Friday, September 30, 2011

Busy Bb

Cotton ball painting.
We have been very busy with the letter B this week. We started by painting with cotton balls. I taped upper and lower case Bs onto a sheet of paper and then Spenc painted them using cotton balls as a paint brush. Once the paint was dry, I glued the Bs onto a 5x7 card to make the flashcard.

Bb flashcard.

I constructed a homemade coloring book with card stock, clip art and yarn. Spencer enjoyed coloring it and carrying it around.

We also made a school bus out of a half dozen egg carton (a short bus!). First I cut holes out for windows and then we painted it orange. (For some reason I thought school buses were orange, but then it dawned on me as we were eating at Taco Johns that buses are yellow! Oh well, our short bus is orange.) Once it dried, we added people and wheels.

Spenc also made a bus at his Daddy and Me class.
We toured the kayak building of Wenonah Canoe where Dave works so Spenc could see some boats. He loved it!! He wanted to sit in every single boat and kept saying, "more, more." If you can believe it, I forgot my camera, so I had to resort to using my cell phone to take pictures.

Here is the latest installment of the photobook. Spenc loves the photobook. He'll look at the pictures and knows that A is for Apple and that we rode a tractor when we picked the apples, etc.

I am 37 weeks pregnant, officially full term. At my doctor appointment this week I learned that I am 2 cm dilated and 50% thinned out. The doctor said the baby's head is definitely down. He said at this point if I were to go into labor, they would not stop it. It literally could be any day!! When I heard this, I got very excited and did a little fist pump right there on the hospital bed. I'm very ready to have this baby!! I'm sure it'll be a week or two yet, but I'm excited to know I'm progressing nicely and am getting very close.

I've been nesting like crazy lately. All week I've been baking and cooking. Since we went to the apple orchard twice, I've been peeling and cutting apples all week long. I made the most delicious apple crisp, semi-bland apple muffins, and chunky applesauce for my husband. I still plan on making apple pie, apple bars and apple coffee cake. If I have enough apples left and am not all appled-out, I might attempt to make apple butter as well. I've also been making extra for supper so I can freeze half of it. That way after the baby comes and I'm too dang tired to even think about cooking, I can just pop one of these frozen meals into the oven. My deep freeze is quickly running out of room! Also, I've gotten my butt in gear on the sewing front. I finally finished the taggy blanket I started weeks ago. It is far from perfect since I'm not a great sewer, but I think it turned out quite nice. I have the fabric for the baby blanket pinned and ready to be sewed together, too. (Aren't you proud of me, Amy? I'm finally using the Christmas present from how many years ago?)
Taggy blanket.
And, lastly, here are the latest belly pictures. It was a whole family affair this time.
37 weeks.
Sucking it in.
Mine's a tractor, not a "bebe."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aa new beginning

Apple stamping
Now that we've finished the alphabet, it's time to start over, but with a few changes. Instead of a big letter to go on Spencer's door, we will be making alphabet flashcards and an alphabet photobook. We'll also be doing other letter related projects during the week and sometimes field trips.

Aa flashcard
The letter A was all about apples! I cut an apple in half and Spencer used those to stamp red and green paint onto a piece of paper and the upper and lower case letters cut out of cardboard for the Aa flashcard. He didn't like this at first because he couldn't figure out a way to pick up the apple without getting his hands dirty. Once I told him it was okay to get dirty, he had fun with the project.

We did a Peek-a-boo apple project. First Spencer painted a popsicle stick green to make the worm. Then we assembled the pieces I had cut out from a template. But he couldn't paint just a popsicle stick, so he painted a green and red picture as well.

We also had apples for a snack.
We took two field trips to an apple orchard this weekend as well. On Saturday we went with Grandma Amy, Ant Katie and cousins Samantha and Hunter. On Sunday we went with the Fravels, our good friends. Spencer ate a lot of apples and was in tractor heaven!
Day 1 of apple picking.

Yummy apple.

Grandma Amy, cousins Samantha and Hunter.

Day 2 of apple picking starts with a relaxing swing ride with Jackson.

Whoa, big tractor tire!

Mmmm, I'm still not sick of apples.

What about this one, Mommy?

Daddy likes apples, too.

Beep, beep.

And, finally, here is the first installation of the alphabet photobook.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The End of the Alphabet Road

This week marked the end of the alphabet. We had fun with the letter Z. Spencer put stickers of zoo animals on a big letter Z. Then we hung up the last letter to complete the alphabet on his door.

