Chasing Cheerios

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Doctor's Office in a Box

O asked for 3 things for Christmas...a fire fighter's outfit, a baby doll, and a doctor's kit. I decided early on that I didn't want to get her a toy doctor's kit that she would grow out of quickly. I wanted her to have real medical supplies and tools. That way she could learn how to really use the materials, and she wouldn't grow out of it as quickly (her almost 6 year old cousin and 9 year old friend both really enjoyed playing with this kit). I gathered supplies for her doctor's kit for months. I bought bandages, hot/cold packs, finger splints, bandaids, knee braces etc from the Dollar Tree and Walmart. I found lots of items in our house... an old wrist brace, rubber gloves, medicine droppers, etc. I printed x-ray pictures and an eye chart from the internet and laminated them. I also printed O and E's 3d ultrasound pictures and laminated them (I gave her an ice-cream scoop to use as an ultrasound wand).

I ordered real, but inexpensive medical tools from otoscope, a blood pressure cuff, and a reflex hammer. I was very surprised by how inexpensive these things were. When O is a little older we can teach her how to really obtain someone's blood pressure, and we've all enjoyed looking in each other's ears with the otoscope :) Once I finished gathering the materials for her doctor's office, I realized that she needed a lab coat. I planned to buy a boy's dress up shirt from walmart or Target to turn into a lab coat, but I couldn't find one for under 10 dollars. I finally found the perfect shirt at the thrift store for 98 cents, and I was so excited. I cut the cuffs off both sleeves and the tail off the shirt. My mom turned them under and sewed them. Then I embroidered "Dr.____" on the pocket (I planned to share a picture, but I couldn't get a good picture without showing our last name). It was SO easy to turn the shirt into a lab coat, and it looks great.
This gift was a HUGE hit with O. She plays with it everyday, and I think she'll be playing with it for years and years!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homemade Baby Toys

O and I recently made this rolling toy for E, and she really likes it! We put a marble, bell, pom poms, and pipe cleaners into an empty Coke bottle (2 liter), and we shake it and roll it around on the floor for E. O loves to make things for her baby sister.

Here is a rattle that O made for E for Christmas. It's a plastic test tube that she filled with beads and pom poms. I bought the test tubes after Halloween (they had nasty gooey candy in them.) She made several test tube has bells in it and another has small balls in it. We're also planning on making a few discovery bottles for E to enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ultimate in Babywearing...

is to wear both of your babies at once! O was on my back in the Beco while E was relaxing in my pouch style sling. I love both the sling and Beco and use them all the time. I'm so glad that E is finally big enough for the Beco! I love the sling, but the Beco is much more comfortable when I'm wearing her for longer periods of time. She's still small enough that I can wear her for 2 or more hours in the sling comfortably. O also still fits in the sling, but only for short periods of time :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

If you haven't checked out the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy shop, you should! All proceeds will benefit Doctors without Borders in Haiti. I purchased one of these cuties (the aqua one) for my baby for Valentine's Day. I think she'll love it, and it feels good to support a good cause :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Forehead Art

We discovered (by accident) that forehead art is very intriguing for "baby sister." O loves to put stickers on everyone, and E was fascinated when O put stickers on our foreheads a couple of months ago. Since then we often put on "forehead art" to entertain the baby. We might look a little crazy, but we have fun!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paper Plate Faces

O and I made the paper plate faces for "baby sister." O made the one on the far right, and I love it. She said he's grumpy :) E enjoys looking at the faces. We play peek-a-boo with them and talk about the different feelings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine's Day Sensory Box

O and I had fun putting together her Valentine's Day Sensory box last week. I let her choose between oatmeal and rice, and she chose rice. This made it easy for me since I was able to borrow rice from the rice pit that is on our screened porch. I added in pink, red, and white pony beads, heart stickers, scoops, small cups, pom poms, and pipe cleaners (later I added a toilet paper roll). She wasn't interested in playing in the box for a day or 2, but then she started to enjoy it. She makes quite a mess with the rice, but that just gives her more opportunities to practice her sweeping skills.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Valentine's Day Spooning Activity

To complete this activity O spooned a marble into each heart on the silicone heart tray. She had a little difficulty balancing the marble on the spoon, but she enjoyed the challenge. We'll be doing more spooning activities in the future.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Valentine's Day Transferring Activities

Here is another simple Valentine's Day activity (anything pink or red is classified as a Valentine's Day Activity :).

This activity was more visually appealing than the one above, so I didn't even put the first one out. O picks up a pom pom with the tweezers and puts one pom pom in each opening. The tray came from IKEA. O really enjoyed this activity and has done it repeatedly.

Valentine's Day Activities

There are SO many activities that can be done with a bag (or 2) of foam heart stickers! These glittery heart stickers are from WM and cost 1 dollar.

Our first Valentine's Day activity was number sequencing with hearts. O was very excited and asked if she could do this activity every day :) To make the activity, I wrote the numbers (1 to 10) on the stickers using a black sharpie. She put the numbers in order using the number line as a guide.

