Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Trent's Quilt

My friend, Tara, (who does not blog) that I have known since 2nd grade just had a baby in July. She decorated with a turtle theme in her nursery.
I finally mailed off her baby quilt yesterday. Here is Reese posing with it...wearing his IronMan glove.
Here's a close up:
I sure hope he likes it! Baby Trent is a super cutie, so hopefully I'll get a photo of him with his quilt that I can post for you.

Letter Bb

Reese is 3 years 5 months (3y 2m corrected)

We are taking it slow and easy!! I think we've spread the letter B out over 2 1/2 weeks!! But Reese definitely is getting it! We were watching Word World today. They asked what makes the "buh" sound? They were looking for "the letter B" which he did not say but he shouted Buzz! Butterfly! so I think he got the point these are B words! Hooray! Somehow it doesn't really seem to be making his speech therapy words any easier, but he's at least chattering away now...I just can't decipher a lot of it.
I intended to have Reese color the letter B first but when I asked if he wanted to color he responded by excitedly exclaiming "dot dot dot!" and making a frantic jabbing we started with the Do-A-Dot letter B and b instead. You can see them drying in the high chair in the background after he moved on to other art.

Reese colored in his B with several different shades of blue crayon. I had to cut it out before he finished because he was concentrating his coloring on the part that was to be cut away for some reason. The he glued on his B words. These are from the Letter B set I bought from Me & Marie Learning. (She's having Saturday sales, so go sign up for the newsletter.) B has lots of frequently used words for kid stuff, so I think he really got that these words all start with the same sound right away. With "A" I think he saw no rhyme or reason to the words I was giving him.
Reese loves the do-a-dot markers so we used these to make a coffee filter butterfly. I got this idea from a blog, but when I went back to look at how they did it I couldn't figure out where I had seen it?! Of course now I see it! I found it referenced here under butterfly crafts, but here are the actual instructions.

Reese practiced writing in the lines. We haven't really been practicing this, but the last time he did this months ago he did not even grasp the concept of what I was asking of him, so I was shocked that he totally got it and stayed in the lines this time!
Then he practiced cutting. These printables are from Me & Marie's Brown Bear, Brown Bear story unit. Reese really likes this story. It is the first book he's ever told me what is coming next. Finally the light bulb!!! Okay so maybe not exactly what's next...he is very excited about the blue horse and always chooses blue horse. But it's progress!
We had Bug shaped Eating Right pasta at lunch. Reese was really into the concept and both he and Gus ate it. Normally Reese won't touch colored pasta...he picks out the normal colored ones and leaves the rest. But flavor wise I wasn't too excited. We normally get Safeway Organics whole wheat pastas and I think the flavor is much better. But for the fun factor the bugs were great. I took a close up but I couldn't get focused correctly so you'll just have to trust me that the pasta looks like bugs. The brown lumps are cut up meatballs because Reese won't eat if there's no meat!

Reese used clothes pins (still finding it difficult to pinch open because he can't remember to hold it at the end) to choose which is the letter B or b. He gets it right every time, so really we are using this to work out the pincher muscles. (This is also from Me and Marie's Letter B pack).
He worked on the letter sort separating uppercase from lowercase. The only one he missed was a very scrolly font. So we worked on remembering to count the bumps to decide if it's upper or lower. I don't think he really will remember...he seemed a little confused about the idea.

Whenever the camera is out he wants to hold up his project and say "cheese!" You can see his little laptop in the background. He likes to sit between Mommy and Daddy on the couch to do his laptop. It is too cute. It has several setting, one of which is saying the letters and sounds they make and a sample word.

Since the sheep says "Baa" we made a cotton ball sheep. Reese loved the regular glue instead of the stick, probably because I never let him use this kind. The sheep picture is from the Me and Marie Brown Bear pack.

We made a foam Bumble Bee ever so slightly modified from Totally Tots. I ran out of wax paper so our wings were black construction paper. I am thinking they photograph a sample made by a much bigger kid or even an adult. Take a look at their letter crafts...super cute, but way more coordinated looking than ours!

After I cut this B out of the foam I realized this would be the perfect time to use those scissors from Stampin Up. I think it would be a little less ragged.

Reese very halfheartedly worked on a Letter B and b "puzzle"...not sure if he was not understanding it or just didn't like it.

We used play-doh mats to form the letter out of blue play doh. Reese thought this was very cool!
We also made hand print butterlies. We used Crayola washable kid's paint. It is not really fingerpaint, but it washes super well and he loved it! (In the backgrorund you can see his potty chart...woo hoo...he's doing great!)
It is very hard for me to let him glue it all himself...I want it placed just so, but I held back and he did a pretty good job!

