Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hello August and bye-bye Paci

It's been a full week already.  And a brutally hot one too.  You know I hate summer weather, so far August is crueler than July.  The heat index was 117 today.  All the blinds stay closed and I won't be going anywhere as long as this keeps up.
Joe went back to work, despite my pleading and begging him to never leave me.  The beginning of each school year is always an adjustment for me and the kids.  I lose a pair of hands, half the authority and half my sanity!  He's awesome and though we miss him, we love that he works so hard to take care of us.
We started back to school, all the kids are loving it.  Bethany is happy to be learning new things and taking in everything possible.  Joseph was super pumped about starting Kindergarten, ahem, preschool.  I really thought his attention span had improved and that he was going to hit the ground running with his preschool work books.  So far, it seems he's going to give me a challenge.  The challenge being he wants to do school really bad, but doesn't like being confined to doing things one way, or for a designated length of time.  I momentarily felt frustrated by his lack of motivation, but then reminded myself that he is only in school by his choosing and I really must not force this on him.
Our first lessons went like so. . .
"Okay Joseph, you need to trace the squares."  Seems like such a simple task for a boy that knows his letters, their sounds, can even sound out and spell some 3 letter words, can count to 100 with only a small amount of assistance, knows colors and definitely shapes.
"Can't I just color the squares?!" he ask in desperation.
I thought for a moment, then I said, "Sure just color them."
Getting him to complete two pages of square tracing was like pulling teeth.  I was prepared for him to whiz through several pages more and he was begging me to move on to a new book.  I obliged his request.
The following book had him coloring the boxes with upper and lowercase A's red.
"I don't want to use red!!  Can I color them orange?!"
"That's fine, Joseph.  Use the orange crayon." I replied, though inwardly I'm in conflict.  Isn't school about learning to follow directions and rules?
"I don't want to color the boxes, I just want to trace the letters!" he pushes.
At this point, I'm wondering why we even have textbooks and why I bother reading him the directions or telling him what he's supposed to do.  He is smart, but seems to learn best without a pencil in his hand.  Hopefully, this will improve with time, I know it can't hurt anything.
We did do some book work the following day but I kept it short and knew what I was in for.  As expected it was much like the day before.  I came up with this fun game that he absolutely loved.  I gave him a bag and told him to go throughout the house and find items with square shapes on them.  This kept him entertained for quite some time while I worked with Bethany.
I was surprised at how well he did when he came back to show us all that he had found.  The contents of the bag were, a soft block, a ball with a square patch, a tractor with a square on the cab, a Lego, a book, a plush toy made up of several squares, and a rectangular bin of coal from his Thomas set that has squares on the ends.  This was a bunch of fun for him, we will be using this game again for many different task.
I finally managed to put my foot down and Jenna bid farewell to Paci this week as well.  The first night was tough on both of us.  I told her it was broken, but of course that didn't make it any easier.  As one person commented on my Facebook status about the situation, I probably had such a hard time because of pregnancy hormones.  I swear I was much more hardcore about things like this with Bethany and Joseph.
The first night Bethany slept downstairs so she was spared Jenna's screams.  The second night Jenna did much, much better but still cried quite a bit.  Bethany came out complaining, after Joe and I encouraged her to go back to bed, that Jenna would quiet down soon, she added, "Well, Jenna's not the only one not used to sleeping without a her paci!!"
Thankfully, after 2 bedtimes and 2 naps, tonight went almost as usual.  I showed her the broken paci today, I'd cut the nipple in half.  She seemed to get it and when she tried to put it in her mouth she said it tasted yucky.  Now of course, I'm asking myself why I put this off for so long!
I started this blanket weeks ago.  I fell in the love with these two flannels and was pretty sure I was having a boy, so I started it before I knew positively we are having a boy.
I used some ugly old gabardine instead of batting, for the middle.  I hope I don't regret this.  If the blanket should become a favorite, Brady may not appreciate have lavender-ish fabric showing through the worn places.
After pinning it as smoothly as I could I decided to sew the layers together by picking random green lines on the plaid side.  I sewed vertical and horizontal lines so in the end I have meandering blocks stitched.  This is the closest I'll ever get to quilting.

I sewed on my first blanket binding today.  I'm pleased with the outcome and can't wait to wrap a cutie-pa-tutie Brady in it.  It'll be perfect for winter or playing on the floor.


Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

You just motivated me. We have needed to put our foot down and get Chloe to give up her binkie. I think I will do the "it's broken" stunt. Please do not tell her mommmy is going to break them!

~Mom~ said...

I love the quilt. Great job! I am sure Brady will love it.
Happy Home Schooling 2010. Brings back lots of memories to hear you talk about it. I am excited for you. Your time with your children is priceless. You are such a wonderful mom/teacher. Praying for you. I know it requires a LOT. May the Lord bless!
Love You

Doll Clothes Gal Pal said...

Great job on the blanket there dear! :) Oh, and those photos are magnificent! They are so cute. :)

Bonnie said...

LOVE LOVE the game. I will have to try that with Sam..he usually is not interested in whatever the other children are working on or he wants to pester them.

The blanket is so sweet and congrats on the paci. I am a let them give it up when they are ready but maybe I am

Saw this tutorial and thought of you....

{Kimber} said...

I have SOOO much respect for you teaching them at home! I would SNAP...seriously!! :)

glad that you're having success with bidding the paci goodbye!!

LOVE the blankie..super cute!

Sweats, Nikes, and No Make-up said...

I love the pic of the three of them on the stairs! Can't wait to see all 4 of them together. :)

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

Great blanket. I love all your photos! I am your newest follower.
Bonnie :)

Pam Harlow said...

Miranda, You are an excellent photographer. Of course your subjects lend themselves to frequent snapping. Your kids are growing and beautiful. Congratulations on #4. Great job on your children! Pam