Monday, November 29, 2010

Smile...It's the Holidays!!!

Is anyone else having an extremely hard time accepting the fact that we are to Christmastime again??? Where has this year gone? I only wish I knew.

Ever since adding to our family and living away from family, I've appreciated the importance and significance of holiday cards. The first few years of marriage, I may have sent some out, but they were confined to the box of cards you find on the store shelves and you just sign your name inside and call it a day. That all changed with Michael. Now, it is of course nothing but photo cards!!! The only problem is there's too many pictures in a year to choose from! :)

Since we have such a large family on both sides and we don't live around any of them, we end up sending out a LOT of photo cards each year. That being said, of COURSE I appreciate a deal! In the past few years, I've found that Shutterfly has had a very cute selection of photo cards for reasonable prices, and I'm all about that! I'm not sure if in the past I've had a favorite photo card per se....they always seem to have such a wide selection I spend all my time trying to choose between them! I tend to like the ones that can hold multiple pictures on one side, such as this one.

Another thing I like giving to parents as gifts? Wall and desk calendars! Check out Shutterfly's vast selection here. Also, make sure to check out their holiday selection of Christmas photo cards...I expect to get one from you and your family!!! That's one of the many things I love about this time of year...we actually look forward to getting snail mail, being as it consists of more than bills and junk! :)

Happy Holidays everyone!

*Disclaimer: For creating a blogpost about Shutterfly's holiday products, I am being given 50 free photo cards. However, all opinions above are my own.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm A Big Boy Now: The Potty Training Chronicles

Finally, after weekend upon weekend of exciting fun, we actually had a weekend on the calendar where nothing was scheduled. No guests, no activities, nothing. Which NEVER happens. So we decided to take advantage of the downtime to do something extremely fun: POTTY TRAINING.

Yes, of course I'm being sarcastic. I ordered an eBook on 3-day potty training awhile back, and have been dreading the day when I would actually have to put it to use. It looked like SO much work, and Michael can be about as stubborn as they get. But I decided to rip off the bandaid and go for it this weekend. The way I looked at it, there was only 2 options: a) Endure 3 days of possible pure torture, but then be DONE, or; b) drag out the process for six months fighting the battle of the wills waiting 'until he's ready'. that was a pretty easy choice considering when Michael is left to his own devices, he will take his sweet time to do anything...always has. So I kept telling myself "It's only 3 days!" and kept plowing through!

I do have to admit, this program is pretty intense. The first morning, I woke him up, introduced him to his big boy undies, and had him throw out all of his pull-ups. Every. Last. One. Gulp.

The first day was horrible. I was tired of hearing myself say, "Let me know when you need to go potty, ok?" seemingly to no avail. Every 5 minutes he would be peeing on the floor. I'd run him to the bathroom to sit him on the potty, and he would throw a fit. NO POTTY!!! So I'd just change him and let him go again with a gentle reminder for next time. By the time Marion got home that night (20 underwear changes and 2 loads of laundry later) I was done. It was at this point I seriously thought about hanging up the whole thing and going with Plan B. But it was only 3 days....come on! So we pushed through.

I was fully planning on putting him back in pull-ups overnight, even though it was 'against the program.' Not EVER does he wake up dry in the morning. But hey, if you're gonna do it, you may as well go all out right? So I bit the bullet and let him sleep in his undies that night. As expected, morning greeted me with pee-stained sheets, but it's all part of the learning process, right?

Day 2 was MUCH more manageable, for 2 reasons. My wonderful hubby was off and was extremely helpful in the whole process. He even let me have a breather and run to Target for a few minutes...a much needed break! The second reason was the kicker: we could see a light bulb start to go on with Michael. Sure, he still had accidents, but they were mini ones. Then he'd say, "Uh oh, pee pee. " We'd take him to the potty, and he'd actually sit there and finish!!! It was so exciting to see! And what blew my mind most??? That night, he stayed completely dry! Way to go! By the beginning of the third day, he was basically potty trained, telling us when he had to go and maybe leaking just a teeny bit. I can't believe it worked! It WORKED!!!!! I had heard the majority of people say, "He'll let you know when he's ready." or "It just takes a lot of time and patience." This may have not been the most fun I've ever had in a weekend, but heck yeah I'd do it again!!! I can't tell you how proud we are of our big boy! He's so proud when he goes's too cute!

Here's Michael reading with Daddy in bed the second dry morning...he got new books as a present for keeping his bed dry!
So to whom do I credit this success? How did we do it? A GENIUS woman named Lora Jensen. She has an eBook available for purchase online. We followed this book to a T...and the results speak for themselves!!! I would HIGHLY recommend trying this to anyone who's at the potty training stage...boys don't have to be more difficult to train! Here is her website:

Best of luck to anyone else out there potty training!!! You can do it!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We hope everyone enjoyed Halloween and collected lots of candy! We had an action-packed weekend with not much downtime, so I will recap for you (to include lots of pics of course!)

A few weeks prior, my sister, Adam, Laura, and Juan came down to visit and to accompany us on our annual pumpkin picking. Marion found this place where you took a train out to the pumpkin patch and back, which sounded pretty neat. There was also a 10-acre corn maze to explore, which Marion was pretty excited about. Although the train ride ended up being shorter than expected and the pumpkin patch small, Michael talked about riding the train for the entire following week. That's what counts!

Here Adam's being the navigator in the corn maze. He takes his job very seriously. (Laura and I may or may not have cheated...just a little.)

And of course, let's not forget my dear sister's birthday is this month, so we celebrated over the weekend of course! A very happy birthday Danielle...happy 26th!!!

For Halloween weekend itself, we of course decided to make it as action-packed as possible. The first stop Friday was to Michael's classroom for their Halloween parade. Michael is the Spiderman in the front row...I knew that mask was going to be problematic as soon as we purchased it.

Then that night, it was back into costume for our Halloween party. Laura and Juan were able to make it down for another weekend, and we loved having them!

The kiddos at the party

Saturday night, there was a big Halloween parade that we had gone to the year before we planned to hit up again. We ran into a few snags getting there, including not being able to get dinner and walking forever in the wrong direction, but the parade itself was worthwhile. I can't believe how LONG it was though! An hr. and a half later with red cheeks and noses, we headed back to the car.

And of course, Sunday. Halloween. Michael was able to participate a lot more in trick or treating this year, and it was really cute to watch. We ended up going around with one of Marion's friends from work...they had a much nicer neighborhood to trick or treat in than we do! Michael quickly got the hang of knocking on the door and shouting, "TRICK OR TREEEEEEAT!" as loud as humanly possible. Once he had gotten his candy, he'd say, "Happy Halloween!" and skip off to the next house. TOO cute. He was such a trooper too...he held up for quite awhile...long enough to fill his bag pretty well!

This following weekend has been a quiet weekend in, and it has been a welcome break. The next whirlwind of activity is about ready to start, so keep checking back!