Thursday, December 29, 2011

Closing the year..

I'd like to tell you I will post again this year, but honestly - I'm not sure.

We've loved my vacation. What's not to love about spending days preceeding Christmas in our favorite hotel of all times when we visit Disney! J loved Mickey's Christmas party & the added bonus of both grandparents joining us in Orlando to share in this trip for him... Such a wonderful treat!

With this trip came J making his first real wish. We were waiting for the Small World ride & Matt gave J a penny to toss in the water. He thought it was great & wanted to do it again, so I explained the ideas of wishing wells. Well this little guy surprised me! He held onto that penny & thought for the longest time. As we were finally getting to the start of the line he pulled on my shirt & had the best smile. "Mommy I made my wish!". Of course, I had to know what it was...

All I will say, as Mr. M said, a wish is to be private, it was thoughtful & earnest & totally heart breaking. I can honestly say my first thought when he concluded by saying "Love Jacob" was your wish is my prayer.

Right after returning Christmas was upon us, followed by post vacation catchup... 8 loads of laundry Monday. Tuesday we spent doing Holiday pictures postponed due to his nose/pink eye/sinus infection nonsense. Today was spent enjoying friendships & with plans to repeat more of that tomorrow...

So, yes I will wish a Happy New Year now & go back to my savoring of these next few days.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

a boy & a box

and the magic an imagination can bring
 J has had more fun with this box
than any toy we've bought him
and I love it for him

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Advent Time!

J & I have had so much fun this year celebrating Advent!  We've found a church we ADORE!  And so many fun Christian books, celebrating Jesus' birth in addition to Santa & J's favorite Elf "Chiminey". 

I'm spelling Chimney the way J is saying, because I think it is so sweet.

First up... The wonderful Advent Calendar my boss gave J this year.  She is so generous in sharing in J's celebrations, that when she gave this to me early this year, I was so touched.  It came with a wonderful selection of ideas on things to do with it...

Unfortunately, most of those have gone the wayside this year, but next year, I can plan for them & I'm so looking forward to it!

This year, I filled each cubby with an array of treats... From the Mott's Fruit Snacks to ornaments for our tree to Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips... I even caved and stuck in a few PEZ delights, much to J's complete & utter joy.
Miss Kathy also gave J a simple chocolate filled Disney version... So we start each night with a piece of chocolate, in celebration of our upcoming Disney visit.  Then we move to the big Advent house that is positioned just in front of our tree, so J can sit & stare at it for hours, in hopes that the day will pass more quickly until he can uncover his next treasure...

Then, while J is enjoying his treats, we sit and read from a Gospel to follow the Advent message.  We spend time discussing what the Gospel is saying, and how it relates to our real life. 
I've loved sharing the verses that always had such an impact on me... Some nights, I think J is absorbing it... The message on how widow gave so little, but so much in comparison to what she has, I was able to relate it well for J... The verse John 3:16, yeah, that night - I think I lost him to "what can we do next mommy?"

Sigh... At least I can say we are trying...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

1st things first... The broken nose...

The start to my recent chaos...

On December 1st, my plan for Advent came to me... We would read Bible verses that go with Advent together each night as we did the Advent calendar. 

So I raced out of work to hit the local Christian book store to get J a children's Bible.  I was so excited, that when I received a text from Miss Cheryl with the below picture, I didn't flinch.

J falls.  He cries.  It happens.  He is a boy.

And let's face it, I've been warning him for a week (or possibly more) that he needed to sit still in his big boy chair or he was going to get hurt.
He proved me right...  He was bouncing around like a child with 'ants in his pants' and fell right out of his child, we believe he caught his nose on the way down on the actual table.  Needless to say, many tears were had..

But he was not in so much pain that Miss Cheryl couldn't pull him out by saying "now if Mommy was here what would she tell you?"

J, sniffle, "That I have to be careful & pay attention"

By the time I got home, he was all bathed & smiles, ready to start his Advent calendar activities...

His nose, however, had started swelling already... 
By morning, it was obviously broken.  Even his teacher, Mrs. Bach, said when I picked him up to take him to the Dr that it was obviously broken...

