Thursday, July 28, 2011

Monday Memories

This is a bit delayed because Jeremy was traveling and our internet went down, so I was offline for a few days...



Kids were slow getting moving to take Jeremy to the airport, so he said to Elie something like, "Elie, get dressed... I want you to take me to the airport." At which point Elie turned to me and asked, "Ima/Mommy, do I know how to drive?" (Just like his previous swimming quote - I love it!)

Sat on the couch with a book and told me he was going to read to me. He opened the book and said, "Can you teach me how to read?" So sweet. And interesting to me that he'd think in those terms - Yoav has never asked me that, though he is excited to learn to read next year...

Sitting on the balance thing at the playground (in photo), Elie sat in front and started "driving". Then Yoav got into the back seat to get a ride. Elie said he wanted Yoav to sit in the middle. Yoav didn't want to. Elie said, "If you sit there (back seat) you could get eaten, but if you sit here (middle), you won't." Yoav thought for a second and switched to the middle seat :)

Funniest in a LONG time!!! -- Elie saw a little girlfriend naked. He said to me, "Where is her penis?" Me: "She doesn't have one." Him: Some very deep thought followed by, "So does the pee come out of her tush?"


Friend noticed that I was feeling totally overwhelmed (kids (mine and neighborhood friends) coming in and out of the house, leaving messes in their wake)... She started cleaning the mess in the living room, then folded my laundry (!) and when she asked where Yoav's clothes go LOL, I asked him to go with her to show her, at which point he got into the cleaning and both of them continued to clean the house for about an hour! They totally cleaned up the playroom, made the bed!!!, swept, did some sort of washing of bathrooms, brought toys to the playroom that were in the living room.... I hope the fun of cleaning stays with Yoav beyond this day!

Falling asleep one day, Yoav said, "How did we think of moving to Israel?"

Elie and neighbor were switching bikes. Elie got onto the neighbor's bike but the little boy started crying a little confused (this trade was pre-arranged but I guess he wasn't so clear on the details). Yoav saw him crying and ON HIS OWN, got up and got Elie's bike and ran it over to him!!!! Yay, Yoav is really developing empathy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yoav was eating his Shabbat snack of carob cookies outside. He had six (because he's six, of course!). While we were eating, three of the neighbors came over. One by one, they each asked if they could have one. Actually, the first really asked and the others sort of motioned. Yoav was so cute after this happened - he looked down at his plate and SMILED at the silliness of having had six and now so quickly and unexpectedly down to three. He looked at me with an, "Oh, well" kind of look and I suggested he could have three more with dinner and he was happy about that. Yay for mixed emotions (happy to share, sad to lose the cookies)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yoav's New Apron



I get to check off another item from my to-do list!

I made Yoav an apron this morning. It's the Montessori Child's apron that I've made before (this one and this one).

Yoav looks so big in it now. I might use this one for Elie (he uses one I didn't make) and make another a bit bigger for Yoav. Yoav picked out the fabric, to match mine. I love that we can both fawn over linen - of course I love the cute Japanese fabrics in the previous aprons I made, but, hey, what mama doesn't love linen?!?!?

(Oh, and the girl in the first picture is our neighbor - as a group, they practically live here. The sister showed up in another recent photo here... Seems to be hard to get photos of my kids these days without one of them in the photo LOL! The good news is that my kids are learning Hebrew quickly; the bad news is that it's truly too much for me... Working on a solution...)

The Joy of Co-Sleeping


I have always loved co-sleeping. I was fortunate to have a baby (Yoav) who didn't want to sleep in his co-sleeper AND to have extreme pain nursing for the first few weeks of his life. Yoav's first night home, I tried to put him in a little co-sleeper next to the bed to sleep. But every time I put him in the co-sleeper (after nursing him to sleep), he woke up. Didn't take too many times before the pain became unbearable and I plopped him in the bed between me and DH and went to sleep. Six and a half years later, he's still happily sleeping in that same spot. To be fair to those who have tried it and NOT liked it, it's easy for us because both my kids are pretty good sleepers (once asleep), neither kicks, squirms, moves much or talks in their sleep, and we have space for a king+twin Family Bed... And, really, who wouldn't rather cuddle Elie or Yoav than Jeremy LOL :)

Anyway, my 6yo tends to spend the time in bed before he falls asleep thinking about the day and asking questions.

Sometimes the questions seem to be unrelated to anything that has happened during the day, like this one tonight (which, of course, he said in all seriousness!): Could you shoot me up the the moon by squirting water at me? ... Then if I landed on the door, I could just open the door and go in.... I'd have to bring a parachute, though, right? Has anyone ever parachuted down from the moon before?

Then, the next one came... Background is that earlier in the day, he was banging a pair of goggles on the kitchen table. I told him he couldn't bang the goggles on the table (it's a beautiful hand-painted, solid wood table), but he could bang them outside or bang them on his head. I wasn't serious about the head part! But, his question to me at night was: "Would you rather if the table broke or my head?" Me: "Huh?!!?!?!?" He explained why he was asking and I gave him a big hug and said I hadn't actually meant that I wanted him to hurt his head and of COURSE I'd rather the table break in a zillion pieces than for anything to happen to his head! This then led to a sweet conversation about whether I'd rather do xyz or for Yoav to break - his favorite was if I'd rather Yoav break OR have to eat my least favorite food for every meal forever. He loved that I'd rather eat that food than for him to break, especially since he's such a picky eater ;)

So, tonight, he fell asleep totally relaxed, knowing that he IS loved unconditionally and completely, rather than sleeping in a state of agitation wondering whether I love the kitchen table more than him!!!

...And, in case you didn't think of this one - a huge benefit of co-sleeping is all the adorable cuddly/sleepy sibling photos you end up with :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Memories




The big news for Elie this week is that he fell into the pool! He was attempting to get into his little blow-up raft which has two leg holes and I guess once he got his feet in, he lost his balance and flipped over, so he had basically capsized. Of course I was watching, so it wasn't a huge deal - I jumped right in (with my clothes and glasses) and got him. He was quite shocked by the experience! He held me tight and cried a little but then just stayed in the pool and I swam with the kids in my clothes, which they thought was fun ;)

A few cute pronunciations: cabbage cheese instead of cottage cheese; angel muffins instead of english muffins; tontacts instead of contacts; and w instead of l, which makes every 'l' word cute :)

Elie sometimes acts protective of me, which is ever so sweet - told me how to hold a knife so I wouldn't cut myself and told me to hold on at the playground so I wouldn't fall off (we were walking along a little bridge)

The sweetest of the week was last week at the horseback lesson. I told Elie we could get pizza at the restaurant (really really tasty - everything in the restaurant is very fresh and homemade-ish...). He fell asleep on the way and only woke up when we were getting back in the car at the end. He opened his eyes and looked around and said in confusion, "But I didn't get pizza?"


Yoav cantered at his horse lesson this week for the first time. Yoav was very excited - he said it was fun... ;)

Yoav coordinated with Elie to bring out dishes and food when we had friends over. He split up the plates for them each to bring out a few, and he asked Elie to open the door for him when he was bringing out the watermelon.

Yes, I feel bad that I only have two for Yoav and four for Elie :(

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Language Arts Planning

I have been thinking for over a month as to how to introduce the consonants.  The Waldorf method is to use stories (of course!) to introduce the letters, which are shown to the kids in the form of a chalkboard drawing with the letters hidden in the drawing like a pictogram.

Examples are here.  The "Fisherman Letters" is a good example.  The drawing on the right just looks like a regular (albeit very good!) chalkboard drawing.  Then on the left, you can see the letters F and W drawn in white in that same drawing to "draw out" the letters.  Then we practice the letters with some verses, alliteration and talk about other words with the same start and finally the child draws a simplified version of the drawing on the left side of the MLB (Main Lesson Book) and the letter itself on the right.

The tricky part is figuring out which letters to introduce via which stories.  I've decided to do two blocks of consonants, which is eight weeks.  I'll introduce one or two letters per week in the first block and two or three in the second block.  Then I'll spend a week on vowels and in the end there will be five letters Yoav will just learn "on authority" - we'll simply write these in his Main Lesson Book and perhaps do some alliterative verses about them and that's it.

The stories I've decided on are:

Block 1:
Week 1:  Rose Red and Snow White - B(ear)
Week 2:  The Water of Life - M(ountain), J(ug)
Week 3:  The Fisherman and His Wife - F(ish), W(aves)
Week 4:  The Goose Girl - G(oose), C(at)

Block 2:
Week 1:  The Nixie of Mill Pond - N(ixie), P(ond)
Week 2:  Rapunzel - R(apunzel), T(ree)
Week 3:  The White Snake - K(ing), Q(ueen), S(nake)
Week 4:  Mother Holle - L(ady), V(ase), D(oor)

Remaining Consonants:  X, Y, Z

And in trying to figure out words from the stories, I had to read the stories over a bunch of times, so I'm halfway to memorizing these...  Now to practice some chalkboard drawing! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Balance Beam - Done!

