Friday, September 23, 2005

Preschool Adventures

So it is fall - my favorite time of the year and the kids have started preschool. I wasn't sure about this at first but thought that if Lukas was going, then Katie could go also - after all, it is only 2 days a week. The first day (Tuesday, September 6th - see attached picture) went about as I expected. Katie was SO excited she said "I go to school and sing songs and read stories and eat snack!" Lukas kept telling us he was scared and Katie would be sad with him not in the same room - this would be the first time they would be separated. So we went with him sulking and her very excited...until we walked in the door. She started clinging and he became excited at the sight of the classroom and the toys etc. We dropped him off first showing him where things were and telling him I would be right down the hall at my "Mommy meeting" (MOPS) and I would pick him up in a few hours. He walked away and started playing without a backwards glance. On to the two-year old room...EVERYONE was crying in this room - moms, kids (and I am sure the teachers were considering it), well that did it. Katie figured nothing good could come of this - if everyone else was crying this could not be a good place. So, we showed her the classroom and all of the toys and her two teachers and attempted to distract her with some of her favorite things. Well several minutes later, without success, we hesitantly left. I figured I would be fine I was going to a room with supportive moms and my experience as a teacher told me she would be fine. Well, Randy lingered in the hall and kept listening to her cry and finally we said good-bye and I went to MOPS and he went to work. The problem was, MOPS didn't start until 9:30 so I wandered around trying to help set up and keep my mind off my child who was screaming and clinging to the bottom half of the dutch door on the classroom. I have never been so torn in all my life - the teacher in me knew that the worst thing I could do was to go back to the room because it woul just start all over again. However, the mom in me kept thinking "What if she NEVER stops crying?!!?!?!???" So, I listened and listened and cried and had other moms walk over to check on her and FINALLY around 9:40 one of the moms told me they had just passed her classroom and she was playing and had stopped crying. What a tough day! I spend a lot of time second guessing myself - was she too young, had I made a terrible mistake?? Well, three weeks later I am happy to say that morning drop off is still rough at times, we have had 2 completely tear-free days but when I pick her up and hear her recount every minute of her day - the book they read, the songs they learned, having her show me her beautiful picture she painted...It is all worth it and I am sure I have made the right decision!

So I am sure that by now you are thinking "What about Lukas?" Well, let me tell you he goes in everyday, takes out his folder, puts his backpack away and hangs his name up on the "Who's here today" wall. The first week was fabulous - the second week he was sick on Tuesday and started to talk about "the hitting boy". Uh-oh. Apparently there is a "hitting boy" in his room and Lukas is who he prefers to hit. So of course, my first reaction was why is he hitting him - so I asked Lukas - "Did you take something from him?" His innocent 3-year old reply was "Well, he wouldn't share it!" So that gave me some insight. Next I attempted to use it as a lesson in compassion. I explained to Lukas that not all 3-year olds know the word "frustrated" and maybe that boy doesnt have as many words as Lukas to tell him how he feels. I told Lukas he can help that boy to use his words and that taking a toy is just as bad a decision as hitting. Well, I did talk to his teacher about it so that she could watch the both of them and maybe help them to resolve their problems with words. So, how did this little lesson go? Well, I picked him up yesterday and had my worst "mommy moment" so far. His shirt was covered in red paint - no problem we knew that they paint and it might get on their clothes. But as his teacher approaced the car with him she said "We had a little trouble listening today." (That is teacherese for "He had a bad day!") "Oh?" I managed to say. Well, he didnt want to stop painting and it was time to stop, there was lots of paint on the brush about to go everywhere so she stepped in and... He BIT her!!!! OH, MY, GOD! I wanted to DIE! As a former teacher I had no idea what to say. As his mother i could only apologize profusely and assure her we would talk about it at home - he would lose computer priveleges for 2 days and well, what else was there to say? Oh, yeah, he also took a swing at her! It just kept getting better and better. She assured me that there are several active boys in the class and they were all wound up and he wasnt alone in his "defiance" but that didn't really make me feel any better. So I took my children home - I admit i cried in the car on the way home - thoughts of him being thrown out of preschool, becoming a juvenile delinquent etc. running through my mind. So I calmed down on the way home and talked to Randy when I got home and then we both went to his room and talked to him. We explained what the consequences would be and tried to impress upon him how wrong it was to do that and that if he did it again there would be worse consequences. He just kept saying I'm sorry and when we asked him why he would do something like that his response was very "Lukas" - "She wouldn't listen to me!"
So that is the recap for the first three weeks of preschool - who knows what adventures lie ahead. I will share one more story that his teacher shared with me last week - She asked the children to come to circle to get instructions and Lukas went to the chalkboard. "Lukas, I asked you to come to circle to get instructions." Said his teacher. His reply? "I am going to write the instructions on the board." So she told him to go ahead. She thought this was pretty funny - thank God she can see the good side of him as well!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Gardening and 3 year olds; a name a day for the dog

