Goodbye Rear-facing Toddler! Helloooo Backseat Driver!

Yesterday 3 year old Miss M spiked a high fever just after dinner. She had been battling a cold since playing soccer in the rain last weekend but the fever concerned me. The fact that she screamed in pain when I put the thermometer in her ear made me think it must be an ear infection. I rushed her down to the walk-in clinic where the clinic doctor kindly asked her what was wrong before examining her. In her most dramatic voice, Miss M whined “I have a whale in my tummy…and in my back!” The doctor chuckled and then looked at me for a translation. “She has a fever and pain in her right ear.” I will never know where she got the whale thing from. What a kid!

Sure enough, she had an ear infection! The doctor asked me for her weight. I never mess around with guesstimating weight at the doctor’s office. This is what they use to determine the prescription dosage so it needs to be accurate. The nurse happily directed Miss M to the scale. She weighed 44 lbs! My very first thought was “Holy crap! I need to check the weight restrictions on her car seat!” I knew she had done some growing but I didn’t realize it had been 44 lbs worth of growing! We have convertible car seats, meaning that they can be rear-facing up to a certain weight and then can be installed as forward-facing seats beyond that point .

I am a firm believer in rear-facing for as long as possible. I obsessively read everything I can about this and other toddler safety topics and have vowed to keep both of my kids rear-facing for as long as we possibly can. Both of our toddlers (now 3 years old and 2 years old) are tall. However, they either cross their legs or stretch them up on the back of the seat and haven’t complained about riding backwards. They don’t know any other way.

After picking up Miss M’s prescription and getting her settled into bed, I immediately went out to the car to check the weight limits for rear-facing. Sure enough, it was time to turn her around. I was a little sad as this seemed like a really big sign that she was growing up. The end of an era. The rear-facing era.

Hubby and I wrestled Miss M’s 2 car seats (one for each of our vehicles) into place, referencing the car seat user manual and both car manuals. There really is a science to making sure these things are installed correctly… Which is fine by me. It’s “life or death” important. The most horrific part of the reinstallation was pulling the seat out and discovering what has been collecting underneath it on the bench of the car. We found a collage of old milk spills, veggie straws and a small Goldfish cracker graveyard. This prompted a long, overdue car cleaning. Gross.

The next day was Miss M’s first day in the car as a “forward-facer.” I was really excited to see her reaction to seeing where she was going. Her jaw dropped when I opened the door to the backseat. “Mommy! My seat turned around! I climb in!” She hopped in and happily stretched her legs out in their new-found space. Then I put 2 year-old Mr. C into his still rear-facing car seat. He looked over to see his sister, stretched out, living the forward-facing life, and immediately started to cry “Mine too! Mine too!” Sorry buddy. Not yet.” Though I’m sure he will be maxing out the weight limit in 5-10 minutes.

Miss M was so excited as we backed out of the driveway. “Mommy! I can see you! I can see the sky! I can see the sun! I can see the trees! I can see the flowers!” It was like she was seeing the world for the first time. As we pulled out of our subdivision, things got a little more intense for her and she switched gears into full-out backseat driver. She wasn’t used to seeing our car drive towards other cars. As we approached another vehicle (or another vehicle approached us), she would scream “Mommy! Watch out for the car! Mommy! Watch out for the truck! Mommy! A bus! Look out for the bus! Mommy! Look! A doggie in that car! Mommy! Be careful! Mommy! Stop! Mommy! Turn the wheel! Good job Mommy!” While quite hilarious, it was also a bit distracting and annoying. I started wondering how much a new car seat with a higher weight restriction for rear-facing would set us back.

Then she started boasting to her brother about the luxurious comfort of her forward-facing seat. “Look! I’m stretching my legs out like this! Can you do that?” No. I can’t do little guy whimpered in disappointment. “I’m a big girl! You’re a baby!” Wow. I did not foresee this drama.

That night, I filled Hubby in on the fact that our sweet, little 3 year old had transformed into the worst car passenger ever. I don’t think he believed me… Until he drove with her. She has a full windshield view of hat is going on around her and does not hesitate to say what’s on her mind. The worst was when I was sitting at a red light at an intersection. Mr. C said “Look Mommy! It’s Uncle Josh!” While sitting at the light, I looked over at the ads in store windows to see what he saw that reminded him of my brother-in-law. As I did, Miss M randomly yelled “Mommy! GO!!!!” Thank goodness I realized it was my impatient 3 year-old that was barking orders because my split-second instinct was to go and that the light had turned green while I was looking to my left, the way you would if you were looking away as a sane, adult passenger who knew the rules of the road alerted you that the light had changed. Saying that my 3 year old told me to go would have been a tough excuse to sell to a police officer if u ran a red light.

We are now working on teaching her about traffic lights. Red means stop. Green means go. She figured this out quickly and now each stop at a red light is followed by her chanting “It’s still red Mommy. Still red. Still red. Look Mommy! It’s green! Go Mommy!” It’s very cute except for the fact that 2 year old Mr. C is looking all over the place in his rear-facing seat repeating sadly “I can’t see it. I can’t see it!” Heartbreaking. I continue to remind myself that turning him around so that he can see the things his sister sees is a really stupid reason to prematurely abandon his rear-facing car seat.

Besides, I’m not sure that I could handle TWO little backseat drivers!

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity, juggling a full time job, marriage and 2 babes, 11 months apart…with one more on the way! If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on facebook to be the first to know of future posts. Thanks for reading! Xo



For my daughter on her third birthday

For my daughter on her third birthday:

It’s hard to believe that it was 3 whole years ago that I first met you, held you in my arms and instantly fell in love with you. In that moment, I knew my life had changed for the better. Motherhood has been my greatest blessing.

