Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday

  1. Brandon landed himself an awesome new job this week. He won’t start for a few weeks, but this move is more money, better hours and more importantly closer to what he’d like to be doing. (No sales involved!) Congratulations, Brandon!
  2. My poor Dakota wasn’t feeling well today. She was running a low grade fever this afternoon but after her meds kicked in and she ate a little, she was feeling better. I’m really hoping it was just some weird thing and that she’ll wake up feeling great tomorrow.
  3. Zoe and I noticed Landon’s voice cracking tonight. When I mentioned it he was pretty embarrassed, but seriously, you can’t miss it. He sounds half little boy, half man…it’s amusing.
  4. Zoe is applying to be an RA at school next year. She had to fill out a very long and detailed application and next weekend she has a FOUR hour interview with several other applicants to see if she’ll get the job. She’s pretty nervous so lets all keep our fingers crossed for her!
  5. Video’s from tonight’s somersaulting extravaganza. Zoe is hilarious!

Up and At Em’ Friday

Friday. I remember when that used to mean something exciting might happen. Now, it’s just another day of the week. I guess I’ll just be happy to have another beautiful day…even one that started at the crack of dawn.

I woke up at 6am, as usual, but when I looked just beyond my doorway, I could see Harper standing there looking downstairs. That was strange, but even stranger was the fact that he was undressed down to his pull up. (We only use them at night, and probably should quit.) When I asked him what he was doing he just said “I don’t know”. Then I asked him why he was undressed and got the same answer so I brought him into my bathroom and had him potty, then brought him back to his room, redressed him and as I pulled the blankets back to put him in bed, I found about 7 books. I don’t know if he put them there this morning or last night, but I can’t imagine he slept very comfortably with all those books beneath him all night! I got the bed cleaned off and tucked him back in and told him to go back to sleep (even though I knew he wouldn’t).

I went ahead and took my shower like I usually would, but once I got out I heard noise on the monitor so I looked to see if it was Harper or Dakota. Harper’s bed was empty because he had gone into Dakota’s room and woken her up and they were both in her crib jumping up and down! I couldn’t do anything about it immediately because I still had to get dressed and my immediate reaction was to laugh about it anyways. The two stinkers! As soon as I could I went into the room and asked Harper what he thought he was doing and he said “I don’t know!” again. So, I got Dakota out of bed and sent him to his bed once again. He wasn’t very happy about it, but it wasn’t even 630 in the morning yet!

Once we were all up and dressed and ready for the day we came downstairs and that boy hit the floor running. He was ready to play and he wanted Dakota to play with him. He started pulling things out to do but after just a bit he started to get agitated with her if she’d take something he was “using”. I put that in quotations because he wasn't really using any of it, just putting stuff out onto the table. I kept trying to divert her and calm him, but it escalated into a scream and him pushing her down which in turn got him three minutes in time out where he screeched and hollered and carried on while I just ignored him. Finally he stopped and the beeper let him know his three minutes were up and he was better afterwards. The two of them played rather nicely for a bit and the world didn’t seem like it was going to end after all…

And then it was 7am.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

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Dakota’s Hearing Update

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Monday morning Tony and I took Dakota to Johns Hopkins to have her ears tested and to see her doctor. We left the house around 8:30am thinking we’d have plenty of time to get there, but because of construction in the city that we were unaware of, we pulled into the parking lot with only a minute or two to spare.

We got checked in and only waited about 10 minutes before being called back for her hearing test in the listening center. We went into a soundproof room where they made sounds come out of speakers on either side of her to see if she’d turn her head towards the noise. She did pretty good with that, but when the lady put ear buds in Koko’s ears, she wasn’t having it. She cried and cried and finally the lady said we’d just have to by what the other test results were. They asked if we could try to get her used to wearing ear buds at home that way when she came back she’d understand what was going on.

