Sunday, April 29, 2012

little man

I have been putting off blogging.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's the fact that there are 22 days of school left and I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything I need to get done.  Or maybe it is the fact that I have a certain little boy who will be graduating from preschool next week.  I have so many posts swirling around in my head... about his recent success in school, his conferences, his IEP meeting we had for Kindergarten.  Then there's his upcoming spring sing and preschool graduation.  I just have so many emotions about all of this that I want to do it justice.  And honestly, I'm not sure where to start.  So...more on this topic will be coming soon, but for today, I wanted to share some fun things about my little man, who is not so little anymore...
Spring school pictures

He has just been doing the cutest things lately.  He is growing up so much.  I was just looking at some pictures and watching videos from him at Christmas and he has changed so much just since then.  One of his favorite "big boy" things to do these days is look at books and read them by himself.   Of course, he loves us to read to him too.  But he will sit for a long, long time just looking at pictures and retelling the story in his own words.  I just love to listen to him do this.  I don't post videos much anymore, but this one is worth the watch.  His sweet little voice...I love how he asks me to read it to him at the end.  I wish I had taken actual pictures, but he sounded so precious, I just kept the video going (pause the music at the bottom before playing video)...

The other day it was so cute, he got quiet upstairs as I was fixing dinner so I snuck up there to see what he was up to.
I caught him playing "school!"  He had all his little stuffed animals lined up and had a pointer and was teaching them!
He said, "who wants to be the song helper?"  Ha!  It was the cutest thing ever.  Then he picked a song and started dancing!
Then he had them all go to "centers" and get their work books.  The funny thing is, I used to do this when I was a kid.  Playing school was one of my favorite things to do!  
He is just amazing me with what he can write these days.  The other day he came home from school with the whole alphabet written on a piece of paper!
I was pretty impressed (although he must have gotten tired since he left out y and z!  Ha!)
His teacher called me over when I went to pick him up and she was all excited to tell me something.  She brought me over to his folder for conferences and showed me something pretty cool.  In January, he knew no letter sounds.  Well, he knew a few, but only in order.  He couldn't isolate them.  She assessed him last week, and he now knows 21 letter sounds!  I was so amazed and I just teared up because he has been working so hard!  In January he only knew 10 lowercase letters- now he knows them all.  It is just amazing how much he's learned in such a short time.  Not only does he know all his letters and most sounds, he can also spell quite a few words on his own.  I just can't believe we are at that "Mommy, how do you spell ______?" phase where he writes down the letters and wants to spell words.  

It makes me think it could have something to do with the FM system he is using at school.  They attach to his hearing aids and they amplify the voice of whoever has the microphone, in most cases, the teacher.  I am pretty sure this has worked wonders for him.  I am so grateful to our school district and all the people involved in working with him for discovering that this would be a huge benefit to him.
Every day he comes home with pictures from school.  I always ask him to tell me about them.  This one was the "Waterhorse" from the movie he is currently obsessed with!  Ha!
(This is what he was doing when I wanted to take his picture!  Ha!)  This picture is of "alligator and his friends."  He colored it and then drew his own alligators below.
He was excited about their unit on "The Hungry Caterpillar."  He came home and retold me the whole story.  Several times.

Last week we had our big IEP meeting at his new "Kindergarten school" (as we call it).  I was shocked  and proud to learn that they will be dropping his academic goal from his IEP!  Yay!  I remember so well back when he was three and we started his IEP.  I remember freaking out about it because...let's face it.  I'm a teacher.  I know what an IEP is for.  It is considered "Special Education."  No matter how you look at it.  This time I found myself on the other side of the table wondering if I wanted my child to grow up with that "stigma."  Sad that he was discrepant and "different" enough to qualify for one, yet grateful for the help that he would receive.  I remember them telling us, when he's five and starts kindergarten, he may not qualify for one anymore, may not need one, or we could always change our minds at that time.  So we signed the papers.

This graph really stuck out to me.  The green is where he was in January at his last IEP review.  The "E" is emerging, the - is that he cannot perform the task and the +/blue is that he met the goal.  Check out the right side now!  He is either emerging or has met every single thing on the list.  I was amazed it has only been 4 short months!

