Monthly Archives: July 2010

Garrett Swimming Lessons- Week 1



Garrett ISR 2010, Week 1 , originally uploaded by mgianchetta.

Last week was G’s first week back to ISR lessons. This is attempt number 3 and finally we have success! We started G in ISR around 7 months old, but his acid reflux was so severe that being on his back in the water was just terribly painful. Then we tried again around 11 months when his reflux had improved. Even though it didn’t seem painful anymore, he still remembered how bad it had been the previous months that he never progressed. We had planned to start back to lessons in May but because of weather and our vacation we ended up waiting until last week. It was worth the wait!

This time around Garrett really likes the water. He sometimes fusses a little, but nothing like the painful cries from before. Mainly he just counts along with Ms. Staci or says “Ready, Set, Go!”. He is very proud of himself when he finishes a lesson and he is doing so well. He has had great muscle memory, so the lessons we did last year were working. He just wasn’t able to physically put it together. This year it seems like he is coming along quickly. By the end of the summer, I think we’ll have two “full on swimmers” as Jack likes to say!

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Pretend Play

Our kids have the best imaginations.  It amazing what they can imagine and how their pretend play is exploding recently.  I love imaginative play, so this stage is so exciting to me.  Anybody who knew me as a child knows I had a very active imagination.  I had imaginary friends when I was a toddler and even in Elementary school I still pretended to be a secretary or car hop or whatever, all the time.  Now that my kids are hitting this phase, I can’t get enough of it.

Yesterday I realized that my boys spent the entire afternoon pretending something.  Part of the time they were building train tracks and cities for their cars and had all kinds of goings on in their towns.  Then they moved on to the play kitchen where they cooked and served each other for at least an hour.  Susannah got G a wooden birthday cake that you can decorate with different toppings and a candle and can be cut into slices.  The boys have played with it every single day, taking turns singing Happy Birthday to each other or the dog or one of us.  They love to serve you cake and tell you all about saving a piece for you. 

Then there is the sports they play all day.  They are often playing hockey in the living room.  But, it isn’t just shooting a ball or puck back and forth.  The game starts with the National Anthem sung by one or the other of them, complete with pre-song announcement of the anthem and the singer who is always Bob McDonald who sings the National Anthem often at Caps games.  Once they sing then there is the announcement of the players.  Jack is always “Nuuuuummmmbbber 8 Allllleeeexxxx OoooooVechkin” and G is whoever Jack feels like making him.  Yesterday, for example, Garrett had to be Brian Pothier.  Often Jack makes him Alexander Semin.  Right now G doesn’t care what player he is, he just wants to shoot the puck.  Soon though, he will care and I can hear the arguments already!  Once the period begins they shoot, they score, they high-five everyone they can find, they announce their goals.  Sometimes Mom calls penalties and everyone gets upset.  Then they have the end of the period where they have to get snacks.  And then it starts all over again.  They are so detailed!

The other favorite game is that there is a monster chasing them or coming to get them.  This one cracks me up because G plays this a lot by himself.  If Jack is at school or still sleeping when G wakes up from nap, then he is almost sure to play the monster game by himself.  The funny thing is that he will run in wherever I am working in the house with a big story in 2-year-old speak of broken sentences of how the monster is chasing him.  He tells me about the roar of the monster.  He wants me to save him.  Then he gives me a big laugh and runs off.  It is adorable.

And of course, every toy or object in the house is surely something else.  The gas station that belongs to the parking garage is the microphone.  The broom is a golf club.  The play fruit from the kitchen is a ball.  Every item has a pretend identity.  I love this!  They are so creative.  I do everything I can to foster this creativity and encourage them to never be confined by what something is supposed to be.  Their ideas are way more interesting than any of the intended uses of the objects they find!

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Summer Camp

Summer camp has started for the boys.  Last year my friend Susannah found a local church that runs a summer camp for preschoolers during the summer.  Unlike other camps, you don’t have to send your kids everyday or even certain days.  You get a calendar of the weeks they run the camp and can pick and choose the days you want to send the kids.  Jack loved it last year and I sent him a few days a week most weeks.  The camp was really flexible, so even if there was a change of dates or I wanted to add a day they could usually accommodate me.  I knew for sure we would use the camp again and have recommended it to everyone we know.  I’ve given them so much business that they actually reduced our enrollment fees.  Apparently it pays to be a walking billboard!  Too bad I don’t get that deal on all my favorite products that I shamelessly promote!

This year Garrett is old enough to go to camp too.  I have been so excited to have a few mornings a week free of kids.  I have plenty of plans for my free time including painting our living room, dining room, main bathroom, removing the hideous shower doors on our tub and rearranging my sewing stuff.  Wish me luck!

