Tuesday, October 28, 2008

GO TO SLEEP... please.

Pretty Please. We are teaching Squeaker to sleep in a big boy bed. I know, he has been in a big boy bed for a long time... but, since there has been so much going on in our lives, we decided to hold off on the true form of big-boy bed sleeping... and opted for sleeping in a Peapod tent. (Which, by the way is awesome and we LOVE.) Anyhow, since we have been procrastinating at potty training, because we were moving and spending most of our days in the car, we have decided to finally move forward with this milestone. To potty train, however, he needs to be free to get in and out of his bed on his own... not zipped up in a tent. So, first things first, get rid of the tent. It has been about 6 days and here is our progress:
  • Day 1: no tent, took 1 hour 30 minutes to stay in bed and fall asleep. Mommy and daddy alternated going in to put him back in bed, both had jello arms that evening (he does way 30 lbs, don't laugh)
  • Day 2: tent (we had to be somewhere that afternoon). slept well
  • Day 3: no tent, took an hour and 20 minutes to stay in bed and fall asleep. same deal with mom and dad's arms
  • Day 4: removed brother from room at naptime. Amazingly, brother fell asleep much quicker without the distraction. Squeaker, on the other hand decided it was more conducive to playtime and emptied all books, puzzles and toys from their designated bins/shelves. Oh, and took 1 hour to fall asleep. Less putting back to bed by mom and dad or perhaps we are getting stronger, cuz our arms weren't tired.
  • Day 5: brother out of room, takes 1 hour to fall asleep with minimal replacement into bed.
  • Day 6: Brother out of room, takes 40 minutes to fall asleep with maybe one or two times to put back by mommy.
Woo Hoo -- progress at last!

So, now back to that potty training thing I mentioned. So, Squeaker asks to go poopie and wants his diaper changed immediately following a non-potty poopie. He also will pee and poopie on the potty if placed, pretty much any time during the day. Well, pee pee for sure. So, I feel like that these are enough for us to just go for it. We kinda went all or nothing with Little Man, so why the heck not do it again. And, because we are crazy like that, we are going to do night training at the same time. His diapers are dry pretty much all the time anyway and what is a little extra laundry. I might need to pick up a few more sheets before we start though. Just in case. And, big brother is going to do night training too. This might be a little harder since he drinks like a fish during the day, but it is really the waking to go and not being lazy part we need to focus on. It is pretty much guaranteed that he is going to wake up at night. Won't it be nice to have both boys out of diapers? Sure will. Now what am I going to do with all these extra pullups I bought for them because they were on sale???

I will keep you posted on our progress. Posting may be sparse since we are still quite busy getting settled -- there are preschools to find, jobs to locate, driver's licenses to obtain, and doctors to visit... isn't moving Fun? (that was with a capital F)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun and Not so fun

Fun = playing outside at the end of October in shorts and t-shirts.
Not fun= two ER visits in one weekend.

No worries... everyone is okay. all superficial and soft tissue related. no major repairs needed. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Great American Roadtrip- A Trip In Review

States visited: 11
Tires changed: 2
Old friends visited: 2
Fast food playlands conquered: 7
Caffeinated beverages consumed: 4, 251
Miles traveled: 3,880
Hotels slept in: 8
National parks/historical sites visited: 6
Sick kids: 1
Markers consumed: 1.5
Vomit stops: 3
Ghost towns driven by: 2
Nights on the road: 11
People who had a great time but are glad to be done with the trip: 4

Friday, October 24, 2008

Great American Roadtrip- Days 11-12

After leaving Phoenix, we ventured north to visit Montezuma Castle. It was so cool and I wish they still allowed people to climb up to see the interior. It just amazes me that people could build something so amazing that would endure for so many years. I am becoming much more interested in history as I get older (and wiser?). Perhaps I am just now able too appreciate it. From there we headed up toward Sedona. WOW - the drive was spectacular!!! Unfortunately we were unable to get all the way to Sedona itself as the road was closed for some unknown and unfortunate (for us) reason. So, after backtracking a bit, we were back on our way toward the Grand Canyon. Before we entered the Grand Canyon we stopped at one of many small old towns along Historic Route 66, Williams, AZ. It was cute, but the boys' naps were curtailed by the slow speeds and frequent stop signs :(. Ah well.

