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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hyper-Parenting

Reagan has a VERY busy schedule this year.  And we created it that way on purpose, to some degree.  But in the entire process of configuring her schedule of activities for this year, I have been asking myself if she is now a victim of "hyper parenting".  Truthfully, I don't think so, because even though she is in a handful of different activities and her schedule is full, Ryan and I didn't plan it this way with the hope to make her more successful in life.  We just did it to let her be a part of ALL of the activities that she asked to be in.

Maybe I need to do a post in the future about being spoiled...

Ahem... getting back on track here...

By definition, hyper parenting is
"a style of child-rearing that has, perhaps inadvertently, become the prescribed way to raise children in middle and upper middle class families. Hyper-Parenting, and its logical consequence - over-scheduled families - have evolved from the belief that within every parent is the power (and obligation) to craft the perfect childhood for our kids, one that will guarantee a successful adulthood in the impossibly competitive new e-world.
It is a philosophy built upon the belief that the right possessions and enrichment activities, combined with regular practice, and intense, parental guidance will enable every one of us to raise a perfect kid who will get into Harvard, Yale, Duke, UVa, Stanford, or Princeton (aren't those the places where successful kids go?) and therefore and thereafter, will lead a life of fame and fortune. Children not given these enrichment opportunities will end up hopelessly behind, losers not winners."
Like I said, Reagan has a very busy schedule...

6 hours of Kindergarten Monday - Friday
3 hours of Gymnastics on Monday
45 minutes of Ballet on Tuesday
45 minutes of Tap on Wednesday
3 hours of Gymnastics on Thursday
45 minutes of Jazz on Friday

We would have preferred to have only done 2 of the 3 dance classes, but the third class was practically given to us for free, so we decided to add it on as well.  And we would have preferred for at least 2 of the 3 dance classes to have been on the same day, back to back, so that she would at least have one day of the week with no after-school activity to attend.

But this is what she wanted, so this is what she got!  We agreed that, for this year, she could be involved in all of the above so that she can better decide what her favourite activity is and what she would most prefer to devote her time to in the future.  If any of them.  She can decide that she would rather do under water basket weaving, and we would support her in that decision.  As long as it doesn't interfere with her education, we will support it!  So, down the road, after kindergarten, her schedule will certainly have to become more relaxed.

And that is the thinking that I hope, doesn't label me as a "hyper parent".  It is her choice, not our calculated planning for success, that drives this busy schedule.   She loves all of it, and I honestly think that she would be bored out of her skull if she didn't have something to do every afternoon.

I, on the other hand, am having a hard time of keeping up!  It's only September, and I am already exhausted by the schedule of driving her to and from here and there.   All I can say is, thank heavens for Starbucks...  This taxi driver needs it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

10 Month Old Baby Boy

He's still a baby boy!  I don't have to officially start calling Myers a toddler until he starts toddling/walking around right?  But oh my goodness is he ever growing up.  My baby boy is turning into a little man way too fast!!!

Since the last update, (8 Months Old) Myers has been a very busy boy.  He has gone from being a casual crawler to an Olympic speed crawler.  He is currently showing no signs of wanting to walk on his own (he will take a few steps while holding on to the couch) because he can easily and quickly get to everywhere that he needs to go by crawling.

Speaking of holding on to the couch... he pulls up on it and ANYTHING else that he can get his hands on.  He's going to have some serious upper body muscles if he keeps this up.  He's like a little monkey!

Speaking of pulling, how about climbing?  He can now climb up to the top of the stairs.  Yes, baby gates have once again been installed in our house!  He is quite the mischievous little boy, and he loves to go exploring everywhere!

Speaking of upstairs... that is where the nursery is!  Life is so much better in our house now that Myers has mastered sleep training.  We are all happier now, especially Myers.  Nap time or night time, he now loves to sleep in his crib.  He also loves to play in his crib when he wakes up, tossing his stuffed animals over the railings.

Speaking of being happier... We moved him into a toddler style car seat (still rear-facing) instead of the infant carrier bucket seat, and he is MUCH happier in the car these days.  No more screaming coming from the backseat just for making a trip to the grocery store!

Speaking of groceries... this little man will eat anything you put in front of him. His appetite has definitely increased the last couple of months, and he now wants to eat "grown up" food and feed himself just like we do.  He now weighs 18 pounds and is 29 inches long.  He has also started using a sippy cup when he is not nursing.  (He's just like Reagan in that he never once used a bottle)  So far, we've only given him water, but it doesn't seem to phase him what is in the cup.  He's happy to put anything and EVERYTHING that he sees in his mouth.

