Monday, April 30, 2012

Surviving the Exhaustion


I don't get much of it. At all. I know I talk about it a lot (probably too much for many of you) but truly, when you don't get sleep it's all you can think about. Instead of lamenting my tiredness and circling around the reasons for Joseph's night waking and possible solutions for it, i'm giving you my tips for dealing with the lack of sleep. Because lets face it, after 6.5 months where the longest stretch I've gotten is 4 hours, i'm pretty much an expert.


1. Coffee. Obviously i'm touting the benefits of this one. The caffeine wakes me up of course, but so does simply smelling it. While the first pot of the morning brews, the scent triggers parts of my brain which tell me "hey, it's time to look alive!" I also love the taste, so on those mornings where I could potentially be pretty miserable, it perks me up and makes me happy. I am also back to my daily Dunkin Donuts habit, which I refuse to apologize for. I deserve it!

2. Water, water, water. When i'm tired, the last thing I want to do is add dehydration to the mix. I drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee, and then continue to drink water throughout the day. Even though recent research has suggested that 8 glasses aren't necessary, I do my best to get and exceed that amount. It helps my body feel more alert and less sluggish.

3. Wine. When I finally get Joseph settled for the night (wait, let me rephrase. If I can finally get Joseph settled for the night) I like to relax with one glass of wine. I keep it to 2 or 3 nights a week, which makes it a relaxing treat. I enjoy the taste of red wine, and it's something I can look forward to and enjoy before heading into a night where I may possibly be pacing the floors for hours on end.


1. Less sugar. I've noticed that when I consume large amounts of refined sugar I feel awful. I have a stomachache, I'm cranky, I get headaches and i'm beyond the point of sluggishness. That's not good when you're already running on little to no sleep. But I've often found that when i'm overtired my first reaction is to reach for a piece of chocolate or a cookie. I've forced myself to stop doing that, which has made a huge difference in the way my body feels.

2. More fruits and veggies. These foods naturally contain a lot of water, which aids in the prevention of dehydration. They also make me feel fuller longer so i'm less apt to binge on the sugary, processed foods that make me more tired. I've made it a point to include a serving of either fruit or veggies during breakfast, lunch and snacks and two servings at dinner.


1. When i'm tired, the last thing I want to do is work out. But it does give me energy, and an afternoon walk outside is just the thing to get me through the rest of the evening. The fresh air is an added bonus, but even on bad weather days I will get up and do some jumping jacks or dancing with Stephanie in the afternoon. Anything to get the blood flowing through my body.

2. Yoga. I've never taken a structured class, and for all I know i'm doing all the moves wrong and have terrible form. But boy do I love yoga. I've started incorporating it into my daily life and I feel happier, more relaxed, more energized, and more peaceful. I've also noticed my body becoming more toned, which is an added bonus. I use the yoga moves from our Wii fit, but even if I don't want to take the time to boot up the system I will do a move or two anytime I find myself sliding into exhaustion and crankiness. The mats we put down to prevent Joseph from slamming his head on the concrete floor have the added benefit of being an always-there yoga mat as well.

Clearly none of these things is a perfect substitute for a full night's sleep. But as any mom knows, there really isn't such a thing as a full night's sleep once you have kids. Even if your child has slept great since he/she was tiny, most moms deal with night waking at least a few times a week. Sometimes it's a nightmare, sometimes it's needing to use the potty (or wetting the bed), sometimes it's teething pain, sometimes it's just lonely kids who want to cuddle with mommy in the middle of the night. Whatever it is that's causing your  tiredness, I hope you find some of these tips useful. They have definitely been a lifesaver for me lately.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tantrums, Tantrums

Stephanie is two. And with that comes temper tantrums. We went through an awful phase with them a few weeks ago, right around Easter time. At one point Dan suggested we stop letting her have a piece of Easter candy after every meal. His thinking was that she was having too much refined sugar and it was affecting her badly. Lo and behold, his solution worked. With no candy in her system, the temper tantrums dropped down to almost none.

