Just kidding! I am not touching that mess! This is about a post about Halloween.
Reese decided last year that she wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween this year, and come October, she had not forgotten, so mermaid it was. James, who loves everything his sister does, also requested to be a mermaid for Halloween. Unfortunately for him we already had hand-me-down skeleton and superman outfits that were just his size. He was a skeleton for the trunk or treat at Reese’s school and superman for trick or treating in our neighborhood on Halloween night.
Both of them have the trick-or-treating thing down pat and I don’t think I have to worry about either of them ever being shy.
James learned quickly that mom and dad weren’t opening most treats until we got home, so when a neighbor would hand him a candy bar, he would often hand it back to them and ask, “can you open this?” He wasn’t trying to wait until he got home to get a bite. One house where no one answered he actually pressed his face against their window and yelled, “Hey! We want to get some candy!” I cringed and we all ran away.
Reese was in all her glory as a mermaid who also wears a fleece jacket. James has been asking to go trick-or-treating every day since, and Andrew and I have been eating all the Kit Kats we can get our hands on, so I would say it was a successful Halloween.
We have a bin in our basement that is full of baby proofing crap; both used and unused. Doorknob covers, cabinet locks, plug covers, furniture corner covers, gates, we have it all. Andrew was kind of obsessed with baby proofing.
None of it worked great, much of it was cheap and flimsy and the kids eventually figured out how to crack them.
When we moved Reese out of her crib we needed some sort of child locks that would keep her dresser drawers shut. We were worried about her pulling them out and climbing in them, or just making a huge mess every night by emptying them, which she did a few times. We found some locks that could be installed on the inside of the drawer and then required a magnet for opening. They were a HUGE pain in the ass. The installation took forever, was extremely complicated, and we had to drill holes in our brand new dresser. Even once they were installed, sometimes I had to run the magnet over the drawer a couple of times before it actually unlocked it. It was a great idea, because it actually is childproof (as long as your kid doesn’t get a hold of a magnet), but I would never install those things on anything again.
A few months ago, I was contacted by a rep from Simplest Home and asked to review one of their baby proofing products. Because of our love/hate history with baby proofing stuff, and because lately James can pretty much get into anything he wants with ease, I was interested in what he was going to send.
And he sent me magnetic drawer locks! When I opened the package I was about to send it right back because I knew there was no way in hell I was going to talk Andrew into drilling these into another piece of our furniture. BUT, the first thing I saw on the package was, “No drilling required!” Woot.
These are awesome. We installed them in minutes and the kids can’t open the drawers (they also work on cabinets.) The package included a link to video installation directions, which we didn’t even have to use, but is always nice to have. Also, yes, you do need a magnet (they included two) to open the drawer/cabinet but if you lose the magnet that’s included, a normal refrigerator magnet also works so there really is no draw back to these locks. Available on Amazon or on the Simplest Home website.
Here’s my girl again, off to school like a full-blown kid.
And here she is with her little brother, who is the epitome of little brothers and who is also asking to go to school every day. Sorry little bro, but you got a few more years to go.
This year Reese is in Pre-K three days a week. She is with all new kids, in a new classroom, with new teachers, and she is handling it well. She misses her old teachers a lot, and every morning we still have to peek our heads into their classroom before she can start her day.
It makes me a little sad that this will be our last year spending our days together; running errands, going to the library, and making spontaneous weeknight trips to Gammy and Grandpa’s. Next year it will be kindergarten and my little buddy will be in school full time. But I will not dwell on this, and so I keep reminding myself that this is what she is supposed to be doing, that this is good, and that it’s just kindergarten and it’s not until next year, so calm down you emotional maniac.
Reese has taken to calling James “the boy.” As in, “the boy is chasing me!” or “Uh-oh, the boy is awake.”
The boy is her one true frienemy. When he’s asleep she is looking for her playmate, but when he is awake it is a never-ending battle for something. Anything. The cover to the yogurt container, for example. One stick from our yard that is covered in sticks. A piece of lint off my shirt.
The boy is currently on a tour of bad behavior and is making sure he doesn’t miss any stops; the YMCA? Check. The library? Double check because he also peed on the computer chair.Target? Check. Market Basket? Check. He throws, he hits, he kicks, and he shouts, “Gimme that train!”in a voice that sounds like it came from a 400 lb trucker.
But he also has this face so it’s hard to stay mad.
The Elmo potty is back in our lives and I feel like the manic laughter is even more annoying this time around.
I was still working when Reese was potty trained so I missed a lot, but I am a firm believer that she went when she was ready, and there probably wasn’t much I could do to change that. James had started telling us more and more that he needed to be changed or he had a poop in his diaper, so I took this to mean that he might be ready. I decided one week when we had no plans, and the weather was nice, that I would let James run around for a couple of days diaper free and see what happened.
One of my friends swore by a method that she had used to train her son, who at the time, was almost 3. It’s 2 days of no pants or diaper, and then 5 days of just pants, no underwear, and then they start wearing underwear full-time.
