Archive for August, 2011

back to school

The school year has officially started around here.  Last Friday was Owen’s first day of Pre-K. 

Owen is going to preschool this year at Kirk Day School, our church’s school.  He goes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30.  We’re all having to get used to getting up and out of the house three days a week…and we’re also having to get used to not seeing Owen as often.  I miss having my little buddy around everyday…summer spoiled me!  We were super excited to find out that Owen has Mrs. Hauser for a teacher this year.  She’s wonderful and will be such a great teacher for Owen. 

Owen was excited that a lot of his friends from school last year are in his class.  We were also excited to find out that there are a total of 4 boys in his class this year!  Double the amount of boys as last year!  He was also thrilled that his buddy, Ella, is in his class again this year.  Here they are with Mrs. Hauser learning how to put their stickers on the attendance chart.

I was wondering if I’d be the weird mom with the camera…definitely not.  Every single parent had a camera.  Some even brought video cameras.  Dads were there.  Siblings were there.  We all stood around and watched as the kids had their first circle time.  My little boy is getting so big!

Then it was time to go.  I didn’t cry…but I can guarantee I will next year.  At least I still get him home with me two days a week this year.  Kindergarten will be a whole different ball game!  After the first day, I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say about it.  He told me a few things (he’s not really into recapping what he did while away from me…to my frustration!), but his question to me was, “Mommy, how was your day?  What did you do while I was gone?”.  Sweet boy.

Then today…my baby girl started school.  I can’t believe she’s old enough.  But she is.  I have her in the Toddler Time program at our church, the same program we started Owen with.  She’s just going on Mondays.  One day a week is enough for me. 

She was so excited.  She was supposed to wear red today because it is the color of the week.  When we got to school she ran in and started to play with the puzzles.  Then I noticed that she needed to go to the bathroom so I went in her room to take her…big mistake.  She realized I was leaving and then started crying.  Owen never cares when I drop him off…in fact, I can barely get him to say goodbye to me.  Different story with my little gal.  I heard she calmed down pretty quickly, but it still made me sad to leave her when she was so upset.

Her teachers, Miss Jennifer and Miss Lisa, are great.  They told us at the open house that they wanted to fully support the efforts of parents who are potty training.  I asked if it was ok if I sent Molly in underwear or if she needed to wear a pull-up and they insisted I send her in underwear.  They said they’d make sure to take her to the bathroom as often as I wanted them to.  I am so thankful for this so we don’t have to worry about her regressing in her potty training.

Speaking of…Molly has been doing great with potty training.  She rarely has accidents, tells me when she needs to go (or I can tell by her body language), and hasn’t had a wet diaper during naps in about a week!  She also will finally go both ways in the potty!  With Owen, I waited a full month while he pooped his diaper at naps and pooped his pants because he was scared of going in the potty.  Then I went out and bought him a bag of incentive toys.  With Molly, the first time she went and hid in her room and pooped her pants I told her that pooping her pants is yucky and poop goes in the potty.  We went to Target and she picked out some little toys that she is getting every time she goes in the potty.  And it’s working for her!  Yay!  (I know that it’s not like this with every kid so don’t think I’m trying to sound high and mighty because Molly has caught on to this quickly.  Potty training was definitely a challenge for Owen even after we got the bag of toys…well, a challenge is maybe an understatement.  I don’t ever want to relive a potty training experience like Owen’s.  I didn’t even blog about all of it…some of it was just not blog appropriate material.  Trust me!)  

Back to her school day…when I picked her up she was really excited to see us.  She came running out of the classroom singing her school songs.  Her teachers told me she went potty 3 times and had no accidents!  Overall it was a great day! 

Having both kids in school one day a week is a treat for me.  I got to run errands and spent a full hour wandering around World Market deciding how to spend my $10 off coupon.  I also grocery shopped faster than I have in years.  It’s amazing how fast you can do things when you don’t have to buckle kids into car seats (and when I’m not running Molly to the bathroom in every store we go!).  It was fantastic.  I missed the kids like crazy and couldn’t wait to see them, but I will definitely look forward to my time on Monday mornings!

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It was that time again.  The diaper box was nearly empty.  I weighed my options…go spend $$ on another box of diapers or get over my procrastinating self and potty train my daughter.  The easier option definitely would have been to go buy another box of diapers and I was close to going that route, but then I realized we have an open calendar for the next week and a half with nothing to do but potty train Molly.  And now here we are.  I collected all my goodies and we got to work.

We started yesterday morning after breakfast.  Molly was SUPER excited to wear her big girls undies.  While we were in Arkansas she got to pick them out and she couldn’t wait to wear her princesses and Tinkerbell.  When I came in her room to get her ready she’d already attempted to put them on…just on the wrong body part!