At 3 years old, you are constantly learning and absorbing new information. You are learning to think logically, ask questions and negotiate…. And boy, can you ever negotiate! Your personality is really shining as you develop your own interests and you are deciding what you want and don’t want in life. You are so full of life with a personality that can fill a room and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

You are learning so much about this world. You are fascinated by new places and experiences. You excitedly call out the numbers that label the cashier aisles at the grocery store, you notice puppies, squirrels and sea gulls at the park. You love trying to find Mommy’s car in the parking lot when we leave a store. You love to smell flowers, pick up sticks and leaves, count the clouds in the sky and splash in puddles. Being able to see the world through your eyes has been such a delight. I hope that you always keep your sense of adventure and wonder. This world can be cold but you can make it a better place. I hope that you continue to offer a warm smile and a hello to a stranger, even if the smile and hello are not returned to you.

May you always be true to yourself. In the past year, you decided that you did not like dance class. That is perfectly okay. You also found a deep love for dinosaurs. That is okay too. Follow your heart and know that I will support you no matter what you choose as long as you are staying true to yourself. As you get older, these choices will be much bigger than choosing dinos over tutus, but please know that as your mommy, I will always be there to help you put the tutus in the closet and play “dinos” on the living room floor or whatever you decide is the right fit for you. I will always support you and encourage you. That being said, you do have to try new things. You will never know what you will love, what talents you have and what ignites your soul if you don’t try new things.

I hope that you never take life too seriously and can always see the rainbows after the storm. Not every day will be a good day and that is okay. The “not so good” days help us to appreciate the good days. Continue to make the most of whatever situation life throws at you and splash in the puddles on the rainy days. Be sure to laugh. Laughter is so important. Sometimes when you feel discouraged and down, a little bit of laughter can change your whole perspective and allow you to see things more clearly. Be silly. Laugh every day.

I hope that you are always as loving as you are right now. You are such a sweet big sister to your little brother. You look out for him to make sure he’s okay and has what he needs. You love to sing to him, rock him to sleep with Mommy and Daddy and shower him with lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles. Your smiles and hugs and high 5’s can turn any one of Mommy’s hard days into a great day. You have the ability to warm my heart and brighten my day with just a smile or a hug. Don’t ever lose that. You are such a special little girl with so much love to offer. Be loving to others. Open up your heart and allow others to love you too. But please, do not ever put up with people who are wreckless with your heart. Never let anyone dull your sparkle.

Watching you grow over the past 3 years has been quite the adventure. We are learning so much together and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of the experiences we’ve shared. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you… But please stop growing up so fast!

Happy 3rd birthday to my sweet, fiercely independent, kind, hilarious, loving 3 year old.

Keep shining bright, little one!



Blueberry-puked microfibre and a 2.5-year old in leopard panties. That’s a wrap for today!

Today was a crazy day to say the least. The theme of the day was “Life is a highway!” I kissed the kids and hubby goodbye at 7:30am and left for work. My 9am meeting finished just in time for me to leave work and race back down the highway to my 11am doctor’s appointment. (I have a 55 min drive to/from work and my doctor’s appointment had been rescheduled for the third time so 11am it was!) My doctor’s appointment finished just in time for me to race back up the highway for my 1pm meeting. Needless to say, by my drive home (and my fourth hour-long drive of the day) I was stressed and exhausted.

As I navigated my way through rush-hour traffic, I daydreamed of a hot bubble bath, alone and in silence. My daydream was quickly interrupted by Hubby calling to ask what I was thinking about for dinner. I was not thinking about dinner. I hadn’t thought about dinner. My brain had given up on today and didn’t feel like evaluating what was in my fridge and freezer and then creating a meal plan. Pizza. Today is pizza day! Amen. I will let it slide that this was supposed to be hubby’s night to make dinner to take a little pressure off of my crazy day. Everyone wins with pizza.

Mr. C, who will be 2 in 3 days was a feisty little man tonight. Apparently he boycotted naptime today and man, did it show. He refused to eat his pizza so I tried to offer some leftover pasta and meatballs instead. He quickly threw the plate of pasta across the kitchen in a fit of rage because I stopped him from stealing his sister’s dinner. The nerve of me, I know.. Timeouts do not phase this boy. In fact, he welcomes them in a “Bring it on!” sort of way. I suppose he feels the crime is worth the time.

While Mr. C sat facing the wall reflecting on his actions, I started a bath for our sauce-covered toddlers while preheating the oven to make cupcakes for Mr. C to bring to daycare for his birthday. I paused and stared at the running water in the tub. I felt overwhelmed with stress. I could feel the blood rushing through my veins. I think that evenings like this are the hardest as a working mama. The nights when you are vibrating from the day’s events and desperately need to unwind and relax but can’t because your babies haven’t seen their mommy all day and they need you. I took a deep breath and then ran back upstairs where I paced around the kitchen singing songs, trying to act normal as the kids ate their blueberries and yogurt for dessert.

I started to mix the cupcake batter only to discover that I was out of vegetable oil. Damn. When hubby returned to the kitchen from the garage, I told him I had to run out. And off I went to the only place I know where I can be alone and collect my thoughts; the grocery store. Not only did I grab vegetable oil but eggs and homogenized milk too. Badass, I know. I forced myself to walk slower through the aisles to get my brain to settle down.

