Seven Quick Takes: Kid Edition

— 1 —

G’s favorite new saying lately is “I’m fine.” And it’s so versatile! He can and does say it all the time, under any circumstances.

Do you want some more to eat?
I’m fine.

Go to the bathroom!
I’m fine.

It’s time to get ready for bed.
I’m fine.

He hasn’t figured out that “I’m fine” isn’t a magic phrase that lets him do whatever he wants, or not do whatever he wants to avoid.

— 2 —

Baby girl has not had the same undivided attention that her brother received, so she has not learned the myriad of animal sounds G knew by her age. We’re working to remedy this situation, because her dad and I find there is little that is more entertaining than a small child making animal sounds when prompted. So far she knows elephant, cow, and chicken.

— 3 —

I can’t remember if I’m talked about it on the blog, or just on twitter, but G’s potty training has gone really really well. Well enough that I’ve been hesitant to say just how well it’s gone lest I jinx ourselves.

But um, he’s doing great. As long as he doesn’t get too distracted by whatever it is he’s doing, so we do have to watch him and remind him to go now and then.

— 4 —

He’s even doing a great job of pulling his undies back on, which for the first couple of weeks I wasn’t sure when he’d finally manage. Although I think a lot of it was just him not wanting to deal with the hassle of tugging them up; it was such much easier to have momma do it.

— 5 —

One of the hardest parts of the entire potty training adventure has been keeping his sister out of the way when we’re dealing with cleanup – I have to keep her out of the room entirely, or she’s trying to grab the kiddie potty or worse. I keep reminding myself that I am not the first mom to have to deal with potty training one child while having to keep a younger sibling out of the way.

— 6 —

I ended up buying two potties since we’ve got a two story house, and that was a wise decision. What I wish is that I’d gotten two of the one brand however, since I find it a lot easier to empty and clean. When he’s used the upstairs potty I have to quick make sure he doesn’t try and empty it himself because that invariably leads to a big mess.

— 7 —

Amazingly enough considering his energy, G has never been that much of a climber. His sister absolutely is however – in addition to climbing up to the top of the playset and taking herself down the slide, I’ve also caught her climbing to the top of one of the bookcases in the playroom. Now, granted, this is a low two-shelf bookcase, but still. It’s clear to me that I need to be prepared for her to decide she wants to scale the built-in shelves in the family room, or whatever else she can find.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes: Three-Year Old Edition

birthday boy

— 1 —

G-man turned THREE last week. And every year before his birthday I’m kind of stunned when I realize “ok, today is the day we went into the hospital and he still didn’t arrive until WHEN??” So yes, on Saturday I noted the anniversary of when we went to the hospital to have the boy. And then on Monday we celebrated the anniversary of his actual arrival.

And all I can really say is I am so glad when I went in on the 7th that I didn’t know how long labor would last.

— 2 —

While we celebrated baby girl’s 1st birthday last month, G decided that he wanted a banana birthday cake with chocolate frosting. When he’s a teenager if I ever need to remind him of his parent’s love for him I can point to this event. I hate banana cake. His dad doesn’t much like chocolate frosting. Put them together and the only ones who want to eat it are the kiddos.

And that is why I made cupcakes instead of a big cake. Except I forgot to check my powdered-sugar stash and found that I did not have enough to make frosting, chocolate or otherwise. So I whipped some cream and put a big dollop on G’s cupcake and he was happy.

— 3 —

We ordered a bike for G. His first almost big-boy bike. It’s still the smallest size available (or at least generally available; I have no idea if there are smaller ones you can specially order), but when we went shopping for it he hopped right on and started peddling off down the aisle. I’m sure he’ll outgrow it in no time, but the next size up is just enough bigger that it’s awkward for him and he didn’t like it. At least his sister can use it too someday, and the price wasn’t that high that we minded getting something that he won’t use all that long.

Too bad we didn’t order it early enough for it to arrive on his actual birthday. Whoops. At least he’s still young enough that he was distracted from it by a cupcake and phone call to the grandparents.

— 4 —

We did buy him a helmet however, since that was in stock. The boy has a ginormous noggin apparently. Hats supposedly sized for 3+ were too small. 5+ still too small. We ended up with an 8+ helmet. I don’t think he looks like he has such a huge head, so are bike helmets just sized really small or something?

— 5 —

In honor of his birthday G got a special trip to … the dentist! Ok, not really, it just worked out that way that we went for attempt #2 to have him cooperate on a dental visit. The first time in January or February he wouldn’t even open his mouth. This time he let the hygienist count all his teeth and visually examine them all. She even managed to polish four of them before he decided that he’d had enough. Progress!

— 6 —

It has been so hot here that I’ve not really been able to take the kids outside. This has been so difficult for G-man, who is a fanatic for playing outside. I’m looking forward to fall if for no other reason than so I can go outside with him without feeling like I’m going to die from heat stroke. Happily the last two weeks have been better, so we’ve at least managed a few hours playing in the backyard each day before momma begs for mercy and air conditioning.

