Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Friday, December 10, 2010
Clockwise from top left: Elephant (pastels); Butterfly (pointilism); Japanese cherry blossom (tissue)/ Sea stars (water colors and crayon rubbing)
This week we made a "stained glass" heart (and learned a bit about Italy):
We also got a jump start on some Kwanzaa crafts at home this week (JC is ALL about the winter holidays this year, and he seems fascinated by the similarities between them, especially Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (the candles and the multi-day celebrations). We happened to have a single straw placemat that was perfect for transforming into the Kwanzaa mat (Mkeka) with some crayons, and we found the idea for the candle holder (kinara) on the Nickjr website. LOVE it when we actually have all of the items necessary and no shopping is required!
Last, but certainly not least, JC rediscovered an old book on his bookshelf this week and was eager to read it . . . and even more eager to be recorded while doing so! :) (The main video (Part 1) was too large, which is really a shame, but here is Part 2, the very end of the story)
Friday, December 3, 2010
1. I'm pooped. Overall, today balanced out to be a pretty good day (glass half full), but the ups and downs of emotions when observing my sweet boy, and thinking about his needs and his future, across various settings and throughout a given day, can be exhausting. Still wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world, though.
2. I'm also pooped from staying up too late again to print materials and plan for next week. Then I had to rework our schedule (again!) due to a change in our therapy schedule. I actually found myself feeling sympathetic toward school staff with all they have to fit into a day for so many children, with so many changes and variables. And of course because I struggle with executive functioning AND tend to be a perfectionist about such things, I over-think it and spend way too much time on it . . . and waste paper because I missed a type-o and cannot settle for a printed copy with a mistake
3. Trying to join a social group of homeschoolers (or any new group of typically developing kids and their parents, frankly) with an "enthusiastic" boy like mine is not comfortable. Nope. But we're trying anyway. He approached the group this afternoon by yelling out at the top of his voice, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I WANT CAKE!!!" (giggle, wiggle, jump, skip, run around, giggle, wiggle, skip, run) Always a GRAND entrance. No chance of slipping in quietly and being discrete with this kiddo when he's excited. And he is OBSESSED with the nice young man (whose 13th b-day it was) so I have to watch him like a hawk and intervene so he doesn't try to monopolize the young man's time with questions about how many zip-up jackets he has or why he isn't wearing a belt. ;)
4. He did have a very nice 5-minute exchange with an imaginitive and quiet little girl who led the way pretending to take a trip to the moon. When she asked if he'd like to go to the moon, he squealed with delight: "YES!"
What kind of adventure-loving boy wouldn't want to go to the moon??
5. We'll be wrapping up our study (and celebration) of Hanukkah next week. It's really been quite fun and JC has enjoyed it. We made our first (very basic and slightly unattractive) lapbook about Hanukkah, which provided many opportunties for cutting and pasting (fine motor practice). He wasn't quite as excited about the idea as I was initially, but I'm thinking that as we make more and he is able to refer back to his collection (he's all about collections!), he'll enjoy them. Let's hope so. I did catch him looking at it earlier, and he seemed excited to pull the blessings cards out of the little envelope as we lit the menorah on the first night. :) If Santa brings me a new camera, I'll get some pics up one of these days.
6. OH! The really good news of the week (saving the best for last) is that we've had a bit of a handwriting breakthrough! JC is a strong reader (all things considered), but handwriting development has been a long, challenging process. Through using the Handwriting Without Tears program he did learn to form his letters in fun ways. And has been able to write most letters and numbers and write/copy for a while now, but he has struggled with placement and alignment. Getting words them to fit neatly within the lines of paper has been a real challenge, to put it mildly. It seems that in addition to coordination problems it could be a perceptual problem as well. I usually have to guide his hand back to the starting position and give many verbal cues to walk him through it if I'm expecting him to write within a limited space/on a small surface. With the exception of the HWT (Handwriting Without Tears) gray block paper (generally used for capital letters) or drawing "buildings" (blocks for each letter)- that he can do independently.
But FINALLY, earlier this week (or was it last week?), something clicked. I have been making it a point to state a purpose for each activity we do in advance, so I told him that since he already knew how to write his letters and could copy words & sentences, we now wanted to practice getting them to fit JUST RIGHT between the lines. It worked! Somehow it clicked for him. OF all the jumping through hoops, and all the ways we have tried to support him and instruct him, something that simple seemed to help. Perhaps it was just time. (This is using the double lined HWT paper vs. the traditional 3 line paper for young children - love it!)
