Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dear Dash: Potty Training

Dear Dash,

When you were around 22 months, you showed interest in going potty. We excitedly pulled our our mini potty for you to sit on and you successfully peed in it! You would go once a day on your potty for about a month. Then you stopped caring. We figured it was a little early for you to potty train anyway, so we let it go.

Then, the April after you turned two years old, we decided to try again. We took advantage of the fact that we would have to sit for hours to watch General Conference over the weekend. We did the 3 days naked method where you were just naked and sitting on your little potty most of the time. You did great! You earned lots of treats and really seemed to understand what was going on. We bought more prizes- like mini construction vehicles and sesame street characters for you to earn. You earned them all in two weeks. We invested in more training pants, step-stools so you could sit on the big potty, and candy prizes. You were doing so great until the prizes ran out. Then you stopped caring again. We battled it out until we hit almost the month mark from starting potty training, and I gave up. You just weren't ready. Looking back I wish we hadn't tried, but once you were back in diapers you felt better.

Then you went through a poop smearing stage and we had to duct tape your diapers shut. So we weren't going to let you have any opportunity to take those off by trying to potty train again. When you went to preschool, they tried a little bit with you but you just didn't seem to care.

I wanted to hold off potty training until you were 3 1/2, but Daddy wanted to try again after you turned 3. We had continually been inviting you to sit on the potty (especially when we knew when you were pooping). Whenever you pooped, you always wanted "pribacy" so you would go to the reading room or your bedroom and play by yourself for 10-15 minutes. It was like the one time Daddy and I could get things done so we honestly didn't try that hard to dissuade you from taking your breaks.

Anyway, you showed interest in wearing underwear about a week after your third birthday, so I jumped on the chance. And you did great! The nice thing about potty training again was that we already had everything. We stuck to just giving you small treats every time you went. The only extra thing we bought was more underwear (you chose PJ Max underwear and you've only seen the show once). It's been over a week now and the process has been so much easier in contrast. Yes, you've had a few accidents, but for the most part you are really good about going on the potty. We have you stand for the most part, and putting cheerios in the toilet for target practice was fun for a few days. Then you insisted you could aim without them so we haven't used them since. You also have taken more initiative in dressing yourself (pulling up/down your underwear and pants, putting your socks on, etc).

Surprisingly, you also seem to have night time potty trained. You've only had two wet diapers since starting potty training. We're still hanging onto our remaining diapers just in case, but we didn't expect that to happen so soon! You were so proud when we returned a box of pull-ups to Sam's Club because you were a "big kid" and didn't need them anymore.

I just want to say, thanks for making it easy this time round. It was probably my fault anyway for jumping the gun last April. But once you were ready, it was a breeze. I'm so happy with how responsible you've been to let us know when you need to go. You've also done great as we've run errands and visited places, like the zoo. I couldn't be prouder of you! 


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dear Dash: Three Years

Dear Dash,

This has been a fun year for you! Here are some of the things we want to remember:

You loved going to the zoo. We went an average of once a week this year. Your favorite things at the zoo are riding the train, riding the carousel, and feeding the giraffes. Later this year you grew tall enough to also ride the ponies at the zoo! You have the best posture and biggest grin when you get to ride the ponies. You also like seeing the kookaburras, the elephants, the gorillas, and the fish.

You went out to eat. Highlights include you ordering Mac n' Cheese by yourself at Ruby Tuesday, crying because you spilled your frosty and getting a free kid's toy at Wendy's, playing in the play area at Chick-fil-a, eating a bowl of olives at Olive Garden, going to Panera so much that you thought it was your favorite restaurant, even though it's actually Mommy's favorite.

You developed favorite foods. I have to ration out our fruit snacks so you don't eat too many in a day.  Nutella sandwiches are a new favorite. If you could live off of crackers you would. You drink a ton of milk. You love having a bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning. You learned how to drink out of normal cups without spilling. You have incredible candy tracking abilities- you manage to find any stash that we negligently leave too low to the ground.

Your vocabulary grew and grew! I wish I could list all of your funny sayings and phrases, but it would take a whole new blog post to do that. Some of the ones I can remember are: saying "I'm frustrating" instead of "I'm frustrated." You ask for "all the things" or "all the minutes." You are great at saying prayers. You usually thank God for yourself ("Thank you Dash"), and then ask him for something that you want to immediately happen (ex: bless me to eat a cookie). You've learned how to say the word "play" with an 'l' sound because I kept teasing you about it. You love to play the game, "Yummy yummy in my tummy, what's a treat you like to eat?" You love rhyming games, and you've gotten really good at identifying rhyming words. You already knew the uppercase letters and numbers by the time you were two, so this year we've worked on lower case letters and teaching you the letters in sign language.

