Thursday, April 30, 2009
Garrett was supposed to take a field trip with his preschool classmates to the Fort Worth Zoo tomorrow, and I was going to chaperon. We found out today that this and all field trips in the school district are cancelled until further notice. I am very disappointed about this because I was looking forward to taking pictures of all the kiddos looking at the animals at the zoo with their looks of wonder and amazement. Since Garrett can't really tell me much about what he does at school, this would have been a good time to see how he interacts with them. I suspect Ava is his favorite because that's who he talks about the most. Our conversations go like this:
Me: "Did you play with your friends at school today?"
Garrett nods his head.
Me: "Who did you play with?"
Me: "Who else?"
Me: "Who else?"
Garrett: "Adam." (Adam hasn't gone to his school since before Christmas.)
As you can see, Garrett is less than forthcoming (by not forthcoming I mean "not able") when it comes to telling me about what he does at school, so I was looking forward to seeing him in action. I have gone to his classroom a few times, but my presence there is more disrupting than helpful, so I don't go often.
Although I am disappointed about not going to the zoo tomorrow, I agree with the school district's decision. As I said above, Fort Worth school district has one confirmed case and 3 or 4 suspected cases, so they shut down the entire school district until May 8 at the earliest. The dividing line between our school district and Fort Worth school district is less than 5 miles away, so that's pretty close to home. There have also been several confirmed cases in Dallas and a few other surrounding cities. I would rather everyone stay home for a week or so than have Dallas/Fort Worth look like Mexico City does now, a ghost town. Even though we haven't seen a lot of cases yet, the swine flu has brought one of the largest cities in the world to its knees, and that's nothing to sneeze at (pun intended). People here are concerned about a major flu outbreak. There is a large Mexican/American population and a lot of travel back and forth to Mexico, so chances are good that we will see more cases.
I went to several drug stores today to get surgical masks for me and Garrett. He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow with the neurologist. Even though the neurologist won't be treating sick patients, per se, his office is in the professional building with a catwalk to Children's Hospital. That sounds like a high risk place to me, so I thought I'd get some surgical masks. But, of course, they were sold out everywhere. A worker at Walgreen's told me that even painter's masks at Home Depot or Lowe's were sold out. I'll call the Dr.'s office tomorrow and see if they recommend we come or not. I've already lined up child care for Erin and would really like to get this appointment over with. Garrett only goes once a year to make sure he is progressing in his development and not falling farther behind.
Our plans for this weekend are to stay home and avoid contact with other people until the swine flu scare is over. It may seem like fear mongering to some people, but what would you say if we didn't take precautions and it turned out to be a major pandemic with thousands dying. It's not worth the risk.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Here's how it works. I took a poster board and divided Erin's behaviors into 3 categories: Required, Points, and Demerits. Required are things she has to do in order to get her reward. Points are good behaviors. Demerits are bad behaviors. The poster board looks like this:
I got some play jewels at the store and assigned the "star" for Required tasks, the "circle" for Points and the "square" for Demerits. Every time she completes a required task, she gets a star put into a glass jar. A circle goes in for each good act (Point), and a square goes in for each demerit. Twice a day we count up her stars, circles and squares. If she gets all three stars, and five NET circles (net = circles minus squares), she gets her reward: TV time, computer time or Leapster time. If she doesn't get five net circles or all three stars, she doesn't get to do those things.
We've been using this technique for about two days now and it seems to be working. There is less yelling on my part and less arguing on Erin's part. Erin is at least trying to monitor her behavior, i.e. not yelling as much or disobeying as much. I think this system has done a couple things. First, it has taken the personal confrontation out of discipline. Instead of her acting up and my getting after her, which became a "me vs. you" mentality, my reaction has become a very simple "You're getting a square for that" response and we move on. Secondly, since I give her circles for all her good behavior, I am focusing much more on the good things she does and encouraging her to do more good things, like saying "You'll get a circle if you help me with this task." She is much more cooperative and is very motivated to earn circles. I'm not saying that this method has instantaneously turned my little darling into the perfect angel, but I think it has helped. And I expect I will have to tweak it from time to time so that she doesn't learn how to "game the system" or just do the minimum to get by.
