October through November

Hello! Yes, it’s been a while. We have been up to some fun stuff! Audrey, through her enthusiasm to learn her letters has been spelling words wherever she sees them – our shirts, the bag of flour in the kitchen, signs, books, you name it! She has the capital letters of the alphabet down pat. So this week I made some uppercase flash cards and lowercase flash cards. We have been playing a matching game. There are lots of ways to practice matching letters, but we started out with flash cards. Maybe we will move on to a different game next week. For now it seems to keep her attention! The next step, I think, will be the sound letters make and beginning sight words. I am so excited.

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No matter what we do, if there is a name or word involved, I try to encourage Audrey to spell it. For instance, I made a bunch of number cards in an effort to help her understand that the sound “eight” has a number and quantity attached to it. The cards have the number, the word, and appropriate number or dots. Even if she knows the number by sight, we always count the dots and spell its name. We still seem to be having a problem with her skipping dots or adding when she counts them.

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Crafts have been a hit every time we do them. In celebration of winter, we recently made puff paint! If you have never made this amazing stuff before, you ought to try it. TODAY. I promise it will be a hit. All you do is squirt some shaving cream into a bowl, squirt in a gob of white glue, food coloring if so desired, and lightly mix. It dries puffy! I first came across this at Audrey’s early childhood class when we made puffy snowmen. At home, we decided to use black paper, puff paint for snow clouds, white paint and a Q-tip to dot on some snowflakes, and put on a finishing touch of white glitter.

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Audrey made two different “scenes” before we ran out of time that day and had to move on to other things. She showed her apparent displeasure at having to move on through tears. We are working on this.

Another festive winter activity we did was make “snow.” This idea I saw on Pinterest and finally decided to do it! WARNING: This is a very messy sensory activity. I recommend you don’t try this if you plan on having company over or have to take your kids out anywhere soon after. By the end I wasn’t sure if there was more “snow” on the floor or Audrey.

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So here is what you do! (Taken from http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com)

SNOW

1. Empty 2 boxes of cornstarch into a box, plastic container, tub, or any other container you have lying around. A lid comes in handy if you want to be able to keep your “snow” to use another day. I just transferred it to a Ziplock tub to store it for later.

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2. Add the shaving cream to your cornstarch. I used the whole can. Non-scented is a good idea.

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3. Let the little ones mix the cornstarch and shaving cream together until it forms a crumbly powder that sticks together if you form it into a ball. If it won’t stick together, just add a little more shaving cream.

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It’s messy as you mix it, but once it’s good and combined, it’s not bad. I gave Audrey a cup and large spoon and it kept her busy at least an hour. Again, tears when we had to clean it up and put it away. Many tears. Apparently there was a snow castle still in progress.

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Audrey really likes talking about the weather. Our morning conversations first thing tend to sound like this, “Mommy, bit nippy outside!” or, “It’s cold day.” and even, “It’s raaaaaining!” The parent in me decided to channel this enthusiasm into a daily project, so I made a weather chart! If you have felt hanging around the house, you can make one pretty easily. I simply cut out a sun, clouds, wind, rain, lighting, and snow flakes out of my scraps of felt, and hung a sheet of felt on the wall to stick them on.

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We look out the window every morning, see what the weather is like, and put the right weather on our chart. As an after thought (always encourage that word recognition!) I added the name of each weather condition. I think it turned out well. Audrey LOVES this activity, and I think it will lead nicely into a science program later on.

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Gymnastics seems to be the highlight of our week. Faribault Gymnastics just moved to a new gym and things are looking good! I think the space flows much better. I caught Audrey practicing “good gymnastics toes” in the bath the other day. I’m glad she is putting in the extra effort. 😉

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Shattuck’s Mandarin for Babies program has really brought out the social butterfly in Audrey. The senior kids run it with the help of other kids who are looking to fulfill community service hours. Audrey really enjoys being with her big kid friends AND she has learned some words. The main idea of the program is to get kids used to hearing the sounds of the language spoken, as the inflections of the words are very important in Chinese. Every Friday we head over to the middle school campus, and Audrey says, “Chinese children!!” I have to say, I wouldn’t give up life at the boarding school for anything. My daughter is forming relationships with kids of all ages, from every different culture.

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Since I haven’t updated the blog in a while, I think I will just post a few pictures of things we have done in the past few months:

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Finger painting breakthrough! Audrey now LOVES having her hands covered in paint. In fact, it may be her favorite craft.

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Practiced cutting with some toddler scissors I bought. They ended up hindering her more than anything. I’m just going to forget them and buy some preschool scissors. Anyway, we made an owl! There was some gluing practice involved as well.

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As the leaves began to change I thought it might be fun to do a little nature walk around campus one morning. Collecting leaves from under every different tree proved to be very exciting…

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…until we arrived at the playground…

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And by the way, at 18 weeks we had THE ultrasound! The one where you find out boy or girl. Or both, if you are having twins (we are not.)

20 weeksAnd it’s…. a GIRL! From now on she will be referred to as Baby B. As of this week we are 20 weeks and 1 day. Half way through, baby!

Thanks for reading!

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