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 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.

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