Friday, March 30, 2007

Mother's Little Helper

Molly love to help around the house. She has the hang of some things....

...and needs a little work on others.

I also had some help making cup cakes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Week Gone By?

I was reminded by my niece Kristen that I'm overdue for a new post and I promised her that I'd get on the ball. Not much going other than the usual shenanigans of the typical toddler times two. Molly and Aidan are the loves of our lives but man can they wear you out. We're finding two to be as tough as it is rewarding. It is amazing to watch them learn and grow and discover the world. Their vocabulary is expanding like crazy and they now speak in full sentences. They are putting together thoughts and ideas. I know every parent thinks this but Molly and Aidan really are bright kids. They can identify colors (the basics and much, much more) and shapes, count to 10 hitting all numbers on most occasions, sing the alphabet song and get it about 60% right, and they can identify a handful of letters and the sounds they make. Both have terrific memories. Molly loves, loves, loves to sing, dance and move to the music. The Kazakh man is still not an excellent dancer but what he lacks in form is more than made up by his enthusiasm. Trains continue to be Aidan's passion and he can name a good number of engines from the Thomas collection. Molly and Aidan love books and we recently started another session of toddler story time at the local library. They really enjoy the program and have gone from quiet observers to enthusiastic participants. We check out a few books each week and they think that is the best.

My sister Barbara arrive from VA on Monday for a week long visit and that is always great. She is terrific company and a big, big help with the kids. She was out of commission recovering from knee surgery when she visited in January and developed bronchitis on her February visit. She is back to her normal form and can really enjoy the kids. More importantly, she has resumed her role as nanny. LOL. It's always difficult after she leaves because it's back to reality and making my own coffee in the morning. Luckily she visits frequently.

Potty training update...Things continue to go well. Accidents are few and minimal. Number 2 is either done on the potty or in a diaper at nap/bed time. There are no issues using a public restroom. Aidan can get his own pants down now and Molly can get hers up and down. There is a downside to all of this though. The convenience of having a child in diapers is gone. We have to make sure we use the potty before we leave the house, make sure we know where the bathroom is when we're out and head straight for the potty when we return home. Already they are learning the power they have over us with the request of "I have to use the potty". Last Sunday we went to the LaSalle Women's Basketball banquet. I saw very little of the presentations and awards as I was busy making trips to the bathroom with either Molly or Aidan in tow. But we can't complain. They are doing so well and we're so proud of them.

In other news...My husband Pat has scheduled his hip replacement surgery for the 20th of April. For those of you who don't know him you might be surprised to hear that he is only 46 and quite young for this type of procedure. I'm looking forward to his improved health and the better quality of life the surgery promises. I'm praying all goes as planned and that he has a speedy recovery.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Winter Blast

What a difference a day makes. We enjoyed unseasonably warm weather earlier in the week and got out as often as possible. The snow was just about all melted. Then on Friday we were hit with a storm that dumped 8.5 inches on us. Molly and Aidan were happy whatever the weather.

We'll be ready with our new rainboots when the snow melts.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Really Nice Weekend

My niece Kristen arrived Friday night for a weekend visit. Lucky for me as Pat was scheduled to go out with the guys. Kristen and I took Molly and Aidan for ice cream. She helped me give them a bath, put them to bed and then we watched "Little Miss Sunshine". A nice quiet evening at home.

On Saturday, Pat put together the table and chairs I had ordered for Molly and Aidan from The Land of Nod. It has a roll of art paper attached to the end. The kids love it. Now they can color whenever they want to without having to ask me to get everything out. We made a quick run to the toy store in the afternoon as Aidan was successful again in doing his business on the potty. Surprise, surprise, he selected another train from the Thomas collection. Molly on the other hand was eyeballing the pink Barbie Escalade a few aisles over.

Our friends Bob and Beth and their son Nicholas came for a visit on Saturday night. For those who don't know or remember, we traveled to Kazakhstan with Bob and Beth. Nicholas' crib was next to Aidan's in the baby home. We're fortunate that they only live 25 minutes away. We had Chinese for dinner and a fabulous raspberry cream tart creation from Wegman's (courtesy of Bob and Beth) for dessert. The kids ripped around the house and had a great time. We sat at the table and talked for hours. The only mishap was a bruised pinkie finger for Aidan. After he stopped crying he asked me for some tape. I gave him a piece and he applied it to the injured hand. He asked for another and then another. He was satisfied after the hand was covered with about 8 pieces. I wish I had thought to take a picture.

We took the kids to Mass on Sunday. Didn't think it would be fair to leave Kristen alone with two toddlers. I'm sure she's more than capable but I thought it would be nice for her just to relax. After Mass we went to the zoo for the first time in a few months. We had a good time but it was colder and more windy than we anticipated. The pathways around the zoo were covered with puddles as the temps are rising and the snow melting. One section was completely covered and people had to wade across several inches of water. I'm looking forward to the nicer weather and more frequent trips to the zoo.

