The past month has been huge for Ian. He not only became a big brother, but last week, he finally was able to do something he’s been wanting to do all year long. Ian walked to his big boy school and spent the day there. That’s right, Ian is now in preschool.
Last winter, Ian spent three days a week at a day care with a preschool curriculum, but he knew that wasn’t his big boy school. Oh no, he wanted to go to the school that we pass all the time. He knew that was the one where he’ll get to go once he was old enough and we waited for school to start all year long.
Not only is Ian going to preschool this year, but he’s going full days with half the day spent in Chinese preschool. It’s actually called Chinese Immersion, but for half the day, Ian has an American preschool curriculum and the other half is spent learning Chinese. It’s fantastic. I totally want my son to be bilingual and I can only hope that he’ll be able to do it all the way through high school. Currently, the Chinese Immersion program is only through grades 2 or 3, but that’s because it’s that new. The second or third grade class was the first to be offered it and it’s been growing with them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to grow.
It seems weird. For some reason, I never thought I would be walking to school again, but I’m doing it six times a week now. That’s not the only thing that’s weird either. Maybe it’s because Ian’s school is more inner city than what I went to, but there’s only one bus for the entire school (this branch at least) and parents not only drop their kids off, but some of them actually wait in line to enter the school with them. That’s another strange thing – the kids don’t immediately go into the building when they get to school. Nope, they have to wait in a line, outside, until a teacher comes and lets them into the school. I really don’t get that. I mean, some of my fondest school memories were getting to school early so I could have breakfast with friends in the school cafeteria. Granted, this was in high school, but even in the lower levels, I never had to wait outside to go in. I’m sure I’ll find out what that’s all about once Ian goes to Kindergarten, but until then…
We’re now in our second week of school and Ian seems to be doing well. He’s not too crazy with walking every morning and afternoon, but if I can do it for 11 years, he certainly can do it.
Let’s start at the beginning. When we first got there, the three of us walked to stripped, checking out what was going on. There were a few rides we knew he wouldn’t be able to do, but there were a few that he could. So we purchased some tickets and started off. His very first carnival ride happened to be at the Train Station. The monkey does love his trains and he couldn’t resist going on it. Not only was he big enough to go on his own, but this is also the first ride he’s ever gone on without either Jesse or I will him.
After that, Ian got his fix of swinging in with whatever the swing ride was called. For both these rides, he just reached the minimum height requirement (one guy had to duck down to check) and Ian was totally excited about being able to go on his own. While he was riding the swings, he was one of the few kids who wasn’t just sitting there peaceably – he kept shaking those chains whenever he could.
After the train and swings, the next ride Ian wanted to go on required one of us to go with him. The Fun Slide would let him on, but considering you had to walk up this huge flight of steps, he had to have an adult with him. When Jesse first suggested hitting up the fair, he didn’t take into account that I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the rides (if any) with Ian. So guess who got stuck going up to the top of the slide with Ian? Yup, Jesse and he’s not generally a fan of heights either. However, by the time both of them made it to the bottom, they both had huge smiles.
The next ride Ian wanted…yeah, he couldn’t go on. You know those dragon boat rides that swing back and forth like a pendulum? Yeah, he so wanted to go on that, but he didn’t meet the height requirements, obviously. Plus, you weren’t going to get me on one of those things, pregnant or not. So the two of us went and snagged a ride on the carousel instead. At first, Ian was worried about falling off and me not being with him; but once I assured him I wasn’t going anywhere, he had a blast.
Right across from the carousel, Ian saw something that he had to do – skeeball! According to Ian, skeeball is his favorite game and he had to play it. He’s not very good at it, but he got to roll a ball a couple of times and help daddy and I try to win something (we didn’t).
After doing a few rides, we went to check out all the games that were set up. I cannot believe that it costs $3 for a single game at most of them. That’s outrageous. However, we did find one that Ian was able to do that wasn’t too bad (meaning he would come away with a prize regardless) and that was “pick a duck”. He did end up grabbing a winning duck and he came away with a new shiny ball. He even got to pick it out himself from a bunch of different prizes.
We still had a few tickets left, so we went back for another round of rides. While Ian was driving the train, Jesse made a quick stop for some cotton candy. He was going to taunt Ian with it while he was on the train, but Ian wanted to sit up in the engine so he could ring the bell a few times. He really didn’t pay too much attention to us while he could do that.
