Monday, March 28, 2011


Historically, I have not enjoyed Mondays.  This week, however, I am so grateful for Monday!  Last week a realtor I know said he had a client who would be interested in my house.  Since my house isn't listed yet, I was NOT ready.  Anyway, I spent all of last week cleaning, organizing, etc so that I could show it Saturday.  Then I spent all of yesterday resting.  Well, because of all the stress, we haven't been doing all of our lessons the last few days (we only do them when we are both in good moods).  Actually, this weekend all we did was watch YBCR.

This morning I was excited to get back on track!  Apparently Xander was too.  He was incredibly excited to see his Doman math cards.  He was also more excited about his word cards than usual.  He is ok with them, but much prefers the math ones.  It is nice to be able to see that he at least recognized the activity and had noticed its absence.

Oh, and no word on what the client thought of the house, yet.  Hopefully soon!  It would be such a blessing to have it done without needing to list it and host endless open houses.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Paint bag lessons

A while ago I posted that I let Xander play with some paint in a plastic baggie.  I have also put sugar in a bag for him to feel and play with.  Well, I decided to try the Glad Press N Seal method, to see if he liked that better.  He enjoyed it, particularly scrunching it all up.  However, I accidentally put one of the sides facing the wrong direction (sticky side out).  When he scrunched it, it all stuck together.  I do like that these "bags" are a little thinner, so let him feel the texture of the paint better.  They still feel sturdy enough to handle some playing, though.  Next time I will have to make sure I face both sticky sides in.

Sippy Cups

My baby is getting big!  I decided to try to introduce a sippy cup.  I by no means expect him to drink from one often, but thought every once in a while would be good to make the transition easier when the time came.  Also, I can't get him to drink water from a bottle, so I thought maybe he would drink it from a cup.  Anyway, I bought two different 4 month cups from the same brand.  One has easier handles, but is harder to drink from, having a stiff spout.  The other has no handles, but comes out a little more easily and has a softer silicone style spout.

He liked holding the first, but wouldn't really drink from it.  I tried the one with the softer spout and he seemed to like it.  Granted, most of the water ended up running down his chin, but he thought it was fun to chew/suck.  He made some fantastic faces, I wish I could have gotten on camera.  Hopefully he will be holding it on his own by the time summer comes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cute Quirks & Baby School updates

I LOVE this age.  Xander's personality is starting to show.  His smile makes me smile still, every time.  He squeals and giggles a lot.  Lately, he babbles all the time.  Even when he is upset.  He cries less than he "complains."  I can't understand what he is saying, but from the tone and facial expressions you know he is telling you just how unhappy he is about whatever it is.  He still makes his baby raptor noises, but has also started doing this little shriek.  At first it sounds unhappy, but you take a look at his face and he has this huge grin!  He loves trying out his vocal cords.

He also has some funny little habits.  For example, in order to suck his thumb, he first sticks two to three fingers and his thumb in his mouth.  Then he twists his hand until only the thumb is left.  He has also started reaching up behind his head, to either scratch the top of his head or just sit there and hold it.  It just looks funny since just lifting his arm straight up would get his hand to the same spot more comfortably.  Of course, I have tried to get a picture of it, but he quits whenever I try.

This kid also wants to walk so badly!  He wants to stand while I am holding him, not sit.  He also enjoys standing while I just hold under his hands to balance him.  Then he leans forward trying to GO.  Unfortunately, he has quite a while.  He also has no interest in crawling.  I've read that mastering crawling is important for balance and coordination, so I don't want him to skip it, but he just does not want to be on his tummy.  Regardless, I think I am in trouble when he finally is mobile.  I don't think he will ever stop moving.

Baby School

We've made some slight modifications to his early learning curriculum.

He still watches YBCR every day.  We are on disc three.  He loves it!  In fact, when he got hurt the other day, all he wanted to do all night was watch it, back to back.  Our set only came with the first three, and I was debating not getting the fourth.  Well, I think I am going to have to now.  Although, I still think I will skip the 5th, since it is supposedly only a review of the first four.

We still do Little Reader twice a day, 5-7 days a week.  I am hoping to be able to customize it more once he gets a bit older and has more experience with things, and once I get some photo software.

We have started doing word flash cards daily now.  We have two sets of 5 words each that we show three times a day.  We add one word and subtract one word from each set every day.  I've chosen words that he has already seen through LR.  At first he wasn't too interested, but lately he has been enjoying these super quick word sessions.  Since each session only takes about 10 seconds, I'm hoping to eventually move this up to three sets a day.

He still gets three sessions of 10 Doman style dot cards.  We retire two and add two every day.  Right now we are on 47-56.  He really enjoys them, usually squealing and "talking" the whole time.  As much as he enjoys them, it will be nice when they are done. I made them on 11x11 sheets of poster board, so they are hard to take along with us on outings.

We also do two Little Math sessions a day, usually 6-7 days a week.  He seems to like it better than reading.  Maybe I've got a little engineer on my hands?

