Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Starting Preschool

Today Jack started preschool, the first of many first days of school he will face over the next two decades. I would love to tell you all how I searched for months and applied to fifteen different preschools determined to find THE perfect one to prepare my precious boy for Harvard, but seriously people this is me we are talking about. The truth is I visited and applied to exactly one preschool, a little two-room schoolhouse in our town. Truth be told I think I mostly liked the way the school looked and just got lucky that it has a good reputation and nice teachers.

Our first experience with Jack's new peers was a few weeks ago at the Popsicle Social. This annual event is held at a local park and all the students and parents are invited to meet the teachers and eat a popsicle. As we walked from the car to the park with Grace on my hip and Jack holding my hand, Jack looked up at me and said, "I am a little scared." I looked down and answered, "me too buddy, new things are sometimes scary." I have always hated when people say, "there is no reason to be scared." As a matter of fact I usually try and validate our kids's feelings because telling them not to feel a certain way doesn't make the feeling go away it just makes them believe their feeling is wrong.

My first thought upon arriving was that I was definitely in the wrong school. Jack, Grace and I showed up for the 5:00 p.m. gathering dressed in the clothes we had worn all day, shorts and t-shirts. Christian did not join us because he had to work that day and I didn't think dads would leave work just to go to the popsicle social. Well people, I was wrong on all counts. Dads were there, thankfully Jack didn't seem to notice, and everyone was dressed like it was picture day. It didn't occur to me that the mom dress code for a hot July afternoon at the park would be skinny jeans and wedges. I was having serious regrets about private preschool.

Those regrets only lasted until orientation. Last week we attended orientation with Jack's teachers and just his classmates. The moms seemed normal, not dressed like we were going to the club. He loved his classroom and I felt much better about allowing my kid to be influenced by these adults and children without my supervision.

This morning I made Jack "sugary goodness" a.k.a. french toast with butter and powered sugar on top for his special first day of school breakfast. He dressed in his new "working shirt" a.k.a. button-up shirt like daddy wears to work. And thank the lord he pooped before we left the house so he wouldn't have to do it at school.

While driving Jack to school I asked him if he was scared today and he said no. I love that he is excited for school. No tears were shed as Grace and I walked away at drop-off. He is ready for school even if I am not.

After school Jack was excited to show his craft for the day, a teddy bear mask made with a paper plate and construction paper. He got to glue and that was fun stuff. He also got to play with the big fire engine and the dinosaurs. My little guy is growing up and while I am sad the time is passing by too quickly, I am also happy to watch him on this new adventure.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Grace at 18 months

Grace is18 months old! The week she turned 18 months old we also got a positive report at her orthopedic appointment. Her hips look good!

After three years of motherhood I finally enjoy the job (most days). If you are in my inner circle you know that babies scare me and sleep depravation is how I picture hell. It seems I am in the minority but I believe children get easier as they age. Sure Jack can be sassy and defiant but he can walk, talk and feed himself. I work much better with people who can speak to me and now Gracie can also walk, talk and feed herself.

Grace is a sweet girl and she is fun to watch. In the mornings she wakes up looking for Jack, "Jack?" she says with her sleepy-eyed smile. The most precious words to ever enter my ears are Grace saying, "roly-poly" following Jack around trying to squish the bug in his hand.

Grace shares many of Christian's characteristics. She is a great sleeper, can sit quietly entertaining herself, and most certainly has his eyes and smile. Our little joke is that she is Christian's child. However, recently Grace has taken to carrying around books. Her current favorite is Fodor's Pocket Guide to Paris. She also loves to eat. These two qualities match me perfectly. If sleep deprivation is my hell then food and books are my heaven.

Grace is a tough girl with a strong mind. Unlike Jack who just complied easily with my obsessive requests until he turned three, Grace lets me know when she doesn't like what I want. She will wiggle her way out of a shopping cart seat in a minute. She will thrash around in my arms determined to walk and she will sling a toy away if it isn't what she wants to play with.

Grace also has a gentle nature. She loves to cuddle and is very observant. She loves to take baths and wants to wear hair bows. She gets bashful when Christian hugs her good-bye in the mornings. She loves to play in the dirt and will attempt anything Jack is doing. Christian recently asked me, "when will she become dainty?" "Sorry, but I don't think I was ever dainty," was my reply.

We are in love with life. These sweet babies are doing well and each day is more of a joy than the last. Grace at 18 months is fun, exciting and sweet. I love my family and am so proud of Grace's strength over the last 18 months.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Air Show

Last summer Jack and Christian attended the Erie Air Show. All year Jack has talked about the air show. He was most impressed by the tractor that carried patrons back and forth to their cars. Each time we pass the airport (which is at least five times a week) Jack talks about the air show. Last Saturday was the return of the annual show and this year we all went. Here are a few photos of our exciting air adventure.