Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vivi's new shoes

Thank you Grandma Marshall and Aunt Hillary for my beautiful new shoes! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

New tooth

This sucker has been pushing its way out for what seems like a few weeks now.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New lens

We purchased a new 50mm portrait lens today as an early Mommy/Daddy Christmas present! I had fun taking some photos of Vivian in the backyard today since it was such a beautiful warm afternoon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma and Potty training Day 5

Today is Grandma Marshall's birthday!!! Happy Birthday Grandma! We baked her some special cranberry chocolate chip biscotti on Wednesday and are looking forward to going out to brunch on Sunday as a family to celebrate.

Ben had to work today (boo!) and Owen's swim school was actually open today, so we had a lazy morning in our pj's working on potty training. Vivi went down for her morning nap as usual around 9:15am, and Owen and I hung out and played. I could tell that he needed to do #2, so I kept urging him to use the potty. We had a little tantrum and he finally relented and sat. When he did it, he looked over at me and said: I made poop! Want to see?! I couldn't stop laughing! And cheering for him! Soooo happy.

Just as we were finishing up washing hands, Vivi woke up. We went upstairs to get her changed and ready to go to swimming, when Owen got this look on his face like he had to go again. I was in the middle of changing Vivian's diaper, so I told Owen to run downstairs to his potty and go! He listened, and I was in shock when I saw what came out. He must have felt REALLY good after that one. Daddy got another lovely report (with pictures). And Owen got tons of praise, high-fives, and a big Lightning McQueen sticker to put on his chart.

Perfect timing too, because we had just enough time to get packed up and over to the swim school. You know what the first thing he told his teacher was? You guess it: I made poo-poo and pee-pee on the potty! So proud.

We had a good day at home the rest of the afternoon and Ben came home from work early. He got out the Christmas decorations and put lights on the outside of the house and we got the tree up. Me and Vivi have acquired Owen's cold, so now we're pretty miserable. But it was still a fun night decorating the tree while we listened to Christmas music and ate Thanksgiving leftovers.

Warm and cozy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We started off the morning cleaning and working on potty training, and then got to work cooking. Ben brined the turkey overnight. He decided to get some wood chips for extra flavor, so Owen got to go on an excursion out of the house in his big boy underpants! Came home without an accident - yay!

Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Hillary came over right as the kids woke up from their naps. The weather was gorgeous, so everyone played outside a little while Ben and I finished up cooking. All the food came out delicious ~ we ate until we were stuffed. Vivian LOVED the turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Owen ate less than we thought he would, but to me that is a sign that he needs to go number 2, which he didn't do yesterday. He's been reluctant to go #2 on the potty, but after he does, he says his belly feels better, so he knows he needs to.

Overall though, today has been the BEST day of potty training yet. Only one tiny wet accident, and he totally caught himself and said he had an accident and then filled up the potty with pee instead of his pants. It's really starting to click. During our Thanksgiving prayer before we ate, I even threw in a "I'm thankful that Owen is pretty much potty-trained!" to add to our list of things we were thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Potty training Day 3

Today we have painters coming to paint the ceiling in the upstairs hallway, foyer, and Owen's room where we had water damage from our roof leak. Lucky for us, the insurance agency covered the roof replacement and we had enough money left over to get the paint job done as well.

Unlucky for me, this most likely means another day of no nap for Owen. We had a good morning of potty success - lots of pee-pee on the potty and only one little wet accident. It was a little challenging to juggle dealing with the painters, Vivi's nap (because I had to go around the painters and all their equipment) and keeping tabs on Owen, but we made due. I decided that the timer was working well, and I needed to stick to a more consistent reward system, so I made sure to remember to set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes and whenever he went on the potty, he got to choose a sticker to put on his chart. This seemed to help reinforce the good behavior of using the potty.

In the afternoon, the painters left and I pulled Owen's mattress, pillows, and blanket down to the family room so that he could try to nap. Vivi took her afternoon nap, and Owen laid down while I checked email. Poor kiddo is trying to tackle potty training and he's also fighting a nasty cold. I was really hoping he could get some rest since it was pretty cloudy out and the family room was fairly dark once I pulled the blinds shut. But, he had more important things to do! He came over to the potty twice to pee, and then a third time - for a big poop! YAY! More celebratory texts to Daddy!!! :)
(Pardon the outfits, we've spent the week pretty much in jammies since it's potty training week.)

I think we're starting to make some good progress. Owen has started to get annoyed with my constant reminders of: "let's go sit on the potty!". He often replies, "not yet Mommy". So I do think he's starting to get it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Potty training progress

Day two of potty training started out much like day one. Lots of little successes, and some accidents. After what felt like a very long day - day two of no nap and after a small poop accident, I sat down on the couch and cried a little. Owen came over and said he was sorry. I told him it was okay, that we just needed to keep trying.

So that's what we're doing. I'm starting to go stir crazy from being in this house for two days straight. But we gotta do it sometime. Plus, it's been rainy anyway.

