I fail at wordless Wednesday being completely wordless. I admit that. Here’s our Halloween pictures… As hard as I tried, I absolutely could not get two happy children in the same shot. Sometimes it was hard to get two happy children at all. 😛 I’m considering using the last one as our Christmas card picture.
Nothing says awesome like a toddler working his individuality. Here’s an older picture of Norton wearing a Tots Bots Easy Fit diaper in Starburst… complete with rubber boots. Is it obvious that he picked out his own clothing?
Although this pattern is discontinued (it’s of the previous generation with bamboo instead of minky), you can get current Tots Bots Easy Fit diapers at Cozy Bums (Canada), Diaper Junction (US/Canada), Nicki’s Diapers (US/Canada)
I absolutely do not specialize in early childhood education. When I wanted to teach, I wanted them in high school. You know, at the age where they are fully housebroken, able to communicate, and have some reasoning skills. Since having Norton, though, I’ve found myself with an interest in some aspects of early childhood education. When dealing with his language delay, I had to learn things in order to help him and advocate effectively. But now? We’re starting to work on early reading.
I don’t read to Norton as often as Heather over at The Parenting Patch reads to Poppy. Some days I don’t read to him at all. Other days, we’ll read five or six stories. It’s whenever he comes to me with a book and says, “Read the story, Mommy?” Like most things we do, Norton has to set the tone and pace. If I try to set it, he rebels.
Most of our early reading activities surround Spot the Puppy books. They’re simple, fun books that appeal to Norton because he loves puppies in general. The language is simple; the illustrations are cute. In fact, Where’s Spot? was the first book recommended to us by the speech pathologists of Norton’s language delay playgroup that we added to our library. We started out using the book to get him to point to things. It started out with just getting him to point to the puppy, as Norton was never a child who would point to communicate what he wants. Then we started getting him to point to other things on the pages, like the boat, the bear, etc. Eventually, it progressed to him pointing to things and naming them, or counting the number of flowers on a page.
It only makes sense that we’d continue to progress with the same books that have been meeting his needs with every other aspect of his language development for early reading skills. One day, I decided to do an experiment. Norton knows his letters. He knows his phonics. A friend in another city has a son that’s a few months younger than Norton who is learning early reading skills at their preschool. So why not? I showed Norton the word Spot when we were reading Spot Loves His Mommy.
Then it clicked. He went through the book as we read the story and showed me “Spot” every single time. To check and make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke, we put the book down for a while. He ran off and played. We ate Rice Krispy Bats and did cool stuff. The next time we read Spot Loves Sports, he was still able to show me Spot on the page. We later progressed to his recognizing the word “Mommy” and will probably progress to “Daddy” later. It’s a start. Even better, it’s an early reading start that Norton is enjoying.
Did you teach sight words as part of early reading? How did you do it?
In honor of International Babywearing Week, I’ve decided to pull out some of my old babywearing posts. My favorite places to wear my babies were always out and about, so it was a guaranteed adventure.
When we finally got out of Chilliwack and headed back home, I had put the freshly laundered Snugli infant carrier and the ring sling in the back of the van. The husband had declared that we would not be stopping on the way home because we both wanted our puppies back. Surprise! We stopped at Hell’s Gate, so he grabbed out the first babywearing thing that he could find. I strapped on my ring sling carrier, put Norton in, and began my journey of babywearing in Hell’s Gate. Babywearing in Hell’s Gate is kind of a necessity.
I suppose I should start by explaining what Hell’s Gate even is. Hell’s Gate is a narrowing of the Simon Fraser River in BC, and it got its name because of how treacherous the river is to travel by canoe. The river narrows in that gorge to 110 feet wide between solid rock. The explorer Simon Fraser described the area in his journals as travelling through “the gates of Hell” and suggested that no man ever try that again.
Now, Hell’s Gate is a wonderful little road side destination. You take an air tram down to a little land strip almost at the bottom of the gorge on the opposite side of the river. It’s a beautiful view. However, because it’s in an air tram, there’s no way to have even an infant umbrella stroller. Well, I suppose maybe you could fold it and carry it with you in the tram, but it’s really not even entirely convenient for something small like an infant umbrella stroller. Babywearing is much easier.
Anyway, once you’re down in the gorge, there’s a cute little shop, a fudge shop (which offers postpartum diet friendly sugar free fudge, among other things, a restaurant, cool things to take pictures of, and this awesome suspension bridge that goes over the river.
The view over the river is absolutely a delight. Here’s a picture of Norton in his sling with me at the bridge.
As far as road trip stops go, this was a rather nice one. Norton slept pretty much the whole time in his sling, and Andy and Brittany were rather cooperative. (Brittany was also rather appreciative of the young German guy who was there for a summer job to improve his English. We’re still teasing her about finding a German.)
One thing for sure, though: babywearing in Hell’s Gate is the only way to go with a baby. What was your favorite outdoors place for babywearing?
Originally written June 26, 2010.
I have been struggling with potty training Norton. There are days that he goes to the potty and it’s no problem. Then there are weeks when he fights, refuses to go, holds it for eight hours at a time, begs for diapers, and does anything he possibly can to block potty training. A couple of weeks ago, I left a status on my Facebook page about taking Norton to the hospital. He was peeing and little drops of blood were showing up in the toilet. His little penis (or what he calls his pee pee… with no encouragement from us) was just not right. We ultimately got a diagnosis of balanitis. [Read more…]
There’s a reason why it says “Beautiful British Columbia” on our license plates. We’ve got places like Helmcken Falls. Then, of course, there’s the every day beauty that’s within an hour of my house. Salmon Valley is one of those places. My in-laws have been spending weekends out at a little place in Salmon Valley for several years. Sometimes we go out to visit them, spending our afternoons on the porch and watching the kids play.
One of the big draws of Salmon Valley is the Salmon River. Like its name suggests, it’s a salmon habitat, so there’s a fair amount of environmental protection that goes on. In the winter and early spring, the river freezes and becomes a raging monster that will drag things away. By the end of summer and the beginning of the fall, the river waters are low and the current is gentle.
On one of these gorgeous days, we spent the afternoon visiting the in-laws at their little hideaway. The kids were able to play in the river.
Norton had a wonderful time. He was able to throw small rocks into the river and watch them splash. Next year, maybe his daddy or his grumpy will teach him about skipping rocks. The big thing that was emphasized was safety: small rocks, not near his baby sister.
Eudora was having the time of her life. She had a small cache of toys to play with and took great delight in filling her bucket with mud. We built up a little cove of rocks around her to keep her toys from floating off in the gentle current.
Eudora’s grandma was sitting beside her in the water. They had a special bonding moment when Grandma filled her hand with mud so that Eudora could add it to her bucket. (Eudora is clearly not afraid of getting dirty.)
Have you ever toured British Columbia?
Safety notice: No, my children are not wearing life jackets. There are a few reasons for that. 1.) The water where they were playing was extremely shallow. I went the furthest in so that I could get better pictures, and still never went more than mid-way up my shin. 2.) There were three adults to supervise two children, so none of them were more than a couple of feet away. 3.) I was more concerned about my children getting brave and attempting to float with a life jacket on… and thus floating down the river… than I was with them drowning on the shallow banks.
There are some things in the world that can make me an angry mother. I readily admit that I have a bit of a temper, and things can bother me. However, one area that seldom brings out the angry mother within is retail staff.
You see, I worked in a grocery store through high school and college. I know that customers can suck. As such, I usually cut retail and wait staff a lot of slack. Usually. Today, it was a cashier that brought out the angry mother. [Read more…]
It took a while for Norton to show affection to me. It’s really only been since Eudora’s birth that Norton has been inclined to show me any affection at all. Now, though, I get lots of kisses and hugs. I know that I always make sure that he hears the words “I love you” at least once daily, though it’s probably more than that. [Read more…]