Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tot Spot: New Activity # 36 - Painting Houses

Hailey kind of came up with this activity on her own and I helped facilitate it and open it up for more exploration. I walked out back where Hailey and her daddy were playing and Hailey had a paintbrush in her hand. Well, I had a cup of water in my hand, which I intended to drink. Rather, I poured it in a plastic play cup and we proceeded to "paint" Hailey's chalkboard. I showed her how to dip the brush in the cup and paint the board. She did this for a little and really seemed to be enjoying herself. Then she had the brilliant idea to paint her playhouse! She walked over to the patio where he playhouse sits and started painting the outside like she was a housepainter! We never had our house painted, and I don't recall her seeing any neighbors paint their house, so this imaginative play floored me! I was so proud of her imagination!  It was just water, so no damage, but LOTS of fun! After we painted the house, we painted our motorcycle and we painted mommy too! She painted my hair and face and we laughed together the whole time! My little chicky is really the light of my life and she had so much fun with something so simple! What an awesome, impromptu, Hailey-driven activity! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flea Market Finds!

Well, I haven't been very bloggy this week because Monday is the start of the new school year and I am student teaching (my last step in getting my certification!) plus Monday is my grandmother's 80th birthday and we are having a surprise party for her on Saturday so it has been helping my coop teachers get their classrooms ready plus getting myself reading along with trying to help my mom with the party on top of all the other things a wife and momma needs to do! It has been kind of hectic!

Although we did not do any new activities, rather we stuck to some of the old favorites like painting, going for walks, and just having some fun...we did find some awesome things at the flea market! My mom got Hailey an easel, something I had on our list of things to buy for $5! It's a red Step Two and folds nicely. Then, we all went up to the flea market and found a Little Tikes Boat for $8 that rocks and Hailey can drive! She wore my dads old navy hat and had a blast on my moms patio all afternoon! It was funny because she would only go in the boat if she had on the hat, she is funny like that! We left it at my moms and were going to bring it home this weekend but we found another on craigslist for $5 and so she will have one here and one at her Mimi and Poppy's house too!

We were originally looking for a cozy coupe car, because she loves the grocery store cart and she has a mini-version for her dolls to go shopping in at home. Our only hesitation is that she won't be able to push it around and move. Maybe in a few more months... But this boat lets her steer, shift, and rock, so it is perfect!

I am very excited to do some easel painting this week! I hope to make it out to our local craft store for some no spill paint cups for the easel. I am just debating if I want to set it up out front or out back!

Anyhoo, I am going to do my best to keep blogging at least a couple times a week, but it won't be every day anymore. With student teaching, I am going to have a lot of work to do. I am going to keep doing my activities with Hailey and will try to post a couple at a time a couple times a week! I am definitely not going to be slacking on being a fun momma, but blogging might have to wait! I hope your enjoying everything I do with Hailey and I hope you are inspired to try new things with your toddlers too! Become a follower, join on facebook and twitter, and share my blog with your friends! The more followers and readers I have, the more the will blog!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tot Spot: New activity # 35 - Mini Golf

Mini Golfing!!!

Tonight we went on a family date to the local putt putt course! Hailey got to play mini golf for the first time! She had her own special little club and a pink ball and she went around 19 holes with her daddy and I. It was a lot of fun and definitely an experience. She started out really fascinated with the balls. We would hit one and she would squeal with delight and chase it and throw it in the hole or just down the green. Her daddy tried to show her how to hit the ball with the club, but there was more fun to be had that that! The golf course we went to is actually 29 holes, but we only did the half because her attention span was not that long... which we expected. We were lucky that we didn't have to wait behind anyone or hold anyone up. She had fun exploring the course, she loves the hills and the cave. I think we will try it again in a a couple months and she how she does! The best part of the whole experience though was when she was eating dinner in the cafe and I said, "We are going to play putt putt golf" and she replied, "tap tap tap". I think she was watching Happy Gilmore, one of my favorite movies!!! She was going to "Tap it in..." LOL!!! Definitely a fun night and a great way to spend time with my family before all the hectic school stuff really kicks in!

