Monday, June 30, 2008

A Day in the Life of....

I belong to this wonderful close-knit group of women online at APU and they are always coming up with cool ways for us to get to know each other better. We have "Swap from the Heart" sign-ups which pairs no-longer-needed items with new grateful owners. We have a Holiday Card list and a gift exchange once a year. We also throw boxed babyshowers and surprises. And an un-expecting mom that is having a rough time may just find a group giftcard in the mail one day.

Every once in a while, we post "A Day In The Life Of" threads where we all lug our cameras around with us for an entire day and chronicle our lives with pictures. Since we are all moms, some of our pictures just include feeding kids and doing dishes, but no matter how trivial our days seem to ourselves, they are a huge glimpse into our vast life for others to enjoy.

Here's ours from Saturday:

Friday, June 27, 2008

The week in review...

Monday: We had a fun playdate with our former neighbors, aka, Jaina's best friend in the whole world. They had a tea party with lemonade and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I took pictures, but I'm lazy and haven't uploaded them yet. I also tried making a braided sandwich ring for the first time. It tasted good, but looked horrible. Bread dough is NOT as easy to mold as I had thought.

Tuesday: Carowinds. See below post.

Wednesday: I'm blanking on our day. Did aliens come and steal me for the day or what? I remember that Brian didn't come home for dinner due to helping a friend load a moving truck, but the rest of the day is a complete blur. I must be getting old.

Thursday: We had an awesome day! We took Alli to the groomer, then headed to Storytime at the library downtown. We've avoided storytime for the last year because its been so stressful with Jayce. This time, he sat through the entire storytime! What a change! And we looked at books on the reading train for a whole hour afterwards! Then we met our friends Angie and Virginia and invited them back to our house for lunch and a playdate. While they were there, Jayce's EI came and he had the best visit ever with her (funny how it was our last one with this particular EI!).

Friday: Today I took the kids to the waterpark in a neighboring town. Even Jayce :) I did call my dear friend Monica to come as a reinforcement. And thank goodness I did! She was able to entertain Jaina at the water park while I followed Jayce around for over 2 hours. He had some rough patches where he was scared of everyone with their big blue floats on the lazy river, but for the most part, he had a good time. Then we drove to a local park to have a picnic lunch. It was a fun, but tiring, day :) I committed a cardinal sin and FORGOT MY CAMERA AT HOME! What on earth was I thinking?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carowinds

Brian took the day off and we headed to Carowinds as a family. For those of you who don't live locally, Carowinds is technically in both North Carolina AND South Carolina. The park actually runs right through the boarder. Even though we only live 45 minutes from the boarder, there is no good way to get to the theme park, so we have to drive up into NC, like we are going to Charlotte, then we have to head south again like we are going back to Columbia, SC. Its so annoying.

Anyway, we go once a year as a family. Brian can get discount ticket through work.

This year, we made the executive decision not to include Jayce in our outing. Although this may sound kinda mean to some, it really was the most un-cruel decision. First of all, Jayce had a HORRIBLE time last year. The sights, the sounds, the smells... way too much for him with all his sensory issues. Also, he LOVES hanging out with my mom. Thirdly, he needed a break from Jaina (and vice versa). 4th, he didn't even know what he was missing. Maybe next year we can chance it again, but only if we know he can handle it.

We brought Jayce back a "Baby Jaguar" stuffed animal from the Diego store and he loves it. He had a great day with my mom and with Monica.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fun in our own front yard

In my quest to keep my kids busy and out of the house this summer, I have now sent the precedent that we will be having some sort of water play every day. However, we only have so many friends with pools and Jaina is getting kind of sick of the fountain, so we had to break out our Little Tykes Pool in our driveway. I call it our Little Tykes pool, but in reality, its the Step II brand. It just doesn't sound as good, does it?

Anyway, at the beginning of summer, Jayce was scared of the pool. Very very scared. And if Jaina happened to accidentally splash water outside of the pool onto the driveway, a complete freakout would ensue, He'd run to get his towel to try to clean up any waterspots on the driveway.

But, like with most things, you just have to keep exposing him to it and he'll eventually think its the best thing in the world.



This is how Jayce likes to dry off with the towel. First, put towel on the stairs. Second, get on your knees and rub your face in it.


