Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Evil Eye

I had to share these stories while I was thinking about them because I know I will forget later.

I never thought Gwen would be glaring at me giving me the evil eye so early in life. I mentioned in my last post that she thrives on a strict schedule. That was the understatement of the day! Heath normally goes through her nightly routine with her while I put the boys to bed. But tonight he was playing Wii with them. Gwen was getting really tired so I got her in pj's and gave her a bottle.

She was falling asleep while eating and would have stayed asleep except that at the end of the game Gavin and Parker started bouncing around the room and yelling loudly in excitement. So Gwen kept waking up. I didn't think it would be a big deal because she knows how to put herself to sleep. Heath got the boys to bed while I held Gwen hoping she would go back to sleep but she never did.

When Heath came down I figured the boys would be quiet enough for me to put Gwen in her room. She cried like someone was cutting her leg off or something! I went in and picked her up, calmed her down, then put her back in her crib. I kept my hand on her belly because it has worked in the past as a way for her to feel safe and secure enough to just close her eyes. She was calm enough so I took my hand away but stayed standing next to her crib. Over the next several minutes I slowly backed away from her.

When I got to a point where she couldn't see me anymore she started screaming again. I played the lazy card knowing I could be there all night like that so I picked her up. I took her to Heath and said, "I don't know what it is you do with her every night but she's ticked you didn't do it!" He took her from me and she glared at me for a good 5 minutes! I'm not even kidding. Yes, how dare I, her mother, even think of putting her to bed when that is clearly her dad's job? It didn't take long for her to fall asleep and we haven't heard from her since.

Earlier today she was playing with her toys. She was playing with this Whinnie the Pooh toy Tyson and Deanna gave to Gavin when he was a baby. There is a button you can push and you hear cartoon music. Or there is a wheel on the bottom so that when you push the toy across the floor you'll hear the same cartoon music. It was really popular around 2003-2004. Anyway, she was scratching it to feel the texture and her fingers slid across the wheel on the bottom. The music started playing and I could see her thoughts. She looked surprised like "where did that come from?" So she moved her hands the same way and got the same results. I could totally see the cause and effect lesson happening in her mind. It was so cool. A Chinese proverb says, "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." I think my kids are the cutest and smartest knowing all other parents feel the same way about their kids.

Future Journaling

This blog is a lifesaver when it comes to scrapbooking. So for my future reference:

Gwen is so funny. She laughs so easily at things. She is very ticklish too. She grabs at everything. Heath and I used to hold her on our laps while we worked on the computer. That's more trouble than it's worth now. She grabs at everything and will sweep things out of the way until she finds what she wants. I gave her a bath this morning and she was reaching for the hot and cold handles on the faucet and she knocked the meat thermometer into the sink trying to grab it.

She also loves textures. She'll scratch or rub different things like the carpet or the couch or toys. Last Sunday she discovered the cool, smooth texture of the folding chairs while she was on the floor. She kept sucking on the chair despite my efforts to get her to stop! I had to pick her up and then she wasn't happy so we left for the hallway.

She loves Gavin and Parker's toys. Everything goes straight into her mouth so I have to constantly remind them not to give her anything that can fit into a toilet paper tube. So far there have been no issues. They give her their rescue heroes, which are big action figures about the size of a Barbie doll.

Gwen still loves her exersaucer but gets bored in it more easily. She would prefer to roll around on the floor. She likes her Johnny Jump Up more but still prefers to know people are very nearby. She's a social baby that way but like I've said a lot before, she doesn't like seeing too many people at once especially if it's loud.

She puts herself to sleep very quickly and she needs a very structured schedule to be happy. Maybe a difference between bottle feeding and breast feeding? I don't know.

Gwen still pulls her hair when she's tired. It's hard enough keeping the boys from tugging on her ponytail clips but she'll wake up from so many naps where I have to find the clip because she pulled it out.

Her hair is falling out like crazy. I have never seen a baby lose hair like that before. So between the two of us there is brown hair all over the house. (I love that I don't lose any hair when I'm pregnant but after the baby is born I lose it in handfuls it feels like and it goes on until I get pregnant again. Maybe I'll just go bald!) She is getting peach fuzz hair to fill in the bald spots and it looks blonde. I don't think she will stay dark. I think she'll be blonde like her brothers.

She is very strong. She is still working on sitting up from a laying down position. She rolls all over the place and looks like she may be crawling soon. We'll see.

I need to gather all of her pacifiers and throw them away. She hasn't used one since our trip to Utah and she only took one in the van to fall asleep. Ok, she sometimes took it but if she found her fingers then she liked that better.

She's been off of Axid for over a week now. I don't notice a difference but some nights Heath says she takes longer to calm down to eat. Yesterday she arched her back a lot when I tried to feed her. Maybe it's Axid related maybe not. I'll watch her today to see if she's still doing it. Ok, she is so I just called in the prescription.

