Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer Days

I have a feeling that this month may be more hit and miss with blogging. We have been having some really nice days with friends to keep us busy in this summer weather. The boys have been invited to a few summer pool parties, several pool days, a nature hike and will be having their own annual summer party at the end of August. This year their party theme is Outer space. So I've got to get my booty in gear for the 24 boys this will involve. (I know. Call me insane. ) Tomorrow we are going to the zoo. Pooh has been asking to go for months, but it has been put off for one reason or another. With the relatively cooler weather we are having this week I thought it would be a good day to go.

RDI wise, I have gone ahead and sent a tape to our consultant to see how we're coming along with framing for roles. I think Pooh was responding well. I just found myself having to walk that fine line between not being the director and also not over compensating for him. I'll wait for the consultant's feedback before blogging anymore on that area.

In getting that new washer and dryer I've talked about, I neglected to mention that this involved tearing everything out of our laundry closet. It is now all sitting in the middle of what was my newly reorganized basement. I'm not happy about this AT ALL! The reason for the chaos is that we decided to have our machines stacked instead of side by side. This meant taking out the generic shelves we had put up when we moved in 4 years ago. We are going to get some type of wire shelving system from Lowe's, but need to measure and go there together (together is the key with men and hardware stores) to decide which system will work. The laundry closet walls are a mixture of the cement block used in basements and drywall. It's never easy. I'm probably looking at another whole week before I get things back together. Meanwhile, I have to keep the boys from destroying any of the boxes sitting on the floor.

I love my new machines though!!!! They are the coolest. LOL I do notice how much cleaner the clothes look coming out of the front loader. They take longer in the washer but are spun so well, even a full load of towels only takes about 40 minutes to dry. Maybe my utility bills will go down. Wouldn't that be nice! I have been making my own laundry soap for a few months now. But I decided to change what I was doing. I had been making a liquid laundry soap and now I'm switching to a powder one. I like it better. I think I'm going to try selling it locally. It is great for anyone wanting to Go Green and/or chemically sensitive. Making an extra little bit of money here or there would really help. We'll see how it goes. Oh and this soap works perfectly with the new HE machines. Very low sudsing.

Well, I better start heading for bed. The zoo is a lot of walking, so I need to hit the hay!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Laundry and TV

Media and the Mind I read this post from a blogger I just happened to visit-not one I was normally reading (but I will now). I really appreciate how she put into a brief synopsis so much of what I've been reading lately. I've been hearing of this book "Endangered Minds" but haven't read it yet. I HAVE read Waldorf's recommendations on getting rid of "media" ie TV, video games, computer games. RDI recommends cutting way back on screen time (their way of referring to the same things). It's really funny (not ha ha funny) how people can be so horrified at living life without TV. I know to a certain extent I used to be the same way. Live without shows?? You've got to be kidding me. I have actually lived without a TV on two separate occasions in my life. Once, when I moved out and out-of-state from my parents I lived for about 8 months with no TV. I was suffering from depression then, so really once I got the TV it didn't make much difference. I was still sucked into my void. The other time was when I moved into an apartment, right before the King and I got married. We lived without a TV for over a year I think. I got a lot more of my important reading done and the King got a lot more sleep. Now I've just got too much to do to be that interested in TV. Plus, programming has gone to pot. There are a lot of shows that I wouldn't want to be watching if I were watching TV. I seem to have a weakness each year for American Idol. (I just hate when they show commercials for junky shows during this time period. Please, my kids watch it with me!) And in the winter, the King and I do enjoy some of the Masterpiece Theater programs. (of course LOL) But that's been the extent of my TV habits the last few years. Sometimes, hubby will want me to watch a movie with him and I have to make myself sit down and watch something. I'd much rather be reading "Endangered Minds"!

Now with the kids, I'm trying to cut back on "screen time". I've told them that if they watch too much TV their little brains "wont' grow" ;D. We went a week with no TV last year. Pooh did a lot better than I thought he would. I had the days marked on the calendar and he did fine, except he just quoted the movies all day. We recently had to give the kids a No TV day because they had snuck an extra movie while we were doing yard work. I knew they had done it, but decided that instead of going in and confronting them about it, I would just call a No TV day instead. It worked. They promised to "never ever do it again". ;D At least, they got the point for now. No sneaking. We do have the rule that they have to ask first and I have to approve what they are going to watch.

