Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Favorite Meal - Chicken & Gnocchi

Before Kevin and I had kids we loved chicken piccata. And then I forgot about it until one day, I saw one of the chefs on the Today Show make a similar dish. So, I made it and it was a hit.....and by hit, I mean, the kids raved about it for weeks, and begged to have "Chicken & Gnocchi" every night.

Years later, it is still a favorite dish in the Ferrie family. I make it about twice a month, and that isn't even enough for the kids. What do I love about it? Well, it's fairly healthy, easy to make (about 30 minutes), it is versatile and super yummy leftover - that is if there are any leftovers! 

The girls had been begging me to make this dish for over a week now, so I promised them I'd make it, and after each of the kids had multiple helpings, I thought I'd share this recipe:

You'll need:

 a frying pan. 

some lemons (2) 

chicken broth - about 2 cups one container of Gnocchi - (you can get it in the pasta aisle, and sometimes the frozen food section by the raviolis, etc) 

boneless chicken breasts or Mahi Mahi - about 1.5-1.75lbs feeds our family. 

1/4 cup white wine - be sure to set some aside for yourself to drink...since you've opened the bottle, you do need to drink it....The wine is not necessary, and I do not always use it, but it does add some nice flavor.

2-3 beaten eggs in bowl

One cup (or so) of flour (I use unbleached or even whole wheat flour) in bowl. Add some garlic powder and pepper to flour. (Add in any other seasonings)

Fill pan with about a 1/4'' oil (veg or olive oil) and heat.

When oil heated, coat chicken with flour, then cover in egg and pan fry. I'd say about 3-4? Minutes per side, once golden brown, flip. When chicken is cooked most of the way (not completely) remove from pan and set aside. 

Don't worry about cooking chicken all the way through... 

Once chicken is cooked golden brown, dump oil out, and leave just enough to coat bottom of pan. 

Drop heat on pan to low.

About a 1 tbsp of chopped garlic (more or less depending on how much garlic you like)

Then, cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into the pan, then, take the halves of lemon and put them in the pan. 

Put about half the container of chicken stock 2 cups (for about 1.5-1.75lbs of chicken breasts), about 1/4-1/2 cup white wine into the pan.

Big spoonful of butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) and about 3-4 tablespoons of flour. 

Dinner is served....Three happy girls, and a little plate set aside
for our little Prince, Callum.
Whisk everything together, and put on high heat until simmer. 

While I am waiting to simmer, I will start to boil water for the gnocchi. 

When it starts to simmer, I will take a taste and see how the lemon flavor is - if you want more, squeeze a little bit more lemon (from the 2nd lemon) into the mix, and if not, just leave it. If it is too strong add a little bit of chicken broth.

If the mix still seems watery, add some more flour (another tablespoon). Just be sure not to add too much or all of a sudden it can get pretty thick. 

Once the mix starts to thicken up a bit, (I continue to whisk mix, too) I will turn to low heat and replace the chicken into the pan with the mix, so it marinates and finishes cooking in the lemon sauce. 

Once the sauce is to the consistency I want, I cook the gnocchi (about 3 minutes). 

Once gnocchi is cooked, you can either mix it all together, or just take some gravy, and mix it with the gnocchi and serve.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I am not a competitive person by nature....well maybe when it comes to competing against my husband with games, etc I am, but overall, I just don't like to compete with tons of people over things.

I guess that is one thing about living in Northern Virginia that drives me crazy. I feel as though everything we do involves competing with thousands of people who are looking to do the same thing as you. There is always traffic around here and no matter where you go, lots of other people have the same idea as you do. People are always in a rush to get somewhere and some have no sense of decency when it comes to others. I am not saying this is strictly a NoVA thing, because I know it isn't - this is a city, urbanite way of life thing, and it is just not my style.

For the past 6 months or so, our girls have been taking swim lessons. We aren't like some families who only enroll their children in the spring before pool season starts, we continue to enroll our girls because they love to swim. Each session, I have to remind myself to get on the ball and register my children, and not only do I have to do that, I try to pick the class with the same exact swim instructor they've had for months, which is not an easy task. Most people know us since we've been going there continuously for quite some time now.

