Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ledger's First Day of Preschool

Today, Ledger started preschool with Four Seasons preschool.  His teachers are Mrs. Freeland and Miss Mindy.  We have been signed up for preschool since February and have been excited to start school ever since then.

Last night, the School Fairy visited our house bringing gifts for back-to-school: a big Lego guy, new outfit, candy, and stickers.  She also left a present for Ledger's friend Hollis, who will also be going to preschool with Ledger.  (This allowed Ledger to re-meet one of his classmates ahead of time.)  Ledger was very excited about his new giant Lego Ninjago pen (he is VERY into Legos right now) and the candy.

He wore his new back-to-school outfit and we took some pictures at home.  I knew that he would probably be too nervous once we arrived at the school to smile in pictures.  And boy was I right!  As soon as we arrived, he started clinging to my legs and saying "Don't leave me here."  I tried to get him excited to find his cubby, put away his backpack, meet the other kids, play with the toys... something.  But he just stayed glued to my side.  When it was time for parents to leave, I was the last parent remaining.  Ledger threw a monster of a fit, trying to sneak out the door, screaming, crying...  But I had to walk away.  Mrs. Freeland tried to comfort him and let him stand at the window and wave when I left.  But as I drove by waving out of my skylight (our usual goodbye tradition) he just screamed and cried and pounded on the window.  It was absolutely heartbreaking for me.  I drove one block away, pulled over and cried.  For the next two hours, I tried to keep my nervous energy contained while I talked to my family and friend confidants to help me feel like less of a failure of a parent.  Everyone reassured me that he was probably doing fine at school, but I was ridiculously anxious to pick up the little guy and find out how it went.

So I waited outside the preschool and when they released the students, Ledger came running out to me with a big smile on his face.  He had a good time and told me all about his day.  They sang songs, played with toy dinosaurs, played outside, and had a snack.  Even the teachers reassured me that he once he settled down after I left that he did fine.  Thank goodness.

I love that kid.  He's fantastic, fun, smart, and wonderful.  But he's not very daring and he's going through a particularly clingy phase right now and I am still learning just how much I need to push without pushing too far.  I think preschool will be an overall good experience, but these first few weeks are going to be a challenge for Mommy, probably more than Ledger.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ledger Rides a Bike

Ledger is finally interested in learning to ride a bike.  He now has enough strength to push the pedals and propel a bike all by himself.  Once he really gets off and going, we'll have to invest in a sturdy helmet (and elbow and knee pads?) when we can't keep up with him anymore.  We really love that our new neighborhood has sidewalks where he can learn away from traffic.  There are lots of other kids in the neighborhood too and I'm hoping we will find some friends for Ledger around here.

So proud!

Daddy says: "Ledger, you're doing it!"

They rode all the way to the end of the block and back!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Locke: 5 Months Old

Today Locke is 5 months old!  Although our lives have been busy, we are continually amazed at how Locke changes and grows every day.  Here are the highlights:

  • Locke is wearing 6 month clothes.  Anything that says 3-6 months is stretched pretty tight on our chubby baby.
  • After 2 weeks of consistent blow-outs, we've upgraded to size 3 diapers.
  • Locke has this big, open-mouthed smile that makes you melt if he bestows it on you.  He especially lights up when his Mommy comes in the room -- because that means he's going to get fed. :)
  • We started child care with Grandma Jamie at the beginning of August.  We want things to go smoothly for everyone, and we are still figuring things out.  
  • When Locke is hungry or tired, he SCREAMS.  This baby can go from zero to very mad at the blink of an eye, which makes it hard to predict his needs.
  • He continues to be a very good nurser, but he has been reluctant to take a bottle.  Over the last month, we have tried three different types of bottles and we have finally struck gold with the Lansinoh Mommo bottle and milk that has been heated to hot.  Thankfully, grandma Jamie is very patient with him and keeps trying and trying every day.  Just this week, he has started taking his afternoon bottle like a champ.  Let's hope this continues.
  • Because of the inconsistency of feeding at child care, Locke has started "reverse cycling" and instead of sleeping through the night like he did for his first 4 months, he is now waking up every few hours to feed.  Even though he always goes right back to sleep afterwards, Mommy is having trouble adjusting to the lack of continuous sleep.
  • Locke LOVES chewing on his toes and holding onto his feet.
  • Actually, Locke loves chewing on everything.  He sucks on blankets, hands, fingers, toys, and whatever he can get his little drooly mouth on.  Everyone thinks that he will be cutting teeth any time.
  • Locke doesn't have his congested chest sounds anymore.  It just disappeared.  I'm hoping he grew out of it.
  • Locke is now a self-supported sitter!  Sorta.  He can sit up on his own, but after a few minutes, he will find his way back onto his belly.
  • Locke loves his big brother and is constantly carefully watching what he is doing.  Sometimes it even seems like he is trying to mimic what Ledger is doing.  It's pretty adorable.
  • Locke is vocalizing more and more.  He blows raspberries and makes all sorts of adorable cooing sounds.
  • He is finally interested in toys.  He especially likes his baby Einstein music player and a vibrating butterfly teether toy.  He spends time in his bouncy chair at home and at Jamie's house and he is getting to be a pro at turning himself around in the seat to play with different toys and watch what is going on around him.

As you can see, he's been a busy boy!  We love our little chunky monkey and he brings so much happiness into our family.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

One More Thing...

So we had one last project to complete before school started.  Getting a shed installed in our backyard to free up our garage space.  Our last house didn't have a lot of storage, but it did have a fair bit of garage/shed space, so we have accumulated a lot of "stuff" to be garage stored -- especially Ledger's outdoor toys.

We made the decision to buy a pre-fab rubbermaid-type shed because it would meet our storage needs, fit within our budget, and has low maintenance requirements.  We also thought that it would be easier to install...

We were probably wrong there.

BoomPa and BoomMa came from Tulsa (yes, again) to help us work on this project.  Saturday morning started with a family trip to Menards for supplies while I was at work.  We devised a plan (courtesy of youtube) for using pre-made pallets (courtesy of Jarod) and plywood as a foundation, but using stakes set in concrete and concrete bricks to keep the wood off of the ground.  It was a good plan.  But execution proved a little tricky.  To make a very long story short... it took ALL DAY Saturday to just get a foundation laid and level.  Here is what the backyard looked like Saturday evening...

So Sunday morning, we got to work pretty early.  BoomPa even put his favorite assistant (BoomMa) to work a little bit in the morning...

Once we got the foundation settled, we actually opened the shed boxes and started construction on the actual shed.  Here is where we were at right after our lunch break...  walls starting to go up.

And by 4:30pm...
Do you see our little construction manager, checking things out on his gator?

And by 5:45, we called it quits...

PHEW.  We are all exhausted, sunburned, but filled with a sense of accomplishment.  Sorta. :)  Actually, we're just tired.  It won't be long before we get it filled up with our stuff and we're able to PARK in our garage!

Thank you to everyone who has made this last project possible, especially BoomMa, BoomPa, and Jarod.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Settling In

Where has the Michel Spot been over the last few weeks? Working on home projects and trying to settle in.

Our biggest home project has been to build a fence. We are so blessed to have THREE sets of parents that are willing to help us out when we need them, and everyone pitched in to get our fence built! Oma and Dooda came over and with Dooda's extensive fence building experience, we set 34 posts in concrete in just under 4 hours (in 108 degree heat). Then they came over the next week and helped us put the 2x4 stringers up between each panel -- we finished when the rain began pouring down on us. And, of course, we couldn't have accomplished all of that work if Grammie and Papa didn't come over to watch Locke. A week later, BoomPa and BoomMa came up to help us with the next step and over two days, we put 470 pickets up on the fence. And BOY does the fence look good. :) We love being able to just let the dogs out the backdoor with no worries again. And Ledger loves going into the backyard on his own all the time.  Because we were working so hard, I didn't do a good job of snapping pictures of us working.  Here are a few pictures courtesy of Millie.

We also spent last week trying to furiously soak up the last few. days of summer.  The kids and I walked to the park to play a little bit.  Although they both enjoyed the stroller ride more than the actual playground...

We have also survived our first minor household crisis this weekend when our deep freeze door was accidentally left cracked open overnight.  In order to salvage some of our meat, we had to immediately start cooking.  We browned about 10 pounds of ground beef and cooked 15 packages of chicken breasts.  And to keep the frozen cookie dough from going bad, I made 8 dozen cookies on top of that!  It was a crazy Saturday morning, but we are SET for pre-cooked proteins for a while. :)

We are really starting to settle into our new home -- projects, crisis, and all that craziness.