I arrived home 15 minutes later to find that Hubby was bathing the beasts. As I unpacked my loot, Hubby asked if I could throw down a plastic bag. That can’t be good. As I did, my 2 soaking wet, naked toddlers came giggling up the stairs as Hubby explained they had been evacuated since Mr. C took a huge poop in the tub.

We diapered and dressed them in pajamas and settled down on the couch to catch an episode of Dora the Explorer before bed. As the credits rolled up, I excitedly jumped up and announced that it was bedtime. Two reluctant toddlers wandered up the stairs. Mr. C stopped mid-way and turned around towards the living room and said “Bye Couch!” which was easily the weirdest yet cutest thing I had heard all day.

We went upstairs and climbed into the big recliner in Mr. C’s room to start our bedtime routine. It was Mr. C’s turn to choose the first book for story time. He happily chose Dr. Suess’ ABC book. This has been a favourite this week. Tonight I couldn’t do it. I was beyond exhausted. There was no way I could wrap my tongue around the words in a Dr. Suess book tonight. Reading a Dr. Suess book while delirious is like trying to deliver the state of the Union address while intoxicated and half-blind. The slurring, the stumbling over words, the tongue-twisters. What the hell is a “Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz” anyway? Hubby took the reading shift tonight. Beyond on the “read to” side of things is pretty awesome, I must say.

Both kids were snuggled into my lap. As Hubby read to us, Mr. C lifted his sippy cup, turned to Miss M and said “Cheers!” and they clinked (well clunked, because of the plastic) their cups together. Hilarious. Hubby clearly delivered Dr. Suess’ AbC book with excellence. I have never had my bedtime stories toasted.

Mr. C seemed more like himself after his big bathtub poop. I kissed him on his cheek over and over making him laugh hysterically. He laughed so hard that he coughed. He coughed so hard that he threw up. All over me. Fortunately, Miss M jumped down so she was out of his range. He was scared. He had never thrown up before and it just kept coming.

This is something that I have learned about motherhood. As mothers, we have this incredible ability to not only put our wants and needs aside, but to make them completely non-existent in order to better nurture and protect our children. Seeing how afraid my little man was, I pulled him closer to me and whispered comforting words to him, completely oblivious to my vomit-covered self. Until he finally stopped and I looked up at Hubby who was frozen and looked like he might puke. And then I started to smell it as the smell filled the room and thought I might puke too.

I stripped Mr. C down and then stripped myself down and Hubby and I started cleaning up the enormous amount of vomit that had come from such a tiny man. Blueberry puke and beige microfibre chair. What a delightful combination. Miss M insisted on helping us clean up which made Mr. C want to clean up too. Why fight it?” Once the vomit was picked up, I handed them a box of wipes to clean the floor before I washed it while I started a shower to deal with the puke in my hair and down my entire body while Hubby grabbed the Little Green Machine (aka my hero and best friend) and tackled the blueberry puke-covered microfibre recliner.

I ended up trading in my hot bubblebath in silence for a lukewarm shower due to the almost 2 year old bathing at my feet. As I turned to grab some soap to clean up my little boy, I realized that we didn’t have any baby soap in the shower. I took a risk and used a bit of my soap on his little body. I’m not an overly religious person but as I scrubbed him clean, I closed my eyes and prayed that he would not get a rash from my soap and that today would be the end of today’s madness.

At this point, all I needed was a laugh. Not a laugh so hard that I coughed and then puked but a good, hardy laugh. My prayers were answered as Mr. C and I got out of the shower to find Miss M skipping around wearing my underwear overtop of her one-piece pajamas with the sides pulled up over her shoulders like a 1980s aerobics bodysuit. What a kid! (And no, the underwear were not clean. Siiigh…never a dull (or clean) moment!)

Andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap-dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please subscribe or like my page on facebook to read more! Thanks for reading! Xo


Snow Day Potty Madness: This Mama is in need of a Plumber, a Margarita and a Jumbo-Sized Box of Tampons… (it’s not as bad as you think!)

Today is a Snow Day. Snow Days are awesome. Not only do you get to stay home and snuggle in your pajamas all day but the piles of snow cover all of the plastic play equipment in the backyard and make it look so much more tranquil and tidy… as if 2 tiny people have not taken over every square inch of your property. Goodbye, crab-shaped sand box. Adios, tiny plastic picnic table. See ya in the spring, Little Tikes cars. Zen.

Goodbye toys.  You are now just bumps in the pretty, white drift!
That’s a LOT of snow!

It was a pretty ideal day for a snow day considering we had just done a major Costco run yesterday.  We were well stocked and prepared to be snowed in for a week.  The only thing we didn’t have was fresh lemon for lemon water after all of yesterday’s Superbowl junk food.  (First world problems, I know!)  However, I did have lemon essential oil which is just as good in water if not better.  (It’s amazing what you discover when you are in survival mode…I’m roughing it today with my bottled water and essential oil!)

We haven’t had a snow day in a while.  After watching the news to have the road conditions confirmed, I reset my alarm to 9:30am so I wouldn’t sleep the day away and went back to sleep.  When my alarm went off, I had already changed 2 diapers, dressed  2 kids, cycled a load of laundry, made bacon, eggs and toast, washed the dishes, watched 2 episodes of Dora the Explorer and was deciding what to feed the kids for snack.  I suppose setting that alarm was just wishful thinking!

I didn’t think that the day would get much crazier than this morning’s incident with our toddlers’ beloved beta fish, creatively named Blue Fish.  As I sat on the toilet after breakfast, Hubby walked in and said “I think we have a problem with Blue Fish.”  Note to self:  Lock bathroom door.

