“I Can’t” Stage

The girls are approaching 3 years of age in what feels like hyperspeed. As this age approaches us, I see how much they are changing. They are becoming very independent. It all started after potty training. Now they want to do every thing theirselves or want to help me do something, because they are big girls. Although they are independent, they still have those moments where they struggle with a task.  document.write(unescape(“%3Ca%20href%3D%22 http%3A//www.thecutestblogontheblock.com%22%20target%3D%22blank%22%3E%3Cimg%20 src%3D%22http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/find-joy-in-the-journey-now-free-blog-button.png%22%20border%3D%220%22%20/%3E%3C/a%3E”));

I read this blog post today on helping your child through those frustrating moments and wanted to share it Encouraging My Child Through the “I Can’t” Stages. This blog post was really encouraging to me as it’s very difficult to hear your child say “I Can’t”. It seems even harder when you have two saying it. It was a good read to hear how another mother handles the “I Can’t” stage. It’s worth the read for all of you mom’s going through this or soon to go through it. 

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Memorable Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

For Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to do something memorable for our mothers. Instead of creating or purchasing something that would sit on the shelf, I wanted something that they would use. I got my inspiration from Pinterest, of course. There are several posts on this type of craft. Here is what we chose to create.
Hand/Footprint Flower pots
Step 1: 

 We spray painted regular terra cotta pots a sky blue color. This took about 10 minutes on each side (inside and out). I let them dry for 24 hours before starting the next step.

Step 2:
This step was adding their names to the border. I used my cricut cutting machine to cut vinyl words/names for the border. I had the color purple but any color would work.

 Step 3:
This involved the girls. I painted their hands and feet to print on the pot. For Bailey I used yellow and Brooke I used purple. Each child’s hand made a flower. Their two feet made a butterfly. It is not perfect prints but that’s what I think makes them so special.

This part took the longest because I had to paint each of their feet and keep them still so that we didn’t have paint every where in my house. (It was too wet to do it outside).

After the hand and foot prints dried for 24 hours, I completed step 4.

Step 4:

Spray a clear sealer on the pots to lock in the paint. This will keep the paint from chipping and the vinyl from peeling. A sealer may have to be reapplied periodically to keep the pot preserved.

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Saying Goodbye…Or See You Later!!!

It seems as though we are saying goodbye to so many things within the last two months. Things are changing so fast and the girls are growing into these smart funny little girls. No longer my babies but soon to be preschoolers.

Pacifiers
Last month we said goodbye to pacifiers. It was a long two week struggle but we did it. I sometimes wish that we could still keep them, as nap time would be so much easier. It was very difficult for them to break the pacifiers. It would seem like one was okay but the other would cry, which triggered the okay child to start crying. They fed off of eachothers emotions for the entire two weeks before forgetting about them all together. It was a nightmare for Joel and I, but thankfully it is over.

Bible Study
Last month we also said goodbye…but see you later to my bible study mornings. I wasn’t sure in the beginning if we would like doing the weekly bible study. It was very time consuming, 7 days a week lessons, but we did enjoy it. It gave me 2 1/2 hours each Wednesday morning to talk with other women and feel like a real adult again. It was something for me that I was able to enjoy. The girls had so much fun too. They learned so much and had a blast with all the stories, crafts, and songs that they learned. They always wanted to go which made things even sadder when it ended. I say its a goodbye…see you later because it will start again in September.

Mother’s Day Out
Although I have some plans in mind for this summer vacation, there is still a little sadness that my Tuesday/Thursday just mommy days are coming to an end. It’s funny how fast you can become accustomed to having free time. Although those days were hardly ever spent doing the things I wanted to do but instead doing the things I needed to do. It’s still sad that it’s coming to an end until after Labor Day in September. I know that the girls are going to miss seeing their friends and their teachers. I hope that being home with mommy will be entertaining for them. Thursday this week is their last day and we don’t have gymnastics class until June. So that leaves the next two weeks at home all week. It may mean that we have to do some field trips to get out of the house and to enjoy some time just us.

Nap Time
I am fighting this goodbye as much as I can but it appears as though my little girls are saying goodbye to nap times. It started during the breaking of the pacifiers. Nap times began to be a struggle because they couldn’t settle down. We hoped it was just the lack of pacifier and that once they were over them, they would sleep again. Which was the case after the first two weeks, with the exception of one day a week. About one day a week, one of them, if not both, would refuse to nap. That number has increased greatly over the past few weeks. It has been so bad that we bumped their nap time back an hour, hoping that we wore them out long enough during the morning that they would sleep. Now even that 1 pm nap time is not happening. It has been four days since they napped. They still sleep during nap time at Mother’s Day Out but not at home. So I am fearful that this Thursday will be their last nap. I’m desperately hoping that with gymnastics and all the things we have planned that they will begin to sleep for an hour or so during the day.

It’s so sad all of these changes. My sweet little babies are growing into big girls. The count down is beginning to their third birthday this August. It’s so hard to believe that we will have two 3 year olds at the end of August. Time flies so fast and it is so true when they say that you blink and it’s gone.

Check back with us to see all our summer adventures starting in June.

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Summer Bible Study

At the end of April our time with bible study ended. That leaves us with four months without attending bible study. So in preparation for Summer vacation, I decided to create a 12 week bible study course. This course is a Mommy and Me course that I can complete with the girls. I gathered ideas from their home guide from our community bible study, the internet, and my inspiration book Just Mommy and Me Having Tea. As the Summer approaches I will post the bible study pages for all of you. This might be a fun activity to do once a week during the summer to help your child stay connected with the LORD.

The bible that I used to create the stories and topics from, is the children’s bible that the girls received at their baby dedication two years ago. The bible is called The Jesus Storybook Bible. This version of the bible is designed as a storybook for children to understand the stories in the bible. I thought it was a perfect way to incorporate the LORD’s word as well as other aspects to bible study. Stay tuned for the weekly bible study pages.

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Preparing for Summer

We are officially finished with bible study until after summer. The girls finish Mother’s Day Out for the summer in a few weeks so it’s time to figure out what we are going to do for the summer. They have spent an entire school year staying busy with lots of learning opportunities. I want to keep them busy and still continue those opportunities this summer at home. I wanted to do a theme per month but planning a month of activities for toddlers is a hard task and I have been unable to figure out a ton of activities. A few weeks ago I came across The Clever Housewife’s blog which included a post called Summer Sanity Lifesaver Schedule, which helped me figure out the best way to keep the girls busy. Here is her original post The Clever Housewife: Summer Sanity Lifesaver Schedule .
Summer Sanity Lifesaver Schedule
She approaches the summer schedule with five categories: Move It Monday, Tantalizing Tuesday, Wonderful World Wednesday, Movie Theatre Thursday and Artful Friday. These categories are a bit advanced for toddlers but it gave me an idea on how to plan their summer vacation. My categories will be:
Make It Monday – Arts and Crafts day. We can create many things together on this day.
Talk About It Tuesday – Our Bible Study day (stay tuned for our Mommy and Me Bible Study Lessons)
**In August we will also start ABC Tuesdays for letter recognition in preparation for returning to Mother’s Day Out.
Wow Wednesday – The girls will be in a local tumbling course on Wednesday mornings in the summer for an hour each week. This will be a fantastic way to keep them moving and make them want to take a nap on those days. J

Theatre Thursday – We will leave Thursdays for playing dress up, watching movies, or playing music.
Field Trip Friday – On Fridays we will venture out and take trips. Park trips, travel to the zoo, children’s museums, lunch with Daddy and more.
In preparation for the Summer fun, we need to get a few things for outside and inside to keep the girls entertained.
Outside Supplies:

Sidewalk chalk – big bucket
bubbles – big bucket
play sand (for sand table)
water toys (for water table)
pool toys
sunscreen
sunhats
sunglasses
bug spray
bathing suits
Inside Supplies:
crayons
paper
coloring books
construction paper
markers
finger paint
dress up clothes
puppets
movies
**Recycled toy bins – we rotate toys in and out of the playroom to keep them interesting. 

Here is my Schedule for Summer. Summer Schedule
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Tube Removal

This morning Bailey had surgery with our new ENT to have her tubes removed. The entire process takes no more than 10-15 minutes, just like tube placement in her ears. We arrived at the hospital at 6 am this morning, checked in and went to a patient room to wait for surgery. Since she is almost 3, she was number 7 on the surgeons list. So after we got her in a hospital gown and labeled with hospital bands, we sat for an hour and a half waiting to go to the preop area. After waiting so long, Bailey was really restless and kept asking when we could go. Finally just before 8 am a nurse came to get us to take us downstairs to the surgery floor. We were in a preop space for a minute before a nurse, our ENT, and the anesthesiologist came over to speak with us. Another ten minutes of waiting before they came to get Bailey to take her back to the operating room. 

