Saturday, June 30, 2012

Preschool Graduation

Selena is done with preschool. The school had a small ceremony where they handed them a diploma and announced what they wanted to be when they grow up. Selena said she wanted to study bugs.  She has been mentioning she wants to be a poker player like her dad, but bugs ended up being cooler.  One day she says, "I don't have to decide right now.  I still have a lot of time."  However I can't get her to agree that being a computer programmer might be fun.

She had a friend at preschool named Jacob.  Apparently Jacob is really funny and does lots of silly things and tells silly jokes, like eyeball jokes which apparently everyone in my family, except for me, but including Floyd, think are hilarious.  I felt sad that she wouldn't see him anymore, unless he happens to go to the summer camp.  She just shrugged and didn't seem too upset.

We've been reading some bug books, and made an earth worm home. We found this really cool book called Bug Zoo at the library.  It has all sorts of interesting bug facts, and how to take care of bugs you find.  Did you know that aphids can be born pregnant?

Floyd also took the girls to Willis Tucker and caught a tadpole.  Selena named him Party, because he stays real still and then swims out like he is saying, "Surprise" at a surprise party.

Took her to well child checkup and she is still very small, no rise in growth curves. She is in the second percentile height.  39 inches and 34lbs.  She tricked me one day by standing on her toes.  I thought she grew an inch, but then when I measured her a week later she shrunk again.  Apparently I shrunk too.  I always thought I was 5' 1", but apparently I am 5' even.

I begrudgingly vaccinate the girls, and usually do just one shot at a time, but she needed just two more for school, so we did them at once.  She was really tough and was almost about to cry, but was able to hold back the tears.  We did one shot a few weeks before and it wasn't a problem, so I definitely think doing just one at a time is better.

We took the girls to the Shoreline All-Comers Track meet a few weeks ago.  Selena ran the 50m, 100m, 200m and mile.  The 50m took her about 15 seconds, 30 seconds for the 100m, and 66 seconds for the 200m.  In the mile she took out a bit fast and pushed herself hard and improved her time by just over two minutes and ran 11:00.  She was so tired when she finished that she just lay down across the finish line.  I had to carry her off the track.  I was impressed, and kind of shocked at how hard she pushed herself.

We have been watching the Olympic Trials and she has enjoyed watching all the events.  She was impressed with the fact that I had done so many of the events in high school and college, and she wants to run and jump and do all the events just like her mom. Awww.  However it did make me feel old when I told her, "When I was in high school women just started doing the pole vault."  And, "I was the first woman at my college to run the 3000m steeple chase."  I had become the granny saying, "Back in my day..."

Selena has also been interested in math lately.  She was telling me to quiz her on addition and subtraction.  Then she asked me if there was any math with letters.  I started explaining Algebra to her.  She said she didn't understand it completely, but she thought it was hilarious that x would pretend to be different numbers. I also downloaded a Math Bingo app onto my Nook.  She could do the easy setting for addition and subtraction but she wanted to try the multiplication.  I didn't think she could do it, but she insisted, and she could!  I was amazed. She understood the concepts of multiplication.  She was counting out groups of numbers on her fingers.  She also understood the commutative property and how she could switch the order and it was the same.  Then she taught Allie the identity property of addition.

She also has been teaching herself piano, to read music, or more accurately the keyboard.  We went to the library to find books on learning how to play the piano and read music.  Unfortunately they don't really have anything good.  We did find a little tin whistle book that had all the letters labeled on the music, so she has been playing that and practicing the rhythms.

I love how she loves to learn.  I love how she embraces new subjects all the time.  I love how she demonstrates that self-directed learning works.

Also I have been practicing a pretty effective discipline technique.  I have the girls run to the end of the cul-de-sac.  If they are being grumpy and annoying everyone, or whining, or hitting.  I tell them that they are having a hard time controlling themselves and if they run they will feel better.  And it works!  Most of the time they come back inside and can handle themselves.  But sometimes it is a struggle getting them in their shoes and out the door.

*Picture was taken courtesy of Amy Stonebraker from Amy Stonebraker Photography.  Check her out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Instinct - Embracing Your Birth Experience

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

Embracing your birth experience is tougher to write about than it initially sounded.  I attempted to write this post in my thoughts, and every time I thought of a wonderful part of one of my births, I would qualify it with a not-so-wonderful part.  Then I would backtrack and say to myself, “No, this is supposed to be embracing the good, not the negative.” 

I am choosing to write about instinct.  The wonderful moment where you don’t think, you don’t rationalize, you just know.

I had a moment when my first daughter was being born.  I was in the tub, listening to my Hypnobabies scripts.  I had probably been in the tub for a couple hours.  I had thoughts drift in and out of my head about how long this would last, but at that moment I had an empty mind.  Suddenly I became alert.  I told Floyd to get the midwife.  I asked before I thought, and I can’t pinpoint what triggered it.  The midwife came in and she said maybe I should try going to the bathroom.  I got out of the tub, sat on the toilet, and then I felt pushy.   The moment I became alert and asked for the midwife, I knew I was completely dilated; no one needed to check me.  I knew something had changed, and I knew it before there were any outward cues or internal feelings.   It was instinct.

A moment I had in my second daughter’s birth was the moment I knew I was in labor.  The last month I had had tons of Braxton Hicks contractions and I had had weird crampy feelings that I couldn’t identify.  But when I woke up, that Sunday morning, I knew that the feelings I were having was labor. It had started and it was “real”.

Another moment was not my own, but was my youngest daughters’.  My memory is kind of fuzzy. It was the middle of the night.  I had had a caesarean and was tired, sore, and not mobile.  I had been instructed by the nurses to keep Allie’s clothes on so she didn’t catch a chill, but I must have taken them off.  I don’t remember taking them off, but I have a memory of a bare baby crawling across my chest, finding my nipple and nursing.  The majority of the time in the hospital I had difficulty nursing, but at that moment there was instinct on her part, and nothing to inhibit it.  I was half asleep, and didn’t appreciate the beauty of it, till much later, when the memory surfaced.

I can embrace those moments, and reflect in awe of knowledge not learned, but inherited.
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)