Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time Off

I work from home 4 days a week doing something totally unlike anything I've ever done before and I love it. I go to the office one day a week because it's an hour away(without traffic) and just too far for commuting to more than that.

Because I work from home and before I am doing something new - I work ALL THE TIME. There is always something to research, test, try, learn so I'm on the computer before 9 - until the kids walk in the door and most days again after they are in bed.

I'm a work-a-holic - I love working. I love challenges and this job has been one of the greatest challenges of my life because it's forcing me to think differently and learn new skills and grow. 

When Sandy hit  we lost power for a week and had to run off to CT to stay with my parents who had power. Every second I had with power I was trying to make up for time I couldn't work because we had lost power at home and I kept having to tell my kids I couldn't play, look, see, talk, etc... because I had to work. But it's nothing new-they hear it all the time anyway.

So - I decided to make a drastic change to my whole working mom plan. I asked my boss if I could  go down to 4 days a week. It's going to be expensive because taking them out for 1 day a week at their preschool isn't going to totally offset the money we're losing from me taking a day off - but I know it will be worth it. They are only little once. They are playing together and talking to each other and growing and soon enough they will be in school full time and I can work full time again and not worry so much about missing things and being unavailable to them.

Now I'm not really sure how this is going to work because some of the projects I work on require me to be available at weird times but my boss is amazing and is trying to make it so that my day off is really going to be a full day off. (That's the whole point right) (oh and PS - my boss doesn't use social media in any shape or form - so this is not a suck up post)

I'm not sure what that will mean for the 4 days I am working as sometimes my project load is overwhelming to say the least - but I will just have to learn how to pace myself and optimize my time. I'm also hoping that having an extra day at home will help me get stuff done around the house because it's a myth to think that when you work at home you get to do other stuff all day - there are LOTS of days when I don't even take a break for lunch until 2 - which just makes all the laundry piling up, dishes to do, etc... that much more daunting and stressful because I have to be here knowing it needs to get done and that I can't do anything about it.

I am hoping staying home doesn't mess the kids up too much. They really like school and I know I am no match for their friends in terms of entertainment - but I am up for the task and I will try.

So far - it's been 2 weeks of my new 4 day a week schedule and it's been nice. We do activities together - separate - get errands done and in general I just feel more relaxed.  The only downside is figuring out how to manage when my Friday at work is so busy that I can't wait to tackle and finish the latest project - but then not being able to get to it until Tuesday and having to get back on the same train of thought - but it's a work in progress and the kids are happy to be together for a whole extra day - so so far so good. Don't get me wrong - it's hard as hell  even just for one day - but it's TOTALLY worth it:)

I'd rather change a poopy diaper than get my 4 year old dressed in the morning

Let me set the scene:

We are sitting downstairs with our 2 year old and we hear the first rumblings over the monitor from our almost 4 year old who is starting to wake up.

Katie doesn't wake up and come out of her room - our princess requires an audience to wake up which is not always bad as she has NEVER gotten out of her room in her 4 years of life on her own - she always waits for us - so it could be worse.

Anyway - we start to hear the rumblings of Miss Katie and in a flash my husband and I both have our fingers on our noses which is our decade old sign for "NOT IT"

The loser of this game sulks off to the kitchen to poor themselves another cup o f coffee while the winner playfully suggests they might need to pack a snack for the journey.

And so begins the 4 day a week routine of trying to get her up and dressed so we can rush through breakfast and go to school.

This used to be no big deal - but lately our little fashionista has upped her game. In the beginning we would suggest the things that we knew she loved to wear to which her response would be I DON'T LIKE THAT. (rookie mistake on our part)

Then it became an argument about wanting to wear her pj's to school - to which we would answer that she can't do that because she wore them all night and they are for bed - without a heartbeat of hesitation her response would be  "but we can pick other pjs from the drawer that I didn't wear all night and you can wash them when we're done."

Anything we suggest is like we're asking her to wear the pink bunny costume from A Christmas Story.

So we go back and forth - negotiate - compromise - and then end up letting her wear whatever ridiculous outfit we can compromise on as long as it's weather appropriate.

And so continues the joys of parenting that no one tells you about.

Today she ended up in hello kitty tights, with 2 skirts on (one was see through so I had to convince her to wear the other one under it so you couldn't see her tights), a flowery shirt - a blue headband and princess crocs.

She scarfed down her cereal and was out the door by 8:10.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Products we love

Go- Gurt - how did I go 3 years without ever buying go-gurt?

My kids LOVE yogurt - so you take these tubey yogurt things - freeze them and then pop them out and take them with you as a quick lunch or snack as they defrost perfectly when you need them. Word of caution - these can be dangerous once frozen - like if you open the freezer and one flies out at you - they hurt - like step on little people in the middle of the night hurt - only they usually hit your head which is WAY more dangerous - so put them somewhere they can't do that.

Stonyfield makes them too for you organic moms and dads.

They are AWESOME for day trips for Katie - as no utensils required.

However, Ben needs assistance, otherwise he will just squeeze the whole thing out which is gross. But we pack them in a lunch box with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and raisins and have instant lunch for the zoo, sesame or long car rides. We even did this the other day and brought them to Chipotle as my kids will only eat guacamole from there -so we got to chow down on yummy Chipotle goodness and they ate in peace:)

Name stickers from Christmas Tree Shop - my MIL got us some for christmas or something and I had saved them and now use them for all their snacks, drinks for school. Saves me from writing their names on - and if you try to use a Sharpie on anything that is remotely wet, or cold - you know it doesn't work - so works perfectly for aforementioned go-gurts!!! And SUPER cheap! Plus - you can have your kids put the stickers on their snacks for you in like an assembly line to get everything ready for the week! I'm all about saving time and projects for the kids.

Thomas the Train Magazine - I ordered this off of one of my coupon blog sites that had it for half off. I think it was 14 bucks for the year -
It is CHOCK full of craft ideas, word puzzles, tracing, counting games, and stories and it's just awesome to see how excited Katie gets to get her own mail and then get to start reading/browsing through.

My DVD players in the car. We have a double DVD player that attaches to the seats - 9 inch screens (my in-laws spoil us) We bought the protection plan on them when we first got them and have had to return them twice for replacements - which we got free. Best purchase ever. Both kids can watch the same thing or each watch their own (Toy Story on one side and Strawberry Shortcake on the other these days)

Look and Find books - kind of like Where's Waldo for kids - only they have all their favorite characters - thus making them WAY cooler than Where's Waldo.

