December 21, 2008

Learning

I have been doing a lot of colour talk with Pookie lately and I think she is starting to get it.  We have also been doing starfall.com once a day and doing the letter A and B, and she will now say the A sound when I ask what A says and same with B.  I don't want to push this all on her but I do want to give her a chance to learn her colours, shapes and letters.

I was thinking once the the holidays are over each week I would pick one shape, colour and letter, and really focus on those ones.  Just like when you are teaching signs.  You don't stop using the other ones but you definitely focus on the ones you are trying to teach.  I am hoping to make some stuffed felt letters and I thought we could play matching games with them.  We could use her wooden alphabet blocks and the felt letters and match them up.  We could do starfall once a day.  I feel like she is just on the cusp of being really receptive to this type of thing.  I guess the thing is to not get discouraged if she doesn't seem to be picking it up, because as long as she is having fun it is all good.

She is also REALLY into animals at the moment (especially horses), so I think I could seize the opportunity and show her lots of different ones.  We got her more mini animals for her stocking.  This time we got the canadian ones.  I think she will really enjoy the moose, and deer since they look so much like horses. 

Another baby... when?



It seems like each week I flip flop about having another baby.  The one thing that makes this decision easy is that I still haven't gotten my first post-partum period... Pooks will be 20 months on Jan 9.  Anyways one day I feel so anxious because I want Pookie and her sibling to be close enough in age to play with... the next I am overwhelmed with how much Pookie is still a baby, and how she needs all my attention.  Then some days I feel relaxed and just figure it will happen when it happens.  I wish there was a right answer.  

Unconditional Parenting by: Alfie Kohn



I have been reading this book and I am really enjoying it.  It was highly recommended over the mothering.com.  I also bought the DVD as I thought I could get DH to watch it.  It talks a lot about why punishments and rewards/ praise don't work.

In my years teaching ballet I have noticed more and more that giving kids praise or rewards only works in the short term.  If you want to get them to really commit and to work hard for the right reason's it has to come from within and not be externally motivated.  It has been interesting to read this different perspective and to find different ways to be a support loving parent, without constantly praising Pookie.  That said it is HARD not to say "good girl" "good job".  And sometimes it does feel right to give her a high five, but for the most part I try to use other alternatives such as describing.  For example when she uses the potty I usually just say "you went pee pee on the potty".  Lately I have been back sliding but I am trying to get back on track now that Pookie is able to understand most of what we say.

December 17, 2008

Giving up... sort of

The other night I tried to put Pooks down without nursing and it was a disaster.  I ended up nursing her but she was still really upset.  I ended up crying because I just felt so discouraged.  After thinking about it I have decided to take a much slower approach and just encourage less nursing.  She is mostly sleeping in the twin bed now so that is good, in the sense that we all seem to sleep a bit better.  Also when she nurses she always pops off at the end before she has fallen asleep.  I have started nursing her while I am on the queen and she is in the twin.  She has access to my boobs but it isn't the most comfortable.  This seems to work because she seems to give up and roll over sooner.  I am hoping that eventually she will start to not bother with nursing so much, and will be fine with just nursing while we read.

Her last 2 molars that are coming in now and really causing her a lot of pain.  Things are rough and I just need to remind myself that soon it will pass just like is has in the past. 

December 15, 2008

Commercial Toys

Since I first started doing a lot of reading over at mothering.com (my favourite website), I noticed a lot of the mom's avoided branded toys.  As Pookie has gotten older it is something I have looked into more.  At first I just viewed toys with the characters on them as junkie.  Then I started really realizing how buying one toy, book etc. with a character on it could turn into needing more and more.  We have pretty much avoided all that which is easy since Pookster is so little and doesn't watch any real TV shows.  One day I was doing more reading on it and someone over on mothering.com was posting about how using those types of toys inhibits creativity.  When I read that it all came together, and I really felt like I finally knew really why I wanted to avoid them.  

When you have a doll or action figure that is a certain character, and you child watches shows with that character, reads books with that character, it usually means they end up reinacting what they have been told that character does.  When they have a no name doll, it can be anything they want it to be.

I am hoping we can avoid all that... but it is hard when people give you those items as gifts.  I am pretty fortunate that the majority of people that would buy a gift for Pookie usually ask what she needs.  


December 12, 2008

Victory!

Daddy agreed to put Pookie to bed and stick with it for 30 minutes.  Everything seemed to go well for quite a while then she got really fussy so I just went in.  Within 5 minutes of just lying next to her and holding her sippy cup she was asleep - with no nursing!  She didn't even ask.  I think maybe having Daddy do most of it helped get it out of her mind and she was just happy to see me.

