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 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.