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Friday, February 27, 2009

Definitely not Spring!

Like I said, I knew better than to get my hopes up in February, but I still didn't expect to wake up to this yesterday...
This little bit of snow was a welcome break from the three days of non-stop rain and hail that preceeded it. Anyway, today was another beautiful, sunny day, so at last we were able to get out for a walk again. We got to look at the last couple of snow patches left in the shady spots...and learn about shadows...It was actually quite warm in the sun, and we sure enjoyed the time outside. We've had some serious cabin fever lately between the weather and our never-ending colds!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring?!

Okay, I know better than to get my hopes up when it's only February! Still, we've really been enjoying the sunshine lately, despite the still-cold temperatures. We've been taking lots of walks to the playground and little "hikes" through the woods around our house, and this weekend we found the first Spring flower in our yard! All of this makes me really excited for warm weather and lots of time outside in the coming months.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Potty Party!

Sorry (yet again) for the long blogging hiatus. We've had a crazy three weeks between Ryan's sports, all three of us being sick, and (drumroll please)...potty training! We decided that it would be really nice to get Eli out of diapers before Abby arrives, and he's been going in the potty off and on for months. So, we checked out Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day from the library. We'd heard great things about this method from lots of other parents, and we have to agree with all of the great reviews we heard. I know that every child is different, so we can only speak to our own experience, but for us this was a great book and a great method! The whole premise is that your child first teaches a doll how to use the potty, and by doing so, learns the process himself. You make a big deal about the whole thing...the whole day is a "Potty Party," complete with decorations and a theme (Eli's was Thomas the Tank Engine, what else?!), and lots of positive reinforcement (i.e., treats!).
So, on February 7th, Eli woke up to a present...a little boy doll named Paul. Paul decided that he wanted to learn how to use to the potty that day, so Eli took off Paul's diaper and helped him into his very own Thomas the Tank Engine big boy underwear (custom-made by Nana - thank you!!). Eli spent the morning teaching Paul to use the potty...we watched DVDs and read books and spent lots of time in the bathroom (and yes, Paul is anatomically correct and pees in the potty!). I apologize to anyone who tried to check out a potty-training book or movie from our library system that weekend...I think they were all at our house! Here's Eli "studying" one of his potty books in the giant carboard Thomas I made...
When Eli woke up from his nap that day he received another present: his very own Thomas big boy underwear! He was really excited to put them on and have his own Potty Party. He spent the rest of the day in just a shirt and big boy underwear. We spent countless hours in the bathroom practicing, earning lots of stickers on the potty chart, and discovering all sorts of fun things you can do while sitting on the potty...
You can play the harmonica,or play trains,or color and make up songs (this video is 1 minute, 45 seconds, but the first 45 seconds are the best - feel free to skip the rest!).

video

That night we had a "Big Kid Celebration" to celebrate his success. Eli got to choose whatever he wanted for dinner that night, and what did he choose? Pancakes and pizza - and yes, we obliged him and made both!
He did a great job, and has been doing a great job ever since! I'll admit that on Sunday I was in tears by 8:30 a.m. because Eli did not want to sit on the potty, and every bit of research you read on the subject tells you not to force the issue. However, Sunday morning seems to have been a fluke, because our little boy has become quite a potty champ! Since then he's had no more than one accident a day! Eli has already gotten really good at knowing (and telling us) when he needs to go and when he doesn't. We're really thrilled by what a great job he's doing...and really excited that we haven't changed a diaper in two weeks! :) We can tell he's really proud of himself for his accomplishment, too. Now let's hope we don't see too much regression when his baby sister is born...especially in light of the 12-14 diaper changes we'll be doing each day for awhile! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"What's that up in the sky?"

This post title actually came out of Eli's mouth a couple of weeks ago when we were driving into Seattle to visit the Science Center. He literally pointed at the sun and said "what is that up in the sky?" Now that's a Pacific Northwest kid if ever there was one! Fortunately we've seen a bit more of that thing up in the sky lately. It's still pretty darn cold from a CA girl's perspective, but seeing some sunshine definitely helps! On Tuesday we went to visit Ryan at school during his lunch break and then headed to a nearby park to enjoy the brightness. Believe it or not, I didn't have my camera with me (I know that comes as a huge shock to those who know me best!), but fortunately my phone takes pretty decent pictures. Needless to say, Eli loved the opportunity to play outside in the sun. We both had a great day together at the park - and enjoyed the fact that we actually needed our sunglasses!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My BIG little boy

Unfortunately I don't have a photo to go with this post. Actually, I do, but for modesty's sake and because this is the internet, I'm not going to post any...I'll explain: Eli has recently decided to take showers. He hasn't forgone baths completely, but he thinks it's pretty cool to take a shower like Mama and Dada do. It was his idea in the first place and he's choosing showers over baths most of the time. I know that this really isn't that big of a deal, but for me as a mom, it is. Ryan gave him the first shower, and I walked into the bathroom just to see how it was going. Now, I'm going to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I nearly teared up to see my baby standing up in the shower, so tall, washing and rinsing his own hair! It's just the most recent in a long list of things that show us our little boy is growing up so fast. He also recently stopped sleeping with his blankie, totally on his own. I know that these are good things as far as his growth and development go, but there's also a part of me that feels sad that he truly is a little boy now, and not a baby. Granted, that's a really good thing since we have an actual baby on the way, but I reserve the right to weep a little! Here are a couple more photos of my growing-up-too-fast boy from his two-year session with Emily...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More family fun

On Saturday the 17th, Dad/Larry/Pa's birthday, we all headed to the Pacific Science Center together. We hadn't been there since Eli was a baby, so Ryan and I were especially excited for Eli to get to experience all that it has to offer. There is so much to see, do, and explore there. Of course, our excitement was further fueled by the fact that it was also the weekend of their Annual Model Railroad Show. We knew that this was going to be a big hit with Eli! When we first arrived we spent a few minutes in the dinosuar exhibit. I was glad that Eli was intrigued by the big creatures instead of scared. It didn't take long, however, before we discovered the train show. Needless to say, that's where we spent the majority of our time! Eli was in awe of all the little trains going on all the little tracks, not to mention all the little towns, tunnels, bridges, etc. The best part was that there were three different areas in which they had set up smaller model train displays for kids to actually operate. There were, of course, lines for each of these, and we wondered if Eli would really have the patience to stand in line for his turn. I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised, but during our entire 15 minute wait in the first line, Eli didn't take his eyes off the display, much less wander away to explore something else. He was evidently watching very carefully, because once it was his turn he stepped right up and knew just what to do. There was a dial to turn and switches to switch, and Eli did it with very little help or instruction. I love the look of concentration on his face! It was really neat to watch him do this, and he absolutely loved it. He continued to talk about "driving" the trains for the rest of the weekend! The last of the three trains he got to operate was actually a model Gordon (of which he has a little cast-iron toy version at home, thanks Aunt Deb!) from Thomas and Friends. This, of course, was a special treat, and Gordon has been his favorite engine at home ever since! Another feature of the train show was The Iron Horse Railway, a small train that we could ride. Lucas was excited, but Eli wasn't so sure about the ride (it was already nap time by the time we got on the train). It took him most of the ride to decide that it was pretty cool to be on a real train, but the way he talked about it afterward made it obvious that it was another highlight of his day. Our final bit of fun at the Science Center that day was in the robotics display; a digger that you could operate with levers and switches. Yet again, no surprise that Eli loved this! He and Dada spent quite awhile filling up the digger and dumping the loads. It was a great day for all of us, and the cousins definitely had fun playing together. We're really excited to take Eli back to the Science Center sometime soon!