Sunday, August 22, 2010

Half-pint and Quarter-pint Have A Great Summer...

Now that we're getting into the school year routine, I should probably catch up on summer vacation posts. It's easier just to hit some of the highlights in one post rather than a bunch, so here's our summer in a nutshell!
In June we headed back to Southern California with the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents on Daddy's side. We spent a week enjoying the weather and attractions. It was a great time!

The boys were especially excited about Disneyland since they remembered it from last year. Half-pint loved the Peter Pan ride (it was closed last year, so he was thrilled to get to "fly" this year!) And this year was different than last is several ways; Half-pint was big enough to ride MOST of the rides, and Mom, expecting #3, wasn't able to ride very many. So we often split up...Half-pint and Daddy, Quarter-pint and Mom. (The doctor said that was a pretty good gauge of what I should do...if Quarter-pint could do it, so could I-minus the mini bumper cars.) There were a few rides Quarter-pint could ride that Mom could not, so I got a little breather while Daddy took both boys. The boys LOVED driving the "real cars"; with Half-pint an excellent driver while Quarter-pint (by his own admission) was not. Half-pint also enjoyed meeting the life-sized characters, and Quarter-pint was still a little scared of them.

This summer we also spent time on the boat, with Daddy water-skiing with friends, and in the mountains. The boys and Daddy took the bike and trailer out and rode DOWN a bike trail on a mountain pass. Daddy thought it was great...coasting most of the way. Mom got to ferry the car and read a book while I waited for them to come down.

We also spent some time just about everyday at the pool-mostly for swim lessons (which Quarter-pint got to take this summer) and both boys are still looking bleached and bronzed.

(Quarter-pint nose to nose with a Komodo Dragon)
Summer wouldn't be complete without trips to the zoo with cousins, aunts and Grandma. We made sure to get a least a few zoo days in.

We also filled the lazy days of summer with various day trips to local attractions (Quarter-pint even rode a horse!) and movie matinees and fun restaurants...just because. The boys new favorite is "Red, Red Robin". I think it's the endless steak fries and ranch. What boys doesn't like that?

Friday, August 20, 2010

_____-pint Needs A Screen Name...

So, our little one is supposed to arrive in the upcoming weeks, and I'm working like crazy to get various projects finished before he makes his debut. One thing I'm having a little trouble with is a screen name for this new addition. I have an idea, but I'm open to suggestions.
Do any of you have a great ___-pint screen name idea?
Please let me know if you do!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quarter-pint Goes to Preschool...

I can't believe Quarter-pint is big enough to go to preschool! Although, he's been a little turkey of late, so part of me is really excited Quarter-pint is going to preschool!

The morning was a little harried, as Mom woke up late (due to a bad night the night before) and Daddy didn't realize what time everyone needed to be ready to go. After rushing around getting the boys dressed, and dragging Half-pint away from his computer games, Daddy ran out the door with Half-pint. They were headed to the bus stop, while Quarter-pint was desperately trying to find his shoes so he could go with them. Poor little guy looked in the box of shoes (where they should have been), but couldn't find them because he'd left them in the car... and by the time I explained that to him, the car was backing out the driveway and headed down the street.

Quarter-pint was crushed that he didn't get to go take Half-pint to school (they missed the bus and Daddy had to take him all the way). It's the first day he hasn't gone. He moped around and cried a little in my lap until Daddy came home with my car, so Quarter-pint and I could head out the door ourselves.

Quarter-pint's mood improved dramatically when he found his brother's leapster in the car and played it the entire five minute drive to preschool. He insisted in bringing it in to show his teacher (I did not point out that we bought it from his teacher...didn't want to ruin his mood). By the time we arrived, he was happy and ready to race in the door and begin the day.

I was a little nervous about it because he's not 100% potty trained yet (but making huge progress), and because he's been telling me that "me no like brother's friends", of which there are several at preschool again this year.

Overall, the morning at preschool went very well, with only one potty accident and a happy Quarter-pint in the end. I know it will only get better for him. He left feeling like a big kid...ready to conquer the world.

As for me, no crying when I dropped him off. I throughly enjoyed the quiet houses and got a good amount done while the boys were off at their respective schools. Half-pint's short half-day came to an end a little before I was ready to pick him up, but it was wonderful to get a smidgen of time with just him before we picked up his little brother.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quarter-pint Gets Sassy...

Tonight, Quarter-pint came into the family room while I was making dinner. He had a mean face on, and demanded I change the TV channel. He DID NOT want to watch the news. I ignored his demand for a few minutes until he started to get sassy...
"Mom! Change channel NOW, me no want news, me want cartoons!"

