23 December 2011


Sending you wishes for a 2012 full of...








and laughter.

Happy New Years from The Lindseys.

Oh, and here's a shameless dump of more cute pictures of little man and the fam.

14 December 2011

Sheridan's Debut Performance

Sheridan's class hosted a Holiday Tea & Sing... the children sang about 10 holiday songs (plus three songs about the geography they are learning: the continents and the countries in North & South America). Two songs were in Spanish. After the singing, everyone enjoyed the cookies the children baked in class. 

The Program

This was Sheridan's debut musical performance. I mean, c'mon. This is big, y'all. He's in his element, right?! His friends, music, singing, gestures for each song. He is going to rock. it. out.

Eat your heart out. That's right. He busted out with a tie and matching chucks.

He's been singing all of these songs nonstop. Every day. It took me a couple weeks to figure out what he was singing - Up on the Rooftop is definitely his favorite, followed by Cascabel and La Pulga de San Jose (which he actually calls La Guitarra because part of the song is about playing a guitar). 

Yep, you read that correctly. Sheridan is singing songs in Spanish. Don't even get me started on how proud I am of him...

So the moment arrives. The audience is standing room only (at least 70 adults in the room?), everyone is hushed, the children walk in and take their places...

And Sheridan... just... sits there. 

Sitting in the front, fourth from the right.

When I say he sat there, I mean that's all he did. You could tell he was just taking in the sea of people in front of him. And he watched his classmates sing around him.

Originally, we tried to hide and make sure he wouldn't spot us in the crowd, thinking he might be distracted. But then Gary felt that Sheridan was trying to find us in the mass crowd of people. So, we stood up and made sure Sheridan could see us singing along. He got excited. Gave us a few waves.

I love his waves here...

And you know what? I'm very proud of him for sitting with his classmates through the entire show. Because other kids were dropping like flies. Some of the other children either had to go sit down with their families or a teacher, and a couple refused to even be part of the concert.

His teachers were proud of him, too. After the concert, one of the moms (she volunteers in the classroom one day a week) said she's seen all the children practicing for weeks, and she pointed at Sheridan and smiled and said, "I've seen you sing these songs! I know you can sing them." Sheridan laughed.

As soon as we got to the cookie part of the evening he started singing to the whole room full of people. Stinker.

Grandpa & Nanny Airplane were there. So was Nonna, but I didn't get a picture :(

Some pictures of Sheridan and his classmates...

It's a big decision: the cookie, or the pretty girl?

How about both?

I definitely need to write a post about Sheridan's school. He loves it. We love it. They love him. Can you tell?

I'll post something soon...

13 December 2011

Discussion of the Owies

Sheridan's open heart surgery to repair his four congenital heart defects was back in May 2010, a full 18 months ago. His recovery was quick and amazing. And he never really paid much attention to his resulting scar, until now.

His Becca's dad (Mr. Jimmy) had his third open heart surgery about a month ago. One of Mr. Jimmy's first requests upon his release from the hospital was to see Sheridan (Sheridan really is a true member of their family). And Sheridan saw Mr. Jimmy's "zipper." And the two of them had a conversation about each other's "owies." So, for the first time, he had an interest and cause to talk about his scar.

I can't explain why, but I'm really happy that Sheridan is talking about it. Maybe it's his awareness that he's not the only one who has a scar. Maybe it's because I get to tell him what an amazing little man he his - a true Big Boy - that he had surgery and was tough and now he's ok. Better, even. 

The only drawback to this new-found interest: Sheridan is intent on finding an owie on everyone now. Ladies, be warned. He will try to pull your shirt down to look at your chest. He's only looking for a scar, though... I think.

I showed him my scar from a laparoscopic surgery I had on my stomach years ago. He likes to talk about "Mama's owie" and "Daddy's owie" (remember Gary's life-saving surgery on Sheridan's second birthday?) and his own owie. It's interesting to see how important it is to Sheridan that we all have owies, even if they are different. Almost like it's comforting, but also because he really likes to be just like us.

I'm curious to see over time how he reacts to (or doesn't care about) his scar. It was one of my biggest concerns before his surgery, and even after meeting a young man who was proud of his scar, I was still concerned for Sheridan. Now I don't give it a second thought, even though it is quite large and noticeable (he developed a pretty significant keloid). Check it out for yourself in this video I posted six months ago.

He's definitely gonna rock that scar, his girlfriends will think he's SO cool for having it, and he'll take comfort in knowing he's not the only person with one.

03 December 2011

My Little Drummer Boy

I'm not going to lie... these are not Sheridan's best (most intense, non-stop, feverish) drumming moves. But you get a little flavor of it. And his singing. There's a bit of a lull in the middle (I need to teach him to keep his eyes on the road), but it's worth watching to the end for his rockstar dismount.

01 December 2011

Independence = Responsibility

That's right. In this house, if you are a fiercely independent three-year-old boy, you get added responsibilities. Because that's just the way things work in life, right?!