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At that time, I went to the surgery waiting room and waited for the doctor to come find me. The entie surgery took around 10 minutes. When the ENT came out to speak to me, he told me that Bailey’s tubes would not have fallen out on her own. Some time in the last year that she has had the tubes, her ears grew around the tubes, locking them into place. At this point they were embedded in the ear canal and did not want to budge. He tried to take them out without too much trouble but had to cut around the tube to finally remove them. So she was expected to have more pain than what was anticipated today. 
About 5 minutes after he left, they called for me to return to the post-op area and get Bailey. This hospital is so nice and they allow for moms to come sit with their babies as they begin to wake up. She was very happy to be with mommy again. Although a little groggy, she started talking and requesting water. The nurse waited for another 5 minutes before taking us back upstairs to the patient room. There we got dressed and waited the 30 minutes that is required before discharging us to come home. By the time we left she was dressed, had drank a good portion of her water, was alert and talking, and had attempted to eat a bit. 
For the next few hours she was a little cranky and complained about everything I tried to get her to do. By 10:30 she was back to her normal self and was wanting to play. She has complained of some ear pain, which I am treating with the drops the ENT gave us and Tylenol. We are hoping she is back to normal in no time. 
She should be completely recovered within 6 weeks, which is when she will follow up with our ENT for her post-op appointment. 

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Muffins with Mom

Today we had Muffins with Mom at the girls school. They were so excited to celebrate with me at their school. It was so sweet! The teachers set up a table with their Mother’s Day gifts that they made that we sat and ate muffins and fruit at. The girls really liked having me at school with them, and were a little sad when I had to leave. For Mother’s Day they made me a flower pot with their handprint flowers and a little trinket box. They were so proud of their art work and excited to give it to me this morning. So cute!  document.write(unescape(“%3Ca%20href%3D%22 http%3A//www.thecutestblogontheblock.com%22%20target%3D%22blank%22%3E%3Cimg%20 src%3D%22http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/find-joy-in-the-journey-now-free-blog-button.png%22%20border%3D%220%22%20/%3E%3C/a%3E”));

Bailey’s Flowers

Brooke’s Flowers
Their trinket boxes

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Our San Antonio Mini Vacation

Last weekend we made a long weekend trip to San Antonio. We left home on Friday morning for the several hour drive to San Antonio. The girls did really well on the drive. No accidents the entire way! We made it to San Antonio around 2:30. Once we were checked in we rode a river taxi to check out places we wanted to see on the river walk.
On Saturday, we went to Sea World. I was very excited to take the girls to Sea World because I remember it being so neat. All of the animals and shows, I remember it being a blast. Well, Sea World is not what it used to be. I remember Sea World as a place full of sea animals. The “new” Sea World is nothing like that. No exaggeration, we only saw four animal exhibits and two shows with animals. The rest of the park is now a water park. The entire time we wondered where the animals were. The exhibits available for viewing were flamingos, a penguin exhibit (that was neat), an African turtle, and a reptile center. There were no whales, no dolphins, no fish exhibits, no sea lions, etc… If you wanted to see whales and dolphins, you had to attend the shows. I will admit, the shows were fun to watch but you had to get there about 30 minutes early if you wanted a seat and around 45 minutes early if you wanted a close seat. With all the walking and waiting, poor Bailey fell asleep before the Shamu show and missed the entire thing. After the Shamu show we left the park. We had been there for about 4 hours and had seen everything that we could see without going into the water park or riding the water rides. Sea World is now a theme park and no longer an animal park. I am sure that it is fun for children that are older and can ride the rides but it was disappointing for us. Sea World advertised to be a place for children to sea all of these wonderful creatures of the sea, and those creatures were nonexistent. If you are looking for a water theme park around San Antonio, I am sure it is a wonderful adventure, but don’t expect to see many animals while you are there.

On Sunday, we went to The Alamo first thing. The Alamo is something that never changes any time you visit but yet you always seem to find something that you didn’t know or see before. It is always a great trip to see a historic place in our state’s past. The girls however did not enjoy The Alamo as we did, which meant that I spent most of the time pushing the stroller around to keep them busy. It actually became a little game. I gave the girls each a map of The Alamo and they decided that we were going on a treasure hunt. It was so cute! They watched the birds and looked at the trees. At the end of the visit daddy even had a treasure for them, a penny pressed with The Alamo emblem on it. From there we walked over to River Center Mall and did a little playing and shopping before having lunch. The rest of the day was just relaxing and shopping on the river walk.
On Monday, we got up very early to head back home. Bailey had an appointment that afternoon that we had to be back for. Our trip was a nice visit and nice way to get away for a weekend. There were certainly somethings that we wish were different/better about the trip but it was something that we enjoyed. 

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