Monday, December 22, 2008

He Did It!!

Last year Grayson wanted nothing to do with Santa Claus, this year was a completely different story. Grayson was on a mission. He wanted to see Santa so he could tell him what he wanted.

It was funny, a few weeks ago someone asked Grayson what he wanted Santa to bring him and to my surprise, he replied that he wanted a Mickey Mouse. I had no idea where this came from since we don't watch anything on the Disney Channel and the only thing we have at home with Mickey on it is "Once" and "Twice Upon a Christmas" which we had only watched maybe two times. But, every time he was asked after that, he responded that he wanted a Mickey Mouse.

When I found out Santa was going to be visiting my sister's store, I decided to take Grayson so he could tell him himself. And tell him he did. He walked right up there, sat down, and was serious about his Mickey Mouse. Thank goodness Santa found one on eToys about a week ago!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yep, He's Three!

Here we are. We've survived another year. Grayson turned three on November 17th. He celebrated with a family party on the 15th and then he had his friends over for a playdate on the 17th. Because Grayson loves puzzles, we decided to go with a puzzle theme for his party. There are absolutely NO puzzle-themed decorations anywhere on the planet. At least not on the web. So this meant that I made my own. I used the large pieces from some of Grayson's puzzles and cut out the shapes to make "Happy 3rd Birthday!!" and then I also cut out a bunch of smaller pieces and taped them to the wall. Overall, I think they worked out. As for his cake, it was also a puzzle. It was a half of a sheet cake cut into puzzle pieces. The cake itself was chocolate and just melted in your mouth. You can see more pictures here.

Grayson had a blast at both parties. He got a little wound up, but it was nothing unusual. At the playdate party, I invited Grayson's friends from his school in addition to the friends he's had since he was a baby. It was weird to mix groups, but everyone seemed to have a good time. Each child was given a blank puzzle to color. They could then take those home to play with. We also gave them each a regular puzzle as a thank you gift for coming.
Thanks to wonderful friends and family, we now have new toys to play with and it's terrific!!! I could tell Grayson had gotten incredibly bored with the toys we have and the new toys have made a huge difference. I can also tell I'm enjoying them more. Now that he's three, the toys are so much more fun and engaging!! Definitely beats shaking a rattle at him, like when he was a baby.

Now that he's three, I'm preparing myself for a rough year ahead. Most everyone has told me that three's are worse than two's, so we'll see. He most certainly is strong-willed and I know that's not going to change, so I'm sure the older he gets and the more independent he becomes, the more fights we're going to have. With that being said, I'm enjoying the toddler years as well. The things that come out of his mouth are often a riot. For example, the other day he scolded our dog Sookie by yelling, "Sookie Jordan Paul!" Just like when I use his full name to scold him. I couldn't stop laughing! So even though I'm sure I'll be facing quite a few challenges with this coming year, I'm sure I'll have even more great things to enjoy!Oh, and let me share a few stats with you from his doctor's appointment. He's doing really well and now weighs 37 pounds and is 39.5 inches tall. That's 90th percentile for both. He's going to be a big boy!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Most Candy, Ever!

I think I posted last year that I had never been trick-or-treating. Every year, I would hear "maybe next year." I still got to dress up every Halloween and go to parties and have a great time, I had just never experienced trick-or-treating until last year with Grayson.

Well, this year Grayson went to his cousin's school for "Trunk-or-Treat." I'm sure those of you with kids in preschool or other types of schools have heard of this. The parents come to the school, decorate their trunks, and the kids come to each car to get candy - like going from house to house, only from car to car.

I couldn't go with him because I had a show, but I saw the results. It has to be one of the biggest bags of candy I've ever seen. Grayson barely even gets candy, so this is pretty much enough to last him an entire year. BUT, we still have trunk-or-treat at his school on Thursday and then regular trick-or-treating next Friday. I'm starting to understand why we never went.
Getting Candy from Aunt Linda

For more pictures, click here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

How is it possible?