The group of pictures would not be complete with a little posed one from my model :)


Jaina's turn, Jayce's turn


I just love the way Jayce has always folded his arms like that


Climbing the slide is a little scary, so Jayce keeps a firm eye on the ground.


Thanks for the bubble gun, Gray!


Just chillin.... Jayce created a "routine" that included sliding down the slide, splashing in the water once, and then coming to sit in the chair.


Jaina wore out 3 bottles of bubbles just in the first day!


If you look closely, you can see that Jayce has an eyelash stuck in his eye.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Jaina Help?"

Mommy used to be the only one that could do it. And by "it", I mean the following: brush teeth, put shoes on, pour juice in the sippy cup, change diaper, give a bath, brush hair, hold a hand, buckle the car seatbelt, fix pancakes, turn on the dvd, you name it. If I even suggested that Daddy or Jaina might be able to help, it would throw Jayce into a fit of screaming, "NO!!! MOMMY DO IT!!!" I thought that phase would never end.

But slowly and surely, Jayce started allowing Daddy more and more privileges of caring for Jayce. And sometimes, just sometimes, he'll accept big sister Jaina as a substitute.

So, imagine my surprise when Jayce picked up his new red crocs and said, "Jaina help?"

Jaina was more than happy to oblige. She would love to treat Jayce as a real live baby doll if he'd let her :)



Friday, June 20, 2008

Family :)

For Father's Day, we didn't do much. We did, however, let Brian do whatever he wanted that day. He didn't want breakfast (normally he chokes down pancakes that he doesn't even want just to sit with us at the table) and we had Sloppy Joes for dinner. He's been after us for months to agree to Sloppy Joe's! :) Jaina made him a superman clay plate and I got him a superman blackberry cover for his phone. I hope he had a good day!

Daddy and his kids :)




Our Family Portrait:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grand Master Jaycey-Jayce

I really had nothing to do with Jayce's choice of accessories. If you can't read the hat, it says "New Mom 2002" :)



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

VBS

Yes, we sent our child to a local church's production of Vacation Bible School. I didn't exactly have my husband's permission, but since when have I ever asked for it??? :)

Most everyone that reads my blog knows me fairly well. Or knows my husband well. To me, religion is a very personal relationship between you and a higher being. To my husband, its the closest thing you get to a four-letter word in our house. And I will never try to change that. I respect my husband's beliefs as much as I respect my LDS parents' beliefs or my Baptist neighbors' beliefs.

However, here is where Brian and I differ. What do we do about our children's beliefs? I, for one, believe that exposing them to many different organized religions and ways of thinking can be very beneficial(as long as they are open-minded philosophies and our children don't come home telling us that Grandma is going to burn in hell for all eternity because she likes to listen to rock n' roll in her truck). However, Brian would be happy sheltering them from all forms of organized religion. That just does not make sense to me. We live in the Bible Belt, for goodness sake! Religion is not something you can escape here, not with business advertising with the christian fish everywhere you turn.

At any rate, Jaina has been the one to decide what exposure she gets to religion, which I think is very fitting. After all, we are talking about *her* faith, not ours.

She loves to attend 3 hour long Sacrament meeting and Primary every time we go and visit my parent's home. She loved learning sing-song prayers to be said before dinner at her pre-school. She loves the child's soft cover Bible her Grandma Cathy gave her one year. And she looks forward to attending "that church college" (aka, Bible School ) every year at her friends' church downtown.

The theme this year was "Surfing through the Scriptures" although I am not sure Jaina even learned one scripture the whole week! But she did enjoy making crafts, singing songs, and playing games with all the new friends she made.

And Daddy even came to the program with us :)




Monday, June 16, 2008

Oreos




The breakfast of champions :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Freight Train









Jayce received this Geotrax set for his 2nd Birthday, right before we moved last year. At first he loved it... especially when the train ran down the sloped track. He also loved controlling the train by the simple remote control.

We got the starter set for him in hopes that we would add on to it every year. Geotrax has some really cool trains and accessories.

Yet we haven't. 12 months later, Jayce still only enjoys watching the movement of the train. But he doesn't care about how the track is set up, or adding the cute trees and stop signs to the design, or making the logger men saw plastic logs, or adding sound effects to the train like "choo-choo" or pretending that the train is carrying freight or passengers.

