Saturday, January 23, 2016

Skiing: Day 4

So what do I do while Theo has ski lessons from 10am to 2:30pm (and often later, as his class rarely returns from the slopes until nearly 3)? I ski! Here are my stats from today's session (the fourth day so far this year; three Saturdays during Theo's lessons, and one Monday night ski):

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Christmas 2015 (and Theo's Ski Lessons)

We had something like 5 Christmases this year (although just two days ago Theo took issue with the count and feels he only got four) there's a lot of updates which we should cover. I won't do it justice at all. So check out the Google Photos Story. (For the record the four -- or five -- Christmases are: Cincinnati, Atlanta 12/24 evening, Atlanta 12/25 morning, Atlanta 12/25 afternoon, and Seattle.) Here's a Google Photos Story. We got to see everyone, and the kids got to ride ponies. What's not to love?

Theo's taking ski lessons again this year (really just picking up after last year's disaster of a ski season) -- check out this brief Google Photos story. He's out of the corral and doing the magic carpet routinely. He was extremely resistant to going -- he's rightfully noting that he only gets two non-school days away (go self-awareness!) but after the first lesson he told me "I might have been wrong about how much I like skiing" -- that is to say, he had a fabulous time. To make stuff even more awesome, Theo's new school apparently does a "Winterirm" where they take 3 Wednesdays in January and February and take the entire school on a ski trip to Crystal Mountain!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Vivian at 3.5

Vivian turned three and a half and we forgot to tell her for a couple of weeks. The kids have been into their half birthday marks for the last nine months or so, since Theo could claim to be four and a half. He overheard me saying that to other adults and adopted it for himself. This year marks the first time Vivian's observed her halfway mark herself, and she's very pleased. She's already making big plans for her fourth birthday. Those include inviting all her preschool friends and getting a big boy bed like Theo's.

Vivian is a hoot. She is extremely independent and once she makes up her mind, it's hard to change it.

The biggest change for Vivian - which had not happened at the official 3.5 mark but did shortly thereafter, was that she's fully potty trained. She wanted to wear underwear so much and I had a giant bag waiting for her to switch from diapers. Finally I pulled out the bag where she could see it and that seemed to be enough to push her over the edge. Plus, her teacher at school said we could send her in underwear and that helped tremendously. She's in school three days a week this year, so every other day I had to put her in diapers or a pull up to send her to school safely. Once we switched to all underwear she did great. I let her run around the house without pants a couple of days and reinstituted her potty sticker chart with purple box rewards and we were off to the races.

Vivian is in school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9-2. She is still napping every afternoon though it's getting tougher only because we have to pick up her brother at 3, and that pushes nap well beyond the point where she is tired. She used to nap from 2:30-4, but now there are days where I've barely gotten her in bed by 4. That means it's often 5 or after when she gets up, and it skews bedtime later as well. Since she sharing a bedroom and her brother is an all day energizer bunny, she's getting shafted on morning sleep too. She's sleeping in her toddler bed with the small sides and green gate to close the open space between them. The gate isn't to keep her from falling out. It's to keep all her lovies and blankets and pillows in. She sleeps under five or six blankets which are described as warm, cold, or "with holes" which means hand-knitted.

After many months and one very useful teacher conference, Vivian is finally settling in at school. This is her second year there. She started the summer of 2014 and had been going ever since. Her favorite friends from last year didn't return this year, though, and that really threw her for a loop, it seems. For the first several months she would only speak to the two teachers but never a kid. She refused to take part in most group activities except snack and lunch and would even bury herself under a pile of blankets in a corner instead. She spent a lot of time sitting in a chair for refusing to clean up and she gave the teachers her full tantrums at times when she refused to have her diaper changed. She is only the second could the teacher has ever had to physically restrain because she refused to stay seated in a chair and was often closed into the bathroom (which she didn't seem to mind) because it was the only space where they could contain her.

All of which sounds very familiar. Her mother had a similar effect on preschool teachers. :-)

Vivian has an unerring fashion sense and loves to pick her own outfits. She puts together things I would never dream of combining. And it works! I don't know if her small stature helps but it's always so super fashionable and trendy. She wears leggings almost every day but sometimes adds a skirt of shorts to mix it up. She is often cold and layers tops to keep warm and adds socks and dresses to the mix as well.

She's still very much a lightweight. I think she's around 28 lbs and 37 inches tall these days. She loves shoes, pink and green are her favorite colors, and if she's not stubborn she is the sweetest most polite child I know. She's so nice to both get brothers and absolutely positively cannot get enough of her baby brother. She loves him so much. She likes to help change his diaper, pick out his clothes, feed him her food, read him books she's memorized, and give him hugs and kisses galore, especially before bedtime.

