Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of School!

Ian gets jipped. After a 1 day Summer Break, Ian was back to school today for his first day of Preschool! I love that this daycare operates on a curriculum based system that moves kids as a class (if they're ready). Essentially, the idea is that the transition is easier when they have their familiar classmates with them. They can begin to learn about bonding with other kids, establishing friendships, and developing common interests. It is also very helpful that one of his teachers from his Early Preschool class is now his teacher in his new Preschool class. She is his favorite of the 2 prior teachers and very sweet and gentle with the kids.

We are gearing up for our trip to Maui and leave on Sunday morning. I am packed and ready to go now! I hope to post again before then, but if not, I will be posting pics every few days while there. Aloha!

Hard to see, but the top of the counter is WAY above his head in the 2nd picture. I can't believe how tall he has gotten!

Getting dressed

My serious little student

Monday, August 24, 2009

Railroad Days, Etc.

Ian has had a fairly routine August with school, swimming, and Grandma Trish Fridays. Weekends are usually split with me and Shawn. I am always off on a hike one day and Shawn on a dive the other. This past weekend, I did not schedule a hike, but Shawn had a dive, then we laid low Sunday with a much needed at home day.

Saturday, he and I walked down to Snoqualmie Railroad Days, which is our town's big festival to celebrate it's rail history. There is a nice Railroad Museum that runs year round and dozens of retired trains line the roadway into town. This is one of the few times, aside from Christmas or the "Day out with Thomas" that they actually run one of the "people cars", as Ian calls it, but he was definitely not interested in that feature of the festival. He announced that he "likes them better when they're still". More than anything, the whistle is too loud, and the train seems unpredictable. I'm not sure he trusts that it's going to stay on the track (after all, his little ones don't, so why should the huge one).

The highlight of the day was the model train exhibit. He could have spent the entire day watching and studying that thing. I think I know what to collect for him. Now just to figure out what "class", as that is a very pivotal part of train collecting. Time to go talk to the people at the hobby shop, I guess! While other kids would watch for a few seconds and move on, he was riveted. He was concentrating on the fine details. He is so much more detail oriented than your average 3 year old.

We stopped at the gift shop, where I was fully prepared to cave in to a selection from the wall of Thomas gear, but he picked 2 very small manual operating trains that were $2.75 each. Added a book about trains and we were out of there for under $12. We walked back and, because it was warmer than I had dressed him for, I carried him most of the 1/2 mile or so to the car. Thank goodness all my hiking has me conditioned for this kind of thing. He is 36 pounds now and much too awkward to carry for long distances.

We also made a trip to the dog park, and since those pictures all tend to look the same, I'll spare most. He did discover blackberries (blueberries, he calls them) and we ate our fill along one of the many park trails. Great way to spend an afternoon.

This week is his last week in his Early Preschool class. He moves with the rest of his classmates on Sept. 1st to the Preschool class. I am so glad I fought a good fight and encouraged his teachers to let him come in underpants. He had one accident all week last week. ONE!

He has had zero accidents at home for several weeks now, which brings me a little closer to admitting that I might just have a pottytrained little boy. Six months ago, this seemed such a distant hope, but it really did happen. Saturday was our last sticker chart day. I give it most of the credit. Now, M&M's are reserved for when he pulls his pants up after potty. Once that is mastered, we'll have to include pulling his pants down...then snaps & zippers. Wow. The challenges of being 3!

Tomorrow, he is going on a hike with me! I bought him his very own hydration pack and as long as the weather holds, we'll be going to Twin Falls State Park in North Bend for a short 1.5 mile hike (round trip) to two waterfalls. I've coached him that he can only come if he walks like a big boy. He agreed, but we'll see. Regardless, it should be a fun afternoon. I'm sure there will be great pics!

We are less than 2 weeks away from our trip to Maui. Only a few posts away from saying Aloha!

Polli likes the dog park any day, but LOVES to go with Ian.

Karate Kid or Tip Toe-ing thru the Tulips?

Too tired to go on!