My basket of toys that I keep in the car at all times. This way we have things to keep them occupied on short or long trips. If we are driving far - I pack extra stuff - but for day to day trips - I always have something I can bring wherever we are going to try to keep them happy. Books, dolls, little people, all small little things they can carry around. It's great for restaurants too!!

Well, that's it for now. Just wanted to post about some of the stuff I currently love! These days we are super busy so it's hard for me to blog - but thanks for reading. If you have ideas of stuff you'd like to read about or ideas for a guest post - let me know!

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bad Friend

So - having 2 kids and working full time makes it almost impossible for me to talk to anyone besides my husband and sometimes I go days between even speaking to him and we are in the same house!

When I stayed home with the kids - I had oodles of time to go shopping, talk on the phone, clean up, etc... I would take advantage of naptimes and nighttime when my husband came home because I didn't feel any guilt leaving them alone for a little while because I was with them all the time.

Now that I work all day and only see them at night - I feel horrible any time I leave them during this precious time together. They are in daycare/preschool all day long - so I feel like I have to be home with them every single night.

I skip the classes that I joined my particular gym for, I skip book club, (which only meets one night a month) I NEVER talk on the phone because if they are awake - the second I pick up - they need me and make it a painful conversation for everyone involved and if they are asleep I am getting things ready for the next day and sitting down to de-stress after a crazy day and most days all I want is to sit on my couch with whatever project I'm working on (HUGE de-stresser for me at the moment) and watch tv on DVR.

This is where I am failing.

I need to find a way to make time for other people. I need to pick up the phone more. (I'm totally a facebook communication junkie and although it's great - it is NO replacement for actual conversations and I forget this all the time.

My excuse to myself in the past has always been that my friends are far away and busy and don't have time for me either - which I'm sure is true - but we need to be able to find time for each other.

I also need to find some local friends that I can count on. Now that we have decided that New Jersey is not so temporary - I am branching out and meeting moms from Katie's school, hosting play dates (the kids get to play and are entertained and I get to talk to another human without feeling guilty for leaving them with someone else - it's a total

I also started using to see what kind of local groups there are. I found a local stitch and bitch group and actually forced myself to go to a meet up this Saturday at a Panera close by. It was AWESOME - some older ladies, some younger girls - all who knit/crochet - all who have amazing stories and all who I can't WAIT to get to see again during the next meeting. And double bonus is that since I taught myself to knit/crochet - I get to get tips and expertise from "real knitters" to make me better.

So - I am making this vow to myself - similar to the vow I made my kids about being more present - which is working wonders by the way - I will make time for old/new/future friends. Cause I am lonely as hell here in NJ and now that we have decided it's not just a layover - I'm ready to commit and find a social network. And when we inevitably leave the area - I will just make sure to make time for these people to continue these friendships long distance - cause with real friends - distance doesn't matter. So - here is my personal ad - if it were safe to do such a thing nowadays hahaha.

Happily married, full time working (career type work) mother of 2 looking for non crazy - non weird female friends in the area. Interested in movies, music, all kinds of arts and crafts, food, wine, photography and more. Not looking for competitive moms, partiers or people who aren't into kids. (I have 2 - so it's kind of a package deal) Totally down for shopping, eating out, eating in, play dates, getting together to watch tv shows, book discussions, and the like.  The closer you live to me the better - as I kind of have a thing about distance and I suck at keeping relationships going from far away. I have jumped on the texting bandwagon finally - so can be reached there - or through FB - but I suck at writing long emails. (after working all day - extended time on the computer at night is tough for me - this blog posting is like, 2 months overdue for that reason)

Please be ready and willing to laugh, share stories, and not take yourself too seriously as it's all about de-stressing and having fun. Bonus points if you are a good cook that can give me tips on cooking better for my family while at the same time NOT judging our eating habits;)

All applicants welcome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Working Rehab

So... I'm a little over a week into my new schedule and so far it's GREAT.
 The kids are happy, I'm happy, things are getting done, we are eating home cooked meals more  and my work is actually a little more organized because I have taken to scheduling my days better.

I have gotten to the gym more consistently in the last week than the whole month before that  - and that's great. My thyroid has been winning the morning wake up battle so I haven't been able to wake up before the kids like I wanted to - but I'm also CRAZY tired at the end of the day cause I am literally going non-stop from wake up until bedtime  - so I need some more adjustment time I think.

All in all, my new outlook and rules are working amazingly. Katie and I are back on track and she seems REALLY happy with the changes and with how much we have been playing.

I have been crafting up a storm too. I found Bubble Puppy templates on and went CRAZY. Ben LOVES That show and there are no dolls or merchandise anywhere. I made the 2 templates they have online (one for each kid) then made Mr. Grouper from my own template and am working on creating a generic bubble guppy template that will work for all the other characters with a few minor changes.

I also made Katie a crocheted Tiara and Rapunzle Braid as that is her favorite new princess even though she won't watch the movie.

We successfully made a menu together for her restaurant and play that almost every day now.

Life is good again. The kids are healthy - we're healthy and we live in a happy house again - not a stressed out too much work to do house:) Here's to the rest of the summer!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Working Mom Intervention

Working Mom Intervention

There are some serious changes happening in our house effective immediately.

I went from Full Time stay at home mom who never took time for herself to a full time work aholic mom who was neglecting her kids. Not neglecting in the child abuse sense – but neglecting in the cleaning /working/cooking instead of playing with them sense.

I have fallen into a habit of working way too much and not playing  enough. I’m not sure if it’s just because the extreme liberation of going back to work and getting out of the house and having my own personal  identity again was too much for me or what – but I overdosed on it. (I was always a workaholic before so I fell back into bad habits)
Working from home, I thought I’d have all the time in the world to cook and clean and get stuff done so we could spend together at night. I have succeeded in having dinner on the table every single night as soon as they come home but I haven’t succeeded in having any other balance.  Most days I have to peel myself away from my desk just to make myself lunch – it’s a bad habit – and it’s resulting in me not having time for my kids.
That all ended this weekend.
Katie has been distant from me for awhile – I don’t blame her – I’m always “too busy” to play and do things. I’m always moving, cleaning, organizing, planning. If she’s watching something on tv – that’s an opportunity for me to get something done – if she’s playing quietly – I’m emptying the dish washer. I’d be mad at me too, in fact I am mad at me and I’m  fixing it. I finally talked to her about it over the weekend while we were playing restaurant – I realized I hadn’t sat and played with her for an extended period for awhile  because she usually prefers playing with her dad – and I told her that I was going to stop cleaning and working all the time and would play with her more. She said she would really like that and that then she would play with me more and  not just daddy because that would make her happy.