I also didn't mention that last night after each time she woke to nurse (4 times I think), she rolled back down into her bed.  My theory is this will help her sleep better since I won't wake her when I roll over etc.  Plus I can more easily get out of bed in the middle of the night if needed.

Frustrated with Nursing to sleep



Last night went terribly.  I am thinking part of it is the hour drive home we had, which Pookie slept through.  That was 5:00-6:00pm.  Today I tried to do the same routine for naptime and it was all going so well... then she just WOULD NOT nap without nursing.  I spent an HOUR reading books, rocking her, singing etc.  For most part she was just whiny and fussy.  Finally she got crying really hard and I ended up nursing her.  She fell asleep within a couple minutes (pictured above).  She naps no problem for DH and my mom without nursing.  I just feel really discouraged and I am trying hard not to be angry with Pookie.  Rationally I know it is not her fault at all and I try to stay as loving and calm as possible, but inside I can feel my blood boiling with anger.  After today I just want to give up... It makes me sad because I know life will be so much easier when she goes to sleep without nurisng.  I am thinking about the future and another baby and I just want things to go as smooth as possible once I get pregnant and once a new baby arrives.

Tonight Daddy will try putting Pookie down.  He doesn't have much patience at all for this type of thing, so I am not very hopeful.... but I do think there is a chance she will go down fine for him since I won't be there. Cross your fingers for us!

Waldorf Puzzle


I really want to get Pookie one of the Waldorf style puzzles.  I think she would really enjoy it.  It is very frustrating how few quality wooden toys they sell in Toronto.  I have found a Canadian store which seems to have the best selection www.ape2zebra.ca  I think after the holidays I will order Pooks one... or two! 

New Montessori Shelf

The shelf up in Pookies room has been going unused because it is COLD in there.  I keep the heat at about 17celcius/ 62.5F, which is fine in most of the rooms except for two of them.  We basically can't use those ones in the winter and just close them off.

So I have set her up on the two bottom shelves of our bookcase in the living room.  This is working really well!  She loves her little shelf and has been doing all the puzzles that are on them right now.  She really enjoys puzzles so that is what I have been putting out for her.  

Remember those two piece cardboard matching animal puzzles from a month ago?  Well she loves them now.  She can get them together if she really tries and matches the animals with no hesitation.  It is amazing how quickly they change!

What I really like about using this shelf is that she uses our ottoman as a little table when she doesn't want to work on her mat.  It is the perfect height and size for her. 

December 10, 2008

Bedtime Nursing Update


Things are going well on the bedtime nursing front.  Pookie for the most part is going to bed without nursing.  A couple nights ago she had a melt down and nothing I did could calm her down, so I nursed her.  I was sure I had ruined the progress that we made but the next night she went down no problem.  Tonight she was fine too.  She does make me hold her sippy cup for her.  I am hoping she will take over that job eventually if she still needs it.  

I have been more aware of how often she is waking now that she is sleeping in the twin and Daddy and I are together in the queen.  She has to get up onto our mattress which is about an inch higher so that is making me more aware.  The good thing about the height difference is she often just rolls off our mattress back into hers, although sometimes she insists on staying with us, and this morning she snuggled up with Daddy... so cute.

Anyways she is waking 3 times a night, which isn't much compared to some but it is still 3 times!  I am thinking a lot about baby #2 these days and I am thinking about all the things we can do to make life easier whenever he/she arrives.  I am hoping once her next 2 molars come in she will cut the frequency of the waking.  She is sleeping more peacefully now she only has 2, versus 6 teeth coming in. 

December 5, 2008

Detox

I thought I would post a bit about the detox the naturopath recommended.  The purpose of this is to gently get rid of any toxins in my body before I get pregnant.  She recommended the "Heel Detox-Kit", which is a homeopathic detox.  You can click for more details.  I am not going to buy it until after the holidays, since it seems a bit silly to do it before!  There is a booklet that goes with it which outlines different diets you can follow while on it.

The other part is to take "Ultra Clear" which is a medical food.  It is supposed to help absorb the toxins.  I am also supposed to drink Green Tea and obviously lots of water.  She also recommended dry brushing and sauna's - although I don't have access to one, but I do work up a sweat running a few times a week.


Busy

I have been pretty busy this week, but things will calm way down next and I am hoping to stick to my goal of one blog post per day.  I am also commited to spending more quality play time with Pookie.  These past few weeks we have been so busy getting stuff done we haven't done as much playing as usual.

So bedtime is getting easier and easier.  It is now smoother than when I was nursing Pooks to sleep.  Now after she says night night to the "booba's" she fusses for a couple minutes max and has been falling asleep pretty quickly.  I am really relieved how well it is work.  I would really like for her to get out of the habit of waking on one hour after I put her down, so that is my next goal.  So far it is hit or miss with whether she will go back down without nursing.  I am just going to stick to it and see what happens.  It would be so wonderful to be able to put her to bed and be able to stay up and watch an entire movie without her waking.  Is that too much to ask?

