31 May 2011

2 Boys, 2 Buddies

It probably goes without saying, that since I've been on bed rest, Chris has become the primary caregiver around here.  It's been a bit of a transition for us both.  It was particularly difficult for him when he was working during the day, then taking care of all of Jayce's needs in the evening (playing, feeding, bath, bedtime, stories, snuggles, etc.), in addition to taking care of me, and taking care of all of the household things: meals, picking up daily toys and clutter, laundry, etc.  This was all under the pressures of, "hurry and get this done because the baby might come at any time now."  He did great, but was understandably exhausted.

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It was really hard for me at first because I just wanted to jump in and help.  I think we both realized just how much of a team mentality that we've always had, because for the last month we haven't been able to do it.  We typically share responsibilities in the evening: once of us cooks and the other cleans up dinner, one of us cleans up the house while the other takes Jayce for bath time and then we trade again for story time and snuggles.  In the times when Jayce is being particularly difficult and one of us is stressed or has run out of patience, it's so great to be able to just switch.  There have been plenty of occasions in these past few weeks where I can tell that Jayce is really trying Chris' patience, and particularly when I was on complete bed rest, there wasn't much that I could do to help, and that really frustrated me.

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But Chris has been amazing.  To say that he rose to the occasion is putting it lightly.  I would swear that he has actually been getting more and more patient with each passing day, and Jayce has become almost permanently glued to the side of his favorite playmate.  Chris and Jayce have always had a wide variety of "when dad gets home" activities: wrestling, shooting basketball, dancing, hide from mom/get chased by mom, swinging and wagon rides, among others.  But there are so many new ones now.

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This has been so fun for me to watch.  I imagine that some moms might feel jealous or bitter, but there is little that I love more than watching my 2 boys playing and laughing together.  It is honestly just as enjoyable for me as if I was the one chasing and tickling as well.  I typically shift to where ever they are playing so I can get in on the jokes and the fun as best as I can.  And I can steal a few pictures whenever I remember to grab my camera.

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I mentioned before how wonderfully the potty training has been coming along, and I know that it is largely due to Chris.  Some people had mentioned that their boys were trained more easily by their dads and that has been completely true in this case.  Jayce often follows Chris around so that he can do whatever his dad is doing, so Chris has a seemingly constant little partner.  Jayce helps with dinner, helped mulch the mulch beds, wash dishes, water flowers, get the mail, etc.  But then Jayce will suddenly remember that his dad is not just the person he wants to imitate in every way, but the person that he wants to play with, right now!  It's so common for Chis to be doing something normal, like checking his email or folding laundry, and Jayce will suddenly come charging in, push him and run away giggling, as he knows that he has just initiated "dad come chase/tickle/wrestle me."  It's such a fun balance.

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I had been a little worried that Jayce would have some problems with jealousy when the new baby arrived, mostly because it has always been just he and I, all day every day.  But I'm hoping that all of this guy bonding time will help us ease into the transition a bit better.  I'm so thankful to have these two, and I just can't wait for our newest family member to arrive.



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28 May 2011

Potty Training Miracles

I have written about potty training a few times on our blog already.

You may remember the enthusiastic and optimistic post, and the failed self-consolation post. I decided after the 2nd post that this topic wouldn't receive quite so much attention in the future. It would be a blip on a post about something else, "also, we're potty training again, seems be be going better/the same/worse, and we're still working on it." But I might not have sworn off of it if I had known that I would be writing a different kind of post, the "seemingly miraculous and piece of cake potty training just days before the new baby is due" post. That is what has happened around here in the last week, and to be honest, I'm still shocked by it.

I have Chris to thank, and also a little Batman toy.

The Batman toy was given to us by a sweet friend, and meant for Jayce to open in the hospital so that he could have something to keep him entertained when the baby arrived. It was set aside so that he wouldn't open it, but he did at some point.

Last Sunday, Jayce was playing outside with his new water table. He had splashed water all over himself, so we took his shorts off and eventually his diaper. We thought we would see how this advice went over, "When it's warm, just let him run around outside with no under ware and/or pants on and he'll just train himself." He was not interested to say the least. He seemed self-conscious, or uncomfortable or something. He kept asking for us to put his diaper and pants back on and eventually went inside himself. It didn't work.

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The next day Chris randomly said, "Hey Jayce, let's see if Batman has to go potty," and took Jayce and Batman to the bathroom. He put Batman on the little potty where he "went," then Chris went, and then Jayce went. Out of nowhere!! This was the first potty success we have had in 6 months!

This continued for the rest of the night and Day 2. Not even at regular intervals! Basically, whenever Chris went potty, Jayce went with him and he went too, like this was nothing out of the ordinary! Jayce wore under ware, not pull ups, and had no accidents! I was shocked!

On Day 3, there was a little bit of resistance. Jayce didn't want to go a few times when Chris took him, but it was okay because he was still dry in between. Chris told him that he could go outside to help grill if he went to the potty first, and Jayce ran to the bathroom, dropped his pants himself and went! Later on in the night, he told Chris that he had to go #2, and then went. Batman was now out of the picture and he was going by himself without any fun little games or anything. We are now on Day 6, with only a few (wet) accidents, but for the most part it seems to be a done deal.

