Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Post

We've had a lot going on lately. Not the least of those things is getting a new computer. Our old one died. (Yeah, it was about three months after our extended warranty expired on it, why do you ask?) And, along with a new computer comes losing all our emails.

I do have an older list of email addresses printed out, but if you are someone who has our email address would you please send something to us? (I'd prefer it be non-virus, thanks.) It will be easier to get emails that way than to manually enter then all again. (And if you don't have it and feel like you should you can contact me in whatever normal way you know how to contact me and I'll give it to you.)

And all of these things are no excuse for not updating. I really don't have an excuse for that. Sorry.

Anyway, along with the new computer comes a new wireless router. So we now have wireless available in the house. Anyone coming for a visit can feel free to bring their laptop and know they will be able to use it to get on the web.

It also means I have the Wii online now so if anyone out there has a Wii and wants to share console codes let me know.

So shortly before Christmas Sydney got invited to join a home class. Her friend Hunter's mom and another mom we met at Romp & Roll (back when Sydney went to it) were doing some informal homeschooling for their kids to help them start to learn letters and numbers and to give some socializing. So Sydney and I do that now. It is usually three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It's for about an hour and a half in the morning so I take Sydney (or we have it here - we rotate houses) then we come home for lunch and I get dressed for work.

Sydney has known her alphabet and been able to recognize numbers for a while. She's been able to count pretty consistently up to about 12 and recognize those numbers. But since we started the class she's been getting better. And, of course, she's been learning to write her letters and numbers, too.

And she's been more excited about writing them. After we did Cs she filled one of her large sheets of blank drawing paper with Cs randomly written all over it. And she's recently been wanting to learn her numbers up to 20. (She knows them all except 15. She skips that every single time.) She hasn't had much chance to practice writing the higher numbers, though, because the book we're using only goes up to 10.

But she has a dry erase book for numbers (and another for letters) she has been using more recently. That really only goes up to ten with a little bit of depth and counting, but there is a two page spread near the end that has 11-20 on it and allows for writing the numbers on it.

The class has also helped her open up a little to people beside Mommy and Daddy and to get her to play more openly with other kids. It's been nice to see her develop bit by bit that way.

Back at the end of January we got an opportunity to go to a water park. Silver Mountain Ski Resort, about an hour east of us, has an indoor water park at the hotel. They invited Resort employees to go at a discounted rate. Normally you have to be staying there to even get in.

It was a very nice water park and we had a great time. Sydney was wearing her water wings and enjoyed swimming around on her own. Particularly in the lazy river. She also enjoyed the hot tub that was not-quite-as-hot as a normal hot tub so kids wouldn't be uncomfortable in it. It was fairly large and Sydney enjoyed being in there, too.

Despite our success with her "swimming" there and her more-openness from having to be with us all the time we were unable to talk her into trying swimming classes again. We stopped the ones we were doing some time ago (over a year) because she was getting to old for them. But in order to move up to the next class she had to be able to go in the pool herself and not cling to Mommy (or Daddy). She wasn't willing to do that.

Anne may try the swim lessons anyway. We have a lead on a new place that's closer to home, cheaper, and comes with a good recommendation about the lady being really good with kids.

We did manage to get Sydney involved with something that she's really excited about, however. Starting the week after her birthday Sydney will be playing soccer! She's in the four year old league (duh!) through our city's Parks & Recreation Department. At that age it's a very casual thing and just gets the kids out there to run around, kick the ball and have fun. We asked her about it and she was really excited about wanting to play so we have high hopes for her.

There's also a Fall league that starts in late July (July = Fall? What?!) we'll plan on signing her up for. And in the Fall there's also a basketball class/camp of some type for four year olds. I saw that mentioned in the catalog today and Sydney got really excited about it. (It was just a date list so I really have no information about it yet.)

Let's see. What else has been going on? Grandma and Grandpa M are next door, but you know that. They haven't made it back to Vegas yet. Grandma M had some medical issues come up that I won't get into here and now. But until she can get some things taken care of they won't be going back to Vegas to sell the house.

Sydney really likes having them close by. Whenever they leave to go somewhere and we see them leaving she will get up in the window to wave to them.

Grandpa has started shooting dice with Sydney so whenever he comes over he has to bring them. She enjoys counting up the dots and seeing what she got.

And don't fret, Grandma B. Sydney thinks of you and mentions you often. The guest room is (and probably always will be) "Grandma's Room". And Sydney wants to know when you're coming for your next visit, so get planning.

And now for some pictures.

Last week (on Valentine's Day, actually) we had a fun function to go to. A couple of the local art groups had a Kid's Carnival at the Plaza Shops at the Resort. The main organization was Art on the Edge, which I'll let you read about if you're so inclined.

Anyway, for $5.00 the kids got to go around to a bunch of different art stations and do different things. There was some type of glass art which we passed on. We figured glass art (safety goggles required!) probably wouldn't be the best thing to get Sydney involved in at this age. They also had a clay station set up. Clay on spinning wheels. And despite Kipper the Dog having fun with it in one of his episodes Sydney decided to pass on it. She didn't want to get messy.

But she did everything else!

Here's Sydney picking out what to put on her mask. (And Mommy helping glue it.)

Sydney Makes a Mask

And skipping ahead in the pictures, here's Sydney wearing her mask after we got home.

Sydney in Her Mask

Here's Sydney gluing stuff onto a large, paper heart.

Sydney Making a Heart

And here's Sydney decorating some paper hands.

Sydney Decorates Hands

The hands were going to later be glued to sticks and used as paddles at an art auction. The gimmick was to have the kids decorate the hand on the condition they gave it up. But then they got to move down the table and make a mask! Of course, we came from the other end of the table so the lady let Sydney make two hands and keep one. (I'm sure she wasn't the only one.)

Here's Sydney painting part of a really large painting of a flower.

Sydney Paints a Flower

They were having the kids paint a little bit of the painting to complete the flower. The child could pick what part they wanted to paint and then the lady would give them the appropriate color paint. Here's a picture that shows the overall picture a little better.

Sydney Paints a Flower 2

And the final art project of the day was just some free form painting on blank paper.

Sydney Paints

So that's all for now. I promise not to be so long before another update. I still have Anne's phone videos to upload and share, so that will probably be the next one.