Thursday, January 27, 2011

JJ and school

I suppose it really isn't uncommon for kids in Kindergarten to love school. I mean, it's mostly fun...or at least it was when I was in Kindergarten! But today, kids in Kindergarten are learning what we learned in 1st Grade when I was in school! And yet he still loves it! He lives for work sheets, and 'home work'. Guaranteed that I won't be able to get him to do his homework this willingly in a couple of years! He is a very imaginative, and yet very fact based kid! Most of his library books are non fiction. He likes to know about things. I love that he is so interested in everything! He is especially interested in the human body, and animals of all sorts (including dinosaurs). Other favorites are any kind of construction type vehicle, any kind of rescue type vehicle, and space.
He is loving that he is learning to read and loves having us read him chapter books at bedtime. He is very into the Magic Tree House series. Soon we will have to head back to the Library as we have almost read all the ones he got for Christmas. He enjoys listening to them on CD as well.
He is starting to do math too. He brought home a simple addition worksheet the other day, and he did great. He enjoys music and art specialists the most during the school week. Here is one of his art projects he did recently (only a picture of a picture):

The other day, he came home all excited because he had a 'game' in his backpack. I credit his teacher with telling them this was a game, rather than work, because really it was spelling practice. He brought home a list of 4 sight words and he was supposed to have someone give the words to him and he is supposed to write them. We were supposed to use his favorite cereal as a reward. I told him I didn't have any, but that if he wanted to do it, we could use pennies from the penny jar instead. He was all about we started. We went through his list twice....he had his 8 pennies and then he was trying to 'add rules' to the game so that he would get 2 pennies for each word. I told him he could get 2 pennies for writting words that were NOT on his list. He came away with 30 pennies all totalled, and he was so proud he was bursting!

I better refill the penny jar!

Conversations with Cari

Cari picks up an endless stream of things from the people around her...mainly her big brother, but others too. Some of her more priceless conversations:

When she gets mad her favorite line is:

FINE! If you want me to be 'imbisible' FINE! Don't talk to me, I'm MAD! (This is a paraphrase of JJ's favorite phrase, which is "FINE, if you want me to be miserable, FINE" See the correlation?

This this I say - "Well, my work here is done" neither of them thinks this is funny!?

The other night in the bath, I got two for the price of one in the way of priceless Cari-isms:

First of all, she was playing with a medicine syringe in the tub. She wants to pretend she is giving shots. So she says to me "Here Mommy, let me give you a shot. You're suppose to cry. Ok, all done! See that wasn't so bad!" Then a little bit later: "Now you need a vaccination mommy" I asked her about vaccinations and what they did. I knew she got the word from Sid the Science Kid, but wasn't sure if she knew they were really just shots too. LOL Apparently they are different: "So, this time it will hurt a little bit mommy, I think. Maybe not to much. It's ok, calm down, it will only hurt for a minute." I didn't think of it then, but I should have asked her for a sticker for being such a good patient.

And, saving the best for last......she is obsessed with private parts, mostly because of the endless potty training effort.....this one goes a little like this:

Cari: Mommy, boys have penises
Me: Yes, Cari they do
Cari: JJ has a penis
Me: Thats right he does
Cari: JJ doesn't like for me to see his penis, he likes 'pwivacy'.
Me: You are right. JJ is getting bigger. When you get bigger you will want privacy too.
Cari: Girls don't have penises
Me: Thats right, girls have vaginas
Cari: Vaginas? Thats funny!
Cari: So all the boys in the whole world have penises!
Me: Yep
Cari : AND all the girls have ................VACCINATIONS!

I almost fell into the tub!

