December 18, 2009

Gymnastics

This fall I decided to enroll Everly in the rec centre "kindergym".  Which is basically a really laid back gymnastics class.  She loved it so much I decided to enroll her in a "real" class at a gymnastics club.  The rec centre class is pretty much a free for all.  The kids do what they like and play together.  I love that about it.  The club class is very structured and the children must do a warm up together and then do different circuits.

The first few times I took her to the club class she really didn't listen at all, and I had to constantly keep her on track, while keeping it all fun.  On Monday we had our last class and it was so amazing to see the difference.  She didn't take her eyes off the instructor and did the whole warm up with only one reminder (to do bunny hops instead of runs).  She was just so fully engaged.  

She gets so excited for both classes now and it is amazing to see what she is able to do.  She is so coordinated - much more so then many of my 4 year old students.  It will be interesting to see if she is just an early bloomer or if she will always be so coordinated.  She can do the beam all by herself and she does it quite quickly.  Her forward rolls are easy for her now.  I am just encouraging her to stand up right after, because that does take some strength on her part.  On the trampoline she is starting to be able to land on her bum and back on her feet, which I don't think they even bother teaching for another year or two.  

She is always asking about taking ballet lessons.  We are holding off on those until next year because for one there isn't a convenient class with a good teacher, and two I just don't think she is ready to follow that much structure.  We dance at home most days, and for now that is enough. 

I never thought I would put my kids into ballet, but Everly is totally taken with it.  I also get almost free classes at the studio's I teach at, and with money being tight it means she gets to do something she loves without breaking the bank.

I think it is really important for kids to develop their coordination, strength and flexibility right from the start.  Enjoying being active is really important to me and I hope both my kids find something that they love participating in.  That way they are more likely to want to stay active as adults.
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December 13, 2009

Baby #2



Well... I was intending on blogging after our busy summer but then I got PREGNANT!!  Everly will be a big sister end of May/ early June just after she turns 3.  I am really excited... and nervous.

It has been extremely rough since I first found out I was pregnant.  First the morning sickness hit me before I even got my BFP, then a few weeks later I had the flu for two weeks, and just when I started to feel rested again I got bronchitis, which turned into the most horrible sinus infection that I finally seem to over.  All the time this was going on Everly has been getting her 2 year molars and waking up SCREAMING, and inconsolable at night.  I feel like I have barely had a chance to think much about this pregnancy or enjoy it.  I am 16 weeks and still not showing at all so I don't have a bump or movement to make it feel real.

I am hoping that come January everything settles down and we can get back into some state or normalcy and work on preparing Everly and our home for our new arrival.  I would really like to nightwean Everly and have her sleeping in her own bed.  I want to make things as easy as possible on us all when the baby arrives.

I have a great midwife and I am hoping DH will agree to a homebirth.  He has been pretty against it but the midwife is very supportive and I hope with her help I can get him on board.

September 27, 2009

"Reading"

I have been avoiding my blog because I feel pressure for it to be interesting, have pictures etc.  I have decided I am just going to blog for me and not worry about what I am saying or if it is a "good" blog.

Everly is simply blossoming and I am realizing that I really have to start talking to her and treating her differently.  She seems to understand SO much and I think I have been underestimating her.

We dropped the doing a theme for each week and I have just been really mindful of using language that will help her learn.  For example I try to constantly mention colours, how things work, what season it is etc.  This approach is working beautifully.  The week we did the letter A and the colour green she learned orange, and purple, and started recognizing several letters that did not include A.  Thus the end to any sort of structured approach.

During that week I noticed that she is able to match letters with ease.  So I thought I would just see if she could match words.  I wrote Mommy, Daddy, Everly and Nanny (her grandma) each on 2 pieces of paper.  I told her what they said and she matched them with ease.  Of course I was really proud and she seemed to enjoy it so we played word matching with other words.  The next time we did it, she didn't want to match... she wanted to "read" all the words to me.  I couldn't believe that she could remember all the words!!  She doesn't even recognize all the letters of the alphabet.  She does have a harder time deciphering words that start with the same letter but she can do it with a bit of thought.

For my own record she can now recognize:
  1. Nanny
  2. Mommy
  3. Daddy
  4. Everly
  5. Amelia
  6. Siri
  7. Kathy
  8. Faraz
  9. Grampy
  10. Nanny
  11. Batman
  12. Bum Bum (sometimes)
  13. Ballet (sometimes)
  14. Baby (sometimes)
  15. Madelyn
She now brings me blank cue cards and asks me to write words on them.  I write whatever she wants (that is where Bum Bum) came from. :P  Then we decorate them with stickers and she writes on them and finally she will cut them all up. 

I guess for now I will just keep writing words on cue cards for her if she wants, and I also thought she might benefit from my pointing out environmental text, like STOP on stop signs etc.

I found a leap frog Fridge Phonics and Word Whammer for $20 on craigslist.  I am going to pick them up tomorrow.  I thought it might help her learn the sounds of the letters, in a way that is fun.

This has also renewed my interest in Starfall which I think I will let her do a few times a week.

I don't want to be some pushy mom, but at the same time I want to make sure I am creating a rich environment for her.  I know I always mention this but it is something I am always worrying about.


OPPS! I uploaded the wrong video.. and after waiting 15 minutes it is going to stay right here. 
Here she is dancing.  She is totally obsessed.

video

September 4, 2009

Books

I was reading through some of the older blog posts on Chasing Cheerios the other day, and she mentioned reading 30-40 books to "O" everyday.  Here I was pleased that I read to Pooks everyday, and sometimes 10+ books.  Anyways it got me inspired to really up the amount of books I read to Pookers daily.  It has been a week and it was REALLY renewed her interest in books.  She is asking me to read to her more and when we do read she wants MORE! 

Yesterday we did about 25.  Some of the stories were quite long and others were short and sweet.  I am trying to make a goal of sitting down and reading 5 at a time.  I am really enjoying the calmness that comes from reading with her.  There are a lot of frustrations when you are two and this really gives us a chance to just chill out and spend quality time together.

Here are some of the books we like reading:

All the Frog and Toad books
Angelina Ballerina (I don't care for them but she loves them)
Grumpy Bird
Kids research books on animals - right now Alligators.
Bill & Pete Books
Guess How Much I Love You
Anything by Sandra Boynton
Beatrix Potter books
Nursery Rhymes

Now we are reading so much more we are going to have to get more books from the library or I will go crazy with all the repetition.  We got a great fable book from the library and she has really enjoyed that. 

Speak of the devil... Pookers is calling.

September 3, 2009

Best Friends

 Something that can't be measured or compared, is social confidence (for lack of a better term).  This is really on my radar because I was a fairly shy kid, who became a horribly shy and anxious pre-teen.  I always knew I wanted to do everything I could to enable my children to be as outgoing as they could be and have the confidence to be who they really are.

