Tag Archives: milestones

school daze

I have so many things I need to blog about (including our INCREDIBLE new house that we can’t wait to move into) But as usual, I seem to only come to the blog when I hit an issue I need input on or need to write down to process. Today will be all about my Monkey and school.

When we were in California, Monkey attended a neighborhood cooperative pre-school. He started there when he was just shy of 3 years old and was there until we moved in late January (just past his 5th bday). He loved school, and everyone there loved him. We were very involved (coop and all – DW worked there one day a week), and knew his teacher and all of the other parents really well. It was a close-knit, safe, welcoming, warm community. We knew we’d never replace it when we moved and we all mourned the loss and wish we could have finished out the school year. But life happens.

We began touring pre-schools in NC pretty much as soon as our feet hit the ground. Still, it took over a month to find one that 1) had an opening and 2) seemed like a decent fit for us. Monkey started at a Montessori school a couple of weeks ago. During his first week, we kept getting feedback from the teacher that indicated he is behind where they would expect him to be. He doesn’t write his name or hold a pencil properly. He has trouble using scissors. None of this is new information to us – Monkey is all about being outside and active and the coop was play-based and focused on building social skills and character, which we fully support. The coop offered daily activities that incorporated writing, drawing, cutting, etc., but Monkey has always been more of an athletic type. He’d much prefer to be outside running wild to sitting at a table coloring (much to our chagrin on occasion).

Last year, I wondered if we should pull him out of the coop and put him in a more academic prep environment for his third year of preschool (December b-day led to an extra year). We toured a few places and found that they weren’t much different from our beloved coop (and they cost quite a bit more), so we stayed put. We also enrolled him in a weekly Kindergarten prep course that many of the coop kids attend. He did very well in those classes and we got nothing but positive feedback from the instructor. My mind was put at ease. He could and did do all of it just fine.

On Monday of this week, Monkey insisted that he was not going to school. He refused to get dressed and cried in a very emotional, sad way (not the tantrumy, get-my-way cry). We were frustrated but didn’t force the issue. When asked, he told us he didn’t want to go because, “Their playground isn’t very good.” Hahahahaha! His teacher told us there had been no issue she was aware of, that he played nicely with some of the other kids and seemed to be doing well. Tuesday came and we had a crying boy again. We tried everything – gently asking why, bribery, loss of privileges and still he wouldn’t budge. Yes, we are softies but it’s hard when we turned his life upside down a mere matter of weeks ago, you know? This is all new. Plus we don’t know these people well, so we didn’t want to force him back in case there truly was an issue he wasn’t able to put into words.

He doesn’t have school on Wednesdays (no room for him), so last night I prepped him for today. I had him pick out his school outfit and praised his choice. I told him that he was going to school tomorrow (today), even if we had to take him in his PJs, but that I really hoped he’d get dressed in the awesome outfit he picked out. My sweet boy did it – he got up, ate breakfast, got dressed, and headed to school with DW. So proud of him 🙂 He was a bit clingy when they arrived at school, but in he went.

At pickup,  the teacher told DW she wants to have a parent/teacher conference that is probably about how “behind” he is. IMO, they are being very alarmist. I’m left wondering how much (if any) of it is of actual concern, how much of it might just be the Montessori way (we have had no Montessori experience previously), and how much of it might be pressure for him to continue next year in this school. They offer Kindergarten and just today acted like they might boot us out of the program now if we don’t enroll for next year as they didn’t realize our intent was for him to finish the current school year with them and attend our neighborhood school for K.

I know that many (probably even most) other kids write their name prior to K (and then some, for some kids) and use scissors, etc. I also know that my kid is perfectly capable of it and I plan for us to work with him on these things to give him a nice start in Kinder. But honestly they are acting like it’s the end of times that this child isn’t doing these things. Monkey is super bright, good with numbers and letters, loves reading books, asks awesome questions, etc. I have no fears that he’s not ready for Kindergarten. But this school has put a niggling little bit of doubt in the back of my head and I really don’t appreciate it. I’m left wondering if Monkey is feeling this pressure and it is causing him anxiety, making him not want to be there. Y’all, parenting is hard.

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update

Well, since my last post things have calmed down considerably. Big Seattle Company decided not to continue the interview process with me after the second phone interview, so that is off the table. A bit burnt about being rejected twice, but I was pretty conflicted about it anyway, so whatevs. I am now concentrating on NC for the job hunt, especially now that they recognize gay marriage! Wow, wow, wow. Not something I thought I’d ever see in my lifetime- so very happy. Isn’t it ironic that it was the passage of these discriminatory amendments that actually sped up marriage equality? By taking action to prevent us from equal rights, they’ve actually paved the way for us. Thanks, bigots!

