Chasing Cheerios

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Have So Many Plans...

I have soooo very many things that I've had planned for O that we have just not gotten to do lately. I've been so busy with getting our house and yard ready for our family reunion (that we held here last Sunday), and then with finishing up my school year at work, that many of our activities have been put on hold. This summer I plan to do LOTS more painting with O. I've been seriously slack about letting her paint, and I feel lots of guilt over this. I'm also working on a fabric matching work for her, and I plan to make the red rods, sandpaper touch boards, and a listening matching work in the near future. There's just so much to do that I can't think clearly enough to decide what to do first!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sometimes She Just Amazes Me!

O sat next to me on the floor looking at all of her new books, while I was cleaning them. She picked up Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? by Iza Trapani, opened it, pointed to the 1st illustration and said "teapot." My mom and I looked closely and didn't see a teapot, so we were a little confused. Then I suddenly realized what she meant...Iza Trapani also illustrated one of O's FAVORITE books, I'm a Little Teapot. Somehow she recognized the similarities between the illustrations and associated the 2 books together. Wow!

Today O and my mom read Marcos Counts by Tomie dePaola. When they were reading the book, O pointed to the word mama and said "mama!" Like I said...she amazes me!!!

Yippeeee, Skippy!

Tomorrow is my last day of work for the school year! I only work one day per week (occasionally 2), but I'm still excited about being finished for the school year. O and I will have a whole extra day to have preschool, do arts and crafts, play on the beach, bake, work in the garden, etc. Although I have to admit that I do really like my job, and I'll probably miss it just a little bit :) I do lots of different things as a School Psychologist, but my job consist primarily of evaluating children who are suspected of having learning disablities, observing children who have been referred to the Autism Team for a possible evaluation (this is one of my favorite parts of the job since my interest in autism is what led me into the field of school psychology in the 1st place), and developing behavior plans for children. We'll also miss our weekly visits by Guh-guh, but I'm sure we'll see lots of her this summer!

Thrifty Thursday

I hit the jackpot today!!! I bought 43 hardback children's books for 49 cents each (18 of these books were the Sweet Pickle books that I loved when I was a child. I was super excited to see them, and now I have several that I've never even read. I hope O will love them as much as I did!), 8 softcover children's books for 25 cents each, 2 loaves of Nature's Own Whole Wheat bread for 1.50, and a small caddy container for 50 cents. Total spent was around 25 dollars. That's much more than I ever spend at the thrift store, but I bought some GREAT books. I don't feel too bad about spending so much since the thrift store benefits people with disabilities.

What Are You Thinking?

I ask O this question every few days. Here are a couple of her recent responses:

Me: What are you thinking about?

O: bedt (standard response when she's not quite sure what to say)

Me: What are you REALLY thinking about?

O: Duggie (aka Guh-guh who is my mom)

Me: Oh, Okay

O heard me ask her cousin, Marg, this question. Marg said that she was thinking about fairies. Ever since then, O is always thinking about fairies, too.

Me: What are you thinking about?

O: Fayees (while grinning and looking very pleased with herself)

Me: What are you thinking about fairies?

O: Fayees, Margie, Fayees

Me: Oh, Okay

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Homemade Apple Chips

When I saw Megret's post about making homemade apple chips, I knew we had to try it. O loves apples, and this is a perfect way to enjoy them. Luckily, Elliott was able to find organic apples at the grocery store near his office. I didn't have the nutmeg or cloves (and I didn't think to ask him to get them from the store), so I mixed cinnamon and sugar and put it in the empty cinnamon container for O to sprinkle on the apples. She loved it!

Here is the recipe from Megret's blog:


makes 25-50 chips, depending on slice thickness and size of apple
1-1/2 T. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

pinch cloves

pinch nutmeg

1 large crisp apple (Braeburn or Granny Smith)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

I also didn't have parchment paper, so I just coated the pan with olive oil

Working in the Garden

O and I worked in the garden this morning. She was excited to use her new gardening tools, so she was just "ike mama." I can't believe how much our squash, tomato, and pepper plants have grown this week!

