Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Heart Spring Weather in Winter!

Ashton's first time swinging.
I loved the nice weather we had over the past few weeks. It can almost trick a person into believing spring is around the corner. Too bad we have a full winter left to survive. We weren't about to let the unusually warm weather go to waste. We played at the park behind our house one afternoon and in our backyard the next day. Spencer experienced his first backyard time-out when he threw a toddler-sized tantrum because Ashton was swinging in "his" swing. Oh boy!

Look at the size difference between Ash and Spenc in the swings!
Playing in the backyard.

Spenc begrudgingly swung on the "big boy swing."

Looking upset although he's finally in what he considers "his" swing.
With the distraction of the nice weather, we still managed time to do some letter H projects this week. We started by creating our Hh flashcard. I found heart stickers in the dollar aisle at Target since Valentine's Day is just around the corner. They worked perfect for the project. Of course when the Hs were fully decorated with hearts, Spenc wasn't done with the stickers just yet, so I cut a heart out of construction paper and let him go crazy with stickers and crayons. After seeing the finished products, I realize it looks like we celebrated Valentine's Day early. Oh well.

We talked about how 'horse' is another word that starts with H, and then played with his stick horse and gave each other horsie back rides. And, yes, I did mean to say gave each other rides. He gives me rides, too, and thinks it's the funniest thing in the world. Oh how little things amuse toddlers.
The biggest hit of the week was the cardboard house. Someone gave Spencer a huge cardboard house as a present quite a while ago. It's meant to be colored or painted or decorated any which way you please. I've had it stowed away in the basement for what seems like forever.  I thought this was a perfect time to pull it out, assemble it and let Spenc have at it. He painted a few sides one day, then got bored and just wanted to play in it. Then another day he colored it with crayons for about 10 seconds, got bored and just played in it some more. It's currently still sitting in the middle of my kitchen, much to my husband's dismay, I'm sure. To his credit, he hasn't made any comments about it yet, though. You should have heard the comments he made after seeing the rice scattered all over the floor when I filled up his water table with rice! I'm part of the camp that thinks if it's going to entertain the kid, who cares! But my husband prefers order and a little semblance of cleanliness. I blame the Army.
Hh photocard.
Spencer's mittens.
Ashton's mittens.
I have to give credit to the Winona ECFE for our next project. Last Friday at class they had a project station where you put hand prints on a pair of construction paper mittens. Spencer did a pair and I decided it was a neat idea to do each winter, so I attempted to do Ashton's at home. It was not an easy task!! His little hands are still clenched tightly into fists, so just brushing the paint onto his hands is challenging. Then try putting the painted hands onto a piece of paper? HA!! I managed to get one semi-decent print, though.

Hey, when did my swing get toys?!
Besides enjoying the nice weather and doing some projects, we also went to Toddler Tuesday at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona. The museum hosts Toddler Tuesday once a month where kids can do projects, play and interact with their peers. We try to go every month; we especially will now that winter has finally arrived and we can't get outside to burn energy. This month Spencer's favorite part was the real live turtles in the aquarium! I could barely pull him away to do anything else.

Hmmm, I wonder how I can grab those rings.....
I've been enjoying how much more playful Ashton has been lately. He has longer periods of being awake these days. He smiles and talks and plays. It's fun watching him dedicate minutes to batting at his favorite toy, only to get his hand caught in the ring or have a death grip so tight that he can't figure out how to let go.

Spencer started swim lessons this weekend. He absolutely loves the water, so he had a really good time. He was joined by his good buddy, Jackson. Of course I brought my camera to capture the moment (even though Spencer's new favorite thing to say is, "No pictures, Mommy!!"). I decided not to lug the diaper bag into the YMCA. Instead I tucked a diaper and some wipes into my big camera bag. Big mistake! I should know better. I already had explosive poop experiences in public this week. Two, to be exact. This marked Public Explosive Poop #3 for this week. The other two times were at school. I had my diaper bag then. (Although having the diaper bag doesn't always help out. It didn't save ME when Ashton pooped all over my shirt.) So at the pool I stripped Ash down, wiped all the poop off his back, and redressed him sans onesie. So what if he was only wearing a short-sleeved vest because I didn't have any extra clothes with me! Did I learn my lesson? Eh, probably not.

Dunked underwater.
The highlight of my week was Friday when we dropped the kids off at Grandma and Marmer's and met up with a bunch of friends for dinner. It was refreshing having a conversation with someone other than a two year old for once! I have another adult-only outing planned for Sunday. I'm meeting my friend for a lunch date. I need these kid-free occasions every once and a while for my own sanity! Then later I will enjoy a peaceful afternoon with just my baby when Dave takes Spenc over to Grandma and Marmers to watch the Packers in the play-offs.

This last picture was taken Friday. Look at the difference from the beginning of the week compared to the end? Welcome to Minnesota!
Snow is cold!

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