However, this week we have all been a little off. We're tired from Joseph's lack of sleep, and everyone seems to be coming down with a slight spring cold. When we stayed home on Monday and Tuesday, Stephanie spent both days watching TV, cuddling in bed, and reading books, trying to fight her cold.

On Wednesday we finally left the house to go to Storytime. The first few minutes were great. Stephanie loves Miss T. the librarian, she loves the songs and she loves the crafts. But when it was time to sit and listen to the book, she ran off and crawled under one of the tables. I let her go, figuring it was fine, she wasn't bothering anyone and was just sitting there quietly. But then she started slamming the metal bar that attaches the table legs together and it made a loud, echoing sound throughout the whole room. I pulled her out, told her she was being too loud and that she needed to stay out from under the table. She threw a massive tantrum. Instead of trying to diffuse it while Miss T. was reading, I took her by the hand, and we walked out.

And I felt horrible. I felt like every other mom was looking at my as if I were so mean. (Also as if I couldn't control my child. But I didn't care as much about that because I've come to realize that Stephanie is strong-willed and although I can do many things to help prevent or diffuse tantrums, there are times when they are going to occur no matter what.)

As soon as we got in the car I posted on Twitter about how horrible I felt. I received responses immediately from other moms saying that I had done the right thing, and that it was what they too would have done in a similar situation. That made me feel better, and reminded me again why I love social media. The support you receive from other moms is unparalleled, and it's nice to know that there are others out there who won't judge you and who will validate the decisions you make as a mom. We went out to lunch with my parents and sister later that day, and they too agreed that I had done the right thing.

I have definitely learned that there are specific triggers that cause Stephanie's tantrums. Things like too much sugar, being tired, not feeling just right, etc. But the biggest one is being told she can't have what she wants when she wants it or being told she can't do exactly what she wants when she wants to do it. (This is because she's two.)  I've also learned that those are the times when it's important to stand my ground. To teach her that she can't have/do everything she wants immediately, and that it's not ok to respond to that by throwing tantrums.

I didn't yell at her, and when we got in the car she calmed down and we talked about how her behavior was inappropriate and caused her to miss the rest of Storytime. She seemed to understand, and we also discussed why I had pulled her out from under the table in the first place. We talked about how that made her feel, and ways she could have expressed those feelings without throwing a tantrum. When she calms down, she's always able to talk about the situation with me, and although it's a slow process I really believe that she is learning appropriate ways to deal with her feelings of frustration.

Toddlers don't throw tantrums to be manipulative, although it might seem like it at the time. They are exercising their autonomy, trying to learn about their world, and working on understanding why they feel the way they do. If any of you are dealing with tantrums, Katie recently wrote this article for Yahoo! Voices, which contains a lot of valuable tips for dealing with them. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We Stayed Home

*Before writing this post I want to send out a big congratulations to my best friend, who welcomed her second baby boy to the world on Sunday morning. I got to meet the adorable little munchkin yesterday, and it was so magical to witness the pride and joy in my friend's face.

Ok, back to the post.

I knew I was going to the hospital to visit with the new baby and his Mommy yesterday afternoon, so I made no morning plans. It was also raining outside, so I decided we would just spend time around the house. It was the first time in a long time that the kids and I didn't have any where to hurry off to, and that made our morning run much smoother than normal.

Instead of rushing through my coffee, I drank it leisurely while the kids played. Instead of inhaling my breakfast and gently coaxing  nagging Stephanie to finish, we spent extra time enjoying our first meal of the day. Joseph got to take his morning nap in his crib instead of his car-seat. I folded and put away the loads of laundry that we washed over the weekend.

As the morning drew to a close, I took a minute to pause and think about how happy and content we all were. It was nice to just...stay home.