Holy Reality Check.
So, I gave myself an intervention this weekend and have started instituting the following changes in my life and I feel like a new person!

My New Rules for being a full time working mom
  1.  Wake up early so that I am awake and ready to play with you and not sleepy and groggy and bitchy
  2. Take lunch breaks during the day and use THAT time to do stuff around the house  
  3.    Prep for meals WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING
  4. Clean the house WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING
  5.   Go to the gym BEFORE work in the morning after you have left the house. I might not get to spend 1.5 hours there – but I will still be on my way to healthy and not be wasting our time together at night
    1.   Although – one night a week I would like to go to Zumba because I LOVE it – but I will still be home for bedtime 
  6.   Play Restaurant, Grocery Shopping, spinning, dance party, ball, bam bam and whatever game you both would like to play
  7. Schedule alone time for you and me and you and daddy because I think it’s important that you get to spend quality time with each of us – ALONE
  8.   Go to the library and pick out new books at least every other week
  9. Get back to crafting with you – my first project will be to make picture menus for Katie’s restaurant and teaching Ben how to use crayons instead of bashing them on the floor
  10. Take care of myself so my thyroid doesn’t rule our days – I am stocking up on vitamin C to boost my immune system – I am going to bed early – exercising more and eating better – all of this will help make me a happy and fun mommy as opposed to a sick feeling, grumpy, tired mommy 
  11.  GET OFF THE COMPUTER – I have gotten SUCKED into virtual time wasting online (I think this is because my time online was so limited when I was home FT)– even when you are home – so I will stop checking FB on my phone, stop answering emails (especially during dinner) and  live IN THE MOMENT, in our world – not the online world.  The internet can wait until you go to bed just like the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and everything else! 
  12. Stop being in a rush for “quiet, alone ME time”. Me time is play time with you. Me time is going to the gym before work and getting up early in the morning. Me time is going to happen a lot more than I want it to when you are grown and out of the house – so I will stop being selfish because I had you to be with you – not to live along side you - and me time is the 8 hours a day I am working and not staying home with you.
I promise to make these changes every day –

If I can’t manage the housework in this way – I promise to hire a housekeeper to help out so that I CAN PLAY WITH YOU. I don’t like spending that kind of money on something so simple, but if it will give us more time together – it will be worth every penny!

Here’s to my new outlook on full time mommying!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vacation: Then and Now!

So... we just came back from a 5 night stay in Wells Beach with both kids and all our parents and I noticed a few differences in how we used to vacation and how we vacation now:)

Then: I packed a book on CD for our car ride and we didn't stop unless we REALLY had to to make the trip go faster.
Now: We have Bubble Guppies on repeat and stop multiple times to get the kids out to stretch their legs and play to help break up the long ride.

Then: I took long, bubble baths with wine, candles and my book and used lots of soft, plush towels.
Now: I take 2 minute showers using Elmo Bubble bath for body wash and princess shampoo for my hair and the bath mat for a towel because there were no towels in the bathroom I ended up in.

Then: We brought movies and books for staying in the room and relaxing 
Now: We packed toys, pillows, blankets, activities to keep the kids entertained and could only stay in the house for small stints of time because of cabin fever kids!

Then: We went to long, drawn out dinners at nice restaurants
Now: I spend my eating time - feeding the kids and trying to get Ben not to be the loud, screaming, kid

Then: We rolled into brunch around 10 - 10:30
Now: We are up and feeding the kids by 7:30 - and a cup of coffee while standing over the sink is my breakfast

Then: I used to see that hotel pools opened at 8 am and thought  - who the heck is in the pool at 8?)
Now: Yeah, we were those people.... (8:30)

Then: I sat by the pool for the sun
Now: I jump into freezing cold pool water so my kids can play

Then: I would never pay for parking to sit on a cold beach for an hour
Now: We paid $16 for the kids to play in the sand in 50 - 60 degree weather for an hour and I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!

I also learned a few things on this most recent vacation:
  • The kids are rockstars and travelled REALLY well
  • I should worry less about packing lightly and worry more about packing everything we could possibly want - cause more is better
  • I should ALWAYS pack clothes for warm and cold weather, regardless of what the weather channel says 
  • We should always have towels in the car - even if it's 60 degrees and you don't plan on someone getting wet, cause sometimes kids fall in
  • Renting a condo style hotel room at the beach was the best idea we ever had
  • Planning day trips in case the weather doesn't work out is a MUST - we screwed this one up big time and the kids got cabin fever and it was stressful
  • Bringing some bedding from home can help your little ones sleep better at night
  • Pack nightlights for the hotel
  • Change the sheets in your house before you leave so when you come home everything is nice and clean
What other tips do you have for traveling?
Happy Summer Travels

Friday, June 8, 2012

My sick kids break my heart

8 days. 8 days back at full day preschool and Katie is sick again.

Me: Katie - are you ok? Do you feel like you're going to throw up
Katie - NO I feel fine
Me -Are you sure?
Katie - I want to go upstairs and lay in bed (never a good sign)
Me - ok Katie - let's go
Katie - Carry me
Me - of course
we get to the top of the stairs and she says in a rush
that's when I knew we were screwed.

My immediate reaction was to throw Baba far away from us out of the line of fire (success)
As I'm turning to try to get her into the bathroom - she proceeds to throw up all over me and her while screaming I DON'T HAVE TO THROW UP.

Not sure if you have experience with this, but when your child is talking while puking, it does something to the volume and direction of the puke which makes a ridiculous mess.

Now, I have a bowl of cereal all over me, the floor, (my bare foot) and Katie (baba was saved due to our combined quick thinking)

Inside I'm screaming EW EW EW EW EW GROSS
outside I'm saying, it's ok Katie as I stroke her puke filled hair and trying to clean her up to make her not embarrassed.

We strip down, I clean her up - put her in bed and get ready to clean up the breakfast mess.

