Making a {pretty} Mess

Asher loves making a mess.  I call him “my little mess maker.”  This was his first time finger painting and I wasn’t surprised at all that he loved it.  At first he loved squishing it between his fingers but then he started spreading the paint around.

   

   

JR, on the other hand, is not a mess maker.  Even when he was a toddler, he never got into cabinets.  I never had to baby proof anything until Asher came along.  We tried finger painting when he was 2.  He hated it.  This time around he had much more fun, but he was still ready to wash his hands immediately upon finishing.

   

Look mom, clean hands.  :)  You can’t tell in this picture, but they were still tainted blue.

i crave quiet

I remember what quiet is like, at least I think I do.  It’s what happens when you don’t have trikes riding back and forth in the hallway.  Or when you don’t hear tattling, screaming, screeching, vrooming, or tantrums.  It’s days like this that I have to remind myself to enjoy the noise because it won’t be around forever.  Time goes by so fast and the kids literally grow before my eyes.  Soon, Asher will be walking and I won’t have a baby anymore.  Soon, JR will be going to kindergarten and he won’t be home with me all day.  This morning I woke up to a cranky teething Asher, dog throw up and a container of oil that has been slowly leaking in our pantry.  The oil leaked onto a sack of potatoes which caused them to rot.  It’s amazing how it didn’t smell until after I picked them up and threw them in the trash.  All of this happened before I even had my cup of coffee.  Which isn’t acceptable on any day, much less on National Coffee Day.  Here are a couple of photos of the culprits and the things I love most about them in September 2010.

  

   

The photo on the top left was the only photo I got of them before the fighting broke out.  I’m not sure why, but Asher does not like taking photos with John Robert standing or sitting close to him.  Even when he was 4 months old, he was pushing JR away when the photographer told JR to put his arm around Asher.  What I love about JR is his innocence and unconditional love.  He also loves to please people so he keeps trying to get Asher to take a photo with him, even when being pushed and hit.  He has the best imagination and I love that he dances, sings and air guitars unabashedly.  I also absolutely love that he names the rocks he finds “Cody.”  This morning JR accidentally whacked me in the face so hard it made my glasses fall off.  Instantly, he was apologizing, hugging and kissing me.  He is truly a sweet boy who cares how other people feel.  He also hates having people mad at him and tries to make people happy.  I hope that as he gets older, he learns that it is ok for people to be mad and it isn’t even remotely linked to who he is as a person.

Asher is extremely laid back and good-natured, but recently a wild streak has come out.  He’s rough, he’s tough and he’ll let you know if you do anything to displease him.  He wants to be involved in everything JR and I do, even if it is too advanced for him.  He knows no limits.  Asher also knows compassion.  He knows when someone is hurting and lends comfort.  He gives the best kisses ever.  I love kissing his soft, chunky baby cheeks and I’ll dearly miss the day when my lips don’t sink into his cheeks when I kiss them.  I love how he says wa-wa for water and ah-ble for apple.  I love that when he sees his reflection in the mirror he says “baby” and how he spontaneously blew himself a kiss the other day.  I especially love his loud, contagious laugh.  He has the best laugh I’ve ever heard.

I better go fix lunch.  My stomach is grumbling and the boys are screaming, “I’m hungry!”  It doesn’t help that I have a roast cooking for our dinner of roast beef tacos, black beans and Spanish rice.  The delicious smell is killing me!  Until next time…

 

learning to control my inner perfectionist…

I’ve been working really hard this week at letting JR gain independence in his works.  I’ve been letting his make his own decisions, whether they are right or wrong.  It still bothers me to see incorrect answers.  I don’t know why…it just does, but I know how important it is for him that I back off and let him learn independently from me.  I don’t want his self-worth to be wrapped up in my opinion or praises.  Nor do I want him to be discouraged by my corrections to his work.  Here are a couple of examples of me letting go this week.

Object Box B-F-E-G

Assigning Quantities…I realized when I let him do it his way, he grouped the leaves by color and I LOVE how the leaves on “10″ wrap the corner.  That’s my boy!  :)

 

On an even more exciting note:  Asher took his first steps today!!!

Transfer with Tweezers

John Robert was on fire today!  I couldn’t believe how determined, fast and happy he was with his school work.  As soon as he finished one work, he was up getting another.  I was very impressed.  Here are the works he chose to work on today.  Let’s just say he was in a “Practical Life” groove.

1.  Transfer with Tweezers

  

 

2.  Transfer with Tongs

3.  Transfer with Spoon

4.  Screwing on Lids

5.  Geometry Tracings

6.  Flower Arranging

7.  Object Boxes

8.  Numeral Identification

9.  Sound Matching

Flower Arranging

This work was inspired by My Montessori Journey, one of my favorite Montessori blogs.  Her version is found here.  I found the cheese shaker and flowers at the Dollar Store (this work only cost $2!!!).  JR and Asher both love creating the bouquets and then presenting them to me.  I smell them, exclaim how wonderful they smell and then give them a kiss for making me the bouquet.  They are the sweetest boys.

