Archive for January 2012

Spring-like weather in January...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
We have had simply BEAUTIFUL weather this week (last week of January - mind you!)...66 yesterday and around 60 today.  We have played outside both days, are going to take a walk and already hit up the park.  This is truly a gift where normal late January days are filled with gloominess and down-right awful temps!  Solon sure enjoyed running around and good thing he didn't mind just running as all of our outdoor stuff is stored away for the "winter"!  Of all winters, we decide to take a tropical vacation, we don't have cold weather - oh well!

Solon was checking out our blooming crocuses and other spring bulbs already sprouting - our trees are also budding - I hope this means they will grow correctly - everything is confused!
My little buddy and one happy mama!

Is there a "spring" in your step this January day?
Thanking the Lord for this day He has made - we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Vera is getting in on the playdate action...

Friday, January 27, 2012
Did I mention many of my friends and I were pregnant together.  I think there were 2 babies born within 2 weeks of Vera and 5 more within 6 weeks....some still being born and more to come!

We had a fun playdate for our older kiddos but these 3 had fun looking at each other....the girls gave up the tummy time and opted to lay on their backs!  Vera is the oldest by about 5 weeks!  She loves to give smiles and stare at the other little ones - glad she can enjoy playdates too!

Beating cabin fever....

Sunday, January 22, 2012
What do you do when the weather turns cold and you have energy to burn?
1. You wrestle of course...
2.  You play hide-n-seek...can you find Scott?
3.  You make a large pile of blankets and pillows and jump in to them off the ottoman!

I had suggested making a fort but little man came up with this idea on his own...parent supervision was required - no worries!

Do you feel the stuffed animal love...

Saturday, January 21, 2012
This boy LOVES him some stuffed animals...they are his wrestling partners, great for jumping into, talking to into the night, throwing and loving....and he has just a few :)

Saddle up cowboy...

Friday, January 20, 2012
So one evening away for mama and suddenly Solon LOVES his cowboy hat and saying things like "ride the don-kay", "howdy partner" and "yee-haw"....
...galloping like a horse around his room! 

Sibling Love...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Most of the time (**wink) these two have a sweet love for one another...Vera just loves to watch her big brother and flashes him a big smile if he sits still long enough and he loves to give her kisses, help her burp, and talk to her.  The other day I was doing something that could not wait and Vera was crying, Solon walked right up to her and talked to her until I was finished...what a sweet little man (don't worry he was praised profusely :)  Vera especially likes when Solon does something funny so she can do that sweet belly laugh that makes mommy do a combination tearing up/laugh!

Potty Training 101: Port Style...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Well we officially have a number 1 and number 2 going child that uses the toilet during waking hours.  Yes I said waking hours because our little bug is a HARD sleeper and I have chosen not to delve into potty training during sleep since he is not even 2 and a half yet.  We use pull-ups during nap and night time.  He normally keeps those dry during nap but not at night yet.  We have chosen to wait for now, I know there are different thoughts on that area.  Some might even consider him not trained because I still have to take him to the toilet, help him with his pants, and help him wash his hands but I am just thankful I am not buying 2 sets of diapers anymore....

How did we do it?  Well I picked a lot of brains, read some articles, scoured the internet, read a book on the topic and then threw it all out the window, just kidding, I kind of pieced it together based on what I know about Solon.  He is a kid that likes to know the consequences and rewards before beginning, is hesitant to try anything for a first time and likes to be praised, not punished for his work!  SO, then I dug into my teaching tools (yep dusted them off a bit) and decided that little thing we call "the gradual release of responsibility" model might just help me out a bit.  Without boring you too much, the premise is that you first model/show how something is done, then invite the student to do it together maybe even with non-examples before releasing the responsibility to them - also noting that you might go back and forth through the continuum based on the learner's needs - too much pedagogy for you....okay!


We gathered the supplies: Solon picked out fancy new big boy pants, some special reward stickers, Solon's favorite stuffed bear, a fisher price little froggy potty, the trainer seat for the toilet, a step stool for the sink and picked a couple of days we would be home all day!

