Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sun and Friends

Friday brought us back to Chuck's for a little game fun with our friends Sonia and Nadia - which was fabulous because it was not crazy at all there! The kids could play and we could chat. There were not 2,492 kids there to drive me nuts. Only our crazies.
After we ate, we decided to go out to the Clear Creek Trail for a little nature walk. When the sun comes out in WA, it is time to get outside! It all started well. Ethan and Nadia were talking on their ID cards they got at Chuck's, pretending they were cell phones and they were passing on secret codes. It was a great walk and there were lots of giggles, so we headed all the way out to the end of the trail. All was well until we headed back. That's when the whining and bickering started, but it was funny. At one point, we heard Ethan yelling that he was stuck. Nadia was stading on the side of the trail, nonchalantly playing with a branch. I finally gave in and went to get E. He was lying in a ditch on the side of the trail. "She pushed me! And she was sitting on my head!" Nadia: "Yeah, well he said bad words to me." Me: "Ethan, what did you say?" Ethan: "Nothing. I said nothing." Nadia: "He said he would kick my butt." Ethan: "No, I said I would... kick her to the bugs. The bug museum and lock her in there." It was really hard not to laugh. When we got home, we figured we'd meet Daddy at the bus stop. We were really early (my math on timing it was not at all right). The boys did not want to go back home, so instead they put on a parade, marching up and down the hill. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed it. Who doesn't enjoy two shouting kids stomping up and down the street?There are Saturdays and then there are Saturdays.... Yesterday was the kind of Saturday where you stuff 3 days worth of activities into one. And it was a blast. Even without naps, the boys were awesome. It started with Ethan and Brian heading out to breakfast with our friend Todd, who happened to be in town. I asked Lucas what he would like to do for our date and he told me " I walk past the water." I could not figure out what he was talking about and shot out several suggestions, but he just kept saying it. So, we jumped into the car and went down to the park down the street, which is on the water. We sat and watched the seagulls and the ferries passing bye and he was thrilled. He is easy to please. Next stop was haircuts! No more shaggy boys! The highlight for the employees there was Lucas parading through after visiting the restroom with Brian and shouting "I went PEE!" Complete with fist pump.
Next we headed to the beachfront house of a family from church to check out low tide and all the creatures that go along with it. The best part was we got to spend time with the visiting McConnels. Jess and baby girl are looking fabulous! I do believe the baby is taking a picture in this photo. We were so excited to get to see them!
It was perfect weather and there were lots of things to look at.
The boys were all over Todd and loved looking at all the crabs he found. Liam cracked me up because he could not decide if he was enjoying himself or not. I think by the end he'd decided it was pretty darn cool.The moon snail was awesome. Especially when it started moving. Creepy.
And this was the moon snail excrement. Which I totally just thought was trash. Awesome!
Throwing rocks is always a hit. As long as you don't hit your daddy.... I think Lucas would be happy chucking rocks all day long.
What a great place! We picnicked in the shade and just enjoyed our time with our friends. Ethan and Liam had a blast playing together. Though no one would pose well for pictures....
There was one great game of Dinosaur chase - hilarious. Liam has a great "roar!".
Lots of laughing, a little bit of wrestling, and then some tears when it was time to go. We do miss them!
After that, it was time for Pastor Bob's birthday party! He threw a big party at his house in honor of his birthday for all the kids from the church. I think the biggest hits were the bounce house, bubbles (don't they look thrilled?! ha!),
and of course s'mores. Everyone loves a good roasted marshmallow!
Ethan was quick to point out to everyone who would listen that he was deprived because he has never actually been camping. Lucas just loved feeling like a big kid.They had all sorts of awesome games and activities in stations around the yard. My favorite was the twig marble maze - so easy to make and really cool!
We had fun. Lots of it. Brian headed off to a "Steak Night" for guys at church and I took home two very tired, very smelly boys. Bath/Shower and off to bed they went. And then I crashed. What fun! And with Brian there I didn't have to take Lucas on all the millions of potty trips! Awesome!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Couple of Things

