Monday, March 30, 2009

Rewards

Potty training is frustrating.

Potty training is hard.

Potty training is not fun.

Ryan has his good days, his bad days and sometimes his ugly days when it comes to potty training. On the ugly days, I am at my wits end and I want to give up the fight.

I started Ryan's journey at getting trained when he turned 15 months. I was determined to prove all the nah sayers wrong who insisted boys are harder to train then girls. To our surprise, he enjoyed using the potty and at times left a deposit for us to praise him for and boy did we give him lots of positive praise.
But he was never consistent and didn't show a complete interest in being trained....

After he turned 2 years old and we knew we were expecting Kara the following year, I tried even harder to get him trained. What mom wants two little ones in diapers?
So we stepped up our game plan...

We bought potty seats. We bought books. We bought videos.
We even caved and bought organic lollipops and M&M's.

Did they work? Nope.

Now here we are at almost 3 and 1/2 years old, still playing this tug-a-war potty game.
Here is what I've learned so far...

  1. Ryan is stubborn.
  2. Ryan is still at the "I don't care if I pee or poop in my pants" stage. sigh
  3. Ryan understands how to use the potty but hasn't grasp the concept of just going to the bathroom without being reminded to do so ALL DAY LONG. sigh
  4. The more I push, the more he fights me.
  5. I have to make potty training seem fun all the time or he won't go...
  6. That even with all the daily struggles, we finally feel confident enough to take him out in public with his big boy underwear on. He has not had an accident yet and will go on public toilets. YAY
  7. The one thing that has worked 90% of the time is taking away his favorite things to do. Watch cartoons in the morning and playing his games on the computer.
  8. I need to take this one day at a time and not get worked up over it.
  9. Ryan needs to realize that he should just go potty when he gets the urge or tell someone.
  10. That I need to be consistent with him and remain hopeful that he will become trained. sooner rather than later. :)

This past weekend was a rough one and I fully expected today to be the same. Mondays are always hard because he has to adjust to not seeing Chris all day again. But I was pleasantly surprised when Ryan stayed dry the entire day and really didn't fight me when I asked him to use the potty. He not only pooped once but twice on the potty so being true to my word, I allowed him to play his games on the laptop.

Who knew all the bells and whistles and candy wouldn't work? The one reward he loves to receive is a little Playhouse Disney online.

I don't fight this because I will take fun educational rewards over candy any day. Plus, he seems to be a computer genius already at 3 years old. He completely amazes me with how he is able to use the keyboard at such a young age. I decided to video tape him enjoying his reward today for everyone to see...he is just too cute with his dance moves and air guitar!

Ryan and the Imagination Movers...

video


HAIL! ~ part two

I received an email this morning from our good friends, The Gaston Family.

They live about 15 minutes from our house and felt the affects of the crazy hail storm yesterday in a much different way!

Check out the photos Sean sent me:



Sean was home alone (Jamye and the kids were actually on our side of town visiting family, I think) and getting ready to watch the UNC game when the storm started. He said the house started to moan and then the golf size hail came fast hitting the house so hard it caused the damage you see in the above photo to their siding and roof!

We also heard many accounts that a tornado did indeed touchdown in the surrounding areas where we live, doing a lot of damage to homes and barns. It's crazy to think we experienced such weather in Pennsylvania...it's not like we live in Kansas?! We are all very grateful that no one got hurt and that the storm didn't cause more damage then it did.

To view even more damage caused by this storm, click HeRe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

HAIL!

Today we experienced some crazy weather!

It rained this morning. Then the sun came out early this afternoon, it started to rain again and finally it was just cloudy. By early evening, the sky started to get really dark and then this came flying out of the sky...

HAIL!


The storm lasted a good 20+ minutes and at times it sounded like a huge bucket of golf balls were being dumped on our house!

It was scary and exciting all at the same time. Ryan was fascinated with seeing the hail and begged to touch it. Chris (who was just as fascinated) got Ryan into his rain coat and took him outside so they could both investigate the stuff that fell from the sky!


This is a picture of the largest ball they found. It was the size of a half dollar coin!




Here is Ryan in his froggy rain coat (which is way too small for him!) standing in the rain and having fun!




Checking out the HAIL. This was a great educational experience on weather!



Then all of a sudden we saw this...



the SUN!



Below is a montage of video clips that Chris took of the weather...


