Friday, December 31, 2010

Rachel's a "Big Girl"

Hooray for Rachel!  She is potty trained - officially a "Big Girl!"  Since we had 3 days off with nowhere to go (no music or dance classes because of the holidays), I decided it would be a good time to potty train her.  So, we broke out the underwear - 8 pairs of Tinkerbell and 8 pairs of Elmo - enough to make it through 3 days of possible accidents!  I turned up the heat in the house, and had Rachel wear just a shirt and her underwear, so she wouldn't have to deal with getting pants up and down, and set out the training potty.  I gave her lots to drink, and set a timer to go off every 20 minutes, and she'd sit on the potty for 1 minute and "try."  The first half of the day, she didn't ever go on the potty, but had 5 accidents in her underwear... and then on the 6th time, she made it to the potty, and after that, she didn't have a problem!  So, the next 2 days of potty training were easy, because she just caught right on, and didn't need any help.  I still kept her in underwear only the 2nd day, and made her stay in whatever room I was in all day, so we could get her to the potty fast, but the 3rd day, I got brave and let her wear stretch pants and play in her playroom without me.  She's done really great!  One of her favorite things about potty training (and Lizzy loved this too) is I enlisted the help of my mom, Jason, and my sister, Michelle, to play characters (Tinkerbell, Diego, and Dora) that Rachel could call after going on the potty successfully to let them know what she'd done! After the 3rd day, we went to Wal-Mart and got her "Potty Training Present" - an Ariel doll, just like the one Lizzy picked when she was potty trained.  We're so proud of Rachel!  Such a "Big Girl!"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

We had a really fun Christmas!  It started out on Christmas Eve, when we went over to Jason's brother's house for the Gale Family annual Christmas Eve dinner.  There was lots of good food, and fun presents from Grandma and Grandpa Gale!  Lizzy and Rachel got a big box of Princess dress up clothes, which they promptly dressed up in!  Naturally, we did not bring our camera anywhere we went, so I am lacking in the photos!  After the party, we drove around the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights, and then took the kids home and got them into bed.  In the morning, Jason got a picture of the 2.5 girls waiting to go see if Santa had come!

He did come, and in fact, he installed a new kitchen sink faucet for me!  Here is the before:

And the after:

Our old faucet was leaky and had parts falling off of it.  It was really a cheap, bad faucet.  The new one is SO nice, with a pull down sprayer, just like in a professional kitchen!

I also got a carving knife - good for cutting up roasts, turkeys, and your enemies:

The kids were really thrilled to come out and see that Santa had indeed come, and he had eaten the slice of pumpkin cheesecake we'd left out for him, leftover from the Gale family Christmas Eve dinner that we had at Jason's brothers house!  The kids started off on their presents right away, and they were so excited!

After opening presents, we had our Christmas breakfast, which was a giant puff pancake!  It was quite large and impressive looking - it's hard to tell from the picture!  But, it was really delicious, and everyone enjoyed it.

After sitting around and relaxing for a while while the kids played with their new toys, we headed out to my mom's house for Christmas dinner!  (We forgot our camera, of course!)  We opened more presents with them, and I was so excited to receive a 4 slice toaster, so I can make toast for the whole family all at once, instead of in batches as I have to do just about every morning!  (We love toast!)  Jason had a lot of fun with his new laser sighted Nerf dart gun that my sisters got for him, and they had also gotten some for themselves, so they had a fun Nerf gun war!  The kids got a gigantic Zhu Zhu pet maze for their Zhu Zhu pets to run through, and that was so fun for them!  We had a delicious dinner of prime rib, and then headed out to my dad's house.  After opening even MORE presents with them, we sat around and chatted for a while, and then it was time to head home and put the kids in bed.  They were really tired out, and in fact slept in this morning until about 10:00 am!  A new record!

I hope everyone had as fun a Christmas as we did!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No More Binky!!

Rachel has given up her binky!  It has been a pain dealing with binkies with Rachel - Lizzy never liked them, but Rachel sure did!  However, it has turned into a horrible middle-of-the-night search for binkies, and we were fed up!  So, I made a chart for Rachel with daytime and nighttime for a week, and got some star stickers to put on it.  I told Rachel we were going to be all done with binkies, and every day and night that she went without her binky, she would get a star on her chart, and when it was all full, she could get a little toy from the store.  Rachel was very excited about this plan, and gathered up all her binkies and threw them in the trash!  Over the next week, she did really well, and although she was sometimes a bit fussy, especially in the car, where she really liked having a binky, I would remind her that if she could be happy and not fuss without her binky, I'd give her an extra star sticker on her hand when we got home.  So now, she is all finished with her binky, and she chose a Zhu Zhu Pet for her no-more-binky prize!  She is thrilled!

(She got a hold of one of the sheets of star stickers and stuck some on the bottom of her chart before I caught her!)

Lizzy's Nutcracker

Lizzy's Ballet school put on a little Nutcracker performance for Christmas, and it was so cute! 

They all put on mouse ears and ran around being the bad mice!

Then, they changed into soldiers, and got swords to fight the mice away!

Next, they had scarves to dance to the different candy dances.

Then, they all got to be Sugar Plum Fairies!

It was a super cute and fun performance!  It was about 20 minutes total of dancing, with excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite and a narration telling the story while the girls danced and did their costume changes!  Lizzy had a really fun time!