Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tot School (26 months)

As of Friday, my little guy is 26 months old. Not really a huge occasion, I guess, but another reminder that my little guy is getting to be a big boy.

I decided that I’d try going with a theme this week, and Alex seemed to like that. We did "H is for Hippo”, and (I kind of cheated and) got almost all of our activities from one source: Confessions of a Homeschooler. (I’m trying to get one week ahead in my planning, rather than cramming in any prep work into Monday’s naptime, so I took the easy route this week!)

We sang (many times, as I often heard "Mama, sing!") the Mary Rice Hopkins song "Hip, Hip, Hooray - Hippopotamus"...great song about God creating us! We have it on VHS video, but the video is dying :( I doubt it's available on DVD, but at least you can get the MP3!

I’ve been looking for magnets to use on the magnet pages, and finally found these thumbtack-style magnets at Office Max. Alex LOVED doing his “H is for Hippo” page:

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Gluing and Following Directions - Alex loves glue sticks, and he’s usually good at following instructions. Usually. Today, it took a few tries to get him to put together this hippo. I love the crooked tooth and the upside-down ears. (Hey Angie – I thought of you when I pulled out the paper plate, ha ha!)

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Shapes - I’m trying to encourage Alex to learn his shapes. I started with an easy shape that he already knows – circle. We sat together & fingerpainted this page from First School. (Just a warning – every time I print an activity from First School, I end up having weird things happen with my computer for the next few days.)

Alex fingerpainted last week with my friend’s daughter. Today he wanted to fingerpaint, so I got it ready, and he asked me, “Where’s Sami?”. It took some encouragement to get him started on this. I guess we can’t fingerpaint without a friend!

Alex also played with a flashlight quite a bit this week, and he noticed that the flashlight makes circles on the wall/ceiling. (The baby was totally fascinated with the flashlight, too...good entertainment for both kids when I need 5 minutes peace!)

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Big and Little – We do big & little every week. Sometimes, I think Alex gets it. Other times, I’m really not sure. He was in a rare mood when we did this page, got angry, and crumpled up the hippos (which I hadn’t laminated). We did it again on Friday, and he was fine with it. He also apologized to the hippos for “hurting” them and gave them kisses. I didn’t ask him to do that, either. (Oh, I just Google hippo images & printed this one in two sizes.)

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Colors – Alex can’t name all of these colors yet, but he could match every hippo correctly except for black and brown. In his defense, the brown is pretty dark!

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Painting & Stamping – I googled hippo coloring pages (where would we be without Google?!) and found this. After he finished painting, I gave Alex an H stamp (from my otherwise-unused scrapbook supplies) and let him go to town with it.

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Just for fun – Alex has the Melissa & Doug stacking construction vehicles, and he likes to pretend that this one is a snowplow. (Our county plows are orange.) I filled a roasting pan with cotton ball “snow”, and he had a great time “plowing” the snow. He did this multiple times throughout the week.

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Note to my clutzy self: do NOT leave a roasting pan on your living room floor where you will trip over it! ;)

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The best-laid plans: We have a beanie baby hippo, and I’d hoped to use him to play a tossing game. Nope. Alex just wanted to lay in a large plastic bin with the hippo, and he asked me to take his picture. So, no fun hippo games…

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Just so I remember, Alex proved this week that he really does know the alphabet letters by sight! He was able to EASILY tell me, without any hesitation! Every kid is different, and some know their letters far earlier, but I’m very happy that he’s really getting it!

We’re planning on taking Alex on his first trip to the library today, and I’m so excited! We’re getting some books to go with next week’s theme: ICE CREAM! I’m sure we’ll leave with a few John Deere books, too…

To see what other tots are doing, check out:

Tot School

For those who have preschoolers & would like to see similar posts for your bigger kids, I’m just gonna toss this one out there:

P.S. I had to add this just because we had a good laugh on Friday night dinner. I was in a rush, didn't have time to make what I'd planned, and grabbed a boxed mix from the cabinet. While the meat was cooking, I quickly mixed up some homemade biscuits to go with it. The H cookie cutter was nearby, so I grabbed it just for fun. Keith thought I'd gone off the deep end, and then we realized that we were having Hamburger Helper and H biscuits for dinner. Keith pronounced it very hokey, but Alex thought it was neat to eat an H for dinner!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

6 Months Old

We’re already halfway through Max’s first year?  Unbelievable!  It’s amazing how I look forward to each new stage with Max, yet at the same time, I’m sad to see him getting bigger.

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So…Max at 6 months…

15 lbs, 12 oz
17” head circumference
27.5 inches long

I’m just scattering recent pictures throughout the post…they don’t necessarily match with the text.
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His second tooth poked through on February 18th, and his first tooth is easy to see now.  Both are bottom, front teeth.

He’s been eating cereal for 10 days, and he’s still a little unsure about it.  The first few bites go in pretty easily, although he makes a funny face.  After that, he blows raspberries to get the cereal out of his mouth.  I usually have to feed him the same bite 3 or 4 times.

He does not have a milk allergy like his big brother did at this age.  He does, however, have eczema – just like Alex.  Eczema is such a frustrating thing!  No matter how hard I’ve tried, I’ve never gotten Alex’s eczema under control.  Max appears to be the same way.  I really dislike using steroid cream on a regular basis, but that seems to be the only thing that works.
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Max can roll both ways, but he really doesn’t care to do it.  He’d rather just contentedly lay however you set him down.  He likes to sit up (with help), and he’s just starting to sit unassisted for very short bits of time.
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When I lay him down in his crib (on his tummy) for naps, he now pushes up on his arms & looks all around.  It takes him a few minutes to settle, but he still goes down for naps pretty easily most days.