After her hearing test we were sent back to the waiting area. We waited out there for about 20 minutes and then we went back to sit in the exam room to see the doctor…where we waited for an hour and twenty minutes to be seen. One hour and twenty minutes. I’d just love to give that doctor a toddler and a 4x4 room with nothing but equiptment in it and see how she feels about it. Tony and I were pissed to say the least. By the time she came in to examine Dakota we were about ready to rip in to her, but because we’re not like that, we just let her do her 4 minute exam so that we could get on our way. No really, Dakota’s exam was 4 minutes long and the doctor was gone. It’s just not right.

Thankfully Dakota’s hearing is still the same and she’s doing just fine. We’re scheduled to go back in August where she’ll hopefully let them test her using the ear buds and her results will still be the same so that we can quit going altogether. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Quickie

We’ve had an extremely busy weekend and I’m too tired to write much, so this is going to be a quick one.

A quick video of Kota’s shushing us:

A trip to Chuck E Cheese on Saturday…just because.

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A comic from todays paper that I recognized as a part of my life.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Walk

I couldn’t decide yesterday if I wanted to go somewhere with the kids or just stay home. I waffled back and forth all morning but ultimately decided to just stay home. We’re having decent weather so we got our coats on and headed outside for a morning walk.

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Dakota is always happy to go outside but Harper needs a little coaxing sometimes. He’s just as content to stay indoors reading books and playing games. I promised Dakota she could bring her babies and stroller and I grabbed the magnifying glass for Harper to use while we were out…and we were off.

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Dakota wanted a chance with the magnifying glass too…

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We made it all the way down to the park where they jumped in the puddles and found some sticks to hit the water with. They were just delighted with themselves!

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When they’d had their fill of splashing around we headed back home. They were so content to just walk and explore everything around them and I never had to carry anyone, so I considered it a complete success!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five On Friday

  1. Harper has been up at or before 6:30am this entire week. This morning, while I was in the shower, he came into the bathroom without my knowing and scared the devil out of me! Our shower door is frosted so you can only see silhouettes through it and when I opened my eyes and saw him right outside my door it freaked me out! Because he’s up so early he’s been a tyrant at night too…I sure hope this isn’t the beginning of a new thing for him.
  2. Dakota is a total momma’s girl these days. It’s been this way for awhile now really, her wanting me all the time. It doesn’t bother me and I love to hold her but it sure does make doing anything solo difficult. She does fine when I’m not around, but if I’m there, she comes to me before anyone else. I remember this with Harper too, and honestly, he’s still that way too. They love their dada too, but when they need something, I’m usually the one they go to. :)
  3. Harper has needed a lot of holding this week. He’ll just be doing something and all of a sudden he’ll say “I just want you to hold me”. Of course I stop whatever I’m doing to hold him…I know the days of holding my baby boy are slowly disappearing.
  4. Landon is grounded from everything this weekend. He got in trouble because he didn’t turn in a school project, a project that he’d mostly finished. When I asked him where it was he pretended like he didn’t know what I was talking about and I got really angry and grounded him. I’m up to HERE with his irresponsibility and uncaring attitude about school. So, I grounded him from video games, TV and friends and I’ve taken his iPod hostage as well. It’s going to be one LOOOONG weekend!
  5. We had decent weather today and the two kids and I spent about 2 hours outside. It’s still very wet out and there are patches of snow everywhere still, but we took a long walk, splashed in puddles, found sticks and leaves, used our magnifying glass and just spent a long time enjoying the great outdoors. It’s a good thing we did too because as I put Koko down for her nap a storm blew in and everything got another thorough soaking.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

About Today

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Today was Harper’s field trip to Rolly Pollies. Despite the fact that we go there once a week on a regular basis, he was VERY excited. He had a lot of fun running around with his friends and I think it was probably his favorite field trip to date.

