Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sorting It Out At the Farmers Market

Today Vada and I worked on the Alphabet. how do you do such a thing with a two year old? Well, today her and I sat on our living room floor and went through flash cards. Yes, she is a busy bodied little girl but she is also a sponge and I can keep her attention for quite awhile. So we went through the flash cards and then we sang and danced to the Alphabet song sung by no other than yours truly. Its pretty simple stuff here.

After working on the alphabet we broke out the Farmer's Market Sorting Set by my favorite place to buy toys, Learning Resources. My parents ordered it for her for her birthday. Such. a. perfect. gift! The suggested age is 3+ but it's completely safe with supervision and there are only a couple of smaller pieces to be concerned with in the first place.

Since this was our first time using the set I let Vada explore the majority of the pieces while I took everything out of their bags and put the color label stickers on the baskets.

There are five pieces of fruits and vegetables for each color and five colors total.

I started Vada off with one color, red and I just asked her to put the red ______ into the basket. After she did all five of the red foods I added a second basket, leaving the red next to the new one.

With the second basket (purple), I repeated the task that I had origanally gave to her with the red basket.

Finally I added a third basket (orange). The task was still the same as the first two baskets, nothing had changed other than the color and number of baskets sitting in front of her. I wanted her to hear me speak the name of the fruit or vegetable as well as its color and then I wanted her to be able to pay attention to the task that I gave her and to identify the difference in color. Well, that was my initial goal. Not being a teacher or having any real clue as to what I was doing, I think that it went really well. Vada is great at listening and visually paying attention. What I saw today was not Vada knowing her colors but her watching where I was pointing to and listening to what I was telling her to do. When I would point at a basket asking Vada to place the object that she was holding into the basket, she knew what I was talking about, even if she didn't know what exactly it was that she was holding. And to me, that's a great place to start!

After the third basket Vada had had enough color sorting and because I want this to be a fun and positive experiences I was fine with that! I did however through in a final learning lesson when I brought out the ziplock and asked Vada to help me pick up. not only was I teaching her to clean up and put things into something, as she was grabbing a fruit or vegetable I would say "Vada, you grabbed an purple onion, that's a vegetable. Thank you  for helping Mommy pick up, now can you please pick up another?" Oh yes, we are working on manners too! Isn't it funny how everything we do we teach? This all probably sounds so simple to everyone but to Vada, or any toddler, this is work and is a learning experience. It kind of amazes me. Anyway, I have found a lot of great learning ideas and I have had so many responses to my request for more ideas. Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts and ideas with me, these past two weeks have been full of fun learning activities!

And last but not least, thank you to my parents Augie and Suzan for this great learning toy as well as the other two that you sent for Vada! They will be well used and are greatly appreciated! We love you !

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Sign's

I have already posted these on the page above that is titled "Vada's Signing Video's" but I thought that I would share them again here, just to make sure that they don't go unnoticed. I am so proud of my sweet signing girls! I am especially proud that my baby/toddler is communicating with me through signing.  So naturally, I do want to share...

*** On a quick side note, Does anyone know if when you update your pages if it shows up on the dashboards of your followers blogs? Im curious because I have never noticed anything other than direct blog posts and I know most of the writers that I follow have extra pages linked to their blog.

Vada signing "fish" on 3/24/12


Vada signing "Daddy" or "Papa", she calls Justin, her father both names. This video was done on 3/21/12


Vada and Kiliegh doing the sign for "Poop" on 3/24/12

Vada and Kiliegh signing "please" together. This one is a work in progress. Vada actually does the sign on Kiliegh and not on herself. However, Vada will sign "please" especially when she wants something and doesn't fully know or remember how to communicate what it is that she wants. This video was done on 3/24/12


Vada signs "potty". This too is a work in progress. She is trying though. Her thumb should be in between her pointer and middle finger and her hand in a fist. Once you have your hand in that position you shake it back and forth. This video was done on 3/24/12.

Vada signing "hungry". I tried to get her to do the sign for "eat" but she wasnt having it. We worked on many signs this morning and I think that she was tired of it. So this one is of her doing "hungry". The video was done on 3/24/12


If you haven't clicked on the page of "Vada's signing videos", you should go check it out. There is less than a dozen clips so far but as you can see with these videos she is quickly learning and she already has several other signs that she can do while fully comprehending the word in itself, getting her to do the signs on demand however can be the tricky part. :)

Also, just to clarify the video page... I am not doing it with hopes that someone will look to me for video advice in learning sign language. Please don't. I watch Signing Time with Rachel Coleman almost religiously with my children, we have all of her video's and her songs are stuck on auto repeat in my brain-- so if your looking for advise, start there. The only reason that I personally share Vada's videos of her doing new signs is that I am one proud mamma and I think that sign language is an amazing opportunity to communicate with your child before he or she can vocally express themselves. 

Car Seat Confusion Pt.2

Some of you may have read my post last week called Car Seat Confusion as the title of this post clearly puts it, this is part two... more. confusion. More anxiety over something that should be small and simple, but is not.

After finding the correct size/age/weight limit on Vada's infant car seat I became kind of excited about the possibility of putting her into her "new" (new as still in the box and never used new, but old in the sense that it was bought over a year ago and has been sitting in the same corner of our basement since the day I purchased it) car seat. I brought the new seat upstairs, took it out of the box and placed it on the living room floor, just to see what Vada would think about it and you know what? She seemed to really like it, which makes me think that she also needs one of those child sized reclining chairs--seriously! Anyway, I waited until Justin got home and left the final decision up to him. Should we change Vada over to this new seat meant for older and more distinguished (aka "larger" babies)? He said yes and took it out to our van. About a half an hour later he came back into the house, slightly frustrated and slightly on edge because he was more afraid of my reaction than I think he was frustrated at the situation...

