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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shower time!

Caeden has been fighting his baths lately.  He cries the whole time he's in there, fights us in sitting down, and doesn't even want to play.  We're not sure why...  Well, tonight we asked him if he wanted to take a shower, and he quickly said, "Yes!"  So...we tried it!  And he loved it!!  Weird that I'm giving my 22 mo old a shower!  Not sure when it's normal to start taking showers, but it seems young... 
I think he just thought it was like the sprinkler outside! :)



Friday, June 24, 2011

Potty Training: Complete!! (Day 5)

Today was a very successful day!  This was our 5th day for Caeden to be in underwear.  He kept his underwear dry from the time he woke up (7am) until 2:30pm.  Then he had an accident.  But during that 7.5 hour time period, he went peepee in the potty several times! Some of the times he told me and other times I asked and he simply said, "Yes!"  We even went to play group for an hour this morning and he kept his pants dry the whole time!!  We were so proud of him!  The funny part was, before his nap I was telling him how proud we were of him...and he was quick to remind us that it was time for a present (his small toys I wrapped up for big successes).  HA!  This kid and his memory!  So of course we went to get a present and let him open it.  He was also very successful this afternoon and evening - a few accidents, but nothing major - most of the time he made it to the potty!  So I think I can consider this blogging journey complete!  Yes, I'm sure we'll continue to have occasional accidents along the way, but I would say he's got it down for the most part!  5 days isn't bad!!  Even though the method I used says "3 Day Potty Training," I am very impressed with this 5-day outcome!  I would highly recommend it to any of you looking for a way to potty train your child.  I also have friends who used pull-ups instead of going straight to the underwear - and they said it took their child 3-4 mos to get it down.  So, personally, I was perfectly okay with setting aside 5 days to focus on this task, cleaning up some accidents, and having Caeden potty trained quickly. 

A note on the nighttime potty training: Caeden hasn't gone through a night completely dry yet.  We're going to continue trying for a few more nights and then go from there.  Since he's young, it may just be that his body isn't ready to go all night yet, and that's fine.  So, if you decide to wait until your child is a little older and is already waking up dry - the nighttime training shouldn't be a problem!  Caeden has woken up from his nap dry since Day 1 - just not nighttime.  If any of you have any questions, fell free to contact me via Facebook!

Now, for some fun non-potty-training stuff!  Caeden has recently learned the skill of jumping with two feet.  And he does it all the time!  He jumps off his toy tubs, his stool, his small cushy chair, across the yard, off the street curb, everywhere!  I was able to get a short video of him jumping since this is one of this new hobbies now! :)  Sorry about his distraction at the end.  But notice the stool is a pretty good height...

video


Also, today we decided to celebrate the first week of summer by making homemade lemonade.  For those of you who want the recipe, it's super easy:
Homemade Lemonade
  • Boil 6 cups water and 1 cup sugar for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off stove and let it sit until it's at room temperature.
  • Pour the water/sugar mixture into a pitcher.
  • Squeeze the juice out of 8-10 lemons until you have 1 cup.
    • PS - Rolling the lemons first helps release the juice.
  • Mix the lemon juice with the sugar water, and you're done!!
  • ENJOY!
Caeden helping roll the lemons

Helping mommy squeeze the juice

Cutting his own (pretend) lemon

Daddy using his strong arms to get more juice out!  ;)

This is super fun to do with your kiddos and your husbands will totally enjoy drinking it!  As much as I love Country Time lemonade - the homemade stuff is much better!!


And lastly, Caeden got a bad burn on his hand today!  This morning I was putting peanut butter on his toast and he reached over to put his hand right on the burning hot toaster.  He has a HUGE blister that runs the length of his palm and another pretty big one on the other side of his palm.  He screamed so hard for about 30 min.  He wouldn't let us put it under cold water, put an ice pack on it, or anything.  He even spit out the Ibuprofen I tried to give him. FINALLY after about 20 minutes of screaming, we got him to let us put a burn cream on it and wrap it with gauge.  This is what made it feel better!  The rest of the day, he avoided using this hand, but didn't complain much at all!  Here's a picture of the bandaged hand... :(

Poory guy...  Anyway, I'm proud of him for the success he's had this week!  Thanks to those of you who have followed me these last five days!!  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Potty Training: Day 4

So here we are at Day 4!  We've had some great successes, but I still wouldn't consider Caeden completely potty trained.  Some successes for today are that he pooped in the potty twice - I'm so thankful that he's not scared to do this, and that we didn't have any poopy accidents (much messier to clean up)!  He also told me completely on his own that he had to go pee today.  Right before his nap, he said "Peepee mommy."  So we rushed to the bathroom and he went!!  YAY!!  However, this was the only time he did this.  He had a few accidents this evening.  So I'm not really sure.  Again, I DO feel like we're making progress, and I truly do believe that he's ready....It's just taking a few more than 3 days.

