No Training Wheels!

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Another first before Nicky turns 5!
I came home and discovered the training wheels were off and my oldest little man was riding a bike! So proud! Go Nickle Pickle!!

YouTube Video

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May 11th is coming....

Friday, April 19, 2013
The invitations have gone out
The balloon man on hold
The reptiles on order
The decorations being created
The boys are a year older
Maybe I should tell Dan there are 200 on the guest list

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So so pretty...and Pretty!

Monday, April 15, 2013
Brandon told me I was the prettiest mom ever. And then he never stopped talking. I got some on tape. I adore this kid so so so much.

{you're really really really pretty, so so so pretty. And pretty!}

YouTube Video

Out of the Mouth of Lukey

Mom: Luke, say Tiffy
Lukey: "Tittie"
Mom: Now say Nicky
Lukey: "Dickie"
Mom: And now say Brandon
Lukey: "Boobie" 

Close enough.

Tail for Dinner

Friday, April 12, 2013
YUM. finely loves dracos tail!

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Missing My Brandy Boy

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It's starting!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013
Dear Fin,

We are so proud of you, but if you want to be fast and swift like your cousins, you're a little late.
We started crawling at 6-7 months.
No pressure for walking.

Nicky, Brandon, and Luke

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At Least

This morning while I was blowing my hair dry:

Me: Luke! where did your diaper go??
Me; Brandon sit down in the bath
Me: Nick stop punching my stomach
Me: Luke get off the counter and stop splashing water everywhere
Me: Brandon, you will slip, sit down in the bath
Nicky, MOMmommomOMOMmomomomommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Me: Nicky, I'm blowing my hair dry
Me: Nicky stop poking me
Me: Brandon, stop poking me
ME: Nicky NO MORE.
ME: All of you get out.
~They leave
~They Nick comes back.
Nicky: MOM, Luke peed on the floor and Brandon spilled his cereal and milk all over the carpet.
ME: to myself - please don't yell, please don't yell, please don't yell.
I did not Yell.
{I did snap a quick picture of the chaos in the morning}

But I was not above texting Dan {who was at the store}: If you do not let me buy a new couch and put in hardwood floors I will leave you with THEM and never come back. 

If you don't know, I am a yeller.
I don't know where I get it from (mom)
And I find myself constantly saying "I'm not yelling" as I am yelling it.
 I don't like to yell.
 I don't like who I become.
 I don't like to scare and create confusion and see them sad.
I transform from mom to this horrible yelling creature that I hate

I came across this article a couple weeks ago.
About a mom who was committed to changing her behavior 
Who she was becoming
And to stop yelling for 365 days 
To be strong like an orange rhino 
to be calm 
And she did it 
And she had a trick 
And one was at least...
Kind of like "At least when Nick is poking me in the stomach, I'm holding it in!"

But she learned important things about her self, her children, and her own happiness. I like this Challenge. 
for the next week I am going to do the following:

4) Track your Yelling for 3-5 days. Write down who you yelled at, when, why, how you felt, what was on your mind to determine personal triggers (tired? time of day?) and triggers that are easy to change (clothes fight in the morning). 

I may be prepared to do this soon...but just thinking about it makes me feel lighter and happier already. I love you boys and I am committed to making our home a happier place for all of us.

see her post below.

10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling At My Kids

399 days of loving more!
Someone asked me this past weekend, “So, what were your findings from not yelling for a year? Did you learn anything?” Huh. Pretty good question. And it got me thinking, “Well, what did I learn?” I’ll tell you this; I learned a lot, a lot more than I can possible fit in a blog post! So I share with you the top 10 things that I learned from my Orange Rhino Challenge where I promised to not yell at my 4 boys for 365 days straight.
1. Yelling isn’t the only thing I haven’t done in a year (399 days to be exact!)I also haven’t gone to bed with a gut-wrenching pit in my stomach because I felt like the worst mom ever. I haven’t bawled to my husband that I yelled again and again. And I haven’t heard my sons scream, “You’re the meanest, worstest, mommy in the whole world, I don’t love you anymore!” Yep, I learned real quickly that there are upsides to not yelling!
2. My kids are my most important audience.When I had my “no more yelling epiphany,” I realized that I don’t yell in the presence of others because I want them to believe I am a loving and patient mom.  The truth is, I already was that way…but rarely when I was alone, just always when I was in public with an audience to judge me. This is so backwards! I always have an audience – my four boys are always watching me and THEY are the audience that matters most; they are the ones I want to show just how loving, patient and “yell-free” I can be. I want my boys to judge me and proclaim, “My mommy is the bestest mommy ever!” I remember this whenever I am home and thinking I can’t keep it together; obviously I can…I do it out and about all the time!
3. Kids are just kids; and not just kids, but people too.Like me, my kids have good days and bad days. Some days they are pleasant and sweet and listen really well; other days they are grumpy and difficult. By the way, I am always sweet and never difficult.Always. Ha! And like all kids, my boys are loud at times, they refuse to put their shoes on, and they color on the wall, especially if it is covered in brand new wallpaper that mommy loves. So, yeah, I need to watch my expectations and remember that my boys are kids: they are still learning, still growing, and still figuring out how to handle waking up on the wrong side of the bed. When they “make mistakes” I need to remember that not only does yelling not help, but like me, they don’t like to be yelled at!
4. I can’t always control my kids’ actions, but I can always control my reaction.I can try my hardest to follow all the parenting tricks of the trade for well-disciplined children, but since my kids are just kids, they sometimes won’t do what I want. I can decide if I want to scream “Pick up your Legos! ” when they don’t listen or if I want to walk away for a second, regain composure by doing some jumping jacks, and then return with a new approach. P.S. Walking away and taking a breather can actually get the Legos picked up faster than yelling.
5. Yelling doesn’t work.There were numerous times when I wanted to quit my Orange Rhino Challenge, when I thought yelling would just be easier than finding deep breaths and creative alternatives to yelling. But I knew better. Early on, I learned that yelling simply doesn’t work, that it just makes things spiral out of control and it makes it hard for my boys to hear what I want them to learn. How can they clearly here me “say” “Hurry up, get your backpacks, your shoes, your jackets, don’t touch each other, go faster, you an do it yourself!” when it’s all a garbled, loud mix of intimidating orders that are making them cry?
6. Incredible moments can happen when you don’t yell.One night I heard footsteps coming downstairs well after bedtime. Although infuriated that my “me-time” was interrupted, I remained calm and returned said child to bed. As I tucked him in he said “Mommy, will you love me if I go to heaven first, because if you go first, I will still love you. In fact, I will always love you.” Tears still come to my eyes just writing that. I can guarantee if I had yelled “GET BACK IN BED!” we never would have had that sweet, very important conversation.
7. Not yelling is challenging, but it can be done!I am not going to say not yelling is “easy peasy,” but getting creative with alternatives certainly made it easier and more doable. And after yelling into the toilet, beating my chest like a gorilla, singing Lalala, Lalala it’s Elmo’s world, and using orange napkins at mealtime as a reminder of my promise, it certainly got a heck of a lot easier. Sure, I feel silly at times doing these things, but they keep me from losing it. So do my new favorite words: “at least.”  These two small words give me great perspective and remind me to chill out. I use them readily in any annoying but not yell worthy kid situation. “He just dropped an entire jug of milk on the floor…at least it wasn’t glass and at least he was trying to help!”
8. Often times, I am the problem, not my kids.The break-up line, “It’s not you, it’s me” rings uncomfortably true when learning not to yell.  I quickly realized that oftentimes I wanted to yell because I had a fight with my husband, I was overwhelmed by my to-do list, I was tired or it was that time of the month, not because the kids were behaving “badly.” I also quickly realized that acknowledging my personal triggers by saying out loud: “Orange Rhino, you have wicked PMS and need chocolate, you aren’t mad at the kids, don’t yell” works really well to keep yells at bay.
9. Taking care of me helps me to not yell.I was always great at taking care of others; I was not, however, always good at taking care of myself until now. Once I realized that personal triggers like feeling overweight, feeling disconnected from friends, and feeling exhausted set me up to yell, I started taking care of me. I started going to bed earlier, prioritizing exercise, trying to call one friend a day and most importantly, I started telling myself it’s okay to not be perfect. Taking care of me not only helps me not yell, but it also makes me happier, more relaxed, and more loving. Ah, the benefits of not yelling extend far beyond parenting! There is no doubt that I am in a better parenting AND personal place now that I don’t yell. Just to name a few unexpected benefits of not yelling: I do more random acts of kindness, I handle stressful situations more gracefully, and I communicate more lovingly with my husband.
10. Not yelling feels awesome.Now that I have stopped yelling, not only do I feel happier and calmer, I also feel lighter. I go to bed guilt-free (except for the extra cookie I ate that day, oops) and wake-up more confident that I can parent with greater understanding of my kids, my needs, and how to be more loving and patient.  And I am pretty sure my kids feel happier and calmer too. I know everyone wants to read, “I stopped yelling and not only do I feel great, but also my kids are now calmer AND perfectly behaved.“ Well, they aren’t. They are still kids. But, yes tantrums are shorter and some are completely avoided. Now that I am calmer, I can think more rationally to resolve potential problems before meltdown mania.  But forget perfectly behaved kids for a second. My kids are most definitely more loving towards me, and now tell me quite often “I love you Orange Rhino mommy!” and that feels more than awesome, it feels phenomenal.
* To get started on your o

