It’s been a long (but good) four months

1 Oct

So now it’s October. How did that happen? Such a busy, fun summer. We were fortunate to go and do many things as a family (although sadly, Will was not able to join us for them as he had to work) and we had such a good time. We went to Yellowstone in late June and the boys did really well. There were many very cold mornings and quite a few thunderstorms but they handled week-long camping better than I could have hoped. We went through Idaho on the way back and stopped by the Craters of the Moon National Park and had a good time. Later in the summer, we took a weekend and went to Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho (about a 4.5 hour drive) and then the weekend after that we went camping with friends at Dungeness Spit. It felt like a very full summer! I’m hoping that we can go on lots of camping trips next summer (Glacier National Park is high on our list) and continue to increase the boys’ enjoyment of camping and nature.

Eli started kindergarten a little less than a month ago and things are starting to go really well. He had a very rough start–he has always done so well in new settings that we weren’t really expecting anything but within the first week or so the teacher let us know that he was being very aggressive with other kids, particularly on the playground. Although his preschool was large, I think he just got overwhelmed with all of the new kids and new situations elementary school presented and so he tried to make himself “big”–i.e., threatening to some extent–and it just didn’t work. Thankfully, his teacher is amazing. She has been staying in frequent contact with us and has been doing a behavioral chart with Eli every day for the last 2.5 weeks.

Part of the chart concerns his behavior in class and he gets ratings after every time period–0 for things he could have done better or 2 if he did just fine. He gets another chart for recess. He graduated from the in class chart last week and if he continues on his current course, will graduate from the recess chart next Friday. I think he likes the feedback the charts provide and it also gives him the opportunity to brainstorm challenging peer situations with his teacher in a nonjudgmental way. It seems to have really opened up his ways of dealing with other kids that challenge him. The other day, he had another run in with a kid that seems to push his buttons and this kid kept following him, generally being a pest (his description) and whereas he said he asked the kid to leave him alone without success. Then he tried to get a teacher to help but she was busy with another student. Finally, at his wit’s end, the kid kept touching him and following him so he just yelled, “Tag!” and touched the kid on his arm and got him to play tag since the kid kept following him anyway. His teacher saw it and told me that it was so great he was able to redirect the kid in a successful way and Eli told me about it and was very proud. Such a great kid.

Ben’s daycare (Berry Patch, RIP) ended in late August. Since then, he’s home full time. Only over the last week has he really started to talk about missing school, mostly that he wants to go to school with Eli. I feel badly that we don’t have a gaggle of other two year olds for him to hang out with. One of the BP teachers, Neale, has been sitting him when Andy and I are both at work. We ended up with a LOT of BP’s supplies (art supplies, sensory bins and supplies, toys) so we have all been working diligently to recreate the structure that BP provided and give him lots of learning opportunities but alas, we are still not a daycare and he misses being around other kids.

However, he is just the smartest little thing. He’s starting to get very into letters (his current favorite show is Super Why, which was one Eli loved hardcore for a while and it teaches letters and reading skills). He still won’t sit for most books but at least now he does demand “Buts!” several times a day which even if he won’t sit for the whole thing is an improvement and he’s got about 10-15 letters down. He can count to 10 if you don’t ask him (he won’t do anything on command) and he has the most adorable lisp (sshhhhhtthhhix! ssshhhhheven! aight! nine! den!) He’s very verbal at two, much like his brother. He can quite clearly communicate what he wants and has a large vocabulary for two. He’s started using 4-5 word sentences and his favorite thing is to get in my face while I am sleeping in the morning and wake me up with both chubby hands on the sides of my face and declare, “I GET OUT OF BED! NO MORE SLEEPING, MOMMY!” (It’s cute to tell it, not live it)

He loves to draw. He is constantly saying, “Draw me!” which means he wants you to write his name. He can identify his name and the letters. He loves helping out in the kitchen and sweeping (which admittedly is a nightmare, this child with a broom, everybody gets clocked by the handle swinging around). He also loves the dust buster so he gets to vacuum the corners of the room most days. He continues to be a daredevil and loves jumping off things without warning (I am not so crazy about this) and loves being flipped and thrown around. Once finances allow, I am really looking forward to enrolling him in a gymnastics class. I think it will be right up his alley.

He starts Small Faces in January and I think he understands that he will be going there soon. Eli does before/after school there three times a week so we are still there quite a bit. It will be nice to have both of the boys at the same place.

Other than that, things are going well. Work is good and I’m working towards transitioning my schedule into one that has just day shifts so we don’t have to worry about childcare to cover my swing shifts when they coincide with Andy’s schedule. Trying to keep it all straight has got me turned around and frazzled and I’ve screwed up schedules a time or two now. I’m hoping starting in January I’ll be able to keep my same hours and even add on some with just day shifts. I’m lucky that I have a great boss who really supports me and is very understanding about trying to work with little kids.

Andy’s doing great after knee surgery and although he’s not fencing quite yet, I expect that to be happening in a light fashion within the next month or so. He’s doing PT and you’d never even know he had surgery if you saw him now (other than that knee is still not as hairy as the other one, ha). I’m pleased it seems to have turned out really well and I hope he can get back fencing as soon as possible.

For this month–Eli’s 6th birthday! In lieu of a party, he chose to take two friends to Remlinger Farms for the day so that is scheduled for the 26th. The month is pretty calm up until the last two weeks then it’s birthday party for a kid, the Harvest Carnival at his school, Remlinger Farms two days after that, his birthday that next Wednesday, then HALLOWEEN! Both of the boys want to be Power Rangers this year. I wish Eli would consent to just wearing the same Power Ranger costume he wore last year but sadly that is a Power Ranger Samurai costume and this year he wants to be a Power Ranger Super Megaforce. Then I at least hoped Ben would fit Eli’s hand me down but no dice. I’ll figure something out. Sigh. Ben doesn’t even really know what Halloween is, he just wants to do everything Eli does. Maybe I can squeeze Ben into that dinosaur costume and call it a win.

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One Response to “It’s been a long (but good) four months”

  1. scs123 October 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    Love to hear what’s going on!

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