Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Little Money Maker

I blog for fun - to record family memories and to share our Tot School activities.  I don’t (and doubt I’ll ever…) blog to earn money.  It’s only on rare occasions that I post anything other than family and tot school content.  So hopefully you’ll forgive me for branching out for a moment! :)

YouData isn’t very well-known, but I thought I’d post about this because in about 5 minutes per week, you can earn around $1.  It’s deposited into PayPal every Friday afternoon.  I’ve been doing this for well over a year, and there are no catches that I’ve found. 

While $1/week is not much, it’s $4 - $5/month that I didn’t have before!  It’s also about the amount needed to purchase graphics for a Tot Pack, for those of you who are enjoying those ;)

Anyway, just wanted to pass along the opportunity to easily make a little extra money.  If you use the link below, I’ll receive a referral bonus of $1.  Or just go directly to the site if you don’t like going through referral links :)

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Dear Friends,

I found something that I think you will like. The company's name is YouData. They are trying to convince consumers like us that we should be the ones controlling our own data and selling our own attention, not third parties like broadcasters, newspapers, and spammers. By creating a MeFile at YouData.com, I now control what ads I see and when I see them. Best part - I am selling my attention directly to interested advertisers, for real money. That's right, I get paid for giving them my attention. I can use the funds to buy music and video online, donate to charities, give to my favorite blogs and websites, or keep the change myself and do whatever I want with it.

It's real. They pay. You should check it out.

Click this link to sign up. My MeFile ID, dschurma, in the "Referral Code" will tell them I sent you.

http://www.youdata.com/join/dschurma

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easter Blessings (Mini) Tot Pack

 
The Easter bunny visits our house, and I’m sure that both of our boys will be excited to decorate eggs, hunt for eggs, and find some little presents this year.

It’s important to me, though, that we make sure our boys understand what Easter is all about. The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings us great hope!

In searching the internet, I found very few options for tot-friendly printables to celebrate the true meaning of Easter. It even took a lot of hunting to find graphics that focused on Easter!

These simple printables focus on the Lamb of God, the empty cross, and on church. (I couldn’t find any suitable graphics for the empty tomb.)

There are Bible verse cards, and the same cards are also included in a 3-piece puzzle format. There are also size-sequencing, circle what’s different, color the lamb’s bow, shadow matching, and pre-writing pages. This definitely isn’t a full week’s tot pack, nor will it (in and of itself) teach the true meaning of Easter. I hope it gives you a starting point for sharing the Easter message with your tot!

Click on the image below to download this pack.Easter

We intend to use these pages along with the Resurrection Eggs available at most Christian bookstores or at http://www.christianbook.com/. Carisa at 1+1+1=1 has printables designed to go along with the Resurrection Eggs.

Confessions of a Homeschooler also has some Easter pages with a Christian theme that you may want to use!

The graphics for this pack are found at http://www.scrappinggoodies.com/. Feel free to print this pack for your personal use only. If you wish to share it with others, please link to this post directly. Thanks!

Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fun With The Neighbors

Living where we do, it often seems as though everything fun is at least a 30 minute drive from home.  Not long ago, a new inflatable play place opened about 15 minutes from us.  We thought that our boys might be too little to go just yet, but it turns out we were wrong!

The neighbor & I have been trying to get our kids together for over a month.  Someone has always been sick, but it finally worked out!  Another neighbor suggested we all go spend the morning at the inflatable place.  It was a GREAT idea!

For $8 total (Max was free) we got to spend 2 hours running, jumping, playing, and just plain having a good time.  The mommies didn’t exactly get to sit still and chat, as we were always chasing a child in some direction, but it was still fun!

Alex’s favorite slide: 

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Max tried, too, but he’d get stuck half way up the ladder.  A kind lady helped him to the top for me (she was following her toddler) and then slid down with Max when he got nervous at the top!

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Alex (at the top) with Preston (our neighbor) and a few of the neighbor’s cousins who also happened to be there…

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This one was a tough climb the first few times Alex did it.  Max had to try, too, and Mama got to help him…try that while 9 months pregnant, ha ha!

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Max was cheering for Alex as he came down the slide.

