Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Time just keeps passing me by so quickly I can't keep up. Where have I been? It started with an amazing trip to China. Petting Giant Pandas, Walking on the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Toilets consisting of a small holes in the ground minus toilet paper and soap, Food Poisoning and most importantly time with family. Was the trip challenging with a 6 month old and a 2.75 year old? Yes! Was it amazing? Yes! Did my children get to experience a whole new world while bonding with her cousins? Yes! An amazing trip to say the least. When we came home we hit the ground running. Halloween, Disneyland, Stinky's Birthday and ofcourse each needing a mommies touch with homemade items and lots of love. Lot's of preparations, late nights, and a little craziness kind of love. But more on the beautiful results of my labor later. So here we are two weeks from Christmas and I find myself in the middle of great Holiday spirits and many half finished projects. Along with the stress of buying a house and DH changing jobs. That's how we role. Busy Busy Busy! But full of fun. So I hope to hit the blogging world again with new ideas and a look at my latest projects and activities.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Something his little is not, daredevil. He loves being thrown, jumping, swinging. These types of activities bring instant laughs and giggles. The first time he went on a swing was pure joy. He grabbed on to the swing with a big smile on his face. Ok so maybe there was one "Oh Sh**" look but after the initial shock he didn't want to get down. He loves to be outside with the wind blowing, the smell of fresh air and all things the gets to see. Walk inside cry cry cry, walk outside silence. It is interesting how different he is when he is outside. It looks like camping, hiking, biking is in future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Year Ago Today!

5 years ago today I married who has become my best friend and the love of my life. It is amazing how much you can grow together in just 5 years. We are great co-workers in our family and with every child we have become that much closer. I say co-workers because truly that is what two parents are when leading a family. We work together to find the best solutions in the raising of children, we plan short term and long term goals for our family unit, we lean on one another to get through busy/tough times, and we celebrate together when our work pays off. A marriage is a full time job and in order to succeed at it you must work at it. I am privileged to have a partner that feels the same way. And in that I have a happy marriage, forever evolving as our family ebbs and flows. I am so thankful to look forward to my husband coming home every night because I get to spend time with him and being excited for the weekend so we can hang out together. To you honey, I love you so much and can not think of a better way to walk through life but standing right next to you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sand Play

Stinky has been asking to go to the beach to play with her "whale". (It's a sand toy that makes whale figures.) I figured it was time to change up the sensory tub. She has been playing with rice for the last two months and it appears she has lost a little interest. I added sand to her sensory table. The digging, filling, dumping, scooping and all else that can be done with this open ended sensory activity has been the object of her interest almost daily for the last few weeks.

Pluggy is at a different stage in his development and has enjoyed picking up the sand, tasting the sand and seeing what happens when he fall into the sand. Falling into the sand has been his favorite type of exploration as noted by the giggles it produces every time he flings his body back.

Children from the day they are born are wired to learn through their senses. Providing a sensory experiences whether through nature or a sensory tubs can give children the opportunity to easily engage their senses. Exploring different textures of materials through touch, listening to the sounds they make as they are manipulated, the smell of the different materials and sometimes (more often then I want) through taste. What does sand taste like? Come on we all taken in a handful of sand probably more than once. It is a part of the scientific process developing an idea of how a new object (sand) tastes like, looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like, testing this idea and then forming conclusions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blocks, You Can Do Anything With Blocks

I love love love blocks. I can not say enough about how enriching blocks are. The are the greatest open ended toy spanning over every age group. Blocks are a great tool for developing language. They facilitate story telling, using objects representative of real life experience, they give children the opportunity to retell real life events acting out problems and facilitating solutions and they give children the opportunity to explore language that is useful in peer situations. They provide opportunities to explore spacial awareness; using patterns, symmetry, geometrical shapes, colors, textures and other forms of tactile situations. They help children explore mathematics through spacial understand and reasoning. Children explore science to gravity, properties of materials, theorizing, predicting, and solving problems. They provide creativity through mapping, building, and planning. There is so much learning going on when children play with blocks. It is so simple to add new ideas into blocks as well. Animals, people, cars, even simple recycled materials can add new dimensions to the play. Children start by stacking and knocking it down. Their play leads into lining blocks up and then structures are erected. Blocks provide endless amounts of play and the play becomes more intricate as they get older.

