Saturday, March 31, 2012

Judah Update: 3 Months Old

Faith requested pics of Judah and of course, your wish is my command, so here he is with one of his most adoring fans.
I think he adores her too. What do you think?

Judah looks just like a little Kyle, especially since they have the exact same hair.

My little baby tips the scales at 16.5 lbs. now. He's no light weight!

And all that fat is helping him sleep a long time at night! Last night he slept 11.5 hours! Yeehaw!! Mommy's a whole new woman!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Table Manners

We're in the middle of "Half Time" right now in school, meaning we only do half the work. It's not a full break, more like a "slow down" time. So I've taken the opportunity to teach the kids some new things, mainly: manners.
We've been watching one lesson each day from this Table Manners & Table Etiquette DVD I found at the library:

The first day we watched it, we learned in just 5 minutes what each piece of silverware is for in a table setting like this:

Who knew it was so stinking easy?
The next day, we made a three course dinner so we could practice our table manners and the table settings we had learned previously. I was so impressed with how quickly the kids picked it all up. Isaac and Daniel both pulled out their sister's chair before sitting down themselves, they wiped their mouths the proper way with their napkins, they scooped the soup the correct way from the bowl, etc. AND it was all fun to learn! (Especially since each day's lesson was only a few minutes long. ;) )

Thursday, March 22, 2012

25 Ways to Provoke Your Child to Anger

1. Lack of Marital Harmony (Genesis 2:24 and Hebrews 12:15)
2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home (Proverbs 29:15)
3. Modeling Sinful Anger (Proverbs 22:24-25)
4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry (Psalm 38:1)
5. Scolding (Ephesians 4:26-27)
6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline (2 Corinthians 1:17-18)
7. Having Double Standards (Philippians 4:9)
8. Being Legalistic (Matthew 15:8-9)
9. Not Admitting You are Wrong and Asking for Forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24)
10. Constantly Finding Fault (Job 32:2-3)
11. Parent’s Reversing God-Given Roles (Ephesians 5:22-24)
12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His or Her “Side to the Story” Seriously (Proverbs 18:3 & 17)
13. Comparing Them to Others ( 2 Corinthians 10:12)
14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk” (James 1:19)
15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child (Revelation 2:2-4)
16. Failing to Keep Your Promises (Matthew 5:37)
17. Chastening In Front of Others (Matthew 18:15)
18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom (James 3:17)
19. Allowing Too Much Freedom (Proverbs 29:15)
20. Mocking Your Child (Job 17:1-2)
21. Abusing Them Physically (1 Timothy 3:3)
22. Ridiculing or Name Calling (Ephesians 4:29)
23. Unrealistic Expectations (1 Corinthians 13:11)
24. Practicing Favoritism (Luke 15:25-30)
25. Child Training With Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent With God’s Word (Ephesians 6:4)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Raise a Chatty Baby

I'm going to revert back to my Speech Pathologist days for this post, since these are the skills I still love using, with my own babes.

When your baby coos, you have the perfect opportunity to teach them how to carry on a conversation. When baby says "nnn-guh", which is one of her first words, you repeat it. Just once, then wait. She'll inevitably say it again. Then you can repeat it again. That's practicing conversational turn-taking.
Then when your baby becomes a toddler and starts using a couple words, you teach her how to stretch those words into sentences, like this:
She says "Ducky!"
You say: "Ducky! Yellow ducky!" (Or big ducky, or loud ducky, or whatever. You just add one word to it.)
You keep doing this, adding a word or two or three to what she says. And this is key:
You ALWAYS repeat what she says correctly.
Yes, I know it's adorable that she calls her blankey "panky", but you're her model, so you have to say it correctly.
She says "Tup, tup!"
You say "You want your cup? Here's your cup! Here's your pink cup."

Try it. You'll have a verbose toddler before you know it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Favorite Baby Tutes

These are my favorite baby tutorials:

Baby Necessities

(I use this recipe, which is for regular detergent, but with Castille soap instead of Ivory. It's gentle on baby's skin, but powerful at cleaning. I've been very impressed with the results.)

Baby Accessories

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nature Study: Birds

Now that Daniel and Lydia are schooling, I get to re-read all the wonderful books I read to my big kids some years ago. I'm having so much fun strolling down this literary memory lane!
For nature study, we're reading The Burgess Bird Book for Children.

Are you familiar with Thornton Burgess? Oh you simply must get to know him! He knows all there is to know about animals (he also wrote The Burgess Animal Book for Children, and The Burgess Seashore Book for Children) and he's a great storyteller. These are no boring field books, oh no! They are story books! What more interesting way could there be to learn about animals?!
So, we read about Jenny Wren's house being taken over by Bully the Sparrow (Boy was she mad! But really, what did she expect? You just can't take off for six months and think your house will still be unoccupied when you get back!) and we're learning about their habitats, their appearance, their personality, and their diets.
While I read about the Sparrow, for instance, I have a picture of a sparrow pulled up on the computer for the kids to draw and color.
Then we jump over to this website and listen to the bird songs. This has been an extra dose of fun that I didn't do with the big kids. I hit play on the bird song and suddenly we realize that we are greeted with wrens every morning and just didn't know it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Don't Skip Crawling!

Did you know that it is vitally important to a child's neurodevelopment that they crawl as a baby? Read this:

And think about how this has affected my three Africans, given the fact that none of them were given the chance to crawl. They were carried until they could walk.

I've got three big kids now learning to crawl. And their brains are going to grow and develop as a result.

I Just Don't Feel Like Blogging

Whatcha gonna do about it? Huh?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Teen Issues

I've been reading several "how to parent teens" books lately and I've noticed something. At least 90% of the typical teen issues are school induced. Most, if not all, of the insecurities surrounding the teen years are caused by peer pressure. I was reading about how your six-year-old will hold your hand when you go places together, but your 9 and 10-year-old definitely won't. Um, mine do. My 12-year-old still holds my hand when we go places together. Nobody's telling her to be embarrassed by mom.

My 14-year-old doesn't come sobbing to me about every new pimple. Nobody's making fun of her pimples or making her feel ugly because she has a little bump on her nose.

Now I understand why all the homeschool moms of teens brag about how great the teen years are! I get it! They're maturing and you can talk to them like adults. It really is great!

I must say, however, there is one "how to parent preteens" book that I am absolutely loving. And despite what you might think of the authors of Babywise, I strongly encourage all moms of 8-12 year-olds to check this book out:

It teaches you how preteens think (or don't! lol), how they're changing and maturing, and how you can move them from obedience to responsibility. In other words, how to teach your child to think for himself. (If you're anything like me, you've been dying to know how to do this!)

I think you'll really like it.