Friday, February 28, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Spontaneous Story Hour

While I am usually a stickler for routine, one thing I do like about being a stay at home mom is that it does give me a fair amount of flexibility.  Take yesterday for example.  I ran about 15 minutes over teaching, and then stuck around the gym for another 30 minutes chatting.  So by the time we got home from the gym it was about 1:30.  My kids nap time is from 1 to 4.  Then while they were eating lunch someone shared the Munford library's status update about story hour being a tea party that day starting at 4:30.  My kids love to play tea party.  It's one of the few things they do that doesn't always involve fighting.  And as an added bonus they suggested that you come dressed in your party best and bring your own tea cups and saucers.  I knew the kids would love that so even thought it was 2 (now an hour late into naps) I asked if they wanted to go.  Both of them really wanted to go so I told them if they went right to sleep we'd go to story hour.

I'm not sure either of them actually napped but they were quite and I called it a win.  Plus, I wanted to check out the Munford Library.  We've lived here for 7, almost 8 years, and I've never been.  Story hours typically make me want to break out in hives.  So I avoid them.  Too many kids, too much worrying about mine acting appropriately.

Anyway, I got Sarah up and she picked out a princess dress to wear.  Cody was wearing his T-Rex shirt that I love but I talked him into letting me put his tux shirt over it so he'd be party ready.  Once we got to the library I learned this was a T-Rex Tea Party so I guess I could have left him in his other shirt.

The librarians did a great job it was a well organized story hour and she read the books in a nice an animated way.

First they read the story Tea Rex.
To learn how to have a proper tea party.

Listening to the story.
I shared this picture on facebook and someone said that Cody looked like he was at an awards ceremony all laid back but in his tux shirt.  I agree.  And it makes me giggle when I see this picture now.  Like he's at the Golden Globes listening to Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.

From the story they learned what proper tea party attire is.  So the girls got to make hats and the boys decorated ties.  They were also given mustaches but Cody didn't want to wear his so we added it to his tie.
Sarah with her lovely hat.

Cody decorating his tie.

After everyone was finished they got ready for the tea party and passed out tea cookies and some special juice.  Sarah and Cody thought it was so cute that they were getting to drink out of their tea cups they brought.  However the punch was made out of Hawaiian Punch and Sprite so after one sip each my kids wouldn't touch it.  Too thick for them.  They've never had either of those drinks before.  We're a water, milk, or apple juice kind of family.

Enjoying the tea party.

While the kids enjoyed the treats the librarian read Brontorina.  Sarah really liked that book since it was a Dinosaur that wants to be a ballerina.

I'm glad we were able to go on such short notice.  Sometimes its good to say forget about naps and schedules and what's for dinners.  They won't always want to dress up and go to tea parties at the library.  I better take those chances while they do.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Schwartz's vs My Big Boy!

This may be a little premature, but at two weeks in I'm going to call it.  Well, we're almost at the end of week three cause I didn't want to call it too early.  Cody is a big boy now.  He is potty trained!

Is that a choir of angels I hear singing Hallelujah?

I really thought potty training Cody was going to be the death of me.  He is a stubborn mule.
Angry when he opened his big boy undies on Christmas morning.
"I no wear those!"

I worried that I talked about it too much.  I've been talking to Cody about potty training since before Christmas.  And we started and stopped at least 2 times.  I know I put him in undies one day then quit.  Then Chris was supposed to do it in January and quit after one day.  So last Monday when I decided to put him in big boy undies I knew it was going to have to be all or nothing.  I couldn't keep getting frustrated and giving in.

I'm not sure what made me decide to start.  I think I didn't want to go to the gym so I figured if I was skipping it better be for a good reason.  So I put him in those big boy undies set the timer for 20 minutes and got ready for the worst.  I moved a bunch of books into the bathroom and prepared to squeeze in there and read to him.  We would sit in the bathroom for about 10 minutes and read books, every 20 minutes.  All.  Day.  Long.

We had a few victories, which were rewarded generously with M&Ms and stickers for this chart.
I went pee pee in the potty!

We had a lot of accidents.

We gave up on wearing pants, and apparently shirts.

Tuesday I rolled the desk chair in the bathroom because I couldn't sit on a little stool or the edge of the bathtub anymore.  And again every 20 minutes the timer went off.  We'd read 3 or 4 books.  He liked sitting in there.  All.  Day.  Long.  I got really excited about nap time.  And gym time.  Except I felt bad because he peed all over himself twice while I was teaching.

By Wednesday I was tired of the timer going off every 20 minutes.  I was tired of changing Cody's undies EVERY 20 minutes because he'd pee just a little in them and not say anything, then squeeze 3 drops into the toilet so he could get his M&Ms and a sticker.

I called my mom just to vent.  I was getting slightly murderous.  She sent me "starry" an alarm she used to night train Peter and Emily.  It has leads that goes to it and sets off an alarm when it detects moisture, I was hoping that would help curb the pee a little in his undies and not care problem.  

