16 months, videos of Baby Z practicing Sight Words and Shapes

Well Baby Z and I have been busy! We finally are settled in a routine after moving and have taken full advantage of our iPad. He is now 16 months old. Finally walking.
Right now we typically do:
2 sessions of Little Reader
2 Sessions of Little Math
2 sessions of Little Chinese
2 Sessions of Little Musician
3 sessions of ABCmouse.com
1 session of Hooked On Phonics app
1-2 sessions of Preschool Prep app- Shapes
1-2 sessions of Preschool Prep app- Numbers
1-2 sessions of Preschool Prep app- Sight Words 1
2-3 sessions of Teach Me Toddler
We also spend a lot of time reading, counting, and just playing.
16 months there seems to have been a whole lot of changes. He is crossing over from being a baby to being a toddler. I cant believe how many words are starting to come out of his mouth, just out of nowheres like:
– Cat(he also meows back at our cat)
– Banana
– Boob (when he wants to nurse. Not great I know, but its kind of funny… for now)
– Octagon
– Green
– Blue
– Play
He’s not as big into signing as his brother was. But then thinking back Wes didnt really start signing till he was 22 months, and he was in a daycare located in our local deaf centre. Half his teachers were deaf.

 

Baby Z had his first experience at the beach last weekend. Lots of new sensory opportunities. But he only tried to eat the sand once LOL. A mouth full was enough for his liking. I thought a few times he was going to have a meltdown, but he never did. We are going back tonight. We have to get in as much beach time as we can before summer slips into fall.
I thought I’d share a few videos of Baby Z. The first is Baby Z practicing his Shapes with the Preschool Prep Shapes app.
This video is Baby Z practicing his Sight Words.

New house, overdue update

Well this is a much overdue update. Suddenly in July we had the opportunity to purchase our own home. Possession date Aug 1st. Yikes is all I can say. In one months time we uprooted our family and my home daycare and moved across the city.

We when from a shabby rental house, to a beautifully renovated house of our own, complete with Z Wave lighting throughout. I know Tracy has been stalking my blog for update in hopes of seeing photos of the house, so for anyone else that might be interested LOL here is a shot of my kitchen and upstairs bathroom. Tracy, if you want to see any more you will have to come visit in person.

All I have to say is I’m in HEAVEN! I love our new area! Its honestly amazing! Beautiful splash pad for the kids. The community of home daycares here is second to none. Wesley will be starting school next week and I’m hoping that the school will also be amazing. So far I have a wonderful impression.

Our basement is nearly complete, should be done late next week. *fingers crossed*. But that means I can now move my daycare from my living room, down to the basement. The kids have so much room to run and play. Last week I only had the train table and a toybox of megablocks and they were in heaven. This weekend I’m hoping to get it all setup. My dream is to turn it into a early learning haven.

Baby Z is almost 16 months old! Last week he started taking steps. He’s getting pretty brave on his feet and I think in a few weeks he will be unstoppable.

Honestly Early Learning took a bit of a back seat the last month or two as you can image. As did Elimination Communication. But we are getting right back on board. We started back up with our BrillKids programs. Oh man! He was so excited as soon as the program started. I didn’t realize how much he miss it. We are also fully utilizing our iPad. I’m guiding Baby Z through Teach Me Toddler, Preschool Prep Numbers, Colors and Shapes, as well as Hooked on Phonics. I’m guiding his hand and using the programs as bits of informations. I allow him opportunities to select answers himself and much to our amazement when we catch him in the right mood, he selects the correct answers. But to me really it is all about INPUT.

I’m trying to think what has happened in the last month or so. Well Baby Z went for his first haircut. A good friend of mine owns her own salon so we went to visit her. Well… Let say Baby Z made it sound like she was cutting of limbs instead of hair. LOL. But Afterwards as you can see in the photo above he had a cute hair cut and all limbs and digits were still attached. 

