Friday, January 31, 2014

Brrrrr. YAYYYYY!!!! Potty training. Boo.

I loooooove. LOVE. love. the cold weather.
I love bundling up. I love the snuggling.
Seeing these little boots all in a row makes me so happy!!

After watching Karate Kid, Judah & Quinn have been working on their ninja skills! Look at Judah's round house kick!

There was barely any snow to play with at our house but the kids found every chunk of ice to break/eat/lick.....

I had so much fun taking pictures of the pretty ice.

Ice fangs.
My pretty little snow bunny.


One day when we got home Judah just started picking up the storm debris without being asked. I was so proud of him!


It was Vivi's birthday last Sunday, the 26th & she was SO cute with her cupcake. She was soooo excited. 
I remember so vividly her birth. I had the best labor of my life, being induced is a dream, until the very end when it was determined because she was forehead up instead of down that I'd need an emergency C-section, after laboring & pushing all day & night. 
I remember as I was anxious to go under the knife I closed my eyes and remembered a scene from earlier that week, of Quinn looking lovingly in my eyes and singing me a song.  I remember while I was closing my eyes I felt a shadow sweep over me, sort of like when something passes over a light source and I feel like there was an angel in the room with me. I've never felt that before.
I remember seeing her and just staring at her little girl parts in half disbelief that she really was a girl, that I really HAD a girl! What an absolute gift she is.

So for the past month or so Vivi has been increasingly been asking to use the potty. By about 2 weeks ago she'd ask over & over & over.  I finally told her when she's 2, a "big girl" that she could go potty on the big kids potty.  So potty training started on her birthday.
She even opened up her presents on her potty.
Here's my 2 cents on potty training.
With Judah potty training was ok. We just did what we thought was right and within a couple of weeks he was pee trained, but it took him 9 months (makes me shiver thinking about it, what a nightmare it was) to poop train.
With Quinn we tried "potty train in a day" because my sister had so much success with it with her son Devon.
Tips for "potty train in a day" that worked for us.
1. WAIT until they are ready. Wait until they are OVER ready. Even under the best of circumstances potty training SUCKS, so wait until they ASK to go & understand when they've gone to the bathroom. I'd rather potty train a 3 year old than have accidents for many, many months.
2. Make it a huge deal when they start and NO more diapers, except for emergencies & nighttime. Let them be half naked for many days until they get it that they pee on the floor or the potty & pray it's not on your couch or nice rug. Make them sit on the potty ALL day long. And let them drink exciting drinks ALL day long so they have to go. 
3. Have something fun for them to do while they sit & wait. Books, toys, or TV. Vivi probably sits on the potty 6 hours a day. She's become a TOTAL TV junkie and has watched more TV in the past week than in her whole life. She never cared too much for TV but is a total Paw Patrol addict. It's the only show she'll watch and even like a zombie came in my room the other morning from her bed & said "Paw Patrol Mama".
4. If they just aren't ready, pack up shop, start again in a few months. On this method Quinn was fully pee trained in 2 days & poop trained in a few weeks. (although he still has accidents at night, where as Judah never did/does- every kid is different at night and it doesn't have a whole lot to do with daytime training)
5.  Reward for potty.  They all get/got 2 M&Ms for pee, and for poop, a toy. Kids are totally freaked to go poop in the potty.  I had a Dr tell me that until a certain age their brain/muscles won't even coordinate to poop on command, which is one reason maybe it took so long for Judah (ugh, just shivered again. Someone help me if Vivi does the same)...  I bought the miniature my little ponys for her toy for poo... after she goes 6 times she'll start getting M&Ms...
6. The verdict is still out with Vivi whether we'll continue. So far so good, but she's also been half naked sitting on a potty everyday for almost a week. I think she's finally getting it but we'll see. I have NO problem starting again in a few months if it doesn't work out.
We shall see!

Every single person in my family could sing the Paw Patrol theme song in their sleep at this point.

