Category Archives: Family

Happy 4th birthday Carlos

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Happy 4th birthday Carlos

To my sweet boy,

I can’t believe you are already turning 4! Time has flown by! I feel like every year will feel that way, especially since you are the baby in the family. We have shared many morning snuggles and late night leg rubs. If I could keep you & Emery as three-year olds I would. It has been such a fun year. Three is a time where you grow & gain just enough independence to make your mark.
You have been my little buddy while everyone was at school and at work. From car rides, library trips, park days to zoo days! We’ve had snuggle days where we cuddled in the blankets watching cartoons until one of us got hungry & days where an arm around each other made us feel better.
You’ve had your own bumps in the road to concur already, this up and coming year you will begin speech therapy at Emery’s school & at the Dr.’s. You are ready and excited! You don’t get upset when mommy teaches you, you just try harder. It’s the best attitude I could ask for.
You make me laugh everyday & let me kiss you a  million times everyday. I know each kiss is special because your only going to be 3 & my little baby for a tiny glimpse in our life before you are a grown person.

Thank you for this wonderful year.
We all love you Carlos

Year in review

  1. You single-handedly started Sunday Doughnut Day (thank you)
  2. One time Dad was showing me a sticker and before I said anything you said, “That’s clean”. Dad & I just looked at each other and started laughing.
  3. You love giving yourself “tiger stripes”
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  4. You have a big wind up when you run
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  5. You learned how to draw faces this year. I was in disbelief that you drew the photo but everyone said you did it. Then you drew a face right in front of me. I couldn’t believe how great it was!
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  6. Everyone who meets you loves you. You are a sweet & quiet little guy who loves to help
  7. For Halloween you wanted to be a “Tiger to scare your friends”.

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    You at gym daycare

  8. This year you have really come out of your shell and hug everyone. At great grandma and papa’s house you sit with them when they watch t.v.
  9. You are my Disney boy. Luckily Mommy & Daddy have been able to take you many times already. You love to go where your friends live ūüôā

    this is us missing Disneyland

  10. When your hungry you say, “I’m honey” & one of us will respond with, “hi honey“.
  11. “Dad stop. Stop Dad”. / “dop Dad”
  12. You started gymnastics this year!
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  13. “Ladies first!” what a gentleman I have.
  14. You can spell your name and recognize letters in your name
  15. Papa has convinced you that Grandma bit his finger off. You have fallen victim to an old myth
  16. You & mommy have a joke that this otter is poop.
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  17. You have a thing about lining things up. I love it.

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    I know who’s been here

  18. This year you got your very own big boy room! You did awesome sleeping in it and then not so awesome. Every night you sleep with mom and dad, but when you turn 4 the deal is you have to sleep in your room again. (I will sincerely miss you next to me).
  19. You had your first major road trip, 6 hours in the car! & you (&everyone else) were amazing!
  20. When we go to the park we play “Peoples” It’s like house. Your name is Dinosaur King (you made it up but it’s from a cartoon you watch called Dinosaur King) & I am always Suzzy Q. Sometimes you want to be a girl so we switch names.
  21. You went to The Grand Canyon in Arizona this year

