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Toddler & Preschool iPad Case Reviews

Kids on their iPads, Case Review

My kids have been blessed with grandparents who believe in the benefits of technology. Because of this, each of the kids has been an unlikely recipient of an ipad by the time they turned two. It is an amazing tool, even in the hands of a toddler and preschooler. We do limit the amount of time they spend using it, but its ability to entertain and educate has been a priceless. Like most parents, we try to choose apps wisely – mostly educational and skill-building apps, and also ones that engage their creativity (more on those later).

Being the sensitive (and expensive) handheld devices they are, an iPad can’t survive little hands without a case. Chloe’s case was chosen by Grandpa and still looks good after almost three years. It is a pink Hard Candy Street Skin Case. It fits very snug, but can be pulled off (by adults) to clean when needed. It also came with a solid screen cover, which is nice when its going into a carry-on and might rub against things. For Chloe it was perfect. She has had no problem carrying it around and her iPad has been safe ever since.

When Leo received his iPad, I had a hard time finding blog-style reviews on cases and mostly had to rely on amazon ratings. Eventually I chose a blue i-Blason ArmorBox Kido Series case. It’s been great! At the time, Chloe’s case was selling for $40 on Amazon. The i-Blason is $20. The soft handle makes it very easy to carry and use for little ones, and I often choose this iPad when watching movies at night because of the handy, built-in stand. Although it is more padded than Chloe’s, it still feels nice, and the iPad is quite protected. The only negative is the case density cuts down slightly on the sound quality, but it just means the sound has to go up a bit more. Overall, I’m really happy with this choice and would recommend it as an affordable choice that I would buy again.

Hope this helps others who are looking to buy a good iPad protection for their kids, and I’d love to hear what case you are using!


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Let’s Roll! Morning Meal Idea for Little Hands On-the-Go

We have some busy mornings during the week in our household. Whether it’s preschool, scheduled activities, play dates, or just running errands, it is nice to have a go-to breakfast to feed the kids when we’re running low on time.

At ages one-and-a-half and four, my children are at the height of picky eating. When we are running behind, the best I can content them with is cereal or a breakfast bar. But when I have a few extra minutes to spare (or if I’ve planned ahead, which isn’t unheard of), then I’ll make them up a hand roll. They’re fresh, quick to make, and easy for little hands to hold (which means less mess in the car)!

Here’s my method:

  1. First, take a slice of bread with the crust cut off. Regular wheat or white works best, as heavily seeded breads don’t flatten very well.
  2. Flatten the bread with the heel of your hand. I usually put a second cutting board on top before pressing down which helps make the slices nice and flat. This probably sounds like an odd thing to do, but a big difference between a hand roll and a sandwich is that everything is contained inside the hand roll. If you give a toddler a traditional sandwich, then you’re likely to have bits of filling dripping out all over.
  3. Choose a spread or filling from whatever you happen to have on hand. It could be as simple as butter or strawberry jam, but most often I use two ingredients, like the one shown here which is ham and cream cheese on wheat. For step-by-step photos click here.

Optional: Fold a piece of paper towel and wrap it around the base of the roll. Seal the paper towel edge down with a piece of tape. Not only does this help keep the roll together, but it keeps little hands cleaner as well.

Here’s a list of other filling ideas:

cheese and butter
peanut butter and jelly
cream cheese and raisins
turkey and avocado
canned pumpkin and cranberries
hazelnut spread and bananas
ham and mayo
hummus

Now, I know what you may be asking: why not use a tortilla or pita instead of a flattened piece of bread? Well, you certainly could. Our toddler finds bread a lot easier to bite and chew, and the preschooler prefers the taste and texture of bread over tortillas. This way I just have to make one variety and they are both happy. Sometimes I even make one for myself while I’m at it.

Tip: If you’re using a less flexible filling like cheese or banana, then it helps to cut it into pencil-sized chunks. Place the thin chunk on one side and then roll it, which will put the cheese in the center. Otherwise the cheese will make the hand-roll too bulky and not close properly.

To even better balance the nutrition of a hand-roll breakfast, I like to include a side of fresh, travel-friendly fruit, like grapes, apple, orange segments, or banana, plus a sippy cup with milk or half water/half juice.

And there you have it – a healthy meal to fuel those little bodies that you love, even when you’re feeling rushed!

This post is part of BlogHer’s Rush Hour Tips editorial series, made possible by Got Milk?