The situation was this..., I was all for the new seat. I was. Change can be good. It can simbolize growth and milestones that are met. In this case change meant exactly that and it also meant a new sweet seat for Miss. V herself. The problem was that I still wanted her rear facing. The seat that I bought said the seat would sit rear facing just fine, only it didn't. If you look at the first two photo's you'll see a sight that should be very familiar to any parent and that little silver ball and that green area in the middle is the cause for this new confusion. When the seat is in a rear facing position that freakin' ball goes into the red. Red as in "stop", "do not move forward, do not pass go" and certainly "do not collect your two hundred dollars!"

So Justin switched the new seat into the forward facing position and I had to accept it because what else could the man do? No seriously, Im asking... is there something else he or I could do to get this seat into a rear facing position? Am I over reacting here? Maybe a little? I mean I had both of my older girls facing forward as soon as they turned one. It's just that I know better now-- you know?  

I may have not liked the whole idea but I think that little Miss sure did. At first she was all like "what the heck" (her words not mine) and I was all like "your big now and Papa says..." then she was all like...

 Okay, okay so that whole conversation never really took place and yes I need some serious sleep right about now but she does like her new seat and for the most part, I do too. 

I have this mirror in my van that is above my rear view mirror and when I look into it I can see the whole inner van, well everything behind me of course. It's nice looking into Vada's sweet face. It's nice to turn around at a stop light and babble to her about anything and everything and watch while i listen to her ramble something back to me in return. I am just a worrier im sure...

The main thing that concerns me, besides the seat facing forward, is Vada's poor neck. When she falls asleep it just doesn't look right. The way it looks may have a little to do with her lower tone. I remember J and K looking uncomfortable when they were asleep in their car seats too but with the AAI possibilities I am concerned that she doesn't have enough support for her neck. What do you all think? Here's two thoughts. 1. I think that the fire department men are suppose to be knowledgeable in car seat safety, if not I know of a pregnancy center near by that it. Maybe I go to one of these places and have them check it out. 2. The seat came with a cushion-like pad that is typically used for smaller children-- maybe I try using that? My thought with the cushion is that its not going to stop her neck from going so far forward like in the third to last photo that I have shared here. I just don't know.

Nope. This looks neither comfortable nor safe.


What did you do this WDSD (World Down Syndrome Day)? My Mother in-law as well as my girls and I headed over to Famous Dave's to celebrate. GiGi's Playhouse of the Quad Cities was having a fundraiser of sorts, up to 20% of each ticket was being donated from Famous Dave's to our GiGi's. How cool are they?

Not being the biggest fan of fleshy foods I was a little apprehensive but it was for a good cause and it turns out that Famous Dave's has some kick butt food! Seriously delicious! 

Jasmine order a full rack of ribs with full intentions of finishing them all off on her own...NOT! But she did order a full rack and brought home the left overs for Justin to have. She was a little embarrassed about the amount of food that was placed in front of her and tried to enplane her order to our servers but they knew what was up and gave her a hard time about it. It was all in good fun and made the night even more enjoyable. I love meal times that are full of laughter!

There was this lady at famous Dave's that night, "Zany Janie", who was making the most amazing balloon animals that I have e.v.e.r. seen. Jasmine and Kiliegh both received one. 

It was a fun night and it seems that we had a nice turn out as well which is great. Our youth leader from our church surprised us and shared the beginning of our meal with us which still makes my heart all warm and gooey. (I just love our church family, each and everyone of them!) We had our pictures taken and I got these very cute photos and last but not least we celebrated Vada and every other individual who share having that extra magical chromosome in common.

A couple of days before WDSD Justin's parents brought over some of our things that we had left behind from Vada's birthday party. One of those things was a bag full of balloons. The girls had been driving me crazy with them because they kept leaving them around and I was scared that Vada would end up with one stuck in her throat (it happened to my baby cousin when I was younger--scary stuff!). Anyway, I had had it up to here (picture me reaching for the sky) with the balloons and said enough was enough. Before we went out to eat i combed the house for the remaining death traps and thought that I had done a very fine job at getting them all but when we came home, after the girls were in bed and fast asleep, I found this...

Made by Jasmine.

Who never said a word about my balloons being a hazard rant.

And I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty in her words. She makes me proud but im still sticking with no more balloons!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweet Meat Water Baby

After Vada, Jasmine and Kiliegh finished playing in the neon colored pasta we got out Vada's birthday gift from Grandpa Jim and Grandma Annette (who Vada was named after). This was our first time playing with the Vadas new water table and today was the perfect time to break it in.

Vada has always loved being in and playing with water. When she was sick and swollen from the steroids I would give her long baths and you could see in her face that she would feel so comforted. Now she just finds it fantastically fun!

Apparently, that sweet meat (what Grandma Suzan calls the rollie pollie places on babies) of Vada's was saving some noodles for later!

Kiliegh was also very excited to get this table out and set up. Like, really, really excited! Looking back at the day I think that Kiliegh just wants the warm weather to stay and maybe even rise a little so she can go splash in the pool! Not ours silly, you need an actual yard for that! I mean our local pool!

Vada and Kiliegh had fun together while breaking in the water table and I enjoyed watching their interactions. I am wondering if this summer may include me sitting back with an "umbrella drink", collecting the warm rays of the sun, all while catching up on some leisure reading and while watching my children play (because I have mad multitasking skills,)happily together... Nah!!! Even if this could be a reality, that's not really me... but an umbrella drink does sound tempting..., so does sleep! Got to go!

Thank you Grandpa Jim and Grandma Annette for being fantastic Grandparents and parents and thank you for this really fun water table! Vaders loves it so!