Before the field trip Harper got to go to school for just a little bit. They’ve missed quite a few days because of the recent snows, so the class never exchanged their Valentine cards. Today they were finally able to hand out their cards. When he got home we both went through all of his valentines and he was excited to see who gave him which card.

Here’s what he brought in this year:

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We had decent weather today, mid 50’s was the high. After nap time Tony and I took the two little kids outside to play. Since Dakota enjoyed pushing the lawn mower around so much yesterday, I thought we’d bring out her baby and stroller to see if she enjoyed that too…and she loved it!  She just pushed that little baby all over the place and she was as happy as can be!

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My baby pushing her baby…sweet.

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Landon stayed after school today to get some help with math. He was really dreading having to stay at school longer than usual, but when I picked him up he was in good spirits. He said that it hadn’t been too bad and that he felt like he’d gotten the concepts the teacher was trying to teach him. He’ll be going every Thursday from now on and I can only hope that the extra attention will be what he needs to get his scores up in that class.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hey! Those Aren’t Day Clothes!

Since we got a little more snow overnight last night, the public schools opened 2 hours late this morning. I wasn’t too upset about school being late, I was just glad it wasn’t cancelled altogether. It did suck for Harper though because when the county opens two hours late his morning preschool class is cancelled.

I was not in the mood to sit in the house all day though and neither were the kids but I coulnd’t think of a single thing to do so we stayed home and made up things to do. For instance, we blew up balloons and then tried to keep them in the air as long as possible…

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Then we brought up the board game Balloon Lagoon, and had fun playing that for a little while. I was surprised at how much of this game Harper understood. He was able to do everything except flip the frogs into the pond…and that’s hard for anyone to do! Dakota enjoyed playing with the pieces and eventually took some of them to the kitchen set to cook. Smile

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I decided to make the kids sandwiches for lunch, but when I got in the kitchen and realized there wasn’t any bread, I immediately decided we were heading out to McDonalds for lunch! I thought it would be good to get them out for just a short bit, and they were excited when I mentioned it.

They played nicely in the play area with two other kids that were there. Harper is quite the talker though! He asked the other kids mom all kinds of questions. What’s your name, what are your kids names, did you like your lunch, do you have a dad at your house etc… He also talked to the kids, but they were a bit shy so Harper just talked and talked for everyone. He told one of the little boys that he looked funny and then told him that his face was dirty. Then, to the other little boy, he said “hey, those aren’t day clothes, those are pj’s!” which was true! Thankfully the other mom didn’t get bent out of shape about any of it! She laughed and laughed and kept telling me how cute he was…and then she also told me she had 5 boys so she understood! Phew!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Board Game Anyone?

Hobby Lobby is dangerous. They have some of the coolest stuff there and I always spend way too much money when I go, and today was no exception.

I went just to look at the scrapbook area, but I found the cutest artwork for our play/game room downstairs! They look like vintage game boxes.

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They were on clearance so I picked up four of them. I wanted them all, but held myself back somehow although I’m already scheming about going back for the others…

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dollar!

We started our day with a major grocery trip to Costco. Not a favorite thing to do, but very necessary! Afterwards we had lunch at Chili’s. It always seems a bit ironic to go spend all that money on groceries and then go out to eat afterwards, but we do it every single time.

As soon as we walked into the mall Dakota spotted the kiddie merry go round and it’s all she could think about. I told her I’d take her on ride if I had any money, and when I pulled out some money I said “oh! I have two dollars!” and she said “dollar!” I, of course, was thrilled that she said dollar so off we went to the ride. (Harper had no interest in going because he’d found a game to play on daddy’s phone!)

On her way to the Merry Go Round
Hanging on to the doggies ears.

She wanted to ride a third time but I only had two bucks on me so she had to be happy with going twice.

Dakota really seems to be becoming interested in words these days. She’s being much more vocal and is trying to say new words all the time now. A few new ones include: mon! (come on), Ha Ha (Harper), eat!, drink, shhh!, sit, neck (not sure why she likes that one so much), and nose. I’m excited that she’s finally becoming more interested in language…maybe there’ll be a little less shrieking in my near future?