Monkey is still terrorizing the MM (and us) and I’m hoping it’s just a passing phase. He just can’t keep his hands and feet to himself and he’s constantly yelling and screaming out for no reason other than to make NOISE. He’s always been a handful, but it seems to spike up to out of control at times. It’s so hard to keep your cool when watching someone hurt your baby – even when the one doing the hurting is your other baby. We’ve tried many different methods for changing the behavior but so far, nothing has worked. Honestly I think he needs more outdoor time to get all that energy out, but it’s not always easy with the MM and nap time. This is why I am seriously longing for a yard. It would be so awesome to be able to send him out back to play in a safe, fenced in environment. Y’all who have yards, savor that shit. I’m jealous!

In other news, we’ve been getting into the Halloween spirit with a trip to Knotts.Scary.Farm, 2 pumpkin patch visits, and another coming on Friday. We’re considering a Disney.land day trip, but we’ll see.

The MM is doing a lot of talking these days and it is ADORABLE. He can say:

  • Brother
  • Kitty
  • Mama/Mommy
  • Here
  • There
  • Yeah
  • Batman
  • Spiderman
  • Elmo
  • Thomas (as in the train)

He has more words than this, but these are the ones we hear most often. He also imitates almost everything we say. Notice that”No” is not in that word list? The MM is super sweet and mellow and hardly ever says no. Now, I’m sure that will be changing in the near future, but for now, I’ll enjoy my sweet little baby. He is still nursing quite a bit (I’m ready/not ready to nightwean soon) and is a decent eater. His sleep has been a little tough lately as he’s really been wanting to be on the boob all night long (see nightweaning above), but we have never been up for hours in the night like we were when Monkey was his age and he stays in bed until 6-7 every morning. He is very clingy with me lately, which is both sweet and a little maddening. I love my little Mama’s boy so so much!

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happy birthday, baby!

Today is the Marshmallow’s first birthday. This year has simply flown by! The MM has been a model infant – sleeping great, sweet and sunny disposition, hitting all milestones right on time. I couldn’t have asked for an easier, more mellow little guy. And now we head into toddlerhood! Sniff.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby F! I love you more than words can say. You completed our family in the very best of ways ❤

Here is a rare unprotected photo post of baby’s first year because BIRTHDAY!

themm_yr1

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monkey’s 4th birthday

My Monkey turned 4 on December 21! We went out to his favorite breakfast spot in the morning, then went to the Petersen Car Museum on the morning of his birthday (fabulous place, btw) and had pictures with Santa in an awesome classic car! Then we picked out birthday balloons (Monkey’s choice? Angry.Birds) and Grandma came over. Gifts were opened, pizza was ordered, and chocolate cake was had. All in all a lovely family day. We decided that instead of a party this year, we will go to Disney.land and California.Adventure for a couple of days in January. Fun!

Monkey had his 4 year checkup on 12/23, where he received 3 shots. This was the first time he was big enough to understand shots and he did ridiculously well. No crying, he watched as they gave him the shots, and when he got home he told me, “Mama, I got 3 tiny boo-boos!” Such a big boy (we were worried since he flips his lid at the dentist – maybe that will be different next time, too?). He now weighs 39 lbs (up 5 lbs from last year) and is 41.5″ tall (up 3.25″ from last year). He also had his first eye test, which he passed, and a hearing test (also passed). Go, Monkey!

Here’s a rundown of Monkey’s status in different areas:

