Saturday, February 25, 2012

Over coming fears

I have noticed in the past couple of weeks that Aidan is starting to over come some fears. For starters he is getting over his fear of water. Yesterday Aidan had his best swimming lesson yet. I think taking him 2 days a week is really paying off. Mr. Matt was bragging about Aidan to the other swim instructor telling her that just a few weeks ago he was ambivalent to get in the water. He loves getting in the water now and I have to drag him out at the end of the lesson. He is now holding his breath and working on propelling forward while Mr. Matt holds on to him. I asked Aidan what his favorite part about swimming was and he said it was "putting his face in the water"! What a huge improvement! Also, I took him to the beach on Thursday after school for the first time in a long time. Last year he was afraid to even get close to the water. This year he ran right to the water and started throwing rocks in it. He found a friend to play with and he got in to his mid calf. They played and splashed. He did fall down a couple of times (which prompted him to not like the ocean last year). I watched him to see what he would do. He had a slight look of panic on his face so I started walking to him to give him a hand, but he managed to get up on his own. I gave him a high five and he went on playing like nothing happened. He did tell me later that he "got knocked down by a 9 foot wave" but it was really only about 4 inches. lol! It is all just a matter of perspective. I'm sure when he was rolling around in the water it felt like 9 feet. I know that with all of his new found confidence that I am going to have to keep a closer eye than ever on him when he is near the water. We are going to continue with swim lessons, so hopefully he will be able to really swim by summer time.

Today at tee ball they had their first scrimmage. It was the 3 year olds versus the 4 year olds. Once again I didn't have my camera but it was ultra cute! I am so impressed with the way they go about teaching the kids how to play. I think they are all actually starting to get an idea of how the game is played. They are going to start teaching them how to slide soon so I will be sure to take pictures that day!

On Monday he starts gymnastics! I bought a special on Groupon so it is only 3 classes. I figured this would be enough to at least see if he likes it or not and to see if he wants to continue.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Busy Weekend

I was sitting and taking a rest at the Aquarium this evening. I was attempting to figure out why I felt so tired and started to recap the activities since yesterday. We started out yesterday morning at the Childrens Museum and then rushed off to swim lessons. After swim we made a trip to Target and then we went to the park until dinner time. This morning Aidan had tee ball practice and then we made a trip through the farmers market to pick up some fruit and veggies. We came home for about an hour and then went to Legoland followed by the Aquarium. No wonder I am a little fatigued, we haven't stopped running since yesterday! Also, somewhere in there I managed to clean our bathroom and bedroom, run the vacuum upstairs, and do two loads of laundry! Now we just have church tomorrow morning followed by a quick trip to Los Angeles to see Clinton and our weekend will be complete!

Here are some pics from this weekend....

The Childrens Museum. This was a meetup with our Moms and Munchkins group. The current theme at the museum is Garbage and Recycling. So many neat things they did with recycled junk!

This is a game that all the kids loved! You take a crumpled up dixie cup and use a sling shot to shoot it into the whales mouth.
The sling shot....
Cool playground made of junk! A tire wall.....
under the play structure. You could go underneath and see the kids at the top.

The sling shot game was called "Polar Vault"

Next the kids got to do "splash art". This was an adult led activity although I got to wrapped up in it and forgot to take pics of the actual art they made. lol!
First the leader took them down to see an exhibit called "Float". It was basically a white room with trash bags hanging down from the ceiling. The kids did a great job discussing it.
These are recycled trash bags although the artist had "waves" in mind when she created it.

playing downstairs with the blocks.
Inside of the "rain house"

This was so cool! All of the letters were about 2 feet tall and each was made of recycled toys...
Here is a closeup of the letter "A"
Playing outside with bubbles using recycled pipe cleaners...
On to swim lessons..... Mr. Matt had Aidan floating....
and practicing moving forward with his face in the water.... Aidan is making baby steps but is doing so well! This experience is so different then when he was 2.
I didnt take pics at tee ball this morning but here are some pics of Legoland.... Here Aidan is riding the "beetle bounce" for the first time by himself. Mama ate a big lunch and there was NO WAY I was getting on it. You can tell from Aidan's face that he didn't mind and had a ball!
Driving the boats...
The tower he made in the play area.... He and another little boy were having a "mine is bigger than yours" contest. lol!
Driving the cars.... He was quite competitive this time! lol!
This is my favorite pic from the day! As I was taking it I heard someone yell "Hey it's Aidan!" I turned around and it was the mom of a "friend" he had made while riding the boat ride earlier in the day. I swear the boy makes friends and makes an impression wherever he goes! lol! The mom was quite impressed with Aidans reading and social skills and also that he knew what the Taj Mahal and Mount Rushmore were ( two of the Lego structures on the boat tour) lol! Aidan has a set of "world landmark" flash cards that he likes that have both of those things on them. I guess it is not something most 4 year olds know. lol!Touching the starfish...
Passed out on the way home! It has been a long but fun weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Zoo Fun

On Monday we had a zoo trip with our mom and munchkins group. I always love these trips as they are interesting and educational. Each month they have a theme and this months theme was about tails. We always have the same two zoo employees Desiree and Leigh and they always are patient with us ( you kind of have no choice but to be patient when your audience is between 1 and 4 ha!) and do an awesome job! Sometimes they take us on a bus but this month we walked. We walked all around the zoo and compared tails on the different animals and learned the function of their tails. We spent a lot of time looking at the big cats and learned some really interesting facts but I won't bore you. Most of the time the kiddos are doing their own thing and it is the moms that are listening intently on what Desiree and Leigh have to say, so I guess in a way the zoo trips are more for the moms than the kids. lol!

Desiree rounding up the group.
Aidan and his girls. lol!
Learning the difference between a peacock and a peahen ( who knew a girl peacock was called a peahen?- I sure didn't)
stopping to learn about the camels ...

