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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fan Club

Since Eric and I took a little longer and struggled a little harder to have children of our own, I may well confess that we may just hug our kids a little tighter, kiss their faces a little more often and spoil and love them for all their worth. And that's a lot. I'm not ashamed to say that I am my kids' biggest fan. Each of them. Both of them. I will be the first one to stake a claim on pure, 100%, biased Mommy love. Don't get me wrong; I'm not oblivious to their bad behavior, but I'm not ashamed to divulge my secret conviction that my kids are the best kids in the world.

The simple reason: because they're MINE!

So there. I let you in on my dirty, little secret that I've been trying to squelch deep down inside, all the while little shards of pride spill out into my writing. I'm not ashamed. Just in love.

I said this before and feel happy to stick with it: If you're not your kid's biggest fan, who should be?

(Thinking: bumper stickers, billboards, coffeee cups, boxes of hair color, boxes of chocolate)

As I was saying, I am my kids' biggest fan. Ever. Interestingly enough, they reciprocated some of their excitement tonight. Some examples of what got us going-

~ Lincoln has been taking more consecutive steps. Tonight he walked about 9 steps across the room to reach his Daddy. As we lined him up, back and forth, Elaina was standing on the sidelines cheering him on squealing and shouting, "C'mon Baby, you can do it!! Mommy he's walking! Go Lincoln!" Each time he fell, Elaina sighed saying, "Game over." Where did she ever get that? It was pretty funny and somewhat in context.

~ Elaina decided we were going to play ball tonight. Although we were only about 4 feet from each other, the Girl can catch. And she can throw. We actually did play a game of ball. I don't know when or where her miraculous ball handling skills developed in the past 2 months, but she was impressive. For an almost 3 year old that is.

~ I often sing (try) to Lincoln when he begins to wiggle or fuss. It seems like he settles immediately and gazes upon my face and listens to my words. While I was giving them a bath tonight I began to sing Elaina's request of the song, "The Wheels on the Bus." Once I finished 4 verses, Lincoln clapped his hands for me with a giant smile on his face. It's as if he knew the proper response and acted accordingly. Even if your convinced that it was a fluke, it still melted my heart. Oh that Boy!

So there, go and cheer on your kids and remember to give someone a little extra encouragement today. See what a good cycle you can create? I know that I felt the best of all!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dinner dates

Tonight Eric and I were scheduled to go to the dentist for our 6 month check up. Since we actually really like our dentist, we drive an hour from our home for our appointments. The office staff is great and there's even a little built-in playhouse for the kids that contains their entertainment with a VCR and a toy box.

The kids were great while each of us took turns with our appointments and then we headed out to get some dinner. Lincoln barely fussed the whole evening, Elaina ate something other than grilled cheese and Eric and I had good meals also. Finally, a successful, non-stressful meal that we sat down to enjoy together.

I guess the reason that this is so blog-worthy to report is that when you're dealing with an almost 1 and almost 3 year old, you just never know what kind of mixed bag of temperament you will have to deal with from one minute to the next. I commented several times to Elaina about how nice it was that everyone was enjoying their meals and how happy we were together. It's nice to think that our kids are growing up and getting to the point that we can take them anywhere and have an enjoyable outing with them wherever we end up. It was just one of those nights that have me peering into the future of what our little family has in store for us. It looks like lots of good times!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tally: 914

Oh Lincoln. I'm hoping to be done reporting illness with this child 'o mine sooner than later. This morning, Eric took him to a follow up appointment with our pediatrician as requested by the emergency room doctor. It's a good thing he was scheduled because his fever persisted much of the weekend. Thankfully it only hovered around the 100 degree mark, he's still not fully reclaimed his health as far as I'm concerned.