Another thing I've been doing so far is having them pick the PBS shows they are going to watch in advance. We sort of have a little pow wow in the morning and they each tell me which show they want to watch for that day. That way I don't get asked 5 million times if they can watch this or that. They know what time the shows come on and Pooh definitely keeps track of the clock for that. If he misses the show he's picked while we are at home doing something, he will get upset. But, if we're out and about, he's much more mellow that "he'll see it another day." So, there's some flexibility there.

I think I mentioned before about how I've gone through their videos and donated a bunch to the library. That is one way of cutting down on clutter and the importance of hoarding all these movies. I like borrowing the movies from the library because I have a much larger variety there to have them choose from. They have to be turned in within a week too, so that means that there's an end to when they are available. We do still have some movies at home for family movie night, sick time, really bad weather, etc.

This is getting kind of long and I haven't even gotten to the laundry part yet. I'm going to have to do another Media post about what my future plans are too. So, the laundry portion of this is that yesterday we went shopping for our new washer and dryer. Yep, had to get a new set. There weren't any on Freecycle. (Sears had a nice sale, 12 months no interest, plus we had another 10% coupon. So I got a set of front loaders. Whoaaaa! They are cool! The dryer works faster than the washer. The complete opposite of what I had before. Go figure!)

Anyway, I know you're waiting to see what Laundry has to do with TV. Well, when we were talking to the appliance guy at Sears, I mentioned that all the new TV's were cool. You know, big flat screens and the colours are just amazing on them. Not that we were looking to buy, but just saying. He talks about how there was one on a really good sale. Then I made the comment that we only had one TV and we were trying to keep it that way. You should have seen his face. You would have thought I said we used an outhouse instead of a bathroom! It's funny and yet sad. When we did become a society that needed to have one TV per person in the house? It separates Mom and Dad watcing from the kids watching. I think the TV watching should be something planned. That way it helps control the amount of time one watches it and teaches compromise. Mom wants to watch Oprah-Kids want to watch Arthur? Compromise. Or better yet, go for a walk together.

There's so much out there besides TV. It's time to get out there and experience it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Laundromat RDI

My washing machine has really bit the dust this time. It needs a part, that IF it were available, would cost over $150. But, of course, our machine is too old and the part is "unavailable". sob sob That means that until we get another machine, I'm using a laundromat. ugh I forgot how expensive it is to wash clothes in those places. The three of us could've had a nice lunch at Panera for how much it cost to wash clothes on Monday. sigh

Anyway, I thought that since I had to drag the 3 of us and the clothes (and the baskets and the washing liquid, etc etc) over there and spend 3 hours doing it, I was going to make it worth the time. We did RDI stuff all over the place. Pooh helped carry the baskets-each of us taking one end and Regulating our way to the van, from van to the machine, from place back to the van, and from van back to the house. We also threw clothes in washers together, took them out together, put in dryer together. This involved him having to make sure the cart was where I needed it for the clothes. Helping open and shut doors. This I did with the current objective in mind. Thinking of all the steps and making sure it was a 50/50 project. We probably could have done more of that kind of stuff, but the kids were distracted by the VIDEO GAMES (big sigh) in there.

