Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'd Like To Introduce You To...

Samuel Kenneth Reeves
Born February 18, 2010
at 2:49pm
8 lbs, 7 oz
20.5 inches long
Absolutely perfect.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Which I Use The Word 'Potty' A Lot

He's potty trained!!!

Okay, so he's been potty trained for a while now... a few months... but technically this post is not out of order, since I'm still putting Underjams on him at night (that's right... Underjams. My 2.5 year old is ginormous and has to wear the pullups specially designed for 7 year olds who still wet the bed at night). I guess that means that he's daytime potty trained? Oh well... potty trained is potty trained!!!

I know a lot of my friends are going through this right now, so for them, and for me (because I don't want to forget!), here is a long post all about what worked for us!

I suppose I should start at the beginning... I always thought that I wasn't going to push potty training until I felt that Jack was ready. But he couldn't show me that he was ready if he didn't have a place to potty, right? So, when Jack was 18 months old, I bought him a potty chair! I didn't expect anything from him, though. I thought that I'd just ask him if he had to go potty, and sit him on it if he wanted to sit on it. I was so proud of him when he went potty the very first time he sat down on it that very same day!!!
He was extremely proud of himself, too!

He ended up going at least once a day for a few days, and then just sort of lost interest. Which was totally fine with me, I wasn't in any hurry and I didn't want to create a point of frustration over it. He went when he felt like it and I made a huge deal every time.

Over this last spring/summer, I started putting Big Boy Underwear on him more and more (since it was hot and I could do that outside so as not to mess up my house!) so that he could realize the connection between
the feeling and the going. If he was wearing a diaper or pullups, he never paid any attention to potty or poop, but when he was wearing Big Boy Underwear, he definitely made that connection!

Once the connection was made, it was time for bribery! You all know that my kid will do practically anything for M&Ms, so it was easy to decide how to get him to sit on the potty chair! It did take him a while, though, to figure out how to empty himself. I mean, he'd go, but then 5 minutes later he'd had to go again- each time he'd only squeeze a tiny bit out. One day he went 12 times in 40 minutes! I tried putting the potty chair in the living room and letting him sit for as long as he wanted, but he'd still get up after going a teeny tiny bit, shouting "I went potty on the potty chair!!!"

Even though he stayed dry, he he never really emptied himself during the day and would wait until naptime or night time, when he had a pullup on, to go. It was very frustrating! I got the idea on how to fix that problem from him, though. One day after he had gone, he stood up and looked in the potty chair and declared "Oh! I made a nine!" so I looked in there and sure enough, his tiny puddle of potty looked like a 9! I asked him what other shapes he could make with his potty and he sat back down and went a tiny bit more... "Oh! That looks like a fishie!" Finally, after he made a G and a shark, I convinced him to try to make a whole ocean... and he did! He emptied himself right out and then shouted "Oh, I make a ocean! Oh wow, that's a lot of potty!!!" We started making a game out of seeing how long he could go, and to deter him from jumping back up right away, only to sit back down again, we also made a rule that he only got M&Ms the first time he went, rather than however many times he'd go.

Pooping definitely didn't come as easily to him as pottying did. I mean, he did a great job recognizing that he had to poop, but he had a much harder time getting that poop to where it was supposed to go! He'd tell me that he had to "go poopies on the potty chair" but when I put him on he'd sit and he'd sit and he'd sit and... nothing. I'd tell him to relax, we'd sing songs, we'd read books... nothing was working, though. Eventually we'd give up and I'd take him off the potty chair, only to have him poop shortly afterwards. For some reason, he just couldn't relax enough to go on the potty chair!

So, I decided to take a new approach. I decided to sit back and observe his regular pooping habits to see if I could mimic his "pooping environment" when he's sitting on the potty chair. I'm so brilliant, aren't I?! What I noticed, was that when Jack had to go, he'd grab a toy (a helicopter, a truck, a car, a train... something with wheels) and he'd either stand in front of desk or kneel in front of the couch so that he could run his toy along it and be at eye level with the wheels as they went around. Yeah, okay, no problem! I could mimic that easily! The next time Jack jumped up and shouted "I have to go poopies on the potty chair!" I plopped him on there, grabbed a TV tray and handed him a toy, and gave him his space. And guess what?

It worked!!! I was so incredibly proud of him and he was so incredibly proud of himself! We called daddy and we called grandma and he got a ton of M&Ms for that! After that it was pretty easy to get him to relax... if he had trouble he'd ask for the TV tray, but once he had gone that first time, he did pretty well figuring things out from there!

