Thursday, January 27, 2011

The World According to Babydoll

The world according to Babydoll.  Minus a picture of me because I looked horrid in it. And it's my blog and I can if I want to. : P

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Tantrum

The tantrum.
Every child, no matter how angelic...

 eventully has them.
My son has been having them every single time he needs his diaper changed. 
It's as if I was taking him to the firing squad, or pulling off his limbs.
Of course, he only does this for me and is fine for Spencer... the lucky poo-head.
He does the whole arched-back, limp body, fall to the floor, crying and shrieking thing every time.  I've tried all my tricks, and the only thing that provides some relief is letting him hold his teddy.  This, however, is not an acceptable option because A) Teddy is only for bedtime and B) Little Man has had too many less-than-fun-to-change-and-very-messy diapers lately and poor Teddy is bound to end up with a poo facial.
I've tried forcing him to walk the whole way, carrying him (getting heavy!), a combination of the two.  I've tried ignoring his screaming, scolding him, singing to him, sweet-talking him, gently holding him down until he stops thrashing so I can change him, and it's getting to me! 
Perhaps I can just stop changing his diapers until Spence gets home at the end of the day? 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wishful Wednesday

I wish I had gone to bed earlier last night since I had to wake up a half hour earlier this morning.

I wish tomorrow will go as well or better than today went with the new baby here!

I wish continued/improving health for my family.

I wish the basket of clean laundry sitting in front of me would fold itself.

I wish I didn't eat all that cookie dough... what am I saying... I'm cool with it.

What are you wishing for today?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome to Target, Can I Help You Find Anything?

Apparently I dressed my son to work at Target, probably for the family discount.

Which is good because it's about time he started pulling his weight around here!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Rainbow Stew"

Last week we made Rainbow Stew.  First my preschoolers cut up the "ingredients" at the table, then they put them into the pot, and took them to the kitchen set to stir and cook. 

The preschoolers practiced their cutting skills, trying to make each piece about the same size cutting them from strips of construction paper.  The toddlers worked on color names.  We all counted the strips of each color.  And they had fun role-playing with real kitchen tools and brightly colored "stew ingredients"!

After a couple minutes of cooking and stirring, my daycare boy took some down to the floor to dish up into bowls

He patted it down "Because Rainbow Stew is flat"

Of course Little Man loved the activity too!

Rainbow Stew is bound to spill on the floor, but no worries, they just picked it up and put it back in the pot.

And then served it to me.

They may need some food safety training before they ever work at a restaurant.

I'm also pretty sure thumb-sucking while preparing a meal for other people is also frowned upon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A boy and his Fort

Little Man, where are you buddy?

In here Mommy!

Buddy, what are you doin in there?  What's all that stuff doing in your tent?

What? I'm in my fort with all my stuff!  And some other stuff I found laying around!

How did you make it?

Me and my friend pushed and pulled everything in here by ourselves! Isn't it cool?!

Hey Mom? Can you give me hand? I'm kinda stuck.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spencer's Tattoo

Spencer got his tattoo Tuesday night!  He's been wanting this particular tattoo on his back since he was a wee little 14 year old boy.  He had set a goal to lose 25 pounds before he would allow himself to get the tattoo, and he did it with the Spike Diet, but then it was a matter of money.  Recently he did a job for a wealthy older lady who tipped him, big!  She nearly paid for the whole tattoo! 

First I should show you where the tattoo came from.  It was a tattoo on a Final Fantasty (video game) character named Red 13. 

Now here it is on Spencer's back (that's his back, Mindee, not his back-end ;)

This is about a minute and a half after getting home from that tattoo place, it's not so slimy looking now :o)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Name Printing Practice Cards

I've been finding and reading a lot of blogs about preschool and homeschool and all that fun stuff.  The best part is finding ideas of things to do with my kids.  I figured it was my turn to show you a simple thing you can do to help your preschooler learn to correctly print his or her name.

You will need:
Index card - blank or lined, I used blank
Handwriting practice paper - look below
Glue stick
Laminating materials or Clear contact paper - I use contact paper
Pen or Pencil
Dry erase markers

First take some paper like the one pictured below, or click here like I did and print it off.  They have two sizes, the kindergarten size is about an inch tall from bottom line to top line, the preschool size is much bigger.  I went with the kindergarten size because my kids ("my" meaning my kids and/or my daycare kids) tend to print their names approximately that size already.

