Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Christmas Pictures

Such a sweet picture of Xander on Christmas Eve

 Is Xander placing the cookies for Santa, or taking one?
After Santa came

Xander's stocking is hung with care, and pretty full too

A note from Santa! (his reindeer chowed down on celery)

Stocking time

Xander's excited about his
Ooh! Good job, Santa!

Nick enjoying the first thing he pulled out of his stocking

Grandma Bonnie and Dad(dy) got their stockings filled too

Xander passed out presents - the first one was for Nick

Nick wasn't sure about opening presents, so big brother willingly helped

At this point, Nick was ready to take over

Now Nick will play with this one present for days in a row

Tons and tons of thanks to Grandma Lucy, who captured all these photos. There are many more pictures which I will either post or leave for Erik to make his post-Christmas family video/slideshow. Christmas Day video footage has yet to be uploaded and shared, but it exists!

They Be-leeb In Science

"I did this rocket before in this book with Dad, when I was calling him Daddy," said Xander today. He was cutting pictures out of his new cutting book.

His comment showed me that he remembered consciously changing over to calling us Mom and Dad instead of Mommy and Daddy. It happened a couple of months ago. I was curious why he decided to do it at that time, and I had a suspicion.

"Why did you decide to start calling us Mom and Dad?" I asked him.

"Because it was on TV," he said.

Yep. That was my suspicion, though he couldn't remember who on TV called their parents Mom and Dad.

Right now Erik is teaching Xander some science using his new science experiment kit. Xander just (VERY excitedly) learned about solids, liquids, and gases. Erik gave him examples of solids and then asked him for examples. I had to laugh from the other room when Xander was still going a couple of minutes later. ("And toys! And wood! And chairs! And video games! And story videos!") Then he said water and mud for liquids and the sky for gases. I'm impressed. I don't think he knew much about solids, liquids, and gases before tonight.

Meanwhile Nick was saying "Ga-go" when I handed him the Diego bath toy, and conducting his own bathtime science experiments with various stacking cups.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Some Christmas Reporting

The kids had a lovely Christmas with plenty of presents, but most of all, the attention of two grandmas along with their parents.

Nick has played with his new Little People airplane for two or three days straight. Xander has been playing hours every day with his Lego Kingdoms sets.

Even the adults got plenty of stocking stuffers and gifts and ohmygoshthecookies. I guess I made and then saved aside way too many. Mom is doing her best to help me with the prayer bars and I am making good headway on the chocolates. The children are happy to help, too. ;)

Possibly my favorite gift this year was Xander's reaction to the unicorn I knitted for him (by request). Now keep in mind he requested this and has seen me knitting on it throughout the last few months. He pulled it out of its wrapping, said, "Oh I love it! I even wanted one!" and sprinted off to his room to put it on his bed. That made me feel really great. Thanks, Xander.

I am sure I'll remember lots more to say about Christmas and have pictures to post, too, later.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mommy-Son Date

Xander and I went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader today at the theater. We had both been looking forward to it. This is just before we left:


On the way there, he was excited to see two cement mixer trucks and many, many American flags. He said it was the drive to count American flags. At the theater, I let him choose where we sat and he plopped down next to a twelve-year-old (or thereabouts) boy. The boy was eating Twizzlers and offered one to Xander. Xander enjoyed the movie very much. I enjoyed being able to hold his hand or have him on my lap because I won't get to do that much longer, I'm sure.

On the way home I told him I had a good time watching a movie with him. He said, "You did?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Thanks!"

And this is Nick drawing with Grandma Lucy on the sidewalk.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Things I Have Wanted to Tell You

Dear Xander and Nick,

What I have really wanted to tell you boys is this:

I haven't regretted anything, really, in my life. I have always gone after the things that were important to me. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and children. There are a few things I am so embarrassed about that I wish they had never happened...sort of. One of those bad mistakes helped me get to know your father, so I can't regret that.

I have been full of fear. It holds me back and it is a bad way to live life. I hope that you can escape from the bonds of fear in your lives.

I believe you are both good-looking, smart, talented, sweet, determined, loving, and funny. I'm your mom so you may roll your eyes but I want you to know beyond a doubt that's what I think. I will love you forever no matter what happens in our lives. Even if we make mistakes. We will make mistakes, but we will get through them okay.

