Saturday, January 31, 2009


Yesterday I woke up at 4am, by choice. 

My sister-in-law's baby shower is tomorrow, which required a trip to NY. It's typically a 7 hour drive and I've made it several times so it's not a big deal. But there's one thing I've learned in the past two years from these trips, drive as much as you can while the kid sleeps. 

My son always falls asleep in the car even if it's not his typical nap-time. I once left right after work (6pm) and drove straight through, arriving at 1am. Connor slept pretty much the whole way and was then wide awake when we got to NY. So there I am, ready to pass out, and he's ready to play. At 4am he finally fell asleep again. I don't recommend it. 

Now, I try to wake up early so that we do as much of the drive as possibly during times he's normally asleep. It works out much better for everyone involved. 

Take my advice, if you have to make a long car trip, drive while they're already asleep. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today's Activities

Here's how yesterday went:

8am-breakfast/tv time
9am-Connor attempts to put his pajamas back on over his clothes. Tries to put the shirt on upside down. Fails, gets frustrated, cries, refuses my help, gets over it. 
9:20-Connor refuses to play with me and instead chooses to spend his time underneath our dining room table. 
10am-asks for a drink and snack
10:15-still won't play with me
11am-asks for lunch, i show him pictures of family to teach him their names. Repeatedly refers to Nana as "watch football" (referring to his last visit with her where they watched football, a lot). 
11:15am-we start to play with his trains, building a track and me talking about the color and number of trains we're playing with. 
11:30-he gets bored so I "hide" pieces to one of his puzzles in obvious places and ask him to go find them. 
11:35-finishes the puzzle and decides to play ball so we start to play catch
11:45-catch turns into "where's the ball?" with connor hiding the ball and then bringing it back to me and exclaiming "I found it!"
11:55-turns into "where's mommy?"
12-he brings me books in my hiding place and we read
12:30-I ask if it's time for a nap and he says "no!" and runs underneath the dining room table again. Plays quietly for a little while. 
12:50-we go upstairs for naptime
1pm-Asleep! Time to get some work done. 

2:30-Connor wake up grumpy, asks for Elmo, I guiltily put in an Elmo DVD for him
3:15pm-Finger Painting!
4pm-Daddy's home, so playtime with him
6:15pm-free play for the rest of the evening
9:30pm-bedtime routine and out for the night!

I'm exhausted, how about you?

Building onto the schedule

What I've been trying to do to flesh out the schedule a bit is a lot of research. I don't have a degree in child development, but I still want my son to be stimulated. He's at the age where he will sit down and watch tv if I let him, but that is no way to spend an entire day. 

I do however allow him an hour in the mornings while he eats breakfast. It's still more than the recommended amount for his age, but it makes it a lot easier for me to catch up on the news/blogs and do some quick cleaning. 

But I digress, what I want to talk about is research. There are a lot of websites out there dedicated to homeschooling. These are dedicated more to the school-age kids (as they should be) so they weren't exactly helpful for me. I did come across a lot of great news and information websites for parents, which are fun to read but not exactly helpful for my purpose. But then I came across which is the most helpful one I found. It goes into a lot of detail about kids' development at every age. It even had sections where it recommended some activities to do with kids and help them learn. 

The next thing I did was go to the library. I picked up a bunch of books that have activities for toddlers. Then I looked at his schedule from his old daycare to see how they broke up the day. Finally, I've been paying attention to what my son's interests are so I can make sure he will like what we're doing. 

All the research I've done says that kids learn best through play. I'm not planning on trying to make him sit down and do flashcards or drills. Instead I plan on asking him how many trains he has as we're pushing them along the tracks. If I can teach him to count or know his colors while we're playing, I think that's a great thing. 

Of course, I'll also make sure there's plenty of time for free play as well since that's just as important as anything else. 

And that, in my long-winded way, is how I'm creating a schedule for my son. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009


This is the basic schedule that I'm working with now. 

8am-Wake Up, Eat Breakfast, Get Dressed

There's a lot of hours in-between that I'm working on filling up with fun but educational activities. I'll start filling in the blanks tomorrow. For now, enjoy this silly picture!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


So, I've been thinking that I need to figure out exactly what I want to talk about in this blog. I have a lot of things running through my head but don't think I want to talk about all of them here. I thought it might be better to focus on one specific topic. At least most of the time.
After much consideration, I decided to focus on my daily schedule. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but with my son no longer in daycare, I want to make sure he still has things that stimulate him and educate him every day. 

So starting tomorrow, I'll talk about what activities we do and anything else that relates to him. Hopefully, this will be helpful to others hoping to figure out just what to do every day with a little one. 

See you tomorrow! 

Friday, January 23, 2009

New people

My family doesn't get out much. 

Our family lives far away and we are not originally from this area, so we don't have friends that we've known forever. Throw in the fact that my husband is not a very social person and it's easy to see why. 

Most of the friends I've made are from work. And Connor's friends were from daycare. But now that we're not going to work or daycare, we don't see a whole lot of people on a regular basis. So how do you go about finding playgroups?

I was a bit lost about how to do that. My friends up until now had always been made out of proximity. My friends in elementary, middle and high schools were ones in the same classes as me. The ones in college were my roommates or they lived on the same floor. At work, they were in the same department as me. But now, I have to search out people who have something in common with me. 

That's  bit intimidating. But here's my list:
Kids close to the same age as mine. 
Willing to meet-up for playdates. 
And the ever important "clicking." It's hard to find people who you can get along with and whose kids yours can get along with. 

Today, we met with our first playgroup and I'm hopeful it will lead to more gatherings. Of course if my son hadn't been playing escape artist I would have had a better chance to chat with the other moms. But that's for another time. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I love lists. 

They help me feel organized and accomplished. My first post-college job involved a lot of tasks that needed to be done at specific times. So in order to keep them all straight, our department had a Task List. We would meet everyday and sign up for the next day's tasks. It was very organized and wonderful. The next job I took wasn't quite like that. I was forced to make my own lists and what needed to get done changed all the time. But there was still some sense of stability. I felt productive whenever I checked something off my list. 
So when I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a bit lost. Kids don't come with lists. With a baby, there's basic needs that are fairly easy to take care of. They're exhausting and needy, but you can check things off in your head. 

Feeding. Check!
Burping. Check!
Diaper Change. Check!
Sleeping. Check!
Make crazy faces at baby to get a laugh. Check!

But as time goes on, the list gets bigger. You worry about them learning words. Are they practicing gross and fine motor skills? What's the difference? Am I reading to him often enough? Should he be having more playdates? You want your child to have everything he needs to become a well-adjusted, successful adult. So where are the lists to help you accomplish that? 

I scoured the internet looking for advice and suggestions. I found some helpful websites, some funny ones, and a lot of mediocre, general advice. I wanted specifics. I wanted "On Tuesday, practice letter recognition by doing x." But that doesn't exist. So I've been forced to come up with my own lists. I'm still working on them. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In the Beginning

Hello all!
This being my first foray into the world of blogging, I'm not quite sure where to begin. I feel like I've come a bit late to the party. Blogging has been around for a while, and yet I haven't had time to participate. Well, today that changes. 
So, let me introduce myself. My name is Kat. I'm a work-at-home mom to a 2-year-old boy and wife to a sailor. I grew up in the Northeast, but the Navy move us around every few years, and we currently reside in the mid-atlantic. Until recently, I worked full-time with aspirations to be a freelance writer someday. Then, the economy forced my company to do layoffs and I was a casualty. So, now I'm pursuing my freelance dreams and trying to be a good mom at the same time. I'm quickly learning that both take a lot of effort and hard work, and I plan to chronicle my efforts in this blog. Hopefully, this combination of kids, work and random things will be interesting to you. 
Please visit often as I find my way!