Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Only a Mother

I'm not usually a bragger, but when it comes to my kids, watch out! I am one proud Mama!

Tonight I was catching up on some email and had a chance to read an article on babycenter.com, a website I've used a quick-reference tool for the past couple of years. The article was about "Milestones Between 25 and 30 Months".

Here is a chart that was in the article:

Child's Age

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
25 and 26 months • Stacks six blocks
Walks with smooth heel-to-toe motion
Uses pronouns (e.g., I, me, you)
Washes and dries own hands
Speaks clearly most of the time
Draws a vertical line
27 and 28 months Jumps with both feet
• Opens doors
Understands descriptions (e.g., big, soft)
Draws a vertical line
• Starts to recognize ABCs
Balances on one foot
29 and 30 months Brushes teeth with help
Washes and dries own hands
Draws a vertical line
Draws a circle
Balances on one foot
Puts on a T-shirt
Names one color
• Names one friend

I started reading through the chart to see what Anders can do and what we should be looking for in the next few months.

Here's how we "measure up":
Stacks 6 blocks (try 20+ regularly)
Walks smoothly (he's running at full speed with no trouble)
Uses pronouns (sometimes...mostly it's "Anders do it" or "Mommy do it")
Washes and dries hands (ok, so not so great in this area--it's tough to get him to do it, but he can when we force him--typical boy--would rather be dirty than clean!)
Speaks clearly (yes, it's a little scary what he can repeat, too)
Draws a vertical line (not sure about this one--we don't sit still long enough to color)
Jumps with feet (yes, all the time, off of couches, curbs, chairs, etc...)
Opens doors (yes, sadly, and can undo the lock on the front door...thankfully we have a screen door that is impossible for adults to even open!)
Understands descriptions (yes and yes)
Starts to recognize ABC's (ok, so here's my real bragging--he knows ALL of his letters, what sounds they make, can recognize them all over the house, when we're driving, etc...and he knows the ABC song all by himself)
Balances on one foot (yes)
Brushes teeth with help (yes)
Draws a circle (see "draws a vertical line")
Puts on a t-shirt (for the most part)
Names one color (yes--quite a few with about 75% accuracy)
Names one friend (also a bragging point for me. He knows, recognizes and can name 50+ people in person and/or in pictures. Sometimes at night while he's falling asleep we here him going through his "roladex" of people. He can also put families together--if we name one member of the family, he names the rest)

And these are what he's supposed to be doing by 30 months. He just turned 24 months on Saturday!

Here's my conclusion: either Anders is WAY advanced or this chart's expectations are really low.
We'll go with a combination of both.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Big Weekend

This past weekend my sister, Aimee, came for a visit from Virginia. She was able to leave all 3 of her kids behind to come be a blessing to me & my 2 kids! We had a great time! We were able to get out of the house and do some "girl things"--mostly shopping for scapbooking stuff. But, she was also able to help me manage having 2 kids for a couple of days!

Saturday was Anders' 2nd birthday! She was able to be here to celebrate with us. We had a couple of friends over for a short birthday party and some cake. I had never heard the rule of thumb that you should invite one more kid than the year old your child is turning. So, 3 kids since Anders turned 2. I have to say, it's a good rule!

We had a great time, despite how hot it was by 11am! And, Anders got the best gift ever--a baseball tee, bat and ball. We have to drag him inside to get him to take a break from playing! What's really funny is that 4 out of the 5 families represented thought about getting Anders the tee ball set for his birthday, but only 1 actually did. Everyone knows Anders really well! He loved ALL his gifts and has been enjoying his new stuff for the past few days! (including this new wedgits set from Oma & Opa--if you don't know what they are and have young kids at home, ask me. They are fabulous!)

Poor Cade, he doesn't have much choice about things these days. Anders thinks it's hilarious to put this pillow on his head. Soon enough Cade might give Anders a run for his money!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Sunday!

We enjoyed a nice day at home today. The Rockies were on this afternoon-we won, if you were wondering. And the Broncos were on this evening--go Tim Tebow!

About half way through the afternoon, Anders went and got his "Jesus Loves Me" book and read it to Cade. He knows the first verse & chorus. It was very cute! 

Summer's End

Thursday was the last official day of Summer Vacation for us. Joel headed back to work full time on Friday. We knew this day would come, and we were anxiously awaiting its arrival--both with excitment and a little fear. Excitment because we are ready to get back into our "school" routine and a little fear because it is yet another adjustment for us and for Anders.

We decided to take Anders on his first Alpine Slide adventure at Heritage Square. The slide itself is not the nerve-racking part--the chair lift ride up the hill is (for me at least). But, Anders did great. He did one ride with Joel & then a ride with me! It was a great outing we will repeat next year! And next year, Cade might even get to go (he stayed at the bottom in his car seat--I don't think he had any idea where we were!).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Challenges for Anders

This summer has been a bit rough for Anders. The birth of Cade notwithstanding, he's faced a number of big changes over the last few months.

During the school year (September to May), we had a great routine. Mondays we spent at home, Tuesdays I worked & he went to a friend's house, Wednesday we had Bible Study and a friend (a 3 year old I watched) came over to play all day, Thursdays were spent with another friend (a 1 year old I watched) and then Fridays were spent at home recovering from our week. Somewhere in there we would spend some time with one of my friends doing something fun.

But then at the beginning of June, all of that went away--work, Bible Study, friends coming over, etc, and we moved him from his crib to a big boy bed...and, all of a sudden dad was home all day, every day.

Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful thing for us. Joel is so busy during the school year, summer is a great respite for us. But, it does shake things up a bit. Then add to that, I went to work for 40+ hours one week to run camp and that threw a wrench in everything.

Anders, my great little sleeper (12 hours at night and 3 hours in the afternoon), quit sleeping.

He started fighting nap time, bed time and everything in between. His temper tantrums grew and grew and things just seemed out of control. Every time we seemed to make headway on the problem, a new challenege arose.

And then Cade came. Anders loves his little brother, but it was just another new challenge for us.

We have spent the entire summer trying everything from bribery to time out to everything in between. Just when we thought we were going to be stuck at home forever with a child who wouldn't sleep, I think we have made some progress. He's going to sleep easier and has even fallen asleep for a nap at my friend's house and he went to bed last night at our other friend's house.

And today, he even feel asleep in his bean bag chair. I think he's finally catching up on all that sleep he missed in June and July.

Now if only I could, too...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Month In Review

It's hard to believe that my last post was on July 5th. I was hot, tired, and ready for baby Cade to come. What a difference 4 weeks make!

Cade arrived at 9:08pm on Thursday, July 8th in a flash!

Start to finish, labor and delivery was 3 hours. We were at the hospital for about 45 minutes before he made his appearance. It was quite a rush for us and such a relief when it was over.  He weghed in at 7 lbs, 11oz (just 5 oz. shy of his brother) and 20.5 inches long--just a little shorter than Anders.

We were so glad that Joel's mom, Rhonda, lives so close. She was able to watch Anders for the 48 hours we were in the hospital. They had a great time together while we were busy taking care of our new addition. Anders and Rhonda came to the hospital on Friday morning to meet Cade. Anders immediately fell in love with his brother (and the call button to the nurse's station).

We checked out of the hospital at about 1pm on Saturday and Joel and Anders were off to church at 4:45pm! After church, Joel went to the airport to pick up my parents. When Anders was born, I'm not sure we went anywhere for a week...this time is just a lot different!

We had a great week with my parents and were so grateful for their help--both with Anders and a huge landscaping project (more on that later...). We were very sad to see them go, but we know they will come back soon!

Cade is growing fast and is proving to be a bit more mellow than Anders was...which we are really grateful for! He is a pretty good sleeper (when he doesn't have gas) and the transition has gone fairly smoothly. Anders loves his brother (as much as an almost 2-year-old can). He especially loves "holding" Cade and giving him kisses. I am excited to watch them grow and learn together and develop that brotherly bond!

We are both dreading and looking forward to the next few weeks...Joel returns to work, which is very sad for all of us--mostly me--I'll have to actually get up and get going in the mornings to take care of Anders AND Cade simultaneously. But, we are also looking forward to getting back into the school year routine.

Big Shoes to Fill

Yes, Anders, you have big shoes to fill. You have already developed dad's love of reading, language and solving puzzles. But you have a long way to go with working on learning his skills of patience, developing relationships, serving God and caring for your family.

But don't worry, he'll help you every step of the way. Another one of his great characteristics: teaching.