Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now Introducing...the Man-Tu!

Zander: "I wish there was a 'Man-Tu'...A tutu for boys like black or brown."

After Brad told me about this and suggested it as a blog post, I looked online and actually found a black tutu for sale, but it was at a place called "madamefantasy" or something like that, so I'm hoping this phase passes sooner rather than later.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in preschool anymore

The gist of the story is this:

While in line waiting, a bigger kid was pushing Zander. Zander said he pushed back but the other child said something along the lines of..."I'll be your biggest fan [if you let me ahead of you]." Zander thought that was a good deal and let him go ahead in the line. I promise you, I will hear "Pleeeeeease Mom...I'll be your biggest fan" in the very near future.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Reunion of Sorts

Here is Z with a friend from his preschool and his old pal Elizabeth. Apparently, it didn't even matter that the seats were nosebleeds, it rained on and off, and the Nationals lost yet another game. Fun was had by all. (Photo take by Brad.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

That's quite a last name

Zander has been talking a lot about a new friend in his kindergarten class named "Max." I asked Zander if he knew Max's last name. Zander said, "A Million," full of awe.

Get it?

Since I doubt that any parent would name their child "Max Amillion," I'm guessing that his full *first* name is actually "Maximilian" (or something to that effect).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Viral Video for Your Enjoyment (or Re-Enjoyment)

I've got nothin' in my blogging bones lately (other than talking about a certain baby's sleep patterns, which I know you are tired of hearing about). Instead, I post this viral video. You've probably seen it, as it's all over Facebook and Twitter and it's over six months old. However, just in case...

NOTE: I don't know this baby. I'm not even sure the video is real. But, you've gotta admit...it's pretty cute.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kindergarten update for the record

Every weekday my boy has been happily getting on a bus to go to kindergarten. He seems to enjoy school in general, although we don't get a lot of details. (We are wildly spoiled by his preschool, which posted daily journals of the children's work as part of extending the projects. See this post and this post, for example).

In his kindergarten class, Zander has the opportunity to earn "super-kid" awards for good behavior. As of this writing, he has been at school for seven days and has earned six "super-kid" awards. Once a child earns five awards, he or she can trade them in and make a trip to a treasure box. Yesterday, Z traded his awards in and came home with a piece of plastic something-or-other. Seriously, I couldn't figure out what it was and neither could he. It was missing some other (key) parts, but he was thrilled with it nonetheless. (I will not debate the merits of extrinsic vs. instrinsic motivation on this blog. I won't I promise. At least not today. Instead, I'll just bore my friends and husband to death talking about it. After all, we've resorted to full-scale bribery too.)

So, what's he learning in kindergarten? Well, the other night at dinner while we were playing charades -- which we do frequently in an attempt to get Zander to sit at the table for more than, oh ten seconds -- he raised his hand instead of shouting out the answer. Apparently, raising one's hand is a surefire way to earn a "super-kid" award. Who knew? Also, although Zander has shown an interest in the months of the year for a long time now, I was still surprised when I asked Brad the date on Wednesday and Zander responded, "September 16, 2009!"

Finally, he is preoccupied with the possibility of missing the bus (yet still dilly-dallies getting ready). Go figure. When we ask him to brush his teeth he says, "We're gonna miss the bus!" When we pull up to the bus stop he says, "Maybe we missed the bus."

P.S. Also, he now knows the pledge of allegiance. (I had forgotten all about it until he mentioned it, but then I recited it by heart.) Yesterday was "Constitution Day" and he came home with a coloring page that said, "We love the USA" and a little book that included "respect the flag" or something to that affect. I hope there is also a "Diversity Day" or an "International Day."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Robbers!

For reasons I am not totally sure, Zander has developed an intense fear of "robbers." He asks about them daily. He reminds us to lock the doors (and windows!) each night. He's afraid a robber will take his Taggies blanket. He asked what would happen if robbers dressed like police and we couldn't tell the difference. (That question -- and the reality of it -- scares me too!) He went so far as to say that he didn't want to earn any money because then a robber might want to take it.

We can't figure out where this fear is coming from. Sure, there is a (fairly mild) story about bank robbers in one of the Flat Stanley chapter books we have. But, in the end (an invisible -- not flat) Stanley helps to apprehend the robbers and all is well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cass at 9 months

This is Cassandra at nine months old. Literally -- this photo was taken on Friday during her 9-month check-up, which just happened to be around the exact time she was born.

She's cute (we think), as you can see. She does most of the things a normal 9-month old does -- she eats, drinks, poops, smiles, and crawls. She even signs "more."

