Thursday, February 21, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Toddler Edition

There have been some big changes in Abby's life lately. She's been ready for them for a long time, but second children tend to get forgotten in the area of developmental milestones. My precise and scientific research has determined that many moms tend to get a little sloppy with subsequent children after micro-managing every detail of their firstborns life.

It's a fancy way of compensating...and ensuring previously referenced subsequent children have good reasons for the therapy they'll inevitably need in the future.

It's all for a good cause.

Abby has probably been ready to be potty trained since she turned 2. I, however, found it much easier to keep her in diapers rather than worry about finding pottys for two preschoolers while out and about. But, Christmas break was upon us and it seemed like the perfect time to stay home for a few days and just get it all over with. Though anyone who knows us can attest to the fact that she was adamant about NOT training. "I not big girl, mama. I still a little girl. I no want to go on the potty."

After three straight days of not leaving the house (and going commando) I had myself a fully potty trained 2 1/2 year old. All it took was a few princess stickers and 2 or 43 bags of M&Ms.

I patted myself on the back for awhile and then realized there was one more milestone that I've been putting off. The big girl bed. Abby has been perfectly fine in the crib. She never tried to climb out - which actually came as a shock to me because of her spunky personality.

Trust me, I'm not complaining.

We moved Drew to the big boy bed when he was 18 months old. Abby was on the way and she was going to need a crib. So, on the big night we put him in the bed, he looked at us like we were crazy, cried for 11 seconds, and then went straight to sleep until the next morning.


Even better, he doesn't come out of his room once he's tucked in to bed. He stays there all night and calls me in the morning when he's ready to get up. He doesn't get out of the bed until I come into the room - obviously, we are quite proud.

And, smug.

So, I just knew that Abby would give me a headache in this department. It was too easy with Drew. I KNEW she wouldn't stay in bed, would come find us in the middle of the night, and then wake up way too early in the morning demanding cartoons and sugary cereal. I envisioned sleepless nights while I went all Supernanny on my child just so I could get some peaceful sleep.

Clearly I wasn't over thinking this at all.

I've had Abby's bedding (terrific sale at Pottery Barn Kids) for almost a year, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. Then Abby started asking for a bed. She began asking me to lay out a big blanket with a pillow so she could pretend she was sleeping in a big bed. It all came down to this very picture...

And I knew she was ready.

So, Matt painted the room a perfect shade of green and we got the bed all put together for her. She was ecstatic!

And, can I just tell you? She has stayed in there every night. She doesn't run out 32 times asking for water, come look for us in the middle of the night, or wake us in the wee hours of the morning. She has totally followed in her brother's sweet footsteps.

She jumped into the bed that first night and she made the transition better than I ever could have imagined.

She's probably saving all of the trouble for her teenage years.
Lucky us.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweet as Sugar

They really are...

just sweet as sugar.

And, the best part is they are totally sweet on each other too!

These kids seriously love each other. They are best friends, buddies, teammates, and co-conspirators. They protect each other, stand up for each other, and help each other. They hug and kiss and wrestle and snuggle. And, lately, they don't even bicker that much. Much less than I would expect from a four year old and two year old anyway. They don't always listen to their parents, but they communicate clearly with each other. I guess that's something...
They are so sweet when they are reunited after a long day at school. Drew was with me a few weeks ago when I picked Abby up from preschool and he had all the adults in the room a little teary-eyed when he hugged Abby sweetly and told her, "I miss you so much today, Abby. I so glad we are together again." And, Abby is the same when we drop Drew off at school in the morning. She always wants a hug and a kiss goodbye. And she tells him, "Be good boy, Drew. I miss you but I see you soon and we play."
Melt, melt melt...

Drew made this Valentine frame for me at school. I was at his school for a meeting today and the lady told me we might see Drew and asked if that was ok. "Yes," I told her, "I'll definitely need to squeeze him." He came in the room about an hour later and he was so surprised to see me. He asked, "What are you doing here, mama?" I told him I was telling the lady all of the wonderful things about him. He smiled brightly and said, "Wow! Thanks, mama!" He then turned to the lady who had brought him into the room and said, "This is my mommy. She takes care of me when I'm at home." Then he turned back to me kissed my lips and hugged me hard before he said, "Well, mama - I really, really love you but I need to go back to class now."
I'm tellin' you - sweet as sugar.

And, these are Abby's sweet little handprints that make the shape of a heart. There is really no end to the crafts these preschool teachers can create with their adorable, little hands. Abby's enthusiasm for this special day created by Hallmark was remarkable. She LOVED the candy, LOVED the cookies, LOVED the valentines, LOVED the special outfit, and LOVED the fact that every. single. person. she knew asked her to be their valentine.
Hope your Valentine's Day was as sweet as ours!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

For Grams...

My mama loves to spoil my kids. She is always on the lookout for good stuff to go along with whatever the kids are into for the moment. For Drew, it is pirates. Peter Pan was his favorite movie for averylongtime and that has now branched out into anything "pirates." He loves to play with his pirate ships and pirate figures and to talk like a pirate during most of his spare time. Which, let me tell you, he has an abundance of.

Anyway, Grams happened upon a Jack Sparrow costume from the Disney Store and knew her grandson had to have it. She brought it over one evening while babysitting, but didn't remember to give it to him before he went to bed. Apparently, while she was tucking him in she said something to the effect of, "I'll see you in the morning."


The next morning, I hear Drew call out, "Grams, Grams...I'm awake. Grams? GRAMS?" I went in to get him and let's just suffice it to say that he was not pleased to see me. You know, the one who actually took nine months out of her life to grow him into a person.

Gratitude is a funny thing in these preschoolers.

Anyway, he was so upset that I figured the present Grams left behind would totally cheer him up. He was mad that she wasn't there and he didn't want to have anything to do with her stinkin' present. He wouldn't even look at the costume, and pitched a fit every time I tried to show it to him over the next few days.

He and Jack Sparrow had not gotten off on the right foot. Or the left foot, for that matter.

Yesterday, he finally changed his mind. And, they are now the good friends that we had imagined they would be all along.

Gotta check himself out in the mirror...

And, look! A sword! Miss Danielle gave this to Drew for his birthday last year. He LOVES that she wrote his name on it.

In action...

All to say - thanks, Grams!
Come on over anytime! You are back on our good side!