Friday, September 26, 2008

Some days are better than others

And some days are crappy. Fortunately today can neither be classified as crappy nor non-crappy. It is just a "meh" day. The weather outside is pretty bleak but I like rainy days. I just wish I was sitting in my beautiful living room with a roaring fire and my 3 favorite people. Oh right... I don't have a beautiful living room or a roaring fire. Well, technically I do have both but they are currently 2000 miles away and they do nothing for me today.

Aidan and Amanda are doing well. Amanda has a bit of a cold with runny nose and cough. Aidan seems to be pretty healthy. I guess this will be the roller coaster of daycare. Speaking of daycare, I should probably update how they're doing. Amanda absolutely loves her time at school. She gets super excited when it is time to go to school and when I drop the kids off, she immediately runs to whichever activity has grabbed her attention. Aidan also loves school. He is having a more difficult time getting acclimated. He gets very excited when we talk about school and get ready. He is also very happy when we get to school and they start their day. This is why it is very confusing when I arrive to pick up the kids and the afternoon staff tells me that Aidan had a rough afternoon. He has had more tear-filled afternoons than I would have expected. The girls tell me that he usually gets a bit upset when parents start arriving to pick up their kids. Unfortunately I have a 45 minute drive from work to pick them up and I don't get out of work until 5. They are usually the last ones picked up in their classroom. Their teacher, Ms. Jane, is a very nice person and she appears to really enjoy having the kids around. She tells me that both kids usually have a good time. They participate in all of the activities and are very polite and raise their hands. I think it is just going to take some time for Aidan to figure out the new routine. Things have changed so many times in the past year and it is hard for most 3 year olds. Fortunately Amanda is doing really well and she is able to help Aidan occassionally. I mention "occassionally" because the times that Aidan has cried at school, Amanda had no interest in helping him. The teachers describe Amanda as "intelligent, confident and articulate" but.... "she isn't very nurturing." One of the teachers described a situation where she approached Amanda while Aidan was crying and asked Amanda if she wanted to help Aidan. She said "no, thank you" and went back to playing. I guess you can't fault her for telling the truth!!

Amanda is fully potty trained and quite proud of herself, Aidan has no interest whatsoever! He is amazingly independent and wants to do everything himself, except go potty and dress himself. He always wants to open/close doors, climb in and out of the car, turn on tub and sink, ect. He never wants help with those things and he gets VERY upset if you try to help him. I know that this is all a process and I can't rush either of them. They will do things at their own pace. Other than that, I took them to their 3-year check up. They're both growing really well. Aidan is 35.5 lbs and just shy of 40 inches and Amanda is 30 lbs and about 37.5 inches. They are doing well developmentally.

Jon and I are doing OK. Things have been a bit rough lately with normal day to day stress. The house still hasn't sold. Believe me, you'd know if we had a bite! We've lowered the price numerous times but it is still a victim of a bad market. We're now trying to find a reasonably priced apartment so that we can have a place of our own while staying with our heads slightly above water. We did join a bowling league for some weekly relaxation. We were on a league in Colorado and we loved it. Most of our enjoyment was from the team we had in Colorado but we'll enjoy this nonetheless. We know quite a few people in the league and it is nice to have a reason to go out at least once a week. We can be quite the hermits and with the stress of living with extended family, we need to get out of the house more often. I just hope we can find a new place to live before the relationships are strained to the breaking point.

Fall is upon us. It is absolutely my favorite time of the year. I always look forward to the nice crisp air and being able to step outside in the morning and take a deep breath. Somehow I always find a smile.

I'm not really the praying type but we appreciate all good thoughts and wishes so that we can somehow move on with our lives...

I promise pictures. I have tons, I just need to get them on the computer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have to steal a post from my cousin, Erin, and share the most amazing blog I have found in a while. Be careful, you can get sucked in and spend hours going through the history of posts!

Monday, September 8, 2008

School Daze

It is time for school to start. My babies! My babies are starting school tomorrow. It is only part-time preschool and they won't really start school for a few years but this is the first step and it is going to snowball from here.

I'm so excited for them. I think they are going to love their program. They are joining a nice little local preschool three days a week. Taryn and I took Aidan and Amanda to their school a couple of weeks ago to meet the teacher and tour the school. It was love at first sight. I hope I'm not disappointed.

We had an appointment with the school director and the class teacher at 10. The school was so cute. When we walked in to the building we walked into a main entry area with a large side room of 4 and 5 year olds (I'd guess). We walked straight through the kitchen area to a large classroom for the 3 year olds. There was a group of probably a half-dozen kids sitting in tiny chairs facing an assistant teacher who was going through the time, date and weather. It was adorable. After learning that it was Friday, August 29th, 2008, one of the kids went running to the window to update the class on the weather. He informed the class that it was a sunny day. I couldn't help but smile. Aidan and Amanda were invited to sit with the class while I spoke with the teacher, Ms. Jane. Amanda immediately ran and grabbed a seat in the row. Aidan was a bit more hesitant and stayed in the back for a moment (which was exactly what I predicted). Aunt Taryn helped him put a seat at the end of the row so he could sit near the group. One of the other little boys got so excited and started moving his chair. The assistant teacher asked him where he was going and the little boy stated quite clearly that he wanted to go sit by "him" and pointed at Aidan. He moved his chair and sat next to his new friend. The new friendship did not have an opportunity to grow because it was time for the class to go outside for playtime. The group lined up and headed outside.

After the group was gone, we received a bit of a tour of the room. There was an area for the lunch boxes, nap cots and daily supplies from home. Aidan wanted to take another little boy's lunch box. I explained that it was for someone else and we'd have to get him one. He was so excited at the thought of getting his own lunchbox. The teacher then introduced the class pet, marshmallow, the bunny. The kids were a bit intimidated by this giant fluffball in a cage but they did seem to like to look at him. While Ms. Jane and I were discussing details, the kids were able to play with a giant sand/water table that was full of uncooked elbow macaroni. They had a bunch of different scoops and tools to play with. They thought it was super cool! It is hard to do the school justice with the brief discription but it was definitely everything I imagined.

After finishing the classroom tour and program overview, we toured the rest of the school. They have a great outside area with different toys and play areas for the different age groups. They have a nice hill on the side of the building that the teacher said was great for sleighriding. The kids loved the playground and all of the new toys. They absolutely did not want to leave. Fortunately we were able to tell them that they could come back to play with the toys very soon!

The program is great. It has enough structure for a 3 year old to learn a daily routine but is relaxed enough to avoid putting too much pressure on them. They have scheduled potty time which will be helpful for Amanda to remind her to take a bathroom break before it is too late (which is typical when fun is a higher priority than potty time). The potty breaks will also help Aidan with his potty training. While Amanda has been virtually accident free for weeks now, Aidan doesn't seem to care about being wet. I've been keeping him in underpants all the time except bedtime (unless we leave the house). The scenario is typically the same. He'll wet his pants and cry, I'll recognize the situation and run to the potty with him. He'll sit down to try and finish going on the potty while he cheers up a bit. He finishes on the potty with an enthusiastic "I tried" and "now I get new dry underpants?" I haven't been able to convince him to stay dry and I hope that the constant accidents will lead to a self awareness of the need to pee. At school, I hope that being asked to try at 9, 12 and 3 will help him. I don't know if they insist that the kids try or how they "train" them. The school director told me that the do work with the kids on potty training and they change all of the diapered kids after each potty break or as needed. We'll see how that goes. They have snacktime in the morning and afternoon which is provided and I have to send them with lunch each day. They have an after lunch naptime and the structure is similar to their daily schedule at home.

I am absolutely thrilled that they are starting this program. I've been saying for a long time now that I really want Aidan and Amanda to meet other kids. I also want them to have a structured routine that includes education. Being home with my mom has been great for them. They have spent an amazing amount of time outside playing. Now I'd like for them to have a balance between play and advanced learning. I strongly believe that infants, toddlers and preschoolers are constantly learning but that doesn't mean that it has to be formal. They learn from everything including television, playing outside, riding bikes, playing ball, doing puzzles, ect and now they'll get added lessons. They have crafts, learn to use scissors, learn to read and recognize the alphabet and basic words, identify the seasons, and all of the other things that may have been introduced but never formally instructed. Other parents may disagree with my beliefs but that is the wonderful thing about life, I can raise my kids the way I think is best. Now they'll have a nice blend of the love of being home and the structure of school.

Of course all of this added benefit does not come free. School is going to cost us a bit. We've been lucky thus far since my mother has been staying with them since we moved. Before that we sacrificed income by having one parent home at all times. Jon was a great stay-at-home dad and it saved us a ton of money on infant/toddler daycare. Now that they're getting older they need more than just a loving babysitter.

I just hope we can balance everything now. We're going to embark on a new adventure. An adventure of getting the entire family up and out of the house each morning. I've been trying to get up earlier and do more for the kids before heading to work. I had enjoyed getting ready without worrying about a morning routine for the kids. My mom would come up around the same time the kids woke up and she'd take care of everything for us. It was wonderful. Now, I'll have to go through feeding, dressing, potty routine, loading the car and out the door every morning which is new to me! Jon and I had a conversation about the process but I have a feeling there will be a few frazzled nerves and late starts before we get a good routine going. Hopefully before it takes too long we'll be in a house of our own and things will be a bit easier. That is a vent that deserves its own post. In due time... Priorities call, I must get work done.