— 7 —

For the last two months or so G has been saying that he’ll use the potty like a big boy when he’s three. Well he turned three and guess who did not forget what that meant? Momma. Birthday was Monday. Dentist was Tuesday. Potty training began on Wednesday. He had to be bribed to even sit on the chair the first time. He had to be bribed to finally pee in the potty. He was bribed to poop in the potty.

Bribes work. He only got bribes the first day, and he’s doing great. I am still somewhat terrified to leave the house with him not in a diaper, but I guess that’s just another hurdle that we’ll both have to face soon.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes: One Year Old Edition

— 1 —

Last week was my sweet girl’s first birthday, so in honor of that I’m going to share lots of photos. And some stories too. :)

— 2 —

birthday girl

Baby girl just learned how to climb the ladder in the playset, so she can now get up to the top level and walk herself over to the slide. Or to the open area for the monkey bars, or the open area for the rock wall, or back to the open area where the ladder is, or…

Yeah, she’s trying to give me a heart attack. There is no way I can cover that much territory, so instead I’m going for the sure-to-be-successful method of tapping the slide energetically and calling to her as if she’s a dog, encouraging her to pick one area and stick with it. And then she slides down while holding my hand and immediately races off around the playset to go back to the ladder and do it all over again.

I’d blame my gray hairs on her, but I started turning gray in high school (life is so unfair at times), so she can’t really take the credit.

— 3 —

birthday cupcake 1

She also climbs the stairs inside if I forget to set up the bottom gate. We have super hard tile at the base of those stairs. And “forget” to set up the bottom gate also includes “did not have a chance to do it because I was hauling her older brother up the stairs and I do not yet have 3 arms.”

She’s guaranteed to take a nasty tumble one of these days I fear.

— 4 —

birthday cupcake 2

She’s had bottom teeth for awhile (“awhile” = I don’t remember and I don’t want to dig out old pics to see when I can first spot a tooth. I am a lazy mother and didn’t actually write it down) but her top teeth have only recently come in. She’s … got a big gap between them. While I lament the likely future of orthodontia bills, right now I find it super cute. And I think the gap might be caused by her frenulum that’s connected so low, so she may need to get that removed as part of her teeth-straightening process.

— 5 —

baby H

She’s still a poor sleeper overall. She gives me occasional nights where she’ll sleep all the way through till 6 or 6:30, but as soon as I start thinking maybe we’ve turned a corner and she’s reliably sleeping, BAM, back to waking up at 2. And 4. And 6. And 7. So for the record I would like to state that she is not at all a reliable sleeper, and I’m certainly not counting on her to sleep (shhhh, think that will work?)

— 6 —

One_1

She doesn’t say a whole lot, but she has said “hi,” “tiger,” “quack,” “G…” (her big brother’s name, in an abbreviated fashion), and “EIEIO.” Other than “hi” and “EIEIO” none of those she has ever repeated when we’ve asked her to, so it’s almost like we’re asking ourselves “did she really say that???”

She understands quite a bit though, and I think the cutest is when daddy tells her “ok, time to go upstairs and take a bath!” And off she toddles to the stairs to start climbing them.

— 7 —

One

She loved her birthday cupcake (strawberry, of course, because that girl LOVES strawberries.) She was surprising neat & tidy while eating the cupcake, and didn’t end up with icing and cake all over her face like her brother did on his first birthday. At first she did bend over to put her mouth onto the cupcake instead of bringing the cupcake up to her mouth which was funny, and I wish I’d gotten a photo of that moment. She quickly moved on to a more conventional eating style however, and polished it all off except for a few crumbs.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Streamline Your Kid’s Art Collection

I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 33, Streamline Your Kid’s Art Collection, is another one that isn’t something I really have to do yet. I know that some 3-year-olds are already drawing or crafting or coloring, but my son doesn’t really like doing any of those things, so I don’t have any art work that I need to declutter / curate / rotate / store.

Someday, I’m sure it’ll happen, but for now he prefers gross motor activities like running and jumping and sliding, or he prefers working his fine motor skills by doing puzzles and turning the pages in lots of books.

At some point I suppose I should do some research to see if I should be encouraging him more to color or draw, but for now I’m following his lead on what he likes to do.

If you have children, how do you handle their art work (if they make any)?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

One-on-One Time with the Kids

I’m working my way through Tsh Oxenrider’s ebook One Bite At A Time, tackling each project in order. All previous projects can be found here.

Project 32, Go On Dates with Your Kids, is one we haven’t really implemented yet. Emphasis on yet. Our two are so young (almost 1 and almost 3), that it’s something we figure we’ll do eventually.

And eventually is just about here – G already loves it when he does stuff with daddy, and they regularly run errands to the hardware store or something similar. They went out to the park and got ice cream together last month, giving me some precious alone time.

