Monday, September 23, 2013

Good things are happening.

 Life is so good. Oliver started smiling a few weeks ago. He didn't smile at Scott for two weeks, so Scott was skeptical. But Oliver finally cracked a smile for him.
 Oliver also started sleeping a lot better and more regularly. He gets up once a night now and it makes me feel like a whole new person. Awesome.
Oliver is four months old now and is chubbing up nicely. This is good because I've been ignoring doctor's advice to keep pumping and mixing in extra calories - partly because I hate pumping and partly because my current breastpump is dying and I don't want to buy another one. I figure as long as he is gaining weight, it's fine, right?!
 In other good news, Phoebe just got accepted into a preschool that is 1) located at Bruce's school so is convenient, and 2) is free because she will be a "typical learner" in a group with some kids who have developmental delays or language barriers. She was on a long waiting list that I'd given up hope on, but when I told her she was going to be in preschool she got very excited. We have been doing "home preschool" together, learning letters and studying bees; Phoebe misses socializing with friends though. I'll admit that I'm very excited too. There is hope for this blog!
 Phoebe is a good helper and entertainer for Oliver, but she will love having preschool for a few hours every day.
 A few weeks ago when I gave up hope on preschool, I signed Phoebe up for a ballet class. She has been dancing around the living room for awhile, so we got her some ballet slippers and made it official.
 She loves her class so much that she even lets me put a headband in her hair.
In other good news, I am finally starting to do track workouts again and am signed up for a cross country race this weekend. I won't impress anyone, but I am looking forward to donning the Greater Boston singlet next to my teammates. Scott is loving his work at MGH. Sometimes he gets confused in the middle of the night and says strange work-related things. Last night at 11:30 p.m. he tried to tell me that Bruce was in the bathroom and felt like throwing up because he just had a bone scan. What?! A few weeks ago he made some comment about a CAT scan he was trying to read at 2 a.m. Anyway, he is living the dream.

Or maybe we all are.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

School is in!

Bruce finally started school again on the day after Labor Day. He was so excited that he told me he wanted to get there two hours early to play on the playground. We managed to get there 20 minutes early after a requisite celebratory stop at Dunkin Donuts. 

Bruce was excited to see his friends again and found that his new teacher is amazing. After the dismissal bell rang on his first day of school, he opted to stay another hour to visit with his kindergarten teacher. 

Phoebe was wishing she was in school, so we are doing home preschool - just me and her (and I guess Oliver too). We are learning our letters and their sounds along with a random unit about bees. 

Oliver is 3.5 months old now and nearly 12 pounds. He qualifies for Early Intervention services because of his prematurity so we will have a case worker visiting weekly to check on him and help him "catch up" developmentally.  He really is doing great though, although I do wish I could get sleep in more than 3-hour increments. Anyway, it's a good thing he is adorable and still looks and smells like a baby. When he cries at night, I remind myself that this is way better than waking up to a cold breast pump and having him a few miles away in a hospital. Above, Oliver is pictured next to his life-size baby doll; the doll is 14 inches long, the same as him when he was born. The doll is wearing one of his preemie outfits; see how much he has grown?!

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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Laborious Weekend

School starts on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, so this weekend marks the end of summer for us. We celebrated by going to the Spencer Fair, a small-town event complete with animals, rides, exhibits, and shows. We got there right as it opened and had the place to ourselves for part of the day, which was fantastic: we toured the animal barns first and Bruce and Phoebe got to hold baby chicks without waiting in line and ask bored 4-H members about their animals.
After the animal barns, exhibits, and coloring, we saw some shows. We went to a tiger and elephant show and watched them do tricks. We also went to a "lumberjill show," where we saw ladies chop stuff and throw axes and compete in log-rolling and such. At one point in the show, they asked for a volunteer to come sit on a freshly chopped log-chair that they made. Bruce was picked, modeled the chair, and got to take it home.
 I told the kids they could pick one ride at the end of the day, but it would have to be one they could both go on. They couldn't agree on a ride, so we left with Phoebe kicking and screaming. That night when Scott asked what they did that day, Phoebe said, "I did NOT go on the carousel."
 On Saturday we headed to Mt. Cardigan, which ended up being more of an educational experience for us. We came here when Bruce turned three years old, so we figured Phoebe would be fine hiking it. What were we thinking?! These two kids are totally different: Bruce is focused and a fast hiker, while Phoebe gets distracted by every rock and stick along the way. We remembered that once we got started.
 It took us nearly two hours to hike to the top of Mt. Firescrew, the smaller neighboring mountain that comes on the trail first. Because it took so long and rain was in the forecast that afternoon, we turned and headed back down rather than pushing onward to summit Cardigan. It was a smart move: it began to rain just as we hiked into the parking lot.
Today is quieter: we had church this morning and we are having friends over for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we are going to a friend's to BBQ some stuff (veggies? tofu?) and then Tuesday it's back to SCHOOL.

I am excited. Can you tell? It's been a fun/rewarding/exhausting summer.

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The summer bucket list

At the beginning of the summer, I told Bruce and Phoebe that this summer wouldn't be like the last: we weren't going to go to busy museums or late-night outdoor movies. We had to protect Oliver foremost, and our summer fun would have to come second to that. I told the kids to make a list of the things they really wanted to do this summer and we would do as many things as we could. Here is their list (with a few notes here and there):

1. Go to "Big Slide Park."
2. Eat at Q'doba.
3. Have some playdates.
4. Go to the zoo.
5. Go to Dunkin Donuts (sooo many times).
6. Paint.
7. Go to Wingaersheek Beach.
8. Pick blueberries.
9. Take the train to Maine.
10. Go raspberry picking.
11. Make a pinata (this was my favorite. Phoebe made and decorated a cupcake-shaped pinata, we filled it with candy, and invited a few kids over to break it one afternoon. We will have to do this every summer, and maybe next time I'll actually get pictures of it).
12. Go to an art museum.
13. See a movie in the theater (Monsters University!).
14. Go bowling.
15. Go to Grandma's house.
16. Go to the gym (we went to a bounce house gym and counted it).
17. Go to the "yellow splash park" (pictured below).
18. Make a lemonade stand (pictured above. Phoebe passed out about five glasses of lemonade before she got bored and moved on to other things).
19. Take cookies to firefighters. 
20. See an outdoor movie.

We did pretty well but did not get to #4, 9, 14, or 15. Maybe next summer?

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