Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Cards

When we went shopping last weekend we picked up some markers for Xander. I was nervous about using them but when Crayola says washable they mean it, cleaned up no problem. It was much easier for Xander to make scribbles with the markers than with the crayons we'd been using.

Hey, these markers are neat!

Of course what he liked best about the markers were the caps!

The caps just fascinated him! (The ink washed right off his hands.)

I used his scribbles (crayon and marker ones) to make eggs and then cut some "grass" and glued them to blank cards to make Easter cards for all the grandparents and great-grandparents. Xander's first official "craft".

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Share Monday


Just back from story time at the library and we checked out this cute board book. Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman.

I hadn't realized until I went to Amazon to get the picture that this was part of a series, I can't wait to read the others. This book is about Bear who has just woken up and is very hungry. He eats but he still wants more. The story really reminded me of my son Xander who isn't the least bit interested in eating until he is STARVING and then if you dare pause while feeding him he screams. If Xander were talking I'm sure he would be screaming "I want MORE!"

The illustrations are adorable, I just love the forest animals, especially mole and badger. Very cutely drawn. Combined with the lyrical text (with a nice use of vocabulary building words) this book is a hit here.

When springtime comes, in his warm winter den a bear wakes up very hungry and thin!  He waddles outside and roots all around. He digs and he paws fresh shoots from the ground.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tot School Post #10

Tot School
( Xander is 14 months)

We had a really great week and hope everyone else did too! We enjoyed the sunny spring weather at the beginnng of the week with another trip up to our orchard. More tree trimming for me and hole digging for Xander.

He wasn't as willing to just sit in one place digging this time, so we played some fetch with the ball, went around exploring the orchard (which means I didn't get that much work done, only one tree worked on. But as Ryan said, "that's one more tree than if I hadn't gone out at all"). Xander was also was doing the cutest thing, he'd crawl from dandelion to dandelion and pluck it and tear it all apart. He seemed fascinated by them.

We  played with his sensory tub aka bean bin. He had fun scooping up the beans and pouring them all over himself and the floor. By the end of tub time he had started holding his "scoop" by the handle! He really loved working with this. We will definitely be doing this more often.

On Thursday I tried reorganizing Xander's shelves. I got some smaller cardboard boxes to hold his board books facing forward. I thought that he could take out one box at a time and flip through his books, seeing the covers. That way he wouldn't have to completely empty his shelves to choose a book. Yeah, that didn't work out. He just pulled out the boxes and then dumped them all over the floor--- all at the same time. Sigh. He did then do some problem solving on his own. He wanted to reach some blocks I had put on the top of the book case (spelling out his name). So he flipped over the largest cardboard box and used it as a step stool. I quickly grabbed the camera and got a few photos before taking away all the boxes.

On Friday we had our screening to see if Xander needed to get therapy for his lack of talking. The Family Resources Coordinator came to our home and filled out an extensive questionaire. The sections about his fine and gross motor skills he did just fine but when it came to communication he was definitely scoring way below his age level. The next stage is to have an evaluation by therapist at the local school district. I was so completely stressed about this and it was really all for nothing. The coordinator was very helpful and friendly and easy to talk to and I feel very relieved that we've started the process.

On Saturday I got out Xander's color and shapes puzzle by Infantino. This was his first time playing with it. At first he was handing me the pieces to put together the little puzzles. Then he would take them apart and put them back in the tub. Then dump the tub out and put them back in again. By the 3rd time of dumping them out he didn't want me putting the puzzles together, it was obvious he was saying "no, Mommy, my toy". He just enjoyed putting them in the tub and dumping them out (and also using the tub as a drum!).

I thought it was a really good first experience with them. I can't wait until he is actually putting together the puzzles. I was really impressed with the sturdieness of the puzzle pieces. Xander couldn't bend them at all and the picture is completely part of the cardboard not something he can pull off. I think now that I'll be ordering more of their puzzles. The only thing I didn't like was the puzzle piece on the outside of the tub. It's great for shopping to show you how big the puzzle pieces are, but it frustrated Xander that he couldn't put it in the tub easily like all the others and it's going to be a pain to cut off the carry cord. (I was not asked to review this or compensated in any way, just sharing a product I liked.)

That was our week, to see what other families are doing visit Tot School.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Goofy Boy

To see more visit Wordless Wednesday.


This morning Xander had fun playing with his sensory tub. I've filled it with dried black turtle beans and small white beans, I thought they made a nice color contrast. (Just don't use red kidney beans as they can be poisonous dry.) I didn't hide anything in the tub, just gave him different containers to scoop with or put beans into. I sat right with him supervising so that he didn't eat any beans, thankfully he only tried once.

At first he was holding the scoop with his whole hand around the bowl part, it wasn't very effective.

He really loved just running his hands through the beans, it was cute. He also enjoyed scooping them up and dumping them on himself. Making a mess is fun!

One of the items I gave him to play with is the base for a chick feeder. We are getting chicks soon and I had already bought the feeder and it was sitting on my desk. I thought the little holes would be fun to pour beans into.

But all he wanted to do with the feeder is wear it as a hat! Such a goofy boy!

What I wanted Xander to do was pour the beans into different containers, what he really enjoyed doing was pouring the beans on himself and into the big tub (he actually dumped the entire tub 3 different times!!). I let him do what he wanted, he was having such a blast. I played with him but I did it my way, scooping up beans and pouring them into a different container. I did it over and over, showing him how I held the scoop by the handle. He never really showed any interest in scooping the beans into a different container but by the end he was holding the scoop by it's handle! I definitely had a moment of mommy pride when I saw that!

It was a lot of fun and well worth the mess. Next time I will vacuum the carpet first though, we now have a lot of dog hair in the sensory tub. Thankfully Poppy Seed and McCoy are black and white so the hairs go with the beans color scheme. Xander says I like this Mom!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tot School Post #9

Tot School
(Xander is 14 months)

Yikes, my last Tot School post was almost a month ago! We had a great week after that post and I was all excited to post about it but then I was really busy and put it off and then there was the horrible hospital lab and doctor visit days and then we all got sick, etc. etc. etc. (if you're anything like me you now see Yul Brynner dancing around singing the song from the King and I). The blood draw itself was horrible but it was good, most of Xander's iron counts were up. He still needs to take an iron supplement but we can go 3 months before testing his blood again. At the doctors we talked about Xander's lack of talking and we've decided to have him screened for delays. While my head knows that him not talking is not my fault, and that there may not even be a problem, and if there is a problem it is not caused by me; my heart feels otherwise. I am having a major "I'm failing as a Mommy" time. It probably doesn't help that during this same time period we've all been sick and cranky and not sleeping well cause we're sick which makes us even more cranky. This negativity is one of the reasons I haven't posted but then not posting was making me feel even more blue so I am forcing myself to post!

So, let's post about the positives! Xander is eating more and more solid foods. Unfortunately, what he really, really likes are cookies (Annie's Bunny Grahams). It's really cute how much he loves his bunny cookies and milk. He also snagged some french fries off Ryan's plate last night and really liked them too. Health food! Since he needs to gain weight and most of what he eats is vegetables I am not too concerned but I do wish he'd like to eat other solid foods.

We've tried drawing several more times and he has actually started to scribble on the paper. I had this great idea to have him scribble on colored paper and then I'd cut out egg shapes to make Easter cards for the Grandparents so now he won't scribble at all and has in fact started eating the crayons.

I made a sensory tub full of beans and gave him some scoops to play with. He did try eating the beans so I have to watch him like a hawk but he really enjoyed it. I plan on letting him play with it again today but this time I will spread a sheet out first-- those little beans like to escape!

We keep having the occasional wonderful sunny day and we take advantage of it by going out and exploring our property. At the beginning of the month our cherry tree bloomed and we had a nice walk up to look at the blossoms. And last Saturday Xander worked on digging holes while I trimmed branches in our orchard. He really likes to dig holes and explore rocks.

Aside from the not so fun field trips to the hospital lab and doctor's office (though he loved walking around the hospital --the gift shop had BALLOONS! and he was entranced by the fish tank at our pediatrician's office), we also had a fun story time at the library and we had another great trip to the Cider Mill. This time we went with my Mom, and Xander was in a much better mood (it wasn't his nap time and he wasn't suffering a horrid diaper rash), but he was still a little overwhelmed by the animals.

"Momma are you sure this fence will keep them away?" It didn't help that right after this the goat on the far right stole the entire bag of oats (the lunchbag in my mom's hands in the photo) away from my mom and swallowed it whole! Greedy doe!

Here's the doe trying to swallow the whole bag! It just can't be good for her. We had fun and can't wait to go back again.

The munchkin woke up from his nap so that's all I can post for now. Check out what other tot's are doing at Tot School. Thanks for stopping by.

Edited to add: Thought some of you might be interested in watching this web cam. It is in a barn owl nest box. So far there is one owlet hatched. Really neat!

Book Share Monday

This is my first time participating in Book Share Monday hosted by Serendipity Homeschool but I am really excited to share this book.  It's Spring by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

It's the story of the animals spreading the news that spring was here.

"In April the robin began to sing to tell the rabbit it was spring. The rabbit hopped and thumped his feet to tell the deer the air smelled sweet."

It has nice rhyming text and bright cheerful illustrations. It is a lovely book that I have enjoyed reading to Xander (age 14 months).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sigh, lost my comments.

Connected this blog to Disqus and somehow managed to lose all my previous comments. Oh well. Though as I was typing this I got an email saying that the disqus bot posted a comment on the site, I'm not seeing any comment nor is there one for me to moderate but maybe they will eventually show up. Hopefully it is working for new comments. All in all this was me procrastinating instead of writing a real post and now Xander is waking up from his nap so no time to post now.