Monday, June 27, 2011

Anna's First Camping Trip

We went camping last weekend -- and for Anna, it was her first time!
We had a lot of fun.  The weather was perfect - warm in the day, cool at night -- and NO RAIN!!!!

We went with some friends of the family that we like to hang out with.  They are outdoorsy and adventurous like we pretend to be.  Their kids are close to the same age as ours, so there was plenty of playing going on.

Anna did a pretty good job on her first campout.  We had her sleep in the pack-n-play, so that she would stay in one place when it was time for bed.  Otherwise I am sure she would have crawled all over the tent until she finally tired out.

The first night we were up late.  I think the excitement of camping and all being in the same tent was just too much for the kids.  They giggled until at least 11:30.  Then, at 5:30 the next morning, Anna decided that talking back to the birds that were chirping, crowing and cawing in the woods would be fun.  I have to admit, even though I was annoyed to be waking up at that hour, I had to laugh at her cawing like a crow. Fortunately, the campground was pretty empty so we didn't have too many neighbors to disturb.

The second night was much better. Everyone was pooped after a long day of fun outdoor activities.  Kids went to bed early and didn't get up until after 7  -- a much more respectable time to start waking the neighbors with our noise. =)

All in all, it was a really fun weekend!!

skipping rocks

a late night and early morning means a nap is required!

See, this why Anna was in the pack-n-play

And, the pack-n-play covered this huge whole in the ground under our tent =)

Anna is much like a raccoon at the campsite -- into everything! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Greeter!

Today Anna's school had a little graduation and awards ceremony for the pre-school kids.  It was really cute and special.

Each child, whether graduating or not, was recognized and given an award.  Anna received the award for "Best Greeter" because she always had a smile and wave for everyone, and she gives the best hugs =).

I am surprised she didn't receive the award for "Best Arm", because at the reception afterwards she chucked her glasses across the room and into the cake.  And back to the eye doctor we go.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Put Me In Coach...

Charlie had his last baseball game tonight.  It was an exciting season -- and one in which Charlie, not only improved tremendously, but also found a love for the game.

Charlie played in a league with 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders.  It was coach pitch to the 1st and 2nd graders and the kids pitched to the 3rd graders.  Man -- there is a HUGE difference in the skill level/coordination between 1st and 3rd graders!

At the beginning of the season, we weren't too sure how Charlie was going to do.  He would pick dandelions in the outfield and barely swing the bat.  Which, by the way, is apparently very typical for 1st graders.  But, Charlie just didn't seem to have a lot of interest (he is not a big "sports" kid as it is), and didn't really put a lot of effort into it.  

We would try to get him to practice with us in the backyard, but he never wanted to.  He would rather goof around and make jokes instead of listening to our instruction and trying what we were suggesting.  And this, of course, frustrated us because we were trying to help him, but he didn't seem to care.

But then, something clicked.  I am not sure what it was, but all of the sudden Charlie became a baseball player.  I am not sure if it was the start of the games (let's face -- games are way more fun than practice), or something we or someone else said, or what -- but there was a definite and sudden shift in his attitude toward the game.

Suddenly he wasn't afraid of the ball and actually learned how to catch the ball with his glove.  Suddenly he figured out how to throw the ball straight (not all the time...but when he concentrated on it). And suddenly, he found some aggression with the bat.

We started playing whiffle ball in the backyard to work on his hitting.  Soon he was whacking the ball into the neighbors yard each time, breaking or denting more than one whiffle ball each outing.

He then started to take those whiffle ball skills and apply them to the real game, and he started to get real hits...not just little dribblers in front of home plate. By the end of the season, if he didn't get a hit, it was huge disappointment for him.  He had gone from being a typical 1st grader who always strikes out, or if he gets lucky, dribbles one in front of home, to a being a hitter.

He also started wanting to play catch with, real catch.  I am not talking us softly tossing the ball to him and him kind of sticking his glove out, and then him "throwing" the ball back at us and us having to chase down his erratic throw.  I am talking us throwing the ball to him, him catching it, and then throwing the ball back to us where we can catch it.  It was amazing (and fun!!).

And he started wanting to practice -- even on his own. He got a pitch and catch for Christmas, and it has gotten quite a workout the past couple of weeks!  Here is a quick video I took of Charlie from the upstairs window.  He was out there for a solid 45 minutes playing by himself.

