Archive for 24-30 months

Raising a Toddler is Like Having a Drunk Friend…

Raising a toddler is a real trip. It is like having a drunk best friend when you are always sober…possibly a drunk foreign friend given their command of the English language.

This morning, my two year old and I went off to run some errands. On the return trip, he quickly scurried into the back row of the mini van even though his seat is in the middle row.

“Come here sweetie. Help mommy by getting into your seat.”

“I drive car!”

“Sure you do, sweetie. But you can pretend to drive the car from your car seat. We need to be buckled in before we drive.”

Locates green bucket. Places on head. “Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!”

Drunk Toddler Behavior

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Butterfly Craft for Child Victims of the Holocaust

When I wrote about my daughter’s coffee filter butterfly craft, I received an inspiring comment about the The Butterfly Project. Here’s the information from the site.

1,500,000 innocent children perished in the Holocaust.

In an effort to remember them, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.

The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2012, for all to remember.

They prefer 2D butterflies and I wanted to help my daughter create something special for The Butterfly Project, so here is our tissue paper butterfly we will contribute in remembrance of the Holocaust’s youngest victims.

I wanted to create a butterfly that incorporated the outline of her hands because this is a butterfly from an innocent child to represent one of the beautiful children who was lost to this world. We decorated the wings with tissue paper to create a mosaic of lovely sparks of bright colors.

As we made the butterfly, we talked about how wonderful it is to chase butterflies in the spring. I told my daughter that once there were some children who liked to chase butterflies, just like her. Unfortunately, there were also some cruel people who did not understand that children had a right to chase butterflies and run in the grass and live their lives. I explained that we are making this butterfly for these children and also for us–so we never forget. I figured that was about all the Holocaust education that would be appropriate at age two and a half.

Please feel free to make a butterfly like ours or using a different butterfly craft and send it to The Butterfly Project (link fixed). And please spread the word so they can meet their goal and honor the spirits of these children.

Supplies

1 piece of cardboard or posterboard
scraps of thin paper (tissue paper)
glue
pencil
scissors
poster paints or markers
pipe cleaner (optional)
Popsicle stick (optional)

Instructions

  1. Trace child’s hands (fingers together, not spread) on a folded piece of cardboard and cut out shapes. You should have four hand-shaped pieces.
  2. Paint the Popsicle stick in any color or colors and allow to dry (I was out of Popsicle sticks so I just cut another piece of cardboard).
  3. Tear up pieces of paper (we used tissue paper, but you could also use scraps of left-over wrapping paper or, for a completely different effect use newspaper).
  4. Paste paper on the cardboard, overlapping the pieces of paper and adding more paste as necessary (we used a glue stick, brushing on watered-down paste would also work well).
  5. Fold excess paper over and paste down to the back side of the wings (if you used thicker paper, you might need to use scissors or an exacto knife to trim).
  6. Glue wings to overlap in the shape of a butterfly.
  7. Paste the Popsicle stick body over the wings. You can wrap the entire stick in pipe cleaners, just wrap the head (this is what we did), or not wrap it at all. If you choose to use pipe cleaners, you can use your pencil to curl the ends of the antennae. Otherwise, you can paste the butterfly on a piece of white paper and use a marker or paint to add in the antennae.

Please let me know if you make a butterfly of your own!

Easy Butterfly Craft for Preschoolers

This craft is so simple and fun for a toddler, preschooler, or kindergartner.

Materials:

  • Two (2) Coffee Filters
  • Watercolors (you could use crayons, tempera, glitter glue, or any other decorative materials…but I like the water paints for this)
  • One (1) Pipe Cleaner

Directions:

  1. Flatten coffee filters
  2. Paint and decorate coffee filters with watercolors and allow to dry.
  3. Fold each coffee filter into a half circle.
  4. Accordion fold both filters from the flat side to the curved side.
  5. Fold the pipe clear in half and twist three to four times.
  6. Place one of the coffee filters, flat side down in between the pipe stems and twist twice.
  7. Place the other coffee filter in, flat side up (the two rounded sides should be facing inward) and twist three to four times.
  8. Take a pencil and curl the ends of each stem of the pipe cleaner into antennae.

