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phoebe
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1st-Apr-2011 01:41 am - Music class update
cameron
Cameron is doing very well with his music class. He learns the pieces quickly, and he "practices" his pieces outside of class, i.e. plays through each of them once. He not only plays what he is supposed to practice, but he likes to play pieces he has "finished" (performed in class), and he has also taught himself several of the pieces in the book that were not studied in class.

Mi, mi, sol, sol, do, do, do -- rest!Collapse )

In short, I am very pleased with how things are going. Yay, Cameron!
28th-Mar-2011 05:30 pm - Shopping lists
cameron
We have one of these. It's mostly great. Cameron loves to push the PRINT button to print out the list before we leave for the store.

When we get to the store, he likes to manage the list for me. I give him a pen, and he crosses out items as we get them. He can read nearly the whole list, unless there is an unusual item, though he sometimes has trouble finding an item on the list due to not scanning the whole list start to finish. He'll say, "Where does it say 'salsa'?" And I'll say something like, "Look near the top." And then he will find it immediately.

Soon he will be too big to sit in the cart. Already he is over the official limit, printed on the seat, of 48 months and 35 pounds. But he claims he is still comfortable. I guess we'll stop when he starts having trouble getting in or out, or when his legs feel pinched while seated.
21st-Mar-2011 11:55 am - Jubilate Deo -- with "congas"!
dexter
This piece is so cool -- first one I've ever seen in 13/8 time! I did the "congas" myself, by clapping and then adding an effect in GarageBand. It was especially interesting to do the rolls. I cannot clap that fast, but I can clap half that fast, so I recorded six 16th note claps, then copied and pasted them a 32nd beat off, so that I got twelve 32nd notes for the roll. Awesome!

I could listen to this piece over and over. It's so catchy.
20th-Mar-2011 09:20 pm - Pump it up, then pump it out
eyebrows
Last night it rained. Today it rained cats and dogs. Tonight it is raining horses, sheep, fish, cows, pigs, goats and all their children. It has rained without pause, and is still raining.

The patio was already underwater by 9:30 this morning, so I positioned the pump that I had rigged up last time we had this problem.

It didn't work.Collapse )

All this annoyance is less than one tenth the grief of bailing water, so I am counting my blessings.

I had a landscaper come out to the house just this week and quote me two grand to install 200 feet of three-inch drain pipe underground, out to the street, to cure the water problem once and for all. Ouch. We'll have to see what our Fence Guy would charge.
16th-Mar-2011 09:28 pm - Retained!
dexter
Today I signed Robby's contract, photocopied it, and sent it to him with a $500 check. So our project is officially on the scoreboard. Woo hoo!

I also sent him the sketches I made of my ideas for the addition. We'll see what he comes up with.
14th-Mar-2011 10:39 pm - Reading tables
cameron
At Cameron's day care, just outside the door to go into the back room where the kids are, is posted a piece of paper with the menus for the current weeks. It looks similar to this one except that it says the actual dates rather than just days of the week, and breakfasts, etc. are the columns rather than the rows. And also it is just printed in black ink on colored paper and isn't nearly as eye-catching.

But it caught Cameron's eye. Even though the menu is posted far above his head, he noticed the dates and remarked on it. So I told him how he could read, for each date, what he was going to have for lunch. At first he read the breakfast entry, since it was closest to the date (he doesn't take breakfast at day care since he goes to Montessori in the morning), but after I pointed out that the lunch was in the next column, he learned to look at that column.

So now he can read tables.

It is still really hard for him, since it is so high up the letters are small and he can't trace with his finger. But he insists on stopping before we go in to stare at it, with the most intense concentration, to find the entry he is looking for. Today he found the March 14 row, and then spent about two minutes scanning to find the lunch column, while keeping track of what row he was on. It was very hard work! Finally he said, "Griddled cheese." (He can't really say "grilled" -- it is an error of speech, not reading.)

I praised him and waited to see if he would read the rest. He definitely could have (it was tomato soup, orange slices, and milk, which he would have found easy to read), but after a few more seconds of staring he was mentally spent, and just said, "I don't want to do it anymore," and headed for the door. LOL, my smart, wonderful boy.
11th-Mar-2011 12:30 am - Reading spigot is at full draw
cameron
Cameron has a special cackle of delight reserved for when he figures something out really cool. It is a mixture of appreciation for the coolness of the thing combined with pride at having figured it out. I love it.

