Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Day of "School" 2011

Well, from what I could see, and from what I was told.... the kids did fantastic and had a blast at "school" yesterday.  The boys woke up a little groggy (as did Evie) and were stumbling around trying to get dressed and ready... but the whole time talking about going to meet new friends at their new school.  Chris helped me get them ready and saw us off and away we went... talking about how they needed to listen to their teachers, reminding them about  the nap time (how they at least needed to lie there and be quiet if they didn't want to sleep etc).  When I dropped them off they did so well.  The boys put their stuff in their cubbies and headed into the main area to play until more people arrived, and I got Evie's stuff put away (her diapers, wipes, extra set of clothes) and jacket hung up in her cubbie and joined the boys in the play area.  I had to laugh because as they moved the divider to let Evie into the area she totally reminded me of that old man character that Tim Conway used to play.... basically the way he walked, those tiny little steps.  She took the tiniest steps and was so slow and cautious, just taking it all in.  It was like she wasn't sure she should be going in there.  The poor lady stood there waiting for what seemed like forever to finally close the divider.  She just sorta stood in one place and looked around.... meanwhile the boys had already dug into the bin of legos and were building towers.  I talked with the director about some of my concerns that I thought they should know about .... them not being able to really wipe themselves quite yet for #2s, and how they are fine with going potty, but that they might have some issues with #2s as they've never really had to do the "tuck" thing at home cuz we have that toilet seat topper with the big "guard" on it.  Just basically to  keep an eye on it and be aware that they might need some more coaching on how to do that in public without their toilet seat they usually use.  I said my good-byes ... MacKay did the classic little boy move and acted like he was mortified I wanted to show some affection to him in public, and Evie still was in shock and not moving from her little spot in the room.  Oscar just giggled and said "Love you too" as I walked out the door.  I drove away thinking that Evie was surely crying by this point but knew it would be short lived.
I called there later in the afternoon to find out how they were doing and if they had taken naps and the director just told me that it was a good sign that she hadn't heard anything... no news it good news.  And that things were quiet at nap time so she thinks they all must have slept and done just fine.  She said they, too, were worried about Evie when I left... but that about 5 minutes after I had gone she was digging into things and playing.
Chris picked them up on his way home from work and was told that we had some very polite little boys (as they told me this morning as well), that they slept and ate well and just had an overall excellent first day.  When he got to Evie, she was outside playing on the play set.  He said she acknowledged he was there but it didn't interrupt her play and when he asked her if she wanted to go home she frankly said "No!"  She had apparently had a very good day as well, no crying or meltdowns of any kind.  When we asked her if she liked her teacher ("Bed-der" - Heather) she said "She's NICE."  Even this morning the boys' preschool teacher (Vicki) said that they were (again) so very polite and that she would have never guessed that they hadn't been going to day care this entire time.  I was so glad to hear that they were doing well... and happy to see that they WANTED to go back today.  Gma Chris is going to be picking them up from school today on her way into town and will get them for the rest of the week.... and that will be our schedule for the next couple/few months until we up them to 3 days a week at school so my mom only has to take them 2 days a week.  The ultimate plan being to at least put the boys in full time by next fall to get them ready for Kindergarten and we'll see what we want to do with Evie at that point.
Here are some pictures we took of them before leaving the house for their first day of school.  At first Evie wasn't cooperating with having her picture taken and was a bit emotional.... but then she turned it around and was all smiles.  Also scanned in copies of the boys' daily report for the day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A lot of Change .... for everyone!

Goodness it has been SUCH a long time since my last post.  I have a feeling that is going to be the case going forward with me back at work now.  Speaking of work, I have been at Landis+Gyr for about 6 weeks now and am learning A LOT …. About things I would have never cared about before but it is quite interesting and very overwhelming.  Everyone keeps telling me not to sweat it – that all this technical stuff will come with time but there is just so much to know about.  The past two weeks I have been traveling – watching another fellow coworker do a project kick-off and pre-site visits (to the substations) in NY and MS.  Now I’m being set free on my own project – the first of which is going to be for a utility in Red River Valley and I was informed that apparently I am next in line to coordinate projects for any new utilities that come on board and want to purchase our solutions/services.  So I’m going to get busy here really fast.  The facilities there are amazing …. WiFi throughout the whole building so you can just pick up and go somewhere else to work for a while if you need to get away from your desk, they have IP phones and you can just walk around the entire building while talking on your wireless head set.  They have a lunchroom there with two cooks that provide lunch – which isn’t half bad at all.  And my team – they are a bunch of nut jobs (in a good way) and are a GREAT bunch.  I walked away from my first day with aching cheeks from laughing so hard all day.  They are a hoot.  So all in all this is a very positive thing for me…. Though recently have been noticing the effects of this on my kids.  Grandma Chris has been coming up to watch the kiddos during the week for me while we get them ready to start part time day care.  She’s fully enjoying her time with them but has a new respect for what I was doing these past 4 years or so.  She has caught on quickly that is much easier to get them out of the house and out doing something fun than to stay home…. Something I told her but she didn’t believe until she did it.  So she has been taking them to parks for play dates (or even on her own), out to DQ, just outside to play at our house, to play dates etc.  At first they didn’t seem fazed.  I would get comments like  “We went to the park today… you weren’t there.” [Oscar] or on weekend mornings the comments like “Where’s Gma Chris?” [Evie] or ‘What are you doing here?” [Oscar].  Even while I was traveling those two weeks I would talk to them 1-2 times a day (at least before bed to say good night) and to them it wasn’t a big deal.  They would just keep asking me if I was on a plane (I think they thought I spent that entire time on a plane).  MacKay would no sooner get on the phone and would just say “Oh .. Well… OK, I love you, good bye!” And the typical comment from my mom just minutes after I get home and the kids were all whiney and crying etc – “I SWEAR, they haven’t been like this all day… they’ve been fine.”  Everyone has been telling me that is EXACTLY how it works, new meat (me) walks in the door and they put on the whiney attitudes to get some attention etc.  Lovely.  I wasn’t, and am still not, a fan of that… but hopefully it gets better with time.  But in this last week it’s gotten a bit worse.  MacKay has done some reverting back concerning his bathroom behavior.  He has been accident free for almost 7 months now and in the last week has pooped his pants countless times.  He’s gone on record to state “The toot comes first… then the poop!” – I think he’s trying to say that he basically trusted a fart when he shouldn’t have.  Like father like son!  But it is more than that, he’s actually having accidents and not taking the time or the cues to take care of it.  Evie has just been emotional and ornery in this last week too.  Oscar doesn’t seem to bothered though ….. YET (other than being especially whiney and telling on people non-stop).

Another big chance… the kiddos are starting “school” (day care) on Monday.  We are taking them there on Mondays and Tuesdays to start out for the first couple/few months.   Gma Chris will continue to watch them on the days that they aren’t at school… in fact on Tuesdays she is going to pick them up from day care on her way into town each week.  I’m not so much worried about the boys …. They always have done well when I have dropped them off at places (Preschool Plus last year, sibling care during Evie’s classes etc) and I think they really need and want this.  It’s Evie that worries me.  She has almost ALWAYS cried when I have left her places (sibling care while the boys had preschool etc).  EVERY time, without fail she would bawl the minute I would bring her in the door and would start screaming when I would try to put her down or hand her over to the staff there.  They were always so good about luring her away and bringing her to the music (which they quickly figured out was a favorite for her, soothed her sort of) and distracting her.  And I was always told that she settled down very quickly after I left….  But I am hoping she’s grown out of that and it won’t be such a traumatic experience come Monday.  We’ve visited the place a few times and they seem intrigued and interested in going there.  Evie just dug right in and started playing with their kitchen set and some of the other kids.  So it won’t be completely new to them.  And I’ve been talking to the boys about how they need to listen to the teacher, that they need to share and play nice with the other kids (how they won’t want to play with them if they aren’t nice etc), and braced them for the fact that they MIGHT be napping in the afternoons.  I figure with how early we’re going to have to get them up on those days that napping might not be an issue… but then again, they haven’t napped for almost 2 years now.  I just told them they have to listen to the teacher… and that even if they don’t want to sleep that they have to lie there QUIETLY until the teacher says they can get up.  I think that will be the biggest challenge for them.

Gosh it has been so long that I cannot even begin to list what we have been up to.  I know we’ve been to a couple different zoos (Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls and Como), we’ve been to Paul Bunyan land (our last hurrah the day before I went back to work).  We’ve also gone on several family walks/bike rides down the street and back.  The boys are doing so well on their bikes, though MacKay tends to like speed and uncontrollably wandering out into the middle of the street when he isn’t paying attention… while Oscar is the complete polar opposite and is so slow and cautious.  But for the most part they get that they need to stay to the side.. that the middle is for the cars… and they stop when approaching cars get close until they pass by and they can begin to pedal again.  Evie starts out in the stroller (she really likes riding in that) and then demands to walk the entire way home if not even part of the way down the road.  She must get such a work out from that… those little legs just truckin to keep up.  Lately all of them LOVE a good game of Hide 'n Seek too.  They constantly beg us to come find them and try to find good hiding spots.  Eventually one of us will help with the hiding of them while the other waits to do the finding.  They get into it but Oscar doesn't understand that he needs to be quiet while he is hiding.  All of a sudden you hear this little voice just muttering to himself.  Evie occasionally giggles when you get close to her... but MacKay really gets the concept and tries pretty hard not to be found.  It's become a nightly activity before bed lately.  We also let them pick their costumes for Halloween this year (the boys keep talking about dressing up as _____ on their birthdays as they associate Halloween with their birthday… too funny).  They all just love Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Disney Channel) so I figured they would want to be pirates of some sort.  Oscar seemed to be interested but MacKay kept talking about how he wanted to be an Allosaurus this year.  He’s somewhat obsessed with Allosaurus (and all dinosaurs in general) lately.  He will all of  a sudden just say “I want to talk all about Allosaurus” which basically translates to “I want you to read me about 10 books about dinosaurs right now.”  It’s amazing the facts he knows about all of them… and just how MANY of them he actually knows and can name.  But anyway… he was all keyed up about being Allosaurus and I was getting nervous cuz I was certain that last year’s T-Rex costume (which could pass as Allosaurus) would definitely not fit as even last year it was a bit tight in the crotch.  We even had to bring it into a tailor to have the inseam/crotch extended as much as it could be.  So I printed off a couple of cute costumes I found to see if a visual depiction of a pirate would help as I knew he totally digs them as well.  I found a couple cute pirate costumes that looked like Jake and just happened to find a Captain Hook (who also is on Jake and the Neverland Pirates) costume.  I also printed off a couple fun ones for Evie that I thought she would like (Tinkerbell – which I dressed up as when I was like 3 or 4, Minnie Mouse, a pirate girl outfit etc…).  Turns out that was all I needed to do… MacKay’s heart was immediately set on being Captain Hook.  Oscar picked the costume that looked most like Jake and was pretty stoked about that… and Evie picked Minnie Mouse which was no shock to me.  Just as I was ordering them up I found that the hat pictured on the Captain Hook costume didn’t come with it.  But I quickly found an actual Captain Hook hat at the Disney store and MAN is that the cutest thing ever.  We’ve already gotten the costumes and the kids have tried them on (had to return and get the bigger sizes for Evie and Oscar) and that is all the want to do now is dress up in their costumes.  MacKay is anxiously awaiting Halloween now so he can wear his costume, his hat and wear the hook/hand.  Evie loves her little Minnie Dress… and Oscar just grins from ear to ear in his costume and loves the bandana that he wears on his head.  They look so adorable (see picture).  I can’t wait for Halloween….  I always swore I wouldn’t spend oodles of money on things like this for kids that are just going to grow out of them each and every year… but I have SO gotten back into the Halloween spirit that I used to have many years ago and I’m sure will go all out every year from this time forward.  What a great holiday.

I guess I will just cover what each of them is up to lately as this really is my only way of tracking their development and childhood and I don’t want to leave some of this great stuff out.  MacKay is a sponge.  The things that he recalls is amazing.  You say something once to him and it’s locked away in that little mind of his forever.  The things he knows about just blow me away … the dinosaurs are just one example.  It’s more the “concepts” that make my jaw drop.  He just “gets it” about so much.  He can spout out the words to songs he’s just learned, lines to shows he’s only watched 1 or 2 times, facts from books he’s read a couple times etc.  He loves Iron Man (the movie… AND the song) and so Chris found (streaming Netflix/YouTube) a couple videos of Ozzy singing Iron Man.  MacKay now walks around singing:  “Is he alive or dead, has he thoughts within his head …..   Can he walk at all, or if he moves will he fall….. Has he lost his mind, can he see or is he blind….  Can he travel time, for the future of man-kind….”  And all in perfect tune.  He also loves singing Maroon 5s “Moves like Jagger.”  Lately he’s been asking what things mean all the time.  “What does frustrated mean, Mommy?”  “What does opposite mean, Mommy?” (try answer that one by the way).  And when you say certain things he will pick out a word from that sentence and say “[word]… that means ________”  and he’s usually spot on with that too.  I think preschool/daycare is going to be good for him for that.  On the flip side…. I am worried about daycare for him as lately he’s been quite aggressive and belligerent.  He really doesn’t listen well.  Not sure if he isn’t paying attention to us when we are asking/telling him to do something… or if he just doesn’t care or listen.  But it has been a point of contention with us lately.  We’re trying to nip it in the bud, but he doesn’t even seem to care about the repercussions or the disciplining.  We’ve taken away countless toys, deprived him of things he wants to do etc.  I’m hoping to chalk this up to a phase he is going through with all this change in the household… but we’ll have to see.  He’s like the sweetest little boy most of the time… so loving, cares so much about what you think about him and hates when you are angry at him….. but then he flips this switch and can be so brutal and aggressive etc.  And I don’t want to mention to much about this as he would (and will) be so mortified in the future to read back upon this) though I need to mention it for documentation purposes.  But in the past month or so… MacKay has, ahem….hmm….. found himself.  And not so much in the “hey, what is this” cuz he’s known about that for a while and understands that boys have “that” and girls don’t etc.  But more in the way “Hey, if I do THIS……”  I won’t go too much more into detail, other than it has been a source of entertainment for him (and mortifying – yet humorous on many levels for all of us).  We’ve done the standard “Only when you’re alone… in private…. “ etc sort of thing with him.  But that just leads him to ask us to leave him alone so he can do that.  Unnngh.  Boys.

Oscar sort of goes under the radar these days (with all that MacKay has been doing – he’s got such a dominant personality) but has been such a sweetheart and help with so many things.  He really gets a kick out of helping others and getting praise.  He literally freaks out if we do something that he wanted to help with and the only way to appease him is to back track and undo what we’ve done so that he can do his part in helping us out.  It’s so easy to forget that he can do so much more than he used to do, and really WANTS to do more… is constantly asking to do more and help.  So very often we find ourselves having to take much longer to get something done as we need to constantly undo what we have done so that he can do it for us.  Unfortunately all this power we’ve given him in helping us may have backfired a bit…. He now feels the need to tell us (whining and screaming) about every little thing that MacKay or Evie is doing.  Quite the little tattle tale we’ve created here.  He gets his undies in such a bind about the smallest things… Evie shaking her head, MacKay not eating his meal, MacKay singing a song that he doesn’t want him to sing, Evie being too loud, Evie playing with one of their toys (or MacKay playing with one of Evie’s toys).  It’s like he’s taken it upon himself to be the over-seer of everything that goes on in our home and to be the ultimate judge in how it all should go down.  It’s sorta sweet most of the time… I mean he’s genuinely concerned most of the time.  But other times it is just plain whining and telling on others.  But on the flip side…. He’s still my big cuddle bug and loves to snuggle up on the couch, and often asks me to cuddle with him in bed for a few minutes every night.

Evie is still our little diva and seems to have everyone wrapped around her little finger… even the boys sometimes.  She regularly talks in 4-6 word sentences now and is starting to like shows/movies now, thanks to Tangled.  Before she just couldn’t manage to sit still long enough to even finish a book most of the time…  with Tangled she is roped in.  She LOVES Rapunzel.   It’s cute cuz when we are outside playing on the swing set she will stand at the bottom of the rock wall and yell up at it “Wapunzo… Wapunzo….yet down yer haiw!”  She also likes watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse lately.  She is constantly singing…. CONSTANTLY.  Sometimes it is a recognizable song… but most of the time it is something she is making up with a few words that are understandable, but most is just a lot of mumbling to the tunes in her head.  She still has to do everything by her “SEWF.”  We still hear that word about 50 times a day.  She has to crawl into and out of her crib every day, put on her own bib, put on her own clothes (even socks) etc.  She listens to the things the boys say and copies them all the time, she learns SO much from them.  We recently took her shopping for some new shoes and I was shocked to find out that they measured her at a 7 or 7.5.  WOW.  Here I was thinking I was looking for size 6.5.  What is with my kids and their huge feet?  Even MacKay and Oscar got a couple new pair of shoes … some size 11 Keens (that probably will only fit for the next 6 months or so) and size 11.5 (MacKay) and 12 (Oscar) Saucony running shoes.  It’s cute though…. Both the boys make it perfectly clear to us that they are SO much faster in their new shoes.  I love it.  But Evie is definitely growing… we just went through all of her clothes from last winter/spring to see what would fit her again this fall and we were surprised to find that we could give a lot more away than I thought I was going to.  Mainly pants that just look like floods on her now.  She’s still such a scrawny thing which makes going to those bigger sized pants a challenge as the waists are a little too big (even after sinching them) but she now needs that additional length she gets in 2T jeans.  By now the boys would have almost been in 3T jeans… she’s such a little peanut.

We’ve got some things coming up in the future.  The boys’ birthdays (water park again?), Halloween, our anniversary (though don’t know we’re doing anything big for that), family pictures, school pictures, the boys’ K-garten screening tests etc…. so I’ll have more to update you on soon.  I am hoping that even though I am busy working that I can use my travel time to work on these blogs while I am bored in my hotel room or on flights.  But we’ll see I guess…..  Let’s get onto the random pictures that seriously at this moment I don’t even what I have to load cuz it has been that long.  I always keep the newest pictures I want to share in a folder for the next post… but honestly it has been so long I don’t even know what is in there.  Time to go check it out and see if I remember what they were all from!

Gma Chris reading the kids' favorite bedtime story of late.... Mister Seahorse

Como Zoo:
All the kids had a blast, other than MacKay who had developed a fever the day before and woke up still wanting to go.  He was a trooper and didn't seem like whatever bug he had was getting him down (we thought it was gone) but then it reared its ugly head again around lunch time so we had to cut our trip short.

Como Town:
Evie was a bit upset about not being able to go on many of the rides that the boys were going on (specifically the Frog Hopper).

Here MacKay was starting to feel yucky again (as you can sorta see in the picture/s), Oscar was pouting about being on that horsie ride (apparently didn't want to be) yet Evie was having a blast driving her horse and carriage

Evie bummed out about not being able to go on the ride with Daddy and the boys .... she's such a dare devil.

Gma Diane visiting with Evie's birthday present (lots of girly stuff, purse, wallet, jewelry etc and some girly colored mega blocks).  MacKay dominated her time there reading to her about Dinosaurs.  Oscar got to building with the blocks right away while Evie accessorized herself.

Evie's 1st Potty Chart:  Occasionally she says she wants to go use the potty but doesn't really use it.  So we introduced her to her first chart to see if that would spark any further interest.... which it really hasn't.

Came home from work one day to find MacKay accessorized like this ... he and Oscar had apparently gotten into Evie's jewelry and demanded to wear it until I got home so they could show me

Fun at Serpent Lake Park in Crosby - decided to take the kids to this park as I had heard it was huge... which it is.  They had a blast on all the new equipment they've never been subjected to before.  We played quite a few games of hide and seek in there with them too (the boys in the tube)

Kids in their new bathtub.  We remodelled both the boys' master bathroom and the guest bathroom (which will be Evie's someday) in the past month or so and the kids were pretty excited about their new bathrooms, especially the new bath tub.

Catepillars... catepillars ... catepillars.....  MacKay was stoked about finding these NINE catepillars around the yard.  He was really intrigued by them.. constantly telling us how they build a cocoon and come out a butterfly... that the change is called METAMORPHOSIS.  See... told ya... he's a sponge.

Evie thought they were great.... thought she was supposed to blow on them.  Not sure what she thought would happen.... but....

Oscar wasn't as enamorous of the catepillars and stuck to the good ole 'Gator

Evie on the disc swing and hanging from the trapeze

The kids trying on their new Halloween costumes (sans MacKay's Capn Hook hat which REALLY is the best part of his outfit.  We joked that without his hat he looks a lot like Hugh Hefner)

Come back again soon!