Saturday, January 4, 2014

Montessori Mom's Year in Review!

The year 2013 has been a very exciting and busy year for us all.  January to March I was working full time while raising a very busy two year old boy.  He attended the school I work at and did very well in the toddler room.  It's a lot of fun to have him there.  
On April 19th our family was blessed with another boy named Nathan! He is absolutely a blessing and a joy to us all!  Life did not seem to change as much as people told me it would.  It was a tad more busy, but overall the transition of going from one to two babies (yes, I still feel like Noah is my baby) was pretty easy I think, thanks to Noah's personalty.  After our new baby was born, in the months leading up to summer vacation I continued to take Noah to school, but I did not stay with him and teach in the Casa room.  In Canada, the government gives you a year of maternity leave from work to stay home with the new baby, so I am not currently in the Montessori classroom. But I will return to school in April of this new year.
The summer was a fun filled time for our family and we did as much as we could with Noah, all while taking care of a new born.  We took Noah to St. Thomas, Ontario for him to ride his favourite train, Thomas the Tank Engine. It was a chance of a lifetime and he absolutely loved it!  Now if any of you have a small child who loves Thomas, "A Day Out With Thomas" (which is a travelling Thomas train exhibit that visits cities and towns across North America) is an amazing adventure to take the kids to.  They get to ride on an actual train that looks like Thomas, meet Sir Topham Hat, play with trains and just have a great time with everything Thomas.
We continued our summer spending time by the pool, going to the zoo, and visiting the African Lion Safari.  On a few trips, we left the little one to visit with family, and got everyone else together to do things with just Noah, which was really great.  I think that us spending time with just Noah helped him transition so well to having a baby brother around who shares our attention.  We explained to Noah in great detail that when his brother cries we have to attend to him almost right away because Nathan can't verbalize what he needs, and we have to figure it out so we can make him feel better.  I explained to Noah that it would be like us not feeding him his lunch when he was hungry or asking Noah how he would feel if he was hungry and we did not feed him.  It worked very well and from then on Noah was more patient and seemed to be more understanding having a new little one around.  
In September Noah turned 3 and started school in the Casa classroom where I teach (though as I mentioned, I'm still on maternity leave so he's with another teacher right now).  It was all new to him because he was not used to me leaving the school.  Before he just thought mommy was in the next classroom to his, now he sees me leave with his brother and go to my car.  He is doing so much better by not crying when I drop him off at school and leave.  The November timeline for normalization set in for him, and I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished from Sept-Dec.  In that time he has learned all his sounds phonetically, he writes all his numbers 0-20 with out tracing, and he has started to sound out words. I must be honest, I do work with him a lot at home, but not because I force him to but because he asks me every day to do his sounds and numbers with him. He loves to learn!  We are all very proud of him.
My new baby boy is 8 months old now and growing like a weed.  He has five teeth already and long dark hair.  He loves to jump around in his exersaucer, I keep thinking one day he is just going to jump right out of it! :)  Soon he will be crawling and then the fun really begins!  As Nathan grows older I can't wait to see what his personality will be like.  Right now he is a funny, very giggly, cute little boy.  He loves to talk to us and I already see a connection between the two brothers.  I hope they don't gang up on me when they are older ;)
As I prepare for the new year and going back to work in just three months, I am excited to see what the year will bring for me, my husband, and our two precious little boys.  So I will end with wishing every one a very Happy New Year! 

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