I am trying not to celebrate, but I want to celebrate!! I realize that this is too much potty info for many people, but I just can't believe our incredibly good luck! What are the chances that Jayce would just decide that it is time to use the potty in the days leading up to the new baby's birth?

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It's also funny to reflect now on all of the "methods" that we tried and Jayce had no interest in. The timer, candy incentives, cool big boy pants, the Elmo potty video and Elmo potty doll, a reading station, letting him be naked outside, etc, just didn't work for us.

But the other advice, the kind that required us to just be patient and wait for him to be ready, was what we actually needed to hear.

You can't force it, you just have to wait for it to happen.

Boys are tricky, one day he'll just be ready, he'll go and that will be it.

Patience is not one of our best traits around here, and neither is letting things happen at their own time. It's ironic that Jayce and the baby are both teaching us that lesson in the same week, as the 37 weeks mark has passed, without induction, and we are now just waiting for our little girl to arrive.

But what a great present Jayce has given us this week! Even with a few accidents here and there, only one child in diapers at a time seems like a great thing!

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25 May 2011

Bed Rest Buster: Headband Headquarters

Well, you all know by now that I've been on bed rest these past few weeks. It is certainly not the worst thing in the world, and I am obviously happy to do whatever it takes to keep our little girl safe and healthy. But unfortunately it has arrived at the exact time that my nesting instinct has kicked into high gear. It's all I can do to keep myself firmly planted on the couch when these urgent messages keep popping into my head, "You don't have any pacifiers! You need to sterilize the breast pump! You need to borrow someone's Boppy Pillow!" and on and on it goes.

So what does a typically multi-tasking girl do in those non-napping hours of bed rest-ing, to try to keep her hands busy and mind occupied enough to stop making list after list of things to do?

Yes. Make baby headbands. Lots and lots of headbands. I shared this on LTC this week and thought I'd share it here as well.

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I have been bookmarking various tutorials that I come across for fabric flowers, knowing that little headbands and hair clips would be in our little girl's future. It turns out that if you must camp out on the couch for hours at a time, this is a great project. Particularly if paired with some sort of all-day marathon of a good brain candy tv show.

You simply need a little headband station with a variety of supplies. Prepare for your husband to make comments like, "It looks like a sweatshop over here!" And prepare to ignore him. Or just ask him for more snacks or ice water.

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At your station you'll need sharp scissors, various types of fabric, lace, felt, needle & thread or glue gun, elastic, piece of paper to use as a template, and something round to trace for a template.

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First up is this lovely fabric flower, tutorial from Simply Vintage Girl here. Love it. Newborn baby photo prop? Definitely.

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I made these headbands with a similar technique as the example shown above. I just cut the fabric into circles, burned the edges, and glued them together. Easy and elegant!!

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Next I made this felt dahlia flower from KoJo Designs here. I will probably be switching out the pearl on this for a string of beads once I can get to the store to get beads, but I just love the bright red and white! It makes me think of Christmas, Valentines Day or 4th of July. She'll be ready no matter what!

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Next up were these no sew flowers from Ruffles and Stuff here. I simply went through my fabric stash and started cutting different fabrics into circles. I tried to mix it up a little by using different colored stretchy bands, and adding a bit of lace as well. These were easy and several have already been used for other baby clothes projects, so I know they'll match perfectly!

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I found this lace flower at Aly & Ash Creations here. I was so excited that I actually had the exact lace and brads that she used in her example. Love it. This one will be a hair clip. That is, once I get some hair clips it will be. :)

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There are lots of tutorials for rolled fabric flowers, and I found mine at Hello Friend here. Whether these will be a big cluster on a headband or made into little clips is still to be determined. But they are the same color scheme as in her room, so I couldn't resist keeping them together for a picture! :)

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I also made up a few other bows that I left un-attached for now. Will they be hair clips, headbands, attached to onesies or some other clothing item? Only time will tell.

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I will also be trying out Patrice's Quick and Easy Hair Ribbon tutorial as soon as I can get my hands on some ribbon! I'm still stocking up on my "girly" supplies around here! :)

Well, that's it for now!! It was fun to have one thing I could scratch off of my "to do before baby arrives" list. And Chris is happy to have back the section of the couch that was dedicated to my supplies. :)

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21 May 2011

3 Years

3 years ago today, 1 day past his due date, this little love of our lives arrived.


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Before I was on bed rest and unable to go upstairs, I would rock with him for a few minutes most days before he went to sleep. He is particular about what songs he wants to be sang to him, normally only "letting" Chris sing.

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But recently he's been letting me sing to him too. He'll say, "Mom, sing me that song when I was a little boy." So I have been.


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Close your eyes, have no fear. The monster's gone, he's on the run, and your mom is here.

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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

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beautiful boy.

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Every day, in every way, it's getting better and better.

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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

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beautiful boy.

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