Monday, November 21, 2016

Two Weeks Down

It is no secret that our little Ella thinks that she can do anything that her older siblings can do. As a result, it should have been no surprise to me when she sat down on the potty chair on her own accord this past summer and went pee pee.  But considering the struggle that it was to get our two older children potty trained, it still was a total shock to me.  I have never had a child voluntarily sit down on a toilet and go the bathroom for the first time AND I have never had a child do this before his or her third birthday.  In fact, in order to get that to happen for the first time with both Lia and Logan, it took many hours of talking about it and practicing it.  So, needless to say, I was totally surprised and thrilled.  However, I was not thrilled about the timing as we were leaving to go to Hawaii four days later and I did NOT want to be in the middle of potty training while dealing with airports and airplane flights and hotel rooms and constantly being on the go.  As a result, I made a conscious decision right then and there to not go full-speed ahead with the potty training thing until we were done with all of our summer trips.  And so for the rest of July and all of August, Ella went pee pee in the potty once or twice a day, but still wore diapers.  Once again, I have never done this with a child of mine, but I told myself not to feel guilty about it as we would commit to real potty training on the first day of school after life settled down into a predictable routine.  
So fast forward six weeks to the first day of school.  After dropping Lia off at school, we came home, put on Ella's princess panties, and then set out to get Logan's haircut before his first day of PreK the following day.  Ella promptly had her first accident right then and there in the hair place.  Luckily not enough came out to form a puddle on the floor.  After many of these "little" accidents that Ella never seemed to mind, I threw in the towel after two days.  I just couldn't deal with it and I told myself that Ella wasn't "ready" because she never seemed to be bothered by having wet clothes on her skin.  My mother was not pleased with this decision and had no problem informing me that I gave up too quickly, but I was just too tired and busy with life to deal with it.  As a result, the rest of September and October passed in a blur.  I kept on telling myself that I needed to give it another try, but kept on putting it off because there was always something else that needed my time and attention.  
This all changed at the beginning of November when Ella and I were in her nursery class at church and I learned that a just-turned-two-year-old with a two week old sibling had just gotten potty trained.  This news sent me into orbit!  What mother of a newborn has time to potty train a barely two-year old?!  After hearing that the father (who works from home) decided to take on the task himself, I felt a little better about myself, but it still made me mad.  If this barely two-year old could be potty trained, then my two-and-a-half-year-old could do it, too!  And that was all it took.  Sometimes my competitive nature can be a good thing!  So the next morning, on Monday, November 7th, I put Ella back into her princess panties and recommitted myself to making it happen.  And I am happy to report that two weeks later, it is a go!  Ella has only had a few accidents here and there, but luckily it is never enough to make a mess on the floor.  And unlike her older sister and brother, she goes to the potty twice as much as they do, so the amount that comes out is always half as much making her messes a breeze to clean up.  I am so amazed that I have a child who is barely two-and-half potty trained.  I have heard about this world, but have never been privileged to live in it.  Leave it up to my independent and head-strong Ella to decide when she was going to make this happen and to do it months before I ever expected!  Oh, that Ella.  I just love her to pieces and am so proud of her for being such a big, little girl! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The End of Soccer Season

We officially wrapped up our first soccer season of juggling two kids in the same sport.  It has been a busy fall with one practice and one game or two games every Saturday since the middle of September, but we made it work.  Most of the time, Ron and I had to divide and conquer (with me going to Logan's game for moral support and Ron going to Lia's game to be her personal coach), but occasionally we were able to attend both games on the same day.  Overall, it was a good run.  Although Logan eventually got more confident on the court and would kick the ball a few times a game, we learned that he isn't quite ready for the competitiveness of team sports.  So, we are going to hold off on enrolling him in basketball and t-ball this school year and just stick with a small, soccer class that is offered at our Rec Center for the rest of the school year where he constantly gets his own ball and can just focus on the basics of dribbling and kicking.  On the other hand, Lia's soccer skills and overall confidence in the sport improved drastically from the previous year.  It's hard to believe that last year she was just trying to figure out the rules of the game and would really only play defense as she was afraid to ever kick the ball.  However, this year, Lia totally blossomed.  She really figured out the rules of the game and became a very aggressive soccer player, both on offense and defense.  Her assistant coach commented more than once on her great footwork and how she is one of the fastest runners on the team!  She finished the season absolutely loving the game of soccer and can't wait to pick it back up next August!  I am proud of Logan for sticking with something that he didn't love 100% and that was totally out of his comfort zone and I am proud of Lia for working so hard and improving her soccer skills so much!  To wrap it up, here are some pictures of their last games...

Logan's final game of the season was on Saturday, November 12th.  Here he is out on the court with his team.

Logan and another teammate chasing down the ball.

Logan going in for a kick!

Logan chasing after the ball.

Logan's assistant coach getting the team ready to give high fives at the end of the game.  I just love how little these kids look in comparison to their coach.

Logan "high fiving" the opposing team.

Although the Rec Center does not provide trophies at the end of the season, one of the moms on the team offered to be in charge of ordering them from a local company.  I was really relieved to learn this as Logan had been asking me all season long about getting a trophy and I never had the heart to break the sad news to him that he wouldn't be getting one at his last game.  Here is the excited look on Logan's face after getting his trophy after the game was over.  Look at how happy he is!

My cute boy showing off his trophy and certificate.

Holding his trophy high up in the air!  Logan had told me in advance that he wanted me to take a picture of him in this pose.  Such a cute boy.

Lia's last game of the season was today, November 19th.  She fought a good fight with the rest of her team and finished off the game with a 1-1 score.  Here is the backside of my girl showing her uniform number which was 22.  We all loved her number since she was born on 2-22.

