The Letter 'T'

Today we learned about the Letter 'T'. It is a letter he already knows how to write so this is one of the reasons why I chose to start with it. It is also the first letter in his middle name so I thought that would help. I announced today's letter is 'T' and gave him a practice sheet which had the Letter T on it and he proceed to trace the lines as usual. We then found pictures in a magazine of things that began with the letter T. We found a T-Rex, a wooden block with the letter T on it, a Turkey and some toes. He was very receptive at letting me show him how to use his little plastic scissors and he did it, he cut the paper all by himself. It was a slow process but I am so proud of him!

We hung up his collage with some T for Tape and then I gave him a Turtle coloring page to color in. His reward for doing such a great job was Two Thomas the Train stickers and Two pages of mazes to complete (which are his favorite).

More Letter practice

We have been continuing to work on Dylan making his letters. He asks me how to make other letters and I do show him but I try to encourage him to only work on the letters we have been going over this week. Besides the white blank paper, I have also had him practice writing his letters on our dry erase board and he has one of those magnetic boards that has the attached pen that he can color and write on and then use the slider to erase it. One of the best gifts we have ever gotten. He has been using his thing since he was one years old. This isn't the exact one he has but, you get the idea of what it is. This is one of the most used toys over the past two years besides his musical instruments.

He is so cute making his letters too, he will say aloud like I did when I was showing him the letters "First draw a line down, then another line down, then one across to connect them" This is what he would say to make an 'H'

First Capital Letters

Two days ago we started working in Kumon's Capital Letters workbook. The first couple of exercises is to practice both tracing and drawing horizontal and vertical lines. Then it moves on to show how the letter 'L' is only two lines - one vertical and one horizontal. Same with the letter 'H', 'I', and letter 'T'. Dylan loved it and he did so fantastic. I am so proud of him. This was the first time he has ever made letters and now since we started 2 days ago, he loves to draw the letters on his own whenever he can.

I thought perhaps if he had some penmanship paper he could practice writing the letters. This proved to be very frustrating for him because he couldn't get it that small between the lines. So then I got some blank paper and told him he could make the letters as big as he wanted. And he did and that is what fueled him even more so. Here are some pictures of his workbook tracing the letters and here is his first try making letters on blank white paper. Makes me so proud! Not even 3 years old and making his letters!

The Goodnight Caterpillar

A few weeks ago, I was watching the TV Reality Show "Shark Tank". This is a show where hopeful entrepreneurs go in front of 5 entrepreneurs that made it big working their own business and taking the risk. I love the new ideas and dream about some day having my own home business. This is where I watched Lori Lite the author of the book "The Goodnight Caterpillar" tell her story and introduce her books which are meant to help kids learn techniques to relax. She was saying how she read them to her son and it helped him relax before sleep time. I was so intrigued; I immediately went to her website and started learning more about her books. I also went to Amazon.com to read the reviews. I purchased "The Goodnight Caterpillar" and "The Angry Octopus". I was skeptical that this would actually help get my son, Dylan to relax and get to sleep.

Our normal bedtime routine is dinner, bath, snack time, brush teeth, go potty, play 5 hits of baseball with daddy, 2-3 books (depending on the length), lights out and sleep. Well there are of course a million interruptions during bedtime routine, as well as arguing about who was going to brush his teeth first (him or us) and then when he gets to bed he is usually somersaulting on it, or jumping on it, or rolling around... yes very peaceful - NOT! When he does usually lay down, we read, shut the lights off and he'll again roll around for another 10 to 60 minutes trying to fall asleep. Yes, you read that right, it can take up to an hour for him to settle down.

4 nights ago, we got "The Goodnight Caterpillar" book out and ready. He was rolling around on the bed, I was yelling for him to lay down, yes it was definitely our typical night. Daddy read one book that he picked out, I read one book that he picked out and then I did something different. I shut off all the lights except for a book light. I clipped the book light to our new book and he had his head on the pillow watching. I began to read 'The Goodnight Caterpillar'. As I read, the words that was telling Dylan to relax his feet, I touched his feet. I read "You will relax your legs" and he did. I read "You will relax your arms and he moved them down to his sides. I felt him relaxing as I read the book. He was so focused on listening to me telling him what part of his body to relax next, he didn't roll around on the bed trying to get settled.

By the end of the story, he was relaxed AND SLEEPING. Oh yah! I was doing the happy dance! I posted about it on facebook to my friends. I had to share the joy of what just happened with everyone. I was still skeptical but every night we read that book (the past 4), he has been asleep by the end of the book.

