Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Easter Egg Hunt

One of the perks to our neighborhood is that they put on big events throughout the year. At Christmas, they did a little festival with s'mores, carriage and train rides, Santa, and even a little shopping. It was so fun! So when I got word of the Easter Egg Hunt, I knew we wouldn't be let down! 

The kids each got to hunt for eggs with their age group (one group at a time) which was a god-send for me since I took them by myself (Josh was working). Nathaniel went first and obviously the eggs weren't really hidden for his age group. He was confused at first but caught on quickly and gathered a dozen up pretty fast! Then got to work eagerly opening the eggs to get to the candy. :) 
Joshua's group was next..this was a little trickier because he still needed my help in the crowd, making sure he didn't get lost, get in a fight, or take more than his share of eggs. The hard part was trying to do that while also keeping Nathaniel from taking more eggs or running off somewhere. It was chaotic for a few minutes but we all made it out OK!
Audrey waited so patiently for her turn and by the time they blew the whistle for her group to go, she was off! She must have been the first kid in her group to gather her 12 eggs, haha. She was sprinting and was serious about this job! I think she just wanted the candy...and the chance to say, "I was first!". LOL
Next we went over to the clubhouse to see the Easter Bunny but the line was way too long to stand in with Nathaniel. Instead we headed into the lounge room for donuts and juice. Extra surprise were the cups of jelly beans the kids (quickly) located. Lots of sugar and all before 10am!! 
Outside they had a small area set up with baby animals that the kids could look at and even touch and hold! Audrey had some eggs in her classroom that recently hatched into baby chicks, so this was extra special for her. She kept telling the boys how to be gentle when holding the babies and other cute little tips. All three kids were extra giddy when the baby goat started "bleating". It was so cute! Made me consider for a split second moving to the country where we could have baby farm animals. And then I was like LOL NO. 

It was a chilly morning and Nathaniel wasn't feeling well, so once we had made our rounds to all of the attractions we headed back home. Nathaniel took a wonderful 2 hour nap and Audrey and Joshua ate waaaaaaay too much Easter candy! A good time had by all. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joshua Jr, Age 3

