Preschool day 5: Boston’s 4th Birthday

Birthday energy was in the air today.  Decorations were set up, presents had been received and preschool was about to begin.  Charlie boy showed up to the house with more presents in tow.   We had to open them before preschool began.  Legos!  The boys couldn’t wait to play with them.  We went about our normal preschool routine with a few interruptions of

“Oh yeah!  You’ve gotta see my new garbage truck!”

and

“Can I show Boston how to build his legos yet?!”

So we hurried through our morning routine, then started on a little history lesson.  We made a timeline of Boston’s life.  I printed out pictures from Boston’s life and we ordered them on the timeline.  The boys glued the pictures down and decorated the paper.  This was about all the school we could handle today, so the boys and I started Lego building.  After Legos I started making cookies.  I planned to make the cookies with the boys but again,  Legos and garbage trucks:  So much cooler!

I forgot some ingredients for our cookies, so we ran to the grocery store and picked out some cupcakes while we were at it.  The boys decided to play outside for awhile while I baked, until I called them inside to eat the eggless cookie dough.  Oh and those ingredients I went to buy? I forgot to add them….so the cookies were a little weird, but the boys didn’t mind.

It was a wild and fun day of preschool. Can’t wait for Charlie’s birthday preschool day!

After preschool, Charlie went home and me and the boys went to meet up with Daddy at Country Mercantile.  We had the mini theme park to ourselves and Boston got red carpet treatment, riding every ride at least 3 times.  He was so brave.  After the rides Dane went back to work and the boys and I ordered lunch.  We ended our adventure at Country Mercantile with a stroll through their candy shop, picking out our most favorites.

The boys were getting tired, but I kept them awake with talk of TOYS R US.  We had to return a present there, but it worked out great, because Boston received a crown and balloon as well as an announcement over the loud speaker wishing him a happy birthday.  All the customers we passed gave Boston birthday wishes and Boston felt quite proud.  We hunted down the perfect toy to replace the WAY too small lawn mower we had bought for him.  In the end he decided on something completely different and picked a remote control, light up race car.

When we arrived home, Boston and I snuggled up and read his new book.  Boston “performed” in a primary program later that night and we ended the day letting him fall asleep snuggled up to Mom and Dad.

The next day we camped in the backyard, and today we are having his extended family dinner party, complete with pinata.  Birthday’s tend to become Birthweekends in our home. :)

When asking Boston how he felt about his birthday he said,

Grateful

and

This is the best birthday ever!

Success!  Celebrating  birthdays with adventures in lieu of parties was a fun but I missed throwing the parties.  So next year I think we’ll go back to our norm. of regular ol’ kid parties.  :)

Happy Birthday Boston boy!  You are loved!  You are loved!  You are loved!

bday camping

Waking up in our tent. Just a pile of us.

bday candy

As giddy as… kids in a candy store.

bday card

When Mom forgets to buy a card, she draws one instead.

bday carousel

Carousel. Isaac was terrified.

bday cookie dough

Eating cookie dough. Don’t worry, it’s eggless. :)

bday decor

What Boston woke up to.

bday eggo

Eggos for the win!

bday frog

Finally another kid showed up!

bday groceries

Even trips to the grocery store are fun when you have a buddy.

bday hats

Highly sophisticated party hats for preschool.

bday legos

Legos! Charlie’s a Lego pro. He taught Boston how to read the instructions and build.

bday lunch

Lunch break after an hour and a half of rides.

bday night camping

Piled in the tent, ready to read books and go to sleep. These boys don’t look ready for bed, do they? ;)

bday plane alone

plane ride

bday plane dad

Daddy got to ride with Boss the first time around. His legs wouldn’t bend enough to fit in the seat, so they let him ride like that!!

bday plane

Same ride, new plane.

bday rides

A birthday boy and a small park all to himself.

bday roller coaster

Roller coaster! The favorite ride.

bday run

Couldn’t keep up with that boy.

bday signs

Presents! Nancy Tillman book, swivel car, pinata, lawn mower and garbage truck.

bday toysrus

King for a day

bday truck

Truck break.

bday weather

Can’t you just see the excitement in these boys?! Birthdays are the best.

bday writing

Birthday prewriting sheets!

Preschool day 4: Basketball Math

Today was another great day of preschool.  We started with our normal morning routine, then headed to the table to eat a piece of gum and do our writing worksheets.  Today’s pre-writing worksheets were tracing your name and then a cute camping themed sheet (the boys all went camping this weekend).

We put on our Strauss music and I asked the boys who we were listening to and they both replied, “Strauss”.  It’s fun to see they’re becoming familiar with a classic.

