Friday, July 23, 2010

Hoosier Kiss

In September, Aiden starts preschool. At each school we went to look at this spring, he would cry as we were leaving because he wanted to stay. He has such a passion for learning already and eats up anything and everything we teach him. I know he will LOVE school. He is also dying for some friends his own age. Some mornings, when we wake up, we can hear kids playing at the playground near us. Aiden will say, "Mommy, my friends! We have to go see them!" I can't wait for him to be able to foster some friendships and gain some of the social skills he is craving. I am also excited that I will have some alone time with Miss Maddie while The Bug is at school. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly sad that he is growing up so quickly and that we no longer will have our whole days together, but I think the excitement outweighs the sadness.

Anyway, one of the requirements for him to be in school is that he has to be potty-trained by the time school starts. So far, I have been trying the "wait until he tells you he's ready to go" school of thought. Well, I waited and waited and waited for him to be ready before Maddie got here, but figured I wouldn't push it too much because I didn't want to have to re-train him once Maddie arrived. The morning that I went into labor, however, seemed to be the morning he was "ready". After I realized I was in labor, his efforts were quickly squashed and the diaper was put back on him. Then we were back to waiting. I was starting to get a little nervous that he wasn't going to ever be ready to go on his own. So, I did what all good parents do, I bargained with and bribed him.

I told him that when he turned 3 that he had to stop wearing diapers except for at night, and during the day he had to wear underwear like a big boy. I also made a rewards chart for him to put stickers on every time he even tried to go to the bathroom. And lastly, I told him that every time he peed on the potty he could have a Hershey Kiss or M&M's.

After we returned from Dad and Barb's, we started. He seemed to be ok with the fact that he had to wear underwear, could care less about the chart except for the fact that he wanted the stickers, and would do about anything for the Hershey Kiss/M&M's. Too my surprise he has not had one accident, but has started to demand a Hershey Kiss every time he goes potty.

One night Grant and I went out and a friend watched the kids for us. Aiden went potty twice while we were gone. However, we forgot to tell her about the Hershey Kiss demand after he's completed the job. Unfortunately, for her, we also forgot that he can't really pronounce it that well either and it comes out kinda like "Hooshey Kiss". Poor Alyssa had no idea what he was talking about at first, but finally figured it out. When we got home, she told us she thought he was saying he wanted a "Hoosier Kiss", and just assumed it was some weird Indiana thing. Needless to say they are now called Hoosier Kisses in our house.

Since then, we have dwindled the Hoosier Kisses down to one a day if he doesn't have an accident. He hasn't missed one night! Now if I could only get him to poop in the potty, we'd be all set for preschool!

Some fun pictures from the last couple of days:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Aiden turns 3 and a really big post

At the beginning of July we decided to go home to Indianapolis to stay with my Dad and Barb. We haven't been to Indy since before Madelyn was born and I was really feeling the need to take her home and soak in some of those humid Indiana summer nights. Without kids, the trip takes us 6 hours, add Aiden into the mix and we can do it in about 7 hours, so I was uncertain how long the trip would be when we added Maddie into it. I was unsure of how many times she would need to stop to nurse, or how far we could get before she decided that she had had enough time in the car and had a meltdown.

Turns out I was worried for nothing. The trip couldn't have gone any smoother. Maddie is such a trooper and would go along with just about anything we wanted her to. Much to my surprise she slept the first 3 hours, until we stopped for lunch. Our plan was to let Aiden run off some steam in the playground of Chick-fil-a while Grant ate lunch and I nursed Maddie. We would then pile back into the car and Aiden and I would eat our lunch while Grant continued to drive. While it didn't quite happen that smoothly, we pretty much stuck to our 7 hour schedule! 

(Aiden really doesn't like it when I take pictures of him and will usually run away from me if he knows I'm trying to take one. Luckily, he was strapped in and had nowhere to go!)

We stayed pretty busy while we were in Indy. We had lots of people to see and made sure that we soaked up every minute we could with friends and family. It never feels like we have enough time while we are there and we never get to spend as long as we'd like with anyone.

Our first night in Indy happened to be our 6 year anniversary. I can't believe it's been 6 years! So much has happened in that time. Luckily for us, Dad and Barb offered to watch the kids for us so that we could go out to dinner. After some debate, we decided to go to Noah Grant's in Zionsville. We used to work there before they redesigned, back when it was Brix, and wanted to check it out. We had a wonderful dinner and just happened to run into a few people who used to work with us while we were there. Afterward, we stopped by my friend Lindsay's house and sat around the bon-fire for a bit before heading back to my Dad's house. I know it wasn't a huge night out, but it was a perfect evening. And, really after 11 years, and 2 kids, just a simple evening together is about as perfect as it can get!