    Any time you see images of the Grand Canyon you always say you’ve been there. It makes me really happy that you remember going at such a little age and really enjoyed it!
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  22. You visited The Hoover Dam in Nevada & Arizona (we crossed the border while we were there)
  23. & we visited the Route 66 Museumdscn3260
    You fell in love with a race car there
  24. You are so loving and sweet, you melt my heart daily
  25. If its time to leave somewhere you will go into a panic if Emery isn’t right next to you ready to go. No one left behind!
  26. “Mean yes”. If someone says “yeah” you are grammar control and quickly respond with, “mean yes”.
  27. EVER!!! (you mean NEVER!)
  28. When the cat meows you think he’s saying he wants to go back to Pet Smart to be with his friends
  29. Gerd. “I’m gerd mom”
  30. You love going over to Grandma Yvette’s house and playing with Serenity.
  31. You kept asking for waffles so Dad bought you a waffle maker special for you. Now mom is forced to make waffles at your will.
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  32. Your newest thing is going slow motion. Sometimes it’s so slow I can barely see you moving!
  33. you hate naps. You despise naps. you LOATH naps. To mention the word is a sin.
  34. If you ever become a coffee addict blame your father.
  35. Favorite movie РLand Before Time 16 (no exaggeration)  The Journey Of The Brave
  36. You still love Dinosaurs, Trains & Cars
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  37. Favorite colors are – Red, blue & orange
  38. Favorite ice cream – strawberry & chocolate chip
  39. When you grow up – You want to be a cop
  40. Favorite animal – The bear at the Zoo
  41. favorite Food – Ice Cream. Cold Ice Cream to be exact.
  42. Best Friend РMom (his words, I did not coerce him)
  43. Watching X Files with mama & saying, “dun, dun, duuuuun!” at the perfect time
  44. You are very good with  your colors & putting colors together to make new colors. You love making purple.
  45. You told you Em, “watch & learn”. It made mommy laugh
  46. Your thing is fake spitting into each hand, rubbing hands together then blowing on your hands. Such a tough guy thing to do.
  47. You love going to the Library with Momma & you love to be read to
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  48. Speaking of tough guy, you really wanting to punch a guy in the face, punch everyone and anyone if they do wrong to you! I told you to hide your tablet under the seat so the bad guys wouldn’t break into the car and get it, and ever since then you’ve talked about how if a bad man gets your tablet you’ll punch them!
  49. We call you the hype man. You always have a quick response.
  50. New favorite song is –¬†HandClap
  51. Around August you decided you wanted to grow your hair out. You don’t want to cut it until your birthday, but as the day approaches I think you will keep it.
    update –¬†Two days before your birthday you got your first big boy hair cut at a salon. You were perfect! No more long hair for you! Mommy ran her fingers through your hair one last time before you got it chopped off. Now you look like such a big kid!
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    Handsome as ever

  52. You love fruit! Apples, bananas (bo-nanas!), blackberries, oranges & strawberries (strawbeddies)!
  53. The way you look at me. You give me this look sometimes & you’ve done it since you were a baby. It’s like you are looking at me and admiring me. It’s a look of love.
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2016 A Year In Review

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2016 A Year In Review

As with every year 2016 gave us many surprises and much growth.

 

January Carlos turned 3 & we celebrated in San Jose at the Children’s Museum with an old friend of mine & Carlos’ Nina.

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February I celebrated turning 31 at Disneyland with Victor. Thank you Victor for the fun & the memories & thank you Mom for watching the kids!

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Victor started a new job for the county in March & we are all very proud of him

After my birthday trip I decided to change my life and have been on a weight loss / healthy life plan that will continue into the new year.

 

Carlos started gymnastics in March

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Emery had a Disney themed birthday party at home, with her kinder friends from school

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Emery & Carlos loved being over at Grandma Yvette’s this summer for swimming. Carlos got braved this year and learned to jump in, sometimes before mommy could get to the side to grab him, but that brave boy jumped in with his life jacket (in the shallow end) & would pop up out of the water so happy. & I would panic about it every time.

Victor celebrated his 13th birthday with a family road trip. It was the longest we have went on & we traveled 3 states. All the kids were 100% perfect! Not one complaint from Mommy or Daddy. Now we are looking into more road trips in the future.

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The Hoover Dam

 

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The Grand Canyon

&

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Historic Route 66

 

Victor started 8th grade & Emery started 1st grade

I continued volunteering at Emery’s school

 

Emery has decided not to further her gymnastics & wants to try Ballet or Hip Hop Dancing in 2017

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Carlos has decided to grow his hair out. He says he wants it cut on his birthday but as that day approaches it doesn’t seem likely. Mommy & Daddy love his long hair.

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Halloween

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After trick – or – treating so not everyone is in full costume. Aunty Serenity & Aunty Destiny stopped by to have some treats with us.

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Thanksgiving

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Spent the day at Great Grandma Mary & Great Papa Joe’s house¬†

2016 Family photo

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Meet Diego our newest pet. Not featured is our wonderful rabbit who doesn’t like to be held.

Christmas Eve was spent at Great Grandma & Grandpa’s house playing family board games and karaoke.

