Archive for October, 2008

High Art.

October 16, 2008

Sam was the clothing co-ordinator for Baby Bea again this morning. When it came time to get her dressed ready to go out he pulled out this little outfit, with a matching nappy. “Purple! Purple!” he declared and clapped happily. (Yes, I know, it’s more of a dusky rose than a purple ;)) It was a little too hot for Bea to be in dungarees today, but as we’d be inside in the cool most of the time who am I to argue with the Braeburn Circle style guru?

Fuego

It took us some time but eventually we were all dressed, packed, prepared and ready to leave the house, though Daddy did have to phone me to find out where we were and chivvy us along because he was hungry and getting tired of waiting for his lunch companions to appear. Sorry Bill. We did get to Midtown in the end though and when we did we enjoyed a nice meal of fish tacos (Sam and Bill), veggie quesadilla (that would be me) and milky milky (just Bea) at Fuego together. Sam was especially happy to see his Daddy in the middle of the day and was very excited in the car on the way to see him.

After our lunch we cajoled Bill into accompanying us up to the High Museum. Bill was a gentleman and pushed the Joovy Caboose with Sam and Bea safely onboard up the road for me. Bea then got transferred to the Baby Bjorn and went on a cultural tour with Daddy, while I took Sam downstairs to Toddler Thursdays to do some art. I had to check the stroller and Sam was not happy about that at all “My stroller!” he wailed as I pulled him away towards the workshop. When he realised where we were going though he soon forgot about the Caboose and tears turned to smiles as he raced off ahead of me to get to the room first.

Painting with ice

Today they had the children painting with ice. Paint with a consistency more like ink (a product called “liquid watercolours”) had been frozen in small tubs onto lollipop sticks and the toddlers were encouraged to explore painting by allowing the frozen cubes to melt onto the paper. Sam had a really good time and painted many pictures before he fell off his chair, slammed his jaw into the table and we had to beat a hasty retreat to find Bill and Baby Bea so that Daddy could kiss it better.

Sense of Style

October 15, 2008

Bea is wearing a green stripey sack dress suit today. When I went to change her nappy Sam came over to help. As I was putting her into a clean turquoise nappy he berated me, tugged on my arm and insisted I put a forest green one on her instead. Then, he raced off and reappeared clutching something. He’d rummaged around in her clothes drawer and pulled out a little green cloth cap to match her suit. “Hat! Hat!” he implored until I placed it on her head.

Green Bea

Birth certificate madness.

October 15, 2008

OK, I finally got through to vital records and apparently I didn’t write UK for the place of birth, I wrote England. The lady I just spoke to on the phone told me that it got entered as unknown because “England is not a country.”!

Unbelievable.

Also absolutely crazy is that at the hospital they take your word for it that the information you provide about place of birth is correct, but to get this corrected (even though the lady said she pulled out the original form I filled in and could see the error was in data entry) I now have to go through a rigmarole and send in a notarised copy of my passport with a written request and authorisation to make the change.

Like Dandad Like Grandson

October 15, 2008

Dandad did the unthinkable today and had his hair cut. Not only was this momentous as he is usually a stubborn mule with a vicious back kick when it comes to having his barnet trimmed, but this was unbelievably apparently the second time his locks had come under the shears in a mere handful of weeks. There must be some very good reason for this change of heart, and indeed there is a very grand one, for father is honoured to be accompanying his niece to see the Queen this week on account of her being given some silly little trifle of a gong for meritorious service or what not. Congratulations to Zoe. Pip ray!

So where does Sam come into this? Well, I decided that Sam had rather the scraggly sheep dog with a bowl cut looking going on and endeavoured to give his hair a trim this evening too. I coaxed him to sit still in his high chair with a couple of ice lollipops, gave him a good spray down and set to with the scissors.

Hmmm.

I can only hope that Nanna did a better job of Dandad’s hair as I regret to say that I don’t think Master Samuel would be properly turned out to visit Her Majesty following my efforts. Sadly I don’t think I steered any further from the bowl cut either. I eagerly await the morning to see what a butcher job I have really done.

Note to American Data Entry Drone

October 13, 2008

Regarding 20: Mother’s State of Birth (if not USA name country)

UK does not mean “unknown”.

Dammit.

I already called Vital Records on Friday because I noticed the listed attendant doctor on Bea’s birth certificate was wrong. I guess I’m going to have to call them again to get my birth country amended too. Apart from the fact I do know where I was born, I can see it turning into a problem when I apply for Bea’s British citizenship by descent and I’m not listed as British on her birth certificate. *sigh*

Four weeks old.

October 11, 2008

Another school day for Sam but no nice quiet lazy morning for Mummy and Bea. Today we had to go see Dr Sells for Bea’s four week check up. At four weeks old Sam weighed in at 9lbs 9oz and I was quite curious to find out how Bea and her voracious appetite compares to Sam at that age. I had an inkling that she is a monster and was proven right when the scales declared her to have already overtaken Sam at 9lbs 11oz. Blimey.

Weight – 9lbs 11oz
Height – 20.7 inches
Head Circumference – 14.7 inches

Doctor's table.

