Monday, December 10, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Two is my very favorite age.  I've never thought they were so "terrible," rather, quite terrific.  What I love about a kid this age is that they are just figuring things out.  They are learning new things, and testing themselves at them.  They smile.  They laugh.  They say funny things and are proud of themselves for the littlest of accomplishments.

RJ will kick a ball and say to me, "See it mom?  See it mom?"  He'll jump from my bathtub and say, "See it mom?  See it mom?"  He'll run fast like Lightning McQueen and say, "See it mom?  See it mom?"

One of his favorite things to do right now is to gallop.  He gallops and gallops all over the house saying, "Gallop, gallop, gallop."  He's so proud of his new accomplishment and his little voice can be heard resonating through the house, "Gallop, gallop, gallop."

The terrific thing about it is, his speech of coarse is still developing so all his sounds aren't right.  His g sound follows the typical pattern of a two-year-old, being replaced by a d sound.  He doesn't quite have his l's yet either.  Those are replaced by an m sound.  The end of the word gets dropped off, leaving the word to end with a soft a sound.

Maybe take a minute and figure that out.

So... around and around the house he goes, galloping and repeating "gallop, gallop, gallop" over, and over, and over again!  Absolutely terrific!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Potty Training Number 5

By number five you would think I would have this down.  That I would have figured out all the tricks, all the bribery techniques, all the ways to manipulate a nearly two-year-old's mind to think that he really wants to sit on the toilet every couple hours.

Unfortunately, this two-year-old's a little different than the others. He can't be bought.  

He's no longer enticed by M&Ms and suckers.  Cheerios and Goldfish crackers in the toilet aren't hacking it either.  

So I decided to resort to his intellectual side.  I explained that he could not go "tinkle" in his underwear.  I told him the consequences: being wet, having itchy legs, and needing to get in the bath and change clothes.  It seems to have helped as he's happier to sit on the toilet now.  

So I pat myself on the back and contemplate names I might use for my potty training book.

Then, last week, there was a puddle on the couch.  The kids insisted RJ peed on it, but RJ was dry.  It definitely smelled like pee and was too big a spot for the dog.  Hmmm.

The answer to my cunundrum was just around the corner, literally.   A few days later the girls caught RJ pulling his underwear aside and peeing on my carpet!  I recalled my words to him, "Do not pee in your underwear."

The name of my potty training book, "Outsmarted By a Two-Year-Old."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date Morning Anyone?

Ryan and I aren't the best at "date night."  We've been to one movie in the past year without the kids and dinner perhaps once.    Days are busy and nights are even busier.  It's difficult to find the time or energy to go out, let alone the guilt I feel for leaving the kids alone.  

An opportunity came up, though, to go on a morning date.  

It was going to cost a bit of money and provide nothing in services.  The atmosphere would be beautiful, though slightly chilly, as we'd tour a stretch of the Mesa canal.  We'd spend very little time with our actual date and have to pull ourselves out of bed at 5:30 a.m.  And did I mention transportation would be our own two feet? 

Perhaps he's not too romantic, but oh how I love that half-marathon man!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

He's Two!

It's been a long time since I've had a two-year-old boy.  We therefore don't have as many cars and trucks as we used to, not so many army figures.  Even the dinosaurs aren't as plentiful.  They've all been replaced by Barbies, doll houses and dress ups.  Therefore the options were open for a really great present for RJ's birthday.  Hmmm... What... to.... choose.

I settled on a larger-than-foot-tall Buzz Lightyear Action Figure (It's not a doll).  RJ's crazy about his Buzz lunch box!  I was giddy thinking about how much he'd love it.  It's so different than everything we have!  We were all so excited for our unsuspecting boy to open his present.

When expectations are high, disappointment runs deep.  RJ's terrified of Buzz.  I'm so sad!  On a shelf he sits.  

Isn't Woody the one that's supposed to be dumped on the shelf to collect dust?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Off To Fight the Goblins

Halloween, a holiday every child looks forward to.  There's the costumes, candy, parties, and don't forget the spooky decorations.  What fun!  Fun... 

Maybe not if you're two and you have a sensitive soul.  If you're afraid of the dump truck Grammy and Papa J gave you for your first birthday.  Or the fake vomit your siblings throw at your feet (Oh, the fun they've had!).  Or your Buzz Lightyear costume!  Fun... maybe not so much.

The costumes elicited uncontrollable crying and even the candy couldn't bribe RJ through the frightening decorations to the doors without clawing at my arms.

So how do you convince a sensitive two-year-old to dress up and fight the goblins?  You play to his weakness. 

Football player anyone?  Poor RJ!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Wizard of Oz

In our stake there is something truly amazing going on.  Once a year the youth have the opportunity to put on a professional theatrical production, produced by Don Bluth.  Don was a Disney animator back in the day when Walt Disney was around.  He had the opportunity to work on iconic films like Sleeping Beauty and Pete's Dragon.  After leaving Disney he started his own production company and produced other well-known animated films, such as American Tale, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Anastasia.  So he's pretty accomplished, yet, once a year this talented man donates his time to run a production for kids.  The production profits nothing financially, but does reap rewards in the lives of the youth involved.

I'm not sure what got Braden interested in theater.  I would think wearing makeup and tights, singing, dancing, and acting in front of an audience would be enough to send any boy the other way.  But Braden must have a little too much of me in him.  He loves it!  

This year's youth production is The Wizard of Oz and for the first time Braden is old enough to participate.  He's playing a munchkin, a crow, and a winkie (did you know that's the name of the witch's guards?).  He's wearing tights without complaint and becoming an expert at putting on his own makeup.  He's singing "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" with his George Bush turned munchkin puppet, marching in patterns as a winkie, and pestering the scarecrow as a crow.  This boy truly amazes me sometimes!  

Break a leg B!

Fall Break and Small Spaces

It may sound like something a kid would make up... Fall Break... a break from school right after you get back in school, but our new school district actually does have one.

I was a little reluctant to have the kids home for a whole week after just surviving our summer "what are we going to do today" days, but of coarse the kids were thrilled with it.  It didn't take long for me to see the beauty of it either.  The most beautiful thing about fall break is that no one else seems to get one!  

The southern California beaches were all but deserted despite the 80 degree temperatures.  Knott's Berry Farm was completely empty, even though it boasts some great coasters that would make any 38-year-old mother nearly throw up and stay in Camp Snoopy the rest of the day.  And though DreamWorks studio was bustling with employees during our visit, our fun at Griffith Park afterwards was completely undisturbed.  

In fact, I think the most crowded place we went during our entire week had to have been the 1000 foot condo we were staying in!  After six days in a space that was the same size as Ryan's and my first home, our condo in Virginia, we discovered that, well... 

that 1000 square feet is really SMALL!  

Happy Fall Break!