Daily Lessons, About, Parenting, art, Baby

Supermom Goals / Sleeping arrangements

Here is my supermom plan for the week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Activity Grocery & Library Music Class Dollar Store & Playground Playdate Boy’s choice
School/Art Mazes or Tracing Sticker Book Chalk Water mat Sensory bin with ice
House Vacuum Laundry Sweep Laundry Bathroom
Dinner Spaghetti Grilled Porkchops Chicken with roasted garlic sauce (slow cooker 2-3 hr) Tortellini Soup Wieners

I’m not one to make detailed plans because they will inevitably lead to frustration when my children don’t want to follow the schedule. Still, it may be a good idea to have some goals and ideas of things I want to accomplish this week.

If none of the stuff I have planned happens, that is okay too as long as all my (3) children are still alive and well at the end of the week.


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This boy is less than 3 weeks old but it already feels like he’s always been a part of this family. At his two week appointment last Tuesday he was 10lbs 1 oz (89%) and 21.75 in (95%).


 

All of the boys have not been sleeping well. Mr. 0 doesn’t sleep well because he is a baby. He still needs to learn the difference between night and day. He also gets the hiccups quite frequently and thinks the morning starts at 6:30.

Mr. 2 and Mr. 4 were staying up way too late because they kept playing and talking to each other instead of sleeping. Then they would wake up super early and be a bit cranky throughout the day. Some of this may be caused by their adjusting to the baby, and Mr. 2 taking advantage of not being in a crib.

Our solution was to let Mr. 4 sleep with the dog (he does not want to be alone) and Mr. 2 would sleep in the nursery in a crib again. The baby would be in our room. Surprisingly, neither of the big boys complained about the change and I am happy to say that they are falling asleep close to bed time (8 – 8:30) and sleeping until at least 7.

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About, Adventures, art, Parenting, pregnancy

T- 8 Days / Everything is okay as long as the sun keeps shining.

As Pete the Cat always says, “The Sun is shining, I’m feeling alright!”

We’ve been getting a lot of outside time, soaking up as much sunshine as we can. We’ve even had a few days that we can describe as “warm”, and I am so thankful for it.

I tried to let some sun on my big belly in the hopes of encouraging the baby to come out, but that did not work. I’m still pregnant, but at least we are now in the single digits of this countdown.

My feet hurt, my back hurts, my head hurts, my groin joints hurt, my hips hurt when I lay in bed. Today the baby was squished up against my rib and I couldn’t turn my body to the left to look behind me when switching lanes very well.

We went to the zoo and playground and the boys had a brilliant time. The Tapir was running around and making a barking sound. The orangutan came right up to the window where they were watching. We saw the daddy and mommy lions sunning on the rocks, and then 6 baby ducks floated by in their little pond. We had a lot of fun and nobody got lost this time.

I did discuss beforehand with my 4-year-old what he should do if he felt lost and he agreed that he would stand in one spot and wait for me to find him. Luckily, though, he stayed fairly close to hand the whole time.

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We haven’t done a huge amount of art this week because we’ve been spending so much time outside, but they have been painting on the easel which I keep on the deck. We also made tape collages. Tomorrow we are going to the beach with a friend.

Yesterday, I felt a different sort of pain in belly. It was a sharp and squeezing sensation that was more painful than the ones I normally feel, but it didn’t last very long. Nonetheless I got a little excited until I realized 2 hours later that it wasn’t going to happen again. Both my husband and I feel that I probably won’t go into labor before the C-section next Friday, but I can still hope. We have no science to back up our “feeling” just thinking along the lines of, “Shouldn’t my body be doing something different if I was going to go into labor soon?” As far as I can tell, the baby hasn’t even dropped into my pelvis yet. Even though this is my third child, it would be my first labor so there’s a good chance it wouldn’t happen until after the due date anyways. All I can do is keep waiting.

