The End is Approaching

Yes, my blissful maternity leave is almost over.  In a little less than a month, I will be back to work full time with both boys spending a full day in day care.  However, the director at the daycare said a week or so ago that Jack was demonstrating readiness to move to the Preschool program from the older toddler room this fall.  She said he has hit the milestones and would be great to move up with the other children!  We are so proud of him!

So much has changed since Jack was an infant and started in daycare.  No more glass bottles (we use Coddlelife glass bottles as we feel they are safest for our children), only sleep sacks, no blankets and the list goes on and on.  Jack never used a sleep sack, so we just bought one from Baby Gap that was on sale with an extra 40% off!  Go me!  And yes, I bought the 6-12 month one to get the most use out of it.

I have so enjoyed my maternity leave with my little ones.  We were really able to spend the time together that was desperately needed.  Jack has been able to spend more one on one time with me and Max has gotten to know his Mommy and his brother, as well as his Daddy.

Some of my projects that I have been working on have been completed or almost completed while I have been home.  The cleanout?  Well, that is an animal all in itself, but it is getting done.  The dumpster will arrive Labor day weekend and many of the weekends in September will be spent cleaning everything out of the garage, attic and basement, as well as other areas.

One project for me that was very important was to create a photo book of all of the pictures with my Mom and Jack so that Jack can have that and look at it to remember her.  That should be completed and ordered sometime this week from Shutterfly, and I just got a free photo book code, so it is a win-win!

Many of my days these past few weeks have been spent choosing things for our new house; tile, plumbing fixtures, granite, cabinets, siding, shingles, stone for the front, shutters, and the list goes on.  Trying to get as much done as possible before I go back to work full time as I know that we will only have the weekends to get any major planning done as I will not have any vacation time left for the remainder of 2012.

The house is coming together and we should be going to settlement next week!  We can’t wait!

Although I am going to miss all of this extra time with the boys, I know that working will allow me to be able to provide for them and also allow us to build and live in this beautiful house.

So, for now, I am cuddling with my little Max and enjoying some extra time with Jack while playing with cars and trucks.  These are the moments that are most important for me.

Jack- 2.5 Years Old

Yesterday, my first born turned two and a half. Yep, inching ever so closely to childhood and out of toddlerhood.

Other than testing the boundaries recently and trying to assert himself, I do have to say that we have a pretty amazing child. He is very easy going, but extremely active all of the time. Here are some of the things that he is doing:

Speaking in full sentences and is able to use his words to convey what he wants

Follows simple directions

Sings songs- Wheels on the Bus, ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Rain, Rain Go Away, and a few others from school

Eating with utensils 100% of the time

Has entered the “helper” stage where he wants to help Mommy fold clothes, empty the dishwasher, help Daddy mow the lawn, etc…

He is also telling us what he did at school and remembers all of the names of his classmates, and if one misbehaves, Jack can’t wait to tell us about it

Semi-regularly using the potty (especially at school)

Hi favorite toys are still cars and trucks- hands down. Thomas the train is also another toy that he is really beginning to enjoy. We swear that if we never bought him another toy that he would be perfectly fine with that. He enjoys playing with other children and is pretty decent about sharing his toys and other items.

We are so blessed to have such a wonderful little boy. I can not wait to see how he reacts to his little brother, who is hopefully coming any day now!

20120612-190854.jpg

First Class Field Trip to see Trains & Trolleys

Jack’s school is wonderful when it comes to child-centered learning.  His classroom curriculum is focused on learning on a topic a week, or over several weeks and encompassing that topic in their everyday learning.  For example, when his teachers were focusing on Trains and Trolleys, they will center the topic with train tracks and trains for play, reading train books, singing train songs, doing train crafts, etc…  It is such a wonderful way to see him learn and soak all of the information in.

A few weeks ago, his teachers planned a day at the Steamtown Railworks, which is the local train museum and historic society.  The majority of his class came with their parents and grandparents and Jack had a wonderful time.  As he is already a huge fan of Thomas the Train, this was right up his alley.

We went through the museum and ended with a trolley ride past his school.  Let me tell you…he was beside himself with happiness!

Walking through an old trolley car with Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A train table with a mock-up of our entire hometown and surrounding counties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little conductor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of Jack’s class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little engineer

Chatty Jack

We have a parrot in the house.  Jack is literally repeating everything that we say.  Everything.

When Chris yells down from upstairs: “Babes, did you start the wash?”  A little 2 year old voice then runs into the laundry home asking “Babes, start wash yet?”  Yes, Jack is beginning to call me Babes, so I asked Chris to curb it on the “Babes” while he is in this repetition stage.

Yesterday, we went to the grocery store, and as always, we are walking through the aisles and Jack is telling me what each fruit is, what color and counting with me as we put the cucumbers in the bag and it hit me.  He is growing up.  He is a little intelligent toddler who can now count to 11 on his own, identify the majority of colors and tries to sing along to the ABC’s with his Mommy.

He talks about his friends at school, tells us what he wants to eat and can respond and follow simple directions.

My only issue is that sometimes he can’t control his emotions when he is told “no” or can’t do something that we don’t want him to do.  We have been trying the Time Out method on the steps with 2 minutes (for his age), but he didn’t seem to understand.  We did the diverting attnetion thing, but he would usually go right back to doing what he wanted to do.

So, Jack’s teacher gave us the Turtle Technique.  God, I love this.  When they are frustrated and freaking out, you mention starting the Turtle, and Jack stops, hugs himself with his arms and takes a few deep breaths.  Once he has calmed down a bit, he is supposed to say why he was upset and the parent explains the wrongdoing.  Ours is typically for when he doesn’t pay attention, hits, or says no to us.  This seems to be working for us, and we will do it as long as it works.

We like this technique because it tries to reiterate the fact that Jack has to use his words to communicate and let us know why he is upset.  I figured that I would share because if it works for us, it may work for someone else.

I’m finally back

After a long weekend, I had a short, but busy first week at my new job.  Flights were good, meetings were good, and I really like my new coworkers.  Everything was really great!

Since my flight was not until 10:30am on Tuesday, I was able to go with Chris to drop Jack off for his first day of school.  He knew something was up and that we were going somewhere when he was dressed and being put into the car around 8:00am.  We listened to music and I explained to him that Mommy was going to work and that Daddy would come to get him at the end of the day.

It was tough leaving him, but he immediately began playing with the trucks and the other kids and never blinked an eye.  He was in his element.  We got him sorted out and ready for the day, and he looked at us and smiled as I kissed him goodbye and told him that I loved him.

Once I left and the plane was taking off, my first view out the window was my husband’s office and the daycare.  That is when I promptly lost it.  The fear and the emotions set in as I realized that this would be the first time that I would leave Jack for more than a few hours.

I have to admit that it was strange to go to dinner, in a car, or go to sleep without Jack.  I was always so used to eating a cold meal, or making sure that all of his needs were met and haven’t really had time like that to myself in a long while.

Since being away, I feel as if I was able to recharge my batteries, and that the absence between myself, Chris and Jack absolutely strengthened our love for each other.  It also made it more apparent that Chris can absolutely handle the time as a single parent when I am called elsewhere for this job.

We did FaceTime on our iPhones while I was away and Jack loved being able to talk to me, blow me kisses, and show me his shoes.  However, it did cause for him to run to the door to see if I was there.  Tears came when I was getting of of the phone.

My excitement to come home had me awake by 4:00am on Friday and ready to be covered in kisses and cuddles for the rest of the day.

When I finally landed, I jumped in the car and headed to the daycare to get Jack.  His face upon seeing me was something that I will never forget.  It was as if I was a huge ice cream cone and Jack had just walked across the desert to get to me.  I breathed him in.  I felt his soft skin and held him close as he cried and clung to my arm.  He had really missed me.

We came home and my plans for the day were to cuddle with him, play with trucks and go for a nice walk when Chris came home.  Jack wasn’t really himself, so after a high temp reading and seeing that he was a mess, we went over to the doctor.  He has a little virus and is not feeling good in the slightest, so we spent the rest of the day and night cuddling with cold compresses, drinking juice and watching The Wiggles.  The doctor said that the virus will run its course, but I am so glad that I can be home to care for him when he needs me most.

All in all, it was a great first week and I look forward to seeing what this coming week has to bring.  It would also be awesome if Jack’s fever went away quickly.