Friday, December 10, 2010

'Tis the Season

This is my favorite time of year.
I LOVE feeling like a kid again and the excitement of
seeing the magic in my children's eyes as the house
gets all dressed up for the season and the Merry moves in.

This year is even more amazing as we watch and HEAR
Aiden learn and speak and truly begin to understand the season.
We're hearing, "TISMIS TEE" and "SANNA AUS" and "REINDEER"
and "TANY TANE" and "EL" (elf), and "SOMAN".
He gets it. I think it's inbred in every kid's heart and mind,
because he's NEVER picked up on SO many words
in so little time.

I LOVE how all my kids get excited about decorating the house and
the Christmas tree while jamming out to Christmas tunes,

even if the experience is short lived and they're just fine with leaving
mom to finish the job by herself.

I LOVE how Aiden walks around with all
the musical ornaments, LISTENING to the
Christmas music, HUMMING along with it.

I LOVE how my husband is all Clark Griswaldish
and has to have the biggest Christmas tree our ceilings will allow AND
the best lighted house on the block.
Not super crazy like, but he's smiling ear to ear knowing
we're the only house with lights outlining our roof.
(side note: according to him, the neighbor across the street
who has someone decorate for him does not count.)

I LOVE how Aiden sits and admires his own
"Tismis Tee" we put up in his playroom,
and decorated together. He's so proud of it and

I kid you not, he'll sit in his chair for long periods of time,
staring and smiling.

I LOVE baking cookies with my kids,
Christmas music blaring in the background, flour
everywhere, and half the dough eaten before
it ever makes it to the pan.

I LOVE how everyone is just that much more generous
and thoughtful to each other.
Such as this surprise I woke up to
the other morning from my sweet teenage son.

I LOVE how Aiden is addicted to "tany tanes".
He can't get enough.

Seriously, who can eat a WHOLE candy cane
like that in less then 10 minutes?

I LOVE how we get to spend Christmas this year with BOTH of our families.
It is our first year ever we've lived this close,
and I LOVE my kids get to celebrate the season with their
cousins, their aunts and uncles, and BOTH of their grandmas!

What do you LOVE about this time of year?

HaPpY HoLiDaYs

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ready or Not?

Aiden's ready. I'm not.

Last year at this time, we drove a good hour plus two times a week for Aiden to attend the program at The River School in Washington D.C. It was well worth the drive, as the program there is PHENOMENAL, but I truly don't think Aiden was completely ready for it all. He was the youngest in the class (by a few months), he still wasn't walking, he wanted nothing to do with circle time, he'd cry almost every time I dropped him off, and would cling to me the rest of the afternoon after I picked him up. Yet, even with all this, he grew a lot, and I learned a lot, in the short three months he was there.

When we moved to Ohio, I decided to not enroll him in any type of preschool program, but to enjoy my every moment with him (most likely being my last child) and prepare him better for his preschool days. Plus, we moved into a county with an amazing early intervention program and were able to take advantage of many extras such as music therapy, Little Gym, multiple focus play groups, and a weekly toddler play group all funded by the program and still get in structured playtime with other kids his age.

I'm glad we made this decision. I LOVE my days with him and he's really come a LONG way. Today, he doesn't shed a tear when I drop him off for play group, he's talking SO much more, and receptively he understands so much more. He's done a complete 360 when it comes to keeping his attention to the task at hand and to structure all around. He's growing up. He's ready.

and not only is he ready socially, but very much cognitively as well.

WARNING - Mommy Brag Moment: he counts to 15, recognizes and names the numerals 0 to 10, knows all his shapes and identifies what shape an object is (i.e. his Lego table is a "sware"), knows all his colors, says the abcs, and can recognize and say around 7-10 letters, is completing simple patterns, etc.

My little explorer is ready to go, no matter how much his mommy is not ready to let him go.

I am so proud of him.

(note: turn off music to the right. and I apologize, but I am having trouble captioning right now, but will try again soon.)

this video was taken over a month ago.

and although I think I'm not ready to send him off, that I'll miss him terribly, that he's still too young, that he's my last child and I need to hold on to every.single.minute with him ... I'm sure it won't be TOO terribly hard to find the fun and joy of some mommy alone time.


When can he start?