Friday, May 28, 2010

Kiddie Pool = BIG HIT!

Yesterday the kiddos got their first taste of the kiddie pool Doug got for them. It has a little slide and everything. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. They spent almost three solid hours playing in it! Up the slide, down the slide, face first down the slide, back up the slide...then plash, splash, dump the bucket on your self, now dump it on your brother, now dump it down the slide....oh - slide! And it kept going, and going, and going, and going! They spent the entire day (with the exception of their nap) outside playing. All and all I think that counts as a really good day in little boy land. [I'll post pictures sometime this weekend when I have a chance to sit down with the computer and the camera and pull them over.]

These little guys were totally worn out. They went to bed almost an hour earlier than normal - and not a peep. Well, not until 5:45 this morning when Gabe decided he was ready to get up, followed closely behind by Grayson at about 6:00. I don't know how people get their kids to sleep to 8:00. Our boys are up before 7:00 pretty much every single day on their own. Lord knows we are not morning people, so where they got it from is a mystery to me.

Today is a day full of 'hardware store land' for the boys, so they will have fun there, too. I hope Doug got out the door early enough to keep them awake so they will take a good afternoon nap and be in a good mood for him today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SOL Scores are Here!

Well, once again we took the chemistry SOL - after missing almost two and a half weeks of school due to snow and having our test moved FORWARD three days by the powers that be. Last semester we had 100% pass on the first try - this time I had one person fail, so only 97% pass. They will get another chance to take it over in a week or so - so it could go up to 100, but I am disappointed.

However, I have to give HUGE credit to all the kids this semester that worked so hard. Their overall average score was a 489, that is really good - only two questions away from a pass advance score as an average. They also had 38% of kids overall get a pass advance, which is way higher than has happened in the past.

So I survived my first year at SHS and proved that I wasn't blowing smoke when I told them I can get your kids to pass - and pass well. It is nice to know that I am pretty effective - even when not appreciated (ummm....certain private school on the hill that would rather me use my talents to coach and run activities than to teach.....) This has been a good move for me and my family. It is certainly a lower stress place to work with the majority of people here being really positive and upbeat. There is also great respect for people's need to balance work and family - so I have been able to stay home with the boys when they are sick, go to their doctor's visits, etc. with out feeling guilty or having it held over my head. Oh - and my commute wsa cut in HALF. All and all I think I came out on top - and so did the kiddos.

UPDATE: My one retake did pass the second time around, so I actually ended up with 100% - but I don't think it counts like it would if they had all passed it the first time around.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time Flies - Time to Update!

Life continues to be a crazy whirlwind in the Bowen house. In the last two weeks we have continued to work with Gabe on his transition to the big boy bed. He is doing much, much better with naps. Sometimes the evenings are still a challenge, but I think all in all it is going well.

Both boys are babbling and making new sounds like crazy. We think Gabe might actually be saying a few words, though you have to know he is trying to figure it out. He says (we think): shoes and juice. There are TONS of animal noises from them both. It is kind of weird to even think of them talking - we know they understand us just fine, we've just gotten used to the fact they don't talk back.

Grayson got a good report from Dr H last week and we don't have to go back to check his feet for 5 months, instead of the previous three. He has also now cut or is cutting all of his top and bottom eye teeth. Gabe is working on his now, which makes him grumpy.

We have been working on getting garden ready to plant and today we went and bought some of our favorite heirloom tomatoes from the greenhouse down the street. We got less than usual, but I think we will have better luck with less that can get more of our attention. We are hoping to just get tomatoes, cukes, squash, zucchini, and maybe some beans. Not nearly as much as we used to plant, but having two 2 year olds is harder than anyone that hasn;t had twins can imagine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Slide!

This Friday we got the boys a 'new' slide to have out in the backyard. I found it on CraigsList for $100 (new it is almost $300!) and just had to pick it up after work on my way home. To say the slide is a hit is an understatement. They LOVE, love, LOVE it!

It only took a few minutes for them both to be all over it - climbing and sliding. Grayson seems to prefer the face first slide when he thinks no one is looking. He'll slide on his butt if you ask him to, but apparently face first is much more fun. Gabe was a little more aprehensive about going down the slied at first and it too a few tries with us standing right there next to him, but after that he was all about doing it himself. He prefers going down on his behind. The only challenge is keeping them from pushing each other down the slide when one doesn't move fast eoungh to make the other one happy. But even that seems like it makesthem laugh.

I think you tell by the pictures they were prettythrilled all around. This might be "the" purchase of the summer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grayson is trying to walk WHILE wearing his braces!

Doug said he had seen it - but today I saw it for the first time. Grayson stood up in the middle of the kitchen wearing his granola bar and took two steps! Amazing!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gabe's moved to his big boy bed!

Well, it had to happen - I just didn't think it would happen so soon. Over the weekend Gabe discovered that he could easily climb out (and back in) of his crib - and he could climb out of his crib and into Grayson's - only to leave that one when he was finished playing with him.

After much debate, we decided we should just take the plunge Sunday night and convert his crib to a big boy bed. Crib tents just don't seem like a great idea for a very active, strong willed child. We stripped the room down (no more cute little room - now just beds and a dresser) and introduced him to his bed. He was very happy about being able to get in and out (and in and out and in and out and in and out....)

It has taken him the better part of 60-90 minutes to settle down the last two night, but once he does, he has stayed in his bed the entire night. What is not going so well is the concept of the afternoon nap. Gabe needs sleep more than Grayson, but he cannot seem to settle for his afternoon for anything and it is making him crazy cranky. Unfortunately, there is not too much that can be done to help it right now because he can climb out of anything you put him in. We are hoping that he will 'learn' to nap over the next week or so.

Grayson is less than thrilled that Gabe is keeping him up in the evening, but again - we are hoping it will continue to improve. We are only a few days in to this new adventure and we know it will take time for him to learn to adjust - so we are just staying easy going about it all and just redirecting him back to his bed as often.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dinosaur Land!

It had to happen. Gabe LOVES dinosaurs and we live only 15 minutes away from Dinosaur Land - so this weekend was it - we made our first ever (OK, first everyone in the family except Doug, who grew up here) trek to DinoLand to see what there is to see.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first - it is rather campy from what you can see from the road, which isn't much. However, once we paid our admission and went in - it was pretty cool. I would say it is good for an hour of entertainment. There are 20 or so 'life size' replicas of various dinosaurs for the kids to see up close and personal. All are pretty much under the canopy of large trees, so it is pretty shady, which is nice. (But watch out for poison ivy!) There are a few benches to stop and take a rest, but no real place to sit and say, have a snack or picnic, which is what we were really hoping for. Grayson was tired during this outing - we think he is in the midst of a growth spurt, as all he seems to be doing is eating like a horse and sleeping way more than usual. He tolerated it all - the uneven ground with all the roots was hard for him to navigate - but he was a good sport through the whole thing. He did, however, require some carrying the last have of the walk through. He had fallen on his knees in the gravel one time too many and wanted nothing to do with it.

I think we will probably be going back periodically just for kicks. I think if you wait a while between visits it is probably good for at least a few more trips for the boys.