So... I took most of every one's advice about Einstein's sleeping habits, and dropped the nap all together. It sucked! But it was really necessary. I just picked myself up by my bootstraps and went full throttle. And it worked! At least, it did for about three days. You see, he really does still need a nap, but he thinks he doesn't. He becomes demon-kid at about 4pm if he doesn't get a good two hours of rest.
Anyway, like I mentioned, it took him three days before he was practically begging me for a nap again. Which led me to believe that the no-nap boycott thing has always been about the struggle for power. And I end up winning most of the time. There are still impossibly painful/frustrating/I'm-ready-to-serve-a-corporal-punishment-sentence-on-this-kid days, but they are manageable getting easier at least not as often.
Sad to say, but I often look at my friends who have little girls, and sigh with longing. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY BOYS! It would just be nice to be able to go into a store (or anywhere, really) without looking completely frazzled because your 2 year old is so fiercely independent that he insists on unbuckling his own seat belt, then darts away from you, INTO parking lot traffic (stupid college kids with no kids of their own... sheesh!) and just about gives you a heart attack. Note that this is happening while you are running after him whilst hefting another child the weight of a 5-gallon water jug and trying to not freak out in front of onlookers. And the whole time you are in said store, he either touches everything, complains, or throws himself to the floor and cries so it looks like you abuse your child. Or even better, does a lovely combination of all three. Yes, frazzled, people! I don't hear stories like this from my friends with little girls. Either they don't do it, or my friends are too embarrassed to share! :) Something tells me it's not the latter.
Really, I'm not trying to be negative. It's been one of those days. You know, the corporal punishment days? Yes, that was very much today.
I know that I was blessed with Einstein because Heavenly Father has entrusted me to cultivate and direct his fiery spirit for good. Einstein is a natural born leader, a trend-setter, and for better or worse, a very smart cookie! Heavenly Father has trusted little ol' me to take care of him, to guide him and nurture his talents and personality. But sometimes I feel like it's quite an undertaking! I've been given such an important job, but am I up for it? Can I do it? Some days I feel like I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm sure I'm not the only mom who feels this way at times. But I sure think I got the raw end of this deal. I don't remember being this crazy when I was a kid, and Bryan was most certainly not. So there must be a crazy streak in our families somewhere. Remind me to go back in time to amend that, will you? :)
Ending on a good note about my smarty pants, he is potty trained! We had a deal that if he stayed dry for 7 days, we would take him to Disneyland (we changed it from a bike, since D-land would be free). And he did it! Yay!




Einstein has never been a willing sleeper. With the exception of being a newborn, he has always been way too distracted/hyper/stubborn to just relax and allow sleep to commence. As soon as he could (six months), he stood himself up in his crib and bounced up and down. Constantly. At nine months he would jump and scream just to get picked up out of his crib. At 16 months, he climbed out and never looked back.

I would do everything I knew how to calm his little body down; rock him, hum, sing, speak to him, put on quiet music, run a fan for white noise, keep his room super dark, use a nightlight, use no nightlight, NO DISTRACTIONS ANYWHERE (i.e. toys), play hard and wear him out before naps, no sugar diet, chamomile tea, and any/all combinations of these. Sometimes it works, most times it just leaves me extremely frustrated and not in a "I love my kids" mood. We've tried to make his bed as comfortable/inviting as possible, we have a strict bedtime routine which he is fully aware of and participates in, and I don't know what else to do! I have even resorted to death threats if he's not asleep in f.i.v.e. m.i.n.u.t.e.s. Okay, not real death threats, but definitely some heated discussions and red bums. (Don't judge until you've tried to be his sleep enforcer.) It gets reeeeaaaaally old day in-day out twice a day (nap & bed).

Einstein does not fall asleep until after 4pm most days (this is after putting him down for a nap at 12 or 1), and does not fall asleep at night until after 10pm (with a bedtime of 7-7:30). TEN PM!!! He has since ripped out the curtain rods from the walls (it was only screwed into drywall, but still. Come on, kid! Why do you destroy everything you touch?), shredded one of the window screens, and made countless destructive messes during naptime because he has been using this time to build bombs instead (at least it feels that way, lest we forget his lovely artwork. That's happened more. than. once.) In a few words, he is so totally bored during nap time (when he should be sleeping, mind you) that he just finds trouble and continues escalating. I am going out of my mind. Let me tell you, he is becoming the best form of Birth Control ever. I DO NOT want to put myself through this with another kid! :) Or at least I would like girls from here on out, please. (only sort of kidding)

When, oh when will he figure out that sleep is a lovely, wonderful luxury???

This is W A R.
And I need better ammunition.

I need your help! What do you do to get your kids to bed? I need out of the ordinary, creative ideas to get your toddler to go to SLEEP!!!

I keep thinking, 'is this just some sort of motherly rite of passage? Do all of us have to go through this at one point? Or is it just me???' Try as I may, I just can not get his brain to unwind! And his actions are seriously driving me to the brink of insanity!
Give me your tips and tricks. I AM BEGGING you!!!
I want my firstborn to get from this...

(yes, that's formula. And him on the counter. I still don't know how he heaved himself up there; there were no signs of chairs anywhere!)

Back to this! Satisfied with sleep!


I love that Einstein is so intelligent and brave and adventurous, but is this the price I have to pay to have such an amazing handful??? Please give me your secrets for a happy boy and a happy mom!