It was funny to see President Larson's reaction yesterday when he saw Gwen for the first time. He couldn't believe how big she was. Last year at the Heritage Day Picnic we told the Larsons that we had just found out we were expecting a baby. This year she was a squirmy 5 month old! I will post pics of the picnic later. Right now I should stop typing about Gwen and go feed her.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Library Protocol

Yesterday we went to the library. The boys were so excited to go but once we got there they acted the same as they always do. I told them to choose some books for us to check out. They don't even look at the books, they just pick up whatever is on top. There were these big bins with books stacked like at a record store. (Ha, young people probably don't even know what a record is!!!) So the boys picked the front books. I told them to look at the pictures and decide if that was really what they wanted to get. They insisted that's really what they wanted even though they barely looked at the front cover.

Most of the books are about animals. One is a board book about a teapot with the song. One is about a boy and a monster. One is about animals and underwear titled Underwear. It's pretty cute actually. I thought that was appropriate for Gavin to choose that book but I don't think he knew what it was about until I told him it was called Underwear and then he thought that was great. We haven't even read all of them yet (we got 10 total) but Parker's favorite book is called If You're Happy and You Know It. It's about kids at a zoo playground that sing that song while they imagine the animal play structures coming to life and doing actions to the song. Parker loves it so much he can read it to himself now because he's memorized it. I love when they can "read" to themselves. It's cute.

My question that I am posing to all my readers is how do you handle library time with your kids? Do you tell them before hand that they should look for specific books or do you just let them loose like I do?

I know my mom took us to the library a lot. We were allowed to choose 10 books. My earliest memories of library time were after I knew how to read, although I'm pretty sure she took us before then. We loved reading in my family and I remember that the limit of 10 books was difficult because there were so many books to choose from and 10 wasn't enough. I have my kids pick 10 because it's a number I can remember! It used to be a limit of 5 because they were so little and they still loved all the books we had at home. But I feel like I have read them all of our books a million times and I'm ready to branch out a little more.

I am glad that they're still excited with the books we picked out yesterday. It used to be that they only cared about the toys at the library and I would pick 5 books and they couldn't care less about the books when we got home. My kids are in this fun stage now where they are very interested in books and Gavin wants so badly to learn to read. So I want to foster their love of reading I just don't know if I'm doing it very well. So everyone reading this, please leave me comments with your advice.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A day in the city

Last week we saw some show on the History Channel or something like that. They were talking about a coin operated machine museum. It was interesting to see some of the different machines that were in this museum. Some were as old as from the 1800's. The coolest part of it was when we learned that this place is along Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. We had already been planning on going into the city for the fun of it. So then our plan was to find that place with all the coin operated machines.

Once we got off the Bay Bridge I remembered why we go into the city once every few months. I hate how crowded San Francisco is. I really hate being a passenger on the streets of San Fran and you could not pay me enough to ever drive there!!!! I had to have a little panic attack between the Bridge and Heath's office where we parked. I was more ok when we were walking. I can't believe we actually lived in the city for a month!

We started out in Heath's office to feed Gwen. Heath kept telling me to calm down and to realize all the people were on the other side of the glass! He also got me a Diet Coke. I know it doesn't help but I believe it does. Then we walked to Pier 39 and had lunch at The Wipeout Grill. It was Gwen's turn to freak out about the crowds of people. I have to laugh that all 3 kids look just like Heath but 2 of them act exactly like me. I don't want to raise me! But really, considering how loud and crowded the restaurant was, Gwen did a good job and didn't cry as much as I thought she would. It helped that Heath and I took turns holding her while we ate. The seating hostess had brought a high chair for Gwen but she wasn't interested. That and she doesn't sit that well on her own. So we had our waiter take it away for someone else to use.

There was a big shark hanging from the ceiling that Parker really wanted to see. We told him he could see it when we were all done eating. He ate most of his macaroni and cheese because he wanted to see Bruce the Shark so badly. The shark was on the way out and right next to the strollers so he got a good look while I put Gwen back in her stroller.

Then we were off to find the museum. It was a decent walk away and the boys did great walking so far. The fun thing about the museum was it's the place that Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews went to in the Princess Diaries. There weren't as many machines as I thought there would be but there were still a lot. There were tons of old machines that said something about putting in a dime or a nickel. Yeah, everything cost at least a quarter! There were video games and pinball machines and souvenir penny machines (that didn't give Gavin his penny. He kept talking about a baseball game he wanted to play so Heath helped him play the game since he didn't get his penny and we were all out. When the game was over Gavin was all mad because that was not the game he meant! He whined about it the whole long walk back to Heath's office!). There were several different fortune telling machines and strength machines and even peepshow machines from the 1800's!! We didn't pay for those!

