Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Space Week Begins!

It's really hot here... and it's only going to get hotter and while Ace enjoys running around and playing in the heat, I am less of a fan and Mae even LESS of a fan... so I have been researching fun things to do indoors. I mean there are plenty of home schooling moms that do it every day, right? Indeed! So I set out to find something that Ace would find entertaining. As previously mentioned I happened upon Counting Conunuts. She had a whole lot of great ideas dedicated to outer space, and it was very inspiring! I've used several of her ideas for this week's worth of fun!

So on Sunday I got to work and started to sew some felt planets and Pluto the now deemed 'dwarf planet', I printed out some flash cards on the moon and got them laminated, and I prepared Ace's sensory box 'space themed' - Ace was very excited for 'school' to start on Monday morning (after double checking he wasn't GOING to school away from me... siigh) and was eager to sit down on his blanket and get started.

Loving Husband and I agreed we needed to help provide him with some perspective of where outer space was and so I came up with a nine block photo using Bing aerial maps to show pictures of our house, neighborhood, city, state, the nation, the world map, a picture of earth from space, and then finally outer space. We imagined we were flying higher and higher to get there! And after some repetition he was able to recognize and identify each of the 9 squares (6 of which he retained today) next up I brought out the sun and the earth. I talked about how our planet rotates around in a circle every day and that's what causes the sun to 'rise and set' because we're turning away from it as the day goes on. Next up I had him say the month of the year while I rotated the earth around the sun and explained that is how long it takes! He was really excited to hear that (well really he was just excited in general.)

Next up I broke out the 7 other planets (Pluto will make an appearance Wednesday, when we learn about dwarf planets) I put them in order and we went through and learned one fact about each of them. After he learned those facts, we talked about the sizes of the plants and we stacked them to show their size variation. Next up we listen to two different songs regarding the planets that I found on Amazon here and here. These were the least annoying... which is impressively sad.

After we listened to some music and Ace had some free play with the planets, I introduced him to the sensory box. Another great item that I found on Counting Coconuts. It was iffy on if it would hold his attention, if he'd be too old for such an activity and not find much enjoyment in it, but so far it is a great success and I think I will try and create a new box each month to let him explore, count, sort, seek, identify, etc. with! Because let's be honest, I love thematic things and to create miniature worlds in a box fits right in with that! We'll have to see what will occur once Mae gets big enough to crawl and stand - Ace himself might be put into a protective circle to do his sensory tub time. ;-) But we'll cross that when we come to it. For now Ace is just enjoying the loosely space themed sensory tub!

So curious where Mae is during all of this? She's around us - either actively watching or doing her own thing near by. Occasionally she's down for a snooze.

After about two hours of this fun and a short break for some more breakfast, we met up with Loving Husband who had an extended lunch break and we went to the library to procure some books on outer space. We found about 8 that we can use, then headed to lunch, and nap time. After nap time Ace wanted to play with his sensory tub some more and did until his dad came home from work.

This morning I was woken up around 7am with Ace carrying the 9-picture poster wanting to learn about space. "Can we learn about space now, mom?" I appreciated his enthusiasm but the hour wasn't cutting it for me, and so I sent him to watch some educational programming on PBS. After some morning time outside before it got too hot and a small breakfast we began Day Two of Space Week! He was so excited!

We began again reviewing the 9-picture poster and all the planets. Ace after a few rounds of repetition was able to recognize all of them except Saturn and Neptune. He takes a bit of a prompt for Uranus (which he calls Urweenus, hehe) by remembering its name after I say "It's the coldest planet" He got it! :) Next up we put all the planets away except Earth and I brought out the moon. We again talked about how the Earth rotates in a circle each day and how it orbits the sun over the course of a year. Then I introduced the moon and talked about how it takes about a month and the moon orbits the Earth. Next up came the visual aids, which I got here and a book (which is really good explaining in kid terms the concept of the moon phases over the course of a cycle.)

After reading the book to Ace and showing him the poster with the cycle of the moon, I then got out the flash cards and laid them out in a row in the order and then handed him a stack and told him to match them. I thought he'd need more guidance but nope he did great! He matched them all correctly except two of them.