So yes, it is official... First broken bone, truly mostly just soft cartilage, is this boy's nose.
That smile?  Yeah, that would be his happiness after learning Mommy wasn't going back to work.  Love him!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How does one take down a blog???

Fairly simply...

One's 3 year old breaks his nose.

Then, said child, develops pink eye & a sinus infection on the day close starts.

Then Mommy promptly falls victim to the sinus virus plague going around, bringing Daddy down with her...

And that would be my past two weeks.

If you add in a monthly close, forecast & finalization of the budget into the mix...

Counting the days till vacation for two weeks.

Counting. Counting. Counting.

As I said to J this morning... We are down to 2 ups.

But those will be with Daddy traveling to Vegas for the Honda CRV launch, so two days of just us.  Three days, two nights.  Then I will not walk through the doors of work until the New Year, and J will not go to school.

We are both so excited.

But first...

Plague - please leave...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Where is our Elf?

Currently we are playing - Where or where is Mr. Elf?
When he first arrived, he was in our tree, then he moved to our mantle to eat a candy cane (much to J's dismay), then he was into our cabinet to raid J's jelly beans (this may or may not have brought tears), then he got daring & hung out at J's level for a day, but by the next he was safely hanging from our dining light fixture...

It's so funny, when Mr. Elf is down low, J is very careful to tell me not to get to close because we can NEVER touch him.  He'll lose his magic & he won't be able to fly back to Santa & that will be soooo sad.

And the reason I'm calling him Mr. Elf is we are currently wavering on his name.  I'm thinking we may end up calling him Chiminey Pepper.

J really likes both names, but isn't sure - so I figured if we combine them, he'll be overly delighted.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's cold, but we are ready...

Snow flurries were flying Monday.  Yesterday it was 40's, but by Sunday we are supposed to be in the 30's with slush.

But J is ready!  He is so proud of his yellow coat he picked out personally.  He loves his matching hat & gloves, however, Mommy is cruelly acknowledging they will get lost if he takes them to school - so I'm saving all this cuteness for the weekends, favoring his cheap mittens & hat for everyday at school.  J is thankfully cool with it, since he loves him some Peanuts gang...   His school plays outside for recess as long as it is over 20 degrees.

He is so anxious to start wearing his boots to school, so he is ready for the snow.  Which, I have to be honest, makes me ready for it as well. 

Please ignore the empty pool behind J.  We have finally figured out what caused the leak, the seam cracked.  After a failed patch session, I learned seams cannot be patched.  :(  We knew we had to get a new liner, but at this point in the year, getting a new one only means, we will repeat the process in May when it warms up, as they cannot properly stretch the liner in our current temperatures. 

My Dad has given us a great idea as a quick fix for this winter, and we will be trying it, with the pool stores blessing, but we also know - if it fails, we will most likely be paying for two liners & installs.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Future Rockstar!

If you are my FB friend, you have seen the adorable video I took of J & our neighbor Skye rocking out the iCarly theme song. 

J has never seen the show, but Matt had the song on his iPod & J LOVES it.  He always asks for the "I know you see" song.  It took me the longest to figure out what the heck he meant.  It was only through chance I heard it on my iPhone this summer & it dawned on me this was what J meant.  He promptly confirmed, I was correct.
But rocking out on his own, is just fine by J as well.  Especially when he has an audience beyond the boy in the mirror of his closet doors.  This was taken with Skye looking at J in awe of what he was doing... It is so hard to be a whole year and half younger when the eldest is only 3.5 years old.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Mr. M's boss graciously gave us 4 tickets to Barnum & Bailey Circus on Nov 17th.  We were so honored, as they were center ring, only 13 rows up.  It was perfect viewing for a small guy who LOVES the circus. 

Since Daddy had to work and could not join us, we asked Grandma & Grandpa M to join us for the show.  The happily agreed!  We had such a great time!
 And Grandpa got J his desired treat for the night.  He has had so much fun with this around the house. 
I had to take a picture of the tigers, as they were so neat & one of the animals J was so happy to be seeing that night.

