Look at my thirsty bunch...I don't know why they look so tired. All cute and all tired, this was after our walk...but two of them up there didn't do any walking! The other one though, the furry one, did plenty of pulling.
It was a hot sunny day (mid October and 77 degrees), and I guess I needed a challenge. So I gathered the troops and we went for a walk. Me, and that beastly and playful dog along with those two adorable little monster kiddos in their buggy, pushing them up and down our neighborhood's hills.
We were out under the beautiful sunny sky and all the while we're walking I'm holding the leash while the furry kid a.k.a. little "Ms. Pully Longstockings" was attempting to tug us in the directions of squirrels every 2 minutes. Notice the tiny little foot-long leash on Aleethea? Yep, there's a really good reason for that thing. Where is Cesar Millan on days like this? Some days I can almost see him drive up to our house in one of his shiny new rental cars, then take Aleethea for a walk while inline-skating up our block. Wouldn't that be awesome?!
So by the time I got to the corner with the babies and the beat, I was sweating. A dog, an almost 4.5yr old, an almost 2.5yr old, and a bicycle-trailer-convertible-stroller-thingy. But do you see how comfy Joey and Lily both fit in that thing? hehe. They're so adorable, and they love sitting next to each other too. It was such fun for them to be riding around like that, just hanging out and noticing nature, and telling each other the funniest little stories.
They call that orangey goodness their "buggy", and it is awesome - it handles really well - so very easy to maneuver, and I also easily schlepped it down our front porch steps. Anyway...getting back to that 6-year-old pup up there...how many times can one say "heel" without sounding ridiculous. I mean really. I need the Dog Whisperer to come whisper something to Aleethea. Something to the effect of "ack!". That should do it, yes? After we turned the corner she did start heeling and walking a bit more calmly...but wow was she all trying to be the pack-leader, trying to get me to follow her lead. Can you imagine? She is hilarious. What a smart pain in the butt that German Shepherd Dog is! She has the energy of a pup, and it's a good thing she is not only amazing and beautiufl, but also 99% trained...because that other 1% is a wild beast! And gee those hills in our neighborhood are much steeper than they look from the car window.
All in all, what a wonderful workout, and lots of fun for all of us.
I can't wait til tomorrow to hook the bike trailer up to my bicycle, and also connect Aleethea's doggy-bar to my bike too. ha! Wish me luck.
Thursday (day 4/5): Last nite for the very first time -- Lily stayed dry all night!! This is a very big deal because she nurses in the middle of the night, yet continued to stay dry. Then today Lily went potty first thing in the AM, then approximately every 2 hours thereafter. She stayed dry during a 2 hour naptime. Yaay!
Friday (day 5/5: Last nite Lily stayed dry again!! That's 12 hours, people! Nursed in the middle of the night too. Then during the day today she visited the potty a bunch of times, all with successful happenings. :) And each time, before she had to go she would let me know without me asking her - and then she would go find the potty! She would also be specific as to whether she needed to go #1 or #2. And, Lily did not have any accidents all day long! I am so proud of my little kookla! (doll in Greek)
Here's Lily with her potty charts. The point of these charts was simply to have a spot to jot things down such as when she went potty, and then another spot for Lily to have some fun and add some stickers. We kept the potty chart in the bathroom, and the sticker chart in her room. Along the way, plenty of doodling, scribbling, and chicken scratch ended up on the charts. They were also a key aspect in our potty training, in addition to a learning experience for Lily, and of course plenty of fun. :)
Look at how happy and proud of her accomplishment Lily appears to be in these photos:
So, this concludes our potty-training boot camp, and my baby girl is no longer in diapers! Joey wasn't potty trained til he was 3yrs + 4mos...so having Lily out of diapers at just 28mos is so very refreshing. And...kind of sad too. :(
umm...ok I'm over it. :)
No more diapers! No more stinky diaper pail!No more changing tables!
