Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Wonder Years

Okay, it's been a really looooonnngggg time since I posted to the blog. Months, milestones, birthdays, anniversaries . . . a million things have passed without a word from me on here. I should probably just stop pretending that I'm gonna post more frequently because when you boil it down to a choice between composing something for the blog and sleeping, well, sleep wins every time. Such is life with kids, I suppose.

Anyway, life's been good to us in our still somewhat new small town. It's been happy and full and brimming with adventure. The kids are growing at an alarmingly fast pace at this point: 7 and 4 years old.  My Lord, where did the time (and my babies!) go? Here's some recent pictures of them at a local ice cream shop . . . 

See, I told you. They're big kids now. How on Earth did that even happen? (And yes, Sydney is sticking out her tongue for no good reason in that picture on the right. It's a thing she does now when I want to take her picture. I'm hoping very hard that it will soon pass.)

As usual, there's been a lot of changes for us in the past few months. I've returned to work full-time and Sydney began preschool for the very first time a few weeks ago. She was nervous and doubtful and I expected lots of tears on her first day. Turns out, she LOVES going to school and ran right into the fray of new friends without so much as a backwards glance at me. All the tears were mine (and there were many) that day. It's been great to see her happy and excited to go to school. One day as we were getting out of the car at her school she actually said "Hurry, mommy! I don't want to miss a single thing!" Seriously, I couldn't ask for a more joyful spirit.

Sydney and Kaden had a great summer.

This was a Spring Break trip to the closest beach we could find - a mere 14 hour drive to the Gulf Coast. Not sure we'll be doing it often, but we all loved the gorgeous white sand beaches. Sydney made herself right at home.

This one was technically at the end of the last school year and not the summer but it was worth including . . . Kaden loves riding horses and he gets to do it every week in the Spring with his classmates. Another reason we love this place.

Did I mention she is joyful? This picture is a good reflection of Sydney's general attitude about life. 

And this is something I caught one day when I looked into the backseat of the car:
I love their love

So that's it. That's us right now. And now it's time for me to sleep. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A few months at-a-glance

As Sydney's 4th birthday approaches, it occurs to me that time is going by so fast. Too fast. Whiplash, punch-drunk, WTF fast. I get so caught up in living the day-to-day of our lives that I forget to record anything of it for posterity.  And though I absolutely want to be immersed in the actual living part, I also want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs through some of the highlights for the kids to discover later down the road. 

So here it is: a breakneck tour through our past few months.

Halloween 2014

Jake and Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Sydney picked the costumes. Pirate Kaden (or Jake if accuracy matters to you) tolerated his look for about two hours while we went to a local hotel that invited special needs kids and their families to trick-or-treat through suites designed and sponsored by companies like Hershey and Crayola. 

Christmas 2014
Kaden's Christmas was full of games: Trouble, Connect 4, Mustache Smash, and Jumpin' Jack. He likes Connect 4 and Jumpin' Jack. Sydney is obsessed with Mustache Smash. I don't take pictures of them playing because the sight of my iPhone would distract Kaden but it's a beautiful thing to behold. He likes to play games with his sister. Not always but sometimes. I'll take it.

Kaden was also reunited with a long lost favorite TV show that we lost from DVR when we moved last summer; the Classical Baby series from HBO.
Here he is dancing with daddy to his new set of Classical Baby DVDs. He LOVES these shows and could watch all 3 DVDs back-to-back on a loop for days. Me not so much.

As for Sydney, it was a Christmas full of dress-up and pretend.

She can spend hours and hours pretending to be a whole cast of different people: Doctor Sydney, Chef Sydney, Explorer Sydney, Ballerina Sydney, and, of course, over and over, Elsa or Anna.

2015 so far

Kaden is a first grader now and doing really well in his new school. He has a one-on-one aide in a self-contained class for most of the day with daily inclusion time in the general ed first grade and a few other classes like art. He also has an adaptive PE class where he's learning things like T-Ball and practicing his bike riding skills. (Despite the way it may appear in the picture, that's not a full face helmet. He tends to look at his feet as he tries to pedal so it's actually the top of his head.)

He's also doing a lot more communicating using a picture book as well as an AAC app on his iPad. Here's a pic of him experimenting with the phrases "I like it" and "I don't like it" on his AAC app. 

On a recent visit to the eye doctor, he pulled up the app and repeatedly hit the phrases "I'm scared" and "I don't like it." As much as I hated to hear that he was feeling that way, I was totally psyched to see him expressing himself. He's getting there, this one, and I'm as proud as ever.

And despite the usual big brother annoyance with little sister, he loves to hang with Sydney. They are buds and their connection grows each day.

Of course, daddy is still his favorite. I'm going to assume it's because he gets to spend less time with daddy and absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that but, well, I think you can see that they're really just two peas in a pod.

That's not to say he's not a mama's boy too. He absolutely is, 1000%. Particularly when he's sick, which has been quite a bit in the past few weeks. And as much as I hate it when Kaden's sick there is one very big upside; he actually lets me snuggle and cuddle him all I want. Silver linings.

A rare selfie with my boy. Yes, he's posing. Mr. Cool.

Sydney is very nearly 4 years old. She is whip smart, super-duper incredibly silly, and absolutely the most joyful person I have ever known. It's contagious. Usually.

She's an athlete in the making. She takes weekly classes in soccer, swimming and fitness . . .

And goes to play dates at friends' homes, the library, and a cool local art museum that hosts monthly preschool playdates. 

She's a helper . . .

And very brave - here she is "roaring" through her fear at the dentist. (Did I mention she loves Katy Perry?)

She asked for a "Hello Kitty" birthday party. Shocker, right?

So that's what's next for us. And I can't wait.