Last session, we signed our big girls up, to find out our fave swim instructor wasn't teaching their level anymore on those days. We had a new lady, whom I did not like from the second I laid eyes on her. She was rude, she was impersonal, and she came off as though she didn't like kids. Why do they do this? They're always playing musical teachers with these classes, and I don't like it. I like some sort of continuity for my  kids, and I know they like it, too.

Throughout this session, she has gone away on vacation, and we've had substitutes (which is a royal pain in the ass when the new people don't know the abilities of the kids) and I've had instances where I have been worried about the safety of my child. Last week, she put flippers on the kids. Half of the kids can barely make it 25yds without flippers, so add the flippers, and there were near drownings. There is one girl in their class who needs a lot of extra help (which is fine) but she spends the entire class with her hands on this child. Lilah needs help, too (and so do all the kids), and when she put flippers on my 4 year old and expected her to swim 25 yards, she lost my respect. Lilah was struggling, bad, I honestly thought I was going to have to jump in. I was going off my rocker. I was so pissed as the teacher continued with her hands on this other girl and had her back to my child, who was struggling. I immediately went and spoke with the director of aquatics and he expressed concern, but only concern.

Our old teacher told us she had spoken with the director and he agreed to add an additional class for Mairead, Lilah and another family so our fave teacher could be with our girls. But today when I went to sign up for it, IT WAS FULL. the.......So, once again, my inability to compete with thousands of other people who want to do the same thing, fails me. I email the director to ask him what I should do, and he says.....sorry, maybe I'll add more classes. Sorry? You add an additional class at the request of a teacher for specific children, and you let it fill up? Which by the way, I look at the enrollment once again, and thankfully someone cancelled, which made space for our girls.....but good Lord, I don't have time to keep looking every 5 minutes for a cancellation!

It's so frustrating. It is times like these that make me more than ready to get out of here and go back home to a place that doesn't breed competitiveness. The swim instructors who know my children intimately, and know their levels, and take pride in customer service. I am tired of competing in this rat race and ready to live the laid back lifestyle, with a little bit of chaos thrown in there from time to time. Maybe it is the Maine lifestyle - the 'vacationland' motto - that has failed me of this crazy lifestyle here in NoVA, maybe it has given me unrealistic expectations of the way life should be, because that Maine-way-of-life really isn't how life really is - or is it?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baby Steps

I think it is safe to say that we will soon have a full time walker in our house very soon. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about it!

Lilah and Clara were walking right around 10 months, and Mairead was walking on the week of her 1st birthday.....and here Callum is, two weeks away from his first (sniff, sniff) birthday and he is this close to walking!

It isn't a secret, I hate crawling. Hate it. I am tired of seeing his dirty little knees and feet from my floors, and no matter how often I clean my floors - daily lately, they're still dirty!!! He finds every little tiny thing on the floor and puts it in his mouth, and taking him outside with the kids, is a pain in the arss. I want him to walk. Damn it!!!

So, for the past two days, I've put him through walking boot camp! He's been able to stand for a week or two now, and he will take a few steps here and there, but now, he can walk almost across the room! The girls squeal with delight and love watching their little brother walk! I love it, too! I can't believe our tiny little baby boy is growing into a crazy toddler. I am ready, but I am not...

Friday, March 23, 2012

How to get a Passport

What we learned today on how to obtain Passports in NoVA (which is much, much different than visiting our local town hall in Maine to obtain them)

1. Go online and find out where the local passport office is - around here they're located at Post Offices. And it seems as though Post Offices are a dime a dozen around here.

2. Find the CORRECT location.

3. Be sure you go to the CORRECT location and not the one where you think you called.

4. When you go to the incorrect location to get said passport, be sure you know exactly where the correct location is before you leave, that way you are not driving around asking all sorts of weird people where this specific post office is in a huge ass strip mall, and the post office is No.Where.To.Be.Seen.

