Monday, June 15, 2009

The Big Boy Bed DeBacle

This past week, we finally decided to bite the bullet and try moving Ben out of his crib into a "big boy bed." He's been asking to do this for weeks now ever since he spied the extra bed stored in the garage. We had hopes of using the big boy bed as a bribe to encourage potty training, but that had no effect whatsoever. This kid simply does not see the attraction of stopping his play to go, pull down his pants, and sit on a potty when he could simply pee on the fly and keep playing. Really, who can blame him? Diapers these days are so effective that I doubt he even really feels that wet. I am still looking for the ultimate tool (bribe) to help encourage him in this area. Even M&M's aren't attractive enough.
Anywho, back to the bed. So we set up the bed, and Ben is nearly jumping out of his skin in excitement. Last Sunday night was initiation night. It went fairly well. He never got out of his bed, but despite the bed being against a wall and having a long bed rail, he still managed to find a way to fall out of the bed in the middle of the night - right off the end of the bed!
Since then nap times and bedtimes have gone something like this:
  1. Figures out he can get out of bed and just play but is too loud with his toys, so Mom and Dad hear him.
  2. Figures out how to sneak out of bed and QUIETLY get toys and bring them back to his bed. Mom and Dad don't clue in for awhile.
  3. Mom and Dad threaten to put him back in crib.
  4. Finally goes to sleep each night after it's dark enough outside he can no longer see his toys beckoning to him.
  5. Mom finds him sleeping in his bed among various toys each night when she checks on him before she goes to bed. Last night it was a Thomas the Train push toy and an Elmo book.
  6. Ends up getting put back in crib during nap time everyday but one this past week. Today even stood up when I came into his room (after he got out several times) and simply said, "Mommy put Big Doggy (his favorite stuffed animal) in the crib with me." The stinker didn't even fight it.
  7. Has now figured that we won't get too angry if he gets out of the bed and says, "I have to go pee-pee." After being threatened with a spanking if he is lying about said pee-pee, he is usually able to manage squeezing out a few drops.
Who knows where we'll go from here. I am, once again, floored by just how different he and his sister are. She never once tried getting out of her bed and to this day will ask before getting out of bed when she wakes up.
I know, I know . . . it's payback.
Look at the happy boy! Don't let that innocent smile fool you. He is already plotting his escape.
Notice the crib that is still in his room. We were hoping this would be temporary, just for a few days. After the last week, I'm optimistically thinking we'll be able to take it down around, say Christmas?


For the record, I am very much aware of the not-so-masculine bedding. Shawn and I are currently at war regarding what type of bedding he should have. I'm all for a nice quilt type comforter with darker colors, something that he can use for many years to come. Shawn is arguing the necessity of a sports or truck-themed ensemble. I'm currently pretending as though I'm considering other options, so in the meantime, Ben has to make do with this comforter. He doesn't seem to mind.

p.s. As I'm typing this, Ben just came out of his room and said, "I just had a lot of sneezeses." Oh, of course. That's the perfect reason for getting out of bed. Never mind the fact that you haven't sneezed one single time.
Well, got to give him credit for at least coming up with something new.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Swim Lessons

Knowing that we were about to start a summer spent largely at the pool, we decided to sign up Claire for swim lessons at the local Y. She loves the water, as long as there isn't a snowball's chance in you-know-where that she could get water in her eyes or go under water and as long as she is fully armed with her "swim muscles" (floaties).

It's been a bit hectic going twice a week for that long, but she has really learned a lot, and feels MUCH more comfortable in the water. This past week, she has been swimming without any flotation device and even swimming totally underwater (with bright orange face mask, of course).

Before the day's lesson begins, the teacher would give a short devotional and discuss a character trait of the day - honesty, courage, teamwork, etc.

Ben - hanging out on the bleachers during Claire's class.

The bathing beauty. She was the only girl in this session.


Claire's cheering squad.

Claire informed me that she is fully expecting to be a member of our pool's swim team next summer. She would have to be able to swim the entire length of the pool on her own. She's also been asking quite a few questions about mermaids. She's obviously not guilty of underestimating her new swimming skills. Though, I'm thinking she'll have a better chance at the swim team than at being the next Ariel. But who knows?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Preschool Graduation

Right. So there's nothing like one of your children reaching a significant milestone in her life to make her parental figures stop and freak out about how old her baby is, and how time is passing too quickly, and how pretty soon she'll be going to kindergarten, to her high school prom, leaving for college, getting married, having babies to whom I will be the GRANDMOTHER!!! . . . .

Ok, so I'm fairly certain that I was the only one of her two parental figures to "freak out" at this level, but still, watching my baby girl graduate from preschool was a big deal. She was so excited about this day. Though, I'm not sure if it was the graduation aspect or the family picnic afterward that was the real draw for her.

Here we are graduation morning . . . before the mommy freak out. See how sweet she looks (and how nice and non-freaked out I look - all a total facade on my part).

Apparently Claire's teachers clued in fairly early on that she is a reliable (read: rule-following), mature kid. She was one of two kids picked to hand out the programs to parents as they entered the sanctuary. Check out the model pose.
The processional. The graduates filed in to the traditional tune "Pomp and Circumstance." In the background, you can see the parents, paparazzi-like, trying to catch pictures of their kids as they came in.
Waiting for the singing program to begin.

Most of the pictures we took during the program came out too blurry to post, but here are a few short videos of the kids singing.

This video is for you, Papa Bill. A preschool rendition of "The Great Adventure" better known as "Saddle up your Horses."

Getting her diploma from her two teachers. After we left school, I realized I hadn't seen Claire's diploma yet. I asked her where it was, and she told me that after they walked off the stage, each kid was supposed to put it in the collection basket in front of their pew! Fakers!!!
Ms. Robin, the teacher on the right, read a speech she had written about how she had not only had the privilege to teach the class, but that she also learned from each and every member of the class. Each child was named along with the "lesson" she had learned from him/her. The lesson that she learned from Claire was: "God is in the details. And EVERY, SINGLE detail is important."

Yep, that pretty much describes my child. I really have no idea where she gets this. (ahem)

Here are a few pictures of Claire and some of her classmates

If you remember earlier posts, this handsome little guy is Liam, the phone caller, play date-asker who had a bit of a crush on Claire (and she may have been a little guilty of reciprocating the crush. Can you tell?)

Ok, so Ben wasn't in her class, but if he had had his way, he would have been.

Ms. Shana, Claire, and Ms. Robin - wonderful teachers who helped to make Claire feel so comfortable.

Kindergarten, here we come!