Friday, June 5, 2009

They are 3!

April 29

My babies turned three! They are such little kids already. They talk so much. Once in a while I’ll count how many words they use in a sentence. When they were younger, I’d worry a bit about their speaking. While Alexa had close to 400 words by age two, she or Jared still weren’t putting two or more words together besides phrase that go together like all done, hi ma, or oh no. Then within a month she was putting together four to five word sentences and Jared was doing the same about two months later. Now more often than not I’ll notice her using eight to ten words in a sentence and Jared six to eight words. They both string many sentences together, and I’m imagine they’ll be speaking in paragraphs really soon.

For the fun of it, I used to keep a log of all new words they’d use. Unfortunately our hard drive crashed a few months again and I hadn’t saved the info. At that time she had around 1,700 words and he had about 1,500. I imagine she now is well over 2,000 and Jared somewhere close to their too.

Since I did a huge cleaning this past weekend before everyone came over, so I wanted to do a lot of extra things with the kids this week. On their birthday, we made a jelly roll. It turned out pretty good. We made it to go along with reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. There’s a book called Pre School Activities. It’s sort of like the Story Stretches book where you read a picture book and then do related activities. Last week, they painted in the bathtub using shaving cream dyed with food coloring.

Let’s see, we read Grandfather Tang. I’m able to request things from other libraries through interlibrary loan, so other libraries have literacy kits where there will be a book and then a related toy with it. This book has a bucket full of tangrams. They play with a small set of tangrams, but I wasn’t sure how they would like to hear a story where I made a different tangram picture for each page we read. They loved it!

Their aunt game them My Very First Science Kit this weekend, so we played with that some. They really enjoyed mixing the color tablets in the water and watching the bubbles fizz. Then they played with mixing red, blue and yellow colored water to make purple, orange and green. Alexa was so intent on pouring water from the cup into the test tube. Lots of spills the first few times, but I was surprised how well she did just within a few minutes of practice.

They loved playing with the fishing game Grammy gave them. The larger version runs on batteries. They fish rotate in opening up their mouths and then you have to hook them with a fishing pole. There is also a smaller wind up version with a magnet. Another thing they had fun with was the slinky. They did try to get it to walk down the stairs a few times, but mostly they just ran around the house, each holding onto one end, screaming their head off. Needless to say, by the end of the day it was all stretched out, but they had a blast with it at the time.

A huge hit was the cardboard castle Uncle Andy bought them. It is about three feet tall, so they could climb inside it like a real castle. They colored it for a long time. I think it won’t be here for long, though, as Jared had jumped on top of it so many times already.

When Steve came home we went to eat at Culvers. We were able to get a booth (which was hard because the place was packed since it just opened about a week ago) which helped since they do not like to sit very long and it helps to contain them somewhat. Halfway through the meal, however, Jared was sliding under the table. A worker gave them a sample sundae for their birthday, and they looked so proud carrying them to the car.

We stopped at Jewel to pick up a small cake before heading home. They were very excited about the presents. It’s funny because this past Christmas Jared went into tantrums just at the mention of opening presents. He refused to open them for a while on Christmas. Anyway, it was nice that we could open them slowly, unlike the rushed way we did it with family this weekend. They loved their new books, and we had to read most of them right away. I went to the thrift store and was able to pick up 16 books for $10.50. Buying books at thrift stores is probably one of the greatest resource tips I know for unschoolers besides the public library. I’ve also picked up extremely inexpensive craft supplies like yarn, doilies, fabric, and ribbons. Since we still have our VCR, I often find some VHS tapes for .25-.50. I’m sure if I look more closely, I’ll be able to find games there, too.
The Melissa and Doug wooden castle was probably the biggest hit. It came with tiny puppet king, queen, prince and princess, two horses, a tiny treasure chest, bed and two chairs. They also received about six other figures from the same set for their birthday. Steve and Jared worked for a while on Jared’s new 100 piece Safari Melissa and Doug puzzle. We had bought a Wedgits set for Jared since he had loved the sets at the Field Museum so much, but it turns out that Alexa plays with it more. Jared also received a set a pattern blocks, Alexa a ballet flannel graph set, and they each will share a play space shuttle and astronauts.
They were pretty tired that evening and went to bed around 8:30. Turns out we didn’t even need to buy a cake since they had forgotten that we had even bought it!

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