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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