Monday, June 28, 2010

Pulpo

We have been reading a ton of books about the ocean lately so I gave Diego free range of the craft closet when he wanted to make a "proyecto." He chose to make a pulpo (octopus.)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Count Down to Florida

Diego is very excited about our trip to Florida and has never ending questions about it. One of the most frequent is about when we are leaving. We created this count down to Florida medusa (jellyfish). Each morning he pulls off one of the tentacles and knows that when the medusa has no more tentacles it is time to go to Florida!





Little Boys and Big Trucks

One of our first outings after school let out was a big truck exhibit at one of our local libraries. I was sure that this would be a big hit with both of the boys but as you can see from some of the pictures below, it was a rough morning. I will blame a lot of it on the very hot, muggy weather and the crowds but the boys were very grouchy. Getting any picture at all required some bribery and my lowest point was losing my patience with Diego when he refused to get inside the helicopter for a photo and yelled at him. I try very hard not to embarrass my children and I felt very bad afterwards. Looking bad I wish that I would have put away the camera and just walked around or better yet, left the exhibit. Later when I asked Diego why he would not get in the helicopter, he told me that he was afraid that it was going to take off with him inside. I learned some valuable lessons that morning.





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Potty Training

Es Hora De Ir Al Bano Para Niño's (Time to Series) (Spanish Edition)

Guess what we are reading?

I bought this book for Diego when he was two and I had not planned on pulling it out for a few more months. Mateo, as usual, had other plans. With no prompting from me, Mateo has decided that he is ready for potty training and is actually very successful at it. The process with Diego was long and difficult so I decided to wait until Mateo was three this time to even introduce the idea. I do not know if it is the fact that Mateo wants to do EVERYTHING just like his big brother, but this time around I think will be much easier. Even though I am not a big fan of changing diapers, this is another big sign that my "baby" is growing up fast. I can't help but smile though because he is just so proud of himself.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Painting the ocean

As part of our ocean unit this summer, we are creating an ocean scene in the playroom with all of the animals that we are learning about. The first step was to create an ocean background. I do not have a large piece of blue paper and the budget for materials is tight right now so we made our own by painting a large roll of brown paper.


We haven't painted in quite a while and the boys were very excited.

Mateo reminded why we paint OUTSIDE!

We had planned to paint the bottom of the ocean yellow for the sand, but the boys decided to add their own touch and put their hand prints in the "sand." I like their idea much better and there was no way that we were going to paint over those precious hands.



When we were done we celebrated with "paletas." Diego, as usual, inhaled his in five seconds. Mateo generously shared his with his brother. Great afternoon!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Bilingual Father's Day

My parents do not speak Spanish. My husband's parents do not speak English. Thankfully this does not present a problem for my sons since they are bilingual. Living in the US, we knew that the boys would learn English so we have focused mostly on Spanish in our household. This presented the unusual problem that Diego could not communicate with my parents (without me translating) for the first three years of his life. Well, Diego absolutely adores both his Papa (grandpa) and his Abuelo so we sent them both a Father's Day card. Diego dictated as I wrote. I am amazed that he fully understands which language goes with which person and can turn them off and on as needed. Here are the two cards that we sent. On the back of each card Diego drew several games of tic-tac-toe so that he can play with the grandpas the next time he sees them. :)




Saturday, June 19, 2010

Feliz Día de Padres

I found this great idea at Handprint and Footprint Art. Seriously, if you are looking for a handmade gift to make with your little one, check out her website.

We have been reading tons of books about the ocean and fish. Diego's favorite fish is definitely the clown fish. He is fascinated how the anemone stings everyone else but does not hurt the clown fish.


I tried to make our Father's Day's card fish look like clown fish using orange, white, and black. I was amazed at how well the boys sat still while I painted their hands -especially my squirmy Mateo. I think that Papi will love it!

