Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Focus- Tigger

Here's the Tigger man, embracing his Thai roots during Songkran. He had such a great time playing in the water that day! We're definitely going to have to make it an annual event.

I'm not quite sure how Kanga ended up looking like the devious one in this picture- Tigger is all about mischief these days! He's a whirling dervish of energy. He stands on his sister to use her as a stepping stone for higher shelves. He steals everyone's drinks. He climbs on top of the table. He mostly refuses to use his words and instead chooses to emit a high-pitched shriek that stabs an ice pick into your brain. The two of us probably tell him fifty times a day, "Honey, that is SO loud! Please use your words!"

And yet, he is magical and fabulous and SO MUCH FUN. He gives the best squishy hugs of any kid I've ever taken care of at this age, including my own children. He squeezes tight and doesn't want to let go. It's very nice. He's got the most contagious drooly smile and when he's happy, it's the best thing ever.

Also, his future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades. For about 14 seconds. Then he rips them off his head.

Speaking of his future, he's got actor, makeup artist, or con man down cold. He has stolen his Kunyai's eyebrow pencil out of her bathroom so many times that she finally used it on him in revenge. Personally, I think the best revenge is then posting pictures on the internet. Let this be a lesson to you when you think of college, Tigger... there are people with cameras everywhere, willing to document your silliness for posterity!
Tigger and Roo are deep in the throes of sibling rivalry already. He is relishing the idea that he can now RUN up to her, snatch her toys, and run away. He likes to sit and /or stand on her whenever possible too. She's learning the fine arts of tattling and defending herself. It's a sight to behold. She'll be pinned to the floor as he sits on her legs and hollers, and she's yelling "BUBBA! HUSH! Get off!" And in the car I'm told Kanga gets a lot of "MOMMA! Bubba look me!" I had thought that not-quite-three was too young for the "he's looking at me make him stop" thing, but apparently not. Oh well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday Focus- Alice

World, meet Alice. Alice, meet the world...

Well, maybe in a few minutes when you're done with your nap.

I don't have a whole lot of pictures of her just yet. My camera ran out of batteries a few days into her start here and I keep forgetting to buy more. We're having such a good time with her- she's had pretty much zero issues in transition and is a really content baby. I love her sunny little personality. When she first arrived she'd just look at you very seriously while deciding if she liked you. Usually you'd get the huge grin, but occasionally if something didn't meet her approval she'd give The Lip. The bottom one sticks out, it shakes, and you can't help but laugh. She's so happy now that we hardly ever see it anymore. I kinda miss it a little. Not that I want her to be upset, of course, but it really is a fabulous Lip. She's got great emotions- her smiles come out of nowhere and catch you off guard with their brilliance, and the sadness pretty much does the same thing.

We still haven't seen her roll over. Her mama says she's done it at home so I keep expecting to find her across the room at some point soon. So far she's staying where we put her and just hanging out. She loves watching the big kids and O'Malley and Silvermist especially like to talk to her. "OOH! Baby Alice smile at me! Baby Alice likes me! She so cute!" O'Malley likes to call her by her Full Official First and Middle Name, which I think is adorable with his little R and L speech issues. Her middle name has both sounds and he mutilates it pretty impressively.

Here she is on the butterfly mat she likes best. She was smiling really big for me and then she stuck her hands in her mouth right when I snapped the picture, so I didn't really get the full effect of the sunshine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Comings, Goings, and Updates

Summer is always such a time of transition for us. Lots of people usually want to begin or end care in May, or else in August when school starts back, and lots of families have vacations or different summer work schedules or just changes going on. I've been trying to update the sidebar to reflect who's currently here, who we're expecting, and what's going on in general. We've had several interviews lately and several more pregnant ladies call to inquire about upcoming spots in the fall. It's sometimes hard for me to gauge when we'll have an opening since we don't have a graduation date that's carved in stone. I have a lot of provider friends who say they keep kids until their second or third birthday or some other date that's pre-arranged. It does make things much easier all around, I think, to know when graduations are looming so that spaces can be filled, and also so families know when to expect that their child will be moving on. We haven't done that up till now because we have our own small children here and it seems arbitrary to say we graduate at 3 when my 4 year old is here. I think once Tigger gets to be 2 or 3 though, we will institute a graduation date. Most families prefer to have their child in a more formal preschool-type setting for at least one year before starting kindergarten anyway.

Until then, we're trying to figure out who's staying and who's going. :) Bianca and Stitch have both gone home for the summer. Last summer when they did that things were slower and their spots were still available for them in the fall. If things keep up like they are so far this summer, that won't be an option this year. We're getting calls left and right! We've already got a new full time boy who I think will be Tarzan, and a new teeny girl starting August 1. This business is so fluid though- there's just no way to know if we'll actually be full when they want to come back. People move or get laid off or take their child to the new work-sponsored daycare that just opened or Grandma decides to watch them... so many variables.

