Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hitting Milestones and Baking Bread


Check this out! Beads has been giving himself drinks completely on his own for a few weeks now and it's super exciting. He can walk around the house while downing his water, juice, and Pediasure like a boss whenever he wants, no matter what Daddy and I are up to. We love that he finally has this independence!

He's also been working on learning numbers. Sometimes he will identify a few but it's been harder for him than learning shapes/colors/letters. He wasn't thrilled that I wanted him to sit at a table; hence the melancholy look he gave me at first. We used these awesome bean bag numbers and I asked him to find the 1 (or 2, 3, 4, you get the idea) and put it in the bucket. He did try his best and worked with me for a good 20 minutes while Daddy and Sister practiced following directions in the living room (playing Once Upon A Monster with the Kinect). 
After Beads had enough of the numbers, he and I snuggled into bed and read together for a good long while....until I fell asleep. 


The rest of our last couple of weeks included Ballerina's Fairy Princess Day-Camp that she absolutely loved, the kiddos helping me make banana bread, playing outside in the rain with a wheelbarrow full of sand, gardening and dinner with friends, and a dentist appointment.

Reunited with ballet friends from last season's class!


Friends helping us with our first little garden

Dentist in Training...

Ballerina has wanted to be a dentist since she first starting talking and could tell us these things. So when appointment time rolls around every 6 months, she's ecstatic! Never cries, whines, or has a hard time with x-rays or cleanings. She even asks to go to the dentist just about every week and when I tell her it's not time yet, she gets upset. I wish I had her enthusiasm when I go and get my teeth worked on! Beads, on the other hand, hates anyone messing with his mouth, even Daddy, me, and his therapists. Granted, he did have cleft-palate repair surgery at nearly a year old so I know some of those memories are still in there. Mix that with the other experiences of not-so-fun doctor visits (ever had your ears deep-cleaned? Well, Beads will tell you - it's not pleasant), and possibly not understanding why we're even touching his teeth/mouth and he's bound to have some anxiety. 

He is growing up so much, though! For years now, they haven't been able to x-ray him because he would freak out about that plastic thing in his mouth while they took pictures. This time he sat on my lap and worked his way through the 4 photos, fussing just a bit between each one. He lost it after the last one was taken but that was just fine because he made it all the way through and we were DONE! Hopping out of the chair and getting a good hug made things much better. Such a big kid! He and Ballerina both got good reports and the dentist even sent Ballerina home with a mask and pair of gloves to practice with. As soon as we got home, that's exactly what she did. All of her dolls got check-ups with the scrubber, water, and air tools (3 straws), the explorer (bobby pin), and a Diego toothbrush. And Brother makes the best supervisor!

Oh! We hit up Goodwill this week, too. Thrift shopping has always been one of my favorite things to do. I love going to find books! If you're paying for it, you can't beat 50 cents or below for a book. Plus they always have at least a couple great teaching/student workbooks and so many fun vintage-y children's storybooks. I scored this one on pocket chart poems this time, along with a couple Science, Math, and a few Language workbooks, all for PreK-2nd grade. Beads doesn't do worksheets much but Ballerina likes when I work on them with her so I snatch them up when I find good ones. And of course I love the teaching guides, like this phonics poem  book.

I've had 2 big wall pocket charts for 6 months or so now that we've used on and off but here lately I've wanted to include them on a daily basis. These poems are perfect for that, and are super fun. It's always good for Beads to hear letter sounds even if he can't say them yet and Ballerina still has some issues with pronunciation. (Don't we all?) I get all stupid-Southern and drop endings to words I normally wouldn't when I'm nervously talking to people I don't know well. So we're all loving these. 

Something else we're loving?
Foil pack dinners! These are so incredibly easy and taste really yummy. Here's one version I made the other day:
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken strips per foil pack
Chopped red potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots
Diced red bell pepper
A few rings of onion
2-3 slices of butter on top
Salt, pepper, Nature's Seasoning as desired

Wrap each one up and put them on cookie sheets to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until the chicken's temp reads 180. 
Top with Colby/Jack shredded cheese.
Eat up!

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