Friday, November 28, 2014

A Preschool Thanksgiving

Cooper loves preschool!  To celebrate Thanksgiving, his class had a feast: turkey, rolls, carrots, grapes, baby oranges, and mints.  Cooper said the food was SO GOOD.  They also learned about the Pilgrims and the Indians and made vests with various Indian symbols on it.  I have a video of Cooper explaining all the drawings on his vest -- it's adorable!

Cooper and some of his friends.
Showing off his cool clothes.
Since I know you're all dying to know...yes, we did go to Walmart proudly dressed just like this!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Halloween 2014

Since it's nearly Thanksgiving, I figured we're about due for a quick Halloween recap. ;)

Cooper adores Halloween!  It's right up there with Christmas.  I told Dave he's going to have to leave work early next year because Cooper was so wound up with excitement that waiting for dad to get home to go trick-or-treating was almost more than he could bear!

We started the holiday off with a Halloween party at Dave's work.  The kids had a lot of fun playing carnival games, walking through a spook alley, trick-or-treating, and doing crafts.  Unfortunately, Sloan refused to wear her Minnie Mouse costume and instead opted to go dressed as an obstinate child for Halloween.


Cooper was invited to two Halloween parties thrown by friends.  He was in Halloween heaven making cheese cloth ghosts, playing games, and eating treats.  Here's Cooper drinking "Swamp Water" at Brenna's party.  His face might suggest otherwise, but he actually loved it!


We carved pumpkins.  Cooper picked a Ninja Turtle and we thought a ghost was fitting for Sloan since her pumpkin was white and she loves jumping out and saying, "boo."


I went with Cooper's preschool class to the pumpkin patch.  The kids had fun and his teachers demonstrated their AMAZING patience and stamina.  For anyone who thinks watching 4 and 5 years olds is easy...think again!



Pumpkin patch diva!


Cooper had a Halloween party at school followed by a darling Halloween parade and program.  Cooper loved learning new Halloween songs and would sing them at home constantly.



On Halloween night we went to our neighbor's house for a potluck dinner and then hit the hood in search of candy.  Once again, despite what I thought was very good negotiating, Sloan refused to wear her Minnie Mouse costume.  Instead she insisted on wearing this very summery and not at all appropriate for our cool Autumn nights, dress.


The mask that came with Cooper's costume was very uncomfortable so Megan was kind enough to sew a felt version for us.  Coop wore this to his school party.  Weeks before Halloween night, Cooper mentioned his need for a more comfortable mask to someone at our church.  This kind Brother said he had a friend who made masks like the wrestlers wear in Mexico and he was going to get one for Cooper.  We didn't think much of it until the Sunday before Halloween when Brother Castaneda came over with a present for Cooper -- his very own Ninja Turtle mask.  Cooper was thrilled!  We truly have the best neighbors ever.

Before we went door to door, Sloan had yet another costume change.  She went trick-or-treating in this.  Some people thought she was a clown because of the ruffled polka dot pants...we just went with it!


Proof that we did in fact by her a costume...silly girl!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stages of Sloan 2.0

While Sloan might share her name with one of the lead characters in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, right now she's more closely following in the footsteps of a different 1980s icon -- Punky Brewster.

All dressed and ready for the day...heaven help us!


Sloan has to pick her clothes out every day.  She loves anything with pink, patterns, and sparkles (and she's a pro at layering her socks!).  The dressing herself doesn't end when the sun sets.  She insists on picking out her pjs too!  That means she's slept in jeans and ruffly shirt dresses on more than one occasion.

Perfectly normal and comfy sleep attire -- right?

When we went to the doctor for her 2 year appointment, Sloan weighed 22 lbs (10th percentile) and was nearly 19 inches tall (75th percentile).  Ever since Sloan turned 2 she has been very tantrum prone.  She's moody and insists on doing everything by herself.  The doctor said Sloan isn't acting out because she's scared or angry.  She just wants things done on her terms.  She's developing her independence.  As parents we have to balance avoiding things that cause her to melt down and making sure we don't indulge her to the point of becoming entitled.  This is easier said than done.  

Over the past six months, Sloan has gone through several distinct stages.

