Friday, August 30, 2013

To the Zoo

My friend Jena is pretty much amazing!
She's the kind of person everyone wants to be like.
She is an amazing mom, she always looks so cute, and she's fun to be with.

I was having a crummy week, and she invited us to the zoo.
It was the perfect midweek pick-me-up!
Matt was extra excited too, because Jena is now his sunbeam teacher.
It was a PERFECT day for the zoo (overcast with a small crowd).

We went on the carousel (well Jena took the boys on the carousel).

We went to the new splash pad which the kids LOVED.
 (Lindsay made Jena take her down the slide about 20 times!)

We always love the new Rocky Shores!

This picture cracks me up.  Lindsay was so scared to touch the bronze statue.

And of course, we love all the animals!!

Thanks Jena and Crew!!  
We had a WONDERFUL time!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

#18- Do SOMETHING with our cement pad.

I got another thing checked off my 30 before 30.

18- Do SOMETHING with our cement pad.

After some discussions, we decided that the cement pad would be a good place to grow some grapes on a pergola.  

At the beginning of summer we went to a wedding reception that had a steel pergola.  We both LOVED it!  We brainstormed some ideas and took it to our welder....and luckily for us we have a welder in the family (Darin's brother, Chris), and he MADE it for us!!

He did an AWESOME job, if I do say so myself!!

I especially love the custom letters and grapes.  (D and H for Darin and Haylee).

And that thing is a BEAST to move!!  
Thanks for everyone's help moving it (Nate, Chris, Jon, and Rudy).


Chris for making it for us!! 

Bountiful Concert in the Park

Last night we went to the Beach Boys Concert in the Park. 
It was the last one of the summer.  It was also my favorite.
They sang Beatles and Beach Boys—two of my favorites!

We started out with a little picnic.
We had sandwiches, grapes, carrots, cucumbers, green peppers, celery, and baba ganoush.
We always sit in the very back so the kids can have room to dance.
We also took two trips to the bathroom for our newly potty-trained Lindsay.

Oh, and we ended the night by sharing a cherry rainbow.
(It was the first one for both Matt and Lindsay, so we needed a picture to document it).

This video cracks me up.
Watch Lindsay’s face when she tries the baba ganoush. Ha ha.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Potty Training

This week Lindsay learned how to use the toilet!!

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I did, and if I had any tips—so here it goes.

I started out by doing a lot of reading and talking to a lot of people.  My SIL, Kristy, and my friend, Bridget, had both just trained their daughters so I did a lot of talking to them.

About a month before I trained Lindsay we started talking about it and how excited we were! We watched a movie that Kristy let us borrow (Once upon a Potty) over and over again.

Two weeks before I made a countdown chain.

The night before, after Lindsay was asleep, Darin helped me set up her “Potty Party.”  We put balloons, steamers, and decorations in the bathroom (including candy) and set up the “Party” in the kitchen.

I am a REALLY big stickler when it comes to any sugary drinks in that my kids can only have one a week (or less) and it is usually on Fridays.  When Lindsay woke up, she saw the table filled with fun drinks.  She was so excited, especially when I told her she could have any kind, and as much as she wanted.

Then we had breakfast and let Lindsay open her “presents.”  (New underwear that she picked out, stickers, and a sticker chart).

After breakfast we potty trained Lindsay’s Doll.  The doll had “accidents” and “successes.”  (I just used a water bottle and spilled on the floor or into the toilet).  When the doll had accidents, Lindsay helped me clean up the mess, take the “dirty” underwear to the laundry, and get a new pair. When the doll had a success she got a sticker and a treat.  THAT is when Lindsay decided she was ready.

I put Lindsay in her first pair of underpants and threw away her last diaper.  Then I juiced her up!  We got LOTS of practice in the first day.  Every time Lindsay tried I gave her 3 skittles and a sticker.  When she was successful she got a sticker for her potty chart and then she got to choose a treat (a dumdum, licorice, or gum).  Then, on her potty chart when she filled up rows on her chart she got prizes.  (A dollar store paint set and nail polish).

The first day I set the timer to “try” every 15 minutes, and I stayed RIGHT next to her—she didn’t leave my side.  We did lots of coloring, reading, tea parties, and playing with toys.  She had 5 successes, and then it seemed like the timing just got off.  After her successes she had 12 accidents.  By the end of the night, I was in my room, crying, wondering why I ever started.  After Lindsay went to bed, I had a couple of encouraging phone calls, I looked for more ideas online, and I decided to give it another try in the morning.

Tuesday, we woke up, and I decided to ditch the timer.  Instead, I just asked Lindsay about every 5-10  minutes, “Tell mom when you need to go potty.”  I never made her “try” I just kept asking her over and over.  That seemed to really work with her.  On the second day she had 10 successes and only 2 accidents.

Wednesday, I did the same thing—I kept her right next to me the whole day and said, “Tell mom when you need to go potty.”  We had endless successes, and NO accidents!

Here we are on Friday, and she’s still doing GREAT!! 

My advice:

#1- Someone told me that potty training is where kids begin their self-esteem, so you want them to feel successful and stay positive with them.   (I wish I had been better about this with Matt). 

#2- Someone also said that potty training is like teaching your child to ride a bike.  If they fell off, you wouldn’t get mad you just stay happy and have them try again.  I kept telling myself this.  After Lindsay’s 12th accident on day one I said in a really happy voice, “That’s ok sweetheart.  We’ll just keep trying.  You’re doing great!”  And then, I went into my room and cried on my bed.  But, in front of her I stayed positive the WHOLE time.  I really was exhausted by the end of the day.

#3- I am not above bribing.  It worked really well for me and I will do it again.  Just be sure to brush their teeth a little more than usual with all those sweets!

#4- I think I am going to give myself a prize for finishing potty training too—because, well, I deserve it!

#5- Have someone you can call or talk to at the end of each day.  I felt like that helped me a ton, just to have some encouragement at the end of the day.

To all my mama friends about to embark on the potty-training experience, GOOD LUCK!!

Lindsay's "Potty Party" count down.

All of her "fun" drinks--with some salty snacks.

Her "Party."

Opening presents.

Who knew that new underpants could be so exciting!!?

And let the drinking begin!!

YAY LINDSAY!!  We are so proud of you!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

4 Months

Our sweet Andrew is 4 months old.
I cannot get enough of this boy.  
I just think he is the cutest thing ever!

Last week I put Andrew on a blanket in Lindsay's room while I was getting Matt and Lindsay ready for church.  A few minutes later, when I was in the bathroom doing Lindsay's hair, I heard Andrew crying.  When I went into Lindsay's room I could hear Andrew, but I couldn't see him.  I followed the sound and he had rolled UNDER Lindsay's bed!  (Like 5 feet away).

I'm telling you...this kid is a MOVER!!!

Happy 4 month birthday my sweet little Andrew!  
I love you so much!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy (Almost) 3rd Birthday Eliza!!

Yesterday Ben and Kristy planned quite the soiree for Eliza’s (almost) 3rd Birthday.
They're expecting a new baby in a few weeks and decided to celebrate a little early.
It is always fun to be with family (and Jess), eat yummy food, and go for a swim!

Happy Birthday sweet Eliza!  

We’re so glad you’re in our family!!