Christmas time

Ok, so I know it was a month ago, but I have to post something about the holidays, right? Our holidays were wonderful, filled with friends and family and so many presents we have no idea where everything is going even now. We are truely blessed to have such loving and giving families. The kids had a great time with their cousins on both sides, spending Christmas Day with Jim's family, and then that we also went to see the Yogi Bear movie in the theater. It was Cari's first theater movie ever. She did pretty well, although I think she was a bit bored at times.....but she watched the movie and enjoyed it. We had a full weekend of fun and family over New Year's when we had Christmas with my family. The cousins all had a great time playing together. We arrived on Dec 30th and left on the 2nd, staying at Grandma's house that whole time. There was adult fun involved on New Year's Eve as we left all the kids to fend for themselves (ok not really....we had a sitter, and a really good one at that!), and went out for New Years dinner and celebrating. Unfortunately the night was cut a little short when the call came that one of the kids (one of my nieces) was throwing up. Great! ;o) Still not sure how, but our family escaped that one! The kids still had a great time, the next day was presents, and lots of good food and treats. Lots of Rock Band on the Wii and the kids played their stuff too. They also did all sorts of projects. Grandma got each of the grandkids (except the 2 littlest ones) Shrinky Dinks (remember those???), and you should have seen those 9 kiddos (poor little G wasn't up for it) around the table coloring and cutting those little plastic pieces! It was cute! It was hard to get back into a normal routine after having so many days off and fun days, but Jan 3rd brought back to work and back to school. JJ was ok with it, since he LOVES school, but mom and dad weren't so excited. And for the record...when JJ got home, Cari was still napping. She was asleep until I got home at 4:45 or so.....when she woke up, the first thing out of her mouth was "OH JJ Your HOME!" Gotta love that! Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to my sweet Cari Princess

To my darling little girl:

3 years ago today, you graced our lives with your presence and we are so amazed by you every day. You have brought so much joy to our lives. I love your spirit! You are very loving, but always let us know exactly what you think! ;o) You love your brother and worship the ground he walks on! Now it drives him crazy, some day he will appreciate it for what it is! I promise.

You love to walk around making up songs about everything around you, or sing a song you have heard on a show. You love Dora, and your newfound love of all things princess is very cute! I agree with daddy though, if you start changing your clothes 5 times a day, you are learning to do your own laundry! LOL

You are my dare devil, while JJ was always the 'safe' one. You don't seem to care when you get dirty, love playing with trucks and dirt and sand as much as with babies and princess dresses.

You amaze me every day with the things you say and do. Sometimes I forget how old you really are, because you are such a little peanut. ;o) You can rival your brother in the chatter box department, for sure. I love when you guys play together, or work on something together, like a floor puzzle, or play 'rescue heros' together. You don't seem to mind that it is usually JJ's game that you are playing, as long as you get to play.

You are the social are going to love school when you finally get there....because you love playing with other kids, and talking to anyone that will listen. I have no worry that when you go to school you will have to be pulled off my leg crying.....I suspect it will be more like "Bye mom" and you are off to play, never looking back.

I love you, sweet girl, and can't wait to see who you will grow into as you continue on this life journey.

Love, your mommy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

First week of Kindergarten

Well, we survived it! The first week of Kindergarten, complete with the first day of school, first day at Ycare, first day riding the bus to and from school, first school get the idea. All those things rolled into one week must be really overwhelming for a 5 year old.....or at least it seems to me like they would be. But he seems to be taking it in stride. Here are a few highlights (mostly so I have record of how the week went later, when we want to look back on it):

Day 1 - I took the day off from work, so we could take him to his classroom the first day. It was kind of chaos, but that might have been a good thing for both of us, in retrospect. Jim and Cari were there too, and because I had Cari to focus on, and Jim to drag me away, I did ok with the whole thing. JJ started to get a little teary, I reminded him it was ok to be nervous, but that we don't want to let it get in the way of having a fun time. Thank goodness for an adult helper in the room who helped him find is spot at the table, and all that stuff....because I was able to leave without too much 'fanfare'. Fast forward to 4:15 and we are out waiting for the bus, which of course is late because it is the first day, with lots of kids that don't really know what to do and where to go. He gets off the bus, and is in tears before he even gets across the street. He was crying because the bus driver had said something about kids not having bus passes couldnt' ride the bus. Even though he had his, and it was very visible, he thought she was talking to him directly, not everyone, and was worried. He told us he made sure to show her the pass on the way off the bus. He also thought she was 'crabby' because she was yelling a lot (this is not just a Kindergarten bus, so older kids are in the back, she had to yell so they would her her).

