Friday, July 31, 2009

Alyce's Favorite Commercial?

Yes, it's true, Alyce has a favorite commercial. The first time she saw it, she stopped what she was doing and ran over to the television to watch it. The commercial is the Hershey Kisses one with the "Off to Work We Go" music. Now, whenever I'm fast-forwarding through the commercials because the only way to watch TV is via Ti-Vo, if I see the commercial, I let her watch it. She always stops what she's doing and looks at me and smiles. I have to tell her to watch her commercial before she misses it. And whenever it's over, she always says, "Again, again." I usually let her watch it three times. I don't know why she loves it so much, but I have to admit it's pretty cute! I hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alyce Dancing in the Living Room

Yesterday while dinner was cooking Alyce entertained herself in the living room.  She found one of Luke's toys that plays a little song and started dancing to the music.  I can't say this was the most complicated dance she has ever completed but this one was made up all by herself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Really Fast

Tonight before Mom and I went on our date Alyce was running around the house showing Mom and I how fast she was.  She would run across the living room and dive onto the couch.  Then run across the room to me, look me in the eye, and say "I'm really fast".  After that she would go up the stairs run down the hall into our bedroom to where Mom was getting ready and the entire process would repeat.  Well on the 2nd iteration Mom started hiding and when Alyce would come into the room Mom would jump out and scare Alyce.  Alyce would then say to Mom "I scare you".  Mom would then reply "no I scared you".  Having been corrected Alyce would state "you scare me".

Date Night

You know you are a parent when you are on a date with your wife and the majority of the conversation focuses on the kids. Thanks Jeff and Liz for watching Alyce and Luke we owe you one. Well we owe you a lot, just put this one on our tab.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Underwear Pants

Mom and I are slowly progressing towards moving Alyce out of diapers and onto the potty.  One item we have been using as a carrot to dangle in front of her is big girl underwear or as Alyce likes to call them "underwear pants".  We've told Alyce that if she starts to use the potty she can wear them.  Last week while Mom and the kids were on vacation Alyce had a pretty good run of potty use.  On that note I decided to give Alyce a shot at wearing them up until bedtime.

We told her that once she had them on she needed to keep them clean and dry.  Clean and dry is term from one of her books about transitioning to the potty.  Well I think I might have made a mental case of her.  Once she had them on she kept saying "got to keep them clean and dry" in an obsessive compulsive sort of way.  Further more she kept going into the bathroom, pulling down her underwear pants, sitting down, getting back up, pulling them back up and then exiting the bathroom.  She repeated this process multiple times.  I think she thought the whole thing was pretty cool and wanted to try things out the way adults do it.  We didn't have any accidents but she only had them on for 30 minutes so there wasn't much chance for failure.  This was more of a test than any line in the sand.  I hope that a glimpse at a world without diapers provides something for Alyce to strive toward.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Alyce is Helping Grandma

Today the family took a trip to Grandma's house even though Grandma wasn't there. Grandma took a train trip for the weekend to see some friends of the family. We took the trip out there because I had a few bits of maintenance to tend to. After the work on the driveway was finished Alyce and I watered Grandma's flowers. Well Alyce did most of the watering with my supervision. She did a pretty good job however she got a little drenched in the process. Nothing that 20 minutes in the drying wouldn't fix (the clothes, not Alyce).

We also used the opportunity to meet up with our friends Josh, Tammy, and their son (Alyce's boyfriend) Gideon. They are stuck out in my hometown with Tammy's parents while they are waiting to close on their house. We met them at the local lake and park for some fun. One thing really cool that happened was that Alyce swung on a swing for the first time ever while at the park. We've tried to get her on the swing many times in the past but Alyce always started crying before we could ever get started. Of course once we got her on the swing she loved every minute of it and didn't want to get off.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back From San Antonio

Yesterday Mom and the kids got back from San Antonio. Mom was just taking the last car seat out of her parents van as I pulled into the driveway. It looks like everyone made it through the adventure unscathed and with their sanity intact.

Walking into the house I was greeted by a "Daddy!" from the living room as my little girl comes running toward me with outstretched arms. I picked her up gave her hugs, kisses, and held her in my arms for quite a while. I had missed my little girl. I think she missed me too. After I let her down to run around the house she came up behind me, hugged my legs, and said "Daddy I missed you". That wasn't the last thing she said either; not by a long shot. I think while I was gone someone stole Alyce and replaced her with a duplicate. This little girl that came back from San Antonio was a little chatter box. Once she started talking she wouldn't stop. And her talking wasn't just babble or saying random words. She was describing the world in full sentences. Going upstairs she saw her room and said "That's my purple room". She looked at my gym back and said "Daddy's bag is red". I'm not sure what changed over those 10 days. Maybe it was just that I wasn't there to see the gradual improvement.

