Monday, August 3, 2009

The Princess & the Potty

Tonight marks a glorious occasion: Olivia went pee in the potty for the first time! Just when I was about to throw in the towel too...seriously. She has gone #2 in the potty about 4 times...but completely at random and only after much coercing and bribing.

Earlier this evening, darling little Olivia had just about the worst fit ever over a pack of Pez I wouldn't let her eat right before dinner. She screamed so loud and for so long that it resulted in me completely losing my cool (and Dennis running downstairs with a really worried look on his face.) After a few minutes of complete chaos, calm returned for long enough for us to eat dinner. Olivia ONLY ate broccoli tonight - no chicken. Oh well. And then a few minutes later, she says, "Mommy, I have to use the potty!" And before I know it, she is peeing like a big girl and I am jumping up and down with joy and calling Dennis into the bathroom to come and look! She got her princess sticker to add to her potty chart and her beloved purple pack of Pez.

Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions!

I know this is just the beginning of the long journey down the potty training road. I just thought I'd share this amazing moment with you all.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've been working full-time lately to help support our family with Dennis being unemployed and all. It's really taking its toll on me. Everyday is a challenge. Everyday I feel less and less connected with my friends, the world, and my family. It's really hard, I'm not going to lie. However, after much contemplation and due to the fact that I can't sleep and I'm pretty much delirious right now...I started thinking about all of the GOOD things that have come out of this.

Good thing #1: the smile on Olivia's face when my car pulls into the garage is PRICELESS.

Good thing#2: the relationship between Dennis & Olivia is amazing. I cannot even believe it at times. For example, this evening my mom & sister (two of Olivia's all-time favorite people) picked her up to take her to get a frozen yogurt. Supposedly she cried and cried for "Dennis" as they drove away. Just thinking about this brings tears to my eyes.

Good thing #3: Dennis cleans. It's not what you might call "my version of clean" but I'll take what I can get.

Good thing #4: sometimes Dennis has a glass of wine ready for me before I even walk in the door.

Good thing #5: to me, Olivia is freaking adorable even if she's throwing a fit. That's what M&M's are for... hahaha.

Don't get me wrong, I CANNOT wait to work less. These are just a few things that get me through the day.

To my friends: I miss you.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Erin, this is for you! I just took this picture. Gross.

I tag Krista!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

mexican tofu

Mexican Tofu

Saute 1/2 onion and 4 cloves of garlic in 2 tsp. olive oil. Add in a whole block of Trader Joe's Super Firm tofu, cubed. Add salt/pepper to taste and about 1 tablespoon cumin. Cook tofu until browned. Add in 1 can of corn & black beans, rinsed and 1 whole jar of Trader Joes Double Roasted Salsa. Simmer for about 12-14 minutes. Sprinkle on shredded cheddar cheese and you're done! A little sour cream & cilantro would be amazing on top. Oh and I usually serve on top of brown rice.

This is one of Dennis' favorites. You'd never know it, but it is. I made it the other night and thought I should blog about it since it's one of the easiest dinners I make when I am lazy/tired/crunched for time. And I guess it's pretty healthy if (if you don't over load it with cheese like Dennis does.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

Easter was amazing this year. I'm so happy we got to spend Saturday with friends and Sunday with family. It was a perfect balance. I hope that happens again next year. Saturday, we attended an Easter egg hunt at the Stumph residence. The kids were ALL so adorable. Olivia got to experience her first "real" Easter egg hunt. I thought she would have no clue what to do, but she started running around looking for eggs like a pro. She became a little attached to her basket though. She wouldn't even let me hold it for her when it was obviously too heavy for her to carry. The candy feast began soon after. Her favorite Easter candy this year: Rolos and jelly beans...oh and Pop Rocks (I put them in her Easter basket.) After the egg hunt, the kiddies got the incredible opportunity to ride a miniature pony! I was sooooooo excited for this. But when it was Olivia's turn she was too scared to ride him! Sad!! I'm glad Shaun got a picture of it though.

Sunday morning, I was so excited for Olivia and Dennis to open their baskets. Olivia got caught up in all the candy of course. She had like 5 Rolos in a row before I made her stop! She was sneaky with those. I LOVE Easter baskets. I remember every year my mom would make me, my brother and sister the most amazing baskets. They were color coordinated. Mine was all purple of course. She would even get us these fancy truffle eggs that were personalized with our names on them. Well, those days are over but at least now I get to have fun with Olivia's. We went over to my parents where she was spoiled beyond belief with a basket bigger than her filled with clothes, toys and mostly tons and tons of Play-doh. We hid eggs for her, they all had Play-doh in them and her excitement afterwards just wasn't the same as the day before. hahaha. We watched The Tale of Despereaux. It's pretty cute, a little on the depressing side though. Olivia took a nap on the couch WITH my mom while my brother and sister FORCED me to watch The Fast and the Furious (the first one.) It was way better than I thought it would be, I have to admit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

go back to bed!!!