  • Food: The child lives on oatmeal, applesauce, PB&J, bananas (most fruit, really), quesadillas, and cheese pizza. Won’t do veggies (though we’ve recently introduced Green.Machine juice, which he loves).  P.I.C.K.Y. I hope that changes in the near future. We keep trying to get him to at least try stuff, but he just refuses. Sigh.
  • School: Monkey’s school is all play-based, so they don’t sit them down and “teach” anything. It’s more like learning through activities and play. They’ll put out sensory bins, play-doh, puzzles, etc and offer yard play as well. Monkey’s favorite is running on the yard. There is also a different activity each day like music, science, etc. Generally, Monkey is not that interested in the activities and prefers to run and climb in the yard. He knows his letters and his numbers through 20 (he can go higher, but usually stops at 20). We are going to start working on writing letters at home as he is showing an interest in writing his “letters” (his name). We have to figure out what we’re doing with him next year as he won’t be able to start Kindergarten for another year. We’re thinking something more structured might be good so we’ll see.
  • Activities: Monkey has been enrolled in soccer and karate. He kind of ran out of steam on soccer so we’re taking a break from that one. He loves karate, but doesn’t really listen all that well. They tested him for his “yellow stripe” belt (not a real belt, just for the littles) and they passed him even though they totally shouldn’t have. We decided we aren’t going to let them do that again. It was good for him to see the process and have a goal, but passing for the sake of it isn’t something we want to encourage. He’s shown an interest in baseball lately, so we’ll be signing him up for t-ball and see what happens 🙂
  • Sibling: Monkey loves his little brother like crazy, but has been having some issues with jealousy and acting out. Half the time he’s saying how Baby is his best friend and the other half he’s knocking him over. Sigh. Brothers, right?

Happy birthday, my beautiful Monkey! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings ❤

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7 months

So I’m a little late with this one. The Marshmallow turned 7 months on November 29. Time is sure flying by. A lot happened between 6 and 7 months. The MM is now crawling like crazy, loves to pull up to standing, and has 4 teeth (2 on top, 2 on bottom)! He babbles and loves playing with all of his toys. Monkey wasn’t all that interested in toys at this age but the MM is all over them. His favorites are the OBall, Sesame Street remote control (I have no idea why this is so expensive – it was cheap when we got it for Monkey), and the classic Sophie. He loves being read to and also playing with soft books.

We are still working on solids. The MM just isn’t all that interested. Sometimes (rarely) he’ll eat it up (favorites are sweet potato, peas, apple), and other times he’ll have a few bites or none at all. He’s still nursing like a champ, fortunately. Baby chokes pretty easily on his pureed baby food, too. Any one else have a late-bloomer in the solids department? I’m not too worried about it, but I wonder when he’ll really want to eat. Dude is around 20 lbs, so no worries about that.

Another milestone – poor boo has his first bad cold. We went to South Carolina last week to visit family and both boys got sick. Poor MM has a bad virus and the croupy cough to go with it. He was so pitiful yesterday, but is a little better today. Here’s hoping he’s all good by the weekend.

Happy 7 months to my sweet happy little guy!

Here we are on 11/30 at the Yo Gabba Gabba Live Holiday Show 🙂

ygg

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the marshmallow is 6 months old

Before I give stats on my baby (who is growing up TOO DAMNED FAST), I’d like to thank you all for your words of support on my last post. I am still a little bruised about not getting the job, but I realize also how good I have it in so many ways where I am. Here’s hoping I hear from Big Company again in about 6 months! If not, I’ll start actively looking at openings on their website and maybe some others, too. Now the fire’s lit and both DW and I were getting kind of excited about a move to Seattle.

Can you guys believe my baby is 6 months old today? Cause I sure can’t! He had his ped appointment this morning and he now weighs 18 lbs, 10 oz and measures 28.5″ in length. He got several shots and an oral vaccination as well, poor guy. Mama and Mommy also got flu shots, so at least he wasn’t the only one poked. Now onto some categories!

  • Milestones: The Marshmallow can almost sit up unassisted. He will sometimes fall over, but not always. He is also up on his hands and knees rocking, so crawling will be here before you know it. He’s able to scoot around all over the place at this point, even not crawling. He rolls from back to belly and belly to back all the time. Lots of verbalizing (he sounds like he is saying, “Mamamamamamama” when he cries – it about breaks my heart, because it really only happens when he’s in the car and I’m driving). He loves to be read to and likes all of his baby toys (rattles, plush animals, etc.). We get dimply smiles and belly laughs all the time. No teeth yet, but you can see them in the gums so it will probably happen soon.
  • Size: The MM is in a size 3 diaper and fits in 6-12 month clothes. As I stated above, he weighs 18 lbs, 10 oz and measures 28.5″ long.
  • Eating: The MM has been exclusively breastfed for 6 months. We are starting with solids tomorrow (banana first!). He still refuses bottles, so we are hoping that being able to eat solids will help in those times Mama has to be away for any length of time (which isn’t often).

Happy half-birthday, MM! I love you so SO SO SO much! I can’t tell you how happy I am that we decided to have a second. I can’t even imagine life without my little sweetie.

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