Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stop! Now go.

As if Maddox not wanting to kiss me at the bus stop yesterday was bad enough, today Cooper instructed me to "Stop!" Then proceeded to walk a few feet ahead of me and then signaled it was safe for me to continue down the sidewalk. Isn't 3 a little young to be embarassed about walking with your mom (in the middle of the day without anyone around)?? I would have taken offense to his actions but he redeemed himself by insisting on holding my hand the entire walk to the bus stop to greet Maddox after school! I guess he was just testing out some independence.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Kiss Me Now, OK?

I have really enjoyed my 6 am wake up calls with Maddox. It is very often just the two of us so early in the morning that are awake. It’s nice to be able to wake him up out of his deep sleep, rub his back while he stretches awake, and of course, I love those sweet-pouty-sleepy lips in the morning!! I’ll sit on the side of his bed and he’ll usually flop over onto me to give me a hug (though I think he may be stealing a few extra moments with his eyes closed). I love this time. I remember last year my friend Heather saying that she enjoyed her time with her oldest as he got ready for the school while her other two continued to sleep. I thought she was crazy! How could you love getting up at 6 am?? Well, I totally get it now!

While there isn’t usually a ton of conversation going on (which is rare when you’re around Maddox) there are a lot of calm, sweet moments. There is no one else to fight with, booger, or drive crazy…it’s just the two of us watching Handy Manny (trying to sit upright) and eating breakfast. I’ll make his lunch, get his opinion on snack for the day, remind him about his water bottle, and check his folder one more time. We go upstairs to brush teeth and get rid of the bed head and then it’s out the door. This little boy who is moving in slow motion inside the house suddenly turns on his rocket boosters and takes off running to the bus stop! The cooler air in the morning gets his blood pumping and he’s ready to race me to the end of the street.

This morning about 4 houses from the bus stop he said, “Mommy, just kiss me now, ok”. I felt a little sting in my heart…he didn’t want a smooch at the bus stop in front of all the kids! I considered giving him a hard time, but instead chose to kiss my big boy away from his buddies and I told him I loved him. He’s growing up on me….too fast, but I do know that he still loves me and neeeeeds me…at least he’ll still give me kisses and hugs, right! I’ll take them where I can get them!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cooper's 3 yr check up

Cooper had his 3 year well check-up today and he did great! I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful pediatrician and practice so close to us. Dr. Cox is the boys' primary doctor. He's fabulous. Cooper had his appt at 9:10 this morning....of course, on the day he decided to sleep in! I had to wake him up at 8:30 so we could get out of the house at 9:00! When I woke him, I told him he needed to get dressed because we were going to see Dr. Cox. His reply, "oh wow, that's exciting!" What a sweet little guy....I don't think he actually thought it was amazing, but how wonderful to mention a doctor's name and not have him freak out! He talked about "Dr. Crocs" all through breakfast and how he was going to see him and invite him to his school. Not sure what brought on the school visit (especially since he's not even been to school yet) but we went with it!

He was a perfect patient and charmed all of the nurses and, of course, Dr. Cox. He immediately told the nurse that he had a motorcycle and that Daddy crashed and had to go to ambulance doctor. She was properly impressed and sympathetic and then went on with her portion of the exam. He was very cute balancing on the big kid scale and standing against the wall to be measured. He "guess what"-ed the nurse to death telling her all he knew and anything else that just popped into his mind. He passed his vision screen without a problem, his blood pressure was good, he drew a circle on a piece of paper, and knew his name and that he was a boy, and then could identify a house, apple, circle and square (which he says with a hilarious southern accent). He was especially proud to strip down to his undies and show off (definitely a trait of the McArthur males)!

Dr. Cox gave him a clean bill of health and told us to come back in a year. Today was our lucky day....no shots! He (and I) got the flu mist and he was a great sport during that, too! He was very appreciative of his cherry flavored "pop" at the check out counter and off we went! All before 10am!

Cooper's stats:
Weight: 31 lbs, 50% (he's gained 6 lbs since his 2 yr check when he was in the 15%)
Height: 37 5/8, 50%

First Day of Kindergarten...the long version :)