I also brought books so that we did some reading together too. I didn't want boredom to set in so I made sure we had the books and plenty of snacks and drinks. It wasn't so bad, but by the time I got home I needed a little "mommy-time" so I got my drink and sat at the computer to read other blogs. :D

Which brings to mind that HarvestMom is ending her blog on Jacob's Journey. Boo Hoo I got seriously teary eyed when I read this. For me, it was wonderful and yet I feel a little let down too. They have been doing RDI for three years now and just look at how far they've gotten!! She feels that they are on a normal developmental path. So in that way I'm cheering for them and for RDI. On the other hand, our journey is just beginning and I so hope that in a few years I can get to that same point. Starting RDI at age 9 with Pooh is so different from Jacob's starting at age 3. I try to remember that I can only look to what I need to do now. Not what I wish I knew and had done several years ago. I'm certainly conflicted inside about the whole thing. Not to say that I'm not absolutely thrilled for them at the same time. I'll still be reading at their regular family/home school blog Along the Crooked Path though so I'll be able to keep up with how things are going. I will miss all HarvestMom's good RDI insight. That's for sure. So, Good Wishes to them and all the other RDI families out there trying for remediation with their children. May we all have a great measure of success.

Shopping With Pooh

Sunday afternoon, Pooh and I went on our shopping expedition. I had to go to the Dollar Tree and Walmart. Not my favorite of stores, but we're on a tight budget. I tried to be aware of doing RDI-ish things while we were together. I would pass him things to put in the cart. We tossed a squishy ball back and forth in the Dollar Tree. He helped me put groceries on the conveyor belt. Sometimes, I would hand him the item, sometimes he would hand me the item, sometimes we took turns. I had to pause and wait for him to clue in many times, so it took a little longer than normal, but not much.

In Walmart, I gave him the grocery list and he checked off the items after I put them in the cart. He's not really reading yet, so I helped point to the words if he didn't get it. He practiced his math skills by counting up how many items were on the list and then gave me the countdown as we were going along. LOL

He, of course, helps haul in groceries once we get home. That's the heavy carrying proprioceptive work he needs.

Other RDI things you can do while shopping are: Referencing during produce picking=pick up apples and reference which ones are worthy of going in your bag. Co-Regulation=it's watermelon time so you might need "help carrying this huge watermelon". You can also regulate with pushing the cart at the store. Sometimes, we push it together. It's great to do this in the parking lot with a full load. It's heavier so you'll definitely notice if he's not doing his part. The cart will veer off course very quickly. Just make sure you do this away from other vehicles. ;D

We had a nice mother-son shopping excursion with much RDI friendly work. Definitely a productive afternoon.

Pool Day

Well, I as the mother didn't get in any official RDI pool time on Friday. BUT, I think Pooh did great RDI work with his cousins. They are older 17 and 12. There was also an 11 year old there. So, he was pretty much hanging out with that age group instead of Tigger, age 4 and his friend, age 5. This is the first year that Pooh has been willing to jump off the diving board into the deep end. Before that, it just made him too nervous. He still wears his wings, but other than that he's good to go. Even his wings are only about half inflated.

The cool thing I caught him doing was jumping off the diving board as a threesome. He and his cousins would all stand at the end of the board together, bouncing and counting to 3 and they would all jump holding on to one another. Talk about Regulation!!!! He was also playing some sort of game where they would toss each other into the pool. I saw him tossed on two separate occasions (gently, because his cousins know him well enough lol) and he handled it beautifully. There were no upsets at all.

Mom sat by the pool in the "too cool to swim" weather chatting it up with the other two moms there. We all had a great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today's Co-Reg Activities

Today I hauled my poor tripod inside and outside. We cut flowers from the garden. We made a flower arrangement in a vase. We made a drawing that turned out to be a pirate. We bundled groups of lavender together to hang for drying. We dug up the garlic from the garden. That one was the best one of all of them. The reason being that sometimes in pulling up the garlic, the top came off without pulling up the bulb. So we had to get the shovel and get it out. I could tell Pooh felt very competent helping with that. The only thing that didn't work out so well was that he was hot. Therefore, he complained and fought doing the activities more than he would have normally.

Tomorrow we are heading to a friend's pool, so hopefully I can do some good co-reg activities there. I'm just not able to think of anything right now that involves many roles. But we'll see, maybe something will come to me tomorrow. I'll also have to gauge whether it's worth it with other kids there. He may be distracted by all the other with jumping, etc.

