Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Christmas 2008

After spending 10 days in Alabama for Christmas, we returned home late on December 26.We got Lana in the bed, unpacked, and then Dan & I stayed up late pulling down gifts from the attic, taking them out of packages, and making sure everything had batteries.  Dan even made a midnight run to Walmart for more batteries!!  (I should have checked that before we left.)

We were so excited when she woke up the next morning!  We pulled our little sleepy head out of bed, talked about the Christmas story, and reminded her that we give gifts because Jesus is God's gift to us.  Then we all headed downstairs!  

Lana headed straight for the $2 musical instruments, completely ignoring the My First LeapPad and dress up clothes that we were sure would be her favorites!  It's so funny the things that they are interested in!
She did eventually make time to check out all her toys in the living room before we brought her outside to see her big gift - a motorized four wheeler!
We expected a big reaction, but in true laid-back Lana style, she just smiled a little bit, jumped up and down on the balls of her feet, and climbed on.  
After she rode around for a bit, we came inside for a favorite breakfast....pigs in a blanket.  We ate and lounged around and played with her toys the rest of the morning.  I made Dan's favorite lunch: meat loaf, homemade mashed potatoes, and green peas.  After we ate lunch, it was time for Dan to head to work and Lana & I to take a nap.  

Life with Lana today (2 years, 5 months)

Sleeping: This month we transitioned Lana to a big girl bed (toddler bed).  We were pretty apprehensive about the move because she's such a good sleeper in her crib, but those worries were for nothing.  It was the smoothest transition ever.  The first day when we put her in it for nap time, she stayed awake playing the whole time.  Bedtime that night was completely normal, and she hasn't looked back since.  When she wakes up in the morning, she just sits on her knees until we come get her.  Hooray!!  She's getting so long, we're going to think about having to put her in a twin sized one soon.

Eating: My girl has a sweet tooth like her Daddy!!  I try so hard to put healthy things in her body...lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains.  But since Daddy has a sweet tooth, we often have some sweet things in the house...candy or cookies or whatever.  She'll often ask for candy before she eats breakfast in the morning!  What do you think I say to that??  Surprised  I try to keep a close eye on what she's eating and if she gets a treat once every few days, I don't mind so terribly much.  Everything in moderation.  

Talking: Baby talk?!?  WHAT?  Lana is the most wonderful little talker, but for some reason, this month she's trying out baby talk.  She'll play with her babies and make them "talk" with short one or two word phrases, and then the next thing I know, she'll try to use that baby talk with me!  We've pretty much ignored it, thinking that she'll just stop.  It's worked for the most part, although about once a week or so she'll try out that baby talk.  So silly!  She's using pronouns correctly now, noticing the difference between boys and girls.  I love to hear her say, "I am a girl!" 

Potty training: starts tomorrow!!  I've got lots of fruit juice and decaf tea to fill her little tummy with.  Applesauce and oranges for fiber, two potty seats, and lots of panties.  I think we're ready!  I'm praying that this transition goes as well as moving her to a big girl bed.  She's plenty old enough, and I think she's mentally ready.  The only concern I've got is that she still wakes up VERY wet in the mornings - I mean completely soaked nighttime diaper.  I stop giving her liquids at dinnertime, and I don't know what else to do.  We'll see - wish us luck!!

Discipline: Since I wrote last month's blurb about discipline, we have really focused on teaching Lana HOW to obey.  Now she can tell you that she's supposed to obey "all the way, right away, and with a happy heart."  Sometimes a quick reminder is all that she needs to change her behavior.  She really is a well-behaved little girl.  It's funny to watch her try out behavior that she sees other children use: she'll throw herself down on the floor and look up to see what we're doing, or insist on having a different cup with her meal, and then giggle.  She's really been doing well with saying "thank you" lately.  Today we went out to lunch at Olive Garden, and she thanked the waiter each time he brought something to our table - I was so proud.  Our goal this month is to get her to use "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir" regularly.  We're trying to say it to her and to each other.

Playing: Christmas time means lots of new toys!  We've cleaned out some of the ones she's not playing with so much to make room for the new.  It'll be fun to see what emerges as her favorite.  She loves playing with her babies, of course, and she has begun to want to dress up.  We made a dress up bin under her bed.  She spent most of Saturday dressed up as Miss Pattycake, with gloves and all.  She really enjoys play dough, and will color for short periods of time.  After Christmas, I cut the photos out of all the photo cards we got and let her glue them on a big poster board.  She did a great job learning to glue!  Just a few photos into the project, she was using just a few dots of glue.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silent Night

Tonight in the car we were headed back to Brother & Janika's house, and the three of us were singing Christmas carols.

