Thursday, December 31, 2009

Noon Year's Eve Party

Today we went to a play date to bring in the New Year. Toddler style. It was such a cute idea. All the moms brought a lunch items to eat.
We had hats to decorate.

We had noise blowers to blow.

We were supposed to countdown to noon time, but getting all the kids fed and gathered together was a bit of a chore, so we decided to just let them play and attempt a picture of them all in their hats and blowing their noise makers before everyone departed to get home for nap time. It wasn't as easy as we thought it would be.
Take 1:

Take 2:Take 3:

Oh well! Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time Outs

From the time Kaiden was 18 months old we started implementing the "time out" method of discipline. Honestly, it seems to work. Sure there are days when Kaiden can rack up the time outs, but for the most part after one time out, he seems to get the message. In the past few months I have noticed that I have hardly had to use time outs at all. He pretty much "gets" the rules and after telling him once (sometimes twice) or "threatening" that if he doesn't listen to Mommy then he needs to go to time out.

With that said.....Kaiden has been a whiner from the time he was born. Up until a few months ago I gave him the benefit of the doubt and always made the excuse that "it's his only way he knows how to communicate." Blah, blah, blah. Well, recently his vocabulary and conversing abilities have soared and we realized it was time to get this whining thing under control. It has been driving us nuts! So, about two months ago when Kaiden started whining and/or crying for no reason we would tell him in a calm voice, "Kaiden, I don't understand you when you whine. If you want something then you need to use your nice words and tell Mommy or Daddy what it is that you want." We have even tried giving him the words to use. "Kaiden I don't understand what it is you want when you whine. Do you want water/cracker/hug, etc, etc.?" Sometimes this works, but other times he just keeps whining. So, we resort to telling him if he doesn't stop whining then he will have to go to his room until he is ready to speak nicely. We don't call this "time out," per se, because we are not disciplining him for whining, but rather letting him figure it out, calm himself down and ask for what he wants in a nice, calm manner.

In the beginning of using this technique it was a disaster. He would go crazy and sit in his room and cry and cry and cry. But, over the past couple of months, with some consistency, it has really seemed to work. If we do happen to use the method it seems to do the trick the first time. Of course there are exceptions like yesterday when he went in his room 4 different times in the span of an hour because he couldn't get it together. But, he eventually got the message and was fine for the rest of the evening.

My point to this story is that I believe that Kaiden finally "gets it." That mommy and daddy mean business and won't tolerate his whining and/or crying for no good reason anymore. And the reason I know that Kaiden "gets it" is because he demonstrated his own time out method today with Lightning McQueen. Yes, Lightening McQueen got a time out today. And when I asked Kaiden why Lightening McQueen was in "ime out" (as Kaiden would pronounce it) he answered, "McQueen crying. Ime out."



Here is Lightening McQueen in time out

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting Crafty

I have a new babysitter. She provides hours of entertainment for Kaiden, is available at a seconds notice and is pretty affordable. Her name is Telly Vision.

I must admit that I have been overusing my new babysitter, Telly. I know that I need to get some new ideas as to how to entertain my child. But, unfortunately it just seems easier right now to have Telly take over at random times during the day to help babysit so I can get things done. Unfortunatly with Maddey being on 2 naps we are stuck in the house most days in both the morning and afternoon, leaving only a few hours before lunch to get out of the house. When I am trying to feed Maddey, put her down for naps, get a shower, clean up the kitchen from breakfast/lunch, or any other task that needs to get accomplished Telly seems to keep Kaiden busy without the constant distraction of "Mommy, Mommy this, Mommy that" every 5 seconds.

Many times I had intentions of getting Kaiden involved in some simple craft projects that he might enjoy. Many times I would put art type things in my cart at the store, only to put it back right before checking out thinking to myself, "do I really want to torture myself like this?" But the more and more I thought about it I knew it was better than him sitting in front of the TV or aimlessly running around the house getting into things that he shouldn't be out of shear boredom. So, I decided this is my week to face those fears head on and attempt to become "crafty mom."

We went to Wal-mart yesterday with a few projects in mind. I bought a gingerbread house, playdough, some finger paints, molding clay and big pieces of paper to color on. While the kids were down for naps I went online and printed out a bunch of free coloring pages that I can pull from for times he gets clingy and I need to get dinner started or feed the baby. My goal is to do at least a couple crafty projects per week. It all sounds so great in my head, but we'll see realistically if that will happen.

Day one went off pretty well. Last week we went to a local shopping mall for "Lunch with Santa." *Side note: It wasn't really all that exciting, the music was super loud so my friend and I couldn't even talk to each other without shouting and the kids weren't that into it, so we ended up leaving a bit early.* But each kid got a goody bag that had a page of Christmas stickers and a Christmas scene to stick them on. On Sunday we were looking for things to do after dinner, so I pulled the stickers out and we spent a good half hour having fun letting Kaiden stick them all over the page. Here is Kaiden's attempt to decorate the scene.

With some left over stickers and a coloring page that I printed off the Internet, yesterday Kaiden colored Santa and used up the remaining stickers.

(you can't really see where he colored, but I assure you, he used his crayons!)