Project Life, Weeks 1-3

I’ve abandoned last years project life to begin this years. So far I’ve completed the first three weeks. My hope is to get caught up with this years stuff and then go back to working on last year…but, I can’t promise it’s going to happen. Guess we’ll see.

Here are my first three completed weeks.

Week 1, left:

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Week 1, right:

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Week 2, left:

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Week 2, right:

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Week 3, left:

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Week 3, right:

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Morning at the Mall

We drove out to the mall this morning to get out of the house for a bit. We’ve pretty much been in the house since Wednesday and felt like the kids needed a change of scenery.

The two little kids played on the climbing equipment inside the mall while Landon and his friend went to Press Play to play video games. The train was running this morning so we treated the little’s to a ride on that as well. They LOVED it! Dakota kept signing “more” after the ride, but at $4.00 a person, we decided once was enough.

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We all met up for lunch at the food court and then headed home afterwards. It was a nice way to spend a few hours this morning and the kids had a good time running off some energy.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

It has been snowing here since last night. Zoe got around 16 inches at Towson and I think we probably got around 12 overnight, then it rained for a good part of the day today so it shrunk…but it’s been snowing again for awhile now and we’ve got at least another inch or two out there. It’s crazy!

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Of course school was cancelled, but Tony stayed home also. Everything was pretty much closed anyways, and school is already cancelled for tomorrow. Zoe drove home as soon as the roads were clear enough and she made it here just fine although she said it was scary and that she hit a few icy spots along the way.

I’m really hoping it won’t rain all day tomorrow so that we can all go out and play in the snow a little bit tomorrow. Snow isn’t any good if you don’t even get to go out in it at all!

                                                                                                                         

I found a silly game to play with the kids. You just cross strips of tape over the doorway and let them throw “snowballs” (cotton balls) at the tape to try to get it them stick. I set it up yesterday thinking it’d keep them occupied for a little bit, but they had no interest whatsoever. I still think it’s a cute idea, maybe they’re just too young for it…I don’t know.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

All About Monday

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This morning, after Landon left for school, the two little’s and I headed to the library for Babies In Bloom (story time for newborn-18 months). My kids were the oldest there, but we didn’t care! They both had a great time and behaved beautifully. If only all trips out were that easy…

Both kids really enjoyed the songs and finger plays and both of them were pretty content to do them on their own. Some of them called for a parents help and luckily they were happy to take turns since I was by myself.

Starting next month they will be doing story times once a week instead of once a month, so we’ll be going back to the library on a regular basis. It’s great to have something fun and FREE to do once a week! I’m excited!

                                                                                                                        

I’m not sure why/how it happened, but at bedtime tonight, Landon ended up reading Dakota her books. I was fine with it, but I had to give him some pointers since it was his first time. (Dakota likes things just so.)

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She kept snuggling into him and he kept giggling and saying “She’s so cute! She’s just so cute!” It was a sweet moment between the two of them.

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When she was done with him she showed him to the door and closed it behind him! Haha! She’s just a girl who knows what she wants.

When I was done rocking her I walked down the hall and caught “boy story time” in action.

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Sunday Funday

Yesterday, on a whim, Tony and I took the two little kids to a new place called Ultimate Playzone. We didn’t really know what to expect but as soon as Harper saw all the moon bounces, he was ready to go! Dakota was a little hesitant, but only for about 2 seconds.

(Two weeks ago Harper wouldn’t have had anything to do with moon bounces! He was scared of them for the longest time.)

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Dakota is always ready for dinner around 5pm. Having her wait any longer than that is just torture, for all of us. Yesterday she was going crazy waiting for dinner so we put her to work setting the table. She loved it! She put the silverware on the plates and gave everyone a napkin.

