Look: Today we played school, which for a 2 year old and 9 month old means we copied one another. We copied dance moves, actions, words, songs, and noises. During all the fun, Gavin learned how to clap. I've been trying to get him to do it for 3 or 4 weeks now! Of course when Chelsea showed him, he got it.

Learn: Children learn best from each other! How on earth did I forget this fact? As a teacher I always tried to give the kids activities where they could help one another, share learning and ideas. So from now on G's going to be included in our learning too. He'll be a genius before he's one! Haa

Love: I love this video, once I saw him clapping I ran to get the camera. I took a few videos of him clapping alone, but this one really demonstrates what I learned today. I am going to love watching my little man clap every day and when I do I'll remember this moment! Thanks for sharing it with me!


Playing House

Look: We played house while G slept. This isn't unusual, but today I gave it all my effort and attention (rather then reading a magazine while playing or having coffee). I don't know anyone who dresses like this, but it was what C chose to wear. We had such a fun time getting food, making bottles, and putting babies to bed....odd this is what I actually do all day.

Learn: I learned that Chelsea is a very keen observer. She had my mannerisms down pat. She'd smell her baby dolls' rear end and say "P, U! Change diaper!" So the lesson today is to watch what I do, because I have an admirer.
Love: Giving something my whole attention (when I can) makes is so much more valuable. I love this little girl


Look: We played Zoo today in a bunch of different ways. G got a really neat toy zoo from Grandma for Xmas. We all layed on the floor and made animal noises and took turns pushing the buttons to make the toy play music. Later we made a parade of zoo animals with our stuffed animal collection. And finally we pretended (maybe it was just me pretending) that Millie was a wild animal. Our baby gate is the perfect cage. Love the first photo makes me think my babies are the animal attraction.

Learn: Animals are fun. They are the perfect toys for girls and boys. We watch animal planet sometimes and both kids are glued when I put it on. C knows lots of animals, but there are so many types, noises, facts and info that I could see this being a real passion for both of our kids.
Love: Playing Zoo was fun. I love how into it C got. G enjoys any toy he can shove in his mouth right now, so he's easy.


Muffin Tin Monday

Look: Applesauce, pumpkin blueberry muffin, pork, breadstick shaped like a snail (wish the pic turned out better, it was cute!), tomato and salad.

Dramatic Play

Yippee! Its the time to play make believe. What fun! These ideas come from books, friends, and naturally from Chelsea and Gavin.

Dress up
Birthday Party time


Playing with Jack and Colby

Look: On Thursday my friends Emily and Sue came over with their little boys. It was such a fun little playdate. C. was in quite a mood, lots of whining and pouting. She usually loves these friends, so I was surprised. G had a good time, as usual. He was his usual self, busy boy. But I had the best time of all. I got to try out a recipe I saw on Rachel Ray. We all chatted and laughed, then chatted much more. Mommy time is great.

Learn: As you can tell from that last picture, I learned G can't make it through lunch when he hasn't had any rest time in the morning. It was rather funny because he fell asleep mid feeding (what? sleeping rather than eating...crazy for Gman!) Also I learned that the best times at this age are when I can have times with my good friends.
Love: Colby: I love watching Colby grow. I met him when he was first born and G was just days from being born. I fell in love with him then. Now I love that he smiles at the drop of a hat. I love the tuft of dark hair that makes him look like the opposite of Leo. He is such a neat kid!
Jack: I met Jack when he was less than a day old, it was love at first holding. His knees were the best because they were a bit wrinkly and baggy like worn in jeans. He has grown leaps and bounds in the two short months we've known him. But each time I see Jack, I'm struck by what a cutie pie he is.


Looking for "gold"

Look: Since it's St. Patty's Day we pretended the Leprechauns hid gold and we looked for it. I had 6 formula can lids (purple discs) that I would hide while C and G watched. Then it would be her turn to find them and put them into the green holder...(I've been trying to find a use for the spongy fruit holder that I got with my Xmas Grapefruit for a while..jackpot!)

She would even say "hmmm" while tapping her chin and looking. It was really cute. We played this game at least a dozen times and they loved it. Learn: C took a turn hiding the lids and she wasn't really ready for that. She understood when I hid them, but she kept gathering them up and not really putting them anywhere for me to find. It was okay, I don't mind being the hider until these guys get bigger. I was astounded that she could easily remember 4 of the lids each time. The last two she usually needed help with.

