Secret Passageway

Yesterday Jack was determined to find a secret passageway through one of our walls.  He started by locking me in the bathroom (even though the lock was on my side) and telling me I needed to find a secret passage to get out.  When I couldn’t find one, he went through the house tapping on walls and asking me if I thought there might be a passage there.  “Mommy, the floor is kind of spongy here.  Do you think there’s a secret passage under the carpet?”

As we went downstairs, he grabbed his toy tools and started tapping and “drilling” on the walls in various places.  Casey started to ask me if we could play Candyland but Jack piped up with, “We don’t have time for games, Casey!  We have to find a secret passage!”

Here is a video of the search:

A Day of Green and Rainbows

Jack’s class had a small party for St. Patrick’s Day and I was one of the party planning moms.  I guess when I’m not THE party planning mom I’m not as neurotic about it.  Also, since I’ve known for a while that I would be helping out, I was keeping an eye out for good ideas on the world wide web.  At One Charming Party, I found a great recipe for green smoothies so I whipped up some of those.  I also saw a rainbow fruit platter somewhere (sorry I don’t remember where) and I made my own fruit rainbow.  The other mom made rainbow cupcakes and brought the craft.  I also learned that it’s really hard to take pictures of food as you’re making it if your kitchen is not clean.  I have a whole new level of respect for the food bloggers who take a lot of pictures.

This is O’Jack.  The kids were adorable in their leprechaun hats and beards.  I thought I took more pictures of all of them but I guess it was the other moms who did that.

Jack was really excited to tell me all about what the leprechaun did to their classroom.  He was a pretty tricky and mischievous fellow as he managed to escape the traps that the kids set up and he left a trail of dirty green footprints all over the room.  It was so cute to hear Jack explain this all to me.  The little leprechaun also stopped by the boys’ bathroom and used the urinals.  
Last summer when Jack was deep in his “Lucky Charms for breakfast every morning” phase, he wanted to know if leprechaun’s were “real in our life.”  We talked about them for quite a while and I wrote a blog post.  At the time I think he was leaning towards no, but after this St. Patrick’s Day experience, I think he is a believer.  Where else did that green pee come from?

Fashion for the 3 Year Old

The third part of Casey’s two weeks of growing up is that she can now get herself dressed.  Strangely, she’s spent more time undressed than before she was able to dress herself.

In the mornings after breakfast, I usually send Jack to his room to get dressed and then I either get dressed or help Casey get dressed.  One morning while I was brushing my teeth Jack came in and very excitedly told me, “Mommy, Casey can get dressed all by herself!”  Sure enough, Casey was wearing some ensemble that she had picked out and I think it actually matched.

Since then, she mostly gets herself dressed.  The only thing she can’t do is take her shirt off (in preparation for putting on a new one).  I try to let her pick out her clothes and she does a decent job.  Sometimes I try to guide her a little better and sometimes I let her wear what she wants and laugh at her smile to myself every time I look at her.

Lately, afternoons have turned into dress up time.  Casey will usually run to her room to change into a princess dress or dancing dress or her special mermaid garb.  Last week, Casey decided that she wanted to be a mermaid and I guess she thinks mermaids don’t wear clothes because when Casey is a mermaid she only wears underwear.  I’m pretty sure Ariel is clothed in all the books we have of her, but maybe mermaid fin and bikini top are as good as naked in Casey’s world.  Either way, it can be entertaining to see how Casey’s outfits evolve through the afternoon.  And there’s usually a trail of clothes and shoes throughout the house.  

This is one of my favorite outfits that Casey has personally styled.  Backwards football jersey over a black Halloween shirt, neon orange skirt over purple leggings, princess socks with pink shoes.  Sadly we will never see an exact replica of this outfit again because she got the purple leggings caught in a branch while climbing a tree and they have a big hole in them.

Casey is modeling her new tutu and play ballet shoes in this picture.  She accessorized with a headband and beads.  

I didn’t realize the purple leggings were so popular.  This ensemble is for grocery shopping.  It’s hard to tell but she has a baby carrier in her right hand and the baby is hanging out of it rather precipitously.  In her left hand she has her reusable grocery bag with some fresh produce.  Princess heels, long white gloves and a pink striped hat are essential for looking good at the grocery store.  Jack also chose his own clothing.  I’m not too keen on that combination of black and blue but if he gets himself dressed, it’s a win for me.

This is my little artist.  He put this hat on and told me it was his painting hat.  How did he know that he should wear that hat?  I haven’t a clue.

Casey is an artist as well.  She was only wearing underwear before we brought out the easel.  That’s her painting shirt.  I guess she needs painting pants as well.

