Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Tooth

Ella cut her first tooth today! I wasn't expecting it this soon. Arin was almost 7 months before she gother first one. Ella will be 5 months tomorrow. It'll be a few days before we can get a picture since it just broke through this afternoon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ella's New Favorite Chair

Ella will be five months old at the end of the week. Yesterday, we took Arin's old walker out of the shed. Today, I took the rug out of the living room (we're spring cleaning!) and put Ella in the walker. She LOVES it. At first she could only walk backwards in it, but now she can go forwards too. She has been keeping herself entertained in the chair for a long time, which is great because I have been able to get a lot accomplished today :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Field Trip

Today, a few of us from Arin's playgroup went on our first field trip together. We've done the normal playdates - home playdates, Chick-Fil-A, Chuck E. Cheese, the library, etc., but today was the first real field trip. We went to the airport. It was so much fun! They had a helicopter there that they let the kids tour. We watched planes take off, had a picnic, and just a great time catching up with each other. Seems like it has been so long since we've been at a playdate. Arin has been non-stop talking about her friends since we left.

In this picture, I wanted to compare Arin's size to the tire. As you can see, she is not thrilled about this idea. It's because she just wants to be with her friends, and I am taking that time away from her!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Learning the Colors in Spanish

Today we played a game to help reinforce the names of the colors in Spanish.

white = blanco
yellow = amarillo
red = rojo
pink = rosa
green = verde
blue = azul

I cut strips of cardstock - two of each color. Then, I looked through magazines and cut out faces of men and women. I glued one face per strip. Then, on one strip, I wrote the English name of the color and on the other strip, the Spanish name of the color.

Then, I sang this song (to the tune of Where is Thumbkin?)

Where is rojo?
Where is rojo?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, ma'am?
Very well, I thank you.
Run away.
Run away.

We sang the song for each of the colors. When it says "Here I am" Arin would pick up the correct color. On the second "Here I am", I would pick up the correct color. I used faces of men and women to reinforce ma'am and sir according to the correct gender. There have been several times when Arin calls her daddy a ma'am and me a sir. On the "How are you today, ma'am/sir" and the "Very well, I thank you" lines, we held our strips of paper up to each other, like they were talking to each other. For the "Run away" line, we put the strips behind our backs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Reading Thing 2009

I followed a link in the comment section of another blog and it brought me to the blog called Callapidder Days. It was the first time that I had seen this blog, so I looked around it for a little bit and found a reading challenge that the blog owner is hosting. The challenge is running from March 23rd until June 23rd (Spring!). We are to write down a list of books that we want to read, finishing reading, etc. during that three month period. Then, write a post (as I am doing now) to name the books on my goal list and link it to her website on March 20th and then write another post on June 23rd and tell if I met the goal, etc.
So anyone that knows me personally knows that I do not read books for enjoyment. I know, sad, but true. I read a ton of books to Arin and Ella, but I just cannot get into it myself. On the other hand, I cannot get enough of reading blogs and surfing the internet and reading articles. A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law was here visiting for the week. She loves to read books. In the evenings and really throughout the day, she could be found in her chair reading through one of the books in a huge stack of novels that she brought with her for a five day stay (it was really amazing to me how much she read!), and I would be on the couch reading through one of my favorite blogs!
With that said, I am going a slightly different direction with my reading. I don't think "read 100 blog posts a week" would be acceptable on this challenge, although I could do that easily! So I have decided to take my love of reading to my girls and incorporate that into this challenge.
Last week, I decided to see how Arin (two and a half) would respond to me reading a chapter book to her. We check out a couple dozen children's books from the library at a time and she wants me to read those to her in one sitting, so that's why I decided to try the chapter books. I started with Little Town on the Prairie. I really wanted to start with Little House in the Big Woods, which is the first book in the Little House on the Prairie series, but I did not have that book. We read the book while Ella was napping (we read a lot of the children's books while Ella is awake to hear them too), so this was special one-on-one time for Arin and me. She sat still and quiet through three chapters, which was impressive to me. I don't have the book in front of me, but I know it was more than 20 pages of text with only the rare sketched drawing thrown in here and there.
Arin and I also have our own personal reading challenge that we have posted as a label on here "100 Books Before Kindergarten" and "100 Favorite Picture Books". I decided to keep on track with those challenges, we would incorporate them in with our Spring Reading Thing 2009 challenge.
So here is our list of books for the 3-month challenge:
chapter books for me to read to Arin (thanks to my mom for letting us borrow these books)
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
Farmer Boy
Randomly Selected Books from 100 Books Before Kindergarten List
ABC, Like Me!
Amazing Grace
An Extraordinary Egg
Book! Book! Book!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?
Caps for Sale
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Come on, Rain!
Daisy 1, 2, 3
Fancy Nancy
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Goodnight Moon
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Jump Frog, Jump
Mouse Mess
Mouse Paint
Mr. Gumpy's Outing
The Hat
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Randomly Selected from 100 Favorite Picture Books list
Stop that Pickle!
Princess and the Pizza
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!
The Magic Hat
Millions of Cats
Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
Miss Spider's Tea Party
Froggy Gets Dressed
Blueberries for Sal
Tikki Tikki Tembo
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
The Rainbow Fish
Chicken Sunday
Chicks and Salsa
The Dot
Bunny Cakes
Tops and Bottoms

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just a Swingin'

Cutting and Number Recognition

My mother-in-law gave Arin a new high chair. Today was the first day that we used it. It is awesome. Before, Arin would stand on a chair at the table and do her crafts. Now, with this high chair, she can sit and see the table and also be close to the table. Thanks Grandma Peterson!

