Friday, September 30, 2011

So toddlers love glue

Nate and I have been going to a fantastic class at the library. They pack a lot into one hour and have given me a lot of ideas for games and projects we can do at home....which is good, because I feel like the past month I have been a brain dead zombie. I don't know what we've been doing every day, but I'm sure it hasn't been very creative. I've totally fallen behind in points and will never qualify for the Mother of the Year quarterfinals at this rate.

One component of every library class is an arts & crafts project. Apparently, it's quite fun to pour glue on little pieces of paper and stick them onto a larger sheet of paper. Who knew? Silly little kids.


So I restocked on construction paper and got a few fall themed cutouts from Lakeshore Learning. Oh and stickers too. Can't forget the stickers. Nate colored the individual cutouts with crayons, glued them onto the construction paper and then added a few stickers. Creating this masterpiece:

 
my masterpiece holding his masterpiece

My other brilliant idea, to use some of the pumpkin cutouts to create a matching game, did not go over as well. I took twenty of the pumpkins and labeled two pumpkins with numbers one through ten.  I think we got up to matching the "3" with the "3" when Nate ran away yelling, "I DON'T LIKE THIS MOMMY!" Maybe if we had glued the matching pieces together I would have gotten more enthusiasm...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby sign of the week: MUSIC

As I've mentioned before, Nate no longer uses baby sign language to communicate now that he speaks. As his verbal skills picked up (particularly after seventeen months old), our use of sign language dropped off.  But Nate still loves to learn new signs and use them for fun. If he asks me for a sign that I don't know (and don't have time to look up), I'll give him a related sign instead. I don't know the sign for banjo, but I do know the sign for music. 

Here is Nate playing his Plan Toys banjo and signing MUSIC:

video
please excuse the mess on the floor!

Click here for the adult version of MUSIC.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dawdler

Over the past few weeks Nate has been generous with the unsolicited hugs and the "I LOVE YOU!"s.  As far as the swoon factor goes, very few things could top my little munchkin grabbing my leg or throwing his arms around my neck and telling me he loves me.  These are some of the moments that make this age so special.

And then there are the other typical two year old moments. When each transition - from playing to eating, from house to car, from planking to choreographing flash mobs - takes anywhere from three to five hours. Because Nate must do everything himself.  Nate needs to get in his car seat? BY SELF. In his high chair? BY SELF. In his stroller? BY SELF.  In the bath? BY SELF. Out of the bath? BY SELF. Lay down to put pajamas on? BY SELF.  Pick out a bedtime story? BY SELF. 

And while he's doing these things by self he is taking an eternity.  Not because he is slow and needs extra time to accomplish these tasks, but because he is messing with me. Because it is way more fun to stop mid-task and stare at the seat then actually sit in it. Now this is not new behavior (it's been going on for months now) and I know it is incredibly common among toddlers.  But it drives me crazy. While I generally have loads of patience when it comes to children, and mine in particular, this is the one area that really gets under my skin. And he knows it. The power of the toddler. (Oh and his other power move is going boneless. Awesome.)

Of course, absolutely no dawdling occurs during play time

Our solution to the dawdling dilemma has been to give him a choice and then to the count of three to decide his fate. Will he get up in his car seat before I count to three or will I have to put him there? It doesn't always work (and never when it's raining - because that is the best time to play in the floorboard area of the backseat while I wait with my backside sticking out of the car... getting drenched) but it works often enough.

Does your toddler like to take their sweet, sweet time too?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Not quite tall enough

 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tech savvy toddler

I may not be remembering correctly, but I think my first real exposure to computers was in the fourth grade. I wasn't interested in them at all. I was so not a fan that I would often try to weasel out of our assigned computer time at school.  And we didn't have a home computer for quite some time, so my first time searching the internet and using email was when I started college.

So it is kind of bizarre (exciting, scary, fun) to me that children are now learning to use computers at such a young age. I've seen plenty of little ones manipulating the mouse well before entering kindergarten. And everyone knows how the kids love their iphones. I'm not sure how much we should be focusing on computer time at home. I definitely want to expose him, but there are certainly a ton of other things he should be doing with his time (like massaging my feet and fetching my slippers).

