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Hello all! I just wanted to pop on here with the redirect for my current website, The Red Kitchen Project, since this site is no longer being updated. Please visit me here:

http://redkitchenproject.com/

Thanks!

Gracie

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Jamie has two big boy beds! We haven’t set them up yet in his room (waiting for Hubby’s vacation in a couple days so if there are some harrowing first nights Hubby can just sleep in there with him without worrying about alarm clocks, etc.) but we have them ready to go!

Last week, the new boss at my office came to work with matching twin beds (frames, headboards, mattresses, box springs — everything!) that a friend had given him and he had no use for. Talk about perfect timing. We’ve wanted to update Jamie’s room this summer so the changes when the baby comes in December won’t be so hard on him (like giving the baby his crib and so on). So I jumped on the chance to take the beds home!

I took Jamie shopping last night to outfit the beds. God bless WalMart’s dorm room sales! (We bought him nice bed-sized matching blankets for $4.95 apiece!!) I took Jamie down the many aisles of sheets to see what caught his eye, praying it wasn’t some Nickelodien character he’d tire of in two weeks or something ridiculously expensive with 600 thread count. I showed him plaids, and prints, and polka dots, and bright colors — and do you know what my kid said?

“I want white.” I looked where he was pointing, way up to the top of the display, at the plain white $7 sheet sets. “Are you sure?” I asked him. “They have blue here, and look at this red! Or this bright green…” And he shook his head and said again, “I want white.”

What a good little boy. 🙂 I can bleach white.

So, we picked up some white sheet sets, light blue blankies, mattress protectors, and bed pillows…and then Jamie passed by a display of those little travel pillows that had been made up with their own little pillowcases. He picked up one with a blue, red and white plaid and held it tightly to his chest, looked up at me with hopeful eyes and said, “I need this, Mommy” as he hugged it lovingly.

I figured as good a little boy as he had been all night and as simple as his tastes were, who was I to deny him the little $5 pillow he wanted to decorate with? His eyes lit up and he grinned this giant toothy smile when I said “yes” as he tossed it over his head to land in our cart. What a funny kid. I let him get one for each bed because the bill for everything was going to be so much smaller than I had expected. He could hardly believe his good fortune. Little rays of light were coming out of his head, I swear, he was so excited over those little pillows. He hugged one the whole way home. Adorable.

I’ll be sure to take pictures of Jamie with his big boy room as soon as we get it all set up. I had hopes of painting his room the same time that we swap out the furniture but I just don’t know how that will happen, so he may have to live with white walls another year. That’s life. (Unless Aunt Emily wants to come visit and paint him a choo choo train mural…just kidding, Em, I know you’re up to your eyeballs in projects.) At least we have a bunch of Thomas the Tank Engine wall decals he got from Grandma for his birthday last winter that we still haven’t hung up (because we kept thinking we were about to paint!). We can decorate with those in the meantime.

Either way, there’s one happy Jamie eagerly anticipating his big boy beds!

 

–Gracie

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Jamie has been having a lot of trouble lately with one of his little friends at school (we’ll call him “A”). A and Jamie are inseparable most of the time, yet Jamie comes home every day with bite marks, or bumps, or bruises, or scrapes, always attributed to A. Not having any idea if Jamie was only telling me his side of the story and there was more that I didn’t know, I talked to his school. I know that Jamie has no qualms about defending himself when bigger bullies are giving him trouble, so it surprised me to see him letting himself be picked on by A, who despite being an entire year older than Jamie, is literally half Jamie’s size.

After a conference on Monday about this, Jamie’s preschool owners started reviewing recent tapes of classroom playtime (bless that webcam!) and had another conference with me this morning. Apparently, Jamie is NOT defending himself, and they both feel it is because he knows A is so much smaller than him and he doesn’t want to hurt his friend, even when his friend is bullying him. It’s a sad situation, particularly because I’m sort of proud of Jamie for having such scruples at his young age, but at the same time, I don’t want him allowing himself to be victimized to preserve a friendship. I don’t want a two-year-old with Stockholm syndrome!

It’s also sad because there are also GOOD things that have happened as a result of Jamie’s friendship with A, namely the fact that only a few months ago we were discussing possible speech pathology options for Jamie’s slow speech, and now he’s talking a blue streak. A is very articulate (probably because he is so much older than Jamie), and Jamie seems to be picking more up from A in the speech department than adults have been able to impart on him of late. So there are good things, too.

