Puzzles Gallore: Day Five of Pre-school Home-schooling

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Today went better than every other day this week. The big problem I was having is that I hadn’t prepped the “class” before we started. I would set him up with a coloring sheet, and I’d sit besides him cutting and gluing. Of course what mama was doing was SO much more interesting. Frustration would ensue, and it would take a thousand times longer to get everything done, and Caleb would have a harder time getting interested.

The big difference today, is I made sure before we even tried to start that everything was ready to go, and we didn’t start at his desk. We sang Old McDonald, and I signed it for him. We went over what a cow was a few more times, and how they live on farms. Then we moved onto the Nursery Rhyme of the week. I made up a little fold book with the characters to “Hey Diddle Diddle.” As I recited the rhyme I pointed out the Cat, Fiddle, Cow, Moon, Dog, Smile/Laugh, Dish, and Spoon. Caleb loved that he had a book to identify the things from.

Once we had danced and sung, and he was calm, we moved over to the desk and I pulled out a cow puzzle I made for him. First he had a completed one where he matched the cut out spots to. Then he had a blank cow shape to “add the spots to.” I got the idea for it from a bus version our Families Read instructor made for him. This was a fantastic Fine Motor activity. Placing the pieces, matching sizes… Another thing, which you’ll probably notice is, rather than a normal or round cow, it’s square/rectangle based. I decided on that because of our focus on squares for the week.

Speaking of buses and our Families Read instructor… We also worked on this awesome name puzzle today. Caleb loves buses, and he’s a big fan of his own name. He liked mixing up the letters and putting them back together. He loves telling us that, “C is for Caleb!” I started by asking him what it said. Imagine my surprise when he said, “Caleb.” This is an awesome example of sight words. Then I pointed to each letter, said the name, and told him to please say it. It was kind of interested. For “A” he said Ah. For “B” he said AB. We repeated the activity a few times, but he kept saying them that way. C, L, and E he had no problem with. Then I mixed them up and just put C and B where they belonged. He took the reigns and put them back in order, though a ended up upside-down. All around it was a good activity for him though.

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Introducing the Idea of No

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There is this wonderful program that we take advantage of called Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center. My little family goes weekly and it’s been a great resource for us. The way it works is that we sit there, with a cold or hot beverage in a rocking chair, for an hour watching a video about parenting. For each hour each of us is there we get ten points. Twenty points gets you a box of diapers, two points get you a thing of wipes, and anything else you could need for baby is another price in points. We rarely have to buy any diapers thanks to them. The only issue is that the videos for the most part are incredibly out dated and a lot of them have safety issues or seem not to have any real meaning. Last week on the other hand I watched a very informative and thought provoking video about all of the milestones and what changes have to be made to keep babies safe as they get older. I also highly appreciated that it was very supportive of attachment parenting including an anti-cry-it-out message. Something that it touched on though is saying no.

I really didn’t think about it until on the way home from my aunt’s house she mentioned something about Caleb being able to understand what we are saying. We say come see Mommy; he crawls over to me. We say sit down; he sits. It makes sense but I started thinking how well he could understand such an over used word and if it was even needed. The more I thought about it I realized how often I actually do say no to him. It’s really only when he pulls my hair. Sadly, it backfires. He will laugh at me and pull harder. Then I thought about dogs. I hate the term baby training so I feel bad even mentioning this but it makes sense in a way. My mom was a dog trainer and rule number one is to not say no. We say no all the time in life so it is often ignored and they say dogs wont realize it means anything important. Instead they say off, stop, sit, and steer the dog away from whatever trouble they are getting into. With attachment parenting, that seems to be the goal. Guiding our child to do what’s right rather than saying no and expecting them to just understand and obey makes so much more sense.

Not saying no is okay; saying no is okay as well though. Once a child can understand, and assuming it is said and done gently so that a child can understand it, no can be a quick tool. Say you see a child running near a pool. To prevent them from falling in you would say, “No running!” You see them about to touch the stove, “No! Don’t touch that!” If your child is upset and hitting you, no hitting isn’t the first thing I would be saying. I’d be saying, “Caleb I love you. It hurts my feelings and my skin when you hit me. Please don’t do that.” Letting him understand why he shouldn’t be hitting is going to make a little baby or toddler, child or teen even, not want to hit more than just saying no. No is not an explanation, it is backed by no emotions, and it’s a word that is said five plus times a day by each of us.

What I’m trying to say I suppose is that take a step back next time you want to tell your child, no don’t do that. Instead, think of why you don’t want them to do that. Is it important? Is it dangerous? Is it really worth getting frazzled? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and take that time to explain to your little one that because it is so important, they can not do that action anymore. Then when they say they understand, show them how glad you are. Reward them for understanding instead of punishing for acting out. Everyone reacts much more to praise than punishment. No one wants to be yelled at. It will pay off.

Thanks for reading lovelies. Tell me what you think! Feel free to email me at sami.jordynn@gmail.com.

Even Formula Babies know… Breast is Best!

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This picture is from a little while ago. My friends and I were out bowling and the little man got hungry so I did what any lucky breastfeeding mother would do. I whipped out the boob and fed my little man. When it was my turn I got up, continuing to feed him, and bowled! I felt like super woman. Breastfeeding has been such an amazing experience for us and I wish that is what this post is all about, but it’s not.

Man I wish I had a picture of what it is about for all of you. It was quite a funny sight. This afternoon I was sitting on my mom’s bed feeding Caleb and my cousin had her son on the bed as well. As soon as Caleb latched on and I felt the let down, my cousin’s son tried to push Caleb out of the way and get to the boob himself! I laughed like crazy and then it just made me feel really sad for him. Formula lacks so many nutrients and the immuno benefits that breastfeeding provides. This poor baby wont ever get to experience that again. He doesn’t even get the bonding time of being held in his mother’s arms and snuggled into a milk drunk cloud of happiness. I am so fortunate to be able to breastfeed and to know that what I’m doing is best for my little man. Now I know that this post has probably already made a lot of people angry. Here’s the thing… She didn’t stop breastfeeding because she couldn’t, or that she was ignorant of the benefits, or that she needed to go back to work. There was no admiral reason. She just wanted to be able to have a drink any time she wanted. I’m not saying she is a bad parent. She isn’t. She also isn’t an alcoholic. The bottom line though is that she has made a choice to provide her child with formula, keeping him fed, happy, and healthy, just not as happy and healthy as he was when he was breastfed. My son is almost seven months old and hasn’t been any more sick than one time having the sniffles at the same time I did. Her son has had ear infections, respiratory problems, and a continuous cold since she stopped breastfeeding and I can’t help but feel as though that really is the reason for his health problems. He was a happy and very healthy baby before he was given formula. This is some what of a rant, I know, and it’s not a very positive thing to talk about, but it’s heavy on my heart and I think it needs to be out there. If a baby who hasn’t been fed from a boob for seven+ months jumps at the first chance he gets for one… I think it means something. Breastfeeding is not only the best way to go, but rather the natural, down to our molecular structure way to parent. This is not me bashing parents who give their children formula. I know that some people have good reasons that they need to and no matter what they love their child enough to feed them. Formula feeding is hard! You have to get up, warm the water not in the microwave, measure the formula, stay up and feed the baby in the night, wash and sterilize bottles, and deal with common complications such as colic, constipation, and a tendency to get sick more often and stay sick longer. I have it easy! If Caleb happens to wake up for a snack, I just plop the boob in his mouth and we both go back to sleep. I guess the moral of the story is that if you have the chance to breastfeed, please do. You wont regret it.