Alexander


This little boy rocked our world =) He has always been on his own schedule (from the beginning: he came 3 weeks early to now when he is the only early bird in the house) But he is such a blessing! I really can’t believe he is already 3! Alex is certainly not a baby any more. In fact he will tell you emphatically “I am a BIG BOY!”

He is developing lots of independence. He loves to get everything out for breakfast including climbing into the cupboard to get the cereal, and the milk from the fridge. He surprises me with his strength, he has helped daddy move some wood for the fire pit, and can lug a full gallon of milk. He does pretty well in the store walking beside me instead of in the cart.

We haven’t quite mastered getting himself dressed yet, but he does so much else on his own that I am happy to help.

Sleep always has been an issue with Alex, and I think some of that is just him. I have resigned myself to the fact that somehow Jason and I (who pre-kid loved to stay up till 1-2am and sleep till 10) had this little guy who is ready for bed by 8 and up at 6 happily every morning.  That being said, when he was still waking up 1-2 times a night 5 nights out of the week we kinda wondered if something else was wrong, we noticed large tonsils and he never ever breaths through his nose. So next week he is getting his tonsils and adenoids out. That *should* help him to sleep through the night, and more sleep might even help him grow a bit more.

Speaking of growth, he is still between 5-10% on the growth charts. Wearing size 3T and size 9 shoes. He and Kalea are about the same size and now that she is talking a lot I can finally see why people think they are twins =) He is right around 30 lbs, but he is still the perfect size to cuddle up on my lap.

Despite being on the smaller side, he is really pretty smart. I am amazed at what he can comprehend and memorize. He memorized all his Puggles verses for AWANA this year, and with the pre-school program we are using he memorizes verses. The longest one he memorized was Matt 5:16 (Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven) He is very into Memory games, and matching things up. Playing pretend has become quite the hit around here too.

Just in the last month or so he has started playing really really well by himself. I will often walk by the toy room and here him talking to his cars as they drive over the large roads he has built.  And he talks ALL THE TIME. It is a constant running monologue, often full of funny facebook status material. We are also in a self identification stage, and we must use the full name. He isn’t silly, or goofy, or little or big he is in fact “Alexander Jayce Hamsher!” and he will tell you that over and over and over again!

He and Kalea play fairly well together, Kalea is developing a bit of the “terrific twos” and so I usually break up several fights a day. Alex and Michael pretty much love each other tons. Alex constantly will be giving him hugs and kisses and tickling him. Its pretty sweet. I am definitley noticing an empathetic and sweet little boy on my hands. It is hard not to be super excited to see what God is going to do with this sweet, independant smart little boy.

A few hours old

1st birthday

Alex 2nd Birthday

 

Alex's 3rd Birthday

 

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

At a mother daughter banquet this past weekend, a friend shared that you just have to choose to laugh rather than cry at some of the things our kids do. I constantly remind myself of the need to laugh.  Somehow, the phrase “there is no sense in crying over spilled milk” gets put into constant practice literally at our house. (Unless its breastmilk, then I really do cry.) Our house is always full of noise  excitement   tears  laughter   life.

Here are a few of the things that we have laughed at lately

Alex emptied the ENTIRE newly organized  toy/book shelf (Including actually pulling the shelves off). When I asked him what happened he said “the big giant tomatoes did it!”.  Hmmmm maybe I should reconsider veggie tales.

I set the kids up to do some water colors. I even had them take their shirts off, and still Kalea turned them into finger paints and made me wish I had taken her shorts off too.

Not to be outdone, Alex did the same

Alex (trying to save me from extra work) poured himself an extra bowl of Cheerios… all over the floor.

This was pretty classic of Kalea’s look and mood most of the week 😛

This little guy became mobile:

Which led to this guy getting upset

Because “MOM! Michael is playing with my STUFF!”

When I would ask Michael about it, he merely looked at me, grinned and showed me his new trick: Clapping =)

Welcome to life at the HamHouse! =) I <3 my life!

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

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!

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

I bribe my kids. Occasionally. And only when I’m desperate. Like last week.

I went to pick the kids up at mom’s and found out that some how Alex had managed to get his very first splinter =( It was a pretty big/long one too.

I felt SOOOOOOO bad for him, he kept asking me to just “kiss it out”. Mom held him down while I used a combination of tweezers and a pin to try and dig/scrape/pry the stubborn little booger out of his poor finger. He kept not holding still very well, so I told him if he cooperated he could have ice cream. You could see him gather his composure and weigh in his tiny little head if ice cream really was worth going through this deep agony over. He relented, and after about 45 minutes of working on it, we got the whole thing out.

So I spent a whopping $1 and got him some ice cream (which we split 3 ways, because it was hard on mommy too, and Kalea couldn’t be left out!) and bribed my 2 year old. He did however tell me that “that sure was nice of you to get my ouchy out for me mama”.

With all the spoiling, I may end up with a brat, but at least he will be a polite one! 😉

And you know what, if he gets another splinter, he’ll probably get another bribe. Just don’t tell him that!