Day 2 - first time to ride the bus to school in the morning and go to Y Care. He had no problems getting on the bus and the driver was different from the afternoon one and seemed nice. Made sure he sat in the front, like they are supposed to, asked another child on the bus to help him, etc. When I got home from work that night, I heard only about how much he loved Ycare and how much fun he had that day at school. It wasn't until later, from Jim that I heard anything about how he didnt' know where to go when he got off the bus, and was crying, and someone heard him and helped him get to his room. I feel bad for not making sure he know where to go....but we showed him the room before, and how to get there. In the chaos of all the was new, I am sure he forgot. Thankfully the next day, there was someone there who asked him to 'help her find her way to the Y care room, and he did it and was so proud! What an awesome way to make sure he knew where to go, and help him out all at the same time. Phew!

Day 3 - I left before he got on the bus, made sure everything was laid out and Grandma got him on the bus. I heard all about how excited he was for the day, because he was going to do projects in Y Care, and that he was going to have music time in Kinder that day. They had an assembly at school this day, and when JJ heard they were going to 'listen to the principal' he started to cry. His teacher let him sit by her. He has been so concerned all summer about being sent to the principals office. I don't know why or where it comes from, although I suspect it might have something to do with one of his older cousins talking about it this summer. He was fine once he knew what an 'assembly' was.

Day 4 - In much the same fashion, I left before he did. He was a little teary this morning, not sure if it was just the long week or what. He did say he was worried the afternoon bus driver might be crabby again. I think that once he has the routine down and all that, it will be all good.

I am so proud of my little guy for facing all of this in a mostly positive way! He is growing up so fast, and I couldn't be prouder! ;o)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A letter to my JJ

My darling little boy,

I have been thinking for a while about writing this, and as you are getting ready to start Kindergarten, now seems the time.

You are my sweet boy - you think of others, and ask about others, you ask questions about things you hear and see on TV, concerned for safety and wellbeing of people you don't know, and never will. I love that you are so caring! You genuinely care about your sister, and while there are those times when you fight, you are so good about trying to help her, and teach her how to do things. It is fun to listen to you try to help her, and watch you develop those 'teaching' skills.

You are my imaginitve boy - you have such a creative mind, loving to play pretend all the time! I love when you pretend to play things like Buzz Lightyear, or your version of Rescue heros. It is fun to watch you develop the characters in your mind and share them with others. I know that your sister and cousins don't always want to play your games, sometimes you are willing to adapt to their 'changes' to your design, other times, you play by yourself, but either way, you are creative, and your imagination will take you anywhere you want to go.

You are my sensetive boy - sometimes too sensetive, as you loose control of your emotions at the drop of a hat at times. But sensetivity goes hand in hand with that sweetness and caring that I love. I know you are anticipating your start of school with both concern and excitement. You are going to LOVE Kindergarten, as you loved preschool, learning about new things, doing projects, and meeting new friends. You are going to be great at it!

You are my smart boy - you have always amazed me at your understanding of thing, thing that you say, and what you know and remember. You remember things that I would never think you would remember, events, facts, etc. You are learning to write, and by the end of this year, I have no doubt you will be reading! You are putting always trying to figure out how words are spelled, sounding them out by yourself.

You are an amazing little (ok big) boy....and I love you so very much! You amaze me every day. I love you!


