12/27/2008

Our Holidays

sorry about the order these are backwards...
Xmas in Harrisburg: We went to Harrisburg on Saturday to open presents and celebrate. C felt like she needed to open every present. It was a great day!



Xmas Morning: Grandma and Great Grandma came and we opened lots of great toys from Santa! This pic is a toy from Grandma that C and G both love and have to play with everyday!


Xmas Eve: C and G had a ball with their cousins. C was waited on like a princess by her sweet cousins while G took turns being happy and sad over being held by someone other than mommy. Chris and I had such a nice time!










12/22/2008

Muffin Tin Monday


So I found out we're supposed to be following themes. Today I tried a holiday theme. The kixx are for ornaments, soybean butter is like snow, pretzels are shaped like trees, bananas are tree toppers. chicken is hmmm...something I need C to eat and the raisins can be reindeer food!

Gavin can sit up




Look: Gavin can sit up!!! Yippppeeeee!!! He falls down after a while but is doing really well. So after naps today we spread out a big comfy quilt and played. We got out some of the toys that C doesn't really play with anymore. Gavin loved it...it was like Xmas came early. He did such a niced job sitting, even C took notice. She sat down with us and played for a bit too. She liked handing him toys and then taking them from him. I can't believe my little baby boy is going to be six months and is already sitting up.

Learn: Rediscovering toys with a new child can be fun. It can also cause some jealousy...but its fun nonetheless. G being able to sit up opens up a whole new bunch of challenges and things to enjoy for him.

Love: Its like the children are growing right in front of my eyes and I love every minute of it.

Being a Librarian


Look: Today we needed to clean up the family room and move some of the toys and books. On Wednesday 3 of my brothers and their families will be here to celebrate. I'm so excited because its G's first Xmas! Anyhow we have books placed all over the house. C is a huge book fanatic and will stop dozens of times a day to check out a book. Well today we had the job of collecting them all and putting them in her armoir. After the holidays we'll redistrubute them and put new ones out. We had a big basket and I'd ask C to get books and put them in. She loved being a helper. Several times she had to stop to read the book and got sidetracked (but I didn't mind). We coralled all the books upstairs for this week.


Learn: I usually play librarian by myself and rotate her books from spot to spot. But it was so much more fun with my little librarian. Santa is bringing her a few books, so I know getting the books back out will be even more fun!


Love: C found some old favorites and was walking all over the second floor (while I changed G's diaper) hugging them. She is so funny!

12/21/2008

Early Morning shopping

Look: The holidays are here, they really snuck up on me. Even though I thought I was rather prepared, there were a ton of last minute little things I needed. G woke up around 5 am on Sunday and was definitely ready to party the day away. So I scooped him up and went to Kohls for the 6 am opening. I talked to him the entire way as we walked around the store. He smiled tons at the funny things I was saying. He helped me pick some gifts and even held one of the presents in his car seat (which he promptly started to chew..yuck...so it went in the cart). At the checkout lanes lots of ladies gooed over how cute he is and he just smiled away at them.
Learn: I learned that when things are stressful bring a happy baby along. I dislike trying to tie up all the loose ends, but it was rather fun with Gavin by my side. Also this shopping trip was an example of making lemonade with lemons. Even though I'd rather be sleeping I made the best of it and missed all the crowds!
Love: I love showing of my little boy. People love to look at babies and their faces light up wehn G gives them a smile. It really can melt anyone's heart.

12/20/2008

Making decorations


Look: We've been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the holidays. So we took some time to enjoy making some of the decorations. I used contact paper and the red/green pieces we'd ripped up before to make placemats. Chelsea had a ball putting the little pieces on the mats. I think she liked spilling them all over the floor more though. She was very attentive and interested through making 2 placemats. She helped with placing the papers and smoothing out the mats. But once the third placemat started she was off to play. Besides giving me a few pieces of paper and helping pat the contact paper together, she wasn't too interested.
Learn: In the optimal situation, I would have done one placemat at a time with breaks in between. Next time we do big crafts, I'm going to designate a spot and go back to it several time over a day or two so she doesn't get bored.
Love: I am really looking forward to seeing her reaction when we use the placemats. I wonder if she'll remember making them?

