Saturday, July 25, 2015

Big Stuff

We're Potty Training!

Prior to yesterday, Hugh had been completely uninterested in the potty. He would sit on it (clothes on) every now and then, but wouldn't sit with clothes off, and if you asked him if he wanted to go potty, he'd say no.

I'm not sure what happened to cause the readiness, but out of nowhere, when we got home from the splash pad yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to go pee pee on the potty, as I was taking his wet swim clothes off him. He said yes, and sat right on the potty. He didn't go right away, so I left him sitting there while I gathered up wet clothes and towels. 

All of a sudden, Gus started shouting, "He's going pee pee!" and when I came to look, sure enough, there was pee pee in the little potty! I was SO EXCITED!!! Of course, Gus and I made a HUGE deal out of it and we were screaming, clapping, hooting, and hollerin' and Hugh was just beaming with pride.

To make it even sweeter, before he went to bed last night, he went pee pee on the potty so Steve could see it. He went again tonight before bed and I am so proud of him. 

I know it's not a guarantee that he's ready for full-on training, it's definitely good stuff. He'll be going to Tu/Th preschool starting in September and we've got pullups for him to wear to school. I know when he sees other kids going, he'll just be even more interested and willing to go. 

It's bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready to be done with diapers... but it makes me a little sad to know he's growing up and already starting to do big stuff like this. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last Day of GA PreK

August 11th, 2014

The last day of GA PreK arrived on Friday, May 22nd and we were all kinds of excited! While we were sad to say goodbye to the friends made at Medlock Bridge, we were so ready to stop waking up at 5:40am M-F to get on a bus at 6:15am. I'm sorry, but it made for a really LONG school year.

Gus still had a bit of a baby-face at the start of the year, but by May 22nd, that baby look was gone. It's sad so see the passing of this phase, but exciting at the same time to start the next phase :: The Elementary Years.

I'm excited for Gus to experience all the wonderful things that come with attending school. He thrives on order and routine, and school is perfect for that. He loves being around other kids and feeling important, and he'll have that. Most importantly, he needs his sensory needs met, and when he returns to kindergarten in the fall, he'll have plenty of time to have all his sensory needs met. It's going to be great for him.

Here are some comparison pictures of August and May.
August 2014

May 2015

1st Day with Mr. Serge

Last Day with Mr. Serge

1st Day

Last Day

This year has been full of tremendous growth for Gus. Academically, he's on the advanced side of things and has recently begun reading sight words. While in school, he was one of five kids in the only reading group in his class, and he was doing really well. He loves books, words, and reading.

His favorite subjects are science, reading, and math-- though to be honest, he really loves all subjects. He has a natural love for learning and I'm praying that it continues.

I know that preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are the CRITICAL years for developing a love for school and learning. If a child has a negative experience during these three years, it sets the tone for the future, and there's nothing more difficult to process than a child that hates school. We're hoping that he gets a phenomenal teacher for kindergarten and that his first grade year is met with nothing but happiness, growth, and success.

We've already started preparing for kindergaten and have been reading lots of books with a kindergarten theme. We recently bought his backpack (on clearance from REI and it's awesome). We per-ordered a Paw Patrol lunch box and are eager for it to ship. I've started buying back to school clothing (I've got his first day of school outfit bought and his shirt and tie for fall pictures). Needless to say, he's really excited for kindergarten. :-)

Next we need to start focusing on Hugh and his first day, but he doesn't start until September (he starts Tu/Th preschool on the Tuesday after Labor Day). Gus starts kindergarten on August 10th.

I'm hoping to post more this summer-- please forgive the lapse in time!!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

He's Five.

They say the days are long, but the years are short and it's so true. How we have a five-year-old already is beyond me. I can still vividly remember the night that Gus was born and all the details that follow. I wish someone would invent something to freeze time already, because Gus turning five about did me in. I can't even think about birthdays beyond this one, as they're going to just get more and more difficult to deal with.

Before I share the amazing things that we did to celebrate this special milestone birthday (no longer a baby, toddler, or preschooler... now officially considered a big kid "GASP"), I want to tell you about my sweet little Gus-Gus.

