Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Picture Of The Day

This picture was taken some time in December. A Saturday I believe. I don't even think it was very cold that morning. I think Alyce saw the hat and just wanted to wear it. I hope you find her as adorable as I do.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Potty Training Continues

We have a big announcement in the world of potty training. Alyce has used the potty! And for real this time. Check this older post if you want some history about that.

Yesterday we were playing with Alyce and some of her new toys when Alyce said out of the blue she needed to go. We had bought a little booster ring for the toilet the day before so we decided that now was good as time as any to try and get Alyce on the toilet. We took down her overalls and diaper and plopped her onto the toilet. After 5 minutes of trying we had nothing to show for the effort. We praised her for going to the effort and moved on with the day thinking nothing more of it.

Later on when we got back from dinner we asked Alyce if she needed to use the potty. She nodded yes and we were off to give the potty another shot. We got her up where she needed to be and sure enough a few seconds later we were treated to the sounds of tinkling water. Mom and I could hardly believe it. I don't think Alyce could believe it either as she kept looking down trying to see what was going on.

Obviously this is only the first steps towards potty independence but what a great base to build upon. I guess next time we buy some diapers we will want to get the pull up kind. Putting on and taking off a conventional diaper on a standing kid is for the birds.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas: Part 2

Christmas craziness continues in our household. Christmas is one of the busiest days on our calendar and for good reason. In the morning we did our own family Christmas. Mom, Alyce, and I opened up our presents. Alyce received a battery powered toy train from me. This train is made to run on the wooden train set I gave to her for her birthday. I also gave her a wooden golden gate bridge for her train set. Mom gave Alyce a few books, some clothes, art supplies, and a toy mixer for her play kitchen. One other present of note was a marble race toy mom gave me. I will post about the marble toy in the future. I bring it up now because we have used it so much it deserves some buildup.

After presents at our house we packed up Alyce and traveled the few miles to Gram's and Grandpa's house for breakfast with them and GiGi (Great Grandma). After breakfast we open up presents with Mom's side of the family. From Grams and Grandpa Alyce got a new doll. This doll is a big girl doll with hair and clothes. We decided this one needed a name other than baby doll or dollie so I threw out the name Molly and it has stuck. At 1:00 we packed up the car and drove out to my hometown to have Christmas with my side of the family.

My Mom's house was a little crazy when we arrived. At around 8:30 in the morning the power was cut to a large portion of the town and surrounding communities. Luckily the it wasn't too cold and was sunny outside. The electric was eventually restored and our preparations for the extended family Christmas could continue. Before Alyce took her nap at my Mom's we opened up presents with my Mom, brother Tom, his wife Mary, and my nephew Jack. What began as a clean living room was in the course of thirty minutes turned into a disaster scene. There was paper and boxes on every square inch of carpet. Grandma spoiled Alyce and Jack with presents and clothes. The dancing DJ radio was Alyce's favorite toy. We decided to keep it at Mom's so that when Alyce comes over she has something new to play with and we know she will like it. In my opinion the cutest gift was given to Mom, Alyce, and our unborn baby boy. It was a matching set of aprons. There was a big apron for mom, a small apron for Alyce, and a bib for baby. It will make for a great mother children picture once all the children show up.

After a nap at Grandma's house it was time to get Alyce changed into her nice clothes and travel out to Uncle Eric's and Aunt Marilyn's for the big family Christmas. This is the first Christmas where we didn't have to watch Alyce's every move. We were confident that Alyce wouldn't misbehave and if she got into anything she shouldn't someone would stop her or at least get us before she didn't any lasting damage. It makes for a stress free evening when you have 10+ baby sitters with you. Alyce and cousin Jack spent most of the night entertaining themselves. They are at the age were they can play with each other and don't need an adult to direct their play. Sharing of toys was still an issue, but no bones were broken during the evening. The most entertaining game involved Alyce chasing Jack around the house and vice-versa. A video of this is forth coming.

As the evening came to a close our pj clad daughter was starting to falter. We packed her up in the family car and fifty minutes later we were back at home. We pulled our sleeping daughter out of the car seat, brought her up stairs, and laid her down bringing our Christmas to a close. It was a great day. Spending time with family is better than any present. Next year should be very interesting as the number of babies will be effectively doubled. We might need to rent a dining hall.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


So Christmas begins at our household. Tonight we had Mom's family and extended family over for Christmas. Before that our neighbors Jeff and Liz stopped by to give Alyce some Christmas gifts.

Jeff and Liz gave Alyce a cute butterfly pillow, some toy cars, and a picture frame. The butterfly pillow was very funny because when it was opened Alyce went to the bottom of the stairs and wanted to go up and put it on her bed. The picture frame had a picture of Alyce and a kid, Rachel, down the street. Alyce keeps pointing at the picture and saying me. I think she likes the fact that it is in her room on her nightstand. She kept looking at it while I was getting her ready for bed. Alyce and I both had fun with the cars. We started driving them all over the house. I had to teach Alyce how to go off-roading by driving our cars on the walls, doors, couch, chair, and everything else that makes for a cool race track. Thanks Jeff and Liz for some fun toys.

I think the later party with the family might have been a bit much for Alyce. Talking to mom she said that Alyce was kind of shy and not herself the whole night. I tend to agree. Alyce wasn't running around the the house dancing and singing like the usually does. Having 23 extra people in the house can cause some consternation. However, she was in her toy area playing with cousins Anna and Tess. So obviously she got past some of her initial shyness. Alyce liked all of her gifts and we are very grateful to those that gave them. The gift that Mom and I thought was especially cool was an embroidered lunch bag. The bag has a butterfly design with her name embroidered on the flap. Alyce won't be using it for its intended purpose for a while, but I am positive it will become a purse or other carry all bag. Maybe Mom can now get her purses back.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yes and No

We have had other big milestones over the past few days. Well maybe in the past few weeks. Alyce is starting to say yes. Well not say yes as much as nod her approval. For the longest time (seems like forever) Alyce has had "no" down pat. She can shake her head no, and can say no in O so many ways. Refer here if you would like to read about that.