Joshua has been growing up so much in the past 6 months. He's grown taller, talks more, has bigger thoughts and ideas...and opinionated as ever!!
 He started going to school 5 days a week in January. I wasn't excited about this, but the school doesn't have a 3 day option for 3 year olds, it goes directly from 2 days at 2 years to 5 days at 3. So he's there every morning until noon. He likes it. He comes home happy, but tired. He eats lunch and then naps when we get home from school, so pretty much his whole day is gone until after we get home from getting Audrey from school. He does love to tell me about his day - I always ask who he had snack with and what they ate, who did he play with at recess and what did they play (usually hi-ya/karate games and some sort of racing game), and I ask what work he did. A few weeks after he started in the class, his teacher held an open house so all the parents could come and see what the kids are working on. It was child led of course, so JJ took us around the room picking out his work and showing us how he does it. It was so neat!! I love the Montessori materials and I just thought it was so cool to see him using and learning from them! I also did an observation in his class last week so I could see him interacting with the other kids in the room and with his teachers - since the open house was more of him showing us around rather than working naturally. It was really cute seeing him talking to his friends and being himself.  Its a side of him I don't see much - interacting with kids that are not family. Since we have 3 playmates built in between home and Liam, JJ doesn't get to do a whole lot of play dates and such the way Audrey did when she was his age. I regret that a little bit, I do wish he could have more of "his" friends the way she did and really develop himself away from Audrey. I love that they are BFFs but I know he could benefit from having some time with other kids.
A couple of years ago, I did an interview with Audrey where I asked her about her favorite things. I did the same for Joshua the other day, so here it is!
Favorite Movie: Cars ("Racin Cars!" as he calls it)
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Chips
Favorite TV Show: Wild Kratts
Favorite Toy: Buzz Lightyear and Woody
Favorite Drink: Water
Best Friend: Caleb (school friend)
I asked him some other questions but he was starting to get silly and his answers were just as silly. I am working on trying to get him to be more patient with Nathaniel, and also working on getting Nathaniel to realize boundaries (with joshua and EVERYONE ELSE!). They fight....a lot. Usually Nathaniel is bugging JJ and then JJ reacts..violently..and then everyone is crying. I am trying to be more physically present with the two of them when I can, meaning I'll put off the dishes or chores until later so I can play with them and play moderator. I noticed it was helping a lot a couple of months ago and that they were fighting less, but the truth is I just can't be there every moment to watch what happens between them. I know it will get better with time as Nathaniel matures and stops doing annoying baby things to Joshua, and as Joshua matures and can express himself in ways other than hitting. It will come.....eventually.....
He is such a little sweetie. He's definitely the most cuddly and loving child of mine. He loves to be held, cuddled, hugged, head and back rubbed, anything TOUCH, he loves! Sometimes when we're cuddling on the couch or in his bed at night, he'll run his fingers along my face or rub my hair. Last night Nathaniel fell asleep next to JJ during our movie night, and I looked over at one point and JJ had scooted really close to him and was lightly rubbing Nathaniel's arm. I just about melted!! It was nice to see that moment of love between them, even if it did occur when one of them was asleep LOL. At least it showed me Joshua does actually love his baby brother :)
He still has his "Kikis" - his lovies/blankies. There are only two of them now. At one point he had 5 or 6, but we've lost them over the years (sad, I know) and only two remain. One of them is called "Yellow kiki" (yes its Yellow) and the other is "Mean Kiki". I do not know why he calls it mean kiki...he just started calling it that one day and it stuck. He is VERY attached to them and talks about them as though they are people. If someone sits on one, he yells and runs over to save his kiki. The other day he was in his room playing with Josie and all of a sudden, he started screaming and crying..I thought he was hurt! I ran in and grabbed him and asked what's wrong? Are you hurt?? He managed to sob out, "Josie bite Mean Kiki!". It was like he physically felt the bite himself but I asked him where it hurst and he showed me a spot on the kiki. LOL. I think the kiki is an extension of himself. **In Josie's defense, I suspect she playfully mouthed it, i don't think she bit it**
This morning when he woke up and we were walking down the stairs, he hugged his kikis really close and said, "My mean kiki so nice. Mean kiki my best friend". So sweet. And I fully embrace it - I know it probably makes me a bad mom to let him walk around with his blankie and suck his thumb, but I think its the cutest thing on earth so I embrace it. I do draw the line and taking it into places/out of the car. Not because I truly care, but because I'm worried they'll get lost and then that would be heartbreaking.
He is so full of personality. He likes to play "Hi-Ya" where he goes around making karate jumps and kicks. He also likes playing spider man and asks sometimes to watch the show. He makes friends everywhere we go. He has no fear of walking up to a group of kids at the park and just jumping in to their game. The best part is he doesn't even care how old they are. Its hilarious to see him running around playing games with kids that are 5+ years older than he is, but he loves it, and usually they seem to think he's the cutest thing ever so it works out. He likes being silly and making faces, and playing cars and trains still. He started swim class back in December and he looks forward to it every week. He asks almost every day if today is swim class! He is working on his front float right now, last week he mastered his back float. He loves being in the water and I can't wait for summer and the pool! I want to get him in another sport/activity soon, but probably won't until school gets out. I plan to stop swim lessons for the summer so that may be a good time to find soccer or a T Ball group for him to join. He would probably love gymnastics too, so maybe I'll look in to that as well.
His birthday party (3+ months ago..) was at Bounce Mania, which is one of those places that has inflatable bounce houses. It was all planned and ready to go on his bday, and then he woke up with some serious pink eye. Probably the worst case the kids have ever gotten! He could barely open his eyes! So sad. I had to cancel the party and reschedule it for the following week. A few people couldn't make it the next week, but he didn't really notice anyone was missing because he was having way too much fun. He loved being the center of attention for once! Except in the above photo, in which he was very unhappy about being squished and squeezed between people. LOL
I am so excited to watch him continue to grow and learn this year. I remember from Audrey that it starts happening SO FAST now. Age 3 seems to be such a growing year and I am already seeing that in him. Here's to another fantastic year with our little buddy!