We have stayed pretty busy this month. Our first MOPS meeting of the new year was cancelled because of cold and snow, but we have had several warm sunny days in January. One week, we were able to go the park three days in a row. That cured quite a bit of our cabin fever. Tomorrow is supposed to be nearly 60, so you can be sure we will be hitting the park again....after the kids' dentist appointment. :-(
Rylan started his sports class at the Little Gym this week and they are learning how to play hockey right now. He has a large class, about 10 boys and 2 girls and one of his teachers is a guy. Mr. Matt used to work with Athletes in Action, a division of Campus Crusade, the ministry Charlton used to work for. Pretty cool. The first week, I had a deja vu moment when Rylan left the gym crying because Mr. Matt told him "no spitting." You see, Rylan almost always transforms into a robot or superhero at Little Gym and his mouth is a "gun." We had a little talk about not shooting our mouth guns at Little Gym, and Rylan was able to pull himself together and return to class. He did tell me he didn't like Mr. Matt anymore, which normally happens when another adult has to correct him. This past week, Rylan seemed to remember the "no spitting rule" and also decided he now likes Mr. Matt. Huge progress. I am so glad for him to have this time to interact with lots of different boys, and take instruction from a male teacher.
Besides Little Gym, Rylan has loved working on his puzzles lately. He can assemble most of them by himself. He is also dressing and undressing himself with minimal help from me, learning how to buckle his car seat by himself, put both his shoes and socks on (not in a timely manner, but can't be too picky yet), help me clean up toys and work in the kitchen. He always asks me if he can help make meals. It takes all my patience to involve kids in the kitchen, but I am trying to think of ways for him to participate that are fun and safe. He can recognize his letters and most of their sounds. He also can recognize his numbers and can count to the 20's and beyond. I need to get cracking on checking out preschools for this fall.
Rylan likes his own space and as long as his sister isn't invading it, he loves her. They love to play hide and seek and a game where they simply circles around the dining room table, over and over again. Often Rylan invites Caroline up to his room to play, (she doesn' t know he is just using her because he doesn't like to be alone upstairs!) If she doesn't come upstairs willingly, he has been known to bribe her with a "free baby doll." One day I heard Rylan calling for me from his room and something in his voice told me I needed to come right away. You moms know that feeling? Thankfully I did, because when I ran into Rylan's room, he was kneeling on the top bunk, holding on to Caroline's hands for dear life. Caroline was dangling from the railing several feet above the floor. I don't know whether Caroline had a better grip on the bed or Rylan had a stronger grip on her, but somehow she managed to hang on for many seconds before I got there. We told Rylan he was definitely a super hero that day, and he was quite proud of himself for "saving Caroline."
Sweet Caroline is talking with longer strings of words all the time. This week she said her longest sentence to date: "Bubby, don't push me down!" Hmmm! She loves, loves, loves to sing. Her MOPS teacher told me this week that she is talking up a storm and they had to sing "Jingle Bells" at her request. She also loves yogurt, and my homemade cranberry/almond/chocolate chip biscotti. We have to eat some of each every day. She is mischievous and loves to climb. If something is out of reach, she just moves a chair across the room and continues on her mission. Things pushed to the back of the cabinet aren't even safe any longer. I am happy that Caroline is enjoying books more, even asking for certain books we have from the library. She used to not have the attention span for most books, but is certainly growing up in that area.
She is so affectionate and I love her hugs and kisses. Caroline will throw tantrums when she doesn't get her way, but they are usually intense and brief. Mostly she is just stubborn and persistent. She will do the same naughty thing over and over again just to see if I will always react the same way. I know she is getting into trouble when it is too quiet, but if I ask what she is doing, the answer is always the same, "nothing."
Poor girl has a fever today. We were at church on Sunday and for MOPS Tuesday, so she could have picked up a bug.
My brother and his wife visited us last Wednesday. They found a great deal on tickets from Southwest a couple months ago and booked this trip for Emily's birthday and some "alone" time without three kids. I thought my brother was unusually quiet after they arrived, but just chalked it up to tiredness. Well, he just kept wanting to sleep more and more and was complaining of other symptoms that eventually turned into the full-blown flu. Poor Emily started feeling bad too on Friday. We were so disappointed they had to spend their special trip fighting the flu. I am thankful it happened during the only year both the kids and I had been fully vaccinated. Charlton was out of town for his business trip also, so I was glad he wasn't really exposed.
Just two more busy weeks, then I will be going per diem at work. I can't wait! I think February might be the new "New Years 2011" for me this year.