Our PottyTime Signing Time DVD came in the mail today, so we've watched that a few times and it seems to be helping. My favorite song has a verse that goes like this:

"If you fall of your chair, or go potty in your underwear: Uh-oh! It's an accident!".....it's a catchy little tune that I've been singing all the time now. :)

The one thing that is driving me nuts is that he'll pee his pants, come over to me, and say: "I had an accident!" then burst out laughing. I'm trying so hard to be nothing but positive, but it wears on you after the third or forth accident of the morning.

Just gotta keep plugging along. I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Potty Training begins

For the past few months, Owen has been waking up from his naps completely dry. We have been using the potty right when he woke up in the morning, before and after naps, and before and after bathtime for awhile now. I decided that it was time we took the leap to big boy underpants this week since he's off from Preschool for Thanksgiving break. I am determined not to go back to diapers (except at night) because I believe he is ready.

All week I've been trying my best to get him excited about potty training by hyping it up every chance I got. Heck, I even started looking forward to it. (I think I was also trying to convince myself that it wasn't going to be as difficult messy as I was fearing.)

After swimming on Friday, we made a trip to Target so that Owen could pick out his favorite big boy underpants. I basically showed him all the boy versions and we got one of each design in his size, including a 2-pack of Gerber cotton training pants with waterproof outside which I thought would help us to contain accidents while still letting him feel wet.

Owen seemed to get the message that we were really going to do this. He even told his preschool teacher and his swim teacher that he was doing potty training this week, unprompted by me. It's starting to sink in. No more diapers for Owen.

This morning we got up, went potty and he picked out the Lightning McQueen underpants to start with. I brought his potty into the area between our kitchen and family room where we spend most of the day when we're home, and put a towel underneath it to help with any sprinkles of tinkle or poop accidents. I thought this would be a good tactic to have the potty close by so that it would be in his mind throughout the day and he could get to it quickly if he had to go.

A friend of mine said that her husband trained their son by putting him in underwear and setting a timer on 30 minute intervals. I decided that it sounded like a good idea, so that's what we did. I offered him an M&M after he went on the potty. We had a few accidents in the morning, but nothing terrible. What started to frustrate me was that he would pee on the potty, then ten minutes later he'd pee in his pants and say, "I had an accident!" and he thought it was hilarious. He also was refusing (along with throwing tantrums) to poop on the potty. "No Mommy! No poop! Just pee-pee!" was what he was saying all morning.

He refused to nap, so instead he played for awhile and then he said he had to pee on the potty. He sat while I was working on putting together our holiday cards on the computer. I looked over and he said, "I made poop on the potty!" all proud of himself. I was amazed. Tons and tons of praise, high fives and hugs/kisses, and some M&M's followed. I actually texted a picture of Owen showing off his potty full of poop to Ben, as gross as that is. I was so proud!

We did okay the rest of the afternoon, some successes and some accidents. Ben got home from work and I had to run to the grocery store, so I got a break while Daddy took over. I got a text during my first 15 minutes in the store: Poop accident.

I am just so thankful that he's no longer holding in his poops, like he was this past May when we ended up in the ER.

It was a long day. I hope tomorrow is better. "Owen, let's go potty!" is about the only thing running through my head right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit with Baby Will

Luke and Erin invited us over to watch football, eat chili, and most importantly, meet their new baby ~ Will. He's completely adorable and I was even able to settle him down for a nap shortly after we arrived. We had fun catching up and look forward to our next visit hopefully in December or January.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

1st Annual Taeschner Pre-Thanksgiving

Kelly and Matt hosted an awesome Pre-Thanksgiving feast in their new home. They had about 26 people, so tables, chairs, and plates were rented for the occasion.

We started off with drinks and apps. One of Matt's friends brought a homemade bacon-infused whiskey. I stuck with a nice winter brew and then moved on to Chardonnay. We fed the kiddos while the turkey and sides finished cooking.

Matt fried a turkey and they also did a traditional roasted one which he soaked in a brine first. There were so many delicious sides: green beans with mushrooms & french fried onions, roasted butternut squash and spinach with cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with pecan topping, andouille sausage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, and fresh baked bread from the new bakery in town. We feasted until we couldn't eat any more and barely had room for dessert. But there was pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cookies, cupcakes and brownies and of course, s'mores made over the fire pit out back.

It was so nice to spend time with great friends who we are so thankful for. Happy Pre-Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Too cold for the playground....

We decided to make a quick trip to the playground today after naps, but Mommy didn't realize how cold it had become so we only stayed for about 20 minutes. Vivi practiced her walking on the semi-soft (and kinda wet) mulch, they rode the motorcycle/side-car, Vivi tried climbing the slide, and Owen showed her how to make mulch cookies ~ his favorite.

I guess the temperature was the reason we were the only ones at the playground. Oh well, we still had fun.

Daddy gets home tomorrow!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grandma Marshall comes to play

Ben had to go to Denver on business this week, so Grandma Marshall came over after school to help out with the kiddos. While Owen napped, Vivian and Grandma played with his dumptruck and I heard the cutest giggles from her when Grandma showed her how to dump the babydoll out of the truck.