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In the toddler play area…

cMarch2011 001 (5)Max adored this climbing structure

cMarch2011 001 (6)Alex playing with 2 little girls he’s never met in his life…

cMarch2011 001 (8) cMarch2011 001 (9)    Preston & Max

cMarch2011 001 (16)There were several other inflatables, too, but I couldn’t chase Max, take pictures, and watch Alex all at the same time! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alex Sings His ABCs

He can sing it better than this, but he was hammin’ it up for the camera….

Max – 19 Months

I have more pictures to add to this post, but they are still on the camera.  Rather than procrastinating, I’ll just post now & add the pictures later.  Otherwise, you won’t see this post until October ;)

Max turns 19 months tomorrow.  I don’t know what happened to my baby – he’s all little boy these days!March2011 022

This little boy is a BUNDLE of energy and activity.  From the moment he wakes, it’s go, go, go!  He fears very little - climbing, running, jumping, and diving from anything that  looks fun.

When I dropped him off in toddler nursery at church last Sunday, Max ran straight to the little slide.  The nursery worker took him by the hands and helped him climb and go down the slide correctly.  I smiled and said, “Just so you know, he’ll probably be going down head-first or jumping off the top before nursery is over!”  When I picked him up, she told me she thought I was kidding until she watched Max do it.

Max so badly wants to do the things his big brother does.  He wants to sleep in Alex’s twin-sized bed.  When we tell him it’s bedtime, he will sometimes run straight to Alex’s bed, climb up, and pretend to go to sleep.  When they’re playing outside, he wants to ride the big tractor.  Keith pulled out the little battery powered 4-wheeler, and Max is enjoying that…but he doesn’t understand the foot pedal yet.  Poor Max gets SO frustrated when he can’t make it go.

Max does have his calm moments.  He enjoys climbing up in a chair with a book, then paging through it for 5 – 10 minutes.  He likes to sit on the floor with his stacking cups and build wobbly towers.  He enjoys playing with our bin of fuzzy pom pom balls (or “polka dots”, as Alex calls them).

February2011 035

Max likes TV.  He really doesn’t care what’s on, although he definitely enjoys his big brother’s favorites – Caillou and Curious George.  Max will contentedly sit on our laps and watch the news, Amazing Race, or whatever is on.  There’s rarely a day when they watch more than one hour of TV, but Max would probably enjoy sitting there all day if given the option.

He’s very into cars, trucks, and tractors lately.  He calls them “Dotsies”.   We have no idea how he came up with that word, but it means any wheeled vehicle that catches Max’s attention – particularly tractors and construction vehicles.

He loves to EAT!    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – this little boy can eat more than his Mama!  We’re in big grocery bill trouble when Max is a teenager! ;) 

There are very few foods that Max doesn’t like, but mashed potatoes are a definite DISLIKE for Max!  He always tries a bite, but he always spits it right out!

His favorites are definitely CARBS!  He would live on bread, I believe.  (Or “beb”, in Max-speak) He also loves meatballs, orange chicken, ham, yogurt, and all kinds of crackers.

February2011 173Max is still not a big talker, but his vocabulary is growing…provided you can understand what he’s saying!  He’ll sometimes put two or three words together now.  (“Bobby see Dotsie?”)  He also loves to jabber in completely non-English sentences and paragraphs.  He’ll tell us great deals of information, but unfortunately we can’t translate it! ;)

Here’s a list of his most commonly used words.  I’m sure to forget some, but these are the ones I hear regularly:

    • dottsy (tractor, truck, etc)
    • ay-plee (airplane)
    • bye-bye
    • Daddy
    • Ah-leex (Alex)
    • Bobby (Mommy, sometimes Grandma)
    • Boppa (Papa/Grandpa)
    • Hi! (always with great enthusiasm)
    • eat
    • seez (please)
    • up
    • hep (help)
    • bopper (diaper)
    • see? (when showing us something)
    • zee zoo (thank you)
    • dee, dee, dee, DOH!  (3,2,1, Go!)
    • digh-dight (nigh-night)
    • ball
    • uh-oh (used VERY often lately!)
    • dod (dog)
    • boo (moo, for cow)
    • ish or ush (fish)
    • beep (cars, timers, microwaves…)
    • Amen! (and he folds his hands to pray, too cute!)
    • up, up, UP!
    • down
    • uh-huh
    • ah-dee (all done)
    • dooce (juice)
    • up (cup)

Max will also attempt many words when we ask him, but he doesn’t consistently use most of these words…and the attempts are often waaaay off from the real word!

