Friday, May 28, 2010

Tot School – Umbrellas - 29 months

May2010 208We had a theme for the week, but we really didn’t stick with it. Mostly, we just had a week of random activities with a few umbrella books and a craft thrown in there! Oh well ~ it’s the learning and the experiences that count, right?

We read a few umbrella books together, and then we made an U-shaped umbrella craft with “gluey” raindrops inspired by two different blogs – MamaJenn and Homeschool Creations. (These links take you directly to their crafts.)May2010 250May2010 251

You have to look closely to see the glue-made raindrops scattered around the page. Alex though that part was really fun!

May2010 273

Alex giggled at the “whoosh, click!” in Ella, Of Course. Grace loved – and kept touching - the shiny umbrella in One Rainy Day. We had a few other umbrella books that were not loved by the kiddos, but these two books were a hit!

We found a fun toddler Cut & Paste book at Meijer. Mommy cut, and Alex tried out a bottle of glue for the first time. I was surprised at how careful and precise he was. The main thing he had to learn was that glue goes under the object you’re gluing. He kept putting the glue on top of the picture that he wanted to stick on the page, ruining the picture in the process.May2010 210

May2010 212

He did four pages in one sitting – and he would have done more if I’d had the patience! May2010 216Alex’s request – sorting by color. Never mind the serious expression on his face; he really just wanted to drive Mama crazy by putting the chips in the wrong colored cups and laughing like a madman.May2010 218 Waiting for his turn to use the tongs. Rather impatiently, I might add. May2010 228 pouring, splashing, and watering the empty pots of dirt on our patioMay2010 236Making banana muffins – all I did was make sure the ingredients were measured properly, crack the egg, and use the oven. These two poured, stirred, and scooped into the muffin tins. (Oh, and ate batter by the spoonful…) The muffins were actually pretty good, too!

May2010 247 May2010 248

Fisher Price coloring page – these are available on their website, or leave a comment & I’ll e-mail you a PDF file that has all of the ABC and 123 coloring pages. (It’s a free giveaway from a Fisher Price party that I hosted last year.)

May2010 266Alex explored what happens when you use a LOT of water while painting.

He insists that the letter U is a C. We’re struggling with this. I know why he says it; I just can’t help him understand the difference!
May2010 261 May2010 262

This umbrella shape-matching puzzle is from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Alex struggled with distinguishing between the diamond and the rectangle. Otherwise, it was very easy for him.

May2010 263 May2010 264 May2010 265

We never got to the U is for Umbrella page, the umbrella size-sequencing, or a few other activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler’s U week. I also had some raindrop finger plays from our Noah’s Ark week, but Alex just isn’t into those…you can find them at if you’re interested.

We hope you had a more organized week than did! :) Check out what other families of little ones did this week by visiting the Tot School website!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alex’s New Fwends

May2010 239

A while back, I received a phone call from a woman looking for a backup babysitter for her children.  She just needed someone for the days her current babysitter had sick children or was otherwise not available.

They came over to play one afternoon, just to get acquainted with us.  There’s a tractor-loving 5 year old boy and a spunky 2 year old girl.  Gage loves all things tractor, and we all know that Alex does too!  Grace is only 18 days older than Alex, and they get along great!  That’s why I said yes – Alex is *loving* having new playmates! 

The kids have been back twice since then, and we REALLY enjoy their company!   Gage has preschool in the morning, so his mom brings him over at lunchtime and spends her lunch break with us.  It’s so nice to get a little bit of adult conversation in the middle of the day! :)

May2010 228May2010 229

  May2010 235

They not only used the hose to fill the water table, but they watered the dog….and each other…and the patio…and my shoes…

May2010 256May2010 236       

While Gage was at preschool, the two little ones baked banana muffins together.  It was hilarious, but I was impressed by the way they took turns and worked together.  I measured, but they poured, mixed, and even scooped the batter into the muffin tins independently. 

