Monday, August 31, 2009

How to (Poop) Potty Train Your Toddler

1) Hang this chart in your bathroom:

2) Pray for patience when he ignores it for about a month.

3) Ask advice from friends and family about how to get your stubborn kid to go poop in the potty.
4) Remind him to go again and again, only to find him sneaking away and pooping in his underwear.
5) Throw away poop-filled-underwear.
6) Repeat steps 2-5 a couple more times.
7) Threaten to stick medicine in his bum (only threaten) until he sits on the potty and pushes.
8) Sit on the floor in front of him and encourage him with each push.
9) Clap and do a silly dance when the tiniest rabbit poop comes out.
10) Wait another 2 weeks until he decides to do it again.
11) Repeat steps 9-10.
12) Buy him a present and wait until the time is just right.
13) After 2 months, when he finally poops in the potty for the fifth time - give him a present (which has to look just like the present in the picture - meaning wrapped with a bow).
14) Watch him do the puzzle in three minutes flat.
15) Listen to him whine every time he poops after that because he doesn't get another present.
(But praise God that you can send him to preschool!!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

HI LO: August 28th


1) I got to see my newest neice today! She's a beautiful girl with a beautiful name: Clare Elizabeth. The labor was fast, and everyone is happy and healthy.

2) I had a wonderful exchange of emails with one of my favorite bloggy moms, Aubrey. She gave me some wonderful advice, put my mind at ease, and was an empathetic soul. Thanks Aubrey!! I wish we lived closer.
3) We went to the beach the other day with Laura's family, and Rose's family and had an awesome time. Some of us may have gotten a little sunburned, but we're healing :) My camera lost a bunch of pictures, but they have posted them on their blogs.

4) It has been a much cooler past couple of days - and I AM LOVING IT!!!

5) Eamon is being much more regular about pooping and peeing in the potty, thank God! Of course, he has to get dressed by himself, so I often find his underwear in this state:


1) Last Monday, when Andrew had been coughing for 5 days straight, I called our doctor and was told that because he had no other symptoms, theere wasn't much to do for him. Then we called back on this past Monday because it still wasn't going away, and he was up a lot at night. The doctor said to bring him in, and it turns out he had an infection in his chest and was wheezing. They gave him antibiotics and steroids, and he finally slept the night through! It is a reminder that you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your child's health.

2) I am thinking about giving up on the CPA Exam. I am just not finding enough time to study, and even when I do, I am scoring REALLY bad on the practice exams. I used to be such a good student, but there's too much going on around me to focus on this right now. I am praying about it. I don't want to give up, but I also don't need this stress right now. Maybe when all the kids are in school and I can have a little more time.

What were your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a phone ring brings

My brother Brian called last night to see if Phil or I could go over to his house while he took his wife to the hospital to have their third baby!! I love phone calls telling me that a baby is coming - it's so exciting and awesome.
But I discovered something not so exciting and awesome - that I can NOT sleep well without Phil at home. I tossed and turned for a couple hours and then woke up to every little noise.
At 3 am, I heard my bedroom door squeak open and was terrified ~ but it was only Andrew being "scared of the night". And since I was also "scared of the night", I told him to sleep in the bed with me. And we both slept well for the next 3 hours until the other kids started getting up.
I would normally be cranky and miserable from this lack of sleep, but I can't stop being happy because baby Clare was born last night!! I am an Aunt again for the 19th time :)
She is the baby sister to two brothers: Brogan, almost 4 and PJ, one. I know what it's like to have a girl after you have a couple boys, and I am so excited for my sister-in-law!!! I'll post a picture when I get one.
Hope you all are having just as exciting days!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The weight is partially lifted off my shoulders.

I just changed my CPA Exam (Auditing section) from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5th.
I feel much better now - not so much stress about how I'm gonna fit in all that studying.
However, I'm sure on October 2nd, I'll be just as stressed out and wishing it was over already.
You win some, you lose some!
(Anyone else procrastinating today???)
And now for some accounting humor ( I know, it's rare!):
Q: What is the definition of an accountant?
A: Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.
The difference between the short and long income tax forms is simple.
If you use the short form, the government gets your money.
If you use the long form, the CPA gets your money.
What's the difference between a CPA and a lawyer?
The CPA knows he's boring.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gratituesday: August 25th

Today I am thankful for Half Birthdays!
John-Paul is 6 1/2 today, and I am 30 1/2.

I used to love my half birthday as a kid, not really sure why?!?! John-Paul asked if he could have half a cake, and then realized that I could have half a cake too, so we could make a WHOLE cake. But I refused (I know, I'm such a mean Mom) because I don't want to go down that road only to forget everyone else's half birthday ~ once a year is enough!
I am also thankful for the boy's track program that just finished up last week. It was fun, well-run, and my kids learned a lot. Some of my siblings and their kids joined as well, so we got to hang out with family and friends from school.
During the meets, J-P won first place a couple of times in the sprinting races (he's FAST) and Andrew won second place a few times in his relay race and obstacle course. Eamon took home a lot of Honorable Mentions :)
They got ribbons at the track meets and trophys at the end of the season...and c'mon when you're a little boy, what could be cooler???
Here's some pictures from their season: John-Paul won first place hula-hooping for the boys and had to face off with the top ranked girl who was awesome! She could've gone all day!

Cousin Bridget

We got our exercise chasing after this one!

Maggie with Aunt Maura (expecting her third baby)

Maggie sitting still for once

Cousin Tommy sitting on the left

Andrew with his favorite coach (I think the feeling was mutual)

Uncle Adam helping Eamon

They had some fun relays the last week

Mr. Serious getting the job done

Stretching is very important!

Maggie gets in on the action

John-Paul takes the lead

Eamon takes the caboose

Go Andrew, go!
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, August 24, 2009

What to do when you don't have a REAL pool... IMPROVISE!!
We even gave them a pool with a slide:

(Maggie's digging for gold - a benefit of having three brothers!)

and a fountain:

(Andrew holds his nose like his Mom!)

and some water shooters:

(Don't shoot me, Daddy! I'm too cute!)

(Boys will be boys! Which is a good thing because they are so much fun!)

Sure, it all looks a little white trashy, but the kids loved it :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hi Lo: August 21st


1) Andrea had a beautiful baby boy! Go meet Brennan Andrew :)

2) Maggie has been so sweet and easy lately. She just keeps walking up to me with a huge smile on her face, and gives super long kisses to anyone she can.

3) Eamon pooped one more time in the potty! We had to threaten him with putting medicine in his bum (a suppository), but it worked :)

4) We got invited to a pool party on Sunday from a family in our church, which was a blast!! Good food, awesome Catholics, great kids. We also got to use Laura's mom's pool for the second time. I love generous pool people :) Our children have so much fun in the pool - I think they prefer it over the ocean.

5) I went into Old Navy to pick up a tank top (to run in) and look at some pants for Phil, and found out that on Tuesdays they give 10% off to cardholders. Very cool! Also, adult jeans were only $19 and kids jeans only $10. I picked up a style called The Dreamer (size 8, thank you!) that fit great!!


1) I got a phone call from the pediatrician's office this week saying that Andrew hasn't had a physical since 2007. SO now we have an appointment scheduled for Sept for his 4 year old physical, even though he'll be turning 5 in October. I feel like such a horrible mom on this one.

I guess he's gonna have to call for his own appointments from now on ;)

2) Feeling completely overwhelmed lately - too many balls in the air and I'm not a good enough juggler.

Between working 3 days a week (which is financially necessary), having 4 kids aged 6 and under, studying for the CPA Exam, and finding time to keep up an exercise routine...I am burnt out most days.

Add onto that the stress of trying to buy this house we are renting (how are we gonna afford $400 to $500 more each month??), getting the kids ready to go back to school, and these hot, humid days - and you get one cranky Mama.

What were your highs and lows this week?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I saw this over at Aussie Therese's blog, and thought it looked fun. Feel free to join in!

My roommate and I once: Snuck down to the kitchen early one morning, hid in the bathroom and ate baking chocolate and cheese-its. My roommate was my little sister, and we were about 5 and 3. When my Dad came in to see what we were doing, we threw the food in the cabinet and ran away!

Never in my life have I: lived by myself.

High school was: great, academically challenging, rewarding, a happy place.

When I’m nervous: I laugh a lot.

My hair: dark blonde.

When I was 5: I made a pact with my neighbor, Vincent, that if we weren't married by 30, we would marry each other. I wonder whatever happened to Vincent?

When I turn my head left: I look like I am pondering something really important.

I should be: taking my new van to get an inspection sticker.

By this time next year: I will be preapring to send my boys into 2nd grade, Kindergarten, and preschool.

I have a hard time understanding: people that are pro abortion (I agree with you on this one Therese).

