Friday, July 31, 2009

Ups and Downs

In an attempt to avoid changing the name of this blog to "Whinefest," I'm going to turn my usual "I'm having a hard time" type post into Ups and Downs.

Up: As of this moment, we have managed to avoid the stomach flu that everyone with small children seems to be catching. I'm thinking of isolating ourselves for the week, because next weekend I'm hosting a big 'ol bridal shower weekend and I don't want to have those germs floating around. So knock knock knock on wood.

Down: I feel like crying because of the potty this week. I'm a broken record, I know. She was doing SO well when we were in PA. I don't think she had any accidents the whole time we were there. But since we got back, it's accident after accident after accident. Wet and dirty. In fact, she has decided that she prefers to poop in her panties and THEN go put it in the potty. Same thing, right? I've gotten myself so excited about preschool that I'm afraid we will all be crushed if it doesn't work out.

Up: David is so stinking cute right now. He says "Date doo" (thank you) when you hand him something, and he nods "yes" when you ask him things like, "Do you want to go outside?" He's so cuddly, it makes all the tough moments worth it.

Down: Katy is having a hard time. Today we went to a Touch-a-Truck event. It was fun, but also really busy and hot. After a while, I thought we needed to leave, but Katy disagreed. She ran away from me several times when I asked her to start walking toward the car. After a warning, finally I had to pick her up and tell her she would be punished when we got home. She screamed the whole way. For lunch, she insisted on Mac n' cheese and then took 2 bites. Then she pooped in her panties as if that was normal. Then I fought her down for a nap. This is a pretty normal day.

Up: Despite these challenges, Katy is just as cute and sweet as she is ornery. She says the funniest things so often that I can't remember them to write them down. And the best part of being a mom is how much she wants to just be with me and play with me. She was in full blown tears the other night because I was going to the grocery and she wanted to come. Finally I caved and let her come. She had a blast helping me get things off the shelf in between driving the car-shaped cart. She kept saying, "If you need anything, Mommy, let me know! I'm right here!" Of course, right before we went home we had another tantrum because she kept running away and I buckled her into the seat. You win some, you lose some.

Down: Brian and I are talking about several opportunities that we might like to take this fall. One of them is that my really wonderful boss would like me to take on some further responsibility at work. Other opportunities are family related and health related. I would love to do them all, but all of them would require more of me, and I sincerely feel like I'm giving all of myself that I can right now. So I'm really torn, really emotional, and don't know what to do.

Up: Brian and I have started to try to get back into shape as far as exercise and healthy eating. With the move and other craziness this spring, things got completely out of hand around here. So it feels good to make a step in that direction.

Down: I don't know if it's related to the dieting and exercise, or related to the early mornings and late evenings that the exercise lends itself to, but I am so tired. I feel exhausted all the time. I thought being healthy was supposed to give you energy? Maybe next week. Or maybe all the "Downs" on this list are related to my lack of chocolate recently.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

East Coast Cousins

This week we made the trip out to Philly to see where Mark, Kelly, and the girls landed when they relocated from Ohio last year. (This was really like returning home for them, since they had lived out there prior to living in Ohio) It was great to see their home and their new neighborhood. We played like crazy, went to the aquarium, and perused the neighborhood garage sale.

The drive is 8 hours each way, which is long with the 2 kiddos. Katy didn't sleep at ALL in either direction, and David slept about 20 minutes, once in each direction. Seriously, that is just painful. But we had a nice time, so it's worth it.

I also got to see my friend Dawn! We had lunch and went shopping, which is a real luxury these days.






















Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kid Updates

In the midst of this crazy busy summer (I can't believe that our original plan was to be moving right now), the kids are growing and changing and reaching milestones. Lately I've felt like this is moving so quickly, that I want to take a moment and notice all of these precious developments.

David, oh how he is changing! He's understanding more and more all the time, following commands like, "go get your shoes" or "let's go upstairs." He acts more and more like a toddler: when I tell him, "No street!" he runs to it over and over and over again with that "I'm a stinker" look in his eyes.

This is one of my favorite stages of development. His language is cracking me up every day. I want to make a list of his words, since this is the closest thing he's getting to a baby book.

Wah-Woh! (Hello)

Mama

Dada

Bye-bye

Ish (while doing "milk" sign - means "juice" or "drink")

Bah (ball)

Baa (bath)

Buh-Buhs (bubbles)

Uh-oh (when anything hits the floor)

Bbbbbbbb-a (rasberry style long "b" sound - banana - this is a favorite and we try to get him to say it all the time)

Mo (more, says while signing)

Sigh (usually outside, but sometimes inside, basically wherever he wants to go that he's not)

Ca-ca (cracker)

Shhh-Shhh (shoes)

Bah (cereal bar, contexual distinction from ball)

Wa (water)

As I'm looking at this list, most of these words are new within the past couple of weeks. It's amazing how they reach those explosive stages.

As for Miss Katy, the most significant achievement over the past several weeks is certainly potty training. I'm not ready to say that she's trained, but we have certainly made some huge leaps of progress. Since her first successful poop in the potty over 2 weeks ago, we have gradually moved to more successes than accidents in that area. And as of today, we haven't had a poop accident at home in over a week. The only issue is that she will not go out in public, and she does not seem to be able to figure out how to hold it until we get home. So we need to work on that some. As for wet accidents, they are sporatic, and usually very small. Most of the time, it's just that she didn't keep herself totally dry before realizing that she had to go. So I'm optimistic that she'll have it figured out well enough when school begins in 6 weeks or so. We drove past it yesterday and that's all she talked about today. That will be another huge transition.

One more thing. This is an example of how opportunity for practice develops skill. The girl who could just barely pedal a tricycle a couple of months ago can now do this: (I would have to take this video on trash day, wouldn't I?)



video

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Congrats J.T. & Adrienne!!


J.T. has been a long time friend of Brian's and mine. He's indirectly the reason that Brian and I met. He's given us a lawn mower and a gas grill. He DJ'd our wedding reception, even though he had never done such a thing before. He and Brian ran their first marathon together. And he's the type of guy to do things like this (see Brutus). He's a friend who will go completely out of his way to do something for you.


Over the past year, we've gotten to know Adrienne as well, as she and J.T. have joined Family Camp (aka our church life group, pictured). She is equally as kind and generous as he is, so we were thrilled to see them united in marriage this weekend.


Besides attending a beautiful wedding with lots of friends, this afforded Brian and I the opportunity to spend a night away from the kids! The wedding was only half an hour away, but we take an opportunity when we see one. It was so nice to relax at the wedding into the late hours and then sleep in until 9 (nine!) this morning. (Thanks Mom and Greg for making this a possibility!)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Happy 4th!! (Anniversary, that is)

Today Brian and I have been married for 4 years. It has snuck up on both of us, and we don't have any plans, but that's the way life has been lately. But even when things are super busy, I wouldn't want to be muddling my way through it with anyone else but my husband. He is the perfect balance for me, and keeps me standing - literally at times. Thanks, honey, for being such a wonderful partner, friend, and father. Love you!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Consider the towel thrown in

This past winter we did several rounds of swimming lessons, and it was hands down the highlight of Katy's week. We were in the water with her during the lesson, and the aim was mostly to make kids comfortable in the water. Katy has the opposite problem. She's too comfortable, but she loved it.

We have a neighborhood pool within walking distance of our new house. When I heard that they offered swimming lessons in the summer, I practically ran over to ask where I could sign up. I got Katy into a class that met for 2 weeks, Monday through Thursday. The best part was that this was the first class in which she would go in by herself. That meant that I could take her during the day, and I wouldn't even have to get wet. Just sit on the bench with David in the shade and watch as my daughter enjoyed every minute of her favorite pastime.

WRONG.

The first day was great. We walked over, she loved it, David did great. It went very very quickly downhill from there. We had sickness, cold weather (who wants to go swimming when it's 62?), and the biggest challenge: Katy would NOT listen.

In her defense, she just turned 3, and she's definitely the youngest in the class. Most of the kids are 4 and 5 years old. Also, she's freezing the entire time, and they want her to sit on the wall and wait her turn. And third, she's in the pool, which is her favorite place in the world, and she's supposed to contain herself from splashing and jumping and playing around? I really think that she does not contain the self-control to do that.

But. If you were to ask each of the 4 teachers in that class which kid was their biggest challenge? Which one the worst listener? Which was practically requiring one of the teachers' attention the entire time? I'd bet a year of our salary they'd all day Katy. It was that bad.

I stepped in. I tried this. I tried that. Finally I pulled her out of the pool. Which wasn't that great of a strategy because she kept saying that she wanted to go home. And today I gave up. Even though we've already missed 2 days, we aren't going back for the last day tomorrow. It just isn't worth it.

So what I thought would be great fun was a huge struggle these past two weeks. We'll wait and try again in a few months (or next year?). But I hope this struggle isn't indicative of her future in organized instruction, or else we have many a stressful parent teacher conferences in front of us.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Festive Family

(Argh! I am having such a hard time getting to the computer! By the time I have a chance to sit, I should be in bed.)


We had a really nice weekend full of fun family activities. It's so nice to take time to just enjoy your kids. Our first accomplishment was to get set up to be able to bike as a family! Given some hand-me-down child seats for Brian's and my bikes, all we had to do was get helmets and we were ready to rock. Our new community is great for biking. We're close to the downtown area, there are lots of bike trails, and plenty of things to bike to. So last Friday we biked to the park, the library, and through downtown, headed for DQ (this was only a few miles altogether). Shortly before we reached DQ, Brian got a flat. So I felt like a hero as I walked him and the kids to get their food and then biked home alone to get the van to come back and rescue them. How exciting! (was probably only exciting because this was our first ride, and the timing was fairly good) I'm just really looking forward to this being a new mode of travel for us around town (and a way to sneak in a little exercise, too).



On Saturday we met some friends at the parade. Again, we biked. It's a good thing we have friends, because we were ill prepared. I don't know what I was thinking, just hopping on our bikes and riding down there, but we didn't have a seat, a snack, any sunscreen, or even a sip of water for the kids. Pam totally bailed us out. And Katy was glad to have her good buddy Jack as a candy-collecting partner.



Waiting for the parade to start (notice bikes with seats in the background - yay!)





God Bless the USA!!




That building behind them is my new CVS. It's a good one - they take expired ECB's!!



Sitting in this chair together was the plan...we didn't realize they'd really be standing in the street.




Katy wasn't thrilled about the fire trucks. I have to admit, those sirens are too loud close up.



Working out their candy-collecting strategy.



This kid sat so quietly in his stroller for so long that I was worried about him. It's safe to say he enjoyed himself.

On Sunday, we had my grandparents up to BBQ and see the new house (along with my Dad and Sue and my sister). It's always a treat to spend time with my grandparents. The grandpas helped Brian put up our new backyard attraction:



video

And the weekend had one more highlight! While I was volunteering at church, Brian sent me a picture message on my phone. Without being too graphic in my description, it clearly communicated that Katy had finally pooped in the potty!! I was beside myself with relief. Not that we're out of the water, but just having crossed that major hurdle. She's done it once again since then, so we're on the right track. Let's continue in the forward direction, shall we?