Monday, March 22, 2010

What a whirlwind....

Between a 2nd birthday party, 3 days of training 3 hours away and morning sickness, it seems like it has been forever since last I posted. I do apologize, but we have been doing some really cool things lately. Here is an overview of our last few weeks...

We got a Thomas the Tank Engine Matching Game and AJ plays it almost everyday. He loves to call out the pictures as he puts them down. He usually does every board before moving on. We haven't played with the spinner yet, but I think we are going to try that soon.

We also played with out transpotation cards. AJ really amazed me with what he decided to do with these. First, he laid them out all facing up. Then, without being prompted he sorted them.
Not surprisingly, he collected all the trains first.

Then we talked about things with wheel and things without. So, he collect (and lined up) all the cards with wheels.

Another day we worked on graphing. We took all the color tiles and lined them up according to color. I thought there would be approx the same number of each...I was way off! We talked a lot about colors and the animals on the tiles...AJ enjoyed naming the sound the animal made.

We built houses out of blocks and AJ happily destroyed them as quickly... For some reason Aj has really enjoyed playing in my room lately. He loves to jump in bed under the covers and watch TV. I only let him do this for one episode of Dora. He would watch TV all day if I let him.

Nothing overly crafty this time, but tons of learning. I have some fun, craft activities I will post later this week from St.Patty's day. We had so much fun and we really worked on green fun!

Lastly, we have put together LOTS of puzzles. Something else AJ really enjoys. His new favorite puzzle is this 6 foot long ABC train puzzle. It is nice to have another ABC puzzle with different pictures. Although why do all my puzzles have to take up so much room!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Exciting News!

I am super excited to share that I am appox. 6 wks preggo! Yeah! I am a bit shocked..not that I am pregnant, but that it actually happened (worked)! I don't think it has totally hit me yet, but the morning sickness definitely has!

Ironically we spent the week in Orlando for training after AJ had his 2nd birthday. My hubbie and I got really sick the first night after dinner. Throwing up the whole bit! A definite case of food poisoning! So we were miserable, but I noticed that he started feeling better...Not me! Even when we got home I was still pretty green, so we decided I would take a test just to make sure I wasn't preggo.

Even at 8:30 at night there it was a very bright + sign!

My hubbie and I are super excited. It is still taking a bit of time for it to totally hit me, but it look like we will have another little one roaming around in November!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Day with Family

My mom was in town for the weekend. It was so great to see her because she lives pretty far away. So, we went over to spend the afternoon with my mom (Mimi), my aunt (Surgi) and my grandmother (Nana).

On our trip over we stopped by this outstanding educational store that is unfortunately going out of buiness. Their misfortune was our awesome find. I got severl great things for AJ's totschool. I bought 2 different sets of picture cards. One set has everyday words on oneside and a picture on another. The other set was all kids of transportation cards. 1 card had a picture of a type of transportation (like a boat) and the word on the back. Then, there was a second card with a peek-a-boo picture that you could match up to determine the whole pictures (for example: there might be a peek-a-boo picture of a tire and you had to match it up to the truck). I also bought 2 posters that had opposites and rhyming words. I plan to cut those up and laminate for later. But, the big find was a set of foam blocks (orig. marked $45.99, marked down to $25.00 with an additional 30% off). In total I spent only $33 for all our treasure. I am super excited.

Needless to say that was a not so quick detour, but we still made it to Nana's in time. AJ was super excited to see Mimi and Surgi. He immediately ran up to them and held both their hands.

Mimi had a really special present for was an accordian names Ruby. You see, when Nana moved her precious accordian was lost over 30 years ago. She still talks about it all the time, so the kids decided to suprise her with a new one. We had no idea if she would still remember how to play!

The moment Mimi opened the case, Nana could not believe her eyes. She could not stop smiling! It was such a beautiful moment! She slipped it right on and started playing!

I guess it is like riding a bike because she played every song she could think of... from polkas to She's comin' around the Mountain (she even played You are my Sunshine and Camptown Racers).