We hang all his completed projects on his bedroom door. When Daddy gets home from work Reese eagerly shows him everything he did. We also started a sticker reward sheet "Obey Right Away" to work on FIRST time listening and doing as he's told. I found this idea on a blog. The mom is a psychologist and was using this with her preschooler successfully...I have no idea who it was now. I didn't think to keep a link to the idea.

We also did the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree like we did here, but I never took a photo. Gus has discovered the magnet letters are tasty so I keep finding the A and B scattered around. I'm disappointed we never got to this you tube video for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. But we'll do it for C. I found it on this blog...go to photo #19 and read the blurb...she linked to me! It's kind of first link. Maybe by the time we're through with this I'll have made up some of my own ideas to share.

These are the letter B books we read:

I am linking to Tot School, go check it out for other people's awesome ideas!
So I'm also going to link to Preschool Corner, even though she probably has all the same readers!! When we go on vacation next week and there will be 4 grandparents and 2 great grandparents around I may actually have a chance to look through what EVERYONE is doing instead of only looking a couple of links.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

Gus just discovered Tootsie Pops...he knew it was for eating but didn't get the wrapper off.

Daddy did take the wrapper off and let him eat some. Then he started crawling and dragging it on the floor. This makes for some sticky carpet and I was afraid he'd jab it into his throat, so I took away before he got to the tootsie part.
I'm linking up to Sweet Shot Tuesday at My 3 Boybarians. There are lots of great shots you should take a look.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

woo hoo! Last week before vacation!!! The last week has been hectic! Kyle ended up working both Saturday (8hr) and Sunday (12hr) for overtime. Not ideal for getting ready before vacation and my Mary Kay party on Wednesday...but excellent for the paycheck so we'll be able to do a little more stuff on vacation.
So this week we are eating:
  • stuffed peppers (and peas for the boys since they won't eat the pepper)
  • green enchiladas (I don't use olives) and mexican rice
  • nachos
  • stubbs marinated chicken on the grill, broccoli, scalloped potatoes
  • leftovers
Check out some other ideas on Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hooray for Potty Time

Reese has owned underwear for ages. He has even worn it a time or two. Last month I decided to start potty training. It was a retched fiasco. After he sat on the potty chair sobbing "no stickers! no stickers!" (you know, the enticing reward) I said forget it and we stopped. Everyday I've asked if he wanted to put on underwear and pee in the potty. He'd say "No! No underwear, diaper" So....whatever. Diapers are really so much easier. We can come and go as we please and not deal with public restrooms. If not for all the judgment...he is almost 3 1/2 after all...I'd probably not bother to press him and just let him say "Hey everyone else uses the potty I think I should too." Except he may be 8 before he could make that sentence.I should let you know we've been upping the ante on rewards. I bought all the Toy Story 3 matchbox cars and thought they could be a good incentive (wrong) and Kyle has been buying Marvel Super Squad figures left and right. I said the boy has way too much it's ridiculous! Let's save them. So Kyle put them in a row on top of the dvd case as a potty incentive.
Last week Reese had a very painful, big "BM" that was stuck and he was screaming--not just crying--so I put him on the potty to see if that position helped it come out better. So I'm hugging him, he's crying and struggling, "it" is halfway out and he starts going on about "bad guy, blah blah blah, bad guy, bad guy." I assume he's talking about something he can hear on the tv. But no! The poop drops and he is like a shot off the toilet racing to point at his super squad toys asking for his prize! Ha ha! Since it was so painful for him I went ahead and let him pick...the bad guy, Abomination (you know, from Hulk). But then he says no to underwear. The next day he came and told me he had to poop, he was successful, I was so excited I gave him a toy...again refused the underwear. he made zero attempts to pee and the following days No toilet attempts (he got the guys he wanted apparently).
So today I asked as usual "Do you want to wear underwear and pee on the potty?" Today Reese answered "Yes!" So we did, he didn't go, but he had no accidents, finally about 2 hours later he peed. I was very excited. I hung up an Elmo potty chart while he washed his hands and then he added a sticker. I said 3 stickers = prize. 10 minutes later he peed again! 15 minutes later he got the stool and elmo potty insert (goes on the normal toilet), pulled down his own pants and started grunting. I figured nothing would happen...I mean you can't really force pee and he went twice. The next thing I know he's all excited to tell me about his poop! So he got a toy.
Then he went on to pee and poop the rest of the day!!!
We shall see what tomorrow brings. Too bad he didn't do this could have been a "Finer Thing Friday."
Woo Hoo! Apparently waiting until he was good and ready was the way to go! The no nagging, no constant asking do you have to go, no forcing him to chug extra fluid, laid back let him take the lead path to potty training really is a Finer Thing!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

