Thursday, October 17, 2013

Monster Week

Keeping in the spirit of Halloween it was monster week around here

We made playdoh monsters. Lots of eyes and legs. 
Monster Face!

We played with "Monster" water beads. Jman loves these things. 

We created our own monsters

We were going to make monster cookies, but I don't have enough butter. So we will do that next week!

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A child who steps off the sidewalk

Today while walking to the store Jman was walking on the rocks. A lady walks by and says " you're going to fall and get hurt, you should get off". First off these are landscaping pebbles, not mountain side boulders. Second off she might as well said "you're a horrible mother, how can you let your child be exposed to such danger!"  

That's how I feel every time someone comments on my child and his safety. Believe me I will do everything in my power to keep my child safe. Seriously though, walking on rocks? Just so you know he is not just walking on rocks. He is taking risks, small risks, but that's where they start. He is thinking for himself. Building strength and balance. He is problem solving as he teeters and totters this way and that. He is learning to think on his own and explore opportunities. I'm pretty sure all learning came from some sort of risk. If we only did the expected and stayed "on the sidewalk" we would never discover new things. We would never invent new technologies. We would never grow and get smarter. I wish for my child to take new risks and hopefully discover something new in the process. I would never let him be in danger or get hurt if possible. Walking on the rocks will at worst cause a bruise or scratch IF he fell. My child climbs the rock wall by himself, climbs ladders up and down, jumps off large rocks without fear and hasn't gotten hurt. I think a few tiny rocks he can handle. He is learning to become stronger, problem solve, and approach things with courage. So please Jman step off the sidewalk. Try something new. You may succeed you may not. But at least you tried. 

There is no learning in life if you stay on the sidewalk. 

Perhaps Silverstein says it best. He's my favorite!
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Busy Bag Swap Take 2

I hosted another busy bag swap this last weekend. Last years swap activities were such a hit with J that I got a group of wonderful ladies wanting to do one again. A busy bag swap is where you pick an activity and make a certain number and then get together and swap all your activities coming out with that many different activities. Busy Bags are easy, quiet activities toddlers and preschoolers can do on their own, once shown how. They are easy to grab and take with you on the go. They also are a great time filler when you just need to shake up your normal routine a lot. When these are out J doesn't ask for TV.  We came out with a great bag activities! J has been digging around all week in the bag.  He's already found a few favorites.

Here they are!
Race Car Shapes - kids use the shape tracks to race their cars while recognizing different shapes. There is a circle, square, rectangle, triangle and oval. Great for naming shapes and identifying their attributes and sides.

 Caterpillar Pom Pom Patterns - Great activity for color recognition and creating and extending patterns. I love the bright colors.

Spelling Lacing Activity- this Momma came up with several activities to do this one. You can practice stringing letters, creating words, matching letters and spelling, make new words and so on. J loves this one! We're going to need more letters.

Shape Match Up - Kiddos match the correct shape to the outline



Magnetic Sticks - These are so fun. You can use them to randomly build, create shapes, use them on a cookie sheet and make pictures. My boy likes this one  a lot too.

Egg Pattern Matching - Cute activity where kids look at the card and match the correct color eggs. This is a good one for fine motor skills as well.
Alphabet Clothespin Activity - There are 3 ways to do this one. Kids match uppercase, lower case or the sound. Great practice for letter recognition and more. You can find this activity and tons other from
Heads and Tails Match from Brown Bear Brown Bear - You can find the printable here These are great for matching and color recognition. Easy to use so kids can do it on their own.
Five in a Bed - Jman and I sing this song a lot of nights. Now we have a super cute little bed to act it out.

Fabric Maze - you can find a link to this here This is so creative and fun. There is a bead sewn into the maze and the child (or adult) move the bead through the maze. I must admit I like to play with this one!
Button Snake - This is great for working with those fine motor skills. Kids string the button through the holes.
Lace Cards - Great fine motor practice as kids lace the string through the shapes.
Lady Bug Number Match -  Kids count the lady bug spots and match them to the correct number leaf. Good counting practice through 5.
Color Wheel Match - Match the color clothespins to the color wheel
PomPom Matching - This one has many activities to do: color matching, one to one matching, creating shapes with pop poms.
Felt Chain Links - Kids loop the rings together to make a chain.
Thank you ladies for all your great work! It was really fun. See you next year for the next one :)