When we do play on the computer, we go to sesamestreet.org and sproutonline.com.  Nate loves the computer and is a big fan of the games that involve the keyboard, like Elmo's keyboard-o-rama (hit a letter and it pops up on the screen with an accompanying word). And apparently he's also very fond of checking his email:

video
 
 
Does your child use the computer?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ali-boo and Tristan too

A couple of weeks ago, Nate got the chance to spend some time with his cousins, Tristan and Alice.  Even though we don't get to see them very often (it's a six hour car ride and robot boy always refuses to nap during the drive), Nate's cousins are a big part of his life.  I don't think a day goes by where we don't talk about them.

Nate adores Tristan and I think the feeling is mutual. And Alice, the new baby on the block, is fun to look at - just as long as I'm not holding her. Even though Nate's seen me hold two other babies recently, he flipped out every time I picked up Ali. I don't generally laugh at Nate when he cries, but it was hard to keep a straight face when the switch was flipped and the green eyed monster cried actual tears and wanted me to hold him immediately.


When we do get to see them in person, Nate and Tristan always seem to quickly fall into a groove playing. Occasionally there's a sharing issue, but for the most part they play sweetly with lots of enthusiasm. Tower building, cooking in the kitchen and running like maniacs outside seem to be the favorite activities.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Mini-me

me at two and a half
Nate at two and one month

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Letter to Nate: Two years and a smidge

Dear Bug,

Not a day goes by that your daddy and I do not discuss the many ways in which you are the cutest, smartest, most fantastic creature to ever walk the earth. Yes, we are annoying parents that think our child is god's gift. (But you are!) And each day you continue to shape our lives for the better...

You continue to make me laugh. I don't know if it gets stuck in your head or you do it because you know I love it, but you like to break into a little Queen every once in awhile, "ANUDDER ONE BITES THE DUST... CH CH."  You've been dancing more - you enjoy a little bendy knee action which is pure awesomeness - and you play a mean air drum ("like Larry"). I, however, am usually not permitted to dance or sing with His Highness. Unless I want to pick you up and dance you around - that is a different story entirely. It's usually always welcome, and when it comes to Daddy, it's something you beg for. Although you continue to insist on your independence, I love that you still like being held and danced around from time to time.


I love the way we communicate. You speak in full sentences more and more, often saying the cutest things. Things like, "I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!" as you tear into your room. Or, "HEY MOMMY! LOOK AT THIS!"  And, "HEY DADDY, I WANNA SHOW YOU SOMEPIN'!"  You've even started finishing my sentences when I space out and blank on a word. That's a little frightening.  My favorite thing is how you even answer simple yes or no questions with complete sentences: "Yes, Mommy" or "No thank you, Mommy." Your little voice is just so sweet.

I've been known to describe you as "active"


Now that summer is unofficially over, I'm starting to mentally shift back into school mode (not that you are going to school yet). We've spent most of our time outside this summer and I haven't spent a ton of time trying to teach you ABCs and 123s like in the cooler months. Last I checked, you regularly counted to three. Now, all of a sudden, you are counting to thirteen with no prompting. It's amazing. I wonder what else will just pop out of your mouth. Are you going to just spit out the entire alphabet one day?

two years and one month old

While we have had lots of fun this past month - hanging at the park and library, enjoying play dates and visiting family upstate - our family also received quite a blow. My grandfather, your G.G., died last weekend. He was one of my favorite people in the whole world. I miss him tremendously. I am so grateful that you had a chance to meet him, even though you'll never remember it. Sadly, you'll never know him, as I had the fortune to know him. When you are old enough to appreciate it, I will tell you all the ways in which that incredible man shaped my life. And I will tell all the ways in which he was a creative man. A passionate man. A gentle man, with a wicked sense of - often dark - humor. And a man with a killer arm - just like you. I can just imagine the kick he would get out of seeing his two year old great grandson whip the baseball like you do.

pitching to your cousin Tristan

There have been moments over this past week when I would have really liked to have crawled into bed and rolled around in my pain, but I couldn't. I have you to care for. I have to be emotionally present. And I don't want you to see me upset. After all, you're so empathetic, it upsets you to see characters in books cry.  I think it is a very good thing - I focused on you instead of focusing on my grief.  As time goes on, I will have to write down all of my memories of your G.G. to share with you at a later date. I want you to know as much about him as possible.

While he only got to meet you once, I will be eternally grateful for the fact that this blog enabled him to watch you grow over the past year.

As G.G. said to me more times than I can count - I love you more than tongue can tell.


Always, Your Mommy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: G.G.

 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A wee bit early

This little message is for my partner in crime - the most exceptional father & husband I know:

video

Happy early birthday!
 
acorns, acorns...
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