Posted by: ginki0 | July 13, 2014

Oh, life.

Daddy said it best the other day when he remarked to me, “You know, a superstitious person would think our house is unlucky.”

There’ve been lots of changes the last few weeks. First, we moved! We closed on our house on Friday the 13th, unafraid of bad luck. We have double the space inside and a huge yard now which the kids love, plus we are far enough from the city that we hear birds and frogs calling a lot, have seen a deer in our yard, and live next to a wetland. Yet we are close enough to the city that we can get to the grocery store in about ten minutes. Bugs has his own room now, painted with a Bugsy-picked-out space theme thanks to some help from friends, and Smiley and Rocky are currently sharing a room, which we painted orange- orange, as Smiley requested. I’m considering doing an insect and animal theme in there for my little boys.

Right away we had challenges. We had thought we had a plan and a back up plan for Internet, but both fell through- unless of course we wanted to shell out over $7,000. Finally we found an internet solution after about a week. It’s slow, but it’s working for us so far. Also that first week, our dryer in the he new house quit working. However, the boys did a fantastic job helping with cleaning the old house so some of our friends could move in.

Then, a week after we moved in, and just hours after helping us move the last of our things (like the lawnmower and yard tools) to the new house, we lost my father in law to a heart attack. It still doesn’t always feel real that he’s gone. All three boys attended the wake for four hours until my sister came to whisk them away to a park, and then Bugsy and Smiley were part of the funeral Mass, bringing up the Gifts to the priest. Bug also had the great idea of drawing Grandpa a picture and writing him a letter, so we placed a drawn picture for each boy in the coffin. The boys were very well behaved for the funeral, and Rocky played at a friend’s house during that time. It was interested to be so integral in a funeral. I mean, this is the third funeral in a year that my husband’s family has had, which is rough, but this is the closest we’ve been, the most central. It was interesting to see and experience how elegantly the funeral Mass is designed to bring a person through grief, and it was pretty therapeutic I think. The hurt still sucks, but it’s… Well it’s hard to explain.

Well, as if that wasn’t enough, we took Rocky to the doctor soon after the funeral for a cough he has had for a while, which turned out to be bronchitis. We got some antibiotics for it, and then a couple days later gave him fresh cherries for the first time, and then the next day he broke out in hives, bad. So we’re not sure if he is allergic to the meds or the cherries, but he needed steroids to treat the hives, and he’s only just now getting better.

Just days after that, I began to experience severe stomach pain over the holiday weekend. I lasted six days of on and off (mostly on) pain which barely eating and barely drinking, and with puking, before deciding I couldn’t wait for my doctor’s apponitment. So we went to the convenient care, with me being (unknown to me at the time) jaundiced, and they immediately admitted me to the ER, where they ran tests and found that I had killed my gall bladder and it was negatively affecting my liver and kidneys. I was in surgery within a few short hours.

So here I am, reveling in small pleasures like actually being able to eat food, but minus my gall bladder. I’m so happy for my health, as it’s amazing how quickly it can go downhill! Needless to say, we haven’t done much schooling with all this, but the boys are still learning. Rocky is walking like a pro, including standing from sitting by himself. Smiley counts to ten but forgets four and five, and is learning his shapes. And Bugs has learned about syllables and loves clapping words out to see how many syllables they have- he’s quite accomplished!

Who knows what is next on this wild ride we call life?

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Posted by: ginki0 | June 5, 2014

We have legs.. And we know how to use them!

Quick update today, before I run out of time and battery! Our tadpoles are beginning to grow hind legs, which is super exciting! The boys have been doing lots of learning about frogs and toads, and asking a ton of questions.

And additionally, we have a walker! Little Rocky can stand on his own for about eight seconds (before sitting down) and is gaining confidence. Today, he’s been walking for two or three steps at a time, including small turns! Exciting, yes- and it means we’re in immanent toddler trouble!

Posted by: ginki0 | May 24, 2014

Exploring money and tadpoles

Recently Bug has been expressing interest in money. We introduced the names of different coins and their values a while ago, but he lost interest so we dropped it. Then, when he began wanting to play “the store game” again and again about a month or so ago, that was my cue to re-introduce coins. So I showed him the different coins and had him feel and hold each one separately, showing him how to tell them apart. We discussed the name of each coin and how much value it had. We haven’t done bills yet, but he knows there are four quarters in a dollar and a dollar is one hundred cents. Then we began playing with money. I’d grab a random selection of coins and give them to him and he’d set out a selection of toys for him to buy. We’d combine items and add up how much they cost, and we’d tally how much he spent in a session.