AJ just sat back and listened intently to all the music. Then, while we all ooggled and aggled he dove right in to building with his new blocks!

After about an hour of listening to all the beautiful music (and a few not so great moments when Mimi attempted to play) we decided to head off to get dinner. No Nap AJ did pretty good at dinner, it got a bit hairy at the end so Mimi and Surgi took him outside to ride on the carousel. He loved it!

The next evening, Mimi baby sat AJ so Daddy and I could finally go see Avatar! But, before we took off, I snapped a few pics of AJ and his Mimi. AJ didn't Mimi to leave when it was time for his nap, so he made her lay down and then he covered her up before he snugged up with her. It was so precious!

We were all very sad to drive Mimi to the airport. We just hope to see her again soon! We love you and miss you!

A Day out with Daddy

Daddy came home early from work on Friday and decided to show AJ how to play croquet. No matter how many times daddy set it up, AJ just ran behind him, picked up the flags and moved them. It was so cute to watch through. AJ also didn't want to use the mallet to hit the ball. He liked the stakes instead!

Here are a few pics of AJ trying to play:

Then, Daddy took out to a late picnic lunch at the park! We had happy meals and icecream! It was such a nice time! I love when daddy comes home to play with us!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Battle Scar...

I recently came across a thread in my mom's group from a mom who was befuddled by her constant battle to get her toddler into his car seat. I could totally identify with this mom's overwhelming feeling of complete frustration at this constant battle. As I read it, I couldn't help but reminisce about my own battle the other day...

As always, we are late getting out of the house. AJ is totally uncooperative. He does not want to get his toys ready to go or put his shoes on in fact and I get my purse together to leave I see him out of the corner of my eye in the process of removing his pants. I peek at the clock...ugg I should have left 10 minutes ago. I take a deep breath because I want to him, at the situation, at my utter frustration. At the fact, I gave myself extra time to ensure we got out of the house on time and instead my son is half naked...AGAIN! Instead, like a good mom, I close my eyes...count to five...breath deep and accept the situation. He is not even 2 I remind myself. I accept that fact that we will be late AGAIN...whatever. It won't be the first time and I guarantee it won't be the last!

As I near AJ and collect his discarded attire, he sprints off to hide under his train table. Evading capture, he runs to the other side of the island and we play a frustrating game of ring around the Rosie. He is can feel the anger creeping up! So, I decide to just ignore the pestilence and decide to take him the way he is. So what if it is 50 degrees outside and he is in a shirt and diaper...

I tell him we are leaving. Put his clothes in my ever bulging bag and realized I have traded my school backpack once filled with 50lbs of books for a diaper bag/ purse/ lunch box/ kitchen sink. I grab AJ's Halloween bucket, throw in a few toys and walk out the door. As the door swings shut behind me, I hear AJ banging on the window. Ahh, he is finally ready to leave!

As I open the door, he comes running into my arms. I thankfully swing him onto my hip, so what if I am now loaded with a 50lb bag and a 30lb baby. We are out of the door! Success is so sweet!

I launch my bag into the front seat and open the back door to put AJ in. As I sit down and start to turn AJ to get him into his seat I notice he is starting to try to crawl over my shoulder and over the car seat into the front seat. Oh No, you don't! I twist and turn, push and pull. AJ is screaming...NO! NOOOO! He grabs my hair as he tries some evasive maneuvers to avoid capture. By this time, all limbs are involved even my head is being utilized to try to force this beast into his cage. I just freeze for a moment waiting as see some people walking by give me THE GLANCE. You know the one... not the "I know what you are going through" glance ...not even "the I've been there" glance, but the "Look at this Crazy Lady" glance. You know the one where they glance back a few time to make sure you aren't beating your child kind of glance! Uggh!

