Archive for March, 2010

Random Play


2010.02.16-OMGFlipCity.06.jpgJust thought I would throw up some random play pictures to show what we’ve been keeping occupied with this past winter.

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2010.02.16-OMGFlipCity.05.jpg 2010.03.02-BounceU.01.jpg

Refrigerator Art


Ian’s been doing quite a few projects at school and we’ve been doing the popular thing – displaying them on the refrigerator.  Here’s one sampling.  I’ll get some more up once they are changed up a bit.


Proud or Concerned?


2010.02.02-Ian.06.jpgI’m really not sure if we should be proud or concerned that Ian is starting to take after us so much.

Ian loves playing on the computer and he can navigate it pretty damn well.  Awhile ago, Jesse set up one of the spare laptops as Ian’s own computer, and while he does get a lot of use out of it, nothing compares to using mama’s laptop.  I have a folder in Firefox with his name right on it that contains all of the sites he can go to and he knows where it is.  He really only goes to three main sites – PBS, Disney Playhouse and Sprout Jr – but he doesn’t need any help finding them.  He knows to click on the folder and somehow he knows which is which.  Once he gets onto those sites, watch out, he navigates around like a veteran and he’ll spend a good hour on it before he gets bored.

I know I shouldn’t be letting him spend a lot of time on the computer, but it’s great for when I’m trying to take a shower or making dinner.  I know he’s being occupied and I trust the sites he is at to be more than just “playing”.  Disney Playhouse may be stretching it a bit, but when he’s on PBS’s site – mainly Super Why, Curious George and Word World – everything is educational and he’s learning while he’s on it.  The Super Why and Word World sites are not only enforcing the letter recognition, but he’s starting to associate letters with words.  Heck, he knows how to spell his own name because he’s seen me type it in these sites so much, plus it’s the name of his folder.

Ian hasn’t explored Sprout Jr too much yet, but there is one thing we found that is actually kind of cool.  Anyone with an account at Sprout Jr gets their own email address, so Ian now has email.  The beautiful part, he can only send and receive email from people who are in his contact lists.  Right now, that’s only three people, but he loves typing on the computer and if this gets him spelling faster, even better.  It’s a stretch, I know, but it’s a real-world application that he sees Jesse and I using every day and sometimes that’s all it takes.

So yeah, call me a bad parent if you want for letting my kid play on the computer, but when its another way for him to practice his letters and maybe gets him to read and write, I’ll take it.  I know I”ll have to start worrying about him exploring other areas of the Internet, but right now, I don’t have to and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

My son can write his name!


This morning, while Jesse was getting his coat on, Ian decided he wanted to write his name. He wouldn’t get his coat on until he did.  He’s been wanting to write his name for awhile, but he usually gives up when we won’t finish his name after he does the I.  So, I told him to go ahead.  Jesse really didn’t want to wait, he had the chance to get to work earlier than normal, but even he noticed Ian was a little too determined about this.

Ian go the I done all on his own, but once he got to the A, he wanted to see one and for some reason that is one his magnetic letters that have disappeared.  So after a quick search for a letter A, they finally found one and Ian got back to work.  He was a little unsure at the time, so Jesse added three dots to the screen and from there, Ian had no problem.  He was able to do the N without a problem, granted it was a little backward, but he did it.  Jesse knew he could do better, so he had Ian redo his N after adding a couple of dots.  Ian did beautifully.  We didn’t hold his hand or anything as the video will show (stupid battery died before they finished).

I’m so proud of my monkey right now!

Ian Turns 3!


For a second year in a row, I’m late with posting this, aren’t I. Thankfully, this year the three of us did not spend Ian’s birthday sick and he was able to have a grand ole birthday party (with a Spiderman and Batman theme) with the entire family.  One of the things we got Ian for his birthday this year was his very own camera and boy does he love it. Within the first day, he had well over 200 pictures taken.  Yes, we got him a real digital camera, but it’s made from Fisher Price and it does everything a cheap camera will do – take photos, preview photos taken, on camera deletion and a USB cord to upload them to the computer.  He loves taking pictures and hasn’t asked to use mine since he got his.  Score one for both of us.