I hope that you go after what you want in life and that you don't stop until you get it...but only for the really, truly important things. I hope you stay open to people. We are all humans and so very similar to each other. I hope you have joy in your lives and I really want you to be happy most of the time. Most people don't get to be happy as much as their parents wish they could be, but that's okay. We make it anyway.

I just love you. Thank you for bringing real meaning and love and joy and contentment into my life. I thank your father for the same things.

Christmas Holidays

Wednesday Xander had a Christmas party at school. Nick and I stayed the whole time, although Nick got very, very, very tired. The kids exchanged gifts (they didn't understand about the gifts they brought being for another kid, but they finally exchanged), ate a yummy Christmas snack, sat on Santa's lap and got pictures with him, and had a holiday lunch. (Xander couldn't stay for lunch because it was late and we really had to get Nick home.) Xander gave a pack of paintbrush markers, which his friend Lance (or was it Russell?) loved, and received a Memory game that he and I played that afternoon.

Today was his last day of school until after Christmas. A whole week at home! The teachers even compiled some fun worksheets for us to do at home if we wanted to. We want to! Xander made three ornaments at school which now grace our tree and wrote a marvelous Christmas card to us that said "Happy Holidays" (all in his own writing!!!!!!!!). Ms. Heather made everyone a cute snowman decoration which Xander intends to use to decorate his room.

Ms. Valerie took pictures of the kids with Santa, even including siblings. Here is me holding them up to the laptop camera:



Xander gave gifts to his teachers. They each got a Jiffy popcorn that I decorated with a gift label and bows. I have to admit it was last-minute. Maybe next year they will look a little nicer. ;)

Erik may get a little more time at home for the holidays than he expected, or at least he will feel more relaxed about work. We'll have to take advantage of that with popcorn, Christmas movies, eggnog, hot cocoa, wine, the zoo, and of course our Christmas celebration. Mom arrives Tuesday. Bonnie will probably come on Friday if not sooner. I just cleaned the bathroom, Moms!

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Powers Gingerbread House

Erik gets pretty much 99.9% of the credit for this:



Fabulously Wealthy

Got a lot done this morning (laundry, quiet time, got dressed, planned the day, made breakfast, drank coffee, exercised) but my patience has been tried today. Four-year-olds ask endless questions to which only they know the correct answer. It must be the first teenage period - parents are never quite right. If we accidentally bump Xander, we have hurt him and it is an amazingly evil thing to do. If he jumps on our back while we are trying to write something and balance our coffee, he is hurt that we don't quite appreciate his enthusiasm.

And he's right. My responses to him are my responsibility. Deep breath. New cup of coffee. If I could have my most important wish come true, it would be to appreciate every interaction with him, Nick, Erik, and others.

It is not a bad thing that he is active, curious, engaged, smart, and loving.

Just please, please, please could someone else stay here for a day and field all the non-questions?

Nick has become more and more pleasant as he has learned to communicate better and sleep longer at a time. It is more and more a joy to see the boys play together. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

I am fabulously wealthy in love.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Being Amused

This is Nick and me being amused by Xander pretending to be a dog during snack time:


The one of me was taken by accident when I swung the computer back around. ;) Oh, and here's Xander being the dog:





Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the Season

Xander is very proud of his new clothes from Aunt Pat and Grandma Bonnie. He told me he had never worn clothes like these before, and he pointed them out to his preschool director and friends. Today he is wearing a sporty long-sleeve shirt with those warm-up-type pants that have yellow and white stripes down the sides. I saw in his classroom that they posted each kid's gift wish on a poster. Xander's says, "A new toy knight. If Santa has one."

Nick had his 18 month check-up today and is healthy. He only had one shot - hurray! But the trip still knocked him out. He fell asleep on our ten-minute ride home. I was proud of how many words he's saying (I can think of 15 really quickly) and the pediatrician only asked if he was saying five words. But I think the range is tremendous at this age and there are plenty 18-month-olds who say more words than 15 or 20. He really, really wants to speak to us, as Erik noted today. He gets really mad when his exact message doesn't get across.

