Monday, August 31, 2009

He's Paying Attention

This weekend, Steven picked up his diaper bag, slung it over his shoulder, told me he was going to the store, and asked for my keys!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Playgroup Fun

Last year I joined a local playgroup that is now up to over 100 members. I was feeling incredibly lonely and was hoping to connect with other moms and babies in the area. I stumbled across the group through meetup.com and LOVE it.

We haven't made it to too many activities recently, but there was no way we were going to miss the ice cream party yesterday. It was perfect weather for going to a playground--co0l, but sunny. I took Steven to the jungle gym and went down the big slide with him. I then decided to put him on the small slide by himself, and as you can see, it was a hit!

First Time on His Own


Pure Joy


Climbing up on His Own


Trying a New Technique


Sold! Slides are the Best!


I finally dragged him away from the slide when it was time for ice cream. He didn't know what ice cream meant, but when all the other kids left, he (very, very slowly) followed them. Once he saw the ice cream, he knew what it was and immediately started asking for it.

I got him a bowl of vanilla and skipped all the toppings. I brought his new (to us) long sleeve bib, and he was ready to go. He did a pretty good job of getting it all in his mouth, and of course, as soon as he finished, he asked for more :)

I decided to try a bowl of fruit instead, and he thought it was just as good as the ice cream--he ate two bowls of it before I told him that we were all done. On the way home, he asked for more, and when Mark came home and asked him how his ice cream was, he asked for more again. I think he likes it!

Way Too Busy for Pictures



Poor Michelle, just sitting in her stroller and missing out on all the fun. I did take her to one of the "baby-stealers" toward the end, and she had fun sneaking as much grass and mulch in her mouth as she could.


All in all, it was a great day, and I can't wait for our next playdate!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Potty Training


We started introducing Steven to the concept of using a potty chair a month or so ago, and it went pretty well at first. He initiated it by seeing a potty chair and telling us what it was. He loved sitting on it, and we had a hard time getting him off it at first. However, he started wanting to sit on it only if he had his clothes on. I finally figured out that the splash guard was the problem. I don't blame him for not wanting to be naked on it!

So on Saturday, I stopped by Target and got him a new potty seat that doesn't have a collapsible splash guard and instead just has a raised front. I also bought him some Sesame Street underwear and brought it home. After his nap, we showed him the seat and had him sit on it. I gave him as much lemonade as he wanted (a first for him) and turned on Sesame Street. After sitting there for a very long time, he went. We made a big deal of it and gave him two garage sale stickers. He loves stickers and immediately put them on his shirt.

He's done well so far. He's gone in his potty each day, and today he was only on it for 10 minutes or so before going. He jumped up and seemed to understand what was going on. We made a big deal of flushing it and washing our hands. I couldn't find our stickers for the life of me, so I gave him two pieces of scotch tape. He thought it was just as cool :)

He just got up from his nap, and he's back on his potty seat. It's in our living room with a big plastic mat under it, and he knows that he can watch either his Elmo tape or Sesame Street if he's on it. So far, that system's working really well. I generally don't let him watch much tv, but we're making an exception for this. I know it will be a while, but I can't wait to only have one in diapers!

Family Pictures

On Friday, the kids and I made the trek up to see Auntie E and her kids. We spent several hours playing at a McDonald's playland. It took Steven a while to warm up to his siblings. . .I would too if I had four strangers in my face! (He seems to be going through some stranger anxiety as well--he doesn't like going in the nursery at church.) Eventually, though, he let them play with him, but he generally stayed near me.

I ended up taking him through the playland--climbing up, going through tunnels, before finally going through the slide. After two times through, I told him he was on his own :) It was so sweet because he was asking about Auntie E the whole time and liked to look out the windows at her.

After a few hours there, we all packed up and headed to JC Penney's to get pictures taken. We got ones of all eight of us, of the six kids, of the three girls, of the three boys, and of the three youngest (full siblings). It was crazy, and Steven was several hours past his nap, but they did well. (We originally had a noon appointment but were running late and had to move it all the way back to 5:00 since that was the next hour-long time block.)

As soon as we walked into the photo area, Steven saw an Elmo doll. I'm sure that they use it to get kids to look at the camera since it wasn't in the greatest condition, but there was no way that Steven was giving it up. So, every picture has Elmo in it--including one of the ones of the three girls! He wanted to be in the picture too :)

Afterwards, we went shopping for a little while. I was ready before Auntie E was, and I was absolutely exhausted. The four older kids wanted to "help" with the babies the entire time, and as you can imagine, it was not easy to push a stroller with four other people "helping" you.

We came home tired and worn out, but it was worth it since everyone had such a great time. I know that it means a lot to Auntie E when we visit, and the older kids had been asking her when they were going to see "the babies" again. Steven has repeatedly asked for Auntie E since we got home, and of course, Auntie E loved hearing that.

