Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Walk in the Dark

Jo and Elizabeth share a room.  And while it's not as if when they are awake they are the best of friends, but when Elizabeth is not there to sleep with her, Jo can get very stressed.  This stress causes her to sleepwalk even more than  usual.  Actually, it's not that she sleepwalks that often, but she does often get up and cry or scream,  not like night terror scream, but just like her usual loud cry scream, or talk in the middle of the night, and sometimes she gets out of bed and calls to us.  When she does this, it is sometimes hard to tell if she is sleeping or not because she will attempt to have a conversation with us, often about what has happened in the day or what she is looking forward to for the next day.

This week, Elizabeth is gone at camp, so Jo is sleeping alone and she just got up out of bed and tried to come down the stairs.  This is the first time she has done that.  She almost fell, but Jimmy was in the living room and when I heard her, I recognized her sleep voice and told him to run up because she was not actually awake and needed to be lead back to bed.

But that's kind of a scary thing.  We now need to remember to close the gate at the top of the stairs.  We also have a house alarm that we were considering upgrading, and I think that we will move ahead and get it done.  Not only will it protect us from the boogie men outside, but more importantly, perhaps, it will let us know if Jo ever gets as far as going out the door.

Does anyone else have experience with this?  She is almost 6, and it shows no sign of abating.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Just Can't Hide It...

No, I didn't swallow a watermelon...

Yes, number 5 is on her way.  

Yes, I said HER!   

It's gonna be a little girl! (I wasn't going to find out, but I had to go in for a dating sonogram, and Jimmy really wanted to know, so we found out.)  She'll be here sometime in the middle of November, which means I'm 20 weeks pregnant!  

Jo is super excited and made me a book of all her favorite names.

Gabriel doesn't really get it.  Jesse doesn't care as long as he still gets his love and snuggles, and Elizabeth is resigned.  

And even though this was not planned, Jimmy is over the moon, and I am excited!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Heavenly Bodies

We had an awesome experience last Friday.

I had mentioned to my brother, Aaron, that Elizabeth could use a microscope and if he so desired, he could get her one for Christmas.  A few weeks before Christmas, he called me up to tell me he had an awesome gift for Elizabeth.  He asked me if she still needed a telescope, since he remembered that I had mentioned something about a something-scope, so that's what he got and he had already put it together for her.

There was no way I was going to tell him that we really needed/wanted a microscope and not a telescope, so I agreed wholeheartedly that this would be an awesome present and that Elizabeth would be very happy to receive it, and she was.

But we had no idea how to use it.  I mean, other than the obvious to point it at the sky and look through it, we were completely ignorant of how to really use this huge thing that was hanging out in our house.

I may have mentioned before, but we have been truly blessed by a man in our church offering to tutor Elizabeth in Algebra 2, and it just so happens that he is really into astronomy, too!  What a double blessing!  So, last Friday, he and his wife invited us to stargaze with him.  We took our telescope down to a dirt lot that had a good view of the sunset horizon, and he helped Elizabeth set it up and we got to see some planets!  It was incredible!  First, we saw Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, and then we turned around to the other side and got to see Saturn!  We got to see the phase of Venus, and we also saw the rings and the space in the rings of Saturn.  I have never seen anything like it up close and personal like that!  It really looked just like the pictures you see in the books!  Awesome!

I can't wait til next time.  Elizabeth is all pumped up about it now that we know how to use the telescope, and she is also anxiously awaiting her next astronomy lesson!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Reading and Math

I have realized that unlike Elizabeth, who loves to read and from whom you have to physically take books away so she will stop reading and go to bed or do her other homework, Jo does not like reading.  She is still a beginning reader, and so she is still pretty much just sounding out all the words, and the long vowels still trip her up, so reading with her can sometimes be a bit of a chore, especially when she gets frustrated or bored with it.

It took me a while to figure this out, though, because she is an absolute whiz in math, and she picks up concepts very quickly.  She also learned her letters and sounds quickly, but it's just the putting them together that she doesn't like to do.

In fact, that's not entirely true.  If we are out somewhere, she will just suddenly pop up with something that she has read off of a sign or a store name, so it's not like she can't do it, it's just that she doesn't want to do it at the times when she is supposed to be doing it.

She can't put words to the reason why she doesn't prefer reading, but my thoughts are that she likes things in order and predictable, which is exactly what math is.  No matter how you write it, 2+2 will always be 4.  And 2+2+2 will always be 6 even if you write it 2x3 (which she actually figured out herself).  But with reading, there are so many rules and exceptions to the rules and all the little letters can add up to be so many different words!  It's not predictable, at least not at her level, and so for her, it's distracting and no fun.

So, I found a fun and easy dot-to-dot book that I have decided to keep aside and 'reward' her with one of the pages when she finishes her reading.  I am hoping that it will entice her to read more and read more quickly without so many tearful interruptions, so that she can get to the dangling carrot of a fun math page.  And I figure that since it's not her actual math workbook, then she will not confuse that and see it as optional, even though she often does her math workbook just for fun anyway.  And my ultimate hope is that by encouraging more reading, she will get better at it and it won't be so torturous and therefore more of an incentive on its own.

Anyway, I'll let you know how it works.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Memorial Day!

Jimmy only had to work a half day last Monday, Memorial Day, so we got to have a little fun after he came home.  

First, we grilled some dinner, then we got the fire going in the fire bowl and while that was getting to perfection for roasting marshmallows, we played some Uno.  It's a great game because it's pretty much a game of chance that we can all play as long as someone helps Gabriel with his cards a little.  

Then, we got down to the serious business of roasting the marshmallows.

Then, we managed to get marshmallow in our hair....

And, of course, all over our mouth!

But showers afterwards removed most of the stickiness (can you ever really get all the stickiness off a 3 year old boy?) and it was declared a fun evening by all!