Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My bestest news yet

Okay, Nate hit his most important milestone ever - he laughed independently on something that happened on TV. I hadn't laughed, and there was no laugh track - he saw something happen and found it funny.

Okay, here's the best part: he laughed at a guy falling down. The oldest funny thing in the world - a guy falling down. In this case, actually, it was three Backyardigans falling down, one after another, while ice skating. He grinned at the first one falling down, grinned at the second one falling down, and then squealed with laughter once the third one hit the dust.

It was amazing.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Big news!

I've been trying like mad to get Nate enrolled in preschool. I had intended to wait until he was 3; I'm a SAHM, so I don't need him in school. But the more his personality blossomed, I thought that the friends and fun of preschool would be something he'd really love. Plus, it would give me some time alone with The Turkey once s/he arrived. My goal was a Monday - Friday morning program, especially one where Stewart could drop Nate off on his way to work.

I worked for months on this. Nothing doing - everyone had accepted applications starting in March, or held lotteries that were long since over. The school I really wanted, School for Friends, has a two year-old class that holds 8 kids, and the waiting list had 31 people on it when I called. Eek.

Last week, I upped the efforts and started including daycare centers. Turned down frequently, put on some wait lists, but nothing. And NOBODY offered part-time care, which meant paying around $1,600 / month. Eek again.

However, one person suggested calling a few other places, and lo and behold one daycare center had just opened up a new two year-old room, so they were accepting new kids. AND they had one kid on a Tuesday / Thursday schedule, which meant they could let us fill in with the Monday / Wednesday / Friday part of it. I toured it on Friday, and officially enrolled him this morning.

I still have to pay for full-day care, even though my intention is to pick him up after lunch every day (though it's nice to know that I can leave him all day if I really want to). I talked to all of the other parents I could find, and all were very happy with the program. They do breakfast, playtime, outside time, program time (arts and crafts, etc.), and then lunch every day. Then if he stays, it would be nap, snack, and more program time until I came to pick him up.

He starts September 10th. I'm a lot more freaked out about this than I thought I would be. The teachers seems okay, but not super. I'm sure I'm being overprotective. I'm going to give it a few more visits before I start to worry. There wasn't anything major - just some benign neglect where they sat around talking while the kids were all playing by themselves, and a little bit tough on one kid when he was yelling too much. But like I said, the parents were all really happy, and several I talked to had waited over a year on a wait-list to get into this center. They like us to ease the kids in by leaving them for longer and longer periods, so I'll get more chances to see how the classroom works.

The great parts are:

* It's Downtown, which means that Stewart can drop him off in the mornings
* I have the full-day option for days I'm exhausted or The Turkey is killing me (and Stewart can bring him back home, in that case)
* They have a nice program, with lots of time outside
* They had a M, W, F spot!
* Lots of fun kids for Nate to play with, and they're all on the older end of 2 so I think he'll get a real boost with his language. Plus he'll have other really coordinated kids to play with.
* I get some time alone with The Turkey!

So that's our big news. I'm already thinking about hidden tape recorders that I can glue under his shirt to make sure the teachers are being nice to him. I truly didn't expect that this would be hard for me. I'm so weak. But I'm also so happy for Nate!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I knew I had a purpose in this world

Tonight after a long day, Nate happily climbed the stairs, walked up to his crib, smiled at me, and asked "nap?"

Yes, Nate. Nap.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Semi-homemade cooking with Leah Wagner

At least I won't make one of those crazy cocktails that Sandra always makes. I love the idea of her show, but somehow I just can't watch her. She's too twiggy. So, here's dinner for tonight:

Two bell peppers
1/2 large onion
Can of garbanzo beans, drained (rinsed if you like)
Block of extra-firm tofu
Jar of Trader Joes Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce

Early in the day, while you still have some energy, chop the peppers and onion up into 1 inch squares. Do the same with the tofu.

Before the toddler starts whining for dinner, sautee the peppers, onions, and tofu on a light setting in some olive oil until everything's softer or until the whining starts. Add in the garbanzo beans and cook for another few minutes. Upend the entire jar of Simmer Sauce over the top of the whole thing and stir it around for a minute or two to feel like you're really cooking.

Serve immediately to toddler. Put everything else aside for dinner for the adults. If any energy remains, cook up some rice before adults eat.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We have a stroller!

Announcing the arrival of our brand new stroller!

It's so pretty! And my favorite part is that we can use it as a single if I want to go out with only one baby. And it's so pretty! And it handles like a dream. Pretty.

Got some fun accessories, and will be browsing around to find more.

Thanks so much to Grandma Jill ("Mama") and Grandpa ("Papa") for the incredibly generous gift!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Note to future lazy me

There is no better feeling than taking a shower at night while your kid is sleeping, Roomba is vacuuming for you, the dishwasher is cleaning your dishes, and the dryer is drying the laundry. It's like having servants. Now if only one of them could cook dinner for me, I'd be set.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monthly Newsletter, Month Twenty-Two

Dear Nate,

This has been one of the most fun months yet with you. You are the most cheerful, enthusiastic kid! Daddy and I are just totally enjoying spending time with you, and you seem to really like us, too.

Language is taking off. You're all about the two-word phrase now, and are working hard on picking up the words all around you. You count 2-6 now, and can name tons of items around the house. My favorite thing is that instead of saying "more" now, you say "two more!" You're upping the ante.

A few weeks ago you said your first sentence. To put it in context: you were bummed about having to leave Bumper home, and were totally rejecting the idea of only having "little Bumper" with you. As I walked you out of the house without Bumper, you said "Want two more bumpers!" You want two more of lots of things now. And instead of saying "gimme" like every other kid, you point at what you want and say "'dat one!"

You can't say the "ess" or "ch" sounds, so you do a lot of compensating.

Bus = buck
Peach = Peet
Truck still equals "FUCK!"

We have little conversations now, and it's such a joy. Whenever you hurt yourself, you come find me and say "Mama?" and hold out your poor little thumb or whatever you've whacked. I say "Oh no, did you hurt yourself?" and you say "yeah" really mournfully. I say "Oh no, are you okay?" and you say "yeah" and then go back about your business.

Your manners are great. You cheerfully say "thank you" without prompting about 80% of the time now, and please with prompting. You say "hi" and "bye" to people, and smile at almost everyone. You handle being told "no" pretty well, and your tantrums are down to maybe once every two weeks. You don't hit anymore, and when I take you away from the TV or a toy you only whine a little bit. I can't think of an almost-two-year-old who is better behaved! But you still have a bit of spunk, thank goodness. I am so proud of you.

Before putting you in the crib, I ask you if you want me to sing you a song. Most of the time, you say "yeah." I say "What song should I sing?" and you think for a minute. Then you usually say "tinkle?" and I say "Twinkle?" and you say "yeah." Then I sing Twinkle Twinkle to you. See, we're communicating!

You've really made yourself at home here. You open up your toy drawer and get started playing with your trucks or blocks without any help from me. You have really grown to love drawing, and will plunk down on the floor or couch and doodle up a storm. Your new favorite game is to take Bumper and your baby doll up on the couch and pretend to go "night night" by lying down and covering yourself up with Bumper.

You also really like to help out. You help put your shoes away in the bin after we take them off, and you throw things in the garbage for me. You like to help us carrying things, complete with tough-guy straining sounds no matter how heavy or light the thing you're carrying is. You are just game for anything.

You are still madly in love with Sophia down the street. We went to the zoo last week, and you guys had so much fun. She loves being in charge, since she's the youngest in her preschool, and you would follow her straight into the chicken's den.

I'm busying planning your big-boy room, and hope that it'll be ready for your second birthday or soon after. You love going to Ikea and pretending to go night-night on their toddler beds. Hopefully you'll like your own bed as much!

You are still freaky strong. I can barely lift you these days, and everyone's commenting on how big you're getting, but you can still hold yourself up!

Seriously, Nate, we hare having such a great time being your parents. You are joyful and cheerful, independent but loving. You like being with us, hour after hour. You are good-natured, curious, and friendly. We truly wouldn't change a thing.