Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011

Fall officially starts on the 23rd of this month and I could not be looking forward to it more. We had a week of comfortable weather and suddenly, the heat is back. It's 104 degrees today. There's a breeze but instead of cooling one's brow, it merely feels like the venting air from an oven. My poor plants have mostly died. I had put out hostas under our live oak in the front yard and even though they were not exposed to the full force of the sun, they have fried and shriveled. It's very sad. I'm hoping that they'll recover over the fall and that next year will be easier on them.

School is going well. I feel like our lessons are almost too short but by moving from one subject to another before frustration or boredom sets in, I'm hoping to foster a feeling of excitement and anticipation that will last throughout the year. I'd like to incorporate more nature study that we've done the last two weeks... if the cooler weather will come back, we'll have more opportunity to go to the park and spend time watching birds and squirrels at least.

Izzy asked me earlier what 'cracker jacks' are, because we were listening to a cd of hers with "Take me out to the ballgame" on it. I explained what the ingredients are and she said 'oh... like those nuts we have at hockey games?' It never ceases to amaze and amuse me how she holds on to some very random memories or information. We talked about those roasted nuts a bit and she said 'Well, I think we should go to a hockey game and have more on Monday'. I don't care if we have to bribe her with fun treats... she WILL grow up enjoying hockey. I am starting to doubt that she will play, as she demonstrates more and more that she has a very strong girly side but who knows? :)

Dance class this morning went really well. Lily didn't go running into the studio like she did last week and they left the observation window uncovered for the whole class this time. I'm sure the instructor doesn't really like doing that but it did seem like the girls paid attention and didn't get distracted beyond waving at their mommies once or twice. Izzy is very serious about trying to do everything right... for the most part. They all forget to hold their arms up or out when they start dancing around the room but I know that must be the case for the first year or two. All that said... there is one major irritation for me. During class, Lily tries to play with/hug/talk to the other younger siblings in the waiting area. One of the little girls is just quite shy but her mother encourages her to share books/crayons and we make a community pile of things to entertain the girls. One of the other mothers has two children with her in the lobby - one is Lily's age and the other is only 7 months or so. And she makes a point, not of encouraging her child to interact with Lily, but of the complete opposite. She only tells her "It's ok to say no. Just say 'no thank you'. You don't have to play with her." and things of that nature. Who does that? I thought it was odd the first time but figured maybe her daughter was having a rough day and she just didn't want her to get upset when Lily wanted to hug her so much. But we've now been at 3 classes together and every time it's the same refrain. "You don't have to play with her if you don't want to. It's ok to tell her no. Just walk away." Wtf? Why not encourage your kid to be pleasant or kind or even outgoing? Ugh.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011

September seems to be a month of beginnings. School has started, Autumn seems to be knocking at the door and Religious school has begun for Izzy.

 School thoughts: it's ever so much easier to structure a day on paper than it is to apply that structure to the actual hours and minutes. I had planned to stretch activities out over the entire day but it seems to be easier to condense it into an hour or two in the mornings. Poetry/music time is a soothing way to start the day and them we transition straight into writing practice or math. Neither of these subjects takes long and before I know it, we can cover art and craftwork and be done long before lunch. I think I need to find some more math-related activities. Sorting/counting objects might extend the lesson a bit and give her a better idea what the math lessons are actually meant to apply to in the real world.

 Autumn thoughts: I wish our trees changed colors more noticeably. We spent a week in Colorado just prior to starting school and while the leaves weren't changing yet, there was definitely the promise of beautiful colors to go along with the crisp weather and soft breezes. I told Chad I would bring cooler weather back with us but I never imagined it would actually co-operate. But we went to bed in Amarillo on Saturday night and awoke to temps in the 60's and cool wind. Very nice. Also: you're welcome.

 Religious school: we've only had one class and the Sunday we were out of town, there was no class because of the holiday. She seemed to have a great time and every time I mention up-coming Sunday classes, she is shocked and happy that it will repeat every week. I suppose that's only to be expected... until recently, big events for her have been single-day affairs: birthdays, holidays out with family, dinners with friends.

 Oh! I forgot! We have "pre-ballet" classes weekly, too. We made up the skipped class yesterday and I have to say, I'm so glad I didn't sign up for the Wednesday slot on a regular basis... it was super hectic and Lily was being an anger ball. At least this time we got to watch on the tv in the lobby. The first day, the tv wasn't set up yet and they'd pulled the shade on the viewing window. The second class, we all got to watch for a while through the window but when some of the girls stopped paying attention or started crying, that ended. What I did see of Izzy was super encouraging. She pays very close (for a 4 year old) attention to the teacher and when it's her turn to practice a new bit, she immediately assumes a 'pose' and flutters around the room. I hope her joy in this continues because it could turn into a lifetime love of dance.

 Things I need to work on this week: better time management, scheduling a re-do for Izzy's mikveh bc she completely lost it when I had mine and did Lily's, cleaning off the kitchen counters, putting laundry away faster.

 I miss Megan. Our playdates are probably more for me than they are for Izzy... it's just so nice to have a local mommy friend that I can be open with and enjoy her opinions and insight.