Chasing Cheerios

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thank You

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and support.  All of the comments and emails have been wonderfully supportive to our family.

Elliott will have to have surgery to remove the brain tumor.  The surgery needs to be soon.  I have taken up the full-time job of researching to make the decision as to which hospital and surgeon are the best fit for him.  I've been on the phone, computer, or at neurologists appt almost constantly since Monday.  I'm looking forward to tumor free brain for Elliott and a nice vacation for all of us once we get on the other side of this.  I can't wait to breathe that huge sigh of relief.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Prayers for a Healthy Brain and Peaceful Hearts

We have recently received the devastating news that Elliott has a brain tumor.  We are currently in the "not knowing" phase of diagnosis which is extremely difficult.  We have very high hopes that his tumor is benign, and we also pray that it will not require surgery.  Please pray for him to be healthy, and if you don't pray, please send thoughts of peace and healing.  We need all that we can get.  Thank you.

Thank you for all of the wonderfully supportive comments and emails.  Just to be clear...Elliott is the husband and daddy of the family not the baby E(2).  Also, to add to the drama of the week, I fell down the stairs last night and have a sprained or possibly broken ankle.  However, on the bright side, it was  a distraction and a little bit of comic relief...I couldn't stop laughing at my extreme stupidity... *sigh*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Typical Morning

I receive many, many emails asking what a typical day looks like for the girls and me.  I never really know how to respond because each day is different, and I'm always trying to find a schedule that really suits us.  However, we've fallen into a fairly typical morning routine that I'll share with you...

After E(2) and I drop O(5) off at Montessori Preschool, we come home and do housework for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Usually, E loves to help me.  She enjoys carrying the dirty clothes to the laundry room and stuffing them into the washing machine.  She likes pushing in the drawer containing the detergent and closing the door of the washing machine.  She also loves to put the wet clothing into the dryer, clean the lint filter, and close the dryer door.

Another favorite "chore" is cleaning the toilets.  When she hears me cleaning the toilets, she always runs to help.  She's gotten pretty good at scrubbing cabinet doors, and I'm planning to teach her to dust.  She does a good job with the power sweeper, and she's getting better about picking up her toys and books.

After we finish cleaning, we go upstairs (our laundry room is downstairs and the den and kitchen are upstairs) to play.  While I straighten up the kitchen, she has independent free play.  She usually chooses to build with her unit blocks, play pretend with her small animals, or look at books.

After I finish in the kitchen, I sit down with her near her Montessori shelf.  If she's interested in doing Montessori "work", we'll sit together on a rug and choose work.  She usually only chooses 2 or 3 works per day (if she chooses any at all).  If she is interested in working on her letter of the week, I'll read to her from our book and offer letter activities to her.  We usually spend no more than 45 minutes per day doing Montessori or letter of the week "work."  Often, we'll spend our time doing puzzles and playing with blocks and completely forget about the letter activities and Montessori shelf work :)

Here's the work that she chose one day a few weeks ago...

She loves cutting!

It's been months since she chose these fine motor works, and I was glad to see that she still really enjoys them.

At around 11am, we'll usually gather a bunch of books and snuggle on the couch for our morning read-a-thon.  This is our favorite part of the morning, and we usually read aloud for about an hour before going to pick O up from school.

When the weather is nice, we spend less time cleaning and doing activities and more time outside.  I love to take E for daily kayak rides in the lake.  I really miss those rides, and I can't WAIT until the weather is nice enough to get back into that routine!

So, there's a typical morning for E(2) and me.  It's pretty simple.  I feel strongly that most of her time should be spent engaging in pretend play, playing outside, and being read to from high quality children's books.

Oh, and we also spend lots of time listening to music and dancing!  She has been completely obsessed with The Nutcracker Ballet for months, so we play lots of ballet music and spend LOTS of time dancing!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Have You Seen My Sister? (handmade book)

O(5) and I started making this book for E's 1st birthday.  She's almost 2 and a half, and we just finished it about a month ago!  I'm not really sure how that happened, but I'm glad to have it finished and E(2) loves it!

