Reading Word Lists

Having a background of 1st grade teacher, I was amazed when an online friend of mine, Lissy, blogged that her 2 year old son was starting to read. Her son is about 7 weeks older than Brendan. I have always looked forward to teaching Brendan to read. Reading is a passion of mine and I want him to be passionate about it as well. He is well on his way learning to recognize a few letters and their sounds by playing Starfall along with his frideg magnets, bathtub foam letters, etc. Soon enough, I’ll be showing him how these letter sounds go together to make words. So in preparation of that moment, and to possibly help my friend now, I have compiled a list of the easiest to spell 3 letter words. There are 197 total. I hand-chose each word from a gigantic list of official scrabble words, lol. Each word is made up of only the most common sound of each letter of the alphabet and all vowels use their “short” sounds. Once a child knows a few letter sounds, you can choose words made up of those sounds to have them spell out for you.

Also of use to a parent are the 1000 most common words in the English written language. The 1st list comprises 33% of the words used in common writing. Together the first 2 lists comprise about 50% and the first 3 lists about 65%. These are commonly referred to as “Sight Words” as children are taught to identify them by sight rather than phonetic decoding. First graders are usually expected to know the first list by the end of the year.

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A Brendan funny

Brendan likes to climb up the back of the couch to come knock on the window that’s between the kitchen and living room. It is above the sink in the kitchen. I am right at this window when I am doing dishes or preparing meals. He always knocks and then says “It’s me!!!” I knock a few times playfully and then open the shutters for him so he can watch and chat with me. It’s one of my favorite things.
Today I started making breakfast and I heard him yawn in the living room. I looked out the window and saw him laying on the floor playing with cars. So I knocked on the window and said, “It’s me!!” to get him to come join me. He replied, “It’s me! I’m sleeping!” He make a few fake snores and then resumed playing cars. The turkey.
And he is just like his father! I caught him licking his plate today!! Argh! LOL.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this but I want it written down for my record. When Bren gets angry he says “Arr, arr, arr, arrrrr!”- imitating a character from the Rubbadubbers show. It’s cute and effective too. He started it about a month ago. He also roars like a lion. He can now show he is upset without so much hitting and other physical means. That’s a good thing.
His enjoyment of coloring, on a scale of 1 to 10, is probably now a 2 or 3. He’ll sit for a minute or two now instead of just making a few marks and leaving. I have never met a kid who just doesn’t care for coloring as much as he doesn’t at this age. Very odd.
He know says “Thomas” and loves Thomas the tank engine as much as Kipper.

Diet Update

I have moved from a restricted carbohydrate South Beach diet to a diet resembling a cross between South Beach and Weight Watchers. I think this will be a good preconception and pregnant way to eat. How many calories I eat will depend on where I am- in the dieting stage now, in the maintaining weight loss phase at IUI time, and still monitoring carb intake and eating healthier choices but while gaining slowly when I get that positive hpt and beyond.
My diet still resembles SB in that I still choose a lot of whole grain products such as pasta, bread, cereals and crackers. I eat very limited white potatoes and products with sugar. I watch how many carbohydrates I eat at each sitting and limit it to 1-2 servings. I also eat starch-free meals often, such as lean hamburger steaks with mock mashed potatoes (cauliflower). The difference is that SBD advocates only a few servings (up to 3) of fruits and grains daily and my intake is more like 2 fruits and 4 grains per day. About double but still much lower than what I would normally have eaten pre-South Beach.
I think this is ultimately a heathier diet for the long run. I am inching towards the 25 pound mark but it is maddeningly slow. And a setback or two makes it even slower. LOL. I am hoping to reach 30 pounds in the next 2 months.
One thing I really like to eat with lunch to help me feel full without too many calories is the Carb Option Cup-A-Soups. I really like two Cream of Chicken packets made with 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of milk (around 100 calories) and the Chicken Noodle flavor made with some added grated carrot (around 30 calories per packet).
I also frequently eat the new packets of Whole Wheat South Beach diet Wheat Thin type crackers. They’re great with a bit of meat and cheese and some sliced fruit for lunch.
One thing I really miss is Chinese food. I’d kill for some Orange Chicken over white rice with some Rangoon. Not healthy in the least. Poot.

