Monday, August 30, 2010

7 Months!!

I can't believe I am 7 months pregnant already! And I REALLY can't believe I'm in my third trimester! This pregnancy is flying by so fast...much faster than I ever thought it would. Some days, I'm thankful it's going by quickly because I'm so anxious to meet our baby boy, see what he looks like and cuddle him forever (okay, maybe not forever but as much as I possibly can :-) Other days, I want to hit the brakes, and I think to myself that I want/need more time to enjoy Caroline as our only child. I also really love feeling baby boy move so much in my tummy and don't want that to end. So I have mixed emotions to say the least. Right now, I'm very thankful for more time since this sweet baby doesn't have a name or a nursery yet.
Baby Boy Krauss @ 12 weeks!

As far as names go, we had it narrowed down to four, and now have it narrowed down to two/three. Matt favors one, and I favor the other two. Hopefully, we'll make the decision's driving me crazy. Even though baby boy doesn't have a name, he has a delivery date. We scheduled my c-section at my last doctor's appt...the big birthday will be on November 11th. We think 11/11/2010 is a great birthday. Especially since Caroline's birthday is 4/4, mine is 8/8 and Matt's is 1/23. I know, we're weird about birthdays and numbers. Overall, I'm feeling great except for some lower back pain and decreased energy level some days. I'm sure I'll start needing to slow down soon. Which doesn't work very well when you have a two year old, a lot to do to prepare a big girl room/nursery and Fall activities starting up just around the corner.

Baby Boy Krauss @ 16 weeks!

Speaking of "that" two year old. Caroline could not be any sweeter about her brother. She asks to kiss, cuddle with, and sing/read to "her" baby multiple times a day...I always oblige :-) She is so into babies right now and completely obsessed with friends' recent newborns. If she likes her bro as much as other babies, we'll be good to go. The other day, Caroline went with me to my sonogram and was so disappointed we didn't leave with her baby brother. She thought we were going to the doctor to have the baby "cut out" (her interpretation of my c-section). After the appt, she said in a panicked tone "but we can't leave mommy, we don't have a baby!" I guess I should have explained this was not the doctor's appt where the baby would be born.

Baby Boy Krauss @ 24 weeks!

We had a sonogram at 28 weeks (last week) and everything looked good. The perinatologist was checking the baby's heart since Matt's brother has a bicuspid aortic valve. So far, so good, we just have to follow up with the pediatrician at some point. The doctor said he didn't need to see me again which was great news. Baby boy is measuring two weeks bigger than he should and already weighs 3 POUNDS (which shocked me!). I mean, I still have 10 more weeks until my c-section. That's a lot of time for baby to pack on more pounds. I know baby's size doesn't matter since I'm having a c-section but it DOES matter to my back :-) Overall, it was a great appt, and we are so thankful for our (big) healthy baby!!

Baby Boy Krauss @ 28 weeks! (sorry for the blurry pic)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Little Artsy

Today, we went with some playgroup friends to an art class at A Little Artsy. The kids LOVED it and my little Picasso had a blast (minus a few "2 year old moments"...nothing like having to discipline in a stranger's bathroom :-)
Working on her dot art
Stone and Dax painting their masterpieces
Brady, working on painting a stamp while Caroline was listening to the headless teacher, Ms. Jenny
Caroline was so excited when Ms. Jenny put paint on her paper
Going to town

Watching Brady paint with marbles
Then it was Caroline's turn...I thought this was the best activity of the class
"shake, shake, shake" the marbles
The finished products:
The class was inexpensive and a lot of fun...would recommend this for anyone with preschool-age kiddos!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Family Pics

I turned 30 this month! Here are some family pics taken while celebrating the big 3-0:
Our families, out to dinner
The "four" of us
My girl...LOVE her!
Me & my two kiddos :-)
Talking to baby brother (we still haven't finalized the name yet...hopefully soon!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Indoor Activities

Since it has been SO unbearably hot, I'm pregnant, and we've been potty training, Caroline and I have been spending a lot more time indoors than usual. Thanks to this website (our saving grace this past month), we've been having fun doing different are a few of them I actually remembered to take pictures of.
We made a pipe cleaner color activity. First Caroline had to pick out the markers that matched our pipe cleaners:

Then we colored some hole protectors, punched holes in the top of a Pringles can, and stuck the protectors on:
Voila! Simple and perfect activity. Caroline loved sticking the pipe cleaners through the hole of their matching color:
We meant to color a piece of paper to cover and decorate the Pringles can but never got around to it.
This activity was a total bust. We attempted to make a fruit loops necklace for Caroline to wear (and eat). It was pretty hard for her and she needed a lot of help threading the fruit loops on and understanding the concept of a pattern. Definitely a couple of things to be working on!
This activity was Caroline's fav. We made "number" flowers. Caroline told me what numbers to write in the middle of the flowers, we cut out the corresponding number of petals, and glued them on:
Counting out the petals and putting them on the flower: She asked to add grass and a sun at the end:

Recently, our playgroup also decided to try a fun indoor activity...Chuck E Cheese!
Caroline loved this slide and playing the games (a lot of them were surprisingly appropriate for young kids):
Calling Chuck E Cheese on this phone game:

Playing a game with Lucy

Putting in the tokens was as much fun as playing the games!