Trying to Catch Minnows

We didn't have much luck, but we had LOTS of fun and got VERY wet!

Baking Bread

O and I baked bread this morning. Although, really we just put the ingredients in the bread machine and pressed start. It was lots of fun and very messy. O loved pouring the ingredients into the container. Unfortunately, her aim was a little off, so we had flour everywhere. She also liked mixing everything together, and she even snuck a few bites. Yuck! We made honey oatmeal bread, which is my favorite bread machine bread. Its delicious! Here is the recipe:

1 1/4 cups water
3 cups bread flour (we used 1.5 cups of bread flour and 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select White Bread setting, and Start.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Learning to Climb Stairs

O's cousin, Marg, loves to teach her how to do things, especially gross motor skills. Marg's mom (my sister) is a pediatric physical therapist, and Marg is often her "assistant" when she is treating patients. With each step, Marg said "like this." O loves this special attention from Marg, and she now says "ike this" every times she goes up and down these stairs.

Check Out Our Grape Tomato Plants!

We can't believe how tall our grape tomatoes plants have grown! I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but these plants are taller than Elliott (and he's 5'11"). They are COVERED with green tomatoes that we can't wait to eat! They are planted in an earth box (thanks, G & G!), and they are about 2 feet taller than our traditionally planted tomatoes. We're definitely planting EVERYTHING in earth boxes next year! O loves to help pour the water in the earth box spout.

O and Ell love to bounce on the joggling board on our deck. I think this may be my new favorite picture of the 2 of them!

O's Beach

O is in love with her beach. The lake is especially high this year, so we brought in 3 truckloads of sand to make a beach. We need to bring in a 4th, but I am REALLY dreading shoveling another truckload of sand. Its backbreaking work, and I was sore for a week after shoveling the last load. Luckily, Elliott shoveled the 1st 2 when we were out of town :) Despite the hard work, we are so glad that we decided to make beach for O. She LOVES it! She writes her name in the sand, rakes the sand, builds sandcastles, makes sand pies, etc. It freaks me out daily to live this close to the water with a toddler, but having a beach in our front yard is definitely a highlight of living on the water.

Feeding the Geese

O and I had a great time throwing bread to the geese this morning. It was a good lesson on the importance of being quiet since they swam away every time she was loud. I'd remind her to be quiet, and they'd come back.

Putting Marbles on a Frog

Don't you love my creative title?! I wasn't sure what to call this work so I just called it what it is. My mom brought a bath frog that's meant to stick to the bottom of the tub (O and Marg love to play with them in the bathtub at G & G's house), and I had a little glass dish of marbles. I showed O how to carefully pick up one marble and place it on the frog's suction cup. She was super excited and couldn't wait until it was her turn. She did a good job, although she needed prompting to pick up only one marble at a time. She was immediately ready to try it again, but after placing 2 marbles correctly she decided to throw the 3rd marble across the room. She clearly knew that was not acceptable (she was looking straight at me waiting on a reaction when she did it), so I calmly had her pick up the thrown marble and took the whole work away. She was very upset because she really wanted to "bay" (play) with the frog and marbles. Hopefully, she was upset enough to remember that we don't throw marbles! This is a work that she will do only under close supervision because there is a slight possibility that she may decide to taste a marble :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Choo-Choo Soul

Since O really likes trains, Elliott started watching Choo-Choo Soul music videos on the internet with her (I'm not really thrilled about this since I don't allow her to watch tv, but as long as she dances more than she watches its ok). She LOVES to dance to the Steam Train video, and she put on quite a show tonight :)

We Love Felt Boards!

I have to admit it...I love felt boards! O likes her felt board, but I like it much more than she does. She has the most fun when she is destroying the pretty little scenes that I make on it. I took this picture seconds before she wiped the felt board clean :)

O's "I Spy" Quilt

Its COMPLETELY finished! My mom and I made this quilt for O for Christmas, but we've only just finished tying it. I really shouldn't say we. I tied 2 knots, and my mom tied 192. She's been working on it every Wednesday and Thursday night for the last month or so. O was excited when we put the quilt on her bed. She's looking for a monkey to match the monkey on her dress.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

Sorry this post is a little late! Once again I didn't take any donations to the thrift store which I am feeling pretty bad about, but we had a super busy week and I didn't make the time to go through our junk. I bought 5 books and 2 baskets for 2 dollars and 49 cents.

