Monday, March 14, 2011

Pluggy's First Birthday Party

Being the "creative" freak that I am I was determined to make this a DIY birthday party even if our house is 3/4's packed and my stress level is at a breaking point. We had Pluggy's birthday party at Buca di Peppos and being that I love love love orange on my little son I decided to make it a orange and white polka dot party. We decided to have an intimate party at a nice restaurant with family and close friends. My little man looked dapper in his Bow Tie that I made him.

The cupcakes turned out great I bought the cutest covers from Cupcake Concepts.
For the party favor I made little back packs for the children and stuffed them with some fun toys and a coloring activity to keep them busy at the table. The adults received wonderful little gifts with bath salts and soap, which I bought from weddingandspa4u2u . They turned out super cute.
I topped the tables off with circles I punched out of different orange patterns and then strung them together for a table runner. I added some orange and white Jelly Belly's and white flowers. It looked just perfect and I was proud to celebrate my sons first birthday in such a beautiful way.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Special Moments

The greatest moments in life are watching my children experience something magical. I have not been a fan of most things Disney mostly because of the intense marketing pushed on our children and partly because I want my children to create their own ideas of what a princess is and does. But that is for another post. But of course my daughter is Disney obsessed. We went to Disneyland about 6 months ago and since them my daughter has been obsessed. She talks about Disneyland every day. She has collected Minnie Mouse and "all her friends" from the flea market. Every time we go she looks for another stuffed character and bargains with the vender's to buy them. She hasn't seen any of the movies and the Princesses and Minnie and all her friends go on many adventures in our house. In our house we only watch PBS cartoons and I am grateful for the lace of commercials. However, a "Disney on Ice" commercial appeared on PBS and it stopped Stinky in her tracks. When Daddy saw how mesmerised she was and that tickets were only $15 the first day he decided to surprise her and me with tickets.

Stinky was so excited. She counted down the days till it was time to go. When the lights went down and Mickey and Minnie came out there was magic in Stinky's eyes. Her mouth was agape and her eyes were wide. I have to admit it is times like these that make me proud to be a Mommy. There is nothing sweeter than experiencing an amazing memory with your children.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Letting Imagination Be All It Can Be

Stinky has entered into a world of complex thoughts. With such complexity her imagination continues to grow and expand to foster play that is the reaction of such thoughts and ideas. Spaces to act out such play has sprung up all over the house. Her use of objects, materials and science to construct such spaces are so creative. In the excitement over her new level of play my creative juices begin flowing and I start spouting off ideas in sewing forts that go over the table or hang from the wall. My DH stops mid spinning thoughts (yes my mind works very fast) to remind what is important. Let her imagine and create! But I have so many great projects just waiting in the binder of amazing projects I have collected. My husband points to his annoying yet humours rule "He is always right" , (we let him think that) and concede this time he is right.

In an age where there are toys that make noise, toys that will do tricks at the push of a button, TV's with whatever you want to watch saved for your viewing at any time we have forgotten to let out children imagine. This is so important and this is why we have people who create such amazing toys and technology. It is so important to let children take what they have a create using IMAGINATION. So next time Stinky asks me for the towels I just folded and the measuring tape I was using while sewing, I will happily hand to her, look forward to the creation she is producing. And enjoy the time I don't have to sew that hut pattern I have been holding on to with out guilt because after I watching her brain grow as the towel is draped over the chair.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pluggy Turns One

It is amazing to think how quickly our little people go from baby to child. In one year with the blink of an eye our little baby has turned into a boy full of expression and happiness. I am in love with his personality. He is cuddly, determined, excited, a little silly (with help from his sister who teaches him everything) and brings so much to our family. He is crawling with great speed, walking with great risk and laughing through it all. His laugh is contagious and makes everyone smile. He is signing "more" with great passion using it to tell us all things he has wanted for so long but didn't know how to tell us until now. He is speaking words that surprise us everyday. Today he said "Happy Birthday" (and yes we actually got it on video). He loves to eat and I mean "LOVES" to eat. His favorite foods include bananas, blueberries, cake and muffins. I couldn't be more in love with this handsome little man.

Happy 1st Birthday Pluggy! I love you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Large Motor Skills

The challenge for baby number 2 is getting time in those special areas that baby number 1 spent so much time with both parents attention directed toward her. Discovery Museum days are spent chasing a 3 year old around her area with poor Pluggy strapped on my body. The older children are not allowed in the special area designed for the development of a baby. When Daddy is home we make an effort to go special places that give both children an opportunity to learn and grow. For the first time Pluggy was able to spend some time in "his area" and he enjoyed exploring. Developmentally right now he is working on large motor skills and practicing going up and over small bumps (big mountains to him) this is both challenging yet rewarding. With much encouragement he over came his desire to quit and made it up the hills.
We as adults can take a minute to learn from the patience of young children. It takes a lot of determination and patience to learn a new skill and children are masters. Where does that go as we age?
Pluggy was also interested in face recognition. On this day he was studying his own face and body. There is a three way mirror (Yikes for us adults) but for children it is the best place to learn about their little bodies. He made faces at himself, studied what would happen when he lifted one arm, then the other arm, and then both arms. He wanted to see what happens when he turns his face away from the mirror, where did it go, why can't he see it anymore, but then when he turned back he was starring at himself again. Discoveries at the Museum. It was good for him to have his time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

To Experience Water

One of the greatest aspects of living in California is the opportunity to experience 70 degree weather in January. We took this opportunity to give Pluggy some time in the water. He hasn't seen the water table in quite awhile and was excited to experience it as if it was the first time. At first he observed his sister as she, without hesitation, jumped right in and began discovering. His first step was to touch the water. Intrigued by the way it felt he continued to open and shut his hand over and over again. It wasn't too long before the splashing began. He loves to splash in the bathtub and it wasn't too different in the sensory table. Every action was preceded by a, "look what I did" as he would show us his hands as if his hands relayed the previous action on them.
Sensory experiences give children many learning opportunities. It facilitates the discovery of their senses. How materials feel, smell, taste etc. Children learn pre-math skills. Such skills include measuring/volume, spatial awareness, calculations. In science; how different materials react when the are stacked/poured/patted, along with testing and working through the scientific method. Adding materials only heighten this experience.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Christma Traditions

Our family holds strong to our Christmas traditions. Grandpa read The Night Before Christmas and a book about Jesus Birth. My two little ones loved listening to Grandpa read just as I did when I was a little one. Our Christmas books are read right before bed and right after they open a present that consist of special Christmas PJ's.
This was the beginning our Christmas's at home. Now the Stinky has gotten a little bigger we decided that it was important to have Christmas at home. The children get to sleep in their beds and anxiously await Santa's visit. Pluggy was so excited to receive another Taggie Blanket just like the one he always sleeps with. And so was Mommy considering I have been searching and searching for a second one without success. Taggie blankie number 1 was starting to get quite stinky.
The excitement was more than we could bear. For the first year Stinky was more excited about her gifts then we were. We loved watching her unwrap each one and proclaim "Ahhhh It's what I always wanted."