Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Week in Review and Tot School

Well here I was so excited about getting back into a routine with the boys to do fun learning activities and 2nd week in and it all goes haywire. Of course, with good reason. I was deathly ill last week with a breast infection! I don't think I have ever been that sick. And the first antibiotic didn't work which delayed the healing that much more. So needless to say we didn't get much done last week. Thankfully on Tuesday my MIL took off work to stay with us so that I could rest. The boys loved spending time with her.

And I don't think this week is going to be much better. Aaron turns 2 next Monday but we are going to do his party this weekend. I have got to get my house ready for company all weekend and I have to get his party stuff together. It is going to be another crazy week!

If anybody has any ideas how to balance everything and to get in all the activities that you want to do with your kids AND keep the house clean please let me know!! I am having a hard time trying to figure out how to get it all done!

But here are still some pictures from the week...

Here is Alyssa at my parents last weekend - smiling at her Poppy. She has the prettiest little smile!

The boys loved playing with their cars on the kitchen floor this week. They really did work on playing together this week and fighting was actually at a minimum - I guess they knew that Mommy was sick and couldn't handle much!

Poor Seth did get a bit bored :-( He was ready for Mommy to start feeling better.

Aaron had fun with his car garage.

Aaron LOVES his oatmeal in the morning!

Alyssa hit a big milestone this week...we moved her from the cradle in our room to her crib. Why is this always so much harder on the Mommy than the baby?!?! Now if I can just get her to sleep through the night! She is doing good though...she gives me at least a 6 hour stretch, sometimes a 7 hour stretch if I'm lucky :-)

Sorry there is not much to post and sorry that you probably won't get any good learning activity ideas from this post this week.

Click here to see more tot school posts!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tot School

Aaron is 23 months old!
I am so happy to be posting my first Tot school post on this blog! (for those who have followed us from the beginning know that I used to make tot school posts on our other blog...but got out of the habit when I got pregnant and life got hectic!)

What is Tot School for us? It is time devoted to Aaron! I will be starting pre-k with Seth in the fall and since I will have time concentrated specifically on Seth then Aaron deserves the same. It is not school because Aaron is no where near ready for is learning through play!

I am already seeing such differences in the two boys. Seth has always had an eagerness for learning. He is excited about school and loves school time. He has also always had a pretty long attention span.

Aaron is just the opposite...Aaron has a short attention span...Seth will sit down for an hour for story time...Aaron is done before the first book is finished! I have a feeling things might be a bit challenging for Aaron...I am just going to have to get creative!

For the summertime there really will not be too many separate activities for the boys. I am planning a relaxed summer of fun activities. My goal this summer is to just get us on a good schedule so it will be easy transition into Pre-K come August.

Here is a glimpse into our week this week.

Our highlight of the week is our trip to the library! Seth LOVES the library...we are hoping that we can get Aaron where he will start loving it as well. This summer they have special programs going on each week along with the Summer Reading Program. For every 5 books I read to the boys they get a ticket to use in the library store at the end of the summer.

This week the program was the Mobile Dairy Farm. They got to see a cow get milked! Aaron did like this because he LOVES animals!

Of course we had a lot of story time this week and will every week this summer as we are trying to read as many books as we can! I have found some of the best times to have story time is while I am nursing the baby. The boys will just gather around the recliner. I tried to capture a picture of us below.

And we had a lot of swim time as well this week (and will every week this summer) we have a small 8 ft by 30 in pool out on our gazebo. The boys love to go swimming!

Aaron's favorite toy are the little rubber duckies!

We made rice krispie treats this week (with cocoa krispies - YUM). Now Aaron does love the kitchen. He loves to play like he is cooking and is so excited when he can help cook. (we do a lot of cooking on the is easier than having the boys fight over the step stool!)

Aaron loves to eat even more than he loves cooking!! He thought he did a great job on his treats!

Like I said, Aaron loves to be in the kitchen so we also made peach popsicles. Look at the delight on his face!!

He got to pour the sugar into the blender.

Enjoying story time with Daddy!

And I can't have a post without a picture of our baby girl! Alyssa is 2 months old now! She loves to smile and coo in her swing!

I am so looking forward to reading the other tot school posts and getting lots of ideas for this summer and then for the school year!

If you would like to check out other tot school posts then click here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cooking And Making Gifts!