She picked out her inaugural pair (Ariel…in case you wanted to know), she picked out a favorite t-shirt, and I set the timer.  She was pumped!

Every 5 minutes the timer would go off and we’d head to the potty.  For the first hour and a half she had 6 accidents.  I had a full basket of towels and undies by the time 10:30 rolled around.  I literally watched her like a hawk and didn’t let her out of my sight.  Whenever I’d see her pause and look down, I’d grab her and we’d run through the house to the bathroom.  We never made it but she was starting to grasp the idea that pee pee goes in the potty not in her big girl pants.  And then it happened…I noticed her pause, look down, we ran and she made it to the potty!!  It’s amazing how genuinely excited you can be about hearing that little dribble in the potty seat.  I was literally jumping up and down cheering.  She loved flushing, washing hands and getting her M&M…all very motivating things for her.  Before lunch we’d had 6 accidents and 3 successes…not too bad! 

After her nap she really made some improvements.  She had a wet diaper when she woke up, but I expected that.  After changing this diaper we continued going to the potty every 10 or so minutes but she never went.  Finally, 2 hours later!!, she went!  I was SO impressed that she could hold it that long and then wait to go in the potty!  This was a huge success for our first day!!  I was so proud of her.

We’re now in the middle of day 2.  We left the house today (crazy idea) and ended up having to stop at a gas station after being in the car for 10 minutes.  Grossest gas station bathroom EVER.  It was one of those outdoor restrooms with a key that you have to get from the cashier.  There was no soap at all in the bathroom and a large roll of tp balanced on top of the dispenser.  Eww.  And it was a false alarm.  But she told me she had to go and I don’t want to discourage that.  We Purelled once we got back into the car and made our way up to church.  She had a one accident while we were there, but I’m going to attribute it to the fact that she was playing on the playground and got distracted by all the fun climbing there was to be done.  We tried about 4 times while we were at church but never had success…I think the different toilet was freaking her out.  After changing her clothes, we headed home and she stayed dry the whole drive back.  (Thank goodness because I was NOT stopping at the gas station again.) 

She went #2 in her undies before nap time.  I should have known she was doing this because she went in her room and shut the door.  Then she came out and told me what she’d done.  At least she’s upfront  and honest!  I made a big deal of telling her I wasn’t mad but going poop in her undies is yucky and poop belongs in the toilet.  She cried and cried (she’s a sensitive type) so hopefully this made an impression and she won’t want to do this again.  But I’m not naive in the potty training department…it took Owen a full month before he’d poop in the potty so I’m well aware that this could be a struggle for her, too.

Overall, things are going much better than I’d expected!  And I will say that potty training a girl is SO MUCH EASIER for one reason…there’s no need to worry about that tricky male part and the direction it’s pointed!  Girls just sit down and it does right in the potty.  No mess.  I love that aspect of this potty training experience.  Hopefully we’ll have more success and less laundry at the end of today!

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After our great visit with Trav’s parents, we headed to Fayetteville to visit Beau and Stephanie.  Beau and Travis have been best friends since first grade and always pick right back up where they left off.  We don’t see them nearly enough and were really excited to spend some quality time with them on our way back to St. Louis.  They own a boat,  live only 20 minutes from a great lake, and the weather cooperated so we spent Sunday afternoon and evening out on the water.  Trav and I weren’t sure how the kids would feel about the boat but we were thrilled when they loved every second of it!  Beau was great and started out going slow so the kids could get used to it.  After a couple minutes Owen looked over at Beau and yelled, “FASTER!!”.  They both loved the boat and the snacks that Stephanie packed.  I think this picture is hilarious…Owen looks like he’s smoking a Veggie Straw and Molly’s talking with her mouth full, as usual. 

Beau has the patience of a saint and let both kids have their first experience tubing.  Travis took Owen out first.  He was a little apprehensive at the start but got the hang of it and loved it!  In fact, he even took another turn after Molly was done.

And then it was Molly’s turn.  She had a good time but had no desire to do it again.  When she got back into the boat she told me the water got in her eyes and face and she needed to wear a mask.  She even specified that she’d like it to be a Nemo mask.  Silly girl.

Not only did Beau show crazy amounts of patience with tubing, he also let both kids drive the boat!  He controlled the speed but they completely took control of steering.  Owen was a big fan of spinning the boat in circles…so much so that his turn ended because we were all getting dizzy. 

