Thursday, May 27, 2010

School Picnic

Tuesday we attended Alyce's last school function, the school picnic.  It was an event to celebrate the end of the school year.  I used it as an event where I could put faces and personalities to names.  It was also an event where I could see Alyce in an environment where I had no bearing on her personality.  With her school friends her actions are her own without me interjecting my opinion.

Pulling into the parking lot I got my first view of Alyce with her friends.  Alyce's friend Reagan got out of her van right next to ours.  Both kids rather than waiting for their parents like they should of took off and ran to the playground.  After a bit I caught up with Alyce at the playground where she was playing with another friend Aleana.  Alyce has said on multiple occasions that Aleana was her best friend.  Seeing the two play together I'd agree with her.  The girls ran all over the playground, down the slides, riding the merry-go-round, and swinging on swings.

After the playground time was over it was time for lunch.  Alyce and Aleana beat Mom and I to the pavilion and by the time we got there Alyce was sitting at a picnic table.  Right then Aleana being a great host grabbed cups of lemonade for Alyce and herself, how considerate.  Both girls sat next to each during lunch with Alyce finishing up eating and wearing a cookie.

With lunch being over Alyce and Aleana both ran off to ride the swings.  They both rode the big kid swings but I think Alyce liked the baby swings more because I could push her even higher without fear of her falling out.

After the second set of playing it was time for us to go and part ways with Alyce's friends.  With Alyce going to a different school next year we knew it was most likely the last time she'd see any of her friends.  For Aleana we are going to be separated by more than just schools.  Aleana and her family are moving to Phoenix this summer.  With one final hug between friends they parted.

Alyce has finished her first year of school.  School two days a week and 5 hours a day has made a huge impact.  She started the year a very shy kid with a pretty limited vocabulary.  She finishes the year speaking in full sentences, complete thoughts, made friends, and is potty trained!  Alyce has really blossomed being outside of the home and I am very thankful she had the opportunity to go to kids day out.  Next stop preschool!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Six Flags

Sunday we took Alyce and Luke to Six Flags. It is Luke's first trip ever and the first time this season for Alyce.  Another first for Alyce is that she got her first season pass.  This is the first year that Alyce was old enough to need her own pass.  It was also her first ever picture id.  Getting the season pass was the first thing we did once getting inside the park and Alyce seemed pretty excited about it.

The first ride we rode was the Enchanted Carousel.  It was close and a good introduction to rides at Six Flags.  Luke was even able to ride the horses even though Mom had to be there to hold him.  After the Carousel Alyce played on the playground.  This was also the first and only ride that she couldn't ride on because of her height.  The two biggest and best slides available were only available to kids 42" and taller.  Can you believe it?  You have to be 3'6" to ride a slide?  Before we got busted on height Alyce and I managed to go down the slide so she got the experience.  Hah! Take that height checker.

After the playground Alyce rode all manner of rides in the Looney Tunes kids area.  Some rides she was very excited to go on and others required a bit of cajoling.  The balloon ride and the the boat ride were her two favorites while the plane ride was her least favorite.  The best part about the majority of these rides is that the parents get to go one them too.  They aren't anywhere near as exciting as an adult ride but Alyce's excitement was so infectious that was impossible not to have a good time.

Toilet training continued even at the park.  Alyce was a big girl and told Mom and I she needed to use the restroom and didn't have any accidents.  Upon exiting the restroom I caught this great action shot of her running into my arms.  I love it when she runs into my arms.  I pick her up above my head, swing her around, and we come to rest in a big bear hug that I want to hold as long as possible.

The last ride we rode for the day was the steam train.  The kids area is right next to a train station and the train came through more than once while we were there.  Alyce noticed this and asked repeatedly to ride the train.  We figured we could do it last and ride it back to the front of the park.  Before the train left the station I hopped off real quick to get a picture of Alyce.  Alyce voiced her displeasure with my actions by saying "daddy get on the train it's going to leave without you".  Adorable.  This was also Luke's 2nd and last ride of the day.  Had the Ferris Wheel been open we could have gotten Luke on three.

Luke was an angel during the whole trip.  He spent most of his time in his stroller but he didn't seem to mind except when he got hungry.  I'm thinking he was too busy taking in all the action going on around him.

