Friday, August 21, 2015

Jack Starts Pre-K

School kicked off this week for Jack, and they have a gradual approach to getting the pre-k kids started.  We went to Meet the Teacher night on Monday where we got to look at his classroom and introduce Jack to his teacher.  His teacher lives down the street from us, so we had met her once at our block party a couple months ago.  Since Meet the Teacher night we have seen her almost every evening outside at the park with her daughter :).

On Wednesday 8/19 Jack went for an hour and a half with a portion of the kids from his class.  They just did a quick walk-through of a normal day in class so the kids could get familiar with the routine.  The school does a drop-off line where you pull up to the curb and a teacher reaches in to help the child out of the car and escorts them to their classroom.  When the teacher reached in to get Jack he curled up in a ball and started crying.  Mary also started crying.  It kind of makes sense, because it would be confusing as to why a stranger was reaching in to pull you out of your car as a child.  Anyway, we had to pull into the parking lot and walk Jack in since he didn't want to get out of the car.  

After the car line trauma he was slow to warm up to the classroom.  I tried to get a picture of him at the table, and this was the best one I could get:  
The picture with his teacher cracks me up every time I look at it.  
When we picked him up the teacher said that he talked to her and was completely fine the entire time in class.  He's just slow to warm up sometimes.

While Jack was at school, Owen, Mary, and I went to a local bakery to pick up some cookies as a treat for the first day.  Mary got her hands on the school bus :).
Yesterday there was no school for Jack since another set of pre-k kids were there for their hour and a half.  We had an end of summer picnic before Jack officially got started with school.  Both boys were excited for a picnic, but Jack said he didn't want to be too hot or for there to be any bugs.  I told him that meant we would have to eat inside.  Instead of going somewhere and risking dissatisfaction with nature, we had our picnic on the trampoline in case we needed to move inside.  I made them little homemade lunchables, and I found an off brand of Dip n Dots at the grocery store for a treat.
Jack's teacher sent out an email asking if anyone would volunteer to bring snack for the class for the first 5-6 days until she got a schedule put together.  I volunteered us for the first day today, because Jack always loved bringing snack at his last school.  I thought it would be a good way to get him excited about class instead of nervous.  I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and he was pretty excited to be the class muffin man.
A few days ago I made a whiteboard for Jack to hold on his first day based on a few versions I saw on pinterest.  It's kind of hard to see in his picture, so here it is up close.
This morning Jonathan took Jack to his first full day of school.  School starts at 8:15am and ends at 3pm five days per week.  I have cried intermittently throughout the week at the thought of not having him around as much.  Here is his picture this morning:

And here's one of him headed out the door:
I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend all day, every day with Jack for over 4.5 years.  He did spend 4 months going to school two days a week, but this is such a huge change for us.  I've really enjoyed the flexibility of the little years where we didn't have a lot of structure to our day.  It's going to take some time to get used to our new routine.

Owen starts preschool two days per week on September 8th, so we'll get some cute pictures of his first day soon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Fun and Silly Smiles

The summer heat continues to blaze on here in Oklahoma.  I try really hard to get the boys outside as often as possible without letting them get too hot.  A couple times a week for the past several weeks I've taken them to the biggest park in our town (Veteran's Park) in the morning right after breakfast so they can get some energy out.  
We continue to spend a lot of time in our backyard playing on their slip and slide and in the kiddie pool.  We just try to put them in the shade so the boys don't get sunburned.  One afternoon I had the boys swimsuits and Owen's swim diaper on the couch to get them ready.  I left the room for a minute, and when I came back Jack was helping Owen get dressed…so sweet.
Both boys love to antagonize each other, and these water guns are one way that they do that.
Sometimes their playful banter with one another gets a little to aggressive.  Here's Jack in time out for doing something to Owen.  It's hard to remember exactly what he did since they're always pushing on each other :).  I thought he was cute looking all grumpy for being in trouble.
When it's too hot to be outside but we want to get out of the house, we usually end up at the aquarium.  This particular day we went for the otter and beaver feeding times.
We also always have our errands to run.  It's still a little bit of a challenge managing all three together out at stores.  We always have to find the biggest cart if I want to have everyone strapped in.  Mary usually ends up laying on her stomach in the seat trying to escape, and the boys like to hit each other and try to jump out once boredom strikes.
Since we spend so much time at our house, Jonathan found this air hockey table that you can flip over into a pool table on Craigslist for $25.   Owen doesn't really understand it yet, but I've had some really good matches with Jack.  He's a pretty good shot.
We usually celebrate the end of a great day with some sort of treat.  The boys loved these ice cream bars.
The most recent project at our house has been redoing the landscaping in front of the house.  Jonathan has put in a lot of hours on the weekend and after work digging out all of the old landscaping, getting all the tools and materials, and planting everything.  He has done a really great job getting the boys involved in the project and letting them get their hands dirty.  On the first day of work, the boys took a break for a little picnic by the front door to regain their energy.
Both boys went to the nursery to help Jonathan pick up plants, new soil, tools, etc., and they got their little shovels and rakes out to help with the planting.
Last night they helped with spreading out the wood chips around all of the plants.
Now each night after Jonathan gets home from work they go out to water the plants with him.  I think it's been a really fun experience for them, and they are definitely worn out after working outside.  Owen willingly goes up for naps after spending a few hours working outside.