You know I like you if: I burp in front of you. What? Gas happens.

My ideal breakfast is: scrambled eggs, homefries, bacon, cranberry juice, and coffee.

If you visit my home town: take a picture of the public high school - it's beautiful.

If you spend the night at my house: Phil and I can go away on vacation!!

The animal I would like to see flying besides birds: As long as it's not bats, I wouldn't care.

Last night I: Watched some tv alone while Phil was playing frisbee, and then Fr. Jay came over with some delicious homemade ice cream to share with us.

A better name for me would be: least that's what I used to call myself when I wanted to be the fourth member of Destiny's Child.

I’ve been told I look like: my cousin Linda, my Mom, my Dad (how can I look like both of them?), my son Eamon, my daughter Maggie, and Melissa Joan-Hart.

If I could have any car, it would be:
This Honda Odyssey for a family car:

And this Honda Accord just for me:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gratituesday: August 18th

Today I am thankful that there's going to be a new baby in blogland. Please pray for Andrea to have a safe and fast delivery. Oh, and pain-free would be nice too :)
I am also thankful for a handsome husband who has been taking care of the kids this summer while I'm at work, and keeping up with the laundry, meal preparation, etc. He is such a good stay-at-home-Dad! I wish he didn't have to go back to work in 13 days :( But I'm sure he'll be happy!
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Weeks from Today...

My oldest baby starts FIRST GRADE!!

I can't believe it! First grade just seems so old to me.

Actually, everything he does seems so old because he is my first born.

John-Paul is such an awesome son.

He is sweet and sensitive and brilliant.

He loves to read, play sports, swim, draw pictures, and play with his siblings.

He helps out Mom and Dad all the time (in fact, sometimes I think we rely on him a little too much) and he eats whatever we give him.

He hardly ever complains about not being able to afford things, he just seems to get it.

He lets his little brothers chose what they like first (usually) and then takes whatever is leftover.

He tells me I look beautiful, and wants to grow up big and strong like Dad.

He gets excited over the simplest things ~ a trip to the playground, ice cream for dessert, going to the grocery store.

He is shy around kids his own age, but wants to be their friends so badly. Especially the "cool" ones, which are usually the troublemakers.

He loves to sing and has a pretty decent voice, and can shake his booty with the best of them.

He still gives me hugs and kisses at home, but is starting to get embarrased if I try to do it in public.

He wants to be an astronaut, and an artist, and a father when he grows up.

He still mispronounces some words like "thirst" for first, and "firsty" for thirsty.

He thinks it's really neat that he is getting freckles on his nose, just like Mom.

He just picked out sneakers with laces, because he is getting too big for velcro now. (Excuse me!)

He shares my birthday, and he shares my heart.

John-Paul, you are getting too big - I'm gonna have to put that brick on your head to keep you little forever. I love you!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hi Lo: August 14th


1) Phil and I took the "littles" (Eamon & Maggie) blueberry picking with my MOMS Club. It takes a long time to pick blueberries, but they are so delicious!! And inexpensive!!

2) We made a French Silk Pie from a recipe in Cook's Country and it was DELICIOUS!! But very, very rich.

3) My knee looks much better. I would post a picture, but there seems to be a forest covering the scabs, which I'm sure you wouldn't want to see ;)

4) As I posted yesterday, but deserves to be acknowledged again: J-P can eat peanuts!! Five long years of keeping him away from peanuts and all other nuts is over. He can now eat anything and everything.

5) Eamon went to his first school-related event on Wednesday with Andrew. They went on a field trip to a Children's Museum and had tons of fun. We are trying to get Eamon used to the idea of going to school and being away from home...okay, who am I kidding, he is READY, I think it's us that are not.

6) I had two of my cavities filled, which is sort of a low, but it stopped the pain I was having, which is definitely a HIGH!
7) We went to the beach on Sunday morning as a family (don't worry, we went to Mass on Sat night!), and met up with my sister and her two girls. We practically had the whole beach to ourselves and the kids were so well behaved (meaning that the "littles" weren't trying to run in over their heads) - it was one of our best beach days ever!


1) While at blueberry picking, Maggie gagged on a blueberry and made herself vomit. Poor girl, she had to go home early with Daddy to get cleaned up.

2) Another Maggie low: while on one of our almost-daily trips to the playground, Maggie fell from the opening at the top of the fire pole down to the wood chips below and scratched her face up pretty bad. We are lucky she didn't hurt herself worse.

