Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One tough cookie

To my son...

So many times I do a double take to see what you have gotten into or what you are wearing. You make me smile. You make me giggle. I pray that you will always throw care to the wind and be your own man, following the path God has laid for you.

Even if it means you wear a "one tough cookie" shirt with your sister's daisy hat!


I have noticed a definite shift in our sleep habits. I think it happened after our July 4th trip. Prior to that, the kids would sleep pretty well. But when they didn't, we would crash on the couch together.

For over a month now, if they wake up...
I go in and give them a hug
Maybe change Sara's diaper if it seems like it won't last until morning
Lay them back down
Cover them with a blanket
Tell them I'll see them in the morning for breakfast
Walk out

It's a beautiful thing!

I'm so glad I've raised good little sleepers. Now if I can eliminate those times that Sara gets overtired and won't nap! I guess a perfect world is too much to ask for.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A visit to the family farm

The kids woke from their nap early on Saturday when we were in Iowa so we decided to make a trip to Shannon's Uncle Frank and Aunt Marlene's farm. Shannon spent many many hours at their farm while he was growing up and has very fond memories that he shares with me. We had been informed that some sweet corn was ready for picking and thought the kids would enjoy the learning experience. Shannon and Frank headed down the rows of corn, filling a couple buckets. We enjoyed it for lunch the next day and it was some of the best corn I've had - can't get any more fresh than that!

We also got to see their 2 baby cows. Frank threw some feed by the fence so the mama would come for a snack and the babies followed close behind. Sara thinks cows are really neat...but when a huge head poked through the fence and blew hot air onto her arm, she jumped back!

A pickup pulled into the driveway and it was Shannon's cousins Kevin and Anita who live on another farm a few minutes away. They had a special surprise for Adam and Sara so off we went!

First up, kitties! It felt like they were being swarmed by cats, there were so many. And about 3 different sizes.

Make that 4 sizes. Anita pulled these brand new kittens out from the hosta plant. Their eyes weren't even open. Sara's mommy skills kicked in! The kitten was probably about the same as Sara when she was born!

They have a beautifully landscaped area at their home, including a pond with fish. It was dinner time so the kids helped feed the fish, too.

Then we hopped on Anita's gator and took a bumpy ride down the hill, past the wild marijuana plants (shhh...), to feed 2 baby cows a bottle of milk. Adam jumped right in and held onto the bottle with Kevin. The calf pushed really hard to nuzzle the bottle and Adam almost fell over but held his ground! Sara wasn't too sure and thought it was safe to watch from a distance.

Time for a ride!

Sara, too! When Sara was sitting on the calf, she kept looking down at her leg. We finally figured out the calf was swishing his tail on her leg and it was tickling her. I think it surprised her.

Just before we left, Kevin went to get his baby pet raccoon to show us. She was a little shy at first but then got to playing with the kittens and splashing in a little pool. Here she is enjoying a marshmallow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Accident free

Mark it down in history - yesterday was our first completely accident-free potty training day! So exciting! Ever since we changed to the regular underwear, they have only had 1 accident each per day.

My biggest challenge right now is that Adam has developed an aversion to any potty but his own. It started over a week ago when we tried use the Menards potty. It was an incredibly loud automatic flush toilet and it flushed while he was sitting down. He about flew off that potty and into my arms. Ever since then it is a challenge even getting him to go on a regular potty at another store or even at someone else's house. Thankfully he can hold it a good 2-3 hours. I'm not sure how we are going to resolve his fear.

Honestly, I'm a little afraid of those automatic flush toilets, too!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My first "I love you"

It was the sweetest thing today. Sara was sitting next to me outside on the step. She started rubbing my back and she looked at me and said "I love you, mom." Really? It felt like the first time that she was really expressing herself and not just repeating something. Melted my heart!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grampa's toys

We made a trip to Iowa last weekend for Shannon's 25th high school reunion. (Side note: really? It doesn't feel like we are getting that old!) Grandma Sue and Grampa (Mollenhauer) don't have the usual range of toys for the kids to play with. Go big or go home if you want to play with the big dogs, right? 10 minutes out of the car and Adam was saying "4 wheeler." Next thing I look, Shannon and Adam are zooming down the driveway.

