Saturday, May 30, 2009

American Pride Photo Contest

(This will probably also post to babycenter, so pardon the references)

So, Next week's photo contest is American Pride Photo contest (or any other country.) I love the idea, the board moderators are very involved with the board, which is nice. So Obviously, I want to submit a photo of Isabella for this one.

But WHAT? What will I do? I think today I will pull out the craft box and make soemthing. I am thinking a twirly style skirt and a fold over top. I am also thinking of decorating with ruffles or tulle...and making it from muslin because the lightweight fabric is so soft and flowy for hot summer days.

I am going to add anything else I can think of to show that Isabella and I (and the rest of our family) are very patriotic, we love our country and our president....So this will be a nice way to escape stress today. I will post back again as soon as the outfit is done.

Are you wanting to do something for your little one? Share with me your thoughts or plans (but not your picture, I will see it in the contest:-) )

Friday, May 29, 2009

A short break from learning meant time to create:

Well, I didn't feel too great today (or yesterday, for that matter) so I left the words up, practiced sounds for all of a few minutes and left them to play today. They are surely thinking TGIF, lol. But, Since I love sewing (Loving it does not mean I am good at it, but hey, whatever works) I decided to throw together some scraps that became the TuTu Shorts. I basically made a pair of shorts from scraps that had skulls on them. I gathered hot pink tulle, and then shorter, black tulle, and stitched them on. Not as easy as it sounds, but by no means difficult at all. anyway, I liked the look and she liked to wear them, until they were wet with spit up, then she liked them not so much.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Experiment, Day 2. (and some other stuff)

I never got back on to post again last night. Fortunatly, it's because I got so busy. I got plenty of cleaning done, and did playtime with the boys and such. Isabella kept my hands full until I put her in the sling on my hip, and washed dishes one handed. It was not the best time of my life, but at least my dishes are done, and all of my laundry, and my living room is looking pretty good. That is a big deal, considering I didn't feel up to anything at all.

And how will I motivate today? I am so tired, I stayed up with Mitchell to watch a show last night and I should have known better, almost as soon as my head hit the pillow Mason started having a rough night. I don't blame him, though. Mason fell asleep in the living room watching tv last night, and As i have previously mentioned, this causes restless sleep. So he woke up and couldn't quite fall back asleep deeply enough. the positive note to it was I had placed the potty chair in the nursery with htem last night and Mason got up and used it, and so was dry this morning.This is not the first night he stayed dry. I am proud of him, I really think he will be dry every night in a few weeks.

Hehe I can see this post is going to take a while to write, since my little ones are needing me.

So, got my coffee and they have thier breakfast, let's add some more.

Last night we ordered oriental food. The place near our house has great food, and reasonable prices. And of course, we got fortune cookies. My fortune cookie said "You will maintain good health and enjoy life". Well, that is terribly presumptuous. how can I maintain good health if I don't have it to maintain? Perhaps it was a nod to the fact that I made an appointment with a new Doctor to sort out my depression, my "seizures" and my back/hip pain. We shall see.

Mitchell's fortune pleased me, it said "You should be able to undertake and complete anything" So immediatly I said we should switch bedrooms with the kids. this has been brewing in my brain for a while, because I think Mason is frightened at night by our inconsiderate neighbors, and the kids can't hear them in our room. Also the nursery has two closets that we use for storage, perhaps we can let them use the big closet in our room for toys and clothes, freeing up more space to play. Mitch gave me a few reasonalbe conditions, and agreed, though not all that happy at the job. he asked that I clean the room and box things up to make the move easy. Fair enough!

So, moving on to the "Your baby can read" experiment. I spent the day trying to get each child to remember what each of the two words were. I was astonished when Zander (18 months old) did better at naming the word than Mason (2.5 years old).

Zander took the word as a shape with a familiar name. I told him a few times that the shapes I pointed at were "Ball" and "Cup" and it was as simple as that for him. There were pictures of a ball and of a cup, which Zander named, but did not really seem to connect with the word until closer to the end of the day. Even still, I don't think he related them the way a person who reads does. I want to use the metaphor Mitchell came up with last night when we discussed the results. Zander sees words as one shape, like a person might see a house as just a house, just a square with a triangle on top. It's just a thing with a name. Once he becomes familiar with the hosue from this aspect, meaning once he learns to remember a few words, I will then teach him how the words have "parts" and each part has a sound (This is the phonetic part) and it will be like learning how a house has studs, beams, trusses, etc. He will be able to understand the relationship between parts of words to sounds, and have the benefit of knowing some words in advance. So he is learning to read BOTH ways, both visually and phonetically. I am still not sure this is the "right" way, but it's an experiment, so we will see what happens.

For Mason, it was a different story. Mason already knows his alphabet and many phonetic sounds. So, learning to recognize words is pointless. He sees them as seperated by each letter. Furthermore, when he saw the cup, he thought "drink" and so thought the word that followed was "drink" until i gently corrected him. So, I have decided to experiment differently today. I have decided to continue to show him the words 'cup' and 'ball' but to show him how each letter has it's own sound, and get him to repeat teh sounds the letters make. So, in short, teach him the phonetic sounds for those words.

I am going to allow Zander to at least observe me teaching Mason and participate if he wants, to see if he picks up on it.

HEHE Wouldn't you know! While I was typing, Mason decided to 'help'. He said "What words?" and I turned to look and he pointed to "Ball" and said "ball" and then pointed to "cup" and said "cup". Hmmmm.........

I still think I will go about things as planned, but not until the afternoon. I am going to test the boys, so to speak, to see if they remember anything from yesterday. I am curious if Mason will forget and revert to saying 'drink' instead of 'cup'.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Techical stupidity...

SO, sometimes I have repeat posts and such, it is because I am having soem trouble making the blog post to a few places I want it to. I may have to copy and paste at each place, because it doesn't seem to want to cooperate. Boo!

EXPERIMENT; Your Baby Can Read!

Today Mitchell is working until dinner time. Yesterday was unproductive; I didn't get anything done at all. Today probably won't be much different, despite the ever increasing number of things I need to do today. I DO plan on posting twice today, but I also want to fill out our health insurance paperwork, get more laundry done, wash the dishes, and vacuum. We will see what gets done. I have a project I want to try.

I wanted to say a few things about this program called "Your baby can read". Are you wondering if this idea works? Well, it probably does for many kids. But I would think the way your child learns affects whether this would work or not. Check out "".

So, I have decided to work really hard to teach Mason (age 2.5) and Zander (age 1.5) to "read" some words. The two boys learn differently, and have different strengths, phonically. Zander talks well for his age group, and learns from repetition. Mason had a speech delay (though is now caught up to his peers) and learns better from physical/visual examples.

So, today I will post piece of paper on the door (it's in the center of the living room) with two words on it. I will point to the words several times throughout the day and say the words while making good eye contact with each child. I will also show them pictures or the actual objects.

At the end of the day, I will ask Mason what each word is. I will ask Zander to show me what the word is, for example, by placing the object near one of the words.

The idea behind this is that they learn to recognize the shape of the word, because this is how reading begins. They recognize letters, shape of words, etc. until it starts making sense that the word is actually made up of different letters (separating the letters in a big word is too complicated for a child under 3, in my opinion) and every couple of days we will choose a letter to practice the sounds of, so when we are ready to sound out words, they will know what sounds the letters make.

If I make progress, I will also be buying the "your baby can read" system. Why not? I am a firm believer that early reading makes education easier. I was an early reader. I could read before kindergarten and could read better than the majority of my peers. This made school easier for me, and I still enjoy reading (though I mostly like to read junk, lol). The fact that I can read and retain information from reading so well made college a great deal easier, too.

I have chosen to begin with the words "Ball" and "Cup". We will also go over the "b" sounds, since it begins one of our words. I will post about how this goes as much as I can. I have a feeling this will work, because I have experienced teaching Joey (now age 10) to read, and he is in 4th grade, reading at a 7th grade level. He loves to read. We did something very similar to this. He was around 3 years old, and I would pick a sentence out of his favorite book and we would practice it, until he had memorized the whole book. Then I took words form those sentences and made games from them. I will do that, too, but I don't want to overwhelm my toddlers. Let's just see how each kid does with this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday is Monday Mommy

Since yesterday was memorial day, today is techinically my Monday. Mitchell is back at work and the kids and I are alone once again to wage the war of parent vs toddlers and baby.

Mason is being quite tempestuous to say the least, one moment fearing the "Puma" from "Go diego, Go" and the next being sweet and pretending to be a butterfly. He also pulled the cord for the living room light, ate the frosting from his brother's cupcake, and crushed graham cracker into the carpet- again! I tried to talk on the phone and Mason screamed in my face in a way that made me think of that painting, you know the one. 2 1/2 years old and already bonkers.
Zander is being better today. He has spent a great deal of every day screaming, crying, and having tantrums. Even though he is now 18 months old, he had only 8 teeth until this past month. The rest are cutting in groups and giving him a heck of a time. As if that isn't bad enough, he gets frequent earaches and will be seeing an ear,nose, and throat doctor soon. A little extra sleep last night went a long way, and some cuddles and a hearty breakfast this morning and he is actually in a good mood. He loves the music playing and of course I will spend some one on one time with him, too. I am hoping to add one more sign ((sign language)) and a new word to his vocabulary.
Isabella is still in her growth spurt. She is still nursing very often, and is grumpy as heck when hungry. So I am going to place her in the sling today so I can nurse her plenty while tending to the boys' needs. I can't wait to find out how much she weighs, and see what the Dr thinks of her growth. She doesn't look like she could have been a preemie, that is for sure. We are doing frequent tummy time, which she loves, and she is so chubby! She was 5 weeks early, weighing only 5 1/2 lbs, yet she weighs more now at almost 4 months than her full term brothers did at the same age.
I have alot to do today, play with the boys, take something out for dinner, clean my bedroom and tidy the kitchen, do laundry and teach Mason to read one word and Zander to speak one. I also need to complete at least one of the several sewing projects I left unfinished.
Today's Solution is a new sticker chart for the boys and a time out chair. I have been fairly inconsistent thus far with discipline because the boys weren't very naughty. But Mason's behavior over the past week has been often unnacceptable. So we will test out this method for a while.
Bedtime deserves honorable mention, since putting a 2.5 and 1.5 year old to bed in the same room is no easy feat. For the past few days I have been sticking to my guns and putting them to bed the same way: wind down time, tuck ins, a short tv show, then music channel until they fall asleep. I do stay in there with them still, though intend to slowly stop that, also. It takes about 1 - 1.5 hours to get both to bed right now. I would love to shorten that but it may be that the amount of time they take is necasary. I find that when they fall asleep in their beds as opposed to being rocked or falling asleep on the couch, they sleep through the night, whereas they otherwise don't, and sleep very restless.
Ferber compares the difference using an example I liked. He says to imagine if you fell asleep, and then someone moved you from your bed. You would wake up, and get back into your bed, right? Well, Now imagine if they locked the door to your room. How easy would it be for you to get back to sleep? This is the comparison to allowing a child fall asleep elsewhere, and then moving them, or rocking htem and then laying them to sleep. Everyone wakes up during the night but typically it is so quick that we don't recall. but when a child wakes and finds themselves in a different place, they wake up more to find out why and then need to duplicate the scenario in which they fell asleep in the first place, meaning, now they must wake up mom or dad for help.
But if they fell asleep in bed on thier own or with minimal interactions, there is little or no changes in the enviroment and so they fall back asleep quickly.
Consistency at bedtime has kept me sane, even though it takes some time, I succeed: they sleep, and that is that. And I know they are going to sleep feeling safe and loved. Actually, Consistency is somethign I employ as much as possible with the kids, because I find that they behave better when I keep everything basicly the same.
So, off to my day, break time is definetly over, Ha Ha.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A tiny bit about me....

I have 5 kids ages 10, 8, 2, 1, and 4 months...and a stepdaughter age 9. They are my life, as kids tend to be.

I am silly, I play pretend, I adore children, and I love art and crafts. I long to be a writer and am writing a book that may never see real print, but who cares. At least I am trying, right?

I am common law married to a great guy, and we will have our ceremony one day. I won't do it until I have sewn my own gown..which I need more time for.

I am a college grad, I have a degree in Medical Science. I earned it while pregnant twice, breastfeeding throughout and took my finals while nursing a newborn. So don't tell me getting a degree is too hard.

I could write a lot about me, but I will save it for future posts.