One would think that after Grayson started preschool, there would be TONS of time for me to regularly post on my blog. Alas, that has not been the case. The good news is that I've been working quite a bit as a consultant with Learning is an Art. Business is good and I'm still loving my job. I really can't ask for more. And really, that's what I do with my spare time. When I'm not a Mommy, I'm running my own business. I'm making phone calls, planning fundraisers, scheduling parties, going to events and expos, etc., etc. The bad news is that things like my blog, which was already receiving a minimal amount of my time, are getting even less of my time. I'm here posting today as I'm multi-tasking. Grayson is in the bathtub playing and I'm sitting next to him blogging. Normally I'm doing some kind of work during this time, but after receiving an email from a friend of mine in Tennessee today who said she tries to read my blog every now and then, I was reminded of how long it had been since I posted. So here I am.

As for Grayson updates, a lot has happened. He adores school. He would go every day if he were able. He's really growing leaps and bounds when it comes to what he can comprehend. He's even starting to recognize words, as in reading them. I'm sure this has some to do with school, but I also think it has to do with the games we play at home (yes, that's a major plug for my products, I'm amazed at how much they have helped Grayson these last few months).

He has become increasingly independent. I love it and hate it. Unfortunately, the independence has also caused an increase in arguing. He'll argue just for the sake of arguing. If you tell him there are clouds in the sky, he'll disagree and tell you otherwise as he's staring right at them. It's very frustrating, but I keep telling myself it will serve him well in adulthood.

He is showing an amazing desire to put things together. He's never been interested in trains, but we received a hand-me-down train set from my nephew and Grayson just likes to put the train tracks together to see how many different combinations he can come up with. He also loves to put puzzles together having graduated to the much more difficult ones and he does them with very little help from me.

We had another trip to the Urgent Care Center in September. When Grayson was fishing with his cousins, he got a fish hook in his finger. He handled the trip like a real trooper, but we were also prepared for him. As the PA removed the hook, there were four of us working together to keep him still. Overall, though, he really didn't fight it that much and he barely cried. He's a tough boy.

There are calm moments, like when we read on the front porch or when I'm pushing him on his swing, which is one of his favorite things to do. One day when we came home from school, I saw some mushrooms growing in the front yard. We went outside to look at them and Grayson was very accomodating as I took pictures of him (a rarity). This was also one of our peaceful moments and I'll leave you with that thought and a picture from the day. Until next time...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Draining Week

Last week was draining, to say the least. There were so many things going on and so little time to do them between parties, playdates, preschool, and work. Also, the week was made especially difficult because of Grayson's decision to not take naps.

The week started with a great birthday party!! Our nephew, Paul, had his fourth birthday party on a pirate ship in Annapolis. Dominic and I took Grayson and our nephew, Brooks, down with us, and our other nephews, Tevyn and Trevor, came as well with Willie and Karena. I had hoped Grayson would sleep on the car ride down, but that didn't happen. He was too excited to have Brooks in the car with him, so he stayed awake the whole time. He was still good on the ship, but he didn't participate in any of the activities. Brooks, Tevyn, and Paul had a blast and it was so much fun to watch! I highly recommend this as an outing if your children are at all interested in pirates. The crew really kept the kids entertained and you get to sit back and watch. I had so much fun watching the kids I barely noticed the Annapolis harbor!! You can click here to see more pictures.

The rest of the week was a nightmare of a schedule thanks to the starting of preschool. Grayson did very well. Of course he didn't like me leaving him there, but overall he handled it well. Unfortunately, he got himself so worked up in the afternoon that he wouldn't take naps. This went on until Thursday!! I was so beaten down by the end of the week I really didn't know what I was going to do. Some people have said that he may be growing out of naps, but I don't think that is the case at all. Unfortunately, when he doesn't get some down time in the afternoon (even if it's just quiet time in his room for an hour), he gets wilder and wilder as the day progresses. This results in extreme temper tantrums, bad behavior, and non-stop energy. All a bad combination for a two-and-a-half year old. Luckily on Friday, we stayed home for the day and I was able to get him to sleep that afternoon.