After a while, Daddy came up with an elaboration. When Bugs ran out of money, Daddy suggested he turn into a supplier with new toys to sell to the shopkeeper. Bugs was delighted by this and enjoys selling toys back and getting all his coins again. It’s a fun little introduction to economics and he gets to apply his math skills.

A few days ago, we got permission from the local park ranger to collect some tadpoles for educational purposes from a nearby wetland. We collected three, and set them up in a little aquarium on Bugs’ desk (across from Fishy Fish). We heard American toads calling while we collected them, and so I’m guessing that’s what these might be, in which case they should metamorphose in about two months. We shall see! The boys had a blast collecting them and setting up the tank and feeding them. Along the way, we heard the frogs calling, got super close to a pair of wood ducks, peered into a flooded forest, saw a beaver dam, observed a robin and a red winged blackbird, learned about cottonwood trees, spooked some turtles who had been basking on a log, saw a dragonfly and some water skimmers, and sat and watched a huge group of tadpoles for quite some time. We were at the wetland for almost three hours, and had a ton of things to talk about! Of course, we only collected our tadpoles at the very end.

Recently, we’ve also been to lots of parks, seen a great blue heron, and been to a fire station with the local homeschooling group. It’s been busy around here!

The tadpoles have sparked quite the learning from the kids. They love to check on them each day, and today when we went to the library, all the nonfiction books we checked out were about frogs and toads. Smiley was adamant that we go upstairs to the adult nonfiction area for a more in depth frog book. That’s all they wanted to learn about! I can see where our future learning will be headed in the next week or so!

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Posted by: ginki0 | May 21, 2014

So many exciting adventures!

I’m not posting much lately because we’ve been so very very busy! As a result, I have a lot to write about. And then that means I need a larger chunk of time to get it all down. So I put it off. And then before I realize it, a month has gone by!

We found a house and will be moving in three weeks. THREE WEEKS! Fortunately, this upcoming need for packing coincides nicely with Rocky’s sudden desire to pull everything off the shelves and tear up any paper that is not a board book. Consequently, all the school supplies that we can live without for a few weeks are being packed up and a pile of boxes is slowly growing in the art room. Packing and labeling each box is rather exhilarating and relaxing- at the moment.

We studied Alexander and the Persian Empire, then Imperial China, then the Roman Empire, and finished up with the Middle Ages and a touch of Renaissance. These studies were filled with fun projects! For instance, while discussing the Persian Empire, we learned about Gordion’s Knot. I told the boys the story but left out the two historical theories of how Alexander conquered the infamous knot. Instead, I built a Lego post and a Lego chariot and fastened the two together with a giant knot of yard. Then I gave them to Bugs and asked him how he would separate the chariot from the post. He broke the post in half so he could lift the yarn over top! He second idea was to take the wheel off the chariot- which is one of the theories. The second theory he did not think of himself- I sort of led him to it by handing him some scissors. 🙂

When learning about Imperial China, I sketched out some towns with town walls and then asked Bugs what he would do to keep the Mongols from coming into his land. He almost immediately thought of connecting the walls, which led nicely into a discussion of the Great Wall. We saw some pictures and made some walls with Legos, and watched Mulan (mostly for the Great Wall in the beginning and for kicks).

The Roman Empire led us into painting maps of Italy. I printed some large maps out, then made some salt dough. Both boys looked at topographical maps of Italy and tried to copy the mountains with their salt dough. They did pretty well- I was impressed! Then, we painted them! Bugsy really enjoyed hearing about Julius Caesar. To demonstrate why Rome fell, I came up with a silly game and gave them something small to protect (like a toy) and then “tried” to steal it from them. They were easily able to thwart my feeble efforts. When it came time to protect the dining room table from me, it was no easy task though! We played the game again and again, switching up who was the bandits and who was the emperor, and Bugsy quickly seemed to grasp that the more territory you have, the harder it is to protect it. This is just one of the reasons for the fall of Rome, but it was an easy one to illustrate!

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Medieval times got us talking about knights and kings and castles. The boys made and decorated their own construction paper helmets and crowns, and were very proud of them! They loved wearing them and playing King. Bugsy wanted to be King when he grew up, so we had a nice discussion about government. We also made castles in Minecraft and talked about moats. Then we went over the Renaissance very briefly, and attended the local Renaissance Faire, where we saw dueling, jousting, many people in costume, and the boys tried their hands at archery. Bugsy also got to “duel” with one of the fighters there, and was immensely proud of his win!

