We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Girl and Her Elephant--23 Months

She's almost TWO! I can't get over it.  This might not be the best time to write about her because she's been a barrel of fun the last few weeks, but if I don't do it now, it won't get done before the holidays so here it goes.  

Samantha still gets smarter and smarter everyday.  She now says her full name "Samanta" which she hasn't done up until now.  

She can sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Baa, Baa, Black Sheep all by herself (although she prefers to sing Baa, Baa, White Sheep...thank you Raffi!).  It's amazing to me because when she sings these songs, or her ABC's, you can actually tell what she's singing!  The tune is right and the words are all there (most of the time).  I'm sure I might be saying this because I understand her toddler speak, so maybe not all people could understand her when she sings, but it helps having the tune there so you can pick up when she misses words!

She's been having fun learning about Christmas this year.  She knows all about Christmas Trees, Lights, Stockings, Nutcrackers, and of course Santa Claus.  She does get Santa Claus and Jesus mixed up (who can blame her, right?  They both have beards and ask all the little children to come sit on their laps...I can see how it would be confusing! :-)) She loves looking at my Nativity and pointing to baby Jesus.  The funniest thing about Christmas this year, though, is the fact that we have some of her presents in plain sight (not wrapped) in the basement, and she seriously has not even noticed yet.  That's pretty nice because I'm sure it won't be long before we're going to have to do the present hiding so her whole Christmas isn't spoiled!

I'm constantly amazed at Sam's memory.  She loves reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" before bed each night and just a couple nights ago, I thought I'd stop reading every once in awhile to see if she could finish the sentences.  She did it every. single. time.  I've never done anything like that before and it was so amazing to see my little girl learning and applying.  Proud mommy moment!

I'm pretty sure her smarts are also what is causing some of these tantrums she's been having.  I have a feeling that she knows very well what's going to be happening in the next 10 weeks.  She sees that I'm a little more tired which means I have less time to really spend attending to her.  She sees me when I watch a 6 month old baby on Thursday mornings and she's aware that her life will be like that every day when the new baby comes.  I know she's understanding more and more.  And because of that, she's desperately seeking some control, and the tantrums erupt.  She's also just a very spirited, opinionated, stubborn little girl to begin with.  So all of those things combined, and we've got some major attention-seeking behavior.  I know it'll pass at some point, but I definitely have TONS more respect for anyone who has EVER raised a two year old.  I'm sure I'll say the same thing when she turns 3, and 4, and 5, and so on.  Parenting is never easy, but somehow, you still love your kids more than anything in the world.  I wonder how that works! :-)

I'm also definitely seeing Sam seeking her own independence.  Everything is "self!"  Even when she isn't technically doing it herself, if she thinks she is, it makes everyone's life better! 

"Decorating" cookies at dad's work party.

Everyone needs something good to read in the bathroom!

Reading with grandpa!

Reading in her crib!

This is when she had a really bad fever and didn't sleep well the night before.  Can you see the dark circles under her eyes?  Poor girl!

Best picture I could get of this adorable outfit.

I promise, she really likes Christmas!

I realized after uploading these pictures that a lot have to do with reading!  She's a lover of books, that's for sure!  I love that she loves to read.  It makes my teacher heart and my mommy heart extremely happy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sneak Peak at the 23 Months Update

Samantha has begun the "Tantrumming Two's" as I like to call it.  Who knows if I will ever actually update this thing with her elephant pictures.  My life seems to be consumed with trying to reason with an unreasonable almost 2 year old!  Just today, I've counted about 22 different tantrums, and it's only 1:30 p.m.!  And with most of those tantrums, I couldn't even tell you why they happened!  Just a 23 month old, being a 23 month old, I guess!  Hopefully, I can get some pictures taken, and have some time to upload them and a decent post about the other things she's been up to.  Until then, this will have to do!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Girl and Her Elephant-- 21 AND 22 Months

**Note** Partial to full nudity ahead...by the 22 month old, no one else.  Thank goodness!

I'm going to confess something and then forget I ever confessed and cover it up so "no one" knows.

I didn't take a 21 month Elephant picture with Sam.  I know, I know.  Sad day.  But, when I took one of her at 22 months old, I just did it in 2 different outfits, so I can claim one was 21 months and one was 22 months.  No one will ever know!

