Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Our MOMS Club held a restaurant fundraiser today, to help build a playground in Newtown, CT, that will be a memorial to those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The three of us went for lunch, and then Peeper and I stopped for dinner on the way home from dance class.
Here she is, "signing the check."
Monday, January 28, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
You are fifty-one months old today. Four-and-a-quarter. I've got to remember to teach you to say that when people ask.
You don't actually know about this (other than what you might have picked up from our conversations), but last week, we turned in both admission and financial aid applications for the local Montessori school, for next year. Mommy and I visited it last month, and it's amazing. If you get in, and they give us enough money, you will love it!
We had to answer a lot of questions about you, and some of them had to do with what you're like at school, so I met with one of your teachers to get some answers about that. I gave her a list of things that I wanted to know about you, and she wrote everything down, and talked to me about it.
As it turned out, you were in my lap the whole time, but I explained that I was just finding out about all the cool stuff you're learning and fun stuff you're doing at school.
Here's what she had to say:
January 23, 2013Peeper Shrike-Whozat
Although Peeper won't be going to kindergarten for another year, we are starting to investigate our options, and trying to find a school that will be the best fit for her. To that end, we'd appreciate if you could give us some feedback about her behavior and performance in your class, as well as your professional opinion as to how that compares to where she "should be" at her age (4 yr, 3 mo).
How is Peeper's behavior in class? Does she follow directions and cooperate with teachers?
Peeper has wonderful behavior. She follows directions well for her age. She is always pleasant and cooperative.
Does she participate in classroom activities or "do her own thing?" Does she participate in class discussion? Does she volunteer answers without being prompted?
Peeper is paying attention and takes everything in. She will participate in class discussions if asked, but does not initiate discussions on her own.
How self-reliant is she? Does she need more help from teachers that is expected at her age?
She is pretty self-reliant. Normal in all ways for her age. We do still remind her about going to the bathroom, as requested by the parents.
How does she interact with the other students?
Peeper gets along with the other students, but often engages in parallel play. If another student asks her to play, then she will join in. We are encouraging her to ask the other kids to play.
What would you say are her strengths socially? Areas of concern, or where growth is needed?
Peeper has the personality where she can get along with anyone! She never has any problems or complaints! I would like to see her grow in her communication with the other kids, volunteer her answers without being prompted and "come out of her shell," so to speak!
How is Peeper doing relative to where you would expect her to be in the following areas:
Reading Readiness - Knows all letters. [And you can read words with them, but they've not asked you to, so they've never seen you do it.]
Math / Math Concepts - Identifies numbers 1 - 10. Still working on writing her numbers. [She didn't write it down, but she commented that you "Can count to ten." Actually, you can count to 29 consistently, usually to thirty. With some prompting about the 10s, you can count to 100, and you can also count to 100 by 10s. Again, they don't know that, because they've never asked you to do it.]
Writing / Fine Motor Skills - Fine motor is still developing. Proper holding of the pencil, writing her name. her drawings are still developing. Same with scissor skills.
What activities are you doing in these areas, and what can we do at home to complement and reinforce your instruction?
Reading Readiness - Letters make sounds, sounds make words.
Math - Counting objects, more or less than, writing numbers, estimation
Language - We work on a nursery rhyme a month, play with words, identify letters and sounds.
Give plenty of opportunities for free cutting activities. Cut various objects from paper, crepe paper, straws, newspaper, playdough. It will exercise and develop those muscles. Practice holding pencil properly, writing her name and other letters and numbers.
What would you say are her academic strengths? Areas of concern, or where growth is needed?
No areas of concern. On track - above average for her letter and number identification.
*Would recommend three days next year.
And here's what we had to say about you on the Montessori application:
1. Please describe your family: applicant’s siblings, relationships, and activities of the family unit.
2. Characterize your child’s social characteristics (sense of humor, assertiveness, self-reliance, shyness, etc.).
3. Are there any family circumstances about which we should be aware that might affect your child’s adjustment/performance?
4. Has the applicant undergone any special educational testing? YES X NO
5. Please make any additional comments about your child and/or your family which you feel might be helpful to us.
6. Why do you want your child to attend Montessori Academy of Hometown?
Mama: Are you an elephant? Or are you just whining?
