Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

Alex is 6 years old, and he's already lost 6 teeth! Derek has only lost 5, and he's 8 years old. Alex lost his front 4 teeth on the bottom first, and then lost one on top not long ago. We were hoping he'd lose the other top front one (which was loose) in time for Christmas, and Monday morning when Alex got up, he showed me how loose it was. He wanted it pulled before school, and he didn't flinch as I pulled it out. He thinks it's great that there's a Christmas song that he can sing about his teeth!
Also, on a completely different subject, Alex learned how to tie his shoes yesterday. Yea! We've been working on it for awhile, and he finally put it all together yesterday while we were at the barn for Derek's therapeutic horseback riding.

As you can see, it's been an eventful week. However, we are still no closer to getting Katie's name corrected on her Certificate of Citizenship. It's still a "he said / she said," with no one claiming responsibility. We'll just keep plugging along!

Katie's First Day of Preschool

Katie started preschool at the Early Childhood Center on Monday. Alex went there for 2 years, and the assistant in his classroom his second year is Katie's teacher. Katie loves Mrs. James, and she loves going to school. Arranging transportation was a little interesting, but we found another mom who can carpool and everything is working out beautifully for her and for me. Anthony and Katie took to each other very quickly and they love having a friend to go to school with, even though they are not in the same class. We've talked about how tiny Katie is, and this picture may give you an idea: Anthony is only 5 months older than Katie.
After getting inside the school, Anthony went down his hall, and Katie and I went down hers. We had visited the school last Thursday so Katie could see her room and visit with Mrs. James, and she felt completely comfortable on Monday. She just strutted down the hallway wearing a backpack that she could fit inside of, and struck a pose when I asked her to stand against the wall outside her classroom. She waltzed in her room, gave Mrs. James hugs and kisses, and said, "Hi, guys!" to the other kids as she walked towards her cubby. It was like she had been there all year.
On Tuesday morning, we walked with Alex to his bus stop, and Katie wanted to wear her backpack to Alex's bus stop. Normally, Katie stands near me while we wait for the bus, but on Tuesday, she stood near the other kids. When the bus came, Katie didn't walk over to me like she usually does. Instead, she lined up with all the other kids to get on the bus. I guess she figured that after one day of preschool, she was ready to go to school with the big kids. She had a bit of a tantrum when she realized that she wasn't going to be able to ride the bus. At least I know she won't have any trauma when she starts riding the bus next year. She's already ready!
Katie did well both days of school so far, and I really think she's going to take off. She is such a sponge right now, and wants to know what everything is called, what all the letters are, what sounds the animals make, numbers, you name it. I am so excited to see the progress that she will make this year.

Trick or Treat

Katie thoroughly enjoyed her first Halloween! The Junior High had a Trick or Treat Village that we went to on Monday night, 10/27. Alex didn't go, due to the type of day he had at school that day, so Captain Hook and Tinkerbell went without Peter Pan. Katie was a little unsure of everything at first, but as soon as she saw she got candy, she started walking up to people, holding out her hand and saying, "candy." She quickly learned to say, "Trick or Treat," and to hold up her bucket. By the end, she was a pro, and she loved all the attention she was getting. Derek loved his Captain Hook costume (who wouldn't?), and he did a great job saying, "Trick or Treat," too. With his hook and his cane, there wasn't a third hand to hold his bucket, so he just used the hook to hold the bucket. It fell off a few times, but overall it worked really well.
On Friday, my MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group had a Halloween party for all the kids, so Katie got to wear her costume again and get even more candy. Yippee!
Alex didn't have school on Friday due to parent teacher conferences, so he got to go to the party, too. One of his buddies from his kindergarten class was at the party, too, so the two of them had a ball together!
After the MOPS party, I took Katie to Derek's school for his Halloween parade, while Steve took Alex to the golf course for 9 holes. Steve's work has gone to a more flexible schedule, so now Steve works an extra hour most days and gets every other Friday off. Halloween happened to be his Friday off. Alex did FANTASTIC on the golf course, following directions, and cleaning each and every one of Steve's golf balls at each hole. Hey, it kept him busy and out of mischief.
Derek did a great job at his Halloween parade, and Katie was a big help, too. One of Derek's classmates had to go home ill that day, so Katie walked around with us and filled up Frank's bag for him so he could have candy when he returned. I did let her choose 10 pieces for us to take home, though. It's hard to take pictures at Derek's events because I usually have to help him quite a bit, so you'll have to trust me when I say that he and Katie did great, and all the costumes were beautiful.
Finally, the big night arrived, and they were ready to go. We started last year going to the Liberty Square before dinner to Trick or Treat, and it was great for Derek. The neighborhood is tough for him, because of all the steps at the houses, and every house is different. Some steps are deep, some shallow, some tall, some short, some straight, some curved, and some combine two or more of these. Derek just gets tired of struggling up and down all the steps. At the Square, however, all the businesses have someone at the door handing out candy, and the shops are all very close together. Therefore, there are no steps, and we don't have to walk very far between shops. Derek does great, gets to successfully Trick or Treat, has a wonderful time, and doesn't get tired. It's a win all around.
Here they are getting ready to go to the Square, and Captain Hook has snagged Peter Pan's dagger. Tinkerbell is just looking cute!
By now, Katie had Trick or Treated 3 times, and she was an old pro. She loved it through and through.
When we got home from the Square, we ate bloody worms and bones (spaghetti and garlic bread), and then went out in the neighborhood. Derek lasted 5 houses before he was ready to go home, which is one more than last year's 4, so Steve went home with Derek while Alex, Katie, and I kept going. We went to countless houses, saw lots of friends, and I even saw a mom that I had gone to high school with, but hadn't seen in 18 years and had no idea we lived in the same neighborhood. Small world, huh?

All in all, the kids had a wonderful time, and so did we. We are loving every minute with our children, and while we are excited for what the future holds for them, we are treasuring each and every day. Kids grow up so quickly, so we are holding on to this time that they are in Neverland.