Tuesday, March 31

Love Languages

As you know from previous posts, we have been working on potty training Brooklyn. Emma has been so helpful, so encouraging and super patient. I kept feeling like she wasn't getting very much attention through all of it, but it never seemed to phase her. She just kept being an encouragement to B.

I told Emma that I would like to reward her AWESOME attitude over the past week and gave her the option of picking out a new dress up outfit when we went to get one for Brooklyn's reward or I would take her on a Mommy/Emma date. Her eyes lit up and I figured she would jump on the dress-up outfit, but instead this came out of her mouth, "I want to go on a date with you!"

My response was, "Really?"

Being that my love language is "quality time", my heart was full! Those of you that know Emma, know that she is the queen of dress up, so for her to pick me over a new dress is huge. She made my day!

I asked her what she wanted to do and she said, "I just want to go to McDonald's with you and get a Happy Meal."

So, last Thursday, I picked her up from school early and took her to McDonald's. Then we went back to pick up Brooklyn a few hours later.

I have been reading the 5 Love Languages for Kids and have had fun analyzing what category Emma falls in. I still feel like Brooklyn is a little young to tell. I learned with Emma through potty training, that she loves words of encouragement. I do believe that "words" is a strong second to her primary love language which is "quality time". Isn't it so interesting how we all feel love so differently?

Wednesday, March 25

Pancake Follow-Up

After this post and the many helpful comments, I attempted some healthier pancakes. I have the Deceptively Delicious cookbook and have tried a few recipes. I had not tried the sweet potato pancakes, but thanks to Elizabeth's comment on how all of her boys liked it, I tried it. As my pancake mix, I used the Fiber One pancake mix. So, instead of just some syrupy pancakes, we had a dose of sweet potatoes and fiber.

Emma, my picky eater and lover of pancakes, gobbled them down and went on and on about how good they were. Brooklyn, my girl that will eat anything (bless her), ate them right up. Last, but not least, my hubbie (and 2nd pickiest eater in the fam) also liked them. I did too.

I will tell you that these pancakes were thin like crepes. I might use a little less water next time. I did add about 1/8 tsp of vanilla and I think that added a lot to it. I did not have the time to puree my own sweet potatoes, so I bought a jar of baby food. It worked perfectly. It was worth my $0.85 for convenience and I still have one container left for next time.

Tuesday, March 24

Potty Success

I am kind of sick of asking, "Do you need to go potty?", but it is paying off. Brooklyn completed her sticker chart last night and as you can tell, she is very proud. We have been out and about a lot, so she has worn pull ups quite a bit. She has kept those dry about 90% of the time and has told us when she needs to go.

We had little "rewards" mapped out on the potty chart. We have been to McD's for ice cream and play. We have been to the bakery for cookies and just yesterday she got to pick out a new dress up outfit. She kept saying, "dress, dress, dress, blue dress". We could not find a blue dress, but she picked out this beautiful purple one. It just happened to be the least expensive there, so John and I were pleased. The last reward on her chart was a trip to Fun City. We are trying to figure out a time to go do that. It will probably be next week

John had bought B a Dora Cell Phone on Thursday and told her that when she went #2 on the potty, she would get a special gift. We got home on Friday night from eating dinner and she did it. And she was so excited about the phone! It slept with her that night. She went #2 again at church for me on Sunday. Hooray!

You are probably thinking, "Wow, lots of rewards!" There have been, but it was needed and successful. All in all, worth the $30 that we have spent on rewards.

Wednesday, March 18

Brooklyn's Potty Party

I just went back and read this post from July of 2006 and our fun potty party with Emma. I can't believe that the baby that was then in my tummy is now the one I'm potty training. Time flies!

Brooklyn started going potty on her own about 2 months ago, but we didn't push it. I wasn't ready to go full force with panties. She mainly would go in her pull up, but about twice a day she would find her way to the potty. Since our spring break is this week and a lot of our normal weekly activities are not going on, we decided to go full force today. With Emma, we went ALL out for the potty party and followed the book to a tee. With Brooklyn (second child and already pretty interested in going on the potty), we were not as prepared. I actually thought about not going through with the whole Potty Party, but John thought Brooklyn deserved equal treatment! :) (good Daddy!) John blew up some balloons last night and decorated the bathroom. I wrapped up our doll that goes potty and made a potty chart. Our party was beach theme so I threw some beach towels down in the living room.

Emma woke up and didn't know what was going on, but was excited. I explained what we were doing and how I needed her to be a big helper today and an encourager to Brooklyn. This big sister went WAY beyond the call of duty today. She was awesome and helped out so much. Brooklyn loves her big sister, so to hear encouraging words from her and get hugs for a job well done, she was in heaven. Throw in some Barbie stickers, fun treats, and new panties and she is ecstatic! Both girls wore bathing suits the entire day and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

We worked on training the doll first and she was kind of interested. She became really interested when the doll (Katie) went poo poo in the potty (chocolate covered raisin snuck in!). Katie got stickers and treats (that B ate) whenever she went potty or if she stayed dry for a while.
A few hours later, we let Brooklyn open her new panties. She was so excited for big girl panties. She had her first accident about 20 minutes later and she screamed bloody murder. She hated that wet feeling. This was a good sign. She had another accident while we were outside, but I do believe she was on her way to the potty when it happened. She loved filling up her chart with stickers and picking her treat.

A MAJOR fit happened when it was time for her nap and I wouldn't let her wear her panties. I told her she had to wear a pull up, but she could wear panties over it. After 20 minutes of flailing arms, screaming, swatting, etc....she complied. The funny thing is that she stayed dry for her whole 3 hour nap. Not the first time she has done this, but awesome that today she did.
She did great the rest of the night. I think we only had one accident after her nap. The girls played outside while John grilled and I was in the kitchen. We ate dinner and finished our day with the official "celebration" for a job well done by B, which consisted of the girls decorating their own sugar cookies.

Strangely, I enjoy potty training. I had so much fun with Emma on this day and it was fun today too (we'll see how tomorrow goes!). It always reminds me how much I love having fun with my girls when I allow myself to let everything else (cleaning, errands, laundry, dishes) be set aside for a while.

I do recommend this book! I know it doesn't work for everyone and I believe strongly that the child does have to be ready. It is a fun approach to something that is often dreaded by parents everywhere.

Nap Time

Brooklyn is a great napper, but not all that great at actually being put down for her nap. About a week ago, Emma offered to put her down for her nap and I said, "Sure, go for it!" Knowing that I would have to go in there in a few minutes and actually do it.
Emma came back out and told me Brooklyn needed some water so I filled her cup up and gave it to Emma. Emma read to her, sang songs, tucked her in and left without a peep from Brooklyn.

Many praises to Emma! Emma has since done it 3 more times with success 2 of the 3 times.

I snuck in and tried to get a picture of them and these were the best I got. Pretty sweet seeing a big sister reading, singing songs and kissing little sister night night. :)

Tuesday, March 17

My Green Girls

I posted the St. Pat's blog and then later this evening I took this cute picture of the girls. I had to add it in here because it is rare that we get a picture with both girls dressed in real clothes, both looking at the camera and smiling!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We do not make a huge deal out of St. Pat's Day, but we do wear green. I went the extra mile this morning and made shamrock pancakes with green sprinkles. We are on spring break this week and with no school I had some extra time for a fun breakfast.
** Side note: Speaking of pancakes, does anyone have a healthy, but yummy recipe for pancakes? This is a whole other post that I'm not sure will ever get posted, but I am really trying to eat more "whole" foods. Lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains and not as much processed food. I'm not sure Bisquick falls into that category. :)

We left the house around 10:00 to go get the girls' hair cut and then headed to the park with some friends. It is 75 degrees here and beautiful!!! I wish it would stay like this forever, but I'm sure that the crazy Arkansas weather will bring the cold back again.

Sunday, March 8

Brooklyn-29 Months

Brooklyn turned 29 months on Friday. I don't typically celebrate month birthdays past the age of 1, but I felt like an update was in order. I haven't blogged much about this little one lately.
I am amazed how much she has changed in the 29 months of her life. From birth to 18 months, she was the most laid back child. She even had to be kept on oxygen in the nursery for almost 48 hours after she was born because of her breathing. After many tests and x-rays, it was decided that she was just taking her time breathing. She was happy no matter what she was doing. She was EASY! At 18 months, a new child appeared. She had an opinion and a strong one that needed to be heard.

Brooklyn is the cutest, little curly blonde haired girl I have ever seen. That "cuteness" helps her get away with more than she should. Over the past 2 weeks she has stuck a popcorn kernel up her nose and dropped one of my weights on her toe. She said "no!" to me at least a million times. She sat in time out more than ever before. She pushed Emma's buttons beyond what Emma could bear. As my sister in law said, "she is a little pistol". BUT, goodness me, such a cute pistol! :) She is 2 and I have to get that through my adult mind quite often these days and give her a little grace. And then balance that grace with some discipline too. It is hard.

Brooklyn has a love for life just like her sister and Daddy. She finally went down the big slide at McDonald's today and when she came down and heard us clapping for her, her smile was worth a million dollars.

