Category Archives: Learning

On Ezra’s Second Birthday

Getting ready for play in the snow. Note the spatula in Ezra’s hand. He likes all of the tolls of the kitchen and we recently discovered spatula hockey!
While Asher is typically focused on the particular object of play, Ezra frequently just likes to be involved.
Ezra, Asher’s little shadow.
Ezra likes to be tucked up, in and under anything soft, especially animal friends.

Ezra James Sittler turned two years old yesterday. His birthday was celebrated by family and friends Sunday, and by Asher in particular from sometime shortly after the Christmas presents were opened (Friday) through pretty much the whole of Monday. Little Ezra is loved by a good number of people. I put him in corduroy overalls for his party and he really did take on some of the essence of the well-loved bear of the same name. He is rarely without someone to hold him or follow him around at church, words of adoration are frequently heard from bystanders when we’re out and about, and his big brother can hardly leave him alone, he’s so fun to be with.

Ezra has gone by many nicknames in his two years. One of the first was Mr. Delicious. Puppy and Little Bear came next followed by Widdle (shortened form of Little Bear). Tup-tup is another, somehow expressing the shy little pout he puts on as he shrugs his shoulders on almost any occasion.

Some signs of Ezra’s advancing age include maybe a dozen or more words said with increasing clarity, more big-brother-like-activity, such as throwing and catching balls, and a great sense of humor, though often it seems like he’s laughing at some secret insight he’s got on the life of some mundane object the rest of us take for granted. “Uht,” he exclaims, pointing and giggling in awe at the vacuum cleaner cord disappearing around the corner or at the discovery of a pocket in a new pair of pants.

One of his best words is also one of his favorite foods: oatmeal. It comes out sounding a bit more like Ohp-Mow, but he clearly knows what he’s talking about and he can throw down 2 adult servings in one setting. Consequently, the Betta fish he got for his birthday was named oatmeal, despite the fact that it’s red.

Ezra’s favorite things to do include anything that his big brother does. Besides that, he enjoys watching Papa make tea or coffee, watching the blender or mixer go around when Mama’s baking, and playing with trucks , cars, motorcycles and especially balls. He also enjoys music of all kinds.

Ezra has a natural sweetness that comes out at surprisingly approriate times. He freely gives kisses and hugs and once when cuddled up with Asher and Mama watching the Polar Express, he leaned over to shower Asher with kisses as if to say “It sure is nice to have a brother like you!”

Happy Birthday to our Little Bear and God grant him many more years!

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Nature: walks, toys, journal, table, books

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Cross Country Skiing

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We had so much fun cross country skiing with friends at the Breckenridge Nordic Center. It was such a beautiful day, great work out, and very peaceful. And despite the awful traffic there and on the way home, it was well worth it. Asher wanted to try skiing and he did such a great job. I’m thinking this might be a new New Year’s tradition.

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First Week of Preschool

 

We have entered the world of preschool. Everyday Asher goes to the ECE 3’s class at Bill Roberts, which is a 5 min. car ride, 10 min. bike ride, 25 min. walk when it is just me, or a 45 min. bike ride when Asher is riding his tricycle. Most days we opt for the 5 min. car ride or 10 min. bike ride. Asher cried the first 3 days when I dropped him off. However, Mrs. Smith kept reassuring me that he was just fine shortly after I would leave. Even so, it was still hard to leave. My heart would break and I questioned my decision of sending Asher to preschool everyday. But, Thursday and Friday we had no tears! So, maybe it will all be just fine. Asher attends 2 1/2 hours Mon. – Thurs. and 2 hours on Friday. It was a crazy, busy, tired, emotional, exciting week. Asher reports that his days at preschool are good, that he plays with the trains and trucks and thinks he will play with them everyday he goes to school, that he really likes his teacher Mrs. Smith because she likes him, plays with Benjamin, another Asher, Jack and thinks Scottie is funny…something about ants in your pants, plays on the playground, sits on the letter T for Train on the circle rug, likes a song about sausage sizzling in the pan and all of a sudden, one went…BAM!, reads and listens to books, and was excited about Mrs. Smith bringing the airport to school and it was so big. I wish I could be a little fly on the wall and watch my big boy in action. I worry if he’s following directions or getting into trouble, I hope he’s not talking about poop or constantly picking his nose and hope that he loves learning and that his teacher sees all of the funny and special things about him. I hope he doesn’t love his teacher more than me. I wonder if he’s being nice to the other boys and girls and if he uses his polite manners. I wonder if he’ll be a leader or a follower. I wonder if the teachers talk about him after all the kids have left and what they might say… I know, I was a teacher once. I know, I know, this is only preschool. But, whatever I worry or wonder about, because oh, my, this is just the beginning of his school career, I can be assured that when Asher steps into that classroom and I leave, he is not only being taken care of by his teacher, but also by God and lifted up by prayers from his Mama and Papa and loved ones and that makes for a peaceful transition into the world of preschool.