After the train, we took a small break to indulge in the cotton candy, or as Ian was calling it, the cotton balls. He wasn’t a fan of the blue stuff, but the pink was pretty good. *grin*
By this time, Jesse and I were starting to get a little tired (it had been a long day up to this point), but we still had a few tickets left. So Ian got to head back to the swings for another ride as well as the carousel. Once all the tickets were gone, we started heading back to the car. Ian did NOT want to go home. He wanted to go back to the fair and play some more. Both Jesse and I assured him that there would be more fairs this summer, that this wasn’t the only one, and he started to calm down a little. What finally convinced him that it was time to head home was the fact that we still had to go shopping for his big boy bed, but more on that in a few.
This morning, while Jesse was getting his coat on, Ian decided he wanted to write his name. He wouldn’t get his coat on until he did. He’s been wanting to write his name for awhile, but he usually gives up when we won’t finish his name after he does the I. So, I told him to go ahead. Jesse really didn’t want to wait, he had the chance to get to work earlier than normal, but even he noticed Ian was a little too determined about this.
Ian go the I done all on his own, but once he got to the A, he wanted to see one and for some reason that is one his magnetic letters that have disappeared. So after a quick search for a letter A, they finally found one and Ian got back to work. He was a little unsure at the time, so Jesse added three dots to the screen and from there, Ian had no problem. He was able to do the N without a problem, granted it was a little backward, but he did it. Jesse knew he could do better, so he had Ian redo his N after adding a couple of dots. Ian did beautifully. We didn’t hold his hand or anything as the video will show (stupid battery died before they finished).
I’m so proud of my monkey right now!
Yesterday, I took Ian to his very first stage show – Disney Live! Rockin’ Road Trip. He had such a blast. Initially, I was really nervous about taking a two year old to a stage show at the Palace (would he be entertained enough or would I have a bored toddler on my hands); however, Ian completely surprised me. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been nervous since it was a show designed for toddlers and whatnot. Ian was really good about staying with me, which was probably due to the fact that he wanted to be carried, but he really didn’t give me any problems. He held on to our tickets until it was time to give them to the ticket lady and then he handed them over himself. I don’t know how I managed it, but I timed everything pretty good because we weren’t in our seats long until the show started.
Anyway, the show itself was great. We had pretty good seats too considering I picked them up on Thursday, so Ian was able to see the stage pretty well. At first, Ian was doing his whole people watching thing, trying to figure out what was going on, but the moment Goofy stepped on the stage, he was caught. You should have seen his face when Mickey showed up. OMG, it was hilarious. He kept telling me “it’s mickey!” as if he couldn’t believe he was there. During the first half of the show, Ian was totally captivated – I don’t think his eyes left that stage for more than a minute. I want to say he really wasn’t as captivated when Cinderella and the characters from Toy Story were on stage, but I’m chalking that up to the fact that he hasn’t really been exposed to them yet. However, when Tigger appeared…oh yeah, he loved it.
About 40 minutes into the show, they did have an intermission, which Ian took in stride. He was able to walk around our aisle a little since pretty much everyone went out to the concession stands and I was smart and brought some animal crackers with us. Once the second half started, however, he did begin to get a little antsy. I think it took him that long to really begin to understand what was going on and then his excitement took over. By this time, he didn’t want to sit still as much and so wanted to get closer to the stage. He also caught on that he could dance and bounce in his chair along with everyone else. The smile on his face during these times was priceless. I just wish he would have let me take his picture a couple of times.
They did have a photo op with some cardboard cutouts of Mickey and Minnie out in the lobby (it would’ve been nicer if Mickey and Minnie had shown up, but whatever). Since this was Ian’s first stage show, I totally went with it and got him us one. Plus I couldn’t use my own camera until I bought one (greedy Disney). It was a good thing I went with it too. When Ian first saw them, he was so all over it. He kept wanting to go up there and get his picture taken that I had to keep telling him he had to wait in line. He kept trying to cut in front of people or going around the side. The little monkey. Once it was our turn…it didn’t take him 30 seconds to get his butt in front of MIckey and Minnie. He had the biggest grin on his face and loved it. As you can see, I did succumb and get him some ears.
Overall, the entire experience was really good and I would take him again. Seeing the show yesterday, though, made me start thinking about Disney World. Originally, I was thinking of waiting until he was closer to 6 or 7 before taking him, but I’m really tempted to start pricing out three day vacations for his fourth birthday.
The boys got some new toys that they can’t get enough of. A couple of days ago, Jesse came home with a remote controlled helicopter and the two of them spent all night playing with it. They had so much fun, that Jesse sent me back to Meijer to get the novice edition for Ian to play with. Needless to say, both of them have been in love with their new toys. The moment Jesse comes home, they go get their helicopters and I get at least an hour of blissful quiet. Not only do I get the quiet, but the two don’t end up yelling at each other either.
