Saturday, December 31, 2011

Potty Training Readiness

How do you know if your 2-year-old is ready for potty training? I'm guessing this isn't one of the signs:

Feel free to call me insane, but we forged ahead anyway and started Potty Training Day 1 today, being this is the only 3-day weekend I'll have until Memorial Day and didn't have plans of any sort.

I'm calling it mixed results with the main problem being that after a the first few times, he refused to sit on the potty when I said it was time, so then he'd have an accident a little later. However, we ended the day on a positive note when he told me BEFORE he started going that he needed to go potty and then successfully completed the task on the big potty. Tomorrow I need to figure out how to make him drink more so he has more "opportunity" for success.

I've heard the best way to survive potty training is to drink a lot...but maybe they weren't talking about the kid.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bathroom Before and After

While Adam and Ryan were in Minnesota, I tackled a few projects, including painting both the bathroom and the office/music room. Adam put up the hardware when he got back to complete our bathroom makeover. It was purely cosmetic (the only kind of makeover we do) and included painting 3 walls blue, 1 wall brown to match the shower curtain, rug, and towels we had in our old house; replacing the silver/gold shower rod, towel/TP holders, drawer pulls; replacing the mirror with a framed one and replacing the gold 3-bulb vanity light with an oil rubbed bronze 5-bulb one.  My mom had purchased this light fixture shortly after we put up the exact same one in our old house. When she redid her bathroom, she took it down and saved it for us. We somehow misplaced the mounting plate, but after 3 days of trial-and-error, Adam finally rigged up something that worked. It saved us a bunch and made this overall a very affordable makeover!

Bathroom Before we bought the house:
Bathroom After:

Before we bought the house:
After update:

Before (moved in, but not updated):
After update:

 Before (gold/white hardware on vanity):
 After (oil-rubbed bronze hardware):
We decided after painting and switching out the hardware that the vanity and counter didn't look so bad and was worth keeping.

 We're really happy with the new look and I'm glad we're making some more progressive in making the house our own!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Minnesota

On Monday morning, Adam and Ryan took off with the rest of Adam's family to visit his Grandpa and Grandma in Minnesota. Ryan loved staying on the farm and was excited to see the calves! He also got to tour a chicken building with baby chicks less than a week old and toured a fully-automated dairy where the cows are milked by robots.

 At night, everyone was at one of Adam's cousin's house. I wasn't there so I can't offer any commentary on any of the pictures, but I think Ryan had a great time with all the cousins and kids!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Christmas Cousins

One of the best parts of Christmas is getting to spend time with family. Ryan loved seeing all his grandpa's and grandma's, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family over the holidays! Here are some pictures of the cousins.

Emily trying to unscramble her Rubix Cube. 
"Uncle Wade! You scrambled it up TOO much! And my name's not Tator Tot!"

There's our happy little Saylor!

Ryan wanted to give Saylor a hug and kiss.

Of course, he also wanted to give her some sort of facial adjustment/poke her eye out.

Playing trucks with Lincoln. 
One of these boys is slightly warmer than the other.

 A favorite spot with all the cousins--with Uncle Wade!

Christmas Night

After Ryan's nap, we headed to my parent's house for another round of Christmas! After eating dinner and lots of goodies at Verlyn's and Sue's, I was relieved to find there wasn't much to snack on at my parent's.

Before presents, we wanted to give a "grandkids" picture the old college try.
That went as expected.

So, it was on to presents. It was pretty much a free-for-all as people opened gifts as soon as they were handed to them. Ryan received lots of cool stuff, some only a grandma could give/get away with (aka thanks for the microphone).

What's better than a Battat Take Apart Crane?

My favorite present was the shelf I designed that my mom had VerHoef Custom Woodworking make for me. It matches our entertainment center perfectly and I can't wait to find some cool things to set on it!

Ryan's favorite present was a red PlasmaCar. Emily had received one for her birthday in October and we tried out the "little guys" on it to see if they could work it. They have a little growing into learning how to wiggle just right, but for the most part, I think they have it down!

