Failure and excitement

I failed my driving test on Thursday. Lane discipline was the problem. The Countess Wear roundabout did my head in. I went around it, I went on the right hand lane which was wrong. I should have stayed on the left hand lane. And then the next roundabout which was big that led me back to the Industrial estates I approached it wrongly again. In general I felt comfortable, the country lane was alright, the mini roundabouts were good and the reverse parking was fine because the car was in the bay.  There will be a next time and that will be on the 31 of March.

We will go to London tomorrow afternoon and stay there for the night to be near the airport and be sure that we are there. We are all looking forward to our break from the craziness of the decoration and the neighbor’s complete horrific behavior. I have been very stressed and been losing sleep over the disputes that they are claiming now that we started when after all this time they are unreasonably difficult. It is as if they made a promise to make our lives hell. I will not go in details about it but one day when all is over I might be able to write about it and hopefully bury the resentment.

Friday was an exciting day for R. She was able to play with snow at Princetown even though it was only for less than ten minutes. It was lovely to watch her play and enjoy winter before we go away. It has been mild and that was the only day this season to be able to touch and appreciate it. Perhaps next season will be white.

See you Bangkok.

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.