Here is a little video of her doing a couple puzzles.  She can do the cone one with no mistakes, but of course she didn't when I caught her on camera. :P  I would really love to get her a Waldorf Nesting Puzzle.  I think she would really enjoy it.  Does anyone have one?
video

December 2, 2008

My visit to the Naturopath

So I saw the naturopath this morning, and I like her even more now!! I felt extremely comfortable talking to her and I never felt like she was judging me or like she felt like I was horrible for not having the perfect diet.

The first thing we focused on was a preconception plan to get my body in great health before I get pregnant. This is one of her specialties and I could tell she really enjoys it. After the holidays I am going to start gentle detox. It needs to be gentle so the toxins don't go into my breastmilk. She recommended I do the "Heel Detox", it comes with a booklet to explain it. She also suggested a rice based protein powder called "Ultraclear" by metagenics. This is too help absorb the toxins. She also wants me to drink green tea which I have started doing - I am determined to start liking teas! Also I obviously need to be taking a prenatal and fish oil, and work to clean up my diet like I did before I got pregnant with Pookie. She says if I also get my protein stores up before I get pregnant I shouldn't have any nausea like last time.

We also talked about my history of depression and I told her how I have been feeling just a bit off lately - like perhaps my hormones are gearing up. She recommended the fish oil and something called Neuropas by pascoe. I think she said it was from Germany and apparently she really has seen good results with it in her patients.

She also wants me to take a B-complex, and 1gram of cinnimon a day to help with my adrenal gland which is apparently on the weak side. She took my blood pressure lying down and sitting which told her that. She also looked at my tonuge and took my pulse in both wrists which has something to do with Chinese medicine. She talked quite a bit about being hot or cool.

I go back in January for a follow up and to see how my detox is going. She says she has a homeopathic remedy in mind, but doesn't want to give it to me yet because it will make my symptoms exagerated and I guess she wants to do all this other stuff first.

She also talked about doing acupuncture when I start trying to get pregnant to help the egg be super healthy, and I could tell she had lots of information for when I get pregnant and post-partum.

Anyways I really felt like I clicked with her and I felt so positive when I left. I am in the process of making Daddy an appointment. I think it will be great for him health wise and also so that he feels like he is on board with this type of approach to health.

December 1, 2008

Plan Toys Cone




I got this toy for Pookie for her first b-day even though it says 2 and up.  For some reason I thought it was the neatest thing ever and was so excited for her to get it.  Right away she really enjoyed it.  Especially inserting the green rod into the green tube.  I put it away for about a month and pulled it out tonight for her.  She did it about 8 times.  She can now put it all together on her own.  She did it once without any mistakes, and several times she completed it and would correct herself as she went.  Interestingly the time she did it perfectly was the time I didn't say anything!  I try to stay low key and just mention the colours as she picks them up.  I do find I always have the urge to help her do things, but I try my best to let her figure things out on her own.

You can see in th picture she has one black sock on.  Her newest obsession is socks.  She has been putting them on and off for the past few days.  It has been amazing watching her get better and better.  She can now get her own little socks on, and a couple days ago she couldn't.

Update on stopping nursing to sleep

It has been about a week since I first decided to try to stop nursing Pooks to sleep.  I nurse her while we read books and make sure she has had her fill before we say good-night to the "booba's".
The last two nights have been great.  She actually falls asleep faster when she isn't nursing to sleep.  My theory was that the nursing was preventing her from falling asleep because for the past several months she has to stop nursing to fall asleep.  

She isn't happy about this but she isn't traumatized or throwing big fits.  Last night she didn't cry at all she did say "no no no" but that was it.  Tonight she was grouchy well before bedtime so she did cry a bit but quickly stopped and fell asleep.  I just tell her "put your head on the pillow" and that seems to do the job.

I am so pleased with our progress I have been plotting out a plan so that hopefully by the time we have another baby night time shouldn't be too big of an issue.  The next step in my plan is to stop nursing her if she wakes up when Daddy and I are still up.  It is SUCH a pain that she often wakes up within an hour of falling asleep, so I am hoping eliminating nursing there might encourage her to sleep for a few hours straight.   I have no intention of night weaning yet.  I am fine with that.

The final step will be to distance myself as she is falling asleep.  So when I tell her to put her head on the pillow first I will put space between us, then I will sit up a bit, then I will sit further and further away, until hopefully eventually, one day, I will be able to turn off the lights, give her a kiss goodnight and leave.  I am happy to let this happen at Pookie's own pace but I feel like if I don't take the initiative it will not happen for a LONG LONG time!

