Saturday, April 30, 2011

Another Milestone!

I realize that traditionally, milestones at almost six months consist of mostly physical accomplishments.  However, I am equally excited about this one.  My baby is getting so big!  Today Xander had his first addition lesson!

Okay, well that is kind of a lie.  Technically, we have been doing an addition lesson every day for a few months. Since I show him Doman style dot cards and we show two new quantities and retire the two oldest every day, he should have some concept of adding a new object.  (We are almost done with dot cards!  81-90!)  However, today was the first time it was presented as 1 + 1 = 2.  Of course it isn't presented with numerals, but quantities.  We finally hit the addition section on his Little Math program!  By the way, he was VERY interested in it.  He cooed the whole time!  That little guy and his math!

I found some great little colored objects at a garage sale that I plan on using to help reinforce the mathematical concepts.  When he gets a bit older I can use Cheerios or raisins also.  I should do the Doman style equation lessons, but honestly, I am just too lazy.  Trying to dig through and set up 15+ equations to show him spread out throught every day is just a bit overwhelming.  Little Reader will just have to do.  I am excited to see how he approaches math when he gets older!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Challenge

A week an a half ago I wrote about the 1500 book challenge.  That weekend I made up a spreadsheet to help us keep tract.  My original goal was 100 unique books for his first year.  Well in the week or so I have been keeping track, we have already read 34 books, in addition to some I am not counting.  I am thinking of increasing our goal.  I think I will go to 250 for now, and possibly bump it up to 500.  It will get more challenging as we go, just because we do not have that many books!  We would have to make frequent library trips.  Anyway, we will see.

In other updates, Xander is sitting better and better everyday.  Yesterday and today I made him sit up to watch his YBCR.  He didn't seem to mind at all.  Soon, hopefully, I will eliminate the bouncer completely.  Probably a good thing, he is approaching the weight limit.

Unfortunately, now that he wants to sit all the time, it is even harder to get him to spend time on his tummy.  He cannot push himself up on all fours yet, but he is getting much better at reaching for things.  He rotates himself as he plays, and he does get some movement in.  Unfortunately, he usually pushes the toys he wants forward, out of his reach, and moves himself backwards, away from the toys.  Needless to say, this causes a lot of frustration.  I also notice the other night, while I had him on his back to dry him off after his bath, he was scooting himself backwards, sliding on his back.  I know it wasn't intentional, but it shows he is getting stronger.

Xander still LOVES his food.  We finally switched him to a bigger bottle.  He likes veggies better than fruits, but now eats about a third of a jar at a time.  It is nice to be able to give him more during each feeding; I have less crying to deal with.  He has tolerated every food well, except apples.  We are not doing them again for a long long time.  They really upset his tummy, and gave him diarrhea for a few days.  I am excited to be able to branch out to a wider variety for him!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Almost a Sitter!

For a while now Xander has enjoyed sitting in my lap.  He has always been pretty strong, but really wobbly.  The last week or two I have set him in front of me and he would sit on his own for 30 seconds to a minute.  Well yesterday I had him sitting on the play mat and he sat alone for long periods of time!  I do put the Boppy around him, or make sure I am there to catch him, because he still has accidents.  He tends to reach for things that are too far away and fall over.  Sometimes he also likes to push back on his legs and throw himself onto his back.  I think in another week or two he will be sitting solidly by himself!  I also don't think we have too long before he is mobile.  He really wants to be.  He wants to be able to grab everything in sight and gets so frustrated when he can't!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Hard Day and New Discoveries

Yesterday was a hard day for me.  Xander went to day care for the first time.  It is a home day care with a wonderful lady I have known for years, but still, it was hard to let go.  Yesterday was only a partial day as a trial run.  I scheduled my CLEP test during the day for that purpose.  He apparently did pretty well.  She said he had one crying spell where he stuck out his lip and cried.  She said he looked so cute all the other kids came over to see what he was doing, which made him stop crying.  Once they started walking away again, she said he stuck the lip right back out and cried to get their attention.  The little stinker. :)

Next week he will start going all day, twice a week, while I complete my CNA classes (now required to get your RN).  Unfortunately, I also had my Microbiology class last night, so until 7:20 pm, the only awake time I had with him was spent feeding him.  Needless to say, I came straight home from class and spent the evening with him.  We read stories, played with his new ride on toy, and took a bath together.

Speaking of our bath, Xander has learned how to splash!  It is so funny to watch.  He smacks the water, but still jumps when he splashes himself.  We also worked on kicking his legs.  What he particularly liked was trying to play with his feet through the water.  Last weekend was particularly warm, so I had him in shorts and no socks.  As a result of bare feet, they are his new obsession.  He REALLY wants to get them to his mouth, but can't figure out how to do it from a seated position.  He ends up folding himself in half trying to get them in.
To encourage him to play with his feet, I put these rattle socks on him.  He thought they were great fun!

Xander now says mama, but I am not too excited because I know it doesn't count yet.  I think I have written before that he babbles when he cries.  Well, it has progressed into saying "mamamamamamamamama" when he cries.  I really need to try to capture it on video.  However, I know that when I show it to him in the future he will ask why I video taped him crying rather than seeing to his needs. :)

YBCR is still Xander's favorite, but he has decided he also likes Baby Signing Time really well now.  He watched it with my dad a couple of times last week.  My dad pointed out that Xander gets really excited about the word "milk."  I had had no idea he even knew what milk was yet, let along recognized the sign for it.  It makes sense, though, for a little boy who loves nothing more than to eat.

Friday, April 15, 2011

1500 Book Challenge

I am an avid early education blog reader.  (I am the type of personality that tends to get obsessions, and find out everything I can about whatever that particular topic is).  Anyway, I have seen multiple home schoolers and early educators talk about the 1500 book challenge.  Their goal is to read 1500 unique books, not counting a book more than once.  They can be books the parent has read to the child or the child has read to the parent.  My son is only 5 months, 1500 unique books in one year, NOT GONG TO HAPPEN.  However, it got me thinking.  Maybe it would be fun to do an adaptation.  100 unique books by his first birthday, 200 by his second, 300 by his third, and so on.

Working towards a goal is always fun for me.  Most importantly, I think it would help reinforce the priority of that special bonding time with Xander.  It would also guarantee me more variety than rereading the same books over and over again.  I will have to think on it some and maybe try it out for a while and see how it works.  Also, I think I would have to be able to reread some of the books from year to year.  Our library just isn't that big and I would go broke buying books in a few years!

Watch Out Ladies!

I thought I had years before I would have to worry, but I was wrong.  My son is a flirt!  He loves women to talk to him and coo over him.  If he is particularly happy with the attention he is getting, he does this little raise up and down of the eyebrows. It is so funny!  Of course it works, though.  Who could resist giving him attention after that.  I really hope I can get it on video sometime.  Next thing I know, he will be winking or whistling.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So I've realize that being a mother has a huge inherent flaw.  I feel it is my job to encourage, teach, and push my son to the best of my ability.  However, my whole heart and soul wants to hold on tight and keep him my tiny baby forever!

The Very Hungry Xander

You know the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  Madelynn always loved it, and now Xander has a copy.  I think he likes the bright pictures.  Anyway, I can't help but think of my little guy every time I read that book.  My kid LOVES to eat.

A lot of the time, particularly in the evening if people are around and I'm using a nursing cover, he screams his hurting cry when I switch him from one breast to the other.  It takes less than a minute to rehook, unhook, and flip him, but gosh you'd think I was torturing him.  Lately, we have been giving him some baby food, just to try out tastes and textures.  I try to feed him either while I am eating breakfast or lunch, just so it feels more like "meal time."  Well, today I had him playing in his high chair (I know, when did he get old enough for that??) while I was making my lunch.  I got out his little bowl, spoon, and the jar of baby food while I was finishing up.  Well the little stinker saw it and apparently made the connection.  When I hadn't started feeding him within a couple of minutes, he started to cry.  Then he made cooing noises the whole time he ate, and cried and cried when he was done.  He was so upset that I wasn't giving him more, I called the nurse to ask if we could start increasing his portions.  He is only supposed to have 2-3 teaspoons a day at this point, so I was very relieved when she said we can slowly increase his portions, as long as we stick to one food at a time still.  I may need to make a trip to the grocery store!

"I got this, Mom.  I'll just feed myself."
I don't remember if I wrote about our play mats or not.  A couple of weeks ago I got a great deal on some floor mats (similar to these).  My carpet is thick, so Xander has trouble moving around on the floor.  If I put a blanket under him, he usually balls it up rather than accomplishing any movement himself.  He'd get frustrated, I'd worry about him developing enough muscles to move his ever increasing weight, and Toby would steal the blankets, so - floor mats.  Now that I have them, I don't know how I got by without them!  They came in 8 big puzzle pieces, so I put half together at my house and half at my parents house.  Since then, I've noticed a big change in his physical ability.  He can rotate around pretty well, particularly if he is mad.  He is getting better and better at holding his chest up, or reaching for a toy while propping himself up.  He still only rolls from front to back, but every once in a while he can scoot himself backward on his tummy.  On his back, he now pushes himself up with his legs, almost into a bridge position (without the arms over his head, of course).  He has a toy that plays music if you spin it, which he has figured out from the sitting position.  I put it in front of him while he was on his tummy to see what he would do.  It took a while, and a couple of face plants into the mat, but he has now mastered spinning the toy with one arm while supporting himself with the other.  Yesterday, he lay there and spun it for a good 20 minutes straight.

Oh, and today is Grandpa's birthday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Playing at the Park

Last week when we had a break in the weather, we went to the park with Grandpa.  Xander was interested.  He really likes the stroller, so I thought he might like playing outside.  We went down some slides and on the swings.  He had a very serious face the whole time, studying everything going on.  I was hoping for more smiles and cooing, but he didn't dislike it at all.  I guess that is a plus.  Maybe, since he likes being bounced and swung around all the time, doing it at the park was just no huge deal.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Museum Trip

Friday some good friends of ours invited us to go to the Family Museum with them.  Of course, Xander slept through the first half of or time there.  However, he really enjoyed it when he woke up.  So much to see and do, SO many kids to watch.

I know he didn't understand any of the exhibits, but it was still a great outing.  He loves people watching.  I did sit with him the xylophone room and he enjoyed all the sounds.  We also played some of those Caribbean drums made out of barrels.  My little guy loves his music.

Speaking of music, I downloaded some solfege power points that have the music notes on the scale corresponding to the sound.  He is absolutely mesmerized every time we watch them.  Ever since we started, he struggles to see the computer screen, even if they aren't going.  I have horrible pitch, so hopefully we can develop his while he is in his language learning window.  :)

Baby Sign

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but kept forgetting.  About a week and a half ago we got the first Baby Signing Time DVD.  It is super cute.  All the lessons are set to music and they have babies doing the signs also.  Xander likes it, although not nearly as well as YBCR.

More than anything, I think the DVDs will be good to teach me the signs, so that I can teach Xander.  I need to get better about signing to him.  I also think that a slightly older baby would learn more from the DVDs.  Definitely one I will be keeping for future babies, but I haven't decided whether I will buy the next few DVDs or not.

Oh, goodness gracious those silly songs get stuck in your head for DAYS.  I kept finding myself singing them.
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