Thursday, June 30, 2011


  • Let the record show that while Roger has been gone this week the Tots and I have eaten all our meals at home! No fast food, no dinners at restaurants, no take-out, no pizza delivery. I'm pretty proud of that because it's not usually true even when I'm not single-momming-it.
  • I've kept up with the laundry (even folding!) and the house is (relatively) clean. The sink has been empty of dishes every single night this week. 
  • We haven't been late to anything we've actually been able to do. We've had a couple of rough patches with nap/bed times and at times Ian has been in super-meltdown mode, but for the most part we've all kept our patience and energy.
  • We have eaten fresh vegetables from our garden with dinner every night. 
  • Ian has been enjoying "Games Games Games" camp this week as part of Monroeville's summer parks and recreation programming. 
  • We are looking forward to a long weekend of reconnecting with daddy and spending some serious quality time together. I hope that's in his plan too. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What we've been up to

CAMPING



ENJOYING FRESH BERRIES, PEAS, & BEANS (from our garden!)



GOING TO IDLEWILD PARK!




Monday, June 27, 2011

Tooth Update: Lauren

Lauren is now the proud owner of her third tooth! The top front right tooth finally broke through on Sunday, after weeks of being "right there."

It looks like numbers 4-6 are right on the brink, too. I bet she'll have four on top and 2 on the bottom by her birthday.

Another milestone in the books!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Home

Here it is, folks. The best toy we've ever owned for the early toddler age! Please don't buy it from Amazon, though. You can find them easily for $25 or less at garage sales or Craig's List. (We got our's for $20 on Craig's List. My sister got her's for $5 at a garage sale...well, papa saw it. Good find, Papa!)

It's a thin doorway that has the inside of the "home" on one side and the outside on the other. It stands about 30 inches tall and including the base is about 2 feet wide. It sounds big, but really, it's quite low-profile.

The door swings so you can go through the tunnel and it plays music when you open the door, ring the door bell, switch on the porch light, open the window, feed the dog, etc.

All three of our children have loved it. We just got it out of storage again for Lauren and it turns out, the 4 year old and 2.75 year old still like to play with it too! I can't tell you how many hours our children have spent playing with that door, but I think I would have felt I got my money's worth no matter what I paid for it.

If you have a toddler or know someone who does or know someone who is going to have a toddler, you need to start watching for one of these babies. Trust me. You will not be disappointed and neither will your child, grandchild, friend, etc. It's really that great.

Do you have a Fisher Price Laugh and Learn home? Does your child love it as much as my children do? Did you pay full price or score it at a yard sale?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frequent Customer Card for the Emergency Department

They should make those. And we should have one.

A couple weeks ago, Aaron had yet another trip to the Emergency department at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital. His shoes were wet and his foot slipped off our bottom stair step. The momentum of his forward motion (to go up the steps) forced his cheek to smack into the second step causing a big bruise and minor cut. At first I didn't think it was a big injury, but as the minutes ticked on and he kept crying, I started to get worried. As we were leaving for our early afternoon trip to ride the Kiski Junction Railroad, Aaron was trying to eat his lunch in the car. Every bite he took caused him to wince and cry in pain on the side of his mouth that hit the step. So we detoured to the ER instead of the train. Turns out he was fine, but the whole way there I was worried about a broken jaw. Can you even imagine a 2.5 year old with a broken jaw?

The very next day, Lauren climbed up our two steps to the bedrooms/bathroom while I was making the beds. Instead of coming to find me like she usually does, though, she stopped there, at the edge of the steps. As I was walking toward her to pluck her from peril, she leaned forward and went head first down the two steps. She had a huge black and blue mark smack dab in the middle of her forehead.

A few days later, Ian fell off the monkey bars at the playground and scratched his lip. The next day after that, Lauren fell forward while learning to stand and smashed her lip on the hardwood floor. The day after that Ian had a bike wreck and skinned his elbow. Sometime last week Lauren bonked her head on the steps again and has a serious shiner under her right eye. I should've taken a picture of my first kid to get their first black eye, but I just didn't have the heart.

Aaron got his leg pinched in the shopping cart at the grocery store over the weekend and slipped in the parking lot today and skinned his knee. Ian got his finger pinched in the bathroom door right before naptime.

Seriously. I am not making this up.