I love hanging out with our three little people.  They have their moments where they don't get along or Owen gets upset that Mary tries to grab his toy, but they are so silly together and keep each other busy and laughing.  I took a group picture after Mary's 11-month photo.
I love this picture, because it really does depict each of their individual personalities so well.  Jack is always being silly making weird faces and sounds and is kind of theatrical.  Owen is usually taking a stand about something and is kind of a moody 2-year old.  We say he's sour but sweet like the Sour Patch Kid commercial, because he'll be telling you not to talk to him one minute and turn around the next saying he loves you and you're his best friend.  Mary is just kind of happy-go-lucky smiling and hanging out along for the ride.
Jack starts school 5 full days a week in 2.5 weeks, so we're enjoying the last days of our flexible schedule together.       

Mary's 11-Month Update

Mary is 11-months old today, and the boys are getting pretty excited that she is going to be 1 soon instead of 0 (as Jack puts it).  The countdown begins to the next family birthday party!  Here is her monthly photo:
The week of July 6th Mary pulled up to stand in her crib for the first time.  I can't remember the exact day it was, but it was right after she turned 10-months.  She hasn't done it since, and she will only pull up holding our hands.  It's kind of a trend with Mary that she'll meet a milestone one time and then not do it again for a while.  She rolled over for the first time when she was 4-months old, for example, and she didn't do it again until she was 8-months.  She just kind of hangs out and plays.  In the picture below she pulled up on Jack's hands and then just stood there 'talking' with him.
Mary finally started commando crawling forward on July 20th.  On occasion she'll get up on her knees, but the commando crawl is her quickest mode of transportation at this point.  She'll come find me in the kitchen, and sometimes she'll head down the hallway toward the play room on her own.
Mary wants to walk so badly, but I think it's still going to be a while.  She can stand up holding onto only one of my hands and is pretty stable.  If you hold both of her hands she'll take 4-5 steps.  She gets so excited about it, but she's still pretty wobbly.  She's taken an interest in the walker, but she usually pushes it out in front of her faster than her feet can keep up and she falls.
Mary loves to dance, and when a song comes on with a good beat her body just starts moving.  She likes to link her hands together and put her arms over her head to dance.  She also loves to play peek-a-boo, and she's super cute when she plays.  She only covers one of her eyes and giggles like she's sneaky.  Then she brings her hand down quickly and starts laughing.
When we're outside Mary hangs out on the side playing with her toys.  One day I zipped her up inside the trampoline while the boys were on the slip and slide, and she had a great time.  It was like a make-shift playpen.  
I usually take a bath with Mary if she's in the big tub so she doesn't slip or fall over.  The boys are much too rough for her to join them in the bath.  This is the first time I put her in the tub by herself.  She was a little bit confused by it.
When the boys are napping/having quiet time and Mary's awake I can usually get things done by giving her a few toys next to me.  I was on the computer trying to pay some bills one afternoon, and she kept trying to hit the buttons so I gave her the toy computer.  She sat next to me the whole time pressing her own computer buttons happy as can be.
We went to our neighborhood splash pad on Monday, and we put Mary in her swimsuit to splash in the puddles.  She had a great time getting lightly sprayed and sitting in the water.
I can't believe how quickly Mary's first year is passing by.  I'm looking forward to celebrating her first birthday next month!