She follows her big sister around everywhere and tries her hardest to keep up with Emma and her friends. She wants to be in the middle of all the fun. She thinks her sister is the most fun person in the world.

She thinks if you have jewelry on, or something pretty in your hair, or a dress on that you look like "Barrrrbie". She often thinks of herself as "Barrrbie" when she thinks she is looking pretty too.

She is my cuddle bug. She is on the move a lot, but in the morning and after her nap, she requires cuddle time. I would not trade it for anything! In fact, I schedule things later in the morning, so that we don't have to rush out the door if at all possible. I don't want to miss that time. I think I need it as much as she does.

She is wearing pull ups now and going to the potty some of the time. I haven't taken the plunge and bought panties and gone full force with potty training. I can't decide if it is because we have been to busy for me to work on it with her or if I'm stalling because she will most likely be my last one in diapers. She is growing up.

Brooklyn changes outfits from the dress up box at least 15 times a day. Visitors at our house can attest to this. She has learned from the best on how to dress up! (Emma is a pro)

If Brooklyn is at home, she is either in a "dress up outfit" or is naked. We have chosen not to fight her on wearing pj's to bed. She likes her birthday suit. We will save that fight for later on in life when we really need her to cover herself.

She doesn't say a whole lot of words clearly, but this little girl can understand entirely to much! She is actually saying a lot more words than even 2 months ago, but still not putting them together. We are working on it daily.

She eats whatever I make! I praise her for this every night after dinner. Emma is so picky and often makes meal time not a whole lot of fun. Brooklyn, on the other hand, will eat anything we put in front of her. She loves soups and salads, fancy sandwiches, chicken pot pie, spinach, etc....She is going to make for a great lunch buddy next year when Emma is in school. We can go out and split soup and salad. After having 2 little girls that eat totally differently, I have decided that there is nothing you can do to make them eat good things. I have done everything the same with their eating and they are so totally opposite. I'm just hoping that at some point, Emma will thank me for at least putting the veggies on her plate.

Brooklyn loves gymnastics and she is pretty darn good. She flips over the bar all by herself and has only been taking for 2 months. She walks across the beam with hardly any help from her teacher. She can do a killer forward roll and jump into the foam blocks like a champ. It her favorite night of the week.

Brooklyn still has the chubby lines in her thighs and I love them! I will be so sad when they are gone.

Brooklyn loves to sleep. I usually have to wake her up at 9:00 so that she will take a nap that afternoon. The times that I have just let her sleep, she has slept til 10:00. She still naps for about 3 hours each afternoon. My kind of girl.

Although Brooklyn has been getting in a lot of trouble lately, she is such a joy and a completion to our family. I love her very much.

These are just a few fun things about Brooklyn at this age. I realize this was long, but again, it is for the scrapbook and will be something fun for her to read later in life. It will also be something good for me to look back on during the days that she is fighting me and I need to be reminded of all of her sweetness.

Saturday, March 7

6 Girls + 3 female dogs + John = a fun 2 days!

I had not seen my Mom, Sister and Claire since Claire's birthday party which was the 2nd of January. It was WAY past time for us to get together. They all came up to our house for 2 days of fun. My sisters 2 female dogs, Maggie and Molly + Belle + Emma, Brooklyn, and Claire + Cathy, Mom, and Me = 9 girls. To say John was outnumbered was an understatement! He was at work during the day and was gone at Bible study one of the nights. My Dad considered him a lucky guy!

We had lots of fun. We hung around the house a lot, but did get to get out and enjoy the pretty weather too. On Wednesday my Mom played PlayDoh with the girls for almost 2 hours.

After Claire's morning nap, we went to the bakery to get yummy cookies and then to the park to play. After the afternoon naps, we hit the neighborhood for a little walk. We were quite a sight with all the strollers.

My girls went to school on Thursday. My Mom, Cathy, Claire and I visited a new shop called Rif Raf and then ate a quick lunch before they left town. It always seems like to quick of a visit. Luckily, we will be going to LR in a few weeks to see everyone again.

Sunday, March 1

The 80's

John and I went to Brooke's 32nd Birthday Party last weekend. It was an 80's party and so much fun! Since Brooke is a photographer we knew that many pictures would be taken. Not only were great pictures taken, but the back drop was just too perfect! The party was at Finley's parents house and the game room is splatter painted. It is awesome!

John and I didn't know eachother in the 80's, but I guess this is what we would have looked like. Let me tell you, I smelled hairspray for days after. My bangs were big.

The below picture is of our host, Brooke. Best picture of the night!