For those of you considering this method (http://www.3daypottytraining.com/), I'm going to post some of my suggestions below:
  • I would still highly recommend this method because I love the author's philosphy on potty training. I still wouldn't do it any other way!  But totally expect for it to last more than 3 days!  Some of my friends who've done this really did complete the task in 3 days (one of them in two!).  But most of us it's taken 4-5 days.  Like I said at the very beginning, it took another one of my friends 7 days to teach her son.  So, if at all possible, block at 4-5 days to stay home and do this. Yes, it's an intense week, but it will be great when we knock it out!
  • Buy some solid-colored underwear/panties.  The ones with patterns on them make it hard to see when he's peeing.  We bought a few Toy Story underwear so he could be excited about wearing them, but the solid colored ones are much easier to see an accident with. 
  • Don't expect for your house to be clean the week you do this.  Clean the house and catch up on laundry the days before you start.  Then make sure your husband understands that your mission this week is potty training!  Then focus completely on your child for that week, and DON'T WORRY if your house isn't perfect - You're accomplishing a very big goal!
  • Lastly, if it's at all possible for your husband to stay home with you for part of the training, it's of great help!!!  Reid is home since he's on summer break - I DID make him read the eBook.  I wanted him to understand the method and be using the same terms as me, so it didn't cause confusion to Caeden.  But when there's times I'm tired, or frustrated, and need a break - he can watch Caeden for a bit.  One suggestion: You and your husband take a Friday off work, then make sure you're both home Saturday and Sunday.  This will give you 3 full days to fully focus on your child.  It it takes more than 3 days, at least you'll have the hardest work out of the way.
Okay - I think that's it for this post!  I'm so anxious for Caeden to get this down so we can be done and venture out of the house! ;)

Caeden showing off his M&M reward, after going in the potty!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Potty Training: Day 3...Getting Closer!

Well, today was our third day of potty training with no diapers.  According to the eBook I bought, when using the author's method, it only takes 3 days for them to be fully potty trained.  I would not say Caeden is COMPLETELY potty trained by the end of this third day.  HOWEVER, he's showed progress every day and I think he'll have it down by the end of the week.  Even if it takes 5 or 6 days, that's great as far as I'm concerned!!  The earliest the author suggests potty training is 22 mos and that's how old Caeden is.  So, I know he's on the young side and it may take a few extra days - That's still fine with me!

So, let me start with last night.  Since he was dry when we woke him up the first night, we decided to let him go an hour later.  Well, this time he was wet - so that wasn't the smartest decision on our part.  We got him up to change his sheets and underwear - we tried to get him to pee in the potty, but again, he refused.  He was just tired, confused, and disoriented.  After trying a few times, we didn't force it and put him back to bed. He then woke up at 6:15 this morning and of course was wet.  So, no progress on the nighttime training, but that's okay.  I'm staying positive and not giving up!  We knew the nighttime training would be the hardest for him since he IS so young.  Before we started this, Reid and I decided we would try it for 7 nights and if we saw progress, we'd keep going.  But if there was no progress whatsoever, then we'll consider using pull-ups at night.

As far as the daytime went today, it was like a roller coaster...a random combination of accidents and great moments!  At first he had lots of pee accidents...and I was a little confused...It was like we were back at Day 1.  But then after he woke up (DRY, again) from his nap, the afternoon improved.  We noticed he was acting like he needed to poop, so we took him into the bathroom and set him on the potty...We played with stickers and read some books to entertain him and keep him there.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, he pooped in the potty and wasn't scared.  It was so great!!  We were able to show him how he kept his underwear dry and clean!!  He had the most excited look on his face when he turned around and saw the poopoo in the potty!!  I think it was a small breakthrough!!!  So we celebrated with a small $5 present from walmart, since this was kind of a big deal.

Another "aha" moment happened this evening.  Caeden was eating dinner and I left to just throw some laundry into the dryer.  I heard him yell, "Mommeeeee!  Mommeeeee!"  So, I ran out and said "Do you need to go peepee?"  And he nodded yes.  So we ran to the potty and he went!!  I was so proud of him for telling me completely on his own and then going!!!!  I'm hoping that this means it's starting to "click"!! 

We'll see how tomorrow goes, but as you can see, there HAS been progress and I'm proud of my 22 mo. old son for wearing underwear and going in the potty!!!  We haven't mastered it yet, but we're oh-so-close!!  I really think it will only be a few more days!  Thanks to everyone for your support along the way!!  I'll keep posting and hopefully we'll have this down by the end of the week!

Caeden modeling his "big boy" underwear   :)



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Potty Training: Day 2!

