Saturday, August 30, 2014

One Small Step For Man

If you have ever had a long conversation with a parent of a three-year-old then you may have heard the various challenges that they faced when it came to potty training. Or maybe they got lucky and it was a breeze. Either way there is always some story of humor; here is our tale.
It seemed like all the advice, training pants, training under and rewards were not cutting it. Preston was uninterested and unenthusiastic about anything to do with the potty process. It just wasn't his bag. We even tried the 3 day intensive keeping him trapped in the kitchen for 12 hours, didn't phase this child. We tried it all, honestly, and we were exhausted.
Three weeks ago we finally got Preston to enter the "first phase" pretty consistently. Unfortunately "phase two" had never even been close to being put into action. Avoiding it like the plague. Two suggested resources were put into effect a week ago. Today "we landed on the moon"! It was hands down one of the happiest moments I have experienced since his birth. I'm not even close to kidding. Although, reading this over again it's pretty darn funny. Fireworks went off, fanfare and of course the buying of a special prize! A BIG milestone! If you can relate then we have finally been accepted into the club.
Now, onto the next Oh no, the tears will flow again that day too, I'm sure.
Curious about the two helpful pieces of the puzzle? If you are uneasy with the topic already. End your reading. Hands down these two were the gurus of training our head strong preschooler, in my opinion. Here they are:
*Elmo's Potty Time 45 min DVD. He watched it twice the first day I brought it home.
*Everyone Poops Taro Gomi read it to him every night by request.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Baby Makes a Difference

Both of these little stares melt my heart in their own little way. Each pictures brings me right back to that moment, how small Preston was compared to how big he had gotten. Logan seems like he was only a newborn yesterday and today on the verge of walking on his own any day now. Both are 10 months in each picture respectively. Preston sure had a good mop of hair. Logan looks heavier but was almost a pounder lighter than Preston was at his last check up. Preston was not even close to walking at 10 months like Logan is. I could go on and on about their differences but to me they look similar in these pictures too. The one handed lean, big baby thighs and their eyes. Ooh those eyes... girls consider yourselves warned. My final though on these two pictures is that Preston looks more like Rob and Logan looks more like me at this point in their lives.

As for the baby bibs... I'm not trying to let any cat out of the bag here so get that idea right out of your head. There is NO announcement! Although, I am happy to say that I have delved into the world of sewing! Something I have been wanting to try for ages. The internet, YouTube and Pinterest all have spiraled me down the proverbial rabbit hole and I started making some baby gifts for some co workers. Here are two bibs and burp cloths I made with my own two hands. No major foul ups, yet. I did break a needle the second time at my machine but I considered it a christening of sorts. I have enjoyed myself thus far. It's a challenging and creative enough outlet for me, in addition, to getting a fully functioning product out of the time spent. Someone recently mentioned how crafty I am getting since the boys came along. I didn't quite realize it until she said something but yes, it's safe to say now that I am a crafty mom. I've come a long way.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

We Survived Our Summer Vacation

Daddy & Logan
Preston throwing shells
I must say, after we made our vacation arrangements and the day finally arrived, I was apprehensive about taking two kids 3 and under on a flight across the country.  To put the icing on the cake Preston conveniently came down with a bad stomach virus and was, let's shall we say, not "sea worthy" for a day prior to departure.  Logan was sporting a drippy nose and mild temp.  We had a red eye planned praying to the high heavens that the kids would be so conked out they would sleep the flight away.  50% of that idea worked out.  One of our travelers was not a great sleeper on his first night flight.  Preston kept waking up to kicking and screaming every forty-five minutes.   Therefore; I didn't sleep a wink the entire time.  We were all in zombie-like status for the rest of the day.  We got a nap in but it took a good day and a half to get back on schedule.  
Grandma and Logan (and his new use of a cane)

Andover Bell Tower with my father's name on it?
Rob was all about walking around Phillips Academy and to downtown Andover.  It was great because it wore out the kids and they napped so well for being on vacation.   The large bell tower at the end of the campus has had names on the side dedicated to Andover soldiers who served in WWI. Under 1917 my father's name (close to it) has been a fascination of mine for decades.  Who was this Edward Hines Jr.? Did he have any relation to my father or my extended family? Looking at the names during our visit had so much more meaning because two names down from "my father's" are the last names Preston and under that Taylor (almost a Naylor very close).  The bell tower was the site where the Andover military would train and drill. According the plaque on the bell tower wall in 1789 President George Washington held an informal reception on horseback greeting the townspeople and the Academy students.  So much history in my little town!

