Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jackson's Little Gym Party

You may be inclined to ask WHICH party I am blogging about, because Jackson had no less than 3 parties this year - one with his Nana and Pap-pap on his actual birthday, one at school on his birthday, and one a week later at the Little Gym. The Little Gym party was by far the cutest. We invited all the kids in his preschool class, plus a few special friends, and about 13 or 14 kids ended up coming, which was a perfect number. During the first hour of the party, the kids got to alternate between free play on all the cool gym equipment, and organized activities with the two party leaders. I was so impressed with how much these little 2 and 3 year olds were able to do. After the kids were completely worn out, we adjourned to a little party room for cake and juice. Here are a few highlights:





Jackson couldn't have been happier with his special day. He was all smiles for every second of it. The best part? When it was over, all I had to do was get in the car and drive home! No messy clean up for me! Yay!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Fish Saga

Because Jackson has more toys than we can reasonably fit in our house, I wanted to find something else to get him for his birthday. Matt and I decided on a fish, because he loves the movie Finding Nemo, and he gets really excited whenever we see a fish tank. We bought this cute little Finding Nemo tank for about $35, which I thought was a pretty good deal, and put a blue (Jackson's favorite color) Betta fish into it.

Jackson was pretty jazzed about his fish, which he named "Blue". Unfortunately (but predictably I believe) the next morning, the fish was DEAD. We quickly scooped him out of the tank on the way out of the house, and picked up another blue Betta on the way home from work. We were convinced that Jackson would never know the difference...except that when we put the new fish into the tank, it was RED! I really don't know how this happened. The funny part is that Jackson didn't seem to notice that "Blue" was now red. Blue2 lasted approximately three days longer than Blue1. When I went to PetSmart to discuss the fact that we clearly are fish murderers, the girl (same one who helped me pick out the system, by the way - I'll save my rant about PetSmart for another day) informed me that Bettas don't like filtered tanks. Apparently they prefer to live in tiny dirty fish bowls? Whatever. So now we have two tiny guppies and a really cute frog, which we have managed not to kill yet, but it's only been a week.

I'll be headed to another pet store today (NOT Petsmart) to drop a week's salary on tank care accessories. I'd be bitter about this whole sage except I have to admit that I am a little in love with our tiny frog.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jackson turns 3 today

"My's? It's my's birthday?" (see how he's pointing at himself in disbelief?)

For once I didn't have to bribe him to get a smiling picture - this is the real deal.

Mylar balloons - pretty much the highlight of any toddler's day.

How cute is this monkey birthday shirt that I ordered off of
He's still asking if it's really his birthday....

Shot of the birthday shirt from the back - it has his name and big 3 on it.

Time to go to school. For once no fussing since two dozen cupcakes are coming with him. Jackson and I made yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting (coincidentally mommy's favorite...), rainbow dot sprinkles, and Mickey Mouse ring toppers for his class.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm a Cowboy

For MLK day, Jackson's entire school was supposed to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. I hadn't planned to send him to school that day since I had the day off, but he was sick the entire week before, so Matt and I both needed some time to get work done. That morning after he was already dressed, I remember that he was supposed to dress up. I thought for a minute and then quickly threw a cowboy hat on his head and gave him a toy horse and told him, "When people ask what you are going to be when you grow up, say a COWBOY." He was none to thrilled with the idea, as you can see from the reluctant picture below (apparently cowboys also carry binoculars). So on the way to school, I said, "Jackson, if someone asks what you are going to be when you grow up, what are you going to say?" He thought for a minute, and the grinned and said, "A HAT!" I had hoped for a doctor, but instead I got...a hat.

Potty training....again...

I've heard that regression in potty training is not uncommon, but this didn't really prepare me for the frustration/bewilderment of having a complete backslide (pardon the pun) in potty training after the holidays. Jackson started refusing to use the toilet even when he was doing the disco version of the pee-pee dance, and inevitably started having accidents. We decided to make him a new potty training chart where he earned one sticker for each "dry day." We promised him a reward of these two plastic horses he had seen at Target.
He didn't earn one sticker in the first 3 days - that's how bad our backslide was! We then tried compliance training - in other words, rewarding him with M&Ms for using the toilet when we told him too, and that worked so-so. He finally earned his first sticker this way, but then un-earned it by having an accident right before we put him to bed! I tried to remove the sticker from the sheet to make a point, but it was stuck on really well, so I ended up spending five minutes ragefully picking it off piece by piece while Jackson cried. Not exactly high-quality parenting.
But the most effective intervention came when we started enforcing regular potty breaks after meals using the inspired little poem, "After we sit at the table and eat, it's time to sit on the potty seat." Jackson was a little skeptical about this at first, but after a couple of days, started enthusiastically using the toilet four times a day (three meals plus a snack) while reciting this poem. Combined with scheduled trips before nap and bedtime, this seemed to do the trick and he quickly earned all 10 stickers needed to get his horses, and we haven't had an accident in weeks! We were so excited that when he earned his stickers he got THREE horses (Mommy, Daddy, and Baby) instead of two.

My Little Elephant

Jackson has recently decided that he is a baby elephant. This game comes with the elaborate prop of a wet washcloth that he carries around in his mouth and pretends is his trunk. Needless to say, we have molding wet washcloths all over the house.