navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
An update about me, eh? It seems so long ago that has happened. I received the sweetest email from [livejournal.com profile] hearts_refuge a few months back asking for just such a thing, but it still has taken me so long to get here.

The truth is, my life really is about cookies. And sweets. And even foodie recipes, from time-to-time. I've become a "food blogger" over a "life blogger," and it almost happened without my consent. After all, I dearly love blogging, and have for almost a decade now (next month!). I suppose it has happened as my interests have changed, you know? Where I once was nothing more than a stay-at-home mom and my children were young, I had tales of creative afternoons, of butterfly kisses on boo-boo'd knees, and pictures of happy boys who always took a moment to smile for the camera. Now, however, I have been a work-out-of-home mother, and my boys have become independent young men that only ask for bandaids if there's blood and kisses in a "real" emergency, and who never have time to stop for a picture.

Life has changed, I suppose.

This month brings about the end of an era for me. In just three more days, my "baby" Jack will become ten. TEN! Oh, I cried and cried on that day when A.J. turned a decade milestone. I still don't know why... it's just a number even now. But, oh - it's THAT number. And once again, I'm faced with it, but this time? This time, my "baby" is TEN. YEARS. OLD.

And to add teardrops to teardrops, in just two more weeks, A.J. will officially become a teenager. THIRTEEN! Where has the time gone? Indeed, where have the three years gone since I lamented his babyhood?! I just cannot believe the young man he is becoming before my very eyes. In fact, he's almost above my very eyes, for we are spot-on in height with one another now (I'm 5'6"), and he is but one size away from Philip's shoe size already. I daresay that he will pass his dad in height (Philip is about 5'10"), and I do not think it will be very far in the future. Friends used to mistake A.J.'s voice for mine when he answered a call, but now they exhale in wild amazement, "That was A.J. on the phone? Not Philip?!"

It all happened so very fast. I do not want to speak of the days passing, for we have already realized that, though he only will attend 8th grade this year, it still means that next year we will have a HIGH SCHOOLER in our midst. *tears*

Those of you on my Facebook know more of the in's and out's of our days, and what falls here in my journal is not much more than a recap most times. The summer is passing, and with it, the days are becoming shorter. We're not yet to the point of "cooler," but I know that it is coming. School was scheduled to begin on August 24th, but the Minot school systems lost six schools to the massive flooding, and there has been a scramble to gain and provide enough portable trailer classrooms all over the city to recreate those that were lost. Therefore, school will not officially start here until September 6th. The governor was kind enough to grant Minot a 5-day loss of teaching days, and the students will attend on two planned holidays instead (ie. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) instead, but will end the year as scheduled on the 25th of May next year.

The flooding situation affects every part of our life, I'm afraid. On the military base, we are still not connected to the main water supply in town, as the line breaks that need repair are underwater even now. When we are connected once again, I'm sure there will be a longer process than normal to flush out over six weeks' worth of muck and sludge from the lines. Despite the water all around, we still have major thunderstorms every few days or so as well. While I wish that the city would not receive even one more drop right now as they try to dry out, I'm thankful for the water here on base. Without it, our filtration systems would not be running from the creek beds, and we would be in an even poorer situation. Finally, however, the state-issued "boil order" was lifted from the base, and that has been a welcome blessing.

The devastation downtown is unmeasurable. So many parts of town are still diked, and will likely not be "unearthed" before the fall season fully arrives. Many businesses and restaurants are still closed, their black windows haunting the main strip like sad skeletons. Friends post pictures of their homes, and they are nothing more than shells, walls barely standing and held together only by various layers of mold. It is such a sad, sad affair. :-(

I hope to keep writing on real life, but I won't make promises at this point. I thank my friends that have checked in here and there, and I still read almost daily, though I comment rarely. :-)
navygreen: (Jack: blue)
Jack received a couple gifts of cash for his birthday, and he pooled them together to buy himself something special. Now, last year he cashed in for a bright orange scooter. After that, we hardly saw him, but we'd hear him wheeling around our little neighborhood block, and he wore the toes out of all his shoes lickety-split. (Seriously, why must kids insist on using the toes of their shoes for stopping?!)

