Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Photo Love

It's that time again!  The time where I thank my blog sponsors! ;)  As always, they are the best sponsors EVER.  Here are some pictures from this past month that may or may not have made it to the blog.

Circus time!
Fun at the beach!

Meredith loves to chew on the dolls!

She found her toe! ;)

Happy end of July!  Can you believe it's already August?!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

11 months


I cannot believe Meredith is already 11 months old!  In one month I will have a 1 year old!  What?!  I love that she is becoming more of a child with a personality rather than just a baby that lays there and doesn't do much.  Not that I didn't like it when she was a baby, but I love it even more now that she laughs and interacts with us more.

She's getting soooooo big!  Look at that little bear that was once as big as she was! ;)

At 11 months, Meredith...

- crawls everywhere and does not really like to be confined.
- pulls up to standing and stands a little on her own.
- climbs onto and over anything that is low...she particularly likes the treadmill and Mackenzie's green chair.
-still sleeps great!  sleeps 11-12 hours a night + 2 naps a day- eats 3 bottles and 3 meals a day + some snacks
- eats mostly real food (just trying to slowly finish off the baby food we already have)
- loves everything we give her to eat...from chicken avocado enchiladas with green sauce to beef lasagna to refried beans and rice.
- has 5 teeth (4 on top, 1 bottom)
- cries when she doesn't get her way including throwing her head back and having a fit like a 2 year old might do.
- wears 12-18 month clothing and size 4 shoe
- screams at a high pitch with Mackenzie as if they are having a contest.
- waves bye-bye, pretends to tickle while saying "tic,tic,tic", blows kisses
- loves splashing in the water either in the pool or bath.

To remind you, Meredith is the size Mackenzie was at 18 month and you can definitely tell when you look at this comparison photo with the two of them next to the same bear!  Wow!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sensory Bin

I finally made a sensory bin for Mackenzie the other day.  I've only had the supplies sitting in a closet for over a year.  It all started on Sunday, when we dyed rice for our letter R collage that we were going to make on Monday.  All I did was put a little bit of instant rice to two ziplock sandwich bags and then added 6 or 7 drops of food coloring to each bag.  We then shook/moved the rice around until it was all coated with coloring.  The next day we glued our colored rice onto our letter collage.  When we were finished, Mackenzie requested to play with the rice, so I gave her a bowl and a measuring spoon and small cup.
She played with this for about 20 minutes until it was bath time.  Since she enjoyed it so much, I promised her I would make her a bigger sensory bin the next day.

On Tuesday I pulled out this tub that's been in the closet FOREVER.

I bought it specifically to be used as a sensory bin and then never did anything with it.  It used to have bags of split peas, too...but I scavenged those right after Christmas.

Can you tell which side of the vase faces the window?!  I now have green and yellow split peas...but that's ok.

Anyways, back to Tuesday.  I created this masterpiece:

I mean, cutting open all of those rice and bean bags is such hard work.  And getting the glass stones to lay just right, whew.  I really had to use my artistic skills for this activity! ;)  Clearly, I'm just kidding, since it took all of 2 minutes to throw everything together.  I had also been saving up the scoops and other miscellaneous items that could be used for different themed bins.

The picture above was taken at 10:50.  At 12:00, I moved the bin to the kitchen table for Mackenzie to play there while Meredith was awake and crawling around.  At 1:10, we finally put the box away!  I played with her for the last 10-15 minutes, but otherwise, she played contently for 2 HOURS!  I'm pretty sure this sensory bin can be called a hit! ;)  She added her alphabet numbers, a different scoop, more beans, erasers, whatever she wanted to.  And the best part - clean up involved putting the lid on it and that's all! ;)  The best activity EVER!

If you don't have one for your child...go make one! ;)  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I am so excited for the Olympics to start!  I've been talking about them with Mackenzie since the beginning of the month.  I actually found some calendar cards from 1+1+1=1 that introduce a different sport each day of July. 

We haven't gone into any great depth about each sport, but we do talk about it a little bit.  For instance, one of the sports was badmitten and when she saw the picture, she said it was what they played in Disney's Robinhood.  At least she recognized it!  She also so said the target on the Archery card looked like the "store we go to."  Why yes, that's why Target is called Target! ;)

I've also been pinning activities on pinterest for Mackenzie and I to do, starting this next week.  My favorite is the salt dough metals and the paper plate olympic rings.  Hopefully over the course of the two weeks that they are on, we can do most of the activities I've pinned.  Maybe we'll even make up our own olympic activities to do here in the house or outside.

