Friday, February 25, 2011

Lunch Break

Across the street from our home is a meadow which connects to a series of meadows and leads to Glacier Creek.  The meadows are one of our favorite spots.
Today I visited the meadows for my lunch break and found this.  A few years ago my husband and I were married in the meadow across from our house.  It was winter and we had lots of snow.  Prior to our ceremony my husband went out and trampled down a wedding chappel, an asile and a circle.  Our dog walked me down the asile and Jonathan's father married us.  Every winter my hubby goes out and redoes the wedding chappel.  It is quite charming, and always a surprise.
Such a beautiful day.
I definitely can not complain.
How could you not just love this.
Happy day to everyone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset

The sun rose this morning at 8:14am and will set at 6:05pm.  We have made it through yet another cycle of darkness.  The sun shines through the clouds and it is a beautiful day.

There is a condition I have called winter forgetfullness.  Around this time each year I get a little emotional.  It starts in February when I want to kick a hole in the wall because I am craving some sun, then in March I watch as the rest of the U.S starts to thaw and seedlings come out again.  I might shed a tear at this time. April is the impatient time... we are so close to thawing, but not yet.  In May we may or may not still have snow, but I begin to feel like we might just see some green.  Then comes June and that is where my conditon of winter forgetfullness comes into full swing.  What winter?  Was it cold?  Did we really have 9 months of snow?  I forget all of this as soon as the snow melts and we start to green. It is kind of a trick mother nature plays on me each year and what keeps me here in Alaska.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


My son qualified for a speech communications classroom with our school district.  We thought it would be a good idea because he is speech delayed and a speech communication classroom sounded like a good place for a speech delayed child.

We were mistaken.  I find that being a teacher and sending your child to school is difficult.  Well, maybe that is making an assumption that is not true.  Maybe any parent, teacher or not has a difficult time sending their child to school.  The reason it is difficult for me is that I have expectations.  Not overally rigid expectations, but expectations.

The little guy started mid January, and it was just not a good fit.  He had just turned 3 and is what I consider a young 3.  His teacher, who I am sure has good qualities, just did not bond with him.  Every day we were met with a negative, and the negatives were kind of comical after awhile.  The lastest was during my parent teacher conference.  She said I really needed to work on my son touching other children.  I asked what kind of touch she was referring to and she said he was coming up to the kids and putting his hand on their chest.  I said "Well do you think that since this is a speech communications classroom that he might be trying to communicate and that maybe you could teach him a sign or words to use when he wants to communicate with the other children."  She then told me they had a no touching policy in the classroom. Not that the teacher could not touch the children, but that the children could not touch each other. I could not help it, I laughed.   I am all for hands are for hugging, and helping not hurting, but no touch among preschool children at all is just so sad.

My son's first interactions with other children outside of the orphanage were difficult.  He was frightened of them. We then got to where he was intereseted in them, and recently he has been starting to engage with them, always gentle.  To accomplish all this and then be in an environment where it is discouraged and "problomatic" breaks my heart.  Needless to say..... he won't be returning to that classroom.  I want our son to know he is wonderful.  I am always open to hearing areas for improvement, but if a teacher can not find the beauty in a child, then it is not really the child's fault.  Even children who have given my eye twitches (true story) steal my heart at times.

My charming, amazing son had his first ski day today.  We made it down the kiddie hill two times before he decided that being inside the lodge sounded like more fun.  So funny that when we were young there were no ski helmets, seat belts, bike helmets, and now everyone is protected.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Son's Girlfriend

My son has a girlfriend. She is so nice and polite I hardly even notice her at times, and as the saying goes she is a looker.  I think she must be artistic as seen from her interesting style of glasses.
Yes this is my son's girlfriend.  I bought this create a face pad at the earlychildhood conference I attended. I thought it would be great for language development.  I let him choose all the parts for each face we made.  The first day we made about 4 faces.  For some reason my son kept coming back to look at this one, his now girlfriend.  He carried her around, put her on the table and gazed lovingly at her.

