Sunday, March 13, 2016

Onward and Upward

I know I'm lagging behind with these posts, but things are just so crazy/busy/fun around our house that it's like full time entertainment! As each milestone comes and goes, I like to remember back to the days when they each came into this world naked and helpless, sucking on my boob for all of their sustenance and relying 1000% on Mom and Dad for protection and survival. It seems each day since Day 1 has been an exercise for them to gain independence and for me and Jason to let them go just a little bit each day. Sometimes all of this change is downright exhausting!

I remember my brother-in-law saying one time when someone asked "What is your favorite stage?" He had the perfect answer "Whatever stage they are in right now is my favorite." I think this is a great outlook because there are pros and cons to all stages, and you might as well not miss any of it by waxing nostalgic about the past or looking to the future. But I have to say that the current stage they are in right this very moment is perhaps the cutest one yet!

There is so much to tell, so I'll just dive in.

Love and Logic (aka Mom and Dad) and MABEL
In typical form, I signed Jason and I up for a 6 part parenting series called Love and Logic at St. Paul's. I think most of L&L boils down to common sense, having a backbone with discipline and letting your little people make 'safe' mistakes so they can experience consequences. BUT perhaps the best tactic we learned that has (quite possibly) been overused and a bit twisted around by us a bit in actual delivery... We were introduced to Mabel.

Mabel is a fictitious the 'mean babysitter' who we now both have on speed dial. She is ready to come over at the drop of a hat, and she will actually even babysit for free. She is not nice or fun and she absolutely does not put up with any naughty behavior. The threat of Mabel coming to babysit whips them right back into proper shape from whatever shape they were in. There's a semi-abandoned house around the corner from ours and they even developed a theory that it is Mabel's House!

Jason and I sometimes struggle to keep a straight face with the Mabel talk, but the s__ works so who am I to judge? My biggest fear is that the kids will someday meet a nice old lady named Mabel and then run away screaming and crying. It is only a matter of time until they figure out that Mabel doesn't exist. That will be a Day of Reckoning and yet another milestone no doubt.

Olivia Update
Olivia is doing really well at St. Paul's in the Preschool program. Back in the Fall, she had a rough time adjusting to leaving the in-home daycare (Nina's house) where she spent so many years. She also struggled with some of the School Rules such as "no taking off your shoes", etc but those adjustments are long gone. She has made friends in her class, and she especially loves the chapel time that they have several times per week. She learns lots of songs from Chapel that she sings to us at all hours of the day. In fact, besides doing art, singing is perhaps her favorite pastime.

She has a great recollection for song lyrics and good pitch. One of her favorite songs from my iTunes account is "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show. There's a line in the song that goes "..nice long toke" and she sings it ".... nice long toe". This reminds me of my sister Chandra when we were growing up and how she used to misinterpret song lyrics in hysterical ways :)

Olivia is an adventurer - she LOVES the water and learned to snorkel while we were in Maui a few weeks ago! She took right to it and even saw a giant sea turtle too. Olivia has lots and lots of energy. Rare exceptions aside, she is a positive and happy little gal. She likes to hop and jump when she is excited, sometimes right in place. Her Fourth Grade Buddy at St. Paul's gave her an award one day for the most number of hops in one day.

The days are long past when I can clothes shop for Olivia without getting her input. These days she dresses herself and has an interesting style and sensibility when it comes to picking out clothes. She loves dresses, necklaces (from Aunt Molly!) and sparkly things. We joke that she is Celine because she sometimes has as many wardrobe changes in a day as Celine Dion in a Las Vegas show! I'm excited to get Olivia into music lessons when she is ready. We plan to continue to stoke her creativity with lots of opportunities to do her 'art projects' as well as really work on her swimming skills this Summer.

Quinn Update
Quinn is just about the same height and size as Olivia. In fact, when we are around town people sometimes think they are twins. Being about 13 months apart, we treat them very similarly, so I would say he is a bit advanced for his age. He is doing really well this year in the Toddler program at St. Paul's. The teachers even asserted that he is "top of the class" (!) and also very engaged when it comes to things that he is interested in.

Quinn is very strong-willed and strong-minded.... he will only do something when it is his idea to do it. We are working with him to become more flexible and accepting of other people's ideas. We are challenging his ultimatums at every turn. Recalling back when Quinn started talking at 16 months - he had spoken only a handful of words when all of the sudden he starts speaking in complete sentences. And with potty training, I tried to get him to work on it last May to no avail. Then he spends three days at St. Paul's and comes home the first weekend saying he wants to potty train. In the snap of a finger he was trained and I can count on one hand the number of accidents he has had since that day.

Quinn is interested in trains, riding his bike, clocks and watches, calendars and building things. In Hawaii, he was not so interested in snorkeling but he does love to build sand castles. Quinn is very perceptive and soaks up information like a sponge. The other day, I was telling my dad about my low carb/no sugar diet I started, and the next day, Quinn is telling his babysitter that he doesn't want to eat a peanut butter cracker because "it has too much sugar... I don't need all of that sugar!" We will be driving around town and he will say "Mommy! That's the (so and so) restaurant we went to last night!"

I'm so excited to use our new outdoor space for the whole Spring/Summer season this year. That new space has truly added another dimension to our home life. I really feel that the kids should be outside playing as much as possible. Funny story from last year... Quinn was playing in the backyard while I was on my cell phone outside. I hear him getting really excited and saying "Mommy there is a BIG BIRD! It's a BIG BIRD Mommy!!" So I go over to where he was and to my shock and surprise, there was a great big hawk on the ground eviscerating a chipmunk about 3 feet from where we were standing!


So that's a current update on our home front. Quinn graduated to a big boy bed this past weekend. About 2 weeks ago, I got rid of all of our potty chairs, so we are officially a crib, toddler bed and potty chair free zone. All I can say is it goes by so fast! We are really enjoying every minute possible (of course some minutes are better than others!).  Signing off for now and leaving you with some pictures from recent adventures.
xoxo claire

- Big Boy Bed
- Jeep rental in Lanai (The Banana Car)
- Snorkel Bob
- Family Photos and other fun stuff!