My day continued like this for awhile.

Not sure if it's cause she's little or what, but there is no way for me to get her to puke into a "bucket" or anything because she freaks out and insists she's ok and then it's just too late.

So, I put towels on the floor in hopes that we could aim any future puke there. My only warning when she would actually throw up was if she suddenly threw Baba away from her.

We always tell her, if you are going to spit up (throw up) get Baba out of the way so we don't have to take him away to clean him - she takes this seriously which is super helpful - cause he's the only thing that makes her feel better.

I spent the afternoon, watching for her to push Baba away - grabbing one of the towels near me and basically creating a towel bowl for her to throw up into. We even succeeded one time to having her aim it off over the couch onto a stack of  towels I had put there for that purpose.

Poor baby.
She hates puking so much that she tries really hard NOT to - which just makes it worse - and I had a hard time not laughing at how much she kept  insisting she didn't have to throw up - even in the middle of a long puke.

Then she was hungry, thirsty and sad - and I couldn't give her food.

I finally gave her some saltines cause she was pitiful and told her to eat them slow - she took one bite every 2 mins - and small sips of water.

Yeah, I got that on me about a half hour later on the way to bed.

Here's what I've learned/realized over the past few days:

1) I hate Puke
2) I hate puke a little less when it's my kid
3) I'm really good at catching puke in a towel
4) I'm really good at pretending not to care about vomit being on me to make her feel better
    when realistically, I'm dying inside
6) Saying you don't have to throw up, while you are throwing up only makes the situation worse
7) Having a sad 3 year old crying for water in the middle of the night and not being able to give it to
    her because she'll throw it up has got to be the worst, awful feeling in the world.
8) Asking her to take small sips when all she wants to do is chug it - makes me cry because I know         she's thirsty and hungry
9) Not being able to do anything about how uncomfortable she is makes me cry
10) My husband is a rockstar for sleeping on the floor next to her bed to try to make her feel better
      I would have been a hysterical mess every time she asked for water or cried.
11) I was NOT prepared for just how often my kids would get sick being at daycare....

They are at the doctors office now - let's hope for some sort of diagnosis and medicine

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Minivan or not to Minivan that is my current question

I'd like to preface this by saying this is all my husbands fault.

We have 2 cars - a 1996 Manual Honda Civic with 150,000 miles on it which I still love to this day and a 2011 Honda CRV which is the car we upgraded to when we outgrew our
Honda Accord after having Katie.

The Civic was my first car and continues to serve us well and be insanely reliable - particularly as a commuter car for once or twice a week.  I love that car when its just me and short drives:)

In my mind, the CRV was the perfect car - and it was.... for me and Katie when I stayed at home full time.
It was comfortable, we had space, we could squeeze our parents in when they come to visit (always an overnight visit as we live so far away)

Then we had Ben and with the 2nd car seat - it can only hold 4 people unless one person wants to risk throwing their back out while squishing sideways with one arm resting on a car seat at all times.

So... anytime it's more than the 4 of us - it's squished. It's also squished on long car rides when one of us might have to pop in back to help entertain the kids who are bored and desperate to get out of their car seats. 

So, a minivan has been on our radar for the past few months.

I'm not opposed to a minvan - I have no image issues - I have comfort issue and I want to be comfortable:)

We discussed briefly what do we do about the second car and in my mind I was thinking of replacing my beloved civic with the bald paint spots, but my husband said - MINIVAN

and then, it was ON.

It's been all I can think about. Particularly as we are about to have a very long and cramped drive on our way up to Maine for an awesome beach vacation!

So, my thought process is this... if we wait to get the minivan because we are trying to figure out our finances and house situation and don't want to drop a bunch of cash on a new car... (which is the same exact predicament we are in EVERY SINGLE YEAR as we are never sure where we will be living and if we will finally buy a house somewhere to call home ), but then we end up cracking and getting one within the next 6 months anyway - I am going to be pissed that we missed the opportunity to enjoy the extra space during this 6 hour drive. 

Which is how I got my CRV by the way - it was also prompted by an upcoming trip to Maine! 
So, to buy or not to buy? I love Honda, but have been hearing not so good reviews from Odyssey owners. I like the idea of the Quest, but I think the price point is too high for us.

So, of course my thought process is just suck it up and get it now so that we can enjoy the drive - cause we're gonna get one anyway. As the kids get older, we will need a bigger car to take them and any of their friends or our family anywhere - so I feel like there is no way we will regret doing it now.

Of course, there is the impending potential of having to put a down payment on a house within the next year - but the reality to that is that we don't have any ONE place that we both have our hearts set on for re-location - so it's not a definite that we will need to do that in the next year anyway. MY feelings on buying a house are this - I'd rather wait until I know where we want to live for LONG TERM and buy a house we can afford that I will LOVE And never want to leave - then buy a house that makes sense for now, in a town that we think makes sense for now - and then have to try to buy it to move somewhere else. Renting is just fine by me as we don't have any place we feel we ABSOLUTELY have to move to. 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH being an adult  is complicated.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coxsackie can kiss my ass

Coxsackie virus, better known as hand, food and mouth disease - 
NO, not.. HOOF and Mouth disease (that's what farm animals get), 

is the DEVIL.

This sneaky bastard is crazy contagious in daycare settings, particularly in infant rooms.
My  little guy is the "sick kid", the one who gets all the crap the daycare sends home warning  you they might have been exposed to

Yeah, he's that kid.

So - the first time he got Coxsackie sucked. Daycare called me and said I had to come get him - I had no idea what I was in for. He was laying in his crib with his eyes half open crying and pitiful and sweaty and just plain sad.

I freaked out so bad I was scared to leave the daycare cause I had never seen him like this. 

I immediately called the Ped - and they said - oh yeah it's Coxsackie and all you can do is give him ibuprofen for the fever and the pain. 

Oh, and by the way - he's been contagious already for a few days.

Yeah, that's how this freakin things works... you get it, and you're contagious and THEN 3 - 4 days later is when it actually shows up with syptoms which are high fever, severe lethargy - (i never knew what that looked like until this thing and let me tell you it's SCARY) and then they get a rash on their hands and feet and body which is painful to the touch.

Yeah, it's a real gem.

So, we explained to Katie that she couldn't touch anything Ben touched until we sanitzed it, and my amazing little 3  year old actually listened. We kept them separate - cleaned everything and right when he started to feel better - Katie got it.

