Monthly Archives: September 2012

Raine’s four-year well-child stats

Raine had her annual checkup today. She is 42 lbs (90%-ile) and 43.5 in. (above 97%-ile).
An interesting side note: my mom recorded a few of my growth stats in a journal — okay, so there was really only one entry, but that one just happened to be when I was the exact same height and weight as Raine is now. The big difference was that I hit that size three weeks before my fifth birthday and Raine hit it a week after she turned four!

Chocolate smile!

Quite a while ago we decided to send Raine to private school so she can start kindergarten next year, rather than waiting until she meets the public school age requirement. We hadn’t mentioned this to the pediatrician and so were surprised when she suggested that we start Raine a year early. Raine won’t have the issue of looking younger than her peers and she certainly has the cognitive skills to handle it. The doctor was very impressed with her drawing skills during the accomplishment screening — she drew a perfect triangle and a lovely picture of me, among other things. It was nice to hear that a trained professional thinks she is as smart as we do!

After that, the nurse proceeded to use Raine’s legs as pin-cushions, immunizing her against every illness known to man. Poor Raine had more band-aids than exposed skin when she walked out of there, but she handled it like a CHAMP! This girl is tough as nails — unlike her mom who used to turn green and sink to the floor after even the smallest shot!

A funny side note: after the nurse took all of Raine’s vitals, she asked me to help her pee in a cup. I got Raine into the bathroom and tried to explain what we were going to do . . . but Raine just looked at me like I was INSANE! That was the most ludicrous, neanderthal thing she had ever heard of and there was NO WAY that she was going to put her pee into a cup for someone else to look at. The absolutely appalled look on her face made it impossible for me to negotiate with her with a straight face . . . and so I lost that battle and we returned the empty cup to the nurse. Maybe next year.

Raine’s 4th birthday party

Many, many months ago Raine informed me that her birthday party this year was going to be at Leapin’ Lizards bounce place. Why? Because she wanted to dance with the lizard. She had seen a group dance with him on one of her visits and she decided right then and there that she was going to dance with him too.

She never wavered in her determination to dance with the lizard, so I booked the party. I didn’t want a huge party so we only invited a few of her closest friends from church and school. They started out jumping on the inflatables.
Raine, Carter, Zachary, and William

Finally, her big moment arrived . . . Ziggy was in the house!
Elyse, Carter, Daddy, Raine, Ziggy, Hudson, Boston, and Cade (some of the kids were a little leery about that big lizard and didn’t want to get too close)

Can’t you see the excited anticipation on Raine’s face? She obviously hides it well. Talking to her about it afterward, she told me that dancing with Ziggy was the best moment of her life — she was all smiles and animated. In the moment however, she was all business.

After the dance we retired to the party room for some pizza and cake.

Then they inflated the giant throne for her to sit on as she opened the presents — she thought that was pretty neat.

Here are a couple video clips. In the first one, watch Carter’s nose as he gets to the bottom of the slide. The second one is Raine’s big moment — unfortunately, cut short when the camera ran out of space on the memory card. The third one is her with all her party guests.

Raine’s big number 4!!

Raine turned four on the 21st and couldn’t have been any more excited!

We went to the zoo that morning to kick off our celebration. We rode the train . . .

. . . and the carousel.

We petted the goat . . .

. . . and climbed the African termite mound.

That evening, after a dinner including apples with peanut butter — Raine’s request — we opened presents.

Raine received a doll house with loads of furniture, a doctor kit, and . . .

. . . a big-girl bike!

Raine is an extremely bright, right-brained, sweet-heart of a girl. She loves school and playing with her friends. She asks questions constantly; she wants to know about everything. She is always pretending and has an incredible imagination. School, house, and primary are her favorite things to play. She loves doing crafts and art projects. She is the sweetest big sister and is always looking out for her little brother — who absolutely adores her. She is very independent and a big helper. We sure do love our Raine-bug!

Weekend in Austin

Labor Day weekend we took a little road-trip down to Austin to visit the Kinzlers. We arrived Friday evening and had a yummy Russian dinner that Katya had prepared. The kids were so happy to see each other again. It took a while to get them all settled down enough to go to sleep.

