Friday, February 25, 2011

Boys In Motion

Linking up to Boys In Motion Friday

He was laying in the dirt right before this...I didn't get that shot (sadly) but I got this one of him jumping up.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is It Still Tot School?

Tot School

Is it still Tot School if we didn't really do many official activities? I think for a 22 month old it's okay...

I did a few things that didn't get photos so we'll start with those (because I know  you all want to see the cute kid!)

- We drew circles. I got the screw part of the mason jar (the "ring") and used it as a template for circles. I got some big crayons and we did that for about 20 seconds! Then Franklin just wanted to scribble. He did, however, use his made up sign for "orange" (the one he uses for the fruit) and point at the orange crayon. Then I pulled out a blue one and, without being prompted, he said, "Dew!"

- He has a blanket with dolphins and moons on it. So he thought it was fun to stomp the circles on it. Of course that led to just running around...

- I have an app on my phone that has photos of animals, the name, and the "animal sound" it makes. He REALLY enjoys going through it with me. He can now tell me what a lion says ("rawr" with a claw motion...yes I'm working on video taping this. And he can tell me that a snake says "ssssss")

Photos from this week:

I changed out a few things in the sensory bin. 

Playing with the dump truck.

He liked the addition of more pipe cleaners.

And then he chose to roll a noodle across the floor.

A friend of ours brought her dog over last night. He was super excited (the child loves dogs)

Doggie Kiss!

See? Excited

He wanted to pull the crate across the floor.

He let the dog out and climbed inside...

..and shut the door.

I still don't quite have a perfect handle on two kids...I keep trying to figure out activities. We'll probably draw some more this week and learn more colors.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Franklin Update

All of the previous updates are in italics and the new stuff is in bold.
Words he says:
- uh oh
- aww man!
- pe-ew (like something stinks)
- duh (dog)
- book
- booger
- mama
- dada
- good bye (when he thinks no one is listening)
- block (bah)
- milk (muh)
- HI!!!
- monkey (muh nuh)
- ball
- blue (boo)
- Yellow (yeyo)
- Juice (a high pitched: joo)

- Duck (quite clear actually)
- He's also started using the words he knows more often.

He signs:
- more
- eat/want
- milk
- music
- bath
- shoes
- socks
- water
- go (like go out)
- love
- bed (bedtime) We're still working on this one...
- all done
- apple
- brush teeth
- bread
- baby
- potty

He can identify (when asked):
- yellow
- head
- ears
- belly
- penis (he kept pointing so we told him what it was called)
- fingers/hand
- toes
- nose (sometimes)
- booty (Daddy taught him this one)
- blue
- red

- he can blow a kiss, give a real kiss, and a hug
- he also waves and says "bye bye" and waves hello

- I didn't realize it, but screwing lids on and off is apparently an advanced skill...he's been doing this for months now.
- He can stack 11 blocks high. He can probably stack more but he can't reach and the carpet won't allow for stacking.

- If you ask him what a bird says he'll tell you "tee tee tee" (tweet tweet tweet),
a cat says "mew" and a dog says "woo woo woo." He also points them out when he sees each animal.

He also understands "no" and can follow instructions like, "Give your bottle to Daddy" if he asks for milk and Daddy is in the kitchen.
The other day I told him "I'm going to open the stove and it's going to be hot. Can you stand back?" and he walked over to the safe spot I taught him (behind and out of the way) and stood and waited for my okay.
-He loves to help out with the baby. He will give nice touches when the baby is crying, help me pat him to burp, and throw away dirty diapers for me.
-He's started sleeping in his own bed at night. Granted, he isn't always alone (Daddy sleeps down there when Franklin gets upset) but he does spend a good part of the night in it all by himself.
- He loves fruit and veggies and has been eating 30 Days RAW with Daddy (well, 80% of his diet has been raw...he eats cooked food with me on occasion)

- He asks to go potty and then actually uses it!!! We haven't mastered poop on the potty yet... but we get 98% of pees in it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Same Life, New Story: Naomi

Naomi's story is in the book of Ruth: Click here to read it.