And with all of these awesome, unexpected weather days at home we've been cooking up a storm. We raided the asain supermarket, well that's a bit of an exaggeration, but G made some slamming fried rice the other day.
All I can say is 1. giant bag of bean sprouts $1.21.  2. Hoisin sauce, YUM- use it in Ramen noodles someday, you feel like you're eating something other than Ramen noodles.  3. Silver Swan special soy sauce isn't THAT special, other than it's only $2.99 for a GIANT bottle.  4. Always fry your rice in sesame oil. You don't have to thank me for the smell in your house (delicious). and 5. Hi-Chew. A friend was so thrilled their friend brought it from somewhere in Asia that they publically thanked them. Being the candy junky that I am, I thought it'd change my life. It's a-ight. Not sure if it was gum or candy at first. But at least I can cross of hi-chew from my bucket list. Lol.

Rice bowl. YUM.
Or Co-neee-chi-wa.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time keeps on ticking.... 2 Milestones!

1. School Time!
 I cannot even believe that my precious baby Quinn started school today (pre-k) at Judah's school!  We are so happy that they started this program mid-year and that Quinn was able to start.  Quinn has been itching to start school for months. For months he's worn the school uniform, to be just like Judah. On Fridays he even wears the spirit shirt, just like Judah.
Quinn was SO happy he was about to burst for the past 2 weeks waiting for today! 
He gave me lots of hugs & kisses & told me he'll always be my baby & gave me a special bracelet (a rubber band) and drew me a picture so I won't be sad when he's at school.
He's such a special guy. 
My favorite things about Quinn:
1. He's so sensitive to other's needs around him & is great at sharing & making sure everyone has something special.
2. He's always trying to do what everyone else is doing & challenges himself constantly, whether it's physically or mentally.
3. He's very brave & he loves to talk about being very brave.
4. He's the most relational person I've EVER met. Every single day he talks about his future family, his "wife" , his "girlfriend" and at church on Sunday he asked the pastor if he had permission to date his daughter (who is 9 years older than him). 
5. He has the best sense of humor and is laughing constantly & has the cutest little face ever when he cracks up.
6. His little lisp. It kills me.
Things that make me laugh about Quinn:
1. He talks NON-STOP and most sentences start with "let me tell you something, can I tell you something" although we've told him repeatedly that he can just SAY it without that preface.
2. Most everything he says has a nugget of truth and a nugget of something fantastical. I don't think he thinks he's lying. I think he has such an incredible imagination that he thinks it's true. And when questioned if something was for real he says "I'm true, I'm true"!
3. Guillermo's Mom said that Guillermo's nickname as a kid was "the lemon" because any time you squeeze him, juice will come out. Well that's Quinn to a T, because he is my little drama king. Tears, LOTS of tears & all range of emotions, every day.  From being hurt physically, or emotionally. He wears his heart on his sleeve.


Can you tell how proud he is here? I'll never forget that face & that excitement!
2.  My baby girl is turning 2!
I'll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant. Viviana was a total & complete surprise. In fact, Quinn was out only "planned" child, so you'd think we'd be ok with another surprise, but we were trying REALLY HARD to not grow our family at the time, so God had different plans for us.
I had just gotten off a weekend at my sister's house & I remember holding my little nephew telling her how much I LOVED Dean & his sweet little self but I was SO thankful to be past the baby stage with the boys. The day I got home from ATL I found out I was pregnant. Womp Womp. The phrase that came out of my mouth in response to those two pink lines is not allowed to be said in front of my children. Lol. Needless to say God knew best. I wouldn't trade Viviana for anything in the whole world. She is my heart. I didn't realize my world wasn't complete until she came along.
I finally had a fancy "4D" ultrasound with Vivi, but she wouldn't cooperate, so I barely got a good look at her. I remember the only thing I really saw on her was really BIG lips. :)

Viviana was the BEST baby. Which is saying a lot, since Judah & Quinn were great babies.  Just an easy going baby, hardly ever cried, slept ALL THE TIME & was my best nurs-er.

The boys were head over heals in love too. (well, Judah more so than Quinn..Lol)

Baby girl at her 1st birthday. My goodness I can't believe how time has flown. I barely remember her this tiny.


