Saturday, July 24, 2010

To Georgia!

We've recently returned from a relaxing visit to my aunt and uncle's home in Georgia. This is something I hope to do annually if we can. Living in a city, I really want my children to know life in a less urban setting. It's very fortunate that we have familiy in a nice rural setting about an hour outside of Savannah. I really love their company and know Laurel and the baby will really enjoy knowing them as they grow up. Laurel was last there just before she turned one and though she didn't remember it, she warmed up quickly!

We went for a week with mom. Laurel was a great traveler as usual. She watches videos on the little player, does stickers, colors, etc. She fell asleep at one point on the way there, so that makes life a little easier. And after 2 years old, we have to buy her a seat, so I didn't try to cram her onto my already crowded lap. The trip back was just as easy and we were delayed on our flight out, so she fell asleep then too because it had gotten so late.

The trip highlight for Laurel was easily the pool. She's a water baby for sure! There were plenty of floaties for Laurel to hang on to and jump into - she liked to jump off the side of the pool into one of the disk shaped floats. She made some great progress in the pool, even blowing little bubbles at the surface. Just near the pool, some birds had made a nest and the babies had hatched, so when we were outside, we'd peek in and see the little mouths gaping open:).

We of course ate lots of great food, Aunt Peggy is a great chef. Laurel helped on occasion and even had her own little apron made for her! On one comic instance, she helped make a really nice peach/blueberry pie. We were taking pictures of her with the "masterpiece" and she lost her balance and everything fell onto the floor! We also made some very creatively decorated sugar cookies:). The peaches in the pie were from a peach-picking we did shortly after arriving. We picked a ton! Laurel was a pro at the picking and later instructed me on how to do it right "mommy, you have to twist and pull!" Got it:). We ate those peaches all day everyday for the rest of the week!

Laurel also had some great time with animals. We visited a farm with goats, chickens and sheep. Later in the week, we went to a friend's who train horses and Laurel came out of her shell and road one! She didn't want to get off! I was so shocked that she was so bold, usually she's so shy to new things. Laurel also enjoyed some time with the cats. Occasionally she got out of control and over excited with them, but they were very chill and patient with her squealing. She also liked to watch the hummingbirds and other birds that frequented their feeders.

Overall, Laurel stayed on about pacific/mountain time:). So we stayed up later and woke up later. I went to bed with her though, so I got nice long nights of sleep. Laurel enjoyed the snuggle time, she's such a cuddler! Laurel enjoyed some down time in the evenings. coloring and doing puzzles. Aunt Peggy set us up with lots of kiddie things so Laurel was very well entertained. Plus she loves to wrestle and Uncle Don was a good sport to humor her on a nightly basis. So, it was a great visit and went by too quickly, as good times do! Hopefully we'll go again soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Moving on from toddler school...

Lately Laurel has been disenchanted with her toddler school. She's been going Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:45. Overall, it's been a fantastic experience for her. I am so grateful for the amount of progress she has made as a result of the school. At 18 months she was terrified of being separated from us and cried and was so clingy and dependent. You'd think that would be ideal and as much as we love her, we knew she needed to grow as a little person. I'm sure I posted about it back then, but the transition to leaving her alone was rough. She cried and was so sad. It was a long process for me to leave her alone. But she made friends, became social, learned to follow instruction, sit and listen, etc. Even now, I find her doing something out of a school habit, like tucking her socks into her shoes when she takes them all off. I've caught her reading and book and turning it around to show her "class" at home:). Some of her favorite songs to sing are from that school.
Anyway, lately she hasn't wanted to go and has gotten upset. With preschool approaching in the fall, we decided it would be a good time for her to have some summer fun and a break from school before starting up with bigger kids in the fall. She is also aging out as younger kids are coming into the class, she may be a little bored.
The last few times I took her to the school were sad for me. I didn't like to see her unhappy again and also I was recognizing that she was getting older and isn't a baby anymore. The early years have gone by so fast for her! I think I'm going to be that kind of mom that cries at each stage of life:).
These are some pictures of her last day of school, which was a field trip to the beach - turned out to be a chilly day, but she still had a blast!