Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

15 Weeks and Counting …

on April 30, 2013

When we moved in late January, I expected my posts to be sparse to non-existent for a few weeks as we got settled into a new home and new routine. I had not anticipated, however, that they would be sparse to non-existent for a few months.

About the time we got the basics unpacked, though, I was practically knocked off my feet my a vaguely familiar wave of exhaustion. Then, the mood swings hit. And the violent food aversions. Fifteen days after moving into a two-bedroom apartment with a lease stipulation of no more than four residents, we discovered that our family of four was in the process of expanding. …

I’ve had numerous losses in the past, so we were initially reluctant to break the news to the girls … until 24/7 “morning sickness” hit with a vengeance, and Little Bear broke down in tears because Mommy was “so sick” that she thought something must be “seriously wrong.” At that point, we shared our little secret with them, along with our hopes, our fears, and our prayers that Baby-Makes-Three would be joining our family in late October.

In the weeks since then, we’ve gradually moved back toward some semblance of a school schedule. There are still days that I’m really grateful for ABCMouse.com, Starfall.com and PBS Kids, but overall, we’ve plodded on with formal math and reading, regular fine motor work, and plenty of daily read alouds. We’ve participated in weekly library activities, monthly art classes at our local museum, and various church-based children’s programs. We’ve played games, done crafts, built stuff, explored topics of interest to one or both girls, and followed plenty of rabbit trails along the way. I just haven’t done a very good job of photographing or blogging about our journey because I’ve been napping during their rest time and going to bed shortly after they do each evening. Now that we’re firmly into the second trimester, though, I’m starting to feel human again. And I’m making a concerted effort to get back into a groove before the New Addition derails us again.

Today’s schedule went something like this:

  • Breakfast “date” with Mommy, followed by an hour of active play
  • An hour of shared reading, complete with a dozen read-alouds that ranged from There’s a Cow in the Cabbage Patch (one of Baby Bear’s long-time favorites) to selections from Mary Engelbreit’s Fairy Tales (Mommy’s choice) to several pages of Eye Wonder: Bugs (feeding one of Little Bear’s current interests).
  • Observation of our ladybug larvae/pupas (some of which we’re hoping are actually still alive since we haven’t observed any visible changes in three days …)
  • Sesame Street/Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood (to divert attention away from the ladybug experiment and give Mommy a chance to fix lunch)
  • More shared reading and free play time
  • Little Bear tackled an Orb Factory fairy sticker mosaic (fun and non-threatening fine motor practice), while Baby Bear and Mommy played with puzzles and pattern blocks.
  • Baby Bear played a game on the iPad while Little Bear and Mommy did a couple of pages in The Reading Lesson, reviewed the -at word family, and practiced the -ow- sound. Little Bear chose to wrap up today’s reading lesson by reading a Scholastic Sight Word Reader aloud without assistance.
  • I pried the iPad out of Baby Bear’s hand and took care of laundry while the ensuing tears subsided. Sigh. The child loves her electronics (says the mother who once said her young children would most certainly *not* be allowed to play with an electronic brain until their own brains had time to develop …).
  • We pulled 1-2-3 Farmyard! off the shelf. The first round, we traded cards until we each had 10 animals in our barnyard (putting Little Bear’s addition, subtraction, and reasoning skills to the test). The second round, we traded cards until we had one of each kind of animal in our barnyard (visual discrimination and critical thinking for both girls, though Baby Bear still needed quite a bit of help). Then, we pulled out eeBoo’s Preschool Lotto Game which even Baby Bear could play with little assistance and combined sorting, classifying, memory, and matching practice with wholesome family fun and good sportsmanship.
  • Little Bear completed mazes, coloring, and cutting pages from her Kumon workbooks while Baby Bear and I played with her Busy Poppin’ Pals, shape sorter, and Stacking Tree.
  • Baby Bear dumped Little Bear’s TRIO blocks, and all three of us sat down to build for awhile.
  • I looked at the clock, saw that it was almost dinner time, and wanted to call it a day. Little Bear, however, wanted to do a lesson in her math book. … The puppy dog eyes won out. We used the MagnaDoodle to review correct formation of numerals 7, 8, and 9. Then, she headed off to do a couple of pages in her Singapore Earlybird math book, while Baby Bear challenged me to draw Dora on the Magnadoodle.
  • Both girls ran wild and pestered Daddy Bear while I fixed dinner. Little Bear apparently spent dinnertime planning/plotting a long list of things she hoped to do next, but both girls were visibly tired. Mama Bear insisted on bath, bedtime stories, and BED.

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