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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 | Link to this Post

Breaking Out of the Box


Tramadol Over The Counter, Having Kleenex/facial tissues is pretty much a necessity in any house... Canada, mexico, india, But I always "hide" mine; The brown or puke green marbled boxes don't sit well with me, design-wise, online Tramadol without a prescription. Herbal Tramadol, So I was delighted to come across something more aesthetically pleasing:


A little steep for a tissue holder, but at least I can now proudly put my them on display.., Tramadol results. Effects of Tramadol, where the rest of the family can easily access and find... and right underneath the drum pendant I recently bought for $50, Tramadol class. Seriously, all other drum pendants I've searched for were well over $100:


In other news, after my previous failed attempts to grow something green in our house, I finally found something that won't die.., Tramadol Over The Counter. Tramadol coupon, either from kids knocking it over or from pure bad luck ;)


SCALLIONS. At 99 cents per bunch, Tramadol from canada, Cheap Tramadol, growing them on your own will definitely preserve other forms of greenery. And it's so easy, Tramadol description. After Tramadol, Just stick the bottom portion into a cup of water and watch it grow. You'll need to change the water every couple of days, Tramadol online cod. Tramadol dosage, But otherwise, even if they get knocked over, where can i buy cheapest Tramadol online, Tramadol used for, just stick them back in a cup of water and you're good to go. No messy dirt to clean up. Definitely MY kind of gardening :).

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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 | Link to this Post

It's About Time

It's been sunny and relatively warm the past couple of days, nice enough to send the kids outside to get some fresh air...

...and don a new pair of sunglasses!

I even had time to snap a few photos of the children's play corner in the basement that was finally finished:

We had the contractor leave the space under the stairs open so the kids can have a little "hideout" area. I remember setting up house under the basement stairs when I was little - Loving it - spiders and all. Next to the nook is a simple play kitchen where Charissa and Calvin are constantly making soup and baking cookies.

We had to repaint our mudroom due to a patch job from fixing a leaky pipe and chose a nutty brown color for the area:

And... Charissa is finally potty-trained! It's about time, don't you think?! She was supposed to be trained by the end of last year. But with the new baby and her seemingly disinterest in the whole matter, it never got done. So one day last week, I put away her diapers and simply told her that she would no longer be wearing them. And that was that. Mission accomplished. The first thing she asked for was ice cream (since that was what we were offering as an incentive). The second thing she asked for was "go to school with Calvin?" (another incentive that was repeated every morning as she sent him off). So after a few emails and some paperwork, Charissa will be going to school with her big brother tomorrow. And the cutest thing is they'll be in the same class! We went to Trinity Montessori this evening for an hour of child-to-parent show-and-tell, and Charissa came along. They were both so excited. Watching them go through the classroom together reminded me of them running in the basement, shortly after it was finished, holding hands, and yelling, "we're best friends!"

With so much going on, I haven't had time to do anything with the pretty fabric I bought over Christmas:

If only I had more time...

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Boys will be boys…


Thursday, August 13th, 2009 | Link to this Post

Purposeful Play

My mother-in-law, a retired occupational therapist who spent thirty-some years working with young children, has always told me: "A child's occupation is to play." Purposeful play, that is. Ideally, there should be a purpose to every toy purchased, craft planned, and activity set up. I really like The Complete Resource Book for Preschoolers. It has great themed lesson plans that detail the goals of each activity (i.e. fine motor, math, language, etc.) This is also where I first learned how setting up play and learning zones can really help a child focus and play well. I am, by no means, an expert on this subject. But I have found my kids playing better and longer (improved attention span) by setting up simple zones around the house. Since some of my friends have been asking how I organize/ decorate/ set up my home, I thought I'd share a few of my ideas here (as organizing/ decorating/ setting up house primarily revolves around the kids right now).

Zoning Rules

The Playroom

Our playroom is located on the second level in a bonus room above the garage. (If we didn't have the bonus room, it would be located in the basement.) This is where I have my blocks, dramatic play, language, and technology zones.

Blocks zone houses blocks, duplos, trains, cars, train tracks, and stacking and sorting toys. It is supposed to encourage children to build things and learn how to put things together.