His other all time favorite was elephants, but we were too busy laughing at their potty party fouls to actually take pictures.  J was too funny, as he picked up on what I was calling party foul doing his "Party Foul - STINKY POO POO!" waving his hand in front of his nose, even though we honestly did not smell anything, he still had us in stitches

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Ugh, I'm so bummed, we still have not fixed our computer since the epic water spill... But, I wanted to get some pix's posted of Halloween, so I've resolved myself - iPhone pictures will have to make the cake for now...

Night before school party, mommy decided it was time to make sure the costume fit... It was a size 6, but it fit perfectly. 
 We used the boots from the costume for actual Trick or Treating, as they fit over his sneakers & I thought those would be more comfortable for walking our neighborhood with Grandma M & Aunt Liz (plus our neighbors)...

J has since scored a pair of Woody *true* cowboy boots to wear all over our home... :)  Love him!
 And by walk around our neighborhood, I really mean run.  As with the previous year, I only had him do our street both sides, I did expand up one street, then we came home to refill the bowl left on our porch & hand out candy.  I love that he prefers to hand out candy as to receive loads of it.
Especially since I've become a mean mom who slowly doles out real candy...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Family Time

Over Thanksgiving we went to see my brother & his family...

Love these kiddos...
unpictured is an adorable little chunk of a boy - Caleb...
by the time we see him again, he'll be running with these older kiddos.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit from the Elf...

Earlier this fall, J lost several toys & his coveted blue plaid puppy sleeping bag to a Love & Logic learning lesson about picking up his toys.  I'm happy to report, J has worked very hard to earn them back, which we said - he could possibly do... He'd have to ask Santa for them, as only Santa would have the power to replace his old toys with brand new versions of the ones he lost for the little boy who was in need of them toys.  While he really wanted his toys back, he said he doesn't want to take them from the little boy who doesn't have all that he has, but if Santa could replace them, then yes, he really wanted his toys & most importantly his sleeping bag back.

We've had this discussion often.

Fast forward, Cousin Camryn really wants to have a "sleepover" while we are visiting them before Thanksgiving.  This is the letter Aunt Kristi found on her front porch this morning, along with J's sleeping bag.

He truly couldn't be happier.

Mommy may have been shocked to learn, our Elf named himself this year... Thank you to my dear boss for the help & the creativity...

Dearest Jacob –

Santa heard through his vast network, that you would be in need of your sleeping bag this weekend with your cousins; Camryn, Mallory & Baby Caleb.

He is very proud of your generous heart in helping mommy shop for the soldiers and the Humane Society. I’m sure those soldiers will be very thankful for the green soap and fiber bars you selected, and I know the animals are very thankful for your kindness that has given them full tummies and clean potty boxes.

During this Christmas season, Santa and all of his Elves hope you will continue to think of those who are less fortunate than you. We hope you will continue to grow your generous heart in the name of our Lord God.

I’m looking forward to joining you in your home shortly, but remember you must NEVER touch me.

With Love,

Your Secret Elf


Luke 2:13-14

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FRA - Stamp Pads

This is a new way to finger paint.  The kids are given general ideas of what they picture should look like, then they get to choose exactly how to decorate it.  Creativity with guidance. 

J loves these stamp pads.  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FRA - Sensory Table

I'm amazed at how often this changes, but each and every time the kids love it.  Digging their fingers in the different textures to find various treasures. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

FRA - Recess

I have Halloween pictures to upload, but we a minor accident... J spilled water all over Mr. M's computer - the desktop.  The computer I chose to link my camera up with, since I generally use my laptop & I've lost a few hard drives this year.  Sigh.  Obviously I am not downloading anything to that until everything has a chance to dry & for us to fully assess the damage... In the meantime, we can continue to enjoy FRA pictures... 

Recess was my favorite time of the day when I was in school... 
J seems to be loving it as well.  Although, I do have to admit, he talks a lot more about what he learned (or is learning) than about playing outside.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Snack Days... Snack Days...

During Parent's Orientation, I learned the 'healthy prepared snack' J would receive each day is lovingly prepared by us - the parents.

Yeah, did not see that one & being totally honest, it threw this working mom for a loop or two.

Mr. M suggested I grab 5 Monday's in the fall and just be done with our piece, until J's birthday, which will be our last day to do snack.  Seizing on what I thought was a fabulous idea, I signed up for each Monday in October and the first Monday in November.  Little did I know what horror I was in store for with work in November or that I would be making homemade play-doh for J's Halloween party at school.  Needless to say, October was torturous.