21 Months

22 Months

I thought it would be important to show Samantha as she has been the last several days: in just her new undies.  It really shows our life and her life right now.  I apologize if it offends anyone! :-)

Samantha has grown into a little girl (it feels like) overnight.  Some of her accomplishments as of late:

1) Potty Trained!!!  It took a week or so of staying home, but she's pretty good now.  I know there will be more accidents, but she's got it down for the most part.
2) She knows all her letters and can even sing her ABC's.  She often misses a few letters here and there, but the tune is there, which is pretty good too.
3) Other songs she knows and can often sing along with (but not on her own yet) are "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Same tune, that helps!
4) She knows her name.  She calls herself Sam, Sammie, and Manta.
5) She puts sentences together all the time now.  Most of the time, they are in the form of "I want..." so we've got "I want some dinner/noodles/etc." "I want to try it" "Manta do it" (not a complete sentence, I know, but we give it to her) etc.
6) She's pretty concerned with emotions.  Everything is "sad" as that is the only emotion she knows.  If someone's crying, they are sad, if she sees something scary, she gets sad.  It's pretty sweet, because that's usually the only time she'll give hugs and kisses.  So, she's learning some sympathy.
7) 3 new teeth.  She almost has all her teeth now, just in time for her to turn 2 and get the 2 year molars.
8) Her hair is finally long enough to put it in a "ponytail."  See picture to follow.
9) She has become VERY independent.  Terrible two's in that sense has come a little early.  The only way I can get her to do things is to ask is she'd rather do it by herself or if she'd rather I do it.  She almost always wants to do it herself, even if I still do everything for her...if she thinks she's doing it herself, everyone's happier.  Things she can do herself are put on her boots, zip up her jacket, climb into her car seat, buckle herself into her high chair, etc.  It makes my life a little easier in most ways.  Though, it is hard to be patient enough sometimes!
10) She likes to clean up after herself.  I've been trying to get her to clean up her toys before naptime and bedtime and she's gotten very compliant.  She also likes to wipe up messes, which didn't make the "punishment" of cleaning up after an accident very effective.

We took swim lessons in September.  She had a love/hate relationship with it.  

Just being cute. 

Her first owie needing a bandaid. 

First time with a "ponytail."

Ice cream date with mom after getting her shots. 

Samantha and the baby we babysit on Thursdays.  Her mom and I made the tutus and bows together. Aren't they adorable!

Halloween trick-or-treating at the mall.  

Halloween party at our local Tuscany Club.  I've got a cute family!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Potty Training Day #6

It's been 6 days, and I'm pretty confident that Samantha has potty training down.  Yes, she'll most likely have more accidents in her little life, and I have a good feeling she might have a hard time going in public restrooms and such, but as for here and now at home, she's pretty good.

One thing I have learned, is she is much less stressed if I'm not in the room with her.  She'll tell me she has to go every time and I'll help her in the room, but then I have to find an excuse to leave her.  Usually that means I have to go get her something, like a chocolate chip... If Derek or I am in the room with her, she won't go.  So, that was a good thing to find out.

As for today, she has gone twice in the potty and had 1 accident, but I blame myself for the accident.  She was in her high chair and said she needed to go but I wasn't quick enough, because I thought I might have enough time to get her cleaned up before she went.  I was wrong.  It was my fault.

I'm very excited to have a potty trained kid!

The next step will be to leave the house more.  It might be kind of hard since she likes to be left alone, but I won't really be able to in public.  Plus, she's using her own potty and it's a hassle to haul one around.  I'm afraid she won't use a big potty.  She gets a little scared of falling in, and I can't blame her, because I'm kind of afraid of it too with her being so little.

Anyway, I appreciate your kind words of encouragement, as that was (and I'm sure I'll still have my days) one of the hardest things I've done.  I'm sure it was one of the hardest things Samantha has done as well.  It was stressful in the beginning, but it has paid off.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Potty Training Day #2

I'd say today was MUCH better than yesterday.  3 successes, 1 accident (wait, now 2...daddy came home and she had one for him).

First of all, she gets it.  She knows when she's about to pee and she knows when she's peeing, and a lot of the time, she'll stop peeing after a drop or two and hold it.  THAT is what I'd call success.  I feel validated in the knowledge that I didn't start her too early in that sense.  She totally, totally gets it.  Does she want to go in the potty?  Not so much.  So maybe it's a little too early for her in that sense.  Only time will tell, I guess.

