Saturday, November 23, 2013

Signing Time Holiday Sales

Our family started watching Signing Time when Ben was 18 months old.  We had one DVD and I would put Ben in the playpen and turn it on every day while I was getting ready for work.  Within two weeks he learned his first sign.  Luckily it was almost Christmas time, so we put Signing Time on Ben's Christmas (and Birthday) list to help build our library.  It took 3 years, but we finally got the whole set.  Even as we got more videos, I made sure that Ben watched the same video for at least a week so the signs could really sink in.

Right before he turned 3 we realized, quite by accident, that Ben had learned to sight read from watching the videos.  He was recently tested at school (he is in Kindergarten) and is sight reading at a 3rd grade level, mostly because he can read almost every word taught in the Signing Time program and many of those words are more complex words.

Signing Time made teaching sign language so easy because we were able use the DVD's to turn down time, (like when I was showering, making dinner, or driving) into learning time.  Plus the fun songs made it easy to incorporate sign into our daily routine.

Signing Time just announce their Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales .  They even have a Pre-Turkey Tuesday sale.  These DVD's only go on sale a couple days a year, so this is a good time to think about Holiday gifts and take a look at what they have to offer.  This is also the only time of year you can get a discount on their books and flashcards which are great tools for helping to incorporate sign into your daily routine.    Click on any of the links above or the ABC Signing Kids logo on the right side of the page to find out more. 

You can also sign up for my November Giveaway and try to win a free Signing Time DVD and a Barefoot Sing A Long Book by completing the Rafflecopter form below.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ben and I were on TV!

A few weeks back, I met 10/11 News reporter Bridget Fargen at a dinner meeting.   We ended up sitting next to each other, and during the dinner we talked about our families and backgrounds.  I was excited to hear that she knew ASL, and had taken it through high school and college.  She was equally excited that I am teaching sign language vocabulary to babies and children in the community. 

A few weeks later she called and asked if I would be interested in doing a story about how using how beneficial it is to teach sign language to babies and young children.  Of course, I said YES!  She came out and spent over and hour with Ben and I talking about sign language and how it has helped Ben to communicate and ultimately read.  Ben was not the most cooperative that day, as he had just gotten home off the bus and was tired, and was not getting any attention, so he kept making noise most of the time I was trying to talk.  But they did get the a clip of me explaining how we accidentally figured out he could read.  

I also directed her to Ben's Speech Pathologist, Staci who is quoted in the report.  The are a few other local Mom's in the report with their babies.  I showed it to Ben this morning and he was excited to see us on the screen and was excited to see Staci too, since we stopped going to her in August when school started.  

If you would like to check out the finished report, click HERE .

Friday, October 25, 2013

Homecoming!

A few weeks back my oldest came home and told me the high school student council had almost unanimously chosen Ben as the Kindergarten crown bearer for our school's Homecoming celebration. 

While I was so honored an proud of the kids for choosing Ben,  I have to admit, I was in a bit of a panic. 

Anytime Ben gets anywhere near that football field, he thinks it is an opportunity for him to run for a pretend touchdown.  All I could picture was Ben spiking the crown in the end zone after he took off down the field with it. 

Before I even had confirmation from the school about it, I went to our Special Ed Director to get her opinion.  She also had a few concerns but it was decided that they would practice with Ben (and the little girl) during some of his down time at school and if the worst that happened was him taking off with the crown,  well, it would not be the end of the world. They also had video from a past year's Homecoming that they could use as video modeling for Ben, so he would know what was expected.  We did not want to set him up to fail, so we felt that giving him a little more help to know what was expected would help him to succeed. 

So finally it was Homecoming night.  The temps were supposed to be 40's so we layered Ben up. with some nice warm pj's under his dress pants and sweater.  He was pretty excited during the first half of the game and did not want to sit for us.  When it came to for them to line up and get their flowers on, Ben was more than ready to go.  The Special Ed Director was even there to help the two little ones get ready.   Ben got his pillow, just like he had practiced, but then they were thrown a loop.

The pillow was for the queen's crown, not the king's crown.  Ben was just expected to carry the King's crown in his hand.  At first Ben did not want to give up the pillow, but finally agreed when he was given the crown instead. 


They marched right out to the first hash mark on the field just as they had been taught with Ben only turning around to peek at the crowd once.  He stood pretty still ((at least as still as he can stand on one place) once they got where they needed to go.   But everyone was clapping as they announced candidates names over the speaker and his hands were full.  So he popped the crown on his head.  It was cute.I think he wanted to clap too!