I had to go to town to get a tetanus shot this morning (I sliced my thumb with a grimy razor blade last night while opening a tube of wood filler to TRY to fix O's sandbox). Since I like to do as much as possible when we go into town, we dropped off the trash, stopped by 2 thrift stores, and ran by Wal-Mart. We rarely go to the thrift stores in our town, so I was excited to check them out. I bought 7 books for 2 dollars and 50 cents (I can't stop the addiction!). They're all children's books, of course!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jack and the Beanstalk

I found this Jack and the Beanstalk book at the Dollar General for about 2 dollars, and I thought it looked like something O would enjoy. It has a little drawer that holds the characters in the book. As I read the book to her, I took out each character and stood it up on its stand. She had fun playing with them after I finished the book. This book was definitely worth the 2 dollars that it cost!

How Do You Blog?

I try to spend as little time on the computer as possible when O is awake, so when she's asleep I blog as fast as I can. I throw out what I want to say and upload the posts quickly. Sometimes I'll start a few posts and finish them later. I find it to be MUCH easier for me to post lots of short blog posts instead of one long post about several things. It just helps me organize my thoughts to do it this way. I almost never proof read (I really don't like to read what I've written), and I rarely go back and read any of my posts. I've always just assumed that my mom and Elliott would tell me if I make any glaring grammatical or spelling errors. I just mentioned this to my mom, and she informed me that I make errors ALL the TIME and she thought I just didn't mind! Ugggg! So...sorry about my poorly written posts. Hopefully, my mom will let me know if I have any errors from now on because I'm not going to start proof reading :) So...How do you blog???

I'm Featured on the Crafty Crow!

The magnetic photos that I made for O before a road trip were featured on this very cool blog! Check it out if you get a chance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cleaning the Floor

I ordered this adjustable floor and carpet sweeper from Montessori n Such recently, and O is becoming a good little sweeper. She's also pretending to vacuum with her IKEA push toy. I love to see her clean the house!

The Banging Wall

The idea for a banging wall came from here. I've been thinking about this for a while, and its a relief to have finally made it. We still have a few more pieces to add, but there plenty of things to bang on! The best thing about it is that all of the materials were just hanging out in our garage, so it was free and we cleaned out the garage a little bit:) We've had a great time making "music" so far, and I can't wait for O's cousins to come play on it this weekend at our yearly family reunion :) I hope our neighbors won't mind the noise!

Don't Buy This Sand Box!

O was given a Play Wonder sandbox from Target for her 1st birthday, and we have been very happy with it for the past 10 months. 2 days ago we decided to move it to a different place in the yard. When we picked it up we saw that it had been infested with hungry termites. They did a terrible amount of damage, and if we had not picked up the sand box and seen the damage, they probably would have destroyed it beyond repair within the next few months or so. Luckily, we discovered the damage, and hopefully we've put a stop to it. We'll see!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yep, She's Still Backwards

At 22 months old and about 26 pounds, O's car seat is STILL in the rear facing position. We've recieved lots of disbelieving looks and raised eyebrows over this, but Elliott and I both feel strongly that rear facing is the safest position. I've always planned on keeping O rear facing until she reached the maximum height and weight for her car seat, and Elliott was finally convinced after watching this video. I was excited to read in Parents magazine that the recommendation is changing to encourage parents to keep their children rear facing for as long as possible instead of turning them forwards at 1 year or 22 pounds. Yay! We aren't neurotically overprotective parents after all (well, maybe just a little bit!).

O's Earthworm

O found her 1st earthworm on Saturday morning while Elliott and I were laying sod in the front yard. She was VERY impressed and spent lots of time calling for more earthworms. She eventually figured out that earthworms don't come when they are called! We were surprised and pleased that she wasn't scared of the earthworm, and I think she would have carried it around all day if we'd let her.