Extremely Disturbing!

I was messing around in Blogger and decided to check out my blog stats 
I had 76 page views today -basically nothing :)
I noticed a section called "my top search words" and what I found was SHOCKING and eye opening.
It's also pretty sickening and saddening and disturbing and yucky and creepy. 

So I  changed my privacy settings as well as removed some pictures - #sogross

2 Gold Coins

Saturday, April 6, 2013
It happened!!
My oldest lost his bottom tooth
It finally fell out eating a gummy fruit last night

We placed his tooth under his pillow
We decided the going rate was 2 golden coins, stolen from Lauren and Lorne
But We didn't plan ahead
So we asked the Greenbergs to borrow 2 golden coins
The tooth fairy snuck in late at night
And put the gifts under his pillow
So excited when he woke up!
Pirates bounty he called it!

Nickle Pickle Reading!

YouTube Video

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Dinos vs Snakes

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
So this is a tough battle. Mostly the Dinos win. For now Snakes are on top. 
I went back a year ago and found this post - Dinos were everywhere.
 At the mall, in the snow, in the bathtub.
This is my favorite part of their childhood. 
I'm excited to plan a reptile (snake) party for the boys in May. 


Saturday, March 24, 2012
There has been a shift over here in Abelingland
The mighty lizards have stomped and crunched the monster trucks and motorcycles
We have water tables and sand pits
stickers, movies, and encyclopedias
all about Dinosaurs
Dino Dan is back on top
the Dinosaurs rule the Earth Abelingland...for now.

Another Year Older


They are not always perfect.
This is 99% of the time.
My fault.

The First Day I Met You

In a little over a month, Nicky will be F I V E.

Its hard not to think about that and not get emotional.

Time is moving way to fast. I want to freeze it and bottle it up. 

I was watching him as he had his teeth cleaned today, reflecting on how my life has changed over the last 5 years. How just 3 years ago, he had to sit in my lap at the very same office, in the very same chair, for his very first dental cleaning. So timid, nervous, and uncertain. Sacred and clingy. So much has changed -  today he was so confident; so proud, so talkative and assertive - he has 2 loose teeth...and a "shark" tooth coming in right behind his baby tooth, slowly pushing it out of place. Slowly making room for the "gap" that will be in his next class pictures. A gap we will joke about and tease him. A new milestone for him.

And I thought to myself ...

"I remember the first day I met you" 

He was truly a special baby. So perfect - the most perfect. I remember thinking, how can I love someone this much in an instant. I was so in awe and still am. I discovered the email I sent out announcing him. This was pre Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and PRE MY BLOG - so much has changed on that side too. I think its funny that I talk about how I never want to go back to work. He has  truly changed me. for the better. for good.I love you Nickle Pickle.