So now, I'm sitting in a house that smells of garlic and lavender. All for RDI. ;D

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pink Doughnuts

Pooh has been talking about doughnuts lately. He really wants to go back to a Krispy Kreme store near here that actually makes the doughnuts where you can see the whole process. In talking about it, he says he wants to get "pink doughnuts, because you like pink mommy." What?!? Blow me over, did he just express an interest in something I might want? I still have a hard time believing it. The thought processes it took to get him there is what amazes me. I had made a comment earlier about liking doughnuts, it's true. But then, on his own, he remembers that 1. I like pink (because I'm a girl. lol) 2. That doughnuts come in pink. (the icing at least) and 3. That he would decide to pick something I like instead of just saying what he wants???? I'm just amazed and proud that he's starting to think this way. Could it be all those joint regulation activities we've been doing? Goodness, if it is an effect of any of the RDI principles we've been implementing, all I can say is, Bring It On! I'm ready for more.

Before he said this we had a very cute interchange. Pooh brought up the last doughnuts I had bought at Wally World and was wondering who ate the last one. I wasn't saying anything, so he started questioning the family. Tigger didn't eat it, Daddy didn't eat it, it wasn't in the trash. "Mommy, did you eat the last doughnut?" I immediately shoved a forkful of dinner in my mouth and started mumbling. "What, mommy?" More mumbling. "What?" More mumbling. Each time with different inflections. "Mommy, I think you should finish your food and answer me. Did you eat the last doughnut?" Sigh, yes it was me.

Sometimes I really like doughnuts, with or without pink icing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Great Clean-Out

So this past weekend I went to work on filling up that 10x12 shed storage building the King and I put up the first weekend of July. It's now about 1/3 full. My basement (otherwise known as family room, laundry area, school room, etc) is now about 1/2 less full than before. It's also completely rearranged. I kept telling hubby that it was good to do all this decluttering just in the amount of dust we were able to clean up. It was a late spring cleaning for sure! I also got rid of 6 walmart bags full of paper from my office and completely cleaned and rearranged our living room. The basement looks great but still needs some organizing. I need some different clear containers to label for pens, markers, different activities for the kids, etc. I made a crash area near the kids bookshelves. This consists of large pillows then can lay on, wrestle on and sleep on. The tv got moved and I've gone thru most of their videos. There were two boxes full that I've gotten rid of. Some were returned to my sister, who gave many to me in the first place. Others will be donated to the public library. That way, if they really want to see them again, they know they can find the movies to watch. We like to get our movies from the library anyway. They're free (as long as you turn them in on time--super big plus for us) and there is usually something there for everyone. I also don't have to store the movies myself any longer.

Their homemade train table is going to be their main art area. So it's near the shelves of art supplies. I want them to be able to get out and create whenever they feel like it. There are special materials I'm keeping for "you ask first" only, but most things they should be OK with now that Tigger is a little older. I have plenty of copy paper that my hubby got for free. It's amazing what people are willing to throw out. Two huge boxes, one of which is going into the shed, of good size copy paper perfect for pre-k art.

The basement is so clean (compared to before--there are a couple of areas I still need to tackle) that I actually got out my beads last night and made a few pieces of jewelry. That's something I started about a year and a half ago. I've sold a few things, nothing big time. I've just rarely had the time to take my stuff out and get going on it. There's usually so much picking up I need to do. Hopefully, the reorganizing, decluttering and retraining of my children will help with all of that.

I'm so very happy and thankful that the King and I have been able to accomplish so much these last two weeks. It makes up for the months I've been waiting for this to happen.


We've made it to the end of our RDA and the end of our RCR blitzing. Yeah!! As it turns out, we are almost into new Stage 2. The last objective we have to work on with Stage 1 has to do with co-regulation. Pooh will have to identify his roles in an activity. What this involves is this. We, the parents, will be thinking of an activity, say baking cookies. Then, before we try to do the activity, we brainstorm all the different roles that go into that. This brainstorming is otherwise known as Framing. It's just basically pre-planning so that you don't start an activity and have it fall apart. You've thought of all that goes into the activity, what your objective is, how to target said objective, where it may breakdown, how you will repair the breakdown, etc. Even with all this Framing you may see breakdowns, but it should help prevent a lot of it.

