What a rough life.

Man, does it get any better than this....

couch...CG#1 AND CG#2...binky...watching elmo.

Tough life I tell ya.


Potty Training 101

As a first time mom, potty training frightens me! Especially because I am dealing with a boy...and yes...boys have penises! I mean...standing up to pee or holding down the pee pee while sitting is not something I am familiar with. Ladies, are you with me?

P's new potty came in the mail yesterday and we are now on the fast track to big boy pants...maybe. From what I learned in my Toilet Training 101 class, there is not a magic age for toddlers to learn to go potty on the big potty, but "most" toddlers are ready to begin the process between 18 and 24 months. So...now that P is officially 18 months and 7 days...we are going for it.

Here are some signs that lead me to believe he may be ready:
  • He seems to know when he is going pee pee or poo pah (as elmo would say). He will hold himself, look at me, and say "uh". I admit, its a little strange that he is grabbing himself...but apparently that's a boy thing.
  • He takes a HUGE interest when mommy or daddy are going potty. He HAS to be in the bathroom with us. He will even try and look in the potty while I'm going! Again, slightly weird and almost creepy....but I guess that's what curious toddlers do.
  • He knows how to wipe! He will take the toilet paper and then act like he is wiping. It's so cute!
  • He LOVES to flush the toilet. Every time mommy says she has to go potty...he is following me...standing by me and waiting for me to give him the sign that he can flush. Then he usually has to flush 3 more times just for fun. And sometimes, he will even wave bye-bye to the pee pee as he is flushing.
  • When I ask him if he has poo pah...he nods...and 9 times out of 10 he does!
So, all of you experienced moms out there...what do you think? You think he is ready?

I did create a little basket of books and toys that I set next to his potty so I can try and hold his interest and get him to sit there longer. Of course, I couldn't resist snapping a shot of him for the first time on his new potty (he'll love me for this in 16 yrs).

Now don't forget, we also have peter potty...the toddler urinal (see left sidebar). I think we will try the sit down potty first and the toddler urinal will be step 2! Wish us luck! Here's where I got P's potty (which so far I love) if you are looking for a potty chair!


Off to see the fam...

We are headed to my grandparents house this weekend to see my cousin get married! Remember, my grandparents are not hip with new technology and computers with internet...so we will be internetless for a few days (minus our blackberry's). I have scheduled a few posts so that I don't leave you hanging! :)

I am such a planner that I can't believe I waited until the last minute to pack our bags. Actually, I had a "not my baby" shower tonight for a friend of mine that was a surrogate mother...I'll have to tell you about her later (amazing story). ANYWAY, it was 9pm when I got home...and I hadn't even begun to pack...AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Needless to say I was in a F O U L mood ladies and gentlemen! VERY F O U L! EXTREMELY F O U L! Not because of the party because that was SUPER fun, but because I had laundry to do and 2 suitcases to pack. It's 11:05...and I am officially packed minus a few things I am waiting on in the dryer.
Hubby just text me, from the other room, and here is what he says:

"Your extra sweet today. Can I put a cherry on top of you?"

Oops, am I taking out my frustration on hubby? I guess that explains his sarcastic text. Sometimes it's hard to be the husband...especially when your wife is cranky. Let's hope tomorrow is wife is nicer. 5 hours in the car with a cranky wife = not a lot of fun.

watch out Nicole Richie....





It's GIVEAWAY TIME!! Since my BF Nina is the owner/designer of NMBELINA DESIGNS...she has offered to team up with me for my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! How exciting and a big THANKS to Nin! If you haven't checked out her adorable creations click here or you can check out her personal blog by clicking here. I will be giving away a personalized monogrammed flat card! You pick the colors and I will have 20 printed with your initials PLUS I will send you the file on a cd so you can print as many as you would like in the future!

The contest will start TODAY and will end next WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4TH! Here are the rules:
  • Leave a Comment and you will be entered into the drawing 1 time.
  • If you become a Follower - you will be entered 2 times.
  • If you write a post regarding my giveaway with a link back to my blog - I will enter your name in 3 more times! (You can either let me know in your comment that you are going to do this OR send me an email... either way is fine by me)

And just for FUN....

