Luke's Art

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 0 comments
Just before Luke's Kid's Day Out class ended for the year he came home with a really great art project. It was a dot painting of a sail boat. It's easier to explain when looking at the picture. The kids get these paint blotters where everywhere they touch on the paper it leaves a blot of paint. A messier form of an ink stamp perhaps. Luke has been using these for a while now. Until now most of his output has been very random. With this particular work he made a conscious effort to stay in the lines. His colors were still random with a hint of advancement with that too. He had the sun painted with all orange paint.

I was very pleased with what he's done. I can't wait to see what he'll do next.

Strawberry Picking

Two weekends ago we with some neighbors went to go pick strawberries. It was supposed to be a neighborhood event but at the last minute most people cancelled. While their cancellation was regrettable the other family (Cris and Cory) that joined us is our favorite family in the neighborhood.

The Eckert's farm is a fully working farm. I'm sure they make a lot of money out of growing food the conventional large farm way. However, they've also perfected the small farm experience. During the year they have all manner of crops available for people to come and pick their own; strawberries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins to name a few. To get to the fields you take a tractor ride which pretty much made Alyce's day. On top of picking as much as you want you can also eat as many berries as you want while out in the field. A first I was a bit skeptical but looking at the vastness of the fields there are more berries going bad on the vine in a day than they'd lose from people eating their fill.

Picking the strawberries wasn't easy work. It was really hot and dry out in the fields. Alyce withered first. After 10 minutes she said she was ready to go. I don't think she was too hot, I think she wanted to get back to the farm house where a bounce house was setup. Mom and I picked over a flat of strawberries. However we made it back to the farm house with a single flat. The reason for that is another story.

I really enjoyed picking strawberries with my family. I think it is one of those unique family events that can turn into a tradition. I'm not sure the kids got as much out of it as I did but stuff like this has a way coming back around when you least expect it.

Encouraging Potty Training

Monday, May 21, 2012 0 comments
Last week something very encouraging happened. Luke used the potty! Mom, Alyce, and I have been trying for weeks to get Luke interested in potty training with limited success. Short of tying him to the toilet we've probably tried it. One night last week while getting Luke ready for bed I noticed his diaper was a little light for how much he drank during dinner. I let him run around bottomless during teeth brushing hoping to catch him in the act and direct him where he needed to be. Well nothing happened so I asked him if he wanted to use the potty. Yes was his answer but this wasn't anything special. He uses potty time a way to forestall going to bed; not a bad move really. I got him all set up on the potty and then left to go find him a book. After 30 seconds or so I hear crying from the bathroom.

I went into the bathroom the check on him and he had relieved himself. He wasn't pointing in the right direction when he did. So he made a bit of mess and was upset about it. I immediately praised him as much as I could. Alyce bless her heart did the same. She was telling him that he was a big boy now and other encouraging words. Luke didn't seem to be buying it. I got him and the bathroom all cleaned up and told him we should go tell Mommy. Upon going downstairs Mom also praised him and we gave him some candy! Somewhere during the candy he figured out that we were proud of him and not mad. From behind his tears you could see the smallest grin shine through.  He was very proud of himself. We were very proud of him.

Since then he's had one other successful use of the potty with better results in the aim department. I'm ready for Luke to give up diapers. He just turned 3 so it is still early for that sort of stuff. But I'm so tired of diapers. Tired of the time it takes to change, the smell, and the cost. Most importantly I'll be looking forward to ditching the diaper bag. The 5 lb boat anchor you have to drag everywhere. No thanks.

Not Staying in Bed

Saturday, May 5, 2012 0 comments
For just over a week Luke has been acting strange. He hasn't been going to bed. It started off with wanting his ceiling light on in the room. We didn't let that happen but we did give him an extra night light. Next he wasn't and still isn't staying in bed. After being in his room a while he'd get up and come down stairs. We'd walk him back up stairs and 10 minutes later he'd come back down. This cycle can go on past 10:00. His bedtime is 8:30. Now Mom and I have put up a baby gate at the top of the steps to stop him from coming down. That seems to be keeping him upstairs but on two occasions Mom and I have found him asleep in the hallway.

I'm not really sure what is going on with Luke. I'm guessing it is something developmental or he needs to stop taking naps in the afternoon. Perhaps now that he understands the world better he is thinking about all that scary stuff he didn't know to be scared of in the past.

Or better yet it is awesome at night and he wants to be a part of it. I remember as a kid my brother and I sneaking out of our room and hiding in the hallway while our parents were watching the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

End of the Year Party

At the end of Alyce's school year the district put on a little carnival for the kids. It was a fairly simple affair in that there were just games and artsy things to do but no rides.  Alyce and Luke went to all the different stations and played all the games. They also took a few turns in a bounce house. Balloon animals being made were also a big hit; Alyce with a unicorn and Luke a horse.

After the games we took a trip down the hall to the art area and each kid made a picture. The crafts provided were plates full of paint and circle stamps. By dipping the stamps into the paint and then onto the page you could make pictures out of circles. Luke's picture was pretty random. Alyce's was a very happy caterpillar.