Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Potty Training

Tomorrow is July 1st and the beginning of the journey to a huge milestone in Braedon's life and a first for us all...Potty Training. We have been preparing ever since he started showing the first few signs of readiness about a month ago. He follows me into the restroom and wants to sit on the toilet and then flush it. He tells me when he needs a new diaper. He says he wants to go pee pee and poo poo in the potty. He is fairly good at pulling his shorts down and back up needing only a little help sometimes. I began doing research a couple of months ago because I knew the time was approaching. Most experts advise waiting until they are showing readiness signs but once they are ready the actual method used can vary widely. I am a very 'if we are going to do it, lets do it all the way' type person. So, the method I have chosen is straight to underwear tomorrow morning, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and train him to go to the potty every time the timer goes off, brace myself for his reactions, lots of clean-up, and hopefully lots of praises soon. He will probably get Whoppers for a reward but I am a little unsettled about that still. The first undies are just plain white non fancy but we also got a package of undies with cartoons on them so after we get it going I can reward him with those. I was feeling a little anxious about it all day today and had to keep asking myself what I was anxious about. I really have nothing to be anxious about because if it doesn't work we try again in a couple of months...No big deal. This is only going to be as big a deal as I make it. I want it to be a positive, memorable experience rather than a big, traumatic, emotional ordeal. Therefore, after mentally and materially preparing myself for the process, I am feeling a bit more at ease now. I am sure that tomorrow will be full of surprises but I am ready to be my baby's biggest cheerleader and keep coaching and cheering until he gets this. Go Braedon! You can do it!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Revolutionized Prayer Life

I must admit that I was lacking in this area of my relationship with God. When I really analyzed the situation and prayed for God to show me how to strengthen this area I found that I was unmotivated due to being overwhelmed with things to pray for. I would try to pray without ceasing but then realize that I wasn't praying and then feel bad that I had not been praying for people. Then, feel even worse that I had not even been praying for my own husband and kids. This always turned to praying for what was on the Sunday School or my small group prayer list. I was happy that I was praying for other people but I still was not sure about the priority of prayer topics in my life. If I prayed for my husband or my kids before I prayed for someone in my Christian community then I felt like I was being selfish. God was so good for clearing this up rather quickly for me. First, I was reminded of something I learned a couple of years ago that is basically an order of prayer as follows: Praise, Forgiveness, Thankfulness, Supplication. Secondly, as I began reading "The Power of a Praying Wife" I realized the importance of praying for my husband and that it is not selfish. In fact, it is the second most important thing I can do second only to praising God. This makes total sense given the order of priority in my life in general: 1. God, 2. Marriage, 3. Kids. So, my prayer life now looks like this:
1. Praise God for who He is
2. Ask for forgiveness and strength to overcome my sin
3. Thank Him
4. Pray for husband using chapter topics in order from "Power of a Praying Wife" or something else specific depending on circumstances
5. Pray for our kids also depends on circumstances or just in general that God would guide me in leading them to Him and they will fulfill His purpose for their lives
6. Pray from lists from Sunday School and small group or other need I am aware of

My goal is to go through this order of prayer multiple times a day as I try to pray without ceasing. If I do cease then I pick up where I left off as soon as I can. I am so not perfect at this or anything else I do but it is plan, goal, and a work in progress that, so far, has revolutionized my prayer life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Love Hard

Great family friends of ours are in the process of adopting a 14 year old girl through foster care. They are calling her Anne because since the adoption is not final there are some legal ramifications of posting her real name or photographs. We had the pleasure of meeting Anne last week and I wanted to give her something special to make her feel welcome. So, I made her a card and gave her a journal. Inside the front cover of her journal I taped in this picture. Her soon to be mother writes so beautifully about "Love Hard" and it is my prayer that it might provide for some intimate conversation time between mama and new daughter.

Family Playtime

Most days are family playtime but I don't always take pictures. We spend a lot of time on the living room floor at our kid's level. Life is so much fun from there! :-)
Praise God for His precious gifts of the little people He has put in our lives.

B and K Playing Ball

Kaley already likes to roll the ball back and forth with Braedon and Braedon actually does tolerate it for a while. Although it is not too long before he just wants to keep the ball to himself. A few weeks ago, Daddy taught him how to throw the ball up in the air and bounce it off of his head. Take a look at his attempts. My awesome husband got some great action shots.

Handmade Outfit for Kaley

A wonderful family friend from Florida made Kaley this adorable yellow/butterfly outfit. Kaley looks so cute in it that I almost don't want to see her grow out of it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kaley Sitting Pretty

Kaley started sitting up with little support a few weeks ago and she is getting pretty good at it. She still loses it and falls backward sometimes but yesterday she was sitting well enough for me to snap some pictures of her playing with blocks and on the bed while I was folding laundry downstairs in our basement/workout room/spare bedroom/play room. I did manage to get a picture of her in the middle of a fall while we were playing with blocks in her bedroom. Don't worry: no babies were harmed in the making of these pictures. Our precious baby girl is getting so big so fast!