We took the kids to the local mini amusement park. I was shocked! Baby Z is a ride monster! He loved going on rides and had the time of his life.
Well now I’m getting together my Tot School lesson plan. I have several preschool curriculums that I need to go through and modify for a younger crowd. I totally believe kids can be accelerated learners, but I also don’t want to miss the basic topics like shape, colors, etc. So, I’m hoping to spend the next week or so with my planner, and all these curriculums  and figure out a plan. I want to do a mixture of Letter of the Week. Classical Conversations, Animal ABCs, Montessori,  and BrillKids program of course.  Obviously I can’t do everything from each program. But I figure, most are 26 week programs. I can modify what I can to make it age appropriate for my little ones. Then after the 26 weeks is up, start over again and add in new items. I plan on adding in Calender time, as well as more DOMAN words. *fingers crossed*.

Photos galore!!!

Everytime Wesley has a field trip at school, he is always asking me to volunteer. But usually because of the daycare I”m not available. But the last field trip of the year fell on the same day as his IEP meeting. So instead of just taking the afternoon off I made a whole day of it. 
They were planning on spending the morning at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Which happens to be in the same area that one of Hubby’s aunts live. She also runs a small home daycare so was home during the day. Luckily she was more than happy to watch Zakari for a couple hours for me so I could spend the morning with Wesley.  
The first thing we learned was how to write our names in Japanese. The kids each inked their names on their head bands. Wesley actually did a very good job and caught on quite quickly. The funny thing about the head bands were, the kids kept forgetting they were wearing them. So when a volunteer at the centre would call them by name, they would ask “How do you know my name?” LOL little did they know they could read Japanese. LOL
The woman that was helping our group with Japanese spelling wrote out Zakari and my name as well. (Top says Wesley, middle Zakari, and bottom Monique)
Wesley and I sporting our casual Japanese robes.
Wesley getting ready to participate in a traditional Japanese folk dance. We also did origamis. 
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Wesley has been dieing to take his step sister to his school playground because they got this new piece of equipment. Its like the old merry go rounds they outlawed in the late 80s early 90s because kids were getting stuck under and seriously injured. Well I guess they have figured out a way to make something similar but much safer. 
So on Friday we finally went over and they had a great time running around. So excuse the explosion of pictures, but here a several that I took from our trip to the park.
Saturday was my stepdaughters birthday party. Well actually her birthday is not till the end of July. But a lot of her school friends are out of town. So they decided to do it just after school let out(private school ends a week earlier here) and that way more people could attend. 
Honestly I hate bringing Wesley to these things. There are so many kids he usually tend to get a little wild. This time though oddly enough all these girls seem to scare him off LOL. He came and hung out with me and played on my phone. 
An hour into the party Petland showed up with several animals. 
Wesley petting the guinea pig. The lady ask the kids what kind of guinea pig they thought it was and my step daughter raised her hand and said “African guinea pig.” LOL good guess, actually it cracked me up. But it was really a teddy bear guinea pig.
I guess it was a safe guess because the next animal was an African Grey Parrot LOL.
There were several other animals like the legless lizard and a ball python. I held the python, but the photographic evidence is in my hubby’s iphone. Yuck they also had a ferret. I’m not a fan of ferrets.
Afterwards we drove Wesley to his dad’s. Then Zakari and I went to wait in a parking lot near there. I had purchased an adorable Canada Day diaper from a WAHM who lives outside of town. Problem is I honestly didn’t like where she put the pocket to stuff. I know she was still in the trial period, so she offered to trade my diaper for a new one with a proper opening. So she happened to be coming in town for a Goldeye’s baseball game, so I meet up with her and switch diapers.
Zakari is so funny when it comes to cameras. When he realizes he’s being photographed he totally hams up.  

