(FYI--the markers are not actually on the cards--they have been "picnicked" in to hide my phone # and address.)
Saturday, September 27
(FYI--the markers are not actually on the cards--they have been "picnicked" in to hide my phone # and address.)
Yeah. BUT--and I do mean BUT, they are giving away these giant gas guzzling beasts at the dealers for practically nothing (seriously this was the same price that my new Camry was 8 years ago!) and we really need a second car AND I have always loved driving the big giant truck mobile.....AND--we literally drive about 50 miles/week--maybe 75 if we go to the zoo. So, the way I see it? I am helping the planet because I am taking this dirty pollutant emitter out of the hands of someone who will drive it the average 230+ miles/week, thus preventing almost 75% less gas emissions on the environment PLUS since we don't drive much we won't need to spend too much at the pump. It is only 2 miles to the grocery store.
This is what happens when you leave a 3 year old unattended. She's done this before too--and I guess I just didn't learn my lesson the first time. She went out to the porch in the back--OK, no big deal right? I figured she could play out there until I was done out front. We have a fenced in yard so she's perfectly safe.
When I went back out to check on her I noticed that she had not only covered herself with chalk but had also decorated Jack with a bucket of yellow chalk. Poor guy, he just got over a round a antibiotics from an allergy to shampoo and here he was covered in chalk. My frustration level is quickly being bumped up to explode mode. But I hadn't blasted yet at this point.
At this point I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see my computer again--I'm just too jammed packed with things to do, and now I was too tired to even fire up the laptop in bed. At least Sophie was ready for bed. I can't remember how quickly we fell asleep that night, but I do know that both of us were in bed by 7:45 that night. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep before Sophie.
This picture doesn't do it justice--it almost looks better during the day because of the giant spider web--but it still looks pretty cool.
using her pouring skills
using her stirring skills with her hands
using her stirring skills with a spatula
using her tasting skills once her hair is finally back
and finally, the finished products....a pumpkin, leaves, tulips and daisies. These would have been AWESOME if she wanted to frost them, but that's OK. I really don't need to be eating any cake anyway--especially with Halloween just around the corner.
Here she is trying to paddle the canoe with her pink recorder.
I think the Little Einsteins had been to Egypt that day.
Thursday, September 25
Because we are doing these activities at home and there are no other children for Sophie to play with-I am trying really hard to make all of the basic Montessori lessons I find as fun for her as possible. When we sat down to have this tea party breakfast, I had already made her crust less toast in little heart shapes with her favorite strawberry jam. I put the crust in her crown plate and added a few dollops of jam to dip in if she preferred. (I also stuck in her little box of cookies she wanted from the store that week because they were pink and looked cute on the table.)
As far as skills go, Sophie practice pouring and was even able to hold the saucer while she poured. She really had fun pouring (I used sugar-free cranberry juice in the teapot and we pretended it was our favorite passion herbal tea from Starbucks) and kept offering me more tea. I ended up drinking a lot of tea that morning, but that's OK, she really had a good time.
We also practiced some manners and used lots of words like, "May I" and "Please & Thank You." She was also getting a kick out of being the 'hostess' and kept offering me and Belle more and more things.
The only flaw was that she wouldn't take 'no thank you' for an answer and kept pushing. Hmmm, I wonder where that came from?
After breakfast I showed her how 'bus' the table and take everything to the sink where Sophie went ahead and washed all of the dishes. She had a ball!
We were spending way more time than planned on this activity, so I jumped in and dried the dishes for her.
I think it was a great success. She has excellent manners AND can manage to pour very well. Every bath time since she's had tea parties with her tub toys and has even added some 'foam' (suds) like they do at Starbucks.
If only I had stopped there for the day....... but oh no, not me............
Sophie grabbed her binkie/bunny right after she finished the dishes and said she wanted to watch TV. Well, I had already planned an afternoon at the pumpkin patch-including a fun little car picnic for lunch. I intended doing this for fun rather than using it as a learning activity. However, the petting zoo was empty and the workers really wanted someone to 'educate' on all of the animals as we walked through--the result was we were bombarded with TMI and by the time we got home we were exhausted and more than a little overwhelmed! We fed goats and pet the baby chicks and saw a giant pig just about to give birth and even pet the little baby horses and tried to feed them some corn as well. It was one LONG day! We did have a good time though.
The hay ride was her favorite part.
Friday, September 19
Thursday, September 18
This was Wednesday. (I'm a little behind.)
