Saturday, January 30, 2010

Holly's First Roller Skating

Today we joined some friends for a morning out roller skating, Holly's first time. It was a great little session for tot's and their parents - the kids ranged from one to eight years of age, no big kids out there... in fact you can skate with a stroller if you want too! All the music playing was to Disney movies - fun stuff!

She had a lot of fun, tried really hard and enjoyed every moment of her experience! Bryan worked with her slowly around the rink a few times, they did the Hokey Poky and then they skated a bit more. Slowly she grasped the idea and she improved a lot by the end of the session. I think we'll be trying this again very soon!
Doing the Hokey Pokey, they are the back side in the middle.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Learning Fun

This week we have been learning a bit about 'arctic animals' from a story we read with our preschool friends as our inspiration for the week, The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. We broke out various story books in our home on arctic animals, researched some various animals in nature books we have, watched two Planet Earth episodes on ice animals and then did some learning pages per Holly's request. I also branched out to some basic winter themes in our week.

Today she enjoyed a penguin sequencing game, arctic word search, animal reading and more! She was able to enjoy some cutting, pasting, coloring. writing and creating -- and a fun graph that we did with Valentine candy hearts for fun! Once we tackled all the little projects I had ready... she asked for more! That is when I had to encourage her to head off and play in her room for a bit.

Here are some photos of her projects she enjoyed today -- you'll see that she really loved the graph. She first estimated that there would be equal numbers of all the colored hearts and much to her surprise they were not equal. She then wanted to compare a second box to see if they are all the same.... but, I have to wonder if this was not a play for more candy? Maybe a different day we'll do this again and compare notes for fun! In the mean time.... enjoy some photos:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Holly and I have had a few snugly talks lately about the various changes that are coming to our family with the arrival of a new baby. Good talks! She is very excited for her new sibling, as in 'I cannot wait any longer' however she is also a bit reserved with some mixed emotions too - which is to be expected.

We talk about all the fun stuff we'll be able to do with a sibling, how to have fun with a baby, the extended time Daddy will have off for some fun and the new memories we will all create together as a family. We discuss all that will change and all that will remain for the most part, the same. And, yes -- we talk about the crying, late nights and diapers too. Over all though, she is really good about it all.

However, lately she has shared a few sad moments where she is worried that Mom & Dad won't have enough time to snuggle her as much, play as much or have the time for her. So, we have had to have some time reassuring her that life will still be good and happy. A little different, but in a good way. Her emotions of course are mixed, but calming too.

I am making sure I have some extra special time her right now since I'll be the most occupied with the baby -- where we get out and do a few things alone that are special and something she might even choose. Yesterday we went out and did some shopping for her to choose a 'birth-day' present for the baby that she'll bring to the hospital. She got to choose whatever she wanted, the wrapping paper and all. She came home and wrapped it all up and it now sits by the front door so that she won't forget to bring it when she meets her new brother or sister.

Later this week I think I am going to take her for special treat of donuts and cocoa or a walk in the park looking at nature. We have spent the afternoons snuggled over books, doing art projects and playing dolls. We'll just enjoy these last days together, creating some memories and enjoying the calmness that is now... snuggles and all!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nursery Photos

The nursery is just about complete now! I do have a few small tasks, like hemming the curtains, rehanging them, picking up some baskets for our shelf unit and some general organizing of clothing and supplies - but that will be a bit easier once we know what we are having and I can make some final decisions. Other than that, I think we are pretty ready - most errands are done and we are now awaiting the arrival of our new little one!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Playmobil - Hours Of Fun!

For Christmas Holly asked Santa for the Playmobil Water Zoo. The Water Zoo is a play scene of the water animals at a zoo - like the Dolphin exhibit, Cayman exhibit, Penguin exhibit and Seal exhibit. Each little tank actually holds water too! There are a ton of little accessories and pieces that go with it and over time you can expand it to a wider zoo concept if you choose!

I have never owned Playmobil, I have played with it back in the day of working in a preschool center - but didn't really remember it. It is an awesome brand of toy! Very classic, traditional imagination driven toy. Great quality and style! We both enjoy playing with her when this toy is out... in fact I have seen her teen age cousin, Sarah play with it all and have fun. Not too shabby if you ask me!

Holly also got a horse barn Playmobil set from Auntie Sue and Uncle Don for Christmas. She has been asking for a horse barn for a long time, inspired by Aunte Blayne's hobby of horse riding and her several barn set ups that they play with together. She is in heaven with it all too -- she loves to rein act Aunt Blayne showing her horse (pretty cute!). But, her all time favorite part of the barn... and don't laugh - the horse poop. Yes, horse poop. *sigh*

See...... horse poop! Too funny!

McDonald's Toys...