THIS year, however, he had his sights on something bigger and better:


Jack's new bicycle.


He found the perfect orange bike, and he was ready to go! Philip and I pitched in and bought his helmet, and he scoured the racks until he found one with some orange on it (there are small squiggles on the backside of the helmet). It was raining the day he bought the bike, so he had to wait until the next afternoon to have a go on it. In less than an hour with guidance from Dad, he was rocking the neighborhood, leaving folks in his dust!



More pictures. )

Chef Jack.

Mar. 16th, 2010 12:06 am
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
Jack helped with dinner tonight. It wasn't planned, but right as I entered the kitchen, he be-bopped in, asking, "Mom, can I help make dinner tonight?" Now how could I say no to that? :-)

Tonight's menu was Stuffed Zucchini, so we set to work. I taught him how to light our gas burners, and he began browning the hamburger. He wanted to stir it constantly, so I explained that it needed to be still just a moment to actually brown - hehe. Then I chopped onions and bell pepper for him, but he scraped them off the cutting board into the beef with the sharp knife. He pressed the garlic cloves and slowly - with the *point* of the knife, that is - scraped them off the board into the mixture as well. He measured and boiled the water for rice, watched it and added the rice once it was ready. He made sure to switch the drain to closed, too (anything with switches is fun in the kitchen, right?). Then he poured the tomato soup into the meat and stirred it up well.

I showed him how to cut the three zucchini into quarters, and he did that. Those were some tiny zucchini, too; I can't wait until it's back in season fully. I showed him how to scoop out the seedy innards, and he worked away at that while the rice set up and the meat mixture heated. Finally, he turned the oven on for preheating, and then we formed an assembly line to stuff the zucchini shells: I dumped a heaping spoonful into the shells, and he topped them with cheddar cheese, stealing several bits while he worked. *wink*

Success! He had a lot of fun, and he was much more confident about the tasks than he has been in the past. This was the first time I let him use a super-sharp knife, so he was very slow, very careful. I was quite proud of him. :-)

Jack's Stuffed Zucchini.
Jack's Stuffed Zucchini.
navygreen: (Departed: spelling)
There are pieces of paper everywhere - the back of receipts, the torn-off end of a box, the back a graded paper - with just a few markings on them at a time.

His second grade class has begun learning cursive handwriting after this semester, and he's been practicing. It's cute. Right now, I'm looking at the back of a gas receipt on my desk with two uppercase E's and one lowercase e. "Lowercase ones are really easy, Mom. See?" he said as he signed. I nodded, and he continued, "Hey, eeeeeeeeeee-zy, get it?" And then he dissolved into giggles.

200!

Sep. 19th, 2009 04:54 pm
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
I doubt anyone checks back to this older entry, but this is worth announcing:

JACK HAS READ 200 BOOKS THIS YEAR!

He's had lulls here and there, and he's had months where he just goes crazy with reading. His skill level is amazing, and we couldn't be prouder of his progress over the summer months! He received a progress report home on Thursday, and the news was insane: to be classified at the 'Advanced' level for second grade, he was expected to read 78 words-per-minute. His score:

192 wpm

*cartwheels* We are just blown away! Looking ahead, he should be reading 117+ wpm by the end of the school year to still be classified at 'Advanced.' I've got an idea that's gonna be NO problem. ;-)
navygreen: (School)
A couple weeks ago was the school year's last 'Breakfast & A Book' morning, that I attended. The busy school activities kicked into HIGH gear this week, however, and there seemed to be something every day!

On Tuesday, I went to school early in the morning again for 'Muffins with Mom.' A.J. and I chose banana nut muffins, while Jack had a chocolate chocolate chip muffin. This event was well-attended, and there were probably 30-some mothers there with their children. In fact, the library was so packed that they boys and I chose a place on the carpet in a corner of the book aisles. We ate our muffins, drank our juice, and then browsed the Book Fair set-up. It was a nice time, and I was glad to see so much participation this time.

