Look: A while ago I bought some paint that comes in the bingo dabber bottles. Chelsea loves to paint with these. This is a picture of the green product. She painted an entire piece of grocery bag, but I cut a small portion to save out. We're working on colors, so this is green (is it wrong that I started with my favorite color?)

Learn: Painting can be a neat activity. The little dabbers are awesome and painting is just a short activty with little or no clean up needed.

Love: It will be neat to see how C's painting skills develop.



Look: I was eager for some springish decoration at my house. So we took strips of fun colored paper (from my card/scrapbook supply) . Chelsea made them into little cirlces and I stapled them. She would have loved to staple them herself, but I had to insist on doing it for safety...but believe me once this one can staple it will be her favorite thing.
Learn: We called these "circles" and it really helped her learn the shape. She is finding circles all over the house now. Can't wait to do shape hunts outside and when we go different places...onto squares next!
Love: This was such a pretty little easy craft and it brightens my mood when I'm sitting at the table! Mission accomplished.



Look: We traced C's hands, punched out circles, cut a triangle and voila...a penguin.
Learn: This ties in with one of C's favorite books so now she talks about the book when she sees penguin and talks about penguin when she sees her book. I didn't realize she was making so many connections already.
Love: Doing crafts was the fun part of early childhood teaching. But because K has gotten so advanced you have to slip in crafts here and there...now I can do them everyday!


craft basket

Look: Stopped in at Lakeshore stores this weekend. I have been there a zillion times as a teacher, but never as a parent. The main reason I'm staying home with my itty bitties is so that I can have lots of time to teach them things and put my early childhood degree to good use. But until I went to this store I didn't realize how much cross over there is with parenting and teaching early childhood children. So Ibought an art caddy (something I used in my classroom a ton...one on each Kindergarten table filled with supplies to share) and plastic trays to contain the mess of painting. I feel so organized and it keeps craft projects a few steps away!


crayon apron

Look: How cute is this apron. Mrs. M bought it for Chelsea for Xmas. We used it a few times and she enjoyed it. I pulled it out this week and she was so excited (my how a month of growth can change a child's zest for a toy or in this case an apron). She was very proud while wearing it and couldn't wait to show daddy. We get out a BIG coloring book and she colors with one crayon at a time. She uses every single crayon and loves pulling them out. When its time to clean up she helps and enjoys trying to get them in the little pockets. I bet in just a few months she'll enjoy putting them back more then getting them out. How fun!


Park with Baby Jack!

Look: I'll be honest, I forget which day this was...but I know it was warm and wonderful out. We planned to meet our friend Emily and her new son Jack for a walk. There was an awesome park right near their home. We pushed the kids to the park then let Chelsea play on the slides. After a bit we pushed Gavina and Chelsea on the swings. All the time Jack was sleeping and soaking up the fresh air (how cute is he!!!!).

Learn: One thing I learned was that my friend Em is an a terrific Mommy. She is a complete natural and has taken to motherhood like a champion. And even though I had no doubt she and her hubby would be stellar paretns, it is truly wonderful to see. Chelsea loves Emily and she is one of the only adults that Chelsea will accept help from and speak to right away.
Love: I love park days as you know. I also love that as Jack grows we'll have more and more of these types of days! Yippee!


Valley Forge

Look: It was sunny and beautiful so we took the kids to Valley Forge. They loved going for a ride and seeing all the joggers, families and especially the doggies.

Learn: Little tastes of spring in the winter are wonderful...but they really make me wish we lived somewhere warmer.
Love: Outings like this are just what I always thought of when we were planning our family!


Outdoor fun inside...

Look: This morning we woke up to 5 inches of snow. Since I knew we'd be inside for most of the day I geared up. I put the slide, sheet fort and a ball game in our master bedroom. In the office/guest room the floor is lined with pillows. I brought out a new game for the living room and our trusty standby was the family room. We spent most of the day going from room to room to play with different things. It was fun to utilize our entire home.

Learn: Every little change I make in the house is noticed by C. She squealed with delight when seeing the pillows on the floor. We easily played for over an hour in my bedroom. Today really provided a lesson for me, with a little planning a day at home can be more fun than a day out and about.



Look: It snowed here practically all day today. So as soon as Daddy came home we geared up for a sled ride, long walk and some snow play.

Learn: C hates to come in when she is playing outside. She had a meltdown when I had to drag her in, frozen boogies and all. I learned that G can't sit up properly in all his winter gear. He flopped over every time I sat him up.

Love: The pic says it all, I love these two little snow bunnies!


Our wagon

Look: It is definitely time to get out of the house. After both kids being sick back to back, I was itching to get out. Today was another first for our little Gavin. We bought this wagon last year for C's 1st birthday. G was still two months from making his arrival. So for the spring, summer and fall Chelsea was the rider of the wagon. Now that our little guy is sitting on his own and even trying to crawl, it's time for his first ride.
Learn: Now that G is getting bigger we can take him out in mostly any type of weather. As an infant I worried with both kids about cold temps, heat waves and rain. But today I learned that I should gear them up for any type of weather and take em out! We'll be like the postal service and go out in any type of weather!
Love: I loved, loved, loved going out with the kids today. They are so cute and it was nice to just have some fresh air in our faces. Outdoors is such an important part of my childrens' development. So today gave me the confidence to brave the weather more.



Look: Sunday was grocery shopping day. We did the bulk of our shopping for the month. The fun part was that Chris and I used 2 carts and each drove one of the kids around. C loves holding the list and talking pretty much non stop around the store. This was the first time G has been in the cart. He prefered chilling out and leaning way back in the seat. When we got outside it was beautiful. So after unloading the groceries I put both kids in one cart and rode around with them.
Learn: We are really a family of four.
Of course I knew this, but with every "first" for Gavin, it becomes more evident and real. Grocery shopping, although still not my favorite thing to do, was a bit more fun with two grocery carts and two small kids. I've been learning that buying on a monthly basis and planning our meals out is not only more economical, its easier every day when it comes time to eat dinner.
Love: I love that as G grows my kids become more and more alike. At first the 14th month difference is age was so obvious. But as they grow, although there will be differences, they are going to have so much more in common.


We've gotten cabin fever from playing inside for the past few weeks because of our continuous cold season. I think kids need to be outdoors on a regular basis. My husband and I would spend all our time outside if we could. Here are a few ideas that come from books, teaching, others...well everywhere.

Snow hunt
Bug hunt
lily pad floating game
Beachball teather
tinfoil molds for mud
color walk
water play
sand play
treasure hunt
stop and go
wheels, wheels, wheels