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Once she was finished she asked to be put in her seat. I told her we still had a while to wait but she wasn’t hearing it. I put her up in her seat and she just waited there until dinner was ready! Silly girl! When she’s hungry, she’s hungry!

                                                                                                                        

The three older kids decided to play a round of Clue yesterday. Harper loves a good board game and he was completely content to sit on Zoe’s lap and “help” her.

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After dinner, once the littles were in bed for the night, the rest of us played Scribblish. It’s always a silly one and we get a good laugh seeing what people come up with!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our Valentines Day Dinner

Tony and I went out to celebrate Valentine’s Day last night. We went a whole week early to avoid the crowds! Tony made reservations at Osteria 177 which is in downtown Annapolis. Our reservations were for 5pm since we needed to be back in time to get the two littles bathed and in bed.

When we got there they weren’t even open yet as they have a break between lunch and dinner service, so we did a little window shopping while we waited. There are some really cool stores downtown so it’s always kind of fun to walk around down there anyways.

Once the restaurant opened we went in to get our table. When we were seated there was only one other couple in the whole place. It always makes me nervous to eat in an empty restaurant because it makes me think the food might not be that good. As soon as we were seated our waiter came over to take our drink order. I stuck with water while Tony chose a Sam Adams that was on tap.

For our appetizer we chose the beef carpaccio. I’d always wanted to try carpaccio after seeing them make it on cooking shows, but I don’t think it’s something I’d ever choose again. It wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t care for it enough to get it again. There’s just something slightly weird about thinly sliced (raw) meat piled on top of greens…not my thing. We both ordered the house salad as well, but that wasn’t anything special.

Next up were our main dishes. Tony had the Mediterranean Branzino filleted tableside while I chose the pan seared version. While they were both tasty, I liked mine better. It was the best fish I’ve ever eaten and I’d go back just for that dish alone! It was divine. Tony enjoyed his too, but he did find a bone or two…

We finished up with dessert; he had salted caramel gelato and I chose the chocolate dipped profiteroles. Again, his was good, but mine was better! Profiteroles are puff pastry filled with cream then dipped in chocolate. So, so good!

After eating we headed back to the house to get the kids in bed. Once they were in bed we played a game of Scrabble. Not words with friends, but the actual board game. It’s much harder to play when times ticking and the person across the table is waiting for you to make your move! All in all it was a great night but I sure do wish we could do it more often!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five On Friday

  1. Dakota has bitten Harper twice this week. She didn’t break the skin either time, but I can clearly see her teeth marks on his skin when she does it. My poor guy. I sure hope she gets over this biting crap quickly for Harper’s sake.
  2. Harper’s new “thing” is playing the preschool games on Nickjr.com. He LOVES it! His two favorites are Bubble Guppies and Dora the Explorer. The games are kind of cute and he’s able to control the mouse/keyboard well enough on his own that he doesn’t need help.
  3. Zoe experienced her first dead car battery this week. She didn’t know what to do and called us for help. After having her text her friends (and finding out that none of them had jumper cables) I told her to try campus security. Luckily, security came right out to help. She tried to start her car again tonight and it was dead again, so after waiting an hour for security they showed up to give her a jump.  She made it home and now has to get up in the morning to go get a new battery. Living and learning…
  4. Landon brought home a less than stellar report card this week. I’m not going to post his exact grades, but we’ll just say he’s got a lot of work to do.
  5. I went out to dinner on Wednesday with some friends. We always have a great time and laugh our butts off. We went to Kodo in (Japanese Hibachi Grill) Crofton this time. While it was fun to get out with them for awhile, I’m even more excited to get out with Tony tomorrow night! No kids, no whining, no worries! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Snore Button

Landon was given an assignment to write an ending to an essay they had read in class. The essays were written in a humorous way, and the subject was dating.  This is what he wrote:

As I was walking out of the bathroom I saw my girlfriend but I also spotted  penny right at her feet. So I decided money was going to get me further in life and I ran to get the penny. But I tripped over someone's pet rock and landed right on the penny knocking my girlfriend over. I got up and asked if she was ok. She didn’t say anything so I picked her up walked her to my house went in my bedroom locked the door and got out my secret piggybank.