The Scripture that sums up the story is: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29: 11- 13

Naomi felt that her life had NO plan. She felt like God had abandoned her. It turns out that He had a plan for her life the entire time!

The next time you feel beaten down and like your life is going nowhere just remember the above Scripture and know that God DOES have a plan for your life! Just remember to seek God with all your heart.

Monday, February 14, 2011

HTCI: Creative Solutions

As I work through modeling my home after "The House That Cleans Itself" I'm coming up with solutions to a few problems. Here's what we have so far:

Problem: Losing keys, sunglasses, ID, important mail

Cause: It gets tossed wherever there is room.

Solution: Give it a place! We bought a small decorative plate to house keys and wallet (It's just big enough for these items! Anything larger would accumulate STUFF). We also got a long basket (it's a silverware sorter actually) for mail. Again, it's just the right size.
You can also see where we decided to keep fruit in plain view.
Problem: Shoes all over the floor. And if you've never kicked a pair of Stefan's boots let me tell you: IT HURTS! Franklin also picks up shoes and walks off with them. This makes it very hard to leave the house on time some days.

Cause: Again, tossed wherever.

Solution: Cabinet locks. Under the above space there is a single cabinet space. I put one of the sticky locks and now we can take off our shoes, store them, and grab them quickly to leave.

Problem: Stefan has several things he has to remember to pack when he wears his dress blues on Mondays. (hat, shoes, belt, etc...) These things were getting lost during the week and that caused major frustration on Sunday nights. (We would spend our "together time" searching the apartment/house for these items)

Cause: Hint...there's a theme here...

Solution: I hung a regular grocery bag on a hanger in the downstairs closet. Now, when he gets home he just takes these things off and puts them in the bag and they're ready for the next wear!

Stay tuned as we keep going!


Raw Ranch Dressing

I found the recipe for Ranch Dressing at Frugal Granola. Considering we use nothing but raw dairy I thought I'd give it a try for Stefan's 30 Days RAW experience.

And it was good!

Here's the recipe:

Ranch Dressing

1/3 Cup Buttermilk (or Whole Milk + 1/4 tsp. Vinegar; White Wine or Apple Cider Vinegars are good)
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
2 cloves crushed or minced Garlic or approx. 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice (more or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. ground Celery Seed
1/2 tsp. organic Evaporated Cane Juice Sugar or Maple Syrup (or warmed Honey, thinned enough to stir in)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground Pepper
1/2 tsp. dried Parsley
Dash of Paprika

Combine all ingredients well with a small French whisk or in a blender. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Refrigerate. Best if made an hour or two before serving, so that flavors can meld, but can be served immediately if you’re running short on time! 

Okay, I don't have buttermilk (or vinegar!) so I used regular milk.
I also don't have lemon juice...or celery seed...or parsley. So I used dill in place of the celery seed and a squirt of lime instead of lemon juice (for the acid not the taste) and went without the parsley.
I also added more garlic powder than it calls for and a few shakes of onion powder.

It wasn't perfect Hidden Valley Ranch or anything...but it was good enough that Stefan ate it as a snack! (I also don't mind it so much) Next time I'll definitely try it with buttermilk and lemon juice (both of which are now on my shopping list!)

Do you have a homemade ranch recipe?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lazy Dazy Tot School

We had another brief cold snap this week. The cold weather makes me lazy (I swear I'm part reptile in that regard) Here are some photos of our week.

There was one day that was really pretty (Sunday) so we all went outside. The Totally Tots theme for the month is Transportation so I pulled his truck outside.

Trying to throw dirt at Mommy.

Daddy got dirt thrown at him too.
We tried playing in the garage one of the days it was really windy. Franklin likes that he can make lots of noise.

We got outside briefly again.

We've also been learning to wash hands. Franklin LOVES this activity. He asks to wash every time he sees a sink. (He doesn't get to that often! It would be bad for his skin)

We did a lot of indoor activities. He played with the sensory bin a couple of times (It needs new stuff...he's bored with it) and fingerpainted a few time (the "Valentines" will just be art cards now as they aren't finished and V-Day is tomorrow!)