Stinky recently pulled these soft blocks out and began building little pedestals for each animal to stand on. When she was finished she enjoyed knocking it down. We picked them up and put them away only be re-introduced ready for an entirely new experience at a later time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"My kitty Coco"

While visiting family we were informed that one of our family members had a cat who had kittens in their back yard. We went to look at the kittens and Stinky fell in love with them. When she said, "Daddy take one home" I knew we were taking one home. I love cats and have been longing for another cat since our cat had died 5 years ago. I picked most of the kittens up and this little kitten was so sweet. It reminded me of a cat I had growing up. I hoped with a little persuasion that she would pick this kitty. And she did! When we asked her what she wanted to name her, she first said Pink, the second time we asked her she said Pink Flower and the third time we asked her she said Coco. We asked her quite a few more times and Coco was the name that stuck. Stinky has fallen so in love with her. She feeds her everyday. When we come home from being out the first thing she says is, "Coco Stinky is home". When she wakes up she says, "Good morning Coco". We have taught her how to carry Coco around and she loves to hold her, dance with her and give her kisses. She constantly says "I love my kitty Coco ". When people come over she is so excited to introduce her kitty. "This is my kitty, kitty Coco." I love seeing her love on her kitty and take care of her kitty. It brings back so many memories of my kitty Melissa when I was a young child. I think it is so important for children to have pets; to learn to take care of them and to have something to love and interact with. I look forward to allowing Coco to sleep with Stinky as soon as she gets a little bigger. I look forward to watching them grow up together and Coco being a comfort to Stinky when she has had a bad day. This is the beginning of wonderful friendship and experience that Stinky will take with her for the rest of her childhood. Memories that she will remember far into her adulthood.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Children learn through their senses. I wanted to provide a new sensory experience for Stinky; Flubber. Instead of making it and introducing it to her I decided to include her in the cooking process. Cooking can be a great way to provide opportunities to enhance pre-math skills. Children learn the idea of measurement, volume, fractions, counting. Together we followed the recipe and Flubber was born. Flubber is really cool. You can bounce it, cut it, roll it and then it sticks back together to form a big blob. It starts out white but it's inevitable that little hands will eventually turn the Flubber a little brown. So the next step is to experiment with color and what happens when you add/mix color into the Flubber.

This activity as also given Stinky a new opportunity to practice her cutting skills. Flubber has a different consistency and depth then paper and provides a totally different experience in cutting.

If you want the recipe leave me a comment and I will send it to you. Flubber is pretty cool stuff.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dramatic Play

Dramatic play is one of the most important types of play for children. This is where they learn how things work around them. Children are the greatest observers, they notice things that adults don't take the time to notice or things that adults take for granted as everyday occurrences. Children need to take what they observe and practice it to get a better understanding as to how and why things work the way that they do.

I bought a basket at the flea market and in the basket were some picnic items. I only wanted the basket so I placed the picnic items in a open basket with a handle, along with some napkins, straws and plastic silverware. Stinky took this opportunity to practice setting the table; an activity she observes mommy do every night before dinner. Once she had set the table I suggested her play food as an option to enhance the activity.

"The serious side of life, with all its demands is daily work, is re-enacted in deep earnestness by the child in it play." Rudolf Steiner, The Child's Changing Consciousness and Waldorf Education

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reach For It, Reach For It

Pluggy has started reaching for toys and Stinky enjoys handing them to him.
He has begun exploring the world in the way a four month old knows best. Oral exploration is one of the beginning stages of learning about the world around us. Putting items in the mouth gives babies a chance to test out the taste and texture of different items. Sofie the giraffe is Pluggy's favorite item right now. He can make her squeak and he love chewing on her limbs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stinky Loves To Sing

From the beginning Stinky has loved music. She has gotten to a point in her development where she wants to memorize songs. She will listen to a song over and over and over again until she has memorized the whole thing. Her latest favorite song is what she calls, "Daddy's Song". Why? This is the song that she hears on my phone when Daddy is calling me to tell me he is coming leaving work. Coincidentally (or not) this is our wedding song as well.

When Pluggy was born Stinky received a boom box from us as a "I still love more than anything" gift. We had put a bunch of familiar songs on the boom box so when were at the hospital she could listen to songs that she listens to with Mommy and Daddy. One of our main goals is to give our children as many opportunities to be independent. The boom box/mp3 player is made for children to easily manipulate the stop/go and up/down keys. She is able to turn it on, listen to whatever she wants and then turn it off.

