Sunday, February 13, 2011

Big Sisters

Sometimes it can be really tough having a sister. There are days that she yells at me all day long because she thinks that I am a pesty brother that wants to get into all of her stuff. I only get into all of her stuff because she never lets me play with any of it. In fact, she doesn't even let me into her room. We have really bad days sometimes. Those are the days that my mom says we are oil and water.

But then there are good days, When my sister decides to be nice to me I am the happiest kid on the block. I live for those days. When she is nice to me she lets me touch her favorite stuff, she shares treats with me, she chases and tickles me and she hugs me and let's me hold her hand in the back of mom's car.

I do things for my sister that I don't do for anyone else. My sister is the first one who taught me to smile. My mom didn't even know this. I was only a few months old when she was trying to take my picture and Cady said, "he can smile if you ask him to" and my mom gave her a look like, "yeah, sure" and then she told me, "Smile Coben" and I put my finger to my eye and flashed my toothless gums. I have since grown teeth but to this day I still put my finger to my eye. My sister taught me how to do that girly scream that my parents refer to as the "outdoor voice". I love how my sister and I can do that scream together and my mom's whole body tenses up and she gives us THE LOOK. We just laugh because it's our thing. My sister taught me to jump off of the coffee table onto the couch and she sticks up for me ALWAYS when other kids aren't nice to me...even on the days that she thinks I am a pesty brother. And it's because of my sister that the dentist lady said I was the best almost two year old that she has ever worked on. I watched my big sister go first and after seeing how brave she was I knew that I could do it too.

My sister doesn't know yet how important she is to me. She doesn't know that this pesty brother is the only one who can see that she already has those fairy wings that she so badly wants. My sister is glitter, and fairy-wings and everything that is wonderful in the world.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Like father like son...and Smarty McSmarterson

School choices...waiting, waiting, waiting.

Top three choices:

1-JeffCo Open School. It's a five minute drive and a K-12 school. The school is not based on a traditional grading/credit system. The kids take more ownership for their learning and graduate when they show competency in all areas rather than when a certain period of time has passed. Grade levels are often mixed together for different subjects based on a student's needs and a lot of the learning takes place outside of the classroom. The school takes a holistic approach to the child and considers personal and social growth as important as intellectual growth. It's been around for 40 years and lots of families that I've talked to really like it.

2-Brown Elementary. A couple of minutes away. A traditional school with a lot of really fantastic and progressive things going on (an International Baccalaureate Program). Their approach to learning is to meet the student where they are and have them progress monitor themselves in the hopes that they are showing growth and competenecy rather than being compared to their peers. They have a scratch kitchen where the cook with a lot of local and organic products and a daily salad bar with vegetables that the students grow in their own garden. We know people with kids there which is a bonus and also know that the lottery applicants FAR exceed the number of spots. .

3-A very traditional school also about five minutes away. Cady loves the playground so this gets her top vote. Not as progressive as option 2 but also has a very large lottery where applicants far exceed the number of spots.

So,applications are all in and we should be hearing in the next couple of weeks.

Cady is part of the Denver Preschool Program which is a program that evaluates preschool programs and assists ALL Denver families with tuition. I didn't realize that as part of the program they would be administering the Woodcock Johnson III which is a test of cognitive ability. She was tested back in August and the results came in the mail today and it confirms what a sharp litttle cookie she is. For those that aren't familiar with testing, the percentile rank indicates the percentage of students in the group who tested at or below the child's score. So 48th percentile would mean that 52% of kids tested higher than your child. Cady's scores:

Vocabulary 129 Percentile rank 97
Developing reading skills 124 Percentile rank 95
Math 124 Percentile rank 95

So, those incredible (maddening if you are her parents) negotiation skills that she has....yeah.

Coben is following in his dads footsteps. He really enjoys order and cleanliness. Things have got to be a certain way and items must be put away after use. Yesterday I was putting groceries away and grocery bags were strewn all over the kitchen. Coben gathered them up and walked up to me and said, "mama. All done bags?" When I told him "yes" he then looked at me and said, while nodding his head, "trash, yes?" and proceeded to gather and toss. That is typical Coben. He's also as caring and cuddly as ever. He spent several days in my arms cuddling b/c of a fierce cold that he had and that he then passed on to me. One day as my nose and eyes were both running he walked up to me and said, "Tissue mama, yes?" while looking at me with the same look that his dad has when he is concerned. And then he ran off to get me some tissues.

The full Cady sick story. I picked her up from school on Friday. When I walked into the classroom she was laying down. Any of you that know Cady knows that she never voluntarily lays down. They said she didn't eat anything for lunch and had been laying down all afternoon. I got her out to the car and she refused her Friday ice cream. As I was driving home I heard her whimper in the back and I looked up in my rear view mirror long enough to catch THE LOOK. Any of you that know me well know that I cannot handle vomit. I can see vomit in a parking lot and involuntarily start retching. So I did the only thing I could think of doing. I grabbed the tote bag that I keep in the front seat that I use as a catch-all. The one that I haven't emptied in a month. And I thrust it back at her still full b/c I could tell it was coming and I couldn't find a spot to pull over. And she emptied lots and lots of her stomach into that bag. And then the smell hits me and I start retching, LOUDLY. So the three of us (Coben is unphased of course) are driving in the freezing cold snow with the windows down, me retching loudly, and Cady crying. And Rob gets husband of the year for cleaning out the bag and salvaging the things that needed to be salvaged.

Coben's child care is a success. He has not shed one tear. Rob took him the first day, he walked in and didn't look back. When i picked him up he was sitting at the table doing art with the other kids and he looked SO grown up and certainly in no hurry to leave. He took his very first nap on a matt on the floor and had no issues. Shannon said that he was amazing and did not require any help with the transition whatsoever.

The kids went to a pediatric dentist last week. Coben allowed them to floss, polish and examine his teeth. Even with a cold and a molar about to erupt the dentist said that he was hands-down the best almost two year old that they have ever had. Thanks goes to Cady who is also a great dental patient and modeled it for her little brother by going first. The good news, they are both in the "No Cavity Club" and the not so good news, Orthodontics are in both of their futures due to overcrowding.