5. Be sure to fill out the application in black because supposedly the rules changed today and I had to redo the application twice.

6. Be sure to wear a breastfeeding friendly dress (that is of course, if you are breastfeeding) that way you do not need to man handle your breasts out of your dress in order for your nearly one year old to nurse in the Post Office.

7. It also might be a good idea to brush up on some random foreign languages because not every Postal worker can speak adequate English or understandable English. Or a pocket translator may help?

8. When you get to the correct Postal Office, it might help to get there on time because if you aren't, the workers won't bother helping you, and you will only have to reschedule your appointment.

9. When you realize you will not get your passports done at the correct office, be sure to have the number of the post office you had originally intended to call in the first place, and see if they have any available appointments.

10. Take out a second mortgage on your home. Passports are expensive!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Martha Stewart. NOT.

I am trying to be good. Honest, I am, but sometimes I wonder why I even try! 

Like most of us, I have been trying to cut back without cutting back on healthy foods. Our Tuesday/Thursday evenings are horrid right now. Because we have three kids in swim school on the same day (to avoid going 4 days per week) we do not get home until close to 7pm. It sucks. And I don't want take out, so I have been trying to meal plan and do things that I can use my crockpot or just pop in the oven that will take less than 10-15 minutes to cook. I don't want to be eating a big dinner at 8pm.

Yesterday I bought an organic roaster chicken. The plan: to make two chicken noodle soups. One for tonight, and the other for a night next week. When I got home from shopping, I popped that chicken right into my crockpot to cook for the rest of the day.

Today, made the broth. I spent what felt like forever picking apart the carcass. I chopped the carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and split the broth/chicken into two. One for tonight. One for next week. Perfect.

I opened the freezer to place the extra broth/chicken in - and spilled some. Had to remove shelving and clean it. I don't have time for this I thought. Little did I know that the mess I had just made was nothing in comparison to the mess I was about to make.

So, then I started heating up the veggies in the broth, but then remembered the last time I did this, the veggies were too hard for Callum to eat. 

I had the ingenious idea to take the crockpot out of the heater, and place it on the stovetop so I could hard boil it for about 10 minutes to get those veggies to soften a bit before I put the crockpot back on. 

I set it on high and walked away for about 5 minutes. As I was modeling the two new dresses I bought today for Kevin, I hear some strange noises. We both jump up, and I just figure it was boiling over.

But, it wasn't. 

Kevin takes pot holders to remove it from the heat, and as he does this, the bottom literally falls out. The soup contents are literally spewing all over, and the broth is all over the place. The mess really is as bad as it looks in the photo, actually worse. You can see how hot it was - as the steam was just insane.

The broth was everywhere. We had to move the stove, clean drawers, the inside of the oven, all over the countertops, and in the midst of this, we had to get ready for swim school, wake three sleeping children up, and get them pottied and ready to go......

Thankfully, dinner for tonight wasn't ruined, but the dinner for next week is....thankfully there was enough leftovers to put some individual servings in the freezer for the kids to have.

Ahhh, next time you hear me talk about "planning ahead" just tell me to stop. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

My little Leprechauns!

We had a fantastic St. Patricks Day on Saturday! We enjoyed the most beautiful March day here outside, and then headed to a friends house for a BBQ, roasted s'mores and of course drinks for the adults! Overall, it was an awesome day!

One of the things I will miss about this house (and yes, there are some things) is the front steps. This place has been awesome for taking photographs! I feel like I have been able to capture some memorable moments with our crew on these steps! So, here are our four little Leprechauns!  

I couldn't help but snatch a few of Callum on our bed. The thought of him turning one in a few weeks is just mind boggling. What a year... 

This is Callum. He's silly and so unbelievably sweet. What a celebration his first birthday will be this year... 

His face......Mmmmm! I just want to kiss it!  
And I can't believe this kid is going to be 6 in two months...She is growing up so fast, too...I wish time would just slow down a little. 

