Friday, May 28, 2010


It was parent observation week in Abby's ballet class and acting class.  I adore her teachers, and Abby loves them.  Abby was way too excited to have us in her class, and had some trouble focusing.  Oh, those girls oozed cuteness!  I'll post photos once I upload them.  Acting was hilarious.  The kids were having trouble thinking on the spot with all the parents watching.  They did perform a quick skit they made up last week.  An interesting thing I noticed about how Abby acts in both classes.  In ballet she's one of the oldest and she kept giggling and goofing off with the other girls.  In acting she's on the younger side and was more reserved since she was following the older ones.  I'm glad her school doesn't do performances.  It's all about the art and how to express yourself through dance.  As the kids get older, they can decide as a group to do a performance and what costumes to wear, etc.  There's no pressure.  And because there's no school performance, there's more time to focus on learning rather than spending class time to learn a routine.  Anyways, very cool and Abby can't wait to start classes again next fall.

Since Abby and I started the second section in OPGTR over again, sounding out words is starting to click.  Oh how we struggled and trudged through!  Abby's got this whole routine when her lessons get tough, and I can't help smiling although some days it's annoying.  The drama!  She starts to complain her eyes hurt and she rubs them, she's hungry, she's too tired to sit up in her chair, she needs a new pencil.  I know how she feels, because I used to do the same thing.  But the material is sinking in and she's actually reading more and more.  I set the Bob Books aside months ago because she was memorizing them and using the pictures to decode the sentences.  She wasn't actually reading them.  OPGTR teaches reading without pictures so all the focus is on the words.  We've got 36 more math lessons.  Nine more weeks if we keep with four lessons a week.  I don't think we'll finish by the end of July.

The beach is calling us today...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Abby's been dragging her feet through lessons.  The math drill sheets take her f o r e v e r to finish.  I chalk it up to daydreaming.  If I don't point to every problem on the sheet and remind her to move on, she'll start to wander off into her own world.  Seriously, these lessons should not take two hours to finish.  Part of her slump is caused by starting the actual reading lessons in OPTGR.  The lessons make her frustrated and she finds them hard, and anything Abby finds hard, she'll fight tooth and nail not to do.  So I'm dragging her through them.  Remember how long it took us to get through the short vowel sounds?  Months!  Once the material clicks for her, we'll be rolling again.  Whenever I discuss a hard patch with people, I always get the "well, if she were in school this wouldn't happen."  Really??!  Because I know my daughter, and if someone is not there to nudge her through the hard stuff, she'll just guess or stop and daydream.  And when Abby's in a room with other kids, she is totally consumed and fascinated by the other kids.  How will she ever focus on work?  Anyways... (and I don't want my daughter to be afraid of hard work.)

Yesterday, Abby and I realized she has a loose tooth!  It still has a good couple of weeks before it's ready to come out.  When I saw it wiggle, I nearly came to tears.  Abby is growing up.  Losing baby teeth puts that final nail in the end of babyhood.

Vera got a hair cut.  It's a short and stacked in the back.  Brushing her hair in the morning takes two seconds, and it's over before she has a chance to protest.  Her hair was a complete mess with uncontrollable knots in the back.  The stylist who did Vera's hair kept telling me to brush it wet with conditioner and not to let her go to bed with wet hair.  Duh!  DUH! I know how to brush hair!  It wasn't an issue of me not knowing how to brush her hair, it was Vera REFUSING to let me or Scott or even Abby from brushing her hair.  And lady, thanks for the advice of pinning my kid down and brushing it out, I'm sure Vera would LOVE that. (insert eye roll)

A friend recommended a book titled, Marshmallow, and it's become our favorite book.  It's about a house rabbit and a cat who become wonderful friends and it's a true story.  Marge got a much bigger liter box.  It was the biggest open top liter box I could find at Petco.  The large box has made a huge difference in how much I have to change the newspaper and sweep up hay from the floor.  I was changing her papers pretty much every day and we were rocking through hay at a fast pace.  The papers went three days and the bottom papers were still dry.  I'm pretty sure Marge could hold a bunny party in that box.  Marge is one spoiled rabbit.  The groceries from Fresh Direct came in cardboard boxes and the girls arranged them into apartments for their animals, and when they were done playing, Marge took the liberty of romping through them.