But before I get to more of that, let’s get the well checkup out of the way first.  At his 3 year check up, Iwan weighted in at 30.5 lbs, which puts him just over 3 lbs heavier than at his 2year check up (he was 27.25 lbs) and this puts him in the 50th percentile for his age group. In other words, my little man is perfectly fit, at least I think so.  As for his height, Ian only gained 2 inches in the last year.  He came in at 36.5 inches long and last year he was 34.5 (but at the time of this post, he’s eating like a weed so I wouldn’t be surprised if he shoots up soon).  Either way, he’s only in the 25th percentile for his age group.  The doctor asked how tall Jesse was and at 5ft 7in, Jesse is also in the 25th percentile for his age group, so its possible Ian is going to get his daddy’s height.  However, the teenage years are still ahead of us (though thankfully not that close), so he still has plenty of time to get some more height on him.  At this point, they stopped measuring his head, so I can’t tell you what it is, but his noggin is definitely getting bigger. Ian is one smart cookie and we’re constantly being told that, which means our retirement plan is in full affect.  *grin*  Ian was all caught up on his immunizations, so he didn’t get any dreaded shots this time around.

I know I’ve been terrible about reporting things over the last year, but let’s see if I can’t make up for some of that now.  The two biggest things that have happened this past year are: Ian has became potty trained and he started preschool.  Can I say that I’m thrilled that he took to potty training so easily?  Considering he was one of those babies who didn’t care if his diaper was wet, I really thought we were going to have a rougher time with it.  As for the preschool, it was great during the winter months for both of us.  He got his socializing in and neither of us got cabin fever.  That was my biggest fear and the reason he did end up going.  This fall, however, is going to be a lot more interesting.  I’ll actually have to worry about snow days and school delays.

So last year, once it started getting warm out, Jesse and I got Ian his first bike.  Well, he got his first and second bike the same day.  We found this really nifty Thomas the Train two-wheeler with training wheels that Ian loved in the store.  According to the box, it said it was for 2 years and up, but the placement of the peddles were not in a good place.  Ian started doing his favorite phrase at that time “fix it”, but alas, we were not able to do so.  So we ended up trading it in for a good old fashion tricycle.  Ian really hasn’t mastered it yet, but he’s getting there.  During the winter, we brought it in the house and he was riding it around in the living room along with his scooter, so once we get it outside, I think he’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

I am so proud of my monkey – he was able to sing his ABCs before his 2.5 birthday. So in the past year, he has not only learned all of his ABCs, but he can point them out and is already trying to figure out words.  He is actually recognizing words which is awesome and knows how to spell his own name.  He can’t write it, but he’s already trying that too.  Honestly, if we can continue on this path, something tells me he’ll be reading by his next birthday – he already wants to, he takes books with him to bed every night and LOVES reading.

Another thing Ian has taken to this past year is art.  He loves making projects. We started out small with painting $1 wooden items from JoAnns and Michaels to mastering the art of tye-dying and finally getting to the point where he wants to cut and glue things together.  He loves painting and that’s been his gift-giving trend for the past year as I’m sure the grandparents and Aunt Lori has already noticed.  The tye-dying was completely accidentally as I was doing it to get some more life out of old wash clothes, but he just latched onto the idea of painting his clothes.  To date, he has painted his underwear, socks, shirts, bags and even one of my bras.  One of the best things, I think, we did for him was to enroll him in preschool this past year.  They make all sorts of projects at school and he loves it.  Since he’s birthday, he’s really been into using scissors so I think I need to come up with some pretty basic cutting projects for him this summer – nothing too fancy since he really can’t cut a straight line.

Ian has a huge curiosity level, which I love, but it makes him want to help all the time.  It’s actually great because he’s learning so much, but he does take mama and daddy a little longer to do things.  One of the things Ian loves helping with is the garden.  He’s all about getting out there and helping daddy weed (which daddy loves and hates since Ian hasn’t figured out what are weeds yet) and spreading out the grass seed.  We started reseeding the lawn last summer and that meant a lot of throwing of seeds – Ian loves helping with that.  We have to watch him whenever we have an open bag of grass seed as he’ll start throwing it out when we’re not trying to do it.  The boys have already started mapping out this years garden and have started an indoor greenhouse to get the seedlings ready.  Ian has been all over watching them grow and checking on them daily.

Last year, Ian and I spent a lot of time at the zoo, but this past year, he wasn’t about to take naps near the lions exhibit like he did the previous year.  He was more curious and wanted to see everything.  The good thing was we purchased a zoo membership so going and then leaving after only a few short hours wasn’t so bad.  The only thing I wished the Detroit Zoo had was a petting area, but Ian did get to pet his first goat when we went to the Binder Park Zoo.  Ian was also able to get to feed the goats, but he wasn’t as crazy about that.  Being mobbed by a bunch of little billy goats probably had a lot to do with that, but he still had a blast being in the pen with them and it was hard to get him out.  The zoo was a favorite trip for Ian last year and we have plans to go as often as we can this year as well.

Over the last year, Ian has definitely begun to form his own opinions.  He knows what he likes and he wants what he wants.  To kind of commemorate his first “favorites”, I tried my hand at making a quilt using his fave characters and I have to say it came out pretty good.  Okay, so maybe this isn’t such a milestone for him, but he got his first homemade quilt from mama last summer and that’s something to be remembered.  It is still one of his favorite blankets to date.

Something I probably did forget to mention, Ian went down his first waterslide last summer. The Troy Aquatic Center has a great kiddie section which includes this small slide that is perfect for the younger ones.  He loved LOVED the slide and I couldn’t keep him off of it (or waiting for his turn).  He loves being in the water and he was actually at an age to enjoy more than the first time we had went.  As for the slide, no, I didn’t have a problem with him going down it since there were lifeguards at the top and bottom of the slide.  In fact, I actually took advantage of that.  Ian had never been dunked in the water before and I figured with a lifeguard right there, what better time to do it.  So, about 30 minutes before I planned on leaving, I asked the lifeguard if she wouldn’t catch him right away.  She figured out what I was about and had no problem doing it.  However, he so didn’t like that. I couldn’t get him near the slide after that, but I did manage to make him go down it two more times before we left and he started warming up to it again.  In preparation for this summer, he’s currently taking some swim lessons, but I’ll get more into that later since it’s a 3 year thing.

Towards the end of summer, Jesse and I introduced Ian to the art of bumper bowling and boy did he take to it.  He loves the idea of throwing a ball down a lane and hitting a bunch of pins. Granted, he’s not that good at it, but he has no problem getting help from daddy or mama.  We’ve managed to take him a couple of times (including for his third birthday) and all you have to say is bumper bowling and he’s asking when are we going.

Another first for Ian this past year was his very own remote controlled vehicle.  This one happened to be a helicopter and boy did he have a blast with it.  Jesse and Ian each had one and they would disappear into the park out back for a good hour flying their helicopters until the batteries ran out (which did not make Ian happy as he wanted to continue flying them).  Considering this helicopter was meant for the 6+ crowd, I have to say that Ian working it was quite impressive.  He did a lot of dive bombing, but he kept it in the air for a bit each time.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to hold up to a 2year old and it was soon retired to the trash heap after a month or two.  However, Jesse still has his and the two continue to fly that one around the basement all the time.

For Halloween, Ian figured out the deal and was the cutest little dinosaur ever.  It only took him one house to figure out to head up to the porch and he was given free candy.  Oh, you should have seen his face when he realized this.  By the third house, he was running to get to the next one.  We did manage to get a little farther than we had the year before, but we didn’t get as far as daddy wanted.

