Archive for December, 2009

adventures in potty training

With Travis off work this week, we decided to give potty training a whirl…and we can’t go back now!  Owen has taken to it like a champ and is SO very proud of himself.  Can you tell how very proud he is of his stickers?

When I would mention that I was thinking about potty training Owen this week people would ask me what my plan was.  Well…there wasn’t really a plan.  Basically all we’re doing is setting the timer for 15 minutes and when it dings we head to the potty.  Here’s a shot of Owen right after we pulled out the big boy pants yesterday morning and put them on him for the first time:

Might I add that, as soon as I was done taking this picture, I noticed that Owen had just peed all over the couch.  Lovely.  We went through four pairs of undies in a matter of an hour, but after that something seemed to click.  When we’d sit him on the potty chair he’d go almost immediately.  He got really into flushing, washing his hands and then getting his sticker.  We aren’t using an incentive chart…he just really likes to wear stickers on his clothes and this seems to motivate him.  Whatever works, right?  By the end of the day we even have stickers on his back.  Check it out:

As yesterday went on, Owen started to tell us that “the peepee is coming!”.  He was not a bit scared to use the potty to go #1, but  I was worried how he was going to react when he had to go #2.  We caught him in the act around bedtime and immediately ran him into the bathroom and…SUCCESS!  He thought it was the awesomest thing in the entire world.  We called both sets of grandparents and Owen kept pointing into the toilet yelling, “Look at it!!”.  Travis and I were both a bit grossed out.  Proud of Owen, but not excited about the clean up.  And then we discovered the need for flushable wipes.  Today I ran to Target and now our bathroom is outfitted with these kid-friendly items:

Day #1 was a great first day.  Day #2 started off a bit rocky, but got a lot better.  We had an early morning accident…a messy one which Travis was lucky enough to get to clean up.  We quickly learned that we can’t leave him alone for even a minute during these first few days of potty training unless we want to clean up after him.  After this first accident, he only had one more all day long!  He’s doing awesome.  Until tomorrow…here’s happy, smiley Owen wearing Travis’ fishing hat and pretending to be Indiana Jones while sitting on the potty.  At least he’s having fun with it! 

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potty training day #1

13 successes (including #2!!!!)

3 accidents  (couch, carpet, Max’s dogbed)

4 pairs of underwear

2 tired parents

More to come tomorrow…

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hurry christmas, hurry fast!

We’re ready around here! 

We looked at the pretty lights at Tilles Park…

We made gingerbread houses with Mimi and Grandad…

We’ve posed for cute pictures to make Mommy happy…

And we dressed in our Tiger best to root on our team to a victory over the Illini!  Go Tigers!!

One more day!!  Merry Christmas!

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As Emily’s mentioned here before, Owen is definitely a movie kid. He loves everything from Finding Nemo to Star Wars to, most recently, Rudolph & The Grinch. We’ve felt for a while now that he’s ready to go see a movie in the theater, but we’ve had trouble finding one we really wanted to take him to see – as well as finding time to actually go! Well, yesterday the stars aligned. We had an open afternoon, Em’s parents were open to babysit Molly, and the Fantastic Mr. Fox was playing right after nap time. We would’ve preferred taking him to a PIXAR movie, but hey, it had animals. And the boy loves animals. We showed him a preview and he couldn’t stop talking about “Mr. Fox!” So we went for it…and of course documented the experience through pictures.

Of course, we had to have popcorn:

Owen did great. After every single preview he shouted very loudly, “Where’s Mr. Fox?!”, which was pretty adorable. A few other times he announced something about the movie, i.e., “There’s Mr. Fox!” or “It’s a puppy!” during the scene in which Mr. Fox and company hide from a rabid dog. But otherwise he was great. Emily and I had a blast watching him watch the movie. The movie itself was pretty good. A lot of the themes/plot/morals-of-the-story were over Owen’s head (probably more aimed at 6-8-year-olds), but hey, he loved watching the animals run around for an hour and a half. We probably would’ve picked something a little more cartoony given the chance, but whatever. As adults, Emily and I thought it was great. George Clooney as Mr. Fox was perfect voice casting. If you like Wes Anderson movies (Rushmore, Royal Tenenbaums, etc.), it’ll be right up your alley.

So there you have it. The first of what I’m sure will be many, many, many more trips to the movies. We’ll probably spare you a review and pictures of every outing from here on out, but I felt this one was worth sharing!

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little loud mouth

I’ve mentioned that Molly likes to talk.  A lot.  And she’s very loud.  So much so that when she’s really on a roll, it’s hard to talk over her.  In case you were under the impression that she is only capable of smiling for pictures, here’s video to prove that she does make noise.  In the background you can hear her cleanliness-obsessed brother freaking out because he’s dropped his napkin.  Obviously Molly does not share his obsession considering she is covered in avocado.  Enjoy!

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8 months already!

Molly is growing up too fast!  I absolutely LOVE every stage with this little girl.  She gets so much joy out of life, and I’m loving seeing her learn new things.  Some new things this month:

*She’s now a very sturdy sitter.  She never topples anymore.  I can plop her anywhere and she’ll stay put.  It’s great. 

*She LOVES being on her belly and is trying to get on her hands and knees.  She can scoot backwards and will end up underneath furniture.  I think she’ll be crawling about the same time as her brother.  He did it just before his 9 month birthday…looks like that might be her schedule, too.        

*Still 100% toothless.  She chews on everything and is becoming a drool machine, but still no teeth.          

*She still spits up like crazy.  That reflux doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon!  The doctor told me that most kids can be weaned off the meds at 9 months because they aren’t spitting up anymore.  We’re definitely not there yet.  I can only hope that this will happen soon.  I’m getting so tired of spit up and the amount of laundry it produces!       

*Even though Molly has become an expert at rolling over from her back to her front, she won’t roll from her front to her back to save her life.  We practice EVERY SINGLE DAY and nothing.  I’m not sure what her hang up is with rolling over this way, but she just plain won’t do it.  Hopefully she’ll start doing it soon so I don’t have to get worried.    

*One more thing, Molly absolutely loves her brother and thinks he is the funniest person in the world.  They are becoming great buddies.  It’s so fun to watch!  (and then she starts chewing on his toy and he grabs it away and she starts screaming and then I have to teach my son a lesson in sharing and it becomes less fun and gives me a headache…but mostly it’s very endearing!)

Owen is 31 months today, and he is becoming a kid right before my eyes!

He has a hilarious sense of humor and makes me laugh constantly.  I love hearing the things that come out of his mouth.  He definitely takes after his dad in this area!  He loves to ask me questions like “What am I doing here, Mama?” when we are walking through Target or when we are sitting on the couch watching a movie.  Random questions are his thing lately.  He also asks, “What’s going on in here?”.  Then he’ll tell me when he drops a piece of food on the floor, “Don’t worry, Mama, Max will eat it.” 

Besides talking constantly, Owen continues to be extreme.  He does not have an inbetween.  He’s either extremely happy or extremely mad.  His method of dealing with his anger is very loud, very long tantrums which challenge my patience multiple times a day.  I’m thankful that he has a teachable spirit and is sorry when he’s done something wrong and apologizes.  The constant discipling is exhausting, though!  Owen definitely knows what is expected of him and what he’s not supposed to do.  So much so that he now has a “friend” who often acts out in his place. 

Meet Boneses (pronounced Bone-sez):

Boneses sleeps with Owen (along with Shamu, who scares away bad dreams, and Bobby and Duck who just cuddle with Owen…it’s a full house in his bed).  Boneses plays with Owen.  Boneses does bad things and Owen has to punish him.  Today Boneses was jumping on the bed when I went in to check on Owen during his nap (when Owen was supposed to be sleeping).  Boneses was put in time out (by Owen) and then Owen corrected him by saying “Boneses, it is not okay to jump on the bed.  You need to OBEY Owie.” 

So, Owen has a sidekick.  It’s funny.  But it’s also really interesting/scary to hear the things he says to Boneses.  I realize that he listens to every single thing I say. 

That’s all for another month.  Merry Christmas!

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When we bought our house, I HATED this floor:

We kept the floor for so long because other expenses took priority (Owen and Molly).  Also, Max was a puppy and I liked having a floor I didn’t care about so I didn’t worry if it got messed up.

I’ve always hated that it NEVER looked clean.  I also wasn’t crazy about the pattern.  Anyway, for my birthday this year we decided to put any money I received into redoing the floor.  Our friend from church is a contractor and was able to give us a great deal. 

The timing worked out absolutely perfect.  Our friend could do it over Thanksgiving while we were in Arkansas so we didn’t have to worry about keeping Owen from walking on the kitchen floor for a week.  We came home to a brand new kitchen!!  (Well maybe just kitchen floor, but it felt like a new kitchen!)

I think it makes everything look shiny and new.  It’s still new enough that I forget that the floor has been changed and get happy every time I walk in my kitchen.  Home improvements do a heart good.

All of a sudden I’m a mopping fanatic!  I actually look forward to putting my kids down for a nap so I can get out the old mop and bucket and the good smelling Mr. Clean and give the floor a good scrub.  It’s nice to have a floor that actually looks clean for a change!

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my favorites

These favorites are little tiny things that the kids will stop doing before I know it because kids just grow up.  That’s the way life works.  It made me a bit sad the day I heard Owen calling the elephants “elephants” instead of “ots”.  His baby word for them is gone and that just makes him a little more grown up.  Anyway, before long these things will be gone too, and I don’t want to forget them because they are so doggone precious.

Here are my favorite things Owen does lately:

Owen has been using the word “absolutely” a whole lot.  (But it sounds like “absowootwee”.)  When I ask him to do something, often he will say, “Absolutely Mama!”.  I love it.  He sounds so grown up.

When I pick Owen up from the church nursery, he sees me at the door and gets very excited and starts pointing and saying, “That’s my mom!  That’s my mom!”.  He’ll go up to the nursery workers and make sure they know who I am.  It’s precious and it makes my heart melt. 

My favorite Molly things:

She drinks from a cup now and she thinks she’s the coolest thing ever.  She loves to sip water out of it and she’s really into holding it herself.  I love how proud she is after she tastes the water.  She looks at me and gives me the hugest smile. 

I love how, when she talks, she looks like she’s chewing on her tongue when she says da-da, la-la, and ba-ba.  She’s not quite sure what to do with her tongue but she loves the noises it makes! 

I love how she reaches her arms up when she wants to be held.

So I’ve been all positive, but there’s one thing that is NOT my favorite…

Teaching a 2 year old how to dress himself.  I’m trying to get him to pull down and up his pants in preparation for potty training and you’d think I asked him to stick his hand in boiling water.  It’s that bad.  Every time he needs a diaper change.  He screams.  He yells.  He refuses.  He sits in a dirty diaper for long periods of time because he refuses to pull down his pants.  He’s a stinker.  That’s all there is to it. 

I’m thankful for those cute moments I listed above so that I can remember them when we’re working on getting dressed.

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…and I’m hoping curious kiddies don’t pull them down!  Being without a fireplace makes the stocking situation quite a dilemma! 

Anyway…this house is ready for Christmas!  As I’ve mentioned in previous years, Travis and I are Christmas junkies.  We love it.  Every inch of my house gets redecorated with Christmas cheer.  The are new pictures in the frames of us from Christmases past, the Christmas countdown calendars are set out (and I now have four of them…Christmas won’t sneak up on this family!), and the outside is decked out with lights.  This year we had a lot of fun decorating the tree with both kids.  We dressed them in their matching Christmas jammies (thanks, Mimi!) and set to work. 

