Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Preschool with Meredith - Week 1

The day Mackenzie started Kindergarten, Meredith and I had our first official day of home preschool.  I have been VERY lax in our learning activities this past year and I knew I needed to do more with Meredith!  Miranda was napping, so we got right to work!  I'm doing a modified version of what I did with Mackenzie a couple of years ago.  We'll do the bible lessons we did, but I'll be changing the alphabet activities.

She really has a lot of fun and just like Mackenzie, loves to "do school."  I enjoy having that one on one time with her and I think she does too.  I think it helps keep our minds off missing Mackenzie all day. ;)

We started with the story of Creation which gives us a chance to focus on numbers and colors.  She has her colors down, so the numbers and of course the Bible story were our real focus.  She was super excited to have a daily notebook like Mackenzie.  We started with the pledges to the US and Texas flags.  After a couple of weeks now, she is starting to point out the flags when she sees them around town.  I LOVE that!  Next in the notebook is the months of the year and days of the week songs.  By the end of the first day she was almost getting all of the days in the right order.  Practice, practice, practice! ;)  Then books of the Bible, ABC's and then weather and date.  She really likes using the marker to circle the date and weather.  I am not making her trace/write anything because she's just not ready for that yet.   

Bible: Creation Story
Day 1 - God made light.  Simple craft using the printables from Hubbard's Cupboard.  She LOVED gluing it down!
Another activity from Hubbard's Cupboard - sorting day and night pictures.  As you can see we are very laid back - eating Arby's while doing school! ;)

Day 2 - God made sky and seas.  Again, LOVES glue!

Day 3 - God made flowers, plants and trees.  She cut the strips for the grass and helped crinkle the tissue paper.  She's not too familiar with scissors, so that was interesting but that's why we are doing this!

Each day we focused on a number to correspond with that day's story.  She likes tracing the numbers using Confessions of a Homeschooler's printables that I laminated.
She made the circles on the threes as part of the practice, but asked for me to help her when tracing the actual 3's.
I bought this button puzzle activity a few months ago at the resale shop and it was perfect for working on number recognition.  I was very impressed with her recognition considering we hadn't really talked about numbers other than basic counting out loud. 

The colors were similar to the numbers in that we talked about a certain color depending on the day of creation.  I accidentally went out of order and we colored the yellow sheet on day one, but that's ok.  We also went on "color hunts" around the house to find different things from the particular color we were studying.

Arts & Crafts:
For Day 1 - Day and night, we did a black and white collage.
We stamped flowers for day 3's craft.  She wasn't too excited about it.  I have since bought some ink that is better for the girls to use rather than my scrapbooking ink that doesn't wash off! ;)
Another fun activity was pulling out all of my old art supplies and seeing what they looked like on our paper (blue for day 2).  Chalk pastels, chalk, oil pastels.  I couldn't tell you what she drew, but she had fun scribbling around so I call it a success.

We did a lot of Day 3 crafts because flowers are easy!  She made a very "sparkly" flower!
"See Momma, it's sparkly in the sun!"
And I found these mosaic sticker things that we received last summer as a gift.  She did a few more stickers than what is shown in the picture on the left before she was "tired of this".  I did the rest, but she took credit in the picture on the right! ;)

She didn't really want to actually string the beads, so we laid our patterns on the floor.  And of course, you can't work with these bead without trying to stack them too.  We learned that we can stack much higher if we work on the wood floor rather than the carpet.
Playing with the counting bears was also fun.  We are still learning one to one correspondence, but are getting better.  I was pleasantly surprised with her pattern knowledge.  Now if I start to layout something in ABAB or the like, she says "Oh, you are making a pattern?"
I don't think I had ever played Spot it with Meredith, so we had a little fun with that.  She liked it for a few minutes but then was ready to move on. I guess not everything can be as fun as gluing paper! ;)
Picking up bugs was her requested activity.  She set the rules for us and as long as she was working on her gripping motor skills, I went along with it.
Tracing circles from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  As a side note, I don't think she needs glasses, she wants to make sure she doesn't get off the dotted line, so she stares at it and traces really, really slowly!
And last of all, stringing beads to a pipe cleaner.  Fine motor skills at their best!

We've taken our time with this and since she goes to preschool twice a week, we don't have our preschool every day, so it's taken a few weeks to finish this unit.  We finished all 7 days of Creation yesterday, so I'll post days 4-7 later this week or next.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Too funny

I haven't done a wrap up of the girls funny stories in a while, so here we go!

