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When I scroll through news feeds on FB it is mostly filled with ads, you-tube shares, quotes and generic pictures...fat, fat and more fat.  This is my attempt to reach more family (friends too) and to cut out the "fat" and share a little more meat. I will share it all, as failures are what I learn the most from and you will likely laugh the most at! My hope is that it makes you smile and you truly enjoy reading about my adventures with "These Two Boys"!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tukker's Birthday Party

Tukker's birthday party was a hit!  It wasn't the fanciest party we have ever had, but it was the most fun I have had at one of their parties yet.  This year Matt was away while I was planning, so to make it a little easier on myself I enlisted the help of a friend who just started her own business called  Pretty Little Parties. She did a lovely job(and I am picky). Between the two of us and some help from Pinterest, we came up with designs and ideas.   The biggest hit by far were the buzz light year gloves I had her make.  Each guest received their "Space Gear"(gloves) upon arrival.

 I never like trying to decide who to invite, so I invited everyone, planned to have it outside when our yard was shaded, and had each family grab a quilt from a basket to sit on in the grass. We had 14 kids RSVP...I think it would have been a disaster inside but, between the gloves, sandbox and play set it was very enjoyable.  

We also had a photo booth that was inside.  Because the party was outside it was overlooked.  Next time I will put it outside and more accessible to the other activities. I picked up fabric on clearance and just drew the props on extra poster board I found lying around.

The menu included, planet pizza, rocket fuel(lemonade colored green), galactic grapes, alien slime(blue and green jello) and cake of course.  The alien cupcakes were very easy and lots of fun to make.

Other kids and Tukker wanted to open presents, with that many kids my fear was that there would be meltdowns all over the place.  So I pulled Tukker aside and gave him the choice of opening the gifts with friends and sharing or opening them when everyone left.  He chose to open them with his friends, and did a wonderful job of sharing.  I think having to give out the Toy Story Pez at the end was a little harder, but he was so thankful his friends had come he was able to accomplish it nicely.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's Hard, I Need Help

Tukker turned 4 a couple weeks ago and has really been enjoying the freedom to do "bigger things." With that though, has come more frustrations and "I can'ts".  I want him to have the confidence that he can do anything, and "I can't" does not exemplify that trait. When he was just starting to talk we replaced it with, "It's hard, I need some help." I loved it!  We started with the least amount of help(verbal direction first) then added more assistance as needed.  This way he did as much of it on his own as he possibly could.  At the end he feels a sense of accomplishment that fuels him for the next new challenge.
I have had re-teach this concept the past couple of days. The Little Engine That Could is my favorite book on perseverance, and I love to use fun books to drive a message home.  I can already see an improvement in his confidence and attitude when working on something new.  I was just putting Brekkon down to nap, and asked him to load his dishes in the dishwasher(Its a 4 year old thing he loves to do) and he came running upstairs beaming, "Mommy I started the dishwasher for you!!"  I was nervous but excited that he had the confidence to try. (He has also mopped the floor with toilet paper for me as well, this is where I practiced patience and praised him for his thoughtful heart!)  
As a side note there are things that we have decided not to help him with until he is able to do them on his own...for his safety.  Below are the pictures of what he has been trying to do for 2 years(we would not help him get the car to the top of the slide) He accomplished this on his own right before turning 4.  At 2 he would try to push the car up the slide and say, "want to push it up, so I can "ide" down!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Adventure-Slowing Down

We went to Mt. Charleston yesterday to celebrate Memorial Day.  We packed a picnic lunch, the boys and Tulip(our new puppy) and headed out early...or as early as we could.  We thought it would be fun to do some hiking, biking and ride the chair lift up the mountain(bringing the bikes was a bad idea, we ended up walking them and carrying them most the way).  Both boys did really well on the trails and especially enjoyed gathering pine cones and balancing on the tree that was to the side of the hiking path. I have started to call Brekkon Turbo, because at times his slowness really tests my patience.  Today was his day, he was steady, focused, rarely feel and had a lot of fun.   

Through the hiking uphill and then down the steep hill after riding the lift up was a perfect learning opportunity for Tukker:  sometimes slower is better.  This was hard for him, because as most of you know Tukker runs...everywhere.  He always wants to race, be first and go fast.  I have not the slightest idea where he gets this from!  When he began to speed up and not pay attention he would fall.  He might trip over a rock or slip down hill because he was not focusing on the steps he was taking but the people who where in front of him. It didn't take long until you could really see the wheels turning in his head as he made more calculated decisions about where to step and go. He even picked up a stick to help support him as he navigated down the mountain.  I'm always excited when a learning opportunity is presented through natural consequences.  They really seem to completely comprehend after an experience like that.  

Brekkon Reads

I have never been a proponent of the classroom setting for young children, especially before kindergarten.  I do believe there are wonderful(much better) ways for children to learn at a very early age through play which is neither my concept or a new one.  Tukker has been reading books since he turned three and Brekkon just read his first word only weeks ago around 2 1/2.  It was totally unplanned, it just happened and I was so excited I had to get it on video.  Both boys learned their sounds and letters in the bath tub with foam letters.  When they where young 26 letters were way too over whelming, so I usually had about 5- 10.  I paired a word to each letter that was familiar to them but also had the primary sound that the letter makes.  M, D, B, and T were the favorites(Mommy, Daddy, Tukker and Brekkon) I would use animals for most of the other letters or things that where in books that were favorites, F was for feet (from the Foot Book).  They learned the sound and letter at the same time from word association.  The boys would laugh hysterically as we asked them to stick the M for Mommy on their head, or even stick one to ours and let them tell us what it was. Thus the game "Letterhead" was born.  Now that they know their letters and sounds we challenge them to give us words that start with the letter on their head or even build them on their own.  There is much better success when Tukker builds the words he wants to build....and I am just fine with that too!