Jul 31, 2010


The blog's undergoing some changes!  I've been playing around with it the last couple of weeks, trying to make it look a little simpler.  My oh-so-creative sister helped me come up with a name change (ok, so really I texted her and asked her for some ideas and she came up with it...) and I figured out how to add a signature to the postings.  I'm still working on changing some other fonts, etc. so if you notice anything that looks way off on your computer, let me know.  I'm still learning all this design stuff and I don't want to screw anything up majorly. 


What?  Don't you eat spaghetti off your belly, too?
Just had to add something - since I posted this picture so large, you can see the buckle well.  Notice that it isn't even around his waist?  Our big boy has figured out how to climb into the seat on his own.  Well this night, he also decided he could buckle himself in by himself.  He was really proud, shouting, "I did it!" while I cut up his spaghetti.  I didn't even notice until I pulled his chair away to wipe the pile of spaghetti from his feet that he hadn't done it correctly.  But, boy was he proud! :)

Jul 30, 2010

Need a massage?

For a long as I can remember, my amazing sister and I have taken turns giving each other back massages.  She was always better at it than me.  I've always told her she should get her license, and she finally did it!  I'm so proud of her.  :)  Check out her website, and if you're in the Cincinnati area, make your appointment today!

Sweet Dreamin'

You know how most kids that wake up in the middle of the night crying end up in bed with mom and dad?  Not our kid... He prefers the couch.  At 4:30 this morning, he woke up screaming.  I went in, tried to calm him down, but he just kept saying he wanted 'up.'  We looked out the window and I showed him that the sun was still sleeping, so he still needed to be sleeping.  I tried getting him a cup of milk to calm him down, but it didn't work.  He just cried.  Jarrod finally came in and asked him if he wanted to sleep in our bed.  No.  I asked if he wanted to sleep on the couch.  He actually said no this time, but we knew from past experience it would work.

So, we headed to the living room.  He had his Thomas pillow and Thomas blanket, and of course, Dog Dog.  Jarrod got my pillow for me and a blanket, then headed back to bed.  Gavin laid there and drank his milk, and then asked for more.  I told him he could have more in the morning.  He said, "Ask mom. Please," which basically is his way of saying, 'I said please, now get it.'  I reassured him he could have more milk when he woke up.  Then we laid there, and he kept talking.  "No blanket.  Want brown blanket." {So, I re-tucked him in with another blanket.}  "Ouch, my knee hurts.  Kiss it?"  {Baby, your knee is all tucked in the blanket now.  It will feel better when you sleep and I'll kiss it in the morning.}  "Hear Daddy!" {Yes, that's daddy.  He's trying to go back to sleep, too.} 

The next thing I knew, Jarrod was waking me up at 6:40 before he left for work so I could see Gavin.  And of course - I had to take a picture.  Or several.

