Do you Allows Toys in the Living Room?

Renting a small apartment means limited space and no playroom. In our home we have a living room, spot for a dining table and chairs, kitchen with hardly any counter space, and two bedrooms. That’s it…no playroom, den, or office. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my small apartment. It keeps me from overloading it with unnecessary items and we have a garage, driveway, lawn, and we’re close to the center of town. clean living room collage

Now with a small apartment, my office is a spot on the couch…which is NOT comfortable, but it works. I prefer the other couch, but I have the roll-out electric fireplace that I use as a make shift table. office couch

AJ has a nice sized room, but never plays in there. I can hear AJ in his room and see into part of it from the kitchen. He even has a TV and DVD player. Despite all that he tries to drag all his toys into the living room.

his room collage

I put my foot down while cleaning and organizing this summer. I made it very clear that no toys are to be brought in the living room, it’s only for watching TV and movies. I set up a play space for him on the side of the couch near his bedroom door…that was working…for a bit.

messy living room collage

Well as you can suspect it only lasted two days…soon toys were everywhere in the living room, cushions were down and made into forts, and it was a mess once again. Hubby is frustrated as wants to enjoy the living area as do I, but at the same time I understand our son doesn’t want to be cast off in his room. At this point, I have given up fighting him on the toys and mess, though I have limited the amount he brings in the space.

basement door

If we didn’t have that basement door between the bedrooms, we could set up a play area there. That would make a perfect spot for AJ to play while keeping our living room clutter free…but we need to have access to that door at all times.

Where do you let your kids play with their toys?

This Week I Read…

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The Adventures of Captain Underpants

 

Amazon Summary:

The first book in Dav Pilkey’s mega-bestselling Captain Underpants series. Now with super-cool foil covers! Shiny! Fun!

George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school–and now they’re going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret, even HE doesn’t know who he is!
Acclaimed author and Caldecott Honor illustrator Dav Pilkey provides young readers with the adventure of a lifetime in this outrageously funny, action-packed, easy-to-read chapter book. With hilarious pictures on every page, THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS is great for both beginning and chapter-book readers. And like Dav’s other best-selling books of humor, it is sure to provide even the most reluctant readers with hours of fun.

AJ’s Review:

I love Captain Underpants. George and Harold are very funny and they play tricks on people. I’m going to read Attack of the Talking Toilets next. Captain Underpants runs around in his underwear. He is naked…(AJ laughs out loud). I like the cartoons George and Harold draw in the book. 

Mommy’s Review:

AJ bought this at a school fair and so glad he did. What a great book to get kids interested in reading in chapter books and capturing bathroom humor. Yes, bathroom humor…but, if it gets a kid reading then it’s worth it. The first book is an introduction to George, Harold, and Captain Underpants.

AJ was able to remember what we read the night before and summarize it for me, before we read the next few chapters. It’s easy to follow along and make predictions. 

AJ has read thirty-three books so far. For 30 books he got a superhero pic taken. In my opinion this is the BEST prize the library ever had. They had a green screen app and green cloth hanging up.

What’s even better is that they are hosting a comic-con this coming Saturday!!!!!

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Getting Paid to do Chores

mney

Around my early twenties I heard on a talk show that the best way to teach your kids about money and chores was to pay them half their age each week for chores. I always remembered that and thought about instilling this when I had kids. Fast forward to years later when we had AJ and I thought it would be better to make him do chores because he lives here and it’s what he has to do. We all need to have a hand in keeping up our home and he never needs for anything.

Now, AJ’s starting to ask for more toys, videos, games, and other things he sees. He’s not spoiled, but has no concept of the value of money and what it means to work for it. So I decided to go back to my original plan.

AJ is now getting paid $3.00 every Friday for basic and expected chores around the house. He must set the table, clean the table after he eats, put away his toys, put pillows back on the couch, fold towels and put them away, and vacuum (use the carpet sweeper) his room.

chores

For extra money (25 to 50 cents), he can do other chores….such as washing dishes, replacing toilet paper, cleaning the bathroom sink, sweeping the porch, clean the dining room chairs, and clean the kitchen floor.

As he gets older not only will the difficulty of the chores, but the amount of money will increase as well. When he’s 7 he’ll get paid $3.50, when he’s 8 he’ll get $.4.00, 9 years will get him $4.50…and so forth.

What about when he’s in his teens? That’s almost no money per week. What if he takes on more responsibility? Can he get more per week? 

I hope that by the time he’s ready for working papers he will get an after school job and working hard to earn money will be a no-brainer for him.  Though helping around the house will still be expected. As for increasing his amount per week, I think that is open to discussion. Right now the small amounts are good enough. If he wants to earn more per week, then he will be expected to do more.

Hubby and I had a discussion about when AJ’s older, he can rake leaves, shovel snow, wash cars, take out the garbage, and even do his own laundry.

