Sunday, August 30, 2009

tot school - week 4

Noah is 11.5 months old.

Even with me returning to nursing school this week, Tot School went very well! Noah has made the transition to staying at my mom's house during the week for a few hours a day easily..thank goodness! I'm still a little bummed about not being able to stay home with him all the time, but I'm already developing a good routine in balancing studying and family time.

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Noah was really into blocks this week. He played with his various types many many times.

Specifically, we worked on pulling his MegaBlocks apart (he has no interest in putting them together at this point).

These Thomas the Tank Engine blocks are one of Noah's favorite toys! He loves to put the blocks into their spaces in their carrier.
I also used the carrier to sort the different colors of blocks. I think this will be a great Tot School toy for the future too when Noah is learning colors, sorting, and such.

Noah also played with his Thomas the Tank Engine track. We have a few of the track pieces in his train bin, and while he doesn't really drive the trains on the track yet, he still like to put the pieces together.

A few of Noah's favorite books this week included these Sesame Street Beginnings books. We bought these a while ago in a pack of four. One has since been chewed to pieces, but Noah loves the other ones:)

This is a new book Noah got this week..it's called Inside Noah's Ark. It is really cute...and yes, though it may be silly, we do buy Noah lots of Noah's Ark things because of his name:)

Noah got a lot of Tot School done at my mom's house over the week too! (Sorry these photos look kind of weird...I used my laptop's camera to take these at my mom's because I never remembered to being my camera with me)

We made music with pots and pans many times this week. Here is Noah playing the "drums" along with his Imagination Movers cd.

We also did quite a few art things this week. I didn't get any pictures of him actually working on them, and I had to pose with him to get the pictures in my laptop camera's angle..

We did dots and lines with crayons on this one.

And loops and squiggles with crayons on this one (and I obviously colored in some of the spaces).

While at this I generally help Noah keep the crayon on the paper, I let him decide where to draw otherwise. This also discourages him from eating the crayon, marker, or whatever we're using:)

And after several weeks of debate on whether he could use Crayola TaDoodles, we finally got him some of the "first marks" ones. Yeah...he's not ready for them just yet!


While this picture looks lovely, his shirt, feet, hands, and face looked even more lovely in shades of purple, blue, and orange:)

Personally, I think these markers stay wet for too long (hence the colored face..). But I do like that Noah can hold them easily. I think we'll get some of the crayons and see how he does...maybe he won't try to eat those. Probably not, but I can hope:)

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So even with a new schedule to adjust to, Tot School is still going strong! And we are officially starting a birthday countdown around here. Can you believe it...only 17 days to go!?!?

See what others are up to in Tot School here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

tot school - week 3

Noah is 11 months old.


Tot School was kind of sporadic this week...we didn't do many new things, and spent (in my opinion) too much time watching movies and television. Noah is working on transitioning to a single nap a day from two naps a day, and this threw him off it seemed.

Also, I'll be starting back to college on Tuesday, so I'm a little disappointed that my last week to stay home with Noah all day wasn't a really great one, but I guess that's how it goes. While I am glad to go back and finish nursing school, my passion for being a mommy has totally overtaken my passion for nursing. But I still need (and deep down really do want) to finish getting my BSN, so here I begin this balancing act (though I went to school in the spring, I finished up the last few of my general classes and had nothing for nursing....this semester will be a new challenge!).

I will only be away from Noah for a few hours a day (and mostly during naptimes, thankfully!), so I know I'll still be able to do all the Tot School things I've been doing when I'm home. And when I'm away, Noah will either be at home with Daddy or staying at his Granny's house, so he'll still have tons of one-on-one learning/play time. For this arrangement, I know we are so blessed that I can complete my BSN:)

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So now..on to this week!

Since Noah enjoyed arts & crafts time so much last week, we did more with what we had on hand. I'm ashamed to say we don't have a single crayon in our house (yet!)...so we improvised with highlighters, and LOTS of supervision:)

I helped Noah write a few "Ns" on the paper, then let him scribble away. Here is the finished product. It even earned a spot of honor on the refrigerator:)

Noah had fun with Mater, as usual. He loves to explore the buttons as well as work more on walking/standing independently (he's getting more confident everyday!).

