Archive | August, 2012

Back to School!

27 Aug

Well we are a week away from a new school year! We’ve done some amazing and fun things this summer! Saw motocross at the county fair, caught a few baseball games, went swimming- A LOT!, visited family, took tons of nature hikes, picked lots of sunflowers, made new friends… everything you’re supposed to do in the summer, I think we were able to accomplish!

Max met his new teacher today. Her name is perfect, Ms. Love. ¬†ūüėÄ I’m glad Max took a liking to her, I was worried he would be upset that Miss Rosemary wasn’t here. But he did great. We went over rules and procedures, talked about our Summer Goals we had made back in May, and made new goals for this fall that we will revisit in October.

Some of his goals will be:

Work on learning our phone number.

Work on throwing (he’s a sidewinder” and catching (gotta have a few fun goals!)

Answering questions in full sentences.

Work on making good choices.

Work on writing his name between the lines.

And start helping him to understand healthy food choices. (Never to young to start!)

And an extra one, is once again cutting back on screen time. Due to overly hot weather and being inside for many days at a time, really made the screen time creep back up to where we don’t want it. So we’ll start bringing that back down again.

We went back to school shopping. Since Max grew 3 inches over the summer (!!) Kim, my SIL and the kids’ Aunt sent Max $50 for new clothes! So he got 2 new shirts, angry birds and batman and a new pair of jeans and of course a Vikings hat! I asked Max if I could get Rory a Hello Kitty shirt and he said it was OK, so we also got her a little something. Both kids are happy with their new clothes.

I also bought new paint, along with paint brushes (we haven’t used brushes before just stamps, toys and hands) and 2 trays you can put paint on. I’m hoping to start getting little crafty/ activity stuff here and there, extra pasta, flour, rice, food coloring, shaving cream… We literally took a break this summer and just spent as much time outside as possible and reading, playing with toys… didn’t do too many activities. Kids didn’t seem into activities, more into playing games like hide and seek (in the apt) and apartment football haha things like that, so I just followed their lead.

I’m making a Fall “Bucket List”, places we want to go, things we want to do before winter gets here. Found that idea from one of my pages on facebook that I liked. Some people just have the best ideas! So far I know I want to take the kids to the Zoo and to a IMCA race and of course the Pumpkin Patch and Zombie Walk! So I’ll be scouring the internet for ideas while the kids are at my moms here later this week.

Max’s birthday is coming up, and oh man! Who would have thought that planning a 5 year old’s birthday was so stressful?! ¬†We wanted to start keeping the birthdays and¬†Christmases¬†simple and not overspending on gifts and getting too many and I found an idea on pinterest of getting kids “Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” and I just loved that idea. I thought it was perfect for our priorities and¬†values¬†as a family. But this year will be the first year Max will have friends at his party and I just got so worried they would make fun of him for getting “lame toys” or for not getting very many… it just really freaked me out. So I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to get him. It was nuts. Finally I was like whatever, the 2 friends I know we are inviting for sure are super nice, their parents are great, and if they say something, we’ll just turn it into a learning¬†experience¬†for the kids. ¬†He already got his Jared Allen Vikes jersey (something to wear). He also got a Joker Imaginext Funhouse with 2 extra action figures (Something he wants and needs haha) and instead of something to read because he and Rory have A TON of books we got a playdough fun factory. Oh and since the boys (and a few girls) around the complex have been playing with nerf guns, we found one on¬†clearance¬†and got him one of those too. So I think it is perfect. It will be an Angry Birds themed. And we’ll have 2 games: a Life Size angry birds game. Collecting 12 pk pop boxes, will cover them in construction paper (blue for glass blocks, brown for wooden) and I’m not sure what we’ll use for angry birds and pigs. But we’ll get stuff for that too and we’ll play. Also we’ll do a bird hunt. We’ll get some¬†Easter¬†eggs in the colors of a few angry birds and pigs and have little¬†treasures¬†and treats in the eggs and each kid will have a gold egg to find with something extra special in there. Then we’ll do pizza and play at the park. Still trying to nail down a date though.

I also need a list of things for Rory and I to go and do while Max is at school. I’m pretty excited. She and I are going to have lots of adventures.

So that is what is going on. We are trying to get a bit more¬†organized. We have set up a dry erase¬†calendar¬†in the kitchen. Trying to make it a “command center”. Bill and I aren’t organized by nature so we are trying to ease into this organized business slowly. We started with just meals. Planning out every meal so we know whats for dinner, what needs to be thawed and all of that. I slacked off last week pretty bad, but I’m hoping to stay on the ball this week. We are keeping track of events and things we are doing.

Well that is what is going on here, trying to get ready for a full school year, birthday, and cutting back on screen time and getting more organized! I will¬†undoubtedly¬†try and update this after Max’s first week of school!

Let’s try this again!

9 Aug

I’m not good at keeping up with journals and by extension blogs but let’s try this again. The new school year is almost upon us so we are going to try blogging throughout this year.
This past summer we kept things simple. A few trips to visit family, a few outings to carnivals, fairs, a baseball game, many nature walks/hikes, and of course going to the park every single chance we got. Bill and I did talk after school ended that we might get Max into a dancing class or karate or gymnastics, but we decided against that. We feel that summer is for having fun and not having to be somewhere all of the time. I guess this stems from our own childhoods where we were lucky enough to not have parents who needed to schedule every single minute of the day for us so that they didn’t have to spend real time with us. We got to go out and explore and just play. That is what we want for our kids. Plus, we actually like spending time with our kids, not watching them play but playing with them. It seems crazy I know, but that is just how we are. So since Max is doing the preschool thing again this year, then he’ll go right to kindergarten, summers will be reserved just for fun stuff with mom and dad until he starts asking for a sport or something during the summer break. Max has made 3 new friends this summer. Taylor, is a cute 5 year old girl. They have had many play dates at our house and at hers these past few weeks. They met on the 4th of July while our families watched the fireworks at our Apartment Complex. She is a girl version of Max, which is probably why they get along so well. They color each other pictures and us parents tape the to each other’s front doors for the kids to find. It is just adorable. Max also has made 2 older boy friends; Josh who is 8 and Connor who is 6. We met them while Bill, Max Rory and I were running around the complex playing just a shooting game. We divided up into teams, and we ran around with Max’s guns and shooting each other and dying. Josh and Connor thought it was fun, so they asked to join us. And they all spent hours outside playing that. Played for hours the next day and asked if they could spend the night. And they did! It was Max’s first sleep over. It was crazy, having a 2,4,6 and 8 year old for a night, and I’m glad I only have 2 kids because of it, but it was fun nonetheless. We met up with an old friend of mine, Becky and she has 2 kids, a 2 year old girl and a 10 year old boy and we went swimming. Max just loved the little girl, Rory didn’t know what to think of her, she hasn’t seen too many girls her age, but it was fun. So, my¬†instincts¬†were correct. There is nothing “wrong” with Max and I don’t need to push sports or other activities onto him because he is a wonderful boy who will make friends. It just goes to show you, you can’t listen to anybody no matter how “knowledgeable” they seem or what their good (or even bad) intentions are.

Max is excited about school starting. And so am I. I’m very excited for Me and Rory to have some just me and her time again. We got to do a lot of fun things last year during the time Max was at school. One of the things I can’t wait for is that we are going to take the train table out of the play room (we need the extra space in there) and we are going to covert it into a sensory table for the kitchen and maybe we might try to use it on the patio on nice fall days. And it is simple, we are going to waterproof it with a new coat of fun colored paint, then Bill is going to cut a hole in the middle for a storage tub to fit into, and then I can make some colored rice, water beads, ¬†cloud dough… anything like that and put it in there for Rory to have at. ¬†Max will also enjoy it too, but it is going to be great. Bill is also going to make a light table. He has access to broken tv’s at work, that the screen is cracked and can’t be fixed and they usually just toss them, but we can still use them as the light element for our light table and put a piece of plexi glass over it boom, a light table. Will put that in one of our extra end tables and put that in the playroom.

Speaking of the play room, we are in the process of really getting that set up the way we will like it. I have recently been inspired by the Reggio Style of teaching and how they set up their class rooms and play rooms. We will be getting rid of the kids’ cute little couch (a part of me is actually kind of sad by this, but we need the room), and the train table is going to be re-purposed. I already took out the entertainment center they had in there that was too tall for them to get the stuff off the top 3 shelves without them climbing up on it and possibly tipping it over. And used our old entertainment center from the living room because it is much shorter. And right now that is their art, “homework” center. I have their colors, colored pencils, markers, color wonder markers and dry erase markers on top, Max’s homework books, dry erase books, their coloring books, blank filler paper, Rory’s puzzles and her shape sorting toys, and a homemade bead stringing¬†activity¬†and a homemade sewing¬†activity. That way if they want to color, they can just grab their colors and their coloring books and just do it. Before all of this stuff, minus the puzzles, were up high in the bookcase in the kitchen and it was out of sight, out of mind for both kids. But these past few days since moving stuff around, they both have been drawing, coloring more and doing puzzles more. So I wish I would have done this a bit sooner. But that is ok. I have the idea of what I want to do, and I showed Bill and we are going to make it happen. Basically I want a building area, with their¬†Lego’s,¬†Lego¬†table, and wooden blocks I want to add to this area by getting Lincoln Logs and other building sets. Then I want a what we call “City” area, with Rory’s doll house, the train sets, cars, people, and Rory’s zoo set. Then the art area, with all their art supplies. Their kitchen will be near their dress up corner. We have tons of dress up clothes, we just need to add some hooks to hang them on and a mirror. And a Book Nook. That might go into their bedroom actually. So that if Max wants to read, he has a quiet place to do so if we are playing something loud with Rory in the play room.

I”ve also thought about adding space by lofting an area in the play room. I haven’t told Bill about this yet, but the idea came to me last night as I tried to fall asleep. We could loft an area like for their art area or the book nook or something. Give them extra floor space and create a cool “fort” under too.

Well that is what we have going on right now. School and getting their play room set up. I’m actually going to add some pics of the current layout of the play room. It will change here and there and I will add pics as it does.

-AK