Friday, April 18, 2008

Inner Mom vs Inner Child

A difficult thing for me as a Mom is to balance being overprotective and allowing my children to do the things that I enjoyed as a child! I dread the age when they can really climb a tree. Today we went to Lake Johnson with friends. My kids wanted to put their feet in the lake. Which I was fine with since they had their crocs on. But a small putting your feet in the water turned into a swimming adventure. Before I know it they are both wet up to their waste and having a blast. The ducks that we were feeding had split since Ryan was chasing them deeper and deeper into the water. I tried not to think of the poop infested water and the distant threat of "bird flu". I don't know how my parents did it. How do you let them experience childhood and yet not worry about their safety and wellbeing? Oh well, I try to trust God and let them be kids. Ringworm is treatable:)
They enjoyed feeding the ducks and geese.

Tired kids enjoying ice pops!

Teachable Moments

I love the curiousity of children. Yesterday we were outside playing and Ari found a bug on the wall. She starts by counting the legs, then she checked to see if it had antennas, a segmented body and wings. She then declares "That's an insect Mommy. It has six legs, 2 antenna, a 3 body parts and wings. What kind of insect is it". I had no idea what kind it was so we grabbed the 2 field guides that I checked out from the library. We started comparing the different insects to the one on the wall. We discovered that it was a Crane Fly. It was cool using so many different critical thinking skills to discover that it was an insect and what kind of insect it was. This led into many more discoveries. We found a fire ant, 4 tent caterpillars and the crane fly.

The caterpillars quickly became the kids' friends. Ari actually kissed her caterpillar goodbye. She named it Daniella and Ryan named his Ryan. Ryan gathered leaves to feed to his caterpillar since we learned that they love to eat. He didn't understand why it didn't goble down the leaf. I was amazed that he thought of the leaf all on his own. They both put their caterpillars on the Diego truck and gave them rides down the driveway. They spent over an hour playing with the caterpillars.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

NCSU Farm Days

This made me laugh...they see the cow, they hug and give the cow high fives and then they both turn around in unison and say cheese...all without any prompting. That's two kids who know the routine. I guess the 20+ character greetings at Disney taught them something!
Ryan loves animals (much like his Mommy). He seems to "feel" them. I love watching him look them in the eyes and just observe them. He was so excited to get to hold the chicks at Farm Days. I think he could stay there all day and just pet the chicks.
Joseph, Arianna and Ryan petting the calf.

Ryan again looking into the eyes of the goat

My two adorable kids!

Arianna is my intense thinker. She wants to know why they have tags in their ears, why there is a stamp on the cows behind with the numbers 203, why why why. She also loves animals though not with the same intensity as Ryan. I guess she has no choice with me as her Mommy!
I think I enjoy going to Farm Days as much as the kids. I want to be there petting the animals as much as they do. Though I try to control my impulses to push past the gazillion school kids pushing past me to get to the animals. I'm bigger and stronger and I want to pet them MORE than them. But I don't, I just try to be patient and keep them from pushing my kids out of the way. Nothing like pushing my kids out of the way to make me have a VERY difficult time controlling those impulses:)

Arianna was a pro at holding the chicks. This chick curled up in her hand and went to sleep.
I am so grateful that NCSU has this activity every year. I grew up on the farm and really want my kids to have those experiences. I remember sitting in the small pen with all of the chicks. That was the best feeling with all of those little soft chicks peeping all around me. They would crawl in my lap and we would snuggle. I remember going in the cow pasture and petting the cows. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories. I wish my kids could have the same kind of experiences without the crowds and gates but unfortunately my grandparents and Chris' no longer have the large farms. So we go and enjoy what we can get thanks to NCSU!

Window on Our World

This is our first documentation panel! Ari and I worked on it while Ryan was napping. We have been discussing insects and they have been very interested in the Life Cycle of the Butterfly. So we made a poster for the school room. I think it is important to reflect on what they are learning and this is one way to do that. We also make books of our experiences so that they can go back through them and reflect on their experiences. Just yesterday we were reading a book we made exactly one year ago of our trip last year to Farm Days. Ari said "Can we make another book from our time tomorrow at Farm Days" My reply was "I would love to!" I am so excited that Ari and Ryan love to learn and get excited about these things as well!