So far this Christmas season, we have decorated, listened to Christmas carols, gotten out advent calendars, read Christmas stories and books, and had hot cocoa together. The kids have also helped me make Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

At the moment, a medley from Robert Shaw's Festival of Carols is playing on the computer and Nick is nodding away to it. Music is still the last resort that will always quiet him when nothing else will.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another Brag About Nick

I have to report that Nick played pretty well on a courtroom bench for over an hour this morning. I was subpoenaed to be a witness since the guy we got into a car accident with contested his ticket. Nick played well with the doctor kit and books, at least well for a 1.5-year-old. When I walked up to speak to the judge with the police officer and defendant, he said I could put Nick down and he could run around. He said, with a smile, that it was relatively safe in there. I said he would certainly run around but the judge indicated that was okay so I put him down to talk to the judge. Nick ran all around and basically greeted everyone from the other defendants to the bailiffs to the seating section for all the police officers. He hung out with the officers for a few minutes, as a matter of fact. He was probably one of the lightest moments in that docket, so it all went fine. We got to go first and leave relatively quickly compared to the other poor souls in there. They were very kind. I can't say Nick didn't scream at all, though.

Activities and Pictures








These are pictures I took this afternoon. First are some grainy, horrible pictures of some of Xander's soccer and school pictures. Perhaps some of you will get a chance soon to see them in person. ;) We did a painting activity and Xander really wanted me to paint a dragon on one cheek and a ladybug on the other. So I did. When I was done with my almost formless dragon, he checked himself out in the mirror and said, "Ha! A Westmin Dragon!" He thinks I'm good, at least. Nick hates having anything stuck to him, including paint, so I just got a couple pics of him in between Xander's activities.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Yes" Day

I had an idea for something to do with the kids, based on this post: http://inspiredtoaction.com/2010/11/128-simple-family-activities%E2%80%A6be-a-rockstar-today

This can only be done every once in a great while because if I did it more often, I would come up with spoiled kids, but it makes me a little bit sad how often I say no to my kids. Saying no to dangerous or unhealthy or rude things is fine with me. I'm talking about the times that Xander wants to playfight or make cookies or Nick wants me to read a book to him for the 40th time or they want a little more of something good to eat or drink. Every once in a blue moon, I'd like to say yes to these things more often.

I think I will plan a "Yes" day where the rule is that Mommy has to say yes to all requests that day, as long as they don't endanger or harm anyone or make anyone else feel bad. It's an idea. I may have to refine it.

Letter to Santa

This is Xander's letter to Santa:

"Dear Santa,

I want a toy knight. Do you have any toy knights? I want a new toy Transformer. I want the Transformer with a sword. And this kind of Ironman toy, and this kind of Spiderman toy, and this kind of Captain America toy. [pointing to an advertisement]

That's all,
Xander Powers

P.S. I want the Marvel Superhero Squad figures with vehicles. You can find a picture in my The Amazing Spider-Man comic book."

Note to anyone looking for a Christmas present for him: This is not necessarily to be taken in a literal sense. He has a slightly different list every time I ask him. ;)

Some days he is kind and giving and forgiving and I am so pleased. Some days, like today, he has a "rude" day when he is not all that interested in being nice. We don't let him be overtly rude, it's just that on this kind of day he won't do voluntary things that are nice. I asked him if he wanted to sign his Santa letter with "Thank you" or "Love" and he said, "No, that's enough."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving at School

We got the soccer pictures back. Very cute in their own way, but Xander is squinting and biting his lip. Oh, well, it's still exciting. He says he wants to play soccer again next season. We'll see...

Nick has been "telling" me with various sounds and signs when he has a dirty diaper. I am encouraged that it may be almost time for potty training. He has a better disposition when I pay more attention to him and what he's trying to tell me.

Xander's class sang a Thanksgiving song ("Hello Mr. Turkey") and recited a story (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) for the parents when we joined them for a Thanksgiving luncheon yesterday. I was late due to not thinking about the way parking would be affected. I actually didn't hear the song but Nick and I were in time to hear the story they recited. Xander didn't seem to mind, and he taught me the song on the way home. Nick had a great time in the hustle and bustle of lunch.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Books and Talents

It's National Novel Writing Month this month! So I won't be posting as much here until December.

Today Nick and I went back to Mother Goose Storytime. It will take many many trips for him to learn to sit on the mat for the story instead of heading straight for the pink bouncy ball on the stage. I'm not sure if I'm willing to put in the effort! But we got some cool books today. The New Adventures of Curious George, Un Lun Dun by China Mieville, The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, Los Amigos de Elmer, a Toy Story graphic novel, a Go Diego Go! book called Bats to the Rescue, Baby Signs, Franklin in the Dark, and The World of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Teresa Patterson. Since last week Xander and I and Erik have been reading through some non-fiction dinosaur chapter books, including one about paleontologists.