We saw someone on TV with a bunch of tattoos and Mackenzie said, "Wow, he needs a bath!"

Speaking of baths...Brandon and I were talking about the A&M football game last weekend and Brandon said it was going to be a blood bath.  Mackenzie looked at him with big eyes and said, "Blood bath?!"  We both started laughing and he said, "I mean that A&M is going to beat the snot out of the other team."  Blank stare from Mackenzie.  "A&M is going to win the game." ;)

During the summer the girls and I met our friends at a new local restaurant, Jimmy Changas and ate outside.  The other day as Meredith and I were walking by a restaurant with outdoor seating, she asked me if it was "Jimmy ChangOs".  I guess every outside seating will forever be the same restaurant. ;)

Meredith has FOUR loveys that she sleeps with...a blanket, a small blanket (actual lovey), a stuffed Horton the elephant and a small stuffed kitty.  Brandon was playing with her last weekend and took the little kitty away.  She grabbed the kitty back and said, "You can play with the loveys that don't have eyes!"

Meredith ended up having a fever on her birthday a couple of weeks ago, so I took her to the clinic that evening.  The doctor asked her how her ears felt and she said, "Floppy."  Yep, earlobes are pretty floppy. ;)

And lastly, I leave you with this picture.  Meredith received a new bicycle helmet for her birthday and insisted on wearing it to the grocery store the next morning.  We got quite a few looks but I guess everyone was being cautious, because NO ONE said anything, as if she was required to wear this helmet!
What you can't see is the mane...

Until next time....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Miranda is 12 months!

I was waiting until after Miranda's doctor's appointment this week to post her 12 months stats and pictures.  Her stats are below:

Weight: 17lbs 6oz (13th percentile)
Height:  28" (9th percentile)

Yes, she's small, but that's ok.  She should catch up, but then again she may just be smaller than Mackenzie and Meredith.  She's doing great either way and this weekend I'm planning to do a trial of dairy to see if she still has an allergy. 

At 12 months old, Miranda...
- nurses about 3 or 4 times a day.
- eats baby food out of the pouches, but she prefers our food.  She likes everything especially our morning smoothie!
- has two bottom teeth.
- is pulling up to her knees and trying to crawl on her hands and knees rather than army crawling.
- wears 12-18 month clothing.  I have no idea what size shoe because we don't put any on her.
- smiles and laughs at her sisters.
- puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.
- is very much like Mackenzie and doesn't like people to talk directly to her or try to hold her when she first comes in the room.
- is pretty dramatic - cries at the top of lungs when someone else holds her and stops the minute I hold her.
- says momma.

And of course, the comparison photo!
Miranda may look like Meredith, but she has the same personality as Mackenzie - pretty reserved.  I love that this picture shows their personalities. ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

First day of Preschool

Meredith had her first day of preschool last week.  Trying to get a newly turned three year old to hold up a sign and stand still is impossible.  Especially when they are super excited!

The weeks before she was in denial about going and anytime I asked her about preschool she would say "nuffing" (nothing).  That's her way of saying, I don't want to talk about it.  We had "Meet your Teacher" night the Thursday before and that was not so great.  She cried and threw a huge fit thinking we were going to leave her there.  I was really nervous about the actual first day, but she surprised us and had absolutely NO tears!  Yay, I was tired of crying at drop offs from the week before with Mackenzie, so I was really thankful this drop off went so well.

On the second day when I asked her if her teacher is nice, she said, "yes, I love her."  So cute and I'm glad she loves school.  We've even been doing school here at the house on her off days and today she asked to do school.  It makes me pretty happy every time my girls ask to do school work!  I'll take it while I can!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Responsibility = brown

