Monday, February 24, 2014

Buddy, You Are Braver Than You Believe ...

Today was a big day for Baylor.  With a new change in school policy, I was going to have to sign in and pick up a badge every morning to walk him to his classroom through the school, and knowing how late we usually run I knew this would only make us more late (and me feel even more guilty for being just a little behind every day).  So, we decided that he was going to need to start walking himself to his classroom.  When I first brought this up last week he was very, VERY resistant to the idea; he was just sure he wasn't brave enough or that he was going to walk into a wall and get hurt.  We talked about it over the weekend, though, and worked out a reward system to get him started on it.  This morning we went over the plan, that he would get a star for each day he walked to his class by himself and after five stars I would buy him a treat at swim school after his lesson, not making him pay me back for it ... which he really hates doing.  On the way to school, he asked if we could make it less than five stars since he was really nervous about it and it was really new to him, and I agreed that that was a good idea.  So after two stars, he'll get a prize of some sort, then after three he'll get his swim school treat, then he'll need five next week to get the same treat.

Still, I wondered if he was going to be able to do it, if his courage would come through.  I knew the motivation was good enough and his smiles told me that he really wanted to.  But, nerves being what they are, he started to get upset a bit when we got inside the school.  I walked him past the gym and just in front of the office for our little send off. I told him I'd be waiting right there until he got to the end of the hallway and had to turn.  And wait we did.  He slowly, slowly sidled his way down the hallway, sliding his right arm along the wall to ground himself now that he was alone.  When he came to the opening for another hallway, he darted across with parents admonishing him to get to class, the bell had rung.  He slid along the wall a little more then scuttled a bit, cutting the corner before the library.  His principal was watching with me, happy to see the little man getting a little bit more independent, and he said he'd go make sure Baylor got to class alright.  Then he bounded off as we saw Baylor hesitantly round the corner out of my sight.

I will say that not getting to walk him to class was a little hard on me, much more so than I thought it would be.  That extra bit of independence takes him one step farther from the little baby I cared for, the little toddler whose hand I held, and I felt almost a little bit of a loss today as I watched him trek off alone.  I know that the future only holds more of these moments, so I'm bracing myself for more floods of memories and accompanying feelings.  And I don't know if it will be more difficult because I'll likely have to force his hand a bit, pushing him toward the independence that so many kids are more than happy to embrace, all the while wishing I had a little more time to hold that hand, stand nearby for that extra hug.  I just have to hope that he knows I'll always be there for him, ready with a hug or a smile whenever he needs it.

Ultimately, I'm so proud of my little guy for doing something he was so scared to do; he hates the idea of being more independent and really likes having someone familiar nearby when he is venturing out, even if it is some place he's been many times before.  This is a huge step for him, one I've been hoping for since the first day of school, and I hope he felt proud of himself for his efforts.  I know I certainly am.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Marty ... this one's for you!

Today, surprisingly, ended up being a snow day for the little man, so he was added to our plans at the last minute.  Since we didn't have very intricate plans, this was very easy to do and he fell right into our stay-in-for-the-morning-then-go-to-Oma's-house routine.  What did NOT fit into our plans well was the township snow plow coming through and messing up the end of our driveway.  Thinking/hoping it wasn't as bad as it looked, we piled into the car and I made an attempt to gun it out of the driveway (when I knew traffic was clear, of course).  Much to my chagrin, it turns out that the snow pile was actually much worse than it looked, and the kids and I got stuck right on top of it in our beleaguered minivan.  *sigh*

As luck would have it, though, we have some most amazing neighbors who, without even asking, came over and just started to help me dig us out.  It took a lot of tries and a couple of my neighbor's car mats ... and his teenage stepson ... but they dug and pushed me out of the mess I got us into, and I cannot even tell you how grateful I am that they were there and helped me so willingly.  It's so great to know that there are such good people living nearby.

After we finally made it over to my mom's house and got some lunch, Mollie, Mom, and I went out to rake their roof and shovel their sidewalk, and then Baylor joined us to build this season's first snowman!  

We didn't have a hat handy, so our snowman was sporting some awesome grass hair.  And his eyes, carrot nose, pipe, scarf, and purple buttons came from none other than GG!  She gave them to Mollie for Christmas, and ever since Mollie has been chomping at the bit to use them.  We really couldn't have timed it more perfectly either; all winter the snow has been too light and fluffy for packing into a snowman, then we did this right after lunch, and by dinner time our poor snowman was slumped over, taken down by the increasing temperature.

He was certainly adorable while he lasted!

After we built our snowman, we hurried to the front yard to make a "skeleton" track to sled down.  It took a lot of effort ... and so much snow in my boot ... and he barely used it, but it was neat to try something new.

As sick as I am of this winter, something that has never really happened to me before, I was happy to get to spend time playing in the snow with my kids and mom today, and it almost made up for the mess of a morning we had.

Okay, okay, it did.  But I am still done with all this snow.  Done, I tell you!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The LEGO Movie!!!

The LEGO Movie finally came out today, and we decided to see it as soon as possible.  So we did ... any idea who was excited about it?

We went with my sister, and everyone agreed it was a fantastic movie.  Honestly, I think it was easily one of the most creative, well-thought-out movies I've ever seen.  The animation was amazing, everything was made of LEGOS, even down to the exhaust coming out of the cars and the water in the ocean.  Plus, the story was compelling and relatively easy to follow; Mollie only asked a few questions now and then to clarify what was going on up on the big screen.

Long story short, I highly recommend this movie for viewers young and not-so-young!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

May the Force Be with You!

After much debate, Bryson and I decided to let the kids watch Star Wars episodes four, five, and six over Christmas break.  Baylor had been interested in watching these ever since he found out they existed, and Mollie was game for whatever her brother wanted, so we hunkered down and watched them, one a day for three days.  The verdict?

Aside from being a little scared here and there, they did great!  Mollie had the most trouble, but it wasn't anything compared to the Monsters Inc. incident of 2012.  Overall, they were both very interested in the story and followed the action pretty well.  Mollie mostly just wanted to know when she'd see Princess Leia next, but she didn't lose interest in between Leia sightings which was good.

Baylor was excited by all the action and only got scared a couple times.

Now they are huge Star Wars fans.  Baylor, having never seen any of the movies, was already enamored of them; since viewing them he's been clamoring for more.  Mollie loves Princess Leia so much she has decided she wants to grow her hair out, all the way down to her waist or beyond, so she can make the classic Princess Leia buns.  Both of them have perfected their "blaster sounds" and are itching to watch episodes 1, 2, and 3, but they need to get a little older before they view any of the other episodes ... maybe a lot older for the third.

All that's left to say ... May the Force be with you.