Lucky week (I guess)

What a week that was and a wonderful start this week. If you can hear what I am saying thank you. If you do not it is a cry or a triumphant jump.

Last week R tried lacing and she had more patience to do it than a few months ago. She expressed the interest to do the activity about a couple of months ago but it did not work. We tried to lace her shiny shoes and then my old shoes which she gave more attention to. We will try it again and again until she is able to do it on her own. R tried zipping as well. She started with my coat. With 3 to 4 times of practice with mine she moved on to daddy’s and then tried her own coat. She did all this while we were at the shopping center. The next morning she was very happy to have done her boots all by herself. She still struggles sometimes but she tries her best and then asks for help if she cannot do it anymore.

The kitchen is a mess for four days now. Daddy is laying tiles a few at a time. It takes time to do even half of the room as the materials need to be worked with quickly otherwise the adhesive will set and then after he has laid them with certain precision he cleans all the buckets and trowels. R works and plays in the bedrooms or the sitting room which are big enough for her but she get to watch tv even in the morning which I dislike the most. I am hoping that the place would be in order soon but I might not be able to see it that way.

The driving lessons have been unenjoyable. Driving everyday rain or shine bad mood or not all contribute to the experience. I have not been recommended to take the practical test but D said that I have to take it. I think it is a complete waste of time and money but we will have to push through. It might be a waste but hey am I not?

Shall we add more drama into this someone’s close relative said to someone that R causes stress to some. No parent would ever want to hear that ever. Not now not ever. It is painful. Another drama, the neighbor sent another letter. When do all these stop? I guess when I am gone. Gone where? Nowhere close here.

H and her children knocked on the door before 5pm on Saturday. The last thing that I wanted was to have guests in this messy place. Noise makes it worse. How do I ask people not to turn up, stay and or be loud? I hope for sensitivity.

Back to some lighthearted instances if there are any. We will go away for 6 weeks from the 19th. R has been talking about it and looking forward to it now. That is something.

R recently talks to the ‘didi’ and it talks to her. Lovely to hear her have a “conversation” with it. The didi has an alterego. It speaks in a very squeaky voice.

R: Nasan ka didi? Please, please. (Where are you __?)

Didi: Dito natakpan ng stripy dress. (Here hidden under the stripy dress.)

R: Labas didi. (Come out__.)

Didi: Oo. (Yes)

We have not been for a swim for nearly two weeks now but whenever R gets in the bath she tries to swim and float. She will learn one day.

Time to go to bed. Be back in a week or so.

New year, new you? Perhaps but who can tell.

We had a quiet first day of the year. We were in bed before 11 as usual and then got up about the 8 the next morning which is normal. Play with R in the morning, early lunch and drove to the in-laws for early tea. The roads to theirs from us were all nearly flooded. From the previous night’s heavy downpour to all morning’s rain it made the journey slower.

No, I did not write any resolutions. It is not a practice and I always change my mind so it is useless. Before Christmas I told myself to try to lose two inches on my waistline and probably snack less. That might do for the time being. I might do more writing and reading activities with R as soon as we come back from our holiday which will start soon.

Before the new year I had a two hour driving lesson which was disheartening. For all the faults that could be made I did them all, from not checking my mirrors all the time, slowing down too much before the roundabouts or going to first gear instead of staying on second jolted the car, stalled the car, needed lots of help to parallel park and swerving. It was torrential rain from start to finish of the lesson. I have driven in fog, gusty weather, heavy rain, deafening arguments and lots more of blow my head off reasons to not be here anymore what else can I say.

These things might just be things of the past soon. My only wish is that R is not in the car every time there is a melt down or yelling.

As for R, she plays with her Octonauts day in day out. She happily shouts out Barnacles or Kwazii’s lines which is sweet. She entertains herself more now which is helpful and she exercises creativity this way. I ask her to color or help me in the kitchen which she still does while talking. She narrates whatever is in her mind. She speaks like daddy most of the time. Yesterday at lunch she chewed on a piece of bone which I obviously missed, she said “I didn’t realize I was chewing a bone” then put it gently on the side of her plate. Tonight after having a bath and supper she decided to play. R packed her suitcase, looked for her bag, found the binoculars and a bag full of gloves and declared that she was going on a holiday. She walked from the sitting room to the kitchen then to and fro to invite us to go on holiday with her. After a while she put on her swimsuit, swam on dry land and slept. After having a rest she found a ladle from under a chair looked for her soft ball and played cricket with daddy. Daddy then got tired because he moved furniture for future tiling in the kitchen. She was tired enough to go upstairs and get ready for bed.

