Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy new year!

In just under and hour and a half it will be January 1, 2012.

Me oh my how the year has flown. This year has been amazing, a few set backs (having to move TWICE) and a great gift (baby Samuel!).

I have gotten to see my daughter grow from a tiny infant to an independent toddler. I got to watch the progression of my belly as it once more stretched to accommodate a great gift. My first wedding anniversary was quiet but very exciting.  I was blessed with a healthy little boy on July 28th. I was gifted with the joy of watching my children fall in love with each other, Sophia becoming the best big sister I could have hoped for.

For 2012 I can hope for nothing more than the overall healthy of my family, the joy of watching my son grow into the independent boy I know he'll be, and the continued growth of Sophie into an amazing little girl.

I wish the best New Year to all of you. May your hardships be lessened and your blessing grow.

God bless and Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week of 12/26/11-1/1/12

Color: Yellow
Letter: Cc
Number: 3
Our rhyme is: Higgledy Piggledy

Our songs are:
     Classical: Prelude No. 1 from well tempered Clavier by Bach
     Silly: Alphabet Song

Language: Duck
     French: canard
     German: pato
     Spanish: ente

Book: "Baby Beluga" by Raffi (yes we have a board book of this!)

Sign: "milk"

Week 3

So Sophie has pneumonia, RSV and we recently learned to anticipate roseola in the next few days. Because of this and the fact Christmas is this week (seriously what terrible luck for a toddler to be sick Christmas week) we're taking a week long Holiday from the schedule. I will post next week tonight though.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A note on our reading

This week our book is "Room for a Little One" the previous week it was "Who is Coming to Our House?"

Right now my books are seasonally appropriate for my family since we're celebrating the Christmas season. I also am planning to go out sometime this weekend and get perhaps a book on Hanukkah. But if you are following these little suggestions (please by any means do! just if you use my idea in a blog link it back) I suggest you use books you already have.

Find a book, perhaps one you little one doesn't show much interest in and the night before your week starts put the book out in an obvious place. With my kids they have a little cube shelf that we stick their toys in. The books are at eye level for my toddler. I usually store them spine out because its more space efficient but I take the book of the week and turn it so the cover is out. She instinctively grabs it first, maybe because its closer or perhaps because its got more to look at than the spines.

I'm sure you already do this but whenever they bring you the book read it to them. But, as a suggestion, I know that I am guilty of as soon as she's off doing something I stop reading (especially when it's the 30th time that hour she asked me to read it). Instead even if they're on the other side of the room fiddling with a toy continue to read. If you have time finish the book even if you think they aren't listening. Read in a louder clear voice the rest of the book, even if it is the 30th time.

Did you know it is suggested your toddler hear 30,000 words a day! Reading these books over and over is an easy way to ebb up your count.

Week 2

After the fun we had with our red apple last week I decided snacks were a perfect way to illustrate to Sophie amounts and colors.

Sophie loves food and loves to eat. She actually began walking because we would bribe her with graham crackers. So yesterday Sophie had oranges for snack. She usually only eats half an orange for a snack so I cut an orange into quarters and gave her two of the quarters. She enjoyed that part.

I think she's beginning to catch on to the fact I'm teaching her. She loves to learn new things, and like any toddler she's pretty darn determined to get things down. I swear she pointed to B on the alphabet chart 30 times today. When she points to a letter (even if its not this weeks letter) I always say it aloud. I've decide that to differentiate other letters from letters we learned when she points I'll say something like "B: b for ball" or since we learned A "A: a for apple" (there's that food again)

Sophie is pretty familiar with the "more" sign, she will use it on random. I'm really reinforcing it using it almost anytime I say the word, more.

Our language word of the week holds new meaning. I've discovered recently Sophie is terrified of strange dogs. She is regularly exposed to a 70lb standard poodle and a miserable 15lb Pomeranian. She has never shown fear to dogs before but on Monday we went to visit a friend and she was paralyzed with fear, she literally backed under the tree and just laid there screaming. This worries me because after the devastating loss of her 11 year companion, Phoebe, my grandmother has just gotten a new dog. I'm using the opportunity to try to remind her that dogs aren't bad. We're looking at lots of pictures of dogs.


Carl was mandated last night and Sam seemed to know mommy was feeling lonely and couldn't sleep. Even though he sleeps through the night any other time last night he woke up around 1, not to eat but because he wanted ME.

