Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent

I have a confession, I am not a fan of the Christmas season.  Everything goes downhill after Thanksgiving for me because I feel like I am going through the motions, meeting other people's expectations of what I SHOULD do for the holidays.  I love the IDEA of the holiday, but the reality of concerts, shopping and decorating (when I can barely keep my house clean as it is) is completely overwhelming.

The good thing about being a new parent is that I can start making new traditions for our family, and hopefully change my Grinch-esque attitude.  Although this is LWK's second Christmas, it is the first one where he can interact and experience the special aspects of the the season and it is a perfect time for us to start making memories for him of what we do for Christmas.  One of those things is starting an Advent tradition for our family.

When I was little, we would get a little Advent calendar that had chocolates in it that we would get to open each day.  I love having a countdown to Christmas, but I wanted to have an activity we can enjoy as a family.  Last year I had read about doing a book Advent calendar by wrapping 24 Christmas and winter themed books to have displayed in a box beginning December 1st.  Each night, we will have LWK pick and open one and we will read it as a family.  I will make sure the last one he opens is The Christmas Story for us to read on Christmas Eve.  Yes, we will be taking this one to Canada with us this year!

I don't have quite enough Christmas/Winter themed books, but I just took favorites and wrap them as well so they are a surprise since LWK really likes to read the same books over and over and over again.  We can all use a break from some of his favorites right now and maybe they will have a fresh perspective in a few weeks when they aren't read multiple times a day.  I'm looking forward to adding to our collection over the next few years - there are a few that I really want to get like The Grinch, The Little Drummer Boy, The Friendly Beasts and Dream Snow.  It will be fun to see how our holiday book collection evolves as LWK gets older.  I already have visions of getting him The Nutcracker when we take him to the ballet in a few years!  Also, once he is older, I want to have the Bible as the last book and we will read the Christmas story from the book of Luke, obviously!
Our selection of Holiday/Winter/Religious/Bedtime books.
All wrapped up!  Considering how much I hate to wrap, this is quite impressive!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Family Photo

I love our new family photo!

Great photo taken by Heather Trusty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Table and Chairs

The table and chairs I got last week for LWK are a hit!  We got home from Work/School/Daycare today and I was trying to get the kitchen cleaned up and dinner going.  LWK needed a snack (since he is on a Bottle/Breakfast/Snack/Lunch/Snack/First Dinner/Second Dinner/Bottle eating schedule lately).  I didn't want to put him in the dining room by himself while I worked, so I just had him sit at his little table and eat.  He LOVED it.  And I loved having him within eye's sight.  I want to get a little splat mat for him since he is still pretty messy and testing gravity, but I think this set up is going to work well for us!

Like a big boy at his own table!

He really likes using a fork!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Organizing

I have been working on getting LWK's toys and play areas organized a bit before the next onslaught of toys in a month.  I took a trip to Ikea with my mom after school on Wednesday and bought a child size table and chairs (the Latt, for those interested) and some bins so we could sort his toys and start a rotation system.

I had read an article on toy rotation from The Intelligent Nest and even though LWK wasn't seeming bored with his toys, I felt like he was playing with the same ones over and over and not trying new things.  Once LWK went to bed, J and I got out all his toys and sorted them into piles of like items and the things that he has grown out of. The categories we used were Favorites, Active, Building, Literacy, Music, Logic, Vehicles and Socio-Emotional.then we divided those toys into four bins, trying to make sure that each bin had representatives from each category.  We kept his favorites out that he plays with every day - these were things like his MegaBloks (although I sometimes think those are J's favorite), a few trucks and cars and lots of his favorite books.  Since LWK has three areas where he plays the most (the living room, the sun room and his bedroom) we took one bin and divided it among those three other areas.  The advice in the article is to rotate the toys weekly or when you notice that you child is starting to become bored with the toys or misuse them.
These are in the corner of our dining room right now, but they are moving to our bedroom closet!
LWK came downstairs the next morning and he seemed really happy to be able to reach all the toys available to him.  Previously, we had been storing them in four bins that fit in the 2x2 Ikea Expedit cabinet.  LWK would just take the toys out that were in the top of the bins and never look to the bottom of them.  By the end of each play session, he would have tons of toys strewn about, many of which weren't played with at all.  We placed books in a half size box facing outward so he can find what he wants and each of the shelves has a few toys on it that are nicely displayed and he can easily access.