Let the games begin!


It's week 4 my Bachelor friends...

...and my initial pick (not because I liked her, but because of her fingernails...remember....if not read here), the crazy stalker Shannon, has exited the show...I wish I could say she exited in fashion, but her exit line was "I'm gonna go home and use my electric toothbrush and french kiss my puppy". Ummm...as if we didn't think you were weird enough when you were vomiting at the rose ceremony last week and now you are talking about french kissing your dog?

It seems as if there is a new Bachelor tradition...the dreaded and UNCOMFORTABLE karaoke! Nikki had an emotional meltdown when she realized she had to write a song for Jason and sing it. Her exact words (as she was SOBBING) were...''I'd rather, like, have a tarantula crawl up my arm than do this (sniff sniff)". She is a control freak and says being silly is not in her nature. Can someone please inform her that no one likes an uptight beauty queen? Maybe she would feel more comfortable if Jason would have let her wear her tiara on the two-on-one date?? And PLEASE stop complaining that "it's not fair" and that you should have a baby by now. NEWS FLASH: YOU ARE 29. Slow your roll! You have plenty of time. Lose the side burns and maybe you land a husband...and a baby.

Here is what I have to say about Lauren...BOSSY and FULL OF HERSELF! Did she really think telling Jason he better give her a rose or she would be pissed would work? Come on girl....since when has a man EVER liked to be TOLD to do something! I get why your still single.

And Megan...it's about time you went home. I can't believe you were shocked that he decided not to give out the final rose... especially after that totally awkward moment during your one on one time where you were basically begging him to kiss you and instead he says "your a great person". Hi, that clearly equals...NO ROSE FOR YOU!

Molly was lucky enough to land the one on one date after Jason thought her karaoke song was the best, but I am kinda thinking ABC is tightening their budget and cutting costs because...what did she get?...NOT diamonds...NOT a jet to Vegas...NOT fancy dresses or a private concert....she got a nylon tent and some fast food. Although, I guess that worked for her. She got to spend the night with Jason and came back wearing his clothes.

And ladies...kissing on the set of General Hospital as part of the script...DOES NOT COUNT! Especially you three...
I still like Melissa. She hasn't busted out any psycho crazy annoying moments yet. There's always next week though. I won't be making any more predictions being the fact that I have already been proven wrong at this point. So we'll just have to watch and see....


I've figured out how to get my sexy back...

First off, can I just say you guys are the sweetest people on earth! You all left so many nice comments on my last post. I actually didn't want to post those pics because...well...because I clearly need a boob job. Haha! Hey, Kate Hudson is flat so maybe I should just go with it, right? Ok...that's clearly not a good reason to just go with it. I am thinking the boob job is a better alternative.

Anyway, I use to be a work out buff...6 days a week of lifting and cardio! Seriously, you could probably say that I was slightly obsessed with working out. It was almost a sickness. I even worked out the day I delivered P! Working out defined who I was as a person. Literally.

However, the second my lil guy was born...I suddenly felt differently about getting to the gym every night. I no longer beat myself up about "missing a day". I suddenly wanted to spend my evenings after work with P and NOT with the elliptical! I didn't even feel guilty for it! Not only that, but P is way more entertaining then my ipod!

So now that working out is no longer in my regular schedule...I have lost any muscle tone I had worked so hard to get. All of it...gone! I can't complain because it could be worse...I could have stopped working out and got fat right? But, hubby use to say my butt was "bubble-icious" and now all he can say is..."sweetie, where did your butt go?" That can't be a good thing in a guys world. I really do miss my muscles:(. But, tonight....I have figured out how to get my sexy back. See below:

That's right...the Wii!!!!!!!! I was so against this dang game system until my parents came over tonight and gave it to J for a belated birthday gift. It didn't take me long and my competitive nature started to take over....I wanted to WIN! But so did J!

Tennis was fun...but bowling...uhhhh...I kicked J's a** at the bowling game! I got a 216! I was so in to it that my butt is literally cramping!!! I am already sore. Can you say loser? Is it normal to be sore from Wii...uh...I think not. However, I think this could be my ticket to getting my muscle back. And how can I go wrong...I get to have "family time" while I'm getting my sexy back! I love this game!

J is so discouraged that he lost to me in bowling that he is still practicing! haha!
I can already see what our future Friday and Saturday nights will consist of...M vs J SHOWDOWNS!
*Don't worry, I haven't forgot about my first giveaway that I promised! I will be posting soon!! And, of course, I will do my weekly Bachelor post...which is actually why I gotta go right now...my DVR is calling my name! Thanks again for all the kind words! You guys are the best! When I'm feeling down on myself...I'll know where to come!

swimming 101 - toddler style

I wish I was reporting back that swimming lessons were a charm. Unfortunately, not so much.

Here's kind of how it went down....

He was flirting with a few girls in the ladys locker room as we were getting our suits on. Typical of him. We were both VERY excited about our first swim lesson!! He was still not sure why we are about to step in to a giant indoor bath tub...but he seemed to have an open mind so far....

With a little encouragement from mommy and a little hand holding he was willing to try it out. Keep in mind, he was in the water a TON last summer. My parents have a boat and my bf has a pool...so he is very familiar with the water. I expected him to jump right in.

This is when I thought it was going REALLY well. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Even daddy was convinced that P was gonna be the next Michael Phelps. He was splashing up a storm and for a few moments...I thought he was enjoying the pool more than he enjoys elmo.
He was a little reluctant to lay on his back, but after a little coaxing, he was kicking away.

That's about where the pictures end....because that's about where the happiness ended and my little devil emerged!

Do you see how many kids there were in our parent/tot swim class?

The point is...my child was the O N L Y one not in the pool after about the first 20 minutes. He spotted some toys on the side of the pool and thats when it was officially over. I even tried using the toys to coax him back in, but nope, he wasn't buying it. He was sitting on the side of the pool shaking his head NO and every time I reached for him he screamed. I was "that mom"...you know...the one that has the screaming child that every one is staring at. Yep, that was me.

P will have a second chance to redeem himself in front of all these mothers. We have swim class every Saturday until May. Can't wait for next week. :)



Today my hubby turns THIRTY ONE!!
There are so many reasons why I love my baby daddy....and #1 on the list....

because look at him with our P man...so proud...so sweet...so handsome...so loving!

I would have to say reason #2 is the way he loves me. I know a lot of women who get married for the wrong reasons or stay in relationships when they are unhappy...I am so glad to say that hubs and I have something (that he refers to as) "SPECIAL". He is very romantic and quite the sweet talker...which I LOVE!!

Because from this day forward...I married my best friend.Because he's a hard worker and successful because of it! How can you not love a man who is determined (and looks sexy in a suit)?

Because even though he wears a suit and tie...he knows how to be silly.

Because he puts up with me. And I promise people...sometimes...I can be difficult. :)

Because even from millions of miles away...he still reminded me that he loved me.

Because from this moment on...I knew we were a team....

...and that he was going to be a great father...

...which I was SOOO right about.

It's hard to believe that my baby daddy was actually the size of my P man at one point (look how cute he was even back then). 31 great years later...he is a successful husband, father, best friend, business man, provider, and lover! Happy Birthday baba! I love you!


It's D O N E!

That's right....Mrs. Clean....is officially on vacation. My mom and I cleaned for 8 straight hours. Eight hours of pure bliss. Ahem...yea right. Eight hours of pure torture. Did I mention I hate cleaning?
I'm not sure if it took us 8 hours because we were just that thorough....or if it was because we had a little helper. Gigi spent 4 of the 8 hours JUST IN THE KITCHEN. Of course, P wanted to scrub the sink a little too. Hey, teach him young. I'm all about it. As soon as he's old enough to understand chores...I'm signing him up.

After his short attention span came to an end and cleaning the kitchen was no longer interesting...he stole the plunger and was using it as a drum stick. How appropriate.
By the end of the day, he had enough. Him and elmo had a date on the couch...belly hanging out and all.

