Monday, July 18, 2016

Potty Training/Kuivaksi opettelua




When our quadruplets were little, I remember potty training being one of the hardest phases of parenting. It was so traumatic, in fact, I had made the Captain promise we wouldn't have any more children.

Eventually the quads started a full day kindergarten, and I forgot quite how horrific potty training was.

I was ready for another child.




When Little Miss was little, I decided not to potty train her. I'd wait until she was in 2nd grade and was begging for underwear.




Little Miss, however, always thought she was as old as her siblings (seven years older), so she trained herself at the age of two to use the potty. Truly with very little help from mama.




And Mei Mei? Well, as an older mom this time around, I knew not to rush things, but at the same time, *I* was ready for her to be done with diapers. At about 2.5, we started reading potty books and watching potty videos.

She would happily sit on the potty, but no results.

For months.

The day before her third birthday she decided she was ready. Yay! It has taken her about a month to be completely day trained, and we still use a pull-up for the night (just in case), but she is finally done with the diapers!

Even during RV travels.

Even during flying.

Even at the summer house in Finland using an outhouse!

(Fortunately our cabin does have a real bathroom, too.)

PS. A couple of our favorite potty resources are Sally Lloyd-Jones' book Skip to the Loo, My Darling and Signing Time DVD Potty Time.

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Mei Mei on vihdoin oppinut kuivaksi tämän kesän aikana (housuvaippa on vielä yöllä käytössä). Jee!

Neljän taaperon kanssa se oli niin traumaattista, että sain Kapteenin lupaamaan, ettei meille tule enää lapsia. Kun neloset aloittivat kokopäiväisen eskarin, olin unohtanut kaameasta vaiheesta tarpeeksi, niin että olin valmis uudelle pikkuiselle. Pikkuneiti liittyi adoption kautta perheeseemme, mutta vannoin, etten koskaan opeta hänelle pytyllä käyntiä. Hän saa tulla anelemaan pikkuhousuja tokaluokkalaisena, koska kaikilla muillakin ystävillä on jo... Noh, Pikkuneiti päätti itse opetella kuivaksi 2-vuotiaana, koska hän on aina uskonut olevansa yhtä vanha kuin isosisaret (seitsemän vuoden ikäro).

Mei Mein kanssa taas äiti on ollut valmiimpi jo jättämään vaipat, niinpä olemme harjoitelleet jo kuukausia - ilman mitään tuloksia. Kunnes päivää ennen 3-vuotissynttäreitä tyttö päätti alkaa käymään pytyllä. Ja nyt onneksi onnistuu niin kotona kuin asuntoautossa, lentokoneessa ja tarpeen tullen myös hyyskässä!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Work Camp/Työviikot mökillä




Every summer as we arrive, we do our spring cleaning and get the camp ready for summer rentals. This year we had extra work as we finally went through the boxes from our 2011 move from New Hampshire.

We definitely had more work than play at our camp this June (as usual), but it was more fun to take photos of our times off.




Hard work! We were under a tight schedule again, as I (Sennie), had tickets to fly to Finland in early July with Little Miss and Mei Mei.




I'm constantly amazed at how brave Mei Mei is! She would come with me every day for my morning swim, and even when the water was so cold it would take your breath away, she would take a dip with me. She also loved our water trampoline! The boys would give her rides in a kayak, and she would jump up and down out there as long as she was allowed to.
 

And the lupines... My favorite Maine flower. So glad the girls would oblige and let me take photos of them on the field!

We love our time in Maine!

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Kesäkuun viikot Mainessä olivat työntäytteisiä, vaikka valokuvista ehkä saakin eri kuvan. Oli vaan kivempi ottaa kuvia tauoilla, kuin työnteossa:) Meillä oli jokavuotista kevätsiivousta ja mökin vuokrakuntoon laittamista, mutta myös muuttolaatikoiden läpikäymistä. Vihdoin. Näin kauan kesti, ennen kuin saimme vuoden 2011 viimeiset muuttolaatikot tyhjättyä! Kovaa työtä oli. Mutta onneksi saimme myös uitua ja kuvattua lupiinipeltoja.

Mainessa on aina ihana olla.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

June Travels/Kesäkuun matkustelut




Florida was beautiful in June! We might be getting used to the heat and humidity a little, as it really wasn't as horrible as we had thought before. Confession: we've never stayed in Florida past the first days of June. But, as beautiful as it was, it was time for us to head north.




We packed the girls in the Mothership, and started our trip up.




We had four stops on our way up to Maine. The first one was a necessary boondocking stop in Florida as we had left pretty late on our departure day. The second stop was a fun surprise for Mei Mei - we met up with friends from our Florida church, and their little girl is one of Mei Mei's best friends! Although I'm not sure if she realized how strange it was to bump into them at a campground in Virginia....





Our third stop was to pick up our boys from Virginia! They had attended camp with a friend, and we all had a chance to visit a little.

It was good to have a full Mothership, again.

Although, we did have a little problem... Or two...





So our fourth stop was in Pennsylvania at our friends' house. Mr D got the generator working properly again by changing the oil, and our friends found someone to help the Captain with an issue with the Mothership headlights.




We made it to Maine while lupines were still blooming!

Happiness.

