Speedy is 2

August 25th, 2013 by Rachel

It is hard to believe that it has only been two years since Speedy came crashing into our lives, full of life, laughter and intensity. He is our little monkey, climbing on everything he can climb on, and once he stands up on it, yelling, “Ta Da!”

He loves dancing, running in circles around our living room, swinging on swings, climbing on things (did I mention this?), and reading books. He will sit and read books for a long time, often by himself and reciting much of the book (or at least the major word for each page). He also enjoys coloring (known as “green blue!” in Speedy-speak), and playing with trains on the “new” train table we acquired at our own garage sale. He loves all things Curious George, both books and the TV series.

It seems like in the last month, Speedy has had a verbal explosion. We can understand much more what he is trying to say these days, and he is putting together more and more words everyday. Just this morning, when I went to get him out of bed, he said, “ant bite, right there” and pointed to his hand (where there was no ant bite). The cutest things he says are “green-blue” for coloring, remembering the names of all the Thomas trains that came with the train table (he calls Thomas “Tom Choo Choo”), and he calls his sister “Eesey” now.

It is true what they say about third children often becoming the clown of the family. Everything Speedy does is met with giggles, repeats, and more repeats. He is turning into quite the little showman.

Speedy is so full of energy and at quite a demanding age. He has a need/want and it must be met immediately. He doesn’t understand abstract ideas such as “later” or “wait”. This can lead to lots of tantrums and crying when he sees my phone and wants to play with it, glimpses a snack in the pantry he wants or decides he would rather read books and play trains than get in the car. Not my favorite part about parenting a toddler, but he can be a lot of fun.

He sleeps about 12 hours at night and naps for about two hours during the day. He started climbing out of the crib a few months ago, so he now enjoys the comforts of a crib tent keeping him from climbing out. His favorite foods are typical toddler fare–nuggets, noodles, crackers and fruit, but he also really loves cauliflower (he calls it “flower-flower”), sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, peas, broccoli, green beans and other veggies. He can eat half a head of cauliflower at one dinner some nights.

Speedy, we love you dearly. You are so much fun, and I love to hear your laughter. We are so thankful for these two years with you, Bubby!

Homeschool Year in Review

June 22nd, 2013 by Rachel

For my records (and if anyone else is curious), I am doing a review of our homeschool year. Bud just finished his first grade year, and Sugar did Pre-K. We participated in our Classical Conversations community for the third year, and I tutored Bud’s class of 6-7 year olds.

Making a binder for each child with dividers for each subject was one of the best ways I organized the kids’ schoolwork this year. I roughly followed these suggestions. Next year, I will use 3-inch binders.

We also put a large whiteboard on the wall in the kitchen near the table where we do school. This was a tremendous help for reviewing memory work at home since Bud could read it, and Thomas and I could review more often. Thomas hung some showerboard with some little mirror hangers, and I think it cost less than $20. It has helped so much this year.

I made a simple schedule that I think helped us stay on top of the memory work and helped Bud and me with Memory Master review. Each day, we reviewed the current week’s memory work. On Mondays, we reviewed every week’s worth of Latin and Grammar. On Tuesday, we reviewed all of Geography and Science, Wednesday was CC, Thursday was all of Timeline, and Fridays we reviewed all of History and Math.

History – We read through Story of the World, Level 1 this year, much of which coincided with our timeline and history sentences in CC. We did activities from the activity book, but that slowed down a lot in the spring.

Geography – To augment our memory work for CC, we would read about one of the countries in Window on the World and pray for missionaries we knew in that part of the world.

Spelling – We completed All About Spelling Level 2 and most of Level 3 with Bud. I think this is a great curriculum, and I highly recommend it. I found that it worked best for us by introducing the new lesson on Mondays and then dictating 8-10 spelling words and at least two sentences every day as a review.

Reading – Sugar finished All About Reading, pre-reading, and we have been slowly working through Level 1 this spring. She is picking it up so quickly, but it was hard to find one-on-one time to work with her while Speedy isn’t in our laps. I really like this reading curriculum. With Bud, I used The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, and I think it is a great approach, but it was painfully dry for Bud. All About Reading is very multi-sensory, and it does a great job of keeping Sugar engaged in the lessons.┬áBud has been devouring books this year. He finished all the A t0 Z Mysteries, all the Magic Tree House books, and all the Geronimo Stilton books. We haven’t found as many books that he wants to sit and read for an hour like before, so he has some mandatory reading time for 30 minutes while Speedy naps and Sugar has a rest/nap time.

Grammar/Language Arts – We finished level one of First Language Lessons by Susan Wise, and this was a nice, easy integration of much of our grammar memory work with CC.

Math – Bud has been trucking through Saxon Math level 3. We have also found that spreading the lessons out over two days was the best for us. I introduce the lesson and then Bud does one of the worksheets. The next day, he completes the remaining worksheet. The lessons seem so long and take over an hour if we do it all in one day. We are most likely going to do Level 3.5 next year to help solidify concepts since he is a little young to move up to level 4/5.

Scripture Memory – We completed ABC Bible Verses. This was really great for both the kids, and we combined the scripture verses with handwriting practice. We also memorized Exodus 20 with our CC campus.

Bud also participated in a weekly art class and both kids took part in a local PE co-op.

Speedy is 18 Months Old!

February 27th, 2013 by Rachel

I have officially abandoned the monthly update for the Speedster. I had hoped to make it to two years doing it, but this poor third child will forever bear the shame of receiving a quarterly update for awhile.

Speedy is a very busy toddler these days. He is running now and it can take me a few seconds to catch him. He thinks it is hilarious to run away from me, and I need to stop playing chase with him because he doesn’t know when it isn’t a good time. He is proficient at climbing up playground structures and going down a slide on his belly. He thinks this step stool is a truck to sit in, not a stool. We showed him a video of a man falling from a dunk tank hire in Perth. You know, those seats hovering above a water tank where kids throw a ball at a target and “dunk” the man if they hit it. He laughed so hard, it’s clear from the reaction that he wants to try to dunk someone too.

He is fascinated by things that go–trucks, cars, buses, tractors, trains, etc. He talks about these thinks all day long. We took a field trip to a fire station earlier this month, and Speedy was so excited, he just ran around the trucks the whole time.

We have had a rough two months with Speedy. He got three molars through his gums (#4 is slowly working its way through now), and it has caused many fussy days and long nights. I never knew when Bud was getting a tooth until I saw it in his mouth. Sugar had a more difficult time, but it meant she woke up more frequently for a couple days during the worst of it. But Speedy takes the cake with teething issues. I tried everything I could think of, but thankfully, his daytime crabbiness is lessening and he isn’t waking as frequently at night. On top of all that, he had an ear infection earlier this month. Poor baby!

Speedy is talking a lot these days. Some of his words include: sock, shoe, pants, hat, eye, mouth, hand, tickle (this means belly), high (this means swing), tractor, truck, backhoe, trash truck, digger, dump truck, bus, car, sit, chair, yummy (said “me” when he is hungry), mine, nana (banana), cheese, fish, hot, ouch, no, momma, da-da, Ya-Ya (brother), Eess (sister), ball, b-ball (basketball), strawberry. He has other sounds/gibberish that he says for other things like a tongue-click that means cup, and he can communicate very well by pointing and such.

He will eat as much, if not more than his big sister at many meals. He has quite an appetite, and he snacks often throughout the day. I don’t know how I fed my other two without those baby food pouches. They are so handy when we are out and about! He still nurses 2-3 times a day.

Speedy keeps us laughing and smiling at his cuteness. I love this age and getting to hear more of what he is thinking about. He loves to dance if there is music on and will now watch a little of a movie, especially if it is about trucks. He even started singing some songs this month. You have to know what you are listening for because he only sings two words of them, but it is so cute. We sure love our little guy!

Speedy is 15 Months Old

December 3rd, 2012 by Rachel

Time is flying with Speedster. He has one speed–go, and he seems to do everything with a lot of gusto. He is so much fun these days and keeps us on our toes and in stitches, to use a few cliches.

We had pictures done with Shannon Morton last month, and I am in awe of her ability to get so many great shots with such a busy boy. More to come later.

