Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Potty Time (& other Christmas Pics)

Day 1 of potty training has been tiring. But there has been some success.

This morning I read back to my first potty-training day with Micah. I was reminded how easily he potty-trained (initially anyway - we had some major regression a little later). So, I was a bit discouraged when we went through so many pairs of underwear this morning with Keziah. I know that Micah was a little bit older, plus he initiated training when he told me out of the blue that he had to pee and proceeded to do so when I put him on the potty.

Keziah was starting a little bit more "cold turkey". She used to pee and even poop for us on the potty occasionally, but hasn't been as willing lately. And I didn't want to push it for fear of making her hate the potty.

But I built it up for her today and off we went - straight into panties and drinking lots of juice. But all we had for most of the morning was wet soggy pants. I wished Keziah would have just a small bit of success so that I could show her the "potty party" we would throw for her - a sticker and a treat and a potty song and lots of praise. So, mid-morning I decided to make her dolly "pee" on the potty. We don't have a doll who actually "pees" so I had a great idea to place her dolly on the potty while hiding a water-filled ball behind the dolly's back. I squeezed the ball once the doll was positioned and, from Keziah's viewpoint, it truly looked like the doll was peeing. I proceeded to feed the dolly a treat, give her a sticker and lots of praise. Keziah was fascinated and we did this a few more times - letting the dolly drink a bit, taking her pee and rewarding her. It didn't yield immediate results, though - and I was afraid Keziah was way more interested in playing this new game than understanding what the implications were for herself.

Then, during lunch she drank quite a bit of juice, so once she was done eating I said we would go sit on the potty. She was eager to try at that point. Her underwear was already damp when we got there but she managed to save a good portion of her pee for the potty. Yay! We threw a party for her and Keziah was SO proud of herself. We tried one more time before her nap and another success! Things were beginning to look up. I put her in a diaper for her nap and she woke up wet, but I wasn't surprised. She was successful again on the potty in the afternoon, but I was still the intitiator. Finally at 4:30 she said, "Mommy, pee!" We ran to the bathroom and she went again! I was feeling much better about our day.

I can't help but think her little bum is so cute in those panties :)

She had an accident in her high chair at supper and then a poop accident about an hour later. We could tell she needed to go for awhile, but - just like Micah - was afraid to try and kept asking for a diaper. Oh well, we'll celebrate the small victories. I know she'll figure it out in time.

Notice the strategically placed graphic - hee hee :)

I noticed that she can hold her bladder for much longer periods than Micah (he still pees every 10 minutes if he's had a full cup of juice). So, she didn't have as many opportunities to succeed as he did in his first day of training. But, I'm thankful, since it will mean less trips to the potty in the long run :)

On to the week of Christmas... The weather last week was a little crazy. More snow than we've ever seen here at one time. Our Christmas eve church services were cancelled and we decided to spend 2 nights at Erik's parents from Christmas eve to Boxing Day to avoid extra driving.

The grandkids opening their John-Deere themed presents from Great-Grandpa & Grandma Toews (aka Oma & Opa):

Erik took the kids out one afternoon there and got some fun pictures of them in the snow. We still got even more snow after these pictures were taken.

Enjoying some hot chocolate afterwards:

Keziah was pretty pooped when she came in and Auntie Kristi was lucky enough to be holding her when she fell asleep:

Back here at our place, Erik and Micah shovelled all the snow from our patio into one huge pile.

Now it's been raining and the temps are in the positive range so we are left with a soggy mess outside. I guess that was winter!
Anyway, that's all for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow's potty-training will continue to be successful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From our house to yours...

I had good intentions of sending out Christmas cards this year, but unfortunately it didn't happen. It was a combination of being busy moving, etc. as well as wanting to save a little money this Christmas season. So, here are a few pictures that might've made it on our 2008 photo...

Merry Christmas
from Erik, Jamie, Micah & Keziah!

Friday, December 19, 2008

White Christmas

It's unusually cold for Abbotsford, but I figure if it's cold, then we might as well have some snow to show for it. Micah has really enjoyed playing in the snow, but our kids aren't really outfitted with proper snow gear. Micah only has rubber boots for his feet. Keziah has some good snow boots (bought on a great sale last year), but she has NO other snow gear. I found Micah's jacket from 2 years ago and layered her with 3 pairs of pants and she seemed to stay fairly warm and dry. I thought of heading to Value Village to stock up on some winter items, but I'm guessing there won't be much there since every other person in Abbotsford will probably have the same idea.

There's not a ton of snow, but we were lucky enough to get a big pile right outside our door after the snow plow came through our complex the other night. The forecast says we will be getting more of the white stuff this weekend so hopefully it will stick around until Christmas.

The other night I was trying to keep the kids occupied while Erik had an early hockey game. Those evenings alone with the kids always seem endless. But, we got into colouring and Micah surprised me with his sudden ability to draw people. He seemed surprised by this sudden ability as well and has been drawing like crazy ever since:

Keziah has been doing alright in her "big girl" bed. She is still playing for a LONG time before she settles down to sleep, and then usually ends up in a position like this one:

Last night we made the attempt to get the kids to sleep at Grandpa & Grandma's house. This is something I'd like them to be able to do now that we no longer live there. That way we won't have to always leave the family get-togethers early to make it home for bedtime. It was a bit interesting since we put the kids in the same bed. Micah eventually fell asleep around 9:30 and Keziah never did fall asleep there. We'll keep working at it though and hopefully they'll get accustomed to it.

