MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas

This year the Keller's are serious about holidays, and Christmas is the grand-daddy of them all.  Max is two and a half, and SUPER excited about celebrations, especially ones that involve presents. 

Last weekend, after spending a fun Thanksgiving with lots of grandparents, lots of turkey and lots of potty-training, we quickly got down to the business of preparing for Christmas. 

I convinced Leif that we needed to get our lights and tree up early, and the kids were our little helpers.  Hana was recovering from a pretty serious fever, which meant that she slept a lot and her normally sunny disposition was mostly difficult to come by. 

However, she still had a great time helping Max with the beads for the tree.

Max put the star on top of the tree (a coveted role in the Bauer tradition) and then we thought maybe we'd try an angel on top to see how that looked.

Max loved putting up the ornaments, leaving us with a very densely decorated patch of tree about 2 feet from the floor.

Even Samson is getting into the Christmas spirit very early this year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Potty Update

I know you are all on the edges of your seat just waiting for the Potty up-date.  Max did great this weekend.  Saturday he had 3-4 successful "pee-pee in the potties", and Sunday he continued the trend.  He's had a few accidents on both days but in the end we had more successes.  One of those accidents happened on our neighbor's front-porch just as we were asking if Jackson could come out and play.  Nice one Max.
Margo was super-lucky to face-time us at just the moment that Max was dropping the largest #2 ever into his little potty.  I know she feels warm and fuzzy to have gotten to share that personal glimpse into Keller Life.  Max was so proud to show Nana his poo-poo.  (I'll admit it, Leif and I were proud too...look what OUR kid can do!) 
It's day three in potty-training {take-two} and here are some important things I have learned about Max:
  1. If you ask "do you have to potty?"  The answer will always be "no."  You cannot ask a kid this question when you are potty training...ever. 
  2. The books tell you to have him sit on the potty every 20 minutes until he goes.  This is a recipe for failure with Max.  He just feels nagged and potty time isn't fun if you HAVE to sit on the potty so often.
  3. Chocolate chips are the perfect motivation.  Instead of saying "time to sit on the potty" we say "Max, are you ready  to try for some chocolate chips?" He likes to be empowered to make the decision himself.
  4. We have 100% success when Max decides to sit on the potty.  If it is his choice, he delivers the goods.   When mama or papa guide him there, the hit ratio is much lower.
  5. Charts and stickers may work well for some kids, but not for Max.  I think he takes after his dad on this one (I was always one for gold stars).  There is no quicker way to de-motivate Max than to start keeping track of his success.
  6. Max loves big-boy underwear.  Period.  He is wearing undies all day when he's potty training, and now wears pull-ups for sleeping and naps.  
  7. Potty training = lots of laundry.
We plan to keep it up for the next two weeks, and hopefully we'll see some real progress!
PS. Max is doing a "Discovery Day" at a new pre-school today just to try it out. We've decided that he wasn't getting as much education/ interaction at his current school as we would like. Today's school has a camera in the classroom and I can check in on him from my computer. Here is a shot of max in action (that is him in the dark pants and grey shirt in the middle of the screen).  Tomorrow we check out the Montassori School.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Potty time- take two

From time to time we make attempts at potty training with limited enthusiasm and limited success. We now have a little more motivation in that Max is starting a new school in December and they don't do much in the way of potty training.

So today we dove in again. Around 2 pm, after he had skipped his nap, max was rummaging around in the bathroom while I tried to conserve energy in the living room with Hana.

After a few minutes of muffled scrapes and banging Max yells "MAMA!!! I PUT SOMETHING IN THE POTTY!"

I am enough of a mom to be skeptical so I ask "did you put in something good or bad?" Hoping against hope he'd say pee-pee...


"Max, what did you put in the potty?"



At the end of the day we've had 3 successful pees, and two accidents. Not so bad. Lets see how tomorrow goes.

PS. Chocolate chips seem to be a good motivator

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick o' treating at School

Each Halloween the kids do a little trick 'o treating at their school. I love seeing all of the kids making their way around the build in their teeny-tiny costumes. I have made it a priority to take the morning off of work to experience their Halloween at school. There is so much excitement, even the babies get into the spirit of things. Here are a few shots from this morning as the kids enjoyed the day.

Happy Halloween from the Kellers

A Spooky Halloween to you and yours!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Beach Photos

Probably my favorite action shot

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Family Pictures

A few weeks ago, I won a family photo shoot from a silent auction.  The donation went to a great cause, heart health, and I was really excited about an opportunity to capture all of my family members in the same photo (a first for us).  Over the next few posts I'll share some of the 'best of' the Keller photo shoot.

La Jolla Shores

Max enjoyed climbing in the trees

Hana was seriously sleep-deprived and her smiles were MIA, but she's still lovley

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hanalei has teeth!

A couple of weeks ago my dad felt the first tooth popping through Hana's gums. When I returned from Japan on Saturday, it's neighbor had come in too. Now little Hana has a nice matched set of tiny teeth.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tokyo Fish Market

I have been home from Tokyo a few days now and thought I’d share some pictures from my last morning in Japan.

On Saturday, a co-worker and I made our way to the famous Tokyo fish market, the largest tuna auction in the world. They don’t let tourists into the auction itself (and it starts at 3am, and I am not that hard-core) but they open the public market at 9. We walked the seemingly miles of narrow pathways between buckets of every type of fish, shell fish, octopus and any sea creature you can imagine. The trick is to avoid getting plowed down by the motorized trucks that dodge between tourists and crates of icy-fish with just centimeters to spare (we are on metric when in Japan).

I was surprised at just how efficiently and quickly the fish market opened at 9, sold all of their merchandise, and then faded to a close by 9:30/9:45. Trust the Japanese to be efficiency experts.

Shrimp are avaliable in every color

Often we saw 10-foot long solid frozen tuna being cut with band saws into perfect tuna planks.

I definitely stood out as a tourist, and didn’t think enough about my wardrobe choices when I dressed that morning. Really Katie, canvas Toms and dragging jeans…in the FISH MARKET? The smart ones wear rubber rain boots with pants tucked in. I guess next time I’ll know!

A highlight was enjoying fresh sushi at a little hole-in-the wall restaurant where everyone waits in line to slide up to the long counter. The tuna was fresh, the tea was hot, and it was a great way to wrap up my business trip to Tokyo.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Don't Pop the House

This morning at breakfast Max started repeating a chant that goes something like this:

“papa…mama…No pop ‘da house…mama…papa…hana…house no groken [broken]…sleep…papa…samson…amen.“

It took me a minute to figure out that this is Max’s interpretation of the simple prayer that we say before bed. My personal favorite is how “protect our house” gets translated to “no pop ‘da house.” This must have roots in “don’t pop the whale.”

Ahh, the simple faith of a child.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Little yellow creature

So, my hotel in Tokyo is in shiodome tower which is part if a large "mall." There are all kinds of eateries, stores, a train station, and even Nippon television center. The last few nights as I leave the hotel I am confronted with bright lights and crowds of parents herding young children towards this camera crew. What do you think that yellow creature is all about? The tiny kids seem to love him, and he must be important because, look, he has a masked guard!

I get the impression that I am stumbling into the outdoor set of the NBC morning show, here in Tokyo. It is fun experiencing bits of Japanese culture and having no idea what they mean.

This morning we plan to visit the fabled tuna market. Hopefully I'll get some fun fish pics.

PS. Upon closer inspection, I'm thinking maybe he's an angry bird?