Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Swing Set Arrives, Accident Prone Evie & Oscar Learns a Lesson

Well, we got our Rainbow play system and the kids seem to love it. I think we need to have the ladder replaced as it has a crack that goes down one of the legs that eventually could render it unsafe… but for it being one year old and a floor model it is in excellent condition. I immediately took down one of the swings and put Evie’s infant/toddler swing up there (we used to have it attached to a tree that no longer exists after all the renovations and yard work) and she had a blast in that…. But now prefers the normal sling swing. It also has the rope disc swing that the boys LOVE. After no time at all they quickly figured out how to get on and off of it and it’s definitely a favorite for them. They also love the telescope that is screwed into the upper deck of the clubhouse – they pretend they are pirates and tell us what they can see out of it. They also all love going under the picnic table which is attached to the frame under the upper level clubhouse… they love digging in the dirt down there with their multitude of digging tools and tractors (front end loaders, bulldozers, dump trucks, back hoes etc). I sure hope they still enjoy it when there isn’t any dirty anymore and just pea rock – which is scheduled to come Tuesday (5/31) sometime. MacKay really likes the rock wall too and prefers that way of getting up to the clubhouse vs the ladder. Oscar likes it too but more wants to try figure out how to use the rope part to climb up. And we had our first accident the first day we got our set…. Evie fell down the ladder/stairs. She was going down them backwards (with her back to the ladder like they were stairs she was walking down…. Very STEEP stairs) and as I turned around to deal with Oscar, who was trying to go up while she was coming down) she flipped over and fell down practically the entire ladder, minus the two steps she had already gotten down before she fell. She face planted in the dirt and screamed and cried for a little bit but was fine…. Although walked away from it a little timid of the set. Which didn’t help matters as she was already shying away from the slide as the first time she went down it she flew right off the end and landed on her butt about 1-2 feet from the end of the slide. It was quite slick and needed to be propped up a little more at the end to prevent them always going off the end like that. So after that I couldn’t coax her down the slide for a couple days. But I am happy to report that she must have blocked all that out now because just yesterday she was going up the stairs and down the slide like a champ. Eventually we would like to add on to the set by getting some other accessories, specifically a glider and a tire swing… something we can use for birthday/Xmas presents in the future.

Our current project …. As I type Chris is putting together a pretty nice little frame for a sand box to fit in the play area as well. Since the pea rock is coming tomorrow he’s sorta in a pinch to get it done ASAP. That’s how he rolls though. I’m the planner and have to beat a plan to death before I move on it… whereas he works best on a whim. So hopefully he can get that done by end of day today. We also decided to invest in some mosquito/tick control products. Our lawn specialist was able to get us a deal on a backpack sprayer/fogger and the solution to spray. So that way we can REALLY enjoy our yard, play set, patio, deck etc. So far the mosquito situation hasn’t been horrible, but you can tell it’s gearing up … and next week with all the rain we’re supposed to get and the humid conditions they will be out in full force.

Other than that, not much going on other than going to our weekly (Tues and Fri) park play dates. I went out to drinks and a movie (Bridesmaids) with some friends and had a blast. The movie ended up being okay… in so much as I think all the hype, trailers and outtakes made for some pretty high expectations. I was thinking this would be yet another classic comedy like Old School, Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary etc… I had heard you laugh for hours even after the movie is over. And it was definitely a cute and good movie… just not what I was expecting with all the hype around it. But I had a blast with the ladies before hand.

