Author Archives: strawberry

Ready set go

In 5 days, the Vermillion household will be driving to Florida. 13 hours. Since we all have next week off from school and work, we decided to just bite the bullet and go visit my parents, who have recently started settling in there. Airfare is insane and now that Curly is a more focused and distractable 3.5 year old, we figured he’d be ok during the long car ride with some breaks here and there. Also, thanks to Nutella’s parents, we got a Kind.le Fire for Hanukkah which we’ve loaded up with movies and apps, so that should keep him occupied. Wish us luck!

Speaking of Hanukkah, this was the first one that Curly really got excited about and interested in. He loved helping to light the candles, reading the same three books about Hanukkah over and over (and over and over), and of course, opening a present every night. We went to two Hanukkah parties and he also did a lot of Hanukkah-related activities at his daycare-preschool (not Montessori), so we really feel he got a lot out of it. Of course, now he knows Christmas is coming up, and while our family doesn’t celebrate, we’ve been telling him about those traditions and brought him to a drive-through lights display which he loved.

It’s hard to continue writing about our lives and goings-on without mentioning the horrible tragedy that took place in Newtown. Unimaginably heartbreaking. And while we thought perhaps we could shield our 3 year old from knowing about such things for a while longer, we were told there would be a moment of silence at his Montessori school and so we explained in very general terms what had happened. Curly took it mainly in stride as is typical for him right now, but it is sad to know a time is coming soon when he’ll realize how tragic this world of ours can be.

That said, happy holidays and a joyous new year to all of you reading. May you find peace and love to carry you through.

Gift Exchange!

We got a delightful surprise in today’s mail. We are taking part in the blog gift exchange and http://makingfamilyfromlove.wordpress.com/ drew our name. We received a set of three handmade snowman magnets whose noses actually glow and change color! We all love them, especially Curly, so thank you fellow bloggers! And Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!

New digs

We finished Curly’s big boy bedroom and I think we’re all quite happy with how it turned out. Curly is still doing wonderfully in his bed, so much so that we removed the side rail. He fell out one night a week ago, but we have floor pillows next to his bed so he just landed softly and told us he got right back into bed. We only knew it happened because the floor pillows were disheveled the next morning. Normally he stays in bed in the morning, playing and singing to his stuffed animals until we retrieve him. Since he’s in a pull-up at night still, we haven’t tackled the issue of getting up to go to the bathroom, although we can keep his portable baby bjorn potty in his room to get him used to getting up to go by himself. Anyway…pictures!

The old baby room:

New room (Curly wanted a boat and a train in his big boy room…the train is a wall decal):

Me painting the boat mural:

Curly & Ima enjoying a book in his new bed:

One of our favorite item finds:

Results are in!

What an election night! We stayed up late and it was well worth it, especially since we were seriously considering moving out of this country had the outcome been different. Plus, we are happy to say that we live in a state that approved same-sex marriage! So Nutella and I will be tying the legal knot in January. Curly has been asking for weeks now if “Ima and Mommy are married?” because I guess he’s been interested in the word and the concept. We have always responded affirmatively, and he is happy to say “Yes, Mommy and Ima are married” to whomever now. Of course, it’ll be interesting explaining to him that while yes, we’re married, we’re having another ceremony because our state now approves of it lol. Anyway, a great excuse for a party soon 🙂

Other news…we re-designed Curly’s bedroom and he’s now in a big boy bed. He’s slept in it the past two nights with no issues. He loves it SO much that he’s happy to get into it at night and hang out in it in the morning. Hope that lasts! Pictures of the transformation to come, we just have a couple more details to work out before it’s completed.

