Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Focus- Sully

James P. Sullivan, to be exact. :) Small brother of Boo, fabulous dark hair and blue eyes, happy sunny boy. I keep thinking he's older than he is, because he's been walking for weeks now and just motors around happily.

A lot of the kids decide that one of us is their primary caregiver. Sometimes it happens from day one and sometimes it's an all-of-a-sudden thing. We were starting to notice that Sully was definitely becoming one of Kanga's people. He tolerated me okay and let me feed him and talk to him, but he watched her the whole time and she was always having to be really careful stepping backwards because he was usually standing right.there.behind.her so he could love her more closely.

Then he decided he just really doesn't like me much right now. Kanga is his one true love. She would tell him, "Honey, I love you, but we're not exclusive, and right now I'm on a date with Tinkerbell... she's hungry too..." Having me fix his problems doesn't really fix it, because it's me. He wants her. :)

He was very angry the other day because she was attending to one of the others, and SO relieved when he got to leap into her arms.

She snuggled with him for awhile, and then pregnant lady had to pee. And I had to hold him for a minute. And he wasn't quite so happy in my arms.

Sometimes if she is nowhere in sight he will let me hold him. But definitely he will NOT leave Kanga and come to me happily. He is hers. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Focus- O'Malley

I've decided to start a new little feature called Friday Focus. Every week I'll focus on one specific kid and talk about all the fun stuff we've noticed and put up some cute pictures. By the time we talk about all the kids individually enough time will have gone by that there will be lots of new information to post the next time.

I'm going in order of birthdays on the calendar from today. O'Malley will be 3 in March so his is the next birthday we'll celebrate.

  • He is full of imagination at the moment. Currently he has five tiny imaginary doggies who live in his "doggie hand". We always have to be careful about watching the way he's holding his hand so we don't squish the doggies. The other day I didn't realize he was showing them to me- I thought it was imaginary food I was supposed to eat, and he was so horrified. "MY DOGGIES ARE NOT TASTY!!!" So I pretended to spit them out and then he was okay.
  • He is convinced that he can catch Kanga's baby in his hands when it wants to come out. I'm not sure how he even knows that much about the logistics of things but he says that if Tigger is afraid to slide down, he will catch him.
  • He loves Flik and constantly talks about how they are best buddies. It's very cute.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day to Day Life

Lots of fun and interesting things going on around here lately. Mammal study continues through the end of the month and we're all having a really good time with it. Today is beaver day. Some tiny part of my 12-year-old brain giggles internally every time one of the kids yells, "DAM!" But we watched some beavers on youtube build one. :) We also got into a spirited discussion during breakfast about which of the Backyardigans were mammals. I love that the older ones are really starting to think about it and reason it out. "Austin kangaroo. He have fur. He have backbone. Him MAMMAL!!!" "Pablo... penguin... bird? Not mammal?" Tyrone and Tasha they couldn't place, but once I said moose and hippo they identified them as mammals as well. And then there's Uniqua. No clue on that girl. I guess it doesn't really matter.

I've decided to call my new girlie and her big sister after some of the fairies in the Tinkerbell movie. I'm running out of movies, but I figure I can get around my own rules if I say that Tinkerbell is from Peter Pan, and these new fairies are from Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure. So. Now we have Clarion and Silvermist, for no other reason than I think those names are the prettiest from the movie. I don't have any pictures of Clarion~ she isn't around much but I wanted to have a name for her just in case I need it this summer. Silvermist had her best day ever today. It's taken her a little bit longer to get used to the semi-chaos of group care since she didn't start as an infant. Now she's smiling and talking up a storm and having a good time.

She decided peas were beneath her but she had a great time squishing them during lunch today.

I'm having a wonderful time with the 8 week old. We haven't had one start that young since Aurora last year. My husband laughs at me. He'll call and he can tell by my voice that I'm holding the tiny one. There's nothing like that newborn smell. I get all sappy. And just because he's so tiny and it makes me laugh, he's Hercules.


