Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Growing boy

This morning when I went to get Aidan out of bed, he was standing up in his crib waiting for me. I said "good morning" and he responded "juuuuice". I'm not gonna lie, it kind of hurt that my little guy was more concerned about getting something to drink than seeing me!

Aidan's vocabulary is growing day by day. Today during breakfast he pointed out towards the river and said, "boat". Sure enough there was a boat right where he pointed. He also says "cool" and "toot". Tonight Aidan was chasing me around the house with an old camera and saying "Chee" (cheese). I have been trying to work with him on learning the parts of his face (eyes, ears, nose and mouth). Tonight he kept saying "eye" but I don't think he has any idea yet where they are on his face.

My poor little guy has some teeth coming in and like usual, has very runny stools. For the past several days I have had to change his sheets first thing because his diaper leaked out overnight. That also means a quick bath to rinse him off as well. Tonight the poor guy was playing so good, when I noticed that he was sitting in a puddle of his own urine and diarrhea. I don't know how he could have anything left in him! On top of that he has continued to have a very good attitude, not being overly whiny or clingy.

Booty Shaker

Tonight Reese and Randy were wrestling while I cleaned up the dinner dishes. At one point he was grabbing for Aidan and Reese rolled off the bed to the floor, hitting her hip on the way. She came crying to me and I kissed her owie. She then went back to Randy and exclaimed, "You broke my booty shaker and I can't shake my booty anymore!"

Reesisms- SSC Edition

I love that at Star Spangled Celebration you are able to walk up near the stage to see the performers up close and take pictures. I wanted to take Reese up with me to see the stage up close, but she did not want to go at first. I decided to carry her with me and she loved it! As soon as we got back to our seats she was immediately upset that she could not longer see the performers. She walked with me to see every performer after that!

Later in the evening the light shows on the stage were much more visible. At one point during Wynona Judd's performance the lights were blue. Reese looked at me and asked me, "Mommy can you change the colors to pink and purple? I would really like that!"

In between concerts, they often blared music over the speakers and it would be difficult to make out what Reese was saying. I asked her several times what she was saying and she would respond, "I'm just singing mommy!" I think she is going to be a little performer someday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Naked babies

Since the upstairs is usually pretty hot, I just let the kids sleep in their diapers. The other night Reese came up to me touching her naked tummy and said what sounded like, "I'm making babies!" I was caught off guard and said "What?" thinking to myself, who taught her this! She repeated again and again it sounded like, "I'm making babies!" I was mortified thinking who could have taught her this or what did she see! Finally, it dawned on me that she was saying "I'm a naked baby!" I asked her if that was what she said and I was so relieved when she said, "Yes!"

Backwards Crazy Coupe

Randy's aunt Linda brought us a crazy coupe car and the kids just love it! They fight over who gets to ride in it, so usually one of them is in the car and the other is in the swing. There is a problem with the car being stuck in reverse whenever Aidan is in it though! He can back that thang up like crazy and even do doughnuts in reverse, but unless he is pushing the car from behind, he cannot get it to go forward. Today he finally realized that he could stand up in the car and push it forward by walking and pushing on the steering wheel with his belly! It is so cute!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Girls (and Aidan) Weekend!

For as long as I can remember, my mom and her sisters have gotten together for girls weekends. This usually involved Christmas shopping when we were younger because it was the only time they could go shopping without us along. As the kids have aged, my mom and her sisters have started having more and more girls weekends. About seven years ago, they planned a girls weekend at a Country concert in Richland Center, WI and invited all of the daughters to come along. It is a great weekend of spending time with my cousins and aunts, listening to great country music and enjoying the simple life of camping.

This past weekend was our 7th Annual Girls weekend at Star Spangled Celebration. Though we had our share of ups (wonderful concerts, good conversations and lots of laughs), we did have a few downs (moving campsites, severe thunderstorms, sleeping in our cars, and obnoxious neighbors).