Tomorrow morning P starts his swimming lessons! I can't wait to post about it! I am sure you will all be very thankful that I am done posting about cleaning.

SPRAY TAN: For those of you who asked about the spray tan....YES, I love it! I haven't tanned in a tanning bed in years. I am not about to subject my skin to wrinkles and cancer. Plus, I had a fair share of tanning beds in college! I hate myself for doing it, but that's why I have vowed to never go back. Around here it's between $25 and $35 per session, depending on where you go. You do need to be careful of where you go...I wouldn't recommend doing the spray tan machines. I always go to the place where there is an actual person who sprays you. It turns out much more even, no streaks, and not orange! If your worried about standing there butt naked while someone is about 3 inches from you, spraying you down...don't worry. You don't have to be naked. I usually wear a thong and a strapless bra. Anyway, HIGHLY recommend the spray tan! Just be careful of where you go. And the only downfall, it usually only lasts about 5 to 7 days. I usually only do it for big events (Christmas party's, New Years, Cleaning my house....haha!)


Mr. Clean Mr. Clean!

I knew I had a big night ahead of me...a romantic date with the mop (for the second night in a row)! To ease the pain of knowing my fate for the next 5 hours...I decided to go get a spray tan first!

Uh huh...just call me "Mrs. Clean"....a Mrs. Clean that looks like she just got done laying on the beach on some tropical island for the last week. Something about cleaning is depressing to me so it was very important for me to at least look good while I'm doing it. And nothing makes me feel better than a good spray tan.

J's assignment tonight was to "unclutter" the garage. With a little, ok...A LOT, of help from my dad, (THANKS DAD) the two of them manage to make the garage look pretty darn good. He will stay on my good list tonight...or at least for now.

P really thought he was helping. I had to call gigi to come play with him because I couldn't even move without him attached to my side. It's cute, yes....but not productive. Thank goodness gigi is so kind and she sped right over...less than 5 minutes and gigi to the rescue. Almost faster than superman!
Nina was kind enough to bring me McDonalds, with a BIG fountain coke! Ugh, I was dying for it!! Thank you Nin!! Her and J are blog talking right now. She is getting some wordpress tips from the hubster...since he is now the self taught expert. Wait, I can hear them talking...now hubby has talked her into a photoshop 101 lesson. Phew...the two of them may be up for awhile. After this post I'm headed to bed!

Stay tuned kids....I will be hosting my FIRST GIVEAWAY very soon!!!!! No hints yet. You'll just have to wait and see!


I had my husbands full attention...

...until....well until...his second love presented itself on ABC at 8:00 PM....and I know you know what I'm talking about...
Needless to say, I "lost" (no pun intended) my cleaning partner and my so called "cleaning party" was officially over. I did get a good 50 minutes out of him. I guess that will have to do for now, right? It's a good thing we have until Saturday.

I would like to share a story with you about the argument I had with hubby yesterday. It started on Monday when I asked him to change a poopy diaper...he's usual response, "huh, I just changed a poopy one (while he is giving me a smirk)." Which is code for - 'I don't change poopy diapers unless I am forced too' because I can clearly assure you, he DID NOT "just change a poopy one". So, like any mom, I took control and changed the poopy diaper. I wasn't about to wait for him to get around to doing it. P would have had it dried all over his butt by that point.

However, nothing annoys me more than when I have to ASK him to do something. If he notices P has poop...50% of the time he should take the initiative and change it. Why should I have to ask him? And why on earth should I have to listen to him give me some lame (untrue) excuse, like "I just changed a poopy one". COME ON!

I got slightly fired up...and kind of let him have it yesterday (hey, he deserved it). I ended up going to dinner with Nin and when I came home....this is what I found on my pillow from hubby:


1. I will be more helpful and supportive
2. I will feed Parker more and help out
3. I will change more poopy diapers (even the runny ones - eww!)
4. I will never ask where his socks are again
5. I will let you watch The Bachelor in peace and not give you crap about it
6. I will stop grabbing your butt all the time
7. I'm sorry, but number 6 is a total lie. There's no way I can stop grabbing that nice tush of yours.
8. I will try and be a better husband and be more attentive
9. I will love you no matter what (wait, I already do, just wanted to reinforce)

Love you BABA!