I almost had a Valentine's Day Massacre when Friday of the first week it all came to a head.  While in the waiting room at my OBGYN Cody peed and flooded the floor.  It soaked his socks and his shoes.  In my 8 months pregnant glory I had to mop his giant puddle and river of pee up off the floor, change him into his spare pants (which were 18 month sweat pants that are now capris) take off his shoes and socks so he was barefoot and try to sit there for another 20 minutes and maintain a sliver of dignity.  On the drive home, we were going to stop at Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz's to drop off Valentine cookies, I stopped at Sonic to get a drink and checked him.  He'd flooded his car seat.  We drove straight home.  I was hormonal and not happy.  We got home, I changed him again and went to wrestle the car seat out of the car.  I hate getting car seats in and out of the car.  I come back in and he's playing on my bed, with a giant turd in his pants on and he peed a little too.  Awesome.  We sat on the potty for the next hour until Chris got home.  I was done.  Starry arrived, but needed new batteries.  We never got it put together before we had a breakthrough. 

Week 2 things made a major turn for the better.  We kept the timer going but took the books out of the bathroom so we didn't have to hang out in there.  We started taking small ventures out of the house.  We carried candy with us to bribe him to take potty breaks in public.  We stayed dry.

We were still having poo problems, which really surprised me considering how easy it is to know when Cody is pooping.  Cody has a bad belly; he's always had a bad belly.  And part of that means he gets HORRIBLY constipated.  Like poops once every 3 days and cries.  You know when he's pooping.  He's pooped on the potty plenty of times before we started potty training cause I'd figure out what was going on and put him on the potty to do it. 

Tuesday, Chris picked him up and took him to Wal-mart to pick out cars for his poop-prize box.  He was adorably excited about this outing.  He ran up to Chris when he got to dance class and yelled, "Daddy!  You take me to buy cars?"  Now we were ready to get this pooping problem under control.  

Potty Central

After a few days of not pooping I put him on the potty, gave him the iPad, set Sarah in there to make sure he didn't try to throw it in the potty.  (He can't anyway, he can't get off the potty by himself...not tall enough yet.)  And left them alone for about 30 minutes.  He relaxed and played games and then I heard the excited yell, "Mom!  I pooped in the potty!  I pooped in the potty!"  And he earned the car he'd been wanting to hold every time we went to the bathroom.  He wanted that car bad!


On Thursday of week 2 we had a major breakthrough!  Cody came up to me and said, "Mom I need to go potty!" And we ran there to discover he was still dry and he did indeed need to go potty!  I took him off the timer as a test.  We stayed dry and earned another car that day! 

When he gets up in the morning we take his diaper off and put on big boy undies.  Friday he was already in his big boy undies and I was picking out his clothes for the day I asked him, "what do you want to wear?"  He said very stubbornly, "I wear big boy undies.  I go to hockey game."  A long time ago we told him that as soon as he started wearing big boy undies and keeping them clean he could go to a hockey game with Dad.  He was ready for his game.  He was telling me when he needed to go, he was holding it till we got to a potty.  He earned the hockey game.

Chris called his parents to see if there was a game anytime soon and if we could go with them.  There happened to be a game that night and so we all ventured out for Cody's big reward.  This was scary it takes about 90 minutes I think to get to the hockey arena from our house.  I did not want him to flood my car again.  Plus I worried that he'd be too into the game to tell us he needed to go potty.  

He was a little scared at first but after he got his popcorn he was happy.

Watching the hockey guys with Grandpa.

With this milestone, Grandma and Grandpa treated the kids to their own hockey sweaters because the rule is that you can start going to games with just grandma and grandpa once you're potty trained.  So now Cody is officially a big boy.  And I rejoiced!  

While it started out rough, and I'm not sure we've quite mastered pooping, it's good enough for me to call it.  He's off the timer.  He tells me when he wants to go potty.  And I survived potty training another human.  I guess I can do this one more time in a couple of years.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Schwartz's vs A Visit to the Ranch

It has been a cold, wet, nasty winter here folks.  And not even the good kind of cold that comes with snow.  We got one day of snow, it was barely an inch, and melted by noon.  Cody got to play in it but Sarah was on a date with Chris so she missed out on the snow and has lamented about that multiple times since.  Other than that we've endured about 3 ice storms, and weeks straight of below zero with the wind chill weather.  We have been cooped up and were starting to go crazy.

Our wonderful neighbor who has a son Cody's age messaged me yesterday and asked if it wasn't raining if I wanted to go out to the ranch with her.  And even thought it was a bit windy today (and we did get rained on for a few minutes) the weather was above 60 degrees for the first time in forever so we excitedly headed to the ranch.  Her friend had told her that 2 cows gave birth yesterday so we were excited to see the new calves.

I'm really glad Sara invited us, not only was it great to see the kids interacting with the animals it was just fun to watch all of them be together.  They ran everywhere we had to go with huge smiles on their faces.  Sarah would hold Connor's had.  And Cody and Connor were constantly trying to sneak off and jump in puddles together.  After such a long and nasty winter, they definitely needed this time to run around on the ranch together.

Sarah meeting the new girl calf.

Cody meeting the new boy calf.

Mooing at the calves' dad who was outside.