The first machine we payed to play was a bowling machine that let you bowl 5 frames for 50 cents.

We let the boys take turns bowling. They loved it.
Heath bowled the final frame.
This was an old machine with a graveyard scene. The coffin would open and close, things would turn, there was spooky music playing.
This was one of the machines with marianettes that would dance to music. The boys were pretty fascinated with this one.

This was an old west scene.
Outside there was a submarine that you could pay for tours. Not really practical with a baby. (Heath and I toured a Russian submarine on our honeymoon. It was pretty cool.) They are posing next to a big anchor that was recently donated. There was also a Liberty Ship. It was massive. The boys wanted to stand close to the edge to see the water. I have become one of those paranoid mothers that says things like, "Don't get too close to the edge!" I hate that about me!!! So I tried to tell the boys to look at stuff with their dad while I gripped the stroller handle and looked the other way.
I enjoy getting out and doing things because I hate staying home watching TV all weekend. It makes me cranky and I yell a lot. But Heath just laughs at what a panicky mess I am when we do anything. Unfortunately the older I get the more paranoid and panicky I am becoming. I'm working on it though. I never want my unreasonable phobias to interfere with my children's opportunities to experience life.
This is Gwen just hanging out in the stroller. She did really well on our little outing. She started losing her mind a little on the way back to Heath's office because she was hungry and tired. For a short time we actually had all 3 kids asleep in the van. Blissful.
This is a great picture of Parker. He is playing with Heath's crown he got when he was promoted. Parker has brown dry erase marker all over his face. I guess he thought that was a tasty treat or something.
Here's Gavin coloring on Heath's dry erase board. The boys had a lot of fun coloring on that. It's all fun and games until someone spills soda though. After that they were only allowed to have drinks if they sat on the floor. Heath was annoyed since 3 of his 4 markers were soaked and had to be thrown out. I think he may have kept their drawings until Monday but he didn't want any more reminders of their accident.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Motherhood is the necessity of all invention

Isn't that what they say? I was reading in my Parenting Magazine the other day about some of the creative things mothers have resorted to because they needed to. One mother told a story about how they needed to go to a wedding in another city a long drive away. Her toddler son was not cooperating. He had climbed underneath the coffee table and refused to come out. I guess neither she nor her husband could reach under the table to get the boy out. (I don't know what their table looked like so I have a hard time imagining how that works) The mom remembered her little boy's imaginary friend. She had her husband call the house from his cell phone. The mom told the little boy that his friend was calling and he needed them in Boston or wherever they were going. The boy quickly came out from under the table and was happy to get in the car!!! I thought that was awesome!

Here are my latest inventions of sorts.
Ignore the yucky fingerprints all over the sliding glass door. I was trying to get the picture without my boys posing for it. Anyway, my new thing is to let them eat their lunch outside. We don't have a table outside so I let the boys sit on the step to eat. They think that is really special. I love it because it's an easy way to get them outside for an hour or so every day without having to coerce them. I locked them out this morning because they kept opening Gwen's door as she cried herself to sleep for her nap! I also love having them eat outside because they can be as loud as they want and they can run around while eating. Two things that bug me in the house.
This is our new pool. I converted our rubber raft into a swimming pool! It still makes me laugh. When the boys are done playing with it they bail out the water with cups and bowls and water the grass or trees.

Parker would run to the pool, get his hands wet, then run to the concrete to leave handprints! He had fun laying down and leaving body prints when he was finished playing.
Gwen loves to suck on her middle and ring finger. In this picture she has her pointer finger tucked under. It's usually on her face which makes it look like she's sucking on an I love you sign. She was never very interested in pacifiers. She mostly had them to go to sleep but like Parker, she took herself off of them around 3 months when she discovered her fingers. I used to worry about Parker sucking his thumb but he stopped all on his own around 12 months. I figure Gwen will be the same way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Video Party

I hope it doesn't take as long to watch these videos as it does to upload them! But I believe all my regular readers have high speed Internet.

Yesterday I read a great traveling tip in Parenting Magazine. Someone said that they would play home movies for their kids on long road trips. The kids loved watching themselves and it soon became a fun family bonding activity as the kids asked questions about when they were babies. I think we'll make a home movie DVD for the kids to watch on our trip to Seattle. Most of our videos are only a few seconds long anyway. Here are a couple of recent ones. Enjoy.

This one is dedicated to Tyson and Deanna, Ed and Candi because they get the joke.

This was an impromptu pillow fight the boys decided to have one afternoon. It was cute to watch them until I got out the camera. But I like how Gavin says that they are hitting each other. Good way to get out some extra aggression. They also wrestle a lot but I haven't gotten that on video yet.

