While it was raining outside, the last week of May, I suddenly decided it was time to potty train Andy. At that time we had nothing planned for June (except Connie's wedding) and it seemed like perfect timing. Andy will be three in September and I have decided to do Joy School with him. I am a huge fan of the neighborhood coop preschool. First, is is the right price. Second, I don't have to drive far, and third, I enjoy being involved with my children's preschool education. Since he will be in preschool in the fall he has to be potty trained. Sadly it is NOT GOING WELL.
I would like to use the excuse that he was in under-ware for four days and then we took a brake for five days while we were in St. George. We went right back to under-ware for eleven days and then another four day brake while were were in Powell. Unfortunately I don't think it is the vacations that is the problem. In the combined total of 18 days of training he has not pooped in the potty even once, and he has only ever told me he needed to go twice. If I set an alarm and take him every 1.5-2 hours he does fine, but he will not initiate going on his own. He doesn't seem motivated by rewards, and I haven't tried punishments because I don't really believe in that. I have tried the natural consequence of hanging out in wet cloths and he doesn't seem to care a bit!
I think every child is different when it comes to potty training. The way I remember it Cara trained in a day with an occasional accident at age 20 months. Caleb didn't train until he was 3.5. It was not easy, but he got it. Andy has been my golden child in every other way, but I think this might throw me over the edge. You might say he is too young, but I need to have him trained by September so I can't use that excuse. He does understand what he is supposed to do. Any ideas? Andy has been so easy that I guess I was due for him to throw something hard at me.
Here is a picture of the little potty boy after he got a marker. He had it all over, even on his tung.
Cara is loving being in dance and tumbling. I know that I am prejudice, but she seems so natural. She is really strong and has great balance. We are getting a killer deal on her lessons. She goes to two dance lessons a week for 30 minutes and a tumbling lesson for 1 hour 15 minutes for only $30/mo. I know! There is only one other little girl that goes to dance so she is taking semi-private lessons. There are no costumes and no performances, but I think it is a wonderful way to introduce her to these arts and see if she is interested.
One of the gals in the neighborhood had a dance class to raise money for Youth Conference. I like this picture of Cara even though she is facing back. They were doing some freestyle ballet. You can see that Cara has really good form for a five year old.
Here she is with the group of little girls from the neighborhood.
Cara is always busy. Sometimes I wonder if I am training her to be on the go. She has summer camp twice a week this summer with many of her friends, and she also has speech twice a week. She also has a demanding social schedule with Korrinne and Taylor. She was almost ready for bed the night I took this picture. Korrinne was learning to ride her bike without training wheels and Cara had to get right out there and learn too even in her PJ's and flip-flops.
I have to take advantage of every minute I am with her. I have been working on the piano with her in the morning and teaching her to read so that she feels smart when she starts school.
Ali is 15.5 months and still showing NO INTEREST in walking. It is killing me. I have never had a baby that crawled in the summer. Is is so filthy! I am pushing walking as much as I can. I guess she has made some progress. She pulls herself to her feet every once in a while and she will occasionally walk (not just scream) when I am holding her hands encouraging her. She is not cruising at all!
She does find trouble. This was Caleb's sunflower he had planted in a cup. She was more than happy to dump it out for him. I love it when she smiles and laughs. She is a serous gal, and we don't see enough smiles from her. It takes a real pro to get her laughing.
I think her tubes are helping her, and I hope we got them early enough that she will start talking soon! She was really sick early this month. She had a 103 fever for 5+ days. Her ears drained (she had an infection) and she was so sick with a cold in her eyes that it turned to infection in them. Poor Ali has a rough time, and she loves to give people a run for their money. She knows what she wants and she is going to get it.
Caleb is having a fun summer. He thinks he has the worlds meanest mom because I make him play the piano, read, and practice math before he can play with friends. He can make 10 minutes of piano, a little reading and five minutes of math last all day long! He is a master staler. Today was the first day he got up and did his jobs without too much complaining. I won't hold my breath, but maybe he is catching on that the staling and fits aren't doing much good. In fact, last week he told me that he would find a new family by the time he turns 8 because in our family the kids all have to learn the piano. Being the mean mom I am I told him to go ahead.
Caleb almost always has a ball in his hands. We got a hoop in our driveway this month and he loves to shoot hoops and he has been spending a lot of time with the tennis ball and racket. He plays soccer with the kids in the cul-de-sac, and for about a month this spring he was totally obsessed over baseball. He would continually beg Josh to go to the park and pitch for him. His main sports obsession continues to be "tackle" football. He CAN'T WAIT to play in the fall. He isn't even complaining that he has to save $50 to contribute to the expense of being on a team. After a few months of lessons he is over marshal arts so I guess we can check that off the list.
I was really worried about having him "full-time" this summer. He is totally exhausting. He is mostly good, he just never stops talking and begging. I am convinced that if I gave him the moon he would ask for the sun. I have realized that I don't really have him full-time because he is also obsessed with playing with his BFF Isaac. I understand that he is really good for Isaac's mom, Erica, he wouldn't dare be bad or he would have to go home. Oh no, not that!
