Thursday, September 25, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 36 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 21 weeks

Last weekend the kids got to go spend some time in Birmingham with Grammers.  Some plans that Grammers had made fell through.  When Grammers offered to take both kids for a night on Saturday, we jumped at the opportunity.  We packed their little bags as quickly as possible and sent Brian south to take them to visit for the night.  It was a much needed break and an opportunity to catch up on some housework.  Several folks asked if we took the opportunity to have a date night and go out to dinner.  Well, we didn't go out, but we did have a home date.  I fixed some hamburgers on the grill and we ate on the couch while we watched college football.  (That is my kinda date.)  Then we slept in a little. (I was still up by 6am, but 7 uninterrupted hours of sleep was like sleeping in.)

Eli and Ava joined Grammers at a neighbor's birthday party.  They had lots of fun!

Sunday morning, Brian had to leave to go on a work trip for a few days, so when he got up he pretty much only had time to pack his things and go.  I spent the morning doing a little more work at Joey's house and in the afternoon, Grammers brought Eli and Ava home.  We got the kids in and settled and then walked Grammers to the car.

Eli ran in the house ahead of me and when I got to the door he had locked me out of the house.  In a panic, I stopped Grammers from leaving until Eli opened the door.  I thought I was going to need her cell phone to call Joey to bring me a key.  Fortunately, when I ran to stop Grammers Eli unlocked the door and came to see where I went.  He thought it was all a very fun game... me, not so much.

So again we finally all got in the house and then the needs and wants started.  Ava wanted to eat; so Ava had cereal for a late afternoon snack.

Eli needed to use the potty, so he did about a thousand times.  Then came this moment.

You heard right, Eli wants to go "commando".  Lord love a duck, I'm in over my head in raising this little boy!  The male-ness just comes right out of him.  I don't know where he gets most of it.  He is ALL BOY.

Potty training wasn't going so well the end of last week.  Eli was having multiple accidents a day and ending up in a pull-up by the end of the day.  I guess this is a hang-over from a week or two ago when things got all out of sync at daycare and he just kind of fell apart.  I had planned to keep him home all weekend and kind of start over with potty training, but plans changed and he ended up in Birmingham.  The report was that he only had one accident all weekend before the ride home so I guess he's just going to do better for anyone who isn't mom and dad.  Eli's improved some so far this week at daycare.  We're down to only having one accident a day again.  Yay!

At times, Ava is as much a little diva girl as Eli is a mischievous boy.   The other night I was lying her down in bed and noticed her shoes were still on.  When I took them off she yelled "My shoes! My shoes!" in her sleep.  She loves shoes and is pretty well insistent that she wear hers at all times.  The fancier and prettier the better.  And if any of the rest of us are barefoot, she will find any two shoes she can (they don't have to match or be for the correct feet or person) and bring them to you saying "shoe, shoe".  I frequently have to take multiple pair of shoes and some lone unmatched individual shoes back to my closet.  She loves to go get my shoes and bring them to me.

That about covers everything I have this week.  Hope you're having a good week too! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 35 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 20 weeks

It's been another busy week.   Last weekend Brian had to do his last national guard weekend.  So we spent the entire weekend working in Joey's basement.  There was some water damage and a shelf collapsed so we all pitched in to start the process of cleaning things up and repairing the damage.  That suited Eli and Ava just fine because it meant they got to hang out with Eli and Audrey some. 

The kids spent a lot of time watching movies and playing while we worked and cleaned.  We aren't anywhere close to finished, but we did get the room emptied, the mouldy paneling down, and cut away all the wet nasty insullation.  It was a huge start.  Now we just have to replace paneling, go through the stuff, get rid of a bunch, and then put whatever is left back.  It's going to be a several week process.  At times, the kids think we're finding treasures (old toys, lamps, photos, books) but most of the time we're just up to our elbows in junk that needs to go.  Brady spent most of his time salvaging things from the "gotta go" piles.  And Ava even found a treasure all her own... the baby blanket the Joey played with as a kid.  It was hand crocheted.  When I handed it to Ava she picked it up and hugged it.  It came home with us, but it got an immediate washing to remove the yucky musty smell!  

At the end of the day Saturday, we threw three kids in the bathtub while Joey fixed some supper.  After a bath, Eli and Audrey cuddled into the couch and played the Ipad together.  They did an exceptionally good job of sharing and looked so cute.  Eli loves an Ipad and gets to play with them at his grandparents' houses.  We don't have an Ipad for lots of reasons... One reason is that Eli might never get off the couch again if we did.