So, now (okay, for months now) I have a boy who wears Big Boy Underwear!!! He absolutely loves all the fun designs that Big Boy Underwear come in, and he gets very excited to find out which pair he gets to wear each day.

And don't his buns look so cute in them?!

He doesn't even let me put his Diego Potty Seat on the toilet anymore... he wants to go like a Big Boy!!!

Just Had To Share...

I know I share a lot of pictures on here... okay, a ton of pictures... but I don't really share many pictures that I take at photoshoots. Recently I had the opportunity to shoot some good friends, and, since this family often makes appearances on my blog, I thought you'd like to see them, too!

So, click here to see the Crowley Family's 2009 photo shoot!

Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Testing From Windows Live Writer…

I got a new computer!  I know that I mentioned that Jack dropped my computer and cracked my screen… we were going to have Dave just try to fix it himself, but we found a really good deal on a better computer, and figured we might as well just go for it.  This computer is pretty cool… as soon as I get used to Windows 7 rather than Windows XP!  That was one reason I wasn’t totally sure that I wanted a new computer, but I figured that I’d need a new computer in a few years anyway and so I may as well get used to a new setup now!  Anyway, this computer comes with a program called Windows Live Writer… apparently it’s supposed to make blogging that much easier!  I just need to figure out how to do certain things… so please hang in there while I test things out!

I just can’t figure out how to link to a photo from my smugmug site rather than uploading it directly to the post itself…

It's Baby Shower Time!

A couple of weeks ago I was so blessed to be able to spend time with a lot of good family and friends in celebration of Samuel's impending arrival! I was so excited to get to celebrate this precious little life inside of me with those I love, and Jack was, too! He was greatly looking forward to "Baby Brother Samuel's party!" and had been talking about it for days! He was excited that Samuel was going to get presents and that he was going to have cake! LOL!

As excited as I was, I couldn't get excited when it came to finding something to wear! Seriously, what is wrong with the makers of maternity clothes?! Newsflash: not every pregnant woman has a belly the size of a cute little volleyball... or even a basketball! Some of us have bellies that actually look like they are big enough to hold the babies that are hanging out in there! And of those of us with the more normal-sized bellies, some of us do not think that it is cute to have the bottom half of our bellies hanging out, or to have the elastic waistband that helps our pants to defy gravity showing under the hem of our shirts! Some of us would really really really appreciate being able to find shirts that actually fit us!!!

So, what did I end up wearing to my shower? Well... um... I ended up wearing pants underneath something that was supposed to be a dress. On me, or should I say, on my Sam-belly, however, it was waaaaay too short in the front to be worn as a dress! Unfortunately, it was also way too long in the back to be able to pass as a shirt! And yes, it was a supposed to be a maternity dress! Luckily enough for me, no one has the nerve to tell a big fat pregnant lady that her outfit looks stupid, and I think I may have gotten away with it! Maybe. I'm sure a few people were snickering at me behind my back, but they are probably also the same people that had teeny tiny cute little volleyball bellies when they were pregnant... or will have when it's their turn... so I suppose I can't expect them to understand. At least they told me that I looked cute to my face!

The adorable cake!

The big brother! (As cute as he looks with this new haircut, I don't like it! I think it makes him look so much older than he is! I miss his surfer-boy hair!!!)

A "generations" picture...
Amy, Luke, Mom, Jack, Grammy, and Me and Sam

Jack, doing one of his favorite things: holding Luke

Me and my Jack Jack!

Me and my Sam!

Surprise, Sadie!

Jack adores birthdays and everything that has to do with them. He asks me almost daily whose birthday it is and if we can buy them a present! And when I tell him that we don't know anyone who is having a birthday that day, then he insists on going down the list of who is next to have a birthday, and next after that, and next after that, and so on... Since Sadie is one of Jack's favorite people, you can imagine how excited he was when I told him that Sadie was having a birthday! And not only was she having a birthday, but it was going to be a surprise! We practiced standard surprise party procedure, and by the time Sadie got to the house Jack was a pro! He kept telling me "We hide and when Sadie comes to the door we jump out and yell 'SURPRISE, SADIE!!!!'" And that's exactly what he did!

She was definitely surprised!

After the surprise Jack ran up to Sadie and made sure that she had heard him yelling surprise and told her "Happy Birthday" a few thousand times. He even made sure that she knew how old she was by telling her "Sadie, you are FOUR!" (yes, he's staked his claim on an older woman!)

Then Jack made sure that he showed us all exactly how enthusiastically he had yelled "Surprise, Sadie!"