Vivian is extremely pleased that she's a big girl now and takes every opportunity to point it out. She adores swimming and fireworks, garbage trucks and diggers, and anything sparkly. She's very very good riding her balance bike now and goes faster than I can walk to keep up with her. She can bike a mile round trip most days no sweat. She's getting better on her pedal bike which has training wheels and, well, pedals. Her biggest issue is it's a very heavy bike and she doesn't have enough weight to get it moving well.

Vivian is an excellent finder and can count all the way to thirty. She knows most of her letters and almost all her numbers until 20 something by sight.

She's finally got enough hair that I put in pigtails for her for the first time today. It was so cute I couldn't handle it.

Vivian's favorite meal hands down is macaroni and cheese, preferably shells and cheese. She will horde and savor any treat, like candy or dessert. Her Halloween candy lasted until Christmas despite her brother's best efforts to help her out with her stash.

She loves her leappad and is very very good at the maze puzzle game all on her own even though the electronics are reserved for long travel trips. Her favorite shows are Bob the Builder, Calliou, Curious George, and Daniel Tiger who is by far the best.

Vivian loves her baby doll. If I had to pick one toy as her favorite (besides Ryba the clownfish who we cannot live without), it would be her baby.

I wish I had the right words to sum up her sunny sweet stubborn personality but she is an individual unto herself and words don't do her justice. Luckily she's still small enough I can pick her up or tickle her out of a recalcitrant mood, but I'm certain that won't last much longer.

Happy halfsies Vivian!

For all the giraffe photos:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Theo Turns Five!

Well I wrote this at the correct time, but never managed to post it. Surprise! Fall was awfully chaotic, well beyond the norm here. So....

Holy crap, Theo is five years old! Can you believe it? I am having a hard time adjusting to the concept. It does not seem like five years since he was a newborn.

Theo turned five and he was super excited about his birthday. He's pretty much been counting down to his birthday since Vivian's birthday in late spring. He's already got a long list of what he wants for his sixth birthday, too.

Interestingly, Theo did not want to have any kind of party or invite any friends to celebrate with him this year. He was very adamant about both those things. He wanted exactly what and who Xavier had for his birthday just a few short weeks ago. (We had a very quiet low key celebration for Xavier.) These requests are a dramatic departure from the last two years when Theo was very excited to have his party at school and invite all his friends. (Though in all fairness his school has been super chaotic this fall and perhaps that's contributed.)

Instead we had a very pleasant day mostly at home. We started the day off with our usual traditions of balloons tied to Theo's seat at the table. He had four balloons this year: a giant silver 5 he calls an "s", a Spider-Man balloon, a Thomas the train cube balloon, and a happy birthday cube balloon.

Theo also had a big stack of presents waiting for him on the coffee table when he woke up. He zeroed in on those, though he had to wait a bit. (With my recent foot surgery I am very slow to get out of bed and upstairs.) He tore through everything while we Skype and FaceTimed grandparents in to watch the excitement.

Theo got a Spider-Man hooded sweatshirt, a George t-shirt, a wooden track drawbridge, fingerpaints, a big kid two-wheel scooter (in blue, his favorite color currently), a stealth airplane, an SR-71 airplane, a marble run set, a Spirograph set, a Berenstain Bears train book,

Vivian scored a my little pony coloring book and a carrier for her babies. Xavier got two new airplanes - one small blue one and one larger one with a door that opens, three people, one piece of cargo, and it talks and sings.

VIP day at school

Buffet and eats five hot dogs

Weight and height

Dr visit drama

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Surgery Postponed!

We had Xavier's pre-op appointment today and he's improved enough that they postponed Tuesday's adenoidectomy surgery indefinitely! He's put on almost a pound (from 22 lbs 5 oz to 23 lbs 1 oz) in slightly less than a month. His last biggest weight gain was six ounces in six weeks and growth only goes slower as he gets older. It's just enough weight gain for him to cross back over a percentile line. He's sleeping 9-10 hours consecutively most nights which is a huge difference from previously. While the sleep improvement could be the humidifier or the pillow we added, it's enough of a difference that they can wait and see.

Since it takes two weeks for the nasal steroids to kick in and he's only been on them since Dec. 11th, the doctor wants to give it another couple of months to get the maximum benefit. We have another check up in a mid-March to see how he's doing and re-evaluate him for surgery if needed.