Posts tagged toddler development

Preparing to Home School

When you are a stay at home mom or dad, everyone believes you have nothing but free time to get things done. Sometimes even I think I have a lot of time to complete random tasks, until I look back at the end of the day and see how much didn’t get completed. There is a reason why people make money for taking care of kids all day, it is a job, and can be demanding.

Yesterdays “work” those clouds below the helicopter are
all dots for kids to trace. K1 can’t. 

Quite a few months ago I planned to do some research online about home schooling. I have heard about a few hybrid programs where kiddos go to a school two days a week and are home schooled three days. That sounds like a good idea to me, and I wanted to learn more except I never seem to find time to look it up. Here I am several months later, and I finally STARTED looking at information about home schooling.

By started I mean, now I know that I want to attend a curriculum fair. I have never heard of such a thing. I want to do this before I need to, just to be sure that this is something that I can handle. It’s possible I might not be able to, ya know? I have been wondering if it is too much to consider with two kids.

When I told myself that I was going to start looking into homeschooling I also said that I was going to print out activity sheets for K1. I was thinking better to start now, then later. I finally did that on Sunday. Daddy was funny telling K1 that mommy decided she was starting school today.

Some of things that I printed out I am aware other homes with kids K1’s age already do. I just didn’t realize that some of the things in activity books we have were actually age appropriate. I just bought them because they were one dollar, not because of their content. They just always seemed to hard for her and I didn’t even try them. Like mazes. Just going and printing out pages was eye opening for me.

I learned a bit. I didn’t know that dot-to-dots and mazes lead up to writing letters. It helps with fine motor skills, in case you didn’t know too. I found a few free sites to print from. It was nice because for things like the dot-to-dot’s I had choices I never even considered. Such as numbers, capital letters, or lower case letters. Then beyond that, how many, 1-10, 1-20, A-G, A-M, a-h, or a-z, that kind of thing. The pages for handwriting also had different A is for _ choices. I tried to select three letter words so that she could learn about reading and site words at the same time. Not that I really know what I am talking about when I say that, but the idea sounded good in my head and that is what I went on. There really is a lot to think about and learn for both of us.

K1 is really good with letters, and okay with numbers. We have been doing dot-to-dot’s with her the past few days and boy is she a stubborn one. She randomly forgets what, let’s say a 5 looks like. Really? Mommy and daddy both get frustrated and at that point we decide she is done learning for the day and switch her over to coloring. She always freaks out until we suggest coloring. She is enjoying this right now, I just don’t want to make it a chore for everyone. At least not yet.

She is also having a hard time with connecting dot’s that aren’t numbered. I thought that would be easier!

Here are the sites that I used for free printable’s Handwriting, and connect the dot’s.

What were your kids preschool challenges? Got any great printable site suggestions?



Painting time!

I didn’t really realize how long it has been since I let K1 paint anything, until we set all this stuff up. I also forgot how much work it is to let her paint. That is of course until I did it again. It genuinely takes me longer to set up than it does for her to become disinterested, or distracted. Then I still have to clean it all up, and fast! Well, faster than they can get into the paint and get it everywhere anyway. *sigh* But she really enjoys painting, and he finished projects. She proudly points them out to everyone who will listen. 

This little guy is still a little too little to wield a paint brush. Soon, but not quite yet. I whipped out finger paints for him and the top of a pizza box.

My caption for these photo’s; “Mom, this looks …..


Why did I leave him in the white diaper cover? I am still trying to wash the paint out of it. Guess it made for cute photos.

“I need some of your paint now.”


 These two ladies are so cute together. Once they learned that there would be a painting activity, neither house heard the end of it (we’re neighbors). That is until we finally painted. I guess that means this is something special for them, and we should do it more often.

Big kids like being creative too. Somehow the little ladies and K2 didn’t mess him or his bird house up. That is a small miracle.



Time for the bird houses to dry and the ladies to get hosed off.

K1’s is that masterpiece hanging in the back. It has yet to find a forever home. For now it is resting on my counter. 

Last summer we painted a lot. I started letting K1 paint just after she was two. JoAnn’s made it easy for me. $1 bird houses and a tube of washable non toxic paint for 60 cents? Done. Each time I got two bird houses and a tube of paint in a new color. Under $5 craft, I’m all in. Too bad they don’t bottle patience, I could use a little extra (especially for clean up).

Big kid bird house unscathed by the littles. Don’t you just love his positive message? I hope that the birdies can read. They’d really be missing out if they can’t.

What is your go-to craftivity?


Dress Up Time And Costume Discounters

I recently realized little girls and boys like to play dress up. I was forced into this realization thanks to my nearly 3 year old daughter. I began to observe a trend every time I picked her up from child watch at the YMCA. She would have on a different princess gown every day. Then she started deciding she needed to wear a skirt, so she could prance around the living room saying “I’m a fairy.”