Someone gets hurt here every single day. I have a "bad mom" complex in the back of my head. I mean, I know I'm not a bad mother, but when we have daily (and sometimes multiple-times-daily) injuries that were somewhat preventable had my attention not been split 3 ways, I start to wonder whether I'm really cut out for this job.

Meanwhile, we have bandaids stocked on both floors of the house, bandaids in the van, bandaids in the diaper bag, a full first-aid kit in the van, the number for Children's on speed-dial.

Such is life for a family with three very active toddlers, right?

The hardwood floors and blacktop driveway don't help though.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet!

I think I may have posted this once before, but since I was folding sheets just now, thinking about my friend Molly Piper, I wanted to share it with you again!

Here's Molly teaching the world to fold fitted sheets nicecly! (Mine don't turn out as nice as her's usually, but they're better than the sheet-balls I used to cram into the linen closet!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lauren is 11 Months Old

It's just so hard to believe. My baby is going to be a year old in just 1 short month. How did that happen? Where has the time gone?

She spends a lot of time like this! (taken this morning)

She's crawling with her belly off the floor and cruising the furniture. She can stand alone for 5-10 seconds, but I've seen her go up to like a minute before, too.

She is having all kinds of conversations with us, even if we can't understand her.

She loves her brothers. And they love her!

She is still nursing several times a day and when she gets hurt or upset.

Last week at the doctor she weighed 18 pounds 15 ounces and I think she's about 28 or 29 inches. She's grown long and lean! She is still wearing 9 months size clothes, though. She doesn't like her clothes to be big in the neck at all. If they are, she pulls at them and stretches them all out. So we're enjoying some extra time in her cute 9 months clothes!

I ordered her birthday invitations on Monday. I just can't wrap my brain around it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting the Last Word on Father's Day

No, I didn't forget it was father's day. And it's a total cop out to say the kids and I have been sick since about Tuesday... but...

The kids and I have been sick since about TUESDAY.

Not a whole lot gets done when mama and her three babies are sick all at the same time. Thank goodness my parents were here early last week and got our clean laundry all folded up for us. I haven't run the washing machine since about Tuesday and it shows. (EEK!)

Anyway, It would be terrible of me to let Roger's fourth Father's Day pass without publicly saying how much we love him. Often under-appreciated and always overworked, he's the best thing that ever happened to me! He has given me the 3 most incredible little people in the whole world and I'm so blessed to be married to him.

Roger and I don't really do holidays for each other and that's totally fine for us. We tend to stick to writing nice things about each other and speaking highly of each other as often as we can.

He's the best dad I've ever seen. He treasures every minute he gets with his children. He actually plays with them. He puts the boys to bed every night. He reads to them, he brushes their teeth, he comforts them. From the moment he gets home each day until the kids are in bed he is with them. It's fantastic to experience. He's just a great dad.

So happy father's day to my beloved husband and the father of my children. I helped and reminded the kids to tell him often (as I do every day) how much they love him and I hope he really, really knows how much we love him.

Since my dad reads here too, I'll send a shout out to him too! Happy father's day, Daddy. You're the best daddy a girl could ask for and I hope you know how much we love you.

God Bless Dads.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Take 3 Kids to the Movies

The last movie I saw in the movie theater? The Simpson's Movie. Yep. That came out in 2007. Roger and I used to go to the movies a lot in the BC* (*before children) days. Our movie going abruptly halted when Ian was born. (Why? 1. We would rather spend 3 hours alone eating a nice dinner or going to a musical or something like that. 2. In order to go to a movie we would have to line up babysitting for 3 kids. Add that to the price of movie tickets...it's just not worth it. I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather spend 80 bucks on.)

So how do we get to see the movies we really want to see and not have to spend an extra $50 on a babysitter?

We go to the drive-in.



It's the perfect place, really. Nobody cares (much) if your kids talk a little bit or are not motionless during the show.

Most recently we went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 (on it's opening weekend, no less!). We chose a Sunday night to avoid the crowds. The drive-in lady told us that Friday & Saturday nights are ridiculously busy so if you can swing a weeknight instead, you'll be much happier.

The drive-in we went to allows outside food. Not all of them do, so we decided to drive 15 minutes longer to get to the one that does.

The cost to get in the gate was $12 for the van-load.