So... The Grand Canyon... I was amazed and awestruck. It was totally worth the steep entrance fee. We will definitely be going again! For me, it was the best part of the trip. Little Man claims that the Grand Canyon was not as good as the space center but better than the aquarium. Squeaker just kept saying, "All done canon". Humph, kids.

We spent the night at one of the lodges there along the southern rim. That allowed us to check out the sunrise from Yavapai Point before our long day of driving. It was wonderful, cold, but wonderful.

The drive west on I-40 parallels Route 66, so we were able to 'get our kicks'; as well as make progress. Recommended stopping points: Seligman and Kingman. Stopping points to skip: Peach springs.

We arrived in San Diego around 8:30pm and after running around like crazy, headed off to dreamland in our new, temporary home with Ga-Mommy. Home Sweet Home... Finally!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 10

From Las Cruces, NM to Phoenix, AZ... we drove through a lot of desert. We tried to stop at a ghost town and it was closed... I mean really closed... but it was fun to see, nonetheless. Most importantly, Little Man was so excited every time he saw a cactus. Since he enjoyed seeing them so much, we decided to take a detour out of Tuscon to Saguaro National Forest. It was really unbelievable how many of these cactuses you see. I had NO idea. Totally worth the extra effort if ever in Tuscon.

Oh, and then in Phoenix, we got to visit with another friend from OT school and ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory... boy, I love that place! Not much exciting beyond those two adventures and we are still wiped out. Short post today, gotto get some rest. The mover called and will be in Escondido bright and early Wednesday. This will curtail our leisurely drive home from the Grand Canyon on Tuesday... now we will be sprinting home! I don't know if I will have internet tomorrow night, as we are staying at the Grand Canyon. If I am, I will just be posting pictures... if not, your pics will have to wait until we get a breather later on this week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 9

We thought that a long drive through the western 2/3 of Texas would be boring... boy were we wrong.

We had a birthday boy -- Squeaker is TWO!!!

We had an almost traffic ticket. So, here is what you should not do.... when you are following someone going over the speed limit (7 miles over, mind you) you should not maintain that speed, too. Also, if they get pulled over, you should not pull over too... just ditch them. When you do pull over, the trooper will come tell you that he is going to give you a ticket as well since you were following someone who was speeding, therefore speeding yourself. Oops. Anyway, he was nice and let us go -- maybe it was the screaming two year old in the backseat because stopping woke him up from his nap and now the sun was in his eyes.

Dinner is not enough... must eat markers. Who was the dummy that put markers within his reach?

Other than that, pretty uneventful and now we are done in Texas, finally.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 8

I think San Antonio is a great city. It is fun to walk around the city along the river and their famous Riverwalk. First stop was the Alamo, of course. We tried to share an audio tour, but some of us were less interested than others. Little Man really couldn't stand still... he had ants in his pants the whole time. I am thinking that this is when his medicine (for his asthma) kicked in. He would. not. stop. climbing! The Alamo was very interesting, at least in the areas we were able to see and read/ hear about. It made me want to learn more... another day, perhaps. After that, we walked across the street and took a boat tour of the riverwalk and it was quite enjoyable. The weather was perfect all day, and after walking around the old streets and buildings, we stopped in at the oldest riverfront restaurant for lunch. Little Man entertained himself by making a superman cape and a "sun going down over the horizon" with his napkin.

