Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to School Night

Even though Allen is not starting school until October 1st (and after he's potty-trained), we were invited to EC Montessori's Back to School Night. I was really excited to go because I wanted us to meet his teachers, and I wanted Allen to see his classroom so it wouldn't be quite so overwhelming on the first day of school.

As soon as we walked through the front doors and saw the Director, we felt so welcomed! She said several times how please she was the we came, and she directed us to his classroom right away. It was the same one that Allen spent some time in earlier this summer when he and I toured the school, so he wasn't quite as overwhelmed as I feared.

He stayed in Mom's or Dad's arms for a few minutes as we met his teachers, Ms. Rose and Ms. Avril; but pretty soon he was walking around and exploring. He asked us to sit down with him and look at a peg toy (I'm sure that's not the correct name for it, but I'm still new at the Montessori philosophy so bear with me). This happened to be the same toy that Ms. Bev showed him earlier in the summer, so I knew that he remembered the room and the earlier experience.

Ms. Avril joined us after a few minutes, and pretty soon, he had run off with her to "work" on something else (I did learn that the children do not "play" at Montessori school. They work. Mom works, Dad works, Allen works. It gives the child a sense of confidence and places importance on what he is doing. I love that.) As you can see, he totally hit it off with Ms. Avril.

Back to School Night was supposed to consist of a half-hour in the classroom, and then about an hour out in the playground for picnic dinners. I had packed our little picnic, and Brian and I were ready to dig in. But Allen had different plans. And eating was not in those plans. He played with Ms. Avril for a really long time, and when we finally convinced him that we should leave, he nearly knocked her over when he hugged her.

Once we got outside, we had chickens to see, equipmment to play on, and dirt to play in. We also caught up with three of his favorite girls who pushed him on the swings for awhile. We never did get to eat ....

All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I have never met a more warm or enthusiastic teacher as Ms. Avril. She went on and on about how excited she was to meet him, and how she couldn't wait to have him in class. And she was very reassuring and warm with Mom and Dad too! I still don't know much about the Montessori method, but the staff at this school have me hooked anyway.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Potty training day one

After Allen's nap today, we started with the potty training. I sat him down for a couple minutes on the potty upstairs, and after nothing, we went downstairs with just his pajamas on (no diaper, no underpants -- he doesn't like them). While I was getting his milk, strange look came over Allen's face, and then he yelled at me, saying "STOP TALKING TO ME!"

I knew something was up. I walked over to him, and his pants were dry. But then I saw a puddle on the rug. I scooped him up, told him it was OK, and took him upstairs to clean him up. Except there wasn't anything to clean up. Somehow he managed to pee straight down the pant leg of his pajamas without hitting any of the fabric OR his leg! No clue how he did it, but he did.

I changed him anyway, cleaned up the one drop of pee on his ankle (seriously, that was it), and then put him in a pair of the (boxer) shorts Aunt Paula sent him. And then I got him situated to watch Ratatouille.
So far, he's peed twice on the rug and zero times in the potty, but we'll keep you posted on the progress or lack thereof.


Boys and their toys; new friends

D bought a set of model airplanes, and the boys put them together.

Once they tired of flying them around the condo, one of them got a brilliant idea, and soon we were all out on the balcony either participating or watching (and documenting of course )...

Thursday we did a little shopping, and Allen made a new friend. Her name is Maddie. After chasing Maddie around and entertaining the staff in the shop, he proceeded to poop. Maddie sniffed his butt a few times, and finally he allowed me to change him in their bathroom.

As soon as I got finished with that, we had to rush out of the shop so I could make my pedicure appointment. I felt so bad. Our kid tormented their dog and then pooped in their shop, and we didn't even buy anything. Our apologies to the kind folks at Bobby Chan!

Allen and his new friend Maddie (one of the Maddie's owners told her to sit, and Allen thought she was talking to him. So he sat too.)

Thursday evening was spent at the condo. Brian and I made picadillo for the group, and then we scattered to various areas of the condo to watch different things.

Look how cute D and Brian are cuddled on the bed together to watch the Eagles game!
The kids snuggled in our room to watch Ice Age 2.
Shortly after the above picture was taken, poor little E took ill with what turned out to be a kidney infection. She ended up spending Friday and Saturday night in the hospital, poor baby. We're wishing you a speedy recovery little one!

Because of the circumstances of the next 24 hours or so, these are the last pictures I have of our vacation. Hope you enjoyed them all as much as we enjoyed the trip! Thanks D & W for such a fun and memorable vacation!
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Beach boy

We spent Wednesday morning at the beach. Allen was not a big fan of the water, but we were able to convince him to look for shells to bring home to Nana. And he loved playing in the sand. Which meant he got very sandy ...

Here he is helping Daddy check out our finds.
Including a crab ...
This is my favorite picture because his eyes look like they are the same color as the ocean.