Ian did something this past year that I thought was a few years off yet.  He went to his first stage show and boy did he surprise me.  We ended up getting free tickets to Disney Live! Rockin’ Road Trip, and after spending a little to get out of the nosebleed seats, Ian and I had a really great time.  He really shocked me by sitting quietly through the entire first half.  The intermission kind of killed that has he figured out that he could get up and dance and move around a bit, but he still behaved a lot better than I thought he would.  He definitely earned another trip to a stage show in the future.

So that’s it for this past year.  Ian is learning more and more things, but they don’t seem as monumental as when he was a lot smaller. They seem more like natural occurrences, which is the main reason why I haven’t kept his site updated as much.  I’ll try and do better this year.  Although, that’s going to be a little trickier with two blogs to keep updated.

Little Critter by M. Mayer


If you follow me on either Twitter or Facebook, then you have probably already heard that I was pregnant. The new monkey will be making his/her appearance in August and we’ve been slowly getting Ian ready for a sibling. A friend of mine recommended reading a bunch of books on having a new baby in the house. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think of that at first (which was silly of me). So we ended up with a copy of Mercer Mayer’s The New Baby. The Little Critter series is a children’s classic. I can’t remember reading any certain book during my own childhood, but I totally recognize the series. So introducing the idea of a new sibling with this book was perfect in my opinion.

Ian loves it. Jesse and I love it. It not only describes all of the “bad” things about having a new baby – constantly crying, diapers, attention being diverted, etc; but it also describes all of the good things as well – cuddling the new baby, talking it for walks, playing with it, etc. I don’t know if Ian gets the idea of what he can and can’t do with the new baby, but at least he’s already being exposed to it and it’s one of the books that he wants us to read at night.

Since Ian loved The New Baby and there was a list of other Mayer books in the back, I went to Bookmooch to find more for Ian (he loves getting books in the mail as much as I do). I ended up finding a bunch of them – Just Go to Bed, I Just Forgot, What a Bad Dream and Just for You; but the two that showed up first were Just Going to the Dentist and I Was So Mad.

Just Going to the Dentist was another fabulous book. It explained everything that was going to happen (including a long wait in the lobby), but it put such a positive spin on it that it sounded kind of cool to go through it. They even mentioned getting a cavity and having to do the dreaded shot (I HATE the shot). Ian loves this one too. He’s already had Jesse and I read it to him five different times this afternoon alone. I’m not sure when I’ll have to take him to get his first cleaning, but after reading this a few hundred times (which I’m sure we’ll do), I have no worries about taking him. He might get a little nervous, but something tells me if I bring this along with us, he’s going to be such a champ with his first cleaning.

With two great stories from the Little Critter series, I had high expectations for I Was So Mad. Needless to say, I found the dud. Opening this book, I was expecting the little critter to be getting mad at not being able to do the things he wanted, but I was expecting something more from the ending than I’ll run away tomorrow if I’m still so mad. Giving a kid the idea that running away when they’re mad and then not explaining how that isn’t a good idea doesn’t sit well with me at all. There was so much more that could have been done with the ending instead of making it sound like it was okay to be mad. There are consequences to being mad and none of those were explored. Where the first two books showed both the positive and negative views of their subjects, I didn’t see that in I Was So Mad.

Overall, two out of three being great novels isn’t bad for a series of standalones, so I’m not writing off this series and we’re still eagerly awaiting the four other books. However, I Was So Mad will be disappearing from Ian’s bookshelves and it’s not one I would recommend to anyone else. I would love to find a book for Ian that discusses the positives and negatives of showing high emotions, so if anyone knows of any, please let me know. I want him to know that there are times it is okay to be mad, but he has to realize that not everything is going to go his way and running from whatever made him mad is not an option. That was not the message I got from I Was So Mad and I do not want Ian being influenced by this book in any way.

Getting the Garden Ready


Since it was such a beautiful day, Jesse dug out some of the lawn equipment and started planning this years garden. Of course, he couldn’t do it without his #1 sidekick.

Of course, Ian is all about helping Daddy whenever he can, so much so that he starts to mimic Jesse whenever possible.

Ian started preschool!