Now how can I stay mad at that? But, I'm no sucker...ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS....so I'm expecting to see an improvement this week! Not sure what happened to number 10...he only gave me 9 reasons, but 9 is better than none.

Note to hubby: I don't want to start keeping tally of the # of poopy diapers I change, but if I have to....I will. It could lead to a poopy diaper strike on my end...then your gonna be in big trouble.

As if I feel like....


The answer to that is....NOOOOO!

But, we have someone coming to look at our house Saturday so I best be getting out the pledge and endust...and learning how to become new best friends with the vacuum.

Good news is...hubby has agreed to help! Bad news for him is....I won't be fulfilling his fantasy of cleaning in a sexy maid outfit and high heels. And once he gets my "honey do" list...he's gonna wish he hadn't offered his help. I always say, "I should just hire someone to clean my house." But, I am so type A...I have to do it myself. UHH!


The Bachelor or The Inauguration?

These were two topics that I could clearly write about today and since everybody and their brother is writing about Obama...I figured I would carry on with my usual weekly post on The Bachelor.

I have never really been in to politics and even though I met Obama back in 2005 at a small get together I was invited to by the Mayor of Carbondale (a very good friend of mine)....I still don't get into it. In fact, Mayor Cole likes to tease me that he took me to a party with the president to be - Obama (where there were only 25 people) and I was more worried about what time we were leaving and if we could go eat mexican! I know I know...I should be kicking myself that I didn't spend more time talking to him while we were sitting on the couch next to eachother (although we did share a few words), but instead I am more interested in who Jason Mesnick is going to marry! It's wrong...I know.

Anyway, back to Jason.

Last night was grueling...the girls really started to show their true colors and the claws were out in FULL force! Natalie got the one-on-one date, but Jason wasn't feeling it...and she is now probably famous for her one liner, "Who do you think you are, God?" Ahem, HELLO??? Natalie...Uh, yes...he is God...at least on The Bachelor.

Lauren ratted on Erica and Megan for being the drama queens and trouble makers of the house. I couldn't agree more, other than the fact that I would have added her own name to that list as well.

I think it was sweet that Jason set up to have Stephanie's daughter there for their one-on-one....but I am pretty sure that he did that so he wouldn't actually have to be alone with her. God love her! She has been through a lot and she is super sweet, but, as Chris Harrison says "Jason has no poker face" and it is CLEAR that the chemistry is just not there. I wish he would just let her go...the girl has been through enough...don't drag it out and lead her on!

And then there is Shannon...the psycho stalker. Again, the girl is just strange...and apparently Jason doesn't see that.

In the end, after all the drama of talking crap about eachother, he sent home Kari and Erica. My favorites are still Jillian and Melissa and I can't figure out why he is keeping Megan around???

Who are your favorites?

look at those boots

It officially snowed here in IL...not alot...but enough to where P could bust out his snow boots that have been sitting in his closet. Aren't they so cute?

He was trying to show them to Klaya...but I'm not sure she heard anything past "outside". His first steps in the snow! He is not real sure what the heck is going on.

Dating an older woman....

Friday night hubby hosted poker night at our house. What did that mean for me and the P? That meant that we were to find ourselves M.I.A. for a good few hours. Luckily some of the wives decided that if the men were gonna play...so were the women. So a few of us gathered at Lisa's for some lady time.

P was in heaven....he got to hang out with Brooke...who is slightly older, but WAY cute. I am pretty sure he was loving everything about Brooke. He followed her around the house like a puppy. She even taught him to drive....AND she shared her popcorn. I think she was feeling him too! Pretty soon they will be neighbors (Brooke lives in Twin Lakes)....which is cute for now....but may not be so cute when they are 16.


Surviving the TANTRUM!

What is it about Elmo?

Wait...who care's!

It works.

