Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lana's Meet the Teacher

Lana is so excited about being in a 4 year old classroom!
She got to meet her teachers today:
Mrs. Jill is on the left, and Mrs. Nicole is on the right.
I can't even begin to tell you what a perfect fit these two teachers are for my girl!  
They are two of the most gentle, compassionate women that I know...they are both very good at accepting each students as they are, and then helping them move to the next step....they do the most wonderful, creative things in their classroom...and have I mentioned that they are AMAZING teachers?! I am so thrilled about this year.

We baked muffins for Meet the Teacher Day....Lana was so proud to give them to her teachers!
I have learned that even if Lana is excited, she sometimes has a hard time in new situations, and becomes very shy.  Often letting her bring a small gift or having a special job to do makes the transition easier for her.  

Speaking of special jobs, she was excited to find her name on the job chart:
She's the class encourager!
That means when she seems someone doing something the right way, or being kind to their friends, etc., she is to tell them what a great job they are doing.
This is the perfect task for my girl to get her acclimated into her classroom.

Then she got to paint her own bag that she'll use to bring her things to and from school.

Just before we left, Mrs. Nicole showed Lana their positive behavior reward system.
Because they are the "Frogs," they can earn "cattails" for good behavior and making wise choices.  When they earn 5 cattails, they get to go to the treasure box.
She earned her first cattail for coming today!

We are really so very excited about the year that Lana will have with Mrs. Nicole and Mrs. Jill.

More to come on Thursday...her last first day of preschool.

Goodbye Infant room, Hello One Year Old room!

Today was the last day that Tucker will ever be in the baby room!  It's so hard for me to believe.  His teacher snapped a few pictures for me:
Here's Tucker squirming in beloved Ms. Nina's arms:
Mrs. Nina took care of Lana when she was in the infant room, too!

Tucker isn't ready to give up that morning nap, so the teachers in the infant room are so sweet to stroll him (and others) around when he gets sleepy.
Check him out, just rollin' with the ladies...

Fun times in the infant room....
It's hard to believe that he's not in the "baby" room anymore.

This morning, Tucker got to meet the teachers he'll have in his big One Year Old classroom!
(from left: Ms. Lyn, Ms. Nichole, Ms. Emily)

These three women are more precious than you can even imagine.  They are gentle and kind and pay great attention to cleanliness.  If I could hand pick who would care for my boy, they would be my top choices!  I have been praying for them all summer long (before they had even been hired), and I'm so thankful for how the Lord answered my prayers in them.

An added bonus: Ms. Lyn was in the infant room last year, so she is already familiar with my Tucker.

An extra added bonus: their room is directly across from my office.  And do you see that window behind them?  I can peek in on Tucker without him being able to see me!  I LOVE that I'll get to watch him as I go about my daily activities.

Tucker is SO ready for this room.  When we went to visit them, he squirmed to get out of my arms, and couldn't wait to crawl around and play.  He found a ball he particularly loved.

Blue eyed boy

This blue-eyed boy is growing way too fast.

He's walking

5-10 steps at a time.


Words like "go" and "all done" and "thank you."

Giving tight neck squeezes to his Mommy

And still taking 2 naps a day.

I wish I could freeze time.

At this very second.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Life with Lana today (4 years, 1 month)

(We've been practicing smiling for pictures: watch her here.)

My girl is SUCH a big girl these days! 
She is learning to ride her bike so well:

and having princess tea-parties all the time.

I love that she's able to easily switch between things like dressing up and running around outside.  It just seems to me that she's pretty well balanced in that area.

It makes me laugh that she is almost falling asleep eating her dessert in CiCi's pizza.  There's something about that place that puts her in a coma!  
She is still a good eater...her favorite thing lately has been the apples that we are picking off the trees on our property - she is eating at least one a day.  Breakfast is not her favorite, so we are working hard not to get into the battle of "clean your plate" or "eat 3 more bites."  I offer her healthy, yummy meals, and want her to eat until she's full.  That's all.  I have to remind myself to look at her intake over the course of a week, not meal-by-meal.

Lana is really a fantastic big sister!
Here, she's introducing her little brother to her very favorite song in the world, "Dad Life."  She knows every word to this song, and would watch it over and over if we'd let her!  We crack up at her love for this silly song.
She really does care for Tucker so well.  If he's crying, she immediately responds to him.  She can make him laugh no matter what.  When she hears him wake up, she immediately wants to go get him - she really does love his company.
My favorite story about how well she cares for her brother:
We were having breakfast at CFA with some friends last week, and one of the little boys pushed Tucker out of the way to get to a toy (just typical boy behavior!).  It didn't hurt Tucker a bit; he didn't even fuss.  But Lana was standing nearby, and she immediately stopped what she was doing and went over to him. She helped him up, and then said to the little boy "Please don't push my baby brother!  He just wants to play, too."  I am so proud of the way she instinctively watches over him.

She still loves to paint, and read, and pretend.  She hasn't been very interested in puzzles or blocks or animals lately, but if I get out an art project or a "workbook," she goes into high gear.  
Summer has been kind of lazy daze for us, so I think she'll be glad to get back into preschool.  (More to come on that later.)

When she turned 4, she announced that she was done with bows in her hair and ruffles on her shirt.  I was so saddened by this news - really!  She has, however, agreed to wear ribbons in her hair, so I think I might survive.  We were out several nights ago and saw some high school cheerleaders with ribbons in their hair, and that sealed the deal for her, so I went to Walmart and had them cut a yard of every single color ribbon.

We have been working hard this month with our sweet girl on not arguing with those in authority over her.  It's subtle, for sure, and goes something like this:
"Lana, it's hot outside, so grab your water bottle from the fridge before we go."
Her response: "It's not hot, mama.  I don't need the water."

