Monday, October 25, 2010

Binky Fairy: Day 1

It's morning. We survived the first night sans-binky. That in itself is a huge accomplishment, for Katherine and for us. After opening the letter, Katherine willingly put all her binkys in the box and we put it outside for the binky fairy. She took the bunny and told her how proud we were of her. She was fine for about 20 minutes then started crying and screaming hysterically for the binky. So mommy said she was such a big girl, maybe she'd like a popsicle to celebrate? I know, 8:00 isn't the best time for that, but I was all about distraction.

So, I put Natalie to bed and while reading her stories I can hear Katherine crying while Dean is trying to calm her. So ensues the pattern for the next 2.5 hours. She was crying, screaming "no!" and very tired. We took turns rocking her. I finally got her to fall asleep while rocking her, but when I tried to move her to the crib she woke up and was crying again. So I left her in the crib and sat next to it soothing and singing to her. She finally fell asleep, woke up w/in two minutes and started crying again. Then she finally fell asleep for good. It was so hard. It's heart wrenching to hear your child in despair, know exactly what she wants, and not give it to her.

I went to bed as I was pretty certain she would wake up again. And she did. At 12:30 and she was hysterical. Screaming, crying... poor thing. I felt awful. But we talked to her, Dean brought in some warm milk and she settled down. Fell asleep in the rocker, I moved her to the crib, she cried momentarily and then fell asleep. This time it took about 30 minutes. And then, slept until 7:00!

We checked outside this morning and sure enough the binky fairly had left presents for both Katherine and super big sister Natalie. She loved her princess shoes and has been hugging Pooh Bear all morning. So sweet. We then went to Panera for scones to celebrate.

Hopefully that will be the worst of it. I know she understands that the binkys are gone, but I predict more crying at nap time. It just breaks my heart to hear the forlorn, sad cries. I'm hoping it will get a bit easier for her each day until she forgets about the binkys and sleep with ease like she used to. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Binky Fairy Returns

After success the first time around with Natalie, the binky fairy is making a return visit for Katherine tonight. I am excited and apprehensive about this. I'm very happy that the binkies will soon be gone. I'm tired of hearing "I want a binky mommy" 20 times a day. And the resulting screams that ensue when the request is denied.

However I am anxious as I think this will be a harder transition for Katherine. She uses two binkies at night. One in her mouth and one in her hand. She doesn't have a set lovey like Natalie did. She's 2 and a few months, so while she gets it, I think it will be tougher than with Natalie. Natalie was three, and cried a bit the first night, but went to sleep pretty quickly. She woke up once and cried but I was able to comfort her. For about a week, she was sad at bedtime, said she missed her binky, but that was it. No major sleep issues.

Katherine is still napping and my biggest fear is that the departure of the binkies will also mean the departure of the naps. This is a BIG fear. Katherine still needs her naps... she gets tired and cranky right at naptime. I still need her naps. I get tired and cranky by her naptime too!

So fingers crossed and stay tuned. The UPS box has been delivered. Inside is the red box that Katherine is to put all her binkies in for the babies who need them. A gift is in there too, to help her get through the first night. A bunny animal/blanket combo that will hopefully provide some comfort. And tomorrow morning she will awaken to a huge Pooh Bear and some Snow White dress up shoes as her reward.

Hmm... thinking ahead, perhaps I'd better alert Starbucks. Depending on how tonight goes, I may need an injection drip tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Dixon Ultimate Family Vacation

Catchy title, eh?

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I've been thinking lately of what our ultimate family vacation would be, if we could do anything. That I love to travel is no secret, that I've not done much since the birth of the Dixon chicks is no secret either. Since moving to FL, our big annual vacation is a trip back to CA to visit my family. Luckily for us, this is a great destination. Unlucky for me, having grown up in CA, while I love the state, it's not really a true "vacation". Especially since Dean is usually working half the time we are traveling. Working from home has it's benefits, but having a portable office while on vacation isn't really one of them.

So, what would my ultimate family vacation be? While my adventurous side dreams of an extended trip through Europe or Asia, or perhaps biking through the Italian wine country, my realistic side knows that with one child still in diapers and napping, this one will have to wait a few years.

We live an hour from Disney World, so while this is a huge family vacation destination, for us it is a day trip. And living in FL, I don't feel the need for a beach vacation as much as I used to. So, where would I go?


Starting out in Paris specifically. While you may think this crazy at first with two young children, I have plans. Oh yes, I have plans. We would rent an apartment somewhere near the city centre, or in one of the great nearby districts. Where we could walk or take public transportation. I love the idea of waking up, grabbing a quick breakfast for the kids in our little cozy french kitchen. Then we'd meander through the neighborhood in search of coffee for Dean and I and delicious french pastries for the girls. (Okay, us too!). We would then enjoy ourselves by playing at the local playgrounds, strolling through the beautiful french shops and enjoying the bakeries and markets for the culture, the food and to let the girls enjoy some real, unbelievably creamy, cheese. On bread baked fresh that day. Here the girls could experience real fast food: fresh baked bread, cheese, olives and fruit.

This trip would be ideal as we could truly immerse ourselves in the french lifestyle, if only for a moment. I really want my girls to grow up with a world view, and I think immersing them in a foreign culture from a young age will not only give them that appreciation, but also a sense of adventure, community and pride in their own country. Nothing makes you appreciate what you have and love about your own home, than being away from it for a period of time.

Of course, no trip to France would be complete without hitting the beaches of southern France, where we would spend a few lazy days at the beach so the kids could soak up the universal fun of a beach playground, wherever in the world one might be.

Hmm... sounds so dreamy. I can't get away to France at the moment, but I can open a bottle of wine. Au Revoir!

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It takes a village...

