Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Over the years

August 2009- Nags Head

May 2011 - Nags Head

May 2012 - Nags head

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Hunting We Will Go...

On my run this morning I found a tide pool with a ton of shells and I knew that we had to find our way back so that Little Man could go on a proper "shell hunt".  I picked up some of the best shells to give to him and then promised him we would find our way back there.  This is much easier said than done because in an effort to pack light we didn't bring a stroller that we can use on the beach.  So we did what all self-respecting parents would do, we fed them and then sugared them up with ice cream to give them the fuel to walk the 1.5 miles that they would need to traverse for our shell hunt.  Little Man was geared up and had his bucket.  Peanut was unthrilled and spent the first 3/4 of a mile asking to be carried and telling us that he is scared of the water. (He declared that the beach has too much water in it and is scared of it so he spend all of his time firmly planted in the sand when possible)  Sweet Pea alternated her time in the ergo on my back and walking/running.  Peanut eventually got into the hunt and stopped to pick up anything that remotely resembled a shell exclaiming "Hey I found a shell!" each and every time as if it was such a rare find that we all must stop in awe.  It was similar to his exclamation earlier in the day of "Look sand" as we walked out onto the beach.  If the shell was delineated with colors, it was declared a zebra shell and if was intact it was declared perfect for Mama.  We never found the tide pool probably having something to do with the fact that it was 12 hours later and a different tide but we didn't care.  The kids don't seem to care if the shell is whole or shattered and just enjoy the hunt.  So a hunting we will go....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Unicorn Sightings

You know those magical moments in life when everything feels exactly as it should be and you wonder if a Unicorn is going to come prancing by sprinkling rainbows because the moment is so magic that it would just make sense for a unicorn to appear....well in the past 48 hours there have been many Unicorn sightings....

Like spotting the dolphins playing close to shore and hearing Little Man shrieking in delight....

Or sitting by the side of the pool watching the boys play "shark" together tooling around in their tubes together

Or building a sand castle complete with a moat with Little Man and Peanut and waiting and waiting for the water to fill our moat which is never did and we didn't care

Or seeing Sweet Pea finally have the upper hand with the boys...because they were both buried in the sand and she knew for just that second that she could dominate and she did....

Or walking hand in hand with Little Man while we "went on a hike to hunt for shells" and knowing that with those few words we were off on an adventure together

Or watching Little Man stop digging his pit to give Sweet Pea a hug because she was standing next to him and leaned her head on him

And most of all, watching the kids blossom with so much time with Papa Bear, hugging him, playing, laughing and knowing that we have a few more days of his undivided attention.  Unicorns abound.

You don't have to look very hard to see the Unicorns in these pictures....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello Beach

We hadn't been at the beach for more than 5 minutes before we dove right into our first adventure.  Literally.

It was 1:30, the kids had done great in the car but they were done.  I was done.  The rental company told us it would be another 30 minutes before they could turn the keys over.  30 minutes isn't too long to wait but waiting just wasn't an option.  I have never been great at waiting. Papa Bear is wonderful at indulging my inability to wait with a shrug and a quick laugh.

So we drove down to the beach road, parked illegally in a tow away zone, jumped out of the car, dashed across a very busy road, interrupted a wedding rehearsal and ran down to the water.  We couldn't be stopped.  Papa Bear was in jeans and a polo, the kids and I were fully dressed and we all just went in.  Digging our toes into the sand, doing cartwheels in the water, gazing out at the waves and laughing out loud at the sheer absurdity of spending 20 minutes at the water's edge because we just couldn't wait.  

Little Man has lost all fear of the ocean.  He was charging the waves and laughing when they tumbled him.  I couldn't believe it.  I was standing there watching him taunt the waves, daring them to knock him down and I felt like it was just yesterday when he was terrified of the ocean and we had to be careful how we talked about the water coming up the shore.  He has grown, matured.  I blinked.

Peanut is a little more cautious than he has been in the past.  I am thanking God for that one.  In the past he would have walked into the water and just kept going until it swallowed him up.  He was knocked down in the first 5 minutes while fully clothed and after that he proceeded with caution, but fun caution.  Watching him hold Little Man's hand while they chased the waves was a moment that I will savor forever.

Sweet Pea was and is not sure how she feels about the big bad ocean.  She prefers to walk the shore line chasing birds, dogs or anything that moves.  She clings to my neck in the water but I am not sure if it is for show or for real.  Plus she had all of a 20 minute nap in the car today and otherwise was kicking and playing.

After our 20 minute adventure, we raced to the car, stripped the kids down and retrieved our keys.  We made it to the beach house and rushed to get into our suits to find the sand again.  Spending another hour and a half playing, splashing and laughing before heading back to find food and start unpacking.

The boys were asleep in the bunk bed before 7:30 and Sweet Pea found dreamland quickly.  The sun is setting, drinks are being poured, vacation is here.

(Pictures to come when I figure out how to get them off of my phone with spotty internet.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The King Of Nice

The next certificate goes to the King Of Nice.  He has a great sense of empathy for a child his age.  He is a peacemaker and is genuinely concerned for anyone who is hurt or sad or different.  I have seen him stop playing a game with his friends to go and offer to play with a child who is sad and off alone.  He would offer to pull Shaylie in the wagon because she couldn't play with the other kids on the playground and he is always willing to compromise when there is a conflict.  I know grown-ups who could learn from him.  Never change King of Nice.

These are the words that Little Man's teacher said before presenting him with his Preschool Graduation certificate.  She actually couldn't finish the whole thing because she thought that she was going to cry.  My heart was swollen with pride as I heard his "superlative title" and I leaned down and told him that I have never been more proud of him.  It's true that I am proud but it is also true that I can't take most of the credit.  It is who he is and how he was made, his little heart is just filled with love and concern for everyone.

We were also treated to a play and a song.  Papa Bear and I were so thrilled to watch him in his cute ceremony that we know signals a change for him (and us) as he starts Kindergarten in the fall.  Sweet Pea was also thrilled and yelled "Ja Ja" as soon as his part came up in the play.  Little Man's buddy E and his mom, Aunt Jen also came to celebrate and show support for Little Man.  He told me on our way home that having Jen and E there made him feel very important.  And he is!

First and Last Day Pictures 2011-2012 school year

             September 2011                                                        May 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dance Moves...In Heels!

What Are You?

Peanut has made amazing strides in his speech abilities in the last 6 months.  His ever expanding vocabulary is hard to keep up with and helping him properly motor plan sentences is such a joy as they get more and more complicated.  (To read about what Peanut struggles with click here for more:)

Most recently we have been working on the phrase "How are you?".  He has motor-planned "What are you?" and his peers don't understand what he is trying to ask them.  A lot of what we are working on now is to help him be more understood by his peers and strangers.  We play games where every time he catches a ball he yells the word "how".  The only way he can properly get all 3 words together is to clap his hands with each word and even then most of the time it comes out "What are you" or "How what are you"  or "You are how what".  He usually laughs it off but I can see the frustration in his eyes.  If I ask him to try it again and he is past the point of frustration he will yell " I said it Mama, I said it" and that is when I know to back off. 

Yesterday he had his speech therapy session where we continued to work on that and other mixed plane words and then we rushed home so that he could skype with the speech therapist that he will work with at the intensive speech therapy camp over the summer.  When I asked him to tell her what word we were working on he stilled, concentrating so thoroughly that I felt his whole body tense and then he said so slowly ""  It was said at the speed of someone trying to repeat a difficult foreign language that they had never heard before.  The second the words were all out of his mouth he lit up, squirmed and my lap.  I am so proud of him, but more than that I love the pride he has in his own accomplishments.

How am I?  I'm great!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Well? What'd you learn?