He's getting pretty good at walking Polli... and she is really good about not pulling. I think she knows she's stronger than he is.

Trying out his new swimming goggles

He looks just like daddy!

Walking the tracks to Snoqualmie Railroad Days

He looks so small next to this train

His favorite engine. He had a hard time with the fact that the engine was "connected" in the front to a box car. That seemed ridiculous to him.

Another cool car

Trains are serious business

Explaining locomotives

Still a long way to the station

Watching the model train exhibit. He was glued to the glass.

He noticed some small details I missed, including one train that had small lights inside and another carrying animals. He said "Mommy, that's a stock car!"

Reinacting Railroad Days

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Been a Long Time!

I can't believe how much time I let pass. I find it hard to believe I've neglected for almost 3 weeks! Truthfully, it's because things are going along just fine and we're counting the days until we leave for Maui on Sept. 6th. For a while, it was so hot I just couldn't sit long enough to write something. We then had record cold temps right after that and our trees started turning. Now, we're back to hot (80's & 90's) for the next week or so.

I have been spending most of my free time hiking and hitting the gym. On the days Shawn is out and about, Ian and I have been going to the pool after school. Monday becomes Friday and is Monday again before we know it... one week after another. I'm glad for life to be routine after such a long time of milestone after milestone. It's quite relaxing to have the routine we have down to a science... and it makes for such an easy little guy.

After months of feeling like it was never going to happen, Ian is finally *mostly* accident free at home. He still has his occasional moment and still wears a pull up to bed, but he is in underpants full time now. Unfortuntately, his school is a pull up school and he was required to be pull up free by the time his class moved up from Early Pre to Preschool...on Sept. 8th! He has consistently been horrible at school with pretty much no potty success whatsoever. Every day, it was a progress report of frowns in the potty section. I was so frustrated. I felt like it was the pull ups sabatoging things. He knows they're glorified diapers and he doesn't *have* to stop playing if he doesn't want to, because there will be no mess and only a small amount of disappointment.

I told his teacher last week that we're going to try it my way for a while and she reluctantly agreed to let me bring him in underwear. Well, we're 2 days into MY WAY and he has had exactly ZERO accidents. Today, she said to me "wow, he really is ready". Umm, yeah. Great observation! I love his teachers and his school, but she was being lazy and just didn't have a good system for pottytraining. I am so glad I put my foot down!

It's lame, but below are a handful of recent pictures. Not much, but I haven't been behind the camera as much as I should. That will change soon with the upcoming Maui trip, followed closely by Halloween and Ian's 2nd Family day. I'm already thinking ahead halfway to Christmas! My, how time flies!

Ian with my brother Rex over an 18 month period... Jan 08 thru July 2009.

Ian sleeping on his first day with us and now. He has grown so much. I wish his first pic showed just how short his legs were compared to now.

Polli trying to wake up Ian. I could not get him to wake up. When he finally did, he sat up and said "The yellow train forgot to pick up the kids!" and then laid back down and closed his eyes again. It was SO hilarious!

Once he was finally awake...

Still attached to his blanket. He sometimes says "I need my blanket. It calms me down". Sniff away, kid!

Arriving to Tom & Trish's from a long hike, I reached the porch and in unison, all 3 raised their glasses and said "We're having Happy Hour!". He's definitely a Mrzena!

His favorite thing to do after swimming is to watch the tennis players at our gym's restaurant.

Oh crap, he's already interested in video games. This is in the Red Robin lobby.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

The lameness continues.

It's so stinkin hot here, I can't even begin to think about sitting down long enough to write a thought out blog post. At least I can get some pics up, since I just loaded over 200 that had been sitting on my calendar for almost 2 weeks. Someone call social services, because I should be written up for this kind of neglect.

