Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Family Excursions

Occasionally the girls will sit next to each other, give each other a big hug, and say "take our picture!"  This was one of those moments.  

Sisters playing at the Big Kids Playground (a.k.a. Faust Park)

We played with trains at the Museum of Transportation.  Here are the girls, all ready to go!

From the Magic House...

 And our Thanksgiving dinner.  The girls were very eager to start!

The adult Whomptons ditched the kids for a day and went playing by themselves.  We did a fantastic hike along the Missouri River.  It was opening weekend of gun / deer season, which was a little nerve-racking, but we emerged unscathed.

Playing Dress-Up!

The First Day of School, Fall 2011.  Samantha was frantically busy, but she took a spare moment to jump in the picture.  It's tradition at this point for Samantha, Krystal, and Raina to take pictures together for important school events.

Spirit Day 2011.  I like that Samantha and Krystal are showing more spirit than Raina.  She'll learn :)

We didn't quite make it to the Upper School for Halloween, which is a shame because Samantha dressed as Billy Idol.  Oh well.  Settling for a black cat and Pocahontas instead.
 Here's Raina's class.

Raina and Lola, all geared up for the Halloween excursion. 

 Raina and Lola with our neighbor Susan. 

At Revathi's birthday party.  We all make decorative masks but they resisted staying on for any duration of time.  Lola was particularly proud of hers. In the end, though, she liked the sticker more.
 Eric liked it too.
 Raina's design was more colorful. 
 The girls played princess all Thanksgiving break.  This may have been the fourth or fifth costume change.

Fall Miscellaney

If the kids have been good AND Eric is feeling generous, then they will work together and transform our basement into a small-person wonderland.  Eric creates amazing forts.  Wouldn't you want to play in them too?

Lola's in time-out.  So is the big yellow bear.  As you can see, time-out doesn't really work in our house.

 Ben drove cross-country and spent some time with the Whomptons.  We played endless games of Settlers of Catan, ate copious amounts of food, and enjoyed each others' company.  He also adopted the uncle job and read lots of books to the little miss.

Raina has grown SO MUCH.  This bike was the right size back in the spring, but it's not quite right anymore.  I think she looks gigantic on it.  She doesn't mind.

Raina did a presentation to her classmates.  It was entitled "All About Me."  She drew the illustrations, wrote the captions, took the pictures, and prepared her speech.  She was incredibly proud of her poster and incredibly nervous about the presentation, so she practiced A LOT at home to get ready.  We were very proud of her and her hard work.

Lola can be a grumpy one when she gets up from nap.  Secretly, I like it because it's the only time she really cuddles with adults anymore.  I'll take what I can get.

Lola this Fall

Lola aspired to eat this triple-decker sandwich.  We pulled out a bib -- the first one in over a year.  It was merited!

Headed to the Big Kids Playground in August.  I'm sure it was 90 degrees outside, at least.  Lola was told to get her hat and she chose the one that matched her shirt.  Admittedly, she's adorable in it.

Lola rides her Big Wheel while Raina cavorts around on her bike.  Check out the active chalking as well; Lola chalks the path, driveway, garage, house, windows, and doors. 

She looks all grown up here.

Lola's in upside-down town.  Photo courtesy of Raina.

Pretending to be Raina.  She grabbed Raina's backpack and got ready for school.

It's winter and our house is back to its icebox state; therefore, footed sleepers are back!  Lola has a collection of piggy sleepy-sacks.  This one has flying piggies galore.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lola and the Potty

Lola has had modest success using the potty over the past months. When I say modest success, I mean we harass her constantly to go use the potty and need to sit in the bathroom with her for large amounts of time. This time is spent trying to encourage the magic moment which is usually an anti-climatic brief spray of urine that is all in all ineffective at emptying her bladder. Lola fared a bit better at day care, but her daily reports were a mixed bag of success as well.

So as you can imagine, Krystal and I were a bit skeptical when day care decided that it was time to switch Lola to underwear full time at day care (other than a pull up for nap time). We took lot of pants and underwears in preparation for an explosion of laundry. I dreaded those first few batches of mystery clothing filled plastic bags that were oddly heavy for their size - never knowing when a poopy mess was going to assault your fingers. Ultimately I was confident that the experiment would be an unmitigated disaster and day care would roll back their decision.

Well the first few days resulted in numerous pants coming home, and it was a struggle to keep her cubby stocked. To day care's credit, it has clearly been an effective strategy as in a few short weeks she progressed from "modest success" to peeing exclusively on the potty with essentially no accidents. So yea! So we are all set with the "modest" exception of . . . feces.

We simply assumed at first that day care was taking care of any needed number 2 incidents. While no surprises were appearing in the bags of mystery, we knew Lola was wearing a pull up at quiet time, so that could easily account for it. But nearing the end of the week, aided by some awkward interrogation of the day care workers, the horrifying truth was revealed: Lola hadn't pooped all week. Lola had never pooped on the potty before, and had shown little interest in it, so we knew that was going to be the largest challenge. We naturally figured that she would take advantage of pull up times at first (over night and at nap). We didn't imagine that she would just . . . stop.

Obviously this wasn't sustainable. We encouraged her to poop all day saturday on the potty and even adjusted our schedule to ensure we were around the house for it. Finally, Lola announced the solution, "I need a pull up". Our attempts to convince here that what she really needed was the potty were futile, so we eventually gave in. She put on her pull up and rapidly took care of her business.

So that is pretty much how it has been for the past week. "I need a pull up" is synonymous with "I need to poop". Tonight, when she requested her pull up, we asked her to sit on the potty while wearing a diaper per suggestions on the internets. (Apparently this is some kind of bridge) She refused and chose to stand next to the dining room table where her mom and dad were working (which has been a common configuration for mom and dad lately, but that is a different story). Presumably holding onto the side of the table with a slight lean over provided her optimum positioning. She grunted with effort as she tried to expunge 3 days worth of material. Krystal asked if she was done pooping and the response was "no" followed by a cute and shy slink just below the table ledge. Krystal and I giggled a bit with as much restraint as we could muster in response because someone a long time ago taught humanity that watching someone boldly pass feces in front of you is funny. Lola responded in an oddly aware (for her) fashion "Don't laugh at me". Which of course made it even harder to contain our giggles. Oh well, at least she got it done.

Anywho. Potty training is hard. I wouldn't trade current state for any time from earlier, but it will be very nice when we fully transitioned.