We set up the table and chairs in the sun room against the three tall 4x2 Expedit shelves.  I cleared off the second shelf so everything we put in there, he can easily see and get out.  He loves the little chairs and likes playing puzzles at the table and having a flat surface to play with his Matchbox cars.

Yes, I have lots of cookbooks....
After this three day experiment, it seems like LWK is perfectly happy playing with the fewer toys that he has access to.  J and I are liking having less toys to pick up multiple times a day!   Since this is a long weekend where we are all home, I think we will do our first rotation this Sunday.  Once we get into the groove, I think this system will work well and help us keep better track of what he plays with, what he has grown out of and what he needs.  Now, if only the rest of my house was this organized and well planned!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Park

We had a family playdate with the Wrights this morning.  We had a yummy breakfast at the Black Diamond Bakery and headed to a little park that is a perfect size for our little guys.  They are starting to play so nicely together and in my book, have no choice but to be friends.  It is amazing to me that he has been with G and C for 6 months now and he has changed so much.  He has gotten so much taller and has really filled out.  He is talking more and more and is just an overall sweet kiddo!  No photos of the boys together yet, but they had a fun time!

He isn't afraid of the swing anymore!

In fact, he really just seemed pretty zen-like while he was swinging!

He had some great cross-hand action while turning the wheel!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Overalls

Little boys in overalls just melt my heart...



As do little boys and their dads playing the Near...Far game...



And big boys playing Legos...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

We had a pretty laid back Thanksgiving, which is always nice after the business of conferences.  I made the pumpkin pie, candied sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts.  I only made brussel sprouts because they came in our CSA box this week.  They were okay.  I probably wouldn't seek them out to make them, but if they come again I will try one of Julia Child's recipes!

The most fun part of the night was seeing the boys all play together.  Joel is such a big kid now and he plays so nicely with LWK.  LWK just wants to keep up!  James has started to crawl, so he is just trying to be a part of the action!  And James has THE BEST giggles!

We are so thankful for our family!
Our little family.

Future didgerdoo player?
Sneaking cookies!
Sweet baby James.
Joel loved the pumpkin pie!
Matching jammies!

Such a little boy!
The whole family!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Band Room

Tonight I had parent teacher conferences from 1pm until 8pm.  J was able to leave work early to pick up LWK and they came to visit me on my half hour break before heading home.  It was a nice respite from repeating the same phrases to parents over and over all night long.  We headed to the band room so LWK could run around a bit.  He loved the lights and the big, open space.  But what he really loved was the triangle!



Monday, November 19, 2012

The Glasses

LWK loves trying to take people's glasses off.  I only wear mine in the evenings and at home on the weekends.  Poor J usually has little fingerprints all over his!  LWK has been playing with the big Mr. Potato Head that I bought long before LWK was even a twinkle in my eye and he LOVES the glasses.  I finally got him to wear them today.  Such a silly, sweet boy!  And, I hate to tell you this LWK, but with the bad eyesight genes from both sides of the family, you will probably have a real pair of these before we know it!




Sunday, November 18, 2012

No More Monkeys Jumping On the Bed!

Over the summer, Grammie gave LWK the book, "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!"  LWK obviously hasn't learned what could happen, he is having to much fun jumping!  We love the finger wagging and gruff sound of him saying "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!"  And I love hearing J laugh at him too!

video

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Catalogs

When I was a little girl, about LWK's age, I LOVED the Sears Christmas catalog.  I carried it around with me and could flip right to the pages I liked.  This year, Grandma and Grandpa were going to save the wish books that came in the mail, but all the little boy stuff was dark (think Batman) or destructive (think camo, guns, blowing things up), so they decided not to keep them.

When J got the mail yesterday, we had a few catalogs for the holidays - Land of Nod being the most kid-friendly one - and a Das Auto magazine from the Volkswagen dealership.  LWK could care less about the Land of Nod catalog but was FASCINATED with the Das Auto magazine.  Cars must run deep in our families' genes!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Shoes

I was going through some of LWK's things today to share with his younger nephew.  He has been going through shoes like a madman in the last 6 months.  The shoes on the right are what he learned to walk in in July.  We bought them Father's Day weekend and they were a little big.  He outgrew those by the beginning of August.

The shoes on the left are what fits him right now (but who knows if they will fit in 2 weeks).  These are the last pair of See Kai Run shoes that I bought in May that still fit him.  That day I had bought 6 pair of shoes, three in size 5 and three in size 6 and they were all bigger than what he was wearing at the time.

So we are headed to size 7s, thank goodness I had bought some 7s and 8s at a consignment sale over the summer.  I was certain he wouldn't be in those sizes until he was at least 2 years old, but it could be next week for all I know.  To keep it in perspective, LWK's almost 3 1/2 year old cousin is just getting into size 9s.  We may need to invest in skis soon!

Barely into size 5 in June, almost out of size 7 in November.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Future Stroller Strides Dad

We went to visit the Mork family on Sunday and meet ERM.  She was so sweet, and AGM was a great big sister!  LWK and AGM are starting to play together and it is so fun to watch.  They aren't old enough to care if something is a boy toy or a girl toy.  LWK was all about the baby stroller!  He was absolutely delighted to run laps with the stroller through their kitchen, dining room and living room with AGM chasing him to put the pacifier back in her baby doll's mouth.

The one moment where he wasn't running.

This is what most of the photos turned out like - he was FAST!
AGM and LWK were pretty sweet playing together the rest of the night too.  They made a game where they dumped a basket, one of them got in and the other covered the basket dweller with toys.  There was lots of giggles too.  I am so happy they are starting to play together!

Thanks for sharing your toys, AGM!
And ERM, you were the sweetest little baby!  You slept the whole time, but before we know it, you will be running around with these two!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It!

On the way home work the other evening, LWK kept saying "Happy."  I thought it was sweet and I started singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and LWK started doing the motions!  Even the posing with his hands up by his face and a cheesy grin.  This is the new favorite song in our home!

video

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

MINE!!!

This morning on the way to work LWK whipped out his new word - "MINE!"  This must be a daycare thing (and a toddler thing) because I don't think I ever say that something is mine around him.  I usually say "That is Mommy's coffee" or "That is Daddy's shoe."

But the redeeming part of today was....

When I picked LWK up from daycare, he was the kiddo who whipped the curtain by the door open to see who was knocking at the door!  Usually it is one of the older kids who look out the curtain and they run away yelling "LWK's Mommy is here," so it was really fun to see his smiling face recognize me through the window!

Lello!

We love that LWK is starting to say lots of words.  For "hello" he says "lello."  Actually, he IS starting to say "hello," but I just wanted to catch how precious he is when he says "lello."  I think it is one of the many fleeting things that we find adorable that we will laugh about later.

video

Thursday, November 1, 2012

19 Months Old

This is the only photo of him on the rug and
looking at the camera that isn't blurry!  It is funny how
he can look so serious sometimes!
  • Height:  34 inches.  Or tall enough to run into the ledge on the changing table now.
  • Weight: 25lbs and he can stand on the scale all by himself!
  • Teeth:  11 - one of those molars just doesn't want to come through!
  • Sleep:  11 hours at night and a 1 - 2 hour nap each day.
  • Clothing:  Size 24month/2T for clothes and size 6 for shoes (for now)
  • Food:  Pretty much anything we eat, still no nuts!  He likes using a fork and a spoon.
  • Bottles:  One when he wakes up and one when he goes to bed.  He really wants to carry it around with him and chew on the nipple, so I am pretty sure he is going to bite through them soon!
  • Movement:  He has started to run and jump.  He has learned how to climb up on the dining room chairs.  He likes to work on kicking balls. He likes to climb in and out of the bathtub.


Isn't it totally normal to be this happy about  a garlic press?
  • Words:  It is hard to believe that less than a month ago I talked with our doctor at LWK's 18 month appointment about (what I felt at the time) his lack of talking.  Just in the last couple of weeks his language skills have exploded.  Every day he has something new to say.  He has mastered "No," "Mommy," "Daddy" and versions of more words that I can currently count.  He says "Hello" but it comes out "Lello."  He is learning the sounds for more and more animals - owls, lions and cows are his favorites.  He is doing a great job learning the sounds animals make too.
  • Toys:  He still loves cars and books but he is also starting to build things with his MegaBloks, pack things up and help put things away, put together puzzles, play with pots and pans and plays with the people in his Little People sets.
  • Favorites of the Month:  LWK running up to me when I pick him up from daycare yelling 
  • "Mommy!"  Singing Ba Ba Black Sheep, learning the word "happy," Knowing the motions to "When You're Happy and You Know It" including the cheesy grin for "Then your face will surely show it" part, learning how to kiss, learning his body parts.  Socially he is showing kindness - at daycare the other day the boys were playing with a balloon and when the one  little girl was standing back, LWK left the balloon game, went to her, grabbed her hand and brought her in to play with them.

    Loving this book where he can push and pull to make animals pop up.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!