I guess Mackenzie's school has a word of the month thing and September's month was "responsibility".  To promote this idea, the kindergarteners were supposed to wear a brown shirt on the Tuesday after Labor Day.  You know, because a brown short sleeve shirt is so easy to find in August in southeast Texas!  Had they chosen this word/color for November it would have been easy peasy, but no, its for September.  I found out about it on Wednesday and ordered a plain brown shirt that night on Amazon for a two day "guaranteed" delivery.  Nothing showed up on Saturday like it was supposed to and since mail wasn't going to run on Monday, Brandon and I had to shop for another one.  We didn't want her to miss out on the first kindergarten "thing", so we looked on every store website we could think of trying to find a brown t-shirt for a little girl.  We found two at Bass Pro online.  One we immediately said no to and the other we decided was better than nothing.  We loaded up the girls and took a trip to the store where we searched hi and lo for the acceptable shirt.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find it and so we bought the back up, the one we originally said no way too.  Apparently, THAT shirt is actually better than nothing. ;)
In general, we are not fans of shirts with writing on them and then we are also not fans of "princess" and the like type sayings.  So to have a shirt that says she's going to be a model was a bit much for us, but again we felt like it was better than not having a brown shirt.  To be honest, I have no idea how many kids actually had brown shirts, but oh well, we followed through!

The shirt from amazon showed up on Tuesday afternoon before I picked her up from school. Boo!  But,we are keeping it for when Meredith goes to kindergarten!

October's month is Creativity = Tie Dyed!  Now off to buy another shirt! ;)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

Today is the 7th day of school and I'm finally blogging about first day of Kindergarten!  Mackenzie has been super excited about Kindergarten all summer!  She loved getting to go into the school two weeks before for her "Kinder assessment".  And was even more excited about meet the teacher on the Thursday before school started.  Unfortunately for her, it was truly just a "meet the teacher" and nothing else.  She was very disappointed that they didn't "do anything" and had to wait 3 more days for school to start! ;)

When I asked her what she was going to wear for her first day of school, she immediately said her school shirt that I bought her and she picked up at Meet the Teacher.  I was expecting her to wear one of her new outfits, but she was all about school spirit!  Yay for her.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the "first day of school outfits" are in the coming years. ;)


Brandon's mom was in town to watch the little girls so that Brandon and I could take Mackenzie to school by ourselves.  She also volunteered to take pictures of us before we left!  Brandon was saying some silly things and apparently Mackenzie thought it was funny.  That or she couldn't believe he was actually saying it! ;)

However, Meredith decided she needed her picture taken as well.

We got there pretty early because we were a little concerned with parking and lines since Meet the Teacher was CRAZY!  Anyways, while we were waiting Mackenzie looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm scared."  That was the first time she had said anything like that about Kindergarten, so I was a little thrown and of course I cried too.  I quickly pulled out my phone so that we could look at pictures and distract ourselves.  Once the bell rang we went to her classroom and she was finally able to "do" something!  We also took her picture with her teacher.
And then the tears started again.  We stayed a few minutes longer, but I had to get Brandon to take over so that I could stop crying in front of her. :(  A friend of mine whose daughter is in the connecting class said that she looked in on Mackenzie later and she was just fine.  Then, 7 1/2 hours later I picked her up and she was all smiles!

She likes school, but it was a little rough at drop off last week every morning.  On the second day I walked her in with Meredith and Miranda in tow.  There were tears (from both of us), but I walked out quickly and I know she got better shortly after.  On days 3 and 4, we did the drop off line and that was just too much for us.  First of all, we have to get there early and sit in car waiting to go drop off.  That just offered more time for Mackenzie to think about being gone all day.  Secondly, you have to be super quick because there are hundreds of kids trying to be dropped off in a twenty minute time frame.  And finally, shes FIVE and I'm supposed to let her walk down a sidewalk by herself to the main door into the school.  Sorry, that just wasn't working for us.  On Friday, I parked at the school and walked her to the main door and we only had a few tears.  She later told me that she only cried for "just a little bit", but was fine once she got in her room.  So, this week we started our new routine, parking at the school parking lot and walking her to the front door.  We get to leave about 10 minutes later and she can hold my hand while we walk to the main door and get a hug before she goes into the school.  She didn't cry yesterday or today, so we are sticking with that.  I told her on rainy days we'll be doing drop off because I'm not walking with her and the little ones in the rain, but we'll deal with that when the time comes. ;)

Pick up is starting to become a hassle too, but I'm going to give it another week or so before I contemplate doing the same type of thing we do in the morning.  Meredith and I don't mind waiting in the car because we have books or ipads, but Miranda is hit or miss with being happy.  Sometimes she naps, but if she doesn't nap than she's not too happy about sitting in a carseat when the car is not moving. :/  I think it's a matter of working her naps so that she is sleepy at drop off time, but as you might know, babies aren't always predictable and don't seem to care what you had planned! ;)

So, school is underway and our new schedule is becoming more normal.  I'm sure we will have many more school adventures this year!
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