And there's little Lilah...she never ceases to amaze us with her personality! 

I hope this amazing friendship between two sisters continues for a long, long time. They love each other so much! 

My two cheesy smilers! They are like frick and frack! 

And this kid....she is just an amazing kid. So strong and determined. She loves to say "cheeeese!" for the camera, and when she does, she will give you the "cheesiest" smile ever! And I LOVE IT! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Running away...

Today was one of those days. And you know it is going to be one of those days when you start threatening and putting kids in their rooms in the first 15 minutes of the day.

Every other minute, it was something else.

Clara was pushing Mairead.

Mairead was whining.

Lilah wouldn't stop saying "Mommmmm.....Mommmmmmm........MOMMMMMM"

Clara and Lilah were fighting over a toy.

Mairead and Clara were fighting over a doll.

You see the pattern? Yeah. And this was all in the first hour of the day. This is not the way I want to be starting off a Friday.

And of course on the day I have absolutely nothing to do, and to plan for as relaxing of a day with four kids can be sort of day, the kids decide to be a big pain in the ass!

So, I put the kids in front of the TV and take Callum upstairs to rock and nurse him. All was quiet, until I actually sat down to nurse Callum. Then, they were fighting again. 

(Disclaimer: My kids usually do not fight this much, so I really have no right to complain.)

Then, I come downstairs, and our front door was open. And Mairead says to me:

"Mom. Lilah is running away. She says she is going away forever"

I glance outside, and what do I see?

Lilah Loo walking on the sidewalk with two backpacks. One on her back. One on a roller. And I cannot believe I didn't have my phone camera ready to snap a shot.

I yell at Lilah to get inside. I send her to her room for not telling me she was going outside, especially when I was upstairs with Callum. I ask her what she was doing, and she said going away forever. I got testy.....HUH??? 

Then, I call her back down, and ask her why again. She said:

But mommy, I am tired of waiting to move to Maine! 

I guess she isn't the only one who is ready to go! How could I be mad at her after a response like that?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to homeschool on a beautiful day...

Ah, one of the hugest advantages of homeschooling in my book is the ability to school whenever we feel like it. Yeah. That's right, whenever we feel like it. In the morning. In the afternoon. At night. In the car. In our PJ's or all decked out. Or we don't have to do it at all.

Since our oldest is only in Kindergarten, it isn't like we have to spend hours schooling. Kindergarten isn't just learning to read, write and do math, it is learning about the world around us, learning how to interact with others, trying new things and meeting new friends. In a normal week, we may spend about 5-7 hours actually sitting down and doing school work. Twice a week the girls attend swim school, and once per week they attend a homeschool gymnastics/recreational class for 90 minutes. I don't have to mention countless play dates with friends, trips to the park, zoo, museums or just playing outside, and yes, I do count that as school because it never fails that there will always be a moment for teaching, whether it be about nature, math, reading, or learning to play and interact with others.

Just like our crazy winter weather back in October when we were dealing with snow (and little did we know that snow would be one of the very few times we'd actually see snow this year) we are dealing with some crazy weather here in March - but this time it is premature summer! The last few days have been sunny and in the 70s, and school has obviously taken the back burner, you know, that burner wayyyyy far in the back??? Yeah. That one. All the girls are interested in is wearing sun dresses, riding bikes, picking flowers and playing outside with friends. Instead of school during the littles nap time, we head right back outside where the big girls will do some exploring together and I don't blame them. I don't have the heart to tell the girls they have to stay inside to learn while they are learning outside, so, I don't. So, on the days where school works takes a back burner, we will try to read an extra book or I'll have her do a few modules on Time4Learning - that way I don't feel quite as guilty that we didn't do any "real" school that day. Or come a lazy rainy day we'll do extra school that day to make up! That is the beauty!

Today, we headed to a friends house. They played together at a park, rode their bikes and had a picnic outside. We came home, the littles went to sleep, and now Mairead and Lilah are actually doing school for the first time this week. We worked a little bit on counting money, and now Mairead is working on a writing piece "All About Me" - Lilah is doing some work on starfall which is absolutely great for preschool through Kindergarten/early 1st grade.

