Monthly Archives: February 2007

Too much screen time….


Tiger and I are having too much screen time (I say as I type at the computer manically updating the blogg ;0))

Today has been a bit yelly and screamy and lovely and agravating….one of those extreme kind of days.

Tiger was helpful this morning when we had a mad rush to get the recycling and the dustbins out before the men came or be left with this weeks rubbish.  We played leaping about on a continents twister style game and he knew Asia, North America, Australasia and we reminded ourselves of the others.

He then put on Scooby doo whilst I was getting Ot dressed upstairs and I checked my emails and caught up on a few (normally we do not watch TV in the day, but recently TV and Computer seems to be creeping in more and more…..)

We then did a heap of JCB playing, sawing and general play stuff.

I did some reading with Ot (dig dig digging over and over and some little bob books.) He was adding the last words int he sentences and was pointing out colours when asked eg can you find the blue digger….he also is talking load- at the moment and really making himself understood, stringing words together like:readthe book, fix it please (yes honest with a please),. come on I’ll show you (followed by dragging you to what he wants you to see/do) and he says some really cute things like chatterbox!

Off went the TV (relatively calmly) then we did some cuisinaire rod play, finding 2 rods that were the same as five which Tiger found really hard and was obviously not getting, then we used the cards to play a game that focused on more/less which was fun although I had to cheat to get Tiger to win as he couldn’t compe with a sting of losses (who can ;0))

Then more TV whilst I sorted dinner, washing and snuckin blog updating.

We tried some phonics and introduced ow (long o)but other than that dindn’t do much.  Ot added e to his letter sounds and we’ll probably just reinforce those for a couple of days.  Ot did some tower building and car/garage playing.  There was also lots of fire engine action.

More TV and more Blog/email.

Then we did some gluing and sticking, Tiger created a piccy of his dad wheeling the wheely bin in the wind (he’s scared of the wind and has a real thing about it blowing things away since strong winds blew our bin around the road a bit).  Ot did some manic gluing and then some glittering and sticking on to letters I drew in glue.  Tiger remembered the ow  sound form earlier but said it made 2 sounds ow (cow) and ow (low) I must try and find out if there is some kind of rule for knowing which it is…….

We cleaned up and had tea, whilst this was cooking Tiger read 3/4 of the read write inc books he seemed to enjoy these as they had more of a story t them which he liked.  Lots of fab sounding out and discussion about the  books, characters and feelings.

Nanny and grandad came over (long story but grandad was helping out with dh’s car going to the garage but mechanic had phoned to cancel and I’dmissedthe call and not checked the messages-bu**er).  I went to the gym after a brief hello,first time this year and it was hard but good I will go twice a week!

Got home, Ot won’t go to sleep but am now going totry giving himmilk in bed in the dark in the ho[pes he’ll get the idea it’s bed time!

The day was interspersed with lots of rushes of anger/frustration from TIger, screams/yells instead ofwords relly is upsetting and frustrating that some days he can and others he can’t the differences for today were tiredness possible and screen time there was not only too much TV for him but too much Computer for me so we all got cranky and frustrated.  Will do better tomorrow.




Another wet day and Ot’s nose kept us in. Although it has all dried up I want to wait the 3 days just in case any of us has caught the infection from him. 

We started off the day with magnetic letter phonics,Tiger did ‘igh’ and oy and Ot added d to his repertoire.  After that we built a huge brio track with rail and road and the boys played with it although there was some annoyance from T at Ot destroying bridges with his big bum and feet!  Tiger read another green Read write inc book and is now getting into the habit of sounding out rather than guessing using the initial sound and picture…..which is good because he can sound out words just needed to develop the habit.

We did lots of builder playing and Richard got a note asking himto fix my knitting box which he read and then went to fix.  He loves getting letters and notes at the moment and it’s great seeing his face get excited when it’s for him and he can read it. 

We played hopping and jumping, seeing how many hops and jumps we could do and Ot and Tiger played chasing which resulted in whoops of laughter.

