Thursday, September 27, 2007

What happened to my baby?!?

Somebody, it seems, forgot to tell Ian that he isn't supposed to go from being a baby to being a 2 year old before he actually turns 2! However, in the past couple weeks, he really is acting more like he's 2. He is becoming fiercely independent.

The other day I was chopping up an apple and putting little bite size bits on his high chair tray. He started yelling and gesturing and trying to climb out of his seat. As far as I could tell, he wanted the 3/4 of the apple that was still whole! I have seen pictures online of babies his age and even younger munching on whole pears and other foods, so I handed him the apple. He was thrilled and happily started to munch it as best he can with only 6 teeth. After he had been nibbling it for awhile I noticed he was getting close to the core. I took the apple away to cut the seeds out and he protested the whole time. As soon as I handed it back to him, he smiled and contentedly finished the entire thing! I was amazed! The next day I hollowed the core out and peeled the apple before I gave it to him and he ate the whole thing again! He ends up, even with a bib, being drenched in juice from his chin to his belly button and he loves every minute. I give it to him as a night time snack and then he goes straight into the tub and gets ready for bed.

He is also getting very frustrated when he wants to do something, but he can't. It could be because he just isn't big enough or coordinated enough (like coloring like Alison) or it could be that he is doing something that I don't want him to (like standing on a box so he can reach the tissues that I moved out of his reach and pull them all out). He sure is keeping us on our toes.

On the other hand he can be very loving and calm. We were with a baby the other day who was crying a lot and after awhile Ian crawled over to him, pulled himself up to standing next to the other baby (who's about the same age/size as Ian and gave the baby a hug). It was the sweetest thing ever. We always hug and kiss him and he hugs and kisses us, but it's something that our family does so I just kind of expected that he'd hug and kiss us back. But for him to try to comfort a baby that he had never seen before just really awed me.

Now What About ALISON!

Well, she too is growing up way too fast. We are still working through the weather activities that we started our school year with. They are lasting so long because we have two other things that she is obsessed with and we are learning about all three at once (usually we stick to one topic at a time and learn until she is done and then move onto something new). But a book that her aunt and uncle sent her for her birthday about Pompeii has really caught her attention. We have read it several times and there is still a lot to talk about. We also ordered some other books from the library about Pompeii and a couple videos too. The videos haven't come in yet, but we are having fun with the books and comparing what is the same and what is different about how they each explain what has happened. Our librarian also pointed out that the newest National Geographic had an article about Vesuvius so we went downstairs into the "Quiet Reading Room" (may as well hang a sign that says "NO KIDS, This Means You!") to find the magazine. Luckily, there was no one in there so I didn't feel too bad about reading the picture captions out loud and for Ian adding his thoughts.

Along with weather and Pompeii, Alison is also very into horses and ponies (thanks to the petting farm). We have gotten factual books about different types of horses. Did you know why some horses are called "Quarter Horses"? It's because a couple hundred years ago they did horse races in short sprints of a quarter mile. The horses were called American Quarter Mile Racing Horses and over the years it shortened up to Quarter Horse. We have also gotten more than our fair share of My Little Pony videos too. They are sappily, sickily sweet and Alison hangs on every moment of them.
Such is the life of a 6 year old. She is starting to teeter on the edge of the age of reason. One minute she's matter of factly explaining why something couldn't possibly be true and the next she is building fairy houses and declaring that unicorns are real and that if she pays close enough attention she's sure she can spot something fantastic and extra-ordinary. It's so much fun to watch her at this stage. I'm glad that I can have her here at home where she can be free to go outside to search for signs of fairies and explore and dream. There will be plenty of years of harsh reality so I'm happy to let her be a kid even if it means watching My Little Pony videos.

One last thing...
Last weekend one of Alison's friends celebrated his birthday a few weeks early at his favorite minigolf and batting cage place (it was the last day they were open for the season.) She loved the idea of minigolf and although this course wasn't a huge fancy one, it was fun and challenging. She wasn't sure about the batting cages. Actually, she was scared and convinced that she would just watch. I try hard not to push her because it often backfires. I just told her that whatever she chose to do, she would have fun and let her decide. She decided to give it a try! Then while she was waiting her turn another friend got her finger pinched between the ball and the bat and I was sure that Alison wouldn't set foot inside after witnessing her friend get hurt. She did though and twice at that! The first time, she had the birthday boy's dad help her. The second time, she did it all on her own and made contact with 4 of the 15 balls! She was soo proud of herself and I was proud of her too. It's so neat to see her try something new and be excited rather than scared.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Times Keep Flying By!