I just love watching Everly now when we go out and about.  She is incredibly outgoing and charismatic (she takes after her Dad!).  She seems to be able to win adults and children over in minutes.   We have a 4 year old who lives across the path from us.  We live in a townhouse where all the cars are parked underground.  Everly and A have become best friends.  When I watch them play and interact together it just amazes me how much Everly keeps up with her friend.  Not in terms of what she knows, but in terms of how to interact with another person.  

She might not be able to recite her ABC's and 123's, or know all her colours... but watching her with other people reminds me that there is so much more to learn  than just "school skills".    

September 2, 2009

Natural Consequences


I have recently seen too great examples of how natural consequences work.
video
1./  Everly was painting.  Which turned into Everly painting her hands.  I decided to tidy up the kitchen and had my back to her.  When I turned around there she was COVERED in paint all over her face.  Honestly I didn't really care that much.  At the same time it isn't something I want to encourage.  I grabbed my camera, filmed and took a couple pictures and fairly calmly took her upstairs to hose her down.  She did NOT appreciate having her faced washed.  After we talked about how if you paint your face it will mean having a shower, and getting water all over your face.  Today she tried just painting her nose, and I reminded her about how we would have to clean her face and she stopped.

2./ Everly and a friend got into some cream.  I found them with some on their bodies and faces.  They friend seemed shocked that I didn't get angry.  As I was trying to decide how to deal with the situation, Everly got some cream in her eye.  I was able to point out that that was one reason it is not a good idea to play with cream without a parent around.  They agreed and gave me the jar they had hidden.

The one thing that I am having a hard time with now is when I am around other parents.  Mostly my neighbour who's daughter is 4.  First of all her daughter is older so she does have higher expectations, but she also seems to have many more rules then we do in general.  Their home isn't close to as kid friendly as ours is, so there are a lot of rules to protect furniture and carpets.  The thing is sometimes I start feeling like I am too permissive when I spend a lot of time with them.  I know she is sometimes surprised with the things I don't worry about.  For example I let Everly play with water in her kitchen.  Which usually means water will get on our floor, area rug and even couch.  Not enough to cause alarm or anything.  A few times she seemed shocked that I didn't seem to care. 

I let Everly paint her hands, her rubber frog and a polly pocket.  It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  If she wants to do that that is fine.  I won't let her paint her cloth dolls obviously.  And when she is painting she has to stay in her chair.  I guess I just have to remind myself I do set boundaries... I just like to give Pooks lots of room to be a creative kid.

August 24, 2009

Homeschool Preschool

Generally I do believe that unschooling works.  I love reading unschooling blogs and any info I can find.  I also feel that there is no need for preschool... however I have decided to do a very informal "preschool" with Pookie.  Now that September is just around the corner we can get back to having a more scheduled week.  

So here is my plan (mostly inspired by www.letteroftheweek.com):

Each week I will make a poster board with a letter, colour or shape and a theme.  This week I chose the letter A, the colour green and alligators.  I got some alligator books out of the library - both children's fiction and a couple of children's reference books.  I have printed some letter A colouring pages and I printed a picture with all sorts of green objects.  

So my plan is to point out the colour green whenever I can, dress her in green and give her some green things to eat.  I also thought we could do a green photoshoot a la "Chasing Cheerios".

We have read some of the alligator books, and my next thing is for us to go on a 'gator scavenger hunt to find all the ones we have in our house.  "Alligator Pie" will also be our song/ poem of choice for the week.

I have a few letter games we will do (if she is interested), and I will let her do the letter A on starfall.

Also each week I am hoping to come up with a gross motor skill, fine motor and montessori inspired activity.   I have a one-to-one correspondence activity for her this week.   I am also going to offer the scissors daily this week, and I got her a $2 golf club and ball to play with.

All of this is meant to be fun.  It gives us something to do and hopefully DD will enjoy her "school".   I am also hoping it will make it easier if we were to actually HS... but that is a whole other topic!

I am going to keep a notebook and try to fill it out each day and make note of what we did in each "subject" area.   Already I noticed a change in how I think when Pooks and I interact.  For example today she was eating some raisin and I would give her 1, 2 or 3 at a time and ask her how many their were.  She really enjoyed counting them and eating them up.  DH and I are also back to 'hugging for the count of 10'.  We especially love this one because we get an extra long hug out of her!!

July 29, 2009

So in love



It just blows my mind how I my love for Everly just keeps growing.  Whenever I look at her my heart just wants to burst and sometimes I am compelled to attack her with dozens of kisses and hugs, which usually gets her giggling.  Sometimes she will attack me back with a whole bunch of little pecks.  I love how when I say "I love you" she says "I love you too mommy" and sometimes "Daddy loves me too".  

I am constantly amused with her antics and personality.  It just never seems to grow old.  

Of course we have our moments where she throws fits or is just totally and utterly 2.  For the most part I can even laugh those off... although sometimes I do feel like I am losing my mind. :P

July 25, 2009

Adventures in Tandem Nursing

I am almost finished this book and I really enjoyed it.  I have had it since Everly has under a year, but now that we are in TTC mode I thought I would crack it open.  I really like that it is actually more about adjusting to a growing family and finding balance.  I would definitely recommend it for anyone who finds themselves pregnant and still breastfeeding, or for anyone who is planning to be in that position.

Part of me would really love to experience nursing two children at once and watching them bond that way.  The other part thinks it might be easier if Everly weans herself while I am pregnant.  I guess the good thing it whatever happens will have it's pros and cons, and either way I can be happy.  I do talk to Everly about how when there is a new baby she will have to share "boo boos" and now sometimes while she is nursing she points to the other one and says "that boo boo, baby" and nods her head in this really serious way.  A few months ago if I pretended to nurse a doll while she was nursing she would get quite angry and now she wants to share.

Reading this book has gotten me really excited about TTC... before I was much more reluctant.  I just hope it doesn't take too long.  With Everly it took 2 goes, so it is hard not to expect it to happen relatively quickly.  Also I got pregnant in August with her, so there is a part of me that thinks I will get pregnant again in August.  

The good thing is if I don't get pregnant it means I have more time to put into running and building up my weekly mileage.  So at least if I don't get pregnant there is always something to ease it.

Painting Feet


One day while I was doing laundry I went out back to see what DH and Everly where up to.  There DH was painting Everly's feet and legs, arms and hands.  She LOVED it.  He was also letting her paint him.  I loved that DH would do this with her.  They also painted the deck... in tempra paint.  Which is still there a month later.  Oh well everytime I see it I feel happy thinking about the two of them out there doing this together.

I Like Bugs!


