Saturday, February 28, 2009

Book worm?

We have some really wonderful public libraries in our area. The one in our city and those in the surrounding areas are all new or newly renovated in the last several years. They have done an impressive job or making them bright, modern, and welcoming and they provide fun things for kids to do - even if they aren't "readers" yet. Grace and I have been to storytimes at a couple of the libraries. My only complaint is that many of the storytimes are during the day (when I work) or start too late at night for a kid who usually is in bed by 7 PM.

Today we ventured to a library in a neighboring town (10 minutes away) to get tickets for an upcoming show. While we were there, Grace climbed on the train structure, explored the puzzles, and played with the animal puppets. She also:

..."worked" on the computer,
chose some books to read,
and wandered under the tunnel of giant books.
We were there for about an hour and then went out to lunch together. Boy, I am ready for a nap!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tepanyaki toddler

Kyle and I took Grace to a tepanyaki Japanese restaurant tonight to eat, figuring she would like to watch the chef cook right in front of us.She surprised us both by loving the soup. At first I was spooning little bits to her, but she quickly decided that it was faster and more efficient to do it herself. And, she did a pretty good job. Maybe it was the shape of the spoon or just the practice she has been getting at school.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

School Pictures

Grace's daycare has a photographer come in twice a year to do class and individual pictures. They photograph the infants and toddlers first - BEFORE they eat breakfast, go out the the playground, or get involved in any craft projects! I dressed Grace in a casual outfit since she was dressed up for both her 1st birthday and Christmas pictures. But they told me that she was happier watching everyone else get their picture taken and looking at the digital pictures of her classmates with the photographer. You can tell she was reluctant and crying in these photos, but they are still cute! I love this one of her first class and teachers. It can't be easy to get nine toddlers to sit still and look (kind of) in the same direction!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mowgli

Mowgli (pronounced "mo glee") was a character from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Kipling made up the name, but in the book it says Mowgli means "frog" in the language of the forest.

Mowgli was depicted by Walt Disney like this:I think Grace looks a lot like him, especially when she is running around in just her diaper.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grace turned 21....

....months old today.

She is such a big girl. Her language is really developing. I can hear her trying out new words every day. This weekend I heard "bye-bye", hat, broccoli, snow, nice, socks, and shoes in addition to all the words she already says consistently. She has also been learning to identify animals from her books. She can point to many of the animals in Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and can make the sounds for a cow, a horse, a dog, a duck, and a sheep. I will have to try to get her on video doing those - they are hysterical. Grace also knows the signs for "more", "all done", "potty", "eat", "thank you", and her own version of "help". She continues to amaze me with what she understands. I just talk to her normally - sometimes repeating the statement - and she shows she comprehends by doing what I ask. She can even follow two step directions if it is something familiar like, "Go get that bone and put it in Daisy's basket".

I know I have said this before, but Grace loves music. We think her favorite song right now is "Kung Foo Fighting". They play this at daycare and I happened to come in last week as it was on. You should have seen her dancing! After he heard about it, Kyle made her a mixed CD with "fun" songs and she danced on Friday night for over an hour. She was able to anticipate when each song was ending and during the brief silence in between songs she signed "more", not knowing the next song would come on automatically. It was so funny to watch! We didn't know our dinner came with a show!

(Notice the speaker on the counter next to her. She was sitting there, enjoying her snack and listening to music)
I also notice her doing "big kid" things like sitting in a booster seat at restaurants instead of the high chair, holding crayons and pens and staying focused for a long time as she does her "work", saying "yes" and "no" correctly when she wants or doesn't want to do something, and remembering where things are stored and going to get them. She does this with food in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet and clothes she wants to wear. The other night Grace remembered where a deck of cards was stored in a drawer in the basement. She just went right over to the drawer and pulled out a bunch of cards to play with. It seemed like she liked touching and looking at them but Kyle was also helping her count and sort them into groups. Grace loves to laugh and to make other people laugh. We play Hide and Seek and she always finds me. She makes funny faces and weird sounds and likes to look in the mirror to see how she looks when she is doing it. And just so you can get a dose of Grace's antics here she is showing us her delicious fruit snacks:Yes, this one was blue. And don't be fooled - they call them "fruit" but they are really candy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sesame Street Live

Grace and Dawson attended their first live performance this afternoon for a show called "When Elmo Grows Up". It was perfect timing, since Grace has been obsessed with Elmo lately. It all started about a month ago when we were in the bookstore and Dawson and Grace kept trading different stuffed versions of Elmo while we were in the store. Both Kellie and I were happy that we escaped without buying one! Then, one day when I went to pick Grace up at daycare she took my hand and let me over to an Elmo doll on a shelf, pointed to it, and clearly said, "Elmo". I was surprised, since up to that point, we hadn't been watching Sesame Street and I really hadn't made a big deal about Elmo or any other of the Muppet characters. But since she showed an interest, I found out when Sesame Street was on our local channel and last week we watched it together a few times. The last segment of the hour-long program is called "Elmo's World" and when Grace hears the music she comes running, saying "Elmo, Elmo, Elmo" over and over again.