You started to sing. Towards the end of the year, you would sing to yourself at night after we put you to bed. Songs we've caught you singing are: Silent Night, Joy to the World, English ABCs, Korean ABCs, and Happy Family. We started dong "singing time" as a family on Sundays, where we review primary songs. I'm pretty sure you have all the songs with accompanying actions memorized. You also know the words to "I Am A Child of God" in English, Korean, and Spanish.

Your personality developed. You love to be "sneaky." You have become quite a tease. Your favorite thing is to tell me that you are "sleeping" in the car (I don't want you to sleep in the car because then you won't take a nap.). You are a negotiator. You try to work in an extra book, "all the minutes," or an extra treat whenever you can. You like to control things. You try to dictate how mommy does her hair, what she eats, and how she eats it. You require social support at all times. You hardly ever play by yourself, except when you are pooping. Your emotions range from either very happy to extremely angry.

You interacted with others. You usually give adults the cold shoulder for the first little bit when they try to talk to you. You love all of the youth in our ward. You love all the sets of missionaries we've had. You love playing with kids who are older than you. 1-2 yr olds throw you off because they usually can't talk as well and you worry they will take away all of your toys. But you love babies. We babysat several times this year and you always loved holding the babies, entertaining them, and helping feed them.

You read A LOT. We read over 500 picture books this year. We would have an average of 15 different books checked out from the library each week. We would read with you after breakfast, right before your nap, and at bedtime. This means we read 30-60 minutes with you every day. Your favorite series are Elephant and Piggie, Berenstain Bears, Fly Guy, Pete the Cat, The Bear books, Llama Llama, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

You smeared poop. We tried potty training in April, and you did great for about a week. Then you regressed. The next month, you discovered poop smearing and this became your favorite sneaky past-time. Mommy and Daddy tried everything to dissuade you, but you still had many poop smearing episodes throughout the summer.

You spent time with Daddy. Mommy had to study for the Bar over the summer, so she was busy a lot of time. But Daddy had work off, and so you and him spent all summer together. You went swimming in our pool, went to the splash pad, and made lots of trips to the Zoo.

You loved cars. You have roughly 30 cars to play with, and you would play with every single one of them each day. Mommy and Daddy quickly wore out playing 2-3 hours of cars every day. The biggest surprise, however, is when we took your cars away for a whole week because you smeared poop on the walls. You played with all of your other toys all week and hardly seemed to miss playing with your cars. When you got them back, you were excited, but played with them significantly less than you used to.

You drove a dump truck. After we moved to our new house, we spent a lot of time watching the construction vehicles work around the development. We would sit outside on chairs to watch them, or go on walks around the neighborhood. A very kind worker stopped behind our house and offered to let you drive a dump truck. You had so much fun turning the wheel and being in the driver's seat with the truck moving. It was probably the highlight of the year for you.

You went to preschool. We enrolled you at a private Methodist church. While you didn't like the idea of going to preschool each morning, you always had a great time. You went three days a week for three hours a day. Your preschool did a lot of fun activities like a Fall Festival, Thanksgiving Feast, Santa's Shop, and a Christmas Program. You were in a class with 13 other 2-3 year olds. You loved your teachers Mrs. Tara and Ms. Heather. You learned about the "octopus rule" (keep your hands and feet to yourself) and you made lots of friends.

You watched tv and movies. We were pretty strict with screen time and you generally got only 20 minutes a weekday. Sick days were the exception and once a month we tried to have a family movie night. It took you a long time to make it through a movie in one sitting. Usually you would only make it to the 50-60 mark and then you would be done. Your favorite movie for a while was Inside Out, because it helped you visualize your emotions. Then you became obsessed with Frozen. You frequently requested that mommy braid her hair in either one or two braids so she could be Elsa or Anna. You went to your first movie in theaters- Coco. You mostly liked it because it played "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" before the movie. Your favorite TV shows are Daniel Tiger and Super Why.

You loved dressing up as animals. During Fall, I made at least 12 different animal ear headbands for you to wear. You tried them all out, and here are the ones that made the cut: cat, dog, pig, bear/monkey, giraffe, sheep, rabbit. You are totally committed to staying in character when you are wearing your ears. You will make the animal sounds, eat the food the animal would eat, and follow the same mannerisms. This has worked out in our favor at times, as giraffes are quiet, rabbits eat veggies, and cats love to take naps. Other times it hasn't worked out as well--like when you tried to scratch or bite us.