I really would prefer Everly to be the kind of girl that isn't scared of bugs, will play with a dump truck, likes sports etc...   She loves to hold the worms we find in our garden, and she has a few plants that she can lift up and find potato bugs under.  She LOVES tending to her potato bugs.  She will pick them up and show them to anyone who walks by.  She puts them back and will water the plants.  Unfortunately there have been a few casualties.  Apparently slugs are actually pretty delicate.  We have been working on "gentle", with some results.  The funny thing is we were at the Zoo and there was a big spider (in a glass box) and she REALLY didn't like it.   I couldn't really blame her... it has a huge harry tarantula! 

We also watch ants when we are out, but she does like to destroy ant homes.  Anyone seen "Ant Bully".  Everytime she kicks and ant hill I think of "the destroyer!"

Squirting Water

Everly LOVES to squirt water from a "squirter".  It was driving me nuts having wet couches, floors etc... so finally in desperation I grabbed two bowls.  She really seemed to enjoy aiming the water into the bowls.  I also let her take it outside and squirt whatever she wants.  This one is good for strengthening the muscles in the hands.

Water Transfer


This one was OK.  It would be a lot better with real eye droppers, but mine have gone missing.  Everly needed help getting the syringe to work (it is tough even for me), but she really enjoyed filling up the flowers with the coloured water.  We got this ice cube tray at Ikea for $1.  I also use it to put tempra paint in.  As she gets older I am hoping we can use this activity more to see how combining colours makes new colours.  We have also done this one with a big turkey baster... again not ideal, but she really does love the turkey baster!

Little Artist


While we were up at the cottage earlier this summer there wasn't much to do other than draw and paint.  For weeks Everly had been obsessed with asking me to draw her happy faces... which I was kind of reluctant to do because I wanted her to draw for herself and in her own way.  So low and behold she painted her first "happy face" while we were up there, and when we got home her happy faces grew arms, legs and hair.  It is so neat to watch her draw her people now.  She isn't always into doing it but sometimes she really does very recognizable people.  Other times not so much.  Today she also drew snakes and she draws rain as well.  Not bad for 26 months... which is actually how old I was when I drew my first happy face! 

Of course I had to run out and get her an easel which has been well used.  It is in the middle of living/ dining room but I wanted it to be easily accessible.  We got ours at Ikea for $20.  I was drooling over the Melissa & Doug one but it was $100 and really not THAT much better than the Ikea one.

Busy and distracted




Lately I have been busy with summer activities, my sister's wedding and other distractions... namely thinking/ planning TTC.   Most of my internet time is being spent over at fertilityfriend.  But I want to attempt to get back into the habit of blogging.  The main reason being it motivates me to do new activities with Everly.

We spent the early part of this week up at my parent's cottage they rent in July.  We finally had some nice weather.  I went up earlier and it was terrible.  It is really hard being cooped up in a tiny cottage with a 2 year old, and 3 other adults.  This week Everly spent most of her time in the water.  She is a real fish.  When I take her to the pool she is experimenting with going "under a teeny bit".  She also is reaching her arms out in front of her and you can see that she is testing her buoyancy.   If she is over her head I put water wings on her and she loves it and squeals "I swimming, I swimming."  It was really fun watching her enjoy the same beach I did as a child.  I can't wait to take her to Florida (condo in Naples) in a couple of weeks.

She was also the flower girl at my sister's wedding and did SO well.  She walked down the aisle by herself and threw (and I mean THREW) the rose petals 4 times.  Once my sister came up front she started getting restless and my amazing SIL grabbed her (I was the matron of honour and DH was a groomsman).  She may reprise her role as flowergirl this weekend as they are having another ceremony (Persian).  

June 27, 2009

Soulemama = Creative Family

WOW!  I couldn't believe it when I opened Creative Family and realized it was written by one of the blogs I follow.  It is listed to the right of this post.  I haven't been there in a while so I guess I didn't put 2 and 2 together.

More Books


I am getting a lot more reading done these days.  It is so nice to be able to get through a book in a decent amount of time.  Today I went to the library and got 4 books:

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination & Nurture Family Connections

I Love Dirt (nature activities)

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline (on the MDC GD booklist)

And a book on teaching preschool - I thought i might get some ideas from it.

I think I will start the the Creative Family book.  It looks really good.  I opened it up to a picture of a wooden kitchen all set up with places to hang dish towels, aprons.  It looked like what we are going for with Pookie's kitchen.  

I just finished Under Pressure by Carl Honore.  I just LOVED it.  Although I read a review claiming he was too extreme, I actually thought he wasn't as extreme as other books I have read.  It is the kind of book a more mainstream person could get through.  I feel like I got so much out of it.  I will definitely be reading his other books.  I also like that he is Canadian!

June 26, 2009

Big & Teeny... shapes and colours

I couldn't resist posting this picture. This was taken at my mom's house.  As usual Everly was full of her usual antics. :P

I always read over at MDC how children learn without being taught.  Just by working thing like, colours & shapes into your everyday conversation can be enough.  There are times when I feel like I am not doing enough, but then something will happen to take the pressure off.  I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Everly was starting to refer to some things as "teeny".  I didn't think much of it.  Then it dawned on me that she might really get the difference between big and little.  I started asking her some easy questions like "what is bigger a flower or a tree".  I kept making the questions harder.  It amazed me that she could distinguish slight differences in sizes.  My husband was skeptical but she can easily say which person is bigger.  My husband and I are only 3 inches difference in height with similar builds and she knew he was bigger.  I also wondered what she would do with someone tall and slim, versus someone shorter and rounder.  She always picked the person that was truly bigger, not just taller. 

This has really inspired me to make sure I refer to thing by their size, shape and colour etc.  I have found the best way to help her learn colours is painting.  I let her pick the colour of paper she works on and ask her what colour she would like more of, etc... she seems on the verge of really knowing the colours.  For the most part she can point to the right colour if you ask but she can't always think of the name on her own.  

We have also been painting shapes on the sidewalk with water.  I was also surprised that she seems to be starting to grasp shapes.  These things really don't interest her but she loves having me paint the shapes and she doesn't mind a couple of questions like "which one is the triangle".

June 22, 2009

Nothing is more fun than water play

I love reading Chasing Cheerio's blog but sometimes I just have to accept that Everly isn't that interested in a lot of "activities".  She LOVES painting these days, and will sometimes do a puzzle with me but for the most part the most fun thing is playing with water. 

I try to offer her different ways and places to play with it.  Sometimes we will her baby bath that we never used up out front and she splashes in there and pours water everywhere.  This morning I had her out back on our deck (our backyard is only a deck), with a bowl and she watered the deck for a good hour.   She will play with it at the kitchen sink and pour and pour and pour, or she will play with it at her kitchen.  She also loves painting the sidewalk with water, as do the neighbourhood girls.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is OK to let her do what she loves, and that there is lots to learn from water play.  One of the great things about going out front is one of the other neighbour girls often comes out and will play with her and playing with other big kids tops water in terms of fun!

New Job

I think I mentioned before that my aunt had to let me go as she decided not to continue with her business for now, while she adjusts to the death of her husband.  I had about a month off and then got a call from her that a friend of hers was looking for someone.

