Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drewie Delights

A few things about Drew these days...

He is really into "paths."  He calls any kind of road or sidewalk a "path" and is always wanting to go down a different path than the one we are currently on at the moment.  We've started taking long walks together during the day with him on his motorcycle.  I let him pick whatever "path" he wants and we just go and go and go.

He's a climber and a big playground fan.  He can climb just about anything and is very good at it.  Sometimes I get nervous about his attempts, but he's actually quite skilled.

Drew loves snuggles and being "cozy."  Before he goes to bed at night I tell him it's time to "get cozy," and he rolls over and pulls the blanket tightly around himself.  Drew loves to get cozy in our bed.  He insists on taking his shirt off so he can roll around and feel the cool blankets on his skin.  He has the Murdock appreciation for comfort.

He'd take off his underwear, too, if I'd let him.

He also has an interest these days with things that hook together, or that he can pull.  Trains obviously fit into this category, but he also tries more creative ways of hooking things together like a trailer.  He can get very frustrated if things don't hook together the way he thinks they should.  I've had to resort to a lot of tape.  He once insisted on hooking together two of his little bikes, so we rigged them up with a jump rope.  He likes to watch himself pulling the second car behind him.

Drew found this pair of headphones, and wanted to carry them around as his "puppy."  I guess he thought the cord looked like a leash.  This is in the grocery store, where he insisted on trailing his "cute puppy" behind him. Someone actually stopped me and asked if I knew he was dragging headphones around.  "Of course," I replied, "that's his puppy."

Drew's been having fun at his weekly playschool.  This week they each brought their favorite car and the house was set up with a giant race track taped all over floor.  Drew was tickled that the cars could drive up onto the couch.

They did a stoplight craft that he was SO proud of.  He couldn't wait to show Tess and Dad.  He has no problem with me leaving and is always happy to go--a welcome change compared to someone else I know.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Picking

Friday, September 13, 2013

School Days: Drew Version

While Tess was off at her first days of school, Drew and I stared at each other, not entirely sure what to do.   The first days were hard.  Drew kept asking, "Where my Tess go?"  Now he likes to ask, "Go get my Tess?"  We filled the first days by going to lots of playgrounds.

We took a trip with some friends up to gardens at River Farm, up near Mount Vernon, right on the Potomac.  It is gorgeous. River Farm was originally by George Washington, and they have lots of gardens including the sweetest little children's garden.  All sorts of hidden pathways, little houses tucked in garden corners, and things to climb on and under.  So fun, and I'd never even heard of it before.

We met several friends up there, but took along Drew's friend Carson, who was moving the following day.  So sad.  Carson is just a bit older than Drew, and Drew idolizes him.  They had a wild time together.

More playgrounds.

We started up a little playgroup that will rotate between a few houses.  The first week was at my house.  There will be a couple of girls involved, but this time it was all boys and it was wild fun.  Most of my time was spent refereeing basketball. Drew had a bit of difficulty sharing his toys, but it's good practice.  The next day he asked, "Mom, I need my friends come."

And there's always TV to fill the day.  Glorious TV!  Drew's favorites right now are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mighty Machines and Caillou.  What do you think he's watching in this photo?

School Days: Tess Version

After months and months of anticipation, the first day of school finally came.   We met her teacher a few days before, so that helped a lot.  Still, Tess had a lot of nerves about what to expect.  I was proud of her though, she kept her worries under control and braved the first day.

Tess had decided she wanted to ride the bus, which only compounded my worries.  But she climbed right on and off she went!  The first day parents could come meet the kindergarteners at school and then they had a "Boo Hoo" breakfast for the parents.

So I got to school in time to watch her line up with her teacher.  She was happy to see me, but she looked nervous and uncertain.

After a few minutes, she was relaxing a bit and chatting it up with the girl next to her in line.

I got to peek at Tess in her classroom before I left the building.  It was such a long day worrying and not knowing how she was doing.  She had a good day, but she was exhausted by the time she got off the bus at 4:00.  She had a headache and ended up throwing up before she fell asleep for a couple hours.  She felt better after her nap, but she was even more nervous the next morning.  Lots of tears all morning and at the bus stop.  Her main objections were how much she HATES rest time (they have to put their heads down on their tables and rest after lunch) and that she didn't like it when the teachers were mean because the kids weren't listening.

The rest of the week was a little rough.  Still tears in the morning, but she was happier at the end of each day.  Some fun things, though.  She loved her first art class, and excitedly told me that she'd learned all kinds of things can be art:  clothing, sewing, furniture, and making things.  They learned to make portraits, and she was most proud of the little eyelashes and nostrils she added to her picture.

She was also proud of how well she wrote her first and last name on each piece of a puppet she made in class.

After the first week, Nana and Papa came for a visit and Tess got to tell them all about her school adventures.

Tess really warmed up to school during the second week.  I made the decision to have her ride the bus in the morning and I pick her up in the afternoon.  It's been a good compromise and helps the day not seem so long.  Plus she's always chatty in the car and likes to tell me about her day. She also started buying her lunch at school, and she likes to pick from the menu every day.

Her school has some kind of reward system where teachers can award students "mark" stickers if they notice them doing something exceptional.  The first week, Tess told me about a girl in her class who got a "mark" for helping a new student who was crying on the playground.  I'm not entirely clear how the system works, but apparently the teachers make a big to-do about it so I guess it's kind of a big deal to get a mark.  Tess told me, "That got me thinking, I wonder what I could do!"

The second week, Tess came home with a mark sticker and a big smile on her face.  She earned the mark from her art teacher for showing "respect."  She couldn't exactly tell me what she was doing that was so respectful, but we'll take it anyway.  She made a book so that she could save and collect her "marks" from the year.

At the end of the week, she came home with another mark from her classroom teacher for "modeling self-control." Something to do with sitting on the rug in her classroom.  She's always been good at sitting.  Of course she was excited to add her second "mark" to her book.

Anyway, she's making her way and she's proud of herself and how much she's grown the first weeks of school.  Not that it hasn't been without a few bumps.  Somehow she managed to run into another classmate during P.E. (???????) and ended up with a big purple goose egg on her head.  (You can see it in the photo below if you look closely.)  Not sure how that happened.  Brian, who's visiting, said she must have run into someone just slightly shorter than her.  She told me she'd been wanting to see what the nurses office looked like, so I guess that worked out.

She ended the week with her first ballet class of the season.  She was all nerves all over again, but turns out there are several of her preschool friends in her class.  I think that will be fun for her to look forward to at the end of each week.

It's official--we now have a kindergartner in our midst!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Final Countdown

Some final preparations getting things settled for back to school.  We moved the bunkbed out of Tess' room and I spray painted it blue for Drew.  No more crib for Drewie!

One more family outing to Occoquan with our cutie pies.

Friday, September 6, 2013

July/August 2013 Tidbits

Last night Drew was chattering away to Ryan about his day. At one point he said, "Watch this Dad: 'I can't talk! I can't talk!' Ha, ha, ha! I kidding!"

Very frequent Drew phrase: "I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it by myself." Sometimes-heard Drew phrase: "I did it! I did it myself!"

Drew's new favorite show is "Pie-you" (Caillou), which he wants to watch constantly. He may drive Tess and me (Miriam) nuts.

Common new Drew phrase: "I can't talk! I can't talk!" He likes to talk quite a bit now, and gets frustrated when he can't get a word in edgewise because Tess is quite the chatterbox too.

At 2 years and 8 mos, Drew can now say his ABC's, count to 13, identify all the colors, and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Five Little Monkeys," and "I am a Child of God."

Funny new Drew phrase when he's impressed by something: "Wow! Amazing!"

Tess tactics to get her little brother to leave her alone:
1. "Drew you no want to play computer. The computer is SO boring!" (While she is playing computer.)
2. "Drew you don't like Barbies. They don't do anything." (While she is playing Barbies).
3. "Drew go upstairs and Mommy will give you a BIG motorcycle! A real one! Go! Go get your motorcycle!"

Overheard Teacher Tess instructing Drew today: "Poor paws. Can you say 'poor paws?' Good! Knows what 'poor paws' means? It means 'why' in French! 'Poor paws.'"

Drew: "Watch this, Daddy! Watch this, Mommy!"

Drew's new phrase for "please" is "pea-peas." Instead of sound polite, it sounds more like he constantly has to go to the bathroom.

Tess and Drew like to play outside with two boys down the street, ages 5 and 8. If Tess seems them outside, she announces, "My friends are outside, and they want to play with me!" Drew calls them "the kids." He greets them with a wave and a "Hi, kids!" Then he tells me, "I play with kids, Mama. Be white back."

Drew was riding his little motorcycle on the sidewalk, when a motorcycle drove past, much to Drew's delight. "That motorcycle the SAME! Look! Drew motorcycle FAST!" Then he hunched over his bike and peddled with his might while saying, "ZOOM!"

Tess response when she saw herself in the mirror dressed for ballet class: "Oh, I look like I could be on the top of a jewelry box." Tess response when, on the way to ballet class, she pulled a snag in her tights into a huge hole: "I do NOT look beautiful anymore!! Everyone will laugh at me! I do NOT look like a ballerina!"

We ran an errand at Lowe's, so I let the kids make a routine stop to sit on all the riding lawn mowers. When got back in the car Tess asked me, "Mom, are turtles really slow?" Well, they're not particularly fast. "Are rabbits really fast?" Um, yes I suppose. "Cuz that's how you make a lawn mower go fast or slow--you push it to the turtle or rabbit."

Tess was playing with her little pink computer, when she pointed to the attached pink mouse. "This computer is like those computers from a long time ago."

Ryan: "Drew, what do you want for breakfast?"
Drew: "Mm want yogurt. Dinner."

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am to the sound of loud crinkling. I walked out of the bedroom and found Drew sitting in the hall with two large bags of pretzels and munching away.

An overly tired (and tearful) Tess at bedtime: "I want my headache [headeck] to last forever! I wish my headache could last forever!"

Drew and Tess both had cupcakes in their hands. Drew bumped Tess' cupcake with his own and said, "Cheers!"

Drew now likes to point out things that are the "same." Drew pointed out that Dad was wearing socks, and ran over to grab some socks for himself. Once I'd helped him put them on, he said to Ryan, "Look! Same!"

When Drew is excited about something he now responds with a very high pitched, "Wooo!" or sometimes "Woo Hoo!"

My favorite new Drew phrase: "See ya waiter, Mom!"

We were teaching the kids how to play "Sorry!" tonight, and I explained how you get to knock other players off. When it came to Drew's turn, I told him that he got to knock a piece off the board. I encouraged him, "Knock it, Drew!" He thought for a minute and then used his fist to knock on the board, like he was knocking on a door. Knocking on the board is pretty much the only rule he mastered.

We were eating popsicles today when Drew came up to me and knocked his popsicle against mine and said, "Cheers!"