I still think Xander has all the qualifications necessary to be a paleontologist in real life, or as Xander would put it, "in our world." He likes science, doesn't take much care for his physical safety, is obsessed with dinosaurs, can memorize facts about them, and sometimes uses painstaking care to work his toys, including dinosaur dig toys. And he loves books.

Nick learns well and is very affected by music. I've learned that when he's fussing in the car, turning on music immediately stops him. He also loves books.

Xander went to his room time with his bin of figures and told me, "Mommy, I'm not doing Chronicles of Narnia this time. I'm doing a story of a graphic novel."

Awesome. I think I'll have a partner next year for National Novel Writing Month!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pinocchio Toy

Xander has a Happy Meal sort of toy, a Pinocchio that says, "I'll never become a real boy!"

Xander is playing in his room right now and I heard that toy cry out, and then Xander's reply: "Yes you will. You will."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Healthy!

Nick and I picked up our first delivery of CSA veggies from KYV Farms this morning! The vegetables look beautiful. I will be making leftover pot roast soup tonight with fresh veggies. I have ideas for pureeing lots of them and making breads, breakfast dishes, and even a type of poached eggs with cubanelle pepper puree! We received baby bok choy, spinach, a leafy green that has a nice flavor similar to arugula, yellow squash, zucchini, green bell peppers, cubanelle peppers, two types of cucumbers, and radishes. I had two cucumber and radish sandwiches today and loved them. Nick likes to play with the vegetables. He may have actually ingested some cucumber with lunch. Xander said he really liked his diced-cucumber-mayo-and-ham sandwich.

The kids came with us to vote at lunchtime today. Xander has been to voting before, but it was Nick's first time. He had a blast running up and down the room. Xander got four I Voted stickers so he thought it went pretty well, too.

I did some research just now on firesafety.gov to make a fire safety plan for the family. I'll go over it with Erik when we get a chance. I feel like it has been a day of good physical, mental, and civic health - ahem - so far. There are many hours left in the day.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Halloween

Has anyone read the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin? If so, you will recognize the recitation Xander is making right now:

"White sandal, white sandal, what do you see? I see a red door looking at me. Red door, red door, what do you see? I see a brown shelf looking at me. Brown shelf, brown shelf, what do you see? I see a green couch looking at me. Green couch, green couch, what do you see? I see a dark green Daddy looking at me. Dark green Daddy, dark green Daddy, what do you see?"

Here insert Erik telling what he sees and Xander correcting him. "No Daddy, try again."

I think what started the whole thing was the jack-o-lantern decoration on our red door. The red door really was kind of looking at him.

We are about to get him dressed up in his ninja costume again to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. He told the bagger at the grocery store that he had a ninja costume but he was going to Batman tonight. He said he had that costume at home. I told the bagger that was news to me!

This morning, I told Xander, "Happy Halloween!" He said, as if he was very touched, "Thank you, Mommy!" When we went to meeting today, he told everyone Happy Halloween. Wendy had made us all Halloween cards and on Xander's she put: "Happy Halloween! Zander! Zander! Zander! I love you. Wendy" The card was three mice dressed up as cheese and other things. It was perfect for him. The name was misspelled but he doesn't care.

Tonight we had breakfast-for-dinner: pancakes, bacon, and juice. And milk. The boys were very happy. Nick can eat more pancakes than any of us. I am afraid of diaper-changing time.

I will add pictures of Xander once he's dressed.

Here they are:


Friday, October 29, 2010

Heaven and the "Debbil"

I see a pattern in my posting. I will go for a week or so without posting anything, and then I write four posts in one day. Here's another one. ;)

I am on our back porch, a cool fall breeze blowing, listening to my music (not the Raffi and Cathy Fink and Cedarmont Kids I listen to every day in the car with the boys), checking my email. Heaven! The main reason it's heaven? Xander and Nick are both running around in the backyard having a great time, making happy sounds.

Xander is wearing the devil horns I had hoped Nick would tolerate and holding a red plastic golf club. Apparently, "the debbil stole everyone's cars!" He is holding all of his Matchbox cars in the upper level of the wooden playset.

