Wordless Wednesday

Jonas is too stinkin' cute for words!!!

Here We Go Again...

Today I decided to try and introduce Jonas to cows milk for the first time.  Remember when I said I was going to be weaning... like 6 months ago?  Yeah, I never did.  Forget it... I love breastfeeding too much.  And honestly, if I didn't HAVE to wean at this point, I wouldn't either.  But now it really is time.  I've done well... 11 months so far... but I want him on all cows milk by the time he's 13 months.  My RA symptoms are coming back with a vengeance and it's time to go back on meds.  I don't feel good about having a chemical cocktail inside my body, traveling through my milk and into my baby... hence, the weaning shall commence.   

Unfortunately, it didn't go so well today... what a shocker.  I decided to cut out my afternoon feeding first.  So, after lunch, I prepared a cup of cold cows milk for him.  Since he was thirsty, he began chugging it... and I thought "oh, my good boy isn't gonna give me a problem like Marco... what a good eater".  That was until his thirst was quenched.  Then he would take a sip and let it fall out of his mouth.  So I decided to warm it up.  Try again.  No luck.  He'd take a sip, shake his head and spit it out.  Ok, let's try to add some honey.  I laid him on my lap like I was going to nurse him, gave him the sippy... he took a sip and spit it out.

Oh boy, here we go again...

Marco gave me this SAME problem.  It's so bad, that we gave up... that's right... my toddler does not drink milk.  None.  Not a drop.  Which has been challenging because I have to be sure he gets enough calcium.  Basically, every day he takes a calcium supplement, eats at least 1 cheese stick and has at least 1 cup of yogurt.  I have exhausted my options on how to give Marco his milk.  Here are all the ways I've tried... you can mix and match on your own and see just how many options I've given him... and none have worked:

Temp:            Method:                Additives:
Cold               In a cup                Honey
Warm             In a sippy             Sugar
Hot                 In a straw cup      Splenda
                       In a mug              Chocolate
                       In a bottle            Vanilla
                       With cereal          Strawberry

The warm milk in a bottle with honey worked for a few months... then nada.  So I tried to thirst him out.  He went to sleep and when he woke up in the morning, I offered him milk... he refused.  Then snack time, I offered him more milk.  He still refused.  Lunch, milk, refusal.  It was 2 in the afternoon when I finally gave up.  I was afraid he'd get dehydrated!  He hadn't had a DROP of any liquids since the night before!  Talk about strong willed!!!  So, I came to the realization that he just doesn't like it.  And I gave up all together.  He has never asked for milk again.  And the few times I've tried to reintroduce it has yielded the same results.

I was REALLY hoping that Jonas would be different.  But I fear I'm going to have another battle ahead of me.

The only honest conclusion I can come up with is that I must have some rockin', good tasting, never duplicated, out-of-this-world breast-milk.  I should bottle this stuff!  Who's buyin'?

Seriously?! Thursday!

I'm linking up again this morning with a fab blog, From Mrs to Mama, for her weekly Seriously?! Thursday!  Go on over and check her out and the other linkies from today... I'm sure you'll be reading some great stuff!

Seriously?!  So, you remember when I wrote the post about my 10 year reunion?  Oh, well, it made the crap hit the fan.  The girl in charge of the reunion has officially BANNED me from the FB page... I'm no longer able to see it, read it or post on it.  I am disconnected from the event and anyone in our class because this girl thinks she is the goddess of our class... more like the tyrant!  Seriously!  It's seriously immature and a bit ridiculous.  I should be entitled to write WHATEVER I want on MY blog... and if she or anyone else doesn't like it, then feel free to make your OWN blog to write about me... I'd seriously be honored.

Seriously?!  Now that I have been black listed from my HS class, I feel almost like a revolutionary... fighting against "the man"... haha.  So, I have decided to put together a sort of getty for all the sane people who don't want to spend $80 a person... I'm looking into a venue that can hold us, but it's pretty much going to be "pay for your own stuff" type of thing.  Seriously, let me know if you'd like to join us!