Dominic was off both Saturday and Sunday this weekend which really helped. For the first time in ages, I actually "did nothing" on Sunday afternoon. I felt terribly guilty about it - I should have been making phone calls for work, cleaning, doing laundry, something - but I tried to allow myself to enjoy it. I watched a movie and enjoyed the peace and quiet. It was refreshing and a great way to get myself ready for the week. I'm now ready to tackle the week and make it a great success!! I even survived shoe shopping for Grayson yesterday at the outlets. We even walked away with a great pair of shoes. Ahh, success already.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Countdown to Pre-School

That's right! In less than two weeks, Grayson will be heading off to pre-school at Small Scholars. Many months ago I wrote about the research that went behind choosing a school for Grayson. Because of his late birthday, I had to find a school that had a program for two-year-olds. I also wanted a school that was somewhat nearby (a difficult task given where we live) and a place that taught Spanish to help us continue to embrace Grayson's heritage on his birth mother's side. Small Scholars fit the bill.

Last week our packet came in the mail. I was really excited about it, but also a bit apprehensive. I really wanted Grayson to go to school, but for the first time on a regular basis, someone else will be taking care of him and teaching him. I'm over it now and can't wait for the first day!!

Grayson can't wait either. Ever since Bible School, Grayson has asked to go back so I told him that instead of Bible School, he'll be going to pre-school. We even created a count down chart to help with the wait.

One of the forms included in Grayson's enrollment packet asks for his likes and dislikes. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share that here as well. A way of earmarking this part of his life, so here goes.

  • He loves to ride his bike - we have been working on pedaling for months and he finally started this past weekend, of course while I was at my Learning is an Art convention, but it was still exciting to see when I got home. Now there's no stopping him.
  • He enjoys playing outside, especially in the dirt, which we still have plenty of thanks to our construction.
  • He can't get enough music. He loves to drum, sing, and dance. He's also a little interested in playing the guitar, but I don't think it's loud enough for him.
  • He adores eating. This hasn't changed since he was a baby and I'm very proud of him because he'll usually try new things at least once.
  • He loves to play games and be crafty - this is very helpful given my business.
  • He loves his family, he can't get enough of his Meemaw, D-Daddy, Aunt Linda, Britnee and his dogs and they love him.

  • He's not a big fan of sleeping. He finally takes naps and he sleeps very well, but if it were up to him, he would run around all day and night.
  • He hates it when I'm on the phone. This means he's not getting any attention and he's sure to let us all know that. This is not so helpful, given my business.
  • He doesn't like to be quiet or sit still. The louder, the better, and the more action, the happier he is.
  • He doesn't like to have his picture taken. Thank goodness for the Nikon D50.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It Just Doesn't Get Much Better

This was an incredible week for both Grayson and me. He was able to go to Vacation Bible School for the first time and he LOVED it. He wasn't quite old enough, the children are supposed to be three, but because the teacher of the pre-school class knew him and her son loves Grayson, she said it would be okay for him to come. I can't even explain how excited he was each day that he came home and how he looked forward to going the next morning. He really enjoyed it and I'm so grateful.

The last day of Bible School, the Church set up water slides and pools for the kids. This was so much fun to watch. At first Grayson was hesitant because the water was cool, but after realizing it was almost 100 degrees outside and the water actually felt pretty good, he jumped right in. Literally.
For more pictures of his last day, click here.

Friday night, Grayson went to a local carnival with his cousins, Tevyn and Trevor. As you know, Grayson loves the rides so I knew this would be a good time. He did have a blast on the kid rides, but we also rode along with them on the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler and they couldn't have been happier. Before we left, we allowed the boys to throw balls at the fish game. Grayson actually got one of his balls in a fish bowl and won a fish! Willie (Tevyn and Trevor's dad), then got two in, so each boy won a fish. We brought them to my house and put them in the pond. We'll see how they do! I'm surprised Grayson hasn't already asked to go down to see them. (FYI, it's a real pond, not a little garden pond.)

And as for me, it was an amazing week! Since Grayson was at Bible School each morning, I was able to use that free time to focus on Learning is an Art and it really paid off. My business is doing great and I'm even more excited about it. I can't wait to see watch the future holds!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Sweetest Place on Earth

Last Friday Grayson went to Hershey Park for the first time with two of his friends. I thought he would love it because he loves to ride the rides at the carnival. When we got there, he didn't want to get out of his stroller, didn't want to get on any of the rides, and was generally being contrary. He asked to eat (surprise, surprise) so I got him a grilled cheese sandwich and he sat in his stroller while his two friends rode the rides. As soon as he was finished eating it was like a light switch was flipped. He decided it was time to have some fun and boy, did he!! We even got on a bit of a thrill ride, the thing spun in different directions and went very fast. He wasn't able to get on it by himself, so I rode it with him. I had no idea how he was going to react but he LOVED it. I was then afraid he wouldn't get back on any of the "kiddie" rides, but he did. We were there until after four and he had a blast. It was definitely worth the trip.

