Thursday, March 22, 2012


My mother was on Spring Break this week, and chose to spend part of it visiting us.

I was tickled pink, of course, because, well, she's my mom, and she's awesome, and I don't get to spend nearly enough time with her.  Unfortunately, I was absolutely certain that Miles wouldn't feel quite the same way, since her visit would completely change his routine.  Still, I looked forward to her visit with cautious excitement.

Let's just say I needn't have worried.  Miles absolutely adores his "Gwammy".

And I love watching my mom, who is an amazing mother, as she slips so comfortably into the role of grandmother.  She is a joy to watch, giggling, chasing, and teasing my son in much the same way she did with me not so long ago.  I love the way she laughs with abandon when Miles says something unexpected.  And I love how when we get together, she and I can giggle like we're thirteen over something as silly as a toddler repeating everything he hears.  I love how we can talk about anything, and she always finds the silver lining.  Just being in the same space as her makes life seem less complicated.  And I love that she has no qualms about telling me when I do something differently than she did, without judgement, merely observing.  And I feel invincible, like I did at five-years old, when she tells me I'm a good mom.

But, more than anything, I am so elated that my son adores her as much as I do.

We love you, Grammy.  Can't wait to see you again!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Water Play . . . in March?!?

I don't know what has gotten into Mother Nature this year, but I'm not complaining.  We spent all winter wearing light jackets and playing outdoors.

And now, in mid-March, it feels like early summer.  This morning, Miles and I played in the water.  Outside.  Comfortably.

And yes, we stripped his pants off after he soaked them - five minutes into our playtime.

Water brings out an entirely different side of my wild child.  When he's pouring  back and forth and splashing, he is quiet, focused, intense.  For 45 minutes today, he calmly sat in one place, intent on a single activity.  And Mommy got to bask in the sunshine, soaking in the warmth, and the wind, and the birdsong.

I am SO glad Mother Nature has been in such a good mood. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Toddler Activity: Colored Ice

Food Coloring + Water + Freezer = Colored Ice

 Add toddler, warm weather, and a sunny sidewalk.

Let toddler play, discovering colors. . .
 Counting. . .
Melting, and so much more.

Miles LOVED this activity.

Actually, he ignored it at first.  Then, Mommy dumped the ice cubes out on the sidewalk and began pushing them around.  For awhile, they were cars, creating their own tracks as they went.  Then, he lined them up, counting, "Wun, tooo, freee, fow-ah".  Then, he listed their colors (occasionally, he even said the correct color - mostly, he just said "poor-pul" [purple]).  Then, he put the ice cubes back in the tray, and we worked on matching the colors to the residue left in the tray.

Then, we just dumped them, and put them back, and dumped them, and put them back.  And played in the cool, colorful, quickly evaporating puddles.

**If you choose to do this, know that one drop of food coloring per ice cube is plenty for a bright coloring.  I put the water in first, added the coloring, then mixed with a toothpick.**

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And, the sleep issues return . . .

In case you're new, or have forgotten, my darling little cherub didn't consistently sleep through the night until he was 15 months old.  And we struggled with getting him to actually fall asleep for a few months after that.  Finally, finally, we got into a routine that worked, and Miles went to bed easily, and slept all night.  Even naps were getting easy.

Then. . .something changed.  I have no idea what, but something.  Because it is 10:30 pm and I am listening on the monitor to my toddler playing, even though I put him in bed an hour ago.  And again 45 minutes ago.  And half an hour ago.  And 10 minutes ago.

This has been happening for a week or two at this point, and I am so missing the easier nights.

We have tried shortening his nap.  No dice.  I would take away the nap altogether, except that he needs that sleep, or he's a bear.  Also?  Mommy needs him to nap, or I'm a bear.  But he won't sleep at night.  And often, he's up multiple times throughout the night, too.  One night this week, I actually fell asleep on the floor next to him trying to get him to sleep.  Patrick came in an hour later and woke me so I could sleep in the bed, instead.

And now, he's playing with his pirate ship.  Time to put him back in bed.  Again. <sigh>

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quiet Books, and Busy Bags, and Discovery Boxes, Oh, My!

I am loving Pinterest.  I just am.

In the last week, I have gotten SO MUCH INSPIRATION.*

Bethany and I are working on Quiet Books - cute, soft books full of quiet activities for wee ones.  So far, I've made pages for Noah's Ark, a Funny Face Monster, a Paint-Pallet with all the primary colors, a Dress-Up Boy, and a Mail Box with crayons and paper.  And as soon as I get hold of some black felt, I will finish up with a road and cars page.

The book is getting too thick.  I may have to make a second one. . . and a third. . .

That is, if I don't get distracted by Busy Bags.  Kinda like a quiet book page in a bag.  The difference is that you can do more three-dimensional things - like stringing noodles onto a shoelace, or pushing puff balls through holes in the lid of a container.  As soon as I can get it together, I am totally hosting a Busy Bag Swap with all my Mommy Friends.

Oh, and Discovery Boxes!  I can't remember which blog I found these on, but I LOVE them.  Basically, you fill a small box with something random: pipe cleaners and a spice shaker, for example.  Then, you hand it to the kid, and let him figure out what to do with it.  It's exploratory play at its best.  I've already put together two of these boxes, and will be doing more soon.

Well, as soon as I get my butt off of Pinterest. :)

*Yes, I know I'm screaming.  Trust me, that's how much inspiration.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tiny Hands

There is nothing like the feeling of your newborn's teeny hand wrapped tightly around your finger.  Many parents cite this as the first moment they bonded with their infant.  A simple grab, and our hearts are stolen.  Most of us know it to be a newborn reflex, nothing more.  And yet, it is a moment of connection many of us remember vividly.

I remember when Miles was a newborn, how elated I was each time that reflex caused his tiny hand to curl around my finger.  I remember the feeling of connection, and the bond I was forming with this amazing little stranger.  And yet, somewhere in the deepest parts of my thoughts, something kept forcing me to remember that it was just a reflex.  Nothing more.

I was reflecting on this tonight, as I lay next to Miles' bed, stroking his hair, trying to help him wind down from his exciting day.  I paused a moment, and laid my hand next to him, simply breathing in his presence.  And in that moment, he reached out and wrapped his little hand around my finger.  Not out of reflex, but intentionally.  And as I once more felt the elation of a child who wins my heart with every moment like this, his sleepy toddler voice said, "I luzoo, Momma."

I luzoo, too, Miles.  I luzoo, too.