Christmas Day is of course and extra special event in our house hold with Victor’s birthday being the same day. We had lots of goodies and hung out with the family.

We have many wishes and goals for the up coming year!
Goodbye 2016 & hello to another year! See you all in the New Year.

Don’t forget to watch some of these adventures & many more on our YouTube

TAKING CALIFORNIA

 

 

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

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To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

So much has happened since your last birthday! It was a year of friendships, independence, growth and learning. Before I start your year in review I want you to know how very proud Mommy & Daddy are of you! Daily you exceed our expectations.
I know you have only completed Kindergarten so far, but we hope you continue your education for many years and live a long healthy life that brings you joy. You have a drive in you like I have never seen in anyone else. We only see a bright future for you and while I don’t want you to grow up anymore than you already have, Everyone can’t wait to see who you will become. Happy Birthday Emery, we love you so much!¬†

Emery’s year in review

You started Kindergarten

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I have never seen someone end the first day of Kindergarten with so much sass.

& completely nailed it!

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You worked hard & earned all your awards! Everyone is so proud of you!

 

You were in a winter performance & end of the school year talent show (Ariel’s Under The Sea song and dance)

 

You made new friendships

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Leelah, Emma B., Emma V. Kashia & Emery hanging out

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& miss Makayla

You had your first field trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo

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& mommy got to come along

We went to Disneyland for Halloween!

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Captain Hook (or Hoot as you say), Peter Pan & a lost boy.

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As a 5 year old you were a Kinder Kid in gymnastics. You finally learned how to do the monkey bars! Your forward and backward rolls are great! Your cartwheels are getting better (just remember to go fast and straight legs!) and Your jumps and finishes are amazing! Miss Kaitlyn says, “Shes been ready for level 1 for a long time.”

As a family we started Vlogging on YouTube. Whenever we go some where, Mom is forced to capture the moments! (I say forced because I always kick myself for never bringing the camera. Vlogging makes sure I do it!).

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We went on a few snow trips to the Sequoia National Forest

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We took a trip to San Jose & went to The Children’s Discovery Museum! It was mommy’s favorite museum as a kid & I was so excited to take you two!

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You painted your own face & gave yourself a mustache. Mustaches are still an obsession with you.

We went to Zoo Lights with Aunty Brandi & had a blast!

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& we found Santa!

 

Your favorite days were spirit days at school.
[Halloween, Crazy hair & favorite decade]

 

Mommy got to dress up with you and help paint nails on Carnival day at school

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We made a gingerbread house for the first time (& possibly last time)

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Because you did so well in school & were Student Of The Month, you got to go on an extra special field trip to the movies to see Angry Birds.

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You said good-bye to Mrs. Jasso’s Kinder class

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& you took one last school photo with some friends

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& some school friends came over a week later to wish you a happy 6th birthday!

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& here are all the memorable things you did & said while you were 5:

  1. Driving by, The Island car-wash and Emery said, “The Island” [ME: “Very good Emery!”] Emery: “What did you think I was going to say? Is land?” [ME: :|]
  2. Favorite color: Yellow
  3. Favorite Cartoon: Hotel Transylvania 2
  4. Favorite Holiday: “Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Family Day & also that green Day … leprechaun Day”
  5. You did most cartwheels in your gymnastic’s class (25!) for Cartwheel-a-thon
  6. You want to be a Scientist when you grow up

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    Dad bought you a lab coat & goggle’s so you could be a scientist for career day.

  7. Whats cooking homie
  8. Clownin
  9. You love family movie night
  10. Favorite Disneyland ride: Star Tours & Storyland (the boat ride that starts off by going in Monstro’s mouth)
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  11. You love tea, especially on a cold night Dad will make you chamomile with honey
  12. You love chili
  13. Instead of “la cucaracha” you sing it, “Sriracha, sriracha!”
  14. Carlos I need some space to myself real quick, then we’ll be cool
  15. Mc Donald’s #2 is your favorite
  16. You love to put on your pink lipstick on. Sometimes a dark pink and a light pink mixture.
  17. What’s that whale’s name in Pinocchio? Nostrol?
  18. You love to watch make-up tutorials & cosplay tutorials.
  19. Every night you sleep with a stuffed animal. (mommy & daddy love it)
  20. You know where Grandma’s peanut stash is and either ask her for some when you visit or let her know she needs to buy some more
  21. You love Tim Burton’s work. Your newest find – Beetlejuice
  22. You learned how to ride your bike in Dec. inside the house with no training wheels!
  23. you love to make “potion” with your shampoo
  24. You cut the top of your hair right before school started
  25. What kind of animal is this” – something I don’t want to think about every night at dinner
  26. Chocolate chips are the most important part of cookies” – Emery