The is an update on Olivia's toddler bed transition. It's been a few weeks and I can honestly's NOT going very well. At first, she did some crazy things, i.e. trying to sleep on her changing table, but after a few days I thought it was getting better. Then after a couple of weeks it's like she did a complete 180. She tries to get out of her room numerous times before falling asleep for the night AND she continues to wake up 2, 3 or MORE times every night. I thought having Dennis back would make things easier, but I'm afraid it may have made things worse. This is a separate issue, but when Dennis is with us Olivia is extra attached to me. So I've been doing 99% of the baths & bedtime routines. Oh and she only lets ME walk her back to bed in the middle of the night. Lucky me!

I've tried bribery. "You can have a surprise in the morning if you stay in your room tonight!" "Ok!!!", says Olivia. She is at her door about 30 seconds later.

I've tried punishment. "If you get out of your room, I'm going to have to take your Tinkerbell light away." She is at her door in 15 seconds. I take the light away and let her scream for about 10 minutes. That night she slept without the light but got up about 10 times.

I've tried the silent treatment. This is the Super Nanny technique: I walked her back to bed without saying ANYTHING and without making eye contact. This made her really frustrated at first, then she started thinking it was funny and she tried coming out about 20 times before I couldn't take it anymore. Dennis took over and ended up having to stay in her room for her to fall asleep.

I've tried singing/reading her to sleep. I will say this HAS worked a couple of times, but one night took over an hour! I almost sang MYSELF to sleep that night. And I really don't want to start the habit of her needing me to fall asleep.

I bought this light today (saw it in Parents magazine,) you can buy it at It is supposed to help with the night wakings. Supposedly, you can help your child learn the difference between night and day by telling them it's "wake up time" only when the light turns into the sun. It's a "moon" during the night and you program it to turn into a "sun" at the predetermined a.m. time you choose. It's pricey, but worth a try in my opinion! I should get it in a few days.

I also bought the following book by Dr. Richard Ferber. Since we used his "Ferberization" technique successfully when Olivia was 9 months old, I thought I would read about his ideas on toddler sleep.

I pretty much research this subject any chance I get, but if anyone has any ideas I would LOVE to hear them. I will try anything other than putting a lock on her door. I just don't feel right about that one. I am thinking about starting a progress/sticker chart but I think she might be a little young to grasp the concept...

Monday, March 30, 2009

this story made my heart race!

I could hardly read the story below. The headline grabbed my attention of course so I clicked on it. I cannot even believe this happened. Seriously, I have goosebumps right now.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

dinner nightmare!

Dennis' parents are in town from Idaho. It's a pretty big deal since they have only seen Olivia a couple of times since she was born. I wanted them to be able to get to know her a little better and enjoy being with her before they have to go back and spend months away from her again. This week has been crazy with Dennis still at the outage and Buffy working at Bill's Place on St. Patty's Day. They FINALLY were able to hang out with Olivia while I was at work on Wednesday. They watched her while Dennis got some sleep. Supposedly, Olivia was a perfect little angel! She had soooo much fun. She gave them both kisses and hugs and Buffy even put her down for a nap....IN HER BED!!!

So last night was their next chance to see Olivia. Keep in mind that at this point they still think she's a perfect little angel. We got to Steamers...Olivia was already antsy. We had to wait for a while to be seated and by the time we finally got to our table she already did not want to sit down. So out come the distractions...coloring book, crayons, toys, even candy. She finally calmed down when she got a cool big kid cup like Jaden's with some orange juice. We order our food, she wanted chicken of course. And not even a minute later she was trying to get out of her chair. Dennis took her on a little walk and she came back happy with an easter egg Dennis had stolen from their Easter display.

The egg was a mistake. She had a pink one but wanted an orange one, then a blue one, then a green one!!! She could not rest knowing there was a bowl of easter eggs by the door. She wanted ALL of them. I tried to explain to her that those were not for us, they were for other little kids too. She could only have ONE. She freaked. Layed down on the floor face first and everything. So I take her outside for a "time out" on the bench outside. She is SCREAMING. People walking into the restaurant either tried to ignore it or they looked really annoyed. How pleasant. Then of course someone I know walks by! AWKWARD. She took one look at the situation, asked how I was, I said, "Um...ok. We're just having a tantrum out here." She was on a date too...the guy looked uncomfortable. They walked inside and right back out (I guess the wait was too long) and she just said, "Good luck with that."

