Steve’s cousin Chrissy got married on a beautiful Friday evening, on August 19th, near Pittsburgh so our family took the day off of work and packed into the car. The wedding site was gorgeous and we had a great evening with family.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back from our Florida vacation. I’ve struggled keeping up with the blog lately. I wonder why… it’s not like we have four young children constantly needing our attention. Florida was a blast. We spent two weeks there in a VRBO that my parents rented (thanks mom and dad!) in Venice, FL. It had a pool and was really close to the beach so we got lots of time soaking up the sun and lounging in the water. It was a blast getting to see my mom’s side of the family. My sister came down with Banks so it was fun to see him with our boys. Banks and Anthony were about the same size. They seemed to have fun together when Banks was around.
The first few days we were there were rough. In the first 5 days we were at the hospital 4 times. The girls got ear infections probably stemming from the flight and congestion. So they were up screaming most nights. Then Nathan was getting a bath with grandma and split his chin open on the bathroom tub. I wasn’t there at the hospital because we were out without a car at Calah’s bachelorette party, but I heard he was very brave.
By the end of the trip Nathan had figured out how to swim pretty good but still not to the point where he could do it unsupervised. He was mostly confident enough to go under water and swim between two people a short distance. Anthony on the other hand was scared of the water. A little of it is his personality in general, he’s more hesitant. But the big reason is likely the fact that he fell into the pool on day one and I had to jump in with my clothes on to “save” him. Since then he kept his distance. The pictures on this post were from my nice camera but we captured a lot of the trip on Instagram (which auto creates blog posts for me). Unfortunately my photo editing time is limited to 0 hours so I didn’t adjust the lighting on any of these. Luckily Nathan grabbed my camera a few times and took some great photos. Paty’s friend Luiza was even able to fly out for the weekend.
We came to Florida for my cousin Charles wedding. Which was gorgeous by the way. The bride was stunning *we love you Calah* and the party was super fun. Steve and I enjoyed a much needed night out dancing away from the kiddos. It was also the first time that my brother, sister, parents, and I had been together since Knox was born about 5 years ago. It’s going to get harder and harder to all be in the same place with all these young children! It was great to see everyone (If anyone wants the originals of any of these pictures just let me know!). I snuck away from the reception for a bit to go back and feed the girls since the rental was so close to the reception. The boys were still up causing a ruckus so I got them all dressed to crash the wedding reception (they weren’t invited but there were a ton of kids everywhere so I thought it’d be fun to bring them back for some dancing). But grandma put the kibosh on that idea.
I’m a little slow at getting these photos up on the blog but I took some pictures on Easter weekend when we went to DC for the cherry blossom festival and then over to Chestertown to visit Mark and Katie and their family. It was the first time in a long time since the kids got together. Such a fun weekend!
We couldn’t get a good photo of all the “Seacat” cousins looking so I took the video of them singing instead.
Yesterday the girls got to air out a bit and enjoyed some tummy time.
It’s hard to tell the difference in size between the girls when they’re dressed and next to each other but it’s pretty obvious that Emily still has about a pound on Olivia when they’re hanging out naked next to each other. Loving these baby rolls!
Baltimore was recently hit with a record breaking snow storm named Storm Jonas. In preparation for it’s arrival the Baltimore schools decided to close a day early when no snow was expected to fall until 6 pm (wtf?). I ventured out of the house on that Friday evening with Paty for her first supermarket adventure… which was not normal. We waited in line for 45 minutes to check out. We had Olivia with us and she did such a great job shopping.
Steve captured a timelapse of the storm before my camera ran out of batteries
We ended up getting about 28 inches of snow.
It was pretty fun to have all this snow, especially when we had no where to go. The boys had a blast playing outside with Steve. They helped to shovel out the cars and went sledding. We took some walks around the neighborhood and enjoyed hot chocolate.
We spent a lot of time inside together enjoying some snow days:
This was Paty’s first time experiencing snow… and what an experience! The girls also had their first experience in the snow. We took them out only for a short period of time.
I didn’t want them to get frostbite. They looked adorable in their hot pink snow suits.