(Oh and I sincerely thought about trying to get pictures of this first splinter episode, but then I also thought it was more important to take advantage of the time and get it out. So you just get the story =) )

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

Alex is constantly asking me to “do pre-school mom”. Just about every day he asks, so I usually try to come up with something on the fly. (I promise, all of our homeschooling won’t be quite so loose, but hey he’s 2!) I figure at this age, learning about the world around him and creative play is just about as educational as figuring out that there are a few numbers missing when he counts “1,2, 5,7,8,9”

So here are a few of the things we have done recently. We studied the color red one day, so we took a crayon as the reference and started picking up  went on a scavenger hunt. We found all the things that were red in the toy room, and put them on a pile. (mysteriously all the blue, green, yellow and purple things ended up on shelves put away)

He took that crayon and compared it with everything to make sure he had red.

 

Posing with all his findings. *note the blue scarf he is wearing has a red chief wahoo on it*

 

After we were done finding red things, we experimented with red water. I put a couple drops of red food coloring into a tupperware container about half full of water. (I made sure that it looked nothing like a drinking glass, and made sure he knew not to drink it. I didn’t want him to think this would be a fun dinner time experiment too) Then I gave him a straw and we talked about how to blow bubbles in the water. We experimented with how if we blew into the straw hard we got loud, big bubbles, and if we blew softly we got quiet, little bubbles. He LOVED this little hands on “science” experiement. He has asked to do it several times since then.

 

When I first got excited and started doing preschool with him, I thought I had to do the full blown lesson plans prepared the week ahead of time and formal time to sit and work on stuff. But as it went on I realized. Thats. Not. Practical. Not right now. In 3 years when he is ready for Kindergarten, thats when I need to be more structured, for now creative play, impromptu learning and educational games is all that he needs!

Now we certainly do work on letters and learning the names and sounds of each letter through a puzzle game we got and games on the iPad. (The starfall app for iPad was a great 3$ purchase!) But I am much less formal about it. For now.

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

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!

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

Lately I have been sending myself on major guilt trips. Alex is to a super fun and exciting. I really love to watch him play. He plays really pretty well with other kids (obviously we are working on the sharing thing, but in general he does great!) and he plays well by himself too! You will often hear him singing as he goes about whatever it is he is in to, or actually more often making a vroooooooming noise as he pushes around our little bissel sweeper.

I know that these early years are so important in the development of kids. They learn sooooo much in the first 5 years of their lives, especially compared to the rest of their lives. As Alex has gotten older, it has become easier to just “let him play” by himself. And while there is nothing wrong with that, I personally have started to feel like I am not helping him make the most of these years. So I came up with a “schedule” for Alex’s daily activities when he is home with us.

I use the term schedule lightly. There are no time allotments. For two reasons. 1. If something falls behind schedule, I start stressing out. 2. Our family operates best with more flexibility. I think that allowing flexibility and creativity with kids is a good thing! Here is what I came up with.

Fill in with naps for K as needed.
Wake up
Eat breakfast
Watch Babies Read (while eating?)
Alex play by self / Play with K (activity mat, bumbo. Work on sitting and playing with toys?)
Preschool activities A
Read 2-3 books (A and K if can, for sure A)
Lunch
Nap (A/K)
Snack./ Babies Read
Outdoor activity (weather allowing)
A play by self
Supper
Read books
A Play by self
Bed time (8)
The preschool activities I am thinking of for Alex are simple things. Like, get all his cars out and sort big and little. Come up with a creative and fun way to learn colors. Cutting the alphabet out of sandpaper and mounting on posterboard to encourage multi sensory learning. There are some other ideas that I have up my sleeve, I just need to make them (when I do you can be sure I will post about them!)
Anyway, I don’t know if this will actually be beneficial to Alex more than his current life or if it is simply to eliminate my guilt. But either way I kinda think it will be a good thing. We have just started using it, so  I will let you know how it goes, but I have to say it kinda has me excited!
…now I need to make a parallel schedule for me!
FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

I have pretty much the best life ever.  This little girl God blessed me with just lights up my life. She is in that kinda awkward stage developmentally. Where she doesn’t sleep all the time, so she wants to be doing something, but she just isn’t quite able to yet. Even still, she is really such a joy. I took a few (dozen or so) snapshots of the little princess the last few days. I just had to share. Plus I have recently discovered ( I am a little lot behind the times) piknik. And you know since I am cheap, er…  thrifty, I just use the free parts. But still I had a lot of fun.

She loves her little bean bag I got her (Dora the explorer - $1 ) Note the totally relaxed crossed ankles

Seriously does it come any cuter?

She is definitely our little princess. Good thing is she hasn't realized it yet.

🙂

I had to edit my current favorite pic of my little boy as well!

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

Determination:  firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

I can learn a lot from my kids. Right now I am learning a lot about determination from Alex. Determination and stubbornness. Once Alex has his mind set on something, he will NOT give up until he succeeds. He will ask for help, but he will do what he needs to get where he wants. This summer we  went to the park, his cousins were climbing this big “mountain” to get to the big kid slide. He wanted to do just like they were, and so he did! It was fun to watch this little guy, who won’t accept  “you can’t do this” as an excuse. Sometimes I think I need some of his determination.

Assessing the situation

Figuring out how to accomplish

Attacking the problem head on.

Rewarded

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

Football

Camp fires

Apples

Corn fields

Warm hats

Pumpkins and mums

Leaves

This is what I love best about Autumn!

FacebookDiggDeliciousMySpaceGoogle ReaderShare

Next Page »