Monday, August 17, 2015

July 2015 Pics

I went out to dinner with my new mama friends from IJ's class.  photo Picture1_zpsy08j6xol.png

We walked/biked to the neighborhood juice place so the kids could share an acai bowl.
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IJ built his new birthday legos.
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We took the kids to a play with some friends.
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IJ had 2 weeks of writing camp right after a week of soccer camp.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

IJ's 6th birthday parties

The day before IJ's birthday, a Sunday, we had a family celebration. We started with Kayaking.

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Then IJ opened gifts and we had homemade chocolate (coconut milk) ice cream with toppings. IJ received a set of pop up soccer goals, a LEGO set, a new rain jacket and his sister got him a new hat.

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On IJ's actual birthday we started a new tradition of birthday breakfast chocolate chip pancakes.
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The following weekend we had his birthday party with friends. We set up at a local park with splash pad, playground and lots of shade trees. IJ wanted a LEGO party so I made some LEGO decorations and we had LEGO activities. We set up a table with homemade lemonade, watermelon, mixed fruit, popcorn, veggie chips, coconut wafer rolls and veggie sticks in sunflower seed butter. We had a container of LEGOs for the kids to guess how may it contained. The kid who guessed closest got a LEGO prize. We also gave each kid a bag with pieces to build an airplane and NJ showed them how to build it. I made chocolate cupcakes with coconut whipped cream and chocolate LEGO topping, which didn't do well in the heat. IJ had a number 6 sparkler instead of a candle and a fencing mini figure on his cupcake. Each kid got a LEGO Mixels as their parting gift with a cute LEGO thank you tag. I did not take enough pictures and some of these are from attendees.

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Here's how the cupcakes look when prepared in my slightly cooler kitchen.
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

IJ is 6 years old!

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IJ is now 43 inches tall and 42.5 pounds. He saw a huge amount of change in this last year due to starting kindergarten. He began school less than 2 months after turning 5 and was the youngest kid in his class. He had never been away so many hours a day and on top of that he is in the dual language program and was learning in Spanish. It was rough! His teacher scheduled our first meeting a few weeks in to school and explained to me that he was easily distracted, would walk around the room instead of doing his work and would be rough/inappropriate with the other kids. We immediately started trying various techniques to work on this including punishments and rewards and never ending talking about appropriate school behavior. Suddenly in December he completely changed and we were getting good daily reports. He started the second semester well and then went back to his negative behavior for a while. He began refusing to do his work on a daily basis and after another meeting with his teacher and assistant principal we decided to move him to sit between 2 girls. He immediately started completing his work. He did finish the school year well with several good weeks of consistently good behavior. Despite his behavior, when he was doing his work he was doing it well. Even with learning in Spanish he did very well on the English standardized tests and was accepted into the Gifted and Talented program. He is able to read and write in English and Spanish. At the end of the school year he was reading at a Level 8 in Spanish, up from a 2 at the beginning of the year. In addition to the certificates every child received he also received one for Excellence in Science. His teacher always recognized his potential and saw that he was a sweet, smart kid.

IJ participated in his once weekly soccer classes in the Fall that he had been doing since he was 4. For the Winter we decided to move to YMCA soccer and he ended up on a team with lots of kids from his class and NJ and I coaching the team. He played another season with the Y for the Spring. We also decided to participate in a creative thinking/acting program/competition in the Spring that I also ended up coaching. This was a group of 6 Kindergartners and we would meet to practice at our house. Neither IJ or I enjoyed this and we don't plan to do it next year.

IJ continued his love of Legos and duplo this year and rarely plays with other toys, he is able to free build and create complex moving models. He still loves pretend/creative play and will imagine and create all kinds of fun things for his sister and him to do. He got way more into art and his drawing, coloring and cutting skills greatly improved. It was new for him to request art supplies to create works of art. IJ has gone camping with NJ a couple of times and really enjoys the experience. He likes to ride his bike and once summer started he seems much more in to soccer, requesting to play frequently. He enjoys learning in school and repeats facts he learns. He started counting to 100 and speaking of time more. He would come home from school singing songs he's never heard like Disney and Christmas songs because the girls in his class sang them so much. He is becoming more independent with taking care of himself and is very helpful with his sister.

IJ had a hard year health wise. Early in the school year he vomited in the classroom as soon as we walked in. This was the first time he had ever thrown up. I took him home and he was fine the rest of the day. In late November he and most of his class got the flu (which he gave to ZJ and I) which caused him to miss several days of school. In February he got Staph Scalding Syndrome from his sister and had to miss 3 days of school. Unlike in his sister's case it kept coming back and we had to keep retreating it until his body finally kicked the illness on its own. He potentially had an allergy to one of the antibiotics used during this time. Towards the end of school he had a fever and other symptoms that lasted several days and kept him home. He got his molars during the school year and lost 2 teeth. The first in March and the second in June. He kept the first one but we believe he ate the second.