Our adventures soon brought us to the Cape.  Logan had to make a brief appearance at the walk-in clinic to discover that he was suffering from a bad ear infection.  Antibiotics hard at work and we were at the beach the next day.  We lucked out and had wonderful weather and the kids loved it. Logan went into the water with me and splashed his little heart out, in addition, to eating fists full of sand.  Daddy and Preston dug holes, built sand castles and scoured the beach for rocks. The heat, the sun and our fun lent us all to some good Naylor napping later in the day.  We had the pleasure of a good old fashion BBQ thanks to the Maffie's and their grandchildren, as well as. a family visit from the Hines'and Mr. Mullen (who shares a birthday with Logan).  All and all a wonderful Cape visit with lots of great memories.

Nature had a surprise in store for us.  The rest of my aunts and uncle came to see Logan and Preston before we left.  About an into our visit one of the most violent of rain storms attacked my mother's house.  First it was thunder and lightening, then heavy rains but soon came whipping winds and hail.  It was a sight to be seen.  The windows, even while closed, got flooded with rain water.  What do you do when your power is off and it's dinner time?  You take the family to Joe Fish!  The boys were relatively well behaved for it being such a crazy evening.   Of course, the power went out and didn't return until 3 AM the next morning, which made for an interesting sleeping experience.  Thankfully there was no real damage and everyone was safe and sound.  We even got to see Eileen and the Coco boys at Mad Maggie's for some yummy ice cream.

Even with the sickness, the crazy flight and unexpected storms we survived our summer vacation. The late night flight ended up being a better fit for the boys who slept 2.5 hours soundly on the return.  Time to enjoy the last couple weeks before work starts up again.  Two months went by way too fast.
Logan 10 Months at the Cape with Grampie's picture
Preston and a New England stick

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Disney Success Story

Seeing Disney through the eyes of a child puts an entirely new spin on its magic and excitement.  This is Preston's first look at the Disneyland entrance and the Disneyland Railroad (Choo Choo Train) that got him smiling from ear to ear as soon as we got in.

I had an idea of how he would react but Preston managed to surprise me with his secret adventurous personality when it came to rides. Previous to this Disney adventure Rob and I had made several attempts to get the boy on carnival and kiddie rides to prime him for the big trip.  To no avail.  The only "rides" he enjoys were the McCormick Ranch Railroad train and the mini train in the mall. Carousels, yes; he has been on but never gave us any indication that he enjoyed them.

Thumbs Up for Astro Orbiter (in the background)
Disney made an impression on Preston and the first ride we went on was the Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland.  It was questionable but he stood in line, just fine.  He got in the "space ship" yet another good sign.  I was strapped next to him, watching his face to make sure I caught any signs of displeasure.  We started to TAKE OFF. The wind in our hair, the view of the park and the smile on his face was absolutely PRICELESS!  He loved it! Even when we got off the ride he said "that was so cool!".  It was official, he had his mother's adventurous gene and Preston was loving Disneyland!

It's a Small World, a personal favorite, followed.  We also got to experience a Jedi training show that Tara's niece, Kai, was super excited to participate in.  Preston proceeded to enjoy Toon Town, Mickey's house where he met Mickey (within a 2 feet distance though), Donald's house, Goofy's house, Tea Party Cups, Haunted Mansion, Roger Rabbit, Jungle Cruise, Tarzan's Treehouse, Winnie the Pooh and the Railroad.
Toon Town Car
I think I got most of what Preston went on that Disneyland day.  We had Disneyland's California Adventure to look forward to the next day as well.  We ate at the Hungry Bear eatery where Preston got to eat a large Honeybee cupcake.  The day was coming to a close.  We had planned to return for a nap earlier but Preston took one while I was using the baby center facility.  The facility was so quiet, all these nursing mothers and a place to change your baby or give them a nap.  It made me wish Logan was with us.  But I digress.