Some Notes:

  • In the beginning of the video, Chris and Ryan are comparing the hail balls to the balls that are in our Hungry Hippo Game. Ryan calls them peanuts (don't ask why) and as soon as he saw the hail, he told us that peanuts were falling from the sky! hahaha.


  • As I edited the clips, I couldn't help but notice a few things. Most importantly, I am completely convinced that our shrubs/bushes located in the front of our house need to be replaced. We've wanted to do this for 4 years now but haven't taken the time to do it. Mark my words...we WILL find the time this summer! And lastly, I need to take my snowman stakes down and put them away already. I mean it is Spring now, right? :)





Friday, March 27, 2009

One Step at a Time!

All of a sudden, our baby girl is turning the corner to toddlerhood. She started to CRUISE around her activity table last week.
I finally caught this exciting milestone on video today!

Later today we caught her moving herself from the activity table to her exersaucer (they were sitting right next to each other) without our help.
This child has no fear!


Kara loves to be in the standing position most of the day. We have a feeling that she just might skip crawling and actually start to walk. Ryan was an early walker at 10 months old...so only time will tell if Kara follows in his footsteps!

I need to apologize in advance because the video isn't the best quality and Ryan screaming in the background is just a tab bit annoying.
I noticed that Ryan is wearing his red striped shirt again?! I swear this child owns tons of shirts but for some weird coincidence he always has one of his striped shirts on the days I decide to make a video? Oh well... Enjoy!

PS- You will need to watch the entire thing to see her actually taking steps.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RK Alliance

They have their own language...

warning: loud screaming to follow

video

I can only wonder what they were plotting for their next attack!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sick Baby?

Does this look like the face of a sick baby?

How about this one?

No?

She may be smiling but these photos were taken last Saturday at 1 o'clock in the morning after many attempts at putting her bed.

Little Miss Kara caught her first cold from her brother. She was pretty much miserable all weekend long.

Last week was a rough one for me, I had to take care of a cranky, teething baby and cranky, sick little boy. When Kara started to show signs of getting Ryan's cold by late Thursday, I didn't know if I had enough energy to deal with that on top of everything else. My days were filled with lots of crying, wiping noses every 5 minutes and not getting much sleep. It was hard but I was surprised to learn just how strong I can be when a difficult challenge is given to me unexpectedly. I will admit, there were times where I whined just as much as the little ones did and moments when I would call Chris up begging him to try to come home early so I could just get away from all the craziness.

There were plenty of times where I thought I just would lose my mind after hearing them cry all day long, but then I'd remember how much they really needed me and depend on me to help them get through the day with snuggles and kisses. This alone made me feel important and loved.

This past week has also taught me that my precious little daughter is very dramatic when sick! I wonder where she gets that from?

Kara had her 9 month wellness visit last Friday and we were ecstatic to find out that she gained over 2 lbs since her last weight check in January. She now weighs 14 lbs 9 oz and has finally double her birth weight. She also grew another inch, making her height at a little over 26 inches. She is 2 % on the her curve for weight but the doctors are not concerned because she is still gaining and hasn't lost any weight since birth. Her height is 45 % on the curve. So she will most likely be a shortie...just like her mama. :)

We were happy to find out that Kara did not need any shots this visit! She still gave us a hard time when we got into the exam room though...she hates going to see the doctor. She started to cry as soon as she saw the exam table and didn't stop crying until we were back in the car leaving. It's difficult for me to see her anxiety at the doctor office because Ryan never acted like this when he had his appointments. He loves to visit the doctor and actually gets upset when it's Kara's turn and not his. He was sweet that day when he said, "it's ok, they nice Kara. Don't cry, it be alright." Melt my heart, gosh I love that boy!

Another thing I learned about my children during their week of being sick, is that they become even more mischievous! The RK Alliance was in full force this past week. Chris got a see just how mischievous Kara can be on Sunday while he was home with her and I was on a date with Ryan enjoying Playhouse Disney LIVE (post coming soon).

Looks like we might have to take that mobile down for good now!

Here's a video Chris took so I could see Miss Mischievous in action.

video


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ryan Funnies

Long overdue...here's a Ryan Funnies for your enjoyment!

I have a few Ryan Funnies from the past few months, but I just had to post this one from tonight. Our son is quite the character and he has a way of making me laugh even after a long, hard week!