12/18/2008

Holiday Story Hour


Look: Thursday we went to the library for the holiday story hour. We we early so C played on the rocking horse and looked at books. In the story hour we learned lots of new songs and read some holiday books. C danced and swayed to the music. She has since already learned the guestures to one of the songs and tries to sing it on her own. G. enjoyed every minute of it too and smiled at the librarian who sang in front of us the whole time.

Learn: C can learn songs really quickly, she loves music. G is getting big enough to enjoy the things we go to. Usually I just think of them as for C, but now they are for both of them.

Love: I love story hours, its great to see other moms and kids we see each time. Its also fun to watch both of my kids get into it.

12/16/2008

Muffin Tin Monday


Look: Put meat, tomatoes, veggies (wishful thinking), apples, bagels and a mini chocolate muffin.
Learn: Toddlers eat in phases. Just a week ago, C was not eating much at meal times. This week, its like she can't get enough.
Love: What's not to love about putting one tray down for C, and relaxing while she eats!

Outside in Dec?


Look: On Monday it reached about 60 here. Wow, we took advantage of that and played outside most of the day. C played with her sand table for a while. Then she explored the yard. Next I gave her a container of water and a brush and she water painted the patio. Then she mixed the water and sand to make...well a mess! She liked challenging herself to walk around the base of the trees and over the roots. She found lots of rocks (and one petrified Millie poop...ew!) The hill provided almost ten minutes of fun, C ran up and down it! And of course we played ball with Millie. Millie was so tired in the evening that she wasn't even begging for food or following us around. For her this is highly unusual.
Learn: The outdoor day had us all in such good moods. I love winter but I'm looking forward to the spring and summer when C, G and I can be outside on most days. In a book, I read that kids need daily outside time. Once G is big enough I'm getting them full winter and rain gear so nothing can stop us. I learned that given the freedom, C will find her own challenges. I love this and want to promote her to continue this. I also learned to double check every "rock" to make sure it wasn't from our dog. he he
Love: I love warm weather, I'd be tempted to move to get more warm weather with the kids. But we love our life here. I love the adventurous spirit C has, I"m hoping G shares her enthusiasm.

12/15/2008

Happy and Sad



Look: I spent some of the weekend experimenting and documenting what makes Chelsea and Gavin happy and sad.
Happy:
C- Daddy coming home, Elmo's world...especially when Elmo talks to the babies, marshmellows, when I crawl on all fours and chase her, her brother, the lights in the house, learning to do new things, Daddy and Mommy
G-bottles, binkies, exersaucer, his sister, tickling under the chin, kissing his belly, most repetitious gestures, Mommy and Daddy
Sad
C- Simply put...when things aren't going her way (typical toddler)
G-dirty diapers, being hungry, losing a binkie, when Mommy leaves
Learn: Making these lists help me realize that these things can change a lot. It would be interesting to make this a monthly thing to see how their likes and dislikes evolve. G's are pretty basic, but C's seem to change quickly.
Love:I love this picture of my smiley little guy. I got it when I was trying to make him smile.

12/14/2008

Cheerio Play



Look: My neighbor and her son came to my door last year just before Xmas with a box of toys and books for C (at this point G didn't exist...weird to think about life without my little cutie pie). Some of the books were perfect, some were a bit older. Last week I pulled out one of the holiday books for C to read. It was a cheerio book. On each page tehy show some holiday item adorned with cheerios. Then on the next page they are missing and the child is supposed to fill them in. So today's snack was cheerios and C played with her book. I watched as she put Cheerios in the little holes. Sometime for no reason she'd eat a bunch from her picture, then continue to put new ones in. She did this for every page, the tree page was her favorite though.



Learn: C has a good pincher grasp. She got each little O in between her pointer and her thumb and dropped it in the hole. If it didn't land correctly she'd use her pointer to push it around until she got it. She is a tenacious little girl. She only asked for help a few times. I also learned that time is flying by...way faster than I'd like. Although I wish for her to be big so we can do more things together and I wish for G to sleep through the night and get bigger so he can play more....I think I need to stop wishing and savor every moment.



Love: I love what I learned from playing with Cheerios. Who knew Cheerios could give such a philosophical understanding to a SAHM.