After another long day of labor on Sunday, it was Monday again and time to get back to work.  Tuesday, Ava had a checkup and shots.  She was a good little patient and only cried for a minute when we did the shots.  Most of the time we were there she spent playing with the paper off the exam table.  She weighed in at 24.5 lbs and measured 31.5 inches tall.  Everything else was just perfect so we grabbed some lunch and then Ava went to daycare while I did some work. 
Ava is getting more and more opinionated and has really started trying to communicate with us lately.  She might not always get the word out, but you can tell she is thinking about it and trying.  She was so much later than Eli talking that we wondered if it was going to happen.  It was obvious that she was understanding what we were saying, she just wasn't talking back.  It probably had a lot to do with Eli not letting her get a word in edgewise.  Ava is our little ball of mischief.  In addition to being a yogurt fingerpainter, she likes to climb into the kitchen cabinets.  She digs around and tries to find something interesting, which is usually something dangerous.  But she is super quiet and sneaky while she does it.  If things get quiet and you can't see her, you better go find her.  She is into something. 
Eli is having a rough week potty training.  We were doing great and only having about 1 accident a day. Now, suddenly, he's blowing through 4-6 pair of undies a day.  It all started after we had a couple days out of our normal routine.  I threaten to put him back in a diaper but he says "I not wanna be a baby!"  Oddly enough he does better when he goes commando, though he isn't a huge fan of that most times.  I guess he realizes that there is no protection without some undies on and he's got to use the potty or spray everything. (Is that too much info?  Sorry.) 
Ava thinks she is potty training too.  When Eli goes potty (he uses the regular potty), Ava sits on the little training potty and sometimes even says "I pee".  At this rate, she may be potty trained before Eli.... let's hope not, but it's looking possible.  At least she likes to be in the bathroom because we're in there a lot right now.  Sometimes even when Eli's done we have to stick around an extra couple minutes for Ava.  We get ready to leave and she rushes back to the little potty saying, "I pee, I pee!"  I'm not about to discourage that... as soon as she can talk well enough to tell me that she needs to go, I'll start potty training her too.  Not buying diapers would be a nice change of pace.
Sorry so much of these posts lately are about our potty escapades.  That is just the stage we are in right now.  Life is all about pee and poo and keeping the "buzz lightyears" dry.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 34 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 19 weeks - Mommy Learns a Lesson

Last weekend we proceeded with our typical weekend activities of grocery getting, errand running, and then hurrying home to catch some football on TV.  When we left the grocery store, Brian was starving and couldn't wait another minute to eat.  So we went to Sonic to grab him something to hold him over until lunchtime.  Well, in Eli's eyes, every trip to Sonic means one thing... ICECREAM!  Brian ordered him a small vanilla shake and asked if he should be getting Ava anything.  I told him that Ava would be fine with a banana for now and then could finish off the last of Eli's shake (since he can never finish it himself.   Well, when the treats arrived, Ava was highly ticked off that she didn't have one.  She was not at all happy with her banana, she wanted icecream.  She kept yelling, "Mine, Mine, Mine!"  Well, Eli wasn't thrilled with the idea of sharing his icecream, so there wasn't going to be any turn-taking without a major fight.  Mommy Fail!  So, in good Daddy fashion, Brian offered some of his icecream cone to Ava after he'd taken about 5 bites.  Ava loved it and was not happy with giving it back.  Soon, it became Ava's icecream cone and this adorableness ensued.


I'm keeping this, Daddy!

You didn't want it back, did you?

When Eli and Ava are feeling especially happy (or mischievious) they look at each other like this and share a huge grin.  It looks like they have their own little secrets in these moments.  While I love seeing this, I'm always a little scared by these looks. It ususally means not-good things for me.
Eli also enjoyed his shake...