Yay, one item can be checked off my list!

Not that we really needed a tutorial, but we used this one :)  Ours is two meters long and each horizontal piece is 1/4 meter.

Balance beams have an important place in Waldorf homeschooling.  We all know that kids learn better when they're moving, so in Waldorf, the balance beam is used quite a bit.  It's great for balance of course (hence the name LOL!) - the child can practice going across it stepping, eyes open, eyes closed, backwards, crawling, sliding, sideways, etc.  It is also used to keep the child in motion while memorizing - great for math facts - counting forward/backward and counting by two/three/five/ten, eyes open and closed, walking forward and backward on the balance beam. 

I was happy to see that Yoav thought it was fun to go on and didn't just say it was easy as it would be just to walk across.  He was practicing jumping and hopping and sliding across.

Monday Memories



Elie has been saying thank you a LOT.  In the sweetest of ways because he says it for all the little things I do.  I open a door for him and he says, "Thanks"; I pour him a drink, he says, "Thanks"; unbutton his shirt so he can get it off and I get a "Thanks".  I love.  (And, for those who haven't been reading my blog for years LOL, this is all without any prodding - I believe strongly in not "teaching" manners - certainly at age 3, as Steiner taught, kids learn via imitation!)

Elie wanted to get something off a high shelf and, instead of asking for help (or saying anything to me), he went downstairs to get a chair, came back up, got on the chair, got the item and went about his business.  ;)


One day falling asleep, he starting playing aloud with words.  He said it was funny that the word "tiny" is bigger than the word "big".  He said "turtle" and "squirrel" sound alike - at first I couldn't even figure out what he was talking about here, but he meant that they both end with an "l" sound.  He said that you can say "sss" forever and practiced with the word "faster" - as in, "fassssssssssssss-ter".    I think this is a sign that he's ready to start learning letters!!!

He asked if it ever rains on Shabbat and wondered if "making rain" would be allowed (by G-d, that is)...

He woke up this morning and right after breakfast, he gathered some yarn and headed over (with Elie for company) to a 13-year-old neighbor to show her how to finger knit (he had told her yesterday that he would show her).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Monday Memories

One of the things I liked about my blog when only my family read it was that I felt comfortable posting cute things my kids did or said. I want to bring that back for my sake, so I'm going to start a "Monday Memories" tradition of posting cute things my kids do/say for the week. It'll be titled as such so non-family/friends can skip it ;)  [And for those who saw this post before, yes, I changed it LOL - I like the sound of Monday Memories better.  So, this will be a Monday Memory on a Thursday and going forward I'll do it on Mondays .]



Elie was eating scrambled eggs and siad, "The big pieces are hot but the small ones are not." So he ate the small ones.

He got a blister from his new shoes and at night told me it hurt and said he got a sunburn from the sun because he went in the pool naked. (A friend's daughter got sunburn complete with blisters and he knows that when it's sunny, we wer bathing suits and sunscreen in the pool. I love that he linked the two pieces of information to associate his blister with sunburn.)

Elie was throwing up this morning.  He said, "I'm not sick, I'm just throwing up." In hindsight, I know now that he meant he didn't feel sick other than the throwing up... At dinner, he got thoughtful and said, "This morning in bed I were throwing up. When I was lying down, I didn't have throw up and when I was sitting, I did have throw up."

Once recently I told him we were going swimming.  He was quiet for a moment, deep in thought, and then said, "I can swim?"  - as in he didn't realize he could swim and was cautiously excited that maybe he actually could ;)

Today, sitting at the edge of the pool with Jeremy ten feet away, he asked Jeremy (in all seriousness!) if he could swim to Jeremy.

He seems to be in a stage of categorizing and linking some basic cause/effect (he's 3.5 yo).


Today he got a balloon blower toy and after he blew up a balloon, he gave it right to Elie and said, "Here, now you're turn."

He's getting much more advanced in the pool. He just learned to swim (initially dog paddle) about a month ago and is now doing handstands, floating on his back, doing a back stroke, diving for goggles that he throws to the bottom...

He's starting to do a lot more independently. He doesn't like to feet his socks wet and now almost always remembers to put on his Crocs before going to the bathroom or using the kitchen sink. And he'll *sometimes* get himself new socks from the bedroom when said socks do get wet ;)


I'm glad I'm doing this. I'm going to keep a list of cute/interesting things and I'll try to include a photo each week - hopefully that will motivate me because I've been TERRIBLE about photos lately!