Friday, March 12, 2010

Long over due

It's been nearly six weeks since we last posted anything, so a word of forewarning...this is a long post. For a lack of better organization style, news and updates is listed by individual.

Michaela started "school" shortly after her third birthday. She is in the early childhood program and the program choices were either a weekly meeting at our house or 3 hours of school four days a week at the elementary school. We chose the later. I am able to drop her off on my way to campus each morning, so we borrowed my mom's car seat to leave in the Jeep full-time. We now have three car seats in two cars regularly, and will from time to time move one from the car to the Jeep to take that as a family instead of the car.

It was fun and scary watching Michaela react to school and the routine. She loved the first week, drug her feet on going to school the second week, cried leaving home and when I left her at school the third and start of fourth, and now at the end of her fifth week looks forward to going to school. Receiving a piece of candy during in the Jeep on the way to school during the fourth week stopped the crying, a bit of bribery was all it took. Even the teachers noticed her different disposition immediately. I am slowly meeting a few parents and her fellow students, whom she now considers her 'friends'.

The school change is a nice break for Christine at home, time with Danielle only, time for me with Michaela, and of course difference experiences for Michaela. Michaela this last week started to help read her bedtime stories. Considering how far behind we are in teaching her how to write the alphabet and numbers, I was amazed that she was able to follow my finger and get a large number of words correct. To qualify this I must admit the story was "Are you my Mother?" in which the pictures do help quite a bit.

With Michaela starting school at 7:45am we needed to change our sleep schedule. No longer do the girls stay up until 8 at night and sleep in until 8:30 or 9 in the morning. The week before school started we began shifting the night schedule earlier and earlier. Christine now gives the girls a bath starting around 6:50, and more than one occasion they have both been asleep by 7:15. Occasionally we struggle getting them to sleep, but now that late night that occurs about once every three weeks is at 8 rather than 9:30.

Danielle has always been the early riser, and by going to sleep earlier she is often up between 6 and the 6:55 alarm. Christine and I struggle to convince her to get more sleep, as Danielle definitely has an opinion to what should be done when she is awake. She is saying more and more, but still heavily relies on nonverbal communication to get what she wants.

A head cold has been going around town and we've all had in the house as well. Danielle seems to have been affected the most, as it disrupted her sleep pattern greatly. For the last couple of weeks she has been waking up earlier and earlier in the night, and she has even woke up by 10pm the last couple of nights. The lack of sleep catches up with her, and this morning she was cranky even before getting out of 'our' bed.


Christine took a three-week cake decorating class offered by the local hardware store. The cakes looked awesome and I'm very glad she decided to take these. She made everyone on campus very happy by sending in the large cakes with me to campus three weeks in a row, first carrot (the one in the photo), then apple nut spice , and finally lemon chiffon cakes. Not exactly the way I envisioned job security, but it is easy to meet everyone and get on campus's good graces when your wife is the one sending in food.

Christine has been to the Twin Cities with the girls a couple of times in the past month. Christine took the girls over to see Grandma Cindy, Aunt Aubrey, and Abi when the Saks visited. After a short period with my family, Christine and the girls met Dan and Linda to go to the zoo. The girls, especially Michaela, enjoy animals. Shortly thereafter my mom took the girls for a long weekend, giving Christine and I some time alone at a retreat. I wish that I did not have to work so much during the break from the girls, but at least Christine was able to get some relaxation and time to read.

The first five weeks of this semester I was teaching an accelerated hybrid class, where we would meet for 3 hours once a week and conduct the rest of the class activities online. Not only was this the first time I taught this style of class, it was also the first time teaching this course...a double whammy. I am now two weeks removed from this class, in which there were many long hours, weekends working, frustration experience by me as well as the students, and a great learning experience which will hopefully help next year when I teach two classes of this style. I took the girls out to the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield the day after I entered grades for that class. The lynx thought Michaela was especially interesting.

I am slowly getting caught up on the other classes and progressing with research projects since then. Of course spring also brings the return of birds, which is definitely the new winter itch for me. No longer am I waiting to get out fishing or golfing, but rather birding. The Horned Larks (pictured above) returned to Wisconsin last week, but already more regular spring migrants are returning.

In our communication void that was February, I hope everyone else is well.

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

Thanks for the update! I've been missin' you guys something fierce. Can it be May already?!