Lily is now officially potty-trained! Mission accomplished!! woohoooooo!!!! :D
The best thing about potty training? Lily gets so excited when she goes #1 in the potty, she's just so happy when she hears the sound of the tinkling! :) And she runs around the house all day wearing nothing but a little t-shirt. It's the cutest thing because her adorable suntan lines are still so visible, so her cute little beige bottom bounces all around the house, while her little brown legs are running. She really loves getting stickers, sometimes hearts are her favorite, sometimes VeggieTales - and she runs up to her potty chart and takes a few minutes to decide where she wants to carefully place her new sticker. Then she asks if it's time to "do the potty dance, Mama?" :)
So here are the details...because I know you are just on the edge of your seat! hehe.
Tuesday: In the middle of the night Lily went # 1 in the bed, so when she woke up at 7am she didn't have to go potty first thing in the morning, but finally went at 10am...in the potty! Hooray! Throughout the day she only had one accident in the afternoon. Something I realized - is Lily just doesn't need to go to the potty as often as big brother did. He went every 30 minutes, but she goes every 2 hours, sometimes 2.5hrs! Oh and she stayed dry during her 2 hour naptime. How wonderful is that?!
Wednesday:Last nite at 4am'ish Lily went #1 in the bed. She woke up at 8am and right away did #1 in the potty. Yaay! Throughout the day she went #1 twice in the potty, and also did #2 in the potty this evening. A few accidents today while too busy playing with big bro to stop and visit the bathroom. :) Again dry during her 2 hour naptime, which is great!
Warning: Lots of potty-mouth going on around here.
Last week we read No More Diapers for Ducky, and watched Elmo's Potty Time way more times than I care to admit. We've been talking about the potty, and singing all sorts of potty songs...all in preparation for today...the big day. The day we started potty-training our toddler, with the hopes of another successful potty-training boot-camp, just like we did with her big-bro.
And so it began. 8am this morning. Our baby girl Lily, 28mos, said good-bye to diapers! Then we spent 10 hours inside today, all day, sitting on the potty every 30min. She would sit there, usually not willingly, but heavily bribed/persuaded/distracted, with high hopes of stickers. :D Gotta love how the whole sticker thing still works! But, she would just sit there, and do nothing much but just sit on the potty, and have me read her books, and play with water while sitting there...but...no peepee. Nothing. Nada. Dry. Oh, but she did pee quite nicely on the floor 4 times. Yep, once in the playroom, once in her room, and twice in the kitchen. Yeah, she had that peeing on the floor thing mastered by 5pm. hehe.
So, 10 hours goes by...and then what happens? Then DADA comes home after work, takes Lily to the potty, and what happens? Can ya believe this nonsense - she goes #1...IN THE POTTY! Hooray for Lily!! And yeah, sure, GREAT job DADA. He comes struttin' home after being out in the fresh air (ok, being at work...but still) and I'm cooped up all day, spending most of it in the bathroom...and he gets to wear the pee-pee crown. Nice. A big ol' pat on the back for you there, Pee-Daddy. *giggle*
So what is a Mama to do? I wait. Quietly. Plotting my next move...and then, when the moment is right...Lily and I go to the potty, and what happens?? After 10 minutes of deep concentration...she DOES #2 - IN THE POTTY!! Woohoo for Lily's very first #2 in the toilet! And yaaayyyy for this Mama's craptastic potty-training skills!! How about a crappy hi-5!
I know, I know, I should calm down a bit...because it's just Day 1...but I may not survive another full day of this doo-doo!! haha - so I will bask in the glory...yes, the glory of poop, because my baby girl was just so pottylicious today. Thank you, my dear bloggy/FB peeps, for going thru this crappola with me.