One day he will. While most kids instinctively know how to play or learn by watching others, we might have to specifically teach Jayce how to play with toys. In the end, the result will be the same... the joy experienced while playing with his favorite train set.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dodi's Pool

Our friend Dodi (and her new boyfriend Vince) were kind enough to invite us to her neighborhood pool last weekend :) We had a great time! This was Jayce's 3rd or 4th pool experience of the summer so he had already gotten over his initial fear of the water.

It was sooo crowded. Maybe the 100 degree temps had something to do with it? At any rate, the water felt so good. The concrete pavement did not, though.

Not only did Jayce get over his initial fear of the water, but he decided to have NO FEAR when it came to jumping in off the stairs, with or without Mommy and Daddy there to catch him. Both Brian and I fell for his "Bye-bye Mommy" and "Bye-bye Daddy" which we thought meant, "I don't want to play jump in and catch me right now. I'm getting out" which really meant, "I'm going to jump in and do it myself and I don't want you to catch me." He went under 3 times, but it didn't phase him one bit.

Jaina is getting over her fear of swimming lessons. For the first time ever, she has requested some swimming instruction because she is tired of wearing her arm floaties and staying in the shallow end. Unfortunately, you can't find a place that isn't completely booked for swim lessons around here by the time summer actually starts. She'll probably have to wait until next year.

Just a few days after going to Dodi's pool, we went back to the SAME pool in the same neighborhood, but this time it was with our MOMS Club. 4 moms from MOMS Club have access to that pool as well as one member of book club. The pool was much less crowded with our group, even though we had a great turnout. The kids were wonderful. I put a life jacket on Jayce this time and he tolerated it well.







The Arts Center








These pictures are over a week old already, but I didn't want to forget to blog them anyway.

We tried to go to the Children's Science Museum at the Arts Center downtown the other day. Its free admission on the first Thursday of every month. I have never been and neither have the kids. Its something we've always wanted to do, but just never have.

So, we first went to the library for storytime, then went out for Chick-fil-a, then off to the Science Center. And they had a huge sign in front of their door... "Closed for Summer Camp Groups". UGH!

All was not lost. We went down the hallway and let ourselves into the COLORS art studio where my om works. She joined us a few minutes later to unlock all the cabinets with the art supplies. We turned disappointment around anyway :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Loose Tooth

You just don't know how long Jaina has been waiting for this moment!!! All of her friends have already lost at least one tooth (either naturally or by jumping off of a couch into a side table, OUCH!) and she really was beginning to feel left out. Both Brian and I were 6 years old by the time our first tooth fell out, so we told her it would happen for her soon, too.

Now, I LOVE our pediatric dentist, Dr. Mark, but I could have kicked him in the shins when he told Jaina a year ago that her big teeth were all in place and because her 6 year molars were already in, it would be "any day now" when she'd have her first loose tooth. What was he thinking?? You don't tell kids something like that? She woke up every day for a week or two feeling her teeth to see if they were wiggling.

Well... last Friday morning, she came to me and said, "Mommy... there's this sharp thing behind my teeth. Is it another tooth?"

Sure enough, it was. Her adult bottom front teeth were poking up through the gum surface *behind* the baby teeth. Brian pulled me aside and sheepishly said, "Whoops... I'm sorry. It looks like she got my teeth after all. I hope she doesn't have to have them pulled like my brother." It turns out that Brian's family has a history of misalignment. Us Staska's are no better, with our big beaver-like front teeth and huge gaps. We just know to start saving for Jaina's orthodontic work early :)

Two hours later, she tells me her baby tooth is wiggly. It was, slightly. But not enough to really bother with. I told her it would be a few days, maybe a week and to just leave it alone. But leave it alone, she did not. She wiggled that thing all day long.

Then Gray came to pick her up. The tooth really wasn't that loose at all. I did not think it would come out before bedtime. But just in case, I took pictures :)

Jaina called me 1.5 hours later. It was out, after eating a hamburger from Burger King.

My mom looked high and low for the special tooth fairy pillow she hand made and hand painted for me when I was little. She swore it was in her pile of mending, but could not find it. So, Jaina put together her own pillow that my mom stayed up until 11:30 that night finishing it!

I have to admit that I was a little sad that I didn't get to play "tooth fairy" for my baby's first tooth. Oh well... I'll get the other 19, right?

And here's a neat website about teeth: All About Teeth

Before:




After:


The Tooth Fairy was kind enough to let Mommy keep the tooth :)