Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh, I forgot to mention how well Josephine is doing in piano. She's learned notes on the staff most recently... pretty exceptional for a 5 yo (as a piano teacher of 11 years, I know from experience!). She has good rhythm, when I remind her to count, and is breezing through the new books I bought her. She's doing so well, I would like to enter her in some piano competitions/festivals starting this fall and next spring (2009). She practices EVERY day, several times throughout the day. She'll be playing in my students' piano recital next month, too... 4 songs: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, The Eensy Weensy Spider, The Tooth Fairy and Tucker's Secret Life (the latter two are from her new books). At the recital, I award only some of my students with ribbons, medals and trophies. Of course, trophies are for the students who practice the most and practice everything I ask them to. DON'T TELL JOSEPHINE, but I got her a trophy, because she has definitely earned it with all the practice she's been doing! She's wanted a trophy since she saw them for the first time at a dance recital when she was 3. She's going to be so happy.

She may be a hard headed little girl (see next post), but at least she's a SMART hard headed little girl! I'm so proud of how she's doing in piano.
Wow, I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted! Time flies w/ three kids! Well, Veronica and Maureen had a doctor's appt. last week to check on their iron levels. Maureen's iron level has stayed normal even without continuing an iron supplement (yay!) Veronica's is still a LITTLE bit low... she didn't take the iron medicine well, so we're trying a different kind that our insurance does not cover (the same kind Maureen took when we were in LA). Veronica had an ear infection, which has already improved with antibiotics (still a few more days left of giving it to her, though)...

Veronica is starting to stand up on her own! Just a few days ago, she was standing while holding on to me. She let go without realizing it, and after standing alone on her own for a couple of seconds she realized what just happened and she got a bit startled and excited. She tried it like 10 more times after that! Ever since then, she tries standing on her own multiple times every day and is improving quickly! It won't be long and I'll have three little rugrats running around the house.

The flower pot idea is working OK - it's helping... it worked like magic the first couple days, but the magic has worn off already. I am really struggling to get Josephine to listen the first time to a request of mine... It's very frustrating. Maureen listens better than Josephine does sometimes! I shouldn't compare, I know, but just can't help it! Today was a particularly difficult day w/ Josephine... She ended up with zero flowers by the end of the day. A couple days ago, she had 15 flowers by the end of the day! Oh well... I suppose they have bad days just like we do. Well, I'm off to fold clothes, like normal, then head to bed!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I made these flowers out of construction paper and Josephine decided to put a whole bunch in her hair! We put leaves on all of them and put them in a flower pot made out of an empty vegetable can covered w/ construction paper. This is an idea I got to try and get the girls to listen better... Each can says "Maureen (or) Josephine is a good listener." We will start off each morning w/ an empty flower pot. If they listen the FIRST time to a request of mine or Michael's, they get a flower in the pot. If they don't listen to a request the first time, a flower gets taken out of the pot. At the end of the day (right after dinner) if their flower pot is full (15 flowers per girl) they can get a treat, like candy or I told Josephine she can get a quarter, and I explained to her 4 quarters = a dollar, and she got really excited. ANYHOW, after explaining it to them, I said "OK, let's practice today and tomorrow we'll start it for real." It worked like magic!!! I was so thrilled. Even Maureen got it after a few times of watching Josephine earn her flowers. We've been struggling w/ getting Josephine to listen for a while now... she's a good girl, but very strong willed and not the best listener... but her face lit up every time she earned a flower and even asked me "Mama, ask me to do something else so I can listen the first time and get another flower!" They both had their pots filled by bedtime! I hope this works for a long time!

Veronica finds her way to the piano at least once a day!

Maureen had cucumbers and ranch dressing w/ her lunch. She took one bite out of each cucumber and then neatly lined them up, w/ the bitten off part of the cucumber all facing the same direction! I thought that was so funny :)

Both Josephine and I got our hair cut today, by a famous hairstylist, Michael Aldana. He did a terrific job on both of us! I'll post pictures soon. I was anxious to get mine cut, it was getting too long for me... he cut off a good 5 inches - I really like the length that it is now... not too long and not too short! He's cut Josephine's before... but not mine. He did such a good job, though, I'll let him cut mine from now on. It will save us lots of money!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello all! I won't write much, I need to go to bed!