We left early Wednesday morning in order to get our camp all set up and ready a day in advance. Upon arriving at the campgrounds, we were informed that we would be unable to set up camp as it was in a flood plain and they were under flash flood warnings. Fortunately they had a secondary campsite at the local high school, unfortunately that meant setting up camp twice and not having the usual amenities (like running water). We set up just our tents and sleeping bags then went into town for lunch. After returning to the camp, my sister and I decided to take the kids to the pool to cool down. We spent the evening talking while the kids played.

Before settling in for the night, we roasted a few marshmallows for smores around the campfire.

My kids were up bright and early at 6am on Thursday. We got some breakfast and then played around the camp until about 9am. The kids started getting restless so we headed into town to do a little shopping and then take the kids to the park. We returned in time to make lunch and then tore down camp to set up at the real campgrounds. When we finally had everything moved and set back up, we took the kids to the pool to cool off before eatinga quick dinner and heading to the concerts for the evening. First up was Bucky Covington, one of the top ten finalist from American Idol.

Wynona Judd was the headline act for the evening. I really enjoyed some of her songs which I remember from childhood.

The next morning we were up early again. After breakfast and playing around the campsite for awhile, we drove into town to pick up some more ice. We returned in time for a yummy lunch of chicken breasts and potatoes. It was my sister's birthday, so we suprised her with t-shirts for everyone in the group that said "Courtney's Birthday!"

While Aidan slept, we again took the kids to the pool. We left the pool just in time to eat a quick dinner and still make it to the concerts as the opening act "Charissa and the Auburn Sky Band" was finishing up. Next up was Heidi Newfield.

Neal McCoy was up next. Though I have seen him at this venue before he is such a great performer that I was really excited to see him again. You can tell from this picture that he is very high energy and very entertaining.

By the end of Neal McCoy's concert, the clouds had started to roll in and the concert organizers said that storms were coming, but they would do their best to let the show go on. I decided that I would skip Phil Vassar, the headline act, and get the kids back to the campsite. I got them dressed and ready for bed and a security person at the grounds approached me and warned me that there would be lots of ground lightning with the storms and they may relocate us to shelter. I decided to buckle the kids into their carseats where they fell asleep while I packed up everything that we didn't want to get drenched. As soon as the concerts were over, my sister and her daughter joined me to sleep in the car. It was not a very comfortable night's sleep, but it was better than worrying about our safety in the tent.

We awoke in the car around 5 am and as it had stopped raining, decided to move back to the tent, where we slept until about 8. We had breakfast and then my mom helped me to take the kids to the showers to get them cleaned up. Soon after we left to take them to drop them off with Randy. We had planned on eating lunch together, but the kids fell asleep, so we moved all of their stuff over to his car and went our separate ways. Fortunately, we made it back to the campsite for a delicious meal of porkchops and potatoes. After cleaning up lunch, we took my niece to the park until the concerts started. We saw:
Josh Thompson

Patty Loveless

Jimmy Wayne

and Daryl Worley.

Last, but not least, was the concert I was waiting for all weekend: Diercks Bentley!

I felt a drop on my arm and thought that he had maybe sweat on me, but soon realized that it was sprinkling. Thankfully, they fit the whole concert in as planned without weather interruption. We packed up our chairs and headed back towards camp. We started a fire and even had a few smores before the downpour started. After packing away anything that wasn't covered, we settled into our sleeping bags for the night.
Around 8 am the next morning, it was still sprinkling, so we decided to just go ahead and pack up in the rain. About an hour later, we had everything packed into the cars and were finally headed home!
All in all we had a really fun and relaxing weekend, but I was so glad to be back home!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two wheeled bike

Reese really wanted a two wheeled bike for her birthday after trying one out at Toys R Us a few weeks before her actual birthday. She was not able to ride the bike in the store, so we told her to practice on her tricycle at home and maybe she could get a two wheeled bike for her birthday. Though she was still not able to pedal her tricycle, we went ahead and bought a bike for her birthday. She was so excited and couldn't wait to jump on it. We had to kind of guide her and help her to push down on the pedals with her feet the first day. Now, barely 2 weeks later, she flies around the deck riding her bike all by herself. That is unless her flip flop gets stuck on the pedal and she tips the bike completely over, or she forgets to steer and runs into furniture on the deck! She already has inherited my driving skills!

