Friday, March 11, 2011

Quick Update

A has been amazing. He recently started saying his ABC's All the way through, can count to 20 without any issues, and today recognized his name and his brothers name when I wrote them on a piece of paper. I was amazed by this and I hope he wasnt just guessing because I was pretty impressed. He has had a lack of patience and focus lately. I assume its due to the fact that its the middle of March and we just had another snow storm that closed school and kept us inside again. I think the cabin fever has been taken to a whole new level around here. I am sure once I get him out he will have more patience to sit and do school activities.

On top of all our school stuff, He is now completely potty trained! I didn't think I would would make it but now that I look back, it was actually very fast and simple.

We have done some St. Patrick Day crafts. We made shamrocks by cutting green paper and gluing it to a white shamrock and A also made a leprechaun.  A is really into cutting and has mastered using scissors. He LOVES to cut up paper into very small pieces and lets just say my vacuum has been used a lot more then the normal 2 times a day.

M is still amazing me every day. He is a total parrot and copies and repeats whatever anyone says or does. He is so verbal and can be understood most of the time when he speaks. He actually did stickers this week and instead of the usual of just pulling them off and scattering them, he actually places about 4 on the paper before he started trying to eat them. He has very good hand eye ordination for 18 months. He is starting to work puzzles and understand that the pieces go in a specific spot.

Oh and M... well he uses the potty a lot and LOVES it. If I wasn't so stressed from potty training A I might move on to M who I think would be super fast but for right now he goes whenever he asks or before bath time.

Pictures to come.

Friday, February 18, 2011


So I broke out my new laminator and we are venturing into Transportation this week. With two boys, this is a theme that is always a crowd pleaser. Luckily it seems that there are many people working on the same thing so we had tons of resources.

We are still taking it slow to reduce stress (to me). We recently turned our basement into a play room so I decided to try school down there in hope that M would be a little bit more occupied and content so I could work with A.

I put together a tot pack with size sequencing, counting, pre-writing, and shadow matching.

A loved the shadow matching. He zips right through it and it doesnt seem to be much of a challenge anymore so we might have to look into something a little bit more challenging for him. Next we worked on counting cards. A has been really impatient (I am assuming its the 2 year old in him) so after we got to five, he started to loose interest. With a promise of doing a craft, he reluctantly finished all ten cards.

Our craft was a traffic light. A did really well and was able to tell what each color light meant. We also are starting to incorporate M into Tot School so here he is making his Tot School debut.

And in Here is M getting upset the glue stick, which he thought was chapstick was taken away from him.

And now he is really upset about it.

And we are ok now because mommy gave in and gave him the glue stick back. I have learned to pick my battles with this little guy and A was actually getting things accomplished so this was one battle not worth fighting.

We sang the song the Wheels on the Bus. The boys really got into it. Here is A's attempt at part of the song. I love his proud smile at the end of the video. Such a big boy. 

And one of my favorite pictures... All that learning and crying over glue sticks just wore my little men out. 

And of course in the mist of 20 degree weather, we have a 50 degree day so we headed outside. A was determined to play in his sandbox. 

Valentines Day

We are slowly getting back into a formal routine of school, While we are always learning and doing fun activities, I still have not figured out how to manage my little guy M when I am trying to work on things with A. M is my into everything baby. He waits until you turn your back and quicker then you can blink he has a chair pushed over and is climbing on the counters trying to get a snack. This makes formal school time hard and stressful.

Question for all my moms of multiple children.. Advice needed. A is 31 months and M is 18. How do/did you manage doing school. M is not content doing another activity on his own. He wants what big brother had and that's it.

Anyways we did manage to get a few activities in between M and A fighting and me swearing we were never going to do school again over and over.

I am starting to test A out to see just what he really knows. He tends to act like he cant do something and then one day will spit out stuff when he thinks no one is listening. So far I have caught him singing Row row your boat, Twinkle Twinkle little star, counting to 15, and saying his ABC's.

I printed out COAHS valentines activities and he did really well with the heart match ups. I am so glad he is patient and takes his time. This was something we really worked on when we started Tot School when he was 18 months old.

I attempted to give M popsicle sticks, straws and a few containers thinking he would love this, but he wanted nothing to do with it and A wanted to do his brothers school instead of his.

We are also working on our pre-writing skills still. this is a definite area I see A lacking in. Its not that he cant do it, its that he doesn't want to go slow and take his time. I think I am gong to have to have a lot more writing activities for him and maybe do them at night when I have daddy on hand for our other little guy.

We are also slowly starting to talk about Noah's Ark. A knows the story already but really enjoyed this activity.

So since A loves to paint and M wont even think about being left out, I decided to let them paint some hearts for Valentines day. Of course this turned into a HUGE mess, M eating paint, A yelling M was using his paint, and me swearing again we would never have school again.

A is never happy with just one project or one activity so we usually do almost all the activities I have planned in one day. A really wanted to make the Rainbow that he spotted so I set him up and explained and showed him how to take his finger and make prints in the correct rows. This did not end pretty because he was not following directions which was the whole point, so that project will be saved for another day. This again is a area he needs more work in. He does not want to be patient and listen and take his time. He just wants to do things fast and his way.

Here are a few other worksheets we also did this week. A is really good at patterns and with a little help. I am absolutely amazed at him and how far he has in the numbers and patterns area. I was afraid he would never count and now he is working his way to twenty!

So I got adventurous and put together a sensory tub with beans. We all have cabin fever so bad due to the harsh cold weather and since we had a horrible encounter with the flu earlier this month where all  of us were beyond sick, I am extremely cautious of going outside right now. I bought a few packs of different dry beans, laid a blanket on the floor, held my breath and let them have at it. It was and still is a huge hit. Other then the arguing and M occasionally dumping the whole container, they do not make a huge mess. Its my, they are destroying every inch of the house and I cant take it anymore, trick. They both sit in one spot for more then 5 minutes, which allows me to quickly pick up and regain some sort of order and a little bit of my sanity back.

We baked heart cookies one afternoon. I THOUGHT it would go smoothly... I am pretty sure "what was I thinking" entered my mind about every half second. It began very easy but the minute I had to mix the dough, all craziness broke out. We eventually did get some cookies baked, leaving out anything M touched since he was eating and spitting out the dough.

So we barely survived but we survived. Its going to take some figuring out to get M happy enough to let me work with A. Next lesson Transportation.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We are still here really!!

So it has been forever since my last post. We have not disappeared, we are still around. Things have just gotten crazy around here with all the holidays and it seemed that once we got knocked off our schedule, no matter what I did I could not get back on. I am just taking a deep breath and realizing that its ok and we will get back there sooner or later.

A is doing absolutely AMAZING in every aspect. He is counting like a pro, even without any structured school time. He is starting to actually connect things and numbers. I try to have him count everything, like if I give him grapes or crackers I ask him how many and to count them. Before a few weeks ago he would count but wouldn't even look at what he was supposed to be counting. Now he can connect a number to an item. A has also allowed the number 2 to rejoin he counting. For awhile he would always skip two and jump right to three. Aside from being the funniest two year old ever, his vocabulary is growing like crazy. He like I am sure every other two year old asks five million questions per hour. I (for the most part) happily answer everything I can am happy he has such a curious mind. A's imagination has exploded. He happily can play anything and loves to imagine he is a fire truck man, spaceship man, baseball player, football player, or fix it man. We are so limited on space here, I am glad he can find enough space to still pretend.

A has had issues with sleeping lately. I know its not teething because thankfully all his teeth are in. We are not sure what it is but he has been extremely difficult to get to nap and to bed at night. I have a feeling its partly because he is not getting enough energy out since we are in the middle of cold cold winter here in Michigan. I also suspect it is partly due to potty training. We are using pull-ups during sleeping but he always wakes up try. I think he is waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. because he has to go to the bathroom.

Ok so now on to potty news... A is almost completely potty trained. I say this in the lightest sense because it depends on what you consider potty trained. He has yet to tell us when he has to go but rarely has accidents during the day. Most accidents are our fault for waiting to long or when he gets excited about things. We do not use pull ups when we go out and other then one time, he has stayed dry without any accidents. #2 has been a challenge for us. He can do it  and has when we bribed him with a trip to Chucky Cheese. We thought once he saw he could do it and it was not scary or hurt, he would continue to do it. No we were wrong. We have bribed the boy with everything short of a trip to Disney World, and he still refuses. I am not sure if he has figures how to tell he has to go before its to late. Oh well, that will come. I am just so proud how well he is doing all together.

M.... Oh my sweet itty bitty what a handful this one is. I think M is partly (or mostly) the reason, we have strayed from our formal school schedule. My little toddler is in anything and everything and has a temper like no other. We have attempted projects for the boys to do, and by the end, I am either yelling, sweating or wondering why I even thought I could handle them both. M for some reason is still in the phase of eating and putting things in his mouth. Crayons are just an afternoon snack to him. A never had an desire to put things in his mouth even as a baby so I am hoping this phase ends soon. He does "attempt" to follow directions for about half a second and then whatever we are going, such as painting, gets a taste test. One day I can hope that not everything looks editable to him!

On a more serious not, M has a vocabulary that A didn't have until closer to 2 years old. Many words he says are very clear and can easily be understood. He has even been known to link two words together on occasion. This advance vocabulary is a a blessing and a pain all at once. On the good side, he can easily express what he wants and show us, on the bad side, he can express what he wants and show us and what he wants is what he wants and there is no redirecting this little man. If he wants a piece of candy that is on the counter, and is told no (watch out and plug your ears) he will get a chair and push it over to get it. If he is taken off the chair (again watch out and plug your ears) he will go back and get the chair again. He does not give up or forget. Ahhh but you gotta love him, tantrums and all.

M is also using the potty and on some days more then A. M LOVES LOVES LOVES the potty and will (watch out and plug your ears) express his anger if he is not allowed in there. He has recently discovered that he controls when he can go so whenever he sits he goes. He also goes #2 without any issue at all (Thank goodness!!) A few times a week he will actually ask to sit on the potty himself. I have a feeling as soon as A is completely potty trained, M will follow right behind. Maybe we should have not let A in the bathroom and then it would have been fun when you were allowed to go in there?

My goals for this year are to slowly become less frazzled. I feel like I have been this way since Thanksgiving and despite every attempt cant get out of it. I love school time and so does A but I just have not had the energy or courage to take it back on with as much of a handful that M is. My other goal is less TV or noise in our house. Yes we are the house that had PBS on all day even when no one is watching it. The boys will play, stop and watch a minute then are off to play again. Even now as I type the TV is on even thought I am not watching it.

I hope to post more often. I am not going to put any pressure on me or stress about it if I do not get to it. I put together parts at night for extra money which takes up most of my time and the nights I dont have them, I usually watch adult shows (AKA not barney, Sesame Street, Calliou, or any other show that involves singing animals.)

So hopefully you will be seeing more posts from me soon but we are hear, we are learning, and we are growing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another guest blog spot

I have been having the opportunity to write for another blog. I am totally loving it. Here is my second post. Check it out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Guest blogger for Nicki's diapers

Check us out. We were guest bloggers!