With two successful art projects under my belt I was feeling pretty optimistic about my new crafting activities and wanted to tackle the Gingerbread house this morning. That was just a disaster from the start. I had to mix the icing up with the electric mixer which freaked Kaiden out. Then as I was trying to put the icing on the roof it was not sticking correctly so I had to use my fingers to slather it on. Then Kaiden was attempting to stick the tiny balls on but they were really small and kept falling out of his fingers (they were falling out of mine as well) and Paco was trying to eat them. Then the icing was setting really fast so the candy was not sticking in the icing well so he decided to just eat the gum drops instead. Finally after about 10 minutes Kaiden gave up and went off to play with his toys leaving me to finish the project. I was doing pretty well until the end when Kaiden came back to the table to see my progress. He picked up the bag of small candy balls and they spilled all over the floor going EVERYWHERE! I yelled, "Oh shoooooot!" and ran around with my dust pan and brush trying to get them out from under everything! Thank goodness for my choice of "shoot" and not "sh*t" cause Kaiden has been saying, "oh shoot" ever since.

Regardless of my failed attempt at the craft for today, I am looking forward to my next project that I am going to use as a few Christmas presents for the grandparents. Also, if you have any simple crafty projects good for a two year old, feel free to pass them along!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I realize this list is coming to you a bit late this year. I assume you are diligently working on your Christmas shopping (or constructing) early in the year and not the "last minute shopper" type that most of us are, so I apologize if I have ruined your style and have to cram in buying my presents this year just because I couldn't get my holiday cookie eating fat butt in gear in a respectable amount of time.

If it's not too much trouble I have put together a few "would love to have's" on my list this year. And although I haven't been the nicest, patientest (I'm pretty sure that one is in Webster's), humblest person this year, I would have to blame most of that on pregnancy, after pregnancy hormones, sleep deprivation, and pure and utter chaos in my home that drives me to insanity. And the un-humble part, well, I have to blame that on the fact that I have the two most adorable children on God's green earth. And who doesn't want to shout that out to the world?!

Anyways, Pops...may I call you that? Just thought you would prefer that to "Father Christmas" and all. Here are a few of my wish list items:
  1. The Twilight 4 book set collectors set. I know I am not one to go out and buy books unless they are so, so, SO good and I want to have them in my home forever. Trust me on this one, Jolly Nick, these are THAT good.
  2. A Chi Rocket hair dryer. I realize the price of this thing may be a total deal breaker, but come on, you've seen my locks and, well, we need to bust out the big guns. Besides my cheap Wal-mart hair dryer just blew up on me and while that one lasted me longer than most cheapos out there, it's just time for an upgrade.
  3. Snuggie. But not just any old Snuggie. I want the Snuggie Deluxe from Costco. Oh Holy Night. I can feel the warmth swarming through me just thinking about it.
  4. Ulta gift card. Just cause I need me some pampering.
  5. I-Pod. Yes, I realize I am probably the last person on Earth that doesn't have one of these. But if you recall, I asked for one last year and...I'm still waaaaaiiiiiting!
  6. A good book light. Ya know, to read my Twilight books. Did I mention that I wanted the Twilight 4 book collectors set?
  7. Christmas decorations. I'm all grown up now and have kids, so I guess that means that I have a new responsibility to actually make my home festive looking during the holidays.

I think that just about does it there, Santa. We'll be seeing you round these parts next week. And, rest assured, if you bring me some of those items on my list then I can promise you some of the best dang cookies on the block!

Love-Tracey

Monday, December 14, 2009

6 Month Update

Madelyn had her 6 month check up on Friday and girl is gonna be an Amazon women for sure! She weighed in at 17 lbs 7 oz (69%) and is 28 inches long (98%!).

Madelyn is still teething pretty badly and seems to have not stopped for the past 3 1/2 months. But, to date, she has three teeth on the bottom and looks like she is getting about three more bottom teeth. The doctor said her upper gums looked a little red and swollen indicating the two front teeth maybe making their appearance sometime soon. Through it all she has been a trooper, chewing on everything in sight.

Nighttime has been a blessing. She has been sleeping through the night since she turned 5 months old. We had to let her cry-it-out one night and from that night on we haven't had any problems with her sleeping besides one night that she woke in the middle of the night. I was able to soothe her back to sleep and ever since she has been fine. We put her to bed around 6:30pm and she has been getting up anywhere between 5:30-7:00am. We have settled into a pretty good nap routine as well. Morning nap about 2 hours after she wakes up for 1-2 hours. I try to hold out for that afternoon nap to occur around 1/1:30 after I put Kaiden down so I can get some alone time to actually get stuff done or attempt a nap myself. It usually happens for me quite nicely and she will sleep anywhere from 2-3 hours in the afternoon.

Maddey is fully sitting up on her own now and when she is on her tummy she wants to crawl so badly. I can see it in her eyes. Or maybe that was just her making "presents" for Mom to clean up later. Whatever the case may be, she is trying to pull her legs under her and scoot around the floor any way that she can. It won't be long, I'm afraid, until I have two on the move.

We started solids a couple weeks ago so now we are having three meals a day in addition to her formula. She has even started to eat some Cheerios, munch on graham crackers or puffs. While she is still having trouble picking up the smaller pieces with index and thumb to get them in her mouth, I can tell a big difference with just the few short weeks that she has been practicing. She'll be getting it soon.

Other than that, she is just a pleasant baby. When they say that girls are so different then boys, it's true. She has picked up stuff sooner than Kaiden did (maybe this is because she has her older brother to watch, but I think it's mostly a "girl thing") and she is so much more content. I can sit her on the floor and she will play there for a good amount of time before wanting to be moved. With Kaiden I had to keep rotating him to different apparatus every 5-10 minutes.

I am really starting to enjoy this age and it seems to go even faster with the second one. I blink and another month seems to fly by at rapid pace. Before I know it she'll be turning one and I'll be longing for those "baby" moments back. And although I don't think I am meant to endure another pregnancy or have more than two of my own, there is a little smiggin' of me that thinks I may long to do it all over again. But just a smiggin'.