The last thing we did before leaving the park for the day was to pick up a cape for Alyce.  Mom and I on previous trips to Six Flags say kids and adults wearing superhero capes.  Rather than wanting one for ourselves we knew that Alyce would love one.  So as we were leaving we were $5 poorer and the proud parent of one super girl and owner of a pink super cape.  It will need some hemming to fit perfectly but we know a few people with a sewing machine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Probationally Potty Trained

I'm probably jinxing myself even writing this but I'm thinking Alyce may be potty trained; at least probationally.  In the past few weeks things have been clicking with Alyce and using the toilet.  It started off gradually with saying she needed to go and doing her business without Mom and I saying anything but still having a few accidents to Alyce going full days on a single diaper.  Starting last Wednesday Alyce hasn't soiled a single diaper.  That includes staying clean and dry during quiet time naps, overnight, and a trip to Six Flags.

The driving force behind Alyce becoming toilet trained is two fold.  At home Alyce has said she's wanting to go to dance class and we laid out the carrot that she could go once she didn't have an accident for a whole week and wearing big girl underwear pants.  The other force is peer pressure.  A few girls at her school are toilet trained and I believe there is a set time where all the kids go to use the restroom.  I'm thinking that Alyce is watching the other kids go to the bathroom and she wants to be part of that.  I was taught in high school that peer pressure was a bad thing but I think peer pressure has been very important in getting Alyce to realize that being potty trained is a good thing.

So if we make it to Wednesday Alyce will be able to go to dance class?  Well not exactly.  Alyce has been doing great on the potty however, she is still weary of giving up her beloved "diiipers".  We ask her if she wants to wear big girl underwear pants and her reply is "not yet".  Last night we told Alyce that she was going to be wearing big girl underwear pants to school today to warn her of the impending change.  And talking to Mom it didn't seem as if she put up any fight.  I can't wait to hear how she has done.  Update:  I just heard from Mom that Alyce didn't have any accidents at school today!  I think that is cause for celebration; ice cream tonight!

We are kind of pushing the toilet training now because pretty soon (Thursday) her school is over for the summer and we lose that driving force called conformity.  I'm knocking on wood in hopes that we can close the diapers chapter on the book that is Alyce's life.


One night while hanging out with my friend Ted we discussed how having a 2nd kid doesn't make things twice as difficult.  There are a lot of things that double the amount of effort you have to put out.  For instance, diapers.  Both kids have them and they can't share so you are left changing twice as many as you used to.  On the other hand there are a lot of synergies that does ease the burden of a second child.  You have double the laundry which isn't fun but because kids clothes are so small there is enough extra room with Alyce's clothing that we can throw in Luke's.

One synergy that we are just now starting to enjoy is the two kid bath.  Just recently we started putting Luke in the bath with Alyce and the results have been pretty good.  A few weeks ago we took Luke out of his baby tub and plopped him in the big boy bath.  Mom and I thought why not put them in together.  We asked Alyce if that would be o.k. and she responded with an emphatic "yes"!  So now we have both kids in the tub getting clean at the same time.  Luke still requires 100% attention in the tub so now Mom and I both have to be in there to get the kids clean.  But now instead of two 20 minute baths we have a single 20 minute bath.  Another positive from this is that Luke is now getting more baths per week.  It used to be an immense undertaking to get him clean with the baby tub and pre setting out the towels and clothes.  Which on late evenings Mom and I would just skip the bath as we just didn't have the energy for it.

One area I am really looking forward two is the synergies when it is time to go to bed.  Once both kids are semi self sufficient one parent could handle getting  the kids in their p.j.s, reading a single book to two kids, and getting them both off to bed.  That is still a year or two away but it will be so nice when it shows up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Things Kids Say

As Alyce and I were leaving to go pick up dinner Luke was standing at the door to the garage watching us go. Luke let out a little cry to show his displeasure. Alyce said out loud to Luke "don't worry Luke I'm coming back".

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Car Boogies

Mom and I had a great laugh tonight.  On our way home from dinner at our friends Josh and Tammy Alyce asked Mom or I to open the window.  It was roughly 50 degrees outside so we asked Alyce why she wanted the window open.  Alyce responded with "because there are boogies in the car".  Mom then offered a tissue for Alyce to clean off her boogies.  Alyce followed with "no, I put it back in my nose".  Mom and I erupted with laughter!  I love it when kids do funny stuff like this.

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