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Little Bug Goes to Preschool

I officially have two kids in school and it is AMAZING! Little Bug started at the same preschool as LeLe, and so far it is going great. I am super lucky to have such an amazing place to send my kids because the experiences I have had, and the experiences the kids have had with this place are unmatched.

Little Bug is a true introvert when it comes to other kids and unfamiliar adults. He takes a while to warm up and he needs some space to do so. Originally, he was placed in the youngest child class (typically 2.5-3 year-olds) and I was excited. The teacher in that class is a friend of mine, so I knew he would be well-taken care of and she would be able to help him adjust. But the night before the first day of school, the director called me and said that she spoke with the teachers and Little Bug was one of the kids that they wanted to move into a different class. Basically, they saw during the back-to-school day that Little Bug was relatively reserved and liked to be quiet and listen rather than run around like crazy. As a result of the conversation, he was bumped up into the 3.5-4 year old class, which would make him one of the youngest, but the atmosphere would suit him better.

And let me say, this was the BEST decision ever. The original class has several kids that cry on drop off every day and a couple that are extremely spirited. I think that had Little Bug stayed in that class, he would have been completely lost because he is so quiet. But the new class is awesome. The kids are a little more settled down and he loves it. The teachers were LeLe’s teachers the last two years, so this is also great for me as I am familiar with them and their teaching styles. The class in general is pretty structured and they spend a lot of time on hands on activities, so Little Bug is thrilled.

On the first day I was really nervous to drop Little Bug off. He is my baby through and through and I was worried that drop off would be rough. But he proved me wrong in every way. Once we were in his classroom, he was excited just to see all the different toys they had for warm up time. He immediately went over to the play kitchen and was bubbling with excitement. I stayed with him for a couple of minutes and then asked him if I could leave and he didn’t even flinch. It was great, and went so much better than I expected. The absolute best part of the day was at pickup and he literally ran into my arms.

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The Lead Up to Potty Training

The idea of potty-training two twinbling toddlers at the same time has always felt a touch terrifying to me. I wrote a post in the past about all of the groundwork that I did to ease my anxiety about this coming developmental event, and I’m happy to report that we recently began training and the girls are doing really well with the potty!

Because I relied on so much advice and other first-hand accounts as I prepared for potty training, I thought that I would share our experience. This first post details all of the lead-up to the big day/week, and I feel pretty strongly that these lead-up tasks/items have been just as important in the process as the actual days of going diaper-less. I will later follow up with a post about the actual potty training experience and throughout these posts, I will include my take on things that I think really helped but also things that I think I did wrong or were unnecessary.

I hope that this account will be helpful but I also want to be very clear that I am definitely not a potty training expert and I fully recognize that there are many different approaches and methods. What follows just happens to be what worked for us so far, and to be very honest, I am not yet claiming full victory – with a cross-state move and lots of change coming for the girls this month, I’m fully expecting a regression… But the silver lining is that will just give me more material for future blog posts, right?!

17 months

When the girls were about 17 months old, I purchased the book Oh Crap! Potty Training. I had just had lunch with one of my favorite twin moms who had successfully potty trained her twins and she was a huge fan of the book. I read the book casually over the next few days, liked the approach, and decided that I would follow this method when the time came.

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When Siblings Collide

Well, we’ve had a good run in the Cereal household and it seems to be coming to an end. My kids are officially fighting every.single.day. I guess I didn’t really expect this because they have gotten along so well for the past three years, but now they are both so cranky with each other. The majority of fights occur because my son wants to play with his sister’s toys and she is absolutely not interested in doing that at all.

This shift seemed to start about 6 months ago and stemmed from a difference in LeLe’s overall attitude. She is now 4 1/2, and her attitude is bordering on disruptive at times now. She is stubborn and extremely smart, which in combination often means that she is very verbally upset when situations do not meet her expectations. In short, she wavers between being the sweetest girl on the planet, and a small, yelling tyrant. It is trying, but I also completely get it. She wants more control over her life and she’s just not capable of handling the control yet.  I will admit that I have trouble dealing with her behaviors at times now, but the good thing is that Mr. Cereal is great at calming her down and changing her direction. On the days when I have had enough, he steps in and I get a break and I am able to calm myself down and control my reactions better. This is one of the hardest things I have dealt with so far as a parent and I know I am not alone. This girl, whom I wanted so badly and whom I love so fiercely, can also make me so frustrated I cry.

Little Bug is moving into a similar attitude shift with them only being a year and a half apart in age. He reacts to things a bit differently than LeLe, but he still has outbursts that are loud and long and incredibly frustrating. Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind with all the noise in my house. The kids are insanely loud, and when they are upset, the noise increases exponentially. With Little Bug, his frustrations are because he wants to do more, and he is pretty particular about how things are done. More specifically, if he gets an idea in his head and it does not come to fruition how he thought it would, he loses it. I have even wondered sometimes if he may have some OCD tendencies, which would make sense because this is something I have struggled with my whole life. In the way that Mr. Cereal is good with LeLe, I am good with Little Bug. We often switch on and off with the kids to give each other breaks.

