Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of School - Like A Boss!

When we got up this morning, I asked Aiden if he wanted to go to school today. His face lit up and his smile got so big! "I can go school? Have lunch? Play in gymp?"

"Yep!" I told him. He has been out of school for about 10 days between summer camp and school year, and he has really, really missed it!

He was so proud of himself, he decided he was going to wear a shirt with buttons and he was going to do all the buttons all by himself - and he did mostly.

Once he was all dressed and ready for school, we went over to Randalicious' house to take First Day of School pictures:

This is obviously a very serious affair for Aiden --

I am sure there will be years where he seems to grow a foot over night or where he goes to a new, bigger school and that will all be much more difficult. 

This year I am just really proud of how far he has come with his speech and how much he loves to read and learn. More than anything, I am proud of the two of us for making it through a really hard year and coming out the other side just as happy and wonder struck as ever.

On to the next adventure!

But before we can go to school we have to practice being a tree...

The only thing that would tip you off that this was the first day of school was the larger than usual crowd showing up to drop-off which made Aiden a little hesitant. But by the time we were through the door, there were little voices from everywhere saying "Hi Aiden!" and Braden showed up right behind us so that helped a bit.

Once we got in the classroom, Aiden said hi to Mrs Sanchez and then I proceeded to cover him in kisses - Eskimo, butterfly, man style and bear hugs galore. With one little look back, Aiden picked an alphabet square on the rug -- the INSECT square -- and suddenly, Mommy was the last thing on his mind.

Here's to a new year, new girlfriends, new books, new words and new adventures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Smooth Sailing

Parent Orientation Round Two -- we soooo got this!

Last year was extremely intimidating, Aiden was starting school for the first time ever, I went to orientation by myself, I was the youngest one there and for some reason the good church goin folks had all sorts of eyes for my tats and piercings.

This year, I knew teachers. Steve came with me. I didn't get lost, and I sat in that tiny 3 year old class room's chair like a boss.

We had to fill out a questionnaire about Aiden - very similar to last year's (What's your child's nick name? Will they bring any favorite toys with them?) But this year it was such a breeze!

What does you child like to do: PUZZLES! Coloring, singing, dancing, play doh, blocks
What do you want to see your child improve on: cooperation/social interactions with other kids, and count higher.
What does your child excel at: Colors, ABCs, creativity/imaginative play, spatial intelligence, animals/animal sounds, memory

Does your child have any irrational fears:
 as I began writing "fear of monsters, we try not to talk about them too much" - I noticed, there were fuzzy "helper" monsters all over the room

After a brief panic attack, I started realizing how easy this year is going to be for Aiden.

The class is so large that there are 4 teachers for 23 students. One of them is a teacher he had helping in his room last year (and whom I suspect he kinda sorta loves).

The room itself is the same room he has been going to summer camp in all summer - on the same schedule that he had all summer.

And if all that isn't enough to breathe a sigh of relief -- when he went to Meet Your Teacher Day, his buddy Bradon was there and will also be a Tuesday/Thursday kiddo!

I am starting to think that it is no coincidence that Aiden began going to school when I finished -- I am vicariously living through my child and absolutely loving back-to-school time.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Hurdle Facing Us This School Year

In other words: even though I am an opinionated mommy with a do-it-all-by-myself attitude, there are somethings I have no clue about yet - shocker, I know.

Today is Aiden's last day of Summer Camp and even though his schedule will stay the same when school starts, his days go back to much more structure and curriculum oriented activities.

He's been such a chatter-box lately, and a little know-it-all to boot, that I am not worried at all about his academic performance this year. So instead, I have decided to occupy my little mommy-self with things that we need to work on at home.

The big one is bed-wetting. While I take time every day to be grateful that Aiden is potty trained and I am diaper free (for some undetermined but indefinite amount of time), there are all sorts of joys that come with big-boy under pants.

For instance, the need to visit every bathroom in every public location we stop at. Aiden has even verbally admitted to me that he does this quite often just because he wants to know what the new bathroom in the new place looks like.

Surely this is no reason to wish to convert back to diapers, but the point is - each new accomplishment brings a new set of less desirable behaviors to deal with. Now, part of my mommy mantra is to pick battles carefully. Is it worth an overhaul in disciple or routine to keep us from seeing every bathroom in metro Denver? Not really. Is it worth a little change and struggle to end unwanted bed-wetting and sheet washing every day? Absolutely.