So we just concluded Potty Training Day #2!  I have to admit - I wasn't AS tired as I was yesterday...Maybe I'm just getting used to being Caeden's shadow and constantly saying the same script, "Tell mommy when you have to go pee, ok?"  :)  First of all, let me say that overall, Caeden had a great day!  For those of you who just want the summary:  He only had two peepee accidents today!!  That's it!!  The rest of them he held until he got to the potty!  HOWEVER, he pooped in his underwear four times...Which is weird...He normally doesn't poop four times in a day anyway.  He wasn't scared to sit on the potty...He just never made it in time.  So we still gotta work on that, but overall, I'm pleased with his progress.  For those of you who want the details, you can read below!!

So I'll start where I left off last night.  As I said, we didn't let him have any drinks after dinner and he went potty several times before bed.  Now, Caeden has never woken up dry before, so I was expecting accdents.  I read a GREAT suggestion in a magazine: Put 3-4 sheets on the crib and separate each sheet with a waterproof mattress pad.  That way, when it's midnight and you're tired and changing the sheets, you just have to take off the top layer of sheet/mattress pad.  GREAT IDEA!!  So anyway, Caeden went to bed at 7:30, like usual.  Right before we went to bed at 11pm, we woke up him up to go potty.  To our surprise, he was still dry!  But as we walked into the bathroom, he was disoriented and crying.  He did NOT want to sit on the potty....He just wanted to go back to bed.  After trying to sit him down a few times, and him REFUSING and crying, we decided not to force it.  So we went back to his room and I was rocking him to get him calmed back down.  Sure enough, he peed in my lap.  So we didn't make a big deal about it - just changed his underwear and reminded him to keep them dry.  He quickly went back to sleep.

I set an alarm on my phone and woke up at 4:30 to check him - I didn't want him to be laying in pee all night.  To our surprise again, he was still dry!!  So we didn't wake him this time.  I decided to set my alarm clock for 6:15am (15 min before he typically wakes up).  I figured if I went in and woke him a little early BEFORE he peed, he'd make it to the potty in time.  WELLLL....He decided to wake up at 5:45 instead.  And of course, peed right away in his bed, before I could get to him.  So I changed his underwear, pulled off the top layer of sheets and he would not go back to sleep.   So we were up early this morning.  But not too bad for his first night...I was surprised that he was dry at 11pm and 4:30am when we DID go in there.  We'll see how tonight goes.

As written above, the daytime was great!  We just repeated the same procedure as yesterday.  He did GREAT at making it to the potty in time to pee (only two accidents in his underwear), but we still need to work on the pooping.  But I figure it's only his second day EVER in underwear....Not too bad!  I'm still proud of our little man and we'll just keep on truckin'!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Potty Training: Day 1

Whew!  I'm exhausted!  Today has been a tiring, but rewarding day!  To sum it up: We had lots of accidents AND some successful trips to the potty.  We continuously kept it positive all day!  We just kept telling him over and over how proud of him we were, even when he hadn't done anything.  He TOLD us he had to go a few times, went poopoo twice in the potty, AND stayed completely dry during his nap.  For those of you who want specifics, you can read below!

The morning started out great!  We took off Caeden's last diaper, put on his new underwear and all celebrated because he was such a "big boy, wearing big boy underwear!"  After putting on his first pair of underwear, we took him into the bathroom and explained that he needs to put his peepee and poopoo in the potty.  We told him he needed to keep his underwear dry.  Then left telling him to tell us if he needs to go potty.

Within the first hour, he ran into the bathroom twice on his own and went pee in the potty, but only a little bit.  I think he was just trying really hard!  But of course we still rewarded him and praised him both times.  Then over the next few hours, he had a few accidents (as completely expected).  While he was peeing, we would rush him to the bathroom, saying "Uh oh!  Your underwear isn't dry anymore!  Hurry!  Let's go sit on the potty!"  Sometimes, he would sit and get a little more out - which still resulted in praise and rewards.  Sometimes he would sit on the potty and wouldn't have anything else to do.  But that was okay - we just changed his underwear and constantly reminded him to "Tell mommy if you need to go peepee, ok?"  Seriously, we said this like 100 times today!  I felt like his shadow.  We just followed him around all day, saying the above quote, and waiting for him to have an accident or take us to the bathroom.  I think that's what was so tiring - just doing the same things over and over and over.

Before we laid him down for his nap, we told him that he needed to go potty before laying down.  So he sat on the potty for a few seconds, but couldn't go.  So we didn't force it.  I took him on into his room and read him a few books.  Right before laying him down, I reminded him that he needed to keep his underwear dry.  So he said, "Peepee, mommy,"  got off my lap, and ran to the bathroom....and went peepee!!!  YAY!!  We were so excited!!  He stayed completely dry during his nap, and then went in the potty as soon as he woke up.