November 29, 2008

Visit to the Naturopath

We had a great visit with the naturopath this week. What a difference from seeing the regular pediatrician. She wanted to know so much about Pookies background, including her birth. She observed her while we chatted and did a bit of a physical exam (more than the ped). She said she would do the rest at our next visit in 6 months for a check up.

It was nice to be able to ask questions about brushing her teeth, the bump on her head etc. and get a thorough answer. I asked her about vaccines which we stopped at 6 months and I really liked her balanced answer.

She said Pookie obivously has a strong vitality and a very strong neurological system. She commented on how healthy I feed her and how all the cuddles and love I am giving her are making her brain grow strong. It felt good to get that kind of feedback. She also mentioned that I might be interested in reading up on Waldorf eduction, which was pretty neat since I have just started doing exactly that. Apparently there is a conference in the spring at the local Waldorf school with lots of speakers on natural parenting.

She presciped a homeopathic remedy of Sulpher 6CH for Pookies rash on her face, and my homeopathic friend also agreed that sounded like a good remedy.

I am really looking forward to my own appointment on Tuesday. :)

Nursing a Toddler in public

I have been thinking about how odd it is that it feels OK to nurse a baby in public but not a toddler.  It isn't like you are showing any more skin with an older baby but the feeling is definitely different.  I do feel more self-conscious now, which I don't like but can't help.  For the most part Pookie doesn't need to or want to nurse when we are out and about.  She often does want to when we are at the Early Years Centre (free play centre) and I nurse her there.   I have had a few other mom's ask me how old she is and give me a look like I am weird for nursing her.  I have made a conscious decision not to let any looks deter me.  I often feel that maybe if another woman sees me she might feel more comfortable doing it one day or might realize that babies can and do nurse past the infant stage.

November 25, 2008

Trying to Stop Nursing to Sleep


I absolutely have no intentions of leading Pookie to wean, but what has been making me lose my mind is the ENDLESS nursing she does while trying to fall asleep.  She actually started rolling over to fall asleep several months ago.  It seems that she can't fall asleep with the breast in her mouth, but often she doesn't want to stop. 

Anyways I have really had enough.  I don't mind nursing her before bed but I really want her to start falling asleep on her own.  So my rather unthought out plan & definitely not researched plan is to explain to her that "Booba's go to sleep after books", and give it about 10 minutes (I can do anything but nurse her for those 10 mins).   If she is still upset after that and there is no hope of her falling asleep I will just nurse her.  So last night it didn't go so well... although during the process there were some hopefully moments but then she would set herself off.  Tonight... it was MAGIC!  When we said night night to the booba's she just said no a million times and basically fell asleep immediately.  Granted she must of been tired.  She was with her Grandmother today who said she had an early nap.

I am really hopeful this might work and might help make bedtime less stressful for me.  I have just been so unhappy lying there for so long nursing her.  

For her naps she basically just quickly nurses and passes right out.  I think this is because she has gotten used to napping without nursing through my mom and husband.

I am hoping tomorrow night goes OK.

My Little Ballerina



I danced for many years, up until I was 26. I trained for a while at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet school. (Got my Advanced RAD, did the Solo Seal and bombed, and did up to Intermediate in Cecchetti - for any of you that know what that all means) I went to University for dance and got my RAD teaching certificate.

Anyways all that dancing didn't do too much for my body image, which was why I wasn't gung ho for Pooks to follow in my footsteps. However she LOVES ballet! She loves dancing, she loves her ballet books, she loves watching ballet on youtub, she loves watching me teach.

I taught her how to do a plie, develope (stick your leg in the air), some arm positions, galoping, "tippy toes", skipping (which for her is marching on her tip toes) and jumping. She loves doing these things. She even taught herself how to do a backbend from looking at a picture of a ballet dancer doing one.

Once a week she comes and teaches with me for 15-30 minutes while I wait for her Dad to pick her up. She sits in her hotsling and quietly watches, occasionally signing more or pointing at something she likes.

It is pretty neat to see how interested she is in it without me pushing it on her.  Her Dad is a musician too so I think music & dance are just in her.

November 24, 2008

Christmas Dress


So that is her Christmas dress. Usually dress Pooks in comfy practical clothes.  Stretch pants, jogging pants, cotton tops and hoodies.  However for Christmas I like to go all out!  It is my one chance a year to dress her in something totally impractical.  My mom used to always get us a really nice dress for Christmas and I always loved that so I am carrying on the tradition.  I am not really keen on the flowers on this dress, but the price was right and aside from the flowers it was almost exactly like a dress at Gymboree I liked (which was $50).  Pookie really liked it actually and did a couple spins in it.  

