Saturday, July 28, 2012

23 Months

Well yet again another late post.  And Ryan is on the way home with James so this is going to have to be a mostly pictures monthly update.  I keep saying it, but I can't believe this is our last monthly post until James is 2!!!  He is keeping us on our toes in terms of discipline- we have had to implement some time out over the past month but overall he continues to be a sweet boy. He is wearing some 2T and some 3T clothing and a size 8 shoe.  Potty training update:  he has pretty much got it down pat during the day.  It's been a couple of weeks since he has had any accidents so hopefully he will continue to do well with it.  He also had a two week camp at the church where he goes to Mother's Day Out this past month which I have to admit we both enjoyed. :) We are constantly laughing at the things he says and does and he continues to amaze us with his memory- it's better than mine or Ryan's!  It's been a fun summer so far. Here are a few memories from this past month: 

The day after potty training we decided to use our Groupon and go to the Jubilee Zoo. I have to admit I wasn't overly impressed but James LOVED it! (I love how kids are so easily pleased) He has asked about it many times since.  The weather was pretty nasty that day, but it worked to our advantage because we were some of the only people there.  

Feeding the animals 

Feeding the kangaroo 

Helping mom feed the camel 

The slide was a big hit 

We seriously need to start asking someone to take our picture instead of doing it ourselves! 

For the first time since we moved here it has actually RAINED some during the summer! We had one week where it rained almost every day. James was so excited to see the rain; we couldn't pull him away from the window. 

I realized that I had all sorts of pictures that I never posted from our last NC trip.  I decided to throw some in so that they will be in our blog book to remember. 

Fixing homemade bread 

He was so proud of his little loaf

We have suddenly entered into the world of train obsession.  James can recite all of his trains' names and the kid seriously spends hours with these things.  And how is it that those trains and accessories cost so much?!?! It's crazy! And us poor parents cave it and pay it! 

This was supposed to be his present from my parents for his birthday but Nene had to get it out early so they could play with it! 
James had a blast pretending that Pop was his "horse". 

Pop also had bought him a wagon! 

Of course they spent some time in the tent

We even got to go to the pool with Nana 
This month I have also seen James get more into art so we have been trying to do more projects while it's so hot outside.  This day I had the idea to make a tambourine...

First we decorated the paper plates with markers and stickers 

Then we poured in the beans and stapled it shut

Finally we added the streamers

Then he decided he wanted to pour the bean "dirt" in and out of the truck. Can I just say that we are STILL finding beans in the carpet!!! 

Another day we mixed colors in a Ziploc bag and then practiced our letters 

We have painted with brushes...

And with our hands!

James has also enjoyed the church playground on Sundays when we go to church and on Mondays when they have a  weekly summer devotional 

I have been trying to get this kid to drink out of a straw for months but he just refused to do it. I mean, I know kids that are over a year younger than him that would use a straw but he just was stubborn and wouldn't do it. Well one day I decided that I was determined to get him to use one.  Took less than 5 seconds and he got it. I seriously think he just didn't want to do it until then to drive me crazy. :) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Fun-Filled 4th of July

I'm still playing catch up but that seems to be the story of my life! We had a great 4th of July this year.  The day started off with Ryan being off work because... he is now a 4th year and an upper-level resident! Can I get an Hallelujah from someone? :) Thankfully this year he doesn't have to work the holidays so we are SUPER excited about this.  

We started off our day with plans to meet friends for our first movie at the movie theater! (actually it was our first movie ever)  Normally I would never pay to see a movie with a toddler but they are only $1 so we figured this was the best time ever to try it out. On the way to the movie we were telling him that we were going to watch a movie and trying to prep him for it but Ryan and I had never seen this movie (Despicable Me) so all I could think to say about it was that the movie was going to have a little man in it.  James has asked about that little man multiple times since this day, lol.  James made it for an hour which was better than I expected. However I think we may have left several hundred cheerios on the theater floor.  

Taylor managed to sit through the whole movie.  Maybe that will be us next year! 

James had the hardest time sitting in that chair because his feet kept flipping up. He loved it though! 

Later that afternoon we had one of Ryan's co-residents and his family come join us for dinner. Paul actually just finished residency so he and Jill and John are off to San Antonio in a couple of weeks. 

Within the first five minutes that they were at our house James hit John in the head with a golf club...thankfully it was plastic

Obviously we celebrate our independence and freedom in this country on the 4th of July.  However one thing I have gained since living here is interactions with military families and spouses, whether it was through work, Ryan being at the VA hospital, or my MOPS group.  I have SUCH appreciation for all of the men and women who are involved in the military and who work so hard to ensure that we continue to have these freedoms that we often take for granted.  I always jokingly said I could be married to anyone except someone in the military or a pastor (maybe I should have added resident to that list, lol) because I felt like those two jobs involve so many sacrifices from the spouse.  I just really admire people who are in those situations.  
Happy 4th of July! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 Big Milestones

James has a two week Mother's Day Out session so I am taking advantage of the peace and quiet to try to catch up on the blog! 

We have been busy this past week since getting back to Louisiana and James has hit two big milestones.

1.  We are front-facing! We tried to make it to age 2, but it was just so hot and I caved. It feels very strange to see him in the car like that and I may be the first parent to say this but I kinda miss him being rear facing because he talks so much more now and is almost harder to deal with! I think when he was the other way he forgot I was in the car and would sit nice and quiet. Oh well. 

