We are undergoing the biggest transition that the school has seen since we opened up 2.5 years ago. Things started changing in September when we were offered to move to a different space and expand. Since that time, a LOT has changed and we never could have anticipated that we would be where we are now. I’ll spare you all the boring details and give you the final product.
In a nutshell, we are expanding our offerings and opening a new location. As you may know, we had a crowd-funding campaign going last month to raise money to open the new location. Well, because of the publicity that the campaign received, we got a better offer from a different space and have decided to move there instead! So in June, we will begin leasing two classrooms from the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center, just a minute from our Freret location. Since this space is already renovated, we will be able to use the money we raised in our crowd-funding campaign on some changes to our current space. Our plan is to put two walls in our Kindermusik room and turn it into 3 private lesson rooms. Then we’ll have 6 private lesson rooms total. The current space will be just for private lessons and the Broadmoor location will be just for group classes. We will sublet out the Broadmoor classrooms to other programs while it isn’t in use for Kindermusik.
The past few weeks have been really busy, but a lot of fun too. Paul went on a 9-day tour with the Mike Dillon band, then it was Easter, then French Quarter Fest. On top of that, the school has been in a BIG transition so I’ve had a lot of meetings recently getting everything sorted out. I’ll make this a picture post, then do a separate post about the school’s changes.
Sebastien at Touch-a-Truck with his friends from our babysitting co-op. I was working and Paul was on tour, so we are lucky to have friends who offered to take him!
Trip to the aquarium when Papa was away.
He found this branch at the park, called it a saxophone, and marched around “playing” it. What can I say, he’s a NOLA kid!
The Children’s Museum has a mini Winn Dixie!
With Viola and Fiona at Calliope (6) and Fiona’s (1) joint birthday party.
It’s festival season! Watching Sweet Crude with Lydia at Freret Fest.
Our Easter “baskets”. Paul and I have been enjoying pour-over coffee, so the Easter bunny brought us a fancy kettle to make it easier. Sebby received some books, ABC flash cards, a stuffed frog, and (his favorite) a Thomas the Train toy.
At French Quarter Fest last weekend, Sebby enjoyed his first snoball!
Pizza playdate with Ben.
I don’t think I can officially say that Sebastien is potty-trained, but we’re well on our way! At the urging of my older siblings- more experienced parents- we bought some big boy underpants and started doing this thing for real. Potty training was the only aspect of parenting that really unnerved me to think about. I just couldn’t understand how that would happen. But it’s actually going quite well.
Starting back in the fall (when Sebby was around 18-19 months), we started letting him sit on his little potty. A friend lent it to me, so I thought why not? And right from the very first time, he peed in the potty and was an adorable mixture of surprised and proud. From then until a few weeks ago, we took it very slowly and didn’t push it. When we were home, we let him just be naked and he would go on the potty when he needed to, occasionally forgetting and having an accident if he was very wrapped up in his play. But we were only doing it at home.
But then when I was recounting all of this to my older, wiser siblings a couple weeks ago in Denver after Ryan’s surgery, they advised me to take advantage of his momentum and get the big boy underpants and start doing it for real. So we did, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it’s been. He was obviously ready for it.
Now he wears his underpants everywhere and gets a kick out of using the potty at the various different places we visit (the park, the library, restaurants, etc.). I thought this would be a lot harder. It’s actually not that bad!
He never really answered the question after he turned one, but now he will proudly exclaim, “TWO!” when someone asks him how old he is.
At two, Sebastien is a typical toddler in that he vacillates between wanting complete independence and needing the security of Mama and Papa. For example, he wants to do everything (put his shoes on, buckle the straps in his stroller, turn the pages of the book, etc.) by himself, but if I step out of the room and leave him to it, he will follow me and hang out in whatever room I’m in. He’ll happily play by himself in his room if I’m sitting in the room with him. He’ll happily color at the kitchen table or make pretend pasta with the pots and pans if I’m in the kitchen with him. It’s fun seeing his emerging independence and I love coming up with new ways to let him help that are actually helpful. He will unload the dishwasher with me (silverware completely on his own), put clothes in the washer (still have to train him to check the pockets), and hold and empty the dustpan while I sweep. Good little helper! Let’s hope this lasts.
I took him in for his 2 year check up today and apparently he’s plateauing a bit with his height and weight. At every previous appointment, he’s been in the 95th percentile or above, and today he was in the 50th. Doctor wasn’t worried one bit, but maybe he won’t end up taking after his uncle Will after all!
Birthday present this year was a toy piano. He loves it! He sings “Twinkle Twinkle” while playing along.
The cake! He said he wanted his birthday to be “diggers and planes”.
Say cheese! I think he enjoyed the digger more than the actual cake.