Luke hadn't quite figured out the whole concept of a surprise party... either that or he just thought we were all being silly

And I know that Luke can't wait until he's big enough to participate in the pinata, too! Or, if not the destroy-the-pinata part of it, then at least the candy-gathering part of it!

The birthday girl also had a great time! She blew out her candles and opened her gifts...

She even got to feed Baby Luke!

Then, since it was a beautiful day, we all went out front to play!

Happy birthday, Sadie! We love you so much! Hope you had a great time at your party, and I hope 4 is your best year yet!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Storkage, And Downtown Disney

This January we had another opportunity for a Stork meetup when Keisha's family came out for one of the Bowl games! Her family are big Longhorn fans, and so they followed their team out here to watch them at the game. While they were at it, they turned it into a family vacation and spent a few days at Disneyland. Of course, us So Cal Storks were thrilled with this, because it gave us another opportunity to hang out with a good friend. On one of the days they were out here, we met them at Downtown Disney's ESPN Zone for lunch! The kids had a blast, and we all had a great time catching up. We couldn't believe how much the kids had grown up since they had been out here in June... Cayden hadn't even been born yet and Ang and I were just barely pregnant with our little ones at the time!

Isabella, Keisha, Dylan, Nicole, Cayden, Susan, Ang (and McKenna), Austin, Me (And Samuel) and Jack Jack

Special thanks to Keisha's sister Kimberly, who took the picture. It was fun for me to meet her, too, because I know that she is a fellow Friends fan! And, of course, she is just as awesome as I'd expect a sister of Keisha's to be :)

After lunch, Keisha and her family went back to Disneyland and everyone else had to run somewhere else, so Jack and I took the opportunity, while we were there, to hang out at Downtown Disney! One of the things we did that Jack loved was the Lego Store! While we were there he remembered our trip to Legoland and was telling me all about it. He got distracted halfway through his story, though...

By a giant giraffe!

We also checked out Build-A-Bear (we didn't build one, though... we just checked it out and watched other people 'build' their animals), the Rainforest Cafe store (they have really cool fishtanks!), and grabbed a frozen lemonade from Wetzels. Jack's favorite part of Downtown Disney, of course, were the water fountains! Have I mentioned how much this kid loves water?

Yes, I had to remind him not to fall in

And while I'm sure he would have loved to jump right in, he settled for splashing... a lot!

He may have even been considering trying to take a drink of the water

I have to admit, it was a pretty cool fountain

But I was really glad that he didn't actually climb in!

(I have to admit that the reason I posted almost all of the pictures was because I'm just so stinkin' excited about my new camera!!! I still haven't gotten to play a lot with it, but I do love many of the shots I've gotten so far! I really need to work on figuring out the auto-focus, as it is different on the 7D than on the Rebel... definitely way more sensitive with way more focal points to choose from!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Babysitting Is Serious Business

When it's our turn to babysit Luke, Jack makes sure that Luke is never out of his sight... and rarely even out of his arms! He tells me that "Baby Luke needs to sit right here!" And if Jack needs to do something that Luke can't do (for example: go potty on the potty chair or clean up his toys), he always makes sure that he tells me what Luke needs to be doing while Jack is occupied ("Baby Luke needs to stay right here: I have to go potty! Don't move, Baby Luke!"). I think that he thinks that he is the one that is babysitting, not me!

I think that fact that he takes babysitting so seriously is a good sign that he loves his cousin... and he's going to be such a great big brother! Don't let his not-so-serious hairdo fool you... Jack is in control!

Sofia Louise

A few weeks ago, Jack and I were really excited to be able to spend some time with our sweet Sofie Lou! Dave's sister asked us to watch her for a few hours, and we were thrilled that we were able to! She is such a sweet little girl... so happy and easy-going! She and Jack had such a great time together, and I had a lot of fun watching the two of them play together. Jack kept giving "my cousin Sofie" hugs and was being such a good big cousin, sharing his toys with her! Isn't she just the prettiest little thing?!

Of course, I had to toss in a couple pictures of Jack doing his "Cheese" face. He is starting to outgrow the phase where he absolutely refuses to look at the camera or smile for a picture, but unfortunately he way overdoes the "Cheese" face and he tends more towards goofy than anything else!

They are only 8.5 months apart, but check out the size difference!
(please ignore the undies... he was too excited to get back to playing with Sofie to take the time to let me put his pants back on!)

They definitely get along really well, and we can't wait for the next time we get to play with Sofie!

And seriously, she is just gorgeous, isn't she?!