First, he'd be very upset if he knew I was calling him little. He's very adamant about the fact that he is NOT LITTLE. Preach it, Gus. He is anything but little in size. While we won't have an exact measurement until a month from now (when he and Hugh go for their well visits), at the last appointment, he was just at 50 pounds and was 48 inches tall. He's wearing a size 13 shoe, size 7 pants/jeans and has moved into a 6/7 for shirts. 

Gus is such a helpful boy. He really thrives on helping others and if he's asked to do something that will benefit someone else, he eagerly jumps up to help them. He likes having important duties (he wants to be a line leader when he grows up), and does best when someone makes him feel like he's got a job to do. He's a hard worker and doesn't give up until the job/task is complete.

He loves THRIVES on routines and structure. The more he knows what to expect, the better. However, the first time introducing him to something better be exactly the way you want it to be forever, because it becomes THE way to do something. 

Gus loves Hugh and enjoys being around him. They are the best of friends and laugh together, and just as quickly the tides turn and they are fighting and screaming at each other. It's funny to watch them interact, and as Hugh is getting older, he's starting to do everything that he sees his big brother do. It's super cute.

Gus is doing so well in school. He loves math, counting, patterns, 2D and 3D shapes, but he loves reading the most. He was in the only reading group in his class and they were reading a lot of little sight word books. I bought a program called "The Reading Game" (I'll blog about it later) and he's been reading sight words, story cards, and their special books. I think he knows 26 words already and we just got started!!

Gus loves trains. He also loves bubbles and is starting to get into Legos. The sad words, "That's a toy for Hugh" has been said about some of his old favorites, just one more reminder that he's not a baby anymore. It hurts my heart at times, but I know it's part of life. I'd rather him be growing and developing according to plan, than be delayed and super immature.

Gus has started to take an interest in hearing "The Story of Gus." Every night, after his story (we've discovered Magic Tree House books and Gus loves hearing about Jack and Annie's adventures), he asks me to rock him and tell him "his story." It varies in how much detail goes into the tale each night, but he has his favorite parts:
1) When we got the call from Sharon we were just about to head into the baseball game
2) When I got the text from Peggi saying it wouldn't be long... and then the next text was a picture of him. He likes that I cried and woke Steve up to see the picture
3) He loves hearing that he had red hair as a baby :-)
4) When we parked at the hospital and I thought I was going to throw up because I was so nervous to meet him, Claire, and Peggi
5) When we walked into the room and Grammy (Peggi) handed him to me and said, "Here's your baby."

He loves to hear his story and we talk about his adoption, his birth family, and how much he's loved by everyone. He knows that he grew inside Claire for nine months and she brought him into this world. :-)

Okay... so back to celebrating five years of amazingness. I took some pictures to celebrate his fifth birthday. I think they turned out really great.

The morning of his birthday (Monday), he got to wear his special shirt (it's not the same special one that I plan to order SOON... the lady that sells the number shirts has been on vacation since January) and took some cupcakes to school to have with his friends.

After school was done, he came home and we had a little surprise for him. On a total whim, my best friend Brittany threw together an impromptu pool party for Gus's birthday. 

We got to Britt's pool and were met by my friend Stephanie and her two girls, my friend Heather and her two boys, and then my friend Krystal and her two girls. All of the kiddos are good friends and they were all so excited to celebrate Gus's birthday. Heather brought cupcakes and drinks and we ordered pizza for dinner.

It was such a wonderful way to celebrate his birthday. He was overjoyed with being at the pool with all his friends, and I was overwhelmed by the love and support shown by my friends. 

Steve was able to come by after work and Britt's husband came to the pool after he got home from work. It was so wonderful.

As if the pool party wasn't enough, we actually had a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's for Gus. He said he wanted to go there, so we made it happen. It's probably the last big birthday he'll have (next year, we'll probably just do something like the pool party), and he specifically asked for the friends that he invited to come.

His party was great. He was surrounded by people that love him and think he's the coolest cat in town. He smiled the whole morning and said it was the best birthday he's ever had. :-)

I have six more months to brace myself for the emotions that will come when Hugh turns three. I really don't know where the time is going, but it needs to STOP!!!