wordless wednesday::our children

and soon we can add one more to this little, green chair...

for more wordless wednesday go here and here.

month of "d"

our letter of the month of march was "d." i didn't do a specific number this time around and tried to incorporate counting into our daily activities instead.

here are our specific "d" themed activities...

introducing the letter d:
we cut out a big d and decorated it with colorful paper scraps. then we adhered the letter to the left side of a black, rectangular piece of construction paper. we then found some pictures that started with the letter d (drinks, daddy, dolls). we did the same thing for a little d, except we added the letters o and g to make the word dog and found a picture of a dog to glue on the paper (sorry blue, i didn't have any of you on hand). both letter ds are then posted on the fridge for the whole month.

we counted doors on buildings, houses and cars during some of our walks. emma also enjoyed pointing out the doors in our house.

d themed books:
"berenstain bears visit the dentist"
"the berenstain bears and the missing dinosaur bone"
"the bear detectives: case of the missing pumpkin" (this was a big favorite of the month)
"puppy mudge loves his blanket"
"a dog for each day"

doctor emma "checked up" her mama with her doctor kit a few times this month.

diamond necklace:
i traced a diamond shape on 4 pieces of colored foam. we cut out the 4 pieces (counting them out and named the different colors), and punched a hole on one end of the diamond. emma then decided she wanted to color each of the diamonds so she took out her markers and decorated them. we then strung them together and spaced them with straw pieces (hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills). bling, bling...diamonds are a girl's best friend.

ance, dance, dance:
need i say more? this seemed to come naturally to her. we did this activity a few time this month.

i think this one was a favorite among the whole family. emma helped with the mixing and eating but let mama do the frying. i found a really simple batter/drop donut recipe here. it was delicious!

we made a paper donkey from this link. you actually have to pay for a membership to get the template print out but i improvised and managed to make it work. i also connected the donkey with our memory verse for the month, john 12:15, followed with the story of palm sunday.

dinosaur diorama:
emma painted the scenery and mountains (from eggshell cartons) for our dino diorama. as we waited for that to dry, we made some trees with rolled up consruction paper for the trunks and leaves stuck onto pipecleaners for branches. once everything was mounted securely in the diorama, we added the some little dinos (we didn't mount these so she can take them in and out of their home).

drumming and singing away to her own beat.

more d visuals on flickr. until next month!


a genuine little girl...

as the wee one (well, i guess he/she's not so "wee" anymore) prepares for his/her arrival, i am blown away by how much emma has changed during the whole pregnancy. i still want to see her as my little baby, but no. she's not anymore. and even when i call her my little baby, she promptly reminds me that "no mama. i'm not a baby. i'm a big girl." *sigh*

and she's right. she is a big girl. she's all girl and no baby. she talks like a girl, and is rather an independent individual.

so...when gram proposed a 2 day overnight last week, i was a little hesitant. what if my baby needs me? how will she be able to last 2 whole nights without me? but really, who am i kidding?

"no mama...i'm a big girl."

and she's right. she is a big girl. the process of letting go (even if it's just a little bit at a time) has already begun. i suppose it had already begun even before this, but this time around i was really just standing on the sidelines. watching her do her own thing. and having a blast doing it.

and over the river and through the woods she went. she had a great time (which i knew she would) with her cousin ben and gram as they spent some much needed time with mammaw. what a joy and a blessing to have so much family near by.

*photo courtesy of gram and pap.


you know you're pregnant when...

  1. it takes you half the night just to turn from one side to the other.
  2. your feet have completely disappeared.
  3. your belly-button has ceased to exist.
  4. you're feeling sleep-deprived even though the baby isn't even here yet.
  5. trimming or painting your toe nails requires some serious yoga moves.
  6. you gain 4 lbs. in 1 week and that's normal.
  7. slip-on shoes are your new best friend.
  8. going to the bathroom to pee has become your new exercise regimen.
  9. sitting is uncomfortable, standing is uncomfortable, laying down is uncomfortable...
  10. you attempt to "squeeze" by someone and you end up taking them down with your huge belly.
  11. even maternity pants are no longer comfortable.
  12. you find yourself getting a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) helping of food "for the baby."
  13. you get in and out of the car slower than your 2 year old.
  14. you miss the cup when trying to give a urine sample (twice!).
i can keep going. any others?


to chuck or chunk?

we have had a bit of disagreement between us northerners and our southern friends regarding the usage of chuck or chunk as a verb referring to throwing/flinging/tossing an object.

english was not my first language, but regardless i have learned that the word chuck was a synonym for throw. however, our southern friends have pointed out that we pronounce the word incorrectly. it really should be chunk. really? chunk?

