Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lots of Learning Around Here

It's back to school time!! Luckily since Landon is still in Preschool he didn't go back until after Labor Day, which was so nice - it helped us feel like we really got to finish summer out right. He was SO excited about his first day!

He's going to Mother Goose Preschool. The week before school his teacher held a fun social for the class to meet each other, and a meet and greet for us so the parents and kids could explore the classroom without the first-day jitters! Here he is with his teacher, Karen Daniels. They actually have a few teachers, so the 16 kids always have at least two teachers at all times (we loved that about them!). And naturally, all the teachers have nicknames, which the kids love!

No need to worry about jitters around here! He was so excited he was practically jumping up and down to get out of here and get on with his first day.There is a tiny part of me that wishes he at least pretended he was going to miss me, but I love that he is so eager and so confident. He had to have these "cool" red shoes to wear on the first day, which I love ... he's so much like Jeff and I :)!

Oh he looks so grown up ... 
So far he LOVES it. The first day was butterfly day (that's the name of his class), and after school we went to a park to a have a picnic to celebrate. He also had a "homework" sheet to do, which he took really seriously. He told me, "mom, please tell all my friends who come to play that I'm busy doing my homework." It only took him a few minutes, but when a friend's mom texted about playing he insisted that I tell them he needed a few more minutes to do his homework! I'm going to remind him of that in a few years ...

A couple of weeks in he still loves it and is eager to go and loves telling me all about it after. I'm so glad! He had a great experience in Joy School, which I think helped set him up, and ultimately that's what we want for both our boys - to love learning. This preschool is known to help give kids a good start on reading. And with the first set of sight-word books coming home it was all I could do to not push him. He did great with them ... but I know he's so close to reading (and already has some of the sight words down), but I have to keep reminding myself to just let him be little ... and that I want him to love school, not dread it. But at the same time when I hear him sounding words out, I get SO excited. 

Other than school we've had some other big learning experiences lately ... Landon is practicing his two wheel bike without training wheels. It's coming along ... he's still a ways off, but he's doing well, and can go for short distances already. And he's loving soccer this season! He scored two goals at his game on Saturday, and still loves it. I asked if there was something he wanted to try when his season ends and he said "no ... I just want to play soccer." Super cute! But I think I'll still try something this winter to expand his horizons a bit!
Landon isn't the only one learning around here. Liam took a few steps after he was 18 months, but when he hit 19 months and was still not walking we started to get worried. His little feet point out pretty badly, which makes his little ankles roll his feet to really flat position. I made him an appointment (which naturally in between making it and having the appointment is when he started walking more), and his pediatrician agreed he should be seen by a specialist. There is a program called Kids on the Move, which is an early intervention program run through the school district. He was tested by them to determine if he needs to see a physical therapist. 

He tests really low on gross motor skills (no surprise there!) but not low enough to qualify for services. Their physical therapist gave us some great tips - like have him wear shoes all the time, and try using a baby stroller so he thinks he has more help than what he does - which have really helped. He's already doing SO much better! And he loves the stroller ... it's super convenient to carry snacks and trucks around in. (Luckily we have friends with little girls so we didn't have to purchase one!) We are supposed to watch for a couple more months. He might still have to have inserts of some kind for his shoes, but we're hoping not.  
Who wouldn't want something to carry trucks around in?!
However, he blew them away with his verbal and comprehension tests. He tested in the 93 and 92 percentiles respectively. So, apparently we make very verbal children :)!
Liam is obsessed with pirates right now ... it's
too cute for words!
One of  absolute BEST parts of being a parent is watching kids grow and learn more. I want to keep them little, but then when they say and do cute things, or learn a new skill, I'm happy they are learning and changing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A little journey called love...

Today is our ninth anniversary. NINE YEARS! Which means, that come November, we'll have been together (counting our time dating) for a decade. Thinking about this over the last couple of weeks has made me really happy. I love this time of year that helps me reflect on a great decision ... and one of the people who helps make my life so happy. As I did I kept coming back to this picture: 

It isn't a wedding pic. Or even one of the two of us. But this, my friends, is a metaphor for our relationship. Many of you might not know, but I'm not a bike-rider. I wasn't ever great as a kid, and I have ridden one MAYBE three times since I was 12. (That's 20 years if you're doing the math, but there is NO need to dwell on that!). 

But it was time to buy Landon a bike with pedals, and Jeff loved it growing up, so we decided that maybe this would be a good thing for all of us. So we dove in ... we now all have bikes (or in Liam's case a bike trailer), helmets, and the bike carrier for the back of the car.

I know. This is serious.

But folks, isn't that what love is like? You jump in. Starry eyed. Naive. All-in. Along the way there are bumps, and bruises, and lots and lots of beautiful scenery and thrilling rides. 

I've found that I actually CAN ride a bike. I'm still not amazing. But I really, really like it. I love this new little shared hobby of ours. I love that we can look back on this time together and remember jumping all-in. And being really glad we did.

Yep, there have been bumps and bruises. Isn't that what growing together does? It bangs us up a bit. And asks us to be better people. And sometimes that's a painful, and itchy feeling. But in the end it's worth it. 

Mainly, there have been beautiful times together ... traveling together, growing up together, buying houses together, encouraging each other. Deciding to start a family together, bringing home two beautiful boys and watching them grow. 

And ultimately deciding that we love each other enough to try new things. Stretch ourselves a bit, enjoy new hobbies, and become that much more of a couple and a family.

I love this man of mine, and all that we've learned together. Happy Anniversary babe!