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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rediscovering D'arcy

Part of the joy of raising kids is discovering what kind of personality they have. The moment you think you know them, they surprise you. Recently, we feel like we have discovered a lot about who our little D'arcy is.

When we put D'arcy in preschool in August, we told ourselves that preschool would be an opportunity for her to scratch her social itch. We thought she would try to answer all of the questions, be the teacher's helper, or be tempted to spend class time socializing with other kids. She always seemed like such a outgoing person. She seems to make friends wherever she goes, from the Chik-fil-A playground to the airplane. We thought preschool would give her an opportunity to learn how to manage her social desires in a classroom setting.

Last week, we received D'arcy's mid-year progress report from school. This is what it said... Regarding Social Development the teacher made the following comment, "D'arcy mainly plays by herself. She is very choosy about her friends. She will say she has no one to play with but when someone asks her to play she usually says no!" Regarding Communication Behaviors the teacher made this comment, "D'arcy understands concepts learned in whole group and when called on, it is clear she can communicate her growth in learning, but she is moody and does not volunteer most information." Regarding Task-Related Behaviors the teacher said this, "Very successful fine motor development."

So, basically, she has no problem following direction and listening to the teacher. What she needs work on is being friendly and polite to people. The teacher has told me that the moodiness comes in when the class is doing some kind of group activity, and D'arcy will refuse to participate. She'll come home knowing the song they were singing because she sat quietly and watched, but she won't actually sing it in class. This isn't constant, but occurs frequently. She tells me that she simply gets tired and doesn't feel like participating.

We've asked her about her friends at school, and she will talk about some of her chosen favorites. For example, she told me today that she really likes a girl named Karina and has invited her to her 5th birthday party (which is still 7 months away). She then proceeded to tell me that Karina was playing with Ainsley today. We asked her if she played with both Karina and Ainsley, and she tells us that, no, Ainsley is not her friend and she will not play with her. Which leaves her to play by herself. She always gives a reason for someone not being her friend like he/she is mean to me or he is always getting into trouble.

None of this is necessarily bad, but just unexpected. We know that making friends and being polite are important in life, and so we are just trying to figure out how to coach her to be successful in light of her current inclinations. We still think she is probably an extrovert, but thrives in one-on-one situations instead of large groups.

On a different note, I've had the opportunity to observe D'arcy interact in a very sweet way with her little brother. She is extremely encouraging and helpful to him and sets him up for success. For example, the other day I asked Julian to let Begbie inside the house. He went to the back door and had trouble turning the knob. I was busy making lunch, and I asked D'arcy to go help him. She went to the back door and opened it just slightly, and then told Julian to try again. Julian went back to the door and was extremely excited when he opened it without trouble this time. D'arcy told him he did a great job.

On another occasion, D'arcy and Julian were sent into the living room to pick their toys up before lunch. D'arcy came back into the kitchen after several minutes and said, "Mom, Julian did a great job picking the toys up! I was watching TV, and he picked them all up by himself. Isn't that great?" Hmmmm.... Julian quickly followed into the kitchen and we both praised him for doing such a good job picking up the toys. D'arcy gave him a big hug. I was so tickled by D'arcy's encouragement of her brother that I didn't bring up the TV watching.

Lastly, I wanted to mention D'arcy's imaginary family. She now has a husband named John who she refers to as her sweetie and her honey. They have several children and pets together. He has to have room to sit pretty much wherever we the car and even in her bed. I'll tuck her in and she'll mention that her husband is sleeping to the side of her. She has had imaginary friends in the past. I think I wrote a blog about C'mon who hasn't been around for over a year. We don't discourage this role playing, but really just find it interesting. We know that she is very maternal as she pretends to deliver a baby while taking her bath and has told Stephen and I that she wants to be a grown up so that she can be a Mommy.

All of these discoveries have been bouncing around in my head this last week, and I thought that I would share them with all of you. Ultimately, I am lucky to have a very loving and intelligent little girl who makes life very interesting.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sprocket's First Photo Shoot

My friend Joy Crampton came over yesterday to capture some photos of my growing belly (something that is difficult to do myself). Here are a few of the photos we took. We took some with the kids too, but those haven't been edited yet so keep checking the blog.