 

art, Parenting

Keva Plank Art

Mr. Conductor, who is almost 4 years old, begged and begged for these KEVA blocks last Christmas. He really enjoyed playing with them at the Pacific Science Center, and at his friend’s house. After he had his wish granted, he played with them everyday for a week or two and then drifted away from them. My conclusion was that he was frustrated that  he couldn’t build anything interesting by himself. The planks are lightweight and move too easily to build anything securely and things would get knocked over very easily.

I thought I would try to show him a different way of playing with them today, so I tried using them to make 2D pictures instead.

They quickly took apart my creations and tried to make their own. Mr. 2 made a “sidewalk” and Mr. 4 wanted to make a slide via the instruction booklet.

“Are we architects?” he asked.  Yes, we are.

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Mr. Conductor ended up very frustrated again, and I tried to encourage him not to give up. Practice would help him get better! In the end he said, “I’m just not a good architect!”

Mr. 2, on the other hand, was a little frustrated when his pieces kept falling off the table, but he was singing “Can we fix it? Yes we can!” (Bob the Builder) nearly the whole time and never let it affect his mood.

It made me very sad to hear Mr. Conductor make his pronouncement. Both of my boys love to build, build, build. Destroy and build again. After the planks they built more things:

I need to find a way to help Mr. Conductor retain a positive attitude even when he struggles. I would also like him to understand that failing at a project doesn’t make you bad at something, and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad person.


26 more days until the baby!

Math, Projects

Train Whistle Chain – A self initiated project

This is an example of how a child can take initiative in their own growth and learning through play.

When we first made the baby due date counting chain out of paper rings, it was super long. When I hung it between the outer edge of the curtain rod and the middle support screw, Mr. Conductor (almost 4) would pull on it and yell “Whoo Whoo, All aboard!” In fact, he enjoyed doing this quite a lot.

He did notice, though, that the chain kept getting shorter and shorter. Now that we have less than 30 days, the chain is too short to have the desired effect. He told me he wanted to make his own chain so he could keep playing with the train whistle. He picked out the paper, he got his scissors and all the colorful tape.

I showed him that folding the paper first provided us lines to cut by. By the end of the session I couldn’t tell his strips of paper from my strips of paper and he was even folding the paper himself. He also thoroughly enjoyed cutting the tape and putting it on the rings to make them hold together.

We only got about half-way with the chain before his interest flagged and he started cutting zig-zags and being silly, but he worked hard for about an hour while his brother napped. I was pretty impressed.

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Do you remember my preschool goal list from a few days ago? Well check off: Scissor practice, following directions, working on a project for a long period of time, working together, taping, folding, planning, executing, counting, patterns/design, etc. Some of those things weren’t on there? They are important none the less. Also, he was extremely proud of himself and couldn’t wait to show Daddy his new folding skills.

 

About, Parenting

Homeschool Preschool Goals

I read an article on pinterest the other day where a mom explains her preschool routine and goals. According to her research, before you get into kindergarten you should be able to do the following: Count to 20, Shapes, Colors, ABCs and letter sounds, follow directions, hold pencil,scissors, glue, draw pictures and shapes. 

No problem, my almost 4-year-old can do all of those things to some extent. (I still have to help hold the paper and turn it when he uses scissors, and he can only draw circles (faces!) at this point. Mr. 2 recognizes 1-10 and has counted all the way to 8 by himself. He loves colors, numbers, shapes, and letters. Currently he doesn’t always follow directions because he’s realizing he’s his own person and can make his own decisions.

This source lists some more difficult skills which include writing their name, listening to a story and telling what it is about, counting and identifying syllables, rhyming, drawing a picture and telling a story. These are not things that my pre-schooler can do with any confidence.

So even though we are of an unschooling mindset in this house, these are some goals I want to keep in mind. To help my kids achieve these goals I intend to do the following:

  • Read them lots of books
  • Provide open-ended art opportunities
  • Lay out fun sticker and work books to help inspire them.
  • Give them lots of time for playing and exploring and asking questions.
     

