Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fordyce Fair Parade 2010

We went to Fordyce for the Fair Parade last Thursday.  Jason's dad is running for Mayor of Fordyce so he was in the parade!  
Jason with his sister and niece
Waiting to see his Poppa!

Julianne and Julie

It was VERY sunny!

My baby and me :)

Jason with his mom
Picking up candy that was thrown from different floats
Back at Jason's parents house

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Made MY Decision

Since last Thursday I could feel the anxiety building for the next "Kids Day Out". I was a mess yesterday. I went to Target and bought a train track and trains to donate to Kohen's classroom in hopes of him having a better day at KDO. When I got home from Target, I started reading the stack of papers I was supposed to sign and send back in his folder today. I could feel myself getting very emotional and anxious while reading about school pictures, Christmas programs and field trips. To top it off, this paper below was also included in the folder...

Devastating. You may read it and say, But the teacher also said that "tomorrow should be a better day". Whatever. I know better. I used to be that teacher who had to send home a bad report and we were taught to ALWAYS include a positive along with the negative.
Last night I got in bed early. I laid there and cried. Is it really worth all of this? He doesn't have to go.... I already paid the money, but on the other hand would pay that amount of money not to feel this way anymore... I have some people telling me not to send him but I also have more people telling me to stick with it. Jason came in and laid down beside me. He knew I was having a very hard time with it. He told me he would support me in what ever decision I made. He just held me as I boo hooed. After a few minutes I said "I'm not going to take him". Jason didn't say anything at first. I said it again and I immediately felt better. It felt like a weight had been lifted. I know people say that a lot, but seriously, I physically felt like I did the day I had reduction surgery and woke up and could breathe. That's how much this has been weighing on me and I didn't even realize it.
Don't get me wrong. I am ALLLLLL about taking your child to some kind of KDO, MDO or anything like that. I think it helps them in SOOOO many ways. But for now, I'm going to keep my baby home with me.
When I woke up this morning and heard Kohen on the monitor, I couldn't wait to go get him and let him play with whatever he wanted wherever he wanted. I will continue working on the 3 things I listed in the last post, especially his bed time. But, I just don't have the heart right now to take away his "flat surfaces" or ban him form playing with toys on the coffee table. As long as he knows the "floor" is an option too, I think he will be just fine. And so will his mom ;)

I took these pictures last Thursday after I tried so hard to get him to play on the floor:
I think he likes it!

For now we'll do fun stuff at home

This is very off the subject but I wanted to document this! Kohen will pull up this little ottoman to the bookshelf and point to himself in a picture and say "Baby". It's so cute :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kids Day Out

Today was Kohen's first day of Kids Day Out. It started bad....and ended worse...

Here's the whole story (I feel I need to document this day, so it may be boring to you!):

The whole idea of even sending him to KDO came unexpectedly. Kohen and I were riding with my friend Sherri to go pick up her little boy at the church where he goes to pre-school. She mentioned to me that they had a KDO program and I should check it out. So, while she was waiting in the car line to pick up her son, I ran inside to get info. I talked to the head of KDO and took a tour of the classrooms. Later, I talked to Jason about it. I have to admit, he wasn't crazy about the idea. I told him that Kohen needed to be exposed to more kids his age (not to mention the opportunity to learn numbers, colors, shapes, songs, discipline, following rules, listening skills, reading time, etc.). All Kohen has known is his house and his mommy. Every day. Jason agreed, so late last night we went to buy a lunch box! This is my first lunch I've ever packed for Kohen and I had NO IDEA what to put in it! I'm not allowed to send peanut products in his lunch, so his PB&J and peanut butter crackers were out. SO if any of you have any lunch ideas, let me know. I ended up packing ham, cheese, crackers, fruit, yogurt melts, Gerber fruit bar and cheese crackers. Yes, I know that may sound like a lot but I had no idea if he would eat the ham and cheese. I figured he would find something good to eat in that spread! I packed some of his lunch the night before and finished with the cold stuff this morning.
I had a horrible night sleep. If I wasn't awake thinking about his first day, then I was dreaming about it.

Here is Kohen eating his breakfast with Buzz Lightyear (also dressed as Buzz Lightyear)

Here's his lunch. Yes, I took a picture of his lunch.
My friend Sherri was with me when I took Kohen inside the church. He immediately wanted Sherri to hold him when he saw her. I was sad and said "Kohen, you're not going to let mommy carry you in on your first day?". He cried when I tried to take him from Sherri :( I took him anyway. By this time he saw some toys in a classroom (the wrong classroom) and went in to play. I took some pictures...