He and Alex have just recently started playing together.  There are lots of “fights”, if you can call it that.  Alex often steals toys right out of Max’s hands, and Max’s reaction is to SCREAM!  Oh, how I cringe at that scream!

It’s so cute, though, to watch the two of them chase each other through the house on their ride-on train and 4-wheeler.  They’ll try doing a simple puzzle together, build a block tower together, and Alex even tried teaching Max how to play a board game last week.  (No surprise, Max didn’t comprehend the rules…) 

February2011 001

Now that we trust Max on the stairs, we’ll let the boys go upstairs and play independently in the playroom once in a while.  They think that’s a great treat!  Often, they will play with totally different toys.  There are times, though, that they’ll try playing together.

He’s losing his “baby-ness” really quickly these days.  With his baby curls cut off, he looks so much bigger!  (Happily for his Mama, the curls remain – they’re just not straggly baby hair curls.) He’s sitting in a booster seat at the kitchen table, sleeping in a toddler bed, facing forward in the car, and not nearly so snuggly as he used to be. 

At naptime or bedtime, he’ll choose his own story.  (It’s usually a book about tractors or trucks, but sometimes he’ll ask for Dr. Seuss’ I Wish That I Had Duck Feet…and he’ll sit through the whole thing!)  He’ll let me sing him a song or two, but he’s not very cuddly.  And then he’ll climb off my lap and put himself in bed.

Yesterday at naptime, though, he was feeling really sleepy.  He shook his head no when asked to pick a story, snuggled into my arms, and I was able to sing him to sleep.  If I didn’t need to go put Alex down for a nap, I probably would have sat in that rocking chair with Max all day!

Speaking of naptimes, we’re down to one a day.  He could still handle two naps a day…if he was in the crib.  He’s just not sleepy enough at either naptime or bedtime to settle down quickly in his toddler bed, though, so I spend an hour putting him back in bed every time he gets up.  SO….one nap it is.  He usually has to push past his sleepiness around 11 AM, but it’s worth it.  If he gets a nap around 1:30 or 2 PM, then bedtime at around 8 PM, then he’s VERY good about going straight to sleep without playing.

When he wakes, you’ll hear the cutest little knock on his door.  If you don’t come right away, he’ll start calling, “Bob?  Bob?  Bobby?”   Then, when you open the door, he’ll give you a huge grin and say, “HI!!!!!!!!!!!”

We still need to move the toddler bed into Alex’s room.  Oh, how we dread it.  Since we use the nursery almost right away with a new baby, there’s no waiting.  We claim we’re putting him in Alex’s room tonight…but we’ve made that claim a few times already without following through! ;)

He’s very fascinated with shoes these days.  And I’m very tired of hunting the house for two matching shoes before we can head out the door!  When I’m THINKING, I’ll find matching shoes for everyone at night after the kids are in bed, put them on top of the dryer, and be ready to go.  When I’m not thinking (which is most of the time…) we go through the Great Shoe Hunt every time we try to leave the house! ;)

In spite of his spunky personality, Max is usually a pretty obedient boy.  He often obeys the first time he’s told.  Nine times out of ten, he’ll obey when you give instructions and count to three.  We work hard to keep him obedient…hopefully it’ll pay off, at least for a few years! ;)

Next time Max has his own blog post, he’ll be a big brother!   He was very, very jealous when I held a friend’s baby at church on Sunday.  We’ll see what happens when there is a baby living in his own house.  The next few months should prove interesting!

We love you, Max, and we’re so glad that you’re YOU!   Thank you for filling our days with laughter and excitement.  You’re an absolute treasure, and we thank God for you every day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

April Showers tot pack

The pack below is still available, but there's also a new version with many additional pages available here:


Why I find this relaxing, I just don’t know…but it’s FUN! With another 40% sale today, I decided to grab some seasonal graphics from http://www.mygrafico.com/. These graphics are very blue & green, which just happen to be my favorite colors.

This was another fun naptime project. We haven’t used it yet, but I thought I’d put it out there now in case anyone wants to print & prepare – since April isn’t all that far away. Feel free to let me know if you find any errors! 