He received so many nice gifts! Lots of books and educational toys. He has been enjoying them immensely since it had been a while since we got him any new toys.
I’m a bit late with the Mardi Gras post, but here are some pics from our week!
Thursday night- Muses. Sebby slept through it! That’s my beer, in case you were wondering.
The Saturday before MG happened to fall on Valentine’s Day! Sebby made a card for Papa.
Happy with the Valentine’s Day treat from Marmee!
Saturday parade-watching with R.J., Ellie, and Aunt Genny.
Walking back after a parade with his favorite throw- a horn.
And Valentine’s Day also happens to be Gramps’ birthday! He got a gigantic king cake this year because the bakery made a mistake.
Thoth Sunday- uptown with friends! Sebby got lots of miles on his dinosaur costume.
Taking a break from Thoth to cool off (that dinosaur costume gets hot!) and eat some jambalaya.
Lundi Gras. This is what a construction site looks like during a parade. This year, there was a lot of street work on the parade route.
And we didn’t actually do much on Mardi Gras day, because- for the second year in a row- it was freezing! We just went to lunch and hung around inside.
Awesome name puzzle from my best friend, Caroline.
We have been SICK over here! Sebby and I both had the flu, although he got over it way quicker than I did. I’m still dealing with some lingering issues. Paul managed to squeak by without getting it, thankfully.
Kitchen helper. He loves to “make pastas”.
Paul has been away for the past 6 days on tour with the Mike Dillon band. I relied on Uncle Will and assorted other babysitters to get through my work days, and then enjoyed my one-on-one time with Sebastien on my days off. We went to Baton Rouge on Saturday to visit Paul’s family. It had been a while since we’d seen them because we wanted to stay away when we were all sick. Then on Sunday, Sebby and I rode the bike downtown to go to our first Mardi Gras parade of the season: Barkus (the dog parade). We ran into two of his Kindermusik buddies, which was fun. He loved running and playing in the street and seeing a million dogs. Yesterday (Monday), he had a play date with one of his friends from Toddler Time, then we just hung around the house for the rest of the afternoon and evening. After he went to bed, Will came over to babysit and I went to a rehearsal for a trombone choir that I was invited to play in. Then today (Tuesday), we went visiting! In the morning, we dropped by my former trombone teacher’s house and spent an hour visiting with him, his wife, and their cats. After that we grocery shopped, had lunch, and had some quiet time. Then we went down to Arabi to visit our friends Jesse and Lulu, who just welcomed their baby boy into the world a week ago. What a special day.❤
Sorting beads with his Kindermusik friend, Cecilia.
The biggest change in Sebastien’s life right now is that he seems to have dropped his nap. It happened quite suddenly, but now we’re in a pretty good new groove. I thought he might be ready to stop napping when it became harder and harder to put him down in the afternoon and then he would be wide awake til almot 10PM. The first day we tried no nap, he ended up falling asleep around 6:30PM, sleeping better that night than he ever had and then waking up at 7:30AM. Win! So, we’ve continued in this way for a couple weeks now. I have to say, I love it! I didn’t think the end of naps would be a good thing, but it IS! The days are freer, since we don’t have to be sure and be home for him to get a good nap. And then the 4 child-free hours at night before I go to bed…? Awesome. The occasional day when he takes a little nap in the car mean that he’s up later though. But on the whole, this is working out quite well. Instead of napping, we try to do some quiet time after lunch. We read books or cuddle or he just plays by himself in his room. That gives him the energy he needs to power through the rest of the day.
I always enjoy the first week back to normal life after a vacation. Vacation is wonderful, but there’s something so satisfying about readjusting to a normal routine. The past week has been just that. The school opened up again so we jumped in headfirst. We’ve got a lot of new classes this semester, which is very exciting, but also means more work, especially in the beginning. I feel like I’ve gotten to a pretty good point with my Kindermusik program though. No, I’m not where I want to be yet, but I feel like I know what needs to happen to get there, and I have the resources I need.
We have two New Year’s resolutions this year. The first is to get rid of our TV. The second is to cook more and eat out less. The first was easy. By the time I got home from New Mexico, it was already gone. Paul had taken care of that. It was as simple as finding someone who was looking for a TV. We’ve been doing really well with our second resolution too. Mainly because we had to pay a large amount to get Paul’s license reinstated (it had to do with our old scooter not having a title, and blah, blah, blah), so we haven’t had the budget to go out to eat. We’ve gotten into a good habit of cooking and eating at home though, which will hopefully continue even after we’re back on normal footing finance-wise.
For some reason, it’s not letting me add pictures right now. Sorry about the lack of Sebby pics in this post! Tune in next week for some pictures.
Happy New Year to all!