It’s been a long time since we’ve updated and we’ve been doing some fun stuff, too, like apple and pumpkin picking, and of course, Halloween. Curly wanted to be Peter Pan and had a great time dressing up at school and also trick-or-treating. He lasted a full hour and never once asked us to carry him or even help with his bucket o’ treats. He gets one a day and he’s mostly been fine with that 😉

I’ll leave you with a couple pics…

Still playing along…

We’re taking part in the 2012 photo challenge here: https://1invermillion.wordpress.com/30-day-photo-challenge-2012/

Today should be the last day, although we haven’t quite gotten there yet. Added a bunch more pictures though (some for earlier days of the challenge)

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Still playing along…

We’re taking part in the 2012 photo challenge here: https://1invermillion.wordpress.com/30-day-photo-challenge-2012/

Uneventful is good

Another week and a half of school has passed, and thankfully, it’s been uneventful. Well, apart from one more incident of Curly putting pretty gemstone rocks in his mouth and getting sent to the office again (geez, kid). Pretty much every day now we remind him not to eat anything or put anything into his mouth at Montessori. When you ask him what will happen if he puts something into his mouth, he says “I have to go to the office.” He doesn’t like going to the office, so that’s been a good deterrent now that it’s happened twice. Other than that, things are going fine. Drop-offs are now routine…we get there early enough for a parking spot, let Curly finish his dry cereal snack in the car, walk him to his line about 5 minutes before the teachers come out, and say goodbye. I always wait until at least a couple other kids are in line with him so they can keep an eye on each other (and the kids line up in front of the office so they’re being watched). He always gets a snack immediately upon pick-up, and eats lunch when he arrives at his other pre-school for the rest of the day. So even though he doesn’t get a snack at school, he really only needs to forgo eating for 3.25 hours.

I want to address some of the questions from the last school post:

“What is the rationale for eliminating snack?”
This is the first year they have done so, which was a disappointing surprise and something the teachers seem to be against as well. The rationale that we’ve been told is lack of funding and food allergies. They only allow food when it’s a child’s birthday, and it either has to be store-bought so they can see the ingredients or some kind of fruit. Our county doesn’t have a lot of money for public schools, which is sad. Personally, I’d be happy to pay a stipend to have snack reinstalled, but this hasn’t been an option. Maybe we’ll speak to the other parents about it…the PTA…the Principal (although the Principal so far sucks…)

“How committed are you to keeping curly in this school as opposed to another one?”
As long as he isn’t unhappy, we’re committed enough to keeping him there because the other schools in our area are worse. Sad but true. His school is one of the best, despite the setbacks that we’ve faced. And honestly, I think if he were starting at 5 years old, we wouldn’t be facing the same setbacks. I think the issue is them having 3 and 4 year olds, and no facilities their size, and no snack, which they still need at that age.

“Dude, what is up with their drop off policy?!”
I know. What WE were never told is that you cannot drop off 3 year olds, and what some teachers think is that you CAN. Big disconnect somewhere. These days we seem to be fine with the drop-off method I described above, and starting next year, Curly will be taking the bus. Which is a whole ‘nother bunch of crazy.

“Curly must be loving it to have an experience like that not even phase him.”
I’m not sure if he LOVES it, though he does seem to like it, and surprisingly yes, the insanity has not seemed to phase him. After 3 weeks of drop-offs, there have still not been any tears. There was one morning where he was especially clingy, but he held it together, and most mornings he’s fine.

So that’s where things stand right now. While we still have his “old” preschool to fall back on for days Montessori is closed, it’s great. I don’t even want to think about what we’re going to do the next school year (and every one after that), sigh.

Wandering Man (or more trials and tribulations)

Here’s how last Wednesday and Thursday went. As usual, we’ve been getting to the Montessori school about 15 minutes before the kids have to be at their classrooms…plenty of time to snag a parking space and walk Curly inside the building to the line he’s supposed to stand in. Might I add that his teacher is always the last one to come get her kids so we’re stuck there waiting forever. Suddenly, as of last Wednesday, it appeared all the other parents realized it sucks not to get a spot at the school and have to walk from the next building over. So they all arrived early and there were no parking spots left (they’re doing major construction in the parking lot to create more spaces, but they were supposed to be done by now and it’s a total clusterf*ck).