For our lesson today I came up with a game I call, Basketball Math.  My sister had mentioned a friend using colored popsicle sticks for math, so I purchased some at the beginning of the school year.  We pulled out our flash cards and I taught them how to read addition equations.  They would “write” the equations out with their popsicle sticks and whatever the answer was, they would go find that number on the wall, tape it to the basket and shoot the ball in that many times. The boys LOVED this.  And did SO awesome!  It wasn’t over their heads at all and they were READING MATH EQUATIONS!  So cool to see what they’re capable of.  I selected the equations the night before and made sure no answer equaled over 10.

This helped them with number recognition, counting, adding and reading.  So so fun.  We also focused on using encouraging words when the other was up to shoot, so there was a lot of taking turns and team work.  We played until the boys started to seem less interested/tired.  That was 14 equations and an hour later.

We will definitely do this again.

After the game we had some snacks then geared up for Zoo-phonics races (the boys LOVE these).  We ended our day with writing in our journals, then cozying up on the couch and reading books.  We also had a few minutes to play a tablet game called “stack the states” and the boys loved that too.

Another successful day in the books!  Proud of these boys of mine. :)

2014-09-16 09.14.52

The weather was partly cloudy and cool

2014-09-16 10.32.17

Sometimes we do cheers. This cheer was especially nerdy, “Math rocks!”

2014-09-16 09.46.17

The boys writing out the math equation in sticks. The green sticks are always the top number and the red are always the bottom.

2014-09-16 09.44.13

Good job boys!

2014-09-16 09.42.18

Boston ready to shoot his basket, Charlie ready to throw it back

2014-09-16 09.40.33

Charlie’s turn. These boys have good arms!

2014-09-16 09.40.23

Cute boys

2014-09-16 09.40.04

We read the equation, then slide the sticks together and read the whole equation at once. “1 +2 equals 3!” The boys do this all on their own.

2014-09-16 09.35.30

Looking for the right number on the wall

2014-09-16 09.23.41

Isaac’s pre-writing practice. hehe. Baby genius am I right? ;)

2014-09-16 09.17.38

Tracing their letter and names

 

Preschool day 3: Volcanoes

We had a blast (cheesy I know) in preschool today.  The boys have been looking forward to it.  We studied volcanoes and geysers and got to make our own.

We started with our regular morning routine:

Circle song, hello song, ask how we feel, pray, do 1st – 3rd articles of faith, go over our numbers, shapes, colors chart, sing abc’s with the chart, read the calendar, count the days, pledge allegiance, go over Our picture of Strauss and Van Gogh and dress our weather boy Kristoff,

For writing time, we popped in some gum, turned on strauss and  did some Lego Movie prewriting worksheets from this awesome website that my good friend recommended.

Next we sat on our pillows and read a volcano book called, Volcanoes by Joelle Riley.  I highly recommend it.  The boys were totally engaged.  We learned about dormant, active and extinct volcanoes.  Next we watched a few youtube clips on Volcanoes and geysers erupting.

The highlight of the day was building the volcanoes, and making them erupt as well as the geyser in the backyard.

After Volcanoes we played zoophonics, wrote in our journals and worked on our states puzzle until pick up time.

It was an AWESOME DAY.

A video playlist below of 4 videos from our day.

2014-09-11 11.16.00

Making volcano sounds as they draw explosions in their journals

2014-09-11 10.19.02

Volcano prep

2014-09-11 09.27.22

Kristoff dressed for the cold but sunny morning

2014-09-11 11.21.43

Map building at the end of day

 

 

Preschool day 2: Helicopters

Well me and my boys just woke up from a nice looong nap, we were worn out!  We had an exciting day at preschool today.  It was our first field trip.  Boston asked to study Helicopters so that’s what we did.  Medstar, a local company, was our host for the day.  They rolled out the red carpet for us.  Everyone got hats, cookies and jellybeans and we not only got to see helicopters, but planes and ambulances too.  Also each boy got to press buttons like sirens and horns and steer the wheels.  My advice when planning these trips is, keep the group small. They let you do more fun things, like press buttons, when there are just a few of you. :)

We had a short preschool day before the field trip and the boys are learning it’s kind of funny to say they’re feeling sick when we ask everyone how they’re feeling that day. So we had 2 boys feelings “sick”, one baby that only shouted “helicopter!” and a Mom that was happy.

2014-09-09 10.58.16

Looking at all the Sessna’s on the tarmac. We invited our buddy Tristan to join us and we’re so glad he came! Isaac’s shoving cookies in his mouth.

2014-09-09 10.57.30

The Medstar helicopter from a distance. A pediatric nurse was one of many that gave us the tour and made us feel extra special.

