Monday, March 05, 2012

Milestones and Happiness

As I posted that last post about Dr. Seuss week, I realized that I haven't posted the boys' milestone pictures for age 4 and 3 months. I also realized that it is March 5 and I need to move forward with my happiness project. First up, pictures!




Jack is such a boy now. I feel like all of his baby characteristics are gone. Today when I dropped him off at preschool, he told me he wanted to walk in by himself like the big kids, and as I watched him walk in by himself, I couldn't help but think that he is a big kid! 

Reid is getting so big so fast that I can hardly stand it. He is definitely no longer a newborn and is full on Gerber baby. These photos were taken about three weeks ago, and I feel like Reid's changed a lot since then!

Happiness Project
Okay, so February was focusing on time. Here's the results. 

I definitely use my calendar pretty well. It helps me keep meals and activities organized. 

I do not use a to-do list very well. Even with the Reminders app synching between my phone, iPad, and computer, I just don't reference it, so I don't really use it. I depend too much on my memory (which means I'm not having a ton of success accomplishing to-dos). This still stresses me out. For instance, I have two stacks of thank you cards to get finished: one for Jack's birthday (from January!) and one for Reid's christening. I also have a stack of journalism contest entries to finish judging by next week. I know I have to do these things, but I end up doing laundry or napping instead. The to-do list is just not motivating enough. So you can see I also have not been great at "tackling the nagging task" either. I think I need to keep this one at the forefront as I move into my March goals. 

I am definitely finding it much easier to be reasonable about what I can actually accomplish now that I am a stay-at-home-mom/wife. About a week ago, I realized that I was stressing myself out trying to rush through things like I used to. I felt like I couldn't sit down and watch a television show because I had to get another load of laundry done or I had to go over my activity plans for Jack and Reid. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who helped me get some perspective and realize what I was doing. On Oscar Sunday, I told the boys that I wanted to, and was going to, watch the Oscars. And I did. We get the boys to bed, I sat on the couch and watched the Oscars to see how well I picked the winners (not very well, by the way). It was fun.

So now on to March. I think it's time I focused on Steve, so I am going to do a Remember Love focus for March. My goals are to go on a date night at least once a month (which we have been doing so far since January) and to show three proofs of love each day. Proofs of love are things like saying "I love you" and hugging. I could also do silly things to show that I'm thinking of him or to be affectionate. 

Since I am on the happiness project topic, I should probably follow my own resolutions. It's way past my bed time, and I know that sleep is important. My husband just got home, and I'd like to talk to him. And I'm going to try to go to Jazzercise in the morning.

Ahh, happiness!

Dr. Seuss Week

Last week was a little long. I had planned lots of fun Dr. Seuss-themed activities. We did do a few of them, but Jack was not as interested as I thought he would be. It also didn't help that I got sick on Wednesday and Thursday. Thank goodness Steve wasn't traveling this week and he was feeling better!

We tried balancing like the Cat in the Hat. We rhymed words all week long. We ate Swedish fish and tried to make a fish bowl with lots of different colored fish. I found a couple of Dr. Seuss activity kits at Michael's. One was a flannel story board; Jack couldn't have cared less about that. The other was a card/puzzle thing that matched pictures of objects with the words that describe the object. Jack like this one for a little bit. Unfortunately, because I wasn't feeling well, we ended up watching a lot of Dr. Seuss TV, like Horton Hears a Who and a stage production of Cat in the Hat that I found on Netflix. We also read some books, but not nearly as many as I would have liked. Jack couldn't sit through all of the longer Seuss books. I think part of his disinterestedness (yes, that's a word!) was because his preschool was also doing Dr. Seuss activities on Monday and Wednesday.

My favorite activity, which went over very well with Jack, was on Friday. We were going to read "Oh, the places you'll go," and we tried, but it was a bit long for Jack's attention span and it was on the iPad, which I find distracts him from the story too much. I ordered a couple of large, laminated maps from Amazon (one world map, and one US). The World map arrived in time for our Places project. I picked up some circle stickers at Target, and we used a hole puncher to make tiny circles to put on the map on the places we have been. Jack picked green for his circles, I took the pink, and Steve used the yellow. We then talked about the places on the map where we had been. Jack thought this was pretty cool. Then, we talked about the places we want to go after looking at how few places around the world Jack and I have been compared to Daddy! Jack wants to go to Antarctica; that's where the penguins live. Maybe some day!

The highlight of the week for me was taking both boys to Target and Trader Joe's by myself on Friday morning. Jack was a big help at both places. He helped pick things out (and luckily only the things we needed from our list!). He filled his basket with fruit, vegetables, and yogurt at Trader Joe's. I was so proud.

Reid is growing, growing, growing. He's still not rolling over, but I'm good with that! He is grabbing for toys on purpose now. His favorite seems to be the Squishie toy. It's actually a wooden toy with wood balls that slide on wooden sticks held together by rubber bands (doesn't it sound dangerous?). It makes nice noises and has easy places for him to hold it and turn it. We love to watch him smile and laugh while he plays. Actually, I think his favorite thing to do right now is to look at people's faces. He loves when we make eye contact with him and smile. Jack even gets in on that fun.

So this week is geography week. Since we started with the map on Friday, I figured it would be fun to work with the maps some more this week. Today, we worked on compass directions (and following directions). I put out four pieces of paper, labeled N, S, W, E, and placed them on the floor facing north, south, west and east. I had Jack call out a direction, then Reid and I hopped to face that direction. Jack thought that was pretty fun, and he wanted a turn too. So I called out directions, and he spun around, then looked at me to see if he was right. We are definitely working on letter recognition, and N, W, and E are still hard for him. But he got the concept, and had some fun turning and jumping. I was also going to play a blindfold, follow directions game where I would wear a blindfold and he would have to tell me which way to turn to get to the living room, or kitchen or wherever, and then do the same to him. But he and Reid both napped until almost 5, so we skipped that and played dressup instead.

Tomorrow, we're going to learn about the states with Auntie Bubble's quilt and an iPad app. We might also go out into our neighborhood and observe what our "geography" is like. Later in the week, we're going to make our own treasure maps and plan out a road trip. We're also going to do a craft I found on Pinterest using paper circles to understand the hierarchy of where we live from house to planet. I'm hoping he likes that!

I have so much more I could write about, but I feel like I might be boring people who don't want to read about how I spend every second of the day. So I'll save more for later!