So Nutella gets there and there are no spaces, and the teachers who assist with the parking mess tell her to pull up and drop him off. Now, we have been told all along that this is the ultimate goal- get your kid comfortable with being dropped off and walking into the building. We didn’t think we’d get to that point for a while, but out of necessity, it happened last Wednesday. Nutella asked Curly if he wanted to walk inside himself (it’s about 50 feet to the Montessori doors and all sidewalk). He immediately and happily said “yes! I want to walk myself!” And so it went. When Nutella told me, naturally I freaked out a bit, but tried to calm down thinking there were lots of teachers and other kids there and we had already shown him where to go several times. By midday, our neighbor who was doing last week’s lunch run pick-up said he was fine, so we thought it worked out. But still…we weren’t too comfortable with the idea.

Thursday morning we arrived a little earlier, but again there were no spots. Both of us were doing drop-off, so Nutella was going to drive around the circle a few times while I walked Curly to his line. But as soon as I got Curly out of the car, a teacher asked if she could walk him to the building. I said sure! and she took his hand and they walked away. I made sure to tell her which teacher was his as well, and felt much more comfortable with that plan.

And then 20 minutes later, we got a call. It was his teacher. She said “I’m standing here with [Curly] and the Principal…I’m not sure what’s going on, but you can’t drop off the 3 year olds. Apparently yesterday [Curly] was found wandering around [the attached school next door] and a teacher brought him to where he was supposed to be.” I was taken aback and said, “Wow, no one told us that. I think there’s been a big misunderstanding…we won’t drop him off anymore, but we’ve been getting very conflicting information.” The call was quick, but Nutella and I felt compelled to write her a note that our neighbor could give her at lunch pick-up, defending our behavior and outlining the whole situation and the messages we’ve been getting about it being a perfectly fine thing to do.

Yet again, the administration is jerking us around and the teachers are all thinking different things, and apparently half are not on the same page as the Principal. Or maybe just our teacher doesn’t want her 3 year olds dropped off…because all the teachers seem to make their own rules. This place is driving me nuts.

And finally, on Friday we got a note saying Curly ate a couple coffee beans during an activity and they sent him to the nurse. The nurse listened to his breathing because they were afraid he might choke (wtf?) and washed his mouth out with water or something. First of all, if you’re afraid classroom activities are choking hazards, don’t freaking have them in the classroom. Secondly, when you eliminate snack for the kids and then put something good-smelling in front of them, what do you expect? He was fine…just too wired to take a nap that day! Right now I am very sick of school.

How it went

In one hour, Nutella will be picking Curly up from his second school of the day, and his first week will be over. And you know what…it was completely drama-free. A little bit of a logistical hassle, but Curly took it all in stride. Hopefully this will continue!

He started his first day at the Montessori school on Wednesday morning. Nutella and I were both there to see him off, and we all had to wait around a bit until the teachers finally came out and lined their students up. We stood with Curly until the teacher brought him to the front of the line and had a 5 year old hold his hand while they all walked to the classroom. There were no tears and he seemed fine. We walked out thinking it had been too easy and braced ourselves for the afternoon pick-up, which I did myself (I took off this whole week for a much-needed mental break from work). I was there early and he came out just as fine as can be, told me a couple random bits about his day and happily ate the snack I had for him in the car. He even told me he used the potty all by himself. His second school, the one he’s been at all along, was closed that day, so I brought him home for lunch and nap.

Thursday was the first day of our “new normal”- Montessori in the morning with a midday pick-up and transfer to the second school. Nutella dropped him off in the morning with no issues, and I picked him and our neighbors’ son up in the afternoon. We’re splitting the afternoon pick-ups every other week with our neighbors to help lighten the load, since their son is at both schools with Curly…same plan as us. With a little boy holding each of my hands, I took them both to the car, buckled them into their car seats, gave them each a snack, and then headed to the second school while they chatted away with me and each other. They both told me they used the potty by themselves at school. Thrilling! They arrived at the second school just in time to wash their hands and sit down to lunch, before nap time. It’s really a perfect set-up.

Today was very much the same thing. I’m honestly shocked at how well this first week went. I’m sure there will be some sort of hiccup in the future, but it’s off to a very auspicious start, thank goodness.

First day of preschool!