Olivia was crying so hard at this point for those damn easter eggs that she couldn't even breathe. Dennis came out with another egg! I thought, COOL this is good. Maybe she'll calm down so we can sit back down. NOPE. She wanted EVERY COLOR of those eggs, not just 2!

We left the restaurant before our food came. Embarassing. The drive home consisted of Olivia screaming, "I wanna sit down! In a chair!" Yeah right, I've heard that one before!

Needless to say, Dennis' parents don't think she's a perfect little angel anymore. Now they just think she's a normal two-year old. Which is good. Because the pressure of having a "perfect" two year old was way too much for me to handle.

Monday, March 16, 2009

kitties & cupcakes

Finally a new book to take Olivia's mind off the Sock Monkey book for a while! This book is pretty precious. It isn't too long. The illustrations are really well done. And Olivia CANNOT get over how he just spills sprinkles on the floor! hahaha...too cute.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

no nap day

Today was one of those crazy days, the kind of day where I just go with the flow and try not get too stressed about anything. Yesterday, nap time was a nightmare so much so that I decided to give up on a "real" nap today and just let her pass out while watching a movie on the couch. Unfortunately, this couch napping habit originated at Ama's house and since she takes naps there during most of the week I don't know if I can break it for only the weekends. Can't really say I blame my mom. Ever since Olivia started climbing out of the pack-n-play, nap time has been real topsy-turvy.

So today, we were going to visit with Aunt Wee and on the way there she fell asleep. Of course. I pick up my sister, we drive by a rental I wanted to look at and Olivia woke up. She slept for maybe 20 minutes. That is the only nap she took today.

Well, to make a long story short, right now I officially feel like a bad mom. Since she never did fall asleep on the damn couch, she never took a nap and a few minutes ago she literally started to go crazy. Like I think for a minute there she didn't know where she was. I just left my parents' house. Olivia fell asleep in the car. I transferred her to her bed. She mumbled, "sock monkey book" and before I even had time to reach for it she was PASSED OUT.

Poor thing is sleeping in her jeans.

I guess I need to work on nap time a bit more.

The highlight of today: making cookies (and eating cookie dough of course!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

olivia fun facts

1. She just started to sulk. Today she broke a flower and then proceeded to hold her head down and lie down on the floor face down.

2. She STILL loves Yo Gabba Gabba.

3. She is also still obsessed with milk.

4. She has no interest in potty training yet.

5. She sings the words to Sugar Sugar by the Archies like this, "Sugar doo doo doo doo doo doo, ah honey honey, you are my CANDY girl...." (She got it from The Bee Movie.)

6. If ANY song with a good beat comes on, doesn't matter if it's a commercial or whatever, she will yell, "Dance!" and will make anyone who is sitting down get up and dance (aka run around in circles) with her.

7. She sings the Barney song all day fault, I taught it to her and it stuck.

8. I swear she looks like Dennis more and more every day especially her side profile.

9. Her current favorite foods: quinoa, chicken, strawberries, blueberries, fake bacon, hash browns and of course CHOCOLATE.

10. She still hates having shirts pulled over her head.

11. She picks her nose.

12. She told me she wants a little brother or sister...ok I made this last one up but I hope she gets one someday!

13. She can make me happy/sad/excited/crazy/mad/laugh all at the same time.

14. I love her to death.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

hey Dora, can I ask you some questions?

1. Why does your shirt NEVER cover your belly?

2. Why do you wear ruffled socks folded up instead of down?

3. Why do you feel the need to YELL constantly for no reason at all?!?!

Anyone else curious about these things?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I bought Olivia this sock monkey book mainly because I thought it was cute and colorful. (We bought it for Claire for her birthday too.) Well, Olivia is obsessed and ever since we transitioned her to a toddler bed she has been EXTRA obsessed. I read it every night, sometimes twice and she always wants me to read it over and over and over. At this point I literally want to rip out all of the pages, throw them in a metal trash can, add a little gasoline and a match...that is how SICK I am of this book.

I just thought I would let everyone know that Olivia is slowly getting used to her bed. (Not sure anyone actually cares but I thought I'd share anyway.) I bought her a crazy Tinkerbell nightlight that changes colors and told her that if she stays in bed she can keep it in her room. She insisted that I plug it in right by her head. It changes colors so her room looks like a psychedelic rave at night...but as long as she stays in there I really don't care! She stays in her room most of the night, comes in my room around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. but I can walk her back to her room without a fight. She DOES wake up earlier than ever now...around 5:30 a.m. or so but at that point I let her come into bed with me and she usually sleeps for another hour. Not perfect, but oh well.

