Curly Crafty Mom: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nathan and Autumn's Parents as Teachers Visit

I have such a backup of exciting things to blog about :o) When I started blogging, I thought to myself, how am I going to find something to blog about everyday? Well, I really haven't had a problem as these kiddos of mine have kept me busy!

Last Saturday, our Parents and Teachers teacher came over to our house to see Nathan and Autumn. Parents as Teachers is a free program through the school district that we are in (Mehlville) but it is offered nation wide in most school districts. It is a free program for children under the age of 5. They visit every other month and bring a bag full of fun toys (educational activities), they screen your child and give you tons of handouts and ideas. It is a WONDERFUL program and did I say it is FREE? Oh, and they also offer events at the preschool throughout the year- my favorite is 'Things that Go' where they have all sorts of vehicles that park and the kids get to see fire trucks, helicopters, icecream trucks (we got free icecream, too!), etc., etc. They also do fun activities such as crafts and games, etc. I cannot praise the program enough.

Nathan knows Judy by her HUGE bag that she brings over each time that she visits. He knows that she is always pulling out fun toys and he doesn't even realize that they are educational. At this last visit, she focused on testing Nathan's knowledge of numbers, counting and colors. Ok, ok... I hate to brag... but, maybe she was just being really nice but she said Nathan can do things that some 4 year olds still struggle with. So, what I am wondering is, where did Nathan get his big brain from? Because, I know it isn't ME! lol!! Maybe he got it from his Uncle Jeff, who knows! But, what she did was set out 10 cards and she pointed to the number on each card and asked Nathan to tell her what that number was... the cards went up to 10 and he said each number correctly. She said that at age 3 the child should be able to count to their age (3) so this was good that he counted to 10. Then, she brought out this huge container full of brightly colored puff balls. She asked Nathan to set out 3 purple balls, then 6 pink, and so forth. He did really well with this... I wish I had a picture, this is something I would love to make myself for Nathan. She had a clear rubbermaid container full of these balls and they are furry and all different colors and sizes. I can't think of the name of them but they sell them in big bags at Michaels. She had sand shovels, tweezers, etc. for Nathan to pick the balls out of the box with. So fun!!

Then, she brought out these flash cards and they each had a jar on them with stickers of bugs. She asked Nathan how many bugs were on each card, as it was a different quantity on each card. She told him to count the bugs to find out how many there were, and he didn't count, he would just say, "There is 5 bugs". She said that was really good!

She also suggested that we start using puzzles with the jigsaw edges instead of wooden puzzles, as he has mastered the wooden puzzles and they aren't a challenge to him. I have some of these puzzles downstairs that Jeremi got from a coworker and I will have to see how Nathan does with them. I love puzzles! They are Disney ones and I believe it says age 3 on the box.

Then, she brought a bunch of toys for Autumn and a mirror for her to look in. We didn't do as much with Autumn as she took a nap through most of the class, but she said the class will be more focused on Autumn in August.

She also wants us to set up a time to bring Nathan to the preschool to have him evaluated. She said he will go inside a room that is all glass walls and they will test him on counting, colors, etc. (a lot of what she did Saturday) and also his hearing. We aren't sending Nathan to preschool just yet but I think it would be great to see how he does at the evaluation.

She left me with a stack full of papers that go over milestones, fun activities to do, etc. with my 3 year old and 7 month old. I need to read them during one of my pumping sessions. :o)

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Autumn's First Night in her Crib

Nathan moved to his crib at 4 months old and now Autumn is spending her first night in the crib at 7 months old. I have no idea why I waited so long to move her to the crib, but I think she is a lot more comfortable now that she can stretch out and has a mattress to lay on. I am looking at her bare bassinet right now and I am so sad that my little girl is growing up so fast. I know there will be nights where I will bring her to bed with me still, but for the most part she will be sleeping in her room. I am still working on getting her out of the swaddle, it seems some nights she wants one arm out and some she will do great with both arms out. So, we are making a little bit of progress... I also took the crib bumpers off her crib for now since she is so squirmy and I feel 'safer' knowing that they are off. I will probably put them back on in a few months.