How does earning money help him understand how to save? 

We are keeping a record of what he has in his wallet and bank at home. Money in his wallet is for spending. He keeps asking to spend it, but I keep reminding him he may want to spend it on our upcoming vacation. This will prepare him for keeping a well detailed check register, understand what it means to save and spend money, and how to save for something big.

If he saves up $20.00 and puts it in the big bank, then I will add another $20.00. I think an incentive to save is not only great for him, but will increase the amount we have saved for his college fund.

chores3

What about giving to charity and helping others? 

Yes I encourage helping and giving to others. AJ likes give at church and for other donations. He already donates clothes and toys and giving money to help charities is important. For Christmas time AJ will spend some of his money to help out kids in need. Though getting him involved in a specific charity or cause might be beneficial as well.

Do you pay your kids for chores? Teach them how to save?
How to help with charities? 

This Week I Read…

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Bunny Loves to Read

We were going to review another first grade book, but we would have not given it good reviews. AJ immediately felt it was a kindergarten book with just first grade on the cover. I didn’t think it was fair to give a bad review, so we are going to skip it. If you really want to know the book, in order to avoid buying it then email me.

 

Amazon Summary:

Bunny loves to read, but his friends want him to play outside with them…until it rains, and they all discover what fun reading and pretending can be.

AJ’s Review:

I like to read like Bunny, but his friends only wnat to play outside. They don’t like books or reading. He shows them cool books and they read and want to read more.  

Mommy’s Review:

A wonderful book with amazing illustrations. All of Bunny’s friends hate reading, but Bunny shows them the loves, mysteries, suspense, and magic of reading. Soon they want to read books too. An amazing book that proves the power of reading. 

AJ has read twenty-eight books so far. Some books are on his reading level and other books are pictures books that I read to him. Some say that those don’t count, but if you know AJ from all his book posts you know he keeps reading the books. You read a book to him once, he recalls just about every word on each page then will reread it to himself over and over. Besides, reading is MORE than just decoding, it’s comprehending what’s on the page.

reading

Reading 10 books – prize is poster

10 books

Reading 20 books – prize is coupon for ice cream20 books

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This Week I Read…

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First Grade, Here I Come!

    

Amazon Summary:

After the first day of first grade, Henry’s not sure how he feels about it. The teacher isn’t like his kindergarten teacher, and the fifth-graders hog the monkey bars. But as Henry tells his mother about a new friend who likes soccer and about how he’ll learn to read books, he begins to realize that maybe first grade won’t be so bad after all.

AJ’s Review:

He tells his mommy about his first day of first grade. He likes some things and doesn’t like others. I love my kindergarten teacher and don’t want to have another teacher, but Mommy says I will love my new teacher too. I want to learn really cool things in school too. 

Mommy’s Review:

Cute set up, with the little boy explaining to his mom how the first day went. He compares and contrasts kindergarten to first grade. I introduced AJ to a venn diagram and he did really well with comparing and contrasting the two grade levels.

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This Week I Read…

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The Night Before First Grade

    

Amazon Summary:

It’’s the night before the Big Day—-first grade! Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers —as well as the “heroine” of the story— and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

AJ’s Review:

She’s going to first grade and wants to be with her friend, but they are in different classes. They are sad, but meet new friends, then they are all friends. The new friends are twins, I know twins, but they are a boy and girl. Twins means you are born at the same time.

Mommy says I have to stay I’m going into first grade like the girl. I’m a first grader.

Mommy’s Review:

The book’s writing and premise is based on “The Night Before Christmas” which is cute. Apparently there are a bunch of books The Night Before for each stage in a kid’s life. Too bad adults can’t have books like that…The Night Before I get paid, ….A New Job, …..My Wedding, …..I Gave Birth, …..Everyone Got The Stomach Bug.

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What are your kids reading? 

This Week I Read…

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Only One You

    

Before we get to the book review, AJ is excited for the summer reading program. For AJ reading every night, even during the day is not an issue. He loves to read and create his own books. As of today, he has read 10 books, so we have to get to the library to get his prize.

This year the prizes are…

  • 10 books: Summer Reading poster
  • 20 books: Ice cream gift certificate to Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe
  • 30 books: Get your superhero photo taken.
  • 40 books: Cool sunglasses courtesy of the Friends of the %%%%%%% Library.
  • 50 books: Toy Chest gift certificate (toy store in town)

Amazon Summary:

There’s only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place. Adri’s mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son. Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world. This exquisitely illustrated book explodes with color and honest insights. Kranz’s uniquely painted rockfish, set against vibrant blue seas, make an unforgettable and truly special impression. Only One You will inspire parents and children of all ages as they swim through the sea of life.

AJ’s Review:

He is the only kid like me. His parents tell him lots of things because they think they have wisdom. Mommy says wisdom is knowing a lot of things. The mommy and daddy want the boy fish to have fun, make friends, and see lots of art. Art is everywhere, it is, I’m serious. 

