Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Full Weekend

This weekend is zipping along!

Katie and I started our third Music Together session yesterday, with a focus on the tambourine. She was so excited to see Miss Kara that she ran up and gave her a hug as soon as she saw her. Such a sweetheart! Katie has also made another emotional/intellectual jump. We've been studying and enjoying our new songs so we could know them before the first class, and so Katie was singing along to most of them, playing her percussion instruments in good rhythm, and doing the dance moves. She even offered a suggestion for which kind of animal to put in the oak tree in front of the whole class. I love how focused she is in her classes. She showed the same determination in our Wednesday gymnastics class: no matter what other children are doing, Katie is always doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing and trying her best. I love that. In Tuesday's art class, she volunteered to help demonstrate something with the teacher for the class. She is becoming more and more outgoing with her teachers and more willing to offer answers in class. Bill and I want her to be whomever she is, but we also know that certain extroverted approaches in learning environments tend to be advantageous---whether that is "fair" or not. Regardless, what excites me most is her ability to behave appropriately and with excitement toward her learning despite what others around her are doing (or not doing). As her parents, it is our biggest job to foster this trait.

We love our new tambourine music and this semester is going to be so much fun!

After class, we came home, played and ate lunch outside, did a couple of errands (I had checks to deposit and mailed my app to take my real estate exam), and napped. I watched The Man Who Knew Too Much (second version) while catching up on my Gratitude Journal. I watched the finches eat the seed outside, listened to our burbling waterfall, and enjoyed the spring breeze drifting in our windows. A perfect spring afternoon.

When Katie woke up, we walked with Amie down to the frozen yogurt shop and savored some sweet yumminess altogether.

Today we made a family breakfast (we love to eat breakfast with Daddy). Katie was in charge of setting the table, and she decided she wanted to use pink plastic forks left over from her birthday. She is so sweet. It was a cute touch. She set them on our placemats, and in the right places! She helped make the scrambled eggs, arranged the orange rolls, and asked for me to make a side salad of strawberries and banana (and also asked for turkey bacon). She is such a good eater, and we talk all the time about vitamins and nutrients. I asked her what kind of vitamins are often found in fruit, and she replied, "Vitamin C!" I think the more children know about food, the better choices they can make.

Following breakfast, Bill watched Katie during my three hour study session at the library. I took a second full practice test. I did better than I did on the first one, so I am getting better (slowly), but it still wasn't good enough in my opinion. I have passed both tests, but I need more padding before going into the real thing (like scores in the upper 80% to 90% range). The app I sent in will take the DRE up to 6 weeks to process, at which time I can then go online and schedule myself for my test. I have plenty of time to brush up and practice, but I also have to be more patient with myself right now than I am being. I really dislike missing questions on anything, but I have to remember that it is part of the learning process. It has been so long since I learned something in such a formal way (with tests and finals and so on) that I have to remember that the process can start slow and then gain momentum rapidly the more I immerse myself. I know I will improve... I hope!

Bill was super sweet to watch Katie during that time, but I really missed her. In between taking my practice exam and reviewing the answers and researching the ones I didn't know, I went over to her section and pulled out several good books to bring home. She was so excited when I came home with them! It also so happened that our Amazon shipment of books we ordered ALSO came today, so we have spent most of the afternoon reading and reading and reading all of our treasures.

Tomorrow I have my Thinkers philosophy group meeting and then it is time to start planning this week's menus. I am also trying to think up another creative project for Katie and I to work on tomorrow. She will often ask, "Can we do a project?" Hmmm... Need. To. Lesson. Plan. Maybe I will find inspiration in one of our new/borrowed books... I'll have to think about it.

Our enchanted garden is blooming though! We have fun watering it together and monitoring the progress of the seeds and sprouts everyday.

Oh, I almost forgot: two days ago, Katie counted to 12 all by herself without any prompting or help. Just zoomed right through it without missing a beat. We are continuing our work on letter sounds. If anyone has a good/creative/innovative way to teach this, please let me know!

As for my growing little one: Eric is happily kicking all around! I am so excited to be approaching the third tri... I have felt him kicking for awhile, and I would say he is more of a kicker than Katie was. Or maybe I just feel it more with the second. I love my active baby, and Katie felt him kick today (I think she did---her hand was there and we were talking about it). She likes to pretend to be Dr. Elfelt and examine my belly with her medical kit. We have an actual OB appointment this week, so I can't wait to hear how things are going!

Nursery news: I think I may have FINALLY found wallpaper. I have somethig specific in mind (classic plaid on two walls, accompanied by paint). I sent away for a sample so I can be sure. I have searched high and low online for what I envision. We want a really classic room that will see him through the years. Katie is so excited that she will be inheriting my girlhood bed (from the guest room) and that he will get her crib (which she has never really liked much anyway). As soon as I finalize the wallpaper, it will be time to transform that room. I really love my guest room the way it is, but I have also known that it would be a nursery for quite some time.

Katie and I haven't cooked too much yet this weekend, but on Thursday we made vegetable empanadas in curry dough. Katie loved them (well, the first night)! Filled with swiss chard, corn, tomato, and red bell pepper, they are so delicious and I love that Katie can identify all of those good veggies. She was quite the helper with the rolling of the dough! We got flour everywhere, but she has so much fun! She says, "I'm a chef!" I love cooking from scratch with her and knowing that she is learning a lifelong skill. She makes everything so much fun.