With every new step toward independence, we've always been ready to bump up Sheridan's level of participation around the house. Even things as simple as:

Hanging up his coat when he comes home. We had this "dead" space in his room, it's too small or in-the-way to put furniture or anything else next to his door, so about a year ago I bought those easy-remove hooks and put them at toddler level. Now, whenever it's time to go outside, he grabs his own coat. And when he takes it off, he hangs it up himself.

Putting his books on his shelf. Sheridan has a small bookshelf in the living room (we try to rotate the books regularly, meaning I bring books from his big bookshelf in his room out to the living room so he has easier access to them - note to self, I need to rotate them more frequently). This small bookshelf allows him to see everything, and he's really good about grabbing a book (or 2 or 3) and putting them back when he's done.

Putting his hats away. We have limited space in our house, so that means a small corner of the bookshelf in his bedroom doubles as his hat shelf. This isn't really about pure neatness, it's just about Sheridan knowing where his hats belong, and he can get one (and put it away) all by himself.

Setting the table. Sheridan loves to help set the table. He grabs the plates from the cupboard one-by-one, puts them on the table, and puts out the silverware, too. And this is a prime example of an activity that requires that we, as parents, need to get over it let go. Yes, Sheridan has broken a few bowls and a couple plates by accidentally dropping them. But these are the kind of activities and skills that toddlers are hungry for! He wants to explore, and do what we do, and copy us, and try everything. If we told him no (out of legitimate concern that he might break something), not only does it mean it will take him longer to learn (because he gets no practice), but I also think that by the time he's "old enough" to do it, he won't want to (and we'd have to "force" him to help). As far as Sheridan is concerned, helping us is a privilege, one he is eager to do. So, it's worth a few broken dishes to me. Or try plastic for a while!

This is the most settings Sheridan has ever done. He set our Thanksgiving dinner table all by himself. After some negotiation Gary finally received utensil so he didn't have to eat with his hands.

Sweeping. Yes. Sweeping. Whenever we sweep, Sheridan gets excited and asks to help. So I found a toddler-sized broom online and we pull it out whenever he wants to help. Which typically means that he sweeps the pile of dirt you've created and spreads it back around the room. So clean up takes three times as long, but it's fine.

Oh, and see the washer/dryer back there? He loves to help switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

Everything has a place. The thing I love about these bins (thank you IKEA!!!!) is that Sheridan can just dump stuff in when he cleans up. It just so happens that he typically puts items back in the bin from which he grabbed them, but it's not about making everything neat... it's just about putting things in a place where they belong. Same with the shoes - we just line them up on top of the shelf (yes, I'm aware that's simply too many pair of shoes for a three-year-old to own, but he has wardrobe needs).

But don't rule out neatness all together... We do have two shelves in our living room that are kept nice and tidy. Partly because we don't keep much on the shelves, and partly because Sheridan typically takes only one item from the shelf at a time. When he's done, he puts it right back in it's original spot. So it sort of stays neat all on its own. Sheridan has done a great job learning that he can choose what he wants to do, play until his heart is content (which can range from 2 minutes to 34 minutes, you ever know), and he will clean up independently (most of the time).

Now, I don't want you to think that Sheridan is some strange alien child from outer space that always follows directions, always cleans up with a smile, and always does these things independently. And I don't want you to think that my house is always neat and tidy. Absolutely. Not. Sometimes it looks like a tornado came through. And Sheridan's really good about following through on his responsibilities much of the time, but he has a stubborn streak and when he doesn't want to do it, he doesn't. want. to do it. So sometimes we guide him, sometimes we help him. But we are consistent, even when it is difficult. He knows his responsibilities (e.g., that toys need to be put away when you're done with them). And we don't do "chores" or anything like that. We just try to make it part of our every day routine so Sheridan gradually can contribute to our home and family...

His favorite contribution: Cooking! Sheridan makes a mean pizza. And toast, and eggs, and crockpot fried rice... he likes to help as much as possible in the cooking department.

The Learning Tower is one of the best kid-gear investments I ever made.

Don't worry. He knows to never touch the stove/oven and that he can only look through the window (here, he's watching our salmon broil - one of his favorite foods)

I will admit the kitchen is one area where I need to really let go and let him explore and try more (in terms of food prep). Typically it's hard because I'm on a tight timeline to get dinner made or get him out the door to school, and I know if I let him crack an egg I won't have time to change his clothes. But I need to learn to slow down more so he can get those new experiences that will be messy. The other morning he actually cracked his first egg (behind my back while I was getting something out of the fridge). And he was so gentle with it that it barely cracked and didn't make a mess. The whisking of the eggs is his favorite, and can get messy, but I love that one day his new-found responsibility will mean I have my own personal, live-in chef!

What responsibilities does your little one have around the house? I'd love to get new ideas for how to help Sheridan work on both his independence/responsibilities, and especially those that double as practice for important developmental skills. Please share!