This paragraph is hilarious! I mean really, money is going to get him further in life!? A penny? I love his imagination…especially about the part where he carried her to “his” house and brought her in the bedroom and locked the door…oh hell no! He did not do that in my house! Smile

(I wrote it exactly as he did and it nearly killed me! I left out the awful spelling though because I can’t stand all the misspelled words!)

                                                                                                                         

Harper’s favorite thing to say these days is “just kiddin’”. He says it several times a day and I think it’s just so funny when he says it. It’s the way he says it really…I’ve gotta try to record him saying it so I’ll remember how cute he is.

He kept asking to play the computer tonight but he’d already had enough screen time for the day so I told him no. He kept messing with the computer anyway though and when I asked what he was doing he told me he was trying to turn it off. I let him keep trying and eventually he did get it to shut down. Later, when we asked him how he turned it off he said he pushed the “snore button”. There’s a key on the keyboard that has three Zzz’s on it! Love that he called it the “snore button”!

                                                                                                                         

I’m not sure why, but Dakota was extremely tired this morning. We did our usual Thursday thing (take Harper to preschool, hang out at Mema’s until time for Rolly Pollies, go to Pollies, pick up Harper, come home for lunch) but I had to use all my tricks to keep her awake on the ride home. I got them their lunch and I knew she was spent when she didn’t want to eat! She refused to eat and just wanted me to take her upstairs to bed. Once Harper finished his lunch we headed up. She ran to her room, grabbed her special blanket, grabbed the books she wanted me to read and put them in the rocking chair, pushed me into the room and closed the door behind us. That’s when you know your baby is DONE for the day. She couldn’t have been more clear! I read her the books she wanted then put her in her bed…she was asleep in a matter of minutes. I wish it was always that easy!

                                                                                                                          

Today was also my conference with Harper’s preschool teacher. She just wanted to give us parents a glimpse at how the kids have grown over the past several months. She started by showing me a picture she’d asked Harper to draw of himself back in October. It was pretty much some scribbles with a circle on a page. Then she showed me one he’d drawn just last month. The difference was incredible! The newer one had eyes, cheeks, a mouth…very definite features. He did insist though that the drawing was of me and not him. He even drew a chin for me and when she asked him what it was he told her it was my “cute chin”. Smile

Back in October she asked him what he liked to play outside. (She was looking to see if they could articulate in a sentence or two and on topic answer that she could understand.) He told her he liked to play in the sand, in the sandbox.

Then, in January, she asked what he liked to play in the snow. He told her he didn’t like to play in the snow. So, she asked him what he liked to play outside and he told her he didn’t want to talk about it and he was done! Haha! I had to laugh because if Harper is anything, he’s brutally honest! Thankfully his teacher is a good one and also laughed at his response. She just wrote down his answer and kept going.

She also tested the kids on their colors, which he knew. Then she put three bears on the table and asked him how many there were. He told her three. She asked him if he had to count them or did he just know to which he replied that he just knew. Then she handed him a bowl of bears and asked him take out five. He reached in and grabbed a handful, 6 total. He laid them out and counted, then put 2 back. Then he counted them again and then reached into the bowl and grabbed one more to make his 5. She said she didn’t guide him at all and that he was able to come up with his own way of making 5. I thought that was pretty great that at three years old he’s able to make such precise decisions in order to do what he was asked.

I can’t remember everything we talked about but I came to the conclusion that he’s doing just fine. He really has a wonderful teacher and I just love all that he gets to experience in his school each week.

Mario Enemies and More...

Harper loves making books. He's made several books in the past couple of years and just lately made one all about Mario's enemies (t...