Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13, 2007

We made our trip to OKC yesterday, me and the boys, and they did very well...surprisingly well. My husband and I bought a portable DVD player at Sam's, actually we bought two. They came as a set, specifically for the car and they hang on the back of the head rests. It is a great system for the price, which I can't remember but I know it was less than $200. They can be hooked together, where one becomes the master and they both show the same DVD, or they can be two completely separate DVD players. Pretty cool.

I had to get the paperwork notarized before we left our city. I went to one bank and they didn't have a notary that day so I had to go to another bank and then I called the Secretary of State's office in OKC to make sure the notary I used was bonded, since I have made that trip a couple of times, only to find the person was not bonded and I had to go back home and redo everything. So, by the time we actually headed out towards OKC, it was nap time for the boys and the DVD system was in the trunk. They both fell asleep right as we were leaving town and they woke up about 2 miles from the capitol building in OKC, so they had almost an hour and a half nap, which was not too bad for a nap in the car.

We parked and walked the long distance to the capitol building, where we had to go through security. I told them I had brought a knife to cut an apple for the boys' lunch and they made me take it back out to the car. I should have known that would happen. Oh well. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the walk. We took the paperwork to the right office and then sat in the hallway, on the bench, and I fed the boys their lunch PB&J sandwiches, apple slices (I sliced it at the car and then left the knife - should have done that in the first place) and water. As soon as we finished lunch, we picked up our paperwork and headed back out to the parking lot.

I put the boys in their car seats and then hooked up the DVD system, hoping I was doing it right and that it would work. I was actually surprised that the boys didn't throw a fit at being put back into their car seats but I guess since they slept the whole way there, they didn't realize how long they had been in them. The DVD system started right up and worked perfectly. I could even reach back and hit the play button when the DVD came to an end. They watched the same DVD about three times over on the trip home and didn't seem to mind it at all. They found some parts of it more entertaining than others. Sometimes they were looking around and trying to take off their sandals and at other times they were like zombies, totally engrossed...it was kind of scary really. But it worked and nobody cried, which was great.

When we got back into our town, I had to stop off to FedEx the documents to our agency and I thought for sure the boys would have a melt down. I went to this little place where the parking is right in front of the big window and I could see them the whole time, so I could leave them in the car. I knew if I took them out, they would throw a fit when I tried to put them back in but I was not sure if they would throw a fit at being left for a few minutes without the DVD playing. I had one last trick left. I had a couple of those snack cups, one with goldfish and one with cheerios so I gave them each one as I got out of the car. They were so engrossed with trying to get the snacks out of the snack cups, they didn't even seem to notice I was gone. It probably helps that there are two of them though. It's obvious that they really like each other a lot and enjoy being together. They have also stopped hitting each other, which is nice.

It didn't take me very long to do the FedEx and then we were home in a flash. Nicholas had a melt down when I was trying to get him into the house, but that was the first one for the day and considering they had ridden in the car for 3 hours and spent probably another hour in their stroller in the capitol building and they had not gotten to play and stretch their legs since morning, they really did very well.

I was a bit stressed about how they would do and how I would handle everything we had to get done so I was exhausted when we got home. I think they did much better than I did actually.

Today we are having a hard time getting back on their normal schedule. Part of this is because of the time change, which I am having a hard time with. I just don't want to wake up in the morning at a decent time, which throws them off too because they are also sleeping in, which throws off their nap schedule. I really need to make myself get up on time tomorrow and wake them up so that we can all get back on our regular schedule.

Sooner Start has not called us back yet, which is surprising. I may need to call them. I thought our coordinator said he would call us back in a day or two and that our first appointment would be within a week or two. Hmmm. Maybe I misunderstood him. They were giving me a lot of information all at once so I'm sure I probably missed some of it.

I tried something new with the boys today. I brought their little table and chairs into the living room today because I want to start having a little structured time with them each day. Today we spent about 10 minutes working some puzzles. My intention is to start out at 10 to 15 minutes and then start extending it as time goes on, until they can sit at the table and play there for 30 minutes or so. Is that too long for this age? N is now 16 months and B is 17.5 months old. Some of you child development experts or teachers tell me what I should expect from children of this age. I was thinking of trying play dough and maybe starting to show them how to hold a crayon and scribble on a page and then play with the puzzles and stuff like that. Is starting at 10 or 15 minutes and working up to 30 minutes a good goal for this age? Is thirty minutes too long or not long enough? I would appreciate any feedback / advice you experienced parents, teachers or child development experts have to offer.


6blessings said...

Wish I had known that you were down this way. Maybe we could have met up.

At that age, my kids had a hard time coloring and holding the paper. I would tape a piece of paper to the table which made it easier on them. Also, paint with water books are fun and not messy. They think it's fun to see the color appear. You'll have to hold the water cup and let them dip.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I don't think my two could sit
still for 5 minutes at that age,
and they had no interest in coloring.
But everyone is different, you can
certainly give it a try and if it doesn't fly, try it again in a month or so. (My kids often surprise me on the second or third try.)

A couple of goodies to buy:
Aquadoodle (a large 2-1/2 foot
square drawing surface, which
you draw on with a water-filled pen). No mess! Until my kids were
close to 3, they mostly wanted
ME to do all the drawing, while
they told me what to draw.

Write Start pencils, by Crayola.
These were kind of hard to find,
I finally found them at Michael's
Craft Store (a large chain), but
not at Target or anywhere else.
My kids like pencils better than
crayons, and these are shorter and
thicker, easier for a young child
to use. They would also be better
than crayons or markers in the car.

Good luck!
Sue B

Lauri said...

I think 10-15 min is reasonable for their ages.... I think the table & chairs is a good idea. I highly doubt 30 min yet... I taught preshcool for 15 years and some 3-4 year olds would have a hard time with 30 min at one activity.

Livi can color w/markers or do playdough for a good 15 min.. but that is her max limit.

I like to alternate activities- if we are doing a quiet fine motor activity such as lacing beads or playdough, we will then do something for gross motor such as kicking or rolling a ball, or jumping or sit -n-spin.

I try to add some structure & learning into our days at home.

Lauri said...
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Lauri said...
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Anonymous said...

What kind of puzzles were you doing with them?

Did you know that jigsaw puzzles are an important pre-reading skill? I found that kind of surprising.

I think we started with shape sorters when they were about 1-1/2. "Parents" makes a great one, it's a cube with different categories of shapes on four sides (one category is animals, I can't remember the others), and a phone and something else. (Of course, you need to watch these really carefully if your kids like to put stuff in their mouths.)

They each had a developmental eval after their second birthday, and the only "puzzle" in the eval was
a little form with a circle, square, and triangle in it. So I assume that's all they expect at age 2.

After they were two, we started with 12 piece "floor puzzles" (which are great because they have really large pieces which are hard to lose, also great because it is easy to do them together with the two kids). These days, they are 3-1/2 and 4 years old, and they are doing 48 piece puzzles by themselves.

Sue B

Anonymous said...

Oh, if you're interested in developmental stuff, I read a great book called "What's going on in there?". Sorry, I can't remember the author. It's about brain development from 0 to 5 years old.

Sue B