Sunday, August 17, 2014

2000 days

Today my boy is 2000 days old.

And he starts school in 11 days.

I'm pretty sure he's had some amazing experiences, retained great knowledge and will be ready to start kindergarten. Important stuff for those first 2000 days.

His school does staggered entry for kindergarten that first week. We got a letter a couple of weeks ago letting us know that his first day will be Thursday, the 28th. We go to his open house on Thursday of this week and then his kindergarten orientation next Tuesday, the 26th. It's all coming up so quickly!

People keep asking me how I feel about it. I think I was more nervous about him starting preschool when he was 2. He's grown so much and is just…ready. I think if he was sad or nervous, or I was concerned about his social, emotional or intellectual well-being, then sure, of course I would be worried. This is a huge milestone, and though I understand that many moms get emotional over the whole thing, I haven't experienced that yet. Instead of being sad, I'm just excited for him. I guess it helps that I loved school.

We did back-to-school shopping and I got him a couple of new shirts to start the year (although I guarantee that he'll be wearing soccer jerseys most days…that's what he prefers over anything else right now) and I ordered his school supplies on amazon (took about 30 minutes, whereas I would probably be searching high and low in a store! FYI - the school lists are very specific. You must have the right brands, the right colors, and the right amount of everything. We have amazon prime, so all the shipping was free, too. Saved me a huge headache, for sure!), plus Grandma came down and let him choose a new book bag. :) He was thrilled!

I can't promise there won't be tears on that first morning (after I drop him off, of course ;) ) but I will say   that right now I'm just giddy with excitement for him!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The kiddos recently

My babies are growing up so much! Amelia Jayne will be 3 in only 2 short months and I still find it hard to believe that my Xander-boo will be starting kindergarten two weeks from today. Here are some things about them recently -

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but Amelia Jayne moved into her big girl bed this summer! It's so funny how spontaneous this was. With Xander I had it all planned out, but with Amelia Jayne it was just something we did one day. I looked at David and said, "We really should get her big girl bed ready soon. Wanna take down the rails on her crib this afternoon?" And he did. So she slept in her bed that night. She's done so well. She only had one night (about two weeks after her first night in the new bed) where I asked her to go back to bed three times before 10pm. But she did and we've all done fine since. She's my late sleeper who is often not out of bed until 9 or later, so she's not bounding into my room at 5am...for which I'm thankful. I'm sure those days are coming.

Just when I think AJ is getting the hang of potty training, she has an accident. It's somewhat slow-going, but we're making it. She rarely has a poop accident, so at least I can be thankful for that, right?Her biggest problem is telling me if she needs to go. She's not interested in stopping her activity, so she just doesn't. She does tend to control her bladder all night and has even slept in panties a few nights with no accidents. I'm not pushing it, though. :) Slow-going is just fine with me.

Amelia Jayne is working on dressing herself these days. She's getting the hang of taking her bottoms off and on, but still struggles with shirts. Half the time Xander helps her get dressed. :) He's such a sweet big brother. I think her newfound interest in dressing herself has come from her love of dress-up. She has amassed quite a collection of dress-up clothes and absolutely LOVES it!
Xander's at the stage of independence that I've started to incorporate some new chores for him - he puts the recycle materials in the can in the garage, brings his plate and silverware to the sink after meals, brings the empty trashcans back to the garage after pick-up, and generally helps out with simple cleaning.

Xander is still into flags and countries. We got him a huge map of the world that takes up almost one whole wall in his room. That map came with a map of America that he has on the opposite wall. He still sits and stares at these maps, not quite as much as he did at first, but he still mentions certain countries and asks about different facts. The other day he asked me where Jesus lived when he was on earth. We talked about how city and country names have changed over the years, but I showed him Israel on the map.

Amelia Jayne is my concerned and compassionate child. She gets a look of consternation if someone is sad, hurt, gets a boo-boo or seems upset. She is extremely sensitive to facial expressions and tone of voice. She notices facial expression in books and comments on them. She always wants to know and talk about why Xander's upset or crying. And she seems to notice everything - when I get a haircut, fix my hair differently, wear different earrings, when David grows or cuts his facial hair...she's so observant!

Amelia Jayne loves to twirl and dance.
Xander loves organized sports.
I've signed Amelia Jayne up for a short, 6 week long dance class starting in September.
Xander will be playing competitive soccer (his all-time favorite sport) this fall at the Y.
Such big steps for both of them! I'm so excited!

David and I were just talking the other day about how good these two are for each other.
Amelia Jayne is so imaginative and loves to pretend, dress-up, act out scenes…
Xander loves to play with his toys, the "right" way.
Amelia Jayne is teaching him to lighten up and pretend. (Her imagination is limitless!!)
Xander is teaching her how to have rules and order in her games and playing.
This causes some friction, but most of the time they're really good for each other and enjoy trying out each other's ideas. They really play so well together and have come to enjoy and appreciate each other a lot this summer. More than once I've heard this kind of dialogue floating down the stairs -
"Cinderella, I'm going to Princess Sophia's house. Wanna come?"
"Sure, Spiderman. Let me go get my purse."