It’s the second week of Maddox’s Kindergarten year and I have yet to blog about it. I think it may be a defense mechanism on my part. Maddox is doing awesome (as am I) but when I think back to last Thursday, it still gives me a lump in my throat! It’s like putting it into words and on paper will make it even more real! So, I’m going to do my best to remember everything and to write without crying. To do so I may have to write more with my brain and less with my heart….we’ll see!
On Tuesday, August 9 we had Kindergarten Open House. Jim took an annual day from the fire department and the three of us boarded the school bus and rode to Open House. We entered the school building just like the will every school morning. As we walked down the freshly painted main hall Jim noted that it looked like a private school compared to where he went to elementary school! Brookwood Elementary opened in 2009….it’s a young school, but have an incredible amount of parent involvement and the teachers, administrators, and staff (from what we have seen) are fabulous! We went to the line for “Ms. Sarno’s class” and got our packet and Maddox’s white nametag. The three of us settled into a row with some neighborhood friends and watched a slideshow about the school and PTA while we waited for the first presentation to begin. Now you know, I have been very anxious and emotional about Maddox starting K. However, on Tuesday, I just enjoyed my time. Maddox seemed comfortable so I thought I would just go with it! It worked for us!! The kindergarten teachers were introduced and then called their classes to follow them to their classroom. So, Mrs. Sarno was introduced and all the kids with white nametags were led out of the cafeteria in a line and marched like the big kids they are to their room. Maddox gave a wave, but seemed perfectly comfortable to be there!! Jim and I were beaming with pride (but my stomach did hurt a little)! We spent 2 hours going to different presentations about PTA, transportation, after school activities, etc. before meeting Maddox in his classroom to meet his teacher and get back to the bus for the ride home. Maddox looked at ease in his new surroundings and was happy to see us and show us his seat at the table. When I introduced myself to Mrs. Sarno she told me that Maddox was talking to her on the playground and that she thought he was so funny! No surprise there, right? We boarded the bus and rode back home to our stop with Cooper and the Scott kids waiting for us.

Maddox seemed excited for school on Thursday and went along with the rest of the day as usual. Wednesday we had a fun summer day. We went to the Y and played with friends. We discussed the importance of going to bed early since we would be getting up early to get on the bus the next morning. Everyone was feeling confident. I had given Maddox the power to choose dinner for the family Wednesday night…he chose Papa John’s pizza (just cheese, no sauce  as he says) and was very pleased when the “pizza man” brought it. We had a nice relaxing dinner and then headed up for a bath and the regular nighttime routine. After the boys’ “kid show” and brushing teeth, I could tell Maddox was getting antsy. He was having a hard time settling down…excitement and nerves was starting to get the best of him. I went to tuck him in and told him I would be back to check on him in a few minutes. When I went back to check on him (20 minutes later) he wasn’t in his bed and I saw that his closet light was on. I peeked in and there he was getting dressed in shorts and his new Brookwood Bobcat t-shirt! I asked what he was doing and he said he just wanted to be ready to go! Oh lawd!! He took his “day clothes” off and got back in the bed. Tuck in #2 and a promise to be back to check on him. When I went back to check on him I could hear him chanting M-A-G over and over again quietly. I asked what he was doing and he said he was trying to teach himself how to read. After I stifled a laugh, I assured him that he was going to learn to read all through the year. He didn’t have to know how to right away! That seemed to calm him a little, but he still wanted me to “spell some words and see if I can read them”. So I did.

Me: M-a-d-d-o-x
Maddox: Maddox!
Me: M-o-m
Maddox: Daddy!
Me: Well, it spells mom, let’s try another…D-a-d
Maddox: Daddy!
Me: close, it’s just Dad. Ok, how about C-o-o-p-e-r?
Maddox: Cooper!
Me: CORRECT! (I guess it pays to have a lot of personalized t-shirts and bags, he’s been reading Cooper’s name for 3 years now) OK, one more and then you HAVE to go to bed…D-o-g?
Maddox: Buddy!
Me: close, the word is dog, but Buddy is your dog.

I assured him again that he would learn all he needed to know and not to worry! He promised he wouldn’t worry and once again I kissed him and told him goodnight. A few minutes later I heard the bathroom light go on…so I stuck my head in and he told me he just needed to use the bathroom and could he have a little privacy. I closed the door and waited for him to finish up. Moments later he showed up at my door. “Mommy, I have a question”. Oh goodness, I wasn’t sure where we were going this time. He told me that he was concerned that he wouldn’t know how to find his classroom in the morning. I thought, OH NO!!! This, too, is my worst fear! I hate being lost or feeling out of place! I don’t like the unknown. I have a fear of walking into places where I don’t know a soul and now my baby boy who I’m not ready to let go is telling me he’s experiencing a similar fear….noooooooo!!!!! I put my bravest face on and with a hug and a kiss reminded him that there are going to be people all over to help kids find their classes and that EVERYONE is super nice and helpful! All the while I’m fighting back tears and trying to keep the lump in my throat from closing off my airway. Lots of kisses and hugs and a pat on the butt and I sent him back to bed. I get him settled, close his door, and go downstairs and boo-hoo. Jim had run out on a sales call so it was just me pacing around the kitchen crying. I finally got control and then went in again to check on Maddox who was still flailing around NOT ASLEEP! He asked that I rest with him so I snuggled up next to him and he almost immediately fell asleep. I laid with him and just rubbed his back and admired his long eyelashes and full lips thinking he’s not going to want me to rest with him forever….one day he’ll be a crabby teenager and he’ll just want his privacy .
Thursday morning comes…finally and all of sudden both at the same time! The 6am alarm goes off and Jim and I popped out of bed. We both went in to wake up Maddox who immediately jumps up to get dressed. We had a relaxed morning getting ready and then woke Cooper up right before we walked out the door to walk to the bus stop. We were all doing ok…the excitement and nerves were all good. He was excited to see a neighbor kid as soon as we walked out of the house that was also walking with his parents to the bus stop. We got there early (of course, along with my other fears and anxieties, I didn’t want to add being late or missing the bus to our morning) and chatted with the other families and took pictures and video while we waited. The bus came and Maddox allowed me to kiss him and then like a big boy ran to get in line to board the bus. He gave us a few waves and off they went! His little face was barely visible in the window as they drove away! My heart was breaking and I couldn’t fight the tears any longer. I stood there holding Cooper who was still in his pjs and his night diaper (which began to leak as we walked home, that’s another story) with tears streaming. I wasn’t sobbing, but the emotion was too much to hold back. I was clearly a first time elementary school mom….and I have no shame in shedding tears!!!!!
I am so lucky to have great girlfriends and a supportive family to help keep me busy during that first day. Heather and I took the kids to the Y pool and packed a lunch to eat there. Cooper thought it was awesome to have my full attention and to be able to play in whatever area HE chose! It was great!

