Kid Updates

October 17, 2013

Down one more tooth!  C lost the front right top one today- actually, I pulled it out when she asked me to.  It wasn’t quite there but she was sure she wanted it out, so I twisted and wiggled until it came.  Pain.  Blood.  Drama.  Yelling.  Tears.  BUT she never closed her mouth to stop me.  She clearly wanted it out.  And then was THRILLED shortly afterward.  Doesn’t want to put it under her pillow tonight because she wants to show it to Rachel tomorrow before the tooth fairy gets it.

Per her teacher she is reading smack dab on 3rd grade level and is “a little bossy”.  Hah.

Rachel drew angry heart faces on C’s word paper from school.  It was hilarious.  C was offended.  R has learned to push her buttons.  Mostly by annoying her.  Which is funny until it gets annoying to me.  She also ran her first 5K this past weekend- I was so proud!  Eagerly awaiting her parent-teacher conference- I have a feeling it’s going to be all good.

Alice doesn’t want to go to bed and sleeps on the floor in the hallway these days.  She’s entering the f-you fours.  UGH.

Joe has thrown his first few two-year-old tantrums as well.  He’s still a couple weeks out but he’s starting to get very, “NO, Mama” and “I WANT THAT” and “MY whatever”.  But it’s cute.  He’s little.  He’ll get past it.  He’s still insanely charming.  I think he’s going to be a lot like Alice.  Just what I need: two youngest children!

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Kid updates

October 9, 2013

Joe is frequently putting 2-3 words together.  “NO NO NO, Dada.”  “Mama shoes!”  That sort of thing.  His sisters are Tah-tih, Day-del, Lah-lih, and he calls himself Doe.  He says his own name more than I remember the girls saying theirs at this age, but I suppose his name is simpler.  He walks into school every day and hugs every lady he passes- usually Miss Shirley, the baby teacher, Miss Teresa the cafeteria lady, Miss Joyce the Magic Wizard, and Miss Bridget from K2.  His teacher, Miss Judy, says she wishes she had a class full of him, he’s such a sweetie.  He’s into the girls’ ponies and can say most of their names, but gets mostly excited about Spike “PIKE!” the dragon.  (He has two stuffed Spikes of his own.)  We’ve got to get him out of the crib before he climbs out- need to figure out the bed situation.  Loved swimming lessons with Joe Bob at the YMCA.

Alice- hitting the f-you fours, though we’ve strung together a few good days in a row.  Anything she doesn’t like, she whines really high and gets all anxiety/defiant/ignoring… it’s hard to explain.  She doesn’t tantrum often but when she does, it’s epic.  She is recently enjoying falling asleep on the hall floor outside her room and it’s best not to bother arguing.  I do best with Alice if I can make her want to do things… if you ask/tell her to do something and she resists at all, best to distract because she will dig in and escalate FAST.  But man, is she ever cute and charming and charismatic.

Rachel is blowing away kindergarten.  Consistent blue in behavior charts, no problem understanding anything, her teacher loves her.  I’m told she’s taken a little ESL girl named Emma under her wing and is helping her with everything.  Ms. Branch says she’s like Catherine in that she takes care of others, but C was more interested in justice for all while R is more mellow and caring.  (And of course quieter.)  She’s so sweet and cuddly, but is also sort of in a way the funniest of the kids.

Catherine is doing just fine in first grade.  We haven’t heard much so far but I know everything she has brought home is below her level.  We were asked to give permission to test her for the gifted program and did, but nothing yet on that.  She’s still such a people-pleaser and in particular seems sensitive to me complaining about having too much to do and wants to help.  Which makes me in turn feel guilty that I am so incapable that a 6yo feels responsible for helping.  I love her.  We recently had an evening date and the best part was taking her to a Sephora and seeing her face light up when she saw all the pretty colors and cool makeup.  She loved it.

Next weekend, Hog Jog.  Going to run the 5K with the older girls.

We had the animals at the vet lately.  The cat, at age 14, is in fine health.  The dog, at 9 or 10, is not.  She’s been sneezing blood and it looks very likely she has nasal cancer- there is effectively nothing we can do.  We’re planning on riding it out as long as she seems comfortable and happy, which she does at the present, but we’ll probably be letting her go before too long.