Hanging out with his brother (he was trying to feed him orange slices a few mins prior to this photo)

He claps when he finishes his puzzle. He's so proud! (And so are we!!)

One of the few times they slept at the same lasted all of 10mins before Jonathan woke up.

It's supposed to be gorgeous all week (think close to 80F) I'm not sure what we'll work on this week. I'm thinking just lots of time outside! I'll probably pull out some different containers for pouring activities with the dirt.

Tot School

Friday, February 11, 2011

Time for my Boys In Motion

I am SO behind on this blog! It's been overwhelming here lately...fussy toddler and clingy baby. There were some major meltdowns this week.

I'm trying to work out a schedule that involves a bit of blogging during the week...we shall see.

Franklin decided he wants to dress just like Daddy.

Linking up Boys In Motion

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession Time: I'm a SLOB


For those that follow me regularly I know you've seen my before and after cleaning posts so this won't be a huge surprise. I also know that my parents subscribe to this so they won't be surprised either!!

I'm a slob. Really. When I get down and CLEAN I do a great job and it looks awesome. I can also give great cleaning advice. 


I don't live it. I don't do dishes until the sink is screaming for mercy. I put dirty clothes on the floor mere feet from the hamper. I leave the lid off of the peanut butter and a knife sitting beside it. (That last one was for my husband. It's a HUGE pet peeve of his! LOL)

I'm working on The House That Cleans Itself right now. The main premise is that you change the house to fit the behavior. So, if you set your keys on the same spot in the middle of the counter each day DON'T buy a hook because you'll never hang them up! Buy a basket instead. (We got a pretty plate and a basket for mail) 


You can only change a house so much. The groceries won't put themselves away. Dishwashers can't load on their own. So, after you change the house you have to change yourself.

I'm going to keep you posted on my progress and the changes we implement. Keep us in your prayers! It's going to be a bumpy few months.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tot School: It's COLD

This week we were NOT blessed with warm weather. It has been too cold to go outside...and cold in the house. Add in that Franklin is still cutting's been a rough week.

We did get ONE nice day to play outside. So, that was the busy day for Tot School.

I made a sensory bin! My first one!

Contains: split peas (that we'd never eat), some brown rice (that we didn't like), cheap rigatoni dyed red, cookie cutters, ribbon, and a squishy pig. (The pig is way more fun to throw and never made it back)

I gave him a spoon and bowl and let him scoop.

He's good at it when he focuses.

We tried on the floor but that didn't work as well.

He liked fitting the cookie cutters into a bowl. (The fist is him telling me he needs to go potty)

It was also fun to line all of the cookie cutters on the edge of the table.

We also played with the Geo Sorter toy this week.

In one week he went from only being able to do one color to being able to do 4 with little difficulty...
We went outside ONE DAY.

But he wasn't tired or anything.

Mommy discovered an ant home at his feet *sigh*

Okay, I must give some information before sharing the next photos...

I hate bugs. HATE HATE HATE them. This applies to most of the bug community. Yes, I understand that many are harmless and even helpful. BUT THEY'RE GROSS!! I have a phobia when it comes to most bugs. (Like, freak out and run screaming kind of thing)

However, I'm also dedicated to my son learning. So, when there was a cricket in the yard and I saw that he was interested in it I went inside and got a yogurt container AND I CAUGHT THE THING.

That's right. There's a cricket in there.
Now, Franklin didn't care so much about observing it...he liked to dump it back and forth and hear it scrape on the foil as it tried to stand upright.

I let it go after a bit. 1) I don't want bugs in my house. 2) It seemed kind of mean to let my son beat it to death...

He may have tried to squish it with a rock...
I also have him making Valentines. No photos of that (it would ruin the surprise) He's fingerpainting and I'm going to cut out squares to send off as Valentines. Those photos will go up after V-day is over!

Oh, we got Franklin a doll (yes, a DOLL) because he's been so interested in the baby (and babies all over). We wanted him to have is own baby to take care of (and be able to carry)

He was super excited:

How does Jonathan spend Tot School?

My favorite photo of the week:

Franklin fell, Mommy couldn't get to him, so Daddy put Jonathan down quickly...and he never woke up.

Linking up:
Tot School


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