Pre-bedtime we clean her teeth with chosen toothbrush then I read books and finally snooze. Tonight and last night we convinced her to have daddy read her books which gives me time to close my eyes for minutes.

More heart wrenching driving lessons before the fourteenth and more rainy days then time to go to Bangkok for a short break from this new place.

Happy Christmas

25th of December 2016. It is our second Christmas here. R was very excited last night, thanks daddy for building up the excitement from the stories about Santa, the letters you wrote with R, the food you left for him, the advent calendar. Last night after R brushed her teeth she left a half full cup of water on the windowsill for Santa. She said that it is for him when he stops to drop her Octonauts present that she wished for.

This morning R opened her Christmas stockings that daddy filled last night. She told me and M to wait till we find out (“wait til you find out”) as she opened each present. She was delighted to find Octonaut characters and other things in the stocking. At breakfast she could not stop talking about the Octonauts and as a treat she watched a few episodes after her meal.

She could not wait to open her presents under the Christmas tree and so she walked from one end of the room to the other to get and open them one by one. Last year she had not an idea of the excitement and thrill to open presents but this year it is hysterical to watch her guess what is wrapped.

Our Christmas dinner was quiet in a good way. We all ate what our bellies could take. M cooked everything, turkey, potatoes and vegetables and I tidied up afterwards. We do not have relatives nearby this year as opposed to last year when we celebrated the day at my parents’ in law and brother in law and his daughter. Parents in law are in Edinburgh, M’s other two siblings are in other places. From the phone calls they all sounded well.

We had a quick visit from our neighbor before lunch. They came because H said that she could not remember if we were going down to their house or they were coming up to ours. Anyway, it was a quick one. After a cup of tea and a little play among the children which ended up in grump it was fine enough to smile and say come back.

As it was a windy day we stayed inside and played with R’s toys. She mainly played on her own. We only helped a little since she had her own ideas and she “knows” how the characters work. Early bath, early bed and no tears which were all unexpected.

I hope that everyone had a peaceful day. See you next time.

Driving and living with a child on a rainy and foggy day

It was miserable all day. It was rainy, gusty and foggy  which was challenging to an inexperienced or worse learner driver like me. My driving test will be next month which gives me creeps every time I think about it. We have been practicing nearly every day now and to get behind the wheel turns me into a freak. To try to put myself in the shoes of those with me in the car while thinking how to drive properly drives me crazy. There were only a handful of sighs and side comments about my driving today. Do your best they say, I might try again tomorrow.

As I was waiting for M to come out today on our way to lunch before we see his uncle, an older woman came up to me and said that I cheered her up. She said that my smile brightened up her day. It is lovely to hear a stranger say such a thing. Compliments truly puts a smile on someones face.

We rarely eat out for a number of reasons one of those is home cooked food is the best choice here. Whenever we go out R (I say to myself puts on her best self) sits at the table and behaves herself. She sits there like an adult, prim, proper, uses her utensils, have conversations and eats well. It has been a number of times that we were told that R is very good at the table.

When everything seems to be going wrong there are a few good things that come our way.  Indeed.

Daily (nearly) activities

Christmas is in the air or shall I say just round the corner. R has decorated the Christmas tree with daddy that we borrowed from her grandmother. It is a real tree and it has grown a lot from last year.

We made our own salt dough, cut them with the existing cookie cutters and dried them on top of the wood burner. It took overnight to completely dry the dough and we did not need to use the oven which might have consumed kilowatts of electricity that would worry a pea-brained person.

The next morning R got up early,  painted the cookies and left them to dry all day. I should take a photo of the cookies on the tree meanwhile here is a picture of R reading by the tree.

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R picks up a book/s anytime and finds a place to read. The room in this photo is not as tidy as we always talk or practice but it is always a joy that she likes to read.

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This is our first attempt at baking Filipino rolls called pandesal. The recipe we followed is from http://www.kawalingpinoy.com/2013/12/pandesal/.  She helped to knead and form the dough and patiently waited for them to come out of the oven. For the rolls I replaced butter with cooking oil and it still turned out well. It was a big hit to both daddy and R. Apart from adobo this is the only other Pinoy food that R knows the name of. Pandesal will be on the table more than once a month from now on.

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Hanging clothes, using clips or commonly known as sipits in our house and putting on socks have been regular activities for R. As these activities all develop concentration, refine motor skills and independence they will constantly be part of her day.

Language wise daddy makes up lots of stories and R sometimes fills them in. She asks her dad incessantly for stories about this girl who goes on adventures. One of my friends who called this week spoke to R. To get to the point she said R’s voice is like a little girl’s as she is but her sentence structure is like an adult’s. I take that as a compliment but somehow thinks that she needs more time with little people her age to have their input. There is no harm in being informed but does she miss out on things that children her age talk or go through is sometimes a question that pops up in mind.