Next we filled Ziplock bags full of old oatmeal and used them as bean bags. Spencer loved this and we spent quite a lot of time playing with them on the deck. He is still playing with them!
Filling the Ziplock baggies.
Bean Bag Toss.
Taking a break from playing to ham it up for Mommy.
This week I also had the great pleasure of watching my friend's kids while she had surgery. They spent two nights at my house. Briella is almost 2 and Bryson is almost 5 months old. I got a taste of what it is like to have three kids! It was a nice trial run for night feedings with a baby again! I loved cuddling with the little guy, but every time he was in my arms, my baby would kick and kick. Can they sense those things?
Bryson cuddling in bed with me.
Packed in my van (note the 2 car seats in the middle row).
Briella playing with the homemade bean bags.
Yummy feet!
Project in memory of the kids' grandpa.
I had my prenatal appointment this week. Everything looks good. My doctor went over the ultrasound and there isn't anything to be concerned about. The amniotic fluid is perfect. The baby's size is actually measuring bigger. He is head down. All the organs are good. Etc. He is still measuring me small with the measuring tape, but he thinks it's because the baby has already descended past the pelvic bone, which is the set point he measures me from, so the measurements might not be accurate. He isn't concerned anymore. Boy, is the little guy ever moving these days, and his movements are strong!!
35 weeks.
This weekend Spencer and I are making a trip back to my hometown. My childhood best friend is struggling with cancer again and is currently staying in a nursing home. Grandma Keeha is going to watch Spencer while my sister, Hope, and I make a trip to the nursing home to visit my friend. I have a bit of trepidation surrounding this visit. I am not quite sure what to expect. I have heard a few stories from other people regarding her condition, but I don't think I'm fully prepared. I love Annie with all my heart. She has always been like a sister to me. This visit is definitely necessary but still carries with it a lot of heart break and worry. Please pray for my friend!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Y it's time for school already!

The alphabet is winding down with the end of summer. We are trying to take advantage of the nice weather while we still can and have been spending as much time outside as possible. I tried to involve the great outdoors in our letter project this week.

We first started off with our traditional big letter Y to hang on Spencer's door. We punched holes in the Y and then Spencer strung yarn through the holes. He concentrated really hard on threading the yarn through the holes and he seemed to enjoy the practice in hand-eye coordination.

Our next project centered around learning about our yard. We took a beach bucket and walked around the yard filling it with random things, like leaves, grass, weeds, flowers, etc. We filled an old spice container with sand from the sandbox. Then we sat at the table on the deck to make some projects. We squeeze Elmer's glue all over some cardstock and stuck on our objects from the yard. Spencer's favorite part was sprinkling the sand like it was glitter. The pictures turned out better than I thought. This was a fun project!
The items we collected from the yard.
Creating the masterpieces.

Sand as glitter.

This week we also started school. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or Spenc. Every Friday morning we attend an Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class through the Winona school district called Toadally Twos, which is strictly for two year olds. It's in the same classroom as his class last year for 12-24 month olds and has many of the same kids and teacher. Spencer was a bit on the shy side today, but I know it won't take long before he's off and running around like last year. Along with this class, Dave will be taking Spencer to Daddy and Me two Tuesday nights a month. I think that will be good for both daddy and son, especially once the baby comes. Also, Thursday nights we have a ECFE class through the Lewiston school district and Monday nights we have Evening Song. We definitely keep busy during the school year!

We have been introducing the potty to Spencer for quite a few months now, setting him on it in the morning and night. Sometimes he'd pee and sometimes he wouldn't. Recently he has shown more interest in it and has on a few occasions let us know he has to go to the bathroom. Because of this we decided to seriously tackle potty training. I made weekly sticker charts and hung them on his bathroom door to track his progress. Each time he peed, he got to put a sticker on the day of the week. He also got to choose a piece of candy to celebrate his success. At first he was doing great, peeing in the potty a few times a day. Then his progress teetered. He hasn't peed on the potty for a whole week now. Another toddler mom said her potty training book suggested a technique where you potty train part-time with big boy underwear, so I decided to try that. I ordered Sesame Street underwear online to try to motivate Spencer with his favorite character, Elmo. Part-time underwear training consists of putting Spencer in underwear a few hours a day at the same time everyday. Once he is successful in wearing underwear during those few hours, then you increase the amount of time he wears underwear until eventually he is only wearing underwear. The undies came on Tuesday, so we started our first night of part-time underwear training. He ended up peeing on Elmo the first night, but he didn't pee on him the second or third night. We will continue to try this method in conjunction with the sticker chart and see how it goes. If we need to stop for a while and try again later, that's OK.

He wanted to put on every single pair of undies over the top of his shorts.