The trip both to and from San Antonio seems to have gone better than I expected. Both Alyce and Luke handled the trip well and didn't ever get fed up with being in the car. Two years ago around this time we took a trip up to Minneapolis to see my brother and during the return trip we had some issues with Alyce. This time Mom had a secret weapon, her iphone. This phone has the ability to play movies, video games, and stream cartoons over the airwaves. If you have kids and don't have one of these devices go get one now and finish reading this when you get back. I don't know the amount of time Alyce spent watching movies but I know she watched both Cars and Wall-E at least twice each. So that is 8 hours out of peace an tranquility for those in the car.

Lodging also went rather well. Mom, Alyce, and Luke all shared a room during the trip. I give Mom lots of credit. It couldn't have been easy to get both kids to sleep in the same room and not have one wake up the other. As a bonus both kids slept through the night every night.

Mom and the kids got some time in the water with the whole family. Alyce got to wear her new life jacket we picked up and I think she was a big fan. Alyce doesn't have a healthy respect of the water yet, or the ability to swim so some form of flotation device is a necessity. They picked up some water guns too which I'm sure led to some good water gun fights. I don't think Alyce had to coordination yet to fill it up but I think she was able to shoot a few people

The family also spent a day at Sea World. While there they got to see a water ski show that scared Alyce a bit, Shamu the Whale or as called it "Shampo", and a seal show. I think there is one more but it escapes me. They saw a few other animal exhibits but I don't think they rode any rides.

The final observation I had about their return was how much Alyce and Luke seemed to grow. I'm sure they grew very little but it didn't appear that way. Alyce seemed to be taller while Luke seemed to have lost weight

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sea World

Today, the kids and I, along with Grams and Papa, went to Sea World! We had a blast while we were there! We saw four shows, Cool Vibrations, Believe, The Cannery Row Caper, and Viva!. Cool Vibrations is a water ski show and when it started Alyce got a little freaked out. I think the music and announcer were a little loud for her. However, once the singing and dancing started and the boats came driving by, she got more interested in the show. Watching the show made me remember back to when I was in a ski show! Yes, I was in a water ski show with pyramids and a ladies line and everything! Believe is the Shamu show and Alyce was really interested in it. She was a little afraid at first, I think she thought the big black whale was going to come out of the water and get her. However, once the show started she was really into it! The third show was The Cannery Row Caper which was the sea lion show. It was alright, but the sea lions are no Shamu! The fourth show was Viva!, and it had dolphins and beluga whales. There was also professional high divers, aerialists and synchronized swimmers performing with the animals. It was pretty amazing!

After all the shows, we went to check out the rides, but the weather wasn't looking too great, so we went to check out some of the other animals. We went to Dolphin Cove, where they have a bunch of dolphins swiming around in a big pool of water. At certain times, you can watch them get fed and possibly even touch them, however, we weren't there at that time. We got there right before they closed up for the day, but we did get to see them. Alyce liked splashing in the pool of water rather than watching the dolphins. I enjoyed seeing the dolphins up close! The next thing we did was look at sting rays and sharks. Grams was afraid to mention sharks, so she said big fish, but when we walked up to the aquarium Alyce said sharks! It was pretty funny! Alyce wasn't afraid of them at all! Then we saw the Clydesdales. She wasn't really interested in them at all. Then we stopped by a gift shop so I could get Alyce a stuffed Shamu. I knew as soon as I saw one earlier in the day, I wanted to get her one! After that it was time to go! I'll have pictures later once I can get them off the camera!

A San Antonio Update

Well I spoke too soon on Alyce falling out of bed.  Apparently it happened two nights ago.  Luckily Mom was thinking ahead and put pillows on the side of the bed and Alyce fell into those with no ill effects.  Yesterday they bought some railings for the bed to stop a repeat performance of Alyce's acrobatics.

Mom also send me some pictures of the kids!  It seems like they are getting a long without me. 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Having Fun in San Antonio

Mom and kids have been away from home for almost a week now.  Judging by reports from Mom it sounds like they are having fun. The first leg of the trip took them to Eureka springs where Mom stayed by herself with the kids while Grams and PaPa stayed at a B&B.  This was Alyce's first trip to a hotel in which she didn't sleep in a Pack-n-Play.  Apparently it went ok with Alyce almost falling off the bed a few times.  Apparently she likes to move around a lot at night and not having the railing on the bed can be dangerous.  This was the first time in a long time Mom slept in the same room as Luke and apparently he is a noisy sleeper.  I don't think it was loud enough to keep Mom awake but she did note it.  After Eureka Springs they journeyed to San Antonio over the course of 8 hours.  It sounds like the kids managed the trip pretty well with Alyce and Luke taking naps during the trip.

Something pretty cool has happened while they are gone.  Alyce started to want to use the potty.  Up to this point we have had to ask her if she needed to go and usually her response would be no.  Sometimes the stars would align and she would actually produce.  As of late she would get right down to business when Mom would take her to the bathroom.  That is a big help since waiting 5 minutes on the potty is really boring.  My apologies if this is too graphic but one time after making a movement Alyce commented that there were rocks in the potty.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

200th Post

Roughly a year after I started the Alyce's World blog we have already reached our 200th posting.  So much has happened in the past year it is hard to put it all down in text.
Alyce is a completely different girl than a year ago.  She is a great kid that gives back so much more than she takes.  I can't wait to see what the next year brings.  Most likely some potty training perfection and starting preschool.  The below picture is a perfect example of what I love most about my little girl.  This is a picture of her in the car on vacation with Mom, Luke, Grams, and PaPa.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm Going to Miss You

Tomorrow Mom is joining her parents on a 10 day vacation to Texas and she is taking Alyce and Luke with her. The whole trip jumped up at the last second and to be truthful I'm not ready for it.  This will be the longest I've ever been away from the kids and from Mom.  If this were only a three day trip I would relish the break from parenting but longer than that and I think I will really be missing my family.  I'm half tempted to buy some web cameras so I can see them and they me.  I think if I see their faces while talking to them it would be much easier on me.  I hope Mom will take up the blogging reigns in my absence as she will be my only source of info about the kids.

I also wish Mom the best of luck. The trip could go well or could be a nightmare. It really depends on Alyce and how she reacts to being in the car for so long.  They are cutting the trip into two parts so that should help and Mom's iphone should provide hours of entertainment.  I think during the times where Mom is by herself is when the most stress can occur.  When shopping Alyce is used to having the ability to roam where she pleases because I have my eye on her.  With Mom being outnumbered I think it will be tough for her to chase down Alyce while pushing Luke in a stroller

If the last few days are any indication I think Alyce will do just fine.  Just yesterday the family ate lunch at McDonald's during a downpour because swimming got canceled and Alyce acted like an adult.  She sat in her seat correctly, ate her food, and wasn't fidgeting to get out.  She did have something to gain by being well behaved; a trip to the playground.  I've never seen her so comfortable on a piece of equipment.  Once her shoes were off she ran into the tunnels of the playground, only to emerge at the bottom of a slide, and quick as a flash was back in the tubes.  She even interacted with the kids on the playground instead of ignoring and avoiding them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Missed You

Yesterday I was treated to something so cute it almost made me cry.  I got home from work yesterday and go in the house like I always do.  As I close the door and put my keys on the kitchen table running into the room comes Alyce.  She yells out as she is running towards me "I missed you!".  She then jumped into my outstretched arms and gave me a big hug.  Nothing brightens up your day like some unconditional love.

After that Alyce and I played in the kitchen by pushing a car across the floor then racing to "gets it" as Alyce would say.  We also took turns galloping and jumping across the floor treating each square in the tile floor like a hopscotch square. 

I love my kids.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alyce Pretending to be Daddy

Lots of stuff makes parents happy or proud of their children.  One thing that makes me proud of Alyce is when she emulates something I do.  It pleases me that she sees me doing something and she wants to be like me.  Take the below example.  Yesterday while I was at work Alyce put on my Xbox 360 gaming headset and my controller.  Mom grabbed a picture of her sitting in my chair pretending to play some video games.  I look forward to when she can play a video game with me.  I think it will present some good father, daughter, and mother time when we can all sit down and play Rock Band together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Today Mom and Liz taught Alyce a new game to play, Hopscotch.  Liz drew the hopscotch track on the sidewalk with some chalk and showed Alyce how to jump on each of the squares.  Well Alyce has the right idea even if her execution is a bit off.  They were already in the throes of jumping by the time I got home from work so I missed the learning curve. Alyce was more than willing to show off her new skills provided someone counted for her.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law

A very funny thing happened last week. We were out at a local restaurant with the whole family plus Grams.  Mom ordered her meal and substituted her fries for a salad.  When Mom does this she usually steals a few fries from Alyce's plate because how can anyone resist those golden brown sticks of salty goodness?  Mom isn't denying Alyce anything as she never finishes her food except for her milk, water, or juice.  This time was different.  Mom reached over like always and took a few of Alyce's fries with Alyce looking on.  Alyce then burst into tears.  Between her sobs and with the biggest frown she can make she said "Mommy took my fries" over and over again.  Can something be both heart wrenching and hilarious at the same time?  Mom ended up giving Alyce back her fries apologizing for not asking permission then proceeded to reach over and have a few of mine. Hmph.

