Friday, March 30, 2012

A new art

Just a quick, experimental piece with some new brushes I downloaded.  Mom, doesn't it remind you of when we were in that Art History class together, and we were talking about the Rococo art, and we watched all those movie clips?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Girls Night!

A while ago, we decided it would be awesome to get a bunch of girls together, reserve a hotel room and have an awesome night of treats, chick flicks, facials and pedicures and hot tubbing.  Lots of people expressed their interest, but as we got nearer to the day, people weren't as interested as we though or they were busy, leaving only three of us.  We wondered if it was worth it, and decided that we didn't mind splitting the cost 3 ways, and that we REALLY needed this night.  So we booked a room at the Springhill Suites by the Airport for last Friday.

We started our fun evening by swinging by to pick up our good friend Rachael Howell.  We drove to the Amish market in Laurel and stocked up on ALL sorts of delicious treats like steak and cheese stuffed pretzels, fudge, candy, fried goods, salads, pastries, and other amazing snacks.

After a slightly embarrassing issue of getting lost, we finally made it to the hotel!  We checked into our suite, ate our dinner and went down to the hot tub.

We had about 5 minutes peace in the pool area until about thirty or more 18-21 year olds piled in.  It was SO loud in there we have to yell at the top of our lungs 5 inches from each other to make any kind of conversation.  Normally I would have been annoyed, but we were very entertained (and slightly disgusted) by all the drama and dynamics going on between all the bikinied girls and pompous boys.  We felt slightly over dressed in our long tankinis and swim skirts, we surely stuck out like sore thumbs.  But it was awesome to be an observer of this spectacle, and made me ever more happy than ever that I am completely finished with that era of my life.  We were tempted to strike up a conversation with these younglings, but we just stayed out of it for the most part.  We were slightly annoyed when we got crammed into a very small corner in the hot tub to make way for their gross massage train happening.  Teenagers these days...

The pool closed, and we made our way back up to our room (slightly annoyed yet kind of flattered when one of the boys told us ladies to have a good night, pfffffft) and spent the rest of the evening painting our toenails, slathering on face masks, looking at pictures, sharing dating and boyfriend stories, snacking on our treats, and then staying up WAY too late with good conversation.  It was so fun getting to know Rachael better, and Em and I always have a good time when we hang out.













Our big plans of sleeping in were thwarted when naturally woke up around 7:30ish (I think Em was up and at the gym earlier than that!).  We enjoyed the provided breakfast buffet of waffles, mcmuffins, cereal, yogurt, and muffins, and pitied all the silly teenagers groggily eating who had probably stayed up much later than we did. 

We dropped Rachael off at her house, and made our way back home to real life. We missed our kids and husbands so much, and gave them big hugs and kisses.

That one night made such a big difference though!  Every girl just needs a night everyone once in a while to do girly things, and clear her mind, and eat way too many good things.  I know it was very beneficial for me at least!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Restroom Updates

A little follow up from yesterday.

We did great!  Only two very minor accidents, which Penny was very upset about with I see as a good sign.  We made a point not to be upset, but use it as a learning experience.  She made it all the way through her chart, and we made scones for her big prize! I had no idea she would be so excited for our chart system.  She loves looking at it all day, counting her stickers, posing like her drawing. Charts are awesome!

Obviously the first night went as expected.  She woke up once in the night a little wet, and so I took her to the potty and she definitely had been holding it in for the most part!  She was wet again in the morning.  I think I need to start limiting her drinks before bed, and that will help out a lot in that area. I'm prepared for a long battle with this area.

In the morning I was feeling pretty confident with her skills, so we made a little trip to Target to buy some new unders.  She picked out some with Rapunzel on them, as well as a few treats for a reward when she stays dry and some new stickers for her chart.  We made it home completely dry!  I took her to the bathroom, then we turned right around to meet the Robinsons at the park.  Another successful trip!

I put Pen down for her nap (actually, she was asking for a nap.  Fine with me!) and told her if she stayed dry she would get some m&ms when she woke up.  She went a good two and a half hours, then woke up crying.  I thought it was because she had wet herself, but she hadn't!  We ran into the bathroom, and had a big celebration for making it through naptime!

So far things have been going great!  We're not even close to calling potty training success yet.  Ask me again in about a month, and we'll see how we're doing.  But in the meantime, it has been nice to take a break from changing diapers!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Penny Potty!

Warning:  This post is centered around potty training, and may contain language of a toilet nature. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you can recall a while back I posted about introducing Penny to the potty.  I could tell she wasn't quite ready for it, so since then I have just been trying to at least get her to understand the concept of using the restroom.  For the last couple of months she's been doing great!  She wouldn't go on her own but she certainly knew what to do when I put her on her little toddler seat.

At least once a day if not more, we have been familiarizing her with the toilet, so she had the first part down.  The reason why I wasn't really pushing it was because she still was very clueless about, well, number 2.  I felt I wasn't really in any mental state to deal with the hassle that goes with that, especially at a very young age. I just thought we'd wait to do the hard core training when she was ready.  Every so often when I knew she was due, I would encourage her to use the toilet but she would sit and immediately get off, or sit there for a half hour then go as soon as I put a diaper on.  And there have been incidents when I was feeling more ambitious with panties and ended with messes I would have rather not had to deal with... so I wanted to make sure she grasped the concept before I went any further, just to save both of us a lot of time and anxiety.

