Friday, August 31, 2012

Kindergarten Orientation

Little Man and I went to the Open House at his school this morning.  This is what I learned.

1.  Always bring the years school supplies with you to open house so that you don't have to force your child to carry all of it with you on their first day of school.  (This is especially helpful when the school supply list includes 2 boxes of tissues)
2.  The "meet the administration" period is actually the "force a lot of people into the gym to stand around in the heat and noise for 30 minutes" time.  In the future, skip this and go straight to the classrooms.
3.  If you have a ton of questions you hope to get answered before school starts, write them down otherwise you will forget all of them and leave without any of the information you were hoping to gain.
4.  Buying school lunch isn't what it used to be, apparently I can pay online and they have more than one option and it all seems rather confusing.  We will pack lunch.
5. Snack is a communal effort (I am not happy) where each family donates a box of cracker/pretzels (insert some other processed food crap here) every other month and the teacher uses that for snack time each day.  So the whole class eats the same snack of crap processed food. 
6.  There is a Tuesday folder where I will hopefully get more information as the year goes on but apparently it is the dreaded folder because of the annoyance of having to go through it.
7.  Homework - we may or may not have homework this year.  His teacher is new to the school so it isn't clear if she is assigning homework yet. 
8.  There are 18 children in his class and 2 teachers.  Ms. J and Ms. H (the assistant teacher).  I am really happy about this ratio of kids to teachers. 

Little Man didn't enjoy the "really loud part" of the morning but enjoyed meeting his teacher and seeing his classroom.  He met a few friends including the little girl who will be sitting next to him.  He says his favorite thing was the book area because there were a lot of books there that he had never read before.  He spent a good 10 minutes reading books there by himself while I filled out forms and talked to his teacher.  He proudly gave his teacher the picture he drew for her this morning.  It is a picture of him fishing off of a pier.  She made it into the picture too even though he hadn't met her yet.  It was sweet to hear him explaining the picture to her and all of the details he included in his explanation.

I have a headache and am overwhelmed by the lack of information rather than the wealth of information.  I am glad that I only have to go into this blind once.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Sleepers

Every night, before I go to sleep, I always check on the kids.  I just need a little peek at their sweet sleeping bodies before I can truly rest.  They all have such different personalities in the day so it isn't surprising that they are each so different in sleep too.

Little Man is exactly as I left him.  On his back, head on his pillow, the covers pulled up under his arms - like he was tucked in only a few minutes ago.  He doesn't move very much when he sleeps but is the one most likely to wake up in the night.  He is also a very sweaty sleeper.

Peanut was clutching toys in his sleep.  Every night he takes a different toy to bed with him.  Partially to play with as he falls asleep and partially to keep it safe from his sister and brother in the morning.  Tonight, I had to pry two matchbox jet fighters out of his pudgy hands.  He was flying them for the 30 minutes prior to bed, not pausing in his play for anything.  He sleeps on his tummy and is all over the bed all night long.  He has fallen out of bed many times and now has a long body pillow and a guard rail keeping him from falling out.  Peanut is our deepest sleeper and resists being woken up like a teenage boy.

Sweet Pea cocoons herself in her blankets and crams herself into a corner of the crib.  Tonight she had a blanket wrapped on all sides of her little head and had one hand holding a silky corner of the blanket against her cheek.  She loves the top right corner of her crib and folds herself into an L shape to be pushed up against the side as much as possible.  She sleeps on both her tummy and her back always with her binky and the silky part of the blanket against her cheek. 

I love watching them in peaceful sleep, I love how different they are in sleep.  Oh and I love how quiet they are too.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Project Pictures

I am working on a project for the house and needed the kid's to cooperate for pictures.  That is always a hit or miss endeavor, but these didn't turn out too horribly.  I bribed them with a promise of a trip to the park and then the library if they smiled and stayed still.  Sweet Pea didn't get it, but being the princess that she is still struck a pose for me.  Here are some of the pictures that didn't make it into the project.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ice Cream and Rain Showers

Papa Bear yelled "This seems familiar" over the pounding rain as we dashed down the street.  We seem to be running through a lot of rain showers as a family lately.  I think this is partially due to the strange August weather but more so to do with the fact that we are eking every possible minute out of fun these days.  Either that, or we have stopped checking the weather.  (Gasp! Never, Papa Bear is our proud weather man as always preferring to check the internet than step outside)

Yesterday we had Sidewalk Sundaes with some friends down the street.  It has been a sort of tradition the last few years to mark the end of the summer with neighbors.  We eat ice cream loaded with whip cream and toppings (we brought our own for Peanut who was thrilled to have all the toppings he wanted from our bag).  The kids ate their treats and then loaded with sugar raced around with friends and neighbors playing tag and hide and go seek.  Peanut found a hiding spot behind a bush and declared it his bush, banishing everyone else from the area for the rest of the night.  They climbed trees and spotted bats flying overhead as the sun set and it got dark.  We talked to our friends of the coming school year and changes to work schedules and recounted the more memorable moments of the summer.

This is what I wrote on the blog two years ago at this same event (this was before Sweet Pea was born):
We recently went to an ice cream party in the neighborhood. Peanut wasn't feeling well so he stayed home with Papa Bear and Little Man and I went to eat and play. He had so much fun. He ate/drank his melted ice cream and candy and then ran around and played for the next 2 hours with 11 other neighborhood kids ranging in age from 3 to 10. They played Red Light Green Light, Tag, Freeze Tag and climbed trees. It was eye opening to me how much easier these events are with Little Man. I got to sit and talk to adults, eat my own ice cream and relax. I am looking forward to the next 3 years with all of my children and I will never take for granted or wish away the days I get to have with them. But there is a light at the end of the "can't converse with other adults, chasing early walkers from danger, can't eat my own food" tunnel. In about 3 years, all of my children will be running around playing tag and other fun games and Papa Bear and I will be enjoying our own ice cream before it melts!! 

It didn't take three years as I had predicted.  Only two!  Sweet Pea was able to go off and play although she prefers to spend quite a bit of time near me or Papa Bear.  She would go from our arms to hanging on our legs content to run in circles around us rather than with the other kids.  We stayed well into the evening, well past bedtime and as we started to gather the troops, the sky opened up and we dashed home in the rain.  The boys were holding my hands and laughing and Papa Bear was bouncing Sweet Pea in his arms.  Perfection.  Sweeter than Ice Cream are the memories and friendships that we are making.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Waning Days of Summer

With just a few weeks left in summer we are trying to pack in as much fun and together time as possible.  September is going to bring  some big changes for the family and so I am really trying to enjoy the time we have right now.

We try to go to a park a few times a week, hit up the pool for an extended swim time, bust out the sprinkler and get together with friends for playdates.  Errands are pointless with all three kids in tow so I try to stay focused on the fun and know that there is going to be a lot more time for errands in a few weeks.  Staying in the moment is hard for me. I am a planner.  (no one who knows me was shocked by reading that statement).  We are also working on Peanut's writing skills using handwriting without tears method and Little Man's reading using the Bob Books.  The good news for me is that since both of these things can be done on the ipad, the boys think it is fun and get excited for their one on one time with me.

Little Man will be starting full day Kindergarten in two weeks.  I am nervous and excited for him.  But I am sad for me.  I am going to miss him so much.  I just can't believe that my first born is going to board a bus and go to school, away from me for over 7 hours a day. He is not sad at all about this and is so very excited.  He did confess that he was worried that it was going to be a lot harder than preschool.  So we talked about the kinds of things he would learn: writing his name, reading, learning his numbers and he said "But I already know all of that".  I just smiled and now he says Kindergarten is going to be easy peasy. 

Peanut is going to be going to a new preschool this year.  We have been over to the school a few times dropping off forms and playing on the playground to get him familiar with the surroundings.  He will be going 3 days a week from 9-12.  He will also be attending the GW Speech and Hearing clinic once a week in the afternoon and we will start his speech therapy through the county again twice a week.  As always, I am nervous about how a new situation will go for him.  He always asks me if I will stay with him and I just always tell him that I will be back after he has fun. 

Sweet Pea is going to have to learn how to play and cope without her big brothers around as much.  She is going to be potty trained soon and we are talking about moving her to a big girl bed in the next few months.

I am not great with change (again, no surprises there) so as much as all of these changes are hanging out in the back of my mind as we get ready for school orientations, buying school supplies, meeting with teachers - I really just want to play at the pool and hit up as many parks as we can over the next two weeks.  I want to drink in the moments, even the ones were they are all fighting.  I want to listen to the boys play their games and Sweet Pea try to tag along.  I want to make these last few days of summer last as long as I possibly can.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Batteries, Remote Controls and Internet Access

What do these three things have in common?  Trouble, otherwise known as Sweet Pea.  If you can't find or use or find all of the parts to any of these three things, ask Sweet Pea what happened.  She will usually tell on herself. 

She is very fond of sneaking away to climb behind the cabinet that holds the tv and cable cords etc. to push the bright red glowing button on the power strip. This cuts off the TV, DVD and wireless modem.  I don't usually notice until I sit down to do work in the afternoon or give the boys their tv time while I make lunch and when I ask what happened the culprit shyly smiles and points and says "Push off".  No kidding.

Another fun habit of Sweet Pea is to pry the backs off the remotes, bang them on the floor until the batteries pop out, remove the batteries and then hide all of these things in different places.  It really does keep our TV watching to a minimum but it is also very annoying to have to go hunting for batteries and the remote when I need them.  Incidentally, none of our remotes have backs on them at the moment.  I think two are broken and we just stopped trying with the last one.