12/12/2008

The Grocery Store Game


Look: We hit acme to get some sale items and Acme only supplies. This meant I only needed 3 of my reusable grocery bags and when I packed them they were very light. We got home and I let C carry one bag in the house while I carried the others. Once in the door, I set the bags down and asked C to "help". I showed her what I wanted by handing her a box and then going into the kitchen with it. She got the idea right away. For the next ten minutes or so I stood in the kitchen and waited as she brought me the groceries...one by one. Of course this wouldn't work for raw chicken or anything heavy. Each time she brought me an item I gave her a hug and thanked her.
Learn: Chelsea loves to help. Its that simple. I need to find more ways in my day to have her help, especially if it helps me get stuff done and she can have fun too. I realize I rush way too much. Usually I'd want to get the groceries put away ASAP, but today...slowing down was fun for me too. Although it took more time to get everything done, it was worth it because I did it with my girl!
Love: I love the fact that this blog is making me slow down and look at the good things. In the new year I plan to change the focus of the blog each month so I can be a better mom.


Napping with Gavin

Look: Today i decided to document what I go through to have G take a nap. Chris and I are working on him going to sleep more on his own and staying asleep longer. To put it nicely...it isn't going well. In the mornings I put on the Elmo's world portion on Sesame Street for my princess to watch...15 minutes and counting. Usually after putting him down a few times, soothing him, letting him cry for a bit, I end up bringing him back down...where he ends up falling asleep while I'm holding him (Ug...complete failure). In the afternoons while C is sleeping I usually have time to get a few things done, play with G and relax. Today I decided to scrap the usual and try to get Gavin down for nap. *There will be no pictures today, because I don't dare flash a camera at my son while he sleeps* So we came to his room where I put him down, he fussed, I soothed, he rolled and then seemed content, but awake on his tummy. I sat in a chair to type this up. No sooner had I sat then he threw up (don't worry, its normal)...so I had to lay him on the floor change the bed. By now he's awake and extremely fussy. One diaper change later our dog busts into his room. The dog is a pro at opening doors, weird but true. So we lay on the floor for a bit, complete with hair pulling (G not me!) and everything. Approximately 45 minutes after I started he is sleeping soundly and fell asleep without being in my arms. SUCCESS! And it only cost me C's entire nap time, hope Chris doesn't mind a messy house!
Learn: I learned that I can get G to sleep, but it takes tons of patience and time..neither of which I have these days. Also I learned that Millie loves G, she is happily sleeping right next to the crib right now as he sleeps and I type. Oh ya...sleeping trump chores today.
Love: Not much to say I love about our situation with G's sleeping. We go through this at night, and in the middle of the night (several times mind you). I'm hoping to report within a few weeks that all this effort has worked and he ends up being a good little sleeper like his sister. But for now I feel a bit like a bad mom who spoiled him into being a bad sleeper. Mom guilt stinks!

12/11/2008

Coffee Break

Look: Today Cheslsea, Gavin and I went on our first coffee break for the moms club. It ended up being just the host (K. and her kids) and us. The kids played for about an hour while K and I had some time to chat. It was so nice! Although they didn't have my undivided attention I did learn a lot by watching C and G play. G got into playing with new toys and seemed to enjoy the attention from all the older kids. C loved seeing the other kids. She also liked checking out all their toys. But I think she loved getting fed by K's 2 year old the most.
Learn: I learned that when we go out on playdates, C's personality changes a bit. At home she is an enthusiastic, loud, wild child when it comes to playing. But today at K's house she was a bit more quiet and not so exuberant. It was neat to watch both the kids try out new toys and interact with new friends. I was really nervous about trying a large group event with C's allergies, but learned that I should worry less and try new things more!
Love: I love having a chance to visit with friends and let C and G explore a new place. I love that in one hour C and G can experience new people, new toys, new situations...and today it meant just going down the street.

12/10/2008

Ripping Paper




Look: We went to Michael's Craft store today. We got a few things we needed for some of our crafts in Dec. Chelsea and Gavin both got a kick out of all the fun things in the aisle...we looked at Xmas trees, wrapping paper, pretty flags...it was a blast. Then this afternoon we looked through magazines for pages with green and red on them. After that we ripped them up into little pieces and put them in a box. This year we're hosting Xmas Eve. We'll be having 20 here for the event. We're going to glue the pieces onto paper, cover with contact paper and make placemats for everyone. It will be a few day process, but I'll post the final product.
Learn: I learned that ripping paper is right up C's aisle! This was a very developmentally appropriate activity for a one year old. One thing I may have to learn is how to not let her rip paper at other times...she is probably going to be wanting to do it again!
Love: I love doing crafts, its fun! C loves being destructive, combine the two and its a successful day!