Print their name on one of the lines.

 Then cut it out with another handwriting line below the child's name.  Then use a glue stick to glue it down to the index card.  Using a laminating machine (which I don't have) or clear contact paper (poor man's laminater, what I do have) laminate the whole thing.

Then have your child trace his/her name using a dry erase marker, and then they can print their name on their own on the lines below. 

You can make a larger one with more tracing opportunities, but I like the size and convenience of the index card.  Babydoll is working on uniform sized letters and printing them between the correct lines, I have a daycare kiddo that mixes up the order of the letters in his name, so when it is time to write their names on their papers/artwork I give them their name index card to look at as a reference.

In other news, Spencer got his LONG awaited tattoo last night, and he loves it!  It looks really cool! I'm still getting used to the size of it, as it's bigger than I expected, but I like it. 

So you'll have to excuse me now, I have to go rub A&D ointment on my husband's tattooed back.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wishful Wednesday

It's wishful Wednesday time, but I'm going to get all rebelious and start with a "hope" instead! Ooooo, I'm such a rule-breaker!

I hope Spencer's tattoo looks perfect when he gets it tonight!!

The tattoo artist better hope that too or she's gonna get a clobbering from me!

I wish I had invited a few people to the women's conference I went to last weekend, it was fantastic!

I wish M&Ms had the nutritional value of carrots.  It's ok though, i'll just keep lieing to myself.

I wish clowns weren't so creepy.  Do they give anyone else the creeps?

Your turn!  What are you wishing for today?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Babydoll won't be going to "regular" preschool in the fall.

While I am not technically a homeschooler, since my 2nd grade daughter goes to the public school in our neighborhood, I sort of am. I guess you could say I homeschool my preschoolers. I teach a developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum that spans multiple developmental and academic areas.

When Sweet Pea was little we decided to send her to preschool at our church.  We felt it was important for her to get used to a classroom setting that didn't involve mom teaching her, before she started kindergarten.  Social, we knew she would need no practice at making friends.  None whatsoever.  She was a social butterfly from the start and has always been able to make friends wherever she goes.  Turns out she could have jumped into Kindergarten the next year without ever stepping foot in the preschool, and she would have done just as well.
Adorable Sweet Pea on her first day of preschool. I'll have to be sure to get Babydoll dressed this cute for her first day photo this fall!

That said, the following is why we are not sending Babydoll to preschool somewhere else in the fall.  When I break down how much of the 2.5 hours of preschool was actually spent learning, it falls far short of the active learning time I do with my preschoolers at home.  For instance there is getting ready for and walking to snack, eating snack, cleaning up after snack, bathroom breaks, getting bundled up to go outside, waiting for everyone to finish bundling up, going outside, playing outside, coming in and taking all that stuff off again and putting it away.  more bathroom breaks somewhere in there, small-group time at play/learning areas like kitchen areas, drawing, sensory, blocks, cars, etc (which can be found throughout the day at any decent daycare); and all the transition time and waiting for children who are not paying attention (which I'll admit was sometimes Sweet Pea).  We do more in our 1.5 hour block of preschool than regular preschools (not all I'm sure though) accomplish in 2.5.
Bulletin board area

She will learn at her pace, not the pace of the curriculum planner.  If she already knows her letters (which she does) she should be spending time mastering their sounds and blending them together to form words, rather than "waisting" time going over stuff she already knows well.  On the flip side, if everyone else can identify their numbers through 20 and Babydoll can't (which she can't yet) I can spend more time on that with her and she won't be left in someone else's dust.

It's cheaper to teach her myself.  I have been spending over $50 per month ordering curriculum for my preschoolers, but now that I'll have 2 years worth of full curriculum (only thing missing is some of the craft kits) all I'll have to pay for is new supplies.  I'll also be able to spend some of that money and time on adding to the curriculum.  It is a lot more work to plan a preschool lesson plan than it is to just write a check and drop them off at school, but I find it rewarding and so so worth it!