Normally I try to keep the amount of snuggling at night down to a minimum. But I couldn't sleep and I was missing Carl.

I don't know if it was the start of sleep deprivation creeping in amidst the soft blue glow of the night light but I swear he looked particularly angelic. I can't believe 4.5 months have passed since he was born. He is my amazing boy.

Sophia was a good baby but Sam takes the "good baby" award. But last night that was just more poignant  and I cried for 20 minutes while rocking my sleeping boy. I wasn't sad but I wasn't particularly happy either, I was just in awe of my little boy. He has such a beautiful face and a sweet temperament.

I believe I'll always remember how he looked last night all snuggled into me, his face glowing slightly from the night light, and I believe that memory will get me through some days when he is older.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week of 12/12/11-12/18/11

Color: Orange
Letter: Bb
Number: 2

Our rhyme is: Georgie Porgie

Our songs are:
     Classical: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43, Var. No. 18
     Silly: Wheels on the Bus (I like the raffi version best)

Language: Dog
     French: chien
     German: hund
     Spanish: perro

Book: "Room for a Little One" by Martin Waddell and Jason Cockcroft

Sign: "more"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 1 Day 1

I'm not going to say I'll update about this every day but pretty close in the beginning.

I had the little girl I babysit today (she's 13 months old) so regardless I started. I babysit this girl at least 2 times a week

I wrote up a list of what we're doing and placed it above our alphabet board. This is to remind my husband and myself of what we're working on this week. Carl was all excited and immediately showing Sophia red things, we have an Elmo winter hat that he immediately put on her head. She pretty much wore the hat all day, taking it off only to give it to me to put it back on. If I didn't loudly proclaim "Sophie, this is your RED hat" she would rip it off and give it back. Perhaps a red shirt tomorrow?

I think I read her "Who is coming to our house" at least 14 times. I actually hid the book for a while to avoid reading it over and over and over. The book is a sweet little story about the animals getting ready for someone coming to their home. A chick sweeps the floor, a momma pig pushes her babies to make room, and a mouse answers the constant question "Who is coming to our house?" At the very end Mary and Joseph arrive late in the night and the animals all welcome them to their house.

I had Carl draw a red flower and next to it I wrote "rote blume, rouge fleur, rojo flor" Please be aware I do know that "Red flower" in French and Spanish are formed differently but I wanted to illustrate that red, rote, rouge, and rojo are all the same word. I let Sophia hold the picture and I started by saying "Look that's a red flower" then later "Look a rote blume" and so forth.

As for the sign every time I said the word "please" I would sign it. When I would prompt her to say please I would take her hand and help her do the rough sign as I said "Sophie say please." Later this evening when she brought "Who is Coming to Our House" to me I prompted her to say please and I had her make the sign. She didn't sign "please" but she said it, this is the first time she has ever said this.
 this is the sign for please

As for the number 1 and the letter A I would point out when she only had one of something. I also pointed to one on her number chart and said one, uno, un, ein. As for the letter A, I was kind of shocked to find I didn't have many toys that started with A or really any objects. I'm having Carl stop at the grocery store after work to get red apples.

Tomorrow for snack I think we're having one red apple.

Week of 12/5/11 to 12/11/11

This week we are leaning about:

Color: Red
Letter: Aa
Number: 1

Our rhyme is: Rub a Dub Dub

Our songs are:
     Classical: Minuet in G by Bach
     Silly: Baby Beluga by Raffi

Language: flower
     French: fleur
     German: blume
     Spanish: flor

Book: "Who is Coming To Our House?" by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff

Sign: "please"

Baby school

I worked in a daycare for over a year, before that I was a babysitter almost everyday and now I have children of my own. If there is one thing I'm passionate about its early education.

Some parents and children get along fine without structure, some prefer a schedule and routine. There is nothing wrong with either of those ideas. I personally need a routine (this stems from the daycare). So I have decided that now that Sophia is 16 months old (holy moley how did that happen?) she would be starting to become familiarized with her numbers, letters, and colors. Since neither of my kids are going to daycare I'm going to step back into my roll as an early ed teacher! It will be trial and error but I can't wait.

On another note, poor Sam isn't going to remember a time when mommy wasn't teaching him.