Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ethan's ER Trip & Preschool Begins

Two weeks ago, Ethan stuck his finger all the way into a soda can and got it stuck.  In his panic to get it out, he sliced the base of his finger pretty deeply and had to get 3-4 stitches.  As if that were not traumatic enough, we get to the ER, follow all the signs towards the Children's ER, and end up in a drive-through with no adjacent parking.  An attendant comes out and offers me directions to a nearby parking garage.  I've got a bleeding 4-year-old in the backseat, and this girl is giving me directions to a parking garage a couple of blocks away!  I was MAD.  And boy did I miss my Children's ER in Birmingham, which has free valet parking.  But, having no choice, I drove to the parking garage, put Ethan in the stroller and pushed him while carrying a very angry Lydia.  And that umbrella stroller I was using was NOT made for one-handed pushing.  But, regardless, we made it to check-in, and were promptly taken back to a room where we waited for almost 3 hours for the cryptic and dismissive pediatrician to stitch him up.  It was not a great day.  In fact, I'm getting a little mad again just thinking about it all, so I should probably change subjects...

Ethan's been in school for over a week now, and he absolutely loves it!  He is going to a non-traditional preschool that employs a lot of real-life objects in lieu of toys, and uses a very child-centered educational approach, encouraging the kids to follow their curiosity towards learning.  He's doing so extremely well here that I really wish the school went past preschool into early elementary.  Up to now, Ethan has always gotten into trouble for stirring up angst in a group setting, but this new environment has kept him so engaged that we have heard nothing but positive reports so far.  I realize he's only been to school for six days, but, still, he's been there for six days with no problems!  And he loves going!  He runs to put his shoes on and get his bag when I tell him its time to go to school.  He had to miss one day last week for allergy testing, and he was distraught.  I couldn't console him with the promise of any other place in town: the Discover Center, the Aquarium, Chuck E. Cheese, the mall...none of his favorite places could compete with his "super-cool" new school.

Well, I wanted to write some about Ethan's health problems as well, but I think I'll save that for another day.  It's late and this Mommy is tired.  Until next time!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Beginnings

So I think the hardest part about a blog hiatus is figuring out where to begin when you get started again.  I think I have lost more than month of blogging because the idea of covering our family news for the past six months is too daunting.  So I guess I will just jump in and begin with what's going on right now.

Two weeks ago, Caleb started first grade at his new school here in Tennessee.  Thanks to the fact that I had failed to sync my iPhone calendar with my computer calendar for months, I got mixed up and thought that his first day of school was Wednesday.  Didn't realize until we were about half-a-mile from the school that I had the wrong day.  After the initial, "I can't believe I did that!" I was super-thankful to have a chance to do-over the first day of school.  I had overslept, failed to wake up Caleb early enough, served a rushed breakfast of cereal, discovered that one of Caleb's only pair of tennis shoes (a dress-code requirement) had been left in Alabama, and completely forgotten to take pictures.  So, on the fake first day of school, we went to the mall to buy new tennis shoes and enjoyed a second last-day-of-summer :)  The real first day of school went perfectly, complete with hot breakfast, new shoes, and lots of pictures.

Caleb loves his new school, and seems to have adjusted very well by all accounts.  He loves going every day, and though it seems that he is gone from me for so long (7 hours!), he is enjoying himself thoroughly.  He is full of reports of all the things he's learning, and his interest in reading and his fluency has taken another great leap forward.  I sometimes find him in his room, just reading to himself.  The first Sunday after school started, he and I had this conversation:

Me:  Caleb, you need to go take a shower.  You have school tomorrow and I let you skip it yesterday, but you have to take one today.
Caleb: You let me skip school!?  (face crumpling into tears) I didn't want to skip a day of school!  I didn't know there was school yesterday!!!

I quickly explained that it was the shower I'd let him skip, not school, but I was surprised at how upset he was!

Ethan started school at his preschool earlier this week.  His first three days have been successful, and he is excited to go each morning.  Caleb has the temperament to enjoy school, but Ethan does not as much, so I'm hoping and praying that this preschool will hold his interest in the weeks and months to come.  It is not a typical preschool, and I think it has the best chance of any preschool I've seen of keeping Ethan's voracious mind stimulated and his busy hands doing productive work.

We've been in Tennessee for two months now, and I still feel very new to everything.  I've found a pediatrician, a Publix, a couple of parks, the library, and, oh yeah, the Children's ER (story coming soon), but I still don't feel at home yet.  I miss Birmingham even more than I realized I would.  It will be easier when we find the right church home.  Even visiting churches has not been easy, since we started our time here with Marcus studying for boards 24/7 for two weeks, and his work schedule continued to be strenuous for the month after boards.  Things are settling down now for him at work, and hopefully soon we will have a church home.  I absolutely love the house we are renting here.  It is in a beautiful neighborhood and is more space than we need, but not more than we can enjoy!  We've been out of boxes for about a month now, and, even if Chattanooga doesn't feel like home yet, our house does and I couldn't be happier with it.

I'm trying to get back in the habit of blogging weekly, but life is crazy, so don't hold me to it :)  God bless!