The pictures will be ready in two weeks, and I know she's looking forward to seeing the kids again. However, I don't know if I'm up to another big trip like that. I'm debating going up by myself and seeing if she and I could hang out on our own. Maybe I'll have more energy by then, but I need a nap just thinking about it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Good Night

We got together with two other couples and their kids tonight for a cook out, and we had a great time. It had been so long since we had gotten together with friends either as a couple or a family, and the kids both enjoyed themselves as well. Michelle went in the pool for the first time, and she is as much of a water bug as Steven is. It might finally be time to get our pool out and let them splash around in it!



Steven didn't want to get in the water today, but he was definitely into the bubbles. He LOVES bubbles, but he wants to do them himself. This means that there usually aren't any bubbles, but since there was more than one bubble wand, he didn't have to worry about that.



By the end of the night, after they had eaten dinner, played with all kinds of toys, and had ice cream and marshmallows (well, Steven at least got to do that), they were two worn out kids. And we were very ready to put them in bed and crash too :)

Just Playing Around




Two Weeks!

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last posted! We've been busy (obviously), and so much has happened. I might as well make this a bullet point post; otherwise, it'll be pages and pages long :)
  • My mom, sister, and I had a garage sale last weekend, and we did pretty well. I still have a good number of baby things left over, so I think I'll post them on Craig's List. I'm up to six strollers (seven if you count the bike trailer that converts into a jogging stroller), so I have to weed out a few. I picked two that I can part with (but one that I really, really don't want to). I think I've convinced Mark that we need to keep the other ones.
  • Steven had several firsts--first skinned knees, first falling down the stairs, first climbing out of his crib. Basically all the firsts that you would rather not have. Can you tell that he's all boy?! He wasn't phased at all when he skinned his knees--I didn't even know about it until later in the day when he showed me! He's been fine on the stairs in the past, so I don't pay too much attention to it, but he fell when he tried to take his corn popper toy down the stairs with him. We don't know how far he fell, but he was okay after a few minutes of crying. He's definitely a tough little crib.
  • Michelle has mastered moving, so we're using the baby gate again. I can't believe that she's army crawling already--Steven was much older when he started moving. This also means that Steven has to share more toys. That has been quite a challenge for him. Today he took a toy from Michelle and told her (and us) that she was "done." It's going to be a long process.
  • I've been busy making baby food and purees. I bought the cook book Deceptively Delicious, and each recipe requires purees. So far, I've made banana bread and lasagna, which Steven LOVED.
  • Michelle has started eating things other than just her oatmeal and applesauce. So far, she's liked everything--carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes, and green beans. The nice surprise is that Steven's been eating them too, and he swore off all vegetables months ago. I feed it to both of them all the time, emphasizing that Michelle is sharing her food with him :)
  • We've started doing time outs with Steven. We were/are having a problem with him getting into the cd player, dvd player, videos, etc. We've taped the cd player shut, so that has pretty much taken care of that problem, but there isn't really anything we can do about the vcr and dvd players. We really seen an improvement in his behavior since we started putting him in his crib for time out. He usually stops disobeying when he gets his warning, so we've hardly had to use it (except today!).
  • The biggest thing, though, is that my family (temporarily) moved to PA on Monday. They live where we lived when I was growing up, and Mark's family still lives there too. I was really worried about how Steven would handle it since he's so close to my family, but he's done really well so far. It's nice that both our families are together, but it isn't so nice that it's a 10 hour drive to see them :( We'll be making the trip in October, though, because my little sister is getting married!
Well, this is longer than I thought it would be. I guess that's what happens when you wait two weeks to update your blog!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

As Cute as Can Be!

Seriously, I don't think she could be any cuter!

Swinging!

This was obviously before Grandma hurt her back. It was hard to get a good picture of him swinging, but you get the idea, and you can see how much fun he had in Auntie L's bag!






The Many Faces of Michelle Monae

Can you believe how gorgeous her eyes are?? When Michelle was born, Auntie E and everyone else kept on commenting on her eyes. We call them old soul eyes. There is just so much depth in them, and even when we met her a couple hours after she was born, her eyes were captivating. Auntie E always loved pictures of Steven's eyes, so of course, she loves pictures of Michelle's eyes too!







It's pretty clear that I was at work when Grandma and Auntie L had fun taking these pictures :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ALL Boy

Steven is definitely all boy. He loves everything that boys love--trucks, cars, balls, climbing, etc, and he wants to be just like Mark. He knows that Mark works with trucks (and with trash, another exciting thing!), so every time he sees a truck of any type, he says it's daddy's truck. He wants to do everything that Daddy does, especially if it's outside. You can see how much he loves "helping."