MAY: The strip naked while sleeping stage. I woke up in the middle of the night to find a completely naked baby girl asleep in a wet crib.  She was covered in goosebumps!  I went in, got her dressed, put a blanket over the wet sheets, and held her for quite some time until she finally warmed up.  The tides were beginning to turn!

JUNE: The change your clothes a billion times a day stage. Sloan stripped naked while I was at an exercise class and during my Activity Days lesson.  During this stage, Sloan's antics became legendary.  "Brandy, do you remember that time Sloan took all her clothes off during your lesson on modesty?"  [insert 11-year-old laughter]  "Yes, yes I do!"

JULY: The throw tantrums and climb out of your crib stage. Sloan discovers that we can't ignore her tantrums when she is running around naked or trying to open the hot oven.  Tantrums lead to her protesting bedtime and she figures out how to climb out of her crib.  She is officially moved into a big girl bed to avoid a trip to the ER.

AUGUST: The refusal to let anyone change your diaper stage.  She hated having her diaper changed and would rip it off (even with duct tape on it) when she got mad.  Dave suggested we try Pull Ups since the biggest issue was that she wanted to be the one to put on her new diaper.  I married a genius (and baby whisperer) because Dave's idea worked like a charm!

SEPTEMBER: The don't touch my hair stage. At first Sloan would let me do her hair in the morning and then she'd pull it out sometime throughout the day.  But in September she stopped letting me do it all together.  She officially became the hobo-looking girl of the neighborhood.

Walk around like a homeless person who wears ever article of clothing you own.  Check!

OCTOBER: The I'll sort of potty train myself stage.  Sloan started trying to change her own diapers which was awesome when they were wet and terrible when they were more than wet...and when she was in her room alone...when I thought she was sleeping.  Let's just say I've gone into her room after nap time on more than one occasion to find smells and messes no person should see.  We got out the little potty and she's a pro at pooping and she'll tinkle every time she sits on it.  Anticipating the tinkles is the struggle right now.

NOVEMBER: The sleep on your floor phase.  This actually started in October.  Sloan has refused to sleep in her bed for several weeks now.  At first Dave and I would put her in bed after she had fallen asleep on her floor but she'd wake up throughout the night and pull everything on the floor and go back to sleep.  We also have to take all chairs and potential climbing impliments out of her room when she sleeps or she spends hours playing with the lights, monitor, sound machine, and anything else she can reach.  

Just another relaxing nighttime game of Get Off the Chair and Get in Bed!


This girl is definitely giving me a run for my money.  She's not perfectly put together like she could be (I promise she has lots of darling clothes and I'm really good at doing her hair!).  And she's certainly not as obedient or accommodating as I'd like.  BUT, she has the best little girl laugh you'll ever hear and she leans over and rubs my arm when we're sitting by each other on the couch.  She still loves laying on my chest when she's sleepy and she claps for herself when she says a new word (which is ADORABLE).  She is a great little mommy to her baby dolls and she gives Dave the best welcome home hugs you've ever seen.

She is 100% her own person and Dave and I are honored that Heavenly Father entrusted us with such a special little spirit.  This strong willed little girl must have something pretty special in store because she's certainly not one to sit back and watch the show.  If she follows this same trajectory, she's definitely going to be the main event!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Elliot the Elephant

Elliot is an elephant at Cooper's preschool.  Each child in the class gets a turn to take Elliot home for the weekend.  Then the kids have to journal about their adventures with Elliot.  It was fun looking through the binder to see what the other kids in Cooper's class had done with Elliot -- hee, hee!

To say Cooper was excited about our new house guest was an understatement. 

Cooper kept Elliot very busy and hygenic. 

Elliot even got to go to Lowes with Cooper and Daddy to build a haunted house. Semi photo bomb, courtesy of Sloan. 

Cooper's journal page. Cooper came up with all the journaling, Dave just wrote it for him. Note the pictures of Cooper and Dave at Lowes, the Lowes apron, the submarine, and Cooper's bed. 



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch while my parents were in town.  The kids loved it!

Sloan, Cooper, and Graham.

Bunny ears a la Cooper.

Gave her a kiss all on his own. 

Classic Cooper.

These two love each other and drive each other crazy all at the same time. 

Sloan insists on picking out her own clothes and hair accessories every day.  We're picking our battles and giving her a win on this one. 

She's also started posing for pictures. All girl, this one!

Poppa, TamTam and the grand kids. 

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