I also realized that I wouldn't want to do this every day. I enjoy our play-dates, trips to the park, story-time, errand running and appointments. It keeps us busy, provides socialization and new experiences for the children, prevents me from feeling like i'm going to climb the walls, and helps me implement structure and routine in our lives.

It also makes these slow times more special. I enjoy them and relish them instead of taking them for granted. They make me realize that it isn't good for any of us to rush around all the time. We need a break every now and then, and a morning like yesterday gives all of us the time and space we need to relax and re-charge our batteries. It also means my house is cleaner and more organized than it's been in weeks! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Top 5 Laughs

I took last week off from the Saturday Top 5 Laughs Bloghop, and I missed writing and remembering the funny things that happened during our week. So today I'm linking up again with Melissa from The Mommyhood Chronicles. Here are my laughs for the week:

1. I brought home a big bucket of pretzels from BJs last weekend. Dan was in the kitchen getting something when Stephanie wondered in and caught a glimpse of the bucket. She shrieked with delight and said "Daddy! Stephanie eat pretzels! And watch football! Yay!" The last time we had eaten one of these giant pretzel buckets was during the Super Bowl, which she remembered. So in her mind, pretzels will forevermore be associated with football. We got a laugh out of that, and Dan was pretty proud that his girl wanted to watch football.

2. On Monday I went out to dinner with my blogger friends. We met at Baby Gators Den's house, which was so nice because we didn't have to deal with trying to find a restaurant, ordering, splitting the bill, etc. So she was awesome enough to offer up her house. There were only 5 of us this time, and we all sat around the table laughing and talking. I don't really remember the specific things we talked about, but I do know I spent pretty much the whole night laughing. I love having this awesome group of blog friends!

3. On Wednesday I put Stephanie in for her nap. We did our usual routine of books, cuddles, kisses and I Love Yous. I left her room, shut the door and started washing lunch dishes. Two minutes later I heard her crying her little heart out. Not a tantrum cry, but a sad cry. I ran in and asked her what was wrong. She said "Mommy, you love me a million billion." I had told her I loved her, but not that I loved her a million billion, which is our tradition. I melted, scooped her up, covered her in kisses and told her I loved her a million billion.

4. Stephanie loves to kiss and hug Joseph. He's incredibly grabby lately, so he's been wrapping his little fingers around her hair every time she moves in for the hug. She has been working on scooting away before he can get her hair, or I put it in a pony so it's harder for him to get. (Believe me, I know how much it hurts when he pulls my hair!) Yesterday when he was in exersaucer, instead of her hair he grabbed her shirt and wouldn't let go. She sighed exasperatedly and said "Mommy. Now he has my shirt." And sighed again. I love how she perfectly emulates my fed-up tone.

5. Now that she's potty-trained, Stephanie gets up much earlier than she used to. Instead of 7:30-8 it's more like 6-6:30. The other day I tried to convince her to go back to bed because it was still night. She looked at me and said "But Mommy, it's not night-night because the lights are on!" She then proceeded to go over to the window, lift the blind and show me that the light (the sun) was on. Ok kid, you win.

I hope you enjoyed this week's laughs! If you blog and want to write about your funny week, head on over to Melissa's page and link up!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 6 Months

Stephanie at 6 months old and Joseph at 6 months old. 

What do you they look alike?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Stephanie is finally at a stage where she will sit and let me read book after book to her. She pays attention, she points things out, she really understands the plot. She has an amazing ability to retain the gist of the story, and i'll find her "reading" books to herself, retelling the story as she remembers it. We read morning noon and night, and she always asks for "Just one more book!"

Being a huge book lover myself, I am delighted with this phase. I especially adore children's literature and I spend a lot of time poring over book choices for her at the library, in the bookstore, and on Amazon. Since she likes a wide variety, I am able to find so many that keep both of us interested.

