Monday, June 30, 2008

Macker Time

Every summer we make the annual pilgrimage up to Ludington, so Matt can play in the Ludington Macker. We've gone every summer since we've been together which I just realized makes this past weekend our 11th trip (and Matt went for years and years before me during junior high and high school).

It was a pretty good weekend as far as Mackers go. It was freezing up there which is unusual because all of my other Macker memories involve me dripping with sweat. Mackers are usually breeding grounds for fights too but nothing too ugly this year (if you've ever been to a Macker, you know what I mean!) Matt's team (he played with his buddies Ross, Jon and Jim) ended up taking 3rd which seems really good to the average bystander, but I think they were a little frustrated because they thought they could have done better. We were also able to cheer on Chad's and Kyle's teams.

Dylan came with us both days and did very well for being a three year old. He loved all the basketball and the people, but he was a little tired and bored by the time we left. Ella stayed with my parents for two whole nights which was a lot for this Mommy to handle, but we all survived and were very happy to see each other again.

Matt's brother Brett is also home for the next week - him and Kara drove up to watch on Sunday. He'll be home for a week and then they will be flying back to CA next Sunday. Matt is playing in the 3-on-3 tournament in Grandville with Brett and Chad on the 4th of July and then basketball tournament season will be done...until next year.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Heart Holland

We spent the afternoon in downtown Holland yesterday because we had a couple of hours between the wedding and the reception to kill. I bought this yummy smelling candle at Home & Company. They are made right here in West Michigan in Zeeland and it smells soooo good (Cucumber Apple) plus it's made out of soy bean wax, so it burns cleaner and longer. I also fell in love with this giant metal rooster. I want it for my yard, but Kara wisely pointed out that it's just the sort of thing people would try to steal. Maybe I could cement it down??

june wedding

Matt's cousin Rachel got married yesterday. She and Brad had a beautiful outdoor wedding in Grand Haven on top of a hill overlooking Lake Michigan (it sprinkled a little, but no downpour) followed by a reception in the backyard of Brad's mom's house (outside too under a big white tent). Matt missed the wedding because he was working - he met us at the reception - but I got have to have some good girl time with my sister-in-laws.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Date Night!

Last night we enjoyed a very fun and relaxing date night with our friends Katie and Ernie. [Katie and I literally gasped when we saw each other - we usually see each other in our sweats and t-shirts with kid drool all over and we hardly recoginized each other all dressed up.] We ate dinner at The Melting Pot which we have wanted to try for some time now. The food was good (and also EXPENSIVE) but, no worries, because Katie and Ernie had gift certificates that they shared with us. The chocolate fondue was amazing. I'd definitely go back for that.

After dinner, we went to the BOB for a comedy show at Dr. Grins. That was my first time at an actual comedy show. The opening acts were horrible, but the headliner and the guy right before him were funny. Katie and Ernie had seen the comedian before - Pat Godwin - and it felt good to just laugh and laugh.

The kids spent the night with my parents last night so we could go on date night and because Matt's cousin Rachel is getting married today and we opted not to bring them along. She's getting married outside today in Grand Haven, so I hope the weather holds out for them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

growing up...

Ella reached a big milestone this's not an "official" milestone, but it's one in my book...she can now go down stairs on her own. The gate at the bottom of our stairs came loose a couple of nights ago (it's a pressure mounted walk-through gate), and we didn't put it back up right away, so she's been going up and down the stairs more freely. I watched her a few times to make sure she had a good handle on it, and she does just fine. It's amazing how "open" our stairs look without the gate up, and it's nice to not always have to worry about whether the gate is open or closed (we also have a more portable/removeable gate at the top of our stairs that we used to have to remember to put up when Ella was upstairs).

Dylan is also growing up fast. We've pretty much dropped his afternoon nap now. We tried a couple of months ago and it was pretty much horrible, but this time it's going better. He's getting better and better at occupying himself in the afternoon - I'm explaining to him that afternoon's are "quiet time" - and I'm able to get some stuff done while he plays cars or colors or watches Sesame Street. The best part is that he's actually in bed and SLEEPING by 7:30 (instead of 10 or 11pm when he naps...yikes).

He has also made some good potty training progress. I haven't updated since I last declared potty training success, but unfortunately that was short lived and he regressed pretty quickly. It was driving me crazy (everyone tells you it's no big deal, but you definitely feel like a failure when your 3 1/2 year old is nowhere near being potty trained!) I did some research (what did moms do before Google??) and I found an explanation on "potty resistance."

A child who is potty resistant basically refuses to use the potty, usually because they have been reminded or lectured or pressured too much (he knows how to go, he just doesn't want to because he knows we want him to - any child who is over 3 years old, healthy, and not toilet trained after several months of trying can be assumed to be resistant to the process rather than undertrained). Basically we were probably freaking him out by reminding him all the time and it turned into a big power struggle. Here are the potty resistant "rules" (I'm listing them here in case anyone else is struggling with this or might struggle with it in the future - Google it for more info):

1. Transfer all responsibility to your child.
2. Stop all reminders about using the toilet.
3. Give incentives for using the toilet.
4. Make the potty chair convenient.
5. Whenever possible, replace pull-ups or diapers with underwear.
6. Remind your child to change his clothes if he wets or soils himself.
7. Don't punish or criticize your child for accidents.

It was hard for us at first to bite our tongues and not remind him, but it's getting easier and he's responding really well. We've been at it about a week and the first couple of days he had a few accidents (which he has learned to clean up himself), but now he's been dry for a couple of days. He wears underwear everywhere now during the day which was also a little scary for us but he's doing just fine. I hope this is my last post about potty training!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

to swim or not to swim?

[photo, July 2006, waterbabies swim class]

Dylan started swimming lessons on Monday, and I was expecting him to be somewhat excited about them (or at least not hate them) but after two nights...he pretty much hates them. Last night he screamed and cried and refused to get into the water at all. Tonight, Matt was able to come with and Dylan did get in the pool (there was some bribery involved), but he looked miserable the entire time and started crying again at the end.

The question we go back for tomorrow night? Matt says absolutely not. Dylan's not having fun, it's an inconvenience for us all for something he doesn't even like (I have to find a sitter for Ella if Matt's working), and we're possibly traumitizing him. I tend to be a little on the suck-it-up-kid side of parenting, and I figure he might get over it and actually learn something, and I feel like he should go because we paid $40 for the lessons.

The thing about Dylan is that's it's not actually the water he dislikes (he "swims" all the time on vacation and at the pool at my parents' condo), but he is very uncomfortable with the entire swimming lesson situation. It's loud, there are a few other kids upset and crying, he doesn't know the people around him, and we're not in the water with him. Matt says he can actually remember having the same feelings about swimming lessons as a kid. I happen to have fairly happy memories of swimming lessons, so I just figured this was a rite of passage.

I guess I'm leaning towards not taking him back, but that's not my natural instinct...what do you think?

Friday, June 6, 2008

working together

I walked into the room the other day and saw this...
I love that they (usually) get along. 
 I hope they continue to be close as they grow up!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Kiddos

It's normally really hard for me to take pictures of the kids that really capture their personalities. I'm not a fancy photographer person with a fancy camera, and my children hardly ever cooperate and/or stand still long enough to take a picture. I took these the other day while they were playing outside and I LOVE them. The really great part is I only took four pictures and they all turned out.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

She's here!

My good friend Katie and her husband Bryan welcomed little Emily Kaye into the world last Sunday. They have a pretty crazy labor can read it here.
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