So in Framing the activity baking cookies, I've thought of: Pan getter, ingredients getter, mixer, measurer, pourer, oven turner on-er, door opener, Pam sprayer, etc etc. Basically, all the roles that would be needed to complete the task. The goal is to then do the activity with Pooh, non-verbally as possible, and allow him to share 50/50 in taking the roles necessary in the activity. As the parent, I need to ensure I'm not having him do all the work with only me directing and also, that I'm not overcompensating by taking most of the roles for myself. It's supposed to be an Even-Steven kind of thing. So how does that work in a mostly non-verbal way?

In comes Scaffolding. I'll be using eye gaze to try to convey what he needs to do next. Say he needs to get the sugar from the pantry. If the eye gazing doesn't work, I can point in the general direction of the pantry. Say something along the lines of , "I like when cookies are sweet". I could go over and point to the pantry door where the sugar is. I could open the door. I want to do the least possible in my scaffolding to allow Pooh to understand what he's supposed to do next. This allows him to think for himself. We're leading him through the thought processes that he hasn't gotten to yet, but that are just the next step. He may need just mild hinting with some things and major hinting with others. (Hinting is my term, not an RDI term. :D)

So do you think that this sounds like an awful lot of work? It is and it isn't to me. It is because, yes, you have to sit and think about what you're going to do, when you're going to do it, for how long and make sure you're relaxed and declarative during the whole process. The "whole process" of baking cookies is going to take a lot longer because of the way we must target the roles in our co-regulation. But then, RDI is all about slowing down your whole life in order to allow for the development necessary for autism remediation. I also need to figure out what I can do about Tigger right now. His brain works faster, of course, than Pooh's does and I'm going to have to do different activities with the two of them. On the other hand, when you see things clicking in their brains and you know it's leading to development of the core deficits of autism, the work is sooooo worth it. And I also can see that what we're doing is really setting up for future learning. All these basic steps that others with typical kids take for granted, are necessary for us to go through. I can't wait to get really going with all of this.

Oh and the other thing that ought to be interesting, is figuring out how to video tape all of this. Hopefully, the good stuff will be in the camera's range. I've already had a couple of things be out of camera range that were soooo good, I wanted our consultant to see them. But, asi es la vida. or C'est la vie. Whichever floats your boat. ;D Besides, she's called me tripod woman. Which I am, I drag that tripod everywhere I can. The only way we've been able to video anything is with that tripod. Necessary RDI ingredient!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nature Hike

Today we went to a local state park for a hike around the top. It is a .8 mile hike. It was a beautiful day. A little warm but was saved by a good breeze. The boys seemed to have a good time. We packed a picnic lunch that they helped prepare and plenty of water. We also packed their sketchbooks and color pencils. They were already familiar with these sketchbooks because earlier in the year we had called them "memory books". They would pick one thing each day to draw as a memory of that day. Sometimes it would be something from one of their books, like Blueberry Hill from Blueberries for Sal. Other days, it would be something they had seen at a museum we had gone to, like the python.

Today they drew something from their hike. We saw lots of ants, so that was one thing Pooh drew besides the mountain. Tigger actually drew Pooh climbing the mountain. The thing that Pooh drew which amazed me was the tree we had seen that had grown like a bench. It curved enough for about 3 people to sit on it before it aimed itself up again. Evidently, he thought that was cool. And I agree with him.

We talked about how i would like to visit different hiking trails. We could maybe find some with streams and waterfalls. The boys love water so that went over well.

RDI wise, I tried to keep the day as declarative as possible. Just sort of stating things i saw or giving a big exclamation "OH" and then looking at Pooh. Sometimes he would respond and other times he would just say "yeah, come on, let's go." He stopped and observed with me some type of lizard and a blue-tailed salamander. (I'm going to have to get some books so we can learn the names of these creatures) He was extremely fascinated with the ants. There were black ones, red ones, big ones and little ones. He spotted one that was carrying a big dead bug of some kind.

