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Friday, January 25, 2013

Pre-School at Home: Week 5 Lesson Plan

Our lesson plan for Week 5 of Pre-School at Home!

Our theme is:

Letter of the Week is "W"
Number of the Week is 8

Check out our full weekly lesson plan on google documents: Pre-School at Home Week 5

Download the weekly theme header HERE

Pre-School at Home Vlog: Week 4

For Week 4 of Pre-School at Home, we had an "Amazing Alphabet" theme! It was a fun week, that involved lots of talking about the letters, singing of the alphabet song, and reading books.

Since Cupcake already knows the 26 letters and order, I focused more on words and what the alphabet can become rather than learning individual letters. We did focus on "A" words, and made an "A is for Alligator craft" and added the "A" words "alligator" and "away" to our board. If I was doing this week with Peanut (who is only 14 months and taking part in activities in a less hands on way, around 18 months I will begin more hands on activities with her as well), I would focus on learning individual letters and alphabet order since she does not know them yet.

We also did a B for Bee and Butterfly craft, since we had the toilet paper rolls available and Cupcake was particularly curious about these:

Craft ideas came from Pinterest, follow my PreSchool Boards on Pinterest:

This week, we also added to our word focus the idea of thinking about the Dolch list of sight words for preschool, which is described more on this KidZone website and the Dolch Word website. Basically these are some of the most used words in the English language, and great sight words to begin with in early reading.

Our worksheets included writing the letter "A" and working on circles again this week.

Exciting things this week... we added a second learning bulletin board to our learning space! This was great because we have more opportunity to put visual items up like the words and going forward in the future - one board will be more rapidly changing while the other will hold the calendar and weather activities.

Stay tuned for next week, when we introduce Wonderful Weather! And talking about weather elements  will become a part of our weekly routine!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Learning Space!

I've shown it in a number of YouTube videos on Being Mommy With Style and also on our Facebook page - but I thought I would take the time to share photos of our learning space here on the blog. (And share to Pinterest as well!)

Week 2 Learning Board

Desk Area


Week 3 Learning Board

Artwork Wall in Playroom

Thanks for stopping by! Follow us during our Pre-School at Home Journey in 2013:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pre-School at Home Vlog - Week 2 & Week 3

Our activities from Pre-School at Home weeks 2 & 3!

For Week 2, we had the theme "Perfectly Polar" and the letter of the week was "P". Cupcake completed some adorable crafts, a cute little penguin made from the cut out of her foot (get the instructions HERE), and we also tried doing an "estimation station" for the first time ever.

Learning Board:

Week 3 was themed "Captivating Colors", the letter of the week was "C", and the number of the week was "5". Cupcake completed a Valentine's Day themed window pane made of tissue paper and construction paper - and we read the book, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobdovkina.

Learning Board:

We're having a lot of fun working on our preschool projects at home and it seems like Cupcake is already showing some improvement in the different skills we've been working on like writing and reading!

Crafts we completed during week 2:

Crafts we completed during week 3:

Worksheets Cupcake completed:

Find out full details on crafts, newly uploaded videos, and more at:

Pre-School at Home: Week 4 Lesson Plan

Pre-School at Home Week 4!

Our theme is:

Letter of the Week is "A"
Number of the Week is 26

Check out our full weekly lesson plan on google documents: Pre-School at Home Week 4

Download the weekly theme header HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last chance! Zoya 3 FREE!

Don't forget! The Zoya promo code for THREE FREE polishes expires tonight at midnight!

Code is ZOYA2013!

Receive 3 free polishes and pay online $10 s/h. Expires at midnight on January 13, 2013.

I ordered Addison, Sirena, & Kylie! I'm excited for some fun pink and neutral colors for Spring!

Pre-School at Home: Week 3 Lesson Plan

Pre-School at Home Week 3!

Our theme is:

Letter of the Week is "C"
Number of the Week is 5

Check out our full weekly lesson plan on google documents: Pre-School at Home Week 3

Download the weekly theme header HERE

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And I spoke too soon...

Peanut is now weaned from the bottle and exclusively using a sippy cup! What, you say? Did I accidentally have the prior post in a queue and it didn't posted in a timely manner? Nope... Less than 12 hours after my blog post, I found the trick to weaning tough to wean children off the bottle... Leave them with Daddy for the evening!

I had an eye appointment last night (because I'm blind as a bat and have to stringently go to my yearly appointments to get new contacts) and Daddy came home from work a bit early to watch the girls while I had my eyes checked. During my 2 hour appointment, during daddy boot camp, Natalie magically decided she was a sippy cup baby and gave in on her non-sippy cup using stance.