The hearts are also great for sorting activities. First, she sorted the hearts by color.

Then she sorted them by size.

She also had fun making patterns with the hearts.

This one was another favorite! It just looks so pretty :)

We're really enjoying these Valentine's Day activities, and I hope you will, too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I guess it was a good idea...

Judging from the response to my Confessions... post, it seems that it was a good idea to post about all of the things that I don't do. I guess I should have written something like that before, but I had no idea that anyone would be interested, and I did not realize how I was perceived. I feel sad, disappointed, and guilty to read about how reading my blog is the low point of some people's days and that it's a guilt inducing read. I hope that you realize that has never been my intention. I write the blog simply to document our activities for our own use and for the grandparents to enjoy and to share ideas and inspiration with other mamas.

Winter Transferring Activity

I set up this simple winter transferring activity for O last week. She used the chopsticks to transfer the cotton balls to the ice cube tray. The cotton balls are supposed to represent snow :) This activity promotes fine motor control, one-to-one correspondence, attention to detail, and concentration. O enjoyed doing this activity when I first presented it to her, but she wasn't interested in doing it again. (So it's already back in the Montessori rotation drawer to make room for lots of fun Valentine's Day activities).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Number Wheel Activity

I downloaded this great number wheel activity from Homeschool Share, and O LOVES it! After printing the number wheel, I laminated it before cutting it out. Then I wrote the numbers 1 through 10 (using a sharpie) on 10 clothes pins. O counted the dots, found the correct clothes pin, and clipped the clothes pin to the wheel. She was a little unsure of a few numbers, so this was a great way for her to practice recognizing her numbers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Last Week in "School"

Here are couple of pics from "school" on Tuesday. O was excited to play this "What Goes Together?" game. It's a Winnie-the-Pooh game in which you match cards of things that go together (hat and coat, broom and dustpan, etc.). After you make your match, you turn the cards over to see if they go together to complete a picture. If they do then your match is correct. I found this fun game at the Dollar Tree.

O was also really excited about this cutting activity. I have a Kumon cutting book that I pull pages from periodically for her to cut. Last time I had a page for her to cut, she was not very enthusiastic (this was surprising since she loves to cut), but this time she was thrilled. I chose a page with a winter theme since we are doing lots of winter activities this month. She cut very slowly and carefully and with excellent concentration. After she finished cutting on the line, she asked if she could cut the page up. Of course, I let her and she had fun cutting out the animals and trees.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy 1/2 Birthday to O!

O turned 3 and a half yesterday, and it was a fun excuse to have an small impromptu party. We made homemade ice-cream and chocolate cake in a mug. We used substituted half of the flour with whole wheat flour, and it was a mistake. I also divided the mixture between 2 mugs because O's mug is rather small. That was another mistake. The cake was a little rubbery. It tasted good when mixed with the ice-cream, but it was not good by itself. O said she liked everything about her party except for the cake :)

You can't really tell in the picture, but one of the candles is a half :) O was thrilled to hang the birthday banner, wear her birthday crown, and have everyone else wear hats. She asked me to wear a pink crown "so everyone will know you are mine." We are looking forward to E's half birthday celebration in a couple of months!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


After reading this post over at The Snail's Trail, I thought it would be fun to write a confessions post. These are the things that I don't say or show on my blog because I don't think you are coming over here to read about the things we don't are stopping by for ideas and inspiration which is what I try to provide. However, the post (and comments) at The Snail's Trail lead me to believe that some readers might enjoy this post :) So, here I go...

I work on Thursdays and on most Wednesday nights I realize that I haven't brushed my hair since the previous Wednesday.

If the weather is slightly bad (cold or wet), we don't go outside. I'm relieved that I have the weather as an excuse so I don't feel guilty about not going outside (this happens MUCH more since the baby was born, and I am REALLY trying to play outside more as she gets bigger).

One reason that I am happy to stay inside all day is then it's ok for us to wear our pjs ALL DAY LONG! We've been having REALLY cold weather for the past few weeks, and on most days we just stay cozy and comfy in our pjs.

O loves to dress herself and her choices are VERY interesting. I wish that I shared pictures of her on this blog because her combinations are hilarious. She almost always has on a costume, leotard, etc and rarely wears "real" clothes at home. I let her wear her choice of clothes when we go my mom's house, but I try to give her some direction if we are going out and about.

My baby rarely goes to bed before 11 pm. It's 12am now, and she is sleeping peacefully in my arms. I've been rocking and nursing her for almost 3 hours. I love it, and I don't want to put her down. However, it would be nice to put her down occasionally...

We live in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors and no kids nearby. I worry about O not having friends to play with. We are looking for houses in a small town about 30 minutes away because we don't think it's such a good thing for our kids to grow up in such an isolated area. However, there are not many houses for sale, and I am feeling very discouraged.

