Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here I Am!

Welcome to the new blog!

I won't bore you with all of the reasons why I switched from LiveJournal to Blogger, but I think I can sum them all up by simply saying that I think I'll be happier here. LiveJournal served me well for several years, but I was ready for a change.

And, as promised, the big blog announcement comes with more of the fabulous pictures taken by our photographer friend.

I thought a little reintroduction to the family would be appropriate, too, since this is the first of what I hope will be many posts from my new blog.

Here is Sydney, my girly six year old. She loves pink and she loves to talk!



Here is Liam, my rambunctious, all-boy two year old who loves cars and doesn't like to talk!



And here is my little guy, Evan, who is one. He loves to cuddle and has now mastered not only walking, but running!




Here are some of the whole family. I just love these and I can't wait to hang them on our wall.




And a couple of of just me with the kids. I'm usually the one behind the camera so there aren't a whole lot of them. I know I'll cherish them always.



So....welcome to my new blogging home! Please leave comments, lots of comments. While my genius, tech-savvy husband was able to transfer all 409 of my previous posts, he was not able to transfer the comments they got. It makes me a bit sad to lose the comments, but I know that in the long run, I'll be happier for making the change to the new digs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Potty Training, Round Two

Number of successes: 10
Number of M&M's given: 10
Number of wet underpants: 8
Number of huge sighs: 5,346

That about sums up our second attempt at potty training Liam. By 11 am on Monday, I'd had enough and put him back in a diaper. And how sad is that I was a little bit happy when he and Evan came down with fevers on Tuesday so that I could abandon the madness that is the potty training?

It has to be the most frustrating time in a parent's life. Just when I think he's gotten the hang of it, he has another accident and it takes all I have to not yell, "What is so hard about this?" But I don't yell. I just sigh, change his underwear and we start again. And again. And again.

It comes down to this: As immature as it sounds, I just do not want to do it. I don't have the patience to do it. And why in heaven's name is it always the mom who is in charge of it? I told Ryan that he's going to have to do it. Either that or he's going to have buy me a whole lot of chocolate and wine to get me through it.

I looked through my archives and found a post about potty training Sydney and while it made me laugh, it also reminded me of how frustrated I was with her, too. And just when I didn't think she'd ever get the hang of it, she did. I'm hoping that once Liam starts back to Mother's Day Out in a couple of weeks and he sees most of his classmates wearing big kid underpants and going potty, he'll figure it all out, too. One can hope, right?

On the lighter side of the issue, I did find myself laughing uncontrollably at my little guy. From time to time, I'd touch the front of his underpants to see if they were still dry. If they were (and usually he'd run to come tell me if they weren't), I'd say, "Still dry - high five!" and then we'd do a little high five. Later in the morning, he walked up to me, touched my crotch and said, "Still dry - high five!" and made me give him a high five. Can't say he's not a cutie pie!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School!

Here she is on her first day of first grade:


She had a great first day of school and is happy to have some friends from last year in her class this year.

Here's a reminder of how she's grown over the years:

(Kindergarten 2008)

(Pre-school 2007)

(Pre-school 2006)

(Pre-school 2005)

Speaking of growing, our big girl is now tying her shoes by herself (huge battle) and riding her bike without training wheels. Only one scraped elbow so far!


We're so proud of our big girl!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Track Your Reading

For the last year or so, I've been keeping a list of all the books I've read for my book clubs. I even posted a list of them here a while back.

Well, thanks to one of my book club friends, I've found a new way to keep track of the books I've read. I can rate them and even see how my friends rated the same books. I've enjoyed reading reviews of books by normal people (meaning, not professional writers/journalists/editors/book reviewers). You can also win books by entering some of the contests, but I haven't done that yet.

So, if you're a reader and you're looking for a way to keep track of the books you've read, check out Goodreads. You just might surprise yourself with the number of books you've read!*

*But if you look at my list of books, don't judge me on how low my "number" is compared to other people's "numbers"; I'm only counting books that I remember reading. For example, I know I read several books in high school that would make the list ("The Scarlett Letter" and "A Tale of Two Cities" are just two examples), but I don't remember much of their plots, so I'm not counting them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ewwww and Ick

I've stepped on some pretty gross things in my life: bugs, dog poo, a frog. I love going barefoot, but I learned to put on shoes when walking outside. I just didn't think I'd have to wear shoes inside my own house.