Today, she has been a totally different child! Very few instances of crying (and the weeks prior to this would be crying spurt after crying spurt), she is happily using the sippy cup and I even noticed she seemed more independent when I picked her up at the gym child care today as well! (She normally would be on the little "baby" side in a swing or playing after they had to console her from a crying spurt, today she was on the "big kid" side happily playing with toys even after my hour long Zumba class!)

So what I have learned from this instance was...

1) Keep trying!! Getting to where you want to be could be just around the corner!

2) Sometimes a little tough love might be best instances of weaning... I was too soon to give in and get a bottle (either with milk in the beginning or with water at the end) to put a stop to the crying.

3) If you must use the bottle while trying to wean your little one off of it, try the cutting an "X" in the top of it! It could be sheer coincidence... but she might have also gotten so fed up with the bottle not working that she turned to the sippy!

4) Out of sight, out of mind... one thing that my husband mentioned he did differently was that his "emergency" bottle with water on it (yes, he had one - but never had to use it) was out of Peanut's line of sight. I suspect she had always been able to catch a glimpse of the one I had on hand and knew it was there as a safety net.

5) When they open their mouth while in the high chair, stick the sippy cup in it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. When we had gotten into the depths of weaning, I tried this - but gave up too easily. I would "repeat, repeat", and finally give in - getting the bottle with water. My husband just kept doing this over and over... and it is what he felt finally got her to just decide to do it on her own!

6) Once it "clicks" with them - ditch the bottle forever! My husband mentioned that Peanut had that "a-ha!" lightbulb look and just started drinking the whole sippy cup. Once they have that moment, you know there is no turning back. All of our bottles were put in our basement last night.

7) And last... but definitely not least. It never hurts to let someone else have a try at it! A mere 2 hours with Daddy, and Natalie was bottle weaned...

... I can't wait to see what he can do with potty training Cupcake! ;)

(Reservations at Daddy boot camp are currently being made!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Battle of the Sippy Cup!

We have woes around our house weaning Peanut from the bottle... just like the old adage says - every child is different. And at my house, this rings especially true - my two girls are VERY different, almost opposites in many ways.

Cupcake was easy to wean off the bottle. She wasn't particular about the type of sippy cup that was used, we started her with them early... introducing them around 4 months and always having them on her trays at meals. Around 6 months she actually would begin to "use" them for some water along with her meal (with her main drink still being formula in her bottle) and by 8-9 months, she was proficient at using the sippy cup herself. She could pick it up and maneuver it around with ease, often times keeping a piece of food in one hand while holding her drink in the other!

At 12 months, we weaned Cupcake from the bottle with ease. The bottle was eliminated cold turkey... bye bye bottle one day, milk in a sippy cup from that point on, easy, breezy. (We did use two different types of cups for water versus milk, so that she associated a certain type of cup with a certain drink. We still do this now at 2.5 years old as well.) A bottle weaning parent's dream.

Peanut? Not so much.

Her first words? "Ba, ba!" Not as in sheep, but as in "Ba-ba, give me my darn bottle RIGHT NOW..." Even now at 13 months, it is her most spoken phrase.

She had eating issues right from the beginning of life - not taking to many kinds of formula, issues with transitioning to the soft Gerber baby foods, and then issues again taking to "regular" table food... always meeting the milestone behind the ages that Cupcake had taken to the foods. I should have know that bottle versus sippy cup would end up in the food woes category. It just takes her a longer time to adapt to change and she isn't fond of change to boot, which is all okay... well, would be okay.'t.for.the.horrific.screaming.

Peanut's new trick that she has also learned in the past month (super fun that it coincides with the timing of weaning off of the bottle) - is to shriek a blood-curdling scream at the top of her lungs when she isn't getting what she wants. Fun. Fun. And more fun!

I put down my foot at the beginning of the week. She is 13.5 months old. By her doctor's appointment for 15 months, we HAD to have made at least some progress on being "off the bottle".

So bye, bye bottle - kind of. We tried cold turkey in the beginning, and it became rapidly obvious that cold turkey would not be working with Peanut. So then we transitioned into putting water in the bottle, milk in a sippy as a little psychology test. She still chose the bottle. The next step was to lay down the gauntlet. Today, I cut slits in the top of the bottle so that it no longer had that smooth flow action for her to even get water. She is not happy.

I will update you on our progress, and I'm still hoping to find a sippy cup that she actually likes. We have yet in our menagerie of cups found one that she has "taken" to... We have them all, Playtex, Nuby, Tommee Tippee, Munchkin, small ones, big ones, ones with handles, ones without handles,ones with straws, hard top... we have the full range. Peanut hates them all.