The baby? She’s happy hanging with momma anywhere, anytime. Someday I’m sure she’ll love getting time just with her daddy, but she is not there yet.

I haven’t been anywhere with just the boy since his sister was born (nursing baby who hates bottles kind of limits where I can go without her), but we do lots of reading on the couch together and playing outside alone when she naps. She’s still napping twice a day, so it’s not a bad deal for him.

Do you have one-on-one time with your kids? How do you handle it if you’ve got more than one or two children? What age were they when you started?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a copy of One Bite at a Time using my link, I’ll get a percentage of the price, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Seven Quick Takes: Baby Girl & Water Edition

— 1 —

We still haven’t set up the kiddie pool I mentioned in last week’s quick takes post. The temperatures have only been in the low 80s, so I’m just enjoying the moderate weather while it lasts. The pool will get enough use if we delay setting it up until the temps climb back to the 90s.

— 2 —

Water

It has been super dry here, and we’ve got some newly planted flowers, so we’ve been watering every night (the front of the house one night, the backyard the next). This is tremendously exciting to both kiddos; G wants to do the watering himself, and H just wants to grab the water. Last night G fell asleep in his chair after eating dinner, so he missed out on the watering fun. That meant that H got to play without being harassed by her big brother!

— 3 —

Why yes, she was a fan, can you tell? It was cold water too, but she didn’t care, and only cried when her attempts to catch the water led her to fall into a bush. A fairly soft one fortunately, but she still was not happy. She also wasn’t happy when I brought her inside so daddy could finish up without her help.

And it was so considerate of her too, with this week’s p52 theme being “Water.” I had tried to get some bathtime pics, but none of them were that great.

— 4 —

G loves to pull the cushion off of the loveseat that’s in the playroom. Normally this drives me somewhat crazy, but I’m seeing the benefit now for baby girl; the cushion in front of the loveseat gives her a step so that she can crawl up on to the now cushion-less loveseat. She is ridiculously proud of herself when she does that, and when she then falls off the loveseat the cushion both keeps it from being much of a fall, and also softens the fall. (She’s still figuring out gravity).

Baby girl

— 5 —

We’re getting really close to baby girl’s first birthday, and so I have big decisions to make. What kind of birthday cake will I make her? What will we get her for her birthday (it’s not like she really needs anything)? When will she reliably sleep through the night? And do I have to stop calling her baby girl now?

— 6 —

Baby girl doesn’t say all that much, but she waves hi and goodbye, she gets very excited when it’s time to eat, she heads for the stairs when we say “ok, time to go take a bath!,” and she demands to swing when she’s outside. She can definitely let her desires be known!

— 7 —

I mentioned swinging, but I don’t think I’ve clearly stated before just how much this girl likes to swing. We have never yet maxed her out on time in the swing; she always protests when we stop pushing her. Even the day it was cold and drizzly and her hands were freezing, she still cried when I pulled her out of the swing. Baby girl loves loves loves that swing.

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary, and for more photos illustrating “Water,” visit Kent Weakley, who is hosting for Darcy at my3boybarians

Playtime, Seven Quick Takes Style

— 1 —

Playtime, this week’s p52 theme, makes me think of children. And children? Well I’ve got two of those and they do love to play, especially outside. We’ve had some really hot and humid weather recently, but that doesn’t stop them, they still want to play in the fresh air.

Playtime

— 2 —

we have a huge backyard, with some nice shade trees, and a screened in porch that can be a good compromise for a boy who wants to be in the backyard, and a mom who doesn’t want to die of heatstroke. And our backyard has a big playset with swings, and a slide, and thanks to some sweaty work from Mr. SJ, it now includes a small sandbox. Let the sand play begin!

— 3 —

In anticipation of a long, hot summer, we also got a small, inflatable pool. It ended up being a little bigger than I expected (either I didn’t read the measurements on the box, or they didn’t register). If we would ever set it up, I’m sure the kids will love it (hopefully next week)

— 4 —

We also got a sprinkler so the kids can run through it (or, in baby H’s case, toddle through it.)

Playtime2

(Although she did go through, over, and stood on the sprinkler this day, most of the soaking you can see in her dress and hair were directly from the hose, with the sprayer nozzle attached. She was trying to catch the water as daddy was watering plants.)

— 5 —

The wagon continues to be a big hit for backyard amusement. G likes to pile his toys into it and pull it around the yard. He’d like me to put his sister in and let her ride, but I don’t have enough faith in his smooth driving skills to allow that yet.

— 6 —

I wasn’t sure that anything would supplant the swing as baby girl’s favorite thing, but the pool just might. She loves splashing in the bathtub, so I’m sure that she will love the kiddie pool.

— 7 —

One of my favorite things about outside playtime? It almost guarantees tired kids who need an earlier bedtime and sleep soundly all night!

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! And for more photos illustrating “Playtime,” visit Kent Weakley, who is hosting for Darcy at my3boybarians