Naptime brought us back to the hotel and what a naptime it was. These boys sure are sleep deprived! We woke them at 5:30 and headed back downtown to explore Hemisfair Park and Tower of the Americas. We walked back to the riverwalk for dinner. Squeaker crawled into his bed as soon as we walked in the door to the hotel and Little Man was not far behind. Rest up boys, because we have a lot of driving to do tomorrow. Not much to see west of here... until we get to our next stop, of course.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 7

We are now in San Antonio, TX... just arrived this evening.  The boys are tired after a long day of driving and not much napping.  We are tired after a long day of driving and not much napping. :)

Our main stop today was the Space Center in Houston.  It was everything we thought it would be, but somehow a little bit smaller. Everything we wanted to see and hoped to see was there, but for some reason, I had imagined this huge, amazing museum.  The focus at the space center is not amusing tourists, it is actually, you know, rocket science. So, we opted to do the tram tour -- at noon, after a 3 hour drive, with no lunch.  Again, we are not the smartest of parents.  But, again, the boys did well, except that Squeaker still does not have volume control or patience in small, crowded areas, when someone is talking for more than 5 minutes.   That aside, I think Little Man needs to rest his poor eyelids after that trip.  He truly loved the space center.  Everything was more amazing to him than the next.  Especially since they did such a great job of making everything so life-like.  He was so confused when we came to an exhibit where it showed two astronauts drilling on the moon next to a moon buggy.  He must have asked like five times if it was real.

After a wonderful visit and a quick drive past Houston, we were off to our next to stop, San Antonio.  Several more hours of driving took us well into Texas, were it is just as I imagined it... mostly flat, not much between the major cities, and lots of spanish names of streets, rivers, cities, etc.  It is starting to feel like home!!!

On a side note, where did all those Waffle Houses come from. I thought it would taper off as we drove west, but the are still coming up as frequently as churches in South Carolina and Georgia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 6

We are now west of the Mississippi, and the radio stations all start with "K" instead of "W" now. I always wondered where that invisible line was... guess it isn't so invisible, big body of water and all. Speaking of big bodies of water, Lake Pontchartrain is HUGEMONGOUS!

We had a slow start to the morning, then enjoyed a pleasant morning drive toward New Orleans. After a bit of traffic, we hit the French Quarter at exactly the wrong time for the boys -- hungry and sleepy. You would think we would know this by now, but we like to torture ourselves. They did amazingly well... initially. On the recommendation of a friend, we ate muffulletas, cafe' au lait, and beignets. Squeaker was more interested in eating the pound and a half of powdered sugar atop the beignets -- with a straw, and Little Man, who apparently is not related to me, wanted nothing to do with it... he asked for something "less messy". Um, sorry kiddo, and now mommy gets two!

We walked around the streets and admired the architecture, the performers, the locals whooping at the performers (cheering them on) and the plaquards all along the upper end of Bourbon Street... oops, wrong street for those of an impressionable age. The signs out front of many 'stores' were quite graphic.

Anyway, after a difficult walk back to the car with two tired kids, we managed to head of of the big easy and right into some awful awful awful traffic in Baton Rouge. There was a horrible accident and traffic was backed up pretty much through the entire city on I-10. Needless to say, the lack of movement and white noise from driving curtailed our nappers.
We stopped after naps, right around dinnertime, at a park to play, then strapped the boys into the car for dinner. Notice LM's sweaty head... those boys play HARD!

After calling about 50 hotels, I may be exaggerating slightly, it could have been 45, we had found a vacant room in Jennings, LA, which is where at least one of our wonderful little boys are snoring away to get ready for another busy day... in Texas.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 4 and 5

Wow, Day 5 already? I have to include some of day 4 since I took a break for my (lack of) musings. Anyhow, yesterday we had the whole day to explore Atlanta. The first stop was the Georgia Aquarium. It was enjoyable for us all. The boys could have stared into the HUGE tanks for hours... I felt like we were constantly hurrying them along because I was bored. Bad Mommy. And, I didn't want to miss anything and then hit hungry-tired-crabby time (which we did anyway, despite my hurrying). It was an awesome place with some unique sea creatures. My favorites were the river otter and the beluga whales. Squeaker enjoys telling me that he saw a whale shark, of which there were two, but I am not sure he is actually able to point out in a crowd. He just likes saying it. Little Man's favorite part is BY FAR the diver we saw in the very first tank, cleaning the side of the tank with a brush. Man, if I had known this ahead of time, i wouldn't have spent the money on him! :)

We walked around the Olympic centennial park and then played at one of their amazing play structures. Great Fun!