She is getting better and better at getting me to go in her room though. For example, somehow she waits to go poop until I put her in her bed fresh from the bath with a clean diaper. She does it almost every night. I'll put her down and then hear her yell, "Mommy I pooped!" She lies about it 50% of the time, but I have to check every time because I can't just let her sleep in her poop. Well, the first time she did this tonight, she didn't have poop. Annoying. But the second time she did. She immediately layed down on the rug by her bed, I changed her diaper and was about to put her back in her bed when I saw about 15 books on her pillow. With the sock monkey book on top of course. I guess she thought if she pooped she could get me back in there to read all of those books. hahahaha. She is so smart, it's crazy. And I swear she can control her bowel movements. (How is that for a crazy 2 year old, Erin?! hahaha.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

internal affairs: RIP

This past weekend we went down to Anaheim for Internal Affairs' last show. Dennis was exhausted from working all night but slept a couple of hours in the car before I dropped him and Matt Bandy off at his practice on Saturday afternoon. I killed time at Target and came back to pick them up. I have to admit, watching all of the guys come out of their last practice made me really sad! I think it hit me all at once that this is the last time Dennis will play music with these guys (most of whom I've known ever since we moved from San Diego.) Admittedly, I am not Internal Affairs' biggest fan. I've been known to bitch and complain every time Dennis had to practice or play a show. The music, let's just say I couldn't relate to it much...they were a straight-edge hardcore band (no further explanation needed.) But Dennis loved everything about being in this band. He loved writing songs, practicing, recording, playing shows (big or small,) and he especially loved touring. And he got to go to some pretty amazing places...places like Australia, Guatemala, Canada, and the East Coast a whole bunch of times. (His band went to Japan & Europe without him...he was bummed.)

The show was at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. It was sold out. There were a TON of people there. I saw a few people I haven't seen since before we moved back when I was pregnant. That was cool. IA played last. When they were setting up I thought it would be a good time to try to find a spot inside where I wouldn't get killed. Dennis was so sweet. I could see him up on stage acting all frantic and asking people if they've seen his wife (it still kills me when he calls me that.) His friend Tru spotted me and Dennis told me to stand up on stage off to the side so I could see. I always felt weird doing this, but literally if I didn't stand on the stage I wouldn't be able to see anything at all. They started playing and crazy me started getting all emotional again. Dennis kept looking over to me and smiling while he was playing. He looked so damn happy. He even took the mic and did a "shout out" (haha I am such a nerd) mentioning how happy he was to have his family's support and how he appreciated me for putting up with a lot through the years... :( (If only those people knew how truly evil I was at times and how resentful I was that he was still even in the band.)

But people grow up and move on. I think IA had a good run. Dennis said they finished on a high note. I guess it's just sad that something he loved so much is ending.


Friday, February 20, 2009

toddler bed woes


My sister came over for a visit. I put Olivia to sleep like normal. It was a little harder than usual due to the fact that she wanted to hang out with Aunt Wee, but she got quiet and we assumed she was going to sleep. We were about to head downstairs when I look over and Olivia is just standing next to us in the hallway. I WAS SHOCKED. The rest of that night was an absolute nightmare. At one point, I thought she was asleep and I heard her door moving. I tried to open her door to check on her and found her asleep right next to her door! She got out of her crib and out of her room probably more than 20 times after that. I got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep.


We converted her crib to a toddler bed. It's really more like a three sided crib with two guard rails. She got out of her room twice and woke up for the day at 5:30 a.m. She is so QUIET when she gets out of her room. She doesn't cry or anything and I can barely even hear the doorknob turning. And then when she does get out she just stands in the dark hallway completely quiet (too scared to come out because she knows I'll be mad??) She pretty much scares the crap out of me when she does this. I was too afraid to even go downstairs because I have this fear of her climbing over the stair gate and falling to her death.


Night #2 of the toddler bed. She went down ok, cried a little but didn't come out. I assumed it was going great until I heard a weird sound at 11:00 p.m. It sounded like she was playing with the package of her wipes on her changing table. I went in to check and guess what I found??? Olivia was sound asleep on her changing table!! I move her to her bed, she falls back asleep. 3:00 a.m. I hear that damn sound again. She is asleep on the changing table again!! This time she had poop (don't ask me why she went at 3:00 a.m.) so I change her. She wants me to read her a book, I tell her it's still bedtime. She cries a little, goes to sleep and wakes up at 6:00 a.m. Dennis went in to get her and yes, he found her on that piece of crap changing table.