So I was at WalMart with the kids and we were looking at plants. I found a beautiful Hibiscus with an orange flower and thought how beautiful it would look at the house. I said "Lukas, what do you think of this plant? It is called a Hibiscus." "A Highbiscuits?" He replied. "Yes," I said. He looked at the plant for a minute, pointed to the one flower on it and said, well, there is one high biscuit but where are the rest?" Rather than trying to explain, I told him more would grow later. He was quite excited to find more "high biscuits" on the plant the next morning. He told the neighbor girls (his friends) that we got a new plant - a High biscuits!

More about the new dog - we decided that her name is Sadie - she likes it and learned it in one day. Katie even liked it and began calling her Sadie. However, Katie still calls her "him" and occasionally refers to her as "George". This morning when she said "He's a good pet." I said "Yes, she is, what is her name?" Her reply was "Clifford the big dog!" I can't wait to see what her name will be tomorrow!
Sadie, by the way has turned out to be all we had hoped, she plays with Alex (when he is in the mood to play), she tolerates the kids tugging on her, chasing her and squeezing her, she is gentle with them and the only problem we are having is "puppy chewing". This too shall pass!

Monday, June 27, 2005


..............sure is cute and Happy :-) 'to be home'!!
Love, Gaga

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"There you go, you home now!" (by Katie) Posted by Hello

Alex & "Joy" playing while Katie watches Posted by Hello

"Joy" with Katie and Alex Posted by Hello

Molly and "Joy" getting to know each other. Posted by Hello

And puppy makes 3...

Well, we've gone and done it. We got another dog. I'll wait while you think of your sarcastic comment to post...

Okay, so we have been talking about getting a "transition" dog. What, you may ask is a "transition" dog? Well, we have a 13 year old Cocker Spaniel and an 8 year old Hound. That is pretty old for them add to that 2 small children and 2 adults who are pretty attached to those two old dogs. We have been thinking about what will happen when the time comes for Molly and/or Alex to no longer be with us and we thought that transition would be easier, at least for the kids, if there was another dog. Besides, Alex has spent his whole life with a quiet old Cocker Spaniel who never was much fun to hang out with.
So, we went to the animal shelter and looked and looked - we had found a hound on line we liked but she had already been adopted when we got there. There were 2 litters of yellow lab puppies but that is a lot of work, and I have NO doubt that they will be easily adopted. So we ended up with "Joy" a "hound mix" according to her paperwork. She is about 14 months old -so probably full grown and about midway between Molly and Alex in size. They are all getting along great so far and Alex keeps trying to play, but she just becomes submissive - I am posting some pictures so you can see how they are all getting along. The thing that really convinced us was, when we were at the shelter, we had time to interact with her out in a yard. Lukas was playing with something near the fence and she went over to him and laid down beside him and licked him! She seems very gentle so far and seems very comfortable in her new home. When we got home and they were all in the yard Katie said "There you go, you home now!"
We are still deciding if her name will stay Joy or we will change it. She doesnt seem to recognize it, as she was a stray and I think they named her at the shelter. Katie likes "George" from her favorite book Bark, George! so we are considering a female derivitave of that.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Through the eyes of a child...

With all the Star Wars craze (Lukas is riveted by the commercials for anything Star Wars!) we decided to watch the original Star Wars with him. I found it fascinating to see how a three year old interpreted the movie. I should first mention that, to him, it was all about the robots. So here it is, Star Wars, through the eyes of a three year old:

The “little one” (R2D2) and the “yellow one” (C3P0) are in the desert and get separated. Then they find each other again. Then Luke Skywalker goes in the “monster party” (the Cantina) where they meet Han Solo and the “tickly monster” (Chewbacca). Kind of gives you a new perspective on an old favorite!

Another Star Wars note: Katie was making a sucking in and out noise during dinner and I said – Katie please stop that, that noise is disgusting.” Lukas jumps right in and says “That is the sound “Dark Alligator” makes.” “Dark Alligator?” I asked. “Yeah mommy, the Dark Alligator guy in Star Wars.”
He now calls him "Dark Vader."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

May 2005 Posted by Hello

pool playdate 6-14-05 Posted by Hello

Lukas' 3rd Birthday Posted by Hello

Our First Blog!

Well, here it is - our first blog! I am hoping this will be a way to keep everyone up to date with the kids and our family. I will try to post pictures of the kids and funny stories and things that they say. I hope you enjoy it!