Well, if last Sunday was cold and miserable, this Sunday is simply gorgeous. We spent time at the park and are now just relaxing with Curious George and some mint iced green tea that's really satisfying my summer Sonic cravings. I cannot believe that my little guy is counting down to his second birthday in less than a month! The past almost six months, from 18 months on, has been filled with some major ups and a few downs from our little guy.
The talking! Oh my goodness, this kiddo can talk. Yes, no, please, thank you, names of friends and some family members, what different animals say, and our latest, play-dough. Although our conversations are still pretty one-sided, he definitely has thoughts and opinions he does his best to share with us.
We're starting to do activities together more. The aforementioned play-dough is very popular, as is coloring together, and using stickers on our art projects as well. He has lots of fun playing pretend with fake food and feeding it to me or other soft toys in his room. However, books are our definite favorite. Each night, we spend a good 20-30 minutes looking at and reading books together before bed. I often catch him flipping through books on his own too!
Holidays have been a blast as well! Opening Valentines and hunting Easter eggs have been such a treat. So was playing in the snow earlier this winter! I'm looking forward to all the shared summer activities this summer too. Spring experiences like mud puddles, planting our own seeds for a salsa garden, and time at the park have all been time well spent.
We've also had some learning to do... there was a biting phase that still pops up when he is feeling particularly frustrated or overly tired. This was definitely the hardest thing to discipline and manage because it was happening in many different places and for several different reasons. With the help of his wonderful teachers at the ECC, we were able to help him learn that biting was not an acceptable way to show his frustration and as his vocabulary (and use of it) improved, so did the biting! I'm very proud of how well he's done lately using his words when frustrated or upset.
Mass is still a struggle. Honestly, I expect it to be for the next year or so. In my inexperienced opinion, Mass behavior improves as their understanding of the Mass grows. It's hard to expect a toddler to be quiet and calm during the consecration of the Eucharist when he has no idea how beautiful and sacred the moment is. For the time being, we'll keep reading our favorite Easter book, looking through our children's Bibles, and saying "Amen" after prayers to help his young faith grow.
Regardless, being this little man's mom is daily adventure that isn't without its struggles. Its pushed me to do research and really consider what kind of parent I want to be, as well as be very mindful and reflective about what works well for our son. Its really all trial and error at this point, but I can say with confidence our son is funny, friendly little boy who is growing up well!
On a side note, what do you think, should I celebrate my little turkey with a big bash for two years? Or should we keep it simple until he can actually remember the party? I'm torn... let me know in the comments!
I love a good routine. It's probably one of the things I missed most over the last year going to school, staying at home, and the other odds and ends that kept popping up. It felt like every time we have finally found our groove as a family last year, Josh's schedule would change or the little guy would start regressing sleep-wise. Good golly!
However, now that I'm teaching and our little guy is attending a daycare during the work-week, we are able to have routines again!! Admittedly, one evening week is a little strange because I am taking one.more.class for my education certificate but our mornings look pretty much the same each day and I am loving it.
My alarm goes off at 5:30 each morning. Occasionally, my other little alarm will wake up a bit before then but I am always up by 5:30 to get my day started. If the toddler is up with me, he will either shower with me or he will hang out with PBSKids and a cup of milk while I quickly shower for the morning. Thank goodness my curls are fully back; they're so low-maintenance on an average day.
By 6:00, I'm showered and getting breakfast together. I normally eat plain oatmeal with some fruit and cinnamon mixed in. I generally end up sharing it with my son or I will offer him some fruit to go with his milk. He has breakfast at school as well, so he doesn't need a full meal. From there, I clean him up and then get dressed for the day. I avoid getting my work clothes on until after he's fed and cleaned. Nothing ruins an outfit like a handful of oatmeal being smeared down the front your shirt.
6:20 is my warning bell; if I don't already have my makeup on, it is crunch time. I will settle the toddler in his room with gate up, keeping him in a safe space to play. I also sometimes bring him in the bathroom with me, depending on his morning mood. He's a pretty happy camper most days, but some mornings he wants to be closer than others. We both brush our teeth and I get any needed bags together. On Mondays, he needs fresh bedding. I always have at least one small bag with my planner, lunch, and other bits for the day. I try to be out the door by 6:30 or so, with a huge travel mug of coffee in hand. His ECC begins taking children as early as 6:30, so they're ready for him whenever we arrive.
I make the conscious choice to get us up and out of the house much earlier than we have to be because I would rather do any work in the morning and pick him up from school as soon as possible after work. Teachers don't get paid for overtime but it is a necessary evil. For whatever reason, it doesn't feel like overtime if I do it in the morning, before school begins.
Students don't come to my room until 7:45, so I typically have about an hour to pray at my desk, make any copies, and do anything else for the day (or rest of the week). My personal goal is to have Monday-Wednesday planned ahead and then make adjustments for Thursday and Friday based off of how we are doing with the material. I also have to plan a lot this year because it is my first year and I don't have many resources for our new Classical curriculum. I don't really mind though as long as I am not losing time with family to prepare.
What's your school morning routine look like? Are you also up before the sun? I'm curious!