I know he won't always be so small, but he is definitely Hercules the mighty, regardless.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Half Of What You Hear

I heard a fellow teacher once say "I promise to only believe half of what your child tells me about your homelife, if you promise to only believe half the things you hear about the school day!" I think it's a fairly common saying and it definitely holds true for anybody who works with kids. I'm pretty sure that when parents ask what they did today at school, they get whichever movie the kids watched while I made lunch, and maybe what they ate for lunch if it was something they liked. Of course, we do far more than that in the span of a day, and we hear all kinds of interesting things here too. :)

  • I'm on the verge of asking one family if there's an announcement I don't know about due to multiple references to "baby my house".
  • One tells me, "I'm broke. That means I have no money. Like my daddy."
  • "Can you show my mommy how to make this food? She doesn't cook for me."
  • In the mammal questioning I'm told a cheetah is a "girl", which leads to a muttered discussion between me and Kanga regarding whether it could possibly mean this or even this, and if those things could have been have overheard from tv. We have to amuse ourselves with grownup conversation somehow. :)
  • "I can't clean up today. My head hurts..."
  • During orca work this morning the orca was compared to someone's grandmother.
If you want to ask a few more leading questions of your toddler/preschooler and see if they remember what we're actually doing lately:
  • Letter focus on Q and W. Q is "circle with a tail, for Queen and Quack" and we've been practicing reading, recognizing, writing, and sounding it out.
  • Mammal discussion continues all month. Major concepts we're learning that characterize a mammal: They have a backbone. They have to breathe air. Baby mammals drink milk with their mommies. They have hair or fur. We're doing a lot of questioning about whether or not something is a mammal. Is Thomas the Train a mammal? Does he drink milk? etc...
  • So far we've studied chimp, human, opossum, cheetah, seal, and orca.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It Is Possum Day

Really? Possums? All the land mammals in the world and the curriculum people choose the lowly possum? Oh well. I suppose even possums deserve a special day. I'm having a hard time keeping the positive spin on it though. Look, kids! It's an ugly, nasty, ratty looking thing. And also MEAN! So I looked up some cute little possumy clips on youtube to get in a better mood about the silly rodents. The kids and I crowded around the laptop and watched baby possums do cute things for about half an hour. I especially liked the examples of the one playing dead in the yard. :)

Possum eating strawberries

Possum playing dead in the yard

Pet possum after his bath

Once you see the cuteness and carefully avoid any teeth-baring activities, they're not too bad. I do think it's giving the kids a pretty inaccurate view of what possums are really like though. :)

Other facts we learned today:
Possums are marsupials and carry their babies in a pocket like a kangaroo
They play dead when bad guys come
They hang upside down by their tails

And we made a cute art project with a bendy straw for a tail. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Recap

Seems like I just never get to all the blogging I want to do. I'm going to try a once monthly recap to go back and cover anything I didn't get a chance to make its own post. :) Maybe this will be the only month it happens, who knows, but I'll try.

Comings and Goings:

We've had quite a bit more turnover this month than we usually do- many of our bigger kids are ready to graduate and move on to an older program, especially since the new ones we've been getting are tiny.

Ariel and Sebastian have found a new school and are doing well, of course. :) It's very different not to have them around, since they've been with us for almost four years. We got them when Sebastian was just past six weeks old and Ariel was around sixteen months.

I can't believe they were that small! I've basically known them their whole lives. Ariel will be going off to kindergarten this fall. Sniff....

Mulan has moved on as well. She was originally a drop in for the month of September and ended up staying through January, which has been lots of fun. She and O'Malley are very close in age and she gets along well with everyone. Hopefully she'll be back to drop in again from time to time and stay in touch with everyone.

I have had trouble lately getting a good picture of her. She's about to blink. Oh well. Imagine a big smile, because she's got a great one. :)

Esmeralda started at the beginning of January. She is nine days younger than Tinkerbell and it's been really fun to watch the two of them eye each other suspiciously.

Last week we got an unexpected new addition- cutie blonde 18 month old whose big sister is in Duchess's class at school. I'm still trying to come up with a pair of names that will work for them, since I'm sure big sister will pop up too on days off and random summertime afternoons. Little sis still isn't quite sure what to think of us, but she's beginning to settle in quite nicely.

This month we are scheduled to receive a six week old little boy, who dropped in for the day. I cannot remember when my kids were this tiny. I know for sure O'Malley NEVER was.

and before too long I'm going to have to graduate Boo. She's ready for more structured education and field trips and all the fun stuff big kids do. That means probably Sully too since I'm figuring they will want to stay together. So more changes are in the works. It's just the nature of the business...

Curriculum Activities:

January's theme was called Dinosaur Dig and the kids really loved it. The music was incredibly catchy this month and I still find myself singing "Flying Pterodactyl" at random times. We had lots of cool discussions and talked a LOT about herbivores vs. carnivores and what kind of teeth they had. Lilo kept trying to poke in my mouth to find my "meat" teeth and "plant" teeth. We had a couple of fossil digs in the sandbox and even built a volcano.

It was hard to get good pictures of their faces, but they all really enjoyed this.

February's curriculum is called Furry Friends and it's all about mammals. We have a week each to study Land, Endangered, Aquatic, and Nocturnal animals. Should be lots of fun too.