Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Zak, The Girls and I walked 3.2 miles this last weekend to raise money for the March of Dimes. The event was organized by a woman in my subdivision and she raised over $600 just from the neighborhood! I was impressed. We told Maddie that we were walking to "save the babies," and she kept asking us where all the babies were. She demanded to see some babies!
Our neighborhood is quite hilly and we definitely got our daily workout points for huffing it up the hills. We did a little bit of running, only (and I mean ONLY) because it made The Girls laugh to go so fast. Both of us ended up with sore knees for the next few days. I couldn't figure out why that was since both of us do some sort of workout at least 4-5 times per week, but I think it was due to the running DOWN the hills. I only walk/run UP hill on the treadmill.
Don't let this next photo fool you, Maddie rode in the stroller the entire time, but decided she'd get out of the stroller and run to the finish line and break through the tape.
Brooke also enjoyed herself...by SLEEPING for nearly the entire way! When we got home, Zak and I were exhausted, and The Girls were ready to play!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Today is my dad's birthday, and it's a BIG one! We are so happy to be in Texas closer to him and Susan. PaPa officially got his name from Madison who was unable to say, Grandpa. We thought she'd call him that. You probably know that the grandkids always choose the grandparent's names...especially the FIRST grandchild. She could only say the "Pa" part of Grandpa, so she called him "PaPa." I'll never forget the first time she said his name! I'm sure he won't either. The picture above is PaPa with Maddie: March 06
With Zak and Maddie in April 06
PaPa and Susan with Maddie on her second b-day, Dec 06
I love you, dad!! Happy Birthday!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Since Maddie is now three, and is in an actual pre-school classroom (versus daycare) she's doing a significant amount more of learning than ever before. This week, the letter "J" is the focus. Maddie already knows most letters, she's now learning what a "J" phonetically sounds like and is studying "J" words. Just yesterday she brought home a colored Japanese flag and Japanese lanterns. Evidently, they're also studying countries in pre-school nowadays!
Every day, we get an update of what she learned, ate and how much (if any!) she slept during the day. On yesterday's daily report, we were told to "Bring something that starts with a "J" for Show and Tell."
Alrighty then...."J?" What begins with the letter "J" that she could bring to school and talk about? I couldn't think of ANYTHING, and with just a few hours notice...the PRESSURE!!
Jammies! Well, that's not really a word, and how do you show and tell your pajamas? Maybe she could wear them to school! Bad idea.
Jelly! A little too messy, and it's been used, and it's in a glass jar. NOPE.
Jeans! Jacket! Well, since she won't even wear Jeans, she probably definitely wouldn't work. A jacket is kinda boring. "Hi everyone...this is my pink jacket. " Great.
Jammies, Jelly, Jeans and Jacket were the only to words that begin with the letter "J" that I could think of. Really, I'm not kidding when I tell you I couldn't think of anymore J words than those four. So, I did what any Gen-X mother would do...I searched the Internet for "J" words!
Also keep in mind that it had to be something in the house, that was appropriate to take to school that was a "J" word...so we're talking NOUNS here.
So, what did Maddie bring today for Show and Tell? You know I just wouldn't give up and tell the teacher that I forgot. Maddie couldn't care less anyway.
She brought a grape Juicy Juice (two J's!) box for show and tell. I've never said I was the most creative....what other things could I have brought? Leave me a comment with your suggestion for next time. IF there is a next time!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
She got a Buzz Lightyear toy for Christmas that makes a noise as it shoots laser beam from its arm. Now, she runs around saying, "Pew! Pew! Pew!" and "I'm gonna pew you!" while holding her Buzz Lightyear.
When we ask her to clarify what "Pew!" means she just shrugs her shoulders and continues to "pew" me with her toy or finger.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I have never played Bunco before, but had heard of it. I learned it requires ZERO skills...all luck. It's a good game for women because we're too dumb to think critically and strategize a plan. You just roll dice, chat, drink alcohol (my favorite part), move from table to table, and count (just a little bit). The more wine I drank the less I was able to count accurately. Needless to say, I didn't win anything.
There were plenty of, ahem, elderly ladies, there. However, they were a hoot and I had lots of fun. Many of them brought their daughters who were closer to my age. I also got to know another neighbor better (who was also a sub) and has two kiddos the same ages as Maddie and Brooke.
I really need to get out more. Whenever I'm alone (or out with Zak) without the Girls, I tend to get a bit giddy and silly. Or, maybe it was the wine.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
You are eleven months old. Here are some of your latest achievements:
- You can cruise like a Carnival Ship; walking is just days away
- You said MaMa just the other day (!)
- You "talk" to us, "sing" in the car, and yell at your sister when she's sassy to you
- You eat like trucker and you now have a belly to prove it
- You weigh about 18 pounds, which nearly breaks my back
- You clap when your happy, blow kisses, give high fives, and wave hello and goodbye
- You adore your sister and are her little puppet, you dance when she tells you to and almost always tolerate her constant hugs and kisses
You've had a perpetual runny nose for the last six weeks. I assume you have allergies since you don't seem like you have a cold, but I feel so bad when you're so stuffy you can't nurse or drink your bottle. Speaking of nursing, we're almost done with the milkies, and it will be WAY harder for me then it will be for you once you're finally weaned.
The joy you have for life just oozes out of your pores. Now that you can get to where you want to go (most of the time) you're always finding new fun things to do and see. Today, I asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, and you told me just as if it was the most simple answer. Too bad I couldn't understand, but I look forward to watching your journey.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
So, for those of you who need the Cliff notes version:
- Maddie went to an at home daycare when we lived in Chicago. She went there from 10 weeks until we moved to San Antonio when she was 19 months old. Miss Tippi was everything we could have asked for, and to say we were sad about leaving her is an understatement. We still talk about her, and know that she reads this blog. (Tippi, please email me privately with your new address and number!) There were many reasons why we loved Miss Tippi, but mainly because she treated Maddie like her own, loved on her, taught her well beyond what we knew Maddie was capable. Tippi would send home a daily note of Maddie's day, but often wrote mini-novels about something funny or cute that Maddie did that day. I actually saved many of them because they meant so much to me. When moms work, we feel guilty for missing the big developmental milestones that often occur when your child is in daycare (like walking or talking). Thinking back, I assume that Tippi probably saw Maddie's first step, but never told me. She knew how disappointed I would be that I missed it. Instead she said, "watch her tonight...I think she is on the verge of walking." Sure enough...she walked for me that night.
- When we moved to San Antonio, Maddie attended a nationally known chain daycare from 20 months until 26 months. We pulled her out because we were unhappy with the large class size (2 teachers/22 toddlers--Texas maximum size allowed). With that many children in the room, two teachers could not possibly do anything other than attempt to manage the chaos and change diapers. We felt Maddie wasn't learning anything. The teachers often told us how smart and verbal she was, but they did little to facilitate additional learning. They basically just babysat. She was safe, but rarely clean. She was sick more than usual as she adjusted to the new germs.
- A friend recommended the daycare where her two kids attended, lets call it "C". It is a church daycare, with a very large congregation. Lots and lots of money at this church. Maddie started there in March 2007 and we have been happy with only minor problems. We really like the very small class sizes (one teacher/6-8 2 year olds). Brooke started attending in October (one teacher/two babies). Those ratios are so low, I've never been able to find anything close to that in my area. It's literally half of what the state law allows. They also, ironically, had very low tuition--about 25% less than the going rate. I would have paid 25% MORE than the normal rate for classes that small.
The very next day after we got the letter, Zak and I began calling and visiting other day care centers. We already knew how limited our options were from previous research, and we assumed that every other parent from "C" would be scrambling just like we were.
In the three year old room, that will be 24 kids to one teacher. In Brooke's 12-18 month room, that will be eight babies to one teacher. I met the teacher who would be in Brooke's room, and she was a nice Hawaiian grandmother who has 5 kids of her own and worked in day care centers for her entire life. She was shocked at the high student to teacher ratio in Texas compared to what she knew of in California and Hawaii. She told me "it will be difficult" to have that many babies for one teacher. Honestly, I am not very concerned about Maddie as I think she's ready for the classroom type setting where there is a large number of kids and just one teacher, and many of her current classmates will be going to "L." But it's Brooke who will break my heart. She's just a baby who needs to be held, rocked and cuddled more than one teacher could possibly do with eight other babies who need the same attention. At this time, there is just two other kids under the age of 15 months, so it's not a problem now, but it may be later.
Tomorrow is the last day at "C." We wanted out a week early because there is hardly anyone left and the teachers are not consistent. Maddie keeps telling us about a teacher or kid "going to another school" when we ask her about her friends. She knows she will also be changing schools, and seems excited about it. We'll see how it goes on Monday. We were going to go to "T" last week, but now we are 90% set on "L."
Oh, decisions....decisions. Tippi, do you want to move to Texas?
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Now my ears are all stuffy and swallowing makes me feel like I've got razor blades in my saliva. I guess my "allergies" is really a cold. Damn it.
Brooke too. She's had a runny nose since birth. Sometimes she'll smear it all around her face, and when I get her out of bed in the morning, she's has buggers in her eyebrows. Of course there is no medication you can give a baby since they were all recalled due to stupid parents ODing their infants. Now the rest of us have to be punished with snotty and stuffy babies. As soon as Brooke sees me coming at her with a tissue, she puts her dukes up and shakes her head back and forth. This only results smeared snot from ear to ear, forehead to chin. If you let it dry, it's actually easier to pick off.
Ahhh, the joys of parenthood. Welcome to my world. Aren't you glad you logged on today?