I wanted to be consistent and I wanted to keep going today, but I realized that some of the way that we did it yesterday just wasn't working.  Sam's not really into rewards or consequences.  They don't seem to work as a motivator for her, but I really wanted her to have success today since it had been so long since the last one from yesterday.  So, this morning she spent most of her time naked and we were in the bathroom.  I wanted it to be so close that she could get there and get a significant amount in potty.  She had a lot of juice and she was dancing around like it was super hard for her to hold it.  Eventually, she sat on the potty and even though it kind of stressed her out, she went for a long time!  I didn't make a big deal about it (when I do, she gets a little freaked out) but just kept whispering that I was proud of her and good job, and other acknowledgements.  The smile she got on her face was priceless.  I may or may not have teared up a little.  After the fact, well, then we did the big celebration.  I threw her in the air (she loved that) and I made a MUCH bigger deal about it than yesterday because I felt like it was an actual accomplishment because she didn't really want to do it, but she did it anyway.  After that, I gave her a sticker book and we played with that for about an hour.  She had 2 more successes before her accident, but we had to be in the bathroom the whole time to get the successes.  One of the reasons we had the accident was because I was kind of done in the bathroom and wanted to see what would happen.

After her nap, I thought it might be a good idea to take a couple hours off.  For her sanity as well as mine.

Right after dinner, I tried taking her in the bathroom again and we stayed there for about 30 minutes.  Nothing.  I went upstairs to give Derek a turn (aren't I so nice) and she had another accident.

Overall, I'd say SUCCESS.  She's a pretty stubborn little girl, so it might take longer than I had anticipated for her to really want to do it.  She knows how, it's just a matter of getting her to want to.  It's been hard trying to figure out how to do that, as the rewards don't really seem to make much of a difference.  Yeah, she likes getting candy after going or whatever, but it's not really a motivator for her to do it the next time.  So, I don't know.  We'll just keep on keeping on and see where it takes us.  If we do end up taking a break for awhile, I don't have to feel like I started too early, because the kid's ready. I'll stick by that until I die.  We just have to get her to want to do it!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Potty Training

For those of you who care, and believe me, it will NOT hurt my feelings if you don't, today was Day 1 of potty training Samantha.  She will be 22 months on the 9th, but I've had a feeling that she's been ready since she was about 17 months.  I just wasn't ready.  But since 17 months, she's spent a lot of time sitting on the potty (when I wasn't too lazy, I'd put her on the toilet without clothes and she went on the potty 3-5 times), listening and talking potty talk, learning words, and even telling me when she was peeing or pooing in her diaper.  I was impressed, but certainly not ready to do anything about it.  It was the summer and I didn't want to spend all this time inside when it was beautiful, so we waited.

It's cold outside now, so I thought, when would be a better time? Holidays are coming, but I have enough time before then to get this done; plus, I wanted a lot of time before baby #2 comes in February.

This morning was a little hectic.  We started after breakfast.  The very first time I put her on the potty, she went!!!  We did a celebration dance (there's a song that I found on youtube that's awesome) and she got to put a popsicle stick in the potty jar.  We set the timer for 10 minutes, drank lots of juice, and waited.  Accident.  That's fine.  We did our accident routine and reset the timer.  She stayed dry for 10 minutes, so I gave her a chocolate chip, put her on the potty and she went!!!  We did a celebration dance and she put a popsicle stick in the potty jar.  10 more minutes and more juice.  Accident.  Accident routine.  Timer.  Within 2 minutes she'd had another accident.  Then another.  Even after her having to get cleaned up every time (including getting in the shower in which I didn't quite wait for the water to get warm...).  I don't know if she was testing me to see if the same thing would happen every time, but it was a little crazy. The next 2 times she had an accident, she told me, stopped and we were able to go the rest of the time on the potty.  So we celebrated and put popsicle sticks in the potty jar.  I wasn't about to "punish" her for telling me and holding it (ish) long enough to put the rest in the potty. She had one more potty success and one more accident and the last accident was a doozy.  We had just been on the potty for about 20 minutes (I pulled out the iPad to get her to stay on!) and nothing.  It was almost time for nap and I was going to put a pull-up on her (she usually poos as she's waking up from her nap so I didn't want to risk it) but I wanted to change the laundry really fast.  Of course, in that 1 minute of time, after the 20 minutes on the potty, she climbed on our couch, and peed everywhere!!!  It was the biggest accident or success of the whole day!