Tot Spot: New activity # 34 - Nature Painting

Nature Painting
Getting ready

On our last nature walk, we collected different kinds of rocks from the stream. We also had some flowers at home and leaves so we decided to paint them! Hailey donned her new apron her Mimi bought her and we got to work with our new paint brushes! This is the first time we painted outside, well kind of, we painted her salt dough handprints outside. Anyhoo, I used a trash bag to cover my patio coffee table and some tape to secure it. Then I put 3 different color paints (red, yellow, and blue) in cupcake liners and gave Hailey two different kinds of paintbrushes. We use two because sometimes her daddy and I help paint with her. The cupcake liners weren't so successful. She just wanted to crumble them up. I think I am going to pick up the no-spill paint containers at ACMoore for her along with some tempera paints because we are almost out. Last time we used a paper plate as her palate, but she wanted to just paint the plate, lol.
Using flowers as brushes

Finished product! 
Well, to cut to the chase, she enjoyed painting the rocks and she used the flowers as paintbrushes on the rocks and on the bag I had down. We put the rocks in our garden, even though the paint is going to wash off in the rain. I figured we could just repaint them one day if we are looking for something to do. All these activities are a learning experience and I am learning new things to do and new things I need to buy! Toddlers are expensive, lol!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tot Spot: New activity # 33 - Walking the stream & Skipping stones

Walking the trail

Skipping Stones
 Danny, Hailey, I decided to venture down to a stream where Danny grew up and I spent a couple picnics at durning our childhoods. Danny's family owned a bungelo and before we even knew each other, our families would get together for picnics and such in the summer. My parents were friends with his uncle, so without even knowing it, we were linked together as children! Anyhoo, we took Hailey to the river and stream down there and we went for a nature walk... nothing new there... BUT we walked the stream, gathered some rocks for painting (hopefully tomorrow) and Danny taught Hailey (and me) how to skip stones! AWESOME! Danny is like the stone skipping master! Anyways, Hailey had so much fun looking through the rocks and picking some out to collect and some to throw in the river. She was a little mud ball when we were done, but it was well worth it! She is in the bathtub now, Daddy is washing her up while I blog, so I better finish this up so I can join in the fun! We like to splash and play water games at bath time! I highly recommend you take advantage of the cool nights and muddy places with your little ones! These are the moments to savor!
Hailey skipping stones! 
Picking out our favorites rocks!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tot Spot: New activity #32 - Washing windows

 This is the way we wash the windows, wash the windows, wash the windows. This is the way we wash the windows, till we get them clean!

Its funny how the other day I blogged about giving toddlers some chores to do and today had her help me wash some windows. Well, I didn't really have to ask... she was up all for volunteering! We have a big glass "screen" door and my dog was looking out the window and she got some of her nose art on it, so I wanted to clean it up. Hailey happily took some paper towels and cleaned the bottom while I cleaned the top on both inside and outside! Then she wanted to help with the windows, so even they got cleaned! What a BIG helper!! I am so proud of my little girl for wanting to help out. I really hope this stays with her as she gets older, I certainly wasn't like that when I was young. Most days I just hope to win the lottery so I can hire a maid! I am lucky though, I have a husband who splits the chores with me! He treats me too good! Anyhoo, this is about Hailey, my helper bean! I think tomorrow we will clean the back door, which is also glass (we would have done it today, but I had an appt I had to go to) and then maybe we will make a mess! I am thinking potato painting! Well, enough with that, good night all you awesome mommas out there! Daddy's too! :)
Can I clean more, momma??

Tot Spot: New activity # 31 - Baseball Game!

Arriving at the stadium

Hanging out with Quacks, one of the mascots
Learning about Maris, one of our favorite players of all time
Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the park.... Hailey, her daddy, and I all hit the local ballpark for some good ole family fun! Our local team had fireworks last night and we had some tickets for a home game, so we decided to venture out to the ball park! We had a blast! Hailey had some chicken fingers and french fries (we shared a platter, since she ate her dinner at home before we went) and her favorite part of that was the "dippy fries" which is what we call something that can be dipped in ketchup or in this case, honey mustard! She kept the same fry for a long time, just redipping it, lol. It kinda grossed me out because I am a double dipping no-no person, but she is just a little girl, the love of my life, so I dealt with it! Anyhoo... she did really good considering the game took FOOOOOREVER!!! Our home team was losing, but they made a brilliant come back. Normally, it is the kind of game that baseball fanatic Danny and I would love to watch BUT with a toddler, it was kind of hard! We sat in the same seats for awhile, probably till about the 5th inning then we walked around the stadium, got a snow cone, and relaxed in the food court area before going back and finishing off the game (which when we came back, we had better seats!) Before Danny and I had Hailey, we always talked about how great it would be to take our kid to sports (especially baseball games) so this activity was something we have been waiting to do for a very long time! To us, this is what summer is about! A good game, a beer, and a hotdog (although this time it was water andchicken fingers!!!) Hoping to make one more game this summer before the season ends, then its hockey time at our local arena! I don't know if Hailey will be able to sit through that, but heres hoping!
Getting a lift from daddy while walking to the car
Giving Rollins a high five! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Toddler Tornado! The Great Chore Debate

I get a lot of weekly/monthly development emails for Hailey. When I was preggers, I signed up for everything. I wanted to me the most informed mom and learn everything I could, because hey, I never did this before. I didn't want to rely on friends and relatives opinions. I wanted to raise my child my own way and take some tips from the "experts". Well, the tip I have been getting a lot lately is what I call the Great Chore Debate. At what age should we start having our children clean up and do things? Some experts say now, they should learn responsibility as soon as possible while other experts, mostly moms I have noticed, seem to say "What, are you crazy? My little tornado clean up? Wishful thinking!"