The tubing was probably Owen’s favorite part, but Molly’s favorite part by far was swimming in the lake.  When we were in the water, she kept saying, “Leave me alone.  I swim away from you.”  Not the most polite thing to say (we’re working on that) but it gives you an idea of the girl’s independence.  She loves to swim and has become a little fish since we started her on the vest/floaties combo.  It opens up a whole new world of swimming freedom for me.  We spent lots of time just like this in the water:

We had talked with Owen about how you go to the bathroom when you’re on the lake (well…#1 at least).  He thought this was pretty cool and eventually decided it was time to try it.  We’d been having a snack in the boat when he announced that he had to pee.  Travis was preparing to jump into the water with him when Owen dropped his swim trunks and started peeing off the side of the boat!  He didn’t really grasp it when we said that if you have to pee you can do it in the water…he literally just stood on the boat and peed into the water!  I’m sure this picture will embarrass him someday but I think it’s hysterical.

We were sad to see the day end.  We had so much fun and cannot wait to do it again!  Thanks Beau and Steph for showing us such a great time and being absolutely fabulous hosts! 

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A couple weekends ago we took the kids down to Mena to visit Nana, Bubba and Grandma Renie.  We were really excited about all the fun things they had planned for us while we were there.  On Friday morning we headed over to Kathy’s new pottery shop called Come Together.  Kathy is a close family friend (and neighbor) and is an incredibly talented potter (is that what you call a person who makes pottery??).  She is opening a shop similar to the Painted Zebra here in St. Louis…basically you pick a pot and get to glaze it however you want.  Here we are…smocks on, paintbrushes in hand, eager to paint! 

Julie graciously offered to be Molly’s helper so I could paint a piece myself.  And Travis has never been one to love artsy types of activities so he had no problem helping Owen paint his pot.

I wasn’t sure how long the kids would last.  I half expected them to enjoy painting for 5 or so minutes and then the adults would have to finish.  But they completely surprised me!  They were both super intense and painted every last inch of their pots (and then Molly moved on to painting the paper towel…).

Kathy was amazing and fired the pots for us while we were in town so we could take them home with us.  The kids were so excited to see their finished products.  I think they turned out pretty great!

Our next activity was something we’ve never done with the kids before while in Mena.  Saturday was hot but not unbearable so we took the kids up the mountain to ride the train.  They were really excited and thought it was a blast.

After riding the train, we took the kids over to see the big train.  They thought it was so cool and loved playing around in there.

I think this next picture is hilarious.  We need to get those kids some sunglasses!!

On our last night in Mena, the kids discovered some treasures still on display in Travis’ old bedroom.  They escaped bathtime preparations, put on all of these “necklaces” (as Molly called them), and put on quite a show for us in the kitchen.

Our time in Mena was great.  We got to spend some time with Grandma Renie, Jeff and Julie had lots of quality play time with the kids, and we loved all the fun activities they had planned for us.  Sunday morning we got up and drove to Fayetteville to begin Part II of our trip.  Boating, tubing, and swimming pictures coming soon…

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making the most of a rainy day

It has been sunny and hot here in St. Louis.  SERIOUSLY hot and sunny.  We haven’t had rain in forever.  So when a Saturday came up with nothing on the calendar, Trav and I told the kids that we would take them to our local aquatic center.  The kids were thrilled…we drive by this place several times a week and each time they peg me with questions about when they’ll get to go play there.  We were literally piling in the car, sunscreen coated with swimsuits on, when the first drops of rain started falling.  There were tears.  Sobs.  Grief.  How were we going to make up for this canceled trip to the long-awaited water park? 

Well…I don’t know that it was better than the water park.  But it lifted the moods in our house.  We got out our umbrellas and rain boots and went for a walk in the rain.  When you’ve got lemons, right?

We let loose and splashed in the puddles.

Owen spent some time checking out the fish in the pond.  He saw a fish floating near the surface and excitedly shouted, “Look!  It’s a Cat in the Hat fish!”.  He was right…it was a catfish and I bet you can tell which book is Owen’s current fav.

The kids love playing at the playground across the street from our house.  And the best way to ensure that you have the playground to yourself is to go when it’s raining!  Molly played in the mulch to her heart’s content.

While Owen loved getting soaked in the puddles at the bottom of the slides.

Even a rainy day can’t keep Molly away from her bike.  The girl’s OBSESSED.

It wasn’t the water park, but we still had a pretty great day.  You’ve gotta make the most of the hand you’re dealt…and I think we did just that.

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A couple of weeks ago Tyler, Tessa, and Cooper came to visit.  We were super excited for these three to get to play together.

Owen and Cooper bonded over their mutual love of shooting things with nerf guns.  These tough guys had quite the shootout in our basement.

