Mother’s POV

Big Brother

0

2010.08.28-Boys.03.jpgIan is still loving his brother, but he has started figuring out that lots of things are changing.  The biggest one being that he doesn’t quite have all of our attention anymore.  I would like to think we’ve been balancing that pretty well, but I know there are times we haven’t been.  Thankfully, with Simon sleeping all the time, we are able to give Ian the attention he wants, just not always in the form he wants it in.

It’s amusing.  The one thing we weren’t expecting to change when we brought Simon home was Ian’s listening skills going down the drain.  It’s an obvious form of vying for our attention, but it’s been slowly escalating for about two months prior to Simon’s arrival.  Basically, about the time we became homebound since I wasn’t suppose to be driving anywhere.  So he’s not liking some of the attention we’re giving him, but he’s coping rather well, I think.  He hasn’t asked us to send Simon back yet.  I consider that a good sign.  Thankfully, school starts in another week or so, which means Ian will be gone three days a week and he so can’t wait for school to start.

Little Critter by M. Mayer

0

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.

Makes a Mother Proud

0

So had to share this. My son is growing up to be a true bookworm!

2009.04.23-Ian.jpg

Ian Recommends…

0

Back in March, I posted an article on Ian’s favorite books. It’s been a few months and while he still really enjoys those novels, he has added a few to the list.

Right now, Ian is not at the stage where he’ll read on his own, however, he’s all about being read too. He still brings a book and want to sit in my lap so we can read it together; in fact, today, he dragged me into his room so we could sit in his rocker and read. We’ve just started reading to him as part of his bedtime routine and he seems to be really enjoying it. I know he’s going to sleep without any noises (aside from a few jabbering) and that’s just one more step towards a big boy bed. Right now, Jesse is reading him Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, so hopefully he doesn’t get any disturbing dreams.

Ian is still loving the Usborne Touchy-Feely Board books (That’s Not My Dragon by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells) and if you haven’t found these yet, then you need to. They are awesome and they have a whole variety of topics – pirates, penguins, puppy, kitty, lion, trains, dinosaurs, monsters, etc. He still really enjoys Goodnight Baby by Ibaby. Since the previous post, we also we out and bought On the Go by Ibaby as well and that has been just as well received.

Lately, he’s really been into this one book from the library, Cars: rushing! honking! zooming! by Patricia Hubbell, Megan Halsey, and Sean Addy and I went out and got the other two like it, Trucks: Whizz! zoom! rumble! and Trains: steaming! pulling! huffing!, but he’s all about the cars. These books are actually really good because they really don’t tell a story, but they tell everything about cars. What they can do, the sounds they make, how people interact with them. There’s really no plot, but it has a lot of rhyming and the illustrations are awesome. It also has a great page layout since not all the pages face the same direction. There’s a couple of pages strewn throughout where you have to hold the book the longwise in order to read. I like this aspect since it makes you move a bit more and it tends to get Ian’s attention.

He’s a huge fan of Boynton, but we’ve been going with the One, Two, Three and Oh My! Oh My! Oh Dinosaurs!. We also have Your Personal Penguin and with all three of these books, he’ll sit still in my lap and look at the illustrations. Granted, there really isn’t much to her books, but what is there is perfect. She has just enough material on each page to keep Ian’s focus and doesn’t allow him to wander off.

I will be honest, since the move we haven’t really been reading to him as much since most of his books have been packed away. We’ve been keeping up our weekly trips to the library (yes, I’m still driving all the way back to RH…it’s so worth it) and we’ve had books home, but I just haven’t been able to find any others that he gravitates to. He’s coming up to 18 months and I really would like to hear him talking a little more, so if anyone has any novels that their kids love, all my ears are open.

Sunday’s Storms

1

Yesterday, the three of us learned a very valuable lesson…always check the weather report before going swimming. We were down at the pool testing out a new float for Ian (he wasn’t amused by it, but there were a lot of kids in the pool too) when someone noticed the sky getting dark in the west. Since we didn’t like what we saw, we decided to get out of the pool and head home. Before we left the area, someone noticed lightening in the distance, so we made a mad dash out of the area. We just started back when the rain hit. Another 100 yards and the torrential downpour began. We sought cover up by another apartment, but after a few minutes, when it didn’t look like it was going to let up, Jesse ran for the car.

During the entire time, Ian didn’t make a sound. He was such a champ. We had him wrapped in a towel, since we had just gotten out of the pool, and he was sitting in his stroller (not strapped in), and he was just enjoying the ride. Once the rain start, I threw one of the towels over the stroller to try and cover him a little, but the wind wasn’t helping and that’s when we decided to seek cover. Ian faced the building for most of it, but he didn’t complain once. He was such a good boy.

When Jesse pulled the car around, I had Ian in my arms (so we could run easier) and the two of us slide into the front seat. Since we weren’t leaving the parking lot, I kept him up front so we wouldn’t be stuck in the rain any longer. I know, it wasn’t exactly smart to ride like that, but we weren’t in the car that long. When we got back to the apartment, we made another mad dash and got inside.