Seriously?!  I've had a great time this week meeting up with old friends and getting together with their kiddos.  I met up with a friend from middle school on Monday, with her 2 boys.  Then on Tuesday with a good friend from college, her sister and their beautiful babes.  And now today I'm getting together with one of my best friends from high school.  It's seriously great to reconnect with lost friends!

Seriously?!  There is no active MOPS group in all of Miami!  Crazy, right?  The nearest one is in Miramar which is about 45 minutes away.  Forget it, I can't get both my kids ready, out of the house, fight traffic and be there by 9am... not gonna happen.  But there is one church down here that is considering starting a MOPS.  Looks like I'm going to have a hand in making that happen.  That is seriously weird... the way God works!  Like, I'm the only person in Miami who's recently been a part of a MOPS group, and I can help guide this group!  I'm seriously excited to get started and meet other Christian mommies!

Seriously?!  Marco's behavior has been out of control lately.  Way worse than it ever was in Greenville.  I don't know what the culprit is, but he's seriously going to recognize who's boss around here REAL soon.  No more Mrs. Nice Mommy!

Seriously?!  Marco is afraid of his toothbrush!  What the heck is that about?  It's a spin brush... and he's afraid of it.  Mind you, he's fearless... jumps into the pool, throws himself, doesn't cry when he falls, etc. But bring him a spin brush, and he runs out of the room... same with the hand held vacuum or my blow drier.  What a wimp! haha!

Seriously?!  Jonas will be ONE next month... my mind is officially blown!

Seriously?!  The sleeping situation in this house has progressively gotten worse, not better.  Last night went something like this:  11:30 Jonas starts crying.  11:35 back to sleep.  3:30 Marco comes into my bed.  4:00 we take him back to his room.  4:45 Jonas starts crying.  He stays in bed with us... hitting my face, pulling my hair, scratching my chest, climbing on top of me.  5:30 Marco is back in bed with us.  6:00 we take him back to his room.  8:30 Marco wakes up and our day begins.  Yeah, we seriously got some good sleep last night... WHAT THE HECK!!!

Bringing Down the Hammer

I really need help.  If you're a parent of a toddler, please, give me a word of advice or encouragement... anything!

I'm having a hard time reeling Marco in since we moved to Miami.  I don't know if it's the change of environment or living at my in-laws house, but he's becoming majorly defiant and unruly.  He pretty much takes my "no" as a suggestion and usually does whatever he wants instead.  It's hard for me to always be hands on with him because more often than not, my hands are tied up with Jonas.

When I call his attention, "MARCO", he responds with an equally loud and demanding, "MAMA".  This is unacceptable.  He also swats at me, as if threatening to hit me.  Again, unacceptable.  I feel like spanking him for hitting is counter productive and honestly, it doesn't even faze him.  Because of my arthritis, I can't hit him hard enough to make any kind of an impact.  He doesn't care at all.  And speaking as honestly as possible, when he hits me, I want to go nuts on him... I hold myself back, obviously.

Yesterday we had lunch with a friend who also has 2 boys the exact same ages as Marco and Jonas.  Her 2 year old was seated calmly in a booster chair, eating with a fork and drinking from a regular cup.  Marco... not so much.  He threw his plate... twice.  He threw his cup once.  He hit at me.  He peed in his chair (I'm convinced on purpose).  I ended up having to put him in a high chair to restrain him.  He was acting like an animal.  I was so embarrassed and I honestly didn't know how to handle the situation.  I told him nicely to calm down.  I told him harshly.  I grabbed his face.  I pinched him.  I spanked him.  NOTHING WORKED!

My fear is that he's gonna continue to defy me and disregard my authority and I'm gonna have to call Nanny 911!  haha.  No, but seriously... we're going through a really rough patch here.  I'm beginning to feel worn down, dealing with this 24/7.  My dad says we need to be super consistant... and I agree.  I remember from my teaching days, that consistency was key.  But jeez, is it exhausting!  Sometimes I wanna lay on the couch and put up my white flag... I SURRENDER, do whatever you want.  But I know I have to win these daily battles now or else deal with the consequences later.

Teach me how you "bring down the hammer" in your home?  And, if you don't have advice for me... then just pray!  haha... for real.