The afternoon resulted in several more accdents.  But we just repeated the same process all day.  If any pee made it into the potty at all, we rewarded and praised.  If not, no big deal.  We just changed the underwear and continued to remind him to "keep your underwear dry and make sure you tell us if you need to go potty, ok?"  We also made sure to keep him full of fluids all day!!!  Lots of juice boxes, popsicles, and fun cups!  Here's one picture I had time to snap of him eating his popsicle outside:


As the afternoon turned to evening, he started doing awesome!  He told us 4-5 times he needed to go and went everytime!  I think he only had one accident in the evening.  Around 5:30 when we were playing, he stopped and got a very serious look on his face - which I knew meant he was getting ready to poop.  So I said, "Come on Caeden!  Let's hurry to the potty!  You need to go poopoo!"  On the way there, he pooped in his underwear.  But as I sat him over the potty, I tooks off his underwear and discretely dumped the poop into his potty.  So HE thought he actually finished in the potty!  He turned around to see it and was so proud!!  The eBook recommends doing this so they feel successful and realize it's not scary and doesn't hurt to go poop in the potty (a common fear of toddlers).  It worked!  About 30 minutes later, he got real serious again.  So we ran to the potty.  But this time, he held it and went in the potty!!!  YAY!!!  This was a big celebration and definitely resulted in a small toy reward. 

We ate dinner early (5:00) and didn't let him have anymore drinks the rest of the evening - this will hopefully help him not wet as much tonight.  He went peepee 3 times between dinner and bed - so HOPEFULLY this helped empty his bladder.  We'll see how tonight goes!  Overall, it was a great day!!  Definitely hasn't totally "clicked" with him yet, but it's only day 1!  I'm completely happy with our results so far!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And the potty training begins...

As some of you have read on Facebook, we are going to start potty training Caeden tomorrow.  The last few months, he has become more and more ready.  Even to the point of telling us once or twice a day that he needs to go "peepee" and then going in the potty.  Soooo.....the big day is tomorrow!  After watching the experiences of several of my own mom friends, we are going cold turkey!  Away with the diapers -and straight to the underwear.

Because of this, we are expecting several accidents the first few days and will be staying home!  We are dedicating this week to Caeden and the potty.  We are going to put away our computer, TV, and phones to solely focus on this task.  For those of you who have kids Caeden's age and are interested, we are using a method called "3 Day Potty Training."  You can read more about it, by clicking on the icon below.  I have read the eBook and we're ready to go! 


Supposedly, by using this method, Caeden will be potty trained in 3 days.  HOWEVER, Reid and I have blocked out the whole week, just in case it takes a few extra days.  For those of you who think this method sounds crazy....I've seen it work.  I have 5 friends who have done this exact method with their kids in the last 6 mos...and a whole classroom of 8 two-year olds who mom's did this.  And the success rate is 100%!  There were only two kids who didn't potty train in 3 days....It took one kid 4 days and one kid 7 days.  That's it!!  I figure if 7 days is the worst it can get - I can do this!  So needless to say - if it's worked for so many others - it's the first (and hopefully only) method I'm going to try!

We're starting first thing tomorrow morning - everything is set out and ready to go.  I'll try to post on my blog each night after Caeden's asleep to let you know how each day goes.  It will kind of be like a journal/experiment for us.  Wish us luck and stay tuned!!

All of his rewards set out and ready to go!
(Note: Most of these are free McDonald toys)


Lots of fun drinks to keep the fluids coming!
(more opportunities to learn)


And the potty chair and "big kid" wipes!!

Our Father's Day Celebration!

Father's Day was fun to celebrate this year because Caeden is a little older and was able to help make the day special.  Caeden and I are VERY lucky to have Reid in our lives.  He's an amazing husband to me, and an incredible daddy to Caeden.  Ever since Caeden's first night, Reid has gone above and beyond in taking care of him.  So Caeden and I wanted to make this weekend very special for him.

We started a few weeks ago.  I checked out several books from our library about "daddy, " "dad," etc.  Each night we have been reading them to Caeden - So he kind of had an idea about what Father's Day was about and why we love our daddy so much!  Except we called it "Daddy Day." :)

We celebrated Saturday because we were planning on being out of town part of this weekend.  On Saturday, Caeden woke up and helped me make Daddy a *yummy* breakfast...Blueberry Crumble Cake!  And Caeden truly helped - I even let him measure, pour the ingredients in, and start the mixer.  He also helped by cleaning up the used spatula (with his mouth, of course).  We let Reid sleep in and then woke him with some big kisses, hugs, and Caeden saying "Daddy Day!!"

