Saturday, February 23, 2013

Noah walks!

Noah is not yet a master, but his walking has improved over the last six weeks. He seems to be taking his time practicing! His record is about twelve steps in a row. It is tough to catch video of him doing it, though! Here is the best one I could get today.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Morning Routine

Over the past few weeks, I've found a way to make better use of our breakfast time, which often takes far longer than I'd like it to, with four people each eating different foods and one baby refusing to eat anything, but creating a mess all the same. 

As we all gather in the kitchen, we update the calendar, noting the day and month. We sing the "Days of the Week" song and the "Months of the Year" song. We still have to sing them pretty slowly for Jack to keep up, but he's getting the hang of it. We usually have to sing them at least twice because Alexander knows them well and wants to sing quickly.

For Christmas we were given some weather equipment like a big outdoor thermometer, a rain gauge, and a preschool style weather bulletin board. (Thanks, AE!) So, we usually also talk about what the weather is like that day and what season it is. I finally got the bulletin board stuff hung up, so now we'll be able to update that each day as well. 

Next, I tell the boys their personal stories. I adapted this idea from one that I read in Family Fun magazine. I tell each boy a story that starts like this: "Once upon a time there was a little boy named (full name). He was born on (full birth date). He lived at (full address)." From there, I make up a short, silly story, which is different every day. I do one for each boy and they love it and look forward to hearing what their story will be each day. They don't even seem to notice that they're learning their personal information. Of course this activity, like the one above, is most suited to Jack and Kai, but Alexander loves it, too. It's a bit mind-boggling how much they love this simple, fun activity.

That's my quickie update for today! I have more things I'd like to share bopping around my head, but as usual, finding the time and energy to blog is not the easiest thing ever! Til next time...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Alexander!

On February 4th, Alexander turned EIGHT years old. EIGHT! I told him that I was a little sad that I only have 10 years left until he is an adult. I've seen how fast the time goes and I know how quickly that day will come. A decade, you're saying, is a very long time. But if you're a parent, you know how very short it can be. It's the main reason we homeschool and it's always on my mind at birthday times. You know what they say. "Babies don't keep." And neither do toddlers or preschoolers or 7-year-olds. And so, we now have an eight-year-old.

Alexander chose to travel to Maryland for his birthday so that he could celebrate at Build-A-Bear and invite his cousins and our good friends/ old neighbors. I was a little concerned that the older kids wouldn't be amused with this bear building idea, but I think they all ended up genuinely enjoying themselves and being pleased with their new stuffed buddies. Alexander was overjoyed with the whole process and exclaimed at the end, "This was the best birthday party ever! Better than the beach!" Thanks so much to our guests for being willing to tackle the long drive (with snow), the slightly manic party, and the crowded food court. Alexander was in heaven.

Waiting for our guests to arrive.
They've chosen their unstuffed animals.
They are warming up their buddies' hearts before putting them in their bodies.
Something is exciting...
Jack pushes the pedal to shoot stuffing into his bear.
Mostly stuffed!
Next, the animals get a bath. Then, the kids choose clothes for their new buddies.

All the kids with their finished friends.

Alexander continues to be handsome, smart, sneaky, hilarious, clever, quirky, sensitive and sweet. He's always been "a character" like no other, which makes him both challenging and amazing. He loves his video games and TV shows of course, loves trying out new classes at the YMCA, and loves chicken noodle soup which he eats almost daily. He loves jumping on trampolines, riding his scooter, dressing in funky layers and wearing fancy suit jackets. He's an awful speller, but an incredible student. Math is a breeze for him. His big birthday present was a new bike and Mohawk helmet, and he is eager to learn how to ride without training wheels. He still misses his Maryland friends, but has adjusted well to our new home. Our boys fight, but we know they love each other dearly. As I type, Alexander is cuddled up with Jack, head leaned on his shoulder, for a movie night with Daddy. Alexander asked me specifically if I could figure out a way so that he and Jack could do more schoolwork together (I did), and he is always asking to hold, "babysit," feed, and cuddle Noah. He constantly asks for more chores, although he doesn't always follow through with his responsibilities. All three of the older boys share one bedroom, which they agreed to excitedly. Alexander is an amazing young man. I tell him all the time how glad I am to be his mom, and this year I will do my best to treasure the moments and remember that 8-year-olds don't keep, either.
Posing with the cake.
I'm pretty sure he was singing to himself.
Happy Birthday, Alexander!