But it had escalated last Friday when A stole Jamie’s hat, threw it in the trash, stole it back again later and then promptly tried to flush it down the potty. That’s when I spoke up to the owners about the growing trend of A’s bullying.

Today when I brought Jamie to school, I was given a two-page letter/action plan on the preschool owners’ observations so far and what to expect in the near future. Apparently, they have contacted a behavior specialist to start coming in to observe A’s behavior (apparently he’s running wild nonstop, and no matter if other kids occasionally cause trouble, Aiden is always the common denominator in every mischievous act). The specialist will observe, make recommendations, track progress, etc. until A’s behavior improves. Additionally, the school has conferenced with A’s parents, who are very receptive, and will be having them come in three times a week to watch remotely, then enter the classroom and “assist” A with friend-appropriate behavior to add consistency to his previously “parent-free” zone.

I was really impressed with the proactive nature and quick actions taken by Jamie’s preschool once they were more aware of the concerns we were having. It’s been handled so professionally, and they have really wasted no time in getting to the bottom of it, which I appreciate immensely.

Here’s to hoping Jamie has a great day at school today!

–Gracie

Jamie has been learning more body parts lately. He’d already mastered the basics (hair, eyes, nose, mouth, belly, etc…) so we started teaching him more specific ones. Instead of arm, for instance, he is learning shoulder, elbow, wrist, etc…; instead of just “leg”, he now knows knee and foot, and so on.

 

So yesterday morning, I am standing in Jamie’s room, still wearing my nightgown, changing his diaper while he runs through all of the body parts he knows. If he points at his elbow and says, “Ebo!” and I do not respond, he continues pointing and saying it until I clap my hands and shower him with praise.

 

Once he ran out of body parts he knew, he pointed at my boob and exclaimed, “BALL!” I ignored this. Again, “BALL!” Still I remained silent, until he started poking my boob with his finger in frustration and shouted, “BALL, Mama, BALL!!!”

 

I have no idea how to respond to this.

 

That is all.

I am soooo sleepy today.

We took a trip to Pekin this weekend to visit Geoff’s family. It was a nice trip, and everyone had fun playing with The Boy, but it really wore us out! Poor Jamie had to spend 11-12 hours in his carseat this weekend, which is a lot to ask from an 8-month old. He did better on the way back than the way up, but he was still thrilled to be home last night. When we brought him inside from the car, he started squealing with delight and didn’t stop for hours. Sitting in his Excersaucer, rolling around in his crib, hanging out on the floor — it didn’t matter. He was, like, uncontrollably happy. He kept letting out these gleeful giggles and just singing and laughing and squealing nonstop until almost eleven o’clock. When he finally did sack out, he crashed hard and didn’t stir until morning. Good boy!

Meanwhile, this morning, I can’t seem to hold my head up. I was so exhausted I almost called in to work and stayed home, but I couldn’t really justify taking a sick day just because I needed a nap. So I’m here, chugging my Monday coffee and trying to hold my eyelids open until the mail comes and I have something to keep me busy.

I met a couple of raindrops on our way to the day care this morning, but I’m not sure they’re bringing any friends with them. Wish they would — my garden could seriously use a good half-day soaking. Miraculously, other than the weeds, my garden is doing magnificently despite the drought, but I am not looking forward to seeing our water bill next month. Too bad Mother Nature won’t give me some help there.

I can’t wait for Autumn to get here. Jamie will be big enough to play outside when the weather decides to let us. And I’m dying for the cooler season, so I can come home to goodies in the Crock Pot and on the stove top without worrying about making the kitchen too hot. I want some homemade chili, and maybe some wassail or something to drink. That would be wonderful. Right now, we can’t cook anything longer than it takes to make Hamburger Helper or else the house won’t cool off the rest of the night. Come on, Autumn! Plus, it will be nice to slip Jamie into a new wardrobe that still looks nice and isn’t all stained up from eating Gerber at preschool…he’s got such adorable little clothes for the fall, if the cool weather will get here before he outgrows them all!

Yawn.

I’m tired. Time to go make another pot of Joe.

Happy napping!