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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 1200 Davis Street: The Finished Product!

 I was SOOO excited to take a tour of Roycemore in its new location!!!  I totally cried on January 3rd--the first day of school in the new building because I wanted to be there so badly :(  Luckily, I had already bought our plane tickets for the trip we just enjoyed, so I knew I could look forward to attending the first Palio in the new building :)  Jackson was excited to go visit Bampa at school, and we took this obligatory photo...
 and this one!  We have pictures of Larry and me in my dad's office behind his desk, so this just made sense :)

 On the first day of school, all of the kids got these shirts that Jackson was kind enough to model!  The front had the Roycemore emblem on it.
 The back said, "First day in our new home 01-03-2012" with the new address under it.

 I cannot believe how different (and AMAZING!) this building looks from the first times we saw it (Coming Soon to 1200 Davis StreetTour of 1200 Davis St., and Roycemore is on the Move)!   Here is a list of my favorite things (in no particular order):

1) The main entryway!  In the old building, there were quite a few entrances (and here there are too, of course), but there wasn't really one entrance that was clearly The Main entrance...  Now, there is a clear main entrance, and when you come through the doors, you are entering the whole school with the option to head in whichever direction you would like.  Does that make sense?
2) The air conditioning!  It was so funny to see thermostats throughout the building!
3) The elevator!
4) The Early Childhood classrooms! WOW!  I am still super excited about Jackson's school for next year, but the Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten rooms just blew me away the other day!  They are large, bright, welcoming, and totally kid friendly :)
5) The feel of the main office.  As a parent, I find myself looking around as a prospective parent before I look around as a teacher or alum.  I would be pleased to walk into the main office and wait in the sitting area, if necessary.  Again, this area is large, bright, and welcoming.
6) Even though the building is larger, I feel like things are closer together!  Isn't that weird?  There were three distinct wings of the old building, but I think it just seemed like a longer trek to go from one place to another or to have to trek up to the main office.  I think the assignment of rooms is just right :)
7) It goes without saying, but the brand-new gym is amazing!  The old gym will always hold a special place in our hearts, but this one is so much more functional (and impressive)!
8) The amount of parking, including an underground garage!  The car line for the Early Childhood program is even located underground--a real plus for parents!
9) Paint colors and storage!  Each classroom has one accent wall painted in one of five colors.  All of the colors give the rooms a homey feel.  There is a crazy amount of storage in each classroom between counterspace, upper and lower cabinets, and large cabinets.
10) The amount of natural sunlight!  The size and number of windows in this building are awesome!  The majority of the windows are floor to ceiling on all sides of the building--there is natural light everywhere you look!

Check out more fun lists at Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The First Palio at 1200 Davis St.!

Jackson's second Palio, but the first one in the new building!!!
 Check out the new gym!  Roycemore built this from scratch, and it is perfect!  A far cry from the gym that always had visiting schools stop in their tracks when we played sports asking if that was really the gym...  The picture above is only HALF of the new gym!
Last year, Jackson thoroughly enjoyed his first Palio (I wrote a lot more detail about the history in this old post), and he really liked watching the kids again!  The Lower School's serpentine with the class banners definitely gave me chills, especially since it's easier to imagine Jackson as a first grader (obviously, not at Roycemore since the commute would be killer, but all the same)!  
 After the Lower School finishes their opening, all of the class banners come through from First Grade through Twelfth Grade.  The banner on the left is my old banner, and it is graduating this year!!!  We handed it down to this year's senior class when they were in Kindergarten.
 I love watching the banners cross and parade around the gym!
 Jackson sat still as a statue as Bampa greeted everyone, and then as the kids started their performances :)
 I stayed to watch the Middle and Upper School Palio, and this time I was quick enough to catch my old banner crossing in front of the Palio banner :)
 The opening number was "Phantom of the Opera," and this music definitely sounded familiar!
 Oh yeah, I USED to be able to do that!  LOL  Seriously, I could!  Now I can't even imagine doing a forward pregnant you feel when there are high schoolers flying through the air in front of you ;)
The Grand Finale this year was music from "The Mask of Zorro," and the kids did a GREAT job!  It was so fun to be back and a part of the excitement to watch the first show in the new gym :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy 36th Anniversary!!!

 My mom and dad have been married for 36 years as of Wednesday!!!  
 My dad bought my mom these beautiful yellow roses, and I thought they deserved a photo, so Jackson used that as his prop for his anniversary wish :)
I found this idea on Pinterest, and used it as the inspiration to create this for my mom and dad :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Two Boys Make a Messterpiece!

Jackson and Jonah had a super fun adventure at Make a Messterpiece in The Glen on Friday!!!  Cassie and I had wanted to try out this place for a while, but it is a pricey way to spend a morning/afternoon.  We jumped on the Groupon offer a couple months ago, and that was definitely the way to go!  We were a little nervous because Cassie and Jonah pulled up to a line of 30-40 kids waiting outside before they opened!!!  Luckily, this was a school group, and they had their own room reserved--phew!  Our Groupons were for the whole shebang: The Messiest Package ($22 normally, but we got it for $11!).  
 After checking in, getting dressed in a smock, and receiving our itinerary, we headed to our first timed activity: Creative Kitchen!  We got to participate in all six activities, but three were timed since they were more structured.  
Washing hands before getting started! (Bounty is a sponsor of MAM, and there were several handwashing stations throughout the store.)
The recipe for the day was Honey Granola!  The boys LOVED mixing their own bowls of ingredients and then putting them on a tray to bake!
Before heading to our next timed activity, the boys checked out Bubbleology.  I think this was Jonah's favorite :)  There were probably 12 of these metal bowl stations in the middle area.  Each bowl had a different colored bubble paint coming out.  
You put your sheet of paper in the bowl, push the button, and watch the bubbles pop on your paper and leave colored bubble prints behind!  SOOO cool!
The finished bubble painting project :)
Experimentation Station was our second timed activity, and the days activity was about worms!  
All goggled-up and ready to play scientist!
Jackson and Jonah got to drop some of the magic worm drops into their experiment.  The two things produced little, neon yellow worm-like things!  
Before heading to our last timed activity, the boys checked out the Splat-Tacular Tables!  The first thing they did was the science area.  There were supplies to check out samples of bugs and do rubbings over bug/insect stencils.
Lil' Sprouts was our last timed activity, and Jackson LOVED this!!!  They made butterfly suncatchers :)
First, they painted glue all over their wax paper.
Then, they added colored tissue paper squares to their glue papers.   
The butterfly cut-out went on last.
I was SHOCKED that Jackson wanted to go into Drum Roll.  Proud, but shocked ;)  There was a whole separate outfit to put on--rain jacket, rain pants, boots, and goggles!  There was a closed off room that had different instruments and watercolors.  The idea was to bang around and explore the sounds and the paint.  Jackson didn't stay in very long at all, but I was SO proud of him for trying it out :)
We headed back to the Splat-Tacular tables to end our visit.  There were several tables set up with different materials.  There were stamps, paint, stickers, various small items to glue on paper, and then easels set up with watercolors.  Jackson loved ALL of it!  Jonah really enjoyed exploring this area too--we think he dug the lack of structure and crowds ;)
Jackson painting with Mimi at the easels.
What a work of art :)
"I had a GREAT time :)"

Overall, I think we definitely went at a good age.  We almost felt like the boys were on the young side for some activities.  The advertisements for Make a Messterpiece states the activities are appropriate for ages 0-12.  Anything much younger than Jackson and Jonah would have the parent doing everything FOR the child.  I would not be thrilled if my field trip budget went towards a trip here... I do think this is a great birthday party location, and giving a gift certificate as a gift would be different and fun!  I would probably consider taking Jackson back if another Groupon pops up!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Belly Report: Different the Second Time Around

I LOVE this shirt, but it's not going to fit much longer, so I wanted a front shot of it too :)
(written Tuesday, March 13th)
We are just over 27 weeks through this pregnancy!  I cannot believe that at yesterday's appointment the nurse told me we are going to start coming every TWO WEEKS!  I actually asked her if she was sure!  HA!  I had my regular check-up yesterday along with my glucose test.  Josh was super-excited for Jackson to hang out with him at work while I sat at our OB's office for the hour-long test.  The orange stuff seemed to taste a bit better than four years ago, and the whole thing went smoothly.  Sammy's heartbeat was about 154--super active!  The doctor was pleased with everything, so that part of the visit went really quickly.  I am measuring right on track for how far along we are, and everything seems good :)  I'm not expecting any surprises in the glucose test, but I will feel better once I know for sure everything looks good!

I already know that the biggest challenge I will face with Sammy is remembering he is a completely different child than Jackson.  I just know myself, and I know that this is the lesson I will be working on learning while getting to know him.  That being said, I suppose I'm practicing by learning that each pregnancy is different.  I KNEW that going in, but it's not until different things happen that you really "get it!"  Of course one big difference with this pregnancy is already having an almost 3 1/2 year old!  I do not generally enjoy extra attention focused on me--I didn't even want Josh and me to be formally introduced at our wedding!  Yeah, it's that bad...  But, I did really enjoy the attention on this little person I was growing while I was pregnant with Jackson.  I learned pretty early on that it wasn't going to be quite like that this time around since there is a lot of focus on Jackson becoming a Big Brother--and rightfully so!  But, Josh and I tried taking Jackson to the doctor with us early on, and I realized that if possible I REALLY wanted that time to be just Josh and me.  It might sound silly, but I needed to know that at those appointments, I would have his complete attention.  Thankfully, we are surrounded by wonderful friends who don't mind hanging out with Jackson while we get Sammy checked out :)

So, that all being said, I know some of my increased crankiness is due to not being able to just stop whenever I want and rest for me.  I need to try to rest when Jackson is in a restful mood (and really he's pretty good!).  I am definitely bigger at this point than I was at Jackson, so bending down has been harder for longer.  I also notice my feet and legs hurting, which I don't really remember from last time at all.  I was standing and ironing Josh's work shirts the other night and my feet were killing me afterwards!  On the bright side, I am sleeping really well still!  I was definitely expecting to be more uncomfortable by now!  I am using a pillow more frequently between my knees or under my belly, but that's an easy fix!

Sammy is about the size of a head of cauliflower this week (about 2 pounds in weight and 14 1/2 inches long)!  Sammy's brain is very active now and he is opening and closing his eyes, sucking his fingers, and sleeping and waking at regular intervals.  He continues to move ALL the time :)

(written Sunday, March 18th)
We are now 28 weeks along!  Josh and I never got a chance to check out our weekly update together (my fault), so I didn't have those details to add in to the first part of this post!  (But, I added them after we caught up on two weeks at once!)  So, now it's a two-parter :)  Jackson and I flew to Chicago on Thursday morning, and my feet and ankles were so swollen by that night!  It has gotten better, but they are still pretty puffy :(  I am hoping this is residual from the flight and not the new norm...  I made it all the way through the summer when I was pregnant with Jackson without much swelling at all!  My heartburn has gotten more severe when it happens :(  And, even thought I hadn't posted the first part of this update yet, I seemed to jinx myself in the sleeping department :(  That might be due to the crazy hot/humid temperatures we had last week...  The last couple nights at Mom and Dad's have been better.  The temps here are more moderate, and perfect for sleeping with the windows open :)

Sammy is now about the size of a Chinese cabbage (about 2.25 pounds and almost 15 inches in length)!  Sammy's eyesight is continuing to develop, and he might be able to see some light filtering in through the womb--crazy!  His brain is developing billions of neurons, and he is continuing to fatten up for life on the other side!  The 27 week update did mention that Sammy's lungs still have a ways to go until they are finished developing, but he would have a good chance of surviving outside of the womb at this point (with tons of medical attention, of course).  That is a slight relief...

Flashbacks: Cauliflower Head
Chinese Cabbage Anyone???

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Fun!

Jackson also wore his basketball shirt in honor of Day #3 of March Madness :)

 Kim came over for some playtime in the morning!  We also took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked to Herms' for lunch :)
 After naptime, Mimi and I took Jackson to McDonald's to have his first Shamrock Shake!!!  These have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember, and I was looking forward to sharing one with him this year!
 He LOVED it and drank the majority of this large much for sharing!  Then he managed to put away a full dinner about an hour later!
 We also took Jackson's new book: The Big Sibling Book written by the amazing Amy Krouse Rosenthal!  She now has a multi-book series including: Bride to be Book, The Belly Book, My Baby Book, The Grandparent Book, Your Birthday Book, and The Big Sibling Book.  I LOVE how fabulous this series looks on my bookshelf--what a wonderful group of keepsake journals to remember some of the most important memories in life :)  I am SO sad that Bride to be Book was just written so I don't have that filled out for our wedding, and My Baby Book didn't come out until after Jackson's first year, so we don't have that baby book for him :(  Otherwise, we are working on keeping up with the whole series!!!
We filled out the beginning part, and Jackson got to draw a picture of himself, our family, and our house.  He also answered questions about how he feels about becoming a big brother (excited!), what he wants to do with the baby (play peek-a-boo), and details about our family :)