At bedtime, he’s been nursing until he’s almost asleep.  I try to make sure Max is at least a little bit awake when I lay him down (on his back).  If he’s too awake, he will scream, and he just can’t settle.  It seems we have to find that “just right” drowsy state if he’s going to put himself to sleep.

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7/7:30 – up for the morning
9/9:30 – morning nap for about an hour
12:30/1 – afternoon nap for 2 – 3 hours
5:30 – sometimes taking a catnap, but not very often
8/8:30 – bedtime
(usually 1 nighttime feeding around 4 AM)

He nurses 5 times during the day and once or twice during the night.  Usually his bedtime nursing is not a full feeding, though.  He eats heartily at 6:30 or 7, and then he just has a nursing “snack” at bedtime.  (Sigh.)

He would sometimes like to nurse twice in the night, but I try not to feed him before 2:30 AM because I know he’s perfectly capable of sleeping  He will sometimes fuss (or even cry) around 1:30 AM, but most of the time he’s able to go back to sleep without help.  Then he sleeps until 4 AM, nurses, and goes back to sleep until morning.  (If he’s really upset, I will give in & nurse him at 1:30 – for his sake & for ours!)

He still smiles easily at just about everyone.  Getting him to giggle has taken me a little more effort lately.  He’s more likely to giggle at Maggie (the dog) or Alex than to giggle at his mama.

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Max just adores Maggie.  He smiles at her, loves to touch her fur, and watches her.  Maggies loves to kiss on Max’s face…maybe I should wash his face more often?

He loves when I clap my hands and smile.  He relaxes in my arms when I sing to him.  He loves to hold books or toys…or whatever strange object his brother gives him…like a plastic shovel.
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For the most part, Max goes willingly to just about anyone.  If he’s hungry or tired, forget it – usually Mama is the only one he wants.  But if he’s had a good nap & has a full tummy, he’s pretty content with anyone.

As with most babies, Max makes church a little tricky.  Bible study on Tuesday morning is at his usual naptime, so many times, he fusses.  I have lots of extra mamas & grandmas to help with him on Tuesdays, though! :)

Church?  Well, I haven’t heard a full sermon since he was born!  Sometimes he’s tired & fussy; other times, he’s awake and “talking” so loudly that I feel the need to take him out of church.  Usually if I leave him in the nursery, he gets returned to me within 20 minutes, so I haven’t left him for a few weeks.  (I still haven’t quite figured this out – it seems that most of our nursery workers are afraid to let a baby cry.  If he’s inconsolable, okay – please get me!  If he’s just crying – well, that’s what babies do sometimes.)February2010 075

Max loves to play with his feet lately.  He will NOT keep socks or shoes on, so I don’t even bother if we’re staying home.  When we go out, I’ll put socks on him (or shoes for church), but usually they end up in the bottom of the carseat.  Bare feet are just too fun! :)

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I’m managing to cloth diaper both boys about 75% of the time.  Wish I was doing better than that, but hey, at least I’m doing what I can.  It’s a lot of work keeping up the diaper laundry!

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He still has those big eyes that just “get” me every time I look at him.  It’s hard to get that precious look in a picture.  This is the best I can get, but it’s not the look that melts my heart.

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Max really is a happy kid.  To quote my niece, Jessica, “He’s the happiest baby – except when he cries.”  (Wow, Jess – that’s deep!  Ha ha!)

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We love you, Little Bug!  Mama & Daddy are so thrilled to watch you growing and changing.  You are a blessing from the Lord, and we’re so thankful that you are part of our family!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Keith has had some stressful work days lately, lots of stuff to fill his evening/weekend hours, and not much time with the kids.  We were ready for a much-needed family day!

When Alex was teeny-tiny, only about 2 months old, we took him to the Chicago Auto Show.  Needless to say, he didn’t get much out of the experience.  See?

(Here’s my sweet Alex two years ago…)
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Now, at almost 26 months old, we went again. What a difference!  We told him we were going to the Chicago Auto Show.  He can clearly say “auto show”, but for some reason he decided it was in “Shuga-Cago” rather than in Chicago.  (Shuga = sugar)

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He had SOOOOO much fun!  After 3 hours of looking at cars, Alex wasn’t ready to go.  He never stopped looking, touching, “dwiving”, or showing excitement over all the cars and trucks.

Looking at this picture, I can imagine that in a few years, I will not be an important part of these trips! ;)  I’m so glad that Daddy & Alex could share this experience together.  It made Keith a pretty happy dad, too!

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Max didn’t really care about the cars, but he loved all the bright lights, TV screens, etc.  He spotted a light display that travelled up and down a 5-foot tall post.  He watched it for a long time!

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Alex thought it was pretty neat to “puhp gas”.

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Max “eating” my chip bag at lunch.

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Sound asleep – in the middle of all that noise!

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waving to the people down below

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Daddy got this picture…love it!

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Alex wearing his freebie Chicago Fire Dept hat – he got a lot of smiles while wearing this

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Mama tried out a few vehicles, too…and came to the conclusion that I’m completely content to be driving what we already own. I love our car, but I’ve wondered if a mini-van would have given us a little extra interior space.  Nope – what we have is very comparable.

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He might have missed naptime, but Alex conked out on the way home – all snuggled up with baby brother’s blanket – which Alex thinks is a pretty special treat.

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This was NOT a cheap day by the time we paid for 2 adult tickets, parking, lunch, gas, and tolls.  It was well-worth the trip, though, to see the joy on Alex’s face…and to see Daddy & Alex making memories together!