Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29, 2008

Did I mention it is very hot here? Whew! I am so thankful that we have air conditioning. It is so hot that I pretty much have to get the kids outside in the mornings because the afternoons are just crazy hot. The weird thing is that it often feels very humid outside and yet my lips are chapped, my feet are cracking and my sinuses are totally messed up, all indications that it is very dry inside our house at least. Nick is also suffering from some bad allergies and/or messed up sinuses. His nose ran all day today and he complains about his eyes hurting when it is bedtime/nap time. Poor little guy.

We played outside this morning and the boys had a great time playing in the water, spraying the hose, playing in the sandbox and swinging. We really need some trees out back around the swing set though. It gets too hot to swing quickly if you are the one pushing the swings, although those little guys riding in the swings don't seem to notice or mind much.

We have several trees that we thought had some type of fungus. I had called several arborists, trying to get someone to come look at them, and nobody called me back. I finally found one who actually answered my call yesterday and came by this morning. Turns out several of our trees are still in distress from damage done when they built our house, long before we came along. One of the trees in our side yard is losing leaves like crazy. It most likely will not make it through the hot month of August, although if it does, it might be able to pull through. Anyway, the guy was really nice and provided me with a lot of information about the issues our trees are having and the best way to deal with it. He did not charge anything either. When I asked him what he charged he said not to worry about it this time and just to keep him in mind if/when we have more business for him in the future. We will likely hire him to do some special root feeding in the fall, which might help save the other trees. We really need to plant some trees.

I took the boys to the mall to play this evening. The dad had to work late so we ate at the mall food court and then the boys played for a while. It made for a much more relaxing evening for me, although I think we were all tired when we got home.

I have started singing songs to the boys at night, when they are lying in bed, the lights are out, and I am sitting in the chair in their room with them until they fall asleep. We spend the first 10 or 15 minutes singing songs and I think it really relaxes them and helps them fall asleep sooner. I think their favorite song is still I Dig Dirt but they also really like this porcupine song that my sister made up for them when she was babysitting for us recently. She is so funny. I love her sense of humor.

We are going to my sister's house to visit her family and my mom and another niece tomorrow. I think we are anyway. My sister's daughter had her wisdom teeth out today so we'll see how she is doing tomorrow before we take off. If we go, it will be the first trip we have taken out of our little city in our new van.

Something I wrote up above reminded me of something funny that Nick said the other evening, when we were reading stories before bedtime. I can't remember the sentence exactly but he was talking about something we had done the evening before and it called it "yesternight". I just love to listen to them working out how to put sentences together. Ben said something yesterday that was a very good sentence but some of the words were in the wrong place in the sentence, which made it funny, with his 2 year old cuteness. I should have written it down because I can't remember it now but I was impressed that he had all of the right words in the sentence, even if they were in the wrong order.

Well, I have not been very good about updating lately...must get better at this, but it is late and I'm exhausted, as usual:) so I am off to bed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 13, 2008

Not much new to report around here. We have had a pretty laid-back weekend. I took the boys to the park Saturday morning and we arrived early enough that nobody else was there. The boys had a great time and it was relaxing for me, not having to watch them quite so closely. It was also nice and cool out, although that does not last for long around here these days. The highlight of our park visit for the boys was swinging on the "big boy" swings. They really enjoyed swinging on the big kid swings and I enjoyed it too. It had been a while since I had been swinging and it was fun to go high again:). Nothing quite like that feeling. I think we are now ready to take down the baby swings and put up the big-kid swings here at home.

On the potty training front, things are going very well these days. Nothing has changed with Ben; he hardly ever has an accident. The only accident he has had in quite some time was last Sunday, just after we picked him up from his class. One of the caretakers had said to me that Ben had gone to the bathroom "all by himself" and I wondered what she meant because he can't pull his pants up completely, all by himself. I think he probably went into the bathroom all by himself and that is all he did. He was wearing a pull up, which we are still using for 'just in case' situations. Right after we picked him up, he said he needed to go potty so the dad took him to the bathroom, which was about two feet away. Before they were able to get his pants down, he had an accident and it went everywhere. Since he was wearing a pull up, it seems they probably had not taken him in quite some time. I'm not surprised though because his class has some kids who are potty trained, some who are potty training and some who are in diapers. The caregivers during the first hour of the class are the same every week so they know the kids, who is doing what and who to take to the potty. The second hour is with parents of take turns volunteering each week and they do not know the status of all the kids so you just never know whether they will take them or not.

Nick has been doing much better though. I decided to chill out and let him take the lead. I now ask him if he wants to wear a pull up or underwear and he chooses. He usually chooses a pull up but he normally keeps it dry all day, even during naps. It is kind of interesting that, when I started paying very little attention to his potty training, other than complimenting his efforts and success, he started doing better. Now he is having very few accidents and has not pooped in his pants for several days. His timing is not great though. He always needs to poop just before nap and night time bed time...and he is not just faking it, he really has to go. Maybe it is because he hardly ever slows down during the rest of the day. Anyway, they are both doing very well and they really like telling me what big boys they are.

On the crib VS bed issue, we are back to sitting in their room with them until they they fall asleep, for naps and bedtime. They are happy to be in their cribs but I think it is because they are very into the challenge of climbing and jumping these days. They can climb out of them now so we are now leaving the side of the crib down to make it easier. They really like it down so it is an incentive to lie down and be quiet. At nap times, they fall asleep very fast. At bedtime, not so much and it doesn't seem to matter what time we put them down, although they are a lot more cranky when they go down later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

July 9, 2008

Note: I wrote this a couple of days ago and blogger was not allowing picture uploads so I am just now getting back to finishing it:).

For some reason that I have not yet figured out, 'porcupine' is now Ben's new favorite word.

Me: What would you like for lunch?

Ben: Porcupine! (said with a big grin)

Me: Would you like a pot pie for lunch?

Ben: I like porcupine in pot pie

It seems that this word now comes up in almost all conversations. At times it is quite funny and at other times it is not quite so funny:).

Ben: My tummy hurt.
Me: Your tummy hurts? What's wrong with it?
Ben: Porcupine (some words that I didn't understand and then hand gestures indicating he is getting the porcupine out of his tummy, all said with a big grin on his face).

Yesterday evening we took the new van over to my friend's house (the one who has the twin girls). It was nice because we got to meet each other's husband for the first time and the dad's got to meet the kids. The boys were excited because we finally got the insurance for our new van and this was their first ride in it. They were also excited to get to visit the twin girls.

When we arrived, they were all outside in their back yard playing so we joined them there. The first thing the boys saw was this little, pink Barbie jeep....the kind that runs on a battery and small children can drive them. Both boys immediately ran over to it and got in. Nick was in the driver's seat first so he drove first but it wasn't long before Ben was there. Ben never got out of that car the entire time we were there. At one point, he did let Nick drive again without any protest, which was surprising, since he is very into driving anything and everything these days so this was a dream come true. He has been talking about it all day today too, wanting to go back and drive again today. He is so funny.

Updated: And now, here we are, several days later and he is still talking about this all day long and asking to go to "Joy Joy and Gracie's to drive car"....."I like drive car". My mom, sister and nephew were just here, spending the night, and they got a big kick out of how often he talked about porcupines and driving this car.

The other day he told me that his bear was crying. I asked him why and he said it was because he "hug him too tight". I said "oh really, you hugged him too tight?" and he said "um hmmm (yes) and kiss him too tight too". They are really getting to the point where they are saying funny things every day now, multiple times a day, so I must be better about documenting these cute, funny things.

Yesterday we were getting ready to leave the house and I asked Nick if he wanted to turn the lights off. I was quite surprised when he said "no, too busy looking at mail". He was indeed looking at a piece of mail that we had given him the day before. I guess turning on and off the lights is no longer the thrill it once was.

A couple of nights ago we were upstairs, getting the boys ready for bed. We were reading about Noah and the flood from their children's Bible. The dad was reading and, when he reads to them, he will frequently stop before the end of a sentence and let them finish the last word or two. It keeps them involved and it is amazing how much they remember. He was reading "...and all of the earth was covered with _____?", and he hesitated to let them finish the sentence. Nick very quickly said "dirt!". It is funny how the little things like this, that come up suddenly and take you by surprise, can make you laugh so hard.

People frequently talk about the 'terrible twos' and, quite honestly, I can see why at times. There are some trying times with the two's. But, at the same time, I think it is one of the most exciting times of all because their communication skills increase so dramatically during this time, they can express their opinions, questions and thoughts better, they want to do everything for themselves (and it is amazing how much they really can do) and they also start remembering everything. These are all wonderful and awesome things to experience as a parent. I continue to be ever amazed at how wonderfully God has made us.