We were singing "Silent Night" and got to the part where you sing "all is calm, all is bright," and Lana exclaimed:

"He can just wear his sunglasses!"
What??  "Who can wear his sunglasses, Lana?"
"Silent Night can!  He just needs to wear his sunglasses."
"What in the world are you talking about?"
"You SAID all is bright, Mommy!  Silent Night just needs to put on his sunglasses if it's bright."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Alabama 2008

We are celebrating the holidays in Alabama from December 16-26 this year, and I want to write down all the fun things we are doing for her to read about one day:

*Playing with Piper...pushing the babies in the strollers, cooking in the kitchen, dressing up, playing at the park on the swings and the merry-go-round, listening to Daddy tell Bible stories in the backyard, eating soup at Daruma, sleeping in Piper's big girl bed
*Playing with Nana & PawPaw at their house, watching cars with PawPaw, eating lunch with Nana, opening tons of presents on Christmas Eve at Nana & PawPaw's house
*Being silly with Noah, playing chase 
*Playing with Jake at Grandaddy's - burying bubbles, running in the yard
*Reading with Uncle Allan
*Making jewelry with Aunt Kacie
*Building gingerbread houses with Baloo
*Playing with Sue Sue, letting her paint toenails  
*playing with Jake in his playroom, sharing toys at the restaurant, shopping together
*hugging Noah, hugging Noah, and hugging Noah
*smiling for Aunt Nika and Mommy taking pictures
*Christmas Eve: going for breakfast with Mr. Steve & Mrs. Dana, Kenna, and Cole and playing until lunchtime, taking a "good sleep" then heading to Nana & PawPaw's for our big Davis Christmas, going to visit Phyl & Randy and their family, and getting in bed LATE! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

First real haircut!

When Lana turned one, we had her bangs trimmed up, but it was only one snip.  The lady who "cut" it didn't even charge us.
I've put off a real haircut for two and a half years.  I just love her curls. I love to wash them and put product in them and play with them.  I love how they curl up around her face when it's humid.  They are just so HER.  And I've been so afraid that if we cut it, they wouldn't come back.  
However, it was past time for a haircut.  Dan put his foot down about it finally - he said he didn't want a daughter with a rat tail:
I knew he was right.  So I e-mailed Aunt April in a panic, asking where to take her.  I called Impressions Salon in Wakefield this morning to see if they could get in her in today, and thankfully, they did.
The sweet lady who cut her hair was so patient with me.  I told her that I was a freak out about her curls and that I would be so sad if she cut them off.  She really listened to what I was saying and took the time to show me what she was doing.  She kept the biggest curl for me to save.  
Lana was absolutely WONDERFUL!  She sat in that chair just as big as you please.  She was very serious the whole time, and didn't move one muscle.  She looked up, looked down, etc.  I was so proud of her.
And my friends, I LOVE it!!  Those little curls just bounced up tighter than ever.  It has the cutest shape.  Lovin' my girl with a haircut:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A treat for Mommy

This morning (Saturday), we are preparing to go to lunch and the Wake Forest Christmas parade with our friends Dustin, April, and Hollis.  I have not yet wrapped Hollis' Christmas gifts, so Dan & Lana made a quick run to the dollar store to get wrapping paper while I took a shower.

I heard them come in the door, and Lana came shrieking up the stairs: "Mommy!!!  I got you a treat!!"  She did indeed have in her hands one of my favorite treats: Hershey with almonds.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited she was to bring this to me.  

I told her thank you and gave her lots of hugs, and then she took off downstairs.  She came back up with another candy bar and said, "Here's my treat, too!"

Dan told me the rest of the story:
They were in line at the store, and Dan saw the candy bars.  He pointed out the Hersey's with almonds and told Lana, "Mommy really likes those."  "Let's get it for her!" she responded.  She brought one to him to buy, and then looked up at him with those big blues and said, "But what about a treat for me?"  He laughed and let her pick out a candy bar, too.  As she headed toward them, she said, "Daddy, do you want a treat, too?"

It made me so happy to see her delight in giving something to me, and then even thinking about her Daddy.  We are going to be careful to give her opportunities to pick up small gifts for people she loves.  We want to encourage this giving spirit in her!

Friday, December 12, 2008

LLLC Christmas Musical 2008

Today was Little Lamb's Learning Center's Christmas musical.  This was Lana's first year to be in the musical, and she has been so very excited about it!  She has been singing the songs every afternoon, and couldn't stop talking about dressing up as an angel.

Dan had a front row seat with the video camera so he could tape the show.  We didn't get many still shots as he was manning the video camera, and I was on the stage with my own class.

