Monday, March 30, 2009

Pictures From The Big Event


Big Girl Bed: The Morning After

For the last bit of coverage relating to the trials and tribulations of the Big Girl Bed we have the morning. This morning started off like usual. I get up and go to work typically before Alyce wakes up. Typically Alyce wakes up a few minutes after I leave. Today was much different, Alyce slept until 8:30 where she usually gets up around 7:30. Usually when Alyce wakes up she asks for Mommy or myself until we go and get her. Instead, today she gets up around 8:30, gets out of bed, and closes the door to her room. Mommy went to check on her 15 minutes later to find Alyce sitting on her window seat playing with stuffed animals.

We'd be dreaming if thought we only had to endure one night of drama. Now that we know it is possible it is only a matter of time until we have a new routine to replace the old.

Big Girl Bed: The Aftermath

We survived Alyce's first night in her new room and I am happy to say that everyone made it through without any bumps or bruises.

In Alyce's room we have both her toddler bed and a full size bed. When I tried to put her down for the night I first put her into her toddler bed. She would only lay there if I read her a story. After the second book it was time for her to go to sleep. This is when the tears started. She pointed to the full size bed, I asked if she wanted to sleep there, and she nodded approval. So we go about moving into the big bed. I laid next to her to keep her quiet hoping that she would calm down enough to fall asleep. This kept her calm but not asleep until Mommy came to relieve me at 9:00. The tears started again.

Mom picked up where I left off; she tried to lay next to Alyce with the same results. After a time Mom decided to channel the Super Nanny as we were getting nowhere. Super Nanny, a show on ABC depicts the troubles parents have with themselves and their children with the Super Nanny coming in to provide expert advice. The bed time advice of the Super Nanny is to put the kid in bed, if the kid gets out, then keep putting them back in until they give up. On the show this can take upwards of two hours before the kids give up from pure exhaustion.

Mom pushed the big bed against the wall on two sides and put up railing on a third side leaving only the foot of the bed available for egress. Mom put Alyce in the bed with her baby doll, blanket, and pillows. Mom had to put her in bed again, and again. But on the third try Alyce stayed. She wasn't happy about it but she stayed and eventually fell asleep.

Things remained calm until 12:30 when Alyce woke up again asking for Mommy. Before Mommy could get out of bed and down the hall Alyce had already fallen back askeep. From that point on Alyce slept through the night into morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Big Girl Bed: Finality

Tonight Mom and I are making a final stand on getting Alyce into a big girl bed. For the last few weeks we have been updating our front bedroom to be her new room. This weekend we finally finished her room and it is now time to get her out of the nursery.

To help ease the transition we threw Alyce a bye bye crib party. The point of this party was to get Alyce excited about her new room and provide an opportunity to say goodbye to her old room. Grams, Pa Pa, Jeff, and Liz all came over to celebrate plus they gave presents. We ordered pizza and cake and ice cream. Between dinner and desert we brought everyone upstairs for the symbolic moment where Alyce changed rooms. Mom had Alyce take her favorite stuffed animals from her crib and put them in her new room (extremely cute and sad). After that I disassembled her crib and it was moved downstairs. At first Alyce didn't seem to realize what was going on. She thought us taking down the bars off the crib was kind of cool. Once all of the pieces were gone she looked around and began to understand that gravity of the situation.

When bedtime approached things started to get interesting. I took Alyce upstairs to get ready for bed. She walked into her room, stood where her crib was, and burst into tears. She was wanting her crib and crying for me to "fix it". Let me tell you it tore me up to see her sad from something I did.

Coming soon the aftermath of Alyce's first night in a new room and bed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wasn't Happy With Daddy

I had a flashback from a few weeks ago that I thought I'd share. I was upstairs with Alyce I think on a Saturday afternoon. I remember that I had to tell her no to something or other; maybe she wanted to go downstairs and I needed her to be upstairs. Well she wasn't happy with not getting her way and she gave me this really expressive pout face but didn't cry or throw a tantrum about it. What made this time memorable when compared to other times Alyce was unhappy was that Alyce went into her room locked eyes with me and then closed door. She didn't slam the door or do anything disrespectful so I let her have her moment of solitude. I guess Alyce got the unhappiness out of her system in her room because a few minutes later she emerged her happy smiling self.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mommy is a Cute Tomato

One of my earliest memories when I was a child was something I did for my dad. He would pull me aside and give me instructions; go tell my mom, Grandma, that dad thinks she is a cute tomato.

Now that I have my own child I get to have her do the same thing. I pulled Alyce off to the side and asked her if she could go tell Mommy that she is a cute tomato. Of course Mommy was within earshot so she new what was coming. Alyce took my instructions and ran over to Mommy and recited "cute omato". Not exactly spot on but Mom and I got the drift. Alyce was all smiles and very proud of herself after she completed her task. I think Mommy enjoyed it too since she had a smile or her face as well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Alyce Knows Her Colors

In a previous post Alyce referred to purple as purpin. Even though she butchers the pronunciation of her colors she does know them. We can ask her to point to a specific color and she will. We can also ask her what color something is and she responds correctly. I would say Alyce knows all the primary and secondary colors. She knows red, blue, yellow (her favorite), green, purple, pink, and orange. She also knows brown, and white. Most of her pronunciation is close enough that people other than Mommy and I know what she is saying. Yellow is yewwow, purple is purpin sometimes purpilin, and blue is bwue. Mom and I are proud of her and how far she has come in such a short amount of time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Conversation

During this same weekend of room improvements I had my first conversation with Alyce. On Saturday I was painting a section of wall and Alyce came in and joined me. The conversation proceeded like this.

Alyce: "Daddy paint."
Daddy: "Yes I am."
Daddy: "What am I painting?"
Alyce: Something unintelligible.
Daddy: "I'm painting a wall."
Alyce: "Wall."
Daddy: "Who's wall am I painting?"
Alyce: "Mine."
Daddy: "Who's room am I painting?"
Alyce: "Mine."
Daddy: "What color am I painting?"
Alyce: "Purrpin." (Her word for purple)
Daddy: "Do you like this color?"
Alyce: "Uh huh."

After a few minutes of watching.
Alyce: "Bye bye."
Daddy: "Where you going?"
Alyce: "Downstairs."
Daddy: "What are you going to do down there?"
Alyce: "Mommy."
Daddy: "Be careful going down the stairs."
Alyce: "Uh huh."

A little while later Alyce came back upstairs and we had a repeat of the conversation from before. This time when I asked her what I was painting she responded correctly with "wall".

Helping Daddy

For the past few weeks I have been getting Alyce's new room ready. I am painting the walls, installing new trim, replacing outlets, and fixing up a window seat. Throughout the entire process I've had an audience, Alyce. Up until this weekend Alyce has simply watched and not interrupted. That changed this weekend. You are probably thinking uh oh this isn't going to be good. She didn't do any damage and actually helped a little bit. Throughout it all she was extremely cute.

This weekend I was assembling a new window seat for her room. Once I had it primed I needed to sand it smooth. On Sunday I starting sanding while Mom ran over to Jeff and Liz's house leaving Alyce with me. Rather than watching her play I asked her if she wanted to help. She responded with a head nod and a "uh huh". I handed her a piece of sandpaper and prompted her to stand on a step of her slide. She took up the paper and started mimicking me sanding. She would sand a little section and then rub her hand across it to see how smooth it was just like me. I figured she would do this for all of 10 seconds but surprisingly she helped me for around 10 minutes. She sanded a grand total of around 1 square foot, but it was the smoothest square foot ever.

Later the same day I was upstairs doing some wiring and Alyce came in to join me. She pointed towards the outlet and said "fixed it". I'm not sure if she means I'm fixing it, it needs fixing, or if I fixed it. But it was still cute. A bit later she picked up a strip of cardboard looked at me said "paint?". I said that she could paint the walls if she wanted. She proceeded to put the cardboard on the walls and drug it around like if she was using a roller. She thought this was cool and walked all over her room pretend painting little sections here and there. She even went into the hallway to paint out there.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dad's Night Out

A few weeks ago Alyce and I went to what I think will be our last Dad's night out event. Like in some previous posts Dad's Night Out is an event where Dad's get to spend time at the Early Childhood Development Center with their kids without the Moms being around. Really more than Dad's night out it is Mom's night off.

The reason why this is going to be her last time is that Alyce is starting to get too big for the things we do there. She has mastered climbing over the blocks and using the cars to the point she loses interest in them quickly.

Even though she is getting to be too old for this event there are many other events developed for older children. I look forward to those in the future as it will give time for just Alyce and myself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun at Lowes

This past weekend the family took a trip to Lowes to pick up some building supplies. We were getting some new trim for Alyce's new room. Because we were getting trim we needed to use a different cart than normal. Alyce was a big fan of this cart as she got to go surfing at about one mile an hour. We even saw Gideon's dad Josh while shopping.

She Can Say Her Last Name

Today Mommy taught Alyce her last name. I wasn't there for the first time but Mommy called me at the office then put Alyce on speaker phone so I could hear it. It was unbelievable how clearly she said it too. Alyce will just repeat our last name when we ask her to say it. She won't say the name when we ask her what her last name is. I'm sure that will come soon enough.

I was so proud of her and I think she was proud of herself too. If she said the name once she said it twenty times all the while giggling and squealing with excitement.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Miss Independent. From Alyce's Perspective

I'm getting to be a big girl now. I'm becoming Miss Independent. In the last week or so I have been wanting to do things myself that usually Mommy or Daddy did for me. Mommy and Daddy used to put on my shoes and socks and they also used to put me in my car seat and buckle me in. Those times have changed. I'm Miss Independent now. When I want to do those things now I tell Mommy or Daddy "doo bit" which really means "do it" or short for "I do it". I say "do bit" because Daddy thinks it is the cutest thing. He also likes it when I say "oh nooo" but I begin to digress.

I'm pretty good at putting on my shoes and socks. Socks are really tough but I'm getting better. I like to practice a lot. When at the house with Mommy during the week I take my socks off and put them back on over and over again because I need the practice.

Putting on shoes is pretty easy now that Mommy and Daddy got me some new shoes. These new ones have really easy velcro and I can get my foot in there without stepping on the tongue of the shoe. I'm getting so good I even know which shoe goes on which foot.

The only problem Mommy and Daddy have with me putting on my shoes and socks is that I want to do it when we are getting ready to leave. I guess they have a point, it does take me about five minutes to get my socks and shoes on.

Mommy and Daddy seem sad sometimes when I do something they used to do. They always say stuff like "our little girl is growing up". They will eventually get over it because even though they are sad they want me to be the best Miss Independent I can be.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Trip to the Zoo

On Saturday the weather was going to be great so we decided we would go to the zoo. Mom, Alyce, Grams, Pa Pa and myself. Everyone else probably had the same idea as the zoo was very crowded for early March.

The first thing we did was go to the Children's zoo. This was Alyce's first trip to this part of the zoo. Typically admission is $4 a person and in the past we figured she was too small to appreciate petting all of the cute animals. Now that Alyce is older and we are zoo friends thanks to a great gift from Grandma we all got into the Children's zoo for free. The first thing we experienced was to pet all of the goats. I'm not sure what type of goats they were but they were very docile and handled all of the kids pulling and grabbing without any complaining and they were not very big either. Alyce at first was a little afraid of the goats and refused to pet them.apprehensive to petting the goats. I think they were new to her and she wanted to sit back and watch them for a few minutes before approaching. After watching the other kids pet them for a few minutes Alyce decided to join in on the fun. Once she petted her first goat she was a big fan and started petting and brushing each and every one. Alyce liked to use the brush on the goats more so than petting them. She would walk over pick up a brush, brush a goat, and then put the brush back. She repeated this cycle over and over again. With the goat area being closed off and Grams and Pa Pa in attendance I even got a few minutes to relax with a goat.

After the goats we took Alyce to the indoor section of the children's zoo and she got to see a couple of fish tanks, some turtles, a meer kat family, and a tarantula. I liked the meer kats the most and Alyce liked the fish. There was also a toy truck to sit in that Alyce shared with another boy. Once he got out of the truck Alyce moved into the the driver position.

After the children's zoo we ate lunch at the cafe in the center of the zoo. Everyone else had the same idea as the food court area was packed. It didn't take too terribly long to get our food and with our zoo friends discount is was fairly reasonable.

Following lunch we walked up the big hill at the zoo to the Big Cat Country. We saw all of the big kitties and meows. Alyce eventually called some of the tigers "tigers" after a bit of coaxing. The cats weren't terribly exciting as they were doing what cats do; sit around and sleep all day. After the big cats we walked over to the African area and looked at some zebras, giraffes, a camel, and some kangaroos (yes I know there aren't any kangaroos in Africa). Alyce was the most enthralled with the giraffes and the camel.

These were the last animals we got to view. We had to get Alyce home for a nap and Mommy needed to rest. We had a great time and Alyce really seemed to get what she was looking at. She would smile, point, and her eyes would light up when looking at each new animal. I wish you could bottle up the excitement and save it for later in life.

A Nice Day Out

Last week we were graced with some unseasonably warm weather. We took advantage of the situation by getting Alyce out of the house for some fun with the neighbors down the street. Alyce took her Little Einstein ride toy down the street and we followed with Jake. Like most of our trips down the street we stood around talking while the kids were doing their play thing. Alyce isn't old enough that we can take our eyes off of her, but we can let our guard down a bit as there is an adult looking in every direction at any given point in time.

One interesting thing about all the kids playing is that they all want to play with the other kids toys. For instance Alyce brought down her Little Einstein ride toy. This toy is pretty cool; it makes noises, plays music, and lights up. Alyce loves this toy but that is until we get down the street. At that point she gets off her toy and grabs some other toy like a tricycle and begins to ride that. In the mean time some other kid has gone and taken her toy and started riding it up and down the sidewalk. Surprisingly enough none of the kids are possessive of their toys so no fights over toys ensue.

After playtime was over and the kids and parents all went inside for dinner we walked back up the street towards our house. About this time our neighbor Liz got home from work. Alyce saw Liz getting the mail out of her mail box and she was off like a shot. Alyce from four houses away ran all the way to Liz's house and gave Liz a great big hug.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rice Krispie Treats

Tonight Alyce and I made some Rice Krispie Treats. Alyce poured the cereal into the bowl and she counted out 40 big marsh mellows with Daddy's help of course. While I was melting the butter and marsh mellows Alyce was eating extra Rice Krispies one a time. When we finally got everything all put together and poured the mixture into 13X9 pan. Alyce said "woah" with a giggle as I was pouring it. Before we put Alyce to bed we gave her one of her treats and she didn't even want to try it. Crazy kids, don't know what is bad for them in a good sort of way. Eventually Mommy got her to eat part of one and of course she liked it.

Big Girl Bed Part 3

All sorts of things have been changing with Alyce and her adventures with the big girl bed. This weekend Alyce used her toddler bed for more than just sleeping. On Saturday Mom and I were downstairs while Alyce was upstairs taking a nap. Well we thought she was taking a nap. We would be wrong. We heard some creaking upstairs which is usually indicative of someone moving around. Upon investigation we found Alyce outside of her crib with door to the crib still closed. Mom and I can only assume that Alyce climbed over the top of her crib and onto the headboard of her toddler bed which was positioned next to her crib. We took this knowledge and came to the conclusion that Alyce's time in her crib is coming to a close. This also led us to make a change in how we do nap times which brings us to another big girl bed story.

Sunday we implemented a change to how we do nap time with Alyce. Rather than locking her in her crib during nap time Mom gave Alyce free reign of her bedroom. Mom closed the blinds in her room and kept the upstairs quiet with the hope Alyce would take a nap on her own. Surprisingly Alyce did just that. Mom went up to check on Alyce after two hours and sure enough Alyce was taking a nap. More importantly she was taking a nap on her big girl bed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hide and Seek

Alyce likes to play Hide and Go Seek. She likes to look through the house and find me where I am hiding. Alyce knows all of my hiding spots; behind the bathroom door, behind the kitchen table, and in the pantry. So even though she knows that she is supposed to find me she doesn't quite get the hiding part yet. This past weekend Alyce and I were playing and we were taking turns hiding and seeking. When I would go to find Alyce she would hide in the corner by our front door. Before I would even see her I would ask "where's Alyce?". Alyce would then ditch her hiding spot, come running to me rather than staying put, and give me a great big hug. Truth be told I like Alyce's version better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Me Out

On Saturday Alyce had another language milestone checked off. She referenced herself in a sentence. Normally Alyce will use single words to describe what she wants like juice, outside, or slide. Saturday, Alyce was in her room by herself and behind the baby gate. Apparently she didn't want to be in there anymore because she stood at the gate and proceeded to tell me "me, out". While it wasn't a proper sentence like I want out or hey dad come get me she did make reference to herself and what she wanted. She repeated "me, out" a couple more times to make sure I got the message. I eventually did get her out and I praised her for using her new word.

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