Tuesday, September 02, 2014

People And Pottying

For about three months we had been planning on going to New York this past weekend. Those plans fell through about three weeks ago, and so we (really, "I") decided that it would be a good weekend to attempt to toilet train Rachel. I wanted three days in a row where we could basically stay home and where Dave would also be available. And then we ended up having supper plans Every. Single. Night. Since Rachel has not been super consistent about peeing in the potty, we weren't sure how it was going to go.

I began on Friday afternoon at 2. Willem came over for the afternoon and entertained Sam, which was awesome. Since I didn't want to just hang out in the kitchen (scene of the crime), I also decided that Rachel and I would work on her letters. Just so we had something to do!
I plied Rachel with lots of juice, she got a Smartie every time she sat on the potty, and she wore underwear the whole time. She finally peed after about an hour and a half. Then we had to head out for a little bit so I put a pullup on her.

She ended up having a couple of accidents on Friday (one with regards to pooping), but by Friday night she was announcing, "I have to pee!!!" and running to the potty and peeing on it. It was pretty awesome. Tim and Willem came for supper, and Rachel fell asleep on Dave's lap at 7:30. I think she was pretty exhausted.

Saturday morning Rachel woke up with a dry diaper and I hurried her downstairs (at 7:15am, without wearing my glasses or putting my contacts in) to try and convince her to pee. I took this picture and in my sleep deprived state I couldn't figure out why the camera wasn't focusing properly. After a few minutes, I realized that the camera was fine but I wasn't focusing properly. Ha!
After that exhausting interlude, I crashed on the futon in the office, Sam played, and Dave and Rachel continued to focus on keeping Rachel's underwear dry, more or less successfully.

Rachel did have a few more accidents but I would say about 80% of the time she was successful on the potty. That afternoon we worked some more on our letters.
On Saturday night our friends Julie and Saskia came over for supper and that was tons of fun! Rachel conked out around 7:30 again.

Sunday we hung around here in the morning and then went to our friends' house for supper. Rachel wanted to bring her potty along and so I told her to pick it up. Unbeknownst to Dave and I, she had peed in it earlier and sadly, got kind of wet when she picked it up. The major highlight was that not only was she peeing on the potty, but she was doing it of her own accord.

Although we had her sit numerous times at our friends' house, she didn't pee the entire six hours we were there. And yes, she had a lot to drink. So we put a pullup on over her underwear, and hoped for the best. And she stayed dry all the way home!

Yesterday Rachel pooped on the potty for the first time ever. I screamed so loud with excitement that some of you may have heard it where you live! :) And we went out in the evening and she stayed dry the whole time.

So, fingers crossed, I think we have trained Rachel. After the nightmare, and years of work, that was training Sam, this has felt like a pretty easy transition. I will still put a pullup on over Rachel's underwear when we leave the house for any length of time (like today I have to go run some errands), but we can see a diaperless house in our near future, and after five and a half years, that feels like a pretty huge milestone!

And that was our weekend. Thanks for reading along. What did you do this past weekend? I hope it included less of a focus on bodily functions and more on fun, but sometimes that's how life goes.

Note: We are not pushing Rachel on night training, and we will let that happen in its own time, but she does wake up dry 2-3 times a week, so I don't think we're too far off from that milestone either.

Friday, August 29, 2014

And Then This Happened...

Remember how yesterday I said that some days I want to homeschool??? Well, the other day I saw these beans at Bulk Barn and I remembered seeing somewhere that kids enjoyed making roads in trays of beans. So I bought six different kinds that were all different sizes and colours.
I gave each kid a cookie sheet full of beans on a towel on the living room floor, some cars, and told them to have fun.
And they did. A little too much fun.
It took awhile to clean them all up, as you can likely imagine, and now I have a whole bucket of beans that I don't know what to do with. If you want to try this yourself, just give me a call and I will do my best to talk you out of it :) And if I don't succeed, at least I'll send you the beans!

