Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blessed in the bustle...

It was a typical evening. I was bustling about the kitchen trying to get dinner ready. Brown the meat, boil the water, add the sauce, "oops" almost forgot the pasta... Kick the dolly, toy bucket, plastic bowl out from under foot, "ouch" stepped on the toy shovel...Noise of the lawn mower, the radio, the slap, slap, scrape of the fly swatter... Need to the wash the dishes, running out of room on the counter...

Then I stopped, I looked up, I drank in the meaning. First I saw my almost 2 year old, adorable curly haired sitting on Daddy's storage box of church papers, intently pretending the fly swatter was a broom. Then the baby, contentedly curled up sleeping in her bouncy seat on the kitchen table. Then the wonderful man in my back yard, strong and steady, maneuvering the lawn mower with precision.

Yes the counter was messy. The toys were in the way. The sounds and movement of business, abounded. But I was struck by the blessing. I am living the dream.

Never thought this would be a picture of bliss:

But Ahhh...just had to spend a few minutes soaking it all in....

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:11

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hit and miss Tot School

Well the last 2 weeks were a bit crazy as I had some kooky medical things going. But all is well now. We did do some Tot School.

We did a lot "C" things as babydoll has quite the fascination w/ the letter "C". (I think it might be because it is also a word she uses, a lot; "See Mommy?" "See Daddy?"

"C" is for car:

We did a "C" page w/ cars on it. Then I got out the box of matchbox cars. We talked about colors and sizes, counted some of them, and then had fun crashing them off the coffee table.

Here she is coloring her car pages. We also did the "c" word puzzles: car, cat, cake, and cow. We did some "C" books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and My First Book of Colors


Babydoll loves to help clean. And since I hurt my back and we were having a big party on Saturday, she got to "help" when Grandma came to the rescue. Here she is vacuuming w/ gma.
Other Stuff
We also did wooden letter blocks, and her "ABC" agriculture coloring book. Of course we did her favorite putting tri-color rigatoni in the shaker, she actually did some sorting by color this time! And we sorted through my fabric scraps so I can make her some letter bean bags for her birthday, it was a good time to talk about colors, textures, and sizes (too big, too small).
Favorite Picture
My favorite pic from the last 2 weeks has to be the one her aunt took when we went out to dinner w/ our extended family. She had to wear her cool sunglasses, and is starting to enjoy the crayons restaurants provide. (Mommy makes similar faces when she concentrates)
We are going to be focusing on farm animals in the coming 2 weeks since lots of time will be spent at the county fair. To see what others are doing in Tot School check out 1+1+1=1!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Starting Tot School

I have been trying to figure out something to do w/ babydoll. I know that she needs some one on one time w/ mommy. And I want her to have some opportunity to learn. In my "daily schedule" I even put a space for an educational activity. But I was having trouble coming up w/ ideas and implementing them successfully. Then I found Totally Tots and learned about Tot School.

The revolutionary thing about tot school for me was the word exposure. I am not trying to teach babydoll lessons but am trying to expose her to learning. With my academic inclination I felt like I needed to test her each time. Like if she didn't repeat that the duck was yellow it wasn't working. But that is not the point, having fun is the key and exposure to skills and concepts is the accomplishment.

So we started last week. Though I won't always do a theme, 4th of July seemed like a great idea. Especially since we had lots of 4th of July activities planned for the end of the week. We ended up doing not 4th of July stuff too.

So this is some of what we did:


We did U, S, and A letter sheets. They were easy to design on publisher. I just put the letter and one picture (like an umbrella on U) on the page. She colored these w/ red and blue crayons. Then I did another page w/ 3 other different umbrellas. I cut them out - she seems little for scissors, but watching me use her kids scissors is exposure. Then I taught her how to use the glue stick to glue them on. She was surprisingly good at it. I tried to not help as much as possible. She got the sequencing of the task down great! Here she is with her letter sheets:

We also did a parade one day. I got her toy drum and recorder and showed her how to march. The parade mostly consisted of her watching me march back and forth while I played the drum. She found it quite entertaining. When she finally decided to join in she slipped on the tile. In an effort to avoid tears I said a big "swoosh" as she slid across the tile on her bottom. She thought this was hilarious and she ended up running back and forth across the room sitting on the tile and saying "swoosh" As I said the point is fun. And she did go to the parade on Saturday. Though there wasn't much marching, mostly splashing, as it rained all day.

Learning "Toys"

We have a great set of word puzzles that I have now introduced her to. Before discovering Tot School I thought I needed to wait a few years to break this out. But I realized even though she couldn't read the words she loves puzzles. And the exposure to the idea of letters making words would be great.

Fine Motor

I found a great idea for putting pasta into a Tupperware shaker. she loves to carry the shaker around so I figured we might as well do something useful w/ it. I used tri-colored rotini, so we could practice colors too. She loved it! She took the pasta out and put it through the little hole for a long time. Then she started having more fun dumping it in and out. She even collected several other containers to dump into. It ended up entertaining her while I was making dinner too.

If you look behind her, on the fridge you can see the flag we made w/ construction paper practicing her new gluing skills too.

We also had a verse for the week, Psalm 119:45, posted on the fridge. Although babydoll didn't even repeat it, exposure is the key and Mommy memorized it!

We did good for the first week. We both enjoyed it and it didn't take a lot of extra time. We actually just made better use of our time.