About an hour after we ate our big meal, we all went shopping for some souvenirs and headed towards main street to get a good spot for the fireworks.  I looked into the stroller and Preston was out for the count.  I was amazed he lasted as long as he did.  What a trooper!   I know I don't have all the rides in any discernible order.  We were jumping from one ride to the next at times it was a blur to me.  Tara knew her way around the park like the back of her hand.  This was only my second Disneyland trip, Preston and I were just like two excited kids on Christmas morning.
Loving the Tea Cup Party Ride!

I was so happy with the shirts I decided to make for Preston and Tara's niece Kai two days before we left.  Hers pink and Preston's green with an iron on that said My First Disney Trip.  All I needed was the iron on sheets, cotton t-shirts, an iron, a printer and my desired image (in reverse).  I went on Etsy and bought the image I used for $2 and it was an immediate download, used my ink jet printer to print the image on the iron on paper.  So simple and yet we got several comments on them and it cost less than $6 to make!  
Wednesday was California Adventure day.  We had a little twist in the morning events.  Tara had us down for a Princess Character Breakfast at 930 a.m.  Kai got to meet 6 different princess, most of which came right to your breakfast table.  It was so adorable.  The breakfast was super yummy and creative.  Preston used up all of his princess stickers to decorate his Disneyland bus he got the night before while shopping.  Of course, Preston goes to Disneyland and wants what?....more vehicles.  One of the princesses even commented on how nice his bus looked.  "Good enough for a princess to ride in".  The entertainment value for Preston wore thin and I was up several times trying to get him back to eat with us.  His waffles were shaped like a boat, with a sail and blue water which got his attention pretty quick...thank goodness.
Preston riding the Golden Zephyr

Our California Adventure started off with the Golden Zephyr which was similar to the Astro Orbiters at Disneyland the day before only bigger.  He was a huge fan and off to a great start.  There was a negative about several of the rides at California Adventure.  They had to measure Preston to make sure he was 40 inches.  He wasn't a fan of standing next to a poll and being measured.  This downfall unfortunately prevented him from riding the Lightning McQueen Cars ride in Cars Land.  We made several attempts to get measured but nothing was working and we had to abandon it.  The one ride I knew he would love and we couldn't get on it.  A little disappointing.

Passed out even with a performance 10 ft away
Preston did though ride Mater's Junkyard, Flik's Flyers, Tower of Terror and Monsters Inc.  By lunch time Preston had had enough and actually fell asleep while pushing him back from our last final attempts to get on the Cars ride.  We went back to the hotel room for a nice two hour reset. We watched movies, rested our feet and ate lots of the food we had brought with us.  By the time we re entered the park our focus was getting our spot for the World of Color show that was going to take us to closing time. World of Color was this parks equivalent of the Disneyland fireworks except with a Vegas water light show put into the mix.

Mom and Preston on Mater's Junkyard Ride
Preston's tolerance for pictures and rides had hit its limit. Tara and Kai went on one more ride while Preston and I window shopped and played some carnival games along the Paradise Pier.  We even got some ice cream as the sun set and the sweatshirts came out.  We walked around Cars Land and finally made our way to finding a seat for the World of Color.

Kai and Tara on the Golden Zephyrs
At first Preston was skeptical about the show, he wanted to go back to the hotel.  Once the show started he was hooked.  He was staring the entire time wanting the people in front of him to move. Famous Disney movie clips, Disney music blasting, high rise water spectacle, colored lights and even pyrotechnics made the show unforgettable!  I would highly recommend catching it, the fast passes to get the best seats helped as well.  The show ended close to 11pm and Preston was still wide eyed and waiting to see more! Another Disney child is born.

By the end of Wednesday's California Adventure day Preston said he wanted to go home. I missed Daddy and my baby, he missed Daddy and Logan.  Four days was just enough time to have fun and enjoy the parks but not too many days that it got overly exhausting and too difficult.  The drive home was a little tough on Preston but he made it!  I think he was proud of how well he did too.  A successful Disney trip!  Happy kid, Happy Mommy and endless memories to carry with us forever.