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Dear Leo, 18 months

(I wrote this in December, when Leo really was 18-months old, but I never posted it before we left on our whirlwind Colorado-to-Cancun trip. I figure better late than never…)

Dear Leo,

You turned 18 months old this week. Just thinking about you as I write this makes my heart swell with joy. You are such a wonder – so sweet and loveable and very smart! You are so interested in how things work – how pieces go together and come apart, how they move, or float or spill or  break. You are observant and curious about everything. The more new things you get your little hands on the happier you are. Even the tiniest speck of debris interests you and you’ll happily bring it over to share.

You are a good eater, which brings your mama much relief. You rate normally for height and weight, unlike your petite big sister. It does seem like you’re getting pickier as time goes by, though. You have your front four upper and lower teeth in, and the other day I saw one of your top back left molars peeking out. I bet it will be a lot of help for grinding up food you can’t quite eat on your own yet.

You’re fast and mobile. Oh boy. You were able to climb onto our bed and the sofas early on, and now that you’re up on the chairs you want to get onto the table, too (eek!). You’ve had lots of tumbles, but they don’t seem to deter you much.

Now that you’re big enough, Chloe has had to get used to you “sharing” toys that were once free whenever she wanted. She still grabs things out of your hands, but she is learning that is getting harder to do, and your not afraid to make a fuss. On the other hand, you give her quite a bit of grief, too, always wanting what she has, or being where she is. Or pulling her hair – you have definitely yanked both of us good. Not just strands, but clumps.

The thing that concerns me most about your development right now is the fact that you don’t talk. I mean, you can say mama and dada and dog (da!), but you don’t do it very often. The word you say most (and quite clearly) is “ball.” Oh, but you are good at sounds and noises – vroom, vroom, ruff, ruff, and meow along with many others.

Despite being a little man of few words, you certainly communicate. You point like a champ, nod and shake your head for yes and no to answer a question, tap your bowl or hand me your cup when you want more, rock in your high chair when you want to get down, and grab and tug on your diaper when you need a diaper change. See? Its all so clear. And maybe your dad is right, that its my fault you don’t need to talk. In my quest to become a good mother, I have learned to read your body language and other subtle (and not so subtle) cues to interpret your needs and wants, or I simply anticipate them. I’ve tried to wait and make you talk, but it doesn’t seem to work and we both get frustrated.

The delayed talking thing concerned me so much that I took you to see some specialists. And you know what happened? You wowed them in every other way. Your fine and gross motor skills are very well developed for your age AND you passed a test in cognition as well as a three year old. So. You have a lot going for you. I guess maybe I just need to be patient. You’ll talk when you’re ready, I think.

Love you my darling boy,
Mama


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Rubber Duck Party! **Part 1**

We threw Chloe her 3rd birthday party this past week. It was tons of fun – both for me to plan and for her and her friends to enjoy. Chloe’s bathroom is awash in rubber ducks and that seemed to naturally segue into a perfect party theme for a soon-to-be three-year-old.

I’ll go more into party details in the next post (including some pdf printables), but meanwhile, here are some wonderful photos of the big event taken by my talented friend Greta:

Marshmallow pops

Party water bottles

3 tiers of rubber duck cupcakes

Peanut butter cup “mini-cupcakes”

The treats table

 

 

More of her photos can be seen here.


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Haircut!

I finally gave Chloe her first “real” haircut. “Real” meaning all the way around and not just a bang trim. It was a little bittersweet. At almost 3 years-old she’s hardly grown enough hair to cut, but it was getting a bit too ragged around the edges (see photo from previous post). She’d also get knots and tangles in the back from going to bed with her hair still damp. Afterward I gave her a princess tiara. Naturally she responded “Can I have a haircut again? Now?” I wish I would have gotten a better photo, but she’s on to me, and when she saw the camera come out the little stinker started running away. I’m happy that at least she sat still for the cut!


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Toilet Training the Toddler

Its potty training time for Chloe. For real this time. I’ve enrolled her into a swim class for late fall that doesn’t allow swim diapers. Yikes!

Chloe has been able to pee in the potty off and on since she was 18 months old, but she’s not consistent. That is my fault, because I haven’t been consistent. Honestly, it was easier to have her in diapers, especially while I was pregnant and then had a brand new baby in the house. Now I’m doing constant reminders to get her to go. Once in the bathroom, she goes almost every single time. It is getting her in there that is tricky. We’re doing a sticker chart and “something special” (m&ms, jelly beans, a marshmallow, whatever) every two successful attempts. We’re reading books like “Big Girls Use the Potty!” and “Once Upon a Potty (girl),” and “Time to Pee!,” but I just can’t motivate her to want to be completely diaper-free. Even worse, sometimes she stalls bedtime by sitting on the chair for so long saying she is going to go, or wants to go in the wee hours of the morning. OMG. I already get so little sleep.