As for another update, he is fully potty trained during the day now. I can't even remember the last day he had an accident. This is a really great feeling. I'm not sure when we'll start working on the night time. The poor kid still has to have his diaper changed in the middle of the night so that it won't leak by the morning, so I have a feeling that night time potty training is going to take a while.

I'm also doing really well. I'm thoroughly enjoying my new business. It's nice to get out of the house and I also feel very good about what I'm doing. I had no idea what it felt like to love your job. I can actually say that now and mean it!! Speaking of which, this month we are running a special. For every Safety Brainiac sold, we are donating $5 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This charity is obviously one that is very near and dear to my heart and if you have any children in your life, this game is an excellent one to add to their collections. It's a great way for them to learn about safety issues while having a fun time. Now, get to ordering!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Lot of Catching Up!!

To say these last few weeks have been crazy and hectic is an understatement. We have moved into the newly remodeled house and have been unpacking and trying to decorate. All while an occasional worker still needs to have access to finish something (like painting or today, replace our shower door for the third time). Since the house isn't completely finished we still haven't been able to convert our construction loan to a true mortgage and this is causing me a lot of stress. I hate this feeling of limbo. Hopefully that will happen soon, but really, how long does it take to replace two cabinet doors??? I mean, come on!! It's been like two months!

Grayson has been loving the new house. Lots and lots of room to run around. He also absolutely adores his dinosaur bedroom. We have had no problems with him sleeping in his "big boy bed." He is getting up a little earlier nowadays and this is causing a very grouchy toddler to emerge at about 11:00 AM, but we're surviving.

As for me, I got to spend four glorious days with my high school friends in New York City. I also got to see one of my best friends from college while there. It was a very nice, relaxing weekend and a much needed break.

This gets me ready for a very busy week. In May I started my own business with Learning is an Art. I have mentioned before that I was doing a lot of research to find something I could do that would get me out of the house while also bringing in some income. That's when I found LiA. We sell educational games and toys for kids, teens, and adults and 100% of our profits are donated to charity. For the first time I actually love my job. In the past I have loved the people I worked with or the company I worked for, but I never actually enjoyed what I did. I love the products, I love going to the parties, and I love that we actually give back to the community. This week I have three parties booked, so I'm going to be a little busy. Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

And Now For Some Good News!!

I can't believe I'm posting this. After five months of living in our basement, we have finally come from the underground to live in our newly remodeled home!!! I feel like I am seeing the sun for the first time. I have a lot of other stuff to talk about - Mother's Day, Memorial Day, moving (in general) - with a bunch of pictures, but today is going to be very busy and I need to get started. We've been "living" in the upstairs since Friday night (which, BTW, Grayson did an EXCELLENT job in his new big boy bed), but we really haven't moved, and that's what we plan to do today. So, off I go, but before I do, here's a picture of Grayson "helping" one of the workers in the house. They are putting up the new railing around the basement steps. Grayson has really enjoyed having all the workers here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sloooooow Progress

Well, we were supposed to be in our new house by the end of April, but that didn't happen. Now I'm wondering if we'll be in it by the end of this month. The subcontractors just don't seem to want to show up, when people do show up to do the work, they often mess it up, and then when the reliable people come to work, the supplies they're give are wrong. I can't even count on both hands the number of errors our supplier has made. They range from building the roof trusses wrong to ordering roping for our kitchen cabinets that I specifically requested not be ordered to putting the wrong color hinges on ALL the doors. Those are just a few that pop into my mind. I actually don't walk through the house that much right now because all I can see and think about are the things that are wrong or messed up. And then there's the stuff that's simply not complete - like our hardwood floors. So going through the house puts me in a rather bad mood. I know it will be all worth it in the end, but living in the basement is starting to take its toll on all of us. I have uploaded new pictures that show some of the progress, just click on the picture of the house below to view them.
In some good progress news, Grayson and Dominic planted grass seed on part of the yard the other day. Grayson had a blast riding on the mower with his Daddy and I had fun watching them. (I hate yard work so watching them suits me just fine.) We also bought a new play yard for Grayson this week. I've been researching them for over a year and finally found a great deal. We're now waiting for it to be delivered. I can't wait to see how excited he gets when he sees he's going to have a swingset in his yard!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Whatta Week!!

