Wednesday, March 17

Happy St. Patty's Zoo day!

We're finally breaking in our zoo membership thanks to some beautiful spring weather and friends who think of things to do other than library storytime and the park.
Our green clothing and accessories from Grandma last year somehow managed not to get lost, so we got around pinch-free.

I'm trying to go easy on my back lately, so I brought our lightweight cheap-o Nikon instead of my monster Fuji. Better than nothing, I guess. Except I have no idea how to use the thing. Oh, well- better get used to it. Other than some Easter stuff, I'm planning on avoiding any major shooting for a while.

There are three new lion cubs! So cute!

Wednesday, March 10

The Togetherness Kids

In case you were wondering why these guys always have bruises on their foreheads...
"Oooooooh! Oooooooh! I a ghooooost!"


What's behind curtain #1?

Heck- I'll show you #1 and #2.

Their idea.

Guess there will be more room for baby than we thought...

Sunday, March 7

Knowing what's coming

Tonight, a friend of ours asked if it was just him, or has the twins' vocabulary grown exponentially in the last few weeks? I don't think he realized he hit on the very thing I've been thinking of most lately, and was glad to hear someone else had noticed.

I've been worried for the last few months about the twins' impending entrance into preschool. I figured I should start them when they turned three, but every time I tried including them with the whole group they didn't pay attention longer than a few minutes. It was hard to imagine they'd be ready by April. I've been doing a simple "practice" version of preschool with just the twins at home.

I've also been wondering about what to do with Mia once she finished preschool in May. How would she take it when I dropped the twins off to be with her friends and took her home with me for Kindergarten? Keeping her in the group would make the age disparity of the kids harder to teach, and I didn't think it would be fair to ask that of the other moms.

This week was my week to teach. Instead of doing the twins' usual "practice run" with a few stories and songs, I thought I'd see how much of my prepared lesson we could get through with Mia. About halfway through a rather long story, I realized they were all listening intently. They made it to the end, and we started to learn the song. Usually they kind of sway and hum when we sing anything but Twinkle and Child of God. But this day- they actually learned the whole song! We did the craft, and they were so proud of what they had accomplished. We got through the whole lesson, and for the first time, they actually got something out of it!

At first I didn't think anything of it. Chalked it up as a fun fluke. If Mia hadn't insisted that we "do preschool" again the next day, I might have not tried again for a month. Luckily, we did. It was just as fun as the day before. The twins learned another new song, listened and participated, and I realized- this is going to work! We've got a kind of Joy School/Montessouri/homeschooling thing going on. Unique, and perfect for us.

What has really surprised me are my feelings about teaching. The first thing everyone says when they hear I'm going to homeschool Mia, is that they'd go crazy if they tried that. There have been so many days lately, that I've felt the desire to just get a break from my kids. I've wondered if I'd ever have more of a desire to spend so much time on them in a teaching capacity, and what would happen if I continued to have these feelings of reluctance? Every five weeks for the last half year, I would think "Oh, man- it's my turn to teach," and I'd hop onto the curriculum site to do my part. I'd skim over the non-essential intro to get the gist of the theme, and slowly but surely get my lessons together over the course of a couple of weeks.

After our experience this week, I got onto the curriculum site to see what I'm in for preparation-wise. Am I really going to be able to prepare the other four weeks' lessons myself?

I started reading the introduction that I usually just skim through, and found myself engrossed to the point I was scrolling down hoping for more to read when I came to the end.

The next morning I woke up at 6:30 with a mini-epiphany. There's a reason we had so much fun this week. I've been so worried about getting "me-time," it was creeping into my feelings about "mom-time." And this week, I was so invested in "mom-time," I forgot to worry about myself. It was a lot more fun for everyone. I'm not worried anymore. I'm ready to give what I need to be happy.

Last night Mia and I went on a trip to pick up preschool supplies for the next two months. We got sidetracked in the baby section....
This year is really going to be different than the last. I love to finally be able to picture it, and plan for it. And look forward to it. :)