Muffin Tin Monday

















Look: We tried muffin tin Monday today. Saw this on another blog and loved the idea. I used C's little pretend play pan. It was fun to divide all the food up that way. She ate marshmellows, stuffing, bagels, chicken, applesauce and veggies. But she avoided the veggies.
Learn: Its fun to experiment with different presentations. The novelty of it isn't lost on C...she enjoys the change up. I think I"ll try to stick to MTM and try out some other tricks I'm reading about on mommy blogs.
Love: I love how excited C got when she saw her food served in a different way.

12/08/2008

PJ Day

Look: C and G were feeling under the weather on Sunday. I was exhausted because my little elf won't sleep for more than a few hours in a row. So we made it PJ day. There wasn't an "activity" per se, but we all stayed comfy and warm while we did our regular fun stuff...snack, books, play time, etc. It reminded me of when I worked and they would have PJ day. All the kids and teachers came dressed in their nightime gear.
Learn: Today I learned that staying in your comfy jammies can make a big difference in how you feel. I think C, G and I all felt a bit better because we were comfy all day.
Love: I loved that when it was time for bed I changed them out of their PJs and into...other PJs!

12/06/2008

Boxes





















Look: Today we were supposed to go away, but C wasn't feeling the best so we decided it was a day for playing inside. We had three big Huggies boxes sitting in our office for the past week. Chris helped me tape the sides down to make the boxes open on two sides. C first squished them by sitting and standing on them (I think she was hoping for a little stage to dance on). When we showed her how to crawl through she really liked it. She crawled through all three boxes when they were linked together. But if we made a little seperation in the boxes, she'd stand up after one and not finish...wish I knew what she was thinking. We let G practice sitting up in the little box. He's getting so good at sitting up. Anyhow we then used the boxes as a chute and rolled balls and toys through it. Next I slid in the two biggest boxes and C got on top. When I wiggled she practiced balancing. This made her giggle outloud. I added duck tape suspenders to the smallest box and C wore it around. She liked seeing herself in it and moved a bit differently. I wondered how she would dance in it, so I turned the music on...mistake! She whipped off the box and started dancing...box play time was over.
Learn: We get lots of cardboard boxes that can be toys before they hit the recycle bin. I'm learning how to be creative, more creative than I thought possible. Also, I'll do just about anything to make my kids laugh, even wedge myself into a huggies diaper box. When it comes to activities that C likes, dancing wins every time.
Love: I loved her ambition of crawling through the boxes. She is such a gross motor learner! It was fun trying to think of different things to use the boxes as...I'm sure we'll think of more tomorrow.

Christmas Lights

Look: Our neighborhood is so pretty at the holidays. Everyone puts up lots of decorations and lights. C and G have seen ours and the house you can see from our window. But we decided to drive around to look at lights. G's car seat is rear facing and he was asleep before we hit the end of our block. But Chris, Chelsea and I got to take the grand tour of KOP lights. We drove all around looking at the displays on our neighbors' homes.
Learn: Driving in the car can be fun on any given day. But tonight was really special. It was such fun getting bundled up and going out in the evening. I learned on this trip that Chelsea is very observant. She didn't miss a thing as we drove.
Love: I love this holiday tradition. It was made more special by the fact that it was snowing (lucky us). It was neat to see and hear C's reaction. Chris and I usually enjoy doing this, but it was even more special this year with our babies!