Now that Alyce is nodding her approval we can cut down on all the questions we have to ask her like do you want juice? "No". Do you want water? "No". Do you want milk? *silence* must mean yes. So now we have the opposite. Do you want juice? *nods yes*. We still might have to ask all the questions, but at least we know for sure what she wants. Most of the time when she nods approval she actually means it.

We are hoping that in the future we will be able to ask Alyce what she wants and gives a specific response. It will happen, just not sure when. In the mean time we will just have to stick with 20 questions.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Big Girl Bed

Tonight we tried to get Alyce into her toddler bed. I wouldn't call it a disaster as much as a learning experience. Mom put Alyce to bed and setup the baby gate over the entrance to her room. Mom came down while I was down here writing this post. About two minutes later we heard the creak of little baby feet on the floor. About then we hear from upstairs a cry for mommy and daddy. Apparently she wasn't as excited about her new bed as we thought she was. It seemed that she was scared of her new found freedom. I can't say I blame her. For the last two years of her life she has seen her sleep routine from behind cute little white bars.

So Mom and I figure we will try again in the future and maybe try a nap instead of bedtime. Eventually we are going to have to tough love Alyce into sleeping in her bed. I figure three nights before Christmas isn't a good time to unnecessarily mess with her routine.

In a few weeks or months I will look back at this post and wonder how I didn't think of x,y, and z. But that is the fun of documenting Alyce's development as well as my own.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Pictures


As promised here are Alyce's Christmas pictures. In my opinion they turned out very good. Alyce did all she could to stop that from happening. Alyce wouldn't hold still for any pictures. All of the ones you see were captures of Alyce on the move. Kudos go out to the photographer. She was very nice and patient with us and Alyce.

This is my favorite picture. I can't stop looking at Alyce's eyes. It is like you can almost see what she is thinking about. The tree background really brings out her hair as well. I can't get over how much she has changed even since her 2 year old pictures which were two months ago. Gone is my cute baby and here is my cute little girl.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mall: Update


While we were at the mall Alyce climbed up the slide! To my knowledge this is the first time she has done this. I know it isn't a big deal, but Alyce sure thought it was. The first time she got up there and stood up she looked so proud of herself. I was proud of her too.

Christmas At The Mall

Tonight the family went to the mall to get christmas pictures of Alyce. Once we get them scanned in we will share them. In the mean time enjoy Alyce playing on the indoor playground. She was riding the slide non stop for twenty minutes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big Girl Bed

Alyce is approaching another milestone. This is one that is forced upon her as much as she is ready for it. Alyce is going to be moving to a big girl bed pretty. A few weeks ago we inherited a toddler bed from Alyce's god parents Trend and Lisa. A few nights ago we picked up a mattress and sheets for it. We have everything we need to make the transition.

We are making the transition to a toddler bed to make room for our baby boy coming in April. We are doing it now so that Alyce will lose any emotional connection to her crib and room and hopefully not feel any animosity to her new baby brother taking her stuff.

The real question is when and how to do it. We are planning on making the switch during the Christmas break. I will be out of the office for five days and hopefully that will be enough time to see if a new routine will work. We are expecting a few bumps in the road. I haven't done any research on the subject yet, but Mom and I were thinking of having her take her naps in the toddler bed and sleeping all night in her crib. We may have to invert the order as Alyce typically falls right asleep at night and stays awake for longer during the day. We are going to have the toddler bed in her room at first and eventually move Alyce out of the nursery and into the guest bed room. The room move will probably happen sometime in early March or late February.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little Angel

Last night the family went out to dinner with our neighbors Jeff and Liz. We went to the St. Louis Bread Company for some soup to escape the winter cold. While we were eating Alyce was a little angel.

About a third of the time when we go out to eat Alyce is an angel, another third she is pretty good but has her moments, and the last she can be a devil incarnate. Last night was one of those good times. Alyce was very well behaved during dinner. She ate most of her grilled cheese sandwich. She is now big enough and has enough dexterity that she can spoon feed herself the yogurt that comes with the kids sandwiches. Because she was so good I gave her some of my cinnamon crunch bagel. Alyce didn't make much noise or incessantly ask to get down out of her high chair.

Thanks big girl for giving us an easy night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Extra Good Lately

Alyce has been extra good lately. A few weeks ago I wrote about the onset of the terrible twos. Surprisingly enough the bad behavior has moved on. I'm not saying it is gone for good, but thought it noteworthy to write about how good she has been lately.

Some of the worst problems we had with Alyce in the recent past is getting her ready for bed. It wasn't that she didn't go to sleep or that we had to fight to get her into her crib. We just had a tough time getting her into her pj's. One thing has helped us the most in fixing this situation, Vitamins. Now that Alyce is two we can start giving her kids vitamins. The vitamins we give her are of the gummy variety; Disney Princess ones if you want to know. Alyce gets two of these before bedtime. When it is time for Alyce to go to bed we just tell her it is time for her vitamins and she runs across the room, sits on the couch, and chews away while we change her clothes. No muss no fuss. Mom's happy, Alyce is happy, and I am happy.

Another area that has developed as of late is her vocabulary and willingness to use it. She can now name most of the animals on her puzzles and in books. She sometimes call the animals by their sounds (meow for cat) rather than by their name. But she is also using simple words like up, down, hold it, and see to dictate what she would like. It is nice because it is taking out some of the frustration on her side.