 He even, gasp, kissed her on the lips.  I know he is a bit young for dating, but it seems like love.  The other day he brough her up to bed with him.  I had to draw the line there since we all share the same bedroom, and it is a little premature to be bringing girls in the bedroom.
Yesterday he shared his milk with her, as seen by the crinkling around the mouth and well, I am sad to say there may have been a bit of a brawl as she now has a hole in her nose.  She really eats like a bird.  Hardly touches her plate.
I have introduced him to these women, but he wants nothing to do with them.  Sigh... I suppose we all remember our first love, and well, I think he chose a good one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So Busy

I am finally coming up for air.  These past few weeks have included working on Saturdays, late hours and lots of verbal over stimulation.  The days also included lots of chocolate which I love, but tends to cloud my brain.  Today so much better  with a Saturday off, a yoga class in the morning followed by Lap Sit story time at the library, and a toddler gear swap.  A toddler gear swap is a great way to pass on your hand me downs and come home with nused (new used) clothes for your child.  We had ours at the library after story time.  I came home with 2 boxes of girl clothes for a family we know that could use a little extra help.  It is such a great way to give and receive.   We realized we have lots of boys in our community and not many toddler girls.  Slim pickings on the toddler boy clothes.

I am now the proud owner of these Black Diamond Trecking Poles.  My hubby gave them to me for my birthday which was on Thursday.  This is a sign that I might be not as strong as I used to be.  I love hiking with trecking poles because my knees are not always happy with me when I do lots of uphill hiking.  I may exchange them for a set that folds down and can be tucked on the outside of a backpack.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Preschool Curriculum

I have spent the last 3 days sitting in a windowless conference room looking at preschool language arts programs.  So challenging on so many levels.  A room without windows is not the room for me.  A preschool curriculum challenges what I believe in for teaching 3-5 year olds, and then there is the agreeing with 7 other educators who have different organizing styles and different beliefs on how to teach young children.  More to come.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Early Childhood Conference

I spent the past three days at the Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children Conference.  I attended a few inspiring workshops and a few not so inspiring ones.  One of the speakers that I really enjoyed was Clarissa Willis, PhD.  She is a very energetic speaker with a wonderful outlook on working with the special needs child.  My favorite quote from her was "kindergarten teachers would rather you send them a child who can monitor their behavior than a child who can read."  I can totally relate to this having spent 9 years as a multi-age K-3 teacher.  Clarissa also talked about the idea that unwanted behavior from a child falls into two categories, avoid/escape behavior and gain access behavior.  I like the idea of keeping it simple so you can understand what the child's goal is with the behavior.

Right now there is a firework show going on at the resort that I can see from my couch.  It is making our small A-Frame shake with each boom!  I never tire of fireworks, but as soon as they are over I am off to bed. This is my second 6 day work week.  I need to be well rested tomorrow so that I can make up for lost time with the little guy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Great Perfect Toy Ideas

Thank you for your wonderful toy ideas.  Every toy suggested is a perfect toy.  Just what I envisioned.  Moms are so much wiser than the toy stores.  If we could just weed out the not so perfect toys we would have a much easier time.

Country Sister and City Sister suggested this toy.  I agree this is a perfect toy. My son had this toy when he was learning to stand and it was so much fun to watch him work all the parts. It is a Parent toy that you can find here

Three Little Birds the best kindergarten teacher in the world suggested this toy.  I am ordering this for the little guy this week. It seems like a creative next step toy for him.

City Hippy Farm Girl suggested this cool toy from here.  I love this idea and saw a few similar plastic versions that were not so perfect.  Very flimsy. This looks nice and sturdy.  I am putting this on the list too.  
Thanks moms for putting in some time for my son.  All three of the blogs are on my list of blogs I love so go and check them out when you have time.