Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learning & Growing

Yesterday morning I had my parent/teacher conference with one of Luke's teachers, Mrs. Givens.  I was really looking forward to this meeting because I have been very curious about where Luke is academically and socially. I don't have much to base his progress on since he's our first child although I know he's super smart in my eyes.

The conference went great (I didn't expect anything else).  Mrs. Givens explained that they evaluate the kids in a different room and ask them to play some "games" to evaluate their progress.  The first task was to draw a picture of themselves and write their name.  Luke's picture of himself doesn't resemble much other than some green squiggly lines but he was able to write his name although he's still having difficulty with the K.  We then talked about how Luke doesn't enjoy what the teachers call table time.  That's basically art projects--painting, drawing, coloring, etc.  She said that it wasn't anything to be concerned about because his "job" right now is just to play.  I told her that he didn't much like that stuff at home either.  The one thing he does enjoy though is Play-doh.  I'm hoping some of my artistic genes will come out eventually.

We then went on to discuss the other evaluation points.  They included sharing, standing up for his rights, listening, taking care of himself, pride in accomplishments, playing well with others and sharing, communication skills, following directions, knowing numbers, letters, colors and shapes, distinguishing different sizes, patterns, and using scissors.  He is doing great in all those areas with a couple of exceptions.  Mrs. Givens said that Luke will sometimes hesitate in standing up for himself depending on the child he is interacting with almost as if he's deciding whether it's worth it or not.  I do not see that as a bad hesitation but am impressed that he can determine the value of the confrontation so to speak.  The other thing that Luke hasn't gotten the hang of yet is using scissors.  I have not worked with him at home using scissors yet and since he doesn't much like table time he isn't getting much practice at school either.  Again this is nothing to be concerned about just something to work on as his teacher said.

One of the high points of the conference was when we talked about Luke understanding patterns and being able to repeat them.  Luke has been incredibly linear from the minute he started playing with toys.  It came as no surprise to me that Luke is very good at understanding patterns and can repeat them with no problem.  I explained how he has always lined up his cars, dinosaurs and other toys.  Mrs. Givens said that not all children at this age understand these concepts and she was impressed with how well Luke did with them.  Way to go Luke!!!  Mrs. Givens even commented how funny it was to watch Luke eat because he likes to line up his crackers and then put the cheese on them.  I have to say he came by that honestly because I used to do that all the time although I promise I did not teach him how to do that.  He truly did figure that out on his own (amazing how genes work).

One other item to note abouting learning--Luke is doing super well with letters.  He is constantly asking what letter a word starts with as well as what words start with a certain letter.  He is also spelling out words he can see or randomly saying things like, "Apple starts with A."  It's so fun to see him learning and understanding letters.  It's the first step to reading and I'm so excited for him to be able to read soon.

I am very happy to report that Luke has recently gone through or is still going through a growth spurt.  It seems like he has been 32 pounds forever.  We weighed Luke this week and found out he has gained a few pounds and now weighs 34.5 pounds!!!  Troy also measured Luke today and he is about 39 1/2 inches tall.  Luke has been eating a lot more to go along with this spurt.  This includes some new vegetables and in general less complaining about what I have been fixing.  Hooray!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Random Thoughts

Just a whole bunch of random thoughts for today.  

*For the record I should really be folding laundry instead of blogging right now.  BUT blogging is much more fun and folding laundry is my least favorite household chore and I mean it's the very worst thing to do.  Why is that I wonder?  

*The weather here in OK has turned warm fast this year.  It's been in the low 80's all week.  I don't mind that but it makes me concerned about the rest of the summer.  I really would rather not repeat the 60+ one hundred degree days we had last year.  

*Since the weather has been so nice we've been outside a bunch this week.  We've been to the duck park 3 times, gone for a couple of walks and played outside after dinner every night.  I love that there are no mosquitos yet--too bad that won't last.  And a bonus is that Hannah loves to be outside.  It's very calming for her which is nice because we've had a couple of rough days this week.

*I finally installed Photoshop Elements on my computer.  Troy gave it to me for Christmas and I've just now had time to mess with it.  So far, I am really enjoying it.  I just wish I could figure out why my photo printer is giving me fits!  Messing with it has been another great excuse this week to avoid the laundry folding.

*Luke's attitude has been a bit of a problem lately.  Last Friday was the worst when we had to come home from Chesapeake before we ate lunch with Troy because Luke had an awful tantrum (we went to have lunch with him).  I really don't understand where this is coming from which makes it very frustrating for me.  

*Luke only has 7 more weeks of MDO.  I'm actually looking forward to no school so that Hannah can get a real schedule established.  It seems that she does great from Friday through Tuesday and then it falls apart on Wednesday and Thursday because her morning rountine is messed with and her afternoon nap time gets interrupted when we have to pick Luke up.  Next year Luke will be in preschool on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 until 11:45.  There is the option of extended enrichment each day which goes until 2:45 as well.  Hopefully I can get Hannah's nap schedule to coordinate with those times.