here are the definitions offered for chuck from dictionary.com. and here are the definitions offered for the word chunk. if you notice, dictionary.com states that chunk is possibly a nasalized pronunciation of the word chuck...hmmm...

anyone else heard of the word chunk used in the same way as chuck? which one do you use?


little pets

the early childhood pta sponsored a "tour" of petco this morning, which emma and i attended.

for the most part, it was an opportunity to touch and feel some of the animals they have at the store.

we started off with some soft, furry guys: cats, a chincilla (which we learned cannot get wet), and guinea pigs. the cats got to roam around among the kids. one in particular was actually very good with the kids, patient and quite mellow. i would even consider taking him home (this is a HUGE compliment coming from one who does not care for cats). the chincilla was of course very soft, but was seemed rather overwhelmed with all the kids. so the little guy didn't stay out for too long. and guinea pigs...not a personal fan, but emma liked them.

next on the list were the reptiles: a tortoise (so cute...i used to have a pet tortoise when i was in middle school named marcus), and 2 baby ball pythons. the ball pythons were quite interesting, because when the gal brought them over they just looked like little balls in her hands. emma was not into touching the snakes at all. i admit, i'm also squeamish when it comes to snakes, but these guys were little (though once full grown they can get up to 5 ft. in length...yikes).

lastly was a little green parakeet. he actually did great with the kids and liked to climb on their arms and shoulders. the cats in their cages immediately focused their attention on the little bird when the gal brought him out.

we then wandered around the store to look at the fish, and picked up a couple of treats and a new brush for blue.

sorry no photos. i brought my camera, but i think i got pretty engrossed in the touch and feel experience that i forgot to take it out. i love experiences where kids have some hands-on learning opportunities, and there are so many out there (even beyond the pet store). many don't cost a thing, and can even be done in your own home. especially with young children, there's always a learning opportunity in even everyday experiences.


wordless wednesday::big, little

more wordless wednesday here and here.


feeling the wind in my hair

today was the first day since the onset of cold weather that i was able to drive with the windows rolled down. the sun was out. the weather warm (upper 60s). a comfortable breeze surrounds me as i drive along the freeway. it fills my nostrils. it combs through my hair.

a perfect day for a lunch date with my sweet husband. just me and him. enjoying each other while we soak in the warm sunshine.

spring is coming. i can smell it. i can see it. i can hear it. and i can't wait!


new listings!

i just listed these two items on my shop.

head on over and take a look!


the sounds of scotland

in an attempt to begin teaching emma about her diverse cultural heritage, we headed over to the beck center to see, hear and learn more about the bagpipes.

the piper, mr. slife, plays for the cleveland firefighters memorial pipe and drums band. since the bagpipes are quite loud, he played outside, while we watched from the window inside the building. after wards, he came in and gave a quick explanation of the instrument and his attire. then we danced to a few tunes he played from his chanter. the kids even had an opportunity to touch and feel the instruments, which emma mentioned later was the part "i loved."

to further her learning experience, we headed home and listend and danced to some bagpipe music, played with aaron's chanter and horsehair sporran, and dressed her in her kilt and aaron's hat.

maybe i'll make some haggis...not really. though they are quite tasty in my opinion.



while i was out for the evening, pirates invaded my home.

more wordless wednesday here and here.


get your game on

as we entered the brewer's home for cross point's annual game night, we put on our game faces ready for some intense game playing (and some intense eating on my part).

there were so many game options to choose from but the men decided to settle on rummy while the women (and ty) opted to try out an i-spy type game (the name escapes me) and catch phrase.

since there was such a large group playing rummy, the game went quite slow. they were on their 6th hand and they had not even reached 250 points (when we play with 3 or 4 we can easily reach 250 in no time). i had originally wanted to participate, but after seeing such a large group i opted for something else. and i'm glad i did. after finishing one round of the i-spy game we moved on to catch phrase (i suggested twister but no takers...what's more funny than a pregnant lady playing twister?). it was my first time playing and i thought this game was fast-paced, high energy, and fun, fun, fun.

the little ones managed to enjoy themselves for a while, but i knew it would be a matter of time before a serious bedtime meltdown would ensue. shortly after 9 p.m., our sweet little emma turned into an inconsolable, screaming, wild thing. needless to say, we quickly jetted out of there and enjoyed an earful of screeching and crying during our ride home....and all the way to bed. i guess the girl's got to have her beauty sleep.


the attic::let there be light!

we decided to forgo any ceiling fan in our attic and just do lights. we will probably end up getting a few stand-alone fans and perhaps an a/c unit up there for the summer months.

we did not get new lights for the ones over the stairway (to keep within budget), but did replace the glass with something a little more contemporary.

the old ones kind of looked like this. not really our style at all.

we (well, actually aaron...but i get credit for taking photos, right?) then mounted a new light fixture where the ceiling fan used to be. we were ready to shell out $80-90 for track lighting, but aaron found a great deal in the clearance section on new track lights for $40 (they were last year's model).

there was actually a decent sized hole in the ceiling from where the fan was installed, but it ended up being a pretty simple fix with a little bit of drywall and some spackle (i would have gone up there to take photos of the process, but it was really cold that week and that attic is still drafty).

once we save up a little more money, i think we will go ahead and replace the windows with something a little more energy efficient than the drafty ones we have.

i now have the honorable duty of cleaning up all the dust and debris.


a bit of time for me...

even with 2 kids, i don't ever feel like i'm lacking time for myself (though before emma i've had a few people remind me to "take time for yourself"). with emma still taking naps in the afternoon and ty at school until 3, i am grateful for the "me" time i get during that period of time. and being able to go out and do zumba or bible study, or whatever in the evening while aaron hangs out with the kids is wonderful "me" time too. but then again, i'm really not one of those people who needs to have a "me" time. i like being around people (family or not), because it's more fun for me to spend time with others than it is to spend time alone.

however...yesterday, i had some excellent extended "me" time while emma was whisked away to the zoo with gram, pap, and ben. if you'd like more photos and details of what emma did while i was pretending to be a lab rat on display, go here. if you're interested in finding out what i did (which i guarantee is not as fun as the zoo), continue reading below.

i was tempted to stay at home and do some laundry, but really i can do that even when emma is home. so as soon as they left, i headed to the Y to run walk on the treadmill while enjoying a good read. it felt good to exercise (though i'm not used to the whole walking on a treadmill thing...i prefer to run). i had the thing on an incline, and walking on an incline for 45 minutes kind of made me sore. goes to show how frequently (or infrequently) i exercise during the winter. i'm not a fan of taking walks in cold weather.

emma came home from the zoo very excited. i think she had a fantastic time. the highlight of her zoo visit this time: she saw "a monkey go pee-pee...on the daddy." that's our girl.

wordless wednesday::negative space

this would have had me stumped. i thank my dance degree for solving this puzzle (we were always encouraged to view space from different perspectives, forming spatial relationships, etc.)...who knew dance and math would go together?

for more wordless wednesday go here and here.


the month of "h"

inspired by mozi esme, i decided to begin crafts and activities with emma centered around one letter each month.

in addition to mozi esme's site, i also looked into teaching tiny tots and hubbards cupboard for ideas.

i tried to do at least 2 "h"-themed activities each week, but wasn't too rigid about getting everything on my list done.

i also picked one number for her to learn for the month and worked it in here and there. again...nothing rigid. 5 was the magic number and i usually tried to find a counting opportunity from whatever activity we were doing (counting 5 fingers and toes when we're putting socks on, counting 5 sugar packets at the restaurant, counting to 5 when she's washing her hands, etc.).

introducing the letter h:
we cut out a big "H", filled it with colorful paper scraps and glued it on one end of a rectangular piece of construction paper. then we found some pictures to cut out of things/actions that started with the letter "h" (hug, hats, hearts) and glued them on. we did the same for a small "h," but traced out her hands on the paper instead of hunting for more "h" objects. my plan is to do this same activity for other letters and once we've completed the whole alphabet we can put all those sheets together into her own
alphabet book.

h books:
we checked out some library books centered on words that started with the letter "h."

i helped her draw hearts with water colors on a sheet of paper. later on that week we used them as part of our valentine's day cards where we cut out hearts, tied two of them together, and she wrote (with my help) a valentine message for aaron and tyler.

we made a paper hat and then emma had free reign over the water colors to decorate.

reading books about helpers in the community (e.g. doctors, firefighters, etc.). emma as a "good helper" and pointing out things she "helps" with around the house or for other people. pointing out people and such and discuss how they provide help (we talked to a police officer, the purpose of an ambulance, how my midwife helps me, dogs as helpers).

hexagons and hand prints:
we cut out 5 hexagons (counting opportunity) and glued them on a sheet of paper. then i took out the finger paints and we made hand prints to decorate it.

"h" related memory verse for the month:
1 john 4:19 done in this fashion. we "discussed" how helping others is a way we show that we love them, much like how God helps us because he loves us.

having her recognize the letter and number wasn't really my big concern. what's more important was providing her with an environment that fosters creativity, stimulates curiosity and promotes a natural desire to learn. the monthly themes are nice because it provides me with some structure on how to plan the crafts, but if she decides to take an activity in a different directions i don't stop her.
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