REALLY Catching Up!!

10/17/2009 08:45:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »

I know it's been almost two months since I've posted anything about my sweet Princess Lexie Lou but it's been a VERY busy 2 months. So I'm going to do my best to catch up. Let's see....

(Note the lack of pull-up or diaper!)

One of the biggest changes in our lives is the potty. That's right, I can say with confidence (or at least the same confidence of any parent of a newly potty trained child) that Lexie has saved the princess consistently for the last 3 weeks. But getting there made the last 2 months interesting. Once we returned from Texas it was full on potty training. And I mean training!! I know you aren't supposed to push them, that they have to do it in their own time and all the other great advise you get but enough was enough. Lexie had been "showing interest" since she was 20 months and wasn't afraid of it and we'd gone through the reward system of M&Ms (which worked for a while) then the stickers (also worked if we were home and I asked) but rarely did she tell me she had to go. Now what's the rush you might ask. Well it was pre-school. Lexie has been in a small 4-5 children in home daycare since she was 20 months but the last few months it was very clear to me that she needed to move on. She is very bright and social and interested in everything but she simply wasn't getting that at her current daycare. So after much thought and investigation I decided the Montessori pre-school was the place for her. One guessed it potty training. She had to be FULLY potty trained to attend the school. So I fudged it on the application with the thought that she would be trained by the time she started. So Princess Poopy Boot Camp began!

What exactly is Princess Poopy Boot Camp you might ask. Well first you have to start with lots of pretty princess panties. As you can see Lexie proudly wore hers and then you have to really care about those princesses. Which of course Lexie does. So whenever she would have an accident Lexie would say "Oh poor Cinderella" or "Oh Mommy, I went poo-poo on Aerial." I think you get the idea.

Then you mix that with some of the other reward techniques (like M&Ms or princess stickers) or in this case her new Leapster (thanks Auntie Jules) which she could only play on the potty. And a lot of running back and forth and staying home to make sure we knew where the bathroom was and of course had all our treats on hand and wha-la.....

Here you have on tired but "fully" potty trained princess!! Okay, fully trained was stretching it but we were pretty darn close by the time school rolled around.

Now I don't want you to think it was all potty and no play during this time. Most of the intense training was done on the weekends since of course I was still working. But one of the wonderful escapes Lexie and I had was a visit with Brogan and his family. Brogan is a little boy who was in the same room at the baby house in Aktau, Kazakhstan that Lexie was in. In fact Stephanie & Joe, Brogan's parents, actually met Lexie two months before I did while they were there adopting their son. They sent me the earliest picture I have of Lexie! So it was wonderful to finally meet all of them. They live in Florida but were up visiting family in Portland so Steph suggested we meet half way at a state park. Here they are together for the first time in over two years.
It is so amazing to think these two little souls spent the first 12 months of their lives together half way around the world and here they are playing together once again. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of where they came from and where they are now.....with their parents in loving, safe, happy homes. And it was astonishing really. Lexie is very social but not like this. She walked right up to him (even though his older brother was there as well as a cousin) took his hand and off they went chattering away.

What a terrific gift that visit was!


Well all good things must come to and end so summer was winding down fast for us. We still got to a few more local festivals - like Cedar Coves Days. (That is not a backdrop but down at the marina here in town.)

And here she is riding her favorite Zebra before we headed to the park. I'm afraid she'll be riding that thing off to college!
And another favorite activity of her is playing the violin. She's a funny girl what can I say? She watches a little too much of the Little Einsteins I think.

The big day finally arrived or at least the two orientation where we both went to meet the teachers and her fellow classmates as well as they could do some activities to get a feel for the class. For those of you who don't know the principle behind Montessori it's basically that children learn best while they DO something rather than sit and listen, which I like. They believe kids can achieve much more than most parents think they can so it's about independence and free choice. So they have about 100 stations around the room with anything from stacking blocks, to simple coloring, to pouring water from a teapot into small cups (one of the first things Lexie did.)

Or hammering nails into a big piece of wood. Yup - that's my girl!!! Doesn't she look cute in her safety goggles?

It was an accident free two hours so Mommy was very happy. This was Thursday before Labor day so the next day was going to be her first full day. And here she is ready to go - complete with her very large lunch bag (I had to send a lot since she was staying all day plus a thermos and an ice pack - really!) and of course my Lexie had to pick two flowers from the garden (that's really stretching it to call my front yard a garden but I'll take it) for her two teachers. How sweet was that? There were no tears from Lexie (even though Mommy had a few as she drove off.)

