activities


I do a lot of pre-school activities with Alex. Most of the time we do this in the afternoon when the “little ones” are napping in the afternoon. Kalea is starting to show some interest in more learning activities too. She likes to read a BUNCH more than she used to, she is liking to color and do “letter a” with Alex on the iPad. (it is a starfall app). I have been trying to come up with some kind of pared down activities that would be fun and learning for both kids. I of course loved when I found this idea on pinterest. (yep, there is my newest addiction again)

I had the kids making sensory bottles. They LOVED it. Kalea especially (which was my goal!) Here are the supplies I used.

Clear beverage bottles, scrunched foil, little plastic bracelets, marbles, dice, rubber bands

I had the bottles, foil and rubber bands, everything else I got in the dollar toy aisle at Dollar General. I cut the beads off the string so there was more individually to put in.

I filled the bottles half full of water then gave each kid half of the supplies to put in.

Kalea was dressed as a princess for the activity.

;

They both did a great job dropping the small objects into the small holes. I was pretty impressed with their hand-eye-coordination, the rubber bands gave them a bit of a problem, but once I showed them how to kinda ball them up Kalea figured it out right away and wouldn’t let me help her anymore. =)

Please excuse the hair, this was a no hair-do day.

Alex got a decent amount of enjoyment from the bottles. It opened up a great conversation about differences in weight, how all the heavy stuff sank to the bottom and the light all floated. I would ask them to look for a certain color and they would turn their bottles till they found it. Kalea really really loved it, she carried with her all day, just spinning it all around and looking and looking at it. She would bring it up to Jason or me and say “show you! Show you!” because she was so excited about it.

Since we did this one, I would change a few things. I would only use a few heavy items (like the marbles) and more floaty items (the foil was great!) I also found some other really fun ideas for some. So as soon as we get some more clear bottles we will be experimenting with different types and learning different things with them.

Overall: this project was a WIN!

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*insert obligatory apology for lack of postage here* (I have 3 kids, two and a half and under, I am chronically dis-organized with my time)

OK so you know how January is all about resolutions and February is all about forgetting about them? Well thats why Jason and I didn’t set a resolution, just goals/lifestyle change. We both felt like we needed to focus on getting healthy, and a (wonderful) consequence (is there really such a thing as a good consequence?) is losing weight. Our focus is more on getting healthy because that keeps us motivated when we don’t see much of a scale budge. So here is our change.

We are definitely more “strict” during the week and pretty much not at all on the weekends. We are humans, we really enjoy eating and we enjoy eating unhealthy foods. So if we don’t allow ourselves “looseness” we are setting ourselves up for failure. This part of our change is from the “no S diet”

We also read through the book eat right 4 your type. The theory is that different blood types respond to foods differently. Jason is type O (carnivor – He was happy to hear he should eat steaks) I am type A (a vegetarian). Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Obviously to save my cooking sanity and our budget we adapted the theory. But here are the biggest changes:

We eat a TON of more veggies (Frozen is cheaper than fresh and WAY better than canned. Walmart has great stir fry mixes for a good price, we easy go through a bag or more per meal)

We don’t eat white flour. Well, our kids will eat “normal” bread but our grains are now consist of Spelt, Brown rice, Quinoa and Ezekial Bread. These grains are low gluten or gluten free, lower in carbs, the carbs are complex and they are high in protein.

I have stopped eating meat while at home and am getting used to Tofu. I am really loving things like Hummus and lentils for protein. For snacks we have ditched the chips and cookies, and replaced with dried fruit (cranberries are especially good) and mixed nuts.

Emphasis more on making the calories count (as in being good for our bodies) than counting our calories (did you know you can lose weight by eating 1500 calories of twinkies only a day). Though we do that some too.

So what kind of progress are we seeing?

We have both lost a few pounds (Jason around 14 and myself about 8 ) and for I one feel a TON better. I feel like I have more energy, and my body just works better eating this way. Yeah we still go out for wings occasionally (human remember) but we don’t eat as many and we balance out our other meals better. So, who knows what we will look like in a year or two, but thats why this is a life change and our focus is on getting healthy, not just getting skinny. Though we sure wouldn’t complain about that!

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Alex is 2 years old now. And definitely showing signs of being excited about learning. It started by him asking for crayons to color and draw ‘big semi trucks’ with the stencils I got him. I decided to try teaching him to write the Letter A. We did a couple little learning activities, and he absolutely loved it! So after Michael was born and I knew I was definitely done with working I decided to do some “real” pre-school. This has been our first week of it. I had so so so much fun doing the lesson plans for the week. The basics of what we do is an activity that has to do with the letter of the week, a learning game, a song about something the begins with the letter. (Im a little airplane, or the Ants go marching one by one… etc) and then some kind of a craft or coloring page.

Alex absolutely LOVES it! It only takes about 45-1 hour tops depending, but it helps me to give him something constructive to do. I really think he needs that. I wonder at times if part of the problems that we have with him sleeping (yeah he is 2 and we still have problems with that) is that he isn’t tiring/using his brain enough during the day. I know I am biased, but he really is a pretty smart little cookie. Already showing signs of having decent logic… its pretty scary he is too smart for his own good.

My plan is to take the same basic activities and just recycle them substituting the new letter of the week. That will give me 25weeks of fairly brainless (on my part) pre-school ideas. Ill try to share a lot of them as we go. But I do want to share what we did yesterday. It was by far Alex’s favorite.