The Children’s Discovery Museum

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The Children’s Discovery Museum

We took the kids to my favorite museum in San Jose. It’s hands on and educational but you would never guess it by the kids laughing the whole day. I think its safe to say, we have a new favorite spot to visit!
If you enjoy this video please subscribe to our YouTube channel Taking California & hit like! Right now its only my daughter liking our videos because she feels bad.

 

To my sweet monkey boy

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To my sweet monkey boy

I can remember looking at you as a tiny new person in this world thinking, “what will you become … how will you change my life”
It’s only going to be three years and nothing has been the same since I first saw you. Everyday Dad and I say, “he’s so funny and has so much personality” and its true. You make this family complete and my heart is whole.
This last year we have had so many great memories and lots of hardship. You’ve changed so much and have become such a big boy!
This is your year in review …

  • We celebrated you turning 2 with a Dinosaur party that was really awesome!¬†Carlos Bday 2 041
  • Your favorite Dinosaur is a T -Rex & you pretend your a baby T-Rex
  • Favorite cartoons are – Dinosaur Train, Cat In The Hat & Daniel Tiger
  • You also love to pretend your a puppy but more than that you like to pretend you are a monkey and hang on things “hoo hoo ha ha”
  • You & sister love to play “hide out” and make tents in the room
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  • You love tablet time with your tablet or watching shows with sister
  • For the first time this year you called Emery by her name! You also called her Ava and sis but you mostly stick with the name you gave her “wee wee” & that’s what mom and dad call her too (because its special).
  • Disneyland is your favorite place ever & you ask to go everyday.
  • You told mommy your favorite ride at Disneyland was the “whale ride” (Story Land). It was mommy’s first time going on it; hard to believe because I’ve been to Disneyland so many times, and even though its by far not one of my favorite rides its special to me because I went on it the first time with my two babies.

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    Kids waving to Dad & Mom vlogging

  • You love the Disney characters at the park! Your shyness goes away and hug everyone and take photos. It amazes me to see you so happy and out of your shell.
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  • You are so sincere. You care & when you do bad you will come back to say you are sorry for your mistake. I really like that about you, it shows you care and it impacted you.
  • If I ask you, “are you okay?” you wont just say “yes” you tell the truth and always say, “no” haha.
  • You get upset a lot
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  • You make the funniest mad face ever
  • You have the best expressions
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  • You ooze personality
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    Vampire Pirate

    “Let me see your eye Pirate” – Uncovers his eye hiding from the patch haha

  • Loud noises bother you
  • You went to the snow for the first time at Sequoia National Park
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  • You haven’t figured out how to use “I” in sentences. Everything is “me want to” “me no like” but our¬†¬†favorite is¬†“me do me do!”
  • This year you got potty trained! ¬†& pretty fast ¬†ūüôā
  • Mommy finally weaned you off of ninny. It was bitter sweet and I think we both miss it still.
  • ¬†You and Dad call our bed the monkey nest
  • You like to wet your hair and slick it back. I think you look like Dad when he was a kid.
  • You have a red tricycle that you are very good at riding. You ride it in the house every day and park it out side the room you go to. It’s really cute.
  • You hate water in your face but you are brave enough to lay on your back in the tub
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  • Favorite cereal – Lucky Charms

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    Mondays … Am I right?