I should also mention that while Ian and I were camping up by the building, the sirens went off. The owner of the apartment heard them and came out to investigate and found us at his door. We talked for a moment and found out that the sirens were for a tornado warning. Perfect, just what we needed. As soon as we got home, we shut ourselves in the laundry room (after grabbing clothes for me and the laptop) to ascertain how long the warning was for. Thankfully, it wasn’t for that long and we were able to come out after a few minutes. This was when Ian decided complain a little. We wouldn’t let him play with the furnace and he wasn’t crazy about being shut in such a small area. I have to agree with him though. It wasn’t fun since I was wet and wanted to get out of my swimsuit.

Today, Jesse heard some interesting horror stories at work today and even out realtor, Frank, had some trouble – he had a tree in his pool and another neighbor’s tree in his front yard. All in all, the three of us survived the experience and we’re going to make sure we check the weather report next time before we go to the pool.

Weekly Geeks #7 – Photo Week

1

2008.05.15-IanPark.02.jpgWeekly Geeks is something I’ve been doing on my other sites, but this weeks topic I wrote on Ian, so I thought I would share it here.

This weeks Weekly Geeks is Photo Week. I guess last weeks task was a little hard, so they are going easy this week. They say they are going easy, but I have no idea which picture to use. See, here are the instructions:

Decide what to illustrate and start taking photos: Most of you are book bloggers, so you may want to post photos of your favorite reading spot, your TBR pile(s), your local book store, your favorite librarian, your child reading, etc. You may want to post several photos of a certain topic (like all nine of your kids reading!) or a mixed bag of photos that are unrelated except that they’re bookish. Or you may want to post just one photo, it’s up to you. If you have a different type of blog, post photos of whatever you think is suitable.

First off, I should probably say I really don’t have a favorite reading spot. The one place I tend to read a lot is on the floor since I can get away with it with Ian. He’s not a fan of me sitting on the couch or in a chair where he can’t get to me. Yeah, he’s a little spoiled, but his an only child at the moment. I could take a photo of my TBR shelf, but there really isn’t anything special about it and it’s getting packed up tomorrow anyway (plus I can’t find my camera cable, so any pictures I do take won’t get on the computer in time to post this). I really don’t have any pictures that have anything to do with books. Well, I do have a couple from the LKH and Kim Harrison appearances, but they are not that special.

This topic is actually harder for me than last weeks. Afterall, catching up was easy for me; trying to decide on a couple of pictures to talk about when I literally have hundreds from this year alone is crazy hard. Of course I’m going to pick a recent one, but still, I go nuts when I get the camera out. I think what I will decide to do is talk about Ians’ favorite hobby….being outside. I know that really isn’t a hobby, but he loves being outside and he will drag me to the door so we can go outside any chance he gets. He lead Jesse there last night while it was raining and that didn’t even stop him.

At the moment, we live in an apartment complex, so letting Ian outside isn’t always feasible. We try to hit the parks at least once a week, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to hit it more often. This past weekend, Ian spent the weekend with his grandmother and she spoiled him rotten when it came to being outdoors. The grandparents live out in the country, so there was a lot of open space for Ian to run and play in. From the pictures I’ve seen, he had a blast.

We’re in the process of getting a house and I can’t wait until we get it. The backyard is a nice size considering we’re going to be in the city and Ian is going to have plenty of room to run around. I’ll be able to let him out more because I know what is on the ground. Plus I’m on the hunt for outside toys for him, so he should have plenty to keep him occupied.

I think that’s all I’m going to right for now about Ian and being outdoors.

Oreo Dark Chocolate Cake (aka Ian’s Birthday Cake)

0

This is the cake I made for Ian’s first birthday and I know Jesse was sharing the description around at work, so I decided to make it for them this weekend. It’s a really delicious cake that’s fairly easy to make as long as you have a little patience or not quite the perfectionist that I can be.

Reading is Fundamental

0

I saw this posted on on one of my author sites:

The 2009 proposed U.S. budget calls for the elimination of funding for Reading Is Fundamental’ s (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program. The program distributes free books to 4.6 million children and families and runs reading encouragement programs in 20,000 locations in the U.S. RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco says, “Unless Congress reinstates $26 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation’s youngest and most at-risk children … Since its founding in 1966, RIF’s programs have played an important role in improving literacy in this country.” Visit RIF’s Web site, to see how you can take action.

It would be a travesty if this program was canceled. Promoting reading to young children is essential. It’s my belief that if children don’t get exposed to books while they are young, then they won’t want to read later on. My public library has weekly storytimes and he received a free book each time he went. I started taking him when he was only 5 months old and he loved going there. He was always interested in the books and even after 10 months, he loves to read. He’s constantly bringing books to me and wanting to sit and read them together. If we hadn’t started going to those storytimes and reading to him at home, would he have that love today?

If you want to help save the Reading Is Fundamental program, then follow this link. Here you can write to your senator or representative using the pre-made letter. It is important to read to young children, so please write in and tell Congress how important this program is.

I wrote in…are you going to?

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 4:59 PM, Reading Is Fundamental wrote:
Thank you. Your involvement is vital to reinstating RIF’s federal funding. Building and fostering productive relationships with Congress is the only way to guarantee that RIF is around for another 40 years.

And the heartache begins…

0

I took Ian to see the doctor today and we received some news that will be hard for me. I have to stop rocking Ian to sleep. NO! There’s nothing wrong with him. Man, do you think I would write about something like that this quickly?! Anyway, Ian’s been waiting up in the middle of the night screaming the last week or so and while we though it was constipation (the prune juice did it’s work), it didn’t fix it entirely. So just to make sure there wasn’t anything else wrong, I took him in to see the Doc. The prognosis…Ian is having nightmares or waking up during the night and since I rock him to sleep, he doesn’t know how to fall back asleep.

The doc basically told us we need to get Ian out of our room and he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own. This is something we’ve known for awhile, but due to the living situation, we were waiting until we got the house to start it. However, I don’t think we’re going to have that option. The longer we put this off, the harder it’s going to get. Ideally, we would be able to move Ian out of our room, but where would we put him? In the office where the cats wrecked it and it stills smells after multiple carpet cleanings or in the living room where we usually are since we don’t go to bed at the same time as Ian? We could always set the pack and play up in our room and then move it out into the living room when we go to bed, but I’m pretty sure that’ll wake Ian up.

As for sleeping, the doc recommended the Ferber Method. The basic idea, put Ian to bed while he is awake and leave him in there. If he starts to cry, let him and don’t go in to comfort him for 5 minutes, without picking him up. Then leave and let him cry for another 10 minutes and repeat. I’m not crazy about the cry it out method and I really don’t like the idea that we have to use it, but what else could we do? The idea that I’m just suppose to sit in the living room, ignoring my son’s cries is something I don’t want to do. I know I have to, but it’s going to be, both physically and emotionally, hard for me. If something is upsetting him, why would I let him cry when I can fix it? We tried this when Ian was a lot younger (about 2 months I think) and I couldn’t do it. I would spend the entire time crying and I wasn’t going to go through that. However, now that my hormones are back to normal (or as normal as they’ll get) and I’m more used to his crying, maybe it’ll work. I’ve heard good and bad stories about the Ferber Method, so I’m willing to try it (I guess), but I would love to find another way to get Ian to fall asleep on his own.

So now I’m doing some research on the Ferber Method and here are some sites I’ve found:

  1. The Ferber Method Helps Some Children Sleep Longer research results
  2. Q&A With Dr. Ferber
  3. Slate Article arguing against the Ferber Method
  4. Ferber Method Demystified
  5. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber

Ian’s Current Favorites

0

I actually came up with this a couple of months ago, but I just realized I haven’t posted it here. This is a report from Literary Escapism (my book blog), but the same is still true two months later.

———————————————

Yes, I read a lot and I’m trying to get my 12 month old son to read as well. At the moment, he has a couple of favorites and I have to say that they are awesome. Here’s a review on some really good boardbooks for toddlers.

Goodnight Baby by Ibaby is a really cute interactive book for Ian. It involves six barnyard animals where you have to put each baby to bed for the night. When we first started this book, he really didn’t do much with it but follow the pictures as I read. However, the more we read it, the more he realized that he could put the babies to bed instead of having me to do it. Now he continually brings the book to either Jesse or myself and sits on our laps so we can read it to him. He doesn’t do this with many books, but he loves this one more than any of the others. There are more books by the Ibaby line and I plan to buy more of them since Ian loves them so much and can interact with them as I read.

Another really good book is called That’s Not My Dragon by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells. It’s part of the Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books and every page has something different for Ian to touch and feel. It’s a very simple and repetitive book, which is great for him, and each page is filled with bright vibrant colors that attracts his eye to each character on the page. Each book in this series/collection involves different textures , so you’ll never get the same feeling and that’s great for toddlers. Ian actually picked out this line when he was a lot younger while we were in Borders. I was pushing him around the children’s section and he just zeroed in on That’s Not My Kitty and he’s been hooked ever since.

And one that tends to be everyone’s favorite – Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd. I honestly don’t get the draw of this book, but Ian seems to have fun with it. This is probably the only other book that he will bring to either Jesse or I to read. We can go through it four or five times before he gets bored with it. The pages alternate between black/white and color, and every page involves the same image. The first page shows us a bedroom and each page thereafter involves an object that is in that room and we say goodnight to it. The book is cute and, normally, it isn’t one I would have thought to pick up for him, but I think it’s a good thing that we were given a copy of it.

There are a couple others that have his attention right now. For his birthday, he received these six Tiny Play-a-Song books where each is a nursery rhyme and has the corresponding music attached to the book. I’m not sure where my mother-in-law found them, but Ian loves pushing the button to hear the music and he likes to push more than one at a time. We’ve found that if you push all the buttons at once, it sounds like bagpipes.

So those are his favorites at the moment. I came across a list of the Top 50 Children’s books and had posted it on his website. I won’t post it here, but here’s the link to it.

Also reviewed by:
Well Read Child

Go to Top