Drawing Corner



Pookie loves to draw and I can often do a couple of emails or tidy up while she does a picture so I thought our home office would be a great place to set up a little drawing centre.  It was just a spontaneous decision, so I pulled out an old end table and just used that.  It is perfect and Pookie really likes it so far.  I got her the Melissa & Doug crayons this weekend and they are great. They are triangular so they don't roll off the table and are harder so they don't break.  They don't have any annoying paper on them either.

We put up some this little poster that came with a set of her Rosemary Wells books which she loves.  

Baby Carriers


Before Pooks was born I started buying baby carriers.  I have a Mei Tai which has been the handsdown favourite.  It is an Angel Pack and I just LOVE it.  I used it from the time she was about 3 weeks until present.  It is really comfy and easy to wear.  Even Daddy can get it on by himself.  It is reversible so it can be just brown on the outside for Daddy.  

I also have a hotsling, which I only started liking once I could do the hip carry.  I still put Pooks in it if she is feeling needy and I am trying to get stuff done.  I wear it when I am teaching ballet and she is with me.  She sits happily in it.

I have a unpadded ring sling, which I also like but didn't use as much because it was a bit more involved to put on and off.  I didn't get it until Pooks was about 5 months and I think it would of been great when she was newborn.  I am lending it to a friend. 

Finally I bought an organic cotton Cuddly Wrap (also on lend).  I got this with a gift certificate when Pookie was about 10 months.  I wish I had had it when she was newborn.  She  could still probably go in it but I thought my friend would enjoy it more with her new baby.

I love baby wearing.  We hardly used a stroller in the first year and once she started walking we just let her walk when we go out.  We bring a carrier as back up.  We do use a jogging stroller for when we run.  

I find strollers seem so over used.  I am not saying they don't have their place, but it just seems wrong when you see these newborns going from stroller, to car seat, to bouncy chair to exersaucer.   Then they end up with really bad flat head...  


Science Centre



Yesterday was Daddy's work children's Christmas party.  This year they held it at the Science Centre, which meant once it was over we could have a visit for free.

Pookie had SO much fun!  They have created a new kids area for kids under 8, and it was amazing.  I think that next year I will get a pass so we can go on a regular basis.  If I were able to homeschool Pooks it is somewhere I would want to go all the time.  I couldn't help but think how much you could learn going there on your own.  As a kid I really only went with school groups and I never got to spend time on the things that interested me.

 Pooks had the most fun in these peg-like board things where you push your body in and make an impression.  It was fun watching her play with all these older kids and hold her own.  She also enjoyed an electric keyboard they had set up with body sounds on it.  She even loved looking at the organs of the human body - she was pretty sure the liver was a hat!  We were there for about 2 hours and I am sure we could of stayed much longer.  There was a big area with all sorts of water activities.  We decided against letting her see that because then we really would of been there forever!

PS - I have to thank my Aunt K for the super cute outfit Pooks is wearing in these pictures.  The tights are from The Gap and have a bear on the bum "Bear Bottom" tights!  

November 22, 2008

Phthalate PCV Free Animals


I was at Mastermind last week - my favourite place to get Pooks toys, as they try their best to sell quality toys. I found these mini animals that are phthalate and pcv free.  I couldn't resist because Pooks seems to love anything that is tiny!  They have been a bit hit.  There are a few duplicate animals so I will often ask her to find "the other dog" or cow etc.  Her favourites are the dogs and horses.  She likes to make the horse and donkey kiss.  Mastermind also sells jungle animals and some other ones, so I might get her another pack for Christmas.

November 21, 2008

Finding a Rhythm

I loved reading Artistmama's blog about finding a rhythm to the day and also using verses.  We started doing a bedtime routine about 2 months ago when Pookie showed signs of needing it.  It has made bedtime much smoother, and we really enjoy it.  Now our mornings show signs of needing better flow.  Usually I would bring my breakfast down the basement, watch a TV show while Pooks played, and then I was more awake and we would start our day.  This isn't working anymore.  Pooks wants to watch TV - which I don't want her too, and she just seems crabby.  

Today we tried something new and it worked well.  We went to the main level and sang some morning songs - I need to find some better ones!  She did lots of drawing, and I did a bit of cleaning.  We made breakfast and then we tidied up and went up to the Montessori room and briefly did some activities.  After that Daddy woke up so we were there to give him kisses.  Finally we did lots of dancing/ ballet.  This made our morning so much more enjoyable.  I would like to add some morning yoga before breakfast, but I just couldn't get motivated today.  

My plan is to use songs/ verses for the morning, meals, bedtime and also for when we go in the car.  I think it will help let her know what is going to happen next and maybe eventually she will join in!

If you have any verses/ songs please share them or share your links!

