Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back to Rhyme Time

After over a year break we finally made our way back to the North Regional Library for Rhyme Time. One big change is that Rhyme Time (0-2 years) is now offered several times a day on Tuesday through Fridays.

I was a little worried how Maddie would do during Rhyme Time. I pictured her running away and going through another mom's purse. I then had visions of her crying when I pulled her out of that mom's purse and tried to get both girls to exit before we caused too much of a scene. Much to my surprise, we had quite a different experience.

We went on Tuesday at 9:30 and it was packed! We were one of the last to receive a ticket to attend at that time. When we walked in Maddie started having some anxiety; she clutched onto my shirt and started fussing. I really think she thought I was going to leave her. We finally found a spot on the floor and Maddie started feeling more comfortable. As the program went along Maddie started clapping when a song would finish and cheering with the other kids. Rather than running away from me, Maddie only seemed comfortable to take 2 or 3 steps away before turning around and coming back to my lap. When it was time for bubbles, Maddie squealed in delight as she chased them around the room. The time there for Maddie was a success.

I'm not sure what Anna thought of Rhyme Time; she was definitely one of the oldest kids in the room (there is storytime for 3's, 4's and 5's). For the first time, Anna was familiar with some of the tunes that were sung and she was content just to sit and watch all that was going on. Anna's highlight came after Rhyme Time when she got to check out 2 books and take them home. I think we are going to make more of an effort to attend in the future!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Raleigh Parks

In Raleigh there seem to be parks and playgrounds tucked into every nook and cranny. I found a list on the Raleigh Parks and Rec website that included 64 city of Raleigh playgrounds!! Being in a neighborhood that has its own playgrounds I'm ashamed to say that I have not ventured out very much and have only taken the girls to 5 or 6 of them. I must get out more!

All of the playgrounds that I have visited have been well-maintained and offer equipment for a range of ages. Some include sandpits; others have picnic shelters. And one was even built in the shade which is a jewel in itself on those 90+ degree days (again, I've only made it to 6 of the 64 so more of them may have shade as well :)).

From the moment I arrived at the Cedar Hills playground I knew it was going to be a good one. There was a small playground perfect for Maddie, larger play equipment for Anna, swings (both bucket and regular), and a giant sand pit all nestled among shade trees. Ahhhh. I honestly believe this was the longest that I have stayed at a playground since the heat has rolled in. I highly recommend it.

Cedar Hills Playground p_00252

Does anyone else have a favorite Raleigh park? Please comment and hopefully I'll be able to check it out.

Virginia Beach 2009

We just returned from our annual trip to Virginia Beach with Pop and Divi. Anna and Madelyn were great!

The days were filled with morning strolls down to the boardwalk for Starbucks and of course time on the beach. This year we bought a beach tent from One Step Ahead which was great for giving the girls a place to dig in the sand out of the sun. Surprisingly Maddie even stayed inside it!

VA Beach VA Beach VA Beach VA Beach

There was also a lot of time spent splashing in the ocean. Maddie had no fear - she would squeal in delight as she walked straight out into the waves. The ocean current was very strong in the afternoons and it was a chore just keeping Anna and Madelyn on their feet.

VA Beach VA Beach

Another highlight of the trip was renting one of those family bikes on the boardwalk. This was a first for myself as well as the girls. Here's a picture of the crew (cousin Jamie, Erik, Maddie & Anna)

The big boardwalk bike The big boardwalk bike The big boardwalk bike

It was a wonderful trip filled with many family memories that I'm hoping record in a scrapbook. I think this was the most consecutive time that I've spent with my dad in a really long time. It was nice to hangout at night after the girls went to bed and talk with him about world issues, the future of our family vacations and just have fun playing Rockband. Our family trip to the beach will probably look very different next year and I'm ok with that; I've realized it's the people you are with, not where you are, that matters most.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If you use a spout cover, beware...

Tonight as I was giving the girls a bath I remembered a "word to the wise" that I forgot to share.

This was our beloved froggie that kept Anna from bumping her head on the bath tub spout.

During our recent bathroom remodel, we used the girls' bathroom for our daily showering, etc. When Froggie was on the spout I was not able to divert the water to the showerhead without removing it or turning it upside down. NOTE: DO NOT JUST TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN!!! One day I was showering and Froggie was turned upside down and had filled up with water. It so happens that on the underside of bathtub spouts there is a little hole. Froggie had so much water in him that the water then proceeded to go through the hole and 20 minutes later I found that water downstairs in my kitchen!!

Not sure if this was one of those situations that could only happen to me, but take my advice and take the spout cover off when you shower just in case :).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Potty Training

Being a first time potty training mom I had many misconceptions going into it:

- I thought Anna would actually need to use the bathroom every thirty minutes (why else do you set the potty watch?)
- I thought she would care if she peed all over herself and would then be forever potty-trained
- I couldn't see how having a potty-trained child would be easier than a child in diapers
- I thought I would spend the next year of my life sitting in the tiny hall bathroom waiting for Anna to go potty (at this point it took Anna 45 minutes of sitting on the potty before she would go)
- I thought pull-ups were a waste of money rather than a way not to have to change a child's clothes all day long
- I never thought I'd be one of "those" who carried around a portable potty - in fact, it lives in my car!

Potty Progress:

Weeks 1, 2 and 3: On Monday, potty-training would start with fresh panties and sticker treats. By Tuesday it was reserved for evenings after daddy got home. By Wednesday I had stopped even asking Anna if she had to go and put her in a diaper.

Week 4: Stickers turned into Hershey kisses, we had to up the ante. Amazingly this was just what Anna needed. She finally starting going on the potty after only sitting 5-10 minutes rather than 30-45. We were making progress as long as we stayed at home.

Week 5: Hershey kisses are now yucky and so we moved onto gummy bears. Anna was able to start "holding it" which prevented accidents while out of the house.

Week 6-8: Still going strong and having a few mornings of her waking up dry. Anna has now started proactively telling me she has to go potty rather than me constantly asking her. She's started wearing panties while in the house and I love how few pull-ups we're going through.

Today: Anna told me she had to go potty and went and did it. The only help she needed from me was to turn the water on for her to wash her hands...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Water Bottle

Here's Anna chugging her new water bottle:

Anna and her new cup

We recently became a Nalgene bottle family. There are probably 15 sippy cups in my kitchen cabinet which fall out every time I go to get something out of it. Because there are so many, if one gets "lost" around the house we just make a new one instead of going on a hunt. The result - random sippy cups around the house, a full dishwasher, and sour milk. Anna and Maddie now have 1 Nalgene Grip-n-gulp each filled with water and we are doing our best to keep up with it throughout the day. So far so good!

I like this grip-n-gulp. It has been one of the few sippy cups that has not leaked when turned upside down in my purse or hasn't left a pool of water on the ground. Despite being a little heavier than others, Maddie has no problem tipping it up to drink. My only complaint is that it does not fit into the cup holders of our jogging stroller (whose cup holders are a little smaller than most).