Last fall, we enrolled Ian in preschool.  First off, let me be completely honest – it’s a day care with a preschool curriculum, but Ian was getting to the point where he loved being around other kids and I just knew we both would go nuts if it was just us during the winter months.  So, since October, he’s been going to preschool three days a week.  At first, he loved it.  He got to play with friends all day and do a ton of projects.  However, now, he’s not lovin’ it as much.  I don’t think he’s experiencing any kind of separation anxiety or he’s disliking school, but more than likely he’s getting bored.  In October, he was placed in the two-year class since that was his age group and everyone else wasn’t potty trained.  They were doing a lot of projects and he loves doing arts and crafts, but even I can tell that they are all very similar.  I mean, painting with shaving cream, pudding and anything else they could find in the kitchen is amusing at first, but everything was looking the same and I think Ian has finally caught on to that.

At his birthday, he should have been moved up to the three-year class, but they are so full that he hasn’t been yet and it doesn’t seem like he will be until later this summer.  This bugs us more than a little bit.  A lot of the things Ian is learning in the two-year class are things Jesse and I have been teaching him for the past few months, so he’s not being challenged.  Maybe I’m reading more into it, but I think that’s a lot of what his issues are with school.  He doesn’t come home as excited as he used to.  At first, he would come home and tell us what they did that day.  Now, he comes home and says “we played and did projects”. If he’s going to be in school, then I want him challenge and I think he wants that too.  He loves learning and I get the feeling he’s not getting a lot of that right now and he knows it.

As such, we’ll be pulling him once May comes around.  There’s a few reasons for this:

  1. Public school will be getting out soon and a lot of his friends will be available for playdates.  Keeping him busy won’t be an issue and he’ll get to see his friends that I’m constantly hearing – “is Nate coming over today”?
  2. He was going to be pulled in August anyway because he’ll be starting at the public school in September where he’ll also be taking Mandarin.  So it’s not like the intent was to keep him there long term anyway.
  3. We’re having the baby in August.  By pulling him in May, that’ll give him 3 months of a lot of mama and him time and I get the feeling he’s going to need that.  This could backfire on me, but I think he’ll adjust to having a sibling if he doesn’t feel like it’s invading his only time with his mama since he’s at school most of the week.
  4. And the biggest reason is money.  At $400 a month (granted, that’s not bad), I can keep him busy for far less than that and we can actually save a little money before the baby gets here.  Plus, I actually need to purchase a few things since I was stupid and got rid of some of the bigger items (i.e. pack and play, high chair and we need a new car seat).

So yeah, he’s in preschool at the moment, but not for much longer.  Once the summer months hit, we’ll be going to various parks and the zoo whenever we can.  Plus, Jesse and I can continue his education with things that will challenge him.  My goal is to get him reading before his next birthday and that’s something we can start on this summer.  He already wants to learn, now we just need to keep him interested and challenged.

Ian is potty trained!


Yup, I’m not lying. This should have been a post, but I was so afraid when it started to look like he was going to be, that I was afraid to mention it.  For Christmas, Ian found out he was getting a sibling (it was a surprise for us too) and something must have clicked because soon after that he made the determination that he didn’t want to be in diapers anymore.  He was a big boy and we had to save the diapers for the baby.  We had already been pseudo-training by wearing training underwear while at home, but he wanted nothing to do with pullups (or as he knows them, diapers) even while we were out.  Once he decided to be trained, we had no problems.  There were a few accidents as he was still trying to figure out what that little tingle meant, but it wasn’t long because he got that too.  Then, within a few weeks of mastering that (to some degree), he wanted to start training for the night.  At first, I was getting him up every night before Jesse and I went to bed, so he could use the potty.  I only did it for a couple of nights because I needed him to get familiar with that sensation and I figured a few wet beds would help, but he was good within a week.  We still have a few accidents at night every so often, but they are not the norm.  I get the feeling I was very lucky with potty training because it just seems like one day he was trained.  I know it took a week or so, but there was a time when he wasn’t and then there was a time he was.  I really don’t think I got to experience the pains of potty training and I have to say I am eternally thankful for that.

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