M mountains

Some people will ask us how she'll make friends.  If we're not paying for preschool, we'll be able to sign her up for things like ECFE classes for kids her age, gymnastics classes, I don't think I'll do dance again... I don't appreciate the direction most studios take them as far as costuming and dance styles.  She'll continue to make friends in Sunday school, and we'll have to be more diligent about scheduling play dates for her.

I firmly believe that she will be more than ready for Kindergarten when she starts in September 2012!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Open the Door

Revelation 3:19
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

I am attending a women's conference called, "Inspire for Life" this weekend at a church in my town.  Friday night was a two-hour introduction of sorts.  It's hard to explain what was discussed so much as what was felt.  Tonight's purpose, to me anyway, seemed to be to open our hearts so that we could be free to learn and hear whatever we were called to the conference to hear. 

Various bible verses were mentioned, and when I got home I started paging through my bible to find them and read them over myself.  On my way to a verse in the book of Revelation I came across a verse that I had underlined sometime in the last 10 - 12 years I've had this particular bible.  It's the verse you see above.  I obviously underlined it so that I could find it again and read it at some other point. 

The Lord constantly knocks on my door.  Sometimes I answer it, sometimes I chose to ignore the knock, sometimes by ignoring the knock at the door I find myself getting knocked directly on my head... Hey! Pay attention, I'm trying to talk to you.  This weekend while I'm at this conference, I have opened the door and am looking forward to "eating" with the Lord.  I'm looking forward to seeing what it is that He wants me to take from this, and what He will put in my heart. 

How amazing is it that all we have to do is open the door.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Chore Chart

I love using charts for kid-management stuff.  I have had 3 different behavior charts, currently have a perfect pickup chart and a kindness chart, and there is a clean room chart in the girls room for if they ever keep their room clean for more than a day.  They work well until we all get bored with them or we forget to use them, so I'm not sure how long my new one will last, but so far it's been two days and has been working beautifully.

I made a chore chart, for both the girls!  I found it at the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog under the My Printables tab.  Here's what it looks like on our wall in the dining room.
Sweet Pea has the first two rows, the third row is for supplies, and the fourth and fifth rows are for Babydoll

Every day they have their chore cards listed next to their names (I turned their name cards around).  As they complete the chores throughout the day they can move the cards down to their lower row, next to the "All Done!" 

At the end of the day, I give them tickets for whatever chores they completed that day.  At the end of the week they can spend those tickets on small prize items. 

If they are able to complete ALL of their chores they get a sticker on their reward card.  Completed rewards cards can be exchanged for more special prizes.  Yesterday I bought Sweet Pea a pair of cute monkey slippers that were on clearance, she'll get them when she completes her reward card!

After giving them their tickets or stickers I look through my stack of chore cards and pick out their chores for the next day, and put them up on the chart for them to see in the morning.

I'm still not sure about the ticket system though.  It seems like a lot of cards to spend at the end of the week, a lot of junk prizes to buy, hang on to, and deal with.  I'm still working that out.  Perhaps the tickets can be traded in for the type of things that COAH suggested (gum, erasers, fun pencils, stickers, candy) or some amount of money for their piggy banks.

These cards are for outstanding behavior and can be used for really special things, activities, privileges, etc.

These were Sweet Pea's chores today.  Make her bed, do her daily reading, set the table for dinner, and clean the litter box.  Yesterday she decided to play with Moon Dough before checking to see if she finished her chores, so she ran out of time to get her last one done.  She realized she hadn't folded a load of laundry three minutes before bedtime.  She was so bummed to not be getting a sticker for the day that she actually cried.  It was pretty sad, but sweet - in a relieved-mommy kind of way.

Babydoll's chores today were to mop the floor (which she did this morning), vacuum (which she did at about 4:30), and feed the animals. 

Both the kids completed all of their chores, and they did them with a great attitude!  Two days in and it's going pretty great.. I just hope this lasts longer than their interested in dishes lasted!

Edited to add: click HERE to read the follow-up post "Why I LOVE My New Chore Chart" to read how it went.  Although, the title of the post is kind of a spoiler isn't it?
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