Monday, October 20, 2008

A Day of Celebration

The Whomptons greatly anticipated the joy of Monday, October 20th. Krystal's school comments were due at 8 a.m. that day, which meant she would return back to a sane human being. Raina would begin her tenure at the new daycare, and Krystal and Eric would discover the gender of kid two. And to celebrate the day of celebration, we planned a luscious dinner at our favorite restaurant. So, how did it go?

Krystal finished her comments well in advance, and spent the entire weekend before slacking off and doing nothing of consequence. Lovely.

Raina rejoiced about the new daycare. In fact, she recounted stories of her day for a full 15 minutes of straight talking -- no prompting necessary, as there was never a lull -- and she seemed so ecstatically happy that her mom started getting weepy in the car. Fantastic!

And the Whomptons discovered the baby's gender: a girl. Or, as Raina responded, "What in the world?! FOUR GIRLS!!!" and then just beamed when she realized that she would have a baby sister in the house.

Dinner was superb as always, and we have leftover carrot cake for tomorrow! Woohoo!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beach photos

Raina practiced her states a lot before the trip, and always wanted to know the path that we would take. Here, Raina and Samantha race to see who can complete her map the quickest. Raina beat us handily for a while, and then was emotionally devastated when an adult finally beat her.To get to South Carolina required much time in the car: two days worth of driving. Raina became quite attached to her cows and carseat.

The first stop on our trip was in Louisville for lunch. (The Whomptons wisely planned out our meal stops to involve great places to eat.) This is Lynn's Paradise Cafe, an intensely visually stimulating place.

And then we finally made it to the beach house. We were insanely thrilled to be out of the car.

Raina introduces her cows to her queen sized bed.
We have countless food pictures of Raina. Here's dinner the first night there and a great watermelon shot. Raina consumed copious quantities of watermelon: the Whomptons alone ate 3/4 of a melon in one sitting!
Jerry taught Raina how to set up the chess board.

Raina also painted-by-number for over 50 pages that trip.
We threw Emily and Jerry a baby shower. We're all acting pregnant!
And now we're all acting like babies. But, trust me, baby food tastes just as bad as our expressions indicate!
After a full week of beach, Raina was just exhausted. She spent a lot of time cuddling with her cows the last few days. Then the Whomptons headed home!

Summer Photos

We upgraded our digital camera's memory card and now we hardly ever have to move pictures off of the camera. As a result, we go months without uploading pictures to the blog. Sorry! We'll try to rectify here. Eric and Raina are cuddling and showing off semi-matching hats.
Raina at the big kids playground -- she loves to swing, and is getting better at doing it herself. She obviously prefers being pushed by an adult though!
When Raina was much younger and teething, she constantly sucked on her lower lip. She gave herself a rash from all the concentrated saliva! This summer, Raina reverted back to this, and, although she makes cute faces when she does it, the rash was returning. We finally convinced her to quit.
She looks incredibly like Hannah in this picture. So precious.
Raina and Eric proudly display their Kung Fu Panda tickets. I think Raina loved her ticket much more than the movie experience itself.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Imaginative play

Do you remember when you were a kid and you could go off into an imaginary world and play endlessly? After dabbling in the past, Raina has gone down the rabbit hole and plays constantly. Pretty much anytime she is home you can find her somewhere in the house chattering to herself a dialogue between multiple characters. All in all this is a positive change as Raina traditionally has a tendency to get bored without some kind of parent sponsored entertainment stimulus plan. So while it is fantastic that Raina's happiness and activity is self sustaining, its gotten to the point that she often rejects playing with her parents in the traditional ways - (reading books, playing board games, chase and such). For the most part my attempts to participate in her fantasy world have failed as I usually get rather non-sensical explanations for her world. Example - she is playing in the bath tub right now and was addressing Mr. Soap. I inquired what Mr. Soap was doing, with the reply of "playing with spoonynot". Then she said something about making lunch, proceeded by speaking gibberish. Hopefully I can join in the fun at some point.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Changing schools

Raina has grown up at the Westport School, since she was 6 weeks old. Her teachers have been great; we loved her infant teacher Melissa and we could rave for days about her toddler and two year old teacher, Ms. Jenn. Ms. Jenn’s classroom was incredibly dynamic, and Raina eagerly shared her daily exploits with the adults in her life, whether that was her artwork or learning her letters or her potty stickers or just verbal stories about her day. Raina loved every moment with Ms. Jenn, and we are tremendously grateful that Raina spent so much time in her classroom. Raina was very excited to move into the Bear room (the three year old room), because she was developmentally ready to move on, but she sincerely missed the daily interaction with Ms. Jenn those first few weeks.

It wasn’t long into the Bear room, however, that Raina’s reaction to daycare changed. She stopped telling stories about her day; in fact, when asked, her response was “I don’t want to talk about my day. What happened in your day?” When pressed about any specific nature of her Bear room experience, she said “I don’t know” and then looked at her feet. Very quickly, we adults realized that Raina was not enjoying her Bear room experience and we asked her why. She told us she was bored and wished she were in the pre-k room. We petitioned for Raina to move into the pre-k room, but were declined because she wasn't old enough. Fortunately / Unfortunately for Raina, she's pretty bright for her age and staying in her current classroom where she already knows everything that's being taught is draining her spirit.

We have spent the last month looking at different pre-schools and daycare centers in the area, and have selected one that we believe will challenge her more and therefore prepare her more for starting school next year. They wholeheartedly agreed that she should be in the four year-old room; she'll start there in 1.5 weeks, and she's counting down the days. It's incredibly sad to leave Westport after being with them for so long, but Raina is SO EXCITED about her new school. After putting all our eggs into another basket, I hope that it's worth it for her.

Raina writes her first letter!

Stephanie has moved to a middle-of-nowhere location in Alabama, and she regularly communicate by snail mail only. So Eric and Raina sat down to write her a letter (Raina dictated, Eric scribed). The stream of consciousness of a three years-old is something to behold!

Raina art

Raina drew us a set of lollipops. It was so strikingly similar to actual lollipops that I had to share. Enjoy!