May2010 244We did some of Alex’s tot school lessons together, including making these U umbrellas.  (More on that in the tot school post this weekend…)

   May2010 249 May2010 251May2010 250    May2010 253

My camera battery is dying, and I didn’t get many pictures with this sweet kiddo…who loves to play cars, trains, trucks, and tractors with Alex.  And Alex doesn’t mind one bit! ;)

May2010 254The extra cash is nice, but I’d do it even if she couldn’t pay me a penny.  It’s tiring, but it’s a TON of fun, too! (And I’d like to take a moment and say THANK YOU to all mothers of toddler twins…WOW, you have a big job!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

9 Months Old

Mama’s Sweet Little Boy,

You turned 9 months old yesterday, and it seems as if you’ve changed quite a bit in the past month. You’re still a baby, but I’m seeing a lot more personality and activity from you. You are starting to show signs of becoming your own little person these days!

(in Alex’s tent with a keyboard & a dictionary…which, I’m sure, were placed there by your big brother)

May2010 220

You’re really rolling to get where you want. You still mainly roll in one direction, so when you roll into something (like the couch) you just lay there, seemingly unaware that you could just roll the other direction.

You get up on your hands and knees, but you still haven’t figured out that you can crawl. Sometimes you’ll scoot backwards just a bit. That’s all. (I’m kind of glad, as your big brother leaves quite a few not-so-baby-friendly items on the floor!)

Your top teeth are starting to poke through. I know it’s hurting you. You’ve been chewing on your hands a lot, and you’re just a bit whiny – a big change from your usual smiling self!

You are babbling like crazy! Ba-ba-ba-ba. Ma-ma-ma-ma. Da-ba-ma-da. You make lots of happy squeals, too. You’re talkative, cheerful, and noisy!

May2010 238

You still just love to smile at people. We’ll be standing in the checkout at a store, and you’ll just stare at the person in line behind us, waiting for them to look at you. As soon as they look, your little face just lights up in a great big grin! You attract a LOT of attention from strangers when we’re shopping!

You’re eating SO MUCH better now! It’s as if it suddenly occurred to you that food is pretty tasty. You’ve gone from the “stop poisoning me” attitude to the “get that in my mouth – pronto!” squeals! :)

You love Puffs of all kinds, even the Meijer toddler puffs that are veggie flavored. I break the toddler puffs in half for you, as they’re kind of big. May2010 023

You’re trying all sorts of table foods these days. Surprisingly, you even ate taco meat the other night. I expected a funny reaction from you, but you seemed to really like it. (This picture is sloppy joe meat.)May2010 112

You like to stand, but only with assistance. You won’t pull yourself up. I can’t trust you to stand unless I have a hand on you. You are still way too wobbly. You refuse to sit in the tub, and it’s making bathtime a little crazy right now. It’s very difficult to bathe a wobbly, slippery baby who’s sharing a tub with an active big brother!May2010 202

(To compare, at this age, Alex was just starting to pull himself to stand in his crib. He was also just starting to stand by his toys without help.)

You’re just over 17 pounds. We’ll find out the exact number tomorrow at the pediatrician. (At this age, Alex was 17 3/4 lbs and 28.5 inches long.) Editing on Wednesday to add: We visited Dr. Brewer this morning, and Max weighs 17.5 lbs and is 28 inches long. He's definitely growing just like his big brother - tall and skinny!

Since I was just making comparisons, Alex was starting to really get around in the walker at this age. You sit in the walker in the bedroom now when Mama’s taking a shower, but that’s all you do – sit. Maybe I should pull out the old walker that Alex used at this age and put it in the kitchen for you?

You and your big brother are starting to play together a little bit. He sometimes steals your toys, sometimes shares toy with you. Sometimes you scream when he takes away your toys, but other times you let him get away with it. Alex likes to include you when he can, but he doesn’t understand that you’re still too little for much of his play.

May2010 226

(In these pictures, Alex is pulling you into the tent by your toes. Oddly, you really seemed to like being dragged on your belly!)

May2010 227

In the past few weeks, you’ve started sleeping a longer stretch at night. (Hallelujah!) You go to bed around 8/8:15 PM, and you’re often sleeping until around 5 AM before waking to nurse. (Sometimes it’s around 3:30 AM, but more and more often, it’s 5ish.) It’s hard getting you back to sleep at 5 AM, as it’s starting to get light outside, and you’d like to stay awake. Usually, if I rock you for a bit, you’ll go back to sleep until around 7 AM.

