Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Children!

Baby Blues

It is difficult to capture Jack's beautiful blue eyes in pictures. They often appear to be dark brown since I do not use the flash on our camera with Jack because I'm worried that it would be too bright for his developing eyes. Today was a bright sunny day so the natural light was able to capture Jack's stunning blue eyes. Grace also has beautiful bright blue eyes. They truly sparkle and match her sparkly personality perfectly!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Drawing On Sandpaper With Cinnamon Sticks!

Grace used cinnamon sticks to draw on sandpaper. We all enjoyed the sweet scent of cinnamon as Grace kept drawing!
After Grace was finished drawing on the sandpaper we gave a cinnamon stick to Jack to hold. Jack enjoyed the feel of the cinnamon stick in his hands and the smell of the cinnamon too!

Making Macaroni & Cheese

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Calendar Time

Grace has learned so much from calendar time. One of the first words out of Grace's mouth each morning is, "Today is (states the date)" and the last thing that Grace says after her goodnight kiss is, "Tomorrow will be (states the date). Grace starts off calendar time each morning using large number blocks to make the numbers of the date. Next, Grace finds the number of the date and places it on her calendar. Grace then says the entire date including the day of the week, month, number, and year. Grace sings a days of the week song and also recites the twelve months of the year. Grace knows which holidays are in each month and their correct date. Grace has picture symbols that corresponds with each holiday and she loves these! Grace has recently learned everyone's birthday in our family. Grace also enjoys putting the weather picture on the door each morning. She enthusiastically runs to our window to look outside in order to determine which weather picture to choose. Grace also sings a weather song. After the weather Grace stands up, looks at the American flag, and says the Pledge of Allegiance. Grace ends calendar time by pointing to President Obama's picture and says, "Good morning President Barack Obama. Thank you for helping our country." Sweet Jack-a-roo also enjoys calendar time and intently watches all that Grace does. He is learning so much by watching his big sister. The very best part of calendar time for me is at the very end where I give Grace a big hug and I tell her how very proud I am of her.

Taking A Tummy Time Break

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Surprise! Ice Towers!

Grace created ice towers from the frozen colored water that she made yesterday!
Grace chose how tall to make the towers and what colors to use. Grace was able to remove the frozen water from the containers by first dipping them into a bowl of warm water before assembling her ice towers.

We put the ice towers on the railing of our deck so we can see them from our kitchen and dining room windows. They are beautiful!

Good Morning

First thing this morning Grace & Jack snuggled up together in their pajamas and under a warm blanket. Jack enjoyed a quick kiss from Grace before she read a Baby's Busy World to him. What a nice way to begin our day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coloring Water For A Surprise Outdoor Project!

Grace & I gathered a variety of containers of different shapes and sizes. Grace used food coloring to color the water. Grace loved mixing colors together to create new colors. Once she finished mixing, Grace poured the colored water into the containers. Jack enjoyed looking at all of the colors Grace created. Yellow and red were Jack's favorite. We then put the containers of water outside on our deck to freeze overnight. Stay tuned for the next step of our frozen colored water project some time this week!!!! :)

Jack Loves Grace's Big Bed Too!

Grace has been sleeping so well in her big girl bed! She has been sleeping in a little longer in the morning and her nap was a little longer today too. While Grace was napping this afternoon, Jack & I were playing downstairs. Once Grace woke up we all laid in her bed to read books together. Jack was very tired from his learning time so he ended up falling asleep on Grace's comfy cozy bed. I covered Jack on the bed with one of Grace's fleece blankets and Jack slept like a baby while Grace and I continued to read books together! Jack later said he is definitely ready for a big boy bed of his own but without all that pink!!

"We Have Electricity!"

We had a snowstorm Sunday night into Monday morning which left us with ten inches of heavy wet snow. As a result of the storm we lost power on Sunday night and were without electricity for 18 hours. Fortunately the power was restored yesterday afternoon just before dinnertime and our Internet service just came back today. Grace was the first one to notice that the electricity was back on yesterday. She pointed to one of our digital clocks and said, "Look Mommy and Jack-a-roo-roos, we have electricity!" Grace then ran over to her art table and turned on her flower light while shouting, "Hooray!" We were all VERY excited to have the power back on - especially Mommy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Hello Big Girl Bed!"

After a mere 75 minutes of screwing, re-screwing, a few mumbled Big Boy words, and some stellar team work - the Big Girl Bed was complete! For Dads that will tackle this process in the future - when you see the word "simply," in instructionlogy this means that you better read this twice and engage help from someone who knows what they are doing ASAP. Also, when you read "you may need to apply some force" - you will either need a four wheel drive vehicle with a warn winch or a block and pulley system worthy of the Smithsonian. No Big Girl Bed would complete with the Ellllllllaaaaaaaas! Gracie girl was thrilled with the result ..... and the Friends agreed this was a bed worthy of our little Princess.
Grace laid down in her big girl bed like a practiced veteran.
Grace then put an Ella next to her head, rolled onto her side, and got ready for sleep. Rebecca and I were very anxious about how well Grace would sleep in her new bed. With typical Grace courage and assent she acted as though she had been doing this for 2 years, 2 months, and 19 days. We listened intently to the monitor, waiting for any sounds of distress. Instead we heard Grace joyously singing, "Bye-bye crib, bye-bye crib, bye-bye crib. Hello big girl bed, hello big girl bed, hello big girl bed it's nice to see you" and we didn't hear another peep until morning!

"Bye-Bye Crib"

Our little Big Girl transitioned from her crib to a "Big Girl Bed" on Saturday. We have gone into Grace's room on numerous occasions to find one leg conspicuously hanging over the side of her crib. Grace never climbed out of the crib by herself but we think it was her not so subtle way of letting us know she was ready to move to a Big Girl Bed.
Grace was willing to lead the charge to disassemble that vestige of babyhood. Rebecca let Grace pick out a pair of pants for the major construction project. She picked black tight sparkly pants! Right on Gracie. Daddy prepared for the role by growing out some scruff and dressing in a denim shirt. Surely this would go swimmingly.
Jack-a-roo-roos (as Grace now calls him) supervised from a cozy chair in the corner. In this picture, he notices that one of the side rails is slightly off level.


Grace has created a new name for Jack - "Jack-a-roo-roos!" Whenever Jack is sleeping Grace always goes to him and gently touches his cheek while quietly saying, "Jack-a-roo-roos is sleeping." This cute name has stuck and now I find myself calling our sweet boy Jack-a-roo-roos too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oh No!

Our camera broke yesterday! Fortunately we have an older camera that I used today to take pictures so I'll try to get those onto our computer tomorrow. Stay tuned for posts showing Grace's BIG girl bed and of our sweet Jack! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spool Snowflake Prints

Grace used a spool of thread to make these beautiful snowflake prints. Grace had white and several shades of blue paint available. She dipped the spool of thread into the paint colors and stamped them onto her paper. Grace later sprinkled glitter on her snowflakes to give them a little bit of extra sparkle. Grace's snowflake prints turned out beautifully and this was the perfect project for today as the snowflakes were falling gently outside too!

Jingle Bells!

I have two large bins filled with a variety of musical instruments. I took the bins out yesterday so Jack could listen to each one using his ears, touch each one using his hands, and see them using his eyes ~ a full sensory experience. Jack enjoyed all of the instruments but he was definitely most fascinated with the bells. Shortly after Jack woke up this morning I hung a small and large bell from his play mat so he could make them ring using his hands and feet. Jack LOVED the bells hanging and he did such a great job making them ring. In the picture above, Jack's hands were moving so quickly they are a blur!

Welcome Birds!

A very big thank you to Daddy for hanging our homemade bird food outside of our dining room and living room windows so we can watch the birds eat from the warmth of our home. Daddy was up on a ladder last night in the middle of a large snowstorm hanging up the food for our birds. It was a fun surprise for Grace & Jack to wake up and look out our windows to see this site....what a great Daddy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Making Food For Our Birds

Grace made food for our birds this morning. First, Grace put string through the bagel holes and then spread peanut butter over the top side of the bagels.
After each bagel had a coat of peanut butter Grace pressed the bagels into bird seed.
Here are Grace's finished peanut butter bird seed bagels.Gracie girl had to try a little taste of the peanut butter just to make sure it was okay for our birds to eat! :)
After making the peanut butter bagels, Grace & I took several pipe cleaners and threaded Cheerios on them ~ another delicious treat for our birds.
Here are the finished Cheerio rings that we hope our birds will enjoy as much as Grace & I enjoyed making them together.

Feeding Our Birds

Grace did a great job finding the perfect branches outside our home to hang her peanut butter bird seed bagels and Cheerio rings for our birds.

Jack enjoyed a cozy nap outside on our hammock swing while Grace fed the birds...he is as cute and sweet as can be!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making Squishy Bags!

This morning Grace, Jack, and I gathered a variety of materials in order to make squishy bags. To make these bags we squeezed some shampoo and/or hair gel into ziploc bags. Grace decided that each member of our family should have their own squishy bag so we found the letters M (for Mommy), D (for Daddy), J (for Jack), and GRACE to put inside each of our four ziploc bags. Grace then shook glitter into the bags and we added different colored shapes and buttons of varying sizes. Finally, we sealed the squishy bags.
Grace helped Jack open his hand so he could feel his squishy bag. Jack loved the feel of his bag as well as all of the attention he received from his big sister. Grace and Jack played with the squishy bags together for nearly twenty minutes and Jack smiled the entire time!Grace had lots of fun with her squishy bag too! Grace squeezed and squished her way into spelling her name and sorting the shapes and buttons by size and color. This was a great activity because the same bags could be used for both Grace and Jack with different concepts targeted for each child. The bags provided Jack with a fun sensory and visual activity and Grace with letter/sound, sorting, and sequencing practice.
Here are all of our squishy bags. Each bag has a different look and feel depending on what type of materials were used and how much glitter, shampoo, and hair gel was put into each bag.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Months Old!

Our very sweet boy turned two months old yesterday. Jack continues to grow so quickly. This picture of Jack was taken tonight during his bath time. Jack is just two months old and is already on his third tub. Jack is such a big boy that he has outgrown his two other infant tubs!! Jack is a very happy boy. He loves to smile when he looks at us and during sound play. Jack continues to coo and he makes new sounds every day. Jack is quite the talker and he loves carrying on long conversations with us. Jack's favorite things right now include: a ball popper toy, music, singing, dancing, bouncing with Mommy & Daddy on a large therapy ball, tummy time on his fleece blanket, kicking his feet, bath time, splashing in the tub, looking at everything in our home, mouthing his right hand, sound play games, play silks, car rides, being carried in a sling, and being outside in warm weather.

Grace's Profile

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?