Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looking back through the blog, I realized I've skipped Easter! Guess that's what happens when life gets busy! Easter weekend was quite full for all of us. Mom, Megan and I had been practicing every Thursday for weeks now to sing at the Hollywood Bowl on Easter morning.
Friday evening we dyed eggs with Laurel. We did the same last year, but the older she grows, the more hands on and excited she is to do holiday activities. Alex picked up some egg coloring kits and one included Disney princess stickers, so that was an instant hit! We dyed about 18 eggs, some being dropped along the way:)...and she wanted to do more and more!
Saturday we had rehearsal at the Hollywood Bowl and the performance on Sunday. Laurel and Alex came to the Bowl with us for the early a.m. call time. They spent time running laps around the arena. After the service, we drove down to Orange County for the afternoon at Alex's parents' house. They hired the "Paella Man" to come and make a huge serving of paella for everyone. The biggest pan I've ever seen! Laurel ran around with Amber and Sierra as usual. Amber has declared Laurel to be her best friend. They have little tiffs throughout their play, but they're sharing a great bond as cousins. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mike's family and having the two families mix before Christy and Mike get married in June. All around it was a really nice day. Unfortunately Laurel had been working on a cold, so she was sniffly all day and her poor little nose was red. In pictures, her nose is flared a lot, to keep the snot from running out! She hasn't yet mastered blowing out of her nose. When she smells a flower, she blows out, not in, but that hasn't carried over yet to blowing her nose.

It was also around Easter that we announced our second pregnancy! I am keeping a blog again for this baby - We planned for the kids to be 3 years or more apart, so this one is right on track, due around October 24th. We waited until towards the end of the 1st trimester to announce because of the bleeding and minor trauma I had with Laurel during her 1st trimester. Around the 11th week with this one, I also had some minor bleeding, but experience gained me some composure and I went on with life as normal. Laurel is starting to understand that a baby is going to be in the picture, but until I actually "show" more, she probably won't grasp the idea. Anyway, I'll be keeping my baby posts on the other blog so I have them to save for the 2nd baby!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our little character

I hear a lot of people complain about kids at the age of 2, even 3. I definitely have some moments where I can see complaining about some of the things she does, but the rest of the things about her right now are just priceless! I'm actually really enjoying this age. I'm finding that as kind of a relief. I'm sure there's more difficult behavior to come - we haven't hit a temper tantrum stage yet - but right now, I'm having a lot of fun with her.

She's started to sing! Laurel has the sweetest little voice and I just love listening to her. She's initiated her "slippery fish" song for a while now with the first few words. But now she can sing along with most of it. I will find her playing or wandering around singing "twinkle, twinkle" or "itsy bitsy spider". her words will go something like this...
"itsy spider...up water spout...down rain, wash spider out...up sun and dry rain...itsy spider up spout 'gain". So cute! The other day she sang for Mom and Megan and abbreviated it to "itsy spider - watch out!" It was so funny we were laughing for the longest time. Laurel seemed proud of herself that we found her so funny. Laurel also sings some of the words to the mickey mouse theme song. We listen to a

Disney collection of movie and tv songs in the car. So she can officially spell her first couple of words, she just doesn't realize that's what she's doing. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, mickey mouse - donald duck! - mickey mouse - donald duck!

She's become a good grocery shopping helper. She knows she gets a reward in the end - m&m's at the checkout - but she's made the task a lot more pleasant than it used to be. She sits in the cart seat and helps put fruit into the bag and tosses boxes back into the cart. She also loves to help at home. She's always eager "I help, mama!" When we get home with the groceries, she runs and finds her step stool and I had her things that go in the cupboard and she sets them up on the counter for me. I'll open the fridge door and tell her to put this or that where they belong. The same applies to cooking. She gets that step stool and stands up so she can somewhat reach the counter and likes to help stir, dump in the measuring spoons and cups full of ingredients. Sometimes the meals take little work and she wants more cooking action!

Laurel is a super love bug. She is more cuddly now than she was last summer. She has accomplished her running and walking skills, is working on her expert chatting skills, and has more time for cuddles and loving. She gives spontaneous kisses which always make my day. Sometimes she grabs our faces by the cheeks and lays a big juicy one on our lips. Those are real heart melters. When she's happy and content, she'll reach over and grab my arm and kiss my hand...or my elbow, whatever is closest! She's even walked up and kissed our rears if she's feeling lovey and that's the highest she can reach! Her hugs are super fierce and tight and she loves when we do the same back. She calls them "everyone kiss" or "everyone hug" and she means alex and I both taking one side of her and hugging and kissing her cheeks at the same time. She's an excellent morning cuddler. She comes into our bed at night still and so in the morning, loves to squish up to one of us for morning cuddles. It's the best feeling. And of course, she's learned "I love you" and knows what it means, so we hear that spontaneously now and then.

Laurel has gotten so funny! She makes funny remarks and does silly or quirky things. Sometimes she doesn't even mean to be funny, she just cracks me up anyway. Right now she wants to go up and down the stairs without any assistance. To the point where she will furrow her brow sternly and order me to wait at the bottom of the stairs. She will use vocabulary that I've never heard her use before. Last week she didn't want to wear the shirt that was picked out for her, so I asked her to pick something else out. She really wanted to wear her pink minnie shirt. She giggled with excitement when I put it on her and then said, "oh I'm so gorgeous!" I cracked up! There's so many in this funny category that I will definitely need to start writing them down on a regular basis!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Potty training - for real this time!

Over the past year, we've had lots of potty interaction. We got her little potty last summer because she was expressing an interest, but she wasn't ready to make that leap yet. The interest turned into a fear of it, so we let it go all fall. Eventually she was ok with sitting on it again, but was nervous about doing anything into it. Finally, we had a major breakthrough!

Laurel got another cold over the weekend, but it was really very mild, mostly snot. But the snot was heavy, so I kept her home from school on Tuesday. I'd heard that not only do the kids have to be ready, but the parent has to be ready too. Ready to help with the progress, deal with the messes, find potties in public in emergencies. I'm not sure I was actually ready before, it all sounded exhausting! But when she was home, I woke up that morning and thought - that's it, I'm done with diapers. I don't want to change them anymore. So she got up in the morning and I told her we were done with diapers and it was time to pick out panties. There was a little whimper, but before I knew it, she was in panties and fine with it! I put her potty in the living room and we had a low key day. She was in just panties and a shirt and she sat on the potty a lot. And she peed!! There was so much excitement. She likes to see the potty process the whole way through. So she pees, we wipe, we carry the pee in the little bucket to the toilet, pour it in, flush, wash hands - the end! I was just shocked by how easily she accepted the potty-only option.

We are on our third day now of potty use! She had one accident yesterday when she was playing outside and I think waited until she couldn't hold it anymore and completely soaked her panties, pants, socks - and shoes!! She was very upset. Otherwise, she will sit when I ask her and she is taking less and less time to start a flow. She's also decided that her reward choice is to watch Donald Duck (50's-60's era) shorts on you tube. So it's been easy to say, time to pee-pee and if you go, you can watch a Donald! Instant crowd pleaser.

Before I had Laurel is used to think bribery was not a good idea. But it really works for Laurel. Her personality type means she's cautious and says "no" before even trying something. So I've stopped looking at it as bribery, but instead believing I am rewarding her for good behavior, following instructions, trying new things. She embraces reward and praise and I enjoy making rewarding her. She's been such a good girl with the potty, I am so happy to finally have tackled this with her!