10 Reasons Why I'm Not Going

This year is my 10 year high school reunion.  Yes, that pretty much means I'm officially old.  It really doesn't feel like it's been that long, but alas, it has and a lot has changed since then.

Originally, I was looking forward to my reunion, but that quickly changed when a FB page was opened up to promote and discuss it.  Here are a few reasons why I will NOT be attending my 10 year reunion.

1.  The FB page has been absurd and really shown me who the people we went to high school with were like and how little they have changed in 10 years.

2.  The FB page has been beyond obnoxious, with a million harassment's reminders about buying our ridiculously expensive tickets.

3.  The organization has been anything but organized.  They opened it up for suggestions and received a cacophony of dumb opinions and people being "too cool for school".  They didn't want to have it at this one reception hall, which would have been a good deal, because some girl had her 15's there... like, 13 years ago... really?!  I went to that party 13 years ago, and I'll admit, it was fun... but not so good that we can't have any other event there ever because, omg, how tacky would that be?  Get. A. Life.

4.  They decided to not invite the teachers.  Why?  Because some people don't like some of the teachers... "She was meeeean"... "She assigned haaaaard work".  Ummm, who said these "mean" teachers would want to go anyway?  And, be a grown up and GET-OVER-IT!

5.  So they decided to have the party... at a house.  Yes, a house party.  But wait guys, they're like renting suuuuper nice tables and chairs... oh, and they're having TOP SHELF LIQUOR... guys, it's totally worth it.  And, maybe if enough people go, they'll have enough money to buy finger foods.  And, they have to get valet, security, decorations, lights, dj, dance floor, etc.  All of this, for the low and reasonable price of... $80 PER PERSON!  Are they freaking kidding... $80 per person for a house party?!  So, if Mau and I wanted to go, we'd have to dish out $160... ridiculous!

6.  But then, people have said NOT to bring your husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends... because they don't know anybody and you'll have to "babysit" them the whole night.  Riiiiiight.

7.  A few of the comments made on the FB page has totally turned me off from attending.  Maybe I've become too uptight but I don't think they're funny... I think they're inappropriate, rude and immature.  Comments like:
- Yeah, ladies, don't bring your husbands, that way we can hook up like we used to.
- Buy your tickets or we'll sacrifice your children.

8.  Not only has the FB reunion page ruined it for me, but so has FB in general.  FB has killed the need for reunions.  I know about everyone's life and I have easy access to messaging them.  I am not going to go to the reunion and be surprised that so and so married HIM, or that Fulanita is now a doctor.  We already know all of this... thanks to FB.

9.  There are only a handful of people I REALLY want to see anyway... and I know I don't need to pay that much money to get together with them.  I'd much rather get together with them individually or in a small group, save my money and not have to endure the stupidity that I have seen on the FB page.

10.  None of the people I REALLY want to see are going anyway.

So, if you wanted to see me, it wont be there.  I would LOVE to get together with anyone, but not under those circumstances.  Email me or FB me if you'd like to get together.

Looking for Libraries

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to go to the library.  First off, they get great exposure to vocabulary, books and music.  Secondly, they are in an environment where they are instructed by someone other than me.  Third, they get to interact with other children their age and I get to interact with other mama's.  And lastly most importantly... it's FREE.

I have been taking Marco to the library since he was 2 months old, and Jonas was going as soon as he came home from the hospital.  The library system in Greenville is fantastic.  It's small enough that it stays organized and they are able to hire people who are knowledgable in their field and who really have a passion for it.  The classes are tailored for the children of that specific age group and it's always a fun time.

So far, that has not been the case here.

I have visited 2 separate libraries with 2 different classes and 2 different teachers.  But they weren't very good.  In each class, there were only about 5 parents with their children in attendance... compare this to Greenville's 20... at least!  The teachers don't seem to understand the attention span of a toddler and insist on reading book after long book without mixing a song or hand game in between.  A 2 year old can not sit through 3 books in a row!