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Kesäkuussa ajoimme asuntoautolla Floridasta Maineen. Neljä pysäkkiä piti tehdä, eka vielä Floridassa myöhäisen lähdön takia, ja ihan nukuimme tien varressa. Toka oli Mei Meille kiva yllätys, tapasimme ystäviä Floridan kirkosta leirintäalueella Virginiassa. Heidän nuorimmaisensa on yksi Mei Mein parhaimmista ystävistä. En kyllä tiedä ymmärsikö Mei Mei kuinka outoa on tavata heidät toisessa oasvaltiossa leirintäalueella??

Kolmas pysäkki oli myös Virginiassa, haimme pojat ystävien luota heidän leirinsä jälkeen, ja neljäs pysäkki oli Pennsylvaniassa, kun Mothership-asuntoauto tarvitsi vähän hellää hoitoa taas. Lopulta pääsimme Maineen, ja lupiinit kukkivat vielä. Ihanuus!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Mei Mei Turns Three/Mei Mei on kolme-vuotias!



And now she is three. On her second birthday, Mei Mei was still in China. We had cake anyway. But it wasn't the same. Our hearts were yearning to be with our little girl, and each delay was so painful. And now, here she is. Beautiful, spunky, so full of life and joy. We are so blessed.



Happy Birthday, sweet one. You are so loved.



She loved her Peppa Pig gifts, and her Petite Feet ballet dvd (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!). She is mesmerized by the dance instructor, and is so adorable as she tries to do the ballet moves. We have a little ballerina!



Good thing we've celebrated all week - on her actual birthday she decided to try using the potty, and stayed dry for most of the day (evening was another story). A very appropriate way to celebrate a 3-year birthday! In the bathroom;)

I had hoped to do an update on her cleft clinic visit, but I haven't gotten the report yet. We think we are now doing annual check-ups, but we'll see once we get the report. The surgeon said her palate looks good, and the speech pathologists said she should be able to make sounds now that she isn't making. She needs a full speech evaluation, and we'll be starting speech therapy in the fall. No surgeries in the near future, probably nothing for another three years, or so.

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Mei Mei on kolme-vuotias! Onneksi juhlimme koko viikon, sillä synttäripäivänsä neiti päätti viettää vessassa! Täällä on ollut hyvin hidasta kuivaksi oppiminen, mutta nyt onnisti, ja niinpä sitten harjoiteltiin koko päivä:)

Ihanaa oli viettää syntymäpäivä yhdessä. Ensimmäinen. Mielessä oli Pienin edelleen tuo paljon iloa ja hyvää mieltä jokaiselle ympärillään, hän on niin täynnä elämää. (Paitsi juuri päiväuniltaan heränneenä, heh.) Olemme onnekkaita ja siunattuja, kun saimme Mei Mein perheeseemme!

Halusin päivittää blogiin halkioklinikan uutisia, mutta edelleen odotan raporttia klinikalta. Kirurgin mielestä kitalaki näyttää loistavalta. Puheterapeuttien mukaan tiettyjen äänteiden pitäisi onnistua, mutta Mei Mei ei käytä niitä vielä. Syksyllä alkaa puheterapia. Tiedossa ei onneksi ole uusia leikkauksia, mahdollisesti seuraava(t) vasta noin kolmen vuoden kuluttua.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Armadillos/Vyötiäisiä!




One day last week on my way out of the house I saw two little armadillos on our lawn, but as soon as they noticed me, they scurried off to the bushes, and I didn't even get a picture.

But I knew they were around, so I was more ready the next time we saw them, just a few days ago.



Armed with my long lens for keeping a safe distance I zoomed in and kept clicking. At some point they noticed us, but must have realized we weren't going to bother them, so they kept digging for grubs and worms.



At first we thought there were only two of them, but a third one appeared, too. Adult armadillos grow to be about a size of a cat. These were definitely young ones.



They were so neat to watch. And of course we had to google Florida armadillos, and found out some extraordinary things.

Mama Armadillo gives birth to identical armadillos every time. Boom.

They are almost blind, but have a very keen sense of smell.

When threatened, not only can they roll into a tight ball, but they can jump straight up into air four or five feet. Yikes!

They are not native to Florida, but can be found almost anywhere, and they can be quite the pests, digging up the lawn.

Armadillos can carry - are you ready for this - leprosy....!!!!!! Yes, I had no idea. Pretty horrible. As much as we enjoyed watching our little visitors, they can go away now.

To read more, click here.

Another Life In Florida experience!

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Meillä oli taas erikoisia vierailijoita pihassa!! Vyötiäisiä. Täältä voi lukea lisää. Niin mielenkiintoista kun olikin seurata heitä, vyötiäiset levittävät lepraa, eli spitaalitautia. Riski on pieni, etenkin jos emme käsittele (tai kokkaa/syö! heh), eli en ole kovin huolissani, mutta saisivat kyllä löytää uuden asuinalueen, varsinkin kun sain nämä kuvat otettua, heh heh. Mielenkiintoista oli oppia, että vyötiäisemo saa aina neloset! Me ei nähty neljättä, eikä mammaa, ehkäpä he olivat viettämässä laatuaikaa kahdestaan ;-)

Elämää Floridassa!