12/03/2008

Baking...again


Look: Today we made oatmeal bars to bring with us to a playdate on Friday. While C was napping I gathered ingredients and got things prepared for our activity. C stood in a chair at the table with a big bowl and spatula. I told her we were going to mix. She replied "mix, mix, mix" (she's been saying this whenever she has a kitchen tool since we made pies). First she mixed up shredded apples and mashed bananas. I put in the oats and as she mixed the top layer went flying because it wasn't wet. Luckily we have a little floor cleaner known as Millie. We added the raisins, flax seed, jam, marshmellows and silk. C reached in the batter to get a raisin. I showed her there were some saved for her on her tray of her chair. She was pleased with the raisin situation, so she continued mixing instead of fishing through the oatmeal for treats. Phew! We put the batter in a pan, covered it with wax paper and smoothed it out with our hands. After washing hands, I put it in the bars in the oven. Chelsea ate on while sitting on my lap with Gavin. She loved it. G wanted some and when he reached over C moved her bowl all the way out of his reach. Smart girl!
Learn: I learned to never put dry ingredients on the top of the bowl without mixing them in first...this could have been a mess, I'm so happy we have Millie! Today it is clear to me that these projects are perfect for her. I also came up with a good recipe for oatmeal bars without egg (they are a bit crumbly...but they'll do!)
Love: I love the oatmeal bars too! C loves to cook! G would love to eat real food! Also I think its terrific that I got something done with Chelsea, instead of trying to get it done while she was napping or occupied.

12/02/2008

Glow Sticks



Look: Today we opened an entire tube of glow sticks for our special activity. We have about six or seven packs of these glow lights, so I thought why not use them up. We had to wait until night to do this so it would be dark. First we just played with them as sticks. Then we started making bracelets, necklaces and crowns. Chris (aka Daddy) got the idea to start spinning them on his finger. It looked really neat. Then C thought Millie (our dog) needed some glow headbands. We took this picture with the light on so you could see how patient our dog is with the kids. C and Daddy slid the tube rings on the floor with their feet. Finally Chris put on a light show with the glow sticks and his devil sticks. Unbelievably, this occupied our family for about an hour.
Learn: I learned that my husband is great at participating in special time. He thought of things I'd have never done with the glow sticks. It would be good to have a special day set aside just for special time with Mommy and Daddy. G loved watching the glow sticks and grabbing for them. It really had him interested. C thought adding a few glow sticks no to play time was like a party in a tube. I also figured out today (although I already knew this one too) that my dog is awesome!
Love: I love my husband, my daughter, my son and my dog! Plus I love this blog for making me try new things everyday!

Long Holiday Weekend


Look: We had such fun this weekend, I'm just catching up on recording it all. On Thursday (Thanksgiving) C. showed off her custom painted turkey. Grandma brought a shopping cart for C and G with her on the holiday. We spent the evening playing grocery store. This was also the activity for Friday because C loved it so much. We set the food up in sections all over the family room. She would roll her cart up to the food and pile it in her cart. Then she'd bring it to me, where I'd pretend to scan it using her play phone and bag it for her. Over the weekend we went away to the poconos. There was a lot of family time with C and G (but no pictures). The main way she played was by exploring a new place. She crawled under the coffee table, pulled herself up on the chairs, jumped on beds and liked seeing someone yell down from the lofted area at the top of the stairs. G liked all the sites in the house. He practiced sitting up in a chaise lounger that had a deep padded back.
Learn: When on vacation I assume fun comes from going out and site seeing. At these young ages it really comes from just being in a new location. It felt like gymboree the way Chelsea was squeezing, pulling up and hopping on things. I also realized this weekend that Gavin is very close to sitting up on his own. I'll be a bit sad when this happens because to me it seems like the infant days are almost over.
Love: I loved playing grocery store with C. My favorite part was that she didn't discriminate or chose with foods went in the cart....they all did! Going on a weekend vacation to our mountain house was wonderful. C's fascination with testing out her abilities was a neat thing to see. I love that there will be so much family time up there to really enjoy with C and G.

11/26/2008

Noah's Ark




Look: We played with stuffed animals today. I cleared out their stuffed animal basket and put G inside. One by one I took each animal and made its noise then put it in the basket. C joined right in when she heard the animal sounds. G would set his eyes on one animal, then slowly move his hands to reach it. Once he got the animal in his hot little hands he'd use all his might to pull it right to his...mouth. Some animals tasted good, some didn't (the hairier ones = funny faces).
Learn: G is developing so fast! A few weeks ago he had trouble focusing and getting something with his hands...now he can get it and eat it! I also learned I need to learn the noises that a caterpillar and turtle make...does a pink spotted dog say "wuff, wuff" ? Today I also realized that C thinks some of the animals are only for her. She would say "my" and take them from G. One time out later, she was still trying to get any animal that G had...ug!
Love: I loved doing something that G would enjoy. His concentration face is wonderful and I"m impressed by his focus on getting what he wants. I loved Noah's ark!




