Aug 27, 2010

Boys and their Grandpa's

I have learned with boys there is a special bond between them and their grandpa's or in our case Pa and Papa. JN has 2 of the best. Whether it is feeding the longhorns or reading tool magazines, JN loves his time with them.

Aug 21, 2010

Friends Are Special

As a full time stay at home mom my son hasn't attend a preschool or mother's day out program, nor are we actively involved in a church, so his main source of interaction with other children his age has been through a program call Incredible Infants/Terrific Toddlers put on by Texas Health, Little Gym, and The Rock. I posted the other day about a great friend we made through the II/TT program, Siam. Now I am going to share about the wonderful friend we made through Little Gym. His name is Will and he and his mom Jodie are two of the best people. The boys have a blast playing together and as they have gotten older they enjoy being around each other several times a week. This is another friendship for JN that I hope last a long time.
Playing at the park
Eating at their favorite place Rosa's
They love playing with constructions toys

Chillin' at Chili's after the Zoo

Oh boy Tinker Toys at the Museum

Takin' a breather after a hard morning playing at the museum

Aug 20, 2010

Friends and the Museum

We headed to the FW Museum of Science and History today to catch up on so long over due friend time with Ardis and Siam. We haven't seen them since the first part of June when we met up at the zoo. S and JN have been buds since, oh, about 4 months old when A and I joined Incredible Infants a mom's group put on by Harris Methodist Hospitals. It has been a great friendship and one I hope last a long, long time!
Of all the things to see, they chose to clean?
Building Together

A reading with JN

Looks at the blocks they built with

Aug 19, 2010

The Great TV Debate

Being an admitted TV/Movie junkie myself I have found it difficult not to pass on those habits to my son. I followed the guidelines and he did not watch any TV till he was 2, well 20 months. No Baby Einstein, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers or anything else deemed "educational". As an educator I knew this was important to his speech/language development as well as many other things. As he has gotten older though I have fallen into the trap of using a quick video as a diversion when I need to do laundry, clean the bathroom or just as a breather. I started out well only using Signing Time DVDs as the fillers, maybe because I thought they were more educational and not fluff. That lead to Veggie Tales, Bob the Builder, Sid the Science Kid and some other carefully chosen shows. Luckily we only watch TV over the air so I don't have the battle the awful shows like SpongeBob or Yo Gabba Gabba. But now with the school starting back I am going to redouble my efforts to limit TV time and do more playing and educational things.

One of the things I have found to be a good replacement for those times I need to put on my make up or work in the kitchen or other things that he can't "help" with is educational games on my iPod Touch. I have found many free or very inexpensive apps that work on letters, phonics, numbers and logic. This along with his Brain Quest cards, thanks nanny, have become a good alternative. Don't get me wrong we will still have the occasional TV time but it will be limited, like when I am posting on my blog. ;-)
Working on letters while mom finishes getting ready.

Working on shapes while mom is fixing breakfast.
Do you limit the TV time your child has?
What do you find is a good alternative when you need 5 or 10 min to get things done?

Aug 16, 2010

Meal Planning

Okay, spontaneity is not one of my strong suits, never has been, and I doubt it ever will be. When it comes to evening meals I have always planned some what. When both hubby and I worked I had a sketch of a plan but if the day was long or I was tired there was always take out. Well, now that we have a child and I no longer work, take out is not on the menu most of the times due to $ and nutrition. Also add to the mix that my in-laws come over 5-6 nights a week and meal planning has become a must. I sit down sometime on Saturday and plan what we are going to have for the following week so I can make sure I get everything at the store I need so I am not running back and forth all week long. So our weeks have become pretty routine, some sort of roast on Monday, beans on Tuesday, chicken on Wednesday, pork chops on Thursday and pizza on Friday. I mix in potatoes, rice or pasta salad for a side and a vegetable. We almost always have to have gravy and rolls. So the weekends are leftovers.Thanks goodness for the Tarleton State University Retail Meat Lab and the farmers market, they are our saving grace for semi local food.

So do you plan your meals, or are you a fly by the seat of your pants meal preparer?

Aug 13, 2010

First Readers

JN has shown some interest in starting to read. He knows his letters both upper and lower case and most of their sounds. Of course we do the major sounds for those letters that can have two sounds like the hard "c" and "g" not their softer siblings. So with the help of my Aunt Vicki, who was a Reading Recovery teacher in Arlington for many years I have made JN his first readers. He loves them and is doing well. I can see making many more of these. Below are some sample pages, all were made in MS Word using the available clip art.

Aug 12, 2010

Public, Private or Homeschooling

My son recently turned 3 and will start Museum School in the fall. This is a milestone moment for us, since he has been with me up until now. It has started me down the path of finding the right place for his formal education when he begins Kindergarten. Yes, I know it is two years away but I have already found the task to be both rewarding and daunting. I have posed this question to my FB "friends" and am now taking that information and expanding the thought.

Our first option is public schools, specifically the Weatherford Independent School District. And sorry to all of my public school teacher fiends and acquaintance this is our last choice. After working in the system for 14 years I just don't see public school as a learning environment. When just about all public schools you pass these days have some sort of law enforcement vehicle in front of them I just am not comfortable with having my child an environment where that is necessary. And I won't even begin to have the discussion about standardized testing.