Do you have any discipline techniques that work well for your family?
Friday, April 24, 2009
And Daddy helping her take her first tentative steps.....
Now Erin tries it on her own.....
Before she finally got the hang of it.
Honestly, she didn't get the hang of it. She still doesn't have the hang of it. I just like happy endings. And this picture makes it look like she's really skating.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By the end of the party, the sky had cleared and the sun was shinning brightly. It turned out to be a really fun party. Happy 6th birthday, Erin!!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Later that morning, we went to Smithfield United Methodist. They always have a beautiful, moving and LOUD Easter Service. The choir was accompanied by the Hand Bell Choir, a four piece brass band, timpani drums and the organ. It was a joyful celebration of Jesus' Resurrection. I always get a lump in my throat when the congregation sings "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" accompanied by all those instruments. Our celebration could probably be heard for miles.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I couldn't get any pictures of Garrett gathering Easter eggs because I was too busy chasing him around the field. He was not interested in hunting for eggs at all! He saw the big open field and just wanted to run. Even thought the field was big, it was not fenced in and Garrett could easily run into the street if I let him get too far away from me. So I spent my Easter egg hunting time chasing Garrett and trying to convince him that picking up plastic eggs out of the grass was more fun that running in an open field. He remained unconvinced and consequently only gathered a couple eggs. Oh well. The Easter Bunny brought plenty more on Easter morning.
There was a bounce house there that both kids thoroughly enjoyed.
By the end of the morning we were pretty tired, but had a great time. Here is Erin relaxing after lunch at McDonald's.Thank you to the United Methodist Women of Smithfield United Methodist Church for putting on such a fun Easter egg hunt. We had a blast!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
And here's a close up shot.Erin immediately went for the pink cupcake one, but definitely saw possibilities in the "bug" one as well. Being the bag lady that she is, she found the perfect furry friend to put in each tote.
Notice the coordinating lining inside each bag. These totes are expertly handcrafted and the perfect size for a child to carry around. They make a great gift bag. Look for them to reappear on Easter Sunday right next to the kid's Easter baskets. (I had to confiscate them from my daughter so that I can fill them with goodies for Easter). And don't forget to visit Liz at Hoosier Homemade to look at all her totes.
Thank you, Liz, for the adorable totes. Erin and I love them!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Since it's almost Easter, I'm doing Easter memories. Last week I wrote about Easter 2004 when Erin was about 1 year old. Click here to read it if you haven't seen it yet. See how she's changed from a one year old to a two year old.
Erin had her first Easter Egg hunt at church in 2005 and she just loved it, even though a lot of the kids were older and could find the eggs faster.
And here's all the candy she could fit into her little hands from the Easter egg hunt. She was very proud of herself.And of course, the Easter Bunny came to leave her things in her Easter basket on Easter morning.
This year, she was old enough to open the plastic eggs by herself.
Here she is again carrying as much candy as she can. Seems to be a common theme. She must have been going through a "How much stuff can I carry at one time?" phase.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
A music box. This was not something Erin had considered and her reaction showed it.
A little more background: Erin has been playing with one of my music boxes for several weeks and loves it. She has been asking Daddy for a music box for a week, so this music box didn't come from nowhere. She said she wanted one. Anyway, after she had a few minutes to settle down and think about things, she decided to give the music box another chance.
Now, the inside of the music box looks like this, with gum and a toy cell phone:
Erin has always been a big fan of boxes and purses, places for her to store and carry around her treasures. The actual definition of "treasure" is still up in the air, but right now gum and a toy cell phone have the privilege of residing in the music box until she finds new treasures.
Happy sixth birthday, Erin!!
Friday, April 3, 2009
And the pink roses were beautiful. They still had dew on the leaves.
It was a wonderful little escape from my hectic life.