Peeper: This is an elephant (trumpet)
Mama: Then what are you?
Peeper: I'm a flyin' whinin' monkey!
You were in the shower with Mommy. I don't know what was going on, but I heard say "Whoa! Slippery! That was a cleaning mistake!"
"Bok! Bok! What's under me? An egg? Seriously, an egg? Seriously? An egg is under me? Seriously?"
It was the night before our trip to Texas, you'd been saying "I'm so excited about Texas!" and "I wish Texas was today!" for about three days, and I thought I'd never get you to sleep.
During a trip to the potty, (after telling her that "No, you are NOT going to sleep in the closet," I asked if you were having trouble sleeping because you were excited about the trip, and told you that if you could settle down and sleep, then morning would come faster, and then it would be time to get ready to go to the airport.
You said, "So, let me see if I've got this right. You're saying that I need to get unexcited, then I can sleep, then it will be time to go to the airport?"
Yes. That is what I'm saying.
As we were getting back into the bedroom, I saw you yawn, and right after that, you told me, "I'm not so excited any more."
You were asleep shortly after that.
The next morning:
Mama: Peeper, we need to get up and get ready to go to the airport.
PeeperYAY! YAY! YAY!
The night we got home from Texas, you were on a roll.
After having stopped for both pizza and ice cream on the drive in from the airport (at 7ish) you walked into the office at 10 pm, and asked, in all sincerity, "What's for lunch?"
A bit later, while trying to snuggle in bed with Mommy, Galoot was in your way. You tried to move him with your feet, saying, "Ugh! You big beast!"
AuntyKay gave you 3 sets of BOB Books for Christmas. The first time we tried one, you read half the book herself!
(Technically, that means that you sounded out 4 different words, multiple times. Then you wandered off to play and said she'd finish it later.)
You're really starting to get the idea of decoding (sounding out words), and have a few sight words. You are getting so close to reading. If I just figure out what it is I should be doing with you to help you out, you'll be there soon!
While on your third two-week-old sugar cookie (we made them Christmas Eve), you were going around singing "Sugar is so yummy, I can't stop eating it."
Yes, exactly. That would be the problem.
You woke up the morning after we got home from Texas, asking "Why was today the day to come home from Texas? I LOVE staying with Grandma!"
When I came back from getting you a cup of milk, and found her sitting at my desk, scrolling through Pinterest. I asked, "Whatcha doin' there?" and you said, "I quit. It's for you now," and went back to what you were doing.
Mommy was annoyed with you for getting water all over her desk.
Peeper: Mommy, calm down, just calm down.
Mommy(through clinched teeth): Am I yelling?
Peeper: Not now.
Rules I Didn't Realize Were Necessary:
You may not but water in a bowl and carry it around the house.
You had been bugging me to make sugar cookies since we got back from Texas. You started up with it again and I told you that "I'm just not up to sugar cookies this evening. And besides, I don't think we have the stuff to make them."
A few minutes later, you came over, rubbed my arm and said, "Mama, Giant's always open."
I pulled you into my lap and ask "What?"
You leaned over, cheek to cheek and whispered in my ear, again, "Giant's always open."
"Why are you telling me about Giant?"
"I thought you didn't know."
"Why do I need to know about Giant?"
Again, with the cheek-to-cheek whisper, "We can get cookie dough."
You're nothing if not persistent. I bought cookie dough the next day.
While pretending to be the Cowardly Lion:
If I had courage I'd be King of the Wood.
But I'm just a coward. This lion is no good.
You claim you made that up on your own.
You were playing a word / reading game on my phone, with pictures and 3-letter words. The word was "man" and it was illustrated with a fellow wearing and suit and tie. You identified him as "a president."
When I told you it was a man, you argued with me, saying "But he has a collar! I thought only presidents had collars."
It's possible that by "collar" you mean "tie," but at any rate, perhaps we should be hanging out with a classier crowed.
Mama, your hair's kind sticky-uppy. In the morning, you should put some, some...
Yeah, gel. 'Cause nobody wants to see your sticky-uppy hair.
Mama, I started to sneeze and it turned into a yawn!
(Later): Now I call that a yawn!
You found a Chuck E. Cheese token\, and I explained it to you, so you started pretending that you were "Baby Chuck E. Cheese." Then we had this conversation.