But, I can't let up! I seize the moment when AJ pauses from his back arching acrobatic moves for a brief breath. I slip the straps on despite this thrashing and hair pulling manage to get the click. Oh, the know the one! In a full sweat, I slowly remove each body part banging my head on the ceiling as I get out of the back seat.

At this point, I am on the verge of tear. I just want to scream, curse...something. Instead, I just get in the front seat and blast the AC check out my mangled hair. Why did I even bother to do it this morning? I close my eyes for a moment to avoid the flow of tear threatening to break loose. Bruise and beaten, I long for the days of absolute freedom. The days when I would hop in the car, roll the windows down with no where to go and no time to be there and just drive. Imagining where I might go, I contemplate scrapping my plans and just taking AJ to the shop and dropping him off with his father. A few precious moments of freedom. But, just as think my mind is made up, I open my eyes to my smiling little boy calling out "Mama..wuve oo!"

It is all the motivate I need to put the car in reverse and start on our journey out. Only 15 minutes late...I can still make it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Too Big or Just Right!!!

AJ woke up running this morning, so, I knew I just had to hold on tight today! He immediately went to the school cabinet and wanted his bottles. I thought I would challenge him a bit today as we worked with size. So, I gave him a bottle and a collection of items and encouraged him to try to fit them in the opening. If the item was too big...he would call out...Too Bee! It was adorable!

The first time he came to a big car, he was indignant he would get it to fit!

This picture cracks me up. When he finally realized the big car wouldn't fit. He stopped, put the car down, put his hand on his hips and through a long sting of baby grabble said..."mama... car... too bee." Then, just stood there looking at me like..ok..mama...fix it!

Next, we moved on to Arts and Crafts. He was mving a mile a minute today, so I thought this project would not only keep him busy, but we could easily extend it as long as his atention permitted.
So, I pulled out some paper and we started with the markers. We went through the colors and then I insisted he name the color before he was allow to use it. Now, this might sound stern, but I did so by asking him what color it was? The answer was...of So, I corrected him and then names the train that was the same color. For example, This is green (and we worked with several shades of each color). Percy is a green train. What color is this? Then, AJ would squeel...Ween! I would tickle and had him the marker. He got a real kick out of this!

What's better than markers....WATER!
This took some work for AJ. He had to figure out how to work the bottle. But, after a few spritz attacks around the island, he got the hang of it rather quickly!

Once you spritz, you have to wipe...and, then you dab...
Just when you think you are done...Glue!

Then, just to cement what we learned about the colors (and to make sure AJ is ready for a nap) we did a bit more work. We reviewed the colors we learned and then, I gave him a marker, asked him to name the color. Once he named the color (to the best of his ability) I asked him to go find something that was the same color. We lined each of his findings up with the markers. He loved this game!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Many Colors do you have?

Today was another colorific day. I am really trying to get AJ to identify colors by name instead of calling everything blue. So, we started the day with painting.

We got these painting sheets for the Salvation Army. I guess if you are patient they work well by basically drowning the paper in water, but AJ is not so much the patient type. So, he added some water and then moved on to water color.

Aj painted severl more of these sheets and we really talked about the color. I would ask him to get a specific color paint and he had no problems finding the correct color. He still struggles to name the colors and persists to call them all blue. We will have to continue to work on that.

When he finished painting, he ran outside to the garage and grabbed the container of broken crayons. I thought it might be fun to let him smash the crayon pieces and make new ones. So, AJ helped me peel all the paper off, which he enjoyed. Then, I gave him a hammer and let him go to town. He was thrilled!

Then, he filled the muffin cups.

Then, we baked at 250 degrees for a few minutes.

AJ was really excited to try them out.

Then, he spent the rest of the day playing with his bottles. First he played with pom poms.
After pom poms, AJ put his puff balls in the bottle and attempted to shake them out.

Much to his dismay, they didn't come out as esily as he has hoped...
So he tried to pull them out.
It turned out to be a fun and productive day. We are going to keep working on the colors and I am not sure if AJ will ever tire with filling the jugs!