The last thing that is making parenting so much easier is that Alyce is telling us she loves us. Technically she says La You but we know what she is talking about. At night when Mom or I are sitting in the rocking chair with her bedtime water we tell her that Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Grams, and Grandpa love her. After each person's name Alyce stops drinking and says La You. It just melts my heart thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bubble Wrap

Today Alyce had her first experience with a child's favorite toy, bubble wrap. Yesterday I got a package in the mail and the contents were wrapped in bubble wrap. I thought it would be interesting to see what Alyce did with it. To be honest it wasn't her first experience. Mom has a game on her iPhone that makes the screen look and behave like bubble wrap.

Mom gave the packing material to Alyce this morning and as expected she had a ball. At first she tried to pop the real bubble wrap like the virtual wrap on the phone with little success. Once Mom showed Alyce how to do it she was on a roll. Alyce did manage to save some of the bubbles for when I got home. The first thing she says to me when I come in the door is "bubble" while pointing to the makeshift toy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Making Cookies

Today Alyce helped Mom and Grams make Christmas Cookies. Mom sent me a picture of Alyce helping out and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Thanksgiving was very busy this year. The family had two meals to attend. The night before we traveled out to Grandma's house to help get the house ready. We didn't do much at night, but us being there in the morning made sure that we hit the ground running on Thanksgiving. Seeing my side of the family was great. My brother and his family were there along with all of my cousins who had kids right around the same time Alyce was born. It was very neat this year because all of the babies are now toddlers and they are beginning to interact with each other. You can definitely see the impact of the next generation. There was an entire table crammed with parents trying to get their children to eat something. The afternoon at Grandma's culminated with all of the kids and parents going down the hill to play on some playground equipment at the school.

After dinner and the playground at Grandma's we had to load Alyce in the car and get ourselves to Gram's and Grandpa's house. By this point it was past Alyce's nap time and we were hoping that she would fall asleep in the car. Our prayers were only partially answered because she fell asleep the last 10 minutes of the drive. Luckily dinner was running late and I could stay out in the car with Alyce and we both took a little cat nap.

Once both dinners were over we went back home, got Alyce into bed, and took a little break for ourselves. Alyce did great. We couldn't have asked her to be any more well behaved. Throw on little to no nap and it made her positive attitude even more impressive.

Dad's Night Out

A few weeks ago even before our trip that yielded the Sharing story Alyce and I attended another event at the Early Childhood Center "Dad's Night Out". It was an event held for the Dad's to bring in their kids for some father kid quality time. The event is fairly low stress with no scheduled activities. It is a lot dads playing with different things alongside of their children. The main items for Alyce anyway were the Little Tykes toy cars, heavily padded climbing blocks, and a plastic toy house. These are all things that Alyce has played with in the past but they still hold her attention. The blocks were especially a hit as Alyce has been practicing her jumping skills and a place where everything is padded is a great location to do it.

Here are some pictures of the event.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Mommy and I witnessed something tonight that left us speechless. Alyce, our daughter shared! And it wasn't a little share; this was a big share.

Tonight Mom and I went to Locomotion Commotion. It was a one time class at the early childhood development center of our school district. Locomotion Commotion consists of a bunch of kids all playing in a gym with a myriad of different toys. Alyce is a big fan of the gym. Every time Alyce attends they put out a different set of toys with a few larger pieces of equipment sticking around. One of Alyce's favorite things to do is to go down the slide.

Another one of Alyce's favorite things at the center are the push cars. Push cars are the same childhood toys that mom and I had. Whenever Alyce sees one of these toy cars she HAS to have it. Tonight was no different when we showed up. Alyce made a bee line to the car and claimed it as her own. After a while we pulled Alyce away from the car and onto other things like the slides or stacking blocks. Later in the evening Alyce again took possession of the car. However she took possession in front of another pint sized playmate.

This is where things get interesting. Alyce noticed this other boy crying about the car. Alyce got out of the car, held the door open, and gestured towards the boy. She was willing to share the item she held most dear. Mom and I were dumbfounded. It was great to see a milestone right in front of us. Our little girl is growing up right before our eyes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

At a Party: Updated

Weekend after last the family including Grams and Grandpa went to the birthday party for Mom's cousin Tony. There wasn't much for a kid to do there but Alyce managed to find a way to pass the time by dancing to the live music. Not content to dance in the corner or the back of the room Alyce worked her way to to the dance floor and danced the night away. Update: The video seemed to be giving some problems. So I am hosting it on a place other than youtube. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Alyce was kind of shy at first and didn't immediately go up front. She hung out around us for a while playing underneath a nearby table before moving on. She started hanging out by Mom and myself and would walk forward about 5 spaces and then come back. She did this about 10 times and after every cycle she would get farther and farther away. Eventually she was walking around the place like she owned it. Naturally everyone in the hall thought Alyce was the cutest thing (we agree) and came up to us to tell us about it.

The other item of note was that Alyce got to eat peanuts! Now that she is two we don't have to worry about peanut allergies. There was a bowl of trail mix that Alyce was snacking on all night. We weren't really worried about her having allergies to peanuts, but better to play it on the safe side and avoid them since she really didn't know what she was missing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Emotion Explosion

I can see why some people say the twos are so terrible. You have this person who has the physical capacity to do just about anything, but lacks the mental capacity to grasp complex concepts or verbalize their wants and needs.

A good example of this today is Alyce and a kitchen table chair. She pushed a chair into the corner of the kitchen and stood on it to play with some bowls. I didn't have a problem with her doing this because she is sure on her feet and I could use her diversion to get some kitchen cleaning done. Later on when I was finishing up with the kitchen and Alyce had moved onto make a mess someplace else in the house I moved the now vacant chair back under the table. You would have thought that I closed Alyce's hand in the door with the fit of screaming she let out. Why would something as simple as moving a chair cause so much distress? I can only assume it is because she processes things differently than us or can't vocalize that she wasn't done with the chair yet. Luckily she didn't dwell on it as we started playing with her wooden train set she received for her birthday.

I look forward to Alyce making that mental breakthrough. It will be refreshing to hear her opinion on subjects. Like does she prefer chocolate or vanilla? Or whether blue or red is really the best color (it is red by the way). I'm sure with that increased understanding there will be other obstacles. I've heard the threes are more terrible then the twos.

Dancing Queen

This weekend it is only Alyce and I. Mom joined all of the ladies (cousins, aunts, and grand parents) of the family for a Christmas shopping trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. This is the first time ever that I have been alone with Alyce overnight.

Mom and Grams left yesterday after having lunch with Alyce and I at McDonalds. We stayed at Macs for a while longer as I wanted Alyce to have some active time on the playground as it was nasty outside. The majority of our first day together was uneventful. However, something extremely cute happened Friday night.

Last night Alyce and I spontaneously started dancing. Well Alyce really. She just pulled me into the fun. I'm not sure how it started, but Alyce grabbed my hand, pulled me off the couch, and into the kitchen. Alyce then pressed a button on her toy barn she got from Grandma and Grandpa for her first birthday. This toy plays one of three country songs whenever the banjo button is pressed. Once the music started Alyce started jumping, dancing, running, and stomping around the kitchen. When the music stopped she would run over and start it up again. Of course Alyce would not let me sit idly by. She came over grabbed my hand and we both started dancing around the kitchen. We would dance in circles, or I would spin her like a ballerina, or we'd play a bit of ring around the rosie to the music.

After twenty minutes of hearing the same three songs over and over again I needed to stop. Alyce was more than content to dance away the night. Luckily I was able to divert her attention without too many tears. My only regret was that I didn't get this on video. I'm sure the sight of a dad and his daughter cavorting around a kitchen would have been a great video to come back to when Alyce brings home her first boyfriend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Guess She Is Paying Attention

I have a great story that highlights the need for parents to think about what they are doing in front of their children. Last night Mom and I were watching some TV and Alyce was sitting in my lap doing a puzzle (I love that by the way). I started to lose focus on the TV and Mom wanted the remote control so she could jump through the commercials. Normally I would just toss Mom the remote but instead I asked Alyce to take the remote to Mommy. Alyce takes the remote from me, walks halfway to Mom, and then tosses the remote in her generation direction! Mom and I were too stunned and laughing to hard to reprimand her that we don't throw things in the house. On top of that we couldn't reprimand her without being hypocritical. I guess we need to examine what we ask of Alyce without asking the same of ourselves.

So all the parents out there take note. Your kids are paying attention and will imitate you even if it is hours, days, or weeks later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alyce Likes Heels

Alyce is such a girly girl. She has taken to wearing Mom's shoes around the house including her heels. It started off by Alyce digging through Mom's closet and pulling out a box of shoes. After a few tries Alyce finally got her feet into the straps and off she went.

Later on it was time for dinner and we brought Alyce and the shoes down with us. Big mistake. What is even more fun the wearing heels to a kid? Wearing heels on a loud floor. The shoes on our kitchen tile made an awful racket which Alyce thought was just great.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Taco Pictures


I found some pictures of Alyce eating those famous tacos.

Alyce Is A Jumper

Mark off another physical milestone for Alyce. She is now a jumper! For the longest time we have been trying to get Alyce to jump. She has seen us do and she has tried to emulate us but with poor results. This week however she must have put all of the pieces together. After dinner with neighbors Jeff and Liz earlier this week Alyce started jumping on the way back to the car. She even said jump when she did it.

Later this week Mom calls me to tell me that Alyce was jumping again but this time instead of saying jump she was saying TADA!

So now that Alyce has mastered jumping I'm not sure what is left. She can crawl, walk, run, climb slide, and now jump. She still needs to learn how to swing and pedal a bike so she hasn't mastered everything.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eating a Taco

This past weekend the family went out to Taco Bell for lunch. We got Alyce a taco. This wasn't her first one. In the past we had to take the tacos apart and Alyce would eat the parts. This time Alyce picked up the taco in its entirety and started eating it without any assistance. This might not be a milestone like walking or talking, but Mom and I see it as another step towards independence.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hair Cut

You probably couldn't tell from Alyce's birthday pictures, but a few days before her birthday she got a haircut. We went to a kid friendly place this time and our experience was much better. The stylist put in a video of Finding Nemo and that kept Alyce's attention long enough to cut her bangs straight.

The picture is a bit blurry but shows how Alyce's hair was styled for us. I am a big fan of the up hair as it reminds me of Alyce when she was a little girl with short hair.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dancing With The Stars

Our little girl likes to perform. Not just for Mom and I, but for anyone willing to watch.

One way Alyce likes to perform is to use a microphone from our Rock Band video game and sing with any performer on the t.v. It could be an artist on the Today Show, someone from American Idol, or even Hanna Montana. How does Alyce sing you ask? Well she can't say the words and she can't really carry a tune. What she can do is hold the microphone up to her mouth, say "wooo!" a lot, and shake her cute little behind. We have a video of her doing this somewhere. I just need to go find it.

The second way Alyce likes to perform has just recently appeared. Alyce likes to dance. Surprisingly she is very good at it too. The only show that I know her to dance to is Dancing With The Stars. If Alyce is in the right mood and the music is good she will join the dancers for the entire length of the song. What is most cute about her dancing is how well she can mimic what is on the t.v. Look below for a demonstration of the cuteness that is Alyce dancing with the stars!

Alyce doing a swing dance:

Alyce dancing to Funky Town:

Alyce dancing to Don't Be Cruel:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Girl Is Getting Big

Today Alyce had her two year checkup with the doctor. I am happy to say that Alyce is doing fine.
  • Weight: 25 lbs. 10.2 oz.
  • Height: 35 3/4"
The weight puts Alyce in the 50th percentile which is where she was at her last checkup. The height puts Alyce in the 90th percentile which is where she was at her last checkup as well.

Alyce had two shots today. She had a flu shot and a hepatitis shot. These should be the last ones until she goes into kindergarten. While I wasn't at the appointment (Mom took her) I was told that Alyce didn't cry when she got the shots, but was unhappy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Alyce is 2!

Two years ago on this very day Alyce joined the world. Mom went into labor around 2:00 a.m. and Alyce was born just before noon on October 27 2006. Our lives from that point on have never been the same.

To celebrate this occasion we threw a party for our little girl. We invited all types of friends and family. Grandma, Grams & Grandpa, Gi Gi, Jeff & Liz, Trent Lisa & Shelby, Josh Tammy & Gideon, Aunt Jean, Aunt Sue, and Mommy's brother Scott were all in attendance. The party had already started when Alyce woke up from her nap and she was greeted by a room full of people. She handled the commotion well by snuggling next to Gi Gi until the cobwebs went away. Next Lisa got to hold Alyce on her hip while Shelby did some entertaining.

For dinner we had hot dogs and Grandma's Award Winning Chili. They must have been a big hit as there were only two hot dogs and half a bowl of chili left at the end of the night.

After dinner we opened presents and there were a lot of presents to be opened. Alyce received everything from wooden trains, clothes, push toys, crayons, kitchen supplies, and a new baby doll. The biggest present for Alyce was an appearance by her friend Gideon or Gid Gid as Alyce calls him. Alyce opened up a few presents but became frustrated when she couldn't get into any of the hermetically sealed packages.

The last major event of the night was the birthday cake. Looking at the video below it is obvious Alyce didn't really know what was going on other than the fact she new it was about her. Next year she won't need us to blow out her candle like we did this year. She was a big fan of the cake and ice cream. She ate almost all of it by herself; sharp contrast to last year where she didn't even take a bite.

Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Enjoy some of the pictures from the party.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dinner at Steak n Shake

Last night the family went out to my hometown to take care of insurance stuff. More importantly got to see and have dinner with Grandma. We went had Steak n Shake for dinner. It was kind of late by the time we got there and we were worried that Alyce might be a handful. Our worries were unneeded as Alyce was about as perfect as could be expected. She sat or kneeled in the booth most of the time and didn't fuss when we eventually put her in her highchair.

One thing that kept her entertained was a Steak n Shake hat. She modeled it for us in a multitude of different angles. Here are a few pictures of our Steak n Shake model.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nigh Nigh Bloon

Last night the family went out to dinner with our neighbors Jeff and Liz. We went to a local eatery that gives balloons to the kids. Alyce like all other kids on the planet wanted a balloon or "bloon" in her case.

From the moment she had the balloon she was in love. The balloon was tied to her chair during dinner and kept her entertained while we ate. Alyce brought the balloon home from the restaurant and played with it the rest of the night by bouncing it around, pulling its string, and having one of us pull it back down off the ceiling.

When it was time for her to go to bed she gave everyone a goodnight hug and kiss. She also gave her balloon a hug as well. To top off the cuteness that is a child with a balloon; Alyce was going up the stairs to bed she waved bye and said "Nigh Nigh Bloon" to her red balloon floating on the ceiling.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Big Helper

One nice part about Alyce growing up is that she is more able to do things to help out around the house. Note, able to do things is not equal to willing to do things. Last night the family made a run to Target after dinner to pick up a few things. While the trip was not very interesting what happened when we got home was.

Alyce is old enough now that we don't have to carry her into the house anymore. We pull her out of her car seat and she walks into the house provided we hold the door for her. Last night we added to this by asking Alyce to help carry in some groceries. We handed her a shopping bag that had a box of Fruit Loops inside. The bag wasn't very heavy but it was very big. Alyce holding the bag by its handles had to hold it above her head so that the bag / box wouldn't drag. On top of that she had to walk with her legs out to the side so they wouldn't bump into the bag. Alyce did a very good job of bring the bag up the steps and into the house. We gave her lots of praise calling her Mom and Dad's big helper. I think she was very proud of herself as well.

A Morning Surprise

After my spinning class this morning I was changing into my work clothes. I look down into my bag and see a nice little surprise. The remote to the radio in our kitchen. Wasn't that nice of Alyce to give me a little surprise to brighten up my day?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where's Alyce? Continued

To continue the Where's Alyce storyline we have Alyce in another hiding spot. This is new one and we thought it was too incredibly cute to pass on a picture.

How could a person not call that the cutest picture ever?

It's a Boy!

Alyce is going to be the big sister of a baby brother. Yesterday we had an ultrasound to check on some complications that Mom has been having with her pregnancy. You can read about that here on Twinkle's site.

Everything was fine with the ultrasound but while we were there the tech was able to determine the sex of the baby. She warned it was very early to be 100% sure and not to buy anything that we couldn't return.

Alyce didn't have an opinion about having a little brother. She hasn't really grasped the whole new baby concept. At some point she will probably notice mom's belly or that something inside of it is moving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday the whole family went to the pumpkin patch. This is Alyce's first experience with getting a pumpkin and I think she had a lot of fun. Mom, Alyce, and I were there and Grams, Grandpa, and Grandma also came along. The weather cooperated with us in that it wasn't raining however, it was unseasonably warm and we were a bit over dressed for the temperature.

The pumpkin farm was definitely geared towards kids. They had hay rides, kiddie train rides, and you could ride on a pony. There was a few different playgrounds with slides and swings and a long concrete tunnel. And tons of space for a little girl to explore the great big world.

Alyce had a very independent moment with the concrete tunnel. There wasn't any traffic control as to which side of the tunnel was the entrance and the exit so kids were going through both ways. The tunnel really only had room for single child going one way and would allow bidirectional traffic if the kids really squeezed. On Alyce's second trip through the tunnel she ended up in the middle of a kid traffic jam with probably 5 kids on either side of her in the tunnel. Alyce couldn't go any further but she couldn't back either. Normally I would pull her out of a stressful situation like that. This time however I couldn't get to her; she was on her own. She kept her cool moved around the kids the best she could and emerged on the other side none the worse for wear. I was very proud of my big girl.

Alyce also had her first ever pony ride. In her case she probably considered it a Moo ride as she calls both cows and horses the same thing. When Alyce first saw the ponies she was enamored. She walked right up to the fence and watched intently as the kids rode by. She started walking around the fence to find the entrance so she too could ride the ponies er Moos. Mom and I decided that she could probably handle riding an animal and me being able to hold onto her while walking next to the ponies sealed the deal. The ride was kind of expensive and short, but to see the look on her face as she got onto her black Moo made it all worth it.

After all of the events focusing on Alyce's pumpkin patch experience we finally got down to finding a pumpkin. Well Mom, Grams, and Grandma got down to finding a pumpkin. I was chasing Alyce all over creation making sure she didn't get run over by a tractor.

By noon we had seen it all and were ready to go. The temperature was taking its toll on everyone especially pregnant mommy. I think everyone had a great time. I know Alyce did and I know that I did. Next up I get to introduce Alyce to pumpkin carving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where's Alyce?

One game that we love to play with Alyce is "Where's Alyce?". The game starts off with us pretending that we can't see her and we say "Where's Alyce?". She then picks up on the game and covers her eyes but peeks through spread open fingers. Alyce then takes her hands away from her eyes, we look at her, and say "There she is!". At that point she then covers her eyes again and we pretend look for her again. We look under the table, behind doors, and all over. Alyce is giggling and laughing the entire time.

We have been playing this game a long time and she never seems to get bored of it; neither do mom and I. It is also a good way to get her out of a bad mood as this is always guaranteed to make her laugh.

To continue this story Alyce did something rather cute last night. She has done it before, but now seems like a good time to write about it. Alyce climbed into a kitchen cabinet and closed the door. It was the cabinet where we keep our mixing bowls (her favorite cabinet). The cabinet has lots of room. While Mom and I were making dinner Alyce pushed some things out of the way, climbed in, and closed the door. At first we were wondering if she was ok in there and after a few checks on her she seemed to be ok and enjoying herself. She liked the spot so much she even went back after dinner.

Who can fathom why kids do the things they do?

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Little Cuteness To Brighten Your Day


Here is a cute picture of Alyce all snug under a blanket this morning. She has a giraffe, dog, and baby doll to keep her company.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here Come The Twos

This past weekend Alyce hit 23 months old. And the terrible twos have come early. At times Alyce just loses control. Let me state that a bad day for Alyce is better than most kids good days. 95% of the time she is a little angel and if we give her an outlet for her energy we don't have any problems.

The majority of our terrible two experiences come from us needing Alyce to do something she doesn't want to do. From laying down to changing her diaper to getting her to stay in her high chair it seems like things that she used to do fine are now a struggle. What is worse is how she expresses her displeasure. Examples of some of the things she is doing to resist are not listening to instructions, kicking and screaming (big one with the high chair), outbursts of noise and shaking of her head (big one with the car set), and your basic temper tantrum stuff like laying on the ground and crying.

I know it is just Alyce trying to assert her independence or being frustrated at not be able to vocalize what she wants. I figure this is just a stage and once her vocabulary improves and she is better able to control her emotions things will return to normal. I just hope returns to normal happens before the new baby shows up.

One area that I am wondering about is if I should try to distract her when she is in a tantrum which usually ends it early or if I should let her cry it out. In public I think the former is preferable for my sanity. But with the later I wonder if it would do any good to let her put herself back together after tantrum. Perhaps it is based on her level of development and I should read a few books to find out where Alyce is along the path.

At Her Class


Today Alyce had her first day of her new class. The class is at the early childhood center. Alyce is looking like she is having some fun and Mom is enjoying some time out of the house where Alyce can burn up some child energy. If only we could find a way to harness that energy and power the world.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Joint Play

Alyce is approaching another milestone. She is starting to play with other children. Up until now she has been playing in parallel with other kids meaning she plays next to them and not with them.

On Monday we were down the street talking with some neighbors. Usually when we are there Alyce will play with thier slide by herself. But this time she and the neighbor's kid Zack played together on a tri cycle. He would pedal it the best he could while Alyce rode on the foot plates in back. They also switched roles after a while. There was no verbal communication but it was obvious they were working together.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strabismus Update

Last week Alyce had her followup eye doctor appointment. At this point Alyce is almost one year past her last surgery. From the earlier followup appointments we knew that Alyce's eyes were lining up and this appointment was just to make sure she was continuing to stay that way.

After a two and a half hour appointment we are happy to announce her eyes are still aligning. The doctors dilated her eyes and checked her focus. It turns out that she has a little bit of nearsightedness. Supposedly it isn't severe enough to need glasses, but I guess it is something we should get checked out before she heads off to school in three years.

We have another follow up appointment a year from now, but we really don't have anything to worry about. Even though sometimes we did have to wait a while for a doctor Mom and I only have good things to say about the pediatric opthamologist at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Balloon Race Followup

Now that we are back at the house I can write about the balloon race. On Saturday the family went to the balloon race. The race happens every year around this time. I'm not exactly sure how a balloon race is run and most people in attendance don't know either. Mostly people show up to see a bunch of hot air balloons up close and we were no exception.

We wanted to bring Alyce to the race this year as it was the first time she would really understand what she was seeing. At first she wasn't really impressed as the balloons weren't filled up when we got there. But after walking around a bit, setting up a picnic area, eating a funnel cake, and getting some free swag she got to see what we came for.