And to The Hubbs Joe, I hope you're reading all this caca, and just know...that you'll always be...#1. :D
Hope they fall in love with their new outfit. I know I have! :)
And if you want a pair of those super fab Vespa Scooters Ankle Biters, or if you want the super cool Vespa Scooters Jumper Dress, then go pick 'em up in my shop...and just let me know you "saw it on your blog" upon checkout, and after payment I'll send you a refund...a 15% discount via paypal off your purchase!! :D
(exclusive offer is valid for the next 3 days only...Oct. 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2010)
So be sure to get 'em at my shop, Joey & Aleethea while I still have that ridiculously awesome limited edition and out of print fabric in stock!!
We were happy to find an apple-picking orchard just approx an hour drive from Durham, located in Ramseur NC. Here's my lovely little 2 year old Lily, checking out all the leaves on the ground, and all the butterflies as she walked thru an apple orchard for the very first time. Wearing her apple denim dress, to match her big brother:
My silly sweet Joey, of course with the bucket on his head, cracking up like it was just the most clever thing in the whole world. Isn't he a cutie?:
My big boy, starting out on his very first apple-picking venture:
And sitting on Mama's shoulders to reach up high:
Counting his apples as we went along...
After all that work, it was time for some serious play! We headed to the picnic area where a bunch of tire swings awaited us. I swung Joey so high and so hard on this tire swing, he giggled all the way, and thought it was just the best thing. I agreed:
Here's a close-up of the apple pants I made for Joey. They're denim, comfy, with huge pockets, and so cute on him!
My baby girl Lily would've stayed on this tire-swing all day!She is quite the adventurous little one:
And having fun doing what they love doing in open fields...running free and far away from Mama and Dada! :)
After the Apple Orchard, we invited some friends over and made an Apple Danish Pizza with the fresh apples. The kids picked apples called "Pink Ladies", also known as the brand name for Cripps Pink apples. See? I am just a wealth of knowledge today. Something else I know is that when the farmer said we had picked apples which are called "Pink Ladies", my mind went directly to this:
Anyways...back to kid-friendly stuff now...we did however enjoy a few of these at the apple orchard...super yummy apple-cider slushies. We're in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, so it was in the high 80's that first day of October:
And getting back to the apples we picked...if you do try the Apple Danish Pizza recipe, it's lots of fun to make with kids as they're plenty of steps that they can assist with. It is really a delicious (fattening) recipe - but it did taste more like a cheescake than a danish or a pizza. I'd suggest using more apples than the recipe calls for...maybe 3 x as many. And a less-tart apple than we picked.
We had made a very big deal of Joey starting preschool for the very first time. We baked him a cake, we sang "Happy Preschool to youuuuu", and we talked it up for months.
This is what was going on in the above photo...we were just about to get into the car to drop off my big boy, my 4yr old kiddo for his first day of school.
Me: "Who's ready for the 1st day of pre-school?"
Joey: me! me! me! I am!
Lily: me! me! me! Mama, I want to go with Joey to happy pre-school!"
When we dropped him off at school that very first day, Lily turned to the empty car seat next to her, then started crying, and saying "I miss my friend!" Ugh, the sweet little tears were flowing.
And now, it's been 3 weeks into the school year...and what does Lily yell everyday when Joey gets home from preschool? "Happy preschool, Joey! Happy preschool!!"
The sweetest thing.
Now that Joey goes to preschool, it's very quiet around here. Lily and I get to spend plenty of Mommy and Me time together. It's so different around here when Joey is at school for 4 days per week. So. very. different. We miss him of course, but Lily and I are also enjoying our new time together. Her personality is shining these days, she's more outspoken, and she gets to sing whenever she wants to, dance whenever she feels like it, play with whatever toy she wants to, and talk to Mama whenever she feels like it. Her new found freedom is doing wonders for her.
And oh my goodness is she bossy. She tells me where we're going, and when, and why, and how she wants to go, and what she wants to eat, and how much, and it is the funniest thing. I love it.
