Friday, September 28, 2007

Scattered learning

Wow - I'm not very good at this game lately. In my defense we've been quite busy lately. Thursday was DH's birthday (the big 23), so Sophia and I had been "planning" our "party". Sophia is so sweet though - I swear she was more excited about her daddy's birthday than he was. Perhaps I shall give a run down of our (un)schooling that went on this week.

Monday - Sophia, Brenna and I took the 40 minute drive to post to go grocery shopping at the commissary. We've only done this once since moving because it really is so far... but so cheap! So - we made it a math and science field trip. I discovered (and it only took 5 months) that it is easiest to strap Brenna to me and let Soph sit in the seat so we can chit chat. So for math we counted everything we put in our cart (in multiples, like canned goods). We did adding when we had 3 cans of tomato paste but needed 5. Then we subtracted when Sophia told me we needed to leave some for other people, so we took the 2 we added away again. (It's not like we took the last 5 cans, there were at least 100+ of them) Science happened mostly in the meat section. Well... it started in the meat section, with a question about fish - then it proceeded to the fish section where they had a tank with live lobsters in it. Now does that just scream science or what?! Although, the man that was following the same "route" through the market as us had his fair share of chuckles... up until Sophia asked why the lobsters were alive but the salmon were dead... (see... culinary insight as well!) - I have taken an up front and honest approach to giving her the facts, so I told her that when people cooked lobster they needed them alive first. She figured out on her own that what I really meant was that they were cooked alive... of course the man that heard the other 90 minutes of our lesson missed that part but walked by just in time for her to ask if it hurt them and me say "I don't know, but they make a high pitched sound that is similar to a scream when they're thrown in the pot"... Sophia was fascinated... the man looked at us and said "wow, you're brutally honest"... luckily I didn't have to reply because Sophia chimed in with "Oh, it's ok - I'm allergic to lobster, so we wont eat them anyways"... ha... Yeah so that was Monday.

Tuesday - We went to Target to get cards for DH's birthday... and to see if perhaps we could find a little something for him, even though he was very very stern that he wanted no presents. Um... yeah right?! So I let Sophia pick out a card and I picked out a card. (She picked out a huge Spongebob card... so appropriate and way cute) Then she saw some blue ribbons that said "birthday boy" and she said that he needed one. I agreed so we tossed that in the cart. We then spent about an hour wandering around - Our conversation went like this -

Me - "What should we get daddy"

Sophia - "That"

Me- "What is that"

Sophia - "I don't know, what is it"

Me - "It's a fort, Daddy's to big for a fort"

Sophia " But I like the fort"

Me - "I know sweetheart, but daddy is too big for that fort, and I'm not sure he'd want it - but that was a really good suggestion"

*repeat 60 or so times replacing the fort with other objects such as crochet, princess dresses, hello kitty puzzles, AC filters, a set of dollhouse book selves, a few spiderman shirts (boys)... you get the idea. We arrived home barely in time to get dinner going... Alas, I succeeded

Wednesday - The most exciting day of Sophia's week... Gymnastics day. Nothing but gymnastics gets accomplished on Wednesdays because she is really just too excited to function. So we usually watch Peep to sneak in science... she usually wants an encore (yay science! Thank you Tivo!) We arrived quite early to gymnastics, and Sophia is one of 2 children there that are 3. She is by far the bittiest, but she so doesn't care. I watched through the glass as they all did forward and backward rolls into the foam pit. Then I watched as the 4 year old's in line in front of Soph said no to the rope (older kids climb it, little ones sit on the bottom knot and swing over the foam pit), Sophia hoped right on, held on tight and swung all the way across the foam pit without batting an eye (or falling off)... then she did it 3 more times, trying to get the other kids to do it to. When they were all done she came right up to me and said "Mommy! Did you see me swing?"... sure did! "Good, did you see I was Brave? I tried to help the other kids be Brave but they were too scared". Yay! My kid is brave. So that night DH was home before we were, and after dinner he announced he and Soph were going to the store to get the ingredients for cheesecake for his birthday. I thought it would stop there, 'cause Sophia and I had planned to make the cake Thursday while he was at work... well, I came downstairs after getting Brenna to sleep and they had already started.... oooooh brother. Now that was an adventure. It was ... borderline tragic. Here is why - 1. Sophia can't eat a single ingredient in a regular cheesecake (literally not 1) 2. DH refuses to believe I know more about baking than the numbers in a cookbook... so he neglected to heed my advice about too much butter in the crust 3. Sophia was "helping" us by throwing the almonds everywhere and 4. It was 10pm!

