So, I'm going to take us way back, before the Christmas holidays, when all of us were sick: congestion, fever, aches and pains, coughs, snotty noses. It seemed like the flu, though Noah and I both had flu shots about a month before. Perhaps this was a different strain of the virus. Aidas developed an ear infection as well and by the time the photo above was taken, was on antibiotics. Noah looked terrible. In such a sick state, I wanted to ensure that he rested as much as possible. Instead of cancelling the daycare for the next 3 days, I decided to run a second-rate daycare. At least everyone was ill, so vegging out was a good idea for all of them. We did not go outside, and the T.V. was on most of the day. I shudder as I say this. We never watch T.V. while the daycare is running (apart from the 5 minutes our first arrival might catch a glimpse of in the morning). But this was one way to force everyone to rest, for the most part at least. I don't have a strict illness policy that forbids children to come when ill. I figure that by the time one child shows symptoms, we've all been exposed to the germs anyway. It's almost impossible to prevent the sharing of colds here.
Anyway, we were all at least 75% better before the holidays, so that was a relief!
Here are some of our other activities before the holidays (besides the crafts - we mostly did those on our sick days). The kids love making broccoli pizza, especially taste-testing the cheese!
Oscar was to turn 1 year old over the holidays. We had a low-key, early celebration for him at the daycare, since we wouldn't see him for his birthday. His mother brought cupcakes for the kids and we sang to him. Afterwards, Noah and I gave him his birthday gift. I think he liked his new toys!
One morning Noah and B. decorated a gingerbread house (store bought kit - I wasn't ambitious enough to try a homemade one). It was the perfect size for them to decorate, very small. We all enjoyed eating it over the next few days!
The kids were entranced when I brought down the Menorah and told them about the 8 days of Hanukkah. We always sing the chorus of "The Hanukkah Song". Yes, the one by Adam Sandler. What?! It's catchy, and the kids love it!
As soon as I let the kids play with the Menorah, they incorporated it right into their vehicle crash scene. (Aidas is constantly creating these "crash scenes". I must capture with a photo one of these days how extreme a scenario he can envision.)
We have really lucked out with the weather so far this winter. One day (still before the holidays) we decided to play in High Park. I thought maybe we would run around the little forest area, but of course the kids could see the playground in the distance and wanted to go. It was mild enough that I couldn't deny them!
Since we have been back from holidays, we have resumed the self-help skill of getting dressed/undressed. I am expecting the older boys to undress and dress themselves for the potty, and also to put on and take off their snow pants, boots and coats. This doesn't mean that I don't help them when they need it, but they at least need to be putting in a solid effort. They need to be involved. I'm very proud of how far they've all come with these dressing skills. I think they surprise themselves much of the time too.
Aidas will sometimes complain and say "I can't, I can't" while doing part of the dressing routine. Then suddenly, he will have already done it. He'll look at me, pleasantly surprised, and I'll say "Wait a minute, you did do it!" He usually laughs at this point, although there have been times when he will become frustrated with this outcome, and undo what he has done so that he will remain right in his insistence that he cannot do it. Ah, the 3-year-old mind set. :)
B. has taught himself to zip up his coat. Can you believe it?! I wouldn't even try teaching this so early, since it seems so hard. Now that he has inspired me, I am at least giving the others the idea of how to do it, and getting them to do small parts. These kids all have such unique strengths, and a lot to teach each other (and me, of course).
The kids love to play pretend when we're outside. Here we're playing "restaurant". (Noah usually calls the restaurant McDonalds, but sometimes it's Swiss Chalet.)
The service seems to be exceptionally fast at this restaurant. The server is practically psychic, and already has Aidas's meal ready before he orders it!
B. has a great imagination and often tells us about the animals or objects he "sees" in various clouds. One day he told us he saw a butterfly, and brought our attention to this shape in a rock. I'd have to agree with him, wouldn't you? Another day he was playing with the stick you see in the picture below and calling it a spider. What wonderful creativity! (By the way, that's the scariest spider I have ever seen!).
We hadn't done finger painting in a while, so the kids were excited about it when we did it this week. They each completed at least four paintings, though you can see in this video that it takes Noah a little while to warm up.
Finally he gets used to the texture and away he goes! Aidas always just dives right in. (Actually, it was while he was trying to finger paint with a little spilled milk on the table at lunch one day that I realized it was time to get the paints out!) I love hearing them talk about their art!