Friday, November 30, 2012


If anybody is looking to buy me a gift for Christmas this year, I would love this:

OR this:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I have read and heard from others that it is common for the older child to regress some when a new baby is brought into a family.  I was super surprised when Aiden didn't have any extreme reactions to Mila's arrival.  Apparently, his reactions are delayed.  The past month has been horrific.  Suddenly Aiden is incapable of doing things he's been doing for a year: putting on his socks and shoes, taking off his shirt, climbing into his car seat, buckling himself in... this list goes on.  

To top it off, his attitude would put a teenager to shame.  He talks back all the time.  Sometimes he yells back.  He refuses to do anything we ask him too.  Even if it's something he actually wants to do.  It's like the fact that we want him to do it gives him an aversion to said act.  He whines.  He throws fits.  It is SO frustrating.

Oh and then there's meal time.  Aiden has always been a good eater, but it seems he's chosen to go anorexic.  He's boycotting food altogether.  He eats a couple bites and then he's done.  But that's not until he throws a fit about how he hates everything on his plate.  I even tried giving him some foods he used to love - pizza and edamame.  He ate half a slice and six pods before he said he was done. I think the only food he happily eats these days is cereal.  Can I just feed him that for every meal?  I'm hoping he's just in a growth lull.

Travis was complaining the other day about how he's tired of bribing Aiden to do everything.  'You can't  watch TV until you eat your dinner.'  'You can't play outside until you get dressed.'  'You can't have your juice until you put on your shoes.'  Etc, etc.

When I dropped Aiden off at daycare yesterday his teacher stopped me and asked if he has been extra whiny at home lately.  "OH MY GOD YES HE HAS HAVE YOU NOTICED IT TOO???"  She basically repeated everything I've mentioned above.  I kept meaning to ask her about it, but I always forget in the morning rush.  I don't know if it's good to know he acts the same at daycare, or not.  

His teacher said every time he throws a fit, he has to go sit on the carpet until he stops crying.  She tells him, "No babies are allowed in her classroom.  Only big boys and girls."  I tell him the same thing and then he just says he wants to be a baby.  She said he does the same thing for her.  She also said there is another boy in her class who has been acting like that for a long time.  So I don't know if it's learned behavior on Aiden's part, or something he's doing because of Mila.  I don't feel like I give Mila more attention than Aiden, but I know it's different attention.  I have to carry her, feed her, change her diapers and clothes.  But that's only because she's a baby.  When she gets big enough, we'll let her do those things for herself.  It's not because we love her more or something like that.

I don't know what to do about this bad behavior.  I'm thinking about starting a goal chart to reward good behavior.  I would put 4 or 5 columns ('Eat Your Dinner', 'Clean Up Your Mess', 'Listen to Mommy and Daddy'...) and then give him a sticker every time he does really good with one of these things.  Then give him a bigger reward after he gets so many stickers or fills up a column.  I'm not sure what the reward would be.  Go out to the movies?  Ice cream date?  Buy him a new coloring book or stickers?  How big should I go?

Has anyone had any experience with this?  Any other ideas that worked better?  I'm looking for any advice I can find.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

I am thankful for my job.  If it weren't for my job, we couldn't have handled the Thanksgiving Plumbing Fiasco of 2012.

We have had some plumbing issues at the house for a while now.  The house periodically plugs up and requires serious intervention.  We had our first serious issue in February of this year.  There were a few little clogs here and there.  Then in May, while my dad was here, we had another serious run in.  It was so bad that we had to have a plumber come out and clear the line.  He used a camera and didn't see anything too outrageous.  Just the typical grease build-up that needed to be cleaned.  I figured that since it took at least 4 years for this build up to get to the point that it was causing problems for us, that we would have another 4 years for it to get to that point again.  

So you can imagine my surprise when things started acting up a few weeks ago.  The kitchen sink never completely backed up.  It would just be slow to drain for a day and then it would go away.  This past Thursday morning, Thanksgiving morning, it got worse.  It completely stopped up.  Travis borrowed the neighbors snake and spent hours unclogging it.  We never saw what caused the problem, but at least we would be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner and do the dishes without an issue.  

