oct 22, 930pm

i kinda haven’t been around the kids much in several days, esp arianna. i came in and sat down in my office chair when she was crawling around the room. she crawled up to my chair and started being fussy, so paul picked her up and put her in her bouncer trying to give her a bottle. she didn’t want that. she crawled back out of her bouncer and back over to hang from my chair. i said “maybe she wants her mommy” and picked her up, and she got this huge happy grin on her face” she really was crawling over to see me and wanted me!! oct 22, 2012 11:45am

Watching tonight’s episode of Switched at Birth has me fearing the teenage daughter years. (“What is happening with our children!?”–Katherine) Sad thing is, for once tv drama is pretty realistic as far as teenage girls go. at least 15 years is still far off for me having to deal with a rebellious teenage girl.

So Sick

Poor little guy is really sick. He coughed really hard and threw up all in his bed. While I was changing the sheets, he kept saying, “Mommy, I’m sorry I did that.” I just wanted to cry that he feels so bad about something not even his fault. I kept telling him it wasn’t his fault, and it just happens sometimes when you are sick, but he still felt bad about it.

1st Day of Preschool

Today was Lucas’s first day of 3yr old preschool at the Methodist church down the street from us. I let him pick out his own clothes (from choices I laid out on his bed), he helped me make his oatmeal breakfast, he brushed his teeth all by himself, and we sang a ‘Going to School’ song. At the classroom he ran right over to the toy cars. When I said I was leaving, we hugged goodbye, and I let him push me out the door (literally – an idea I read on Babycenter saying that it makes the child feel like he is in control of your leaving). Then he ran right back over to the toy cars. I was really worried about him getting upset when I left. I had tried to leave him at daycare right after Ari was born and he went into hysterics about being left so I didn’t take him back again. Luckily, this went very smoothly and so everyone was happy.

 

I asked him what he did today and he actually answered me! Usually he will just tell me one mundane fact like, “I drank from the water fountain,” and never what he actually learned. Today he told me they learned about yellow. He told me that the kids danced and the teacher danced but that he didn’t dance because he was nervous. He said they didn’t go on the playground (disappointed voice). I figured they wouldn’t today because it had rained this morning and it was all wet, so I asked him if he got to play with the toys in the classroom instead and he brightened up and told me he did “lots and lots”. He said he played with the other kids, too. He said he had fun and did want to go back.

Arianna’s first solids

She’s showing the signs of readiness for baby food: watching people eat, ability to sit up, ability to turn away when she doesn’t want more food. I drag the high chair into the office, get her and the food set up, and Lucas and I run upstairs to grab my camera to document this momentous occasion. We come back down 30 seconds later, and here is what Lucas and I see:

 

author and illustrator

Lucas’s artwork has evolved into drawing actual objects and not just scribbles and circles. People are faces with legs and sometimes hair. This story he told me as he was drawing the picture. He was drawing a baby and then decided it looked like a banana. He draws a line for a mouth and sometimes it comes out upturned and sometimes downturned. Then he says the person is happy or mad based on how the line comes out.

Click the image to see it bigger.

My Morning Thus Far….

I was awoken during some part of my sleep cycle where you are in a deep sleep and just can’t seem to wake up. So I’m lying horizontally across the bed struggling to wrench my eyes open and go get the crying baby and Lucas starts driving tiny trucks into my hair saying they are crashing and stuck in my hair and then a tow truck has to come tow them out. I just laid there.

Finally drag myself up and go into the office to feed Arianna, take care of “business” on the computer, etc. Lucas wants his M&M reward for having gone on the potty but I’m busy with Air so I tell him he hasta wait a few minutes. He decides to root in the fridge and find his own reward. He comes back in (nekkid from the waist down still) carrying a roll of sugar cookie dough. He has chocolate all over his mouth. I asked him where he got chocolate from and drag myself into the kitchen to see what he is getting into. He’s been drinking the Hershey’s chocolate syrup bottle.

So Arianna is falling asleep in my arms and I’m just about to carry her up to the nursery when Lucas comes tearing into the office, carrying a couch pillow over his head, shouting “I’m a Pillow Guy,” and kicks a toy garbage truck filled with other little toys to rattle loudly across the room.

