Monday, September 19, 2011


In my first blog entry I wrote "I'm pretty sure [Neven would] rather spend an hour with me looking for bugs in the backyard than go to Disneyland." This week, I came as close as I could to proving that correct. Neven, Daria, and I drove to to the state fair in Albuquerque to meet a good friend of mine and her two kids (who are about the same age as Neven and Daria). We visited McDonald's Farm (where they walk around a mini-farm collecting fruits and veggies from the various stations), fed some goats, ate fair food for lunch (a foot-long corndog and french fries), rode a few rides (three seemed to be enough), and bought some cotton candy at the end of the day (that did get a wide-eyed "ooh!" expression from him). I had a good day! Neven had an OK time for sure. Maybe he was just on overload and taking it all in, maybe the crowds made him a little nervous (it's usually his idea to hold my hand)... most likely a bit of both? 

He slept for most of the car ride home, and wasn't exactly ready for bed at his normal time of 8:00. As a treat, we let him stay up late. He and Matt curled up on the couch together under a blanket (the blanket I made for him while pregnant, his "hug" as he calls it) and watched "How to Train Your Dragon." After the movie ended, he was very animated as he told me with his hands all about dragons flying this way and that. And that night, he went to sleep talking about dragons. 

My conclusion? I think he's a homebody... just like his mama and dad.  

(I had planned on writing more on this topic, but am running out of time and just want to get something posted!) 

Neven's Activities this Week

Last weekend, our family visited Eldorado's 4,000+ acre community preserve. Full of connecting trails, we made a short 2-mile hike that Neven was able to do on his own (Daria was awarded a free ride in the backpack). We picked flowers, learned about "trail markers", and listened to Neven leading the way while mumbling to himself about all that he was seeing and taking in (what a joy!). 

MAKING PIZZA (fine motor skills)
Neven helped me make Greek-style pizza for dinner. One of the simple activities that not only makes him feel included, but can be used as a learning opportunity. I cut up all the veggies, and let him put them on. Of course, he added them one by one -- great use of his fine motor skills! 

FORT (gross motor skills)
Pillows + not on the couch = a fort! Pushing the truck trough the fort with him was intentional - additional practice using his gross motor skills. 

BALANCE BEAM (gross motor skills)
An idea I read about online - We found an old wood plank in our yard, about 6 inches wide and 6 feet long. At first, I laid it directly on the ground, thinking that would provide a challenge for a least a few minutes. No such luck! Next we moved it to make a ramp from the grass to the wall of the flower bed. That lasted a few more minutes. Moving it to a foot off the ground turned out to be the best - Neven was able to walk across (to escape the sharks, he claimed), bounce in the middle, or jump off the side! Pure, simple fun... 

Some of the simplest fun you can have - a cardboard box, painted like a boat (you do see the resemblance, right?!) with circles and squares!

This weekend's Saturday activity was a visit to the Santa Fe Children's Museum. We've heard rave reviews, and this was our first time to go since we've moved here two months ago. Plenty of stimulating activities here - rolling balls along a track until they crash, bug displays, beads, bubbles, a (huge!) water table, magnets, play kitchen, art supplies... Definitely a place we'll be visiting often this winter when it's too cold to be outside! 

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