I'm reading 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System" http://www.amazon.com/Death-Great-American-School-System/dp/0465014917/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273858116&sr=1-1 and so far it's fascinating.  She uses New York City schools as an example of how data, and testing, and choice undermine students.  I had never heard of constructivist math and Balanced Literacy, but they sound terrifying.  https://www.wrightgroup.com/everydaymath/index.html?cat=37 Everyday Mathematics is a program based on constructivist math.  Here's a quick overview- http://www.rationalamerican.com/rp.org/archives/math.html  I'm going to stick to my traditional Saxon Math.  I want my girls to have a strong foundation in math, so when we reach those higher grades, my girls will be more than ready to tackle anything.  
  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Marge Rocks!

Vera and Marge snuggling up on the couch this morning.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This week, Scott is going to be too tired to do any cooking, so I picked the meals.  We're having four slow cooker dinners and then spaghetti.  I loooooove the slow cooker.  How in the world did we function without it??  Whole food meals from scratch with so little effort.  For those in Sunset Park who have not heard yet, Fresh Direct now delivers to the 'hood.  I placed our first grocery order this afternoon for delivery tomorrow.  We'll see how this all works out.  Scott spends about $25 for car service PER week for shopping.  The delivery charge for Fresh Direct? $5.67.  AND some how we spent considerably less ordering food from Fresh Direct.  Maybe it's because I did the shopping and the meal planning this week??

Mother's Day was quiet and laid back.  Scott made us all French toast for breakfast.  Then we went to Ikea to get a new shower curtain, cord covers, and a light for the dinning room.  I picked up a pack of spoons and forks.  Where the silverware disappears to, I'll never know.  Ikea wasn't too crowded and we took our time milling about.  When we got home, Scott put the light up and the girls played.  Vera took a nap and Abby and I snuggled up and watched "Where The Wild Things Are".

Vera has maple syrup in her hair and some how I've got to wash it and eventually comb it.  Not fun.  I seriously wonder how long a kid's hair can go without combing before it really does turn into dred locks that need to be cut off.

Scott's glasses broke.  He's blind as a bat.  Abby was on his shoulders and they got knocked off by accident and landed on the sidewalk in two pieces.  He couldn't get an appointment until Wednesday.  Poor man has to work three days without glasses.

  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday was a PERFECT day.  We woke up, had breakfast, and I got all the chores done.  Abby wanted the pop up tent, but I couldn't find it, so we ended up building a huge fort complete with couch cushion tunnel entrance.  Marge thought this was the best, and binkyed around like a crazy bun before passing out.  Lunch was next, and since all the chairs were in the play room, we had a picnic on the living room floor.  Vera took an early nap right after lunch and Abby and I read about 50 pages of Alice in Wonderland.  I had watched Susan Wise Bauer's youtube clip about quiet time, and while Vera was napping I gave it a try.  Abby played alone quietly for an hour while I read my book.  When Vera woke up, the girls and I went to the park and got caught in a down pour!  It was sunny and clear until we got to the park.  The rain lasted about five minutes and the girls loved it.  Once home, we got dry clothes and met our neighbors out on the stoop until dinner time.  Scott had made a veggie and bean tomato thing the night before and we ate it over whole wheat pasta.  I blended the girls' veggies and tomatoes into a sauce, because they'll eat anything that resembles spaghetti.  Little do they know they ate beans and about six different veggies.  :)  Abby went to bed fairly early and Scott and I got to watch Lost.  Nice day.

Today was reasonably good too, and we made it to acting class without any drama.  Vera's back to wearing pants.  We're two days in.  Watch, I'm going to jinx myself typing this.  Did I blog about how I cleaned out her drawers?  Anyways, all she has in them are the cotton pants I know she'll wear when she wants to wear pants.  Only cotton shirts that don't have a ton of buttons, or collars, or ties and cotton dresses with no frills or ties on them.  The clothes can't be restricting in anyway or cause any problems going on or take too long to put on.  Oh yeah, and I have to fold the waist band down on her pants and fold the cuffs up.  Not sure what the folding is all about.  Vera notices all the little things.  There has always been this red stuffed dog out front of the tire store on the way to the subway.  One day it was gone and Vera said no more dog.  It took me a minute to figure out what she meant.  The other night she pointed out the window and said there was an airplane.  It was the tiniest speck far away glittering in the sun.

Abby started the first official reading lesson in OPGTR today.  Very exciting.  Now it's time to put all the sounds she's learned together.  And we have about 36 more lessons left in Math 1.  We can finish before the end of July I know it!  So this is more for me- for first grade we are doing, another Zaner-Bloser handwriting book, First Language Lessons, Writing With Ease 1, Saxon Math 2, Story of the World, and I found a really cool geography program through National Geographic that my neighbor uses that I want to try, and for science, I'm doing an animal study a week out of our animal encyclopedia.