First off... it is clear from this picture that my children need haircuts (you'll have to trust me on Lucas, but the boy is sportin' a beehive).
Secondly, Lucas has become the king of the word please. I hear that word 4398 times a day. However, it is not in asking for something or to do something. It is mostly in requests to look at something, to participate in his imaginatory play in some way, or to just give him some darned attention. Here are a few of the sentences from today:
"Please you look at this giant pea?!"
"Please you say 'oh no!'?"
"Please you look at my head?!"
"Please I sit on yours lap too?!"
"Please you look at these boats?!"
"Please you sit here and do yours hair?!"
And then, there's the all-time favorite quote, not quite so polite, but just as enthusiastic.... Every time he uses the big potty and I'm not in the room he yells...
And now he has discovered that big boy underwear has a "pocket". For a little boy that absolutely loves having places to store his treasures (he brought a purse to daycare everyday for months), he is thrilled, but not really accepting my insistance that it is not for holding his cars and such. Hmmmmm.....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Week of the Potty

I've apparently lost my camera. This is a true tragedy. Last I saw it I was hightailing it to the park bathroom because Lucas announced to us all that he was going "IN MY PANTS RIGHT NOW!" As I grabbed everything and ran to the restroom, it must have slipped out of my pocket. Or it's hiding somewhere in the house. Who knows. All I know is there were some really stinkin' cute pictures on there. And Lucas will never ever live this accident down. I'm preparing my rehearsal dinner speech now.
Lucas is finally successful on the potty - but it is now as if his body is in hyperdrive. Now we go to the potty about every 12 and a half minutes. (I might be exaggerating a teensy bit... but after going 12 hours between potty breaks, it feels like a darn awful lot!) Lucas has also learned the art of the potty stalling technique. Anytime he's bored or doesn't want to do something, "I have to go pottttyyyyyy!"
In other news... Oh who am I kidding, there is no other news. My life is just potties right now. Half the books in our living room have to do with the potty. I think I'm even dreaming about the potty.
Actually, I suppose that it is newsworthy that Ethan did great at ice skating, we picked about 100 peas from the garden (peas are the new radishes, though I actually like them), I found a daycare for Lucas next year, they boys and I are hooked on a daily ritual of watching "What Not to Wear", and who knows what else.... It really has been rather uneventful around here. I suppose I should be thankful, but I am itching for an adventure! (As long as there are bathrooms around).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bugs, Parks, and a Wedding...

Amidst touring all the public restrooms in our county, we've managed to have some good times too. (Not that hanging out in restroom stalls reading "Chugga Chugga Poo Poo - The Potty Train" isn't a good time.) First off, we were currently without science projects, so we headed on back to the bug museum to pick up a few more caterpillars. I think I'm addicted to the life cycle of the butterfly. Thursday was a children's class at the garden, with a guest speaker who came to talk about weeds. Ethan announced to the group, "Hey we have lots of those!"
They got to plant some bean seeds and then watch them get watered naturally, like a good Washingtonian.
Friday we met Sonia and Nadia at the park. It was a gorgeous morning (though I did spend a good chunk of it in the restroom.)
It was fun to catch up. This was also the site of our first public accident. It was no big deal, since I had brought 4 or so changes of clothes with us. I come prepared. Even though Lucas only goes 2 to 3 times a day...... You never know.
Saturday was a very special day. I spent the morning catching up with a jr. high/high school friend that I have missed so much! It was like no time at all had passed - fabulous! Then, we were all gussied up and off to witness the marriage of a girl I started babysitting when she was 4! Her family has always been oh so close to my heart - it was a very spcial day. Jill was beautiful and the wedding was absolutely charming and personal. There were all these little touches that were just so "Jill"!Being right during naptime, we were a little worried about how they'd be acting, but they did fabulously! Ethan was enthralled by the whole ceremony - could not take his eyes off the couple. Lucas did have to go on one potty run, but managed to whisper his request instead of his normal shout of alarm. After the ceremony was a delicious lunch - chicken and pasta makes us oh so happy! Upa took the boys for lots of little walks to keep them busy.
Lucas came back announcing to everyone that he had seen "A DEER! I saw a deer! Just like Upa's house!" Then we realized he meant John Deere - as in the tractor. The toasts were fun. Lucas downed his cider in no time - Ethan took his time and enjoyed looking like a grown-up.
The cake was divine. And the sugar rush perked the boys right up. They enjoyed taking pictures with the camera. Lots of them.When Ethan got tired of self-portraits and funny faces, he moved on to photographing every page of his book.The boys are single, so I made sure to get them up there for the garter toss. They didn't catch it - but Lucas was determined to follow the groom around after that in case he might throw something else. Hard to explain. What is also hard to explain is what exactly a garter is and why they want to catch it. Never came to a good answer on that one.Such fun! As we left Ethan requested that we go to another wedding again sometime soon. I said as long as it's not his ;). Thanks Jill and Jordy for a great day and letting us be a part of your new life together!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Verdict