Lia going in for the kick.

Lia throwing the ball back into the game after it went out of bounds.

Lia kicking the ball again.  I just love the angle of her body in this picture.

Lia chasing down the ball.

Lia stopping the direction of the ball with her foot.

My girl walking down the field at the end of the game.  I just can't get over how grown up she looks in this picture!

A spontaneous, team photo taken at the end of the game with Lia's head coach, Stephanie, on the left and her assistant coach, Dan, on the right.  Like every sport Lia has participated in, she really grew to love her coaches and her teammates by the end of the season.  She has always been so social and loves being a part of something.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Disney on Ice 2016

We headed out this morning to go to Disney on Ice as a family without Ella who we left home with my 12-year old niece, Vivian.  This was Lia's sixth time and Logan's second time going to Disney on Ice.  We always have such a fun time attending this fabulous show as a family and I kind of feel like it is one of the things we do every year to kick off the holiday season since it always tours through Western Washington in November.  This year's show focused on four different story lines:  Toy Story III, Little Mermaid, Cars, and Frozen.  It was the perfect mix of girl and boy movies to keep both Lia and Logan happy.  We had a fun time seeing all of the amazing costumes, special effects, and ice skaters while eating popcorn and candy that I had snuck into the show!  As always, it was a great way to spend the morning and maybe we will bring Ella along for the ride next year!

We always get there early to check out all of the Disney paraphernalia for sale.  Here are the kids checking out the goods.

Mommy and the kiddos in front of a giant, cotton candy tower.

Ron and the kids getting settled into our seats before the show began.

The Toy Story soldiers and other toys marching at the beginning of the show.

The gigantic 'Lotso' Bear skating around.

Barbie and Ken falling in love!  This is such a funny part of the movie.

Ariel, Sabastian, and Flounder dancing 'under the sea.'

Ursula tempting Ariel to give away her voice.

Ariel and Eric skating together.

Ariel and Eric with Sabastian and Flounder at their side.

I was blown away when actual cars drove out onto the ice for the Cars portion of the show.  They looked just like the ones at Disneyland!

Lightening McQueen looking cool as always.

Elsa and Prince Hans asking Elsa for permission to marry during the Frozen segment of the show.

Elsa 'letting it go!'

The awesome ice palace that appeared in front of our eyes at the end of Elsa singing "Let It Go."

Olaf singing about summer with the bees and the butterflies.

Elsa and Anna friends again at the end of the show.

Ron smirking at me while Logan enjoyed the show.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Celebrating Ron's Birthday!

We celebrated Ron's birthday tonight as our favorite guy turned 48 years old today.  It's always a bit of a rush and a roar to turn around after several days of Halloween festivities and go straight into his birthday, but we managed to pull it off.  Lia actually had soccer practice this evening, so we didn't sit down to dinner until 7 o'clock.  I made Ron's favorite meat loaf with all of the fixings and we ate in the dining room on the fine china.  We then sang "Happy Birthday" to him before enjoying the delicious carrot cake that I make for him from scratch each year.  We finished off the evening with the opening of a few gifts and cards.  Highlights included a new miter saw from us and a portable, propane campfire from my parents since we keep getting caught each summer camping during a burn ban.  No more dark and cold evenings for us as these babies are totally allowed during burn bans!  But I digress...
Happy Birthday, papa!  We sure love you!

Ella and papa smiling at each other during the singing of "Happy Birthday."

Papa blowing out his candles.

Lia and Logan looking on while papa reads their card.

Papa holding his new propane campfire with the girls at his side.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

We wrapped up a fun and successful Halloween evening tonight.  After an early dinner and a quick photo shoot on the front porch, we headed out as a family to go trick-or-treating on our street.  Although we had torrential downpours both in the morning before school and then again after lunch, we were lucky to just have light sprinkling in the evening which was totally do-able.  Ella looked adorable in Lia's old Little Red Riding costume.  She kept on saying that she was a princess and I just let her run with the idea.  Logan was a wild and rangy Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars movie although he refused to wear the mask.  And, last but not least, Lia was a beautiful Cinderella from the newest version of the movie released in 2015 wearing the gorgeous dress and shoes that Lola bought her when she was out visiting us last summer.  The kids were troopers trick-or-treating up our hill and back down again.  Even little Ella refused to sit in the stroller in between doors after the first few houses.  It just cracks me up how she manages to keep up with the older kids the majority of the time!  After being out in the cold for almost one and a half hours, we returned home by 7:30 to spend the rest of the evening munching on candy, answering the door, and watching the first Karate Kid movie (a total classic and a request of Ron's).  We even let Logan and Lia stay up past 10 o'clock so that they could finish the movie!

The gang all dressed up and ready to go!

Liarella showing off her beautiful gown and sparkly slippers.

Kylo Ren striking a crazy pose.

Little Red looking so cute.

All four of Lia's American Girl Dolls even got dressed up for the occassion!  Marabella as a witch, McKenna as a mermaid, Caroline as Elsa, and Grace as Anna.

The kids and mom starting up the hill at the beginning of the evening.

Logan streaking past Lia while I was trying to get a picture of her.

Papa and the gang walking to one of our neighbor's houses.

The kids about to ring one a doorbell.

After coming back home, Ella discovered the Dracula teeth that she had gotten from one of the houses tonight.  Amazingly enough, she actually kept them in her mouth for several minutes after I first helped her to put them in.  It was so funny looking--especially with her cute costume on.  Ron named her 'Little Red Riding Hood-ula!"