Hiking trip and visiting Paka

I had been wanting to write about our hiking trip a few weeks ago, better late than never right! We decided to drive out near the border of Manitoba and Ontario to do some hiking. We really want to try and get the kids out of the city and out exploring. 
Hubby and StepDD wanted to stop at Lily Pond, and do some exploring in the cliffs. So Baby Z and I took this time to have a potty break. 
Then we went to a self guided trail called McGillveray Fall. Hubby and StepDD had been there before. 
I was really beautiful. This is not something I would have done as a child. We often went out camping, but my parents were never into hiking and trails. As I got older I would wonder off on my own with my bike. But I guarantee you I would have not going trails like this where I would have to cross over rocks through a rushing creek.
Trying to get BabyZ in the picture to prove he was there. But he gets SOOOO relaxed in the Ergo he almost always falls asleep.
We climbed up the side of a huge hill and landed wandering in a forest. 
When we got going along the trail on top of the hill this was a sign we came to. Honestly I didn’t know whether to laugh or turn around. Can you say Erie!
I love the look of the roots of a fallen tree. The grow is so hard often trees can not get a proper rooting system and land up falling over in a storm.
As we were walking we could here the sound of a woodpecker. Finally we spotted him!
Another animal we spotted were 3 beautiful falcons flying overhead.
After all our hiking we stopped in Falcon Lake and grabbed some dinner and drove back to Winnipeg. 
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The Friday of the Father’s Day weekend we went out to the town where my grandpa(Paka) lives. Basically stopped by for a quick visit and brought him a cake to celebrate.
I’m totally kicking myself for not getting Wesley in on this photo.

Wesley’s 8th Birthday

You know I often think throughout the day, “I need to update and write about this…” And for some reason I just can’t get here and do it.

Can you believe on the 9th of this month Wesley turned 8. 8 FREAKING years old! I can’t believe life has gone by so fast. We had a great time at his party at McDonald’s.

Well ok I’ll be honest, it started off CRAZY! We arrived 20 mins before 2, and there was NOTHING done. The reserved area was not set up, other customers were eating their lunches in OUR spots. I was instantly panicked. The staff eventually went and got it set up JUST in time for the arrival of our guest. I was pissed. We didn’t have our host, our food was late, no help with cleanup. But the important thing is the kids had fun.

We did an Angry Birds theme. I had ordered Angry Birds decorations, but they did not arrive in time for the party. But honestly now I’m glad because we didn’t really need them. When it came to cake time Wesley wanted so desperately to slingshot the red bird right on the cake. LOL I had to explain to him it was just a decoration. But in the end it was ok because he got 4 or 5 sets of actual angry birds characters and blocks to knock over. All of them were Angry Birds Star Wars. The cake looked much better in the picture. I was a cupcake cake so I guess it was more difficult to decorate. Since Wesley is still gluten and dairy free I brought him a gf/cf free double chocolate chip muffin.

It was a great turn out. Once again in total Wesley style the girls outnumbered the boys. He had 3 classmates from school, and several family friends came with their children. (The little girl in the pink and the one in the white in the back were randoms who’s parents were not watching them and kept trying to join the party.)

The kids had a blast in the climber, they were all sweaty from running so hard. 

A picture that Travis took of me. The tired looking host. I was so grateful my friends stayed and celebrated with us, so I was only having to keep a real close eye on Wesley, Chloe and his 3 classmates.

Self photo of the birthday boy.

Wesley posing with some of his presents. Sorry for the lighting.

Wesley diving into his presents.

This little girl was so sweet. She’s in the other 2/3 class at Wesley’s school. We were joking that she was his wife because she was making sure he opened his card first and said his thank yous.

What the cake looked like after everyone got their hands into it.

And this is what the birthday boy looked like AFTER the party LOL. He had a great day
So even though the McDonald’s managers screwed up and were short staffed, the staff did the best they could. The kids had no idea things were not going as smoothly as possible, and had a blast. Thats all that matters. I called the Monday after and left a complaint with one manager. The head manager was suppose to call me back and never did. I let it go. I mean the party itself only cost me $50 for the meals and goodie bags(I topped up the goody bags with stuff, for another $15). So really it wasn’t worth the fight. I think next year we will just go bowling or something.