After we met the new calves the kids went running around the various fields to see the horses.  All the animals seemed pretty friendly.  

Sarah told me the white horse was her favorite animal that we met today.  
It just licked her in this picture so she's laughing.

I love Cody's smile in this picture.  But you'll have to click to make the picture bigger to see it.

Cody loves horses.  Aside from the zoo he's never really seen one so I think it's interesting how both of my children LOVE horses and talk about them all the time.  When we had Cody's allergy screen done last year we learned he's got a few grass allergies (normal stuff like hay), and a few animal danders.  We got him screened because of the reactions he was having around Auntie Em's cats and I wanted to make sure he didn't need something stronger than benedryl.  

Cody after being around cats.

Anyway, on the allergy screen it turns out that cats are not his worst animal allergy.  Horses are.  So I filed that information away under the, oh he'll never get to ride a horse file, and then forgot about it.  So since we are never around horses I didn't even think about drugging Cody before we went to A RANCH.  Whoops!  I'm an awesome mom.  After petting a few horses and throwing some hay he started rubbing his eye.  Thankfully though, shortly after that it started to rain and I think it actually washed some of the hair off, and I washed his hands and face in the bathroom real quick and we avoided a reaction.  Maybe he can ride a horse one day.  Or maybe when I go in after nap time I'll be greeted by Quasimodo.  You never know.  

 Anyway, after we popped into the office for a minute and the kids were amazed by the fish tank, it's the little things in life, Connor wanted to see the chickens so we went to visit the coop.

And here is where my secret fear of chickens became known.  Every time we go to the zoo I bring some cheerios to toss to the chickens that wander around the farm exhibit.  I do it on purpose to get them to come close so the kids can see them.  Then once it starts working I freak out, scoop up the kids, and basically run away while Chris laughs at me and asks why I do this every time.  I have no response to that.  They just rush up on you so quick and suddenly I'm afraid of being attacked by violent chickens.  I'm not right in the head.

But my kids are not afraid of chickens.  So they were running around chasing the chickens.  Sarah found some brush and was convinced she was going to catch and wash one.  I'm outside the fence telling them not to go into the coop for a couple of reasons, 1) unreasonable fear of violent chickens, 2) big mud puddle in front of the coop.

I will say they had a lot of different types of chickens and they were very beautiful.  My mom's dad use to collect or maybe he drew cards with chickens on them.  Or I'm completely wrong and thinking of something else.  And Chris's mom collects roosters.  So I really do like to look at them and find them very colorful and beautiful, just from the other side of a fence.
Sarah chasing chickens and yelling cock-a-doodle-do at them.

Cody chasing chickens, "Come here Chicken!"

Then on the way to see the goats we got to see our host Emma's show cows.  They were very friendly and came up to the fence.  One of them, Moo-moo, really seemed to like Cody.  He watched him and walked along the fence beside him.  Moo-moo did not like Sarah, because she is loud and kept yelling moo at them.  

Cody petting Moo-Moo

Cody and Moo-Moo

The goats were adorable and very friendly.  The minute they saw Emma the entire group came running to the fence.

So excited to pet the goat.

This black and brown goat was very friendly and spent the most time near the fence.  It also had the cutest baby!  I just wanted to hop over the fence and pick up that baby and cuddle it.

Adorable baby goat.  Can I keep it?

Cody loved the goats.

He kept asking "can I touch it" and was very excited when the goat would come close enough for him to reach it.

We really needed some sunshine and this outing.  I thanked Sara immensely for inviting us.  And the kids are already looking forward to and talking about next time.  Cody wants to hop in the puddles with Connor and Sarah wants to pet the pigs.  Both of them will probably be very disappointed because puddles do not sound like fun to me and this ranch doesn't have any pigs.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Schwartz's vs Sarah's Birthday Interview (Age 4)

Sarah, we did your birthday interview on your birthday.  But you were so focused on Christmas it wasn't a true representation of who you are and what you like.  So we did it again a couple of days after your Tinkerbell Birthday party.  It was a lot better without you constantly naming Christmas songs and movies.  Ha!

I love doing these with you.  I hope one day when you are old you watch these videos and giggle at yourself.  Here's a peek back at last year's interview click here.

Sarah's 4 Year Old Birthday Interview

The transcript

Some of your answers still confuse me, like when you said Ariel was your favorite movie, when right now it's Frozen.  Other answers make me giggle like when you said that lettuce was your favorite thing to eat for breakfast.   I loved it when I asked where you want to go on vacation and you said a hotel so you can watch movies.  Not quite sure if you think we watch movies in hotel or you are just referring to the fact that when we go on long car rides you get to watch movies and recently our long trips have involved hotel stays.  And other responses I just don't get at all.  Like when I asked what's your favorite thing to do inside, you said, "calm down and cool off, but sometimes I just want to ride my bike."  It's been freezing, literally we have had wind chills taking us into the single digit weather, for over a month straight now.  You haven't been outside since I don't know when so I don't know why you said your favorite thing to do inside was calm down and cool off but you just want to ride your bike.  You are a silly silly girl.  

I'm looking forward to seeing how your answers change next year!