Alligator Adventure

After the interesting lunch at Dick's Last Resort, we headed over to Alligator Adventure. It was pretty cool, but VERY hot. Here are som highlights ...

An Eyelash Snake
Albino Alligators
Allen watching a Galapagos Tortoise
Allen petting the Galapagos Tortoise!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Irreverent and crude

WARNING: Those with more sensitive or conservative senses of humor and consciences may not want to read on. The following post contains some crass and risque humor. You have been warned.

We went back to Barefoot Landing Tuesday to do more shopping and to go to Alligator Adventure. We did indeed do some shopping, and the boys also posed for some pictures ...

Aww ... what a cute couple!

Brian getting in touch with his newfound femininity (literally).
Cute Allen posing as a hula girl.
After the lovely pictures, we went to Dick's Last Resort. This is where things get a little ... well ... dirty. We weren't quite prepared for the experience, but I've gotta say that it was amusing.
We were greeted by a snarky waiter who threw silverware onto the table in front of us and barked grumpily about getting our drink orders; only to return to throw straws at us (seriously. He took a handful of straws and threw them at us. Most of them landed on the floor) and make fun of our drink choices.
After we placed our lunch orders, a mute (well, he probably wasn't mute, but he did not speak one word to us) Hispanic man came around to provide us with bibs ...
The first thing we noticed upon entering the restaurant (and actually the night before upon other tourists around Barefoot Landing) were these hats that looked like, um ... well, you'll see. The comments written on these hats were downright vulgar. Funny, maybe, but vulgar. So when our waiter came around to make our hats, W kindly reminded him to keep it clean, since we had children at the table. We were fortunate ...
Princess Pain in the Butt
Now accepting hair donations!

Big as a house, built like a mouse! My kid drives me to alcohol!(by the way, only the Landshark beers were mine)

Allen's hat: My Mommy and Daddy are brother and sister.
I'm wearing Mommy's underwear!

Allen got jealous of all of our beers and decided he needed a sip of Dad's ...
All in all it was a hilarious experience, but one that I could not recommend in good conscience to others. I mean our hats were clean compared to the other patrons' hats. I mean really clean. But the waiter was hilarious in all of his grouchiness. And for all that rude behavior, he was actually a very attentive guy.
Oh, and I also got this awesome (and highly inappropriate shirt) ...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mechanical bulls and dinosaurs

Allen and I had a quiet day today. The boys (minus Allen) went to play golf today. It was Brian's first time. He had a blast. He didn't play that well, but he had a blast. And it was his first time, so his score was pretty good considering.

We met the boys at Barefoot Landing for dinner. A decided to ride the mechanical bull ...

I think he lasted almost a minute.

We stopped the Toy Store while waiting for our table and bought Allen two planes and a set of four dinosaurs (since he is so smitted with A's). Allen decided to spear his hot dog roll with the one dinosaur's tail ...

And here we all are at TBonz for dinner. It was a yummy dinner and we had a lovely evening.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Myrtle Beach arrival

Thanks to our wonderful and dear friends D and W we get to enjoy a week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Check out the digs!

The kitchen and dining area

The living room (yes, that is the ocean outside) Our bedroom (one of four total, and the second "master" bedroom) The view from our bedroom The view from the condo balcony

Once we got unpacked, the dads decided to take the kids down to the beach. I stayed upstairs to rest a bit and let my ibuprofen kick in. As I stood on our balcony and looked down, I realized that I could see my boys ...
Did you notice the woman in the pictures above? Well, she started flirting with Brian ... to the extent that she did the "wife-check." After some idle talk, she said to Brian, "So is your wife at the pool?" Brian was horrified (she was quite a bit older than him, and let's just say that a bikini was probably not the best look for her).
A and E are D and W's kids. A is almost 10 years old and is very into dinosaurs; E is four and loves horses and dolls. Almost immediately the three kids sat down in the living room and began sharing and exchanging toys. I overheard Alex educating Allen on dinosaurs and then quizzing him on what he'd taught him ("is somedinosaurus a meat eater or a leaf eater?).
W had given Allen his dinosaur board book at my baby shower a couple years ago because Alex loved it so much when he was little. So we suggested that Alex read it to Allen. They sat next to each other and looked at the book. After A read to Allen for awhile, Allen put his hand on the back of A's neck, and said, "You are my friend."
Being the ridiculous sap that I am, I ran to get the camera ...
E and Allen have had some differences this evening, being that they are closer in age and Allen's not used to sharing toys very well or recognizing "personal space" quite yet. But after dinner, they shared some M&Ms while watching Ratatouille on TV.
Of course, a little while later, Allen smacked E in the face (I don't think it was really intentional; rather I think he was trying to knock some toy out of her mouth that he had just put in her mouth). So their relationship may need a little more work ...
Allen is looking forward to making sandcastles and playing in the pool this week (at least that's what he says); and I'm looking forward to helping him build sandcastles and splashing in the pool and ocean with him. If this evening is any indication, I'm sure I'll have tons more to post this week.