Jul 29, 2010

Thirteen Thursday

13 TV Shows Gavin loves - and how I feel about them....
**I should add, we DO NOT watch all these shows on a daily basis.  He may love TV, but he doesn't get to watch it all day.**
  1. Sid the Science Kid - I think Sid is the cutest character.  I love the show and think it's very educational.  I'm glad he likes Sid. :)
  2. Word World - again, a favorite on PBS.  I think I love it most because it reminds me of my classroom.  Inside recess days always meant Word World was on TV, and recess lasted about 20 minutes longer than it should have....  But seriously, I love how the show is embedded with phonics and phonemic awareness.
  3. Barney - eh, I could live without Barney.  Though, I have learned to really tune him out. It's a Barney CD that plays over and over in my car, and I don't even realize it's playing, even after Gavin falls asleep or if he's not in the car with me at all. 
  4. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - everyone loves Mickey, but his voice can get annoying after a while.  I love how Gavin sings the theme song and yells, "Oh, Toodles!" though.  It's quite cute.
  5. Max and Ruby - this has never been a favorite show of mine, but he laughs so hard at it.  I don't get it....
  6. Dora - again, a show I never really liked.  Luckily he doesn't ask for it often, but he does enjoy Boots. 
  7. Super Why - another show that any former teacher would love.  Whyatt and the Super Readers to the rescue!  :)  I love everything about this show - the focus on vocabulary, comprehension, decoding, letter recognition, and problem solving, just to name a few.
  8. Thomas - oh, Thomas.  How I have love/hate thee?  Gavin's obsession with Thomas continues (though he's had other loves come in and out of his life.)  The show just doesn't do it for me, but I love how involved he gets and the vocabulary he's learned from the show.
  9. Real Wheels - I don't even know what channel this show is on, but we found it shortly after moving here and DVR every episode (which seems to come on at the strangest hours.)  Gavin loves to sit and watch the Dairy Farm episode and the Construction episode over and over again.  Thanks to Real Wheels, I know how farmers bale hay and the difference between a loader, a backhoe, and a bulldozer. :)
  10. Sesame Street - who doesn't love Sesame Street?  It's very different from when you and I were kids, but it's still entertaining and educational.  I remember when Gavin was about 15 months old and first learned the word 'Surprise!' after it was the 'Word on the Street.'  He still loves to 'surprise' people thanks to the gang on Sesame Street.
  11. Handy Manny - Poor Manny and the Tools are hit or miss these days here. One day he asks to watch him, the next he cries when I turn it on.  But, I like the show - Phillipe, Turner, Pat, Stretch, Rusty, and all the others.  "Hop Up, Jump In....Come on, Let's go!"
  12. The Wonder Pets - I wouldn't consider this the most educational of shows, but the pets are pretty darn cute!
  13. Curious George - this is one of those shows that aren't my favorite (I'd much rather read the books) but I LOVE to sit and listen to Gavin laugh while it's on.  He thinks George is hilarious!
So, how do you feel about these shows?  Feel free to share the shows your little one watches. 

Jul 28, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday

I'm stealing  borrowing my sister's idea. :)  But, instead of etsy items on my wishlist, I'm going to start keeping a list of things I wish I had that I could use for activities with Gavin.  As I've been adding more and more blogs to my blog list, I'm finding tons of great activities that I could do with him, if I had the right materials.  I decided I need to keep a list of them, because let's face it: my brain doesn't work the way it did pre-baby.  {You know how when you're pregnant people say you have 'baby brain' and that's it's ok that you forget things?  Well, it's not ok, because it never goes away...my baby is 27 months old!}  A ton of ideas I get I could definitely do if I had access to all my teaching stuff, but that's all stored in my parents' garage.  Mental note to self: try to look through that stuff over Thanksgiving. 
  1. Bean bags - I saw a cute idea on I Can Teach My Child with a bean bag toss and can think of several ways to use the game, but I need bean bags. 
  2. Magnifying glass - Gavin loves investigating things with his flashlight, I know he'd love to look at things with a magnifying glass.
  3. Feathers - the different sensory and craft ideas I could do....so exciting!
  4. A felt board - I've thought about making one of these....maybe I'll have to keep my eye out for a sale on bulletin boards and felt.  But, I could do so much with a felt board.
See - I already can't think of so many things I once wanted.  Good thing I started this list! 
What are some things you use for crafts and educational activities for your toddler/preschooler?  I'd love to add to my list.  Add your ideas in the comment section!

Wordless Wednesday

Jul 27, 2010

For Christmas, Gavin got this playhouse tent/tunnel combo that we had kind of forgotten about.   We'd used the tunnel out in the yard and he'd crawl through it, but never put the tent up.  Recently, he has started saying, "I want something else," which means he's bored and we have been trying to find new, fun things to do with him.  I remembered this tent and decided to set it up in the living room.  He loved it!  He watched TV in the tent, read books, took his blocks in there, and wanted to eat dinner in there (but I wouldn't let him....dinner was too messy for the living room.)  Now it's a special treat that we use when we're getting tired of doing the same things in the house. 

Jul 26, 2010

Some updates

Happy Monday!  We had a great weekend.  It's HOT and HUMID here.  I can't remember when we last saw a day that wasn't in the 90s, so a forecast of 87 tomorrow sounds heavenly!  We spent time this weekend playing in the pool - you know, Gavin's blow up pool.  :)  You do what you can!  :)

I've been asked how Gavin's potty training is going.  Well, it's not really going anywhere.  We had a few good days, but now the only real time he's interested in using the potty is right before his bath.  He now has 9 pair of underwear, but when I show them to him and tell him we're going to wear them, he throws a fit.  So, we're just waiting for now.  I did get an eBook this weekend called 3 Day Potty Training.  It's interesting....I'm trying to decide if I want to try it or not.  The author swears if I follow her technique, he'll be fully potty trained in 3 days.  Hmmm....

