Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kroger Meltdown

It was bound to happen. I'm surprised it took this long. In the five years I've been a parent, I've never experienced the full grocery store meltdown. Sure, we have some crying and fussiness but NEVER a full out temper tantrum. Until today...

As Maddie and I were walking into the grocery store, a woman stopped me to tell me my daughter was "just precious." Another woman called out to her friend to look at the cute little girl.

Doesn't she look SO sweet? She was happy and smiling as we ran into the grocery store.

It was smooth sailing through the produce section, deli counter, and organic aisle. Turns out she likes ham. Good to know! We were having a good time chatting about the different items and marking them off the list. So fun!

It all started going downhill as we were leaving the meat section. You see, I wouldn't give her my pen. I tried to appease her by offering to let her hold the grocery list or items we were purchasing but she wasn't having it. I, of course, was not going to give her the pen.

By the time we got to the milk aisle she was screaming at me. I tried to ignore her. Other grocery store shoppers tried to be helpful by talking to her and trying to distract her. Silly people! She then started screaming at them too. You can go here if you would like to get an idea of what it sounded like. You will only need to watch the first six seconds.

I tried to remain calm. This child's poor behavior was not a reflection on my parenting skills. Right? However, when she started to push me away from the cart and yelling, "NO, MOMMY!" I had had enough. I parked the cart, took her out of it, and carried her screaming out of the store. Oh, my! I strapped her into her car seat and she screamed some more. I called Dan to come get her. She continued to scream even after Dan arrived to take her home.

I went back into the store, got the cart, and finished shopping. (I only had three aisles left to go, ugh!!) I was rattled and shaken. Maddie had been well fed, not sick, and not due for a nap for two hours. Where did I go wrong? Then I remembered - I have a two-year old.

When I got home, she asked if I would play with her and her Little People. I took this opportunity to remind her that she hadn't been very nice to me in the grocery store and I really didn't feel like playing. She said she was sorry and kissed my hand. Shut-up!

She is lucky she is so dang cute!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

It seems like I take a hiatus from blogging every year during the fall. It's my busy season at home and work (and this season was extremely busy) and that leaves me little time to think about documenting life. However, it just seems wrong to not update the blog with the Halloween 411. So, here are some photos from the day:

It was a perfect fall day in the ATL. It was 72 degrees when we left to go trick or treating. Shut up! This Chicago girl appreciates the wonderful weather. I do NOT take it for granted!!

Luke was Iron Man. His costume was totally awesome!

Maddie was Snow White. It's her favorite princess at the moment.

Iron Man led the way and Snow White was right behind him.

One of my favorite moments was Maddie running to catch-up with the boys.
So different from last year. She was not about to be left behind :)

I hope your Halloween was a good one!

Monday, August 23, 2010

She is just too cute!

Alright, you may go back to your regularly scheduled day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Luke is 5!

Today we celebrated the Luke-man's fifth Birthday...

Can you believe how big he is? I know I say this every year, but I can't believe he is five. It seems like yesterday we were calling him the "Angry Burrito." As a baby, he hated to be swaddled and would get so mad. However, he couldn't handle the responsibility of his own hands and they would attack him while he tried to sleep. Such a catch-22 but I digress...

This year Luke had his first friend party. He has been going to more and more parties and I knew he would really want to have one with his friends too. So, we partied down at Monkey Joe's.

This was the best shot I could get of Luke playing with his friends. I finally gave up trying and decided to wait until they were sitting for cake.

Speaking of cake, here is the pic. This year's theme was Scooby-Doo. Dan has introduced the kiddos to the DVDs and they love watching those "meddling kids" :)

Luke with Monkey Joe. I had heard that an adult dressed as a character could create panic in a child and I am here to report this rumor has been confirmed. Monkey Joe left the party room and order was quickly restored.

Then it was back to the house to open gifts with the Mancini's and have more cake. Can you have too much cake? I submit to you that you cannot :)

Luke on his big-boy bike. How fun is that?
Happy birthday, my sweet boy. You are one loved little dude!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Do you like jokes?

It's Luke's favorite question at the moment. He is going through the phase where he is trying to figure out the whole humor thing. If you're asked this question by Luke, please brace yourself for the following type of "joke":

Luke: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Innocent bystander: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Luke: Because he wanted to get to the parking lot.
Luke: Bah-ha-ha!!

