Friday, August 30, 2013

New Schools

To say Elias was excited for his first day of Kindergarten would be an understatement.  When he woke up on August 26th, he said, "Is it Monday Mom?  Is it MONDAY?!?!"  When I said it was, he said, "Yay!  I get to go to my new school."  If only his enthusiasm for school would last for for at least 17 more years.

Elias' First Day of Kindergarten (August 26th, 2013)

Elias has just finished his first week at Steele (our neighborhood public school), and already he tells me he never does reading or math at school.  They don't have any books to read in his classroom and no paper for math either.  So much for 17 more years of enthusiasm.  He said the best part about his teacher (Ms. Czaja) is when she goes outside with them for recess.  And so it begins.

All this week when I picked him up from school, I immediately wanted to know what he had worked on that day, if he did any reading or science or how his specials were that day...what he had for lunch (he is doing hot lunch...YES!), for breakfast (the school offers free breakfast), how his before and after school program was, if he had visited the library yet...the questions are never-ending.  I have become obsessed with what he is doing all day.  Never mind that just last week, at his old school, I never went out of my way to find out about his work.  Didn't matter if they were having parties every day of the week.  Somehow now that he is in Kindergarten, I feel like he needs to be learning.  Why are parents so crazy?

 Ezra also started a new school this week.  We were tired of the way the old school treated their employees (a bunch of our favorite teachers have left or were fired), so we made our statement by doing what we could...we left.  Ezra's new classroom seems calmer, the teachers seem more relaxed; I think it will be just what Ezra needs.  Another bonus is it is a non-profit school.  He has had a great week at Montessori Academy of Colorado (MAC).  He transitioned this week, so he was only at MAC a few hours each day (until today, where he went for the whole day).  He had fun washing the tables and enjoyed eating soup that they made in class.  I think he has a special place in his heart for his teacher Ms. Danee.  Now if he could only learn to use the potty.
Ezra's First Day at MAC (August 26th, 2013)

My boys are growing up!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Get Your Kids Off Gatorade

Let me start by saying that Elias is fine...just so you won't worry.  

On September 7th, Elias went in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy.  He had been having blood in his stools for a few months, and the treatment we had been trying (a laxative) wasn't fixing the problem.  They were hoping it was just caused by constipation, but since the laxative didn't seem to be working, they wanted to be sure there weren't any polyps or other problems.  Turns out it was just constipation, and the laxative doesn't work if you give it in milk.  The doctor finally emphasized (after the procedure) that Elias needed to take it in juice (which we don't drink) or water.  After begging Elias to finish drinking his juice (what world is this?), I decided water was the way to go...and now, it seems to be doing the trick.  Too bad I hadn't gotten the message before the $10,000+ procedure occurred.  Luckily, we have insurance.  And now we know Elias' intestine is healthy.  We even got pictures.

When I signed Elias up for this, I was hoping that the process wasn't going to be quite as grueling as it is for adults.  Wrong.  The day before the procedure, Elias couldn't eat anything after breakfast except clear liquids.  Luckily, he was excited about the Jello and Popsicles.  He had to drink more than half of a 64oz bottle of Gatorade with a laxative mixed into it.  Then he had to take a stronger laxative pill around lunch which caused him to sit on the potty for about 3+ hours.  Luckily, it was all a bit new, and he and I played games and did crafts the whole day long.  

The next morning, he still couldn't eat (he was soooo thirsty, poor guy), and we headed to the hospital.  He loved his warm rainbow colored PJs (he wanted to take them home), the bear they gave him (now named Christmas Bear because of his green shirt and red ribbon) and getting to watch Happy Feet on the T.V. (which he also wanted to take home...the T.V. that is).  He had to have an enema which he was very calm and relaxed about.  Even though I think he was nervous while we were at the hospital, no one could tell but me.  When they were starting to put him under (to go to sleepy land), he laid back with his hands behind his head and stayed that way for the whole procedure which only took about 20 minutes.

He was very groggy when he woke up and just wanted to be sure he would never have to drink the Gatorade again.  I told him hopefully not until he was at least 50.  Maybe he will be able to stomach it by then.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Ezra Update

Ezra loves taking off his pants (and sometimes puts them on his head)

Ezra is completely different from Elias.  He is nothing but trouble.  He likes to do any and every thing that he knows he isn't supposed to do.  He starts the dishwasher, constantly tries to wash his hands (he is obsessed), knocks down the Lego buildings, throws toys, spits, turns on the humidifiers, pushes and kicks other kids, plays with the dog's food and water, puts Elias in a half nelson (I'm hardly exaggerating), opens the back door, takes off his shoes and socks EVERY time we go anywhere in the car, gets his arms out of the straps of his car seat...there seems to be no stopping him.  He loves zippers, eats almost twice as much as Elias, loves daddy (mommy, not so much), hates books, goes nuts over Elias' guitar (so much so that we had to put it away), talks quite a bit, must do everything himself, loves sitting on the potty (but has never actually gone in it), would have a closet full of shoes if he made his own money, has a really cute "Thank You," sucks his thumb...I tried doing time outs, but he doesn't really seem to care.  I'm thinking he is the universe's revenge on us for Elias.  Others would probably say he is just a typical boy.  Good thing he is so stinkin' cute.

An Elias Update

Typical Elias look

Elias is excited to be learning new things at school.  He is working on addition (double digits sometimes) and subtraction.  He uses the Montessori beads and marbles as props.  He loves to count to 100 for anyone who will listen.  He is really making progress on reading (Ms. Julie thinks he can read at least 1000 words).  We are hoping to at least get him tested before he enters Kindergarten next year to see if he could be placed at an advanced school.  I sent in the paperwork, but haven't heard.  Even if he tests well, we may just decide to send him to our local school.  That decision can be made later (January).

He loves swimming.  In September, I enrolled him in group swimming lessons at the YMCA.  We lucked out, and he got Mr. James as an instructor.  Ms. Elena was also helping out, but because Elias volunteered a lot, he usually got to work with Mr. James.  Mr. James is good at pushing the kids, but he is still very nice.  Ms. Elena is just nice.  After the 8 weeks were up, I decided Elias would be better off in private lessons.  It gives him 30 minutes with just Mr. James (who Elias loves).  Elias can float on his back (with a noodle), can get rings off the bottom of the pool (with help), takes big jumps in from the side of the pool, and can swim very short distances on his own.  I sure hope he learns the basics before the 8 weeks are up.

Elias is still as goofy as ever.  Today we passed some construction, and Elias said he wasn't sure what they were building.  I told him it would most likely be a business of some sort.  He said it could be anything, even a clown house.  I had to concur.  Maybe they are building a clown house.

His favorite thing to do when we are eating is to ask, "What do you want to talk about?"  He is a bit particular about what we discuss, but never has any ideas of his own.  We have already begun the, "I don't know.  What do you want to talk about?"

If Elias were old enough to vote, he would vote for Mitt Romney.  He says it is because he has never met him, but he knows he has never met Obama either.  It doesn't matter what we say, there is no changing this boy's mind.

We buy most of our groceries at Vitamin Cottage, and one day Elias came home with a picture of Frankenstein to color in and submit to them for a coloring contest.  Elias colored him pink and purple (of course), and we found out yesterday that he won a $10 gift card for the grocery store.  Today, he got to pick out something special at the store in celebration of his winning picture.  He told me that Daddy was going to have to guess what he picked when we got home.  When we walked in the house, Elias said in one long sentence...Guess what I picked at the store Daddy.  It starts with a p.  It's pudding...Needless to say it took Matt quite a few guesses before he figured out what Elias brought home.

I must admit I have been enjoying Elias' company more and more.  Who knew they turned into actual human beings around age 4?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ahhh, to Be Climbing Again

Luckily, I have a good friend, Shari, who has gotten into climbing.  A group of us have been hitting the gym once a week for a few months now, motivating each other to keep at it and get stronger.  Turns out I haven't lost any of my love for the sport and am glad to be getting out and doing something for myself for a change.

Coincidentally, another friend of mine has also gotten back into the sport and graciously invited me to climb outside with him and his friends in August.  So, while Matt took both kids to Abby's birthday party (Elias' friend from school), I got to spend an entire Sunday climbing at the Monastery.

Find the climber


Proof I was there

The view from the hike

I was also given a once in a lifetime opportunity to go climbing with George Lowe, a man who has a part of Everest named after him.  Shari and he work together, and she miraculously got him to agree to go climbing outside in September with us beginners.  Shari, Sara, Brad, Steve and I had a blast climbing with George at Clear Creek.

Rock star Shari

THE George Lowe
Sara and Shari

Maybe some day we can take a group of newbies out climbing, and they can write about how awesome we are on their blog...well, a girl can dream!

A Babysitter...No Way!

We finally got a babysitter to come watch the kids in August, so we could attend an afternoon wedding of friends of ours, Arwen and Thom.  We hadn't hired a babysitter (outside of family and  friends of the family) in years and years.  I asked Marjie from the kid's school to do it.  She adores Ezra, and I think could really use the money.  It worked out great.  Elias spent all of quiet time in his room (didn't even get up once), they did stickers and made cookies.  Marjie said they were angels.  When you hear things like that you start to think your kids really might not be half bad.

Arwen and Thom had their reception at Coor's field.  They both love baseball (although opposing teams: the A's and the Dodgers), so it was the perfect setting.

Wedding photos on the field

Our table

Arwen's family (headed up by her two younger sisters) surprised Arwen with an entire montage of songs and dances by her whole extended family.  It was the best reception entertainment ever!

Ah, love