Thursday, June 25, 2009

My kids

Sasha is twenty six months old now and is amazing! I brought her and Brookelyn to get their hair cut the other day. While we were waiting the girls found several purses that they wanted to buy. Sasha and Brookelyn were each wearing two or three of them as they walked around looking at other things to buy. The purses were filled with things like lip gloss, pretend make-up, nail polish...Brookelyn asked me if we could buy them. Every now and then when the kids want to do something and I don't want to, I put them off with, "I'll talk to Daddy and we'll see." It is really my way of saying no, but since they are so young and don't really care that much about whatever it is they are asking for, it is a good solution. If I say "no," there will be at least one child having a huge meltdown. Anyway, after Brookelyn asked me if we could buy the purses, Sasha put her hand on my arm and said, "Call Daddy?" How smart is that?
I have been getting up with her a lot in the morning because she cries for me if Ray gets her. Today she cried to the point that I thought she was going to throw up. I try to let him spend time with her so I am not always coming in and taking over, but I can't handle it when she really cries. I usually stay up late getting things done and Ray falls asleep a few hours before me. It would be great if they could hang out in the morning, but it rarely happens. Even if she doesn't cry, she will sneak away from him and come looking for me. It is very sweet, it would be even sweeter if I was a morning person.
At night after I read Sasha four books in the rocking chair, she turns off the light with the remote (she has to do it), and then we rock and sing in the dark. She tells me what she wants me to sing ("Baa" for "Ba ba, Black Sheep," "twinkle" for Twinkle, Twinkle," and "itsy" for "Itsy, Bitsy Spider"). I sing and she always tells me to sing quietly (I have to sing in a whisper) or she will say, "Brookelyn sleeping." Sometimes she sings with me and she knows most of the words to the songs. She learned how to count to ten last week and counts things we see in books.
Brookelyn has been very emotional the last few days. She is either singing and dancing or crying about something. Yesterday she had four meltdowns from the time I picked her up from school to the time we got home. The first time was because her graham cracker had a corner that wasn't perfect. The second time was because she didn't want to watch the same movie in the car that Sasha and Brayden wanted to watch. I have no idea what the other two times were about because I had to block it out so I could drive us home safely. When we went out to dinner at our local food court later she threw a napkin on the ground for no reason. I told her she had to pick it up (it wasn't the first thing she had thrown down) and it took her about three minutes to do it. I mean, she moved her body so slowly that you could hardly see that she was moving because she just didn't want to do it. Luckily, it was just her and I for awhile so I had time to follow through and I sat and watched her as she did it. It looked like some acting piece because she was so dramatic. She is usually very happy and sweet, and is usually amazingly easy. Her teachers love her and think everything she does is wonderful.
The basketball team Brayden was on had its last game. I liked going on Sunday mornings because it got us up and out early. He got exercise and really had fun. I think we are going to take a little break before we sign him up on another team. We have the next three Saturdays without swim meets, which is great. He still has practice four days a week, which he really likes. I also bring him to play basketball on some Friday and Saturday evenings, which he loves. I love the coach and again, it gets Brayden moving.

