Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Painting With Frozen Paint Cubes!

Yesterday we poured different colors of paint into an ice cube tray, added popsicle sticks to each cube for a handle, and froze the paint cubes overnight. Jack and Grace used the frozen paint cubes to paint this morning. This was an exciting new way to paint! Here is Jack's finished frozen paint cube painting. Once the paint dries I am going to frame Jack's work and display it in his room! Grace enjoyed painting on a large poster board. Grace loved how the frozen paint cubes became more vibrant on her paper as they melted.
Here is Grace's finished frozen paint cube painting. I love how she covered every inch of the poster board with paint. Grace can't wait to hang her beautiful painting above her art table once it dries.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Saturday At The Park...

...spreading our blanket under a shaded tree, feeding the ducks, Jack reaching to feel the green grass, playing in the gazebo, Grace dancing for the ducks, enjoying the warm sunshine after weeks of rainy weather, our picnic lunch, listening to the splashing of the water fountain, walking across the footbridge, the quacking of the ducks, running around the pond, holding hands with Grace while exploring ever inch of the park, singing with Jack, and being together.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hand Trees!

Grace's hand trees
Jack's hand trees
Grace and Jack made these beautiful four season trees this morning by painting their hands and forearms using brown paint. Their forearms represents tree trunks and their hands represents branches. Once the trees dried Grace and Jack painted their fingers to make leaves -- green leaves on their summer trees, yellow, red, orange, and brown leaves on their autumn trees, and pink and white paint for the blossoms on their spring trees!

Jack, The Artist!

Jack LOVES to paint! Jack and Grace both worked on a project together this morning that involved lots of brown paint. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished project this evening but I wanted to post this one of Jack. He looks so cute and he is very proud of himself that he is all covered in paint!

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle!

Today is Eric Carle's birthday. While we were on our walk this morning Jack and Grace gathered several leaves that have been chewed through by some very hungry caterpillars. Once we arrived back home Grace glued the leaves onto a white paper and added a caterpillar. Grace sang Happy Birthday to Eric Carle several times and we have Jack and Grace's caterpillar picture prominently displayed in our home in order to honor Eric Carle's special day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strawberry Picking With Maddy & Poppy

Maddy & Poppy are here. Hip, hip hooray! We have been having so much fun being together this week. We went strawberry picking yesterday in between rain showers. We are very lucky to live less than a mile from a beautiful orchard that grows apples, pumpkins, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Maddy, Poppy, Grace, Jack and I enjoyed everything about our trip to the strawberry patch - our wet knees (!), the juicy red strawberries, watching Jack pick strawberries for the first time, the strawberry leg warmers that Maddy made for Grace, seeing Jack sit in the hay, the orchard's two dogs (Mona & Voscar), spoting a convertible car parked in the field, and running through the strawberry aisles!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day To The BEST Daddy!

Happy, happy, happy Father's Day to the world's funniest, silliest, smartest, wisest, bravest, kindest, handsomest, and best Daddy in the whole world. Thank you, Bob, for all that you do. You keep us all smiling and laughing each and every day. You truly are the best. We love you so very much!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Music Group

We all went to music group this morning. Since we missed a music group while we were in Vermont last month we were so happy to make up that missed session today. It was such a nice treat to have Bob with us! Grace and Jack absolutely LOVE music group. Whenever I ask Grace what her favorite activity is she always says music group. Pauline, the instructor, gets a big kick out of watching Jack's reaction to all of the songs - he literally shakes with excitement! In the picture above, Grace and Jack are sharing musical instruments during instrument time. It is always so sweet for me to watch Grace and Jack together.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grace's Pumpkin Bread

Maddy asked for the recipe for Grace's pumpkin bread and here it is! I love this recipe because it is very nutritious and easy to make too.

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (any time a recipe calls for whole-wheat flour we always add 1 tablespoon of soy flour and 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast to every 1 cup of whole-wheat flour for an extra nutritional boost!)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (we only used 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup to reduce the amount of sugar)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of pumpkin (or banana if you want to make banana bread)
1 tablespoon of water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir into the dry mixture until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very thick. Spread in a pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Making Music!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making Butter

Grace and Jack made butter this morning. Grace poured some heavy cream into a small jar. Grace and Jack then took turns to shake, shake, shake their sillies out! The end result was butter! We are planning on making homemade pumpkin bread tomorrow for our butter. Yummy!