We have been having a really fun summer, and this past week will certainly be a highlight. When my sister Cathie and her four kids come to town we always have so much fun with them. The cousins love to be together. Saturday was the annual Romer Reunion, and it was awesome. I love my cousins and aunts so much! I am so proud of them and love it when we get together. I hope that reunion continues forever!
At the reunion Cathie mentioned that she wished we could go to Lake Powell with her and her mother and father in law Sunday-Wednesday since none of the Coombs' cousins were going to make it. I said that we would be willing to drop everything and go if her in laws, Craig and Rita, were up for it. (They were providing the beautiful house boat, the top of the line ski boat, and the food.) She didn't dare ask them so when she got to their home on Sunday afternoon to leave my nephew Colter asked. Apparently they were looking for another family to join them. Cathie called and said we could go around 5:00 Sunday evening and we were on the road by 6:00. It was awesome!
This was a get away that we would have never been able to afford on our own right now. We are so grateful to the Coombs' for their generosity. We keep the ski boat running all of the time. Of course the tube was a huge hit. Josh and I love tubing, and the kids did too. Craig is the most awesome and experienced boat driver I have ever known and he made tubing a great experience.
There was also a toy called a ski trainer. It is basically a tube that the kids ride and they can stand up and hold a rope as if they were skiing. Cara was almost never out without her thumb up begging for speed. She loved every moment, even the two times that the tube filled with water while she was on it. She even tried skiing. She didn't get up her first try and we weren't pushing it so she didn't try again.
Caleb took his water sports very seriously. He had to warm up to the idea of each thing, but once he did it, he loved it.
Josh and I both loved surfing on the wake of the boat.
One of the highlights of the trip was going to the "canyons" and seeing the beauty of lake Powell. Craig spends one week a month at Powell so he know just where to go. We swam in the beautiful water. Josh, Cathie, Colter, and Cara did a little cliff jumping. (Of course Cara only jumped from a couple of feet, but she loves a thrill.) Riding on the boat was great. Andy was just happy to be there.
He would sit at the back of the boat and watch everyone take their turns. He is so easy going. I kept his life jacket on ALL of the time except when he was in his pack-and-play sleeping. He isn't a big water guy.
He was happy to just stick his toes in the water on occasion, and he loved feeding the ducks and carp.
Six kids, five adults, wonderful toys, what an opportunity! Luckily for us Josh's brother Gabe's girlfriend took Ali making the trip even more enjoyable.
We got back from Powell in time to get ready for Connie's wedding, which I will save for another post when we get pictures back from the photographer. It was an awesome week!
One of the hallmark traits of Josh and I is that we can be extremely spontaneous. I love to plan, and I do plan a lot. But when the opportunity to be spontaneous presents itself I can often leave my plans and jump on board. Memorial weekend was no different. Wednesday evening a client of Josh's in St. George mentioned that he would like to meet sometime soon. Josh emailed him and said, "how about Friday?" Giving us an excuse to get out of the cold weather for the long weekend. Thursday morning I was super busy at about 2:00 Josh emailed me and said, "it's a go." We were in the car headed to St. George within two hours. We stayed for four nights and enjoyed the beautiful weather and sunshine. It was even better because we were missing snow and miserable weather in Cache Valley.
Our hotel had two pools (one indoor and one outdoor) and two hot tubs. It had a park and a soft play with a ball pit as well. It was heaven for the kids. We spent a lot of time at the pool. It was crazy for me to have the four kids at the pool alone while Josh worked, but it was fun!
Ali is a little water baby. She loves swimming! She did take a dive in by herself once. I have to include that it was while Josh was watching her. Caleb is quite independent in the pool and made friends with anyone who would play pass with him.
Cara loves the water too, but she is very careful about wearing her life jacket. She wanted me to help her "learn to swim" but she wouldn't swim more than a few inches from the edge of the pool without her jacket.
Andy made it easier by spending his time in the 2 foot wading pool. He has no interest in really swimming.
We did spend time at the awesome St. George parks where my girls especially loved the water.
The highlight for me was Sunday. The we had a peaceful morning at church and the temple. We captured a few sweet moments.
We also went to Snow Canyon. We love it there! We went to one of the very small lava flow caves. These pictures tell a great story. The kids were very excited about going in. (We met a young man who had done it and was willing to show them the tricks.)
They all headed in.
Caleb promptly hit his head and came right back out - he wasn't really even in. I think the hit head gave him an excuse not to do it.
Cara emerged from the other end all smiles.
Another hike we did was to see the pioneer names. The kids love climbing the steep rocks. Andy really got into it this time too. You can see where Caleb stopped. That was high enough for him. Andy and Cara have no fear of rock climbing.
We had a great time being together.
We weren't even 30 minutes into the trip when Cara declared how she was already missing her friends. Sometimes it is good for the kids to get away and just be together. With six of us in a hotel room how could we not bond!
Last month my brother, Cody, graduated from USU and we took the kids up to watch him walk. We are so proud of him, and we wish him the best as he looks for a job as a high school history teacher. It was fun to dress the kids up in their matching Aggie shirts and enjoy the spring weather. (There was at least one day this spring that it didn't rain.)
While we were on campus we took Connie and Colby's engagement pictures. Yes, my baby sister Connie is getting married in June! We took this bonus picture of Josh and I with the temple behind us.