Not a lot else to report from the doctor’s office and we were very quickly in and out with Bea given a clean bill of health. Come back again in five weeks.

With that over and done with and plenty of time to spare before I had to go collect Samuel I decided to take Bea to the EAV playgroup. I was intending to give her some tummy time while we were there but as soon as I placed her belly down on her blanket she settled down for a nice nap.

Asleep at playgroup.

After struggling on my attempts to take both children out of the house I decided to purchase a new stroller. I found a Joovy Caboose on Craigslist and drove Sam and Bea up to Buckhead to collect it yesterday evening. It’s a sit and stand type stroller with a little platform at the back for the older child to stand on. I also had to then buy an infant carrier car seat so that Bea can ride in the front as otherwise she would have to be older than six months to use it. I got lucky today and managed to find someone in a neighbouring street who was selling one reasonably. Bea and I picked it up on our way to get Sam from school and then after Sam had woken up from his afternoon nap we were able to test drive the new Caboose.

We attempted a walk around Braeburn Circle. Sam really enjoyed riding on the platform at the back until he spied a long stick on the verge and decided to jump off, grab it and use it as a fishing rod. He then wouldn’t go any further and I couldn’t budge him. He was too engrossed merrily fishing for smaller twigs, then throwing them back onto the tarmac. It was so funny watching Sam excitedly fish but we were stuck fishing at the side of the road until Daddy happened to drive past on his way home. Bill ended up bundling Sam into his car (with his fishing rod) and taking him home. Only then could I continue my nice stroll with Miss Bea. Still, I think I give the stroller a big thumbs up and I hope it will come into its own on trips to the zoo and such like.

First day at preschool.

October 10, 2008

Well, Sam’s been going to preschool for a month and a half now, but it was Bea’s first day on Wednesday. She and I went in with Sam as it was my turn to be parent helper again. I snugly made her comfortable in the stroller and put her in the corner of the classroom to peacefully snooze so I could try to focus on my role for the morning.

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When we entered the room there was an assortment of hats arranged on one of the tables for the children to try on. Sam picked up a knight’s visor, put it on backwards and declared it was a football helmet. A couple of mirrors were brought out so that the children could see themselves wearing the different hats.

Trying on hats. Liam the chef

A basket of pipecleaners was on another table. Luca and Sam became interested in cutting the pipecleaners into smaller pieces with scissors and twisting them to make bugs and animals. Sam insisted I made something too so I created a little fish, handed him a straight pipecleaner and asked him if he wanted to go fishing. We threw the fish onto the floor and then hooked him back up.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Once I caught a fish alive
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Then I threw it back again

Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so!
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right!

Juana the Spanish teacher then entered the room with an enthusiastic “hola!” and there was a scramble for places to sit around the story nook.

Gathered around for Spanish.

I found the teacher a little overwhelming as she was larger than life and filled the room with her voice, but the children were entranced and sat around attentively as she only talked to them in Spanish. Sam hid behind a giant tiger while she took them through their numbers using flash cards, but when she then brought out some toy spiders to help enact “Incy Wincy Spider” he joined in with the rest of the class as they moved closer to get a better a look and help with the actions. I have no idea what Juana was saying about them but a set of chattering fake teeth buzzing across the floor had Mateo in stitches.

Incy Wincy Spider

Snacktime followed the high voltage Spanish lesson and I had trays of apple slices, Veggie Booty and cubed cheese ready for the children. It didn’t last long and then the children naturally split into different groups with some of them going into the atelier with teacher Briana.

After throwing a ball around Sam and Mateo became engrossed in the light mesh curtain concealing supplies. The ball had rolled into the corner and when Mateo went to retrieve it he got distracted and started some new fun. The pair enjoyed themselves by taking turns to hide in the material then charging back out. The fabric draping and pulling over them amusing them greatly.

Sam and Mateo.

I was handed several books by Max and a couple of the girls and so tried to read them aloud. I never got to finish one before being handed the next. A book about fire engines was very popular and I was given that one several times by the children.

As it was a very rainy day the ladybugs were gathered into the big community room instead of being allowed to go to the playground today. When I joined them I found Mateo hauling Liam and Sam around the room in a big red wagon. They were having a great time until Daphne and Calliope wanted to join in pulling the boys around but then there were too many moving bodies around the wagon and they were in danger of being run over instead. Sam and Liam were evicted and the red wagon went outside before there were tears.

Wagon.

A big colourful parachute quickly provided distraction and the children enjoyed raising it up and watching it billow, or running underneath as it mushroomed above them.

Parachute Play

Lunch time saw Sam have a melt down. He came back to the classroom to help me lay out the meals while the others played and when I wouldn’t let him eat Max’s lunch he threw a fit and would not be placated. He was still in tantrum mode when the rest of the class had all finished eating and moved on. I tried to get him to eat his own yogurt by sitting him on my lap, asking him if he wanted to eat like a baby and spoon feeding him. Tilda was not impressed and told us that she can feed herself. Sam then decided that he could too, took the spoon back and finished his yogurt. Thank you Tilda!

