Monday, March 8, 2010

Photographers In The Making

For Christmas, John and I typically buy a dual gift for the both of us. This past Christmas was no different and we purchased a new camera. We had been using a digital point and shoot camera, which worked out wonderful for the past several years. However, when we began having issues with it that gave us the idea to buy a new camera. Since we take so many pictures, we decided to invest in very nice, high tech camera.

We chose to upgrade to the Sony DSLR-A330. The camera included one lens, but we also purchased the next size lens. This will give us the option to take pictures from a further distance. We are very happy with our choice...especially the picture quality and the speed at which you can take pictures. Speed was a very important decision in our purchase since Kyle is constantly on the move, we need to move fast! The size and convenience did take some getting used to since we were used to a small hand held camera.

John and I are having fun experimenting with our photography skills. We still have a long way to go before we are considered experts, but with as much as we use it we will be gaining plenty of experience.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lone Elk Park

Today was another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Planning an outdoor activity seemed to be our only option...can't waste time indoors when it's so pretty! Believe it or not, The Spence Family chose to head to a park, but this isn't our typical kind of park. Lone Elk Park is a nature, scenic, hiking, wildlife area where elk, bison, deer, waterfowl, and wild turkey call home. We located all these animals during our tour except for the deer and the wild turkey...maybe next time! Lone Elk Park is 546 acres so it is impossible to take in everything in one visit. Also, The World Bird Sanctuary is located next door which we also plan to take Kyle too one day in the future. It's always so fun and exciting heading on new adventures with Kyle and watching him enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors!

There were plenty of bison in view...
aren't they such pretty animals? Ha!
Just a couple of scenic pictures. I can only imagine how
pretty the area is once the leaves are on the trees and
especially during the fall once the leaves change colors.
It was such a refreshing treat to spend quality time enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures with my boys this weekend. We can finally see light at the end of the tunnel that spring is on it's way...Hooray!! Hope everyone had a fun-filled weekend!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Playground Safety At Its Finest

While we were at the park this afternoon there was a little girl younger than Kyle playing in the same area. After watching her a few minutes, we looked around to locate her parents because she was performing some pretty dangerous moves. Well, the parents were no where in sight, but later we realized who her mom was and she was sitting on a bench across the park smoking a cigarette. I couldn't resist and had to snap a couple of pictures because I couldn't believe my eyes. She was climbing up a twisty pole and once she reached the top she would jump in mid-air to a platform. She was also climbing on top of a tube slide. John thought we should leave so we wouldn't be responsible in case she fell and hurt herself. I felt as though we should stay and make sure she was going to be alright. John had to help her a few times before she fell and injured herself. The pictures below will show the dangerous tricks she was performing.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I have witnessed a child being left unsupervised. I feel as though I have to watch Kyle's every move while we are in public and I don't understand how some parents can be so negligent, especially with a child this young. I feel it's part of being a responsible parent to keep an eye on your child because accidents can occur in the blink of an eye.

Warmest Day in 2010

Today was the warmest day St. Louis has seen in 2010 and it seemed everyone was out to enjoy the first taste of spring! If only it would last, but I'm sure Mother Nature is just teasing us! We can't be picky and take each beautiful day to head outside and soak up the sun and warmer temperatures. We took Kyle to one of our favorite parks, which is typically not very crowded, but today was a different story...plenty of other people stole our wonderful idea!

As usual, Kyle loves the freedom of being outdoors. This year, he is really enjoying the slides more than usual....I should have counted, but I'm sure he went down the slide at least 50 times today. The park has a sand volleyball court and Kyle was determined to play in the sand. He must be trying to tell us he wants to go on a beach vacation this year. Also, in a recent post I mentioned our spring/summer goal for Kyle...transitioning him to the big boy swing. Well, yesterday he actually got on one, mainly because he was following his friend and today he also got on one, but wasn't such a fan. It really depends on the swing and how low it is to the ground. I'm sure once we find the perfect swing he will become a pro! But, we are making progress!!

Tomorrow is going to be another warmer day, so we are making plans to head outside once again. Hope you had nice weather in your neck of the woods!
Kyle had his eye on the prize...
the playground
One of his fifty trips down the slide Not so sure about this swing
Kyle the tree hugger What a beautiful day Waterfall

Friday, March 5, 2010

Productive Date Night

Thursday evening, John and I attended a workshop seminar entitled "Managing Challenging Behaviors" sponsored by the Early Childhood Center where Kyle attends preschool. The seminar focused on techniques for managing challenging behaviors, learning the functions of problem behavior, how to identify the function of behavior, and how to teach a replacement behavior which achieves the same function.

We thought this would be beneficial to attend, to assist us with managing some of Kyle's not so "wonderful" behaviors. What we have learned is that Kyle's behavior issues are attention seeking. He tends to "act out" when he isn't getting the attention he wants (or thinks he deserves) from us. Most of the time, he wants our undivided attention and will go to great lengths in order to achieve his goal. Honestly, we didn't come home with as much knowledge on the subject as we were hoping, but we did learn one important fact. Based on the attendance at the workshop, we certainly are not the only parents struggling with some difficult behaviors. We were able to speak with another couple who has a son about the same age, and it was helpful to hear what they have experienced with their son. It was a small world because their son was also born prematurely and spent time in the same NICU where Kyle was for eighty six days.