"Just Those First Few Weeks" - a poem By Susan Erling
For those few weeks - I had you to myself And that seems too short a time To be changed so profoundly
In those few weeks - I came to know you... and to love you. You came to trust me with your life. Oh, what a life I had planned for you!
Just those few weeks - When I lost you I lost a lifetime of hopes, plans, dreams and aspirations... A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.
Just those few weeks - It wasn't enough time to convince others how important and special you were. How odd, a truly unique person has recently died And no-one is mourning the passing.
Just a few more weeks - And no 'normal' person would cry all night over a tiny unfinished baby, or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day. No-one would, so why am I?
You were just those first few weeks my little one you darted in and out of my life too quickly. But it seems that's all the time you needed to make my life so much richer and give me a small glimpse of eternity.
In loving memory of our angel whom we lost at 11 weeks and 4 days via miscarriage.
Many times my handmade clothing line is a relection of my atmosphere, my surroundings in nature, the weather, the adventures with my kids, the places we go, or the crayon colors my children are selecting that day. And sometimes, my handmade designs reflect the online locations I've been frequenting! For example, check out the below blog post I wrote about a fun International Culture website...see the colors there? Turquoise and Red. And now? Take a look at one of my recent designs, and new in my shop! A gorgeous little Retro Turquoise Linen Dress, for your super gorgeous little girl. That's my babe up there. :) A wonderful dress for layering when it gets chilly out, or for sitting and eating ice-cream on any day.
Made from a premium quality turquoise linen, it features a sweet little teacup-shaped pocket in the front. Also with an easy on-easy off design which ties at the neckline, a unique design by Joey & Aleethea! A gorgeous red, turquoise, and gold retro floral fabric will secure your baby girl's dress in ultra cuteness.
If you're a Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparent who believes in raising their child to love and appreciate everyone in a multi-cultural society, and who enjoys learning songs, rhymes, and cultures from all around the world...then you are going to absolutely fall in love with this children's website! Featuring "Conversations about the languages and cultures of the world, especially the songs and traditions of children."
I would tell you more about it, but I'm too busy listening to various children's songs from many different countries, and getting nursery rhymes and multi-cultural activites ready for my children to enjoy tomorrow morning. So go check it out for yourself! :) http://www.mamalisa.com
Head on over to "Mama Lisa's Blog is at http://www.mamalisa.com/blog for discussions about world culture and music...with a special focus on kids stuff!"
And be sure to "Check out Mama Lisa's World at http://www.mamalisa.com/world for music from around the world especially children's songs and rhymes in over 95 languages with English, French and Spanish Translations."
Hope all of you breastfeeding Mamas out there had a wonderful World Breastfeeding Week!! (Aug 1-7)
Our son Joey weaned himself from nursing at 23 mos (while I was 8mos pregnant with his little sister), and our daughter Lily is now 26 mos and still nursing strong! That photo up there is Lily when she was just 4 wks. :) Baby girl nurses a couple of times per day - and a couple of times per night. It's been a long and healthy 4+ years of breastmilk for my babies, and I am so happy and thankful that I was able to breastfeed them since the moment they were born!
When it comes to breasfeeding, the very first and the absolutle most important thing to do with a newborn baby is to get him/her to latch on correctly for the very first feeding, and also to begin that feeding within the first hour of birth. We had a wonderful Doula for my pregnancies with both Joey and Lily, so she was there to help ensure breastfeeding got going on the right path.
Not sure how to do that? If you're birthing in a hospital, ask for a lactation consultant while you are in labor. She'll arrive when you give birth and then with her help you can begin the amazing journey of breastfeeding.
What else do you need to know? Here are some resources:
This is what Lily rocked to her Birthday Party!! A new dress, handmade by me for her, entitled "Happy colorful summertime friends." Featuring a very limited colorful Japanese kawaii fabric with ultra adorable little critters, and a very rare retro floral fabric by Denyse Schmidt in turquoise.