Then it came back 10-fold Saturday.  The dishes piled up next to the sink all afternoon/evening.  Travis went under the sink to take the pea trap apart and noticed the disposal was leaking.  We wondered if it was not working properly so big chunks of food were making it out and plugging up the line.  Sunday he went to Home Depot (HD) and picked up a new disposal.  Since he was going to be taking the plumbing apart, he figured he'd replace our leaky faucet as well.  I was excited for him to do some work that I could see, so I was all for it.  When he got down there to replace the disposal, one of the pipes fell off when he touched it.  It shouldn't have fallen off.  It should have held on for dear life because it was rusted on.  Well, it was rusted off.  Totally corroded.  

Travis: "Guess I'll replace the remainder of the pipe as well."

Me: "UGH.  Ok.  It HAS to be done."

Travis: "Since I'll have the sink out to put all this together, do you just want me to pick up a new counter top while I'm at HD?"

Blink, blink.

Travis: "And we might as well get a new back splash while we're at it."

Me: "Ummmmm... Yaaaaa.  I don't think that's going to work for me."

Travis: "Just joking!"


Travis headed back to HD for more parts and he had to stop at work to pick up some more of his tools.  Total, he spent 12 hours working on that sink.  

In the end, Travis found eight whole pecans caught in a bend in the pipe directly under the sink.

Squirrels have been stuffing their winter store of pecans in the plumbing vent on our roof.  Not sure how they planned on getting them out.  I guess they didn't think that far ahead.

Next step: Put a cover on the roof vent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sister Time

Ariel is staying with me this week!  It's so fun having her full attention and I think she's enjoying the mini-vacay.

Monday night: She got to see what it's like in the Ward residence in the evenings.  Ariel colored with Aiden while I fed Mila and Travis made tacos.  We stayed up until midnight watching Bones and talking.

Tuesday night: Sisters-only dinner at the BBQ restaurant down the street, then sundaes back at the house.  In bed by 10:30 (exhausted from the night before).

Today: She rode to the island with us, helped me drop off the kids and we're meeting for lunch.

Tonight?  Thanksgiving prep and doing our nails!  No work for me tomorrow or Friday.  =)

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Training

I had more training all last week.  I learned a lot for my job and I think it has made me more confident. This training was local, though it was still rough to plan out.  The training center is 40 minutes north.  Travis was a trooper and helped me with the kids all week.  He drove them south to Galveston before heading to work north of our house every morning.  Since my class started at 7:30, I was able to get back down there at the end of the day to pick them up right before they closed.  I feel really bad that the kids spent so much time at the daycare last week, but it was only for one week.  Well, I guess there was one day I wasn't able to pick up the kids on time.  Thankfully, my friend Linsey was able to get them for me.  She already has a big kid car seat in her car for her son and we leave Mila's car seat at daycare every day.  I felt bad asking her for that help last minute, but Linsey was totally cool with it.  It worked out that I got home right before Linsey got to the house.  

The training itself was pretty interesting.  It focused on chemical handling and disposal, various safety issues, First Aid and CPR.  I swear, CPR rules change every time I get re-certified.  They're either changing the number of compressions, number of breaths, or taking out giving breaths altogether.  Although it looks like they recommend doing that again. 

It was a big week for Mila.  Her second tooth broke through; right next to the other on the bottom front.  She was a little cranky, nothing extraordinary.  So different than Aiden.  She also has taken to sitting up on her own!  If she has to lean over to reach a toy, she usually topples over, so it's not 100%.  I feel like she is growing up so fast!

At this point in our lives, Travis and I have begun to lean towards not having any more children.  We aren't throwing out the idea entirely.  At any rate, if we do have another it won't be until Mila starts Kindergarten.  We plan to move to a different home before then.  That means we would have to store all this baby stuff  for five years and move it to a new house.  Meh.  Not worth it to me.  So now we are storing all the things Mila has outgrown (except for the clothes I've been giving to a friend) in bags marked "Garage Sale".  This will be the first garage sale we've done as adults.  I recall my parents having a few, but I was just a wee one with no responsibility.  Honestly, I find the idea a little daunting.  But it should be worth it.  It can't hurt to earn a little cash back on all these items!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fresh and Clean

I finally made an appointment to get Aiden into the dentist.  I wanted to find a pediatric dentist so they would have more patience with a small child.  I checked with several people and found a name that came up frequently, so we went with her.  I downloaded a book about Sponge Bob going to the dentist.  We read that frequently and every night when we brushed teeth I would poke his teeth and say, "This is what the dentist is going to do.  She wants to count your teeth and see how well you brush!"  I also made a point to tell him he would have to "bite on paper" while the took pictures of his teeth.  I did everything I could think of to prepare him for what it would be like.

The office was AWESOME.  When we first got there, I was thrown off that they didn't have more toys in the waiting room.  Turns out that's so kids don't get mad when they are torn away from really cool toys to go see the dentist.  They did, however, have a TV with Happy Feet playing so I was able to easily fill out the paperwork.

While we were sitting there, several bigger kids went in back.  I made sure to point out the "big kids" who were going back to get their teeth cleaned.  When the hygienist came out to get Aiden, she took a moment to introduce herself to all of us and she explained what they would be doing.  Then she got down on Aiden's level and asked him to come in back with her.  Travis had decided he wanted to go in back with him, so they headed back.  Aiden seemed excited.

After the x-rays, the hygienist came out and told me he did great.  He sat on Travis' lap during the x-rays and didn't fuss at all.  After the x-rays, they let him go play with the toys they had in back for a bit.  That way he didn't get antsy sitting in a chair for a long time.  They did his cleaning and Travis said he did just as good during that.  Then they sent Aiden back to the toys while we talked with the dentist.  She was super nice and I feel SO GREAT about the entire experience that I've been dreading for months.

No cavities!
Brand new Mater toothbrush!


Tonight I'm taking him to the fire department to sit on the truck as a reward for being such a big kid!!

Monday, November 5, 2012


We had a much needed lazy weekend.  Last week we had Halloween and celebrated my sister's birthday.  The weekend before that was filled with lots of festivals.  The weekend before that I was in Florida for work.  BUSY TIMES.  This past Saturday and Sunday we took turns doing fun things.  Saturday morning Travis took Aiden and went grocery shopping while I stayed home with Mila and cleaned around the house.  Then he took Aiden to play golf in the afternoon.  They had a good time riding around in the golf cart and hitting balls.  I'm glad Aiden enjoyed it.  Maybe that's something they can grow to do together.

Sunday I met my friend Linsey for lunch and went shopping at the outlet mall that just opened last month - WITHOUT KIDS.  It was great to get in some conversation without interruption.  I am so excited to get some clothes for work that are non-maternity.  I started my new job when I got back from maternity leave.  My new job requires casual business attire, which is the complete opposite of my t-shirt and jeans level of dress at the previous position.  I had one pair of slacks and a few tops that fit the bill, so I have been long overdue for these new clothes.  Two and a half outfits are nowhere near enough to complete my wardrobe, but it's a good amount to get me started. 

Sometime Friday night/Saturday morning, Mila's first tooth broke through the gums!!  I can't believe it!  She's only five months old.  I know all kids are different, but Aiden was eight months old when he got his first tooth.  It's crazy.  Mila has been a little fussy lately between this teething and her mild ear infection, so I've been giving her Tylenol every day.  Not every four to six hours, but once or twice per day (usually before bed to help her get through a night of sleep). 

I did some online searches and found that other moms have found a correlation between Tylenol and constipation.  I could not find any reputable sites that said there is a direct cause and effect here, except with Tylenol with codeine.  I know these are just mothers' opinions, but I'm wondering if that might be what's going on with Mila.  She has been having bouts of constipation and it seems to be around the same time as when I give her Tylenol.  Only one way to check - cut out the Tylenol.  There's only two weeks until she's old enough for Ibuprofen, thank goodness.  

If she didn't have a proper bowel movement today at daycare, then I'm going to offer some watered down prune juice.  It's just so sad!  I did see a direct correlation between rice cereal and constipation, so I'm not offering her that anymore.  I'm so bummed that it seems like constipation is a common problem for my kids.  I was hoping they would get their bowels from their father.  HA.  I suppose if we physically worked our butts off all day long and ate as much spicy food as he does, we might be able to keep up.  Instead, the kids and I are stuck relying on yogurt, probiotics and bulk fiber to take care of things.  Sorry if that was too much for some of you, but it's just life.

I hope my baby girl is feeling better tonight!  It breaks my heart when she's not her normal perky self.  Both of the kids are getting over coughs as well.  I am ecstatic to announce that we've gone five days without waking up at night from a coughing fit.  Even if it's not a full eight hours, having a night of consecutive sleep can do wonders for a person's psyche.