More Pictures

Angels Game and potty training

We had a great time at the Angel's game. We cooked out in the parking lot, the kids played catch and Ray and I took turns bringing Sasha to the bathroom. She had decided a few days before that to stop wearing her diaper. I was planning to wait until after the 4th of July to potty train her. I was planning spending a week hanging out at the house training her. She has been trying to stop wearing diapers for the lst couple of months. She was constantly taking them off and we would have to put it on her again. The Sunday before the game, June 29th, she took her diaper off again and again. Ray didn't know what she was doing with the diapers so he kept putting new one on. I looked out the back door and there they all were. It didn't seem fair to keep her in diapers if she so clearly was ready to be finished with them. So I got the potty chair out and she and I talked about it. She would only sit on it for three seconds or so in the beginning, but she got better and only made on mistake that day. I was in the middle of a project at work, so I had to bring her the next day. I brought her in underwear. I brought a bunch of pull ups with me for nap time and several new pairs of underwear. I was shocked when I picked her up and she was wearing the same pair of underwear. No mistakes! She didn't have any mistakes at home or at school all week! It did mean that we went to the bathroom a few times in the parking lot of the Angel's game, but she only asked to go once during the long game. She had one pee pee accident by the kiddie pool outside my mom's house on the fourth of July, but otherwise she has been dry! I would say we are surprised, but she has been ready for awhile. She has been dry the last three or four nights, but I am keeping the diaper on her for awhile. I do not want to be changing her sheets in the middle of the night. She is only two years and three months old (today), so it's early to be potty trained at night time. Her teachers aren't surprised by how easy it was, she is really smart and was clearly ready.
Sasha also started talking a lot more in the last few weeks. Now she says a ton of things and we can have conversations with her. Yesterday afternoon we heard the ice cream truck in our neighborhood. She ran up to me and said, "Ice cream man, mommy." I paused for a couple of seconds. I love running to get ice cream with them, but we had just eaten popsicles. She put her hands in her pockets and then pulled them out and said to me, "No money, mommy." Then she ran over to the corner and grabbed a nickel that had been laying on the floor and ran with it over to me. She then started running around showing me where she knew other coins were. I would have bought her some ice cream after that, but our ice cream guy really has no desire to sell ice cream. He races through our neighborhood so quickly you have to be armed with money and at the door to catch him.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I have been really busy with Brayden's swim practices and meets, basketball practices and games and getting work made for school. Brayden has swim practice four days a week and then meets almost every Saturday. The meets go from 7:30 am until about 2:00 pm. Unfortunately, it has been pretty dreary on most of the Saturdays we have had meets. We have left the little girls home with Dakota so they don't have to be out all day and so we don't have to worry about them by the pools. The meets are really crowded. Brayden is a pretty good swimmer, so they have been putting him in the relays which are at the very beginning and the very end of the meets. Nice. Our job is being a timer every other meet, which is fun. It is fun to be able to be so close to all of the swimmers. I may see if Brookelyn wants to be on the team next year. I doubt if I would have her swim at the meets, but going to all of the practices would get her to be a good swimmer. I am looking into getting her and Sasha into a gymnastics class. Sasha saw someone do a somersault on tv and then did a perfect one. She is really coordinated. Brookelyn has been wanting to do gymnastics or ballet, but I haven't found a place I like yet.
I have been spending a lot of time ordering materials and making work for the school. I buy the materials, make the work, laminate it, cut it out, put it in the box or give it to a teacher and then add it to the list. The teachers take turn studying different units of study each month, such as Oceanography, Dinosaurs, Gardening, Insects, Art, Farm, Transportation...and each unit has a box that is filled with posters, puzzles, books, and different types of "work" for the children to do such as working with matching cards, labeling different dinosaurs, labeling parts of a flower...When I started doing this, a lot of the boxes were pretty empty or a lot of the work was old or broken. So I have spent a lot of time in teacher's stores buying supplies. A lot of things can be bought, but a lot of the Montessori work has to be made by hand. I do a lot of it in the evening when the kids are in bed. I try to get it done when I am at school, but it's is kind of an endless job and I cannot seem to stop. I really like seeing the children working on things that I made or bought and the teachers are happy to get new work in their classroom. I made a new unit box of science and had a lot of fun buying a microscope, slides, a working volcano, different magnets, and books about science. I am now working on new unit boxes for each of the continents. I bought pdf files of flags from the different continents, so I have been printing, cutting, gluing them on to cardstock, and laminating them. I am making a set for the preschool classes to do flag matching work as well as some for them to do labeling work with. It takes A LOT of time. A lot of our teachers and parents travel overseas during the summer so I have asked them to bring back different currency from the countries they visit. I have been learning a lot and it's really fun to work on things I know my children will be using at school.
Dakota is taking 12 college credits this summer. She is transferring to a differnt art school in the fall and it requires four and a half years of classes. Since it costs about $42,000 a year, I thought it would be better for her to take 12 of the credits this summer, so she will graduate in four years. She already has three credits from high school that will count. It works out will since there aren't a lot of summer jobs right now anyway. It also works out because she has been able to babysit for me during the swim meets as well.