Our Visit to a Local Montessori School

I found out that we have a Montessori school about 20 minutes from our house when O was about 3 months old, and I immediately called and put her on the waiting list. The lady at the school said that they were full for that year, but she would be on the list for the next year. There was a shocked silence when I told her that O was only 3 months old, and I wanted her on the list for 2009! She said she would create a list for 2009, and O would be the 1st one on it. I'm sure she thought I was a little crazy :) Last Tuesday I saw an ad in the paper stating that the Montessori school was having an open house for parents and children ages 3,4, and 5. I wasn't sure if we should go since O is not yet 2, but I called and left a message. The preacher (the school is run by an Episcopal Church) called Sunday morning and told us to come. Elliott and I were excited and a little nervous. We were VERY impressed with the school. The teacher and the preacher were very friendly, and I loved how everything was set up. It was great to see all of the Montessori materials "in real life" instead of just on the internet (I'm definitely planning on getting the sandpaper letters and metal insets very soon). O was shy at 1st, but then she was a little overstimulated and was into everything. I was a little nervous because she was grabbing everything, and I was afraid she would break something. I was also surprised because she is not normally like that at all. However, it was an unfamiliar environment, and her nap was cut short since we had to wake her up to go to the open house. O loved the live turtles and gerbil best of all. Good thing we have a lake FULL of turtles for her to love and observe (sadly we never found tadpoles, but we'll try again next year). The school currently has 10 students ages 3 to 6, and they will take up to 18 students. O MIGHT go to this school when she is 3, but I am not sure since its a 5 day a week program. We do not want her to go 5 days a week when she is 3. The teacher said they may work with me on setting it up for her to go just 3 days a week, but I'm thinking that I would like for her to start with just 2 days. I'm also hesitant about sending her because we are both loving homeschooling so much. I can't stand the thought of that ending. However, I know it will be good for her to go to a "real school" for a couple of years and make friends. She'll also have access to a lot of materials that we don't have at home. Then she'll be back home when she's 6 for more Montessori Homeschooling.


O constantly reminds me how the simplest things can be the most fun learning experiences. Our neighbors keep their pedal boat tied to a tree, and we have spent LOTS of time going over and under the rope. O definitely knows the conceps of over and under now!

Going under the rope

Now TRYING to go over the rope...she usually needs a little help to get over it!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Learning to Sweep

O wasn't very excited about learning to sweep at first :)

But she got over her hesitation fairly quickly. She doesn't normally dress up so much to hang around the house, but our neighbor, Erb (Irv), is in town, and he was wearing a blue shirt today, so O HAD to wear "boo like Erb." She's quite a fan of "Erb" and his wife, "Bahb."

Are You Planning on Turning Your Blog into a Book?

I am!!! I 1st started blogging when I was pregnant with O, and my other blog is a VERY detailed account of O's daily life. My intention from the very beginning was to somehow turn it into a book. In fact, that was the primary reason that I even started blogging. I love to take pictures and document O's life, and it so much easier to do that on a blog instead of in a traditional scrapbook. I've made several photo books using Snapfish and My Publisher, but both of these methods require lots of time and uploading of photos. Imagine my excitement when a highschool friend started her own company, Scrapbook Blogger, which slurps your blog and makes a book for you! I've already uploaded most of my 1st blog and some of Chasing Cheerios. After trying Blurb (and finding it very complicated and time consuming for this time strapped mama), I was amazed with how simple Scrapbook Blogger is. Its also EXTREMELY affordable. Its much less expensive than traditional scrapbooking, and I believe its cheaper than Snapfish and My Publisher (although I haven't actually calculated it on paper). O LOVES to look at photo albums each night, so I really can't wait until we have books of the blogs to read with her. I'm also excited to have the blogs turned into books because I think it will be a great memento for O when she has children of her own. I hope that she'll see the different activities that I've done with her and try them with her own children. Check out this interview with Ashley, founder of Scrapbook Blogger, at More Than Just a Mom.