It is great seeing Alyce develop the concepts of possession.  Every day there is something new she shows us that she has learned.  It must be pretty exciting / scary learning so much so quickly.  And for the record Alyce didn't finish her fries.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

Alyce has just finished a packed 4th of July.  The 4th festivities started on the 3rd with the fireworks display for a town near us.  Last weekend at a neighbor's party fireworks were set off and Alyce had some major issues with them.  With that in mind we were somewhat apprehensive on bringing her to this display.  Apparently the proximity to the fireworks was what was causing her grief as she had no problem with this display.  We set up our chairs at the back of our car with a view of the fireworks.  Alyce had her little folding chair and we brought her tricycle too.  In the end she ended up sitting in the stroller.

The fireworks or as Alyce calls them "firetrucks" display was really top notch.  There was a constant stream of detonations in a myriad of different colors.  Alyce gave us a great play-by-play of what we saw.  She would say all the colors that were up in the sky with the most memorable being her saying "rainbow colors" over and over again.  Alyce also had comments about the sounds of the fireworks by saying "big loud" and "big noisy".  Lastly she separated each firework by its size.  Describing them as "big one" or "baby one".

We ended keeping Alyce up very late that night getting her to bed after 10:00.  It was to our benefit though as she ended up sleeping in until after 9:30 the next morning.  This played well into the 4th as she didn't need to take a nap.

For the 4th the family journeyed to Uncle Eric's and Aunt Marilyn's house for their annual 4th of July party.  Very surprisingly Alyce didn't exhibit any of her initial shyness.  Usually she is quiet and hangs close to Mom or I, but today she left us pretty quick to go play with her cousin Andy.  She spent a good portion of the evening away from Mom and I playing with the other kids in attendance and sitting in the laps of her grandparents and Aunts.  When we were getting ready to leave after the fireworks display Alyce gave everyone a hug and kiss goodbye.  We love it when she does that as it really showcases her personality and how much she enjoys seeing other people.  As we were getting her into the car she said bye bye and waved to Uncle Eric's polar bear and Uncle Sam's dog Gunda.

When we finally got home Alyce was a tuckered out little girl.  I pulled her out of her carseat like a sack of potatoes and carried her upstairs and put her to bed.  I enjoy seeing her so peaceful and content that she can change into her pjs, roll over, and fall right asleep.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

After Surgery Update

Alyce's surgery went just fine on Tuesday. There were no complications and she is back to normal except for a swollen eyelid. We got to the hospital around 11:00 and did paperwork and tests leading to the surgery at 1:00. Alyce was her usual shy self and didn't want to cooperate with the nurses or doctors. They were very patient and understanding and eventually got Alyce prepped. We were asked how we thought Alyce would handle being wheeled away from us by strangers. We thought pure hysteria would be the most likely reaction. Because of that they wanted to give her a version of Valium for kids that would make Alyce sleepy and remove any recollection of the event. Mom and I wanted to lessen her trauma and decided to go with their recommendation.

It took about five minutes for the drugs to take effect and they were quite effective. The first thing Alyce wanted to do was lay down and after that you could see the stress leaving her face. I would equate it with being intoxicated. Alyce turned into a chatter box and started describing everything she saw. She would pick up her pillow and say "big pillow" and then lay back down on it or look at the design on said pillow and say "pretty tree". Alyce's social anxiety also flew out the window. Every time someone would come into the room she would wave hi to them and could care less if they crossed into her personal space for a test. Alyce would also wave bye bye to them when they left. When they came to wheel her away she continued babbling up a storm and didn't seem to mind at all that Mom and Dad weren't there.

The surgery didn't take long at all. After they took Alyce away Mom and I went downstairs to the cafeteria for our first meal of the day. It took ups 30 minutes to get our food, eat it, and get back upstairs. On the trip back up the supplied pager went off informing us that Alyce's surgery was completed and she was back in recovery.

Alyce's exit from surgery more difficult than her entrance. Upon joining her in the recovery room Alyce was irate and crying up a storm. We were warned ahead of time that this sort of behavior is a sideeffect of the anethesia and should go away soon. After some time and pain killers Alyce settled down into Mom's arms and cuddled while watching some sponge bob. Once Alyce drank some apple juice they were able to remove the I.V., tape, and board on her left arm being used to keep that area immobilized.

As quickly as it started we were done. Once Alyce was able to keep her juice down and the I.V was removed we were able to get her dressed and leave. By the time we got home Alyce was back to her normal self; dancing around the house and having a good time. She was pretty spent from the entire experience and hungry as she hadn't had anything to eat all day. We gave her a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich and some milk then put her to bed early. She was so tired she slept until 9:00 the next morning.

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