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4 months of bliss

Sweet snuggle bear is four months. I'm slowly forgetting life before this blessing. It feels like we've always been a family of four. RC's been busy this month. He can hold himself up and hold his head up really well. He's already trying to figure out how to scoot while on his tummy. He tries to pull himself up. All things I've told him to stop and slow down. He's so captivated with J I think he's trying to do things faster. After a lot of concentration he found his feet. He coos and talks and sometimes yells. He makes this hilarious popping sound. He pretends hes awake, not asleep but awake. He will be sound asleep so ill lay him in his crib and those eyes pop open and fusses. I start to pick him up and hes asleep again. I love how he lights up when I enter the room. He's already teething and likes to wake up every 3 hours again.  Fun for mommy. I got used to him sleeping 8 hours and now I feel like a zombie again. But it's ok I will rock that sweet baby as much as he wants. Jman tries to teach RC all kinds of things. I hear him in the monitor "Reed this is a giraffe, a turtle, an elephant. He's going to be smart like his big brother. RC hates riding in the car, especially traffic! He cries and screams unless we are moving. I hate traffic too but can't scream about it. He hates drive thrus so at Sonic they hear "I would like a WAAAH and a WAAH!" I'm sure they love it. 

Big moment this month, he was baptized! Such a blessing for our family to come share this moment with us. Especially Uncle Sam for changing his truck route so he could be in town. It's a blessing to commit our lives to RC and Jman and promise to lead them to Christ until they can make that decision for themselves.  

RC you make me so happy. "I'll eat you up, I love you so"

Here's a few favorite moments from this month. 

My snuggle bear
Look what Jman did to me. 
Almost there

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Love Fall

This is such a wonderful time of year! Perhaps it's finally getting a break from the dreadful heat or all the new activities to do, but fall makes me so happy. There's so much to do and see ( even if our leaves go straight to brown). Since there's so much to do and see, there's so much exploring and learning going on around here. I HATE summer, unless I am in a really cold pool, my kayak or Schlitterbahn I am inside in the AC. Me and the heat are NOT friends. Sadly I didn't get to kayak this year but next year dad, we are going!! Pretty sure old blue thinks I forgot about him.

Anyways now that the temperature is bearable and pumpkin patches are popping up we are out and about. Jman is so excited every time we see a pumpkin! Every time! Even at HEB he thought it was the best place ever. We bought a bag of gourds to add to our fall collection of fun. There's a lot you an learn from gourds: colors, patterns and textures!  They're not just for decoration around here.

We enjoyed a visit to the zoo with daddy. We saw the two headed turtle!! How cool is Thelma and Louise.

We checked out a nearby pumpkin patch. Which will be the first visit of many.  This was RCs first visit. He's as usual not impressed. Jman thought it would be great fun to roll the pumpkin down the hill, thankfully there was a fence or there would be some smashed pumpkins. J was not too excited when I made him roll it back. 

I hung up our pumpkin to decorate. This year he's a little more interested and is actually saying the faces he's making and mimicking them.

We made pumpkin spiced playdoh. I haven't made this in a really long time and I didn't have cream of tartar so I used a different recipe. Not sure it was very good. Will have to try it with the tartar next time.

We've been going on nice, long exploration walks around the neighborhood. J saw deer recently and is obsessed with finding more. On our walks we collect different leaves, sticks, acorns to add to our fall collection. We met cat from "little bear". Ok we met a black cat who followed us for so long I thought we were going to have to keep it. Which is a no go around here.  We need a dog!! RC likes our walks. I forgot how hard putting a jacket on a baby is. 

This has nothing to do with fall, but we've been having a blast in our gymboree class. It's so much fun. He really enjoys open gym time. 

We've been wearing our Halloween costume so hopefully J will wear it on Halloween. We went between dinosaur and monster and monster won. J is starting to understand Halloween. And I'm excited that everything we see something he says "that's scary. I don't like it". Because honestly Halloween is not my favorite. We plan to do the church trick or trunk and fall festival but that's it. It's fun to dress up but that's about it. 

J really loved his sensory box yesterday. I think he played for an hour. He wanted RC to join the fun and he had his first experience with beans. J shared his pumpkin with him. RC was not impressed. 

We've been enjoying story time at the local library. Today we learned the letter e and had some fun.

I have more fun planned for the season! Just wish we could rake up a big pile of leaves and jump. The temperature is welcome to keep dropping! 

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