We did some compare bear playing, counting out and asking how many more he would need to get to a certain number.  He got the hang of it when he would need 1 or 2 more and is beginning to get 3 when it is a number under 4 or 5.  Tiger also did some EC (ordinal numbers, puzzle plates, bongo drums…)

We made pizza for tea  Ot enjoyed setting up the bread maker to make the dough and Tiger invented a choc and strawberry pizza which has possibilities if we’d used a choc sauce or something that actually melted rather than baking hard (oops!).  He also made his brother a plain  ish pizza with mozzarella and a bit of tomato sauce which Ot ate (first time he’s liked a pizza so it must be the stronger flavour of cheese he doesn’t like.)

Tiger had a belated birthday present from R,K and O which he was really chuffed with and wanted to play straight away, unfortunately he was a bit too tired at the end of the day so we’ll give DOra’s first scrabble a go tomorrow (if we get a nice  quiet moment.)

The builders


I thought I’d do this as a separate post.  We want more space, quite a bit more really but we can’t afford to move…well that’s not actually accurate-we can but new houses are either to small (4 bed detatched seem to have boxes for rooms and long corridoors for dinning rooms) and older houses are either out of our price bracket or in areas that are too far or not ones we like.  Also it seems that we’d generally be moving to areas which wedon’t like as much as where we are.

We’ve looked at most of the new houses we could afford and they are all at the top end of our budget and wedon’t really like any of them much…..welike new houses because they are generally free of DIY which we are c**p at, we can’t find a house that we can afford somewhere we like and really if we’re honest we don’t want the hassle of moving.

So we asked some builders round (they’ve done some work for RIch at work) to seewhat they thougth.  The initial idea is to create a family room and utility downtairs (converting the garage and adding on a bit and possible building on the garage/loft conversion.  After chat what we arrived at as converting the garageto give a familoy room (with dh’s covetedwood burning stove), stealing a biut of the drive to create a utility thus not risking a problem with planning permission wiht the fact that we would cats shadow on next doors conservatory and then creating a carportby building along the edge of our drive, continuing the garage wall, asa a load bearing wall to give us a big chunk of space upstrairs with a master bedroom with ensuite and possibly a 5th bedroom!  So with this idea thay are going away to give us some rough numbers….if they are within our budget we can then get down to the nitty gritty of planning it and sorting out kinks like windows and where rooms would go etc.  Then it could be chaos here whilst they are working so if anyone wants to invite us out for the day that’d be lovely :0)

We are tentatively excited….hoping we can afford it and knowing we probably waon’t be able to afford to actually furnish it for quite a bit.  However the sapce will be fab…especially as we’re hoping to have a 3rs addition at some point and I think that it’s nice to have a space of your own to retreat to….and this would give us all that.

Fingers crossed they don’t come back with a huge estimate!

My mom thinks we should move,  after all we are probably classed as an end terrace (4 houses 3 bed, 2bed, 2bed, 3bed with garage(us) ) and we could move to detached….I’m not all that bothered I don’t  think but I guess if the boys take up electric guitar/drumswe’ll have to stick them the detached side!


Beavering Away


We have been doing chunks of stuff interspersed with TV/DVD and me catching up on blogging, emails and cleaning the fridge!

Monday was an interesting day, we were stuck in in the afternoon waiting for some builders to come and give us their expertise about creating some space for us……  Ot’s nose is nearly better so we should be fit for  human company again soon :0) 

Before this we recapped on all of the phonic sounds we know, re-capped on the 3 different sounds y makes and how to ‘know’ which it’smost likely to make. Then we learnt a new ‘eye’ sound in the form of ‘igh’ and sounded out a few words using that.  Then we mixed up all of the magnetic letters we have (we have a set we add each new sound to) and re-made all of the different sounds.  Then we talked about ‘ay’ (Tiger made this even though it’s not one we’ve ‘done’ together so this must be one he’s picked up from general reading and stuff. 

Ot is also showing lots of interest in letters, pointing to letters on the fridge and saying b/d etc so we tried out some magnetic letters and he (after 5 mins) could give me a/b/c correctly…..this is kind of how we approached it with Tiger…they both seem to have really good visual and auditory memories and that’s all this is, remembering a shape and a sound… the moment Ot would probably get confused if I changed the colour but he enjoys it and it has helped Tiger to know his initial sounds really well.  More importantly Ot thinks it’s great fun and is full of smiles when playing with the letters.