Today has been a fun day with unexpected activities!! I am getting more and more scatterbrained. Up until today for some reason I was thinking that Father's Day was still a week and a half away and then it hit me today that it is Sunday! And we are leaving to go out of town tomorrow so today was the last day that we would have to make something for Father's Day. So I had to rework my day so that we could get that done. But I did and you will see below what I cam up with.

But first I want to do Kids In The Kitchen. I was looking through some blogs yesterday and came across a blog where a mom has started a new meme - Kids in the kitchen Thursday and thought right off the bat that this would be so much fun to participate in - especially since my boys love to pretend to cook!! They will be tickled to get in the kitchen for real!

So here is my first Kids in the Kitchen Post.

Today we made fresh peach popsicles!!

First we needed some fresh peaches and popsicle molds.

(look at the delight on Aaron's face!! I love it!! This was right before he decided to sink his teeth into that peach)

Next Mommy had to cut up the peaches and boil them for a bit to soften them up.

Next Seth poured them into the blender. (I have found that doing things on the floor is a lot easier than the boys fighting over the step stool)

Then Aaron added some sugar.

Seth then pushed the button on the blender (of course I didn't think about the fact that it was going to be loud and Seth hates loud noises...he didn't like the blender when it was turned on)

We poured the mixture into our molds and put them into the freezer to freeze!

We will now have a yummy cold treat to enjoy after dinner! Yum!!

You can head over to A Little Fun with Me and Lu to check out more kids in the kitchen posts!

Our Father's Day Gift!!

Duct tape wallets
- I found this idea online this morning and thought it was too cool!! Of course it ended up being a little harder than I thought to assemble and there wasn't much the boys could help with in assembling but they had fun watching Mommy. I did have Seth do a lot of counting and helping with the measuring and as you can see below he colored some papers to put in the wallets.

You can click on the link above or click here to get the instructions for this project. Below are some pics or our finished project!!

Here is the front of the wallets!

Here is a view when you open the wallet.

here are the items in the wallet. Seth and Aaron decorated those little cards. I was originally going to use those to make fake credit cards but then thought of the picture idea.

And the wallets really do seem sturdy enough to really use. They really turned out cool!! I will have to tuck this project away and pull it out again when they are old enough to follow the directions to assemble themselves.

Tomorrow morning will be pretty lazy...I have to get packed for our trip to Mimi and Poppy's and we are hoping to leave around noon! But we got some fun stuff planned for next week :-)

Summer is so much fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

At the Library Today

Today I took the kids to the library for another summer program - "Mobile Dairy Farm". They got to see a cow being milked.

They also picked out a bunch more books to read this week for the Summer Reading Program!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Fun Summer Day

Don't you just love Summer?!?! Of course the outside temp gets just a little too hot for my taste but that is why we have swimming pools!!

We had a fun Summer day in our house.

We had storytime this morning! Everyone gathered around the recliner while I nursed Alyssa so we could read our library books (by the way we got 15 books read in our first week for the Summer reading program!) It was hard trying to get a picture of us but I managed :-) Look at that silly look on Seth's face!

I told the boys first thing this morning that if they did not get any x's on their behavior chart for the morning than they could go swimming before lunch!! And they made it!!

We have been having a hard time trying to figure out the best time for our swimming. We had been trying late afternoon...but where we live that is the hottest part of the day. We have found that Alyssa doesn't like to sleep at that time but it is way too hot to have her outside.

I got to thinking about it and the fact that they come out of the pool hungry and tired...and got to thinking about doing it before lunch. Alyssa seems to always be sleeping at that point...and since they come out of the pool hungry and tired they can come in and eat their lunch and take their nap!

It worked beautifully today!! And Seth took twice as long of a nap as usual!! I think this will become our swim time :-)

Seth wakes about about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before Aaron does each afternoon. Today I decided to take advantage of that and play some games with him. Seth LOVES games!!! We played our Phase 10 for Kids, Uno Kids version and Bible Bingo!

And Seth has such a sweet spirit...he was just as excited when I won as he was when he won!

I told the boys if they didn't get any x's on their behavior chart for the afternoon we would make a special treat! They were once again good so we went to the kitchen and made rice krispie treats (only we used chocolate dyno-bites (the malt o meal brand)). Of course they loved this!

And they sure did love eating them after supper!

I wish I could say that we had an entire day of good behavior... I guess they were saving all the bad behavior for this evening because it has been a battle to get them to clean their room tonight. I am now ready for it to be their bedtime :-)!!