We arrived about an hour and a half before the movie was supposed to start. We wanted to be right up front so there weren't any people/distractions between the kids and the movie screen. We took a kiddie golf set and a soccer ball to play while we waited.

We ate dinner before we went and bought snacks and drinks at Wal-mart. Honestly, we wouldn't have even needed to buy snacks. Ian & Aaron were so excited about the experience they wouldn't have noticed.

We took pajamas for the kids and did Aaron's nebulizer before we left home. We also took our picnic blanket, lawn chairs, and the kids' couch.

By the time the movie ended, Lauren was sleeping and the boys were exhausted. They fell asleep in the car and we put them in their beds when we got home.

It's a great way to spend time as a family and to see new movies.

Here's some tips:

  • Try to find a drive-in that allows outside food/drinks and charges by the car load (or for adults only.) if your drive-in doesn't allow outside food, make sure you eat a big dinner beforehand and give each kid a couple dollars to spend (and that's it.)
  • Take the kids' pajamas, blankies, etc. Everything you need to be able to pop them into bed when you get home.
  • Arrive early so you can get a spot right up front and go on a weeknight if you can swing it.
  • Buy snacks modestly. You don't really need much. The kids will love the experience with or without all the munchies.
  • Take bug spray. You'll want to hit your ankles and back of the neck for the dusk mosquitoes.
  • Take sweatshirts. Although the last time we went it was 89 degrees at 9pm, we've also been there when it got down to 50 and we were freezing. 
  • ENJOY!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Add caption
  • This week our children have had a yucky illness. We're not exactly sure what it is, but the pediatrician said she's never seen a throat that looked like Aaron's that wasn't strep. Even though their rapid strep tests were negative. So we're going with the strep diagnosis. It's been a lot of sore throats, fevers, antibiotics, and fussing.
  • I have absolutely no idea what, if anything, we are going to do for father's day. Traditionally, I have liked to spend it in a way that I can be with both my husband and my father. We'll see ho everyone is feeling, I guess. 
  • I'm trying to exercise restraint in the planning of Lauren's first birthday. I'm trying to remind myself that she won't care if it's extravagant. I'm trying. It's hard. Have you looked at "little girl stuff" lately? It's making financial prudence difficult. 
  • Ian and Aaron are so excited for Cars 2, I'm pretty sure their heads are going to explode when we finally get to see the movie (at the drive-in, probably.)
  • I'm going to write a post on taking a family of 5 to the drive-in. I'm also going to blog about the best toy we have: the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn door. It's the one thing all three kids have spent hours doing!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Photo Booth Babies

Did you notice the garbage cans AND diaper change in the background?










Saturday, June 11, 2011

Caesar Salad for Snack

We went to a birthday party tonight. Ian & Aaron gorged themselves on candies, cakes, chips, snacks, & pop. When we got home Roger asked what the boys wanted as bedtime snack and Ian asked for...



Caesar Salad.

What interesting children we've been blessed with! (Aaron is having cheese.)


Salmon Rewards

Last night for dinner Roger had salmon (baked in foil with some spices and soy sauce) and I had walleye (baked in foil with butter, bread crumbs, and lemon slices.) I made chicken for the boys because they have not liked fish in the past.

Aaron checking out the fish at Wholey's fish market yesterday
We were headed to Target after dinner so I told Ian if he ate bites of the two kinds of fish, he could earn money for the dollar bin. (We always ask the kids to try new foods we are eating even if they haven't liked them in the past anyway, so this was just to sweeten the deal.)

Ian:  Is this daddy's fish or mommy's fish?
Roger: That's daddy's fish. It's called salmon.
Ian: [munching] Yeah. I like this. The flavor tastes good.
Aaron: [putting a piece of salmon in his mouth, making a weird face] yeah! Daddy's fissss is good.
Me: Did you know salmon is Isaac's favorite food?
Ian: Mine too. It tastes really delicious. But I don't like mommy's fish. I don't like the lemon.
Me: That's fine, you don't have to eat it. Thanks for trying it.
Ian: [eating more salmon] mmmmmm. So that's three dollars. At least.

Sometimes we bribe our kids to do things we know they're going to like if they just try it. Sometimes peer pressure is good. Really good.


(Ian is an avid caesar salad eater because he learned it from his cousin Isaac. And to know Isaac loves salmon probably helps a lot too! Aaron eats a lot of interesting thing because Ian does. I think it's awesome!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mom's Night Out!

Ian didn't nap yesterday. He never naps when it's really important. I ground hamburger at 4:00, cooked dinner, dined lightly with my family. I got pajamas, diapers, milk cups, medicines, etc. all ready for the night and then...

I slipped out the door.

Alone.

I didn't turn on the radio on the way. The silence... was amazing.

I worried the entire time about Roger at home. Not because I thought he wasn't capable of handling things at home. He's fully capable. He just doesn't do it often, so he doesn't have the technique and coping mechanisms down pat like I do. I'm certain it was stressful for him...even scary. If I was not "used" to caring for a 4 year old, 2.5 year old, and 10 month old all by myself all the time, I would've been petrified.

I met six other ladies from my mom's group for a dinner out and a celebration of the impeding birth of a new baby into the community. We ate. We talked. We laughed. We cried. It was beautiful.

When I got home, all the kids were sound asleep. I gave Roger his cannoli and went into their bedrooms to kiss and re-tuck. I flopped into bed.

This morning the kids are happy and no worse for the wear.

I often wonder why I don't do that more often... and the answer is because I miss them. I enjoy spending my days (and nights) with my children and I don't require much time to myself to recharge my batteries. It was the first time in 10 months I'd left Lauren. The first time in 9 or so months that I'd been away from the boys. And it doesn't really bother me. It is nice to know that I can go, though. I'm happy nobody had any meltdowns and nobody cried endlessly. And that this morning, I have renewed patience and happiness for my position in this life.

Happy Mom's Night Out, my friend. See you soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Never-Ending Parent

A friend of mine posted this the other day and I really thought it was great! So I'm sharing it with you!

The Never-Ending Parent


The Never-Ending Parent
Sometimes it’s hard to be a good parent.
Sometimes you wonder why you’re not like others
Who make themselves the priority, who are stern and unyielding
Or who let everybody else take care of their kids.
Sometimes you envy them their time, their space,
Their full night’s sleep.
Sometimes you start doubting yourself and wondering
If you really are just crazy, being this kind of parent
In this kind of world.
Your house is noisy and full of chaos
And you wonder if it will last forever.
I have a secret.  If you keep this up….
It will.
Think of it.
When you get up at 3 a.m. because your baby cries, think of the time
When he’s a teenager and calls at 3 a.m. to say he needs a ride
Instead of getting in the car with his drunk friends
Because he knows he can be honest with you and that he can count on you.
When you take the time to explain “why” for the hundredth time today
Wondering if you will ever get a moment’s peace and quiet,
Think of the days when your daughter is grown and on her own
And will still call because she loves your conversations.
When you discount all the well-meaning people who tell you to let your baby cry
And you go to him, hold him, comfort him anyway
Think ahead to the times when he’ll be a strong, secure, independent kid
And those people say “I don’t know how you were blessed with such an easy child.”
When you nurse your daughter and hold her close
Spoiling her with all that love and care, think of the time
When you’ll overhear her tell a friend
“My mom and I have always been so close.”
When the house is full of noise, mess and chaos
Think of the days when the kids are grown, and it will start all over
With your grandchildren, because your family is so bonded
That everybody still gathers at your loving home.
No, if you keep this up it will never change.
Your children will be in your life forever.
And honey, you’ll love the noise.
~ Alicia Bayer

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Changing Diapers: Modern Cloth Diapers Made Easy!



This is a book about cloth diapering in the 21st century. Although I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet, I hope to! I'm happy to announce you can order Kelly Wels' book using the link in this post or at the side of the this blog. When you order by clicking through 'Burgher Tots, you will be supporting us, too! It's a great program and I can't wait to get started.

Here's the details from Kelly's website:


Why Join the Cloth Diapering Movement?
  • Baby loves a soft, fluffy butt.
  • You save big bucks and the planet.
  • Eco-friendly cloth diapers are fashionable too.
  • Yes, cloth diapering is fun for moms (and dads).
The leading cloth diaper expert Kelly Wels has gotcha covered in this definitive guide to everything you need to know (and forgot to ask) about cloth diapering.





Monday, June 6, 2011

30 Month Well Visit?

Does your pediatrician do 30 month (2.5 year) well visits? Our's didn't until recently, apparently. Ian did not have a 30 month well visit. I thought going a whole year between 2 and 3 seemed like a really long time (even though we have been there for sick visits), but I just do what they tell me to do!