Me: What’s the problem?

Hubby:  He’s dead.

Me:  That is a problem.  Are you sure?

Hubby:  Don’t fish float upside down when they die?

Me: Yes

Hubby:  Then yes, he is dead.  Do you want to see him before I flush him?

Me:  Not really.  Well maybe… I don’t know.  This is really sad.  Blue Fish was the kiddos’ first pet.  He’s been a really good fish.  Okay, yes, I will come up and see him.

We went upstairs while the kids now 21 months old and 2 and 3/4 years old played in the living room.  Hubby picked up Blue Fish’s fish bowl and we both stared inside of it.  Hubby asked me if I was ready to say goodbye.  I wasn’t.  Thank goodness because as we continued to stare at this poor little Beta fish, he started to swim.  So, we cleaned the fish bowl, fed Blue Fish and carried on with our day, relieved that we hadn’t flushed the poor little guy alive.  It’s hard enough to lose a pet.  I would imagine it would be harder knowing that your parents killed it.  Thank you Blue Fish, for swimming around your bowl at just the right time.

This afternoon after I got the kids up from their naps, we all took turns using the potty.  We are desperately trying to toilet-train Miss M but she is not interested at all.  Mr. C is very interested and is doing really well.  After my turn to pee, I flushed the toilet and immediately noticed that the flushing sound was different.  I looked down to see a bazillion pieces of toilet paper quickly swirling to the top of the bowl.  I quickly grabbed the plunger and started plunging like crazy while 21 month old Mr. C repeated “Scary!  Scary!” not knowing what was going on.  With her priorities in order, Miss M asked me “Where’s purple dinosaur?” at least 57 times as she held the orange and green little, plastic dinosaurs in her hand.  My heart was pounding.  My blood pressure was rising.  Hubby had gone out to a meeting.  The fate of our bathroom was up to me.  Crap.  

I pulled the towel off the towel rack behind me and watched the water instantly soak through it.  As I turned to get more towels, I saw that both toddlers had followed me into the bathroom and were splashing around in the toilet water.  Gross.  I pulled their socks off and begged them to get out of the bathroom as I scanned the toilet up and down trying to remember where the shut-off tap is for the water.  I couldn’t find it.  The kids ran back into the bathroom and I got splashed in the face with toilet water when I turned to shoo them back out.  It’s okay.  It’s just pee.  Breathe.  I grabbed their hands and literally dragged them out and shut the door, locking them outside of the bathroom.  They both screamed and cried and banged on the door, then somehow managed to figure out the childproof door knob lock and busted the door back open.

I took the lid off of the tank and out of desperation and panic, pulled the chain inside because it seemed like the only thing I could do with all of the contraptions inside of it.  Obviously, it caused the toilet to flush again, this time pushing water over the lid like the fountain in the middle of Central Park.  Dammit!  Mr. C applauded and cheered “Yay! Wa-ter!” as I pushed past him to the linen closet in the hallway for more towels.

I quickly unfolded the freshly washed towels and threw them on the bathroom floor.  As I did, I noticed that the brand, new jumbo-sized box of tampons that I had just picked up at Costco was still on the floor next to the vanity because it was too damn big to fit inside the cupboard.  It was now completely soaked with toilet water and so were the tampons inside of it.  Talk about super absorbency.

I ran downstairs to shut off the main water line.  Good idea!  Except that I couldn’t figure out where one might do that.  I really wish my brain would work and I could remember anything of significance.  I can tell you what I wore for picture day in grade 3 but when it comes to things like this, I draw a complete blank.  I scanned the laundry room looking at pipes and taps and things that might end the madness, then settled for a mop and bucket. I ran back upstairs to see that Mr. C was plunging the toilet after emptying the linens from the linen closet since there were no towels left and had dumped our extra sheets and blankets into the toilet water on the floor.  How helpful.

Thanks, little man!

Miss M stood outside of the door, frozen like a statue with a look of pure devastation on her face as she pointed at her beloved, heart-shaped, plastic necklace soaked in water and toilet paper bits on the bathroom floor. “My wook-lace!  My wook-lace! My wook-lace! Mommy, my wook-lace!”  If there is one thing I have learned about two-year olds, it is that a two-year old’s world revolves around the two-year old.  Everything else is just background noise.  A flooded bathroom is just an irritating backdrop for a soaked plastic necklace and a missing purple dinosaur.  “Don’t worry about your necklace!  Mommy needs to clean up the bathroom first and then she will get your necklace!”  Well, those words and my failure to immediately stop what I was doing to rescue the “wook-lace” were enough to push Miss M right over the edge.  She threw herself on the floor in the hallway and had a full-blown tantrum while I finally got the water to stop pouring over the top of of the toilet and then mopped up the mess as Mr. C pulled all of the now-soaked tampons out of the box one by one.


I threw all of our soaking wet towels and linens down the stairs to the laundry room, stripped both kids down, washed them, washed the bathroom floor, threw out all of the gross, wet tampons and then got to what was important:  cleaning and disinfecting the beloved, plastic, heart-shaped necklace.  Thank goodness this precious, family jewel was not destroyed in the flood.  Crisis averted.


This mama is now in need of a plumber, a margarita and a jumbo-sized box of tampons.  In the meantime, there are cupcakes.  Cupcakes make everything better…and stickier. Much, much stickier.

cupcake party

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap-dancing on the brink of insanity with her insanely adorable and entertaining Irish twins, now 1 and 2 years old.  If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on Facebook to be the first to know of future posts.  Thanks for reading!  Cheers! xo

Group Potty Training: I Check Tonight off as “Progress!”