Now this is where it gets really sad. I had to take him from that classroom to his classroom and he threw an absolute fit. In front of everyone. I know the teachers were thinking he was a horrible little boy. As soon as he saw the new classroom and the new toys, he was off. And I mean off. He didn't even turn around to see if I was following him. I didn't even get to kiss him goodbye and tell him I would be back very soon to get him. The teachers were "guarding" the door so I kind of got the impression that I wasn't supposed to go in the room, so I had to leave. I knew Kohen was fine and LOVING playing with all of those toys. But I wasn't fine. I made it to the parking lot before I completely broke down. Thank goodness for Sherri.
Sherri's job was to keep me busy and get my mind off of things for the next 2 1/2 hours. We went to the gym then grocery shopping. Before I knew it, it was time to pick up Kohen!!!
I got to the church and walked to the front office to sign him out. Through the glass windows of the office I could see 3 figures WAY down the hallway. It was a lady, a man and a little kid throwing a fit at the lady's feet. That little kid was Kohen. He was just throwing himself at her leg, raring his head back and obviously wasn't doing what they wanted him to do AND he didn't have any pants on! Let me just say that again... he didn't have any pants on! I about died. I seriously think I quit breathing. (I'm crying now even just typing this). I told the office lady I had to hurry because my son was having a hard time. I started speed walking down this very long hallway. It seemed like a mile. I could feel it...the tears were coming. Before I got to them, the man picked Kohen up and took him inside the classroom. Once I finally reached the door, I stepped inside unnoticed. I watched as Kohen cried and fought tooth and nail to put this Noah's Arc toy onto the table. One of the teachers was pulling him away from the table saying "NO Kohen. We do NOT put toys on the table!". As I got closer, I stood over my little boy who pushed up off the floor to his elbows. I'll never forget his face. I picked him up and he settled down pretty quickly. The teachers didn't say anything. Yes, they were VERY busy putting lunches out on the tables but I really don't think they said anything to me. Maybe they did and I was just too overwhelmed to remember. BUT, I have a very good, vivid memory, so surely I would remember if they said something, right? I packed up the lunch box stuff that they had recently set out for Kohen. No way was I going to have him stay any longer. As I grabbed his bag, I recognized the old lady sitting with a kid on the floor. It was the same lady in the hallway when Kohen was throwing his fit. I apologized over and over to her. I told her (also for the other teachers to hear) that he is an only child and is hardly ever around kids his age. She assured me that everything was fine. I know she was lying, but it was very sweet of her to try and make me feel better. I turned around to the other teachers and said "So....where are his pants???". She pulled them off of a little yarn thing that I think is supposed to be for artwork. She said that he spilled his drink all over himself during snack time. I left the classroom. I got Kohen to the vehicle, buckled him in, handed him Buzz Lightyear, walked around and got in the car. I started Kohen's Thomas the Train DVD, and looked straight ahead. I put my hands on my face and down on the steering wheel and cried and cried and cried.
I called my mom and told her everything. I told her about me not getting to say goodbye when I dropped him off and about the fit in the hallway. But what broke my heart the most was the teacher not letting him put his toy on the table. If you know Kohen OR read my blog, you know that my child LOVES flat surfaces. That's all he does is play with his toys on flat surfaces! I just realized TODAY that he NEVER sits on the floor to play EVER! Seriously! He wakes up in the morning and rolls his train back and forth on the thick railing of his crib. When he plays in the living room he plays with his toys on the coffee table or the arm of the couch. In his room he plays with his toys on the ottoman or the window sill. Even when we go away for the weekend one of the first things we do is make sure there's some kind of "flat surface" in the hotel room! The realization of Kohen not ever playing on the floor has completely blown my mind today. NO WONDER he wanted to put that toy on the table at school! And if that weren't bad enough. Something else I've realized is he is NEVER without a toy. He eats with a toy (I mean come on, did you see the first picture???), takes naps with a toy, rides in the car with a toy, goes to sleep at night with a toy. This is also something I've blogged about! Suddenly all of these things that I have thought were so cute, and that I allowed, and even encouraged, have in the end turned out to really cause a big problem in the "real" world! I feel like a HORRIBLE mom. I really, really do. If nothing else, his first day of KDO has really taught me what I'm doing wrong as a parent.

So. Things have to change. After talking to my mom, my sister and Sherri, we've come up with a few things that can help:

1) Earlier bed time. I had to wake him up this morning to go to KDO so of course he's going to be cranky.

2) No more toys while he eats. I don't know why I ever thought this was a good idea anyway.

3) Encourage him to play on the floor.

I was DETERMINED to get started on these things TO-DAY.

I tried SOOOOO hard to get Kohen to play on the floor. Every toy I would put on the carpet, he would snatch up, run in the living room and put on the coffee table. I would go get the toy, bring it back in his room and act like a crazy, fun, fool to get him to see that playing on the floor is FUN! I know you're thinking to yourself "have they never played with Kohen on the floor before?". Yes, of course we have, but it always seems to be an interaction with him and us on the floor, never really him, us and a toy. We wrestle, play roley poley, play "airplane", tickle, and stuff like that on the floor. So, like I said, I was DETERMINED today to get Kohen to play on the floor. Over and over I took his dump trucks and airplanes and rolled them around on the floor. On my hands and knees, back and forth, back and forth, "beep beep and "honk honk" noises too. This time when he left and took the toys with him to the living room I collapsed on his floor and cried again. WHY DOES MY CHILD NOT PLAY ON THE FLOOR???