What she does NOT do, however, is sleep (at least not in any predictable fashion). In desperation, we reached out to this sleep consultant, known as "The Sleep Lady." So far, we've seen significant improvement in Cassandra's nighttime sleep, but as of this writing, very little (if any) improvement in her daytime sleep. We're keeping our fingers crossed and trying, trying, trying. It's hard on us (as the sleep coaching involves some crying) and hard on Zander too. We shall see.

P.S. Usually, we call her Cassandra, sometimes "Cass." But, for some reason, Zander calls her "Kee," sometimes "Kee-kee."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Snapshots of a Bat Mitzvah

As mentioned a few days ago, we were in New Jersey over the long weekend for a Bat Mitzvah. If this is sounding familiar, it's because we went to the Garden State less than a year ago for a Bar Mitzvah. (Relive it in all its glory here and here.)

You were expecting photos of a Torah, maybe some challah getting cut, a little hava nagila dancing including a person or two being lifted up in a chair? Well, all those things happened, but so did these:

Brad and Z:

Cassandra and me:

Zander and the girl (now woman) of honor:

It's worth noting that Zander was absolutely smitten with the Bat Mitzvah girl (now woman). Who wouldn't be?

For the record, they handed out the sequined hats, glow necklaces, sunglasses, and blinking bracelets as favors. Repeat: the turquoise, sequined newsboy hat was *not* part of my original attire for the event.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another first

This is my little boy willingly getting on a big GIANT public school bus to go off to his first day of kindergarten. I think this photo caught him just as he was contemplating whether or not he really wanted to get on. Indeed, there were days when we doubted he would ever willingly do this. Remember the gymnastic debacle?

Four different buses past by before his stopped. When I saw the lights go on and the red "stop" sign come out, I grabbed my sunglasses (at the suggestion of another parent -- to hide my eyes even though it was a cloudy day), the camera, and we hopped out of the car. It all happened so fast -- before I knew it he was on the bus and the driver barked, "Kindergartners need to sit near the front!" And then they were off. My baby, my first born. Off on a bus. It was a first for him and a first for me. I cried like a baby. The other, more seasoned parent who was kind (and somewhat amused) asked for my camera to take a picture of me on Z's first day. (As you might imagine, that photo has since been confiscated and destroyed.)

Honestly, I think I was/am more nervous about this major transition than Z is.

P.S. They ask that the children wear those big name badges for the first two weeks. The badges indicate where they should go after kindergarten ends. (Ours is one of a handful of schools in the state that does not have all day kindergarten, so Z is in after-kindergarten care and then in after-after-kindergarten care. Long story.) Lord, please don't let them lose him during the day as he transfers from place to place.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lowering the bar

So, I used to be organized and prepared. I prided myself on having everything I needed or anything that others might have needed in my good 'ole diaper bag. Need an extra diaper? I had one! Need some snacks, a juice box -- no problem! Jill's got it.

Well that was -- BSK (Before Second Kid).

Brad keeps telling me that I need to "lower the bar" and be easier on myself for the silly little mistakes I make and for being less prepared than I used to be. Well, boy I have lowered the bar this weekend!

We're in New Jersey for a Bat Mitzvah (yes, another one). And here's what I've done to lower the bar so far:
  • failed to bring clothing for Z (so we actually had to go out and buy some underwear);

  • forgot a belt for Z;

  • forgot to bring snacks or things to preoccupy Zander during the long service;

  • lost Cassandra's Taggies blanket;

  • forgotten to take the camera to any of the family events so far;

  • etc. etc.
Nothing catastrophic by any means, so I'm not beating myself up too much. But jeez, I feel like I'm in my own personal cruel game of limbo. (That analogy doesn't really make sense, since when you lower the bar in the game of limbo, it actually gets *more* difficult. But I'm also lowering the bar on coherent analogies in my blog posts.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let Good Sense Prevail

Long story how this came about. In fact, I'm not entirely sure I understand it, but my mom had a letter-to-the-editor published in the Miami Herald today. (My parents live in South Florida. In fact, I grew up there.)

This is what it said:

Healthcare should be a moral imperative for all, not a for-profit endeavor for a few. Our country is in a stranglehold from corporate lobbying against healthcare reform. Let good sense prevail.

That's my mom -- talkin' about good sense. That's what it is all about. That's what it has always been about. And when I say "it," I mean everything, not just health care. And you know what, I'm starting to agree with her, which I do more and more these days. Don't tell my teenage self that though. She'd be mortified.

You can see the letter on this page. (Scroll down past the Gadhafi letter.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When? How?

When did my child get big enough to ride a real ride at an amusement park instead of one of those kiddie rides that doesn't really do much? WHEN? And how in the world is it that he will be starting kingdergarten in a week? HOW?

(Photo taken a few days ago during a quick trip to Rehoboth, DE to visit Grandma Paula and Pap-Pap.)