Building Rainbows

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

18 Month Check-up

Lizzy is now 2 feet, 7 inches, and weighs 24 lbs! She is growing great and has met and exceeded all developmental milestones. Today she had 3 booster shots and will not need any more vaccines until she is 4! Here she is getting her check up:


Getting Ready to jump

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Footprint Art

Last year we painted reindeer out of Lizzy's footprints on canvas and displayed it out with the Christmas decor, it came out so cute I thought I would do something similar this year. We painted a penguin out of Lizzy's footprint on a canvas to display this year.

Here is last year's reindeer. Lizzy's feet were so much smaller last year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Now time for Christmas!

I respected Thanksgiving but today meant go time for the best time of the year! We are keeping it very low key here at home because we plan to go out of town for Christmas. This is our Toddler Friendly Christmas Tree ... it's small with all non breakable non sentimental ornaments this year. Lizzy was interested but was really good about not touching it so maybe I had nothing to fear, we will see.
Every year we pick out special ornaments that mark something special for that year. 2007 was our first Christmas together, 2008 we were expecting Lizzy, 2009 was Lizzy's first Christmas, now 2010 we don't have anything extra special so I picked out a porcelain dutch shoes ornament and a Saint Nicholas ornament since this will be our first Saint Nicholas Celebration Day.

We took Lizzy for some Christmas photos, this was her before we left to the portrait studio.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ready to eat!

Yummy! (Lizzy had some stuffing, then she wanted grapes and ice cream)

Uncle Christian and Lizzy

Lizzy wanted to sit in the stroller like her doll

Cleaning up afterwards

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you!

Lizzy's grandparents sent her some Thanksgiving goodies. Here she is opening the gifts. Lizzy is just starting to actually "get" puzzles, she loves to match the pieces to their correct spots, she also loves her "Tookie" she says turkey like cookie : )

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hand Turkey

We are thankful for our hands.
Art Project: Hand Turkey

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Out to Play

Lizzy watched some dogs play at the dog park, played on the playground, and fed some ducks today!
Looking for birds in the sky



Friday, November 19, 2010

Practical Life Activities at Home

It's really amazing how quickly Lizzy is learning right now, she imitates us all the time, repeats words, and the practical life activities she's learned are becoming very useful for everyone. Practical life exercises are highly valued in Montessori because it allows the child to be independent and learn useful skills needed in life while also building on fine motor skills and building the child's self confidence. I haven't taken any new pictures recently so I thought I would share all the things Lizzy has learned in her 18 months.
  • Helps with dressing herself. Also gets her shoes when it's time to go out.
  • Brushes her teeth and washes her hands, shampoos her hair, brushes her hair
  • Helps with laundry, puts clothes in dryer, straightens dried clothes
  • Helps get the trash taken out, also helps throw things away in the trash
  • Asks for snacks and drinks
  • Gets her own bib, get in her booster chair by herself
  • Helps wipe up and dust
  • Helps put things away to their correct place
  • Can drink from cup, and juice box
  • Working on using the potty
  • Turns on the radio when she wants music, turns on the lamps, turns on the fan, turns on the TV
  • Unplugs the bath when she is done for it to drain
  • Knows all her body parts
These are the things she's learned that I can think of off the top of my head. She's learned so much and she's such a little person. I'm very proud of my baby!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Boundless Playground

We love to try new playgrounds and today we went to a boundless playground made for special needs children. The playground is designed so that special needs children can play alongside other children. The whole playground is wheel chair accessible and there are areas for physical therapy, a music center, and the historic league city park is just a walk away. Here are some pics from today:




Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Phones!

Lizzy is mesmerized by daddy's new phone

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey Feathers

Lizzy is really into singing and dancing right now so I try to come up or get ideas of activities she would like. I got the idea to make this felt turkey from a montessori felt turkey that had buttons to connect the feathers onto the turkey. Lizzy can't do buttons yet so I used velcro so that she can learn to pull the velcro pieces on and off. She enjoyed doing this. With the feathers we can practice counting, colors or sing a song.

Turkey wore his red feather, red feather, red feather.
Turkey wore his red feather, all day long!

Turkey wore his orange feather, orange feather, orange feather.
Turkey wore his orange feather, all day long.

.........etc.

Perfect for Thanksgiving theme!