The new van has been a huge hit with the boys. They really enjoy being able to see out much better. They have only ridden in it a few times so far but they (Ben especially) talk about it a lot. I could not count how many times Ben has said that he likes our new van and he is always wanting to go outside and play in it ("nice outside, van not hot" is his way of telling me that he thinks it would be a good time to go outside and play in the van. The dad took them outside and let them play in it one day so now Ben thinks they should get to go do this on a regular basis. I am not excited in the least by this activity.

My mom, sister and nephew came yesterday morning and left this morning. The boys had a great time with them, as always. They watched the boys and my sister put them to bed for us last night so we could go out. We went to the movies and saw Prince Caspian and we both thought it was really good. It makes me want to read the books, since I have never read them.

Unfortunately, for some reason still unknown to me, Nick woke up at 4:00am and thought it was time to be up. I tried to get him to go back to sleep and it was just not happening. My sister took the boys for a walk this morning and then kept them occupied so I could get another two hours of sleep in, which was wonderful. I am still tired though. Thankfully, Nick is now sleeping, as he was a very tired little guy. He went down at noon and I am hoping he takes a very long nap today.

Ben was not ready for nap yet so he is up and playing. He is so content to play by himself and has no problem whatsoever keeping himself busy and happy. It is fun to watch him play. He and Nick are such opposites. When Nick is awake without Ben, he is constantly wanting to wake up Ben and he hardly ever goes off and plays by himself. He wants company constantly. Ben has not once asked to go wake up Nick.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 5, 2008

The dad arrived home on Friday afternoon with the new van. It is in excellent condition and we are very pleased and blessed to have it.

My niece is still here and I have so enjoyed having her with me these few days. She is wonderful with the boys and they really enjoy her. She is planning to leave Saturday morning and we will definitely miss her.

Sadly enough, we did not do anything to celebrate Independence Day. I was having a difficult day. The dad did not get home until around 2:30pm-ish and then we had to run to the airport to retrieve his car. The boys went to bed about an hour late the night before and woke up an hour early that morning. They took a long nap but they were still very tired by 8:00pm, so much so that they did not even stir when all of the fireworks started going off. Some of them were very close by and very loud but the boys slept right through it all. The dad was exhausted after his tiring early morning trip to Louisville and the long drive home. I was very tired too from getting to bed late and getting up early with the boys and just generally not having much of a break for a while. So, we rested.  Unfortunately, I woke up at 1:00am and could not go back to sleep, so here I sit.

As for the potty training, I pretty much gave up on Nick today and just kept him in pull ups. Funny enough, the whole time the dad was gone on the trip to Louisville, Nick never once told me he needed to go potty and he would normally fight me if I wanted him to go. After the dad got home, Nick told us he needed to go several times and voluntarily and happily went, but wanted the dad to be with him on some of the visits. I think this child has a very hard time with any sort of upheaval in his life. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow goes with the potty training.

Ben is completely trained and does not like to be wet, even in his pull up. He has never had a poop accident since day three or four of potty training and he gets distressed if his pull up is wet in the morning and he wants it off right away. Nick does not seem to mind too much if his is wet or messy. It is so odd with him because he seems to be able to go if he really wants to but then he ends up going in his pants so often. I think it may be a control issue at times. I have just about decided to keep him in pull ups because I think we may be moving into control battles and I don't want to go there....and I am tired of cleaning up pee all over the floors and furniture.

It sounds like we are getting ready to have a storm. I have been seeing lightening for a while now and I just heard a faint, distant rumble for the first time so it seems to be moving closer. I think I will try to go back to sleep now.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 2, 2008

And the verdict is......bringing back the cribs was a resounding success! Yay!!

The boys were both very very excited to sleep in their cribs again. Ben was even talking about it this morning and told me he liked having his old bed back. They were both whining about nap time until I reminded them they get to sleep in their cribs and then they were practically jumping up and down.

We did, however, find out last night that they can now both climb out of their cribs without falling and banging their heads on the floor. They showed us not long after we had come back downstairs, after putting them to bed:). Nick has almost learned how to climb back in and is more likely to be the one to climb out. It seems it is much easier to convince them to stay in their cribs than it was in their beds though. For the most part, they are staying in their cribs pretty well.

So, overall, I am very relieved and thankful that this work out and I get a re-do on this one:). They have not asked for their new beds back so I think they must be relieved too.

The dad leaves very early tomorrow morning for KY to get the new minivan. My niece is here for a few days and the boys had a very fun time playing with her today. Also, my friend and her twin girls came over for a play date today and that was fun. The boys played outside this afternoon, after their nap. My niece played with them while I cooked dinner on the outdoor grill.
Dinner was wonderful but I am just now really getting my first bit of downtime for the day and I am very tired. Time to chill out and read some online news.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 1, 2008

So, yesterday I talked about getting to have a do-over on this mistake I made of putting the boys into beds too soon. Unfortunately, I did not see the thoughtful comments that were left until just now. But, fortunately, the boys were very happy with the idea of getting their cribs back. Nick even cried last night because we had not had time to set them up yet (and still haven't).

Now, I realize this does not mean they fully understand the implications of this decision. I may still meet with some resistance, once they do understand the implications. We will see. But, so far, I have approached it with a sense of excitement and the boys were excited about the idea. So, we'll see. I'm not sure when we will have time to set them up. Maybe tomorrow I will have time to do it. My niece is coming to stay a few days with us so she will be a big help.

Today the dad had his check up appointment with the infectious diseases doctor to see how his leg was healing and I decided to go too. Turns out it was all very good news, except for the fact that the dad has to continue taking the IV antibiotics for another two full weeks. That is a bummer for him because it is a bit of a pain, making sure the meds stay refrigerated, remembering to take them out in time before taking them that they warm up enough and then sitting once a day for 30 minutes to allow them to drip in....but then again, on the bright side, at least it is only once a day and he can do it all himself. They are suppose to deliver additional meds to him tomorrow evening.

He is leaving early Thursday morning for Louisville KY to check out and (hopefully) bring home the van that we are (hopefully) purchasing so hopefully the meds will arrive here on time. He will arrive in Louisville around noon-ish their time (I think) and will take a cab to the dealer where he will meet the guy who is selling the van. He will check out the van and then have the dealer check it over. If everything goes well, he is hoping to complete all of the paper work and start out towards home later that day, spend the night somewhere along the way and arrive back home sometime on Friday. He is suppose to take his medication sometime during the afternoon so I am not sure how he is going to fit it all in. I guess he could let it drip as he drives down the highway, as long as he has somewhere to hang it from:). That might look kind of funny and might worry some people though:). I'm sure he will figure it all out. He is a very resourceful person.

We are praying everything will go well in Louisville with this van deal. It is such a good deal that my husband is concerned that maybe the vehicle is a lemon or something. I think we just found a great deal and it will be fine. It is a Toyota after all and it has a transferable 5 year 100 thousand mile warranty so I think our risk here is low, as long as the vehicle is in good condition. I think it will be though because it has such low mileage and is fairly new. It looks good in all of the pictures.

On the potty training front, I am going to take back what I said yesterday about Nick. After seeing how today has gone, I think I have misjudged how much control he actually has. I find it strange though because sometimes he does just great and seems to have a lot of control but other times it seems he does not or maybe he forgets until it is too late, which is probably more the case. He did very well this morning, pooping and peeing on the potty but then had accidents a bit later doing the same two things in his pants. He was excited and running back and forth between windows, watching the riding mowers do the neighbors lawn. They are big mowers and both boys get excited every Tuesday when they come to mow the neighbors lawn. I took the opportunity to go freshen up. Not long after, I saw Nick had wet his pants and soon after realized that was not all he had done in his pants.

So, in retrospect, now that I have watched him more, I think I misjudged and he is still figuring it out. Ben, on the other hand, has never had an accident. He is one of those kind of kids that would make a parent look like an expert in potty training....and I thought he would be the difficult one. I have so much to learn. Overall, I still think Nick is doing very well. I just need to remember that he needs reminders and I can't assume that he will always remember to tell me that he needs to go in time.

My sister tells me that I am paying for my raising:). I may have mentioned this in an earlier post but my grandmother, who recently passed away, used to always tell this story about me when I was potty training. She said that I would play outside until it was too late for me to make it to the bathroom. One of the times I came in with wet pants, my grandmother finally told me that if I did it again, she was going to spank me. She said that I looked up at her with great big tears in my big blue eyes and said "But grandma, I start in time. I just don't get there in time." My mom used to tell my sister and I stories about how my sister, who is 15 months older than I am, used to sneak me into the house and change me so I would not get in trouble for wetting my pants. So I need to remember this and remember that Nick may not always have enough time to tell me or to get there, when he realizes he needs to go.

Well, the boys are waking up from nap so I must go. Another hot day here in Oklahoma.