Aidan and Karen being silly.
After the tour we all split up. Aidan wanted to ride the skyfari so we did that with Karen and her mom. They had to leave afterwards so Aidan and I had lunch and I let him play at the zoo playground for awhile. Here he is laying down as he said he needed to "relax". Stinker. He is laying down and eating an apple.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's the code?

Aidan and I play a silly game. It's called "What's the code?" We will wrestle around and I will wrap my hand around his leg or arm or get him in a big bear hug. I will pretend that my hands are stuck and that I can't move. While he is giggling his head off he will ask, "what's the code"- meaning "what is the code to unlock your hands/ body?" I will then give him a math riddle. For example- it is the sum of 2 and 3 or it is the number that comes between 27 and 29 or it is the number that comes before 200. He has to answer the question correctly to unlock my hands. If he gets it wrong, I answer "that is incorrect" ( sometimes in a cool robot voice) and he has to anwer it correctly to unlock my hands. Sometimes he "locks me" and he is the one that gives me the riddle and I have to answer it correctly. I know I am a nerd and leave it to a teacher to turn a wrestling game into a math game, lol!

Aidan really struggles with being able to sit. It is a problem at meal time or anytime he has to sit and complete a task or sit and listen. The boy just can not sit! I have experimented with letting him sit on a therapy ball at meal time and doing some heavy sensory imput before meal time. His OT thinks it is sensory related and she is working with him on it too. It was really apparent to me that it is a problem yesterday when I went to his school and helped out with his Valentines party. There were 23 other kids in the class and he was the only one not sitting and enjoying the goodies. He sat for about 5 minutes and then he was up wondering around. It didn't seem to bother the teachers but is sure bothered me! I talked to his teacher and asked her if it was something that he did often at school and she said he did. She said he does fine when she is working with him in a small group but as soon as she moves to another table he is standing up. I think that is going to be a HUGE problem in kindergarten and it is one of the reasons we are still considering transitional kindergarten. On the other hand I don't know if it is something that "giving him the gift of time" will make a difference. It may be something that takes years to change or maybe he is just going to be a kid that stands all the time.

In an effort to help him with this issue I ordered him a "lap pad" this morning. It is a heavy pad that he puts on his lap when he is sitting. The theory is that it will give him the extra sensory input that he is craving and will make him sit longer. At this point I am willing to give anything a shot to help him. Anyone have any suggestions? I really feel that he is more than ready for kindergarten in so many areas and I am afraid he is going to become a behavioral problem in Kindergarten if I send him to transitional kindergarten next year due to boredom.

Here is the lap pad.
and here is the pattern of the material I chose to cover it. I hope he loves it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

T ball

Yesterday Aidan had his first day of T ball. It was a cold and damp morning but that didn't stop any of our enthusiasm. When we arrived there most of the other kids were already there "warming up" and practicing hitting balls of the tees. I was really surprised at how well some of the kids were doing hitting the ball! They had great form and accuracy. Clinton and I saw this and just kind of looked at each other and told Aidan to go give it a shot. He walked up to the t and wasn't sure what to do (duh! we should have practiced with him earlier). Clinton ran over and helped him out the best that he could ( but remember he grew up in a country where cricket is preferred over baseball). We both (ok maybe just me) thought- oh boy this is going to be a long 8 weeks!

Soon enough the coach called the kids over to the "dugout". They introduced themselves and did some warm up exercises. The coach then told them to go to home plate- Aidan was the leader of the pack and had no idea where he was talking about (doh!) but he figured it out soon enough. :0) The coach then had them walk around all the bases and repeat the name of the bases as they walked around. They then took turns individually running around the bases. Just for the record Aidan did a GREAT job doing this and one of the other kids started with 3rd base. Ha! They then ran to first base, practiced running backwards to second, and "side running" or whatever it is called to third, and then running home. They practiced making "alligator hands" and catching ground balls and practiced throwing. The coach showed Aidan the proper technique to throw the ball by having him put his foot forward, pointing with his left hand where he wanted to throw the ball, and then throwing. It took some practice but he finally got it! His throws weren't that bad!

Next up was batting. Once again the coach showed Aidan the proper technique by showing him how to do "railroad tracks" with his feet, batter up, keep your eye on the ball, and swing. By George my boy got it and made contact with the ball! Yippee!! They practiced this for awhile and he had some decent hits!

They finished by practicing doing a "homerun". They hit the ball and then ran around all the bases- again one of the kids started with third base.

So I was uneasy at the beginning as to how he was going to do. All I had to do was trust my kid and trust the coach and he ended up doing great! I am excited for the next 7 weeks!
sitting in the "dugout"
warming up....

running backwards. I particularly LOVE this exercise as it is good for his toe walking.

Dad attempting to assist him when we first arrived.
practicing "alligator hands" and throwing.
look at that form!

making his "home run"
"Hands in" at the end.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Exchange

I hosted a Valentine exchange today for our mom's group at a park close to our house. The kids decorated bags and handed out Valentines- and oh played in the dirt, creek, and ran around making up games with various types of balls. I love this particular park because it has the perfect recipe for kids- dirt, sticks, rocks, and water. There is an open grassy field to play with sporting equipment. I also like it because it changes things up from your typical park around here with sand, a play structure, and a riding path for bikes and trikes. Have I mentioned that I love California because of all the parks (and well maintained at that) they have to offer! LOVE it! I of course also love the park close to my moms house in Tn- it is the best I have ever seen. :0)

It was extemely HOT today but I think everyone had a great time!

getting ready for our friends to get here.
climbing trees....
one of the creative moms brought these cupcakes...
handing out valentines....
see- sticks, water, dirt.

playing some crazy game they made up. :0)