Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Amazon Cart Full. Christmas is TWO Months Away. For Reals

I'm always so curious what people store in their Amazon cart. If you're like me, you keep a healthy supply of things saved there to watch the prices fluctuate and until you feel totally ready to press that final submit button. Oftentimes, the things get removed as I change my mind and move on.

I've made a list of things I'm considering purchasing for the kids for Christmas and their birthdays (that happen 1-2 months post Christmas) and now I ponder, reconsider, wait for prices to drop and for deals to be had.

This year the kids are getting all share gifts. I don't see a reason for gender-specific toys and really, they share everything anyway, whether it has one name on it or the other. Aside from stocking stuffers that aren't so much share-friendly (socks, toothbrushes, undies), gifts will be unwrapped together and played with together. I also wanted to center around gifts that can be played with by them both at the same time. They are each others' best friend, so I want to continue to foster this special relationship.

The Biggie: This HAPE Wooden Doll House + Furniture

I teetered between the Melissa & Doug Hi Rise one and this, but the elevator on the M&D one made me nervous that they'd break it, plus this one just seems a tad cuter to me. Though, I do like that garage on the M&D one. And confirmed, my local friend has that one with the elevator and she's confirmed it's no longer functional.

There are some accompanying things I might get for birthdays to follow like the baby nursery set and the bunkbed kid furniture set, but we'll see. They are just so stinking cute being so little. Melissa and Doug also has this cute wooden car with people that would work pretty well paired with this dollhouse stuff.
The kids love those little choking hazards called marbles, so thinking a Marble Genius Marble Runner to build would be fun. Benjamin plays with one at his preschool and they have some wooden ones we play with at the Discovery Museum.

Benjamin totally fixated on a Playdough creation set at Target the other day. And since then, his Gawbee went ahead and treated him to it. I might get one he hasn't seen before since it looks like it would be less painful to watch the color-mixing. The wheels are stamps on this Cinderella carriage and it can also probably be used in conjunction with the dollhouse for crossover play. Or maybe that one can just be eliminated from the list, because #playdough. Every parent knows how SUPER FUN it is to clean.

And finally, I was thinking about LEGO. The kids have Duplo we still play with quite a bit and I have a big bag of LEGO Friends pieces to introduce that I scored for a ridiculously amazing price of $3 at a thrift store. (I miss you, Salvation Army on 75th and Lemont in Darien, IL.) The big bag I scored also has LEGO people that can also be used in the dollhouse. See where I'm going with the imaginative play? Finally, we can have small pieces because Claire is almost three and they aren't babies anymore. (Plus, she's never been much of an oral kid.) I want to buy this LEGO Advent calendar for them to share. They would trade off days and then help one another construct. Perhaps it's too advanced, but the creations are really simple and festive. This one might turn into an annual tradition. Update: It's on the way in the mail. I'm so excited to stick it in our hanging Advent Calendar to construct each winter day. I don't know which one we're getting, because I won it in a giveaway! But I think any of the three will be a blast, though I'm partial to the original because I like all of the creations better than the other two.

I'm really curious what the rest of you are buying for Christmas for your kids! Have you even thought about it, or are you totally just buried to your elbows in figuring out Halloween? I've sort of skipped right over the stress of that and moved onto the easy stuff-- things I can put in my Amazon cart that magically appear on my doorstep thanks to my new Prime account my parents gifted me with for my birthday earlier this month.

And honestly, while all the stuff above is nice, my kids have so many toys and so many I weed through regularly that are either junky, not played with, or below their level. Christmas isn't all about the stuff. We're just so, so lucky as Americans to have all that we do that we can casually think about Christmas in terms of a full Amazon cart. It's so easy to become jaded. Hashtag #firstworldchristmas.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Potty Training Uhhhh-gain

Back on the train for the second installment of potty training my children. I'll admit that Claire has probably been ready for eons. And, well, I just wasn't. Because I remember how SUPER FUN it was to potty train Benjamin and how I waited forever because he was so noncommittal (or was that me?) and then when we did it, he was potty trained fully without any need for any sort of pee pad, alarm, pull-up or anything in a matter of like 5 days. He just did it all the time, by himself, without me even bothering. I never had to pull the nagging "Do you have to go potty" before we left for somewhere and I still don't. The kid has an uncanny ability to hold his urine for ridiculously long periods of time. I literally took back all the Pull-Ups I bought in anticipation of using them for years because he never used a single one.

For Claire, I just kind of assumed that if I pushed it off until she was almost three like Benjamin was when he trained, it'd all be roses and easy. Whenever we asked her if she wanted to, she'd always say, "tomorrow" and was happily bringing me diapers and wipes for changings for many months. So it's time.

Someone said something about girls being easier.

WRONG. Double. Triple. Wrong. Liars.

For one, boys can go standing up and somehow it is socially acceptable for them to pee on nature anytime, anywhere. They don't require wiping for that business and you don't have to deal with the fears of them falling into the toilet or those stupid automatic flushers sucking them into oblivion. Real fears from little people, seriously. Girls require lifting onto and/or holding them on the potty or bringing in a potty topper (which I do often) that was virtually unused with Benjamin (he was also good about holding the poop until we were good and home).

Girls require running to the potty, making sure said potty is clean, covering the top, holding there, wiping, flushing, washing... LORD HAVE MERCY.

Boys just piss on a tree and you squirt them with a little hand sani and head on your way.

Claire has been peeing in the potty solidly for 2.5 weeks now. For the last 1.5 weeks, she's done it without accident. I was going to keep her home from school a week ago to continue bootcamp, but then picture day put a snag in my plans. Still, she managed dry diapers at school and using the potty. But this week, she must've eaten something awful because when I picked her up from school on Monday, the teacher handed me a dark bag of super fun, totally diarrhea-filled clothing. And then she proceeded to expel the same fun into her underwear and accompanying pants for the next two days. Finally, the following day, she walked her naked self into the bathroom, sat down and did her business without me accompanying her. Finally. A solid in the potty. Her first one. Pee was a snap, but poop was absolutely not. Benjamin was pooping on the potty before he ever peed, so this was something new for me. What a blast it has been cleaning those clothes. Ick.

We celebrated big with mint Oreos (imperative that you find these at your local market and buy them. They are my fave of all time). She's done it a few times more now with no accidents of any kind now for 4 days or so.

I'm not saying we're out of the dark on this potty situation, but we're headed on the right track. Fruit snacks ready and happy face potty chart taped to the bathroom mirror, we're not turning back. She's not interested in diapers at bedtime (but mommies who don't want to be woken up to wet mattresses sure are) and is requesting underwear like brother, so I've committed to November 1 as diaper-free Wilson household IF she manages dry diapers for the next two weeks solid.

Send us your potty pixie dust and well wishes. Please and thank you. Also, OMG, it's possible I'm done changing diapers forever? Wow.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Halloween Costume Idea Squashed. Help.

I could have the kids just dress in their costumes from last year, because it's not like anyone locally has any clue we're reusing (and so what if they did anyway?).

BUT... they were putting chairs together from the dining table the other days and hauling every single pillow and blanket we own to construct a hot air balloon the other day and I sort of thought, why not that? 

I think Halloween should be fun and creative, but I don't play either of those things well. I'm sort of fun, but not at all creative when it comes to costumes. I just can't handle anymore Elsa costumes (no offense to the millions of children who will be dressed in shimmery light blue with blond braids). 

I took to Pinterest because that's what people my age do in a crisis of absentee creativity in oneself.

I fell in love. Like, head over heels. 



I mean, it's relatively easy and super adorable. I mostly wanted to replicate the yellow balloon one to a T.

Then I visited the party supply store. FIFTEEN DOLLARS for just one balloon filled with helium. Maybe that's not a lot for some people, but this is a DIY project and also, I am literally paying for air in a rubber receptacle that will either deflate or be popped possibly immediately. And if you've ever raised small children, you know that a popped balloon basically means you have ruined their lives. Thirty dollars and the thought of all that stress...

Right then and there, my brilliant idea of creative costumes the kids could help with was immediately squashed. Deflated, if you will. (I know, I'm hilarious sometimes.) I've searched ebay and Amazon for some 36" balloons, but where do I find helium at an affordable price? Maybe I can convince my local dollar store to fill them for a couple bucks each. Hmmph. Totally open to accepting your brilliant ideas, but I'm probably just going to sit on the couch sulking about my brilliant failure of an idea that probably won't come to fruition. 

And so, you'll probably expect to see some re-used costumes this year. At least we have our decorations out and I'm fully stocked on Halloween candy. Snickers anyone?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Blurry Eyes, Clean Teeth and Dead Car Batteries

A couple weeks ago, I ran in some serious winds. After 7.5 miles, I was so done with fighting the insane 30-60mph wind gusts, that I went home and ended it a bit early. Ever since then, my right eye has been really dry and slightly blurred. I met with an ophthalmologist Monday and he checked me thoroughly and dilated my eyes (which totally sucked parenting two kids after that!). I had Lasik 7.5 years ago and my left eye is just under perfect and my right is -.25. Neither should be the reason I'm feeling uncomfortable in my right eye and too low of a change to require a prescription. I left with no real answers after all the tests, but definitely still bothered by this right eye sitch. I'm using artificial tears but it's not helping.

I had a dental appointment last month. This month, I get to endure the first of two fillings that were uncovered during that appointment. (They won't do both on the same day, as they deem it dangerous. I should be clear on my history with them and how coming back is actually more dangerous for them because I will be way more cranky the second go around). Mind you, I brush with 1.1% $20/tube special fluoride toothpaste, with a Sonicare, floss daily with two devices and use fluoride rinse. And still, cavities. #unlucky. I'm also dealing with some adult acne, and I've never had a bad breakout What the crap, dude. I'm turning 34 next week and I don't know what gives! Broken teeth, broken eyes, broken face. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. (Side note: Benzoyl Peroxide seems to be taming the beast, so at least something is partially fixed.)

Yesterday the kids had their dental appointments. I was already marginally flipping out inside because Dad is out of town (mentally that makes things more stressful even thought he'd be working at the time anyway) and because Benjamin's last experience at the dentist's office was one that has been forever burned into my memory. It wasn't the cavity filling, but the aftermath. OH MAN, that was rough. So I'm already clawing my chair in fear that the x-rays will reveal more, despite brushing them both myself with fluoride, flossing and using flouride rinse daily. I'm really anal about the whole process because that cavity filling was traumatic for us all.

I get the kids buckled and realized my keys were still in the ignition. NBD, I've done that before. The garage was closed. Except, they were in the ON position. Like, the radio setting. Which meant, dead battery. I should've assumed all along, because my phone kept trying to connect to my car bluetooth from inside the house, but it still wasn't enough to alarm me. I'd already waited over a month to schedule the kids with this dentist I read about on Yelp (Hollywood themed? Disney posters everywhere? Like you're entering a theatre? SIGN ME UP.). I wasn't about to cancel and reschedule. Shoot, I would run the 3 miles there with them in the jogger if I had to! I immediately started knocking on doors of neighbors I'd never met. On my fourth house, this guy answers, grabs his keys and drives into the garage and jumps my car. Easy as pie. We were actually ON TIME for that dental appointment.

The kids loved the place. Both had x-rays (controversial for some, I know, but our dental history is dismal. Some lady in there was so vehemently against the fluoride paste that she said she would be taking her kids elsewhere if he tried.). They were almost excited for their exams! The cleanings happened side-by-side concurrently and the dentist was awesome and super positive. They left with stickers, toothbrushes, paste, floss and a token to be used at the toy machine (think grocery store quarter machines) before we left. They both got 3-cent bouncy balls and were smitten with the experience. But no one was more smitten than this mama. No cavities for either kid and away we went to storytime.

Kids healthy, mama broken (and apparently losing her mind). Pretty accurate, I guess.