My Grandma LaJoice came over to meet baby Caleb. It was a good visit, and nice for another family member to meet the baby, since he's still kept pretty secluded. We feel like this increases his popularity. haha.
There were some bounce houses at the Superior Dome last week, as part of a fundraiser/soft ball game thing. We went two different days. The kids had so much fun, it was inexpensive, and it was a perfect way for my two little monkeys to get some excercise during these cold winter months. They got so overheated, as you can see from their pink cheeks, and they had a blast! I love finding fun stuff for the kids to do, and love it even more when it just makes their day. :)
The first two pictures show Benjamin showing off his puzzling skillz. This is his new favorite puzzle, recently given to us by a family friend. I think Ben-Ben has put it together at least once a day since we got it. Sometimes more. The last two pictures show a play group we had at the Dome as part of the MOMs Club. They had all kinds of cool stuff they brought out for the kids. Ben-Ben was pretty inseparable from a Diego bike and the bouncy ball with handle. Again, it was such a perfect opportunity for Benjamin to get some exercise and just get out of the house. Like I previously mentioned, I think we are all pretty anxious for spring to arrive.
I guess I'll write about two other things that have been on my mind lately - good behavior charts for the kids, and clothes for the kids. Not too exciting, but I'm a mommy of three little ones, so there's not much that is especially exciting going on in my life right now. :)
* So, since last fall, Benjamin would occasionally tell us that he needed to go potty, and we would let him try. He'd go sometimes, but it's not something we really focused on, mostly 'cause I just wasn't up for it. And I'm still not. My plan has always been to wait until this summer to potty train Ben-Ben. Apparently, Benjamin has plans of his own. Early last week, for two whole days, he told me he needed to go potty every time he felt the urge...with hardly any accidents. Even if I told him he needed to wait until I was done feeding the baby or whatever, he would hold it and go when I could help him. Well, this made me think that maybe now is the time, and I shouldn't stifle it. I'm still not ready to fully commit to this, so Ben-Ben wears pull-ups (when we trained Anna, it was straight to panties, with no in between...cold turkey). He's still only about 50/50 with the whole #2 thing, but peeing almost always goes in the potty. AND no matter where we are, he will tell me if he has to go...church, library, store, restaurant, anywhere. It's nice because we always had to ask Anna or remind her to try, but Benjamin seems to be pretty in tune with everything. I still think I'll wait until this summer to get rid of diapers/pull-ups completely. Oh, and I heard it was harder, or messier, with boys, but so far so good. Although, we haven't tried to show him the ropes of standing and peeing yet. So, I'm feeling a little like I just didn't want to deal with this until summer, but at the same time, I can't help but be so excited and happy for him. We're so close to having only one in diapers! Oh, not to mention the cost saved. Yay!!!
Because of this, we have started a Good Behavior Chart for both the kids. I didn't want to call it a potty chart because I decided to do one for Ben and one for Anna, and, well, Anna is already potty trained. Every time Benjamin goes potty he gets to put a sticker on the chart. Also, usually a couple times a day, I will praise good behavior I see, and tell him he can put a sticker on his chart. With Anna, she gets stickers for her morning routine...getting herself ready without being constantly reminded, and then again when I want to recognize her good behavior throughout the day. Oh, and if they ask before or after if they can have a sticker for something good they were doing, they automatically won't get one...it has to be random. :) When their chart is full, then they get to choose one fun thing to do. Benjamin has already filled up his first 4o square chart ('cause he goes potty a lot during the day), and chose to go to Jilbert's Dairy. Anna is one sticker away, and wants to either do a spa party with me, or have a sleep over in the living room. Many of the options are things they get to do anyway; it's just the excitement of choosing it themselves, I think. I really didn't want to do treats (candy) or buy a toy for them, because, well, this is cheaper (and healthier), it works well, and it encourages family fun. Okay, I keep asking myself, "Why have I never thought of this before?!" Not the whole potty/getting ready for the day part, but the rewarding good behavior part. I think the answer is, not to sound too lame, that both kids are pretty well behaved already, so it's just not something I've thought much about. There are certain behaviors that are never okay, and that result in a time out, but recognizing their good behavior has been such a rewarding experience for everyone. Since we've started this last week, I have noticed an improvement in sharing, helpfulness, kindness, and loviness...and again, they were pretty good at these things already. I don't think it's just the sticker either, because they get them so sporadically. I think it's because of the charts that I remember to find opportunities to praise their good behavior throughout the day, and they thrive off of that positive feedback. It goes along with everything I learned in my education classes about improving behavior in children. Anyway, enough about that. . . I just HIGHLY recommend doing this. Even if you have well behaved kids already, you will see improvements.
* Okay, that went on a little too long, so I'll try to keep the clothing tangent short. First, Benjamin. He wears size 3T, and has for a while. Well, his clothes fit well enough around his body, but some of his clothes have recently started to look a little short. I know he's tall for his age, but seriously? Clothes that are a little baggy on little kids look cute, but clothes that are a little too short just look silly. I guess I'm just sad that we have to move on from this size soon, because he has so many handsome clothes. At least Caleb will some day be able to wear everything. Also, I think it happened sooner that I expected, which is a little annoying because I always like to buy ahead when clothes are on clearance for the next season, or at rummage sales. Oh well, hopefully we will have some good finds this summer, when the garage sale season is here. And, for the record, Anna was wearing this same size at this age, I'm sure, but it wasn't because she was tall for her age. hehe. She was just our squishiest little bean. :)
But all good things do come to an end. Anna has evened out, and has been a size 5 for a while now. Size 6 is still a little too big for her, but it just depends. Here is my problem with clothes for Anna: now that she is out of the little girl's section (it only goes through size 5), the clothing options are kind of ridiculous. The next section, girl's size 6-12, looks like they are just mimicking the teen/young adult clothing styles, which I personally think looks silly and "off" on little girls. I mean, I think a lot of times it looks like the parents are trying too hard, especially when their kids are too young to know the difference. Anna's only five; I don't want her wearing clothes that look like they're made for teenagers. Yuck. Not to mention, I'm hoping she just develops her own style without ever feeling like she needs to wear certain things/styles because everybody else is...but that's a whole additional topic. For my own kids, I like to go for a classic (and maybe a little preppy :), young (adorable) look, because THEY ARE YOUNG. Nicer stores (Gap, Gymboree, Kohl's, etc.) have pretty good options for this, even in bigger sizes, but general (and less expensive) department stores do not. So, sorry for complaining, but this has been bothering me lately. I see all the cute, adorable options in the little girl section, and I think, "Why, can't they have this in Anna's size...she's only FIVE!" And I'm not saying they should get rid of the other, more teen-agey stuff, because...whatever...parents - and kids - have different ideas about what looks good at what ages, and what's "cool." That's fine...I just want OPTIONS...perferably of the adorable, girly, sweet variety. Anyway, enough ranting. We're making it work. And, good grief, none of this really matters in the big scheme of things...for kids or adults. :)
And I guess I shouldn't leave out little Caleb. He is wearing size 3-6 months, but some of these are getting a little snug. Looks like it's about time for a trip to the storage unit. I left Ben-Ben's baby clothes toward the front, for easy access. Caleb rarely spits up (because he has to eat so SLOWLY), which is super nice for avioding tons of laundry and having to change outfits. I don't like putting clothes on little baby bodies....no fun. It's also keeping the clothes he has nicer, longer. Some of them are hand-me-downs from Benjamin, gifts, or a few things I picked up before he was born. Oh, and I LOVE looking for matching things for Caleb and Benjamin. I'm sure it's a little more fun with girls, but I still think it's so adorable to have the boys in matching clothes.
Okay. I'm done now. Seriously. Ciao!