Thursday, May 15, 2014

Summer Plans

It looks like this summer is going to be one without Mr. Man. He's leaving in a few weeks to go back to the states to do some training. He's a lead for it, which means he will leave first and mostly come back last. He will be going to Vegas and Hill in Cali.

He's leaving before Arianna gets out of school, so the thought of us going with him wasn't an option. Then we learned his per diem, and holy cow... both of those places are expensive to live. I'm not even sure how he's going to survive, lol.

I'm the type of person that if my husband has to leave us for a long period of time, I would much rather him go somewhere we can benefit in some way from. Most of the time it is money.

So with all this, I've been looking into trips for the girls. Since A is 3 now, she can do many activities. There's the library, swim lessons, and ballet. We are looking into those for now. Her school doesn't end until June 27 and starts in September so it's hard to plan anything right now because our schedule is already busy. It looks like swim will be Wednesday and Friday and ballet will be Tuesday and Thursday. We will see if we follow through with all this.

We decided to plan a last minute trip to Croatia before he leaves. We are going to go during Memorial Day. He's going to be working nights starting Friday until the long weekend for an exercise. Then we will head out for a little break on the coast of Croatia and then head back for him to leave about 1 or 2 weeks later.

As of right now, he'll be gone for 12 weeks.

My goals during this time is to:
Start Meal Prepping so I can try and get some additional weight gone. I've been doing so good. I want to work out more, eat cleaner, and be more prepared with food.

I will also need to wean E from the boob. She's doing better. She will actually lay down with a milk these days, but it doesn't always work. She just started turning down the boob this week, so I'm hoping it's a positive sign.

Next is to completely potty train A. A has been in and out of pantie so much.I just wish I could get her to settle in that way and be done with it. She goes to school with kids who are all potty trained, but she still doesn't care. She keeps saying that she doesn't have time to go to the bathroom and she wants to be like her sister. TIme for some positive reinforcement for potty time.

Lastly, is teaching A how to go to bed by herself. We've always enjoyed our cuddle time with her and never just laid her down in her bed to go to sleep on her own. She refuses to just lay in her bed by herself. She needs the company. With Mr. Man being gone and having both girls by myself, I'm not sure that is going to be an option.

It should be a fun and interesting summer. No doubt. I know it will go by quickly, and I know that I will be able to handle things.I just hope nothing crazy and unpredictable happens. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Toddler Troubles: The Potty

Oh man, here we go.

I'm here to share what I've been dealing with, and I'm hoping someone has some advice, tips, recommendations or even their own experience with this.

A just turned 3 years old last month. She's been potty training on and off since she was 16 months. We moved during that time, so it wasn't a priority at the time and it was extremely inconvenient. Over time we tried to work with her, but we wanted her to do it on her time. Now that E is here and is getting older, she wants to be like her sister. E wants to be like A and A wants to be like E. It's a vicious cycle. She has reverted back to diapers. Yes, even while going to school with kids who are potty trained. Why? Because she wants to be like her sister.

She knows when she has to go to the bathroom. She knows how to control it (like hold it and so forth). However, she has no interest.

We've tried the basic sticker chart. It worked for a little bit, then she was over it. We tried giving her things that she was interested in at the time... books, dress up attire, etc. Inexpensive things. We've tried giving her money for her piggy bank. Another thing she loves, loves doing. And yes, we've even tried candy.

Nothing is working. She will go 5-6 hours doing great. Then when she asks for something she can't have or gets mad at us, she will pee on herself and refuse to use the bathroom. It's like her way of getting back at us. It's so annoying.

Now, I don't care if she is potty trained or not. I'm not going to force our kids to grow up. However, she knows what she is doing. She should be potty trained. So now, I feel like I need to force her. She's abusing our generosity and rewards. By this I mean she literally tells us if we give her something she will go use the potty. And it goes the other way... when she asks for candy or something she can't have, she will pee on herself as revenge to us.

We are thinking about making her stay in her pee as punishment, but that doesn't seem to be phasing her either. We are at a loss.

Someone please tell me this is normal.... ?

I'm open to suggestions, tips, recommendations.... Please?!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Enjoying our little piece of paradise.

One of the things I love about Italy is their passion for growing and gardening. One thing that I am so happy that we chose to do is get out and embrace the culture.

We moved 30 minutes from the base to get a larger house, have gorgeous mountain views, be away from other Americans, and embrace their lifestyle. Even though we still stand out as those Americans, they love seeing that we try. Even though we may look and feel silly about some things, the Italian embrace us for who we are. We all learn from each other and it's an amazing experience. Exactly the experience I wanted for our girls.

With it being the beginning of May, things are starting to bud all other the place. The grapes, the pears, the apples, the prunes, the cherries, the figs, the pomegranates, the mulberries, the roses, everything. Now that Mr. Man has some down time between classes, we are getting to work in the garden and finally plant. We've been working in the garden... doing the tilling and turning soil to prepare it. But now it's time to do the planting.

This weekend we have planted 12-15 strawberry plants, 5 zucchini plants, 5 sweet pumpkin plants, 5 summer squash, lots of radishes, green onions, leeks, chives, brussel sprouts, basil, and so on. I seriously can't even remember everything we've planted because it is so much! We still need to work on the onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers. But that should come very soon!

It's such an exciting thing.. to see your hard work turn into deliciousness. Last year I canned so much, tomatoes, jellies, and so on. I made traditional pie after pie. It was such an amazing little journey. This year we decided to kick it up a notch, and we are filling our WHOLE garden with goodies. THE WHOLE THING!! Last year, we didn't even do half.

Pictures of some of the trees and things...

finally getting to ride.


E wanting to go for another ride.








apple tree

showing E the caterpillar