Monday, April 25, 2011

Candy Land Birthday Party

I decided that since 5 is a big birthday I would have an actual birthday party for my kiddos. They wanted a candy land birthday. The invitation.
The Cake.
All the guests sitting on the 'game board' for present time.
Some of the decorations/party favors.
Behind Jacob was the table where they could make necklaces with licorice laces and fruit loops.
This is the table where they could decorate their Princess Frostine or King Candy crowns.
Here is the game board, we used it for a cake walk type game with the songs "I want Candy" and "The Candyman"; they got a prize if they landed on Candy Land Castle.

All the kiddos. Basically we just decorated the crowns, made the necklaces, did the cakewalk game, opened presents, had cake and ice cream, and then filled up everyone's party boxes with goodies and toothbrushes. It was a little chaotic but I think everyone had fun. I have to give a shout out to my dear sweet husband who manned most of the birthday party since I got hit with another inner ear infection right before the party and spent the 20 minutes before it started losing my lunch.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Hand Old

These two are 5 (one hand) today. I can hardly believe it! We have had so much fun in the last five years, and although maybe a mother shouldn't have a favorite year I have to say I think the year from 4 to 5 has been the most fun. Somedays I can hardly believe how grown up they seem. I will post more later about all of the celebrations when they are all over!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kiddos toy shelves look like a Cincinnati grocery store before a snowstorm!

Since the babies are growing in Dani's tummy (see posts below), she hasn't been able to keep up as well with kiddos' messes, so I've seen more messes. While I don't think we are too strict with cleanliness in kiddos' playroom, kiddos have had some difficulties cleaning up when asked recently. The recent history:
  • Middle of last week, I ended up cleaning up their room after they went to bed just to have it clean. How nice of me.
  • By Saturday, it was a mess again, so I gave kiddos the job of cleaning up while I was cleaning the grill (which Dani set in flames Friday!). It took me 3 hours to clean the grill, and when I came up, nothing had been put away. My patience ran out, and I (kindly) sent kiddos to their room. Then, I thought of a more effective teaching method - having them watch as I cleaned (knowing I would take their toys away). Mean, I know.
  • Today, I asked kiddos to clean up after dinner. While some of their toys left the floor, they were put in totally random places, meaning more cleanup for me when they went to bed. This is what is left of their toys:
Most of them are in our room - there are some other bins in our closet. It should be a smaller mess tomorrow!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Oh no, I weigh almost as much as the contestants on Biggest Loser"

But she looks so cute! Here's Dani at 22 weeks!
Kiddos wanted to compare bellies. Check out those bellies!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Little Scholars

Claire and Jacob have been really into doing "Daddy Homework" (a.k.a. their workbooks). It has been interesting to observe and see how differently they learn.

Claire quietly sits (normally at the table, not on the table) and does her work. She will ask instructions on pages she doesn't know, then will sit down and complete the page. If she has questions for me, I can respond with questions that help her learn and figure it out. When she colors, it is neat and in the lines. She takes time and makes sure everything is right.

I think Claire learns very thoroughly and independently - before she's done learning something, she wants to truly know it. She isn't a slow learner by any means. She reminds me very much of my sister, Amber.
Jacob often will start at the table, move to the island, move the the coffee table, back to the kitchen table, and then onto the floor. He goes very quickly through things - he does most things well the first time, but doesn't take the time to color in the lines or make sure lines are straight. Jacob will ask questions and look for help throughout, in part because he whizzes through pages and doesn't try to figure out how to do a page before starting. At the start of a page, his goal is to finish the page.

I consider Jacob to be a very quick learner. He reminds me of myself a little, where he can learn very quickly, but sometimes if it doesn't come right at first, he can lose interest.
It is interesting the way they learn together. Claire is very interested in what Jacob is doing - often, Jacob will complete multiple pages while Claire watches him and participates with him in his workbook page. This is in part because Jacob vocalizes everything, and because Claire is so interested in what he is doing.

Jacob is very competitive - over the last couple weeks, at times, it has become important to him to be ahead of Claire. This has reinforced the decision to put them into different classes next year. That said, I think it will be an advantage to them to be able to learn what the other is learning. I think they will be like my younger brothers, who would give each other math problems at night (though one was 3 years younger than the other) and help each other learn.

We will need to work with the very differently. But it is a lot of fun to watch them learn - both in the structured time we give them and in their own unstructured time playing, coloring, and writing with each other.

Keeping Things Even

I keep forgetting to post on my blog. For those of you who don't know yet we found out we are having another girl and boy! Jacob and Claire are both very excited and I was glad not to disappoint either of them. I wonder how similar they will look to the two in the picture above!