However, despite the wide variety of books she is exposed to, she has latched onto one in particular that we read over and over and over. That would be:

When I first read the book, I found myself rolling my eyes. The main characater, Pinkalicious, eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. When she looks in the mirror she cries because she's so beautiful. In order to return to normal the doctor tells her she must eat a steady diet of green food, which pinkalicous deems "gross." Many of those foods are things Stephanie adores like grapes and cucumbers. When Pinkalicious finally decides to eat them, she has to hold her nose and says she "gags" as she eats them. I wondered what message reading this book would send to her. Green foods aren't gross! I'm proud that my kid loves them and don't want her to start emulating this character.

I figured we didn't have too much to worry about since it was a library book. And Stephanie isn't particularly a girly girl, and even if she was, I figured the story itself wasn't really intriguing enough for her to latch onto. But of course she did. After we read it the first time, she asked for it every single night for the three weeks we had the book checked out. She loved it so much, and was always reading it to herself if I wasn't reading it to her.

As I read it over and over, it started to grow on me. The silliness became sweet, and what I had oringally considered ridiculous became endearing. (Oh, and Stephanie never once seemed to make the connection between her green foods and the "gross" ones that Pinkalicous was forced to eat.) I realized that the moral of the story is actually about being happy to be yourself which is something I think is important for little girls to hear.

When we finally returned the book, Stephanie was devastated. We had literally read this book every single day, and suddenly it was gone. Luckily, the Easter Bunny decided that it was important for Stephanie to own it, so he delivered it to her in her Easter Basket.

Easter morning, discovering Pinkalicious in her basket

We have read it every day since Easter. Often twice a day. It continues to be charming, and I can recite it by heart without glancing at the words. Despite my original opinions, I say give it a chance. If you have a little girl, or know a little girl, Pinkalicious is worth checking out. It comes "Baby Makes Four" recommended!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy 6 Months Baby Joseph!

Dear Joseph,

Happy 6 Month Birthday! You are officially half a year old. Wow.

Your first Easter Egg Hunt
You continue to be the sweetest, happiest, cuddliest baby I've ever met. However, as you've grown your personality has grown as well. You adore attention, and have gotten pretty demanding about receiving it. If nobody is talking to you, you'll fuss and whine until we turn our undivided attention your way. Then you're all smiles and giggles.

That smile just makes my heart melt!

You roll both ways quite expertly and try your hardest to crawl. You can almost sit up by yourself, although if we let go for too long you tumble sideways. You love taking baths, but are getting too big for your infant tub. Your favorite toys are chilled teethers, teething beads, Mortimer the Moose, Sophie the Giraffe, and the spinning wheel that sticks to your highchair tray.

I wanted so badly for you to attach to the taggie I bought you before you were born but every time I hand it to you, you throw it to the floor with disdain. But, when I give you the little teddy blanket that your Auntie D gave you, your eyes light up, you squeal with delight and hug it close to you. Clearly you already have strong opinions on what you love and don't love. Ok little boy, you can choose your own security item.

Food is also pretty important to you. You devour baby purees of all kinds but show a definite preference for fruits over vegetables. You also still love oatmeal more than anything else. We've recently introduced you to a sippy cup with water in it and you make the funniest face when you realize that what you're drinking has no flavor. We tried putting prune juice in it as well, but that wasn't much better. So far your favorite part of the whole sippy cup experience seems to be chewing on the spout.

We took you to the Dr on Monday for your 6 month checkup. You weighed 17.5 lbs, which is 50th percentile. Your height was 27", which is 75th percentile. You're a long skinny baby just like your sister was.

Your first time on a swing

You continue to delight us every day with your charming smile, your habit of chewing your feet, and your bids for attention. You give the best hugs, and delight in pulling my hair whenever I don't wear it in a ponytail. Everyone you meet comments on how happy you are, which makes the whole "I will never ever ever sleep through the night" thing you have going on a little more bearable. Thank you for being such a sweet and loving baby. My heart just overflows with love for you every day. I love you a million billion little boy!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scary Mommy Book Signing & Blogger Dinner

Last night I had the honor of going to dinner and then a book signing with my amazing group of Mom Blogger friends and Jill Smokler of She wrote this hysterically funny book about motherhood, which any mom, mom-to-be or might-someday-be-a-mom should read!