Erik is finished up a job today and will work a few days next week hopefully. Work has been slow for him here so if you think of us, pray that some consistent jobs will start to flow in - if not right away, then at least after the Christmas season. And you can also pray for my nephew, Noah - he had emergency surgery yesterday and now it looks like he'll be spending Christmas in the hospital.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Other Happenings and a Video Tour

My parents stayed with us until December 11th. We got to celebrate an early Christmas with them. My mom bought a gingerbread house kit from Superstore and the kids had fun eating - er, putting together the cookie, candy, icing treat...

On the last night they were here, we made a yummy Christmas dinner and opened Christmas presents with the kids. For Micah and Keziah this time of year is a little bit of present overload:

Keziah putting her birthday dolly into her Christmas cradle:

Micah having fun with all his new GeoTrax toys:

We dropped my parents off at the airport on Thursday morning and ran into a few other people we knew. Keziah ran off with some kids to see the Christmas trees and Micah looked up at me with genuine concern. He said, "I'm afraid Keziah's going to get lost! She's my best friend!" I assured him that we would keep an eye on her but suggested that maybe he could hold her hand - which he gladly did for awhile (though I'm not sure Keziah appreciated it). I'm not sure why he doesn't share this same love/concern/affection for her at home instead of the chasing/teasing/bugging big brother that he usually is :)

Micah's actual birthday was on Saturday and we spent most of the day with family since it is also his Auntie Rosanna's birthday. I think he had a good day and he seems pretty excited about being 4!

On Sunday night we decided to take Keziah's crib down and try putting her to sleep on a mattress on the floor. When bedtime came she spent about an hour playing in her room, enjoying her new-found freedom, but eventually she had a pretty decent sleep. Then last night I woke up for one of my many bathroom breaks at about 1:30 am. I was about to climb back into bed but thought I'd check on Keziah first to make sure she wasn't sleeping in some weird position. When I went into her room I couldn't find her anywhere! When I couldn't find her anywhere on the 2nd floor I got a little bit panicked. I went down the stairs and called out her name a couple of times before I heard her pajama feet padding across the laminate. She was holding her blankie and smiling. I think she probably woke up and figured it was morning and time to get out of bed!

I am actually considering potty-training her next week. We really don't have much planned for the week even though it's Christmas. But, we'll see if I actually have the energy when next Monday comes!

I finally had a chance to get some footage of our new place for the blog. I decided to take a video tour to give you a better idea of how our place looks. First of all, here are a few "before" pictures from the day we took posession. We debated long and hard about the floor since it didn't look too bad (as you'll see in the pictures). But in the end we knew we wouldn't be totally happy with it - especially since it wasn't laid very well - and changed it to the same antique laminate from IKEA that we used in our old place.

Kitchen/Eating Area - I wasn't a fan of the blueberry blue :)

First Floor 1/2 Bathroom - this room received the most drastic change which you'll see in the video:

Living Room:

Living Room view #2:

Dining/play room looking into kitchen - you'll notice on the video that Erik trimmed out a lot of the entry ways on our main level:

Micah's Room - we decided to keep all the carpets on the 2nd floor and they cleaned up quite nicely:

Keziah's Room - this was the worst paint colour. I liked to refer to it as peach vomit :)

Master Bedroom - the paint colour we chose is actually quite similar to this:

And here it is now...

It has been cold here. Cold for Abbotsford. And windy! Windy like crazy. It rattles the whole house and makes it hard for me to fall asleep at night. Today doesn't seem as windy, but it's still cold. I wish that we at least had some snow if it's going to be this cold. Micah prayed for snow on his birthday and we actually did get the tiniest little bit that evening. Micah was so thrilled about the sparse flakes that had gathered in the cracks of our sidewalk and kept commenting about ALL the snow! I just told him not to expect to build any snowmen until we got a little bit more!

To end off, here's a picture of me at bout 25 weeks (taken a week ago). I'm feeling pretty good these days though I still need to have a short nap most afternoons. I'm getting close to the 3rd trimester mark and it's starting to sink in more and more that we are going to be, once again, entering those post-partum days of breastfeeding, sleepless nights and post-labour recovery. For some reason, thinking about all those things is making me excited :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

December Fun

My parents are out visiting this week. It's been fun having them here and being able to host them in our new place. The kids have enjoyed having them around too...

Our townhouse complex is across the street from a yard with the best Christmas lights in town. We walked there the other night and the kids loved it! It's impossible to get it all in one picture, so here's a few:

Mom & Dad watched the kids on Thursday night so we could go to our Life Group Christmas party. We have a BIG group this year. Here are all the ladies...

And the guys (minus one). We got a better posed one after this, but this first awkward one makes me laugh :)

On Saturday, Erik and my dad went to get our very first Christmas tree. We got a Home Depot special and it's a beautiful tree! After spending $5 at IKEA to stock up on ornaments, the tree was complete:

On Saturday, the kids helped me bake their birthday cakes for their joint birthday party...

We had the birthday party yesterday (Sunday) with family. The kids were spoiled with gifts. (I'm really loving the new collage options on Picasa 3).

Time for birthday cake! A rare picture with me in it and I feel huge. Erik even thinks I'm bigger than normal - and he's honest enough to tell me so. Good thing I'm forgiving enough to let it slide :)

I used 2 of our favourite recipes for the cakes. Our family favourite Banana Cake recipe for Keziah with crushed oreos on the side and Auntie Elissa's yummy Texas Brownie recipe for Micah, complete with sprinkles and smarties.

The kids have had a couple of late nights and some really early mornings! This was Keziah this morning at quarter after nine...