This friend is such a upbeat, positive, go-getter.  She hired me after talking on the phone and I have been working for her for the past month.  What is SO wonderful is that she works from home and has no room for a desk for me so I have to work from home too!   I am adjusting to it.  It is hard to be diligent and work when Everly is napping or any spare chance I get.  I am thinking that once my mom gets back from the cottage I will ask her to continue to watch Everly on Tuesday's so that I can have a day to work, every week or so.  I also like the idea of Everly staying close to my mom.  My mom has been basically her sole "babysitter" since she was a few months old, and they have a real bond. 

The only downside to this arrangement is blogging time is hugely down!!  I should be working right now actually but I figure a few minutes to blog isn't the end of the world.

June 17, 2009

Back to being TV Free



My husband has been working so hard to get our new bamboo flooring put in upstairs.  Somewhere along the way I started letting Everly watch more and more TV because it enabled me to help Jeff.  Then it started becoming a habit.  Suddenly Everly turned into a TV monster and wanted to watch it endlessly.  I felt SICK.  I never intended for her to watch it at all.  She would scream TTTTVVVVVVVV, and I would just give in.

Anyways now that the weather is so nice it has been SO easy to put a stop to her TV viewing.  My goal is to keep her TV free during the week, and if needed she can watch a bit on the weekend.  If she asks for it I let her try and turn it on.  I turn off the PVR/ TIVO box so when she switches it on nothing happens.  She has been excepting this and we go off and do other fun stuff.

It feels so good to be back to no TV.  She seems happier and I know I am.  I don't think that letting your child watch some appropriate TV is a horrible thing, but the problem I have with it is limiting it.  It seems much easier to make it a once in a while thing, rather than a daily activity.   Also the bottom line is there are so many wonderful things you can do instead of watching TV.

Gross Motor Skills


It just dawned on me that Everly seems to be focusing on improving her gross motor skills.  Once she mastered walking, she became very interested in fine motor activities.  Now she has mastered many of those activities and seems to be moving back to gross motor.  Of course I always try to offer her lots of opportunities to use both, but since the GM seem to interesting to her, I have been trying to come up with fresh activities for her.

Being a ballet teacher I have been the huge difference in motor skill abilities of children.  Especially very young ones.  I have had 4 year olds who can barely jump off the ground, or run, and 4 year olds who can do single skips easily... and with pointed toes.  I think as with most things part of this is nature and part is nurture.   Being well coordinated and athletic to some extent are important to me and I want give Everly a chance to develop these skills.  

Here are some ideas I have come up with to do with Everly.

1./  Couch Balance Beam - I remove the back pillows of our basement couch and let Everly walk along the narrow (about 2 inches) hard back of the couch.  I hold onto her pants so she can basically do it on her own.   This is obviously great for developing balance and core muscle strength.  As well it works on trust between us because she has to trust that I will be there to catch her if she loses her balance.

2./ Forward Roll - A year ago my young cousin showed me the way the gymnastics couch taught her to do a forward roll (somersault).  I put down a mat and tell Everly to reach to the sky.  Then she puts her hands on the floor near her toes and I tell her to look at her belly button.  I assist her with the impetus to get the roll started.  By using the hands on the floor it protects the neck.  She did about 10 today.  She especially likes watching me show her! 

3./ Scissor Kick - I showed her how to put your hands on the floor and then kick your feet one at a time off the floor, so that for a brief time both feet are off.  She loved doing this one.  This is great for upper body strength and will help with learning a cartwheel later on.

4./ Pony Galops or double skips -  This is a ballet step, and is how most children "galop" when they are little.  Basically you jump into the air and one foot and then the other come up a kick your seat (or in the case of little ones come just off the floor).   With young children we pretend to ride pony's and jump over fences.  I usually say "up up" to help them get the rhythm.  I was surprised to notice that Everly is starting to do pony galops. 

5./ Run and Jump - She LOVES this!  I throw on some ballet music, roll up a small rug and have her run and then LEAP over the rug.  At first she just ran over the rug but after a day of practicing she started really jumping over it.  She has been requesting to do this one daily.

6./ Basketball - All you need is a laundry basket and a ball.  I also use a  little chair on its side and have Everly stand behind it.  She just throws the ball in and then I throw it back and encourage her to try catching it.  It is important to set it up so that they get the majority in.  Once she gets 3 or more in a row, I move the basket a bit further away.  This one was great fun!

More to come!

June 15, 2009

Fine Motor Skills are Fun



 One night I stayed up late writing down activities from the Chasing Cheerio's blog.  One was using an eyedropper to transfer coloured water into a watercolour tray. 

The next day my neighbour brought me over a little pink icecube tray.  I was so excited because it was exactly what I needed for this!  Unfortunately I couldn't find the eyedroppers I bought months ago, so Everly had to use a medicine dispenser.  

She really liked this, but needed my help since the medicine dispenser was stiff.  I can't wait to find the eyedroppers so she can try this again. 

Painting with water outside/ mud pies


All you need is a paintbrush, some water, and a sidewalk, rock, fence etc... I took Everly outside on Saturday morning armed with a couple of paintbrushes and a cup of water.  She loved this immediately.  Then our neighbour came out - she is 4.  The two of them had so much fun painting trees, lamp posts, and the sidewalk.  Another neighbour who is 7 showed up with her paintbrush and joined in the fun.  I honestly think this kept them busy for at least 1.5 hours if not 2!  Later in the afternoon they went at it again.

They also had fun digging in some dirt by a tree.  They made a huge muddy mess, and had a blast.  I will be sad when the dirt gets covered with grass.

I love how much we are getting outside now that it is finally warm.  I think we spent almost the entire day on Saturday outside. 

June 12, 2009

Walks & Hikes


We have started going on a walk (or two) around our neighbourhood everyday.   At first I told Everly that on this walk there would be no "ups".  The first time we went she asked a few times.  Now when we go she walks the whole way on her own and really gets into it.  She picks up leaves, grass, dandelions.  We talk about the cars going by, the types of plants we see  I try to go at her pace as much as possible.  We have always walked a lot but never a specific route and never with the intention that these ones do.  

The best part is when we get back one of her little friends is always outside digging in his garden, so Everly joins him and they have so much fun getting all muddy.

My husband and I have also been trying to take her on a "hike" each weekend.  She gets really excited to do this.  She gets to play by a river, try to climb trees, and be away from cars, people etc..  

Scissors & drawing



We were at the play centre one day and Everly saw another child using scissors.  She had a go and she did GREAT!  I ran out right away and bought her a pair or kids scissors.  We have been cutting a few times a week and she is getting really good!  She can cut paper into pieces and seems to totally understand to keep her other hand away.  I have started showing her how to cut and then more the scissors to make the cut longer.  I do this a couple times and say "open, cut, open, MOVE, CUT!!"  She is starting to try.  