This is Sophie twirling in her new favorite dress. I tried to get her mid-twirl with the skirt out, but after several picture attempts chalked this up to the only one-and what happened to the color?
Anyway, we were both very happy to finally get back to music class today. We have endured an entire long summer without Miss Joan and we needed to see her ASAP!
Of course class was BRILLIANT and we left as happy as two little clams on a warm sandy beach!
As far as Montessori goes, well, do this count for practical life skills? I was really excited to see that Sophie has picked up on my leaf blowing fascination. It's my thing. I just find it so rewarding to move around a bunch of leaves and look back and see a clean, pretty lawn-instant gratification. (It's almost as great as shoveling snow.)
Wednesday, September 17
Must do more research.
In the meantime there is a really cool book I am going to pick up called, Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives , by David Gettman. There are a couple of more books I can get to help with the whole 'Montessori in the home' thing. I think my biggest problem is that the web subscription I have is geared for the actual classroom-and it's a lot harder to do most of this stuff at home.
In the meantime-while I am still trying to grasp the basic concepts of Montessori-I am doing activities with Sophie based on what I think might be the way to go--a child-driven curriculum, or maybe it's just child-driven activities geared toward a specific curriculum. See? I'm confused. But I think it means whatever she shows an interest in-is what we do at that moment or during scheduled 'classroom' time. I have different activities to go with areas of interest-arts/crafts, language, computer, math, and so on. I think my biggest challenge will be consistency--at least with sticking to a schedule. It's so hard here at home when I don't have a boss breathing down my neck or even a time-card to punch.
On Monday she was interested in painting so I brought out the finger paints and let her experiment for about a half an hour.
I tried not to 'teach' her but just to show her how to finger paint. Seeing as I have absolutely ZERO artistic abilities, no actual pictures were drawn. She did love playing with it though and she definitely loved getting messy! Then I went a little further and let her "clean up" in the kitchen sink, cleaning the tray and washing her own hands. Made a huge mess for me, but Sophie was so content when she was finished that she didn't throw a fit when I said it was nap time!
Yesterday was a different story. I have yet to master the whole 'circle-time' thing, considering it's just the two of us, so I thought that before I get out the calendar and teach her songs I would get her used to sitting with me and 'planning' her day by having her set up a schedule. First we needed to put some Velcro on the pieces that I already had made-she seemed to enjoy this, but wanted to keep going after we were done.
She did a fantastic job of picking out the activities to do yesterday and put them on the schedule board herself. We have to work on order though. That's OK. It's only our first try right?
She was so proud of herself when she was finished. I love that she put lunch first and wanted to take a bath before dinner and go shopping afterwards. It was cute.
I rearranged it to fit our actual schedule, thinking that maybe sometime I could follow her way of doing things and let her be in control. Not yet. I will be snapping some new pictures to make some more cards over the next couple of weeks. (I made this board after Sophie's first birthday, so all of the pictures are old, but she got a huge kick out of seeing herself doing things as a baby!)
I was starting to feel stress at this point because she started to play with all of the Velcro and then found her scissors. I got out the scrap paper and her 'fancy' pink sparkle glue and we cut and paste for about 20 minutes. Again, I attempted to make a dog, but with my lack of artistic abilities, it looked like a giant bunny. At least Sophie got some fine motor skills tuning time and giggled in the process. She is getting very good at working with the scissors. I think I'll try to get her to cut in a straight line next time.
Coming up later this week: music class (YEAH!), window washing ("practical life" skills to put up some Halloween decals,) and a tea-party breakfast. I might throw in the pumpkin patch if time just because it just opened and won't be that busy yet. We'll see.
All Better! Only after she decided to take the bucket and try out all of her new housekeeping tools on the kitchen floor, family room carpet, and dog. Yeah, Jack got nice and wet too. This is about 20 minutes after I finished cleaning the house-including washing the kitchen floor. grrr.-but still, how can I get mad when she was only trying to help PLUS she really needed to heal her foot? She is one master manipulator. Sophie loves to play in her bed with her dollies and stuffed animals. Too bad this is actually a department store display I found her in. I'm not sure the store meant for her to actually get in the bed? Yeah, I no longer worry about this one so much. She's growing up into a completely brilliant yet perfectly normal kid. Sure do love her!
Come play Wordful Wednesday hosted by Angie!
Monday, September 15
Now, at the new gym I thought maybe I should try a new machine seeing as how this gym is so big and all, and there are about a million different kinds to choose from. Here's a new one..............................................Meet the A**Kicker.
Looks harmless right?
Looks just like the elliptical EFX machine that I love right?