Well here is my take on it. Ever since Hailey could walk, she learned to throw her own diapers away after we changed them. It's called "doing her job".  She learned that after she was done eating, to hand us her plate and cup and wait to be wiped. I have recently started asking her to help clean up her toys as well. It works really well in the bath tub. She puts all her bath toys in her basket and we have finally learned to pour the water out in the tub before putting them the basket and getting the floor wet.

As far as her room or play room, I guess there are just too many distractions. We keep working on it though. We sing the clean up song and put things away but it is kind of hard because I want certain things in certain places. If we have her box of blocks out, we can clean just them up, but when we have EVERYTHING out, it becomes more of a mommy job. Sometimes she sees me cleaning up and she comes over and just randomly dumps out a box of toys like her little people and walks away. I don't know what the experts would say about that, but I just deal with it and continue to clean up. We address the action, but she doesn't get reprimanded. I just tell her that wasn't nice and now mommy has to clean that up. She usually comes over and starts playing to act like she had a purpose, but I know she didn't. She is just being my little toddler tornado!

I saw this great quote a long time ago and I never understood it until I had a child of my own. "Cleaning up after your children is like trying to shovel while it's still snowing" We will keep working on her helping out and we will eventually get a chore chart so she can contribute, but for now, she is just a toddler tornado having fun and if you come over to my house, watch you don't trip over toys!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Space Saving Idea

I used the space behind her chair. 
As you might have seen, space is something we are having trouble coming by in our little house. I saw this great idea on pinterest and I gave it a go today and I love it! I took 2 cup hooks, one in the ceiling and one in the floor of a corner of Hail's room. I tied a piece of clothes line tight between the two and then used large clothes pins I got from the dollar store to hand her stuffed animals. She has so many animals, and yes she plays with them, but not often enough that I have the room to spare. Some will stay out in her basket, ones I know she plays with a lot or if they sing (she has a lot of the hallmark special singing animals) or if they go with a story.. but I loved this idea to keep the other ones off the floor but available to her if she would like to play with them!

Tot Spot: New Activity # 30 - Build a Fort

Our fort!
Today we woke up to a stormy morning. The house had that stormy darkness that made you just want to curl up in a blanket with a good book... well instead of doing that (because, hey, who can really do that with a toddler...) we decided to take a blanket and read under it in another way!

We took a sheet, some large clothes pins, and near by furniture and created a fort over Hailey's play space! Then I gave her a flash light so we could play and read some books! Hailey loved it! It was such a different experience playing under a roof. The only hard part was that our dining room/play space doesn't offer much light, so the blanket blocked most of it and with it being a dark and rainy day, the flashlights we definitely needed! She loved coming in and out of it and letting it hit her on the head a little as she walked (maybe it made her feel tall!)

What a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon and such easy building and take down! Luckily the skies cleared and we got to spend some of our evening outside in the yard, so we did get a change of scenery!

Rainy Day Toddler Activities

We love rainy days! Before we had Hailey, Danny and I would spend rainy days just relaxing with our dogs on the couch. We would play board games, video games, watch tv... just be lazy with a darkened room! Well, now that Hailey is in her early toddler years, we know that isn't going to happen! She isn't old enough to enjoy snuggling on the couch watching a movie and she can't play board games... so here are so things we have come up with to make rainy days fun!

1. Jump in the puddles - When the rain stops, we like to go outside and jump in the puddles! We go out in bear piggies and jump and splash! Hailey loves to just hop around on dry land, so puddles make it extra fun!

2. Make a fort - Extra sheets thrown over furniture, secured with close pins or chip clips. A great place to read together as a family. We use pillows and cushions on the floor and cuddle up with a pile of books!

3. Read Read Read - Even without a fort, we do lots of reading in our house! We read everyday, but a rainy day means more books for some reason! Hailey and I are little bookworms and there is nothing like her sitting on my lap and reading to each other!

4. Bake some cookies - Something about a stormy day makes me want to bake cookies! Although I am not a big cookie eater, Hailey and her daddy love them! I sit Hailey on the counter next to me and she helps pour and mix the ingredients! It helps take the rainy dampness feeling out the house as it fills it with the delicious smell of cookies!

5. Dance Party - We love to throw a dance party, and a rainy day is the perfect excuse to crank up the music and dance! It takes the dreary away and we have so much fun! Hailey loves to dance, so rain rain  go away...we can dance any way!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tot Spot: New activity #29 - Colored Water Chemistry

- Water
- Food Coloring
- Various Sized Containers

We took a bunch of clear containers and filled them with different amounts of colored water. Hailey poured the water from one container to another, making new colors and super messes (definitely an outdoor activity). This was another activity she LOVED! We played with these cups for at least 2 hours. We refilled the containers quite a few times because all the water ended up getting poured out, but the point of this activity was to practice our pouring skills, so we knew it was going to be a mess! Her daddy calls her a little chemist because she loves to pour water back and forth, so I knew this activity would be something she would super enjoy. I think the only reason she stopped when she did is because she heard our neighbor let her dog out and she wanted to say hi. We also put some color in her water table, so she played with that a little too. So much fun on a beautiful day! I am definitely going to be looking for some different sized containers to repeat this activity! She did best with the measuring cup with the handle, so I hope I can find some different sized handle plastic cups! I LOVE playing with the simple things in life, like pouring water in a cup! Such a great and fun learning opportunity in so many ways such as seeing new colors being made and being able to pour from different sized cups!

Tot Spot: New activity #28- Shaving Cream Paint


- Shaving Cream
- Food Coloring
- Muffin Tin
- Paint Brush
- Bath tub (or other place to paint)

Today I mixed some colors into shaving cream in a muffin tin and let Hailey paint away in an empty bathtub before her actual bath! She loved it! She painted the walls a little, but she really enjoyed painting herself, her rubber duckies, and me! This kept her occupied for a good 45 minutes or so before her bath! The best part about it was that we could just rinse it away with the shower head! We rinsed her off and then filled the tub and she got her bath! Anything with painting is one of Hail's favorite activities, so of course she loved this!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tot Spot: New activity # 27 - Chalk Spray Paint

Chalk Spray Paint Recipe

1-2 tsp. washable paint

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup cornstarch

squirt of dishwashing liquid

1 squirt bottle per color

Add cornstarch to one cup of hot water whisking to mix so that there are no clumps.
Add one teaspoon of washable tempura paint and a quirt of dishwashing liquid.   Mix well.
Pour it into your squirt bottles and shake well.

I got this idea from Pintrest (what would we do with it??? LOL!) I used the recipe above using spray bottles I bought at the dollar store. Hailey had a tough time squeezing the nozzle. I don't know if it was because she doesn't have the motor skills yet or if the bottle was just too hard. I'm glad I only made purple and didn't make a bunch of colors. We did it on our chalkboard wall (also from pintrest) and it did not show up very well. I had the same problem with the color water balloons... I think I need to make a white (or just lighter color) wall for activities like this. 
Well, even though it did not work as I had hoped, we are going to keep trying with the spray bottles. Maybe if I find a different kind I will get them, but I still have them available for Hailey to try and work with to get the hang out it. After all, this is all a learning experience!!! 

18 Month Doctor Visit

Paging Dr. Hailey
Reading a book while she waited
Today we had our 18 month doctor visit. Hailey is doing remarkable! She is 22.6 lb which puts her in the 75%ile and 31 1/2 inches which is the 50%ile! She also got 2 vaccines today, which she was not too happy about. Today I remembered to bring the m&ms with, so after her shots she got some chocolate! The endorphines in the chocolate help with the calming effect so it was an easier situation that normal this time! Our biggest hurdle was that today of all days, little miss decided not to nap! I think that made it a little rough, but not too bad. We went to our favorite diner after her appointment and Danny won her a littlest pet shop iguana "iggy" from the toy crane machine. AWESOME!

Aside from the typical height and weight being great, the doctor confirmed that Hailey is way ahead in her speech development and she can jump, well hop, off both feet and that is a super achievement because it is a 2+ skill!
Enjoying the diner!

The doctor also said she is probably right brained because she seems very musical. She loves to sing and dance and because a lot of her words and phrases come from songs, it is a good indication! That makes momma very happy! I am right brained, daddy is left brained (he is a super math guy... he counts for a living!) It makes me excited to think of her in school plays and loving broadway like me, well I didn't do the school plays... but I love to watch them! :) Do you think that how your child is now is a good indication of who they will be when they grow up? I like to think Hailey will always be a little singing star, but even if she's not, I just hope she stays happy, healthy, and lives life to the fullest!