*I am very excited that we are going to be having some landscaping work done.  I wish I could say that I had the time and the energy to do it myself (because I would if I could) but I don't so we're getting some help.  I am most excited about getting a Japanese Maple put in outside our dining room window.  I'll get some pictures once it's in.

*You may remember the project I did last summer during July called a Week in the Life.  Well, Ali (the creator of the project) is doing it again this year in April.  She does it a different week each year to get a glimpse of different seasons so to speak.  I plan to follow along with her this year and I'm really excited about it.  No, I haven't finished my actual album from last year yet but it's close (one of the main motivators behind finally installing Photoshop Elements).  

*Very random:  the door bell just rang.  It's 3 pm.  I have a note on the door that says please do not ring the bell between 1:30 and 5 pm.  One because that's nap time and the bell itself might wake the kids and two because the bell definitely makes Maggie bark and that will usually wake the kids.  Of all people it was the mailman that rang it!!!  Seriously!!!  That truly irratates me to no end!!!  UGH!!!  Hannah did stir but I think she went back to sleep and I don't think it bothered Luke but still.  Oh, that makes me mad!!!

*Troy has a big presentation at work on April 10.  He will be presenting for the COO of the entire company.  This means he has been working some extra hours lately.  That's hard for us but I understand.  I know that he will do an awesome job.  I am so thankful that Troy has a wonderful job and that it affords me the opportunity to stay home with our children.  I know I don't tell Troy often enough how grateful I am that he works so hard for all of us.

*Last Sunday we were supposed to have Hannah's 3 month pictures taken along with some family shots.  Unfortunately our photographer had to cancel because she injured her arm.  I was really bummed about it.  We rescheduled for the 15th of April but that will pretty much be 4 months for Hannah.  I'm really glad I took so many pictures of her on the 22nd!

Okay, enough of the randomness for now.  I really should go fold some laundry or maybe see if my printer will work now :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3 Months

Can you believe it?  Hannah is 3 months old today!!!  Time sure has gone by fast.  It's hard to imagine our lives without her.  Overall, she is a very good baby and has a happy, easy-going temperament.  Let me share what her life is like right now:

*Schedule: It's definitely not set but I can see a very rough one.  On good days she'll wake up between 7 and 9, eat a small amount, be wide awake for about 45 minutes, eat a bigger amount, take roughly an hour and a half nap, be wide awake and want to play for a while, eat again and depending on the earlier nap either play some more or go back to sleep.  Then after Luke goes down for his nap, Hannah and I will either play, take a nap, or eat a bunch depending on the morning.  If it's a really good day, she'll take a 2-3 hour nap at the same time Luke does or if it's not such a good day she can be fussy and dose off and on for that time.  Usually she'll eat two more times before dinner and may take another decent nap before or during our dinner time.  Evening time is the most fussy for her still.  Hannah will eat about every hour and a half to two hours from about 7 until she goes to sleep for the night which is usually between 11 and 12.  She also takes a few cat naps during that time as well.  For a while she was sleeping through the night at 8-10 hours but that hasn't been at all consistant lately.  It seems she'll sleep through the night for 2-3 nights in a row and then go 3-5 nights where she'll wake up after 4-6 hours of sleep.  I obviously like the 8-10 hours nights better but I can't complain when she wakes up only once during the night and usually goes right back to sleep at 3 months old.

*Stats: I don't know for sure what Hannah's weight is right now.  I would guess close to 14 pounds and maybe 24-25 inches long.  She doesn't have a check-up until she's four months old so I'll know for sure next month.  I can say that she is definitely growing.  She is wearing 6 month size tops even though they're still a smidge long and some 6 month pants although most pants are still 3 month size.  Pajamas are all 6 months in size because her body is so long.  Her hair is also starting to get a bit longer but we still aren't sure what color it is.  Her eyes are also very blue although I'm not sure if they will stay that way or change.

*Food: Hannah is obviously still only eating my milk.  The doctor said we would talk about introducing solids at her 4 month appointment.  I can say that it seems like she is interested in food or at least she likes to watch us eat.

*Activities: Hannah's biggest activity is still sleeping.  She does enjoy laying on her play mat, watching Luke play, and talking.  Hannah is a great smiler and she is tracking very well.  I'm anxiously awaiting her first true laugh.  She also started sitting in her Bumbo seat last Sunday and enjoys sitting up for about 10-15 minute stretches.  Hannah has really found her hands--she loves to suck on at least one finger and more often she tries to get her whole hand in her mouth.  She is grasping for items and can move her cloth diapers and lovey blankets to where she wants them.  Oh, I should also mention that she loves to suck on her cloth diapers or lovey blankets just as much as Luke did.  I think it's so fascinating that with absolutely no encouragement from us they both love to suck on their diapers.

*Mobility: Hannah is not moving around much yet.  She did roll over for the first time last week but has only done it that one time.  She has very good head control and several people have commented on how strong she seems for her age.