Potty Training Child #2

A couple days after I took the front off Casey’s crib, she told me she wanted to wear underwear instead of a diaper.  I think we had told her that she could get a big-girl bed after she started going on the potty, but it seems like she heard it the other way around.

Back during the first weekend in January, Pat had duty on a Saturday and we had no plans so I decided it would be a good day to start potty training Casey.  8 pairs of wet underwear and 4 pairs of pants later, I think it is safe to call it a potty training failure.  Not once did she go on the potty despite all her talk about not peeing on the princesses or Dora (on her undies).  I decided to give it a break and try again later.  I gave it a few half-hearted attempts in the next few weeks and each time a poor princess would get wet again or Dora would be cursing in Spanish.

I didn’t have the highest of hopes when Casey told me she wanted to wear underwear, but I figured it was a good sign.  After 5 hours and multiple attempts on the potty, she finally went on the potty and not in her underwear!  And we finally had potty training success just a few weeks shy of her 3rd birthday.  In the first week she had a couple of accidents but since then she’s been great.  We had a few issues with using public bathrooms but I can’t really blame her and she was able to hold out until we got home.

Everyone says that girls are so much easier to potty train than boys but I didn’t believe that for a while.  I also heard that girls potty train closer to 2 than to 3.  I was feeling a little pressure…I think Jack was potty trained earlier than Casey was.  But once she decided she was ready to do it, it did turn out to be easier than Jack.  It took a good month of me checking to see if Jack had to go to the potty every 3 hours and it took a long time to go #2 on the potty and not in his underwear.  Those were some slightly gross days of hoping to get a pull up on him before he went in his underwear.

So now Casey can and does do everything herself.  She even sends me out of the room if at first she does ask me for something.  The only thing she has trouble with is turning on the faucet to wash her hands.  We’re still in pull-ups for night time but it’s so great to say that we are diaper free!  And Casey is the new owner of a princess suitcase from her proud Nana. 

Casey’s New Bed

More than a month ago, I was planning to write a post about Casey and all her “big girl” accomplishments at the time.  So better late than never, and with new and improved big girl-ness I’m finally getting to it.

Basically, within two weeks, (and about two weeks before her 3rd birthday) Casey started sleeping in a big girl bed, potty trained and started dressing herself.  At the time, I couldn’t believe it was all happening so quickly and it was relatively painless.

One weekend, I just decided it was time to take the front off of her crib thereby turning it into a big-girl bed.  I removed a few screws and Casey was so happy and jumped right in her bed. 

I thought bedtime was going to turn into a struggle but it really hasn’t.  She still goes right to bed and even if she needs to come out, she yells for me instead of coming out on her own.  Usually she doesn’t need to come out as much as she needs me to fetch her hole blankie for her or her pillow pet or a specific baby.  Most of the time she still yells for me in the mornings too when she wakes up…although I would rather her just come into my room so I can turn on the tv and lay in bed for a little while longer.

The downside of the big girl bed is that she doesn’t nap every day anymore.  Ever since we took her pacifier away, her naps haven’t been great but now she doesn’t take one at all sometimes.  I really thought I would be so sad the day that naps went away but I’m finding it gives me a lot more flexibility and time to get errands done if I need to.  I’m no longer a slave to being home between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.  But, most days I am home and I try to get her to take a nap.  Sometimes she’s just not going to take one.  Usually she has to use the potty 2 or 3 times on those days, spaced out about 20 minutes between each trip.  Sometimes I give up at that point and other times I yell at her and she finally takes a nap. 

If I think about it too much, I get sad that she’s not the amazing sleeper that she used to be.  Every since she started sleeping through the night she’s been a great napper and for a long time she slept until at least 8am every morning.  Lately, she’s even been waking up before 7 which was once unheard of with her.  But, I’m sure as she gets older she is needing less and less sleep.  On days that she doesn’t nap though, it gets pretty obvious that she needed one by about 4 or 5pm.  She gets dramatic and grabby and cranky and is constantly being a little bug to Jack. 

Fast forward to this past weekend and she is now in a really big big-girl bed.  The back of her crib is now the headboard to her new bed.  She has a pretty purple comforter and some pink sheets and she is a pretty happy girl.  Now we just need to work on keeping her in the middle of the bed and not falling on the floor.  And I need to recenter those pictures or find something else to put on her walls.  The beautiful orange piece of paper on the wall is some original artwork by Jack.  It says To Casey From Jack and has a picture of Casey that he drew.  As soon as I said I was going to take some pictures he ran to create this because he thought the room needed a little more decorating.