Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tot School - 25 months

We had a little more time to focus on Tot School this week, but Alex had NO sit-still in him! Some of our activities lasted about 2 minutes! Others, like the beans, lasted 45 minutes. You just never know what might capture the attention of a toddler!

I thought Alex would *love* gluing cotton balls on this snowman. He loves glue sticks, and he's never played with cotton balls before. Nope. He did about 6 cotton balls and announced, "All done, Mama. NO MOH!" (I happily finished it and hung it on the fridge...I thought it was cute!)

Yes, you can make biscuits into shapes with cookies cutters. I wasn't sure how well it would hold the shape, but our heart-shaped biscuits turned out all right!

Transferring beans with a spoon...this is the first time we tried any activity with beans, and Alex was hugely proud of his efforts. We had a few beans on the floor (and a few in the mouth, so I gave him a graham cracker to snack on while he played) but overall, Alex did very well with spooning the beans from one bowl to another. It's also the first time I've let him work with anything made of glass. (This is a CLOSELY supervised activity!)

Puzzles - Alex was on an anti-puzzle kick for a while, but the other day, he took my hand and said, "Tum!" (Come!) We spent about 30 minutes doing puzzles together on the living room floor.

Playdough - free play. His favorite is my garlic press. He needs help, but he loves to make long strands of "spaghetti". I was doing dishes while he played, and he asked me to bring him a bowl of bubbles. ("Mama, bubbles please. Bubbles bowl!") He had fun decorating his face and head!

Colors - We did the mitten activity from Mormon Chic's file folder games. (No, we're not Mormon, but the activites at that site are fun!) Then, we went back to Alex's favorite - drive the cars on the colors. He "hauled" colored blocks on the top of his cars to bring them to the correct spot.

I also included a picture just for fun. His little wooden cars are from the dollar spot at Target. The sticker on the bottom makes me laugh. On the top left, it says "ages 2 and up" and on the bottom right, it says "not for children under 3 years". Gotta love those "made in China" toys! ;)

D! Alex begged to paint, so we did the "D is for dinosaur" from a Fisher Price ABC *.pdf file that I have saved on my computer. It came from a Fisher Price House Party that I hosted when Alex was small. (If anyone wants the file, I'd be happy to e-mail it to you. It's meant to be shared.) He also half-heartedly did the D is for Dog magnet page using a pink bingo marker.

  • Alex's dresser labels - pictures & words for what's found in each drawer
  • Alex's digital clock - We covered up the minutes with tape, so Alex can only see the hour. I wrote "7" and drew a sunshine on the tape. We're working on teaching our early-bird that he can't leave his room until the clock says 7.
  • D-shaped ham & cheese sandwich (Wilton cookie cutters)
  • using a towel to clean up a spill...he's getting pretty good at that!
  • wearing a paper bag...he didn't want to decorate it
  • A horse climbing the bridge on Alex's Pooh Bear playset
  • putting up Valentines window clings
  • Tigger driving a tractor (I love imagination!!!)
  • playing with his Pooh Bear playset

To see what other tots are doing this week, check out:

Tot School

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dir-Day Party!

Alex is saying birthday much more clearly now, but it was coming out so cute for a while: Dir-day!

Although Alex turned 2 on December 26th, we had our family party on January 17th. We'd invited family for Max's dedication at church, so we figured we'd just group the two events into one day.

The morning got off to an interesting start. Keith was at church already for praise team practice. I was getting the boys & myself ready. I thought Alex was playing nicely, but he walks into the bathroom as I'm getting ready and says, "Mom. Tractor!" I replied, "Yes, Alex, today is your tractor party!"

We went back & forth for a while as I answered, "Yes, tractor cake!" and "Yes, tractor balloon!" Then I realized that he wasn't just excited about his party. He'd done something. I just didn't know what. So....I followed him down the hallway and found this.
Alex discovered the pile of presents that had been dropped off the night before. Thankfully, he only opened ONE. He sure was excited about it, though! I went by the rule, "Don't get angry; take pictures!" In my frustration, though, I apparently forgot how to get a complete head in a picture! ;)
Leanne was very gracious about her present being opened a little early. Thank you, Aunt Annie!