After breakfast, we gave him our gifts.

From Caeden:  A fingerpainting he made for Daddy to put on his desk at work


From Mommy:  His continued scrapbook from last year



Then, we wanted to do something with Reid that HE enjoys.  Since hiking is one of his favorite hobbies, we drove to a nearby trail to hike, throw rocks in the creek, and watch fish.



The next thing on our plan was to do a "chore" for Reid.  Caeden and I decided we would wash Reid's truck for him. But of course, since this would a kinda fun chore, Reid wanted to join in.  Unfortunately Caeden took an unusually long nap that afternoon and we had to leave town.  So we didn't get to this part yet - but we will do it this week.  Overall, it was a great Father's Day and we had fun celebrating together!

LASTLY, I need to give a shout out to MY dad!!!  My dad is one of those classic dads who would come home from work and play with me and my sisters, come say my prayers with me every night, pray with us before school in the mornings, was patient when we made mistakes, and taught us lots of skills....from how to hit a softball, to time-management, to big vocabulary words like "discombobulated," to always tithing first (even if it's only 10 cents from my $1.00 allowance).  He was and IS a wonderful dad and I'm so blessed to have him as my father!!  I love you very much dad!!!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun Stuff

First of all, my camera is broken... :(  So I've had lots of things to blog about this week, but have been hesitant because I don't have any fun pictures to post with them.  But I decided I would just do a quick re-cap of fun things we've done this week.  Hopefully pictures will be coming soon!
  • Monday Caeden was at his Nana & Papa's house, so Reid and I had some "free time."  We actually just spent the day getting things done around the house and in our yard.  We DID stop to go out to lunch together and grab some ice cream though - so that was fun!  And we felt very productive that day!
  • Nonnie and Grandpa came up on Tuesday to visit.  Because it was cool and kinda rainy, we just stayed inside and played most of the day. 
  • Yesterday we got to spend the day at NEW LFIE RANCH!!  This was so fun for us!  Since Reid's brother, Rhett, works out there, it's fairly easy for us to go visit him and the camp every once in awhile.  Summer camp is full on and we were surrounded by hundreds of kids all day, but Caeden loved it!  Being outside all day - he was the happiest we had seen him in a long time!  Caeden's fun day consisted of watching kids climb and jump off poles (the ropes course), getting to watch an archery range, participate in MORNING CAMP PARTY....which is so loud the floor vibrates.  I thought Caeden would be scared, but he was just dancing right along. HA!  Then after lunch, he took his first dip in the "big" pool for this summer - he loved it - just a little fish-wanna-be!  Then back to Rhett's house for a (short) nap, and back to camp.  Caeden and Daddy just walked around, played ball, held some turtles, etc.  It was a boy's dream come true!  So thankful to have the opportunity to do this during the summer!
  • Today Reid had to go back to work for teacher's meetings.  So Caeden and Mommy went to Krispy Kreme for the first time!  Caeden enjoyed watching the doughnuts being made - and enjoyed the actual doughnut MUCH MORE!  He ate it so fast, it was hilarious!  Then we went to the park, made a quick run to walmart, and came home to make daddy's Father's Day gift.  Caeden got to spend the afternoon with Nana while I got my hair cut and did some other things in town. 
WOW!! We've had a busy week.  Since Reid only has a 6 week summer this year (due to all the snow days), we're trying to enjoy every last minute!  Again, sorry there are no pictures!  Hopefully we'll have my camera fixed (or a new camera) soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Out-di-ees"

This is Caeden's version of "outside."  He has been saying this word often lately and is loving to just live outside!  This weekend, while at Nonnie and Grandpa's house (Reid's parents), he spent much time outside.


Friday night - Playing on his new playset






Saturday morning - Scooping rocks in...and dumping rocks out




Saturday evening - Relaxing in his chair
(At a picnic with Reid's extended family)



Sunday morning - Playing with his new bubble gun!!!




And after his nap...
The most precious picture of all...
Cuddling with mommy!!
(just ignore his facial expression - Ha!)



Sunday afternoon, we dropped him off at Nana & Papa's house (Ashley's parents).  He is going to enjoy the next 24 hours with them, while Reid and I enjoy the next 24 hours with EACH OTHER!!  Looking forward to it!!  Have a good week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day of Service

So we are in Joplin, MO this weekend - our hometown.  I have some exciting things to post about, but unfortunately forgot to bring home my camera....so no pictures. :( 

Anyway, we came down Friday evening, once Reid was home from work.  We ate a delicious dinner and headed to bed early, because Saturday would be a long, busy day.

