Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008

We had another beautiful, spring-like day here today and yesterday was similar. The boys were able to play outside without a coat both days and I did a little more yard work this afternoon. It is nice to be outside without a coat on again.

I have been taking the boys to the play area at the mall more often lately. I really enjoy going there and the boys love it. The other day, I met another mom who lives not far from us. She is an older mom like me and she has twin girls. We are both excited to have another mom friend and we met at the mall again today with our kids, visited while they played and then we all went out to eat together. It was very nice.

Also, while we were visiting, another mom friend of mine just happened to be at the mall and saw one of my boys so she came over with her two boys and visited with us for a while too. Our boys enjoy playing together so that was nice. She is my MOPS friend and we have now invited the new friend (with the twin girls) to join us at MOPS.

Our Parents-as-Teachers lady came to see us yesterday. We had not seen her since before Christmas and we really like her so it was nice to see her again. She always brings some fun toys or games for the boys to play with and this time she also brought a cute book to read to them. I really enjoy visiting with her a lot. She gives great feedback about various things and I always end up learning something from her.

Yesterday, I learned that there are three phases that kids normally go through when they are learning colors. The first stage is matching. They will match or sort things by color. The second stage is being able to point to a color when asked. And the third phase is being able to identify a color when asked ('what color is that?'). I learned that Nick is in the first phase and also in the second phase a little (he knows blue and green and maybe one or two other colors). Ben is already in the third phase, although I'm not sure exactly how many colors he knows now.

She was very impressed to see both boys drinking from open cups during snack time. They are really doing pretty well with this now, although we still have a spill every now and then. The only time we use sippy cups now is when we are on the go, which is fine with me because they are a pain to wash. Between meals and snacks, I keep two cups of ice water sitting on the counter and the boys can reach them by climbing up on their little learning tower. They love drinking ice water out of an open cup. They are very fascinated with ice.

Both boys are still eating anything and everything, although Ben does not seem to care for cream cheese as much as Nick. I have been meaning to write a post about their meals and snacks but have not gotten around to it yet. I have also been contemplating a post about my experience of becoming a mom but I have not gotten to that yet either.

I really have been having so much fun just being a mom that I have not been as motivated to post lately. I love my life and feel so incredibly, richly blessed. I am amazed at how much I enjoy being a mom. This morning as I was driving the boys to the mall to play, I was thinking about how much I enjoy my life as a stay-at-home mom and I almost felt guilty about it. I love playing with the boys and teaching them things. I love watching the boys learn, play, pretend and I love how excited they get over the simple things in life and I love to hear them laugh. I love seeing the world through their eyes. I love just sitting and watching them and listening to them when they think I am busy in the kitchen and they are not aware that I am watching/listening. They are so funny and cute and I feel so very blessed to be here with them and with my husband doing this every day. I am continually amazed at how quickly the time goes by and how much they change so quickly.

And it is so very rewarding. The other day, I was sitting next to Nick at the kitchen island, while we were finishing our snack. Ben had already finished and gone off to play. Nick and I were talking and, at one point, he leaned his head over against my arm and said "wuv you", just out of no where. That was a first and it was such a pleasant surprise. That sort of thing just makes your day. It is absolutely priceless.

There are so many times these days when I am watching the boys play and I think about where we all were last year and how far we have come together. We have all changed so much.

Life is good and we are having a ball.


MMrussianadoption said...

i am so behind in doing the open cup thing. i need to just grit my teeth and bear the spills and throws I guess. they have to get used to it sometime. i figured i would wait until spring summer when we are outside in the backyard. maybe when we are just in swimsuits so if they spill who cares. what do you think?

Lea said...

This lady said that most of the 3 and 4 year olds that she sees are still on sippy cups and I think a lot of 5 year olds are too. I don't really think it is such a big deal, especially if your children don't have much trouble with pronunciation. I think doing it in the summer is a great idea. Most of our spills have been small, since I normally don't fill their glasses more than half full and they are small glasses. Also, we are still using bibs and they have a pocket across the front which catches food and spills, which has helped. The first thing I focused on teaching them was to put their cup on the other side of their plate, when they finished taking a drink. That took a number of reminders for several days but they usually don't forget now. That cuts down on the spills tremendously.

Aubrey said...

Hey!!...I love you guys so much!!..I want to see the boys so bad..maybe sometime soon!!..In the meantime, give them hugs and kisses for me, and tell them I love them!!..I love you too!!!..

jeneflower said...

Thanks for the information about learning colors. That is good to know. I totally agree that the first months home with an adopted child are really hard, but that it gets better. I don't think there is anyway to prepare for the challenge, but it is worth it to get through it.

ChandraJoy said...

That is really interesting to know about learning colors in the stages. Allisyn has the first stage down pat. We have a few Melissa and Doug puzzles from the zoo that have really helped with this! We are slowly integrating the open cup drinking, it usually ends up in her wearing a lot of it, and she does not care for that at all.
We are planning on a weekend to Tulsa and the farm later this month, I'll email you the specifics soon!

Christy Fritz said...

Montessori describes a similar process the teacher spoke of with the colors, as the three period lesson.
I do the same thing when introducing any new concept that involves identification. It works with letters, numbers, etc.
For instance with letters made out of sandpaper that they can trace, I say:
This is "a", and say the sound the letter makes rather than the name of the letter. I also trace the letter as I am saying it. They repeat the sound and trace the letter.
Next, when we've gone through this stage with a few letters, I will put two letters next to each other and say, Which is "a"?, making the sound. You know they are ready for this period if they trace the correct letter and make the sound.
After this, I move on to taking out the letters side by side again, but this time pointing to a letter and saying, "What is this?" If they make the sound and trace the letter you know they've got it.
I use Schiller Math, which uses this same method for mathmatical concepts, and I love it. It starts for 4 year olds I think.

Sorry that was so long, it's just cool to see others doing similar things I'm experimenting with.

I love reading about all the fun activities you give the boys.

Lea said...

Those are excellent tips Christy, thanks so much.