Ah, my Sweet Pea loves to cause trouble.  Good thing she is so cute, it is very hard to be cross with her when she gives you her sweet smile and plants kisses on your pretend boo boos.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Zoo Adventure

"We can't go to the zoo.  The zoo has lions and lions have big sharp scary teeth and they eat things.  They eat Logan's."  (That sentence is amazing, right!) This was Peanut's response to our announcement this morning that we were having a zoo adventure.  We reassured him that the lions would not eat him and we took advantage of an unusually cool day to trek through the zoo.  It was amazing.  With the cooler weather and the early start we got to the day, we were able to see so many animals as they were all outside enjoying the cool weather too.  Sweet Pea loved the elephants, Peanut adored the monkeys and Little Man was so excited to see the Panda.  They were all infatuated with the meerkats and they ran back and forth along with the meerkats.  Peanut really wanted to see the "mangos' which turned out to be flamingos.  We never got to see them due to a sudden downpour while we were on our way and we made a quick decision to run through the ran to the car.  We were soaked and laughing by the time we got to the car and it was a perfect way to end our adventure.  (I can say this because I wasn't the one having to push two kids in a double stroller up the hill at the National Zoo in pouring rain.  I got to run and skip and jump in puddles with the 5 year old.)  We had to do a lot of holding Sweet Pea back from jumping head first into the animal enclosures.  Apparently walls and moats and thin chains mean nothing to my girl.  We walked down the hill, taking in all of the different sights and animals and then stopped and had a huge picnic snack to refuel and then headed back up the hill to the car.  We are always trying to figure out the best way to handle the up hill, down hill situation and I think the problem is that no matter what we do, we still have to climb that darn hill.  It was a great morning and we have made a note to only attempt zoo visits when the temp is under 80 degrees.

Posing in front of the Small Mammal House

Attempting an escape during snack time

Running from the lions

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Little Peanut Jumping On the Bed

He fell off and bumped his head.  Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, No more Peanut jumping on the bed.  Oh and it is a possible broken nose but we won't know anything until the swelling goes down so keep and eye on it for the next 5 days.

Right now we are in the 'getting worse by the minute' not better.  He was jumping on his bed at nap time and I heard a crash and a scream.  He told me his nose hurt but I was on a conference call for work and so I kissed him, calmed him and put him in his bed.  By the time he woke up from his nap, he was already getting a black eye and the bruising and swelling has been getting worse.  I feel terrible.  I know he will be totally fine and hopefully it is just bruised and not broken but nothing pulls at my heart like one of my kids hurting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bible Camp for the boys

Little Man and Peanut are attending Vacation Bible School this week.  I was a bit of a wreck sending Peanut off to camp on his first day.  Thoughts were swirling around in my head, "What if he eats something there with corn in it?", "Will they be able to understand him?", "What if he wanders off and no one notices (he is really fast when he wants to be)?"  But I knew I had to let go and at least give it a shot.  He was so excited to be going to camp WITH his big brother.  I think he felt like a big boy.  (I was really excited to have 2 hours each morning with only one kid in tow).  I called the office the week before to ask about the snacks and if I could provide a snack for just Peanut explaining the situation the best that I could.  They assured me they deal with food allergies all the time and put my mind at ease.  Then on his first day when I walked him in and met the camp leader for his age group she explained that she is a pediatric nurse and she knew what apraxia was and assured me she would take care of him.  I left with a lot of peace about the situation and a list of errands I wanted to do with only Sweet Pea on my hip. 

Bible camp has been a huge success for both boys.  Little Man told me that his teacher told him that he was the best behaved because he didn't mess around and always paid attention.  He needs this kind of positive feedback especially being the big brother with so many expectations on him at home.  And last night, over the monitor we heard the sweetest sound in the world.  Peanut was singing "You you you, you jus (trust) God" over and over.  His sweet little voice carrying a tune in a way I have been dying to hear.  And then today his camp leader told me that he had an excellent day and that he is her best chatterer (talker) and answers all of the questions and asks questions of his own.  She said that she understood about 85% of what he was saying which is about all you can ask for from a 3 year old conversation anyway.  Amazing!

I was reading my post from this time last year when Little Man attended "Jesus Camp" and in it I read that Peanut had just said his first 4 word sentence "JaJa help Lolo do".  It was such an accomplishment then and it was impossible to imagine that he would be speaking in full sentences, understood by strangers and attending VBS with his big brother a year later.  What a difference a year can make.  If you want to read last year's post, you can read it here.

Big things are coming for all of us in the next month and I just can't wait.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

Walk with us!  Come on!  On September 22nd, we will once again come together as Logan's Heroes to walk for Logan who has to work so hard to be able to talk. Logan is my personal hero on a daily basis and for one short walk I would like to be his hero too. 

We would love to build a large team of people to walk with us again this year.  Last year, we had a team of 23 people and it was the largest team at the walk.  Logan knew he was surrounded by people who love him and were there just for him and I want to do that for him again.  So join our team!  I will even make you a Logan's Heroes shirt if you register for the walk by August 31st. 

To be one of Logan's Heroes, click on this link Team Logan's Heroes and then choose Join Our Team in the middle of the page.  Here is the information on the event:
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Onsite check-in and registration at 9:00 AM
The Walk starts promptly at 10:00 AM.

7316 Ox Road
Fairfax Station, VA 22039

CASANA is the source of inspiration and instrumental in helping so many families and professionals gain the knowledge in apraxia needed to move children with CAS to develop meaningful speech. Proceeds from the walk will benefit CASANA's apraxia programs and research.