Autumn asleep in her crib


Tonight we also had the Little Gym and I have had a cold since last night so it has been a long day for me with work and then the Little Gym. I am so glad Autumn did not put up a fight to sleep in her crib as the last few nights she's been sleeping horribly, which is unlike her... So I was a bit of a zombie today. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. On our way out of the mall from the Little Gym, I got a lemonade and pretzel. Guess who gave Nathan half of my drink when we got home? JEREMI! Ughhh! So, I hope Nathan doesn't land up with my cold now!



Autumn loves bananas and so I brought some to feed her at the Little Gym. She smiled so big for me and I finally got a really good picture of her showing her new pearly white teeth! Such a pretty girl!



We had many talks with Nathan about 'not staying with the group' at the Little Gym last week. He did MUCH better today until the last 15 minutes. So, I am happy about that, as it is a 1 hour class and that is a long time for a 3 year old. Here they are playing with the parachutes. Nathan got to lay in the middle while the other kids scooted the parachute around in a circle. He loved it!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Roll Up Some Apple Pies

Autumn has been napping really good during the day (probably because she is being a PITA at night- huge sigh) and I decided to do one of the Highlight's activities with Nathan. We had so much fun!!!



Ingredients.



Instructions.



First, you dump a can of apple filling into a glass bowl. Nathan had a hard time with dumping it in the bowl so I gave him a spoon so he could scoop the apples into the bowl.



Then, you need to cut the apples up into small pieces. Nathan never gets to 'play' with knives, so he enjoyed this activity.



Add 2 teaspons of cinnamon to the apples. I got a GREAT shot on this picture, see the dallop of cinnamon in mid-air! Awesome!



Stir. My boy does not like to be messy. The apple mix was very sticky and everytime he'd get a little on his fingers he asked me to wash it off.



Then, you grab an enchilada to put the filling onto... I love how Nathan says enchilada. He says enchlala. He can pronounce most words well, but this one through him for a loop!



Spooning two tablespoons of apple mixture onto each enchilada. You can tell by Nathan's face that he is trying to avoid getting anymore of the sticky mixture on himself by all costs.



Roll it up



Place it on the baking sheet. Bake.



Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar with a few drops of water for a glaze to drizzle over the cooked enchiladas.



Of course... the powdered sugar was Nathan's favorite part! He may not like having sticky stuff on him, but sprinkling sweet sugar all over the table, himself and the floor was a real treat! Maybe even a bigger treat them the apple pie roll ups!





I could barely get Nathan to crack a smile the entire process until he got into the sugar. So, I had to share these pictures... The red apron he is wearing was a deal I got when he was just a baby. Williams Sonoma had the aprons on sale for $6.99 including personalization (name) AND free shipping. I may have to buy Autumn one eventually at full price. I had forgotten about it until this morning and it was great to have because his clothes stayed clean! He loves the racecar on it!



Sugar glaze mixture to drizzle over the pies



Fresh out of the oven and with the glaze dribbled on them



Nathan enjoyed his creation. Mmmm!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reading Program at St. Louis County Library

Today I took the kids to the library by our house to enroll them in the Summer Reading Program. I know I am a little late, but the enrollment day was a day that I had to attend a family reunion. I get there and they told me I could sign up BOTH kids for the reading program, because this year they started a baby reading program. Sweet!


Here we are at the library.



Nathan loved picking out books for him and Autumn. He also loved how the library has a lot of stuffed animals for him to play with.



Nathan also got SO excited about the shark that was hanging from the ceiling. Maybe I am oblivious but I would have NEVER noticed that shark. I guess that is why it is wonderful to have kids, they notice things we never would!



Excited about the reading program



Looking at the potty train book - a book about a train that has a potty!



I picked out 5 books each for Nathan and Autumn. I plan to read them 5 books each week. Nathan needs to have 36 books read to him and Autumn needs 20 read to her. I decided to take a picture of them by their books... so here is Nathan with his books!





Autumn with her books



The lady said they needed to color this sheet and to bring it in for an extra prize. I had Nathan color Autumn's for her... Nathan is JUST not big into coloring so it was like pulling teeth to get him to color TWO sheets! Geez!



I read Nathan a book today and marked one circle off



And, I read Miss Auttie a book. I love these sheets. I remember the ones they had at the library when I was a kid, they put each kid's sheet on top of the bookshelves and put a gold star on it if you read a book... It was so neat to see other kid's sheets as the sheets were on posterboard and they folded them so it stood up on the shelf. MUCH cooler then how they do it nowadays - OH WELL! I am so excited to do the reading program this year with the kids! I love reading and hope they will get into reading just like their Mom! If anyone has any good preschool books to recommend please let me know...