Saturday was Ophelia’s third birthday. We celebrated all morning with her — blowing bubbles, hitting the pinata, coloring, eating, and finally helping her play with all her new toys.

That afternoon we ventured out to a local splash-pad to let the kids burn off some energy before the drive home.

It was fun to catch up with our old friends, even if it has only been a couple months since they moved!

First day of school 2012

Raine and Carter went back to school today at St. Philip’s Preschool. They were both so excited to meet their new teachers and get down to business! (Actually, Carter was most excited about nap time so he could use his new nap-mat!)

Raine is going to attend Tu-W-Th and her teachers are Ms. Terri (who usually teaches one of th pre-K classes) and Ms. Lenise (who she had last year, and to whom I attribute Raine learning to speak like a Texan — like when she came home and told me she was “fixin’ to” do somethin’). Carter is going to attend Tu-W and his teachers are Ms. Melissa (our neighbor) and Ms. Lori (Raine’s other teacher from last year).

Preschool has been so good for these two. Raine loves everything about it and spends all summer asking when it will start again. It has really helped her social skills and has given her the structure that she thrives on. School has given Carter a real sense of independence. It also gives me one day a week with just him. I am very excited for this year to again spend that day doing things he likes, just the two of us!

School has also helped me be a better mom. I can get done most of my “boring big-people stuff” while the kids are at school and then have time to devote solely to them when they get home. It is the perfect balance for me.

“Choo choo unapah” aka no more diapers

Carter is potty-trained! No, strike that . . . Carter is mommy-trained! Either way, we are now a diaper-free home.

Carter had been showing signs that he could potty train for a little while — waking up dry, going on the potty when I put him on it, and a serious love of underpants. I kept thinking that he was way too young to even consider it, but the signs were there so I decided to give it a try before school started. You know . . . just to see.

We went to the store to buy our supplies. Carter picked out some Thomas the Train underpants, M&M’s, and Bug’s Life stickers. We had to visit two different stores, in the rain no less, to find a Fisher-Price potty that played music when it was “wet.” The one we had with Raine was loaned out and never returned. I knew we needed another one with the same feature and it turned out to be worth the effort.

Our first afternoon had me convinced that I’d made a mistake. I’m not sure why I thought he would just sit down and go the first time he tried, but I did. Fortunately, I decided to “make sure” that it really wasn’t going to work before I gave up and I tried again the next day.

My method with Carter was different than with Raine. His fierce love of underpants led me to try the let-him-pee-all-over-himself approach. I put him in underpants as often as I knew I could keep him in a place where I didn’t care if he peed — in the backyard, in the kitchen, in the bathroom. When he had an accident all I would say was, “oh no Carty, your choo choo underpants are wet. Oh no!” I would put him in the bathtub and hose him down. Then I would put him in a pull-up and tell him he couldn’t wear underpants until he peed on the potty. He really wanted to wear those underpants so he would push a little harder the next time he sat on his throne.

Now he is at the point where he will keep himself dry as long as I put him on the potty every hour or so throughout the day. If he doesn’t go as soon as I put him on the potty then I know he really doesn’t have to go and can let him run off for another half hour.

That’s where the mommy-training comes in. He doesn’t tell me when he needs to go, but he goes when I put him on the potty. He stays dry during naps and night-time. He holds it while we are out and about. He will even use public restrooms if he needs to. I’m ok with being the pee-pee-timer if it means no more diapers to buy, so it all works out.

I would also like to state the obvious here for a moment: BOYS ARE NOT THE SAME AS GIRLS!

We’ve had a few incidents of wet underpants — and Momma’s wet shoe — due to positioning problems. With girls they just sit down and the pee goes into the potty. But with boys, you have to make sure the down-spout is heading the right direction or somebody is going to be wearing it!

Those splash guards on the training potties lull you into a false sense of security. The first time you get them on a full-size public potty it looks like one of those cartoons where the character gets sprayed by the garden hose as soon as he turns it on. Yes indeed, boys require a bit more care!