11/25/2008

Anything for a laugh

Look: Today we spent the day trying to find out what makes G laugh. He is in the stage now where he squeals, grunts and giggles. In the process of trying to get him laughing C had a ton of fun too. We made silly faces (first in the mirror, then at each other). There was a dance party at some point. Story time was using funny voices and being wacky. Together we made all kinds of sounds. It was really fun. I didn't try to get the smiles on camera, just wanted to enjoy them myself (I'm greedy). But I did get one back and forth from dinner on a short video. It may sound like they are both screaming, but just ask Chris...they were using shrill laughter and talk to amuse each other.
Learn: Simply put, today I learned that laughter is the best medicine. If you're ever having a gloomy day, just get your kiddos to crack up and let yourself enjoy it. You'll be cheered up at least for a little while.
Love: I love the interaction (I know I sound like a broken record) between C and G. Their adorable little faces and cute little laughs are burned in my memory...how fun!
video

11/23/2008

Tree


Look: We decided to put up our tree before Thanksgiving. Last year we didn't end up getting the tree up at all because of some construction going on in our home...so this year we are overcompensating. Anyhow G took turns on Mommy and Daddy's lap while the other parent decorated with C. She only could get the hang of putting on the wooden candy canes, but she did say "ahhh" a lot about the lights.

Learn: The big thing I learned is that traditions have to start young. Little ones have no idea why we're hanging things on a tree when its cold outside. But doing it year after year will make it a tradition they will come to enjoy. Also, we realized today breakable objects up high, non breakable objects low...we're rookies!

Love: After we finished, we had Xmas music cranking and C took two of the wooden candy canes (yes the same ones she had placed) and danced around the room shaking them in the air. I thought to myself , this is what holiday seasons are about...the children.


Slides


Look: Saturday was slide day. It is really cold out this weekend. So we brought C's slide into the family room. First she used it as a traditional slide. Up the ladder, down the slide and repeat! Or if you know toddlers...repeat, repeat, repeat. G even went down a few times with my help. Then after a while we used it as a ball rolling ramp. She'd let the ball go at the top, watch it roll and run to get the ball. G looked like he was watching a tennis match. He tracked the ball almost every time, then watched C run back to do it again.


Learn: If you look at a traditional toy as something else it can double your fun. Also bringing outdoor toys in or vice versa can really help switch it up. G. is now in the phase of loving watching his big sis play. This activity really had him engaged too. Today's activity of having an outdoor toy do double duty has me inspired to look at the things in our house from a fresh new perspective.


Love: C and G love it when I cheer for something. Their eyes light up, a smile spread across their cute little faces and C usually claps up a storm while hopping around (this is awesome...I'll have to get a video soon). So today I spent much of our special time clapping for sliding or rolling and this made it twice as fun. I also love that we didn't turn on the tv or computer or anything for hours this morning and just played with the slide!

11/20/2008

Rolling and Sorting




video



Look: We have 2 days worth of fun! G learned to roll yesterday (thus the video). So we spent most of the day on the floor, rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and ...you get the idea. Yesterday it was all about G. C and I cheered for him, rolled with him and had a happy time doing it! Today we played a sorting game with our bins and toys. We lined up four colored bins and I collected toys. Then C picked one toy out at a time to put in the bins.

Learn: As much as I tried to teach G to roll, he did it when he was good and ready. This was an excellent lesson for this over zealous mother. Today I learned that C has no idea how to sort or I should say...she sorts her own way. I watched for patterns, colors, shapes...nothing. It was just putting objects in the bins however she wanted. What do I expect for an almost 19 month old! Reguardless of the fact that I am not really "teaching" my kids anything, I am sure learning a ton from watching and playing with them.

Love: G rolling is exciting. He thinks it is, C thinks it is and so do I. I love that he is getting big! Also today I loved learning that C thinks in her own way, she wasn't about to conform and put things of similar colors into buckets....she did it her way....and for that I love her even more than I did before!