The preschool is on holiday for Christmas and New Year which means R will mainly be at home. That will be two weeks with us then we will have a think if she will go back to school for two weeks before our holiday next month. To pay for 7 classes and only go to 2 of them is a wasting money I think and the fees for the 5 classes which she will not go to I can buy some Montessori Math or Sensorial materials with. My materials for her is minimal and I regret not making more but it is very time consuming. If I hear that every thing is expensive a big block is stuck in my heart and mind and cannot think of making even one material.  It really is a battle. Will the will to get over this come upon me? Decisions.

Long silence

R has turned two and then two and a half then thirty one months old and I have not made any entries.

She has been helpful in the kitchen. R cuts veg for lunch, still, helps me knead dough for bread, cut cookie dough, tidy a lot even using the vacuum cleaner (hoover of course).

R has started to go to preschool once a week on Thursday mornings to play with little people her age and some older than her. In the first two days at school I went with her and she was interested in the books and children in the older class. But recently she is spending more time in her class. She is happy and hungry after class which is a big thing because she needs social interaction and enjoy food without prompts from us.

Cutting, drawing, coloring, practicing to write shapes and letters such as x, l, p, m, z, s, r, o to name a few keeps her busy. She recently drew a family picture. It is very impressive as it is complete with facial parts and noticeable who is who.

We re-started to attend Tuesday playgroup in the town hall and we enjoy that often. Most of the time we only see younger children but she does not mind because she can go and find her own activity now. She is confident to talk to people in the group even when we go out of the door she chats with anyone.

I ask her to play in the sitting room whenever I am busy and she does role play a lot. She copies what she sees or hears from her tv programs. She watches, Bagpuss, Moomins, 64 Zoo lane and random children’s program.

I wish that I write more of her activities to document her development but with all the misunderstanding that our neighbor have started and seem to never end stresses me out so much. It is so draining that I have not had the  time to make enough materials to reinforce reading and writing at home. Hopes to have it finished sooner rather than later will stop ruining our lives.

 

Five days after the 26th month

The weather is not as good as yesterday so we are mostly indoors today. R is busy with jigsaws, riding her bike, feeding herself if that is counted, practicing to use her potty by herself although she shouts for help sometimes, reading, and just playing. She is now old enough to get a book and try to tell stories from the pictures of her books or retell the stories that she knows. Jigsaws are hit these days. She can do 9 pieces easily. R likes the big ones but she needs someone to do it with. She likes the interaction while solving it,  goes quiet at times and then squeals when she puts pieces together.

R tries to dress herself up but I feel guilty that we do not give her much opportunity to do it. In the mornings she likes her father to help her because they go downstairs have morning tv with a little snack or start of breakfast . At night before bed she practices a little. Even though it is summertime she likes to put on coats and raincoats on a sunny day, this helps her practice with coats which will be a good thing in the winter.

I have not put out new Montessori-inspired materials because we spend most of our time in the garden, the kitchen or out. I ask her to help to cut vegetables, make pasta using the pasta maker, measure rice and turns the rice cooker on, prepare the bread mixture for the bread machine and adds in the seeds to the dispenser. She plays with anything she finds in the kitchen like the tins of sardines and pots of peanut butter that she builds towers with. Last month she and daddy made pasta bake for lunch. In her own words she put the pasta in, daddy opened the tomato sauce, cut carrots and mushrooms and bake. In the garden it is her job to sprinkle tea grounds. She sometimes waters the plants and feeds the chickens. We still have her spooning and pouring work in her classroom which she looks at and then moves on to other things.

Last Sunday and yesterday we had friends over and R played with their children. It is a shame that she does not have many friends yet but we try to introduce her to some whenever we can. They played for 3 hours which made her very tired and went to sleep fast at night. But because of the excitement we think that she had nightmares from because she was so excited during the day and she still thought about it in her sleep. It does not matter as long as she is happy. Today she decided to play with a crane, which her father used to play with when he was younger, and I heard her say this is the brake and she said brake while putting the car into a halt. That word is from her male friend from yesterday.

By playing alone freely building towers, “making pasta” with grass and stones, playing in her playhouse I believe is imaginative play which helps R express herself. I do not like her to act out fairy tale stories, this kind of imaginative play is fine with me but I do not want to encourage it. Perhaps when she has friends who believe and act these fairy tales she would like to explore that too but for now to work with whatever she can find is an experience.

Next week we will try to practice on getting more independent and that is a challenge for all three of us. More trips to the potty, more practice to use words rather than whines and squeals, dress and undress, meal times at the table and not in the sitting room, and she will be asked for more help in the house.