Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lunch Date

Since Todd and Michael have been spending a few days with Todd's dad at their country house, Katie and I have been getting in some quality girl time. Even though I am home with her every day, we rarely get one on one time as I watch David during the week and Michael is home the rest of the time. I tried to think of something fun that we could do together so I asked Katie out for lunch. She said yes and was so excited. I told her that she could pick where we would go. Of course she chose her favorite place, McDonald's!

We both got ready to go and loaded up into the car. When we got there, she got to pick out what she was going to eat and we went over to the table. It was so nice not to have to fight with her as she sat right down. We chatted while we ate lunch and she told me that she loved me so much. It felt so good to have that time together, just the two of us girls. It gives me a glimpse into what I hope our relationship will develop into as the years go on and she gets older.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Katie's Christmas Present

Ever since Katie climbed out of her crib a few weeks ago, we decided that she would need to convert into the full sized bed sooner rather than later. So Todd's parents generously bought her a mattress, Dora sheets and Dora comforter for her big Christmas present from them. It was ordered the weekend before Christmas and delivered to the store later in the week. We were getting ready to go out of town so Todd picked it up today.

We had to do some rearranging of Katie's room to fit everything in there as she has quite a bit of furniture. After trying several combinations, we found one that seems to work. I put the Dora sheets and comforter on the bed. She was so excited when she came in and saw that her new bed was together and ready for her to sleep in (not without some issues getting it put together).

Tonight was the first night that I did not rock Katie before putting her in bed. We had to move the rocking chair out to make enough room for the bed. I asked her if she wanted her music on and she told me no. I guess that she is really growing up.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie Party

Katie and I went to a cookie baking/decorating party today. It was fun for the girls to do something together. There were 5 other little girls there and it was so cute to see them all together. Each girl had her own little apron to wear while they made cookies.

Katie wanted to use the cookie cutter over and over again in the same place on the cookie dough and then pat it down. She did seem to enjoy doing it though. After the cookies were baked, it was time to decorate them. Katie really enjoyed this part of the process. She started getting the icing and putting it on cookies. She was moving it with her finger around the cookie. Next thing I know I look over at her and she has the tip of the entire bottle of icing in her mouth. She can't get enough either because she tried to pick up other bottles off the table. Guess she had a good time!





Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Happy Castle is Full

Katie has been working on potty training over the past 5 months. She pretty much mastered peeing after a few weeks but pooping in the potty has been another story entirely. She refused to use the potty and much preferred to do her business in her underwear. Then she would do it in the potty but only when Todd was here.

A while back we pulled out the castle with crown stickers that goes with her little potty. We told her that if she filled up the castle with stickers, then she could get ballerina panties. She started calling it her "Happy Castle". Whenever she would poop in the potty, she would get so excited to put a sticker on her castle. And when she didn't, she would say that the castle was sad. Over the past few weeks, she has been going more in the potty, getting closer to filling up her castle.

On Friday night, she got her final sticker to fill up the "Happy Castle", which has 12 stickers. I told her that we would go to Target in the morning to get her ballerina panties. She informed Todd and I that she was only going to poop in the potty from now on. This is the first time that she has said this so let's hope that this is a good sign.

We are so proud of Katie for this accomplishment. Whoever said that potty training girls was easier clearly did not have Katie as their daughter!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lights at the Zoo

Saturday night we went to see the Holiday Lights at the Zoo. We went with some of Michael's friends from his preschool class last year and their families. The 4 older boys were so happy to see each other after not getting together for a while. As usual, Katie was the only girl there as the only other younger sibling was a boy.

The weather was nice and clear but it was pretty cold. Katie asked to go home several times as I think she just wanted to get warm, even though she had fleece mittens and a fleece hat. The kids got to roast marshmallows over a big fire pit and walked around looking at the lights.

Everyone had a fun time and it was nice to catch up with everyone. Here are the boys together:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I should have known this was coming

Yesterday morning Michael went into Katie's room after she got up to keep her company while I got out of bed. He helped her out of the crib and they both came out into the hallway.

Katie went down for her nap in the afternoon. When she wakes up, she calls to me to come get her out of the crib. Yesterday I heard her wake up on the monitor. By the time I got upstairs, she was at the top of the stairs. Katie had climbed out of the crib by herself. Since then, she has climbed out this morning when she woke up and several times last night to go to the bathroom.

She is moving to a big girl bed after Christmas so this was just right around the corner anyway. We are going to take the front of the crib off and make it a toddler bed until she gets the new mattress. To be honest, I am surprised that she stayed in the crib this long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visit with Santa

We took Katie and Michael to see Santa tonight after Katie's dance class. Every year we try to go right when Santa gets back from "feeding the reindeer" to minimize our wait time. We hit it right on this year as we were the second ones in line to see Santa. Both kids were really excited to see him and kept talking about what they were going to tell him they wanted for Christmas.

When it was their turn to go up to sit on Santa's lap, Michael went right up and started telling Santa all about what he wanted this year. Katie was much more hesitant. At one point, she said "I am ready to go home". After a minute or two, Todd got her to go over and sit with Santa by showing her that Michael was already sitting with him. I may have also mentioned that we would go to McDonald's for dinner afterwards.

Once Katie sat on Santa's lap, she warmed up to him and told him that what she wanted. Of course, she wants all items related to Dora. Her main thing that she asked for is a Dora blanket. Michael has been asking about getting Star Wars Legos at home but he asked Santa for the Batmobile and a Batcave with Batman and Robin. I guess that must have been something he saw on TV. It will be interesting to see what Santa brings on Christmas Day.

Santa's elves took several pictures to get a decent one, which means both kids were looking at the camera with their eyes open. As we were walking away from Santa, Katie told me that she loves Santa. The visit went better than I could have ever expected!

Here are a few of the ones Todd took:



Sunday, December 4, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Todd went to get our Christmas tree yesterday afternoon and put it up last night. Every year, he puts the lights on and I decorate it. This year, we had Michael's help. I have to say that this year was the most fun that we had decorating the tree so far. Michael was finally old enough to help out with the ornaments and understand that they can break. Katie was napping while we did most of it but even she did pretty good with not touching the ornaments. Of course, I put anything breakable above her reach, which is no easy task.

Michael was so excited to help decorate the tree and could not wait to get started today. He took all of the ornaments out and we talked about where some of them came from. After we finished with the tree, we put up the stockings inside. He also went outside with Todd to put lights on the outside of the house.

Here is a picture of the finished tree:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cookie Exchange

My book club participated in our second annual cookie exchange last night. We had a larger group than last year, which just meant more delicious cookies to eat. Everyone brought their cookies in bags of 6 to be exchanged with others. Several of us brought extra cookies to eat while we chatted. I think that everyone had a good time. I know I did and look forward to eating the cookies over the next few days.

I made chocolate chip meringues, which is one of the cookies that I make every Christmas. My favorite cookie that I received was a mint chocolate chip cookie (it was green!). Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything mint at the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Traditions

This year we decided to start a few new Christmas traditions. The kids are old enough now to really enjoy Christmas and start to understand the meaning behind it as well.

We started off the season by donating some stuffed animals that are not being used to Michael's school We are also participating in the angel tree at our church and Todd's office. Michael got to pick the angel off the tree at church and we will go to get the gift this weekend. He is excited because the child that he picked wants an art set. I am sure that he will want one too.

Michael got to open his first Advent calendar tonight. He got the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar. This seems to be a popular item among 5 year old boys. He loved it and thought it was so neat to be able to open a different door every day, especially since each one has Legos to put together in it. I guess Katie was excited about the present too as she unwrapped it before we had a chance to give it to Michael and I had to rewrap it.



We are also giving the kids one wrapped Christmas book each day. The first one was a Dora book. I let Michael help me to wrap it this afternoon and he was so excited to see Katie open it. Both kids were really into the idea of getting a new book to read every day for one month. I have several new ones and the rest are books we already own.



This is such a special time of the year and I love doing things together as a family. To me, making memories is what Christmas is all about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What a Great Feeling

Michael has been working hard on learning to read and letter sounds at school and at home. We have been playing games with words to identify the first letter here and he has been working on it at school during center time and with his teacher.

I opened his folder when he got home from school today and this note was in there.



I was so proud of him and excited that he is learning to read. It's so wonderful watching him put the pieces together to learn this new skill. I am excited to see how reading is going to change his whole world!

Dental Issues

Today Todd and I had our semi-annual dental checkups. He had a great visit. I was not as lucky. I have been very fortunate to not have any problems with my teeth. 6 months ago, I had a cavity and got my tooth filled. The dentist said that I now have 4 cavities. 3 of them are in between my teeth and were only caught on the x-ray. So I will be heading to the dentist in the new year to get my teeth filled. I can't wait to spend some quality time with the dentist!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things to Thankful For

This year I am thankful for many of the same things I have been thankful for in the past but it's always good to give thanks again. They include:

- a wonderful and supportive husband and father who goes above and beyond

- two beautiful children who mean the world to me

- a comfortable home to live in

- extended families who are involved in our lives

- good health and happiness

I know that there are so many things that I am forgetting but I am thankful for the life that I am living every day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Uncle Day

Todd let me sleep in this morning. When I woke up, the kids were coming upstairs to get dressed. Uncle Sidney had come over to see if they wanted to go to the pond in our neighborhood to feed the ducks. They couldn't wait to go. We gathered up some old bread and they headed down there.

When they got back, they couldn't wait to tell Todd and I what they had done. They collected leaves, fed the ducks, played on the playground and went for a walk in the woods. Michael even told me that Uncle Sidney climbed up on top of a rock that was super tall. He said he wasn't big enough to climb up there.



Tonight, Todd got a text that Alex, our brother-in-law, was going to be coming through Columbia for a work trip and wanted to stop by. He got here a little after 5:00 and stayed for dinner and hanging out with the kids. Michael was excited to see him but Katie took a few minutes to warm up because she had just woken up from her nap. Uncle Alex offered Katie a tortilla chip and all was good between them.

The kids had fun with the surprise visit from Uncle Alex. Unfortunately, he had to leave right before bed to head on to Georgia. The kids climbed up on his shoulders and thought that was so much fun.



I feel that Katie and Michael are very lucky to have such awesome and fun uncles. It's such a special relationship and I am glad they have it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pajamas

Michael and Katie love pajamas. If it was up to them, we would wear them all day every day, especially Michael.

All summer long, Michael has been asking when he can wear his zipper pajamas again (footed one piece Pjs). Of course, when it is over 100 degrees outside, the last thing he needs to be wearing is a pair of fleece pajamas. He has been so excited since the weather has gotten a bit colder recently as he can finally wear his zipper PJs.

Now Katie is taking after him. If he asks to wear the zipper 'jamas, then she wants to wear them too. The only problem with this is that most of Katie's pajamas are two piece without feet. She only has 2 or 3 zipper 'jamas and gets upset if you tell her that they need to be washed.

I love seeing the kids in these pajamas. Even though they are getting big so fast, there is something about the footed pajamas that makes it seem like they are little for just a little longer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Potty Training Pitfalls

We are several months into potty training Katie. I would say that she is 75% trained at this point. Unfortunately, the 25% that is not complete seems to be the most difficult and keeps her from getting to 100%.

She is wearing underwear all day and pees on the potty regularly. She even wears underwear for naps and wakes up dry about 60% of the time. For a while, she wanted to wear underwear to bed at night but she was waking up wet almost every night, multiple times a night. So we went back to pullups for now.

The main obstacle seems to be using the potty for #2. For whatever reason, she does not want to do that on there. If you catch her in the act and take her to the bathroom, she will stop and wait until you are busy doing something else. I have actually followed her around for more than one day and the minute that I leave her alone, that's when it happens. To be honest, I am tired of changing dirty underwear. Every 10 times or so, I want to throw the towel in. Of course, I can't bear to do this after all of the work that we have put in.

I keep hoping that one day things will just click and that's all it will take. I have tried giving candy, telling her she can go to the store to get something she picks out but it doesn't work. Now that we have been at this for a while, I wonder if it was too early to start. One day I will look back and wonder why it seemed so hard. I know she will get it before she heads off to kindergarten (I hope it doesn't take that long).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everybody Dance Now

Michael has a toy car that plays the above title song and moves by itself in time to the music. The kids seem to think that this toy is so entertaining. It doesn't hold the same appeal for me as it bangs into the wall and various furniture items. I want to get rid of it whenever it makes an appearance. However, the kids can have so much fun with it. Today was one of those days. It made my heart sing to watch the kids dance and laugh with the car. Maybe I will let it stay around for a little while longer.

video

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat

Our neighborhood had trick or treating last night from 6-9pm. The kids were so excited to get ready to go out. Katie started asking about when she could put her costume on as soon as she got up in the morning. Michael was ready to go as soon as he got home from school. We were waiting on Todd to get home from work.

One of Todd's co-workers and his sister were coming over with her kids to go out with Katie and Michael. Two of Michael's classmates from last year also met up with us when we headed out. Our friends brought over their golf cart limo and we rode it around the neighborhood. There are quite a few hills in our neighborhood and while it's fine walking to the trick or treating, it's kind of rough on the way back. It was nice to ride in style as the golf cart was decorated for Halloween!

The kids had fun. Of course, the boys ran from house to house while the girls were much more deliberate in their quest for candy. They were both dressed as princesses and acting like it by not getting too rowdy. Katie didn't go to as many houses as Michael did but yet it seemed like she had as much, if not more, candy.

After trick or treating for almost 2 hours, we came back to the house where the kids ate cupcakes and looked through their candy stash. Everyone left shortly after 8:00. Katie and Michael ate some cereal and Michael actually asked to go to bed, which is a rare occurrence for him. I guess something finally tired him out!



Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween at the Museum

The kids and I went to the SC State Museum on Saturday with two of Michael's good friends from his school last year. The museum was having some Halloween activities, which included a scavenger hunt, coloring and craft areas as well as a balloon artist. Once we got inside, the boys really didn't care about much other than being together and running around from exhibit to exhibit.

We spent a good bit of time inside the indoor play area as well as the dinosaur exhibit. They also had fun looking at the model trains and going inside the real train car that they have inside. I am not sure how much this had to do with Halloween but they did wear their costumes and get some candy as we were leaving. There was also some bobbing for apples outside.

The kids had a fun time (and so did the moms). The best part about it was that it was inside so we didn't have to worry about it being too cold or rainy as both of those were in the forecast.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Carving Complete

Michael has been attending religious education classes (aka CCD) at the church we attend every Wednesday night since the school year started. Last night they asked the kids to bring a pumpkin to carve in the parish gym. We got the pumpkin that we picked from the church down the street and brought it with us, along with some carving tools and patterns. The pumpkin was not quite big enough to use the patterns though.

We were served hot dogs and chips for dinner, even though we already ate at home. Michael has had a pretty big appetite lately and ate a hot dog, chips and cookies for dessert. Then the carving began. I worked on a pattern and Michael helped to cut it out once I had the outline done. It was fun to work on it together as we didn't carve a pumpkin last year.

Here are some pictures of the finished product:



Monday, October 24, 2011

Music

Katie and Michael both really seem to like to listen to music. We have regular dancing sessions in the kitchen while we are listening to the iPod. I usually keep it on a pop music station because that's what we all like. It's become interesting to watch them identify songs and sing along to them, especially Michael.

One of their favorites right now is "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera. The song came on in the car one day and I was explaining who Mick Jagger was to Michael. The Rolling Stones are one of my Dad's favorite groups and I told Michael about it. He told my dad all about the song and asked about Jagger's moves. It's so cute to hear him sing the song too and then Katie likes to join in.

They have a few other favorites like Dynomite and Switchup (as Michael likes to call it) by the Black Eyed Peas. Katie will pretty much dance along to anything that has a good beat. I think it's great that they enjoy music as Todd & I both like to listen to a wide variety of genres.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good News

This afternoon was another follow-up appointment for Michael's ear surgery. Since it had been two months since the surgery, he was also scheduled for a hearing test today.

