Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Beach Trip

I'm sorry for the radio silence. I've been taking a Maymester class, which is an entire semester smashed into 3 weeks. Blergh. But it's over! My final was tonight, so I have a whole four days or so before my next semester starts up next Tuesday. This one coming up is going to be AWFUL. The syllabus is the stuff of nightmares... But I'll get through it. I'll be taking a nine week maternity leave starting on August 15, the week before my due date. I think that will be a really nice break. Back to the point; we just got back last night from a short trip to St. Simons Island. We had a great time, and got to meet up some with my sister and her family and my mom and stepdad and half-sister, too. We had lots of fun adventures on St. Simons and Jekyll Island, and it all went by too fast. I did remember to take some photos, although I fully admit I forgot the camera SEVERAL times. Blame pregnancy brain... Also, the photos are in reverse chronological order. The beach photos are all from Jekyll Island, where we had a nice visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital (as Roxanne calls it) again, and Roxanne was excited to show Justin. Then we went to Driftwood Beach at Jekyll, with all the giant, gorgeous driftwood trees. The beach there is lovely, but the part we were on faced an inlet, so not many waves and the water was really silty. Still nice though. The pier photos are from St. Simons. I'm telling you, I dropped the ball on the camera thing, so you'll just have to imagine all the cute images of Roxanne playing in the ocean and pool with her cousins. Sorry.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The little boss

Whew, Roxanne is getting to be a sassy kid. I keep reading about how 3-year-olds go through tough phases, and yeah. Don't get me wrong, she's still awesome, just a little more challenging. She's always had such strong opinions, but now she is almost impossible to deter on things because she can take matters into her own hands. She's extremely independent, and doesn't want you to do much for her. She wants to climb into the car, buckle herself into her carseat, pick out her own clothes, put on what she can figure out on her own (before dissolving into a fit when she can't totally succeed on her own...) and definitely get her shoes on by herself. Basically, anything that she is physically capable of doing by herself, she wants to do by herself. In some ways, it's definitely nice, but in others, it gets old. Like when you are in a hurry and you just want to buckle her in and not wait for her to fiddle with her whatever six toys she's brought into the car, or buckle her babydoll into Ben's carseat (if he's not in the car), etc. etc. before buckling herself. She's always had strong opinions about the radio in the car, and wants the volume up to her liking, but now she's starting to (try) and pick the station, too. She likes the station we often listen to, which is an indie rock/college radio type XM station, but she will sometimes ask for "Fifties on Five," which she asks for just like that. And some days she's very patient about listening to NPR with me in the mornings or evenings, but other times she'll demand "music please! I don't want to listen to the news." Fair enough...

She's getting back into playing with baby dolls, which had been thrown over for playing with tiny Hello Kitty statues and Squinkies and Calico Critters. She still loves the little things, but now she wants to feed her babies, and change their clothes, and talk about their diapers. I'm not sure if it was brought on by talk about Baby Bumblebee, but I think it's cute. We talk about the baby kind of a lot, just in terms of trying to talk about how much the baby is going to love Roxanne and want to play with her. She has plenty of experience through my job about how much babies cry and require attention, so I'm actually not all that worried about that aspect. I think she'll adjust to sharing me fairly well since she already does every day with a baby and another toddler, but I do worry sometimes about her jealousy with Justin. They have gotten so close now that he has nights during the week of just the two of them. I worry that fall semester especially will be rough. I'll have class two nights a week, and the semester starts on my due date. So Justin will be at home with a brand brand new baby and Roxanne by himself. On the upside, I'm basically only taking one class, and it's shorter, so even though it's two nights a week, I'll be done and home before 9, whereas I usually am not home until after 10 twice a week. I'm sure they'll figure it out, but I hope it won't be too rough on them both! I've been trying to do plenty of reading about helping toddlers transition to having a sibling, etc., and I'm hoping that since she'll be 3.5, she'll be able to handle it fairly maturely. At least not too violently...