IntroducinNicholas Alexander Abeling!

Victoria Abeling 
to alysonfontanavictoriaSteveAmyAmyAmyAlexDanielFrankLarissaValerietrasoLenoreBobEllenAndreaAndyShannonJaimeJaimieKristineNickBretBretChristine
Dear Family and Friends;

Little Nicholas arrived 1 week early on Saturday May 10th, just in
time for my first Mother's Day! After a false start on Friday, my
water broke at 4 am on Saturday morning and we were off to the
hospital again, this time with contractions! Despite thinking I could
have a "natural birth" around 11am I gave in an had an epidural. BEST

Nicholas was stubborn and was facing up and not down. After an attempt
to "turn him" with some Pitocin, a synthetic drug to increase
contractions and the frequency, his heart rate dropped and we had to
have a c-section. I didn't mind at all, at that point, I wanted him
out as soon as possible! He arrived at 1:03 in perfect condition. 8
pounds, 10 ounces and 21 inches. A Big baby for a week early! The Dr.
predicted 8 pounds at full term.

He has dark brown hair; a surprise to Dan and I  since I was bald and
Dan was a tow head. He has dimples too.

I spent 3 days in the hospital with Dan and Nicholas. We had fun
getting to know each other and bonding. The "feeding" has proven to be
challenging and we had some extra help by a lactation consultant. It's
still a process, but we are enjoying it.

Roxy LOVES Nicholas and licks him all over. She sleeps on my lap while
I am feeding and watches her while she sleeps. I think they will be
great friends.

I am taking 8 weeks off work and already don't want to ever go back.
HA, who would have thought I'd EVER say that!! In the meantime, I am
enjoying my little baby and am in awe of him. I knew I would love him,
I just never thought he would be so beautiful too. (Ok, I am biased :)

Here is a link to a ton of pictures of Nicholas' first week.

Thank you for all the calls, emails and support through my pregnancy
and labor! We are doing great and so happy with our new addition. Hugs
and Kisses to you all.


Vicci, Dan, and Nicholas

a new blog discovery! with crappy pictures!

Shauna sent this to me. She knows me too well. I loved this so much I had to share. The cartoons are my favorite. totally crappy.

the uppers & downers of parenting (or, coffee & wine)

I am a drug addict. I use uppers and downers.
But only to make me a better parent.
I never drank coffee before I had kids. At least not in a "Fresh Pots!" sort of way. We didn't even own a coffee maker.
Back in those days, I looked down upon anyone who needed coffee in the morning. The more they required it the less I thought of them. They were weak. Slaves to the bean. Didn't they know it is a drug they are addicted to? Just stop drinking that shit and then you won't need it.
Then I had two kids.
Kids wake-up with energy. Kids wake-up with loudness.
Kids wake-up too fucking early.
No I will not play with you. Go away. I need coffee.
After coffee:
I don't need it. But they need me to have it.
I'll stop drinking it just as soon as they stop waking me up before the rooster crows.
(We don't actually have a rooster. Did you think we did when I wrote that? That would be cool. Maybe I should take this out and let you think we have a rooster.) 
So that is my little helper pick-me-upper in the morning. 
 And then there is the evening.
Sometimes, after an especially rough day, I'm stressed out at night.
Everything sets me on edge. I'm a bundle of nervous thoughts.
Go to bed. I can't handle one more minute of this parenting thing. I have to do this again tomorrow! How can I handle another day like this one? Nobody is listening to me!
But then my husband hands me a glass of wine.
After wine:
Again, I don't need it. But they need me to have it.
So that is my occasional little calm-me-downer in the evening.
Coffee & wine. My unsung parenting tools.
And yours?

Blah blah blah, yes alcoholism sucks, blah blah blah, notice I said occasional, blah blah blah, did you know that judgmental people are ugly, blah blah blah. 
Eating entire pints of ice cream is another favorite unsung parenting tool of mine. As is sneaking chocolate. And snorting huge piles of cocaine. 
Just kidding about that last one. 


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