One thing I will miss when Mairead is in public school next year is the flexibility that homeschool gives us. I love that, and will miss it dearly, but our little big girl wants to go to school, and I cannot deny her the opportunity to be with the friends she loves so very much! But, just because she goes to public school does not mean I will never have this opportunity again. This whole experience has taught me so much about myself, my kids and to prove that I can really do it if I want to, and that it isn't as scary as it sounds!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Life is ALWAYS exciting!

Do you like Instagram? I am an instagram junky! I love it so much! 
So here are some of the happenin's at the Ferrie household in the last few days in Instagram-Style

Does this photo look familiar? Does your kid do this? Once again, I am entering uncharted territory with a child that cannot keep his hands off my b@@bies :) - when he isn't nursing, and I am holding him, his hand is down my shirt. Always. 
Here's Clara! She was all excited and ready to go to swim school last Thursday.....until class started, and then she and two other girls all started crying in unison. Needless to say swim class was another BUST. Maybe next week.
At 11 months, Callum is finally getting some teeth. They haven't erupted yet, but you can see them under the skin. I am praying this is why he hasn't been sleeping OH SO GREAT this last week. This momma is TIRED! And if you're wondering, he's getting the top ones first, just like his big sisters! We have late teethers in this house! Just like their momma!
Mairead and Lilah got new running shoes yesterday. They want to start running with me. And new running shoes means incentive for Mairead to tie her shoes. She came home, ran upstairs, and 10 minutes later she was tying her shoes. I had been trying to teach her, but she had no interest in learning since she had no shoes that actually tied, until now! 
Today we went to a park. We were there five minutes until Clara fell and split her lip open. She was screaming. There was blood everywhere and I had Callum in my arms. There were two moms about 10 feet away from me just sitting there, staring. Didn't offer any help. Didn't ask if she was okay. They just sat there and watched me struggle. Nice, huh. I left wondering what is wrong with some people. I know I couldn't have just sat there watching a hurt child and a mother struggling to hold an infant, and care for her injured child without offering some sort of support. Thankfully the bleeding stopped rather quickly, we went home, put ice on it, had a special snack and she was as good as new.

Mairead loves writing letters to Mimi (Kevin's mom) and Nana (my mom). This is one of her letters last week to Mimi. She is getting so good writing. I am one proud mamma!!! She was telling Mimi about her eye and how she hurt it. How did she hurt it you ask? Oh. Yeah. That was me, pulling a mother of the year moment by poking her in the eye with our dog collar remote antenna. I was rounding the corner and ran into her eye with it. For the rest of the day, she had to wear sunglasses, we went to the pediatrician to check it out, and thankfully it was nothing! Just another day here... 

And last, but certainly not least. BED HEAD LILAH. She slept until 9am one day last week, came downstairs as we were eating breakfast, and this is what I saw. I burst into laughter, brought her into the bathroom to show her what her hair was like, and she started laughing, too! What a great way to start the day :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Entering uncharted territory

This may not be news flash worthy, but I have been nursing continuously, without a break for almost 6 years. Yes, not 6 months.  Six years. I have tandem nursed all our kids.

Mairead & Lilah.....Lilah & Clara.....Clara & Callum - it's worked, and the big girls have weaned on their very own at 28 months and 32 months without a single tear shed.

Clara nurses every night before bed. It's habit and when she has sleepovers with her sisters in their room she very rarely asks to nurse, but if she is in her bed, I would almost bet a million dollars will ask for "milky" - the other night I asked her why she still drinks milk, and her honest response "because. because I need it." 

I am not sure how long I will let her continue to nurse, but I will start to encourage her in the coming months if she is ready. But this blog isn't really about Clara and her extended nursing or about how I have been tandem nursing our children. It is about what is about to come that I have never experienced before.