So, when Kellie suggested we take the girls to see the Sesame Street Live performance, I knew it was a perfect fit.

The show's was about growing up to be whatever you want to be. It was a delightful 90-minute performance with all of the favorite Sesame Street characters we grew up with (and some new ones like Abby Cadabby) singing about what they want to be when they grow up like a cowboy, a forest ranger, a weather monster, and a fairy godmother. They stressed the message that anything is possible when you believe in yourself!
When the lights went down and the music started Grace what in heaven. She cheered and clapped her hands like she was at a rock concert!
What is great about programs made for kids, they expect that you will take pictures and the kids don't have to sit quietly in their seats. Our girls, of course, were perfect, but it was nice to know it was okay if they weren't. And, Kellie and I were pretty proud of ourselves. We couldn't have done any better - we valet parked, had treats and drinks with us, knew we needed a coat or a blanket for the girls to sit on on top of the booster seats, and were able to keep our eyes on or hold each other's daughter when necessary.Grace enjoyed exploring the theater. She walked around carrying Dawson's Elmo doll (Dawson had Grace's Big Bird) and kept looking over her shoulder to see if I was trailing behind. Which, of course, I was....lugging the diaper bag, our winter coats, and trying to snap pictures at the same time. She also explored the souvenir stand, but (luckily) she is not at the age where she wants everything, yet. I did buy her a CD of the music from the show so we can listen to it in the car.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I've got the music in me

One of the first things my mother noticed about Grace is how much she loves music. She listens to all kinds of music in her room as she falls asleep, comes running when she hears a favorite theme song in TV, perks up when an upbeat song is on the radio, loves it when we sing in the car, and tonight, she even clapped after they sang the national anthem before the start of the NBA All Star game.

Right after that she got her keyboard off the shelf and moved it so she could play. What do you think of my little prodigy?All this energy from a toddler with a stomach virus. Imagine what she is like when she is 100% healthy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Frog Prince

My little princess got a frog (prince) for her room. Actually, it is a cool mist humidifier. I never bought one when she first came home. Last week I was really sick and couldn't breathe at night so I thought I would buy the humidifier and use it myself. I knew I wanted this frog humidifier but it was on backorder so I had to wait for it to be delivered. By the time it arrived, I felt better so now it is in Grace's room, where it belongs. She is fascinated with the mist and likes to touch it and make a weird growling noise.

Just before bed tonight we read some stories. Grace likes to look at her books. She takes them off the shelf and then opens one after another. She definitely has favorites - ones with flaps to lift and that make sounds.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Potty Time

Could it be time for Grace to learn to use the toilet? Grace has a book where Elmo uses the potty. You press different buttons and Elmo talks about using the toilet, toilet paper, washing hands, and "big kid underwear". We haven't looked at this book too often because I thought she was too young to understand and she hasn't really shown much interest. But I did teach her the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "potty" and I show it to her almost every time I change her diaper. I ask her, "Did you poop?" and "Did you go potty?" and show her the sign. We talk about Daisy going potty outside and she watches me in the bathroom (no, there is no privacy). Sometimes, Grace shows me the potty sign if I ask her but I am still not sure if she associates the sign with the action.

So, I was at the computer last night and she came over with the book. No big deal, she often brings me books she wants to look at together. Then she pushed the button that says, "Elmo is going to use the potty." And, then she pooped. If I had been smarter or more aware, I would have realized the kid was trying to tell me something. Maybe it is time to start training her?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New hairdo

For a rare moment Grace was cooperative and sat still to let me put her hair in pigtails and get a few photos!She is getting to be such a big girl. She is so aware of everything around her and she picks up on things that I say and then surprises me when she understands or does something that I mentioned once. Today, we were putting her toys away and I asked, "Grace, where is the princess?" I meant the little princess doll that goes with the horse and carriage. But, she smiled and pointed at herself. Yes, my dear, you ARE the princess!