Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's starting to look like fall...

.. when your two year old uses your themed dish towels as a fashion accessory. She started wearing it like "little red riding hood" but I was a bit too slow with the camera, so just caught her idea of a shawl.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rylan's First Day of Preschool

Rylan looks like such a big boy. One day I will look back at this picture and remember how little he was. It is the beginning of a whole new stage of life in our family.

Father and son, they look so much alike.

Charlton and Rylan thoughtfully brought me flowers. So sweet of them. They went out for a special breakfast together and then met me and Caroline at school.

Once Rylan arrived at his classroom, it took a couple of attempts to hang the backpack on his peg.

Mission accomplished: back-pack secured in the right spot.

Rylan was so eager, he grabbed his nametag, ran into class, and took a seat on the circle rug without even saying goodbye. His teacher threw a ball and the child who caught it had a turn to introduce themselves.

Rylan caught the ball and told his name.
We got out while the going was good and Rylan was happily distracted. I had already been teary and emotional thinking about this day, so thankfully, the actual first day was very positive for me. I was just so relieved and delighted that he was excited about school and we didn't have any dramatic tearful partings. Of course, we were both happy to see each other at the end of the morning and I loved hearing all about Rylan's day. I hope it is the first of many more happy days at school for my boy.

The very old puzzle

I recently ran across this puzzle in a box of special things saved from my childhood. I can't believe it survived intact after so many years of play with me and my siblings, and it was always one of my favorite puzzles because it was so unique. Caroline has loved playing with puzzles lately, so I thought she might like this one. I was surprised at how quickly she figured out how to put it together. The other fun thing is that you can set all the little buildings up and design your own village.

Caroline's pouty face because I asked her to pose with the finished puzzle.

Smily face because the little mischief maker made the pieces fall out and thought that was so funny.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stomach bug and other things

The stomach bug has hit our family hard this week, and is still bothering Caroline today.  Everyone else is gradually on the mend and we won't be sad to see this bugger be gone.  Between Great Dane sitting for my sister last week and the sickness this week, it has been an exhausting time for us.
Thankfully we had a brief reprieve Thursday morning to take Rylan to his preschool for his teacher meet-n-greet. I had attended parent orientation the previous week, so I was really excited for finally get to meet his teachers and see his classroom.  He was shy at first, and very glad to sit on my lap for a picture.  During our circle time, he was a bit clingy, but gradually started raising his hands and answering questions.  Rylan commented both his teachers, Mrs. S and Mrs. R, were "really nice."  There are 16 kids in his class and although I didn't get an exact count, at least half were boys. We had a scavenger hunt to find some special and important things in the classroom and around the preschool and Rylan and I worked together to find them all.  Rylan almost immediately found the dress-up bin and latched on to a space-looking helmet.  He would not be parted with this helmet the rest of the morning and completed the entire scavenger hunt wearing it.  Occasionally, he would stick his head out and proclaim, "we can't breathe the air in here" and then quickly pull the hat back down.  I think the reason he is most excited about school starting next week is getting to wear the beloved helmet again.
I have been emotional off and on thinking about him going to pre-school, but these orientations have been as helpful for me as for Rylan, I think.  It is reassuring to see him so excited and looking forward to it.  My worst fear was him having severe separation anxiety and having to leave him in the midst of tears.  Now, he is asking us how many days until school starts, so I am thrilled to see that positive outlook. They have so many neat things planned for the kids and I think he is just going to have a blast!
Rylan has been doing really well with his karate lately.  He has been eager about attending class and training hard each session.  If he continues on track, he will be getting his yellow belt at the end of he month. I have also been very proud of the way he is stopping sucking this thumb.  He has been very brave and cooperative with the whole process and I think we can say he has successfully conquered his night-time habit.  I think he still sneaks and sucks his thumb during nap times, but I haven't been really strict about that, because we all really need nap times!
Caroline's potty-training is also going much, much better. We still have occasional accidents, but she is more cooperative about telling me when she has to go, and we are almost done wearing pull-ups when we go out. I can see the light at the end of this long, long tunnel. Now, I am working with Caroline on stopping her thumb-sucking. When we saw the dentist this past week, she said Rylan's cross-bite was pretty severe and could even be changing the shape of his palate, affecting the alignment of his permanent teeth.  It is probably too late to make many changes for Rylan, but I am determined to see if we can prevent some of the problems with Caroline by starting earlier. I think is it less emotional trauma for her also, since she is younger.
I have been busy also with MOPS starting in a week. This year I am the creative activities/outreach director and have a lot of prep work to do on my own at the beginning of the semester.  Right now I am designing and making kits for almost 200 NICU memento cards.   On one of our craft days, the MOPS women will actually be assembling them, and then I will add footprints of each one of our babies to a card.  This makes a wonderful keepsake for the parents at holiday times. They are turning out very cute and will definitely be worth it, but it has been a ton of extra work right now.
So we have a busy Tuesday coming, practice first day for MOPS, Rylan's first day of preschool, and my new nephew will be born by C-section. He has some health complications and will need surgery right after birth, so we are praying for his family and the excellent medical staff who will be caring for him. Have a great Labor Day weekend. I will be sure to post pictures of Rylan's first day soon.