Thursday, September 27, 2007

A few scrapbook pages!

Here are a few scrapbook pages I have finished lately. A couple from last Christmas, and then our family portraits we had done last January. Have a look!!!

Because I am a bit compulsive and organized, I am going through the fall/winter clothing to see what fits Peter and David and what summer stuff I can pack up and get rid of. I found this adorable sweater that my mother knit for Peter a year or two ago . . . it fits David perfectly and looks so cute. Even with his shorts b/c it was about 30 degrees yesterday :-) He'll be stunning with a nice turtleneck and some dark jeans!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The blond boys

Now that the boys are older (David will be two in a month - who can believe that???), they are playing together independently more and more. Of course they have their arguments, but I'm so happy to watch them become such good friends and play with each other. Makes for a pretty happy mom!

Here they are showcasing some artwork by the fireplace . . . and eating grapes.

Contemplating life . . . on a ball.

Enjoying a good laugh.

David, is that a little more hair I see on the top of your head? Looks like he won't be a baldie at birthday time after all. :-)

We have had some exciting news lately. It seems our third little addition is going to be wearing pink when *she* is born!!! Yes, David and Peter will become big brothers to a little sister in January. We're all very excited to see how this little princess will fit into our male-dominated family :-) Here she is at about 22 weeks. She's healthy and looks great from the ultrasound I had at 20 weeks. I'm feeling fantastic (aside from about 8 weeks of allergies/cold symptoms - yuck), which is great b/c my days are so busy and I need all my energy.

The bunk beds we ordered have not arrived yet but should in the next week or two. That's not a transition we're looking forward to, but we'll play it all by ear and see how it goes once the big monstrosity is set up in Pete's (and soon David's) room.

I've even managed to do some scrapbooking lately, so I'll get some pictures taken and post my most recent pages as soon as I get a chance. I have my full day of scrapbooking at Leslie's in October - it will be a lot of fun and a great chance to get a lot of pages done. My goal is to finish David's album and start working on a "family" album so I can sort through all my photos that didn't fit in Peter or David's "baby" album. I'm pretty pathetic . . . Peter's baby album alone has 90 pages!!!!!!!!

On the knitting front I am still knitting baby blankets like a maniac. I'm working on a pink one right now for a friend I have who is due soon (no, not me, and no I can't say who b/c she might be reading this). I'm thinking of branching out on my skill level to try the beautiful bag pattern that Marita sent me. And I want to try a hat like this cute one. It may be time to graduate from blankets and scarves :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's official!

Yes, Pete is a normal preschool attendee now. He had his first full day without mommy today!!!

Admittedly, I was a complete and utter wreck. I'm not sure when I had become one of THOSE mothers but it appears the transformation indeed snuck up on me. Last Thursday (he goes Tues/Thurs mornings only) I was the parent volunteer, so I was around a lot, although did have to leave the room a number of times to do different chores and things. He was very good, hardly fussed at all when I left for 5-10 minutes at a time. So his teacher said today he would be ready for me to leave for good.

Yes, SHE was ready, and PETER was ready, but did anyone consider that I might not be ready???? I mean, didn't I give birth to him? Yeah, that's right, I was that woman who pushed him out med-free and breast-fed him for a year and cuddled him when he needed it . . . and . . . you get the picture.

I didn't sleep last night. Hardly a wink. I had stomach aches and total anxiety this morning, the whole drive there and the whole morning. I was shocked to see how physically I was showing symptoms of my anxiety. It wasn't too bad - just faster heartbeat and some quick breathing . . . but still!!!! I'm a grown woman, a mother - who acts like this? I really was having flashbacks to a year ago when he was in that other program (known to those familiar with it as Duffer Doo) where we were "asked kindly to leave" after he screamed for six weeks.

He cried when I left - and clearly, being an educated and sometimes-with-it individual, I expected. I had to bite my tongue to the point it bled not to cry myself. I know how important it is for me NOT to show anxiety or stress so I hugged him, told him I loved him and said goodbye. I got in the van and realized David was with his grandmother for the morning.

What the hell was I going to do with myself???? I hadn't really thought that far ahead. So I went to get gas for the van, got a coffee (totally splurged - a vanilla latte, a decaf at that), staring at my cell phone the whole time. The teacher said they would *not* let him cry or carry on for long before calling me. More time passed. My cell's tune didn't beckon. It's silver little casing never vibrated. I went across the street to Motherhood Maternity and bought a dress for the wedding I'm going to this weekend. Went and bought a purse to match it at Winners.

Now it's 10:15 a.m. - I pick him up at 11:30!!!!! I could never last that long. I was going nuts, I called home four times in case they called there and left a message. You know, in case they couldn't actually READ the two numbers I clearly left on my registration form - my CELL number and my HOME number. I finally gave in and went back to the parking lot at the school and proceeded to knit for the last hour.

