Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nerf War

I will be trying to plan a group activity for the elementary school kids once a week.  

I am doing this to give them something to look forward to each week and to help with some of the after school chaos.  It also helps the kids relax and let go of the stressful school week. 

This week we had a Nerf War! 

We planned the activity on Monday and talked about it all week. This reminds them a fun activity is coming.  I also needed some extra guns and the notice gave the kids an opportunity to ask to bring some extra guns. 

Friday before the kids got home I had all of the guns out and loaded.  For this activity I had my two dragons and the two that I babysit after school.  Including me and my husband we had 3 girls and 3 boys.  The dragons all agreed boys vs. girls for teams. 

We played a version of steal the bacon. 
We had some extra nerf guns that we used for 'bacon'.

Before we could start playing we had a few things to go over.  We gotta play safe! 
  • no shooting the face
  • the bacon has to be visible from at least 1 view point
  • when you get shot you are down until someone revives you (when you are down on your back with your hands and legs in the air)
  • to revive you count 'revive 1, revive 2, revive 3'
Each team set up one barrier in their home base.  We stacked a couple boxes on top of each other in the middle of the room. 

We geared the kids up.  Gave them each a gun and a total of 10 darts, counting the darts in their guns.  Each team also had 10 additional extra darts that the adults held, just in case a team mate ran out during the fight.  
We gave each dragon an apron with pockets to hold their extra darts. Pants pockets are usually to small and the darts can get ruined being shoved or pulled in/out of the pockets.  The aprons worked great! 

Guns in hand, darts in pockets, we were ready to fight. 

We played a couple rounds then decided to change up the rules a bit.  We had one team be offense and one team be defense.  The offensive team had 2 minutes to try to steal the bacon from the other team.  When time is up the teams switch.  We switched it up because we had 1 overpowered gun that we would swap between teams. We noticed however, that whichever team had this gun would win.  Therefore the offensive team got the powerful gun to try to push through defenses.  

Both ways to play were fun!  We also got in some family activity and all of us got our bodies moving! 

It was fun for me and the hubs too ;)

Monday, October 10, 2016

3 Month Photo Shoot

Each month we are doing a mini photo shoot for Baby Dragon.  

Our overall goal is DND themed each month because, well, we are nerds.

We also update her character sheet each month with what she has learned or achieved that month. 

Month 3 we focused on character, Fey

I really enjoyed this photo shoot.  Dressing up my Baby Dragon and setting the scene for her to be a little baby fey! 

I put her in a tutu with little green bloomers and used a large headband for her top. 

And a darling golden leaf headband to top of the nature look I was going for. 

I attempted to do this shoot outside but it failed.  I was alone and with an infant.  It would take multiple people to pull that off, I think. 

But thats alright because I took the shoot inside and got some good shots! 

And had some of them edited because lighting was off and I wanted her to look fey like

I think it was successful! 

Daddy helped this time and I was able to get some good cuddle shots too! 

But I wasn't completely satisfied with the shots I had so I redid the setup to see if I could get some better shots.

I tried some reflections shots, they turned out alright...

Then we tried some standing poses

I really like the way these turned out, I just didn't get the background perfect.

Then we sat her down and got some darling pictures

but again the background wasn't all I wanted it to be. 

So I had a couple edited

Overall I am very happy with the results.  
This took longer because of editing but they are beautiful memories and pictures that will last forever! 

Editing help from freelance editor

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

3 Months

Now that Baby Dragon has reached the 3 month mark we are no longer counting weeks.  Milestones are recognized by month.  This month our big focus is on language development.

Here are some things you can do to help your learning baby get the most out of each experience. 

  • Talk
As posted in the last two baby blog posts talk, talk, talk to the baby.  But now maybe kick it up a notch.  Narrate what you are doing.  Point to things and give the name or color.  When you go on walks talk about the things you see.  Now more then just singing and talking pointing and describing things.


I have to admit sometimes I feel silly doing this because Baby Dragon doesn't respond and doesn't understand but it will help her later.

According to my research baby's will store the information they get now for when they are ready to speak.  They may not know what it means now but when all the talking now will help them connect the dots later.
  • Cuddles
At this point in development baby knows how to let you know she is happy or sad. 
She knows when she coos and smiles you know she is happy.
She also loves cuddles! 
Contact, touch, cuddles all make baby feel comfortable. At this point she craves your touch. You will notice when she is uncomfortable she wants to be close to you. To keep encouraging cuddles keep up the skin to skin. And not only mom. Daddy can loose the shirt and cuddle too!

  • Standing
It is suggested that this month you help your baby bear weight on their legs.  Pretty much support them while they stand.  Another good way to do this is the saucer.  At this point their little legs should reach the bottom of the saucer and they can attempt to put their weight on their legs on their own.
There are other products out there that you can use for this as well, such as those bouncers that you put in a doorway.  I don't have one of these but I imagine it would be great for standing practice.

Baby's love standing because they get a new view of the world this way.  My little one loves it because she is closer to our faces when she stands.  We aren't looking down at her we are more eye level.

Also, I have noticed that around this time in development babies will soothe faster, easier, or top fussing all together when you stand holding them.

So I looked it up.

Babies are used to the swaying motion of the womb.  When they are in utero they fall asleep to mommy moving around.  Which is why baby slept during the day and was active at night (for most pregnancies).  After birth they are no longer constantly swaying or moving because the world isn't constantly moving, it is mostly still.   As adults we don't move when we sit.  But when we stand we rarely stand still.  We sway, walk, or bob.  This is what the baby is looking for, movement.
If your arms are looking for a break you can always try a swing to satisfy this movement urge for baby.

  • Grabbing
Around this time baby is grabbing and reaching a lot more.  Almost anything they can see they will want to touch, grab, and put in their mouth.  If you haven't been worried about small things laying around now is the time to start making sure the floors are baby safe!  Babies seem to find the smallest things we don't see.

This is also the time babies start reaching for people they want to be close to.

  • Discovering
It wasn't so much in the articles I read but I find that Baby Dragon is discovering a lot about her surroundings this month.  She has found her toes and plays with her feet a lot.  She also looks around more and observes and watches things.  When she is playing she is noticing cause and effect and attempting to cause changes.  Watching her discover is fascinating to me.  

When she is sitting or cuddling she really studies her blankets or boppy patterns and gets excited when she sees patterns she likes or recognizes.  It is a fun stage :)

  • Rolling over
Now that baby has had months of tummy time she is closer, if not already, rolling over.  If baby is not rolling over yet you will notice that they favor one side to roll onto and they stay there.  Try to get baby to roll over by holding toys slightly out of reach for them to reach for causing them to finish rolling.  

My baby girl does not roll over yet.  Although she has the position down for crawling and pulls her legs up under her body.

Enjoy these weeks with your growing baby and I will post 4 month tips next.