I. L O V E Disneyland. And since I've been married, Disneyland has taken a quick backseat to pregnancies, kids, life, jobs, and everything else! So when some good friends of ours gave us tickets to go with them, I made Bryan clear his schedule; we were going! And we went for a fun day on the 21st (yes, I am totally behind on our fun days!)
the parking garage... our kids don't even know what's gonna hit them! :)
Boy am I ever glad we did! Our boys had SO much fun, and it was so cute to see Lincoln's face light up when he saw Lightning McQueen in "real life". Too cute. The boys had never been to Disneyland before and they were both on excellent behavior. (for the most part. It doesn't matter where it is or what Lincoln is waiting for; he physically can't keep still for more than 1 nanosecond!). It IS the Happiest Place on Earth, after all. Lincoln was so excited to be there, he was just burning energy at the entrance while we were waiting to meet up with everyone! He was twirling in circles and kept saying "Disneyland, Disneyland!"

You can see how excited he is here... His feet aren't even on the ground!

And our friends did the nicest thing EVER... they decided to gift us with season passes of our own. I'm still floored and in shock! We can't thank them enough! So we just need to plan some more D-land days with them! :)

A couple of my cuties

Bryan had never been to California Adventure before (I was surprised about that, I thought he had!), so we spent most of our time there. Which worked out just fine, since there are so many areas geared for younger kids, and we had a few in our group that don't like the roller coasters. We went to the splash pad (in the Bug's Life area), where Orion got pegged by a stream of water right away. He was still loving it! So cute!

Water pegging caught on tape!

The Splash Pad was a hit
Since we had a large-ish group (six adults, three under-threes), we spent a some time rotating kids so everyone who wanted to could ride 'big-kid' rides. I went on California Screamin' (loved it; it's been years since I've been on a really good coaster, and this one squeezed tears out of my eyes, it was so fast!), but felt bad that I snuck off without Bry (he was in the bathroom and another hubby told him I left) so I came back and watched him ride the bumper cars with Lincoln while Orion was with the rest of the group.
These bumper cars seriously went .5 mph!

We rode mostly kiddie rides, then had lunch. It was a cooler day and our kids were cold from the splash pad, so we dressed them in their PJ's pretty early. Yes, I had their PJ's with me. And sunscreen, and enough snacks and water to feed an army, and chapstick, and kid necessities, and jackets, and extra socks, and blankets... I like to be prepared, that's just me! :)
After lunch, we stayed in line to see the Aladdin show. There was a family group behind us in line that Bryan was talking to, and they became so in love with Orion! He of course was pulling out all the stops; cooing, flirting, being all cute and sweet. They ended up sitting in the row behind us in the theatre, and Bryan offered to have them hold O in their laps. He was passed around amongst their little group, made up of grandparents, moms, and a young girl. Orion ate it up! The girl (I think she was around 12) was totally salivating over my baby, she wanted to take him home with her. It was super cute, but kind of weird-funny to watch. When the show started, he was so good for her, he just sat on her lap and became totally entranced by the show. The show was cancelled about 10 minutes into it because of technical difficulties, and she cried when she gave Orion back to me! She said he was the sweetest baby she had ever held. It was really cute. If only he would do that for me on a regular basis! :)
(I have pictures of the family, but they're on Bryan's phone, so when I get a chance, I'll get them from him)

Bry and I got to go (by ourselves) on Pirates and the Haunted Mansion at the end of the night. It was great not having the kids around for a precious 30 minutes! I mean, I love my kids like crazy, but you know how it feels to have a little bit of that kid-less freedom. Priceless!
After our alone time, we met up with the rest of the group to watch Fantasmic. Lincoln really liked most of it, and the volume kind of scared Orion. I don't blame him, it was really loud!

I have to write this before I forget:
There's a part of the show where some Disney Princesses are waving from a few boats. Lincoln was completely enamoured by them. I was pointing them out to him, telling him each of their names, and then I said "One day, you will marry your own princess!". He looked at them, thought for a few seconds, then got this HUGE grin on his face and said "yeaaaaaaahhh!" It was sooo adorable!

After Fantasmic, our friends wanted to take us out to dinner, but we were walking zombies at this point, so we had to decline even though we wanted to stay. We had a great time, and we can't wait to go back!



We are all on vacation sick to our stomaches. I won't resume potty training until everyone gets better, especially me. Nothing like cleaning up messes from both ends, YUCK! :)


Monster Jam '09!

I totally forgot to blog about this amongst the January rush!

We went to Monster Jam with the Hardings this year and had a blast! There's nothing like a little adult time to make you a better parent to your kids. :)

Bryan and I have been going to Monster Jam since 2005, only missing last year, since it was so close to Curly's due date. I guess possible labor and delivery should take precedence. haha

Can I tell you that I love Monster Jam? I love it! The first year we went, we were invited last minute by a friend of ours, then asked the Raadgeps (they were still dating back then) to join us. It was good that we asked them to come with us, since we never met up with our other friend. He was sitting on the other side of the stadium! Anyway, since then I've loved seeing the trucks smash up and race each other and do wheelies and other cool tricks! It's cool to see them obliterate their trucks at the end of the night!

This year, my favorite was El Toro Loco. He did a 'bang-up' job of riding the course! And of course Gravedigger, the family favorite, was there. He ended up trashing his truck, and he had to get towed out of the course!

To this day, I still don't know how the points are given or how someone wins in these competitions. But it's still hecka cool to see it live! And yes, I said 'hecka'. No, I'm not from Utah, I'm just in a weird mood. You should go to their show next year! It's awesome!