Hers was more mild - a fever for half a day and she was tired, but that's it. The rash showed up but it didn't seem to bother her much at all.

When they both were finally feeling better - we were more than happy to have that fing thing out of our house because it was AWFUL. You can't go anywhere or do anything and you can't really help them feel better and it's just miserable.

Well, that was 2 months ago and Saturday it started all over again with Benny having a much worse reaction this time. Severe lethargy for 2 whole days, high fever, irritability (who can blame  him) and no appetite. This time, we thought maybe we were in the clear as they are separate all day long and Katie and I were out of state over the weekend. I came home and bleached everything, spray sanitized and Lysol wiped every surface the kids touch.
It has ruined 3 birthday parties for us that we can't attend do to it's nasty stay.

Benny started feeling better on Tuesday and I was getting all packed up to take him on an adventure to celebrate him feeling better and spoil him a little before his return to daycare when I got the call that said Katie had a high fever.

I went and got her from school and the director carried her down to the car to me like an infant all wrapped up in a blanket - she was half awake. She had a fever and was shivering.

I got them home and stuck Ben in his highchair and brought Katie up to her room to pee and get in bed with some medicine. She went quietly and without complaint and fell asleep instantly, I came downstairs and Ben was happily just sitting in his highchair for me as if he knew I needed him to be patient while I sorted Katie.

Then I broke down and started crying hysterically because I was so overwhelmed with emotion over how sick my buggies were and how good they were being so I could help the other one out. Then the guilt started and I realized they'd never have gotten this damn thing if I hadn't gone back to work - so the waterworks continued. Guilt, exhaustion and frustration at not being able to do more have left me so stressed out that I am breaking out like a 13 year old girl and having trouble sleeping at night during the little amount of time they actually allow lately. I'm ready for this to be over and really, really hope it never comes back in my house again!

And so it continues. Benny is fine - although he still has the "rash" Katie is having a hard time sleeping at night cause her neck (throat) hurts and we have been stuck in this house on quarantine since Saturday. There's 4 days left.

Don't get me wrong. I love being with my kids and miss seeing them so much - but being stuck with no warning, with sick, irritable children who you have to keep separate, and keep on top of sanitizing, etc... without the ability to break up the day and go anywhere or do anything is killing all of us.

Add the rain from the last few days and it is a cranky, sleep deprived, emotional black hole in my house.

Here's hoping this is the last time they get this. If not, we might have to consider changing daycares - although viruses like this are everywhere and there is no guarantee any other place has it less. 
Ben just needs to learn to keep his mouth shut and stop eating everything - then maybe he won't be such a host for germs....

The silver lining of this awful, unexpected, sickly week - is that while I've been home with Ben I have been able to teach him to say More physically (not sign language) gotten him to start following directions (put this in the garbage) and teach him where his head is.

So, all in all, not an awful week I guess :)

Here's hoping that since this time around it seems to be a worse version, that Dave and I don't get it. It's rare in adults but AWFUL if you get it. And given my weakened immune system (thanks thyroid) I'm more susceptible than most. Fingers crossed if you have a chance please.

Here's hoping for a healthy June!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dollar Store Shopping

I LOVE the dollar store and I never in a million years thought I'd ever say that.

Before I had kids, I had never really been in a dollar store, but then when Katie and I were staying home together we would go for walks in town and there was a brand new dollar store that we would visit.

Here are the things I ALWAYS BUY there.
  • Books !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Board Books GALORE - and not just crappy, no name versions - all the stuff in the picture above is from various Dollar Stores. Coloring books, Preschool work books, Board Books -I even managed to grab some big girl hard cover Disney Princess storybooks once
  • Stickers - Katie went through a phase where she used stickers all day, every day and we made lots of projects... we got regular stickers, (current characters) foam stickers, foam shapes, re-usable stickers to decorate her walls and more
  • Flash Cards - Katie LOVED flashcards (Ben just tries to eat them) She learned her alphabet and numbers from flashcards from the dollar store
  • Balloons - I hate balloons because I had the sound when they pop - I also hate how much they cost - but they are only a buck at the dollar store and I'm talking legit Mylar balloons with princess, elmo, mickey, etc......
  • Bubble Bath - I hit the jackpot the other day and found Strawberry Shortcake Bubble bath, Abby Cadabby hair de-tangler, Elmo hand soap and more - I stocked up because seriously - for a dollar you can't go wrong! And when they run out, I will re-fill the bottles with regular bath soap
  • Some Cleaning supplies - I found some Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner the other day and grabbed it - cause it was WAY cheaper than at Target.
I have also found Littlest Pet Shop toys once - so you NEVER know what you are going to find! Check out your nearest dollar store, and I guarantee you will be glad you did - Dollar Tree is the more popular one by me and the one that I have found the most awesome stuff in - if you go for nothing else, hit up the coloring books and board books and you will be glad you did because you will be able to create a whole new library for your child with 10 bucks!!!!!!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How do I slow down?

My mind is on overdrive all the time - I'm not exaggerating.
It takes me a minute to wake up and get out of bed, but once I'm up - I'm UP and ready to do stuff.

The other morning I woke up early with Ben. When it was time for breakfast, I thought - perfect - I'll put him in his highchair in the kitchen, let him watch Bubble Guppies on the computer while I empty the dishwasher.

Then I realized it was Saturday - and thought it would be nice to  make pancakes for Katie and Dave - so I mixed up some pancake mix and then started emptying the dishwasher - Benny was happily eating in his highchair and then I realized - 
WAIT.. I'm wasting time, I could be cooking the pancakes and in between flipping them, I could be emptying the dishwasher.

So that's what I did - I made pancakes while I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen and Ben ate his breakfast. 

This is how my brain works all the time. 

It's wonderful for getting things done around the house, but I find that any time the kids are being quiet or are playing happily, my mind is running through the neverending list of things that need to be cleaned, cooked, packed, organized, folded, washed, dusted, vacuumed, etc...

I am incapable of just sitting and enjoying them. I always feel like I need to be doing something around the house.
I thought that working from home would allow me to do some of these household things during lunch breaks of while on conference calls, but that is just not happening. Even at work, I am a multi tasking freak - I have 2 monitors and 2 computers to work on so if one is busy doing something, I can hop on the other one to do other things. I wear a headset because I need my hands free to do other things while I'm on the phone.