Well, he's now ready for that step.  And he doesn't need one anymore.  At least not in the way we thought he might.  He'll still have an IEP, but it will only consider his needs related to his hearing and speech/communication.  Signing those papers turned out to be the best thing we could have ever hoped for.   Not only did he have the best preschool teacher in the country (I'm not kidding... she is awesome and we are so sad to leave her!), but he also got used to the idea of "school" much earlier than most kids.  

He's been riding a school bus for 2 1/2 years now.  I'm pretty sure he won't be the one clinging to my leg in tears on the first day of Kindergarten.  He knows the routine.  He knows what to do at circle time, and center time.  He is an experienced school goer.  And he is successful because of it.  So because of his "disability," he has received some amazing services, and has gotten to know some pretty awesome teachers that have worked with him along the way.  Every time we attend an IEP review, everyone always says the best things about our son.  They all love him.  It just makes me want to burst with pride.

When we walked into this meeting, it seemed so different than the ones before.  It was at his new school.  There were many new faces (principal, kindergarten teacher, speech pathologist, etc) but thankfully, some old ones we recognized that gave us that warm smile and reminded us of how much they love our son.  It was so comforting to hear those things.  Basically, they told us how well he is doing.  They updated his IEP, removing all academic services, and added the use of the FM system, and a health plan (related to his heart condition so everyone would know about it and what his very short list of limitations might be).

Simple as that.

My baby is ready for Kindergarten.

The other day in the car, he asked me something and I responded and called him "baby" in the sentence somewhere.  He looked at me and replied amongst some giggles... "I'm not a baby!"

You'll always be my baby, Andrew.  No matter what.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

phone dump

There have been so many times recently that I have said to myself "I'm so glad I had my phone!" so I could take a picture!  I don't always carry my big camera (although I'd like to!) and it is so nice having my iPhone.  It takes awesome pictures.
I've already posted this, but it was an example of a time I was so thankful I had my phone camera.  The Friday before Easter- the bunny visited his day care when I dropped the kids off.  Everyone was so excited and it was so cute!  One of those memories I was so happy I captured.

Another time I was so thankful was a different day when I picked them up from day care!  Ha!  I was getting out of the car and I heard a loud noise.  I was getting ready to walk in and I saw all the kids filing out in huge lines... it was a fire drill!  Andrew has attended this center since he was 2, and I have never been privileged enough to witness this!  It was the cutest thing ever.  Andrew came out walking all straight and proud and sat down in the grass with his class.  I was enjoying watching him when I started to freak out, worried that Kerigan was probably scared to death with all that noise!!
Yeah, not-so-much.  They put all the babies in this little rolling crib.  I about died- it was seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen.  None of them were crying, they were all thinking "field trip!" Ha!
Peek a boo!  Oh my gosh, it was the sweetest thing.  I will never forget it.  And thanks to my phone, I now have a picture of it!
Andrew is obsessed with the books by Jan Brett.   He reads The Mitten and The Hat over and over again.  He has them memorized.  There is a sweet little hedgehog in them and I love the way he says "hedgehog"- it sounds like an "sh" sound, more like "he-sh-hog."  Anyway, the other day at school one of my old students had brought his pet hedgehog to school!  I was so excited to whip out my phone and take a picture to show Andrew.  He was so thrilled!  Isn't he so cute?
I barely had time to grab my phone the afternoon we were hanging out and looked over at the stairs and up went our girl for the very first time!  As fast as she could go!
And just because he's cute... :)