Don't let that smile fool you! Nothing is standing between this girl and her prized, "ba-ba"! 
How did you wean your toddler that loved their bottle? And what kind of sippy cup did they prefer?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Create Abilities for Kids Art Activities Review!

We received two fun January art projects to try out from Create Abilities for Kids!

Create Abilities for Kids creates art activities that are age appropriate for your 3 year old, 4 year old, or 5 year old and has a monthly subscription available where you can receive either two, three, or four art projects depending on the monthly amount you're wanting to spend. The projects arrive in the mail at the beginning of the month and have everything from start to finish you will need to complete the project, including brushes, paper to protect your table, and easy to read instructions!

The instruction sheets were one of my favorite parts of the kits, as they were easy to read and clearly laid out - with a section on what you child would gain from the activity, what materials were included in the kit, instructions for how to make the craft, and a bright picture of a suggestion of what the craft may look like. There were even fun facts on the back of the sheet, to share with your child as they worked!

I took some time with Cupcake (who was 2 years, 7 months old at the time of this review) to complete a January kit for 3 year olds - and she loved it! We've been doing more crafts around our house lately, so this was perfect for both mommy and child! Perfect for me that set-up and cleaning up were so easy - and perfect for Cupcake because she got to try some fun new art projects we had not tried before.

She especially appreciated the foam brushes that were included to do the painting work, as she's not big on getting her hands dirty. They were easy to work with and worked better for her than even brushes had in the past.

We created January glitter shapes, to celebrate the New Year:

And our other craft was to make a blue bird, to celebrate National Bird Day on January 5th:

Watch my full review and some footage of Cupcake completing the projects on beingmommywithstyle:

All in all, this art activity kit subscription is a great idea and I will be looking into it for my girls. I loved that it was so easy to clean up afterwards. These projects would also be the perfect projects for weeks that I was a bit more time strapped and didn't have time to do the "pre-activity" work, like cutting out of shapes and gathering materials. Everything you need is included in one neat little box from Create Abilities for Kids!

Get more information about the art activity kits here:

* This was not a paid review, I've given my honest opinion and assessment of the products mentioned. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pre-School at Home!

We're starting a new project around our house at the beginning of the new year, that I'm calling "Pre-School at Home"! It will just be a bit more formal learning time and structured learning activities for Cupcake, as she gets older and gets ready to go off to a few days of pre-school herself, perhaps next year. I thought we could begin working on basic things like furthering her reading, addition, subtraction, calendar basics, learning time, and other foundation learning activities to continue the learning we had already started at home.

I laid out our goals for the year with a brief introduction:

The program will primarily start out with just Cupcake (2 years, 7 months old) and will eventually be a combined learning program for Peanut as well, once she is 18 months old. (We begin reading basics at our house around 18 months old. She has already shown interest in books, so I am hoping we can capitalize on that enthusiasm!)

I also shared our first two weeks worth of lesson plans, which are fairly basic and just to get us started. I'm hoping to continually add to the lesson plans, both in structure and content wise, so that by the end of the year they are an advanced version of what they started out as...

I'm excited to begin this journey of more doing more learning activities at home in addition to the reading skills we were already doing... and looking forward to seeing what the girls' favorite parts of it are. Each week we will have a different theme, different letter focus, number focus, book focus, worksheet activities, art activities, and other motor skill activities or field trips that are related to that week's theme. I think it should be a fun adventure!

Here are Week 1 and Week 2's lesson plan outlines, for your personal use if you would like to gain ideas for your own home!

Pre-School at Home Week 1

Pre-School at Home Week 2

* Lesson plans are for personal use only, please do not distribute. All content above is my personal opinion.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Surprise perfume love!

I do not normally go for perfumes that are celebrity endorsed, sometimes it seems like the actual quality of the perfume can be overlooked since there is a celebrity name on the front to compensate for the content. I normally, can pass right by them without second glance and do not feel like I'm missing out on anything.

I received a sample of Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck Enchanted from Sephora, and tried it on a whim not anticpating much of it... but I have to say - it was REALLY great! A sweet and subtle scent that was reasonably long-lasting and the bottle is gorgeous too. It starts out sweet and fruity, and settles into a lovely girly scent that you don't mind catching a whiff of during the day. After using most of my mini sample, I do believe this perfume is going on my "must have" list for perfume purchases in 2013!

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted,, $49.50

If you haven't tried it already and like sweet scents, you should head over to Sephora to check out a sample!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Our countdown to noon on New Year's Eve day!

And our low key first day of 2013!