And School Begins

September 2, 2013

I’m way overdue for an update.  So I’ll try to go brief, youngest to oldest:

Joe: Talking like crazy.  Alice is called “lah-lah” and they’re all “sissah!”  Was sitting in a shopping cart today at Lowe’s, faceplanted into the handle, and somehow cut his upper gum and bled like a stuck pig, but hardly cried.  I was proud of the tough kid!  We are a totally baby-gate-free house as of about a month ago when I got comfortable with him going downstairs.  FINALLY.  Loves his toy Spike from My Little Pony.  Through a fortunate turn of events, he wound up with two Spikes, loves them both.  Still uses a tootsie at night and for nap at home but it’s not a big deal.  Loves to brush his teeth.  Loves toys and babies.  Gets excited when planes fly over and when he sees a light he likes he’ll point it out.  Interested in Superman.  Staying in Toddler class.

Alice: Starts K4 tomorrow with Miss Chae, who reminds us of… Alice.  Has a speech impediment we’ve narrowed down to using a “d” sound for “th” and eliminating or using a “w” sound for “r”.  Best example of both is how she refers to me as “Mudda!”  (For Mother.  I have no idea why it’s Mother instead of Mommy or Mom.)  Got bubble gum in her hair this weekend, fortunately not badly, but this led to all three of the girls getting a couple of inches trim.  She’s still curly and gorgeous.  She’s the bravest of the girls in the swimming pool, when my parents take her to the YMCA.

Rachel: Starts kindergarten tomorrow!  after a long saga, we did manage to get her into Ms. Branch’s class (C’s teacher from last year).  She’s a little nervous, I can sort of tell, but gave Ms. Branch a big hug at orientation and passed her screening with no problem.  She’s a smart cookie and reads more than C did at this time last year.  She’s still the quietest and mellowest of the four but has chosen “being super annoying” as her weapon to push Catherine’s buttons.  She also finds toilet humor more funny than her sisters do.  Heh.

Catherine: Starts first grade tomorrow with Ms. Morgan.  Very helpful and people-pleasing still. It’s a story about her which prompted this post- we were walking through the mall today past a piercing/jewelry kiosk and Sean jokingly asked Alice if she wanted a piercing.  (Alice, of course, said “YEAH!”)  I noted that she was a little young and suddenly Catherine jumped in and said, “I want my ears pierced!”  Sean and I had both more or less agreed we were fine with it whenever she asked, but she’s so spooked of needles I thought it would be forever.  I was impressed with her “bravery”, so we went and asked a few questions, waited around… and did it!  She yelped at the first side, then sort of whimpered and held my hand to do the other side, but it really wasn’t her normal drama.

They’re metallic pink with a little jewel and look very cute and I am super proud of her.  She’s been basking ever since and talking on and on about how to care for them.  I think this may usher in a new era of hand washing in our house.

Carrollton Corral

March 13, 2013

Notable for:

1) My correct prediction that it was all a PTA cult drive to get us to sign stuff and give money and join the PTA RESISTANCE IS FUTILE WE ARE PTA YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.

2) That said, the kids were adorable in their jeans and bandanas and cowboy hats, and Catherine looked for us frantically, and then saw us and started literally quivering with excitement, jumping up and down and waving.  She was about the most excited kid on that stage, or at least the worst one at holding still.  It was very cute.

3) They sang a bunch of Western songs including “Deep in the Heart of Texas” (Alice loved clapping along), “Don’t Fence Me In”, and “Happy Trails”.

4) Mid-song, Catherine extracted herself from the group of 100+ kids and went to the front of the stage, said something to her teacher, hopped off the stage and was led out a side exit.  I hopped up and went running after her, wondering if she was sick or something.  Nope.  She had to go potty REALLY REALLY BAD.  ONLY MY KID.  Not one other kid moved from their place during this concert.  I am so saving this for her 16th birthday.

5) I actually recognized people, including her friend Katie and Katie’s family and some of the kids and parents from her birthday party.