This week, Eli is doing less than great at the whole potty training.  Our daycare staff has kind of shaken things up a little this week in order to juggle family needs.  The ladies who normally alternate during our drop-off times weren't able to do it some this week.  I guess Eli didn't feel quite comfortable with the newer lady (who has helped out some before just not for morning drop-offs).  Then on Wednesday we took Eli back to the ENT for a check-up and we had to stop 3 times on a 30 minute drive and still blew through 3 pair of underwear and both pair of shorts we had with us.  I put the plaid shorts on when we got to the doctor's office because they "didn't look as wet as the other pair."  It was that or take him in wearing nothing but his "buzz lightyears".  
Ava is doing just dandy this week and is beginning to communicate more and more.  She gets home in the afternoons saying "Eat, Eat, EAT!"  And is quite the little food disposal.  She loves spaghetti, pizza, ham and cheese sandwiches, cereal, chicken, any kind of pasta, cheese, yogurt, and sausage.  There isn't really anything she won't try, but there are some things that she doesn't eat that I find odd for a kid... She won't eat pancakes or eggs.  I thought all kids loved pancakes. Guess not.  But Ava will beg for a "bowl".  After she gets her bowl, she points into it saying "eat" meaning she wants cereal in the boal.  Then she says "poon" asking for a spoon, and then "bowl" again meaning that she wants milk in the bowl as well.  She is getting pretty good at using that spoon like a big girl even though she usually gives up and eats with her hands before she dumps the last of the milk in her lap while she tries to drink it. 
Hope you're having a good week.  We're nearing another weekend and have some plans to spend time doing some work at Joey's house. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Eli - 2 years, 33 weeks & Ava - 1 year, 18 weeks - Labor Day Fun

Last weekend we had a nice long weekend together thanks to the Labor Day holiday.  We got some haircuts, watched a little football, played outside a lot, and even got to have cousin Audrey visit for a couple hours. 

Haircuts have become a family affair recently.  We do our best to keep all of us at the same time.  It makes it easier even though it is completely crazy while we're there.  Joey brings Brady with her from school, Stacy picks up Audrey from daycare, I get Eli and Ava, and we all take turns in the chair.  The kids can entertain each other and the 3 grownups take turns supervising the madness and helping wrangle kids in the chair.  Ava did not get her first haircut, but she did get to sit in the chair.  She wasn't terribly thrilled, but Brady helped to keep her happy sitting there for a few minutes while we talked about whether or not she needed a trim.

On Saturday morning we started potty training with Eli.  He had 4 accidents in the first 30 minutes.  He didn't get it and I didn't know how to communicate what we needed him to do.  After an hour, I was ready to give up!  Then, somehow, he managed to go pee pee in the potty!  We gave him a small prize and bragged on how well he'd done.  It suddenly clicked!  He went potty about 6 times in the next 30 minutes and got a prize every time.  When we realized that we were going to run out of prizes before the day was up, we changed tactics.  He started getting a prize for staying dry for 15 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then an hour.  We'd set the stove timer and when it beeped he knew it was time to potty and get a prize.  That worked great.  Saturday and Sunday we did lots of pottying with very few accidents.  Sunday he even wet poo in the potty and got a big Jessie doll as a reward.

On Monday, Aunt 'Tace and Audrey came by the house to drop off a box of hand-me-downs before they headed to take some items to a consignment sale drop-off.  Audrey and Eli were having a blast playing and I had set up the little pool in the backyard.  So Audrey hung out with us for a couple hours while her mom got to go do consignment drop-off without a helper.  I threw some of Eli's clothes on Audrey and let the kids splash and play.

We also drew with the sidewalk chalk and played in the bubbles.  It was a great afternoon.

After Audrey left, Eli and Ava were wiped so I instituted rest time.  Ava took a nap and Eli watched a movie.  Brian had gone to do some bush-hogging on the farm, so with nothing else pressing to do, Eli and Ava thought we should go back out and play in the pool some more.  Eli was still going strong, but Ava wasn't quite ready for more excitement.  She played a little and sat on my lap alot.

Before we came in, Eli got to feeling a little silly... he decided to shake off like a dog.

Then he decided to sleep in his swing.

Soon it was time for baths and supper.  When Brian got home, we got the kiddos their baths while supper cooked in the oven.  While I finished up supper, Eli, Ava, and Brian watched some Loony Toons.   In case you didn't know, Loony Toons are better when you watch in a laundry basket.

Tuesday morning Eli woke up with a fever... again. UGH!  So Tuesday after lunch we went to the doctor and learned that he had strep for the second time in 3 weeks.  He got a shot and some meds at the doctor and then I took him to Sonic for a milkshake.  I'm sure it felt good on his sore throat. 


 By the next morning, Eli was feeling better and playing. 

The rest of the week has gone pretty well so far.  Eli only had a couple accidents a day and is doing pretty well even at daycare.  Since this post has gotten completely out of hand, I'll sign off for now and hopefully be back soon with next week's post.