28 July 2013

Big Boys

We are working on making two big boys this week. Phillip is making a little potty progress (progress is progress). I got a potty timer that reminds me to take him bathroom every 60 minutes. He finally put more poop in the potty, I hear three times in a row is the charm. Let's pray! He is a little resistant and still wants pull ups but there is NO way we are going back now. I am using the book "Potty Train in Three Days" method. With Phillip I think it will take 2-3 weeks! Tuesday I risked a 30 minute trip to the library. Phillip went to the bathroom before and during the trip. He still pooped his pants. Then I discovered the van battery was dead. We ended up walking home, me clutching a wad of paper towels swaddling his nasty, smelly underpants. Talk about frustrating. By Thursday he was still pooping in his pants all the time. I tried cold showers and other punishments. Crazy enough he responds most to my emotions. I almost cried when he pooped again for the umpteenth time. He looked at me wondering if my tears were because of his poopy pants. He went poop in the potty next time. I cheered and cheered. He smiled and said, "mommy happy!!!" Yep! I ditched the candy and other incentives. All that boy needs is a good cheer and lots of love.

As I read the book it became apparent that Everett is ready to train as well. The book suggests making several changes before starting the potty part. I put him in a toddler bed, which makes changing pee-pee sheets much easier and gives him a sense of freedom. I cut slits in the tops of his binkies (with much trepidation) to start the process of weaning him. He is such a good sleeper I hate to mess with sleep! Friday night was not so fun. He rolled out of bed about 7 times and decided that his binkies were not working properly. Last night was a bit better. I got a bed rail to keep him from rolling out. I think we can start potty training next week or the week after, once he adjusts to his new bed and sleeping sans binkies. Everett even got a hair cut, he looks so big now! Darn it!

Amelia got to play with a new friend, Avery, this week. The Hills moved to Nebraska from Virginia, I wonder if they suffer from culture shock! Other than that we pretty much stayed home. Amelia hosted a tea party on Wednesday with her friends Katelyn and Bryn. Phillip had a rousing time annoying the girls! I got some sewing projects completed and three photoshoots in between the potty madness. Phillip was such a sweetie with the babies during the photos. He helped me make them smile by growling and jumping like an ape. Kids love him! I think my photography commitments made from last year are finally drying up, the last of my newborns are turning one. Just in time! It will be nice to take a break and clear my plate. My favorite piano student moved to Colorado so I will not do lessons this coming school year. Somehow I don't think my time will stretch even with two big commitments removed. Justin and I enjoyed a date night. We had a QUIET dinner at Mi Ranchito then watched The Wolverine movie. Heaven. I really needed to get out and away from the kids for a while. Justin is good company. He he.

Vintage Style

I found this dress on consignment last year sometime. It finally fits Amelia! I paired the vintage-style Jessica McClintock dress with my Great-Grandmother Crook's pearl clip-on earrings and necklace. Amelia was beyond excited to have a photoshoot by herself. We enjoyed getting her all dolled up, making a hair bow, and such. She is such a sweetheart. We love our Amelia Jean...she is so pretty.

21 July 2013

Potty Training. Period.

This week was pretty laid back! Started out the week finishing the edits on all the photos from our vacation and a newborn session. Phew. I enjoyed shutting down my computer for most of the week. Amelia and Phillip started swimming lessons on Monday. I think the old lady teaching their class was not so nice to Phillip. He absolutely refused to change into his swim clothes and get in the pool on Tuesday. Poor kid. He really is a good swimmer but needs to learn how to listen and follow directions. Everett and I stayed on Monday to watch the lessons. It was only 70 degrees with a breeze most mornings so Amelia froze her tushie off. Her lips stayed purple for a good hour or more after lessons. She passed level one and is ready for level two!

The kids and I enjoyed free school lunch at North Elementary on Tuesday. We played at the park afterwards. The kids left out their watercolors which Everett later found. He enjoyed painting himself more than the paper. I thought he did a great job for an amateur!

Wednesday we drove out to Bridgeport for an afternoon at the lake with Alison, Meagan, and their kids. Everett paddled around in the water 95% of the time. He came ashore for a snack and some sand time. Amelia, Ella, and Stella formed the 3 amigas, beach-style. They played numerous games involving mermaids, unicorns, and castles. Phillip loves Drew Haley, he stuck by him as much as possible. When he got chilled he crawl out of the water and bury himself in the warm sand. I love the beach because all the kids have a great time with minimal effort on my part.

Thursday I started potty training Phillip. He is not so keen on the idea and often begs for pull-ups. I found a cute treasure chest box to keep potty treats in. He can earn a treat and a gold doubloon pirate sticker for his special pirate hat. Pretty much he only goes if I physically put him on the potty. I noticed yesterday that he is holding his pee-pee more instead of leaking pee constantly. That is a huge improvement! Yesterday he put a big poop in the potty instead of a toot. Progress! His pull-up was even dry overnight this morning. I think in two weeks he will get the hang of it. In the meantime my washer/dryer is constantly running. Seems like the bathroom reeks of potty. Gross. Potty training has to be the most disgusting part of being a mom. I am also fulfilling my childhood dream to be a cheerleader. My voice gets hoarse from all the exuberant praise ladled on Phillip. He loves the attention more than the treats. I love when he gives me a kiss on the cheek in return. Finally a big boy in the making.

