Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

In my daydreaming during the years I longed for children, I imagined days filled with laughter, well-behaved children, and creative and fun activities. Everyday I have glimpses, brief moments of the fulfillment of these longed for days. Some days the glimpse is less than a minute, but most have large portions of the day that are exactly what I hoped for or imagined. But yesterday was perfect. It could not have been a happier or more pleasant day.

I woke up in the morning to find snow on the ground and roses in the kitchen. (Any day that starts with roses promises to be great!) We made muffins together and heart shaped watermelon for breakfast which we washed down with pink milk.

As soon as we were finished, Daddy rushed off to work and we played outside in the snow all morning until our 'toeses and noses' were too cold to handle it any more. (Ryan decided he had had enough fun and enough of his hat about 10 minutes into it . I picked him up and he was fine for another hour).

We came inside and made snow cream and read stories under piles of blankets hiding underneath our slide in the playroom. Andrew let me read to him all of the really sappy stories (like Love You Forever and You Are Special) that he usually shuns in favor of train-themed books or books that have buttons to push. We read books for an entire hour straight snuggled up together.

Then we went back outside together and built a snowman with our friend Esther.

Daddy came home early from work and we enjoyed lunch together and both little boys took naps. While they slept we decorated the living room with streamers and balloons. When they woke up we hurried them out the door (avoiding the living room) and dropped food off at the food bank.

When we arrived back home the boys were really excited to see the decorations and gifts. Andrew received a helmet for his skates. Ryan got a book. Andrew insisted on going outside to try out his gift. Ryan liked Andrew's helmet, too. They had a lot of fun, regardless of the seriousness of the looks of the boys' faces while in the wagon together.

While the guys were outside, I prepared a candlelit dinner of heart-shaped pizzas and sparkling grape juice. We toasted to all those people and things (trains) that we love.

When dinner was done we headed to the living room for a dance. We played and danced together for 45 minutes

We then returned to the kitchen to make chocolate fondue together. Poor Ryan enjoyed fruit, but no chocolate.

We ended the night with stories, hugs, and kisses. When the boys were tucked safely into bed, Mommy and Daddy put in a movie and Daddy promptly fell asleep.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Playing in Pinehurst

Grandma and Grandpa Scribner were in Pinehurst on Saturday, home from Switzerland for only one day at the same time. So, we loaded up the boys and went down to enjoy a fun time with some of Chad's family. Ryan drove a little car and then had an accident. (There's a little video of the results). Andrew also had his own little accident. After trying out all the vehicles, he headed back to the garage to get a shopping cart. Mommy assumed he meant a little shopping cart and did not follow him into the garage. However as you will see from the video, she was wrong.

Riding in the golf cart with adult supervision.

Andrew learned to ride the big tricycle this weekend.

Ryan enjoys a snack.

Ryan drives a pretend car...for a moment.

Andrew rides a scooter for the first time.

All of the oldest boys and girls took a ride in the bike trailer.

Andrew tries out the bike.

Andrew drives a pretend car

Alex enjoys a victory leap after defeating all the "bad guys" in the woods.

Grandpa and Evin

Aunt Emily and Grandma

Uncle Damion and Madylen

Andrew and Ryan have accidents below. Neither seem very concerned.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

He'll go when he is ready

Those of you who live locally, know that Andrew has held a very strong negative opinion about using the potty. You may remember the time I tried to buy underwear for him several months ago, right after his second birthday. He carried it around the store until we reached the check out. There he looked up at me, handed me the Thomas Underpants and said firmly, "I am not ready to go in the potty. I do not want to buy them." I thought to myself "Any kid who can tell me in a complete sentence that he did not want to go, really could with a slight attitude adjustment." I could not accept the advice I received from many of my friends, family, and his doctor, "He'll go when HE is ready." He was ready. I knew it. He just needed the right motivation.

I set out to be his biggest cheerleader. I read every parenting book on toilet training in our library, (there are 10), read Andrew books, watched potty movies, made charts, used various bribes, and listened to opinions from friends, family, and strangers. Their expert opinions varied so much, ranging from helpful to downright absurd. My favorite was from a lady in the grocery store right before Andrew's very first birthday. She looked to be in her eighties. I was carrying Andrew in a Snugli.

Stranger-How cute, how old is he?
Me-(beaming with motherly pride) He is 11 months.
Stranger-Is he potty-trained yet?
Me-(flustered, wondering if she misheard me) he is almost walking
Stranger-(all in one breath while holding my arm) All mine were potty trained at nine months. You know how I did it? I got a big metal pail and told 'em to pee in it and they liked the noise so much that they did. It makes a great noise. That's what you need to get your boy, a big metal pail. Now my boy is a preacher. Do you go to church? Have you been saved? You have to raise your boy in the Lord's way. He is a preacher. I am proud of him. He takes care of his Mama. You need to get yourself a metal pail and get him potty trained before it is too late.

Then she walked away leaving me confused, trying to picture a baby who couldn't walk yet standing up long enough to pee in a pan, in awe of her ability to turn this conversation into an opportunity to bear witness, and feeling more than a little inadequate that my baby wasn't potty trained yet and therefore may not take care of me when I am old.

For those of you still reading this, the big news is, that despite the absence of a metal pail, Andrew has decided he is ready. He let me know on Wednesday this week that diapers give him a rash and that he doesn't wear them anymore. And he hasn't since. It happened that quickly and uneventfully. We went to the store this week and he carried Thomas underwear straight to the counter and bought it! Hooray! I can't take any credit. He made the choice, in spite of me.

One of the books we read to Andrew about potty training says to listen to your body. Andrew has really taken this to heart and has given his body a voice. Andrew's body talks to him out loud in a high pitched sing songy voice. We were sitting at breakfast this week when Andrew's body started talking to him.

Andrew's Body-"Androooo... I need to eat strawberry cereaaaal. It will feel me betterrrrr."
Andrew the boy-(In his normal voice)-I am listening to my body. My tummy says it needs to eat.

Later that same day...

Andrew's Body (in that fake high pitched voice)-Androoo, I need to go potty to feel my tummy betterrrrrrrrrrr.
Andrew the boy (in his normal voice)-Oh...wait...that's my body. I better go fast! (off he runs to the bathroom)

And my favorite...Yesterday in the car from the back seat...

Andrew's body (again high pitched girl voice) Androoo, I need to not take a naaaaaaap. I need to play outsiiiiiiiiiiide. It is a beautiful daaaaaaaaaay. Would that be a good ideaaaaaaa?
Andrew the boy (in his normal voice) Mommy, I am doing a good job listening to my body and it isn't tired. My body wants to play.