The other morning, when walking through the living room, I stepped on something wet. I thought one of the boys had spilled something out of their sippy cup or that Evan had left an explosion of drool on the floor. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a wet gel-like substance. A yellow gel-like substance.

I found a little trail of it from Liam's room all the way across the house to our room. And I found some in our bed.

The culprit? Liam's diaper. His morning diaper was so full that it exploded and some of the gel from inside it plopped down with every step he took from his room to ours that morning. And since he's gotten into the habit of climbing into bed with me in the mornings, there were little clumps of yellow gel in our bed, too.

Needless to say, everyone's sheets got washed that day and our bottle of carpet cleaning spray was put into good use. I also spent more money than I care to admit on name-brand nighttime diapers to keep this type of fiasco from occurring again.

Between this incident and the vomitfest of last week, I've had my fill of pint-sized bodily fluids for a while, that's for sure.

On the upside, the diaper explosion has pretty much convinced me to give potty training another try. I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it in the next few weeks. Aren't you excited? :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The "A" Word

You know how nearly everybody has a medical "thing"? Some people have bad backs or digestive issues. Others have clogged tear ducts (like Evan) or bad teeth (like me). Well, I think we've found Liam's "thing", other than his speech delay, that is.

Our little guy woke himself up coughing on Thursday night and we knew it was going to be a long night. The liquid Benadryl we gave him before we went to bed lasted all of three hours and I spent much of the night being kicked and smacked by an exhausted little boy who just couldn't sleep due to the coughing spells that had him near convulsions.

On Friday morning, the evil coughing was joined by wheezing and vomiting. You know you love your child when you're willing to not only be covered in their vomit, but reach out to catch it with your hands. Poor Liam could barely breathe and could not hold anything down. I resisted the temptation to give him anything, despite his saying, "Spite, Nonny. Pease?" (In speech-delayed two year old speak that translates to "Sprite, Mommy. Please?")

I managed to get him an appointment with the pediatrician's office, even though the receptionist was quick to inform me that our pediatrician was out and her replacement was booked for the day. I emphasized that Liam was having trouble breathing and was becoming dehydrated since he couldn't drink anything. The lovely (can you sense the sarcasm here?) woman reluctantly gave us an appointment with another pediatrician.

We braved the usual waiting room chaos and when our pager buzzed, we made our way to the "other" pediatrician's exam room where we waited and waited. He finally stuck his head in the door and said hello just to disappear minutes later. Our regular doctor's nurse moved us into one of her exam rooms where we waited some more. (I think the "other" pediatrician didn't want to deal with us since we weren't his patients and went to lunch. Jerk.)

The doctor finally came in and listened to Liam's chest. She immediately ordered a round of liquid steroids and a breathing treatment. The nurse, who was a blonde nineteen year old named Britney (need I say more?) gave Liam the steroid and set up The Machine. She poured some liquid into it, put a mask over the now freaking out Liam's face and told me to hold it there until the machine ran out of liquid. She didn't tell me how long that would take. She didn't tell me exactly how to hold the mask on a strong two year old's face. And she didn't tell me how loud The Machine would be in that tiny 10 X 10 exam room. She flipped the switch on, left the room and all hell broke loose.

Liam began to thrash around and fight the mask that was forcing the medication into his sick lungs. I struggled to hold both of his hands in one of mine while I used the other one to hold the mask over his nose and mouth. He cried and screamed and flailed around like I was trying to kill him. He ripped the paper on the examining table with his shoes and tore at the mask and the numerous hoses every chance he got. And let's not forget that the noise of The Machine scared the you-know-what out of Evan who was all of two feet away strapped in the stroller. He began to cry, too. Sydney turned on the waterworks as well. It was the longest ten minutes of my life.

I finally turned The Machine off myself having had enough of the mayhem. The nurse came back in and put a sensor on Liam's finger to check the oxygen level in his blood. She ran the test several times, scurried out of the room and brought back the doctor who listened to Liam's chest again. She frowned and ordered another breathing treatment. This time, I gave Sydney and Evan their juice and put Sydney in charge of doling out the animal crackers I'd thankfully packed in the bag at the last minute. I also held Liam's arms behind his back before starting the machine. He still fought it, but I kept that mask on his face for a full 15 minutes while the medicine flowed through it. He called out, "Want Daddy" and "All done" over and over and even managed to turn off The Machine with his foot, but I was determined to keep The Machine running and that mask on his face.