After cleaning and putting her down for a nap, I took a little nap myself.  I slept for about an hour, she slept for 2.5.  She was exhausted!

The afternoon was a little less dramatic.  She never had a success on the potty and she only had 2 accidents, but they were the only-have-to-wash-the-undies kind.  She was able to stop before it was a huge mess.

I feel like it been a little bit of a regression.  Well, I feel like she was excited about the whole potty training idea at first.  Sitting on the potty was new and exciting and so was wetting herself.  Once that wore off, nothing.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

There were a couple times that she told me she had to go pee, but once we got there, nothing.  I guess that's good too.

Anyway, if anyone has any encouraging thoughts or tips, I'd be happy to hear them.  Today was hard.  As I told a friend, I knew it was going to be hard, but I knew Sam was smart, and ready, and awesome so I thought maybe it wouldn't be that hard.  But, I was reminded quite quickly that even though Sam is all of those things, she is also a stubborn, tantruming, almost 2 year old.  So, it was quite hard.  I'm hoping tomorrow is better.  I'm really hoping.  Like really.  Really, really.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy Birthday!

On September 9, I celebrated my 26th birthday and Sam celebrated her 20 month birthday!  We had a lot of fun that day.  She was amazingly well-behaved which was greatly appreciated!

We got up and went straight to her first swim lessons this fall.  She LOVED it!  She remembered all the things she learned from last time.  She blew bubbles, put her eyes, nose, ears, and hair in the water.  She let me dunk her and she laid on her back and kicked her legs.  It was really fun!

A funny thing happened in the dressing room after lessons though.  I had gotten Sam all ready, and was just putting on my clothes when she RAN out of the dressing room and into the main lobby.  One of the other moms tried to grab her (because, did I mention that at this point I was only in a bra and my bathing suit was pulled all the way down acting as underwear?) but she melted on the floor.  So, I in my bra and underwear glory, had to run out into the lobby, with everyone staring, to grab my kid.  It was kind of awesome!

When we were done, it was time for lunch, so Sam and I stopped for some pizza.  Yum.

During her nap, I got to cross-stitch while watching a show on Netflix.  It was nice.

When she woke up, I started prepping for dinner.

At 7:15, I went to my first ever yoga class which was SO nice.

Got home, had some dinner (that Derek had really made) and then we stayed up and chatted in bed.

I should mention that throughout the day, I had several people come and drop things off for me.  Treats and gifts.  So sweet.

It was a really nice birthday.

Utah Trip

We drove down to Utah at the end of July and had a blast while we were there!  Samantha did excellent in the car (we were lucky that she started liking cartoons literally the week before we left!) and we were able to make it there in a single day.  We left at 4 a.m. and got there at about 7 p.m.  LONG, LONG DAY but Samantha did excellent!  I stayed in the back most of the time, but I was so pleasantly surprised!

While we were there we did so many fun things.

Splash park


Birthday party for our cousin Emily

And lots and lots of time spent with cousins and, of course, Aspen, the dog.  She had a love/hate relationship with Aspen because she's still a puppy but is as big as a full grown dog.  That means she loves jumping and licking.  Samantha mostly just liked her from afar and the minute she got close would freak out! But she got used to her by the time we left!

Grandma Farr loved seeing Sam and Samantha LOVES her Grandma Farr!  They had lots of fun playing and singing together.

I can't say that the timing of the trip was ideal since I was in the middle of my morning sickness, but it was so nice to see family and to help Sam build relationships with her aunts, uncles, grandma and cousins that she doesn't get to see very often.

A Girl and Her Elephant-19 AND 20 Months

Sometimes it's just hard to sit down and blog, you know.  So, Samantha's 20.5 months and I still haven't updated.  Let's blame it on the fact that it's been a busy summer! Get ready for a picture overload!

19 Months:

Only 2 good ones this month.  She wasn't in the mood to take pictures. 

20 Months:

These were a little better.  I asked her to lay down next to the elephant and she was very compliant. 

When I ask her to say cheese, this is what she does.  Every. Single. Time!