Baby Pool In Our Backyard

Since we won't be able to go out long enough to go to a big pool more than once or twice a week we also have a baby pool that holds about a foot of water so Braedon can at least stay cool when we are outside at home. I don't want to be stuck inside all the time just because it is so hot, especially since our backyard has become more inviting. Oh yeah, and we have big grass patches already (it has only been like two weeks). I bet we have a bunch of grass that we just can't see because there is about a foot of straw on top of it. Anyway, here are some cute pictures of Braedon splashing around in the baby pool and Kaley sitting on the porch watching him.


The kids went to the pool for the first time last week and I so much enjoyed watching Kaley just kick back in her floaty thing and Braedon scream in delight as he got tossed around in the water. We are so tremendously blessed to have such a great friend, Pam, who stayed with Braedon for almost four days while we were in the hospital having Kaley. She has also offered for us to come to her pool. Of course, we have taken her up on that twice already. These pictures are actually from the second trip just this week because we forgot the camera the first time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our New Flower Garden-4

Our garden now covers almost our entire backyard. We still have about five feet at the top/back that is bare. The rest of it is mulched and has some things planted here and there. My awesome neighbors are going to give me some more plants from their garden. An awesome friend of mine, Jamie, is going to give me some irises and another type of daylilly, that just so happens to be my favorite, from her garden. I said to Andrew a few weeks ago that I wanted a flower garden, an herb garden, and a vegetable garden. At that time, I really wasn't planning on any of it. It really was like a distant dream. The reason we got the peony for Mother's Day and I planted it in a pot was precisely because I had no intentions of actually planting a garden. Fast forward a month and we have a flower garden and six different herbs growing in pots. Jamie said, "now you should stick a tomato plant in a pot and call it a vegetable garden." I would except we haven't been out plant shopping again. Oh yeah, and we planted grass. We have been spending so much time outside on our deck since our backyard is a little more inviting now.

The first picture is a side view since I can't get all of it from the deck. We still have tons of room to plant things. The second picture is from our deck. The strawed area at the bottom of the hill is where we planted grass. We planted it a week and a half ago and already have quite a bit coming up. It will be nice to rid of the straw soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kaley-What I Don't Want To Forget-2

I posted about this a couple of months ago but I want to keep the post going with current and cute stuff the kiddos are doing.
-she is cutting her first two teeth (after I freaked about a 101.4 temp a few days ago)
-she is starting to giggle and laugh
-she has been rolling over for a while now but she actually likes her tummy since she can raise up on her elbows and look around
-she is pulling her knees under her and then pushing her legs out quickly to inch forward...oh no, she is almost mobile
-she loves water (bath, swimming pool, baby pool, going to try the beach next month)
-she and Braedon make faces and laugh at each other at the dinner table
-she grabs at everything
-she is wide-eyed at everything big brother does and you can just tell she can't wait to get up and run around with him and get her hands on everything he does
-she eats 6 tbs of food 3 times a day and drinks approx 5 oz of formula 4 times/day
-she seems to actually prefer vegetables over fruit and has eaten spinach, green beans, peas, corn, sweet potato, carrots, strawberries, and bananas
Kaley is our sweet, precious baby girl and we are so blessed by her. Thank you God!

Braedon-What I Don't Want To Forget - 2

I posted about this a couple months ago and just want to keep it up with current and cute things the kiddos are doing.

-he runs b/w me and his dad giving hugs, kisses, and saying "I love you"
-he will tickle himself, start laughing and say, "it tickles"
-he tries to tickle Kaley, which involves him just poking his fingers in her stomach and sides
-he laughs at Kaley when she giggles and makes noises
-he has eaten dirt and mossy looking stuff in our yard several times over the past month
-he would much rather arrange and organize things like sidewalk chalk and crayons than actually draw with it
-the director at his school said one of his teachers thinks he will be a performer of some kind and that he seems to be musically inclined (I am thinking preacher or the next Jeremy Camp but we'll see what God has planned for him)
-he is such a daddy's boy and I just love the look of pure delight on his face when daddy plays with him
-he dances on command
-when he does something to get in trouble he runs up to me with his arms wide and says, "hug" to try to get out of his punishment
-he really is such a good boy...though we are dealing with some egocentrism, I would not call it "terrible"
-when he misplaces something he will turn around looking for it and then put his hands down on the floor and look between his legs and then say, "where'd it go?"-this is hysterical
I am thankful and praise God for every minute I get to spend with my kids! I am so lucky for God to have sent me such precious gifts!
Stay Tuned!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking-2

Got some more done today. It almost seems too easy and quick! Now if I could just find a place that prints 12x12s super inexpensive. :-)
BTW-Yay it is sunny out. We are going out to let Braedon splash around in his baby pool.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

Now that I have spent my first hour and a half figuring out my software and creating a couple of 12 x 12 pages electronically, I am pretty sure that I love digital scrapbooking more than traditional scrapbooking. I do love the hands on materials of traditional but wow is it easy to just drag and drop pictures and make lots cuter pages digitally. Of course, I never really became that "good" at traditional scrapbooking so I can definitely make cuter pages by going digital. Here are my first two 12 x 12 digital scrapbook pages. I know they are very novice because I am still getting the hang of using all of the edits and features of the software. I can't decide if the Valentine's Day one is too plain or if the black/white/red contrast all by itself just makes it pop. I think it looks sharp but just a little plain even with all of the roses across the bottom.