"No" was my calm reply. Then he let me have it...

"Change channel now, NO news! Go to time out-sit on you bed!!!"

I did NOT change the channel, but instead tickled him until dinner was ready.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Half-pint Rides the Bus...

Half-pint did great this past week at school. He was really excited to ride the bus this year. The school didn't want the kindergartners to ride the bus the first day, but wanted the parents to bring them into their classroom. And the second day I wanted to take him because he was NOT going straight to his classroom, and I wanted to make sure he knew where he was supposed to go before he had to do it himself. The third day we just didn't get ready in enough time to ride the bus; but Half-pint was up early on the fourth day. An hour before we had to leave, he was getting himself breakfast, and getting himself dressed. He was pretty motivated to be ready on time to take the bus. I was a little nervous simply because I knew he didn't know anyone on his bus. We talked about what he was supposed to do when he got to school and what door he was supposed to go in. He couldn't wait for the new freedom. He did want me to drive him to the bus stop (it's about 2 blocks), but I was happy to do that, since it seems whenever we're in a hurry, little legs just seem to walk slower and I did not want to carry Quarter-pint the whole way.

We were early (since we drove) so when the bus finally arrived, Half-pint gave me a hug and marched on, finding a seat so he could see us out the window. Quarter-pint and I waited until the bus was off to the next stop and then loaded into the car and "ran an errand" to return a DVD (we really did return an overdue DVD-and Half-pint DOESN'T know we followed him). Really, I just wanted to make sure he did okay when he got off the bus. We were a few minutes behind the bus, but took a shortcut and got to school a few minutes before the bus did. He looked so big walking into school all by himself! I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to let him ride the bus that first day...almost as bad as the first day of school. (The second day of school was MUCH easier). I was a little anxious to pick him up after school to get a report of the bus ride. He was excited about it, but a little sad when no one sat by him (I really don't think the bus is even very full). So, Half-pint has been riding the bus the rest of the week. A girl sat by him yesterday, and that made him happy. On Friday morning, he was so anxious to get on the bus, I had to remind him to give me a hug!

When I picked him up on Friday, he got into the car and said "I need a school break! It's hard to go everyday!" He was relieved when I told him it was Friday and he gets two days break until Monday when he goes back. I realized he's not used to going everyday and he has been a little tired this week. Poor kid! (And NO, I haven't followed the school bus since that first bus ride...he's a champ and knows what to do when he gets to school.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Half-pint's Butterflies...

Half-pint was really excited to open a birthday present (yes, back in January). It turned out to be the favorite present...a butterfly nursery. He bugged me and bugged me for weeks and months to send in the postcard to get live caterpillars sent to him in the mail. I patiently explained to him that it was the dead of winter and not a good time to get live insects in the mail, or to have them morph at our house. We needed to wait until it was warmer outside. Every nice day we had between January and April he was bugging me about it. Well, he eventually sort of forgot about it all, and so did I, until one day he found the box again and pulled out the order card. We were back from summer vacation and just hanging around for a few weeks (which they say is the best time to do it...when you're around and not super busy for a few weeks), so I filled it out and mailed it in.

The live insects arrived one hot summer day and we promptly opened the box to find two jars of hungry, wiggly caterpillars. We watched them for a little bit, then placed them on the kitchen counter (out of direct sunlight, so they don't over heat and cook in their plastic jars). Honestly I was a little grossed out to have the live insects in my kitchen, but I couldn't think of another place where they would be safe from bumping, etc. and still accessible to look at (and out of direct sunlight).

According to the paperwork that came with the live insects, the entire metamorphosis should take a good 2-3 weeks, with 7-10 days in between each major change. The caterpillars eat the provided food in the bottom of their jar, then attach themselves to the paper disk on the jar lid where they build their chrysalis. Then you gently remove the paper disk and place it into the netted "nursery" and allow them to emerge (7-10 days later) as beautiful painted Lady Butterflies.

Well, in just a couple of days those little suckers were attached to the top of the jar and I didn't get them moved quickly enough into the nursery. One day (the morning of the day I was going to move them, just right after we got a few other things taken care of first-like swim lessons) Half-pint took a look into the jars and one of the butterflies was just beginning to emerge! We had to act fast to get them into the nursery before they all (5 in each jar) emerged and ran out of room.
We had to run off to swim lessons-before we left 2 butterflies were "hatched", by the time we got back (45 minutes later) 9 had wings open. It was amazing to watch. We kept them on the kitchen counter for about 5 days before Half-pint decided it was time to let them go outside.

One evening as we waited for dinner to finish cooking, we took the butterfly nursery outside and opened it up and watched as they slowly left one by one for the big wide expanses of the great outdoors.