I don’t know if the whole syllable thing is important. It’s not a skill I use personally.

I have also asked my two friends what their actual preschool’s goals are, but they are both busy moms and have not gotten back to me yet.

 

Conversations, Parenting

Conversations with the Kids #3

Early after bed time a few nights ago, I was standing at the kitchen counter eating Girl Scout cookies when my almost 4-year-old comes out to say good night one more time.

Him: What are you doing, mommy?

Me: oh, um… eating cookies. (I break off a piece and offer him some out of guilt.) Would you like some?

Him: No… don’t you know NO sugar before bed?!

Me: You are absolutely right, but I wasn’t planning on going to bed just yet.

Him: Okay, don’t forget to turn out the light when you do.

Me: Okay, I won’t.

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Gender identification with Mr. Almost 4:

Him: Mommy, why is Connor talking to that man? (Looking out our window at the neighbors.)

Me: Oh, that is his girlfriend. It’s not a man, she just has short hair.

Him: Oh. What are they talking about?

(A few days later)

Him: Mommy! Connor is talking to his girlfriend again!

Me: hmm? Oh… that’s not the girlfriend, that’s a man.

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Mr. 2 is always adamant about wanting to sleep in his big brother’s bed. I’ve let him do it 3 times now, and it usually takes about an hour for him to fall asleep. I usually just remind/threaten him that if he gets out of the bed he has to go into the crib so instead he stays on the bed looking at books and doing puzzles. I fall asleep waiting on him and get woken up by, “Hey Mama…help me count puzzle!” He’s been obsessed with counting and can go all the way to 8 without any hints or reminders. He likes counting so much that if you ask him, “what colors are the trucks?” he may just answer, “one, two, three!”.

 

Books, Parenting, pregnancy

42 days/6 weeks/1,008 hours

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This little cat is as old as my relationship with my husband; so a little less than 8 years. Unfortunately, for the last week she hasn’t been eating and has been leaving black tarry poops all over the house. We are taking her to the vet tomorrow to see what they say.

Continue reading “42 days/6 weeks/1,008 hours”

art, Daily Lessons, Math, Science

Counting Rings | Bird is the Word

46 days have never seemed so long! It is 46 days, or 6 and half weeks, until our due date on May 3. (Although my husband is apparently hoping for a May 4th C-Section… I think it’s Star Wars related.)

Today we made a paper chain to help us count down the days. Everybody helped a little. Even my husband got in on the action. The 2-year-old helped by demanding I draw things on the paper, and he also colored some of it himself. The (almost) 4-year-old helped by putting tape on the rings.

I chose blue and pink because we do not know the gender of the baby and I thought it would be a happy coincidence if the color matched the gender on the day of the birth. I also numbered each ring to make it easy to keep track of and so the boys can practice their number recognition. When it was done the almost 4-year-old counted to 46 with only a few mistakes (“eleventeen” instead of seventeen, etc).

What else is new?

Mr. 4 has been asking me everyday to do math. He just asks me questions like “What does 20 and 20 make?” “What does 40 and 40 make?”.

We are also learning a bit about birds. Thank you to Grandma for sending us that bird feeder and motivating us to learn more about the nature right outside our house. With the addition of some figurines and a book, we’ve been able to identify a few different birds. We’ve only seen robins and black-capped chickadee near the feeder, but the figurines have taught us to identify Orioles, Cardinals, Blue Jay’s, Blue Bunting and Yellow Warbler as well. I’m pretty proud that he and I are able to name these birds and I open the book everyday to point something out to the boys and reinforce the learning. It has been fun!

Mr. 2 has been building up quite the vocabulary, and has even been making up his own songs. He sang “The Firetruck goes round and round” at the aquarium today. He’s also naming lots of body parts, although he has a tendency to confuse my breast with my baby belly. In the car the boys always point out the red and green lights and tell me when to stop and go.