Next up was learning about the galaxy, with the help of another library book and I broke out our 9-picture poster of our home, neighborhood etc. and walked him through the concept that this time Earth is our home, and the planets are our neighborhood and that the Milky Way Galaxy is the 'nation' and that there are LOTS of galaxies within outer space. I think in general that concept is a bit harder to grasp, so we moved on pretty quickly to do a craft project and make a galaxy! I forget where I got this idea, but somewhere out in bloggyland is where it came from. The original concept is to use glitter, but I am anti-glitter so I used sequence. :) Ace got to put together a galaxy using oil and sequence and mom affixed it with some teal duct tape to ensure oil wouldn't go flying.

After we made the galaxy it was time for more breakfast and during breakfast I put on Wall-E so that he could see some good visuals of space. Upon the first rocket launch when they first enter space they showed a galaxy and Ace was like "LOOK MOM IT'S THE GALAXY!" I am so excited he soaked it up in enough to translate it from the pictures in the movie! Since the movie has been on he's gone back to play with his sensory tub, asked over and over again "Now can we do space, mom?" and finally said he "I started school, mom" on his own by breaking out the planets and putting them in a line. So I think that Space Week is off to a GREAT start and he loves to learn about it. Other things planned for the week: Learning about dwarf planets (introducing poor Pluto), learning about NASA and astronauts, creating a jet pack, and astronaut ice cream! Lots more fun to be had, so stay tuned! :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another new skill!

Mae has been practicing sitting now for a few weeks and I am finally going to call it: Mae can sit up! :) The reason that I am officially declaring this milestone 'met' is that she can bend forward and pull herself back into a seated position. She still topples over every now and again, I still have to put her in the sitting position to begin with, but she is capable of holding that position for long lengths of time and even more officially doesn't like to be laying down now, she is happier when she's sitting. She likes her new perspective of the world.

As with anything, sitting was a learning process and just before she turned 5 months old, Mae did great to sit for a few seconds at a time before toppling over or bending in half. She liked to practice in the mornings in her bed most of all and she did very well to sit up for a few seconds at a time. :)

As she gained more muscle control she got more and more smiley about it and was able to play with toys while she sat up. :) Just in the last couple of days Mae has started to reach for toys and then pull herself back into a seated position. Still not totally able all the time, but she's doing great, for only being 5.5 months old!

Sometimes she still isn't sure about the whole thing but overall she's having a great time with her new view of the world. Next up, crawling!

She Laughs

Mae is laughing! She doesn't do it all the time. In fact her standard form of laughter is silent. She's totally laughing but she's utterly silent, her mouth opens, her eyes are 'smiling' and there's no sound coming out. It's adorably weird! However, she has started to allow a few giggles to escape and the other night she even let a couple be caught on film... although the majority of them were done before the camera started rolling (of course!) But she's still cute, so enjoy!

Other things Mae does often include jumping A LOT, as you can see in the video, grabbing her mama's hair and staring very intently at the camera. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Dinosaur Excavation

Ace is a busy boy and busy boys need things to do, and tv all the time just isn't going to cut it and playing in the water (while super fun) just is a bit too wild ALL THE TIME... so more concentrated activities are being sought out to keep Ace entertained, educated and exploring! I've been on the hunt for fun things for him to do and I happened upon Counting Coconuts and came across a post about excavating dinosaurs. I knew that would be a great activity for Ace and so I got to work freezing dinosaurs in layers.

Today was the day! I set Ace down outside at his table after his nap and he was very excited... as you can see. He didn't know what we were going to do and he was wiggly with anticipation when I brought out the frozen bowl of dinosaurs. We talked about the tools we had and how warm water melts ice and how salt can help. I had two kinds of salt to let him experiment to see which worked better. He had a blast.

It was a family affair and we all got in on the fun 'brushing' away the ice and working to get the dinosaurs out. While he was excavating, to keep his attention we read his Curious George book about the Dinosaur Museum. He was so thrilled when he finally could get that first one out, and the excitement didn't wear off. He was a tad concerned and voiced that he didn't want the dinosaur to bite him when he was unleashed from his frozen grip... hehe we had a good time imagining, learning about dinosaurs, learning about ice melting and just having fun! He overall had a great time playing and excavating his dinosaurs for well over an hour.

