Friday, June 15, 2012

Week One

Helping Daddy pack.
My husband recently changed jobs, so his new employer sent him clear across the country to Georgia for training. Although I am very proud of my husband and support him, the training takes him away from us for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! That is a long freaking time. As the first week comes to an end, I am very inspired by single parents because it is a lot of work. Since I am a stay at home mom, I typically have bad days where I watch the clock and count down the hours until the end of my "work day," as does anyone at their job. The end of my work day consists of my husband coming home and helping me with our beautiful, but sometimes crabby, kids. With Dave being gone, I do not have an end or a start to my work day. It is just a continuous loop. I love my kids and I love being a stay at home mom, but everyone needs a break from time to time. Surprisingly, I am at a better place mentally now than I was at the beginning of the week. After a few bad days and a pep talk to myself, I am determined to be the best temporary single mom I can be, and be very grateful it is only temporary.

We started our week by doing a letter T project: TYE DYE!! I have been dying to do this project ever since I brainstormed letter ideas months and months ago. To eliminate the possibility of dying my kitchen table or floor, we brought the project outside. Spencer absolutely loved it because he got to squirt. Anything that involves squirting captivates his attention. Although I stripped off all his clothes but a pair of Elmo undies, he still managed to dye a great portion of his body. It took a handful of days to wash and, ultimately, wear off. In fact, I noticed remnants under his toenails when I cut them tonight. We saved the shirts for a special day this week.

To create our Tt flashcard, we borrowed a project from ECFE involving tissue paper. First we cut tissue paper into little scraps. Then we arranged them on a piece of paper and squirted them with water. After the tissue was dry, we removed the tissue to discover it had dyed the paper. I cut the paper into upper and lower case Ts and glued them onto a 5x7 card stock to make our flashcard.

We also used the tissue paper scraps to make Father's Day cards for all the grandpas.

Spencer wasn't the only one who got to enjoy planned activities this week. Ashton also got in on the fun. I found an idea in a parenting magazine to fill a wipes container with scraps of different types of fabric. This is a good sensory game. Ash seemed to enjoy eating the fabric and the wipes container more than anything. At least he had fun.

The main focus this week was potty training. I decided to eliminate diapers except for sleeping. Although this made me nervous when we went out in public, I knew the inconsistency with switching from underwear to diapers was confusing Spencer. I'm happy to report he has transitioned pretty well. He is a little scared of public toilets, mostly because he isn't used to sitting on the big toilet without a potty seat. He refers to the toilet as "the big hole." He is also a little timid. His first successful public pee was at the library. He managed to get more pee on me and himself than in the toilet, but I learned a valuable lesson: sit next to him, not in front of him. I also realized we needed to work on his aim ;)

When we are out and about some place that doesn't have bathrooms (i.e. parks), I bring the little potty with us. We have gotten some strange looks and a lot of giggles and grins when people encounter a little boy sitting on a potty in the back of the van, but, hey, it gets the job done!

Not wanting to be outdone by his big brother, Ashton decided to hit some milestones of his own this week. About a month ago, he sat up all by himself in the crib, but then he didn't do it again.....until this week. Now he can sit up all by himself whenever and wherever. This is a great accomplishment to celebrate, except at nap time when it is time to sleep and he won't stay lying down in the crib! But if perfecting the sit-up weren't enough, he also figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position. Imagine my surprise when I went to check on my little baby during his nap to find him standing up in his crib! I was excited until I realized this posed a major safety hazard and his crib mattress needed to be lowered immediately. I cursed my husband for being gone and not lowering it weeks ago when I asked him. Then I searched my whole house for the crib manual, which seems to have fallen in a black hole. Knowing I'm not handy woman, I decided not to even attempt lowering the mattress myself. Instead, I set up the trusty ol' pack 'n play in his room for a few days. Thankfully I have a great man in my life who made a quick stop today to lower the mattress for me (and fill the water softener, too, while he was at it). Now my baby is safely tucked in his crib fast asleep. (Thanks, Scharmer!!!)
You can't make me lay down to sleep, Mommy!
Spencer's peeing in the potty? So what, I'm standing!
Now that those two things are taken care of, any takers on mowing my yard for me?

We had a bit of a traumatic experience in my house this week that landed us back in Urgent Care. (Is it a bad sign that my two year old asks to watch TV the minute we walk in the building and knows exactly where the stickers are?) While we were playing at the Marine Art Museum for their monthly Toddler Tuesday, Spencer fell while carrying a wooden boat. A long, skinny wooden dowel poked him in the eye. OUCH! The doctor reassured me that eye injuries look worse than they are. He broke a blood vessel that will mostly likely heal on its own. It's already looking better, but it's still pretty gross. Besides the initial screaming and crying when it first happened, Spencer has been a real trooper about it. He only seems to notice it when I tell him he can't rub his eye.

Enjoying his snack while we eat carny food.
Steamboat Days is going on this week in Winona. I was reluctant to take the boys to the carnival by myself, but I braved it and am very glad I did. Spenc had a blast! Last year he wouldn't ride the train by himself, so Dave rode with him. This year he couldn't run away from me fast enough to hop on all by himself. Three times! He would have kept riding it all night if I let him. He also rode a whale ride once and won a red car at a fishing game that he calls Lightening McQueen (that he happens to be sleeping with tonight). We also went to the kiddie parade this afternoon, with a concert in the park afterwards. This is where we wore our matching tye dye shirts. I'm excited for more opportunities to sport them. I'm sure Dave is beyond relieved he was gone and didn't have to endure matching family outfits yet again.
Mini donuts!

Fishing game.
Whale ride.
Matching tye dye shirts.

Kiddie parade.
Long day.
Here are more pictures and a video from our week.

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