  • For some reason you think I want all of your boogers … I don’t. Stop giving them to me.
  • “oh. Yeah, silly me”
  • You love vegetables. It’s the first thing you will eat on a plate. Broccoli is your fave.
  • Favorite fruits – strawberries. green apples, tomatoes & oranges
  • “what’s cooking homie”
  • At the check out – “Thank you homie” ūüėź
  • Monkey hands
    (mittens we bought specifically because you needed more “monkey hands”)
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  • & Monkey feet

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    Mittens on the feet to look like monkey feet is genius! & Hilarious

  • You love going over to Grandma Yvette’s house & Great Grandma & Papa’s house but you don’t like saying hi but love to say bye.
  • “Lion King your head” is either your insult or a joke.
  • You love the beach but it took you awhile to get into the water. You said you were scared because the whales and sharks lived in the water. Very smart for a 2 year old to recognize!
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    Look at that worried face.

    Happy third birthday my son son. We love you so much!! Here’s to many more years of happiness and growth.¬†

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It finally happened …

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After years of talking about it, being frustrated, tired, sore, isolated, teased and “trying”. It finally happened. Carlos has been weaned off of “ninny” and I’m free of breastfeeding! Quick, someone hand me a beer! Not only am I not limited to how many I can have or at what hour I need to stop let’s be honest … this is a victory (for me anyway).

When Carlos turned one, every night during prayers I would tell him soon he wouldn’t have milk and how he really didn’t need it anymore. He was a big boy and how he could have milk or water in a cup. Every night he agreed by shaking his head that he understood. But, when push came to shove he didn’t follow through with our plan. For two years I tried telling him he was a big kid but every afternoon and night he would want “nin” to go to bed. And while breastfeeding is extremely easy, its that easiness that can get you in a deep whole of dependence. Hurt? crying? tired? here have some milk! When the answer is right in front of you (literally) it’s easy to just do it.

After feeding during the night he would wake up and want “nin” right away, and it was even to the point that he would cry about it. It was exhausting to be a prisoner to it. As much as I loved¬†feeding him and bonding it was too much. Luckily my husband was very supportive and we didn’t feel a need to force him to stop but we agreed that he should stop before the age of 3 (which at this point was a month away). I could handle him crying but the real question was could the rest of the family deal with it in the middle of the night?

The Thanksgiving break seemed like my one and only shot and getting this right. Emery was out of school, little Victor wouldn’t be home and maybe we could politely ask dad to leave the room for the week while I learned how to put a baby to bed without milk.

First night was a disaster. I almost gave in. Carlos was screaming his head off … and when I say screaming I don’t mean crying really loud, I mean sitting there full force screaming until he got his way. While I ignore the sound, dad has a harder time letting go of control and I was in between two alpha male personalities howling at each other (wow, that sounds much nicer than it was). Eventually the screaming subsided, he asked for an orange (normally I would not give him food late or in bed but if it was to calm him down, sure take an orange) and he fell a sleep. He woke once asked for it and went back to bed. Hallelujah!
The next few days followed suite, but with less screaming. He hasn’t taken naps unless they are in the car because I don’t know how to give him a nap with out milk and he wont take a nap during the day. Once a day he’ll ask for “ninny” jokingly or just to say it but doesn’t fuss or bother about it. How fast he was weaned has been amazing.

Still nights can be hard and I think if he was breastfeed he would be a sleep right now and I could do my crafting or be out of the bedroom instead of him forcing me to be in ¬†the room with him. That is our newest big struggle, and personally I feel some what useless now;¬†Carlos has made huge strides in the past 3 months, potty trained and weaned … where do I fit in? My baby is now a big boy … something I wanted but now that it has happened I feel kind of empty. I see him tired but I cant help to put him to bed, he’s hurt and I cant comfort him like the way I know how and lately I’ve had a hard time sleeping. I wake up at night and I see everyone sleeping comfortably and all through the night and I’m tossing and turning wanting to feed someone haha. Maybe not that last part but I think I am use to wake up several times at night that I’m finding it weird to just be me again.