Some new things for Speedy this month include:
-mastering climbing onto the coffee table (though I am trying to thwart this by putting him in bulky cloth diapers and tight blue jeans. It really works.)
-climbing ladders well including the big kids’ bunk bed ladder
-taking one nap most days (we had only one two nap day in the last week)
-mastering a wealth of animal sounds including crocodiles chomping, seals barking and whales singing
-new words: sit, car, backhoe, backpack, shoes. He makes a slurping sound for cup/drink and says “choo choo” for train
-blowing kisses with a big “Mwah!” to cars driving by or anyone saying good-bye
-still loving to read books and he will sit for ages if you are reading to him

Another milestone this month was that Speedy learned to sit in the shopping cart without standing up. Ever since he was about 8-9 months old, this kid figured out how to roll himself over in the shopping cart seat and stand up with the belt tightly around his waist. This led to me having to wear him on my back for every shopping trip (and have my ponytail tugged constantly). Anyway, I am enjoying not having a monkey on my back in the grocery store.

We have gone on several nature walks this month, and Speedy is content to ride in the Beco backpack for most of the time, and then he explores right along with the big kids, dragging a huge stick around just like them.

He bit Sugar on the arm last week. I think he has had enough of her pestering him and is asserting himself over her more.

He loves anything that goes–cars, trucks, trains, construction equipment, tractors, airplanes, buses. I let him watch a few little videos on the ipad so I could clip his fingernails, and now, if he sees the ipad, he starts whining and begging for “backhoes.”

We had a rough few weeks of sleep with Speedy with three or more night wakings some nights. Previously, he had one or two, which I could handle but three or more was taxing. I am not sure if it was caused by a low fever he ran for a day or two, the transition to one nap, or teething (he still only has 8 teeth), but whatever it was, he seems to have turned a corner.

He is making his sound for camel as we were waiting in line to pet one at the WorldFest earlier this month.

Speedy is 14 Months Old!

October 27th, 2012 by Rachel

And Speedy he is running, climbing on everything, and talking up a storm. He is learning something new everyday. Some of his latest skills include:
-climbing up the ladder of our fort. DANGER! We need to build some sort of barricade or he cannot play outside until he is 2.5
-giving high-fives
-signing and making a sound for “airplane”
-saying “Moo, baa, la, la, la”
-giving kisses and hugs on command
-sitting in big chairs for a minute at a time
-riding on Sister’s bike and being pushed around the block
-dragging random objects up and down the sidewalk

He spends his “free” time as I attempt to teach the older kids, cook, or clean the house reading books or slowly rearranging our entire house, one object at a time. Speedy thinks toothpaste should be in the laundry room, cups in bedrooms, and books in the bathtubs. I’m thankful I have two little helpers that have to clean up after him before they can have tv time. Mwah ha ha! (That was a maniacal laugh, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Speedy is making the transition from two naps a day to one nap. He will take a great morning nap, but then won’t nap in the afternoon, which is when Sugar naps, Bud has quiet reading time, and I get to fold laundry or nap in peace. So, we have attempted one nap a day more often this month, and it works better some days than others. He can do it every other day, otherwise he gets very crabby.

He loves to look at books. He also loves trucks (which is what he calls everything from cars to diggers to tractors). His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, fruit, crackers and broccoli. Broccoli is one of the only veggies he eats these days, and he will eat so much of it. Otherwise, he gets his veggies from baby food pouches.

Speedy makes some really adorable animal sounds. He will moo like a cow, pant like a dog, tweet like a bird, bang his chest like a gorilla, growl like a lion, and spit like a camel. It is so cute!

I really enjoy this age of toddlerhood where he is learning so much and able to express what he is thinking. Apparently, Speedy thinks about dogs, trucks, hats and Daddy almost constantly. The downside of this age of toddlerhood is the beginning of expressing his opinion by throwing mini-fits and throwing food off of his tray.

Speedy Video

September 17th, 2012 by Rachel

I just realized our computer has Windows Movie Maker, so this is what I did instead of folding laundry. Enjoy!

Speedy’s Latest Trick

September 17th, 2012 by Rachel

He figured this out all by himself. Since he is very fast and sneaky about it, we decided to move the chairs for now.

Speedy is 12 Months Old

September 4th, 2012 by Rachel

It is hard to believe that one year has gone by since Speedy joined our family. (Side note: I don’t think a week has gone by that someone hasn’t mentioned his birth story to me.) Speedy is a very happy baby, and he is starting to make his opinions known to our family much more these days through yelling, fussing, and throwing food off his high chair.

At one year, Speedy takes two naps a day, but is having more difficulty falling asleep some days for naps. I have to make sure he is awake by 7 a.m. to maintain that morning nap, and then I often need to wake him from his morning nap to maintain the second nap. I see a transition to one nap a day in the coming months, and while I enjoy the freedom one nap a day brings, I also dread that transition. I am also not sure how we will do much homeschooling when Speedy doesn’t take a morning nap as we currently get the bulk of schooling done during that time.

Speedy loves to run around, getting into things and displacing objects. I found the remote by our toilet a few days ago, my hairbrush in the pantry, and countless toys and shoes spread throughout the house. We have been spending more time outside in the mornings now that Speedy walks everywhere. At the park, a friend called Speedy’s wandering “ignorant mobility”, and I think that is a great description. He is always on the move, not always with a purpose, but moving. He loves to climb up the neighborhood park steps and go down the slide on my lap over and over again, between wandering around.

While he used to be a great eater and eat anything that I put in front of him, Speedy has become very, very picky the last few weeks. If it isn’t fruit (no bananas!), a cracker or some veggies, he is not interested and angry about it. He refuses to let anyone feed him with a spoon, so everything has to be finger foods. He also wants nothing to do with the self-feeding baby food anymore, which leaves him often cranky and hungry. I think it is less to do with being picky and more about not wanting to be confined.

Speedy loves to play with his siblings, and is enjoying Sugar’s antics more these days. They played “school” together in the laundry room for some time the other day. I found Speedy, sitting in his “desk” (one of the kids shoe boxes) and “learning”.

I decided it was time for Speedy to have a bit more of a drastic haircut, since the hair on his neck was getting very long and thick. Since I cut Thomas’ and Bud’s hair, I figured I would do Speedy’s in similar fashion: clippers. However, it was a bit more drastic than I wanted it to be, but we are getting used to it. He looks like quite a big boy these days. One of the pictures below shows how much hair was cut off.

Speedy’s Birthday

August 26th, 2012 by Rachel

Since we just celebrated Sugar’s surgery-versary, you might recall Speedy’s grand entrance into the world took place while we were in Austin during Sugar’s recovery. We celebrated our sweet boy’s birthday this weekend with grandparents.

As for gifts, he didn’t care much about them, but he loved tearing up the tissue paper.

Here he is, finally interested in one, no wait, that’s just a tag.

I made some “paleo” carrot cupcakes with cream cheese (not paleo) frosting for his birthday. None of my kids have ever eaten much (if any) cake on their first birthdays, but Speedy was an exception. He ate almost all the frosting about half the cupcake.

I think his favorite part was squishing it in his fingers.

Happy birthday, Speedy! We love you!

Speedy is 11 Months Old

July 25th, 2012 by Rachel

Eleven months is my new favorite age. Speedy is walking all over the place. He can mostly cross a room, but he often stops to steady himself on furniture halfway. He is steadier and stronger every day, but he is in a big hurry and has many face plants, but he just rolls over and starts up again.

Speedy finally figured out how to swallow finger foods this month. He loves feeding himself and will spend lots of time eating his meals. His favorite foods are soft fruits–bananas, pears, shredded apple, grapes, cantaloupe and melons. He loves diced sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, broccoli, and whatever meat we are eating for dinner. I just introduced some cheese to him this week, and it was a hit! He also figured out how to drink out of a sippy cup on his own. Hooray!

Speedy got two new top teeth this month, bringing his total tooth count to 6.

Everything on the sleep front is the same as last month–two naps, each about 1.5 hours long and in bed by 7 p.m., up around 7 a.m. (or we have to wake him by 7:30). He still wakes a couple times each night to nurse and back to sleep. He nurses three times during the day plus however many times he wakes in the night.

Speedy is the most happy, smiley baby I have ever seen. He loves being out and about. If I say, “It’s time to go ‘bye-bye,'” he will start shaking his little legs, shrieking and crawling/walking to the door. He loves “wrestling” and tackling pillows and people, playing “baby dentist” where he carefully sticks his fingers in our mouths and checks our teeth, and he loves to play peek-a-boo. He also enjoys closing cabinets and doors, digging through cabinets and climbing into them. He is quite the little dancer and can shake his hiney really well for someone who can barely stand on their own. Any beat–the dishwasher, washing machine, or music gets him going.

He says Mama, Dada, Ya-Ya (big brother), ball, bye-bye, nigh-nigh, yeah!, >hi, and if he sees his big sister, sometimes he says “Eeeessss” for her name. We love our little guy and can’t believe it has been almost a year since he joined our family.