Using scissors is great for fine motor development and helps them build strength in their hands, which helps with drawing and writing.  We also cut foam tongue depressors, and straws.  
She has become interested in drawing again.  One day I drew a happy face on her paper, and now she always wants me to draw one.  She loves scribbling on it and trying to add arms and legs.  I help her draw her own as well because she wants to.  I read on MDC that to encourage creativity you shouldn't show kids how to draw things and just let them do it on their own.  I was planning to do that but now here we are.  :P  When she is adding arms and legs or eyes, I don't tell her if she is doing it right or not.  I just let her do it her own way. To me this seems like a good balance.

The Pressure to Teach

Lately I have been feeling pressure to teach Everly things like the ABC song, or rote counting etc.  No one is pressuring me, but when I hear other mom's and Nanny's going on about how their 2 year olds can count to 20 or sing their ABC's for spell their names it starts to get to me.

I have finished and am currently reading another book that really encourage you not to push those types of skills at an early age.  It makes sense to me.  Everly is interested in exploring the world, not being drilled with rote learning.  She loves to do anything physical, so I try to encourage that.  Still when you have a little girl who many people say seems very bright, I do start to feel like I am failing since she doesn't know her ABCs.  She does recognize numbers and does know part of the song. 

With counting she actually really enjoys it!  She can count to 2 and I think that is great.  She can count if something is one, or if it is two.  We are "working on 3", but I guess I am more interested in her actually understanding what a number represents than being able to count to some high number.

May 19, 2009

Two Years Old

I can't believe my little girl is TWO!!!  We had a fun party with our closest family there, and Everly had a great time.  We got her a balance bike - that is too big even when DH made extra holes to lower the seat.   I got her some Frog and Toad books as well - she LOVES them so much.  My mom and I got her a green Tripp Trapp chair, which I am in love with and Everly is really enjoying.  

She is so different now.  She is talking so much.   Today we got home from the park and she said "I chase boys".  OMG it was the cutest thing ever.  She was chasing some boys there.  When we go to the park she immediately tries to make friends and wants to play.  She is talking pretty well so 2-4 year olds seem more interested in her now.  She can pretty much climb anything at the park - including the things intended for older kids.  I just spot her and she goes nuts.  

Her tantrums are now few and far between.  I think her language skills have helped with that and her eye teeth have come through now (only 6 more teeth to go!).  She is just so much fun to be around.  It is incredible how much she understands.

I finished "The Hurried Child" I mentioned before and I love the new perspective it has given me.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can just do what feels natural and not worry about "teaching".  Since taking on this new philosophy Everly has really become interested in counting.  She loves her counting books and if I don't actually count the items she will take my hand and make me help her point and count.  I now have faith that she will learn to do all the things she needs when the time is right.

Long Time - job loss & car accident

It has been a while...

I lost my day job.  I worked for my aunt, and her husband (my mom's brother) was killed this fall in a biking accident.  She decided to put her business on hold, which means I am out of a job.  I wish that I didn't have to find something else, because more than anything I want to be home with Everly.  I just don't think we can get by without that income.  I had thought about taking on more teaching hours at my current schools, but the schedule was already set by the time I got let go.  Honestly I felt like my whole world was crashing... and I guess I still do.  It seems like a lot of bad things are happening right now.  I am trying to stay positive.

A week after I got let go, I was waiting for someone to make a right hand turn.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the guy behind me coming to a stop.  I just chilled out for a second and BANG.  I got rear ended.  Some girl smashed into the guy behind me and he hit me.  What a pain!!  I got whiplash, which seems to be fine except my nose sometimes gets tingly.  I missed a day of work because of it, and now I have to deal with all the insurance stuff.  Not fun.  At first I felt really bad for the girl that hit us... but now I am more angry than anything.  Thank goodness Everly wasn't in the car.

April 30, 2009

Busy Busy

Pookie is keeping me SO busy these days. When she is feeling good she wants me to dance with her, take her outside, or play with her. Sometimes she will get quite involved in her kitchen and do that on her own, but other than that she needs me. When she isn't happy she is either having tantrums or is increadibly whiny. I am finding it really hard to find the time to even think straight let alone blog these days.

Her tantrums are getting to me. I feel so useless when she throws a one. Sometimes it will happen when I am trying to get ready so that I can take her outside, or to the park etc. It is so frustrating to be unable to do anything. She hasn't been eating much lately, and I am wondering if being hungry is making her more on edge. Yesterday she just had yogurt, avocado, a small piece of cheese, a bit of potato and some of Daddy's frozen yogurt. Normally she would eat much more. It has been this way for a few weeks. She will often only have a few bites of her dinner. Her nursing does seem to be up a bit, but not a lot. Has anyone else dealt with this?

My parents are increadibly supportive and they love Pookie so much. However I do feel... judged (not sure if that is the right word), when Pookie loses it. It feels like they think I am to blame. Like perhaps I am too permissive or something. Bleh. For the most part I don't let it get to me, but sometimes it is hard not to.

Depsite this being a challenging time it sure is a lot of fun. Pookie is talking more and more everyday. She is constantly trying to tell us things. More and more her little personality is being revealed and I just love getting to know her.

April 21, 2009

Slowing Down


So I am over half way through David Elkinds "Hurried Child" and I just love it. I love when I read a book and have new found clarity or have that enlightened feeling. I feel like I finally really get why I don't need to be drilling ABC's or pushing that kind of learning. That isn't to say we will stop singing the ABC's or counting things etc. but I feel like I now understand better why it makes sense to just slow down and let Pookie learn things in her own time. There really is no rush. I think one of the parts that really gave me clarity was when the author talked about a class of 4-5 year olds who had a teacher who really wanted to make a difference and get them reading. They did surprisingly well, but a few years later they read with no enjoyment. He went on to talk about how children who are pushed to read early often don't enjoy it the way children who read in their own time do.


Before starting this book I was planning on signing Pookie up for a creative movement class with an excellent teacher I teach with. Her class is wonderful and creative... but it is still a structured class. After reading and watching Pookie dance on her own I have started to think I should wait. I can foster her love of dancing at home, and not risk her getting put off by a structured class.


I am really looking forward to finishing this one and starting the other book I got on hurrying children - Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting- Carl Honore

Strong Emotions

Lately Pookie and I seem out of sync. I think this is because I have taken on a private lesson on Wednesday mornings which means one of our mornings is gone. Also DH is working away on our upstairs which means every weekend Pookie and I have to leave the house (usually to the Zoo). I am feeling increadibly stressed, Pooks is grouchy, taxes are due, student exams are coming up and Pookie's b-day is soon. I am so looking forward to May when things calm down and Pookie and I can try to get back in sync again.

