Monday, July 29, 2013

On his 26th birthday

My guy turns 26 years old today!
We are going to celebrate him & how awesome he is all day long. 
We love you, Tys!

Free birthday shake and fries to share at Good Stuff Eatery- yum yum!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"No more monkeys"

a special letter for Taryn

I think the weather decided to give me a break this week. It knew I had had it up to here with those boiling hot days and feeling like I was stuck inside because even Taryn would say, "Mom, let's go back inside. It's too hot." Coming from a toddler - who bolts out the door into the backyard shoe-less & sometimes pant-less anytime it's open- that's saying something.

So just like we should, we've been spending every possible minute outside and I feel renewed again. Seeing the birds, running into lots of friends & their cute babes on our walks and park outings, picnicking outside (nothing better!) and just sitting back realizing again just how beautiful this area in which I live is. I know the bugs take some kind of steroids back East- never have a seen larger insects than out here- and the mosquitos can be awfully vicious- but all of that disappears as I sit on my blanket and watch the world around me.

We faced a bedtime meltdown after baths the other night.  Like magic, our landlord tossed the days mail down the stairs to us and the tantrum disappeared when Taryn found a letter for her.

A special letter and sticker dolls (Ada & Taryn) from our friends who moved away.

This sweet letter made our little girl's day. I'm happy that these two sweet girls can remain friends even when they live on opposite sides of the country.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Saturday spent in Old Town Alexandria


A little break with fruit snacks while we wait for the trolley

eating strawberries from our packed lunch
Last Saturday we spent our day in Old Town Alexandria. 

We rode around the town on the free trolley for Taryn (greatest air conditioning!!!), visited the Farmer's Market, The old torpedo factory turned Art Center, and went to the Harbor to see boats, ducks, and fish. 

After spending a bit in the morning, trying to figure out how to spend our Saturday together, Tyson was the one who came up with this idea and planned the day out. He is the best with planning these little day trips. And Taryn- what a trooper! Our daily adventures are few in this heat/humidity so when days like that Saturday come around (overcast and slightly cooler)I jump at the chance to go and do something different.
I want to go back and do so much more in Old Town!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Potty Training 1.5 with Taryn - Let's see how this goes!

This isn't the first attempt at potty training Taryn. Our first real full blown- 2T undies bought and ready -training was in February. I was convinced that by 2 years old, Taryn could do it. 
So I set aside a weekend, built her up for it (and me) and even though we were thrown off a lot with unexpected hurdles a few days before I decided I would stick to it. We could do this. 
I could handle the small hurdles. But then I was hit with a big one. Like me being 7 weeks pregnant and bleeding.....a lot.... I was worried but calm, and thought I would continue on the day to see how things went (Tyson was at school and I didn't want to do anything without him by my side.)

Well, 6 accidents, just a few hours and one crying- self peed on toddler later, I threw in the towel.
 I felt like my body and my two year old were screaming at me, "STOP, STOP!! We're not ready!!"
So we stopped. And on went the diaper. And I went to the E.R. a few days later as the bleeding got worse. 
Taryn recovered just fine- even though I think she grew a little fearful of the "big girl potty" and our unborn child was just fine, I just had a lot of extra blood that my body didn't know what to do with. 

Anyways....(sorry- TMI?)

Round 1.5- I'm calling it this because we didn't quite make it through round 1... any of us. 

We've watched Elmo, Bear in the Big Blue House, and many more videos about using the potty. She talked about it. She taught her stuffed animals how to use the potty, flush and wash their hands.  We spent months encouraging her, explaining to her that she was a big girl. She's told me when she was dirty and has asked for me to change her several times without prompting. Good signs in my book. 

It's getting hotter here and I can't bear the thought of her in a diaper any longer. 
So, this weekend I decided to try again. My schedule had cleared up and I would have reinforcements around- Daddy! 
I am armed with M&M's, undies & toys for when she goes.
We're doing this.

 Thursday the saggy diaper came off. 
She begged for another diaper. 
Cried for a diaper. 
We talked her through it. 
And then she went.
We all did a happy dance. She got a sticker on her chart (that I made in 3 minutes on the spot) and 2 M&M's (well, 3, really- I had to use one to get her to sit on the potty).
 Within seconds she was asking for a diaper. 
She wasn't done yet- I knew she was holding it. So with lots of crying, and lots of coaxing, she finally went again (only a little bit). 
And then she asked for a diaper. By this time she was doing a potty dance- literally dancing an hopping around.
Her phrase for these past couple of days is,  "I can't go potty!"  over and over again.
At least she can kinda hold it. Big progress since February.
So we had one other success after lots of tears were shed.