     

    

Asher is getting really good at this one!  His hand-eye and fine motor skills are very well-developed.  He almost does it non-chalantly…daring me to give him something more challenging.  Speaking of challenging…Asher used the tongs all on his own today!  I was very proud.  :)

  

What are you doing this weekend?

I am…

  1. putting out the Halloween decorations
  2. playing in the rain if the weather permits
  3. practicing yoga
  4. kissing my boys as often as possible (I always say I have to do it while they’ll let me)
  5. eating out
  6. watching the video from our wedding

What I wish I was doing…watching Catfish at the Angelika Dallas.  You guys will have to go in my place.  ;)

Have a fun weekend…what are you doing?

Happy Friday Everyone!

In honor of FRIDAY I had a video.  It was going to be my first video I’ve posted, but of course I couldn’t figure it out.  I’m sort of technologically challenged….just ask my brother-in-law and IT specialist, Allan.  Asher had his physical therapy today.  He’s getting much more physically confident.  This week he is walking really well, holding only one of my hands; he’s cruising; he’s pulling up easily; he can get in and out of a small chair on his own; he can stand for 5 seconds without support. 

Today while I was saying goodbye to the therapist, I set Asher up to color.  I wanted to capture it on film because he was coloring so purposefully today.  He was discriminate when picking colors of crayon, turning the page to color in the area he wanted, and using his left hand to hold the page still.  I took these photos of him and then left to get the video camera.  When I came back, he was standing on the other side of the table.  I think he’ll be walking by Halloween.  Or at least, I hope so.  He’s going to be a cute robot, even cuter if he is toddling.

unpacking memories…

Our garage is a mess so I decided to go through some old boxes and purge as much as possible.  I found an entire box of my old stuffed animals and Beanie Babies.  The boys love opening boxes and shouted with joy when they saw the toys!  It’s probably the most stuffed animals they have ever seen.  It was fun to see them investigate each one.  JR really likes the Taco Bell Chihuahuas who talk.  Asher is drawn to the soft ones.

The black rottweiler was a gift from me to Robert when we first started dating.  He’s always wanted a rottweiler; I’ve never wanted a rottweiler…so I told him this would be the closest he’ll get to having one.  Our 19-year-old minds named it Daisy.  I have no idea why…

The white bear was given to me by my mom when I turned 12 and entered the young women’s program at church.  May be one day, if we have a daughter, I’ll pass it on to her when she turns 12.

This was my first Christmas gift from Robert.  We were 19.  I grew up in Georgia and he knew I liked the Bulldogs.

Asher loved the frogs.  I have a lot of them.  I had a thing for them during high school and the early years of college.

My mom gave me the bride & groom beanie babies when Robert and I were planning our wedding.  Speaking of wedding…I also found our wedding tape on VHS.  I haven’t seen it in 7 years…I wonder how humiliating {or sweet} it is.

Cutting with a Knife

I saw a video that showed that as early as 18 months a child can help prepare the food they are eating.  In the video the 2-year-old was cutting a banana with a butter knife while supervised by her father.  I thought to myself, “what am I waiting for?”  I’m not really waiting for anything, but I’m always surprised by the things I don’t even realize JR is ready for.  So this morning, JR cut a banana using a butter knife for the first time.  We had the conversation about how I have to be present any time he uses or touches a knife.  He was very proud of himself because that meant he was a really big boy…up until this point, knives were strictly for adults. 

 

mmmm…pancakes

We used to eat pancakes all the time in our pre “high protein diet life.”  Some days it feels like we are on the Atkins Diet.  Today, I decided to throw “protein to the wind” and make one of our favorite breakfasts of all time….pancakes!  We’ve tried many pancake recipes and this one is our favorite: Fluffy Pancakes.  The boys always wake up hungry from their 9 hour fast.  It’s always a rush to see how fast I can make it and it sometimes even includes a pre-breakfast snack.  This morning – bananas.  I finally got finished and placed the large stack of pancakes in front of the boys.  Asher did not appreciate stalling for even 1 minute to take a picture.  He is all business when it comes to eating.  I took a photo anyways, so later he can see that although he was an easy-going, laid back baby…he did have his limits.  He has a temper when he’s passionate about something.  Hopefully, in the future, no one comes between him and his pancakes.  :)  I love the confused look on JR’s face…he’s like, “what’s the deal?”

 

Once we placed the pancakes directly in front of Asher, he calmed down.  The look on his face is almost like he’s shaming me.  How is it that a toddler can say so many things without even saying a word?  We’ll definitely have pancakes again, but I assure you this will be the only documentation.  I prefer to traumatize my children as little as possible.   :)