After 3 hour naps, we didn't have much time to explore further than the hotel and the 1 mile radius surrounding it (it was like 5:30 when the awoke). So dinner, then playing with toys in our room, then bed.
Today was a lot of driving, but, we did get to stop in Talladega to see the Speedway. Little Man was more impressed with the pit road section of the tour than anything else... oh wait, I take that back, in the museum and hall of fame, there were racecar video games that they couldn't stay away from (even without quarters). Simple pleasures. My favorite part was the smashed up car where I could explain exactly why he was never allowed to drive a race car, but he could watch and enjoy all he wanted. He could be racing's biggest fan, as long as he does not get behind the wheel.

Now, we are in southern Mississippi, headed to New Orleans tomorrow. Should be a fun day, as long as it isn't too rainy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Musings

I had a bunch of good ones, but not being able to write them down in the car and having no memory to speak of, I only remember this one by Squeaker:

Squeaker: Hi Momma
Me: Hi Sweetie Pie
Squeaker: No Sweetie pie
Me: Hi Cutie Pie
Squeaker: No Cutie Pie
Me: Hi Marshmallow Guy
Squeaker: hahaha
Squeaker: Hi Marshmallow Mommy

So cute coming from a soon to be 2 year old!!!

I promise to add more as I think of them throughout the week! This is what I get for trying to store them up for Monday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Day 3

Charleston (or just outside of it), SC --> Atlanta, GA

Our trip should have gone like this:
Wake up early, eat breakfast, meet friend from OT school and head to Charleston to roam around, catch a quick bite to eat and head to Atlanta during naptime.  

Instead it went something like this:
Wake up later than planned, but no biggie because the tire place didn't open until 9.  Eat breakfast and get to the tire place to be assisted by the worlds slowest employee.  Wait 30 minutes to find out the tire cannot be repaired but they do not have the replacement tire needed for vehicle.  Finally find a place that is open on a Sunday that also carries the tire and the headed to Charleston with friend (who humored us while dealt with the tire thing) in the rain and just before our usual lunch time.  Boys did well, especially since there were canons to look at, but ate a very late lunch, drove back to pick up car, and waited another hour or so for them to finish.  We started our drive westbound through South Carolina.  As the boys slept (for LATE naps) I discovered several things:
South Carolina is pretty
There are about 3 gazillion churches
The pace down there is definitely slower -- except when driving. 
South Carolinians don't take major highways... they take the backroads.  When we were on the major highway, there was maybe 1 or 2 local license plates... but, on the 'road less traveled', we might have been the only out-of-towners.  I felt so cool. 

We stopped for dinner to burn some energy.  Squeaker learned a new word: Donalds. (Good ole Mickey D's)

We made it to Atlanta around 10:30 and we are now waiting for Little Man to follow his brother off to dreamland.  I am sure the excitement of yet another hotel combined with his recent dose of albuterol isn't helping.  :)

No pictures today as I am too tired to download them from my camera, and there weren't that many anyway since it was raining most of the day and I tried to keep the camera out of the rain.  
Up next: Adventures in Atlanta -- which will include little to no driving. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Great American Road Trip - Days 1 and 2

Moving day itself went off without a hitch. The driver was super nice and he and the loaders made loading the truck look easy. It did take them quite a while (maybe 4-4.5 hours), but all in all, pretty painless (for us, anyway). So, after they left, we had to go back and clean the apartment, which always takes longer than you expect. We headed out of town after one last tearful goodbye and got behind the rest of Northern VA getting out of town for the "holiday" weekend. I had no idea that Columbus Day was as big a holiday as Thanksgiving... at least, that is what it seemed like with all the traffic.  I was just glad we were headed to visit Grandma and Grandpa. In the time it usually takes to drive there, we hadn't even left northern va. Yikes! Hope this isn't a sign of what is to come!