He is so silly!!

Consider yourself warned :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I fart!

On our way to Florida, we stopped at a Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. Right before the waiter comes to our table, Maddie passes gas.

Waiter: "Is there anything else I can get for you guys?"
Dan and I: "Nope, we're good."
Maddie looks right at the waiter as if to have a request and says: "I fart! I fart!"

Which would be extremely funny except for the fact that when she says the word fart it sounds like she is cussing like a sailor. Yeah, not so funny anymore... Or, is it?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


That is how you say...

stroller in two-year-old. Don't ask me, I'm just reporting the facts :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

I fell down!

Never in a million years did I think I would be sitting in the ER with the sweet baby girl waiting to see if an x-ray was going to reveal the need for a cast. I thought for sure this experience would be exclusively a mommy-Lukie moment. Luke causes himself bodily damage just by the mere act of walking. Maddie is always steady on her feet and pretty coordinated for her age. I guess that is why I let my guard down.

We were in the process of getting ready for the pool. Maddie was playing in her room and I had just brought the pool bag with our towels down to the main floor. The next step was making lunches, having our mid-morning snacks, and then out to the pool. All of a sudden I heard something loud pounding down the stairs and I knew instantly that it was Maddie. She had tried to come down the stairs holding a baby and a blanket. My heart stopped but I ran to the stairs. She was laying on her stomach at the bottom of the stairs and she was screaming. At first, I thought she had hurt her leg or foot but then it became clear it was her arm.

We went to Scottish Rite's Emergency Room. I love them. They were so good with her. It takes her awhile to warm up to strangers and I was nervous she would spend our time there screaming as strangers tried to treat her. But she never even cried or uttered a whimper. All of the staff took their time as they examined her and did the x-rays. Even putting on the cast was smooth sailing. She received many stickers because she was such a good girl!!

So, she has a buckle fracture, also known as an incomplete break, which is a common injury in kiddos. Because her bones are softer, it bent in on itself and didn't break completely. Generally, it takes about three weeks to heal. You can imagine that I'm beyond relieved. Her injuries could have been really, really bad. I'm SO extremely grateful.

As for Maddie...

she is taking it in stride. Kids are crazy resilient! "I fell down." She has talked about this a few times today. We are giving her ibuprofen regularly for the pain and she just compensates for the cast as she plays. Of course, she likes to point out that the cast is pink. This seems to please her immensely.

Again, I can't even express how thankful I am. This was scary but she is going to be okay and that is all that matters. Whew!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

1st Annual Mancini Family Vacation

One of the family traditions that I've been looking forward to creating the most has been the annual beach trip. After Luke and Maddie are grown and have families of their own, I would love for them to be in the rhythm of carving out time to spend a week with us on vacation. How fun!!

Now that Maddie is older and can do more things, we decided this was the year to start. We piled into the Mancini Fam Jam Van and headed to Florida. The first stop -

Disney World!!

Luke is a great age to go for the first time. He loved it. When we asked him which ride was his favorite, he said, "All of them!" As for Maddie... Well, she probably really won't remember a thing but the good news is her ticket to the park was FREE! She may not remember Disney World but she did add a new sentence to her repertoire: "I wanna ride a ride!"

Lots of "bonding" time while waiting in line for the rides.

Luke hamming it up with his Mickey ears for the camera.

This is what happens when you try to take a picture of Luke and me in the sun. We can't help but squint, hold up a hand to shield the eyes, or just look down. Light blue eyes are SO sensitive to light.
Much better!

We spent three nights (two days) in Orlando. Our original plan was to do Disney World on Monday and then one of the other parks on Tuesday. However, we decided we wanted to take our time exploring Disney World and not get all tense about getting to all the rides in one day. We also decided to leave the park and go back to the condo for lunch and Maddie's nap. This plan allowed us to have really enjoyable times with well-rested kids and we got to see the fireworks on Monday night and the Main Street Electrical Parade on Tuesday night.

Even with all of that careful planning...

we did have some tense and sour moments.
However, those were few and far between because we were after all in the Magic Kingdom!