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Additions to our family

It has been a while, and it has been a month or so since we added to our family.....2 furry additions. We lost our cat a couple of years ago....she was old, and not well, so it was a blessing. Also a blessing that she was old enough that she wasn't around the kids that much (by her choice) so they weren't overly attached. We went to the humane society on July 4th to look at kittens. After 'visiting' with one really wild kitten, Cari was terrified, but we found a darling little black kitten....she kept calling and calling from her kennel, we could hear her all over the place...and we kept going back. She was super cute, all black, and I do mean ALL) and about 3 months old. We decided to 'sleep on it' and put her on hold, which means, we put a deposit down on her that was not transferable to any other animal....but we just wanted to make sure we were really ready.

But wait, you said there were 2 additions....... yes.....who knew the humane society had BOGOs????

We went back to get our little "Cherry Bomb" (it was right before the 4th of July when she came in after all) we decided if we were going to do it, now was as good a time as any. We asked if, when we were ready for a companion for our new friend, if one the same age, or older would be better. Thats when it happened. "Oh...have you heard about our "Double the Love" deal? If we chose another cat that same day, at least a year old that cat would be free! You really can't beat that. So....we looked around some more. We walked around and around, gently reminding the kids that the other kitty had to be at least a year old, and although the 2 month old kittens WERE really cute, we couldn't get another one that size/age. They just kept wanting to go back to Cherry Bomb (yeah, we didn't keep the name) because, of course, you could still hear her crying through the whole place!

I happened upon a beautiful 2 year old female cat named Cassie. She was dark grey, orange and white, and just beautiful! She had just had a litter of kittens 2 months before, and they had all been found abandoned. She was skinny, but very pretty and sweet as could be. So, we took home our new friends, Cherry Bomb, and Cassie.

The first order of business was trying to separate the 2 because everyone says that when you bring 2 cats into a new environment together, it is better to let them each get familiar separately first. For like 2 weeks! So, we had to figure out where they were going to be that we could enclose them.

I know many read my posts on Facebook regarding our high jumping kitten, and the kitten naming process, but I will share the short version here as well.

We put the kitten in our 'front entryway' which is probably 3 x 3....with a piece of wall board (5 ft tall) covering the archway into the living room. It worked, for about a day. Then she started to jump over it.....repeatedly! Cassie was in the basement for the time being, because she was older and able to be down there and not get into too much trouble. But it was NOT kitten proof! We ended up having to lock the kitten in a large dog kennel temporarily until the 2 could be together. It was about all we could come up with. I feel for her, but she is out as much as possible.

Oh...names for "Cherry Bomb"....there were a number suggested, both by my husband, my kids and friends.....originally we had settled on Midnight, but soon after decided it just wasn't right, and went with the name JJ originally chose..."BlackBerry". Jim calls her BB for short. Cari still wants to call her Sophie once in a while....LOL I told her she could name one of her dolls Sophie instead.

The cats have since been 'introduced to each other, and get along very well. Generally, Blackberry wants to play, Cassie will tolerate it for a bit (like 30 seconds) then the wrestle, she pins BB and then goes about her business. There was a little growling and hissing at first, but over all, they are doing really well. Cassie didn't even make a peep when Blackberry started eating from her food dish last night.....not that I let her for very long!

They get along ok with the dog too.....the dog wants to play as much as BB does, so they race around the house playing. Cassie isn't interested in that and has let the dog have it a few times, thus Smokey leaves her alone for the most part.

Over all, they have added some fun and interesting times to our household, as if there weren't enough already! The kids are really loving having the cats, and are adjusting to how to behave around them and treat them. JJ says every night that he really wants one of them to sleep with him. Not sure if I am ready for that, or if the cats are either for that matter.

And when I am the only one up at night, and have Cassie on the couch rubbing me, and BB climbing up to walk around my shoulders, there is nothing better! ;o)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

First ER trip!

Well, of course I knew it would happen eventually, and really we have made it 5 years with out a trip to the ER, so I consider myself lucky. And even more lucky that this trip was not more serious than it was.