Dr. Joni gave Lincoln a shot in his thigh to boost the effect of the prescribed antibiotic given to him at the ER. She said that his ears still looked somewhat inflamed and he was growing about 4 big teeth in the process. The tooth part we knew. In the past, I've asked Dr. Joni whether or not there would be consideration of placing tubes in Lincoln's ears. In her opinion, since he had most ear infections in the winter and he was still under a year old she wasn't particularly concerned. With this latest ear infection, I consider it just one more tally mark on his road to tubes in the near future. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of putting my baby through unnecessary medical procedures, but I'm even less of an advocate of multiple rounds of antibiotics to treat ear infections every other month. And let's not forget the cranky baby that comes with that package deal.

Let's hear it for healthy ear canals and some warm sunshine to get my little guy back on track! Come on already!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Humor

The good news is that Lincoln is good. I can't quite say that we've reached a point that we're out of the woods of concern only because we've still been treating his fever. Overnight, he woke up screaming at 3:00 with a temperature of 103F. After some more meds, a bottle and some rocking he felt significantly cooler to the touch within a short time.

Today, Lincoln's temperament was more like his usual self and still stingy with his smiles. Throughout him not feeling well, his appetite never suffered. That's my boy! He played and took an almost 3 hour nap today. Oh, the life...

As for Lincoln's big sister. Whoa, she's been a pistol.

Elaina did get a nap today. Not particularly long, but rest nonetheless. Lately she has been just cracking me up. Just to hear the mature thoughts of an almost 3 year old roll from her mouth in such innocent humor. She just makes me laugh.

Here is some excerpts from our day that I can hardly do them just as you just needed to be there...

Preparing Lunch:
Laura: Elaina, can you believe that Daddy went out to lunch without us?
Elaina: I know! We can go to McDonald's!!! *squeal*
Laura: But we went out to dinner last night and we ran out of money for today.
Elaina: *pause* I know! I know! I got money in my room! Daddy, you have some. Momma, you have some. And then we can go to the other ice cream store too!!
Laura: Are you talking about the money from your piggy bank? You can't spend that!

Lunch conversation:
Eric: How did this loaf of bread get all smashed?
Elaina: I didn't do it. Maybe the Easter Bunny did it!
Laura: Oh yeah, just like the Easter Bunny came and ate our cake at Easter time.
Elaina: Yeah Mommy! We'll have to shoot 'em!
Eric: Elaina, we can't shoot the Easter Bunny.

During Lunch:
*Justifying my indulgence of Tastefully Simple salsa as my accompanying vegetable**
Laura: I think I'm going to have some salsa as my veggies for the day. Do you (Eric) want any?
Elaina: Save some vegetables for me Mommy for when I turn three.
(I have her hooked on the "Eat new foods when your 3 kick!!)

Post Lunch:
*Struggling with getting Elaina to eat her lunch*
Laura: Elaina, how about if I sell you to the gypsies and they can return you when you turn three and you can eat then?
Elaina: Okay.
Laura: Alright then, it's time for your nap.
Elaina: No Mommy, I don't wanna take a nap. I wanna go with the jippies.

After Nap:
Elaina: Mommy? What"s that word? Oh yeah! Stinky diaper Bay-Bee! HAHAAHAHA!
**Repeat** Repeat** Repeat** Repeat** Repeat**

Oh if I just had a little microphone. She was actually a riot. Another instance of "You just had to be there."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Too hot to handle

Some days it's all I can do to remind myself that life is short, time is precious and kids grow up too fast. I keep thinking that the busy days and nights that we can't seem to escape won't last forever.

Things won't always be this way, I tell myself. One day I'll rest easy.

And then something like the events of Friday night come and smack me in the face and I regain perspective that all that's right in my world begins with the safety and happiness of my children. Throw all of the other "busy" out the door. It all began on Thursday night when Lincoln seemed somewhat feverish at bedtime and then woke the next morning burning up with a 103.8 fever. My baby boy felt like he had been sleeping on hot coals rather than his fleecy crib nest. Since I'm mostly out of sick time at work, and Eric was already out turkey hunting, I put him on notice to pick the kids up from the sitter's house as soon as he could, just to keep a close eye on Lincoln. By the time I arrived home later that evening after a hair appointment, Lincoln was happily playing, eating and drinking just fine. Eric had given him a bath (and meds) to quench his latest fever.

