Thursday, September 20, 2012

First Impressions of Preschool

On September 10th, Wyeth went to school! This is his first experience being away from home without his Dad or his Mom! Big stuff! (Ok, he was in child care for six months but that ended when he was 9 months old). 

The entire summer, we talked up school. He wasn't buying it. Everytime we'd say something about the school or his teacher or his friend that we knew would attend he would say, "Well, that's a problem. I'm not going to school."

I started to get a little concern as his mantra continued. "That's a problem, I'm not going to school."

Enter big sister into the picture. She should be in sales. She SOLD him preschool. One afternoon, she ran upstairs and came back downstairs with her memory books from her first two years in the school. She showed him picture after picture of her having fun. She showed him pictures of her sledding. Of her having fun on water days. Of her in costume. It began to change his whole mind. A smile showed up.

And then she went in for the closing.

"And ya know what, buddy? They have snacks there! Goldfish, pretzels and all sorts of good snacks. And cupcakes when it is someone's birthday."


Preschool here he comes!

Of course it wasn't quite that easy. He was still nervous. But the big day came and he was very brave. He had seen the classroom before during the welcome day and that made a huge difference. He hugged us hard and then followed the teacher out the door of our car. No looking back.

I was so proud.

Now, a full week in, he has funny things to share about how school is going. I write them down verbatim becuase it always cracks me up.

"I shared Webbie. They liked him. Then I put hiim in my bag and stuck him in my cubbie."

"In school today I cried a little bit about the potty. I didn't tell them why but it was a little sad. But then I got a doughnut. A real life doughnut. With sprinkles. And I could hold it on the sides because there weren't any sprinkles on the side. I ate it all up."

"I got a new job today. I now do the weather job."

We are curious about how he is interacting with kids. Tuesday of this week he reported that he didn't talk to anyone. We pushed him a bit. He told us he didn't talk because he didn't know anyone's name. We gave him some 'scripts'. "Hi, I'm Wyeth. What is your name, do you want to play?"  We pushed too hard and this backfired on us. Last night after we put him down, he was crying about going to school and feeling like he HAD to say hi. So we dropped it.

Today he reported, "Someone asked me to be her friend. I said no. Then I said yes. So now we are friends."

I kinda want to be three.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Michigan trip part 2

After our upbeat Michigan post, the trip ended with car drama. It will all work out in the end but we hit a huge truck tire on the way out. We didn't think anything of it. It scared the hell out of us as one of those heavy tire parts were airborne. We heard the hit but kept on going. It wasn't until a few days later that I even noticed the grill was taken out. Then a few days later, we heard the clanking and clonking and the fact that part of our car was touching the ground.  Ugh.

Since it was labor day, we were stuck until Tuesday. We asked the shop to fix us up so we could travel 600 miles home. We were to leave on Sunday and travel all Sunday and Monday to be rested for the first day of first grade on Wednesday morning. I was to be in the office being productive on Tuesday. No such luck.

Meanwhile, my in laws, with whom we are staying, needed to visit my sister in law. So left then on Sunday morning and we stayed home with the cats, the pool, the fish and the plants. We got the green light that the part came in, the insurance had paid for the fix and we could leave for PA on Tuesday around 2 pm.  We were in the car and had dropped off the rental by 4 pm.

Quite impressive. Not without its stress as we couldn't decide if we should leave right then or wait a night and do the whole 12 hour drive in one big swoop.  Lord.

So we hit the road. We got in late, had dinner late, but the kids to bed late in our crappy hotel. We left early the next morning and at 10:00 the check engine light went on. Fabulous! 

I just started to cry. The pressure (and dread) of going back to work, missing the first day of first grade, bills that were all was just too much for me. Plus add in a long night, and four tired people strapped into our car? It was an ugly cry. The  ones where the kids just get quiet.


We drive around a silly stupid town trying to decide what to do about the car. Clearly, we have mechanical issues that we couldn't solve before making the trip home. Was it safe to keep going for another 200-300 miles? What choice did we have?  So travel on we went.

It was epic.

We finally rolled into our home 13 days after leaving it. We had missed the first day of school and all of us were way behind on work, but we did it. WHEW.

The car goes to the shop for body and mechanical work Monday morning! Wish us luck! Yay for insurance!


Wyeth has been hysterical recently. After a rough few weeks in July, his August has gone very well. That being said, however, he was NOT pleased with us last night for punishing him.

He noted, "Eewy Mommy and Daddy are ruining my entire life!"

Later Seren asked him, "What are you doing now Wyeth?"

"I'm just staying away from horrible Mom and Dad who are mean and being fussy with me."

Seren was then mean to him (it was a rough dinner). 

"If you keep being mean to me, I'm not keeping you in my life."

He has a flair for the dramatic.
Seren was reading the label of a banana. One of those 'fresh' stickers. She read, "Raisin with tender loving care."

Sam asked her about that. "Read that again? Raisin?"