6) Rachel loved it and is counting the minutes until she goes to kindergarten.

7) Joe would not sit still, thrashed about the entire time, wanted down, wanted up, wanted his own chair, wanted to kick me in the face, but also spent the entire time charming the socks off the two elderly ladies behind us.

Homework

November 5, 2012

Tomorrow’s Catherine’s first parent-teacher conference.  I’m nervous.  I never knew parents got nervous.  I am happy since she got her homework folder for the first time today, and it’s supposed to be customized to her abilities, and it’s just about what I thought.  Practice the easy words, work on some harder words.

Her class voted today for president, with voting booths.  She tells me that she voted for Mitt Romney, but Barack Obama won.  Her friend Seth voted for him.  She picks out Romney signs wherever we go.  She could not tell me why Seth or anyone else voted how they did, or what they were told to consider in making their pick.

We went to Sean’s half-marathon Saturday morning, the Virginia Running Festival.  I was extraordinarily proud of our timing.  Kids up about 7, play, breakfast, nap for Joe, clean up, shower, dressed warmly, and we headed out.  We got to Christopher Newport University, found a parking spot (not easy- I don’t know the campus well and I had no idea where the finish line was), strapped the smaller two into the stroller, and went looking for the finish line.  Wandered all the way across campus, eventually found where we were supposed to be, and the finish line was great.  Not crowded (they were funneling all the finished runners and families to a party area a field away), in the stadium on the track, and we could hang in the bleachers with other families.  It was a smallish race and not a lot of people there… most of them were just like me, wives with kids.  I could let the girls run around a bit, the Chik Fil A cows were there cheerleading, music, etc.  And we were there a perfect amount of time- 10-15 min- before Sean came in.  The girls got to run right onto the track to him.  He almost fell over and tried to hold himself up on Catherine’s shoulder, which was very cute.
Busy busy busy.  Church and visiting Sean’s office for family day yesterday.  Joe in church= hell.
JOE TURNED 1!!!!!  He got some baby toys (including a nifty multi colored flashlight the girls are all intrigued by), a car, and a bunch of clothes.  We had white cake with chocolate funfetti frosting.  HE ATE A LOT.

I did a turkey bowl for dinner on his birthday night and we shared it.  He loves the stuffing best… same as me.  That’s my boy.
He’s getting two molars on top.

He’s walking a lot.

He’s getting a rash around his mouth after eating.  I’m not sure what he’s allergic to, or if he possibly just has bad skin.

Joe

October 30, 2012

Three days shy of the big 0-1 and we have exactly no gifts for him.  I’m going out tomorrow in search of boy toys.  We do have white cake mix with chocolate funfetti frosting- chosen by his sisters.

The walking’s getting better and more confident, and more frequent and voluntary- as in, he chooses to do it, mostly to get to me, instead of being prompted to.

He really loves some people at the day care and is decidedly annoyed by others.

Loves: Shirley (Infant I), Cynthia (Infant II, his teacher), Kim (administrator)

Dislikes: Denise (K4), Sandra (K3), CC (Infant I/II)

Hit or Miss: Joyce (school age, Catherine’s teacher), Bridget (K2, Alice’s teacher)
Joyce (aka “The Wizard”) says he and his classmate Jack are her husbands and is constantly threatening to divorce them when they give her the side-eye.  He doesn’t actually cry at these people, just gives them the stink eye when they come near.  This is particularly sad for Miss Denise, who teaches the big K4s, but loves babies (and loves all the Kelly kids).  I figure give it 3 years and he’ll be her biggest fan.

This morning when we walked in and saw Miss Cynthia, he absolutley started giggling in glee.  I then started kissing on his cheek and he started laughing even harder and finally cracked up and buried his face in my chest, which was super cute and reminded me of how Alice used to do that.

Side note: the only one of my kids who ever had a regular daycare dropoff problem was Catherine. just about this age, and her problem is that she refused to go to anyone but Miss Shirley.  Miss Shirley has meant so much to all of them.

