Monday, November 8, 2010

Life's Beauty

"The clarity of life’s beauty is more evident when the struggle for that beauty is more difficult." - Paul Daugherty

This quote seems fitting for our last few months and then the turn of events last week. For months Maddie has been progressing very nicely. She's done a wonderful job babbling, smiling, lifting her head up, reaching for toys, etc, but I feel like there have been no major developments since she was 7 weeks old and she started rolling over. So, for the last 7 months we have been working on the next step, and it's finally here!

Maddie is sitting up, and it is BEAUTIFUL! After months of physical therapy and practice, she's sitting up! I was hesitant to announce it at first, thinking that I might be prematurely jumping the gun, but she's doing it, and for long stretches at a time, too. She will start to wobble and quickly corrects herself so that she doesn't fall over. She's finally got the hang of it, and is loving her newfound independence. She loves that she can see more, play more, and is down on the ground with Aiden actually playing instead of lying next to him. 

I don't think I appreciated sitting up with Aiden as much as I do now with Maddie. One day, shortly after Aiden was 5 months old, he just decided that it was time to sit on his own. We hadn't really practiced it with him much, just a few times, and he got it. So it wasn't as big of a deal as it is now with Maddie. Don't get me wrong, I was happy and proud of Aiden when he did it, but I hadn't invested a lot into making him do it. With Maddie, not only have I invested time and energy into practicing with her, but a team of people have invested time and energy into her, too. It makes it extra sweet, and special, and I couldn't be more elated about it.

Aiden is excited about this new turn of events, too. He can interact and play with Maddie more than he could before. And, they are adorable playing together! This was the image I had in my head when I was pregnant with Maddie, imagining Aiden playing with his sister.

Although, I have started to see some jealousy come out during their playing together. Maddie can get into more of his things and he has a hard time sharing his toys with her. He will often take away something she has been playing with, and replace it with something else. I guess he figures if he gives her a different toy, then it doesn't matter what he took away from her. We're going to need a little work on this. Luckily, Maddie is pretty easy-going and willingly accepts the new toy every time. Hopefully, we can work on this with Aiden before Maddie starts to get upset about it.

There's more news, too. She's waving "Hi" and lifting her arms in the air for a game of "So Big!"! She knows when I am waving to her and will wave back, stop when I stop, and start back up when I do! I took a sign language class after Maddie was born at the hospital and they said that a good time to start signing with your child is when they can wave, because it means that they have made the connection that a sign actually means something. I have been signing things at mealtimes to her for a while, but you better believe I'm ready to start doing more!!

She has also figured out how to turn on one of her favorite toys. This toy has been such a great motivator for her since she was born. It's the first toy she started to track with her eyes. She loves that it lights up and that it plays music, and will stop anything else that she is doing when this toy turns on. The fact that she can now control it and make it play over and over, fascinates her.

Next stop is crawling, but I'm going to sit and savor these milestones for a little bit longer!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween, Zoo Boo, and a Party

I had to show a picture of our sad looking pumpkins. Grant and Aiden carved them a week before Halloween and this is what they looked like 3 days before Halloween. Poor pumpkins.

This was the first year Aiden really got into the Halloween spirit. He knew about dressing up, pretending he was something else, and the candy. Plus, he was excited about all three. We had been talking for a few months about what Aiden wanted to be for Halloween, at first he said "Super Why", which is a character from one of his favorite cartoons, then he changed his mind to a pirate, and he finally settled on a shark (which he is now obsessed with). He loved his costume this year, and has been dressing up randomly in the costume to pretend he is a shark. He loves the costume so much that even though he is sweating in it, he refuses to take it off until he's done playing.

Maddie decided she wanted to be a nice warm and cozy ladybug. 

Every Halloween season we take Aiden to ZooBoo. I'm really not sure what my obsession is with making sure we go to the Zoo for this event, there are always huge crowds, you can't see the animals very well, and the line for the different candy stations is always long. But, none the less, I feel like any chance we get to dress up the kids in their Halloween outfits and parade them in front of other people, is a good time. So this year was no different.