Ryan is sick. Runny nose. It's been runny all day.

Daddy: Ryan, do you need a tissue?

Ryan: Yes.

Daddy: Ok then, don't wipe your nose on your sleeve, go get a tissue.

Ryan: There no tissues down here.

Daddy goes up to the bathroom closet to get a new box of tissues.

Daddy: Here you go...

Ryan: Oh thanks Dad! Great idea!

"Great Idea" is Ryan's new favorite phrase.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All You Need...

is...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It's been a tough week.



Kara + teething = not a good combination



She requires a lot of extra LOVE to make her smile.


All you need is...


Story Time



All you need is....

Fun in the Sun



the end.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day ~ 2009

Someone was a cranky mess today.
Can you guess who?

The only tradition that we celebrate on this holiday is to wear green. This year the kids decided to take the celebration a step further and had a poop-a-thon! Yes, I said poop. Sorry. It's my blog and my reality right now. Ryan had an explosive one during nap that almost caused me to cry and Kara...well, Kara's was green in color thanks to the green beans she ate last night. I guess she was really into the green theme today!

Fun times.

Kara not only had a poop marathon but she decided that she only wanted a 45 minute nap today. This caused for a cranky, miserable baby most of the day. I think the teething is to blame.

Ryan decided that Kara needed some hugs....


....and after some brotherly love, she started to turn that frown upside down!


Once hugs were shared, play time was had by all.



Here is Ryan showing off his new sand and water play table. He loves it and would spend the entire day outside playing in it if we allowed him...


We got the table on Sunday and surprised him with it after his nap. It didn't take him long to fill it with trucks and sand toys! He can't wait for the warm weather to arrive so water can be added to the other side.


Even a rough day filled with poop and crankiness, can immediately melt away when I see her smile.


HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy 9 Months!

How did our cutie spend her special 9 month day?

Dressed up as the cutest farmer girl ever!



I am a huge fan of babies in overalls! Ryan practically lived in them his first year of life. I finally dug out and washed Kara's 9 month size clothing so she could get some wear out of them before the weather gets too warm. They are still a little too big but it felt good to pack up the 6 month clothing!

Of course, I had to take a ton few pictures of her in all her cuteness!



A lot has happened in the past month. Kara mastered all the stage 2 foods (only hates peas) and will be starting stage 3 foods soon. We tried Gerber puffs the other day. She mostly played with them but a few did make it to her mouth. We were impressed with how she was able to gum them and not swallow them right away, so no gagging!


Peek-A-Boo! Guess who is finally cutting her bottom teeth? Yes, I know we've been saying these teeth were coming for like the past 6 months! It really is crazy how they were right at the gum line and took this long to cut through. She has had a hard time dealing with the pain.


She rolls faster than we can catch her. She stands for long periods of time. She loves playing in her exersaucer, on the floor with her toys, kisses, watching her big brother act silly, eating, pulling her mama's hair, babbling, smiling (when she is happy), jumping, and hugs! She really dislikes getting dressed, when you don't feed her fast enough (very impatient!), getting undressed, when you take something that she wants away from her, taking naps, when family and friends try to hold her (stranger anxiety!-when will it end?), doing her hair, and when her brother pulls her arms or takes her toys!

She is starting to go blonde.


Kara's hair is crazy! We have to put on a stay in conditioner every night because if we don't, she wakes up with a rat's nest a knotty mess. Her hair not only has three different shades but different lengths too! Pigtails and barrettes are a must to keep the bangs out of her eyes...but not all her hair in the back pulls up into the pigtails.

So sometimes I add an extra one in the back....


We thought we would never see the day when she would accept this...

...but she finally decided that bottles aren't so bad after all.

AND she is able to do this...



I still can't believe 9 months have come and gone already.


Look out ONE YEAR...here I come!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

She stands.

Hey Everybody!


Check out my new trick....

I think standing is fun. So much fun that I want to be in this position a lot during the day. The only problem is, I haven't learned how to pull myself up just yet so Mommy has to help me. Isn't she the best mommy in the whole wide world for keeping me happy? I think so.


She also made another video of me to show off my new talent for YOU, my fans. I hope you like it. Please forgive my Mommy's commentary (big word--I'm smart.)...she really is soooo silly.


Here it is...enjoy. I'm a BIG girl now!






Kara Standing from Bobbi-Jo High on Vimeo.