Best Friends

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Seed Necklaces Sprouted!

Jack and Grace's sunflower seed necklaces sprouted over the weekend so we transplanted them into peat pots today. Grace and Jack love to paint and they had fun painting their peat pots outside in the warm sunshine! Once the pots dried we all scooped dirt into the pots and gently transferred the seeds. Once the seeds were planted Grace turned to Jack and said, "Jack, we need to put the seeds in the sun so they can do photosynthesis!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Six Months Old!

Our beautiful, happy boy is six months old today. Here is an update all about Jack:
  • Jack can sit on his own for several minutes. Jack's favorite time to sit is while playing with blocks and outside on the grass.
  • Jack can stand on his own by holding on to furniture. Jack is very motivated to try to take steps to walk (oh my!).
  • Jack is rolling all over! Jack rolls from one end of our living room to the other when he sees a favorite toy across the room.
  • Jack is such a sweet boy and he is quite the little charmer! Jack smiles all the time and he loves to giggle at silly things.
  • Jack LOVES to eat. Jack happily eats anything I give him but his favorite foods seem to be avocados, peas, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and bananas.
  • Jack is now rolling over to sleep on his left side in his crib.
  • Jack has two teeth (bottom two incisors).
  • Jack loves making sounds. His favorite conversational partner is Grace. Jack loves "talking" to his big sister. Jack is now babbling and I love this SO much!
  • Jack loves books. Jack's favorite book is, "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" by Al Perkins.
  • Jack amazes me with his ability to reach and use his hands. Jack's reach is always accurate.
  • Jack continues to display a very clear preference for favorite songs.
  • Jack is such a big boy! Hooray - there is so much baby for me to love. We think Jack is around 22 pounds. Jack's six month wellness visit is scheduled for the beginning of July so we'll know his exact weight and length then.
  • Jack loves sign language. He understands the signs for more, all done, eat, and up. I think he also understands several animal signs including: cow, horse, pig, cat, and dog.
  • Jack has become very attached to his monkey. Jack always cuddles with monkey when he sleeps. Jack loves chewing on monkey's tail too!
  • Jack has several names including: Jack-a-roo, Hammer (jack hammer) and Big Man!
  • Jack's favorite things: blocks, books, Grace, bubbles, fans, snowflakes (I'll explain this in a future post!), being outside, going for walks, music group, pat-a-cake, balls, play silks, peek-a-boo, mirrors, music, dancing, Mommy, animals, Petey (our cat), and finger painting.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

After all the rain we received last week Grace, Jack, and I were excited to get back outside this morning in between today's rain showers for a nature walk. Grace was amazed by all of the new sites that all of the rain brought!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Block Play

Jack has great hand-eye coordination skills. Jack loves to play with blocks and he does such a wonderful job accurately reaching for and holding onto blocks. He also is doing a great job transferring blocks from one hand to the other. One of Jack's favorite things to do is to knock over block towers. I can't get them built fast enough before Jack reaches over to knock them over!

The 2 x 4 is a....

balance beam!

Using a balance beam is a great gross motor activity that encourages development of balance and is also fantastic at confidence building. Sometimes the very simplest things are the most fun!
P is for Poppy. A is for Uncle Adam.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Counting By 5's All The Way To 100

Grace amazed me on the car ride home from music group yesterday. I could hear her quietly counting by 5's all the way up to 100 along with a Ron Brown numbers CD. I couldn't believe my ears so I asked Grace to count by 5's again without the CD and she did it again all by herself. To reinforce the concept of counting by 5's, Grace & I used Unifix cubes and make twenty rods this morning - each rod being five blocks in length. We lined up the rods so Grace could visually see the number 5 and visualize how many 5's it takes to make 100. Grace demonstrated excellent 1:1 correspondence skills by individually pointing to each rod while counting by 5's up to 100. Way to go, Gracie girl. I'm so proud of you!

Fingerpainting "Rain"

With the exception of Monday, it has been raining ALL week! When we woke up this morning it was pouring quite loudly outside. I thought it would be fun for Jack to finger paint "rain" using blue paint outside on our porch while listening to the rain fall outside. Jack loves a song from music group called Drip Drop. Grace and I created lots of Jack giggles while singing this rain song to him as he painted. Jack had a great time finger painting and he created quite a rain storm on his paper! Just as Jack was finishing his painting the clouds cleared and the sun began shining. Thank you, Jack, for always bringing sunshine to our lives!

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?