All in all, it was a positive experience. Several times, Pooh told me unprompted, "This was a good hike, mommy." I'm thinking about having this be a weekly activity. Travel to different trails, state parks, regular parks, etc. We'll definitely have to visit this same place in the fall. That's when the different raptors come and soar all around the top near the lookout areas. I love watching them ride the wind currents. The park had a poster up about the different raptors that visit. Pooh seemed interested so this will be an autumn activity for us.

The other nice thing about hiking is that it actually wears Tigger out. His bounciness was incredibly diminished and he's currently sleeping like a log. Now I'm off to do the same.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

He's Flirting With Me!

Pooh and I were doing turn taking by loading mulch into the wheelbarrow with a pitchfork. The first wheelbarrowful went without much incident. The next time he started by saying that he was only going to do it one time. He then left after he only scooped once. He stays within sight though and I had him break down the pile with me hand over hand creating an avalanche. He did another pitch forkful. So I kept doing more myself. Then realized that he was on the other side of the pile saying something along the lines of "mommy, can't see me and I'm not doing it anymore" I looked over at him, gestured with the pitchfork and smiled. He came right over and did another scoop!! He started flirting in the sense of he knew I was going to have him help me and just waited until I smiled and played with him before he came over.

And yes, this is great improvement. Before it would have been. "Nope, I'm not helping." "I'm getting out of here." "That's it!" All yelling and attitude.

Today, he flirted with me. happy sigh

My Nature Boys

You know, I've been very perplexed in reading about Charlotte Mason education, how I was going to get my boys interested in nature study. With Pooh, it has been very difficult to interest him in much of anything nature-wise. Oh, once in a while he has gotten hold of a subject and verbally beat it to death. For instance, bees. He watched a magic school bus video on bees and honey-making and has repeated it the facts he learned from it over and over and over and over and over and, well, you get the idea. I must preface this story with the fact that he does like spiders and has known about Black Widows for a while, but I think he really enjoyed a "nature study" event today.

Often, in our yard work, the King and I discover black widows. And yes, although I allow most things to live, I do kill these. (Not to get too far off the subject here, but a science center nearby informed us that they are not native and they have invaded our state too well to even think of eradication. So i feel slightly justified in killing them. They're not supposed to be here anyway. And if it's them or my kids, I choose the kids. At least most days. LOL) Anyway, we discovered several today and most were guarding their egg sacs. The kids loved seeing them and watching daddy "take care of things" (I'll try not to use the word "kill" anymore, for those of you inclined to save all living creatures). We discussed why we had to "take care of" the egg sacs as well as the spider. The next thing I knew, Pooh was coming out with a colored pencil drawing of a black widow, complete with hourglass spot. Then a few minutes later, here comes Tigger, not to be outdone with his own 4-legged black widow and accompanying egg sac. They were so cute. I thought, maybe we can do this nature study stuff after all.

Tigger was also completely fascinated with worms today. Even touched and held them. Something he wouldn't do before. He, unfortunately killed (oops, i mean "took care of") a couple of them by trying to push them into tunnels he had dug for them. We discussed how they had to do their own wiggling and tunneling for themselves. I took a couple of pictures of him with his worms. He even touched a big fat slug! He's braver than I am, that's for sure.

Both boys decided today that they were going to be scientists. Pooh will be a black widow scientist and Tigger is planning on a general insect science.

Of course, Tigger has changed his future jobs a lot lately. He went from wanted to be a builder and working at Lowe's Home Improvement to being a fire fighter just this week. Now he's going to be a scientist. Wouldn't it be cool if we got to do all the jobs we dream up as kids??

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Must Read (or Listen-You Choose)

The Tale of Despereaux is just fabulous. I think I enjoyed it more than the kids. We listened to an unabridged version on cd in the van. The only thing that kept me from making excuses to take off for a long trip to hear the story, was the gas prices. Otherwise, we would have been heading for the beach for a nice long story. LOL I am not, by nature, patient when it comes to a good book. Even a bad book for that matter. I usually end up reading the end first, then come back and read the whole thing over. Most times I'll read a book two times in a row just to make sure I caught all the good parts and to savor them once more. So when i actually get my hands on a real paper and binding copy of this book, I'll probably read it at least three times within the first week. Did I mention that I read fast too?