Zakari’s first birthday

May 5th, last Sunday was Zakari’s 1st birthday. Honestly I can’t believe its been a year already. He’s growing up so fast, yet is still so small. I took him to Youville 2 days ago to weigh him in, he is 18lbs, 27inches tall and his head is 19.25 inches. I called the nurse to look at his growth chart. According to my calculations, he’s fallen off the map for weight and his head is officially over the top.
He is full force crawling in a cross patterned motion. He’s not the kind of kid that likes to walk holding someones hand. But thats ok for brain development. Like Glenn Doman says, getting them back on the floor.

We had 2 parties for Zakari’s birthday. Ideally I would have liked to have one big party outside at my MILs house. But this year spring decided to come super late so we had to split the party up and have family over at my MILs on the Saturday and friends over at our house on the Sunday.
My little man was spoiled rotten! More toys then he could possibly need. Actually I was extremely shocked how generous everyone was . I will not be purchasing him anymore toys till atleast Christmas. 
Zakari’s lessons are still going great. Him and his daycare buddies sit around every morning during morning snack and learn! Typically we try to do:
– Little Reader
– Little Math
-Little Musician
Little Chinese
– Tweedlewinks
-Wink to Learn Speak and Read English
-Teaching My Toddlers Music playlist on Youtube
– Meet the Letters Flashcards
-1990’s World Book lessons(flashcards, books, etc)
-Shichida 65 Day Math program
– Several sets of random flashcards
-Right Brain Education shop
I’m also trying to include something from the Sparkabilities workbooks. More to come about this soon! 

11 month old update

Well my youngest baby is officially 11 months old. How is time flying by so fast??
What is going on with Baby Z?

  • He started eating more food chopped into little cubes instead of puree. He is refusing pablum half the time. I think we are getting close to packing up the Baby Bullet for any future children. Its amazing how different each child really is. My oldest was on baby food till almost 2 and loved pablum for breakfast until almost 3.
  • We are crawling. Well… Almost. Baby Z can push his way forward in kind of a military style on his tummy if something truly intrigues him. Like Daddy’s iPhone or PS3 controller. Since he has Physio tomorrow, I’m going to bring Daddy’s PS3 controller to show the therapist what he can do. He is awesome at crawling backwards on his hands and knees. And this month he mastered being able to sit up from a crawling position. 
  •  Using his shape sorter, Baby Z is able to put things in and out of the container without a lid. He also understands that when the lid is on your suppose to put the square in the square and the circle in the circle hole, and so on. He’s not able to do this on his own yet, but hand over hand he loves doing it.
  • Little Reader, Little Math, Little Musician, Flashcards, this boy loves to learn. During the game section of Little Reader, I’m noticing his eyes shooting to the right answer about 80% of the time. Besides that I’m still enjoying the fact that I can’t quiz him, and everything is 100% input. No pressure 🙂
  •  Right now Leap Frog Letter Factory and Phonic Farm are his favorite shows. He can be full force screaming his head off in the backseat of the car and then someone starts singing “Every Letter has a Sound” he stops crying and listens. The ABCs are almost as powerful. We decided to do his 1st birthday in an ABC/Leapfrog theme.

Tiny Tot School

Baby Z 10.5 months old
Well Baby Z is so darn close to crawling. A few weeks ago his physiotherapist said his legs just needed to get a touch stronger and he would get going. But don’t let the fact that he’s not crawling forward fool you. He is still getting around. He rolls, bum scoots and squirms his way all around the floor.
I’ve been trying to add some purposeful play into his day.

