February 24, 2008

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by Christy

What happened to the days when we updated this website every month or so? We're more than a little behind here, so we'll catch up as best we can. Maybe we'll be more punctual when the new baby comes, but, maybe not...

Anders is now "2 and three-quarters," a phrase he learned pretty fast when we started saying it. He is adapting well to school, and goes pretty happily into his classrooms most days now. There were some rough spots in the first few weeks, but he has friends and seems to be enjoying his "work." We had a conference with his teacher, and she says that he is a calm presence in the classroom, a welcome addition. He is a little shy with the other kids still and talks quietly, but participates in group activities and has had lots of lessons on the different activities in the classroom.

Anders' big school moment was in the first or second week. Every Friday at the beginning of the day the whole school gathers in the big commons room for "Community Gathering." Kids sign up during the week to get up and sing a song or tell a story (usually they sing a song), and usually one of the classrooms will do a group song too. Parents are welcome to watch, and I usually stay and sit with Anders. On the first day we were there, the kids announcing the acts said that there was a little time left at the end if anyone wanted to perform. I whispered to Anders that he might want to sing "Jazz Man" sometime, and he thought that was a great suggestion, got up off my lap, and went right to the front of the room! (There is a video of him singing a little part of the song, but I didn't have the camera with me at school). He was a little quiet, but looked around while he sang and gained confidence as he went. He would forget the next number and I tried to prompt him, but he got caught in a loop of going back to 3, so after he paused at one point everyone started clapping and I reached out to him, when he came back to sit with me. He did great, and I couldn't believe his courage! I was nervous for him the whole time, probably more nervous than he was. When he went back to 3 once people started to laugh a little, not at him, but it was so cute. I was scared that he would get embarrassed, but he went right on. Pretty impressive for a little guy. It's hard to believe that he is at all shy at school!

We also rented a trumpet for a few months, so that he could see what it was like to play one. He has taken a shine to Dizzy Gillespie, so it seemed appropriate, and it is an instrument that little kids can get some sound out of without too much effort (you basically blow a raspberry into the mouthpiece to make a sound). He still likes Charles Mingus too, but I don't think an upright bass is something you can rent for a few months, and isn't quite his size. I went to his classroom for about an hour one morning for show-and-tell with trumpet and read a few of his jazz books to the kids. They were pretty interested, and Anders was bouncing off the walls. He really wanted to be the center of attention, and he was pretty proud too.

Ted and I are busy with our work and school at OSU. Ted took a trip to Washington DC last week, but should be done travelling until after the baby is born. I continue to feel well while my belly gets bigger every day. We had a good ultrasound and everything seems to be on track. We chose not to find out the gender, so that will be a fun surprise. Of course, Anders thinks it's a boy. Sometimes he "hears the baby talking," usually saying "googoo gaga." He talks to the baby sometimes too, but kinda whispers and I usually can't hear much of what he says. He has been very sweet about the baby and is excited about it. Sometimes he gets impatient and wants to know when the baby is coming.

We are seeing the first signs of spring here, with 50 degree weather and the buds starting to form on the trees. The crocuses are out and we had a string of sunny days last week, which is a welcome change around here. We will still mostly have rain for the next month or so, but it's always nice to see the sun when we can get any little chance.

Take care, our loved ones, and keep in touch.