Last night I was bathing both kiddos and watching them gleefully splash and play in the tub when 2.5 year old Miss M filled the rinse jug with water and froze mid-motion, just as she was about to dump it on 19 month old Mr. C’s head. She looked up at me with a look of horror on her face. I jumped from my lifeguard perch (the toilet) and bent down to ask her what was wrong.

With watery eyes and a bit of a grunt she replied “Poo Poo! Potty!” You have to go to the potty? “Yes!” she replied. We have been desperately trying to get Miss M interested in toilet training. We have been reading books, talking about it constantly, and have even downloaded an Elmo “potty” app on the iPad where she can touch the screen to unroll the toilet paper and flush the toilet. She understands the concept but applying it to real life is a whole other story.

I quickly scooped her out of the tub, stood her on the mat while I fumbled to put her Dora the Explorer potty training seat on the toilet and then plopped her down on the toilet. Approximately 1 millisecond later (at the longest), she jumped off the seat enthusiastically exclaiming “All done!” and then asked for a sticker. We have been giving her a sticker whenever she successfully goes to the potty. Each and every time she receives a sticker, she sticks it on the toilet seat. We now have a collage of victory stickers on our toilet seat. They are her trophies. I really can’t argue with her logic.

Mr. C watched intently from the bathtub repeating the word “Potty!” over and over while pointing at his sister. I explained to Miss M that she had to sit down on the potty and try to go poop. I plopped her back on the seat and asked her to try again. This time, she jumped off of the toilet seat and applauded then proceeded to sing Dora’s “I did it! I did it! I did it! Yeah!!!” while dancing completely naked around the bathroom. I didn’t even know she knew the words to that song! Listen kiddo! You didn’t do it! You can fake a lot of things in this world but popping in the potty is not one of them. The proof is in the bowl.

I tried to put her back on the potty but she jumped off screaming “Tub!” and quickly climbed back into the bathtub.

As she climbed in, Mr. C climbed out screaming “Potty! Potty!” He wanted a turn. It’s quite possible he might be toilet-trained before his older sister. I sat him down on the training seat on the toilet. He squealed with excitement and kicked his feet while wearing the hugest smile on his face as he held on to the handles of the seat. When he “finished,” I put him back in the tub. As he sat down in the tub, I immediately realized that Miss M had pooped in the bathtub during our “potty break.” Gross.. Her logs of poop were floating around the tub amongst the bath toys. I quickly scooped poor Mr. C out of the tub, followed by Miss M.

I towelled them off, brushed their teeth and then escorted them out of the bathroom, pulling the door shut so I could deal with that later.

As I diapered them, I suddenly realized that with all of this potty talk, I had to go pee! I flung the bathroom door open and was immediately smacked across the face by the smell of floating poo. I drained the bath tub while sitting on the toilet. Multitasking is an essential skill for any Mommy. When I finished peeing and turned to flush the toilet, Miss M jumped in front of me and enthusiastically shouted “Good Job!” I burst out laughing. When I flushed the toilet and turned to wash my hands she intercepted my path demanding “a five? A five?” meaning she wanted to give me a high-5 for my excellent work peeing on the toilet. I accepted. It’s nice to feel appreciated, after all.

I could not stop laughing at this whole crazy potty experience. I put the kids to bed and then returned to the bath room to scoop the poop out of the now drained bath tub and sanitize the bath toys and tub.

There are not enough Lysol wipes in the world for this household. I will sign tonight off as “progress” in the potty-training journey.

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s journey while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please follow my blog or “like” my page on facebook. Thanks for reading! Xo

Toddler Bedtime Battles: The “PLEASE Sleep in your own Bed!” Saga Continues…

Tonight (and every night) we are desperately trying to get 2.5 year old Miss M to sleep in her big girl bed in her big girl room. She was doing so well for months but then approximately one month ago, she decided that she will only sleep in our bed and there is nothing we can do to convince her otherwise. While eating dinner, I asked her if she was going to sleep in her big girl bed tonight. She politely looked up at me and said “No thank you, Mommy!” When Hubby came home, he asked her the same question, “Are you going to sleep in your beautiful big girl bed tonight?” She replied “No! Swuggle!” This little lady is fierce, determined and knows what she wants. She is exhibiting incredible leadership skills already. She is a force to be reckoned with. I’m pretty confident that she is going to be the President of the United States of America one day… Which would be an incredible achievement given that we are Canadian.

Miss M was delirious. She had refused to nap yesterday. She didn’t settle until after midnight last night and we had to wake her up at 7am to take her to daycare this morning. She refused to nap at daycare today. She’s exhausted but incredibly strong-willed and is running her own wake-a-thon. I’m convinced that she is a toddler activist! Tell us your cause, little one! What is it? Dessert for dinner? A later bedtime? Your very own iPhone? A puppy? A pony? A unicorn? An Elmo tattoo? Tell us what you want and we will make it happen if it means we can sleep!

After dinner, I ran upstairs to put a load of laundry away. When I turned around, Miss M was standing in the doorway of Mr. C’s room asking for “Swuggles!” When I crossed the hall to put her laundry away in her dresser, she threw a fit. She wouldn’t even enter her room. She stood at her bedroom doorway screaming “Swuggle!”

