Thursday, March 20, 2008

Breaking bad habits

Yesterday DS1 and I made plans to try to break our bad habits. It was his idea. He is going to try to stop sucking on his fingers, and I am going to try to stop chewing my fingernails.

Some TV show that we have seen taught him about good habits and bad habits and that it takes 21 days of doing something to make it a habit. I've tried for ~40 years to stop biting my fingernails and cuticles, with sporadic success. (They looked nice for my wedding; short but nice.) His fingers are constantly wrinkled and often chapped, so I hope we are both successful!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Top Bunk

We moved to a new house last week. This evening we finally got the boys' bunk beds put together. DS1 is now sleeping on the top bunk. He still wanted to sit and rock with me before falling asleep, though. :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

First Dental Cleaning

DS1 had his first dental cleaning today. He did great! About 6 months ago he had a "counting" visit and visual inspection but without the cleaning and fluoride.

Little brother watched and had his teeth counted, but he refused the cleaning. He doesn't like noises (unless he's making them) so the suction (aka "Mr. Thirsty") spooked him a bit. He did better than last time, though, when he wouldn't even open his mouth for the counting.

Friday, November 09, 2007


DS1 now readily and easily answers the questions "What grade are you in?" and "Where do you go to school?" without my help. Last August, when we did not enroll him in public school kindergarten, we talked a lot about the fact that we homeschool and that he doesn't go to school somewhere else. It really threw him (and me) when, after being asked his age, he was asked if he was "in kindergarten", and he did not know how to answer because he did not know what kindergarten meant. I had not thought to add that word to his vocabulary. It is much simpler now that he can answer. He is enjoying learning and playing at home and at our weekly co-op, and it floors me sometimes how much he is growing intellectually.

Friday, July 20, 2007


DS1 just brought me a lemonade in a tall glass glass. I had commented that my tummy didn't feel good, so he said he would be me something to drink. I was expecting water in a paper bathroom cup. He went to the kitchen, got a glass from the high cabinet (using the cooler for a step), got the lemonade from the refrigerator (in a 1/2 gallon milk jug), poured my lemonade, put the jug back, then brought the glass to me. So sweet! And so grown up!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blog Revision

Today I discovered that my old-style archive links didn't work any longer, so I switched (finally) to the new template format for this blog. I have lost most of my sidebar entries, but I did save the template to a text file. So if I ever get around to taking care of this blog again, I'll add the milestone links back into the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Happy Birthday!

Wow, DS1 is 5. Time flies. I've had this blog for over 6 years!

We had quite a fun filled day today. DH took the day off work to spend with us. DS1 has been asking for a surprise birthday party for over a month. We said "surprise" at him once this morning at home, then we got the homeschool co-op group to say it when he arrived today. We brought a cake to share, and DS1 was quite shy while everyone was singing. Overall he is much more comfortable with the group than he was 6 months ago, but apparently he still is not comfortable being the center of attention.

We tried to go bowling, but the alley was full, so we went to play miniature golf "in the dark" instead. There is a place in the mall with black lights and reflective balls and holes that we have seen in the past. It is an 18 hole course, and you can play it 3 times for the fee, but we only played it once. There is a bonus "prize hole" at the end, set up like pachinko. DS1 got in the winning hole; the rest of us didn't. He won a free admission, good anytime in the next year. Then we came home, played with the car track that DS1 got as a gift, and had dinner. For dessert we had cake (the one DH and I baked last night, not the left-over store cake from this morning) with candy decorations ("stickers" as DS2 called them) and 5 individual candles. DS1 blew these out himself; he had me blow the big "5" out on the other cake this morning. DH left for barbershop, and we had our normal bedtime routine of TV, pjs, brushing teeth, stories, and singing.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hair cut

I gave DS1 a hair cut Sunday evening. He will now hold still very well for me. I use scissors instead of the electric clippers, though, because he doesn't like them anymore. The last time I got my hair cut I mentioned that I have cut the boys' hair myself. My stylist gave me a few pointers. I was already doing a decent job, so I guess I had watched in the mirror enough over the years that I had a pretty good idea what to do, just not why. DS1's hair is still blond, but I was quite surprised at how dark the pile of hair was. He's definitely not a "tow head" anymore.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy Birthday

Yesterday DS1 turned 4!

The day started with a huge, but brief, hail storm. DSs slept right through it. I picked up some hailstones to save and found many about golf ball size, and several almost tennis ball size. One was broken in half and I could see the layers of how it grew from pea size to much larger. Very cool.

When DS1 awoke, I showed him the front yard and we talked about hail a little. Then he opened his two presents, a Dora DVD and some magnetic alphabet blocks.

When opening the car to go to daycare & work, I couldn't figure out why there were hailstones in the front seat. I was sure I hadn't left a window open. Then I noticed the back window out and glass all over the car seats. What a mess! I sent the boys back inside, told DH we were all going to go together, asked him to call daycare and our workplaces, and started removing the carseats and shaking the glass out of them. Fortunately it had stopped raining. However, by the time I was ready to get the boys in the other car it had started raining again, so my head and jacket got pretty drenched getting the boys into the car. I had them sit on towels, but their pants got wet anyway. It's a good thing daycare has spare clothes for them.