We are 3 for 3. (as of Thursday)
 Not bad. 
I don't know anything about Potty Training. 
But we are trying. 
We'll see after this weekend if there will be a round 2, or 3, or....oh boy....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some things we've done lately- featuring Taryn

Learning how to pedal by herself 
(my back thanks her so...)

Coloring and coloring (yard sale treasure!)
She is obsessed with any mommy, daddy & baby trio. That day was whales, today was balloons. 

On rainy days, she makes her own music. Tyson asked me how I stand the noise and I said "It's better than any screaming or crying." 

Mommy daughter dates while daddy is gone. Movie & a treat!

And catching giant rain drops in our mouths. These summer storms have been unreal and very monsoon like. But at least it clears up the rest of the day and cools things down. 
*Notice the dry erase markers on the belly? And her "zebra" arm stripes. Oh boy ;)
(no- Taryn doesn't use a pacifier- she just likes to play with it)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Those nice cold summer treats at the end of a hot day

We were happy to read about "Free Slurpees" that day and take just a short walk across the street to get one. No line and all the machines working at 7pm. 
Unheard of I'm sure on such a popular day as 7-11. 
These little things make summer that much better. 
And I think our new favorite park going time is around 7pm after the sun is already hiding behind the trees, the temperature has dropped just a bit, and it gives Taryn a chance to get all her wiggles out before bedtime. Another plus?
When Tyson comes and joins us :)

Running around the park with Daddy

Friday, July 12, 2013

That water babe

This is where we basically live during these summer days. 
No complaints here!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The mini me

I have a picture from when I was around 3 or 4 where I look exactly like Taryn does in these pictures. It's pretty awesome to see so much resemblance and know that she is our little girl. Who would have known my first daughter and I would look so much alike.
 I've been debating on whether to cut Taryn's hair or not for months now. I mean, she is almost 2 1/2 years old and has never seen the sight of hair cutting shears. At first I thought I was doing her a really cruel injustice, like she would look back on her photos as a child and say, "Really, mom? Why did you let my hair get so bad." But when I finally tried to put her hair in a pony tail (and she actually let me!) last week, I was so happy I never cut it. 
Those curls! Making it seem as if her pony tail was actually in a bun! I only wish she would let me do her hair like this every day. It does make her appear to be at least 5 years old and I don't know if I am ready for that yet. 
She's lucky that her hair and the humidity get along so well. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The 4th of July

I felt like this year for the 4th of July, we had no idea what we were officially doing until hours before. For a week we worried about rain- but that magically didn't happen. Fireworks? Ya- we were going to play that by ear. But I was pleasantly surprised with how the day turned out.
Swimming and lunch at my sister & brother in-law's.  We had root beer floats and played Rummikub (bringing back a lot of childhood memories!) 

 Back at our house -
Tyson found some "snappers" (the ones you throw on the ground & they make a really loud "POP")  for $1.00 and introduced Taryn to them before we made our way to the real fireworks. 

We all share the red cheeks when we get hot. At least we weren't outside all day long. We probably would have been miserable messes if we had.
It was hot but as soon as the sun set, it was not so bad. So glad we didn't arrive to the Long Bridge Park in Arlington until around 7pm.

At this exact moment, Taryn exclaimed, "WOW!" as the fireworks lit up the sky. 

There were a lot of "greats" about the day but I think the best one would have to be that we took the day little by little, not pushing anything, and using Taryn as our "thermometer" for the day. No one likes to be too hot, too grumpy, or too hungry. That's one of the most valuable lessons I have learned as a parent these past few years.  Taking the day as it goes, not pushing too much (to the point of exhaustion or "melting Toddler") and enjoying the little moments (like the family next to us that brought bubble blowing guns- you are now Taryn's favorite)
Happy Fourth of July

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Night around our city

We took Taryn back to the Crystal City Water Park after our date a few weeks back for Family Night. 
We bought ice cream bars and sat beside the water
Found the ducks
Watched the train pass along on the tracks
And watched Taryn splash her hands and feet in the water. 
 An afternoon rain storm cleared away some of the mugginess and made for a very nice evening outside. 

*Would you believe that this was my 3rd outfit for the day? Hence the "I'm going comfortable" look.
We still love to play outside as long as I can come home and change my sweaty clothes. And Taryn is usually running around our house and napping in just a diaper. Anything to keep us cool.