As for me, remember a while back how I talked about how I was going to come here and lose all this weight?  Well, it hasn't happened.  Unfortunately, when I started watching Gracie, I stopped going to the rec like I should.  They have strange child care hours, so that also makes it difficult.  Plus, since I hurt my back again, it's not fun to work out.  I decided I had to get back on track so I signed up for Spark People.  It's like Weight Watchers and you track your food intake and exercise, but it's free.  Well, I put in my height and weight, and it came back with me in the overweight category.  Nice....  There's a 34 lb range of "average" weights for my height, and I'm not even in that average.  I really have to get serious! It's time for a change.  Let's hope I can stay motivated. 

Jul 25, 2010

A New Blog

Blogging has become very enjoyable for me, and I love the way it's documenting so much for us to look back on.  I highly recommend it!  :)

Because of that, I started another blog just for Gavin.  Check it out and 'follow me.'

Look, Mom! I Painting!

Those were the words I heard from Gavin....of course, I was confused.
Me: "You're painting?"
Gavin: "Yeah!"
Me: "Where did you paint?"
Gavin: "On the wall."
Uh oh....what was he talking about?  I hadn't left paint out.  Did he find a crayon?  A pen?  I was beginning to panic a bit.
Me: "Show me where you painted, honey."
A beautiful, hand-painted masterpiece....on the wall with Shirley's water.  He was quite proud!

Jul 23, 2010

Are you reading this?

Recently, Katie from When Hellos Means Goodbye did a post asking her readers to answer questions, and it got me thinking. There have been over 23,000 views of this blog. The map gadget I used to have has recorded views from California to Canada to the UK (had to remove the gadget because it didn't look right when I redesigned the blog). So, I'd love to know more about you! :) I know my family is reading this; they are one of the reasons I started doing this a 18 months ago. But, who are the rest of my readers?

So, I'd love for you to answer these questions in the comments section! It will be fun to see who my readers really are!  I'm not sure how many people will actually answer, but it's worth a try.

1. Where are you from? (You don't have to answer this specifically.)
2. Do you blog?
3. What are your favorite blogs to follow? I love to find new ones to read!
4. What's your favorite book?
5. Do you have any questions for me?

Jul 22, 2010

Thirteen Thursday

13 things that drive me CRAZY!!!

1. Hearing Gavin scream 'MINE!' or 'No, Sir!' 37,000 times a day when Gracie's here. (Yes, he now calls people 'sir' no matter their gender.)
2. When the UPS man rings the doorbell during naptime, making Shirley bark like we're being attacked, only to find out the package is for the neighbor.
3. Having plans change - I like to know what's going on....don't change things at the last minute, it annoys me.
4. People who are so much "busier" than me.  Seriously...we all have a lot going on.  Just because I am a SAHM does not mean I'm not busy.
5. This pain in my lower back and hip that's been there since Gavin was born and will likely never go away...it drives me crazy!!!  Just when I thought it was all better, it's back.
6. When the book I'm reading doesn't end the way I was hoping it would.
7. Having the customer service rep tell me they can't talk to me because Jarrod's name is on the account as the primary.  Grrrrr!
8. Waiting until 'tomorrow' to get gas and then the prices go up. 
9. My favorite creamer flavors not being available in 'Skinny' or 'Sugar Free.'
10. People who don't take care of things that aren't theirs - like our house!
11. Having no willpower - I want to lose weight so bad, but I like food too much! 
12. Cutting open an avocado and finding it's bad.
13. Hearing Gavin scream 'MINE!' or 'No, Sir!' 37,000 times a day when Gracie's here.  Oh, wait....I already said that one.  Can you tell what kind of day we're having????

Jul 20, 2010

Do all moms sing songs like this?

Gavin has always liked the "Name Game." He cracks up particularly when I sing, "Shirley Shirley Bo Birley, Banana Fana Fo Firley, Mi My Mo Mirley, Shirley!" Lately, I've started singing his name to the tune of "Bingo" to try and teach him how to spell his name. (Again....the teacher in me.) So, last night, we had to run to the bank, and I started...