In other Roxanne news, she's still obsessed with writing and painting and drawing. She is very into letters and spelling. She loves "Super Why" on PBS Kids, and will often pretend to be "Princess P" from the show. I've been trying to scale her back on TV that isn't educational in an outright way, and keep her mostly watching PBS shows. She seems totally fine with that. She always wants to talk about different letters and what words start with them. I make letter color sheets for her so she can practice tracing the letters, and she definitely likes to. I don't hawk over her and monitor what she's doing, and it's all very laid back. I'm nervous about teaching her to write because she's left-handed. I have been reading about lefty toddlers, and it sounds like you have to be careful not to try and teach them writing the same way you would a righty. Sounds silly, but looking at the research, it totally makes sense. I'm trying to find a good book/workbook to help educate me and Justin about how to help Roxanne as she's learning to write. I keep reading that if you force them into righty habits in writing, they will often hit a point in school where they lag behind in writing skills. For now, we're trying to encourage her to keep practicing writing and learning the sounds letters make, but not in a scary, or even school type way. I'm a firm believer in the concept that just because a toddler can read or write does not mean that they should. But I love it when she asks me "Does "B" start with "Baby Bumblebee?" She always phrases that backwards. It's so cute.

Sorry for no photos this time! I've been bad about taking any...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Roxanne photos!

I'm way way way behind on photo sharing. So please bear with me. I am starting with the oldest photos first. We've been so busy lately, and I've been spending a TON of time on schoolwork. We're still doing fun stuff on the weekends, I just haven't had time to blog about it! And about half of our events have gone un-photographed (for various reasons I won't bore you with explanations of). We have no Easter photos, or photos from our mini-family reunion with some of my Dad's side of the family. But they were both fun!
Pony ride at Little Creek Farm in Decatur. Sorry about the blurry photos. It was super dark in the barn, and our camera just isn't fancy enough to compensate. Roxanne LOVES pony rides though. Oh, and this is not really a pony. It's a horse. A big one. But Roxanne didn't mind. Grandpa Jim was here for this, too. Roxanne had a good time waving to him and me and Justin as she went around.
Look how little she is on that horse! After she rode around, we walked around the farm, which is very pretty, and pet and fed some of the other horses. She still remembers you "feed them with your hand flat so they don't eat your fingers." See, I still remember a few useful things from my almost 10 years of riding horses.
I think the Mardi Gras beads are extremely appropriate in this equestrian setting. Right?
Here's Roxanne at the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont. This was the Sunday after the pony rides, and Grandpa Jim was here for this, too. She had a BLAST on this scary jumpy thing. She kept saying she was flying like Tinkerbell. The guys operating the ride were super nice, and she kept asking them to make her go higher. They would grab her by the ankles and pull her down, and then she'd bounce super high. Terrifyingly awesome.
Just like Tinkerbell...
Ready to go!
On an awesome old carousel with Justin at the Dogwood Festival. Justin's face is highly accurate, because this thing was going FAST. It made the Zoo carousel look like a baby ride. Roxanne rode it once with Grandpa Jim and once with Justin. I passed...
Roxanne and Grandpa Jim running to the ferris wheel. She was SO disappointed that she was too short for it. But the carousel was a pretty good consolation prize.
You have no idea how long it took me to convince her that she could wear a skirt and shirt (as opposed to a dress, as she was begging for). I normally don't bother trying to fight about it, but she had no dresses clean. Even though she finally put this outfit on, she told me about five times that she was going to put a dress back on as soon as we got home. Sigh.
Justin, Grandpa Jim, Roxanne, and Roxanne's belly.
Here's from yesterday at the Strawberry Festival at Washington Farms in Watkinsville. We had so much fun!
Roxanne and Chloe feeding the goats.
The cousins staring at the baby cows. They were pretty standoffish and not interested in being pet or fed like the goats. But holy cow they were cute.
Roxanne and Chloe jammed into the same cow car on the cow train. Best recycling I've ever seen!
Picking strawberries!
Justin trying to help Roxanne pick good ones. She was basically only looking for the flowers...
"I'll pick it, Daddy!"
We weren't supposed to eat these as they were being picked, but I admit, a few were consumed. Oops.
Roxanne dressed up all of her "babies." Don't they look cozy?
Dressing up herself. Doesn't she look so so so old here???