Tonight I heard it several times when Cameron read, from start to finish, Green Eggs and Ham. Granted, he is quite familiar with this book, and has a very good memory, but we haven't read the book in several months and he was really reading, pointing to words with his finger as he said them and backtracking when he realized he'd said a wrong word from memory that did not match what was on the page. He'd reach the end of a page and look up at me, eyes shining: "Ha-ha-hah!!" He was so pleased with himself at having seen, truly seen, that the page really does say those words and he read them. So awesome.

(As a side note, I realized tonight that every single word of that book is one syllable, which is quite remarkable in a 60-page book!)

He reads pretty much everything he sees. Cereal boxes, signs, ads in magazines, etc. He impressed the heck out of one of the cleaners today, Candice, because she overheard him reading his Sesame Street alphabet cards and quoted him later: "The 'G' card doesn't have Georgia on it!" He'd gone through each card and read it top to bottom, adding comments like that and suggesting other words he knew that started with that letter. Really fun.
5th-Mar-2011 08:03 pm - Hitler learns topology
dexter
OMG... I was laughing so hard I almost had trouble breathing. For hard-core math geeks only, lol.


4th-Mar-2011 12:21 am - A nice day
cameron
Cameron came into the bedroom at 7:30 this morning to announce that he'd completed one of his 100-piece puzzles all by himself. So I declared that he was ready to "level up" and proposed a trip to Target after school to get a 300-piece puzzle, as promised. "Yeah!!" he agreed.

I got him breakfasted and schlepped off to pre-school, bopped over to campus to meet with a couple students for academic advising, and then raced back to the car to get to my pilates class. Picked up C. at 11:30 and we walked, for the first time, over to a strip mall nearby for lunch. We had broccoli beef at a Chinese place -- very good, actually -- and then headed to Target and then Trader Joe's. For sample TJ's had -- guess what -- broccoli beef. LOL!

I was exhausted by the time we got home (now that I am in training, it's decaf. only for me. :-P). C. understandably wanted to get out his new jigsaw puzzle right away, but I managed to convince him -- no idea how; guess he was in a good mood today, too -- to take a nap with me instead so he'd be fresh for music class at 5:30, and have more time to play with his new puzzle afterwards. We slept till 4:30, then grabbed a quick snack and were out the door by 5:10. I thought fleetingly that it would be nice to have spaghetti for dinner, but didn't have time to leave T. a note asking him to make it.

We got home at 6:45 to find T. ready with spaghetti on the stove! Good husband! :-)

After dinner I helped C. start his new puzzle, and at 8:00 T. bathed him in the shower. C. was very motivated to get dried off and into his pajamas so that he could have a few more minutes to work on his puzzle. We got all the edge pieces put together before it was time for bed.
3rd-Mar-2011 11:54 pm - Is this protein?
cameron
Cameron is a very good eater. I have taken to chopping raw veggies, for example, as the first step in preparing dinner, so that he will have something good for him that he can eat in unlimited quantities and still not really spoil his appetite. He will see the tray and ask, "Is this for sharing?" Aww... Sometimes this means, "I think this is yours, but can I have some too?" And sometimes it means, "I think this should be mine, and I want to know if you're going to take some of it." LOL!

He can really put away a lot of raw veggies, especially if he gets a bit of ranch dressing to dip them in. His favorites are cucumber, red bell pepper, and carrots, but he also digs broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and (urk!) onion. But when he gets done with them, and goes back to play with something in his room, he often is surprised when I tell him that "dinner" is ready. "But I already ate!" he says.

I've determined that his reaction is not due to a spoiled appetite but to a lack of understanding what constitutes dinner. For him, what constitutes a meal rather than a snack is where and how it is consumed. A snack is anything not eaten while seated at the table, or something eaten at the table which does not require a plate. I have tried to explain a bit about the "four food groups," which I call "protein," "calcium," "fruits and veggies," and "starch." I tell him that, to be a meal, you have to have something from each group, but he still doesn't have a really good idea of what kinds of foods belong to each category. He will hold up whatever he is eating at the moment -- such as a carrot or a piece of toast -- and ask, "Is this protein?" or "Is this calcium?" Very cute!

He is starting to learn the nutritional composition of certain key foods. He knows, for example, that yogurt is both protein and calcium, so the smoothies we've been having are part of a nutritious dinner. I tend to let the smoothie stand in for either protein or calcium in a meal, but not both, just to make sure he has enough to eat so as not to get hungry later. Same with cheese.
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