So I Checked My Site Meter Tonight...

and I thought it was broken. My blog had 485 visits today!!! What! That's just crazy. I was sure it was broken or that I was reading it wrong, so I decided to check the referrals. The vast majority of the hits are coming from this link Cool! If you haven't seen this book, you REALLY should check it out. Its truly amazing! We haven't read it since I posted about it in February, but I need to see if our local library will order it for us. It would be even better if one of O's grandparents bought it for her birthday... hint, hint :)

Phonics Pouch - m

My mom introduced the m phonics pouch to O yesterday, and we also did the work today. She seemed to enjoy it. I was a little hesitant to introduce her to phonics since she is so young, but she's shown such an interest in sounds and letters that I decided to give it a try. We'll stick with m for a while, then we'll try either a or t.

Sewing Block

I ordered this sewing block from Montessori N' Such, and O really loves it. This morning she said she was going to "sew like Duggie" (my mom). She's been watching my mom sew the knots on her I Spy quilt for the past month or so, so she's ready to sew by herself.

Counting in Spanish

O surprised us a few days ago by counting in Spanish. I used to count in Spanish with her everytime we counted in English, but I stopped once she started counting independently (about 6 months ago) because I was afraid she would get confused. While we were camping, I was reading her a book and decided to count in Spanish to see what she would say. I said "uno," then she said "dos, tres, cuatro." I almost fell over! All those months of counting in Spanish and listening to Spanish cds paid off :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

Today was a slow day for the thrift store! O and I have been out of town since Friday morning (we just got back home last night), so I didn't have time to find things to donate, and I only bought 1 book (49 cents). It was a board book that O is probably too old for, but I really liked it, so I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"What are you thinking about?"

A online mama friend had the idea to start asking her kids what they are thinking about just because its fun to hear their answers. I thought this was a great idea, so I've been asking O lately. I thought it'd make a fun weekly blog post, and I'll love looking back on the things she's said and how her answers have changed as she's grown. I've also videod a few of her responses. This is how the 1st conversation went...
Mama: What are you thinking about O? (my mom was holding her, and we were standing in my mom's hallway)
O: Hmm?, hmmm? (while looking around the room)
Mama: What are you thinking?
O: night-night! (she was ready for a nap!)

After her nap... (we were outside with Sophie Socks & my mom. We were hoping that the fresh air would help SS feel better)
Mama: What are you thinking, O?
O: grinned and looked down almost shyly
Mama: What are you thinking?
O: night-night (grinning)

I asked her again today, but my brain isn't working and I can't remember what she said. I hope I'll remember to keep asking her. I think this will be fun :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

O's 1st Camping Trip

Writing "name" in the sand with Dada. O announced that she was writing "mama, dada, O, Grace, Socks," and she was very proud. She kept saying "write name."
Helping Daddy put the tent stakes in the ground
Unrolling the air mattress
Taking her own picture :)

For Mother's Day, I requested that we go on a camping trip. We almost didn't go due to bad weather, Sophie Socks, and a full campground. However, the weather improved, my mom promised to take care of Sophie Socks (and I knew she'd take even better care of her than I would, although I'll always feel bad about leaving her), and the campground had cancellations. We had a great time (until we got the bad news about Sophie). O really enjoyed helping set up the tent, and she loved running on the beach and playing in the water. She also really liked "writing" our names in the sand.

