Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baby Shower

Some of the girls from our playgroup threw a baby shower for me today. They took me to Olive Garden. It was so yummy! And so much fun! I haven't been out with friends, without Arin, in a long, long time, so it was a great treat for me. I was given such nice gifts for the new baby. I am really getting anxious to have her arrive! It was a really nice day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Toddler Theme Thursday: Leaves

This week's Toddler Theme is Leaves. Using this recipe, we made some maple leave cookies. I usually let Arin help measure the ingredients, but I mill my own wheat into flour and Arin hates the noise, so I just measured everything into bowls before calling her into the kitchen. Pouring the ingredients into the bowl is her favorite part anyway. I refrigerated the dough until it was time to roll it out, but it was still really soft and hard to work with. I have 2/3 of the dough in the freezer and we will try again later. We are planning on frosting the next batch with maple frosting.

Last night, I used tiny cookie cutters to make Playdoh leaves. I left the leaves out all night, hoping they would dry, but no luck, so I had to bake them dry this morning. Also, last night, I dipped the cookie cutters into poster paint and made patterns for Arin. After the leaves were dry this morning, Arin matched the Playdoh leaf to the correct leaf on the paper.
For the last project, Arin made a leaf necklace. She used her plastic needle and the Playdoh leaves. I think this was her favorite project for the day. She had a lot of control over it (she was allowed to pick which colors and how many leaves, etc.).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Yesterday, Arin came out of the blue and said that she wanted to go to playgroup. I told her that I'd take her today, but that she had to go to sleep first and when she woke up in the morning, we'd go see her friends. She was super excited to hear that. So we put her to bed last night. An hour later, she was still in her crib singing! So I walked in her room to check on her. She popped up and said "Playgroup!" She thought she had been in bed long enough and it was time to go see her friends! It took her another hour before she finally gave up and went to sleep. She was very excited to get to her friend's house today. She does need some practice with sharing, but she had a great time just the same.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Unplug Your Kids: Hard

This week's Unplugged theme is Hard. First, I hard-boiled an egg for Arin. Then I let her peel it. This is something that she has never done before. She thought it was fun. Next, I let her cut the egg. Also, something that she has never done before. She does not like to eat eggs. I kept trying to get her to try it. She kept replying with "Nope!"
After peeling and cutting the hard-boiled egg, we played "I Spy" using the board that I made for the "soft" theme. This time, Arin searched only for hard items, such as a crayon, buttons, coins, a shell, a rock, a bottle cap, etc. I think I need to add more items to the board because it is just so easy for her to find the items, even though it is very rare that we ever play this game.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Little Miss Fashion

Today, Arin has been enjoying playing "dress up".

All week long, Arin has been wearing her hat and her goggles around the house. What a silly little girl!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Unplug Your Kids: Sand

This week's Unplugged theme is sand. We started this project at the beginning of the week. We made an edible beach scene, using vanilla pudding (dyed blue) for the water and crushed Golden Oreo crumbs (with the filling removed) as the sand. Then we put fruit snack sharks in the water - yikes! Anyways, the camera battery died shortly after we started the project, so no pictures to post on that.

Tonight, we did another "sand" project - nothing like waiting until last minute! Using this idea, Arin made a vase. First, I colored some sand for her. Good thing that Andy collected a large baggie of sand for us at our last beach trip! While, I was baking the sand dry, Arin started painting her vase. We used tacky glue, diluted with about a teaspoon of water. After she painted the vase (she needed a little help to cover the whole jar), Arin took spoonfuls of the sand and sprinkled them on the vase. This is a messy project, but Arin had a lot of fun with it!

35 Weeks...

I am 35 weeks pregnant! I went to my OB appointment on Wednesday. Everything still looks great. The baby's heartbeat was 143bpm. This was the first week that my midwife checked for dialation. Nothing happening yet, which is not surprising and is actually good. My midwife goes on vacation all next week. Rather than seeing the physician in the office, I opted to wait two weeks for my next appointment. Then my appointments will be weekly.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Toddler Theme Thursday: Shapes

My friend over at Teaching Tiny Tots decided to start a weekly challenge. It's similar to our Unplugged projects, but geared more towards toddlers. This was the first week and the theme was shapes. Arin knows most of her shapes (with the exception of pentagon, hexagon, octogon, etc), so this was more of a review than a new learning experience. That was great though because we were able to focus our time on new games revolving around the theme, instead of actually teaching her what shapes are.

Arin's first activity was shape sorting. She had done this many times before, but never into bags (usually cups or piles). So that was new and fun for her. She likes to take handfuls of her foam beads, all the same shape or color and put them in the right pile all at once. At one time she had all blue shapes in her hand and she went to put them in one of the bags. Then she realized they were different shapes, so she took the time to correct the problem. I was happy that she caught the mistake on her own and wanted to fix it and do it the right way.

Next, we played a puzzle that Aunt Anne had given Arin earlier in the year. We haven't done school all week and Arin was happy to get back to it, but she was also testing to see how much she could get away with. She decided that I should do the puzzle for her. When I told her it was her game, she got a little moody, so I had to threaten putting the games away. That seemed to change her attitude and she was willing to participate and play the puzzle properly.

The next activity was for Arin to do some "sewing". I made her lacing cards. I have seen lacing cards several times, but it never really occured to me to make my own, until I saw it on this site. I made Arin a rectangle, a square, an oval, a circle and a triangle. First, I gave her the rectangle lacing card. Arin has never done a lacing card before. The closest she has ever come to this type of a project was making a Fruit Loops necklace and a pasta necklace. She loved this project and it'll definitely be on our activities list again in the future. Since this was the first time that she ever attempted this, I helped her by reminding her which hole to lace through next.
Those were the shape projects we did this morning. Then it was lunch time and naptime and chore time and errand time and dinner time and then we did some more projects!

For the next game, I made some quick bean bags, which I saw here. Then, I took Arin's sidewalk chalk and I drew nine shapes in the driveway (my freehand drawing isn't so impressive, but it worked just the same). Then, I had Arin throw the beanbag on the shape that I called out. She needed help with the pentagon and hexagon, but the others she got right away. We've never played this game, so she thought it was fun. After she was done throwing the beanbags, I would call out a shape and she would hop onto that shape. She had fun with both variations of the game.

Then we went back inside and I gave Arin a cake pan filled with sand (from our last beach trip). I wanted to see if she could draw shapes in the sand. She did well with the circle, but I had to help her with the other shapes, which is not surprising as she's never done this type of an activitiy before.

As I have been typing this post, Arin came up to me with her shape paper bags and foam beads (the first activity for the day) and she asked me to help her set it up. She has been entertaining herself with sorting shapes for about 10 minutes now. I love to see her being able to entertain herself!

After the sand game, we played a game of memory. I had planned to make this game using water bottle caps, but then I realized I only had 5 matching caps, so I used safety outlet covers and cut the prongs off. Usually we play matching games, but my sister had played memory with Arin one other time, so I thought we should do a refresher on that. She needs more practice, but she had fun just the same.

For the last activity, I gave Arin another lacing card. This time she picked the circle. I let her do this with no help this time. She didn't go around the circle in the right order. She was here and there with it, so in the future I will have to remind her how to go in the right order, but again, she enjoyed herself and sometimes that's what's most important.
I had planned some other activities, but we have run out of time, so we'll save those for another time - maybe even tweak them to fit a different theme.