7. Happy Hanukkah! God Bless us! Good night!
Monday, June 28, 2010
HOWEVER, 8 weeks ago I could barely do ONE floppy burpee and I HATED-HATED-HATED them with a passion! Regular burpees were bad enough, but floppy burpees (a burpee w/ added push-up) just seemed like unnecessary torture. Each time the coach would tell us that we had to do them, I would whine like a baby and imagine forcing her head into a toilet.
Amazingly, at some point over the past 8 weeks I learned to keep my mouth shut and surrender to them, for fear that expressing my hatred was resutling in more frequent punishment.
Anyway, one of this morning's boot camp exercises was to start out doing 10 floppy burpees followed by one push-up. Then 9 floppy burpees followed by 2 push-ups . . . working your way down to one floppy burpee and nine push-ups. Get it? Good.
Well, I completed the entire set, folks. Oh yes I did!! Granted, I did modified push-ups for the push-up part, but I do get my chest all the way down to the ground (and I plan to start working on full-body push-ups soon).
For some of you who are more fit - or for those who haven't actually tried floppy-burpees, this might not seem like much. For me, this is HUGE. And I didn't whine OR imagine the coach's head in the toilet! And in fact, when the coach asked if it sucked, I told her it wasn't all that bad! (Though I am now convinced that I was still half-asleep and didn't know what the heck I was saying, as it caught up with me later and I was forced to take a cat-nap on the couch at around 2 pm!)
Below is a link to a quick video of a floppy burpee for you to enjoy. The problem with my form, btw, is that I put my chest and thighs all the way down on the ground before jumping back into the squat position, rather than remaining in the plank position - so some of the benefit to the core is lost (and the lower back might be overly stretched?), but given my core is my weakest area, I'll forgive myself for now. And I'll work on improving my form in the future. :)
Saturday, June 5, 2010
*For clarification, I have completed five weeks so far, but I signed up for a year - so this is a long-term gig*
It is held outside at a local park - which I really love - except for when the blazing sun is beating straight down on my head after the first 30 minutes of hard work.
It is hard, for sure, as I have not been this phsycially active in . . . gosh, ever? LOL Well, at least since I've been driving and didn't have to rely on walking to get where I wanted to go! So it's been a while. But I feel good about it - and because of it. And I'm finding it to be an interesting emotional experience in ways that I didn't expect.
And it's really fascingating to see how different people react to boot camp.
Some people can *look* relatively fit and really struggle at first, while others who appear to be in much worse shape can really hang in there and kick ass from the start.
And I can't help but wonder how much of it is psychological, ya know?
Of course there is a physical element as well . . . obviously, two people can be equally overweight and have very different lifestyles, with one being a virtual sloth and the other being regularly active (and a non-smoker, I bet!), which would of course explain the differences in performance.
But it also has plenty to do with attitude.
Who has the best outlook? Who is enthusiastic? Who is more afraid? Stuck? Desperate? Driven?
I am learning so much about my own thinking and self-talk through this experience. It's been quite enlightening and a little empowering.
I tend to pay so much mind to my weaknesses (cardio/endurance) that I barely leave room for much else. But I am also beginning to recognize that I have stengths! Imagine that. And it's really been fascinating to see how I perform compared to others. And I don't mean in a competitive way (I assure you that I am not there yet!), but simply in observing how different our bodies really can be - inside and out. It has been eye-opening - in both good and bad ways.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Hmmm, I wonder!
* "Long-neck dinosaurs and giraffes both have long necks!"
* "Spike (dinosaur from The Land Before Time) has the same quiet voice as my friend, C !"
(C has very limited language -- so far!)
* "B---- (school) has the same rectqangles (bricks), just wike my house . . . and just wike the Three Little Pigs!!"
* (While at C's house for his birthday party) "C has a mom and dad, too . . . and they have an adult room (master bedroom), too, just like I do at my house!!"
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
LIVE in Ybor City!!
Master JC and Autnie G!
(For those getting e-mail updates, click on the "Sprout Light" link at the bottom to play video clip. You'll also need to click on the "pause" button on the music playlist in order to hear music from the video. Life is full of annoying details.)