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We also recently went to a class offered by our local art museum, which apparently is held monthly. The boys had a great time making Native American talking sticks, and Bugs got to practice dealing with when his art isn’t exactly “right” to his mind. It was such a great experience, I think we will make it a regular event for our family!

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Meanwhile, Smiley can count to about seven semi-reliably, and is quite reliable to five. He is enjoying the spindle game quite a bit and loves the number zero. He is solid on all his colors now, and is enjoying learning his letters, although he is picking up the letter names more than the letter sounds, which is making me a little crazy! Why? Because I wanted to see how he would do learning the letter sounds when it finally came time to learn to read! There’s just so much content out there that includes the letter names though, it’s really no wonder he’s picking those up.

Rocky can stand pretty solidly but he lacks confidence so he doesn’t stand by himself for more than a second or two. He’s mastered drinking from a sippy cup and eats heartily, with great gusto! He loves to play with his brothers, and they love playing with him, except when they don’t. 🙂 Smiley is learning to play gently with Rocky, which means some tears now and again as he forgets and gets too rough. Rocky babbles like crazy and says some words, too. His first word was probably “Kee” (Kitty), but he also says “Mama” and “Dada” quite a bit. He may not have a bunch of words, but he is certainly able to express his displeasure at not getting his way!

Then there’s my Bug. He tries so hard at almost everything, but he’s learning to deal with failures. He doesn’t have to be perfect all the time! He is doing two digit by one digit multiplication now, using manipulatives, and enjoying himself while thinking it through. He’s also doing four digit by four digit addition, and yesterday I caught him doing some of the tens times table in his head! Both big boys are almost completely night time trained (as in two, maybe three accidents a week, if that) but Bugs is still having poop accidents almost every day. I hang on to hope that he will eventually get it! Some days he seems to not care at all, but I think it’s a facade, because other days I see his pride is wounded deeply. The trouble is that I’m out of ways to help him. So I try to keep hope, stay positive, and congratulate him on his accident free days. He’s growing up so big, we are starting him out with allowance. He made a very persuasive argument that if he had some spending money he wouldn’t be so tempted to take money out of the car- we’ll see if he’s right! We’re starting him out on a dollar a week, doing a Montessori style allowance. Basically, he gets his allowance just because we feel like sharing some of our family’s money (same reason Daddy and I get our allowance each month!). He is still expected and encouraged to help with daily chores, but he will not be paid monetarily for them, because our hope is that the satisfaction of a job well done, helping the family, and keeping a clean house will be enough. Besides- I don’t get paid for laundry and dishes and all the rest! So we will see how this works!

Gotta run, but soon I hope to post about the tadpoles we are raising!

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Posted by: ginki0 | April 17, 2014

Time Flies

And it’s been two months since I posted last! Little Rocky is growing like a weed. He’s been cruising for the past two or three weeks, and has gotten quite stable. He’s even beginning to show interest in walking toys like his train- though he hasn’t actually walked yet. His mobility has meant that we’ve had to put up the gates again. Rocky fell down a couple of stairs, triggering the gating. Rocky has stood, but only for like half a second by himself. He has four teeth now and is devouring everything out in front of him! Even though his long hair is going away as a new batch of hair comes in, I did finally trim away the longest hairs (like the strands in the back that went down past his shoulders). Suddenly snaps on his clothes are much easier the close!

Smiley is working hard to keep up with his brother, and has not had time to do any serious learning. He has too much playing to do! We’ve been playing Go Fish with colors though, and that as well as going on treasure hunts looking for certain colors and pointing out colors in every day life has caused a nice growth in his color recognition. Likewise, he can now count to four semi-reliably. He can identify of handful of letters (naming them by sound, Montessori style.)

The boys are enjoying their trip through the history of the world. For our studies on Sumeria and on Ancient Greece we had ethnic dinners- a beef recipe, bread recipe, and dessert recipe from translations found on a period clay tablet for Sumer and gyros and baklava for Greece. We’ve also done Egypt and Norte Chico and Indus Valley and the Mayans as well. This week is the Persian Empire and Alexander the Great, and then it will be Imperial China and then the Roman Empire. It’s exciting, and it’s interesting to see what Bugs takes away. He enjoyed dressing up in the a Greek chiton, for instance, while Smiley declined to participate in that project. Both found the Egyptian mummies and pyramids fascinating.

