Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Walk in the Park

Yesterday, we took the kids for a walk down at the park.  The weather was mostly nice and not to cold so it was a great day to go.  Here are a few pictures from our walk:

Ethan looks so sad in this picture but I think he was just thinking deep thoughts.  hehehe

Puddle jumping.

Didn't take long to let go of my hand and go exploring.

Then he found Hannah's hand and they were off together.

We were fortunate to see this beautiful guy sitting in a tree. (Golden Eagle).

As well as this fat grey squirrel.

Father and Son

The river was much higher than we are used to seeing .

Hannah wanted to climb the tree.

Then of course Ethan made it know that he wanted a turn too.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Letter P Activities

Wow I can't believe were already on the letter P.  We are moving swiftly through the end portion of the alphabet.  Letter P might take two weeks, not sure yet.  Andrew's parents are coming this week for a couple of days so I know the kids will be otherwise occupied.  

Here are a few of the things I have planned so far:

P letter box: Purse, pretzel, plate, panda, pancake, Paintbrush, pig, polar bear,
 pumpkin, pony, penguin, parrot, present, a piano card, P bean bag, and the letter P.

Puzzle Sensory Bin (Source: Dinosaurs & Trains)
Pink and Purple play dough with pasta.  The idea behind this  game is to slide on pieces of pasta onto the spaghetti sticking out of the play dough.  The pasta is quite small and it is much harder than it looks.  This will be good fine motor practice. (Source: Preschool Play)

Paddle ball. (Source: Pen and Paper Flowers)

Tot School

Saturday, January 28, 2012

O Wrap-Up

Here is a snapshot of some of the O activities that we had fun with throughout the week.

Ethan and Hannah played with there letter box items.

Hannah practiced throwing her bean bag as high as she could.

We glued cheerios onto an octopus.

Ethan did not get it at all.

Really all they wanted to do was eat them.  Surprised? No

This is Hannah's finished octopus.  The cheerios on the face are his eyebrows.

We played the owl letter matching game.  Ethan really liked matching the letters.

We made orange O's with orange dot markers.

Ethan dotted.

Hannah covered her O picture.
 Our final project was to make an owl.  Yesterday we started by painting a big piece of paper brown.  

This was their favorite activity of the week

We finished up our owl today and then hung him from the fan  in the kitchen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Absurdity of Parenting

I have been struck this week at the absurdity of parenting.  What I mean by this statement is that things, situations, conversations, and events happen in my life as a parent that seem on the one hand absolutely normal and fitting, yet at the same time when giving a little time to think about are absurd.  This week has had a few rough spots. Andrew worked three nights out of five which means I got to put both kids to bed all by myself.  Usually this is not fun but not altogether awful either.  It just takes longer and if I'm tired (hahahahaha when I'm tired) it requires copious amounts of patience that I really don't posess naturally.  But this week was terrible, truly terrible.  Let me preface this by saying from the start that no one is sick and Hannah went to bed well.  So it could have been imaginably worse.

This is where absurdity entered my life and became one of my closest companions.  On Tuesday night (the first of my 3 nights) it took Ethan almost 3 hours to go to bed.  He is in the throws of his 18 month sleep regression and if you don't know what that is google it and you will find some interesting articles that explain it.  Basically, lots of children regress briefly at 18-20months, the cause is somewhat unknown but it is usually linked to a spike in linguistic development.  This was true of Hannah and also now true of Ethan.  I hope it is short.  Ethan is cutting a tooth this week and that alone adds some fun to the mix.  Back to my story.  In the middle of putting Ethan to bed, he threw up the entire 8oz contents of his bottle all over me and in order to spare my favorite chair the horrors I contained the entire mess on myself and my son. After, cleaning everything up, resetting Hannah's TV show back to the beginning (she was waiting on the couch watching Word World), and taking a much need 2 minute sanity break to check Facebook, I was able to get them both to bed.

Wednesday, I lived mostly in denial that Andrew was working again that evening and even up to 5 minutes before he left I had convinced myself that we could tag team bedtime.  Wednesday took 45minutes longer but was an otherwise near duplicate of the previous night.  I don't know why my son likes throwing up on me at bedtime.  Before you wonder much longer with thoughts like, "maybe he has the flu".  Let me assure you he does not.  He just does this from time to time.  BUT he ONLY does it at bedtime and he ONLY does on nights that Andrew is not home, and he ONLY throws up on me.  Hannah used to make herself throw up at bedtime, thankfully she has long outgrown it.  Fortunately, I had the foresight to change my clothes before being thrown up on Wednesday night.  As I prepared to put Ethan to bed.  I thought to myself you know what, I should change because I would really like to wear these pants to Bible Study in the morning and if Ethan throws up on me I will be out of luck.  I am glad I did.  But it is crazy to have needed to plan my wardrobe around bedtime.