In Loving Memory of Sophie Socks

Our cat, Sophie Socks, who adopted us 3 and a half weeks ago died today. She showed up on our doorstep 3 and a half weeks ago, and I expected her to go back home at anytime. She decided that we were her family, and she stayed. She was the sweetest, friendliest cat we have ever met. She loved O, and O loved her (although O often did not know how to handle all of the attention Sophie gave her). On Tuesday night Sophie was her typical friendly and fun self. On Wednesday morning she was lethargic and had labored breathing. I called the vet and made an appointment for Friday, but I was fully expecting her to just get better. We gave her water with a dropper Wednesday night because we were afraid that she hadn't been eating. On Thursday, I had to go to work, and my mom was worried enough about Sophie that she decided to go ahead and take her to the vet. It was our 1st experience with the vet in our town, and my mom was not impressed. We brought Sophie to my mom's house on Friday, so her vet (who comes to her house) could see Sophie. Since he doesn' t have an office and therefore no x-ray machine, he couldn't make a definitive diagnosis, but he did give Soph a vitamin shot. On Saturday Soph seemed to feel better. She still had labored breathing and we had to continue feeding her about every hour and a half with a dropper, but she was walking around and seemed to want to be near us. I really thought she was going to get better. My mom took care of Soph while O, Elliott, and I went on our Mother's Day camping trip. We have an appointment for her at a different vet for tomorrow, but mom felt like she needed to take her today. The vet today told her that Soph was really, very sick and since she's such a small cat that she would probably not survive surgery and it would cause her more suffering. She recommended that we put Sophie to sleep. So Sophie Socks is no longer suffering, and we miss her terribly. We are so thankful to my mom for helping us take care of Sophie Socks and for taking her the vet for us. I am devastated by her loss, and I can't stop crying. We had such plans for this wonderful, sweet cat. O loved playing with her in the yard, and Soph even rode in the pedal boat briefly with us. Elliott and I were looking forward to taking her out in the ski boat in a couple of weeks, so she could be our boat cat. O incorporated her into our family, and whenever she talks about "mama, dada, O, Grace," she always includes "Socks." O even tried to write our names in the sand at the beach this morning. She wrote "mama, dada, O, Grace, Socks." We are so thankful that Sophie Socks came into our lives even though we didn't get to have her long enough. We'll miss her for a while and remember her forever.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

Today was a very successful thrift day because I donated MUCH more than I bought, which is always my goal.

Donated: 2 pairs of too small shorts, 2 girls' outfits, 1 pair of toddler pants, 1 pair of toddler shoes, bedroom shoes, 2 sippy cups, 3 plastic cups, 1 plastic plate, 1 car cooler, 1 log holder, 2 plastic pampered chef bowls with lids, 1 plastic bowl, 1 ball, 1 chicken cooking thing, and about 15 to 20 children's books (Elliott's old books that held no sentimental value). There were a few more things, but I can't think of them now.

Bought- pretty little planter for a flower or maybe an activity and 11 juice glasses that will be great for Miss O (she drinks from glasses at all meals and straw cups between meals, in the car, and at night) total spent $5.00

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We tried a new pouring work today. I found this pitcher (probably a creamer?) in my cabinet, and I thought it would work great for O to pour popcorn kernals back and forth. She thoroughly enjoyed herself. You can tell by her tongue sticking out that she was totally focused on this work :)

Picking Strawberries

O was thrilled to pick strawberries last night from our deck container garden. Grandaddy Harry helped her and showed her what to do. We are excited to have these yummy, organic strawberries that we've grown ourselves. O shared a few and gobbled up the rest! Thanks, Guh-guh!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Color Sorting

O enjoyed color sorting today (it was a GREAT day in O's homeschool in case you couldn't tell!). I had a basket of fruit shaped plastic ice things that I got from the dollar store, and these cups that I bought last year to have for O's birthday parties (don't want to use disposables, of course!). I spread out the cups and showed her how to match the fruits to the colors and sort them. She was slightly confused at first, but she caught on quickly and had fun completing the work. I was worried that I'd given her too many colors at one time, but she did fine. She enjoyed this work, but she didn't want to do it again. I guess it just couldn't compare to the excitement of the Mystery Bag!
Update: O has chosen this work from the shelf a couple of time since I introduced it. She talks herself through the task, labeling the colors, and self-correcting as she goes. She dropped the orange cup as she walked to the mat, and once she set the cups up she said "orange" like she suddenly remembered that she'd dropped the cup. She got the cup and lined it up with the other cups. While sorting she put a green object in the red bowl, paused, said "no, green," then took it out of the red cup and put it in the green cup. I LOVE watching her work.

The Mystery Bag

We did the Mystery Bag game for the 1st time today, and O was just vibrating and squealing with excitement! I put several items in the bag- banana (fake), spoon, fork, toy car, and a bead. I showed her the items, and we labeled them. Then I put everything in the bag and put the blindfold on. I demonstrated how to pull out only one item and then feel it and then say what it is. Then it was O's turn. She guessed bananaa before taking off the blindfold, but she was so excited with the rest of the items that she pulled off the blindfold as soon as she had the object out of the bag. Then she decided that it was mommy's turn. She loved it when I guessed correctly, and if I took too long to guess or guessed wrong she called out the answer proudly. I think this is definitely O's most favorite montessori work EVER!