Night #3 of the toddler bed. I took the changing table out of her room. All that's left is her rocking chair, dresser and bed. She hasn't cried yet. I'm still afraid to go downstairs though. And I'm currently researching motion detectors or door alarms that will let me know when she gets out of her room. If anyone knows a good one, let me know.

This is tons of fun.

Of course Dennis gets to miss this crap.

I miss the crib.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Product Review: Annie's Microwavable Mac & Cheese

I am in love with this stuff! I grabbed it at Trader Joe's the other day. I already loved Annie's regular white cheddar mac & cheese, but this single serving product is even better! It's ready in 3 minutes which is especially convenient for those times when the food cannot be ready fast enough for little Olivia. There is nothing worse than a whiny toddler literally hanging from my pants while I'm busy trying to make her something to eat!

Well, if you busy mommies haven't tried this yet, you should. Olivia loves when I mix in peas or broccoli. And I will be the first to admit that yes, I do eat her leftovers and call it "dinner" from time to time. ;)

Oh and I almost forgot to mention that like most of Annie's products, it is 90% organic and has no added artificial coloring. Cool!

I heart Valentine's Day 2009

I love Valentine's Day. I guess that makes me a super cheesy person, but for some reason when I start seeing all of the heart paraphernalia in stores I get really happy. I think it has to do with my birthday being only 10 days before, it brings back memories of heart-themed birthday parties and when I used to take conversation hearts to all of my classmates at school.

Yesterday, when I opened the door at 7:00 a.m., Dennis was standing there with his arms full of sweet things. He was really excited to give Olivia her Valentine which consisted of a heart full of M&M's (her favorite,) a ladybug balloon and a really cute teddy.

Dennis slept for a good portion of the day, but Olivia and I had fun going to store to pick out some cards for Daddy and eating lunch together. (It's the little things that I enjoy most - I hardly ever get to eat lunch with her.)

Then my parents came over while Olivia was taking her nap to babysit. Dennis took me out to a movie then dinner. It was so nice. Taken is really good, pretty suspenseful. And Giuseppe's never fails to impress. I had a Raspberry Lemon Drop, felt kinda weird at 5:00 p.m. but oh well. The waiter checked my ID which used to be nice but now it's just annoying. I don't look even close to 21.

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! I love you all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

little chef

So it looks like I have one serious little chef on my hands. Olivia loves loves loves her kitchen. She also loves sitting on the kitchen counter while I cook dinner. She also loves to pour cups of water into her kitchen sink and then proceed to spill water everywhere. She also loves to make huge messes and when I tell her to "pick that up" she responds, "No, YOU pick it up." hmmm, things are getting interesting.

Also, something interesting happened this morning. It was approx. 7:00 a.m., Dennis and I were both downstairs. Olivia was awake but just chatting it up with her "guys." I go upstairs, Dennis was right behind me, or so I thought. (I didn't close the gate at the top of the stairs because I thought he was coming right behind me.) Anyway...I go get ready for work and the next thing I hear is Dennis running up the stairs. He busts through the bedroom door and yells, "Did you close the gate?" I said, "Didn't you? You were right behind me?!" He said, "No, I was washing her cup! And I heard something on the stairs and guess who was there?" My heart stopped beating at this point as I realized that my worst nightmare had come true. Not only had Olivia climbed out of her crib but she also made it down the stairs!!! For those of you who really know me, you know how scared I am of her falling out of her crib or down those damn stairs. Well, if I dwell on all of the bad things that could have happened (for example: her falling down the stairs and landing on her head, crushing her skull on the tile, dying instantly) I will go crazy. So I'm letting it go. What's crazy to me though is how stealth-like she was...climbing out of the crib not even making a peep the whole time. Sneaky little Livi.

Looks like the toddler bed is in our very near future.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Livi's Yo Gabba Gabba 2nd B-Day Party!!

We FINALLY had Olivia's 2nd birthday party on Saturday! It was so much fun. Olivia had a blast. I'm pretty sure her favorite part was the cupcakes. She had about 3 of them before she even blew out her candles. Thank you to everyone who could make it to the rescheduled party!

Trying to decide which one to eat first!

We made these "Muno balls" for the kids to unwrap while Olivia opened presents. We wrapped a thing of play-doh in the middle and added a few other super cheesy surprises in there too. (I got this idea from another mom on!) Pretty cool!

She is OBSESSED with thie fruit/veggie cutting set from the Rittenhouses. She can just sit and cup up veggies for days!

Another year has passed, another party down...our baby is becoming a little girl right in front of our eyes. Happy 2nd birthday Livi!