On Friday, Aaron's nebulizer broke. When I called to get a new one, the nurse told me Aaron needed to see the doctor. I didn't know if it was because he's wheezing and they wanted to see him for a sick visit or something to do with prescribing a new nebulizer or what. When we got there this morning, I found out it was because he missed his 2 1/2 year well visit! I didn't know he was supposed to have one! We don't miss well visits. I'm annoyed.

So Aaron had a check-up today and is doing well.

He's 28 pounds even (25th percentile).
He's 36 inches tall (25th percentile).

He had to get a shot today, which was a surprise... he did fine though.

Aaron is also the proud new owner of an actual inhaler for keeping in the diaper bag. I expressed my concern that on hot, humid days when we are out running around and playing sometimes Aaron starts coughing and retracting. I hardly had the words out of my mouth when his pediatrician announced he would be getting the inhaler so we could keep it with us at all times. I don't necessarily think it is a dire situation, more like... he's had a couple of "episodes" that concerned me and it's for peace of mind.

So that's that. Aaron's growing and doing well. I'm pleased!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Happy Baby Company!



I'm very excited to announce that 'Burgher Tots is now an affiliate of Happy Baby Company, Pittsburgh's go-to natural baby store!

If you need cloth diapers and diaper care accessories, natural baby products, babywearing accessories, toys, nursing pads or even natural clothes, it's the place to shop!

Don't hesitate to order even if you're not from Pittsburgh because they have free shipping!

Just remember when you're ready to shop for the first time at Happy Baby Company, you can help me earn credits at HBC too by clicking on the link in the post or on the right side of our site! Happy Shopping!

You can use the "NEW2HBC" sale code on your order. It will get you 10% OFF of an order over $30. ***This is a one-time use code***



***This is a Referral Program***
It is for NEW customers only. If you have shopped with HBC before, you can still use my link to get to HBC, but I will not receive any credit. Your order also runs the risk of being canceled if you use the referral coupon and are not a new customer.

'Burgher Thoughts

  • We went to my cousin Blake's wedding yesterday and it took us forever to drive there. Google said it was going to take 2 hours & 25 minutes. It took us closer to 3:25 once we added in extra parkway traffic, a pee stop, a few slow drivers in front of us and a wrong turn. Once we got there, though, Ian and Aaron had the best time dancing. I'm hoping and praying someone got it on video and can send it to us! I literally peed my pants watching, laughing, and enjoying their rad moves.
  • Ian, Aaron, Lauren & I met up with some friends and picked strawberries on Friday morning. We picked 12 pounds of strawberries. Once we got home, we processed the berries and made 5 batches of freezer jam. That's 30- 8oz jars. That should get us through the year! :-) Making jam is one of those things that really makes me feel like a country mama. My grandmas made jam, my mom and aunts make it, my sisters, etc. It's something that connects me to the best women I know. I love doing it. I hope my daughter (and sons?) love making jam someday too. Also, I'm sunburned despite wearing sunscreen and my muscles in my legs are sore. Add berry picking to doing the twist & chicken dance with a baby on my back....youch!
  • Tomorrow is Ian's first day of science camp and I'm nervous! I know he's going to love it, but... it's five straight days of 9am-12pm away from home! The most he's ever done was Tues-Wed-Thurs 9-11:30. He's going to be exhausted. I'm gonna miss him!)
  • Yesterday I saw a car with a mom & dad in the front seat and three little ones (7 & under I'm guessing) in the back seat. The kids were not in car seats or even buckled as far as I could tell. I wanted to shake those stupid people. We try not to call people stupid in this house, but seriously? Not properly restraining your children in  the car is just plain stupid. Nevermind illegal... bozos!
  • I'm still soliciting recommendations for a summer baby carrier... the Ergo is hot. When I wear Lauren in it (every.single.day.) we both need a change clothes due to sweat. Are there any cooler ones out there? I still need it to be comfortable for extended use... is the Ergo my best bet despite being hot? Ideas, please!



Eatin' Spaghetti

Doesn't every kid have a spaghetti picture?

Lauren had fully sauced & cheesed spaghetti the other night for the very first time. She loved it! She had 3 servings.