They’ve changed up their launch pads a couple of different times, however, the favorite seems to be the top of Ian’s head. I don’t get it, but Ian loves holding one of the helicopters on his head so Jesse can launch it and then Ian will chase after it once it hits the ceiling and flops to the ground. Granted, Ian does a lot of chasing, but so does Jesse. The range on the remotes isn’t that large and it doesn’t take them long to fly them out of it. Regardless, they are having fun with them and it’s great!
Do you know how hard it is to find a petting zoo? Well, a good one? Ian and I went down to the Battle Creek Binder Park Zoo where they do have one and Ian had a blast with the children’s zoo. There were all kinds of animals to pet, but Ian loved getting in with the goats and feeding them. He was able to get right up to them and pet them to his hearts content. Of course, the goats did mob him when they realized he had food, but Ian just started giggling like there was no tomorrow.
While we were there, we also got to feed and pet the giraffes Binder has in their African Safari section. We even got to see the baby giraffe that was recently born (he was soo cute). I do have to say that I like the Binder Park Giraffe feeding area more than the Detroit Zoos. At Binder, you can feed the giraffes as much as you want and as long as the giraffes will let you.
Overall, it was a great day to be at Binder Park and Ian had a blast. We’ll have to go back sometime soon.
First up, Ian has fallen in love with Tye Dyeing. We were in JoAnn’s a couple of weeks ago and I picked up a quick starter kit so I could “clean up” a couple of old white wash clothes. Ian helped me with that first batch, but he wanted to do more. So we got another kit and went to town on a couple of shirts. The end result was hilarious. I swear we did use the gloves that the kit provided, except there was only one pair, so sharing with Ian didn’t work out as well as I thought it would.
We ended up doing this little project on the day Jesse worked from home, so he joined in the fun. Between the three of us, we did three of Ian’s shirts, one of Jesse’s and one of my tanks that didn’t survive the first round. We ended up with a couple of great shirts and one that can be a little disturbing. The final shirt (the one Jesse and I are holding) ended up looking like we butchered someone in our basement. By the last shirt, all we had left was red and we wanted to use it. Ian had a blast splaying it around and we even got his hand prints on it (but they may be hard to find).
The boys are wearing their shirts (Jesse looks hilarious in his) and Ian is already asking when we can paint more clothes.
Yes, we took the little monkey bowling yesterday and Ian loved it! We only ended up doing one game, but it went really well. A lot better than I thought it would. Ian did get a little bored with it, but only when he wasn’t waiting for his turn (mama and daddy bowled too).
We had actually thought of going in the morning, but the bowling alley opened later than I thought and Ian was so upset when we left the first time. He wanted to go bumper bowling and was singing the “bumper bowling” song on the way there. When we made it back there after his nap, he was thrilled. He was checking out everything and was really excited about the whole thing.
Ian got to wear the required ugly bowling shoes and picked out his own ball – a nice 6 pounder. Ian did the first ball on his own; I think it made it halfway down the lane, but you should have seen him jumping with enthusiasm that it even went. After that, Jesse helped Ian push the ball down the lane. I helped for one round, but since I didn’t help get Ian many pins, Jesse took over after that. The two of them were so adorable when they went to push the ball. Ian had to stay up near the line until the ball went crashing through the pins. Then he would hop around, skip back to the balls and wait for it to return to him. During it all, he had the biggest grin on his face.
When it wasn’t Ian’s turn, he was all about helping us with our own bowls. He kept forgetting there was a step between the lanes and the ball holder, so he dropped them a few times, but he never got hurt. Overall, the afternoon was a blast and Jesse had a grin on for most of it as well. The only time Jesse frowned was right after his turn – he really liked the gutters. :) That was actually really nice though. When we were entering all the names into the machine, we were able to indicate that Ian needed the bumpers and we didn’t. So the bumpers only popped up when it was Ian’s turn. I like that.
So that was the big excitement for this weekend. When I said Ian did well, I wasn’t kidding. He scored higher than either Jesse or I. Ian had a great score of 80, with me behind him at 74 and Jesse rounded us out with a solid 50. Like I said, it wasn’t the greatest game with a combined score of 204, but both Ian and Jesse had a blast. We will be doing this again, but we’ll probably wait a couple of weeks so Ian doesn’t get burned out on it.
For more bowling pictures, click here.
Check out what Ian brought me after his walk with Jesse. They strolled around the park out back and Ian promptly began collecting the dandelions and stuffing them in his and daddy’s pockets. Then my little monkey gave me flowers he picked himself for the first time. He was so sweet.