Because she was exhausted, I decided to skip her routine bath tonight. I undressed her and put her pajamas on. I scooped her up and cuddled her in Hubby and my bed while Hubby hung out with Mr. C downstairs. We read a couple of books and then I figured she would fall asleep right away. She didn’t. She was lying in our bed quietly but wasn’t going to sleep. Hubby and I had already decided that tonight was THE night. She was going to sleep in her bed. I rocked Mr. C to sleep and put him in his crib. This took a little longer than normal since he is fighting a cold but he was pretty excited to have my essential oils diffuser set up in his room to diffuse peppermint and Thieves essential oils to help him breathe. He was quickly mesmerized by the glow of the colour-changing base of the diffuser.

Then I returned to my room, scooped up Miss M (which took a lot of agility and strategy since she knew what was coming so would scoot to the opposite side of where I was standing as I ran to either side of the bed.). I carried her kicking and screaming to her bed. She was hysterical. I got her to calm down a bit as I said goodnight to each of her dolls and stuffed animals. “Goodnight Giraffe! Goodnight Duck! Goodnight Caterpillar! Goodnight Dora! Goodnight Puppy!” By this time she was still sniffling but was content… Until I said “Goodnight Pink Monkey!”, at which point she instantly burst into tears and screamed “GREEN MONKEY!!!!!” I quickly sprung up, throwing off the blankets, frantically looking under pillows for the green sock monkey. It was nowhere to be found. I jumped up to discover that I had been sitting on it! phewf!. Crisis averted.I held her on my lap and read her a story as she ignored it and whimpered “Swuggle!” I told her I was proud of her for sleeping in her bed, kissed her goodnight and then walked slow enough that it didn’t look like I was bolting for the door but fast enough that I could close the baby gate behind me so she wouldn’t escape.

She screamed “Mommy! Swuggle! Mommy! Swuggle!” at the gate. Hubby came in from outside and reaffirmed that “tonight is the night! She has to learn and we have to be tough!” and said he would take a shift. He laid on her bed and attempted to read her a book as she screamed hysterically to the point she was almost hyperventilating. I tried to intervene but Hubby insisted to let him take a turn. Fine

I peeked in on Mr. C who was now sleeping soundly in spite of the chaos across the hall and then went downstairs to anxiously pace around the living room listening to my daughter scream for me as my husband tried to console her. It was heartbreaking. Hubby told her that he was here with her and that “Mommy was busy” and that “Mommy wasn’t available right now” which broke my heart even more and I made a mental note to tell him not to say that. I am ALWAYS here. I only leave to go to work. It’s unfair to say that because I am ALWAYS here and if I’m going to basically be under house arrest, my kiddo needs to know that I am here for her. I will always be here for her when she needs me. We need to work on our bedtime “please sleep in your own bed!” script.

I went upstairs and peeked in her room. Hubby was calm, singing “Paddy Cake” to her and Miss M was a hot mess, standing over him screaming “Mommmmmmy! Swuggle!” at the top of her lungs. Hubby gave me the look and the hand gesture to “Get Out!” so I did.

bedtime protest

I poured myself a glass of wine and went upstairs and sat on our bed resisting the urge to intervene. After a solid 20 minutes of her frantic crying only escalating, she screamed out “Mommy! SWUGGLE!” Hubby told her that “Mommy wasn’t available to swuggle her right now. (Swuggle is now a real word in our household.). I couldn’t take it anymore and told Hubby that I wasn’t going to let her carry on any longer and to please let her come and swuggle with me. “She will never learn if we give in!” yeah, well… I can’t bear to listen to her despair any longer so please just let her come and cuddle with me. Thank you for trying.. Hubby uttered no words but obviously agreed/had no fight left in him because the baby gate opened and I heard the thud! thud! thud! of my 2 year old’s feet racing across the hall to see me. She cuddled up on the bed, put her thumb in her mouth and was instantly relaxed. She pointed to our television and said “Spickey Mouse!” No Honey, No TV shows. It’s bedtime! “Dora? Diego? Bonnie Bear? Guppies? Elmo? Spickey Mouse?” Seriously kiddo… I wasn’t looking for other options. You have pretty impressive negotiation skills….and for the record, it’s MICKEY Mouse!

She laid down quietly resting her head on my chest. Hubby came upstairs looking flustered from the failed bedtime attempt and said he was going to go out for a beer if that was okay. Sure! I haven’t left the house since 2012 except for weddings and funerals but yes, you go right ahead for the third time this week. I’m sure you need it more than I do!. I honestly don’t mean to be so dramatic and awful and usually regret the words I’m saying as they sputter out of my mouth but the stress and the tension and the sleep deprivation all manifest itself in CRAZY ways. Hubby sees my “crazy” and ups it to a new level. He says that I can go out too and he will just call a babysitter. I see he is bluffing because we don’t even have a babysitter to call so I agree. He says “Fine” and then proceeds to pace around our bedroom making phone calls that may or may not be pretend. I can’t say for sure. The stress, the lack of adult time and the sleep deprivation are getting to us. We don’t have a solution to this issue just yet but I really hope to laugh about it someday.