On Wednesday, we traveled to the beach. We went to Madeira Beach which is on the gulf side by St. Petersburg. After two days of running around a theme park, it was SO awesome to settle into a slower pace. The kids loved playing in the sand and the ocean. We asked Luke if he liked Disney World or the beach better. His response, "I don't know. I like them both!" I would love to post pics of the beach but we didn't bring the camera to the beach with us. Boo!

We ended up leaving the beach a day early. The weather forecast was calling for rain all day on Friday and entertaining active children in a condo on a rainy day was not going to set anyone up for success. So, we decided to drive back in the rain and spend the sunny holiday weekend poolside in Atlanta. Woo-hoo! It has been an awesome family vacation.

Friday, June 18, 2010

There is no "I" in team

But there is an "m" and an "e".
Just saying!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


When you translate "P-P-Ba-Pa-Eee" from 2 year-old to adult it means "I need to pee pee in the potty". This isn't a conversation starter but a call to action. It means I need to go potty now or I've already started to go potty. (The first one involves rushing her to the bathroom and post pee pee in the potty celebration. The second involves a clean-up on aisle 5.)

The downside is the Wee-One has started to use it as a manipulation tool. At least twice a week, after I've put her in her crib for the night, I hear through the monitor, "MOMMA, P-P-Ba-Pa-Eee". She also uses it as a way to get me to hang out with her if I'm working around the house. She knows I'll stop whatever I'm doing and go into the bathroom with her. Sly little fox!

I can't tell you how excited I am that Maddie has started to let us know when she needs to go to the bathroom. One more step towards potty independence. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Madeleine Grace is 2!!

Birth day - 2008

1st Birthday - 2009

If you ask Maddie how old she is, she will reply, "I two."
(Yes, Maddie's eyes were blue on her first birthday. They are now hazel. How crazy is that?)

We started the the birthday celebration on Thursday with cupcakes at school. That was messy!!

Then we had her family party on Saturday. The theme was flowers since it is one of the words she says very clearly.

Aunt Kate and Grandma watching the gift extravaganza.
After she opened her first gift, she went into the kitchen to play with it. She was not interested in coming back to the living room to open the rest of her gifts. She told me, "No Momma!" We had to coax her back and convince her she wanted to open more gifts.

Luke hanging with Grandpa.

Unwrapping Grandma Carol's gift. It's an American Girl Bitty Baby and a Bitty Baby Stroller. Yes, it is a HUGE hit!!

The cake! I have learned my lesson (see her first bday post) and took a photo before the party started :)

I couldn't believe that on her 2nd birthday she stuck her face in her cake.
Isn't that 1st birthday phenomena?

Of course, you do it over and over once you get a reaction from the crowd.

Welcome to the terrific twos, my love!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Potty Training Update

It has been 16 days of potty training. Boy, time sure does fly when you are having fun! Maddie returned to school on Monday. I sent her to school each day with 2 pull-ups, 2 pairs of underwear, and three pairs of shorts. One pull-up was for naps, and the other pull-up... Well, if she went through a total of three pairs of underwear and three pairs of shorts, I decided we would put her in a pull-up and the last remaining pair of shorts and call it day. I'm sure at this point everyone (teachers, Maddie and mommy) would probably be done for the day.

The week back at school went very well. Maddie's fabulous teachers took her to the bathroom every 45 minutes and she was very compliant with them. She only had a couple of accidents the whole school week. She never came close to ending a day in a pull-up. Woo-hoo!

I also think we are starting to turn the corner when it comes to asking to go or letting us know she needs to go. On Thursday she told her teacher she had to go to the bathroom. At home, it has been more subtle. If she mentions pee or poop or potty, I've learned these words are not conversation starters, no need to ask a question because a move needs to be busted!

All-in-all, it has been going well. Oh yeah, today was an accident free day which was totally sweet!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Potty Training Boot Camp

I return to work tomorrow which means the Mancini Potty Training Boot Camp is coming to a close. It was a rough start and I thought about bagging it on Monday. After re-reading some materials and chats with some wise people, I decided to continue (after making some adjustments) and Maddie has finished strong. I'm pretty proud of the little gal. We had multiple outings today and she used public bathrooms like a champ. Woo-hoo!

Maddie hasn't learned to ask to go to the bathroom, yet. So, I have to be aware and take her to the bathroom at regular intervals. Luke did the same thing when he was potty training. So, I'm not sweating it because I know it will come over time. The hard work this week has laid a foundation that we can build upon and I'm super excited about that!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The Mancini girls love fresh flowers!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crime Scene...