Speaking of his mouth.. he now has two more teeth, giving him a total of six. He currently has four on the top and two on the bottom, giving him a precious smile.

Speaking of smiles... how about a couple of smiling pictures of our 10 Month Old Baby Boy!!!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Double Trouble

I've mentioned before that Myers absolutely adores his big sister.  And he already wants to be JUST like her!

Here's a shot of Reagan, just over 10 months old...  


And here is Myers, (in the same bathroom, only renovated) just under 10 months old...

What is it about little kids and toilet paper???

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The First Day of Kindergarten

My sweet baby girl Reagan Marie is all grown up!  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was holding her in my arms for the first time.  But actually, yesterday was her first day of Kindergarten!

She's been preparing for and counting down the sleeps until the big day for weeks.  We had a day at the spa for mani's and pedi's, a day of pampering at the salon for a new hairdo, and she chose the dress that she would wear for her first day of school back in July!  

I wasn't sure that I was ever going to get her to go to bed on Tuesday night. We spent a long time cuddled up together, talking about school, and reading a few bedtime stories to settle her down.  We ended our reading with Dr. Suess's Oh, The Places You'll Go!, and it was the PERFECT story for the night before her first day of school!  I have big plans for this book for Reagan, so I was excited to share it with her for the first time for this occasion.  Over the next 13 years, I plan to secretly give this book to all of her teachers from Kindergarten through high school, and have them write a message to Reagan at the end of each school year.  Ryan and I will then give the personalized book to her at her high school graduation!  

She started off the morning of her big day with a phone call to her Daddy at work to sing Happy Birthday to him!  Yes, September 7th was a double duty celebration day for us this year!

Because the school that she attends chooses to do a "gradual entry" for the Kindergarten kids, Reagan didn't have to go to school until after lunch on her first day.  This was great news for us because it meant that Ryan would be able to make it home from work in time to walk with us to school.

You read correctly, we are able to walk to school.  We live one block away from the front doors of the school, so Reagan is already very familiar and comfortable with the school playground as she has already been playing on it for years!

One o'clock finally arrived, and Reagan was about to jump out of her skin because she was so excited.  I was able to slow her down just long enough for a couple of pictures before we left for school.

Of the twenty children in Reagan's kindergarten class, Reagan and 5 others all attended preschool together.  There is also another little girl in class that used to take gymnastics with Reagan, so it was an end-of-summer reunion of sorts for many of the kids!  I think Reagan was just as happy to see her teachers as she was her friends, as we were lucky enough to have already met her teachers before the start of school.
 

I must admit, as Ryan and I walked back home yesterday afternoon with Myers, I was missing my baby girl VERY much.  But I was also very happy and extremely proud of her, as she truly loves school and is so excited for this new adventure in her life.

Because of the gradual entry, less than 2 hours later we were on our way back to school to get our girl.  As luck would have it, and because we arrived a few minutes early, the kids were heading back into class from a playground recess, so I was able to sneak a quick picture of the big Kindergarten girl with a few of her classmates.

Today was a slightly longer day of school, and Reagan was thrilled.  That meant that she could use her new back pack and lunch box!  Trust me when I tell you that she thinks that she is some serious tough stuff with that backpack!

I had a little surprise for Reagan when Myers and I went to pick her up this afternoon... DIXIE!  Of course Reagan was excited to see her puppy dog, (although I don't know why we still call her a puppy when she just had her EIGTH birthday last month) and all of the other kids in her class were excited as well.  I think my surprise earned Reagan serious rockstar status among her classmates!

So, we have one more day of Kindergarten this week, and then we're heading off to Seattle for the weekend to do some serious back-to-school shopping and to celebrate Ryan's birthday.  I must say, I have a feeling that this is going to be a GREAT school year!

My dear Reagan, I am so very proud of you.  You are such a smart, talented, loving, and beautiful young girl, and I know that you are going to excel not only in school, but at everything in life.  Always follow your dreams, and never give up on those dreams.  You are a superstar!  And, as Dr. Seuss once said...

Congratulations!  
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

OH!  THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

And will you succeed?
Yes!  You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So... get on your way!

OH!  THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!