Wednesday, October 28, 2009

wordless wednesday

future doctor??

hmm..based on this face? maybe not:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

tot school & learning through love - more with orange, fall, & halloween:)

Noah is 13 months old.

I'm excited to be linking up to both Tot School and Learning Through Love this week! I've been doing Tot School for a while now with Carissa, and I think I'll also start participating in Learning Through Love with Susana. I love both of their blogs:)


We had a fun week this week! I had two days off from my nursing classes because it was fall break on campus:) So I had two full days home with Noah in addition to my regular half days I usually have which was very nice!

Oh how I miss my summer days of staying home with him all the time...I feel conflicted sometimes about staying home versus doing nursing. I have a real passion for both. I'm definitely planning on finishing school and getting my BSN, but I think ideally I'll end up working part time and then staying home/homeschooling Noah the rest of the time. This is something I am seriously in prayer about, so we'll see what God has in store for us:)

Theme: Fall/Halloween
I picked up some Halloween erasers for Noah at Walmart this week. He loved putting them into the ice cube tray...great 1-to-1 correspondence/fine motor work. He still isn't sorting yet, but I still tried. I also hope next week to introduce tongs or a spoon or something to work on transferring them a different way.

Noah also made another pumpkin patch picture this week. Since we already have one for our house, we made one for his Granny. Now it is proudly displayed on the fridge, of course:)
He has improved a lot from the last time we made a picture like this! He put every sticker on by himself this time...I was impressed!

Noah continued to play in his fall sensory box. He also played with bigger fake pumpkins/gourds at his Granny's house. And by playing, I mean he mostly chews on them:)

We also added a couple of new fall/Halloween books to our list:
The Scarecrow and the Spider by Todd Aaron Smith
I'm Not Scared of Halloween Night by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
Carissa had recommended these, and we just happened to find them on sale at our local Family Christian store! Noah really likes them both, and they've been added to our Shelfari over on the right incase you're interested in them:)

Theme: Orange
We continued with the color orange this week, and Noah kept playing a lot in his color box.

I tried another twist on hide-and-seek bowls....I used uncooked pasta and orange pompoms. Only I didn't have quite enough pasta to cover up the pompoms...but Noah didn't mind, and I just used what I had in the pantry:)
He liked the pasta MUCH better than the rice I tried before. He didn't really do much with the pompoms, but he did have LOTS of fun messing in the pasta, transferring it between the containers, digging around, and such.

We also read quite a few color books, especially concentrating on the sections/pages about orange.

Noah wanted to play with his foam number tiles many times this week, so I pulled out the orange ones and reinforced the color as he played.

Additional Stuff
This is more of a life skill that real tot school, but I thought I'd include it. Noah ate with a fork independently for the first time this week! He was quite proud of himself and thought it was hilarious to spear the food on the fork.
In other life skill-esque things, Noah added two new words to his vocabulary this week! He said "play" and "dance." If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that these are probably Noah's two favorite activities, especially dancing! It is so exciting to hear new words from Noah...he is very proud of himself when he accomplishes stuff like that:)

He played with his Fridge Farm & Bubble Wash a ton this week! He is finally playing with it correctly too, and is able to make matched on his own. He also knows which magnets go where.
He actually was playing in his color box one day and found the orange horse magnets that go to the farm and took them back into the kitchen so he could put it where it belonged...funny boy:)

He played with his puzzles a few times....he still has trouble getting the pieces to fit into the slots, but he can match the pieces to the correct area.

He also played more with pompoms in his old formula container. He really enjoys this fine motor activity! I try to reinforce colors with this too..

Finally, Noah has seriously been enjoying the Brainy Baby Animals dvd we won from Carissa's 1000 Subscribers giveaways. He especially loves to dance to the songs:) I'm so excited we won that particular giveaway...I'm planning on adding more Brainy Baby products to our stash soon!

That's what we've been up to this week! See what others are doing for Tot School and share you own ideas and experiences at 1+1+1=1!

Friday, October 23, 2009

on my mind...

This week tends to be a bittersweet one for me, so I've had a lot on my mind...