They were SO not into posing (okay, OWEN was so not into posing).  The tree was calling his name and there were so many ornaments to discover.  Molly, on the other hand, thought picture taking was great fun!

Every year Grandma Sue has handed us the Hallmark catalogue and told us to choose whatever ornaments we’d like for our tree.  I’ve loved getting these ornaments for the last 6 years, but Travis has been receiving them his whole life.  The Hallmark ornaments are so cute, and Owen loved getting his own this year!  His favorites were his Finding Nemo ornament and his Cars ornament (where Mater’s tongue is stuck to a light post like The Christmas Story).  Here he is hanging the first ornament of the year…

We were thinking that Owen would only last through the first couple of ornaments and then have to go to bed.  He stayed up through almost the entire tree decoration.  He was a trooper.  He can’t help but be a Christmas junkie too, considering who his parents are!

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the feasts

After a bit of a blogging break, I return!  Thanksgiving was a great time with family and very relaxing.  We enjoyed our first Thanksgiving feast with my parents the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  We stuffed ourselves full with all the standard dishes.  It was delicious!  Here’s a picture of Owen with the feast.  I wish I could say that he enjoyed every last bite of his food, but I can only report that he ate a few bites of bread and some milk.  It’s a wonder the kid doesn’t wither up and blow away.

Random thought from Thanksgiving…did you ever notice how every family has their own special menu item that is tradition for them to eat at Thanksgiving?  Our family has celery with peanut butter.  What celery with peanut butter has to do with Thanksgiving is beyond me, but we’ve always done it so therefore, we continue to do it.  I’ve noticed that Travis’ family eats broccoli cheese casserole.  I grew up having broccoli cheese casserole for a normal meal, but to them it means Thanksgiving.  Funny.  Anyway, one more pic of our Thanksgiving with my family…a rare picture of Trav and me!  No pictures of little Moo…she slept through the majority of this meal.

The morning after our Thanksgiving meal with my family, Travis’ Grandma Sue passed away.  She’d been battling cancer for the past 6 years, and it was time for her to go meet Jesus.  We were so sad because she’s meant a lot to both of us (and our kids), but we are thankful that she is no longer suffering.  We knew that this was a possibility, so our plans for Thanksgiving changed a bit.  We ended up driving to Mena, Arkansas on Tuesday to spend the week/weekend with Travis’ parents, Grandpa Lane (Sue’s husband), and Grandma Renie (Julie’s mom).  It was a very quiet few days (which was nice because Molly decided to come down with an ear infection and Owen had strep throat and bronchitis) and spent a lot of time watching movies and lounging around the house.  Just what was needed to heal the bodies of our little sickies!  Owen had to use Molly’s nebulizer from her bout with the swine flu. We called it his Darth Vader mask (because it sounds like how Darth Vader breathes, just a LOT louder).  He thought that was awesome and played with his Star Wars guys every time we hooked him up to the machine. 

Our Thanksgiving feast in Mena was equally as delicious, and Owen ate equally as much as his previous Thanksgiving feast.  The kid doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Molly was actually awake during this Thanksgiving feast!  Julie got to be her high chair while she downed her Thanksgiving meal of sweet potatoes.  This girl loves to eat…can’t you tell how excited she is about her next bite?

Owen and Molly got to spend a lot of time bonding with their great-grandparents while we were there.  Owen  loved sword fighting with spoons with Grandma Renie.

And Molly loved being held by Grandpa Lane.

Travis and I enjoyed the extra hands to help take care of our children.  It gave us the opportunity to put our feet up a bit.  We even snuck in S’mores over the campfire one night with Jeff and Julie while the kiddies slept! 

After four days in Mena, we headed up to Kansas City for Sue’s visitation and funeral on Sunday and Monday.  She was quite a lady and both events were quite a celebration of her life.  She will be greatly missed by all.

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