And I’ve only been up 30 mins.

Home Preschool, Days 2 and 3

Day 2

Today I started over, looking more in-depth to a curriculum Lauren showed me online. I originally dismissed it because it had themes like “apples” and just had way too much stuff relating to apples. Seemed kinda pointless to me, but after the stuff from yesterday, I think that stuff is too old for him. The apples are about the process — not that we need to ingrain apples themselves into his brain.

So now I’m working on creating my own curriculum from this huge online packet. Since I didn’t have it ready for today, we did a mini-field trip to the library where they were having a little music class “Drumming the Beat: Join our drum and music circle as local teacher Wendy Campagna leads us in an African music and culture experience!” So for thirty minutes he banged on a drum and other little things attempting rhythm but mostly just banging. Then I took him to the playground.

We did a tiny bit of work on a website I subscribe to, ABCmouse.com where he learned to trace the number 1 and we sang the Letter A song.

Day 3

Today’s “school day” went great! We started the day with art class down in Marietta. They read a story and then created a watercolor project based on the story. It was a good class, but not sure if I want to go again just because it’s a 45min drive each way. Why can’t Cherokee have cool stuff like Cobb? Lucas was more open to doing school stuff today, and we got through all the planned activities plus an extra because he asked to do more when I said we were all done. I didn’t pay attention to the time, but we spent around an hour or so on all the stuff we did.

[Lesson] The new lesson of week is “A is for Apple” where we learn A, red, and #1 using apple themes. I guess this was more appropriate material. We started by reading a story about a little boy looking for a house with no doors, no windows, and a star inside. It was a riddle for an apple. Reading the story first (Lucas loves reading books) helped settle and focus him.

Next we did a science experiment to learn if an apple would sink or float when dropped in the water and recorded our results by gluing a little paper apple onto a picture of a bucket of water. I had him bob for the apple to take it back out of the bucket. He couldn’t get it so he used his hand to turn the stem up into his mouth and pulled it out by the stem.

He made an Aa out of red pipe cleaners and glued them onto a card. We will do a card letter project for each letter and then put them all together on the wall.

For math, I placed chocolate chips on apple cards and he had to count them as he ate them. (This activity makes more sense if you see the picture of the cards).

We took an activity break and went “shopping” for all the red items in the play room.

We did another science activity and learned the life cycle of an apple …seed -> plant -> tree -> flower -> fruit. I cut up our earlier apple and showed him the seed inside. Then we put the seed in a baggy in the window and ate the apple. Maybe it’ll grow, but I doubt it.

That was supposed to be our last activity for the day, but he wanted to do more, so I pulled out another math one. He rolled a die and then counted the dots to see what number it landed on. He had a worksheet of an apple tree with numbers 1-6 on the apples and a letter A stamp with red ink that he stamped on the apple with the corresponding number.

He was really enthusiastic about doing all the activities and seemed to have a good time doing them. I ordered a book, 
The GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 3-Year Olds
, so I can keep going with the preschool thing.

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Home Preschooling, Day 1

After a lot of online research into preschool activities, I went to Schoolbox last night and bought a book of lesson plans. It’s written for teachers of preschool classes, so it has a few drawbacks for me to do on my own like lack of multiple kids for the games or lack of all the supplies and materials. I was going to buy some of the materials at Schoolbox to save time and effort, but then when looking at the stuff on the aisles I just kept thinking how I had all the stuff at home to make them by myself for free if I just put in the time. Thanks to scouts, scrapbooking, and leftover supplies from mom, i do have  pretty good stash of craft supplies to get started with.

