the boys

the boys

Thursday, October 28, 2010

post-wedding pics

4 year anniversary

Four years ago today Jeremy and I were married. And I'll just say it. It was AWESOME! We had the most beautiful late-October day. Very unlike today's temps that just barely made it into the mid-50's. It's funny now because my mom and I fought over the date because she thought it would be too cold. Then it turned out to be such a warm sunny day. She and I laugh about it every year and it was the first thing she mentioned when she called this morning to wish me a Happy Anniversary.

The whole day was so relaxing. No seriously, it was very stress free. At least for me. Maybe there were people freaking out, but I really don't think so. The entire wedding party and all of my best friends spent the whole day at my parents house on Lake Viking. The sun was shining down on the lake the whole time. Jeremy and I were in the same house all day but he stayed upstairs and I stayed downstairs because he was dead set on not seeing each other until it was time. He's pretty sweet that way.

Probably the best part of the day was seeing him for the first time. We did the whole thing where it's just us and the photographer before the ceremony. Very sweet. I highly recommend. Jeremy was so cute about it. All nervous looking and then broke into a huge smile when he saw me. Ahhhhhh...good memories!

The church pews were arranged in kind of a semi-circle so we actually got to sit in the front pew with our parents. Father Matthew's homily was right on the money. I remember him talking about how Jeremy and I bring out the best in each other. That we draw on each other's strengths. I think, or at least I hope, that is still true. I also remember touching my little tiny belly bump when Fr. Matt talked about starting a family. Yup, there was all 11 weeks of Baby Justin attending our wedding via the womb. While clearly unplanned, wouldn't change it for the world now!

Some of my favorite pictures are of me, Jeremy, and our parents in the receiving line after the wedding. Great close ups that really show the pure joy of the event.

and the reception...I think it deserves a blog of it's own. Hopefully soon with lots of fun pictures.

Happy 4th Anniversary honey. LOVE YOU!

Friday, October 8, 2010

3 day potty training

Two weeks ago today I successfully completed the 3 Day Potty Training boot camp with Leo. For any of you that haven't heard me go on and on about this program, it's a handbook that you can purchase on the Internet at I highly recommend it to any mother. The basic concept is to teach a child to recognize his own body signals for when he has to go potty. If done with love and consistency it will result in your child being fully potty trained both during the day and night in just 3 days.

I know I have some critics out there. People saying that we have potty trained our boys too soon. That we are trying to push them to do more than they should do at this age. Perhaps thinking we are trying to brag or make our kids better than other kids, more advanced, etc, etc. Well, that's all crap!

To me it is like taking away the pacifier at 6 months or weaning from the bottle at 10-12months old. Is it hard? YUP. Does it take patience and consistency on the part of the parent? Yup. Would you like to give in and just go back to the easy way? Yup. But are you better off after having stuck it out and passed that developmental milestone? For me, it is an absolute YES! Twenty-two months of age is the ideal time to potty train a toddler, developmentally speaking. True, it is not the norm these days, but it all makes sense to me.

Nothing is ever 100% and the very best thing about this program is that the creator has a mentoring website to provide ongoing advice, assistance, and SUPPORT. Every mother knows their child and THEMSELVES best. Do what works for you.

I know me. I know I need a good coach. I always have! I've been coached my whole life and I need it spelled out for me so that I have a plan to follow.

It wasn't easy. It took a lot of hard work and PATIENCE and love both for him and myself. It also took patience to ignore my husband who at every major accident would suggest that maybe we should just go back to diapers (the ultimate no-no). But no, we persevered. Nothing is ever 100%. We are still working with some accidents when he sleeps, but I am using the mentoring program and getting some good suggestions. But I would venture to say he is 90% potty trained during naps or nighttime and 99% trained during the day. In two weeks I think he has only had maybe 3 accidents during waking hours and a ton of successful trips to the potty. I barely have to remind him when we are at home. He comes and finds me when he has to "go stinky" as he calls it.'s a great feeling. Proud of him. Proud of myself. It was an intense three days, but it was all worth it!

And I will now carefully step off of my soapbox. Whew, it was a long way down!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The $10 dance

You might think that the highlight of our girls weekend in Washington DC was the Washington Monument (love it) or the WWII Monument (peaceful) or the Vietnam Memorial (overwhelming). Or lunching with a great friend (miss you already!). Or attending Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (amazingly beautiful). Or dinner at Fisher's and Farmers (yummy Blackberry Julep). Or cupcakes from Baked and Wired (double yum!)

But you, my friends, would be wrong. The very best part of the girls weekend was watching Allison open a can of whoop ass on the parking attendant.

The signs overhead as you drive down into the lot and on the attendant booth clearly state it is a flat rate of $10 after 7 pm. And while there was small sign at the front of the lot that said otherwise, we were going with the posted $10 rate. When we pulled up to the booth to exit, the attendant tried to charge Allison $18. Ohhhh, she wasn't having it! The sign directly in front of us said $10 and she was prepared for a fight to the death for her $8. She has always been a particularly thrifty gal.

When the barely English-speaking attendant kindly gestured for Allison to step out of her vehicle to debate the matter, it was ON. Never mind that she whacked her knee on the door as she got out, she was on her A game (no pun intended). As Mandi put it: He doesn't know what he's in for.

So as we watched from the vehicle in awe, our baby sister gave a rousing, gesture-filled argument to the poor attendant. Please don't misunderstand. She didn't use any foul language or foul gestures, but it was wildly entertaining, nonetheless! We couldn't hear her words, but we could pretty much gather how the conversation was going by the way she put her hands on her hips, then gestured from one sign, to the next, to the next, sort of like a "first down" signal in football. Hands back on the hips. It was starting to get a little rhythm to it.

Gesture, gesture, hands on hips.
Hand chop, hand chop.
Gesture, gesture, hands on hips.
Hand chop, hand chop.
Head nod, head nod.
Shake, shake, shake (her head).

Well, I've always been a big fan of musical theater so in my mind it was starting to look like
gesture, gesture, cha cha cha.
Hand chop, hand chop, jazz hands.

I desperately wanted her to break into the Charleston and then resume her discussion just to see if he would notice. A little more discussion and then a hip bump or two. Who knows, he might have joined in? It would have been even better if we had gotten out of the car as her back up dancers. Do-whop. Do-whop.

But instead she finished her discussion, returned to the car, and reported that the attendant was getting his boss on the phone. He seemed just a teensy bit afraid of her. After a quick, but respectful, discussion with the manager where he could do nothing but agree with her that the sign clearly said $10 and we weren't paying a dime more, we paid our $10 and got the hell out of dodge.

We laughed all the way home. And then as we often do, the story got bigger and bigger until we had a whole dance routine worked out. I feel that I can't do it justice in writing. See attached video.

Yes, it was the highlight of the weekend.