Quick schooling update, more for my future notes than anything else. In October were parent/teacher conferences. The only concern Abe’s teacher expressed is whether he is being challenged enough. She pulled out his Math journal and showed me ways that he was challenging himself by adding extra work beyond what was required. And how in Language Arts (LA) he would ask questions far above his level, and how, in his personal journal, the type of things he would write about were quite beyond what others typically did. One of the really neat things about university style schooling is that for both LA and Math kids can bump up a grade for that subject, but still remain in their grade level overall.
All that to say, I went ahead and purchased the curriculum that the first graders are going through for All About Spelling (Level 2), Writing with Ease, and Shurley Grammar. We are cruising through ASA Level 1 quite quickly now and will move into Level 2 I’d guess by the new year. The other two books we’re already knee deep in and have added to our regular homeschool load. It’s a bit tougher to know how to give him more Math stuff, but since that’s his favorite subject I think I’ll just go to our school’s blog and see what the first graders are doing and start there. It can be overwhelming with just HOW MUCH stuff is out there. OVERWHELMING!
Picture Comments: #1) From his personal home journal. Hasn’t his hand writing gotten good? He’s worked really hard on it and I’m very proud of him!! #2 and #6) This leaf assignment was one example of how he went beyond his assignment. The assignment was only to gather three different types of leaves to bring to school the next day. He got more than eight and we spent a good chunk of time trying to identify them, which he wrote down to bring to school. Got a “Wow!” from his teacher. #3) How I picked April up from school one day. #4) This is just how he rolls. Either no clothes or just a shirt, usually his pajama shirt. #5) April also loved the leaf assignment!!
While this is great, it does add more things we need to get through in our school day. I found that I was being stretched even thinner than normal with trying to appropriately parent all three kiddos. April is constantly begging me for school work to do and I always felt like I was just barely scraping enough together to keep her occupied. So, I also bought a preschool curriculum for her from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Best $15 ever spent!! It still takes some work on my part to prepare it, but I don’t have to go try to dig up the work for her, which is 75% of the battle. On top of that, she is LOVING it!! So much fun!
There are two things about Andersen that I forgot on his big post. 1. Little Dude has a strong dislike to getting dressed. Once he has clothes on it’s not a big deal, but the process of doing it is pure torture. So, if you stop by or see me out and about and he is either still in his pjs or in just his diaper, don’t judge. (Usually we don’t go out like that, but if we’re just planning to bring/pick up the other two from school then I don’t care enough to fight it.) 2. He also continues to have a love affair with water. He loves to have a cup of water, which he’ll get from the bathroom sink, and pour it back and forth into other containers. Playing with Dexter’s water bowl still happens, usually at the time that I am almost convinced we’re past it. Also, none of my kids ever had a lovey and he is no exception; he does seem to have a strong liking for his water bottle though which just supports his love affair with H2O.
I confess that I have no clue where to start with Little Dude (current nickname). He’s almost 22 months old and acting every single day of it. This feels like a “topic” post, so let’s start there.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had only one child at home. What the heck do you do with only one child? Oh… right! It took me a couple weeks to remember – parks and story time at the library! Play dates? Sure… uh, wait, no thanks. I know I used to do them all the time with just Abe, but now it seems silly. I only have one kid; I’m practically on vacation!! I’m really not sure why the different perspective, I just know that I have little desire to do a play date unless all the kids can go.
Since my last post he has exploded with speech. Finally. I’ve been waiting. Not necessarily where my other two were at this age, but leaps and bound for him so, yay Little Dude!! He says his body parts (eye, nose, mouth, ears, etc) and points to everything we ask. He knows all the animal sounds, too. We have a cute video of it that I’ll likely not get around to posting, but in the picture on the left below we’re roaring like lions. He says “ice”, “wawa” (water), “mo” (more), “Na” (Nash, his buddy), “Piper” (another friend), “got it!”, “tha” (that), “Dada”, “Deter”, “he” (help), “no” (quite clear on this one!), “bus”, “poop” (so glad he tells us now!), “cracker”, “nana” (banana), “yes”, “yeah”, and lots, lots more I’m forgetting. My favorite though is ”d’no?” (don’t know). If you ask him something and he doesn’t know where it is, he’ll say “d’no?” and put out his hands and almost falls over as he leans to the right. (See picture.) So cute! He will pretty much repeat, or at least try to, anything you ask him to. Fun, fun, fun. He nods and signs please, sorry, and thank you.
I’m regularly saying to him, “Use your words.” He understands everything we say, but doesn’t always like to use words to talk back. That’s changing more though with every passing day. However, he is very adamant in what he wants and has his own way of telling me if words won’t cut it. For example, it’s quite common for him to climb up on my lap and grab my shoulders, pulling on me to get up to come do his bidding. If I’m standing he’ll come and pull on my leg, or get behind me and push to get me to move. It’s cute. It’s funny. It’s SO annoying. ”Use your words.” As long as he tries and signs please with it, I’ll go help.