But as of this minute, we have Tarzan and ... Alice, maybe? or Perdita? not sure what our newest baby girl's disney name will be. And Stitch and Bianca are currently in the former client list, but may be moved back. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Focus- O'Malley

My O'Malley is getting so big that it makes my heart squeeze. I'm having a lot of trouble with the idea that this coming year will be his last one at home here before he's off to kindergarten. I don't think I'll be homeschooling like I did with Duchess- she wasn't really ready to leave me. This boy has had the experience of watching big sister head off every morning as long as he can remember, and has a t-ball team full of boys who will be in his class. He has zero interest in any extra time at home with momma. Plus our Wii is a ginormous distraction and it's not as easy to engage him in learning these days. I think he'll have less conflict at school. :) Plus he can show off his cool Star Wars gear to a more appreciative audience.

I've been woefully neglecting my personal blog lately and a couple friends have told me that they're jonesing for crazy stories. Here's one that is totally at my expense and nothing to do with daycare, but it's funny so I'll spill:

Let's face it- 40 is closer than 30 and after kids my legs don't look like pristine cheerleader legs anymore. I was really hoping I'd be about 65 before I had spider veins or other things that I usually pretend do not exist. I wear jeans or capris most of the time and it's rare for O'Malley to actually see my whole leg. Awhile back on a weekend I was lounging around in some shorts and he came running in to pounce on my lap. We snuggled and tickled and he scooted all around on my lap and then tooted really loud. Of course he laughed hysterically like it was the best thing that ever happened and I had to give him a hard time about doing it right in my lap. I made him get up. He turned around and looked back at me and got this horrified look on his face, checking a vein on my thigh- "Oh, MAMA! Did I do that?!?!"

Yes, son, you did, just not today. I wish I could blame him for farting that spider vein right onto me, but alas, they're not so easy-on OR easy-off. :)

That's all I can think of at the moment- I'm working on updating a lot of blog stuff today since numbers are down and things are pretty quiet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Focus- Chip

I have even fewer pictures of Chip this time around than I usually do. None at all in the month of May. Finally found this one from April and couldn't figure out why it was such a weird angle, and then I realized O'Malley took it. I guess you can't expect miracles if you hand the camera to a four year old.

Chip has refused to talk to us for a really long time now- to the point where Roo's speech therapist has mentioned that she's never heard him say a word. Mrs. Potts tells us constantly how many new words he has every week, and while I didn't think she was lying, I was kind of thinking it might be the kind of thing where it was baby gibberish that only mama could understand. I mean, the kid said NOTHING to us. Point and grunt only. For months. No answers to questions, no commentary, nothing. If he absolutely had to make himself understood, he'd do this mime thing where he'd raise his eyebrows and mouth the words with zero sound.

Last week he decided to show us all the words he does in fact know. I was flabbergasted. The kid knows all his colors! He stood and watched me unload the dishwasher and pointed out each dish, named its color, and told me which friend uses that dish.

Plate. Orange. O'Malley.
Cup. Purple. Silvermist.
Plate. Green. Aurora.

He tells us about his sister and his mom and dad and asks us to read books and names the colors for everything. It's quite startling to go from 0-60 like this. Mrs. Potts is so pleased- it's like we just finally met the Chip who lives at her house. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monthly Recap- May

Things have been pretty busy around here, as evidenced by my sad lack of posting lately. We had a new baby start this week and she's settling in nicely. So far she's very laid back and easy- just sleeps and eats and plays and smiles.

I love the way she sleeps with her arms flung out over her head. It doesn't look particularly comfy to me, but hey it works for her, and it's cute. :)

Mater and Lady are working hard on getting mobile- any day now I expect to see them crawling. They've both decided that they don't like hanging out in the living room much anymore and like to spend more time in the playroom watching the big kids.

We had a dinosaur day a couple weeks ago that everyone enjoyed. The kids helped me make stegosaurus sandwiches for lunch and we did lots of playing and learning about dinosaurs of all kinds.

Okay, so you really have to squint one eye and use your imagination- but this is our stegosaurus. Quesadilla body, chips for spikes, red pepper and cheerio for his face, and mandarin orange legs. Luckily the kids are young and easily forgiving when it comes to my artistic... lack. Plus when you're 2 1/2 and you make it yourself, you think it looks great regardless. :)

We're starting a unit called Island Explorer today- lots of ships and water and islands and pirates for the next month. Should be exciting. Duchess will be home for the summer, Stitch and Bianca will be away, and we've got a couple interviews scheduled. This seems to be a big time of year for change, right around the end of school and then again in August when it starts back up.