Life has been busy and fun. We've become used to the routine of school for the most part, although I'm still adjusting to my new work schedule. I really miss working from home all day on Mondays.
R likes the after-school program better now. He sometimes doesn't want to leave when we pick him up because he's busy playing with Legos with other kids or listening to a story read by the program director. He seems to be making lots of friends all around, and he's giving us more details about school and what he's learning. Last week, I went to Curriculum Night, and I was so impressed with his school, the principal, and his teacher. I signed up to volunteer in his classroom to help with writing and reading and to do cutting projects and fix broken books. It was fun to see his drawings and writing on the classroom walls, especially how he tried to write out "I went to California" (for his summer vacation paper) and his depiction and interpretation of one of the classroom rules ("No kicking" - illustrated with a stick figure kicking another stick figure that had Xs for eyes).
R's teacher did talk to us about R's habit of looking for "treasure" on the ground and floor. Unfortunately, it's something we've encouraged because he finds really interesting things a lot of the time, including money, interesting rocks, beads, and jewelry. Other times he finds bits of rusty metal, asphalt, and trash. :-) But, apparently, he was scouring the classroom floor during circle time instead of focusing on his teacher. She told us that he would get excited about "staples and small rocks that come off of the children's shoes." LOL. But, she was so wonderful about it and just asked us if R had ever used some techniques for staying focused that she had tried before. I did talk to R about limiting his treasure hunting to when he's outside, and I think that's helped a lot.
Our weekends have been very busy between soccer, swimming lessons, errands, and fun stuff. This past weekend, we went to a co-worker's wedding. R wore a tie, vest, dress pants, and shirt! He's never been that dressed up before, and it was all his idea and he was very excited to wear his "suit." We all had a blast at the wedding. There were lots of activities and entertainment for the kids, so A and I actually got to dance and mingle and eat - woohoo!
After the wedding, we drove to my friend's mom's house to stay for the night. We hung out with my friend, her husband, and twins (we had all been at the wedding together). We had a lovely breakfast in the morning, then we met up with my friend's sister and her twins and husband and went to a local farm for apples, cider, bouncy houses, pony rides, and the unexpected surprise of .... GEM MINING! R was in absolute heaven. We bought three giant bags of dusty pebbles for him to sift and wash through - and he came home with an incredible amount of geodes, amethyst, quartz, pyrite, hematite, and many more. He had so much fun. He could have stayed there all day. The mining kit came with a little chart to identify the gems. R went over to other "miners" to find out what gems they found and to help them identify them. He's been very interested in rocks and gems and minerals recently, between his treasure hunting and visiting our local bead store, which also has many gems for sale. The woman who works at the bead store took a liking to R and told him he could have anything he found on the floor. So, R thinks it's his job now to clean the bead store floor. A week ago, he filled a ziploc baggie with his floor findings. Now he wants the tools to drill holes in rocks, polish stones and gems, etc.
We've been trying to balance all of these events with downtime at home. I'm excited because R has only a half-day of school one day this week, and I took the afternoon off to hang with him. And, we don't really have any concrete plans yet for the long weekend, which is so nice. Although I am hoping to have some time to make a raised garden bed in my front yard and to plant my spring bulbs. We'll see what happens.