Thursday, September 27, 2012

Liebster Blog

Lauren from Learning Through Clutter and Shannon from It's a Bug's Life both nominated me for a Liebster Bog Award last week.  While I was incredibly honored, I had no idea what it was.  I have since learned that the Liebster Blog Award is given to small blogs (fewer than 200 followers) by other bloggers.  It is a nice way to find new blogs.  Being nominated means I need to answer 11 questions, nominate 11 blogs, and post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer.

I will start with Lauren's questions.

1. What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?
  I am a huge sucker for holidays.  I love decorating and celebrating.  I am excited that this year Xander is old enough to get more out of our activities.  I can't wait to take him to the pumpkin patch, make turkey crafts, and open presents on Christmas morning.  We may even start the whole Elf on the Shelf thing.

2. What are you least looking forward to?
The school work and travel that take me away from my baby.

3. What are your biggest distractions?

4. What is your favorite activity to do as a family?

Reading stories in his tent.

5. What is your go-to dinner meal?

Tator tot casserole or taco salad.

6. What is the best advice you've ever received?

Be thankful for what you have, even if it isn't much, each and every day.

7. What is your favorite season?


8. What is your favorite book/author? 

Atlas Shrugged and Orson Scott Card

9. What is your favorite TV show?


10. What is your child's favorite book?

Oh the Place's You'll Go by Doctor Seuss

11. What is your child's favorite TV show?

Super Why!

Here are Shannon's Questions:
1.       What is your favorite holiday?

      Christmas.  I love the whole season and how much effort people go into making things beautiful, warm, and  happy.

      2.       How do/did you handle tantrums?
      Depends on the situation.  Sometimes, if we're home, I ignore him.  Sometimes I scold him.  Regardless, he never ever gets what he was throwing the tantrum about.

      3.       Who is your favorite singer?
      Taylor Swift.  She seems like such a beautiful person, inside and out.

      4.       What is your child’s favorite color?
      Hard to tell, but I think yellow.

      5.       What do you do during your “me time”?
      Lol, my "me time" is either in the car during my commute, during which I listen to an audiobook, or when Xander is in bed and I blog or browse the internet.

      6.       Are you a cat or dog person?

      7.       Does your child have a snuggly (security blanket/animal)?
      He sleeps with two blankets, a doll, and a soft football.  All are relatively new things, and he only wants them at bedtime, not if he is hurt or scared.

      8.       If you had an entire weekend to yourself, what would you do?
      Read a something just for fun, not for class!

      9.       How old were you when you started your family?

     10.   Are you a crafty person?
     I try to be.

     11.   What is your favorite food?
     Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Here are the 11 blogs I would recommend (I included some that don't post all that often, but I still find to be great resources):
Dancing With Dinosaurs

Here are my 11 questions:
1.  How do you unwind after a stressful day?
2.  What is your favorite part about being a mother?
3.  What is your least favorite part about being a mother?
4.  How do you keep your family active?
5.  What is your favorite thing about fall?
6.  What is your favorite board game?
7.  What is your favorite children's book?
8.  What will be a challenge for you this year?
9.  How do you meet new friends (for yourself or your child)?
10.  How/why did you start blogging?
11.  How do you hope your blog grows?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tot School - Sick Week

Last week we had intended to do our Mommy & Me ABCs for letter C.  In fact, we started on Monday.  Then Monday night when I came home from class, Xander woke up with croup and was absolutely miserable the rest of the week.  I don't know that I have ever seen him so sick, at least not for so long. He slept in half hour spurts meaning neither Xander nor Mommy got any sleep for a week (I am hoping we can sleep this week).  Anyway, Tot School did not happen.   I hope to post next week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mommy Health Guidebook

 Way back when I was pregnant, I heard about the book If Your Kid Eats this Book, Everything Will Still be Okay: How to Know if Your Child's Injury or Illness is Really an Emergency.  It is a book written by an emergency room doctor and goes through various injuries and illnesses, how to treat them, and when you need to call the doctor or go to the hospital.  I bought it, read it cover to cover, and then pretty much forgot about it.  During Xander's first year, he really didn't have too many illnesses or injuries, so I only checked it a couple of times.

Last night, however, I was SO thankful I had read the book.  I got home from class around 10 and my dad said Xander had a bit of congestion so to go listen to him (we are possibly facing a second surgery for ear tubes and adenoid removal, so congestion is a big deal around here).  Anyway, I guess Mommy getting home was the cue he had been waiting for because as soon as I walked into the room he woke up with a horrible "barky" croup cough.  He started this awful coughing fit that scared the crap out of me.  My first instinct was to put him in a steamy bathroom, which I did for about a minute.  Then I remembered reading that taking kids into the cool air can calm the coughing, which is why many kids with croup get better on the drive to the hospital.  I wrapped him in a blanket and took him outside to "look at the stars."  He immediately stopped coughing and could actually breathe again!  It by no means fixed his cough completely, but it did stop the big fit he was having so that I could calm and soothe him.  I pulled out my book and reread the whole section on the croup.  I was able to go to bed confident that I was doing what was best for him, but also knowing the warning signs for needing to take him to the hospital.  It may not sound like much, but late at night with a sick baby, that piece of mind can be priceless.

Anyway, I was very glad to have run across the book and thought I would share just to make a few other mommies aware of its existence.  Libraries might have it, and it is written in an easy, conversational manner, with humor thrown in.  I think this book may be one of my go to gifts for new moms and baby showers!

Monday, September 17, 2012

B for Bear - Week 2

Xander is 22 Months

We are currently working on our Mommy & Me ABC units.  This was our second week on letter B and bears.  You can see Week 1 of Letter B here.  We didn't do quite as much this week because there were some days that neither of us were really feeling it.  Since this is supposed to be fun bonding/learning time, we only do Tot School if we are both in a good mood.

