Sleep Walking

Jamie and I went for a walk this morning.  I need the exercise and he needed to be distracted during the time he would normally be napping.  We’re trying to transition him to one nap and it’s been. . . difficult.

Someone fell asleep.

Hopefully that 20 minutes catnap will get him to his regular nap time with a minimum of crankitude.

On the Second Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday was the first full day of school for Liam.  So, we got to do drop off for the first time and he got to ride the bus home for the first time.

Once again, Liam was excited as a kid at Christmas.  While we were eating lunch I told him that we had to finish eating and then get ready for school.  He immediately added, “And then the fun begins!”

He did great at drop off and when it came time for the bus to drop him off we all headed up to the bus stop to meet him.

Waiting for brother!
Finally, the bus pulled up and the kids started pouring out.  I could see Liam waving at me from the window of the bus – right up front!  I managed to catch a shot of him getting off the bus.
He ran directly to me, gave me a big hug and said “It was so fun, I didn’t want to stop!”
If I still hear that by the end of the year, I’ll consider it a victory.

The Day He’s Been Waiting Over a Year For Is Finally Here

Today Liam became a kindergarten student.

He’s spent the entirety of the last week quizzing me on how many days he has left until school starts and randomly announcing how excited he is to start school.  The only problem was that today was an orientation day and we didn’t go to school until 1:00 pm. 

It was like telling a kid that the stockings on Christmas morning were to hang where they were – stuffed to the gills – and were not to be touched until after Christmas dinner.  You can imagine what that made my day like.  I tried to keep him busy (Hello, Costco run!) but really, all he was focused on was school.

Finally, it was time and he was ready to go.

We headed off to school and met with other parents and kids and then met his teacher.  We went to the classroom and he found his seat and he got to color while the teacher talked to the parents about various administrative points.

Once we were done with that, the teacher gathered the kids together and read a story with them.

After that we went outside to find a bus waiting.  They got to meet a bus driver and a police officer talked to them about bus safety.  Then, it was onto the bus for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood!

With all that excitement out of the way, it was time to come home.  Tomorrow is his first day of school on the regular schedule and he’s all ready to go.  He has his backpack ready and we know who his bus buddy is – an older child at school who will help him get on the bus and get off at the right stop.  It’s one of the neighbor kids so he knows her.

He’s so tired from all the build up of going to school that he’s just exhausted tonight.  I’m proud of him, though.  He did fantastic!  Tomorrow, Jamie and I will be waiting for him when he gets off the bus and I bet he’ll be all smiles.  I can’t wait.

One Week

In one week, there will be a kindergarten student living in this house.

It seems like just a few weeks ago that we moved into this house with Liam as a 2.5 year old.  I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of really settling into caring for our house and yet, here it is, three years later and Liam is starting school.  Time really does go by quickly.

Liam is excited.  I don’t know how he could be anything but.  He’s been talking about going to kindergarten for almost a year and a half now.  He’s so very ready to be a big kid and ride the bus and have a backpack and learn all kind of great things.

We had a little welcome reception at the school the other night for the incoming kindergarten class and I could tell that it made Liam that much more excited.  He got to meet the other kids and run around on the playground with them.  We also got to see his classroom and meet the principal.  When we came home that night, Liam asked me if school were starting the next day and I could tell he was a little disappointed when I said it wasn’t.

So now he has me counting down the days until kindergarten starts.  I’m so proud of what a great kid he is and I know he’s going to do just fine.  I hope he loves learning and loves school for many, many years to come.

That first day of school, I’m going to be waiting for him at the bus stop and I can’t wait to hear all about his day.

A Letter to Granddad

Liam has decided that he wants to learn how to read.  I honestly believe that he’s halfway there already but I don’t think he realizes that.  I think he reads more than he lets on.

He has the fundamentals down pat – he knows his letters and the sounds they make, he can write them all, there are even a number of words he really can read that he learned in pre-school.  He just needs to be able to put the blocks together and build his reading castle.

To that end, I asked my father-in-law, Tom, if he would help Liam.  I’m afraid that if I try to do it, Liam and I will butt heads and get frustrated.  I don’t want to turn him off of reading because of frustration with me.  Tom, on the other hand, taught elementary school for over 30 years and is a fantastic teacher.  Who better to teach Liam?  When I asked, he was happy to help.

After I got off the phone with Tom, I told Liam that Granddad was going to work with him on reading sometime soon.  I warned him that it would take practice but that I knew he could do it. 

Out of nowhere, Liam piped up that he wanted to send Granddad a card to remind him about the reading lessons.  Well, he was in luck because I’m into cardmaking/scrapbooking and I have a ton of supplies sitting upstairs.  When Jamie went down for his nap that day, Liam and I sat down in the office to make a card for Granddad.

Designed, executed, and written by Liam (with a little technical help from me), here is his card to Granddad:

Granddad loves pigs, thus the stamp choice
It says “Granddad, I’m looking forward to reading with you!  Liam”
“Hand stamped for you by: Liam”
Have I mentioned that my kid is made of awesome?  He’s made of awesome.

Again? Really?

Last night at around 8:00, Scot looked out the back door and said “What the hell is THAT?!”

People, another tree came down.  ANOTHER ONE.  I know that much of the Pittsburgh region got slammed with storms last night but we were in the zone of no storms.  Storms to the north.  Storms to the south.  No storms here.  There wasn’t a single drop of rain, rumble of thunder, flash of lightning, or gust of wind.

Despite that, we have this “little” problem facing us:

We’ve known for a few weeks that we have a very large, very dead tree on our back hill, situated directly in front of our treehouse.  The removal of this problem is going to require a tree service which we hadn’t gotten around to yet because of the $500 we spent on a new water heater 2 weeks ago.  There’s only so much room in the budget, people.

Anyway, a fairly large limb of the dead tree came down and in the process managed to take out some other baby trees.  Here’s where the limb came from (look at the tree directly to the right of the tree house and go up – there’s broken tree there).

A close up:

So, whether we were ready for it financially, we’ve got to get the tree service in here to do some damn clean up work.  So much for getting new garage doors this fall.  By the time all is said and done we will have managed to blow about 2/3 of the money required for that on unexpected home repairs.  I’d really rather go to Hawaii.

Well.

Not Hawaii.  I’d have to wear a bathing suit.  But vacation?  YES, PLEASE.