We picked Nanna up, Tiger and I sang Miss Polly (Ots fav song) and then we had dinner. After dinner we tifdied round a bit so it was neat and when the builders came mom took the boys out for a walk so I could talk and listen without being distracted.

After the builders I cooked tea, fed everyone,bathed the boys then took Nanna home, just catching  a glimpse of dh as we left.

A busy day but fun!

Sleepy Sunday


After yesterdays excitement today was lovely and quiet.  We did some stenciling and colouring before dinner and some jig saw playing.  I did some spring pencil drawings and made our  (mine and dh’s) mothers day cards (being a bit more organised as I had to make Tigers at midnight and got only an hours sleep as I then couldn’t sleep).  We did some train track playing with the brio and set up using our new points and lifting bridges which was great fun!

I also managed to get a couple of drawings and watercolours done for O’s birthday which is only a couple of weeks away.

We did some DVD and TV watching Ot’s nose is getting better which is fab!

Four Today!!!!


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Tiger was four today, I can not believe that time has flown so fast.  He had a fab day and was fantastically well behaved and kind.  He had some fab presents and loved all of them.  We got up in the morning and opened presents, he played with his digger transformer

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and dragon before breakfast and then did is fizzy dinosaur egg after breakfast-he got a triceratops.  He tried out his magic invisible pen (it wasn’t all that fab but we eventually got it to work.0  He then wanted to watch some TV and got to watch it and have choc with no arguments -well it was his birthday ;0) 

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We have a small tradition of them buying the other a pressie to open and he got Ot a Thomas Aqua Draw which they both enjoyed playing with.  It was quite funny how Tiger asked Ot if he could use his Thomas and Ot said yes not having a clue what he was saying yes to!

We also got out the Hornby trainset from last Christmas and he had a fab time playing with that although it was a good job that we could ‘lock’ Ot in the livingroom using the safety gate.

After dinner we went outside (a dry spot in the rain) and he finally got to have a go on his new bike.  he can peddle backwards but not completely frowards, we had an interesting conversation about persevering and that some things are really worth keeping trying at.

He had and was all day fantastically kind to his little brother, letting him share his presents and just generally being lovely. 

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We then went to pick up Nanna, Aunty El and Uncle Muncle(Grandad Fredand AUnty Sar were unfortunately both at work:0().  He then got to open more presents and was thrilled.  He liked the JCB building set and let his brother play with one of the excavators, he loved his Fireman Sam Engine (this was the only thing he didn’t want Ot to go any where near) and his tool bench. The lifting bridge and brio track were liked but put to one side (we know however that they will get loads of use).

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Pretty soon after Nanny and Grandad arrived and bought with them an engine for his train set (just like the one he fell in love with in Wales last Easter) which got heaps of playing with and went full speed round the track much to everyones excitement.

His final ‘guests’were Uncle Phoo and Aunty Sam with yet more gifts, a fab firemans outfit, some walkie talkies and a great diggers stencil book. 
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The walkie talkies were very funny as Uncle Phoo had taken one out before he wrapped them  and Tiger thought his birthday present was talking to him, very funny :0D!!!!!

After this we had KFC and then ‘The Cake’.  The cake had been spotted by Tiger months ago during a brief encounter with Soccartots….it is a JCB, a 3D one!  We requested the addition of 4CX markings to the backhoe and he was thrilled! It looked fab and when I get five minutes to catch up with piccy uploading I will stick one on here.

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A lovely day, a very happy boy and I have to say a proud mom and dad ’cause he was fantastically behaved, had lovely manners and showed everyone his very best side which was a real achievement as he is often not at his best with new people,lots of people and excitement!

New Carpet….Ahhhh


Yes, we have new carpet, up the stairs, landing, bedroom and it’s lovely!  However I am getting ahead of myself as the carpet didn’t get fitted until Friday so I guess I should blog the rest of the week!

Monday  was yet another problem with Dh’s car, new battery needed which was got by his mom and dad and bought over as I had to stay in for the ‘carpet measurer man’.  Tiger did his sandpaper letters, numbers and added uppercase T.  We checked his known sight vocab and added in another 4 (which, your, some, what).  We are finding that bursts of learning a few then leaving for a bit then checking and going over if we needto is working with these (and most other things too) it seems to give his brain time to process the information, make sense of it and then get any extra information or practice it needs but in manageable chunks.  It can seem very bitty but it seems to work for him.