To make the book, we started with a blank book from  Then we just decided what we wanted to say and printed the words on photo paper and glued them into the book.  We used pics from a calendar for the animal pics.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

South American Pin Map and Flag Pins

I bought the South American map and flag pins from Montessori Print Shop, and I LOVE how it turned out!  Actually, everyone loves this map...even our cat!

It was very easy to put together.  I laminated the map before tacking it to the cork board.  I decided not to laminate the flags, and they've held up fine.

Both of our girls love flags and maps, so this is a great activity for them.  I love to hear E(2) trying to pronounce the names of the different countries.

I've just bought the maps and flag pins for the rest of the continents, so we can use them as we travel around the world with our cultural exchange packages.  Hopefully, I'll find the time to print them and put them together soon!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunset Painting

O(5) sat at our kitchen table and painted while watching the sunset over the lake last week.  I've decided to keep our liquid watercolors in the center of our table, so that they are easily accessible (and they are so pretty in their wooden holder).  While she was painting, she said "I'm painting the sunset how I see it...not how everyone else sees it."   Love her!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Multiplication Board

When I saw the homemade multiplication board on Montessori Print Shop's blog, it reminded me that I never posted about our multiplication board!  (so many things to little time and motivation!)

Here it is...

To make our multiplication board, I took a picture of O(5)'s multiplication board at school.  I printed it and laminated it.  I taped it to a cork board and added 100 push pins (I could only find plain wooden push pins, so I colored the tops with a red sharpie).  I velcroed plastic number squares to the side, and we were done.

O requested that I make this multiplication, but she hasn't used it much since I made it.  She'll probably use it more next year during homeschool...there's just so little time for things like this when she's spending her mornings at school and her afternoons playing.   (I really like the board on Montessori Print Shop's blog better than ours, and I'm tempted to make another one...we'll see).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's By Sweet O

I had some cute ideas for Valentine's for O(5) class, but she had other ideas.  My idea didn't involve any cutting or pasting, and that's just no fun!

So, we searched the internet for printable Valentines, and found these adorable girls at The Black Apple.  O cut the girls and hearts out and glued them to heart doilies.  She was VERY proud of her fancy and beautiful Valentine's!

Monday, February 13, 2012

"D" Week

E(2) received her "D" ABC Fun Pack a few weeks ago, and she really enjoyed it!

I'm going to try to stay on each letter for a week rather than 3 or 4 weeks like I've done in the past.  The problem is that I keep thinking of more and more fun activities, so we are slow to move on to the next letter.  E already knows most of the letters, so a week is more than long enough to focus on one letter, and I really want to finish all 26 letters before she turns 3 (because I already have her next "subscription" planned, and I want to be finished with the ABC fun pack before I start the next fun pack subscription).

So, here's D...

Tracing the sandpaper letter d.

She loved playing with the D objects, and she especially loved the dogs, dolphins, and ducks.

E's favorite thing in her ABC fun pack was the dinosaur egg!  She put it in a jar of water and waited for it to hatch.  She kept asking "Can I take it out now?"  30 seconds later "Now?"  and on and on and on... She was thrilled when she saw the dinosaurs head breaking through the egg the day after she put it in the water!

She loved spreading out the dinosaur cards and looking at and talking about them all. 

She loved playing with her "Dress-Up Dolls" (paper dolls). 

We played with our mama duck and baby ducklings and read the companion book. 

We found diamond shapes around the house using our diamond "window."

E really loves her dog stickers and sticker book. 

We had fun looking at dinosaur reels using the viewmaster. 

We read Dancing with Degas every day.  She LOVES this book!

E(2) has 3 books from the Mini Masters series, and she loves all of them (and we hope to get more of them for Easter and birthdays!).  A few days ago, she said she was doing something (I can't remember what) "like Picasso."  Just last night she pointed to a pic of a Degas' painting of ballerinas and said "that's Degas!"