Today's class went something like this.  The teacher had us all sitting on the floor and instead of opening up with a song or game, she immediately started instructing us (the parents) on the importance of exposing our children to large vocabulary... she spoke on this for about 5 minutes.  By minute 2, Marco had lost interest and was up running around.  Not a minute later, another boy decided to join him.  Before the teacher had completed her THESIS lecture on vocabulary, all the children were going bonkers.  And the class hadn't even begun!  Then she proceded to read THREE books IN A ROW and commentate as she went along... as if the books weren't long enough already.  While she was reading, Marco and 2 other children were running back and forth, and removing all of the books from her display.  Did she really think they were going to sit quietly for that long and actually pay attention?  They're TWO, not 4.   I mean, really... know your audience!  Then she did one fun song with movement... THANK GOD... and it brought all the children together.  And lastly she had a coloring time, which as also good.

The whole time, the teacher just seemed annoyed.  And with reason.  But it's her fault for not planning an AGE APPROPRIATE class.  So, the Miami libraries seem to be in the business of hiring children workers who don't really enjoy children... mmm, that doesn't work out too well.

So, I'm 0 for 2 right now... but I'm not giving up!  I absolutely love the library and there's gotta be at least ONE class at ONE library with ONE good teacher, right?  It's a big city and I'm determined to find it!

But on a side note, this was something I learned today that knocked my socks off.  The library has free museum passes that you can check out with your library card.  Basically, you check out the pass and it's good for 1 visit within 7 days for up to 4 people.  Children's Museum here we come!!

Evidence of a Big Baby

Here are a few ways I know my premie 10 month old is turning into a BIG baby:

1. I can climb

2. I can stand 

3. There's a tooth in my mouth!

4. I only eat table food now. 

5. I can clap my hands!

6. I love playing with my big bro!

Pinecrest Gardens

Today (before the rain), we went to Pinecrest Gardens... and we discovered that it is truly a hidden gem.  This used to be where Parrot Jungle was before it moved close to the beach.  The city of Pinecrest had a wonderful park, filled with covered walkways, old trees that provide tons of shade and space for picnics and fun, so they decided to open it up under this new name, Pinecrest Gardens.  It's great fun and only about 10 minutes away from my in-laws' house.  It costs $3 per person to get in, but it's sooooo worth it.

They have a splash park, a petting zoo and a playground as well as multiple picnic sites.  On Sundays, they host a farmers market in the parking lot.  We will definitely be back once we're sure we wont be rained out.  Here are some pictures of the day:

Potty Training: Days 2-3

Well, the last two days have been pretty much the same... almost stagnant.

One time he was trying to go... look of concentration in his face, but nothing would come.  He grabbed himself and screamed, "go! go!".  haha!

Yesterday he did poop twice in his underwear... but I've heard this is normal.  For some reason, poop takes longer to master than pee.  Ok.  But other than that, the only accident he had was while on time out.  Accident or manipulation?  I'm not sure.  

Today he's been telling us every time he has to go... but sometimes he's been going to the bathroom without telling us.  Normally this would be great, except that when he gets up on the toilet he doesn't scoot back enough and then pees all over the floor.  He has the right idea and good intentions... if only it'd make it into the toilet!

So I think he's "got it"... I think we're on our way.  I do not think potty training takes one day... maybe one day to understand the concept, but the practicing will take a while.  He did and is doing great, so I can't complain.  I'm super impressed... he JUST turned 2 for crying out loud!

Potty Training: Day 1

After an entire weekend of potty prep time, today was our first official potty training day... and it went GREAT!  Either my son is a genius or this Potty Boot Camp method is miraculous!  (I like to think it's the former). 

We started right after breakfast... I took Marco to the bathroom and explained to him what I was doing.  I then put on a clean new Mickey Mouse underwear, and he immediately peed into it.  OH NO!  I again explained what we were doing and put a new underwear on him... not 2 minutes later, he peed again.  Oh geez, this was gonna be a long day!  We cleaned up and put yet another underwear on him... 3 more minutes and he peed yet again!  At this rate, I was gonna run out of underwear and have to do laundry mid-day.  