The I do component has been done for a while now (not to get graphic but you have no privacy with a curious toddler - catch my drift :)

The we do was comprised of Solon and I jointly training the bear to go potty on the toilet.  The bear first had 2 successful trips to the toilet.  Solon pulled down the underwear and I squirted water into the toilet for effect, we flushed, pulled pants up, washed hands, set the timer for 20 minutes later, gave bear some "juice", and a reward sticker.  Then bear had an accident, we talked to bear about how big boys go to the potty in the toilet but that they do have accidents and that bear still had to try to sit on the toilet....later in the day bear successfully pooped in the toilet and got a special toy he had been admiring and then also had an accident.  Okay so Solon LOVED this - he was totally into it the whole day!

So the next morning, on went his underpants....for the you do portion of the lesson :)

We had read that if you give them lots of a preferred drink that helps so they have more opportunities to practice - sure enough 15 minutes later Solon peed his pants - ugh!  (did I mention he had no pants on just underwear - we turned the heat up).  We then drank more drink, did some fun things like watch his favorite shows, play with his favorite toys and he peed his pants again - dang!  This is when I he is not ready but I forged ahead.  Low and behold the third time he figured out how to push out the pee and away we went....the only time he had accidents is if I forgot to ask him to go or he got really engrossed into an activity.  Now we take him about 30 minutes after meals and right away when we arrive some place, otherwise about every hour....he does great!  Sometimes he even tells me - but that is not consistent yet

Now #2 - I tell you.  I have cleaned my fair share of underpants BUT I started recognizing his cues and time of day he prefers to go....right after lunch he would always ask to go to the basement alone - and then I would hear held breaths - ding, ding, ding!  BUT he would not go on the toilet and relax....enter the iPad.  One day, by God's wisdom alone, we decided to put him on the big toilet with a stool for his feet for leverage and the ipad (don't worry we sanitized)....and voila 25 minutes later, we had a pooper!  He still has to have this set-up but we have been successful for about 5 days now!  He got a huge reward the 1st time and got to go on a man-date to Target and pick out a toy!  Now he just loves the immense praise we give him! 

I know this method may not work for you or even for my next child but maybe like me you can take a tidbit from here and there - pray for a lot for wisdom (James 1:5) and find your way in potty training wishes on being #1 in the #2 business!

Vera is 4 months Old....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Seriously where does the time go?  I must say 4 months in pregnancy does not go this fast....Our little lady is really growing up fast and we are just trying to soak up every moment and every milestone of our sweet pea.  She is definitely finding her personality.  She is still learning how to sleep through the night and sometimes she likes to hang out with mommy every hour of the night (note daddy tries but she does NOT want him)...She love her big brother, being held, talked to and cuddled but her head is very sturdy and she is always looking around to see what is going on.  She prefers to sit in her bumbo on the table during dinner so she can be part of the discussion.  Here's what she is up to this month....

  • She now giggles at others (especially her big brother)
  • She likes to stand tall on her legs (she will stay bone straight so you can't bend her when she wants to stand and she is strong)
  • Her neck is nice and strong and can hold it up and likes to sit in her bumbo now
  • She can roll over from her tummy to back but doesn't prefer to do it all the time (I guess than she wouldn't get the applause she now gets when she does it on occasion)
  • She can grasp at toys and put them in her mouth (she likes her activity mat for short stints)
  • She likes to look at "baby" in the mirror and will flirt and laugh at her!
  • She has had her 1st round of rice cereal and most of it comes flying back out
  • She has major blowout diapers almost daily - Solon now asks me to check her back anytime she "toots" and then proceeds to gag if he sees poop - needless to say oxiclean and I are good friends!
  • She switched pacis to an avent paci and she keeps it in much better
  • She likes her polka-dot blanket and holds on to it and has it by her cheek to sleep
  • She loves to kick her legs in the bathtub and kick the rubber ducky
  • She dislikes being in her carseat too long
  • When she is hungry, she is HUNGRY
  • When she is tired, she is FUSSY :)
  • She likes the swing and will take a nap in there
  • Working on sleeping successfully in the crib (don't want to jinx it but last night she went from 9:30-4:30 babbled and went back to sleep until 6:30 ate and went back to bed until 7:30....YAY)
  • She wears size 2 diapers
  • She fits into some 3-6 month clothes and a few 0-3 month outfits still fit, some 3-6 months are too big
  • She weigh 13 lbs 4 oz (39th percentile), 24.5 inches tall (57th percentile), and head circumference is 39th percentile
Overall, she is a happy, smiley baby and we are so blessed!  We love you Vera so much and so glad God bestowed us the blessing of raising you.  Happy 4 month birthday...this next month is going to be exciting with your first trip abroad :)! 


