Friday, May 22, 2015

We have a preschool graduate in the house

Dear Camden,

This week, you graduate from preschool.

At this time two years ago, I was nervously anticipating the fall. It would be time for you to start preschool, and I didn't know if you were ready to leave my side.

When I dropped you off on your first day (with a really horrific haircut due to a razor guard slipping incident), you were so uncertain. I remember you dutifully putting your lunchbox on the cart outside of your classroom and then nervously looking at me.

As your teachers came to direct you inside of the classroom, your eyes filled with tears. At your teachers' direction, I mustered up all the enthusiasm I could manage and cheerfully said, "Have a great day! I'll see you after school!" before rushing down the hallway. The whole way home, I prayed that you were okay. That you didn't cry. That you weren't scared. I must've checked my phone every five minutes until it was time to pick you up. And I felt such a flood of relief when I saw your smiling face in the carpool line.

Little by little, you found yourself that school year. At the start of the year, you stuck to your cousin's side, allowing him to lead the way. By the end of the year, you had made friends and gone on play dates. Your teachers told me time and time again: "He's come a long way."

On the first day of your last year of preschool, you walked right into the classroom like you owned the place. You didn't look back at me. There was no uncertainty or hesitation. You forgot to hug me goodbye. Don't worry, though; that didn't make me sad. I felt proud of your newfound confidence. I loved watching you walk in the room and choose your own activity without waiting for direction from anyone else.

You've made me so proud over these past two years at school. You've learned a lot academically, but more than that, you've become such a kind, secure, smart, confident, and honest little boy. You've made so many friends and, in the words of your teachers, you've "definitely come out of your shell". In short, you're a kid I feel incredibly proud to call my own.

Congratulations, my sweet boy. Kindergarten, here we come!

I love you,

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring-time Updates


We have (finally, at long last!) decided on a kindergarten for Camden in the fall. That's both really exciting and incredibly scary-- with a little bit of bittersweet mixed in. His preschool graduation is a month away. I'm trying to brace myself for the inevitable emotional rollercoaster that I'll feel that day. But enough with the school talk. Here's what my boy is like right now, at almost five-and-a-half years old:

  • He has pet aquatic aliens (or, to the '80s kids like myself, sea monkeys) that he loves and takes good care of.
  • He's playing his second season of Little League baseball. My shy toddler is long gone. At last night's game, Camden stepped up to the plate, waved to his fans, and proceeded to do a little jump/dance before hitting.
  • He loves learning. On the way to school, he always asks what we can talk about that day. His favorite subjects are currently: the solar system (he can name all of the planets in order); bugs (he wants to know everything about bees and wasps, yet is terrified of them after his first sting last summer); ocean life (specifically sharks, sting rays, killer whales, and jellyfish); and the way the human body works (he loves learning about the functions of the brain, heart, and lungs in particular).
  • His hobbies right now include: playing "My Singing Monsters" and "Plants vs. Zombies" on Matt's tablet; baseball; reading; and acting out "boss fights" from video games.
  • He loves the "Magic Treehouse" book series. I read a couple of chapters to him each night before bed. We're on book 3 right now.

Macey will be starting preschool in the fall! Unfortunately, she won't attend Camden's current preschool; it's in the opposite direction of where Camden will attend kindergarten, so it was logistically impossible for me. Luckily, there's a great preschool only a couple miles from our house that she got into after a year on the wait list. And here's what my sweet two-and-a-half year old is up to these days:
  • Macey recently had her first hair cut (trim, really) courtesy of Nan. Her hair was a wild mullet and she won't tolerate bows or clips of any kind, so something had to be done. Luckily, she handled it well and it turned out really cute.
  • I attempted potty training for like an hour last week and it was a major bust. As a second time mom, this didn't stress me out at all. I threw in the towel and decided to give it another month.
  • Macey mostly sleeps through the night. She's still pacifier-dependent at bedtime, but not during the day.
  • She was recently evaluated  for potential mild strabismus (lazy eye), but thankfully, her diagnosis was pseudo-strabismus, which will resolve on its own.
  • She's a curious little girl who loves learning. She knows all of her uppercase letters, most of her lowercase letters, and all of her numbers through 25.
  • Verbally, she's doing really well. I rarely have trouble understanding her and she speaks in full sentences most of the time.
  • She's totally obsessed with Elsa from Frozen, or as Macey calls her, "Let it go". We currently listen to the song ("Let it go") about 700 times a day. She has a Barbie that she calls "Let it go" too.
  • Her other favorites right now include: Team Umizoomi, Paw Patrol, a Learning Resources fruit sorting pie, playing ball, being at the Little League field, Easter Egg hunts (yes, we still hide eggs almost daily this long after Easter has passed), trains, her doll house, and play-doh.
Matt and Kerri:

We're not nearly as interesting as the kids, but I thought I'd include a few tidbits about us.
  • Matt's managing Camden's Little League team. It's been an experience, for sure. It's a lot of work-- like, a lot. It's pretty much the equivalent of a part-time job. There have been parts he's enjoyed (working with the kids, seeing their progress over the season) and parts that have been challenging (some of the parents, feeling like he's babysitting instead of coaching sometimes).
  • I'm still writing part-time. I average about one article per day.
  • I have 3 classes left before I can start student teaching. I'm really, really hoping to get a job at the school where Camden will be starting kindergarten. I'm totally open to an assistant position to get my foot in the door.
  • Matt and I are taking a trip to Michigan in June for a childhood friend's wedding. The kids will be staying with my parents.
  • I think that's it. Like I said, we're not that interesting.
Some of my favorite pictures from the last few months:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry, Merry

Merry Christmas to all! If you've noticed I'm not around much anymore, there are a few reasons for that. The main reason is that I accepted a freelance writing position a couple of months ago that consumes what (little) free time I have. I do plan to stop by here periodically to update on important milestones and events, because I ultimately want this blog to be a scrapbook of memories for the kids when they're older. So, I couldn't let Christmas pass without a post.  I hope everyone had a wonderful day filled with family, love, and laughter.  Here's our Christmas in pictures. (Disclaimer: some of the pictures are a little out of chronological order. Sorry.)

Getting ready to head out to our Christmas Eve service. 

A couple of days before Christmas, we headed to our friends' house to make reindeer food for Santa's reindeer. Macey loved this task. I think as far as Macey is concerned, the messier the better.

I know- my kids need haircuts.
This was at Camden's preschool's Christmas show. 

Camden was an adorable little shepherd in the show.

And finally- Christmas morning!

Camden was playing Nintendo with several Nintendo characters watching him play.
"It's a choo choo!" It was Camden's idea to get Macey a new train to go with their train table. Such a sweet brother.

My little Mario.

Christmas morning guests: my mom and brother.

Pop and Cam.

Camden playing a new baseball game with his cousin, Alex.
We made a little mess.
Macey got jewelry and some cookware from Nan and Pop, so it was only natural that she cook her jewelry, right?
 And this guy was thrilled with all of his video game characters.

Merry Christmas to all!