*Favorites: As with most 3 month olds I am still her favorite person although she has huge, happy smiles for Dad when he gets home from work.  Hannah is also a huge fan of Luke and loves when he interacts with her.  I am excited to watch their relationship grow.  As for other favorites there aren't too many yet.  I would say her cloth diapers and being outside.  Her favorite thing though is moving.  Moving in the stroller, car, someone's arms--it doesn't seem to matter as long as she's moving especially if she is fussy.  And the one no fail comfort if she's fussy is to lay on the floor with only her diaper on--she loves to be naked!

*Events: We haven't had any major events the last few weeks other than what I've already mentioned.  This weekend we have Hannah's 3 month professional photo shoot scheduled and we have our first trips to Topeka and Kansas City planned for next month.  All the grandparents are anxiously awaiting our visits.

Here are some pics from yesterday and today:


Monday, March 19, 2012

Ms. Talker

Hannah absolutely loves to talk!!!  She'll have a conversation with anyone who is willing and more often than not she just talks to herself.  She makes some very high pitched squeals which for now are still cute but I'm thinking that could change when she's running around the house screaming at the top of her lungs.  The video below is from last night and I recorded her for over 7 minutes--she was continually doing what she does in this shortened clip.  Oh how I love that she makes me smile and laugh!

Grammy Visits

My mom was here last week from Sunday afternoon until Friday morning.  We all had a great time.  The weather was beautiful so we went on several walks, to several different parks and played in the backyard a bunch.  While Luke was at school Wednesday and Thursday we ran some errands, did a little shopping, I had two appointments and we sorted through both kid's clothes and put away stuff that was too small.  Hannah also didn't have a great week as far as sleeping at night so it was really nice to have the extra hands around because I was pretty tired.  Thanks Mom!

Recent Pics

These are from March 1 through March 15.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness

Troy and I have long participated with some family members in a bracket tournament.  Unfortunately neither of us has ever won.  Luke saw our paper brackets on Wednesday and wanted to know what they were for.  We explained them to him and then Troy thought it would be fun for Luke to have his own bracket too (we didn't enter it into the actual competition though).  After they had completed most of the southern side of the picks we decided to record Luke's choices--just in case.  The video is a bit long but I couldn't decide where to shorten the first round picks so you get them all.  Luke had fun making his selections.  I think though after today's upset of Georgetown that his somewhat reasonable choices may have been jinxed.  Of course my bracket is more than half red at this point too--what a crazy tournament it has been.  I guess that's why they call it March Madness!

Friday, March 16, 2012

States I've Touched

I found a pin on Pinterest that allowed you to check off which states you've "touched" and then it created a map for you.  I thought it was pretty cool.  The above are the states that I have been too.  I may have flown over or stopped at an airport in states not colored but I chose to go with states I've actually spent a bit of time in.  The total for me is 28.  So I'm over half way to seeing all the states.  I would like to think that I will visit them all in my life time.  I definitely want to see Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and it's not a choice on this map but Washington DC.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Random Notes

Just a few quick tidbits:

*Hannah rolled over for the first time on Monday.  She has yet to repeat her manuver.
*Luke tried to teach Hannah how to give butterfly kisses tonight before dinner.
*Hannah has changed her beautiful, wonderful, amazingly awesome schedule.  Until last Thursday she was sleeping a minimum of 8 hours at night and then my bubble burst big time.  Last night was the best night since with almost 6 hours.  I'm still not complaining though because for 12 weeks I think that is fantastic.
*Luke had five 5-star days last week :)
*I signed up for my first parent/teacher conference today.  I'm anxious to see what Luke's MDO teachers have to say about where he is academically for his age.
*Luke filled out his own basketball bracket tonight with Troy.  His final two: Duke and Georgetown.
*The weather has been beautiful this week.  We have enjoyed numerous trips to different parks, taken several walks and enjoyed time in the backyard.
*My children look so much alike--it's a tad bit scary!  Just check out this picture (which I completely adore by the way):

Thursday, March 8, 2012

By the Numbers

3-8-12: The date
12:39 pm: The time
36: Temperature outside
71: Temperature inside
2 months, 15 days or 11 weeks: Hannah's age today
3 years, 7 months, 26 days: Luke's age today
33 years, 2 months, 19 days: Troy's age today
33 years, 5 months, 13 days: My age today (yep I'm the oldest)
1721: Our house number
1: Dog in our house
1: Cat in our house
5: Diapers I've changed so far today
2: Loads of laundry I've done today
4:45 am: Time Troy's alarm first went off
7:28 am: Time I got up this morning
8:02 am: Time I woke Luke up
8:31 am: Time I woke Hannah up
9 1/2: Hours Hannah slept last night
5: Places Troy and I have lived
3: States we have lived in
7: Cars we have had
6: Diapers I have now changed today
3: Catnaps Hannah has taken today
2: Times the electricity has gone out today
12:59 pm: The time now

Friday, March 2, 2012

Photo Shoot

Yesterday was a beautiful day!!!  While Luke was playing in the sandbox Hannah had her first photo shoot outside.  I think I got some really great shots.  

Recent Pictures

These pics are from February 17 through March 1. Enjoy :)