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I learned a valuable lesson today.

I put a plate of some graham cracker shaped like bugs on the table for Nathan for a snack. My mom put these in the bag for Nathan when I had picked him up after work. I broke them in half because they were a little big.

Nathan frowns at me. "They are broken, fix them please."

I put them back together on the plate so the two broken pieces are side by side.

Nathan says, "I don't want them, they are still broken."

I take the plate away, and decide to get him some veggie sticks. Of course, I am STARVING after work and need a snack myself.

I put a plate of the veggie sticks infront of Nathan.

"I want my bugs. Give me my bugs back, Mom."

Me. "They are broken so I put them away."

Nathan. "I don't want this, I want my bugs."

Me. Oh great. I ate them. Now what. Lesson learned. Never, ever, believe your 3 year old when they tell you they don't want something. Why, do you ask? Because, they will want it a minute later!!

Oooooops.

Punishment: Nathan cried for his bugs for an hour. Seriously. Why. Me. I seriously thought about regurgitating... Luckily, he got over it when I cut a cheese stick up for him. Kids!


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nathan's 3 Year Well Visit

Last Saturday I took Nathan to his 3 year old well visit. I know, it was a month late, but I always try to get the Saturday appointments so I don't miss out on work. This appointment was so different from his previous well visits in many ways. First off, the nurse told him to take his socks and shoes off, and he did. Then, he went with the nurse to the scale by himself while Autumn and I waited for him in the room. When they came back in, the nurse said she told him to touch his belly and he bent over and touched his belly to the scale. lol!! Silly boy.

Then, she had him come back in the room and she had me set him on the table. She then did a hearing test on him on one ear at a time and he heard 'ringing' noises that tested his ear to see how well his hearing is... Nathan was really good and stayed still for the entire test.

After that, we waited for Dr. Atteberry to come in and the entire 10 minutes Nathan stayed on the table but made faces and stuck his tongue out at the mirror hanging next to him. Then, he looked up and said the mobile they had hanging over the table was 'scary'. It had a bunch of different people on it and some were carrying baskets on their heads. I have no idea why it was 'scary'...? I will never know...

Then, Dr. Atteberry came in and Nathan gave him a high five. He checked Nathan out and everything is fine. He told us that Nathan did not need any shots this time but would get two shots next year. No bloodwork either, which was fine by me!!

I came home and put Autumn down for her nap and decided to add Nathan's stats to his baby book. When I opened it I became so sad... you know why? His baby book ends after age 3. I guess it sort of hit me that, wow, he is not a baby anymore... I mean, he hasn't been a baby for quite sometime. But, he really is growing up and has become such an individual in just these short 3 years. Then, I saw Autumn's baby book laying next to his and I felt better because I have many more pages to fill out in her baby book. I have no idea how I will feel when she is 3 since she is my last. Sigh... :,( But, I must admit, every month with both of my kid's is such a joy.

On a lighter note, here are Nathan's stats from his doctor's visit:

Height: 3'1" (29%)
Weight: 32 lbs (55%)

I found this really neat height/weight percentage calculator here. This calculator only goes up to 36 months (3 years).

THEN, this calculator is even more fun, you can find out your child's future height. LAST year when Nathan was 2 years old it said he'd be 5'5"!! Seriously!! THIS year it says he will be 5'8 1/2" which is still sorta short BUT SO MUCH BETTER then 5'5"! I hope I don't offend anyone by this but I just have hopes he is taller then me!!! I am 5'7"! :o)- Jeremi is 5'9". Anyway, it is just fun to see how tall he 'might' be...

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

7 months old and still, yes STILL wanting to be swaddled!

Autumn is 7 months old as of Father's Day and I have been trying off and on since she's been 4 months to get her used to sleeping without being swaddled. She isn't swaddled for her naps, but she demands it for bedtime! I have gotten her to sleep well with one arm out of the swaddle, and I doubt we'll go back to having both arms in... AND last week I got her to sleep two nights in a row with both arms out, but then... she started crying and resisting bedtime to where it was 9:30pm and she'd still be up and fussing if I laid her down. So, we are back to one arm out, one in... and, she is outgrowing the bassinet by her length and ability to sway it back and forth, so I am moving her in the crib SOON. I really wanted to get her out of the swaddle before we moved her to the crib, but OH WELL, I need my sleep. We have a video monitor so I can keep an eye on her. It will be so sad to move her out of our room though :( But, I am sure there will still be nights where I will bring her to bed with me due to her being restless/growth spurts, etc.



