Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleepy afternoons

Naps are becoming a haphazard thing in this household. Allen tends to sleep a really long time when he naps, and then he ends up going to bed too late. So we have been trying a combination of shorter naps or no naps. Sometimes he freaks out when I try to get him to take a nap, and sometimes I don't fight him. Like when I'm already sick with the cold he gave me. Like I am this week.

So Tuesday, he argued that he did not want to take a nap, and I just did not feel like arguing. He was wearing a new sweater that kept falling off his shoulder. I caught him rubbing his cheek against his shoulder. I guess he liked the way it felt.

Somtimes, Allen likes to lay down on the floor and "just lay there." He did this Tuesday. After taking his arm out of his sweater so he could feel his shoulder. Here's how I found him a short while later.

Yes, he's asleep. With his arm out of his sweater. On the floor. In the dining room. After taking the picture I covered him with a blanket and he slept for over an hour.

We had a repeat of this today. Exactly the same, but with a different shirt. That wasn't falling off his shoulder, so I'm sure he had a more difficult time extracting his arm. He fell asleep in the same spot, and I covered him with a blanket again. He slept there for awhile, and then sat up, looked around, and called for me to help him get his arm back into his shirt.

Then we sat on the chair together. He fell asleep again ...

He slept here for about two hours. He must be overtired. I let him because I was working on my oral review and preparing for the rest of the meeting. And working on stuff for the shop. And still feeling sick.

Isn't he the cutest kid ever?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Alice in the pumpkin patch

Today was Allen's first field trip -- to go see Alice in Wonderland presented by the Children's Theatre of Beaufort. He was very excited. Excited to see his kids; excited that Mommy was going with him; excited about everything.

Since I have the minivan, I was able to take three children with me: Z, T, and M (Allen's special friend). Allen was giddy that these kids got to ride in the car with them. And they were all thrilled that we had the Backyardigans CD playing.

Everyone was very good on the ride there. They spoke very nicely to each other, sang along with the CD, and Allen started to tell them about "Bebby Hills Chihuahua."

When we were in line to go in, M saw her big brother J (who goes to the same school, but is older and in a different class). She ran to him and hugged him as Allen watched. J waved him over to join in the love ...

Once inside, Allen sat very quietly and patiently waited for the play to begin. Once the show started, Allen was riveted.

All four kids said they enjoyed the show. Allen liked the rabbit, and I forget who everyone else liked. I liked the caterpillar.

I thought Allen would want to leave with me right away, but instead I had to watch him in his classroom and then watch him play on the playground until I finally convinced him it was time to go to .... the pumpkin patch!
That's right. We were off to the pumpkin patch to get 50 -- yes 50 -- pumpkins. For the Harvest Festival on Saturday.

The pumpkin patch is on the site of Lowcountry Produce (which we carry in our shop), which has a little restaurant and some animals that you can visit with. Allen was very excited about all of it ...

And here are all the pumpkins ...

In other, more personal news, Joli launched its website last night. Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend in the Craig household

It was chilly here this weekend. Not cold, but chilly. Yesterday, I think it got up to about 65, but today didn't even break 60. It's was a beautiful weekend anyway, though. And we took advantage of it, and got lots of stuff done.

Yesterday morning, I awoke bright and early (for a Saturday), and was dressed and ready to go at about 8:15. Allen looked at me from bed, and said, "What are you doing with me today?" I replied. "I don't know, what would you like to do?" To which he answered, "Go to school and play with my kids." I explained that he didn't have school on Saturday, but that he could go back Monday.
We decided to eat breakfast at a cute little place called Fryed Green Tomatoes (yes, they spell it wrong), and then head down to Target to pick up a few things. I was able to get Allen some cute casual clothes for school, plus a bunch of bins to organize his toys.

We had a great lunch together, and all in all it was a good day with my boys.

This morning, I was up bright and early again, so we actually made it to meeting on time (shocker). Allen was quite handsome in his suit from Aunt E. Here he is after lunch and dessert of chocolate ice cream.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School update

School seems to be agreeing with Allen a little bit more this week. On Tuesday I dropped Allen off at he front door, and the director took him inside. Per Allen's request, I asked that his teacher be told that he was scared of the kids (this was an unsolicited/unassisted comment by him). When I picked him up, though, he said he had a great time.

