Sunday, October 23, 2016

Changing Peer Group: Sunday Snapshot

Abigail's peer group at her birthday party 3 years ago and her current peer group at her party today.  The composition has changed so much.

(Sunglasses were added to help protect the anonymity of the kids who do not belong to me.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Joseph, approaching 4 years old

This is an update about Joseph.  He is attending Montessori School and thriving.  He is learning about the big world around him and his place within it.  He can name major landmarks (there's nothing cuter than hearing him say "Mount Rushmore") and he is learning discipline, focus, and pride in his learning.  We are so proud of him.

He has conversations with us.  His conversations and speech are developing and he speaks long sentences that contain abstract things like his thoughts, wishes, or jokes.  He is a witty little guy and we love talking with him.  He no longer wants Abigail to be his voice for him.

Joseph wants to do the things the rest of us do.  Yesterday, he ran in his first race, a tot-trot of about 100 yards at the Go For Bo event.  He had a bib-number and everything.  (Do NOT call it a bib to him; bibs are for babies!)  Feeling whiny about having to wear a number, he clung to Larry's leg as the tots lined up.  He clung as the announcer said "On your marks."  But as the announcer said "Get Set," Joseph jumped off of Lar's leg in a 180 degree pounce and assumed a ready position.  He took off at "Go!" as though he was being chased by a lion.  I only had one shot at a picture and it really doesn't do his intensity or his speed or his sheer joy justice.

As Abigail is getting older and doing a few more things that he can't yet, we try to do special things with him.  His favorite special thing?  Going out for sushi with his favorite grown-ups in his life.  Last Sunday night he had sushi with Lar and me while Abigail had a sleep over with her grandparents.  Today, while Abigail was at a birthday party, Joseph went for sushi with my mother and me.  I ordered 4 rolls for he and I to split.  He ate a California while I ate a tuna roll.  Then we started sharing the salmon skin and smoked salmon rolls.  As we got down to the last 2 pieces of smoked salmon roll, he grabbed them and put them on his plate to lay claim to them.  Then, as we approached the last two pieces of the salmon skin roll, he wrapped his arms around the ends of the sushi-boat-plate and slid it away from me and more towards him.  All-in-all, he ate 11 pieces and was pretty proud of himself.  My mom and I laughed and laughed at him and how intense he is when he eats sushi!

He and Abigail continue to be best friends.  They have their own imaginary world, their own games where they already know the rules that have been pre-established and evolved together in their world.  They have their own jokes and even their own language for things.  They are an amazing duo and are better together than apart so often.  

Fall Pumpkin Patch Tradition

This morning, we decided to make the most of this gorgeous fall weather and spend some family time at a working farm that was doing a low-key version of the sometimes over-blown fall festival.  We had a favorite pumpkin patch farm in Pennsylvania, but the 10 hour round-trip seemed like too much for a great festival.  We chose a local farm with plenty to do for kids approximately under 8 or 9 years old.  They weren't overwhelmed with too many people or too much to do but they were dirty, exhausted and happy 2.5 hours later.
We found the Great Pumpkin!  Jos was SO excited.

A family pic in a tree house that we will not be
using for our Christmas card, so, therefore
you can see it now.

Joseph, pining after the tractor driver.

So much dust in the hay barn

Joseph's uncles nicknamed him Badger for his strength
but I think Abigail gets the toughness award here!

Joseph drove the pumpkins from the car to the porch using
his awesome tractor.  

The enormous piles of sand filled with dump truck, back hoe, and excavator toys made it worth the price of admission for both of my kids.  They also loved picking out their pumpkins, petting animals, and swinging in a hay barn.  They were fascinated by the free-range chickens, in love with the fresh popcorn, and delighted that their grandparents could once again join us in the fun.  Joseph liked the hay ride and would like to grow up to be the tractor driver.  

Happy fall, y'all.  It is my favorite time of the year!!
(Can I pull off "y'all"?  I've been south of the Mason Dixon line for about 16 years.  It doesn't really roll of my tongue, but maybe I can get away with it in print?)