Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Two in a row, woohoo

Aren't you pleased? LOL.
So, today was the letter "B," and dd1 is more comfortable with that. Long lines are easier to draw than short ones. She had fun coloring and reading the words, but dd2 kept demanding my attention and dd1 started to get bored without interaction. She left a little bit undone on her papers, but that's fine at this point. She wanted to do something else, so we learned our ASL/French for the day, button/bouton. Dd2 had some more transferring activities, and dd1 and I had fun with our "what starts with _" game. Yesterday she surprised me with "apricot" for "a." We play that at home and in the car. Today was dd2's therapy playgroup and dd1's dance, so we kept the other stuff to a minimum. Dd1 had a blast at dance. I was impressed with her ability to dance as a penguin (her animal of choice)--keeping a penguin element while dancing gracefully. Seriously--you try to dance beautifully as a penguin with a straight face and see how well you do! Dd2 had fun at playgroup too. She kept diving into the ball pit. Normally that would sting a bit, jumping bum-first into a shallow ball pit, but dd2 is not afraid of something as ridiculous as "pain." She was more upset by the fact she couldn't dance with dd1. It makes her sad. She points to herself and asks, "too?" in a little lonely voice. Some of my curriculum showed up and I'm excited--I think we might stop the alphabet when the rest of it gets here, as the phonics part starts at A anyway. I just wanted to get her brushed up with a little overview and a taste of scheduling every day, esp since dd2 NEEDS a schedule, I think, to thrive. I am cheap and am waiting to hear back from some people on used curriculum books but if I don't hear by tomorrow I'll just grab the last ones I need new. I am also getting math manipulatives soon, hopefully. I have a fun book where you use the rods to make letters and do alphabet activities as well as sneaking in math. I think dd1 will like it a lot.
Yes, this one was boring, because it's late and I can't remember half of it, lol. But I wanted to update daily like I said. Two in a row, yay! Oh, and the cupcakes are long gone. Of course.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Homeschool, Take.... 3?

We usually unschool, but I have discoverd structure is very helpful for dd2, and dd1 loves to learn new things all the time, so I'm starting a more official homeschool schedule. I have some curricula, and I am also making a conscious effort to do our own schooling every day. I found a wonderful website called, and it has tons of printouts. Not just coloring pages and letter tracing, but mini books in French-English, lined paper to print out for our own use, worksheets like "label the parts of this airplane in Spanish" with answers, the detailed scientific parts of flowers, a short essay the history of aviation with related printouts, etc. Tons of resources. So while we wait for the official curricula, we are doing my stuff. Hopefully we'll stick with it! I think the packaged curriculum (Hearts of Dakota "Little Hearts For His Glory" will be really fun for dd2 to participate in, as well as being both fun and educational for dd1. Lots of songs and dramatic play that tie in with the reading and such. I *want* to update here a little of what we did every day, for some extra accountability, lol. 

So, before we start her phonics program, and as HOD hasn't arrived, I started us on a basic alphabet review--26 days. Today was A, obviously. We had pages to write out the letter A/a, color A words, color letter A/a, match the picture with the word, a little French-English page, and learning a new A sign. Dd1 loves capital A and can already draw it, but gets frustrated with little a. So we did a picture match, wrote one a. Did another picture match, wrote one a, etc. In the reading for the picture/word matches, dd1 was again foiled by the Engish language--she noted that "apple" had a silent E so the "aah" should be "A." But it's not. Ack! They both colored, and dd1 did write several decent a's but also several that were really a d or just messy. But not bad at all. Then she traced A/a/B/b (she likes B better than a too, apparently), and colored some more. Friends came over and we stopped, only learning an A sign while they were here--"awake." But then I decided we should learn the same sign & French word, so we learned both after our friends left--"avion," for airplane, and the sign for it. Then dd1 colored her avion, wrote out avion (had me help her with the a, but was quite happy to write "v i o n" on her own, and then wrote a capital A afterwards. It seems to make her happier to show that she can write one of the A's well on her own. She does not stay in the little lines yet, but seriously. She's how old again, lol? Not even going to worry about that. Then she cut out two pictures of airplanes (and cut them into tiny pieces), and is supposed to be drawing an airplane/avion but I hear scissors so I think avion #3 is being shredded too. She loves to cut. Dd2 colored a picture, learned "awake" before her nap. and transferred blocks from a bread pan into a bowl and back (using her hand and then her hand inside an oven mitt), and she liked the latter the most.

ETA: Then we cleaned up the cut paper shreds and made cupcakes. We traced letters in the batter with the whisk as we stirred, plus reading the ingredients and doing addition/subtraction with the eggs!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yoga time!

So, the dds hate it when I do yoga. So I am on a mission to find yoga we can do together as a family, kid-friendly yoga that still wears me out. We are hitting up the library first. Today was our first victim, Kids Yoga ABCs. It was actually much better than I anticipated. There are a lot of yoga moves disguised as fun letters and animals (from the traditional cat and cow to fun animals like iguanas), plus a few basic yoga concepts (a short song about Namaste and an Om exercise). Dd1 had a blast being a caterpillar and an eagle, and I got a workout with "iguana" and the wheel. I am apparently sorely out of shape, lol. We only get each DVD for a week at our library so we'll see what the replay value is tomorrow, but I think it's entertaining enough for kids to keep dd1 involved and until I'm strong enough to do a proper backbend (sorry, the wheel) it will work quite well for me, too. I also discovered that I either need to steam clean the carpets or pull out the yoga mat. It smells funny.

Fun with speech

So, dd2 has a speech evaluation next week. Dh and I both think there is nothing organically wrong with her. She just doesn't see the point. She can sign very well, and picks up new signs as fast as we can teach them now that she conquered her receptive issues. She says, "ma," "da," "ba," and "w" plus vowels. She does NOT babble. She will now say "dada" or "mama" for an adult and this week she started to imitate "bah...bee?" when we say "baby" (very, very emphasized per the usual to help her pick out the sounds). She doesn't say it on her own, but it's her first two-sound combo besides "uh-oh" so that's impressive. She also now says "mi" for milk instead of "mah." So see, she's progressing! She just doesn't see any need to use speech, really. She signs and signs and if you ask her to speak instead of sign, she just signs again and again and again and gets very frustrated and cries/screams. It is kind of nice to have a 21-month-old who can't say "no," LOL, but she can shake her head and then throw a tantrum. *sigh* We're working on the self-control stuff. She doesn't have any. But that is half the SPD and half her personality. There's nothing inhibiting her speech but her own desire or lack of. When the developmental behavioraist tries to get dd2 to talk, dd2 just stares blankly at her, so it's not just her ignoring us. She just sees no reason to use her mouth. She'll sign. That's "saying" it to her. And if she does make her sounds, she signs along with them. The vocal is just for emphasis, lol. We talk and add gestures for emphasis. She signs and adds a sound for emphasis. It's not "speech" to her.

I need to start blogging again

I have all these fun ideas and I'm usually just too tired. But I'm going to try. I need to actually make contact with the outside world occasionally, lol. I need to talk about more SPD insanity (speech evaluation next week. Seriously?? It's not that she can't talk. She just has no interest in it whatsoever.), ways for broke peeps to go green (it's actually cheaper when you break it down, and there are really, really easy ways to get started), going vegetarian for carnivores (as we go from meat twice a day to maybe once a week and beyond, and meet interesting characters like "TVP" and "seitan" and find out how to make them honestly taste like meat without slaving away in the kitchen), lots of budgeting and money-saving ideas, breastfeeding (but TopHat usually has that covered), babywearing, dh's new self (or "adventures in therapy, medication, support groups, starting school again and generally growing up"). And how to do all of this on 4 hours of sleep a night, every night. For years. Help... ;P

Friday, January 30, 2009

Quick note on Chloe's sensory issues

I think blogspot hates me today. It crashed five times in a row as I typed this so I’m typing in Word and pasting. Take that, Google!

Anyway, as I was saying before it was rudely deleted, I was waiting to post until I had lots of concrete data but that will be a while in coming, so for now:

Chloe was evaluated by an OT and the EI coordinator, and she “DEFINITELY qualifies” for early intervention/therapy. So they had to go have their weekly EI meeting and add her and get her team chosen, and now she has another therapist coming Tuesday to evaluate her development (or lack thereof) in more detail. We also have a series of three classes to attend for parents of non-verbal kids to help them communicate better. We also get to rent all the signing videos from the library for free (normally it’s a dollar per DVD per week). I’m glad we’re in the process of getting Chloe some help, esp today as it has been a very bad sensory issues day. Chloe spent the entire morning eating dangerous things whenever possibly (jewelry/rocks, plastic outlet covers, unpopped popcorn kernels, etc), doing her Super Stomp all over, jumping, bouncing (which for her is SUPER hard, intense, brain-joggling bouncing, which is no fun when she starts doing it on me!!), throwing things, thrashing, flailing, yelling, wanting to nurse every ten minutes, and smashing head-first into things when she got upset, until she collapsed on me, exhausted, about 20 minutes before naptime. Although, bonus for her, she did spend her two play minutes (two separate minutes—she doesn’t play for two minutes at a time together. I wish) playing with a big wooden puzzle and then with some wooden blocks. So that was good—any positive developmental seconds we can squeeze in with her are good.

And Alanna cut her own hair yesterday while I was at work. After her bath she gets a new haircut.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quick Note

One week until Chloe's early intervention evaluation. We'll see which one of us is crazy then--her or me! I hope they can figure out what's going on with her--it's like having a newborn for almost 16 months, but one who can run around and wreck things in the few seconds she doesn't want to be held. And who can turn on the bathtub water on hot and climb in (not at the same time *yet*), and who eats glass shards and chalk and crayons, and dumps ice water over herself for fun. Or who runs into the snow barefoot with no coat and proceeds to play like it's high summer, climbs on everything and falls off onto her head without even trying to catch herself, will not play with toys or read books for more than thirty seconds at a time (unless a new baby is over to play with--they are more distracting), chews on everything in sight (including her own fingers, arms, the metal hinges on the doors, the frozen porch steps, the business end of Snappis, and anything else that normal kids would cry if they bit, lol), bangs her head on things, wants to splash in water so much she will climb into the toilet to get a chance at some or try to dive headfirst into the sink, can't control her emotions at all yet, almost non-verbal, and on and on and on. I can only breathe or get anything done at naptime. Or after work, like now--which is 1am. She doesn't even like being worn--there's not enough movement for her. She will tolerate the SSC, which is super-fast to put on (as with staying still for a wrap or mei tai she flips out), but she really wants to move and bounce and change scenery and tactile sensations constantly so she wants down very quickly. If it's naptime I can get maybe an hour--half an hour of bouncing her to sleep and then half an hour of her sleeping. And that's it. It's easier to just put her down for a normal nap, lol, which lasts 45-90 minutes. Poor Alanna gets the shaft with Chloe demanding so much attention. And I am So going crazy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Green goals!

I will (hopefully) have more tomorrow on sensory stuff and whatever else I think of. I keep wanting to make this an interesting blog people will want to follow, but everyone seems to have already said what I am thinking, LOL.

So for now, as I avoid going to sleep for some reason, I am answering Crunchy Domestic Goddess's question about my Green Goals for the year.

As a review, in 2008:
We started our first garden and learned a LOT ;) and actually got some veggies out of it.
Became full-time cloth diaper users with my youngest and switched to full-time cloth finally with my oldest, and then she started using the potty about two weeks later. Go figure!
Got cloth shopping bags and started asking for paper when I forgot them. Which was most of the time.
Started using a cloth bag for the library instead of the plastic bags they provide.
Started shopping at the natural food store, and then the new Sunflower Farmer's Market opened up and I found the regular farmer's market, so we get more organic and natural foods.
I went pesco-vegetarian for a while, and now I have (due to my insanely high metabolism) settled into a much-less-meat-and-only-organic/humanely-raised-meat diet. Less money, less sad animals, less dead animals. Reminds me, I need to set out the pot of dried beans to soak.
I started using less plastic/unsafe toys and started looking more at wooden, natural, WAHM-made and imagination-inspiring toys.
Dd1 broke our TV so we used a lot less electricity for a few weeks until we replaced it.
We stopped our cable TV, so again much less electricity wasted, and less brain cells melted, too. Bonus!
I breastfed the entire year--do you know how many cans of formula are not in the landfill thanks to that??
Less vaccinations, so less Tylenol used.

For 2009:
Bigger garden, and we're going to try freezing or canning some of it.
Buying more local food, especially when the farmer's market opens again.
Dh wants a peach tree!
REMEMBER my darn cloth shopping bags, lol! I'm going to keep them in the car.
I want to start a compost pile this spring.
We're going to rotate out some more of the plastic toys and either leave them gone or replace them with natural or local (both!) toys.
I am going to sew more, so I buy less that I could make. (I am finishing up a sensory blanket right now.)
I am (and have been) fighting the CPSIA that needs changes so it doesn't put WAHMs and small businesses out of business, and I will keep fighting that until the law is revised. Who wants to have to buy from giant corporations with China-made goods because they are the only ones who can afford the massive amounts of testing in products for anyone under 12??
We are building up our food storage and emergency kits this year.
Keeping on keeping on with breastfeeding!
Ummm that's all I can think of because it's about midnight.