By the time Lincoln finished his bedtime bottle and fell asleep on his Daddy's chest, Eric asked me to take his temperature because he felt even more hot that before. Child's temperature reading was 104.8. After a second equally high reading, there was no question and no hesitation that My Baby Boy was headed for the emergency room. I packed a quick bag and kissed my boys goodbye as they backed out of the driveway at 10:30 p.m.

It was midnight before I finally heard from Eric. Apparently, just as they arrived at the ER, Lincoln barfed all over himself and the back seat. He presented in the ER with a reduced fever at 103F. The ER doctors told Eric that Lincoln's ears looked somewhat inflamed and the fever was probably a cumulative effect of a growing ear infection and teething. They gave him a children's dose of ibuprofen, some antibiotics and sent them on their way at 2:00 a.m. The doctor told Eric not to worry too much unless his fever reached 106F. HELLO! He was like a whole number away and we're 30 minutes from the hospital. Our worry kicked in out of pure caution and the realness of the situation. This is one set of parents who aren't willing to gamble on how fast their kids' fever can spike a whole point. I don't regret for a minute that Eric took him to the ER.

I woke him early this morning to check his temperature and dispense some more medicine to halt his fever. Throughout this whole ordeal, he has acted his regular self, maintained his appetite and not expressed any more pain than usual. God, I love this kid.

In other news...

The eldest Girl Child suffered a rare case of No Nap-ititus today. She woke extra early this morning, was given two chances to lay down with each parent and only relented to about 40 minutes. As a result, many battles were waged. Has anyone found MY sweet girl? Anywhere?

Let's just say it was a long day.

Pictures and videos coming soon to a computer near you. Oh, and did I mention I got my hair chopped? hmmm....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What the YELL?

Yeah... I don't know what's going on with Blogger tonight, but it appears to me that I missed the rule stating that only I would be unable to upload videos of my children whenever the heck I wanted to. What gives? 3 tries, 25 minutes later, same old error message. Darn it anyway. No videos tonight folks.


So let's talk about Lincoln. A topic that's especially fresh on my mind since we just won the battle at Cry Central Station. As I mentioned before, Lincoln is just generally calm and content. That is, until bedtime as of late. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what factor we're overlooking, but he seems to have a very (very) particular window of opportunity to be put to bed. By this I mean, the exact constellation of the stars, the direction of the wind, the heat index and the barometric pressure MUST be factors taken into consideration for Lincoln to willingly submit to sleep effortlessly. Some nights we can lay him down after a warm bottle and he'll suck his thumb quietly while he looks around and falls asleep without a peep. And then there are nights like tonight. I just hate to even retell the woe of tonight. Just around 8:00 (not unusual) his clinging and thumb sucking begins and I prepare his bottle. We cuddly up quietly in our comfy chair and Little Guy sucks down his bottle and begins lays contentedly for all of 2 minutes. Just then, the squirming starts and the crying and the climbing and the headache. Mine, not his. In some cases, it's crucial to put him into his crib at this juncture to give him his space and fall asleep. In the past 11 months, if I've learned only one thing, it's that Lincoln doesn't love to be rocked to sleep like his big sis. Sometimes this agrees with him; most times, not.
So,tonight I lay him in his crib. The screaming crying (scry-ing) begins. And the hollering crying (crollering). Not a fan of either. And then... I wait. Five minutes is really all I can take before I have to go rescue my baby from his misery. And trust me, I watch the clock like it's my job. I go into save my baby from his crying mess of himself and the cycle repeats, only minus the bottle. Oh, and don't even think about sitting down with him, much less trying to rock him. No no. Only standing will be permitted.
I just have to mention that we're pretty regimented here in this household. Not at all strict with timing (hello! I'm always running late!), but we aim for consistency and let things fall where they may. Still I am in denial that Lincoln's latest cry fest bedtime will be accepted into our regularly scheduled plans. I can't take this every night. What is going on with this guy? I can presume everything. Hungry? Teething? Over- stimulated? Over-tired? Separation anxiety? Environmental factors not in alignment (see above). WHAT already?
God, if I could only sleep until about Friday...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wow Weekend!

