While part of me misses the beautiful fall colors and pulling out sweatshirts and jackets, I do enjoy where we are right now.  And that includes the rare rainstorm and the awesome, full, double rainbows that usually accompany them.
NFL football season is here.  Even though we cheer for the Vikings, we dress like we like the Bears.
Today was our first day of school!  All morning Abe was excited for Katelyn to come over for preschool.  He kept talking about it and asking where she was. Finally, school time arrived.
We did some singing and some dancing.  We worked on motor skills and manners.  We did lots of playing and had lots of fun.  Neither one of them were very found with the painting and that is OK with me!  I used the new crayola finger paint.  I didn't like it.  And it seemed like it had to be used as finger paint rather than brush paint.  So, the painting didn't last long.  Oh well, at least there wasn't a big mess to clean up.
Our theme this week is the Letter A and Apples.  ANd 
Two cute kids...
And Abe wanted Joel on the floor so he could play trains with him.
I've mentioned a little bit about Potty Training before. I kind of "dabbled" in it a bit, but then something would come up (like an appendectomy) and we'd detour.  I wasn't too concerned about it since Abe wasn't yet 2.  I decided though, that I didn't want to have to buy any more diapers just for Abe (mind you, both boys can wear the same size diaper--Abe's at the very tip of one size and Joel's on the other end of it).  Then, even though I wasn't looking for it, I found this video.  And I gave it a go.  We started Thursday night (because Abe was ready, I was planning on waiting til Friday) and he's been doing very well ever since. 
I put Dog in underwear and started using the phrase "dry and clean" and having the kids check to see if Dog was still dry and clean.
I let him pick out which pair of undies he wanted to wear.  I thought he might pick the green pair like Dog's first.  He didn't.
We had treats and juice.  I made a big deal of asking him a lot the first day if he was "dry and clean."  If he was he got a treat.  The video recommends double treats for using the toilet.  I would have, but I didn't need to.  We've still been using a diaper for sleeping, but they are a lot drier than they were before and I'm still trying to remember to ask him throughout the day if he is "dry and clean."  
I fully acknowledge that I am the mom, and therefore have quite the bias, but I'm proud of my guys.  And I'm going to do a little bragging.  Here are some things that our 2 year old has been doing this week:
  •  Telling me when he needs to use the bucket (aka potty) and then actually using it.  (I might post more on that later). 
  • Sitting quietly on the blanket to look at his books so that he could stay with Dad and Marion as they had their meeting. 
  • Counting to 10.  Saying his colors (although he still sometimes confuses the B ones if you ask him to say the name). 
  • And telling me the next letter in the alphabet.  This one really surprised me because besides "normal" stuff, I really haven't even tried to work with on the order of the alphabet.
And Joel is continuing to grow, both in size and personality.  Many of his 3-6 month outfits are in the box on top of the dresser to be packed up.  And you can see he's got his baby fat, but it's the length that has caused us to move up in size for most of his outfits.
He's staying awake and alert for longer periods and giggling and smiling a lot more, but his biggest developmental thing this week is that he's rolling over.  I admit I have actually seen him do it (I think he waits for me to be looking somewhere else), but we've seen him come close and I've laid him on his tummy only to see him on his back a little bit later.

So yes, I'm a proud mama.  But aren't they just so loveable.  ;-)
Even though we live far from Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunts and Uncles, Abe still knows you and talks about you.  Tonight while he was swinging he started in…”Jaime, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Nick…” “and Dani Jo” “Oh yeah, I knew that” “Remember they live in London.” “Yeah, Dogs…” (The 101 Dalmations live in London.)  It is amazing how much their minds are taking in and they are retaining.  And after skyping with Uncle Nick multiple times this week (yes, he was home and not at work) I think Uncle Nick is moving up on in the coolness book.  Sorry Sister, he really did say Uncle Nick before Dani Jo this time.  Maybe you should go get a soccer ball too? 

A week or two ago the boys and I were at target looking at the dollar spot.  Somebody had already opened the mesh hamper to take a look and of course couldn’t get it back in the package.  I took it off the shelf to look at it and Abe thought it was pretty cool.  He walked next to me, looking at books, and then putting them in the bag.  He was also telling me “Mom, my book bag.”  And yes, we put all the books back in the correct bin.
Today is Abe's second birthday!  Hooray for Abe!  We were going to do our birthday celebration this morning with breakfast, but to be honest, Josh and I both slept in until the boys woke up.  So instead we did our celebration this afternoon.  It works just the same.

We decorated while Abe was napping.  When he woke up he was surprised with all the "cool" decorations, "cake" with candles, a couple of presents from Grandma and Grandpa and a phone call from London.  Josh and I started a new tradition that we hope to carry on.  We each wrote a special letter for Abe and read it to him as he ate his ice cream.  We want to continue to do that each year and I'll keep them all together for each of them in a special binder.

Abe was pretty excited about his CARS movie and all the balloons.  Take a look.
In the last week Abe's vocabulary has been noticeably expanding.  Last Saturday we were working outside, working on the pool and the like and Abe kept saying "I want in."  Since then he's been saying:
  • I want in/out
  • I want to walk
  • Look!
  • Nap
  • Bug
  • Thank you Dad/Mom
  • And of course, other things and the same old things from before.  But it just seems he's added a whole new page of words to his vocab.
And yes, we eventually did get in and splash around.