Hubby leaves to go out for his beer. I momentarily think about locking him out of the house but then realize that I am just tired, delirious, stressed and Jealous (with a capital J) so I take a deep breath and cuddle up with my beautiful little girl, reminding myself that one day I am going to be begging her to swuggle me. Someday I will sleep. Until then, I will survive, savour these sweet moments and enjoy the endless swuggles

Moments later, Miss M is perfectly content, tucked into our bed. I sneak away to put a load of laundry in the dryer and then sit on the couch for a moment to regroup and enjoy the solitude of being alone in a silent room. My mind drifts off and then I realize that Miss M hasn’t called for me. Interesting. Apparently she doesn’t really care if Hubby and I are in bed with her or not. She just wants our room and our bed. It looks like a tradesies might be in order. I tiptoed upstairs to peek in at her. She is sound asleep like a little angel. It looks like Hubby and my room is about to get a whole lot pinker.



andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on Facebook. Thanks for reading! Xo


Stubborn & Sleepless “Swuggles”…The Resident 2 Year Old is Running this Place…into the Ground

These days, just the thought of bedtime makes me cringe.  Crazy, right?  Bedtime has turned into such a stressful and exhausting process in our home.  We have had the same bedtime routine since the beginning of “bedtimes” in this house.  We bathe both kiddos with a delicious smelling homemade baby wash that I make myself with chamomile-infused coconut oil, lavender essential oils and a few other all-natural ingredients designed to gently clean and relax our little love bugs.  Then we brush teeth.  I just bought both kiddos new battery-operated toothbrushes.  This has changed  our lives for the better.  Now instead of the screaming fits in protests of brushing teeth, 2.5 year old Miss M and 18 month old Mr. C are excited to brush their teeth and giggle as the spinning head on the toothbrush tickles their gums.  Then we do diapers and pajamas and stories.  Normally, I rock Mr. C and listen to “Beautiful Boy” and then return to Miss M’s room to read her a couple more books then tuck her in and say goodnight.  The whole routine normally takes 30-45 minutes from bath to bed and then Hubby and I have a short, adult-only evening before retiring to bed ourselves.

I’m not sure exactly when or why it happened as the days and nights have all blended together into one hazy, sleep-deprived period of time but approximately one month ago, Miss M decided that she is no longer interested in sleeping in her bed.  She started waking up in the middle of the night crying out “Mommy!” and I would run across the hall, scoop her up, bring her back to bed with me and she would snuggle in and fall back asleep.  This quickly became a regular occurrence.  Every night between 2am and 4am, I would wake up to a panicked little girl who seemed scared.  I wondered if she was having nightmares but wasn’t sure what to do about it.  Over the past few weeks, Miss M has become very cuddly and has needed a lot of one-on-one time with me which I don’t mind at all.  I have been working a lot and have been under a lot of pressure and I think she senses that and needs some undivided attention.  I make a big deal of talking to her at bedtime and asking about her day and talking about our hopes and dreams like pooping on the potty someday and sleeping in on the weekend.  Then we read our books and we say goodnight to all 15 or so of her dolls and stuffed animals that share her bed and then I kiss her goodnight.  At some point over the past few weeks, she decided that she was no longer interested in this routine.  She wanted to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s bed.  She is incredibly smart.  For the past couple of weeks, the second her wet, little feet are out of the tub, she bolts for our bedroom and tucks herself into our bed.  For being such a tiny person, she is able to anchor herself to the bed and it takes a lot of maneuvering and coaxing just to get her dressed in her pajamas.  She will look up at us from the middle of our bed and ask to be snuggled, which in her words is “Swuggle? Swuggle! Swuggle Mommy!  Mommy Swuggle! Swuggle!”  So, I climb into bed and cuddle her, play with her hair and tell her that I love her very much and that she needs to go sleep in her own room.  As soon as I say those words, she jumps up screaming and crying, climbing on top of me, wrapping her arms around my neck like a baby koala and demands more swuggles.

Compromises are off the table.  I have tried snuggling with her in our bed and then bringing her to her bed.  She screams and cries at the baby gate at her doorway until we give in to her.  She is a very emotional little girl and can make herself sick from crying so we are cautious about not letting her get too upset but at the same time we wonder if we are being manipulated a little bit.  Is she throwing these hysterical fits because she knows they will “break us?”  Or is she just going through a phase where she needs more cuddles and attention and swuggles?  We have no idea.  What we do know is that the never-ending bedtime is really impacting all of us.

When Miss M cries at her baby gate when we try to put her in her room, she wakes up Mr. C so then I have to free her (at which point she miraculously shuts off the waterworks, takes a deep breath and smiles) so she can happily run across the hall and jump into our bed while I go in and start all over with Mr. C, picking him up, wrapping his blanket around him with his favourite remote control (Yes, he sleeps with a full-sized remote control.  He doesn’t leave the house without it.  No teddy bears needed for this guy!) and rocking him while singing lullabies then tucking him back in only to return to start all over with Miss M.  Because our bedtime routine now takes hours, Hubby and I really don’t get any time to talk to each other or even just sit and watch a TV show before going to bed…unless I give in and let Miss M watch an episode of Dora the Explorer in our bed.  Most nights, Hubby is hanging out in the living room by himself while I swuggle Miss M.  By the time she finally settles (into our bed, sprawled out horizontally like a starfish), I am exhausted and just fall asleep myself.

Besides not having any time to spend together, I am also going a little bit bonkers because I don’t get any time alone.  Ever.  I drive home from work, pick the kids up, drive home, unpack the car, make dinner, play with the kids, bathe them and then start the bedtime routine around 7pm which over the past 3 weeks hasn’t finished until well after 10pm.  Then I fall asleep and deal with kicks in the nose and knees in the back from my new, tiny, tossing and turning bedmate as I try to catch a few zzz’s.  This routine is not working but I don’t know how to fix it.  It seems to only get worse.  I want “bedtime” back.  I miss it.  I miss having a couple of hours at the end of the day to take my “Mommy hat” off and unwind.  Right now as I write this blog in my bed, it is 9:52pm on a Sunday night and Miss M is sitting beside me, making her sock monkeys dance across my keyboard.  Sometimes I think I am going crazy but convince myself that I’m not crazy simply because if I was crazy, I wouldn’t know, so my awareness of my mental state must mean that I’m not.  (I don’t get much sleep so this theory makes complete sense to me!)  I’m just tired.