I didn't have to teach him how to relax his body - he listened to the words and did it himself. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Can't wait to review more of Lori Lite's books!

Leapfrog Computer

Dylan is starting to feel better but still feeling a little run down I think. We got some chores done this morning; laundry, (he cleaned the lint tray), emptied the dishwasher (he put the silverware away and then got bored and started putting pots & pans on his head) and then we played a couple rounds of basketball. I then took out his Leapfrog computer which he hasn't seen in months. In fact, he doesn't remember using it at all. It's one of those toys which I put away and we take it out every so often and he thinks it's a new toy... So he was delighted when he saw it.

I plugged it in and showed him very briefly, because that is all he would allow, how to use the mouse. After a few attempts, he actually did it. He moved the mouse and clicked the spot where he was suppose to. He hardly ever gets to use our PCs so this is really a new skill for him. He struggled with the hand/eye coordination a little bit trying to use the mouse so we found other activities where he could push buttons on the keyboard and/or just use the arrow buttons. He played for about thirty minutes and when his eyes started glazing over, I told him it was time to shut off the PC and do something else. We made lunch and he is now down for a nap which is what his little tired body needs right now.

Looking forward to a fun crafty filled afternoon.

Kumon My First Book of Tracing

Despite Dylan not feeling well the past two days, he loves learning and insists on doing the small workbook activities we've been doing nearly everyday. I've been trying out and reading about different curriculum series and one of the series that we both have taken a liking to is the Kumon Series. Last night, he completed the Kumon My First Book of Tracing. The book is wonderful for hand eye coordination. I love how the activities start out easy and gradually get a little tougher as the book continues. The main page is the tracing maze activity and the back are more like little exercises to reinforce what was just learned or soon to come. This is also a great first step in learning how to make straight lines, curves and slants so when we do writing.

Another thing he has learned doing these activities is how to hold a crayon properly. He doesn't always do it right but he tries and that's what is important and makes me so proud of him.

I picked up two more books in this series. Next we'll be working Kumon My First book of Mazes and Kumon My First Book up Uppercase letters. Dylan knows his letters by sight but the Uppercase Letter book will introduce him to writing uppercase letters. It uses the same method when he did the tracing & mazes. I know he will enjoy this book once we get started. One day we worked on the number seven. He was tracing the number seven and then wrote one by himself. He was so proud of himself when he did it, he yelled "MOMMMY I DID IT - I MADE THE NUMBER SEVEN!!!" True it looked more like the letter T but it was his first time and it was really awesome!

Dylan & his Guitar


A picture of Dylan playing the guitar. Every morning when he wakes up, he asks me if the neighbors are sleeping. Meaning Can I play my guitar and drums really loud?! I use to make him wait until 8am but the time has someone dwindled down to a starting time of about 6:30am. Once given the okay, he drags out 3 drums. Big drums, real drums. Yes we got him a used set from the music store about a year ago. He also has a Crash cymbal which is really a metal colander. A Diego rescue pack which in his mind is his Kick drum. His tambourine comes out. And finally his acoustic guitar and sometimes the electric guitar. This whole set up sits in our living room pretty much all day unless friends are coming over.
We put on an hour of Laurie Berkner videos on the TV, yet he hardly ever gets through the whole hour for he is usually interrupted with other activities, snacks, bathroom breaks or having the same some rewound over and over. He keeps a beat amazingly well. I love that he loves music.

Running in a Meadow

I love taking Din to the meadow where he can run, kick around a soccer ball, try to do head stands, somersaults, roll down the hill and just really let loose. Doesn't cost anything and he is free to use his imagination and have fun. We invited some friends to meet up with us there and it was a lot of fun watching the kids run and play together. Very freeing for all.

Homeschool Learning.

Today we did a half hour of home school activities. He worked on tracing the number one, making circles, following different paths on paper with a crayon, cutting paper with scissors with one hand (he keeps trying to use two hands with the scissors), and fine motor skills putting stickers in a specific spot on paper. It was great morning of learning. We used Kumon Tracing Skill book as well as 2 activity books from School Zone. Still trying to find the best system for us as well as plan out a specific curriculum and/or schedule.