Clicking on the image below should take you to a 4Shared download for this pack. All pages should be in one 21 page *.pdf file.photo

This includes:
  • Circle the picture that is different
  • Count & Clip cards (up to 8)
  • Name The Colors mini book
  • Color The Umbrella activity
  • Counting Mat activity
  • Find The Letter (uppercase & lowercase options)
  • Finish The Pattern activity
  • Pre-Writing pages (2 pages)
  • 4 piece puzzle cards
  • Water The Flower game
  • Shadow Matching
  • Shape Matching
  • Size Sequencing

For the most part, I’m going with the skills that Alex (age 3) is working on right now. If there’s an additional skill you’d like to work on with your child, I’d be glad to try making something for you. In case you couldn’t click above, here is the link for this Tot Pack.

Enjoy!

Click Here to view the rest of the free Tot Pages available here :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just ‘Cuz

No special reason for this post – just a few pictures taken one night last week.  Mr. Potato Head’s Mickey Mouse glasses, a foam basketball, and a plastic drumstick.  Nice look, goofy kid! 

(This is Max’s new-to-him toddler bed, in a room that’s half-ducky, half-pink flowers, with a football-themed bed dumped in the middle.  He’ll be moving into Alex’s room as soon as we get up the nerve to put both boys together, ha!  Perhaps then I’ll actually remove all ducks and add a few more flowers before Jensyn arrives?)

March2011 022Not to be left out, Alex insisted on wearing the Mickey glasses when Max took them off.  He needed his picture taken, too. 

(This little boy has moved up from toddler bed to his cousin Joshua’s old bunk bed…and he’s thrilled!  Once we have the boys all set in their new, shared space, we’ll have to get some pictures & a blog post.)

March2011 023

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tot School – Tools

Alex is now 38 months old.

He’s been looking forward to this week since he helped me make some of these materials about a month ago, and he was VERY excited to do Tot School this week!

The printables below (and a few extras) were made by Mommy & a very excited Alex, and you can download them by clicking here.

Unfortunately, with an eventful week, we only ended up with 2 mornings to work on this unit.  I will probably just reuse it in a few months, since we weren’t able to do everything.

Max is at that sometimes-taking-a-morning-nap, sometimes-not phase.  Let me just say that Tot School with Max is…uh..interesting! He had fun ripping off the velcro from our patterning set. :)

March2011 021 Prewriting – Alex loves to do this right now!

March2011 001 March2011 002

Race To The Toolbox game – we both had fun playing this game together!  It’s great for number recognition and counting practice. March2011 020March2011 003

Alphabet letter recognition – he was really interested in this for some reason!  Usually, he half-heartedly does this.  This week, he would complete the page, empty it, and start over again!

March2011 004 March2011 005

Count & Clip cards – he’s really starting to grasp the concept of pointing to each object as he counts!

March2011 006 March2011 008

Size sequencing (or “making steps”, as Alex calls it)

March2011 009 Naming the colors

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Matching shapes

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4 piece puzzles – very little interest in these :(

 March2011 014

Patterning – he’s very interested in these cards, but doesn’t understand the concept yet.  I don’t know whether to keep offering this activity each week, or to put it away for a few months.

March2011 018

Shadow Matching – he can do this in about 10 seconds now, and he’s starting to lose interest.

March2011 019

Stacking Cups with Max – they love to stack and knock down their “towers”!  Max stacks, too, but his towers are often wobbly and out of order…too cute!

 March2011 016March2011 017There’s so much we just didn’t get to accomplish this week…I guess it’ll still be in the folder when we pull it out in a few months, right?

I hope you all had a great week with your tots, and don’t forget to check out what others did at Carisa’s website!  (You can find a link to 1+1+1=1 on the right hand side of this page…)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours…

Sometimes life just goes along so smoothly that you have to imagine that something’s going to go wrong.  Not in a pessimistic way, just in an “it can’t always be perfect” way.

Well, that’s now!  Some of you may know that when I was 26 weeks pregnant with Max, I ended up in the hospital with heart issues.  It all ended well, of course, and we had a healthy full-term baby boy.

We didn’t worry too much about it happening again, but of course it crossed our minds.  Once I hit 3rd trimester this time, we figured all was good.  I didn’t even really think about it again.