The hearing test was the first part of the appointment. As soon as we went into the room, he cooperated with the audiologist. He was placed into a little room inside the room we went into and she closed the door. She put on some headphones and read Michael words that she wanted him to repeat. There were also a series of beeps that Michael had to raise his hand when he heard them. After the test was over, the audiologist told me that Michael's hearing was within the normal range. This was quite a relief as I was worried that he couldn't hear because his ear was still healing.

We went into the exam room and waited for the doctor to come in. He came in and did his exam of Michael's ear. Michael cannot stand to have him clean the wax out of his ear and he always does this. I came prepared to the appointment this time. I told Michael that as long as he didn't scream or start trying to escape that I would take him to Sonic afterwards so he could get a "green drink". For whatever reason, it worked this time. The doctor said that everything looked good and the graft is taking nicely on the eardrum. What a relief! It's always nice to get good news for a change.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkins

This afternoon we went to a local church to get pumpkins to decorate the house for Halloween. Katie and Michael were both excited to see all of the pumpkins out there. Michael was having a great time picking out his pumpkin and he helped to pick out one for Katie too. It was so cute to see him helping her out.



They also have a few photo opportunities too. Katie and Michael both posed in the cutout although Katie was not quite tall enough. Michael and Katie both stood up next to a ruler with pumpkins next to it. I was amazed to see how tall Michael has gotten over the past few months. Since we took the kids' pictures at the same place last year, it will be interesting to see how they have grown from last year.





Thursday, October 13, 2011

When she thinks no one is looking

Katie has been taking dance for a month and a half now. It has been taken her some time to get used to going into class by herself. She was originally signed up for the 2 year old pre-ballet class. Since she was the only one in there, the rec center cancelled the class and she was moved up to the 3/4 year old ballet/tap combo class. For the first 2 weeks, she would not do much dancing at all but she was quietly observing.

As I have found out over the past few weeks, she is intently studying what the teacher is doing and repeating it at home. Of course, this is only when she thinks no one is looking. I caught her singing the ballerina song in her room. Katie also did an impromptu dance in her crib this morning for David, the little boy I watch, when he got here this morning. I know she thought I wasn't looking.

It's so cute to hear Katie talking about dancing and to do the steps. I asked her earlier today to do some dance but she didn't want to. I asked her to do it tonight for her uncle and she turned on the charm. She did some tap steps and a plie with her arms over her head. I love watching her and am so glad that she is having fun.

Katie really looks forward to going to dance now every week. Last night, we were talking about what we were doing today and she told me she was going to dance. Too cute!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lego Fest 2011

This past weekend we traveled to Raleigh, NC to visit my sister and her husband. My parents joined us there too. About a month ago, my sister let me know that LegoFest 2011 would be visiting there. We got tickets as Michael is really starting to get into building Legos. We were able to leave Katie at my sister's so that we could take our time with Michael and really enjoy the experience.

There were several areas where Legos were on the floor for building whatever the kids wanted. They had an area of Duplo blocks and two other areas with one color of blocks only. It was neat to see kids building different things in each area.



In one area, employees were handing out small squares. You took the squared to a table that had different color Lego cubes on them. You matched them up on the square to put on a large mural on one side of the room. Michael enjoyed this so much that he did it more than one time.



There was also a portion of the room dedicated to lifesize Lego models of different characters. It was very interesting to see how something as small as a Lego could turn into something bigger.







Michael won a Ninjago toy after we dueled in the arena with Ninjagos that we created. He also won a free month of membership to play Lego Universe online because he picked the green block out of the box. He was so excited and could not wait to play when we got home.

We all had a great time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It took all of these (and more) for a smile

I wanted to get a picture of Katie in her Halloween pajamas earlier this week. However, getting her to look at the camera and cooperate for a picture is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. As soon as she sees the camera, she says that she does not want to say cheese. I have tried to bribe her but that doesn't seem to work either. I finally got her to smile by telling her that I wasn't going to rock her to sleep unless she smiled. It did work but I know she has better smiles to give.









Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Walk for Life

This past Saturday I did the Walk for Life for Breast Cancer sponsored by a local hospital. My sorority alumnae chapter organized a group to walk together. It was great to do something like this to raise money for a great cause. There are so many worthwhile causes out there that it's hard to pick just one to support. Recently several people that I know have had relatives diagnosed with breast cancer so it seemed like the right cause at the time.

My OB who delivered Michael was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30's. It went into remission for a while and came back about 6 months after I had Michael. She passed away last year. She was such an awesome person, as well as a great doctor.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Festival

Friday night was the annual Fall Festival at Michael's school. This was our first year attending as he just started Kindergarten there. There was a lot for the kids to do there. We bought tickets to go on rides and play games. They had a bounce house as well as a bounce slide. Michael really enjoyed the slide and Katie got upset that she could not go on the slide too. She likes the slide but cannot climb up by herself.

The kids got to see and climb up inside a fire truck. The firefighters showed them the different equipment and how to use it. There was also a "pumpkin patch" set up in front of the school. Inside they were doing photos and fingerprints. The book fair was also going on in the library and Katie & Michael each got to pick out a book. The whole family got to go on a hayride around the school parking lot.



Katie's favorite thing to do was the lollipop tree. For one ticket, she could choose any lollipop from the "tree". She was in heaven. Michael's favorite thing was the bull riding. He got to sit up high and spin around before being thrown from the bull. Thankfully it didn't go too fast.



It was definitely a fun night and we look forward to doing it again next year.

Friday, September 30, 2011

11

Today Todd and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary. When you first get married, even 5 years seems like a big deal. I now realize that every year should be celebrated like a big deal because it is. I am so thankful to have found the love of my life, who also happens to be my best friend.

I fall more and more in love with Todd as the years go by. I love that he is a wonderful husband and father to Katie and Michael. He knows me so well and takes the good and bad parts of me, which is not always easy. I feel so lucky to have him as my husband and know that I count on him to be by my side.

As a surprise to me, Todd took the day off from work so we can spend it together and I am looking forward to it. I think it's amazing that something so simple can make me so happy. Happy Anniversary Todd!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Storytime

Wednesday is the day that we go to library storytime. We didn't go during the summertime as I felt like Michael may have been bored with it and there were plenty of other things to do. The latest session started back in the last week of August and today was the final class of this session. The next one will start back up in 3 weeks.

Katie really seemed to be participating today, which figures since this is the last class for a while. She is singing along with the songs and doing the hand motions. One of her favorite songs that they sing is "The Wheels on the Bus".

Today the librarian read a Spot book, which is one of Katie's favorites right now. Since there are so many kids in there, it's sometimes hard to pay attention to the book. There are also quite a few younger siblings, who are babies, and Katie wants to monitor their every move. It's so sweet how she goes up to the babies and studies what they are doing.

Katie enjoys library storytime and asks about it when we don't go. I hope that the next 2 weeks go by quickly. I wonder what activity we can do instead of storytime. Maybe a trip to the zoo or the museum.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apple Picture Day

Friday was Picture Day at Michael's school. We are still struggling to get him to wear a "button shirt". I guess I figured after 3 years that he would eventually decide to give up his fight with buttons. No such luck yet, although we can usually get him to wear one with a bribe. The shirt that he wore for Friday's picture was actually one that he picked out himself. He threw a fit when we were buying it for my cousin's rehearsal dinner last month but agreed to wear it for the picture after we asked a few times.



It was also Apple Day for the Kindergarten classes. It was fitting that Michael was wearing a red shirt. The classes went around to different rooms and got to taste and touch different apples. Todd's parents brought over a basket of apples this weekend. Michael was able to tell me that the green ones were Granny Smith, the yellow were golden delicious and the red ones were delicious too. I was impressed. They also made an apple hat with the different color apples on it. Michael was pretty proud of it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Night Long

That was the amount of time that Katie wore underwear on Wednesday night without any accidents. Todd and I were so proud of her!