For those who have been living on another planet or are out of state with no national news... We're breaking all kinds of heat records for the Seattle area. Wah!, I hear you fam & friends in the South, Midwest, and Southwest.... Yes, wah. We have no idea what it's like to have extremes on both ends of the spectrum. However, keep in mind that AC is practically against the law up here. People with AC probably showed a doctor's note at the Home Depot checkout. Beyond that, stores stock approximately 1 fan per 1,000 households, so once a heat wave strikes the riots ensue...A little bit of deja vu from December when people stood in lines for hours waiting for generators and candles. We may be drama queens, but the retailers here perpetuate it a little.

I've actually decided that Obama, in all his awesome wit and crafty wisdom, must have had the most recent space station visitors launch some sort of cataclysmic flare that set off our heat wave, thus creating a surge in spending. Between fans and AC units...the packed malls and movie theaters of people trying to escape the heat...the filled restaurants of families refusing to cook... people are spending money here hand over fist just to escape the heat. I don't know about you, but the recession appears to be over in the Northwest! Yay for us! :)

Yesterday was the hottest day ever in Seattle. Not just record breaking for the day, but EVER. 106 in Seattle, which is right on the water and always cooler... and 115 at our house in Snoqualmie, about 30 miles away from Seattle and in the foothills of the Cascades. Hot. Africa Hot. No AC. Over 70's at night. 1 fan. 90's in the house. Got it? It's hot. If it were just outside, I would love it, but I need the house to escape too...and sleep in, so that's what makes me cranky.

Enough of that. Now on to the pics. These cover the visits from the bros. Shawn's bro Matt, after their trip to Honduras... and a visit from my bro Rex, which is a very rare treat. There are some others in here, but I have no idea what yet. Just look at them and be glad I even had the energy to put them up. Seriously, I'm doing it while sitting in a virtual sauna... or steam room... prison cell in Death Valley... Rick's bar in Casablanca... Broke down bus on the side of the road in Morocco. I'd better wrap up before this laptop starts to look like a delicious chicken leg.

Uncle Matt and Ian looking at a marine life book

Hanging out with daddy and Uncle Matt.

Think we have enough laptops at the table?

Enjoying corn on the cob for the first time.

Having fun with Uncle Rex

Checking out Uncle Rex's motorcycle

He only sees my brother a few times a year at most, so it was nice to have a visit and dinner with him... and we'll see him again in Maui less than 5 weeks from now.

Getting into cruising mode

I'll do a "before and after" of this shot with his other visits at some point. I have to stop sweating first.

Don't you just hate it when people intentionally stereotype their kids?! LOL.

Trying out Shawn's diving gear.

Ian asked Shawn if they could wash his truck. No idea where he got the thought... but he loved it.

Playing in the suds. What better way to beat the heat?

You missed a spot, Ian!

Ian thought this up on his own... Coloring with his toes. Apparently, he's left footed, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Missing In Action

I have absolutely not a moment of free time to blog lately. Between a hectic work schedule, Shawn's trip to Honduras, hiking maina, and trying to get through summer to the Maui trip, I just don't have a lot of down time. Heck, I don't even have time for silly things like laundry and dishes. My house (and spouse) can attest to that.

To fend off the wolves, here are a couple of pictures in no particular order. I have lots more, which I'll try to put up soon.

Sorry to the faithful few who have had nothing to look at for the last week or so... Life happens!

With Uncle Matt & Daddy the day they returned from Honduras

At "Lily's Restaurant" with daddy

Getting ready to enjoy the first strawberries from Ian's plant

Just happy. We like these moments (his shirt apparently did not).

Hanging out with cousin Ashleigh while Grandma and I went for margaritas down the block

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Sick Looks Like...

As everyone knows by now, Shawn left last Friday for Honduras... Roatan, specifically. We've been asked by about half the world's population if Roatan is safe and YES it is. It's an island on the eastern most edge of the country, more Southern Caribbean and less Central America. I did get a text message from him stating that he arrived OK and then another about swimming with sharks. Oh my!

I asked him not to call me, as it would just be a distraction to his trip as well as my "mojo" with Ian. I would much rather just know that he's there OK and discuss the details when he gets home.