Jack started camp right when we got back from Montana.  He generally will go Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I had him start the day after we got home though, so that week he went Wednesday to Friday.  Garrett will go every Tuesday and Thursday and is with the Mothers Day Out kids that are between about 18 months and 2 1/2.  I didn’t want him to just go one day on his first week, so I waited until Tuesday last week to start him.  I was a little concerned about how well he would do, but it has been great.  The first morning I dropped him off I had to bribe him with a ball in order to get a goodbye.  The second day he was off and running too.  Apparently he was a little sad a few minutes after I left, but I had told them that if he had a hard time then he seems to be better once he sees his brother.  As soon as they went outside as a group and they took him to see Jack, he was fine.  I really appreciate that even though Jack can be a pill to G at home, in those situations he always takes care of G.  They really are close and I know as they get older, they will be so close!

Jack of course loves summer camp.  I coordinate with the Mom of his friend Hayes and they go the same days together.  I’m sure they are giving summer camp a run for the money, but they love playing together.  Both Hayes and Jack are very active, VERY smart, precocious boys.  And they are all boy, so I think they can be a lot.  They usually aren’t naughty together though, just loud and full of energy.  I’m glad they get time to play all summer!  And I’m especially glad for 6 hours a week without any kiddos to be able to work on projects!

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4th of July

For the first time since we’ve had kids, we bought fireworks to set off at home.  Travis really wanted to introduce the kids fireworks in hopes that we wouldn’t have any issues with them being scared of the noise and light.  On the 4th he picked up a couple of packages and some sparklers and snakes.  We worked and played in the yard all day, went swimming and then after dinner they did the snakes on the front walk.  The boys loved the snakes!  They were so excited, they named each snake and periodically “checked” on them throughout the evening.  (The names were quite creative…Jack, Garrett, Mom, Dad.  You get the picture!)  We kept the kids occupied until just around dusk and then we set up at the end of our driveway.

Travis started out by giving Jack a sparkler.  We weren’t even sure how he would handle it, but he loved it.  Garrett immediately wanted one too.  Both boys did really well with them.  Garrett even held a sparkler a little high up on the handle one time and just told me it was getting hot.  It was right as it was going out, so he just dropped it when we told him to and was fine.  Travis broke open the boxes of fireworks and started lighting them.  The kids really liked them and weren’t bothered at all . Thankfully Travis had thought ahead and specifically got ones that wouldn’t be too loud or go to high.  I think they were perfect.  By the end of the evening the boys were picking out which fountain was next and telling which kind they liked best.  In the end they liked the fireworks so much, that when we went to Hibachi on G’s Birthday we told them the fire was like fireworks and nobody got upset when they were cooking our dinner.  Worked out perfectly!

On the 5th our next door neighbors invited us over to play in their baby pool and have a barbeque.  It was great.  The kids got in and out of the pool, played with squirt guns and had a blast.  We all got to visit, ate yummy food and wore out our kids!  We have the best neighbors and love to hang out with them!

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Garrett Turns 2!

Our baby boy turned two this week.  In a blink of an eye, we are in the throes of toddlerhood.  Luckily, the good outweighs the bad…so far. **wink, wink**  Here is the big Garrett update, so if you don’t want the nitty-gritty of the G Man you can stop reading now.  Otherwise, you’re gonna get the full 2-year-old update!

Garrett is so much fun!  He is a sweet-natured, focused, talkative, funny little man who still loves the nihnt nihnt (aka breast milk).  He says funny little things and now carries on conversations all the time.  He is starting to hold his own with his brother and put Jack in his place.  He loves all sports, but he especially loves to watch hockey and play golf, baseball and soccer.  He is very patient and likes to color.  He can now hold his pen/pencil/crayon correctly and is definitely right-handed.  And he is extremely coordinated.  In fact, in most things he is even more coordinated than his brother.  G is growing bigger, but continues to be pretty darn tiny.  I was sure he was about 24 lbs., but after weighing him on every scale that crossed our path in Montana, there is no way he is more than 21 lbs.  However, he out eats his brother at most meals and can often be found cleaning everyone’s dinner plates 5 minutes after leaving the table.  I don’t know where he puts that food!

Garrett is our jokester.  He is always teasing us and has even mastered the art of the setup.  On a recent road trip, he fooled me.  Travis was driving and I had given the kids snacks in a snack trap style container.  G started calling for me and saying “I’m stuck” in a muffled voice.  I turned around and saw the snack trap attached to his face, covering his mouth and nose.  I unbuckled and quickly turned around to help him.  As soon as I reached for him, he pulled it down and started laughing hysterically.  I was a little shocked that even before 2 years old, he could trick me.  I have to watch out ’cause he is always trying to tease us.  It is so damn cute!

Garrett is adventurous but he also knows his limits.  I never have to worry that he’ll do things outside his limits.  That’s not to say he isn’t all boy and getting his fair share of bumps and bruises, but he only goes as far as he is comfortable even if it means that he needs to be rescued.  Luckily, he’ll just stay put until someone can help him.  He is very patient that way.  This quality is a big plus for Mama ’cause I generally have my work cut out for me keeping up with Jack.  It is nice to know that G generally keeps himself in line on the safety side of things!  He keeps Jack in line too.  He is always looking out for his big brother.  If Jack goes too far, too fast or is just getting into something, G is the first to pull him back.  It is pretty common to hear G yelling “Be careful Jackie!” or “Jack, be safe.”  I bet you can’t guess how often he hears that same phrase coming from my mouth directed to Jack?! 