Dramatic play zone is where I put all the dress-up clothes and accessories, play food, stuffed animals, and figurines. It is supposed to encourage imagination and mimicking and practicing everyday living.

Language zone contains, what I like to call, "look books", or books that require more adult interaction (think "I Spy" or "Where's Waldo" type of material). By going through these books together, the parent can help develop the child's language skills.

Technology zone consists of electronic learning toys such as the Word Whammer, Leapster, and Leap Pad. This area also includes the computer where I've bookmarked, for the most part, educational sites, that Calvin can easily navigate to himself. I usually try to sit with him during his 30-minute computer session to walk him through some of the games and concepts. (By the way, we've found the Leapster to be a great educational toy when paired with The Letter Factory and The Word Factory games. With The Letter Factory, Calvin learned his letters and phonics in 24 hours, and within a week of The Word Factory, he's been sounding out simple words to spell.)

The playroom is also where I plan to host play dates and playgroups as these zones tend to get noisy :).

The Family Room

This is where I've set up my fine motor and games zones.

Fine motor zone includes beads and stringing activities, play tools and screws, and anything that will (hopefully) encourage development of the small muscles. (I also have coloring books and small crayons here. A therapist I once met told me that giving children thin and short crayons to work with will help kids graduate from the "fist grasp" to "proper pencil" grasp.)

Game zone houses age-appropriate puzzles and games (i.e. Memory and Bingo).

The Breakfast Room

Besides being the "dining zone", the breakfast room is also the art and "learning" zones (which incorporates activities that would technically fall into fine motor, math, discovery, etc.... Basically, anything that can get a bit messy and is better done over non-carpeted areas.) This is where we do all our crafts, painting, and workbook pages.

Bedrooms

This is where I keep the children's books and any toys that are "special" or specific to them (e.g. legos and tiny figurines - things not appropriate for crawling babies - in Calvin's room, play jewelry and dollhouse in Charissa's room, and infant toys in the nursery.)

Another thing I've found to be crucial to making the zones work effectively is storing all the toys and activities at their height. This way, they can take out and put things back by themselves. Not only have setting up zones helped Calvin and Charissa play better, it's also helped me maintain my sanity (no need to sift through all their toys looking for missing puzzle pieces or finding a wad of dried play-doh two months later...)

And one last note, you don't have to spend a lot of money to provide good stimulation. With a little bit of imagination and things around the house, you can put together purposeful activity centers!

From left to right: A "piggy bank" made from a large yogurt container and buttons for number counting; A taped-to-a-cardboard-box angled paper towel tube, tupperware, and some small rolling objects to help kids experiment with very basic physics; Chopsticks, pompoms, and yogurt cups to practice color sorting and help hone those fine motor skills.

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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 | Link to this Post

Moving Up - Part III

Part III (the part where I wean myself from the GPS and make our house a home) is really an ongoing process that will continue beyond this post. So for this particular post, I will just include the projects I've been working on this past week. Organizing and Taming Stuff for Kids

One of the reasons we chose our new home was for the bonus room (or fifth bedroom) above the garage. It is the perfect playroom for the kids, plenty of space with lots of natural light. My goal in planning the playroom was to make everything accessible by them (e.g. at their height), lay out different "centers" or "zones", and of course, label everything!


I have a total of five zones: blocks (shape sorters, nesting boxes, alphabet blocks, trains and tracks, and cars), dramatic play (dress-up, play food and kitchen, Little People sets, and musical instruments), reading (books), technology (computer and electronic toys), and art gallery (where I display their latest creations).

"Artifying" the Everyday

Part of what makes a home unique to its inhabitants are the little diy projects and ideas found in everyday living. Thus far, these include some homemade magnets (you can find instructions on how to make your own magnets here), "artified" recycling instructions, and decorated french doors (to my office) using contact paper:


Some Fun and Practical Blogs

There are so many great blog sites out there these days, two that I follow on a daily basis that have to do with design for kids and home: Design Mom and How About Orange. Check them out when you have time! They are filled with inspiration and ideas!


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Moving Up - Part II

Moving Up - Part I

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