You’re still napping at around 9:30 AM for 1 – 1.5 hours. You’re napping in the afternoon from 1:30(ish) until 3:30 or 4. (It’s 3:59 PM as I type this, and you’re sleeping still…)

You could probably to bed a little earlier at night, but by the time we manage to eat dinner, clean up, have a little playtime with Daddy, get baths, etc…well…it’s 7:30 already! So, 8 PM bedtime is what you get!

You’ve had double ear infections twice in the past month. My poor kiddo. The second time around, you are also miserably sick with a barking cough, stuffed up nose, and hoarse voice. You sound pathetic, and there’s not much we can do for you. Top that off with new teeth poking through, and you’ve got yourself a lot of reasons to be grumpy. I braced myself for some long nights, but through it all, you continue to be a good sleeper. You still smile a lot (although there were some moments of fussiness…). I think you are at the tail end of it now, and I’m hopeful that you’ll feel pretty well again in a few days.May2010 205

You love to sit and play with your Sillytown these days. It’s the current favorite, I think. (Either that, or your favorite is eating impossibly small bits of paper, grass, and other “stuff” that’s hiding in the carpet!)

May2010 161

I blogged Alex’s baby days a little different than I’m blogging yours. He had more everyday posts, but not such a long monthly update. I wonder if I miss some of those every day moments when I blog about you.

I do know that my days are very busy with chasing, organizing, playing, cleaning, go-go-going…and sometimes I don’t take those moments to just sit and snuggle with you. Those are the BEST moments, though – snuggling with you when you’re sleepy, sitting to sing a nursery rhyme with you or tickle your toes for a bit when Daddy is busy with Alex, cuddling you in the rocking chair at 5 AM. I love those precious little moments with you, my little buddy! I have to remember to cherish these baby days, as they are passing all too quickly.

I love you, sweet baby boy! (And I’m quite glad that you’re taking your time to reach your “getting big” milestones…good job!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kevin & Annie’s house!

It’s rare that Keith and I have a weekend when neither of us has responsibilities at church.  This past weekend, it just happened to work out that way.  We debated if we should do something special, and we ended up deciding to go visit Keith’s brother Kevin and his family.

They live about 2 hours south of us, and they recently moved to a nice house out in the country, with plenty of room to run and play.  We all really enjoyed our time there!

When we first got there, Alex was excited to see and do everything he could find outdoors.  I didn’t grab the camera right away, so I don’t have pictures of all of it.

~ Alex was able to feed hay to the neighbor’s horses, and both Alex and Max got to pet the horses. 

~ Kyle & Jessica just got bunnies for 4H.  Kyle named his Boba (Star Wars), and Jessica named hers Herbert Nenninger (one of Bill’s bunnies on Curious George).

~ Uncle Kevin found a turtle in their church parking lot, and they kept it at home for a few days.

~ Of course, the REALLY exciting part was riding Uncle Kevin’s new tractor.  Oh, boy!  Alex has been begging to do this for weeks!  He was so excited.  
May2010 127 May2010 128

~ The boys also tried out Uncle Kevin’s motorcycle, but of course, did NOT go for a “real” ride.

May2010 130 May2010 133 May2010 134

Alex played in Uncle Kevin’s “git-up” truck.

  May2010 137

Indoor fun – playing in the tent, playing with blocks & balls, and having fun with Aunt Annie.

May2010 138 May2010 139

After church, we went out for lunch and checked out the old covered bridge near their home. May2010 141Kyle & Jess walked Alex across the bridge while the adults chatted.  Jessica said that Alex asked if he could get in the river & swim.  Uh, fast-moving, cold, muddy water?!  I don’t think so, my son. I’m glad Jess held you closely! May2010 142

We never, ever stop on the way home from Kevin & Leanne’s house, but we took the scenic route home.  The really scenic route.  It made the drive a bit longer, so we stopped at a McDonald’s playplace for some ice cream and some fun.  Alex called it “the park” and had a great time.  Mommy had to help him through the first time, but after that, Alex got brave and tried it out on his own – climbing way up high.  He was so proud of himself!

This is the only picture Daddy got before the camera battery died…we’re not in the picture, so don’t go playing “Where’s Waldo” ;)

May2010 143

Keith & I both enjoyed the chance to sit around, chat, and play games in the evening after the kids were in bed.  We don’t often get to do that with Kevin & Leanne’s family, and it was a lot of fun!

Thanks again for letting us barge in at your house for the weekend, Kevin & Leanne!  :)