Then, Friday at around 4 AM, I was half-asleep and rolling over to my side in bed.  Instantly, I thought, “Here we go again…”  Same feeling, same time of day – a very erratic heart rate and a trip to the ER.

Keith’s parents came to stay with the boys, my parents met us at the hospital, and the crazy day began.  Oddly enough, having been through this 2 years ago, neither Keith nor I was nervous.  I threw together a bag of clothes & toiletries, and we headed out the door.  We talked & even joked the whole way to the hospital. 

We got there, explained what was going on, and I got poked with a whole lot of needles.  EKGs, doppler to check the baby’s heart rate, IV to start the medication drip, chest x-ray... Nothing was scary this time, as it all pretty much went just like last time. 

We joked with nurses, and somehow just managed to stay calm and find the good in the experience.  Sure, there are definitely reasons to be concerned, but I’m thankful that we were able to keep the mood fairly upbeat through everything.

After about 5 hours, I was moved up to ICU.  This is the point where you’re praying and hoping that your heart converts to normal on its own before they resort to sedating you & shocking it back into rhythm.  And, praise God, it did!

As I was sliding from the ER bed to the ICU bed, they temporarily unhooked all the wires.  When the ICU nurse hooked it all up, she stopped and stared at the monitor and said, “She’s sinus!”  All it took was moving from one bed to the other, and my heart had converted back into normal rhythm!

The rest of the morning and afternoon, they monitored mama and baby (and finally FED me – it’s mean to starve a pregnant woman, ha ha!).  Last time, I was moved to a regular cardiac room for an overnight stay.  This time, they SENT ME HOME!  We were so excited to head home in less than 24 hours!

So, we call to say we’re coming home only to find out that poor Alex has spent the day with the stomach flu.  (Poor Grandma & Papa, too…) 

Alex was able to fall asleep late Friday night on our bedroom floor, but he woke moaning throughout the night, had to use the potty, begged for a glass of water, and then decided at about 4 AM that he felt better and was WIDE-AWAKE for the day.  We encouraged him to lay back down, but he kept popping up to talk, to bring me my chapstick, and any other thing he could think of to avoid sleep.  Finally, I just got up with him at around 6:30.  Talk about a night of very little sleep!

Now, my poor husband has spent the day with the stomach flu.  So far, Max & I are doing fine.  Oh, how we hope and pray it stays that way!  (A sick toddler who gives no warning?  NO FUN!  Being sick at 37 weeks pregnant?  Tried that while pregannt with Alex – it wasn’t fun, either.)  We’re all skipping church tomorrow, staying home, and hoping to rest and recover. 

We’d sure appreciate your prayers for a healthy family, and for Mama & baby to have a safe & healthy last few weeks of pregnancy and labor!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tools Tot Pack

Can you tell I'm having fun with these? The novelty will wear off soon, and we'll also have a new little one to keep us plenty busy around here in just a few weeks...so I'm trying to create what I can before my quiet naptimes are filled with the unpredictable schedule of a newborn!

I fell in love with these tool graphics while browsing through http://www.mygrafico.com/, and the very next day they had a 40% off sale – Yay!

With two little boys who love tools, I couldn’t resist using these as my next “learn to use Photoshop” project. There’s still room for improvement, but it sure is fun learning! (Alex had a lot of fun helping me change the color on the wrenches, too!)

(click the picture below to download the Tools Tot Pack)

tools tot pack

I’ve also included these & a few extras, such as a color page and a “circle what’s different” page:Untitled-1

If you can’t tell from the pictures, here’s what you can download:

  • colors cards
  • shadow matching
  • size sequencing
  • prewriting
  • finish the pattern cards – you can keep the sheets whole or cut around each patterning box and put these on a ring
  • letter finder
  • count and clip cards
  • shape matching
  • 4 part puzzles
  • Race To The Toolbox game
  • color the hammer
  • circle the picture that is different

I’m just going with what works for Alex at this age and stage. Hopefully some of you can use these with your little tool-lovers, too! Enjoy!

               

I don’t think it would be fair to post this without crediting a few wonderful moms who share their own pages. Their creativity has sparked the ideas for some of these pages. Thanks, ladies!