Here is a VERY rare picture of her sleeping with both arms out of the swaddle.



She is soooo long. She will be a lot more comfortable in the crib!



Why me? Nathan thinks he wants to sleep in the bassinet... heck, I catch Bratchey our cat sleeping in the bassinet. Yes... It will be so nice to give the lovely family herloim back so I don't have to pull Nathan and Bratchey out of it every other minute. Heh heh!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Little Gym at the Mall

Tonight we moved class into the new Little Gym location at the mall. I must admit, I am not happy that they have moved into the mall. It is just not easy! It took me an additional 15 minutes to get in the mall and out. Why? Because, now I have to load the kids up into the double stroller, park a lot further away, get inside the mall, walk through the crowded food court, go to the middle of the mall to get on the elevator, ride it upstairs, then there is still quite some walking to get to where The Little Gym is... Then, there is a door to the front of it so I had to ask someone to hold it open so I could get the double stroller through it. Blehhhh! I know, I know, it probably isn't that big of a deal, but my evenings are hectic enough that I value every minute.

Ok, positives, it is a nicer building. And, I do walk by a Gymboree and Starbucks on the way there. HOWEVER, that makes me feel another negative- I feel tempted to spend money now! I am a shopaholic so now I'll be in the mall once every week! lol!

Yeah, I will stop complaining... because... Nathan LOVES the Little Gym. He really enjoys the class. This week, however, he did not follow along with the group 100%. There were times where he'd run around and play on things while the group was doing something else. So, I think this week I am going to have a few talks with him to remind him that he needs to listen to directions given by a teacher and to follow along with the group. He is just not used to being in a group and around other kids, so the class is good for him. I think being in a new 'building' made him a tad excited so he wanted to try everything out.

Anyway, of course I took some pictures...


This is the outside of the new building. It looks really inviting from the outside and I love their use of colors.



Nathan loves to take his shoes/socks off before class and he puts them away.



I love this carrier. I wore Autumn during most of the class so I could have my hands free!



Beginning of class



This is my favorite piece of equipment that they have- its a large mat that fills up with air and they walk, hop, roll, etc. across it.



Flipping over the bar



Checking out the girls and seeing what they are doing on the bars

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Jeremi!

Thanks for being such a loving father to Nathan and Autumn. They both love their Daddy so much!!!








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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grand Opening of the Firehouse

I read in the paper that the Grand Opening of the new firehouse would be today. I thought this would be a great learning experience for Nathan so we went around lunch time.





Here is a couple pictures of the front of the firehouse.









Nathan loved to sit and stand on the firetrucks. However, he said the firetrucks were broke because when he tried to honk the horn it didn't work. lol. He was almost as tall as the wheel.



Me, Autumn, Mom and Nathan



We left STUFFED full... they had hot dogs, brats, chips, oberweis pints of icecream, cake and water/soda and coffee! FREE too! I was bad... I gave Auttie 4 tiny bites of chocolate icecream... I know, no dairy yet, but I felt bad eating and she loved it.



Nathan HARDLY EVER gets soda. He was gulping it down!!



The kids all got goody bags with reflector stickers, coloring book, pencil, wall outlet covers and plastic firefighter hat.



We live close to the Meramec river so these firefighters also have a boat in their garage!



We even got a tour of the inside of the firehouse and it was nice! This is the picture of the family room with large table and individual recliners infront of a tv.



They had a large kitchen! 3 refrigerators for the 3 shifts, each shift gets there own refrigerator.



They also had 5 bedrooms with 3 foldout beds/3 lockers in each room for each shift. So, they have 5 people on a shift at a time, so they each get their own room! I noticed one locker had a lady's name/photos on it so there is a fire lady in this fire house, too! The bedroom's also each had their own computer. How nice!



Exercise room

Nathan really enjoyed himself and I did too! This was the first time I had ever been inside a firehouse. Autumn enjoyed her free ride in the new baby carrier,


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