As for our week, Ian had a rough day at school on Tuesday and I had to pick him up early. Because they took his temp (a measly 100.6) at 3:30pm, he couldn't come to school the next day. He has to be fever free for at least 24 hours, which cancelled out the entire next day. Great. It meant there was no option but to take a sick day...something Shawn and I draw straws for, typically. Fortunately, since Ian is rarely ever sick and has had only 2 or 3 fevers in the past year, we almost never have to think about it. Just my luck that it happens while I'm a solo parent!

So, yesterday was a sick day. I've included a few pics of what sick looks like on Ian. We went for a walk yesterday morning to get some fresh air and ended up at the library before it opened. There were tons of mommies and their kids outside and we learned that there is a toddler storytime on Wednesdays at 9:30. Awesome! Finally, a "stay at home mom" event! I could pretend to be "one of them". It was boring. Ian was the oldest in the group by far and there were lots of snuggling and tickling activities that caught me by surprise. Gladly, it was only 30 minutes and we continued into the library to check out some books. I was interested in what the librarian mentioned as the "summer reading program" for preschoolers... but when I picked up the flyer, found that the sessions are all during work hours. Of course. Not only can we not participate in ANY mom/me activities in our neighborhood (there are at least 5 playgroups a day and lots of adventure activities), now we can't even participate in something as simple as the library.

I almost typed a really bad word just then.

After the library, we got drinks at Starbucks and then headed home for lunch, books, and naptime. Not once did I hear a whine or whimper. He was so much fun. After lunch, we headed out to find a new park in our neighborhood and located a really nice one about 1 mile away. Too far to walk, but definitely worth the drive.

So, it was a sick day, but a great sick day. We didn't go on a hike or on a grand adventure, but it was one really great ordinary day at home with my favorite person in the whole world.

I won't go into today's details too much. In a nutshell, I let him sleep in and I'm glad I did. He was tired, but feeling much better. I decided to send him to school since it was "movie and popcorn" day, but got a call shortly after 2 letting me know he had been crying for 2 hours that he needed his mommy. Uggh! Just hours before, he was excited about a movie and going to Red Robin for my birthday dinner.

We dried the tears and went home. We watched more Backyardigans than is healthy for a 3 year old, and in the midst of all the joy, Ian jumped in a certain spot on the couch that catapulted him forward into the window sill. I heard the thud of his forehead before I saw it, and the silence that followed told me everything. It was probably really bad. The silence was quickly followed by a scream like I've never heard. I had flashes of my own head cracking incidents as a child and I practically had my coat and shoes on ready for the ER. I grabbed him calmly and hugged him tight, then went for the bathroom before really looking at it. Luckily, it was a dent, but not bleeding too badly. I think his glasses slowed him down so it wasn't so bad. I was able to get a bandaid on it despite his crying, and within 30 minutes, he was trying to "surf" a dump truck across the yard. I'm doomed.

I think the moral of this very long story is that although I would like to think I can do it all alone and MY WAY, I really do need and appreciate Shawn's help. I especially appreciate his help when I'm trying to control Polli and Ian at the same time or juggle a "I have to go potty!" moment with the melting ice cream left in the car in order to get the the bathroom in time.

What has really stuck with me the most is that I wish I had just one day to do all those things we did yesterday. Maybe some day I can make that work; it was so priceless, even just this one time. For those who get that kind of opportunity every day, please don't take it for granted. I really didn't want that day to end, even if it was accompanied by a continuous request to "cover your mouth, please".
Pics from our sick day:

Good medicine: Cocoa and cookies!

Playing with the scrapbook store owner's GIANT black lab. He is the biggest sweetie...maybe even more friendly than Polli (and he weighs 140 pounds!)!

Scrapbooking followed by the most expensive smoothie I've every purchased. Ian's "kiddie" smoothie and a small for me was $11. SHUT UP!
The crabby pouty boy I picked up from school today.

Not long after. It's amazing what a snack and some TV time can do!

...and then the fun came to a screeching halt! A nice black goose egg formed, but doesn't appear to be growing and the bleeding stopped fast.