Once again, we mashed close to 30 people into our home. It's crowded, but so far no one has complained. (Here come the comments...ha ha!) I love the craziness of a house filled with family!
Alex received lots of presents, and we made thank you cards last week. Now we just have to print & mail them! Uh, does anyone remember receiving an 8 month late thank-you card after Alex's first birthday?! ;)

Besides the (previously opened) tractor, Alex also received:

~ Thomas railway expansion pack and engines, Thomas backpack, Thomas DVD, Thomas toothpaste (are you sensing a theme?!)

~ fun Thomas cars (cow, lion, hippo, cement mixer, milk truck ) and engines

~ Duck slippers and I Wish I Had Duck Feet book

~ blue & brown shoes

~ very handsome winter coat for next year

~ Curious George book set

~ toy garbage truck (complete with plastic wads of garbage that contain a toilet and a fish?!)

~ ride-on 4 wheeler

~ tricycle

~ Melissa & Doug pattern blocks

~ Leap Frog fridge phonics

~ brown sweatpants, sweatshirt, and Thomas t-shirt

~ money for his ING account
Mama & Aunt Deb made italian beef, and everyone brought side dishes to share. We had lots of good food - kettle chips, chips & salsa, potato salad, baked beans, veggies & dip, jello...yum! And, of course, we finished our party with cake & ice cream.
Grandma P made this tractor cake with coconut haybales. I don't like coconut, so we never have any in the house. Looks like Alex likes it, though! :) Thank you for your hard work, Grandma! I also included a picture of Max's dedication cake. It's just like the cake for Alex's baby dedication, but this one was made by Jessica. She did a wonderful job! Thank you, Jess!

January 17th also happened to be my nephew Joshua's 13th birthday, so we helped him celebrate, too...

After such a fun afternoon, this exhausted little boy couldn't make it until bedtime. He fell asleep watching TV with Daddy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

5 Months Old

(I fixed this post & added more pictures/text...)
He's getting too big! Our little Max is already 5 months old. He's no longer a newborn, cuddled in our arms. He loves to sit up (with help), grab things, smile and giggle, pay attention to his big brother, pet the dog, and all those things that bring him one step closer to being a big boy.

He is totally fascinated by the TV. While I remember a tiny Alex staring at the lights on the TV, I don't recall him being so totally captivated by it the way that Max is. If the TV is on, Max will stretch and twist his little body until he can see the TV...even if it means hanging upside down in my arms. Silly baby!
Max was sitting in the Bumbo one afternoon while I cleaned the kitchen. Alex was watching George, but he walked over and sat down with the baby, holding Max's hand while he watched. It was so cute! I missed the hand-holding, but I did get a picture of the two boys watching together. (And, NO, I don't encourage Max to watch TV. It just kind of happened on this day.)
Max has a happy "squeal" that could break glass! It's the cutest noise, but it's LOUD! He'll just happily squeal over & over again when he's in the right mood. I need to catch it on video some day just to remember it!
Max still only rolls one direction - from back to belly. He rolled from his tummy to his front only once, and that a few months ago. If he's left on his tummy, Max either screams or falls asleep. Eventually he'll figure it out, I'm sure!
He has no teeth yet. He loves to chomp on my fingers, but I see no evidence of teeth coming in yet.
Still no solid foods, although I'm thinking about it still. We've got a box of rice cereal in the cabinet, and I've got bananas in the house, so we've got options when I finally cave in and feed the kiddo. (Well, actually, I lie. Max had a small lick of applesauce from the tip of my spoon at dinner one night. He didn't know what to think of it, but he didn't seem to dislike it as much as Alex's first taste of applesauce!)
He's going backwards in the sleep department in the past few weeks. Morning nap is shorter (30 minutes some days) and afternoon nap is never longer than 2 hours, usually broken by a 5 minute crying session in the middle of that. I'm trying to get him back on track by staying home and letting him nap in his crib as much as possible. Max is still going to bed between 8/8:30 pm most nights and waking around 7/7:30 am with (usually) one feeding in there. Sometimes 2, but the second waking is around 6 AM, so I can't complain.
Here's Max in our playroom. Since Alex wants to spend time up here, Max is up here a lot more often these days. He's pretty content with his Bumbo & a basket of baby toys.