Split Personality

You would never believe it unless you saw it, but my sweet little Aidan has a massive temper about him. This past Saturday he woke up at 6:30 am crying. I went upstairs to get him out of bed and tried to snuggle with him on the couch. He continued to cry, so I set him on the floor with toys. Still crying, I tried to get him some juice. At this point he was still crying and had woken up Reese. She was whining and crying at having been woken up too early, so I settled back into the couch trying to cuddle with both of them and get them to calm down. Aidan screamed and pulled Reese's hair, so I set him back down. At this he walked over to our living room window and whacked his head into the glass! The kid was seriously pissed and in pain from teething! He fell to the floor and just screamed, so I picked him up and put him back to bed where he slept for over 3 hours. When he woke up he was like a totally different kid!

His tantrums are not only reserved for when he is teething though. The kid is likely to throw himself on the floor, kick, pound his head and cry if he does not get what he wants. I try to set him in a place where he can not hurt himself and ignore the tantrum, but he seems to be increasing the force with which he pounds his head and frequency of his fits. I am afraid that he is going to really hurt himself one of these times. I have on occassion, picked him up and restrained him and simply told him "no" when I think that he is getting overly aggressive. I remember Reese going through a stage like this, but it was nowhere near this dramatic!

Finally, he throws a funny little tantrum when Reese takes a toy away from him, where he puts his head on the floor and "bulldozes" forward. It is so cute and unique to him, that my mom told me I need to get it on videotape before he outgrows it, which will hopefully be soon!

Happy Father's Day!

The following are just a few of my favorite pictures of you with the kids! They show some of the more tender moments that you share with the kids being in the moments and not posing.

Thank you to my husband for being such a wonderful husband and father! I do not say this often enough, but I really appreciate all that you do for me and the kids! Your dedication and hardwork have allowed me to have my dream of staying at home with the kids. You keep me from being "just a mom" and forgetting about my interests and hobbies outside of the kids by encouraging me to go out on date nights and supporting my creative and decorating endeavors.
I know that the kids definitely think of you as the more fun "parent". They love climbing and jumping all over you and having you throw them around. Although they know you are fun they also respect you for your continuity in disciplining them. They appreciate the tough love and boundaries that you give them. Finally, thank you for all of the wonderful learning and growing experiences you give them and us as a family. I did not experience nearly as much as these kids have been exposed to in their short lives, from vacationing in Indiana and Florida, to boating and swimming to going to concerts and shows. Our kids are going to be so well rounded because of all of the opportunities you provide.

Thanks for being a great dad! Love your family!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


We had planned to buy a nice wooden playset for the kids for their birthdays this year, but decided that the cost was more than we were willing to spend. At that time we decided to go with a more affordable metal swingset and actually bought one at Farm and Fleet. After several weeks of it sitting in the garage, I figured that it would be like all other SAR ("Some Assembly Required") items in our house. Either it would sit for the next 5 years and not get put together or I would get tired of it sitting in the box and attempt to put it together myself. Upon making this realization, I convinced Randy that we should just take the swingset back because Reese had been asking for a 2 wheeled bike. We took the swingset back and bought a 2 wheeled bike for Reese for her birthday. When we bought the bike, we decided to buy a Little Tikes swing for Aidan because he ended up without a real present since his birthday was at the beginning of this whole ordeal when we planned on doing the wood playset. I finally took the swing out today and hung it from some hooks on the pergola on our deck. I ended up taking turns pushing each of the kids in the swing for over an hour this morning and they begged to go back out and swing this afternoon. I am so glad that we ended up purchasing the swing instead of the whole swingset. It got installed within a week of purchase and was definitely well worth the monetary investment!

