Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Our weather has been incredibly mild this fall (must be to make up for the cool summer that we had). The temperature even got close to 80F on Monday. Warm enough to take a stroll in the moonlight by the lagoon. I think that fall is finally settling in, though. The nights are getting cool, and the air feels crispy. M and I had a nice time looking for pretty fall leaves to press this afternoon.

This was the best part of the day. Otherwise it just happened to be one of those days. In trying to be a good parent, it is easy to put high expectations on yourself (and sometimes your kids). And it can be very difficult when you don't quite meet them. Just need to remember to let go and focus on the present. This in itself seems like such a challenge because as a mom, I am faced with constant parenting decisions throughout the day. And sometimes I feel woefully inadequate to meet them. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Long Weekend at the Casa

It's Tuesday. Everyone is back in school and his or her routine. The kids had four days off for Veteran's Day (and considering we didn't have too many scheduled activities!). On Thursday, K had a fantastic field trip with the troop. She went to the Tech Museum and attended a workshop at which she earned her "Make It Matter" badge. She got it that day and was extremely proud.

M had a "play date" with Mommy and Daddy which consisted of going to the park across the street, lunch out at her favorite restaurant (which right now is McDonald's--it used to be Baja Fresh), a trip to our favorite used book store, and a hot cocoa from Peet's (where we read "Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy"). This outing was fun for everyone.

Friday we headed out to Half Moon Bay to eat lunch at Ketch Joanne. The weather was gorgeous (why didn't I think to snap a picture?). We walked around Pillar Point and were excited by the possibility of lots of yummy cioppino this winter. Crab nets were stacked in piles by the hundreds because commercial crab season opened yesterday.

Add to the weekend some Girl Scout booth sales, choir practice, teaching church school, homemade pumpkin pancakes, and a Fred Astaire movie. We were busy, but got to spend lots of family time together. These weekends are rare, and I cherish them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Read All about It

All of a sudden M has started putting sounds together into words and words into sentences. She is so ready to read! About a month ago she said to me, "Mommy, I just really want to know how to read." Totally understandable given that everyone in the family are readers. Maybe three weeks ago it was like a switch turned on and she started piecing together three letter words. Her teacher started sending little books home with her. M has been incredibly eager--she'll read two small stories every night and bring them back the next day for two more.

The challenge has been trying to keep up with her curiosity and drive to learn. I really want to encourage her interest. So far K and I have made little readers for M. I put together the booklets, and K helps to illustrate them (I had M do drawings once, but she got tired after a while and was more interested in the reading part). Another activity that I put together is simply flash cards. I initially had some 3-letter words from when K was in kindergarten, but I've mixed in some 4-letter words as M seems ready. I've also added the names of different family members and pets, as well as some kindergarten sight words (i.e., "a," "she"). The flash cards are not as exciting, but M likes the feeling of accomplishment when she finishes a stack. Plus they are good for when we have a few minutes of "waiting time." 

K's teacher has urged her to practice her flash cards to really learn the basics. It's harder to get her to do these, and I admit, math flash cards can be a bit tedious. Is there any way to make it more fun? Something to look into....