Now that Pooks is getting older, her personality seems to becoming more and more clear. She seems to be a lot more active than other kids her age. Not hyperactive at all, just full of energy. She also seems to understand how to get a reaction out of people and how to ham it up. She has an arsenal of faces she makes and sometimes she will make one and you think she really is feeling sad or grouchy, and then she will look you in the eye and start laughing. When she is happy she glows, but when she is upset... watch out! She has been having more temper tantrums lately. Ones that I can't control at all. In the past I let them run their course, but usually I sense when she is almost done and an offer or a hug or to nurse will usually snap her out of it. Now the length of time she spends upset has increased. It is so hard to watch her so upset and I always feel increadibly guilty. I also access to see if it is something I could of prevented, and even if I can't come up with a way I still feel responsible.
Yesterday I took her to the Play Centre. We got there much later than usual so Pookie still really wanted to play when it was time to go. They do a circle time and I thought she would like it. In hindsight I should of just left immediately. I took her over and she saw the train set and wanted to pull it all out. All the toys had been put away and you are not supposed to take them out. Well I told her she could have one train and I thought that would be cool. Boy was I wrong. She LOST IT! She ran and threw herself down and started sobbing... while they were all singing songs. I stayed calm and tried to get all our stuff together as fast as possible. It felt like it took FOREVER! I picked her up screaming and kicking and took her to the car. Once in the car I decided to let her calm down until she was ready to either go home or go to the store. After 40 minutes of sitting in the car she just wanted to play in there and I had to put her in her seat forcibly. I felt so aweful & defeated I just wanted to cry.
We got home and had a nap together and she was much more pleasant when she woke up.
I am hoping that teething is playing apart in this. She is still cutting her eye teeth and last night she tossed and turned, and this morning she saw a teething ring in the freezer, grabbed it and chewed on it until it was room temperature.

April 17, 2009

Vent

I guess this will be a vent more than anything.  Sometimes I get so frustrated when I try to explain myself and why I take the approach to parenting that I do.  Over at MDC you get so much support and are surrounded by mom's that have a similar philosophy when it comes to raising a child.  Sometimes I forget that some mom's are just on a different planet than me... or it feels that way anyways.  I feel this need to explain myself... but when I do I just know there is no way to get my point across without sounding standoffish or better than you.   I know this probably sounds silly but sometimes I feel like I have been enlightened from going to MDC and reading books that support those philosophies.  It is hard to not want to enlighten other people... but then again I am sure they just think I am nutso and want me to keep my theories to myself.

April 16, 2009

Value of True Play

I just found a great article on the value of true play. I really enjoyed it so I thought I would share.

http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5-ap/45-children-development.htm

edited

Here is great another article suggested by Becca- Artistmama from Chocolate Eyes.

Better Bedtime

A few months ago I was gently working towards weaning Pookie from nursing to sleep. It was going well... then she got sick and we started nursing to sleep again. I thought all our "work" had gone out the window, but she started putting her head on her pillow after nursing a bit and then going to bed.

Then I started telling her to put her head on the pillow when we were done reading & nursing, and she would do it without any fuss. Then one night I had to leave the room after she put her head down. I left planning to go back but it was pretty clear she was fine. Since then I have started leaving her in the room awake. We read/ nurse, turn the lights off and I give her a kiss goodnight and leave. Most of the time she is fine and just goes to sleep.

I am SO pleased with this. It was one of my goals to have her able to fall asleep on her own before baby #2 comes into the picture. At this point that will be a year away at the very earliest, so I am very hopefully that we will reach that goal by then.

Now that said, she has been waking up again 1-1.5 hours after I put her to sleep. She had stopped but is back to doing this. Right now I think it might be partially because she is getting some new teeth. One of my other hopes is that she is mostly sleeping through the night by the time #2 comes along. I can handle one or even 2 night wakings but I would really like to be able to put her to bed and have mom/ dad time without interuptions. Who knows if it will happen? I figure it can't hurt to be optomistic, and to do everything I can to put odds in our favour of it happening.

April 14, 2009

Free Range Child





My mom is so sweet. Whenever she see's an article in the paper, or hears something on the radio that she thinks I will be interested in she lets me know.
Today I arrived at her house to drop Pookie off while I work and she told me about a show she had heard on the CBC called "Hurried Infant". Apparently it was about the negative effects of trying to get children to read before they are 5. I haven't listened to it yet, but it sounded like it was pretty interesting. Here is the link. I believe you can listen to the show

It really got me thinking about how I find myself constantly stuggling to find a balance between creating chances for Pookie to learn and experience the world, and allowing her to explore her world in her own time.

It is something that I often think about. Naturally I am a teacher. I have always wanted to teach children, and now with all the reading I have been doing I am finding I need to change what is ingrained in me. Teaching children to dance at the level I teach at is not something you can do in this new modern/ natural approach. Allowing myself to be in the background in terms of the learning process is still quite foreign.

I think at the moment my thoughts on this are to offer toys and experiences which allow her to learn and explore, but to omit any pressure or praise. For example I do point out letters, and have lots of them around but we don't do drills. I try my best to follow her lead in terms of what she enjoys doing, and offer suggestions occasionally without any pressure. I heard a new term today "free-range children" - click on the link to read more.

I have ordered two books which I hope will help me solidify some of my thoughts on this.


April 12, 2009

Muffin Tray Meals



I had read about using a muffin tray for meals in one of Dr. Sears' books, and then a little while ago someone on MDC posted a link to pictures of muffin tray meals.  As soon as I saw them I just had to get my own muffin tray.

I got her a blue silicone tray and we have used it everyday since.  She really enjoys eating out of it and I really like that it forces me to give her 6 different food items.  Usually she eats what we eat plus we offer her some additional things - like berries, yogurt etc..  I use it for dinner every night and most lunches.  For breakfast she usually just has oatmeal so we don't bother then.

Now she will often say "dip dip dip" at meal time since there is usually yogurt, applesauce or hummus for her to dip her food into.

April 9, 2009

Fill in the blank & Signing ABCs

Pooks is doing great with her words. I think she must have about 150-200 now. I lost track after 120. She is by no means to the point where she can make a sentance. She is starting to put 2 words together more and more. Like "Bye Daddy", "I don't know" and "Help me".

Since she can't sing songs with the correct words we do fill in the blanks. I will sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little _____" and she will say "star". We have been doing this for lots of songs, the ABC's and 123's. I couldn't believe how many she would get right. Of course when I tried to get her to show my mom she didn't get any right. :P

We are also working on signing the ABC's. I think I might of mentioned this before. We are up to H now. I just do it with her once in a while when I remember, and occasionally let her watch the signing on Starfall. For some reason that is her favourite.

April 3, 2009

Neat Toddler

Since Pooks was able to play with toys I have included her in the tidying up process.  Sometimes I will give her a toy and she will take it to it's place.  All of our toys have a special home which I think helps.  