Vivi also had so much fun showing Grandma her new steps, and Owen had a ball baking Lightning McQueen and Mater sugar cookies with the cookie cutters she gave us. Mommy even got to sneak out for her hair appointment while Grandma finished up feeding the kids dinner and they were in the tub when I got home.

Thank you Grandma for coming to play and for helping Mommy!

Mommy's helper

Today during lunchtime, Owen decided that he wanted a pear, but I was in the middle of feeding Vivian some YoBaby. So I asked Owen if he could be my helper while I washed the pear and cut it up for him. Then, I taught him how to feed his sister. She LOVED it. :)
So much more fun when Owen does the feeding. I should probably use this trick more often.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Faces of Vivian

Here's Vivi in her new Bippy Wrap bib that I won from a blog giveaway! They are like a mini-cape and come in cute patterns.

(The face in the upper right corner is the one she's been making most these days. It's as if she's saying, "I wish these darn teeth would come in already!!")

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday picture fun

In an attempt to take a holiday picture of the kids that I could use on a holiday card, I found an image on Pinterest to use as inspiration:

I asked Ben to grab a string of Christmas lights and we worked together to try to get the kiddos to cooperate. Here are some of our outtakes:

Here are my favorite two:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Playdate with Blake

Erica and Blake came over this afternoon for lunch and a playdate. The girls had fun playing with all the different toys that take up our family room, and the mommies had fun catching up. We were able to snap a few cute pictures, but with Vivian's fussiness because of her teething, and their constant movement, it was definitely a challenge. Blake however, had no lack of smiles for the camera ~ cutie!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Takeout night

We had the Taeschner's and Molly and Nate over for dinner tonight since Tim was out of town. The kiddos had a ball playing together and us adults enjoyed some tasty Thai takeout. In February we'll have another baby to add to our collection. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vivian is 11 months old!

* Wearing 12-mo & 18-mo clothes
* Size 5 diapers
* Drinking 26-28 oz of formula a day
* Has her two bottom teeth and just this week cut one of her top middle
* Sits in her high chair to eat meals with us
* Loves Cheerios, puffs, yogurt melts and YoBaby yogurt
* Actually drinking the water out of her sippy now at mealtime
* Still sleeping with her paci, sleepy giraffe, and silky blankie
* Starting to laugh more easily for us, especially after meals and in the bath
* Still not fond of diaper changes, but less squirmy this month
* Crawling fast now, going straight to anything that she can pull herself up to standing with
* Can stand up on her own for awhile and loves to wave her arms to show how good she is at balancing :)
* Started walking - can take 5-6 steps before falling on her bottom
* Enjoys walking while holding onto our hands, even giggles sometimes while doing it
* Loves giving sloppy open-mouth kisses ~ so cute
* Says "da", "ma-ma" and "ba" and is starting to point at things
* Smiles when I use baby sign language with her
* Favorite playmate is her brother

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Video clip of Vivi walking

Finally got a good clip today!

Happy 11 months to our little girl! (11-mo photoshoot re-scheduled for tomorrow due to extra long naps today. This walking stuff is hard work!) :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

First steps

Vivian took what I would call her first steps tonight! And she waited until Daddy got home from work to strut her stuff so he could see too and we could celebrate together!

I got a few videos, but haven't had a chance to upload them yet. I'll work on that tomorrow. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Silly boy

Owen went to bed as usual around 7:45pm tonight. At about 8:45pm he woke up and I heard him on the monitor. I looked over and he was sitting up at the foot of his bed. I went upstairs to see what he needed.

Me: "Owen, what's wrong bud?"
Owen: "I need to go pee-pee on the potty."
Me: "Okay, let me unzip your sleepy blanket."
Owen (proudly sticking his index finger in my face): "And look at this big booger!"

Ahhh, the joys of toddlerhood. And yes, it was a nice green one the size of a pea. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Teething hurts

Miss Vivian has been super fussy lately since her two upper middle teeth are making their way through the gums. I wish they would just cut through already and put her out of her misery. Luckily, she's been a trooper. It won't be long now.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sippy love

Viv's getting good at her sippy. Now we just gotta break big brother of his sippy habit.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ivory soap experiment

I read about an Ivory soap experiment you could do with your kids on a Mommy blog and wanted to try it with Owen. (Vivi happily munched some yogurt melts while we conducted this very scientific experiment.)

I cut an Ivory soap bar in half. We put it on a paper plate and I asked Owen what he thought would happen. He said it would "get hot".

We put it in the microwave for 60 seconds. This is what happened:

After it came out of the oven, it was a little warm to the touch. We let it cool off, and then I let Owen "decorate" it with drops of food coloring. He had a ball making his sculpture all different colors. We then did the other half of the soap bar, letting it go a little longer this time. It got even bigger!

At the end, we crumbled the second soap sculpture up into tiny pieces of snow to use later as hand soap. We recycled! :)

It was a fun little experiment and I'm glad we did it. It was definitely worth the 15 minutes of busy time.