What was not torturous, was preparing his snacks.  Okay, so once I decided on what to supply, it has been fairly easy.

The rules were simple: healthy, enough for 26 children & containing no chocolate, #9 red or peanuts.

wk 1 - Scooby Graham Snacks with organic apple slices & water

wk 2 - Fruit Kabobs (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries & pepperoni & cheese) & water

wk 3 - Grapes, cheese sticks & organic Horizon milk

wk 4 - Yo-kids organic yogurt with Go-Squeeze applesauce & water

wk 5 - will be...Mott's Medley's Fruit Snacks, organic apple slices & organic Horizon milk So far J's been happy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FRA - Woodshop

In case I haven't mentioned it, part of why I fell in love with FRA was the simple fact they have a woodshop.  Woodshop for all kids, not just the never going to be a college student kids, but all kids to help them understand math concepts by putting them to practical use. 

They started by reading a book about working around tools, covering the basics on safety.  Then they started showing simple tools.  In recent pictures, I saw the kiddos using sandpaper on wood. 
Mr. M & I love how J is bringing this home & telling us what he *needs* for his tool bench.
I'm excited to see what project his class works on in the Spring.  His creativity is growing leaps & bound right now & I can only imagine how much fun it is for him to incorporate what his mind can imagine with what he is learning every day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So behind...

I am so far behind... I have some old FRA pictures to share, and Halloween.  On Facebook, I posted a video of J & Miss Skye singing and rocking it out during the day.  What a fun day that was for us!  J was on Fall Break, and I took a much needed vacation day.  Miss Wendy let us watch Skye while she ran to the grocery store, and we delighted in having another little one around.  J surprised me in how much he has grown, even delighted in sharing his toys.  He is pretty protective of Woody & Buzz, but was great at sharing the rest of his toys.

We, and by we, I mean his wonderful teachers at FRA, are working on breaking the thumb... He has made it to 4 days, but then I think my work schedule got the best of him, as he had a first ever epic meltdown at school.  Mrs. Bach said she was able to experience the side I discussed in Love & Logic classes, that she could just not imagine.  We have a reward system in place for meeting 5 days, then a month.  Once we hit a month at school, we'll start working on home.

That said, J is responding very well to Love & Logic at home, and he is learning to put himself to sleep all on his own.  He does better, if I'm there, but even then I can set a timer & he will wait till the last fifteen minutes, but man - last night I gave him a fifteen minute warning.  Matt came in nine, repeat nine minutes later to talk to me & J was knocked out.  Reminding me, he can put himself to sleep when necessary.  And time-outs are becoming very routine.  J knows what they mean, he has clear understanding of our expectations, and he is learning the consistency of routine to help him manage his own behavior.

He still very much needs his naps, and pays the following day when he doesn't get one.  I think this may be tied to his recent growth spurt.  I realized his uniform size 4 dress pants are a tad short and I need to adjust the head guard on his five-point booster seat.  But this did make for a fun conversation when discussing the Holidays with Mr. M...  Yes, I am making the choice to make time for J to have time to nap, and that is what it is - a choice.  I can either push him to his limits, then pay for it with meltdowns when he is over taxed OR I can be proactive & loving (Love & Logic moment here) using my power as his parent to provide him the downtime to have the nap I know he needs, which will prolong his/our fun and enjoyment overall.

Oh yeah, one last point...

If you hear Mommy gave away his sleeping bag & monkey game, please know I did not.

I made a point & unfortunately these things were caught up in his items of “Things left on the floor” after being warned. So I had him get a trash bag for me & we bagged everything together. When he realized I was serious he flipped out, but has been very good at picking up his stuff since. I’ve told him it went to a little boy who doesn’t have as many toys as J does & when asked “would pick up his toys off the floor”.

He keeps asking for it, and my response is “You’ll have to ask Santa to bring the little boy using your toys new versions of your toys, so then you can have your old stuff back.”