This morning we started our first day. It hasn’t gone very well, but I think it will be better once he gets used to the routine of it. Right now I can’t get him to focus on what I’m saying and pay attention. So far I’ve already learned that I need to get alllll the materials out ahead of time and when he isn’t around rather than right before each activity because it interrupts flow, and he is a nuisance when I’m trying to find certain supplies. This is something I would normally have done anyhow, but since I only finished getting the plans together late last night, I waited until today to find stuff. I’ve also learned that each activity takes twice as long as it should even though I only have one kid doing it because the darn kid won’t sit still. So here is my dilemma that I will need to research: Is it better to force the kid to do the activity because he needs to learn to pay attention and try each thing because he can’t just do what he wants 24/7, or is it better not to force the issue because learning should be fun and I don’t want him to resent/hate school stuffs. This might be easier to solve when I have all the activities put together before hand because I could just switch to a different learning activity that he might respond to better.

The unit for the next two weeks is All About Me.

[Lesson] Today’s lesson was about how people look different and are all unique. We took magazine cutouts of people and compared how their hair was alike and different (brown vs blonde, curly vs straight). I had him glue down cutouts of people’s eyes close-up and then compare them to family member’s eyes. we also watched a sesame street segment about what would happen if we all looked the same. sesame street has a video player and you can search an attribute or lesson and it brings up clips from the show related to that. soo neat.

[art] we made a paper plate face of lucas making it look like him. i asked him what was on his face and he pointed to his eyes and said “eyes,” so i pulled googley eyes out of a bag for him to glue down – and so on until he had all the parts of his face.

[language] then on the back we listed words that describe lucas’s personality like “sporty, problem-solver, etc.”

[music] I tried to teach him a song called I’m Special off youtube, but he told me the song was terrible.

There were more parts to today’s lesson plan, but we didn’t get to them because a) I started too late and we ran out of time and b) they required materials I don’t have or multiple kids to do. Tomorrow’s activities are a continuation of today’s lesson.

3 months

03-19-12

~12lbs, ~24.5in

I think I’m kinda in love with my daughter. My little Cuddles is 3 months old now. We are already noticing differences between her Lucas. for one thing, Lucas would sleep anywhere in his bouncer, but she only really sleeps in a quiet room in bed. when she’s awake, she doesn’t like being left alone. she’ll make little unhappy, bored cries until she can see us again. when lying down in the bouncer or car seat, she will pull her head up away from it. she seems to try to hold her bottle when we are feeding her, with a curled fist on each side of it. I noticed in Lucas’s 3month blog it mentioned him drooling a lot. She does drool some, but not what I would call a lot. She likes to suck on her fingers/fist. She has been doing the kicking thing over this past month, so I got out the kickin’ coaster. unfortunately the music function is broken, so it only glides. i love how she smiles when she sees me when i come in to get her out of the crib, and i love “talking” back and forth with her. In Tenn this week, there was one night where Mom and I couldn’t get her to go to bed until after 11pm, and then she slept 9 hours until 8am the next morning, but unfortunately there haven’t been any repeat all-nighters like that yet.  I finally got the birth announcements out in the mail this week. This is the first time we’ve “told” Paul’s Mom about Arianna by way of her receiving one, but she didn’t call or anything. I’m only half surprised.

Lucas’s 3rd Birthday, Part 2

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blog – aquarium, a set on Flickr.

On Tuesday, Lucas’s actual birthday, Mom and I took him (and Arianna) to the GA aquarium. I love going to the aquarium and Lucas really loved it, too. When you first walk in, there is a short tunnel with a wall of fish up against the glass on each side. At first Lucas was scared of them up close until I put my hand on the glass and showed him it was okay to touch it. He told me he wanted to see alligators, so our first stop was the cold water section. The two alligators they had were albino and so white that the lights reflecting off them and the glass almost made them glow. We crawled into a bubble in one of the tanks, and Lucas got scared again when he realized there was a big fish right in front of his face, but after that, none of the other fish bothered him. He wasn’t much interested in the whales – I think because they swam too high and far back from the front of the tank, but he loved the penguins and wanted to see the otters twice. Another request of his was to see the jellies. We read that the reason they sting is that they have thousands off teensy barbs on their tentacles. Lucas was still able to recall this fact two days later when people asked him about the aquarium. The touch pools were fun for him, although he kept trying to splash the water like a water table. The Frogs exhibit was on tour at the aquarium, so we went up and saw all the frogs. He told me he loves frogs.