Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thomas Update: 4 Months

The last month kind of disappeared on us!  How did you become a four month old?  We've enjoyed your first Thanksgiving, and gearing up for your first Christmas, and I'm not sure where the time has gone.  You've been a great trooper at all of your brothers' Christmas programs and activities, though you're not liking riding in your car-seat as often if it is dark out (during the daytime you are still fine though and fall asleep).  Let's cross our fingers for this big car trip we've got upcoming.
Weight: 15 lbs, 9 oz
Length: 25 1/2 inches, mostly into 6-12 month clothes now, about to switch into size 3 diapers
Feeding:  Still nursing about 6 to 7 times a day.  Starting to pinch a lot more.   
Sleeping:   Same as last month, had a few more all night sessions which I appreciate.  Considering moving you to the crib after Christmas.  Have been figuring out your schedule a little, and you basically will be awake about 1.5-2 hours at a time before taking a nap, which you do at least three times a day or more if you are disturbed frequently.
Communicating:  Being quick to fuss if you don't like a change of scenery (moving from mama's arms to the swing/chair/etc).  Letting us know when you are bored and would like some toys to play with.  You love anything you can get your little fingers into and move around.
 Likes: being upright and near us, which makes your ability to sit in the bumbo now very helpful, playing with toys, your Mam pacifiers or chewing on your hands
Dislikes:  you switch between loving to splash in your bath, and crying through it, sometimes even in the same bath-time
Growth Milestones:  Rolled front to back.  Once.  Tried the doorway jumper recently, and you liked it, and ended up falling asleep in it pretty quickly.
Health:  Good check-up.  No worries (though you are lighter than your brothers were, but I'm not complaining).  Not a fan of four separate shots when they were out of the combination vaccine this time.
And your eyes have yet to turn to brown.  Fingers crossed.

Writing to Santa in Kindergarten

Last week we got to go on base for the lab's annual open house, and they boys were pretty excited to see Santa.  Theo decided to ask for the current library book he has checked out (he desperately wants to be a first grader because they get to check out two library books, and library is one of the highlights of Kindergarten for him).  Elijah stuck with wanting... a train.  What a surprise.  He would like a batter powered one that works again.

I loved how the photos turned out.

Meanwhile, Theodore is becoming quite the little writer, and from what I hear about school, writer's workshop is one of his favorite times.  I encouraged him to write a letter to Santa to see what he could do, and even without his word wall and list of site words to guide him, he did a great job writing this (please excuse all the backward S's and d's).
*For those of you less inclined to decipher the letter, here it is with correct spelling. 
"Dear Santa Claus,
I haven't been perfect, but I have been good.  I would like a girl scout oven.  I would like some candy.  I would like an Ipad.  I will be in Indiana.  From Theodore"

On the last day of school before break, his school actually hosted a "writer's celebration".  I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but it was a time of singing chants and songs, sharing their writing with us, and leaving school a little early laden with treats and gifts.  It's a genius idea really, to get the parents to come pick up their students a little early from school the last day before break and help them navigate getting everything they have home.  (Add fundraiser pickups of wrapping paper, spirit wear, and poinsettias and I looked a site leaving like a pack-horse with all three boys.)
Displayed on the bulletin board.

After the program, in his snowman hat.
Theodore was proud of several of his "small moment narratives" he shared with me, including: Brian recently getting pulled over by the police and getting a ticket, a based-on-true-life tail of the Delaware earthquake when he was a baby, and a pretty accurate picture of Christmas morning at his Grandma K's house complete with a picture of her tree (with a fireplace on tv) and her staircase.  Surprisingly, watching him learn to write has been even more exciting than watching him become a reader, and I love all the phonetic spelling and trying to figure out what he writes.  Gone are the days of kindergarten we had where we wrote on that special wide ruled large writing paper.  They use advanced writing templates with a checklist for editing at the top. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent: A Season of Waiting Anxiously

