Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Choo Choo for Halloween

This is a little late.  I should just watermark all of my pictures and posts with that phrase.  Anyway, I started asking Griffin back during summer what he wanted to be for Halloween and he went back and forth between a Train Driver and a Garbage Truck Driver.  Somewhere in September he settled on Train Driver and I got to work. 
I made the train out of some old boxes and tape.

 Then, I sprayed the whole thing blue (Griff requested a blue train).
 I painted a few wheels out of paper plates, as well as a few numbers to glue to the sides.
 I added the numbers and some detail on the front...
 Popped the wheels on with those little envelope clips.
 And then made them look connected with another piece of cardboard.
 Griffin hadn't seen it, as I had been working on my secret project during his naptimes for at least a week.  But he sure was excited to see it!  And Hattie was shocked at my talent.:)

 The last piece I needed Griff for.  I made some straps out of leftover fabric (just sewed tubes and ironed them) and then sewed them together to make a little spot for his head to fit.

 Then I had Griff try the whole thing on so I could clip the straps on to the appropriate length.  These heavy duty clips were going to be temporary, but they actually held up quite well, so we left them.

Here is my little cow and my little train driver...or Luigi...we're not sure.

 When Griff decided he wanted to be a train driver, we decided Hattie would be a cow in his cattle car.  So I just put her in a crate and borrowed a cow costume from my neighbor and voila!

While it looks like they are attached, Hattie's car is just sitting on the front porch step.

 Oh and there was a little bell on the side of the train and a light on the front, which worked well for trick-or-treating.  Though he went running off the curb and tumbled crashing his train into a million little pieces before making it to the first house.  I was able to patch it a little...but this is as good as it looked.
 I don't know what it is, but Halloween is the perfect opportunity to put your little boy in a moustache.  See exhibit A.  Though I really couldn't think of a reason to put a moustache on a pumpkin.
 It was a good first Halloween for Hattie and Griff loved trick-or-treating.  Thankfully he hasn't yet figured out how to count and the candy went from a lot to all gone in just a few days and he believed he ate it all:).

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Griff-isms

This isn't going to make much sense to anyone but me....and even some of the things I wrote down, I don't even remember the true significance or hilarity behind them.  But for the past year or so, I've tried to write down some of the things Griff said so I would remember them.  Here's a re-cap of 2013Griffisms.

Last winter, Griffin was tough to get out the door (and still is) but was easy to get to the grocery store because of the balloons that were littering the ceiling.  I'm sure occasionally people let their helium balloons go and there really isn't a way to get them down.  So, the entire time we were grocery shopping we would be on a balloon scavenger hunt.  We would talk about them, how they would get down, he would even ask some of the workers if they had ladders to get them down.  We haven't checked them in awhile...I wonder if they're still there?!

Before Griffin was potty trained, when he would have a messy variety of the number two category (I tried to be as least-graphic as possible:), he would start whining and saying, "Mom!!! I have honeybuns!" 

When I was pregnant with Hattie we talked a lot about how there was a baby sister in my belly.  When we would sit down at the dinner table to pray, he would point to my belly and ask to pray for baby sister.  One day, he pointed a little north of my belly and asked if there was a baby in there...and I said, "No...but there is milk for the baby in there."  When we began praying he wanted to pray for the  baby sister....AND the milk.:)

This has been the year of storytelling.  Griffin loves to hear stories, real or made up....Over. and over. and over. again. A few of them have been, stories of Nate getting tackled during high school football while waiting for a free catch, a high school basketball story about Nate and a defender both going up for a play at the hoop and falling down on top of each other, Tommy slamming his finger in the door and going to the hospital, and any other silly story about an injury, a spill or something funny.  Because of his love of story telling, I started telling him "Kevin Stories," which are stories about a little boy (Griffin, but his name is Kevin), and he does all of these fun things that Griffin would like to do.  I try to include lessons and teachings, but sometimes, Kevin just goes on a golf cart ride.

Before potty training, when he was just interested in learning and using the potty for fun, and when he became the king of excuses after bedtime to get us to come back in....there was about a month straight when he would call for us to take him to the potty.  And each night he would squeeze out the tiniest little poop.  It was almost amazing how manipulative he learned to be.  There were plenty of other excuses he used too....I need socks, I need foot cream, I need chapstick, I need water, I need to go to the grocery store.....It's so much better now, though he still needs his water, Ferrari, golfcart and goldy gophy sitting next to his bed.