Britney must have gone to lunch, because another nurse came in to check Liam's oxygen level. She, too, scurried out and brought back the doctor who again listened to his lungs. She said the results weren't stellar, but they were better than before. She sent us on our way with prescriptions for a steroid, an antibiotic and an inhaler.

From start to finish, we were at the doctor's office from 11 am until 2 pm. The upside? Everyone except our doctor was gone to lunch for much of the time so they did not have to witness all the screaming and flailing. We dropped the scripts off at the pharmacy on the way home, I put both boys down for their naps and Sydney and I ate our lunches at 2:30.

The doctor never mentioned the "A" word, asthma, but she did hint that if this happened again (it's happened once before), we would need to look into two "maintenance" drugs, both of which I know are prescribed for asthma.

For now, we've got him on the prescribed medications and while he's doing better, his occasional coughing fits still shake his little body. He's eating better and is getting spoiled with all of the juice, "Spite" and Gatorade he can drink. He also doesn't seem to mind the inhaler which is a blessing after Friday's ordeal.

I just hope this doesn't happen again. If it does, I'm going to make Ryan go with us to hold him down for the breathing treatments. I don't think I ever want to go through that again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stay Tuned

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.

A big change is coming to Dress Up and Diaper Changes and I've been a bit busy preparing for it.

More details to come...

To tide you over, I'll leave you with a sneak peek of one of the pictures we had taken by a family friend at a nearby park:


The kids did well considering it was well over 100 degrees the afternoon we met our friend for the session and for dinner (his payment). I'll be posting more of his great pics after the big blog announcement. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

News vs. "News"

One of my pet peeves is the prevalence of 24 hour cable news channels and their so-called "experts" that tell everyone what to think. Even worse, I can't stand it when these "experts" blow the smallest things out of proportion, so much so that people who have forgotten how to tell the difference between pure fact and hype begin to obsess over little things that really don't make a difference.

Just this past week, I spent the better part of a day hearing about how horrible it is that our current president won't release his college grades for public record. Seriously? Who cares? Aren't there larger problems in the world than the grade he got in English 101? Besides, I think our last president pretty much proved that any frat boy with the study habits of a slug can be elected president. In fact, said frat boy can be elected twice thankyouverymuch.

However, I thought I'd help out these "experts" and come up with some outrageous stories that they can use in the event that their writers run out of ideas. (And I say writers and not reporters because I've seen firsthand how this network does things. On a trip to NYC a few years ago, we stood outside the window of the studio and watched the anchors read their banter off the tele-prompter. The banter. The drivel about their morning coffee and the weather. Reporters and anchors? Puh-lease. But I digress......)

So when the hoopla dies down about our president's college grades from twenty five years ago, the "news" networks can worry about:

- which side of the bed he sleeps on. Because we all know that people who sleep on the left side of the bed tend to support tax breaks for single, non-welfare-taking working mothers.

- what size shoe he wears. Because we all know that men who wear a size 8 and have big ears have a propensity to become dictators (Napoleon and Hitler, anyone?).

- if he wears boxers or briefs. Because we all know that men who wear briefs are more Type A and tend to get their panties, or briefs, all in a wad when those darn Russians say something slightly out of line.

- the names of all of his past pets. Because we all know that people who habitually name their pets "real" names (Mandy, Sophie, Abby) as opposed to "pet" names (Rex, Buster, Buttons) are pretentious. And heaven forbid we have a pretentious commander-in-chief.

- if he prefers the roll of toilet paper to go over or under. Because we all know that people who prefer it to go under are less likely to be religious. And darn it, every president should not only attend church twice a week, but have the entire New Testament memorized. The King James Version, no less.

- if he likes Mexican food. Because people who like Mexican food obviously support illegal immigration from Mexcio. And we all know that people who eat Mexican food more than once a week are ten times more likely to hire one of those illegals standing outside the local home improvement store.

Pretty silly, huh? But that's exactly what those "news" stories sound like to people who don't buy into the hype. It's just too bad that much of America has forgotten how to distinguish fact from crap and form their own opinions without a pundit's input.