His desk setup was the same as last week, except for the addition of a glow in the dark bear to his wall.  His white board had some bear cut outs (in the printables), some alphabet magnets, and his fridge phonics set.  The mini pocket chart (from Target) has his sandpaper letters and some bear flash cards. 

We didn't quite make it through all out bear books last week, so we finished this week.  We had some on the letter b and a bunch on bears.  I don't know how many times we read Brown Bear Brown Bear, Polar Bear Polar Bear, and Panda Bear Panda Bear!
Tracing between the mommy and baby bears in his activity center.

Case Sorting
This box had a case sorting activity to divide the "baby" and "mommy" letters.  Mostly I just modeled this for him.

Bear Pattern Matching
I made some little pattern cards to go with his counting bears.  He liked to talk about finding the bears' "homes".  He is still more focused on matching the color than what the pattern is, but we will get there!

Talking to the bears face to face.  He was saying "Hello, hi!  Hello, hi!"

Some bulletin board letters and some printables made into lacing cards.  The strings are from Oriental Trading.

Letter Clipping
This activity was one of the favorites of the week!  He loves practicing using the little clips.

This box had a puzzles that were a little harder than last week's two piece puzzles.  He particularly LOVED the four piece puzzle of the baby from his A to Z Puzzles.  He couldn't do it on his own, but brought it to me many times to put together for him.

Dot Magnet Pages
This week I printed the magnet pages back to back, so he could just flip it over if he wanted to do the other one.

Number Card Matching
Number cards and the corresponding number tiles.  (I also uploaded some number tiles here you could just print and laminate).  We did 0-5 last week, so we did 6-10 this week.  Most days we ended up mostly using these as flash cards.

We did some more stamping with our uppercase and lowercase stamp. Have I mentioned how much I love washable ink???

Xander is by no means ready to use scissors on his own, but he is absolutely fascinated with them.  He is always trying to steal mine, so I decided to go ahead and get him his own pair of training scissors.  This week I accidentally printed the cutting pages on card stock instead of regular paper.  It was way to tough for his little hands, but he had fun trying.

Alphabet Stickers
Sensory Bin

Polar Bear Model

For more Bear ideas you can check out my Bear Pinterest Board.

Tot School 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Playing in the Rain

We finally got some rain (no lightning)!  Xander had a ball getting soaked.

Monday, September 10, 2012

B for Bear - Week 1

Xander is 21 Months

We are currently working on our Mommy & Me ABC units.  This was our first week on letter B and bears.

This was his desk set up for the week.  His white board had some bear cut outs (in the printables which will post next week), some alphabet magnets, and his fridge phonics set.  The mini pocket chart (from Target) has his sandpaper letters and some bear flash cards.
His shelf had a fabric B, the B from his floor tiles, an B minibook, a bear book I made him, the bears from his various toobs, his peg letter B, a stuffed polar bear, a finger puppet, and the bear from his alphabet zoo.  Above I hung some bulletin board letters, some bear flash cards from 1+1+1=1, and two bear crafts we did (see below).
As you can see, we had no shortage of books for the book bin this week!  We had some on the letter b and a bunch on bears.  He loved That's Not My Bear and I like a great bear cub series we have that includes Panda Bear Cubs, Black Bear Cubs, Grizzly Bear Cubs and Polar Bear Cubs.  We also read some great fiction like Moonbear and Going on a Bear Hunt.
I put a tracing page in his activity center.  He still needs a lot of help tracing, but I want to make sure we do it on a semi-regular basis until it clicks for him.
Mommy and Baby Matching
This box had some pictures of mothers and babies of different kinds of bears (Printable Here).  Xander did a pretty good job of matching them up.  For an added twist, we also matched up his corresponding toob figures (the four bears are from the Wild Toob, the Zoo Babies Toob, and the North American Wildlife Toob) .
Shape Caves
This box had some little bears with colored shapes on them and a Shape Caves page.  The idea was for him to match the bear's shape to the correct cave.  Apparently I have to make the bear climb his arm every time he gets one right.

Size Sorting
This box had five bears of different sizes.  He can find the biggest and the smallest, but struggles with the in between.

2 Part Puzzles
This box had a bunch of two part puzzles, some printed and some purchased.
Number Card Matching
Number cards and the corresponding number tiles.  (I also uploaded some number tiles here you could just print and laminate).  We did 0-5 this week week.  This week he was more interested in playing with the number tiles than matching them up.  Oh well, it is his school time, however he wants to use it.
Play Dough
Play dough is always a big hit around here.  He used his lowercase b dough stamp, an uppercase B cookie cutter, some bear cookie cutters, and his dough stamping page.  One of these days I will get around to making my own play dough again!

Finger Rhyme
I typed up this finger rhyme from one of our old National Wildlife Animal Baby magazine.  He LOVED it.  I don't know how many times we did it this week, but he loved being involved in the actions!

Big Button Fun
This box had the bear from our Big Button Fun set.  Because there was only one piece on this side, I also included the corresponding buttons for the reverse side, which happens to be a giraffe with nine buttons.
Our craft this week was super simple, just some snow paint and some bears cut out of card stock.  For the brown bear I let him sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar for extra texture.  He loves seeing them on his wall.
Reading Panda Bear Panda Bear with his Tag Jr.
Eating Teddy Grahams with pumpkin dip.
Playing with Magnetix and making letters.  He has a lot of fun with these, but needs supervision to make sure he doesn't stick the balls in his mouth or ears.

For more Bear ideas you can check out my Bear Pinterest Board.

Tot School
Classified: Mom
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