Pre-K Progress Reports

Near the end of the second semester we got Nicky and Noah’s progress reports. Nicky is all over the place thanks to ADHD so he’s having trouble remembering (or, more likely, letting the teacher know he remembers) what he’s been taught. Everything he didn’t get mastery on is also because of his ADHD. Noah knows all 26 uppercase letters and 25 of the lowercase letters. He can count 1-10, skips 11-19, and says 20. He apparently loves when he gets to be in charge of his teacher’s keys. I’m so glad he is able to be in ECSE. It’s made a huge difference for him.

Nicholas has mastered telling his age, pinching things to pick them up, identifying colors, reciting the alphabet, and that the number counted indicates how many there are. He’s progressing on participating in classroom and movement activities as well as following the morning routine. He’s in the social play stage meaning he plays together with others.

Noah has mastered pinching things to pick them up, participating in classroom and movement activities, identifying colors, and reciting the alphabet. He’s progressing on telling his age as well as following the morning routine. He does not yet understand that the number counted indicates how many there are. He’s in the parallel play stage meaning he plays near other children, but does not play with them.

“Brothers”

When you have a more spirited child like Nicholas, one that has lots of trouble keeping his hands to himself, you worry a bit about him making friends. Especially if he’s super outgoing like Nicholas.

It turns out Nicholas has made a very best friend in another one of the pre-k classes at his school. The boys call each other “my brother.” They play together at recess and PE every day.

They got together at a trampoline park and were absolutely joined at the hip and so happy to be together. It’s such a relief to know that even with how much Nicholas is he’s making friends.

This Week’s Lunches and Snacks

This week Zeke, Mayci, Anthony, and Nicholas requested to be able to buy lunch on Thursday. Nicholas didn’t really like buying a lunch after all so even though Zeke, Mayci, and Anthony wanted to buy lunch again on Friday, Nicholas wanted to bring his. They didn’t need snacks on Thursday because it was an early out day (same with Wednesday but they ate the snacks I had packed when they got home from school).

Zoo Lights

We got the kids (plus Haley and Ani) annual passes to the zoo this year (my parents got passes too). They were on a great sale making them totally worth it.

We figure Haley, Ani, and my parents can take a kid or two at a time so it won’t always be all of us going together (which can be kind of crazy). I suspect Joel will be making a lot of zoo trips between now and when school lets out.

The last time we went to the zoo was while the kids were still in foster care after their good-bye visit with their bio mom. They were just 19 months to 5 years old then!

We used our new passes to the zoo on New Year’s Eve for the Zoo Lights celebration (no jackets even after dark… gotta love winter in Texas). Six kids in the dark in a place we’ve only been a couple times before is super nuts even with four adults and one marginally helpful teen.

They ran around, they danced, they climbed on the lions. They had so much fun. Even when it’s hard to take all of them places and we’re constantly counting to six just to be sure they are all where we expect them to be, it’s totally worth it to see happy their faces and making memories with them.

Texas State Aquarium

While on vacation we went to the Texas State Aquarium. We rented two double strollers. That was one of the smartest things we’ve ever done.

We also checked out a sensory kit for Noah. By the end of the first exhibit he was completely overwhelmed. The headphones instantly calmed him down and made the rest of the visit quite pleasant for him.

All the kids really liked the dolphins. Though when we asked them what their favorite parts were Zeke said walking next to me, Mayci said riding on the escalator, and Anthony said riding in the elevator.

So, basically, we spent over $250 for the kids to like normal, everyday things the most. At least Noah liked the fish. He kept waving to them and saying “Hi, fish!”

Swimming in the Gulf on the First Day of Winter

Four years ago we went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico on the first day of winter. Adrian wanted to repeat that this year with his little siblings.

And so we did. I didn’t think the kids would actually get in the water (it was 52* on Solstice this year) so I didn’t pack bathing suits for them, just shorts.

I was wrong. They went in the water and played for thirty minutes. They all ended up soaking wet and covered in sand. They had the best time ever.

Afterwards we went back to our AirBnB so everyone could get a shower. I can’t imagine they were very comfortable for that thirty minute drive.

Texas sand is kind of a fine powder and it sticks to absolutely everything. We definitely need to vacuum out our rental beast because otherwise it will be forever sandy.

There were a few other people on the beach, mostly riding up and down the beach in gulf carts. Swimming in the Gulf in December isn’t the most common activity.

One guy gave the kids a little boogie board that was slightly broken but my kids didn’t care. That led to a lot more falling in the water and getting even wetter and sandier.

There was one old guy living on the beach in an Airstream attached to a pickup truck. He was very nice and enjoyed watching the kids playing and having fun.

When we tried to leave we discovered we were a little bit stuck in the sand (you park on the beach). So the guy in the Airstream towed us out ending our adventure with a little extra adventure.

December Owlcrate

Honestly every month Owlcrate seems to get even better. The books and dust jackets are just amazing and the stuff included in the box are such high quality and useful things. I just love Owlcrate.

This month we got this hanging thing with three pouches to put stuff in. I kept that because I really like anything I can put other things in.

These paper these bookmarks were made of just felt really nice. Ani took them home because I have about a bazillion bookmarks already.

Of course I kept the luggage tag pin. I love my luggage tag pin collection. I also kept the metal straws because Ani and Haley already have bazillion metal straws. They are heart shaped which makes them extra fun.

Ani took home these salt and pepper shakers. They are getting a lot of use. Salt and pepper shakers are one of those things you don’t realize just how much you need them until you haven’t had them and get them.

This crescent moon shaped tea bag holder and tea bag for putting in loose tea is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Haley claimed that. She drinks a lot of tea so it’s perfect for her.

The book this month is The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford. As always it sounds really good. Check out the cover of the book. How gorgeous is that?

The inside of the dust jacket is absolutely gorgeous, too. (You’d think Nicky is looking at the dust jacket, but he’s actually looking at Haley who is by far his favorite sibling.)