Next is private school. Here you have many options, religious, liberal or some where in between. So far I have been impressed with the choices in this realm. I have looked at Holy Family Catholic School based on a recommendation from a co-worker and was please to find not only a pleasant webpage but an administrator that I have worked with in the past. Also in the mix is Covenant Classical School that was brought to my attention by my friend Christine, this also has some appeal. My Friend Elisa's husband will be working at Southwest Christian School this coming fall and it too has many appealing things. Of course there is always the more know private schools like All Saints, Country Day or Trinity. I just don't feel those meet our current needs.

I found out that there is such a thing as private/home-school hybrid. There are not many but our area has 2, Grace PrepChristian Life Preparatory School - South Campus (Main) and Christian Life Preparatory School - North Campus. These schools offer a unique blend educating a child. I would not have know about these options expect for my friends Christine and Jodie. I am not sure if these will fit the bill but they are certainly worth a look.

And finally there is homeschooling. As a former teacher this has some appeal to me yet it scares me at the same time. My child if you haven't read from a previous post will be an only and full time homeschooling I do not think would not be the best options. Yes I know there are lots of things out there for home schooled children to do for social interactions but being at home with mom all the time might be the best choice.

So it looks like I have my work cut out for me over the next 18 months to research and visit all the schools on my list and try to find the best option out there for us. As previously said I have asked this question to my FB friends but would like any and all comments you might have on the subject. I don't believe you can ever have too much information when making a choice like this one.

Just Mess Around with Photo Editing

Pictures on the right are RAW the ones on the left have been edited using Photoshop Elements 7
I am also trying to figure out how to post pictures side by side. It isn't easy, at least for me.

Aug 11, 2010

Is that Bevo?

Today my mom and I had the opportunity to take JN and his cousin visit my Aunt Vicki in Granbury. This trip is always a treat because of the many things we get to do. Today we fed the Longhorns! Yes, real longhorns. They have about 6 or 7 and 2 or 3 of them will eat out of your hands. It is a real treat for the kids and the adults too. Today they were very hungry because they had not gotten their "treats" in several days.
Oh Boy, Their Here!!
I'm coming, I'm coming
Hi, my name's Andy
Yummy, Yummy
I'm Ella Grace and will eat out of your hand.
Ew, yuck, slobber
Nay, I'll pass
A big ole bucket for lots of treats
Mom, Xavier and John

Aug 10, 2010

Do You Post Anonymously?

When I set up this blog I chose the setting to not allow readers to post anonymously. My main reason was that I wanted to know who the people were that were reading this blog. Also I had read and heard a few horror stories of how people would come along and hijack a blog or website as anonymous posters and reek havoc. I have since learned however, that not everyone has an account with the providers required to leave a comment, and have the desire to sometimes leave a comment. So, I have changed my settings and you can now post an anonymous in the comment section. I just ask that you leave your name and where you are from if you would like. So comment away.

Aug 6, 2010

Drills & Hammers & Saws Oh My!!

My son woke up from his nap today saying, "go look at drills, Mommy!!" So off to Home Depot we went, it is the easiest to get to and it is air conditioned. We roamed the tool sections for 30 mins, answering the "whats that Mommy?" Tape measures, hammers, saws, wrenches, drills, impact wrenches, table saws, miter saws, bolt cutters and on and on and on. As I have told some of  you we no longer read bedtime stories at the end of the day we read the Northern Tool and Equipment Catalog...

Aug 5, 2010

Love-Hate Relationship with CVS

Okay maybe hate is too strong of a word, how about extremely disappointed. I really do love CVS, they run great sales and when you tack on their rewards program and coupons I can get things for dirt cheap, which is now my goal. However, the big city of Weatherford coupled with its appendage of Hudson Oaks has 2 Wal-marts, 2 Walgreen's, 3 McDonald's, and upcoming 2 Taco Bell's but only one little old lonely CVS. So by the time Tues or Wed rolls around and I get to CVS to take advantage of sales they are almost always out. Yes, yes I know I can get rain checks but those are a hassle. I want instant gratification for my shopping experience!! OK, breath, in out, in out. So since the local CVS gets it's truck in on Friday and rarely do they get things restocked before the sales run out I am forced to try to make it to a Fort Worth to get my deals. Most of the time is is a doable but sometimes I just don't make it. I wish, wish, wish that CVS management would get with the program and either deliver a truck during the middle of the week like, ahem, Walgreen's does or build a new CVS in Hudson Oaks. Hello, CVS, do you hear me...

Pictures, Pictures Everywhere...

In the days of film cameras people were particular about what they took shots of so as not to waste film and money developing. Now, with the advent of digital cameras people just shoot away. I think this is a great thing. Just think of all the goofy shots you get that you might not have if you were watching how many shots you had left on the roll. However, I now have a ton of pictures in on my computer and am finding it almost impossible to find the picture I want when I want. I know it is my fault for not organizing them when I downloaded them but that is hindsight. I am now taking on the task. Who knows how long this will take but little by little hopefully it will get done.

Do you organized your photos as you put them on your computer?
If so how do you organize your photos, date, people, places?

Aug 2, 2010

Just Wait Till Your Dad Gets Home!!!!

I never thought I would have to resort to this saying but it seems to my 3 year old I currently hold no consequences greater than this one. I know this too shall pass but it is starting to give me a complex.

Chocolate Indulgence

So I have been craving chocolate for about a week, however, with this new diet plan I have been on it just hasn't worked into my eating plan. So this morning I decided I was going to only have smoothies for breakfast and lunch so I could have some chocolate. I found a box of chocolate fudge brownies and a bag of peanut butter chips and got to work. 
Here they are in the pan ready to go into the oven:
Now the spatula properly licked clean:
Hot out of the oven:

Cut and ready to eat: