Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stupid template

Blogger is just frustrating me like crazy today. I'm just adding this post to fill up the top space so that the sidebar isn't being infiltrated by pictures. I really need to just suck it up and buy a template, but I'm broke AND cheap, so those two things don't really work well with buying digital images and html code.

I'll finish the post off with an awesome picture I got at the park a couple of weeks ago.

Counting lapbook!

Here is our second lapbook, with a focus on counting to five. For the record, I know a lot of people are against doing anything "school like" with toddlers, but I think as long as he's enjoying it, why not? I'm not forcing him to sit down and listen to a lesson, we're just having fun!

I designed this one myself, using templates from this website.

Here it is with the cover closed:

And here are all of the minibooks:

The petal book opens to show dice inspired dots, one through five. The pocket holds 4x6 cards with pictures of objects, again one through five:

The acordian book has hearts, one through five, plus the number written above. The matchbook cover holds a counting game, with pictures in random order to count:

There was an extra page in the matchbook, so I thought "Good Job" was a nice touch:

And here he is enjoying it! Every time he opened a new book, he said "Oooh, what's that?"


Connors first lap book!

I absolutely love the idea of lapbooks, especially to tie up a section in a homeschooling situation. In fact, my class at work is making a spider lapbook right now, and we're going to start bats for the second half of the month!

When I found this I was THRILLED! We used her Cars themed tot book, and Connor has been having a blast with it! We made a numbers one as well, but I'll cover that in a later post.

Here is the cover, which I designed using pictures I found through google.

This is the inside of the book, with everything closed.

Here are the color and shape books:

Here is the name book, and the counting cards:

And of course, here he is enjoying it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coolest Dinosaur EVER!

Just doing my part to support a Work At Home Mom, and hopefully win a dinosaur for Connor!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Camping 2010!

Our yearly camping trip was another adventure!

We got there on Tuesday afternoon (7-6-10) after a longer-than-usual drive. Our car overheated on the mountain, so we really had to nurse her up there, stopping often to cool down. By the time we got there, Connor was pretty cranky, but when we got his tricycle out he was happy again. We set up camp, did a bit of exploring and started dinner. I premade some tin foil dinners for us, made up of cubed steak, potatoes, carrots, celery, Lea & Perrens, and a bit of salt and pepper. We had some corn on the cob as well, and banana boats for dessert. Banana boats are too sweet for my taste, but they're a kid favorite. Just slice a banana legnthwise, leaving the outside peel intact. Stuff with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, seal with peanut butter, and wrap in foil. Bury them in hot coals for about 10 minutes and eat with a spoon.

Bedtime was nice and easy, and thankfully we had enough of our normal routine for Connor to go down without any problems. The girls were in their tent, giggling long into the night. We were up with the sun, and had ziplock omelets for breakfast. (These are super easy. Break two eggs into a ziplock bag, add whatever ingredients you like, and boil for 15 minutes. They fall right out.)

We took some easy walks, fixed our natural bathtub that had been flooded and filled with sand, and watched the wildlife.Connor had tons of fun chasing butterflies and looking for birds, but walks were a bit stressful for all of us. He's still really prone to falling, so we couldn't get too many steps away from him out of fear that he'd fall in the creek. He didn't like this restriction very much. As long as he was allowed to lead, he was pretty happy though.

Wednesday was wrapped up with steaks and carrots, and of course S'mores! We tried making breadsticks over the campfire, but they were a lot of work and not anything special to eat. By Thursday morning, we were all tired and ready for a shower, so we headed home. The trip home was easier since it was downhill, but we're pretty sure we blew a head gasket. For now it looks fixable, so fingers are crossed!

This is Sara and Megan's tent
This is our tent, with my and Chris' bed on the right and Connor's bed on the left.
Connor checking out his new bed.
Our campsite: The trailer is on the far left, with our tent right next to it. Then you can see the firewood, and through those trees is a small hill that leads to the creek. To the far right is Sara and Megans tent.
Our creek
Mary Jane on her run.
Connor taking a nap right after we finished setting up camp.
Connor and his evil laugh.
The girls bright and early Wednesday morning.
Getting a drink out of the irrigation pipe that feeds our natural bathtub.
Cleaning the sand and muck out of the natural bathtub.
Connor running around the campsite.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My baby boy turned two this week! We had a small party at the park, and he had a blast. He got three different tractors (well, two tractors and a dump truck), a couple of books, a Slinky Dog from Toy Story, a stuffed Buzz Lightyear, a My Pal Scout (stuffed dog that learns his name and favorite things), some cars, and a squirt gun. The dump truck was the clear favorite, but all of his presents have gotten tons of play time.

In other news, he is talking enough to drive the most patient person insane, but it's awesome. On the way to the store yesterday, he told me that he has shoes about 392 times. No sentences yet, but he's putting two words together on a regular basis. The potty thing is still slow, but we are determined not to stress out on it. He'll do it when he's ready, and in the meantime I'll just take him to the potty whenever he asks. He does ask from time to time, but it's not often enough to make me think that he's really ready. I'd rather have him in diapers until he's 4 than stress all of us out over accidents and crying. At this rate though, I think he's going to get it pretty soon.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A very sad post

A friend of mine lost her son in a horrible accident this weekend, on May 29, 2010. Her name is Tamika, and her son's name was Gabriel. He was only 4 years old. It was her baby's first birthday, and they had a few friends over for a bbq. The kids were in a friends SUV watching a movie, when the battery drained. Tamika was inside with the baby, and her husband was outside with the kids and a couple of adult friends. The husband and one of the friends went in search of some jumper cables, leaving the kids with the other adult friend.

The woman who was left watching them walked away, and one of the older kids bumped the car into neutral. The SUV rolled backwards into Gabriel and the lit BBQ, pinning him and it against the house. Tamika was the first one to get to him. She tried to move the car, but she wasn't strong enough. She tried to administer CPR, but she wasn't able to.

He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns, as well as head trauma and cardiac arrest. He died in the hospital.

Her friends have set up a paypal account to accept contributions for his final expenses. If you can give, please give. If you can't give, please pass this story along. Any help we can get to her is needed.

The address to the paypal account is A link to the news article is here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The little things

Sometimes I stop to think about the little things that Connor does, and it makes me sad to think that, in time, I will probably forget most of them.

Like how he's been a little parrot with his talking skills for a couple of months now, but he still won't say "I love you" no matter how hard we try.

Or how he's already trying to call me "mom" instead of "mommy."

Or the cute little way his bottom lip sticks out when he puckers up for a kiss.

Or that his first big owie was on his left foot, when he stepped on the screw outside.

Or how he will suck air in through his nose and squish up his face when he points at me, and how he knows that this is the fastest way to make me laugh when I'm getting frustrated.

Or that he loves riding in the car so much, he's learned how to buckle himself in, and so far, he's never tried to get out of his car seat while we're driving.

Or how he wants nothing more than to sit with me all day long. Knowing that this will be gone someday helps me get through the frustration of being attached to him from morning to night.

Or how often I forget to watch him when he has a drink and a bowl of food at the same time, because no matter what the meal is, he will pour the drink over his food like cereal and milk every time.

I never want to forget these things, but I know there are a thousand little things like it that I've already forgotten.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


This was a learning day for us. Connor learned all about green glitter, and I learned a cool trick for getting it out of laundry. You have to saturate the glitter with hair spray, then let it dry completely and it will come out in the washing machine. DO NOT shake it until after the hairspray has dried, or you'll have to spray a much larger area.

Oh, and don't leave glitter where toddlers can get to us. That was the big lesson of the day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Story time with Connor

We just finished our bedtime story. Here's a rundown.

I asked Connor if he was ready for bed. He screeched "NO!" and ran to Daddy. I asked him if he was ready for a book, and he just about tripped over himself to turn around and head for bed.

We grabbed his basket next to his bed and put all of them away, then we picked out new ones.

He got in bed, sitting down facing me while I was on a chair next to him, and picked a book for me to read. Tonight he didn't want his own, which is cool with me but it's a first. We had a lift-the-flap little people zoo book. He lifted all of the flaps on the first page about 5 times while I struggled to keep up and tell him what they animals were. We were halfway through the second page when he closed the book and put it away.

Then he grabbed a truck book. We got through about half of them, with me telling him the names of the different trucks (dump truck, fire truck, bulldozer, etc) and him trying to repeat them. Half way through, he closed it and put it away.

Then on to a dinosaur pop-up book. That was cool until we got to a stegosaurus eating some grass. It scared him and he wouldn't come out from behind his pillow until I put it away.

Then to a fairy tale book, until he realized that there were actual sentences in it. We didn't get through a paragraph.

We did the lift-the-flap zoo book again, then the truck book again, and he was ready to be done. I turned the lights off, we listened to his glow-worm a few times, and I kissed him goodnight.

It's not a very restful storytime, but it works! lol

This picture has nothing to do with storytime, but it's just too good not to share.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on school

Chris and I have already been putting some thought into Connors education, and we're both really leaning toward homeschool. The public school in our area is very substandard. The entire district is stretched too thin, and even the best teachers are showing wear lately. It's true, of course, that we still have several years before Connor starts kindergarten in the 2013-2014 school year, but I have serious doubts that things will change drastically enough for me to be comfortable in 3 1/2 short years.

Besides that, the more I learn, the more I'm just not crazy about the institution as a whole. Of course public and private schools have kicked out millions of incredibly intelligent and well rounded adults, but I really question if it's the best way. Every child, every person, has their strengths and weaknesses, so is it really beneficial to make an entire class work at the same pace? It works, but is it best?

We're not decided yet, but I've been doing research anyway. Yes, I know that I think too much and plan too far into the future, but you should all know that about me by now. I have a need to feel prepared for whatever I can predict. It makes me feel sane to think ahead.

The idea of unschooling (not to be confused with the radical unschooling that has been in the media lately) is really catching my attention. I'm not convinced that it's a great idea for an entire schooling career, but for at least primary grades it really seems to make sense. If I had to make a decision right now, I think we would start with unschooling, and gradually work in a flexible curriculum.

And in case anyone is wondering, it is all very legal in California. Our laws are actually very easy going when it comes to homeschooling. I have to submit a letter of intent once a year, and keep attendance records. If investigated, I need to show that he is being taught in English, and that we are introducing all major subjects. All of this is to qualify our home as a private school, with Chris and I as teachers, administrators, and staff.

Anyway, it's all just thoughts right now, nothing solid. It's a very easy idea to get used to though. Plus with all of the extra curricular activities present in the area, he won't have any trouble at all finding friends and socializing with his peers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Connors first black eye

Poor little guy. Daddy was chasing him around the house, and he tripped and landed right into a stool. And yes, that's mustard on his nose. :)

Connor is talking up a storm lately. He says so many words I can't even list them any more. No sentences yet, but he's getting close. Well, unless adding "please" onto the end of a word counts as a sentence. I don't think that counts though. Right now he wants me to open the front door, so every time I'm not looking, he knocks on the wall so I'll think that someone is there. He's a genius, I'm telling you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Connors new bed

Thanks to Grandpa Bill and Grandma Lori (LorLor), Connor got the racecar bed that I've been longing for ever since before he was born! It's called a Step2 Stock Car bed, and it converts from a toddler to a twin mattress. We couldn't have dreamed of an easier conversion to a big boy bed. He absolutely adores it, and everyone who comes over is instantly dragged into his bedroom to adore it, even if they've already seen it. He spends almost half of his time playing and climbing on it, and has slept through the night with no issues at all.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Catching up

Ok, so it's been, what, 8 months since I last posted? I really thought I would be awesome at this mommy blogging thing, especially with my love of sharing pictures, but I'm really lousy at it, aren't I?So what's been going on? My baby turned into a toddler, that's what! He's in to everything we don't want him in to, and he gets out of everything we want to keep him in!

The easiest (and funnest) way to catch up is with pictures! I'll start digging back in July, when the last post was, and work my way up to now!

At 13 months, Connor started walking. The cats were most unhappy with this, but he sure was pleased!At 14 months he got a new tricycle. He still loves this thing! It's convertible, so at first you can put the big handle underneath it to make it a rocking ride-on toy. We're about ready to take off the big handle all-together to make it a traditional trike.
At 15 months, we took a trip to San Diego to visit with some of my Cloth Diapering friends from the internet. It was a lot of fun to meet other crunchy mamas like myself, and Connor had a blast and made lots of new friends.16 months saw Halloween! Connor was the cutest clown in town, in my humble opinion, of course!
17 months saw our first snowstorm of the year, and Connor played in it all day!

18 months saw Christmas! Yay! Santa was NOT a hit this year....
The new car from Grandpa Bill was a BIG hit though!
The Wiggles have taken over our lives ever since....
And dinner with Grandma Joyce was delicious, of course!At 19 months, he learned how to eat with a fork!
It doesn't always work as planned...
But he has fun anyway!

19 months also saw a new haircut!

20 months didn't see a lot of action, but he sure is handsome!
And 21 months brought my favorite time of year, SPRING!