Things I love most about Viviana:
1. She is totally in love with all of us, she is the most affectionate child I have ever met. Non-stop kisses all day for all of us, for her baby dolls & animals too.
2. She is fiercely independent but she wants mama all the time. Which suits me just fine!  Despite being my only non-daycare baby she never cries going to the church nursery.
3.  I can already tell she is going to be very positive & is super easy going. No matter what we're doing, she's all good.
4. She's all girl, but she can hang with the boys whether it's wrestling, playing cars, playing football, she's right there joining in.

Things that make me laugh about Viviana:
1. She has always been a little bit sassy. When she knows she's about to do something naughty or doesn't want to do what you told her to do she gets this snarky little smile on her face (see above).  One of her favorite sayings is "I don't wanna"..... go figure... ALL girl there.

2. She's like me and knows exactly what she wants and talks ALL the time.  She's very articulate and talks all day long. She is already "in charge" of her brothers, although I'm not sure they realize it yet.

3.  She is 100% goofball. I can't even tell you how silly she is. And loves to make you laugh. I never thought after Quinn I could have an even sillier child, but I think she has him beat.
I am so, SO thankful for her.  She just lights up our lives & I am so sad but excited for her to turn 2!!
I can't do my favorites about Quinn & Vivi and not do Judah!
Things I love most about Judah:
1.  Judah is SO tender hearted.  I have never met a more loving child that thinks about others as much as he does.  I have never had anyone in my life say or do sweeter things for me than Judah.  He is just genuinely concerned for others.
2. He's incredibly smart & just "gets it".  I can expain anything to him and he understands what I'm saying & remembers what adults have told him very well.  He wants to please us & his teacher VERY much and is heart broken when he feels like he lets people down.
3.  He's very strong. Both physically & emotionally & mentally.  He holds so much back until we have a close heart to heart and he tells me what's been on his heart and I realize he's been holding that burden of a classmate being mean, or what not. He's the opposite of Quinn, who I know his life story the moment we are in the same room.

4. He's really great at sports & is at the top of his class & is incredibly competitive, but he's incredibly humble and always wants to practice & try harder.

5. He & Quinn both have an incredible faith. They know God can do anything & He is the answer!

6. He takes incredibly good care of his sister & always protects her. He is a total protector & leader.  He is going to make the best husband & father someday!

Things that make me laugh about Judah:

 1.  He shows his sister SO much grace & compassion & love. But he gets SO annoyed with Quinn every day. Sigh, brothers.
2. He always wants to go first & be first & do something the fastest. It took us a long time to make getting from the car to the front door not a race.
3. He always wants to be like the big kids & grow up faster than I want him to grow up. He is constantly talking about what he gets to do when he's older, riding a real motorcycle, dirt bike, golf cart, etc.

I thank God every single day for these precious kids.  They are my favorite part about life!

Everything we do, we do it as a family.  I'm so glad the kids are down for whatever.  We love to play daycare & tea party & veterinarian clinic & race car track & indoor sports & building legos (or in Vivi's case, destroying legos).....
But parks are the BEST!

The kids play outside EVERY day. They need to, their energy reserves are incredible. Running from the moment they get up to the moment they're sent to bed.

No matter what the boys are doing, Viviana has to try to do it too!

We really promote sports in our house. Not only do Guillermo & I fear that they may have inherited our gene to gain weight fast, but also it's just so good for them! The boys LOVE basketball.
Quinn's an awesome point guard & can pass a ball like no one's business. Judah is an awesome shot and always gets the most points on the team. They both have to work on dribbling, as I think they got my dribbling skills... but it's coming along.

Our friends, the Lloyds came to watch the boys play.

Of course Mimi & Papa came to cheer lead too!

I'm so thankful when I have people to help watch Viviana too so I can actually watch the game!
The best part about every year is not the events, the trips, the stuff we bought, the places we went, it's my family.  It's getting home every single day & being SO excited to see my 4 favorite people on this planet & having every single night & weekend to do spectacular things with my favorite people.
Every single day is a gift and I am so, SO thankful for every day.  (Even if it means my baby starting school & turning 2, *tear*)