The learning activity was going to www.starfall.com  and going through their exercises for Aa.

The song was also on that website -their short “a” sound song. He made us play it about 10 times and was doing the motions to it. I wish I had that on video!

The craft was a simple color page. (always a favorite)

And the activity: Bobbing for apples! We talked a lot about apples this week. As he was doing it he kept saying “this apple starts with ‘a’? And this one too?!!!!” I was pretty impressed he actually did get some apples! Since he is little I cut an apple into slices so he would have an easier time, it also doubled as our afternoon snack. I “bobbed” for a couple as well. Its a lot harder than it looks! I was impressed he did as well as he did!

Working on Starfall

IMG_0142 (1) <———-Click here to see a video of Alex bobbing for apples.

Our set up

 

Bobbing

 

I know its totally not centered, but I LOVE his smile here!

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Football

Camp fires

Apples

Corn fields

Warm hats

Pumpkins and mums

Leaves

This is what I love best about Autumn!

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Instead of giving you a blow-by-blow of what the little scrunchy faced cutie has been doing, I’ll just let you know what he is doing now.

Basics-

He is about 20 lbs and 27″ tall. (As of his last well baby check). He is still just a “little guy” on the 10th percentile in height/weight but right on track proportionally.  That’s OK we just get more use out of his clothes 🙂

He is wearing a wide variety of sizes. 12-18mo shirts. 12mo jackets. 9 mo pants (even still fits into a pair of 6-9mo pants!) and size 2 shoes (though he is quickly needing size 3)

He has 2 bottom teeth, and his eye teeth on top oddly enough look like they will be the next ones to come through.

Food –

He nursed up through 9 mos. It made me sad when he was done, but being pregnant really kills the supply 🙁 I am just happy I made it through cold and flu season!

He is now getting 4 bottles a day. And we are working on replacing the bottles with sippy cups. He does pretty well… sometimes. He has good days and days where he gets so proud of himself he forgets to swallow before he smiles so out spills all the formula!

Drinking like a big boy!

He eats “big people food” now. He likes cheese, cucumbers, zuchini, MEAT and pretty much anything he can pick up with his hands. Especially rice puffs. LOVES them. I am thankful he is not a picky eater!

Activities-

He has been pulling himself up and walking along things for about a month now. He CAN walk on his own, but won’t if he is thinking about it or if you draw attention to it. But he does motor pretty quick crawling!

Walking!

He likes to play ball. He will roll/toss the ball back and forth with you. Or will toss it across the room and go fetch it himself 🙂

He is “helpful” if he has picked something up and you want it, if you ask him to give it to you, USUALLY he will.

He loves to sweep. He will play with the broom and loves to follow me around while I vacuum.

"sweeping"

He likes to play with Jasper, and Jasper’s toys (they play “fetch”) and Jasper’s food. Poor Jasper only gets to eat when Alex is napping or not at home, otherwise we would spend all day moving Alex away from the dog food.

Tackling Jasper

Communication:

He waves “Hi” and Bye-bye. Even without prompting 🙂

He says “Da-da”. If Jason leaves the room it is not uncommon for Alex to bellow out da-DA??!!! and point to wherever Jason left from.

He points and says “DA” when he wants to know what something is.

He says “uff uff” for animal noises, usually dogs and frogs. We are working on differentiating between the animals 😉

Other:

He goes to sleep on his own now, usually with no fussing at night (still working on the naps). This is awesome for mommy!!!

He is such a daddy’s boy. Its really cute, he loves to hear Jason play guitar, and would choose Jason over me most days of the week I think 😛

Chilling with Daddy

Alex loves to "play guitar" with daddy!

~ HambergerMama

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I was thinking that I should probably update something…. before it goes another month. And I was sitting here thinking about what I should post.

…. Would you like to hear about my latest doctor appointment? Where nothing really happened other than “Sully’s” heartbeat was at 160. I gained another few pounds and the doctor had to leave early because another patient went into labor 🙂

… Or would you rather hear about my latest radical idea on how to save money, on second thought I have to gain up enough nerve before I post it….

… Oh but I am sure you are dying to hear about my latest pains (round ligament pains) which are lovely little constant cramp type things that thankfully you only feel when you are awake 🙂

Well I scrapped all of those ideas, as no one except those who are pregnant really honestly care about the “misery” of others who feel exactly the same way. And I sat here with the lap top open, nothing really to write when Sully started to move. He has been slightly uncomfortable for me all day. Not really moving, but feeling like he is lodged under my ribcage. Until the last 10 minutes. When he started getting very active.

Picture this: I am laying on the couch, the laptop propped on my legs and slightly resting on my rather large lower belly. When all of the sudden the laptop moves. Yes Sully kicked so hard that he moved the laptop.

This kid is stinkin strong! I think I have a little kick boxer on my hands.

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Odds are, if you are about to become a parent, you have parents yourself. Maybe you are the first in your family to bring them a grandchild, or maybe you are the last of your siblings. Either way, it’s been a while since they last had to connect with such a young member of their family. I found a neat website that suggests all sorts of activities for grandparents to do with their grandkids.

Check out http://www.grandparents.com/ to check it out. If you aren’t very web literate, have your grandkid get you there. It even lets you select your grandchild’s lifestage (teen, infant, etc) to show you more relevant articles.

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