So you can imagine my surprise this morning as Jeff left early for Ward Council, Penny came running up to me asking to go potty!  This is nothing new, she always cries wolf, but I indulged her because you certainly don't say no to a toddler asking to go, even if it is a false claim.  She sat down, and then hopped right off.  But then, she stopped in her tracks, turned around and climbed back up!  I was so nervous that this might be the real thing, I just kind of went about my business not to distract her...

And she DID it!  She did her little business right there in the potty! As soon as she was done we both started screaming and cheering and jumping for joy!  She gave me a big hug and kiss and did a little dance.  She was so excited, she was shaking!  Especially because I had a big sucker waiting for the day that she finally did this.  She proudly accepted her prize, slipped on her elephant undies, and fluttered around the house happy as can be.  We called a few people to celebrate who enthusiastically obliged (thanks guys!) and we pranced around some more.

Of course I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away from me!  How could I put a diaper back on her at this point? So today we start the hardcore training. I remembered back when Melody was training Julia, she had a little chart next to her bed with a prize at the end for her successes (though, I think that was for staying in bed, right?)  and I have never really tried a chart system with Penny, and thought I'd give it a go.  I immediately sat down with her at the computer, and we came up with this:
She requested I draw elephants on the unders, and she was really excited about getting a donut at the end.  I printed it out, let her color it, and then had her choose a sticker to put on the first potty (she appropriately chose the letter 'P').  She had one success, followed by an accident.  I wasn't too concerned though, because immediately after her accident, she was very upset with herself and was very sad that her panties were wet.  I gave her a hug and told her it was ok, and she helped me clean up.  We then practiced running to the potty a few times so she would know what to do next time.

We had another great go, and then a little while later, I saw her get a concerned look on her face, and start crossing her legs. She knew to hold it in!  She had let a little, tiny bit go, but stopped herself!  We ran ran ran to the toilet and again had a great success!  So far, she has 5 stickers! I kind of wish I had put more squares on the path, especially since I didn't think we'd need a donut until tomorrow...  I think I had better make some, just in case.
 I had planned on this day happening much, much further in the future.  I guess there's no turning back now.  We'll see how she does during her nap.  I am very nervous but excited about this development.  Wish us luck, we're certainly going to need it!
Hooray for my big girl!

Also, here's a colored version, just for fun.
 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is here!

Ah, it feels so good to be able to get out of the house again.  Now that the kiddies are old enough to run around freely in the back yard, we have been able to really utilize that area.  If only the grass weren't in such a sorry state...  They don't seem to mind too much.  I took some cute pictures of them playing in the sprinklers, but first a few videos of Pen.


Here she is singing her new favorite song, "Bicycle Race" by Queen. She would be happy listening to this song on repeat all day. She gets really into these days.

This video is of Penny singing "I am a Child of God" and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!"

Next is a video of Penny counting
 


And here she is naming all the parts of her face:

 Those were mostly to document her skills and songs at this age.  Now for some cute pictures!
Our Mediterranean feast!  Not pictured are Jeff's felafels, which were delicious. 

Penny, eating a sandwich.

Penny dancing while eating.
 Please excuse these unedited photos...
Sprinklers and Pool!



Cute little bums!







Typical Ruby!





Sprinklers!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Ocean City Day 1: Part 2.

More pictures from yesterday!

We ended up walking down the boardwalk.  As it is the off-season, most places were closed, but we still got a little taste of the good stuff, like these fries from Thrasher's.


 We enjoyed some caramel corn too.

We played yet again on the beach, since we still had a little bit of day light left.
Does this look familiar?  We tried to recreate our honeymoon picture from nearly 4 years ago!


Here's our hotel from the beach.






I thought it would be fun to draw a giant picture in the sand that I could see from our room.  This picture was taken on the 9th floor!  You can see little Pen and Jeff down there.  My legs were pretty sore afterward...

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Ocean City! Part 1

Since we didn't take off much time from work while in California for Christmas, we had some vacation time roll over to this year.  (We were in CA for 3 weeks, but Jeff was working remotely a lot of the days we were there.)  We decided we should start taking advantage of these days off, and enjoy some of the get-away locations near us.   Seriously, within a 5 hour radius of where we live we could be in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, SO MANY PLACES!  We decided this time to start small, we'd visit the dreamy Ocean City, only two and a half hours away.  It is currently the off-season, which I don't mind at all.  I personally LOVE seeing all the deserted piers, beaches and restaurants, and am so grateful I am not fighting with hoards of people just to get some french fries.  Perhaps it is a tad cold and rainy, but I can't complain when I wake up and see the sun rising over the ocean.

We booked a hotel through hotwire.com and got an incredible deal for a large suite at Holiday Inn right on the beach!  It has a nice, big living room, a full kitchen, a large bathroom with a jacuzzi and a very large bedroom with a balcony overlooking the ocean. 



This is a couch bed too!  This place easily sleeps 6-8 people!

HUGE jetted tub.  Penny absolutely loved swimming around in here.

Rain shower!

You know you're staying in a classy place when there is a phone in the bathroom. (who uses the phone on the toilet?  Especially in a hotel?  Don't answer that, please.)
Luckily we had a warmer day yesterday when we arrived, so we were able to run around on the beach.  We stayed out there for hours, just watching the waves crash and playing in the sand.