More Water Play


Pookie is still obsessed with playing in the sink with water.... above you can see I also enjoyed it as a toddler!  The problem now is that she wants more and more and more containers to play with.  It is getting out of hand.  She also insists on having the tap run and my green-guilt kicks in like you wouldn't believe.  I try to put it on to as close to a drip as she will let me.  With all this water play she is getting really good and pouring and out of drinking out of a regular cup.  I got her some stainless steel "cups" (they are actually for dipping sauces).  They are the perfect size and so far she hasn't had any spills.

Busy Days - Naturopath


The top picture is Pookie last spring at my parents and the picture below it is me.  I am working a project which involves scanning lots of old pictures so I have had fun finding ones of Pooks and I that are similar.

Pooks still has that rash around her mouth.  It is not very bad at all but her Daddy is so worried and has threatened to do horrible stuff to me (joke) if I don't take her to the doctor.  I was resistant to that because all the doctor will do is prescribe some cream, rather than look into what is causing it.  So I decided to make an appointment to see a naturopath.  This ND works out of the midwives clinic I will use for my next pregnancy.  She specializes in children and women, and she is also a doula.  She is very AP and even pro alternative schooling.  I decided to make an appointment for myself as well and she said she could even see Pookie's Dad.   

I will be really relieved to have someone I can trust to go to when Pookie isn't well.  Since she was born I was scared into giving her antibiotics twice and honestly it is one of my biggest regrets.  It isn't that I am against them but I do think they are over prescribed, and the co-relation between their use and asthma scares me.
Both Pookie's dad and her cousin from Daddy's side have asthma (Dad not anymore).  It is actually one of the reasons I got interested in extended-nursing.  I did a lot of research on how to prevent it.

The ND has a pre-pregnancy detox program.  I am really excited to get some input on that.  Before we started TTC I really cleaned up me eating habits in order for my body to be as healthy as possible. 

November 17, 2008

Good Intentions don't always = a good day




Today I had all these wonderful intentions.  Pookie would have a dry day, we would spend lots of time outside happily enjoying nature, and we would do some fun activities together.  Unfortunately Pookie and I were not on the same page.  For some reason she decided to pee in some weird spots today.  These weren't accidents - she intentionally peed on top of her slide and then in the dog bed.  It is frustrating, but she is only 18 months and I just keep reminding myself it is normal and she is ahead of lots of children who are older than her.

Next... I have decided we need to go outside to play even when it is chilly.  I took her out and it was a disaster!  Everything was frustrating her.  She loves to hold the dog's leash and she had zero patience when the dog wasn't cooperating.  There were quite a few tears so we came inside. 

Then I thought she might like to do some of her Montessori activities... nope she wasn't interested... until she found a M&M's container and decided she would like to put water in that.  I got her set up and she poured water from various containers for almost 30 minutes.  Then she got bored and went to her Montessori shelf and brought the chickpeas over and poured them into the water.  She really liked that and it kept her busy for another 20 minutes.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back and forget about your own agenda and see what your child wants to do.   She often does enjoy it when I initiate an activity, but there are lots of days were I just need to be a passive observer, keep her safe and let her do her own things.

Great EC Weekend

We had a surprisingly good weekend on the EC front.  On Saturday I had a choreograph a ballet dance so Pookie and Daddy were on their own.  Daddy took Pookie to the mall in her undies and she did a poop at the mall.  Then yesterday she was commando the whole time we were at her cousins.  She did a pee before we went to leave and wouldn't put a diaper on for the the drive home.  I decided to chance it and let her go diaper free for the hour long drive home.  About 10 minutes into our drive along the highway she signed to go potty.  We pulled into a McDonalds and she pooped!  

She is really enjoying pulling her own pants down and up.  I am really looking forward to her "graduation".  I hopeful it will be before she turns 2.  

I really love these Ikea potties.  They are only $2.99 canadian.  Before I found them I bought the Baby Bjorn Little Potty but it is 5 times as expensive and Pookie actually prefers the Ikea one.  The one good thing about the BBLP is that it is smaller so it is better for infants.

November 15, 2008

Pookie loves her baby dolls


Pookie LOVES her babies.  I recently cleaned "little baby" and she is so happy to have 2 babies to love.  Today they have gone everywhere with her.  She wanted them to do our Montessori activities too, which caused her some frustration when they couldn't do anything without her help.  She loves pushing them in their stroller, kissing them, giving them to me to nurse, rocking, patting and dancing with them.  She is a very "attached mommy", and also enjoys wearing them.   Perhaps for Christmas I will make her some sort of baby carrier.  Her Daddy put on my mei tei on her and she loves carrying them around like that, but I am sure it would be nice for her to have one that is child sized.

She was feeling very serious about taking care of her babies when I took these pictures.  She kept glaring at me like I wasn't understanding how important her job as "momma" is.  She calls out "momma" when she sees her baby... it is her baby calling for her.  I love seeing her play like this.  It is amazing how much has changed in a year. 