On Wednesday, Philip and I had both taken the day off from work, and I made sack lunches for the entire family. We carted the lunches up to the school at noon, and we began eating with Jack's classroom. Ten minutes later, A.J.'s class came down for lunch, and instead of sitting with the 5th graders, he joined us at the 1st grade tables (I asked his teacher for permission, and she had said it was fine). The four of us jabbered on, and Jack's classmates asked us lots of questions. I packed identical lunches for Philip and myself as I normally do for the boys on cold lunch days, and I learned that it's WAY TOO MUCH FOOD! (A sandwich, chips, fruit cup, pudding cup, milk, and a juice box.) I was *so* stuffed when I finished everything! The boys' lunchtimes are 40 minutes long, and they are supposed to eat for 20 minutes, and then finish with recess for 20 minutes. Because we were there, both of the boys stayed longer and spent the extra time with us. It was a really pleasant time, and I'm glad we both got to attend together. There were five or six other parents around, but most of the cafeteria kids seemed shocked that BOTH of A.J. and Jack's parents were there! :-)

Wednesday afternoon, we attended parent-teacher conferences. Philip went to A.J.'s, and I headed to Jack's. Both of the boys are doing so well, and it's always fun to hear good stuff about your kids, right? Jack's teacher was just glowing about his creative writing, as well as her HAL recommendation for him. Since third grade, A.J. has been in the HAL program (High Ability Learner), so we're familiar with those standards and weren't surprised. It's awesome news for Jack! I could go into a bit more detail about Jack's conference, but it doesn't seem quite fair... as Philip wasn't quite as prolific about the nitty-gritty details of A.J.'s conference. ;-)

On Thursday morning, Philip took the boys to school early again, this time for 'Donuts with Dad.' He said there were probably 15 fathers there, and that he had a good time. He took along books, and they were able to read just a bit before the bell.

Thursday evening, we ate dinner a bit earlier than usual, and then skidded out the door to head to the skating rink. We arrived about half an hour late for the 'Pirate Skate,' but we got right into the action. Students were encouraged to come in pirate garb, so Jack wore his well-used, homemade pirate costume once more. (I made him leave the sword at home, as well as his holster. I also made him drop his eye patch to just around his neck each time he entered the skating floor. I figured he needed all the depth perception he could get!) Jack really took to the rink this time, and by the end of the evening (only 1.5 hours later), he was skating with good speed in the center of the track (as opposed to having a death-grip on the wall). He was probably falling once in each lap, but he'd just pop right back up every time. A.J. improved his skill as well, gaining more speed, but still clinging anxiously to the side. Philip and I made a promise to ourselves to bring the boys skating more often - after all, how else will they learn the skill and become better if we keep bringing them so sporadically?

Close to the end of the night, the rink did some drawings for prizes. I heard them call out, "Jack!" and yelped in excitement while skating, but then the DJ finished, "From the 2nd grade." Well, poop. After calling out three more winners, however, the last name rung out, "Jack! From the 1st grade!" And I whooped again, clapped and cheered as our Jack made his way to the music stand. His prize included a lollipop, a free drink coupon, and a free skate pass - neat! Once he claimed his prize, he headed back out on the floor. While Philip, A.J. and I were still standing at the music stand, the DJ yelled out to announce a Grand Prize drawing... and it was, "A.J.! From the 5th grade!" And we were ecstatic again! A.J. was right under the guy's nose as he called out his name over the loudspeakers, and then he went to the front desk to claim his prize: a GIANT bag of candy, and a free skate pass, too.

Sweet! Philip and I quickly giggled about really having no excuse not to bring them skating again now - they both had won free passes, even! :-)

And Friday? No school - yay!

Also, we received a note home at the beginning of the month that a piece of Jack's artwork had been chosen to hang in the Lied Activity Center here in Bellevue. Each year, the local schools create a mural of student artwork, and it was an honor for one of his pieces to be chosen to hang proudly. Jack has played in his second year of the Lied's indoor soccer league, and after his game one morning, we strolled upstairs to try and find his piece.

