Friday, August 30, 2013

The Assistant ...

There is hardly any project done in our house that my beloved, Casey, can't figure out and do himself. Since Beatrice Kate has grown up her whole life with a Daddy who can fix nearly anything, it stands to reason that she, herself, may take up an interest in ... helping.

Their latest project? Installing a motor sensing light fixture in Bea's bathroom, to aide in her nighttime potty training efforts. And when Casey needed to rewire a light fixture? His assistant was at the ready:
I know the thought of electrical work and preschoolers might horrify my own mother some parents, but in this household, it's a learning opportunity and a chance to further our attempts at raising a competent, self-sufficient woman. So when Bea asks to help Daddy with any project, we rarely decline:
 And yes, the main power to the house was turned off, so no, she's not going to electrocute herself:
 If you don't know Casey personally, then you won't have an appreciation for just how calm, and patient the man is. Seriously. He can teach anyone to do anything. That includes teaching our 3 year old how to use a wire nut (maybe that's the right word?) :
The kiddo might have the grace of an elephant in a china shop, but she has the fine motor skills of a neurosurgeon. She too is calm under pressure and expertly able to handle the smallest tasks:

Often times, Bea will ask to do any number of the part to a project; including holding the flashlight:
 Most of the time, she does a spot on job...
 But she is a curious preschooler after all, and she frequently gets side tracked:
 Casey is usually always able to gently guide her back to the task at hand:

Remember what I said about her fine motor skills? 
 Yea, she's pretty incredible:
 And I'm pretty sure her Daddy absolutely loves having his assistant on any house project:

I love to see the two share such a special connection in a way that's unique to her Daddy.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

One, Two, Three Snacks You're Out ...

After Beatrice Kate's big debut on Sunday morning, we hopped on the bikes and pedaled over to catch an early evening Durham Bulls Game. We've only been to one other game this year; and since their regular season is winding down, we wanted to be sure to catch one of their last home games while we still could.

As you'll recall, Bea is a fan of Bulls' games baseball stadium food. And this game was no different. We didn't even get to our seats before she was asking to get a hotdog:
We even had seats directly beside the field, and right next to the bullpen, where the pitching staff and players were smitten with the cute, blonde girl in a Bulls Cap. Bea still couldn't have cared less. She was in Hot Dog Heaven:

After hotdogs and peanuts (which I didn't have a chance to take a photo of, seeing as my child was literally sucking the peanuts from my hands as I cracked their shells), she took a walk around the stadium and spotted a favorite treat- Locopops:
At least with a Locopop occupying her Talking Muscles, she was pacified long enough for Casey to actually watch a pitch or three:
But shortly after the last lick, we were in the Seventh Inning Stretch and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was playing over the loud speakers. It's like the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You can guess where this is going right? Buy me some peanuts and ...
Golden Kernels of Deliciousness
Thankfully, the Bulls Staff must know how hard it is to say "no" to a super cute, really persuasive preschooler, and offered all the overstimulated and over sugar-ed kiddos a chance to run the bases after the game. At first, Bea was all "Yea! I can say Hi to Wool E Bull!"; because in her mind, they're practically BFFs:
He will be SOOOOO happy to see me again ...
True story: We spent approximatly 10-15 minutes a day talking about Wool E Bull and what he's likely doing at that moment or what his pen looks like, if Wool E has any lovies, or if Wool E is napping or eating dinner ... When I say she thinks they're BFFs, she honest-to-God thinks Wool E is spending time each day thinking about Bea too. 

With Casey's guidance, Bea ran right out onto the field:
She's a stickler for rules... Runners must touch the bases 
But just as she was within High Five range of Wool E, a crowd caught up with her and her nerves got the best of her:
And it quickly became a Daddy rescue mission:

Some how, Bea managed to keep her eyes open all the way back home on the ride back and finally sacked out around 9:15. That's about 2.5 hours later than she normally goes to bed. Regardless, making memories like these are usually worth any amount of overtired, morning-time crankiness that came the next day.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Little Trumpet Girl ...

There are a lot of reasons why our family feels at home in the Moravian church. Hello? Sugar cake and delicious cookies... The emphasis of worship through music especially speaks to our family. We've been attending Raleigh Moravian since before Beatrice Kate was born. So it seems only natural that as she's growing up, she seems to have a natural calling to music herself.

For the past several Sundays, Bea has been asking to take "her coronet" to service each week (Note: "Her Coronet" is actually an old coronet that Casey's Pop left to him when he passed. Bea has since claimed it for her own).

Sometimes it never comes out of the case and Bea watches the band from the side as we enter church together. Sometimes, she holds it and just stands next her Daddy has he play in the band. This week, well this week she woke up with a song in her heart. Over breakfast, she serenaded us with "Jesus loves the little children. Red and Green and Blue and White, they are special in his heart" (we're still working on the words, okay?).

Soon after, she started talking about "playing horns" from the minute I said "church shoes". She even insisted on carrying her horn all by herself:
Ya'll, this isn't a light case. I'm just thankful she didn't take a shine to a bigger instrument like the tuba (at least not yet). She had some serious determination.:
And a whole lotta sass.
I wasn't sure if she would actually play her horn or not in front of other people. But ya'll... the community of band members at our church was so encouraging to her, and so very welcoming, that she marched her little self right outside, stood next to her Daddy and had her horn at the ready:

Not once did anyone discourage her musical attempts. In fact, the band acted like it was totally normal to have a pint-sized coronet player in the group:

Naturally it drew a bit of attention, especially from the local residents who walk past our church each Sunday...
This guy is thinking: Man, they start 'em young here ...
I cannot tell you how blessed we were by the band being such good sports about Beatrice Kate's um... additions... to the band prelude. Truly, it made her day week month to feel included and a part of something special. She had the biggest smile on her face during her performance and after, throughout the service!

I was so proud of my little introvert, coming out from behind the shadows for a moment in the spotlight. It doesn't happen often; hardly ever in fact. More importantly though, I'm so thankful our church community values our children as part of our congregational body. Bea feels safe to be herself at our church, as she should, and it's growing her confidence Sunday after Sunday.

Most of you didn't know, Casey's Pop, but he was the person who started Casey in the band when he was a child. We liked to think that he had a front row seat in Heaven, watching this play out yesterday morning:

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." ~Matthew 19:14

Be sure to turn your speakers up, as you'll hear Beatrice Kate's extra few notes towards the end of the hymn (I think it's right at 0:36) ...


Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Randoms ...

  • I'm almost *slightly* hesitant to say it out loud, because it can change in an instant, but I think.... just maybe... we've turned the corner in Preschool Behavior! We've gone nearly the entire week without a single Time-Out and hardly any tantrums. When I redirect or ask Bea to think about doing something differently (like maybe not dumping milk on the floor), she ... STOPS. And says, "Okay, Mommy." Wonder of Wonders!
  • Part of the reason I think she's had such good behavior is because I've simply run her little preschool self ragged with a morning and afternoon activity each day this week. Every. Single. Day. we've been out of the house from 9 until around 4 or 5 each evening. By 6:30, she's asking to go to bed. Of course, this means I'm not far behind her...
  • One of our activities this week was visiting our local museum. They had a new indoor exhibit that basically lets kiddos explore free-play and imaginative thinking by beaming various shapes that move and change size onto a flat floor surface. Who knew it had the ability to hold Busy Bea's attention for nearly 45 minutes:

By the end of it she had convinced the other children around her that her games were the most fun kind:

But of course, Bea lives in her own world, so she had no idea she was an Accidental Leader of any kind...

  • There's an entire blog post coming about Bea's current obsession with Pirates, specifically, Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I have no idea how she got into this show because 1) we don't have cable and 2) we have only one television in our home, and it's rarely on. But none the less, in Bea's mind, she's a swashbuckling sailor named Jake, and when she saw a cargo net at the museum, well... that was where we spent our remaining time:

  • Speaking of our museum trip, on the day we went, I asked her in the car if she would rather go home and rest after our morning adventure or go to the museum and play (she was quite tired by noon, so I wanted to give her the option). She replied, "In the name of The Lord, let's go to the museum!". I nearly ran off the road laughing so hard at her! I don't know where she comes up with this stuff.
  • We have another busy weekend planned coming up. From Bea's new preschool orientation, to a comfort measures class I'm teaching to a set of expecting parents and a Bull Game... I'm hoping we can squeeze in a little rest at some point!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Defying Gravity ...

Fact: Several rainy days in a row with an active, imaginative and energetic preschooler leads to one extremely cabin-fevered mama who's quickly running out of ways to keep the TV off.

In an effort to burn off some of her Preschool Power, Beatrice Kate and I took a little trip to a new spot called Defy Gravity. It's a giant warehouse filled with wall-to-wall trampolines that you basically just go and jump until your heart's content.

I had heard about it from a blog of local mommies who "test out" places and spots around town. Finding out that they had a special "Kids Jump" seemed like the perfect way to cure our Storm Induced Hyperactivity.

Note: I'll apologize now for the crappy quality of these images. The fact that my iPhone isn't super great and my preschooler was on Level 10 mean it's hard to take a decent photo these days.

Honestly, I thought Bea may take one look at it, and be overwhelmed by the older children or boisterous crowd (she's an introvert through and through):
But, after her initial small "tester" jumps she was in High Heaven:
Oh, yeah! I got this, Mama!
She was looking at me screaming, "This! Is! So! Much! Fun!"
I mean seriously, look at this face:

Bea even braved The Foam Pit:
Albeit, slowly:

A little video of her "technique" (aka: slowly bounce to the end, slide down and pitch yourself forward):

At one point, she screamed up at me, "Mama! Pull me up by my feet this time!" She probably spent close to 25 minutes just running and sliding into that pit.

Then she'd go back to the trampoline floor and jump again:
She's got good hang time, guys.
Several times, she bounced her way right into the middle of a pack of older kids! Who is this kid?!?
Planning her next bounce move...
I was so, so proud of her and her willingness to try something new! Plus, this place is a dreamland for improving those still-delayed gross motor skills of hers. Can't we get insurance to cover our visits?!? Casey's already planning a family return trip so he can try out the trampolines (Even the Journey playing in the background can't keep him away):