color scavenger hunts where we'll look for things inside or outside the house that are the color of the week. I usually will give them a new word everyday too that begins with the letter of the week. They repeat almost everything anyways so why not expand their vocabulary while also building their letter recognition.

Is it too much to be teaching my 1 1/2 year olds all this. NOPE! Because I don't expect them to remember the color the first day, or always understand that frog begins with f, but if something does stick along the way, well hey it's better than nothing right?

Always remember my mantra, every situation has an opportunity to teach a lesson so take advantage of young minds eager to learn!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Communication is Key...Until They Learn "NO"

We start out teaching our children the basics, "Mama" "Dada" "Hi" Bye-Bye". Then we move on to other fun words "Please" "Thank You", animals, colors, objects, etc. Then they pick up that dreaded word. You know, the word you use so frequently with a toddler? That word that when you say, "Cavan, come see mommy" and he replies, "NO!"
via


My children have mastered this word. Although now Kaylie adds to it. She'll say "No, Don't want it" or if she doesn't want to get off the swing at the playground after swinging for 30 minutes "NO, Swing!".

Cavan says it to Kaylie everytime she tackles him and takes his toys (Yes she's a bully, we're working on it). He also says it to the dogs when they bark.

All those times I don't mind. Its the times when I ask them to do something and they say no that we have a little problem. So we're now working on the word "YES" and using that as often as possible.

Now let's just hope they don't pick up any other words that may be uttered on occasion that we would prefer them not repeating ;)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rocking Horse > Carousel

Yesterday we took the twins to Roger Williams Park (Not the zoo, just the park). They have the CUTEST toddler playground complete with walk up ramps, small slides, swings (Kaylie's favorite), and a little school bus with steering wheel (Cavan's favorite).

They also have a carousel! We thought, how fun, the kids love their rocking horses and spring horse so naturally they will love to sit on the carousel horse, right? WRONG! Cavan hated it from the second we stepped onto the platform. He screamed and reached for Ryan, so they moved to the bench on the ride, you know the one that doesn't move. Well he still wasn't a fan, so once the ride ended they were outta there!

Kaylie, on the other hand, tolerated the horse before the ride started. As soon as it started up though I literally thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head. She didn't know what to think! And of course, with her short momma, she was going up above my head. Once she saw that, she wanted no part of that horse anymore. So we moved to the bench as well. That she did enjoy. She was clapping and laughing as we went around. So she got a second ride around on the bench with me while Cavan and Ry watched from the fence.
Right before the ride started, before the fear truly set in.

In conclusion, The rocking horse and spring horse are greater than the carousel in the mind of my twins.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chalk Up Another First...

The twins experienced their first Hurricane over the weekend. THANKFULLY it was not too bad once it hit our area. We had a couple trees fall and did lose power for 12 hours (very minimal compared to most). We are very grateful to have stayed safe and sound in our home.


Our neighbor's tree fell across their driveway!
Even our little beach cottage survived without any damage at all. Although the beach is now just a pile of rocks! Guess we won't be building anymore sandcastles this summer, but in hindsight if that's all we lose, we ended up pretty lucky.
Boarding up for the storm

This was the day before Irene hit. There were surfers out there but you can't see them in the fog.


The aftermath, Our beach now covered in rocks


We send our thoughts out to all those who were affected by Irene and hope all those without power (including a lot of our family members) get it restored soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interchangeable Phrases

To lighten the mood a little while Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene is ripping through New England, I thought I might post a few of the phrases I have used on both my children and my dogs...

1. No biting!
2. Please don't chew the furniture.
3. We don't pee/poop on the floor!
4. Stop licking the door.
5. That's the dog's/kids' toy, please don't chew it!
6. Sit! Stay! Lay Down!
7. Don't eat that!
8. Please stop trying to climb on my lap while I pee.
9. Mommy's shoes are not a chew toy.
10. Don't chew that dirty diaper!
11. Stop playing in the trash!

So I guess in conclusion, if you have a dog before you have kids, you've got some phrases already down.

*I hope everyone in the East Coast is staying safe right now!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

J-O-B Hunting

Can you get burned out by job hunting? The answer.... YES!

For those of you that may not know, I am on the job hunt. I have loved spending the past (almost) 18 months home with my babies, but it's time to get back to work.

HOWEVER, the job hunt has been VERY unsuccessful. I've applied to several places and only had one phone interview... which didn't end up working out. So what do you do when you've been out of work for so long and want to get back? No, really, I'm asking.

I've done my homework on each company I apply to and write (what I think are) amazing cover letters tailored specifically to each position and company. All to no avail. The main problem, the economy is tough right now and they say for every position you apply 300 others are applying as well. So where do you stand?

I have tried so many different ways to stand out. Now I'm starting to get burned out and losing a lot of confidence over it. I don't know what's worse, the almost instant rejection email or not hearing anything at all.

So if any of you have any good job hunting tips, please let me know. Or if you're hiring you can let me know that too :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yee-Haw

Ryan and I are known to pack up the kiddos on a Saturday morning and head out to the yard sales, usually with Ryan's mom as well. Always looking for the deals on anything from a table saw (yes Ryan bought one for $20) to a Schwinn Bike for a $1 (also found). But this weekend I think we found the greatest deal of all... A Spring Horse for the kids for $5.00!

Ryan's mom bought it for them and all we had to buy was a wooden dowel for a handle and some rubber covers for the metal part (total $8.00). So for $13 we have a great new toy. And do the kids love it you ask...


All signs are pointing to yes. They were completely rocking out and LOVED it! I'd say it was well worth the investment.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Up?

So here is what we've been up to since the last update... wow almost 7 months ago! Well the twins turned 1, I turned 29, and Ryan turned 30! Now for the more specifics...

Kaylie:


Since turning 1, Kaylie is not only walking, but RUNNING everywhere. Still a dancer at heart, she shakes her little tush to every beat she hears, and is even starting to learn some words to songs. Oh did I mention she is a talker? I don't mean just a couple words here and there. Oh no, she speaks in sentences. Some of her most common phrases are:
"Momma, Where are you?"
if someone leaves, "Where'd it go?" followed by a dropped jaw, wide eyed look, and right hand in an open palm face up position. Yes she's sassy.

She loves singing the alphabet (Getting a few of the letters right too) and Itsy Bitsy Spider. Recently she has become VERY attached to me. I'm working on helping her through this phase (Since that what I've heard it is), but it's not easy when she screams anytime I leave her sight. I'm up for any tips you other moms may have for this.

She's really coming into her sweet personality though. She's quite the little lady, when she's not shaking her finger yelling "No, no, no no, no!"

Cavan:


Well to give you an insight on Cavan's motor skill advances, we've given him the nickname CAPTAIN DESTRUCTO! He is ALL boy. He literally comes running into a room and will have it destroyed in 15 seconds. He loves climbing anything and everything! He's also developed a few dance moves too.
Talking? This kid is a parrot. He will literally repeat everything I say. He's also extremely retentive. He remembers everything I tell him and will repeat it back to me days later. This includes colors (Red, orange, green, purple, blue, pink, and yellow) and the weather (Sunny, cloudy, raining). He points out objects in the books we read and will tell me what they are. A pro at animal sounds, he can recite them off without even thinking about it.

He is also a cheese ball. He puts on this cheesy grin all the time and imitates his sister and cousins no matter what they do. If they fall down and get hurt, he will pretend to fall next to them and do a fake cry followed by his cheesy grin. This kid makes me laugh everyday, which I guess makes up for him pulling all the folded laundry off the couch right as I'm about to put it all away.

Me:


I'm embracing the fact that this is my last year as a "Twenty-Something". I've actually come to the decision that it's time for me to go back to work. As much as I love my babies and am extremely grateful that I was able to spend the first year and a half with them, I think it's time for me to get back in touch with some adults and start bringing in some dough. So far I've applied to several positions all to no avail. But as the saying goes, I'm just going to Keep on Keeping on.

Oh and I'm a Pinterest.com ADDICT! Love it. If you don't know what it is, you MUST check it out. Let me know if you need an invite too.

Ryan:


Ry turned 30 last month and we celebrated the best way we could... We went to VEGAS BABY. The first time for both of us, I surprised him by having a bunch of our friends come along with us. It was a blast and we broke even so I'd say it was a win win.
He was recently laid off from his job, but we're staying optimistic that new work will be coming along soon. For now the twins are just trying to soak up as much "Daddy Time" as they can.

So that's what we've been up to lately, hopefully you are all caught up. I'll try to keep you all caught up along the way :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reunited and it Feels So Good...

I'm back folks! I've decided I miss blogging too much to stay away. That and I've had a few people tell me they miss keeping up with me and the twins. So I made the executive decision to come back.

A few things will be different though. I'll be writing about more than just the twins. It'll truly be an insight on OUR Journey.

You'll still see pictures of the twins, how could I not post those?

I hope I can find the time to blog, but per usual, my babes are my number 1 priorities... And with toddlerhood comes VERY little ME time. So we'll see what happens, but hopefully I will provide you all with enough of a good read to keep you coming back! So how about a little incentive?

You know you want to see more of them :)

So for now I leave you for the weekend (Summers are good for long weekends away) and I will return next week with a full update on what we've been up to!


PS. Please excuse the design. Although I am going with a more simple design, I will be adding a pretty header in the near future :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Wuss Dat"

This is the phrase Kaylie has been using for about 5 months now. Her inquisitive little mind constantly craving knowledge. Eager to learn anything and everything about her surroundings. Now the same phrase is spoken by Cavan... ALL THE TIME!

It's still in the cute phase so I just keep telling him "Dog", "Dog", "Still a dog", "You say Dog" (Which 95% of the time he will say the word he just learned). He is catching on though because when I ask him later, "Where's the dog" he knows where to point.

It just amazes me how much the little wheels in their heads work on a daily basis. Simple things to us, like looking at a balloon, are new experiences for them. They want to know what it is they're seeing for the first time; what's it called; what does it feel like, sound like, taste like... yes they would like to know this even about the dog. To watch them take in their surroundings and begin to understand what it is they are seeing, well I'm just happy I'm here to witness it all.

Their receptiveness is unbelievable and what they take away from just a quick question, something they'll etch in their brains forever.

Another example is Cavan's favorite book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I just have to start singing the first phrase and he crawls right over to the book shelf and pulls it right down. Or if I turn on the music and say "Let's dance" Kaylie start wiggling her little body to the beat. Just the beginning of their education, but wow, what a start.

The mind is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

11 Months!



The twins are 11 months! Time to start the birthday planning! I've already begun thinking about themes and decorations, now it's time to get this show going! It's absolutely amazing to see the bond these two have formed even more so in the last month. They love to play together and even have there own little language to communicate to each other.

Kaylie has become SO much more mobile! She crawls on her knees and no longer army crawls. She pulls herself up onto everything and now even lets go to stand on her own. I'm convinced she will start walking before Cavan! Her vocabulary continues to grow each day with her repeating so many words. She still has her sweet personality, but don't let her fool you, she has a nasty temper when she's told no. I'm really in for it with her, haha. She has two more teeth slowing coming in and that has been making her sleep patterns not so great. Hopefully this is just a phase since her brother is making a lot of progress with his sleep.



Cavan is still working on that confidence to get himself walking. He'll walk with a walker, and will sometimes let go for a second, but does not want to stay up on his own for too long. I would like to report though that I believe we have see a white flag in regards to the crib wars. He no longer fights us to go in his crib and I have The Sleep Lady to thank for that! Crying it out just didn't work for us so this was a much gentler option. 


I can't believe it's almost been a year! These two have grown way too fast!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crib Wars...

So I mentioned in the 10 month post that Cavan is pretty much at war with his crib. I know its mostly my own fault because of the sheer exhaustion I had been pulling him into bed with us. Now I wouldn't mind him sleeping there if he actually slept. But with a queen sized bed, things are just a bit too snug for all of us resulting in a lot of tossing and turning resulting in not a lot of sleeping.