I started working on the nursery Friday night. Took some doing but got the room mostly finished by Saturday evening. Justin deserves a huge pat on the back for letting me nest and amusing the kids while I enjoyed myself. I love sorting through all the tiny clothes remembering when the kids were that small. I feel like every moment that passes goes way too fast. I miss the kisses as soon as they are given. I miss the sticky faces making gorilla faces at me while stuffing a piece of bread into a mouth. I miss the constant roar of children once the quiet settles in. Even though I don't like Phillip sneaking into our bed each night I miss it. Amelia rarely cuddles anymore at night. Everything about this stage of life with small kids is ever so fleeting. Sometimes I forget and impatience, anger, or annoyance settles in. Then suddenly a laugh comes from a something silly and balance is restored. I love it all.

**Everett learned how to jump a couple weeks ago. He jumps like a sumo wrestler! So hilarious.
**Everett tries so hard to imitate Phillip, Justin and I crack up watching him.
**Everett is a bossy cow! His favorite commands are: come back here! Stop that! NOW! 1-2-3-8-9-10! Give it back! PHILLIP!!!!
**I asked Everett if he wanted some underwear. He stopped and got a confused look on his face, flipped his hands up and over, then said "where? where? under? where?" I think we will wait for a while before training him! He he

14 July 2013

Settling Back Home

We are home! I felt like there was a lot to get done now that the baby will arrive in about 6-8 weeks. Tuesday I got all the trip stuff washed and put away...a minor miracle. We went swimming on Tuesday since Everett took a nap from 10:30-1:30. Wednesday my DR wondered when I would stop being a boring pregnant lady! LOL. Better boring than interesting! I photographed another little baby, the grandbaby of a good friend. Since all my studio stuff was out I spent the next day organizing props into my new closet Justin installed under the basement stairs.  Amelia noticed a fun pirate wading pool at Family Dollar, we got that and spent several hours playing pirates. Next I organized and cleaned the storage room and basement. Somehow I also edited all the photos from our trip, except one session by Saturday. Friday and Saturday my big project was tackling the kid's room. The new bunkbeds arrived on Thursday. I removed everything from the closets and pretty much touched everything in both rooms. We made several trips to Salvation Army to donate stuff. Justin assembled the beds Saturday evening. I cannot believe we got that mammoth project completed. I think 24 days of strange sleeping arrangements helped the kids transition into sleeping in one room. They went right to sleep last night! Hooray for small victories.

Lance Family Reunion

The first Lynn and Jean Lance family reunion was an awesome success! We all had an amazing time camping on the shores of the Snake River. My Aunt Carol runs an RV park in Wilder, ID. It seemed like the perfect place for a reunion...so it came to pass.

My mom and I left for Idaho around 11 am Tuesday morning (July 2nd). We drove up a day early to spend time with my Uncle Darrel and Aunt Fawn. My mom drove Grandma Baerwaldt and her car while I drove up the van. We met in Brigham City for a little lunch. It was hot, hot, hot with temps coming in at 111 across the desert. I took photos of my cousin Lexie's new daughter, Ginger before we drove out to the camp site.

Wednesday was the hottest day by far. It was stifling! Amelia barfed all over the backseat just 10 minutes away from the campground. Gross. We were the first to arrive. Amelia and Phillip helped Mike mow the lawns on his fancy mower. By dinner time most of the family arrived in trickles. Carol made spaghetti for the crew. Dad had the boys jumping to set up tents and get everything settled. Thankfully, the weather cooled down to 72 that night. With a fan and extension cord we made it through the night.

Thursday we celebrated the 4th of July. Dad conducted a flag ceremony. Jan organized a fun parade. Amelia, Sadie, and Aislinn rode horses, Renee was the statue of liberty, Justin serenaded her, Jeremy/Jared/Josh sang Happy Birthday, Grandma headed up the parade with the flag riding on an ATV. The rest of the kids joined in for a walk around the park waving sparkly wands. James, Joe, and Jeff got some fireworks to set off at sunset. Renee is a favorite among all the kids, she always seemed to have an attachment wrapped around her finger. Jared and I had a fun time taking Senior photos for his upcoming last year of HS.

Friday morning we had a meeting on family genealogy. Scott made an amazing fan poster showing off our family history. He handed the charts out. Grandma made packets that had the same information. It was super cool. We watched family slides after dinner. Some of the kids went to see Despicable Me II.

Saturday Scott had us all arranged for family photos around 11 am. We had a family meeting to celebrate Lynn and Jean's 60th wedding anniversary. Most of us prepared 60 things to remember their anniversary years (stamps, cards, kisses, candy, chain links, etc.). The kids strung beads while we met to keep the peace.

Sunday we packed up after breakfast. I took family photos for Carla Astle before we left for home. The kids and I made it to Evanston, WY by 7:00 pm. We went swimming before going to bed. Fun times. It took us all day to get back home. I think we pulled in sometime after 6 pm. Justin was ecstatic to see us. I was crabby and just wanted to sleep. It was a miserable homecoming on my part. Sorry honey!

Fun memories:
*Swapping stories with Jessica, Renee, Stephanie, and my other Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.
*We have at least 6 talented photographers in the family. We have a best photo contest going on. Seeing all those Canon 5D Mark II made me want an upgrade even more.
*How dirty my kids could get in under 5 minutes.
*Amelia was absent most of the time while she explored the campground (fishing) and playing with cousins
*Phillip filling up as many glasses as he could before someone could notice. He probably wasted about 10 gallons of juice!
*Phillip putting rocks in his shirt so he could be like Mommy
*Everett passed out in the pack 'n play for hours in the afternoon
*Watching the stars flicker between the moving tree branches at night, camping is awesome!