This is Candi and our mom driving at Discovery Gateway. See, I told you the adults almost had more fun than the kids!

Gwen's driving already? That's scary.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In case there was any question . . .

We are BYU fans!!! Little piece of trivia for those of you who don't know. Heath went to the University of Washington. I went to Southern Utah University. He loves BYU as if it were his alma mater. I may not be as devoted a fan as Heath is but I will always be a BYU fan because that is the team I watched when I learned to love football. BYU football is our family tradition now. I'm excited that we are switching to Direct TV so we can get The Mountain. That is the channel most of the games will be on and so far Direct TV is the only company that provides that channel for people outside of Utah. So unlike last year, we will be able to watch every game.
I'm also excited to see a live game when we visit Seattle. I haven't been to a live game since 2002, pre-kids. I just hope Gwen cooperates. Heath keeps telling me that there will be 5 adults to watch her but I know if the game is too intense, not going well, or BYU is losing I get Gwen! My baby, my responsibility.
I love this picture. We bought Gwen's cheerleader outfit when we went to Provo. Dawn, you may need to do some creative sewing because I really don't think it will fit by the time we visit you guys for the game.
Me and my babies. Dawn made the boys' outfits and Gwen's hat. So cute!
The last picture in our photo shoot. Gavin yelled out, "Everyone make a silly face." So we did.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Crazy Life

Tomorrow Gwen will be 5 months old. (Oops. Let me correct myself. She is 5 months today!) I can't believe she is that old already. I have been writing a letter to her with a little summary of what she's done each month for her scrapbook. I'm caught up on the journaling/letters just not the finished layouts. I have noticed that for the last couple of months she starts doing weird things with her sleep schedule. It doesn't last long, thank goodness! But she has trouble sleeping a few days to a week before her next month starts. Is that weird or what?

I finally got her on a great schedule that fit with Gavin's school schedule. I was going to keep her on that schedule even though he's done with school for now. But it's like all 3 of them are on a "summer schedule." I don't get it since nothing changed at all with the boys while Gavin was in school. But now they sleep in late, which is totally fine by me, and act tired and cranky all day even though they have slept for more than 12 hours.

Gwen woke up at 4 this morning and was up for over an hour. It shouldn't have affected me so much but I slept in this morning thinking I deserved it. I slept in yesterday too but I figured I deserved it since it was such a late night and I was up even later with Gwen. I think I'm sleepy because for some reason my blood sugar is constantly high again. I'm so unhealthy right now because I haven't eaten much in 2 days. I had dinner last night and that's probably all I will eat today too. So far I've had one weight loss shake all day and water. I'm too high for food. It's such a problem. I've been changing my basal rates so hopefully in a couple of days things will even out.

It's like there's some weird cloud over our house and everything is out of whack. I don't get it. I started worrying about Parker today because he slept in till almost 9:30. This is the kid that rarely sleeps past 7 am. He has been this way every day of his life. He was up for not even 3 hours before he started throwing a fit over nothing. When I talked to him about what he was doing he said he was crying because he was tired! He has been crazy since we got back from Utah. My mom asked how his behavior was after he had the breathing treatment. She said that sometimes breathing treatments make kids cranky. It's been over 2 weeks!

What is going on around here??? Gavin just had a messy accident, which is very unusual for him to have that kind of accident. I don't get what's happening around here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Parental Expertise

I tried to read Caps for Sale to Gavin and Parker for their bedtime story. Parker was very upset and told me the guy had to read it. So I had to find the disc downstairs in the CD changer. I thought that was funny that I was not allowed to read the story, only the guy could read the story!

Heath made easy mac for Gavin one day. Gavin told Heath that it was too hot and it needed an ice cube. Only Heath was not allowed to put the ice cube in it! Heath called me down to do it and said, "Apparently only Mom knows how to put ice in macaroni and cheese!"

That's ok, I'm not allowed to fix the boys' computer when it won't connect to the Internet. Gavin told me that he would wait for Dad to come home and fix it. I told him I could fix it. He said that we needed Dad's tools. I told him I could use tools and that I didn't even need them to fix the problem. He told me only Dad could use his tools. Kids are funny.

Family Reunion

Let me apologize in advance for slaughtering people's names! I don't know how these names are supposed to be spelled. These are the pictures from our mini family reunion yesterday at Heath's Uncle Dan and Aunt Dana's house.
This is Kiera and Parker playing on the swings. This is the second time that Gavin and Parker were able to play with their second cousins. It makes me want to get together with Danielle and her girls more often. The kids play pretty well together. The problem was that Gavin and Parker didn't understand that all the toys they were playing with and the playground all belonged to Ashton and Kiera.
I love the pictures Heath gets of Gavin playing. I thought this was a cute picture of Danielle. Too bad she's in the background.