Potty update: Congratulations to our Molly Claire who made #2 on the potty for the first time Sunday. Of course there is a story...I was upstairs doing something and Pat was in the living room playing with Aidan. Molly was in the toy room. We suddenly heard her wailing. Pat ran into the room to find Molly standing in front of her potty with her pants down. He looked inside and bada bing she had done her business. We figure she sat down to pee and it just happened. She apparently was quite caught off guard! We sang, danced and clapped. She started to laugh. Meanwhile, the boy had his face almost in the bowl looking at the contents saying "pine cone, pine cone". Guess he thought it looked like a pine cone!! The toy store was closed so we'll be making another trip tonight after daddy gets home from work.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Now We're Cruisin'

Molly and Aidan continue to do well on the potty. The boy has even figured out how to get his pants down without assistance. Silly me. I thought this was something that came naturally for boys/men. The really big news is that Aidan "did his business" on the potty for the first time on Wednesday. A huge celebration ensued with hopping, dancing and singing. We called Daddy at work and Aunt Barbara in VA. Mo and Pop Pop arrived for their weekly visit and the fussing continued. When daddy got home from work we went to the toy store. As we pulled into the parking lot Aidan exclaimed "Bar-buh takes me here." Once inside we headed to the Thomas the Tank Engine section and the boy was in Thomas heaven. Several people stopped to watch him and chuckle. Molly was a great sport and kept pointing out things for Aidan to consider. We thought she might get bent out of shape since only Aidan was getting something. What a good girl.

We've been hanging around the house most of the week but have made a few short outings. No problems keeping dry. Last night after dinner Pat generously offered to go the the gym with me and stay will Molly and Aidan at the child care center. I haven't taken them all week because I was afraid it would be too long for them to go without going to the potty. They had a great time, stayed dry and mom got a much needed workout. Thanks Daddy!

OK, I hear you. Enough of the potty training play by play. I promise only to include the occasional update in future postings unless something truly worthy happens. I've included a few pictures of our week around the house.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Potty Training Day 4

Molly and Aidan are doing great. Mom is exhausted. We had just one accident today. Molly has been flying solo since Monday. She has discovered how to go just enough to get me dancing and singing her praises and to get her reward...two M&Ms. She then repeats the process 5 minutes later. Smart little cookie. Makes you wonder who's being trained here. Aidan will always go if you sit him down but as yet won't take the initiative himself. He was dry this morning when he woke up. I believe this is a positive sign. They both seem pleased with themselves and never miss an opportunity to tell people they're wearing underpants. I watched my neighbors two children for a few hours today while she went to the doctors. Molly and Aidan were so excited to show Abby and Ryan what they could do on the potty. "Look Abby, look Ryan see, see, pee pee in the potty" they shouted. The five and six year old couldn't have been any less interested. I was able to get them to give Molly and Aidan a few high fives. We took Molly and Aidan out tonight for ice cream and told them we were going because they were doing so well on the potty. They made it there and back again with dry pants. So progress continues to be made in the Number 1 department.

Number 2 is another story. They either make it until naptime or bedtime when we put diapers on them or just go in their underpants (extremely unpleasant option for mom and dad). We're scratching our heads and grasping at straws on this one. We talk about doing it in the potty. I follow them around diligently watching for any indication that they might need to go (and they can tell you when they do). Sometimes they sit on the potty for a second, then get up and say "too hard mommy". Today our builder came over to look at our basement and discuss some ideas for finishing it. I brought the kids down with us as they have tons of toys down there to play with. Not five minutes into our discussions I look over and see Molly standing there with that look on her face. She sees me looking and says "making stinkies mommy". Dang, a missed opportunity. We're hoping a few more viewings of the "Elmo's Potty Time" DVD will shed some light on the subject.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mutiny on the Potty

We awoke Saturday morning to a beautifully sunny day. The bounty of underpants was spread out on the bedroom floor and Molly and Aidan carefully considered each pair before making their selections. Spirits were high. It went downhill from there. We got downstairs, took off our PJs, said goodbye to our diapers and proceeded to sit on the potty. You would have thought we were trying to make them sit on a pile of hot coals. There was much complaining, crying and attempts at escape. Nothing else. We were a bit taken aback since this was not the first time Molly and Aidan used the potty. Pat and I remained calm and enthusiastic. We periodically asked if anyone needed to use the potty. We periodically placed them on the potty (again with much protesting and crying). Aidan did go a few times but also had an accident. Molly wouldn't go and had several accidents. We still remained positive and encouraging. We went with pull ups for nap time. The afternoon went much better with fewer accidents and fewer protests. Both went a few times. Molly and Aidan had a bath and when it was time for bed we sat on the potty before going upstairs. Both sat without protest and did their business. HOORAY!! Progress was being made. At days end the tally for underpants stood at 9 pairs. We're going with diapers overnight until Molly and Aidan get the hang of things.

Today (Sunday) has been a much, much better day. No one has cried when asked to sit on the potty. I took Aidan to the bathroom during Mass and he went on the "big potty". When we got home Molly took the initiative and went all by herself! Aidan had two accidents this morning which is surprising because last time we attempted this he was a pro. Go figure. Anyway we still have a long, long way to go but we've started and are moving forward. Good job Molly and Aidan.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hooray for Underpants

We've decided to revisit potty training and tomorrow is the big day. Last time we used pull ups which ended up being too much like diapers. This time we've decided to go cold turkey and straight to underpants. Molly and Aidan helped pick out their underpants. My sister also brought some on her last visit. They have about 20 pairs each. Hopefully this will be enough! Both kids are ready. They know what's going on. It's time. Wish us luck!! We'll keep you posted.