11/18/2008

Fun in the Sink




Look: Today I filled up our sink with warm water, soap and C's play dishes. She spent over 30 minutes playing with bubbles, water and the toys. G. started out in his exersaucer but then wanted in on the action, so I moved him to the counter (don't worry I never moved from his side.) Besides spilling some tea cups full of water, this was a very clean activity.
Learn: C really loves to play in the tub. She also loves her water/sand table, so I knew this would be a hit. Luckily I had learned before not to let her wear regular clothes, she's wearing her rash shirt. The major thing I learned was that this was so fun, it was too hard to stop...C was quite upset when the water went down the drain.
Love: I love watching C play and transfer bubbles and water from container to container. She was so cute. The best part was when G got to the counter she kept trying to show him the bubbles....in the process she was spilling everywhere.

11/17/2008

Copy Me

Look: The game today came naturally, we played a copying game. I copied Chelsea making animal sounds, dancing and some playing. She copied me with some words, actions and singing. Then we both tried to copy Gavin. In the picture we were all doing "tummy time" with G. We also copied his noises while he was in the exersaucer.
Learn: Copying is fun! It can also turn around the attitude of my one year old quick. She was getting a bit fussy when I started the game, but within a short time she was giggling and enjoying it. I was surprised how quickly she caught on and was copying G and I. Although G didn't really understand, today I noticed how alert he is. He really is starting to pay attention to C.
Love: I loved watching G's face light up when he was playing with C. Its the best feeling and at one point I shed a few happy tears. Being a mom is great and being a mom to siblings is wonderful!

11/15/2008

Pies




Look: Today we made an apple pie and some mini cherry pies. We're testing
out milk and egg free recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was feeling brave so I let C help. All we had to do was add 2 ingredients to the pie mix. C mixed and mixed while I poured. Then we used our hands to press it into the pans. This part was very fun for her until she decided to pop a big ball of nasty dough into her mouth. I had to reach in her mouth to get it and she was rather upset. We finished our crusts, added canned filling and put them into the oven (i did that part, not C). After that she ran to the chair she was standing on and wanted more...but there was nothing left to make, so she was very sad!
Learn: If I have an easy recipe or I do the correct prep work, she can help. By help I don't mean it will be easier, but it will be more fun for both of us. I also learned to always read the labels...our crust was labeled milk and egg free, but also gluten free which made it a bit gritty and weird (sorry aunt june and uncle ron).
Love: I loved the way C followed directions, I am so proud of her. It was fun to try this sort of thing with her. She loved helping and when she saw Daddy eating some she was really excited and walked over to talk to his bowl of pie! This day is a really nice memory and a glimpse of the fun I have to look forward to!

11/14/2008

Shoes and Hats

















Look: Today we played dress up with shoes and hats. So far C only loves to carry my shoes, especially the slingbacks..they are like tiny purses to her! But a few days ago I realized it might be a good challenge for balance while walking. She did great in my ballet flats and her bots, but she hated trying my sneakers. G only tried the sneaks and is looking very dapper. Then it was onto hats. We tried on tons of types and looked in the mirror.
Learn: C loves to look in mirrors! Each time she would get a new hat on, she'd rush to the mirror to check herself out. She prefers to wear baseball hats backwards. When it was G's turn she insisted on helping me by covering his entire face with the hats, then lifting it up and saying "Hi" to him. He was not amused and within a few rounds of this was crying. Luckily I got a wide eyed picture before that.
Love: Whenever we're up in the master bedroom, Chelsea usually entertains herself while I get ready. She carries shoes, tries on hats and brings me all the things I don't need (moms with toddlers understand this, I'm sure). So today I loved being part of it! It was also really fun to watch her get excited that G had hats and shoes on. She didn't stop saying "shuuuuus" the whole time we were playing. My favorite thing about today was watching C look in the mirror.

11/13/2008

Making a Menu


Look: We have an adorable little kitchen down in our family room. Recently I ordered some cool wood food for C to pretend with in her kitchen. She loves it! She spends a big chunk of her day running food back and forth to G and I. At snack time she always ask for more then sneaks it into her kitchen. So today we started making some menus. While G was napping, we had a very fun time playing in the kitchen. We set up the table with plates and took different pictures of the food. I think C thought it was weird that I wasn't aiming the camera at her for a change. Then after her nap time she colored a piece of cardboard that will become her menus. We ran out of time to finish, so I'll post pictures later.
Learn: I learn so much every time I watch C play in her kitchen. Today was no exception. Kids are so observant, they watch and absorb everything you do. C put her little wooden food into different dishes and pots and put them in and out of the oven and cupboard and on the burners. At one point she announced that it was "hot" and proceeded to blow on her food (so cute). Also she mimics me when I take pictures by putting fingers near her eyes and making a clicking noise (also so cute).
Love: I love that at 18 months my daughter already knows how to pretend. She loves when I sit right in the kitchen with her and play. C becomes absolutely thrilled when I ask for some food and runs happily to the kitchen to get it. Its a delight to watch her. I can't wait until G is big enough to play too, the fun we will all have.