2.  We are out of diapers!!!  I never thought I would have potty trained at 22 months but I had several reasons for deciding to take the plunge.

- I felt that James was at a sweet stage and might would be more stubborn and set in his ways in a few months so maybe this was a small window of opportunity

- It was really hot so we were stuck inside anyway and we had no plans

- Diapers are expensive and we needed to save some $$$.  The money from diapers almost pays for a day of Mother's Day Out each month!

- Ultimately I reminded myself what I learned when teaching kindergarten and first grade: children are capable of much more than people give them credit for.  Aim high, expect good results, and they will normally not disappoint. I kept reminding myself this throughout this process because it is really easy to get discouraged! I also think each child is unique and individual and sometimes parents just have to trust their instinct about when they need to try something. 

I decided to blog about the process because I will need to remind and encourage myself when we have future kids and for any other potty training parents out there in the blog world. :)

Day One:
Being the type of person that I am I did massive research on potty training and decided to go with the 3 Day Potty Training Method  partly because I needed a plan and also because I didn't want to drag it out for weeks or months.  The first day we threw away all of our diapers and went straight into big boy undies. At first I couldn't even convince him to sit on the potty without freaking out....that's when I knew we were in for a long three days.  In the first 30 minutes we went through A LOT of underwear, had LOTS of accidents including a poop explosion on the floor, and I admit I thought I had lost my mind.  However by the end of the day we were making a little progress with James a least recognizing when he had an accident. 

He was excited to get to wear his new car underwear

Day Two:
The morning started off well but then we saw a big regression in the afternoon.  Lots of accidents and not a lot of communication from James. Once again I doubted if I was doing the right thing by doing this now but I figured I would see it through to the end.  The worst thing was being stuck in the house all day.  By the night I was losing my mind from cabin fever. We baked goodies, did art, watched television, read massive amounts of books and did anything else we could think of to pass the time while stuck inside. 

I pumped him full of juice so we would have lots of learning opportunities 

Yes, this face says it all. Potty training is hard work! 

I broke the rules and went outside during training which resulted in an accident. Lesson learned: follow the rule book

Shorty after this he went to the bathroom in the basket. Not cool

Day Three:  I started off the day by praying that today would be the day it would click. I also had someone else on my side- Ryan!  He took the morning shift while I ran a couple of errands. I have never been so excited to have a reason to go to the grocery store before.  This day brought a magic change- all of the sudden he knew to tell us when he had to go.  We only had 1 accident the whole day!  By that night we were all getting ill from being stuck inside so when I got a text from Jennifer that they were going to Frozen Frog we threw the rules out the door and got there ASAP. 

James wanted to "hold" Reece 

We made it through our first outing with no problems! Hooray! Now James is by no means perfect at this point.  He does really well with Ryan and I but its hard for him sometimes at other places or when he is having so much fun he doesn't want to take a break. I'm realistic to know that this will probably be an issue for some time. But overall I'm pretty pleased with how he is doing. I just can't believe how grown up he is- where did my little baby go??? 

Great job James! 

Mr. and Mrs. Speight!

The big day was finally here! We started off by all meeting to get our hair done and eat some Boulevard bagels- yum!  

Yikes, I look a little rough. Thank, goodness for makeup! 

A couple hours later it was time to get ready at the church, take some pictures, and hang out and chat while waiting for the wedding to start. 

We all had different but similar styles of dresses and necklaces. 

The wedding was an absolutely beautiful service celebrating the love Shannon and Andy have for each other and most importantly the love they have for God. Once the wedding was over I felt like could breath because thankfully I didn't faint like at the last one! Whew- I stressed about that for the whole week before.  One thing that was nice about Shannon and Andy's wedding was that all of the pictures were taken before the wedding so as soon as it was over we got to go to the reception for some food, dancing, and fun. 

Friends since college: my parents and Sara and Rebecca's parents. 
James stayed with Ryan's parents while we were at the wedding but then my parents picked him up so he could come celebrate and be in a big group picture that was taken. He was a mess!!!  He was wild- running around the place, begging for cupcakes, and dancing on the floor. Thank goodness I had Sara, Rebecca, and my parents to help me try to contain him and prevent any major damage, lol. 

Chasing after Becky

The butter-cream icing on these cupcakes was so tasty!
When the wedding party was announced JT wanted to run see me and be a part of all the action. Crazy kid!

He insisted on trying BOTH types of cupcakes and Shannon even let him have  some of her and Andy's first slice of cake.  Shan Shan scored some major points with JT that night. :) 

Dancing with Shan Shan

I thought this was so sweet. James was mesmerized while Shannon and her dad were dancing. 

I'm slightly obsessed with his cuteness. First child syndrome? Yes I have it! 

Once he left with my parents then I could really relax and have fun. 

I loved seeing Marianne break it down on the dance floor! 

Sorry Ash- I just had to include this. :)  We were all doing some wild dancing! 

Right before the bride made her departure

I spoke a little about this in my speech but it was extremely special for me to see Shannon and Andy get married.  Besides for the obvious reasons, Shannon is someone that I have prayed many prayers for in regards to her future spouse, not to mention countless hours of conversation about this area of life.  It has been amazing to see how God brought her and Andy together and how He has worked in both of their lives. It was a wonderful weekend, and I am honored to have been a part of it. Congratulations Shannon and Andy!