Mine and Jimmy's second anniversary was on Tuesday, the 20th:)

That's definitely the sweet part!
I had some beautiful flowers delivered to me Tuesday afternoon after he went to work, and we went to eat at Kobe's (a Japanese steakhouse) on Wednesday night. Usually we go to the beach for the weekend at my aunt's condo, but he has been working overtime this week while another manager is getting married themselves. But we still had a nice anniversary this year, just more low key:)

The bitter part of this week is missing my Pawpaw. His birthday was on Wednesday, the 21st, and he passed away two years ago tomorrow (Oct. 24). Yes, that was only four days after our wedding, but his death was incredibly unexpected. We were very close, and I miss his so much...especially this week...

Of course, I do have this little stinker to cheer me up:)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

tot school

Noah is 13 months old.

Featured Color: Orange
We started a new color for our "color of the day/week/how ever long I decide" :) I chose orange to go along with all of the fall/Halloween things we've been doing. We started the week off with another color hunt; here is what we found...
clockwise from the left: foam number puzzle pieces, Thomas trains (Rusty and the Halloween caboose), pumpkin Pezdispenser, horse pieces from the Fridge Farm, tiger/cheetah Little People animals, Tonka Chuck truck, foam pumpkin sitckers, color & fruit/veggie flashcards from Homeschool Creations, mini book with orange cover, fake mini pumpkin, orange pompoms, orange puzzle piece

Noah came back to his color box again and again this week. I just let him explore the different things how ever he wanted. The only structured thing I attempted with these materials this week was working on recognizing the pictures in the flashcard sets as well as some very basic matching with them. Noah did will with the recognition, but he just isn't ready for matching yet. But we'll try again later:)

I plan on continuing with the color orange through the end of the month so that we can get our fill with Halloween stuff. Then I think we may move onto brown? I want to keep the colors seasonal as much as possible so I can do seasonal/color-specific crafts...but I just can't seem to get excited about brown. But I want to save red for closer to Christmas, so I think brown will be the color for November.

Theme: Fall
I made Noah a sensory box of fall items. I borrowed this idea from Crunchy and Green via The Roger's Family Blog:) I had some silk leaves, mini fake pumpkins/gourds, and pinecones left over from my fall decorating that I added to his box.

Noah really enjoyed this activity! He particularly liked chewing on the stems of the pumpkins/gourds....not exactly what I had in mind, but whatever works!

He also enjoyed dumping everything out of the box and then filling it back up again. I tried to help him recognize the words pumpkin, gourd, leaf, and pinecone. He knows pumpkin really well now:)

Noah is slowing learning the parts of the face. He knows eyes, nose, and mouth and sometimes ears so far. I had originally planned on doing some kind of art project with these jack-o-lantern pieces, but ended up using them to reinforce the parts of the face!
Usually Noah will only point to the parts on other people's faces, so this was a different way of seeing what he knew. He did fairly well for the first few tries and really seemed to enjoy it:) This will be an activity I'll do again for sure.

I also wanted to let Noah do some free drawing/coloring with fall colors (especially orange). I have personally found that highlighter comes off of things easier than regular markers or crayons! Plus Noah doesn't try to eat highlighters, so they tend to be our medium of choice.
Even so, Noah was much more interested in fitting the caps of the highlighters on, off, and together. So this art project turned into fine motor work:)

We also continued reading the same books as last week. I have added the Shelfari application to the sidebar like I've seen several others do. I'll update that as we change the books in Noah's reading bag. But we didn't make it to the library this week, so we've only got those several fall/Halloween books that we've bought for Noah to read for now.

Miscellaneous Tot School
I have wanted Noah to try pompoms in a formula container for a while, and I finally found our old formula container this week! He loves working with pompoms, and this was no exception...but he did have to really concentrate on getting the pompom into that small hole:)

MegaBlocks are always a big hit with Noah:) He especially loves his farm set he got on his birthday. I always try to reinforce animal names & sounds when he plays with this.

Noah also got a BIG present from his Granny (my mom) this week...his very own Thomas the Tank Engine train table! This was originally going to be a Christmas gift, but she decided to go ahead and give it to him. Of course he had as much fun playing in its boxes as playing with the actual table:)

The room we use as Noah's playroom is actually a sun porch addition to our house and it isn't heated, so the table is being kept in his room at least for now. It has been really nice having it there because he will wander in and out of his room on his own now, playing independently with his trains:)
I am also putting his other Tot School items on the table now for the cold months. He is doing really great with that as well. I actually like putting the things on his table better because he doesn't have the option of pulling every toy and book off of the shelf like in the playroom. Less mess=happy mommy:)

That's all for this week!