Trav had to work while they were here, but Tyler, Tessa and I took the kids to the Magic House.  Molly got a chance to demonstrate just how long and wispy her hair was before her very first haircut.  My hair, on the other hand, didn’t cooperate with the static ball.

While Tessa was here, I took advantage of the fact that she is a stylist.  Molly had been in need of a cut for a while but I didn’t really want to shell out $15 for someone to trim her wispy ends.  Tessa volunteered to give her a trim while she was here, so we popped in Finding Nemo and Tessa set to work.

Molly was a champ and sat still the entire time.  Tessa was awesome and even swept up the wispy ends so that I could save them in Molly’s baby book.  The first haircut was a success!

It made her hair look so much better!  It’s slowly but surely coming in on top, but the back is now filled with beautiful bouncing curls.  Did I mention that Moo is starting to get freckles across her nose?  How cute is she going to be with a full head of blonde curls and little freckles on her nose?  Adorable.

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wedding weekend!

A couple of weeks ago our friends Peter and Leslie got married!  Leslie was one of my roommates for 3 years in college and Peter was our next door neighbor.  They are great together and it was such a fun celebration!  Leslie asked me to be in her house party and Owen made his third debut as ring bearer.  At the rehearsal we learned that Owen and Micah (the other ring bearer and my friend, Emily’s son) would be dragging the aisle runner down the aisle.  Emily and I were a little nervous about this because their trial run looked like this:

We were sure we’d be helping them down the aisle…but more about that later.  After the rehearsal we took a few minutes to check out the crazy pictures booth that was set up for the wedding the next day.  Pretty awesome family pic, huh?  You can’t see my hat very well, but it said something about a Redneck and had a mullet attached to it.  Fantastic.

And before taking off for dinner, the five roomies got together for a picture.  Emily, Bri, Les, me, and Allie have SO many pictures together from college and now all five of us are married!!

The day of the wedding was so much fun…start to finish.  We had 26 of our college friends and their kids over to our house for a cookout that morning.  It was so fun to see everybody and their families.  After the cookout it was time to head to Union Station for pictures.  Travis kept the ringbearers neat and tidy as we tried to figure out where we needed to be.

When we finally found the bride, Les took a minute to snap a picture with her troop of ringbearers and flower girls.  And Owen was doing his tiger face.  Nice.

Flower girls, Avery and Audrey, are my friend Bri’s daughters.  Owen had a great time with them…and became a bit of a ladies man!

I’d mentioned earlier that Emily and I were nervous that Micah and Owen wouldn’t be able to drag the runner down the aisle without our help.  We were sure that we’d be popping up out of our seats to help them out.  But we didn’t need to because they did GREAT!  They walked all the way down the aisle totally in step.

And they couldn’t have done a better job of dragging the runner! 

And then it was the flower girls’ turn.  They made it down that perfectly straight aisle runner without a hitch! 

The wedding was beautiful…and then it was time for the party!  Owen didn’t stay too long.  His picky palate wasn’t a big fan of tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese and standing around talking to grown-ups wasn’t his idea of a good time.  My parents were amazing and came all the way downtown and picked up Owen from the reception and took him home.  Before he left we snapped a quick family picture.

Our college Bible Study leader, Bissy, has come to almost all of our weddings.  It’s been 8 years since I was in her Bible Study, but it’s always so great to see her! 

Trav and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary the weekend before.  It’s crazy to think about where we were 7 years ago…so much has changed since then!  Here we are…nice and shiny.  The a/c wasn’t working too great and it was HOT that night.

The reception was tons of fun.  Basically Peter and Leslie provided us all with a big Mizzou reunion.

We’d tried out the crazy pictures booth at the rehearsal and it didn’t disappoint at the reception.  We took our fill of pictures using as many costume combinations as possible.  Here’s a shot of the roomies (minus the bride).  Like my tatoo sleeves?  I thought they were awesome.

Trav and the guys in his fake fraternity “PAE…Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy”.  Ask him about it sometime.  Funny stuff.

Tessa and I lived together for a summer and has become a close friend.  She married our good buddy, Tyler, and now we love them both! 

Trav and me…striking a pose in his Cousin Eddie hat and I was wearing angel wings in honor of my days as a Pi Phi angel.

And finally…the only shot I got of the bride and groom all night.  Peter and Les were headed to Mexico for their honeymoon so this picture is only fitting.

Wow…that was an epic post.  And I could have posted a ton more pictures.  It was a great wedding.  A great weekend.  Great times with old friends.  Now somebody else needs to get married so we have an excuse to do it again!

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