Nursing a toddler with a real milk supply

You may be asking why? Well, I have become pregnant with babies 2-4 between 11.5months and 13 months. And before the end of the first trimester my milk supply is gone. It was always a bittersweet thing for me. Sad because I was afraid my baby would stop nursing, sad because she was no longer getting any milk from me, but happy because I had a baby growing inside me, and I was lucky enough to be able to continue nursing my baby throughout pregnancy. And it was always during this time that our babies started to sleep 12+ hours a night continuously because they knew there was no milk coming from me....they decreased their nursing naturally, and only nursed in the morning, nap and before bed. No tears. Nothing.

With Callum, it will be completely different. We are not planning on having another baby. Which means there will be no decrease in milk supply and no natural weaning and no sharing with a younger sibling. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way thinking about weaning him early, and am planning on giving him the same opportunity to nurse into toddlerhood if that is what we choose, but it will just be different. I often think about if he will nurse more frequently during the day than his sisters, or if he'll be more demanding to nurse at night, etc. I don't know. I do look forward to nursing him into toddlerhood and to see if our nursing relationship differs from his sisters. I am a huge fan of nursing a toddler. Some people may not like it, or think it is weird, but for me, it is a true love. It is almost like a newborn. When a baby is between the ages of 6-12 months, they're distracted, they nurse in all sorts of crazy positions and sometimes it is just annoying....but once they get a little older, they just love it. They take the time to sit and enjoy. It is sweet, they rub your face, and chest, and it is just a truly amazing experience that is just so different than nursing an infant. They just want to be with you. 

So, once we past the 13 month mark, we will enter uncharted territory. An entirely new nursing experience.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The little swimmer that...didn't.

They say every child is different.

And I'd have to agree. 

While Mairead and Lilah differ in so many ways, they both were the same about one thing. Swim school. They loved it pretty much from the beginning. Loved being in a class without mommy and daddy. But, unfortunately, I can't say the same for Clara. 

Clara tends to be a bit more (and I hate this word) Shy than her big sisters. Once she gets comfortable, she is outgoing and crazy just like her big sisters. She wants to do pretty much everything her sisters do and most of the time, she is 100% successful. Since we moved to Virginia, Kevin has been working diligently with Clara in the pool while the big girls were in class. She can swim. She can swim underwater. She can jump in. 

She turns heads. She's had swim instructors notice her and she's had the attention of the swim team instructor, too. Kevin and I have been talking about putting her in a class, and not to learn to swim, but just to learn to be away from us, which she needs so very badly to gain self confidence. So, tonight was her first night. We knew it probably would not go off without hitches, and we were right. It's weird because she has no trouble with babysitters and being left, but tonight, she was not happy. 

For the last week, we've been talking up swim school. She knows the girls do it. She talks about doing it, and she walked over to the school area tonight, but when it actually came time for me to leave her with the teacher at the pool, she lost it. She was hysterical. I sat with her. Reassured her. Bribed her. And nothing worked. I know she loves to swim and would love it if she only gave it a chance. Thankfully, the teacher, Kevin, has had Lilah in the past, and is familiar with Clara's swimming abilities. He reached his arms out for me to take her, and nodded at me to let me know it was okay. So, I handed off my crying little baby girl to the teacher and I walked away. 

We watched her from afar. She continued to cry. She'd have periods where she didn't cry, but if the teacher approached her, she'd start up again. He was so patient with her and it was just what she needed. He reassured her and was gentle. Kevin and I questioned whether or not we should let her continue, but every time we'd go to walk over, she wouldn't be crying. Finally, at the end of class, we walked over, and even though she was sniffling and crying a little, she didn't run over to us, she stuck it out and stayed in her class. I couldn't have been prouder of Clara. I know it wasn't easy for her, but she finished the class. 

And she was so proud of herself, too. (After the fact)

After class, she swam with Kevin, and she showed off her mad swimming skills to her teacher. He reassured me that she was fine, and that I should definitely continue to bring her back! And we will. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Assuming THE Position

I am not sure if I am lucky or what, but my kids (to this point, and it's early still...) have had no trouble potty training, and I am hoping Callum follows in the footsteps of his big sisters who were all potty trained early (2, 21 months and 20 months). 