Christmas Day

On Christmas morning, we went to church at Adam's dad's church, then had a nice meal at his parent's house. As you can see, Adam decided he would start a new tradition of wearing a Hawaiian shirt to Christmas parties since Christmas sweaters are too hot.  I predict this will last for 2 years since he only has 2 Hawaiian shirts. Or, we might just have to go back to Hawaii for a new selection!

It was great to see Andy and Kim again too!

 Ryan was ready to open presents and, being the youngest and now capable of walking and carrying things at the same time, the "pass out presents" torch was passed from Andy to Ryan. It was hard for him to handle all those presents without being able to open them, but I think he'll grow into the role.

At this Christmas, we go around the circle, starting with the youngest and open one present at a time, then repeat. It was hard for Ryan to wait his turn, but he had fun helping Adam and me open our presents as well. Here are a few of the things he opened:

Legos (yay!) and a container to store them all in (double yay!)
Farm animals--he got a "mommy and a baby" pig, dog, and sheep to add to his collection. 
Ryan loves playing farm and we really like the Schleich animals (we buy them at Bomgaars) because they are heavy and don't fall over easily.
 Thomas DVD set (handy for the 5-hour trip to MN he was going to make the next day)
The big hit right away was his Hot Wheels 4-Lane Elimination Race Playset. It was great that he also received a set of cars from Andy and Kim because only one car comes with the track. (Just a warning for anything thinking of buying this track--be sure you have more cars!) Ryan can line up four cars at the top gate, then pull the lever back and allow them to race down. At two points, whichever car reaches the gate first triggers the other gate to fly up, making the other car fly off the track. He loved seeing which color car one and he has learned how to reset all the gates.

 Ryan received some other great presents including a fleece and many cool books. We had fun opening our gifts as well and seeing everyone else open theirs. I love watching Andy open presents because even if you get him something EXACTLY off his list, like a certain brand/size/color/fit of a dress shirt, he'll still act surprised and delighted!
We were surprised and delighted that Ryan easily went down for a two-hour nap before it was time to say good-bye and move on to the next Christmas party!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Boote-stompin' Buddies

Ryan had a blast with his "Boote-stompin'" buddy, Jace. Jace is my cousin from North Dakota but is just a little younger than Ryan. He is quite the cowboy and the little boys had a blast showing off their boots (and belt buckle), running around and just bein' boys!

Christmas Eve Night

Christmas Eve meant it was time to dress up in his cowboy best (red party boots) and go to my Grandma's Christmas party!

Almost all of the family was there, so it was a good opportunity to get a photo of Grandma with her grandkids. Only my sister, Megan, was missing of the 11 granddaughters and 5 grandsons.
Did you notice the streak of girls? Well, it was reversed in the great-grandkids.  Emily and Lincoln are missing from this photo, but there are 6 great-grandsons and only 2 great-granddaughters.
 Here are the some of the boys playing together.
 Ryan, Jace, Gramm and Jackson are learning all about sharing.
 Saylor wanted to get in on the hoop action.

Here is a pretty accurate picture of Ryan for the night. Drinking lots of red punch (and spilling it not only on his vest but on his too-small shirt) and cheeks as red as his boots from running around all night.

It was a special night seeing the whole family and a great Christmas Eve!

Christmas Soccer vs. Christmas Snow

I think we've started a new tradition that we may not ever be able to repeat! After opening presents and getting ready for the day, Ryan wanted to go outside to "play soccer". Not many Christmas Eve's provide this opportunity, so I was thrilled we got to spend some time outside getting some fresh air!

Ryan really wanted to try out his new snow shovel, but that's pretty hard when your backyard looks like this:
(That's a pile of rocks)

After a little hunting, we found a little snow pile behind the building in our backyard, but the snow was so crusted over, it didn't make for good scooping. 

So much for a white Christmas:
 The only thing that's similar to last year is a cute little boy with too many clothes on.