For two days, minus bedtime and nap time and a few quick trips out where he wore a diaper, he ran around the yard, free as a bird, going potty wherever he pleased. Anywhere that was not the potty, that is. Then after that, I started putting him in his shorts with nothing under them, hoping for the best. He still went wherever he wanted, and a few times made it to the potty. He actually had remarkable skills and was sometimes able to poop right out the leg of his shorts, without even soiling the shorts at all. The days where he wore his shorts, but not underwear or diaper is when I think it really started to click. He realized right away that his shorts were wet and didn’t like that at all, and I think that’s when he started to recognize the feeling he got when he had to go.
There are lots of messes with this method. We stayed outside as much as possible but I still felt like I was constantly cleaning up messes for the first two days. I tried to keep James out of the one carpeted room we have, but that was his preferred place for number 2’s. What makes it even harder is that whenever he was distracted (i.e. watching TV), he would go without even noticing it. So, you really have to follow your kid around all day and can’t even leave them for a minute. This method also requires lots of wine at night so be ready.
Now, two weeks later, he is in underwear for most of the day and today is the first day we took him out with underwear. I do have to sit him on the potty every now and then because he doesn’t always tell me. So if it seems like it has been a while since he went, I will sit him down and see if he has to go. He wears diapers whenever he is sleeping, and he still has accidents, and struggles with going #2 for sure. I’m pretty sure that he holds in #2 until he is in a diaper. Then he can really let loose.
I forgot to mention that anytime James went in the potty, he got an M&M. This is a sure-fire way to get my kids to do anything. I would give Reese an M&M too, so she was super invested in James’s success.
Reese: Remember when I used to milk you?
Reese <immediately after throwing a fit about not getting a bagel>: On Peg Plus Cat, when Peg gets upset she takes a deep breath and counts to 5.
Me: That sounds like a great idea.
Reese: Yea, you should try it.
Me: No, you should try it.
Reese: So should you.
This is how dinnertime is at my house. A four-year old looks at the cheese quesadilla in front of her and says that she doesn’t like chicken, or brown things! A two-year old cries continuously for crackers. When he is placed in front of his dinner, he screams louder, throws his spoon, his cup and then his bowl.
Everyone at the table ignores him. Then he starts screaming “All done!” and starts pulling at the tablecloth. So, he is released from his confines and free to play as he pleases. Thirty minutes later, as the dishes are being cleared away, he begins crying for a “COOKIE!” Two hours later, as he’s being put into his crib he will look up at you with big, beautiful brown eyes, and have the balls to say, “I want some dinner.”
Dinnertime is something I dread. I like cooking, but I don’t love the planning. I’ve never been good at meal planning. Half the time I don’t think about dinner until 5 PM, then realize I don’t have the ingredients and don’t have the time or the energy to go to the store, and so it’s frozen pizza again.
A couple of weeks ago Groupon was offering a deal from HelloFresh– 4 meals for 2 for $45 (Groupon value of $89.) I rarely buy Groupons but I was VERY excited about this deal. There would be no dinnertime dread for almost a week.
My Groupon was only good for the Classic box, but a Family Box and a Veggie Box are also available. Once you choose the box you want, you can then choose how many meals you want a week, the serving size for each meal (2 or 4 people), and then the particular meals that you want (6 meals are offered and they change weekly.) Then they deliver everything you will need to make your meals right to your door.
I loved, loved, loved getting the box. I got butterflies when I saw this sitting on my doorstep.
The box held 4 smaller boxes which contained the ingredients for each meal, instructions for preparation, and nutritional info. First off, the quality of the ingredients was exceptional (and this is where I was skeptical.) I mean they managed to send me fresh shrimp, a perfectly ripe avocado and a perfectly ripe mango. The instructions were straight forward, easy to follow, and no meal required a ton of preparation or long cook times. According to the directions, most meals averaged around 40 minutes for prep and cooking, and this was about how long it took for me.
One other thing I had been skeptical about was the size of the meals, especially after seeing the size of the proteins. We eat big. But, it turns out that my eyes were bigger than my stomach and we both felt satisfied with every meal.
The meals were SO good. We loved all of them. Preparing the meals was actually enjoyable. I had everything I needed! In the right amounts! Delivered right to me! And now I have the instructions on how to make the meals so I can do it myself anytime. Woot!
If the subscriptions were a little bit less expensive, or if I still worked outside of the home, I would definitely consider using HelloFresh regularly. For us, it doesn’t fit into our budget right now, but I don’t think the quality of the meals or the convenience can be beat. Plus the fact that I am preparing the meals myself, so I still know what we are eating, and don’t have to guess when it was made or what exactly it contains.
Plus, if these people are using it, you know it’s legit.
Sidenote: No, my kids would not eat any of the meals, but there is a Family Box available which is supposed to be more kid friendly. So, yes, I was preparing another meal for kids on top of our HelloFresh meal, but that would be happening anyway.
Sidenote 2: I really thought I pulled one over on Jamie Oliver by keeping the recipes and making them myself, but it turns out you can download all of the recipes from the website, for free, without even buying a subscription!
Andrew to Reese: Which shirt do you want to wear?
Reese: Nonsense! I’ll wear a dress.
Reese: Why does James have the Magic School Bus book in his room?
Me: He probably wanted to look at it.
Reese <in valley girl voice>: Why? James isn’t even interested in science!