We have been so busy! School is going great. We are still learning about weather. We installed a rain gauge on the deck railing the other day and it very nicely rained for us so we could try it out. Works like a charm! Alison was excited to run out and check it after the rain stopped. We got 9mm of rain.

Last Saturday we went to a little festival called Art in the Road, Feet in the Street. It was to introduce people to an art center in Montague. They closed off the road in front of their building for chalk art and later they were supposed to have live music and a street dance. Alison decided to skip the drawing contest and just do her drawing in the road.

When she was done with her drawing, she helped color in the huge street scape that the art center director had drawn in the road.

Today we went back to the petting farm. The weather was sunny and warm, probably one of the last perfect days. It's such an idyllic place to just be. The kids love it. They can run and play and explore. It is peaceful and quiet, except for an occasional braying donkey or loud camel. Alison has been pretty obsessed with the pony named Bee and her baby named Tee-tee. The animals are all sweet and gentle, used to being hand fed and touched.

Alison touched the ponies today. I was so proud of her. It is such a difference from when she would get scared and I'd have to carry her past the animals. She still is scared of the other animals, but the ponies are her friends.

It's neat to watch that her being by the ponies inspired Ian too. He touched them a couple times, very quickly, but he did it. And after watching Alison picking grass and hay to feed them he even started picking up pieces of hay. He just wouldn't let go when they tried to eat it from his hand.
Ian also crawled all over in the grass. Just a few weeks ago, he wouldn't stay on the ground for more than a few seconds, today he loved playing and exploring.
He also tried out the wooden truck. He waved at all the cars driving by on the road. He's just too quick and I couldn't catch it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of First Grade

Alison's 1st day of 1st grade was a huge success! We had such a fun day. I gave her the backpack full of school stuff. She worked in her new workbooks and decided out of all the weather things I found that she wanted to do rainbows first. Surprise, surprise! We read the page in the weather book about rainbows and read the library book about rainbows.

We are making a project called a lapbook. It's basically a manilla folder that is refolded and things are taped inside to make a record of what she is learning. Today we started it with a little thing about rainbows. As we learn more, we'll add more and when we are done it will be a record of the high points of our weather study.

We also went outside and played on the new swingset. Ian can climb up the slide! He also likes to go down it too. He's so brave. He also tried the rockwall and aside from just randomly letting go (I was holding him the whole time), he was a natural at it. I'm scared to see what he's going to be like next summer.

After we played awhile,we took a walk and found a Milkweed Tussock caterpillar. We're going to keep it for a few days and see how it does.

So that was our first day and we have lots more planned. I'll keep you all posted on our adventures.

Catching Up!

We had a great weekend. Lot's of new fun things happened.
Sunday at the cottage
We spent the afternoon at Dan's aunt and uncle's cottage on Twin Lake. Both the kids were a bit scared of the water and beach at first, but they both warmed up to the idea of water, mud and sand. Ian loved the mud!

Alison was brave enough to ride on the boat. It's probably never went so slow, but she had a great time. When she got off the boat she said, "Momma, that ride was sooo interesting. I got to see all the parts of Twin Lake. I learned about the whole lake."

Ian loved watching the boats and jet skis going by. He'd always stop to see what was happening and sometimes even waved.

Alison also liked being pushed around on a little tube. After awhile she let Beth push her out to the floating raft and she even got off and walked around on it. I was proud of her for trying new things and being so brave.

Monday Funday

Monday was not only Labor Day but my mom's birthday. My parents came over for the afternoon. Dad and Dan worked on the swing set.

Mom played with Ian and I made a birthday dinner. Not only did Ian walk around with mom holding his hands, which he usually protests doing. He got brave and let go with one hand. Then I told mom to stop, because I'm not ready for him to be walking all over yet. I know as soon as he masters walking, he's going to go straight for running, chasing, and tackling Alison. I'm so not ready for that, haha.