Yesterday went even better. For whatever reason, there was no one to walk him into his class, so I had to do so. But we got there without much incident. He did insist on bringing his chocolate milk in, but binky was left in the car, and after a brief request for it and look of panic, he wandered in to show Ms. Avril that he learned how to say, "I Love You" in sign language (courtesy of the book, The Kissing Hand).

Today was awesome. Again, I had to walk him all the way to class, but as I was hanging up his sweatshirt, he started to walk away and towards his class by himself. I had to call him back for a kiss goodbye.

Here are a couple pictures from school this week (no action shots, just his first painting and his folder).
Next week, we are going on our first field trip ... to see Alice in Wonderland at the USC Beaufort Performing Arts Center! I've volunteered to be a driver, so hopefully I'll get to go with him!


Painting and planting

As promised, here are pictures of the house with the new doors and plants ...
First, pictures of the front of the house

My new pots with Mexican (or Texas) Petunias and  Million Bells

The back door with a closeup of the plexiglass Brian put on so the dogs wouldn't destroy the door again (they scratch and scratch at it when they want to come in)

The cool lantern we got from M across the street from our shop (to benefit Riverview Charter School). It now lives on our back porch.

Our Bull Grapes (no fruit yet) on the left, and Wisteria on the right

The new hydrangea at the front of the shed and roses on the side
Hydrangeas in the corner of our yard
Our Meyer Lemon Tree (with lemons!)


Monday, October 12, 2009

Where's the love?

It's another picture-less post, and I'm sorry. I wanted to get pictures up of the beautiful house, but it's not quite finished, so the pictures will have to wait.

Anywho ... tonight I need to vent about two things. And I'm hoping ya'll don't mind ....

First of all, I'm a little anxious about taking Allen to school tomorrow morning. He's been home for five days now (one sick day, one in service day, two weekend days, and Columbus Day), and he keeps saying (very happily), "I don't have to go to school today!" I'm dreading tomorrow when he says that, and I have to say, "Well, actually kiddo ..." Part of why I'm dreading it is because when I picked him up Wednesday from school, I was met by the Educational Director who asked me two things: 1) To drop him off at the door and let a teacher bring him into class; and 2) To leave the binky at home.

Now, I understand why both requests were made. I mean, Wednesday morning, he did make quite a scene in the classroom when I tried to leave. And, other children wanted his binky (it was the only day he'd had it there and he had it because he made quite a scene when I left the classroom). But, his teacher did invite me into the classroom. She invited me to sit down. And everything I've read about helping children adjust to school says to stay with them until they're comfortable, so tell me this, my friends ... what in the hell was I supposed to do? And furthermore, if you don't want the kid to make a scene, and his only attachment is his binky ... do you really want to take that away from him when he's starting something new?

I say all of this, but tomorrow I will drop him off at the door. And even though he'll probably be hysterical and they'll have to pry him off me, I will keep the binky in the car. But I just have to go on the record and say that it's not fair and it's not right.

Onto my second complaint ... how is it that I have 5-10 visitors to my blog each day, but have ZERO comments (or one). Sheesh ... my sister and P aren't the only ones who can comment (she's on a Mediterranean cruise right now so she's not commenting at all). Show me some blog love, pleeeeaaaaase. Or I may just stop writing ...

xoxo (I guess),

Sunday, October 11, 2009

House proud and fun reward

We have had a busy weekend here in the Craig/Hunter family. Since we sort of had a weekend off (this was the weekend of our congregation's special assembly day, but since we're going to Kristen and Josh's next month, we decided to skip ours. With Allen, we thought it would just be too much for us to do it twice), we decided to schedule some house maintenance (with the help of Mom and Dad, of course).

After we had our house pressure-washed a couple months ago (it wasn't really pressure-washed, but I can't remember the name of it), our porch and doors were in some major need of TLC. Instead of restaining the doors, we decided to paint them. After throwing around some different ideas, we decided on a lovely color. I'll wait until I have pictures to share with you to let you find out the color (care to take a guess?). The boys painted yesterday (the front and back door, front steps, railings, and porch) while Mom watched Allen and I worked.

Today, the boys continued to paint (second coat on the steps, porch and railings) and planted in the backyard (this was a project started last weekend). You see, Brian and I have had some difficulty with our backyard. We didn't really like the landscaping that was put it when it was built, but neither of us really knows enough about plants to change it. Now that Dad is here full-time, he and Mom have helped us a lot. So we got some beautiful roses and hydrangeas to plant.

In the meantime, Mom and I had some work to do at the shop so we can get our website launched. We got out the lightbox and took some pictures. It sounds easy, but it's not so much .... But we got all the photos done that we feel we needed to so we can launch our website, so we're very happy about that.

Brian had a great idea last night that we should reward Allen for his patience this weekend (and ourselves for all our hard work)  by going to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. So this afternoon we piled into the van and drove down to Bluffton. We stopped first at Sunshine Nursery to pick up a few more plants (including a Meyer Lemon Tree ... yum) for the backyard and for the front porch.

Then we went to the movies. Last night we showed Allen a trailer for the movie and asked him if he wanted to see it, and he enthusiastically replied that he did (he's also read the story, so he was familiar with the premise). So as soon as we got in the car, he was ready to watch the movie. His giddiness was adorable. He could barely wait to buy tickets. He couldn't decide between popcorn or Sour Patch Kids. And he was practically beside himself because we were early and could not get into the theater right away.

Once inside, he immediately wanted to get into his seat, and wanted us all to dance every time a song came on. When the previews came on, he leaned on Papa and covered his other ear because it was "too loud." But he recognized the "Wild Things" movie, and sat up once the movie started.

Boy was he riveted. His wide, blue eyes never left the screen. And he barely said anything for the entire movie. Once it was over, he danced in his seat some more, and then as we walked out, he grabbed Mommy and Nana's hands and said, "That was so fun!"

After a disappointing dinner at a restaurant that shall remain nameless, we went to the candy shop where everyone got some candy. Then it was time to go home. Nana sat next to Allen and kept poking and teasing him. At one point, she said, "I have to eat this finger." And Allen replied "You can't!" And when she asked why not, he replied "Because it's a finger not a snack."

All in all it was a fabulous weekend, even though Allen has a cold. I'm excited to post some pictures of my beautified house, so stay tuned!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First days of school

Allen started school this week. Overall I think it's actually going OK, but it's been extremely emotional for both of us. For instance, he wasn't too thrilled to be leaving for school on Monday morning ...

... though once we got to school and he saw Ms. Avril again he was very excited.

He went right in with her and learned how to take out his mat, unroll it and roll it back up again.
It was so cute to watch him take everything in. I could see that it was all a little much for him, but on Monday he took it all in stride ...

A cute story ... the above pictures were taken while the children sat around the red ellipse, and sang songs. They sang a song in which they each said their names and asked how they were; and they sang "Where is Thumbkin." Allen thought they were singing "Where is pumpkin," and he yelled, "It's wight there!!"

We picked Allen up Monday and he was happy and fine. He was excited to go home and play with his toys, and he told us that he would go back to school tomorrow.

Tuesday was a little more difficult. Brian and I went together so that we could give the teacher the Education brochure and talk to her about the holidays, and Allen was fine while we were there. But when we tried to leave, he broke down. He cried hysterically and clung to me. The teacher's aid had to pry him off of me. Brian and I started to walk away and a teacher and a volunteer chased us to make sure I was OK. And they were so reassuring and sweet. One of his teachers came out and told us that he was fine also. Once he got in there he did OK.

But it was hard. Hard for me to leave him. Hard for me to see him that upset. I felt like I was abandoning him. I was afraid he was going to be traumatized. I cried a little bit in the car, but tried not to dwell on it. And when I picked him up he didn't even realize it was time to go yet! It helped, of course, that a fireman came to visit the children and gave them all fire hats ...
And I love this one of him rolling his eyes because I wanted to take his picture ...
The entire way home from school yesterday, he talked about what he did and what he learned. It was awesome!

But this morning, he burst into tears at the first mention of school. He cried most of the morning. Then, he changed his attitude and seemed like he was going to be alright. He got right into the car; and when we got to school, he got right out and walked in with me. This morning, Ms. Avril invited me in, and I sat with Allen and helped him decorate his folder.

When it was time for me to go, though, he cried ... A LOT! It was awful ... again. But by the time I got down the hall, he had calmed down. And again, he was fine when I picked him up.

So I've decided that, while it's going to be tough, he's going to be OK. Better than OK even. I think he's going to like school, maybe even love it. I hope ....