You see - Today was the Boomtown Run Day of Service.  Let me explain... Every year Joplin hosts a Boomtown Days Festival downtown.  My dad is in charge of the Boomtown Run (5K and Half Marathon) that takes place on this weekend each summer.  Because of my recent desire to start running, Reid and I registered to run in the 5K a few months ago.  When the tornado happened on May 22, my dad (and the committee) had a decision to make.  Continue or cancel the run?  Well, immediately he started getting emails from registered runners all over the country saying they were coming to Joplin either way - and that they would love to help. Thus began the Day of Service.  The planning committee for the run decided to still have all the runners meet at the same place, same time and band together to help the city (a marathon in itself) instead.  Also, all the registration money for the race would go to United Way to use for tornado relief.

They immediately sent out an email to all the runners with this information.  Runners World magazine got a hold of this idea and quickly published an article about it.  Within 24 hours, there were several people registering online for the race - people from all over the country - not because they were going to come run (or even serve), but because they wanted to contribute financially to the cause.  In addition, my dad continued to get MORE emails...  An email reporting that this morning, a group of runners in Lakeland, Florida was holding a Boomtown Run in memory of us this morning.  Next weekend, a city in Illinois is also hosting a Boomtown  Race for us - and all the proceeds are going towards Joplin tornado relief.  And the next weekend - the same thing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It has been so cool to see runners all over the country unify to support this cause.

Soooo....this morning, Reid and I drove to downtown Joplin for a quick breakfast and went to the "starting point" of the race.  There was a brief memorial service held.  Then 320 runners (only half of what actually registered) loaded buses and were taken to various neighborhoods around Joplin.  We then spent the next 4 hours cleaning up houses and debris.  Let me tell you - It was hard work!!!  However, with all of us working together, we really could see the small dent we had made in the progress.  At 12:30pm, we re-loaded our buses and were taken back to downtown Joplin.  As we exited the bus, there was the HUGE finish line...The race committee was standing behind it, cheering us on after our "marathon" of clean-up.  As we crossed the finish line, they gave us each a medal.  It was so wonderful!  We then had lunch and celebrated together with music and a speaker. 

I was nervous to do this because I didn't know how hard the physical labor would be.  It was tough - but so rewarding.  Rewarding in ways my words cannot describe.  I was so blessed to be a part of this day - amidst many other runners who felt the same way. 

Click the logo below to see the news report of this event.

PS - The race director, Audie Dennis, who is interviewed - is my dad!! :)  So proud!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Favorite Phrases

So Caeden is finally entering the stage of life that involves talking!  This is exciting to Reid and I because we always feel as if we are guessing at what he wants or needs.  Starting at about 18 mos, he started saying single words....mainly repeating what we would say.  Then about 21 mos, he started showing/telling us what he wanted, on his own, with one word:  "milk," "baytet" (blanket), "pay" (play), etc. 

Well, just in the last 2-3 weeks he's been putting two or three words together to make small phrases.  It's been so fun hearing him start to talk!  So, in this post, I'm going to list some of my favorite phrases that I've heard him say recently.  I'll put the translation in bold, since most of the things he says only mommy and daddy can understand. :)

  • "I res too"  (I want to rest, too.)  The reason I love this one is because he rarely says this.  He's such an active boy that we can never convince him to just take a break and rest.  BUT if his friend Ella decides to sit and rest, then he'll say this. :)
  • "I peepee mommy." (I went peepee mommy.)  This is one of my favorites because it means he's showing more readiness signs for potty training - I'm so tired of diapers!  He often tells me AFTER he goes pee or poop.
  • "Bi-bow" (Bible)  Of course this is one of my favorites because he says it anytime he sees a Bible (children's or adult).  I love it that he already recognizes God's Word and realizes that it's a special book.
  • "Otay" (Okay) I just love this one because it's classic - how he substitutes the "k" for a "t."
  • "Aw nun mommy" (Mommy's all done!)   He says this when I'm doing something that he wants me to stop (on the phone, on the computer, getting ready).  It's his way of telling me that I'm all done! HA!
  • "Night, Night Mommy!"  He says this one very clear.  And he says it lots of times as I leave his room at night - I love it!
  • And my all-time favorite:  "Lu too mommy" (I love you too, Mommy!)  He sometimes says this even if I haven't said it first.  I love hearing this phrase from his little mouth!
Well, there you have it! My favorite phrases that Caeden has started to say!  Granted, we've also heard some phrases that aren't so fun, too.  But overall, we've loved seeing him grow in the area of speech and start to express his thoughts with words!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The "real" us...

Okay - so today's post is going to be a "transparent" post.  This means you're getting a good look into me and my mind.  As some of you know, Caeden was not the easiest baby.  As a newborn, he had his nights & days flipped.  Once we got that fixed and he established good nighttime sleeping, he decided to not be a good napper.  And that's how it's been ever since.  He takes a nap and falls asleep easy - just doesn't sleep very long.  When he was 6 mos old, I surrendered this and accepted the fact that he just doesn't LOVE to sleep (complete opposite of his mommy). 

