Thursday, August 15, 2013

Starting Preschool

This was certainly a big week for Ian! On Monday evening, we all went to his classroom Open House. He got to put his snacks, water bottle, and extra clothing away in his cubby. He eagerly said hello to their classroom fish, explored the classroom toys, and found his name written in various places around the classroom.
He got to see Mrs. Miller again and meet some new friends that would be in his class.

Up until the Open House night, Ian seemed pretty neutral to the idea of going to preschool. He had moments of interest when we'd talk about preschool -- but he also had times when he seemed worried about the unknown (and VERY upset that his school has a no-peanut-butter-allowed policy!). Thankfully, just being in the classroom again changed everything. On Monday night and all through Tuesday, he said many times eagerly, "I get to go to preschool!!"  He told nearly everyone at the doctor's office (for Ryan's 15-month well-check) that he was going to school the next day.

Hee eagerly opened some first-day-of-preschool care packages from thoughtful family members! (Thanks so much!)

And he even did his first homework assignment -- creating a family picture page for their classroom scrapbook. He spent lots of time choosing just the right stickers and drawing a picture of himself with markers in between the photographs.

The morning of August 14, Ian woke up bright and early! He was VERY excited! He had cereal and fruit in the shape of a "P" ("for preschool!" Ian shouted).  We read Curious George's First Day of School while we ate breakfast.
After getting dressed, we had to take those traditional first-day-of-school-with-a-backpack-on pictures, though none of them turned out particularly well ...

Then we headed to preschool! Momma wasn't sure how the transition was going to go for our more tentative firstborn. Ian would generally much prefer to be WITH Momma or Daddy, and he is always a little timid about change. But, God certainly answered our prayers to ease Ian's transition and to give him confidence. Ian paused at the doorway to take a picture with his friend, Annie (in a different class).
Then, he Ian walked right into the classroom and put all of his belongings away. He greeted his teacher, Mrs. Miller, and her assistant, Ms. Brenda.

He showed Mrs. Miller his scrapbook page.
His teacher helped him put up the clothespin to show he was there! 
And then Ian got right to playing ...
Kim (and Ryan) planned to stay for a few minutes to let Ian get settled -- as many of the other kids were just arriving. But Ian said, "Why are you still here, Momma?" Ha ha! What an amazing answer to prayer! We took that as our sign to leave, though I was fighting back tears. It's just so bittersweet to start Ian's gradual process toward complete independence!

Ryan and I went to Chick-fil-a for a Boo Hoo Breakfast with friends Aliceson and Samuel, did some grocery shopping, and then came home to play together. I can already tell what a blessing it will be to have one-on-one time with Ryan! It's nice for him to get extra attention and to play with whatever toys he wants without having to share with Ian. We had a great time together!

Best of all, when we went to pick up Ian, HE had had a great day, too. We heard about it in bits and pieces (mainly when we asked just the right question), but he was always very positive about school. And he woke up eager to go to school again this morning. That's a great sign! The worst part was that pick-up time for Ian (12 noon) is right when Ryan usually starts his nap. Ryan took a 5-minute nap in the car but then thankfully took a little longer nap in the late afternoon. We'll just have to be flexible on preschool days ... :)
We asked Ian what he wanted for dinner to celebrate a successful first day. He asked for pizza!

Today he came home from preschool just as positive as yesterday and with a few more stories to share, like about how he learned special actions for "Jesus Loves Me." He seems to really be enjoying it! After dinner tonight, Ian jumped up and said, "Momma, I want to do the dishes!" As he was washing them, he told us that his teacher had told his class that they should all help their mommas with something before it was nighttime. So sweet! We're glad that he listened so well ... and that he took her assignment so seriously!

We are so proud of you, Ian! You'll have a wonderful year in Pre-K, as God keeps leading and guiding you! :)


One day last week, we decided to try Pudding Painting! Of course, one of the best parts of it was eating it!
It was also fun to move it around with a spoon.
We used food coloring to make it different colors ...
... and experimented with mixing the colors together.
So fun!
We had to test if the colored pudding tasted like the plain vanilla.
We spread it on our paper
and even used our fingers to make our high chair tray rainbow-colored!
Big Brother experimented with making different color combinations by mixing food coloring.
After trying Q-tips to paint, Ian wanted to "spoon paint like I spread jelly" instead of getting his hands dirty.
In the end, we were a little rainbow-colored ourselves! :)

15 months

It's hard to believe that another month has already come and gone! Here's what Ryan has been up to this month ...

STATS:  Height: 31.5" (60th percentile)    Weight: 25 lb. 7 oz. (84th percentile)

*continues to throw anything he can get his hands on ... but now he'll "warn" us by saying "toh!" ("throw") loudly right before he does it :)
*got 1 more tooth -- a bottom molar
*loves trying to climb on top of things

*says "no, no" when going over to the nightlight -- but will proceed to take it out of the outlet if no one is there to stop him
*has a special fascination with some words, like "backpack" and "doctor" ... he'll repeat them with a huge smile!
*LOVES finding his belly button when asked
*starting to sign the word "help" and signs the word "more" all the time to mean "I want"
*loves shaking his head and saying "no," even sometimes when meaning "yes"
*can say about 20 words -- new words this month include bus, uh oh, hat, eye, Elmo, and hi
*can help with easy tasks & loves following directions