Lily had lots of fun wearing this dress...for approximately 5 minutes. I love this dress!! But we couldn't keep it...I made it for a sweet customer, an awesome Mama...so it's going out to a special little girl in Ontario, Canada...for her 2nd birthday!! I hope she loves her FUN and geeky little robot awesomeness!! :D
My baby girl's hair is getting so long. In the back, her sweet and gorgeous little curls are turning into spirals! Good, because I'm sure those will hold more sticky food in them, too. :)
Lovely little hair scarf was her prop for a few minutes too since it
coordinates with the dress. And this orangey goodness? I had to
creatively take off her head, since she wanted to keep the hair scarf
for herself! "Me keep it, Mama".
Can you even imagine how difficult it is to say no to that beautiful little face?? Oh and the sentences she speaks these days are amazing. Just amazing. I'll tell you about them someday.
OK it's 5AM, the kids are still asleep...I've been up since 1AM making things happen over here. :)
Here's my little preschool-swim-class graduate!!!!! I'm so proud of my little big-boy.
Look at Joey leaping into the pool:
Joey loved going his swimming lessons! It was a four-day Level 1 swim class, one week long, for kids ages 3-5. So yeah - lots of preschool-aged cuteness there every morning. His instructor was awesome, Joey really enjoyed taking swimming lessons and it had plenty to do with his laid-back instructor who made the class really enjoyable, fun and relaxed for the kids.
Look at my future Olympic swimmer right here:
We'll be signing Joey up for the Level 2 class soon...even though Joey told me he didn't need any swimming lessons at all because he already knows how to swim. My little Aquaman. He was a monster in the pool! No fear.
I recently realized that my kiddo has been wearing the same pair of
pants for the past 3 years! Back in the day we'd call them "high-waters". ha!
And no, it's not that my kiddo hasn't grown...but I
handmade his lounge pants to fit for years, and...looky there, it
worked! No high-waters here...unless Mama custom made them to be super cool! :D
Yep, this will be the fourth summer that my 4 year old
Joey has rocked the handmade Ankle Biters lounge pants that I made for
him when he was 15 months old! His Cabana
Striped with Green Elephants pants that he's wearing
below...well...they used to be pants...now, they're shorts:
Here's how Joey looked the very first time he wore those pants...on a beach vacation:
fun watching him grow out of...and into...these pants/shorts!
He loves those pants so much - and I adore him in them, they are just so super fun to wear!! And so, I made him another pair...the exact same cabana striped fabric with green elephants trim. Here he is with Lily (in her coordinating top, of course!) at the "Got to be NC" Festival last week:
We had so much fun that day! Hope you're having a season filled with carnivals and festivals! Good times! :D
How to grow a garden when you don't have time to grow a garden because in any free time you may possibly have, you're growing a toddler and a preschooler instead, and hopefully turning them into semi-normal children. Fingers crossed everybody.
Now let's get down to some hard-core 15 minute gardening!
Step 2: Follow the wonderfully simple instructions within the kit which will show you how to make seedbombs which look like meatballs...but don't eat them. And when your 2yr old tries to eat them, tell her there's worm ca-ca in there, and she'll stop eating them immediately...and then she'll feed it to the dog.
Oh and be very very glad that the instructions contain cute little photos...because if you're anything like me these days...you'll be reading instructions while at the same time slapping your eyelids to stay awake because of all the nighttime awakenings and nursing...and also doing the whole falling-back-asleep-thing just to awaken to swift kicks from a spunky 4yr old who insists on sleeping in the "big-bed" even after telling him his big boy bed is way better. Then baby girl hears her Mama getting the junk beat out of her TaeKwonDo style, so she wakes up scratching her Mama to nurse, yet again.
Let's move on, shall we?
Step 3: Get "Little Night Kicker" and his sidekick "Little Miss Scratchesalot" together, and schedule a playdate with a couple of their best buddies. Have them toss the seedbombs out into the yard. Notice the one-footed monster.