Too say we are proud of him would be an understatement.  We aren't proud because he is doing well, though that is exciting.  But rather, we are proud because he worked hard, and improved so much, and had a great attitude about playing.  He really looked like he was enjoying himself.

But mostly, I think Jonathan and I are most excited because he seemed to have found a love for a game that we love to watch and play so much.

...And we will always have baseball.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Final Stretch

This is the last week of school for Charlie and Anna! Hooray!!!
Paige finished up last Friday!  Hooray!!!

Then Anna has a two week break before she starts up again for Extended School Year (ESY). She will be going to school M-F 8:30-11:30 am  for the month of July.  Then she will have August off and start again in September with the rest of the kids.

We have a busy summer planned with swim lessons, VBS, vacation, pool time, baseball games, grandparents visiting, beach, camping -- all that fun summer stuff =)  It should be a fun, and busy, one!

So we are digging in for the final stretch this week. Then we all plan to sleep in next week before our fun begins! =)

Enjoying the Memorial Day Parade

....And a few updates....

We met with Anna's teacher a couple of days ago to discuss how she is doing, etc.

We were quite pleased (but not surprised) to hear that her teacher, Ms. O, could not have been more thrilled with Anna's performance in school so far.  =)  Anna is joining in during circle time, trying to sign (not sing...yet) the songs,  participating in group therapy activities, and is getting along famously with her classmates.  Her teacher also said that she is the office staff's favorite little princess, and that Anna insists on giving them all a hug each morning when she gets to school (such a lover).

At home, we are also seeing some progress.  If the last time you saw Anna was in December, then you would be amazed at how far her communication skills have come.  Signing is still her preference, and she still only has a handful of words.  But she is trying.  Her babbling and back and forth jabbering have really taken off.  She pretends to talk on the phone all the time.  I often wonder who she is talking to and what on earth she is telling them. I am pretty sure she is talking to Grandma, and telling her how poorly we treat her and that she had better come visit soon!

And a few updates on our other "experiments", and noteworthy points we have going on around here...

Operation Big Girl Bed is a huge success!  Ok, so I block the little opening so she can't get out of bed, but she could move what I am using to block it if she really wanted to.  I think the biggest problem we have is that she loves to look out her window and has pretty much destroyed her blinds.  But - sleep, both at night and naps, are great!

Potty Training is slow, but we are not moving backwards!  Anna continues to be a champ at going no. 2 on the potty.  And, most of the time, she will also tinkle when she is sitting there.  But, she still will not tell us when she needs to go tinkle - so we are still in diapers and pull-ups.  Too be honest - I am okay with where we are.  Wet diapers are easy to change, and the nasty smelly stuff is going in the potty.  We keep working at it, though =)   BTW - they also take Anna to the potty at school, and she has gone there a couple of times also!

Glasses -- HELP!!!!!!!  Forget about it - she refuses to keep them on.

Endocrinologist - We met with the pedi. endo. last week, and as of right now, we are just monitoring Anna's thyroid levels.  No meds, yet, but most likely at some point in the future.  We also met with the nutritionist at the the endo's office, and I am proud to report that she said I am doing a "great job" of feeding my kids a healthy diet.  That's right -- we are going to McDonald's to celebrate! =)  ha!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Movin' On Up

Today was Paige's pre-school closing ceremony.  We are excited for Paige to be moving on to Kindergarten next year --- especially since she has been ready for it since October! =)

They do a cute little, age-appropriate, ceremony at her school. Each child is recognized individually, and as a class.  Paige was excited to get to be the first one to walk on to the stage.

We say good-bye to Heaven Sent after four years (Charlie 2 yrs., Paige 2 yrs.).  I remember when Charlie first started pre-school, I was newly pregnant with Anna, and dreaming of 6 years at Heaven Sent.  Well, things didn't quite work out that way, but we are more than thrilled with Anna's school, so no tears were shed over that. But, saying good-bye is a little bittersweet -- excited to be moving on, but we are going to miss this great school and the wonderful teachers and staff.

Congratulations, Paige!! We are so proud of you!!!!

And, if you want to re-live Charlie's pre-school graduation, here is a link to that post.  I still think the best part is Paige's version of "All Night, All Day". =)