This isn't really a toy, but Noah loves playing with it. This turtle lights up and displays the constellations in three colors on the ceiling. His older cousin Peyton gave it to Noah for Christmas last year..
We talked about the different colors of lights (white, blue, green), the star shapes that the lights make, and that the animal is called a turtle. He was trying to make the turtle walk in this picture!

I try to keep most of Noah's toys simple..without lots of lights and sounds and such because I want him to use his imagination. But he does have a few favorite toys that do light up and all...but luckily, they're "educational" toys. This is his vtech Learning Laptop.
What I think is so funny is that he doesn't even play with the buttons that much...mostly he likes to open and close the screen! Haha! I guess my hopes for him using his imagination are working:) But this toy also teaches shapes, words, and plays music (which Noah likes to dance to, of course!).

This is a toy telephone my mom got Noah at a neighbor's yard sale. He has never watched Bob the Builder, but he still likes playing with it. With this toy, we've been working on pushing one button at a time rather than banging it with his whole hand, as well as saying the numbers, letters, and shapes as he presses them.

Noah also played a lot with his MegaBlocks with week. I tried showing him how to line the blocks up, but he mostly wanted to put the blocks in and out of the trucks. And that works too:)

And lastly, we read lots of books as usual. This seemed to be Noah's favorite this week....it is called Star of Wonder. It is a Christmas book that has a blinking star that gets larger as you turn the pages.

The other fun thing we did this week was go to a concert on Saturday night. My mom, Jimmy, Noah, and I saw the gospel quartet Ernie Haas and Signature Sound. We left home around lunchtime and headed for Greensboro, NC (about 1.5 hours away). Noah was incredibly well-behaved the entire time...car ride, shopping/eating, and during the concert:)

Ernie Haas and Signature Sound is my mom's very favorite group, and is one of Jimmy's favorites too. Their style of music isn't what I typically listen to (I like contemporary Christian much better), but I do really like their group. They give super fun and energetic shows!
During the show..

This was the fifth time we've seen them in the last three years (but it was Noah's first concert!). Jimmy and I agreed that this was the best show we've seen! Noah actually slept through part of the first half of the show (since he didn't take an afternoon nap), but woke up happy, silly, and ready to dance:)
We had a really great night, and we couldn't have asked for Noah to have been better! I think this was a great "life school" experience for him...and it let us know that he can also go to more shows in the future!

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Hopefully next week we'll get more new things incorporated into Tot School, as well as get settled into a new routine as I start my classes again. Enjoy your week:)


Share what you're doing for Tot School and see what others are too at 1+1+1=1!

Friday, August 21, 2009

boogie fever:)

video

Just a little something to hopefully make you smile. Noah's music of choice these days is the Imagination Movers...though I've found anything, and sometimes even no music at all, warrants the impromptu dance party!

Enjoy the start to your weekend:)

Monday, August 17, 2009

11 months update

We're on the fast track to a birthday around here...
Wait....WHAT?!? Seriously?! All I can say is wow. Really...just wow.

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Now that I've caught my breath, let's get to it:)

If you were around for the 10 months update, you remember that Noah had some attitude issues going on. He just stayed kind of cranky and out of sorts for some time. Well, I'm very happy to report that Noah is back to his lovable, silly, happy-go-lucky self....most of the time:) But that stubbornness and temper are most certainly still lurking under the surface! Generally these rear their ugly heads when Noah isn't given his way. He is becoming quite independent in terms of choosing activities, and is learning to point to what he wants otherwise (food, drink, person, etc). And I'm sure you can imagine that once that toothy grin is flashed, Noah is hard to resist:)

I still don't have an accurate weight/length since his last wellness visit at 9 months, but suppose he's around 28 pounds/32 inches? The 12-18m clothes have been packed away, and the remaining 18-24m summer things are getting snug and short. We've bought several outfits for fall now, and we're sticking with 24m or 2T. Actually, he's been wearing a few of his new 2T pajamas and they fit perfectly. I'm sure that when he does go for his 1 year wellness visit in a few weeks that he'll shock and amaze everyone with his size, as usual:)

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Noah remains a very healthy eater with a big appetite! Here is a picture of a typical lunch (or maybe dinner) for him..
Sweet potatoes with cinnamon, steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower, banana mishmash (fruit puree by plum organics), cheese crackers (by earth's best), and water