Enjoy some photos of our fun! Hopefully soon we will have tadpoles or frog eggs to study in addition to our history/geography.

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Posted by: ginki0 | February 18, 2014

Show and Tell

Let me give you a peek into what we’ve been up to lately!

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We built and painted cars. This was Bugs’s third experience with painting with a paintbrush, and Smiley’s first. They both did super well!

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We played outside whenever we could, and did lots of shoveling.

We visited the library and picked out a ton of books!

We began a new series, which the boys have been loving. We are combining history and geography as we jump around the world from one ancient civilization to another, slowly progressing up to the Rennaisance, which we will hit just in time for the Ren Fair in May! Last week we did Hunter gatherers and Jericho, reading through the related bits in the Story of the World and talked about how the city had huge walls and why they might need walls. We then went out, and the boys built snow walls around our yard. They then became monsters and smashed through the newly built walls, but such is life with boys.

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Last week was also Valentine’s day, so on Wednesday we made our own valentines. Bugsy helped me cut out the hearts, and then they each painted about half of the white hearts and glued them on top of the red hearts. Then I put their names on the back along with the name of the friend each was being given to. On Thursday we had some friends come over and were able to deliver their valentines that way, and on Friday we delivered the rest, except the ones we had to mail.

Bugs made a series of three Valentines- one happy, one sad, and one going “Ooh!”

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Today, we began learning about Sumer, and so we talked about cuneiform versus hieroglyphs versus writing. We read about it in Story of the World, and then whipped up some homemade playdough quickly, and formed it into “clay” tablets, which they then inscribed with their own cuneiform language. Both chose to make up a story and then retell it to me by “reading” their cuneiform inscriptions. My detail oriented Bugs made sure his tablet had a chunk missing just like one of the photos we looked at, and he also practiced erasing an inscription and marking over it. Then, while they played with their playdough, I read them a couple of stories of Gilgamesh, edited somewhat to make them kid friendly. Bug really enjoyed it!

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Two beautiful tablets.

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In Rocky news, well, our twenty pounder is getting into everything! He has been army-crawling for a while, and then a few days ago while we were visiting Great Grandma, he mastered the art of going from a crawling position to siting position and back. Today, he made his first real crawling motions! Hooray!

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This is his “keeping Mama busy” face!

Posted by: ginki0 | February 1, 2014

Trains

I think the boys have a few.

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According to them, of course, they need more train engines, more cargo carriers, and more places. And of course they need more track. Obviously they don’t have enough.

Seriously though, I think we have enough that, along with Legos to make buildings and stations, etc, we could make an entire city! We’ve done some stuff like this before, exploring functions of buildings and occupations and looking at city systems and layouts, but we’ve always been cramped and run out of track. Now I foresee this sort of play will be much easier.

It’ll also be easier to separate the boys to opposite ends of the track when they quarrel!

Posted by: ginki0 | January 26, 2014

Winter Learning

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While both Daddy and Bug are vocally yearning for spring, I’ve been trying to incorporate as many winter activities into our learning as I think the boys will enjoy. The temperatures have been dangerously cold quite often here, so we’ve been taking every safe opportunity to get out and play or go for a walk. Last weekend, we went to Ice Fest at the local museum and enjoyed learning about cold water rescue from the fire department, sledding, watching ice fishing, seeing blocks of ice harvested, playing an “ice fishing” game, and generally having a good time. We took a break for some hot chocolate and ice cream as the boys began to get tired.

We also set a glass bowl in the snow to collect snow flakes (glass so the cold glass could help keep the snow cold when we brought it inside). The boys enjoyed looking at the snow flakes in the magnifying glass. I was thinking about having them look at it in the microscope, but the snow would have melted too quickly, and the boys wouldn’t have been able to see much of the snow’s structure. We have also been playing in the snow and catching snow flakes.

I made an answer key for Bug so he could check his own work when he classifies animals by predator/prey (and I showed him how some animals are both predators and prey!) and by herbivore/carnivore/omnivore. He already has an answer key for grouping animals based on the continent where they live. Soon I think I will give him his triangle types to learn (equilateral, isoceles, scalene, right angle) as he seemed interested.

Other than these special or new activities, the boys have just been enjoying learning things of their choice on their time table. Sometimes I see Bug working on learning early in the morning, sometimes late in he he evening. I am learning not to interrupt his concentration. I just finished reading Maria Montessori’s book The Absorbent Mind, so let’s see if I can apply the few practical things I read in there (much of it was theory).

