Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is This My House Or Yours?

Our dogs sleep inside their kennel at night and while we are gone. They are up to no good otherwise. Stinky one day went back to the kennel, opened the door and made herself comfortable. She even enticed the dogs to come check her out by holding toys out for them to come get. I am not sure the dogs were super excited by the intruder but silly Miss Stinky thought it was pretty funny. Now she has figured out how to close the door and she teases the dogs from inside with the door shut. Are these good black mail pics? I think so.

Park Play

Although Stinky can't walk yet we have still taken advantage of our local parks. She enjoys the slides, tunnels and swings. For the first time she went down the tube slide all by herself. (Certainly I was not going to climb into a tube, not sure I would make it out.) She had great fun and Daddy was at the bottom to either catch her or catch some fun shots with the camera, not sure which.

Stinky Found Her Rocking Chair

This rocking chair has been in Stinky's room since she was born, but recently she noticed it. The mind of child and how they learn about the environment around them is amazing to watch. An adult would look at that chair and say, "Oh something to sit down on." But through new eyes it's function has yet to be learned and tested. First she spent sometime figuring out how to get onto the chair. Her climbing has preceded walking; couch climbing, chair climbing, bath tube climbing, nothing is safe. Once on the chair she wiggled a little, Hmmmmm it rocks she thought. She spent some time rocking and with the attention span of a 14 month old she was quickly ready to find out what else the chair can do. She went from sitting to standing and wow is the view better up there. Then she tested a theory. If it rocks when I sit will it rock when I stand. And it did. The rocking is even better up here she thought. Her newest favorite activity rock'n in the rock'n chair.

Building With Blocks

After Stinky showed such an interest in sitting and standing on her child sized rocking chair, I thought it was time to bring in her child sized table and chairs. She was very intrigued at the new addition to her room. I put some blocks on the table and sat her on the chair. I took one block and set it on top of another block, pointed and smiled. I took the block off and handed it to Stinky. She immediately wanted to emulate my previous action. It took her quite a few attempts, but once she was able to complete her first block stacking she was so proud of herself. She smiled and clapped for herself. I said, "Wow you must be so proud." Adding in a simple self-esteem lesson. She smiled and wanted to stack more on top of the already stacked blocks. Now every time I put her in this chair and the blocks are out she immediately begins stacking. She has gotten very efficient in stacking the blocks and can now stack up to 4 blocks. Great activity for hand-eye coordination and spacial awareness. These are both pre-writing and pre-math skills.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good Friends

I love how close Stinky has gotten to the dogs. Everything is Woof Woof now. She always picks out books to read that have dogs in them and we read them over and over and over again. She waves hello and good bye to them. She pushes her push cart around chasing them and laughing. Not sure they like that. In the morning she loves to crawl up on the couch and hug and cuddle with them. The most joyous laughs I here from her come when she is interacting with Simon and Lucy. They are so gentle and patient with her; even when she is not. It feels so good to see them bonding. Simon and Lucy were our children pre Stinky and now she loves them as much as I love them. This is just a sample of the fun they have together every day. We are just waiting for the day when she can get up and take the dogs out to go the bathroom in the morning.

Look Around You Can Make So Many Things

Shake it and see what you find. I took a shoe box put some rice and a few wooden animals in it. Stinky can shake the box and find the items that I put in the box. She hasn't really been very interested in this activity. She might beyond this type of activity. She is really into moving around and dumping/gathering right now.

Activities Made Free but Packed Full of Fun and Learning

This activity consists of cutting a square hole in the milk carton and clothes pins. This is great for hand-eye coordination which is developmental in building spatial awareness and writing skills. I introduced it by bringing Stinky over to the activity table I made for her. I put 1 clothes pin into the hole and then clapped. I handed her a clothes pin and she began working to put her clothes pin in the hole. She had a really difficult time getting it in and wanted to quit a few times. I encouraged her to keep trying. She attempted to get it in using different hand positions and trying different hands (great practice in problem solving). Eventually she got her first one in. I congratulated her and she was so proud of herself. She smiled really big. Now she wanted to do it again and again. Each time she made it in she clapped. Now at least once a day she goes over and puts all the clothes pins, with no trouble, into the carton.

I believe that one of the most important parts of creating experiences for your children is how they are presented and what they look like. A toy box just crammed full of toys doesn't not look appealing and can be so overwhelming. Creating one activity at a special spot and then changing the activity as your child loses interest will give your child something new to focus on that isn't so overwhelming. This also can help you as a parent to enjoy putting together special activities and then watch as your child learns through them. I encourage everybody to look around the house and find things you all ready have and begin creating new learning experiences.

Precious Moments

There are those pictures that you look at and just gaze upon. For me this is one of those shots. My husband took this shot. Stinky was at a birthday party and loved pushing this little girl around the park in the wagon. Every once in awhile she would stop and gaze at something interesting. I love this picture!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Swore I Would Not Be That Kind Of Mom

I took Stinky with me to the gym for the first time. This was her first time being watched by another person besides my husband, momo, grandpa and auntie BB. I didn't think she would have a difficult time because she is fine when I leave to go to the bathroom and mommies at my mom's group watch her. So off we went to the gym. Being that I was a teacher of young children for as long as I had been I knew just what to do. I arrived early, introduced Stinky to the caregiver, hung out for 20 minutes and let Stinky know that I would be living in 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes ended, I kissed her goodbye and left. I had arranged for the caregiver to go ahead and come get me if she cries for 20 minutes. As I walked out the door my eyes began to water and I felt this tremendous sadness. I did not expect these emotions. On the first day of school I had watched so many people drop their children off hesitating to leave (making it so much harder for the child) and then stand at the door peaking in at their child. I swore I would never do that because I knew how well each child does once the parent leaves, I knew that even crying children do better once the parent leaves. Many times all I wanted was for the parent to go so we could get on with the day and the child could adjust. But there I was standing at that door watching to make sure she was ok. It took everything with in me not to walk back through that door pick her up and take her home. I could work out another day. But I turned around and walked away. Sure enough the caregiver came and got me, Stinky was standing at the door crying. I could exaggerate it because to me it felt like she was screaming hysterically but reall it was nothing I hadn't seen her do at bed time before. So I raced in picked her up to comfort her. She really does love mommy and knows when she is gone. Secretly, yeah! I gave her some food and water, maybe she was hungry. Let her calm down and then tried again. 10 minutes more into the class and I had to go check. Again I found her at the door screaming. Ok this time I was done. So I picked her up, thanked the poor caregiver (I know what that is like) and took my baby home. I am so that kind of mom!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I am so excited because I entered some blog contests and won here are the 3 I won this week.

From 5minutesforparenting.com I won custom made Fruit Roll Ups from myfruitrollups.com

From simplemom.net I won a beautiful silhouette from lepapierstudioblog.com/

From foodieobsessed.com I won a bag of Dunken Donuts Coffee.

How fun is that. I love blogs great info and good prizes.