Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eli - 3 years, 35 weeks & Ava - 2 years, 20 weeks - Climbing, Potty Training, and More

Things just continue to get more and more interesting at our house.

Potty Training
We started trying to potty train Ava the Wednesday before Labor Day.  I'd been meaning to start for a while now but I was waiting for a long weekend when we could avoid leaving the house at all... yeah, right!   But a couple days before the long weekend the daycare teachers mentioned that several of the other little girls Ava's age were starting and that they'd noticed that Ava seemed interested and had even gone potty with them a few times.  Since they mentioned that they were taking several girls all at the same time and going potty about 30 times a day anyway, we decided that there was no time like the present.  When we got home that night, we put Ava's big girl panties on, pulled out the little potty chair, and did our best not to look back.

Ava didn't catch on quite as quickly as Eli, but she isn't quite as old as he was when we started him and she didn't get a full weekend of the whole family focusing on her going potty.  After a couple weeks, she really seems to be catching on and doesn't have an accident every day anymore.  Overall, I don't mind if the process is slower, especially since we aren't putting our entire world on hold for it this time.

Halloween Costumes
With baby #3 due right around Halloween, I figured I needed to be super-early getting Eli and Ava's costumes ready this year.  I figure if I wait until the last minute it might not get done for any number of reasons.  So I went ahead and started asking the kids what they wanted to be.  Ava's immediate answer was "frozen" (translation - a princess)... fortunately, we happened to watch a Tinkerbell movie in the next couple days and Ava decided that Tinkerbell was a good idea as well.  I thought Tinkerbell would be easier... maybe, maybe not.  But at least I don't predict that there will be 30 other Tinkerbells running around and with her blue eyes and short blonde hair, it should be easy to pull together.

Eli's first idea was that he wanted to be a Red Ninja Turtle.  Unfortunately, he isn't a fan of people wearing masks so I don't really expect that he'd wear one.  Plus, the costumes with masks are cheaply made and probably wouldn't survive a day at daycare topped followed by a night of trick-or-treating.  I'm not worried about having anything when the holiday is over, but i definitely don't  want to have to come up with a replacement turtle costume with less than 24 hours notice.  The toddler sized costumes look really good and seem more durable (for a reason) and they come with a hat instead of a mask (big plus) but even via the internet, I couldn't come up with a red ninja turtle that would fit Eli.  Again, thanks to the Disney channel and maybe turning on a few extra episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, I was able to trick convince Eli to be Jake instead.  Now we're talkin'... I can do shirt, vest, jeans, boots, and accessories super easy!

I managed to finish Ava's Tinkerbell costume in a few hours between Friday night and Saturday during the football game. (The way Auburn is playing I'm better off not watching closely anyway.)  Eli's costume is underway but I'm still trying to gather all the accessories.

And now on to the topic of climbing monkeys.  Eli and Ava love to play in the crib.  I've avoided it until just recently by just refusing to help them into the crib.  But that method is no longer going to work.  A couple weeks ago, Eli figured out how to get in and out by himself.  Well, once Eli is doing something you can bet that Ava won't be far behind.   One night after work we were sitting and watching TV while the kids played in their room happily.  (At that point I should have known something was up.)  Suddenly, I hear Ava say, "I did it! Yay!!!!!"  Honestly, I didn't want to know or to move.  They were both happy and playing good together and that almost never happens.  But soon, something took me into their room anyway.

Turns out, Ava figured out how to climb up a little plastic set of drawers to get into her bed.  I got Brian and the video camera and went back to watch the show.  Eli has trouble in this video but I think it was only because he'd already been in and out of the bed about a hundred times and was tired.  He usually, just climbs on the mattress and rail and is in and out in a flash.  This time, though, he had to try to use Ava's method. Unfortunately, I don't think Eli has as much monkey in him as Ava does in her.

Spring Valley Beach!

For our annual labor day weekend visit to Spring Valley Beach Eli was 3 years, 34 weeks, Ava was 2 years, 19 weeks, and I was a whopping 32 weeks (read 8 months) pregnant.  Needless to say, I wasn't completely able to go and do as much as the kiddos wanted.  Fortunately, with two wonderful Aunts, two grandmothers, a daddy, and a swarm of older cousins around, Eli and Ava were still able to have a fantastic day!

We began our day a little timidly in the kiddie pool area.  It didn't take long before Eli and Ava were brave enough to do these little slides all by themselves.

Then we moved to the deeper end of the pool for a few minutes.  
Check out big cousin, Kylie, helping Ava along.

