Friday, December 19, 2014

Allie's Parent-Teacher Conference

Allie jumping from a 1 foot tall stool during PT.
This was really hard for her to land just a couple months ago.

We had our semi-annual meeting with Allie's teachers a couple weeks ago.  Here is her summary.

Social-emotional:  Allison seems to enjoy her classroom, classmates, and teachers.  She does well following the classroom routine/rules and helpfully reminds others of the rules.  Allison seems to enjoy playing alone but sometimes during visiting time (right before nap time) enjoys reading stories with her friends.

Physical:  Allison is still gaining an understanding of balancing while walking or running.  She has been doing well stopping herself completely while running.  She enjoys running, jumping, and climbing activities.  She is also learning to ride a tricycle.  She has been doing well using her right hand to support tasks that she is completing with her left hand.

For example:
- Using her right hand to hold a string while she laces beads with her left hand.
- Holding a food bowl with her right hand while scooping with her left hand.
- Using her right hand to hold her cot while she uses her left hand to pull on her cot sheet.
- Most recently, she has been using her right hand to manipulate table utensils while eating snack or lunch.

She has been doing well using her right hand without reminders or prompting, in addition to stretching out her right hand when she is not engaged in an activity.

Language: Allison's language has greatly developed since the beginning of the school year.  She is able to express her wants, needs, and ideas.  She is able to directly answer questions that she is being asked.  She also enjoys asking questions and initiating conversations with reachers.

Cognitive:  Allison happily participates in all of the activities that are offered daily.   She is not easily distracted when engaged in an activity and sustains an appropriate attention span.  She can also make connections about experiences that occur at home/school and can recall experiences that she has at home.

Literacy:  Allison has begun to show an interest in rhyming words and letter sounds.  She is able to identify her name, the names of others, and letters.  Allison enjoys listening to stories and pretending to read stories to her friends.  She eagerly participates in conversations about stories that we read at school.  She is also able to create a picture and provide a description of the drawing.

Math:  Allison is able to identify numbers and complete number correspondence activities.  She also has a great understanding of positional words and can identify shapes.

Social Studies: Allison is aware that she has a mother, father, and brother.  She is also aware of the state that she lives in.  She understands that people live in different places, eat different foods, and wear different clothing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grandma Visits

My mom and her friend Joyce (or Grandma and Miss Joyce as Allie calls them) visited this past weekend from California.  We were happy to have them.

They got in late Thursday night so we spent most of Friday walking around and playing with the kids.  On Saturday, Jonathan threw me a great birthday party complete with a pop-up tent over our deck.

On Sunday, we got to play, see some sites, and go to a ballet.  The ballet was a mini-nutcracker designed for kids put on by the local youth ballet.  Allie seemed to like it and said she wanted to dance like them too, although even the hour-long version seemed a bit long for most of the kids to sit still.
Waiting to enter the theater 
Waiting for the show to start
Claiming she wasn't tired
While we were doing some site-seeing with Andrew, Allie and Jonathan went to her BFF Abby's house for their annual holiday pretzel-dipping party.  (She sure has grown since last year's party.)

Grandma and Miss Joyce they left this morning.  We hope to see them again soon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Feelings

Waiting for Mommy to come home from work
I have been enjoying Christmas prep so much this year.

One source of joy: we're not traveling (yay!) and have family coming into town (double yay!).

Another: Allie really understands the Christmas routine this year.  She has an advent calendar that I made her last year filled with assorted chocolates.  She's so excited every morning to see what will be in it.  She loves the Christmas lights and tree.  She likes all the decorations.  She is excited about Santa, making cookies, and getting presents.

In an effort to give her some perspective about how fortunate we are, we decided to sponsor a low-income family with two kids through our city-run Holiday Drive.  We got a wish list from each of the four family members (a mom, a dad, a teenage girl, and 2-year old girl we'll call J).  Their wish list really put things in perspective for me.  All they asked for were coats, hats, gloves, and blankets.  Their dream item was a microwave.  We bought all their wish list items plus a few toys for the little girl.

We also boxed up all of Allie's old clothes that would fit J.  To combat Allie's urge to take her beloved boots, etc. out of the box, we talked with her about how J didn't have many clothes or toys so we were helping them out.  This really hit home for her.  She said "I have a lot of toys.  J can have some of mine."  So, she went into her playroom and filled a box with toys and books that she thought J might like.  Some of the toys were things that Allie likes a lot.  When she was boxing up her Mr. Potato head that she plays with often, I asked "Are you sure you want to give that away?"  She looked at me with shaming eyes:  "Mommy, J doesn't have one and she'd really really like it."  In the box it went.

Jonathan and I were tearing up watching her look through her belongings.  She looked up and said "Don't be sad!  I'm just helping J!"  We explained that we were so proud of her.  She seemed really proud of herself.

Jonathan tucked her into bed and I peaked in a little later to see what she was up to.  She was sitting in bed flipping through her favorite Curious George book.  This book is a collection of about 10 Curious George stories and probably totals about 100 pages.  She reads it every night while she falls asleep.  Allie looked at me and said "This book has a lot of pages.  Maybe J would like to have some of it?"  I kissed her goodnight and told her we'd find more ways to help.

I'm going to go ahead and call this Holiday Drive a success for us.

We also had my work's Children's Christmas Party this past weekend.  Allie had a blast, especially when she decided to join the dance troupe.  She loves showing off her dance moves.