Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Playdate, Playgroup, and plenty of other things

First, I need to tell you about the amazing thing Mairead did about an hour ago. She was up in the office while I was with the boys and she yelled, "Mom! Mom! Look what I did!" I went in to see that she had written some letters. She said, "I write your names." And sure enough, she almost did. I swear- I have not worked on this with her- I have never had her practice writing our names or anything. She has asked me in the past to write out 'Jack, Ben,' etc, and then she came up with this,

Mom (amazing, right?) And it's on a heart... best thing ever!

The shamrock has 'Dad' and the heart has "Mairead" She usually spells her name correctly- guess she got distracted today.

The brown is 'Jack' and the orange is 'Ben.' Though, I suppose we could call him 'Blade' from now on!

I just marvel at how far she has come in the past year... even in the past few months. School is going really well for her and she makes progress at home every day. Little things like this mean so much to us, especially since we had a tough few days with her. On Thursday, I went to pick her up from school and her teacher came to the door and beckoned me to come in. Mairead was hysterical. Sobbing to the point of not being able to catch her breath. She flung herself into my arms and clung to me so tightly- she was shaking. The teacher had no idea what happened. The kids were lining up to come outside as they do every day, and all of a sudden Mairead burst into tears and dropped to the ground. She couldn't tell anyone what was wrong and she was so incredibly upset. It was hard to see her like that. The teacher felt terrible about it because she wasn't able to figure out why she was so upset, and she wasn't able to console her. Those moments are really, really hard for me. I hate that my sweet girl can be so scared and not be able to communicate why or what she needs. It must be such a lonely and terrifying feeling, and I hate knowing that she feels that way.

She did go to school the next day without a problem, so that was encouraging. She does like school, though she still has a lot of anxiety about it. I think each week is a little better than the one before. We really like her teacher and know that she is in good hands; we just wish it were easier for her.

Soccer is another thing that is hard for her. Dave took her this past Saturday and she was too scared to go on the field with her team. Dave actually left, but then Jen called to say she was at the field, so Dave took Mairead back and Jen was able to coerce her to go sit on the sidelines and at least watch. She did that for a few minutes and did run on to the field at one point, but it was too much for her. It is very loud and very crowded there, and I think she just has a hard time processing everything. We will just keep encouraging her to at least go and watch the other kids, and maybe try to get her on the field occasionally. We want her to be able to participate in team sports and to be able to enjoy them, but it's going to take baby steps to get her there.

Those days are hard for us. It's tough to see her be upset and difficult to have it so obvious that she is struggling with things that are just 'normal' or fun activities for most kids. No parent wants his/her child to struggle, and to see her facing this at such a young age is hard. But, we know that she is amazing and that she has made such great progress. We can't wait for the day when she is just one of the kids and she is out running around and having fun with everyone else.

She made steps toward that at our playdate today! We met up with some of my 'mom friends' and their kids and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Mairead did well with the other kids- even sharing her coloring books and crayons, trying to swing with another little girl, and even giving out hugs when the day was over. One of the moms made my day- she had met Mairead about six months ago and commented how far she has come since then. Mairead was answering questions, making eye contact, etc, and last time we were together, she wasn't doing that. It was really nice to hear that- thanks, Katie!

There were four of us moms with 8 kids (and one on the way) between us. Each of us has a three year old girl, so it was nice to get them together. And, three of the little girls have little brothers!

Last week, Mairead had picture day at her school. She wore this outfit because *I* wore it for picture day when I was in kindergarten! My mom saved it all these years! Of course, I was 5 when I wore it and Mairead is 3, and it was short on her! I hope the pictures came out well- I will post them when I have them!

We have been going to playgroup at a local church once or twice a week for a while now, and the other day I brought the camera. We spend so much time there, I figured we should have some pictures!

Jack-- yes- the notebooks come to playgroup, too.

This was a great moment- Mairead and a little boy (who doesn't speak much) actually played together and worked together to build a tower of blocks. It was really nice to see them enjoy interacting.

On Easter Sunday, we visited with our cousins and the kids had a great time! Mairead enjoyed a 'royal wedding' donut for dessert.

Apparently, hanging out with the big kids is exhausting.

We discovered that Jack LOVES Bugles. He seriously couldn't get enough of them!

Mairead worked on some Easter projects that we sent to Grandma and Rachael. We hope they made it through the mail safely!

This is old news, but the boys had their first 'real' haircuts just a few days before Easter. It was time to let those curly baby 'dos' go... no more babies- just two big boys!

The before (Jack)


It was hard to get pictures of the actual haircut since we had the boys go at the same time, and they sat on our laps for the cuts. But here's Jack in the chair.

And Ben on Daddy's lap.

The 'after,' still with notebooks in hand...

Thanks for checking in with us!


Terry Family said...

Seriously, those boys are the cutest! It appears they were well behaved at their haircuts! Nathan's been getting his hair cute for almost three years now and you'd think we were killing him in that chair! Thank God for my iPhone and YouTube! We watch Elmo and he seems to do ok.

I'll pray for Mairead. I can't imagine how difficult it is for all of you. I'm glad to hear she's staying in the same classroom next year. We made the same decision for Nathan last year and it was the right decision for him too.

Terry Family said...

I forgot to tell you how cool it is that Mairead wore your dress for school pictures! Can't wait to see the pictures.