Drop-off at daycare went badly, for the 5th day in a row. I have no idea why DS1 seems happy to get ready for daycare, goes inside the building okay, but then won't enter his room. Last week I thought it was because they were focusing on the circus for a field trip on Friday, but with it continuing this week I am baffled.

I called his teacher around 10 and she said he calmed down fairly quickly and had been fine every since. We brought treats (frosted cookies) for his class and some Amish Friendship Bread for the staff. His class sang Happy Birthday to him and he got a candle in his cookie.

When we got home, we asked DS1 where he wanted to eat dinner. He said he wanted to stay home "where it was safe from the hailstorm".

He didn't want a cake or cupcakes, just ice cream. That's practically all he ate for dinner, but that was okay with me. (Not quite as okay with DH, but I'm working on him.) Later in the evening we spent some time in the basement because our county was under a tornado watch. We had more heavy rain and very small hail. DS1 spent the time in the basement making words on the clothes dryer with his alphabet letters. Some of the were: CAT, BOY, ELEFANT, and several non-standard words like EUQLT, ZTORA, and CELEFANT (with a hard c). I told him about P H making the /F/ sound, but he wanted to stick with F in ELEFANT.

Overall, it was a memorable day. Not at all like we adults expected, but memorable none-the-less.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Clipping fingernails

DS1 trimmed his own fingernails this evening. He did a pretty good job and only asked me to help once. I was really impressed. He did say, "ouch," once, but it must not have been too bad because I didn't see blood on any of his fingers when he showed them to me when he finished.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Drive Time

The past 2 mornings on the way to daycare, DS1 has had some interesting things to say. Yesterday we took turns saying rhymes. He would say a word, then I said one that rhymed with it. Then I would say a word, and he would say a rhyme. This morning he told me a story about a witch who took her magic wand and changed the weather of the seasons. The people in his story didn't like it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Last night DH got out a book that he bought for DS1. It has a 23 note keyboard (14 white, 9 black) and each page has a song with the notes color and number coded to the keys. They played several songs together with DS1 playing and DH singing the words. The rhythm wasn't anywhere close to right, but at this point that doesn't matter. DS1 liked the book and keyboard so much that he not only played it in the car, but took it into daycare to share with his friends.

This article, No Greater Joy: Homeschool Kid - When the Music Starts makes me wish we still had our old upright piano. We do have an almost full-size electronic keyboard that the boys have seen and played with, but a real piano would be nice, too.

Monday, March 06, 2006


In our church's nursery, two small coat racks with colored baskets were recently mounted on opposite walls. The baskets are red, blue, yellow and green. Yesterday, I was watching the kids because our regular caregiver was absent. From across the room, I saw DS1 standing by one rack. He looked across the room at the other rack, then back at the close one, then at the far one again. Then he rearranged the baskets so the colors matched from north to south. They had been the same from left to right but he intentionally made them match from one end of the room to the other. I was very intrigued and impressed.

Not long after that, DS2, who had counted them several times (1, 2, 3, 4, walk across the room to the other rack, 5, 6, 7, 8) put them back in the left to right sequence as the rack on the opposite wall. I'm not sure which impressed me more.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ordinal Numbers, Calendar Knowledge, and Night Adventures

Yesterday was quite a day for me witnessing things that DS1 knows. We have a large wall calendar hanging in the bathroom (because that's where we will see it every morning and every night). As I was sitting, and he was standing facing the calendar, he said, "Tomorrow is March third." Impressed, I said, "Yes, it is." Then he proceeded to tell me that March fourth comes next, then March fifth. He asked what was after that, so I told him "sixth" and "seventh". Then he observed that March has 31 days, followed by "Just like January." Whoa!

At dinner, DS1 pointed out the chimney on the house illustrated on his placement and stated that it was different than our house. I told him that we did have a chimney, and that after we all finished eating and cleaning up we could go look at it. Then I said that since it was dark we would need to wait until morning. He suggested that we use the "new big flashlight." So after dinner we got our jackets, I pointed out the fireplace in the living room (that is nonfunctional and well hidden by the couch and storage), and we went exploring outside. We looked at trees (the "acorn tree" and the pine tree) and the ground, and we determined that although the flashlight doesn't shine clear up to the moon it does shine to the houses across the street. Then he found the chimney on top of the roof.

While we were exploring, our neighbor came out; she and I chatted some, then she invited us in to see her living room in the process of being remodeled. When we got inside, DS1 took his jacket off and politely asked when she hangs up her coat. She said she just tosses it on the couch, so that what he did, too! LOL! He looked around her living room while she and I chatted some more, then he asked me if he could go upstairs. I said, "no", that we needed to go home so Daddy wouldn't worry, but our neighbor said, "sure", so I relented and off he went to look for the cat. He came back down just a minute or two later, put on his coat the first time I asked, then we both said good-bye, went back outside, shown the flashlight on the chimney then the car, then went into the house. It was awesome!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dot To Dot

DS1's daycare teacher sometimes sends home suggestions for activities that go along with a letter of the week. She calls it "homework" which bugs me, but I just ignore that part now.

This week is D and one of the suggestions was doing some Dot To Dots and bringing them in. I drew a boy; it ended up with 47 dots so I did a simpler one with 18. DS1 wanted to do the one with lots of dots first, so he did! Then he did the other one, too. Without any help in counting, finding the dots, or drawing. I am extremely impressed with how well his fine motor skills have progressed recently. Wow!