I love love love this picture of Ashton! If I knew her better I would frame this picture.
This is Uncle Dan talking to Ryan. I thought it was interesting that as we were driving I asked Heath about Ryan. He lives close to San Francisco and we wanted to get together with him when we lived there but we never got around to it. Heath answered me by saying that they needed to go to lunch sometime since they both work in the city. Imagine my surprise when Ryan and his girlfriend (I'm killing her name I know!) Francesca came. I actually didn't recognize Ryan at first since he keeps his hair really short now and if I met his girlfriend it was only for a second at Grandma Holmes' birthday party nearly 2 years ago.
This is what we did for most of the afternoon. We sat around talking while the kids played. The play equipment was awesome. Francesca said she wished she had something like that when she was a kid. The little orange slide in the background was a slide Danielle played with as a little girl.
The weather could not have been more perfect. It was mostly overcast but even when the sun came out it wasn't hot at all. It was so nice to be outside like that. I told Heath that it's days like that that I wonder why we don't just live outside. But I remember that most days it's super hot during the day and cools off pretty quickly at night.
Just like when we saw my aunt and uncle in Sacramento, these cars were a source of contention. There were 2 cars which avoids fighting between Ashton and Kiera but yesterday there were 4 kids trying to share 2 cars. The boys thought the cars were theirs because the girls came over after us. I like that Ashton is making the most of a hard situation. Parker was really snotty about those cars but Ashton decided to play with Parker rather than fight with him.

Ashton was so funny with her ice. She kept getting more ice to feed to Dakota, Ryan and Francesca's dog. Dakota loved it.
Gwen started out so happy when we first arrived. She went straight to Grandma Holmes and was happy as could be. Her mood slowly deteriorated throughout the evening. Francesca wanted to hold Gwen but Gwen suddenly developed a bad case of stranger danger!
We were able to get some cute pictures of Gwen and Grandma despite Gwen's stranger anxiety.
Gwen giving Grandma a hug. I didn't notice before but it looks like Kiera got Grandma to wear a sticker. She put a sticker on Ryan's face. He was a good sport and left it on for a few seconds before he took it off and asked Kiera if he could put it on her face instead.
It was so nice to see Grandma Holmes again. It will be nice to visit with her again in September.

Beautiful sunset. It was a long night since we left at 9 pm and got home sometime after 11. I couldn't get Gwen to stay asleep until after midnight. It was ok though because the boys slept until almost 9 this morning!!! Nice. We've been having a lazy day ever since.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Simply Fun Evening

It was the best evening we have had in a long time. Our original plans fell through as it got later and later. We went to the store to get Gwen some more "on the go" bottles for our trip to Merced tomorrow. Those are the best things ever invented by the way! Then we went to the 7-11 for slurpees and I got a drink. I crave fountain drinks sometimes. We were going to go to the park and let the kids play but Heath suggested we try a different park. He said the Tennis Park but at the last second I said, "Don't turn at this stop sign go to the next one." So we went to Del Prado Park and had the funnest time.

The boys had a blast playing on the huge concrete slide. Then they ran around giggling so hard they were snorting as they played on the big play structure with Heath. Gwen played in the swing for a little while. She loves it more and more every time I put her in a swing. She had the hugest dimply smile the whole time.

There were a few boys who we guessed were in the 8-10 age range that came to play too. It was fun watching them go down the concrete slide with Parker. Gavin was stacking cardboard for everyone but I don't think he realized that nobody was using his stack. We could hardly get the boys away from the park. That hasn't happened for a long time. What a simply fun evening.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busy Day

One thing a day is what I'm comfortable doing but some days a lot happens and I'm impressed that I can get through it all with my kids. Today was Gavin's last day of school for about a month and then he will start Kindergarten. He is in the am class. Just what I wanted until I realized school starts at 8:15 and then I hoped that I would get afternoon since I didn't give a reason for my request. Oh well, 8:15 is only a half hour earlier than what he's been doing for the Pre K summer program this last month. At least we will get school out of the way and our afternoons are free to do whatever. Naps most likely.

After I dropped Gavin off this morning I had enough time to let Parker sit on the potty again and then we were off to the pediatrician for his 3 year well child check up. I love our pediatrician. She is the sweetest lady ever. She just came back from Maternity Leave on Monday. Her baby is 7 weeks old!

Parker seems to be normal and healthy. I told Dr. Smith that he has been coughing a lot since we got back from Utah and I was wondering if it was related to the asthma he experienced. She listened to his lungs and said he sounded fine. She said to try giving him Zyrtec again next week to see if that makes a difference now that he's been off for about a week. She also said that where we live has a lot of different allergens that can bother people. So I'll try the Zyrtec to see if he stops coughing so much.