My plan is for him to be really good between now & the week of Thanksgiving. Then we will, with ‘him’ taking the lead, go buy food donations for the food bank. Then on the day after Thanksgiving, when our tree is out, and our Elf reappears Friday overnight, we will leave him a letter so that Santa can send them back early… via the Elf.

He is getting into a show offy stage (Matt & I’m thinking this is the downside of school), so we want to teach him how not everyone has what he has, or is getting to go to Disney World, so it isn’t nice to tell everyone. And I’m hoping by our doing community service stuff (like the food drive) that it will help him grasp the concept. I want him to help me pick out toys for a toy drive at Christmas as well.

He did awesome helping me buy supplies for the Shoebox for Soldiers campaign and the Humane Society.  He doesn't quite grasp the concept of Soldiers, but he does know Grandpa P is a retired one, and that he'd think it was awesome to receive a box of goodies & soap, so J had the best time picking out the green Dove soap for the soldiers and Gatorade drink mixes.  Watching his wheels turn on how we were buying things, but he couldn't have them because they were going to the Soldiers was just awesome.  The Humane Society is the Young Scholars class service project this year.  J was able to better understand we are feeding cats and dogs that do not have a home like Payton, so we are helping to feed those animals.  He did promptly tell Grandma P that she needed to adopt a dog.

Speaking of Grandma P - last thing.  J is loving him some Facetime on the iPhone.  Best.thing.ever!  As long as both Grandma & I are home when we call each other, J gets to see Grandma while talking.  He LOVES this!  He is looking forward to Grandpa joining Grandma in Florida so he can see them both!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I see the light...

Come Tuesday, we will submit our 2012 business plan & I will be done with my obnoxious work hours.  At least until the next forecast, but that is limited to 1 day, not the entire month as I've recently experienced.

J will get back more mommy time & mommy will get back more mommy time.  The upside of all this is Miss Cheryl has had more than a few opportunities to set a firm routine with little man.  A routine, that I then get to build upon when it is just me & him. 

Mr. M is still not a huge fan of routines & following schedules, but I'm hoping he'll get on board as J gets his groove.

Right now... Right now Miss Cheryl & Mommy are mean & he wants Daddy.

And that is just so sad...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1st Report Card

How is it that my child is already receiving report cards? I have to admit this caught my breath & put Mr. M on his heels when I met him with it tonight to review.

Overall J is doing very well. He is well liked, participates in all activities, seeks to include others & is very well mannered. He does have some room to develop with scissor usage & math sequencing, neither of which I'm worried about at his age.

I'm sure all moms are thrilled to read when their child is doing well, but for me this is a tangible reminder J is not suffering with my working. He is thriving. And that warms this working mommy's heart on the heels of some bad Q3/business planning weeks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yikes - Business Plan

It tis the season... October brings long days and even longer weeks, as the work days stretch into the weekends.

The upside for J is he gets time with his grandparents.  Grandma M pinch hit for Mommy this past Saturday, as J had his soccer team picture, followed by a game.

Southlake YMCA - Dynamo (orange) Toddler Team
Aunt Liz & Grandpa joined to sit in J's cheering section.  J must have told Mr. M & me a dozen and half times on Sunday about Grandma & Grandpa & Aunt Liz's visit... His delight was never ending...

Sadly, Sunday was rainy and cold so we had to postpone our trip to the Apple Orchard, but this weekend is looking better - so hopefully we can do it this weekend.  J is definitely looking forward to doing a family trip this year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

80 degree October Fall Weekend - Stealing Moments

Busy, busy weekend... Grandma & Grandpa P came in on Friday to spend the weekend.  Daddy left for Vegas on Saturday after work.  Soccer on Saturday. 

Grandpa P checked off his Daddy Do list for me... Pool is closed.  Furniture is stored.  Power washer is winterized. Check.Check.Check.

Grandma P helped mommy on Sunday make all the fruit kabobs for J's classroom for snack today.  Check.

And mommy got all the laundry done.

Play time in the sunny warm weather?  Loads of it...

We ended Saturday with a trip for ice cream.  We meant to hit Cold Stone, but the idea must have been pretty universal as the line was out the door.  As an alternative, we hit McDonald's.  J was pretty happy having a cone  Mommy stuck to her Coke Zero.
 The next morning, Grandpa took J to the park to play while Grandma & I were doing the kabobs.  This was a dirty, tired boy at nap time... So when Grandma & Grandpa left, J wanted to sleep in their bed.  I was good with it, as it'd keep his sheets clean.  :)  Grandma had already pulled the sheets & put the room back in order, so we compromised, & just slept on their couch with the blanket - since I need to launder it all up anyway...
Sadly we said our winter good-bye to Grandma, as she is heading to Marco on the 24th.  We'll miss you!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lazy Sunday's

While this week, we seem to be experiencing a warm trend, last Sunday it was just cool enough for the M family to desire a PJ day.  Matt & J have been fighting off colds, both with the help of antibiotics, and both seem to need another visit to the Dr.  :(

Normally J is ready to roll by 7AM, however, last Sunday he did not wake up until much closer to 8.  I had stayed up reading, so I wasn't quite ready & Mr. M was sawing more logs than the nearby forest has in it.  I was able to persuade J to let us just migrate to the couch, where mommy could grab another hour of snoozes courtesy of Sprout. (or as J would say...  

After that, we made eggs & had breakfast.  Matt finally joined us as we were finishing up our breakfast, so the boys rough housed downstairs while I did laundry & kitchen cleanup.  When I was done, I joined the boys to straighten up downstairs.

Once this was all done, we declared family nap time.
And what a blissful nap time it was.  The perfect pajama day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Y - Soccer

J is so excited for soccer this fall.  Matt has been working with him outside going around the house dribbling the ball, and he's been working downstairs with the net.

I'm not sure who was most excited for how well J did last Saturday.  J, me or Coach Chris (the YMCA program leader).  Coach Chris made the point to say to me how amazing the change is in just 6 months.  These kids grow & change so much it is mind blowing. 
 Notable improvement:  dribbling the ball (when no one was directly in front of him), stopping with his foot, instead of grabbing it with his hands & his two handed overhead throw to the team.
 He LOVED playing goalie this time & had a couple of really nice assists to his teammates.  He has a strong centered throw. 
I'm so happy he seems to be enjoying this more this season.  But I'd be lying if I didn't say... I'm still looking forward to basketball this winter... :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FRA - Show & Share + a J moment!

I have to start by sharing a recent J moment that happened last Thursday as I was driving J to school... We often say... Monkey see, Monkey do... Monkey says "I love you" and then rub noses when I buckle him into his car seat.  After this normal routine J hits me totally out of the blue...

J:  Mommy, we need to buy me a little brother or sister
Me:  (totally cheating) we do, do we?  Alrighty then.
J:  Yes, I think baby Caleb would be perfect to come live with us.
Me:  laugh (while thinking - I'm sure Aunt Kristi would love that)
J: Mommy, why are you laughing
Me: Cause you are adorable
Me: walking to the other side of the car bewildered
J:  I AM NOT A GIRL!!!!  Girls are adorable, so I cannot be adorable.
moment passes
J:  But Mommy, I am cute
Me:  Yes, J you are cute

Best way to start my day...

Young Scholars have show & share.  Girls have their day on Tuesday's and boys have their day on Thursday.

J looks forward to this every.single.week.  It is so funny.  We spend so much time planning out what he will take to share.  It is supposed to go with the theme of the week and / or color of the month. 

So week one, we geared all up.  J was taking Mac because Mac was red.  And who doesn't love cars. 

So how shocked was I when I got the pictures to see J's first Show & Share to be about Southpaw, who in person J is absolutely terrified of, but a backpack adornment, he won't be caught without...

Now J wants to take him EVERY week.  Mr. M & I have been strategic in removing him stealthy so J doesn't become distracted & talks about his topic relevant item...
Wk 2 was talking McQueen (red month) with Tractors (farm week) & last week was a magnet strawberry (red month & grocery week).  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FRA - Learning Languages

Neither Matt nor I excel at any languages outside of English.  In my defense, my high school Spanish teacher was so mean to me because she thought I was cheating my way through it like (ahem) Uncle Jeff did 4 years earlier.  I tried to explain, if I was cheating, wouldn't I have a better grade?  No dice.  Finally the principle stepped in & move me out of the class, as there were no other teachers.

Anyway, to avoid such fun for J, Matt & I were thrilled to have him start his additional language study this year.  He is not only getting Spanish, but Sign Language.  Mommy has already asked for Sign Language lessons, as one of his awesome before school teachers is deaf, and while she is an excellent lip reader, I would love to be able to communicate to her beyond saying the usual Hi, Bye, and Thank you.  Mrs Bach delighted me with the fact they are in fact developing a book to send home for parents to work on with their kiddos.  Maybe by next year, this can become a goal. 
 Spanish...  First, J has his teacher conned.  She has repeatedly told me what a pleasure he is to have in class & how good he is doing with picking up on Spanish.
 I think he just stole her heart the first week when he demonstrated his "Mr. Mom" mode of recent behavior & told everyone they *had* to wear their sombrero's or Dora would be mad.

As in Dora the Explorer...
 Love this kiddo!
And I hope he keeps his Spanish teacher's good side, as she is super sweet to always tell us how well behaved & good J is.  Actually, Matt & I keep hearing this over & over again from all his teachers.

And yes, that ends the mommy brag moment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FRA - Mini-Me

Let me start by saying the adorable teacher featured here is J's first crush.  He officially asked her to be his "date" for the bonfire.  They set the date for 4:45 to meet at the park.  When asked by another teacher if he had a corsage for Mrs. Sandoval, he promptly informed mom "we HAVE to go get one!"  As we were leaving school, J asked Mrs. Sandoval to ride with us "because Mommy has a spare seat belt in her car."

Yes, we all swooned over him, and he was left to look at us like we were all crazy.

When I saw the picture below, I saw me.  Anyone who knows me personally or has ever worked with me for any length of time, has seen this exact action commenced with exuberance & excitement over a job well done when I didn't think I could do something or it rather challenged me. 

I like to refer to them as light bulb moments of success.  Seeing J replicating it, well, that just does this momma's heart good.  Everyone needs to cheer their successes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

FRA - Meeting Farmers

As I mentioned, the week we visited Fair Oaks Farms, J's class learned about farms & farm animals. They rounded out their week actually meeting some real life farmers.

The kids were so delighted to have this experience.  As parents, we love that they had this experience.  
 Milking the 'cow'!
 Making butter!
J was so funny because this night he came home telling me how he'd made butter & I was so confused until I saw the picture & then it all became very clear.  This age is so neat because of how excited he is to do all these new things & then come back to communicate it all to me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Y - Soccer Fall 2011 Schedule

Mr. M & I signed J up for soccer at the Y this fall.  And I'm not sure who is more excited, J or me.

Here's his schedule of games:

10/1  - 11:30
10/8  - 12:30
10/15 - 11:30
10/22 - no game
10/29 - 8:30
11/5  - 12:30
11/12 - 9:30

We had the parent's meeting Wednesday night & very much looking forward to this season. 

That said, J is already looking towards basketball, which is next...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FRA - Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

The theme for the first week of school was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which I had never heard of before his first week.  Since then, I've actually run across the book at Target. 

They made coconut trees for snack time, using Cocoa Puffs as the coconuts.  Obivously, he was a happy boy to eat this snack!
 To use up the remaining Cocoa Puffs, the kids were asked to decorate a piece of paper with their tree, then glue on the Puffs.

J ate his instead.  In his defense, he said "They were good Mommy!"
 Since all kids like noise, they rounded out their first week making Shaka Shaka bottles. 
I do have to admit a mommy moment of guilt here... J's teacher requested we send in an empty water bottle for this activity.  Okay.  No problem.  I drink a liter of water every day at work, so I just sent in one of my empties.  Um, yeah, they gave him one.  His was too big to use & be like the rest of the class.  Sigh... I really did try.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FRA - Young Scholars - Story Time week 1

I'm not sure if I'll share all of these, but this first week left me laughing so hard, that I have to share...

Mrs. Bach, J's lead teacher, starts out a story about a particular topic & each child adds their own sentence to progress the story.

Story time: 9/9/11

Once upon a time it was a very rainy day and all of the Young Scholar Kids wanted to go out and play, however…….

Ella: The kids stayed inside and read stories.