After they announced the King and Queen, who just happen to be cousins and (distance cousins to our family) they took some group photos.  Ben did pretty good with them too, but still had to add his own flair to a couple photos, like this one:
Nothing like a good "Home Alone" face in a Homecoming photo.

The next night was the Homecoming dance. 
 I took John to get photos with his class, while Randy got Ben ready.  

 The freshman boys were looking very handsome!

Then it was off to school to take group photos of the royalty.  Ben did very good once he figured out what was going on, and cooperated beautifully.
 
 He even helped out when the King was not smiling,  by reaching over and giving him a tickle. 
 It worked!

 Then Ben wanted to take photos with everyone.  Here is one with his big brother.  He even photo bombed a couple other groups photos, and they all welcomed him to stay.

But once the lights went off and the music came on, he decided it was time to dance!  Both the crown bearers had fun dancing with the Homecoming Queen!


The next night while I was going through the photos, Ben came up behind me while this photo was on my computer and signed and said, "Mom more dance, PLEASE".  I tried to dance with him but he wanted to go back to Homecoming.  Sorry buddy.  We will just have to find some place else for you to dance. 

In the end I am just so glad we did it.  There were moments, when I thought it would be a disaster.  But Ben really stepped up and raised the bar again, by doing a great job while being really cute (in my biased opinion).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Step UP For Down Syndrome Walk 2013

This past weekend was our Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk.  This was my second year of co-chairing the event, and I admit the job is not getting easier.  I know that seems odd because things tend to get easier the more you do it, and while I agree that is true most of the time, for me it was not.  Second the reason the job got so much harder, is because during the last three years that I have been involved, we have doubled the size of the walk in terms of both money raised and total walkers.  It has been great raising more money and having more walkers.  However, ordering and sorting 1600 t-shirts is a whole different ball game from sorting 750 shirts.  It all requires more volunteers, and those are harder to come by.  But in the end getting bigger is a good problem to have.

We are very proud of our team who continually comes out and supports Ben's Brigade (even on cold mornings like it was on Saturday)  Through fundraising we were able to earn three fact posters that were displayed along the walk. 


Ben enjoyed seeing himself in the photos.  

We are always happy to welcome new team members.  This year we were able to welcome a few of Ben's Kindergarten classmates.  I am just sorry that my duties as walk chair prevented me from doing more socializing with my team.  We were also sorry that John had to attend the Harvest of Harmony parade with the school band and had to miss out.  For the first time we were unable to take a family photo at the walk.   Thank you for everyone who supported Ben's Brigade!



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kindergarten Learning

It is hard to know what Ben is learning in Kindergarten.  He really only answers yes, no questions, when I ask about his day. There is also the sheet at the end of the week that tells what everyone in class worked on, but by the time I get that, and question Ben, he does not always remember.  We have discussed having a communication book, but we need to come up with something that would be easy for the teachers to implement, since Ben is in a general ed classroom and does not have a 1 on 1 para.

That being said, I have seen glimpses of things he has learned when I watch him playing.  Last year I caught him doing the "Months of the Year Macarena" one day while he was taking a bath.  He would not participate with his classmates at the preschool graduation, but does a great version while naked and sudsy. 

The other night he was standing very straight with his hand over his heart and reciting something to his reflection in the fireplace glass.  It just took a second to realize he was doing the Pledge of Allegiance.  Not all the words were understandable, but he was saying many of them correctly and you could easily tell by the rhythm and the fact that he had one hand over his heart..  I tried to video tape, but Ben was too excited about the camera to do it again. 
 Then he started to play with his puzzle.  He was salting and peppering it then pretending to eat the pieces.  So I can assume he is getting his increased culinary skills from the pretend kitchen they have at school.
Finally when he was done he said to himself, "high five or fist bump?.....high five!"  Then he  high five'd himself.  That showed me that someone is giving him choices and he likes being able to make a choice.  He repeated this many times going back and forth between fits bumps and high fives.



P.S.  It is Down syndrome awareness month.  More on that later.