She asked if I can understand him when he talks. I told her that I don't always understand him. She asked a percentage so I told her I understand about 90% of what he says but he mispronounces so many words and has trouble with so many sounds that sometimes it's hard to understand him. She said that he's probably fine and that she's not worried about him but I can have the school district evaluate his speech for free to see if he needs any interventions. I don't know what to do because he's young and young kids don't speak clearly but I know I understood Gavin a lot better when he was this age. A couple of weeks ago I started making a point to correct Parker and have him repeat me. I have never done that because I don't think it's necessary. I normally repeat what my kids say so they can hear it correctly but I don't make them repeat the word correctly. In time they start saying it right. I started doing that with Parker one day and he still couldn't make the sounds right or if he did he couldn't put the sounds together to say the word right. Like the word scary. He can practice the sc sound but he can't put it together with the rest of the word. And since he doesn't pronounce his r's correctly scary still sounds like the word gay!

After we were done with the pediatrician we went back to Gavin's school for a pancake breakfast. At 10:30 am! It was nice and I was really glad I was able to make it. I told Gavin that I may not be able to go. I should have just said, "Today you get pancakes at school." He kept telling me that he was going to miss me. It was nice to be there and let him proudly show Parker things in the classroom and outside. I told as many of his teachers as I had the opportunity to that I was thankful for what they have done for Gavin with this program. It was a good experience for him. One teacher told me that Gavin improved a lot and he wished us luck with Kindergarten. Yeah, I was really glad I could be there to support Gavin and express thanks to the teachers.

We came home and I saw that there was a voicemail message. It was from my visiting teacher asking if I had paper cups to share at the park today. I was glad she called because I hadn't checked my e-mail yet and I had flagged her e-mail so I wouldn't forget but I almost forgot anyway! So 30 minutes after we got home we went to the park and had lunch with my visiting teachers and the 2 other women they visit teach.

Parker finally agreed to take a nap. Gwen woke up early today and I haven't been able to get her back on schedule with everything we have been doing today. I finally got her to stay asleep just now. So I have a couple of hours to scrapbook some more.

Yesterday Parker had no accidents!! For real! Today he had one messy accident but I figured it could have been avoided if we were home. He hasn't had any accidents since. I don't think he can predict when he needs to go or at least he waits for me to tell him to go. He can go on demand though! That's awesome! I expect him to be fully independent by the time Gavin starts Kindergarten. I don't think I'm expecting too much. I think we timed this one just right and that's why he learned so quickly.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A fly on the wall heard . . .

I haven't poted some of the crazy things my kids say in a while.

This one is especially for Tyson.
Parker: Nemo and Dory and Marlin are fish.
Me: Yes they are.
Parker: Bruce.
Me: What is Bruce?
Parker: Gay.
(OK he really said scary but the way he pronounces scary it sounds like he's saying gay. Tyson was really concerned that Parker was saying his movies were gay. It was funny when Parker pulled out Nosferatu and said, "He's really gay." Tyson knew what Parker meant but he said, "No he's not!")

Gavin: Mama, do fish scape?
Me: What? Do fish escape?
Gavin: No, scape.
Me: Skate?
Gavin: No, scape.
Me: I don't know what you're talking about.
This goes on for a while until I finally say
Me: What the heck is scape?
Gavin: I don't know but I don't like that word.

Parker: The birds fly up in the sky. But you can't fly up in the sky.
Me: Why not?
Parker: You bigger than that.
Me: But airplanes are bigger than me . . .
Parker: Yeah.

Gavin: Gwen is not a talking girl.
Parker: No, she DOES talk.
Me: What does she say?
Parker: (in a falcetto voice) I like to watch a movie!
Parker begs to watch a movie all day every day.

Gavin: Calvin telled me he got stinged by a bee when he was camping. That's what he telled me.
Me: I know. He did get stung by a bee. It wasn't fun for him.
5 minutes later . . .
Gavin: Calvin telled me a bee stinged him when he was camping.
Me: I know. You just told me that and Aunt Deanna told me already.
Gavin: Oh.

Gavin: Mama, Caden was eating his shirt in school.
Me: Yeah, we don't eat shirts huh.
Gavin: Yeah. When I done can you tell the Easter Bunny to get ready for Easter?
Me: In the spring we'll have Easter again.
Gavin: OK.

Parker: I like you.
Me: I love you.
Gavin: I like you too.
Me: I love you. I love you even though you have paint on your eyebrow.
Gavin giggles.
Parker: Me too! Me too!
Me: You don't have paint on your eyebrow. You didn't paint today.
Gavin: I painted at school, Parker.
Parker: Me too!

