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.

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