While the balloons were going up Alyce was at her cutest. For starters this was the first time she got to sit on my shoulders because she couldn't see from her vantage point. Her first comment when she saw the balloons was "Big Balloons!"; We didn't even prompt her to say balloons. Too add to the cuteness she was waving bye bye to all of the balloons as they were rising off the ground.

After a while she got tired of sitting on my shoulders and moved to the ground. When we got there we set out a blanket and we told Alyce that as long as she stayed on the blanket she wouldn't have to go back in her stroller. We were very pleased that she stayed on the blanket with only a few gentle reminders. I think the large number of people deterred her from moving too far away.

When the last balloon was launched it was time to go home. Alyce had enough balloons for one day and quietly rode back to the car in her stroller. As the day came to a close both Mom and I commented about how well Alyce behaved and how cute she was. Some days you have good days other days you can bad days. Luckily some days you can have great days and today was one of them.

Come back later for a slide show and some videos of the race.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Balloon Race


Here is a picture of Alyce at the balloon race. She doesn't seem too enthused to be wearing the bunny ears. More pictures to come.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lunch with the family


I met Mom and Alyce for lunch at Burger King today for lunch. They stopped by after Mom's baby doctor visit. Everything was fine with the pregnancy and they got to hear the heartbeat. Alyce was a big fan of her crown and the toy in her kids meal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Random Cuteness

Tonight Alyce did all sorts of cute stuff. Tonight when I got home from work Alyce had just gotten out of bed and wasn't really awake yet. While I changed out of my work clothes Alyce laid down on the bed and put her head on the pillow. It was super cute just seeing her lay there relaxing.

Tonight was Alyce's bath night. While Mom and I were talking about giving her a bath Alyce overheard. You would figure that would be a bad thing and that she would fight us all the way; you would figure wrong. She said "Bath", got up, and walked over to the stairs ready to go up for a bath. Well it was too early for her bath so upon telling Alyce she had to wait she began a little tantrum. It was the cutest thing my little girl getting upset because she couldn't take a bath.

While in the tub Alyce and I had a great time. It was the first time she was interested in washing herself. She did an ok job for a first time but it was pretty awesome that she was interested in trying. She also had big fun splashing water all over the tub.

Bubble Picnic

Last Saturday the family went to the Bubble Picnic. The Bubble Picnic is an event held annually by our local school district's early childhood development center. We first got in touch with the development center via the Parent's As Teachers program. We get regular visits from our Parent's As Teacher educator (Ms. Cathy) and Mom takes Alyce to weekly classes at the development center.

The picnic is held as kick off event for the new school year and to acquaint families with the services the center provides. We like to go because they have a lot of neat projects to do and equipment to play on.

One of the first stations we used was the water table. It is simply a big table with lots of bins and separations for soapy water. Alyce, always a big fan of bath time and water in general was a big fan of the table. She would pour the contents of one cup of water into another and also cleaned a toy cow with a scrub brush.

After the bubble table we tried the shaving cream table. The shaving cream table has little walls setup with shaving cream smeared all over them. The kids are encouraged to use instructions such as squeegees, combs, or their hands to interact with the shaving cream and make a mess. I thought this was particularly interesting because Alyce is kind of a girlie girl and doesn't like things sticking to her hands. This really wasn't an exception as Alyce wanted her hands cleaned off once they got all creamy, but she did manage to play around with the combs and other implements. She stayed relatively clean except some other kid accidentally got some in her hair.

After a hot dog and some fruit snacks for lunch we went downstairs for our last activity, the indoor gymnasium. The indoor gym has slides, a ball pit, and a lot of room to run. Alyce had a lot of fun on the slides and for most of them didn't need any of my help getting into position or going down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Naughty Corner

Alyce has had her first taste of discipline. She has had two trips to the naughty corner. One of the big questions Mom and I have had as parents is when and how harshly to discipline our children. Perhaps you just know when it is time to discipline your children and apparently for us that time is now.

The strategy we are going to use for now is the naughty corner or naughty chair depending on where we are at. We are basically going to make Alyce sit on a chair or in a corner for 1 minute per year of age. So at this point only for 1 minute (soon to be 2). Our plan is to use this when she continues to do something unacceptable after we have given her a warning. Spanking isn't off the table and we have even used it in a few circumstances, but I think we will reserve that for situations that require immediate action such as Alyce putting her hand on a stove or other actions that could impact her safety or others.

So far the corner strategy has had mixed results. The first time Mom tried putting Alyce in the corner she had to hold her there for the minute while Alyce giggled. I will chalk that up to the fact that Alyce had no clue as to what Mom was doing. The second time Alyce stayed where she was supposed to, but still giggled. It is hard to gauge whether any lesson from the discipline is sinking in because her attention is focused on something else after the minute in the corner.

Wish us luck as another page in the book of parenting turns. Any advice would also be appreciated.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alyce's First Toy Crush

Alyce has a toy crush; her first one. A toy crush is a term I made up to describe a love of something very intensely but has the ability to fall out of favor very quickly. A good example would be a kid loving Sponge Bob Square Pants. He could love it one day and be bored with it the next.

Alyce's toy crush is for a TV show and not a toy but the term still applies. This TV show is called Little Einsteins and is produced by the Disney Channel. It isn't much different than any other kids show. There are animated characters, that sing, dance, and play. The show is moderately entertaining because each episode features a piece of classical music and artwork. I don't know why Alyce likes it above all others. But like it above all others she does. Anytime the show is on she will sit in a chair or on the couch and not move for 3o minutes. She does interact with the show in that the kids do certain body motions and prompt you to do the same. Alyce goes along with them if we do the motions too.

