Monday, August 30, 2010

You can't beat this...

...amazing weather! It has been sunny and warm during the day and cool at night. Perfect for playing outside!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

G is for....

...Great Girlfriends!

Dawson and Kellie came over on Saturday afternoon to just hang out and play. All morning, Grace was SO excited to see Dawson. They haven't seen each other too much since Kellie and I have gone back to work for the new school year. But, we were so proud of how great they played together. There was a lot of giggling, screaming, running around, laughing, and 3-year old conversation. It is funny how quickly they go from one activity to the next. Among other things, the girls:
Rode their scooters,played in the pool,shaped and baked cookies,and went for a drive!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Three "BIG" things happened today

Well, Grace accomplished three milestones today....

1) She started REAL preschool!2) She used scissors to cut a chunk out of her hair!3) She drew her first picture of Mommy!
Can you see it? When Grace finished her picture and called me over to see I said, "Oh, how pretty. Can you tell me what you made?" I have learned to do this so she can describe her drawing because most of the time it is just a scribble. This one looked a little like a person, but I didn't want to make any assumptions. She was so proud when she said, "It's you, Mommy!" Then I pointed out some parts and she told me they were my legs, hands, and head. How cool!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to school, back to gymnastics

Grace started her fall/winter session of gymnastics today. Like so many other things lately, she did this class without me. Now that she is in the 3-4 year old group, parents don't get to participate. I have mixed feelings about this. I liked going to gymnastics with her because we got to play and run around together and looked forward to this dedicated time each week. Now, I can be in the gym but I have to sit near the wall and if Grace wants to join in the fun, she has to do it with the other kids and the teacher. I know separating from me is the natural progression, but it makes me sad. It is all happening so fast.....In case you are wondering what was going on in these photos, Grace told me she was a superhero! The scarf made her invisible and it was also her cape to help her fly!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I know it is too soon for this

Just about everyone in our area is back to school now. Today, when I dropped Grace off at daycare, they had decorated the office and reception area with garlands of yellow and orange leaves. I know....the calendar says it is still August and Labor Day hasn't come yet. But the high school teams are already competing in fall sports like soccer and football and the nights have a little crispness in the air that makes it hard to deny that the cooler temperatures and autumn are just around the corner.Last Sunday, Kyle and I took Grace and Daisy to - as he pointed out - "the only national park in Ohio" for a walk in the woods and to climb rocks. We have been to this park before with Grace but she did really well this time, walking most of it alone and only asking to be picked up a couple of times. (I wish I can do that when I get tired of walking!)Anyway, during one of her requests to be carried, I tried to distract her by looking at leaves on the ground. I pointed out the different colors and shapes and then got this brainstorm that it would be a great way to keep her walking (which didn't work) and to fit in a little learning. I ended up taking a bunch of leaves home that day and we finally got to examine them, categorize them, and eventually glue them on a drawing of a tree. Next time maybe we will go to the library to look at books to identify the names of the trees, label the leaves, and get some letter practice in. I am sure there will more opportunities once the fall really gets here!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

L M N O peas

Grace has been learning the first letters of the alphabet. At the beginning of the summer, my goal was that she would recognize A-G by the time we were both back to school. We have been playing with capital letters in a variety of materials - foam letters that float in the bath, an alphabet train puzzle, Fridge Phonics (magnetic letters that sing a song), flash cards, games on the iPad, pointing out letters in books, on clothing, at the store, etc. One day this summer we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and as we were walking to the store she shouted, "Mommy, I see B!" Wooo-hooo!
"Playing" with letters after our picnic dinner on the deck.
So, how did we do? Well, Grace can consistently identify A, B, C and G. Most of the time she gets D. She knows O because it is a circle. And we are still working on E and F. I love that almost all the letters in her name fall within the first 7 letters of the alphabet because it has really helped with Grace being able to recognize her name when she sees it. I know we have far to go, but I think she is starting to realize that letters mean something and that they have names and sounds.

We also borrowed a bunch of alphabet books from the library and found most of them to be kind of boring. But I thought this one "LMNO Peas" by Keith Baker was clever and we even had peas with dinner to stay with the theme!And, I tried to combine a little tactile fun with writing letters. Grace loves Princess Presto on the PBS series "Super Why" (and the iPad game to go with it) where she can see and practice how letters are written. With that in mind, I put some paint into a gallon Ziploc bag and sealed it so we could squish it and practice forming letters. Grace was interested to a point, making shapes and watching how the colors changed as they mixed. It wasn't exactly what I had planned, but I think it was a good learning experience. When we were done playing with it the colors went from a rainbow to like the blues and greens in the ocean. I expect it will eventually be just a dark brown or black. The color shouldn't matter though....as long as we keep learning fun, fresh, and interesting!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Grace was such a good girl today when we went shopping (for clothes for Mommy!) that she was allowed to choose one toy. What did she pick? Another car! When we got home she lined all her cars up along the windowsill in the sun. It was like a Matchbox parking lot!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A new fascination

In the last week Grace has become really interested in what she calls "doing her art".
Although I have tried to engage her in coloring, cutting, gluing, and painting, craft projects didn't hold her interest for more than a few minutes before she was off to something else. But lately experimenting with different art supplies has occupied her attention for 20-30 minutes at a time. That is pretty long for a 3-year old! So, this weekend we went to the local craft store and some dollar stores to stock up on all kinds of things to supply Grace with enough (cheap!) pom-poms, glitter glue, crayons, paint pens, construction paper, stickers, etc. to encourage her creativity. Mostly, I just set out some things and let her do whatever she wants. I love when she tells me these elaborate stories about what she is creating!And if you know me, you know there are some structured, season/holiday craft projects in our near future!

BTW - This is the messy-grungy-I-had-a-fun-day-at-daycare look Grace sports most evenings after school and dinner. She is going to take a bath in about 5 minutes!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chutes and ladders

On a hot summer day, all THIS climbing.......and sliding.........and some running, swinging, and playing......
makes a kid THIS hot and sweaty!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ice Cream Truck

You know it when you hear it....the music that signals some cool, creamy deliciousness is in the area. Children run into the house screaming for money for ice cream just as parents notice the music and remember the excitement the ice cream truck brought when they were kids. Grace's school has an ice cream truck come to their parking lot (pretty good idea, if you ask me!) every few weeks during the summer. Today, I was able to get away from work to go and see the whole production in action!
Grace's class sat on the steps waiting for their turn.
Notice all the kids looking into the distance
at pictures of the ice cream choices on the side of the truck!
As soon as Grace sat down she said she wanted "Sponge Bob! Waiting for her turn.I think she was surprised that I was there.
I got a smile for the camera and a big kiss!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We chased each other and laughed until....

...we were breathless and soaking wet! Then, Grace decided to take all her clothes off. I guess you can do that when you are three!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to school

Grace and I went back to school and work today. I don't mind work so much....I am one of those lucky people who love their job (most of the time!). What I didn't like about today is that I missed Grace so much after spending a lot of time together this summer. All day I wondered what she was doing. I am sure she had more fun than I did!On Saturday morning Grace and I went to a farmers' market near our house. We bought fresh garlic, French bread, corn on the cob, gourmet dog treats, and bacon-chedder perogies. Grace also got a ladybug painted on her hand and a horse-shaped balloon! I could have bought a lot more but I kept bumping into people I know so we spent a lot of time talking and my 3-year old's attention span reached its limit before I reached my shopping limit! No surprise there.