It has been an educational and busy week.

art, Conversations, Daily Lessons, Language, Parenting

Art and Playdate: Everyday Learning

Mr. Almost 4 has been drawing “house plans” inspired by the show Bob the Builder that he found on his kindle a few weeks ago. This mostly consisted of drawing lots of circle windows near each other for the last two weeks. Today he drew a large circle and added two little circles inside of it and I said, “it looks a little like a face!” He agreed but pointed out that the face was missing a nose and mouth. To my surprise, he decided to add them in.

He has now officially drawn his first face! The large green one was Daddy, the bottom right green was his brother and then the top right green became the baby. The yellow picture was of the dog. My guidance consisted of saying that our dog has a really large nose and two large ears.

I’m no expert, but I feel like this is a pretty important milestone in his artistic development. This is the first time he’s actually drawn something that is recognizable, and I am super proud of him.

Another proud parenting moment:

We went to the playground this evening at Daddy’s suggestion and Mr. 2 said, “This purple slide. Watch me go down.” He spoke so carefully and perfectly I almost cried. And after dinner he tried so very hard to say “May I be excused?” when we asked him if he was all done.

This morning we had a play date with a neighborhood friend. They have 3 girls, one of which is in the process of being adopted into the family. When we had our snack this afternoon I had to answer many questions such as the following:

  • Why don’t they have any boys?
  • Will they make boys?
  • Why did they adopt the baby?
  • Why couldn’t the baby’s mommy or daddy take care of her?
  • Why did the mommy do drugs?
  • Why weren’t they being careful and accidentally have a baby?
  • Why do Crystal and King not have any children? They are lonely. (Dinosaur Train characters.)

I actually had a very long attempt at explaining that people who don’t have children aren’t necessarily lonely, but he took a lot of convincing. Apparently he thinks children are an important and necessary part of life… I wonder why? (:

About

Congratulations on your promotion

Mr. 1 was promoted to Mr. 2, today March 8, 2018. Birthday’s are a difficult concept for young children to understand. Just a few weeks ago, my almost 4-year-old and I were talking about how much he’s growing and he said, “I’m not growing, it’s not my birthday!” In fact, Mr. 2 has absolutely no idea why he’s getting a cake and presents.

Bad mommy alert: I did not take a single picture of my children today! I didn’t photograph the presents, the cake, the playdate, the puzzling, the playing, the fighting, the napping, the cuddling, or anything. Rest assured, we had a pretty great day despite the truck fiasco described below.

Oh boy, the presents. I bought them another little set of construction vehicles. It probably cost $10 on amazon for 6 trucks, and resulted in a morning of tumult. The boys both really wanted to play with them and kept fighting over who had which trucks. In the end the dump truck was broken.

The floor puzzle was a hit, and has been completed several times. The boys keep trying to dance on it, though, so I have to watch them like a hawk and clean it up as soon as they lose interest.

My mom sent them a large farm duplo set that they opened a few days ago and have played with every day. Mr. 4 says, “I love these legos and I want this set, and this set, and this one” (pointing to the advertisements on the instructions.)

My husbands mom sent a bunch of gardening supplies. lots of flower seeds, a bird feeder, kid gardening gloves, and garden decorations. The weather is supposed to be marvelous this weekend so hopefully we get to use it all. She also sent lots of sticker and workbooks so I’ll be encouraging the boys to use those. (I also bought some books about birds and trees online today… shame on me… but it will go well with this nature theme. If birds come to the bird feeder I want the boys to be able to identify them!)

If the books turn out to be any good, I will share them with you here!

The CDC has a list of milestones that a 2 year old should be able to do… and Mr. 2 can do them all! He’s worked hard for this promotion, and I can’t wait to see what he will learn next. He’s been talking up a storm and is really working on vocalizing complete thoughts. He’ll be speaking in full sentences really soon, I have no doubt!

I am very grateful to have such happy and healthy children.