Peeper: I want to know: Is Chuck E. Cheese a boy or a girl?
Mama: He's a boy.
Peeper: Sooo, he has a penis?
Mama: Um, yes?
We were trying on hats at Target, and they all seemed to be too big for me. I asked "Do I have a really tiny head? Peeper, am I a pin head?"
You told me, "No, you have only the greatest head in the world!"
I guess my hair isn't too sticky-uppy that day.
Are you still whining about Goldfish?
Noooo, I'm whining about Cheerios!
You picked up your toy phone and says, "Hello, what seems to be the problem? You're out of milk? That's embarrassing!"
Then you said to me, "Moo-cow, somebody's running out of milk!"
I said, "Moooo," and you replied, "Yes, Cow, I know you're hungry, but somebody's running out of milk."
In the tub one evening, you were pretending to be a fish who'd just been stung on the fin by a jellyfish. You had a washcloth "bandage" on it, and various other fish kept swimming by to ask about your injury.
At one point, you said, "I'm thinking about all the things he can't do with a boo-boo fin. Like juggling, or eating sausage."
Later you added "typing."
Mama: Please stop whining!
Peeper: But you said I'm whining because I'm grumpy.
Mama: Well, are you grumpy?
Peeper: My belly doesn't feel like it usually feels.
Mama (concerned): Oh. How does it feel?
Peeper: It feels like it needs to whine.
You're something else, kiddo. And we sure do love you.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Tonight was the first library story time since before Christmas, and it was all about snow and snowmen!
The kids made puffy paint (shaving cream + white glue) snowman, similar to this one from Pinterest, but just using black crayon and black puffies for the decorations.
Peeper worked very hard on hers.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
After getting Peeper started on antibiotics last week, I got jealous and went to see my own doctor the next day, in hopes of scoring some for myself, because I have also been fighting a respiratory thing for weeks, and was starting up with the sinus headaches again.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Saturday, January 19, 2013
For quite some time now, Peeper's been able to get a cup from the bottom cabinet, open the refrigerator and get herself some water from the Brita dispenser. She doesn't always manage to turn the water off in time - or at all - but mostly, she's got that down.
So, I've been saying that we need to get her some snacks within reach, but haven't bothered to actually do anything about it. A few days ago, though, she "fixed herself breakfast" when we were both still asleep, which involved the remainder of a loaf of bread and a cheese stick that she couldn't open.
So, I started saying it more often and more emphatically, and today, I finally did it!.
Introducting: Peeper's Snack Station(s)!
This is the set-up for now. If I find that we really need that shelf space for
bowls of rotting crap leftovers, I might switch to deeper baskets and put them inside the produce drawer. I really need to find a better (non-refrigerated) place for those two apples anyway.
I also need to get some tape or something and a Sharpie and make a more permanent label. That's just dry erase and it's coming right off.
In the fridge, she's got one basket for protein and one for "rainbow things" ie fruits and veggies.
The "rainbow" basket: sliced apples (left over from Sonic the other day, but I cut up a real one after the photo was taken), spinach, bell peppers, black olives and a carrot.
The protein basket: turkey lunch meat, pepperoni, meatballs, cheese sticks, "zipper cheese" (Baby Bel) and yogurt.
I also have another basket in the down-low cabinet, with non-refrigerator snacks, like Goldfish, raisins, apple crackers, jerky, "squeezy" apple sauce and some all-fruity things that she's probably not going to eat.
When I showed it to her, she was so excited! But the first thing she did was look at the label I was pointing to, and open the drawer underneath it. Oops!
She took out an apple, took one bite, spit it out and told me to get rid of the skin. (See above, re "I cut up an apple . . . .")
After I pointed her in the right direction, she checked it all out, and by bedtime, she'd had Goldfish, apple crackers, two cheese sticks, 3 slices of turkey and about four tiny cups of milk. (We declared that "dinner.")
When she started pulling on the gallon of milk, I decided that she could have a "Peeper-sized" container from which she can serve herself. For now, I've only put a few ounce in it, and refilled it several times, but we'll see how it goes and maybe I'll start making it fuller. First, we have to see if she can keep up her end of the bargain, which is that she can only have her own bottle of milk if she can not spill it.
