Monday, January 18, 2010

January Fun

The weather has finally warmed up after the deep freeze from most of December and into this new year. We've been taking advantage of it by sledding, walking, attending an outdoor birthday party and even washing my van.

The birthday party was so much fun. A friend of ours lives on a farm just outside of town and their property backs onto one of the bays of the lake. They have cleared off part of the bay as an ice rink which they have named "The Coors Lite Arena". There was skating for those with skates, hockey for all, a campfire for roasting hotdogs and staying toasty, hot chocolate and juice plus birthday cupcakes. A good time was had by all. I pulled the boys down to the rink in our wagon and they loved being pulled around the ice in it. They also took turns pulling each other around, and it was a good place to sit and eat. There was a muskrat that decided to crash the party and we even spotted a GIANT moose across the bay.

We've been experimenting with a new bedtime routine, including quiet time before bed and an earlier bed time. Quiet time before bed involves putting on jammies and then spending a couple of minutes doing something fun with the boys that isn't too loud. Puzzles, books and playdoh are all big hits. This is working well for us.

Another thing the boys are really enjoying lately, is forts! They love to tip over furniture, use pillows and blankets to make little caves and tunnels. Sometimes Brad and I will help them out and build them a space they can both sit in at the same time without crying. This fort is in their room, using the rocking chair tipped on it's side, it's cushions and one of Ryan's bedtime blankets. They even ate a snack in there and I read them a book about camping out. We're also working on potty training Ryan before this new baby comes. He is definately making progress. We've had about 12 days of the last 15 dry. He enjoys wearing his underwear. We've even had two (well technically three) poops on the potty too. (Although the first one, I think I managed only to scare him and just the little bit that he had been able to get out broke free on the potty and not in his underwear.) But we have managed to catch him twice as he has begun his "hiding" and convinced him to go hide on the potty instead. It might seem like we're not making progress on this front but since he only goes once every couple of days unless he is sick, we're actually at about a 1/3rd success rate since we've started. Both boys are enjoying the treats. Here they are enjoying a big lollypop after a successful day. (Ryan decided he didn't want to share so in picture 3 Adam has his own lollypop). We've been using little rewards with Ryan in his potty training- treats, new little toys, new books (both picked up at after Christmas prices), stickers and doing a favorite activity with him one on one while Adam is napping (like watching a video, playing playdoh and coloring).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Potty training update

A quick update on Ryan's potty training progress. Amanda sent me an e-book on potty training which I read last night. I put some new things into action today (like using underwear not pull ups) and Ryan spent most of the day dry. He did have two accidents, the first just after dinner and the second just before getting ready for bed. But then, once in his pyjamas (and a diaper) we caught him hiding to go poop. I managed to convince him to try pooping on the potty this one time (ok- I bribed him with the promise of a new toy when we go shopping tomorrow if he did actually poop in the potty). In the past he has kicked and screamed and cried every time we try to take him to poop on the potty when we catch him about to go hide to poop and he just holds it in until we give up and then he runs and hides and poops in his diaper or pull up or whatever he is wearing. Tonight however, he finally did it in the potty! Yay! I'll gladly buy him a little toy to celebrate this success. To me it was a big step forward on our journey. I'll spare you the pictures!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I've broken my New Years Resolutions into a couple of different categories based on who in my family they affect.

For Ryan for instance, I want to get him potty trained and hopefully at least out of day time diapers before the new baby comes.

For Adam, I want to get him sleeping in his toddler bed in his room (that he shares with Ryan) and again hopefully before the new baby comes.

For both boys, I want to work on activities that will build their skills and abilities a little each day. Kind of like home preschool. Ryan needs to work on holding pencils and crayons properly. Both boys now have safety scissors so we can start doing crafts and cutting. Playing with playdoh. Learning letters and numbers for Adam, learning to print them for Ryan.

For myself, I want to get my house in order and keep it that way by following a schedule of household chores. I feel better when my house is in order. I am not as stressed because I can easily find things and I find my day runs smoother when my house is in order. When it is a mess, I feel chaos, stress, and I feel like I am more easily angered by the boys and their normal behaviour. And when it gets to a certain point of chaos, I just rather ignore it than deal with it. I think following the chore schedule will help me keep things in order and will allow me to work on my other resolutions.

For the family as a whole, I am going to continue with my meal planning, trying to do it once a month and shop once a month for main groceries picking up other items just as needed. I want to continue to watch fliers and coupons and use them to our advantage.

For Brad and I, I read a short story/poem recently that stuck a chord with me and I want to work on what it suggests as well. The Wedding Ring- by Marybeth Whalen

It may seem like I have taken on a lot, but I think they can help lead one to another to the next. And now that I am officially in my 3rd trimester I am hoping that my nesting instinct will kick in soon and that should help with keeping the house in order and meal planning and such.