About the third week of September it was as if he decided he wasn’t a baby anymore. All within days of each other we were having issues with climbing out of the crib, not wanting the high chair, and even fighting wearing a diaper. We’ll start with the our crib escapades; it’s been one crazy ride. If you recall, back in June he climbed/fell out of his crib. Once. That fall was enough to scare him for three months, but he’s clearly over that fear now. In September he started climbing out every time I put him in his crib. We had a couple horrible bed and nap times (reminiscent of April after her surgery) until we put Operation Sleep Sack into action. For the most part this worked just like we expected it to. Not a big deal the first night or two, horrible for a couple nights when he figured out our trick – not to mention steer-wrestling him to get it on – and then smooth sailing after that. He’s even been known to walk over with his arms out to put it on. But then we had that one nap time a couple weeks ago when he WAS NOT going to wear it, fought his way out of it, and ended up screaming himself to sleep on the floor for his nap. After that horrible episode we’ve had multiple times, like tonight, when the sack wasn’t needed at all and he laid down in his crib nicely and went right to sleep. Bizarre. Other times though, when we can tell he needs it, we’ll put the sack on him and he nicely abides. Other times, he’ll put it nicely on and then decide, no thanks, and fight to get out. He’s kinda moody. Overall it’s working though and we’ll ride this monkey train until doesn’t. I’m just not ready to have the fight with the toddler bed, because a long and tough fight it would be.
Moving onto the high chair now… we are done with it and for the first time in six years no longer own one! Maybe I should feel more sentimental about it, but I’m actually pretty glad whenever we can get rid of anything that takes up significant space. Funny though that Andersen wasn’t real keen on the booster seat either. He really wanted to be like his siblings and just sit like a big boy in a big chair. That would have been fine if he would have actually STAYED in the chair instead of getting in and out of it over and over again. We’ve now settled into a pretty good routine, but it took a couple weeks and some very unhappy meals to find it. At breakfast, snack, or lunch time I don’t fight him if he wants to sit at the little table and eat. For dinner though it is required that he eat at the big table like the rest of us and he is belted in until excused. For the most part it works, although I confess some lazy parenting when it’s not dinner time; I let him run around more than I should. I’m picking fewer battles with the third child. I could say it’s because I’m wiser, but truth be told, I’m just more tired. Not physically tired, but I just have less parenting fight in me. Truth, even if I’m not proud of it.
For the longest time he was my good eater and would try anything you’d put in front of him. He’s gotten pickier lately and I’ve had to be reminded to be happy with him eating one or two good meals a day instead of all three. However, regardless of whether he’s in an eating mood or not, you can be guaranteed that he will be entertaining! He must be our most expressive kid and has the best expressions from this bizarre sneer to a cheesy, instant-charm grin.
The above covered mostly the beautiful mess of our current toddler challenges. Now it’s time to end on what is just simply adorable about this our Little Dude. You can’t meet him without walking away thinking, “He’s so sweet!” He loves to come give big cuddly hugs and snuggle into your shoulder. Shoes remain a favorite play item of his and they get spread all over the house; my red pumps get the most action. The boy loves to wear shoes in the house and hates to wear them out, often INSISTING on running around barefoot. Dressing up in general is a great joy of his as you can see from the pictures below. He loves to bring me dress up things of April’s and grunts his demand for me to put them on.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s such a goof ball! Take the picture of him with April’s blanket on for example (#3 below). Completely on his own, he got her blankets, covered himself, and walked around like a pink ghost for a good 10 minutes or more. It didn’t matter to him that he ran into everything in the house. And while typing this I had to sit for a couple minutes while he spun me in a circle. Sure, I could have refused, but why fight that battle? And who doesn’t love a good spin… He certainly does because sometimes just he’ll spin around in a circle like a dog chasing his tail. Cracks me up, and then I wonder a bit about his level of intelligence. Another funny thing: when he runs, he makes his panting-like-a-dog sound that is stinking HILARIOUS! April does it now too. He also loves to make a mess (who doesn’t? – #8) and often I let him since it keeps him so busy. He’ll even help you pick up! He has a very selectively helpful heart and likes to clear the table and put away laundry, among other household chores. He really does try his best to play sweetly with his siblings, which can be tough, but often returns nicely the toy he just took from them.
The child still has no fear and loves to push his limits (#1 and #2), meaning I’m always finding a new bump or bruise (#6). It’s quite surprising he hasn’t broken anything yet (knock on wood), but I think that is because he actually listens pretty well. If I yell, “Andersen! Stop!” he usually will, just long enough for me to get there to rescue him before things get ugly. It’s good that, more often than not, he trusts my warnings instead of doing the opposite, for now at least. He loves to burrow in and behind things, including but not limited to the pillows on the couch, on our bed (#5), and April’s curtains (#4). He’s also learned what timeouts are in the last couple months, mostly because he is still known to bite. Lately even he puts himself in timeout, face down crying on the floor, without me having to send him there. In summary, Andersen is your typical adorable and crazy toddler!! Lots to love and lots to learn from this Little Dude.
Guaranteed that I’m going to regret staying up so late to post these. Also guaranteed that I’ll get grief from Mike for it. But the pictures must get posted!! I truly do need to go to bed. Both my body and brain are shutting down on me. So, without further ado, here are Halloween pictures.
This year they were the three ‘M’s: a (sock) monkey, a magician, and Minnie Mouse. Clearly Minnie’s makeup got a thousand times better when Dani showed up!! Speaking of Minnie, doesn’t that just fit her perfectly? Seriously, the girl IS Minnie Mouse!! Andersen as a sock monkey is just me fulfilling a small pipe dream of mine. Abe’s magician costume also fits him to a tee as he’s quite into magic tricks at the moment. I really do feel like we nailed the costumes this year. Aren’t they just adorable! And I just love seeing all the other costumes. Halloween pictures may be my favorite pictures of the year!!