As a young girl I never played dress up, or at least I do not remember doing so. I didn’t have dress up clothes and neither did anyone else. So this somewhat came as a surprise.

I had already planned I to one day supply her imagination with dress up clothes, but thought the “need” was a year or more away. To facilitate the dress up play I decided we needed a box, tote, or trunk. I figured I would find something used and make it pretty, but then I found this;

It’s beautiful. A little smaller than I envisioned, but otherwise perfect. (good for uses after dress up play too)

Now to fill it with fun and imaginative things. That is where Costume Discounters come in.

As a family on a budget it is important for me to locate the best deal possible. Dress up clothes are no exception, and they can add up quick. I was excited to find their costumes to be affordable. I also noticed that they offer “deluxe” costumes that include accessories, which add to the values found on their site.

I selected the Meridia toddler costume for my daughter, K1. She loves all red heads because she has red hair too, (I say strawberry blonde) and princesses, oh the princesses. Even though she hasn’t seen the movie Brave yet I still though this would be great for her dress up box.

She couldn’t wait to open it

The face in the next picture is why I’m pretty sure I was right. She’s hilarious.

I loved that this dress is easy enough for her to put on by herself. To me that is very important. The last thing I want to do is give myself more work. Mommy’s to do list is long enough. The only part she can’t do by herself is the belt. She still thinks she “a princess” without it on, so it is no great concern that she can’t get that part on.

Also an important fact worth noting, the costume didn’t make her itchy, and it was very breathable. She leaves it on for hours at a time without complaint. I remember hating that about Halloween costumes as a kid. I love how soft and shiny the satin is. It is also great how well attached that little medallion with Meridia’s image on it is. Had this been cheaply made it would have already been torn off lying on the floor some where.

Even the packaging is fun to play with, ask K2

I am really impressed that for reasonable prices Costume Discounters carries a great quality product. I was also impressed with how quickly they fulfilled the order. If you have something specific in mind their customer service is very helpful. They even offer live chat, which is a great feature.

I know when you hear the word Costume your mind instantly goes to Halloween. Yes Costume Discounters can cover your Halloween needs. You should keep in mind they can also be your source for dress up/play clothes, themed birthday parties, or even holidays.

If your looking for a costume at a reasonable price I enjoyed our experience with Costume Discounters and would recommend you give them a try.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for special offers and daily entertainment.

This is not a sponsored post. Disclosure: I was given the costume to facilitate my honest review. I purchased the trunk and just wanted to share it with you. All opinions expressed are my own, and may differ from yours. I will always give my honest feed back. I received no compensation for this post.

Nap Time Struggles

Every parent knows the nap time struggles. At some point every child gives their parents a hard time with the idea of sleeping in the middle of the day. Even Especially if said child really needs it. They are extra rebellious then.

I read somewhere that allegedly by, at, or around the age of three kids can take or leave naps. K1 will be three at the end of April, so lately I have kinda been trying to let her take the lead in the nap department. I started this after two weeks of her keeping her brother awake at nap time, thus keeping mommy from doing anything other than refereeing  That was just a touch too much for me. I would honestly rather let go of nap time than struggle through all of that. (I know that is hard to believe being nap time is my only break and “me” time, but it’s true)

Letting her lead is really not working out. I really though that maybe all of the talking to herself, jumping in bed, kicking her feet, was because she did not need to sleep. Clearly we can all gather she does not want to sleep, but as it turns out, I believe she is still in need of naps. The trick now is how to stop her from fighting it.

The past few days we have been back on with napping. The first day was on the couch, and the last couple back in her bed like normal. K2 will pass out after literally 3 minutes, without his sister there to talk to, laugh at, and encourage jumping in bed. I have been waiting for K2 to fall asleep while distracting his sister quietly, and then let her into their room to nap. Yesterday, this worked like magic. Today? I thought K2 was sleeping, or he was and we woke him up. Remember the refereeing part? Yeah that again. Sitting at the top of the stairs, waiting out two kids who just need to see me to stay in bed and calm down, is not my idea of relax or fun.

Then there is that magical time when they are both asleep, and you want to go and turn down the volume on the 18 wheeler breaking on the highway 500 yards away, because it might wake them up. Even though you know a neighbor will slam a door, a dog will bark, or you mom, will do something silly like shower or drop a plate, ending all of the magical silence that nap time brings.

I really thought I was on the page of ending naps, but it looks like my little lady still needs them, so I will have to continue this careful dance of putting them down one at a time.

How does nap time work at your house? When did your children stop napping? 