Friday, January 13, 2012
Do you ever find yourself in a "woe of me" state of mind....times are tough, you are in the midst of a trial of sorts and you think, when the will the "with morning, joy will come".  I think sometimes it is about perspective.  Today,I got one of those slap in the face, focus on what you do have moments, a kind of swift kick in the behind (and frankly I needed it)....Vera has been not sleeping at all and has generally been challenging, making our life just a little more chaotic than "I would like".  But then I got news today that a former co-worker gave birth to her beautiful baby girl with no heartbeat.  Their daughter went home to be with Jesus before they even got to see her smile, laugh, or cry.  AND it hit me - Erin you have 2 beautiful happy healthy adorable children whom you prayed for and God generously gave you.  Yes times are challenging, yes this is shaping you into the woman God's called you to be and yes you need to ask for help, dig deep for the spiritual gifts God's given you but do not for 1 second feel sorry for yourself - because you have so much to be thankful for.  At that moment my perspective you ever have those moments, where God just shakes you and says "it is going to be fine, pick yourself up, pray and give thanks"?

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord and the peace which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

He doesn't promise quick fixes for the trials of our life but he does ask us to confess it and praise him in the storm - I surely will give him thanks for all I do have!!!  And pray for a family that has lost so much today....

Note on the big news....

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Solon is still potty-trained....BUT Vera is um well lets just say NOT SLEEPING....some nights I see every hour on the clock and some nights a few less but I had to laugh that this posted today as I am a "tad" sleep deprived, I think I was overly optimistic after a few night stint of doing well....last night she "only" got up 3 times but didn't nurse until 5am SO we are on the right track...she just requires a little more help in the soothing department...we will keep you posted.  Until then, we would love your prayesr to help our baby girl sleep a little better.  It makes our house a little cranky when mommy and daddy don't get sleep and when big brother gets woken up in the night....but we will praise the Lord because he is faithful and we know this too will pass!

Big news around our house....

Solon is potty-trained...
(Oh and I just loved this photo - someone loved Chirstmas time and all the CHOCOLATE we had around the house - we are in detox)
...and Vera is a much happier sleeper!
Vera found her thumb and started disliking her other paci - insert new paci that stays in her mouth and soothes her.  She is sleeping from about 8:30-4:30/5ish in the morning!  Now if I can just go to bed a tad earlier we would be set!

Exciting times in our home - I have to give glory to God because I prayed this verse OVER and OVER and OVER again over these 2 issues - sleep and potty-training. 

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all and it will be given to you!

Sometimes wisdom comes through clarity in prayer, from something someone says to you, etc.  God has been faithful in showing me the "how" in these areas and I am so thankful!  More on the sleep and potty-training soon...

Sea Life Aquarium...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The last day we were in MN, we headed to the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America.  It was a nice place (a tad over priced in my opinion - if you wondered :).  Solon loved all the underwater tunnels that allowed us to look up at the water animals.  They had sea turtles, sharks, and lots and lots and lots of fish.  After the aqurium, we had lunch at Tucci Benucci, hit a few stores real QUICK and Solon hopped on a few rides before making the trek back home to pack the car (it was REALLY full) and head home.  We love that Grandma and Grandpa live in Minneapolis.  There is so much to do there year round and it is so much closer than many of the places they have lived.  Unfortunately after arriving home, the last week we have been dealing with the flu but we seem to be on the upswing (fingers crossed we stay that way).