Ot did some fab tower building and was saying lots of colour words,he could give me red blocks or blue blocks when I asked. We went out to softplay for an hour before dinner (carpet man due after 12) Ot was sick all over me after 55 min and 20 minutes after his first encounter with blackcurrant squash….hmmm…..never work with animals or children!

We watched some of the new Bob DVD and Uncle Phoos first day in his newjob wentwell and he stayed for tea…..steak,chips, onion rings yum!

Tuesday was begun with a trip to the docs for Ot, he has impetigo….which Tiger has had once when he was about 2 ish too…..oddly……?  Anyway, I really don’tdo things like this well and have been cleaning even more than normal and spraying anything that stays still lobge enough…..yuck.  Poor Ot, his nose looks very sore.

Tiger walked to the shops with Nanna whilst we were in the docs then we nipped to the carpet shop to choose the kitchen floor and to the knitting shop for Nanna.  Whilst we were in Aldridge we had to have chips for dinner from the lovely fish and chip shop there yum!

After dinner Tiger did some beady maths ala Montessori, addition, and we talked again about counting on when we were adding to 10 which he again grasped after a few goes but needed some support. For addition of numbers to 10 (and above) he has got the idea and is accurate but I’m keen for him to get the idea of counting on before we move to bigger numbers(above 10).

Whilst we beaded Ot played trains with Nanna and Tiger then joined in.  There has also been a lot of recording phone messages on the elc phone  over the past week or so which Tiger did more of today.

As it was pancake day we decided to eat lots of them.  Tiger made a fab batter using Delia’s recipe(I weighed and measured and he did the rest).  We did a savoury cheese souffle pancake recipe (also Delia) which I think needs a whole heap more cheese next time and ‘ordinary’ pancakes for pudding.  I love lemon and sugar pancakes (Tiger oddly doesn’t actually like pancakes but likes to assemble them), dh added some toffee ice-cream to some of his which was tasty and Ot liked them plain!

Also did some playdoh creature making (bat tyope one is Tigers and crocodile esque (sp) one is Ots)
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Wednesday was a lot of maths for Tiger,he’sreally into counting at the moment so it seems that all things involving numbers are interesting.  A nice bonus of this is that Ot is learning number names and order simply from hearing Tiger (his hero) and copying.  As a result Ot is trying hard to count to 10, Tiger gets beyond 20 but needs help with the 10’s boundaries.  Ot did some tower building, lots of shape sorting and drawing.

Tiger did a few dot-to-dots, which went tpo 20 (I need to hunt out a book that goes to 30, 40,50 etc now I think) then we played with the cusinaire rods.  We talked about their length,found taller/shorter bigger/smaller, ordered them, their value (by finding out how many 1 rods each was the same as), matching them to cards showing the different lengths, re-calling the values eg pass me a 3 rod, what is a green rod worth?  We finished up by me choosing a rod and Tiger finding 2 rods you could put together to make the same length and then talked about the values and verbalised the sums and equivalences.  I think the visual element to this (as well as the physical and the fact we used a variety of diggers and building machinery to move the block around) made this great fun although it sounds very dry it was all a fun game with dumpers and excavators; it also helped him to see patterns within sums and numbers in a way that the beads do not so they complement each other well.

We did a bit of playing and the ergo carrier came and we headed out to the docs t pic up a prescription for antibioti medicine as Ot’s ears also looked infected.After the docs we headed  out to Chase Water for a walk and tried out the carrier which was good but needs some tweaking on the shoulder and position as it rubbed and I was leaning a bit.  We talked about the male and female ducks and telling the difference by looking for the males curly tails.

Thursday and Friday were dominated by moving furniture ready fot the carpet to be fited having the carpet fitted and moving the furniture back again!  We also popped out on Friday morning with Nanna to get TIgers b’day pressies(he thought he was helping choose for his Cousin Alex)  both were fabulously bewaved and Ot used the ergo, on my back and liked it and fell asleep!  We did talking about prices and costs of things,talked a lot about what Alex would like for his birthday, did some reading playdohing, drawing and writing in amongst the mess.