Saturday, September 21, 2013

Times Square NDSS VIdeo

Today is the Buddy Walk in New York.  To kick off the walk and Down syndrome awareness month in October, they just showed a video on the Sony screen in Times Square with photos of individuals with Down Syndrome from all over the world.  For the second straight year, Ben's photo was chosen to be included in the video.    One day we will get to go and experience the New York Walk in person.  But for now we are very grateful for Earthcam and especially the fact that this year they focused the camera directly on the Sony Screen.  What a great way to see the video for the first time.  I will post the full video as soon as it becomes available.  But for now here is a screen shot I took from my computer, showing Ben on the big screen!  Technology is so cool
Our own local Step Up for Down Syndrome walk will be held on October 5, 2013 in Lincoln.  If anyone wants to support Ben, either in person by walking or by donating to our team Ben's Brigade, please visit our team page by clicking here.  You can also see the photo of Ben that was shown in Times Square up close.  Thank you to everyone who has already supported us!.  Because of your generosity, Ben has earned all three of his fact poster that will be displayed along the Step Up Walk route, and becuase we are in the top ten for number of walkers, his photo will be included in the 2014 DSAF calendar.  We are humbled by all the love an support we have been give by all our family, friends.
Thank you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

3 on the 21st Blog Hop


For today's 3 on the 21st Blog Hop, hosed this month by With a Little Moxie, we are asked to post the following:
One truth (about Ds/our lives with Ds)
One tip (- information on something related to Ds/raising a child with Ds/or just parenting in general)
One photo

This is my first blog hop in a while so here goes:
  
One truth:  Kids with Down syndrome generally have a receptive knowledge that far surpasses  their expressive communication skills.

One Tip:  Sign Language and teaching reading as soon as a child understands 50 words, can help parents and educators have a more accurate way of measuring a child's receptive knowledge. 

One Photo:
This is a photo of Ben reading one of Mommy's books.  It does not matter if it is thick or thin, photos or no, Ben loves books.  He once carried a phone book around for a full week.  Took it every where he went and tucked in into bed with him at night. It was cute. 

Happy Blog Hop Everyone!

Monday, September 2, 2013

GIVEAWAY!

I have enjoyed the last 6 months of being a Barefoot Books Ambassador and am happy to help them celebrate their 20th Anniversary this month.  They are having a sale on the top 20 best selling books from the past 20 years.  Click here to go to my website and learn more about Barefoot Books 
As part of the celebration, I will be giving away one of the top 20 books pictured above and a Signing Time Video   (choose from Story Time, Practice Time 123, Practice Time ABC or Sing and Sign). Why give a way a Signing Time DVD along with a Barefoot Book to celebrate this Barefoot Book milestone?  Signing time and Barefoot Books are awesome together.  There are so many great Barefoot Books that have similar themes to Signing Time videos.  Reading and signing along with these books is a great way to incorporate sign into your daily routine.

Register using the Rafflecopter below.  Feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested!  Good Luck!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 29, 2013

iPad as a Communication Device

If your household owns and iPad, or if your child uses one in school, you probably already know how well our kiddos can manipulate and utilize this technology.  It can be used to play games, learn to trace your letters, read, count and even speak for you.   There are communication apps you can buy that have more flexibility and are less expensive than some of the more traditional communication devices.  It is even more impressive when your child uses his iPad to communicate with you when you don't have a communication app installed on your device.

Let me explain.

Full day kindergarten has been rough.  Yesterday was particularly rough and Ben had some aggressive behaviors that earned him a great deal of time out, emails to Mom from the Special Ed director, and his teacher, and a phone call from both the school secretary and finally the Principal.

He had a BAD day.

This behavior is somewhat out of character for him and generally only happens when he is on the verge of getting sick.   He also struggles with constipation at times and that can make him cranky too.  So yesterday we gave him some Miralax before he went to school.  He also had a messed up routine due to school pictures being yesterday, which probably did not help his behavior much either.

 I learned at one of the conference that I attended, that when children (and adults) are in pain or afraid, their language skills decrease by an average of 2 years.  I think this explains why when he hurts or does not feel good, he just clings to me and signs hurt and won't do much else.   He did answer yes once yesterday when I asked if he had an owie, but would not tell me more. 

He got off the bus last night and seemed pretty good.  His Miralax worked while he was at school and he looked like he was feeling fine and happily played referee in the basement with his whistle.  We also had a talk about how we don't push, hit or scratch and he lost his popsicle after school treat and TV privilege.

At 6 we had to leave to pick up brothers from Football practice.  Ben fell asleep pretty quickly once we got in the car.  When we got home I put Ben on the sofa to continue sleeping for just a bit and started getting supper for the big boys.  At 8 after trying for over a 1/2 hour we finally got Ben up for supper. 
He ate 3 grapes and drank a couple sips of apple juice.  Then he climbed on my lap and said, "Night, Night please".  He NEVER asks to go to bed. 

This morning he was up as soon as Randy turned on a light at 6 am.  After a trip to the bathroom he snuggled in with me for a bit.  Soon he was asking for the iPad.  I gave it to him and tried to catch a few more ZZZZs.  My alarm went off and I hit the snooze a few times.  Ben was playing with a flashcard game that speaks 2 words called Learn to Talk First Words .   He had been repeating one card over and over again for at least a couple minutes, and was shaking me each time he played it, but I was zoning out.  Finally he said, "Mom Potty!"knowing that would get me up (because Mom does not like accidents in her bed). So I headed toward the bathroom while he headed for the kitchen.  I said, "Ben, don't you have to go potty?"  He turned to his iPad and tapped the flash card again.  It said, "want food".

Mom finally got it.

But now I am torn.  He is perfectly capable of saying I want food, time to eat, I hungry, breakfast please, or I want pancakes, but instead chose to tell me by using the iPad.   On the one side I am so impressed that he was able to find a way to tell me what he wanted, since we don't really have a communication app on the iPad.  But on the other side, why didn't he just tell me?   Maybe he did and I was just too tired to internalize what he said.  Or maybe he does not feel good or is in pain.  He has been on a very low dose of Thyroid meds for about a month.  Maybe they are causing issues?   He has been specifically acting different since Sunday and maybe he is coming down with something?  I wish he could tell me what is going on.

But whatever the cause, that was some great problem solving skills buddy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Communication Breakthrough!

Tomorrow is our 18th wedding anniversary.  Since it occurs on a Monday, we decided to go out and celebrate on Saturday night with a nice dinner at a new Italian restaurant and after went to a movie. 

We hardly ever go out.

And never to eat and a movie.

So my friend Jo came out to keep the older two from fighting and to watch little Ben, and we had a wonderful time enjoying our rare evening out.

We got home about 10 and Ben came running up to me sniffling like he was crying.  I asked what was wrong, but he just clung to me.  We sat down and he was instantly on my lap trying to tell me something.  It sounded like he was saying something that started with an "s" but I just was not getting it until I noticed his hands.  He was signing scared.  I said were you scared when you woke up and Mommy and Daddy were not home.   Ben got the biggest look of relief on his face, screamed YES and gave me a big hug.

This was huge for Ben.  While most parents of Kindergartners have kids that come home from school and chatter on happily about their day, I usually have to read about what happened and then prompt him by asking questions.  Most of the time the best answers I get are yes and no to my questions.  Sometimes Ben goes off on long orations about his day, but is speaking so fast and not clearly enough for us to understand what he is saying.   Often he uses signs to help us understand a few of  his words and sometimes we can get an idea of what he is trying to say.  This was the first time he ever came up to me completely unprompted to tell me how he was feeling and kept at it until I figured out what he had to say.   

I asked later if he had fun playing with Jo and he very enthusiastically said "Yes Mommy!  Thank You."  So glad he had fun with Jo even though he was scared when we were not home when he woke up.

Ben is also developing quite the little sense of humor.  The other day he walked up to me with the container of strawberries and said, "strawberries, please".  However, he had one of my price tags across his nose.  I asked him, "Ben, what is on your nose"?  He said and signed, "hurt, Mommy".  I said, "Oh Ben, did you hurt your nose?"  He said yes and skipped off with his strawberries giggling as he went.  Silly boy.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Day of School

Last week was Ben's first day of Kindergarten.  He was so excited to go.  He is in the general education class room, and there will be no para in the room.  However, they will have a student teacher for the first 6 weeks of class, so that will help, and then we will decide what level of para support is needed if any.

We went on a Tuesday night to the orientation where Ben got to find his desk, put his supplies away, and reacquaint himself with the classroom.  He spent about 20 minutes in there, decided he was done, and took off, sprinting for the gym.  He helped himself to a ball (there is a rack in the stairwell that leads to the stage, and stared playing basketball.  He was already at the free throw line ready to take his first shot when I caught up to him.  Mr. Warner the gym teacher was in there and I told him, if Ben ever comes up missing,  they should check the gym first.  The boy loves any game that involves a ball.

The first day of school was cold for Nebraska in August, so we took our traditional first day of school photos inside.  I loved the expression on Ben's face on his solo picture.  It think it really captured the joy he was feeling about going back to school.

Noah was not very interested in giving Mom a first day of school smile, so he settled for a "cool" pose.

John just plain scowled until I cracked a joke and made him laugh.  


 I was quite happy to get this pleasant of look on all of their faces at the same time. 


I am so glad I had him rid the bus home.  When I asked him what his favorite thing was from the first day of school he said, "I ride bus"!


 But full days of Kindergarten are hard on little boys.  It took a couple episodes of Barney the first day, but he was out.  He is getting better, now a few days later, but you can tell he is tired from the meltdowns that occur on a regular basis after he gets off the bus. 



 Hopefully things will be better next week.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk

The W Family would like to invite you to participate in the 11th annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk on October 5, 2013.   


How can you help?  Many different ways!  You can support Ben’s Brigade by walking or donating.  You can sign up to do either by going to our team fundraising page by clicking here. Adults are $20 and Kids are $10 and if registered by September 15th you get a free t-shirt with your registration. If you can't be there the day of the walk, you can still support Ben by being a virtual walker.  
Students and faculty of Elmwood - Murdock School can register for free by joining the Elmwood Murdock School Team by clicking here. (School team registrations need to enter a coupon code of "school" and do not get a t-shirt so wear school colors.)


The walk is 1 mile and starts at Antelope Park (by 33rd and A streets), but there will be so much more than just the walk!   There will be food and fun for the whole family with the String Beans, Der Viener Schlinger, Face Painting and much more.


August 31st is the deadline for the Early Bird Fundraiser.  For each $200 we raise by that date, Ben gets a fact poster displayed along the walk route (limit 3).  So far we have enough pledged to earn one poster.  It would be great to earn all 3!
September 15th is the deadline for getting a free t-shirts with your paid registration.  So don't wait, register or donate today. 


 We are so proud of Ben and all that he has accomplished in the last year.  He loved going to preschool and playing T-ball and working on his reading skills.  He also enjoyed cheering on his brothers at all of their sporting events.  Ben is looking forward to starting Kidergarten at Elmwood Murdock this fall.  Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past and to those who are planning to donate this year.  You are helping to make a difference in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in our community.


We appreciate everyone's support.
Thank You!

The W Family

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NDSS Times Square Video

I am proud to announce, for the 2nd year in a row, that Ben's photo has been chosen to be in the video that will be shown at Times Square in New York City, to help kick off the National Buddy Walk on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

Ben is a little brother, of two big brothers, who love sports.  In his young life, he has already been to more baseball, basketball, and football games as a spectator, than some people will attend in their entire lives.    While at his brother's baseball games, he loves to wear his umpire mask, squat down behind the fence and call balls and strikes with the umpire.  He has caused more than one umpire to turn around, ready yell at the person contradicting their calls, and you can instantly see the smile appear on their face when they see who the culprit is.  Sometimes they even come over to visit with Ben between innings, which makes his day.

He is no different with basketball as you can see here.

I knew it would be huge for Ben to get to play sports like his big brothers, but the reality did not hit me until he got home from his the first night of practice.  He ran in the door, gave me a huge bear hug and exclaimed, "Mommy, I a baseball player"!  This was the first year he was old enough to play, and was on our local t-ball team with his typically developing peers.

Did he need some extra help getting lined up to bat and getting his helmet on?  Yes.  Did he need some help staying focused in the outfield, when no balls were coming his way?  Yes. Did he need help keeping track of his hat and glove?  Yes.  But so did a lot of the other kids.   Did he need help hitting the ball, running down a grounder or knowing where how to run the bases?  No.  He had paid enough attention at some of the other games to know what to do.

So the next question is how did photos of Ben get selected 2 years in a row to be one of the 200 chosen to be in the video when there were over 1,100 submissions?

I have a theory.

The purpose of the video is to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  Unfortunately there are lots of people in the world today who don't realize that individuals with down syndrome are more like everyone else than they are different.  The first 4 years I sent in the cutest possible photo I could find, but none where chosen.  Last year I chose a photo of Ben playing his brother's drum set, because I thought it showed a person with Down syndrome doing something that many people would not realize they were capable of doing.  This year I chose the baseball photo, since it showed how much enjoyment he got from being included with his classmates.

My husband and sons wanted me to submit this photo instead.

It was taken just after the first photo and they felt it showed Ben's determination to hit the ball.  While I do like it too, a Mamma's heart almost always goes with the smile, and since I was the one sending it in, I got to choose. By the way they also wanted me to point out that the pink bat was not his.

To view last year's NDSS Times Square Video click here.  Ben is at 14:35.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

T-ball is FUN!

This year we had Ben play on a regular t-ball league with his classmates from school.  He loved it.  Some times it was hard "fielding the ball" when none would make it to the outfield, and we had a few issues with him paying attention, but he was not the only one. 


Thanks to Steve Cawley for taking the above photos.  I was at a game with the older boys in a different town and missed Ben's first game, but he had a blast. Here is a clip of him in action:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ben Reading Update

Those of you who know me, know I can't pass up a good garage sale.  One of my favorite days of the year is the first Saturday of June, when the small town of Eagle, just to the West of us, has their annual garage sale day.  It is the kind of place where you park your car and just walk around from sale to sale until your arms are full and you have to go back to your vehicle and unload your purchases.

 I have scored some great things over the years there: a swing set, tiller, clothes and sports equipment for the boys, books, yarn and more.  But the best by far, was an oak wash stand that belonged to my Grandfather, that my dad sold at an auction.  It was painted pink when he sold it. and I purchased completely refinished.  

But back to this year's garage sale story.  A retired teacher was having a sale, and I found a giant picture dictionary that I thought would make a great addition to my Signing Time sign language classes.  Since Ben learned to read from watching Signing Time videos where he was exposed to the word and the signs at the same time, I wanted to make sure to include written words, when I teach signing classes at ABC Signing Kids, as well.  The large size will make it easy for kids to see in a class or library setting.  Plus it was only $3.

 As soon as I got it home, however, Ben staked a claim on it, and was having a ball reading it and looking at the pictures in the giant book. I was really shocked at how many of the words he knew and how well he was reading.  I asked him what one of the words was, on top of a page, but he was being stubborn.  He said "No Mommy!   I will not read apple, dog, flower, ladybug, umbrella, banana, orange, carrot, pencil and ball" as he recited every word on the page.  I said "OK.  You don't have to read it to me", in hopes he would "not" read more while I slipped off for the video camera.  Unfortunately I only got him reading a couple more words on video,before he discovered what I was up to, but here it is.  I really think he is doing good for someone who has not been to Kindergarten yet.  Enjoy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's Baseball Time

It is the month of June, which for our family means baseball.  We are lucky this year that a few of John and Noah's games have been on the same night in the same town, one playing just after the other.  However, we were unlucky this week, in that John and Noah both played in Syracuse and Ben had his first ever T-ball game in Elmwood (at the same time as Noah's game).   Randy took Ben and I took the big boys to their game.  It did give me a chance to get the first baseball photos of the year.  Randy and Ben showed up at the start of John's game, and Ben and I left about 9, since Ben was wearing a lot of field from his game and needed a bath.  That is why there are only a few photos of John and more of Noah. 
 John at bat. He has been hitting great this year (so long as I am not at the game). 

Ready on first to field the ball.

 Relief pitcher Noah.

 Trying out the new bat. It worked.

 Getting ready to steal 2nd

Sliding for no apparent reason.

Pictures and/or a video of Ben's game will be in the next post, so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

$10 Signing Time DVD Sale

 * This sale is over now, but to be sure you don't miss out on the next one, please subscribe to this blog, or like the 
This awesome sale happens just once per year and this year it starts at 12:01am MST on Monday, June 3 and ends at 12:00am MST on Wednesday June 5.  This is a great time to build your collection of Signing Time DVDs to help the children in your life improve their vocabulary, fine motor, communication and reading skills while they reduce frustration.  This even includes the DVD and CD combination sets.  Go to signingtime.com to start shopping today.  If you are local to Southeast Nebraska, you can place your order through ABC Signing Kids and save shipping costs.
This sale is too good to pass up!

Monday, May 27, 2013

When is Early Reading a Bad Thing?

I did find one down fall to Ben's learning to read early.  We were at the car dealership the other day waiting for our van to be repaired and it was time for Ben to go potty.  He has been doing really great with using the potty, and is day trained, but sometimes needs to be reminded to go. 

He agreed that it was potty time and we headed off toward the restroom.  When we got there Ben went straight for the Men's room.  I took him by the hand and started to lead him to the Women's restroom, and he dug his feet in and said "No Mommy!  Men's!"  I tried to explain that I could not go in there and that he was not big enough to go alone.  We started to go towards the Women's again and he stopped saying "No No NO!  Mommy, No WOMEN'S!

I had wondered why he seemed to be fighting me more and more when we were out in public and it was time to go to the restroom.  However, most of those times, Randy was along and just took him.  It finally hit me that day, the reason we were having such issues.  Ben was reading the signs on the bathroom doors and knows that he is supposed to go to the Men's bathroom.  ( I think they may be working on that at school too.)  No wonder he does not want to go with me anymore. 

A few days later, when school was out all three boys and I stopped at McDonalds (He can read that name too and screams it when ever we go by one).  Again it was potty time and he again refused to go with me and went with his brothers instead.  They reported that he went, though I doubt he washed his hands. 

So the question then becomes, how old will Ben be, before I let him go to a public restroom by himself?  Until he can go without messing around?  Thank goodness many stores now have the family restrooms, as he seems OK going in those.  

So I was joking about the early reading being a bad things.  It is awesome that he is reading the signs when we go out in public and that he knows what they mean.  He is learning, growing and understanding, which I hope he will continue to do when he starts kindergarten next year.  The sky is the limit big guy.  Keep on amazing us. 





Thursday, May 23, 2013

SIGNING TIME OUTLET STORE




Two Little Hands is clearing out the Baby Signing Time Sign and Read versions of the Baby Signing Time videos.  These are the same as the regular Baby Signing Time videos, except they show the written word additional times when the signs are taught.  In my opinion these are the best versions of Baby Signing Time for our kids and can help encourage sight reading.  They certainly helped my little guy who started sight reading before he was 3.   They are already sold out of the first volume of Baby Signing Time in the Sign to Read version, but you can get volumes 2, 3 and 4 plus the music Cd's of Baby Signing Time for just 29.99.

Another steal today is the ABC 123 / Leah's Farm combo pack for  $19.99.  These are the exact same videos you would buy separately, but they were packaged in the same box and left over from a previous promotion.  


Click HERE for a link to the sale items.  


Get them before they are gone!



Friday, May 10, 2013

Field Trip!

Last year the 3 and 4 year old preschool classes took a field trip to the SAC Air and Space Museum.  To me, it did not seem like an appropriate place for a field trip for children that young and I was very worried.  While seeing the big planes were cool, I was very worried about Ben not sitting still on the bus, running off, not eating lunch, and in general not doing what he was supposed to do.  The field trip turned out better than I expected.  They had activities for the kids, a movie, and we got to eat in one of the hangers under the wing of a big plane.  In general, Ben did OK.  He ran off a couple times, ate OK, and only had one "drop and flop" on the floor when it was time to use the bathroom.

So when the flyer came for this year's field trip, I was surprisingly not worried. 

This year the class went to a park to play and then to a tour of  Memorial Stadium (home of Husker football). With as much as Ben loves sports, I knew this would be right up his alley, because he loves to explore the football fields, run for touchdowns, and count the numbers on the field. 

We got to the playground and I admit it was a bit scary. Not only was the playground big, but it was tall and had a big lake behind it.  While it was a nice day, I did not have any desire to go jumping in that lake after Ben.

But he did great.  He played with his friends.

He climbed the rock wall.

 He enjoyed the swings.

 He ate most of his lunch.

He even stayed still and smiled for his class picture.

Then it was time to go to the Stadium.  I drove separately and was told to meet the group at gate 20.  While I graduated from the University (over 20 years ago), I had forgotten how hard it is to find a parking space, but finally found one in a garage across the street.  About 30 minutes later (after being told the wrong gate, construction, walking around the stadium twice, I finally caught up with the group, just as they were starting the tour.  Lucking Ben was still with them and had gone potty (the bathrooms at the park were locked).  He did get away once, got the door open to the weight room and got a few steps in the door, but for the most part he did great.  

Two of the dads lifted each child so they could touch the lucky horseshoe that the players touch before each game. 

They got to feel the field turf.

And of course they got to run on the field.  

 All that running wears a kid out, so after looking at the stadium and the practice fields, the group watched a movie and it was time to go.  Ben enjoyed checking out the statue on the way to the car, but was a bit miffed that those guys would not share their football. 
Over all it was a fun day and Ben had a nice nap on the way home!