I'm now 32 weeks along in my pregnancy and am getting comments like, "How much longer?" and "Are you having twins?". I had an appointment with my midwife last Thursday who casually noticed that baby was head up (2 weeks ago baby was head down). This sort of freaked me out as I don't want to be put in the position of having to decide to have cesarean or not or having a cesarean and then having to choose next time whether to try for a vaginal birth after 2 previous cesareans. That would be extrememly emotionally draining. Of course my midwife assurred me that I should not be worried, they don't even start thinking about the potential for breech until week 34, and that they are always most concerned about the babies who have never been head down. So I am trying to take every thought captive and stop my pointless worrying.

I don't think I shared this little story, yet. We were walking in a shop, and Julian was stopped and asked if Mommy was going to have a boy or a girl. He adamently replies, "It's a baby Sprocket!" Of course the woman looks at me totally clueless.




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Friday, January 9, 2009

Road Trip to Indiana

In order to capture some of our memories from our two week trip to Indiana, I am going to create one of my famous Top 10 Lists. So here goes...

1. Waking up Christmas morning with kids who ate breakfast and participated in our Advent lesson without asking about presents. Even when we started opening presents, the kids were patient to wait their turn to open each gift. It made Christmas morning so enjoyable. Julian did get a little impatient when Uncle Alex walked in and handed him his gift. I took the gift from him and told him to wait until everyone was ready, but Julian's eyes and hands kept wandering over to the gift that was clearly intended for him!

2. Gasping when D'arcy came out in her wedding gown. This dress came from Cracker Barrel and came complete with veil, bouquet, and a garter that Dad just couldn't bring himself to help her put on.

3. Watching Julian and his cousin Gabe play trains together. Gabe is only three weeks older than D'arcy so in the past they have played and Julian has sort of tagged along. This year, though, Julian and Gabe found they had common interests (aka Thomas and Lightning McQueen) so they played while D'arcy walked around as a princess with her newborn baby doll.

4. Taking the kids to see the Polar Express in 3D at the IMAX. Julian put on his glasses, sat in his own seat, and watched the whole movie very intently. The picture of him sitting in his theater seat that wouldn't stay down without the help of Uncle Josh with his little plaid jacket and red 3D glasses will stick with me for a long time.

5. Playing games with our family (Even Dianne & Emmett...gasp!). I received Apples to Apples, Trigon Blockus, and Phase 10 for Christmas which all got lots of use (Thanks Emily & Kyle!). We also enjoyed playing Wii golf and Wii Fit. Stephen doing yoga poses was great entertainment. At one point towards the end of our trip, I told Stephen that I was gamed out which he thought was funny because I'm always hounding him to play games.

6. Seeing my old friends from high school. One who I hadn't seen since her wedding in '03 and who hadn't met my kids, one who just bought a very cute house, and one who is opening her own Bakery in Indy (Indy Cakes on 135 & Epler).

7. Making gingerbread houses with D'arcy, Julian, Gabe, and Ella. The unique thing about this event was that my parents invited Stephen's parents over AND Gabe's other grandparents over for pizza and watching the kids construct their own houses. I think its pretty cool all three sets of grandparents get along and can share in an event like this.

8. Seeing my brother's new house and Stephen's parents new house. Both of which are really lovely. Stephen and his brother spent the last Christmas in their childhood home which was sort of sad.

9. Watching the Stephen and the kids try to get this German Christmas decoration to spin from the heat of the candles below it. The kids had been asking about it all week, and after a half hour we did get it to spin!

10. Catching up with old church friends...Kelsey & Jon, Twon, Jamie, The Spencers, Brian. There were many people who we sadly didn't have an opportunity to see. Hopefully next time!

Some of the not so hot moments...
The kids getting pink eye.
The kids throwing up in the car on the ride home.
Plans being canceled due to an ice storm...I would have been fine if it were snow!
Julian jumping into the tub fully dressed.
Worrying about stairs at both grandparents houses. We don't have stairs in our house, and I was completely paranoid about the kids tumbling down them and breaking their neck.