Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tot School Snow!

Tot School
Xander is 22 months old.

We had a snow week! This was Xander's first real snow. It snowed the year he was born, and then again a little snow last year, but this week we had real snow and Xander was old enough to go out in it. I know that in other parts of the country the few inches we got is nothing, but here in western Washington that amount of snow shuts everything down. We just don't have the snow plows and sand trucks to keep the roads clear and lets face it, no one here can drive in the snow! So Ryan was home from work and we all went out and played in the snow. 

We don't have a snowsuit for Xander so we put plastic bags over his legs and then a pair of Ryan's socks over those to help make him more waterproof. Oh, and a pair of Xander's socks for mittens-- where do you find mittens his size?

Xander was rather puzzled by the snow but really liked it when Ryan threw snowballs to our dog McCoy.

Notice that Poppy Seed stayed at the edge of the house where there was no snow--- she doesn't like it. Neither do our chickens, they refused to come out of the coop until the last day when the snow was melting away.

Other than fun in the snow we had a lazy week here, he mainly read and drew and played with his toys. To see what other tots are doing visit Tot School. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tot School Green Monsters

Tot School
Xander is 22 months old.

This week we were working with monsters and the color green. Our theme was built around the book Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley.

This is a GREAT book! Xander just loves it, and it was just what I was looking for to reinforce the names of the parts of the face.  After reading the book we colored monster faces printed out from the author's website.

I cut out the faces and then glued them onto lunch bags to make puppets. We've played with them throughout the week. One is now missing the hair since Xander decided to tear it all off while saying "broke" each time-- yippee a new word!

To learn about the color green and just to have fun we participated in Muffin Tin Monday and had a green lunch.

Xander loves GRAPES!

Monday evening Xander helped me make some short-cut pumpkin cookies. If this were a decade ago I would call these "muffin top" cookies, because they were soft and tasted like a yummy muffin, but that term has a whole different unappetizing meaning nowadays. They were very easy to make, and called for ingredients you can keep in your pantry, and tasted very yummy but they did get a sticky texture the next day so I recommend making them when you have enough people to go through them quickly. Xander really liked these cookies and he's a VERY picky eater so that's really saying something.

Eating while totally fascinated watching Mickey and the Beanstalk on YouTube.
I printed out and laminated (yep, FINALLY used my laminator!) the Happy Monsters Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1. There is a puzzle, pattern matching, size sequencing, shape recognition, and counting cards (I think I listed everything). Most of the cards can be used in several different ways. Xander is really not ready for most of this stuff, which meant that a lot of it wasn't used this week but that this Tot Pack will be useful for a long time to come. 

The puzzle interested him but it was a little to difficult for him at this point. He does NOT like it when I try to show him how things match. He did enjoy talking about the shapes and counting the monsters eyes but his favorite thing was the size sequencing monsters (which I strangely have NO photos of!). This was really the first time we talked about size this way and at first he didn't seem to understand but by the end of the week he did seem to be figuring it out. What he really loved was playing with these monsters! I printed out a book using text from Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers and a web ap to print out a stapleless book. In the space under the text I used colored pens to write the number (matching the colors to the colors of the size sequencing monsters -- if I'd done this on purpose I'd have done the largest monsters color first and then gone down in size but it was purely coincidental that the colors matched). He loved it when I read our book of the Five Little Monsters and acted out the parts with the laminated monsters. We did this over and over.

He also really loved the Shape Monster book that I made him. I saw it on Motherhood Moments. Xander really loves it when I said, "munch, munch, munch". For some reason he found that really funny.

But the best part of this entire weeks theme has been the velcro Big Green Monster face I made for him. I printed out the face and laminated it, then cut it all up and used self adhesive velcro (that my Mom stopped and got for me since I kept FORGETTING it!-- thank you Mom!) to attach the different parts of the monsters face. It was Xander's first experience with velcro but once he got the hang of it he loved playing with this face.

We were going to finish up our Green Monster week with green soup and monster cupcakes. The yummy (but very healthy tasting) vegetable soup was made and the cupcakes made but never decorated because Xander fell asleep before dinner last night and was out for the whole evening. 2 vaccinations in 2 days had just worn the poor guy out. He has since eaten cupcakes but I never did get around to making them into monsters, sort of ran out of oomph.

This week we also got out our Thanksgiving Kit from Time for Tots. And by "got out" I mean EVERYTHING! Xander didn't just do some of the activities, he opened every single bag and played with everything all over my office. I spent a long time this morning collecting everything and getting it packed back together. He had a lot of fun. We also made our Thanksgiving cards for the grandparents and great grandparents using a printout from Color with Leo.

We had a lot of fun this week, thanks for stopping by! To see what other tots are doing stop by Tot School.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Strider Bike Giveaway

One of the things we've looked at getting for Xander (possibly for his 2nd birthday but more likely in the spring) is a Strider Running Bike. They look like such a great way to learn how to balance and prepare for bike riding. Right now The Simple Things is hosting a giveaway for a Strider bike. Go on over and enter to win.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

This week for Tot School our theme is based on the book Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. We're doing activities with monsters and with the color green. I was planning on doing a green lunch but I don't have a 6 section muffin pan. Then at the store they had these free (with purchase of Jello) holiday Jello molds and they even had them in green! Perfect size for toddler servings! I realize that traditionally holiday molds wouldn't go with a monster theme but I'm telling you the giant Santa head (no body!) was rather monstrous!

Xander was very happy to find out that there were grapes for lunch. Along with the grapes we had steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus, spinach tortilla wrap with baby spinach, ham, and cheese, and for dessert there was pistachio pudding. Xander ate grapes, broccoli, and pudding. I didn't expect him to try the wrap but I hoped he'd try the asparagus because I think he'll really like it.

To see what is in other family's muffin tins visit Muffin Tin Mom. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Toy Giveaway at the Taffy Pull

I know, short notice, but My Life on the Taffy Pull is having a toy give away. It ends tonight so hurry on over there for your chance to win.

Tot School

Tot School
Xander 22 months old.

I said last week that we didn't make any Tot School plans because Ryan was hopefully taking vacation days and we might be busy doing stuff. Well, he took vacation and sick days because he got hit with a tummy bug, so we didn't go out and do anything (it was rainy most of the time anyways) but we did have a lot of fun staying in. 

This week:
  • Xander read a lot of books and had a lot of books read to him.
  • We set up his train track for him (he can play with it anytime but he isn't able to make the track do a figure 8 on his own) a couple of days.
  • He drew lots of pictures with both crayon and pen (before he didn't like using the crayons).
  • He played with Playdoh and I don't think he tried to eat any this time.
  • He went for a long walk with Ryan.
  • He worked on his number puzzle several times and his shape puzzle too.
  • While doing the shape puzzle he said "door" for the first time pointing at the door in the puzzle and then our front door!
  • He has become MUCH more cooperative about diaper changes! Instead of running and hiding and throwing tantrums most of the time this week he has come over and sat down in front of us for the diaper change!
  • He watched the entire Toy Story 3 movie though he didn't get emotionally invested in it, unlike his Mom who sobbed when the toys weren't loved anymore.

Here he is saying "car" and when he finished this puzzle he said "door" for the first time. (the yellow around his mouth is from a pen-- he's still not so great about remembering pen goes on paper ONLY!)
Xander reading one of his library books (I'm not sure why he put the happy face stickers in his hair).
Here's some video of him reading that book to himself (Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough). He's saying, "a car" over and over. I was holding my webcam as far as the cord would allow to film him reading in his little corner of my office.

To see what other tots are doing please visit Tot School. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tot School No, Stop, Not That!

Tot School
Xander is 21 months old.

As I said in last weeks post I didn't have anything planned for this week, which meant not much got done. Or at least not much in the way of planned activities. We colored, read books, and played a lot. Xander has defeated the locks on our baby gates, Ryan added a new one to the area where my computer is but Xander quickly figured out how that lock works too. So I've been trying to make my "office" area more Xander friendly. I've set up a little corner for him with his chair and a little stool as a table, a book case for his library books. The problem is this is my office area and crafting area, I have all these little plastic drawer units and Xander keeps emptying them. I thought he'd learn to stick to one drawer and the others were off limits (he's done real good with the dvd shelf we moved back into the living room) but that hasn't happened. So it's been a week of constant "no" this and "no" that and I'd really like to move on from this but unfortunately our house didn't miraculously grow more storage so I'm just going to have to wait it out until Xander can learn--- my head might explode before then though. 

I read this great blog post this week about seeing everything that's happening instead of just what you're looking for (in this case Xander's annoying behavior), so I am trying to be aware of the good things Xander does. Which is hard when you're trying to write a blog post and have a killer head ache and he keeps trying to get in the drawer with the paints and you keep saying no and his response is to scream at the top of his lungs. Deep breath! 

Some really cute Xander things:
He now has two Tummy Tickler juice bottles, Toby the Tram and Thomas the Tank Engine. He's been playing with the bottles-- bashing them into each other, making them race, having them "talk" to each other. It's very cute.

One of the words he says now is "clock", unfortunately the L sound is missing and scales at the grocery store are round with numbers all around. Picture a crowded bulk food aisle and a toddler pointing and screeching "cock, cock". (pause while we wait for my sister to pick herself up off the floor where she has fallen overcome with laughter) I kept saying to him (loudly), "it sure does look like a clock but it's a scale!".

He also likes to say "car" now and wants to stop and point at every single one. Which makes walking through parking lots a very slow activity.

The other day he was tired and cranky so I told him to get in his bed and go night-night and HE DID!

He's pretty good about putting things back where they belong-- when he feels like it. Most the time he just leaves a wake of destruction in his path but sometimes he surprises me by putting the books back on the shelf or a toy in it's place.

The other day he put some of his stuffed animals on the shelf and then would walk past them and wave and say bye-bye to them. 
Didn't actually plan for this coming week, sorta on purpose as Ryan has extra days off so depending on the weather we might be going places or doing stuff around the property.  Some upcoming theme ideas are going to be about Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and I want to do something with the parts of the face. He used to be really good about pointing to the correct part but now he calls everything "eye" so I'd like to work on that. Any book or activity suggestions? (Other than Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes cause he doesn't seem to like that book right now.)

So that's what we're up to, check what other tots are doing by visiting Tot School.

Oh yeah, another great thing about Xander at this age is you can gift shop for him and he is clueless! He sat on my lap as I purchased train stuff off of ebay and he'd be excited at seeing a train he recognized but it won't spoil his Christmas and Birthday. I also got him the cutest outfit for Christmas day-- corduroy pants with a matching red sweater with a train on it and this adorable super hero pajama set (with cape) for his birthday--- he was right there while I bought them and didn't notice a thing! I'm pretty sure that won't be the case next year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tot School Pumpkins

Tot School
Xander is 21 months old.

We've had a couple weeks of a really nasty cold. I'd like to say that we still got a lot accomplished and worked on activities that I had planned but that would be a lie. We lay around and watched a lot of tv and went through boxes of tissue! We did make pumpkin cards to send, which I didn't get a photo of, read a lot of pumpkin books, which I didn't take photos of. Sigh. Of the pumpkin books we checked out of the library my favorites were Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White and Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell

We didn't make the pumpkin calzones that I'd planned for dinner one night but we did have pumpkin pie (though Xander now doesn't like it and refused to even taste it!) and we also had baked apple mini-doughnuts which Xander does like to eat.

We enjoyed the pie even if Xander won't try it.

A big change in Xander's drawing, he now covers the entire piece of paper and turns it over to draw more. One evening Ryan was working at the table with his laptop and Xander was drawing next to him and he covered 6 pages front and back and spent about half an hour drawing. His drawings are still just squiggly lines, no actual shapes, but before he'd only draw in one little area (I'd rotate the paper so he'd cover the whole sheet) and he'd want to stop after only a short time. This was a big change.

On Halloween Xander and Ryan made jack o' lanterns and Xander got to wear his new costume/pajamas (we didn't go out). He loves his new pj's, they really glow in the dark! And he loved the plastic jack o' lantern that was supposed to hold treats for our visitors (we only had one!) so I ended up putting the candies in a paper bag so Xander could play with the pumpkin.

Didn't get around to planning anything for this coming week or ordering any books from the library (I even made our menu and shopping list in the car on the way to the grocery store yesterday) so I'm not sure what this first week of November will bring. And on that gloomy note (sorry, this cold really just wiped me out and has left me in a gloomy mood- must feel better and get cheerful!) check out what other tots have been doing by visiting Tot School.