Eventually there was just one little boy left eating his lunch at the table. At least, that’s what it looked like. On closer investigation Mateo was a picture. He was so tired from his busy morning that he had fallen asleep propped up over his plate. Too cute!

Mateo asleep over the plate.

Parents then started to arrive to pick up their offspring and once the room was set to rights Bea, Sam and I headed home too.

She’s got me.

October 9, 2008

As Sam continues to exhibit off track behaviour that implies he is feeling uncertain and emotional about his newly disturbed place in the family since Bea’s birth what he doesn’t know is that mummy has been having her own awkward feelings towards the new member of the family too. While Sam is struggling with his new position in our family it’s just as strange not having Sam as the centre of my universe any more.

I think I’ve been on auto pilot a bit these last few weeks as I’ve been trying to juggle two children and get used to caring for a newborn again. I feel as though I’ve not been able to devote enough attention to my little boy and at times have felt like a devoted servant to my greedy little ball of daughter. I’m not saying I’ve been harbouring bad thoughts about her, on the contrary, I have been excited and enthralled by her, it’s just I don’t think I had really bonded as a mother until the other night.

After Sam had gone to bed on Tuesday evening, I’d picked up around the house, hoovered, conquered the laundry mountain and fed Bea, and changed her nappy numerous times. It was late, definitely gone eleven, and I was exhausted but I still hadn’t got around to giving Bea a bath. It had been a while (uhm, days) since she last got cleaned up so begrudgingly I pulled out the little plastic bowl and gently bathed her in warm soapy water. She was very slippery and hard to hold. I was so afraid she’d shoot out of my grasp and go flying across the front room.

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Once the scent of sour milk was washed away and she was sweet smelling again I wrapped her up in a soft towel and settled down on the floor to just cuddle her for a bit. I think it may have been the first time I was really able to take a moment to be quiet and just gaze at her since we got home from the hospital. I wasn’t feeding her, or changing her, or comforting her, or running around trying to do something else at the same time as hold her. She was just snuggled up in my arms, and she was wide eyed looking right back at me with dark damp tousled hair giving her an impish look. All of a sudden I couldn’t help it, I got overwhelmed and tears started running down my cheeks. She just reached right into my chest, got me right in the heart and gave me a good squeeze.

She’s beautiful and amazing. I can’t believe I have a daughter.

Sam’s first school report

October 7, 2008

There was no school for Sam yesterday. Instead we had a parent teacher conference to discuss how Sam is doing in class. His teachers were very complimentary of him and said he’s a very good boy and they have nothing bad to say about him. I was told that he is a bit of a loner, preferring to do his own thing, but that he is beginning to become more involved in group work. He does seem to get overwhelmed if he is put with too many classmates at once and will then break away and find something else to do on his own. He is good at sharing and while not submissive, avoids confrontation with other children over toys.

I was also given a written report of the teacher’s observations about my little boy:

Child’s experiences, interests and special strengths:

Sam has adjusted well to his class and classmates. Sam enjoys movement. He enjoys trucks and construction. Sam enjoys our outside time and enjoys kicking the ball with his friends and teachers. Sam spends a lot of time in the sandbox when we’re in the playground. Sam enjoys painting and exploring with scissors. Sam also likes to construct train tracks and pretend play with the trains. Sam looks forward to snack time. Sam also likes sensory exploration with water, flour and sand.

Where to go next, goals, areas for growth, hopes and dreams:

Continue to develop relationships with his classmates. Continue to encourage involvement in small group activities. Continue working on sharing. Work on furthering language skills, letter and word recognition. Encourage shape and colour recognition.

Sample conversations

Exploring with our senses: The wonder of flour:

“It’s snowing. It’s snowing!” – Tilda
“Snowing. Yummy” – Luca
“I’m making a cake.” – Nora
“Vrooooom, vrooom, vroooooom. Truck. Truck.” – Samuel

Clouds:

In an exploration with cotton wool, glue, brushes and cardboard:

“Looks like a cloud..want make a cloud” – Max

Daphne – “We have a sun” She points to a mirror on the side wall next to our dramatic beach play area.

Liam points to the wall and says “Sun. Sun.”

Daphne says “It’s the ocean, there’s fishies in the ocean, you hear it?”

Samuel – “Fishing, fishing!” He takes the snorkel and tosses it over his shoulder. He aims at the pool and hooks the curved end around a fish inside the pool. He pulls it towards him, grabs the fish and tosses it to Briana sitting nearby. “Fishing, fishing!”

Daphne – “Put the fishies back in the ocean!”

Sam misBeahaving.

October 7, 2008

After feeding Bea this morning I carefully laid her down on her little gym mat with the dangling zoo animals to look at. I popped into the kitchen to grab myself a drink and thus turned my back for a moment. I was just gone long enough to pour a glass of water, but it was long enough. Returning to the front room I found Bea halfway across the room, and Sam sat in her place on the mat! He must’ve moved her carefully as she didn’t make a peep and was happily on her back, surrounded by Sam’s Megablocks and gazing around the room.