Sunday, October 25, 2009

Raising a Strong Willed Toddler

I deemed Peanut HMP at a very early age. HMP stands for High Maintenance Peanut. He is VERY strong willed and, to put it nicely, he perseveres despite almost any situation. You could almost call it triumph. When he wants something he focuses on the situation and strives to achieve. For instance, right now, he is in his crib SCREAMING (not a fan of the cry it out method BUT) because he doesn't like the fact that I have put him to bed.

Yesterday, I went to visit the endocrinologist. I have been having some issues and I am trying to figure some things out healthwise. The first question she asked me was, "How are you sleeping?" I laughed. She questioned. I laughed again. When I try to explain how Peanut gets up at four o'clock in the morning to play Thomas the Tank Engine people are baffled. They just don't understand. Peanut wakes up and THAT'S IT. It is his way or no way. Nevertheless, the endocrinologist informed me that the sleep deprivation that I have been experiencing for almost eighteen months is starting to take a real toll on my body and the function of the shell that I call self.

Peanut is precious. His smile melts my heart. He is fun and playful. He is adorable. He is, well, my BABY. However, as he gets older he gets a little difficult. I don't want to control him. I merely want to facilitate what he will become.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Boo Day and Janoski's

We celebrated Zachary's fifth birthday in true Halloween costume party fashion. Andrew was Batman AND obsessed with his costume. Matthew was our little Superman and super cute. Andrew really had fun playing with his friends. Matthew, on the other hand, doesn't realize that he's only 17 months old! He thought that he could wrestle with the big kids and go into the creek. It was a fun and exhausting evening and one that kept me in check, too. I have to remember that God is in charge and I can only facilitate the maturation of our children. I can't control them in the denotative sense.

The next day, we went to Janoski's Farm with BFF for a hayride and pumpkin picking. Both boys had a blast picking out their pumpkins, jumping in the straw jump, going through the corn maze, looking at all of the antique tractors. Andrew like riding the bikes on the race track, too. Janoski's is one of our fave places. Check it out @ the Janoski's website. It was good to see our friends the Parkers and the Valents, too.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


We have basic cable...that's it. When I tell my students that we only have basic cable, they ask a myriad of questions. However, the focus is always-what the hell do you do? Well, I read, scrapbook and Bob paints his figures for Subuteo. So, we actually do things! However, I watch about 3 1/2 hours of television a week. My new favorite is gLee. If you haven't seen it, please check it out at FOX. I love Sue Sylvester. She is absolutely hysterical. The craziness of the high school setting keeps me watching. Although a little far fetched-not that unrealistic. So, on Wednesday nights @ 9pm on Fox-watch gLee.

BFF Hayride @ Mingo Creek Park

It was definitely a cold and drizzly night in Washington County. Matthew was a little boogery so I decided that I would just take Andrew. We needed a little Mommy and Andrew time. This event proved to be a wonderful bonding experience for us, too. Zachary, Michael and Andrew had a blast getting muddy while tackling each other. Some of the great activities were a relay race, smore making, pumpkin decorating and TRUNK or TREATING. The latter is so much fun and a great idea. The hayride was of traditional ilk-where we sat in the hay. All in all, a great time with FANTASTIC people.


My cousin Rachel is very dear to me. She was born right before my Grandma Deiter passed away in 1994. I used to babysit Adam and Rachel. I really enjoyed our time together. Andrew and Matthew absolutely adore her, too. We went to see her play volleyball recently at the new Ambridge Area High School. Here are a few pics:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Matthew's Obsession-Thomas the Tank Engine

Bob built the boys' playroom right before Matthew was born. Andrew has an affinity for the living room. Hence, we have quite a few toys in that living space. However, Matthew really likes playing in their room. This makes Bob VERY happy. Pap and Nana Kocan gifted Andrew an amazing Thomas the Tank Engine Table, equipped with more than any child could ever hope for, for his second Christmas. Andrew plays with it periodically. He prefers to create the track trails by himself.

On to Matthew-HE CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THOMAS. We went to Kraynak's a few weeks ago and he was in heaven. He played at the tables for at least an hour (nice Christmas shopping time for Mommy). Matthew loves, loves, loves playing with the trains at the Thomas table. He spent a better part of Sunday just playing. It is so very cute when I say to him, "Matthew, do you want to play with Thomas?" He runs to the door and puts his arms up so that I can carry him downstairs.

Boys and trains=a match made in heaven

Kiski Junction Railroad

I think that I heard about the Kiski Junction Railroad from the BFF message board.
The Kiski Junction Railroad is located in Armstrong County, just take 28 N to the Freeport exit and follow the signs. Interestingly enough, one of my awesome coworkers owns a PHENOMENAL restaurant near the railroad. J-Barn Country Inn has tremendous meals. I can't rave enough about it.

Back to the RR: We took an hour ride and got to see so many wonderful sites as well as hear quite a bit of history from our train conductor. The boys absolutely loved it. I enjoyed seeing the changing leaves and the beauty of the river and the nature that surrounds it. Nana and Pap Kocan went with us and it was truly a great family memory. We plan to take the train ride around Christmas for the Santa train, too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Triple B

If you haven't been to Triple B Farms in Monongahela: YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brunch with PWAM


We went apple picking with the BFFs and had a complete blast. The boys are really looking forward to the PTFT bonfire later on this month. If you haven't been to an event at Simmons Farm-CHECK IT OUT! We had a blast. Here are a few photos from our fun evening.

The Washington County Covered Bridge Festival also provided us with some quality family time. We really enjoy going to Mingo Creek Park and this year's festival did not disappoint. After, we went to the Springhouse for dinner and conversation with the cows. The boys had a blast!

Heinz Field Tour

The BFFs sponsored another great event. Ang and Jeni organized a private Heinz Field Tour for the kiddos--well, for the adults really. Bob and I took a mental health day and enjoyed the beautiful weather and great company. After coming through the Fort Pitt tunnels all I could see was the fountain at Point State Park-a glorious pink color. What a great way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month ( a cause near and dear to my heart).

We arrived at Heinz Field and were concerned. The question was: Will our children be able to behave for two hours. The answer: a resounding YES. I was extremely proud of both of them. Although they were tired and a little hungry, they were amazingly wonderful.

The tour consisted of a bunch of really cool things: 1.) a visit to the locker room 2.) fun trivia-Did you know that Mrs. Rooney actually named the Steelers? 3.) a visit to the pressbox 4.) a stroll along the field 5.) a visit to a million dollar suite 6.) a tour of the clubrooms 7.) walking through the tunnel 8.) touching the Men of Steel plaque-the players touch it before every home game and much, much more. The boys totally enjoyed themselves and we loved our lunch with the Valents at Grille 36.

Go Steelers!


Follow kocanuts on Twitter