Typically when you think of McDonald's toys, you think of the little junky things that eventually are tossed or hopefully not even found by your kiddo. However, once in a blue moon McDonald's has a nice line of toys - durable ones too! For instance, Holly has a whole line of the cutest My Little Pony dolls. They not much smaller than the new My Little Pony that is out in stores, which by the way have really shrunk in size. We have a couple of Strawberry Shortcake dolls that are cute, some Littlest Pet Shop critters and a line of the Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz dolls that are adorable.

However, her favorites by far is the line of Madagascar and Ice Age characters. These are played with a ton. These are two of her favorite movies too. I love to watch her play with them as she combines them into one big ol' play scene... nothing like a mammoth, dinosaur, zebra, sabertooth and giraffe all heading to the local zoo together or Africa. The imagination in her play is wonderful and if it can be occupied by the cheap McDonald's toys.... than I am all for it!
Disclaimer: We do not eat at McDonald's that much!!!! I drive through and purchase the toys separately as they are around a dollar a piece. I could NOT eat that much McDonald's - ever!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Indoor Sea Shore Fun

We have some various containers that are stocked with different outdoor goodies - we call them our nature boxes. Today Holly asked to pull down her Sea Shore nature box and she spent about an hour inspecting and exploring the bin. She used her magnifying glass to really inspect stuff and even broke out two different books to look stuff up in.

We even have a few egg carton boxes that we have created for nature boxes. We have painted the whole carton out in a color and then each little egg compartment is painted a different color in nature - one is sea shore themed in color and one is more evergreen in theme for our nature hikes. We bring these along and she fills them up with various goodies found along the way trying her best to match the colors... and some are very similar in color, so it takes a lot of work to find various shades in nature.

Her mind naturally at work doing something she loves! What a great way to spend a rainy grey morning.

Face In The Water

Holly is still in swimming lessons and doing a great job! For a long time she was not enjoying putting her face in the water - we tried working with her in the tub and in the shower. Finally she is trying to swim with her face in the water and I am so proud of her.... because I personally *loathe* swimming with my face in the water (shhh, don't tell her!).
The other night we took the camera with us to take some current photos of her in class - but the shots are 'in motion' and very fuzzy. I am still going to share them as they do show her enjoying class. I think next week I'll try some shots again to see if I can get some better ones.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To the Moon & Back

Today my little Holly hugged me when she got up and said "Mommy, I love you to the moon, the sun and every single little star out there and back. And, that is a lot Mommy!"

My heart grew about ten sizes this morning!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Writing & A Spacer Stick

Holly loves to write. Really loves it! (<--- that just makes my heart smile!)

We try not to really help her with her spelling (as in telling her what to write) but rather help her to walk through sounding out her words to come up with the spelling. We do talk about some basic rules of sounds along the way, for instance what sound t and h make together or the s and h. As she progresses she picks those up and as she is writing she will make the proper connections to her sounds and the correct spelling of those portions of the words. Other than that, her writing is based off of basic phonetic sounds for now - perfectly normal and wonderful all at the same time! I mean who cannot smile when you read a note or picture for 'Ant Soo' (Aunt Sue).

When she writes through her words are a serious run-on of letters that an unsuspecting person would have no idea what to do with. Fortunately Bryan and I have learned to work our way through her writing and not offend her when reading. To help her with this I picked up a great tip from a fellow blogger to offer a 'spacing stick' otherwise known as a Popsicle stick. It works great! As she finishes up a word she then places her spacer stick down and starts her new word on the other side - perfect! Reading is much easier for the adults in her life now!

This says: "Would yoo like to come to mi piknc To Mom an Dad"

OR, 'Would you like to come to my picnic? To Mom and Dad'

Kind of hard to read as one long word.

And, here she is writing a birthday card to her friend using a space stick - much easier to read the individual word.

"To: Gen, Happe Brthda From: Holly"

OR, "To: Gen, Happy Birthday From: Holly"

Museum Of Flight

Saturday we spent the day with Tex & Annette - we enjoyed breakfast together, Museum of Flight and then dinner. A full day of fun! Holly had a great time and did a wonderful job through it all with no nap - amazing!

The Museum of Flight is a large museum filled with airplanes of all shapes and sizes, flying devices, historic pieces, a gallery on space/NASA, movies, Amelia Earhart and a small children's area to boot. You can go on to the Concord and on an retired Air Force One - pretty cool.

There were some areas that are more interesting to myself than others of course, but to really enjoy the museum it will have to be alone with older children. That being said though, Holly really loved the museum and all that it offered! I see many homeschooling opportunities down the road involving the Museum of Flight.
Holly making a rocket with the help of Grandma.

Our astronauts in the family...

Bryan & Tex landing a shuttle. Mine crashed - badly!