So I decided to drill.  The drilling is the hardest and harshest part of the method.  But it works.  It's sort of a "tough love" thing, but I figured I'd do it so long as Marco was accepting it... I'd let him gauge it.  We did 10 drills straight.  I held his hand and walked away from the bathroom and asked, "What do we say when we have to go pee-pee?", to which he replied, "Mama, pee-pee" and then I'd walk him to the bathroom and say, "then we go to the bathroom, take off your pants, sit on the toilet, and do pee-pee, in the toilet, not in your pants", all while doing the motions.  That... 10 times.  Brainwashing much?  Yup... and it worked.  We drilled twice overall.  

After that, he'd say, "Mama, caca" and run to the bathroom.  Well, it got me thinking... he was using the word "caca" for both pee and poop.  Now a lot of things were coming together... he has been saying "Mama, caca" for months now... sometimes when he's pooped and sometimes when he hasn't.  I thought he was using it to get attention or just faking it, but now I realize that he was telling us when he peed as well as when he pooped.  If only I'd known, I would have assumed he was ready for potty training months ago!  

The goal for the end of day 1 is for them to begin self initiating... meaning they tell YOU when they have to go to the bathroom.  Marco was doing it by noon!  The only problem after that was that he was saying "Mama, caca" every 5-10 minutes and going in for just a trickle.  Sure, he was doing it, but he wasn't holding at all.  I assume this will get better in a few days time. 

Around 1:45 I put him down for his nap with a diaper.  He was a little confused by this and came out of the room several times to tell me he had to go to the bathroom and I had to explain that he could pee in his diaper because it was nap time.  I was afraid that when he woke up, he would have regressed, but he didn't.  We put his undies back on and he was good to go.  

Unfortunately he didn't poop on the potty at all today... both times was right after waking up, so he went in his diaper.  But overall, today was  a monumental success!  If I had known it was going to be this easy, I wouldn't have been so terrified.  He was SOOO excited to show Mau how he could go pee-pee on the toilet!  I was beaming with pride.  

Here's the proof:

(he'll be thanking me for this one, I'm sure)

the future in underwear modeling

Oh, also Mau started his new job today... today was a good day! 

Potty Training: Prep

I've been avoiding potty training like the plague.  Honestly, I'm scared of it.  I don't know how to handle it. I don't want to spend days, weeks, months picking up poop and changing wet clothes.  I don't want to have to soak up carpet stains or mop up the floor.  So, it's been on the back burner.  I figured, eventually he'll be potty trained... you know, by the time he's 12.

But lately, he's been much more vocal about when and if he needs a diaper change.  He's been able to tell us immediately after he poops and sometimes before.  He's asked to sit on the toilet... although once he does, he just tries to play with the water.

Many people have told me, "he's ready", but I still felt apprehensive.  I've heard horror stories about children being potty trained too early and then spending the next 2 years cleaning up accidents because they never "got it".  Or worse even, boys potty trained too early and then spend the rest of their lives touching themselves and adjusting themselves in public because they've developed a habit of it.  Yuck.  But the flip side is potty training too late and being turned down at pre-school, or having detachment issues with the diaper.  I don't know if any of this is actually accurate but it still gave me a cause for concern.  So when is the "right" time?  Gosh, if only these kids came with instruction manuals!

Well, I decided it is now the "right time" for Marco.  On Monday, we begin hard core potty training.  And here's why:  First is the fact that he's been vocal about being wet/dry, but most importantly is the fact that I have support.  With my mother-in-law home for one more week, she'll be able to help me reinforce the technique and also be with Jonas while I concentrate on Marco.  Also, we're living in their house, which is tiled or laminate wood throughout... no carpet!  Now is the time.

I read The Potty Boot Camp and it claims that by the end of the first day, your child should be 90% potty trained.  Basically by the end of day 1, they "get it".  That sounds good to me.  I know it's not a miracle worker, and I'm not expecting it to run smoothly, or be easy by any means, but it's worth a try.  It means 2-3 days stuck in the house, cleaning up messes.  Yippee... can't wait.  I went to Target today and armed myself with a few bribes and some special big boy undies!