He looks like he should be outlined in chalk. Crazy kid!

BTW, we are still at home and potty training. Maddie is making progress and so is mommy.

Mother's Day 2010

I hope all of you gals enjoyed celebrating all the love and hard work you pour into your families! As for me, I had a fabulous day. We did potty training light (we only worked on it in the morning) and then enjoyed the day at Grandma/Grandpa's house.

The family (I mean Dan) gave me a new iPhone for Mother's Day. This means I now have a video camera in reach at all times. Woo-hoo! What more can a blogging mom ask for? Ha! Below is some video of Maddie getting her groove on in the gazebo.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Potty Training - End of Day 2

Okay, we are at the end of day 2 and I'm fighting the "I'm a big failure" feeling. I hate that feeling because it isn't true but unfortunately so easy to wallow in. If I look back over the day, there has been progress.

Maddie is learning to control her bladder for longer periods of times. She had wet 6 pairs of underwear by 11 am yesterday. The thought of holding it had never occurred to her before. By 10 am today, she had only peed once and it was in the potty. Woo-hoo!! Yeah for bladder control.

The frustrating part is she only peed in the potty once today. Period. As the day wore on, she became more and more resistant to trying to go on the potty. Twice she peed on the floor not minutes after being on the potty. I could sense both of us getting frustrated which isn't good. So, she spent time in a diaper before nap time and after dinner.

I need to remember for the past two years it has been totally acceptable for her to pee in her pants. I'm changing the rules and that will take time for her to learn. Unfortunately, having patience is an area of struggle for me.

So tonight I'm asking questions. Do I push on and do full on training tomorrow? Do we take a break tomorrow, enjoy Mother's Day, and start back on Monday? Do we just bag it for awhile, everyone go back to school and work on Monday, and try again another day? Decisions, decisions. I'll let you know what I decide :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Potty Training - End of Day 1

Well, the day has come to an end and I'm pretty excited about that. To gain some perspective, I looked back at my post at the end of Luke's 1st potty training day. Maddie has exceeded Luke's first day and not in a good way. Maddie has 7 pairs of underwear and by 11 am she had wet 6 of them. At that point, I put a diaper on her and decided we would pick up after nap time.

She basically had no desire to sit on the potty. I couldn't even reward her with an M&M because she wouldn't sit on the potty long enough to accidentally pee in the potty. Ugh! So, after lunch I decided to give her one M&M and put the full bag on the kitchen counter in her line of sight. She asked for another one. I informed her that she needed to go pee or pooh on the potty to get another one. She cried and threw a fit but I stood my ground. She still refused to even sit on the little potty. What's up with that?

Then something amazing happened. As we were getting ready for her nap, she took off her diaper on her own, climbed up on the big toilet, and went to the bathroom. Woo-hoo! She got her M&M and was so pleased with herself. It took a long time to get her into bed for her nap because she just kept climbing up on the toilet. Stinker!

By the time Dan got home from work, I was pretty done for the day. Potty training Maddie has been complicated by the presence of one Mr. Luke. He is a force when you are just hanging and when you are working on something as trying as potty training... Well, it doesn't make the task any easier. I'm glad Dan is home the next two days and can help keep the Luke-man entertained. This girl needs reinforcements!

Today is the day!

Well, according to the countdown call box there are zero days remaining until we start potty training Maddie. Woo-hoo!

We have big girl underwear, many pairs of shorts, M&Ms, and party horns. We are ready to bring on the day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Potty Patty's (aka Baby's) Adventures

Potty Patty (aka Baby) had a big day today. She rode to and from school in the Mancini Fam Jam Van.

She also lounged on the potty when she got home.

She maxed and relaxed at the ball field.
Then her day took an unfortunate turn....

Maddie and I tried to give Baby another bottle and that didn't go so well. The water actually leaked out of Baby's head. Apparently, I got the tubes inside of Baby all tangled up last night when I was removing the remaining water. (That is a long story that I won't go into at this time.) I had to basically disassemble her to figure out what happened.

The good news is Maddie really wasn't interested in having Baby go potty and wasn't traumatized at all by the events of this evening.

As for Baby, she has had a rough day and really doesn't want to talk about it. If you see her, it would be best not to mention it all.