Jill writes candidly about what it's really like to have children, and it was so refreshing to read such an honest take on motherhood. I can't recommend this book enough! Buy it for yourself, and then buy a copy for all of the other women in your life. But be fore-warned: if you choose to read the book you will not do any laundry, cleaning, or child-rearing until you finish. It's that good!

As you can imagine, our dinner with almost 20 mom bloggers was full of laughter, conversation, wine and good food. We all enjoyed ourselves, and I loved having an opportunity to chat with Jill about her book and her blog. She was so much fun, and so sweet.

                 Here I am with Liz from Learning to Juggle  and Melissa from Filling Our Bucket

                                                 Our table full of mom bloggers!

                             Later we headed over to Barnes and Noble for the book signing.
                                   Here I am with the fabulous author herself:

           Here are some of the other Mom Bloggers waiting in line to get their books signed.

I walked out of Barnes and Noble so happy to have had such an exciting night out. I feel so blessed to have such a fun-loving group of blogger friends, and i'm grateful that this little blog of mine has brought me together with these amazing women. Thanks for a great night girls, and a special shout-out to Audrey of Mom-Generations for putting the dinner together for us!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Re-Cap: Photo Edition

Happy Easter to those who celebrate! I hope you all had a happy, safe, and delicious holiday. Ours was full of family, fun, laughter, food, loads of chocolate, and plenty of toddler temper tantrums. 

On Saturday we went to an egg hunt at our church. Not only is my kid a master egg finder, but she also won a bag of candy-filled eggs. Can you say chocolate overload?

That night, we wrote a letter for the Easter Bunny, and put it out along with a carrot.

Joseph was so excited for the Easter Bunny to come that he was up for almost the entire night. Stephanie woke at 5 on Easter morning to use the potty, but I was able to convince her to go back to sleep until 8. When she came out to the living room, she was thrilled to search for eggs, and discover these overflowing baskets that the bunny left. 

She was amazed to discover that the EB had indeed eaten the carrot, and talked about it all morning.

When Joseph dug through his basket, he discovered that the bunny brought him some sunglasses, and thought they were pretty awesome.

We topped the morning off with a breakfast from Dunkin Donuts. My fast from DD coffee is over! I savored every last bit of that hazelnut deliciousness.

Easter dinner was at my sister's house, and of course we were an hour late. When we arrived, Stephanie (napless) cried and demanded I hold her for the first 45 minutes. She perked up for the egg hunt.

Then it was back inside. Stephanie loved digging into this basket from my parents.

We decided it was time to go home when Stephanie threw her biggest temper tantrum to date. We loaded everyone back into the car, and headed home for a quick supper, pjs, books, and bed.

Once both kids were in bed, Dan and I decided that, although holidays are 100% more tiring now that we have children, they are also 100% more magical and meaningful. Also, we will be consuming Easter treats from now until Halloween...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Top 5 Laughs

Linking up with Melissa at The Mommyhood Chronicles! Here are the funniest/cutest things my kiddos did and said this week.

1. I was rocking a crying Joseph, and making soothing noises to get him to stop. At one point I asked him why my baby was crying. Stephanie piped right up and said "Joseph is my baby!" I told her I thought he was my baby and she said "No, he's mine." So I asked her who my baby is. She gave me a "duh" look and said "Stephanie."

