Monday, June 29, 2015

Microblog: The Claire Tuck

Claire has this precious way of expressing she loves you and finds comfort in you. When holding her, she pulls both arms in and tucks them down, as to give up full control, in total trust. It also ensures you can't grasp her arms well to put her down. She's clever like that.

Then she plops her beautiful baby noggin right on your shoulder. She knows her people and exhibits this behavior often when in our arms.

Best feeling.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Microblog: $41 Phonics Lesson

My mom was in two weeks ago (today) and we hit up a local church rummage sale on a dreary and wet Friday morning together. We got there about 3 minutes before it opened and it was a madhouse with a line of around 100 people. I rummaged with Claire riding piggyback in the Ergo and Benjamin was charming my mom into buying everything he touched. It worked.

She bought him a slew of videos and toys and even a lava lamp. Grandmas.

One of the videos was a 35-minute Leap Frog Letter Factory Phonics video. I never thought he'd watch it because it didn't have Disney plastered all over it. Surprisingly, he requests it almost daily and has for the last 14 days. He's probably seen it 10 times.

A few days ago, he started pointing to some letters and telling me their sounds as we were reading a book together. That's the "tuh" (t). So, I decided to go through the entire alphabet. He knows every single letter sound. Totally floored.

The catchy little jingle probably makes it easier to learn, but he was able to say them all without the song. "The t says tuh, the t says tuh, every letter makes a sound, the t says tuh."

Would've been the biggest steal ever, at $1, and it should've been, if I hadn't lost $40 cash somewhere in the madhouse of that rummage sale that morning. Let's hope it was picked up by one of the church volunteers and put into their fundraising pot.

$41 phonics video for the win. Who knew.

(It turns out it can be watched here for free, too. The rest of you might have the luck of a $0 phonics lesson without leaving your home!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Microblog: Popsicle Days

Benjamin's favorite flavor is "brown", which is a shame because rootbeer is my favorite. This has resulted in him eating all the best and leaving the crappy bubble gum flavored ones.

feel like as parents, it's our duty to convince our (young) children that the rejects flavors are where it's at so we can indulge a few years longer before they really learn the truth.

At least I still have hope with Claire.

Let the popsicle days live on (hopefully well into October this year). 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Loving the Child You've Got

At this exact minute, I'm listening to our friends' kids playing on the deck with the water hose and water table (drought-ridden Californians see this as gold!). Claire is giggling and getting soaked right beside them.

Benjamin is sitting on the couch singing songs to himself as he flips through a book.

He's such a loner.

He's the only kid of the like 13 kids at soccer last week who spent almost no time listening to his coach and more time complaining and acting as though soccer with other kids was complete torture. I wasn't asking him to be great at soccer; I just wanted him to listen to the coach. For 30 minutes. He wanted to be at the park instead.

I played soccer with our friend's kid this afternoon on our deck (and had a blast!) as my kid blew bubbles about 15 feet away. I'm trying to get him interested by playing myself and showing him how much fun it is to play soccer (or insert thing here).

You can't change a person. It's not that I'm trying to, it's just that I desperately want him to put himself out there and try new things and be that kid who plays happily with others and enjoys the heck out of life. And if I'm being totally honest, I wish he just liked everything I did (thought every parent ever). He won't.

He'll find his thing. He will. And when he does, I will be there with pom poms and streamers on the bleachers yelling obnoxiously (as proud and embarrassing parents do) or have front row tickets to his play on opening night (and probably every night thereafter). And GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I love him. I love that he's the kid who saved me after Andrew died. He's the snuggle bug who really does love fiercely. He's the kid who doesn't go by the book or follow the rules, but he's also mine.

I didn't design him. He was designed for me. I never thought I'd learn so much parenting this one, but I totally am.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Microblog: Little Movers & Shakers

When B was a little guy, I took him to storytime starting around 6 months. At 17 months, Claire has only ever tagged along to B's storytime hour (and doesn't even get offered a cookie when they occasionally have them available). B was bringing me dozens of books each day at her age and she isn't as interested. I blame that on my lack of devoted time to give her since Benjamin is still very much dependent on me for his entertainment. A dual book reading doesn't often go off without a hitch. Sounds dreamy though.

This morning, I dropped B off at VBS and was planning to stop at the library since my next destination (Habitat for Humanity Restore) didn't open until 10. I was killing time and also figured I'd use the library scanner to get some photos uploaded really quick. 

We arrived as the librarian was opening the doors and she asked if we were there for baby storytime. Um, no we weren't! I took about 10 steps further toward the scanner before realizing that encouraging literacy in my 17-month-old was more important than those scanned photos. We turned around and entered the storytime room.

Wouldn't you know, Claire loved it. It was boat-themed and the brave librarian even had a pool filled with a few inches of water and boats they could add to the mix. I went home and signed her up for storytime for the rest of the session. Her own storytime.