And it's only Tuesday. On Sunday, Dominic, Grayson, me, and a few of Grayson's friends went to Baby Loves Disco at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore. We had a great time and it was a wonderful way to start out the week. If you've never gone, it's a lot of fun. They close down the bar for parents and their kids and they get to dance the day away. Grayson was a little hesitant at first, but once he warmed up to the idea, he had a blast. We definitely plan to go again.
Then things started to go a little downhill. On Monday, I was scheduled to have minor surgery. The surgery went very well, but the after effects of the anethesia and pain killers were awful. They couldn't get my blood pressure up high enough, so I was stuck in the hospital for three hours after the surgery (it was only supposed to an hour max). Then, once I got home - and the car ride was terrible - I was sick all day and the pain killers barely worked. I had never really had this kind of reaction, so it was a little frustrating for me. Thank you to Dominic for taking care of me all day, and for handling Grayson and the household chores! Luckily today I feel better, just very tired. But...

This morning we had another problem. Grayson is a pretty rough and tumble kid and he's had his share of falls. Well, this morning he ran into a table corner and cut the area above his eye. I was hoping it wasn't too serious, but when I had my sister take a look, we decided he should probably get stitches. We went to the Urgent Care Center in Charles Town and didn't have to wait at all. The staff was wonderful, but the experience was terrible. It was only three stitches, but that was enough for me. I felt so bad for the poor guy, but he survived and I have a feeling this won't be the last set of stitches he'll get in his life.
Tough Guy

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just a Moment

I very rarely "just post" on my blog. Since the title is "All About Grayson" I try to stay focused on the subject - my son. Also, I simply do not have to time to log in and share thoughts or feelings randomly. But at this moment, this very peaceful, quiet, calm moment, I have some time.

Grayson and Dominic are travelling to the firehouse so Dominic can say goodbye to a co-worker who's last shift is today. My house is silent. It's strange. But I thought I would take advantage of it.

A lot is going on right now. We are about to move into our newly remodeled home. I'm excited, anxious, nervous, etc. I wish it were over and done with. I'm tired of living in the basement without any windows or a "real" bedroom. I'm tired of waiting for a worker to get something done so the next worker can come in and do his job. I'm tired of the mud that surrounds my house. I'm just...tired. I can't wait to sleep in my bed (we're on a futon right now), cook in my kitchen, work in my home office - I can't wait for all of it!!

I'm also looking into some new business opportunities. I'm trying to find a good match for me and the family. I don't want to return to work full time and I definitely don't want to go back to Human Resources or Corporate Training, but I want to find something that gets me out of the house every now and then and also will allow me to use my brain. I'm hoping my friends and family will support me in whatever I choose. I had thought I found a great opportunity last fall, but that didn't work out, so I'm hoping my research works this time. I have already spoken with the founder of the company and it sounds absolutely amazing, so as soon as I'm ready, I think I'll jump in. We'll see, and I'm sure I'll post more about it soon.

In addition, we've decided to get ready for our next adoption. We're in the middle of our homestudy process right now. I'm mentally prepared for another child, but I'm also rather nervous. Grayson and I have a pretty good routine going and a newborn is going to change all of that. That's scary, but I guess everyone goes through that when they plan to add another child to the family.

So there you have it - a few updates and a few feelings. I'm going to use the rest of my quiet moment to relax on the couch and enjoy the peace. "Talk" to you later!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jump, Baby, Jump!!!

If you have a child who loves to climb, jump on the furniture, and has tons of energy, then buy them a bounce house! I have been debating the purchase of one of these for months. I was going to buy him one for his birthday, then Christmas, then just because we were stuck in the basement during the winter and he had nothing to do with himself, but I was afraid he wouldn't use it and it wouldn't justify the cost. I finally broke down this week because I couldn't stand it anymore, so I bought one on eBay. And he loves it!!! He's been jumping on it for the past two and a half hours and still doesn't seem to be slowing down. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favorite purchases for a while.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hellooooo, Toddler Bed!!

There really has been a lot going on lately - Grayson's first trip to the circus (which he really enjoyed), Easter, another egg hunt, house construction, paperwork for our next adoption, etc. - so I apologize for not posting much, but last night was a big deal for Grayson so I had to stop by and give an update.

Grayson started climbing out of his crib this past weekend. No matter how much I told him not to do it, he continued playing on the crib like a jungle gym. When the house is finished, we plan to transition him to a "big boy bed." The bed was actually my nephew's when he was little and it's a loft bed with a desk and dresser underneath. It will be perfect for Grayson but way too big to bring into the house right now. Also, since we plan to move into the addition very, very soon, it makes no sense to buy a net for over the bed or to buy a toddler bed.

Earlier in the week, I started taking off the front piece of his crib so he no longer would have to climb over it and he loved it during the day when he's playing in his room, but refused to sleep in it that way. Well, last night I had had it. I just knew that if he continued to climb in and out of the crib that he was going to fall and break an arm, or worse. I decided to take it off and it was going to stay off. He put up a big fight when it was bed time, but finally fell asleep and then only woke up once in the middle of the night and came out of his room. He did really, really well!! One more milestone to check off the list.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grayson's New Tool Bench

Well, he did it! Grayson filled his "potty chart" with stars when he successfully made it for five days without any accidents. As a result, we took him to Toys R US to pick out a new toy. We gave him the choice between a tool bench or a drum set and he immediately wanted the tool bench. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the one we wanted. So we checked the store in Hagerstown - and they were sold out as well. We finally found some in Gaithersburg. We called in advance to make sure we didn't drive all the way down there to find they were sold out. They assured us that they had four on the floor and three in the back. When we got there (about 20 minutes later), they had one left on the floor and we grabbed it. Grayson hasn't stopped playing with it since!

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Trip to Chuck E. Cheese's

Grayson has only been to Chuck E. Cheese's once and that was when he was about 11 months old for one of his friend's birthday parties. I don't have any problem with the place, we've just never gone.

Well, this week we held our playgroup there and Grayson really enjoyed himself. I had hoped he would have played in the "jungle gym" a little more, but he had fun playing with the rides and the games. He even ended up with enough tickets to get two lollipops, a sticker, and a plastic ant. Pure gold to him!

In other news, he's doing very, very well with the potty. We ditched pull-ups and diapers completely (except when he's sleeping) two weeks ago, and he's handling real underwear like a champ. He still has accidents, but usually only when we're home and I finally am not too nervous about taking him out and about (but I always have backups!). Each day that he goes accident-free he gets a star on his chart and when he reaches a certain number, he'll get a new tool bench. I don't know if he really grasps the concept yet, but I'm hoping it will help a little.

Also, we're making some progress with the house remodel. We finally have some brick on the outside, although thanks to the extremely cold weather during the previous two weeks and then tons of rain on other days, we aren't as far along as I would like. The drywall was hung this week and is supposed to be sanded by Monday so the painting can start on Tuesday. Our contractor is still shooting for April, so let's hope that still works out. It hasn't been too bad living in the basement, but I'm starting to get a little tired of not having any sunlight in the house.

Keeping Busy in the Basement

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All the Way to 10!

I apologize for another month of limited posting. I feel like we're constantly running around in circles as we get closer and closer to finishing the house. Speaking of which, our front door went in last week, our brick is going up this week, and next week the drywall is being installed. All great news, but this also meant that I had to get our light fixtures, appliances, and miscellaneous other items picked because I was running out of time. And that's pretty much what I've been doing.