I've not done much scissor practice with Arin. In fact, I think we've done exactly no scissor practice. Several months ago, before Arin was even two, I had been using some scissors and laid them down. Of course, Arin came behind me and found the scissors and she decided to give them a try. She had on a brand new dress (first time she had worn the dress). She was trying to use the scissors, but it didn't work out so well. She ended up with a nice big hole in her brand new dress. So that was enough to deter me from allowing her to use scissors.

However, she is bigger now - two and a half! So I thought we'd give it a try again. I saw this activity on Chasing Cheerios. At first, I had to supervise pretty closely with Arin cutting the paint chips apart, but soon she was able to do it on her own. And loving it!

Today, I was looking on A Listmaker's Life blog, where I found this activity for number recognition. Ok, so her game was much cuter with little bunnies, but I wanted to use our paint chips for more than one thing, so that's what we did. The original game was for number recognition of 11-20. Arin can count to 30, but doesn't seem to recognize any numbers other than the single digits (1-9). So I numbered the paint chips 1-20 (didn't want it to be discouraging if she couldn't recognize any of the numbers). On four of the paint chips, I wrote the word hop. I wish I would have written the word clap instead. Arin was running a fever yesterday, so I didn't want her to do a bunch of bouncing today. I wanted her to still take it easy. So whenever the 'hop' cards were drawn, I just had her clap, which proved to be super fun. Anyways, first we played the game where Arin turned over all of the cards (one at a time) and said what the number was. If she got it right, it went into her pile (face up), if she got it wrong, it went back face down into the play pile. Next, I turned 3-5 cards over face up and put them in a row in front of Arin. Then, I asked her to find a specific card. "Where's the 15?" etc. She did fantastic with this, with only making a couple of errors, which surprised me because she wasn't so good at naming them herself. Finally, we played the first game again, taking turns turning over the cards. This time she was much, much better at naming the numbers herself with little or no help.

I figured we'd save this game and play it again another day. Arin had other ideas. She had so much fun cutting the cards that she asked to use the scissors again, which I let her. She shredded the cards, which was ok, because it kept her entertained for quite a while.

Uppercase & Lowercase Matching

Seeing this post of O matching upper and lowercase letters reminded me of a game that I have been wanting to make for Arin. I took water bottle lids (I was 10 short, so I will have to finish this game after we drink more water!) I put upper and lowercase letters on the inside of the cap. Then, I set out all of the uppercase letters in order in a line and gave a pile of the lowercase letters to Arin. She matched the upper and lowercase letters together. It was a little confusing since the b, d, p & q looked so similiar and the u and the n also were hard to tell apart. Otherwise, she did very well. She can now recognize all of her letter whether they are upper or lowercase. We also talked about the letter sounds as she was matching them.

New Blog in Town

There's a new preschool teaching blog that just kicked-off today. Arin was pictured in their post today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not Feeling So Well...

Last night, Arin started running a fever :( It's been 11 months since her last fever - wish it would have been longer. She is taking it easy and resting on the couch today.

Bottle Baby

Last night, I pumped some milk and tried to give it to Ella in a bottle. She wasn't so good at using the bottle. She's only ever had a bottle a handful of times and not recently. She gnawed on it a lot and drooled most of the milk out, but whenever I'd take the bottle away, she'd get worked up and want it back. She attempted holding it herself and putting it in her mouth herself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things Arin Said Today

Arin cracks me up with all the things she says, so I decided to write a couple of things down so I don't forget them.

In the mornings, both girls get in bed with me for a few minutes. We talk and read for a little bit and then start the day. Arin is such a great teacher!! This morning, she said, "Ella, my juice cup is pink. It's pink Ella and it matches my jammies. See Ella, they are pink too!" Then, she got close to Ella's face and Ella was excited and bopped her in the face. Arin says, "No, Ella, we no hit people Ella".

This afternoon, I was in the kitchen making some lunch. Arin runs in as fast as she could and said (in a voice that I could tell she was trying to make it sound like she was panicked) "Momma, where'd my phalanges go?" She had her fingers hidden in her shirt. I said, "Oh no, where did they go?" Then she got a huge smile on her face and said "Oh, here they are!" and she pulled them out of her shirt. Silly little girl.

There was an empty diaper box in the kitchen. Arin sat in it. I asked her if she was in a car. She looked at me like she couldn't believe I was asking her such a silly question. "No momma, I'm in a box!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Unplug Your Kids: Happy

This week's Unplugged theme is HAPPY.

Mommy: Arin, what makes you happy?
Arin: Uncle Todd.
Mommy: Does Aunt Candace make you happy? (Candace was in the car with us)
Arin: No, Uncle Todd
Mommy: Does Mommy make you happy?
Arin: No, Uncle Todd makes me happy.
Mommy: Do balloons make you happy?
Arin: No, Uncle Todd.
Aunt Candace: Does ice cream make you happy?
Arin: No, Uncle Todd.
Mommy: Do slides make you happy?
Arin: No, just Uncle Todd!

I wasn't sure what to do for a 'happy' project, since she only thinks her uncle makes her happy. So we did a project in teamwork with her cousins. We made the letters H-A-P-P-Y out of their bodies.

Some pictures of Arin with her uncle Todd (apparently the only thing that makes her happy).

Time Change

We were gone all weekend, so this morning, I was changing some of the clocks in the house. I took one of them off the wall and did some time telling with Arin. I need to get an easy to read analog clock without the second hand on it. The second hand kept messing her up, but whenever I would tell her to ignore that hand, she could tell what time it was. I only did 'to the hour' practice, as I haven't taught her the minutes yet. I don't have to tell her which hand (long or short) to look at - she has that all down now. Just that pesky second hand that was getting in the way.