Wednesday, July 28, 2010

National Ice Cream Day

This is my kind of day. Of course ice cream deserves a national holiday. So we celebrated by making ziploc baggie ice cream-vanilla for Rowan and strawberry for Tate. Yum!

When the Kids are Bored

Rowan and Tate are always making up very odd games--things to do while they are bored, basically. I love it when this entails playing an actual board game, coloring or even playing with play-doh. And while I shouldn't fault them for being, well, creative, I guess, I'm just not exactly sure what this is.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Potty-Training 101

Disclaimer: If you are bothered by the word "poop", hearing about poop or giving poop a name, please, do not read on.

I'm not sure what sparked it, but I decided to go ahead and try to potty-train Tate. I thought, well, it's summer. He can run around naked and not freeze. Let's go ahead and potty-train. Here's a run-down of the week.

Day 1: Spectacular. No accidents. Easy peasy. I thought "Wow, that was easy. I didn't even do anything." (Note to self: When a very regular 2-year-old doesn't poop all day, something's not quite right).

Day 2: Irrational fear of pooping on the actual toilet begins. Poops on kitchen floor.

Day 3: Saves up poop for naptime when he's still in a diaper. Better than the floor. Less clean-up for Mom!

Day 4: No poop. Yeah! Another accident-free day!

Day 5: Poops in underwear. Three times. Holding it in yesterday made for a rough day today. Yikes.

Day 6: Lance is home! A little rest for the weary here. We rationalize, we bribe, we beg. Tate will not poop on the potty. After pooping in his underwear, Lance sets him on the potty and a tiny little pea-sized poop drops in the toilet. I'm certain this was just sitting there, ready to fall, and not a result of any sort of effort on Tate's part. Regardless, the celebrating begins. Tate gets a gumball, the bribe we had been dangling in front of him. He's pretty darn proud of himself.

Day 7: Tate poops on the toilet. 8 times. Seriously, 8. He has taken to naming his poop. "Oh, look, it's a little wormy. This one is a snail. Look at the turtle in there!" Of course, he gets 8 gumballs for the day. Each poop is approximately the size of said gumballs.

Day 8: More frequent pooping. More gumballs. Seriously this kid is going to be the only 2-year-old with hemorrhoids.

Day 9: A bit of Day 8, plus a naptime surprise. We'll see what happens the rest of the day.

Synopsis: Well, he is doing better than I expected. It was like he was immediately potty-trained in one area. Just not sure what to do to discourage the amount of pooping going on over here. I think we'll be running out of gumballs very soon...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fireworks Flops

Since I have no desire to keep the children up late, only to have them stressed out at the noise of the fireworks, we attempted to at least let them partake in a few little things at home--sparklers and snakes. There were no flames shooting into the air, no loud noises to upset Rowan; it should've been cake.

But, alas, I did not plan for Rowan putting her fingers directly onto the sparker immediately after dancing with it. One sparkler total. Three blisters from burns on her fingers. A little brother too scared to try.

So, we tried the snakes. We lit them at the end of the driveway and watched as the huge "snake" came out of the little wrapper. The kids were, at best, unimpressed. Rowan (while nursing her fingers in a cup of ice water) said "So, you light it and then it just looks like poop?"

There you have it.

I Hope They Stay This Way Forever

Sure, there are moments, hours, even full days that Rowan and Tate do not really like each other. They fight. They hit. Tate actually spit on Rowan today; I didn't even know he knew how to spit. But, for the most part, they are best friends. They understand each other, they play with each other, they make up riciculous games, they say they're going to get married someday. Yesterday, after Rowan finished up a time-out and Tate opened her door, she yelled "We're together again! We're together again!" and they both started laughing and dancing. I couldn't help but laugh along with them. Since I don't have a particularly close relationship with my brother, I'm not sure that I really know how to teach sibling camaraderie. I just desperately wish that they will be close forever. I wish I could just wrap up all this love and pull it out when they get older, when it seems siblings either drift apart or drift together. I hope that, even though they may have completely different personalities, beliefs and affinities, they will always love and respect each other. I hope they will have one of those amazing sibling relationships that I'm always a bit envious of.

Binder Park Zoo

After the slight disappointment with the balloon festival on Friday night, we were so excited about how much fun we had at the zoo on Saturday. The kids loved everything, from feeding the goats to feeding the giraffes. It was a great day with the kids, my mom and the animals.

On the way home, we stopped by a parade in Allegan where the kids loaded up on candy. We knew the 4th wouldn't be complete without a parade and they were not disappointed. We even took the dogs with us and they sat, relatively calmly, even with all the chaos of a parade.

The Waiting Game

Here we are, waiting in Battle Creek for the hot air balloon launch. It was supposed to start at 6:30. We got there around 6, had a picnic, read books, walked around, played "The Waiting Game", met some guinea pigs that some little girls brought along. We waited. And waited. And left. I'm still not sure if the balloons actually launched that night at all. But we had fun anyway. Rowan is still talking about the guinea pigs and they completely forgot about the balloons. We may try it again next year.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bye-bye, Butterflies

Since Rowan had become pretty attached to her butterflies, I was more than a little concerned about releasing them outside. We talked about it ahead of time. She was sad. She knew, all along, that the plan was to put them in their natural habitat, but as the day grew closer, she seemed more and more upset about it. So, I did the easiest thing I could think of. I made sugary, colorful butterfly cookies that we could only eat after releasing the butterflies. It was the perfect solution. Her favorite part of the butterfly lesson was releasing the butterflies--which, of course, meant eating the cookies.