Jack with his artwork
Jack with his artwork.


Two more pics. )

School-wise, this week should be pretty quiet. Home-wise? This week is gonna FLY! :-)
navygreen: (Tub)
Jack just fell asleep in the tub. Sound asleep, deep breathing and all. He was OUT. I called Philip in to see, and then we tried to rouse him. He would NOT wake up, and when he finally stirred, he turned to his left to "snuggle" into his covers (as he would in bed), only to then get a mouth and nose full of water!

SO FUNNY!
navygreen: (Jack: swimming)
I've posted about it in passing a handful of times, but I've never made a post specifically for swim lessons. It's among those things I'd been "meaning to" for so, so long, but now I'll just pop in a bit of backstory as relevant to the picture post that I'm wanting to make.

The boys began taking swim lessons over a year ago - on May 1, 2007, in fact. As with every new 'first,' I did take along my camera for the event, and I took over 200 pictures that evening during their first lessons. (Hey, I had to document it well, as I needed to have lots of photographic evidence to email to Philip in Iraq, right?) I had tried to sign them up in March, but by the time I arrived at the Lied Center, all the spots were taken. The same thing happened to me in April, even though I went hours earlier on the special "sign-up day." Finally in May, I was at the Center right when the doors opened, and I secured them spots.

I had asked a few questions about level assignment when I was registering them, but the head swim instructor (Leslie) was not there, and the man who answered my questions wasn't really sure of anything specific. I told him the skills that each of the boys had, and he placed them in levels. As it turned out on the day of their first lesson, both boys were incorrectly placed.

I had enrolled Jack in the Preschool level because, well, he *was* in Preschool in May 2007. Not only that, but he'd never had any swim education before. A.J. had a bit over the summer of 2006, as Philip and I had made concerted efforts to teach him certain things, and so he began in Level 2. By the end of the first lesson, however, Jack was blowing his peers out of the water (no, not literally!), and so he was moved up into Level 1.

And they have made slow, steady progress. During the summer, they had swim lessons two nights as week, and on other days, I took them to the pool 2-3x/week as well. We had a LOT of swimming last year! During those heavily-watered months, the boys made better progress in lessons, having more of an opportunity to practice their skills. Once the school year began in August, we decided to keep them in swim lessons all year. We figured that it would be easier to keep their skills up to par (if they lapsed until summer again this year, they'd probably forget quite a bit), and they would have the opportunity to advance a bit more. During those school months, however, the Lied Center drops their lessons from twice a week down to just once - on Saturday mornings for 30 minutes.

So, after nearly 14 months of swim lessons, Jack and A.J. are now in Levels 3 and 4, respectively. We anticipate Jack passing Level 3 at the end of this month, as he passed his "mock test" on the second-to-last lesson last month, but then decided to goof around during the real test. *shakes head* He was pretty disappointed to learn his results, and I think he learned a valuable lesson in that. We're not sure yet whether A.J. will advance to Level 5 after this month, or whether he'll need another round still. Either way, he absolutely adores swimming lessons, and we're happy that he does.

Whereas Jack has currently picked soccer as his sport of choice, A.J. has his eyes set on swimming. We've promised him that once he finishes all six levels offered at the Lied Center, we will then enroll him in the Bellevue Swim Club for competitive swimming. He is so stoked for that day to come!

And it has been so very nice this year to know that the boys are fully independent in the water. Last summer, it was tough on me all the many times I took them swimming: Jack wasn't quite good enough to swim unsupervised by me (even with lifeguards all around), which meant that I couldn't really enjoy seeing A.J. swim on his own. Not only that, but our favorite pool has two special waterslides, and Jack was 1/2" too short to ride them on his own. Of course, the waterslides were his favorite part, and because I had to ride with him each and every time (picture about 20 times each swimming day!), I missed so much of what A.J. was doing - I couldn't see *him* go down the slides, I only caught a handful of his jumps from the diving boards (and it was his first summer to attempt the high-dive, too!), and I couldn't really see his "free play" in the shallower ends. And because Philip was deployed, there really was only me most of the time, and I just don't split well enough in two. *sigh*

Not this year, however. For one thing, Philip and I can both be there. For another, the boys are BOTH now fully independent in the water. By the end of Level 2 in swim lessons, children have mastered the concepts of the basic freestyle. A.J. has spent the last two levels working on different strokes and technique perfection, and Jack has done the same and is now almost two levels past that as well. While being able to swim proficiently allows you access to the diving boards, there is still a height requirement for the waterslides. Thankfully, Jack has grown almost 1-1/2" since last summer, so he now can do that on his own as well!

We first went to the pool this past Tuesday night. Jack was a belly full of butterflies as he approached the height-checking pole, but when it became clear that he was plenty tall enough, you could see his HUGE grin from a hundred feet away, I'll bet! He was so proud to sport the new "adult" band on his wrist that we now all get to wear. :-)

And, being that it was a 'first' occasion, I had my camera in tow. I took tons of pictures, including those of Jack's first solo slides, his first jumps off the high-dive, and also playing in the water. I was so proud of him. And the difference is so evident in A.J.'s skill once he's set free in loose waters (the lessons are very controlled, so it's hard to get a good idea of what your child can *really* do) - he's phenomenal! His strokes are spot-on, and it was so amazing to watch him beeline across the pool!

But for now, I'll shut up about the lessons and the swimming and leave you with several pictures. :-)

He has another go on the Curvy slide
Jack at the very end of the 'Curvy Slide.'


And many more! )
navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
On Thursday afternoon, I sped through my tasks so I could leave work a bit early. I changed clothes there, then headed up to the boys' school for A.J.'s recorder concert. It was an hour-long program, and he did very well playing several tunes on his recorder. I was proud. :-)

Yesterday, Friday afternoon, I again left work a bit early, changing clothes as well. I then sped to the boys' school once more, this time for Jack's kindergarten celebration concert. Yesterday was also 'Rainbow Day' for school spirit, and the kindergarteners had been assigned to wear red (A.J.'s fourth grade class was wearing green.) Jack sang his songs and did the hand-motioning, all the while not falling off the top tier of the stadium rows. He had another speaking part, too! (I didn't know that previously, but I stood up quickly and got a good picture of him during it.) After his program, he munched on some sweets at a cookie reception, and then we grabbed A.J. to leave school about fifteen minutes early.

Then last night was 'Family Fun Night' at the Lied Activity Center. We had hotdogs, chips and soda, and the boys went swimming. (As an aside, it is SO nice now that, after being in swim lessons for a year - and still continuing them - that the boys can easily swim on their own. Not just tread water, but officially SWIM. Philip and I don't have to get in the water, and instead, can watch from the sidelines for now. ROCK.) Jack waited in line for minutes on end to meet with a clown, and he was then rewarded with a balloon bow-and-arrow (orange, of course). A.J. left the pool to join a rowdy game of dodgeball, and - surprise! His team won, though it was a long, hard battle. He was breathless and sweaty, but just grinning as we watched the end of the game.

Everyone went to bed early last night and slept WELL. I don't even remember waking once!

Today, the boys and I shuttled off to the commissary to pick up a few sundry items (stopping on the way to deliver a special card). We grabbed a bite to eat at the BX, then came home quickly to drop off our goods. It was colder and wetter than anticipated, so we grabbed jackets before then heading back out, this time to the Rose Theater to catch a performance of "Horrible Harry." We all really enjoyed the quirky, fun play, and then we drove out to ColdStone Creamery for a special snack afterwards.

Now we're back home, and we've got church in an hour. The rain has been coming down gently for a few hours now, and I can't wait to get back in from church, light some candles and heat up a few pizzas for dinner. It'll be a cozy night in after the craziness of the last several days!
navygreen: (School)
Tonight, the school had a music concert for grades K-3. (A.J.'s concert was back in the fall.) We went, of course, and Jack did indeed have a speaking role. I swear, he couldn't have had any MORE 'T' words than he did, but he plowed through, missing teeth be darned!

Jack's speaking role



(YouTube's compression of the video made it kinda blurry and hard to watch. Darn.)


A few more. )

Toothless.

Apr. 6th, 2008 02:06 pm
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
In the last 48 hours, Jack has now lost both of his upper middle teeth. He lost his third tooth on the bottom about a month ago, so he's now got quite a bit of "straw space" in there! ;-)

More teeth gone


He has a speaking part in his school music program on Tuesday night. Here's to hoping there are not a lot of 'T' words in what he needs to say, as he has very little "eeth" left in there!

Close-up. )
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
Each of the boys has had a special moment in the past week. I'm so very proud of them!

On Friday, Jack won the 'Falcon Gram Award' for his class! The 'Falcon Gram' program works like this: any student can win a 'Falcon Gram' at any time throughout the week. Things such as cleaning up a mess you didn't make, helping the teacher with a task, excelling at a particular assignment, etc. - all examples. Jack has won several 'Grams' now since school started, and he's been tickled about each one. His music teacher even stopped by Runza one day to tell me how wonderful Jack always is in her class! *beams*

Each student that wins a 'Falcon Gram' then turns the slip over to their teacher, and they go into a large bowl. On Fridays, the teacher draws one 'Gram' out of the bowl, and that child is the 'Falcon Gram Award' winner for the week. The teacher turns the name over to the principal, and the names are read over the loud-speakers at the end of the school day. The students then report to the principal's office for a special treat. They also are pinned with a special award button. Every two weeks, the recipients' names are printed in the 'Falcon Flyer' newsletter and distributed home to parents. So exciting!

On Friday afternoon, the boys came FLYING out of the school and running to the car. BOTH of them were shouting about Jack's win! Jack was ecstatic and smartly sporting his award button, and A.J. was equally as proud, having heard the announcement and Jack's name over the loud-speakers while he was in his HAL session ('High Ability Learner,' aka. 'Gifted & Talented'). They were both just bubbling over with excitement. I can't wait until next week to save the 'Falcon Flyer' newsletter. :-)


Jack's award button.


Two more pics. )

And on Monday, A.J. had a special achievement as well. A couple of weeks before, he'd brought home a note inviting students to perform in sign language the Pledge of Allegiance at the October school board meeting. I signed the form, he returned it, and we hadn't thought much more about it until the night of the event.

I took the boys to the Bellevue Welcome Center for the meeting, and we arrived a few minutes early so A.J. could find his place. We located his teacher, Ms. Johnson, and I found a place to sit and get a few pictures. We were told we could leave the meeting as soon as the students were finished with their presentation, and luckily, the Pledge was the first thing. A.J. did well in signing, and it looked like he and his classmates were having fun. Afterwards, the president of the school board stood up to make an announcement.

As school board members, they make 'rounds' in the schools, dropping in and visiting at all different times. And all Bellevue Public schools say the Pledge each morning, but he storied that his team had been surprised to happen upon Ms. Johnson's class one morning and see the students signing as well as speaking. Ms. Johnson explained that she had begun teaching her class to sign the first day of school, citing the importance of making sure that even people who are hearing-impaired had the chance to "hear" the Pledge. The school board invited Ms. Johnson's class to perform at their next meeting, but they had limited space available (it was a very small 'stage,' in fact).

So before he performed, I'd gone under the assumption that the entire fourth grade (two classes) had been invited to sign the Pledge for the meeting. After the president's announcement, I realized it was only Ms. Johnson's class that had received the invitation - that was pretty special. Another member of the committee then stood up and presented each child with a framed certificate, and the audience clapped. The kids just beamed! (As did the parents!)

After A.J. and his classmates had filed out of the board meeting, I snagged Ms. Johnson to tell her thank you for such a neat event, as well as compliment her on a unique teaching idea. I told her that it was just too bad that so few students turned out for the experience, and as A.J. approached us, she said, "Oh, A.J. didn't tell you? They only gave me permission to bring eight students, so I picked my very best signers. This was very special!" She ruffled his hair as she said this, and he grinned from ear-to-ear!

Wow! No, A.J. had never mentioned that only a select few students had been invited (then again, I guess I hadn't asked). But it was such a neat honor for him! And receiving the certificate was a great surprise - even Ms. Johnson had no idea the school board was going to do that!


A.J.'s certificate.


Six more pictures. )
navygreen: (Candle)
It's "almost" time. The boys have been telling anyone who asks their age that they are "almost": the answers differ just a tiny bit, of course, as Jack is "almost six," and A.J. is "almost nine." One month ago, they were both still telling the "-and-three-quarters" numbers to folks.

There's nothing like the anticipation of a birthday. I do the same thing myself, though I corral my enthusiasm to only include 1/2-birthdays. But I could never, ever say the new age unless it were really true - that's still a lie, in my opinion. Not only that, but it robs a bit of the fun from the actual birthday later on. So we'll enjoy the "almosts" around here for a bit longer, and then I'll be just as happy as my boys on their special day, changing my userinfo accordingly to reflect the new age.

Only five more days until Jack's birthday, and just nineteen days until A.J.'s big day. I see lots of cake in our future. ;-)
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
We received Jack's preschool graduation pictures today. I was standing there when they were taken, so I already knew they were good. Still, they were even more fabulous than I could have imagined:


Jack's Graduation.


My baby isn't really a baby anymore, is he?
navygreen: (High)
I tried to enroll A.J. in swimming lessons in the first week or so of March, but the classes were already full. In fact, the registrar told me that, though sign-ups begin at 6:30am on a particular date, classes are usually full by noon of the same day. NOON! I was floored that there would be so much demand. The information and dates were not yet settled upon at that time for the next sessions, so I was told to come back in a few weeks.

And I did. About three weeks ago, I picked up the new summer session booklet, outlining the registration date for the next session of swimming lessons. I learned that the date was April 30th, and I committed it to my memory.

So yesterday, after dropping off A.J. at school, Jack and I came home and quickly dressed for the day. Before taking him to school, we left early to head to the Lied Activity Center to sign A.J. up for classes. We arrived just before 8:30am, and another mom was filling out paperwork in front of me. As I worked on the paperwork for A.J., she asked a few questions about membership. While the classes were $50 for non-members (meaning us), they were $30 for members. So she wanted to buy a membership for her son - and I overheard that it would only be $6 for a year's membership! While it would have been very tough to cover two $50 fees (one for each of my boys), I jumped at the opportunity to spend $12 on membership fees and $60 for the classes - and Jack was thrilled that he would get to attend as well!

Oh, and I'm so glad I went when I did, for I snagged two of the remaining THREE spots from the original 56 - and it was only two hours after registration had begun!

Tonight was their very first lesson, and they were so pumped all day, talking excitedly and really looking forward to it. Honestly, who wouldn't? Swimming is such fun! I had enrolled Jack in the very first level - Preschool, while A.J. was sorted into Level 2 (based on his abilities to dog-paddle, float on his back/front, etc.) We were about 7-8 minutes early, so Jack just introduced himself to a gal in the pool, asking her if she was "the preschool teacher?" When she said yes, he proffered his hand for a shake and proudly proclaimed, "Then I'm your very first student!" Heehee.

They sat in the zero-depth section until the rest of her students arrived, and he chatted with her a bit. Meanwhile, A.J. was sliding into the water and grabbing a boogie board from the stack for his own class. He made a few quick friends, and though he was across the pool, I could hear his voice occasionally, chatting about this, that and, of course, Pokemon. ;-)

Within ten minutes' time, Jack had proven himself to be too advanced, and he was removed from the Preschool class and switched into Level 1. Without any hesitation whatsoever, he dived (ha - a pun!) right in and began practicing the backstroke for his float. Across the pool, A.J.'s class was pushing off from the edge and doing the backstroke into the center of their section. It was so neat to see them just taking to the instruction like it was a piece of cake!