Recently I found this site that says to “transfer all responsibility to your child” and “stop all reminders about using the toilet” because “she needs to gain the feeling of success that comes from doing it her way.” That has a ring of truth about it, but if I don’t remind her she ends up having an accident. Sigh. So I think this weekend I’ll phase out the reminders and just see what happens. Fingers crossed.

Note: Yesterday we were out all morning so there aren’t as many green dots because I let her wear a pull-up. Today (pink dots) it is still morning. Half a day yet to go. We’re using dots because they are cheap and I don’t have to wait while she decides which one she wants. Sometimes she’ll ask for one and we’ll put it on the back of her hand as a visual reminder. The Paul Frank Stickers are for going #2 in the potty.

I made the chart we’re using, but you can find a whole bunch to try for girls, for boys and here.


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My Little Artiste

I guess with two graphic designer parents it is no surprise that Chloe loves art and crafts of any kind. Thankfully, it keeps her occupied for long periods of time, too.

When I’m tired or don’t have the time to clean paint brushes, I give Chloe Q-tips. They provide a different painting experience, and allow me to toss them when she’s done.

We have a bad habit of ruining play-doh by leaving it out to dry. Making it at home makes me feel less guilty, and its cheap and easy. Here’s the recipe and instructions, but you must let the salt dissolve in the water first, or the play-dough ends up with a grainy texture.

The photo at the top shows Chloe making a collage with her My First Scissors. They are rated for kids as young as four years old, but Chloe uses them just fine at 2 and a half (and under supervision). When she asks to “do cutting” I just hand her some pages from our recycle bin along with a glue stick, scissors, and a sheet on which to paste. It occupies her time, helps to develop good hand skills, and she enjoys it. All good things.


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The neglected toddler

These photos were taken at Rainbow Trout Farm a few weeks ago where Chloe got her first “real” fishing experience. David insists that Chloe will be a champion fly-fisher one day, so he is starting her down the path to success. Leo was only 2 weeks old then. He mostly slept through the whole experience.

***

In the case of a toddler versus newborn scenario, it is almost certain to be the toddler who gets shafted. I feel like I’m always asking Chloe to “hold on” while I see to Leo’s needs first (feeding, diaper changing, whatever) before I can get Chloe what she wants (anything from setting her up with a project, getting her a snack or putting on a video). Very rarely do I let Leo really cry while I see to Chloe’s needs, although sometimes there has been no choice in the matter.

One of the reasons I am grateful for David’s paternity leave is the time he’s been able to devote to Chloe. Yes, I’ve needed a little help with the newborn, but at this point I have the skills to take care of him on my own. Knowing Chloe is getting attention from Daddy (and grandma while she was here) really helps assuage the guilt I feel for not spending more quality time with her. It also leaves me more free time to focus on Leo. This newborn period flies by, and I am trying to savor it the best I can, knowing it will be gone all too soon.


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One month down

Leo turned one month old this week. Several times I sat down to try and write about what life has been like this past month, but I can’t seem to find the right words.

Basically, it’s complicated.

One thing for sure – being a mother of a newborn and a toddler is HARD. Existing on such minimal sleep is the worst part – like living life through a fog. Simple tasks can seem monumental. And I feel like I should be happier – like when my mom was here, I felt like I should have been so happy, but I wasn’t quite as happy as I thought I should be. Does that make sense?

Anyway, in a nutshell, this past month has been stressful, but things are getting better. I am feeling better, both mentally and physically. Best of all, we are slowly starting to adjust to our new shape as a family.

As for Leo, he is definitely growing. Seriously. It was like I woke up one morning and my tiny newborn was replaced by a hefty baby boy (which makes sense when I think about it, since all he wants to do is nurse). Nights are getting somewhat easier, and what seemed to be his constant fussing and crying is giving way to a few more periods of “quiet alertness.” Thank goodness.

The thing I miss most is the little time I had for myself, and going out with the “ease” of having just one child. Now there are two little individuals with vastly different needs. There are moments I feel trapped and frustrated in my own house, and other times when I don’t want to leave again, ever. Plus, I miss my husband. He’s here, too, doing his part, but our whole lives are revolving around the kids right now, with no time for us. It will be good when Grandma Sandy (my mother-in-law) comes next week. Hopefully that might give us time to reconnect. So, again, it’s hard. But we’re dealing. And learning. And living.

One day at a time.

(Btw – that photo was taken by David a week or so ago, so Leo is not a one-month old in that photo. Note to self: take more photos!)