Jolanthe ~ http://www.homeschoolcreations.com

Alison ~ http://www.itsybitsylearners.blogspot.com

Lauren ~ http://momto2boys24.blogspot.com

Michelle ~ http://thoughtsofesme.blogspot.com

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two & A Half

(Still another post found in draft mode…I just randomly scattered the picture throughout, so they may or may not go along with the text…)

30 months old sounds a lot younger, so let’s just go by the months ;)

May2010 124

You turned 2.5 on June 26th.  The date came and went without any fanfare, of course, but I figured it was about time that you got your own special post again.

May2010 290 

You’re a talker, a REAL talker.  You, sweet boy, talk in sentences and paragraphs from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep at night – and sometimes even a few words in the night.  You have a big vocabulary, and sometimes we’re surprised by the way you correctly use big words.

June2010 060

You are somewhat shy when we are out and about.  You’ll barely make a peep if we are in a large group or if a stranger talks to you first.  When you’re in a small group, feeling comfortable, you’re back to talking non-stop again. 

July2010 018

You have very good manners.  Often without any prompting, you’ll say please and thank you.  Daddy just finished building your playset in the backyard. When he first set you on the swing, you said, “Thank you, Daddy, for my new playset!”

You are still are little tractor boy.  You’ll sit at the table for endless amounts of time, driving your toy tractors.  You admire every tractor you see – farm tractors, lawn tractors, toy tractors.  When we look at pictures of tractors on the computer, you always say, “I want to ride that!”  You ask the neighbors if you can ride their tractors.  You asked your pediatrician if she has a tractor.  (She doesn’t, by the way.  She doesn’t have a motorcycle, either.  You asked her that, too.)June2010 295

You love to play outside.  You put on your crocs, head out the door, and almost immediately your shoes are kicked off and lying in the grass.  You ride your tractors, dig in the dirt, poke a stick at the anthills, pull weeds from the landscaping (thanks!), and all those other things that little boys love.  We’re hoping to get a sandbox under your playset soon so you’ll have your own official dig spot.  (We’d really love you to STOP DIGGING IN THE LANDSCAPING! *Ü*)

You love to keep tabs on our neighbors.  “I see Miss Jennawee riding her tractor.”  or “That sounds wike Pweston!” or “What is Mr. Jeff do-ning?

You’ve always been one to observe first, think for a while, and then take action.  It’s no different when it comes to your tricycle.  You’ve been walking it with your feet since you got it for your birthday.  You’ll put your feet on the pedals, and you’d really like to pedal it.  You’re not confident yet, though, so you won’t try.  If I know you, one of these days you’ll decide you’re ready, get it right on the first try, and off you’ll go!

You are an excellent eater, if eating just about any food you’re given means you’re an excellent eater.  I mean, really – you will beg to eat raw onion!  You love red and green pepper slices.  You will try almost any food we put in front of you, and you willingly eat most.

You’re a slow eater, though.  It takes you FOREVER to finish most meals, especially dinner.  You’ll talk, look out the window, and pay attention to everything other than eating.  You’re stubborn, and you don’t speed up for anything or anyone – even when you know that you’re missing out on something fun.  Setting the timer makes no difference, either.  You’re just not going to eat until you’re ready.

July2010 104

For breakfast, you almost always request a bowl of cereal.  You love pancakes and waffles, too, especially if you can help prepare them.  You’ll eat scrambled eggs, but they’re not your favorite at this point.

Some of your favorite lunch foods are typical kid foods: mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese sandwiches.  You love to have a cup of yogurt or some fresh fruit on the side.  Sometimes, Mommy will put some chips on the table as a special reward.

Your favorite dinner is MOST DEFINITELY Glazed Meatballs.  It’s one of Daddy and Mommy’s favorite dinners, too.  You can chow down just as many meatballs as your Daddy can!  You also like Asian Orange Chicken, which is another favorite of Mom & Dad.  You’re not a big fan of mashed potatoes or rice.  (You must get that from your Daddy, because Mommy could live on mashed potatoes alone!)

You have become an excellent sleeper, so opposite of your baby days.  I don’t know if our stubborn persistence and route have paid off, or if you’ve just decided that sleep is a good thing.  You get a bath around 7:30, teeth brushed, kiss Daddy goodnight, and then Mommy takes you to your bedroom for Bible story, songs, and prayer.  I love that snuggle time with you.  You still love to snuggle with Mommy, give me a good night kiss, and blow me a kiss as I shut off your light.