However, some of the hardest times were his wake times.  Even as a one month old, I remember having to entertain him when he was awake.  He wouldn't sit in his swing, bumbo, bouncy seat - nothing - unless I was there to do something to engage him.  Now...Did I do this all the time?  NO - I was so exhausted that I quickly learned he would just have to learn.  So if I had to get up and do something, I did - I just did it with him fussing in the background.



Fast forward to one year old!  When he turned one, he became a much better baby!  I'm wondering if learning to walk had something to do with this.  He was still fussy, but was much more content overall. 



But lately, I feel like we've switched back to our old child.  Every day I'm so exhausted because he fusses so much.  I always eliminate hunger, tiredness, and even the possibilty of him being hurt or sick.  And he just is so discontent.  The last few days we even go outside to play in the water and he's not happy.  It's like he's bored, but he has a ton of toys!  So, my biggest fear is that I'm going to have one of "those kids," that is not fun for other people to be around.



We've had trouble with discipline as well.  We started time-out when he was 9 mos old and have been very consistent with this.  We've recently started spanking for outright defiance (disobedience) and it seriously doesn't seem to bother him.  He'll cry...And we'll talk about it.  And then within 5 minutes he's doing the same thing.  I feel like all I do is either spank or put him in time-out.  Which makes me think - None of my tactics are working...

I don't know - I know this is part of being a mom.  And I love Caeden so much!  I truly do!  I just pray that my next baby is a little "easier."  I also pray that God would eventually get a hold of Caeden's heart and help him to fall in love with God more than anything - regardless of what I do right or wrong in my parenting. 

So I'm posting this because I feel like all of my blog posts (and most other people's) are about all our happy times.  Of course, these are the days that I want to keep record of, thus I post about them.  But I don't want you to think we have a picture-perfect life because we don't!  Reid and I love each other and love Caeden very much.  But we definitely have normal struggles as parents.  So, please know as you read my blog, that I am very much the same as you (with similar struggles )at heart. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh my schedules...

Okay - so today's post is a little awkard.  But I always have people ask me (especially working moms) if I get bored during the day, staying home.  Once I say NO!, they ask what we do all day.  I remember asking this same thing to other moms before I had Caeden.  Sooo....this led me to post about this topic. As many of you know, I like schedules - I like to tell myself that it was a gift God gave me.  Of course, some of my family members would beg to differ. ;) 

(Quick Story: When I was a little girl and we would go on a 5 hour car trip to see my grandparents, I would write out my own schedule-unprompted by my parents-for the car ride.  It was divided up into time segments and included activities such as "coloring," "family singing," "reading," and "sleeping."  I seriously followed the schedules and even as a little girl I loved it!!!  It was so fun to me!)

So fast forward 20 years, and I still love schedules! I love making them and living them out.  So this shouldn't surprise you that I have a schedule for my week.  I made this several months ago and still do it most days!  I do this for many reasons:
1. It makes my day go by quicker.
2. It gives Caeden (and Ella) structure to their day.
3. It ensures that I have effective learning time in their day (not just random play for 8 hours).
4. It allows me time to get things done, while also knowing I'm spending plenty of time with the kids.

I'm posting our schedule below.  I realize the print is small, so if you really want to read the details, you can click on the picture and it will become larger.  I don't know why I'm posting this - maybe some of you stay-at-home-mom's will want to use part of it??


Just a few clarifications:
  • Mom: Morning Routine refers to when I take a shower, make our bed, start a load of laundry, etc.  I just get my quick "morning" things done.
  • Mom: Daily Tasks refers to my other daily "chores" I need to get done during the day.
  • Structured Playtime is when the child sits with me and we have "learning time."  We are always playing one-on-one during this time, but I intentionally choose toys that I use as teaching tools.  (EX- We will practice counting our blocks, finding colors, jumping, etc.)
  • Blanket Time is when that child sits on a large blanket for 15-20 min and plays with toys that I have laid out for them.  They know they are not to get off the blanket until they hear the timer.  This teaches them boundaries, self-control, and is also a useful tool when we're out (ie - in a drs office) and you don't want them running around.
  • Table Time is when we have our Bible story time, practice our memory verse, color, do puzzles, etc.
  • Just in case you're wondering, the reason there's such a small time allotment for Caeden's nap is because he rarely sleeps any longer than that.  He's never been an exceptional napper. :)  Ella, on the other hand, will sleep 2-3 hours. So Caeden and I have our own playtime while she continues to sleep.
  • Couch Time is when Reid and I have our 15 minutes to talk to each other and just share about our days.  We purposely do this BEFORE Caeden is in bed, so he can witness our love for each other and that we are a priority to each other.  He has slowly learned that this is his time to play independently while it's "mommy and daddy time."
Okay - I think that's it!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't read this and think you should be doing the same thing!  It probably won't work for you!  It works for me because this is how I am!  Plus, your children have totally different needs and are obviously on a different time schedule.  Yes, I am flexible with this if we have a random day with something different to do.  But we really do try to stick to this most days.  You are welcome to take some of these ideas and adapt them to your own schedule.  Hope you enjoyed...and don't think I'm too weird!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A few fun links!

For this blog, I'm going to put some fun links I've found lately.  The first one is to a Summer Fun Calendar for June.  One of the blogs I follow posted this and I thought it was really neat.  She has several kids and knows how quickly they get bored during the summer.  So she made a calendar for each month.  Each day has fun, learning activities for you and your kids to do together.  Click on the picture below and you will be taken to her page.  You will have to enter your email address and the FREE calendar will be emailed to you!!



Another blog I follow is of a mom who homeschools 4 of her 5 kids.  Each month she puts out a Meal Calendar.  This meal calendar has something planned for Breakfast, Lunch, Snack & Dinner EACH day!  Again, it's free!  While I don't follow this exact calendar for every meal, I like to look at it for ideas on other options to make for breakfasts and snacks.  I feel like I make Caeden and Ella the same 2-3 things every week, so this calendar has given me some new easy options.  However, YOU may enjoy having this calendar to follow each day.  Click the picture below to see the June Meal Plan.



Here's another one: a great book called "A Minute for Mommy."  The author lives in Bentonville and is just a normal mom with two kids.  However, she loves to journal.  Since her kids were born, she has recorded and reflected on things they've done and said.  This book is a collection of those stories and how each one illustrates a character of God, or a lesson she's learned from them.  It's a devotional book for us busy moms, which uses these stories to remind us of the blessings our kids are to us.  I can only pray that I will do the same thing, record and reflect on the things Caeden does.  Anyway, I would highly recommend this book - You can get it for $12 at the link below.   



Okay, I think that's it for now!  Just a note - I am not receiving any money or recognition for posting these things on my blog!  I just thought they were so great that every mom should know about them!  Hope you have a good week!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Our 6th Anniversary!

So today is June 4, 2011 - which is Reid and I's 6th anniversary!  We have had a great weekend together, and I thought I would share.  The main part of our celebration was dinner last night.  Since we didn't spend money to go anywhere, we decided to go out to a NICE (expensive) restaurant.  Let me just tell you that it was AMAZING!  The experience AND the food!  I would highly recommend this place to any couple or group of friends who wants to spend an evening out together.  It's called The Cellar Creekside, and is only open on Friday & Saturday evenings (reservation only).  Click on the picture below to view their website:



This was the kind of place you go to truly enjoy the experience of dinner.  You receive a four-course meal, you are immediately considered family to the chef and his wife, and the flavor of the food was above and beyond what we ever expected.  Literally, we named this restaurant in our Top 3 of any restaurant we've been to - and we've traveled to quite a few places.  Again, I would highly recommend it to anyone who lives in the NWA area and wants a nice evening out, without kids. 

Today, we just had some good family time.  Went to the Farmer's Market, hung out at home, and went to play at the new Bentonville Splash Pad.  Just to reminisce our day 6 years ago, I'm going to post a few picturs of our oh-so-perfect wedding!  Brings back so many memories! 











To end this post, I will just say that words cannot express how thankful I am for Reid.  While we definitely have not had an unblemished marriage, I truly love him so much!  You know how there are people that you're tired of being with after spending two days with them (ie- family vacation, youth retreat, etc)?  Well, I was thinking the other day how Reid and I have been together for 12.5 years and I'm still not tired of him.  He still doesn't get on my nerves.  Praise God!  I'm so thankful that the Lord created in me the courage to write him that small note during high school choir 12 years ago! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wet Wednesday!

We spent much time outside today, taking full advantage of this sunny weather!  First we played outside in the morning for awhile, since it was still cool outside.  Caeden got a garden cart for Easter and today I poured dry pinto beans in the cart for him to dig in and play with.  He loved it!  But he definitely did not see the need in keeping the beans IN the cart!




We then came inside for lunch and a nap.   Afterwards, it was time for more outside fun - but this time, with water!!






Then time for a snack in the shade!  This was Caeden's first time to have a Pop-Ice...And he's definitely a fan!




So that was our wet wednesday!  But just one more picture to post...  Caeden has been going potty before bath for the last several weeks.  Tonight he had his cowboy boots on and picked up an ad off the floor as he walked into the bathroom.  It was totally unprompted and I had to get a quick picture!