We are already a week into advent, and I'm just now getting a post up.  Last year, I was so on top of this season.  I had weekly calendars for Theodore and all our events lined out neatly in a row.  (See those posts here.)  And while I loved making them (calendars make me happy), this year we've just got so much more going on that I'm taking a more free-flowing planning to the season.  I'm basically putting down unchangable events on the calendar, and then putting sticky notes for everything else I want to do with the boys.  And the boys are leaving many greasy fingerprints on my beautiful wall calendar as they repeatedly count the days until Christmas.  Elijah also made a paper chain in school that he is using to help us count down, and is so serious about ripping one off each day.  So, while they may not line up exactly with each day of advent, these are the Christmas/winter activities we have lined up for this year (and past posts about our favorites, since realistically I'm not going to be getting much more than photos posted this year). 
  1. Hanging of the Greens at Church (Check:  Theo did well, Elijah looked extremely grumpy to be put to work helping carry wreaths and candles during this beautiful service.)
  2. Advent Log at Dinner Time (In progress:  Our boys get so excited to light this and blow it out each night.  Unfortunately, one or more of us have something every single night this week so we're not going to get many family meals in this week.)
  3. Christmas Books @ Bedtime (In progress:  See our books here and here.)
  4. Tiny Tots Concert (Check:  Field trip with Elijah's class, was fun and went will.  He was most excited to see Elmo and Frozen, and still doesn't know who Spongebob is.  I wrote about our first visit here.)
  5. Snowball Fun Run @ School (Check:  It was a beautiful day, and Thomas, Eli, and I enjoyed cheering Theoon.  Theo is still so excited when I volunteer at his school.  His friends pat Eli on the head and like to see him.)
  6. Dumfries Christmas Parade (Check:  Enjoyed handing out a million candy canes with the boys.  Theo had a bit of a wreck, but recovered ok, and Elijah was so cute stopping to get candy canes out of the trunk of his tricycle to hand out.  Thomas slept through the whole thing.)
  7. Getting Our Tree @ Evergreen Acres, Decorating It (Check:  Apparently, this may be our last real tree.  I sneezed so many times as we were at the farm.  Hoping I'm not getting an allergy!)  See more about the farm here.
  8. Chili Potluck at Church (In progress:  As in, the sugar cream pie is in the oven and the puppy chow is cooling on the table.  The only reason this post is getting done is because it takes over an hour to cook this pie, and I couldn't get back to sleep after feeding Thomas so I decided to cook it at 3 AM.)
  9.  Make, decorate, distribute, and swap cookies.  Repeat.
  10. Nutcracker (There is a children's performance of this at a local high school.) 
  11. Preschoolers & Trains (A friend is hosting a train decorating party at her house for Eli this week.)
  12. Mail Letters to Santa
  13. Work Open House (Brian's annual open house at his work.  I've been told there will be gingerbread decorating, and the boys will get to discuss things with Santa.)
  14. Winter Dance (Theo's school is hosting a k-5 dance for families.)
  15. Donate gifts (pjs at school, angel trees, etc.)
  16. Nursing Home with Mops (Spending time with some of the residents there and spreading Christmas cheer.)
  17. Make yearly ornaments with boys.
  18. Christmas Lights in PJs (Driving around the neighborhoods.  My boys are absolutely thrilled by Christmas lights.)
  19. Brian's Work Party (Holiday party with Brian's colleagues.)
  20. Parade of the Magi  (Hoping Elijah will sing a little more than he did for the Thanksgiving program.  This was Theo's performance last year.)
  21.  Zoo Lights (I wrote about our first post, here.  And general zoo information, here.)
  22. Christmas Program at Church (Theo is slated to be a shepherd with a line to say, while Eli is reluctant to be a sheep.  We'll see how this goes.)
  23. Make and mail cards.
  24. Living Nativity (Dec. 11-12, 6:30pm.  Previous year, here.)
  25. DC Trains (Last year's post, here.)  Planning to do this with cousins in a couple weeks.
  26. And finally, go see family!  We will pack the boys up, put on the Polar Express, and head to grandmas' houses where we will do gingerbread houses, see the walkway of the lights, and enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus!
And believe it or not, this is a pared down list.  I'd love to be able to visit New York City, hit up the D.C. Marketplace, go to a snow and story time at the ice rink, and visit National Harbor's Christmas exhibits, but I don't think we're going to fit those things in this year.  Maybe next year!