Am I the most pathetic person ever, or what?

When I arrived back inside I went to peek in their two way mirror. Pete was playing quietly alone. No crying. No tears. No broken limbs. No broken hearts. I was SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED and more SHOCKED.

When the teacher (I love you Janet, you have changed my life) opened the door to let the children out, Pete ran straight for me and gave me a hug - STILL no tears. She said he did very well. He cried five minutes this morning then stopped (they play outside the first 45 minutes every morning). She said transitions were difficult and that that is normal, but that if he cried/fussed for a minute he was easily redirected by her. He even let her comfort him by hugging him once when he said he missed me. :o :o :o

Clearly, I am way beyond thrilled and never thought I would reach this point. This child has had such severe separation anxiety since about 6 months old I can count how often I've been away from him on my hand. He is ready, I am ready, and this is going to be so good for all of us this year.

I'm not delusional either. I expect he will cry when I leave for a number of weeks, that he will have good days and bad days (just like we all do). But he never once said "I never want to go back there" or "I hate it there" or "I was hurt when you left me there" - these are all good things in my book!!!

Now if McGuinty wins the election and mandates full day four year old kindergarten next year, I'll have another battle on my hands!!! ;-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Peter's first day at preschool

So today was Peter's first official day at preschool. For those of you who don't remember, or don't live close enough to me to hear me talk about this *all the time*, Pete has pretty severe separation anxiety. But I found a wonderful co-operative preschool that I am really pleased with, and the director and teachers there are keen to make the whole situation work.

It is mandatory the parent stays for the entire first day (which is the morning only for Pete). I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but they want you to be familiar with the whole process so when it's your day to volunteer (which is often), you are aware of how everything works, and you know where everything is.

It was OK. I was a little disappointed, but I know I have very high expectations. Last week on the way to the school's "open house" day, he cried the entire drive there in the van. Cried on the way in and for a bit while we were there - then stopped and played with everything eventually.

Today he did not cry beforehand OR in the van at all. The first 30 minutes are outside playing. He cried a bit outside b/c he was "cold". I went into the school building to get his socks to warm his feet - he totally lost it and started screaming, and I was only gone for two seconds. Eventually he warmed up a bit, played with some toys but was very shy and not sociable with the other kids.

We went inside and then it was time to pick a book or toy to look at for a few minutes. He was okay there, but when we had to change rooms to go for circle time, he got upset again, cried and wanted to take the book he had with him. The teacher was fine with that, he brought the book but no way in hell would he walk in the single file line and hold the other kids hands!!!!

At circle time he sat on my lap (only way he would stay there) and after about five minutes, he was answering questions about the weather, the date, etc. His teacher called him up to put something on the board, and he did it!!! I was pleased.

Then we transitioned to the next and final room (lots of movement, I know it is normal for the transitions to be difficult for the kids initially). Pete took the childrens' hands and went in the line to the next room!! Without me Smile!!

He sat at the big table with all the children and ate his snack. He even laughed and joked a bit with the two boys beside him. We then had almost an hour in this big "playroom" all of which he did great. I sat at the back the whole time talking to another mom. He played very well, moved around nicely, painted, coloured, did play dough, etc. He wasn't huge on playing with others but I guess none of them really seemed to be - they just met!!

The teachers commented that they were pleased overall - I told them when I enrolled him how serious his separation anxiety was. The kicker was on the way out, "Janet", one of his teachers, said "so next Tuesday you'll be coming on your own and you can play with me without mommy".
He freaking lost his mind.

I hadn't told him yet!!!! I couldn't bear the stress and anxiety that would ensue from me telling him I was leaving. I am pretty sure he realizes I would be leaving at some point (he is a very bright child), but that really threw him for a loop. He turned all red, grabbed my arm and started crying. She felt so bad, she kept apologizing. I didn't mind, I obviously was going to mention it soon. He calmed down soon enough and was ok by the time we got to the van. I guess I'll keep mentioning it here and there until next Tuesday.

So it wasn't that bad but obviously I wanted one of those kids that was perfectly adjusted, who just jumped right in and didn't care if their mom was there or not!!! We'll see what happens next week - Thursday is my volunteer day so I'll be there anyway and they've already asked me not to go far in case I need to come back on Tuesday. They are open to being very flexible and gentle with him - so if I need to stay for a couple weeks I can, then slowly slip out a little bit here and there and see how he does without me. I don't know if this approach will even work for Peter, but am willing to work together with the teachers to make this successful.

One big positive (and thus slight brag) is that they said Pete was way ahead of his age with his imaginative play and they were stunned with the creativeness of some of the playing he was doing.

So there you go . . . more to come next week for sure!!!

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