Monday, March 28, 2011

Building Blocks of Reading

Griffin has successfully mastered recognizing all of his letters and the sounds they make. He loves watching the Letter Factory, and he constantly strings letters together and asks what they spell. Most of the time the words are nonsensical, but I love seeing his brain begin to understand that letters form words. As a reading teacher, I love watching him figure out the first letters in different words. Most of the time, if you ask him what a certain word starts with, he can correctly identify the first letter.

Recently, we ordered some new books through Scholastic Book Orders. Yesterday, we read ABC Animal Jamboree for the very first time. Because he grasped the concept of the book right after page one, he wanted to try and "read" the book by himself. When we got to the letter G, the picture was of a Giraffe. He immediately got a puzzled look on his face, and asked, "Why is G for Giraffe? The letter J makes the "ja" sound Mom. Not the letter G." I had to explain to him that some letters can make a couple of sounds, and then we continued on with the rest of the book. Needless to say, I was pretty proud as I witnessed him develop a bit of phonemic awareness. Too bad only about 50% of the English language actually follows traditional phonics rules. But hey, he has to start somewhere!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Griffin: Can I take my pants off?

Me: I guess.

Griffin: Yay! Party Time!

Me: Why do you like ducks so much?

Griffin: Because I like seeing them as one big family.

Me: Maybe one day you would give me a granddaughter.

Griffin: Does that mean you will be old?

Me: I would be like Grandma Laurie.

Griffin: Oh, that's not old.

Griffin: How you doing little mama?

Me: Please don't call me that.


Griffin started a four week basketball session through Community Education. When I told him about going, his face just lit up. He is definitely in love with basketball. It is fun to watch and learn with him!

Birthday Pictures and Updates

On Grayson's actual birthday, we had two mini-celebrations. Henry, Ella, Isabel, Emma, and Addison all joined Grayson and Griffin at Pump it Up for a bit of pop-in playtime. After some energy was released, we all headed back for some lunch, cake, and a bit of Wii fun. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of the kiddos play, and it was great catching up with the adults.

After nap that day, we headed down to the Mall of America. Kids get free unlimited ride wristbands on the day of their actual birthdays, and because we got there around five, we were able to purchase one for Griffin at a discounted price. I was AMAZED at how much Grayson enjoyed the rides. I was nervous he was still too little, but he had a blast. It was fun to see the pure joy on his face.

On the following Monday, Grayson had his two year check up. He wasn't due for any immunizations, but they did draw blood to check for lead levels. Not Fun. We also found out that since December, he has slowly dropped in weight. He is only down 10 oz., but considering he is so small to begin with, it is a little worrisome. While we thought we were done seing the GI specialist and nutritionist, our regular doctor suggested we go back in for another visit. To put all of this in perspective, Grayson is five pounds lighter and 2.5 inches shorter than Griffin was at his two year check-up. I am not overly concerned about all of this, which is a nice surprise. Grayson sleeps well, he doesn't seem to be in any pain, and he is meeting all of his developmental milestones. If something is still off with his tummy, I trust the doctors will figure it out. In the meantime, I will enjoy that I have a tiny little man to cuddle with:) On a positive note, we did find out that Grayson doesn't need to have a surgery that was possibly in his future. Finally, the Dunigan Boys get a break!

Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Grayson!

Dear Grayson,

I can hardly believe that you are two years old. My baby is two. I try to convince myself that it isn't true, but alas, you really are two. And man, you have a lot of spunk in that little body of yours. And seriously, spunk is an understatement.

My little man, you are the very definition of a wild child. You love to jump, run, and do all things that require a LOT of energy. Currently, you like to bounce in your crib as if it were a trampoline. No joke, I caught you doing a seat-drop the other day. We are in TROUBLE when it comes time for you to be in a big boy bed. A gate will cover you door for sure:) Two weeks ago you went to the Little Gym for the first time, and you were such a natural. The coaches could hardly believe you had never been to gymnastics before. You LOVED walking on the balance beam, but you gave me a heart attack every time. You never looked at your feet, so I was convinced you would fall. Thankfully that never happened. I was also amazed at your ability to bring your feet up to the bar. You are such a strong little dude!

You are still in love with reading books, and you love to cuddle. My favorite part of putting you to bed at night is the BIG bear hug you give me. Then you kiss my cheek and put your head on my shoulder. Warms my heart EVERY night. And just yesterday, you walked up to me with a blanket and said, "Cuddle Now!"

Every day you repeat new words and phrases. This makes it a lot easier to figure out what you want. It also makes you more demanding at times, but even in your demands, you often manage to say please or thank you! You are also understanding more and more about the world around you. You know what needs to be opened and closed, you understand when things are "icky," and you know to walk to the pantry if you are hungry! You definitely exercise your power with the word "no!" Thankfully you are good at saying you are sorry and giving hugs:)

Eating is still a roller coaster ride. One day you will eat just like a "normal" two year old. The next day you hardly eat at all. You are pain free with eating, though, so I quit worrying about it. Right now you like doughnuts, milk, fruit snacks, juice boxes, cheese, chips, tuna, shredded chicken made for tacos, raisin bread, mac and cheese, bananas, apples, raisins, carrots, and pretzels. To be honest, there isn't much else that you eat. You tried pizza the other day. You didn't like it, but I was impressed that you tried it! You also ate a few bites of a cupcake once the frosting was taken off. Hopefully you will continue to try new foods.

Happy Birthday, cuddle bug! We love you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Almost Two!

I went home to Wisconsin this past weekend, and while we were there, we had a mini-birthday celebration for Grayson's upcoming birthday. As soon as he "blew" out the candles, he exclaimed, "AGAIN!" So of course, we lit them a second time:)

Mario Fanatics

As I type, my boys are cuddled under their new Super Mario Brothers Blankets. Yup, at almost 2 and 4.5 years of age, my boys have an obsession with Mario and the Wii. In fact, we made the decision to re-decorate their room in a Mario Theme. I am not sure who is more excited, the boys or Brandon!

Anyhoo. The above shots were taken when the two boys were playing Mario Kart. As you can clearly see, they are in heaven!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Griffin-isms

"Does the sun have a mommy?" After I responded no, he asked, "Then, what does the sun do when it gets lonely?"

"God can't be too big. Otherwise he wouldn't be able to play with us in Heaven."

When asked if he would rather do an outdoor playground activity or go to preschool, he responded, "I'd rather do preschool because I LOVE calendar time."

"I can arrange that."