Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fruit Full

We live in a fruit tree paradise. It's really amazing. We see fruit on the sidewalks in our neighborhoods and on hikes. One of our favorite hikes is called Idler's Rest and it takes you through an abandoned apple and plum orchard and then through a beautiful pine and cedar grove.
Here we are in the grove.
This is a yellow cherry plum tree. They look like cherries but they are plums!

Here's the grove:

Another type of plum:

This is a scene on the drive out to Idler's Rest:

Here we are on a hike on Moscow Mountain:

Here is the view from atop Moscow Mountain:

 A scene on our way to Moscow Mountain:

This is a wee crab apple from a neighborhood tree:
 Stan B loves this crab apple tree. He likes to bring these little apples to the faerie house on our street.

Here he is standing in the orchard grass on our Idler's Rest hike:

Plums! We picked so many of these and made plum syrup (it was supposed to be plum jam but it didn't set! It tastes great on waffles!)


The pretty trail.

Papa in a plum tree
 More plums:

This neighbor's apple tree is awesome. He has two of them between his driveway and his yard. It's called espalier where he trains them to grow this way. It looks really neat.

Baby Bear and Papa Bear on Moscow Mountain:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Playing in the Sand

His limbs get so dusty from playing in the sand that we used water to draw on our skin.
Stan B loves going to the park near our house. His favorite part is the sand volleyball court because it's like a HUGE sandbox. When he's done playing there we usually make it to the playground where his new favorite thing is the swing. (I pushed him on that for almost 40 minutes the other day...and it's the big boy swing...and he likes to go high! It scares me.) P.S. No daycare last week as the Bear was sick all three days!!

He loves being traced:

He loves playing with his trucks:

He loves making marks in the sand.
Those are frisbee marks. He calls them pancakes.
 I like it too. Here are my rake marks:

We are there rain or shine, warm or cold:
Here it had started to rain.
 More rain and strange sunlight:

He likes to lie down in the sand and dig and play:

Here he is in action:

volleyball court sand from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Saying Names

Listen to him trying to pronounce family names. It's ridiculously cute:

names from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Friday, October 24, 2014


The Bear loves to dance. He likes fast songs best. If a slow song comes on he'll either get upset or he'll say, "More music!" as if a slow song isn't actual music. He also says, "Louder!"
Here he is dancing full force:

dancing from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

So, he's not the most rhythmic dancer but he goes for it with 100% of his body:

pre bed time dance from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

He has started not liking me recording his dance moves so I did this one on the sly. This is him listening to the Beach Boys. It was really quiet in there so I peeked in and he was sitting their, not dancing (slow song), and watch what happens when a fast song comes on(around the 55 second mark):

beach boys from erin kawamata on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Autumn Garden

Making rows for our seeds
We started a garden back in August (I hope I didn't plant too late!) We planted two types of lettuce and snow peas.  Stan B enjoyed helping me dig and sow seeds.

Our lettuce and snow peas popping up!
He helps me water the garden on days that it doesn't rain. He has even helped me weed. He knows the difference between the lettuce and snow peas and the weeds. It's neat that he picked up on that rather quickly. 

There is still a patch of dirt that he can play around in behind the garden but I still have to remind him not to step on the lettuce. He is pretty good about it the majority of time.
Making a mud pit
 And completely muddy:

Once the peas started looking for something to grab on to I built this trellis. I hope it holds up. So far, so good:

The snow peas are now up to my knees and the lettuce is probably 6 inches high. So, I think we are doing pretty good, although we are cutting it close. I don't have any pictures handy but will post some soon!

Also, back in June when my Dad was here helping us settle in we bought some green onions at the store. Once we used them my Dad kept the white root parts and put them in water for a day or two and then planted them in the ground out back. They sprouted into wonderful and big green onions again, look! 
I cut these and did the same thing and planted them back in the ground and they are growing again! It's amazing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Potty

This is in the bathroom at our old place in NC. He would love to sit on the potty and read a magazine. He never would actually pee or poop in the toilet. But it was good practice.
So, a while ago - maybe when he was around 18 months old - he was very aware of urine coming out of his penis and the sensation of needing to pee because he was standing in the tub and he said to me, "pee pee" and then looked down and a second later out came the urine! I had read that as soon as you see the first signs of their awareness of peeing that you should start thinking about potty training.

