Monday, September 27, 2010

"babies can't do that!"

Perhaps understandably, Sebastian has been very fixated on the idea of babies lately. At the playground, he'll push the baby swings and pretend that he's pushing our baby. He likes to say hi to our baby, and to give her stickers, and to talk endlessly about what babies can and can't do. Mostly what they can't do. So he'll lift something, and say "Babies can't do that!". He'll eat something, and say "Babies can't eat that". He'll jump, or climb, and say "Babies can't do that!". In fact, I can't think of anything that he thinks babies can do, which is pretty accurate for the early stages anyway. :) I do worry a bit that he's trying to create a box of his activities and toys and life, into which the baby is not invited, and that when she does start to crawl and get interested in his toys, we'll hear this same refrain. But that's months off -

Another funny thing is that Sebastian doesn't refer to other babies he knows by their names or by their parents' names, but as being the property of their sibling. Hence he says "Nathan's baby", and "Silas' baby", and "Danica's baby". I wonder if our baby will be Sebastian's baby, or if Steve and I will get any credit at all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

the fire truck bribe

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We promised Sebastian a fire truck (like Silas', which he adored), if he could be a good sleeper for three nights in a row. He had to make it through the night by himself, with no crying, no fussing, and no calling for mommy and daddy until 6am, when the green light on his clock comes on.

He wasn't quite perfect, but we gave him the fire truck on Wednesday anyway, for terrific effort.

He's really thrilled. So are we - we've slept through the night most nights for the last week or so. Lo and behold, bribery is alive and well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Big Kids room daily log

Carina and Theresa, the two teachers in the Big Kids (3's) room, send home a sheet every day listing the day's activities. It's been fun to read, especially since it gives me an idea of what to talk to Sebastian about on the drive home. And they're actually doing something like school units: last week's theme was frogs and toads, and this week's is mythical creatures.

I thought I might try to post the daily log once a week. Except, of course, we're already at the end of the 3rd week. So here's the first clump:

First week!
Welcome to the Big Kids room! It is so nice to meet the new big kids and family. In circle we learned each others names and read the Hungry Caterpillar book. For activity we played with foam and molded it into different shapes such as pizza and hot dogs. We played outside and saw our friends from the toddler room and pre-k. We played in the sandbox and chased bubbles that Teresa blew.

In circle we had a book about different kinds of food. We talked about fruit, meat, fish, vegetables, water. For activity we made art from foam paint. We used our hands to blend the colors. We welcomed a new big kid and showed him all the toys. We played outside together. We rode bikes, climbed, raced, and more.

We are learning the new routine of the Big Kids room. In circle we read a book about two friends fighting over a toad. We talked about sharing and taking turns. We welcomed our new pet toads. We are still thinking of the perfect name for the new one. We are between naming it Alicia, Ariel, and Saddle. For activity we used stamps to make pictures. We played outside with the pre-k.

We had our first show and tell! We saw a lot of fun things from home. We saw backpacks, books, Woody, buses, a stretchy toy, and fire truck, and more. For activity we practiced cutting paper with scissors. We learned how to hold the scissors and not to cut too close to our fingers. We played outside with the pre-k. We found spiders. We welcomed our fish and water frogs back. We had a wonderful first week!

Second week: frogs and toads!
Monday, 9/13/10
In circle we sang lots of songs. We had a book about all different kinds of frogs. We talked about their many colors. We jumped and made frog sounds. For activity we painted paper frogs brown and green. We also had our first fire drill. We learned that we must get out in a hurry when we hear the alarm and go up the hill. We don't have to be afraid of the noise. We played outside with the pre-K.

In circle we read a book about toads. We talked about the difference between frogs and toads. For activity we played a ring toss game. We watched our toad climb up the glass. We fed our frogs and fish. We played with the trains and made a long track. We listened to books about monkeys and frogs. We played together outside.

In circle we had a book about Diego saving tree frogs. We helped read the pictures in the story out loud. For activity we played leap frog. We jumped over one paper towel, then two, then three, then four. We did an amazing job jumping. We are practicing using our words to solve problems and ask for things. We had fun playing outside.

In circle we read a book about frogs. We saw many different colors and sizes of frogs. We even saw our pet toads in the book! We learned that they are called fire-bellied toads because they have an orange belly. Since frogs and toads eat bugs, we played bug dominoes together. We learned to take turns and match pictures.

