Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, March 30, 2009

Austen Learns to Put on His Own Coat

A few weeks ago when I was picking up Austen from school, his teachers told me he had something to show me. Thinking it was something he made that day at school, I waited for him to present his latest craft project. Instead, he went to his coat hook and took down his jacket. He laid it out carefully on the floor making sure the hood was facing him. Next, I saw him bend down and put his arms into the armholes of the coat, lifting the entire coat over his head and then down around his shoulders until it was on correctly. I was amazed. What a neat trick to teach a 2-year-old so he can be more self sufficient.

I guess that Montessori education is paying off. I'll have to admit now that I'm a convert to the whole Montessori education. In the last year, I've seen the benefits. Austen doesn't use sippy cups because he can drink out of a glass. He doesn't wear diapers or pull ups because he's pretty much potty trained (yes, it can work for boys at this early age). And, he can even put on his own coat and shoes. All this at the age of 2 (really 26 months). I don't think Austen or any future children we may have will be going anywhere else.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Adler's New Friends

Adler's been hanging out with some new friends lately. They are Austen's bunny and mini teddy bear. I've come home from work every day this week to find at least one of these stuffed animals, sometimes both, on our bed. And, Friday they both greeted me at the front door.

Adler doesn't usually touch any of Austen's toys no matter what we leave out but recently we moved Austen's stuffed animals out of his crib and into a chair in his room. I figured Adler must be feeling lonely during the day and go into Austen's room seeking some company. And, even though there are probably 10 other stuffed animals in this chair, she repeatedly selects the bunny and the teddy bear even when I've made them a little harder for her to get.

The funny thing is that she doesn't do anything to these stuffed animals. They are in good shape when I find them. She doesn't tear them apart and much to my surprise they aren't all wet from her licking them to death. But, she does suck up to me when I find them throughout the house. She knows she's not supposed to be playing with them because they aren't hers but she simply can't resist. I must be a sucker for her brown eyes because when she was sucking up to me the other day trying to apologize for playing with them,I told her it was all okay and it would be good for Austen to learn how to share.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Austen Learns to Somersault

Every Saturday, since Austen was four months old, Tom and I have signed up for some sort of interactive class to do with Austen. First it was music class. Austen loved this and I think is a reason why to this day that he really loves music - listening, singing and dancing to it.

Of course music class was not Tom's favorite thing to do but he did it so he could spend time with Austen. So he was overjoyed when my friend, Robyn, (whose son is 3 months older than Austen) who we typically joined for these Saturday activities, suggested Little Gym. The class Austen attends at Little Gym is essentially a gym class for little kids. They get to run around, play basketball, throw frisbees, blow bubbles, walk on the balance beam and hang from the uneven bars among many other activities. They've also been learning how to do jumping jacks (open together, open together) and somersaults.

Well, the other day Austen just started somersaulting on his own at home. He loves to do this so I caught him on tape. Only problem is sometimes he needs to watch out for the furniture!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Choo Choo!

Austen loves trains - they are probably his most favorite thing right now next to Elmo. So Tom's mom actually suggested we take him to a restaurant that delivers food to its patrons on a motorized train. I guess there are several of these around and most of them are right next to the railroad tracks in suburban towns.

Well, this weekend, we needed to get out of the house after being kept inside by the rain. We met my dad, brother and nieces at "2 Toots Train Whistle Grill" in Glen Ellyn. Austen loved it! He got to sit right next to the counter where the train chugged by with the food. I just had to make sure he didn't derail the whole thing because he was so excited and wanted to grab the train! But, it definitely kept him entertained throughout dinner.

I think the highlight of his dinner though was the dessert. He got a cupcake deliverd to him by train that was decorated with multi-colored sprinkles and a train whistle in the shape of a little train on top. He figured out right away how to blow the whistle which made for some good entertainment and thankfully,it wasn't too loud. Wouldn't you know I had to pry that little choo choo whistle out of his fingers last night after his bath! (yes, he had to bring it in the tub).

I think we'll make a trip back sometime since I don't think he's growing out of the train phase anytime soon. As one of my friends said when I had a boy, "Welcome to the Island of Sodor." For all of you moms with boys out there, you know what I mean.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Austen and the Potty

Well, we finally took the plunge. I say we because potty training, or so we’ve been told, requires a big commitment from the parents. That commitment means no matter how frustrated you get or how easy it would be, you can’t go back to diapers or pull ups.

He just turned two so many people told us we were crazy for even attempting this. We probably wouldn’t have tried but Austen attends a Montessori School during the day and they start training those kids at like 18 months. We waited until Austen was two and then we felt he was ready and we were too.

The first thing we did was strip down his crib to just a sheet, a blanket, and a stuffed animal or two. Easy to change if he wets the bed. I wanted to do this all or nothing - meaning that I wasn't going to resort to pull ups at night and have to go through potty training at night down the road. The next thing we did was have Austen throw out all his pull ups and pull out his big boy underwear.

It took one intensive weekend. That’s right. Three days of staying indoors and feeding him lots of liquids and trying to catch him in the act so he could learn. Now, I’m not going to say that he hasn’t had accidents since then. He has but not that many.

He's made great progress from not wanting to sit on the potty to actually telling us when he has to go instead of holding himself and jumping around for a half hour before he agrees to go to the bathroom. Check out this video. As I watch it again tonight, I can just see the progress my little guy has made in two short weeks.