Sunday, November 14, 2010

Santa's Arrival

Here we are with Santa. (I am in the picture because take one didn't go so well so I got in there with her)

This year we will be celebrating Saint Nicholas' Day as they do in Holland. As a child we celebrated Saint Nicholas' Day on the years we would go out of town for Christmas so that we could celebrate at home then celebrate Christmas Day out of town. My father's family is half dutch so it also allowed us to learn about Christmas in Holland and share stories of his grandfather's coming to America. The tradition of Saint Nicholas' Day is celebrated in much of Europe on December 6th, in the Netherlands it is celebrated on the eve of December 5th. Families get together for a feast and children set their shoes outside filled with carrots and hay, after the feast the children will find their shoes filled with candy, fruits, and small gifts. If the child was good then a bag of gifts will be left somewhere for the child to find.

Saint Nicholas was a bishop who was very kind and generous and often gave secret gifts to children and the poor. During the 16th century in Europe religious wars were occurring and Saint Nicholas became unpopular but to keep his tradition his name was changed to Sinterklass and in the USA to Santa Claus.

Santa's arrival is always in mid November, this marks the start of the season. So today was Santa's arrival at the mall. We were there for Santa pictures. In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas arrives in Amsterdam by steamboat, Church bells ring, the mayor welcomes him and there is a big parade. The US Santa encourages consumption whereas Saint Nicholas encourages compassion. Mike and I have decided to keep Saint Nicholas' Day simple for Lizzy with only a few small gifts and time with family. We would like to encourage Saint Nicholas' good deeds and compassion more than consumption. Here is Lizzy with Santa Claus last year:
Bella with Santa a few years back

Friday, November 12, 2010

Play Time

Open play time is a large classroom set up with all kinds of toys for parents to bring their toddlers and play together. Here we are playing with Lizzy.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Martinmas!

I had never heard of Martinmas until I started learning about festivals celebrated in Waldorf schools. Waldorf schools celebrate lots of different festivals and not all appeal to me but Martinmas was one that did and I chose to celebrate it this year. This is the adapted story by By Cerdiwen Anya Coit

"One bitterly cold winter evening, the young Martin rode through the gates of Amiens on his fine, proud horse. He was dressed in the regalia of his military unit: gleaming armor, a bright helmet and a beautiful white cloak, lined with lambs wool. It was nearly freezing outside, but his thick cloak kept him warm. He was hardly aware of the cold.

But then, as he approached the gates of the town, he saw a poor man, a beggar, dressed with clothes so ragged that he was practically bare. The man was shaking and blue with cold, but no one reached out to help him. People would pass through the gates, looking straight ahead, so their eyes would not meet with those of the poor, desperate man.

Martin, seeing this, was overcome with compassion. He rode straight to poor man and took off his white cloak. And with one stroke of his sword he tore the lovely mantle in two. He wrapped half of the cloak around the freezing man and the other half around his own shoulders.

The people nearby watched in amazement. To see a fine military officer do such a lowly thing was a ridiculous site to many, but others were touched by the goodness that Martin showed.

That night, as Martin slept, he had a dream. A man appear to him who looked so familiar, and he was wearing the half of the cloak Martin had given to the poor beggar. And then, Martin saw in the eyes of this man, the light of the Divine which we each carry within us."

The lanterns represent the light of Christ that shined from Martin as he shared his cloak with the beggar that day and the lantern walk represents the light that we shine unto others in need.

To celebrate we made a lantern from a glass jar. A toddler friendly way to make a lantern is to put double stick tape on the outside of the jar and have your toddler stick small pieces of tissue paper onto it. Afterwards you can add a glue wash to secure the tissue paper and make the jar into a lantern. Here is Lizzy doing this:



We had dinner by the light of the lantern we made.

May you shine your light unto others!

At the Mall

Today we went to the mall and Lizzy usually sits in her stroller while we go shopping but now Lizzy resists the stroller at all costs and wants to walk instead. After Lizzy had a good walk we found these little car strollers and she was happy to ride the little car and say hi to everyone as she passed by. Here she is today:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Open Play Gymnastics

Today we took Lizzy to play at a gym where they have open play gymnastics. This is basically a time for toddlers to play in the gym and have access to lots of tumbling space and equipment without the structured class. Lizzy had lots of fun playing.

Lizzy started jumping for the first time on the trampolines today!

Once we got home Lizzy passed out on the couch.

Sunday, November 7, 2010