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The boys enjoyed helping me make a “Basket of Treasures” for Rocky. We will periodically change the contents for other things, but right now it has a blue cloth cube, a black and white rubber ball with rubber spikes, a smooth round plastic red ball, a couple teething rings, some plastic linked toys that Rocky enjoys, and a few other things. The basket itself is wicker, so there are a variety of different sights and feels for him to explore.

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Posted by: ginki0 | January 15, 2014

Doing the Maths

Just a super quick update, but I’m beside myself with giddiness!

Bugsy: Today, I decided to try introducing him to multiplication (and adding more than two numbers together, but he didn’t want to do that, so we didn’t, and we’ll do that another day). We started with tens, because those are easy and we used his ten rods. We started with ten plus ten plus ten, which he did in his head! Then, I showed him that when you add groups of the same number together, it’s called multiplication and I introduced him to the times symbol. Bug, this is Times Symbol. Times Symbol, this is Bug. Ok, I didn’t really do that, but it would have been funny! Anyway, we began doing multiplication with tens, and to my disbelief my little Buggy boy easily and quickly and casually, like it was no big deal, did the entire tens times table correctly in his head. So obviously multiplication must have made sense to the kid! We’ll find out for sure when we try multiplying a different number (besides ten).

By the way, last post I mentioned my frustration over an ecology lesson. The next day he happily did the lesson, and can apply his knowledge of predators, prey, carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores to various situations. Hooray! We didn’t do dentition, but we will get to that soon enough. He’s been reading everything randomly- that is, he will go through his day randomly reading and writing, but he hadn’t wanted to sit down and read a book by himself yet. I did read a study though that made it sound like this is common at this age and it’s not until about seven that kids seem to really want to read. So I am content (backed by Science!) to let him coast along and not push reading, hoping to repeat the results of the study and have an avid, enthusiastic reader in a couple years!

We’ve also done some experiments with both boys. They collected (and measured) a set amount of snow and then we let it melt and measured how long it took (we missed the exact ending of the second trial) and how much water we got from the snow. For Smiley, there was the pure revelation that snow melts into water! Bug learned that science experiments should be repeatable and he also learned that snow will always melt into less water (by volume) than what was collected.

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The boys also created a Lego zoo (again) and we discussed what each animal ate and what animals should not be paired with other animals. Smiley was loving the orca, and he learned that the orca couldn’t be in the same enclosure as the seal or the penguin, or the seal and penguin would be at risk of being eaten! The boys also got to learn the tidbit in passing that wild orcas have never (yet) killed a human, and they got to come up with theories why. Smiley loved feeding his orca imaginary fish.

Smiley: Also today, Smiley surprised me with his math skills! We had been working on counting to three, since he was stuck on two for the longest time. Today he easily and correctly added four, which surprised me! We have been doing our variation of the Montessori spindle box using Legos and number cards, and I’ve only been having him go to five so as not to overwhelm him. He still can’t do it correctly, but I was watching him closely and saw him count to four several times while he was working it out!

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Rocky: Then my little Rocky boy. He’s been squirming and worming all over the floor for the past few days, and he’s been working on pre-crawling positioning. Today, he got up on all fours a few times in an hour span, and I saw him rocking back and forth! I remember that was a step both of my bigger boys went through shortly before crawling. He moved his hand once during this rocking back and forth, but then his leg was also twisted so that he shortly thereafter sat, instead of crawling. 🙂 I weighed him today, and he is 19.1 pounds, and he will be 6 months old on Saturday! Today I changed out his wardrobe for 12 month clothes and packed away his 6 to 9 month clothes, since the 12 month shirts fit him so much better! He now has not one tooth, but two. Obviously he’s ready to get to eating, and he’s been enjoying experimenting with food.

So that’s our update for now. Breathlessly awaiting the next moment my boys take my breath away!

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Posted by: ginki0 | January 9, 2014

Catch up

While the boys play with their Legos, Smiley intently building something, Bug creating an elaborate story, and Rocky watching with smiles at the free entertainment, I might actually get a chance to post!