We had a lot of fun at ZooBoo and spent most of our time in lines for the haunted house, train ride, and concession stand.

Halloween day, our friends threw a baby Halloween party. I was a little worried that Maddie would get too hot in her ladybug costume, so I improvised and made her into a Material Girl with things I had around the house for her. You can't see it in the picture, but she's wearing a Madonna onesie.

Our hostess and her daughter... she made the parrot costume... I wish I were that talented.
We had a great time seeing all the kids in their costumes, it was a great idea to have a little party for all the kiddos. Thanks Cara and Tommy!

After leaving the party, we headed home to get ready for the main event... trick-or-treating!

This was the first year that we weren't out of town for Halloween and I was a little worried about how the turn out would be in our neighborhood. It was perfect though! There were tons of houses that were ready for trick-or-treaters, but not a lot of kids trick-or-treating, which meant that houses were giving away candy by the handful! Aiden had a great time and I was so impressed with how he would say "trick-or-treat", "Happy Halloween", and "Thank you" at each house. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Field Trip

Last Wednesday, Aiden's school went on a field trip to Reilly's Summer Seat Farms. This was Aiden's first field trip and first ride on a school bus. He couldn't have been more excited! The school invited one parent to join their child on the field trip. So, Maddie went to a friend's house for the morning and I joined Aiden at the Pumpkin Patch. Two Pumpkin Patches in one month, plus spending the morning with just Aiden... I was super excited!!

We got to school early and waited to line up for the busses. When we finally got a little closer to the busses, Aiden and a couple of the other kids started to get nervous about getting on, but when it was his turn, Aiden's smile was almost bigger than his face! He slowly walked up the stairs examining the driver's seat and then proceeded to carefully inspect each row of seats as if he were worried that there would be a quiz later where he would have to describe every detail on the bus.

After picking out the perfect seat on the bus, he slid in with this sly grin on is face trying to hide how fascinated he was with the whole experience. The bus hadn't even started moving yet when Aiden looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, I don't see the Pumpkin Patch yet." After I explained that the bus was going to drive us to the Pumpkin Patch, he looked at me worriedly and said, "But, I don't have on a seatbelt!"

After we got to the Farm, we waited in line to get on the hayride to the pumpkin patch. It obviously wasn't as exciting as the bus ride, but he did get to sit next to his friend Francesca, who he was worried about on the bus because he didn't see her. Once we got to the pumpkin patch, Aiden took his job of hunting for a pumpkin very seriously. He would pick up a pumpkin, find something wrong with it, put it down and continue to the next imperfect one. Until he finally found two acceptable pumpkins and put them in his bags.

When all the kids were finished, the next stop on the hayride was the Corn Maze and Nursery Rhyme Forest. Aiden really had no interest in either of these and during the Corn Maze, my camera ran out of batteries. It probably was for the best because the only thing Aiden wanted to do after this was to eat a snack and play with his friend Lochlan, which was my favorite part.

One of our main factors in deciding to put Aiden in preschool was the fact that we don't know anyone here with kids Aiden's age. So he hasn't had many chances to socialize with other kids. We had gone to a library class when he was little, but he aged out of it, and we had put him in a gymnastics class, but he was no longer enjoying it so we took him out. Preschool gives him a chance to be with kids his own age on a daily basis and to form friendships with the same kids. Watching Aiden and Lochlan having so much fun together was awesome! They each would go and do separate things during the field trip, and then would realize that the other one had gone missing, and would then go around trying to find him. It was so sweet, and Lochlan's Mom and I had a great time talking and watching our boys play together. On the way home Lochlan wanted to be sure to sit by Aiden on the bus and so he waited to get on the bus until Aiden was ready. The two giggled and played the whole way back to school!

We had a great day together and I can't wait to go on another field trip with Aiden and his class!

And, well here's a sweet baby picture, just because.