A phrase I stole from my very dear friend, Christina, "Well?  What'd you learn?" is a phrase I often find myself saying to the children when they do something that either I warned them not to do or seemed quite obvious in the first place.  Here are a few examples:

When I found Little Man dangling from the top of a window having lost his footing while standing on the window sill.  "Well?  What'd you learn?" - to which he replied "No climb on windows".  (He was only about 2 1/2 at the time)

Or when I found Peanut stuck behind the couch because he put the football helmet on after climbing into the tight space.  "Well?  What'd you learn?" - to which he replied "No helmets behind couch".

Well today while the kids were playing in the little plastic pool on the deck, Little Man put his eye right up to the spout and when the water was turned on, he got shot in the eye.  He was telling me all about it and how much it hurt.  "Well?  What'd you learn?" - to which he replied "that is what I am trying to tell you.  I learned not to put my eye up to the spout.  See Mama, you don't have to ask me what I learned I am already learned it and am telling you"

"Well?  What'd you learn?"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New York New York

I know that this blog is about my adventures with the kids but this weekend marked an important milestone for the family, it was my first adventure without the kids, ever.  It was everything that I needed in a weekend away.  I took the train up to NY on Friday morning and spent the majority of Friday walking around the city without any real destination, taking in the atmosphere and eating the best slice of pizza in the world.  Friday night was an experience in that I went to a benefit concert to see a friend perform.  Jessica Latshaw is as beautiful as she is talented and it was a joy to get to see her perform.  The highlights as I would list them would be exploring and navigating the city from Queens to the West Village with my friend, talking, walking, eating and exploring, then going to a special reserve seating at a restaurant where a chef prepared us a 5 course meal that was beyond amazing, and then accidentally running into Matthew Broderick on the street. 

Upon returning home, I was greeted by 3 little angels that were very happy to see me.  Little Man told me that even though he got to go to the Crab Shack, he still missed me a lot.  He asked me if I had a good time and when I informed him that I did have a very good time his very insightful response was "Did you have a good time because no one ate your breakfast?"  I laughed and told him that yes, part of the fun was that I got to eat all of my own breakfast.  He smiled and said, "I thought you would say that".  It's so true.  For 48 hours I could eat slowly and not share any of my food, I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted.  It was a heady feeling that I had long forgotten.  It was pure brilliance to sit in Central Park, listen to my music and read a book by myself.  It was rewarding to be able to sit in a diner at 3am talking with a great friend and knowing that there wouldn't be a small child bouncing me out of bed at 6am.  It was decadent to take small bites of a delicious meal and savor the experience.  There was no guilt to hurry home because I couldn't.  I was away and my babes were all in good hands with Papa Bear who took them to birthday parties, made them pancake breakfasts and let them play in the pool on the deck and apparently eat donuts (as Little Man informed me). 

It was good to be away.  It is great to be home.  What an adventure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vocabulary Lessons....

Today Little Man and I were working on a puzzle and when we got a particularly difficult part done I said "Well aren't we fancy".  His immediate response was "You aren't fancy, you are pretty".  Hmmm, what does that mean.  So I asked.  He proceeded to explain to me that girls are pretty and cute which means pink and purple and boys are handsome and fancy which means black, white and blue.  Honestly, I was stumped. I love how his little mind works and getting a glimpse into how he sees the world but I also don't want him to see things in such clear stereotypes or gender roles yet.  But we do tell him that he is handsome and tell Sweet Pea that she is pretty.  So what to do?  I decided to just let it go to enjoy our puzzle time and then he managed to floor me and make me proud all at once.  He looked up and said "But you don't care if we are fancy or cute as long as we are kind, right Mama?"  Oh how right he is! 

Later while working on another puzzle he got a bunch of pieces together and said "I have such a good remembery".  You have a what?  "A good remembery, you know a memory for remembering stuff"  Ah yes, he does have a great remembery, now we just need to work on that vocabulary!

And speaking of vocabulary....I must admit that Sweet Pea has added the word "ipad" to her ever expanding vocab.  I may wax poetic about keeping screen time limited in my house but when my 18 month old is saying "ipad" I figure that I am not fooling anyone, especially my kids.