I took a TON of pictures, as well as a few videos. If I ever get around to them, you just might see a couple of them. ;-)
navygreen: (School)
This afternoon was Kindergarten Round-Up for Jack, and he's been pretty excited about it ever since his big packet for registration arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Of course, being that he has pinkeye at the moment, I checked to make sure it would even be okay for him to attend. Since he had four doses of antibiotics in him at the time, he was good to go.

We arrived at our usual time - 3:05 - to pick up A.J. from school. The boys ate a small snack in the car, and then we entered the school at 3:30 for the Round-Up. I'd already filled out all the forms needed before arriving, so it was a breeze to go through the stations set up around the school. And since A.J. has attended the school for four years now, Jack's already a pro at knowing where everything is, etc. And most of the staff already knows him as well - it's quite the friendly school, after all. :-)

Many folks weren't nearly as prepared, so it took some time to wait for them to ask questions. When the receptionist asked me if the boys were going to attend summer school, she stopped herself mid-sentence and said, "Oh, that's right! You are! You already signed up for it on the very first day!" And we had. I registered the boys for summer school two weeks ago, knowing how quickly the spots fill up.

I gave the school nurse Jack's forms, but I explained that his November dental exam wouldn't be the most current by the time he started school, as his next check-up is May 14th anyway. He also has his physical scheduled for April 17th, so she had me turn in a copy of his current stuff, but I'll bring in the newer forms as soon as his appointments are completed.

Everyone commented on Jack's height, too. It doesn't seem that he is remarkably tall to me, but then again, I'm used to looking at him, I suppose. And as happens everywhere that we go - including each time we go to the school - we hear exclamations of, "Oh my! Doesn't he look just like his brother!" Philip has definitely got some dominant genes. ;-)
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
This morning, Jack awoke to find five shiny $1 bills laid atop a sparkly note on his stool where his first lost tooth had been. The note read the following:

Jackson,

I've been so excited to visit you! I'm so glad that you have finally lost your first tooth. I've got some big plans for this tooth. I heard from your Daddy about how much he wished he could see your lost tooth, so I'm going to sneak into his bed in Iraq and hide it under his pillow one night while he's sleeping too! Won't he be so surprised to find it, just like you are to find your surprise this morning!

I've got to scoot along now - lots more teeth to collect before morning, and I don't want that sneaky ol' Leprechaun to catch me running around today, either - my Fairy costume and wings don't have any GREEN on them at all, so he'd probably pinch me!

Keep brushing well and taking good care of the rest of those teeth. I'll be back when you've lost another one!

Love,
The Tooth Fairy

navygreen: (Jack: pirate)
My baby's growing up, he is.

Evidence. )

Jack lost his first tooth today. It's been hanging by so little for the past few days, and it had gotten to the point where he complained of pain each time he tried to eat something, so I told him it had to come out - that he needed to let me try to pull it out. He was afraid of me pulling it, so I handed him a tough Tootsie Roll® to chew first, to see if that would pull it out on its own. When I checked on him a minute later, he was happily chewing the sweet with his side teeth instead!

So I had to try. I folded a paper towel and asked him to let me just dry the tooth off so we could see how much longer it might take. I swear to you - the tooth practically stuck to the paper towel in the process, and it basically popped out on its own. I led Jack to the sink, and he swished a Dixie cup of water around and spit it back out, and there was hardly a trace of the palest pink in the water - that tooth barely bled at all.

I officially have two big boys now. Two big boys with missing-teeth grins. It's almost surreal.

He chose to put his tooth in a baggie on the stool next to his bed, rather than underneath his pillow. He was afraid that putting it under his pillow might cause the Tooth Fairy to accidentally crush her wings whilst she attempted to retrieve it. The "Tooth Fairy" fully supports this idea, as it makes thing easier on "her" when she needs to replace the tooth with a surprise later. ;-)

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February 2014

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