Thursday, Andrew put both the kids to bed,  They were asleep by 8:10.  When he came down the stairs he was wearing the same shirt he wore all day.  Where is the fairness in that.

Tonight was a gong show.  I had the help of one of my two wonderful sisters.  It still took forever and I still got thrown up on.  For the record, I did bath the children before bed tonight.  Which is the ONLY thing I did NOT do on Tuesday and Wednesday, that is the only difference in routine that I can figure out.  Otherwise, I did things exactly the same.  While on one hand this whole craziness seems par for the course.  On the other hand it is crazy, laughable and in a word absurd.

Ethan, my darling son.  I love you but I implore to stop throwing up on me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My favorite dollar store find ever....

Every once in awhile, when I can leave the house without a child in tow I like to go to 1 of 2 places; Value Village or the Dollar Store.  I go to the value village to find cheap books.  Maybe its because people don't read as much anymore but I can always find good books in brand new condition.  Why pay 12.99 when I can pay .99 cents and get the fifth for free.  The last time I was there I found 4 of these Child's Play books that had never been read.  
I get all my art supplies from the dollar store.  Every so often I come across a something random but great.  My absolute favorite find was the Marble run packs.  I have seen these on Amazon. They are about $35 dollars.  They do have some cool features, like spinning pieces, and stable feet for the the bottom.  I bought 4 packs (wish I had bought 8) from the dollar store and Hannah has just recently figured out how it all works.  They are amazing and I secretly wish I would remember to take them out of her room at night so that I can play with them while she is sleeping.

Marble Run

She likes to put the pieces on herself, but she not so delicate and
often needs some help to keep everything from crashing down.

Seeing a gap in the tower.

Admiring the finished tower.

Dropping in the marble.  Obviously this is our favorite part.

Following the marble.

Where did it go?

Watching the marble swirl around the tower.

Catching the marble at the end.

In the pictures, you can see we build the tower on her babies bed, that because it makes everything much more stable than working on the carpet.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Letter O

This weekend flew by.  As I sit here, I am trying my best to remember what we did all weekend.  Oh right nothing.  We spent a great deal of time on the couch relaxing together while at the same time trying to get over our colds.  Hopefully our colds will be over and our O activities fun.

Here is what's up for the week:

Letter O Box: O bean bag, ostrich, orange, orange colored pom pom, oatmeal, octopus, and the letter O.

Owl Letter matching activity.

Owl counting from 1 to 5. (source: Childcareland)

Oatmeal play dough (source: The Imagination Tree)

Tot School

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Letter N Happenings

I tried so very hard to get this out yesterday but it just didn't happen.  We are in the throws of a cold with Andrew and I suffering the most.  Thankfully, Ethan has slept VERY well the last two nights.  Here are our N activities from over the past week.

Hannah sorted the nuts while Ethan tried his hand at the nut cracker.

Hannah ate one of the nuts (shell still on) and discovered that you cannot eat the outside.

I cracked the nut (I think we started with a pecan) and Hannah really liked pulling out the flesh.

She tried to crack the nuts herself.  She couldn't, but loved practicing.

We cracked open and looked at all four nuts that we had. (top L clockwise: pecan, walnut, hazelnut, and an almond).

The kids played with the items in the letter box.  I am always curious to see which items they like the most.  This time Hannah played with the net the most.  She filled and dumped until it was time to clean up.

Ethan liked the nail and the nickel.  Both silver and shiny.  I should  have guessed.
Later in the week we made an N craft.  N is for Nest. 
(I was inspired by this craft  at Rockabye Butterfly but I altered it for my kids).
Gluing nests onto their N's.

Hannah filled her nest with eggs very precisely.

Ethan's finished picture.

Hannah's picture.

Both of the children focused for quite awhile on twisting the nut on the bolt.  Although, neither could put it on the bolt if it came off completely.

Ethan doing his number puzzle.

I hid all the number pieces from the puzzle all over the room for Hannah and Ethan to find.

Ethan and Hannah wanted to play this game 4 or 5 times.

After each number was found they had to put it in puzzle before looking for another piece.

This was our last N activity. Learning to recognize their own names.  I painted big posters and taped them to the ground.

They each found their own name and then we played a loose variation of Simon Says.  I gave them an action to do on their name; jump, run, tiptoe....

Next was hop on your name.

Finally, sit on your name.

Stay tuned for out O activities.

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