You sleep with a fan on (for noise) and a nightlight.  You often have a teddy and a puppy in your bed with you, but you’re not too attached them.  You’re VERY attached to your pillow and Chicago Bears blankie, though.

   June2010 169  

Unless you’re sick or cold, we don’t hear a peep from you until morning.  You’ll occasionally wake up cold, but you’re not awake enough to figure out what to do about it.  We just go in, pull up your blankets, and you’re right back to sleep. 

You can read most numbers on the clock, and you know that you can’t get up until the clock says 7.  As soon as the clock says 7, you’re pounding on your bedroom door as loudly as you can.  You stand there waiting until we open your door.

We have masking tape over the minutes on your clock,  so all you can see is the hour.  You know where the 7 has to be, though, and it’s a cute story!

You spent the night at Grandma & Papa’s house a while back, and they put your bed on their bedroom floor.  According to them, you woke before 7, looked at the clock, and wouldn’t get out of bed.  When you checked the clock a few minutes later, it said 6:47.  You told them that the “clock is backwards” – meaning that the 7 was on the wrong end.  Pretty smart of you, I think!

You like to go shopping with Mom. You enjoy grocery shopping and you *love* going to CVS.  (Good boy!)  You love the freedom to walk around in the drugstore or our small grocery store here in town.  You love to run your hands along the things at your level.  Occasionally, you’ll add a surprise to our cart when I’m not looking.  (Oops!) 

When we go to Meijer, you have to sit in the big part of the cart.  The rule is that you have to sit on your bottom.  If you stand up, you don’t get to ride the horsey or get a free kids cookie from the bakery.  That’s enough incentive for you to stay on your bottom.  Sometimes, though, you bend the rules.  I’ve purchased some oddly flattened food (hamburger buns come to mind…) because you thought it would be nice to have a cushion to sit on. 

You love to pretend that you’re going shopping, too.  You come up to me and say, “Bye Mom, I going shopping now!”  You’ll come back a few minutes later and hand me some invisible groceries.  Or I’ll ask where you went, and you’ll tell me you went to buy toys at CVS.  Sometimes you’ll tell me that you work with Miss Virginia at CVS.  I’m LOVING the way that you are beginning to get into imaginary play.  It’s so sweet!

You try very hard to be a helpful big brother.  At times, you’re very helpful by bringing a toy to your brother or keeping him happy while Mommy is busy.  You love to throw away diapers or bring something to Mommy. 

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Other times, though, you have “helped” me by making a giant baby food mess while feeding your brother.  Or you’ll give Max some kind of food that could choke him.

You’re nowhere near potty trained.  I’m not pushing the issue yet, but I think you’re capable. (You’ve purposely taken care of your business in the tub and looked at me to see my reaction.)  I set you on the potty before you get in the bathtub each night.  Some nights, you’ll just sit there for a few minutes and say, “I can’t.”  Other nights, you’ll fidget and stand up and sit down and sit backwards and…well…you get the idea!  Once in a while, you get it right.  Those are the nights when I hear, “I need some candy!”  (You get one piece of Pez if you go on your potty.)

I’ll probably wait until you’re 3, and then I’ll make a real effort.  Knowing that you’re a strong-willed kid when you want to be, I’m pretty confident that you’ll do it when you’re good and ready…not when I’m ready!

Railcats!

(Yet another unpublished post…this one’s from late summer, I believe!  Today is ‘clean out Live Writer drafts during naptime’ day, I guess!)

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Well, 3 out of 4 family members looking at the camera isn’t bad!  Thanks for the family picture, Mom!

Keith was able to get $5 tickets to last Saturday’s Railcats game.  We try to go every summer, and we hadn’t gone yet this year.  My dad reminded Keith of that recently, so Keith got tickets for all of us – Mom, Dad, and the four of us.

We’re glad to have my parents around simply for their company, but it ended up coming in handy when we were trying to eat hotdogs and wrangle two children at the same time.  Hadn’t considered that! ;)

The weather forecast wasn’t great, and we thought it might be a very wet evening.  Thankfully, the rain held off until later in the evening.  We stayed until it got dark and the kiddos were sleepy, and then it started pouring.  We waited it out under cover for a bit.

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