3) We were supposed to have a family portrait taken on the beach yesterday, but it ended up raining and being really busy for both the photographer's family (a lovely Mom to 6) and our family, so we will reschedule in the fall.

What are your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Au revoir allergies!

Yesterday I took John-Paul (age 6) to the allergist so he could complete the final step in determining he has outgrown his peanut allergy.

(He has previously passed the skin test and blood test.)

The allergist told me to bring some peanut butter so that we could give him an oral test and see if he had any reactions. I must admit that both the little guy and I were a bit nervous, but we tried to make the situation as exciting and silly as we could.

John-Paul was forced to eat peanut butter every 20 minutes or so, in increasing amounts, for an hour an a half. After he took his first bite of p.b. (in 5 years!) he said "MMMmmmm, this stuff is pretty good!" By the end of he visit, he decided that peanut butter was only "okay" (I think he ate too much).

The allergist kept examining J-P to make sure he wasn't reacting badly to the peanut butter, and they had the epi pen and oxygen ready, just in case. But, none of that was necessary as John-Paul passed with flying colors!!!! Thanks be to God!

When we got home, he was so proud of himself, and said the cutest thing: "Now when somebody gives me a cookie, I don't have to ask if it has nuts in it or not. I can just eat it!!"

Ahhh, yes John-Paul, you eat away at as many nut-filled cookies as you deserve it!
Now we won't have to send you to first grade wearing this:

Instead you can wear this:

(Actually you'll be wearing a uniform - but you get the point!!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LOL, ROTFL, etc.

..........And the fish was this big!! Hahahahahaha - huh?

My 6 and 4 year old are obsessed with telling jokes, and once they were tired of the few they knew, they started making up crazy jokes that didn't even make sense.
So, I found these jokes, and they are having a blast reading and trying to memorize them all.

(Can I take a moment and brag about how GREAT a reader my 4 year old is...he seriously amazes me. OK, bragging moment over!)

Here's the list if your kids are as interested in being stand-up comedians as mine are ;)

Disclaimer: These jokes will cause parents to groan internally while fake laughing externally to please your child. Don't say I didn't warn ya!

1. What do ghosts wear when it snows? Booooots

2. Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? He didn’t have any guts

3. Who do you call a cow that eats grass? A lawn moooer

4. Where do cows go on a Saturday night? To the mooovies

5. What do you get when you cross a cow with a duck? Milk and quackers

6. What did the dog say when he sat on the sandpaper? Rough! Rough!

7. What dog keeps the best time? A watchdog

8. Why did the lion spit out the clown? Because he tasted funny

9. How do you catch a squirrel? Climb a tree and act like a nut

10. Why did the turtle cross the road? To get to the shell station

11. How many paws does a bear have? One paw and one maw

12. What are Dino bandages for? Dinosores

13. Why do ducks fly south? Because it’s too far to walk

14. Why didn’t the duck ear his soup? He couldn’t find his quackers

15. Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide

16. Why do bees hum? Because they don’t know the words

17. What did the flea say to the other flea? Should we walk or take the dog?

18. Why is the father centipede so upset? All his kids need new shoes

19. What did the mother lightening bug say to the father lightning bug? Junior use is bright

20. Why are fish so smart? Because they swim in schools

21. What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus? I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand….

22. What are the most commonly used letters in the skunk alphabet? P and U

23. What’s worse than finding a worm in you apple? Finding half a worm

24. What is black and white, black and white, black and white? A penguin rolling down a hill

25. What’s black and white and red all over? A zebra with a sunburn

26. Why did the cookie go to the hospital? Because he was feeling crummy

27. What kind of apple isn’t an apply? A pineapple

28. Why did the orange go to the doctor? He wasn’t peeling well

29. Why does the ocean roar? You would too if you had crabs in your bed!

30. What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing, it just waved

31. What falls in the winter and never gets hurt? Snow

32. How many jelly beans can you put in a jar? Only one- after that, the jar isn’t empty anymore

33. What did not eye say to the other eye? Between you and me, something smells

34. What flowers grow between your nose and your chin? Tulips

35. Why did the car stop in the middle of the road? Because it was wheely, wheely tired

36. Why did the girl throw the butter outside? She wanted to see the butterfly

37. Why does a cowboy ride a horse? Because it’s too heavy to carry

38. Three men were standing under one umbrella, but no one got wet. How can this be? It wasn’t raining.