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Ezra, 6 Months

 

The little guy is doing his best at trying new things to eat: yams, rice cereal and avocado! He must be doing it right as he’s now up to almost 16 pounds!

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The Careful Gardener

 

We planted our container garden last week and everything is looking good so far. Asher loves to water the plants and he has his own divisions for wildflowers. Hopefully he’ll get a good crop. And, yes, he enjoys gardening in his underwear!

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Friday Mornings, Friday Afternoons

 


Every Friday morning Asher goes to his Lil’ Kickers Soccer class. It’s the funniest thing, 2 and 3 year olds playing various ball games that involve some kind of imaginative play like planting trees (cones) and then putting nests on them (some cone-like dish) and then knocking down all the trees (Asher’s favorite part) or kicking balls into the net and then going down the line to high-five their “teammates.” There are always lots of chuckles, as you can imagine. Asher also likes playing a game called “Wake Up, Fred!” Here is how Asher describes this game… If only you could here his little voice, it’s quite expressive.
“You kick the ball against the wall. And then you yell, “WAKE UP FRED! SO, SO LOUD! Then you put your ear up against the wall and listen for Fred. Fred is a little, tiny mouse that runs around all night. And then you sit down. And then you go bye-bye after that.”
Asher particularly likes Coach Storie as she thinks Asher is funny and she plays funny games with him. He frequently ends up in her lap or sitting next to her. They end the class with everyone getting multiple stamps on their hands and tummy. Aaaahhh… Lil’ Kickers, a nice way to spend a Friday morning.
You know the hours, the hours between 4-6 pm, where waiting for Papa to come home kinda drags on and on and on… and you need to start making dinner, etc. So, whenever I feel the ‘dragging on’ starting to get the better of me I have to consciously make an effort to make the afternoon, especially Friday afternoon, fun for all! I often think of my other mommy friends at home and I wonder what they are doing in those exact moments. It makes me feel not so isolated. So, I will share what we did last Friday afternoon and would love to hear other ideas of what to do during those sometimes long hours.
Friday afternoon turned out to be a little cool outside and I was feeling a little chilly. I opened the cupboard to get some Spring Mint Green Tea and I spotted some of Asher’s special tea, Just For Kids Nighty Night Calming and Relaxing Tea. (I actually bought this tea for Asher a long time ago thinking that maybe, just maybe this would be the key to him sleeping really well at night. Well, we still have half the box, so I guess it didn’t really work). Anyways, I decided to wait until Asher woke up from his nap to have my tea and I would offer him a choice of either his special tea or some hot chocolate (another favorite chilly time drink) and a lemon currant cookie. He surprisingly chose the tea. We made tea and he wanted it in a big boy mug. “Asher, do you want to play Animal Bingo?” “Yea!” he enthusiastically responded. So we go to the table with our tea and lemon currant cookies and play Animal Bingo while Ezra just takes it all in. I highly recommend this game for 2 1/2 years on up. The illustrations are so well done and colorful and they have fun and interesting animals for children to learn like Ibex and  Hedgehog and Beetle. It was a gift for Asher from our neighbors here in Denver, so I’m not sure where to purchase it, but the brand is eeBoo. It’s also great to play with a group of kids if you’re having a playdate. This game engaged my active little monkey for a good hour or so and Mama had fun playing as well. I do loves games, so it doesn’t take much to get me to play a game, even a kids game! 🙂 Next, it is time to make dinner. I stuck Ezra in the Bjorn and started gathering ingredients. We were having a Tomato and Lentil Stew and as I got out the lentils from the pantry I thought I could pour some in a tupperware for Asher and give him some measuring cups, spoons, etc. and he could play next to me while I cook. He loves sensory play; dried beans or rice works nicely as well. As I was chopping vegetables, I would glance over and see him spooning the lentils into the measuring cups, leveling off the lentils in the teaspoons like you do when you bake, and bringing his stuffed dog to the tub to come and eat his “dog food.” I love how young kids use their imagination; we don’t even have a dog. I was just mostly pleased that he thought to say dog food and not dog poop as poop has become a frequent word around our house. What is it with boys and poop? Anyways, this kept Asher occupied the whole time I made dinner. He has asked to do “Lentil Play” since and I say, “Great!” as long as Asher follows the rule of pick-up with the sweeper and dust pan. So far, so good. Aaaahhh…Tea and cookies, Animal Bingo, and “Lentil Play,” a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon.

 

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