So, I'm not complaining.
This is my way of dealing with tantrums...but I have to admit...there has to be a better way than bribing your child with Elmo, right?
I did a little research on how to survive your toddlers tantrums (if its even possible) and here is what I found:
1. Don't punish the child.
me: HUH? Really? I failed that one.
2. Don't reward the child.
me: Shoot! Does this mean bribing him to watch Elmo is not the way to go?
3. Stay calm and ignore the behavior to the extent possible.
me: How do you ignore a screaming 18 month old who is running around your house like he has been possesed by the devil?
4. Keep the child safe.
me: Making the "naughty corner" a seat on the fireplace...not a good idea. I learned this FAST. In midst of the tantrum, he threw his head back and hit it on the fireplace.
5. Isolate the child if possible.
me: Not sure about you, but the only place for me to isolate my lil guy is his crib. But, then I am worried that if I make the crib the "naught place"...he'll never want to go to bed again!
6. Don't let the disapproval of other people affect your response to the tantrum.
me: I am not even repsonding to this one. (I live for the approval of my peers!)

Then it went on to say:
"When your child throws a tantrum, he is essentially out of control."
me: After I read that sentence I literally, out loud, said "No Sh**" (which is not something you want to do if your toddler is repeating everything you say right now). But, seriously, come on Captain Obvious, we know our child is "essentially out of control"....now we need to know what to do to get our child "essentially in control" PLEASE!
"You must make sure that you stay firmly in control. Punishing the toddler for throwing a tantrum, by yelling or spanking, makes the tantrum worse in the short term and prolongs the behavior in the long term.
me: I've been witness to this one! Is this possibly why it took my son 35 minutes to come back to Earth?
"Trying to stop the tantrum by giving in to the child's demands is even worse. This is the way to teach a child to use tantrums for manipulation, and will cause the behavior to continue indefinitely, even into adulthood."
me: Now this makes me feel EXTREMELY responsible for how my son will act for the rest of his life. I am listening now.
Overall, what I got out of this article, was that when your toddler throws a tantrum...do nothing. Ignore him. Go about your business cleaning dishes or doing laundry (or blogging), and DO NOT even make eye contact with him. Eventually, your toddler will learn that this kind of behavior is getting him no where!
This sounds good to me....except when I am in public and need him to STOP immediately! Then what?


The "space"....

Do you see that space between my son's two front teeth?
It's HUGE.
Maybe even GINORMOUS!
Let me give you a closer look.....
A space big enough for another tooth to fit in there.

I had that space when I was younger.

Unfortuantely P, you got mama's "space".

Sorry. Braces are in your future. No getting around it.
But, man, your smile is cute!

Dinner dates and jr. high memories

We had dinner at Tom's Place last night with Nina, Kiki, and Frosty!

We had such a great time (as usual) and even busted out some jr. high stories.

Apparently Nin didn't remember that...in 7th grade...I was the youngest hair stylist in Carterville! She had no recollection of her appointment with me, at the age of 13, when I cut 4 inches off her hair in her bedroom while we were babysitting her younger sister! I guess I must have done a good job...because even her ma didn't remember this story.

If anyone needs a trim...let me know...I can hook you up! :)

Thanks for being GREAT dinner dates Nin, Kiks, and Frost!


From the dog's perspective....

If she could talk...here's what she'd say...
"Seriously kid, can you please leave me alone. Did I say please? How bout NOW. I have had enough of your smacks, your kisses, your kicks, your grabs, and your evilness. I'm just trying to lay on the couch in peace. Didn't your mom teach you any manners? "
"Being smacked in the face once is tolerable, twice is annoying and three to fifty times just really starts to piss me off. Your lucky I don't smack back. In fact, I have thought about biting you, but I don't want to land my butt locked in my kennel for then next 2 years. But, really, I'm thinking it might be worth it...."
"Your smile may be cute...but I'm not finding it very cute right now. Especially when you just chucked 15 of your legos at me and flashed me a REALLY big smile. Nice try. Mom may fall for that...but I don't."

"If you really want me to play with you....go sneak me some treats from the cabinet. Then we can talk. "