Putting Books in the Slots

Pooks came up with this activity on her own!  She has these Rosemary Wells books (given to her by Aunt Terry) that come in a case with a slot for teach book.  She was putting them in on her own, so I showed her "spine up" and she quickly started putting them in spine up.  She stuck with this for quite a while.  Every so often she would stop to point to the book "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" and say "UP UP".  When I sing it to her I say the "bear went up" the mountain to encourage her to say UP as well... and she does. 

2 Piece Puzzle a no go

I went to Mastermind the other day and couldn't resist picking up these 2 piece animal puzzles.  I was so excited to show Pooks because I thought she would love it.  She really didn't have much of an interest in it.  Fitting the pieces together was hard for her, and she didn't really seem to get matching them.  Although I know she can match other things.  I think I will just leave this one on her shelf and maybe one day she will be in the mood to work on it.  

She does love those toddler wooden puzzles.  She has been doing a 3 pieces one since before she turned one, and she can do the a 9 piece shape one pretty easily.  I think what makes this less appealing it the lack of a "snap" when you put them together.  

Co-Sleeping



One of the decisions I am happiest about is co-sleeping.  We started out with our crib sidecarred to our bed.  That was great for the first 2 months when she was so tiny.  As she got bigger we used the crib less and less, until finally we went to sell our condo and took down the crib and just put her in the bed.  Pookies Dad was mostly sleeping on the couch because Pookie was such a noisy nurser.  When we moved my parents gave us a single bed and we just put that next to our queen.  Since then Pooks and I sleep in the "big bed" and Daddy in the little one.  It has been working great.  I honestly can't imagine having it any other way and I certainly can't imagine breastfeeding at night with her in another room.  This way I barely have to wake up to nurse her.  Eventually I would like her to sleep in the little bed next to us in preparation for a sibling one day.  Right now it is not possible because she is sleeping so poorly due to teething.

It might not be the most beautiful room but it works really well for us.  

Lock & Key


I remember seeing a picture in one of my Montessori Books with three locks and keys of different sizes.  I remembered I had one so I pulled that out for Pookie to try.  It was a HUGE hit!  It is not easy for her to do.  She only got it once without some help from me, but it really kept her interested.  I also attached it to the Melissa and Doug latch board to show her how it worked and she thought  that was pretty neat!

Pipecleaners & Spice Bottle



I am pretty sure I saw this one over at Chasing Cheerios.  I got the supplies at the dollarstore. The holes is the spice jar looked really small so I was worried it would be too challenging for Pookie, but it was a HUGE hit!  She is able to put a pipecleaner in every hole no problem.  She even got one of her babies to do it. You can see her trying to put the pipecleaner in the babies hand.  She then proceeded to make the baby put a couple in.  I am hoping to find a slightly more challenging fine motor activity to add to our collection.

She also worked on her pompom/ chopstick activity today.  She really enjoys that one and I think I can add a few more poms to the bowl now. 

Of course she also wanted to draw.  I think this is her favourite thing to do at the moment.  She is really getting more involved in it and using her markers and crayons in different ways.

November 14, 2008

Found the perfect kitchen


I did a bit more hunting yesterday and I found the PERFECT kitchen (click the title of this post to read up on it).  Aesthetically it is exactly what I wanted, the price is right and Pookie's dad was excited to build this one.  We are going to add a real faucet to it and I am sure my husband will add some of his own creative touches.  It is made from a $20 ikea table, with some additions.

November 13, 2008

Breastfeeding & CIO vent

So... a woman breastfed her toddler on the steps of a pool. Personally it is not something i would do... although I have nursed on the pool deck and above is a picture of Pooks nursing in the ocean! Anyways the woman was asked to go to the change room. There are a nurse-in, security guards and now it is in the news.

What I can not believe are the ignorant comments (click on the title on my blog for links). Someone compared breastfeeding in public to peeing in public. Honestly it just makes me sick. All my closest friends share the same views about breastfeeding I do so sometimes I forget how ignorant people are.

I think someone suggested giving the baby a bottle of formula. *sigh* I honestly thought people were getting it through their heads that "breast is best" and that we should be doing everything possible to make mothers able to breastfeed!

I was listening to CFRB 1010 last weekend to Dr. Lester (first and last time I will listen to his show), and he had a caller with a baby under 1 who was not sleeping through the night. He suggested Ferberization (letting the baby cry it out) and giving some formula. WTH!!! I can't believe someone would give such out of date advice. The Dad seemed really unsure and you could tell it went against his instincts. UGH! No wonder people are so ignorant when you get advice like that from a "professional".

