Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Backyard

I think by now, EVERYONE in the whole world knows how much I've wanted a backyard. I guess I wanted a 'finished' backyard to be exact. For Las Vegas standards, our yard is pretty good sized for our house and neighborhood, and I hated that we couldn't take advantage of that whole big area. It just seemed like wasted space. The house was built 7 years ago, and nothing has been done back there since besides little river beds cutting all over from from the rain, tumbleweeds growing, and twisted metal trash from the builders. It was NOT livable  I begged Ryan forever to do something with it, and it wasn't until I went to Ellen, and got the "12 Days of Giveaways" gifts (that we sold most of for the cash), that we finally had money to put away for the yard. That combined with Christmas gift money, and redoing our budget, we finally were able to get started on it.
I had a bunch of landscapers come in to do estimates, and in the end we decided to have the landscapers put in the paver patio, and Ryan and a couple ex-landscaper friends (thank you Brandon and Jake for all your work, and teaching Ryan so much!) put in the sprinklers, grass, and plants.
I am SOOO happy with how it all turned out. The grass went in a week ago, so we are still waiting for it to take root before we can really play out there. Also, I'm on the look out for a great patio set, then it will be complete! I plan on eating dinner out there year round, and letting Easton finally be able to run around free and I'm so excited for him to go running through the sprinklers all summer!
The before and after is pretty impressive, especially in person! It makes the whole house feel much more complete, and has made the kitchen seem so much nicer since the windows have a pretty view now.

Sprinklers In. Top Soil down.

Ryan and Jake. Working on the plants and sod.

Brandon and the massive pile of beautiful sod.

Potty Training

Yes. You read that right. I am potty training my 20 month old. I have been doing 'limited' training, and not really PUSHING him, just getting the idea into his head, so he can start to wrap his mind around the whole idea, and most of all, I just want him to start being aware of those muscles down there, and learn how to control them. I have to say, he has been a CHAMP! The first time he sat down on the potty, we told him to go poop...and he went poop! 
So I'll walk you through what I did since a couple people have been asking me. First of all, Easton is SOOO into learning new things right now, and that is why I jumped at the opportunity now, instead of waiting until a year or so from now. I read a lot of different tips online, and talked to a few friends who had trained both boys and girls, and I kinda came up with my own plan. First, I printed out a progress chart, then I went to Wal*Mart with him, and let him pick out underwear, a potty seat, treats, reward toys, stickers, a potty book, pull ups, etc. When we got home that night, like I said, we set it up, and we put him on the potty, and he went. That first time I think was luck, but it reinforced my drive to go ahead with the whole plan the next morning. 
Day one, he got up, put on his undies, and I got him his drink after breakfast. I kept refilling his sippy cup of juice to constantly have fluids in him. I set a timer on my phone to go off every 15 minutes, I set it to a loud and fun ringtone, so as soon as he heard it, he knew exactly what it meant. He would run to the bathroom, and get so excited to sit on the potty. I would read his book with him, it's an Elmo book with sound buttons, so he thinks it's pretty great to read and make sounds. While he is sitting, I've found it's best to either be in the bathroom with him to distract him so he can relax and go, or I'll just completely leave the room and let him focus on his own. He always poops when I leave him alone to do it all on his own. 
If he does go, he get to put a sticker on his chart, and then gets a treat, either a jelly bean for pee pee, or a starburst for poop. I try to make a HUGE deal about it when he goes...we high five, we dance, we give kisses and hugs, we call grandma or dad....go all out and make him feel AWESOME about what he just did! 
If he starts to have an accident, I'll stop him and hurry to put him on the potty. He doesn't get a treat after those times, even if he finishes on the potty. Also, on his potty seat, he has a little 'splash guard' so the pee doesn't go all over the floor while he is sitting there, but he likes to play with the guard. So if he goes pee while the guard is down, and it goes all over the floor, he also doesn't get a treat. The other time he doesn't get a treat or sticker is when he just sits there, and nothing comes out, so if he doesn't go, no treats. 
This method has worked great for us, after he started to get the hang of it, he would empty his bladder more at a time, so I stopped using the timer, and kinda just kept an eye on him, and would guess around when he would need to try and go again, and when I put him on again, he would go a lot. So I do think that he is starting to 'hold it' better. 
Naptime, bed time, and any time we leave, he is still in a diaper. I don't really know how to transition him into that amount of potty training restraint. But for a 20 month old boy, I think he has done great! If any of you have tips for training them for sleep time and going out, PLEASE leave a comment for me!
I have LOVED not cleaning up all those poopy diapers, and it so fun to see him be so proud of himself!



The Touro 'BIG GAME'

Every year, Ryan's school plays a basketball against Touro University San Francisco. This year he tried out for the team, and of course made it. I have to admit, I kept teasing him about the whole thing up until I pulled up the parking lot and COULD NOT find a parking spot. I was beyond shocked at the turnout of this game! In my mind, I was picturing something along the lines of a church basketball game, with some of his classmates there to cheer, along with some of us families. I was so so wrong. They played the game at Findlay Prep High School, so it was a nice gym, but obviously smaller. However, it was equally as loud as any Utah State game, I had to yell to talk to my friend next to me, and Easton was a little timid because of all the commotion surrounding him. 
Ryan's classmates made Big Heads of Ryan, and surprised us with a Baby Big Head of Easton, it was so funny, and E loved them! 
The game was incredibly intense! Even Ryan said it was way more intense than he was expecting, and he was completely exhausted after the first half. They played so hard, and in the end they lost by only one point. You would have thought they still won because of the amount of sound coming out of that place! It was such a fun night, and makes me wish that Ryan would have played last year, and could next year, but instead he will be in the middle of rotations and getting ready to graduate! Can't wait for that day, it's exciting that it's getting so close to the end for us! 

Me and Easton cheering for the Papa. 

Ryan playing in the 'Big Game'

My boys!

Being awarded their medals

Easton hung out here at my feet for most of the game.

Check out his cute sassy baby bum. 


Ryan joined a his friend Wes' ward softball team this year. It was his first time back in 'the swing of things' (haha, pun intended!) since he played for Utah State. And it was a LOT different, haha! It was a lot more laid back, and a completely different kind of competitive environment that what Ryan is used to. However, it was so much fun to watch. Easton and I only went to a couple games, but Easton thought it was great to run around with the other kids and climb up and down the bleachers. Every couple innings he would run into the dugout to check on dad, and run around with him. I have to say, it was really fun for me to be back in the baseball stands, I loved every second of it!

Valentines Day

Valentine's Day was so much fun this year! Easton is starting to get into the super fun age where he is having more interest in 'events' going on. So if I make a big deal about something, he CAN'T get enough! This year my friend/photographer, Tosha, did a darling photo shoot with the some of the neighborhood kids, and I am SO happy with the photos of Easton! My little love bug!
Valentine's Day, Ryan had school all day, and that night he came home with a delicious bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries, they smelled amazing! I got the boys a bunch of goodies as well, Easton got a new basketball and a little golf set and treats. Ryan got snacks, and a Nike gift card. Then for dinner we went to Pei Wei, came home and just hung out like any other night, and it was perfect! My favorite kind of night, a little gift, a little dinner, and a little relaxing on the couch in sweats...seriously my favorite!
I love my boys SO much!