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Vitamins Necessary

Vitamins. Today, we all know what they are. For a lot of homes they are common. In others they are optional, and for some they are non existent. Our home falls in the middle, optional. I wasn’t raised on, or with vitamins. We just ate food, drank water, and called it a day. Sometimes, I am great at taking vitamins myself, and others I suck. Like now, I regularly forget to take any vitamins. S does not regularly take vitamins either.

As you could have guessed I am not amazing at giving the kids vitamins either. There also seems to be a lot of discussion as to whether kids need them or not. Different doctors recommend different things. Mother’s all have different ideas and suggestions as well, that vary as much as their ages and parenting styles. Let’s add to that. Even if everyone agrees that children need vitamins, there are so many different types. They all have different ingredients, most of which I can not pronounce.

When my babies were newborns our pediatrician suggested giving daily vitamins for the vitamin D, due to being breast fed. I guess they don’t get that from breast milk. I found that it was possible to just give vitamin D, but it had to be ordered online. It was neither affordable or convenient. I was left with giving a teaspoon of vitamins mostly made up of things my child didn’t need. When they moved on to solid foods, there was no longer the vitamin pressure from the doctor. Instead it became “be sure he/she gets enriched cereals” like rice cereal or oatmeal. Monday we had a doctors appointment for K1. We changed insurance and wanted to get her a flu shot. They have to see her first, to begin care. Naturally at the appointment the new pediatrician asked if she was taking vitamins, which she really is not. The Dr then basically went on to say they weren’t really necessary if she eats red meat, but were necessary if she was vegan or vegetarian. At that point they are concerned.

You see my dilemma, right? We are neither vegan, or vegetarian, but we do not eat meat every day.

To give you an idea here is an example of what the kids have eaten the past few days;

Monday. Oatmeal with black berries for breakfast. Apple for snack. Scrambled eggs, french toast, and sausage for lunch. Oranges, and cranberries for snack. Teriyaki tofu and veggie stir fry for dinner.

Yesterday. Oatmeal with banana for breakfast. Strawberries for snack. Mac and white cheese with peas, tomatoes and kiwi, and a small piece of brownie for lunch. Roasted Chick peas for snack. Eggplant Parmesan with whole wheat noodles, and salad for dinner.

So far today. Oatmeal with banana for breakfast. Apple for snack. Peanut butter and jelly on wheat, with strawberries and avocado, and a small piece of brownie, for lunch. They will have roasted chick peas as a snack when they wake up from their nap. We will likely have Caribbean vegetables with beans and coconut rice for dinner. (also meatless)
We have not had a whole lot of meat recently. More specifically we have not had a lot of red meat at all since the summer. I answered the Doctor correctly. K1 does eat eat meat. We just don’t eat it that often. The only meat I think that we have had this month is breakfast sausage, bacon, and peperoni. I’m pretty sure those are not healthy lean meats. Like the doctor ordered.
I guess that all this means I need to get back onto the vitamin kick. I just don’t love all those ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and shoving them down my kids throats.
Any suggestions for a good toddler vitamin? What do you use, or do you use vitamins?


Developmental differences

My children are close in age. They are 13 months and 32 months. To do the math for you they are 19 months apart, so about a year and a half. I know this means that they will be on the same level sooner, and for longer. However, it also means that today, they are worlds apart.

You can take a look at the milestones here for an idea of what a 3 year old should be up to. (Which my daughter almost is)

Then look here to see what a 15 month old should be up to.

Cruising in to tear up the track

Some things are easy. It is easy to have the two of them play ball together. Somehow though, they both require my participation, and never want to share a turn. My daughter K1 is interested in building things with blocks finally. My son K2, in interested in tearing down blocks. You see how this is bad, right? The result blocks flying across the room. Either they were thrown, flung, or kicked. K1 has started throwing blocks directly at her brother now. That I assure you is a lot of fun for mom.

What else? Well I can not tell if K1 has an increased attention span. K2 tears up everything she tries to do. Also when I set something up for her to do and then entertain her brother, so he does not get involved, well then she is not interested in the activity. Even if she was interested in the beginning. Now that I am “playing” with someone, she wants it to be her.

Rolling around in the middle of the city.

Lastly when I try to separate them into two different spaces, by using a gate, or corral, there is always one of them crying. One of them not playing. It is not always the same child, but always the same result.

What am I looking for?

Websites, suggestions, ideas to try. Really any good option.

Pumpkin Fun

Do you have a toddler?

Want to keep them in pumpkin carving fun without the danger?


I used masking tape to cover part of the pumpkin in a chevron design, and let her paint all over. This way it could be cute and wouldn’t matter what color or where she painted.

This is what it looked like once I removed the tape.

Then I got a fun idea …..


Sparkly, gold, glitter. As good as candle light.

This was a great toddler project, and now she has a pumpkin to add to the pumpkin family.


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