Our sweet boy, Caleb, starts preschool

I can’t believe my baby is old enough to go to preschool!  Everyone tells you that the time flies, but you don’t believe them until you have your own child.  Caleb turned 3 in August and started preschool in September.  He is doing so well and learning a lot.  I can’t believe the things that come out of his mouth sometimes.  And, I love to watch him when he doesn’t know it to see how he figures things out.  Like the other day, he was taking a while to wash his hands in the bathroom, so I peeked around the corner to see what he was up to.  He had splashed water all over the mirror and countertop.  He got the towel and wiped up the countertop and part of the mirror, but he couldn’t reach one side of the mirror.  So, he paused for a minute, trying to figure out how he was going to clean the rest of it.  Then, he hopped off the toilet and moved his stool over so that it was in front of the countertop, but he still couldn’t reach the mirror with the towel.  So, he paused again for a moment, and then proceeded to throw the towel at the mirror multiple times to get the water off.  Then, he moved his stool back over to the toilet, put the towel away, and turned the light off.  I was amused and amazed at the solution he came up with to clean the mirror.  It’s funny things like that everyday that make life as a mom so much fun.
 
Back to preschool…it was hard at first to say goodbye and leave him two half-days a week, but it has also been a huge blessing.  I have lots of doctor appointments, so it’s been so convenient to schedule them while Caleb is at preschool.  He is learning so much and so quickly.  He’s such a bright kid….takes after his daddy!  He knows all of us alphabet and their sounds.  He can read quite a few words and anytime he sees letters, he tries to sound them out.  It’s so cute!  He’s in the "why phase".  I literally cannot say anything without him responding, "Why?"  Sometimes it’s exhausting as I run out of explanations, but I love his curiosity and desire to learn.  Don and I find ourselves saying to each other, "Caleb is such a good kid" on a daily basis.  He is so considerate and has the ability of being able to pick up on people’s emotions and thoughtfully respond.  When I’m tired, he asks me if I want to lay down.  When I’m stressed, he says he has a surprise for me and gives me one of his toys.  When Don comes home from work, Caleb says, "How was work, dad?"  Whenever he gets stickers from the store, he takes one, gives one to me, and then says he’s saving the rest for Dad/his cousins/his friends.  The other night, Don was laying with him, and Caleb kept asking him questions like, "Do you want the nightlight on or off?", "Which animal do you want to hold?", "Do you want the door open or closed?", "Are you comfortable?".  He’s always so concerned about other people.  It is a trait that I’m sure will get him far in life.  We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful son.
 
Caleb's First Day of PreschoolCaleb and his teacher, Miss DianeCaleb's New Tricycle

 
 
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Chicken Palooza: XXXIII

We had another Chicken Palooza for my 33rd Birthday.  This year, in an effort to be more healthy and offset the effects of obscene amounts of deep-fried chicken, we offered a 2.9 mile run that ended at the Redmond KFC, deemed the "Chicken Run".  Part of this was also an answer to my wife’s concern that Chicken Palooza was getting a bit out of hand, and she couldn’t handle hosting this party at our house in her pregnant state. 
The weather forecast had been predicting showers all week which had me a bit concerned, but Saturday morning it was merely overcast.  When we started driving to the drop off spot, it started raining.  I was dropped off on NE 124th St. and the Sammamish Trail.  There was no place to park.  When I started walking down toward the trail, I noticed that there were 6 foot fences with a sign that said the Trail was closed.  On one end of the fence, it turned into barbed wire that was 3 feet high.  I thought we might be able to jump over the barbed wire, but then thought of the horrible repercussions of not quite making it.  I reluctantly crossed over to the other side of the overpass, where luckily there was a clear path to the Sammamish trail. 
We had three faithful friends that participated in the "Chicken Run" – Christie, Teresa,  and Kyle.  Christie and Teresa recently completed an Iron Man up in Canada a few months ago.  That’s the race where they swim for 2+ miles, bike for hundreds of miles, then cap it off with a full marathon (26.2 miles) at the end.  Although I’m sure our run wasn’t even worthy of a warm-up for them, I’m glad they decided to slum it with me for half an hour.   
As we neared the end, Kyle was winning, but took a fall for me and ran into a light post (not quite by accident) allowing me to win.  His wife and kids were parked in the KFC parking lot, probably worried about his faux-accident.  When we stepped in the KFC, we were the first ones there.  The plan was that Tenille would drive to KFC first and have the buckets of chicken ready.  The runners took a few tables and waited, probably making the KFC staff wonder what we were doing?  (Oh no, not some more animal activists on a sit-in…)   Luckily Tenille arrived shortly thereafter, along with many of our good friends.  We cleaned out 4 full buckets of chicken and took over most of the restaurant.  The staff seemed a bit alarmed… they probably would have preferred the protesters….
The Kersavages made a trophy for us (which I got to keep, thanks to Kyle’s gratuitous accident).  All participants got a Chicken Palooza T-shirt – and by "all" I mean guys… because I doubt any self-respecting lady would wear a home-made t-shirt.
Fun was had by all, and everyone had their fill of deep-fried chicken… until next year…   A big thanks to Tenille – who ran around crazy to make Chicken Palooze happen again. 
 IMG_5459    Chicken Run