Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sweet Seven?

Reina is halfway through first grade and still loves it since she is sad when there isn't school one day due to a holiday. For her birthday she didn't want to bring cupcakes because everyone does so we decided the caramel and cheddar popcorn at Costco would be perfect, and it was! We celebrated at Red Robin with two sets of grandparents, cousin Karter and Uncle Steve and Aunt Katie.

This year she had made a really good friend, Lily who now plays occasionally at each others houses. When I ask her questions about school she often will tell me how everyone just likes her a lot and wants to sit by her. This makes me so happy that she is likeable! I think she saves the attitude for her family! Her last report card in December showed high marks for everything and even an "above and beyond" mark in music from Mr. Valaskez. He has pulled me aside and boasted about her musicality and rhythm. I asked her about music class one day and she told me that after the teacher asked the class who is the best at music (or something to that effect) everyone had shouted "Reina! Reina!" This is coming from a first grader mind you so I'm sure the teacher didn't ask who the best was, but that's how Reina relayed the information.
Birthday cards made by classmates
Playing with jellyballz
We have just put her in the dance academy's pre-professional class which takes up two days of the week. Since my driver education class doesn't meet on Wednesdays, I have set aside that day solely for Reina's dance class and time with the kids. On the other dance class day, Grandpa Guinn enjoys watching her ballet and tap class since I am busy with my class. Afterwards Reina is lucky to eat dinner with just Grandma and Grandpa Guinn. I wanted to put her in piano lessons too, but with still working and a new baby I knew this wasn't feasible so instead I have been teaching her piano lessons. Now I know I haven't been as proactive as a real piano teacher but we are happy that she is able to play a few songs, learn the scale and fingering, and will even go to the piano just for fun while waiting to get in the car. We haven't gotten serious with it by any means but for now, it's working just fine. She expects to be good at playing a new song right away and often will get overwhelmed and start crying and contorting herself in awkward positions on the piano bench if it's not going as easily as she hoped. Ayayayay...this is when a piano teacher would be very beneficial!
Practicing her gymanstics with Elizabeth
Reina loves all things social. She likes to be in charge of group activities and will often lead the younger kids in various "shows" at Mummi's house after school. It's funny that she has taken the lead as a "big" kid when it seems like yesterday that she was looking up to Elizabeth as her confidant. One day she was having a lesson on solids, liquids and gasses and had the kids give examples and demonstrate each category. Reina enjoys being active all the time unless she is watching a movie or playing a game on the computer then she could zone out for hours. Paul recently busted out the old Nintendo games "Super Mario World" and "Donkey Kong Country" for the kids. I was a pro at those games so you might find me helping them pass a level every now and then.
Reading her story to Grandpa Scarborough
Some of the big events in Reina's seventh year of life were: losing lots of teeth...I think seven? She even got a $2 bill for one of her teeth from the tooth fairy. She wasn't impressed by a $2 bill but would have rather gotten two $1 bills. Ha!

She is in the pre-professional dance classes which include not just ballet but jazz and tap. She has even gone to a handful of the hip-hop classes for the 11 and up kids and fits in just as well! Her favorite is actually hip-hop, then jazz, then tap, and lastly ballet.
Reina's reading seems to be easy for her. I don't know if she is necessarily advanced in her reading compared to others because I don't know how others read in first grade but when she reads something to me she doesn't have difficulty. Her spelling is getting better, but I am surprised there is not a bigger focus on spelling. I remember spelling tests and haven't seen anything like that this year. Her favorite subjects are math and writing stories, and of course PE and music. I don't do anything academically with her at home. After school should be a time of activities, chores, play, and family time. She's doing great at school and loves it so that's good with me!
Our biggest challenge with Reina this year has been her attitude. She always has to have the LAST WORD and can be a bit of a snot in her tone. We are working on this but this isn't really new as she has always been vocal of her thoughts, opinions and emotions. Reina is still learning the consequences of not controlling those emotions. We know she can do it though because she is great at school and church. I'm trying to see the positive that she must feel comfortable to show it at home. We tend to hold our emotions in when we have to have our guard up. We do need a place to let go and it should be at home.

Reina is an excellent big sister. She gets along really well with Baelor and often will give in to his behaviors. Sometimes I even have to remind her to not give in as he sometimes needs to learn the consequences of his behavior. She absolutely ADORES Rowen. She'll kiss his face all day if I didn't stop her from putting her germs all over him. Reina will sing songs to him and keep him happy while I am busy. She is learning to change diapers and hopefully will advance to poopy ones soon!