We were back in time for a shower, a short snooze for Cooper and then back to the bus stop to meet Maddox. He got off the bus smiling, happy and pleased with his experience the first day. He said his teacher “was great and has lots of great experiences”. He proud to announce that he had eaten all of his lunch, his snack, and had “sweated his head off at recess”. He was ready to go back the next day! WOO HOO and praise the Lord! All my prayers were answered. He had a great experience, he didn’t get lost, and he loved his teacher. Of course, he made some new great friends, but he had forgotten to ask them their names…he probably just called everyone dude.
I am so thankful for the 4 days he’s been to school; he comes home every day excited about the day and what he did. What a blessing!!!!

PS-the second day of school, he asked me at the bus stop if I felt like I might cry again. I told him I didn’t think so that I was so proud of him and I knew he was having fun and I thought I could be brave too. He said, “Good, but Mommy, if you think you’re going to cry, just cover your mouth.” I asked him why I should do that, did he think it wasn’t attractive when I cried? “Nah”, he said, “it’ll help you not to if you start to feel like you are going to cry.” I love that little man.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

All Grown Up...

Today marks the beginning of some big events for Maddox....today is promotion Sunday at church and he will be officially inducted into the B.L.A.S.t program at Sugarloaf UMC. He will go to the assembly with the school aged kids instead of to the nursery/preschool building. This is exciting to him because he will now be in the same assembly as some of "the guys". For the past 6 months, the Pre-K class has been going to the BLAST building for the singing/praise & worship time and then slips out early before the classes dismiss to their scheduled activites. Maddox was always proud to announce which "guy" he saw in there! Now, he'll stay the full hour and get to experience the wild & crazy fun workshops that the guys have been telling him about :)

Tuesday, we will ride HIS school bus to the Kindergarten Trek/Open House. I got a call last week from his teacher, Ms. Sarno. She "sounds" young, fun, and cute! Maddox appreciates all of these qualities in his favorite women so I hope she will be a good fit! It's MY hope that she will strict, but loving, and firm, but gentle. Jim has already asked what he thinks we need to do to get Ms. Sarno to like Maddox and get him "special treatment". I told him, I think he will get her attention with his big personality and his dazzling charm. I, do however, intend to find out how I may be of service to her in volunteering in the class or around the school where I can :) We also got a call from Mr. Rich, Maddox's bus driver. Maddox has been assigned to Seat 4 for the year which is also the seat his buddy Ryan has been assigned to. He is really looking forward to riding the bus!! Other parents have told me that Mr. Rich is nice and keeps a very close eye on the kids, especially the Kindergarteners....good. I'm going to do my best NOT to follow the bus to school....but I'm not making any promises ;).

Thursday is the official first day of school! Part of me wants a little more time....another part is ready already!!!!! The build-up is killing me!!!!!! The anxiety (for me) of the unknown is so hard! I never loved the first days of school....I'm trying not to pass on my anxiety to Maddox, although, I can tell by his questions he's thinking about it a lot! I've been very proud of myself for keeping it positive when we discuss school....telling him he's going to love it, no one will let him get lost (oooohhhh, makes my stomach churn), all the teachers will be nice, he'll see lots of friends from the neighborhood, and I'll come have lunch with him when on special occasions! We are BOTH going to make it....I am confident (or at least that's what I keep telling myself).

When I think of Maddox in my mind, he's supposed to look like these pictures....in reality, he's pushing 6 YEARS OLD and maturing more and more each day!! I have decided to let him grow up, but he'll always be my baby.....

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cooper

Happy 3rd birthday to my sweet Cooper Dooper!!! I can't believe he's 3! He's changing and growing before my eyes...and I love it! I keep joking with both boys telling them I'm going to start putting bricks on their heads to keep them from growing up, but I love it! I love that Cooper is my "big" guy now....he'll quickly correct me if I call him "baby". He can express his wants and desires (even if they change faster than he can get them out) and is getting more independent every day. I'm thankful that he's growing and maturing the way he's supposed to be and that he's a healthy, happy boy!

We celebrated Cooper's birthday with family and friends at the Cumming Aquatic Center on his REAL birthday. He had a Lightning McQueen themed birthday party and was super proud of his cake. We all had a good time! Happy Birthday, Coop!!!!! I love you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cooper Dooper

Sometimes I just like to hear his sweet little voice...