Wrong~! Ipicked it because it looks relatively the same as the elliptical.
Right from the start I knew I was in trouble. This is why you NEVER judge a book by its' cover.
First, this machine talks to you. Seriously, if I stopped using my arms and just concentrated on the legs-it said over it's digital keypad "ONLY GETTING LEG WORKOUT MUST USE ARMS."
Fine-so I added the arms back in.
Then it tells me, "CONCENTRATE HARDER ON ARMS- JUST GETTING LEG WORKOUT."
What does this machine have against legs and how does it know I need to focus on my arms anyway?
Oh, and I'm on level 1 because this machine is stupid and when I went higher it told me, "HEART RATE TOO HIGH-SLOW DOWN." No sh*t!
About halfway through my workout the machine literally stops itself and makes me go backward. I came really close to falling off.
So, here I am going backward, barely moving because the resistance is soooo hard, and what happens?
Dumb 'hard core' workout guy has to jump on the machine right next to mine. Seriously, what is up with that? There are a million empty machines all in a nice neat line and he has to be next to someone? Is he looking at my machine and seeing how slow and weak I am to make himself feel more manly? WHATEVER!
At this point I took a drink from my water bottle and swallowed wrong-provoking a violent cough attack that I was desperately trying to stifle.
No such luck. I ended up practically coughing up a fur ball while somehow swallowing my gum? at the same time making me gag a little on top of it because swallowing gum is gross.
I'm in hell. I'm convinced. This is exactly what hell looks like.
All the while I'm still trying to look cool, like I know what I am doing and I am totally into this workout--just like hard-core workout guy who is cruising on the machine next to mine.
Then I noticed that my shorts have ridden up in the middle area and my T-shirt came un-tucked making me look like I was wearing just a t-shirt and no shorts.
Now in my own head I'm convinced that the entire gym has their eyes focused on my machine that is not only in the front row, but also has a spotlight on it.
I'm so horrified and that I wait at least another 30 minutes for all of the people behind me to finish their workouts and leave before I turn around and show my face. Plus, I have to show the work-out champ next to me that I am more than a conqueror!
Well, either I will grow some balls and gain a massive amount of confidence to Just Be ME, or I am going to lose a mega-ton of weight because I'm a big chicken.
It's a win-win either way.
(I do know that no one in the entire gym even noticed me-this is all in my head. I get that. Just my super-ego playing games with me-trying to get me to believe that the world does in fact revolve around me. **heavy sigh** )
Friday, September 12
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
This picture was taken on one of those days that makes me feel so unbelievably lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. Sophie and I had a chance to do a little shopping at a really nice outdoor mall. Seriously, this was a day that if something could go our way--it did and was simply perfect.
It's hard for me to express just how great the day was without going through every boring detail. It wasn't the act of shopping that made it so great (although the stores did have just what we needed) but more like there was an aura in the air: sweet, content, calm, and relaxed that made everything we did seem somehow choreographed or intentional -like there are no coincidences, it's all part of a plan. Sophie and I were able to have some 'grown-up' girl bonding time (she was so excited when I mentioned that we were doing just what Giselle and Morgan did in the movie Enchanted) and finally connected to each other in a way that we hadn't since the beginning of summer. Her and I are finally getting back on the same page and I am so grateful.
I've missed just spending time with her. It's almost like I have been perpetually distracted in my mind for about a month now that I haven't really been aware of our relationship--even though we had been physically together still doing 'summer' things.
I know I sound weird, but really --when we left the mall that day -- I felt --important. Important to myself because I was (am) a good mom, important to Sophie because she needs me and still likes to hang out with me, and important to Nate because I was taking care of his little girl. It might very well have been the first day I actually felt important just because I'm here.
It was also important that I be myself-goofy, relaxed, silly, and dorky. We ate hot pretzels for lunch and fed the birds when we were full. That's when I snapped the picture. Sophie thought it was hilarious when she threw an entire pretzel stick to the birds and watched the pick and fight over it. Not one bird was big enough to take it away, so they all had to share it. We talked a lot about working together and teamwork while we ate lunch-it was really sweet. (see what I mean about choreographed? Did someOne plan this? or should I say someThing?)
These are the kinds of days I will crave when Sophie is all grown up, tell my grandchildren about when they see this picture, and make the hard days as a SAHM more than worth it. These are the kind of days that show me evidence that a higher power, the Universe, God- whatever you want to call it exists--and exists for the greater GOOD not bad.
Thank God Sophie is here. Thank God.
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