After they were all lined up, Ace came inside and read another dinosaur book with his dad. He asked when he could do it again, so I believe that we can call this activity a success! And it cost me? Nothing! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

We love you!

"A righteous man who walks in his integrity
How blessed are his sons after him."
(Proverbs 20:7, NASB)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Flag Pillow

My friend Jackie sent me a link to a fun pillow the other night and since I was on my way to the fabric store the next day I thought I'd gather supplies. I had been wanting to try out the rouching technique on something and this seemed like a fun and festive way to do so.

I found the rouching technique to be SUPER easy - although a few times I did pull the thread all the way out because I had over-rouched! Oops! No biggie just had to put it back into the machine and add another stitch and start over. Sewing the star pattern onto the fabric flower was probably the most difficult part because I didn't start in the traditional spot you do to make a star and so I had to draw it out on a piece of paper and concentrate really hard to turn it in the right direction each time. I felt mildly ridiculous that it seemed so complex, but 'drawing' a star, starting in a weird spot on a sewing machine apparently is a complexity for me.

I altered the pillow a little bit, mostly because I didn't want to buy a lot of the navy blue fabric ;) so I made a pillow that ended up being about 10"x8" - I also needed to use a heavier denim in the back because the denim I used wasn't heavy enough on it's own to keep the pillow closed so a bit of whip stitching was required after stuffing, but otherwise it's pretty cute and the method can certainly be translated beyond a patriotic theme. :)

And since Mae was coincidentally dressed in a very American outfit today, I decided to take a picture of her with the pillow... it makes that pillow look giant - which really is a testament to how tiny she is! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Busy Boy

Ace is a busy boy and being that he is so busy I am always on the hunt for new and exciting things that we can do together... but that aren't so involved that I can't stop to tend to his sister. It's a delicate balance of one on one attention mixed with watching the two of them. We recently joined the Children's Museum that is here in town and he absolutely loves to run around and see all of those neat and exciting things. His imagination can run wild there and so can he! They have a new arts and crafts project every week and he entertains that idea a little bit. He still in some respects has the attention span of a toddler. ;-) We've been a handful of times and he is never ready to leave when it is time - so I consider that a successful outting. We usually stay about 2 hours.

Living in Mississippi we are blessed with the warm days and evenings that allow for Ace to play in the water pretty much anytime we allow it. It's plenty warm enough from the moment he wakes up until well after sundown for him to just splash away with a hose, sprinkler, or cups of water.

But I want to be able to show him new and exploratory fun this summer. So I've been on the hunt for craft projects, activites, and interactive fun that we can create, explore and discover together. Helping him to learn and discover new things. To soak up more knowledge and have fun at the same time... and to not be a tv zombie... or just a little wrinkly sponge outside in the water all day either. ;-) So stay tuned for the fun that Ace and I (and Mae) will be exploring this summer! I've got lots of fun projects lined up!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ace and his discoveries

((Editiors Note: This is a post that I started a while back, but I hadn't posted because I was waiting for a couple more to add to it.))
I sometimes forget Ace is a toddler. I mean he's officially still a toddler, he's not even three and he still has profound discoveries of an almost three year old would have. But considering he corrects my grammar, knows words like pedestal, that the moon is made of silicate rock, and can give directions to places we've been to once - he just doesn't 'feel' like a toddler to me most of the time, and so I cherish those times that he does equally if not more than the moments he outsmarts me (I mean seriously kid, you've got your whole life to do that!) He's SO smart it's really frightening at times. Don't get me wrong, he still thinks he can get to the moon with a rocket ship that clearly is available to him at a moments notice. He still thinks the ideal way to climb into that rocket ship is with sticky shoes... but his brain is always firing away and so he just doesn't FEEL like a toddler to me. He is a busy boy soaking up and retaining any information that we give him... like the fact the moon is made of silicate rock!

On our road trip Ace made two very profound discoveries that he was in awe with...