On Wednesday nights when I am getting things ready for work the next day, I often feel a sick dread of leaving the kids. However, a not so small part of me looks forward to going to work because work is so much easier than being a SAHM. I enjoy talking to my work friends, and I love what I do (I'm a School Psychologist).

I sometimes dread looking at the blogs on my google reader because I know there will be so many things that I want to do that I don't have time to do. I'll keep putting off checking it, but I don't want to miss any great ideas, so I try to catch up late at night after everyone is asleep. As I'm reading the titles of posts, I try to click on as few as possible. I have SO MANY starred items that it is ridiculous, and I almost cringe when I star more posts.

When reading other homeschooling blogs, I occasionally feel a sense of panic when I see something that I haven't done with O. I talk myself down by reminding myself that she is only 3, and the most important things that we do are reading and playing. All of the other stuff is just filler :)

My house (especially since the baby was born) is often a disaster. I'm less stressed when it's clean, but it seems impossible to get a handle on things. I don't remember the last time I mopped. It's been a LONG time. I realized today that I'll have to start mopping regularly once the baby starts crawling...maybe she'll be a late crawler like her big sister (10 months) :)

I REALLY want to be organized, but organization eludes me.

I'm really bad about starting projects and not finishing them for months. I have file folder games that I printed in MAY that I have not finished making. That's just ridiculous.

I have many more boxes of craft supplies than I have room for. One of my New Year's resolutions is to use what I have instead of buying more craft supplies. However, that requires organization in order for me to know what I have...

Although, I've never let O watch tv during the daytime, I've started letting her watch 2 videos (Letter Factory and Signing Time) during the afternoon instead of taking a nap (every other day).

O is a candy fiend. We don't let her have candy often, but she loves it. We have a container of candy from Christmas in our pantry, and we've been letting her have one piece a day. I'm not even sure how that started...

I don't like to cook and I hate baking. When I cook, I cook a lot, and we eat leftovers for as long as possible. I really love my crockpot because I can cook healthy meals without feeling like I'm cooking at all.

I hate to dust, so I don' house is very dusty :) I'm teaching O to dust, and I'm hoping that she'll love it!

I still have Christmas crafts to do (photo ornaments mounted on foam core board and memory book ornaments). I'm hoping to finish them by the end of January.

We have JUST gotten O on a consistent bedtime schedule. She goes to bed around 8:30. We are still flexible, but we all like having a set bedtime for her, and we really enjoy reading together as a family every night.

We use disposable diapers when we are on vacation or are out and about. Sometimes it's just easier to throw the poop away.

It's not uncommon for me to realize late at night that ALL of E's diapers are dirty. (I just sent Elliott to find diapers for me to have for the night and there are none...guess it's sposies tonight).

We had a mouse in our house. He's gone, but we are still finding evidence of his existence. He wreaked havoc on my many bins of craft materials.

We've gotten incredibly slack with EC since it's been colder. I don't remember the last time I put E on the potty. I'll do better once it warms up...

I sometimes realize that I'm doing something just so I can blog about it. I HATE that, and it makes me think I should stop blogging.

I started this blog to document our activities (to one day turn into a book for the kids) and to share ideas. It started off being lots of fun, but lately it often feels more like an obligation than fun.

Ok. That's probably enough. This was fun to write...kind of like a catharsis :) Feel free to chime in with your confessions...I really like comments!

A Drawing of "Baby Sister"

O loves to sell things, so she decided she'd sell artwork a few nights ago. I was her first customer, and I requested that she draw a portrait of E. Luckily, she was taking custom orders, and she got right to work. I LOVE her drawing, and she was very proud!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Art Night

We're trying to have Family Art Night once a week (or every other week) and last Saturday was the night! I planned for us to cut paper snowflakes. I folded the paper for the snowflakes to simplify the process and had them in a basket on the table. However, O and Elliott had other plans :) O immediately asked if she could make whatever she wanted. Of course, I said yes. She had a great time cutting and tearing the leftover scraps of paper from the snowflakes. She mentioned that she was making a mask, and Elliott immediately began making a mask and was very involved in that. I finally convinced O to make a few cuts for a snowflake. She unfolded it and seemed quite proud. Then she started tearing it to make it even more original :) E sat in the table in the Bumbo and enjoyed watching all of the craziness. It was a fun night, and I'm looking forward to our next Family Art Night.

Let's Explore...

is closing :( Everything is 40% off, but you should hurry because there's not much left.

Snow Sensory Tub

We've been hoping and wishing for snow, but it looks like it's not going to happen. So, we made our own snow! Fake snow is better than no snow! I bought a snow cone maker (from WM) at then end of the summer (super cheap!), and O was THRILLED to make snow on Tuesday. At first she was only interested in eating the snow, but once she had her fill she was ready to play! She scooped and poured a little, but she especially enjoyed playing with her miniature plastic animals in the snow. She pretended they were hunting in the snow for food. It was fun to watch her play and listen to the story she told as she played :)