A wonderful visit with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Em and Uncle Will, and followed by a wonderful breakfast in the morning -- maybe to entice us to stay??? -- and we were on the road again. Traffic had greatly improved and we were right on track for our next destination. Both boys did extremely well, and we are glad that we piled on so many miles today, before they really knew what they were in for. We drove straight through North Carolina where we walked into a smokehouse, I mean McDonalds, to use the 'facilities'.  We passed through Tijuana, Mexico -- I swear, this trip just flew by.  South Carolinian's have such a great sense of humor.

 We arrived in Summerville, SC (just outside Charleston) right at dinnertime. I first checked into the hotel and when I got back in the car, noticed my tire pressure light had come on. Awesome.  So we crossed the street for dinner and I checked the tires I could hear the air rushing out -- perfect, a flat tire. I am soooooo glad it was in a fairly decent area, not on the major highway and the rain wasn't too bad at the time.  AAA came within 10 minutes and the tire was changed before our food arrived at dinner.

So, here is what we have in store:

- Squeaker and Little Man's coughs (they had colds last week) are getting worse and LM is wheezing.
- I have to find a place to get the tire repaired and/or replaced as early as possible... on a SUNDAY... so we can meet a friend of mine to explore Charleston in the morning before heading off to Atlanta.
- It is raining/drizzling, so playing and exploring outdoors tomorrow isn't going to be as fun as we had hoped -- will it let up???

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Finished at last

So, now we wait. It is 11pm and we are finished packing and have done as much cleaning as we can do before the movers arrive in the morning. We are so glad that it is done and all we have to do now is relax and wait. :) And cry. Do you know how hard it is to leave all your wonderful friends and their amazing families??? Hard. Really really really hard. I think if i just say goodbye, c-ya, perhaps it isn't so sad, but then, tears still flow and my heart breaks just a little... especially with all those little ones who we have watched grow from tiny little things to big(ish) kids. Crazy emotions going on over here... forgive me. I wish I were three and could simply say, "It's okay, Mommy, we will make new friends." I wish it were that easy, Little Man.

More exciting posts in the days to follow, I promise!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Musings

In lieu of musings, I am posting pics of Squeaker's week:

Oh, come on, who can resist pictures of adorable children (oh, wait, I am biased)  - I will have plenty of musings next week, I am sure-- I'll be stuck in the car with the kids for hours on end.

Decorating special boxes for our special toys that the moving truck is going to drive to Ga-Mommy's house (we have a theme going here with Squeaker):

Packing our boxes:

Taking a break from packing boxes:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Note to self

If you let your kids stay up late watching a movie, they do not sleep in. humph.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bad Dreams

Squeaker: I awake.
Me: Okay. Do you want to get out of bed.
Squeaker: Yup. I scary.
Me: What are you scared of?
Squeaker: Monkeys get you 'Geck-a-yin' (his name in Squeaker-ease)
Me: The monkeys are going to get you??? Oh no.
Squeaker: Bite. Leg. and other leg. and other leg.
Me: It is okay. no monkeys around here to get you.
Squeaker: And, Daddy sailboat. Row row boat.
Me: Wow. those are some crazy dreams.
Squeaker: yah. nods head.

Dance Par-tay

Nothing like a dance party... and Squeaker enjoys the pantless version.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Seriously.  October.  I mean, it was just April, wasn't it?  How time flies.  This means that in just a week, we are headed out of VA and will be on our way to CA.  I really can't believe it.  Especially since our house looks like we are planning to stay for another several months.  Oh geez, so much to do... so little time.  :)  Well, guess I should start with breakfast and just go from there.  One step at a time.