I was told overall the day went very well but there were three plastic bags waiting for me when I went to pick her up. Yes, I'm afraid three princesses bit the dust on Lexie's first day of pre-school. That's right - not one, not two but three accidents and when I went to get her on the playground she was wearing clothes that I'd never seen before. Oh my!?! So much for Princess Poopy Boot Camp! The teachers were very understanding and said it's to be expected but why don't I bring not just the required one change of clothes but a few extras until she gets settled in. Ya think? So we had a refresher course over the holiday weekend and back we went with a few extra princesses in tow and a prayer that Lexie would be in the same clothes I brought her in when I pick her up. I told her after the first week of little bags that if she could go a whole week without an accident she could pick a present. We made it the third week and here is what she picked out....

Big surprise - she says this is a ballet princess fair outfit and I'm not going to argue with that smile on her face and dry panties! It's took a few more weeks but I can honestly say it's now been 3 full weeks since a little plastic bag was waiting for me at parent pick up time. So that hurdle seems to have been jumped. But a new one arouse that I didn't expect. My Lexie, who has been going to daycare since she was 20 months, decided she didn't like her new school and would sob when I went to drop her off. We're not talking little tears here but full on sobs with major clinging going on. I was surprised the first time but Ms Stephanie kindly pulled the sad little monkey off me (since there was no other way I was leaving that room) and comforted her until I left. I'll have to admit I stayed outside the door until I heard the crying stop which honestly didn't take more than about 3 minutes (very long minutes for the sad Mommy out in the hall.) And when I picked her up she was happily playing with her new friends and told me all the fun stuff she'd done that day. I had hoped that it was a one time thing but it went on for a couple of weeks. One day we were walking to the outside door to the classroom and I was holding her hand while carrying her lunch and jacket in the other, talking to her about how much fun she was going to have and that she was going to be a big girl by not crying when I left her. I'm thinking this could be it - she's not crying or anything. So I let go of her hand to open the door and she turn around to run back to the car as fast as she can screaming "Don't make me go in there. Help...Don't make me ....Help." Of course most of the other moms where laughing as I chased her down but I heard a couple say " Oh I've been there" so I didn't feel totally alone in this experince. Just when you think you've got them worked out.

Anyway, she is finally settled into her school and is really enjoying it. Next she had her first official school pictures and here she is on her way out the door that morning.

I know - I went for the classic school girl look but it was on sale and I just couldn't pass it up. But she's looking so grown up now and she's only 3!
Next ballet started. I decided to keep her in the same class since she gets to be with 2 of her ballet friends from last year and I figured who cares if she misses Wed mornings at pre-school.

It's a combo Ballet & Tap class and I finally got a picture of her in her tap shoes at the barr. She asks every morning when I get her up if today is dance class. The girl still loves to dance and I really enjoy watching her too.


With all this school stuff and ballet and work (I had a huge deal going on during all of this that I'm very happy to say closed) my birthday and more importantly, the Puyallup Fair, were creeping up on us. And I'm happy to say that Mom surprised us with a visit just in time for the Fair, my birthday and an early celebrating of her birthday (which is a week after mine.) Lexie really loved having her GaGa here and grandma was pretty please to be with her Lexie too.

I had to snatch her away just to get a hug and a tickle while grandma was around!
So after doing so catching up with GaGa we were off to The Puyallup Fair - the largest one in the Pacific Northwest and one of my favorite events of the year. So the first thing of course is the carousel. I think if we'd let her she would have ridden 10 more times. And Lexie liked it too!

Then a few more rides later this one really got to me. It was a little glimpse of the future and I've got to tell you I'm NOT ready for it. Lexie behind the wheel - oh my?!

Not only is she driving but she's pick up a guy. Man to we have to talk!

Then of course we had to do the lazy river boats. It's a must for Lexie and I can't believe how much bigger she is from last year.
Then it was a time for a treat and Grandma thought it was a good idea to give Lexie her first cotton candy. Ok fine but she didn't need one larger than her head!
Next it was off to Weird Al's Inside Your Brain show. We were really doing it because it was air conditioned and to ware the cool glasses.
Then my dare devil insisted on riding the roller coaster AND getting in the front car. I thought for sure that she'd be crying before they made it around once but she laughed the whole time.
This is the child that ran screaming to the car yelling HELP when I was leaving her at her nice safe school.

Then we stopped to watch a magician do his thing mainly because Lexie ran to the front of the stage right when he started his act and was soon joined by other kids. I was just glad he didn't pick her when he asked for volunteers. There is nothing shy about this child!
And of course we couldn't go a minute longer without visiting some animals. The petting zoo is always a big hit and she's got to be right in there with all of the action.