This was too funny not to share.  We were eating dinner the other night and daddy was at work (things are always more chaotic when daddy's not home!)  I was feeding Kerigan her food and all of a sudden I look over and see this...
Yep.  Milk- all over the place.  I was so dumbfounded I didn't even know where to start with cleaning it up.  So, yep!  I took a picture instead!  Ha!  Everyone on my facebook was teasing me about taking a picture.  As mad as I was at the time, I knew it would be funny to look back on.  One of my FB friends wrote this quote, which I think is so funny: "Ancient proverb- Don't cry over spilled milk!  2012- Grab your phone and take a picture!"  Ha!
She is just into everything these days.  I can't keep up with her!  And her facial expressions just kill me!
I'm not sure what part of her thinks this is a good idea!
So sweet... waiting for Ga Ga.
A couple weekends ago we met friends out at our favorite shopping area and had a picnic lunch by the lake.  Fun times!
I was laughing so hard this day.  Andrew was so smushed in the cart and I didn't even realize it!!  Everything about this picture makes me laugh.  From Andrew, to my frosted flakes stash!  Those of you who know me know this is normal!  I go through frosted flaked like water!  Justsoyouknow.
Then on a separate trip to Sams (because that's where we go to get all our baby needs- formula, diapers, wipes, etc).  Kerigan crashed in the cart!  I had her out way past her nap time!  Poor baby!  But it was so stinkin funny!  Look at her precious little shoes!
Then I just had to laugh about our 3rd trip to the store within a week!  Do you think I picked out a better cart this time?  Ha!
There was no room for groceries, but the kids had fun!
Last night Ga Ga surprised Andrew with movie night treats and the Muppets!  She came to watch the kids so Craig and I could have our date night for his birthday.
This picture makes me laugh!  We had so much fun!  We went to eat at Christophers- a favorite.  I had surprised Craig with tickets to "Ring of Fire," because he loves Johnny Cash.
He was all excited, it was so cute.  
The show was so good!  We hadn't been out together for a while and it was a much needed recharge!  It's so nice to say that after almost 9 years, we still have fun and laugh together!

So there's the last couple of months in phone pictures!  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Little Miss {nine months}

This is my old rocking chair, do you think you look like your mama just a little bit?!  Ha
You are now officially as old as the amount of time you spent growing in my tummy.  I know I say this every month, but Kerigan, you are growing way too fast!!  It is amazing for me to watch you hit so many milestones so quickly!  I am not used to having a baby move as fast as you do or be as determined as you are to get what you want, despite the consequences!  Silly girl, you are keeping us on our toes!
Mommy couldn't get you into the doctor for your 9 month appointment until next month, but I had to take you to the doctor today for a little cold, and you weighed 21 lbs!  You wear mostly 12-18 month clothes and size 3 shoe.  You also wear size 3 diaper.  You are eating four 8oz bottles a day and you pretty much consume every single item of food we put in front of you!  You haven't turned down anything yet!  You love your food.  You still love your baby food, and we have been introducing you to some table foods.  You have eaten mandarin oranges, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, noodles, cheese slices, crackers and ice cream!  And you loved it all!  Ha!
Your sleeping... let's just say, you are making mommy and daddy tired!  You take a short morning nap (about an hour) and a longer afternoon nap (2- 2 1/2 hours).  But you definitely slept better at night a few months ago than you do now.  You are inconsistent.  Let's hope this isn't a trend for other things in the future!  Ha!  You are always ready for a bottle and bed by 7:00 or 7:30 every night.  You are usually asleep and in bed by 8:00.  Sometimes you sleep the whole night until 6am.  Sometimes you wake up around 11pm, other times it's 3am.  It is all over the place!  And sometimes when you wake up you want to play!  Other times you want to be rocked, or held in our bed (I know, I know!) and sometimes you give mommy a break and let me just give you your paci and pat your back for a few minutes.  I basically never know what I'm going to get!  Nighttime is always an adventure!  I am ready for your sleeping habits to improve, little girl!
You are doing so many new things this month.  You are just turning into this adorable little person who can interact with us and we just love it!  Especially your brother.  You call him Bubba (that has been mommy and daddy's nickname for him all along), and he absolutely loves it when you say it.  You two love to "wrestle."  He'll lay down on the floor and you will crawl over to him and just bang on him!  It is so darn funny!  He just laughs and covers his head as you swat at him!  He tickles you and you just squeal and giggle.  When we get you up in the morning the first thing you say is "Bubba."  You grin so big when you see pictures of him, too.
Yeah, the other night I attempted bath time together since daddy was gone and you both needed one.  It wasn't easy, but you both enjoyed it.  Now Andrew wants you in there every time he takes a bath!  Ha!
Your other new word this month is "Hi."  You are so funny.  I will go get you from your crib and you'll look up at me with this little squinty smile and say "hiiiiiii!"  You say "hi" to daddy when he gets home from work.  I also taught you how to sign "more" and you will do it when you are eating puffs.  They will be all gone and you'll sign for more.  I always make a big deal out of it and you think it's funny so you keep doing it.
You still just have two teeth, but the doctor said today that your upper gums are very swollen so she thinks more will be coming in soon!  I can't wait to see you with two little front teeth!
You put your hands up in the air when we say "Big girl!"  You always get the biggest smile on your face.
I can't believe it, but I think you have mastered blowing your nose!  You have a little cold this week and when I put the kleenex to your face, you blow!  It is so funny!  You also scrunch up your nose and blow in and out sometimes, which you think is funny.
You wave bye bye, mostly to me in the mornings when I leave you at day care.  You went through a short phase where you cried when I dropped you off, but now you will reach out to the girls and give them cuddles, which makes me a little jealous!  Ha!  But I'm happy you love them, too.  Since you have to spend nine hours a day there.
Waving at Ga Ga when she pulled up