2014-09-09 10.43.07

Boston got to be a patient and they loaded him all the way into the ambulance. Isaac and Boston were the only boys that wanted to hop on that contraption. :)

2014-09-09 10.46.42

All the boys piled in the ambulance making the sirens go off. I had to force Charlie in there and I made him press buttons and turn on the siren. I think he’s glad I did?

2014-09-09 10.58.11

Happy boys

2014-09-09 10.56.52

in awe of all those planes

2014-09-09 10.37.51

The crew and our nurse.

2014-09-09 10.38.57

Not gonna lie, that Helicopter was cool.

2014-09-09 10.35.40

Zekey in the Helicopter. He was by far the most verbal about his excitement. He shouted “HELICOPTER!!!!” most the time we were there.

2014-09-09 10.34.00

Charlie was equally interested in this tractor. :)

2014-09-09 10.33.45

Boston was asking loads of questions. He even asked if we could do a “little fly”. The answer was SHOCKINGLY no. :)

2014-09-09 10.32.49

In the pilots seat.

2014-09-09 10.32.33

Charlieboy

2014-09-09 10.29.47

Up the plane we go.

2014-09-09 10.30.54

I think Isaac’s yelling at me here to look at the “HELICOPTER!”

2014-09-09 10.31.57

Pretending to fly

2014-09-09 09.39.58

The start of today. I found a cute alphabet train that the boys could trace letters on.

2014-09-09 09.31.52

We dressed Kristoff a little silly today. Mittens and shorts for the cloudy weather.

Preschool Day one: Koalas

Here’s a link to Boston’s first day of school Interview. :)

first day

Brother tagged along every minute. :)

PReschool wall

The preschool wall

first day on steps

:)

Froggy

Nothin cooler than a Froggy backpack…except maybe a Fox one. ;)

Waiting to start

So anxious for preschool to start!

Me and Boss

Teacher and student. You can kiss the students when you’re also the Mom. :)

weather boy

Weather boy. The boys named him Kristoff :)

Names

Tracing their names

handwriting

Working on tracing letters and numbers

tic tacs

Mints, so the boys could smell like Koala’s do!

koalas

Making our own Koalas

Laundry baskets

Sitting in laundry baskets while I read them a Koala story

Journal

Journals at the end of day

Map

Driving cars across the united states

Koala making

Candy land while waiting for Mom. :)

Today was our first day of Preschool.  It was a total success!  Yay!  Our good friend Charlie joined us (and hopefully will keep coming) and the two boys were adorably excited to be big “School boys”.

We started the morning with each boy grabbing a pillow off the couch to sit on.  Then we sang a circle song and a hello song.  After the hello song I shook each boys hand and asked how they were feeling.

Boston said “Sick, like barfing” (lies)
Charlie said “Happy”
Zekey said “Good”
Mommy said “excited”

The boys loved that part.  Then we said a prayer and repeated the first and 2nd articles of faith (Charlie goes to church with us, so we incorporated our devotional).  We stood at each poster and went over them.  We pledged allegiance and practiced reading a calendar.

A highlight of the morning was dressing the weather boy.  We named him first (Kristoff chosen by the boys), then we went outside to examine the weather.  When we came in we dressed Kristoff in appropriate clothing, talked about the season and turned the weather wheel to “Sunny”.    After all of our posters the boys were so excited to show off the contents of their backpacks, so we headed to the table to show off our stuff and do some tracing.  The only worksheets my kids will do are writing sheets.  I printed off a sheet with each of their names so that they could trace their names, then trace our letters of the day (A, B and C), and numbers.  To help the boys with sitting still I gave them each a piece of gum.  That will be a special part of writing time.  I think it helps to give their little mouths something to do, while they’re sitting still in a chair. They loved writing time so I guess it was a success.  I told them they could do as many or few of the worksheets as they wanted and they both finished most.  They got a sticker for every page they completed.

Before writing I introduced our composer this month, Johann Strauss the 2nd, and played his music in the background. After writing time I had both boys grab a laundry basket and hop inside.  I gave them each a pack of mint tic tacs and I read them a story about Koalas.  I told them the mints represented the minty eucalyptus leaves that Koala’s eat and that they would now smell like koala’s because they’re known to smell like mint candy.  I didn’t tell them what the Laundry basket represented, but to listen closely to the story and when I started talking about laundry baskets to stand up.  The story was about a Koala rescue and the rescue team carried the Joey around in a laundry basket.  :)  The boys jumped up when they heard the part about laundry baskets.  We talked after about the story and how it started (sad) and ended (happy).

