Saturday, September 17, 2011

She's FINALLY walking

There are a few things that I would like to blog about, but first and most important Ali is WALKING.  I thought the day may never come.  Every outfit she wore all summer is totally destroyed.  She did her first "long walk" the day before she turned 18 months so she narrowly escaped being officially delayed.  Today, at 18 months and one week she began walking as her main form of transportation.  For the past few weeks she has been doing a lot of walking pushing doll strollers. It seems that all of a sudden she was interested.  I am so excited and ready to throw out her cloths that look filthy right after they are washed because they are so wore out.  She has also turned into an echo.  It is adorable!  I think she is going to escape the speech delay as well!  Her ears drain on a regular basis so I am thankful for the tubes.  She has generally become a much happier baby over the past few months.

In other news, Cara took her first trip to the ER for stitches this week. She decided that she would cut herself an apple with a very sharp knife.  That knife did a fine job of cutting right between her thumb and pointer.  She got five stitches and they probably could have fit five more.  She is very proud of her "broken arm" and her "cast".  She has been telling people that Josh cut her.  I think she is embarrassed she did it to herself.  Ironically he wasn't even home.  He got home right after and ended up taking her to the ER because I was gone to a class.  Oh the adventures of childhood.

Caleb and Cara are both playing fall soccer.  I really enjoy getting out to games and at this stage practices aren't overwhelming so it is quite pleasant for me.  Andy, Ali and Josh all really enjoy it too.  We are in a good place with only two kids playing recreational (as apposed to competitive) soccer.

Cara is playing on the team with Korinne (her BFF), and Korinne's dad Adam is the coach.  He is so kind and patient.  Cara and Korinne are the only two girls.  They like to hold Adam's hand.
Cara is fast and strong, but she still plays like a girl.  At the first game she collided with my sister Connie's nephew, Brenton from the other team.  She jumped up and started playing again after the crash, but Brenton was hurt and went off the field crying.  After the game Cara said with a little attitude, "That boy tackled me!  Then he cried but I didn't."

Once again Caleb is surprising me with his skill.  Soccer isn't really his thing except that it involves a ball so it is.  He really likes to play goalie, but this year he is proving to be a decent offense player as well.  His coach is really into ball control and passing so it will be good for him.  I was so proud of him at the first game (after he had scored twice) he did a perfect pass and allowed another teammate to score.

Andy is a little board with Caleb and Cara gone to school.  My friend, Erica, said that I need to play with him.  Torture!  I love my kids.  I love to teach them, be with them, go on outings with them, and read to them, but creative play kills me.  I am SO GLAD Andy is in Joy School (our neighborhood coop preschool) five hours a week so that I am guilt free about him watching (or wanting to watch) Cars or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for those five hours.

I took these pictures so that someday I could trick myself into thinking that my kids were obedient and sweet and always willing to pitch in to help.  I would like to remember that I never had to yell, threaten, and all together freak out to get them to do things or even just to be obedient.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in such a fantasy land!

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's that WONDERFUL time of year

It's that time of year when the kids go back to school, the weather cools, and we get to enjoy a life of routine.  I do love summer, but it can't be called summer vacation for a mom.  This has been a fantastic summer, but I am ready for Fall.  I hope it continues to be warm for a while, but I like knowing that Caleb is safely learning without me, the person he loves to rebel against.

Cara was so excited to start Kindergarden.  She was especially excited to ride the school bus.  I think she is going to have a wonderful year.

Andy even got to start school this year.  He will have three years of preschool because of his September birthday, but I think he will really enjoy getting out so I decided to do Joy School with him this year.  This is his cute Joy School group.  (He is in the yellow.) He will just be going two days a week for 2.5 hours.

Yesterday we took the annual Joy School Field trip to my parents house.  It is such a fun tradition!  The kids love the garden, collecting eggs, riding horses, and four wheelers.  It is a great way to start the school year and reminds me that it really is fall.

I try lots of management/parenting ideas that don't work, but we are currently doing an idea that I got from a friend early in the summer and it has been working for a while so it might be worth sharing.  We call it "The Big Five."  (If I were to reintroduce it I would call it "The Super Six.")  Each morning the kids have to do The Big Five before school.  (In the summer they had to do The Big Five before they could play.)  I really drilled the list into their heads and then I don't have to remind them of every little thing they need to do in the morning.  I can just say, "Is the big five done?" I think it is working for building good habits and routine.  The big five are: 1) Make Bed, 2) Say Prayers, 3) Get Dressed and Fix Hair (that is where number six comes in) 4) Eat Breakfast, 5) Brush Teeth.  Maybe your kids do those things without having a checklist, but this system has even helped me to be more consistent with saying my prayers and getting organized first thing in the morning.