Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beating Boredom with Barbie and G.I. Joe

As much as I love summer vacation for the kids and a more relaxed schedule for all of us, I sometimes feel like their "Camp Director", making sure they are having fun, reading for book reports, doing their summer math packet, completing chores, or just finding something else to do besides watch DVR'd episodes of John Michael's favorite TV show, The Fresh Beat Band, over and over again.

Soaring temperatures in the 90's to low 100's can make the best laid plans start to wither as we give in to the cool, air conditioned living room beckoning us to stay put.  Reflecting back on my childhood, I decided the kids would have to "rough it" by staying outside for longer than they planned.  I set up the water play table and some blankets and let them decide what to do.  Out of the blue, Anna asked, "Greta, do you want me to play Barbies with you?"

Greta was in heaven!  I don't remember the last time Anna offered to play Barbies with her.  It was so sweet to see them set up a Barbie grooming salon and play together.  A few minutes later, John Michael came and sat beside them with G.I. Joe, twisting and contorting his body into moves a Cirque du Soleil acrobatist can only dream of.
Not to be left out, Luke joined in on the action, picking up the wild-haired Barbie with the floozy outfit.

John Michael liked her, too. 
She looks like she's been around the block a few times...  I'm thinking we need to "retire" her soon.  LOL!
G.I. Joe doubled as a teether for Luke, thanks to his perfect, plastic hair, ginormous muscles and multi-jointed limbs.  And for those 45 minutes they played together, it was pure heaven for me.  No arguments, no complaints, just pure, spontaneous play.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Brothers

"Good Morning, Boys!"

I love how these two are playing together more and more.

John Michael genuinely seems to like Luke on most days.  We still have occasions where he might push Luke over or do the "Mine.  My turn.  (Me) first"  thing...

But, I'm happy to report... it's getting so much better.  Look at these two!  I love when they play side by side.  Makes their mama happy  :-)
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last day of preschool

Look at this big boy!  He has been in preschool for just over 6 months since he turned 3 and has loved every minute of it.  I took this shot seconds before he bolted out the door to head to his last day of preschool for the season with Daddy.

When John Michael began preschool, he knew what colors were, but couldn't identify them consistently.  For a while, everything was blue.  Then, green, then yellow...

Yesterday, one of the classroom aides wrote in his journal that he properly handed her all the colors she asked for.  Yay!  I've noticed it, too, because he eats (gulp) Froot Loops some mornings and we make games out of it.

Another milestone is identifying numbers and counting.  John Michael loves to count and sometimes counts to 10 perfectly and other times, skips a few numbers when counting items.  He definitely has made a significant improvement here.  He also recognizes that numbers are "numbers", but doesn't consistently identify them correctly.  Same with letters.  We're working on that, too.  His shapes are pretty consistently correct.

JM is also using the potty quite often and rarely has a dirty diaper (poop) at home because he tells me he has to go and I take him to the potty.  He wets his diaper more often than not, but he has had many successes at school and often will go when I ask him at home.  It's coming along and he's definitely more aware of those bodily functions.

For PE, he has worked hard on jumping.  I never realized how hard that was!  He can sometimes jump about 1 inch off the ground with both feet, but lands very unsteadily.  We'll just keep at it...same with trike pedaling.

I hope to receive a report from the school detailing how he has improved on his IEP goals, so for now, I'll rely on what his teacher and aide have told me.  His teacher said he loves school and does very well.  He started making friends and really plays with them as opposed to just next to them.  He follows directions and stays put on his green square on the rainbow rug.  He loves to be a bell ringer or weather boy or soap squirter... whatever the job he gets, he does it well. 

Here are the bookmarks he gave to all his teachers, aides, and therapists.  They LOVED it.  We also gave a gift card to Borders Books to one teacher, gift card to Michaels Crafts to another, and some Bath and Body Works pocket hand sanitizers and sunflower seeds in a little pot to his aides.

Happy Summer!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011