Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Report Aug. 20, 2011

Lydia is still "reading" her book after an hour in naptime.

 Things this week went about the same as they did last week.  We worked on most of the same things, went to therapy almost every day, and read lots and lots of books.  This week we added The Little Engine That Could, Click, Clack, Splish, Splash, Blueberries for Sal, and The Story About Ping.  I wasn't going to get Click, Clack, Splish, Splash, but as we were walking into the library to pick up the books I had on hold, Lydia suddenly insisted that we get Click, Clack, Moo, which I got for us once a few months ago.  I said sure, but would you believe it?  They didn't have it in the library, so we got Click, Clack, Splish, Splash instead.

Lydia insisted that we still read the books from last week this week too, so I'm just going to keep these books another week and read them again.  She's still reading Caps for Sale every night with Daddy, and she's still reading The House on Pooh Corner with him when he has a chance.  I'm not doing a great job of reading The Secret Garden with her, but I'm not too worried as we're doing so much other reading.

Lydia coloring on all our scratch paper.  Ellie saw that Lydia had dropped a crayon and decided she would try to see what all the fuss was about.
 She continues to color about 7 pages of paper a day.  Her favorite colors to color with are black and brown, which is a bit weird to us, but those are the colors she always picks, so more power to her!  She's been drawing circles a lot lately and coloring them in.  It is fun to watch her coloring get slowly more complex.

Oh, although this isn't necessarily school related, her new favorite song is "Don't Give Up (You Are Loved)" by Josh Groban.  She has made us listen to that song no fewer than 30 times this week.  Oy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekly Report for Aug. 12, 2011

What a busy summer we've had!  Throughout Tyler's summer vacation from medical school, we were out of town for over 7 weeks!  And that wasn't all at once either.  On Monday, though, Tyler went back to school and I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things.  I've been so much more productive than I was while he was home.

This week, Lydia had therapy 4 different days in the morning.  I think going to those helped me get started in the mornings, and I was able to do so much more than usual.  Now that she's 3 years old, I've been trying to do better about "preschool" stuff.  She's still a very concrete thinker, and even stories or themes seem to be lost on her still, so I've decided to do more concrete things.  For this week, I printed off pre-handwriting exercises, planning on having her do one a day.  She kept asking to do more, though, so we averaged three a day.  She's doing better and better with those.  It's now obvious that she's trying to follow the lines, and we're working on correct pencil grip.  She also spent hours coloring this week, which I think is also helping her.  Her new favorite show, Blue's Clues, has really influenced her coloring.  She is constantly "drawing" different clues, and I even overheard her one day talking to herself about how to draw a duck, per Steve's instructions, "First you draw a circle for the head..."  I used to be a hater when it came to Blues Clues, but for Lydia at least, it has done wonders.

We also had three books that I tried to read every day that were different from her normal favorite books.  This week's books were Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Little House, and Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse.  They were all hits, especially the last two.  I think she liked The Little House because there are trains and trucks in it, and after the first reading of Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse, she would always point out where the purple pebble was hiding as soon as we got to the page.

I also tried to read from The Secret Garden a little each day, but I only managed to do that a few days.  Still, she seems to be enjoying it and any time I ask her if she wants to read it with me, she's game.

I found this book called The Primer of Industry that someone linked to on Google Books.  It is a series of fine motor skills exercises that are supposed to help children be able to eventually do handicrafts.  Some of the exercises look more interesting than others, but the first series is called "stick laying."  Basically the book has a series of patterns, starting with two sticks and moving up to more complicated designs that you are supposed to have the children copy.  I was interested to see how Lydia would do, so I took some popsicle sticks and traced a few of the two-stick designs on paper.  Then I asked her to lay the sticks on the lines.  She was able to do some, but was confused at others, especially if the sticks crossed.  I think I'm going to have her do a few of these "puzzles" every day, because although I can't pin why, I think they will be good for her.

Tyler and I have made a deal that I will do the dishes if he reads to the girls the whole time.  This deal seems to be great for both of us, and he just finished reading Winnie the Pooh to Lydia.  I'm going to pick up The House at Pooh Corner for him to continue.  Every night, right before bed, he also reads a picture book to Lydia, and after weeks of her choosing Madeline, she is finally choosing a new book.  Her new favorite is Caps for Sale, which she received for her birthday from Grandma.

And I almost forgot!  Yesterday, I made Lydia some home made play dough.  She didn't really know what to do with it, so I just started making shapes and having her tell me what shapes they were.  Eventually, I just started making circles and had her count them.  She could actually count them so long as I was pointing.  Counting is something we've been working on, so I was excited to see some of the fruit of my effort.

As for Ellie, she's getting cuter every day.  She took her first steps this week and loves to stand by herself as often as she can.  She isn't very interested in walking yet, but she's almost there.

And that's our week at Abbey Road Preschool.  It's been one of our busier weeks, but I think we've all enjoyed it, and I hope next week is as good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lydia's Birthday

I fell in love with this castle a few months ago.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to get it for my daughters.  Since Lydia's birthday is this week, my husband and I decided to get it for her and Ellie.  I then had to figure out what toys to get to go along with it.  There are some that Mellisa and Doug make to go with it, but they got mediocre reviews.  I also thought of Schliech or Papo toys, but all the reviews said that they were too big, plus they have lots of little pieces that my now 3 year old Lydia probably couldn't handle at this point.  Then I came across peg dolls.  I found several on Etsy, but they were outside my price range. After examining them, though, I thought that I could make some myself, so that's what I did!  I found this seller on Etsy who sells the peg dolls unfinished, and I bought 7.  Two were extra large, and 5 were regular large.  Here's the ones I got in the shape they arrived in:
Then I searched all over Etsy and the web for some inspiration.  I used Etsy and a few blogs for models so I could paint the people the best I could.  Here are the finished products, complete with castle and Schleich dragon from Grandma, ready for Lydia to discover tomorrow morning.
The peg people turned out to be adorable!  And they fit the castle just right.  As you can see, my husband and I had fun taking these pictures, and I think we were both tempted to keep playing with it when we were done.  I hope she likes it!