Boy achievement

You know your child isn’t a baby any more when he can not only slide down but climb up a giant slide. He had such a great time playing with 3 little girls at McDonald’s yesterday!

He also counted to 14 and does a pretty good for a 2 year old rendition of the ABCs. And I really don’t know where he got this, but he can sing “Happy Birthday to You.”
Last night we had a candle in the living room. DH blew it out. Later, Brendan noticed he had blown it out and asked me, “Where hot go?” LOL.

This ain’t no Texas chili

But it sure is delicious. This is Cincinnati style chili and I assure you that none of the ingredients are typos. It is practically profane for me, as a Texan, to even call this chili as we do not put chocolate or cinnamon in our chili and we definitely do not put the chili over spaghetti!!! And where are the peppers??!!! It’s a big debate on whether beans belong in Texas chili or not (I say yes).
Cincinnati Chili
Serves 8
3 pounds lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped
4-6 T minced garlic
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 can condensed beef broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chili powder
2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
16 oz spaghetti, cooked
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a large pot, brown ground beef with garlic. Drain off grease. Add chopped onion and cook until onions are tender. Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Mix well and simmer. Add seasonings and chocolate. Cook until chili thickens.
Serve over spaghetti and topped with cheddar cheese. Plain chili is roughly 425 calories, 16 g carbs, 25 g fat.

Cord Theory

On another board where we were all desperately TTCing and having troubles, one of the girls had to go in to get a sizable tumor removed from her ovary and then had to go through a chemically induced menopause for 6 months before being able to TTC again (she went on to conceive twin daughters via IVF and had an “oops” daughter only a year later- dontcha love happy endings?). I really felt heartbroken along with her so I sent her a pretty stone that had the word STRENGTH egraved in it.
Just a few weeks later I found out that DH had no sperm and we geared up to try our first donor IUI. Well what do you know- along in the mail I receive a pretty silver necklace charm with the word HOPE on it strung on a blue cord. I was thrilled. A few days prior, I had gone to a Renaissance Festival and had a fertility charm hand stamped for me as well.
So I arrived at my IUI with 2 good luck charm necklaces. And at that very first IUI, I conceived!!! I continued to wear my charms for more than a month after the IUI. In fact, my medieval charm developed a cool pearly sheen to it that really had me thinking positively.
I told DH a few weeks ago that I needed to get my charms out and polish them up. I started thinking about each one and it dawned on me, like being struck with lightning, that I had “ordered” a boy and recived a boy. My HOPE charm had a blue cord on it!!
So I am going to test my little Cord Theory out and this time I am going to put 2 pink strings on it. My secret wish would be to conceive twin girls. 😀

Playing catch

Bren and I had our first successful game of catch the ball. He finally consented to putting on this kid’s glove that has velcro on it and uses a special soft ball that sticks to it. We won it at Chuck E. Cheese’s more than a year ago. He had his wrist in the band correctly but had his fingers sticking out the hole in the back. He would hold the glove up and I’d throw the ball into it. It was fun. But when I tried to show him how to wear the glove the right way, he had a hissy fit and threw the glove across the room. Sigh. So may things end this way nowadays.
Now, if he’d just consent to putting his feet on the pedals of his little bike…

Sounds from the playroom

Brendan has had another verbal skills explosion. I heard him say all this just a few minutes ago while playing with his cars.
“Oh no!!!
It’s me, Kipper! What’s going on? Mumble, mumble…
[Car sounds] Where? Where? I’m sorry.
There is car!!! Hahaha.
Help me. Gone. Oh no! Oh no!
What happened? Oops.”