TV changes

After letting the kids watch cartoons for about 2 hours after dinner, I switched to a program that my husband and I were interested in watching. Reese wanted us to switch back to watching cartoons and said, "Mommy, I'm sorry that you want to watch your shows, but I want to watch mine!" In the past we have let her go into our bedroom to watch tv by herself until bedtime, but now that she is staying up later, I don't want her to become a couch potato and spend all of her free time watching cartoons. Don't get me wrong, most of the time the tv is just playing in the background while the kids play with their toys, they are by no means glued to it! My plan was to watch less tv this summer, but it is nice to relax and spend time together watching tv in the evening after running all day. Though we may not watch less hours of tv, I plan to watch only 1 tv so that we are all together in one room and spending time together, rather than spreading out to separate corners and living totally separate lives.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Twinkle, twinkle little star....

Recently Reese has been singing, "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you ate for breakfast!" I have asked her where she got that verse from and she says that the gate said it. My only guess is that the gate is from Dora, one of her favorite shows.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I couldn't find you!

This afternoon I was feeling a little tired and decided to lay down with Reese during her nap. I was totally falling asleep while she arranged and rearranged the covers, played with the pillows, talked, sang and various other things to keep from falling asleep. Finally, she was out and I woke up from a 20 minute cat nap. I snuck out of her room and downstairs to get some stuff done. About 2 hours later she awoke and started bawling. She made her way down the stairs and exclaimed, "Mommy, I couldn't find you in the bed! I didn't know you were downstairs."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rough Day

Aidan just had one accident after another today, leaving him cut and bruised everywhere! This morning we were playing in Reese's room. I was laying on the bed and the kids were crawling all over me when aidan slipped off the edge of the bed and right onto the heater on the floor. You could literally see the outline of the edge of the heater on his lower back and scrapes along his back from the textured wall. Later this afternoon, we were playing on the deck. I took something into the house and just as I was coming back out he fell off of a chair he had climbed onto. He has a nice goose egg on his forehead from the fall. Finally, the kids were playing in the basement, while I was cleaning up upstairs. I heard a fight brewing and went to check it out, when Aidan screamed. I grabbed him up and sent Reese to sit on the steps before I noticed that he was bleeding from the side of his nose. Reese had thrown a toy at him and it hit him just right to notch out a piece of skin on the side of his nose! Considering all of the abuse he endured today, he really remained in good spirits, typical of his laid back, easy going nature.

Reese's 3rd Birthday!

On Monday night we had a birthday for Reese with Randy's family. Of course we had a princess theme for our little princess! Here she is in her adorable Snow White costume, which she wore for all of about 30 minutes!

To go along with the princess theme I decided to attempt to make a castle cake that I had seen in a magazine. I watched a few tutorials and researched different ideas on the internet. This link was one of the most helpful: Here is my version of the castle cake!

The princess received lots of wonderful gifts, including adorable new summer clothes, barbies, a basketball hoop, and of course a 2 wheeled bike! As she opened each gift, she exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! I wonder what it is!" Of course we had to open all of her new gifts and play with them immediately!

We continued the party the next night with a small pizza party at my mom's house. The kids had a blast playing while the adults had a chance to talk and catch up.
Reese received a few games and some more summer clothes. Thanks to our wonderful families Reese had a birthday fit for a Princess!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vocabulary Explosion

It seemed like "truck" was going to be Aidan's only word forever! But over the past week he has expanded his vocabulary to include "choo,choo", "momma" and "juice". He sits and babbles to me all the time and I can't wait until I can understand everything that he has to say.

In related news, Reese has so much to say and her little brain is going so fast, that she has started stuttering alot. She will repeat a certain word over and over until she can catch her train of thought and finish whatever it was that she was trying to say. I have told her a few times to just slow down a minute and think, but am trying to not give it a lot of attention just yet!

Petting Zoo

Over the weekend we went to the American Pickers Festival in LeClaire. I had read in the paper that there would be a petting zoo and I was excited to take the kids. When we arrived to the tent where Aunt Steffane was working the kids got a little restless. I left Randy with his family and the kids and I took off to explore. The petting zoo was only about a block away, so we wandered around the fence and watched the goats, ducks, pig, llama and other animals from afar. While we were standing outside watching Reese kept saying, "Mommy, I want in there!" Randy came over after a few minutes and I got a few dollars from him so that we could buy some food and go in. I got our cup of corn and Aidan and I followed Reese into the pen. Suprisingly, Reese just stood there! She would not feed or pet the animals, she was ready to go home. Aidan on the other hand kept chasing the animals and roughly petting them in the eyes! When he walked up and started shaking the fence, it was time to go! Though it was short lived, it was fun while it lasted!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Birthday Wreath

I got the idea for this wreath from the girls over at "How Does She". It was super easy and only cost about $25 for all of the materials. I am so excited to hang this on the door for Reese's 3rd birthday party this weekend!

You can find the tutorial on how to make this wreath at I put the bigger part of the ballon towards the top and bottom of the wreath and then placed one sideways in the middle which seemed to help keep all of the pins out of sight.

Old Faithful

We have had a lot of trouble keeping track of pacifiers with Aidan. Reese was a thumbsucker so we never had to keep track of anything when we went out. If she got upset, she just stuck her thumb in her mouth and we continued on. We decided to enforce a pacifier with Aidan as a baby because Reese was (and still is) sucking her thumb and although we try to point it out to her when she does it, it is a hard habit to break. Thankfully, Aidan is pretty laid back and doesn't get upset or depend heavily upon his pacie, but it seems that I never have one when I need it. That is except for old faithful, a pink pacifier that came in a package of more appropriately "boy" colored pacies. Everybody gives me a hard time for keeping that one on hand, but it seems like all of the blue and green ones go missing, while the pink one cannot be lost!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Big girl room

A few weeks ago I realized that the 3 in 1 toddler bed/changing table combo that Reese was using, was actually one of the recalled cribs. I called the store where we purchased it and found out that without our receipt (couldn't find it anywhere!)they would give us an in store credit for a certain amount. Considering that the store is over an hour away and did not have anything that we were willing to purchase there to replace her bed, we decided to throw out the metal support bars and use the bed as a queen headboard and separate dresser. We had purchased a princess comforter for the bed when we had our previous house listed for sale so that we did not have 2 cribs in the house. We decided to set the bed back up as a toddler bed in the new house, because Reese did not sleep so well in the larger queen sized bed. The first night in her new bed, Reese slept later than she had been and woke up to tell me that she loved her new bed! I still want to paint the room, but for now it is on the way to being a beautiful big girl's room!

Dining Room Barber

Aidan has had his mop top for about the past 9 months. Though I love his hair long, I wanted to cut it for the summer so that it was cooler for him and easier for me! Since we recently went to get updated pictures of the kids and family and have nothing coming up for a couple of weeks I figured that it was the perfect time to cut his hair. Aidan Before: 15 month pictures
Last night he was sitting quietly at the table eating a snack and I snuck into the bathroom to grab the clippers. Although I tried to nonchalantly plug it in and set up my barber shop, Aidan noticed and got really quiet. I quickly moved his chair over, turned on the clippers and made a cut right down the middle of his head. He immediately started screaming and I just kept going. Randy ended up coming in as I was finishing up and guiding me to spots that I had missed and holding Aidan's head down so that I could get his neck. After finishing we undressed him and threw him into the tub (next time Aidan will only be wearing a diaper and we will relocate to the deck). He continued to scream and cry through his bath as I rinsed all of the stray hairs off. I didn't get to see how it actually turned out until I had dryed him off and dressed him for bed. Though I need to do some touching up on his neck and ears, it didn't turn out too bad! He looks absolutely adorable! Aidan After:
It is kind of funny how he looks so much more like my brother and his son now with his shorter hair, probably because they wear their hair in a similar style. I think that his long hair made his face look fuller and therefore made him look more like Randy.