You visited family. We traveled to Ft. Bragg for Easter to visit your Uncle Scott, Aunt Wheng, and cousin Xylar. We had lots of fun going to an Easter festival and then to a bouncy house park. In May, when dad was on a business trip, mom and Dash road tripped to Cary, NC to visit Steven, Lauren, and second-cousins Emma, Ella, and Ainsley. It was fun for you to play with three girls your age. They had an awesome playroom and fun parks to visit. In June, we went to Myrtle Beach with Grandma Hiatt and Uncle Scott's family. We dug in the sand, splashed in the water, and celebrated Xylar's 4th birthday. We went down to Summerville, SC to visit Sam, Karen, and second cousins Cadence and Lily in December.

Family visited you! We had lots of visits from relatives this year, especially when we moved into our new house. Grandpa Hiatt came a few times. Karen and her family visited twice to do temple swaps. Grandma Hiatt came down for the solar eclipse. We hosted the Hiatt side of the family for Thanksgiving. Scott's family came down for a weekend. Grandma and Grandpa Lund and Angela flew in from Utah for mommy's swearing into the Bar.

You went on family adventures. Some of the most memorable were picking strawberries locally, going to the state fair and driving to Henderson, NC to pick apples. Strawberry and apple picking were by far your favorites. Going to the state fair was traumatizing because we sent you on a kiddie ride by yourself. You unbuckled and tried to jump off a moving ride. Luckily they had slowed it down because they saw you screaming and a worker caught you. We made up for it by buying fattening fair food and staying off most other rides. We also went ice skating the week of your third birthday, and you hated it. Your shoes were too big and the ice was too slippery.

You visited the dentist and the doctor. We were so proud of you at your last dentist visit- you let the hygienist check and clean ALL of your teeth! You were so brave. The doctor was more traumatizing. You had croup (twice) and had to take yucky medicine. And mommy took you in for a flu shot, which was way more painful than you expected.

You celebrated holidays. We had green eggs for St. Patrick's day, which you willingly ate. We went on four different egg hunts for easter. We lit sparklers on the 4th of July and Pioneer Day (even though they don't celebrate it in SC). We dressed up as the Daniel Tiger family for Halloween. For Christmas we traveled to Clemmons, NC to celebrate with the Hiatt side of the family. You loved Christmas and all of the decorations we had. Your favorite decoration was the advent calendar- every time you woke up (either in the morning or from a nap) you asked to put a new pice in the advent calendar.  You were so sad when Christmas was over and wished you could open more presents. Luckily your birthday is right around the corner!

You are so excited for your birthday. You ask every morning whether it's time yet. You are looking forward to presents, treats, and surprises. We had to make a week wheel to help you count down. You tried to convince us that we should "pretend" it's your birthday so you can open all of your presents early. We are so excited to share this milestone with you.

It took you a few minutes this morning to remember it was your birthday. Once we changed your diaper, you sprinted down the hall to rotate the week wheel to your "birthday." That's when you saw balloons and a present waiting for you in the playroom. We scattered your presents throughout the house so that you wouldn't open them all at the same time. This way you could enjoy playing with each present at a time. We did donuts for breakfast, since you had been asking for that ever since we did it over Christmas break.

After opening and reading all of your book presents - 3 of which were from your favorite series, Elephant and Piggie - we got ready to go. We took you to Edventure Museum, which has kid scale replicas of a grocery store, restaurant, library, and other play areas. You had a blast! Per your request we had lunch at Chick fil a, where you enjoyed climbing in the play area. Then we went shopping at Dollar Tree and you were able to spend your birthday money on some stuffed animals and 25 cent toys.

After your nap we played outside and then brought you in for the final few presents. Your favorite present was a "Fur Real" Tiger. We had tortellini for dinner per your request (although you were so excited about your presents I don't think you really cared). You really, really wanted to have cake, so we did a homemade carrot pineapple cake. We also surprised you by making homemade ice cream. Randomly in December you had started to ask for an ice cream maker. You probably didn't know we already owned one because we hardly use it. It was nice to have an excuse to bring it out of storage.

Not to brag, but you had a pretty terrific birthday. You felt so special and loved. We are very grateful to all of our relatives who gave you gifts or called you on the phone.

Rhetorically, Rebekah

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dear Dash: 2 Years!!

Dear Dash,

You turned 2 today!! Your habit of saying "almost 2" must now be changed! We are both excited and terrified with what will come this next year. We've already got an early start on the terrible twos as well as some potty training.