As for Grayson, he's doing very well. He still loves tools and thanks to toys we received from his cousin Brooks, Grayson has discovered Bob the Builder. I recorded it the other day and let him watch it (we usually only watch Sesame Street when we watch TV) and he was mesmorized. He also still loves dinosaurs and the bedding we ordered for his new bedroom came yesterday. He wanted to open it right away, of course. He is now also counting to 10 all by himself, without missing any numbers. He's been counting for a while, but would often skip a number, but now he does it without error. He counts to 20, but once we get past 11, he's not quite getting all the teens in order, but we'll get there!!

Here's a picture from this morning. Our contractor is working on the stairs that come into our basement, so whenever someone is working downstairs, Grayson has to put on his toolbelt and "build a house" on his slide (one of the places he's allowed to bang his hammer) while he watches them work. As you can also see, he's wearing dinosaur pajamas. I ordered these because they were on sale, even though they are too big for him to wear right now, but that didn't stop him. He HAD to wear them to bed last night and really, they weren't that big on him. (which is scary because I fear he'll be in 4T's for the summer).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Third Time's A Charm

Last year Grayson was having some problem with his white blood cell count. Each time we had his bloodwork done, it was elevated. We always found the results amazing because other than colds and an occasional fever, the kid is never sick. He's never had an ear infection, has only had to take antibiotics once (just before he turned one), and he only just recently had his first stomach virus.

At his two-year-old doctor appointment, we knew we were going to have to have the bloodwork done again, but Grayson got his flu shot that day, so we were told to wait until the following week. Well, that week came and went, and then the holidays arrived, and then Grayson was really sick (that stomach virus I mentioned), etc., etc., so we didn't have the blood drawn.

Tuesday Dominic was off work. Since getting the blood drawn requires one of us to hold him still, we decided to do it that day and have Dominic hold him. When we arrived in the room, the technician had planned to do it herself with Dominic holding him. The look on my face must have convinced her to get some help because she asked someone to come in with her. They blew his vein with the first stick and Grayson was screaming. He's not only crying, but also yelling that it's hurting him. Ugh. The other technician tried it on his other arm and they were able to get the blood.

The next day Grayson woke up with a stuffy nose, so I just knew he was going to have another elevated white blood cell count. When we got home today after visiting a preschool, there was a message from the doctor's office to discuss his results. I was dreading it. Once the doctor got on the phone I was waiting for the bad news again, "His white blood cell count is high, you're going to have to have the blood drawn again. Blah, blah, blah." But to my surprise, that's not what he said at all. He told me everything looked great!! EVERYTHING!! This was great news. So, we finally have that behind us and I'm very glad it's a happy ending.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Preschools, Ack!!

I'm hoping to get Grayson into an excellent preschool that will then get him on the fast track straight to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and boy, is this quite an ordeal.

Just kidding. All I'm looking for is a nice place where he can learn how to count to 100 and how to play with other children, while also discovering that there are viewpoints in the world other than mine. You would think I was asking for a million dollars to fall into my lap (although that would be nice right about now, too).

I have seen the parents on television who are eagerly trying to get their child into the best of the best preschool. This requires numerous interviews with the parents and the child, enormous application fees which don't even guarantee a spot in the school and are non-refundable, and then a wait for an acceptance letter. Yes, an acceptance letter!!! If these poor kids are already under this much pressure at three, I can't even imagine how much worse it is going to get.

Luckily, I have discovered there are quite a few schools in our area that seem to meet my and Grayson's needs. And getting into them isn't going to require any of what I mentioned above nor will I have to stand in line at 4:00 AM hoping to get in quick enough to get him a spot or sit on a waiting list for months. Don't get me wrong, education is very, very important to me and I look forward to Grayson's school days, but the kid isn't even three yet. Do I really need to begin pressuring him already?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Appreciating My Son

These past couple weeks have been pretty rough on Grayson and me. Not only because we have both been sick, but also thanks to the holidays, our routine was completely off kilter since most of our normal events like playgroups and gym class have been canceled. As a result, we have been stuck in the house, which means the basement since that’s where we are living right now. Since Grayson is a very social kid, just like me, we’ve been going a little stir crazy.

During this time, I was emailing one of my friends back and forth. They have also been pretty sick over the holidays and we were exchanging battle stories. While we were discussing our holidays she wrote something interesting, “Two is such a fun age.” As I read it, I laughed out loud and then I told her how amusing I found the statement. She then pointed out how funny her daughter is now and how she is able to reason with her, unlike when she was one.

