Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Monday, November 18, 2013

Riding the Wave of Fall Fun

I thought I was going to make it through this birthday without any of the flashbacks, panic attacks, or bouts of crying that seem to infiltrate the days and weeks surrounding Cayden's birthday, but it just caught up with me.  At least I made it all the way up until the night before his birthday before it hit.  The waves of tears are flowing, so I'll try to distract myself with happy thoughts of all the fun things we've done over the past couple of months so as not to ruin what should be a joyful celebration of three years of a living miracle!

Daddy was gone from mid-August through mid-October, but we kept ourselves busy up until he came home, then, for the two weeks he was home, we kept even busier!

Unfortunately, Cayden got sick four times in that two month period, and it appears he is coming down with his fifth cold this fall as I type.  One of those colds progressed into an ear infection, but thankfully no croup or anything worse has ever developed.  <knock on wood>

All the colds are no surprise considering how many different play groups/daycares Cayden visits!  Before Cayden started school himself last week, he would come with me to drop Jamison off and pick him up each day at his pre-school.  Of course Cayden had to run into the room and touch as many toys as possible in the few minutes we were there, so there's germ exposure number one for the week.  Then, Cayden and I would often head to the gym so I could exercise and he could play in the gym daycare - germ exposure number two. 

On Tuesdays beginning in September, I started going to a Nurturing Parenting class at a local community college.  It's a 16-week course that basically teaches parents they need to nurture themselves so they can in turn nurture their kids.  Each week, they provide dinner for all of the families, then the kids go to the daycare for two and a half hours while the parents have some adult interaction.  (Germ exposure number 3.)  It's been a great learning experience as well as a wonderful support system for me, and a nice social outlet for the boys.

MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) started up again in September, so every other Friday, we head to the church so I can socialize with other moms and the boys go to Mopettes (child care).  Germ exposure number 4!

We've continued swimming lessons and three weeks ago, Cayden graduated from the parent and tot class to being in the big pool by himself (without Mommy or Daddy, but with an instructor and a few other kids in his class.)  He hasn't been too keen on participating and keeps telling the teacher "No!" or "I don't want to!" when she asks if he wants to do something.  I finally had to tell her that she can't ask him, she just has to tell him - this is what you're going to do!  Yesterday, he got into the pool without too much resistance and no crying, so hopefully he's getting used to the idea.

Before Cayden started pre-school himself, he and I got to tag along with Jamison and his class's field trips.  In September, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Jami's class was studying dinosaurs, so we met at that exhibit first but were free to explore the rest of the museum.  It was our first visit, but we will definitely go again soon!  The boys had a great time, especially in the AstroTots section of the Space Exploration exhibit.

In the cockpit of the Space Shuttle!
Mr. Mule-Eared Deer Ears
In October, Jami's class visited Nick's Garden Center for their Fall Festival.  The boys had fun jumping in the bounce castle, riding the haunted train, washing their pumpkins, playing in the hay maze, racing pedal carts, and taking a tractor hay ride through the Tunnel of Terror.

High-fiving Daddy after racing Mommy and Jamison on the pedal carts
 In late October, we had a joint gymnastics birthday party for Cayden and Jamison at the Trails Recreation Center.  All the kids had a total blast playing games, doing the obstacle course, playing with the parachute, and eating pizza and cake.

Playing on the parallel bars

Taking charge while blowing out the candles on their cake

Testing out Jami's birthday present from Mommy and Daddy (Cayden got a cool Tonka dump truck, but couldn't resist getting on the bike!)
The week after the party, we let Cayden and Jamison each choose a special thing to do for their own Special Birthday Day.  Jamison chose to go to "the Farmers' Market", as he called it.  Over the summer, I often took the boys to our local Farmers' Market at a nearby mall to buy veggies and then they'd play in the fountain after we finished shopping.  Technically, I think that's what Jami wanted to do, but since the market was over by then, we told him we were going to a different 'Farmers' Market' and went to a REAL farm.  We saw lots of animals and took our own private hayride out into the fields where we picked our own veggies - corn, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, and pumpkins!


Carrots, fresh from the Earth!

He couldn't get enough of this tractor

For Cayden's Special Birthday Day, he chose to go to the zoo.  It was the first time all four of us were able to go during the day (we went last year for Zoo Lights, but didn't see the animals.)  They loved the train ride and feeding the lorikeets and pressing all of the buttons on the displays.  (I think they enjoyed seeing the animals too!)

All aboard!

Feeding a lorikeet with Daddy

Then there was Halloween.  Cayden was a fireman this year and he just LOVED the whole experience!  At the first house, he rang the doorbell and when they answered, he tried to go inside their house.  A couple times early on, he tried giving some of his candy to the person who answered the door.  Then there are those people who stick a whole bowlful of candy in front of an almost-three-year-old:  of course Cayden started grabbing handfuls of loot and stuffing it into his Elmo bucket!   But by the end of our block, he got the hang of it and would say, "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" right on cue. 

Ready to ring some doorbells and score some goodies!
Potty training is still a work in progress.  He's back to wearing a diaper full time because he absolutely will NOT poop in the potty.  He had the peeing part down, but for some reason, he won't go #2 in there.  He loves sitting on the potty and will pee on it any time you ask or remind him.  The first couple of months, we were very good about asking him all day long and he hardly ever peed in his diaper, but I have to admit I've been lax about enforcing the issue, so we haven't made much progress toward wearing Big Boy Underwear. 

I guess that covers about everything we've done around here lately.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for the Birthday Boy!   And just as I hoped, recounting all of the fun things we've done lately has helped me smile and made me feel better.  :-)

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