Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tot School: J is for Jesus

G is 21 Months
This Weeks Theme: J is for Jesus

I really had not planned on doing much this past week. I printed out 1+1+1=1's Nativity Pack on a whim. G has been obsessed with babies, and every Christmas book we read she'd search and search for baby Jesus. At the very least I thought she'd enjoy seeing all the "babies" within the Nativity Pack, but she really got a lot out of it. I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the activities she sat down & completed. I only managed to grab a couple pictures though.

Coloring her J's....and baby Jesus....

Sorting Animals & People

One morning I was running around trying to get ready so we could get out of the house, and I discovered this in my bed.

And of course we made cookies

A short & sweet post this week. I wanted to get something up, because I was very impressed with G this week. She's just growing too fast. (And skipping! It's so cute!) I'm busy returning the house to it's normal state, preparing to go out of town for the New Year and organizing so we can be ready to jump right into the Alphabet when we return home next week.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a safe & happy New Year!

p.s. I apologize to family who are looking for Christmas pics. I haven't even uploaded them onto my computer yet. Soon, soon!!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Distraction

We had Christmas Spirit coming out of our ears until a couple days ago.
I think homesickness is setting in.
It was a welcome escape to run in the water, throw some sand and get lost on the foggy beach.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tot School: More Christmas

G is 20 Months
This Weeks Theme: Christmas, Christmas and MORE Christmas

I was sick this week. Which resulted in not a lot of creativity nor energy on my part and some horrible toddler cabin fever. However, we did have some fun and I was able to catch some photos of things we've been using all month but haven't made their appearance here.

I made my first "sensory bin".
(My mom mocks me every time I call it that, so hence the parenthesis)

This appeared the first weekend of the month and G has really loved it. This particular time she was very interested in the plastic light bulbs. However, this was a learning experience for me and now I know that using tinsel as a base for the bin, was not a good idea. It gets every where, and also G will end up walking around with a strand stuck to the bottom of her foot like toilet paper. ;)

I made a felt Christmas tree & ornaments for G to play with and maybe, just maybe, leave our tree alone. There are tons of ideas like this floating around Pinterest; this was my rendition.

Like most things right now, I have to be heavily involved with G in order for her to take interest in it. So all I was able to manage was a picture of the tree after we hung the ornaments on it.

Amazon was having a 50% off sale on Melissa & Dough items. I've been wanting to get this playdough mold & tool set for awhile. I was done Christmas shopping and had a week left of my Amazon Prime membership, I splurged.

This was the first time we busted it out of the box.

We painted some pine cones green, red & white.

After all the pine cones were painted, we painted G's hands & feet.

How She's Growing

Time for some honesty, the past couple weeks have been tough. She's trying so hard with her words, but she gets so frustrated that she can't communicate what she wants, even snack time becomes a meltdown. She'll rattle off a sentence of babble and then look at me with hopeful eyes. All she gets back is a blank expression and me saying "I'm not sure what you said, can you show me?"

And as I mentioned above, she really does not play much on her own. Maybe 5 minutes here or there, but she used to play endlessly by herself. Don't get me wrong, I love spending the time with her and watching her little brain develop...but sometimes we all just need the 5-10 minutes.
My 'Mom Guilt' totally blames it on the move and her not being socialized enough since. That I don't create enough of a challenge for her at home. I know she's bored.
Hopefully some of her Christmas gifts will help alleviate the boredom at home. As well as a fresh start with how I approach Tot School in the new year and our playgroup starting up again after the holidays.

Mommy's Favorite Shots of the Week 

Busy, busy, busy. This kid is busy. It's tricky to get a good photo of her face. And for a photographer who loves portraits, it can get frustrating!! She'll say "Cheese" if I ask her too, but will never look up from what she's doing or where she's going.

Unless of course there's food involved.....

The short sleeve shirt, freezy pop & snowflakes decorations on the door make me giggle.
This is definitely not a New York Christmas.

Still happy as a clam at the park.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Tot School: Snow & Christmas

G is 20 Months Old
This Week's Theme; Snow & Christmas

The new relaxed approach to Tot School went really well, again, this week. We accomplished a lot and there was no pressure! At the beginning of every week I make a list of activities I think would be fun to do (and that we have all the supplies for), and as I find we have some free time I consult my list. G seems to be enjoying it too, there was not one activity this week that she didn't want to be involved in. And when all else failed, we pulled out some coloring sheets & crayons!

Coloring a sheet from 2 Teaching Mommies Printables.

It's hard to tell in this shot, but for those who aren't familiar with these printables there are letters in the wreath. G wanted me to sit down & color with her. She would point to a circle, I'd name the letter then color in the circle.
(This is a great intro to letters, as we'll be starting themes around letters in the new year.)

Playing with Snow Dough. (Homemade play dough with glitter in it!)

Finger painting with puffy paint.

We made paper snowflakes. You can read more about that in it's own post.

To keep going with the snowflakes. We made tortilla snowflakes for lunch!

We took bites out of our tortilla, instead of using scissors.

They ended up looking more like ink blots, but shhh...just use your imagination. ;)

My eager & willing helper, patiently waiting for the cheese.

Sprinkling on the cheese, like snow sprinkles from the sky.