Now we're just desperate for a good night's sleep. But unfortunately for us and Cav, this place scares the dickens out of him...

Or so he'd like us to believe. Gone are the days of my perfect little boy who I could lay in his crib wide awake and watch him doze off in to dreamland. It really got bad when he learned he could sit up in his crib. Then worse when he learned to stand in there. 

We resorted to rocking him to sleep, which worked for a while, then he decided the arms were where he preferred to sleep. The second we put him down in his crib he'd roll over sit himself up and scream. I'm talking you would have thought we just laid him down on a bed of nails scream. Mind you he'd be sound asleep and snoring when we laid him down. 

My first thought, it HAS to be an ear infection. So off we went to the Doctors. Nope completely healthy. So I blamed teething and hoped this phase would soon pass. Well 8 teeth later, we're still in the same rut. To which I responded with another trip to the Doctor, because it has to be an ear infection this time, right? WRONG! Clean bill of health. Just fighting his crib. The Doctor tells me to try the Ferber method.

So here we are starting off with a modified version of crying it out where I wait the intervals and when I go in I give him his pacifier, lay him down, say goodnight and place my hand on his back. Well, we've had a little progress, he's stayed in his crib all night for three nights. So I plan to do this for a week and then move in to REAL Ferber method of not laying him down and letting him do all the self soothing. 

I know it'll be a longer process, but I'm hoping it will eventually lead to a much better night for all of us.

As a side note, we did something right with Kaylie because she will go in her crib, talk to her dolls for a minute and is sound asleep for the night. I wish she'd teach her brother her tricks! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Oh my, my babies are almost babies no more. This is definitely a hard pill to swallow. 10 months are gone and where they're at now is well beyond where I thought they'd be. Cavan is ready to just take off walking any day now and Kaylie's vocabulary is astonishing.

Cavan is officially into EVERYTHING. He is quick too. I will go in the kitchen for just a second only to come out and find him across the room climbing something. Oh and does he love to climb things. He loves his little scooter and can climb right on and scoot around the house. He also loves to push things around the house to help him get to where he wants to go.

However, he does have a new habit that I'm not thrilled with. His war with his crib. So far, the crib is winning. I try to be Switzerland and try to help him make peace with his crib, but his safe haven eventually becomes our bed. Which let me say I don't hate him being there because I know he won't be this little and snuggly forever, but that being said, we have a queen sized bed with 2 dogs already taking up my half of the bed. So as you can imagine, a little boy added into the mix does not help, but it sure beats getting up and having him scream every 20 minutes. Crying it out is tough when you know your husband has to get up at 4:30 for work, so for the sake of saving some sanity, for now he'll start in his crib and then join us when he wakes up.

Kaylie is literally like a little parrot. Although she not only repeats, she knows what she's saying. How do I know this? Because she will point to herself and say, "Kaylie" then point to her brother and say, "Cavan". I kid you not! If only she would let me catch he saying it on film but everytime I turn the camera on she just laughs. But Ryan and my mom have both witnessed it so I'm not crazy. She is also very inquisitive and is constantly asking, "Who is that" or "What is that".

This girl is destined for the lime light though. Once she gets over that little stage fright. She is always a performer for me. She is constantly dancing to any beat she hears, even some I don't hear. Now she has a toy with a microphone so she can sing AND dance... which she does. I mean she's not singing Ave Maria or anything...yet, but she puts the microphone in her mouth, yells and shakes her little booty.

She is also destined to give me grey hairs. oh does this little girl have a temper! If she has something she's not supposed to have, she knows it. And when I ask her for it she'll reach it up to me and when my hand gets close she whips it away and laughs hysterically. When I do eventually get it, she shakes he entire body, bites her fist and throws herself either onto the floor or, if I'm sitting with her, onto me and bites me. Thankfully she doesn't have that many teeth yet!

I just can't believe that I need to start planning their 1st birthday! That is crazy to me!