We were at the mall. Jim was getting his eyes checked, and the kids and I were looking at the pet store across the hallway. We then decided to sit and wait for daddy on the benches in the middle court of the mall hallway. We exhausted pretty much every 'quiet/calm' game I could come up with - Eye Spy, Simon Says, etc. So, they were getting antsy and I let them run back and forth between the benches. Bad idea mom! JJ was wearing his new summer sandals, the ones that are bigger than his old shoes and thus he hasn't gotten used to wearing them yet. Of course, the inevitable happened. He ran, tripped and hit his mouth on the metal bench. He gashed his lip good, and pushed one of his upper (not front, but to the right of the front) teeth backward. Blood everywhere of course, and I had nothing, no diaper bag, no tissues, nothing. Ran over to the place where Jim was getting his exam, and asked them to get him. Poor guy....he had just had his eyes dialated for his exam. It was obvious that we were making a trip to the ER at that point, because the lip looked pretty bad...almost like a piece was missing from it, rather than just cut open. And that tooth looked pretty bad too.

JJ got himself all wound up about going to the doctor. I think he was better when I told him they wouldn't give him a shot. JJ was very upset, and poor Cari, who had no idea what was going on, kept rubbing his back and head and saying "It's ok JJ". She was very worried about her big brother. Aunt Barb met us there to take Cari home for us, as we had no idea how long we would be was already 8:30 by now. They saw JJ for the initial check in stuff, then we waited a little more. All in all, it wasn't a very busy night in the ER thank goodness, because we didnt' have to wait too long in the waiting room. We did wait for probably an hour while they numbed his lip up though.....and he did great. He was fascinated by the process, and wanted to know what was happening at all times. He politely asked if they would mind showing him his stitches after he was done. And when he was asked if he wanted a sticker, he said "yes please". ;o) Polite even in the face of drama and trauma! LOL The 2 stitches weren't bad at all. As per his usual, the anticipation was far worse than the actual event.

So, this morning, he visited the dentist with daddy, and then called me later. We were lucky his dentist office had an opening. They are a pediatric dentist, which is why I like them. I am glad there was a spot. The appt was at 8:30 and I got the call from Jim at 8:50 that he was done and they pulled the tooth. Then, JJ called me later, and told me that they pulled his tooth, and they gave it to him in a special package. So, I think the tooth fairy needs to visit the bank, because this tooth is special, being not only the first, but with all the drama going along with it. No worries, I am NOT setting a precident that will bit us later, but thinking that a gold $1 coin would be a nice touch. Followed by a disclaimer not to expect the tooth fairy to be as generous with the rest of his teeth.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Preschooler no more......

JJ is now a Kindergartener! Graduation was last week, he did a great job in the program. He was so cute singing along with his friends. At the Christmas program he stood there, but wouldn't sing, but this time, he sang along and did great. He is always worried he is going to do it wrong. We have been working a lot on the idea that he isn't good enough or doesn't do it right....makes me sad that he feels that way. It is getting better though.

He has grown so much this last year. Learned so much. Changed so much. He is starting to read some words. He has a million questions about how thing work or why things are the way they are. Most of the time I can't answer them, but he pushed me to really think about it anyway. "I don't know why, JJ" "But why do you THINK mom?"

He is doing amazing in swimming too, so much so that last weekend when we went to the beach, he went out and played with daddy and his cousins in the water. VOLUNTARILY! He was in up to his chest, and Jim said he had to rein him in! This from the kid who 2 years ago screamed bloody murder at the very thought of putting his toe in the water while being carried, and last summer barely would walk on the edge.

Not to be out done, Cari loves the water too. She is getting a little more comfortable than I would like, but at least was willing to hold a hand and walk in it, rather than try to go it alone!

We were all excited to go swimming again this weekend....poor JJ will have to miss out this time around. I will post about that shortly.