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Chloe, Two-and-a-half

Chloe turned 2-and-a-half yesterday. Since our OMSI membership has expired, and I am no longer up for all the walking required to visit the zoo (at least until after the baby is born), I decided the Children’s Museum might be fun and manageable for the both of us. It had been a while since we visited the museum (here’s the last time, over a year ago. So crazy for me to see how much she’s changed!), and luckily the free pass was still available at our local library.

Of course Chloe had a grand time. She didn’t spend as long in the water section as I thought she would, maybe because she is still too short to have full access to everything. Not surprisingly, she really enjoyed the dig pit, which is so much better than her current obsession of digging in the fill-dirt pile on the side of our house. She almost always heads straight for it when outside, and of course she comes away head-to-toe filthy. We’re hoping to plant some grass seed there soon, but meanwhile I’ve ordered her a Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center for the summer.

The only downside to our morning was Chloe’s mini tantrum when it came time to leave. I was tired, too, just trying to keep up with her and watch that the older kids didn’t take her tools or toys, or accidentally knock her down (which nearly happened countless times). I know I didn’t handle her breakdown as well as I could have, but we eventually made it home in time for only a slightly delayed nap.

I can hardly believe Chloe is already two-and-a-half. She’s still slender and petite for her age, but wears a normal 24-month/2T in clothes (although she’s only in a size 3 diaper/pull-up and barely in a size 5 shoe). Her size is in wild contrast to her vocabulary. It surprises people all the time to hear how well she talks. Just one of the examples from the Children’s Museum was when we were sitting in the clay studio – Chloe made some remark and I overheard the older boy next to her turn to his mother and say “Mom! That baby can talk!”

As for Chloe’s baby brother, Chloe does have at least a vague idea of his existence. She knows his (still tentative) name, where he is (in my belly) and which drawer contains his clothes. What she doesn’t know is that he will be here in a matter of weeks, and how that is going to rock all our worlds.

(And just for the record, Chloe calls that dress her “Princess Dancing Dress.” She puts it on herself and insists on wearing it. And she knows the difference between Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. without ever having seen one of those movies. I admit that I just recently learned all their names myself. I guess the “princess” phase is in full swing.)


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Progress

Hi! Just thought I’d check in, considering my deplorable lack of posts! Although it doesn’t always feel like it, we are actually making progress around here. This week, for example, included some landscaping, flower and vegetable gardening, a bit more painting, the final grouting/sealing/caulking of our master shower tile (all not easy with a huge 33 week belly!), and the beginning of our professional heat pump installation.

Do you have a heat pump? It was a big decision for us, deciding between a gas furnace or an electric heat pump. Our original house was fine with a couple of baseboards, but we knew we needed something better for our new space. In the end, we decided to go with the efficiency of the heat pump, especially since electricity in our area is pretty affordable compared to a lot of places. Plus the installation company gave us a deal on a refurbished unit. I hope it was the right decision.

Also partially complete is the hook-up of the Ikea Braviken Sink and Godmorgon Sink Cabinet for our master bath. It has been a real challenge for David to connect it with plumbing. He’s had to do some serious jerry-rigging due to the unusual european-style piping of the shallow double sink and having to adjust for the position of our under-sink electrical outlet.

Last weekend, Chloe also passed a major milestone – having the side-rail removed from her crib to make it a toddler bed. We probably could have left it on for longer, since she has really never tried to climb over the bar, but it seemed inevitable at almost 2 and a half. The month we were in DC she slept in the same room with me, and then when we returned to Oregon we moved her crib into our room while Grandma and Grandpa Feldkamp could have her room while they were visiting (which was AWESOME by the way). When it was time to put her back in her own room, it seemed like a good time to make the switch. I’m proud to report an almost seamless transition. My little big girl. 🙂

Home Addition by Alex Freddi Contstruction, LLC.


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Better

I think Chloe has survived the worst of her symptoms, although she is still somewhat snotty and has a (slightly less severe) cough. We’ve even gotten her to ingest something other than Children’s Advil and PediaSure Shakes. Whew. This was the worst sickness she’s had so far, which all-in-all is manageable, since we know others who have had extreme emergency room visits with their sick toddlers. Meanwhile, no classes or activities, probably for the rest of the week, which is a shame, since Chloe loves her dance class.


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Crafty Felt Fun

My friend Greta is literally about to pop with baby-girl number two, yet somehow she has found the time and energy to post about some amazing felt toys and accessories that she’s made for her two-and-a half year old daughter, Ava. I can’t help but find these objects beautiful, functional, and oh-so-inspiring! Click on the links for more details and photos on her blog.