I've explained that "sometimes foods" will stay up high, and a grownup will have to get those for her, but she's welcome to have these any time. I think I mentioned that she should eat from all the baskets, but if I didn't, I will tomorrow.
Since I've got so many things portioned out in Ziplocks, I've told her to put it on a plate or in a bowl, and leave the bag in the basket for a refill. I said that if the bags not there, I'm not putting more in. (Pretty sure that's a bluff.)
Of course, I'm not going to be rushing to refill everything right away, especially things like the Goldfish.
So far, she seems pretty happy about being able to fend for herself.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
She talked me into making sugar cookies for no good reason.
Do you think we could use this as part of her Montessori application?
at 1:23 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
After the museum, we took Peeper in to see the doctor, not because she's actually been sick enough to warrant a trip in, but because it just won't go away.
She has (as have I) been fighting some sort of respiratory thing since, well, since before Thanksgiving. At least.
The sniffles and sneezes get better and worse and better and worse, but even when she's on the upswing there, she just can't shake the cough. And she sounds just awful.
Particularly when she exerts herself enough to get breathing heavily (especially outside when it's a cold), she started coughing and gagging and has actually vomited several times.
(Including - with no exertion - tonight. In bed. On me.)
The doctor says it's probably a persistent infection somewhere, most likely in her sinuses, that's periodically flaring back up. So, we've started a fourteen day course of antibiotics and if she's not all better, then we consider whether asthma is a possibility.
Yeah, not thrilled to hear that.
A note to doctors - Some words that aren't as reassuring to a parent as you might think they'd be:
"So, it's probably not asthma."
"So, I don't think she has pneumonia."
Which means that, based on the story I just told you, right up until you listened to her breathe, you thought it might be one of those things?!?
Bless her little heart, though. She may be freakishly cooperative and compliant with exams, but she's not the most patient of patients. Both on the way to the car from the appointment, and again just seconds after swallowing her first dose of antibiotics, she said, "But I don't feel all better yet!"
We went straight from the doctor's office to the pharmacy to pick up her medicine. While we waited, she checked out everything in their associated store. She really wanted these bracelets.
When I told her that they're for grown-up ladies, and they aren't "kid tough" she wanted to get them for Mommy. When I told her that "Mommy and Mama aren't bracelet kinda gals," she said, "But I need a bracelet kinda gal!"
They really were quite pretty. I can see why she was attracted to them.
Oh, and I have an appointment in the morning, in hopes of getting my own prescription for antibiotics. And of finding out that I also probably don't have asthma or pneumonia.
Peeper and I went to a children's museum with MOMS Club this morning. It's near Shrike's work and we had taken her niece and nephew there many years ago, but this was a much different experience.
For one thing, they have about four times as much stuff as they did then, and this time I was with children who are in the target age range.
Back then, it didn't take long for our nephew to declare that, "This place is lame!" and we had to agree.
Peeper (and her friends), on the other would definitely not agree!
These photos are just from one room, the agriculture display. For preschoolers, that translates to "a store with lots of plastic fruits and veggies" - which translates to Peeper Nirvana!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
We surprised Peeper today with a trip to see Sesame Street Live, about an hour from home!
She had no idea what we were doing, just that it was "a surprise." When she started talking about "We're going to get a surprise for me," we did clarify that "We're not getting a surprise, we're doing a surprise."
When we arrived, we were discussing "Are we there? Is this it? It says "... Theatre," so she guessed that we were going to see a show or a movie, but we still wouldn't tell her what, just that she had to "look for clues."
As soon as we walked in, of course, there were CLUES! everywhere. She kept pointing to Sesame Street things and saying "That's a clue!" but when we asked, "So, what do you think the clues mean?" she said "I don't know."
Eventually she said that it looked like we were going to "see a Sesame Street movie" which was pretty close.
As you can imagine, she rather enjoyed herself.
And, as last time, there were tears when it was over, but once we got to a restaurant and got some food (and ice cream) into her, she was okay.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
Peeper and I went over to T's house this evening for dinner (more homemade pizzas), catching up and wedding planning.
(T's helping us with wedding planning. More on that soon.)
We had a great time, but I think we may have stayed too long.