Lately she has started to clean up without me reminding her.  The other day we were playing with her train set.  She went and brought a bin with a Zoo set in it.  She put it down and indicated that we needed to clean the train up first.  She did most of it by herself, and then set to playing with the zoo.

Once I told my husband to tell her to clean up with him and he thought I was nuts.  Like I was punishing her.  I encouraged him to do it and see that she actually enjoys it.  To his surprise I was right!  To her cleaning up is just part of the game.

Now I can't say we always clean up like this.  Sometimes we get distracted, or she gets upset and we leave things out and I clean them up on my own later.  I am hoping if we keep this up, cleaning up will just be something we always do and won't be a big deal. 

Matching Game & Letter Awareness

Pooks has been obsessed with "Bof" (both) lately.  So I thought it would make sense to get one of those memory card games and just use it for matching.  Mastermind didn't have any!!  So I ended up getting two decks of "Go Fish" animal/ letter cards for $6.  She get so excited to play this.  The challenge for her is to stick with it.  She can match them up no problem but gets distracted.  This is how she has been with most of her new games/ activities.   As she gets more into it I will add more of the cards.  For now 10 is enough.  I love that as she gets older these cards can grow with her.  There are also lower case letters with baby animals in each deck.

I got these cards because I liked that they had animals which we have been talking a lot about since we have been to the Zoo 6 times in 5 weeks!  Also she is very aware of letters now.  She is always pointing them out excitedly when we are out.  

Mixed Feelings



As the time to possibly start TTC gets closer I find I am less enthusiastic than I thought.  Last night I climbed into bed with Pookie and we were snuggling each other and I just felt so much love for her.  I was thinking how much I am enjoying being a mom to her and how nice our life is now.  Not that is wasn't nice when she was a little baby, but it is much more relaxed and free now.  

I keep thinking how another baby will disrupt this and I just can't imagine giving up any of "our" time.  At the same time I really do want a second child and I really want to be able to give her a little brother or sister.

I never thought I would feel this way.  I know it is normal... but I didn't think it would happen to me.   

March 31, 2009

Dissapointed - co-sleeping meet up

Yesterday I attending a co-sleeping "meet-up".  I was really excited about it, and was hopefully there would be at least one mom there who was onto baby #2.  I was also hopeful that it would be facilitated and not just a free for all.  It ended up being all new mom's, mostly with little babies and a total free-for-all.  I didn't contribute one thing to the group.  For the most part I could even hear because the facilitators daughter was throwing this hard plastic ball the entire time.

Let me address the ball throwing first.  Pooks was having a great time playing with the facilitators 3 year old daughter.  The got a hold of this hard ball and the 3 year old started throwing it down really hard.  I didn't want Pookie to do that because I was concerned it would land on one of the little babies, also it was extremely noisy.  I took her aside, kneeled down and explained that yes she could play with the toys, but that she could not throw them because it could hurt the babies.  She did a little demo of not throwing the toy and pointed to the babies.  She ran off and did not throw the toys once.   I just couldn't understand why the 3 year olds mom couldn't do the same.  She even had chances to get rid of the toy, but just handed it back.  It was weird because she seemed uncomfortable with the ball throwing.   My only thought was that she knew if she intervened at all her daughter would have a tantrum.  I don't know to me it looked like unparenting, rather than gentle discipline.  I feel like this is exactly what a lot of people mistake GD for and why people think it doesn't work.

The big disappointment was that it was totally unfacilitated.  Other that intros the rest was a free-for-all.   I am not good in big groups like that so I didn't say one thing.  I felt like I had a lot to offer since I was one of only 2 mom's with 2 year olds - most were under 1.  There were lots of topics that we never got to since it wasn't led.  There was also a big talk on getting your baby to take a bottle, which was frustrating since it was totally off topic.  I felt like some bad advice was being given and one of the other mom's tried to intervene with more solid advice but she wasn't really let in to the convo.  Anyways I left feeling pretty horrible because I had paid 10 bucks to just sit there and not even hear or contribute anything.  At least Pooks had a good time.

I figured the other mom's would be pretty earthy, but I only felt like a few were, and I felt like those mom's were pretty quite.  I am sure I saw one of the mom's hit her babies hand as well.  I was so excited that these mom's would be very much like the MDC crowd, and would have thoughts and idea's that were new to me.

I guess I should be thankful that I do have a couple of friends who are into natural living. Perhaps I should give up on going to these groups.  There will be one next week on elimination communication.  Hopefully it will be better.  


March 26, 2009

Goals & Pooks' hair



I just had to share this pic of Pookie's hair. Will it ever be long enough for pigtails?


I usually have some sort of goal I am working on with Pooks.  It started pretty much right after she was born and I was home alone all day and needed something to do.   So first I worked with her to give her opportunities to try reaching for objects and holding on to them.   Then we worked on her neck strength.  It wasn't like I was on a mission or anything, I just felt like I should give her lots of chances to practice doing the things that would make her stronger and better able to explore her environment.

Some of my current "goals" for Pooks - I am mostly writing it out to remind me :P
  •  Help her learn to sign the alphabet and to gain an awareness of the alphabet & words.  By no means do I sit down and drill her but I try to point out letters throughout the day, and we practice signing the letters together which she likes.  So far she can get up to F.  She also has started pointing out "E" when we see signs while driving.  
  • I always try to challenge her physically.  I guess that is the dance teacher in me.  She can balance on one leg with the other high in the air.  It is so cute to see.  Right now we are doing a lot of bunny hops.  They are hard for her but she likes trying.  We are also getting her a balance bike so that should be fun for her.
  • Colours.  She is slowly starting to get it.  I just need to keep on myself to label objects along with their colour.
  • Asking nicely.  I have been explaining to her that she can ask nice and it make me happy to do things for her.  Sometimes she will just start whining and fussing when she wants something.  It  seems in times of desperation she forgets about using words.  I very gently say to her "what would you like?  Can you ask nicely?"  Almost immediately her face lightens and she will let me know what she would like and say please.  It always seems like she is thinking "oh yeah, I just have to ask!".

Unschooling Inspiration

I really enjoy reading about unschooling.  It seems to make so much sense to me.  For anyone that doesn't know about it basically it is a way of homeschooling children in which you let the child lead the way and learn in their own time.  If they have an interest you can help them explore it, but there are no traditional "lessons" - unless the child chooses it.  If I were to homeschool I would definitely be very influenced by unschooling, however like most things I would probably find my own way and use some more traditional methods.