Christmas was busy, as it always is and likely always will be. We do four Christmases every year- one for Daddy’s family, one for my family (always Christmas Eve), one for our nuclear family (always Christmas morning), and one for Daddy’s extended family (always Christmas Day at noon). This year, Daddy’s side’s Christmas was on the Saturday before Christmas, which then gave us a few days to relax before Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was a nice Christmas, though it ended up being oddly gun themed and the boys went a little crazy with the six toy guns they ended up getting, which we ended up having to take away to curb the erupting violence. It sucked to take away Christmas presents, but the violence level was spiking and someone was going to end up seriously hurt. Grandpa was sick on that Saturday, and then by Christmas Eve, Bugsy was sick. He was running a fever and so sick he could barely express sadness at not being able to go to Christmas Eve. Daddy stayed home with him and they watched Star Wars and Bugs got to open some presents to try to cheer him up and involve him in a small way in the celebrations. I took Smiley and Rocky and we went to our Christmas Eve celebrations, where Smiley missed his brother and got into a couple scraps with his cousin who is the same age. Over all, the celebration was very nice. The gifts we gave brought smiles and cheer, and my sister’s family gave us a bunch of school stuff, which was delightful. We brought home Bugs’ presents so he could open them in the morning. Come Christmas morning, and Bug was still sick, and I was starting to feel sick too. I made apple cinnamon pancakes hoping breakfast would make Amos and me feel better, but it didn’t. We opened presents, and Smiley threw a delightful happy dance at his presents. Bug was still too sick to be very enthused, and some of his presents were a little old for him (he got a really cool helicopter, for instance, but it is for ages 14 and up. He can’t control it.). So Bug and I stayed home while Daddy took Smiley and Rocky to the final Christmas celebration. By the time they got back, I was feeling really ill. I think we had the flu, and it completely knocked me out for a couple days. All I had the energy to concern myself with was eating enough to feed Rocky (I had had a stomach illness a week before and ran out of milk for the poor boy, which led to me nursing him all the time to keep him from being too hungry and to increase supply. It was an awful feeling knowing that while he wasn’t starving, he wasn’t satisfied, either.) Daddy got a little bit of it but was thankfully able to function. Bug got better about a day before I did, then relapsed, just like I did, and then we both finally got better for good. Then, Rocky got sick, and Smiley followed suit- for one day. The kid has his Daddy’s immune system, which is nice!

Well, now we are all better, and the kids got to pick out some more school games and have been loving them. Smiley enjoys his Melissa and Doug sequence sorter and Bug loves his puzzle map of the USA. He will spontaneously play it a couple times every day so far! Plus, he’s learning some states- California is his favorite. Bug is also beginning to read everything spontaneously. I’m giddy with excitement. He’s been schooling an interest in dinosaurs, which has led to some fun learning about paleontology, and predator versus prey, and carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. I designed for him what I thought would be a timely lesson on carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, looking at the differences in teeth (I was going to use the dogs as an example) and trying to reason our way through the pile of animal pictures we have to determine which category each should go it. Bug was happy to play along with determining what he was (he figured out he was an omnivore!) and Smiley was willing to let us look at his teeth, but that was where it ended, with Bug not willing to sort any more animals than the few he randomly placed and not wanting to learn about teeth differences between the types. I had to bite my tongue and let him be, even though I really wanted to force him to endure the lesson- and like it!- because of my own pride in what I thought was a cool lesson. I will present it again later, when he is ready. It’ll be so much nicer to teach a willing student than an unwilling student!

Smiley is growing too! He woke up dry five nights in a row, so we’ve begun to ask him if he would like to sleep in underwear or diapers. He has chosen underwear each time, and has only had one (minor) accident at nighttime! One accident in a eight days or so is pretty impressive for an almost three year old- and he did it himself! This morning, he woke up dry and went downstairs by himself to play, since everyone else was still sleeping. By the time he remembered he had to pee, it was a little too late- but he almost made it to the potty. Smiley has been showing me that he is a flash card kid. He likes using cards as flash cards for learning shapes, colors, and letter sounds. We tried a game where we worked together to build a tower, with him bringing me the correct colors of blocks, but it only frustrated him, whereas he was much less frustrated and on board with the (in my opinion more boring) flash cards. Knowing this, however, will only help me teach him, so I’m happy to have this valuable knowledge, and in some ways he might be easier to teach than Bug, who is more project oriented (which I think is more fun!) Then there is Rocky who is also growing up. Last night, I saw and felt the sharp edges of a tooth! You can clearly see this first tooth of his. He has gotten up on all fours once, and is fairly able to shift from reaching out for something to going back to a sitting position.

I’m sure I have more to tell, but the natives are getting restless and I must put my referee hat on once again.

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