Garrett is doing well with his letters, numbers/counting and learning colors.  We recently realized that he recognizes his colors pretty accurately.  We didn’t really feel like we worked on it, just all of a sudden he knew them.  He can sing his alphabet and count well forwards and backwards, thanks to Stroller Strides.  And most of all G loves to sing.  He sings lots of songs, but his favorite is the National Anthem.  The boys learned it from going to so many hockey games and it sticks around as a go to attention getter.  While we were in Montana, Garrett entertained half of Fort Benton by standing under a flag on the main street and belting out the National Anthem.  This was especially appropriate since we were at the Summer Celebration waiting for the parade to begin.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen so many little old ladies so proud that a little one can sing the National Anthem.  Of course he calls it “Oh, Say Can You See”, which is also his name for the American Flag.  It all goes together, you know.

G continues to nurse.  I’m not sure how long he will, but for now it is working for both of us.  He has cut down to just 2 or 3 times most days and I can fend him off often if he asks.  He still asks pathetically, like he knows he probably shouldn’t be asking to indulge but is hoping I’ll say yes. Most of the time I think it is cute, sometimes I think it is an attempt to distract me from disciplining or to get attention away from Jack.  I asked G last night (while he was nursing) if he was going to nurse always while he is a 2-year-old and he nodded.  Then I asked if he would nurse when he was a 3-year-old and he nodded.  Then I asked if he was gonna nurse forever, he gave me a sly smile and nodded.  Of course, most nursing sessions are capped off with him pulling off and saying “That was YUMMY nihnt nihnt!”  I figure when the time is right, he will just give it up.  (Thanks Elizabeth for helping me to realize that nursing doesn’t last forever and as long as it is going well for everyone, it is okay to take the wait and see approach!)  For now, I can say that I have nursed my child for 2 years.  That feels like a pretty important accomplishment on the Mom list.

This summer G has started going to the same summer camp as Jack for 2 days per week and in the fall he will go to preschool 3 days per week.  I’m excited for his new independence and proud of him for taking it all in stride.  I see our little baby turning into a little boy and it is nice, mostly.  I love the independence, I love the conversations, I love to watch him grow, but I cherish my babies and it is hard to see some of that ending.  We are starting to potty train and I can tell already that in a split second, G will be starting Kindergarten.  He is a special boy and we are enjoying his personality so much.  Happy 2nd Birthday G!

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Garrett’s Birthday

G’s 2nd Birthday was on Wednesday.  We had a great day!  Overall it was pretty low-key, but we enjoyed our time together as a family.  Today was his Birthday party.  It went really well too, even though it had the potential to be a disaster!

G woke up pretty early on his Birthday. Generally Jack gets up first but he slept later that morning.  G and I were the only ones up around 6am which was the time he was born.  It sounds kind of corny,  but it was really special to have that quiet moment together to reflect on his birth.  (I was reflecting, he was nursing and none the wiser!)  Later that morning, we dropped Jack off at summer camp and headed to Buzz for breakfast.  We had a great time at one of our favorite spots.  I’d planned to spend the morning hanging out together, but G fell asleep about 3 minutes after we left Buzz.  So I brought him home and he kept napping.  This gave me the chance to fill up the new pool I bought the boys.  When everyone woke up from afternoon naps, I took the boys out for a swim.  It was MISERABLY hot, so we didn’t last long but the boys loved it.  The heat was so exhausting though, that the kids came in and watched a movie for a while.  When Daddy finished work we opened presents and headed out to Hibachi for dinner.  G fell asleep on the way home but then woke up soon after we got home.  We ended the night with cupcakes on the deck.  It was a great day!

Today we had G’s Birthday party.  We had planned to have it at a park in Old Town that G loves and to play bubbles.  Of course, we woke up at 5:30am to pouring rain.  We hoped it would end but quickly realized we needed a backup plan.  UGH!  I called a dozen places before 8:30am, looking for an inside alternative for a 10:30am party.  No luck.  However, my friend Jessica came to the rescue and offered to host the party at her house.  Knowing our house was to small for a Birthday party for the kids and knowing we wouldn’t have many options, Jessica got a hold of me early this morning to say we were welcome to use their house.  It worked out perfectly!  We already had the food ready and just headed over there early.  We thought we might lose some attendees due to the weather or change of venue, but everyone made it.  And best of all, it was a blast.  Garrett told me over and over again “Mama, I so happy!”.  He really loved his party and he loved the airplane cake that I made.  In fact, the party went so well I’m thinking I should always host my parties at other people’s houses.  We set up, we cleaned up, everyone had fun and somehow it was way less stressful for me.  I still played hostess but didn’t feel the stress.  Jess, I hope it wasn’t too stressful for you guys!  We are forever indebted!  Thank you!!!

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