They say it takes a village, and you  know what? It's true. We've been in FL almost three and half years now, and in that time I've made some great friends. Most of them are SAHMs (Stay at Home Moms) like me, and let me tell you, when you are with your children, ALL day, EVERY day, you need an outlet. And my FL friends have not disappointed. I'll leave the girls night out stories for another post (or three), today is about how great it is to help out other moms.

Case in point. With Natalie having started Kindergarten this year, I was eager to volunteer in her classroom. I really want to do this as my mom was very involved in our elementary school and I think both my brother and I, and the school, really benefited from it. It's nice to have my turn now, sort of an ode to my mom, following in her footsteps.

I'm excited to volunteer while Natalie is still young enough to be super excited about having me in her class. I start volunteering next week, and she's already asking if I can volunteer more than one morning a week. So cute. However, for obvious reasons, it would not be conducive to bring Katherine into the classroom with me. Trust me, she would create total mayhem in minutes. Well, as it so happens my friend Sarah is in the same boat. Her son Nolan (one of Natalie's best friends) started Kindergarten this year too. And he too, has younger sibling that would also generate mayhem in the classroom. So Sarah and I are swapping childcare so we can each volunteer in our kids class. Fantastic!

We started the swap this week and Graham and Katherine had a great time at our place on Monday. I threw on some tunes while he was here and you can see for yourself he was having a fantastic time. Sarah had mentioned he seemed to be really into music and she was right. How cute are these two: 

And here is Katherine:

Stay tuned for next week's update on how the first day volunteering goes. Should be interesting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Best Mom Tool Ever

We recently picked up my new favorite addition to my mom aresenal. The digital timer. My neighbor has been using one for years. And at Dean's suggestion, I finally picked one up from Amazon. It always amazes me how the simplest things have the biggest impact on kids.

So now, when it's five minutes to bedtime, we set the timer and the girls head straight to the bathroom to brush their teeth. No arguing. It's not us telling them, it's the timer. And for whatever reason, that works. When they both want a toy, I set the timer and when it beeps, it gets handed over to the sister w/out complaints.

Brilliant! Dean gets big dad points for this one. Love that guy...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Ballet Class

Katherine had her first ballet class at the Y today. So cute! And yes, our little peanut was BY FAR the smallest in the class. But she kept up like a champ! Small and mighty, that one.

Yes, they are all two, really!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1st Day of Kindergarten

Here's our "baby" off to her first day of Kindergarten. She's wearing the same dress her big cousin Megan wore on her first day of Kindergarten, so cute! We are lucky enough to live close enough to the school that I can pull her in a bike trailer, which is really a great way to start the day, riding through the neighborhood.

When I picked her up and asked how her first day was, the replay was an enthusiastic, "it was great!" Music to my ears.  A great day... no tears by anyone and we celebrated with ice cream sundae's when we got home. A year of adventure surely awaits!

This is how we roll...

Getting ready to ride.

In her new classroom.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Florida Living

Dean did some major yard work today (have I mentioned that my hubby is awesome!!). And the place is looking great.

However, when Natalie and I got home from the gym in the middle of said yardwork, Dean tells me that he found wasps nests in essentially ALL of our bushes. He pulls one out and there are eggs in the honeycomb. Aack!! He then shoos me inside.

You see, I am highly allergic to black wasps. And they are ALL over our neighborhood. I seriously  have less than an hour to use an epipen or get to a hospital before I will be rendered unable to breathe. This is frightening enough, what is more frightening is that I do not yet know if either of our daughters will have the same allergic reaction.

Sigh. I will never get used the FL creatures.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amazing Friends

So last month, my Verry amazing friend Sherry sent us, special delivery from Ireland, two handmade quilts for the girls. They are adorable! Sherry, you've no idea how much this means to me. I am hugely sentimental and handmade gifts are rare these days. I was so excited to open the package, and you did not disappoint.

I put Katherine's quilt on the floor to show her and she immediately laid down on it and started singing a lullaby. So glad I caught that moment! The quilt is absolutely adorable, with all things girly: castles, princesses and flowers. And little did Sherry know, this was a perfect fit for Katherine, who is such a girly girl (WHERE that came from I do not know.). But she loves her baby dolls and all things princess-like, so the quilt was adored as you can see below. While she doesn't yet understand how truly special it is, I will make sure she does as she gets older. And I was so inspired by it, that I plan to decorate Katherine's room around the color scheme.

Katherine loving her new quilt.

Natalie loving her doll quilt.

And of course only another mother would go the extra mile and make a matching doll quilt for big sister. So thoughtful! Natalie already has her own Sherry creation, which is hanging on her bedroom wall, so to receive another is truly a special treat.

So Sherry, thank you so verry much!! These will be cherished and handed down to generations of future Dixon Chicks, of that I am sure.

And btw, if you want to check out more of Sherry's amazing quilting, you can check out the magazine she started here: or her blog here:

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

It's only 9:00am here and we've already had an amazing 4th of July, we witnessed the birth of a butterfly!

My neighbor Jen brought over three caterpillars last week and we've watched them hang, turn into cocoons and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the butterflies. We woke up this morning to find one already had been born and were lucky enough to catch the second being born. It was amazing. See for yourself. And yes, I do know a butterfly isn't an animal, but I was in the moment, what can I say? Enjoy!

If you don't see the video, click here:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day 2010

We had a great day at Lido Key with the girls. It might be my fav new beach spot. St. Armand's Circle is right around the corner, across the street is a hotel that packs up cocktails for the adults and the water is shallow and mellow for the kids. A great time was had by all... take a look!

Oh, and in other news. there is a 4 ft black snake hiding in our garage somewhere. Fun!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Here are the girls having some Friday afternoon fun! This is Natalie's favorite new thing to do.