We watched fireworks over the reservoir from the boat for the 4th of July. It was amazing and beautiful. The best part was that we didn't have to fight through traffic or hoards of people to see them. Aiden was so excited to watch the fireworks and would exclaim every time he would see one begin its ascent into the air, "LOOK! FIREWORKS!", or "There's one!" The best was when he would say, "Oh Mommy, they're beautiful!" Maddie spent most of the time hanging out with Mimi, perfectly contented to stay wrapped up in her arms.

We spent a lot of time at the pool and we were lucky to get to see my brother, Tom, his wife, Ashley, and their kids, Lainey, Cali and Levi. Aiden had a great time with Lainey and Cali and I know he is sad that we don't live closer so he can play with them more often.

While the older kids played, the younger ones did their best to nap, and Mimi and Aunt Courtney were not about to let a baby sleep without being held.

Aiden's birthday was on the 7th and we spent the day with my Mom and Dave. Aiden had a great time with Nannie and Papaw at the Children's Museum, and especially liked the Dinosphere, where he got to dig for fossils!

After the Children's Museum, we met at Rick's Boatyard Cafe for a wonderful dinner celebration that was followed with chocolate cake for the birthday boy. We only wish we could have been able to spend more time with Nannie and Papaw.

The next day we had a little birthday party for Aiden. He had requested a chocolate dinosaur cake for his birthday and not only did he get that, but a whole dinosaur themed party. I cut out dinosaur feet to make a "Happy Birthday, Aiden" sign, then used the extra cutouts to lead to the basement for the party. I also made deviled dinosaur eggs, had a dinosaur egg hunt for the kids, and had styrofoam cutouts of dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs to paint while waiting for other guests to arrive.

We prepared most of the morning for his party, baking the cake, setting up decorations, putting together gift bags for the kids, getting  food ready, and setting up activities. Aiden did his part to help us get ready, too.

The weather had been great all morning, but as soon as I finished setting up everything outside, it started pouring down rain.

So we scrambled to get everything down and decided to move the party into the basement, which worked just as well.

We invited our friends Lindsay and Bryan, and their daughter Lilly, Tom and Ashley and their kids, and our friends Chad, Caleb, and Christian. I think that Aiden was a little overwhelmed, but everyone had a great time!

I can't believe my sweet baby is three years old. I am so lucky and proud to be his Mommy. He continues to amaze me everyday with his unconditional love, kindness, humor, creativeness, and zest for life. He has become the most incredible big brother and Maddie is incredibly lucky to be growing up with such a wonderful little boy. Thank you for making me a Mommy, it is the best job in the whole world! Happy Birthday, Buggy!

The rest of the week wasn't quite as eventful. We did, of course, get our teeth cleaned while we were there. Aiden got to pretend to be a dentist and helped Mimi clean Daddy's teeth, which he loved!

And he was a huge helper while getting his teeth cleaned, too! When it was his turn, he didn't want to be held by Daddy, he wanted to get right into the chair like a big boy.

Our ride home was just as uneventful as our drive out to Indy, except for the fact that I was incredibly sad to be leaving. We had such a wonderful time with everyone, it's always so hard to leave. I wish we lived closer to home so that we could see everybody more often, but it was an amazing, much needed vacation. Thanks Dad and Barb for hosting us!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beethoven, Bach, and Brunch

So this morning some friends invited us to go to Beethoven, Bach, and Brunch in Mellon Park. We had no plans this morning and thought it sounded like a great idea. Aiden spent most of the time running around,
stopping only for some watermelon,

and to crack an egg, but not eat it. Really, he only wanted to smash the egg into a million little pieces, and when we took the first one away, he quickly tried to grab another one! We wished we had brought him an extra shirt by the end.

Maddie spent the time lounging and doing her exercises. She seemed to enjoy every second and soaked in all the people and music.

By the end she was tuckered out and fell asleep on our short walk home.

Thanks Jake and Alyssa! We had a great time, and can't wait to do it next weekend, too!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Keep Meaning to...

Ok, so I can't tell you how many times I've tried starting this blog and just kept pushing it back. It's been over 4 years since I made this site, and every now and then I come back and think, "Where do I start?!?".

In a perfect world I would have started when I was pregnant with Aiden,

or after he was born,

 or when I was pregnant with Maddie,

 or after she was born,

or a million times in between each of these events.

But, we don't live in a perfect world and instead of starting the blog when I should have, I'm starting it today. On an absolutely ordinary day, where nothing really is going on. Everyone is taking a nap and I have more than 5 minutes to myself, but not much more than that because my sweet little Maddie is waking from her peaceful slumber and is ready to be fed.

I hope that I am able to keep up with this blog. There are always times when I think, "Man I should be writing this somewhere," or "I wish I had somewhere where I could tell everyone about that,". Maybe now that I have written the first entry, things will be easier from here on out! Let's hope!