What is it about kids…and their need to line everything up? We’ve been through this stage a few times…and its back. its just painting..but the line-ups are there
While I’ve been on the hunt for material to help teach reading to S…I found some other goodies. One of them was this book called Snip it! (Mean Writing Fundamentals). All in one fun book! There are 2 different types of cutting activities in it.
1. Pictures that you take off sticker fronts (no glue needed, that’s nice sometimes) and paper that your child cuts to put on sticky spots…and its on nice paper that is fun to color. At the top of every page is a rebus of what to do….so S can look at the pictures and “read” what steps she is to take to complete the picture.
2. Cut-out-follow-the-directions/example-to-make-something. This is also neat. Kinda like tan-grams.
Anything art get this kids attention…and this was a fun new find. We don’t find much that is all that interesting to do (at a reasonable price) in a ready-made form at the PX here….but this one was a rare gem. I enjoy making activities for S from scratch (so to speak) but here and there its nice to have a ready made
I’m just about all organized and ready to go with our first weeks rotating learning activities! Just a wee bit more prep tomorrow and we’re ready to roll
Ahh….sweet, much needed rest. I’ve been getting it. I’ve been basking in it….I’ve been enjoying it! I have finally figured out a sleep schedule for my baby. Sweetpea E now takes a pretty long nap in the morning AND the afternoon. The afternoon nap is IN the same room with her sister too! Go me! I feel more normalized now, I can think of other things. Like photography. Oh, I’ve missed you creativity. I’ve missed you camera. I’ve missed taking beautiful photos of my beautiful children. Totally have a big head about my own kids
I was kicking back and relaxing today. I had nothing on the agenda. Had a nice warm cup of Italian coffee in hand, Movie on the Netflix (Hope Floats, awesome movie!)….and through the curtains I see the light change. Storm clouds were rolling in and creating the most wonderful light. So of course I scrap my relaxing moment, rush upstairs and wake up my babies early from their nap to bask them in said wonderful light Relaxing time for frazzled mom or waking up babies early from nap for photos? Duh moment for me…totally waking up the kids to take photos hahaha.
They’re getting so big…..
Still researching/finding my activities for Sept to start this screen free time…..hoping to have a post up about that soon!
So…..haha. I’ve been absent. Not for a lack of wanting to post. Or a lacking a kabillion photos…..I just haven’t had the time. I just haven’t MADE the time. Jumping back in now
I’m still trying to figure out how to “manage” things during this deployment. 2 kids, 2 dogs, moms club, FRG “stuff”….my own “stuff”….Still trying to stick to the idea of baby steps. I feel like we’re getting there. It doesn’t help that its summer time and “S” is out of school and we need to figure out things to occupy her. I’m also trying to get “E” on some kind of consistent sleep schedule. While thinking about all of this the other night, I realize that in order to do this, I am going to HAVE to slow down. I’m going to HAVE to take on less “things” to do. And that’s ok.
Yesterday I started planning out/looking up activities for “S”. I read awhile back some post on Facebook about “screen free time”. Its summer, its blazing hot here in Italy, we’re big lazy bums and have been having A LOT of screen time. Too much. I am very aware of this. And I want to change this. Until I figure out all of my activities (because that’s how I work, I need my calendar all laid out and the projects/ideas prepped haha) I will start off slooooooooooooow. I was browsing online (okay, pinterest of course haha) and was just swimming in ideas. One popped out to me especially because I had ALL the supplies on hand already! Yay for ease! So, while S&E were napping, I prepped it quickly. SUPER easy, SUPER simple, VERY adaptable…and its a math activity! My husband and I are contemplating keeping S in the Asilo (Italian preschool) for our entire tour here in Italy and skipping traditional kindergarten. Trying to figure out if I can “homeschool” so to speak and feel comfortable enough with it. We’re going to be rotating math/science/reading/art throughout the week. I’m excited about this. Yesterdays activity gave us 1.5 hrs of “screen free” time…and by the time it was done, S had interest in going through the toy cabinet instead of asking to watch a “show” (a dvd, we have no regular tv).
So, without further ado…..! Counting pond! That’s what I’m calling it S still has troubles with 14,15 and this is helping immensely! This game is easily adaptable for adding in higher numbers, counting by 2′s, 5′s, 10′s etc, etc. All you need is a piece of felt, foam shapes, permanent marker and scissors! See, easy peasy. One of the best parts is it fits nice and neat in a small ziploc type bag
Idea was found on Pinterest and led me to Prekinders for directions/more about the activity.
So, I am going to spend the next few remaining days of this month planning and organizing myself and activities. Let the screen free time commence!