This kid is a talk-a-holic!  She now says several phrases/sentences.  Her longest is "I don't want to." Typical toddler!  She also says "I want (insert what she wants)," "No way," and "Stop it." Typical toddler!  Every time she says "Don't" or "Stop it" to me, I always respond with "No thanks" so I guess technically she knows that one too, because she'll repeat it after me, but it's never her first choice.  Typical toddler!

We've always known Sam loves dancing.  But now that she's gotten a little bossy (see above paragraph), she makes sure that everyone around her is dancing too.  Derek and I cannot go ANYWHERE in the car without having a full on dance party.  "mommy? dancing? dada? dancing?" are typical conversations in the car.  Pretty funny.  

Samantha is also learning lots of letters.  We have foam letters for the bath that are split up between two bathtubs and then the rest of the house.  We also have one of those puzzle floor mats with letters in it too.  She knows some pretty random letters because of it.  She'll just show me a letter and I'll tell her what it is and she'll repeat it.  The ones she knows the best are O, E, F, I, W, X, A, N, and S.  Sometimes she'll remember B, L, H, and P.  Told you, random.  But, I think my kid is the smartest kid ever.  She has her own little "IPad" (it's a toy laptop thing that she calls her ipad) and she can find letters if I ask her but she can also say the letters if I point to them and ask her what they are.  I'm always surprised at how fast she picks up on things!

As is normal with any toddler, Samantha can be extremely bipolar!  One minute, she's the sweetest, most affectionate little girl, and the next, she's doing a bum-drop tantrum!  But, I still like this stage better than the baby stage. At least she can tell me what's wrong or what she wants most of the time. 

Speaking of sweet and affectionate, Sam knows that there's a baby in my tummy (oh, by the way, in case you didn't know...there's a baby in my tummy...) and she'll point to the baby, give it kisses and hugs.  Will she give her own mother kisses and hugs?  Not directly!  But, when she thinks she's kissing the baby, of course!

Samantha has also learned the express skill of fake crying.  It's pretty awesome.  

A couple of weeks ago, Sam was sleeping 14-15 hours a night and still taking a 2 hour nap.  I enjoyed it, that's for sure, but wondered what was happening in her little body to cause her to need so much sleep.  Well, I found out that she was having a major growth spurt.  3 pounds of major growth spurt.  I noticed she was getting heavier and when I weighed her, it was like, yep, I didn't make that up.  It was a significant change in weight!  

Samantha is pretty ready for potty training, I would guess.  She has peed on the potty a number of times (when I'm not too lazy to take off all her clothes to let her try) and the other day when we were in the shower together she said "poo poo" and grabbed her bum.  She's never said that before having to go, so I didn't really think anything of it.  Lo and behold, about 10 minutes later, I smelled a nice little treat in the bathtub.  Luckily, I had already gotten out of the shower by that time!  So, she might be ready, but I'm not sure I am yet.  Maybe when it gets colder, we can spend a few days in and work on it!

Another big thing that has happened in the last 2 months is teeth!!! From about beginning of July to end of August, the girl got 7 new teeth.  That's 7 teeth in 8 weeks.  She still only has 9 so I look forward to the next huge teething episode!  It was pure joy for both of us! :)

Okay, ready for picture overload?  2 months of pictures coming right up!

We got to go to Calaway Park when Carolyn and Jeff were in town with Elizabeth and Andrew and Samantha had an interesting time.  While she was on the rides and as long as they were moving, she looked like this: 

But, the minute we got off the ride, or it didn't start as fast as she wanted, she looked like this:

She had much too fun of a time!  The emotions that accompany such a good time are diverse!

My friend Laura came and visited us back in July.  We took her to Banff so she could see for herself how beautiful it is!

Why is my child wearing only a shirt and diaper?  Oh, I don't know.  Maybe it's because we were trying to get out of the house so fast that morning that someone forgot to change her diaper from the night before.  She may or may not have leaked through her pants.  Ahem...

Watching morning cartoons with daddy!

Helping us water the garden!

French toast and yogurt anyone?

Like me, she's not too happy for the cold weather to start.  These are gigantic on her, but they'll do for this winter and maybe even next winter!

More cartoon watching. 

That's as much as I can remember from the last two months.  I'll most likely stop these "Girl and Elephant" pictures when Sam turns 2 in January, just to start a new one with the new little baby in March!