Ninja Goals

Grandma Lucy made a very detailed book about ninjas for Xander this Halloween, since he is dressing up as a ninja. I just read him a passage about ways to increase personal power and reach goals. Xander asked if they were soccer goals. I tried to explain what abstract goals are: "I have a goal to speak very nicely to Xander. If I say, 'Hi, Xander! How are you?' am I reaching my goal, what I wanted to do?" He said yes. Then he told me, without hesitation, "My goal is to speak badly to bad guys. 'Go away! Or I will beat you dead!'"

Xander's Halloween Party

Nick and I went along with Xander's class today. They got to come to school in their costumes and trick-or-treat on different floors of their building. We started on the 26th floor of the building (the Wachovia building) and the views were spectacular! I bet the kids got a thrill out of taking the elevators, too. They got much more candy than they needed and then went to their classroom to change into regular clothes and play outside. Nick was initially intimidated by all the costumes but then had fun, especially since he got a package of Goldfish from one of the "treaters." He and I went to lunch with Erik while Xander's class played outside, then came back for the class lunch which was brought by parents. It was Xander's first time having lunch with his classmates. Their classroom was all dolled up with the crafts they had made over the last couple of weeks: tissue paper ghosts, pumpkin paper bags, paper plate spiders...and ghosts cut out by their teachers, miniature pumpkins elaborately decorated by Ms. Valerie for each of the kids, a picture backdrop which was really cute (I will post pictures if/when I get them)...and more that I'm not remembering.

It was also nice to find out today that Xander's vision is good. Yesterday a nonprofit organization came in and tested all the kids' vision so we have official "good vision" results. And a shiny mouth of crowns and sealants. Oh, well. We can't be entirely perfect.

Halloween Decorations

See our cute house! The fall flowers are from Bonnie, the jack-o-lanterns courtesy of Erik and the miniature painted pumpkins by Xander and Nick, and the ghost and pumpkin decorations are from my grandma.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thank You!

Well, no one else would recognize these words yet, but today Nick said, "Chips, please," and then when I gave them to him, said his version of, "Thank you!" I had to blog that!

Sunglasses

I bought Nick and Xander sunglasses yesterday. The sun bothers them on our car trips and I hoped that they would both be helped by sunglasses. Nick is fascinated and bothered by them at the same time. Maybe sometime soon he will realize their benefit.

As I told my mom, Xander picked his solely based on the picture on the tag. It was some kind of Cartoon Network warrior hero. They seemed like the most uncomfortable sunglasses available, but he insisted that they were the ones he wanted as I kept mentioning that they might start to hurt.

I asked him how they felt, and he said, "Cool."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Upcoming

Xander has his dental procedure tomorrow. I think I will be more nervous than him. Nick will be watched by a babysitter he has met - but he has always been in bed when she babysat before. This time they will be together for a few hours while he's awake. It'll be interesting to see how he takes it.

Tonight, if we have time, we may decorate and carve our pumpkins.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Off School

Xander and all of our county had school off today.

We met JT and his mom at the zoo and had a nice morning there, although it was warmer than I would have liked. It was all decorated for their Halloween Spooktacular but no lines and no candy. Good for parents of young kids.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alphabet Cookies

Xander wanted to make these cookies out of our Preschooler's Busy Book.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Goal Scoring

So I wasn't sure how Xander was going to do at this soccer thing. He is more interested in the people around him than balls or goals. But he seems to get it now.

Chapter Books We've Finished, revised

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Sir Reddy and Sir Pants
Dragons
Prince Caspian
Catwings
Catwings Return
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings
Jane On Her Own
The Water Horse
T. Rex Attacks!
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
Volcanoes! : Mountains of Fire
Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician's Nephew
The Last Battle 
Stuart Little 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A Light In the Attic 

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're Best Friends

Last night, Xander said he loved all of us: Xander, Nick, Daddy, and Mommy. He said we are all best friends.

This afternoon, unfortunately, we had to go to the doctor's office to get flu shots for both boys. Xander cried and said it hurt really bad but for once it didn't take much discussion to get him in and out of the room peaceably. He is starting to actually be rational about shots. Nick screamed in protest when I moved him from the Constructables to the doctor's bench, and cried about the shot, but as soon as I put him down to do his own thing again he was happy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Bob Books Giveaway on Babywisemom.com

So my online friend Valerie is doing a giveaway on her blog again, www.babywisemom.com. She's giving away new Bob Books, which I really love, so it's worth entering the contest for me. One of the things I can do to increase my chances of winning are to blog about it, so here I am. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fighting Flashcards

Today Xander got a bag of goodies from the Mayor Peyton's Book Club. It was a decorated reusable bag that held about 13 books about Jacksonville, a Jacksonville coloring book, alphabet flashcards, a soft flannel Book Club blanket, and a Book Club t-shirt. He was excited about it. So were some of his friends at school. One boy got his bag yesterday and wore the t-shirt to school today. That's probably going to be Xander on Monday.

So I decided to let Xander just have fun with all this stuff and do whatever he wants with it, since he is already ahead of the game in terms of reading. He wanted to play with the alphabet flashcards and he did some letter activities on his own with them. Then he wanted to play them with me. His pile of flashcards were the "good guys" and my pile of flashcards were the "bad guys" and they fought. Okay? Are you getting this? Alphabet flashcards turned into a fighting game.

Now he is looking at the one book that stood out to him from all the rest: It has fighter planes. Guess what? It's the book about saluting our military. Huge surprise.

Oh, and one of his closest friends at school is named Russell. Guess what Xander calls him (without realizing he's wrong)? "Wrestle."

I am very proud of his recall for his classmate's names, though. He has 15 other kids in his class and he wanted to make cards for them, so we had to make sure we knew each kid's name. With his help, I wrote down all of them this morning!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Countdown to Halloween

Today Xander and I made a paper chain to count down to Halloween. This is the idea we used: http://learningdevelopmentactivities.blogspot.com/2009/10/countdown-chain.html

It was fun. It gets more and more fun to make things with Xander because he is capable of so much more. For our chain, he cut out some of the strips of paper and he connected some of the links together. He also came up with some of the ideas for activities that we wrote on each link, including the category of "loving acts." He really wanted to do some nice things for JT and JT's mommy and daddy and his friends at school and Bailey.

Then he wanted to make a ghost while I was busy with Nick, so I told him I was unavailable to help him. So he got a piece of paper out of the printer and took his scissors and cut a ghost shape out of the paper. I can still hardly believe it. It was missing a head, but since I couldn't immediately cut one out for him, he cut a small head shape out as well! Freehand scissoring! It looks great!

When we were making the chain, Xander said, "Oh, I am so exciting for Halloween!"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

And Thank Goodness for Doctor Kits, Too

Thank Goodness for Matchbox Cars

I woke up with my achiness magnified 20 times (or so). The pain in my neck and shoulders actually woke me from sleep. Also, Nick was crying hard a half hour before our usual wake-up time. He seems to be having trouble today too and poor babe does not realize Mommy's patience is unavailable today. I didn't know how I would get through today.

Then Erik took Xander to school and I took a bunch of ibuprofen and things have started to look up. He will be picking Xander up and then making his own lunch. Nick is quietly playing with Xander's little cars and I am so grateful for that. One day he played with these cars for a whole hour! Nick will be having early naptime today. ;)

This day is shaping up to be manageable after all, but I'm not so sure about dinner...

Surely Xander can cook dinner. He's getting so expert at everything else.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Updating Nick's Loves

Soon I will be updating Nick's loves from the sidebar. This is what it says now:

  • touching people's faces
  • grabbing people's hair
  • squealing and babbling
  • standing up with support
  • walking with help
  • Leap Frog Musical Table
  • taking his toys out of the basket
  • laminated pictures of babies
  • Xander
  • Daddy
  • eating what we're eating
  • Little People Around Town lift-the-flap book
  • Reindeer Run
  • My Big Book of Animals
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, by Dr. Seuss
  • football games on TV
  • "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
  • "Hot Cross Buns"
  • lullabies

Nothing Much

Nick's sleeping. Xander's slowly eating a large lunch. I'm just about done icing my knee. And I really can't think of anything else to say!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brag About My Toddler

I had to go to a doctor's appointment right after dropping off Xander at school this morning. So, Nick was in the car for 45 minutes to drop off Xander and get to the doctor's office. Then we sat and waited at the doctor's for TWO HOURS with Xander's plastic doctor kit, a lift-the-flap book, a snack and water, and a zipper pouch full of foam letters. He did great! Toward the very end of the time, he cried a little, but it was barely anything. Especially for a 15-month-old at lunchtime who is teething. Then we hopped back in the car for 45 minutes to pick up Xander, go home, get some quick lunch, and go down for nap. What a champion waiter!

