24 April 2013

21 Months!

Happy 21 months baby girl, time sure is flying!
People keep asking how old Sloan is and I can’t get my head around the fact that she is almost 2!

How cute is this pic?
This has been a busy month! We celebrated Easter, went to the beach, lots of bike rides, swimming, trips to the park and a first trip to the dentist.
Photo: First dentist appointment!
Sloan did AWESOME at the dentist. He said she was the best THREE year old he has ever seen. I laughed and reminded him she was under 2. Our dental office has televisions on the ceiling and wall so she can watch TV and be distracted. Since we still watch little amounts of TV it was a treat to her. They were able to brush her teeth and look inside her mouth without a fight.

Everyone seems to love being around Sloan. She can't go anywhere without a compliment on her eyes. I do hope she sees value in her smarts too.  Sloan is also turning into a bit of a fashionista refusing to wear certain clothes. It’s pretty cute but can be frustrating. “Mama, I no like this”. She definitely has her own opinion about what to wear some days. 

Sloan is officially potty trained, Her last THREE  MANY BM’s have been IN the toilet including one  several now at school!  We are so proud of her! I think it is official, and for the books we can round up to 21 months!

She also has quite the vocabulary.  I kept hearing her say “peacock” but just couldn't figure out what she was saying.  I finally realized that she was saying “BIG TRUCK”… OOH!  She speaks many complete sentences and often forms them on her own.

We like to watch the trash truck and recycle truck come by  the curb on Wednesday mornings.
We LOVE to play outside with bubbles, running down the hills in our yard, going on bike rides, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk (and sometimes on my car!) and sand boxes.

Sloan loves the playground, and will say playground when she sees one, but it's more of a request... She will ask what a noise is, and often answer herself, “Noise?” “Wawa” such as when the ice maker refills in the fridge.  She will ask “Where did daddy go?” or sometimes “Where ARE you?” to me if I leave her sight. She has a very engineering type mind, where she is trying to figure out how things work, often turning her toys upside down and looking inside. She does not like toys that move on their own. Her grandparents gave her a singing duck and she HATES it because it moves back and forth. Too scary for her! Stuffed toys are not to come alive! I also had to turn off "Chuck the Truck" because he moves on his own.

Sloan LOVES birds, and will ask to see “more birds” when they fly away. We have a bird feeder just outside of our kitchen window for bird watching while we eat. Our favorite is the mama cardinal, which Sloan can say. We have several in our yard, and it is obvious why this is the “State Bird”.  She LOVED being at the beach and seeing the masses of seagulls!

So far, we haven’t had too many tantrums to deal with. When one begins, I will get down on Sloan’s level, look her in the eye and let her know that we don’t throw fits. Because her communication is so great, the tantrums are typically b/c she isn't getting her way, like today, she wanted to push the buttons on the elevator, but we were in the middle of lunch. I told her AFTER lunch, which upset her, she started to throw a fit, I got down on her level and let her know in a gentle way, that it was not OK, and she stopped.  I let her ride the elevator up and down TWICE (after lunch). She started to throw another tantrum after we had to get off the elevator (who doesn't want to ride up and down all day) and I scooped her up and asked her to stop. She did.  Typically Sloan is easy to calm unless she is overly tired or hungry.

Some days are exhausting, Sloan is really showing her independence and strong will, but she is a very happy child. She likes to walk around singing and being silly.

Boy did we hit the jackpot with this one because I can’t possibly believe this is due to great parenting. Sure I would like to consider that we are in fact, good parents, but our child seems to be a bit spectacular. Sometimes I feel like we are just simply along for the ride.

Sloan is a wonderful child with a generous spirit and a grateful heart. She thanks us often, for trips to the park, treats (even raisins). She says please. She gives hugs and kisses often. She even makes Rick and i kiss because it makes her so happy to see. She loves giving BIG HUGS and kisses. Especially to ellie! 

