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.