Saturday after breakfast it changed to "Grampa, bobcat!" Adam's wish...and Grampa fired her up!

For those of you who know Adam's history, this is quite shocking. He hates loud noises. For a long time he would jump in my lap if we were outside and a loud motorcycle or truck drove by. Lawn mower? Forget it. Bobcat? It was nice to look at. This trip was different. Grampa started it up, moved the seat back to make room for Adam behind the safety bar, lowered the bucket, and away they went. A few areas of the driveway needed some smoothing and then they scooped some dirt. Or was it dirt mixed with a little something extra?
Next up? Time to sit on the old tractor in the barn.

Let's see, what gas-powered item can Adam pick next? Oh, the 4-wheeler!

Sunday was more of the same except Sara decided to participate. How many 2 year old girls do you know that have ridden in a bobcat in their nightgown?

Followed by bobcat/4-wheeler races!

At this point Sara hopped on the 4-wheeler and I think Adam picked the mower. I heard Shannon ask Sara if she wanted to go fast or slow. By the way he jumped on the throttle, I'm guessing she said FAST...nightgown and hair blowing in the breeze!

Rockin' the big cups

Up until now, I have only used closed cups that won't spill. It's just easier and less mess.

Last week I decided to break out our "big cups" to see how they would do. It's one thing to clean up a little water. Something entirely different when you have to clean up spilled milk at mealtime x 2. I think I have enough going on in life than to have that added to my schedule.

They absolutely love it. And we love washing fewer straws! We still use a newer metal thermos for snacks so it can be transported. I actually might buy two more so we can also take some to restaurants that don't serve milk. These sat on our front porch in direct sunlight on a 105 degree day for 4 hours...and still had cold water in them! Now that's a product I'll recommend!

I got smart and have them hand me the cup back when they are done drinking. That avoids any flying elbows knocking it off their tray. We've had quite a few meltdowns from Sara, though, because she *loves* her milk. She will drink and drink and drink, looking at me out of the corner of her eye knowing that she has to give it back. She will fill up on milk and not eat any food!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Playin in the rain

The sky got dark really fast tonight and the wind picked up after dinner. The kids looked out the window watching carefully. Then it started just raining buckets. They ran to the front door and said "Go outside! Play in rain!"

Sure, why not?!

Friday, August 5, 2011

New undies

For a little while I have wondered if the kids would do better at telling me they had to go potty if I put them in regular underwear instead of training underwear. We made a trip to WalMart yesterday to peruse the selection. The hardest part is deciding if I am just wasting money because their teeny little body is going to be swimming in a 2-3T. We weighed them the other day and they have lost a few pounds this summer and are down to 27.5lbs. With two different brands as options, we headed home. One of the options for Sara has a waist that is 2 inches bigger than the other so I will be taking those back. She picked stripes to start with and loved them. Adam chose the cars.

We have also been talking for a few days about what they can say if they need to go potty.

After about 15 minutes Adam started fussing and was standing in a puddle. He was very disappointed he got his cars wet. While I was cleaning Adam up, Sara ran in yelling "Mama go potty", pulled her pants down and got on the potty all by herself!

Sara told me she had to go 3 times and got a "special" M&M (peanut butter) and had no accidents all day! Adam only had the one accident.

A very exciting day. We'll see what happens on day #2 of new undies and if we have as much success as yesterday.

I must admit it was quite exciting to pack a dinky little package of diapers for our weekend trip and that was packing a bunch extra! Before I would have to pack more than that quantity just for one of them. I see about $100 coming back into my monthly budget very soon!

Big girl Sara in her new panties and hat!

This is Adam showing off his new undies...a little more modest!

Out of the mouths...

One night last week we ate dinner at Pizza Hut. Adam found some used gum stuck to the bottom of the table and was pulling it off. Later in the week, as we were heading to meet another couple for dinner, we talked in the car about that and explained how if you found hard gum stuck to a table you shouldn't eat it. Adam replied "I like hard gum." Of course Sara had to agree "I like hard gum, too."

Adam was in the bathroom with Shannon while he was getting ready for the day. He came running out of the bathroom with his arm in the air yelling "Mom, I got oderant!"

Heard through the monitor the other night during bedtime..."Adam! Dance and clap hands, okay?"