Pooh was really trying to pay attention to the story. We would discuss little pieces of it here and there. Sort of a narration. I wanted to see how much he understood. He got a little confused over who was human vs who was an animal. He thought Miggerly Sow was a mouse for instance. Tigger was fascinated by Roscuro. In fact, he saw a book about Ratatouille the other day and said "Mommy, he looks like, ummm, hmmm," I said "Roscuro?" "Yeah, mommy, he looks like Roscuro, that bad rat."

So, if you can, read or listen to this book. I found it at our local library. Your children will thank you for a great story with adventure, near death experiences, kindness, hate, deceit, good morals and most of all beautiful language. It's well written. No twaddle for any of you Charlotte Mason fans. And if you do get the audio version, a wonderful voice to listen to. His name was Graeme something or other.

I just melted in a puddle of literary bliss.

What Day Is It??

Tigger: Mommy, what day is it?
Me: Tuesday
Tigger: Then what?
Me: Wednesday
Tigger: Then what?
Me: Thursday
Tigger: Then what?
Me: Friday

That's right. Friday is a special night and we get reminded of it at least 5 times a week. Friday is the night that the King sleeps with the boys. Sometimes they all camp out in the basement (otherwise known as the family room) and watch a movie. Other times, it's the living room or their bedroom or even in the tent outside. But that's their special night with dad. It's my special night all alone in a king size bed, with the AC blasting and all the covers. Aaahhhh, sweet dreams!

Folding Towels

Pooh and I had done folding towels as a Simultaneous RCR activity last week. Basically, we get the big towels and we each have one end and he has to follow my lead with the folding pattern. We did it and it went OK. But today, we did it again just because I wanted to include both kids on some of the household chores. We had fun with it! I wish I had gotten that on video!! I played around with him by jumping my side around when we were supposed to meet in the middle. He was laughing. Then he did it right back at me! He jumped the towel to the side, then up, down and we finally met in the middle. Too Cool. That's the kind of emotion sharing activity I hope to see more of.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Simultaneous RCR

The last several days I was concentrating on this latest RCR pattern. Simultaneous = at the same time. Having Pooh try to follow my pattern at the same time I was doing it. We did the soap bubble blowing incident, never to be repeated. We also did a stamping activity, putting little stickers onto paper, jumping on the mini-trampoline, drumming, scooter riding, throwing balls that Dad had to catch and a couple different activities with toy cars. Another thing we did that I personally liked, was to paint one of those hanging wooden butterflies from the Wal-mart craft section. I had one wing and he had the other one and he had to paint his side the same as mind. He seemed to follow my lead really well. The one thing I noticed about myself as I was transferring to a VHS tape for our consultant, is that I was talking too much. I also wasn't waiting long enough for Pooh to reference before I started clearing my throat or acting impatient, etc. So I think this pattern was the hardest for ME. I need to work on my patience and enjoy the moment more than worrying about finishing the activity.

Sometimes, I think the way I as a parent handle our RDI program depends upon how much I've got on my mind. How much I'm thinking of all the things I have to do. I think I had a bad week in that regard. My goal for next time will be to reset my brain to only focus on the kids and enjoy what we're doing together.

I've sent the current tape off to the consultant and will be eagerly awaiting what she has to say. Hopefully, we'll be able to move on to some of the objectives for Stage 1.

On another note, The King and I actually finished raising our storage shed this weekend. We worked for two days. There sure are a lot of screws that come with those things. I had no idea. I now have much more respect for anyone who says they will be erecting one. The thing must also be perfectly level and perfectly squared. Sometimes, a little brute force doesn't hurt either.
The whole purpose of this thing is to get most of their toys and clothes I'm storing out of the house. I HAVE to declutter. There's just no way I can continue like this. It's too distracting for me and I'm sure too distracting for the kids. I'm going to rotate their toys and movies. I'll also pack away any academicky stuff I've acquired that they're just not ready for yet.

This momma is ready for change.