FAVORITES:
TV: Blue’s Clues, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
FOOD: Goat Cheese. Berries. Noodles. Avocado.Chocolate ( we give her mini  chocolate chips some times), broccoli, cooked kale, Almonds.
MUSIC: Bob Marley,  the Beatles, The Lorax soundtrack, Veggietales Sunday School Songs
COLOR: Purple. Everything is purple, even when it is not.
GAMES: "you're not a baby" where Sloan gets on the floor and crawls and Rick chases after her and tickles her for acting like a baby. (or something like that),  Ring around the Rosie (with her dolls or parents),  Chase me!, Push me in my Car!
SPEAKING: What doesn't she say! Sloan even says "I love you" without hearing it first! She is such a sweet girl!
TOYS: Sloan plays well independently. She likes to make her dolls from the dollhouse walk around. She puts her stuffed animals to bed and feeds them. She plays with my old Care Bears and makes them do ring around the rosie. i have also seen her make them hug and kiss, as well has have the mommy doll kiss the bears. Can you tell our home is full of love?



Sloan loves to pray before meals and even tries to pray along with us. We end every pray with "God is Great, God is Good, Amen"  Sometimes she even ends her books with "Amen".

LEARNING:
SHAPES: Star, Circle, Heart, Oval. sometimes square.  She is pretty good with her Shapes Puzzle and her Tupperware shape sorter.
NUMBERS:  She can count to THREE and know that one finger on each hand is the same as when I do two on one hand (which to me shows cognition of TWO rather than just mimicking a hand signal) She was holding three objects the other day and running around saying, ONE TWO THREE.
COLORS: As i said above, everything is purple. She has picked a color and her color is purple. If i ask her to hand me the Green stick, she might, but if i ask "what color is that stick" she most likely will say purple.
ALPHABET:  Sloan can say ABC,  Zeeee. When she sees letters written down she will say, ABC (like hey, these are letters) so she does recognize the existence of letters, but that's about it. She might know what an A is.
ANIMALS and SOUNDS: Elephant, Dog, Cat, Bird, Duck, Pig, Horse, Bear, Fish, Lion, Giraffe, Penguin, Sheep, Chicken, and Cow.
SONGS: Parts of "Jesus Loves Me", she sings chorus to "Hey Jude", "Three Little Birds", "Row Row Row your Boat", "twinkle Twinkle", "Baby Bumblebee",  "ring around the Rosie"
DRESSING: Sloan can get her arm into her coat sleeve, She can take all of her clothes off, especially her shoes and socks.
EATING: Sloan eats with a fork, a spoon, and her hands. She prefers to eat the food off of MY PLATE with MY fork...
CHORES: Sloan can pick up her toys and put them away (with some direction), she helps empty the dishwasher, she can set the table with napkins and paper plates, Put away her shoes,  hang up her coat, put books back on the shelf. Her job before and after bike rides is to get the helmets and put them back on the shelf. She can also mop up the floor with a rag when she spills something.
BATHING: Sloan can help wash her body and her hair. She loves to wash her hands and brush her teeth "I do it myself".

Then:

Now:


Despite her serious looks, Sloan is playful and silly. We love her so very much!

17 April 2013

Potty Trained (mostly) !

I wrote this last week and never posted it, so i edited it the best i could to reflect where we are in our potty training. We are presently not using diapers except for bedtime, and do not have to follow sloan around wondering if she has to go potty. She tells us when she has to go, and in adequate time!


Honestly, I think Sloan deserves a gold medal. After a successful Easter Sunday, we sent Sloan to school with panties. She wasn't ready (unfamiliar potty) and ended up in a diaper by lunchtime. I wasn't ready to give up just yet. I skimmed a 40 page document called, Three day potty training, or something to that effect. I didn't WANT to stay bound to the house for three whole days, plus Sloan was getting the hang of it, so here is what i did.

I took some pointers from the book (some of which i was already doing). Rather than asking sloan "Do you need to go potty" I gave her more control "Let me know if you need to go potty ok?", "Sloan don't forget to tell me if you have to go potty"  I had to become a broken record.   I got rid of the absorb-able training pants (keeps the kid feeling too dry, she needed to feel the pee run down her leg a few times and that it was YUCK!)  I offered rewards ( i have a drawer full of stickers, small happy-meal-esque toys, bubbles, etc) and we gave her TONS of praise. Rick did the PEE-PEE dance. We did NOT throw away all of our diapers as the book suggested or let her sleep in underwear. We did not spend three days at home - we lived life and showed up prepared for anything. I have mickey mouse underwear in my purse AND a change of pants, just in case.

