Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First year at a Montessori Children's House classroom... Almost done!

A lot to say. Lots to do. Not too much time to blog lately. I was going to type a very long post, but decided against that. Hmm, let's rephrase. This is a long post, but it is only about school. It would have been so much longer had I gone with my original idea!

Let’s talk school!

Ari’s first year at the Montessori school is coming to a close. About four weeks of school left. How she has changed… She has learned so much. She is thriving. She is getting to spend time with peers, interacting with them, becoming their friend, having opportunities to use the conflict resolution skills she has been learning about. Yes, now she talks about “listening to my words,” hurting his feelings,” among others. This is exactly what she was craving a year ago. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, glad that I did not let comments from those who said she was too little to get to me, and so glad I listened to my mommy gut.

At this point, Ari traces many letters on a sand tray, writes a few of them, and is very interested in learning how to write her name. For now, she says that her signature is an A!

She is beginning to add.

She is counting in English and Spanish.

The other day she grabbed a globe during work sharing time (i.e., when parents visit with the kids for half an hour). She brought it over, proceeded to point each continent and told us that we live in North America!

She still loves doing artwork, of course! She could cut, glue and color or paint all day!

I have seen her do things like using a manual drill, sand sticks, help with the school garden, wash, peel and slice carrots, among others.

She participates in group sings.

She spends about half an hour at the playground twice a day.

The kid knows a handful of yoga poses! You should see when she comes home, does them so easily and then asks her dad and I to try. Funny stuff!

Every day she has lunch with a different, small group of kids. Picture two to four little kids sitting around a square table, eating and chatting, just like you and I would! So damn cute!

She rests every day, comfortably, no sadness or missing mommy. So glad that did not last long. So grateful for the teachers who spent time with her, talking her through it, validating her feelings, reminding her that mom would return later, rubbing her back, giving her a hug, etc.

I know she did and learned so much more than that. I am looking forward to the end of the year report!

I am feeling incredibly grateful. Life, some luck, and my hard-working husband made this possible. I very much hope she can continue to attend this school until they kick her out! (That would be sixth grade!) I very much wish this wonderful combination of experiences was available to more little ones.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Time for some Ari stories!

Some random Ari stories…

She can figure out what letter a word starts with. We have been playing that game for about two weeks now. It is currently one of her preferred car games. She gets confused with G’s, C’s and K’s because she cannot pronounce them properly yet. G’s come out as D’s and C’s and K’s come out as T’s.

Speaking of, the other day, we were at a restaurant and she needed to go to the bathroom. “I need to go to the bathroom, mommy. I need to pee. Pee starts with a P, mommy.” My child is not the loudest kid ever or anything, but she is her father’s child, so she is definitely up there! My guess is that a good ten people or so heard about how she needed to pee and how pee starts with a P!

Amor Chiquito is starting to communicate her needs and preferences very clearly, which I love because I want her to be comfortable, of course. Also, I don’t have to think and guess as much as I used to when she was younger.

Here are some examples of her talking about her needs and preferences.

On Tuesday, I gave her a quarter of a homemade waffle, about eight strawberries and some orange juice for lunch. Tuesday evening, when we were talking about her school day, she said that when she was resting she felt hungry. I asked her if the snack her school provides is out all day or if it is only out at certain times. She said it is out all day, but that rest time is quiet time. I told her that she can get something to eat after rest time. I asked her what else she thought we could do so that she would not be hungry. “I need more waffles and more fruit, mommy. Please put more food in my lunchbox. Blueberries, blueberries, more blueberries!”

Yesterday was pizza day at school. I asked if she liked her pizza, if she ate it all, etc. She said she only ate the crust. When I asked why, she said that the pizza was cold and that she does not like cold pizza. “I like the cheese to be warm, mommy. I only ate the trust (crust).”

Onto the cute stuff!

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, right after our family hug, she said “I love my life.” To say that Daddy and I were shocked is an understatement!

When we crawled into bed, she said “I love you, mommy. I really really love you.”

What else could a mom ask for?! For the cute kid to go to sleep right away on the one night when mom wants to watch TV, that’s what!

Almost forgot… Two nights ago Ari was talking about how some kids call their moms mama, some mom and some mommy. She asked if she could call me mom. I said yes, so she said “I love you mom. Good night mom. Can you rub my back, mama?” Very cute!

At the end of the day, she decided to stick with mommy, for now, anyways. I like them all. She can call me whatever makes her happy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More protein, baby!

As I have mentioned before, Amor Chiquito is a self-proclaimed vegetarian! No idea where that came from. Her dad and I would never ever give up chicken for anything!

Amor Chiquito loves fruit, some vegetables, and some whole grains. I am trying to increase her protein intake. Here is how it is looking thus far:

Milk: She prefers chocolate milk. She has a small glass of chocolate milk before bed almost every night. I will be sending chocolate milk with her lunch instead of orange juice.

Yogurt: She wants to eat the sugary yogurts with kid characters on them. I am not such a big fan. I will be trying different yogurt options.

Cheese: She used to love American cheese, not so much lately. The only time I see her eating cheese is when she eats pizza. Come to think of it, she used to enjoy cream cheese. Perhaps I should try that again.

Eggs: Nope, no way. She loves to help Daddy make scrambled eggs, but she won’t try them.

Meats: The only time she eats any meat is at a Thai restaurant where she likes chicken satay (chicken on a stick!).

Nuts: Fortunately, we know that she is not allergic to any of them. Unfortunately, she is just not interested.

Nut butters: She absolutely hates peanut butter. I wish you could see her face! “That is so so yutty!”

Beans: She used to eat a bowl of just beans when she was about ten months! Now she won’t touch them. To be fair, perhaps, I should make beans more often so that she has more exposure.

She eats things like homemade waffles, which contain some whole wheat flour, eggs, milk and olive oil. But, as you can see, I am having a hard time getting proteins into her.

I would love any and all suggestions! What do you do? What has worked?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Article: Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding Their Kids

Good read. Great reminders.