Tonight was no different.  We finished baths and before I even had a chance to get Miss M’s pajamas out of her drawer, she was gone.  I peeked across the hall into our bedroom and there she was, tucked into our bed.  I told her she had to sleep in her bed tonight like we had talked about all day.  She threw a fit screaming “Swuggle! Swuggle Mommy!”  I brought her into her room and read her a book even though she just screamed “Swuggle! Open Gate! Open!” at the baby gate in her doorway and ignored me.  I picked her up, placed her in her bed, tucked her in, told her I loved her and walked away and closed the baby gate behind me.  I knew she would be following right behind me, still screaming so I decided to have a nice, hot shower to try to relax and unwind (and have one less thing to do in the morning since it’s more than likely going to be another long, sleepless night.)  She screamed and cried.  I tried to stay strong and let her settle herself down.  She had to give up and go to sleep tonight.  She was exhausted.  She nodded off at the dinner table tonight because she didn’t have an afternoon nap today because she pulled these exact same stunts at naptime.  As the whining stopped, I felt a pressure lift from my shoulders and I felt victorious.  I was proud of her.  What a big girl!  I got out of the shower, wrapped myself in a towel and tiptoed to her door and peeked in expecting to see my sweet little angel, cuddled up, sleeping soundly.  Instead I saw Hubby lying next to her on her bed.  Miss M was wide awake, walking her sock monkeys up and down his chest as he laid beside her trying to convince her to go to sleep.  “What was I supposed to do?  She was hysterical!  She was going to make herself sick!”  Ugh.  As frustrated as I was, I don’t blame him.  It’s hard to leave your baby to cry but what we are doing isn’t working so we need to try being strong and tough tonight.  We have no choice.  She needs to get some sleep, we need to spend some time together without a sock monkey kissing our foreheads while we talk or having to kiss a unicorn mid-sentence and plus we have other things to do.  The never-ending bedtime routine has caused me to fall incredibly behind on laundry, baby sock matching and floor destickifiying.  It’s a downward spiral.

When Hubby tucked her in and left her room, Miss M screamed at the gate again.  He was ready to relax and have some down time and I had some homework to do for a course I am taking so I needed some time alone to do it.  We agreed that while we don’t agree with the “Cry It Out” method, we have to just let her soothe herself.  I said goodnight to her, gave her a hug and a kiss and then retreated across the hall to our bedroom and closed the door.  I attempted to do my reading assignment for my course tomorrow.  I read all of the words but my brain was not concentrating enough to make sense of them.  Miss M was screaming and calling out for me and demanding swuggles and demanding that the gate be opened.  She must have cried out “Mommy! Daddy!” over 200 times.  I am not exaggerating.  We had to stay strong.  We had no choice.  We have tried everything and exhausted all other options.  We need to fix this issue.  I have to prep for this course.  Miss M has to go to sleep.  I tried to send her telepathic messages to beg her to stop crying and go to sleep.  My nerves were shot.  My patience had run dry.  My head was pounding from her screaming.  My heart was fluttering.  I was burned out and frustrated.  I put down my reading assignment and started to cry myself then told myself to “get it together.”  More crying wasn’t going to resolve the crying.

Hubby and I chatted via text while he sat on the couch downstairs and I sat behind a closed door on our bed upstairs.

Hubby: She’s stubborn.

Me: I know.

Hubby:  She’s just like her mother.


Miss M cried and carried on then would get tired and I would think that she might have given up but then she would start up again.  She was delirious at this point but still refused to sleep.  She continued to whine at the gate then scream at the gate then babble away to herself then start all over.  She did this for exactly one hour.  ONE HOUR.  I could not believe it.  I felt trapped inside our room.  The second I open the door and she sees me standing there, things are going to dramatically escalate.  I texted Hubby:

Me:  Can you unlock the back door?  I’m thirsty but can’t cross M’s doorway so I’m thinking about jumping out of our bedroom window and then walking around back to get a drink.

Hubby: Ok

Me: ??????

And then I heard him unlock the back door.  I laughed out loud.  He actually opened the back door.  I was joking.  I was definitely not going to jump from our second-floor window for a glass of water.  Neither of us can think with all of the screaming happening in the background and our hearts breaking into a million pieces from leaving our little girl to cry alone in her beautiful room with her warm, cozy double bed that she refuses to sleep in.  I finished my assignment.  I think I did anyway.  My brain hurts so I give up.  I opened the door.  I opened the baby gate.  I took a deep breath and gave Miss M a big hug.  I didn’t know what to say.  She caught her breath and looked up at me through puffy, red eyes and said “Swuggle!” then ran across the hall and climbed up on to our bed where she has been for the past 2 hours….NOT SLEEPING.  How is this child not sleeping?  We started the bedtime routine at 6:30pm.  It is now 10:37pm and she is still up.  4 hours and counting.  We played Good Cop.  We played Bad Cop.  We compromised.  We negotiated.  We swuggled.  We had a nice bath.  We drank warm milk.  We read stories.  We sang lullabies.  We talked about going to sleep.  We swuggled some more.  I am completely out of ideas and patience and energy.  I honestly don’t know what to do but we need to do something.

Suggestions are welcome.  There is nothing we won’t try.  Seriously.  Help me.  I’m begging.



The Mama with the dark, puffy eyes and grey hair


andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog to be notified of future posts.  You can also like my page on facebook by clicking here!  Thanks for reading! xo