Love: Games are my absolute favorite. I need to find more things like this to do with the kids because they responded really well to it.



Look: This was C's first time on any sort of inflatable jumping play equipment. After stopping briefly to acknowledge a few friends, she did not stop playing for over an hour. The basic moon bounce was where we spent a majority of our time. C would say "jump, jump, jump" with each bounce. Even though I love her, it got tiresome. Then there was a playground item with latticed ropes to climb on. Off to one side was an obstacle course which C and I did twice (in pic). My favorite was the giant slide. A friends' daughter wanted to go up and she asked if I could take her. Since Chels didn't seem interested I climbed the latter holding S. When I got to the top I heard the other moms yelling that C had followed me. After I slid down really fast I looked and my little two year old (almost) was at the top all by herself. I slid down with her and she loved it. She went back up and down all by herself a total of about five times. I even went down a few times on my own. It was so much fun.

Learn: I learned that C has passed through her timid phase and is comfortably in the indestructable phase. She didn't skip a beat and tried everything with little apprehension. I was quite impressed with my little explorer. Also I learned from now on we're bringing Daddy and Gav to these things too. They would have both loved watching our girl in action!

Love: I loved experiencing this together with C. We're entering the two year old zone. Although I know this comes with the terrible twos, it also comes with fantastic exploration. You have to take the bad with the good!

Making Baby Food

Look: Today I let C and G hang out in the kitchen while I made baby food for G. Today we made chicken, cauliflower, spinach, and blueberry. The kids didn't really do much, but we talked about each kind of food. We talked about each stage (cooking, pureeing and storing). C basically repeated everything I said. It was especially considerate of her to warn G every time I'd turn on the blender, she'd tell him "its okay...its mommy making food".

Learn: I learned making this much at once is quite a task. Usually I try to stagger my batches, but we ran out of veg, meat and fruit all at once. A few months back I started freezing some of the batch in breast milk storage bags. This way I can grab a bag of puree to add to recipes. My daughter will not touch a vegetable so I have to hide them. I have a neat contraption to store the bags and it makes my freezer much less messy.
Love: Originally when I found out I'd have make baby food because of C's allergies I was not a happy Mommy. But now I love making it. I can control the types of food and the consistency. I can make the equivelent of 20 jars for about 2 bucks, which of course makes me feel even better about what I'm feeding my little prince!


Look: Today C's playgroup met at an indoor playground equipment store. It was a large space with a bunch of really nice backyard play structures. C's eyes lit up when she saw the trampoline. She rode down lots of slides, said hi to tons of kids and loved swinging with her friends. G rode the swings and really enjoyed watching the other kids. As usual he was playing cutesy for any Mom that would look at him. Love that baby!
Learn: I learned about the other kids in her playgroup. S was really digging the whole scene. He spent a lot of time walking around and investigating. He would make a great little detective. A felt like a true toddler. She thought she was grown up walking away without looking back for Mommy. She is 1 going on 5! L seems to love climbing, give that boy a tree and I think he'd get right up it!
Love: I feel lucky to have new Mom friends. These little kids are super tots and its mostly due to them having cool Mommies (but I am biased). We've only had a few groups so far, but every time I have a blast with this crew. C is really learning how to be less shy and G always enjoys himself. Love the UMMC!


Outside Time

Look: Today we spent all afternoon and evening out in our yard (besides dinner. It was the first time G was able to truly explore grass. At first he refused to put his hands down, but then once he realized it was okay, he loved it! C found her own little obstacles all over the yard. She spent time climbing over tree roots (in photo), toddling up the hill, carrying rocks from one side of the yard to the other and more.
Learn: Although I really want some outdoor things for the kids, I don't need them. They have fun just playing in nature. How lucky am I. This is exactly the reason I moved from the city to the burbs, so I enjoyed every minute of playtime today.
Love: I love the imagination C displays. I love the timidness G had at first with the grass. Of course I love our dog Millie, she loves the yard more than all of us combined. But most of all I love that we are able to play together right in our own backyard.


Mail Delivery

Look: Today we used two tissue boxes as mailboxes. I set them up on opposite sides of the room. Then we used the magazine subscription cards as mail. C donned a hat and bag to be the mailman. She first took Mail from G and I. She took each piece seperately to her box. Then she delivered each piece back to G and I.
Learn: G can eat paper. Not a good lesson, but good to know. If you give him more than a few seconds with the cards they were in his mouth. C sort of learned the concept and now we look out for the mailman when we can.
Love:He loved her get up and enjoyed it when she would come running back holding the "mail". I love that later in the day, C put the hat on G and kept yelling out "mailman, mailman!"


Stroller Walk

Look: Today was a warmer day. So we used our double jogger to get to and from playgroup. C ate snack on the way and G took a snooze. On the way C and I called out things we saw. She saw an airplane, birds, kids and cars. I saw a mailman sitting in the mailbox (weird), ice on the stream and lots of puddles.

Learn: Getting there is half the fun. It was actually a joy to get the walk in. We live rather close to lots of the moms in our playgroup, so hopefully this is something I can do often.

Love: The kids love the new stroller, so do I. We all love being outside, so today was a wonderful day!

Paper Crown

Look: Today C made a special hat. She used markers, crayons, and cow stamps to decorate to parts. I put them together and strung ribbon through the ends. She wore it all day. She even let G wear it.
Learn: Luckily I'm a teacher and knew to buy washable markers. I also steered clear of the scented kinds. C put the markers right up to her nose anyhow (see pic of her wearing hat), so I learned today how easily the markers come off...phew!
Love: C was so proud of her little hat that she had to show Daddy when he got home. While I was making dinner C was sharing her hat w/ Daddy and G....it ripped into pieces :-( When I went down to tell them dinner was ready I found it. Maybe cardboard crown next time!


Kitchen Play

Look: We played "Kitchen" for the better part of the morning. I brought the tongs, spaghetti spoon, wooden stirfry spoons and pancake flipper for us to play with. First C tried transfering different objects between our buckets. She would try for a little bit to use the tool alone. Then just place the object on the kitchen tool and balance it. G was thrilled when he got to hold one of these tools. After the novelty of the tools wore off, we decided to make toy stew. We put linkers, food, cars and some other things into the bucket. We took turns stirring it. C put it in the pretend oven and then served it up. G spent the rest of the morning methodically putting each ingredient in his mouth. He definitely approved of our choice of games this morning. I brought pretzels down for C's snack and Millie decided at this point she wanted to play too! ha
Learn: I thought using the tools would be good hand eye practice for C. I didn't picture it being quite as hard to grab the toys with the tools. Maybe if we tried it with cheerios or other small objects it would be easier. I will definitely play this again soon. I may put some of these tools in the kids' drawer in the kitchen so they can use them as we get meals ready. Also, I learned that C. is pretty good at pretending, she really gets into it!
Love: Gavin stayed completely engaged the entire time playing with all the different pretend foods and tools. I love trying to see things through his eyes. C. loved when Millie decided to play...its a shame the dog only wants to be involved when there is food, but then again she is a dog!


Happy and Sad...again

Look: I did this a few months ago. Spent most of the day playing and finding out what makes Chelsea and Gavin happy. Of course in any given day I also easily find out what makes them sad. Here is our list for late winter.
Happy: being a mommy to her dolls, talking on the phone, singing, dancing, Grandma!, pancakes, marshmellows, animals, books, binkies, doing things by herself, washing hands, using a spoon, drinking out of a cup, Millie, Beyonce's single ladies song, Gavin (especially now when he tries to crawl)
Sad: Vegetables on her plate, when Gavin touches her toys at the wrong moment, when a show ends and the TV turns off, getting her face washed.
Happy: when he sits up all by himself, eating, eating and more eating, rolling, touching Chelsea's toys, Millie, animal noises, repetition of silly sounds, tickling, sitting next to Chelsea and trying to get her binky, Binkies, Mommy, Daddy and Chelsea
Sad: not getting food fast enough, getting stuck on a big toy when trying to roll or scoot across the room, having no binky, teething, having to get in crib without being rocked to sleep
Learn: I can't believe how much these things stay the same and change. Gavin is getting so big I'm wanting to stop time. I wish all the snow we got could somehow freeze my children for a year or two so I can savor every bit of them. I bet when I do this again in the spring things will be even more different. But I'm sure they will both still be loving Binkies! I'm thinking I should do a general list of happy and sad for each year of their lives. This could be a neat thing for their scrapbooks!
Love: Gosh, parenthood is amazing. As many times as I heard it from people while I was pregnant, I could never have imagined it would be like this. I'm so blessed.

My little singer

Can you guess what song Chelsea is singing?