That's when G snapped me into reality & reminded me....

We're from Lake Effect Snow country...snow doesn't sprinkle from the sky, you get dumped on!
Silly Mommy.

Once we spread the cheese out a little more evenly, I just tossed them in the oven for a few minutes to toast the tortillas & melt the cheese.

Christmas Time!

Tyson has reminded me this is almost like another 1st Christmas for G, as this year she actually understands some of what's going on. G loves the decorations, always asks for the tree lights to be turned on and can identify everyone's stocking hanging from the wall.
G says "Ho Ho" when she see's Santa.

Fascinated by the bells on my stocking. Maybe we'll have to ask her GG to add some to G's as well.

She will "sing along" to Christmas music. No matter where we are. It's especially nice when wandering around Hobby Lobby looking for felt & trying to choose some fabric.

We took out several Christmas books from the library.
Her current favorite being "What Is Christmas".
I've caught her just staring at the pictures of the manger scene several times. It brings a warm fuzzy to my heart to see that.
(And I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she's becoming obsessed with 'baby'!)

Something that I need a constant reminder of is how AWARE of things G is. Even though she doesn't quite have the vocabulary to share all her wonderful thoughts with us. She can still express that she knows what's going on. For instance, as the Christmas season started up, she began wearing her blanket around like this....

I see a Christmas play in our future.

How She's Growing

Perhaps it's a sign of her growing up, or maybe just a sign that I go to Target too much. Just this past weekend we pulled into the Target parking lot and we began to hear cheering & clapping from the backseat.
At the very least she's definitely proving she's totally aware of her surroundings!

Mommy's Favorite Shot

She doesn't discriminate when dressing up. Her choice this week was Daddy's combat boots & cover.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowflakes & Glitter!

Our first official Christmas craft of the season was, of course, paper snowflakes. Something easy & supplies were cheap if it got a little out of hand. (But who are we kidding...things don't get out of hand with a toddler involved!)

I started off cutting the snowflakes out of regular ole printer paper, without Miss G's help.

Normally my snowflakes would not look this good, but I found this awesome website! Pretty impressed with how they turned out. I'm still in awe that I made these and didn't take them out of some kind of package.
Now that the scissors were put away, the table had been (partially) covered in newspaper and the Elmer's glue had been watered down to a thin-pasty consistency....enter Miss G.

I brushed the watered down glue onto a snowflake and let her go to town with the glitter.

If you look closely...the top of the glitter container is pointing up. Therefore, no glitter was reaching the snowflakes and every time she shook her hand a spout of glitter would come out of the top. It had a pretty affect all over the table & floor, not so much on the snowflakes.Which was the goal, after all.

 So I handed her the brush & glue...and I took over the glittering responsibilities.
After we finished all 4 snowflakes, we washed our hands & the table. Then went about sweeping the floor. G thought it would be funny to take her freshly washed hands and put them into the swept pile of glitter on the floor.
Then she tried to attack me & my camera.

It was a fun mess, and those are the best kinds!
They look pretty in my dining room too....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tot School: Going With It

G is 20 Months Old
This Weeks Theme: No Theme!

Between cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner, planning out Christmas things and deciding what activities to do for Tot School during December, I didn't really plan much for this week. It got lost in the shuffle. However, it ended up being a nice relaxing week. As I thought of something to do, we went with it. It was a lot of fun! I'm really going to try and take that approach more & more. It worked for us.
Here are pictures of what I managed to capture this week.

I found some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (her favorite show!) stickers at the Dollar Tree. Each sheet had red, green, blue & yellow stickers. Here she's placing the yellow sticker on the yellow square.
(And with each sticker she'd declare who was on it too!)

Once she'd placed all the stickers on the squares, we counted to see how many of each color there were.

The one thing I need to concentrate on is getting some more tot "tray" activities for G.
Here I took an empty Parmesan cheese container and some pipe cleaners.
I especially like this because she can put the pipe cleaners through the holes......

...then open the other side and dump them out!

It's been chilly this past week, even to the point that Miss G - who has to go outside at least twice a day - didn't want to spend much time outside. (She'd go out for 5 minutes, then come back in.)
So we were inside more than we have been. We made a fort/blanket & pillow nest in the living room.

She got comfy and played with her Tag Jr.

How She's Growing
G is a total tomboy & girlie girl at the same time. It's fun to watch this little personality start to shine. When she's speaking more, I can't even begin to imagine the things that will come out of her mouth.

Speaking of speaking...her words are coming too fast for me to keep track of anymore. It's typical now for Tyson to ask me "Do you know what she's saying?" Most of the time...not so much. But every now and then you catch a word or sentence and think " really just said that!"
Just this week she walked up the stairs by herself (no climbing, foot over foot) and exclaimed "I did it!" at the top.

She's also starting to say her name, which I thought would take awhile.
(It's not an easy one for little tongues!)

Mom's Favorite Shot(s) of the Week
I could not pick one picture this week. So I picked 3. They're all of her out on the playground, her favorite place. And they all capture her personality, perfectly!
(The last 2 are outtakes from Christmas pictures...hence the outfit.)

(This one makes me laugh, she's practicing her modeling skills.)

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