Another weekend, another excuse to spend money! Oh, and that we did!


For several months, Lincoln has been in dire need to make the transition from his infant carrier into a regular car seat. I'm actually embarrassed to admit that we waited this long to move him from his infant carrier, but I have a lot of good excuses, just in case you want to hear any of them. So, for the past 3 months, I have been researching car seats in hopes of finding the exactly perfect seat for our kids, knowing we don't have a spare $400 sitting around and recognizing that this new seat will have to last through Elaina and then Lincoln. The plan was to buy two (one per vehicle) new seats for Elaina and move Lincoln into her old seats. We set aside Saturday as the day that we were buying. With a hot tip from a friend, we got 2 awesome seats, a great buy and won't have to make another seat purchase until Elaina is probably 5 or 6. We did it!

I was looking forward to this morning since it was our first ride with Lincoln facing forward (he's 3 weeks from turning the magic age of 1 and he's already over the weight restriction) and with Elaina in her new seat. Oh how I love to see both of my munchkins sweet little faces when I look in the back seat. Lincoln was so cute as he just sat for the whole 4 minute drive to the sitter's house, sucking his thumb and looking out the window. Although that's probably what he always did, I got to see him. Hey, it doesn't take much to thrill me, what can I tell you?

Also over this weekend, Lincoln began to take unassisted, un-coaxed steps all by himself! He's been cruising along the furniture for months now, but recently began to take steps from point A to Point B. I love watching his pride in his short, quick little three step endeavor. He is so happy with himself.

And since you're already here, I thought you might enjoy some pictures that I finally uploaded from my camera. I think it's apparent what a good weekend we had... no explanations necessary.



Stick around, tomorrow night is video posting night! Bring the cracker jack and your catcher's mitt... it's time to play ball!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

From the mouths of Babes

It was all of yesterday that I announced to Elaina that Mommy and Daddy have had enough of the food battles at each and every mealtime. Her Elaina- approved menu choices continue to be minimal to say the least and it's hard to feel good about serving her grilled cheese and pizza bites day after day.

Over dinner last night, there were no dinner battles because there was no change. Totally off the cuff, I mentioned to her that once she turns 3, there will be no more Elaina-exclusive menu options and that she will have to eat what Mommy and Daddy are eating because she needs to eat like big kids do. Pretty clever if I do say. Having a pre-established date of when something new is going to go into effect seems to work with Elaina and we plan to take full advantage of the magical 3rd birthday while we're at it.

And there we were at dinner tonight when Elaina chided in about how her pizza bites were so yummy for her tummy. I told her that my green beans were even yummier for tummies. With that, she said "But Mommy, I'm only 2. I'm not 3 yet." Little stinker. The good thing is that at least I know that turning 3 actually has some bearing in her mind of taking on a new challenge of eating different food. I guess I'll be eating green beans on my own for another 2 months.

But the joy of having two kids is that Lincoln ate loads of green beans and has a healthy appetite for whatever we're eating. Just don't serve that kid baby food. He's recently adjusted to drinking regular milk and water from a sippy cup and always wants to hold his own spoon. Not so much on the sippy. What gives?

And the best for last, Lincoln learned to say hi tonight. During his bath, he would climb onto his feet, pop his head over the side of the tub and say "hiiii." Oh. So. CUTE! Since you couldn't be there, let me just tell you that Lincoln's current pronunciation is rather flamboyant, like a short and high pitched "Hh-iee." Oh does he make me laugh! How I wish every night could be like this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Profiles in the art of remembering

The downfall about blogging about 2 kids is sometimes getting the feeling that I'm giving one kid more blog time stories more than the other. Since I'm not keeping tally marks next to my keyboard, I just have to write about what's current and act on giving them individual attention in real life. As of late, I've been having those kind of days that I just wish I had a little video recorder or tape player in my head that I could just turn on to remember what super cute thing that Lincoln did or the goofy little ideas that Elaina comes up with. Once the kids are in bed, a reasonable amount of housework has been accounted for and my lunch is packed for the next day, I finally get myself to the computer and my mind is

Yeah.


Blank.


So, while I can't recount the very most specific funnies of my day, I do think that's it's time for a little profile refresher for Elaina and the first profile of Lincoln.

Here we go:
Name: Elaina

Alias: LuluBelle, Lu, LuLee, Laina, Angel, Sweetheart, Baby, Bootie

Strengths: good conversationalist, potty trained, loving big sister, especially charming and sensitive, outstanding memory
Could Use a Little Work: just eat ALREADY!, no more clobbering little brother, listen to parents the first time rather than ignoring, ignoring, ignoring

Talents: can curl her tongue, can wink with one eye, can play acrobat by teetering between two pieces of furniture, can turn on the charm at the bat of an eye

General characteristics: smart, funny, sensitive, loving, caring

Funniest Saying: " I get two. Because I'm two."

Aspirations: wants to go to school

Biggest Fans: Mommy and Daddy
Name: Lincoln

Alias: Angel Boy, Turdlette, Linky, My Baby Boy

Alias as dubbed by the Big Sister: Lincoln-Doo, LincolnDeeDee, Baby

Strengths: professional crawler, loves to be loved, will crawl across the room for a hug, will eat anything, sleeps through the night, will entertain himself by playing with toys for long periods of time ( for a baby, that is)

Could Use a Little Work: be a little less stingy with those sweet smiles, stop throwing food from highchair, eliminate the occasional 4 a.m. wake up time for a bottle, crying at the top of your lungs is not necessary
Talents: blowing raspberries, learned to clap hands, can hold bottle (although prefers not to) stands alone, can take two steps unassisted

General characteristics: cautious, serious, toy boy, loves to be held, healthy appetite, mostly contented

Words: MammaMammaMamma, DaddaDaddaDadda, Uh-Oh

Aspirations: wants to break those pesky one year molars in and his eye tooth in without incident, hopeful member of Hair Club for Tots

Biggest Fans: Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Husband Prote'ge'

So if you've been a reader of this little 'ol blog of mine, you could be pretty accurate in guessing that my husband easily has the busiest schedule of the two of us. Just in case you wondered (yeah right) Eric was scheduled to work out of town again this week. Uh, I think this makes 3 out of 4 weeks he's had to travel for work. The only redeeming fact that made this week different is that he was only driving to Cleveland and he commuted each day to be able to spend more time here than alone in a hotel room. Good Daddy!

Needless to say, busy weeks very much affect my blogging time. Which I hate. And since I made the decision to sleep versus blog most nights, you get the weekend recap.

Eric's busy week concluded on Thursday just in time to pick up the kids from the sitter's house and I was able to attend my monthly Tastefully Simple meeting. Consultant meetings are not required but encouraged to build support, encouragement and exchange information and training. I look forward to them since I have a little time to squeeze in some kid free shopping between work and meeting time. Plus, I have found the meetings to be enjoyable and fulfilling. Bonus! A good night indeed.

Remember how my friends and I launched our monthly Bunco girls' night last month? This month was my turn to host 11 other girls at our house on Friday night. I can't even begin to tell you what an enjoyable time we had together. Everyone made snacky-junk food and we sipped whiskey sour slushes and laughed and ate and laughed some more. Oh, and we played Bunco too. Great fun! And since Bunco actually doesn't take that long to play, (especially if you skip the practice rounds for the new girls and skip the half hour eating intermission) everyone was out the door at a reasonable hour and my guests were kind enough to clean up AND leave me some snackies. Makes me want to host every month!!

By the way, is everyone following me here? Two Laura-nights in a row!!! And wait, there's more!

I had been looking forward to Saturday morning to hit up a kid's consignment sale (actually 2 of them) to scrounge up some good deals on clothes for my ever- growing kids. I wouldn't say I hit the jackpot of luck, but walked away with some cute clothes without dumping a lot of money. Definitely worth my time. More Laura time!

By the time I finished my shopping, I had enough time to sit down and eat lunch with my family before I had to roll on out to work a Tastefully Simple party. I was going to a host's house of whom I briefly met at an expo I did and didn't really know what to expect. I am pleased to report that the host and her guests were so much fun, so nice and made my whole experience utterly delightful. Really! The best part is that I felt so comfortable and actually felt like I was doing a good job. That was my biggest reward of the day. And even though the show total wasn't good, I've established a nice little branch of new customers who have lined up 3 more shows for me. Not bad for a fun afternoon and earning some cash on the side.

In all of my rush and my busy schedule, guess who stayed at home with the kids? You got it! Daddy! It was as if Eric and I had switched roles for a few days. Usually, I'm the one cramming my weekends with housework and kid time while Eric is doing his who-knows-what Eric-stuff, but not this time. Trust me, by the time this evening rolled around, Eric was itching to get out of the house before cabin fever set in. I loved that we did a little role reversal in allowing me the busy weekend while he played Mr. Mom. Although these weekends are rare, I welcomed the independence of going and doing, but really missed squeezing my kids and pressing my kisses into their heads. All said, I'll continue complaining about Eric being gone and the mounting laundry and unswept floors but wouldn't trade my time with my kids for much of anything in this world.

Monday, April 07, 2008

As Good as it Gets?

Let the northerners curse my name for what I'm about to say.
I think I want our cold, murky, winter weather back.
Blasphemy. I know.
The weather yesterday and today was simply gorgeous. Gorgeous for Ohio in April anyhow. The temperatures hovered around 65 and the sun was shining. Beautiful right? So, what in the world would possess me to say I want 40 degree days back again?
Here's a hint:Yep. That one.

Tonight Elaina was out playing with the neighbor kids (how cute! I know! squeal!:-)) and I gave her 2 warnings that dinner was going to be ready soon and she would have to stop playing. When dinner time rolled around, as promised, Eric had to carry her in screaming and crying. She didn't want to eat. She wanted to whine and play at the table and seemed basically incapable of sitting still. [Translate: butt hardly touched the seat.] So.... Mommy and Daddy laid down the law and carried her up to bed. No dinner, no books and no smiles. Definitely no smiles. Will this really be the end result of each day this summer? The child needs to eat, right?

Can I just tell you how much I hate dinnertime already? When she actually will eat food, Elaina has been on a steady diet of only wanting grilled cheese sandwiches. Lunch and dinner. Grilled cheese. Since she's not opposed to pepperoni (right now) so I throw a few slices in her sandwich to cover her meat food group for the day. Healthy, right? Did I mention that I hate dinner time? Oh and Lincoln has boycotted baby food and eats just about anything that we're having. With one exception. He is learning to feed himself while at the same time, practicing his curve ball with his pitching arm. Little morsels of food cover my baby, my floor and the high chair seat like it's his job.

So, back to Elaina the Drama Queen. After 15 minutes of sobbing, yelling and whining, a sweetly innocent young girl appeared at the bottom of the stairs. She said that she needed to go potty. Once her potty break was over, she begged her father into laying down with her for a little bit in her bed.

Eric relayed parts of their conversation to me that went something like this:

Daddy: Elaina, you got into trouble tonight because you didn't eat your dinner.

Elaina: But Daddy, we're family.

Daddy: I know and you don't treat family that way.

Elaina: But you're so cute.

This is the exchange that happened all while Elaina was brushing her little hand next to Eric's cheek and speaking in her most polite can't-resist-me-Elaina voice.

What are we going to do with these kids of ours?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Picture Flood

It's been too long since I've posted any pictures of the kids so you know what that means?

Oh yeah... roll of your sleeves, we're having a picture flood over here.

Narration above. Enjoy the flood!

Warning: This is what too much Easter candy will do to your kid.

The first nice day of spring which may actually be enough to make me think that winter really is coming to an end.

Although it looks like Lincoln is hitching a ride with his big sis, it's really just a clever angled shot. She wasn't about to let that baby on her bike anyhow. My son-shine! I didn't think it could have been possible for Eric to love Elaina any more than he does until he discovered that she likes to play in the dirt. And pick up rocks. And be outside. Aaah! Ain't love grand? I just love that she's wearing her sparkley glitter shirt to play in the dirt. Atta' Girl! Any time now Baby Lincoln. He is going to be walking before we know it! Oh, and he looks so cute pushing his Tonka truck!Here are the kids watching the Max and Ruby on the Dinosaur (t.v.). Those were the olden days. Literally. And why does every kid feel the necessity to sit approximately 5.5 inches from the screen? Not any more!!! Now they get to stand 5.5 inches from the big screen! We went from having a dinosaur molding into the corner of our living room to Godzilla towering over our heads with intimidation. Wow!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Longest Week Ever

On Monday morning, Eric left to go out of town for work once again. Traveling for his job is nothing particularly new, however, the current frequency is not usual. He's expected to do training seminars and teach some classes and attend conferences from time to time, but some brilliant person within the state decided to clump all of this training time together and do it within a span of 2 months versus over a a typical 6 month period.

So, here we are. The kids and myself. I hope if you're reading my blog with frequency, you know that there will never be a time that I have a single valid complaint about my kids in a non-joking manner. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining about being with them by myself, rather that I just appreciate the role of 2 parents in a 2 child home. Simple as that.

When Eric is gone, I try to run a fairly tight ship and anticipate and take precautions for any pitfalls that may pop up along the way. I just like to be prepared and keep everyone happy. On Monday night, I took a gamble and took the kids along to my chiropractor appointment. The promise of impending McDonald's playland across the street was enough incentive for Elaina to behave. I was beaming that both kids were happy, content and good all night from beginning to end and that I did it myself.

Tally: Success for Monday night!

On Tuesday night Lincoln was beyond tired and cranky and could not put himself to sleep. At all. After 45 minutes of him screaming and crying in my face and trying most everything I know of to soothe him, I strapped him safely into his car seat and put him in the bathroom downstairs where it was quiet and dark and he could yell himself to sleep without waking Elaina at 11:00. Within 5 minutes of crying, he began to snore. Put me down for another check mark because I totally earned this night.

Wednesday morning I don't even remember sleeping which is a sure guarantee for a long day. By the time I got home I was still plugging along and had the kids fed and happy and had finished washing Lincoln's hands when I went in the other room to check on Elaina. Within 3 minutes of her being by herself (seriously: 3 !!) she had colored a crayon masterpiece that she was anxious to show to me. It was on the floor. More specifically, on the carpet. 3 colors of crayon. My proud little artist got a sorrowful time out followed by a magic eraser to help me scrub out the color. The verdict, the magic eraser actual works on carpet and Elaina learned consequence of bad judgement. We made it through calm and unscathed.

And the grand finale, my husband, my love, my rock was waiting for me when I came home from work today. Yay! He's home! My week of too-long nights, too-early mornings and trying to be 10 steps ahead of my kids can take a back seat for a little while. At least at this point, I'm learning the game and having some luck at winning.