11/12/2008

Jello, Sand and Bubbles


Look: "There is always room for Jello" is a saying I heard my grandfather say throughout my childhood. So when I came across the recipe for jigglers made with juice I thought this would be so much fun. I cut a few stars with theone cookie cutter I own, then made balls with my mellon baller. C. played with them for several minutes, giggling at the consistency and stickiness. Then I popped one in my mouth, she looked at me in disbelief. She ate a few as well. She doesn't seem to care for Jello much. But she did spend a few minutes afterward lifting chunks of star into the air and shaking them like crazy.
Learn: My daughter loves to play with food. Jello is super sticky. The activities I'm planning aren't long enough. Today we ventured outside for sand and bubble time too. G sat mesmerized by our bubble machine while C methodically poured sand from container to container. When it got cold G and I went inside and C felt thrilled to be outside by herself (we were 5 feet away watching inside the door). She is getting to be independent, how great!
Love: I loved seeing C's face when I ate the jello, she was shocked. She liked the special snack and loved being a big girl on her own, even if it was only a few mere minutes. And G....he's easy, he loves bubbles!

11/11/2008

A book nest


Look: It is really cold out today. More frigid than it has been in a while. Feels like a good day for snuggling with some cutie pies. So this afternoon we mixed it up and made a new configuration in the couch. It had three sides of deep pillows and felt sort of like a nest. G, C and I laid in it reading books. At first G. liked laying against the pillows and wiggling himself down the edges. His sister really thought it was a new couch. She liked bouncing and kicking the pillows. C was even throwing her arms behind her head as if to say "how relaxing!"

Learn: Today's fun thing was really simple. All I needed to do was rearrange a few pillows and chairs...oh, ya...and pick up some old Kixx from under the couch (ewwww!). I think its fun to make old stuff seem new for C and G. It was neat to see her eyes grow wide after nap when she saw the double wide cushions. After reading with the kids we made the couch into a fort using some sheets. Its great to know that on a cold day I can do some simple things and make the day more exciting. I will definitely use our sectional again as a play thing!
Love: I loved being in sweatpants and cuddling with my babies. They loved reading the books. G. looked intently at the brightly colored pages and did a little giggling when under the sheets. I think C loved the fort, more than reading. She also loved having all of us (Daddy too) laying next to one another under the sheet. Book nests are a great idea!
Got this idea from my Gymboree 365 idea book.

11/10/2008

Bag for Grandma


Look: Today C. used some paint brushes and puffy paint to make an awesome reusable bag for Grandma. Grandma is coming to babysit tomorrow and we wanted to make something nice as a thank you. C. began by using one brush and gently swiping the paint around. Then after a little while she began saying "more, more" and demanding more paint. By the end she was using two brushes and really getting into it.
Learn: Watching my 18 month old paint taught me that we are all born with a creative instinct. She knew just how to swirl the paint and where to spread her colors. But I think if I let her she would have covered every inch! I also learned to have extra paper and projects to do when painting because the bags only took a few minutes.
Love: I love that C. felt super special. She was so proud that when a visitor came over she had to show her the bags she had made. Another thing to love is that Grandma certainly will go nuts for the bag!

11/09/2008

Why a blog?


How lucky can one person be? As a stay at home mom, I feel so lucky to have this time with my children. Yet, in the past few months I've found myself getting caught up in other things. It's so easy to get sucked into a soap opera or a good talk show. When gabbing with a girlfriend, a minute easily turns to twenty. Between internet shopping, baking, my favorite magazines and cleaning the house...I lost track of the important things, my two wonderful children. In order to refocus and keep myself on track, I've decided to start a blog.
My goal is to do one fun thing with the kids each day. Don't think I'm an awful mom, I mean do one thing in addition to those things we're already doing like story hour, gymboree, snacktime and playtime. Another goal is to be completely present during this part of the day. I want to observe their reactions, enjoy the time with them and grow from this experience.