Me: Get your shoes and socks on. We need to get ready to go to school.
Gavin: No.
I said this at least 5 more times as I was running around getting Gwen fed and dressed and everything else I do in the morning.
Gavin: I didn't hear you tell me to do that!
Right. I love how much time kids waste coming up with a way out of things rather than just doing it in the first place!

For Heath
Parker: I love my peanut!

For Dawn
I was reading Piggie Pie to the boys.
Me: Gritch can't find any pigs. What is she going to do?
Gavin: Think of something else to eat.
Me: What should she eat?
Parker: A hot pocket!

I love my kids. They are the best.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun ad that was in New York's Time Square

Speaking of TV shows I love watching. Heath e-mailed me this picture from I love this show!

Happy Birthday Parker!

Today Parker is no longer a baby. He is 3 years old. We've already celebrated his birthday lots so there is nothing new to say. I just can't believe he's been with us for 3 years.

Last night Heath and I watched a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. It was from the first season in 2005. That blew my mind! I don't remember watching that show with Parker as a baby but I know we have been watching it all along. I do remember watching Battlestar Galactica with all of my babies. I'm interested in how they end the show because I still think Starbuck is a cylon.

Anyway, happy birthday my sleeping little boy! We love you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hello Sweet Success!!

warning! this post contains potty training stories and a tastefully graphic potty training picture! if you are easily offended stop reading now.

i wasn't planning on blogging about parker's adventures in potty training because it seemed stupid to go into great detail about our successes and failures with a milestone that took gavin a year to achieve. but here i am posting anyway because i had a goal today and that goal was accomplished and i feel awesome!

heath bought a bunch of juice boxes yesterday because i thought it would be easier for parker to be successful if he always had to go. so i gave him one this morning while gavin was at school. i was having him sit for 5 minutes at a time and i thought we were doing good since he was dry every time he went in the bathroom. but then he had an accident that was not contained in his plastic pants. soon after it happened again.

the wheels in my head started turning as i tried to figure out a way to get him to sit there for longer than 5 minutes which had been a stretch already. I called Heath and he told me that my idea of having a book party with the boys was perfect. My plan was to have Parker sit on his potty in the family room while I read to the boys until something happened. Meanwhile they would be drinking the whole time.

They were excited about the party. I got Gwen to sleep first so that made it even easier. I gave the boys chocolate milk for lunch so they would drink extra milk. They didn't drink it all so that sort of backfired but then I filled their sippy cups with Crystal Light and they had a juice box once their sippy cups were empty. Gavin had me stop so he could use the bathroom and I was wondering when Parker would do anything.

It took over an hour of reading before anything happened. But I made a huge deal out of the success. I praised him a lot which was easy because I was so excited my plan worked. Then we danced around the potty while I sang some made up song. I got that idea from my friend Sharon who blogged about that once. Parker was ecstactic and Gavin thought it was fun too. Parker sat down two more times in the middle of all the festivities to add some more. So they each got a few M&M's because of all the successes.

Then he sat down again to do some BM business which thrilled me to no end. I had to clean up one of those accidents yesterday. I would rather clean it up in a diaper rather than cleaning up the transfer from potty to toilet but I was excited that his first successes were number 1 and number 2. I hope this isn't too graphic for anyone!

I took a picture because I have seen Kate do it on Jon & Kate Plus 8. Parker thought that was awesome that I would be excited enough to take his picture. He loved dumping his contribution in the toilet and saying goodbye to it as he flushed the toilet!
He did have a few accidents right after. I'm not surprised since he was so full of liquid but he's also been successful once since then. We sang another made up song because I can't remember what I sang the first time, we danced, we ate M&M's, he got a smiley face on his chart. I told him we would talk to his dad to see how many smiley faces he needed to see a movie but the chart was only for him for a while.

This was the breakthrough I needed. My only plans for this afternoon were to read until something happened and it did. It wasn't magic. He isn't an expert yet but he has experienced successes which will make it easier for him to be successful in the future and I believe that the more I make a big deal out of it the more likely he will be to do it again. I've also been telling him all day, "Big boys do whatever you want to do right now and big boys go in the potty. Let's be a big boy right now and go in the potty." So far so good. That would have never worked on Gavin but it's working on Parker. So thanks, Tyson, for that advice.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where we are

we don't do the terrible 2's in our family, we do the terrible 3's. my favorite year with gavin was when he was 2. then he developed a lot of attitude. parker won't officially be 3 until wednesday but i already see signs of the terrible 3's! everything is a fight now complete with banshee screaming! just this morning parker was lying on the ground in the parking lot of the school screaming that he wanted to do it! do what? close the van door. I didn't know he wanted to do that or I would have saved myself the trouble and just let him do it!!!!

Gwen is becoming pretty mobile. She is starting to roll all over the place. She's pretty funny too. She likes to laugh a lot. I thought she was really cute in Relief Society yesterday but I didn't think it was appropriate for her to giggle so much. I don't like my kids being the reason other people aren't paying attention to a well prepared lesson. If I had to bring Parker to Young Women's with me I held him and refused to let any of the girls hold him because he was a baby not a toy. They were supposed to be paying attention and learning. Luckily Heath and I were able to work it out that I never had to bring Parker when I was teaching. I only get Gwen every few months when it's Heath's turn to conduct in Priesthood.

We had a little family birthday party for the boys on Saturday. we didn't put any effort into wrapping but the boys didn't care.
Gavin is opening 2 books that went with his books on CD from Grandma Westover. He got Alexander and the Terrible Day (to shorten the title) and Alexander who used to be rich last sunday. I try to only have gospel related books at church but Gavin was so excited about his new books that I made an exception this time.
Parker is opening his underwear! Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Train. He was so excited. But he is not all that excited about actually following directions to learn how to use the potty. My brother tried to give me advice yesterday. I admit I was slightly annoyed because other people's advice works if you know what motivates your kids. I have yet to figure out what actually motivates my kids besides the satisfaction of ticking me off!!!! But I'm going forward with the drama of potty training. I have decided to reward him for sitting on the potty and when he finally is successful then I will move the rewards to just successes. I am sort of using my brother's advice. He said that they would tell Calvin that big boys go in the potty and big boys got candy or dessert or anything to do with food. Calvin was all over going potty to get the food. So today when Parker told me he wanted to watch a movie I told him that big boys sit on the potty and big boys watch movies. I am planning on this taking a while.

Gavin is opening his wooden food that is precut and velcroed together. There is a wooden knife and a cutting board so you can cut the fruits, vegetables, and bread apart. He loves to make carrot and watermelon sandwiches! Yummy.

The boys playing with Parker's basketball hoop. They didn't care about it until Heath got it out of the box. But they were having so much fun they were falling all over the floor laughing. They're mad that I put it outside but I don't think anything, including balls, should be thrown in the house. I'm ok with balls in the house until the kids get good at throwing and then I'm done with balls in the house. Since the giraffe tent Grandma Clarke gave the boys is set up in the dining room there really isn't anyplace to put the basketball hoop in the house and I want them outside more often anyway. I loved that yesterday Parker was wearing a t-shirt and underwear with plastic pants over the top running around outside with Heath's baseball mitt chasing after his basketball! Too funny.
More fun with basketball.
After presents we went to Round Table for a pizza dinner. Then we walked to Cold Stone Creamery to get an ice cream cake. We bought the smallest cake they had. The girl asked Heath if he wanted her to write anything on it. He said no, his kids can't read anyway! That got a few laughs. The cake was good but very rich. We didn't have room to save it in our freezer so we gave the rest to our next door neighbors.
So that's where we are in our life right now. As Kate from Jon & Kate Plus 8 says, "It's a crazy life but it's our life." Better feed Gwen again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Holy Lots of Pictures, Batman!!!

I almost forgot this one! Thanks Becca for letting me steal it from your blog. This is me holding Parker and my good friend Becca holding Gwen. We are at The Mayan.

Parker and Gavin playing with the balls at Discovery Gateway.
Gwen taking her first horse ride.
Parker and Grandma taking care of the chickens. Parker fed the chickens onions or something crazy like that! Silly kid.
Gavin and Parker reading Grandma's pop up books. They loved these books so much that the books and some of Grandma's toys moved with us to Aunt Candi and Uncle Ed's house.
Aunt Deanna feeding Gwen.

Cute picture of Calvin, my nephew.
Cute picture of Daphne, my niece.
My cousin Jeremy and my brother Tyson watching their handy pyrotechnic display. They always put on the fireworks show for everyone.
This picture is classic. This is how we've celebrated the 4th of July since I was a kid. Sitting in Grandma and Grandpa Swain's front yard watching fireworks in the street.
More of Tyson and Jeremy.

Here is a test picture for our family portraits. Heath will fix the color later and I will post those pictures when he does. I just liked this one because what are we all looking at? Only Calvin and Gavin are looking at Heath.

Aunt Deanna, my sister in law, looks like she is really mad at Parker but she's actually just explaining to him how to use the stick to hit the pinata!
Great action shot of Vinny hitting the pinata.
After the kids had several turns they couldn't break open the pinata. Uncle Ed finally got the candy to come out.
The awesome cupcake birthday cake Aunt Deanna made for the boys' surprise birthday party.
Playing Wii at Tyson and Deanna's house. Left to right: Me saying, "Wahoo. I'm so excited." Daphne saying, "I'm better than my parents at this game!" Deanna putting on the Wii mote. Ed yawning in boredom. Tyson saying, "This is so cool!" Calvin watching and the top of my mom's head.