Caroline, Brady and Asher dancing and watching Chuck E Cheese "perform"
Even though we are enjoying all of our indoor time, we are so.over.the.heat! Come on cool Fall weather!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm a Big Girl Now

I've been SO hesitant to write a post about this big milestone...for fear that I would jinx myself. However, it's been about a month so I think I am ready to make the announcement that...Caroline is potty trained!!!
I was pretty hesitant about trying to potty train Caroline this early, but our pediatrician encouraged me saying I wouldn't know for sure if she was ready or not until we tried (he also said if she wasn't ready, we would know very quickly). He mentioned summer is a good time because kids aren't wearing layers of clothes and do not have "school year" activities going on. I knew it was either now or next Spring/Summer because I wasn't about to potty train in my 3rd trimester OR with a newborn/massive sleep deprivation. So my thought was we'll just try and if she's not ready, no big deal at all...we'll put diapers right back on and try again when Caroline is closer to 3. No pressure.
I had heard really great things about this method from a few friends. It made a lot of sense to favorite thing being you let your child have lots of accidents until he/she learns to "feel" when their body is telling them to go to the bathroom. Instead of just sitting them on the potty every 20 minutes until they go...a lot less mess but doesn't work as well because the parent is the one deciding when the child sits on the potty vs. the child telling the parent when they need to try to go. I will say the 3 day method is WAY messier for the first few days but I think it works more efficiently and effectively (at least in our experience). I'd completely recommend it! Here's the play-by-play of how our potty training experience went down:

First, I gathered all of our "supplies" (a new "fun" sippy cup to make Caroline want to drink a LOT, her favorite drinks, skittles, m&ms, an Elmo potty training book, sticker charts and lots of stickers)
Then we made a HUGE deal out of throwing away all of Caroline's diapers (see top pic) and picking out a pair of panties to wear. This was Caroline's favorite part...we had been to the store the day before and made another big deal out of buying big-girl panties. Caroline was DYING to wear them...she picked out all her favorite guys (Elmo, Dora, Minnie, Daisy Duck). For her first inaugural pair, she picked Dora of course:
Day 1: Caroline had accident after accident in her panties. She was so discouraged at first and kept saying "I don't like it. I want my diapers back". This made me feel so bad and I almost threw in the towel right there. I didn't want this process to make her feel bad about herself. I told Matt if she kept that up, we were stopping after day 1. However, by lunchtime on the first day, Caroline would start to go in her panties, tell me she had to go "pee pee", we'd race to the potty and she'd finish going on the potty. When she did that, Matt and I made a HUGE deal out of it...screamed, jumped up and down, she got candy and a sticker. Once that started happening, Caroline's whole attitude changed and she started saying "this is so fun...I love potty training" (whew). Pretty much the rest of day 1 went like that. She even had two successful times of going in the potty without starting in her panties first by the end of the day.
Day 2: Much, much better. I couldn't believe it! Only 2 accidents then the rest of the time she kept her panties dry and told us every time she needed to go.
Day 3: No accidents at all!!! Shocking. Matt and I just couldn't believe this had actually worked. Caroline caught on quickly and it ended up being pretty easy. It's pretty much been smooth sailing ever since (with, I think, only 2-3 accidents in the past month). We haven't "sleep trained" at all though and Caroline still wears pull ups, a.k.a. naptime/nighttime panties, when she sleeps. This hasn't confused her, and I think we'll do this for awhile until she starts waking up dry. Overall, I'm glad I tried or I never would have known Caroline could do it...she wasn't really showing any "readiness" signs.
We told Caroline after she filled up a few sticker charts, we would take her to the toy store and let her pick out a toy. After two weeks of consistency and lots of stickers, it was time for the big day.
Caroline holding up her sticker chart in front of the toy store:
and back
She contemplated a train table,
a stuffed animal,
and this shopping cart (which was the top contender for a long time).
Giddy with excitement and SO proud of herself ;-)
Caroline decided on the shopping cart and I was in the process of buying it when she found...
...this dog! It was love at first sight, and Caroline ran up to me screaming "this is the one I want!!!" So we got the pull-along dog. Caroline quickly named him Toby and he has become one of her best buddies. If you ask her about Toby she'll quickly tell you she got him because she earned all her stickers for potty training. So that's the (long) recap of our potty training experience. I know it's not very interesting to anyone other than me, but I wanted to have all the details in our blog book. Matt and I are so proud of our big girl!!