Since he is too young to do any of his own shape sorting or puzzles, I hold him while I do some sort of spacial activity.  We don't have too many yet (like I said, he is too young), but he does like watching me put the rings on his rainbow stacker, do his simple geometric shapes puzzle, or do his beginner pattern blocks.  It isn't something we do every single day, but it is something entertaining for him.

He has had some exposure to colors through LR.  I made big 11x11 flashcards of the colors that I have been showing him three times a day.  Additionally, I wrote the colors onto corresponding sheets of foam, both in capital and lower case letters.  I show him these and he likes to look at them, grab them, and of course, chew on them.

We haven't started doing that much with music yet.  I do try to have Pandora going often.  I play a wide variety of music for him, so he hears everything from Beethoven to Barney.  He adores music (and dancing).  I sing to him all the time (although any adult would probably cringe at my singing voice).  He also has a mini tambourine, bells, maracas, and a mini rain stick, most of which were found cleaning out my mom's basement closet.  Once we move, I hope to have the piano in a more convenient location so that we can play on that too (it is currently in the storage room in the basement).

Wow, when it is all written out like that, it looks like a lot.  It doesn't seem like it, because most of the "lessons" take less than a minute.  Also, I look at it as a way of entertaining him.  That kid doesn't know what overstimulation is.  He wants to be looking at something or doing something constantly!  I'm sure we could do more each day and he would love it.  I'm the one who can't keep up with him.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Last week, I wrote about how we started Xander on food.  Unfortunately for him, cereal didn't go so well.  While he loved it, I took him off after only two days because he stopped pooping.  He ended up getting introduced to prunes and prune juice.  After about five days he finally went.  We finished out our five days on prunes (which he wasn't thrilled about cold, but liked room temperature).  Yesterday we started on squash.  I used a book and made it myself.  He LOVED it.  He couldn't eat it fast enough and he SCREAMED when I cut him off.  He would have eaten a ton of it, but I want to wait and see how he does with a little bit first.  Unfortunately, he doesn't take Pedialite as well as he takes food.  He wants juice mixed with it, which I wanted to limit.  Maybe today I will try some plain water, because that Pediatlite stuff is kind of gross.

Monday, March 7, 2011

4 Months!

Today we had our 4 month checkup.  My tiny baby that was originally in about the 5th percentile, has now made his way to the 50th!  He is 14.6 lbs and 24 inches.  The doctor said he seemed to be doing really well.

Part of the 4 month milestone was getting to eat solid foods!  We started with whole wheat cereal.  I was supposed to start with only a tsp or so the first time to get him used to it.  I think he ended up with almost a tablespoon.  He loved it (have you seen his cheeks?  or maybe his lack of a neck?  The kid likes to eat!).

Afterwards I put some paint into a plastic bag and taped the end.  He liked squishing it, holding it, and, of course, trying to eat it.  Tonight he sat and played with it for at least half an hour while I washed dishes and talked to him.  I think it is an activity we will do often, with various colors.  I might also try giving him a baggie of water to squish around and experiment with.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting Organized

So between the baby, the dog, the house, studying, and researching educational techniques, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Before the divorce I was very organized, so I decided it was time I get back there.  I recently started reading "Sidetracked Home Executives", which is very interesting.  They have some great ideas that I think I will implement after I finish school and have my own place again.  In the meantime I used Excel to make some checklists.  It has two sides, a weekly and a monthly, with boxes next to each task for the number of times I hope to do it.  Then I put them in page protectors on my fridge and am writing on them with a dry erase marker.  As you can tell by all of the changes I've made since printing it earlier this afternoon, it is still a work in progress.  Also, I labeled it "goals," because I realize there's a good chance it won't all get done.

Still Growing

Xander just keeps getting bigger every day.  After only one (big) box of size two diapers, we've moved on to size three.  With the diaper change we also had to switch to 6-9 month onsies.  He is mostly in 3-6 month clothing now, although just a few 0-3 month outfits still fit.

He still doesn't like tummy time.  The other day he turned himself 90 degrees while on his tummy though.  I'm sure he'll like it much more once he figures out he can move.  He is sleeping in his crib every night, but will nurse himself to sleep if I let him (which I frequently do, just by accident).  Xander coos and squeals often.  I call him my baby raptor, because when he's happy he makes this loud, high pitched squawk.  I've been trying to get it on video, but no luck yet.

I've mentioned that he loves tv.  Well a couple of nights ago he was sitting on the couch at my parents' house while I ate a quick dinner (my meals end up super low on the list of priorities).  Anyway, the television was on.  My aunt Katia came by to see him and sat in front of him talking and playing with him.  He screamed the whole time.  I told her he was just mad that she was blocking the tv, so she moved.  As soon as he could see it again, he was silent.  I am definitely going to have to invest in some infant development DVDs!  I almost bought him March of the Penguins at GoodWill the other day, maybe I should have.
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