Thursday, August 26, 2010

School Art Photo Books

School is just around the corner for us.
Soon Cannon will be coming home with all sorts of crafts and drawings that will crowd my fridge and flood my storage compartments.

Don't get me wrong, I love to see what he comes home with.
And I love to see it on display, and how proud it makes him.

But lets be honest... there is NO WAY I am going to keep it all.
There is also no way that Cannon will willingly let me transfer it from fridge to garbage can.

So, if you find yourself sneaking art displays into the trash while your child isn't looking, you really need to pay attention to this idea.

School Art Photo Books
When your kiddo comes home with the latest and greatest artwork, take a picture of it with your camera, or scan it into your computer.

Then transfer the real thing to the fridge.
When its time to replace it with something else, you won't feel terrible about throwing out their wonderful projects, because you've got a digital copy stored away.

Cannon likes to browse through his 'artwork' folder on the computer.  I would say it makes him just as happy to see it on the screen as it did in real life.
Someday I'll actually develop the pictures so he can have something tangible to look at.

Either way, it has been a lifesaver for me... and my fridge!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nielsen's Grove Park

My friend organized a "park group" for the neighborhood moms.
Each week we go to a different park.
This particular one was amazing.

Nielsens Grove Park

Lots of room to run around,
a big playground area,
a pond with ducks and fish,
fountains to play in,
big flower displays,
etc., etc.

Cannon loved the pond...

Especially being able to watch the fish.

Lincoln preferred the fountain.

Did I mention the fact that it is the size of a small kid pool?

With knee deep water and rubber on the bottom so kids don't slip?

And a plaque that specifically states that this fountain isn't for swimming...
but as you can see it is VERY ignored.

They have a HUGE grass field that runs through the middle of the park.

Which, by the way, it mostly fenced in.
Your kids could run for a while without getting lost.

My boys loved it!
This park seriously has it all.
If you've never been, you've got to go check it out.

Here's how to get there:
- From I15: Get off on University Parkway (UVU exit) and head east
- Turn right onto Sandhill Road (just before Walmart)
- Turn left onto 1840 South
That should take you to the parking lot.

Have fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Key Social, Emotional, and Communication Milestones

This is another handout I received from Kids on the Move.
Is Your Baby Meeting These Important Milestones?
Key Social, Emotional, and Communication Milestones for Your Baby's Healthy Development
Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D.
Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Amy Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

The milestones in this chart are important to a child's healthy learning, behavior, and development.  While each child develops differently, some differences may indicate a slight delay and others may be a cause for greater concern.  The following milestones provide important guidelines for tracking healthy development from four months to three years of age.  These milestones should not be used in place of a screening, but should be used as discussion points between parents and physicians at each well visit.  If a child does not have the skills listed - or if there is a loss of any skill at any age - be sure to let your physician know.

Does your Baby...
At 4 months:

  • Follow and react to bright colors, movement, and objects?

  • Turn toward sounds?

  • Show interest in watching people's faces?

  • Smile back when you smile?
At 6 months:

  • Relate to you with real joy?

  • Smile often while playing with you?

  • Coo or babble when happy?

  • Cry when unhappy?
At 9 months:

  • Smile and laugh while looking at you?

  • Exchange back-and-forth smiles, loving faces, and other expressions with you?

  • Exchange back-and-forth sounds with you?

  • Exchange back-and-forth gestrues with you, such as giving, taking, and reaching?
At 12 months:

  • Use a few gestures, one after another, to get needs mets; like giving, showing, reaching, waving, and pointing?

  • Play peek-a-boo, patty cake, or other social games?

  • Make sounds, like "ma," "ba," "na," "da," and "ga?"

  • Turn to the person speaking when his/her name is called?
At 15 months:

  • Exchange with you many back-and-forth smiles, sounds, and gestures in a row?

  • Use pointing or other "showing" gestures to draw attention to something of interest?

  • Use different sounds to get needs met and draw attention to something of interest?

  • Use and understand at least three words, such as "mama," "dada," "bottle," or bye-bye?
At 18 months:

  • Use a lot of gestures with words to get needs met, like pointing or taking you by the hand and saying, "want juice"?

  • Use at least four different consonants in babbling or words, such as m, n, p, b, t, and d?

  • Use and understnad at least 10 words?

  • Show that he or she knows the names of familiar people or body parts by pointing to or looking at them when they are named?

  • Do simple pretend play, like feeding a doll or stuffed animal, and attracting your attention by looking up at you?
At 24 months:

  • Do pretend play with you with more than one action, like feeding the doll and then putting the doll to sleep?

  • Use and understand at least 50 words?

  • Use at least two words together (without imitating or repeating) and in a way that makes sense, like "want juice"?

  • Enjoy being next to children of the same age and show interest in playing with them, perhaps giving a toy to another child?

  • Look for familiar objects out of sight when asked?
At 36 months:

  • Enjoy pretending to play different characters with you or talking for dolls or action figures?

  • Enjoy playing with children of the same age, perhaps showing and telling another child about a favorite toy?

  • Use thoughts and actions together in speech and in play in a way that makes sense, like "sleepy, go take nap" and "baby hungry, feed bottle"?

  • Answer "what," "where," and "who" questions easily?

  • Talk about interests and feelings about the past and the future?
Red Flags
If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter (1)

  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressins by nine months or thereafter (1)

  • No babbling by 12 months (2)

  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months (2)

  • No words by 16 months (2)

  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months (2)

  • ANY loss of speech or babbling or social skills at ANY age (2)
(1) Greenspan, S.I. (1999) Building Healthy Minds, Perseus Books
(2) Filipek, P.A., et al. Practice parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism, Neurology 2000, 55: 468-79.

The key social, emotional, and communication milestones were compiled and adapted with permission from the following sources: Greenspan, S.I. (1999) Building Healthy Minds, Perseus Books; Prizzant, B. M., Wetherby, A.M., Roberts, J.E. (2000) Communication Disorders in Infants and Toddlers, In C. Zeanah (Ed.) Handbook of Infant Mental Health, Second Edition, New York: Guilford Press; and Wetherby, A.M. (1999) Babies Learn to Talk at an Amazing Rate, FIRST WORDS Project, Florida State University.

The authors wish to thank the following people who contributed to these milestones: Ilene Beal; Frances P. Glascoe, Ph.D.; Rebecca Landa, Ph.D.; and Robert H. Wharton, M.D.

2001 First Signs, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hiking Dry Canyon

Tate and I both love hiking.
We thought it would be good for Cannon, too.
Anything with uneven terrain is good practice for stretching your feet.
Our boys pretty much love anything that consists of them being outside.
We took them to Dry Canyon the other day... they loved it!

For those of you who have never been, there is a map at the bottom of the trail (you will not get lost!)

It starts out with some 'stairs';
(you can see them at the base of the sandy looking hill on the left).

The trail is very wide and family friendly.
Your kids should have no problem navigating their own way up.

There are some parts with a slight drop off, so you will have to supervise.
Cannon liked trying to throw rocks into the river below.

This trail wraps all the way around to Baldy and connects to the Battlecreek and Grovecreek Canyon trails.
You will obviously not go that far, but you need to at least get up to the rock steps...

That is where the view starts to get good
(not that this picture does any justice).

If you are not afraid of heights (or your kids are older), you can take them up to the cliffs.  There will be a trail that switches back up ahead on your left.
It is an excellent view, but VERY DANGEROUS for younger kids, so be mindful of that.
But don't let that scare you... there is plenty of trial for them to run around safely at the bottom.

So, want to go?
Here are the directions:
From State Street in Orem, take 200 S. (heading East), towards the Mountains.
(200 S. is the next light north of 1600 North)
Follow that road all the way up to the top.
The main road will wrap around to the right and turn into Skyline Drive.
You will want to turn left just before the main road curves to the right (sorry, don't know the street name).
Follow that road and it will take you directly to the trailhead parking lot (the road will turn to gravel just before you get there).

Have fun!