Baby Board Books

This evening I took out some of what use to be Dylan's favorite picture board books. One was all about body parts and the other every day words. When he saw them, he asked "Mommy these are new books?" "No" I replied "Just books we haven't read in a long time." He loved them! It was a lot of fun having him point to the things he did know and say and then me telling him what the items are. It was a great educational thing to do before we read a few of his favorite story time books. I love being able to find learning activities in things we do everyday!

The Sleep Fairy

My son has always fought sleep at night as well as still looks for milk in the middle of the night to help him get back to sleep. He still wakes up for milk occasionally and since I now refuse to give it to him, he will cry, yell and flail. And since we all co-sleep, he can get quite disruptive at times so I need help in getting us through this phase.

Recently, while browsing Amazon.com, I came across this book called "The Sleep Fairy" by Janie Peterson. The book tells the story of 2 young girls who didn't stay in their beds at night. Came out for another story, a kiss, a drink of water. Then one night, their parents read them a magical story about The Sleep Fairy who visits at night to kids who stay in their beds at night. Well, the visit is in the form of a magical visit such as The Tooth Fairy visits leaving a little something under the child's pillow.

The way the book works is that you read the story to your child which is similar to most bed time routines and explain that if he/she goes quietly to sleep and stays in their bed, then they will receive something from The Sleep Fairy.

I believe in using rewards as motivation and we started this book last night with Dylan. He was very excited about the whole concept and after reading the book it took him about 20 minutes to go to sleep which was actually an improvement of prior nights. He did wake in the wee morning hours and cried for milk and I told him if I gave him milk than The Sleep Fairy wouldn't visit. He did go back to sleep with less fuss.

When he woke the next morning, he said to me "There's nothing under my pillow." And I told him well he better check and he did and he was pleasantly surprised to see a tiny container of orange play-doh.

No, the night wasn't perfect but it was better and I wanted him to believe that The Sleep Fairy would come if he was a big boy and slept as he should. My plan is to read the book for the next few nights, and then we'll get to the point where we only read it occasionally. If we don't read the book, The Sleep Fairy won't come and there will be times where we will read it and he won't behave as he should at night and The Sleep Fairy won't show up. Those will be disappointing mornings but we'll work through it as we normally do. I'll keep you updated!

To find out more about the book visit The Sleep Fairy's website
or visit the link below to purchase this from Amazon.com

Dry Diaper Chart

First time he stayed dry for 2 hours. I'm so proud of him. We've been doing a sticker chart. When he pulls down his pants by himself, sits on the potty, does something on the potty, flushes the toilet and/or washes his hands, I give him one sticker to per an item (so up to 5 stickers) on the chart. He doesn't always remember to do everything so he didn't always get 5 stickers. After he completes six of each of the tasks, he gets a 'surprise'.

We started the first chart over a month ago and he has since gotten about 4 surprises. He goes in spurts. There are some days where he wants to do the potty trying and other days he could care less which is fine by me.

Yesterday began another cycle of trying to go on the potty. This morning, after I changed his morning diaper he didn't pee in his diaper for over two hours and instead he told me "Mommy I want to use the potty!" I was shocked that he didn't pee in his diaper all morning even after having a drink. He just got another Diego ball which he is very excited about. Time to go to the dollar store again!

Magic 1-2-3

A friend told me about the book Called "1-2-3 Magic Parenting" by Dr. Thomas W. Phelan. I enjoy reading parenting books and thought it looked interesting. I ordered the book because I heard her telling everyone about this book. I received it about a month after my last post where I was in the midst of pulling out all my hair and crying in the corner about my toddler son that enjoyed hitting me on constant basis. At that time, we were doing Time Outs (TO) and after the TOs we were sitting on the floor with him and explaining what he had done wrong, had him apologize and give us a hug. Sounds great but the problem was that I truly believe he was hitting us and pretty much ASKing for a Time out! I mean why not, we were inconsistent with how much time he sad in time because we watched the second hand on a clock and thereafter we gave him our undivided attention and we hugged him. He couldn't lose!

Magic 1-2-3 explains specifically and easily how Time Outs should be done. No talking and no emotion are the two key components when handing out a TO. He should be counted when his behaviour warrants it and put into time out if/when we reach the count of three. It sounds easy because it is easy! But you need to read the book! The book is about $12.00 on Amazon.com and it is so worth it! GET THE BOOK! It's an easy read and very informative.

The first day of using the book, we put our 25 month old son into TO at least ten times. But it lessened with each day of use and now although I probably count to two at least 50 times a day, it helps both of us keep it together. Now we both know what to expect and Dylan doesn't hit anymore!