"There was a Mommy who had a boy and Gavin was his name-o.
G-A-V-I-N, G-A-V-I-N, G-A-V-I-N, and Gavin was his name-o."

Gavin says, "Do Percy!" So, I sang...
"There was a train and he was green and Percy was his name-o.
P-E-R-C-Y, P-E-R-C-Y, P-E-R-C-Y, and Percy was his name-o."

He cracked up! "Do Parker!" Ok...a little harder, but doable.
"There was a boy who had a friend and Parker was his name-o.
PAR-KER, PAR-KER, PAR-KER, and Parker was his name-o."

Again, big smiles. "Do Cement Mixer!" Um, sorry, Gav. Mommy's not that talented. :)
I love you, though!

Making Play Educational

Ok, so it's the teacher in me....what can I say??? I'm always trying to find ways to make what Gavin's doing more educational. Well, recently he climbed up on a chair and got the grilling tongs that I'd just washed off the kitchen counter and was so fascinated by them. I let him play around with them for a little while, but then decided to get into "teacher mode" and showed him how to use the tongs to pick up blocks and drop them in the basket. He was so focused!

After a while, he started to get frustrated. He could get the block in the tongs, but about half of the time he'd drop it before getting to the basket. So, I switched out his tool and gave him a large spoon and he scooped the blocks up for a little while.

So much fun doing something so simple....who would have thought? I'm thinking that in the fall I'll start doing some "preschool homeschooling" type activities with him since we won't be sending him to preschool for another year or so.

Jul 19, 2010

Working with Daddy

When we first moved here, my mom gave us a couple do-it-yourself kits that she had picked up at a festival of some sort. We intended to make them right away, but somehow that didn't happen. Gavin found the birdhouse kit recently in the garage and talked about it all the time! So, last week, Daddy sat down with Gavin to build a birdhouse. :)

He actually did a really good job with the hammer! :) He started out wanting to use his "Pat the Hammer" toy from one of his Manny dolls.

Thank you, Daddy, for helping me! I love you a whole bunch!

Jul 18, 2010

Craft Time with Mommy

Painting with Peppers! Last week, after cutting a pepper for dinner, I remembered a craft I'd seen on Little Learners Lounge and decided to let Gavin have a try at stamping with peppers to keep him occupied until dinner was ready. He LOVED it!

Then, for some reason, he decided to put him hands in the paint. Now, this is the child that I cannot get to fingerpaint because he doesn't like his hands messy. And the child that I practically had to wrestle down to get a handprint for Father's Day gifts. But all of a sudden, he was ready to get his hands dirty!

And, again, he LOVED it!