The idea of potty training freaks me out a little. I don't want to spend 3+ exhausting days trying to get him to pee and poop on the toilet while having to wipe up the floors, furniture, his clothes when he poops/pees on/in them. Props to the people that do it. It's just not in my wiring. On top of all the potty training horror stories people always tell me how boys are way harder to potty train than girls. I have friends who have gone into potty training mode, full force, and had success after 3-7 days. I have had friends who let the potty idea click in their child's head and that works just as well. Here is a woman's story about her child's mental click and how she made a chart for him over at the blog OMG There's Three! I love the idea of a sticker chart, more so than candy rewards. So, a chart might be in our future. I also read the article titled 3 Reason Kids Don't Need Toilet Training (and What to Do Instead) over at Janet Lansbury's blog, which I love (that's where I go to seek a lot of parenting advice; biting, discipline, etc. I really like her philosophy - although I do not follow it strictly.)
I think these three points, from her article say it well:

Child specialist Magda Gerber noted three types of readiness children need for toilet learning:
1. Physical:  there is bladder and bowel capacity and muscle control.
2. Cognitive: children know when they need to eliminate urine and feces and are fully aware of what they are supposed to do.
3. Emotional:  children are ready to let go of a situation they are used to and comfortable with (urinating and releasing feces into a diaper whenever they feel like it), and also let go, literally, of these waste products, which they perceive as belonging to them.
The emotional readiness factor usually comes last, is the most fragile, and also the most powerful. Bright, sensitive, aware toddlers can readily perceive a parent’s agenda. For some, the subtlest nudge toward the potty or being diaper-free can cause holding of urine or feces, delay toilet learning for months or even years, make toddlers feel ashamed, lead to severe constipation.

I think we've gotten to number 2 (not number two/poo, but the second type of readiness listed above!) I think we are now practicing, without practicing, the Emotional part that is written in step 3.

As soon as I realized that the Bear knew when pee was coming I started really talking to him about it. I also began reading him the book, "Everyone Poops" which became a huge hit. I had him watch Papa pee as often as possile, so that he could understand it better by obsercing. He is actually really good at peeing standing and holding his penis while doing so, but he has only done that in the tub, not into the toilet but it's a safe place to practice that. I try my hardest to use my words around him because he can understand way more than he can verbalize. So I say things like, "Papa is peeing standing up and into the toilet. Pee comes out of his penis just like pee comes out of your penis." and "You are peeing out of your penis." If he has a wet diaper I say, "You made a pee pee."  or "You made a poo poo." Which now has become a conversation, "Little poo poo?"
"No, big poo poo."
"No, little."
"Actually, it's big."
"No, little."
"O.K. it's little."
"No, big."
Ha. Really, that's what the regular poo conversation is. And he always wants to look at the poo in his diaper.

Here he is "wiping" although he didn't pee or poop. Good practice though.
I have also placed his little potty in our bathroom right around the 18 month age, when he started being very aware of what was happening. In the beginning he would sit on there and never pee or poo. But he loved sitting on there, so I let him do it. He didn't pee in there until he was 2. When he became really interested in the potty (but still hadn't peed in there) my parents got him the book "Once Upon a Potty" which also became a favorite. When he finally peed in the potty I said something like, "You peed in the potty! Would you like to dump it in the toilet? Would you like to flush it down yourself?" He loves flushing. After that first time peeing in the potty I let him go diaperless in the house and told him that if he needed to pee or poop that he would have to run to the potty. That same day he peed in the potty 4 times! He wore his big boy undies after that but then peed in those. The next day, same thing but then he pooped on the ground. Woohoo! Next day he peed in the potty 2 times then I put him in a diaper and we went to buy more big boy undies which was exciting for him.

Here he is rolling around in his big boy undies.
Now, part of the time Stan B will voluntarily say, "Pee pee!" and run to the potty, attempt to take off his diaper (he can do it sometimes although not very gracefully) and pee perfectly into the toilet (he sits down). He has never tried pooping in there. I try to give him the option of a diaper or underwear on mornings that I have him at home. He probably chooses diaper 85% of the time.
Peeing, playing the harmonica and reading Once Upon a Potty - the ultimate multitasker.
He doesn't love having his poopy diaper changed. Sometimes he will sit in it and not let me change it for awhile. I try to explain to him that it would feel more comfortable if we changed right away. I also tell him that if he wants he can try pooping in the potty instead of in a diaper. I try not to make him feel embarrassed either way. I want him to feel comfortable and confident in his choices.

I will keep you abreast on the pooping and peeing. I know you are thankful for that. Teehee.