Letter cards

 
Amelia came out of her room this morning with a set of “letter cards” she had made “for Baxter’s classroom.” I asked her how she imagined the kids in preschool using them, and as she tried to explain, I suggested she try to show Baxter how to use them. Hilarity ensued (for me at least). She’s ridiculously patient. An excerpt: 

Amelia: “Now I’m going to teach you some double sounds.”

Baxter: “Ugh, I don’t know ANY double sounds.”

Amelia: “That’s why I’m going to teach you.”

  
Another game she made up with the “letter cards”: 

She puts out three letters and explains to Baxter what they all are. Then she asks him to identify them back by asking, “Can you touch B? Can you blow a kiss to E? Can you sing C?” 

I think it’s interesting she wants to teach the kids letters because at their school, all the kids focus on phonemes first, not letters. đŸ™‚ That said, phoneme cards might be harder to make than just a bunch of slips of paper with letter on them. 

Bax got silly pretty quick and the lesson devolved into play quite gracefully: 

“It’s not time to be silly right now, Bax. OK, you’ve had enough learning.”

Floating garden

  
We left a yard waste bin right side-up over the winter, and it’s now full of water. Yesterday the kids made “some boats for the fairies” when they came home from school. The sticks are battleships (Baxter’s contribution), the nutshell is for elves, and the white flowers are for pixies. The daffodils are “particularly good for fairy children, because the big one can sit in the middle, and the smaller children can sit all around the petals.”

Baxter gets political 

   
Evidently the kids have heard some discussion of the presidential election on the playground at school. Baxter told me this morning:

Mama, I hope that man who wants to build a wall around the world… loses, and then falls head-first into a prickle bush.

Then we had a short discussion about how wishing that bad things happen to people who make bad choices isn’t very kind. We finally agreed that we hope “that man” makes better choices and uses kinder words in the future. 

Losing It, Yay Me!

  
The day after my 44th birthday, back in September, I started a diet and exercise routine with the intention of losing some weight. Since my second kid was born, I had been hovering around or over 200lbs, which is high even for my curvy body. I got winded from climbing a flight or two of stairs, had a hard time shopping for clothes, and generally didn’t like the feeling of being inside of my own body. That’s not a new experience for me — I’m the survivor of childhood trauma and have struggled with body issues my whole life — but I was inspired by a friend’s weight loss  this summer to try to shed some fat again.  

I started logging my food and weighing myself daily using the Lose It! app. I joined exercise challenges in Lose It!, and after about a month got comfortable with a daily exercise routine (with a day or two off per week for recovery). I started running, and actually enjoying it, which was a real shocker. đŸ˜‰ I found some circuit training and aerobic dance videos on YouTube that I could do on days when the weather or my schedule didn’t permit a run or walk outside. 

Basically, I started eating less and exercising more, and stuck with it. And it worked! I’ve now lost 40 pounds and reduced my BMI by 6.5 — still in the “overweight” category but out of the “obese” category, which hasn’t been the case in as long as I can remember. 

I haven’t talked a lot about this effort much with anyone but close friends and family, but I’m pretty proud of meeting my goal, so I thought I’d share more publicly. đŸ™‚ Yay! It feels good to be on better terms with my body and my health. It feels good to run and play with my kids instead of watching them run and play. It feels good to shop in more mainstream clothing stores and thrift shops again. It feels good to take enjoyment in exercise and challenge my muscles. I feel more confident that my body will be able to do what I ask of it, and it’s generally been good for me to prioritize my own needs a little more than I have in the past. It’s still feels weird to post something that’s mostly about “yay me,” but I’m going to tolerate that discomfort enough to reiterate: 

Yay me! I worked hard at this, and I did it!