I know I'm a crazy planner, but I think I hit my craziest moment the other day when I thought about what to do for Mackenzie and Meredith's birthday party...in 4 YEARS! ;)  I think it would be really fun to have an olympic birthday party and in four years the girls would be turning 5 and 8, so I think it would be perfect since it would right after another round of summer olypmics.  Don't worry, my crazy stops at the idea...I didn't plan anything else, just the overall theme. ;)  

Are you guys as excited about the Olympics as I am?  Are you planning anything fun to do with your kids?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RRSP: Letter B, number 18, sight word "they"

We recently finished another Raising Rockstars Preschool unit.  When I say recently, I mean 2 weeks ago!  I always seem to get a little behind when blogging about the school lessons.  I think because 1) they are longer posts in general and 2) it takes time to edit the pictures...especially if I've taken a lot.  Anyways, we are currently working on another unit, but it's taking a while since we've been fairly busy.

Back to our completed lesson...We studied the letter B, the number 18 and sight word "they".  Our memory verse was, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9.  I also added extra butterfly activities, as in "B is for butterfly".

Raising Rockstars Preschool (1+1+1=1):

Coloring her memory verse...did you know doves are green?  well, they are! ;)

Learning the basics to an uppercase "B" and then tracing uppercase B's.  RRSP, focuses on the uppercase letters but does show how to draw the lowercase letters.  We'll work more on the lowercase letters this next year.

The memory verse craft.  I colored the bird, but she colored the wings and then glued the pieces together to make the dove.

Letter B:
She likes to trace things, especially when it draws something as opposed to just drawing letters.  She liked tracing the other half of this bear.
She's much better at these letter mazes than she was in January!  Yay!
This was one of my "let go" moments when I gave her glue, beans and buttons to do herself.  I was right there the whole time, but I was preparing other school stuff.  I think I also helped a little bit in the very end, but only because she asked me to!
Sorting lowercase and uppercase B's.  This is a task that take her FOREVER to do!  It's not because it's difficult, but because she talks the entire time and doesn't focus on what she's doing.  Maybe it's too easy for her, so instead she tells stories or counts the b's or pretends they are something else or...or...or...  I'm telling you, my patience runs thin with this activity. ;)

Butterfly extras:

She likes the "which is different" activity that 2Teachingmommies always has in their preschool packs.
For this unit, I specifically printed a number puzzle using numbers 11-20.  She did really great and hardly needed any help.  We just count a lot with this puzzle, "11,12...11,12,13...11,12,13,14..." until we've put all of the pieces together.

Of course we couldn't study the letter B without playing our bug sorting game.  This is definitely a game that has to be played when Meredith is sleeping!  Although, with Meredith pulling up on everything now, we can't do much school if she's awake.

We made a caterpillar out of pom poms.  What you don't see in this picture is the finished product where she added at least 15-20 more pom poms and mad it a really fat caterpillar! ;)

This was my other "let go" moment...can you tell! ;)
I obviously helped her with the glitter on this one...

 We only did a small pattern activity this time around from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

We also read our caterpillar/butterfly books during school...

We used butterfly counting cards for this unit from Confessions of a homeschooler.  We used small clips for a few of them and since she doesn't want to reuse the clips after each card, we had to pull out the tiny clothespins.  Unfortunately, the tiny clothespins are too hard for her to open, so we just placed them on the butterfly.  The problem then became that she forgot what number she was trying to count to and would keep adding clothespins until I stopped her.  This is an activity where she focuses so much on how the clips line up and where they are placed, that she forgets to concentrate on the counting.  We have to recount our clips A LOT! ;)

As I said earlier, we are working on the letter R unit, but it's taking a little while to complete.  We'll finish it one day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Musical...The Lion King

Well, it would appear that Mackenzie had a week full of firsts!  First, the circus, then the beach, and finally The Lion King musical on Saturday!  I got an email months ago about the Lion King tickets for presale and immediately bought 3 tickets for Mackenzie, my mom and myself.  My mom and I saw The Lion King in 2006 in New York, but of course wanted to see it again and I especially wanted Mackenzie to see it.

I was a little concerned about the length of the show when I saw that it was going to be 2 hours and 45 minutes including the intermission, but Mackenzie did great.  She spent her time between her booster seat and my lap, but never really complained.  There were a few slow parts for her, but they were usually followed by a big singing/dance number that quickly grabbed her attention.  She's seen the movie a hundred times, so there were parts that she would ask me about when the musical didn't follow the movie exactly.  Leave it to her to point out every part that wasn't just like the movie, "why didn't they make it rain, like the movie?".