After story time we made a Koala craft.  We got to practice cutting, and using two kinds of glue.  We cut out Koala’s and pasted fuzzy’s to the paper to look like fur.  We glued on googly eyes and traced our hands and made those be the Koala’s ears.

After Koala crafting we did 3 zoo-phonics letters.  Then we wrote in our journals.  I wrote whatever the boys wanted me to and then wrote down how they were feeling.  They drew pictures.  We ended the day by driving our cars all over the U.S.  map.  I would shout “Drive to washington”,  “Head to Texas”.  We also started learning about north and south and left and right.  Then the boys just free played.

We had a mini play date after preschool and the boys played candy land.

It was such a fun morning!  Can’t wait for Tuesday, where we learn all about helicopters!  The boys get to pick our lesson each week. :)

Zoo-phonics is rocking my world!

In the above video Boston is doing the hand signal, sound, and name.  For example, Bubba Bear likes to get honey from up high, so he grabs the honey and brings it to his mouth while making the sound.  And in case it’s not obvious given the PJ’s, Boston wanted to play Zoo-phonics, first thing this morning.  :)

Ok I never thought flash cards could be so awesome.  I have two wonderfully wild boys that are excited about learning and I want to keep it that way.  My 4 year old is SO excited to learn how to read and he tries to every day.  I don’t want to kill this passion out of him, by boring him with things like….well, flash cards.  But Zoo-phonics are NOT your average flash cards.  They are AWESOME and for the last two days have been rocking our play time.

Boston already knows his letters and knew almost all their sounds, but not always consistently.  Zoo-phonics recommends teaching from concrete to abstract, simple to complex.  So right now our play time with these cards are really simple. I show him an animal card and he says the sound, does the signal and names the animal.  I recorded a really simple version of what we do, but in reality, Boston runs all over the house doing the signal and saying the sound, while I shout “Catina Cat!  Come back!”  He laughed and ran his way through 26 animals.  He’s so excited to get them down, because when we do, we get to move on to other flash cards and he knows these are the steps to getting him to read.

I think part of why this is so fun and motivating for Boss is because he’s VERY motivated to learn to read.  If your child doesn’t have quite as much interest just yet, then I would just stick to a couple flash cards at a time and not push it.  Or even just stick to reading your child’s favorite books until they become more interested.  The idea is not to kill it!  Don’t make it a task.  Make it fun!  It won’t be fun if they’re not interested, so my theory is

DON’T PUSH IT!

I’ve caught Boston picking up the flash cards and running through them on his own just for fun.  He also likes to tell me to be Bubba bear (doing the signal and sound) while he pretends to be another animal with their signal and sound.

As we get further along we can play matching games with the other cards and continue the fun!

Anyone else having a love affair with zoo-phonics? I’d love to hear!

Allie aligator

Animal only flash cards

 

Twin update

At 17 1/2 weeks this pregnancy is cruising along!  We found out last week that we are having identical twin girls!  We are thrilled.  Girls are what I was hoping for, but there was a slight feeling of loss for me too, just knowing that they aren’t boys, because boys have been WONDERFUL.  However everyday I get more and more and MORE excited for girls.

I’ve now seen the specialist twice and on our first visit we received amazing news.  They were able to find a very thin, very whispy, membrane between the two babies.  So even though they share the same placenta, they have their own amniotic sacs which means there is zero risk of cord entanglement and the pregnancy has instantly become much less high risk. They are no longer Mono Mono, but Mono Di.   The dr’s only concern at this point (besides normal twin stuff like preterm labor) are the girls developing twin to twin transfusion.  That’s a condition where one twin receives most the nutrients from the placenta and the other doesn’t get enough.  So far there are no signs of that happening but I will continue to be closely monitored.  Both girls are a little over 5 ounces and 5 1/2 inches long.  Almost the same exact size!  They both have great heart beats and are kicking and moving like crazy.  Not that I can feel it, but it’s fun to watch on the ultrasounds.  I still head to Spokane every 2- 4 weeks, with appointments here in between.  

Also, random, but the twins placenta wraps in a backward C shape around the entire uterus.  Crazy… and Weird!  The only slight concern the Dr. has is that one twins cord connects at the end, not the middle of the placenta so that can be a sign of getting less nutrients, but again, I’ll be watched like a hawk and so far the babes look perfect!  

Girls

Twin girls cuddled up.

A big thank you goes out to all my friends and loved ones that have been an awesome support through kind words and prayers during what we thought was going to be a really scary time.  :)  And another BIG thank you to the family and friends that continually babysit for me almost weekly with my never ending ultrasound schedule. :)  You’re all wonderful and thesegirls are going to be welcomed by the most wonderful community around.