No more baby food for this kid! Noah is totally on regular table food now...and he is doing very well! Considering the mouthful of teeth (8 in total) he has, he has no trouble chewing solids, as long as they're not too hard. And he still isn't picky...thank goodness! Here are the things he eats regularly, with those that are starred being a favorite:
*Yo-baby yogurt
String cheese

Oatmeal
*Whole grain waffles
Whole wheat bread slices
*Bread in restaurants

*Raisins
Craisins (dried cranberries)
Bananas
*Strawberries
Apples
Applesauce
Blueberries

*Sweet potatoes
*Baked potatoes
*Green beans
*Steamed broccoli
*Steamed cauliflower
Corn
Avocados

Mac-n-cheese
Chicken
Rice (especially the cheesy Rice-a-roni!)
Gerber Lil Entrees (pasta stars & meat sauce; mashed potato & roasted chicken; turkey & rice)

*Gerber Puffs (all varieties)
*Gerber Lil' Crunchies (especially zesty tomato and veggie dip)
Gerber Veggie Crackers
Plum Organics Fiddlesticks (especially apple & carrot)
*Plum Organics Fingerfuls (all varieties)
*Plum Organics Mishmash (all varieties)
*Earth's Best Sesame Street Snacks (smiley snacks, crunchin' crackers, etc)
Multigrain Cheerios
Noah is also basically off of a bottle completely. He only takes around 16 ounces of formula a day now, and usually drinks these from his sippy cup. I think he'll make the transition to regular milk well! He also still hates juice and loves water. So no complaints in the nutrition department:)

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Noah is doing great with motor skills too! Still no independent walking, but he does really well when holding onto things..
He will be taking those first steps soon though! He is very steady and confident when holding your hands and walking, and is standing for longer and longer on his own. I think he may be moving by his birthday, but we'll see:)

Noah also loves climbing, thanks to this early birthday present..

And finally in motor skills, Noah is a dancing machine! He just started this this past week, and it is the cutest thing I think I've ever seen! I wish I could get a video..

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In the language department, Noah sure can say a lot without saying anything at all:) haha! He hasn't really added any new words to his vocabulary, unless "Ooooo" counts, which he says a lot while pointing. But he did say "bubble" today! He repeated it while reading a story. We'll see if that was just a fluke or not. Another word he seems to be working on is "puppy." He LOVES terroriz..I mean playing:) with Petey & Patch when we visit my mom.

Something he has gotten very proficient at is communicating his mood/feelings/wants/etc. He doesn't just babble to be doing it; Noah really can make whatever he is trying to say known, even without the actual words. One thing is for certain, though, Noah is definitely going to be a talker!

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I am amazed at how much Noah's personality has come out in the last month. He is quite the social little man! He is playing well with other children (no more biting incidents, thankfully!), and loves to be the center of attention. Always a ham, he never misses an opportunity to let his silliness run wild and make you laugh and smile:)

I am so proud of my Noah and all he is becoming! And I know that as we enter *toddlerhood,* things are just beginning to get fun:)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

tot school - week 2

Noah is 11 months old.

We had a really great week in tot school! We even tried some new things...and they really worked out well! It's fun to see how much Noah has already learned in just two weeks:)

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Of course, Noah worked on standing/walking A LOT! He likes to use his MegaBlocks table to walk with.....but not Mommy, as it tends to scratch the floor!


Noah also worked on holding a spoon some more. He definitely needs WAY more supervised practice, but he's getting better!

I introduced our first homemade tot "tool" this week - pompom balls in a parmesan (spelling?!) cheese container. He LOVED this! He was able to put the balls into the larger opening of the container one at a time using his "pinchers" (that's what we call thumb-forefinger..it's how he's learned to self-feed) while I called out the colors.

I think this will be a great use of the pompoms when he gets older....using this puzzle as a sorter for colors. He didn't get this at all now..

So we just went back to the original way....again and again all week long:)

Noah also made his first "real" art project this week. Thursday was his Granny's (my mom) birthday, and we made her a card. I traced (with much resistance!) his hand and let him hold the marker while I wrote his name on it.
We also made Daddy a little card this week too. Both recipients got a little misty-eyed:)

Now, onto the old standbys...books of course. Noah was particularly fond of this Halloween book this week.

We also played with his ring stacker. He's learning how to put the rings back on now.

He played with his MegaBlocks...he doesn't really build anything now, but still likes to explore the pieces.