I even have about a half hour each day after the kids leave the house, before I start working, but that time is usually spent cleaning up the kids morning messes, making breakfast and showering. 

I am proud of the fact that I can multi-task most people under the table on any given day. I'm always thinking about maximizing efficiency and getting 2 things done at one time - but I'm sad because now that I work, I am doing this all day, every day and it's starting to make me bitter. 

I'm thinking of hiring a cleaning person to come in and do all the big cleaning for me so that I can erase that from my never ending list of things to do, but then I feel like a cop out because I think that cleaning ladies are an extravagance. (we never had one growing up so I have to adjust to the idea what it's "OK" to have one)

But, even with that, I'm hesitant about spending the money and what if the people I hire are crazy or weird or take stuff or break things?????


What other things can I do to make myself slow down?  How can I switch my multi-tasking mind off and turn on my relax and enjoy the kids nonsense mind on? What things do you do to make sure that you have a balance of fun along with  getting everything done around the house without losing your mind? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Orange Marker

One of my favorite quotes on Parenting from The Back Up Plan (which I think is a must see for ANYONE thinking of having kids;))

A Dad to be asks a dad who is at the playground with his 3 kids what having kids is really like and this is his response: yes it's grossly exaggerated and no I don't think it's true every single day - but if you have more than one kid, I bet this makes you smile!

"The best way I can describe it is, it's awful awful awful awful, and then, something incredible happens, and then awful awful awful awful awful. "

So, here is the story of my something Incredible from yesterday

I went to a baby shower yesterday that was out of town, so being the multi-tasking queen that I am - I made a few stops to run some errands on the way because we needed some stuff for the house.

So, I searched high and low (as if I had extra time to search) for special bubble bath for Katie, I got Ben a cute toothbrush, (making sure to pick out JUST the right character) I got Dave a new Keurig Coffee Filter as ours has literally disappeared off the face of the earth.

Then I went to the baby shower and won a prize for catching lots of people saying the word Baby and taking their necklaces away. The prize was a cute, hard cover notebook and I thought - This is PERFECT for Katie - she will love it.

After the party, I went to Target and got some yogurt bites for Benny because they were on sale and they are seriously like like crack for kids (both my kids can eat an entire bag in less than 5 minutes) - and I picked up some new markers for Katie because hers were drying up and I thought she'd like them, especially since she was gonna get a new notebook.

I go home, and bring in all my bags and tell everyone that I got treats for everyone!! Katie followed me and helped hand out the treats like a helper elf!

Then I told her about the game I played and how I had won and that I was giving her my prize.
The first thing she did was look at my neck because she understood that I had collected necklaces during the game - so she asked me if I had to give them back. I told her I did, but the true is, I threw them away because it was ribbon with teeny tiny little plastic pieces on them that I knew she would A) need to carry around for about a week and B) Ben would try to chew.

So, she was coloring in her notebook with her markers and she looked at me and said, "But where is your special prize and treat?"

I told her, "Well, Katie my prize was the notebook but I am giving it to you so you can have it"

She looked at her markers and grabbed an orange one and said, "you can have one of my markers as your special prize."

I almost cried. For real.

I mean, she's 3 years old and hoards things. If she gets a package of 4 lip glosses, she will carry around all 4 at all times and freaks out if one is missing. And here she was giving me one of her precious markers... and she didn't even give me a 'boy' color which she was separating out while she was drawing.

She has been particularly mean to me lately - refusing to play with me and only asking for Daddy - so this little quip made that all go away, if only for an afternoon:)

Don't get me wrong, at bedtime - she still cried when I asked if I could read to her because she wanted daddy only but I didn't let it upset me - because she gave ME a marker - not Dave. So, I know loves me no matter how fresh she can be ;) And at the end of the day - I read her 3 My Little Pony Stories when I was only supposed to read her 2 - so that's gotta count for something right?

I love my kids and it's not always awful - and there is more wonder and excitement during any given day than I ever thought possible. But it is hard - and some days you forget about how wonderful it can be and I'm hoping I can check back here and read this when I'm frustrated with something she is doing, and remember that at the end of the day - she gave me her marker:)

Happy Parenting!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Worst night as parents ever

It's been awhile - for those of you that read, I apologize - life is just a whole lot of hectic and I literally haven't had time to sit down and type anything out. I have been making hats for people like crazy, reading some REALLY long books (the Game of Thrones Series) and working my butt off all while trying to keep this house in shape and my family, fed, watered and clean:)

The other day, we had our worst night of parenting ever.
Katie decided to throw a HUGE tantrem. I'm talking - kicking screaming, yelling, crying throwing herself all over the bed trantrum.

We were not prepared for this. My katie bug doesn't throw tantrums - she rarely even disobeys us.
I can leave her alone with a brand new box of markers and white walls and don't have to worry about her coloring ANYWHERE but on the paper in front of her.

I can tell her that she can't have an m & m until she eats 3 more bites of her dinner and she will eat 3 bites and will be honest about how many she's eaten - so if we think she's eaten 3 and she hasn't - she tells us she's only eaten 2.

If Dave tells her she can't do something and I tell her she can - she tells me that Dave said no first. It's been like this since she was around 18 months.

I'm not exaggerating - she really is this good.

I think part of why she's so good is because she learned to talk very early so has been able to communicate clearly, thus avoiding some of the frustration that most toddlers feel.

So... we were not prepared for this.

She had a particularly bad day where she was pushing Dave's buttons and she was refusing to let him get her ready for bed - so I went in to finish up. She freaked out and was refusing to let me put her pj's on. I ended up carrying her to her bed without her pj's on because the bathroom is next to Ben's room and we didn't want her to wake him up.

Then all hell broke loose.

kicking, screaming, crying - it was like the exorcist had taken over my little princess.

We had decided as a team that we were going to put our feet down so we were in it for the long haul so I refused to give in to her requests of Dave going back in. (which was her screaming theme)

I kept going back in and threatening her with taking away the dolls she sleeps with - then I tried being super nice mommy and offering to let her pick her pj's out and put them on herself.

She kept insisting on Dave.

She was crying, I was crying outside her door, Ben was awake and poor Dave was speechless.