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Feeding Our Families: Plated Review

I am going to get straight to the point here. I don’t enjoy cooking.

I have plenty of family members and friends who love cooking. And I respect that. To them, spending time in the kitchen after work is relaxing and they find some cool zen in the experience. I’ve tried in my past to hop on the cooking bandwagon, but I’ve just found that it doesn’t bring me the same kind of joy and relaxation that it does for others. I used to feel somewhat bad about this fact, especially once the girls were born and I felt all the intense mom expectations start to build, but now I really honestly don’t. Life is just too short in my opinion to spend lots of time doing things that I have limited interest in doing.

Now all that said, I obviously need to eat. And my kids and husband need to eat. And I would prefer for all of us to eat nutritiously and for it to be a somewhat enjoyable meal (read: tasty and palatable for both toddlers and adults). Also, quick (no explanation necessary, I think).

All this brings me to a review of a meal prep kit, Plated. I received a credit for a free week of the Plated meal service and I signed up in early July. I had tried Blue Apron a few years ago and I really liked it. I have generally found that these meal prep services really take the stress and hassle out of meal planning and grocery shopping, and allow you to learn a few cooking tricks and ultimately turn out some yummy meals. So needless to say, I was excited to give Plated a try!

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I signed up for a two-servings meal kit to cover three meals in one week. Here is my honest take:

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Feed My Family Lunch: Greek Wrap

This recipe goes out to the moms and dads who are tired of eating boring kid foods and can’t afford to go out to restaurants often. And if you are like me as a SAHM, you often find yourself snacking and drinking coffee throughout the day which is not exactly healthy. Here’s a tasty, healthy wrap you can make quickly.

greek wrap

Basic Ingredients:

  • Tortilla
  • Spinach Leaves
  • Hummus
  • Feta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Vinaigrette salad dressing

Optional Ingredients:

  • Black Olives
  • Bell Peppers
  • Red Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes

This is an easy one. Just spread hummus on the tortilla, add spinach and any of the above ingredients you like to the wrap. The basic ingredients will last a long time in the refrigerator (except the spinach), so you will always have ingredients on hand to make this. In the summer go crazy adding whatever you have from your garden, or veggies on sale at the grocery store. Now that BeBe is older she likes making her own too, so it’s not just for adults.

The best part: you have a healthy and filling meal you can eat one – handed, over the sink, while holding a crazy kiddo or crying baby.

Living With IBS

When I was 17, I started getting really sick. I would be in the bathroom for hours, sometimes having accidents when I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time, and living with constant pain. My parents didn’t think I was that sick, but I started rapidly losing weight and eventually they decided that this was, in fact, serious. I went to multiple doctors but none could really tell me what was going on, so I suffered and started taking huge amounts of Imodium to help control my symptoms. By the time I graduated from high school, I was hovering around 120 lbs and was sick nearly every day. My initial diagnosis was IBS-D. The D stands for diarrhea. IBS can also cause constipation, which is referred to as IBS-C. Basically, I was having multiple bowel movements every day, and they were very painful as well. Some food seemed to trigger my episodes, but it was inconsistent, so I never really knew what to avoid.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college and I was down another 10 lbs and sick every single day. I was scared to leave my house because I was always getting sick, and eating food became a huge chore. I dreaded eating because every single time I ate, I got sick. It was mentally draining, and physically, I was weak and tired a lot of the time. But I was also young, so physically I was able to recover pretty quickly. I lived this way for years, but started getting really frustrated when I was about 25, just plain tired of being sick all the time, so I started researching doctors that could help me. I found a local GI doctor and started working with him and we were able to get my symptoms mostly under control. I had my first colonoscopy that year and learned that I had an extra 10-20 inches of large intestine, and that I had strictures, or very tight sections, in two areas of my large intestine. The result of the testing I went through was mostly inconclusive, but there was some indication of inflammation, which is pretty typical of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is the larger family for IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. My white cell counts were always high as well because it seemed like my body was constantly fighting an infection.

For a few years after that, my doctor and I were able to control a lot of my symptoms with medication and stress relief (meditation, acupuncture, exercise). It was great and I was able to gain weight and I felt pretty good most of the time. I went from having an episode a day to once every few weeks. This lasted until after I had my second child. Pregnancy was interesting because my symptoms did increase, but I had so many other things going on that I really didn’t notice that too much. After I had Little Bug, my body went insane and it has been that way ever since.

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Apple and Worm Sewing Hoop

Apple and Worm Sewing Hoop

Teach your child how to sew or embroider with this happy worm and apple practice hoop! They can practice fine-motor skills as they learn the process of passing the worm back and forth through the apple.

It’s a safe and fun way for them to try out stitching!

DIY Apple Sewing Practice Toy

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