Monday, April 23, 2012

Told You.

Okay, so you know in the post about the iPad I talked about how K was fascinated with letters and I was wanting to do some more structured activities around that? I printed out some alphabet color pages and she's colored on some off and on all week and we put a few on the fridge to admire. However, nothing on the fridge will stay, as she will walk by and take it down two dozen times a day. So today when she wanted to put one on the fridge I couldn't find any of the animal magnets I'd been using. I was stumped until I remembered that I'd bought a box of wooden alphabet magnets a while back and was holding on to them until a good time. I figured this was the perfect time. I found them, dumped them out and spread the upper case letters out so she could see what all she had. Aside from helping with some of the coloring (every time she colors I have to color too) and holding the papers so she could put the magnets on, I had nothing to do with this:

I did have to move some up to the freezer because we were running out of room. You can't see it, but under each letter is the printed out letter for each page. She lined up the magnets like a puzzle for every one. I didn't help her find the letters. I didn't tell her what to look for. I didn't even tell her to use the matching letter to hang the pictures up. She was all over this today. We spent an hour working on this project and she was stoked about it the whole time. Yes, I think it's time to do more structured school activities with her...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


And that about sums up my feelings on potty training a stubborn 2 year old with a 3 month old baby in the house while both of them are sick. I will pay somebody to come potty rain my daughter right now. Or to feed/bounce/diaper/attend to my son. Either one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Yes, We Are Those People

We bought Kaycie an iPad.

Let me clarify.

As I mentioned in my last post, Kaycie had been using our older Android tablet and we hated it. It was frustrating to everybody. Lately she'd gone from telling me "I CAN'T DO IT!" when it took forever to load or force closed on an app to telling me, "I have to wait and be patient..." Sigh. At least she learned a little something about patience, but it was making me crazy. The apps for my iPhone were considerably easier to use (due to the responsive touch screen) and there was a much better variety, so we decided to suck it up and buy an iPad. It was an educational investment. And since Greg already had an iPad2 courtesy of a work thing (although it belonged to him, not his employer) we decided to upgrade him to the new iPad and let Kaycie and I share the "old" iPad2.  Yes, we've ordered one of those indestructible cases for it. It should arrive today.

It's ironic. For Greg's birthday last year we bought me a Kindle. For my birthday this year we bought Greg a new iPad. Hmmm.

Anyway, Kaycie is crazy about the new tablet. It works a million times better than the old one and I've downloaded a ton of apps. She's learning to add. She learning how to put letters together to make words. She's learning how to write letters and numbers. She's playing memory matching games. She has apps where she can create music. I think her favorite games are the puzzle games. We have a lot of puzzle games. It's absurd. I don't even show her how to use it, really. I downloaded a bunch of apps last night and she just started playing with them today on her own. I haven't shown her that it has a camera yet. She'll flip out. That girl loves to cheese things.

What are her favorites? Right now she's spending the most time playing these:

Preschool Monkey Lunchbox
Monkey Math
Giraffe's Matching Zoo
Letter Quiz (tracing letters)
There are a lot of new ones she hasn't had time to really try out yet.

She's really loving this thing and seems to enjoy the learning process, which I love. I'm thinking about doing some more structured things with her, particularly with the alphabet since letters are a big favorite right now. The other day she had me write out the words Kaycie, Mama, Daddy, Luke and Casper on a piece of paper. Every time I wrote one she pretended to "squish" the letters together to build the word (like they do in Word World). It was the first time I saw her exercise the idea that you put the letters together to make words. Then she hung the paper up on the refrigerator. We've repeated that activity the past two days. 

In a perfect world I would be doing more "school" with her now and signing her up for 3 year old preschool next  year. I'm totally amazed at the woman who runs this blog and home schools her three kids, including one who just turned 3. I know I'll never be disciplined enough to do "school" with K. And I didn't want to sign her up for preschool yet because let's face it, she'll be in school for so many years of her life, will it hurt to wait a year to start? No. And I don't think she'll be "behind" because let's face it, she's pretty darn smart as it is. She'll probably need a year of it to get the structural aspects down and learn how to sit through lessons and stuff, but I don't think she needs it at three. That said, she enjoys this kind of stuff and I should do some more stuff with her. So I think I'll be on the lookout for some fun alphabet activities and work on one letter at a time with her. I've already printed out some alphabet coloring sheets and she loves them. Seriously. The kid is insane. Here's hoping her love of learning will last until she actually gets to school!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mashup - Birthday Edition

** A couple of weeks ago my MIL offered to babysit for us on my birthday. It took me a full five seconds of thinking about to realize that it was April and yes, my birthday is this month. I hadn't put a moment of thought into it. Sigh. I'll be 37. I'm feeling much older these days.

** What do I want for my birthday? A family picture of the four of us, all cleaned up and looking nice. I'd hoped to do this at Bill's wedding but Luke slept through the whole thing, Kaycie was grumpy (it was smack in the middle of  nap time) and I was crazy busy doing wedding pictures. But I still want some good family shots. I don't know who I'll get to push the button on the camera, but I've started putting some thought into where I want to do it. I'm also not holding my breath that it'll actually happen. Getting everybody to cooperate is a challenge at times...