Mommy’s Review:

It’s nice to read a book that features an only child, even though it does not focus on being an only…just portrays a family with one child. There are books about new babies, different types of families, and stages in kids’ lives. So if I come across a book about an only child I grab it up and want to celebrate our family. 

This book is inspiring and sweet. It doles out wisdom that all parents want to instill in their children. It does not focus on making lots of money or being powerful. Instead the parents want their child to see the beauty in life, be happy and, make a difference in the world.

This was one of the books we bought using a gift card from his Grandma and Grandpa. we bought a few first grade books, and a bridge activity book to get him ready for first grade. . 

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This Week I Read

 

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Loose Tooth


    

Amazon Summary:

A young boy wakes up one morning to find that he has his very first loose tooth. But no matter how much he pushes, pulls, and wiggles it, it just won’t come out!

Lola Schaefer’s energetic text and Sylvie Wickstrom’s exuberant illustrations perfectly capture the excitement and anxiety of a child losing his first tooth in an appealing book about a childhood milestone

o Beginning readers will recognize and respond to the familiar situation of a child with his very first loose tooth.

o Energetic and engaging, Lola M. Schaefer’s very simple story is perfect for the youngest beginning readers.

o Expressive and lively illustrations will delight young children.

AJ’s Review:

I had a loose tooth, but then it fell out. I swallowed it while I was eating lunch at school. Now the tooth fairy is getting a “poop tooth”. Don’t worry, Mommy says she has magic to clean it off and I still get money. The’s boys tooth came out all by itself, just like mine.  

first tooth

Don’t mind the face paint and stamps…it was a kindergarten celebration to get ready for first grade.

Mommy’s Review:

An easy to read book with word and sentence repetitions to reinforce decoding of text. The boy has a loose tooth and wants it out, but it won’t come out. His family tries to help, but then it comes out all on its own. Perfect for beginner readers and kids who are just loosing their baby teeth.

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What are your kids reading? 

AJ is SIX today!

My son is six! Yes six years old!!!. Where did the time go? Seems not too long ago that it was six years of trying to become parents. Six years of heartbreak, pain, desperation, and loneliness that have now been replaced with six years of bliss, love, exhilaration, hope, and awesomeness. We became a family because of you!

I’m the mom to a six year old. I’m the mom to a boy who will be passing kindergarten and moving on to 1st grade! I’m a mom of a cool dude. I’m the mom of a handsome, intelligent, caring, kind, independent, stubborn, motivated, and talented little man.  I can’t wait to see how he changes the world.

Questions for Dinosaur at age 6:

  1. What is your favorite color? red
  2. What is your favorite toy? Picachu (Pokemon)
  3. What is your favorite fruit? mango
  4. What is your favorite vegetable? broccoli
  5. What is your favorite show? Pokemon
  6. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? cold cut sandwich
  7. What is your favorite thing to wear? my pocket shirt (shirt with a small pocket)
  8. What is your favorite game? Monopoly Jr
  9. What is your favorite snack? Whole Food’s duckie crackers
  10. What is your favorite animal? monkey and gorillas
  11. What is your favorite song? Row, Row, Row your boat
  12. What is your favorite book? The Runaway Bunny
  13. Who is your best friend? Daniel
  14. What is your favorite breakfast? Bacon (only allowed on the weekends)
  15. What do you like to do when you go outside?  monkey bars
  16. What is your favorite drink? water
  17. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  18. What do you like to take to bed with you? ALL of them, but Mommy doesn’t let me
  19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? pizza
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a Pokemon Master and a dad with six kids

His answers when he was five years old, four years old...

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AJ when he was still in his preemie clothes…my tiny little man

newborn

 

preemie outfit

AJ over the years

PicMonkey Collage 2015

 Six Year Old AJ

anthony collage blog

This Week I Read…

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


    

AJ has had this book for some time, I forget when and where he go it. It’s a great book to read every so often.

Amazon Summary:

The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf.

Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.
And it got worse…
His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!

AJ’s Review:

Alexander is having a bad day. His brothers are mean to him. His mommy and daddy yelled at him. He wants to go away where people are nice to him. Sometimes I have bad days and I don’t like them. But Mommy and Daddy still love me. I still love them. 

Mommy’s Review:

A classic book that will always teach kids it’s okay to have a bad day. It’s okay for things to not go the way you want. The next day things might get better.

The one major thing lacking in this book is the mom or dad hugging Alex. There’s no acknowledgement of Alexander having a bad day, but still being loved and cared for. There’s no understanding from his parents that it’s okay to make mistakes and get in trouble, it’s okay be be angry. There’s no reassurance that tomorrow will be a better day. 

AJ actually asked why his mommy didn’t hug him and tell him she loves him to the moon and back. I thought it was a valid question. What do you think about that? 

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading?