Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Focus- O'Malley

My O'Malley. Love that boy. He cracks me up every single day. He's still got the invisible dogs and cats, and we're currently planning a dog party for his fourth birthday. He is full of grand and glorious ideas involving making his friends eat out of doggy bowls with no hands, and wearing puppy ears and crawling around. Can't wait to take video of all this canine goodness.

The invisible dogs do funny things. The other day we were grocery shopping and all of a sudden he hisses, "get back here!" and holds out his hand. I asked him who he was talking to and he said, "One of my dogs! Do you SEE him? He jumped onto that man's hat! So rude!" Walking a few yards in front of us was a guy wearing a beanie. I guess the dog thought it would make a good bed. I'm just glad he didn't make enough noise about it to alert the guy to the fact that he had imaginary dogs hanging out on his head.

Another time my mom took him out for ice cream and driving home he started yelling about how the dogs had gotten left behind and were running behind the car. So she rolled down the window and told him to call the dogs so they could jump into his hand. He caught them and was perfectly happy. My mom thinks on her feet, let me tell you what.

Besides all the imaginary animal friends, he has "mans". Not men. Mans. My hubby keeps telling me I need to write down everything that the mans do because I could write some best-selling kids' series about them. There used to be twelve of them, but now there are just eleven. One got killed by a battle droid. They don't live here with us- they have their own place which is near Aurora's house. O'Malley can give you directions on exactly how to get there. Sometimes they do spend the night here, or else they go and visit Chip and Belle. Oh, and they fly. They have jet packs that they bought at Target. They are great cooks and a lot of times they have the same food for dinner that I'm cooking. Other times he'll tell me that the mans don't like that food and so they're having sunbutter and jelly. Also, they are nocturnal. They like to sleep during the day and then they stay up all night playing Wii. And he informed me today that one of them is a marsupial and has a pocket in his belly like a kangaroo. There's really just no end to the things the mans can do, and he makes up new scenarios on the spot whenever you ask them what they're up to. I love it.

He's doing really well with spelling and beginning to sound out words. I wish he was a bit more interested in it though- when Duchess was his age she couldn't get enough and we would spend all of naptime working on reading and writing. He couldn't care less. He will not practice writing at ALL. Oh well. We still have awhile before it's a problem. :) At least I know he's above average in the creativity department.

Working with moon sand to tie in to S is for Sandbox in our letters book.

Obviously the mans are not the only ones who enjoy sunbutter and jelly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Look. A Challenge.

I'm always trying to figure out how to remember to blog consistently. I'm reasonably okay at the Friday Focus, although sometimes I do skip a week or backdate when I do it on Monday. :) I found this 30 Day Challenge thing, just to get you to blog a bit every day. I'm under no illusions that I'll make it through without skipping, but at least maybe I will think of it some days. I'll do it as it relates to the daycare and the kids, which should be fun. Maybe I can do each question from each kid's point of view. I bet their answers will be interesting!

So. Day One: A favorite song. I'll ask and see. Bet I can predict most of the answers already!

My favorite song that we listen to around here on a regular basis is Hippopotamus Rock. I don't know most of the words but it's fun to dance to. This recording is terrible but I don't care. :)

Kanga's is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme. :)

Now for the kids:

O'Malley: I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas. I have a recording of him singing this in Target and it is so great. I can't figure out how to put it on here though.

Silvermist: Rock a bye Baby, she says. This one does surprise me. We don't sing that one much at all here. Hmm. Okay then.

Aurora: The Wheels on the Bus, although she took a few minutes deciding between that and E-I-E-I-O. :) I had a feeling a lot of them would pick this one. We've been on a big Wheels kick lately and it's gotten 164 plays in my iTunes in the last few months. It's #1 by a long shot. The version we have is by Cedarmont Kids. And oh wow, I used to have this on VHS many years ago. Now I just have the CDs, but if the kids knew this existed there would be much joy in the land.

Roo: She was napping when I first started this- I would have guessed Bus or Thumbkin, and sure enough she said Bus.

Stitch: She says Bus too now. Probably I should have asked them individually, because now everyone will say that. I was going to guess Where is Thumbkin? for her. She loves it. We have the Wiggles version, which cracks me up because it refers to your Tall One and your Ringo.

Bianca: She says Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This is true. I know I've talked about that before and how she mixes it with the alphabet song. We need to start singing Baa Baa Black Sheep more often, just to really mess things up. :)

Chip is not to the point where I can understand a whole lot of his singing, but I know he loves Mickey Mouse and the Wiggles and when I asked him if he liked those he said WWWOOOOOO!! with a big smile.

Hercules hasn't come up with any of the kid songs that seem to make him especially happy, but I've noticed he likes female country. When I'm making breakfast and doing things in the kitchen in the mornings I like to put on "my" music and he dances. His favorite so far is Mary Chapin Carpenter, but he likes the Dixie Chicks too. Makes me laugh.

Tigger LOVES The Fly Went Into the Grocery Store. I have no idea who that lady is singing on youtube, but she's the only one I could find. We always sing it in a silly high pitched voice like that too and it's been his favorite since he was tiny small.

And of course the wee ones don't have favorites yet that we can identify. The sound of bottles approaching is the best music to their ears. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Focus- Chip

Mr. Chip has many interests these days. Most of them still do not involve smiling for the camera, but I did manage to catch a few really cute shots of him when we were all playing the other day. We're still working with The Letters Are Lost, and so there's been a LOT of time building alphabet block towers. He was very intent on getting to stand up tall so he could knock it down.
Okay, I got this one ready....

This is the highest tower in the world! I can knock it over now!

Ooh. That was so super cool!

Oh, I love this picture. I hardly EVER get one where he's smiling *and* looking at the camera and *not* running at my face. I guess the excitement of a job well done was enough for him to be able to appease the crazy lady with the camera just this once.

He still loves to climb and has been looking for more creative and interesting things to scale rather than just the table. The other day I found him behind our L-shaped couch, stuck in the little triangular area in the corner by the wall. I suppose climbing OUT needs to be his next accomplishment. I didn't actually see how he got back there- he could have gone over the back, or just tunneled behind it, since the gate I usually have there is still not back in place after being used to corral the Christmas tree. He was happy as a clam for a few minutes, and then annoyed when he realized he needed help to get out. He would really rather not take my help with much of anything these days. In fact, I get the Great Look Of Scorn a majority of the time. He's definitely Kanga's boy. :)

It's fun to take care of the younger sibling- we have so much history with his big sister Belle. She and Duchess are still very close. Chip and Belle look so much alike to me, and sometimes they have the same mannerisms. Mostly I like to watch the way they interact with each other. Belle is pretty much devoted to getting what Chip wants before he asks for it, and cannot stand to see him get upset. I have a feeling that if the sentiment sticks around much longer, Chip is going to start milking it for ALL he can get. I mean, who wouldn't right? Why bother to get up and get your own stuff, or even have to ask for it, when big sis is so happy to do it for you? :) Duchess used to be that way with O'Malley too, but now that he's getting older she is beginning to find him annoying. I wonder if these two will follow the same path.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Focus- Lady

New fresh pink baby! Alert! Alert! We are enjoying her so much. Yesterday both my kids were crowded around either side of me while I held her, looking at me with their big puppy dog eyes and saying "Mama? Wouldn't it be nice if she was our sister? Can we keep her?" Yeah, no. Pretty sure that ship has sailed on the former, and very sure her parents would have issue with the latter. :) But that's the beauty of the job. Baby fix galore.

I was debating the possibility of calling her Cinderella, but it doesn't exactly roll trippingly off the tongue. Plus, she's just Lady. Her mama suggested it and it fits her. Reminds me of the part in the beginning of the movie where Darling first gets the puppy- "Isn't she just a perfectly beautiful little Lady?" Why yes. Yes she is.

She tends to look very wide-eyed and serious until you talk to her, and then she's got the BEST smile. I haven't been able to catch a picture of it yet, but hey, she's only been here two weeks. There's plenty of time.

Hey, did the timer go off yet? I'm not so sure about this tummy time thing......

O'Malley really loves her. He keeps trying to get too close. He's relatively careful, but still. I tell him he can kiss the top of her head or her feet while I'm holding her, but he really wants to kiss her face and especially loves to touch her hair. He'll come over and say, "Mama? Can I pet the baby?" Which makes me laugh. And I say okay, you can pet her. The first time he started at her forehead and brushed her hair backwards, like rubbing a cat's fur the wrong way. Then he was tickled. "Mama! If I pet her like this, I give her a mohawk!!!" And now it's a joke for him. I have to pet her THIS way, all nice and smooth, or else she have a mohawk!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Luckily she is super easy going and just looks quizzically at him. Unless she's hungry or tired, pretty much nothing fazes her. A perfectly wonderful little Lady indeed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Closings and Events

Here's this year's schedule, best as we can figure it out so far. :) We've printed everyone a copy too so make sure you look for it in the take-home folders by the door.

Giant Steps: Noteworthy Days for 2011

In addition to our paid holidays for the year, we also reserve the right to take 4 paid personal days. Any additional vacation days we take will be of no charge to you. If you are on vacation, please remember that you must continue to pay to hold your child’s space.

Friday, March 4: paid personal day

Friday, April 22: paid holiday for Good Friday this is a snow day- we'll be open now since we were closed a few days in February unexpectedly.

Monday, May 30: paid holiday for Memorial Day

Friday, July 1: paid personal day

Monday, July 4: paid holiday for 4th of July

Monday, September 5: paid holiday for Labor Day

Tuesday, November 22: 4th annual daycare feast lunch for parents (we are open this day- just giving you a heads-up about attending lunch if you’re able)

Wednesday, November 23: paid personal day

Thursday/Friday November 24/25: paid holiday for Thanksgiving

Monday, December 26: paid holiday for Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 27: paid holiday for Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 28: paid personal day

Thursday, December 29: paid holiday for New Year’s Eve

Friday December 30: paid holiday for New Year’s Day

(Monday, January 2, 2012: we will be open)

RECAP: We will be closed the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. This is a paid week for us.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Focus- Hercules

Hercules turned one recently and is On The Move in a big way. He's definitely got some of the Napoleon complex thing going on right now. It is so funny to me that almost every baby does that once they learn to walk. The Pink Ladies are learning pretty quickly that Hercules is not "Baby Hercules" anymore and they run from him. "Hercules hit me! Hercules sit on my fingers!" Yes. Yes, he will do that at every opportunity, grinning the whole time. Not a malicious thought in his mind, you understand. Just temporarily drunk with power.

He's working on the transition from infant feeding to toddler meals- although he would still prefer the bottle and hates watching us make them for Tigger and the new baby, he's finally decided that the sippy cup is okay. The grownup food is still touch and go though. Sometimes he'll eat it and sometimes he looks at it like we're trying to give him a cow pattie. He does like to play with the spoon though, and he'll eat if we feed it to him. So the next step is feeding himself. He doesn't seem to like getting his hands dirty much. He'll eat breakfast stuff like waffles or cereal, but doesn't want to dig into squishy stuff. Which is sensible in many ways- just unlike many of his friends who eat rice with both hands and refuse to use a fork. :)

He's also working on switching from a morning nap to an afternoon nap. It's about every other day right now- if we let him stay up on Monday to play with the big kids and eat lunch and then take a rest in the afternoon, he's happy for the one day, and then ready for bed by 9:30 Tuesday morning. Then up Wednesday, although by lunchtime he's pretty tired! :)

He was in a deep sleep by the time lunch was over- so much that he didn't even wake up when Kanga changed his pants and put him in bed. It was pretty funny.

Hercules is all rough and tumble boy. He's having a great time running around and climbing on things and showing off his new teeth. Every morning that he gets a chance, he's trying to bite through orange peels. (I've written about that here, when Aurora was doing it.) I actually ended up taking a plastic orange away from him and telling him that wasn't acceptable one day. He looked at me quite scornfully and was pleased to get it back with an apology once I realized he wasn't K-Paxing a real one. :) Silly goose.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year

I always love starting the new year. The holidays make me feel really rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. We're starting our new Read It Once Again curriculum today and I expect everyone to LOVE it. It's called The Letters Are Lost and it's about a set of alphabet blocks that get lost in various places. Tons of opportunities for extension and fun stuff to do. The F page is about the block falling in the fish tank and I think I actually might get a beta fish for them to check out.
Our new tiny pumpkin started this morning and is currently asleep in the living room. She got here sleeping so I haven't gotten my hands on her yet. Looking forward to that immensely. Another tiny one should be starting in the next couple weeks too. So I'll need a girl and a boy Disney name. Gotta get going on that- we're running out of popular ones. :)