12 Month Well Baby Appointment

Gus finally had his 12 month well baby appointment today...our doctor's office rescheduled us TWICE. So he was really 12 months and 26 days. He weighed 18 pounds 8 ounces...2nd percentile. He is 30 inches long...45th percentile. So...a skinny minnie!!
He seems so porky to us, but compared to everyone else apparently he is not. He hit all the milestones he was supposed to. I can't locate Reese's 12 month data, but at 11 months he weighed 16 pounds 11 ounces. I don't know why I can't find his 12 month well baby info, but I have 11 month stats...seems weird. I know he was negative 3rd-5th percentile though.
Gus is such a big boy (even if the medical world thinks he's skinny)! He is growing so fast, really standing well on his own, thinking about taking a step, crawling like a rocket to get whatever he's after, happy to rough house with his brother. He really likes to share toys with the cat. He likes to sit in Daddy's spot on the couch. He plays in his crib when he wakes up for a bit until he's ready to join us for the hub bub of the day. He loves the dish washer! He's starting to play with his own toys more (previously he just wanted whatever Reese played with.)
He is such a sweet boy. He likes to snuggle and cuddle and be right in the mix of everything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday

I know I already posted this photo, but I just found a new blog Life With My 3 Boybarians who hosts "Sweet Shot Tuesday." I really wanted to participate and show off my favorite shot of the week.Gus so excited at the new snack he discovered digging in the goldfish box.

I'm linking to Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"I can get my own snack, thanks!"

Gus is all for stealing daddy's snacks. Kyle was having some goldfish crackers and Gus just helped himself. "Look at mom taking my picture!"
"OOOO I'm getting some good stuff!"
He's really working at it here. It is just so funny seeing his little arm all the way into the big container digging around for crackers.
He's pretty satisfied with his treasure, so happy to eat big boy snacks.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lavender Festival

On Friday Grandma took us up to Sequim to the Lavender Festival. It was overcast and chilly which turned out to be perfect. By the end of the day it got hot and sunny. I realized there was no way we could've made it nearly as long in a heat wave.Reese ran through the lavender
He tried out the giant old John Deere.
He smelled lots of lavender.
He ran through more fields...
and smelled more flowers.
There were tons of vendors and lots to buy. We ended up getting fudge and a metalwork sun to hang on the house...I'll show you a photo of that when we get it hung up. The boys did really well. About 2:45 pm (he started at 9) after $8 worth of fudge and no nap Reese finally started getting crazy. He did settle back down, so overall he did great!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Boy and his Fort

When Reese insisted on taking his action figures outside..Buzz and Spiderman...I asked "why are you taking those outside? They are inside toys. The whole point of going out is to do outside stuff." Silly Mommy...

He needs his action figures to play with in his fort!
He sits up there in his shady spot playing with superheros and occasionally throwing out his own spidey web. It is too cute!! My boy and his fort is a Finer Thing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Both boys got Legos duplos for their birthdays. Lately they have been playing with them together. Gus goes into Reese's room and dumps them out. He mostly checks out a few, gives them a taste test and then just watches what Reese does.Today he provided a little musical accompaniment. (Seriously, have you seen a cuter boy?)
It is so nice that they are getting to ages where they can play nicely together. I'm thinking it will be soon when they can nicely play together and I can get the floor mopped or some other household task that's currently being ignored. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gus at Play

Gus just loves playing with these stacking alphabet blocks. Mostly he likes me to stack them so he can knock them down. We brought them out for Reese because they have the alphabet grouped in 3 letter side is ABC, side 2 is A with an apple, side 3 is B with a butterfly, side 4 is C with a cat...and so on through the alphabet starting with the biggest block to the smallest. I thought they'd be good to help him keep the letters in order. Gus pretty much has claimed this as his own.
He has also really been enjoying riding the zebra. He does not get on by himself, but he can keep himself upright to ride and then get down on his own when he's finished. He has suddenly really started playing with toys. Of course Reese is a big distraction, so he actually doesn't get a lot of uninterrupted play time to focus on his own activity. He's too busy checking out what Reese is up to. I think he will really enjoy being able do everything Reese can do.
He has taken to smiling when the camera comes out!

Menu Plan Monday

oops I forgot to post the plan yesterday. It has been so ridiculously hot for multiple days in a row (at least 2 record breakers!) that I decided to plan things that would generate little heat. We filled up the pool Saturday, but were busy all day Sunday and Gus had a 102 fever so didn't use it. The plan and the pool jinxed us I guess because the heat wave is over!! But I am sticking wiht my menu plan since it doesn't require I buy anything at the grocery store.
On Monday we ate pork chops that I'd planned to grill, but since it was cold I just put it in the oven with Stubbs marinade. I like to just bake my meat in the marinade so it stays nice and moist, but I can cook it to death and be 100% sure there's no e.coli! ha ha! I also roasted veggies: sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. YUM!
Tuesday: carne asada on the grill for fajitas
Wednesday: jambalaya
Thursday: Chicken, stove-top stuffing, veggie
Friday: cheeseburgers on the grill, baked beans, salad
Saturday: leftovers...or maybe out
Sunday: Spaghetti and meatballs.....I feel bad since Kyle switched to days we've had almost no leftovers for him to take to work. On swing shift he always had homemade meals to take to work and his frozen dinner eating co-workers were envious. His day shift co-workers probably think the poor guy has a terrible wife who never cooks dinner!

Check out other people's menu ideas at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Letter Aa

Reese is 40 months (37 corrected)

I've been lurking around the blogosphere for ages now scouring ideas from other super creative moms. Reese and I have finally started our alphabet project. We started with the Letter A.
The first thing we did was read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Then Reese added the letter A magnet to the dishwasher on his Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. I downloaded the tree here, colored it (i downloaded the b/w version, but now I found color) and laminated it.

I drew a big A on regular white paper for him to color and then I cut it out. Here he is applying glue to the back to glue it onto the orange construction paper he chose.

Showing off his handiwork:

I cut out the pieces and then he built an apple tree.
I guess photoshop got confused since he was holding the apples up to his eyes it automatically fixed the "red eye" making those dark splotches. Ha ha!
Of course he ate an apple for a snack. He's very into eating it whole now. "No cut!!" he shrieks while waving his hand back and forth in a no no fashion.

We used foam sheets to make this awesome alligator A from the Totally Tots website. There is so much on this site. I haven't had time to really peruse it. I've just kind of jumped around to specific things I wanted, but I plan to go back and check everything out.
We also made an Alien. This idea came from No Time For Flashcards, who also originated the alligator idea. Reese really liked this one.
Here he is demonstrating the growling sound the alien makes. Not sure why he thinks they make this sound since his exposure to aliens is Monsters Vs. Aliens and Planet 51.
Another day we worked on identifying the A or a when they are next to other letters. He used a clothes pin to pin point the A on these cute cards I downloaded from Me and Marie Learning. (yes I bought this...stupid since so much is available free, but her stuff is just so darn cute!!--go here for some cute free stuff)
He really struggled with the clothes pins. I think we'll use them for more activities so he can master that pinching move and strengthen those hand muscles. We also did uppercase/lowercase sorts using different fonts. Some of the fonts were quite difficult for him, but all the ones that were simple he got right away.
He ate lots of snacks and in this photo, potato soup in his apple shaped ramekin.
We made Lazier, Healthier Apple Muffins and Gus was really happy to share in the results.

We actually started using the library...I don't know why I just have an aversion to previously read books. But these are the books we checked out for the letter A:

Every morning we do our calendar. I got this from Me and Marie too. All the months are super cute. I had a hard time finding a calendar base and actually tried to make one on poster board I ended up not liking. Everyone says they get all this great stuff at the dollar store...well, our dollar stores are pathetic compared to everyone else's I guess. I found nothing there. I put the fuzzy side of velcro dots on the calendar and the rough side on the actual squares. Everyday we count the numbers of the date as well as determine the pattern. He really didn't get it in June, but now he is very excited to tell me if the next number will be fireworks or a rocket.
We posted all his A art on his door.
We used do-a-dot markers (I used my 40% coupon at Michael's) to make the blue uppercase A and yellow lowercase a. He loves these markers. We numbered the apples on the apple tree 1-5 so he could practice counting. He generally skips 5, going straight to 6, so we made 5 apples to practice 1-5. We used the A he made the first day to go back a glue A words. I told him to glue the a words "on the A." I thought it was interesting that he didn't mind if the picture strayed off the page as long as it didn't cover any of the A itself.

Overall we had a good time working on the letter A. We were very relaxed--in fact due to play dates and speech and my dad visiting we actually stretched this over 3 weeks! Reese can definitely identify the letter A now so we were successful!!