We've had so much fun seeing family this past month. You loved playing with your older cousins Cadence, Ainsley, and Xylar. Your vocabulary took a huge spike after spending time with them over the holidays. 

You have learned how to pluralize words by adding an "s" to the end. You also know our 'real' names now (Matt and Bekah) and will use them if you hear us use them. You regularly say three to four word sentences now. You swap the subjects and verbs of sentences a lot, ex: "sitting mommy" instead of "mommy sitting."

We've upgraded to a plastic cover for your door knob since you figured out how to unlock it. This is the third time we've had to upgrade something in your doorway in order to keep you from wandering the house in the middle of the night. 

We got a zoo membership, which you LOVE. We get to feed the giraffes, ride the train, and go on the carousel as much as you want, in addition to seeing all the other exhibits. This was a huge hit for your birthday today. 

Your favorite toys are cars, followed by the hammer and plastic scissors you got for your birthday today. Your favorite series is "Chuggington," a show about trains that is on Netflix. You love to read, and our newest favorite series is "Elephant and Piggie" by Mo Willems. 



PS see below for your birthday pics

Birthday breakfast
Watching Chuggington


"Monkey stickers?"
Train Ride at the Zoo

Carousel at Zoo

Hammer time!

Birthday dinner: mac n cheese and chicken cordon bleu

Birthday treat: blueberry muffins,
because you're too young to know the difference of a slightly healthier option


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dear Dash: Twenty Three Months

Dear Dash,

Your words as of late-
test-mony: testimony
sa-ca-ment: sacrament
bree-king bed: broken bread
tinker: tanker
pow: plow
quarger: quarter
papa: grandpa
sop: stop
hooway: hooray

You are a pro at checking out books at the library! 

you have your own little christmas tree with child friendly ornaments

you learned to tuck in your blanket

you request to be a cat at least once a week
you still love dogs

and any stuffed animal 
you went to your first BYU women's soccer game

you love the stray "kiggy" that comes by the house

you had fun with your cousin over thanksgiving break

and seeing aunt emily

and your great-grandparents

and your uncle scott

you helped "rake" the leaves

and play piano

and got to play with the dogs that grandma was watching

we put up our big christmas tree two days after thanksgiving!

you had your first starfruit

and enjoyed the fall rain 
you don't need glasses, but it was sure cute to see you try them on!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

This year I participated in NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know, National Novel Writing Month is a challenge where participants have from November 1 to November 30 to write a 50,000 word novel. This year I wasnt sure if I had time to do that many words during Dash's variable nap time. So I made my goal 25,000, which is the length a middle grade novel should be (which I happen to be writing). I also may have cheated by starting a few days early because I knew that it would be hard for me to get writing in over the holidays.

I completed my goal (yay!) and learned a few lessons along the way:

  1. I probably could have done 50,000 words! It usually only took me 30 minutes to reach my daily writing goal. 
  2. I should have done 50,000 words because I didn't have time to finish my story. But they say that a lot gets added through editing, so maybe that's a good thing.
  3. I should have outlined more. This time around, I would pursue a new character or mini story every day, sometimes writing several versions of a scene (which wasn't editing- I was trying out new theories). But if I had planned things better beforehand, I would have been able to have a more coherent story.
  4. I should have talked to more people about my story during the month to get plot ideas. There were several days that I was stuck in the plot and could have benefitted from a brainstorming session. 

That said, I already have my story picked out for next year, and I think it will be a lot more organized. I'm glad I at least started somewhere with my writing half-marathon this year, and I was able to gain a lot of confidence in my multitasking abilities. I kind of wish I could do another month sooner than next November, but it looks like the next 8 months will be dedicated to bar review.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dear Dash: Twenty Two Months

Dear Dash,

You've had another busy month! Here's some of the things you did:
you visited daddy at his office

and helped out in one of his classes,
where they taught you to fist bump

we went to the beach

and you tried to fly a kite

you were buried in the sand
we visited cousin Cadence and family
and you bit your lip pretty bad
and bled all over mommy's shirt
we went out for frozen yogurt

and you refused to sleep in your new bed during naptime the first week
so you had a bunch of naps during errands
but you like your bed better now

went to at least 8 storytimes

lost the privilege to feed yourself yogurt

cooked with daddy 
worked out with daddy

had a playdate at the park

and dressed up for halloween

we went to the edventure museum to trick or treat


we also tried some potty training

Dashinary words of the month
peas! - please
taco - thank you
bafbaf - giraffe
beeg - big
peeg - pig
all gong - all gone
babee - little
gurgle - girl
doy - joy or toy

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