Tomorrow we are going to the library to see the mobile dairy farm (should be interesting) and get some more books to read!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trying to get into a schedule

Trying to get into a schedule

I have decided to work this summer on figuring out how to get us into a good daily schedule so it will be easy transition when we start Pre-K this fall. Plus I have found that the kids do better if they are on a schedule...Seth likes knowing what is going to happen and his behavior is actually better when he is on a schedule.

Seth has really enjoyed the new Playhouse Disney cartoon Special Agent Oso. Each show Agent Oso is sent on a special misison that has 3 special steps. I thought that Seth would find it exciting if we based our daily schedule on this show.

I also wanted to make the schedule as flexible as possible because since my kids are still quite young it may take a few tries to find something that works well with I also want to be able to be spontanious every now and then...that is exciting for them as well.

So here is our chart. We will have 2 daily missions each day - a morning mission and an afternoon mission. I decorated a cork board and made strips for each of the activities that we could be doing. Each morning I just have to figure out our schedule for the day and post up our steps for our special mission.

Also for each mission there is a behavior reward activity. If Seth goes all morning (or afternoon) without any x's on his behavior chart (explained further below) then he will be able to do the behavior reward activity.

The Behavior Chart
Here is our behavior chart. I decided to break it up into morning, afternoon and evening. That way they have several chances during the day :-) As mentioned above for morning and afternoon they have a reward activity if they don't get any x's. Then if they don't get any x's for the whole day then they get to put a sticker on their Cars card. Once they get 10 cars on their card they can redeem it for a new car at Wal-Mart.

I do actually have a seperate area for Aaron on this chart because I feel that this is the first thing that Aaron really needs to be working on seperate from Seth...I feel he is getting old enough to start understanding good and bad behavior.

The Responsibility Chart
Here is Seth's chore chart! I love this chart and so does Seth. He gets a sticker on his chart for each of the chores he does each day. For each sticker that day he gets to put a penny in his piggy bank (he loves putting pennies in the bank).

I don't have Aaron seperate on this chart yet but he does do chores right along Seth. He loves helping out just as much as Seth...sometimes more. He also gets pennies in his bank along with Seth...and if for some reason he does a good job with a chore and Seth doesn't then I will put an A for that chore for the day instead of a sticker. That lets me and Seth know that only Aaron gets a penny for that Aaron starts understanding the chores more we can do the same thing if he decides to not do a chore when asked to but Seth does it.

Of course I am still trying to tweak it to work for us and I may find that I may need to change it some as we start using it (in fact this is round first idea was a bit different than this but we found out really quick that it wasn't going to work) but at least we have something to start with and so far it looks like it may work. I want to keep it simple and I want to keep it fun. The boys LOVE helping out right now and I would love to be able to keep it from being "a chore" to do their chores :-)

The other night after super they got down and started clearing the table without anyone asking them to do so. And they were happy about it!

A couple of more pictures

Here are the boys enjoying story time with Daddy!!

Here is computer time in our classroom! Aaron was on his Thomas the Train laptop!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Reading Program

I am so excited! I went on the Waxahachie's library website to get the details on this year's Summer Reading Program and it was very exciting!! They are doing special programs every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 11:00 for the months of June and July!! Oh how I wish we would be able to make both days each week but since we live way out in the country and it takes 30 minutes to get to the library I don't think my hubby would want us spending that much in gas each week :-(

But we are going to make one of the program each week!! And I am so excited about that!! That will be our day to get our new books for the week as well.

The reading lists will work in the same way as last year...the boys will get a ticket for every 5 books that I read to them. They then can redeem them for goodies in the library store at the end of the summer! Seth still has his tractor that he got last year and will periodically bring it to me and say "Mama remember where I got this?" I always ask back "where?" and he says "at the library for reading my books".

I am super excited about the fact that Aaron will be able to participate this year as well. In fact next week we are going to go ahead and get his library card because the past few times we have been to the library he has wanted to give the librarian the library card (because he sees how much Seth enjoys doing it)

So we are going to start next week...we are going to the Wednesday program - "Ft Worth Zoo Animals" . I am so excited!!

Of course I will have to pay for my very first (and hopefully only) late book fee - I had a book checked out that Daniel was reading and it was due during the time that I had Alyssa...and since she was in the NICU we were really delayed in getting it back...but thankfully we only owe $2.50 for being two weeks late...not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

So here's to a fun Summer of reading!! I will try to get pictures to post throughout the Summer!