Sofi: A ladybug crawled all over them.

Michael: The ladybug tickled us.

Jackson: Then it stopped raining.

Connor: It started raining again, so we had a snack.

Jasmine: We started to tell a story about it raining outside.

Carter: We played a cookie game next.

Angelo: The Young Scholars bumped their heads on the floor.

JoJo: We had to get icepacks for our heads.

Madison: it stopped raining and we went outside and it started raining all over again.

Jovi: We jumped in the puddles and got all wet.

Madi: The ladybug bumped her head.

Kaziem: She bumped her head on the wall.

Jacob: The ladybug splashed in the puddle and couldn’t swim.

Just then a big bird flew down and picked her up and put her in a tree where she lived happily ever after! THE END

Yes. Yes... That would be our child trying to kill off the ladybug.  The funny part was when I read this I could see J's face in this saduhohshrugohwell face I know so well when he says things that should be sad, but he doesn't quite grasp that they are sad just yet.

Love him!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FRA - Young Scholars - 1st day...

The Young Scholar Class of 2011 - 2012

Mrs B (left) & Mrs Sandoval (right)

Not pictured:  Mrs Bach & Mrs Pender

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grandparent's Day

I remember all the great times spent with my mom's parents for so many years (I lost my grandfather in 2002 & my grandmother in 2008) & my father's parents after my move to Chicago.  Sadly I lost my grandpa P in 2002, and my grandmother time getting to know the real person (not the grandma version) was cut short when she had a stroke right after her 95th birthday in 2004.  I was still able to spend time with her & my cousin Kristi, but not the quality telling me about my dad stories I had previously had.

As a result, it is truly important to me that J gets to spend loads of time with his grandparents.  While we never know where our health will go or where it will take us, I believe the moments he is creating now will last him a lifetime.

So one of the things I love to celebrate since he was born & I learned existed is Grandparents Day.

J's school will honor grandparents in November, but his super grandparents get honored in real time.

This year the Grandparent's Day was on Sept 11th.  We celebrated with the P side over Labor Day & M side on the weekend of...  
J had to "help" grandpa open the card.  :)

Grandma & Grandpa were delighted to receive another Outback gift card to assist on taking us out when we visit them.  My parents don't let us pay for a meal when we visit, so I love to give them these gifts, so I don't feel like such a slouch letting them pay all the time. 

And grandma loved that the card covered she was still in her jammies.
And of course, J was all about helping Grandma & Grandpa M open their gift as well.  Especially since he knew we had packed two mini peanut butter cups in the bag for them.
 Grandma M has a Peanuts clock that plays the Linus and Lucy song.  J loves that song now, and as a result, has grown to love Snoopy & Charlie Brown & crew through the books.  We are very much looking forward to sharing the Holiday stories this year with Grandma & Grandpa as we gave them the Holiday collection of stories book & a walking Mummy Snoopy to kick off the Holiday Season!

J was so cute this year, as he is getting big enough to help pick out the gifts & cards.  I wish I could capture how proud he was to have picked out the gifts this year & knew exactly that Grandma M would LOVE Snoopy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fair Oaks Farm

In honor of J spending the preceeding week learning about farms at school, last Sunday we visited Fair Oaks Farm with Aunt Lizzie.  Yes, Aunt Liz has finally grown into her name as Lucy is becoming less & less when J refers to his Aunt Liz.

We started with the cow greeting us at the entry.

 J thought she was rather large, and was not to fond of meeting her.  :)

 But as we went through the exhibt, learning about how the grain is mixed, and how farmers milked cows in the olden days, J settled in & I was inspired at how well he paid attention at his age.  Below he was so focused on the talking chicken.

By the time we got the end, J was running towards the cows to take a ride.

 Of course, he was happy to slide as well.

 He & Aunt Liz worked very hard on getting the ball to roll beyond the first couple of holes.

 All activity was in preparation for our next adventure...
The milking palor!  Fair Oaks is the largest working cow farm in the United States.  We learned they ship approximately 250,000 gallons of raw milk each day.  The whole process is amazing & I'm looking forward to taking J back in the future because I think we will learn something new each time.
Plus they make their own fresh cheese.