Potty training went in effect as soon as we got home from school until bed time, and then as soon as she woke up until I sent her to school. Tuesday and Wednesday following Easter Sunday went extremely well for us. She had a few accidents on Tuesday while saying POTTY POTTY but was able to finish in the toilet. By Wednesday, she was running INTO the bathroom while saying POTTY POTTY. She knew where to go when she had to go. The only accident on that day was due to my not being able to meet her in the bathroom in time as she stood on the stool waiting for me to come help her. Since she is so small, one caveat of early potty training is that she has trouble pulling her pants down and getting herself on the potty. The smaller potty is up in our bathroom.

Potty training doesn't officially start at her school until the next class, which she will enter AFTER the age of TWO!  That is FOUR THREE MORE MONTHS and I knew I didn't want to wait that long and miss this beautiful window! I am so grateful her current teachers are so willing to support our efforts.

As I have already stated, the downside to potty training so early, is that she can't quite get her pants off and herself seated on the potty cover, even with the stool.  Thursday EARLY morning (like 3am), sloan woke up calling out for me, and we sat her on the potty, she went, then back to bed. She stayed dry all night. I sent her to school in underwear on Thursday and she stayed dry ALL DAY! i stuck around long enough to show her the potty, repeat some lingo "Don't forget to tell Miss Bridget/Sheila if you have to go potty" and I even showed her that I wasn't afraid to go (sitting on top pretending to go). Result: She was dry all day Thursday. Friday the 5th was another story, BUT she was able to finish on the potty, just didn't quite start out there.

When I picked Sloan up from school on Friday (Rick had to do some important stuff so their typical day was cancelled) i was told she had a "so-so" day in PT, but she had partial success and they kept her out of a diaper.  We went to meet Rick at a new Mexican restaurant, and I was very nervous about taking her in public in underwear. As soon as we arrived, I took her to the potty (thank goodness for a brand new, CLEAN restaurant!) And she went!

Saturday we went for a LONG family bike ride with a picnic and a trip to the playground. Rick carried the baby, a heavy backpack, and the dog. I kept up. What amazing endurance this man has! I realized how out of shape i was!


Sloan's favorite slide:




Still no accidents. We grew more and more confident at this point. Sloan was telling us when she had to go, and even sometimes she would give us false alarms (Hey, better safe than sorry, though secretly I think she liked LOVED the hand  dryer at COSTCO...) You've seen this one right?  

For the past two Sundays we  have gone to church and still no accidents. We went swimming and she was able to go in the potty and not the pool, Something I think some adults still struggle with!

We are thrilled for Sloan's progress in staying dry all day both at school and home, and for the most part, at night. We fully expect there to be accidents from time to time, but she has amazed us with her ability to take a skill and run with it. We are so proud of her, though part of me is a bit sad. My baby girl has grown up just a little more this week.

Last week we took a day trip to the beach. Sloan held it the ENTIRE way to Wilmington! I was amazed. 150 miles of bladder control. Of course Sloan, who seldom rides in the car for longer than 10 minutes, realized that if she said she had to go potty, we would let her out and she would get to run around. I finally diapered her due to so many false alarms (we HAD to get to the beach) And we did! Dry! She stayed dry all the way home too! I am so impressed!


Potty training is exhausting! It really is a full commitment  We can no longer throw a diaper on Sloan and say, just go in the diaper. WE can't be lazy about it. When she has to go, even with a diaper on, she wants to go on the potty. I have to be able to drop what i am doing and meet her at the potty. Fortunately she has learned to hold it until I can get there. She has learned to go to the bathroom and wait, and she has learned (when we are not at home) to say, Potty! I would say she wets a diaper every 5 days at night. Not bad right? We have not had any wet underwear in over a week! We are still working on the timing of bowel movements. That has been tricky, but we feel like she is making progress in that direction and probably has a 50% success rate at home (0% at school). Practice makes perfect.

Trash day was today, and when Rick was emptying out the trashcans he asked where the bag from the diaper pail went... I was confused as to why he expected a bag, and then the light bulb went off for him. After 20 months and 3 weeks of emptying a diaper pail, it sure is nice to get some reprieve.

I guess the next step for Sloan will be getting a big girl room ready! Plans are already in the works!

A year ago:

Now



01 April 2013

Easter Weekend with my Tree Lover

Wow what a fabulous weekend we had ! Most of the time, Sloan goes to daycare 4 days of the week and stays home Friday through Sunday. Friday is daddy/daughter day. They do fun things like going to movies, running general errands (like taking care of the car and home repair needs), bike rides to the park, picnics, and stuff like that. They come to see me for lunch if they aren't going to the park for a picnic, but now that Sloan has a bike seat and the weather is playing nice, i expect to see less of them unless i make an appointment.

On Saturday morning, Sloan held out her hand and said, mama dirt, worm. and pointed to her open palm. I knew exactly what she meant. On Thursday, we played in the dirt, I was weeding and found a few grub worms. Sloan remembered and was requesting that we go outside and find a worm, so out we went! I did find an earthworm this time, and let her hold it, which was fine until it moved. Then she preferred that i put it back in the ground. Pretty brave considering her daddy would likely not touch one at all! Then we moved to climbing the crape myrtle. Sloan also hugged and kissed it on her own. My little Tree Hugger! I told you the child is hilarious 
 
Once she got up the tree she started talking about monkeys and making monkey noises. I was pretty brave to take this photo rather than making sure she didn't fall down!

Next my friend and former roommate Jen and baby Allison came over to play! Allison has 2 dogs but they are not as cuddly as Ellie, and Allie LOVED being in ellie's face, which of course, ellie did not mind at all!
Allison is 7.5 months old. (about 13 months younger than sloan) We let her to hold baby allison!

Next was Sunday and the Easter Bunny came.


Sloan received a shovel for digging with me, a monkey, bubbles, big girl panties, one dark chocolate bunny, an ABC book, and eggs filled with Popcorn, bracelets, coins, one dollar, and a few organic jelly beans.

At first Sloan was scared of Monkey, but once i showed her that she was nice and hugged and kissed her, she was sold. Monkey's name is Monkey which is appropriate since Minnie mouse is Mouse.



After church we took a few pictures

Sloan has a beauty mark on her upper lip on her left side, it popped up a few weeks ago. Can you see it? Nope it is not a smudge, I have checked a few times and it just doesn't come off. 

Rick didn't feel like being patient and posing, so this picture with him isn't great, but he sure does look handsome!
  

 

This is my favorite of these two.
Back to the tree again...
We also spent a small part of the day painting:  Sloan preferred her hands to the brush, I plan on stretching the canvas and hanging this somewhere in our home. Clean up was fun, Keeping her painted feet off of the deck was a task! I was smart enough to lay down an old vinyl table cloth for beneath the canvas and made her keep her feet on the cloth. We used a BIG bucket for cleaning her hands and feet. Of course she loved the warm water and getting naked and sitting inside the bucket. Silly girl!
In other news: Sloan has decided to potty train. We were going regularly, but then laid off for a bit, but we started letting her sit on the potty. Somehow her Bjorn potty ended up in the family room. I think it all started with a naked baby and me being nervous she would pee on the rug, so we made her sit while watching TV. And then she went, got a peepee dance from daddy and a quarter from mommy for her piggy bank. This lasted for about a week of letting her sit on her various potties in the evening before bath and bed, (the Bjorn is in our bathroom, hers has an Elmo potty seat, and the downstairs has a Mickey Mouse potty seat), so all the bathrooms are potty training friendly. She can also stop herself and tell us "OH NO" and wait for us to carry her to the potty to finish!

Saturday we were able to get her to do her business on the potty, and then Sunday she went all day, with only ONE wet diaper (which was my fault because we let her play outside with her friends across the street, and then rushed her to dinner and forgot to stop and sit her on the potty) No big deal though. Today I sent her to school with Training pants and panties, and we will see how it goes! No pressure though, our baby is already growing up way too fast!







She actually hugged and kissed the Easter Bunny this year! (last year's shot is in the middle!)