 

Back to School Night

September 25, 2012

Going 2 miles away on a weeknight, for an hour, is enough to kill a whole night for me.  But Catherine really, really wanted me to come to back to school night.  Which was confirmed for me when I got there and her teacher said she’d been talking about bringing me all day.  Awwwww.

  • I didn’t put two and two together on the vice principal until the principal mentioned the VP had a son named Hunter.  Then I put the names together and realized the VP’s son is Alice’s little boyfriend Hunter at Quality Time.
  • Principal spoke to a busy auditorium.  With a zillion kids in it.  Talk about tolerant.  So did C’s teacher, though a smaller group.  C was one of the only 2-3 kids who didn’t run wild, but stood quietly next to me while the teacher spoke.  I was very proud and told her I was impressed with how respectful that was.
  • We sat next to one of her classmates.  Addy talks more than Catherine.  Wow.
  • We saw one of her preschool friends (the only one whose mom I’m really friendly with) and the friend’s mom told me her kindergartner had had some big behavior problems the first couple weeks.  This maybe lined up a little bit with something C said about that friend being mean to her on the bus.  Mom’s on it, though.  I told her what MY mom said about the first part of kindergarten being rough.
  • Teacher said C is doing better with the incessant talking this week and last.  Woo!

Orange is the new blue

September 6, 2012

C: “Mommy, I got on blue today!”

Me: “Great job!  How?”

C: “Well, really I was on orange.”

Me: “That’s not blue.”

C: “No.”

Me: “So what happened to get you on orange?”  (This is TWO steps below green)

C: “I don’t know.  Well, I know.  I was talking when other people were talking.”

In her school planner today, I found the orange smiley face (at least it’s still smiling) and this note: “We talked about appropriate times to talk.”

I wrote the following on a piece of paper: “Shouldn’t children only speak when spoken to?  Good luck with that.  Thanks, Lindsey.”  Clipped it into the planner so Ms. Branch sees it tomorrow.

On the bright side: kindergarten for three days is WIPING her, just as I hoped.  She’s gone to bed every night at 7 and been OUT COLD.  This is the child who usually wanders out a dozen times after I put her down at 830.  Woohoo kindergarten!

Kindergarten

September 3, 2012

I’m seriously so excited for Catherine.  She’s been counting the days since 20-something.  We’ve done the registration, the screening, and the open house.  All the supplies are bought and off at school, and her backpack’s ready to go.  Sean will be making her lunch- we’re planning on sandwiches (deli meat and cheese), apples, and pretzels for a snack.  She has a water bottle.
She’s particularly excited about her scissors and the behavior chart in her new class with Ms. Branch.  She’s used to green-yellow-red, but the new chart also has orange between yellow and red, and blue and purple for extra good behavior.  She wants to know if I’ll be proud if she’s on blue or purple (yes) or if she’s never ever on red (yes) or if I like purple best (yes) and red worst (yes).

I know I have to let her teacher make her own impressions and her own relationship with Catherine, but if I did tell her things, I’d tell her… this kid’s smart, but that’s not what matters.  Her best qualities are how well-meaning she is, and how she wants people to feel good, and how she wants to help and achieve and make people proud of her.  She’s just a good, bright, likeable kid.  And affectionate.  And huggable.  She thrives on being asked to help with things.

What does she need from kindergarten?  Practice listening and following directions.  When she told me she wanted Ms. Branch to know how smart she was, I said there wouldn’t be a problem with that.  I told her what I want most of all is to hear from Ms. Branch that C is good at listening and following directions. That’s really the biggie.  She needs to redirect all that energy into productivity… I think she gets lost in her own thoughts and just doesn’t listen.  A lot.  She also needs to learn when to hold her tongue and let other people talk.

As I’ve said before, she’s a lot like me, and as such, I think I’m more sensitive to her personality quirks than I am to the other kids… I’m sensitive to them because they’re the same ones I’m embarrassed about having myself.  I want to save her from making mistakes I’ve made.

Course, I don’t worry about that with Rachel’s personality quirks (ones I don’t share, like moodiness), I figure they’ll work themselves out.  That’s the difference with a kid you share the quirks with, I think.  You worry about the quirks you know.