 

 

Potty training

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Potty training

Two weeks¬†ago I decided to potty train Carlos using the one week trick. I finally had a week where we weren’t running around all day doing errands. Carlos is the same age Emery was when she stopped wearing diapers. I didn’t¬†blog about potty training Emery but she was half way potty trained at 2. Then I got pregnant and really sick and she back peddled big time. Once Carlos came I had a rough time changing two kids. One day I got really upset about having to stop and change her pooped diaper before leaving the house. I said what I had to say at home and once we got into the truck it was over. While I drove to my mom’s house Emery brought up how she was sorry about pooping herself. I mostly listened and she said, “I’m deciding to not poop or pee in the diaper anymore“. Of course I thought what a wonderful idea and from that conversation she never did. Once Emery sets her mind to an idea she does it.

I’ve only ever heard that a boy is harder to potty train. Well, if Emery basically just decided to go at two, I figured I had some actual work cut out for me. There are many¬†methods and techniques. Carlos didn’t fit into the mold of watching his reaction and running to the restroom. He was really nonchalant about the whole thing. I decided the best thing for us would be bribery. What? Is that bad?

We made a Target trip Friday morning after dropping Emery off at school, and got lots of toys in the dollar section. For some reason we made our way to the toy aisle and Carlos fell in love with a big T-Rex toy. Carlos loves a lot of things but one of his favorite things are T-Rex dinosaurs! Of course it came with a little price tag so we talked it over and decided this toy would be our, no more diapers reward! Carlos knew and told everyone he wanted the big T-Rex toy and he had to poo poo toilet to get it.

I like to use the toilet seat top instead of the little fake toilets when I potty train. I feel like it gets them ready to go on the big toilet so its not intimidating especially when you have to do a store potty run. Also, I don’t like the idea of dumping crap out of a poop bowl and having to wash that. Kinda defeats the purpose of me having a little break from changing diapers during the process.

On Monday I printed out a Everybody Poops cartoon image of Batman (his favorite super hero). We talked about how he is using the restroom and Carlos colored it. Before Monday the family spent months saying how we all go poo poo toilet and don’t pee pee our pants. I used our newest cousin baby Dominick as an example as a little baby who needs diapers. I felt like that was me trying to shame him so I used that example with caution and tried not to use it with anger.

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All set up, each time Carlos went to the bathroom he would get to pick his reward or get hand stamp!

Found some goodies at Michaels summer clearance section too!

Found some goodies at Michaels summer clearance section too!

He loves getting his hand stamped

He loves getting his hand stamped

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There was a few little bumps in the road, one or two pee accidents in the beginning and about 4 dirty underwear and 2 poop on the floor incidents. One of them happened one morning when I was cleaning the house and didn’t check on him. Luckily it was a super easy clean up, he was sorry (his classic “sorry mom. sorry again mom” line) and we both learned something. He would try harder because big boys don’t poop themselves and he couldn’t get his T-Rex reward if he pooped his pants. I learned Carlos is a morning dropper.

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When Emery was in school Carlos would be with out pants so he felt awkward and didn’t have that security to want to have an accident in his underwear.

Any time we left the house I had his little seat in a tote with us. We took it to Papa and Grandma’s house and to gymnastics. I didn’t want to have to put him in a diaper at all (besides bed time) and have him confused or only potty training half the day.

Within the first week he got the hang out it and pooped underwear where a thing of the past. He caught on so fast it surprised us. We made a second trip to Target to refill his bucket.

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Carlos also got a small T-Rex toy for finally going poo poo toilet (which is the hardest part of potty training). He also has been taking his nap with no bottoms on or in his underwear without any accidents. I find that to be really impressive. The hardest part I would think, would be teaching a child not to pee at night but I am super lucky that both Emery and Carlos (knock on wood) have never given me any trouble with peeing the bed (something I struggled with as a child).

He was excited to get some new T-Rex's but decided he only wanted one and not two

He was excited to get some new T-Rex’s but decided he only wanted one and not two (what kind of kid demands only one new toy?)

After the second week of potty training and consistent poo poo in the toilet use, Carlos earned his big reward!

Dad surprised him with his big reward after his nap!

Dad surprised him with his big reward after his nap!

Have you ever seen a child so happy? You earned it kid!

Have you ever seen a child so happy? You earned it kid!

So two weeks later, I am making it official, my child is potty trained! A major milestone in becoming a big kid. While I don’t miss changing diapers it’s one more thing making me realize he’s our last little baby and he’s growing daily. I’m proud of you kid!