Some updates on the kiddos…. MacKay and Oscar are just constantly begging for two things. 1) Go outside and 2.) Watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Disney Junior channel). They cannot get enough of either one. They love giving Evie rides in the Gator – especially now that they are flying around in 2nd gear – but are also getting SO good at their trikes. Until recently they did well on flat terrain or going at a downward angle… but when they came to an incline they couldn’t (more probably WOULDN’T) continue. I find that they give up pretty easily and admit defeat – hoping that changes with time. But now they have the leg power and the confidence to pedal all over the place. We’re thinking about getting them some 14” bikes this year for taking walks down the street after dinner and letting them ride their bikes alongside us. But part of me wants to wait til next year as well and just get the 16” bikes that will last them a bit longer. So we’ll see how that one goes. I also have to share a Love & Logic tactic that I used recently that helped to curb Oscar’s terrible eating habits. He has many: whines and crabs until food is cold and everyone is already done eating to finally pick at his food (thinking of instituting the “timer” idea on this and when dinner is over, it is OVER), takes forever to eat just generally speaking, shoves tons of food in his mouth and then chews it forever til it is mush and hard to swallow (gross), and just generally picky. Before he even tries something he says he doesn’t like it, finds things in his food that he says he doesn’t like (“I don’t like those green things” etc) and just refuses to eat sometimes. Meanwhile MacKay and Evie just shovel most things in. I try to remind him about “Green Eggs and Ham”, a favorite book of theirs… and how once he TRIED it, he liked it. How he should do the same etc. Rarely ever works. And we’re not members of the “clean plate” club either, we don’t demand it all gets eaten, but we do request that it gets TRIED. I always tell them I want them to have two bites: the first to try it, the second to really taste it. And if they don’t want it after that, I’m fine with that as long as they are willing to eat a majority of something else in the meal/on their plate. SOOOOO.. the other night MacKay was championing the meal and just shoveling in 2nds and 3rds like crazy. Evie was doing pretty well too, and as per usual Oscar was sitting there with his chin in his hands pouting saying he didn’t want to eat or didn’t like it. Chris tried holding food up for him to eat and I told Chris we just weren’t going to do that anymore, that he needs to SELF feed and take the initiative…. And that I was going to try something new that night and that he was going to learn a lesson the hard way. I kept praising MacKay (and Evie) on how well they were eating and saying things like “Wow, MacKay you are doing so good, you sure are eating well and going to grow up big and strong like Daddy if you keep that up ….. boys who eat well like this deserve a reward… a TREAT. Let me think what we could do for that.” Oscar of course keeps chiming in that he wants a treat and we tell him that treats are only for people that eat their meals, to which I think we got 1-2 bites TOPS from the entire plate from him, and it wasn’t without a lot of complaining. So when dinner was over I cleaned up Evie and MacKay and told them to go put their shoes on cuz I was going to take them to Dairy Queen, which put quite the little pep in their steps as they ran to go get ready to go. I had thought about going to DQ myself and bringing stuff back for everyone BUT Oscar, but I figured the “trip” was worth something too… him being left behind. Oscar looked SO disappointed and sad but was trying to be composed and not show it… his bottom lip would quiver here and there and he would say “I’m not going to Dairy McQueen?... but I want Dairy McQueen.” But Chris and I just calmly kept telling him that only MacKay and Evie were going because they were being rewarded for eating so well… and would ask him “Did you eat well?” to which he would say No in a very ashamed and bummed sort of way. As we were leaving the house I could hear him screaming and crying a bit.. and when we pulled out of the driveway there was Oscar at the big picture window just staring out at us driving away which both broke my heart and also gave me a sense of accomplishment like this might actually work. (Which it did) Although I was informed by Chris that within minutes of us leaving that Oscar got over it and was very matter of fact about it. “Daddy, I’m not going to Dairy McQueen, I sit here with you and watch baseball.” Meanwhile I had a very nice time with Evie and MacKay at DQ eating our dipped cones. Evie and I shared one and MacKay scarfed his kiddie cone down all by himself with minimal mess actually. When we got home MacKay was so excited to see Oscar and tell him about his ice cream cone and Oscar didn’t seem too phased about the ice cream but was more focused on that he didn’t get to join us. “Maybe next time I eat and I can come sit with you… but I sit here with Daddy and watch baseball.” Cracks me up. But the very next day we decided to go out to Pizza Ranch (pizza being something that Oscar does okay with, but not one of his favorites) for dinner before heading to a friend of our’s baseball game. Oscar had two pieces of pizza down before MacKay even had one gone which is SOOO not normal. I kept telling him how proud I was of him and making a big deal about how well he was eating. I think we were even able to talk him into having one more piece before we rewarded him with ice cream. He was so proud of himself, telling us over and over again how he was getting ice cream cuz he ate so well. So at least we now know that it somewhat works and we just need to keep at it. Although I’m not wanting to always have to have a treat at the end of every meal. We rarely ever do. We more treat fruit as the treat after a meal. But I think in these special occasions where they eat really well we can use something special as a reward …. And on the flip side, when Oscar is being defiant about eating, reward the opposite behavior as a reminder for him.