Be sure to see what others are doing for Tot School and share your own ideas at 1+1+1=1!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

giveaway loot:)

As part of 1+1+1=1's 1000 Subscriber Celebration, Carisa gave away a BrainyBaby dvd. And we won! I was super excited for Noah to try their Animals dvd, especially since no stores around us seem to carry BrainyBaby products.

The dvd came in the mail this week...Noah was quite excited to watch it:)

Noah doesn't watch tv or dvds very often...the only thing he will actually sit still to watch is his massive Thomas the Tank Engine collection (he's apparently so over Imagination Movers now:) ). But he watches these very passively and tends to fall asleep after about 20 minutes.

So imagine my surprise and delight when Noah sat still and watched the entire Animals dvd, pointing/talking to the different animals and kids and clapping along to the songs?! He was just as engaged when we watched it again today:)

One thing I really like that they actually have narration/facts to go along with naming the images rather than only naming things. I think because of that the video will grow with him as he gets older and more knowledgeable.

I am definitely adding some other BrainyBaby products to Noah's Christmas List:) And thank you again, Carisa, for hosting all of those great giveaways and introducing us to some awesome new companies!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

tot school - fall fun:)

Noah is 12 months old.

This week was lots of fun:) We focused on fall and a little Halloween and finished up with the color blue. Next week we will be moving on to a different color.

Noah had fun at my mom's house over the week, especially play with his cousin Abby (5) and my brother's girlfriend's son, Ian (4). He REALLY loves both of them, and particularly enjoys giving them lots of hugs and love:)

We enjoyed some outside playtime with the *big* kids, blowing bubbles and playing with foam noodle pieces. Those were used to position Noah's carseat when it was turned backwards, but have since been repurposed as swords:)

Noah also had fun exploring in the mulch..

And enjoying the mums:) He had to learn about looking and NOT picking the flowers, too!
We spent a good bit of time outside at our house this week too, but I didn't get any pictures. He learned about leaves, trees, pumpkins, and mums/other flowers again, as well as played on his castle.

We also brought the fall theme inside with art this week. I decided to try using torn paper and Noah really seemed to enjoy it:)
He didn't really understand putting one piece of paper on the picture at a time, so he liked getting a big handful and sprinkling them. Which would have been great if I would have had glue...but I didn't, and the sprinkled pieces didn't stick so great to tape, so I had to help him quite a bit. But the tape did make the art more 3D which was neat:)

I got the idea for this picture from this Totally Tots crafts post. I obviously helped Noah a lot with this picture...once he understood that he had to stick the pieces on one at a time, he did much better but still had trouble getting the tape side down. So I let him decide where to put the "leaves" and then I stuck them down...teamwork:)

I also sang the song/did the finger play Totally Tots shared in this post while Noah sprinkled. I told him the paper pieces were like little leaves:) These leaves look a little funky, again because I had to use tape. But oh well...Noah liked making the "leaves" fall dow!

For our books this week, I traded out some of the general ones in his bag to fall/Halloween themed books for a couple of weeks. Here are the ones we've been reading...
Welcome Fall by Jill Ackerman
Five Little Pumpkins by Harper Growing Tree (no author)
Here Comes Halloween! by Caroline Jayne Church
Spooky by Roger Priddy
Afraid of the Dark? by Treesha Runnells

He particularly likes Here Comes Halloween!...and Spooky has been a long time favorite:)


We also finished up with the color blue this week. Noah seems to be getting bored with the same objects in his color box, so I think its time to move on.

We finished up the color hunt through our house, finding things like bibs, socks, and washcloths to identify. We didn't keep these in the color box, though, since they are needed elsewhere!

The other thing I planned for Noah, and was SO excited to try, was a sensory/color activity. I filled a bowl with uncooked rice and hid blue objects in it for him to dig for. Here he is looking for some blue pompom balls...
Unfortunately, he HATED this activity! He has a thing about getting stuff on his hands (remember his reaction to his birthday cake?) so when the rice stuck to his fingers, he flipped out. I was so disappointed:( But I think I'll try it again another time with something bigger, like pasta or marshmellows, so they won't stick to his hands..