Lots of Family....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
We were so excited for Vera to meet her Great Aunt Chris, Alex, Casen and Great-Grandma Dingman while we were in Minnesota.  They were just a tad (wink, wink) excited to meet her too!  My grandma and grandpa also came up from Iowa so we had a full house for New Years...Solon had a slumber party with Grandma and Grandpa in his room for a night and they played with flashlights before getting up in the morning :)!
Casen and Solon playing...
Aunt Chris LOVED Vera...
...and the theme continued - Grandma LOVED Vera too...
...and yep one more Great-Grandma loved her too!
We had to do the ceremonial 4 generation picture - first with my dad's parents, my dad, me and Vera!
Then with my mom's mom, mom, me and Vera

We played lots of games of Settlers of Catan, ate, watched football, ate, went ice skating, ate, and did some more eating of yummy yummy yummy food and had lots of fun talking.  We even played Just Dance for the Wii (that is a workout) - we even got the boys to take a turn!  I love these kinds of days where you don't put on make-up, you throw your hair in a ponytail and you don't leave the house for days on end but you don't notice because you are having so much fun reminiscing, talking and just having fun!  It was a great way to ring in the new year!

It's tough to be a Cyclone...

Monday, January 9, 2012
Solon pulled up his new bench to sit beside Grandpa and comfort him as the Cyclones were losing the bowl game....melts my heart!  Someone loves his grandpa!

Winter Lake Fun...

Sunday, January 8, 2012
For my family, we have always dreamed of being able to spend the winter on the lake.  At our old lake cabin, it was over 100 years old and just not meant to be used in the winters.  Now that my parents have their new home, we can use the lake all year round - yay!  Minnesota had NO snow when we arrived but with perfect timing it started snowing the morning we arrived.  It made for a picturesque skating and sledding innaugural experience on the lake!
Dad, Ellen and Mom skating and sledding on the lake...
Dad and his 2 daughters...I look so short (note Ellen has ice skates on :)
Dad taking me for a ride - don't worry I gave him a ride next!
Elle and the icy playground aka the lake...
Oh and you remember Solon has a love for the game of golf....note Grandpa and Daddy shoveling the green off - seriously!?!  Someone is spoiled....

For those of you curious about skating on the lake, it was surprisingly smooth and the ice was 8 inches thick.  It was incredibly clear towards shore and you could see through the ice to the sand on the bottom.  We were informed the clearer the ice the stronger it is...we stayed towards the shore but we saw many ice fisherman, snowmobiles and 4-wheelers venturing much further out!  Now we just need to talk my parents into leaving the hot tub running all winter :)

"Christmas Morning" with the Wetherbee's...

Friday, January 6, 2012
Grandpa and his grandkids...
Opening a gift from Grandma and Grandpa...
Vera got "Sophie" the giraffe and LOVED it (and her grandma and Auntie Ellen)
Solon likes his new personalized bench....who says you can't get stuff with your name on it when its unique!

We headed up to MN for a late Christmas with my family.  They looked surprisingly chipper given they had just returned home from New Zealand 36 hours prior.  Probably because this is my mom's MOST FAVORITE holiday of the year.  We had a great time opening presents in our PJ's, stopping for egg casserole and finishing off the opening with a huge paper fight with Solon.  He LOVED it! 

We are alive....

Thursday, January 5, 2012
I am sure some of you are wondering what happened to me....a nearly weeklong hiatus from the blogging world is so not like me!  BUT we went to Minneapolis to see the Wetherbee gang!  We watched the ISU bowl defeat and rung in the new year before heading home on Monday.  The next day Solon came down with a down right awful case of the flu.  High fever and non-stop puking for 24 hours and the fever finally broke after about 72 he has a sore inside his mouth which he bit while puking and it is infected.  I have done more loads of laundry in this week alone than I think I ever have...note to your mommies out there 1 extra bed sheet is not enough. :)  We have our first round of antibiotic going and Solon is tucked in for a nap...Vera and mommy are close behind but I promise to finish the pictorial recordings of the new year shortly...until then I didn't want you all to be left wondering....

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