She was so excited to see her Daddy when she walked in, and as soon as she hit the stage, she twisted and turned and craned her little neck to see was the sweetest thing.  She beamed at me and then turned back to the audience to sing.

It was SO FUN to see her on stage - I could not have been a prouder mama.

Rob & Emily were so great - they came to watch her.  There is simply nothing like friends who are family...
What a wonderful day for the Davis family!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Easy greasy.

I am in a bit of shock over how easy the transition to a big girl bed has been for us.  I really expected it to be more of a battle, especially since she's been developing a little mind of her own lately & such strong opinions.  I have been so pleasantly surprised!  Besides her not sleeping for her nap time on the first day, her sleep has been completely normal.  I tried to think some tonight about why I think it's been so good.  I want to write it down so I can remember this when I'm transitioning another child, God willing.  

I think three things have been key for us:

1) Lana had good sleep habits to start with.  She was sleeping an uninterrupted 11-12 hours a night, with an hour and a half or two hour nap each day.  Early sleep training has made a huge difference for us in this area.  I may not agree with everything in Babywise, but it sure did send us down the right road in the area of sleep.

2) For over a year now, Lana has been trained to wait on us when she wakes up in the morning without crying. When she was much younger, we would NOT go in her room in the morning when she was crying. We would wait for a break, when she wasn't crying, and then go in with lots of big good mornings! It made sense to us - we didn't want to reinforce the fussing. We wanted to reinforce the waking up happy! So before the transition, when she was still in a crib, she would wake up and just stand in her crib quietly until we came & got her - sometimes up to 45 minutes or an hour if we accidentally fell back asleep!! She would just stand at the edge of her crib and wait. This worked for us because we have a video monitor, but I think it can work even if you don't. Anyway, she does the same thing in her bed girl bed. She wakes up and sits on her knees at the edge of the bed until we come get her.

3) We decided beforehand that it was an obedience issue. We talked to her the whole day about obeying Mommy & Daddy by staying in her bed until we came in. Dan & I decided that if she got out of the bed, we were going to spank her. She knows what it means to obey and disobey, and we were in complete agreement that we were going to insist on total obedience in this area.

I'm not going to say that we might not have trouble with this in the future, but I'm so proud of how she's done so far!  I'm super hopeful that she'll do well when we're traveling over Christmas and she's sleeping on an air mattress.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big girl bed

Day 1:
We are so excited about our trip to Sweet Home Alabama in a couple of weeks!  One of the major things we've been doing is trying to figure out sleeping arrangements for Lana.  She is too long for a pack and play, so that really complicates traveling.  She's a great sleeper in her crib at home, and we've never had to try to get her to sleep on an air mattress or anything until now.  We purchased a twin size air mattress with plans to let her "practice" sleeping on it here before we ventured into someone else's home.

Last night, I was talking with my mom, and we talked about how to transition Lana from her crib to a bed.  After getting off the phone with her, Dan & I talked about it, and we decided that we'd rather train her to stay in the bed at home before we are staying with friends and family.  

So today Dan converted her crib to a toddler bed while she & I were at storytime. 

Here's her last time in her crib:

We went to Target and let her pick out a pillow and a special stuffed animal for her new big girl bed.  (She chose a giraffe she has named La La.)  We also picked up a rail guard so she won't roll out.  We talked about how she has to stay in her big girl bed until Mommy & Daddy come get her.

She was so excited about her big girl bed......

right up until it was time for her to actually get in it for nap time.  She fussed for a while, and then sat up talking and playing for 2 hours!  Not once did she close those peepers and go to sleep!!  WHAT?!?  The good news, though, is that she did not attempt to get out even once.  She stayed right in that little bed until we came in to get her.  We definitely praised her for that!  We can't make her sleep, but we're satisfied as long as she stays in her bed.  

We put her down at 7:00 tonight, and by 7:02, she was asleep, curled right up next to La La the giraffe.  She completely refused the pillow, and wouldn't let us cover her up.  Whatever.  She's sleeping. 

Day 2:

Day 2 in the big girl bed was a breeze!  Lana went right in for her nap with very little fussing, and slept her normal two hours.  When she woke up, she sat up on her knees and waited until we came in to get her.  You better believe we did some celebrating!  She stayed in AND she slept!!  Woo-hoo!  

When she went down for the night, she didn't make a peep...just laid down and went to sleep.

It's during times like this that we realize how essential it is to insist on first time obedience from her.  

We're not foolish enough to think that we won't have trouble with her getting out in the future, but it's made it simpler thus far to be able to say to her, "Mommy & Daddy want you to stay in your bed until we come in.  You must obey."  

Hooray for Lana!!  We're so proud of her, and we're very glad that we're making this transition here instead of while we're traveling.