The entire process was actually pretty amazing, and the boys were especially enthralled. I would highly recommend this for anyone with preschool/young school aged kids. Both Half-pint and Quarter-pint checked on the insects every day to watch the progress and enjoy the beautiful butterflies. They couldn't wait to show anyone that came to the house. It was a lot of fun for all of us (even though the entire process took just about 1.5 weeks-MUCH faster than I expected)-it was AWESOME!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Quarter-pint!!!

We've been celebrating Quarter-pint's birthday on and off for about two weeks, depending on what family has been in town, and when we've already planned to get together. I'm not sure he actually knows when his birthday is. We had a family party with Daddy's side of the family, and then one with Mommy's side (while Aunt C 4 was in town). We went to Build-A-Bear with Grandma K a couple of days before his birthday, and then one the actual day, he had a few more presents to open and got a little bit of cake right before bed. Miss A, his speech therapist got to come one last time the day before his birthday and brought a ballon bouquet. He was thrilled!!! I'm really sad he's outgrown his speech program with Miss A. She was wonderful! We're really going to miss having her come every week. Now that Quarter-pint is 3, he will begin a group speech therapy.

Quarter-pint has been an absolute delight to have around. I really enjoyed the one-on-one time I had with him this last school year while Half-pint was at preschool. The last 2 weeks or so have been a different story though. Quarter-pint has officially entered the "terrible threes". So much worse than the twos!!! Between all the changes he has coming up (brother going to school every day, Quarter-pint starting preschool, the new baby, changing speech therapy teachers/format/routine, changing bed rooms and moving out of the crib-finally- and potty training) he has a lot to assimilate. What a crazy couple of months for this kid! I will be glad when preschool begins in a week or so (he's only going 2 days a week, so I'll still get some good one-on-one time-at least until the baby comes)!

Despite all the life he crams into his day, he is a great kid and we can't imagine a day without him. Quarter-pint is quite the kid. He's cute, sassy, funny, compassionate, opportunistic, clever, daring, lovable, and stubborn. He adores his big brother and Daddy and he loves me too. He likes to do things his way and has an iron will. He can be very cooperative at times (when he wants to be) and doesn't seem to be too fazed by bribery (very much unlike his brother). Quarter-pint is adorable and blatantly naughty. He is endearing and precious. We love you Quarter-pint!!! Happy 3rd Birthday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Half-pint Goes to School...

Friday was Half-pint's first day of kindergarden. I can't believe my little guy is going to the "big kid school"!!! We dropped in on Wednesday and had his school photo taken, and then Half-pint and I went yesterday to meet his teacher and for him to get a look around the classroom. We also dropped off all the school supplies while we were there yesterday. This morning, Half-pint was rearing to go...he was really excited to wear his new outfit and pack his backpack (he only needed to bring a snack today). We combed his crazy hair and made sure he wore his tennis shoes (since we knew he was going to have gym today). Then we took some photos and headed out the door! We had instructions for parents to walk their kindergardeners into the classroom, help them hang up backpacks, and put on a name tag...then it's a kiss, hug and parents out the door.

I had my main Mommy freak out around his birthday in January; so I thought I would be fine today. I was doing great, until as we were almost to the front door (the farthest door from where we could park) when Half-pint in one hand, and Quarter-pint in the other; Half-pint says quietly "Mom, I'm scared." That was it for me. The tears began to well up behind my sunglasses. I could only squeeze his little hand a few times, and then squeak out "It's going to be so fun! You're going to be fine." The tears began to flow a little bit as I gave him a hug in the classroom. All the kids looked really somber sitting on the alphabet rug waiting for class to begin, as parents filed in and then quickly out. When Quarter-pint and I got to the hall, just past the classroom door, I pickup up Quarter-pint and nearly lost it completely. I couldn't wait to get back to my car so I could just get all the tears over with and get on with my day. But, as we were walking to the car, Quarter-pint and I began to discuss the remaining time while Half-pint was at school. We needed to go to the library (after a great book gathering at home), and I had a doctor appointment. The tears never flowed once we got to the car. I hope Monday is easier!

When we got back to school, Half-pint and his class were already outside. I gave him a hug and the first thing out of his mouth was "I love it!!!" That was all the info I got until after dinner when he started volunteering "At gym, we played Simon Says-with standing on colors and I wasn't very good. The first time was slow, then it got faster and the last time the Gym Guy (gym teacher) won---he wasn't supposed to win!" And "In art, it was fun, she made some play dough last night." He was a champ and is excited to go back. We are proud of him! Happy First Day of School, Half-pint!!!