Two years ago today, Devon came rushing into our world, and somehow my hair looked amazing. To celebrate the big 0-2, we decided to take the day off work and head to the orchard. We had beautiful weather and had a blast playing all day long!
At two, Devon is giving us a run for our money. He still doesn’t talk much, so we deal with a lot of yelling, grunting and general frustration. He knows what he wants, and can be quite defiant when our wants don’t match up. Devon knows all of his colors and loves blue, or “BOOO!” He likes trucks, swinging, getting dirty and doing whatever his sister is doing. Devon gives great hugs and sloppy kisses. Instead of saying, “I love you” to his sister at bedtime, he says “Night-night” over and over again and they both giggle hysterically.
This funny, adorable, independent, usually dirty and sticky boy completes our family in the most amazing way and we’re so thankful for the last two years!
We’ve been working with Chloe on the idea of tattling recently. She’s sort of a black-and-white kid – a rule follower. Which means that every little infraction of a playmate (friend or sibling) gets reported back to us. I’ve taken to quoting Mama Bear from the Berenstain Bears. It’s something like, “Tattling is sharing to get someone in trouble. Telling is sharing to help someone.”
Last Saturday, Chloe interrupted a conversation Aaron and I were having to tell us that Devon had dumped some stickers out in her room. I almost gave her the tattling lecture, but instead just told her I’d deal with it when I was done talking. When I got done, this is what I found:
I was glad I hadn’t jumped in and gone with the tattling lecture. Although, to be fair, no one (and nothing) was in any danger. We just had a giant mess on our hands. However, this was one of those gray areas that wouldn’t make much sense to my daughter.
After Aaron and I picked our jaws up off the floor and the kids stopped ‘swimming’ through the stickers (there’s a video…) we worked together to get every last sticker picked up. So there was a valuable lesson to be learned from all this: teamwork.
And maybe a good reminder for Mom about taking in the situation before making any judgments. And not just picking ‘lecture A, B, or C’ to deal with every problem that comes along.
The parking situation during drop off for Chloe’s first few days of preschool was crazy and chaotic. I’ve been told people get the hang of it after a while and it gets a lot easier, but I wanted an alternative to the chaos until it’s figured out. So last week I decided I could take the kids with the bike trailer. Chloe’s preschool is 1.4 miles from our house, according to Google Maps. It takes about 30 minutes, round-trip, including loading/unloading several times and walking Chloe to her teacher. Since I have the time, it’s been a nice option for us.
Here’s what I learned while biking her to school:
- I’m out of shape.
- Most of the 1.4 miles between our house and the school is uphill, I swear.
- The ride home, which conversely is mostly downhill, is a lot easier since we’ve left 40 pounds at the school.
- I don’t get “helmet hair” as badly as I thought I might.
- I’m seriously out of shape.
- If you accidentally pinch Devon’s chin skin in the strap of his (pink) helmet, he will totally freak out and not let you anywhere near his chin again, even though the buckle is still pinching his skin and he’s in a lot of pain. Sorry buddy!
- Wardrobe choice and hairstyle choice for a 4 year-old is greatly influenced by riding in a bike trailer and wearing a helmet.
- Have I mentioned I’m out of shape?
- My kids are too big to ride in the bike trailer together. It won’t solve many problems, because D still needs a place to ride, but I really want one of these:
Weehoo iGo Pro Bike Trailer-Cycle
I was hoping to make this a habit, at least until Iowa weather dictated otherwise. But Monday morning I woke up with a cold or allergies – either way, I was full of snot and coughing up a storm. I decided riding the bike in wasn’t a great idea, all things considered. I still thought I might get back to it later in the week, but we’ve had a couple rainy mornings and I’m still not feeling 100%, so we’ve driven and dealt with the ridiculousness that is the preschool parking lot.
The verdict is out on whether I’ll bike Chloe to school next week and beyond. I should. It might even help me get in shape 😉 However, there are a lot of mornings I’d love the extra 10 minutes before we need to leave the house. And Devon spends a lot of the ride home whining, because he’s lonely and uncomfortable after wearing his helmet for a while. And it’s hard. Because I’m out of shape.