She wasn't close enough yet so she had to get down right in the goats face.

This was the look I got when I told her she was too close and to back off a little. Who me?

After that it we needed a bathroom break. I'm sure you'll notice a change of clothes after this but I've got to tell you it wasn't her fault. She told me she had to go so we RAN all the way and it was far. She still made it but just as I pulled her pull ups down (okay she's potty trained but I'm not when it comes to places I don't know where the bathroom is.) Anyway, just as I was pulling her pants down she peed all over my hand. NICE! But it really wasn't her fault and I had hand sanitizer with me so all was well that ends well.

Then it was off to milk a cow.
Needless to say she really got into it.

Please note that no cow was hurt in the taking of this picture.
Then we had to visit the lamas a personal favorite of mine. Could he be any cuter?
Lexie clearly thought so too.

This picture is for you Uncle Jim. She had to fly the planes.

And the go up in the hot air balloon.

And one more trip back to the lazy river for a good soaking this time. She got Mommy too!
Then off to the Lolly Pop Swings to ride it by herself since the first time I rode with her but now she wanted to do it on her own. Man do they grow up fast but I didn't think in a matter of hours.

I thought we had pretty much ridden every ride that a child her size could ride by this time at least once but then Lexie kept reminding me that there was one more thing she hadn't been on yet. Now anyone that knows me, knows when it comes to Lexie and safety I'm pretty conservative. Safety first and all that. In fact, a friend of mine at work (yes Andrew I'm talking about you) showed me a picture of his two year old, Hannah, bungee jumping during a summer vacation and I was going to call his wife to make sure she knew what he was up to until he showed me a picture with her in it cheering Hannah on. Then I threaten to have Children's Services called on him. So you get the picture. Anyway, at the fair they had a similar set up (but I still maintain that this was a much smaller jumping height than Hannah's) and Lexie REALLY wanted to here she is Alexis Falen Quast doing her first bungee jumping at age 3.

She took it very seriously, until they said jump. Then all bets where off!!!
She had a ball and of course the first thing she said when she was done was "can I do it again - PLEASE!!!"
So it was a great way to spend a birthday and time with two of my favorite people in the world. It's great to have fair buddies!!

Thanks for the great visit Mom. We miss you!

I can't believe it's already October and Halloween is just two weeks away. Where did this year go? Lexie did her pumkin painting (no knives near those little fingers yet) and as usual she really got into it.
She was very proud of the end results. You can't tell but the dog is all glittery and the other thing has another face on the other side. She's just so darn creative.

And of course we had to have a couple of pumpkins outside as well. Can you find my pumpkin amoung all the blow-up ones?

On Columbus Day Lexie's class took their first feild trip so of course I had to volunteer to be a chaperon. My little baby wasn't getting on a big bus for the first time with out me (or my camera) around. They went to Old Farmer Jenson's turn of the century farm where they got to feed the goats, sheep, ducks, chickens and rabbits as well as learn how pumpkins grow and what life was like 100 years ago. Here they all are watching Old Farmer Jenson show them what it takes to grow a pumpkin. (Lexie is in the pink about in the middle of the group.)

After that they got to go out into the field and pick a pumpkin out for themselves. Lexie went for a big one but I told her the rule was if SHE couldn't carry it then it wasn't going on the bus. This is the one she settled on. Good choice!

And here she is with her new best buddy Anika and another school friend waiting for the bus. They had a ball and where back in the class in time for lunch and a nap.

Okay, that's the short story of what we've been up to these last couple of months:) I'll do my best to keep up with the all the fun around here but I can't make any promises.


Stephanie and Gary said...

i wasn't sure I was ever going to find the place to leave a comment ;-) Thanks for finding my blog! Your daughter is beautiful and I have so enjoyed reading of your first meeting. She was adorable then and grew to be such a beauty! Your details provided are so helpful as I embark on this journey next month> I really enjoyed your honesty in the section where you describe "the girl in pink" who was selected for you. I worry about this whole process but it always appears we are paired up with who we were meant to. I am hoping I just go with the flow as we meet a little boy they likely already have picked out for us.
Looking forward to reading more of your story!

Joby and Marla said...

Great Update!!!!

Congrats on potty training :)

Lexie is so cute!!!!

McMary said...

Wow--you are such a busy family.
Too many things to comment on but it is really nice to get such a good update.
I envy all the time you have to spend with her and all the fun things you are doing.

I am off to meet my little one--who is three and a half--close to Lexie's age. It is fun to read about things I might have in store.

Julie said...

Lexie is such a beautiful and happy girl. Your pictures are wonderful and how awesome she is to want to help others at such a young age!