"Oh, you are right. There is no 'n'. I see now, raised with tender loving care."

Jolly and toothpick, Wyeth's imaginary friends, are back in full forth. Recently, they are working with the police to keep the 'mean guys in jail.

Seren spent time swimming in the pool in Michigan. She loved the googles this year. She reflected, "Well, these googles are good. They protect my eyes. But now I need some sort of mask for my mouth so the water doesn't get in there!"

Wyeth's whole approach to speaking..which he does constantly, is adorable. I love his phrases. I can't capture them all. But one thing he says all of the time is "do-es". As in " Webbie do-es that." (Webbie does that).  He also continues to be perplexed by the time of day. He doesn't know if he is waking up from nap sometimes or from the  night. "Is it night time this day?"

We were reading a book and one of the pages was about the top most used letters in the English language.  Four of the letters were 'i', 's', 'n' and 'o'. Among others. Seren's vocabulary floored me. When we asked her for words that began with those letters, she noted

Incubator for "i"
Salutations for "s"
Nutritious for "n" and
Octopus for "o"

I was impressed. And relieved that octopus was normal. Incubator!?


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Michigan Trip 2012

We left for Flushing Michigan on August 23rd after a very quick  and busy 3 weeks of work in between vacations.

What a total blast this has been. We left Thursday and drove all day. We made it here to Grandma and Grandad's by Friday at 12. It was just perfect. A long trip but a great one. And no threat of snow this time as we traveled in the summer.

On Saturday, the 25h, we ran the Crim. The Crim is a huge race that drew 13,500 registered runners to Flint, MI. I have heard about the Crim since I first met Sam over 11 years ago.

I had been training but not that hard. Sam really trained.  And in the end, we all registered and ran the race. I was so proud of our little family.

The night before I was so nervous! I had yet to run 5 miles in my life! What made me think I could do this! Work three long days in the office, drive 12 hours and then run 5 miles starting at 9:30 in the morning?? I never run in the mornings!

But run we did.

Sam started his 10 mile race at  8 am. He was through the finish line before I even started. He did very very well. He was disappointed by the rough start. But he did well.  I was so proud! He has been a runner but he hasn't run much in the past 6 years. But he put his mind to this race!! Wow, he did very well. At age 38 he ran 10 miles in 1 hour, 25 min and 38 seconds. He placed 1598 out of 8,955 runners!

Meanwhile, I was off and running. It was hot and humid. But I was so proud of myself. I stopped twice- once to tie my shoe and once in mile 4.5 because I thought I was going to die. But I only stopped for 20 feet because seriously? I HAD to finish.  I was pumped for the whole thing! There was a great  energy in doing something like that will all of those other runners! I ran the five miles in 47 minutes and 30 seconds which is quite slow but I had never run 5 miles. I finisheed 7th in my age group of 62 runners. I finished 173 out of  1378 so all in all, a great show. Not bad for 35. Not bad at all.

I came across the finish line, barely feeling my legs. I heard my daughter's distinct voice yelling GO MOM! It was clear as day. All of those people. All of that sweat. My tired legs and there it was, a GO MOM! From Seren.  I waved to the left to recognize it.

Then I just made it home to the finish line.  Going through I thought I was going to vomit or pee. Or both. So dehydrated! So gross. I made it across and asked one of the volunteers, "WHY do people do that??" He smiled and said, "I don't know. But you just did."

I couldn't speak for a few moments and actually thought I was going to faint.  So clearly I neeed to hydrate more the days before the race, train more and lift weights.

But to just finish? And to finish in under 10 minute miles? AWESOME.

Then we played for a bit! We had to do SOME playing!

Seren's 1 mile race was next. She was nervous.  Her exhausted Dad took her to the starting line. Sam, barely able to move after his race, ran side by side for another mile. She beamed as she took off. And when she finished, they called out her name. I got tears in my eyes as she finished. So great!

Finally, after starting the day at 7am, Wyeth's race started at 1 pm. They had 'waves' of toddlers doing the Teddy Bear trot. What a total riot! Wyeth wanted Seren to join him. And she wanted to be the big sister but we aren't totally comfortable with them on thier own. So I ran too.

It was a .25 mile race down main street. He ran the whole thing- sprinting his little legs off.

At the end, he reached back and took her hand. They crossed hand in hand. Man, life is good.

After that, we filled our days with a Day out with Thomas, a visit with Rhett, a visit with the Veenhuis family, Antwan's family and Amanda and her family.  I worked three days and then we have spent the rest of the time in the amazing 12 acres- hiking, swimming in the pool and eating too much.

What a great way to end summer 2012. A chance to be outside, rest and just unwind.  I'm quite emotional about school starting. Very much so. And I have LOVED my summer. It was a bit tough work wise. But spending 8 days in Cape Cod and then nearly 2 weeks here? AWESOME. I haven't had that much time off in a long time and it feels very good.

I love my family. My family of runners. The people who make life amazing.