I finally went in one last time and gave her back her best buddy because no matter how much she misbehaves, I don't think it's fair that we take her security blanket - so I'm trying to stop doing that because I realize it's not right. so I gave him back and explained that I just wanted her to put her pj's on so that she wouldn't be cold.

The exorcist child did not let up.

So I told her she was going to be cold because I wasn't coming in again and it was bed time.

(not the most mature response I know... but if it had been you, you would have said it too)

I came downstairs to try to cool down and she got quiet.

I waited a few minutes and went back upstairs and she had fallen asleep - without her clothes on. I had brought extra blankets up with me just in case so I piled the extra blankets on top of my usually sweet and adorable child and then cranked the heat up to like 75 degrees cause I didn't want her to be cold. Yes, I brought my camera because I knew that sooner rather than later - I would find this whole thing amusing...

Then I waited for her to wake up and realize she was backwards and mostly naked in bed.

Our dilemma was this.. we knew that she would remember - so did we send Dave in - or keep our foot on the ground and make her do what we wanted?

We decided to compromise because I saw no end in sight.
She woke up hysterical - I went in and tried to negotiate. (yes I still try to negotiate because sometimes it kind of works if even just for a little bit)

No go.
I left again and had visions of continuing this argument until the wee hours of the morning so I negotiated again and told her if she let me put her PJ top on, then Dave could come in and help her with her pants.

P.s. we had started out with a blanket sleeper - which I swapped out realizing it would be impossible to wrestle little miss exorcist into - so I got 2 separates figuring I could at least try to throw the shirt over her head.

It worked... took a little coaxing - but we met in the middle. She put her top on - Dave went in and put her pants on and then sang to her and all was right with our worlds again.

At the end of the day, it wasn't that big of a deal. (the initial reason we decided to put our foot down) But I feel like if we always give in, she'll never learn that sometimes we mean no for a reason - so for now, we will stay a team and try our hardest to be as fair as possible with punishing her while at the same time not going overboard when she asks for extra books or songs because 6 months ago - bedtime took us an hour with her because she wanted the extra attention and now it's just reading and a song.

Did we over-react?? yes - was she CRAZY? yes
Were we all alive and well at the end of the day - yes
Are we perfect parents - HELL NO
but we are a team and we will keep learning and helping each other learn as more and more curve balls get thrown our way. But, seriously - I hope to not have a night like this for a REALLY long time - it took a lot out of me and her too I'm sure!!!!

Happy Parenting!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Summer Camp and how it's taking me to Grenada

I spent two of the most amazing summers of my life at summer camp.
No, not as a camper - as a counselor.

The summer of 2000 - I quickly decided that staying home in Naugatuck, CT after being away for an entire year of college just wasn't going to do it for me. I randomly found this summer camp looking for counselors for 9 weeks - applied and like, 2 weeks later was moving up to Kent, CT for the most amazing summer EVER.

It was my first real introduction to international cultures. It was also the very first time I was going somewhere where I knew absolutely no one. (Even the small college I chose - had some familiar faces somewhere my first year.)

I had no idea what to expect. To this day, I have no idea what came over me that made me fill out that application - I swear it was fate because it really wasn't like me.

The first week of camp - you are cleaning out the cabins and getting ready for the campers, so it's just staff. I am not even kidding that on the very first morning at wake up revelle at the flag pole - is when I met 2 of what would become the Fearsome Foursome!

It really was that magical. We were assigned to the same age groups (I think it was 11 - 14 year olds) and we ended up sharing the only 2 cabins that were connected. We also were not assigned as partners to each other - which was convenient for scheduling all our nights off together - because had we all been assigned as counselor partners, our summer would have never happened - at least not like it did.

Working at a sleep away camp is a 24 hour job. You get a few nights off and one full day a week. There is a curfew when you have to get back to campus and check in - we took full advantage of every second that we had off duty as well as our on duty time with our kids.

We were young - 19 and 20 and that summer turned us back into 13 year old girls. (just like our campers)

We had crushes, love triangles and drama just like the girls we were taking care of.
We were DRUNK (literally on our nights off and figuratively) on the prospect of having as much fun as humanly possible. (we were very good with our kids at the same time, which was different than a few of the other counselors who couldn't have cared less about the kids)

We quickly became friends and linked up with 2 boys from boys camp and from that point on were known as the Fearsome Foursome and the Gruesome Twosome.
(Yes, I am serious - I told you we had turned back into 13 year olds)

There were other people that joined us for our nights off - but we were the core group.

We made out with boys in the woods, went off-roading in a Jeep on a Christmas tree farm and explored (and got kicked out of for being underage) the surrounding bars and hang outs on our nights off. When I think of some of the things we did and how lucky we were that nothing bad ever happened, it gives me panic attacks that my own daughter might do something similar but not have such a happy outcome.

We trusted these boys completely (and it worked out in our favor because they took very very good care of us) and allowed them to take us into the dark night down some creepy road with no lights - park at this hiking trail entrance that was CLEARLY closed for the night, and let them lead us down to this place they said we HAD to see...

(this could have gone wrong in SOOOOOOOOOOOo many ways)

But what happened, is we came out of the woods into this open clearing by a river that they had found the night before.
We called it the Rock - and we went there together as much as we possibly could for the rest of the summer. We swam in the river in our bras and underwear and had to check back in at camp soaking wet. (none of us thought to bring towels) We jumped off a rock ledge way too high (no, seriously it was high) in the pitch black into a body of water with a depth that was kind of unknown to us. We bought beer and ice and used the rocks as coolers to pack the beers into. We drank and drank and drank and lucky for us, we always had a designated driver - our friend from Wales who only drank Smirnoff Ice (which was not yet available in the US) and NEVER drank beer. We also had nights where beer wasn't involved because we had to drive almost an hour away to get it with the fake ID we were using at the time and we didn't always have that kind of time to commute for beer and still have time to hang out before curfew.

It was an unlikely group of people - me, from CT, T from Colorado, S from Georgia/Florida/Hawaii, and S from Wales/Grenada/London. M was from PA and J was from Virginia I think.

We took care of each other, we took care of our kids. We sailed in the lake and braved the swim test together. We raided the kitchen after hours and even took day trips together on our days off. In fact, a group I wasn't with them - and half of them were internationals and they just stayed at my house and then went on their way)

We argued about Trainers versus Sneakers and Pants versus Track Suite Bottoms. We used torches (flashlights) to find our way to the Rock at night. (although by the end I don't think we needed them) We sang the Star Spangled Banner at the top of our lungs one night when the boys dropped us off to the Rock and we had to wait for them to come back. We figured it would let anyone or anything in the immediate area know we were there - clearly scaring them away until our boys came back.