And he played lots with puzzles. He is still really loving this magnetic "bubble wash" vehicle puzzle we gave him last week!

I talked earlier in the week about Noah's new "castle." We played with it mostly inside after that first night...it was just too hot this week to play for long outside! But in the few days we've had it, Noah has already learned to climb up into the tower (mostly) by himself.

And this is my very favorite picture from the week! Noah has all of a sudden started dancing anytime and anywhere he hears music! All of his toys that play songs, in restaurants (he gave everyone a show at my mom's birthday dinner!), in the car, on television....he's a real dancing machine:)
I think this must be due to his love of the Imagination Movers. Noah isn't into tv or movies very much...with the exception of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Imagination Movers. Thomas is his "zone-out" show, but when the Movers come on, he is totally engaged and moving! We're planning our first Disney trip for next May, and I'm hoping they'll have that show incorporated into things by then since its still a fairly new show.

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Well, that's all we've got for this week! Share your own Tot School ideas here!

Monday, August 10, 2009

king of the castle

What did we find at Walmart on clearance tonight???

Why..Noah's very own castle of course:)

After putting it together inside, it was totally obvious this was an outside toy. You know, outside...where the mosquitoes can feast on us. Have I mentioned we have a wicked mosquito issue in our yard? Any ideas on that?
...I digress.


So, *King*Noah did a lot steering..

...a little sliding...

...and attempted some climbing:)

So, though a short stint as *King of the Castle* was all we managed this evening..
..I'm sure we will be spending much more time in the coming years on toys like this!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tot School - our first one!!


Noah is (almost!) 11 months old.

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***I am beyond excited to begin doing Tot School posts! I figured since Noah was featured as a Cute Tot on Totally Tots, he is close enough to "tot-hood" to start sharing our tot school stuff too! And by the way, if you've never visited Carissa's sites, you definitely need to! She has SO much amazing information and SO many resources...you'll learn a ton! Plus she's got some super cute kiddos:)

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So, onto our first *official* tot school week!

Noah loves books (this = happy mommy!). He will usually go straight for the bookshelf in our playroom before anything!

These are a couple of new books we got this week...that's why they're the only ones in all these pictures:) This one (Charlie Monkey) lights up and buzzes on the last page. So Noah likes to inspect this..

They also have different textures to feel...like the gorilla's hair.
I like that these are big enough to lay flat on the floor so Noah can turn the pages and look at everything without the binding closing it on its own. The other one of these "funny faces" books that we have is Rusty Robot.

Noah worked with his shape sorter this week. Up until now, he has only played with the blocks, put them in and out of the bucket, etc while I name shapes and colors and do the actual sorting. This week, he attempted to put the blocks through the holes on own!

We worked on big vs. little with his Thomas trains. He can do this easily now. I wish they made more of the trains in the big size...he plays with it a lot easier than with the small ones since its easier for him to handle.

Noah also played with his alphabet spinner. This has long been a favorite toy!

He will play with it independently for quite a while, but he also enjoys when I fingerspell the ABCs along with the music.

Noah is also big on puzzles! He has three of these Melissa and Doug jumbo knob puzzles. With each puzzle, he can identify the pieces by name when asked (ie - where is the turtle? where is the square?), but we're still working on putting the pieces back in their spots.

Noah also got a new puzzle this week..the Fridge Wash-N-Go Vehicle Set. Actually this was supposed to be a birthday present, but he got it a bit early:) No biggie...since, you know, he only has like a zillion gifts put back already!

We worked on Noah feeding himself with a spoon for the first time this week.

He did really well! But he still much prefers self-feeding with finger foods...which is ok. Less mess for me:)

And of course, the task of the moment is walking. Still no independent steps just yet, but we're working hard! Using his riding Mater truck for support...which is tough since Mater tips over easily!

The coffee table (which I know is VERY child-unfriendly! I'm in the process of painting/redoing another one!) is much more sturdy.

He can walk all along the coffee table, as well as the sofa, and he can transfer between the two at this point.

Noah stands alone for several seconds at a time, and easily pulls up to everything. He also is beginning to "bear crawl" (I hope you know what I mean). So I know walking is just around the corner! Any tips on helping him along?

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Well..that's it for our first week! Check out what other's are doing for tot school here and be sure to share as well!