Evie…. Our little accident prone diva. As some of you out on Facebook might have already seen, Evie had a rough 3 days in a row and I am hoping that that rule of 3 (bad things happen in 3s) applies here and that we’re done for a while. Thursday, like I said before, she fell down the ladder of the swing set. Friday, I was checking email downstairs and Chris opened the basement door to yell down to be about something and left the door open, which normally isn’t a problem as Evie can go up and down stairs quite well. But this time she was holding her sippy cup on the way down (we have a rule that no toys, nothing in hand while going up/down the stairs) and I all of a sudden heard this BUMP… THUMP…. THUD… BA-BUMP!” and turned around to see Evie at the bottom of the stairs in yet another face plant. Again, she wasn’t hurt… more frightened than anything. And then the very next day (Saturday) she got her hand slammed into a door. We had told the boys we were going shopping and that they needed to go potty before we left, so they ran into the bathroom and as per usual Evie wasn’t close behind… wanting to be with her big brothers. They aren’t so keen on having her around in the bathroom, and even though we have a rule about shutting/slamming doors in our house (exactly for this reason), they slammed the door on Evie… who just happened to have her whole hand in the gap where the door hinges onto the frame. I heard the worst blood curdling cry and then gasping for breath … it was like she was in such pain she couldn’t even cry or make a sound after that. I came running down the hall to find MacKay hugging Evie and repeatedly saying “I’m sorry Evie… I’m sorry!” She had her whole hand in there so it slammed on her palm area and you could immediately see the mark and bruising. So we iced it while she continued to cry and scream. You could tell MacKay felt so bad, he couldn’t even look me in the eye. So I tried not to come down on him too badly, just instead reminded him that this was EXACTLY why we had the rule about not shutting doors when Evie is around. She eventually calmed down and was almost proud to show off her “Owie” and could move her hand completely so we knew everything was fine. But SHEEEESH. I sure hope this is over now. 3 accidents in 3 days. That’s enough. And I am happy to report that there were no mishaps or accidents on Sunday. So the rule of 3 must have some merit to it. Although…. Evie actually hit a milestone of sorts on Sunday. So she traded in a milestone for a mishap. She wants so much to be like her brothers and copy what they do – which I feel bad about because it makes me get on the boys about doing things that probably are quite normal for boys their age to do (mischievous things that don’t hurt anyone but just cause a mess etc), asking them to stop because if Evie sees them do it then she will try it. I have to stop doing that … squelching them just to save me some headache with Evie. That’s not fair to them. But anyway …. In another example of Evie wanting to be like her big brothers, the boys interrupted their lunch on Sunday by saying they had to go potty (really selling it to us that they would pee their pants if they didn’t go right then), so they both ran off to the bathroom mid-lunch to take care of business. Evie was hell bent on doing the same and ripped off her bib, refused to put it back on and pushed herself away from the table chanting “Potty TOO, …. Potty TOO!” So to humor her I asked Chris to just take her to the bathroom (oh the games we have to play with her to get her back on track… I tell ya) and just let her sit there for a stint. Once on the potty (fully clothed) she told Chris to “GO!” So a few minutes later I went in there to try get her out and said “You’re all done?” in a leading sort of way. She was adamant she was not done and wanted to “Potty TOO!” So I stripped down her pants and diaper and put her on the toilet and told her to go. She sat there singing and talking about the potty. I kept asking her if she was done… “NO!” Then eventually she started pushing and a few little toots came out which really amused her. Tell me “Poop… Toot!” Then I heard this tiny little noise and the look on her face was classic – her eye brows raised and her eyes got all twinkly and she was grinning from ear to ear. So I got her down and we checked the toilet….. and low n behold there was the TINIEST little turd I have ever seen. Seriously, the size of a pea…. But to her it was like she laid down a 10 pounder or something. (Sorry, gross I know). She was so proud, yelling “Poop…. POOP!” and yelling for Daddy. So I brought her into her room to clean her up and put on a new diaper, and she met Daddy in the bathroom to point out her little accomplishment. Daddy had to hold back the laughter at it and just praised her over and over. From the kitchen we could hear the boys yelling “I want to see it!” So we let Evie flush and told her to run to the kitchen to tell the boys what she did. She ran up to them (in their chairs eating) and looked up at them and proudly proclaimed “POOP!” It was so cute cuz we didn’t have to coach the boys on what to say or anything but they were both going on and on to her “Wow, Evie… Way to go…. You’re a BIG girl!” It was quite the moment. So lunch was resumed and I considered that our first sign that she might be getting ready to try out this whole potty training thing. Not that it will happen any time soon – I need more signs than just this. But I figure that is a good sign, showing the desire to want to be like her brothers and go potty in the bathroom etc. I’m sure she probably doesn’t even know what going potty entails or what it means… but she wants to do it. Since then she’s done this quite a few more times. At dinner out last night she demanded to “Potty TOO!” after I had to bring both the boys to the bathroom in the middle of dinner. Luckily I was able to distract her with things at the table to get her mind on something else cuz she is relentless and doesn’t give up or in easily. Then just today when I could tell she had soiled her diaper she came to me and said “Go Potty Too!” instead of her usual “Uckies… Change… Uckies.” So there might be something to this…. There might not. But I’m gonna keep an eye on her and see if she holds this interest or loses it.

Well, not many pictures this time… but thought I better post an update before I had a backlog of pictures like I had last post. They get a little too long when I let them go like that.

MacKay and Evie being treated to Dairy Queen (sans Oscar)

Yes… Victorious …. Oscar being rewarded with an ice cream treat after learning his lesson about eating well at dinner time

The kids on their new Rainbow play system
The boys on the rope disc swing… holding on for dear life

Pirate Oscar on the lookout with his telescope…. Arrrggg. And MacKay championing his rock wall

Evie who is just happy to swing (“Wing… Wing… “Wing” – she sings as she swings back and forth)

Not a great picture, but LOVING the little picnic table we got for the kids and the nice weather we’ve had lately to get out for lunch most days.

Evie has a new passion…. Jewelry. I recently came from upstairs one day to find her wearing all of the nipple rings from her old bottles on her arms like they were a ton of bangles. So I wrangled up some old costume jewelry I no longer wear and let her have at it. Gonna have to get her some kiddie costume jewelry of her own. P.S. I think the spider tattoo pairs nicely with the jewelry.

Hope you all had a fantastic and restful Memorial Day Weekend…. Stop by again soon.

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