2. On Thursday nights Dan works late, so the kids and I are on our own for dinner. After we finished eating, I asked Stephanie to entertain Joseph while I cleaned up. She knelt right in front of him while he was in the Bumbo and proceeded to hand him his animal toys. As she handed each one to him, she told him what sound it made. "JoJo, here is the cow. The cow says Moo!" :)

3. A continuation of the above: after teaching him animal sounds, she got up to run in the other room, and he threw all the toys on the floor. She got very upset, telling him not to throw them, stomped over and put them all back on his Bumbo tray. She turned around, took one step, and he threw them again. She came over to me, hands on hips and said "Mommy. Joseph threw the toys again." With that again, she tossed her hands up in the air in a classic "I don't have any idea what to do about this boy" gesture.

4. Joseph is turning into a little attention hog lately. A classic example happens when we're eating dinner and he's in the swing right next to us, fussing and whining. As soon as one of us looks at him and talks to him, he breaks out in a big grin and giggles at us. The little guy wants our undivided attention at all times, and knows how to get it!

5. Finally, in honor of Easter, this is sure to make you smile.

Our Potty Training TIps & Tricks

*Every child is different, and every child reaches milestones at a different time and rate. The tips and tricks that worked for us might not necessarily apply to other parents who are ready to potty train. But if you're ready to start the process, here are some of the things that we found useful:

-Once you make the decision to train, run with it. Using the potty some days and not others can get confusing to a child. The process definitely requires readiness from the parent as well as the child. If it's a busy time at work, if you have a new baby coming soon, or if you have a lot of travelling coming up, it might not be the best time to train.

-Listen to your child. One of the biggest frustrations I've seen in parents is trying to train a child who just isn't ready. But if your child is showing interest in the potty, embrace that. Let him/her go with you when you go, and talk about the fact that you are using the potty.

-If your child asks to put a diaper back on, let her. The more you battle, the harder the whole process is going to be.

-Keep a potty seat in the bathroom and let your child sit, even if he/she doesn't go. It's important that they get used to the idea. (We use the kind of seat that sits on top of the toilet. We did this because of space reasons, but it also eliminates the need for another transition when it's time to use the big toilet instead of the little one. However, some children have a fear of the big toilet, and in that case the little seat is a perfect compromise.)

-Celebrate any successes. Stephanie loves to run out and tell Joseph whenever she has gone.

-When you're at home, let your child go without pants. Pulling down underwear is a lot easier than unbuckling jeans. Many times children know they have to go, but say it too late, and have accidents while in the process of getting their pants off. They then get upset and frustrated.

-Along the same lines, invest in some knit pants that pull off without buckles, buttons and zippers. (Or use dresses/skirts for girls.) This is good for when you're not home, and it probably isn't appropriate for your child to go without pants...

-Bring your child in whenever he/she tells you she has to go. This gets annoying quickly, especially if your child is like mine and says she has to go every 5 minutes. (I find that this happens when we're home, and she isn't overly involved in an activity. If we're out, or eating meals, or she's playing with something very involved, she only tells me she has to go if she really needs to.) But as frustrating as it is when your child says she has to go all the time, but doesn't, it's important to still bring her in. It lets her know you're listening to her, and you never know when she really does need to go.

-Use Pull-Ups at nap, nighttime, and in the car. I for one am not thrilled with the idea of having to wash the car seat if she has an accident in it. I know some parents who don't use Pull-Ups, preferring just to put a diaper back on for sleep/car rides. I prefer the Pull-Ups, because often Stephanie will need to potty right when she wakes up, or right when we arrive somewhere. Pulling the Pull-Up off and on is a lot easier than trying to put a diaper back on while your child is standing in a public restroom.

We are so excited that the process has been successful for our little one so far. I hope others find these tips useful, and good luck to any of you who are or are about to enter the Potty Training process! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Potty Training

As most of you know, I used to be a preschool teacher. Most children were potty-trained when they came to my classroom, but some weren't, so I've had a little bit of experience getting children out of diapers.

For the past few months, Stephanie has used the potty off and on, mostly before bath. This weekend, she asked to go, and since we had no plans I decided just to go with big-girl underwear and see what happened. She had a great day, two accidents, but told us when she had to go.

Sunday was the same thing...two accidents, but she consistently told us she needed to go. (Often too consistently...we were in the bathroom sometimes every 2 minutes.) 

We put a Pull-Up on her for nap and a diaper at nighttime, and every time she woke up, she asked to go. (Her diapers were wet, but I had no expectations for dry diapers overnight at this point of the training.) 

Monday and Tuesday were much of the same. She told us when she had to go, and was even able to hold it in the car until we arrived at our destination and she was able to use the potty. (We use the Pull-Ups in the car, too. I'm not ready to try and pull apart the carseat to wash it yet.) 

This morning, we hit a huge milestone. At 6:45 I heard her knock on the door and say she needed to go potty. When I brought her in, she went, and I realized her diaper was dry. 

I've been hesitant to celebrate her success, because I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall. In my mind, how can my baby be potty trained? She's my baby! But I think it's time to admit...she may still be my baby, but she's growing up, and she can use the potty like a big girl now. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Crafts

After I wrote this piece about my lack of St. Patrick's Day holiday spirit, I vowed to do better when it came to Easter. Yesterday morning, we had no plans (very rare for us these days) so I decided it was the perfect time to get started on an Easter craft.

I cut a yellow Easter egg out of Construction paper, gave her some Easter stamps, markers, a piece of blue construction paper, and a few sheets of Easter stickers. After an hour (yes, an hour) of quietly working, this is the result:

I was amazed at her level of concentration, and the fact that she never got bored. In fact, she wanted to make more, but it was time for lunch.

Simple supplies, no instructions from me, and she had a blast. I call this a holiday craft success.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Saturday's Top 5 Laughs

This week's Top 5 Laughs is a little late, but I finally got it written! Here are 5 things that made me smile this week.

1. Stephanie has become a little negotiator. She has started asking for "Just oneeeee more book" (drawing the syllable out like that) before bedtime. Of course, she asks for just one more after every book we read. She also waves her hand in front of me emphatically and says "Just 5 more minutes!" when she doesn't want to leave somewhere. It cracks me up, because if she's already asking for all of this and she's just two, I can only imagine the things she will try to negotiate for as she gets older!

2. I took a video this week of Joseph giggling while I tickle him, and Stephanie loves it. She asks to see "the JoJo laughing video" on my phone, and it kept her entertained and amused while I made dinner for her and I on Thursday. Every time she watched it she shrieked in delight, like she'd never seen it before. And every time she re-started it, she would run in to me and say "Look Mommy, Baby Jo-Jo ticklish!"

3. Yesterday we decided that since we were home all day with no plans, we would start the potty training process with Stephanie. Every time she had a successful trip to the potty she would run out of the bathroom to tell Joseph the she did pee-pee. It was so adorable that he was the first person she wanted to tell her exciting news to.

4. We went on a lunch and shopping trip with one of my friends and her 6 month old daughter on Friday. When it was time to feed Joseph, we sat on a bench in the mall facing the Easter Bunny. (Who Stephanie went to see last weekend, and refused to smile at or talk to.) The entire time I was feeding the baby, she was yelling "Hi Easter Bunny, Hi Easter Bunny!" at the top of lungs, and waving at him. It was a slow day for him, so he waved back to her and even played peek-a-boo a few times. I was slightly embarressed about the fact that my daughter was screaming hello as loud as she could in the middle of the mall, but it was also really funny. We got a lot of looks and smiles from people walking by.

5. This morning, Dan gave Stephanie a high five for going on the potty. She decided Joseph needed a high five too, so she spent about 10 minutes giving him high fives and giggling because he kept his fingers closed in a fist. Then she switched to fist bumps, and then gave him lots of hugs and kisses. All four of us were laughing at this spontaneous show of sibling love.

*I'm linking up with The MommyHood Chronicles for the Saturday Top 5 Laughs Blog Hop again this week :)
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