IJ has enjoyed his summer thus far. He's pretty easy at this age. I've never heard him say he's bored. He constantly entertains himself and his sister. We also have a school work schedule where our goal is for him to read in English, read in Spanish, work on our Spanish lessons together, practice math and work in a 1st grade workbook each day. I've discovered kids shows in Spanish so he sometimes watches a Spanish show and sometimes regular shows but lots of days there's no TV. IJ enjoyed our trip to Florida in June. After that he started weekly soccer classes (same program he used to do) and weekly Rock Band classes which he really enjoys. There he gets to play drums, guitar, piano and use the microphone. Later in July he will have a week of soccer camp with several of his friends and then 2 weeks of writing camp. He loves to go to the pool but still isn't a good swimmer. This summer we've gotten in the habit of evening swimming where he frequently meets a friend from school.

IJ still has his compulsions of putting his hand near his mouth and smelling things. If I check on him after he's fallen asleep he usually has one entire arm inside his shirt so he can hold his shirt sleeve by his nose. I regularly see him smelling his sister's hair and he loves to smell his pillow.

IJ seemed to require a huge amount of sleep during kindergarten. We were regularly putting him to bed by 6:45 pm so he would wake before 7 am. He seems to need much less this summer, usually sleeping about 11 hours. We've adjusted to an 8 pm bed time typically.

See last year here.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

June 2015 Pics

First zoo trip of the summer.
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Trip to Florida.
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ZJ's first drawing, all on her own and more than just faces.  photo Picture3_zpsezbahk0b.png

The kids' fathers day gifts for NJ.
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IJ started a once weekly rock band class. The kids play drums, guitar and piano and learn a song they will perform at the end of summer.
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The kids painted a fence post at a local park's ground breaking ceremony and shared a snow cone.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ZJ is 44 months old!

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ZJ is quite into art lately, probably from her brother's influence. For the longest time she would only draw faces and just in the last week she decided she could draw other things. She drew a picture of a robot and a dog in the rain with a sun and clouds and then made them wear rain gear. She loves to paint and we've started some activity and sticker books this summer. She likes to color and prefers markers to crayons. She has been writing her name for a few months. She enjoys card and board games. She loves going to the park and uses the regular swings. She loves the pool and the beach but doesn't like waves, preferring to dig in the sand. She loves to be naked. As soon as we come home the next time I see her she will have taken all of her clothes off. Even at night she does not want pajamas and tells me she doesn't want a diaper but she still pees during the night about 50% of the time.

She just completed her 3rd season of soccer but her first with the 3-4 year age group. This was the first time scrimmages were included in addition to the games and drills. She hated the scrimmages. She has no interest in taking a ball away from someone or having it taken from her. We were also attending story time and music class at the library until the school year ended. She enjoyed both of these. She did two months of swim lessons at the end of the school year. I'm not sure if they  helped anything. She would refuse to wear goggles or put her face in the water and often ignored her instructor and wanted to do her own thing.

She has finally mastered pooping on the toilet! Even with our 5 day summer vacation she had no problems with it other than holding it in during our travels to and from because she wasn't comfortable pooping anywhere we were. She still sometimes doesn't stop playing to go pee soon enough, especially when we're away from home where she will deny needing to pee until she's peed on herself a bit. I'm hoping she figures this out soon because she will be starting preschool in September.

She has been having horrible screaming fits where she spits all over herself and tries to hit me. They go on and on until she finally calms down. When she's not having one of her fits she's the sweetest, cuddliest thing. She loves her brother and they play together great but she also likes to annoy him, hit him, and push him lately.

ZJ will only sleep in our bed. We even decided to get rid of her toddler bed and mattress (the original crib and mattress since IJ was a baby). We got a used trundle bed for her room and the mattress is on its way. I will try to transition her back to her room...again. She sleeps 10-11 hours a night usually.

Since her hospitalization she's only had colds that she gets over quite fast.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

May 2015 Pics

ZJ and I chaperoned IJ's field trip.
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There was a 3D movie about sharks. ZJ was terrified but wouldn't take her eyes off the screen.
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All but one of his classmates.
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The kids had a special treat after one of IJ's soccer games. Ice cream cookie sandwiches from a food truck.
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ZJ finished her second and final month of swim lessons.
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ZJ and her buddy at their brothers' soccer game.
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NJ and I had lunch with IJ for one last time in kindergarten. They get to pick one friend to eat at the parent table. They had just noticed they have similar tattoos.
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We finally tried IJ's classmate's dad's wood fired pizza.
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IJ went to his first professional soccer game.
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I planted Zinnias from seed along with salsa ingredients (and a cucumber plant that grew itself) with IJ's class for their spring garden. The last day of school we made salsa in class.
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Our area flooded. We were lucky and barely avoided it. Many neighbors were not so lucky. Some won't even be allowed to repair and must tear their houses down for rebuilding. This is a view from my front door.
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Neal and a neighbor went kayaking in the flood waters.
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Walking to school the morning of the award ceremony.
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IJ and his teacher.
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Last day of school holding a pic form the first day of school.
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ZJ finished her soccer season.
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