Sunday, July 18, 2010

One more highlight...

Guess who went pee-pee and poopy today on the potty for the first time ? Drum roll.... ISAAC!

Over the past few weeks, he really showed strong signs of being ready. I'm definitely not one to push the potty-training issue and certainly didn't want to draw it out for months and months. Isaac knows that when we get back from the beach, it's potty-training boot camp time! He's been very squirmy when he needs to go number 2. We've put him on the potty a few times when we knew for certain he had to go. He seemed a little timid. But today Matt made him sit there until he went because he was just in so much pain from holding it. (Such a stubborn one... wonder where he gets that trait? He he!) He finally relaxed enough and was so proud of himself.

We're throwing him an ice cream party to commemorate such a monumental milestone and to encourage his own initiation of going on the potty. So long diapers. Hello big guy underwear!

Myrtle Beach!

We are chilling at the beach this week with Matt's Dad's family. His grandma, Loyce, and two of his aunts live here. What a great life, right?! The whole family is renting a beach house right on the beach, and we're essentially having a great big slumber party. The kids are loving their time together. Watching them play and interact brings us so much joy.

Isaac did wonderfully well on our drive. He is such a good traveler; he's always been a good "car baby". I'm so thankful that he doesn't mind a long ride! His mama and daddy needed to stop a few times for potty breaks. Okay, coffee breaks, too!

We did have one scare, in which I thought my heart might jump through my chest. We came exceedingly close to getting into a serious accident on the way here. On the highway, someone's engine blew, which created a thick, foggy smoke. We could not see anything. We maintained our lane, but a humongous RV swerved into the middle of the road, and we could not see him. Praise the Lord that Matt was driving and had quick reaction time. We literally missed nailing the small concrete median by inches and are so fortunate that we didn't collide with the RV or any other vehicle. On our way out of Dayton, we prayed specifically for the Lord to be our hedge of protection and hem us in on every side. We know He protected us and kept us safe in unsafe conditions. It reminded us that He truly hears our prayers and has His hands on our lives. All of the time. We're here safe and sound, soaking up as much sun as possible and enjoying our time together as one family. Here is a recap of our first day at the beach!

Matt put Isaac in this raft so he could investigate the seashore.

Silly boy! We don't eat seashells!

Matt's brother, Chris, was really into building his drip sandcastle. He is very protective of his creations.

Our nephew, Derek. He is the poster child for cuteness and is super sweet!

Our water-boy nephew, Austin. He and Derek are brothers. He loves to boogie board!

Grandma Loyce is hiding.
Waterfall on Isaac!

Our niece and nephew, Alex and Kory

There she is! I'm not kidding you at all when I tell you that Grandma is the sweetest, kindest, most joy-filled person I know. I'm serious. You just have to be around her for a few minutes to feel her love radiate for Christ and others . She is a treasure!

My sweet lovin' playing with the beach toys!
May we stay here forever? I love beach time! Hope you all have a great week, too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Turtle Boy

This is how I found Isaac this afternoon!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Food Dehydrator Giveaway!

Passionate Homemaking is giving away a nice food dehydrator. Simply visit her site and leave a comment stating why you would love to win it and how you would use it. It's worth a shot!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We Heart Camping!

Our first overnight wilderness excursion proved to be both successful and exciting. I must admit, I was slightly hesitant to sleep in a tent for two evenings. Not because I'm scared - I'm no sissy! I simply wanted to get adequate rest, and lets face it, air mattresses and birds chirping all night do not accommodate those desires! I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how much I enjoyed the wild outdoors. I slept relatively well and only woke up when Matt said, "Trace, Trace! Here, put this on your head!" He was afraid his sweetie was getting cold. Good intentions, right? I love the way he looks out for Isaac and me even when it means interrupting our peaceful sleep! Isaac loved sleeping in the tent and told us that was his favorite part about our trip. Truth be told, I actually can't wait for our next camping trip. If it weren't so hot and humid, I would plan something for this month. Fall is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, so I think I can wait it out a couple more months.

Here are a few highlights of our trip:

One of my absolute favorite pictures of Daddy and Isaac!

We had a picnic and let Isaac play for a while.
After settling into our campsite, we hopped on our bikes and explored the area.
Isaac is ready for bed and seems to like the tent!

They light up my life!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 (and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!)

If you have never read Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 by Bill Martin Jr., then you must! What a great children's story. Isaac reads this book probably ten times a day right now. At this moment, it's his absolute favorite book. Today he read it to me completely by himself. It was one of those times I wish I had the camera ready because it was seriously adorable. He did not miss one word and read it fluently with correct intonation. (Granted, his reading right now is more accurately called memorizing,!) He is my "information lover" child, soaking up words, language, numbers, letters, sounds, details, etc. He is a natural communicator, and this book is wonderful for engaging his mind during this stage of his life. Here are a few things I appreciate about this book and how you might use it to teach your child and interact with him or her throughout the day:

* It's sequential - the numbers begin with zero and go up to one hundred.
* The pictures are bright and cheery.
* Zero doesn't have a place and is sad. He doesn't "fit in". We can talk to our kids about how this makes them feel and what they can do to show love and kindness to everyone. It's no fun to feel left out. (Isaac covers Zero b/c he says he doesn't like that he's sad! Then, he gives Zero a kiss - melts my heart!)
* Zero finds his place at the end of the book!
* Combing literacy and math stimulates both sides of the brain.
* You can ask deeper level questions as your child's comprehension grows. I'm sure the possibilities are endless!
* The cadence and rhyming patterns help children develop strong fluency skills, not only in reading but also in verbal communication.
* The numerals, zero to one hundred, are located in the back of the book for reinforcement. As children learn to count and read them, they gain confidence in their new abilities. The "light bulb moment" happens, which makes them feel good about themselves. (And it makes us, moms, smile!)
* You can talk about the numbers throughout the day, what problems occured, and how they resolved them.
* As a craft idea, you can make an apple tree (all of the numbers climb the apple tree) and have your child post the numbers and apples onto it.

The sister book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!, is also exceptional. It parallels this book with the alphabet. Isaac equally enjoys this one, but we didn't check it out from the library this time. Yesterday he spotted it in Barnes and Noble, and we read through it twice. This book is great for developing phonemic awareness. The full alphabet, both upper and lower case, is in the back of the book as well.

If you're familiar with these books, please share how you use them to teach your children. I think they are just too cute! Do you have any favorite children's number/letter type books?

Also, our local library has a database called Bookflix where you can read these books online while watching a video of the illustrations. They have all sorts of genres and plenty of selections. If you want the link, email me, and I'll help you get there! Happy reading!!!!