Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gang of Six

Emily bravely hosted a playdate with 7 kids on Friday.  Everyone played very nicely together and enjoyed a lunch of hot dogs, cheese, peas, and apple slices.

Here's the gang-- not the best quality picture, taken with my phone, but you get the idea.
Ben, Zoe, Ellie, Anthony, Roman, and Evie (striking an impressive bored-teenager pose).  Baby Zia was there too, but she declined to be in the photo this time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

In case the economy continues its downward spiral...

Anthony has set up alternative housing and is stockpiling a supply of crackers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Reading

Armed with his brand new library card, Anthony signed up for the Multnomah County Library's Summer Reading Program

We mark off whenever we read to him for 15 minutes, or do another suggested activity.  When we've marked off a certain number of spaces we can go to the library and claim a prize (and get more books of course!).  So far, Anthony has finished the first step and got a new book as his prize.  When you finish all the steps, you get a free t-shirt (while supplies last...).

We've checked out lots of new books, but usually he prefers the old favorites, like Big Red Barn.  It's a real page turner, as you can see! 

The best book we discovered at the library is The Napping House- this is funny and beautiful book that has become one of Anthony's favorites.

The Napping House (Board book)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anthony's Alphabet

I looked for an early literacy computer program that I could use to help Anthony learn his letters and sight reading, but I didn't find anything I liked.  So, inspired by Ria, who made a similar video for her son Matthew, I created a homemade one.

My motivation was research from Down Syndrome Education International showing that children with Down syndrome learn language skills best by seeing, rather than just hearing words, and that learning to read at an early age can help kids with Down syndrome develop their language skills.  We're already using the See and Learn Program; this is something that I thought would be a good supplement to that. 

Anthony likes sitting on my lap and watching the presentation, and it definitely holds his attention.  I say and sign the words while we watch together.

To make the video, I used Power Point and then imported the slides into One True Media after converting them to gif files.  I chose a 3-second delay in between slides, which is the shortest option with One True Media.  I can also just run it in Power Point and advance the slides myself (or have Anthony do it).

I used pictures of things that are familiar and important to Anthony.  I either took photos of things around the house, used the pictures from the See and Learn program (available for free download), or found something on Google images.

I also made a version in which the words are on separate slides from the pictures.  I think this will be better for helping him to learn to sight read words, but we're starting with the words paired with the pictures for now.  I would love to hear if anyone knows which method is better for learning, though.  See and Learn separates the words from the pictures (the words are on the back of the picture cards).

Here it is...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Young Trekkies

Anthony and Isaac enjoyed this year's production of Trek in the Park.  See Daddy's review here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Nye Beach- A Video!

Have you noticed I've been able to milk our 2-day beach vacation for at least 4 blog posts so far? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Big is Anthony?

Not too happy about getting measured...

He seems to have shrunk a half inch since his 2-year checkup.  Maybe measuring a 2-year-old isn't an exact science.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Snack Break

Hudson came over for a playdate with Anthony this morning.  They worked up quite an appetite.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nye Beach 2011

We spent a few days over the July 4th weekend at one of our favorite places at the coast- Nye Beach, near Newport.  The weather was perfect and we all had a fantastic time.

The place where we stayed overlooked the beach, and had this great hill that was perfect for climbing up and down.

It's fun to throw your ball all the way down the hill and then go get it!  Or better yet, make Mommy and Daddy go get it.

These are the stairs leading to the beach.  We counted 112 of them. 

The view from the Rogue Brewery, where we ate dinner one night.  Well, Mommy and Daddy ate dinner; Anthony threw his on the floor.

It's hard to go to sleep when it's still so sunny out and the grassy knoll is calling to you!

Finally, we wore him out.  Elmo looks terrified.

Then we watched the sun go down on our patio.

Here's the Yaquina Head lighthouse, which we went to see the next day...

This has the designation "Outstanding Natural Area"- seriously!  We went here on a date once before we were even married.


Tufted puffins- they're very noisy and sound like kids playing in a schoolyard.

Harbor seals. So lazy!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Have some summer fun!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

We met up with Harry and Claire for an outing on Sauvie Island last weekend.

 We checked out some farm equipment.

 Played Ring Around the Rosie.

Ate ice cream.

And did some square dancin'.

 Harry drove a truck!

Daddy always gets into the spirit of every occasion.

Can you believe these kids are the same age?!  This is what 90th percentile vs 5th percentile on the growth chart looks like.  Like middle school.

I like Sauvie Island- it feels like it's far away but it only takes about 20 minutes to get there (unless you get stuck on Highway 30 behind a house that's being moved, like we did).