Typically, when I shop….I like to just shop, and buy what I’ve been looking for. No hunting, no over-searching, no crazy bargaining…and I usually do not like rummaging through garage sale boxes or bins in a thrift store. That is too much work for me, haha. Where I am living, however…there is an online “yardsale” page. I go on it once in awhile, usually only getting to see past deals already picked up (people swoop in so fast on items!)….and typically the etiquette on the page isn’t quite to my taste (are bad manners bred from frantic wheeling and dealing???). Anyways, I am getting off topic. I just so happened to take a look-see the other day on the yardsale page and VOILA! Counting bears! Or sorting bears…or bears for “pretend soup” (so we’ve found out) hahaha. Probably not a biggie to some, but I’ve been wanting these for awhile but just couldn’t bring myself to pay the price for them off of amazon (I am a cheapie by heart, go figure I don’t like rummaging). I scored a bucket for $3! ”S” has been having a ton of fun with them, just in the first day we’ve had them. The week before I happened to have spied a pair of tongs on the dollar shelf at our on post store. Bears+tongs+bowls=3 yr old who is kept VERY busy for hours. I totally am not exaggerating either. HOURS.
About an hour later, the bears moved outdoors….
We now interrupt this special-bear-program….for a tractor driving by. ALWAYS exciting
…and back to work….
…and just photos of my cuties How I wish I could have my hair do what “S”‘s does!
Wow. Its been almost 3 months since my 2nd daughter was born. I knew time was going to fly, as it did with my 1st daughter…but it still surprises me nonetheless! ”E” is holding her head up, just in the past 2 days started flipping onto her back. Crazy. Its been a whirlwind, having a 2nd child. Life isn’t revolving around her…she has to be inserted into our busy lives, haha! She is smiley and happy and just has the sweetest disposition. I have been blessed a 2nd time with a beautiful and happy child. Big sister “S” is SUCH a great helper too. I tell her every day how great she is and how proud I am of her for being such a great big sister and helping out mama so much.
Here are a few recent photos of my darlings We were in beautiful Roma a couple of weekends ago and the apt we stayed in had the most beautiful light cascading in through the windows…..!
Now on to the chaos…and how I have just a little weensy bit less of it, haha.
Before? I had one husband, a preschooler and 2 dogs. Plenty of mess, wouldn’t you say? Gives me my fair share of picking up? Heehee!
Now? One husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs…a garden, a busier role in the moms club I participate in and an administrative position to do with the husbands work. Crazy? You betcha! Haha!
Throw into all of this a deployment………
So, I started reading. Reading about organizing. Adding all of these super awesome helpful blog links into my totally chaotic and messy-full “favorites” on the computer….I was accomplishing NOTHING but looking more, googling more, reading more….still feeling totally chaotic. …
…..then I read a blurb in a magazine about this book: Home Comforts. The Art and Science of Keeping House. It was heralded as the housekeeping version of the Joy of Cooking. Everything from cleaning to fixing, stain removal to better fabrics to use for specific uses.
So I bought it.
Now you’re probably thinking when in the WORLD is she finding the time to read this book? Hahaha! I will admit, I am only still on the first chapter…but it has been very insightful! I feel like a dork reading (and enjoying!) a book about housekeeping…but it really is a lost artform. It doesn’t help that we all have SO many “things” that we really just give ourselves more things to dust, or clean, or organize…blah blah blah….but if you don’t get into some sort of routine, things compile, and chaos ensues. Or in my case, escalates. At least I feel that way. I like everything in its place, things put away so you can’t see them (love baskets!)….it helps me breathe easier. Having one child, I had to back away from everything being put away all the time. Now having 2 kids? And being in a home, (over a year now) that still hasn’t been totally “organized” or moved into….things are just not like I’d like them to be.
So I’m taking baby steps.
The first part of the book is about creating a routine, and neatening. Starting SMALL and not over reaching so that you can accomplish your goals (in regards to a routine). Starting SMALL, using neatening skills to organize and clean better. Simple time saving things for my routine would be to check and fill the humidifier in the kids room in the morning…so that I’m not going back and forth at night after I’ve already settled them into bed and realizing I haven’t done it. Seems an easy idea, I had never thought of doin that. Simple neatening things like making sure I put dirty dishes away out of the sink into the dishwasher immediately after every meal (so the sink stays dish free and uncluttered). Kitchen always looks pretty!
So I feel slightly less chaotic. I’m sure I will encounter MANY days that will totally throw me off my game, chew me up and spit me out…but at least I have the potential to get back to less chaos. I have the coping skills, hahaha.
Add onto all of what I’ve taken on…I think I’m going to take up another challenge. Similar to the December/Holiday one. “S” is going to Asilo 4 mornings a week now…and I feel like we’re getting lazy at home with our learning activities. Stay tuned to see what I have planned and up my sleeve!
I’m going to take you through my garden again. I am finding the thrill of growing things, sustaining things…so wonderfully enjoyable. Or intriguing? I’ve been spending my free time peeking and proding through a strange leafy land, constantly finding new surprises. Reminds me of how my imagination would run wild as a child. Have you ever stared at a patterned tile and seen a face? Trailed with your eyes a crack in a sidewalk, imagining the tiny world and creatures it led to? Watched smoke tendrils snake through the air, imagining them dancing around like charmed snakes? This is how my mind worked as a child…and I’m reminded of that everytime I’m down low…weeding, exploring and discovering in the garden. Clawed feet, eyeball antennae, leathery tongues…..imagination can run wild looking at things from a new perspective.
Take the next step and follow the circle…next photographer’s work to view is Mark’s!
Don’t forget to move on to Mark’s latest installment of 7 on 7 for this month!