He enjoys sitting in his high chair and playing with toys while I do dishes or cook.
I would love it if someone designed suction toys that actually stayed in place!

This was his very first time in the Jumperoo. Alex "helped" him learn about the toys. Max is now the Jumperoo man...he LOVES to play in his jumperoo!

We dedicated Max at our church on Sunday, January 17th. Leanne took pictures during the service, but I forgot to do a family picture. We may have to wear the same clothes next Sunday & just "pretend". (Yes, I'm that dumb...)

Max slept through the whole experience. Along with Max, our friends Dave & Christy dedicated their baby, Caedmon, and another grandmothe and mother dedicated baby Willow. Dave, Christy, and Caed are in this picture.
Here's us - zoomed in & grainy because the photo was taken from a distance.

Here are a few "after" pictures with family, taken at our house. We had Alex's birthday party on the same day, so we had a BUNCH of family at our house for lunch.

Grandma S (and Max's new bear from Uncle Dave & Aunt Janice)

Uncle Dave

my niece, Danielle

Grandma P

Aunt Leanne

Aunt Deb, who put him to sleep TWICE...must be a boring lady! ;)

Me, Mom, Max

(Don't you like our taste in clothing? Mom & I match. Oops.)

Gotta love the chubby cheeks!

my niece, Emma

Oh, and here's a picture of the brothers playing together with Mama very close by to supervise this dump truck ride! How I wish they will always play this nicely together, but...uh...they're boys. I expect it won't always be smiles and giggles around here, so we'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tot School - 24 months

Um, I slacked. We had Alex's birthday party on Sunday, and I just didn't feel like doing Tot School on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday were busy, and I wasn't feeling well on Thursday and Friday. There goes the week. We did a measly few "tot-school-ish" activities this week, but that's about it.

Mostly, Alex played with his new Thomas trains & tracks from his birthday party. His aunts & uncles got him an addition to his track and some nice engines, and Grandpa P bought some fun trains. Alex could play with these all day long! It's not tot school, but imaginative play is definitely important. I have so much fun watching Alex making sound effects as he fills the train cars at the water tank, drives them over the bridges, etc.
We did a "C is for Cow" dot page.

Alex had a C-shaped jelly sandwich, clementine, chips, cheese, and Capri Sun for lunch.
(Not that he understood any of that other than the C-shaped bread. We just happened to have a lot of C-food.)

He used watercolors to paint this C page.
(He also dumped his cup of water over the picture. Nice.)

We colored in Disney Cars coloring book.
Again, I'm the only one who knew there was a link to the letter c!

Alex also spent some time at Grandma P's house on Friday morning, where he helped Grandma bake a chocolate cake. Thanks, Grandma! I needed a little time without Alex more than you'll ever know! And he DEFINITELY had fun with you! :)

Here are a few pictures from last week:
We have ABC magnets on the dishwasher, and I'm adding a new one each week as we introduce a new letter. We are doing the same with the Fridge Phonics toy.

B lunch...B sandwich, blueberry yugurt, and blueberries
Blowing Bubbles and ABC foam letters. We're adding a new foam letter each week, and we play games like "hide and seek" or "squirt the letter" to help Alex recognize the letters.

Hopefully I'll be better prepared for D-week! :)

To see what other tots are doing this week, check out:

Tot School

Friday, January 22, 2010


Max loves it! (Ignore my babbling - I was trying to get him to smile!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He Speaks...

...and we're loving it. A while back, I mentioned to Keith that there's a lot going on in Alex's little mind, and I couldn't wait to hear what he'd say once he figured out he could talk. Well, we're getting there...and he's a goofy kid.

Last night, I was cooking dinner. Alex was sitting on a kitchen chair looking out the window. He saw a patch of green peeking out from under all the snow. He said, "Hey, Mom! Grass! Daddy drive tractor!" (We've told him that Daddy won't drive his tractor again until spring. And he'd never used the word grass before. Oh, and never mind that Daddy would have to drive over 3/4 acres of snow to get to the one little patch of green grass...)

Then he wanted up in my arms while I was cooking. He looked down into the skillet on the stove and said, "Meat. Raw meat. Cook." (I had no clue he knew what raw was!)

2 weeks ago at church, I was sitting in the very back with the boys. An older woman, with long white hair, was walking out during communion - you know, when it's QUIET in church - and Alex looked at her and said with awe, "Santa!"

For a long time, Alex has been calling himself "You"! He points to a picture of himself and says, "You!" He won't say Alex. I realized recently that if I call him Alex Cole, he'll say "All Cole". So I guess he can finally say his own name...sort-of.

He also cracks me up because he's now saying "Ung-Chim" for Keith's Uncle Jim.

I know there are more, but those are the only things coming to mind right now...remind me if you know something that I'm missing! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tot School - 24 months

(Blogger takes forever to upload pictures, and then it's a big pain trying to move the pictures around. I realized that making quick photo collages in Shutterfly Studio is a lot easier for me. I've seen it on other blogs, but I guess I'm slow to catch on... I think it cut my posting time by more than half. YAY!)

Sunmaid Raisins Play Book

Alex found this book on our shelf a few weeks ago, and he is just starting to realize what he can do with it. Each page features a picture decorated with raisins, and also has one picture with no raisins. Kids use real raisins to complete the blank picture. Alex can do it (sloppily, of course) but has a hard time completing a picture without eating the manipulatives! ;)

This wasn't even meant to be a car game; it just kind of came to be. Alex LOVES it, though! He asks to play with this every day, usually multiple times. We've tried it again with blocks, and he's a little more interested if we take turns putting blocks on the correct color.

Carisa's Tot Books include a book about Thomas The Train. I know that Alex isn't really ready for a tot book, but he's starting to get interested in Thomas now. I decided to print 2 sets of the shape cards for him, and we turned it into a matching game. One copy is glued to the folder; the other set of cards is laminated, cut and stored in the little pocket. Alex just has to set the pieces in the right places. I'm learning the names of the Thomas trains, and Alex is matching pictures. Eventually, we'll start focus on the shapes, too.

I was making pork chops breaded with Ritz crackers, so Alex go the job of smashing the crackers. The rolling pin was a little too heavy for him. Next time, I'll just let him go at the crackers with a toy hammer!
I googled Curious George, picked an image I liked, and printed it in multiple sizes to create a sequencing game. Alex understands big and little, but he has no clue what to do with the 2 medium sized Georges. I guess we'll just keep working on big and little for now. Maybe I'll make a few more big and little George, and we'll use it as a sorting game.

The Letter B
I gave Alex chunky crayons, but he's not really interested in crayons. He couldn't wait for me to cut out the letter so he could glue it onto the paper.

He absolutely loves to use Bingo markers, though. He thinks opening the twist caps is very fun. He was doing well at stamping inside of the butterfly until I walked away to get the camera :)

Name Recognition
Carisa suggests this activity using bottle caps, but we didn't have any, so I used frozen juice can lids to make the letters in Alex's name, then printed a matching sheet with his name & picture. I really didn't think Alex would like this, but he had a lot of fun setting the letters in the correct spot. (As Alex gets bigger, I'll make the names of other family members and bind the pages into a book...although I will have to switch to bottle caps for that!)

Snow Play at the kitchen table (last week, actually...)
A lady from church mentioned "snow cream" on her Facebook status, and we had to try it...yum! We also made a little snowman & built a tower of snow blocks.
Singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes" and doing the motions
(well, Mama was singing...Alex was doing the motions)
We also made B-sandwiches, blew bubbles in the bathtub, and a few other things, but I loaned out the USB cable that connects the camera to our I can't get the photos on here. Oops!
To see what other tots are doing this week, check out:

Tot School