*has made HUGE strides with eating this month ... he eats a wider variety and bigger quantity of food. We don't know what has changed -- if it's just that he's gotten older, that his anemia issue is resolved, that he's hungrier?? Whatever it is, though, we're so thankful! Our non-meat-eater even ate chicken, pork, and beef all within a period of a few days!
*can drink from a straw cup
*started to feed himself (yogurt, applesauce, etc.) with a spoon -- sloppy but coming along!
*likes to feed US
*discovered just how tasty ice cream is!
*wants his hands to be wiped off immediately whenever he gets them too messy while eating
*loves taking bites of big pieces of fruit -- like apples

*has started an unfortunate tradition of waking up at 5:30 in the morning ... and won't fall asleep even if we take him in bed with us! He might've inherited Papa's early bird tendencies .... :)

*books continue to be a big part of each day -- he loves to pick his own book off the shelf (the "blind man" book and Elmo counting book are his two current favorites), bring it to us, and back up into our lap. About half the time, he'll sit through the whole story. The other half of the time, he leaves to choose a new book a few pages in. ;)
*likes paging through books on his own -- sometimes for 4-5 minutes at a time!
*still loves the fake moss on our fake tree but now will tell us he has it ("maw! maw!")
*fascinated with dump trucks and buses 
*hides objects in the "trunk" of his firetruck and mower push toys. On more than one occasion, "lost" things like washcloths, remotes, books, and even Momma's keys were found in the trunk. (Momma's watch, though, must've been put in a different secret spot! It's still MIA. Ha!) 

*loves opening and closing doors, drawers, and cabinets -- and taking as many things out as possible
*also seems to LIKE picking things up and/or putting things back where they belong(!)
*flaps his arms when he sees a dog
*fascinated with Ian's remote control car & likes to make it "drive" but can't really control where it is going
*enjoys dressing up -- especially in fun socks
"Show me your socks," we asked Ryan for this picture.
*finding Elmo in books
*playing in water

*HATES having fingernails and toenails trimmed and will cry loudly
*having a toy or object taken away ... Ryan definitely has started having his own opinions and has been expressing an independent streak. (Temper tantrums have begun ... ha ha1)
*going to the church nursery or anywhere that Momma or Daddy aren't in plain sight

We love you, Mr. Fifteen-Month-Old!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


 A family from our small group invited us to go camping with them one night last weekend. Matt and I have never been big campers, but Tim and Martha are! We knew that Ian would love every moment of it, so we jumped at the opportunity to go along with some experienced campers (who just happen to have a son that Ian really enjoys spending time with)!

From the moment that we told Ian we were going camping, he was convinced that he needed to help Matt set up the tent that we had bought from Target a few weeks before. In fact, while packing for the trip, he gathered four toy hammers that he had from around the house in order to help with pounding in the pegs. We told him he could bring two. When we got to the campsite, Ian's friend Christopher asked if Ian wanted to go to the playground. "No, Chris!" Ian said, " I have to help my dad set up the tent first!" Ian happily helped hammer in all of the pegs and was very excited about having the chance to spend the night in a tent.

After setting up camp, the boys got to work digging. They were very excited to find tree roots under the dirt.
 Then, we headed to the playground that was right across the street from our campsite. (We camped at Huntsville State Park, only about 45 minutes away from our house. It was a nice park!)
 Ryan gets some cuddle time with Daddy on the swing.
 Ian was pretty excited about climbing up to the top of this play structure. We're guessing that there was a slide up at the top at some point.
 Ryan enjoyed climbing around, too!
 Then, the boys went for a bike ride around the state park while the rest of us walked. We realized while walking that Ian had never before biked on hills. Matt had to give him a quick lesson on braking and not pedaling like crazy on the downhills. There was only one close call when Matt saved Ian and his bike from tumbling down a bunch of stairs. Thank God that His angels were protecting Ian -- and that the Lord has given Matt super fast reaction skills!
 We biked down to the lake, where Ian was very excited to see lots of lilypads.
 Christopher and Ian were convinced that we might get to see some fish if we dropped trail mix (particularly marshmallows) down the hole into the lake. Surprisingly, no fish appeared. :)
 Ryan enjoyed walking all over on the "boardwalk" and picking up any trail mix pieces that were dropped.
 The boys biked really fast, so Matt and Tim gave them directions for the next stopping place before letting them take off each time.
 Back at the campsite, we relaxed on our chairs. (Ryan loved that there was a chair his size.)
 Mackenzie (about 7 months older than Ryan) was just waking up from a nap in this picture, I believe.
 Then the older boys set off to find twigs for our campfire.
 While Tim and Martha made dinner, Kim played a memory match game with the older boys and Matt watched the younger ones.
 Ian got to help Mr. Tim grill the homemade pizzas for dinner.
 What a delicious meal!
 Of course, the highlight of the meal was the s'mores for dessert. Ian took his job roasting marshmallows very seriously and did NOT want to burn them!
 After we were done cooking, Tim and Martha threw a cool packet into the fire that made the flames rainbow colored. It was fun to watch!
 Our boys fell right to sleep after shower time (they were exhausted!) but woke up a few times during the night. Thankfully, it wasn't too hot in our tent since we had brought a box fan to plug in. (I know, I know. That's not "true" camping ... but this is Texas. In July. Our handy friend Tim even rigged up an air conditioner system for their tent. Lucky ducks.)

The next morning, after a yummy breakfast fixed by Tim and Martha, we went on another bike ride to the pond.
 Aren't the lily pads beautiful?

We had a great time, and Ian asked immediately when we'd be able to go camping again. Both Matt and I decided that we still really aren't campers at heart. We love being outdoors and away from "civilization," but we sorta love the hotel feel while vacationing. :) But Tim and Martha are slowly working to make us believers, and as long as they're willing to go and let us come along, we're excited to learn more about it ... and to let our boys have the time of their lives!