** Meanwhile, Kaycie has become such a fabulous big sister. She insists on giving Luke toys every time she finds one of his. She'll put it in his bouncy seat or in the crib or set it on  his tummy. She knows exactly what the Easter Bunny brought him and tells me about it every day. She makes sure I know when he needs a bottle and she insists we take him in the kitchen with us when she's helping me or we're eating. I was a little afraid she'd go the other way and be upset about losing my undivided attention but in fact she's a wonderful little caretaker to her brother. Big sigh of relief.

** I HATE our Android tablet. Kaycie loves to play educational games on it (matching, tracing letters, counting things, color games) but the touch screen doesn't respond well at all. And it keeps locking up on her, which as you can imagine frustrates a two year old. I have to reboot it periodically in the middle of her game because it's just not working well. If the iPad wasn't so dang expensive I'd buy her one.  This is the technology she'll be using most of her life, she might as well learn it now. And the games she's playing are really awesome. She's gone from doing puzzles in letter shapes to drawing her letters with her finger. Shes TWO. But she loves this stuff. I've downloaded a bunch of books to the Kindle app for her and she's figured out how to get to those too. She's a smart girl. Anybody want to toss me $400 for a new iPad?

** I mentioned a few weeks back that I was contemplating a change in birth control. Turns out I know nobody who uses the method I was contemplating, but I did something totally against my nature and decided to do it anyway. My regular doc was on call and crazy busy so instead of waiting another month I decided to let another doctor in the clinic do it. When I talked to Dr. E about it before the procedure he said "IUD's are the bomb." No really, that's what he said. He also said it was basically the same effectiveness as getting your tubes tied without the surgery. Awesome. I started it April 6, the procedure took literally 3 minutes, and I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it since. I should be covered for ten years at which point I should at least be getting close to menopause. Wow. Now I'm feeling even older...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3 Month Dinosaur Update

 My little velocipotamus turns 3 months old today.


Seems like a whole lot longer than 3 months since my little man showed up and plunged us into craziness. Luke's growing up.

You'd never know this little guy spent two weeks in the NICU. Somebody must have told him that he was turning 3 months old today because he suddenly grew out of his 0-3 month clothes during lunch. Literally. I went to change his diaper after lunch and couldn't snap his outfit back. It was too short. I could barely get it over his head to change him into something else. Talk about a growth spurt.

He's doing bigger boy things, too. He's smiling and talking and utterly fascinated by the ceiling fan in his room. He spent an hour watching it yesterday. He's also intrigued by his mobile and that handsome baby in the crib mirror, who also follows him around in the car mirror. He likes baths but hates naps. If he's not moving, he's not sleeping. It can be the bouncy seat or the car, doesn't matter, but if he stops moving his little eyes pop right open. He doesn't get upset much unless he's hungry or has fought the sleep too long. He does seem confused by the white furry creature that keeps licking him. He'll soon learn that Casper is a great toy.

Reading up on his development in Wonder Weeks tells me we're on track. His appetite has slacked off with his 12 week developmental growth spurt. He doesn't sleep as well either, unless of course he's moving. He is suddenly more alert and interested in his surroundings. Lights. Things that move. Loud noises startle him. He wants to eat anything he finds in his lap. His coordination isn't there yet and he can't quite catch that thumb he wants to chew on, but he's trying very hard. Yesterday he grabbed a right on the toy bar over his bouncy seat, although I don't know if it was intentional or accidental. Either way, once he grabbed it he held it in a death grip for a long time! He's got awesome head control and likes for me to pull him up by his hands into a sitting position. I think we're a couple of weeks away from needing to break out a play saucer for him. 

And did I mention he's starting to make awesome expressive faces? I just love that. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


A few weeks ago one of my oldest and dearest friends told me she was facing the end of her nearly 15 year marriage. A week later she found out she was pregnant, multiplying her fear and stress by about a million. Two days ago I was chatting with her and told her that I wish I knew what to tell her, but to just hold on to every moment she has right now. It's not over until it's over.

Yesterday another sweet lady I know ran out of moments. She lost her husband to a long term illness. They knew it was coming and she had some time to cherish the moments of their life together, but I can't imagine the heartbreak of knowing there won't be any more.

My brother got married a couple of weeks ago in what appeared to be one of the happiest moments of his life. I hope he holds on to that moment over the years to come.

All these moments make me want to hold on to my own. I want to have a nice dinner with my husband tonight. I want to enjoy every moment with my kids, capturing things like K singing her favorite song ("Tinkle Tinkle Wittle Staaaa", if you didn't see the video on FB yesterday). I want to enjoy the moments with my parents and inlaws. I want to hold on to the moments I had with my grandparents. I want to find that picture of my Grandma Reese staggering into the back bedroom at 4am to tell me and my cousin Lynn to BE QUIET AND GO TO BED.

I want to remember to thank God for every moment I get from here forward. No matter how many there are, I know there won't be enough of them.