Shadow Matching Game

I found this shadow mathing game here, and I knew O would love it as soon as I saw it. I finally got everything cut out and laminated, so I introduced it to her this morning. She thorougly enjoyed it and asked for more after she finished. When she wakes up from her nap, I'll show her the shadow matching game that goes with Eric Carle's Very Busy Spider book. She's going to be so excited!

Drawing and Stickers Basket

I gathered a basket of drawing pads, a pencil, markers, and stickers for O last night and left it on the table for her to discover this morning. She was thrilled to see it, and she had lots of fun playing with the stickers (they were on her cheeks at one point before ending up on the floor and table) and drawing on the pads. This activity will stay at the table because I don't want her walking around with a pencil in her hand or drawing on the walls and floor. I realized what a packrat I am when I looked closely at the stickers and saw the date...1983! Yes, I saved them from when I was 6 years old probably with the intention of one day sharing them with my little girl :)

We're Going Camping!

Elliott and I are so excited to be planning O's 1st camping trip! We've been talking about one day taking our kids camping since long before O was born, so we can't wait. We've finally found a free weekend, and we hope the weather will cooperate. We're taking the easy way out by going to a campground where we can set up our tent right next to our car. Does anyone have any advice on camping with a toddler? I'm trying to figure out what kind of food to take, so any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

O and I have spent the last 2 weekends making homemade Mother's Day gifts for her grandmothers, auntie, and me. We're trying to do only handmade gifts from now on, and we have really enjoyed ourselves!
O painted flower pots and then we planted basil seeds in them. She needed encouragement to keep painting, but she enjoyed the planting process. Unfortunately, I dropped and broke one of the pots. I guess the broken one will be mine :(
O and I really enjoyed making exfoliating sugar scrub. I love the fact that its all natural, and it smells great! We used Burts' Bees Apricot Oil since I didn't have any essential oils, and it smells good enough to eat (and I admit that I tasted it when O wasn't looking...not bad).
I was proud of how well O spooned the mixture from the bowl into each jar. She was really into this, and she did not want ANY help. This made it a little difficult and messy, but fun and a great learning experience for us both!

Entertaining Herself

I don't usually get on the computer while O is awake, but I decided to give O a chance to have some independent play while I blog. I thought she would fuss and want my attention, but that was not the case at all. She's been reading books and playing with her bear puzzle. I think she really likes having this time to herself. Looks like mommy might get a little more time for blogging :)

Going Fishing

While looking in our guest room closet for a wedding present (sorry EB but I didn't find the present), I found this cool fishing game that I bought 2nd hand about a year ago. O was THRILLED when she saw it, and she did her little excited expression/sound that we love so much. She had fun catching the fish, and then I put them back for her. She got a little frustrated at times because the fish fell off, and I had to remind her to move slowly so she wouldn't lose the fish.

Feeding the Frog

Here's my thrift store frog! O fed him a basketful of bugs (from the dollar section at Target). She loved this work and repeated it 3 times immediately. When she a little older, I'll let her feed the frog using tongs or tweezers. I think this may be a daily work!

Unplug Your Kids: Green

The unplugged theme this week is green, and we decided to share a few of our weekly "green activities.
O loves to drink from her green Kleen Kanteen just like mommy!
Helping sort the recycling.
Helping mommy put the plastics in the correct container
Helping mommy and daddy crush cardboard boxes
Helping daddy put the boxes in the correct container
We cheated a little since we didn't really do anything that we don't normally do. However, O doesn't usually go to drop off the recycling. We had to go to town on Thursday and in order to minimize wasteful spending of gas, we packed everything into one trip... dropped off the recycling and trash, dropped off the tiller at Kenny's house, went out to eat, and went grocery shopping. It was a long night, but we wanted to get our money's worth since it cost $7 to go to town and back (yes, I'm a dork, and I like calculating things like that).