Here is a quote from the following website :

"It has been suggested in the past that CIO is healthy for infants’ physical development, particularly the lungs. A recent study looking at the immediate and long-term physiologic consequences of infant crying suggests otherwise. The following changes due to infant crying have been documented: increased heart rate and blood pressure, reduced oxygen level, elevated cerebral blood pressure, depleted energy reserves and oxygen, interrupted mother-infant interaction, brain injury, and cardiac dysfunction. The study’s researchers suggested that caregivers should answer infant cries swiftly, consistently, and comprehensively, recommendations which are in line with AP principles. "
I could go on and on but it just seems like either people are receptive or they aren't.

November 11, 2008

$450 Kitchen


In case anyone is interested in what a $450 kitchen looks like here it is!
From their website (naturalpod.com):
"Europly carries the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ecolabel, which verifies that any wood in Europly originates from well-managed forests. These timberlands are independently certified by SmartWood, in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council, so customers can be assured that their Europly panels combine equal parts beauty, strength and environmental sensitivity. Each time. Every time.The FSC is the largest independent, third party, global forest management standard available today. FSC is readily recognized and specified by architects and designers for compliance with many emerging green building programs like LEED® and Build it Green, which call for this platinum standard of forest certification programs."

Wood Kitchen no-go


I decided that we should get Pookie a play kitchen for Christmas (the plain wood one seen above) as she loves playing with the one at the play centre. I did lots of research on which one would be best and talked to my mom who agreed to chip in for it. So... it turns out there are none sold in my price range in Canada! There is one that is very similar to the Camden Rose one but it is $450 with tax!! Other than that one the rest aren't what I had in mind. To order one from the states would cost an additional $130 in shipping.

I am pretty bummed out. However I did see a DIY one that I loved! It is the red and white one above. I am hoping Pookies Dad will agree to build it.... AND to use recycled parts. I think he is sure I am out to make his life more difficult. This is the one that I just love! http://stukatneva.blogspot.com/


November 10, 2008

Water Play

Pookie's very favourite thing to do next to reading books is "cleaning dishes", which is really just pouring water back and forth from one container to the next.  She now will push the chair in from the other room and get the blue towel we put on the floor when she wants to do.  To be honest I am always a bit disapointed when she wants to do it because it means I just have to stand there supervising (so she doesn't fall).... but it is worth it since she loves it so much.  

She has a rash around her mouth right now.  I noticed she is licking her face so that might have something to do with it.  Her Dad is really worried about it, but it seems to get better whenever I am diligent about putting on some all natural balm.   She is getting 4 teeth in at the moment, and just got a molar.  I wonder if that has something to do with it.

Wheel Barrell

I was reading something on the internet and it mentioned wheel barrells were good for pre-schoolers to do.  I thought I would see if Pooks could even do it.  She could and really enjoyed it.  When we first started I could hold her around her knees but by the time we took the picture she was tired.  She can go about 10 "steps" so far.  I also thought I would start working on somersaults with her too - you can see the mattress we can use for doing them and it is great for jumping on too.  She has always enjoyed doing gross motor things.  She loves galoping, doing plies (knee bends), "skips" (she actually is marching), developes (lifting her leg in the air)  and tip toe walks.  I also started showing her how to slither like a snake since already has a bit of a fascination with snakes - we make them when we do playdough.  

Cars & Colours


In the past few weeks I have really been making an effort to mention the colour of everything.  Somedays I thought she was starting to recognize them but then others it would seem like it wasn't sinking in yet.  Yesterday she pulled out her Mega Blok cars.  I disassembled them.  Whenever she plays with them I try to point out that you can match them up by colour, and yesterday she matched them all up and put them together on her own 3 times in a row.  Just a month ago she couldn't even fit them together on her own.

I was thinking I would make some coloured parking spots for her to drive them into so she can do some more matching.

November 9, 2008

Weekend with Daddy



JJ my husband watched Pookie for a large part of the weekend.   He teaches her things I wouldn't think of.  Like "funny face" - seen above.  Whenever he watches her alone she gets into her camo pants and they head off to the mall for bagels and to play in Mastermind.  Since she past the one year mark JJ and Pookie have lots of fun together.  It was much harder when she was so little and needed me around all the time.  

November 7, 2008

Drawing at 18 months





Pooks is really starting to enjoy drawing.  She enjoys using markers the best.   In the past few weeks she has gone from making scribble to making big swirling spirals, and sometimes little dots too.  I need to make sure to hold on to her the occasional drawing so later on she can see her progression.  She enjoys putting the caps back on the markers.  This past month she has figured out that only one end it the correct one and she will fiddle with the cap until it is the right way.  She has always enjoyed working on things requiring her fine motor skills.

At the playcentre they had watercolours out once and she loved it.  I haven't been able to find the children's dry discs yet, but watching her draw today made me decide I need to find some soon.