We had a great show and tell. We saw cars, trucks, marshmallows, puzzles, necklaces, and more. Everyone had interesting stories to tell about their object. For activity we put the toy frogs in order from tadpole to grown up frog. We used what we learned all week and tried to remember the frog life cycle. We had fun playing outside. We like to go high on the swing and drive the cars.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sebastian, Nathan, and the potty

Apparently, Nathan and Sebastian have been inseparable at daycare recently. They play with cars and trucks together indoors, and they chase each other around on cars and trikes when outdoors. They nap side by side. And when Sebastian goes to use the potty, Nathan goes with him. (Nathan is not quite on the potty wagon yet - he has a new baby brother, a new house, and the new room at daycare, and having to give up the diapers is just one step too many.)

Earlier this week, Sebastian tried to move things along. Their conversation, overheard by one of the teachers, went something like this:
Seb: "See, you just climb up these steps, and you pull down your pants, and your underwear, and you sit down. And then the pee comes! You want to try?"
Nathan: "I don't have to pee."

I really, really wish I could have heard that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

sleep training, part 12 (23? 56?)

In a final bid to get Sebastian to sleep through the night before the new baby arrives (in 6 weeks!!), we have spent the last week once again trying the tough approach. We lock him in, behind the gate, at 8 pm, and tell him we'll be back when his clock glows green and says it's ok to wake up, at 6 am.

We started last Thursday. The first night, he cried for three hours. The second night, three hours of crying and pleading and shrieking. Third night, three hours again. And then finally, finally, progress. Two nights ago, only an hour, and last night, only 30 minutes. And he is making it back to sleep on his own, without us giving in and going to cuddle with him, or sit by his bed.

The crying and screaming is actually easier to ignore then the pleading and reasoning and asking. He starts to get very sweet. He says things like, "I'm a little bit lonely", and "I'm sad", and "It'd be really nice if you would come and cuddle, please?". (The first, in particular, comes out as "I'm a wittle bit wonely", which breaks my heart.)

He doesn't go back to sleep in his bed, either - he gets his blue blanket, his duckies, and his pillow, and he curls up on the hardwood floor next to the gate - basically as close to us as he can possibly get - and sleeps there for the remainder of the night. The first night, I moved him back to his bed. But I've decided to just leave him there now, if that's what he prefers. I did put a yoga mat down last night, to soften things a bit.

We are really hoping that he stops waking and crying out at all, and finally sleeps (consistently) through the night on his own, waking and making it back to sleep without parental intervention. It would be a miracle.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"This is Richard's CD. My only knowledge when I got to the studio was how he seemed to have wanted this for a long time. You're in a position to have somebody do something that they really want to do, and it was not something that would hurt me or damage me - why not? All the dreams you show up in are not your own."

--Gil Scott-Heron, in the August 9, 2010 issue of The New Yorker

Saturday, September 4, 2010

5th anniversary!

Yesterday morning on my way to work I saw a woman wearing a light-colored skirt that had turned completely see-through in the morning sun. And the memory it immediately brought to mind was our wedding morning, five years ago today.

My mom and I were in my hotel room getting ready - we had hair and makeup done and were about to put our fancy clothes on. Mom put on her lovely pink dress and then stood by the window, where she realized, to her horror, that it was in fact see-through. You could see her legs, and not indistinctly either. Since our wedding was going to be outside, in a rose garden, with plenty of pictures afterward, this was clearly unacceptable. (Even though they were extremely nice legs.) She freaked out. She called my uncle Eugene, who drove back from the park, picked her up, took her to the local Sears (Macy's, whatever), and waited while she dashed inside to buy a slip.

Meanwhile, I, having assured her that my wedding would not under any circumstances begin without her, was left alone in my hotel room, with no graceful way of getting into my dress. Fortunately, Kim was still in the hotel, and she came to help.

Mom came back, the slip worked out, she looked marvelous (and not nearly naked), and the wedding proceeded. It was a gloriously beautiful and happy day. But isn't it funny that the things we remember about our wedding day, and really any occasion - they are so rarely the things we expect to remember.

Anyway. Happy 5th anniversary, my dear Stephen.

Friday, September 3, 2010

pink pants!

We had a babysitter come this week - Judy - as our daycare has been closed for vacation. Judy took Sebastian over to the Karyos for a playdate with Sonya. Seb was a little too excited to remember the potty, and ended up having an accident, which led to the following fashion statement. I think he looks quite dashing. :)

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

and now for something completely different

I just adored this montage. It made me want to dance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

weekend fun

The weather last weekend in New York was glorious, and we took full advantage. On Saturday, after reuniting with our boy on Friday night, we visited Caumsett State Park near Huntington, on Long Island. We went for a long walk along some shaded paths and ended up on a beach overlooking the LI Sound.

On Sunday, we drove north to Canopus Beach near Cold Spring, NY. We hadn't yet visited this summer and felt that the summer was incomplete without at least one trip up.

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