Thursday, September 27, 2007

He's Not a Baby Anymore

Okay, so I guess Grayson really hasn't been a baby since he was about nine months old - when he started walking. Actually, my Mom and I were looking at his pictures and noticed how at that time his face really transformed from "baby-looking" to full-on toddler. But this post really isn't about his physical or mental milestones which seemed to come fast and furious. This post is more about the maturity I've noticed in him this week.

Our week has been a busy one, as usual, and it started this Sunday with a birthday party for one of Grayson's friends who turned two on the 22nd. At this same party last year, Grayson was the only child who was really walking around and the entire time I was running after him. This year, I had Dominic to help me, but I also noticed how well Grayson interacted with the other children, how well he listened to both Dominic and me, and how much he enjoyed the moon bounce. It was really neat to sit back and watch.

But it didn't stop there. On Tuesday, our playgroup was held at his friend Ella's house and it was a celebration for her second birthday. Ella's parents set up finger painting for the kids and Grayson had a blast, but was even cooler to see was how he would go to the correct color when I called it out and come back to his own sheet to paint. Also, each child was given a flower pot in which we planted seeds to bring home and watch grow. I was amazed at how well Grayson followed the directions as we put the pot together.
But the most obvious example of maturity occurred at gym class again. As I mentioned in my previous post, gym class has been a true learning experience for Grayson, but yesterday he was even better than before. This time, not only did he participate in the warm-ups but he was actually watching the instructor and doing what she was doing. He almost made it through the entire warm-up session without losing interest. Fingers crossed for next week!

Oh, and speaking of those mental milestones, here are a few to brag about - he seems to know all the basic colors at this point, he is able to identify half the alphabet (in no particular order, which I really appreciate), he can sing half the ABC song, and he can count to five. He also really, really acts like he wants to be potty-trained. Of course, this has been going on for a while, but I haven't really been doing anything about it. I'm starting to think I need to begin the process - something I'm not really looking forward to doing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Great Day in Gym Class

This fall many of my friends and I decided to try out a new gym for the kids. I was a bit apprehensive at first because I absolutely loved The Little Gym, but I also didn't want to go back and do the same exact class we've been doing. We decided to check out the Frederick Gymnastics Club and since we can't sit in on a class, we went to their open house. I was still a little concerned because I just didn't get a good "vibe" from them, but I really liked the variety they offered so we all decided to sign up with them.

Grayson's first class was the last Wednesday of August and it was terrible. We arrived early and had to wait in the viewing area until they called us into class where Grayson would not sit still. When class started, Grayson immediately started screaming and holding onto me. He refused to participate in any of the warm-up activities. Once he realized all the really cool things in the gym to explore, he decided he wanted to run wild so I was holding him down until it was time to move. After warm-up, he still wanted to run around and not actually go through the obstacle courses they had created for the kids. By the end of it all, I was exhausted. I got more of a work out chasing after him than he did participating.

Each week seemed to get a little bit better. The next week he still screamed through the warm-ups but was willing to do the obstacle course. However, in the middle of class he decided he wanted to leave so he began to throw temper tanturms. Last week he made me carry him during the warm-ups, but didn't scream and he didn't ask to leave. Then there was this week and it was great!

I figured out that part of the problem with his behavior was that he was getting his lunch later than usual, so yesterday I decided to give him some raisins and animal crackers before we left the house. When class started, he wanted me to carry him, but I refused and he actually started doing some of the warm-ups!! Then, he did the obstacle courses without any fuss. He even swung from the rings without any assistance. He also tried out the parallel bars and the horse. I couldn't believe it! I finally feel like I'm getting my money's worth and Grayson is getting to use up some of his energy.

On a completely unrelated note, thanks to Aunt Heidi for Grayson's awesome football jersey. I took a ton of pictures the other day to try to get that perfect shot. I don't think I actually got it, but here are a few:
Going Back for the Pass

Running for the Touchdown

In the Huddle with the Other Players

Reflecting on the Game

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wow, What a Trip!

I know it has been way too long since my last post, but Grayson and I were on the coast of Alabama last week visiting friends I have gotten to know over the years on IVF Connections. When we got back, I was in a lot of pain because I pulled my back out on the plane trying to keep Grayson on my lap (this actually occured on the way down), plus I was completely exhausted. And then yesterday I got very, very sick. So here I am. Finally. And I'm feeling much better.

As for the trip, it was incredible!! It was so amazing to actually meet the people I've gotten to know on-line. Grayson had a great time playing with the other children, although he tired me out. He wouldn't take naps and he stayed up late with the rest of us. Plus, he didn't want to sleep in his Pack-N-Play (I think this was more because he wanted to stay up rather than the PNP itself) so he slept with me. In a twin bed. And this is something we've NEVER done. Needless to say, given the fact that I had pulled my back on the plane, was sleeping in a bed with a little man who is squirmy, and the bed was a tad bit on the firm side, I didn't get much sleep. It didn't matter though, I loved getting to know the girls and their children. Plus one husband! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Some of the definite highlights of the trip for Grayson were playing in the ocean, jumping off the side of the pool into my arms, and the boat trip. The pictures I took really don't capture his absolute joy, but you can take a look at a few of them here. He saw the ocean for the first time last year, but at that point he wasn't even crawling yet. This time he would run toward the water and throw himself into the waves. It was so much fun to watch.
As for the pool, we've been in my sister's pool a number of times this summer, but because it's an above ground pool, there's really no way for him to sit on the side and jump in. Once he discovered this was something he could do, he wanted to do it over and over again.

On the boat trip, Grayson had a blast. He loved standing at the front of the boat, but he loved to help steer it even more. Oh, and honking the horn non-stop. Unfortunately we didn't see any dolphins, but I don't think Grayson cared in the least.
I think we're finally back in our groove here. Grayson went back to his schedule almost immediately, thank goodness, but I've had a harder time as I mentioned above. I look forward to another get-together!!