Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rescue Bots, roll to the rescue!

Zayd is obsessed with Rescue Bots ESPECIALLY when they transform into Dino Bots, a la this:

Is this the coolest thing you have ever seen? I am pretty sure it is. Here is a just glipmse of our Sunday mornings!

The Z's and Their Work

I have posted here about Zayd and his dislike of all things school. I have long assumed it was more a dislike of all things not-mom but the daily (7 out of 7, week in and week out) crying about school gave me doubts. I have written about Zayd's reports home from his teacher telling that he is quiet and happy but just sits there. No talking, no working, no misery, just sitting. Our first semester of school left me more often than not convinced that he just wasn't ready. (Interestingly, I knew Zahra was ready and frankly so did she! Girls are wise beyond their years, aren't they? I could write a whole other post about the struggle that comes with raising a girl who just won't accept the comforts of being so young and instead insists on ruling the world from her teeny tiny throne.)

Last week I had our first in-depth parent teacher conference and though it left me uplifted, reassured, and slightly more relaxed I still wasn't completely at ease. I will say that it felt wonderful to share some of Zayd's outside struggles over these few months and really bring his teacher into the fold. Anyway, I felt good: more confident but not wholly confident.

Then, Zayd started bringing home work. Work! From school! He is doing something at school! There were tears. (Mine.) He didn't say much about it. His teacher says he still sits a lot in silence. But there is a shift; he is growing. In fact, he will grow. I'm certain of that.

Notice above the "Z", he told his teacher that he wanted to write my name "EFTO". She went with it and so did I!

Also check out the work that Zahra brings home daily. Little watercolors, lots of stamping, and some scribbly squigs. Adorable. Her best version of Zahra the Scholar is every Monday as we drive home from Montessori school. They both have music every Monday but she is the one who sings the whole way home. My favorite is her fifteen minute  rendition of a measured metronomic "beat the drum, beat the drum...beat my arm, beat my arm...beat the car seat, beat the car seat..." on and on as she discovers new objects (cupholders, piggy tails, windows) she can reach and beat from her backseat conductors bay.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Desert Diarama

Our wonderful Auntie Soni gave the kids a globe and National Geographic Kids Beginners World Atlas for Christmas and it is easily one of Zayd AND Zahra's favorite books. Let me just take a pause here and say that we now own three National Geographic Kids or National Geographic Little Kids books and they are amazing. I recommend the dinosaur and animal one for any little library!

I will say that we are obsessed with Africa and all animals found on a Safari. But since we own likely no less than 200 different little plastic figures, I felt it was time to spend a little learning on, really, any other habitat.

That coupled with wanting to have some structured learning through play with our kinetic sand brought me to a lesson on the desert.

Luckily, we could partner up the Atlas, with the animal book (divvied up by habitat), and get a real conversation going. I will say that I had to pretend we were doing the African desert (we learned about the Sahara!) but we ended up using an awesome desert life bingo card that was really more like North American desert. Whatever. Maybe there are mule deers in the Sahara, right??? (No, the answer is no. But much was learned and we can sort out our full understanding of geography in elementary school...around 50 years before most Americans have mastered the topic.) Zahra could easily play along with this part by matching or animals to those on the bingo card.

Our play was fun, but then the Z's decided we should add some of their cacti to the scene. Genius! We got to work with toddler tweezers to hold the stalks, scissors, and lessons in exactly how much support a plant needs to stand and some concept that the taller the stalk, the more base support a we'd need! Even better, these are the Z's personal plants. While I garden, they care for their cacti. And if you are wondering, they chose cacti just because they like their look, they had no idea that they are great toddler plants for their South Texas heartiness. I like that they can decide to just chop up their plants because they really are theirs.

I highly recommend you try this with littles and see where it takes you! We had a great time and the kids really got to direct the play.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Zayd is sick. What? You aren't surprised? Well, me neither. I can't decide if I'm being melodramatic but I really feel like saying "Zayd is sick again. Again! Why why why us? (Him?) This better not be a repeat of winter 2013!" But, certainly, all of that would be a touch melodramatic. So let's pretend I kept all if that inside and start again.

Zayd is sick. Our pediatrician says it's a lung infection and he should seem much better in 48 hours.

The coughing, hacking, and wheezing borders on a choking sound while he tries to sleep and it breaks my heart. (Sort of like my broken heart circa winter 2013...)

Zayd was already in bed and had been sleeping for thirty minutes by 7:30. "Mommy! Mommy, I need you!" It was the most meek and garbled of sentences but I flew in to his room to discover him fast asleep. Hrmmm. Then, "why are you going to the circus?" (What?)  "Marshall!" (Pretty sure that was his birthday list he recounts for me at every bedtime: all the paw patrol pups, and all their cars, and Ryder, and his car with three wheels, and the lookout with the slide. He even makes me repeat it...every night.) Then, "I fell down! I hurt myself!" (Still sleeping.) But that's when I decided Zayd wouldn't be sleeping alone in his top bunk tonight. So we're snuggled up in mommy's bed taking it easy, monitoring that 102 fever despite a constant rotation of Tylenol and ibuprofen and reading.

Hope you are having sweeter dreams.