Anyway, tangent.  I’m so excited for her.  I’m so excited to share her with Ms. Branch and the new school.  I think they’re going to love her.  How could you not?

I’m hoping it actually challenges her.  Ms. Branch told me she had a number of beginning readers in the class- I think ( between that and the screening) that it’s tracked and she’s in a class of kids near her level, which is great.  I’m hoping it takes a bit more energy out of her than preschool has.  Kid has a TON OF PHYSICAL ENERGY.

I don’t know.  I have lots of thoughts about this.  None of them are particularly sad or freaked, though.  I’m really just thrilled for her, especially since she’s so thrilled.  I could see r being more hesitant when her time comes, but it will be nice then that C will already be there.

R starts K5 tomorrow.  C’s K5 teacher is no longer in K5, but instead is being groomed to take over the whole two-daycare system.  New teacher in R’s room… hope it’s good. The K4 teacher, Miss Denise, almost cried when she told me how sad she was to lose R and her classmates.  The class going on to K5 is small and good natured.  Miss Denise’s new class is 16 kids, mostly boys, and includes a number of behavior problems.  It makes me glad that R will still be there in the mornings.  Miss Denise needs a little Rachel in her life.

A is not moving on (yet) because of numbers.  J is where he is for a while.

Some kid updates

August 15, 2012

C: STARTING KINDERGARTEN in just a couple weeks!  She’s been pretty good lately though we’ve been having some trouble with smugness.  Two typical examples.

Me: Rachel, time to brush your teeth.  RACHEL!  GET ON IT.  C: Mommy, I’M brushing my teeth.  I’m being a good girl, right?

Me: Okay, C, you finished dinner and can have a cookie.  (Not mentioning the other two girls did not.)  C: MMMMM!  THIS IS THE BEST COOKIE EVER!  IT’S SCUMPTIONS!  (Scrumptious, I think.  This came out of her mouth this morning.)

Still super obsessive about treats and candy.  A people-pleaser, or means to be.  Has the memory of a goldfish, still, though, and just doesn’t THINK a lot of the time.  But oh so sweet, and clearly loves me a ton.  Every night asks if she can tuck me in, even though I’ve only let her a few times, ever.  Interested in doing jobs to make money for her bank.

R: Is 4.  4 is a bit rough.  Probably the easiest one to fall apart if something doesn’t go her way.  Likes to get up in my face and Joe’s, a lot.  Currently my pickiest eater.  Hates cleanup time and takes advantage of the fact that C knows what to do.  I’m starting to assign cleanup jobs instead and tell them they each have to do something… and if C does R’s work to finish it out, C gets paid (and smug).

She has a bit of a delicate look and is more mellow than either of her sisters.  Less high-energy zoom-everywhere.  On her own, not prone to getting riled up and will sit quietly and read or play with her computer.

A: So.  Damn.  Happy.  The only times she gets upset are (a) bedtime and (b) when wiping in the more remote areas requiring wiping during a diaper change.  Everyone who meets this kid or even hears about her thinks she’s fantastic.  Yes, spunk.  But DEAR GOD GIRL GET POTTY TRAINED.  PLEASE.  I’m also worried about her being a bit wild… and like R, but more so, taking advantage of the responsible older sister.

J: Down to nursing twice a day- morning and evening, and sometimes during the day on weekends.  Formula during the day at school, though we have a bit of frozen breastmilk to use up.  Not pumping and bottlemaking… I feel like I’ve got MORE TIME!  (I do.  But it really is apparent.)  He eats about everything and we walk into school at the morning and he looks straight over at Miss Shirley for food.

He cut another tooth- bottom, to the left of the center 2 (this past week).  I’m still not sure what’s up with his freaky shark fang tooth.  I’ll have the doctor take a look at his appointment next Wednesday, but Haley will see him before then anyway.

He’s happy and cuddly and delightful and starting to cruise, but still doesn’t crawl.  Man, can he flop forward quickly though!  He cracks up if I bury my face in his tummy.  He’s much more a hair-grabber than his sisters were.  Ouch.