We understand that excessive TV watching isn't the best for young minds, but this thirty minute show has been a godsend for Mom. With her baby induced nausea and fatigue a thirty minute respite from having the chase a kid around the house is very much welcome.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Baby Blog

One of the earliest posts I made on this site was about how I wish I had started blogging about Alyce earlier. With this new baby I didn't want to make the same mistake. So when I first found out that we were pregnant I started a blog for baby 2. Since we don't know its name or if it is going to be a boy or girl we can't make a "_____ world" website so instead I created A Twinkly In My Eye. Or http://atwinkleindadseye.blogspot.com/ if you would rather find it that way. A permanent link to it has been added to this site if you ever want to check in on how the other baby is doing.

Once we know what we are having we will change the name and design of the new baby's site accordingly.

An Evening At The Park

Last night we wanted to get out of the house and decided to go to a play ground. We went to the playground at the early childhood development center where they have lots of playground equipment appropriate for Alyce's age. We left for the playground after Alyce's nap and dinner putting us there a little before 7:00.

Alyce must have seen something when we pulled into the parking lot because she started squealing with delight even before we stopped the car. Once across the parking lot she practically ran to the playground.

I did most of the playing with Alyce because Mom was feeling tired and a little sick. Alyce rode every slide on the playground about about a million times and never seemed to tire of them. Alyce also walked across the some stepping stones, and we spent some time pretending to drive a red jeep.

As the evening wore on we knew that we were going to be leaving soon so we tried some advice to make a transition to a new activity easier on Alyce. Five minutes before we left we told Alyce that she had 3 more trips on the slide then it was time to go. Of course she responded with her stereotypical "No." We gave her additional reminders every time she went down the slide until the last time. When we told her it was the last time on the slide she climbed up the slide and then started to procrastinate. Eventually she did make it down the slide and we had to stand firm to our earlier statement on it being time to leave. Naturally Alyce wasn't very happy with that decision, but rather than throw a tantrum she got little unhappy and picked up a hand full of bark mulch.

Deciding to cut our losses we let Alyce carry her bark all the way back to the car. When we got the car Alyce dropped the mulch onto the ground, waved bye to it, and said bye-bye. Such a polite little girl.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Alyce Is Going To Be A Big Sister

Alyce, Mom, and myself are proud to announce we are going to have another child. We have had this information for a few weeks now but were holding onto it to make sure everything was going ok. We have a visit with the doctor this Thursday which should give us proof positive that the pregnancy is progressing as it should.

Mom's due date at the moment is around the middle of April. Mom isn't feeling the best at the moment as she is gripping with morning sickness and fatigue.

Wish us luck over these next 7 months.

Labor Day Weekend Part 2

Sunday we had a party at Gram's and Grandpa's to attend. This was a large family get together of all the people on Mom's side of the family. We enjoy big family parties because it gives Mom and I some time off. When with family who has kids you can always trust that they will stop your kid from doing bad things and that their kids will entertain yours. This time was no different. Alyce spent almost all of the day hanging out with the girls as there were are few/no boy children on that side of the family.

Monday we took a trip out to see Grandma for dinner. We had barbecue pork steaks, potatoes, bread, and brownies for dessert. Alyce was not very cooperative during dinner eating only one bite of meat and nothing else. Sadly when it came time for brownies we only allowed her one bite because she wouldn't eat her dinner. Parenting can be so cruel. After dinner Alyce played around with Bandit (the dog) while we cleaned up. Before you know it was 8:30 and time for us to go home to put Alyce down for bed and closing out our three day weekend.

Labor Day Weekend Part 1

This past weekend we celebrated Labor Day along with a three day weekend. We did so much we need another weekend to recuperate from the weekend. On Friday we had our friends Josh, Tammy, and Gideon over. It had been a long time since we had last seen Gideon and he has grown like a weed. Alyce as always was interested in the "baby" as she likes to call him. Alyce even wanted to feed Gideon even though he wasn't hungry at the time.

Saturday our busiest day of the weekend we had two parties to go to. Earlier in the day we ventured to my cousin Ben's house for the 1st birthday party of their son Rex. We don't have any updated pictures of him, but if you check back to a July 4th post you can see a picture of him there. At the party Alyce took ownership of a toy and held onto it almost the entire time. This toy was a Clifford the Big Red Dog riding toy. It is basically a big plastic Clifford with wheels. 80% of the time we were there Alyce was on Clifford. The most notable experience was that while Rex was opening his presents Alyce fell off Clifford over the handlebars and onto her chin. Naturally Alyce burst into tears and Mom picker her up and brought her into another room to calm her down. Alyce would have none of this she wiggled out of Mom's arms, went back into the main room, and got back onto Clifford while still crying. After a few minutes her cry's moved to wimpers and eventually was fine.

After Rex's party we had another party to attend. At this point it was around 5:00 p.m. and and Alyce hadn't had a nap that day and we didn't have the energy to watch a fussy baby the whole night. So Grams and Grandpa took our tired baby for the night while Mom and I had fun like adults! Of course we spent the whole night talking to people about our children.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Little Gymnast

The Olympics are over in Beijing but they are still alive and well in our home. For a while Alyce has been very interested in balance beams. She isn't doing any tricks or maneuvers on the beam. She simply walks from one end to the other then loops around to do it again.

At home she takes all of her cardboard blocks and lays them end to end to form a balance beam about 4"-5" wide and 10' long. She walks very gingerly down the line and rarely ever checks her balance or steps off.

On Sunday all the family was over at our house for a little get together. Alyce thought it was time to show off her balance skills and setup her beam. She walked up and down the line time and time again to the applause of all in attendance. Some video and pictures of the event will be added later. So check back in for those. Update: We have some new pictures

Monday Alyce and Mom went over to Gram's and Grandpa's house for dinner and Grandpa setup a quick beam out of a 2x4. It looks like Alyce's balance beam skills transfer from cardboard to something close to the real thing.

I'm not saying I am going to enter her into gymnastics classes anytime soon, but the cuteness is undeniable.

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