Monday, February 28, 2011

Capturing the Moment

We had some family pics taken yesterday and the preview is up on the photographer's blog. So far, so cute!

We had a great experience with Melanie, and I definitely recommend her. I think she captured our family beautifully!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cabin Fever

Is anyone else sick of winter? Are your loved ones, especially pint-sized loved ones, driving you a bit bonkers? We've been a little stir-crazy in our house, and it has been difficult to stay cool and collected at times. Most of those times are when Monica is bouncing off the walls. What we all need is a good romp at the park, but with nearly a foot of snow on the ground, that is a ways off. So, as always, patience is key, and little reminders on the basics of loving little ones is also helpful. I found this article on 9 Simple Ways to Make Your Child Feel Special right around Valentine's day, and it has been a great reminder that little things--like cuddles, loving words, and letting little ones help around the house--go a long way in restoring love and order where toddlers are concerned.

Monica is now at the age where she likes to scribble and draw and help with projects. She especially enjoys Do-A-Dot markers (She'll say "Monica wants to do Dooadah!), which are basically sponge-tipped bingo markers scaled down for little people. The markers and a Do-A-Dot book were a Christmas present from Aunt Beth and Uncle Marty and they are a hit! We used to have to sit next to her to help her push down on the marker, encourage her to make more than two dots with one color, and keep her from Do-A-Dotting her mouth, her clothes and the furniture. It took about half of the coloring book for Monica to find her stride, but now she can sit at the table on her own and produce fabulous works like the little garden scene below. This is particularly exciting for me because I LOVE craftiness and projects and I would LOVE to include Monica in some of my crafty pursuits. Granted, knitting and quilting and jewelry making may be a few years away, but every step counts!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Potty Talk

We have officially entered into the whirlwind of potty-training. It seems kind of silly to call it a whirlwind, but if you've done it, I'm sure you can think of really chaotic moments...sprinting to the bathroom with an already-peeing kid...hearing your child say, "I need to go potty!" and then, 3 seconds later, watching the pee run down their leg onto your floor...smashed #2 in the underwear...the list goes on.

I originally did not plan to potty train until Monica was much closer to three, but when she started stripping off her dirty diapers and leaving them as presents throughout the house, we figured we had two choices:

1. Duct-tape her diapers on

2. Start potty training

We opted for the latter, since she is over two, has a lot of interest in bodily functions and is generally eager to use the potty. At first, we went full-board--training underwear, plastic-y training pants setting the timer and having her sit on the potty every 20-30 minutes. There were some accidents, and some successes. We were not to be daunted! But then the plastic-y pants chafed her legs and she ran away from us at the mere suggestion of big girl underwear. So then we took the risk of just the underwear. That was when we all started getting discouraged.

I think we attacked it a litte too much by having her sit on the potty every 20-30 minutes because then she started to whine and fight, sit on the potty for 10 seconds, say she was done, only to have a huge, clothes-soaking accident 10 minutes later. After a couple days of that, my patience was waning. However, it wasn't until the dog got involved that I lost my patience altogether. Just before Kevin came home, Monica had a poo accident in her underwear and ran to the bathroom with said poo dropping to the floor as she ran. I ran after her, cleaned her up and, having had my fill of accidents that day, put her in a diaper. When I went to clean up the poo on the floor, it was gone, but there was Buck looking up at me innocently. I'll let you put two and two together on that one.

Since the Buck Incident, we've backed off on Potty Training Boot Camp for everyone's sanity. I don't think Monica has quite enough self-awareness to be potty trained as of yet. If we didn't remind her to use the potty, she would probably just go in her diaper 80% of the time. But, I also don't think it is wise to give it up and go with option #1 above. So, we have her sit on the potty a few times a day with some success, and everyone is more at peace. The road to potty trained will probably be a long one for all of us. Let the adventure continue...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jim Dinosnore

Up until a few nights ago, no one was sleeping very well in our house except Buck and Monica. James had back-to-back colds, and being a mediocre sleeper in the best of times, he was up A LOT over the past couple of weeks, which means that Kevin and I were up A LOT over the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, this last bug is on its way out and we hope to have a reprieve for a little while. I took these pictures and look at them frequently to remind me that :

1. James is a precious little bundle!

2. Time moves quickly and James' babydom will be over before we know it.

3. Assuming #2 is true, Kevin and I will sleep again!

Monica calls this outfit "Jim's dinosnore clothes"