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).