Every night, we have a bed time story. Then Mommy rubs Aiden's back while she sings a song. Then he asks for a cup of milk. Then he asks to go potty but really doesn't do much before climbing back in bed with another request that will put off bed time another couple minutes.

I would suspect that any Mommies out there with advice for me might jump directly to saying "No milk at bed time" - or any other drink. But I don't believe this is my solution, because in the morning, he has only had one to three gulps from his cup when I go to get it from his room. Yet, about three times a week he and the bed are soaked by or before morning.

This means I need to do more laundry - not because he doesn't have extra sheets but just because it smells bad. And it means he needs a bath/shower in the morning which we may or may not have time for.

I haven't done much research on this yet, because I just really would rather some veteran mommy advice, but I was comforted by some of the stats on this:

Fortunately I don't have any reason to believe this is caused by some sort of emotional trigger for Aiden but it worries me terribly that it's one of the top 3 fears of young kids to wet the bed.

I certainly don't think it's a HUGE deal when it happens, I don't get mad or frustrated with Aiden - it truly is one of the easier messes to clean, but I have noticed that he gets upset more often than not about it and I'm not sure why. Any ideas on comforting this would be helpful.

It seems like we are stuck somewhere between staying dry and that final stage where bed wetting stops completely but it could take another year or so - as with all milestones, I just need to remember that Aiden is going to do it at his own pace.

I think I am definitely going to have Aiden start helping clean the messes though, not in any negative way, I just don't want to brush it under the rug for him, especially if it's upsetting - if we can clean it up together, we can talk about it together and it's much less frightening.

Other than telling Aiden that he can go potty whenever he wants or needs though, I am not sure how to go about getting him to do so in the middle of the night - Veteran Mommy Advice Wanted Please.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fun Day!

Every year at the lake there is a kid's day (called fun day) -- this year it couldn't have come at a better time since there is no water left and Aiden keeps asking to go the beach which is now about a mile walk and completely muddy.

These photos taken on a long quest to find the water with my toes.

As I was saying, all Aiden wants to do is go to the beach and since that's not an option all he has at grandma's house is his kiddie pool and crazy sprinkler, so Fun Day was a welcome change of pace for him.

Every year the kids get to choose what color shirt they want and what color backpack they want -- to hold all their prizes.

This year Aiden wanted a purple shirt which didn't surprise me because he is always saying how much he likes purple.

And he chose a pink backpack, which for whatever reason, didn't surprise me either.

We made our rounds through the games, Aiden taking his time to get each one right before taking a prize.

First he went fishing.

Then he did the bean bag toss (which he scored perfectly on, first try!)

And of course took his time picking the perfect prizes.

Magnet darts were a bit harder for him, the "arrows" were pretty heavy, but he kept trying until he earned himself some more prizes.

The big game to play, was darts and balloons. This game had real, big, awesome prizes.

And Aiden hit a balloon with his first dart!

So what big prize did he pick to go with his pink backpack and purple shirt?

A shotgun of course!

When the cake walk started we went into the club house, it was packed when we got there but with everyone outside fighting over brownies Aiden had all the space he needed to make a flower pot.

Get a black turtle tattoo...

And do some sand art.

Just when I couldn't fit anymore crafts or prizes in my arms, we went back outside to play the cake walk...Mommy didn't bake for nothing.

And look! Someone already scooped up my lemon bars!

Aiden did really well when the music was playing and everyone was walking.

But stopping on one spot was harder for him to understand.

After a few times around we ended up with a plate full of brownie bites.

Which Aiden gobbled up immediately. I didn't get a single one.

After a yummy hot dog lunch the kids took turns at the pinata - Mike Wizowski

Of course Aiden wanted more than his two swings, but luckily couldn't do much damage.

After scrambling to get some candy off the ground, we went back to grandma's all sugared up and the two of us crashed for about 4 hours.

Probably shouldn't have been snuggling so close since now I have Aiden's cold but I was way too tired and way too content snuggled in with him to get up. Se la vie.

After nap time, we went looking for a nice piece of beach to play in.

The boys got a little carried away, and I made Aiden shake the sand out of his booty (naked!) on the beach before taking him home.

Uncle Wayne had his grand daughter and one of her friends out for the weekend, Aiden just thought they were the cats pajamas.

He spent the evening playing frogs with them.

He was one pooped pup come Sunday, but I've been hearing about Fun Day ever since we got home.