I guess we’ll just see if I can overcome all these excuses…
This is one of C’s latest creations. It started with construction paper and involved lots of glue, buttons, paint and glitter. The girl has been taking a lot of time with her artwork lately, seemingly putting thought into what she’s doing. It’s been fun to see the progression!
She’s also been giving stories to her artwork. This one says, “A person falling off a mountain, because they weren’t paying attention so bonked their head.”
Someday when she’s a wildly successful artist, you can say you saw her work here first 😉
Today was the day. The so very exciting day that started with Chloe Mae bursting into our room saying, “Today’s the first day of preschool, Mommy!”
This is what she had to say about her day:
“So….I maked this. And it’s for you, mommy. It’s kind of like a little book. And I ate snack! (Goldfish and apple juice.) Miss Jill bringed it today. After snack we played outside. Then, I….Then we went to playing time and cleaned up and went home. So we singed songs and read stories and guess what? Guess what?!? A’s ice cream cone was right next to my ladybug when we sat down for circle time! She was next to me! K sits at my table and she has a flower. I think D might sit at my table, but I don’t remember if D does. But he might. And someone with cherries. I don’t remember her name, but she sits there. And…then, at playing time we all had to take little velcro things and then whatever we wanted to do we had to put our thing on something. Like blocks, or drawing, or kitchen or read books. And there’s a ladybug on it too. I did books and kitchen. I didn’t make any new friends, just A and K, but when I get more comfortable, I might make new friends. I cut paper and swinged and then I just went home. Well, back to Miss S’s.”
We managed the drop off without shedding a single tear. She was never even close (although I did get a long hug at one point), but I was teary eyed a couple times. It wasn’t sadness, just the amazement that my little girl is growing up to be such an outgoing, curious, friendly, excited little girl who is officially a preschooler now! So we’re off. The years and years of school have started for this family!
Chloe’s first official day of Preschool is Thursday, but this morning we attended “Glimpses.” It was a bit like an open house – just during the day when she will normally have school. We had a checklist of things we needed to find together in the room and Chloe had a few activities to complete. Then there was the requisite playtime.
Chloe is even lucky enough to already have a friend in her class, someone we knew from church, so she had an instant friend to play pretend with. I’m sure we’ll be adding names to our list of new friends as the week goes on!
I’m preparing myself for Thursday. I don’t think I’ll be a crier. And Chloe certainly won’t be a crier. (Devon is another story though. He might not be so happy about his sister going to school without him…) But I think there’s a good chance that Chloe will go off to her first day of preschool without so much as a backward glance or a wave for mom. Because she’s excited. Soo excited! And so ready to play with new friends and learn new things!
We had to say goodbye to some amazing friends today. The girls were best friends. The boys were best friends. The moms were friends. The dads were friends. We’ve known each other for over 3 years now – and when you have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, that’s a lifetime. They offered daycare for Chloe for 2 years and for Devon’s first few months. They lived just a few blocks away, so we had plenty of playdates – planned and spontaneous – trips to the orchard, zoo, library, Orange Leaf, parks all over town and trick-or-treated around the neighborhood together. These weren’t just our friends, they were family. Our children always had fun with their family and knew they were loved and we knew we could get advice, a laugh or maybe even a few minutes of adult conversation if we were lucky. We spent the last couple days cramming in as much time with our friends as we could, before they started their cross-country journey. And I held it together (mostly). But today, as the sound echoed through the empty rooms in their house and we helped pack up the last few items in their truck, I got a little teary. Then the girls gave each other flowers and said, “When I look at this, I’ll think of you.” Then the tears started flowing. And as we gave the final hug(s), there was full on crying. Even the dad may have gotten a little teary – or maybe it was just allergies. Nobody knows for sure…
The girls in their early days together.
Shortly after they became a foursome.
The foursome in all their current cuteness.
There’s going to be a definite period of adjustment for our family as we adust to life without some of our best friends nearby. However, we are so very thankful that we had them in our lives for the last few years. And luckily, we live in a world with all kinds of fantastic technology, so we can easily keep in touch. And we have lots of great memories. Anddd…they moved to Southern California and will be about half hour from Disneyland. Sounds like a family vacation is in the works…