Xander is extremely sweet and extremely bossy these days. He tells us all how much he loves us and gives us lots of hugs and cuddling. Then when we tell him what he needs to be doing, he says, "Oh, I changed my mind. I don't think I need to do that. I change my mind every time I want to!" And proceeds to have a small fit when we insist. All very age-appropriate, but... And I can barely leave his sight. I understand his concern in light of our car accident. It's just very wearing.

Suddenly he can do small toy loom weaving, using the hook tool and everything. He can button and unbutton his shirts. He can assemble his toys even when Mommy forgets how to do it. It's been a huge leap in understanding and physical skills. I have to say he cannot quite skip even though he thinks he can.

He just now told me (about the doctor headgear he made at school), "Careful with this, because this will totally break. So we can't break it, because then I won't wear it."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family Days

Xander and I went to silent meeting today. He's been liking it a lot more now that Elaine's kids come and he can leave after 15 minutes to go outside with them. He brought his new dinosaur-robot and his Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Elaine's kids brought - gasp! - two shark books! Good times.

Yesterday Erik took him to the Museum of Science & History for Smithsonian's Free Museum Day. The exhibit? Dinosaurs. They met Justin and Rachel there. Xander was so excited both before and after the trip. He came back with a slow-hatching dinosaur egg from Rachel and that dinosaur-robot from his daddy.

He also had another soccer game yesterday morning. Two of his teammates scored quite a lot. The two teams were evenly matched, which was a relief. It was more fun that way.

In the evening, Erik and I listened to the Gator game while playing Pandemic. It was a busy day!

Poor Nick is sitting in bed crying. It's those teeth, or being overtired, or both. He is acting like a bigger boy and feeling like one, too, when I carry him. He's truly becoming a toddler.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nice Happenings

Xander had a great time at school showing-and-telling about his knights. He brought them in in his Winnie the Pooh backpack and made sure to tell Ms. Valerie two knights which did not have shields. When they asked where he got the knights, he said he didn't know, they just appeared.

What a nice life.

Nick did not scream in the car today. He was quite calm and happy. The ONLY difference was that I bought speakers for my iPod so he could continue to listen to Raffi in the car even though our now only car does not have a CD or working cassette player. Raffi does the trick.

Yesterday I picked a couple of miniature roses from our bush to display in the house, then a couple of marigolds to go with them. Nick picked me a marigold flower bud and a small green pepper, so I thought, what the hey, and got a sprig of rosemary to go in with all the rest. Since it is now officially fall (although still quite hot here), this will be my little "true NE Florida fall" centerpiece.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Xander's Loves

I'm updating the sidebar under "For a moment in time, Xander loves:", now that he is almost exactly 4.5 years old.

So this is what it said before:

  • the book Mythical Beasts
  • the book Magical Creatures
  • Dinosaur Valley
  • Dinosaurs, by the National Audubon Society
  • Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire
  • Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis
  • My Very Own Name
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Go, Diego, Go!
  • Nature specials
  • "I Love You, You Love Me"
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
  • "Pop Goes the Weasel"
  • playing mythical beasts and "magicanal" creatures
  • playing dinosaurs
  • pleasing Mommy and Daddy
  • having books read to him
  • school
Now go check out what he loves now! It's on the right-hand side of the page.

Lunch

This is what Xander wanted for lunch today: One rice cake spread with peanut butter and cheese on top, and the bottom of it spread with jelly. He enjoyed it.

Nick ate a portion of leftover lasagna, leftover dry cereal, a rice cake with cheese on it, some water, and some milk.

They are lacking in vegetables because our sink fell in; therefore, we can't do any dishes unless we use the tub or go out to the water table in the backyard; therefore, I'm trying not to get utensils dirty... Oh boy, this is a very thin excuse. I need to get some vegetables in them!

Good news is that Erik fixed the sink last night. He said "fixed" in terms of doing the best he could do. He's not 100% convinced that it will work, and if it doesn't we are calling in the professionals. We'll test it tonight.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Water Painting

Here are the boys having fun painting with water on the sidewalk. Part of the problem with my pictures is the boys moving around so much! A larger part is my (in)ability. Oh well. Here they are:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Xander Doing Yoga

It was his idea to put in the yoga DVD and do it on his own. I didn't know he could do these moves!


Now he is using the yoga strap to tangle up my arm and neck. This is more like the boy I know.

Today he was outside playing at school for half an hour, outside playing at home for half an hour, doing yoga for a few minutes, and has soccer practice tonight for an hour. This might be the right amount of exercise for a 4.5-year-old boy.