For the past few nights, Katie has been asking to wear underwear to bed. I have been very hesitant as most days she still wakes up with a pretty full pull-up. She really wanted to and I didn't want to discourage her so I let her wear underwear to bed on Tuesday night. She did have an accident but I am pretty sure it was near the morning as she wasn't that wet. She asked again last night so I put the panties on. My mom has been visiting for a few days and she got Katie up this morning.

We made a big deal about her doing such a great job wearing underwear all night. I hope that this is the start to staying dry every night and that it wasn't just a one time thing. If she can start pooping on the potty consistently, then potty training will be done. I will be keeping my fingers crossed and keep cheering Katie on!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Month Later

Today was Michael's one month post-surgery appointment for his eardrum repair. The ENT said that everything looks good so far. We can stop with the eardrops and keeping the water out of his ear in the shower. The skin graft is still a little thick so he will recheck the ear again next month and there will also be a hearing test then as well.

Thankfully, this was one of the shortest appointments we have ever been to. The time from checking in to leaving was less than 30 minutes. This was good because Michael does not like to have his ear checked. The doctor also cleans his ear, which is the worst part of the appointment. Today I showed him all of the things that the doctor used to check his ear. It seemed to calm him down a bit. I hope that after the next appointment, it will be a while before we have to go back.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blogging Blahs

We have been so busy over the past few weeks getting into the school routine and adjusting to getting up so early. It seems like there is so much going on that I could be blogging about but yet there is little time to do it. I hope to get back into it in the next few days as I have come to rely on the blog to keep track of important milestones and events in our family's life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections

Isn't it crazy how some moments stand out in your mind and you can remember what you were doing at that exact moment in time? But then other things that you did a million times don't seem to leave any impression at all.

I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the morning of September 11, 2001. I was sitting at my desk at work. I got a call from my mom saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My dad was doing contract work right across the river from the WTC. Thankfully, he was fine. We turned on the TV at the office in time to see another plane hit the second tower. We were glued to the TV for the rest of the day at work and at home that night. I remember being in shock that something this serious had happened. I also kept waiting for them to bring out survivors. Unfortunately, there were not many. I know that I felt such relief that my dad was OK as he was so close to the tragedy. My mom spent the next few days trying to get up there to be with him from NC.

Ten years later, the world has changed in so many ways. My life has also changed drastically. I was a newly married working woman. Now I have been married for almost 11 years, have 2 kids and am lucky enough to stay at home with them. I am thankful for my family every single day.

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Ballet Class

Tuesday was Katie's first dance class. I had called to several dance studios around us and all of them will not take kids until they are 3 years old. I finally found a class at a local rec center and it will be on Tuesday afternoons.

The class is pre-ballet and it is just for 2 year olds. Well, I guess that most of the other 2 year olds are doing something else because Katie was the only one in the class! I figured that she wouldn't actually do any dance but she did let the teacher show her what to do. They sat together on the floor and listened to music while talking about dance. The class lasted about 40 minutes, which I thought was pretty good for Katie. It was nice to have the class to herself because she got to ease into the setting.

The highlight of the class was getting a pink stamp on her hand at the end. As we were leaving, I asked her if she wanted to come back again next week. She said that she would and she told me she wants to dance "The Nutcracker".



Monday, September 5, 2011

Bye Bye Summer

Growing up on the Jersey shore, Labor Day weekend always meant the end of summer. The day after Labor Day, the island changed and all the tourists went home. It was when we always enjoyed the beach the most. Now that I live in South Carolina, school starts mid-August and the beginning of school means the end of summer to me.

We were invited by some good friends to spend the weekend with them at the beach house they rented for the week. We visited with my parents on Friday night and headed over to the beach house late Saturday afternoon. It was nice to spend time with family and friends.

We all went swimming in the pool and headed to the beach today. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was the ideal day to spend at the beach and pool. The ocean water was the perfect temperature and there was a nice breeze blowing on the beach. Everyone had a great time and we were happy that we decided to the spend the final weekend of summer at the beach!



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Out of the mouth of a 2 year old

Katie has been saying some of the funniest things lately. Having a conversation with her is highly entertaining. She has started to repeat some of the things that she hears Michael say too.

Some of her recent favorites include: "How you dare me" (How dare you?), "I never get to eat that" (courtesy of Michael), and "Oh, man". It's pretty hysterical to hear these phrases coming out of her mouth. Her tone of voice makes it even funnier as she is very dramatic. She also likes to start sentences off with statements like, "you remember the other day when I....."

Having a conversation with Katie is like talking to a 3 or 4 year old. She is constantly asking questions and making observations. We were at the grocery store earlier this week and I asked her to help me count an item that we were buying. I started with 1, 2 and then she finished with 3, 4, 5. We have also been working on manners. If Katie catches you talking with your mouth full, she says, "You shouldn't talk with your mouth full".

I tried to get a video of her talking but as soon as she realizes that you are filming her, she turns to the camera and says "stop saying cheese". I was able to get a few phrases while her back was turned to me one day. This is such a great age for talking as things really start to come together.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Michael's First Homework

Every day Michael brings home a folder from school that has papers in it to send back to school the next day and other ones to keep at home. Michael's first homework assignment was in the folder today. It is to be completed and turned back in by Friday.

The first assignment was to cut on the lines on a sheet of paper. Michael did that today and let me know that he would do the second assignment tomorrow. Each child was assigned a letter for the second assignment. They have to find something in their house that starts with the letter. Then he has to draw a picture and put a sentence using the word underneath it. As he was sitting at the kitchen table cutting with the scissors, he told me that he loves homework and school. What a great thing for a parent to hear! Let's hope it continues in the years to come.

Working on his assignment at the kitchen table:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No More Stitches

This afternoon Michael had his follow-up appointment with the ENT to get his stitches out from his ear surgery last week. I have been nervous about this appointment as I know that Michael is very sensitive to pain. I knew that getting the stitches out was not going to be a good experience.

Everything was fine until the doctor came in the room and asked him to lay back in the chair. He did not want to do this. The nurse and I had to step in and hold him still so that the doctor could remove the stitches and look in his ear. After the stitches were out, the nurse said that he could look at them. He was so upset from the removal of the stitches that he did not look at them and the nurse finally had to throw them out. Of course, he wanted to look at them right after she did that. When I told him that she had thrown them out, he got upset and started crying all over again.

By the time we got to the elevator to head out to parking lot, Michael was fine. Everything looked good today and he will go back in one month to check to see how the graft is taking and if the eardrum repair was successful or not.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

He did it

Monday was the second day of school. After getting everything sorted out regarding the bus situation from Friday, including speaking to the bus driver on the phone, Michael was ready to ride the bus home from school.

Fortunately Todd was able to come home from work so he didn't miss this important first for Michael. When the bus pulled up to the corner, all you could see was Michael's little face looking out the window. As soon as he saw us, his face lit up and he jumped up to get off the bus. He was so proud of himself for riding the bus and he got a Lego Star Wars set since he did so well riding the bus by himself.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michael's First Day of Kindergarten


Friday was Michael's first day of Kindergarten. Todd and I were both able to take him to his first day. When he woke up in the morning, he went downstairs and was so excited to see his lunchbag and what was inside.



We headed to school and took him inside. Only half of the class was there as his school does a staggered start for kindergarten to get the kids used to going. The entire class will be there tomorrow. When we arrived, his teacher showed us to his cubby and we put his bookbag in there. Michael already has a friend in his class and he arrived shortly after we did. The boys sat down to read some books together. It was so nice to see Michael settling right in.



As we left, it hit me that we now have a child in kindergarten. It was a bittersweet moment but I knew how happy he has to be there and I loved his enthusiasm. All of these firsts are hard as a parent but seeing Michael so happy makes the adjustment so much easier.

When he got home, Michael said that his day was great. He told us about what they did for the day and where they went around the school. We also talked about the kindergarten playground, which was fun too. He asked when he could go back to school!

The only thing that did not go smoothly was the bus ride home. Apparently Michael's paperwork got lost so he could not ride. His teacher said that he was all ready to ride it with his friend and Todd had even gotten off work early so he could see him leave the bus. At least now we know that he will ride the bus, even if he didn't get to on his first day.