Feliz Día de Padres!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Little Boys and Big Trucks

One of our first outings after school let out was a big truck exhibit at one of our local libraries. I was sure that this would be a big hit with both of the boys but as you can see from some of the pictures below, it was a rough morning. I will blame a lot of it on the very hot, muggy weather and the crowds but the boys were very grouchy. Getting any picture at all required some bribery and my lowest point was losing my patience with Diego when he refused to get inside the helicopter for a photo and yelled at him. I try very hard not to embarrass my children and I felt very bad afterwards. Looking bad I wish that I would have put away the camera and just walked around or better yet, left the exhibit. Later when I asked Diego why he would not get in the helicopter, he told me that he was afraid that it was going to take off with him inside. I learned some valuable lessons that morning.





Vacation!


Yesterday I revealed our summer "school" plans to study the ocean. That decision was largely influenced by our upcoming trip to the Florida Keys. We are extremely fortunate that my grandfather lives in the Florida Keys and we were able to go for a visit last summer. It is a little unexpected and last minute but we have decided to make the trip again this year. Apart from getting to spend time with and getting to know my wonderful grandpa, the boys will have such a fantastic time.

Last year Mateo was 14 months and Diego was three. To be completely honest the trip was very difficult. Mateo was still not walking and refused to sleep during the 15 journey in two cars and three planes. I had just stopped breastfeeding Mateo so his schedule and mood were already messed up and the added stress of traveling made for a fussy little guy. If my wonderful mother had not gone on the trip with us, it would have been a hundred times harder. I should give credit to Diego who was absolutely wonderfully behaved both on the plane and the trip as a whole.

Even with the difficulties, it was a great trip and we have special memories. To refresh Diego's memory of the trip, I pulled out the photo album. I was really surprised about how much he remembered. I am excited to experience the islands with them again now that they are a year older. Diego is excited too. He already packed his backpack. :)

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our trip last year:













Summer "School"

Our summer calendar is already filled up with park playdates, library storytimes, and a couple of trips out of town. Since we will be so busy, I decided to keep it simple and concentrate on one theme for our summer learning. We will still check out books on anything and everything under the sun but for the most part we will be learning about the......

OCEAN.

One of our trips next month (that I will talk about tomorrow) is part of the inspiration for our summer theme. I am so excited for the boys to learn about the ocean and then get some hands-on experience.

When I pick a theme to work on I always do two things. First, I get on our libraries website and reserve every book in Spanish that they have on the subject. Second, I search my favorite learning websites for activities about our topic. Below are some of the links to printables that we plan on doing over the next couple of months. I also have a ton of crafts and other fun activities planned that I hope to share.

Ocean Math

Spanish Letters

Coloring Pages
1. Orca
2. Manatí


Games




Monday, June 14, 2010

Bluebonnets

I complained the other day about how impossible my children are to photograph. All of my friends took their kids to take pictures with the famous Texas bluebonnets and came home with postcard quality photos. I obviously did not. Even though I did not get that perfect picture I was hoping for (again), it was a wonderful day as a family and that is what really matters (or so I keep telling myself :)












Sunday, June 13, 2010

Career Change

Diego was born at the end of December. I took the two months I was allowed to for maternity leave and returned to work. I will admit that I was miserable. I cried every day that first week back at school. I considered myself fortunate because as a teacher, I knew that I would be home for the summer in a couple of months. When it was time to start school the following August, I had the same feeling of dread. I knew that I would not be seeing Diego much since most days (when there were no meetings) I would be picking him up at 5:00 and he would be going to bed a couple hours after that. It was a very difficult year at work since we were missing several Spanish teachers. I had to do the job of two teachers which meant staying later and arriving earlier everyday. By the end of the school year I was exhausted and, despite everyone telling me that it would get easier, missing my baby more everyday. I proposed the idea of working part-time to my principal and to my surprise she agreed. I have been working part-time as a high school teacher for the last three years. A few months ago my husband was promoted in his job and we decided that I would stay home full-time. I do not know how long I will be able to stay home with the boys, but for now I am extremely happy and appreciate having this opportunity.

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