Then, of course, the older kiddos decided that just swimming wasn't going to cut it... they ran off to the big slides while the younger ones moved back to the kiddie area.  At some point, we stopped for a picnic lunch and then went right back to the pool for more fun.

By the end of the day, Eli was brave enough to do some tunnel slides with some help.  He talked Aunt 'Tace into it a couple of times and then Aunt Christel into it another few times.   I've gotta say my kiddos have the best Aunts around.  They jumped in and volunteered to drag kiddos up and down slides when I couldn't.  I probably owe them each a few dozen favors now. 

Before we really knew it, the day was almost over and we still had almost 2 hours to drive so we dried everyone out.  The big kids wanted one last chance and the big slides so the little kiddos watched while Brady, Caiden, and Kylie did the big slides one last time.

Then we loaded everything and everybody back into the car.  Eli and Ava slept a good bit on the way home, but I'm told the car with the big kids in it was a wild place to be.  Apparently, they were having so much fun together that they just couldn't be still or quiet.  That's what cousins are for, I guess!

Eli - 3 years, 33 weeks & Ava - 2 years, 18 weeks

Behind again... shocking I know.  Regardless here are pictures of the kiddos for the week.  Their swingset got hit by lightning back in late July and it completely destroyed one leg of the structure, messed up the siding on the "tree house", and did some other damage as well.  So we made them stay off of it until we could get it fixed.  Sometime, near the end of August, we finally had the time to fix the broken leg and the kiddos were thrilled to be able to play on their swingset again.  I'm really kinda ashamed at how long it took to get it fixed up but, remember, we made about a million fixes to our house in order to put it in real estate during late July and early August as well.  So the kiddos had to wait a few weeks but they survived.  In actuality, it was frequently too hot to play outside much during that time anyway.  Either way... they were more than happy to have their swingset back.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eli - 3 years, 32 weeks & Ava - 2 years, 17 weeks - Cousin Time

The weekend started out pretty much like any other.  We spend Saturday morning running errands and grocery shopping.  On the way home, Eli asked for his sunglasses.  Once he had them on, he said, "Mama, you know what sunglasses means!"  Yes, I do... it means you're ready to hear a certain song.  Since I've been trying to get this on video for a month or more now, I took the opportunity to pull over and grab my cell phone. 

This weekend we also got to spend a lot of time with our cousins.  It had been too long since Eli and Ava got to play with Audrey and Brady and they were thrilled to see them.  Saturday night we all met up a Joey and Papa Rick's house for supper.  The kids were more than thrilled to see each other and none of them managed to eat anything.   What they did manage to do was have lots of fun.

Eli wanted his picture taken and kept posing...

Brady's favorite thing to do is build forts... Ava loves Brady and spent most of her time following him around and hiding in the fort. 

These kiddos love their Joey!

Sunday afternoon we went to see Aunt 'Tace's new house.  The construction is almost finished and, hopefully, they'll be ready to move in within a week or so.  The major parts of the work are finished and the crew just has about a million little things left to do.  They are going to have a beautiful new home and I know they are all really excited and anxious to get moved in. 

After the home tour, the kiddos found some puddles in what will eventually be the back yard.  Fortunately, Eli and Ava had both specifically requested to put on their boots before we left the house.  Maybe they knew something I didn't... in any event they had a blast splashing in the puddles.  The splashed so big that their boots soon filled with water.  A couple times Ava came to me and said she had something in her shoe.  I took off the shoe and poured out about 2 cups of water that they had splashed into their boots.  Audrey had so much water in her boots that you could hear her sloshing when she ran.   We were so unprepared for the puddle jumping that I didn't even have a cell phone camera on me.  Fortunately, Stacy had her phone in her pocket and got a few pics.  Next time there will definitely be a decent camera around.

Things started out tame enough.  Light splashing and walking through puddles.

The the girls started getting a little crazy.

Soon everyone was getting a long start and running through the puddles.

Then we added the jumping.

Eli took a while to warm up to the puddle jumping, opting instead to run around the puddles.

Audrey took home the prize for highest puddle splash.

Eli started his jumping in a very shallow puddle.

Ava (in true Ava fashion) went ankle deep as quickly as possible.

When she gets big enough to actually jump more than a half inch off the ground she might give Audrey some competition in the highest splash contest.

Yep, even Eli decided to do some serious jumping and came home covered in muddy water.

When we got home they went straight into the tub... that's how dirty they were.  I'm glad that they got to do some puddle splashing and have some fun getting dirty.  That's what being a kid is all about!