She carries her little boom box around listening to "Daddy's Song" and singing along. She wants to sleep with it on, she loves to sing to Pluggy, and she loves sitting on our front porch listening to the song and singing it over and over again. It is so sweet to hear her little voice singing. Every time I hear her singing I have to stop and inconspicuously listen to her. Some of my greatest moments as a parent.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Putting Myself Out of A Job

I was given a great idea from a wise mom in my mommy group. She was telling a story about how much her daughter likes to help and that her goal was to put herself out of a job by training her daughter to do all the chores. I liked that. At this age children like helping mommy with chores. I have started looking for opportunities for Stinky to help me in my everyday chores. She has really enjoyed not only the process of doing the chores but the time spent talking and working along side Mommy. I have enjoyed letting her explore the world of cleaning. Other chores she enjoys is moving the laundry from washer to dryer, handing me dishes from the dishwasher and bringing folded clothes from the living room into her bedroom. If only she enjoyed picking up her toys and putting them away.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We Love Animals

I love love love farm animals. If San Jose allowed me to have a farm in my little condo I would start with a pig and a cow, but unfortunately it's against the law. Whenever given the chance I love exposing my children to animals. And we get as close as they let us. Even though we live in the city I plan on involving my children in 4-H. I think learning to take care of these animals and understanding where I food comes from is important. Stinky loves goats. Anywhere we go she wants to touch, watch and laugh with the goats. The fair was Pluggy's first up close and personal experience with horses.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roll'n Roll'n Roll'n Oooooover

Pluggy has decided the sooner the better. At 3.5 months he began his journey towards crawling/walking/running. He can roll from back to tummy but still hasn't figured out how to roll from tummy to back. He doesn't appear to mind though because he is focused on scrunching those legs up and scooching forward. I have been putting toys in front of him just out of reach enticing him to move forward. His is also working on his 360's. He turns his body in circles. His motivation - looking for mommy. My little mommy's boy wants eye contact at all times.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pluggy finding his hand

I am constantly putting mirrors up in front of Pluggy. I want him to see what he is doing and discover more about himself. This is one of the first time he found his fists and he really enjoyed putting it in his mouth. It was even more fascinating to him to watch it in the mirror. Baby discoveries are so awesome to see not only us as parents but for the babies as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Building those Muscles

The importance of building muscles in little hands isn't just for cutting. It is the first step in learning to write. There are many activities that can be done to help strengthen those muscles. The is one of Stinky's favorites. I noticed she had been pulling these spray bottles out of the cupboard and playing with them. So I decided it was time to teach her other uses other then "cooking" with them. I put watercolors into the bottles. At first I had a paper down on the table but the water just started to puddle and the colors weren't really showing. I then put down a white towel and as the water absorbed you could see the vibrant colors. Stinky really enjoyed squeezing the spray bottles and watching the water squirt out. When her hand was too tired she used the other hand to assist her over worked hand. Both hands received a work out strengthen those muscles.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning to Cut

After noticing Stinky's interest in some scissors I was using to wrap a present, I decided it was time to introduce her to her little scissors. I picked out an old Family Fun magazine for her to cut. Initially I just handed her the scissors to see how she would use them. With both hands she would open the scissors, attempt to put the paper in and then shut them. After a little frustration I showed her how to use them correctly. Learning to use scissors is a process of building hand muscles. Right now she can do small cuts on the paper. After a few cuts her hand gets tired and she begins to compensate by helping her cutting hand squeeze the scissors shut with her other hand. She is very interested in turning each page, talking with me about the pictures on the page and then cutting a few slits in the bottom and moving on to the next page. I put the scissors and magazine on a shelf down low in her art studio so she can go back to this activity when she wants. Soon her muscles will get stronger and she will be able to use the scissors over and over to make more then just small slits.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"I love him sooooooooooooooooooo much"

Stinky fell in love with her little brother the moment she met him. She has been such a great big sister. I have worked hard even before he was born involving her in his life. She helped make his bed before he was alive and she was so excited that he would be sleeping (eventually) with her. When we left for the hospital I left her a gift that Pluggy had for her. It was a special princess big sister shirt. She wore it so proudly when she came to visit in the hospital. When we came home from the hospital I made her a special book of pictures of new baby brother which she proudly took to all her playdates to share with her friends. When people ask what his name is she loves to introduce him. When she was asked if her baby brother was born she would say, "Yeah Dr's cut (making a slicing sign with her hand) him our of mommy's tummy." Yes I had a c-section and maybe that live c-section surgery on the Today Show wasn't such a good idea.
She continues to be very involved in taking care of him and at times joining in the fun. We set up a little changing station next to Pluggy's for her to change her baby. I sewed a few cloth diapers out of on of the big ones for her babies so they looked just like Pluggy's.

When Pluggy sees Stinky his face lights up and he laughs so hard. It is fun to watch them grow together and love on each other. I look forward to watching their relationship grow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 months in fastforward

Wow, 5 months can go by so quickly. As you can see Pluggy loves to smile when he isn't screaming. My poor little man has had some issues with Acid Reflex. He liked being in mommy's tummy so much that this big new world has been a little hard adjusting to. Mommy and Daddy have had some sleepless nights and he has mastered the art of the scream. A scream 'Only a mother can love'? Well I have loved watching his little face mature as he gets older and older.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And So The Craziness Begin's

On March 8, days before I was scheduled for a C-section my little man decided it was time to meet the world. Pluggy (and I will explain the name in a moment) was born 7lbs 3 oz, 20.5 inches. After the first child I felt a little seasoned in the first 2 years of life but my little man wanted his own special experiences. He decided in order to achieve this he needed to play opposites with a personality completely opposite of his sister. With that said it has been a total of six months since I last posted. A quick pause to breath and I think I can begin posting again.

Pluggy came into the world completely regular till the day he turned 4 weeks old. Now he is not so regular thus the name Pluggy. He is full of fire with a scream that gets you to your feet and move'n. He wants to be sure his big sis does not out perform him. He is full of the most beautiful smiles and giggles enough to make all strangers comment on what a good and happy baby he is. Apparently he really must like being home because only practices his vocals at home.

We are so in love with our new addition and Stinky is the best big sister. She gets him to laugh like nobody else can.

And so my journey with 2 children begins.

Friday, February 19, 2010


This is an old post that I apparently never finished. We decided to give soccer a try a few months ago. She was so excited to put her cut little outfit on and practice. Once at soccer we learned our little Stinky was more of the dancing/gymnastic type. At least at this stage in her development. She loved dressing her soccer ball up turning the orange cones into hats and putting the little colored vests onto the flag. Daddy was a little sad as his dreams of a star soccer girl were squashed. At least for now. We will try again in a few years. Childrens interests are every evolving. For now dance here we come.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Christmas Day: Did Somone Say Presents?

Stinky stood in amazement at all the gifts that over loaded the tree and came out into the living room. Wow does my family do Christmas!
For Christmas Mommy and Daddy gave Stinky a baby doll and a sling to carry her in. As our due date approaches I wanted to equip her with her own gear that she will see me using with the new baby. She loved it and hasn't stopped carrying "baby" as we call her around.
We planned on transitioning her to a big girl bed after we got home from our vacation. Momo and Grandpa gave her a special sleeping bag to sleep in when we travel as an alternative to the pak n play.
And off to Christmas dinner we go. We have recently developed a Christmas tradition of going out to a fancy dinner. We realized as we got older that my mom spent most of her time in the kitchen on Christmas so we wanted to alleviate that, so she could enjoy the day as well. Stinky looked adorable in her Christmas dress and of course new baby came too. My DH and I however learned very quickly that things will have to change next year. It is difficult to keep a tired child who has experienced great excitement all day quite in a nice restaurant. As Christmas relocates to our house next year I think we will begin cooking dinner. Our enjoyment was tainted a bit due to the anxiety of making sure we did not disrupt everybody else in the restaurants dinner.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fifth Stop: Reno, Snow Snow Snow!

Our next and final stop was Reno. It is a tradition my DH's family is very excited about. Stinky loved the snow for the second year in a row. She loved sledding with daddy, throwing clumps of snow and this year she could move a little more than last year. I was too pregnant to join in the sledding fun and it was hard to watch on the side lines.

One of her favorite experiences was Circus Circus. She caught on really fast that she played a game and in return she was handed an animal. For the most part we let her play the games and sometimes she didn't win. Some of the games were a sure win. She really enjoyed fishing were she won a turtle every time she fished. She had so many turtles that I thought it would be good to trade them in for a bigger cuter whale. She was really frustrated at me for doing that. So we had to play two more times because she wanted a turtle and she wanted to take one home for her BFF Chu. She also really enjoyed pounding on a button, with Daddies help, and winning dogs. Some games she surprised us and won animals all on her own. Once she won my DH wanted to try and he walked away with nothing. Talent or luck not sure, but Stinky really enjoyed this part of the vacation.

The best part was spending time with her cousins. She is the youngest and she gets babied by some of them. There are six of them all under the age of 5 which is fun for them all. She really looks up to MM, she is 3 and loves Stinky.

It was sad to see our trip end, but exciting to sleep in my own bed. It took about the same amount of time to get back to normalcy as we had been gone, but looking back now it was great fun. Until Next Year ...........