Anyways... now that Pooks is getting older and is really learning things, I am doing my best to pick up on what she is interested in and read up on what she could possibly learn.  Currently she is obsessed with "both" or "bof" as she says.  She is always pointing out when two things match.  The other day our two cats were sitting together and she said "bof" or we were playing cars and she grabbed the two red ones and said "bof".  Since this concept is so interesting to her right now I am going to go out and get a memory/ matching game and see if she likes finding "bofs". :P  

I found an awesome link "Curriculum Standards for Preschoolers".  Obviously Pooks isn't a preschooler yet but I found the majority of things on that list were things I could incorporate into our everyday lives.  For example things like "big/ little" or "over/ under".  She already mostly understands those but after reading that link it inspired me to point those kinds of things out to her. I wrote out all the ones I thought were within her grasp now or in the near future and stuck them on my fridge to remind me to incorporate them into our play.

March 25, 2009

Montessori Type Activity




I really love getting ideas from Montessori, however right now neither Pookie nor myself are interested in doing things quite as specifically as true montessori activities are.  We just get inspiration from the activities, practical life etc and make them our own.

I got Pooks these really ceramic dishes from Ikea for her kitchen.  One of the things it comes with is a tiny pouring jug which immediately made me think of Montessori.  So one night when I was attempting unsuccessfully to cook dinner, I came up with this activity.  I showed her how to do it and she really enjoyed it.  Basically she put the jug in the blue bowl and used it to fill all the cups, and once she did that she poured the water back into the blue bowl.  We will definitely have to do this one again!

More Creativity


I found this little ceramic (?) easter shapes at the dollar store that came with some paints.  I figured for a dollar why not.  She really enjoyed doing this, although I realized I didn't fully think out my purchase when I smelt the paints!  They were a bit on the toxic side.  Oh well I lived on the edge and let her paint.  I watched her carefully so she didn't get any on her or decide to give it a taste.   She was really amazed when we went back to her egg and it was all dry and shiny.  Once again I had to stop myself from micro-managing the whole process.  It was hard to watch her mix all the paint colours into an ugly brown hue, however she didn't mind and seemed to really like her end product.  The great thing about all this painting we are doing is she seems to be gaining more and more awareness of her colours.  More and more she is pointing to the correct colour when I ask.  Although all colours for the most part are "booo" - blue.

We also made some whole wheat playdough.  We had no white flour, but it worked fine.  We used neon food dye and with the whole wheat flour I really like the end result.  I decided to make her three different colours and not worry if she mixed them up.  So far they have actually stayed separate.  Her favourite thing to do is have me make a bowl and then we make berries and fill up the bowl. 

Egg Carton Caterpillars



My mom used to do this craft with us when we were kids and I always loved it, even when I was much older.  It is SO easy and Pookie just LOVED it.  All you do is cut an egg carton in half to get two caterpillars.  Put a couple holes in the "head" for antena and the rest is up to you.  I put the antenna on and helped Pookie glue on eyes, then drew a happy mouth.  After that she really saw what we were doing and I let her go to town attempting to glue pieces of cut up foam sticks & some feathers.  She worked on it for a long time and did surprisingly well with the glue.  I did my best not to interfere.  I want her to be creative and not do something the way I think it should be done.  For example after explaining to her that you should leave the foam pieces on so they can dry, she decided she would still like to pull them off and put them back on again.  I held back and just let her do what she wanted.  Also I gently explained you just needed a little bit of glue but sometimes she really wanted a lot... again I decided I should just bite my tongue and let her experiment.

We still have the caterpillars and she is enjoying playing with them.  I think next time we will paint first and then glue the next day.

March 20, 2009

Surviving a Public Meltdown



Today Pookie and I went to the library and then to the mall.  We went into Mastermind, which always has lots of toys out for the kids to play with.  Pooks played for ages on the Thomas table and then with this wooden barn.  Then she says "baby" and races over to the babies.  She spotted some Corolle doll not in a box she had never seen before.  She grabbed it and cuddled it and started high-tailing it out of the store.  I raced after her and stopped her.  I got down on her level and explained the doll had to go back.  Then she started hugging it really tight saying "please please", in a desperate voice.  I might of got it for her but it was $20, and just not worth it.  After explaining to her that the doll had to go back with it's friends, she really lost it.  I moved quickly, picked her up, put the doll back and got out of the store.

I could hardly hold her because she was going all limp.  She was SOBBING so loud, and it seemed like everyone was looking.  I looked for a spot to put her down and talk to her.  She wouldn't stand and ended up lying down flat on her back in tears.  I tried reasoning with her, offered to take her to the pet store, but it was clear she just needed to cry.  Again I carried her, this time over to a soft bench.  I put her down and let her cry for a while.  OMG I swear EVERYONE was staring at us.  That was the only stressful thing about the whole situation.  I gave up sooner than I probably "should" of and took her down to the pet store.  There she slowly came out of "it", but she was still a toddler on the edge. :P  Finally she was calm enough that I could get her organized to go home.  

There is something really empowering about getting through a public tantrum without losing your cool.  So many times I see people yelling at their kids making the situation worse.  I am always sympathetic because it is so hard to deal with, at the same time I take notes on what NOT to do.   Next time if it happens I will take her to a place that is a bit more private so I can let her work it out.

March 16, 2009

Language Explosion has Begun

It seems that the "language explosion" has begun for Pookie. There have been times that I have been vaguely worried that she didn't use as many words as her peers. Mostly I knew it was unfounded and that her comprehension was wonderful and that with her signs, and sounds she could communicate very well. Still I have been hopeful she would start talking soon, and now I got my wish!

It is amazing how each day she says a few new words, & uses more words to communicate. She is also using a few phrases like "all done" and "I don't know". Last night we were looking at a book and I was pointed to the pictures asking her what they were. There were two pictures of berries, and she pointed to one picture then the other and said "both". This just blew my mind... I know it really isn't that amazing, but to hear her use a word like "both" correctly was pretty cool.

I am working on an excel sheet so I can list all the words she knows, and when she acquires them. So far I am up to 100. I think by the time she is 2 she will be talking quite well. My baby is growing up!!

EC Grad

I think I can say with 100% certainty that Pookie is now an EC Grad. In the last 2 weeks she has started waking up in the middle of the night to tell me she has to go pee, and during the day she has been 100% reliable, and lets me know when she has to go. My hope was that she would be a grad by the time she turned 2, so we are 2 months ahead of schedule!

I remember when I first started reading about EC it seemed so over the top, and foreign to me. By no means was I against it but it just seemed extremist. Now it seems like the most natural thing you could do.

Last week my sister sent me a link to an article on ECing,
http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/article/599942
and it just BLEW MY MIND that people got so angry and were so negative about it in their comments. I think a lot of people totally miss the point, and think that you are trying to "train" a newborn, and really it isn't about that at all. Some people say "it is the parents that are trained"... I know some EC parents get offended by this but I do think there is truth to that... and SO WHAT?

So what if I have trained myself to listen to my babies needs, and make sure she isn't sitting in a dirty diaper? Is that really so bad? After my husband - who really just goes along with my ideas, read the article and comments he said "but who puts an age limit on getting past crapping yourself? Seriously!?! " . So true! What is so bad about a child learning to use the potty sooner than later?