A freckle! Yes, Ace discovered a freckle that has made an appearance on his lower leg. At first he was a bit unnerved by this brown dot that wouldn't budge on his leg. He discovered it sometime while we were driving in Utah. A quick explanation and shared stories of our own freckles quickly diffused any worry - but now every time he sees it with excitement and awe "Mom I have a freckle!" - Yes, yes you do son. Silly wonders of a 2.5 year old. :)

Crickets! On our road trip somewhere just outside of Texas we were stopped at a truck stop to refuel and refill Mae ;-) and so the boys were out burning some energy. They took a walk off into the distance and happened upon a cricket chirping. The way Ace tells the story is that they found a cricket and that cricket was singing and playing music for them. Now whenever he hears that sounds - he gets really excited and has a giant smile on his face and says "That's a cricket! It's playing music for us!" I love it.


Since these profound discoveries six weeks ago, Ace continues to amaze us with his knowledge and ability to retain the information that we give to him. He astounds us every day with something else we've once told him. For example yesterday when on our way to dinner - he looked ahead to see clouds and the dark streaky look the sky takes on as rain is coming down in the distance. He observed that and said to us "Look over there guys, it's RAINING!" Wow... yes, yes it was. We showed him once before about a week prior and explained how it worked... he remembered... he observed it again... processed and explained to us! Shockingly smart for a not-yet-3 year old.

He also has his silly moments and his head scratching ones too... like statements like this "When you have your sunglasses on mom, you look like the cat in the hat" Um... thank you?

Ace also has discovered how to open the fridge. He also wants to solve his own problems (a doozy coming up in the next paragraph...) but in the mornings that is often wanting to feed himself to solve his hunger problem. No, I do not starve my child, but when he wakes up crazy early, I hand him a banana and tell him to go watch PBS until his sister and I are awake - which usually isn't terribly long after he's woken up, but I have to nurse her before getting out of bed. Apparently one morning the banana wasn't enough and so he went on the hunt for something more. And he found himself some cherries! Now to his credit he did great eating them. Only his face and hands were messy all furniture and carpets remained unstained and cherry pits were individually discarded into the trash can. I was shockingly in awe of how well he fed himself cherries. Stems were in a neat pile on the carpet... that was my only objection to his methods of execution... that and the fact that he didn't ask if he could eat a half a bag of cherries for breakfast!

Now he also has his eerily smart problem solving skill moments... like when he chose to change his own diaper. A back story might be needed on this one. Ace is a smart kid, but like all kids he likes to stall before bedtime. Both Loving Husband and myself are convinced that Ace has cataloged in his mind all of his efforts to stall going to bed and established which ones have gotten him into trouble and which ones were effective. He's processed and learned "I heard a noise" isn't going to cut it. So he's stopped using that one.

His latest effort was "I peed in my diaper" now for a kid who has ZERO problem loading up a diaper during the day when he's busy running around and playing until the thing is ready to FALL OFF it's so full... it's CLEARLY a sign of stalling when he forces himself to pee a tiny amount just to get out of bed and seek a diaper change. Loving Husband and I were very torn on this matter... because on one hand we want to applaud his effort to acknowledge that he is wet, his desire to not be wet, and even his ability to make himself pee... on the other hand it is the negative behavior of stalling for bed. Eventually, after some entertaining and some success with potty training during the day and immediately before bed - we basically told him to knock it off that it was just stalling and that if he went that we'd change him in the morning. After a week or so he finally gave up on the nightly: coming downstairs after being put to bed and just would fall asleep (likely formulating another 'valid' excuse to get out of bed for.)

But the other night when I went up to check on him to see if he had fallen asleep, he was still awake laying in bed... but there was a diaper mysteriously discarded in the middle of his room. There was also one of his sisters. Hmmm. So I went into Mae's room... more Mae diapers discarded all over the floor. Whaaat?! So I go into his room and sit down on the edge of his bed and before I can ask why he looks up at me and says "I used one of sister's diapers because I peed in mine and I didn't have any more of mines." And I pull back the covers and indeed there was a size 1 diaper on my size 4 boy. To his credit he had successfully put on his sister's diaper after, by the looks of the floor, was the 6th attempt. haha I tried my best to stifle laughter as I changed him into one of his own diapers and told him to go back to bed. ;-)

He's certainly a smart kid, but there's still a little bit of toddler left in him. :) Like I said I'll take all the littleness I can get out of him while it lasts. The best part is - he still loves to hug me all the time and I cherish that because I know he'll outgrow that well before I'm ready.

A Changing Pad

It's been a long while since I posted about something crafty! For shame! Especially since I have been pretty busy with crafting, sewing, etc.. So I'll start with my latest project and where my inspiration came from...

Mae's diaper bag came with a changing pad, as many of them do, but this one was giant. Seriously took up 1/3rd of the diaper bag... so that was tossed aside pretty quickly. I was gifted a travel wipe case/changing pad set and so that changing pad is the one that was tossed in the diaper bag. But then there were times like when going for walks in the stroller I didn't need the whole diaper bag and thus taking the gifted travel wipe case that changing pad would need to be transferred from the diaper bag to these various locations.

It became iffy it that changing pad would venture back into the diaper bag and then became problematic when we were out to dinner and it was required and it was not there. So I decided to shop for one. Let me say finding one by itself for a reasonable price... was just not happening. Then I happened upon this pattern at homemade by Jill and decided to gather supplies.

Finding (cute) laminated fabric was the tricky part. Ultimately I found some at Hancock Fabrics and the rest of the supplies and got started. Her pattern calls for fusible fleece, I skipped that for supplies that I already had and simply cut a layer of Warm & Natural batting to put in between the two layers. I also skipped the hook and loop method of closure and went for a more simplistic ribbon sewn in the middle with a fancy stitch. I burned the ends of the ribbon so that they won't fray over time. I also made it an inch wider than the pattern called for. I like a little more wiggle room. :)

This was my first project on my new sewing machine: Brother SE 400 which is a MAJOR upgrade from my six year old White Quilter machine. It works great. I'm still working with the tension on this machine and getting it figured out to my liking, so this changing pad was my first real 'go' with it - so the lines aren't as smooth and 'perfect' as I would like, but it is functional.

If you need a good project for a baby shower - I'd say this is it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ten on Ten

My friend B over at The Ravenna Girls began participating in a project on her blog a few months ago called Ten on Ten after being inspired by the host A Bit of Sunshine it sounded so fun, but I always forgot about it since Mae's 'birthday' lands on the 10th and focusing on getting that blog up was effort enough... but I decided to give it a go this month and having started our morning at 7am we are now complete with our day. The concept? "Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.”

Five Months Old

Mae is another month older and growing and advancing every day it seems. She is so smiley and a joy every morning because she wakes up with the biggest smile on her face.

First for Mae this month: first time swimming, first taste of bottled water, first breast milk bottle she consumed, first solid food, first word: MAMA!!!, (early phase) sitting up

Mae has been doing wonderfully in the sleep department especially this week. For a couple of weeks she had reverted to being away every 3 hours to snack and then sleep again, wasn't sleeping in the co-sleeper for a long stretch at all and overall wasn't wowing me with her sleep. Felt more Ace-ish. Not bad, but not amazing. This past week she's done GREAT. She falls asleep downstairs most of the time with milk and then placed into her swing. I eventually scoop her up and take her upstairs anywhere from 2-4hours later depending on when she fell asleep and when I'm off to bed. Every night so far this week she has transferred without needing a snack or even really waking up. One night she did stir awake but she settled herself back to sleep. She wakes between 3am-4:30am - but so far every night this week it has been a solid 7 hours before she wakes. It's been great! Hopefully no growth spurt, teething surge, or illness disrupts this new found bliss we're all enjoying. After she wakes after 3am I bring her into the bed next to me and she nurses 2-3xs more before we're up for the morning - which is usually dictated by her brother around 7am.

Food is new for Mae this month, although not yet a regular occurrence. She has enjoyed rice cereal, carrots and sweet potatoes... and she has sampled and rejected peas. I continue to read and educate myself on solid food before 6 months and I still remain unsettled on what is best for her - so Mae will mostly continue to sample food for another couple of weeks before I really start regularly giving her solids for 'meals' - allowing her little digestive system to continue to develop. She also finally enjoyed her first bottle from start to finish. Back in February we did introduce her to the bottle but she only had a sip of it... this time after a somewhat lengthy stand off we got her to finish 3oz of a bottle. Hooray. Although the second attempt was met with equally as loud objection as the first time so little progress was made... In addition to trying out some breast milk in the bottle Mae got her first taste of water. Yum. She really never drank any of it as much as chewed on the cold nipple, but she enjoyed that.

Verbal skills are exploding. This morning Loving Husband will tell you she said 'dada' I'll give him it was close - but she's not said it officially yet. But she is close. She's working on all sorts of sounds in that little mouth of hers. She is quite the chatter box. :) I wonder where she gets that from??? She said mama a week ago and continues to say it when she REALLY wants me. She knows who I am and how to get me. It's really sweet. She's also working on her 'lala', 'baba' and occasionally even manages a ffff sound. Although she's just babbling not really attempting words at those times. The other day I also swore I saw her 'sign' milk. It is certainly what she wanted and I had never seen her tiny little hand move like that at random before... but it could just be my mommy-mind playing tricks on me so I won't claim it to be an intentional act, but I am certainly looking for it again!

Mae loves to squeal and gets very excited when you chew on her ribs, but she doesn't outright laugh just yet. I'd say she chuckles occasionally. No belly laughs just yet. Often she holds her breath. She loves her big brother and loves to play with him while she sits in her excersaucer. She smiles really big every morning when he comes in and says "Good Morning, Sister" (in a very funny voice that we're not sure why he's chosen it.) She's always happy to see him and he loves to help comfort her by reading to her, singing kokomo (which he's getting pretty good at!) or playng her music either in the exersaucer, swing or using her glowworm. He is going to be a good protector.

Mobility wise she is still mostly just rolling from her back to her belly. She hasn't done the belly to her back too much since learning the other way. She can do a bigger push up every now and then and really REALLY wants to move. If you hold her upright she also will walk and do so quickly to get to the other person. Adorable. I suspect crawling will take place very soon. I said earlier "early phase" sitting up - which basically I mean if I put her in a sitting position she is able to maintain it for about 10-30 second before she either topples over or folds in half. She's not quite there, but she's making good progress with those baby-abs of hers. :) Mae also got to try out swimming for the first time in her little life. She loved it and even dipped under the water without any issue.

Teething is still happening and she is chewing on anything (or one) that she can get a hold of. She LOVES her dolly to chew on and that comes with us everywhere. She's not terribly drooly, but is very irritable before naps the last few days. Not sure if it's related, but hopefully she cuts her first tooth soon. I can see it below the surface it's almost here!!

Mae is a very happy baby. We love to see her grow and develop... but I can't believe how big she already is. Happy 5th Month, Mae! Can't wait for your half-birthday milestone.... yes I can... stop aging already! ;-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

First solid food for Mae!

Between rounds of eating...she loves food!

For weeks and weeks, Mae has joined us at the dinner table sitting in her bumbo chair opening her mouth wide trying to eat whatever we were eating for dinner. And so we finally decided to give her a taste into the 'solid' food world and set up her experience for her first solid food! :) In an attempt to allow Mae to have experience exclusively for Mae we waited until after her big brother went to bed. I try really hard to not have her experiences lessened on the focus of her by having her brother around asking lots of questions, needing attention, wanting help... and I also don't want Ace to feel pushed to the side. So a lot of these milestone activities occur while Ace sleeps. :) So a nice mix of breastmilk and organic rice cereal was prepared and the camera started up...

Dad even gave it a shot... this is our favorite picture... but to be fair to the both of them she did eat a little from dad. It wasn't an outright refusal. ;-)

She overall loved it! I made her a half a tablespoon to start and she gobbled that up and still wanted more and so I made her the second half of a tablespoon. Mixed of course with breastmilk! Yum. I think she would have eaten more, but we cut her off. During her second half of food, Ace came downstairs needing a diaper change, and so we let him share in what was going on and grabbed a picture of the whole family. :)

A few days later, I had Ace help choose what food Mae should eat next! We had peas, carrots, or sweet potatoes to choose from. Ace chose carrots for Mae. It was an excellent choice. She once again gobbled them up with delight. A few days after that she happily gobbled up sweet potatoes. Yesterday... peas were attempted. That was a very obvious NO GO. She would have none of it, couldn't even mask it in the sweet potatoes. I'm not giving up yet, but she certainly voiced her opinion for now that she is anti-peas.

She's growing up so fast! We still aren't giving her 'solid' food every day just yet. We're just starting to introduce it to her and explore with her flavors and tastes. She is still getting plenty of calories with the breastmilk right now. She'll have another month of just 'grazing' on food before she really gets steady meals of 'solid' food. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Winking and other Ace News

Ace has learned (sorta) how to wink. Often he does it and then says "Is this how you wink?" Yep, you're doing it dude! Good job. ;-) Often he will point at his eye as he is asking. It's adorable, and I'm glad I've captured this - as I am sure it's one more thing he'll outgrow all too soon.

Ace is loving the South! He enjoys the ability to be outside playing more and more and LOVES to play in the water. He has shot up like a weed since we've arrived and is over 3 feet tall now. It's a good thing it's shorts weather now! Otherwise he'd be equipped with some wading pants. ;-) He turns BEET RED though whenever he's out running around in the heat - and it doesn't take very long at all. His little body is just not adapted to this climate. It's pretty cute to see him running around and be so bright red. We just keep pushing water on him and he is content to be bright red. Although it does make noticing sunburns more difficult. Which thankfully we've avoided so far. Ace met a new friend that is a neighbor the other day and he was over playing. The friend is a year younger than Ace, but Ace was good to share his toys and to show him how stuff worked. He occasionally needed some sharing correction from us, but he never fought us once we established the 'rule' of sharing with guests.

Since moving to the South we also got rid of cable. I ordered an antenna for the tv and it is a giant leap from where rabbit ears came from in my childhood. I plugged in this antenna and while we don't get many channels (only ABC, PBS, Fox, and a few off-stations that have weather and what not) They are perfectly clear and in HD (if they broadcast as such) It's amazing! As a result of no cable that means that Ace no longer has his morning dose of Mickey. We own dvds and he enjoys them in that form still occasionally, but he's discovered a whole new world on PBS (which ultimately I think is a step in the right educational direction. Mickey was good for a while, but these programs are a bit more learning intensive and focused on reading which is Ace's next step!) Ace's current favorite on there is Super WHY - which he refers to as The Super Readers. He loves it. He asks over and over and over if I can turn it on. He also has enjoyed Sid the Science Kid, and only once have we I been unfortunately subjected to Barney. YIKES! Thankfully he wasn't an "instant" hit and not much attention was paid to him.

Sleep for him also has improved. Thankfully, Ace no longer is having nightmares! And after he got used to his new room and the fear of the new place - he has been sleeping great. Occassionally, he'll still wake once or twice and come into our room but it is now the exception and not the rule, and I am certain he himself is waking up in the night, but he's putting himself back to sleep. Hurray! I hope that continues to be the case and that the nightmares remain far off. Last night was his first night that we didn't allow him to have water in the night (usually he goes to bed with a sippy cup full of water, and often takes several swigs before he falls asleep and if he wakes up in the night he takes some before putting himself back to sleep.) We know that this will require an adjustment period to find new ways to get himself to sleep. As it was last night he took nearly 2 hours to go to sleep - he stayed quietly in his bed though - so no real complaints are to be had. Sadly though he is waking WAY earlier than he used to back home. He's now bright eyed sometimes as early as 6:30. Um no way. So we got him a clock for his room and he is now told that he isn't allowed to get out of bed until the first number is a 7. This works about 30% of the time, with another 40% of the time being told 'it's not 7 yet, go back to bed' the remaining 30% of the time is a fight.... So it's hit or miss you can say. :) Overall, we couldn't be more thrilled at how well he is doing with sleep compared to just a few months ago.
Ace also has taken to singing with us when we sing him songs before bedtime. He can sing the entire first verse and chorus of "As The Deer" along with the "Lord's Army" song and Twinkle Twinkle. He also can now properly sing his ABCs. He's growing up!

Overall, Ace's adapting to his new surroundings well and having a good time.