 

I purchased these wooden stacking blocks at a thrift store in another town over. Only problem was it was missing #1. I was going to leave them, but I decided for 50cents I could find a substitute number 1. Well later that week I went to a local thrift store and what did I find? Another half set of the SAME wooden nesting/stacking blocks for 50cents. Best part was this incomplete set DID have the number 1! I would have kicked myself if I had left behind the first set.

So my 2 year old daycare kiddo and I built the towers and Baby Z knocked them over. Then I let him explore these block. His physiotherapist wanted him to work on taking objects out of later containers, and then once he got that, putting objects into a larger container. I’m proud to say my little guy is doing both skills!

 

We mixed it up a bit with some color stacking cups and a fisher-price shape sorter.

We attempted coloring…

BUT apparently it is more fun to eat crayons then to color with them. Oh well! Try again in a month or two.

We are making a conscience effort to read every day. Right now we have read 220 books since January 1st. Our goal is still to read 2013 books by December 31. We may not get there, but we are having a lot of fun trying!

We are still loving our BrillKids baby software. Baby Z is now starting to look at the right option during the Little Reader games. I also realized how to edit the Little Math lessons to make them in more bite size presentations. Oh and course his eyes still light up during Little Musician, especially during Chord Recognition.

We are going through all the physical flash cards I have sitting in a bucket. This week we managed to retire 30 cards.

All and all this week was a great one! Praying for another great week!

Linked up via Tot School Gathering Place

10 Months old and growing!

Guess who’s 10 months old now! Yes you guessed it my little man is 2 months shy of turning the big 1!! 
I have to say I’m really enjoying this age. While Baby Z is not yet full force crawling yet. He is bum scooting and rolling up a storm. He now has 4 teeth. The fourth just cut through a few days ago. He also seems to be drooling a lot again, so I think we might have a few more ready to make their appearance.
Last week we took him to the doctor for his 9 month check up… I know I know we are late. And he was 16lbs 15oz, 27 inches tall and his head circumference of 47cm. So yet again his length and weight are below the 5th percentile, his head is in the 97th. When he was born his head was in the 10th along with the rest of his body. A while back I read on DomanMom’s blog about head circumference growth in infancy being an indication of later intelligence. This peaked my interested and I looked it up. If you want to read more about it, you can head over HERE.  

Now that Baby Z is getting bigger and loves to explore I have been organizing like crazy! I’ve been going from thrift shop to thrift shop, watching online on kijiji and Auction Wars for good deals on educational baby toys(and I mean really educational, not what Fisherprice calls educational), or items I can turn into something for him.

I have been searching high and low for more letters for our Leap Frog Fridge Phonics and Word Whammer. I also go a second set of the Fridge Farm. Right now its mostly exploring, banging blocks together and taking the pieces out that one of us puts in for him, but he’s really enjoying it. And I think taking things apart teaches kids just as much as putting them together.

We also have been playing with stacking cups. Right now he’s not stacking them up of course, but he’s enjoying nesting the smaller ones in larger cups, banging them together and knocking down the towers Daddy builds for him.

Baby Z is really noticing words around him. Last weekend at the grocery store my hubby said to me
” I think his favorite color is blue.” I asked him why. He pointed out that he kept staring at the HUGE blue rectangles over each department. I told him, its not the color he’s looking at, the HUGE white letters on the rectangle he’s looking at! Read him the words! My hubby told him, “That says, MEAT.” and Baby Z got super excited and started “Mmmmmahhh, Mmmmmahh.” Like he was trying to copy my hubby.
Well fast forward to Tuesday night, I felt like window shopping and Wes was with his dad, so Baby Z and I went out. We arrived at Walmart and I threw Baby Z in my Ergo back carrier and started shopping. I went to pick up some greek yogurt for him when suddenly he starts going crazy. “Dahhh Dahhh eeee”. Then I looked up to see what he noticed. Sure enough up over the coolers what a larger sign…
DAIRY.
My heart jumped with joy! Maybe it was a coincidence. But hey, maybe not. For now we will continue all our usual reading programs.