Jul 16, 2010

A Day in My Life as a SAHM

Ok - I'm warning you now, this is going to be long. Since becoming a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), I've had several people, including my husband, ask me what it is exactly that I do all day. We don't have a set schedule - everyday is different. If I'm watching Gracie or Jake, our day is really different. Somedays, we don't go anywhere and stay in our jammies (those days are seldom, though...I need a break from the house even if it's just to go to the bank!), some days we have playdates, some days we are on the go all day. But, I decided to keep track of a whole day. Boy, was that exhausting! So, here we go! This is what we did on Wednesday, July 14!
6:30am - Gavin wakes up! He lets me sleep in for a change. Yay! (He's usually up by 6.) I go in to get him and he's reading his books in bed, which is typical. He gets his milk, climbs under the covers in our bed, and watches some TV while I put dishes away, make Jarrod's coffee, and catch the weather. Jarrod leaves for work around 6:50.
7:00 - This is my "relaxing" time of the morning. I get to drink my coffee and check my email, blog a little, and catch up on the blogs I follow while Gavin eats breakfast (2 cereal bars), finishes watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and plays with his train table.
8:15 - I ice my back and watch a bit of the Today Show while Gavin's still in the toy room. Then it's time for me to shower. Gavin is watching Dora, but when I come out, I find that she hasn't been the best baby-sitter. Gavin made a mess of all my hair ties, etc.
I finish getting ready, clean up Gavin's mess, get him ready, and pack the diaper bag. We are ready to go!
9:15 - we're in the car, headed on our errands.
Today our errands consist of a Target trip and heading to The Promenade to make a return and get my rings cleaned. (I also find out that my rings about about a size too small - think I need them resized!)
11:00 - back home. I put away the things we bought, including some super cute underwear for Gavin (hoping that might jump start our potty training again...)...
while Gavin colors with his new Toy Story coloring sheets....
and I make us lunch. On the menu - Gavin is having turkey, a bagel, and grapes, and I'm having leftover kielbasa and corn-pepper salad turned into one big salad.
11:30 - Gavin's back in the toy room. I clean up the dishes and check the mail. Yay! My Shutterfly order came....I get to sort pictures later. :)
11:45 - Time to get the cranky boy ready for nap. Diaper change, stories, songs....Then nap!
12:00 - I ice my back a little longer, finish watching some of the interesting parts of The Today Show (which I DVR every morning since I can't sit and watch it.)
12:15 - I start my "Motivated Moms" list - which you can see hasn't been very productive this week! Since I had Jake and Gracie Monday and Tuesday, and my back was hurting, I did nothing on the list. So, Wednesday was my catch up day.
Among other things, I cleaned toilets, windexed mirrors, dusted all the furniture and blinds in our bedroom, took out trash, and cleaned the refrigerator, while listening to A Baby Story on the TV - I'm so addicted to TLC.
1:30 - time to sort pictures and address envelopes so I can take the photos to the post office! :)
2:30 - someone's awake! (Wow....what a long nap today!) He looks happy here, but he wakes up pretty grumpy, so he spends some time waking up fully while watching some TV and eating his snack. I get to catch up with one of my favorite people on the phone....TORI! :)
3:15 - vacuum the whole house - it was on my list to do, but Gavin was sleeping so I waited. Gavin's in the toy room making a mess!
3:45 - head outside in the sweltering heat to clean up poop. Yuck! Then head to Leslie's to pick up some stuff before her Tastefully Simple party the next day.
4:15 - time for Gavin to feed Shirley. Then he plays the computer (www.kneebouncers.com)...
while I start a load of laundry.
4:25 - we make a pudding pie for dessert tonight. Gavin spills the milk, making a big mess on the floor that I have to clean up.
He is not happy about stopping the pie making process - he doesn't understand that we'll finish it after the mess is cleaned up.
Finally, it's time to finish the pie and he's a happy camper again.

5:00 - I go in to clean up the toy room, which surprisingly isn't as messy as usual.
While in there, I realize Gavin's awfully quiet. And I catch him doing this....
Apparently 5:00 in the evening is a good time to brush our teeth.
5:10 - Gavin reads the books we got from the library this week (this week's theme - baseball!) while I go to switch the laundry over. But, I realize that in order to do that, I'll have to actually fold the laundry that's been sitting in the dryer since Monday. I hate folding laundry!
5:25 - Time to start prepping dinner!
5:40 - Yay! Daddy's home! Daddy's home!
Dinner's still not ready - Gavin finishes making the guacamole for us.
6:00 - time to sit down for dinner. Chicken fajitas and yummy guacamole!
6:15 - Our quick dinner's over. Gavin's moved on to dessert, Jarrod heads out to cut the grass, and I'm left to do dishes. Another thing I hate!
6:30 - Bathtime for Gavin....while I'm giving him a bath, a Tastefully Simple hostess calls so I get some 'business' done at the same time. Her sales are awesome! That puts me in a great mood!
Thank goodness I have a self-timer!
The 'Cute Dragon' wants to get a picture of him growling at himself. :)
7:00 - Gavin and I watch Minute to Win It together, because like me, he loves game shows. :)
7:30 - Kisses for Daddy, brush our teeth, and it's bedtime stories. Tonight....our favorite! 'I Love You, Stinky Face!' :)
Goodnight, Gavin!
7:45 - Mommy gets to eat a piece of pie. I finish Minute to Win It and fold more laundry.
8:00 - Jarrod and I relax on the couch with a glass of wine (he won't take a picture with me...) and watch Rescue Me on DVR.
8:45 - in bed, reading my book (Baby Proof by Emily Giffin) and relaxing some more.
9:45 - lights out! Night night....I know, it's early....but what can I say? When you're up by 6 most mornings, you're in bed early most nights! :)