Lucas has an iron bladder to match his iron will. He refuses to go more than twice a day, though he takes me to every public restroom possible in the meantime. He tells me he has to go potty, we get there, he sits down, pops right back up and yells, "Nope!" and smiles. He stomps around the house, wiggling his legs, walking with a limp, clenching all those muscles, refusing to let anything go.
On the flip side... he doesn't have many accidents. He makes it there 85% of the time. (Yes, I really did the math). I should be thankful. But I've figured something out. I am NOT a patient person. I can't sit still that long. I can't stay focused. The only thing working for us right now is that he loves for me to draw on his legs while he sits. Not that he goes. Oh no. He only goes every 12 hours and that is after about 265 failed attempts. All of which last 2 seconds.
He also refuses to wear pullups or diapers. Refuses. So when we're in the car, or out in public, I must honor all 3,401 of his bathroom trip requests. Because you never know.
I really am proud of him. And I can even see the humor in this (a tiny little bit of it) now. Well maybe. Yesterday at Ice Skating, on our 3rd trip to the bathroom in 20 minutes, I was not seeing the humor. Today... a little.
I have stopped freaking out every time he says he has to go. I was freaking out. Because he yells, "I POOPING!" , drops everything, and runs. But now I realize that he'll make it there - and then probalby jump right back up and limp away.
Ohhhhhhh Lucas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Potty Party!

Potty training Ethan was pretty darn easy. Between his own resolve and his teacher's help, we really didn't do much at all. I guess I knew this time would be different, but it still blows my mind that the boys could be so night and day. Lucas can hold it. He can hold it amazingly well. However he has no desire to actually go in the potty. He just holds it until his next naptime/sleep when he's back in a diaper. Or, he just holds it for absurd amounts of time...
The boys is stubborn. And he likes to be in control. The whole idea of letting it go just freaks him out. So, in order to associate some positives, we held a Potty Party.
There were lots of salty foods, different (usually forbidden) drinks, streamers and balloons, and potties - lots of them! Everyone who went (adults included - though they didn't have to prove it) got an M&M. Ethan quickly drank as much as he possibly could so he could go back again and again and again and again. Lucas had a couple of accidents first thing, but then a few successes later on. Most of all we just had fun.The next day we had all sorts of plans, so the Pullup went on and I just instructed him to try not to go in the pullup. We stopped at the bathroom lots, but I shouldn't have worried. He didn't end up going until 3 in the afternoon. Sheesh. Our morning was spent at the children's garden at Raab Park, where the boys got to practice their mulch spreading skills with tools their own size... They knew exactly what to do.
Step 1 - Fill Wheelbarrow with mulch (don't fling it at each other)
Step 2 - Wheel it on over to the paths....Step 3 - Dump (This is where they should have also spread it around, but since we had different people doing that job at our garden they just left it in big piles for others to trip over...)Step 4 - Wheel on back and repeat.....There were lots more things to do, but they really just played with the mulch forever.... Ethan did get to hold a worm! I was so excited for him. I can't do worms and things like that. I love to get messy, love nature, but cannot hold squirmy, wriggly things... can't. I've never seen E do it either, so this made me oh so happy. Every kid needs to hold a worm sometime. When we finally got home after napping in the car, I knew Lucas had to go bad. He was stomping around and kind of limping. I still couldn't get him to relax and let it out. I tried the "Go anywhere you want in the backyard" thing. Nope. Just giggles. Finally we just hung out outside sans pants (*only Lucas was pantsless) and waited for the inevitable. Every few minutes he'd yell "I pooping!", run, sit on the potty and then get right back up. "No. I not." Since we were outside I just backed off and didn't worry about it. Finally he went. Hallelujah. The night went pretty much the same until he had gone to bed and started yelling. He didn't make it in time to get more than a few drips in, but hey, we counted that a success.
Today? Started out fine, but it was all the same needing to go but refusing to do it. I'm glad he's not just having accidents, but the boy has got to be in pain! Besides a few drips in his pullup at naptime he didn't go until 6:30 tonight. This is how Ethan's last soccer practice went (he's the one in black in the picture):We leave the U's at 4:10 (they'd napped there while I was at the doc). We stop and get a pizza and then head to the park. 4:45 Lucas says he has to go. I take him, he tries for 39 seconds and says he is done. "I wanna get out of here!" I go out, we meet our friends to eat. 5:10 I take Ethan over to his class. He has to go to the bathroom. I take him. He's pretty quick, but still, it's a bit of a hike to the park bathroom and I was JUST there. 5:30-6:00 I can tell Lucas has to go bad, but he refuses to go with me. He's hopping around groaning. Quite the potty dance. 6:20 Lucas says he has to go bad. We run. We sit. Drip drip drip. This is the slowest 3 minutes of my life as an entire day's worth comes out in tiny droplets. The little boy next to us flushes. Lucas is startled and finally starts really going. Flushing stops. Drip drip drip. Little boy uses hand dryer. Lucas freaks, puts his arms on his ears and finally is really going. We leave. We go to pick up a prescription. 7:00 Ethan has to go to the bathroom. We stand and wait. And wait. And wait. It takes him forever. I think I spent way over half my day in the bathroom or next to a little potty. Seriously.
I realize this was only day 2 and a half. It's just so much work for such little reward. If he was going all the time, that would be one thing, but the suspense is killing me!
Enough potty talk. But seriously? What else do i have to talk about?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Bit of This and That...

Coming back to reality is always hard - but this time it was multiplied because the boys were so used to excitement and non-scheduled-ness that coming back to routine was tough for them. The voodoo donuts were a hit - though the sugar didn't really help the grumpiness.....
The last few days we spent a lot of time in our community garden plot. We finally have peas! The boys loved pulling them apart and pulling out the peas inside. They still, however, hate radishes. Good thing I've figured out how to cook them so I like them (sauteed with butter, salt, and bacon pieces).
Friday afternoon we were all feeling grumpy and stir crazy, so I piled the boys in (very much against their will) and dragged them to Clear Creek Trail. I knew we wouldn't be up to much hiking, but figured we could do the .25 mile chunk and back that we drive by all the time....
Once we got out there, it was magic! The boys were excited for the adventure.... It's the perfect little hike for them - flat wide path with lots of little bridges...
There were parts where they were pretty brave....And then parts where Lucas was a bit tentative...."I can't see the dark part!"It's hard to hike like that, but I've learned it's possible. He was so proud of himself on the way back as he was no longer scared and could put his hands down. "I go in the dark parts!!!"
Saturday morning was a work party at the community garden. The boys have helped with bark before, so they knew exactly what to do (well, kind of). Ethan worked the entire first hour spreading the bark piles with a rake. I was impressed! Such a neat thing for them to be involved in and to have community service as a memory of family time. The highlight for them was getting to use their new lunchboxes for the lunches we packed. We also played a bit on the playground - Lucas will now do the slide all by himself without holding someone's hand and is loving it. He went down and down and down and down. One of my students and her brother (who were also at the work party) took the boys and I for a little hike. The boys were so shy at first, but by the end of the walk they were best buds. So Ethan has had a goal for the last 6 months or so to count to 100 all by himself. I promised him that once he could do this we'd go to Chuck E. Cheese - which he has been dying to do. He was really close for awhile - just getting stuck on which ten comes next and so I taught him to count by 10s to figure it out. He lost interest and then all of a sudden we are in the car and he does it - totally without help. I was so excited! "I've been practicing in my bed mom. And I just count by 10s like you said if I get stuck." Heart Happy. So off to Chuck E. Cheese we went...Lucas is finally old enough to really enjoy it too. We signed up for the email offers under Brian's email so we'd get some coupons. They had fun. Lots of it.Afterward we decided to try out a little cupcake place - Bella Bella Cupcakes - close by. They have little mini cupcakes that were the perfect size for the boys (and myself, though Brian had a large one...) Big hit. Big. And a cute little place. And now? It's time for some serious potty training. He's ready. And everyone knows it except for him.