We watched for shooting stars and had late night picnics. We had dance parties and played music loudly in our cabins with our kids. We participated in Color War and took it to heart.
We let our kids dress us up as differently themed Barbies for a contest - and we had our hearts broken hearing the stories of some of our campers and how un-involved their parents were with them. (some of their parents dropped them off at camp and then jetted off to Europe for their own vacations - never calling or writing or visiting on Parents day)

We experienced all that camp life has to offer and let me tell you, there are some weird traditions, songs, skits, things that go on at camps... and being on the outside looking in, we had a blast dissecting and trying to understand it all.

Saying goodbye at the end of the summer was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do both to the kids and to each other, because we all knew that being so far away - it could never be like it had been. I think we always knew we'd stay in contact to some degree, but we knew that was all it would be - because life happens.

It's been 12 years (HOLY COW) We have gotten together for S's wedding in Atlanta, my wedding in CT, my husband and I visited S in London a few years ago and she visited us here during the NYC marathon which she ran in. T and I visited S when she was going to UGA in Athens and T spent a new years eve at S's house one year as well.

This brings me to Grenada. S is getting married in Grenada and at first, I figured it would never happen with the kids, etc... I mean I just went back to work and haven't been more than 2 hours away from the kids EVER. I quickly realized when I started researching flights that it was going to be impossible for my husband and I both to go, because it's just too hard to get back in case of an emergency and I didn't want us to be so far from the kids... so I kind of left it at that.
My hubby however - told me I should go alone. Make it a girls weekend.

Take the chance and do it - because you only live once and I'd regret it if I didn't go.

I felt awful because I know it's selfish and I feel bad leaving the kids for that long and I feel even worse, leaving my husband to be a single parent for 6 whole days while I go to paradise.

But he told me to go... so I booked a flight and I'm headed to Grenada in April by myself and meeting T there. S already promised me that her friends would adopt me and I wouldn't be the lonely American girl and I believe her because her friends were amazing to us when we visited her in London.

When you come across friends like these - the really true ones - that you can get together in a room no matter long it's been since you talked and have the time of your life - I feel you have to take every opportunity to get in that room with them!

I don't have any friends that I can just call up for coffee. Geography always bit me in the ass in that department as my best friends all left me at some point and now live AT LEAST an hour away. I don't get to see my good friends nearly as much as I'd like to and I know it's ok - because life happens and we all get busy and grow apart and head down different paths. It's sad - but it's true.
My best friends are the people who I've spent time with in College, or at camp, or for 3 years while we lived in Irvington, NY and had the best neighbors ever - and all of these people have left me to live elsewhere.

So, I am moving past my feelings of guilt and starting to get incredibly excited at the prospect of a girls weekend in paradise with some of my favorite people on the planet.

Just cause we don't talk a lot or see each other (like, ever) doesn't mean that you're not still my favorite people.

So, here's to Grenada and to Kenmont/Kenwood Camps for introducing me to some amazing people. And cheers to my best friend in the world, for encouraging me to go and promising NEVER to hold it over my head and for volunteering to hold down the fort with our kids.

I'm feeling pretty lucky and starting to think that 2012 is really going to be the year I get out of my terrible funk for good. I also think I need to try to make more time and occasions to visit all you people that moved away. Not sure how I'm gonna do it, but I'm gonna try really hard. If only we could transport through air instantly like in Harry Potter - I'd travel to Brooklyn, Connecticut, Brewster, Alabama, Florida, Boston, Colorado and London (just to name a few) way more often!

Here's to great friends in far away places!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My Life Revolves around my kids poop.
I'm dead serious.

This is not for the weak of stomach... I've warned you.

Katie has always had constipation issues. Since she was in diapers.
When she was eating baby cereal, we used to have to put prune juice in it just to try to help her out a little and even that didn't always work.

(Buying my little 6 packs of prune juice was embarrassing - kind of like buying condoms or tampons.... only there's no fun to come!!!)

It has gotten so bad that we have literally had to pull it out of her.

When we potty trained her, I figured it was going to be a disaster - but shockingly... it wasn't...

So, there's one poopy plus!

Now that she is potty trained... she just holds it in. I swear she has seriously amazing control of her body function - because she can hold it in for DAYS and DAYS.....

So it's a battle.

We have discovered that she absolutely cannot eat bananas.. not even half of one because that means about 3 days of misery for all of us. Of course, she loves bananas - so that's a huge bummer.

Now, we try to encourage her to go every day. She has bouts of time where this works and all is well in our house. Everyone is happy.

Then she has bouts where she refuses to go either because she's afraid it might hurt or she wants to have control and then we all are cranky and angry and we fight back and forth trying to convince her that it's a good idea to go. Then my husband has to sit with her for half an hour at a time while she's on the potty waiting for her to poop.

She refuses to let me sit with her during this and screams and yells that she wants him - so the poor guy gets stuck 95% of the time with it.

Then there is Ben. He has the opposite problem. he gets Diarrhea all the time. The doctor keeps telling us it's nothing - but the daycare doesn't want a kid there with diarrhea. So last week, they kicked him out on Wednesday afternoon and he couldn't go back until Monday. We took him to the doctor and they again said it was no big deal. Then I told them I'm concerned and they said if I was worried, I could collect a poop sample and bring it in.

That is the most disgusting thing I've ever done in my life. Particularly because the poop I had to use for the sample was the worst smelling, most foul thing I've ever seen.

Ben has also picked up the habit of waking up to poop every night between 1 and 3. If he doesn't wake up for that, then he probably pees through his diaper and we have to get him and change everything for that.

Our happiness at night during family time and our ability or inability to sleep all revolves around when and how our kids poop and pee.

This is something I wasn't prepared for and I am hoping that it gets better- because it's not fun.
It's not

Our happiness on any given night can completely depend on whether she poops. Our sleep deprivation level depends on whether he poops OR pees.

This is the stuff no one tells you about - so I'm letting it all out;)

Anyone have any ideas on how we can possibly try to change his pooping schedule so he doesn't have to wake up to do it in the middle of the night?