Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Day 1 of the Big PT

Today was a monumental day in our family.  Todd has finally shown interest in potty training, so last night I encouraged him to throw his last diaper into the trash can outside, and this morning he put on underwear to start potty training.

I printed off a chart to track his progress, and Anna wrote his name on it.

She also helped him make a sign to put on the bathroom downstairs (his main base of operations, since the upper floors have carpet which would be harder to clean).  The sign has Todd's name on it, and he requested that we add Anna's and mine, since we're helping him potty train.

Success!  Todd used the bathroom, so he got to put a sticker on his chart!

He picked out some letter stickers at the store the other day, and he used them to spell his name, followed by Joy's (since there was only room left for a three-letter name on that line).

Todd had a few little accidents early in the day, but this afternoon he was really getting the hang of using the bathroom and letting me know when he needs to go.  By the end of the day, he had even completed Anna's name on his chart.  And if eleven seems like a lot of times to use the bathroom in one day, let's just say that I was giving him lots to drink so he would have plenty of opportunities to practice his new skills.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Is My Son a Wolf or a Dead Fish?

Tonight our family attended our ward's monthly cub scout pack meeting . . .

. . . complete with electric campfire.

Daniel's Wolf den provided the skit, and Daniel led his den in the "Dead Fish Cheer" (the boys flopped on the floor, then lay still for a moment before resuming their skit--gotta love the weird cub scout cheers).

During the award portion of the meeting, Daniel received a couple belt loops that he earned last month.  Now we just need to get him a belt.

Once all the awards were given out, scouts and guests were invited to participate in the "Dying Cockroach Cheer" (Todd preferred to keep calmly perusing Dr. Seuss's ABC book).

Refreshment time!  The scouts were encouraged to be good hosts and let their guests choose treats first, but Joy shared one of her lemon cookies with Daniel so he wouldn't have to wait.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Treat Train and a Whistlepig

I feel like our summer vacation lately has been one continual round of laundry, grocery runs, and other mundane activities, so today I was determined to get out and go to a park.

We got to the van and discovered that Daniel had no shoes on.  It reminded me of the time my family drove someplace for a vacation, and arrived to find that my brother Rob hadn't worn or packed any shoes.  At least today I only had to jog a few hundred yards back to the house to get Daniel's flip flops.

At the park the three younger kids had a fun time on the jungle gym . . .

. . . while Joy and her toy Creeper made a beeline for the nearest climbable tree.

At one point, Daniel told me he had seen a "beaver," and when I went over to have a look I discovered that he had seen a marmot (also known as a woodchuck, groundhog, or--my personal favorite--whistlepig).

At home this evening, we set up our big electrical train . . .

. . . and delivered treats to each other.  It was a nice way to wrap up July.  On to August!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Bolivian Birthday Party

After chores today . . . 

. . . we headed to our friend Ketty's house to celebrate her birthday.

Anna got her face painted . . .

. . . then it was pinata time!  Ketty's mom is from Bolivia, and apparently you don't smash Bolivian pinatas open.  Instead, each child grabs a dangling ribbon and pulls on it, and one of the ribbons opens a trap door that lets all the candy spill out.

As Joy can tell you, there are definite benefits to being tall.  She got a ton of candy, which she kindly shared with her younger siblings (Daniel says he has an awesome big sister).

Rainbow Girl had a lot of loot to take home.  I think she was most excited about the pink balloon.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Farewell to the Mahaffeys

This afternoon we attended a farewell open house for the Mahaffeys, a family from church who is moving this week.  It amazes me that people we've known for just over a month can already feel like close friends we're sorry to say goodbye to.  Brother Mahaffey was Daniel's Primary teacher, and Daniel gave him a big, long hug before he even ate a bite of cake.

Alas, I didn't get a picture of the hug, just some shots of the kids playing Foosball in the party host's rec room . . .

. . . while Todd hung out by the pool table (don't tell the folks in River City).

On the way home we stopped to admire a big flock of Canadian geese.  Maybe it's because we're Californians raised in a concrete jungle, but we think the geese and fireflies here in Maryland are pretty cool.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Picnic

I asked Joy what fun activity she'd like to do today.

She proposed a picnic out front, so we packed up protein poppers, chips and salsa, and other nibbles to eat on our picnic blanket.

Squirrel!!!  (When your daddy rides a motorcycle, you notice every single one that buzzes past you.)

While we didn't see any actual squirrels during our picnic, but there were some mighty strong ants out there.  This one was hauling a bread "crumb" about five times its size.  Impressive.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cub Scout Olympics

Tonight's cub scout pack meeting was a mini Olympics.

Anna and Todd were way more into the competition than Daniel the cub scout was (Joy was at Activity Days, so I have no data about her).  They loved the pool noodle javelin throw . . .

. . . and the triathlon relay race.

Todd needed a little help with the cycling portion of the triathlon.

Daniel did join in for the balance beam event . . .

. . . and the shooting competition.  And of course, he was an enthusiastic participant in the donut eating event at the very end.