May 21, 2004

A Round-Up

Been awhile since I rounded up our activities here. We have been focused on outdoor activities primarily - walks, hikes, water play, playgrounds, biking and of course playing in the yard. All of the kids love being outside - though Sirah has gotten her first sunburn already!

Sirah is growing so fast - she is crawling, standing on her own and beginning to cruise. She can climb up the staircase - though she is confused about what to do at the top. She has no fear yet and I worry she will launch herself over. She has 4 teeth and is working on a 5th. She has begun babbling and "dada" is of course her favorite. She is waving hi and imitating us. She enjoys playing peek-a-boo, ball, and blocks. We sing songs to her and she seems to enjoy the typical ones best "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Row, Row Your Boat", "This Little Piggy", "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the "ABC song" to name a few. The kids take turns singing to her as well. She loves eating books, scraps of paper and pea gravel, oh and did I mention she loves the dog's chew toys? Gross. She is a joy to be with, full of smiles and happiness and is so inquisitive and learning now.

Ciaran LOVES being outside and just running and playing. His shoes have been off since the snow melted I think and I've given up on the battle unless absolutely neccessary. He is a very imaginative child for his age and together with Rhiannon can spend hours at a time in their imaginary worlds (often based on books we read). He seems to have recently developed a special friendship with another little boy his age (born just a week earlier) in our homeschool group - the two of them play amazingly well together. WE have spent quite a few days at nearby parks - walking on trails and playing on the playground. He likes me to push him on the swing and to play star wars in the chute slides (they pretend it is the garbage chute) and just to run around. He likes to collect bugs (at least he has stopped picking off their wings) and loves riding his tricycle. He enjoys soccer, sliding and running and hiding inside trees. On a recent hike he picked up a stick and wanted to go fishing. I asked him what he would do with the fish he caught (we are vegetarians) and he said - let them go. He is an energetic little boy and a joy. His emotions are strong - happy and sad, joyful and mad. His language is very well developed and I love just talking with him. He refuses to potty train still but will when he is ready - he often takes off his diapers himself asking to be changed and sometimes out of the blue decides to go to the bathroom instead. He loves to bake and be a helper. His smiles are contagious and his phraseology is fun sometimes.

Rhiannon is turning into a very happy and helpful little girl. She wants to please and generally makes the right choices. She aims to make me happy and will even forgo things she wants sometimes to make things easier for me. She wants everyone to be happy (even her brother) and will often try to be the peacemaker and negotiate terms for everyone. She is very sensitive and cuddly lately and she is clearly growing as she has a "hollow leg" and even asks to take naps from time to time. Her schoolwork is going well - we are still working through Phonics Pathways and she has read all the Bob books in First and Fun series. She is able to read smoothly (without verbally sounding out) almost all phonetically spelled 3 letters words and can sound out longer words. She is working on blends and ending sounds. Her reading is going well and she has moved to reading us a story now. Her math skills are improving without any real focus or work from my end of things - she can add in her head now quite a few numbers and with her fingers or manipulatives 1-12. She is writing words and trying to spell everything (she spells it how it sounds to her) her letters are getting smaller and more controlled - though we have not started a formal handwriting program. She loves to play school and be the teacher, to draw maps and write lists - and then for us all to follow them. She loves being the leader and finds a willing audience in Ciaran - they play imaginary worlds for so many hours in a week and it is fun to listen to them and join in from time to time. She enjoys her dolls, dress-up, craft work (like making potholders) and spending time with me. She still has a passion for reading and asks to be read to all day. Immediately upon entering the car she asks to listen to our current book on tape and then quietly listens for the duration of our car time. She is often found sleeping on a stack of books she had in her bed with her. She reminded me of the woman in "The Library" by Sarah Stewart. She also loves being outside and her favorite activities are swinging (she is so happy she can pump herself) and riding her two-wheeler (she learned last summer) and I'm sure once the weather is warmer - playing in water will be added to that list.

Serona and I are doing fine. He is busy with work and new responsibilities there. I am trying to sort out the priorities in my life and learn to say no. I am becoming more and more active with our homeschool group and find other activities taking a more natural second place in my life. I am also enjoying crocheting - since learning in March I have made 5 full size afghans (including one HUGE one), 3 baby blankets and two small blankets for my kids. I am also working on another two blankets right now. Sometimes I write for my book and blog. Serona enjoys online gaming and writing his fantasy novel. We try to have a regular weekly date and our marriage is continually growing stronger - I love him so much more now than the day I married him - he makes me a better woman and is truly the other side of me.


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