Steve built one of the biggest snowmen I’d ever seen.
The novelty wore off quick and we were ready to go back to school. Steve was able to dig out the car and was back to work on Tuesday. Unfortunately Baltimore wasn’t able to “handle” the amount of snow so schools were cancelled for 6 days. We’re lucky that Alissa was willing to come watch the boys on Wednesday – Friday. Paty was doing a great job by herself with all four but it was easier on everyone to have an extra set of hands. We’re hoping they can go back to school on Monday.
My friend, Dawn Meyers, offered to throw me a sip & see party for the girls. We had the party this past Saturday and it was beautiful. It was so nice not to have to worry about anything but straightening the place up. Dawn did everything and it was obvious she spent a lot of time putting the party together. She hand made all the food, bought balloons and decorations, and handled all the beverages. Dawn even had to leave in the middle of the party to head to urgent care because she cut her finger while preparing the food.
Luckily urgent care said it wasn’t too concerned and bandaged her up. We had a great turn out for the party. My grandmother and Aunt Laurie were even in town to help out with the girls (Steve and I went to NYC last Thursday night and they came in to help my mom).
A coworker of mine recently told me that his two year old was potty trained. I was instantly jealous. The boys are 29 months old and still in diapers. I asked him how he did it and he told me about this PDF you can download that explains a method that worked for all of his children. So, I headed over to the site, http://www.3daypottytraining.com/, and decided, why not, let’s do this thing and purchased the PDF.
In the PDF, the author says that the ideal time for potty training is between 22 and 30 months. Steve and I talked about it and decided now was the time to do it. Another benefit to doing it sooner rather than later was my parents were coming into town to visit and it would be so handy to have another set of hands while trying to potty train twins. So, we did everything the pdf suggested to prepare, which included purchasing about 40 pairs of big boy underpants, some rewards (toys and treats), and a few extra water proof mattress covers. We memorized the pdf and were ready for action when my mom got here last Thursday.
On Saturday morning, we brought the boys down for breakfast just like we always do and told them how big they looked. Anthony was so excited to see the rugs pulled up from the living room and the couches covered in waterproof toppers that he started running around and jumping with excitement.
Then after breakfast we changed their diapers and had them walk the dirty diaper over to the garbage can. Then (and this is the big thing that helped sink it in mentally for Anthony), we had the boys throw away all of our remaining diapers. About 40 diapers and pullups were thrown into the trash along with diaper cream and anything else related to wearing “baby” diapers. Nathan enjoyed throwing them all away but Anthony immediately started crying. We then showed the boys the toilets and explained how they were now big boys and should go to the bathroom if they needed to poop or pee.
The entire premise behind the method is positive reinforcement. So we never got mad at them or punished them for having an accident. Instead we got wildly excited whenever they successfully went in the toilet and even if they were “dry”. So by the end of day 1 we were all exhausted. The idea is to catch them mid accident and rush them to the bathroom so they can finish on the toilets. We went through a lot of underpants on day one and had to do laundry midday. …it was a bit discouraging and felt impossible in the beginning.
With this method, we’re never supposed to ask them if they have to go to the bathroom (because a child’s instincts is to say “NO!”), instead we tell them to let us know when they have to go to the bathroom. So we probably asked that question about 200 times a day scattered with what we called “dry checks” where the boys would put their arms in the air when we said “dry check” and then we’d hoot and holler when they were dry. Nathan even started standing up on chairs during his dry checks.
The boys LOVED the extra attention they received over the three days.
I would say, for the most part, the program worked. We will never go back to diapers with these two. Nathan is having a much harder time than Anthony which was surprising to Steve and I…although we should’ve predicted it with how much Anthony hated getting his diapers changed. Nathan has yet to go poop on his own in the toilet and responds best to candy rewards. Anthony is rocking it. He is even dry after naps. Night times are another issue… lets just say we’re doing a LOT of laundry over here. Special thank you to Grandma for helping us through this unforgettable milestone in the boys lives. We couldn’t have done it, as positively, without your help. It might be a few weeks before we feel comfortable throwing them in the car seat and taking them somewhere for a long period of time. But we are so proud of our big boys.