And last but not least, Noah is finally up and moving on his own:) We haven't had to coax him at all this week to walk around.....and of course, he's even more into everything! He can already move pretty quickly, and I have yet to get a good picture/video of his accomplishment. By the time I got this one snapped, he had already made it across the room to me!
Now the real fun begins...right? :)


See what others are doing for Tot School, and share your own experiences at 1+1+1=1!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

tot school

Noah is 12 months old.

Fall is here!! Yay:) We've had a fun week, but I didn't get many pictures for some reason, so bare with me...


We spent last Sunday kicking off the fall season with a family day trip to Blowing Rock, NC. It is a really short drive for us, and though we tend to go several times a year, we hadn't been since before Noah was born, so it was a nice trip!

We spent some time walking around downtown, visited some local shops and roadside stands, had a yummy lunch, and drove on the Blue Ridge parkway for a while to see some of the very first leaves turning. We planned on ending the day with some time in the park downtown, but Noah decided to take nap while on the Parkway so we ended the day early. But he had a great time seeing all of the leaves, walking around town, and even made friends with a very large Boxer while we were looking at some apples:)

We are planning on making another trip over our anniversary weekend (the 20th of this month!), and I'll make sure to bring my camera! Blowing Rock is such a sweet little town...I've been going there my whole life, so that makes it nice to start new traditions now with my own family:)


We continued with our blue theme this week...
I think I've decided to keep one color per month for now since Noah is so young. This way there is plenty of time for reinforcement. And he still may not know what blue is at the end of the month...but that's ok too!

Following the suggestion here, we went on a color hunt early in the week! We only focused on what we could find in the playroom this week...I'm planning on having another one next week in other rooms. This way I can draw things out more. But here is what we found in the playroom...
I still need to make a color box to keep our finds far these things are just set aside in the playroom. I also have plans for using our findings in some other activities this week that I'm excited about too! I just hope Noah will like them:)


Otherwise this week, I tried some new activities with Noah too. Straws in a parmasean cheese container was his favorite! He has played with this A LOT this week. I was so impressed with him too...I showed him how to put the straw through the small holes one time only, and he got it right off! Way to go, buddy:)

I also pulled out this Alphabet Puzzle Book we gave him for his birthday. He definitely can't put the pieces into their places yet (they're pretty small), but he loves to look at the pictures and take the pieces out of it. And this makes for great opportunities for exposing him to letters and words. He has played with it a lot this week too..

We also spent time working on gross motor skills this week. Of course, I'm trying to get Noah to shake off that laziness and walk like I know he can! ha! It just seems to take him a while to warm up to a new motor skill...he could crawl really well long before he did so for long distances, so I think he may do the same with walking. Except for when he gets really excited for something, he will only take about 4 steps at a time; the most he has taken at once, though, is 20+!

Otherwise, Noah spent some time working on gross motor and coordination with this tee ball set he got for his birthday. He is really improving at hitting the ball:)

Another big thing Noah accomplished this week was eating out of a bowl. This might seem silly, but this really is big for him! He has always been one to throw food around, so I always laid little bits out for him on his tray. But he ate his entire snack this day out of his bowl without throwing one piece in the floor! Awesome job, Noah!! :)

For crafts this week, Noah made a sign for college game day:) Jimmy is a HUGE Gators fan, so this makes Noah one by default I guess! We used his tadoodles markers, and while he still got messy, he did a lot better at keeping the marker pad on the drawing surface and not on him.
Noah can use this very simple "sign" next week (since the Gators had a bye week this week) to cheer with Daddy:)


Lastly, we read lots of books this week like always. I finally got our library card renewed, so Noah had his first trip to the library (usually we just buy him books, but this can get expensive!). He was a little overwhelmed at his selection, so I helped him choose:)

I found some great books that would have been perfect for our farm theme a few weeks ago, so I'll share them in case you are thinking of doing this with your little one...

Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming

We checked out some other, non-farm books too. But by far, Noah's favorite of the bunch was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. He went back to it again and again. He also was particularly fond of Cow Moo Me:)

I'm looking forward to making our trip to the library another weekly tradition too!


Here's wishing you and your little ones a fun fall weekend!

See what others are doing for Tot School and share your own ideas too at 1+1+1=1!