I decided to go for the mother load... his trains. I decided to compromise. We would stay in the living room and play BUT not on the coffee table...only on the floor. I started taking the trains off the table. He started FREAKING OUT. As I put them down, he would pick them up and put them back. Luckily I was faster than him. I eventually got enough train cars on the floor. I got them connected then said "All Aboard!" and started choo chooing on the floor. He liked it. He brought his train cars down to the floor and connected them. He loved how he could make a longer chain of trains on the floor then he could on the coffee table! He laid down and watched the wheels roll. He played on the floor for a very long time. When Jason got home, one of the first things he said to me was "Why are your knees so red?". I just had to laugh. He had no idea how long I had been scooting on the floor today!

Kohen ate lunch and dinner today without a toy. And guess what...I don't think he even noticed. I am also happy to report that he went to bed 45 minutes earlier tonight than he has in the past. We're on the right track. I can do this. KDO is only 2 days a week and I pick him up after only 2 hours. We're going to give it another try on Tuesday. Hopefully with these 3 things we're working on will help make this experience a good one. I'll keep you updated.

The picture below shows what my poor child looked like with no pants on when I picked him up...

This picture was taken as soon as we got home. He went straight to his "flat surface" to play with his trains :) I hope tomorrow he remembers how much fun he had with them on the floor!

I'm exhausted...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend 2010

Our little family has been lots of places this summer BUT it's all been for one reason or another, such as dental meetings, Botox/Juvederm courses, doctor visits, weddings, etc. So, we wanted to go somewhere over Labor Day weekend for a true getaway. We (I) contemplated going somewhere in Florida, San Antonio, Baltimore (for some reason I've really wanted to visit Baltimore), etc. Then I decided that I really wanted to only go somewhere where it was a non-stop flight (for Kohen's sake....or should I say, for my own sanity). Then that turned into, well, maybe we should just turn it into a road trip and skip the plane ride all together. So we were left with 3 road trip options... Kansas City (which was out because I just got back from there), Dallas (which was also out because we've already been there this summer) and Branson. SO....we went to Branson!
My nephew Asa's first birthday party was Friday night so we left after the party and didn't arrive in Branson until around 2 am.
We woke up the next morning ready to get out and about.

Look at this sweet face.... Raise your hand if you have the cutest, sweetest, smartest little boy in the world! (you can't see me but I'm raising my hand)

Our fist day/night we went shopping then went to eat at the Dixie Stampede! Jason and I were VERY nervous to see how Kohen would behave during the show/dinner. We ended up buying a seat for him instead of us having to hold him the whole time. This turned out to be the best decision we've ever made :)
The show started and OH MY GOSH...you should have seen Kohen's face! He was AMAZED! He, hands down, was the most excited kid in the place! Every time a horse would run out he would just THROW his arms around Jason or my neck and then hold our face in his hands and wait for us to make eye contact with him then he would smile his biggest smile and give us the biggest, most slobbery kiss on the mouth! Back and forth, back and forth from me to Jason, hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses and lots of clapping and saying "WOW" and "YAY" in between! He was in heaven and so was I.

After a few horses and show tunes later...THIS is what they sat in front of my 22 month old...
HAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!! We got the biggest kick out of this whole chicken sitting in front of Kohen. Jason tried to move it off his plate, but he wanted that chicken to stay put. So, it did. I think he MIGHT have taken one, maybe two, bites off his plate. Oh, by the way, did I mention that our fingers were our "silverware"??? Gross me out, BUT it WAS really good food :)

The next day we did something I've always wanted to do. Ride in a HELICOPTER!!! It was awesome! Kohen was so excited and very anxious to get out to the chopper, but when I handed him to a person on the flight crew so that I could climb in first, he changed his mind about being excited :) Once we were in and buckled and had our baby in our laps, away we went!

This is Kohen and I walking up to the helicopter...

Sitting with Daddy...

and then wanted to sit with mommy....

It was a bit windy on my side because the pilot had his door off...yeah, not really sure if that's safe or not...humm... Kohen didn't like all the wind on my side and kept wanting to go back and sit with his daddy...

We had a "first" by the end of this trip... Kohen is done with highchairs. He sat like a big boy in his own chair throughout the trip. This picture was in our hotel room. Kohen liked to wait and eat his PB&J instead of eating what we ordered him at all the restaurants...

I got a little crafty with the paper table cloth at this eating place :) Kohen had his trains, of course, so I drew him a quick railroad :)
(yes, he's sitting in a highchair here, this was the first place we ate).

Tired little shopper...

This was at Ripley's Believe It Or Not....

I don't know if you can see which button is lit up below....
....but it says "SEXPOT".... Lol

Sitting in his own chair while eating a quick snack at our hotel "Sweet Shoppe"...

Kohen also mastered the whole "drinking out of a cup while using a straw" thing this weekend... He never wants to hold the cup or bring the straw to him... he always goes to the straw....

We bought Kohen his first pair of Crocs while in Branson. While I was checking out, he lined all of these shoes up and started making "Choo Choo" noises. Oh, dear.

And a Branson trip is not complete without.... TRAFFIC! Our drive home sucked, for lack of a better word...

We had a fun filled family trip!
But now it's back to the real world!