An October quote:
Griffin: I want to wear my big boy undies.  Me: Honey, you can practice with them, but you can't wear them at nap until you go tinkle in the potty all the time...they you'll be potty trained.  Griff: I don't want to be a potty train, I want to be a train driver [for Halloween].
but why???? (summer 2013)

Griffin's favorite PBS kids show is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (Mr. Rogers remake) and each show has a little toddler lesson and song.  One of the songs is about how to calm yourself down when you get mad.  It is so cute to see him use it with himself, with his friends when they're mad and even with me when I'm frustrated with him.  He just gets a super serious face and says, "When something makes you mad and you want tor roar, just take a deep breath and count to four."

And finally, Griffin has figured out theorems at the ripe age of 2 1/2.  You know the kind you did in middle school math and science, "If a is true and b is true, than ab is true."  He has mastered the following...."Dada, do you like good boys?  Are I'm a good boy? Can I watch a Donald Duck?" 

Yes, Griffin you are a good boy.  You're an incredibly thoughtful 2 year old and we love watching you think and hearing what goes on in your mind.  Even as I write this, you called me back into your room to ask if I could fall into the toilet, would I go down the hole to be with the bugs and their friends?"  There isn't anything you can't accomplish with critical thinking like that.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Thankful

Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This verse has been on my heart each day of this November and Thanksgiving season.  And while Thanksgiving and the Holidays are a time to reflect and be thankful, we truly are called to be thankful in all circumstances.  Do not mis-interpret....in all circumstances not for all circumstances.  As each year does, this year has brought some highs and some lows, but I truly have found that my heart wants to give thanks. 

I'm working really hard at living in the moment, keeping my to-do lists put away until it's time to do.  What I'm finding, is that, when I rejoice and pray and give thanks, the little moments with my little ones, become big moments.  A book here, a song together there, a dance party right in the middle of the kitchen, a thought--heard and validated, a memory created.  And when I didn't think it was even possible, I can feel my heart falling more in love with my God, my husband, my kids and my close family and friends.  When we do give thanks in all circumstances, God gives us things to rejoice about.  So let us give thanks, and rejoice!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Potty Train

Mom, I don't want to be a Potty Train

So, one Thursday in mid-October, we took a trip over to visit our dear friends Keidra, Charlotte and Parker.  The kids played, Keidra and I caught up and somewhere in the middle, Charlotte said, "I need to go potty!" and went to the bathroom.  Griffin watched, and then went back to playing.  I didn't think much of it.

The next day, he kept taking his diaper off and sitting on the potty. So, I told him he could try big boy undies since we didn't have much going and could stick close to home for awhile.  And that was it.  I wish I could tell you that there was some magic trick, but he just decided he was ready and off he went in big boy undies!

Now, that is not to say we have been without accidents.  Oh, they have happened.  I even planned one to happen intentionally.  A few weeks in, he was starting to get a little too confident with his potty training and when I would ask him if he needed to go before we left, he would just say, "No, I can hold it the whoolllleee time."  Well, this particular day, I knew he would have to go, so to the park we went....lesson to be learned.  Well, the joke was on me.  When the accident came, he was on the ladder and not only was he wet, but he was stinky too.  He just looked over at me, and it happened in an instant.  Poor guy, didn't have any sort of warning.  He said, "Mom....uhhhh ohhh.  I tinkled....and....I pooped."  Oh geeze.  So we bee lined it home.  It was quite a mess to clean up, but it sure did reinforce the, "Let's just try before we go," lesson. 

If I did have any hints, I would say....1. Wait until the child initiates (even if it's way later than you thought your kid would get it.  When they're ready, they're ready...it's not a competition). 2.  Get a toilet seat that just fits right on the big toilet (like this one).  It is so handy, there is nothing extra to clean, etc. 3. Let them try even when they're not ready to be in undies....and let them watch you.  The more comfortable you make them with the whole situation, the easier it will be when they're ready.  4. And this one is personal preference....teach your boys to sit (at least for now).  There is no way Griff is ready to stand.  Well, at Miss Deb's (Mom's morning) he stands, and he thinks it's the coolest thing ever, but I don't clean that bathroom...so that's fine by me!  5. Lastly, this advice came from a mom friend of mine...."just remember....it's only pee and poop."  So what if they have accidents, they will.  So what if they are when you're out...they will.  You just bring a spare pair of undies/pants and a ziplock and you'll be on your way. 

I was pretty hesitant to "potty train" Griff.  With a baby around, I just thought it was easier to change his diaper a few times a day than to have to take him to the potty.  Boy was I wrong....it is wonderful.  He is so proud of himself and I am so proud of him.  He still needs reminders, but we've watched the Daniel Tiger enough to know, "If you have to go potty, STOP. And, go right away.  Flush, and wash, and be on your way!"

I'll leave you with this....all of this potty training business happened just before Halloween.   Griffin had been requesting to be a train driver for the months leading up to Halloween.  And when he would request to wear undies leading up to the day he decided not to wear a diaper anymore, I would say, "You can try the big boy undies, but we won't wear them all the time until you are potty trained."  So, the day or two after he was in full out undies, he turns to me and says, "Mom, remember I want to be a train driver....not a potty train."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hattie: 9 months

It happened again.  I blinked and Hattie got another month older.  Soon I will be calling her my little lady instead of my little sweet pea, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Hattie.  As 9 month olds go, you are pretty darn near perfect.  You just popped your first tooth out (your bottom left), and you have all kinds of new babble phrases.  You still are immobile, but we're not complaining.   I think that since Griffin just brings the fun to you, there is no real motivation for you to start moving.  You sit like a champ and have mastered the sitting-lunge when you really want to get something.  You love to wave your arms and clap your hands.  It has been fun to watch your cognitive development this month, as you really understand games like peek-a-boo and "How big is Hattie?" You even play peek-a-boo behind the dining room curtains while you're in your high chair (and you sometimes use them as your napkin:).
 Your schedule hasn't changed much, still sleeping 7pm-7/7:30 am.  You nurse/eat breakfast (bananas and baby oatmeal), play, sometimes take a quick snooze around 10:30, nurse/lunch around noon, afternoon nap 1-3:30/4, nurse/snack, dinner at 5:30 and nurse and to bed at 7.  And I don't know if it is a second child thing or what, but you are so easy to put down.  I just put you in your sleepsack with a nuk and a silky and you just chatter until you fall asleep.  You usually sleep on your back but have started to sleep on your side, but never your stomach.  Sometimes when you're on your side and you roll too close to your stomach, you fling yourself back to your back....it's pretty funny.  And Hattie girl, you wake up so happy.  I love hearing you from my bed or the kitchen, just cooing, babbling.  I'm not sure how long you would babble before you started to cry because after even a few minutes I just can't wait to see you.  You love your bathies.  You could sit and splash in the tub for hours.  We recently took you to the pool at Lifetime and you just sat and splashed while watching all of the big kids swim.  Our trip to Florida can't come soon enough!

You eat all kinds of foods now, but you're not wild about grabbing at pieces of cut up food.  You still love to be spoon fed the mashed up stuff (I think you just like to get your tummy fed first and then start toying with the idea of finger foods).  You really love chicken noodle soup...you downed a ton over at Auntie Liss and Uncle Joe's!
 Hattie, as it is Thanksgiving week, I just want you to know how Thankful you are for your brother.  He entertains you nonstop, he tickles you, makes you laugh, plays peek-a-boo and even tries to get me to wake you up from naps when he misses you.  Today he saved you from trying to eat a Band-Aid, and he told on dada when he tried to "put the little sweet pea to bed without a song."  He makes up cute little nicknames for your, like "my little day-day," "Hattie-girl," "sweet pea," and so many others.  I can only hope that once you can reach his toys, he still treats you so well.  And while I'm so not ready for you to be a teen, I'm certain you'll have Griff looking out for you.

You still cling to your mamma, especially in new situations.  You are cautious and hesitant, taking in all of the new information before letting your guard down.  But then, you do, and you giggle and smile and make eyes at everyone.  When you spend time away from me, you do very well.  The ladies at MOPS all say that you are just the sweetest little thing.  I just try to make sure that when I hand you over you don't see me leave.  If I'm around and you're not in my arms, everyone is going to hear about it. :)  I do love how much you love to be with me, I love being with you too.  And I am sooooo thankful for you, you have changed my life and you make it better, every.single.day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Commodoring Curtains

Griffin's room has undergone lots of little projects in the last year.  And it's taken me awhile to update the progress.  One of the first changes it underwent was to boy-up the curtains.  When this room was Griff's nursery, it was pretty neutral with touches of color and splashes of boy.  Now that he's a toddler and I know what his interests are, I wanted his room to reflect a bit more of who he is.
Here is a quick before and after (different window shots).

I wanted his room to have a hint of nautical, hint of other modes of transportation.  So, I looked high and low for some blue/navy striped or chevron curtains.  And curtains my friend, are expensive!  Even the cheap ones.  So I headed back to get a set of my tried and true, IKEA Merete.  We have these in our living room and love them.  They have the nice grommet holes on the top, and they are sheer but heavy. 
So, I washed and ironed them and spread them out in the living room.
I decided each stripe should be 9" thick, so I made a cardboard template and traced my lines out.
I made marks on each side and then connected them. 
Then I used blue painters tape, making sure to put the tape on the side of the pencil line that would be the white stripe (so the entire blue stripe would get paint).  That's why they look to be big and small...I assure you, they will all turn out to be 9".
Then, naptime was over so I folded them up.  To be continued.
At the next available naptime (weeks later, perhaps), I put down some drop clothes and got to painting.
I used a quart of paint in the Glidden/Home Depot version of Sherwin William's Commodore.  A perfect name for this project.  I love it when your paint name fits the room/project.
Then I got to painting.
I put the other one on the dining room table while I finished the second one.
I used almost the entire quart on the two panels.
And there was no bleeding through, just a little on the drop clothes where I went over the edge.

Here's the before again....
And after!  There is another project lurking at the head of his bed that I've yet to document (coming soon!).
I also attached the blackout curtains like I had done before, so his room still gets nice and dark at naptime, but has a cool nautical feel during the day.
He loves it when I work on a project for him.  In fact, he likes to play, "put mamma to bed." And when he does, he says, "Goodnight Mom, I'm going to work on a project for you."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hattie: 8 months

October 25, 2013
Well the only thing sweeter than Hattie Girl, is that Griffin has nicked named her Sweet Pea.  And that she is....

 See that pursed lip look?  That's her little smirk and it's there all the time.  She must know something the rest of us don't, because she's always smirking.  Her smirk has turned into blowing burgers with her cheeks all puffed out.  While it is a completely acceptable baby behavior, I hope it doesn't last into her teenage years.

She happy and content 98% of the day.  She loves to sit amidst her toys, next to Griffy or with Mommy or Daddy.  She is an observer but she is becoming more of a player.  She loves to play with toys, try to reach for new ones, and everything goes in her mouth.  She's starting to slap toys together and even sometimes clap.  She waves her arms all over the place and is developing some more sounds.  "AHHHhhhhh,  "OOOOoooohhhh," and "Daaaadaadaa," are her three main ones.

She's still on a really good schedule.  7:30 wake up, nurse, breakfast (bananas and cereal), 10-11 nap, 11:30/12-lunch, 1:30-3/3:30 nap, 4-nurse, 6-dinner 7-bed.  She's super predictable and her only fussy time is from 6:30-7....mainly because she is so tired and just wants to go to bed.  The best way to use that time is to put her in the bath.  She loves it.  She flaps her arms and splashes up a storm.

She also eats up a storm.  She loves her food, and to be completely honest, so do I.  On more than one occasion, I've eaten some of her acorn squash before it made it to her plate:).  I think we're almost ready to start finger foods, but for now, we're sticking with puffs and pureed food.

Hattie is a Mamma's girl.  Especially when hungry or tired.  If she can see me, but isn't with me, she gets antsy.  She's perfectly fine with other caregivers if I'm not around, but when I'm in sight, she wants me.  I do think she's a Daddy's girl at heart.  Her entire face lights up when he gets home.  He can get her roaring with laughter within minutes of picking her up.  She loves to sit in the walker or the janey jumper, but still no movement....and I'm completely fine with that.  No teeth, also completely fine with that as it makes nursing much less of a threat:).

 Hattie is such a good sport.  She misses naps or naps on the fly most mornings because we are so busy keeping busy. And she is so happy to watch Griff play whatever it is he wants to play.  Her little baby hugs with her head buried in my shoulder, melt me and her little smile, smirk and scrunched nose look are starting to show glimpses of her personality. Hattie Girl, Sweet Pea...you amaze me already with your lovingkindness and sweetness.