They hug and kiss each other at random. And have now started tackling each other before bed - I call it tackling, they call it hugging, either way someone (or both of them) always ends up on the floor!
They're into this new thing they call a family hug or family kiss. All four (or three if Daddy's at work) of us have to put our arms around each other simultaneously in a hug, or all four faces get smooshed together in a sloppy wet kiss. It's pretty fun, actually. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Storytelling



I am so proud to be part of this organization and to share the love of reading with our community. Elisha is such a wonderful storyteller and I am so glad to have heard her tell stories many times. She has a true talent. Great job, Elisha!

And if you're wondering about one of the songs/stories she was singing, check out Pete the Cat! Live telling by the author below :)



We L-O-V-E Pete the Cat at our house!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer fun!

We've enjoyed so many things this summer…

Running into friends at Chick-fil-A,

Preston and AJ went to preschool together. Preston is 3 weeks older than AJ, but looks so little!! His sister, Macey, was in Xander's class.

Enjoying special treats,

This was after my sweet girl slung her first cone across the restaurant because she needed to "hold it myself!" Haha! Life with a 2 year old!

I took the kids to a bakery in Mocksville to let them pick out a treat - both got cupcakes, of course!
Side note: David worked at that bakery when he was in high school. And we got our wedding cake from there, too. :)

Fun times at the lake, enjoying the boat,



Xander loves to help Aunt B drive!
and feeding the ducks,


These ducks are tame and will eat right out of your hand! The kids loved it. I was impressed with their bravery!


Splashing in puddles,

We've had so much rain this summer and gorgeous temperatures!!

Going to a soccer game,


His team won!


Finally getting an American flag for my budding vexillologist,


Playing with stickers,


Enjoying lazy mornings on the couch,

Yes, my daughter is wearing winter sleeper pajamas that I bought for this winter. She insisted!

and more exciting mornings at Bounce U.







And we've got a trip planned to see my Aunt Karen and Cheryl in Virginia and one more trip to the lake coming up.
It has really been a great summer!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back-to-school shopping

Grandma called me up on Thursday and asked if we could go shopping for school yesterday.

Ummm...yes, please!!

So, we met up with Grandma at the mall, and let me tell you, the woman knows how to do it up right. This wasn't just school shopping, but a full mall experience. :)

Of course she got the kids book bags and lunch boxes and new shoes, but she also got them some special surprises from the Disney store (hello Planes figurines and Sophia dolls),

a ride on the train,

and a ride on the carousel!



Thanks, Grandma! You rock!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's football time in...

North Carolina!! (Okay, so having gone to the University of Tennessee, I have to say that "football time in TN" sounds better…)

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because David scored some last-minute tickets to a pre-season Panthers game tonight. Awesome! Xander and David have totally been sporting it up lately. The soccer game last week, the football game tonight…fun times! Sweet Xander got a cold a few days ago, so he's looking pretty peaked in the photos, but I can't help but share!
Taking the train to the stadium.





Waumba Land


I don't write a whole lot about Waumba Land (totally unintentional), but it's one of my favorite things that I'm part of.

Waumba Land is the preschool environment at our church. We have 6 different classrooms for all the ages (from birth to 5) and will be adding a couple more soon to accommodate our growing church!

This past January I stepped down from being coach (heading up the small group leaders, keeping the schedule filled, sending out notes of encouragement to teachers, and making sure Sundays run smoothly) and stepped into a classroom to fill a gap we had. (It was with the 4 and 5 year olds - Xander's class. I have to say that I totally enjoyed it!) I needed a break from coaching, which carries a lot of responsibility, and was having too many life moments that felt overwhelming. I'm in a different place now and feel a little less "whelmed" so I'm excited to start coaching again at the end of this month. Even better to me is that the need arose for a coach and my life had calmed down enough that I was eager to jump back in. God is so good with His timing.

A note about Ridge Church:
I absolutely love being part of a church that loves the people of this city, was created to help people who don't go to church feel like they belong even if they don't believe, totally moves toward the messes - when the questions get tough, we just dig right in - and teaches about Jesus.

I've been to lots of great churches in my past - some who believed in Jesus and taught His Word, but didn't talk much about non-believers; some who cared a little too much about rituals and tradition; some who focused too much on growth and money; some who loved welcoming new people, but weren't willing to deal with tough questions…the list could go on and on. And let me tell you - I loved each of those places. I don't think I've ever gone somewhere that I hated. But let me tell you that by far, the place I have felt most fulfilled has been Ridge church. I soak up each sermon I listen to. I worship my Lord in song with a bounce in my step and hands raised high. I serve my God each Sunday by making the preschool environment the best I can. I give my money away gladly, knowing that it's being used wisely and for God's glory. I have opportunities to volunteer outside of the church. I have community with fellow believers in our community group. I have friends and people I would call my family. I sit in leader meetings in awe that our leadership is so humble and honest - they admit they don't know it all and that they're learning right alongside the rest of us, by the grace of God. But above all this is a church that follows Jesus. And that's exactly where I want to be.