Before Christmas, Callum has been using the potty. And no, not just sitting there. He will actually poop and/or pee in the potty. You may ask yourself how do I do it, and what do I do to get him to actually poop and pee in the potty before he even turns one. 

First of all. I am not sure if I am lucky, but Clara started doing this at 9 months old as well. I have proof of Clara here. It's not rocket science. No, really, it isn't, and I bet if you put your infant on the potty at a time when you can expect him/her to potty, then you can do it, too. 

Both Clara and Callum were morning poopers. It is a rare event in the Ferrie household that Callum does not poop in the morning, and unfortunately, some mornings, he poops before he is even fully awake, which means, a nasty, smelly diaper that I hate to change. YUK. 

You probably are asking me How can I get my baby to go on the potty? Well, it's easy, and as long as your baby can sit up properly then it's easy....I won't go into the whole Elimination Communication or Diaper Free baby thing, because that's a lot of work....and I don't have time in that, but this is easy and you can do it too.

So, when Callum wakes up in the morning and I notice he hasn't gone yet, I will nurse him, and a) put him on the potty immediately after he is finished or B) after any signs he is needing to go - facial expressions, grunting, whatever it is your child/baby does that leads you to believe a disgusting diaper is headed your way. If it is B - I rip off his clothes as fast I can, and run to the potty. I slap that potty seat down, and put him on. As I am bringing him and while he's making the face, I tell him poopy on the potty. And Voila! He goes! And this doesn't mean it has to be in the morning. Any time you are home and you know its going to happen - RUN. And let me tell you, sometimes you take the diaper off and it is hanging halfway out ready to plop....

But what if my child goes like 10 times per day? Well, don't you worry. My motto is You can't catch em' all but one less nasty diaper to change is a win in my book. Callum generally goes 2-3 times per day, and I usually miss the afternoon ones....but that's not the point - at least for me it isn't - it is to get him used to sitting on the potty before he is actually old enough to have an opinion about it, and if he actually does something in there, then that is just a huge bonus! 

Do I expect Callum to be in underwear by one? Hell to the no. Do I expect him to be potty trained before 18 months. Not really. But I will definitely be pushing him to be done before the age of two. I am going to treat him no differently than his sisters. Hey. Don't knock me. I've never had a boy before, and yeah, I have heard the news bulletin that boys are supposedly harder to train than girls, but, I don't really buy that. So, I'll just use Callum as my little science project. 

Come this summer, he will be diaper free whenever we are outside. He will learn just like his sisters did! 

Friday, March 2, 2012


On Friday, Kevin had planned to telecommute, but his boss gave him the okay to just take the day off....and so he did! 

Kevin commutes to DC every day. He leaves the house before 530AM and is home around 430pm every afternoon, so most often on the weekends, he just doesn't feel like going back into the city with the kids. I was surprised when he said "Let's go to the zoo" - and he didn't say zoo, he spelled it, but now with miss smarty pants, Mairead, spelling things doesn't mean much....

"The ZOO!? We're going to the zoo!? YEAH!!!!! Let's go to the zoo" 

And so we did! 

It was a little chilly and windy, but it was great. We saw the Apes going across the cables above us, and we saw panda bears, elephants, mammals, lions and tigers and bears. It was a great family day! Not only was it a great family day, it was a great school day! The girls learned lots of new things today. I have to say one of the BEST things about homeschooling is the ability to learn wherever we go! Learning so doesn't have to take place in the home, and it doesn't have to feel like school either! I just love that part of homeschooling! 

I forgot my camera, so with a little help from instagram, I was able to get a few cute shots! 

I am sure we will have a few more visits to the zoo before our big move back to Maine in May/June! I will be sure to bring my camera next time! 

Mairead & Lilah

Mairead & Panda (can you see him hiding?!?)
Little Clara posing for the camera
She carried her lunch box around the entire zoo.
Daddy and his girls