The musical not only made it a great afternoon, but the fact that Mackenzie and I got to spend some time together, just us, was really great too.  Of course, Brandon and Meredith had some quality time together too.  So, it was a win-win for everyone!

I'm looking forward to many more musicals in our future.  I had an email for Beauty and the Beast presale tickets the other day, but it's only here for 5 days and let's face it, tickets are NOT cheap! ;)  I figure if we do one musical/show a year, we'll be just fine.  During the holidays maybe we'll go see the Nutcracker or see if the Rockets will be back in town.

*BTW, Mackenzie did where her sunglasses a couple of times during The Lion King!  Silly girl!

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Beach trip...sort of.

Since I'm not a fan of Galveston beaches, I have never taken Mackenzie down to see a beach.  So, I was a little surprised when a friend of ours invited us to their community "beach club".  It's similar to Palm beach in Galveston where it's basically a chlorinated pool with sand all around.  Since poor Mackenzie has never really played in sand (I know, "bad momma") either, I wasn't sure how she was going to react to the "beach" but I thought we should at least try.  Mackenzie was very excited to go and the only complaint she had was in the very beginning when she said the sand was getting in her shoes.  I told her that's what happens at the beach and she said okay and didn't say another word about it.  Other than that initial complaint, she LOVED it!  She has really enjoyed playing in the water lately and doesn't have to be right near me the entire time.  Since it had the dry sand and wet sand portion (just like a real beach) along with a zero entry pool, she could stand up and play without it getting too deep for her.  When she felt like it, she just grabbed her float and kicked on over to to where I was holding Meredith, although it was so shallow, I think she partially could walk there too.

And as no surprise to me, Meredith loved the sand too.  She even decided it would be great to taste a handful of sand!  I had put her down in the dry sand to let her play with her little friend while I took a picture of the big girls.  When I came back over she was kind of whining at me and when I looked a little closer she had "mud" oozing out of her mouth.  I washed it out and then she was content to go swimming again.

Mackenzie was a little bummed when we left, but I didn't think we would stay that long, so I didn't pack a lunch for us (mainly Meredith).  We will definitely go back again (if we are invited) and this time I will bring lunch so we can stay a little longer. ;)

I know she should experience a real beach at some point soon, but I guess I'm holding out for clear blue water without seaweed...for me and her both! ;)  For now, I'll stick with the pretend beach.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First trip to the circus!

Today was Mackenzie and Meredith's first trip to the circus!  Being the younger one, Meredith will, I guess, always experience things at an earlier age than Mackenzie did/does.  I wouldn't have imagined taking Mackenzie to the circus when she was 10 months old, but Meredith did great.  From 9:45 to 10:30 I carried her in the sling and then she sat in my lap for the next hour just fine.  She started getting fussy the last 15 minutes before intermission.  I fed her her bottle during intermission and had hoped that would settle her down, but it didn't and since Mackenzie had also had enough sitting in the hard seats, we left just as they were starting the second half.  I gave Mackenzie the option to stay and see the elephants and tigers, but she said she wanted to go home.

Overall, we had a great time!  Who doesn't like pizza and lemonade at 10:30 in the morning! ;)  I tried to take a picture of what Meredith did the entire show, but it was too dark.  I filled her snack cup with puffs and she ate them and jabbered on the entire time!  The great thing about the circus is that she can be loud sitting in my lap and barely anyone can here her! ;) 

I've noticed lately that Mackenzie has a sensitivity to light.  Because she and I have light blue eyes, we wear sunglasses anytime we are outside - even while swimming, but the new sensitivity issue is with bright lights like the TV and or stage lighting.  It's almost always an issue when it's dark and she's looking at some sort of light.  To be honest, I'm fairly sensitive too.  I really can't stand to watch TV at night in a dark room and it usually takes me a while to get used to a movie theater.  Anyways, as soon as she started complaining about the circus lights, I took out her sunglasses and she wore them for the entire show.  She looked funny wearing sunglasses in the dark, but since I didn't have to hear her complain about the light being too bright, it was a win-win! ;)

Here's our group - 11 kids (2 in carriers) and 4 moms (all taking pics)!  We actually met up with 4 other moms and 9 other kids, but this is the younger group of kids.

I borrowed a sling/carrier to carry Meredith.  She seemed to like it.
Our seats were great!
It's so much better with sunglasses!
Mackenzie held onto Meredith for a little bit!

So, considering the whole sunglasses and bright light thing, I guess I should take the sunglasses in on Saturday when we see The Lion King musical. ;)  The Lion King will be one of the few things that Meredith doesn't get to do just because I'm taking Mackenzie and I'm sure Mackenzie is very thankful! ;)
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