Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day, Etc

My fourth Mother's Day (fifth, if you count the one when I was pregnant) is safely under my belt, and as far as Mother's Days go, it was a pretty good one. We aren't the type of family to go all out for these Hallmark holidays, so Sunday was definitely in keeping with that tradition. M. let me sleep in (though I still got up by 7 am - our house is like a sound column, and every shriek the kids make travels right up to our bedroom), and made me coffee. Then we headed off to Bob Evans for a relaxing breakfast with even more coffee (yay!), and a Belgian waffle for me in honor of M.'s recent trip. Was it a fancy restaurant? No. Did I care? No! With kids, you really need a place where it's OK to have bits of pancakes and pineapple strewn about the floor, and plenty of other noise to drown out the noise your own angels are making. So this was the perfect venue, AND they even gave me a single pink rose as I was leaving - score!

Lucy fell asleep on the way home, so we hung out there for a couple of hours until she woke up, then headed off to Best Buy to get my mother's day gift - an iPod Touch! I have been mocking of the iPhone/iWhatever mania - people are WAY too into their gadgets. But my ancient, beloved iPod Mini (light blue! 4 GBs! Very outdated!) was on its last legs, and pretty much worthless when it came to any workout longer than 12 minutes (roughly the length of time it took the fully-charged battery to run out). So M. talked me into getting a Touch instead of a nano, because of the apps! The apps! A word I derise (see mocking, above). But still, some of those apps could be useful, like calorie-tracking, and anything else I might want to do in the precious few places that have free Wi-Fi around here. So I caved, and said Touch was purchased along with a new armband. And I must admit, I really like it. It is so user friendly! 2 minutes after opening the box, and I had it synching to my computer and was downloading some of those crazy apps.

Post-lunch, I got my best gift of the day (sorry, iPod!) - M. and Finn went out and did the grocery shopping, one of my least favorite weekend chores, while Lucy and I both napped. Of course, as a result I have no idea what I'm making for dinner the rest of this week, but the nap was totally worth it.

That was basically the end of my holiday, as once Finn got home and woke me up, it was time for the usual Sunday evening rush of dinner, homework, picking up the tornado-hit house, etc. Not to mention a somewhat cranky Lucy thrown in to the mix. Though we did manage to sneak in a quick walk around the neighborhood with the kids, and I snagged a run in the evening (excuse to try out the new iPod - worked well once I figured out how to disable the "Shake to Shuffle" feature - a stupid idea, IMO).

The day was, in sum, great. Could only have been improved by the company of some of the other mothers in my life, like my mom, my grandmother, and my sisters. Oh well, maybe next year.

Abrupt topic area change here. I'd like to work with Finn on his fine motor skills and preparing him a little more to learn to read. I don't expect him to actually read yet, but I'd like to encourage him more in gaining better control when he practices writing his letters/drawing, and to become more familiar with the sounds different letters make, the concept that letters make words, etc. I'd like to do it as fun activities/projects we can do on the weekends, because we both get bored of the rote practicing he does for school. I have a couple of ideas I've gleaned from the internet, but there are just so many resources out there and it's hard to know what is in line with what I'd like for us, and what would be a waste of time. Do any of you have recommendations of books or activity/craft sets you have found useful AND enjoyed using with your kids? I'm not really interested in anything that involves watching a video or playing a handheld game, as I think he does enough of the former and I don't really want to encourage the latter. But I'm open to just about anything else!


  1. I got the recommendation for Hooked on Phonics from Sarah and the Good Squad and the boys have really enjoyed it. On Amazon, you can find the pre-school set for $20. It does come with a computer game along with it, which I actually like. The boys also loved the DVD LeapFrog Letter Factory.

    On the ipod app front, my faves are:
    * facebook
    * Words with Friends (scrabble!)
    * This American Life - $3 for EVERY episode ever!
    * Flickr

    The kids faves are:
    * DoodleJump
    * DressChica
    * ABCMatch (this is great bc you match the upper case and lower case letters to each other)
    * iWriteWords (another great one, tracing letters)
    * Scribble

  2. you need to get him one of those triangular thingys to slip over the pencil, etc. and that will help him learn to use his fingers correctly while using a pencil,etc. I bought them for you guys but I think I got them from either Linda or another teacher friend. Ask Ysson if she can help.

  3. Thanks for the app recommendations, Laura. And I did think about Hooked on Phonics, so I will definitely check out their preschool set.

    Mom, I went online at one point to search for pencil holders/positioners like the ones we used - I think I found some, may have to order them. Holding his pencil correctly is something Finn definitely struggles with [of course, since he's only 3! I'm realistic :-)].

  4. That sounds like my kind of Mother's Day! Seriously.

    P.S. Love the name of your blog - very clever :)