I thought a little more about this and then started to reflect back on the past couple weeks and how really great Grayson had been. Sure, we had our tough moments, but overall we really enjoyed our time together. This prompted me to think more about why I love my son and why I am going to try even harder to appreciate him as a two-year-old. Here’s my list:

He’s hilarious and he tells you so. Now that he speaks in sentences, he says the funniest things and he tells me all the time, “I funny, Mommy, I funny.” Perfect.

He says please and thank you. And very rarely needs to be prompted. This is something I take pride in because manners seem to be disappearing a bit nowadays. He's also really big on saying "bless you" after you sneeze. And after you cough. At first I was trying to distinguish between the two, but then a friend of mine said, "sometimes coughs need blessing too," and I realized she was completely right.

He loves to go to church. Pretty much every day he asks to go to church. I’m sure he doesn’t understand why we go to church at this point, but I’m also sure that when he’s 16-years-old, he’ll probably be fighting me rather than begging to go, so I’m going to appreciate it while it lasts.

His energy is unstoppable. I am amazed at how he can continue to go and go and go. Because of this, he motivates me to do the same. Then again, do I really have a choice??

He enjoys music. He would much rather listen to music than watch television. He also loves to sing and when his Daddy and I practice singing with our group at church for our contemporary services, he really has a blast. Just today I saw him mimicking our drummer as he tapped his drumsticks together, counted, and then started playing his drum. We had always planned on starting him with guitar lessons, but we may have to rethink that!!

He has a mind of his own. This one is hard to appreciate as he pushes my buttons, argues with me, and fights me on almost everything; however, if I take a moment and really think about it, I know I’m raising a strong, independent thinker and that will serve him well as he becomes an adult. And also, all those challenging moments are making me a better person and mother.

This year at Christmas, he got more excited over the tree lights than the gifts themselves. I had mentioned in my previous post about how hard I had worked to have the gifts under the tree for him to see when he awoke on Christmas morning. I did this because his face lit up the first time we turned on the tree lights and it continued to do so the entire month before Christmas. I really thought he would be incredibly excited over seeing the gifts and couldn’t believe he didn’t seem to care at the time. At first I was disappointed, but the more I thought about it, the greater it became. He found appreciation more in the “spirit” rather than just getting toys. I hope he always feels that way.

He tells me he loves me all the time. I remember the first time he said I love you and it has only become better each time. I don’t think I will ever be tired of hearing it. The best sentence someone could ever say!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Holidays Are Behind Us Once Again

Even though Dominic and I are in the middle of construction, we chose to still host our family on Christmas Day. As my brother said, this was the 50th consecutive year Christmas has been hosted in this house. The house may not be the same as it was 50 years ago, but it’s nice to know we were able to keep up the tradition. Luckily it hadn’t rained in a few days, so the mud had turned to dirt for the day and it made it much easier for people to get in. I’ve started posting construction photos for you to view if you’re interested. You can click here to view them and the link is also listed on the side of the blog.

As for the rest of the holiday week, we had kicked it off by visiting Dominic’s sister Maria in Baltimore and had dinner with his family. Grayson had a blast playing with his cousin Paul that day. I survived singing in the Christmas Eve cantata at church. I was very worried I was going to get sick, but that actually came later in the week, luckily.

Grayson enjoyed opening his gifts on Christmas, but I think he was more excited about tearing the paper rather than the gifts themselves. He had been so excited when we put up the tree I thought he would really love to see all the gifts Christmas morning, but the first words out of his mouth after he woke were “I wanna eat.” Go figure.

His favorite gifts were definitely his ride-on gator (which we bought from my sister), his football helmet (he hasn’t wanted to remove it), and his iPod player that is a stuffed elephant.
Unfortunately, Grayson got rather sick the next day at my mother’s house during her open house. This started a very rough week for us. Although I survived our first stomach virus, I’m still sick today and it made New Year’s Eve a little harder for me to handle (but I was still up until 1:00 AM), I’m still very miserable and we missed our gym class today because I just didn’t feel up to leaving the house. Hopefully this will pass soon and we’ll be back to normal.