We had a wonderful visit from my parents this past weekend. My Mom's birthday was yesterday, and my Dad's is today, so we celebrated yesterday w/ Memphis barbecue ribs, birthday cake and ice cream. The kids, especially, had a good time decorating and celebrating their grandparents' birthdays!

Here are a few pictures... My parents bought me a rocker recliner (hooray!!!), and wanted to take a picture of it. The kids had a good time playing w/ the box it came in. I even got in it w/ the girls for a little bit - it was fun for me too! I have already rocked Veronica to sleep in it twice today, and rocked all three girls simultaneously, too - which is nice! It's very comfortable, and will get plenty of use!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Here's a cute picture of Maureen dressed in one of Josephine's old ballet costumes. Maybe she can do ballet when she turns 3?? I'd like her to do something when she's 3, either ballet or gymnastics. We'll see...

Here's a video right after Maureen pee peed on the potty. What was really great about this was that said she wanted to go without me asking her. I think we're not far from taking the diapers away completely! She's doing so well! For some reason, just minutes before she went, she decided to take off all her clothes. And then took off her diaper to go to the bathroom, therefore, was completely naked, so I just quickly threw a towel around her. I didn't want to get her dressed and then do a dance + candy - that would be too long after the moment for a two year old!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yay, it worked! this is a video of Veronica first learning to crawl (about a couple weeks ago). She is crawling very well now and much faster. She follows me around like a little puppy dog, from room to room... I'll have to put a gate in Josephine and Maureen's bedroom door to block her from getting in there (they have a lot of Polly Pockets and other toys w/ small pieces).

Veronica's top tooth finally popped through the gums today, too! She has a grand total of three teeth and she's 9 and 1/2 mo!!

I forgot to mention how well Maureen is doing going to the potty - light years better than Josephine ever did! I think it's our approach and the fact that we waited until Maureen was a little older before even trying. She's not in panties, yet, but I just let her go on the potty whenever she thinks about it, or if Josephine or I ask her if she wants to try and she says yes. She goes #1 anywhere between 1-3 times per day - and we still do the "pee pee on the potty" song and dance plus she gets a piece of candy. She gets so excited every time!

Here's a video of Josephine playing most of the songs she knows on the piano. She also plays "Mary had a little Lamb" and "Jingle Bells" but I didn't want to make the video too long or it wouldn't upload onto the internet/blog. Her memory is so good - she memorized the "Itsy Bitsy spider" after one day of practicing it. Maureen will be good at the piano, too, one day - she sings very well and has good rhythm for being 2. She knows high sounds and low sounds on the piano and is learning to tell the difference between the two black keys and three black keys.

Oh, and Michael asked Josephine what she wanted to be when she grows up, and she said "an artist and an astronaut!" Good answer, I guess!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I haven't taken any pictures lately, so still none to show! Josephine is finished with her third quarter of first grade - I hope to be completely done by the first week in June, a couple weeks later than I was planning on, but oh well! She's doing really well in all her subjects. I can't say her behavior is the best, but it's getting better slowly as she gets older.

All of the girls are doing better - FINALLY. It was an entire week of sickness, for all three of them. Today was the first day no one had a fever. They're all still coughing and sniffling, and Veronica is still pretty congested, but it's not so bad anymore. And the rain finally stopped today, too! We went to a little park today, and it felt so nice to get outdoors and let the kids play. I'll be happy when the weather warms up a bit more.

Michael has 4/5 weeks left of school (i think). I'll be glad when he's done w/ this semester. He's been working hard. I like most of his new stuff; he's gone back to painting figures again. I'll post pictures eventually, of his new stuff - probably after this semester is over. Then he'll be halfway through graduate school - hooray!

I look forward to seeing my parents soon - they'll be coming to visit this Friday and stay for a couple days. Josephine is very excited, too - we have it marked on her Math "meeting book" calendar, and she reminds me about it every time we do math. I'm sure we'll have some good pictures with the kids and my parents to post then... I'm off to fold more laundry - it seems to be my nightly ritual these days!