After the workshop, we did eat dinner at a great Italian restaurant...Rich and Charlie's. Kyle was with a sitter while we were away and they seemed to have a great time together...doing crafts, reading, playing with trains, etc. It's always comforting to know that he is comfortable with babysitters and doesn't have a tough time with the separation....this proves he is growing up!!

What Is Your Typical Day Like????

Today, I am participating in Kelly's weekly blog event..."Show Us Your Life". This weeks topic is "What is Your Typical Day Like?" For those who aren't regular readers of my blog, I am a SAHM to a four year old preschooler named Kyle. My typical day is absolutely glamorous and I know many of you will be anxious to jump into my shoes and live out my typical day....Ha Ha :)

6:45a.m. - 7:30a.m. The alarm rings, which is way to early for this mommy, so the alarm is snoozed a minimum of two times. Once I finally crawl out of bed, I take a shower and get dressed. I like to get myself ready before getting Kyle up and ready for his day. During this time, if I hear Kyle waking up, I know the morning routine will run much smoother

7:30a.m. -7:45a.m. Head upstairs to get Kyle out of bed. This is somewhat of a challenge if I need to wake him from a deep sleep. I've always attempted to live by the rule of "never wake a sleeping baby", but when he has preschool this is a neccessary evil! Once he is fully awake I get Kyle dressed and ready for school.

7:45a.m. -8:15a.m. Time for Kyle to eat breakfast and have a little down time before heading out the door. During this time, I finish getting dressed if this didn't take place the way it should have earlier.

8:15a.m. - 8:30a.m. Leave the house and drop Kyle off to preschool.

8:30a.m. - 11:30a.m. Since Kyle is in school for these three hours, I attempt to get as much accomplished as I possibly, errands, appointments, or meeting friends for hot chocolate (since I don't drink coffee). It is amazing how much you can get done when you are alone! This may seem like a long time, but this three hours flies by so fast and before I know it I'm heading to pick him up.

11:30am. Pick Kyle up at school.

11:45a.m. - 2:00p.m. Arrive home, eat lunch, read books, do puzzles, and play, play, and play some more. During this time we also have some down time...usually Kyle will watch an episode of Thomas the Train and I will "try" to get on the computer. "Try" is the key word because Kyle isn't a big fan of me being on the computer when he is awake. I like to clean as we go so the house and playroom isn't a complete disaster zone once the day is done, but I've found that this is much easier said than done...on most days!

2:00p.m. - 4:00p.m. Kyle and I head out and about for an afternoon activity. This activity changes from day to day, but we go to the carousel, children's museum, local science center, play dates with friends...just to name a few. We are looking forward to the spring/summer when we will be able to plan outside activites!! Spring can't get here quick enough!!

4:00p.m. Arrive home, plan dinner, and prepare for John's arrival.>

5:o0p.m. John arrives home, I begin to prepare dinner. and the "witching hour" begins. Since Kyle no longer is napping in the afternoon, by this time he is about "done", so his behavior can be very say the least.

5:30p.m. We sit down as a family at the kitchen table and eat dinner. Unfortunatley, dinner time isn't very relaxing because Kyle is melting down, along with the fact he isn't a very big eater so John and I are up and down during our's a very good thing we both are fast eaters!

6:00p.m. Wash/dry dishes, and clean the kitchen. I don't like to have this chore looming too late in the evening, if at all possbile.

6:30p.m. -7:00p.m. Take Kyle upstairs for his bath, brush teeth, and read a book or two before going to sleep.

7:00p.m. - 11:00p.m. Time to spend with John, do laundry, pick up any debris left from the day, watch our many reality television shows, read, and play on the computer.

11:00p.m. Bedtime...time to rest up and do it all again!!

This is a breakdown of the fun times of a SAHM. It may not be the most glamorous life one could lead, but I am thankful to have the opportunity to stay at home with Kyle in his early years. If you are interested, head over to Kelly's blog to read about the "typical days" of many other wonderful bloggers!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Until next time...take care!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is It Spring?

The Spences are ready for spring...along with everyone else!! Today was such a beautiful felt and looked like spring. The temperature was about fifty degrees which is technically a little too chilly for spring like temperatures. After such a long winter with such cold temperatures fifty degrees feels wonderful!

Of course, the three of us took advantage and headed out to enjoy the afternoon. Where else would we go to do this? A park of course and needless to say Kyle enjoyed his time outdoors...climbing the equipement, going down the slides, going around and around on the merry go round, and his all time favorite...swinging! One goal we have for the summer is to get Kyle comfortable on a "big"boy" swing. He has been on the big swing in the past, but isn't a huge fan and much prefers the enclosed bucket swing. At four years old, Kyle is a bit big for this type of swing, but it makes him so very happy as you can see in the photo below. I need to find a strategy to assist him in getting over his fear of the big swing.

So happy on the bucket swing
So happy to be outside Here he comes, down the slide
We have been to this park a number of times, but today we discovered a creek located behind the park. We walked closer, only to see there was absolutely no water, so we used it as an opportunity to explore nature. We will need to check back after a heavy rain to see the creek filled with water. Today, it was a neat experience to walk in it...without getting wet!

The empty creek turned into our playground
This was just a neat picture I took of an airplane
and the pretty blue sky
Hope everyone had a great weekend, as well as a great February. Tomorrow is the first day of March...where does the time go! See you next month!