PS. Normally I don't blog much on the weekends but this weekend is special as we are attempting to toilet train Rachel. So if you are really interested (or really bored), you can check out the all the successful happenings (think positive, right?!?!) at our house this weekend. Go Rachel! Preferably on the potty :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some Days I Want To Homeschool

Sometimes I really enjoying doing ideas I've found on Pinterest with my kids. I like making their days fun and unique. I get a kick out of watching them have fun with something I've introduced them to. For instance, Sam loved the Angry Birds sandwiches I made above.
And this backyard car wash was such a simple idea that kept the kids entertained for awhile.

The kids thought making ice cream in a bag was the Best. Thing. Ever!!! And it was :)
Then we did some painting with coloured vinegar and baking soda. That was pretty entertaining too.
And finally, after searching all over the city for some plain wooden cubes to make homemade dice, the kids also really enjoyed playing this simple dot game.
Of course, then there are days like the one I will write about tomorrow, and I realize that I'm sorta glad that school starts in a week, our regular fall activities are resuming, and I don't have to try and figure out seventy billion ways to entertain Sam and Rachel without resorting to videos.

But I'm sure that in a month I will be missing these days of fun projects and crazy messes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Project 364: Days 229 Through 236

August 18, 2014 -- Sam set up a Tire Store with his Lego.
August 19, 2014 -- We made ice cream in a bag for a treat this day. Yum!
August 20, 2014 -- We had fun with baking soda and coloured vinegar!
August 21, 2014 -- Since I was sick, I took no pictures this day :( I think this is only the second day I've missed all year. Sadness :(

August 22, 2014 -- Sam and his friend (who is blognonymous) had a sleepover in the basement. They watched Mighty Machines, ate popcorn, and didn't fall asleep until close to 11pm. Yerghks :()
August 23, 2014 -- Dave did some preparation for me for the worship service I was leading the next day. I really like how you can see the mirror reflecting on the wall in the right hand corner. That was completely unplanned!
August 24, 2014 -- Rachel quickly got into this dot game but proved that she still needs to work on her counting skills :)
August 25, 2014 -- Organizing and cleaning in the playroom was on the agenda this day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No Time To Blog

Whew! What a crazy week I'm in the midst of. I don't even have time to write a proper blog post but I at least wanted to say a quick "Hi!"

Last week I had two extra kids for a couple of days and then, just as that was ending, we all got sick. I got a cold and slept for thirteen hours one night (heavenly!), Sam threw up and was lethargic for the rest of the day, and Rachel got a high fever and couldn't keep anything down for about eighteen hours. In the midst of all that, we had our friends' two boys for an overnight on Friday until Saturday afternoon and I was trying to facilitate an intergenerational worship service at church.

We've been running on too little sleep, too much to do, and too little time to just be as a family. But we've gotten lots of errands done and had really good times connecting with friends. Well, the kids have had good connecting with friends time. Dave and I have just been riding herd on lots of kids! And this week I've got extra kids for a few days again.

Also, last night I accidentally drained our entire 220L (58 gallon) rain barrel onto our new tree. Let's just say I forgot I had started watering our tree until I was changing Rachel's diaper this morning and happened to glance outside. Fortunately, I think it's supposed to rain today.

Last night we finally got to have a much postponed evening with Tim and Janice and it was so much fun! Dave helped Tim finish organizing their basement and Janice and I got to start catching up on our lives. Willem and Sam played and Rachel monopolized Tessa's time for most of the evening :)

Sam starts back to school one week from tomorrow (where did our summer go?!?!?!) and I've been trying to get our house a little more organized in preparation for that. Once I fold my last basket of laundry, I think both kids will be clothes-ready for fall, at least.

In other crazy news, the new assistant teacher at our preschool resigned two weeks before school was to start so I'll be spending a couple of mornings this week helping to interview new ones. And if you know anyone in my area who is a registered ECE and wants to work at an AWESOME preschool teaching cute kids like Rachel (!!!), send them my way :)

Also, in an attempt to start the summer detox, we have really cut down on the hours of screen time the kids get. Read: fewer Franklin videos and less iPad time and a lot more meltdowns. Let's just say parenting the past few days has been torturous fun and leave it at that.

So last week, when we were having absolutely no summer weather, my blog friend, Amanda, offered to send me some of her Texas heat. We attempted to send our weather to each other, hoping they would collide in the middle and result in lovely weather for each of us. Well, I have to apologize because obviously my weather switching skills are not as awesome as Amanda's, but her's rock! Today, I get to enjoy our HOT SUMMER DAY!!! We even have a "heat warning" issued. So if you're not appreciating your weather, and Texas sun is appealing, then just get in touch with Amanda, because she can help you out! Thanks again Amanda and sorry I didn't hold up my end of the bargain :)

Okay, this post is random and all over the place, kind of like life lately. Hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to upload pictures from my camera and share some awesome stories, like why $5 worth of beans felt like a good idea at the time. Cheap entertainment, right? Let's just say the moral of the story was "hours of cleaning fun" and we'll leave it at that :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

One Last Hurrah At The Beach

After three days of really cold weather, by late Thursday night I had hit the wall. Three days of finding non-beach things to do had been fine but I really wasn't looking forward to a fourth day. Especially since we had pretty much discovered everything there was to do already. Dave woke up Friday morning and had hit the same wall. However, thankfully, the sun came out so we decided to check out the other minigolf course in town.
It was seriously the most fun minigolf course I have ever played. They used different levels and slopes to the greens to make every hole challenging. Dave and I had so much fun.

After lunch we decided to take advantage of the sunny, but very windy, afternoon and we headed to the beach. It was too cold to swim so I hung out and read while Sam and Rachel played. Sadly, after about twenty minutes, Rachel got a little too close to the water, and decided that her beach time was officially over. Dave drove her back to the house while Sam and I spent another half hour hanging out.

That night we had a campfire and hung out talking with our friends. It was a perfect evening, made even better by the discovery of S'moreos. Basically you roast a marshmallow, open up an Oreo cookie, and stick the marshmallow in. It was AMAZING! We were hoping to get rich off our discovery but sadly, it seems S'moreos have been previously invented.
Saturday, our last day, was rainy. I don't think Sam stepped outside the house once that day. Also, we had five extra guests come to visit on the last day, so we had five kids, 5 and under, inside the house All. Day. I'll let you imagine how peaceful that was...
Dave BBQd supper despite it being rainy, and, while Donny and Marika took all the kids on a long walk, I finished off the day with a stiff drink! Ha!
And that was our (not so beachy) beach vacation. I did enjoy doing fun things with my family and our friends. I just wish we had been able to spend a bit more time enjoying the actual beach. Maybe next year...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Discovering Creativity And Finding Humour

Besides doing all the non-beachy things I mentioned yesterday, we also spent an afternoon creating artwork out of glass. Dave and Rachel worked together, and Sam and I each did our own projects. I was incredibly impressed with how patient and careful Sam was. He was amazing!!!
First we picked a design and then traced the design onto the glass. After outlining it in liquid glass, we filled it in with glass pieces.
Instead of doing a predetermined pattern, I decided to make myself a necklace. I thought it turned out well except the glass woman kept calling my star in the middle a dragonfly. I never claimed to be an artist!
After we had finished them, we left them overnight to be fired. And then we came home and hung our creations in our windows, or around our necks, as the case may be. Sadly, Rachel's owl decided to test its wings shortly after I hung it. Since it forgot that it was glass, and therefore couldn't fly, it shattered spectacularly all over the floor. I was so bummed.
During the week, I also found some funny signs and interesting sights that I just couldn't help photographing.

Bekah, the Procaffeinating sign is just for you!

For some reason this last picture made me laugh so much!!! So rather than leaving you with the story of The Owl Who Discovered She Couldn't Fly, I'll leave you with this instead.