If you are crafting with a toddler or younger preschooler, you may have to assist with twisting the pipe cleaner.

This is great for young children because no matter how they paint it, there will be a nice effect.

And there you have it! An easy little butterfly.

My daughter enjoyed flying hers around the house.

If you make several, you can create a mobile and hang it from the ceiling.

Baby Signing Cuteness

Little Diva walks over to Junior and grabs his hand, gently squeezing:

“Squeeze hand for milk. When you want milk, squeeze hand.”

She knows how to help a brother out.

It is a sign that would have come in handy today. I think Junior is about to bust out with his first tooth. From 2:30 pm until about 6:30 pm he nursed almost continually, for an hour without break at one point. If he fell asleep and delatched, he started screaming. This is a baby who never cries and it frightened me a little. Since nursing settled him down, though, I’m guessing it is just a tooth. He’s been chewing on his hand like crazy for the last two weeks.

It has been an AP kind of day. Diva has been wanting to spend more time cuddling on the big bed since brother gets to have full access in his little sidecar co-sleeper–which I must agree only seems fair. But our bed was one of those really high, giant, four poster monsters that seemed like a good idea in the BC (Before Children) Era.

DH was about to dismantle the bed and then decided to remove the box spring to lower things and add in a piece of plywood for support when he had the time. Well, the bed beat him to the punch. We were getting the kids in for nighttime and I was on the bed with Junior. I asked DH for a hug. He obliged. And one of the slats cracked. So now the big wood frame is dismantled, the box springs are back, and the mattress (supported by box springs) is on the floor.

A much safer and happier arrangement for all involved.

Toddlerism: Princess Obvious

Toddler: (climbing off her toddler bed; whump; falls on floor; cries a little)

Me: Are you okay, sweetie? What did you hit?

Toddler: The floor!

Ba-dum-cha!

In other baby news, Junior started his swim “lessons.” They offer free lessons from two to six months’ so he goes in the pool when his sister has her lesson. It is so funny to watch them together. Who would have thought that the same parents and the same parenting could produce two such different children?

Junior just chills. Someone is holding me and it is not mommy? Oh, well…she seems nice. She’s lifting me up? Nice view. Now I’m under water? No problem.

He’s now three months’ and 18 POUNDS. Not sure how tall, but really tall. I’ll find out in a couple of weeks. Pictures coming soon.

Toddlerism: Sassy Little Thing

Busy, busy, busy! But it actually is not Junior’s fault. Who knew a baby could be this easy? My first is the type who usually ends up being an only child–now there’s a theory…only children aren’t more, ummm, spirited and demanding because they are only children, but because their parents decided one was enough.

Anyway, tons of deadlines but I haven’t posted in a while so I’ll let my daughter post for me.

afuiadf;hoa awf;oh af ;oj af

Just kidding.

Here are some of her latest “Toddlerisms”:

No Loki [our giant black and white cat]! No look out MY window! [What’s next? Stop breathing my air?]

Upon being told she’s “one smart cookie”: No…TWO smart cookies.

That’s a funny way to say that!

EeeMOW! EeeMOW! Clipper [her nickname for our Russian Blue] does say that alot. [Calypso must be slightly dyslexic]

Mama: Brother is cute.
Toddler: NOOO!
Mama: Okay, brother is cute and you are cuter!
Toddler: NOOO! Not cuter!
Mama: You are the cutest?
Toddler: NO! Brother cute and [Diva] cute. How ’bout that?

[She’s a tough bargainer that kiddo.]

Houston, We Have Achieved Birth Weight

This morning we had Diva the Toddler’s two year well-baby (a month late) and brought along her sidekick, Junior the Jotunn (aka Bruiser). After waiting for an hour or so to see the doctor, we found out that Diva is indeed EXTREMELY TALL (35.5 inches, 90th percentile) and SKINNY (36 lbs, 50th percentile) and generally a healthy little toddler.

The doctor asked how many words she could say. The child can identify at least five different species of duck (Hooded Merganser, Teal, Buffalo Head, Mallard, and Red Breasted Merganser) and speaks in complete sentences. Seriously, I couldn’t even count the number of words she knows.

For the first time, she had absolutely no problem at the doctor’s office, a step up from at least staying quiet long enough at the cardiologist. No more doctor phobia! We let her bring her duck and her pillow and her “bops.” The doctor asked if we were planning on ditching the paci soon. We only give it to her when she is sleeping or at the doctor’s…and I’m not ready to take it away at night yet. I am so happy she sleeps 11 hours straight, and now is not the time for me to have a few sleepless nights. So the paci at night stays for the meantime. Diva barely flinched during her shots, and so we gave her ice cream at home (and didn’t even have to bribe her in advance).

Since we were already there, we asked if they could weigh Junior so he would not have to come back in two days and wait another hour just for a weigh-in. I was fairly confident he had gained weight and would be at least close to his birth weight. Earlier that morning I got on the scale and weighed a freakin’ ton 25 pounds less than my full pregnancy weight. Then, I picked up Junior and weighed still way too much ten and a half pounds more. At the office, Junior clocked in at 10 lbs 6 oz, two ounces over his birth weight at only eight days old!

Not surprising since he’s been breastfeeding almost every waking moment. And, if his sister’s growth is any indication, I make some fatty breastmilk.

Diva the Cute

Diva the Kid is getting cuter everyday.

She likes to go out into her cottage (Little Tikes) and prepare “tea, with honey and milk” for all visitors. She has to “clean” the dishes afterward, though she is a tad miffed about her sink’s lack of actual plumbing. Then we water our mint plant.

Her current favorite book is the “bird book” (a field guide from which Daddy reads every night). She can identify and name cardinals, blue jays, tanagers, various species of ducks (her favorite is the hooded merganser, followed by the Buffalo Head), turkeys, vultures, owls (she prefers the owls “with ears,” but also knows the “no ear owls” like the barn owl and snowy owl), flamingos and assorted others. She knows “Daddy Cardinals are RED, Mommy Cardinals are BROWN…but how ’bout the BABY Cardinals.” How about them, honey? “Baby Cardinals also brown.”

She chats up a storm and is tall and thin like a beanpole. Typical conversations when we are out go like this:

Stranger: “She’s adorable. How old is she? Three?”

Me or Daddy: “Just turned two.”

Stranger: “Does she talk?”

Baby then blurts out some amusing thought in a full sentence, such as “Mommy has Daddy’s wallet and money outside.”

But she’s still working on some of the grammatical nuances. She regularly exclaims in the affirmative, “Yes it do!” regardless of person, gender, or number, which we find quite sweet, and “NOT” when she means “no,” which we find less so.

She’s also a total cheese snob, which we could have predicted from her first taste of cheese.

Hey, Come Out And Play!

Here’s a post I never thought I would be writing–I’ll be 39 weeks on Wednesday and baby boy still hasn’t shown.

Every time I pick up a bag without warning, my little girl thinks I am “going to work to bring baby brother out.” According to her, little steps are going to drop down and he is going to walk out.

Diva the kid is very eager to meet her little brother. She draws portraits of him, having recently mastered the art of drawing an oval and placing “two eyes, nose, mouth, and HAIR (scribbled most enthusiastically)” in more or less the correct spots.

Everything she associates with being a big girl has become tied in with brother’s arrival. According to her, she will sleep in her own bed and give him the crib, give him all her “bops” (pacifiers), and start using the potty. Somehow I think this transformation will take a bit longer, but who am I to disagree?

In the meantime, though, we are all waiting for the big boy to come out and play. At my 38 week appointment, the midwife said, “How big do you think this baby is?”

I answered, “Well…based on my complete lack of medical training and my single previous experience being pregnant, I think he’s bigger than she was. I think he’s already over 8 lbs.”

She gave me a somewhat indulgent look and responded, “At least!” in a way that implied he was most likely a bit over. Of course, none of this is reliable measurement, but I won’t be surprised if he’s over 9 lbs at this point.

We’re all ready to go now. Granny’s been staying for a week to watch the toddler, I’ve been clearing my work schedule, and Daddy’s been on alert–cell phone on at all times.

We’re all ready, except the guest of honor.