She says it in a normal tone of voice, so I overlooked it for a while, but I realize that it's really taken root, and we're working hard to show her that when she says those things, it's revealing that her heart is rebellious against us.
Matthew 12:34b says "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."
So when she directly contradicts us, it's an overflow of her heart.
And what's happening in her heart is that she wants to assert her own will instead of submitting to the will of her parents, teachers, grandparents, etc.
The most important thing is that she obey without arguing.  
That's the main focus. 
But I don't want to overlook the fact that she's learning how to communicate with us.  For 4 years, we've been telling her to "use your words," and "tell Mommy what you need," and celebrating each new word and expression!  Now we've got to teach her the nuances of language...in particular, how to communicate respectfully with adults.
I want her to feel like she can tell me anything, so I've been talking her through different ways that she can express her opinion without sounding disrespectful.
She is showing some improvement....catching herself when she's arguing/contradicting us, and pointing out to us when she's chosen respectful words to disagree.
This is taking LOTS of teaching and training, but I really do think it'll pay off in the long run.

Lana Davis, I could not be more thankful to be your Mommy.  You make me smile at least a thousand times every day.  You have such a careful, serious, rule-following personality, and then sometimes your silly side comes through (you get that from Daddy), and I just marvel at the miracle you are.  You are truly a gift from God, and I would not trade you for anything in the world.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wrestling with Daddy

What is it about wrestling with Daddy that is SO fun?

Both of the littles got it on the action yesterday morning, and I have to tell you that there is not much that is sweeter to my ears than hearing my babies screech with laughter at my man.

Does he even know how much this melts my heart?

Dan Davis was SO attractive to me at 15, when we met our sophomore year in high school.  He was a football player, and was friendly to everyone, and his smile was to die for.  And those HANDS.  I'm a hand girl, and I'm here to tell you....he's got the most gorgeous hands on the planet, and always has.

He was SO attractive to me at 18, when we were both in college and in relationships with other people, but were such close friends that we had lunch together almost weekly.  I knew he wasn't mine, but he made me weak in the knees when he opened my car door for me after church.

He was SO attractive to me at 21, when he kissed me in broad daylight on our birthday, and then canceled plans with friends so that he could spend the rest of the day with me.  

He was SO attractive to me a mere 12 weeks later, when we got married on the beach.  When he made covenants with me that will last forever, when we danced to Jimmy Buffett in our wedding clothes, when we left for our honeymoon and had to stop for gas before we got out of town.

He was SO attractive to me when he was beside me as I delivered our first child, when he cared for me so well through my sickness after that delivery, when he literally took care of my every need because I simply could not.

But he has never been more attractive to me than he is when he is being Daddy to my children.

He is so good at it.

He can make them (and me!) smile like no one else.

He brings laughter and joy and adventure into every single day of our lives.

And he gets down on the floor and wrestles with them.

Oh, I love this man.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ballet dancing, bike riding, and tree climbing: I LOVE having a girl!

My sweet Lana is ALL girl, and she also loves being outside and being active so very much - I really do adore this about her.  She's girly, but not a priss.  Today is such a good example of that:

All week long, she has been "practicing her ballet dancing."  This morning was no exception.  She particularly loves to use her pinwheel in her dancing:
She asks every day when she gets to take ballet lessons.
The truth is that we just can't afford that right now, so we'll wait, but we're hopeful that we can find a way to make it happen soon.  She's NEVER asked for any kind of lesson before!

And then after all that delicious girly-ness this morning, we went to the seminary this afternoon, and she rode her bike:
(We had to have a serious helmet-wearing talk:

After bike riding, came tree climbing:

It's so appropriate that she's wearing her monkey shirt:

I can't believe how high in the tree Daddy actually lets her go:

Lana, you bring such joy to our lives!

Friday, August 27, 2010

All done.

Some kids sign "all done" when they are finished eating.
Not mine.
This is what happens when Tucker puts something in his mouth and then changes his mind about eating it:

Seriously, he LOVED whatever he was eating here.
He was just kind of tired of eating, and even though he put this final bite in his mouth, he decided he really didn't want it.

So he blew it out.

Yes, blew it.
Not spit it.

He doesn't spit it out at all.

Instead, he just gently blows until it falls out of his mouth.
Here are the action shots:

What a wild child!  
He keeps us laughing, for sure.


Change is as inevitable as rain in the spring. 

Some of us just put on our raincoats and splash forward, 

some of us choose to stay home, 

a few admirable nuts shed their clothes and cavort in the yard, 

and some people go out and get deeply, resentfully, miserably wet.

And no matter what, the rain falls.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Apple pickin'

The apples in our backyard are ripening up!  Yesterday afternoon, we took a short walk across the pond

to pick apples!

These apples are so very good!  Both of the littles had to snack while we picked.

Mama and Daddy were pretty into the apple picking, too!  I think because we're from the coast (where apples come from the grocery store, not trees), we think this is so cool.

While Lana was working hard at pickin (in her too-cute-for-words dress and rainboots combo)....

Tucker was just eatin' away...

He loved the apples, for sure...but then we wandered over and found a pear tree, and can I just tell you that my boy is in LOVE?!  When we handed him this whole pear, we didn't hear another peep from him!
Look at that full mouth and belly!
Oh, I love this boy so much I think I might burst.

Look at this fruit...divine:

Lana & Mr. Brown gave high-fives to celebrate all the great fruit:
We know we won't live here forever, and we're so grateful for the time we have to live on Mr. Brown's property - what a wonderful experience for all of us.

Oh, look, Tucker scored a fresh fig on the walk back home - he LOVES these things:
Needless to say, he got his daily fiber.