You have started pulling up onto things.  You don't really "cruise" yet, but you pull up and sometimes get "stuck" and you'll fuss because you can't get back down!  Ha!  We got out your little learning table and you love to stand up by it and play.
You just got so excited when I pulled this out and just started banging on it everywhere!  Ha!

Bubba had to play, too!  This picture certainly shows how thrilled you were with your new toy!
Little Miss Curious.  This is your new nickname!  Every time I turn around you are into something!  I move one thing out of your grasp, and I turn around and you're into something else I need to move away!  Ha!  You are definitely more curious about the world around you now.  You love to watch us and everything we are doing, and you want to join in!  You especially love it when I am loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, etc.  You are right there at my heels every single time!  Ha!
You love to crawl over and pull up wherever Bubba is and just watch him.  I caught the two of you playing superheroes together the other day.  Girl, I am trying so hard to make you into a girly girl, but I'm not sure I have a chance!  Ha!
You also love to play "peek-a-boo."  You will lean your head around and grin to find me and laugh so hard!  You like to play this game with Bubba too.  It could entertain you for hours!
You both love each other so much!  It is so sweet.  There is never a time that you don't smile at your Bubba (all of these nine month pictures were taken with him making you smile behind the camera!)
I am starting to realize that apparently I don't keep my floor clean enough (and for those people out there who know your mommy and what a neat freak she is, this will surprise you!)  I can't vaccum, or swiffer the floors always seem to find every little speck and it ends up in your mouth faster than I can run.  Every time I look at you you are chewing on something.  Pieces of fuzz, a crumb (left by daddy or Bubba!  Ha!), you name it.  You get very mad when I do the sweep to get it out of your mouth, but girl, vacuuming every day doesn't exactly make me happy either!  Ha!
I just think you look like such a big girl here!

Last week I caught you crawling up the stairs for the first time.  You had been exploring them for a while, and sort of hanging out at the bottom, but the other day you saw something you wanted on a step and you just went for it (we won't tell Bubba it was his Raffi that you went for!)
You got kind of mad once you got there, because you realized you were stuck!  Ha!  Silly girl.  So now we pretty much have to watch you every single second, since you are everywhere and constantly on the move!
Kerigan, you are just growing up right before our eyes.  You have such a fun, adorable, bubbly little personality (Ga Ga says you get that from me, but I think it's just the way you are!)  You are always happy and have smiles for everyone around you.  You love to giggle and play and I love how inquisitive you are (even though it makes me tired!)  Every day I still just look at you and sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream.  You are real, baby girl!  My real live little dolly.  The baby girl I've dreamed of my whole life.  You are here, and you are ours.  Only one word comes to mind...
We love you to the moon and back!

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