Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things we do here, in Raleigh

What do Mark and I do during the week? We do lots of cool stuff. Usually we follow some kind of schedule, but of course things change and we try to stay flexible.

Mondays are our nothing-special-scheduled days. Sometimes we have playdates and other times we go to the library. Other times we go to the science museum in the Downtown.

We recently started going to the Russian day-care on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mark is the youngest child there and there are usually 4-5 others. At first I was worried that he'd hate it, but I was so very wrong. He really loved it from the first day. Well, he already knew the teacher; it's the same woman that teaches his Saturday class at the Russian school. Other kids are Alex, 5; Alexei, 5; Varya, 5; her little sister, Tasya, 3; and Ella, 3. So Mark is the baby. When I come to pick him up, the kids say "Baby, your mommie is here!". But they all like him and treat him really well. I think he gets along with all of them.
He loves watching the boys doing cartwheels and running and jumping around. And he doesn't just watch and laugh; he tries to imitate them too! He even started doing sommersaults (with my help, of course). He likes the youngest of the girls, Tasya. She can be a bit bossy, but he holds her hand and they walk together and even talk! So now he repeats some of the things she says and in the same tone of voice; things like "come over", "here", "there", "what's this" - in a very bossy way. Another thing he repeats after her is "ouch!" - he loves it and laughs every time he says it.

Anyway, another thing Mark does now on Tuesdays and Thursdays is swimming lessons. Of course, Mark is much too young to learn swimming, but he learns to not be afraid of water. Chris takes him to the pool in the evenings. I don't go, so I don't have any pictures. But I've heard good things about the lessons.

On Wednesdays I now take him to the Tumble Bunnies class at a YMCA. It's a bit far, but it's worth the trip. A couple of his little friends go there too. The instructors set up a mini-obstacle course that changes each time. Mark does very well, even on the balance beam. And then the kids play with a big parachute and that's absolutely Mark's favorite thing!

Then on Wednesday afternoons we have physical therapy. Mark is doing great now. He's really improving. He goes from sitting to standing to laying down without thinking twice. His balance is much better now; he crawls and climbs and goes down the slides; he twirls around and bounces; he can almost run; and he climbs up the stairs really well. We still have plenty of things to work on though.

On Fridays we also have a free day. Again we have playdates and go to the museums and parks. We try to have a arts lesson at least once a week now that Mark likes drawing with crayons and doesn't mind playdough as long as he gets to use the Fun Factory. And we try to go to the children's museum called Marbles. Also, we go to the Pullen park where we ride carousel and the train and now the boats.