Friday, January 31, 2014

Finally!!

Today James FINALLY went #2 in the potty!!! We have been waiting for this for almost 3 months, ever since we officially started potty training. I've lost count of how many times I had to clean up his messy underwear (so gross!), sheets, or change gross toddler diapers. We were still doing diapers at nap time and night time so he started holding it in until nap time. Finally we decided to do away with the nap time diapers to try to force him to go in the toilet and it only took one accident for him to get it.

We have been telling him for awhile that if he goes, then he will get a BIG candy that he can pick out at the store. (Can you believe that with a bribe like that it still took 3 months??). So today we headed to the store to pick out his big candy. I told him he could pick out anything he wanted, and he immediately went towards the toy fans that have candy in the bottom. There were only a few on the shelf and the two airplane ones had dead batteries, so James attached himself to this pretty pink princess Belle fan with a heart mirror on top. He is lucky that Anthony wasn't there, because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have let him get that one. Or at least he would have strongly encouraged something else. I figured, what the heck? :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Growing Up

Our boys are getting bigger and bigger by the day. *Sniff* Especially James, he seems to grow more and more independent by the day. That is saying something, considering how independent he has always been! I've also come to realize that I've allowed James more independence to do things himself purely by necessity since Rett came along. Things like climbing into his car seat by himself, opening doors for me, fetching things, etc... We have taken down the baby gates that were for the non-baby proof areas of the house since James figured out not only how to open them, but how to pull the second childproof lock we put on top. So in the past 3 months, we have potty trained, moved to a big boy bed, and taken baby gates down. Craziness! (Of course the gates are going back up for Rett once he is mobile, but James knows how to open the one with the door so we should be good)
James is getting really good at riding his bike. He has gotten the hang of steering, looking where he is going, and slowing down before turning around. All of those lessons came from falling, but he never got scared or upset, he just got back up and kept going. Such a trooper! The hardest part about him riding his bike is that we don't have any sidewalks on our street and so many cars go by at such a high speed. They zoom down the street at 30 or 40 mph (the speed limit is 25 in our neighborhood), a lot of the times not even slowing down a little bit. So it feels like every few seconds we are moving over to the side of the road to wait for cars to go by. We have decided that when we eventually buy a house, it absolutely must have sidewalks and not a lot of traffic.
We are on our second night of James being out of the crib. Rett is still in a bassinet, but very soon I want to start transitioning him to the crib...which means moving James on up! I wanted to skip a toddler bed and have James sleep on a twin mattress on the floor and then eventually move the mattress up higher onto an actual bed. This way I don't have to have multiple kid beds and crib mattresses to store, just one crib and then the mattress that will grow with them. (Once again, I got this sage advice from my go-to mommy guru Leah. Thanks Leah!)

Pretending to be asleep:
Sneak attack by Bitsy now that she can reach him:

The problem was mattress shopping. What a pain! The only places I knew of that you could go and try out the mattress were mattress stores with huge mark-ups and pushy salesmen. Anthony stopped by one of them after work one day just to check out the prices and the guy basically told him that if we didn't get an expensive mattress for James, then we would be ruining his spine. Baloney. I wanted something comfortable and quality, and that doesn't necessarily mean expensive. I finally decided the best option would be to get one online from amazon. I read all the reviews and got an 8 inch memory foam mattress for $150 shipped. Oh my word. It is the most comfortable mattress ever!!! Anthony and I wished we bought one of these for ourselves instead of the super expensive one we bought last year. It is so thick and soft and comfortable, yet still supportive. Even if we have to replace it down the road if it doesn't hold up to the little boy abuse, at that price who cares?

So far James is doing really well staying in his bed (our big concern about moving him out of the crib). We moved the crib to the other side of the room and we told him that if he gets out of the bed to do anything but ask to go to the bathroom, then we will put him back into his crib. We have never had any toys in his room, so there really isn't anything to play with in there. The main concern was naptime. He already fights taking naps so much and half of the time just jumps around in his crib, I wasn't sure how naptimes were going to go. Today was our first naptime in the big bed and he definitely tested the rules. I watched him on the monitor and after a few different times of him getting out and trying to find something to play with, I went in and gave him a warning. He got out a few minutes later and I went in and put him straight in the crib. He was not happy!! After a few minutes of crying, I went back in there and talked to him about staying in his big boy bed and let him try again. He did so great after that!! I watched him on the monitor for another 45 minutes and he was awake, but he stayed on the bed. He tried every which way to find different positions where he was off the bed, but still technically "on" the bed. It was pretty funny! Eventually he fell asleep, which was great!

Of course, Rett is growing up too, just luckily not as fast as James (or so it seems to me). It is so nice to still have a little baby while James is doing all of this big boy stuff. It makes it a little easier for me to handle I think :) He is still such a happy, easy going baby. Seriously, he is baby gold. I wish I could clone him, or at least his temperament for all future babies. I used to envy women who had babies like Rett, just happy and content unless he is tired or hungry. We went to a toddler class and indoor playground yesterday and Rett bounced happily on my knee while I talked with a friend for an hour and a half. Then he cat napped in the car on the way home and after we got home and I fed him, he was as happy as could be until naptime. I finally got a video of one of his smiles. I live for those smiles!! You can see in the video how he will be as serious as can be and then all of a sudden he can't hold the joy back. I love it! It is a fun surprise every time:
Anthony rarely gets up at night with Rett anymore, but he did last night and it was bad. Rett just cried and cried and cried until I got up to hold him. He quieted down almost immediately after I picked him up, so I don't know if he is going through a stage where he prefers me or if it just because he has gotten so used to me that having someone else feed him and rock him wasn't acceptable. His sleep has kept getting better and better as his naps have become more consolidated and predictable during the day. Now it is more normal for him to wake up around 3 or 4am after having gone to bed for the night around 7:30pm. Progress! I definitely feel more well rested during the day. This little boy is such a gift to our family, I can't believe how much joy he has brought to us. Before having him, we already felt so happy and content that it is amazing that we can feel anymore, but we do. We are so blessed!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Everett at 4 Months

Our bug is 4 months old!! The time seems to be flying by!! This past month everything has been great except for his sleep. His sleep has been terrible! Starting at a few weeks ago he has been getting up 2-4 times a night instead of the just once he had been doing for awhile. I finally looked it up and it looks like it is really common for them to do a sleep regression around this time while their brains are developing new skills and hopefully we are coming to the end of it. The last three nights or so have been significantly better, so fingers crossed!


 He loves eating his hands and sitting upright.









 I love his cheeks! They are so plump and juicy! We love to squeeze his squishy parts and say they are juicy. Now if we ask James what those parts of his body are called, he says, "They juicy!!"


We love our happy little boy! We were just talking the other night about what a good baby he is. We almost never hear him cry! Unless he is hungry or tired, he is usually calm and happy. We are so excited to keep watching him grow!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family Update

Life with two kids is so busy, but definitely so much fun! It is much harder for me to get things done during the day, but I have gotten used to that fact. I am loooving this baby stage with Rett, something I never thought possible. In fact, after a rough week or so of getting up every few hours and not sleeping well, Rett actually slept from 9pm to 6am!! It was such a relief. I was starting to get really discouraged and exhausted. He has also just started reaching for things and actually grabbing toys and it is amazing to watch. His eyes scrunch up like he is concentrating really hard and he slowly gets his hands closer to what he is trying to reach and when he finally makes contact I have to stop myself from jumping up and down and cheering for him! He loves to be held upright, pretty much all the time, so we went out and got a Bumbo from a consignment store. I've gone back and forth over whether it is worth it to get one of these since they really only need it for a few months until they can sit up on their own, but after a full day of not being able to put him down I decided it was worth it!
 Grabbing the rings with his pinky finger:
Of course, James decided that he needed to try out this new seat too. I couldn't believe that he fits in it!

Anthony needed to replace his grippers that he uses to grab the mouth of fish that he catches, so he got a new pair that also has a weight built-in, so you can see how big your fish is. We needed to test it out, so we decided to weigh Rett! We tested it out with dumbbells too to make sure that it is accurate. Rett weighed 13.5 pounds!
 Anthony's parents got us a rotisserie cooker for Christmas and we are loving it! It is so easy to use and the two chickens we have made in it so far have been delicious. I have started looking up all kinds of recipes I can use from the leftover chicken, with the idea that maybe we could make one chicken and then use all of the meat and leftovers in our dinners for the rest of the week. We would save so much money on meat that way!
Now that the holidays are over, I've started thinking about what to do for James' 3rd birthday. (How did my baby get to be 3??????) I don't think we are going to do a big party and invite other kids, since just the thought of planning that gives me a stress headache. I think we are just going to take the day and let James decide what activities he wants to do and make it all about him. So far when I've asked him, he first wants to go to the pirate ship park that is about 20 minutes away from our house. They used to have just one pirate ship playground, but they just added two more to it. It really is a fun park! You can walk the plank, go on treasure hunts, and even make loud cannon noises with the cannons.
He also said he wants cake, ice cream, pizza, and that he wants Grandma, Mimi, and Papa to be there. When I asked him what presents he wants to get, this is what he says. Every time. I swear, I never saw a kid so sure about what he wants:
video
So he wants a Jolly Roger (Captain Hook's pirate ship), Captain hook, and Mr. Smee. They make all of those to match the pirate ship he got for Christmas, so I'm assuming that is what he is thinking. The first time he told me what he wanted I had no idea what he was saying! I was expecting, "boat" or "pirate ship". It took me forever to figure out he was saying "Jolly Roger". 

For his most recent reward on his good behavior chart, James wanted to go to the mall and ride the train. Thursday night we made the trip to the mall just to ride the train. After riding the train, we went over to the ride-on toys to take a few rides on it. James' favorite was the fire engine. His favorite book right now is "Curious George and the Firefighters" and he says that he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. So cute :)

Fishing and Boating Adventures

Ever since Anthony got his boat back, he has been spending a lot of his free time fishing. I think he is trying to make up for lost time :) One afternoon he came back with some fish to clean and James took a bunch of pictures of the process. When I looked through the camera to see what he had taken pictures of, I was really impressed with the perspective of the pictures. It is like a little glimpse into what the world looks like from James' point of view. James took all of these by himself with no help at all from us! So cool!
After taking pictures of the fish, he wanted to take a picture of what is in the "trunk" of his toy ride-on car. It is where he keeps all of his play tools:
Anthony finally took James out on the boat, just the two of them! They went on a cold, windy afternoon after work and they probably wouldn't have gone if James hadn't been so excited about going. We really have to get better about not telling him when we are going somewhere or doing something fun until right before because he gets so upset and disappointed if plans change. It was really dark by the time they got home and I was getting a little concerned about them. When I heard them pull into the driveway, I went out there and after James got out of his car seat he came up to me looking like this:
He came running up to me, all excited and said, "I fall in the water!". Anthony was close by, getting ready to clean the boat off and he added, "Yeah....so he fell in." Apparently James had his little fishing pole in the water at the back of the boat while Anthony was turned the other way and the next thing he knew, he was in the water! Luckily it was only in about a foot of water and James was wearing his life jacket, but it was super cold and windy! Anthony pulled out all of the extra jackets and hats he keeps on the boat and wrapped him up in them. After James calmed down, Anthony asked him if he wanted to go home. He said, "No!! I fish!" He wanted to stay and fish, so they did. Anthony was very proud :) He was also proud that James held onto his fishing pole the entire time he fell overboard.

Pictures from the fishing trip:
James caught a catfish, which he has renamed, 'Kitty-fish". He tells everyone that he caught a "kitty-fish" all by himself:
This little boy is a true boater/fisherman at heart. He loves the water and all things boat and fish related, just like his Daddy!

Anthony has been doing a lot of fishing lately and he has had a lot of success! Our freezer is full of fish now and he has been loving it. The last trip he took he got a few good sized trout: