Sunday, December 12, 2010

Next Year's Calendar is half way finished.

While in Denver we took Declan to the Children's Museum which had an interactive firetruck display.   They also had this computer that taught children that if they want fireman to come to their house, just dial 9-1-1.  Declan is a 9-1-1 natural.

I foresee no problems whatsoever.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fiesta Texas!

Also in San Antonio, we made a trip to Fiesta Texas, which features WigglesWorld.  Declan loved the Wiggles - it was his go to TV-show for a lonnnng time. I don't know if it was the Wiggles branding or what, but Declan had a fabulous time.

riding with Grandpa

You can't tell, but I am confronting my fear of ferris wheels in this picture.  Also what you can't see, the thing completely malfunctioned and we had to be evacuated.  I. was. terrified.

first hot chocolate

Thanksgiving in San Antonio

While in San Antonio we headed to SeaWorld for the day.  We took a behind the scenes tour that allowed us to see the park in the morning before it opened.  We got to feed dolphins and seals and have some other animal encounters.   This is definitely the way to see the park- no crowds.

A lizard named Genoble (sp?).

The trainers in the Shamu show don't get in the water with the Orcas anymore.  Guess they rethought that strategy.  Still wearing the whale outfits though.  That might get them in trouble one day.
This was such a fun day, as Declan is *just* getting the idea of exciting plans.  When I told him in the morning we were going to SeaWorld to feed dolphins, he replied "We are having an adventure!"  Several times during the day he would say that "this is so much fun".  That's the first time he's said anything abstract like that.  So I guess we just have to up the excitement ante around here to get that boy talking. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast

Declan's preschool had their annual preschool feast yesterday.  There was a very cute programme with each of the preschool classes singing two songs. There was a class of pilgrims, a class of Indians, and Declan's class- a class of turkeys.  I knew this would be a challenge for him - singing in front of a couple hundred strangers, so my only hope was that he would wear his turkey hat.  I got my wish.  It was all very adorable, but the actual performance went a bit sideways. 
Click here if you enjoy cruelty to turkeys.

When the turkeys took the stage, Declan did okay until he noticed me sitting pretty much right in front of him. He got a big laugh when he tried to leap off the stage to get to me. He cried through the rest of the songs but gamely tried to do a few of the actions anyway. The show must go on.
Afterwards, we shared a feast with all the preschoolers, their parents and grandparents.  It was pretty sweet.  And Declan wore his turkey hat for the next 6 hours.   I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Declan Phelps

When Declan was 6 months old we did a mommy and me swim class, but only for a couple of lessons.  It was expensive and just involved singing the alphabet to the babies while we dragged them through the water.  I figured that  I could do that without paying someone for the privilege.  But at our first class I took this picture which remains one of my favourites:

I just wanted an excuse to post that cute picture.  Anyway, after a 2 year hiatus we have resumed swim lessons.   He got so comfortable in the water this summer that I didn't want to lose the momentum over the winter months.  So a few lessons in and now Declan can swim a couple of strokes on his own.  Awesome!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scientific Observations

Since Declan has been slow coming into language, I have made some observations that might pass other parents by.   The more words children acquire, the more unreasonable demands they make.  This is a direct, straight line correlation.  Thanks to a year of intensive speech therapy with the good folks at Access Schools, Declan's demands are now pretty incessant. 

Whenever we are in the car, he points the opposite direction to where we are headed and demands to go the other way.  Whatever song is playing in the car, Declan demands "Different song on!"  Apparently, Mama's little hipster hates every song ever written.  A couple of weeks ago, Declan woke us up at 3 AM hollering that he wanted to go to the pumpkin patch and wanted to go NOW.  Almost daily I get a demand to go either to the airport or the grocery store.  How did he intuit the two places I least enjoy taking him to?  I have no idea.
Here is his demand this morning. It's a crummy video, but kind of a tearjerker if your name happens to be either Grandma or Grandpa.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Tonight we went to an authentic Mexican fiesta - it was our housekeeper Sylvia's daughter's 3rd birthday.  Apparently in Mexican culture, the 3rd birthday for girls is a mini-quinceanera.  A tresanera if you will.  So it was a 3rd birthday with a rented hall, catered dinner a dj, and a 100+ guests.

I think these people just like to party.

Declan had a great time running around after all the other kids.  None of whom apparently have bedtimes. 

After the big kids finished a rousing game of musical chairs, Declan dragged his own chair into the center of the room and climbed up on it as if to say "What's the big deal?".

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Actual Hallowe'en Day: Part 2

As darkness approached, Declan transformed into the purple crayon yet again, and we headed to a neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat.
Papa and Yaya came along.

There were all sorts of fun games and feats of strength the children had to perform in order to earn their candy.
Here you can see Declan master the ring toss.



We met up with Declan's friend Abbey who was masquerading as an adorable Alice in Wonderland.

After Trunk-or-Treat we returned to our neighbourhood for a little actual trick-or-treating. Declan rode his Buzz Lightyear ATV all around the neighborhood and seemed to be thrilled to be riding around a) on the streets b) in the dark and c) without a helmet. He did so great with his actual "trick-or-treat" greeting. His speech therapist, Miss Abby has been working hard on that phrase this week, and we have heard it morph from "trick-or-eat" last week into a pretty strong straight up "trick-or-treat". Our neighborhood was a bit of a bust - a lot of empty bowls left out on unattended front porches. One old lady actually gave Declan a quarter. Seriously? I guess she ran out of buffalo nickels.

 I can make mock her with impunity on here as I'm pretty sure anyone still handing out quarters on Hallowe'en isn't on the internet.

All in all, it was a wonderful hallowe'en. I have a strong suspicion that I am going to be hearing some clamoring tomorrow along the lines of "go trick-or-treat", or at the very least "put crayon on". We shall see.


Actual Hallowe'en Day: Part 1

We started off the day with Hallowe'en doughnuts at Krispy Kreme.
Then off to one last trip to the pumpkin patch before October ends.

We had a swinging good time.

It was all the usual pumpkin patch entertainment, with tractor rides and hay mazes, when off in the distance Declan spotted the cow train - a line of cattle cars made out of 40 gallon drums pulled by a tractor.

The caption to this picture was "Mommy toooooo..."

So I got to take some action shots from aboard the cow train.


Four times.

All this and we haven't even put on the crayon costume yet.

Preschool Parade

So Friday was Declan's preschool parade.  Basically all the kids aged 5 - 21 that go to Access sit down in the cafeteria together with all the parents of the preschool kids.  Everyone then claps and cheers as the preschool kids walk by in their Hallowe'en costumes. 

This is Declan with his classmates walking by in the parade.

Click here to see the actual parade.

There really was nothing to it, but I felt ridiculously proud of that little purple crayon. And doesn't he seem to be pretty proud of himself too?

That afternoon I got to go back for the class Hallowe'en party. It was my first time getting to see Declan's class in action, and it was so much fun to see him do crafts, have snack and then have circle time.  He has a great teacher, Ms. Suzanne, and everything about her class is just delightful.  I wish I could sit in everyday. 

circle time