Well I was in charge of the filling, DH and Soph handled the crust. I suggested pre-baking the crust for a few minutes since it wasn't made of the normal ingredients... good thing I was very very firm in this suggestion because DH hadn't planned for me being right about the butter and it was dripping out the sides of the spring form and smoking out our kitchen as the butter hit the bottom of the oven... So we had to overcome that hurdle - DH Decided to make a chocolate swirl cheesecake... but I made the mistake of assuming it was common knowledge that when melting chocolate on the stove, it is done in a double boiler... we all know what one gets for assuming anything... So when I turn around and there is an entire bag of chocolate chips in a pan on the stove top, oh boy. I was beginning to wish I had put the nix on the project and insisted I do it myself with Soph the next day! By now, Brenna has awoken and Sophia's face is covered in cheesecake filling, and we FINALLY get the cake into the over for an hour. (By now it is 11:30pm). So by 2am I crawl into bed, after letting the cake cool all the way and what not I crawl into bed. I wanted to take a picture, but couldn't find my camera before it got cut into.

Needless to say... very very tasty considering there was no dairy, eggs, or wheat in it (and it is a cheesecake... a chocolate cheesecake). If anyone out there wants the recipe, please let me know - I'd love to share.

Thursday (I know, this is long) - DH's Bday. When Sophia woke up DH was already at work. I was downstairs hanging out with Brenna when I heard her at the top of the stairs having a total fit. Not the norm if I let her wake on her own. DH called just to say hi while this massive screaming fit was occurring. An hour later I finally got Soph to calm down enough to tell me what she was so upset about. She wanted to tell daddy Happy Birthday but he wasn't there anymore. So sad! So I distracted her by telling her that it was good he wasn't there because we had to make his present! So we made him picture frames out of Popsicle sticks and clothes pins for him to take to work. She LOVED it, I didn't even help her one bit. She "wrote" on his card and then told me i had to write it so he could read what it said - so we did that. Then we went to the library. There was a really nice little boy there that was also 3 and they took to each other very quickly. They were having so much fun playing that neither wanted to leave. His mom was really nice, although after 3 hours of our kids playing and us chatting away we never thought to get each others names (how rude am I?!?!). It was really nice though, because Sophia really needs some little friends and it's hard with Brenna being so young because it's not super easy lugging her around anywhere that is outside when it's in the 90s with 90% humidity.

Friday - Alas my week found an end... FINALLY. We went to dinner last night for DH's Bday, and then after devouring our delicious cheesecake Sophia was so excited about everything she didn't get to bed until gosh... midnight? (WHAT?!) I thought she'd sleep late... Nope. Up at 6:15. So we had a very early morning. But it was a pretty fun day, she told me she wanted to start doing homework. When I told her that all our "work" was homework she said... no like homework after dinner, with daddy. So I'm going to start giving the worksheets to her before DH gets home, for them to do either while dinner is cooking, or after dinner while dishes are getting done. Hopefully this works out because I really want her to enjoy the "traditional" aspects of learning for later on when it matters. But I definitely can't force this one to do it, so I'm glad she came to it on her own. The only fun thing we did all day was we dyed pasta. Lots and lots of pasta. I only had 1c. of rubbing alcohol so we had to be creative with how we went about the process. I used 2 glass measuring cups and put 1/2c rubbing alcohol in each. We started with yellow and red, so that we could add to them after the first batch was done and have 2 more colors. I let her put in the food coloring, and then I let her pick what color to add to the red and yellow to make 2 new colors. She picked blue for both to make purple and green. The purple and green turned out the best (I think she added a bit too much dye, but it worked out). Tomorrow we shall create with our pretty colored pasta in a bazillion shapes.

Thanks for following to the end :) If you made it this far you're a real trooper.

3 Questions, Comments, Concerns:

Kate in NJ said...

P loves "visiting" the lobsters.
When told they are cooked alive,
my little (and very sympathetic)Princess said.."and are they yummy?" so sensitive is she!;-)
23? OK, I feel really old now, I'm pretty sure the t-shirt I'm wearing to clean today is that old (my fave tie dye Moody Blues one)LOL
Anyway- Happy B-day to DH!
I think her "homework" idea is precious!

Shari said...

Glad you had fun shopping for DH's birthday present. It sounds like a busy week for you. My boys used to love shopping too. It was such an adventure and full of new sights and interesting things.

chanale said...

Good for Sophia! That is very brave to cross a foam pit when you're 3 years old. :)

And I'd love the cheesecake recipe since I don't eat dairy or eggs. :)