Leading up to the BIG day (Monday), we'll be doing some prep work.  Every single time I or Mauricio go to the bathroom, we ask Marco to come with us.  Then we explain to him what we're doing... step by step.  (Some of this may be TMI, sorry).  "Here's the toilet, I'm taking down my pants, now I'm doing pee-pee, look!"  Then I stand up, we look in the bowl and I let him flush as we say "bye bye pee-pee".  Then we've been asking him, "Does Mama wear a diaper?"... and he thinks that's funny, "Noooooooooo"... "Marco's not gonna wear a diaper any more either because he's a big boy now".  Hopefully after 3 days of this, he'll be ready and know what's coming.  

I'm nervous.  I'll keep you updated on our daily progress.  This is BIG news!  Pray for me. 

Seriously?! Thursday!

Linking up again with From Mrs. to Mama for her weekly Seriously?! Thursday.  I had a great time reading all the other mama's posts last week and even found a few new blogs to follow!  Here we go:

Seriously?! Living at my mother-in-law's house is like being on vacation.  I haven't changed even half the amount of diapers I normally change.  She wakes up with my kids in the mornings and lets me sleep in.  She cooks delish dinners every night.  I'm getting so spoiled.

Seriously?!  What am I going to do when she goes back to work in 2 weeks?  Reality check!  (She's a high school teacher.)

Seriously?!  I'm just gonna put this out there and I know some of my readers may be tiffed by it.  I can't stand it when pregnant girls complain about being TOO pregnant.  It's like they hit 37 weeks and BAM they want the baby out NOW.  What is the rush?  The baby will come eventually...  it's not going to set up house in your uterus indefinitely.  Oh, you're uncomfortable?  Can't sleep?  Welcome to the next 18 years of your life!  It just annoys me because some of us, like me, couldn't hold onto our babies as much as we tried and ended up with premies... and others can't have babies at all... and here you are complaining about discomfort?!  Count your blessings!  You'll have your baby, and it'll be SUPER healthy, strong and perfect.  Seriously, BE PATIENT! 

Seriously?!  Again, going to put this out there... I hate it when people use a disability or condition as a crutch.  Be nice to me... don't bother me... watch out... I have whatever.  Ummm... GET OVER IT.  I have 2 disabilities and you don't hear me crying about it all the time.  Sure, I know my limitations, but I'm not gonna be crying about it all day every day.  Learn to live with it... and LIVE.  Seriously.

Seriously?!  We haven't had cable since we got engaged back in 2006.  We cut it off in an effort to save money for the wedding but never turned it back on. We got used to it.  But now, living in a house with cable is so different.  I seriously have no idea what to watch.  In fact, sometimes while I'm watching one thing I'm worried that I'm missing something better on another channel.  Too many options! 

Seriously?!  One advantage about living in Miami... FREE BABYSITTING!  I am seriously excited for our double date this Saturday with Jen and Tommy.  I don't even care where we go, so long as it's adults only.  
Seriously?!  The driving in Miami is IN-SANE.  It's like everyone here is an ego-maniac.  No one can wait 2.2 to let another person pass.  Why?  Because THEY are waaaaaay more important than YOU... and they're agenda is waaaaaaaay more impressive than yours.  Seriously, no common courtesy. 

To the Day

You all may find it interesting to know:

On August 1, 2005, my mom and I packed up her SUV and she moved me, my mattress and my clothes to Orlando.  I was staying with Jennifer until my condo closed.  That was all I had... that was all I needed.

Now, on August 1, 2011, 6 years to the day, I am back in Miami to stay.  (that wasn't supposed to rhyme). This time, however, moving wasn't quite so easy.  It wasn't one mattress we moved, but 3.  And everything else that goes along with a husband and two toddlers.  There's a dining table and hutch, a couch and a coffee table,  a bookcase and some chairs, and a partridge in a pear tree. 

Just check out the MONSTER moving truck we drove down from Greenville yesterday.  No lie, it felt like an 18 wheeler.  And we hitched my car to the back of it, so it was looooonnnngggg like an 18 wheeler. 

Thankfully we are here and we are safe.  Now we have to decide if we want to rent something now and just unload once, or if we really do want to stay with the in-laws, which would mean unloading into a storage unit, renting another truck when we find a place, loading and unloading again.  So basically like moving 2 more times.  Can you guess which one I'm hoping for?