Hair clip ribbon with leaf pocket for ponytail holders

Felt Roll-Up Play Mat

Felt Tea-time Goodies and other Play Foods


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One snowy day

Although I lamented that our Colorado visit would include no snow, it finally did snow the day before we left. It was perfect: cold, soft, white, and a special experience for Chloe that she will rarely ever get in our part of Oregon. She had a great time, especially being pulled on her first sled ride. Despite freezing fingers and a rudolph-like red nose, she hardly seemed bothered by the falling temperature. I had to go in and warm up long before she did (plus my camera was getting soaked). Chloe was just having too much fun.

And here is the one glimpse I saw of the wood-pile rabbit. What a cutie!


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Dear Chloe – 22 months

Dear Chloe,
You are 22 months old today. Thanks to a new Babymate app, I’ve been able to record some things about you as they happen. Here are some noteworthy occurrences during this past month:

Sept 14aYou got a black bean stuck in your nose. During dinner you kept saying “bean… in… nose” while holding a bean in your hand and gesturing toward your nose. We kept telling you that no, we don’t put beans up our noses. Then Daddy finally figured out that you already had a bean stuck in your nose. Oh boy. Daddy told me to run and get the tweezers, and after a slight hesitation, I did. I guess I was afraid we’d scratch the inside of your nose with the tweezers, or worse, push the wayward bean back in too far. Turns out Daddy was only able to pull small pieces out at a time, while the majority remained lodged. Then he got a tissue, held your right nostril closed and told you to blow. I was afraid you’d inhale it even further, but after a few tries it came shooting out. I guess it was a good thing you already had a little cold, so the mucus helped it slide. Go figure.

Sept 14bThe potty got a record amount of action on this same day – both your first time peeing and your second time going poop.

Sept 15Your second pee in the potty!

Sept 16a – You and Daddy love playing “blocks” (mega-blocks, legos, and/or wooden blocks) together. This particular day, you built a structure all by yourself which you called a “baby bed,” and then proceeded to lay the baby in it.

Sept 16bYou slept through the night! Consequently, you’ve been sleeping amazingly well ever since. Not always through the night, but with less wakings than you’ve had in a long time.

Sept 17You fed the Lorikeets at the zoo all by yourself. Although you’ve always enjoyed them, their piercing squawks and abrupt movements kept you from getting too close during previous visits. Today we had the area all to ourselves and it was pretty special. I was pretty proud with how far you’d come. The lone attendant said you did amazingly well for your age, especially since you moved slowly and listened when I told you not to touch the birds. I took a video of you with my iphone, and consequently, you love to watch it over and over.

Sept 19 – While Mommy and Daddy were working in the office, you left and took your pants and your diaper off, and then put your pants back on. Did you think we wouldn’t notice? This is far from the first time you’ve taken off your diaper, but the first time you put your pants back on afterward. Clever girl.

Sept 20Your first train ride. You and I took a morning ride through Forest Park on the zooliner. It was a really special experience for the two of us.

A few other tidbits about you this month:

  • You’re vocabulary is growing, and your making more complete sentences.
  • You like yogurt covered raisins, which you call “beans”.
  • Yellow and Orange are the colors that you consistently know.
  • When you’re excited, sometimes you’ll loudly call out random numbers – “Two! Eight! Seven!”

I can’t believe you’re going to be 2 years old in only another two months!

Love,
Mama


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Despite the best intentions

Chloe had an unusually accident prone day today. It started with a bloody split lip on a picnic bench at the park, with further little mishaps throughout the day, ending with a scraped cheek on one of the short bamboo poles that surround our smallest garden plot.

After the early split lip, I tried to be careful of the foods I offered her afterwards – banana, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese – but after lunch I forgot and gave her kiwi. I felt so bad after she cried out that in a mild panic I offered her vanilla ice cream, hoping to soothe the swelling and sting. David gave me a brief hard time for the kiwi, but then during dinner he gave her ketchup, which, from her reaction, must have been worse. Uh-huh. Despite the depth of our love for our daughter and our willingness to protect her, both of us accidentally caused her just a little more pain due to simple forgetfulness. I don’t know why, but it surprises me. We’re only human? We make mistakes? But they’re careless mistakes, despite our best intentions.

After our al fresco dinner, we stayed in the backyard for a while longer, soaking up the beautiful blue skies and temperate weather. David and Chloe were playing together, so I started clearing the table, but them came back out to sit and watch. It was weird though, because I kept feeling pulled to do something else – get on the computer, play with my iphone (did you know you can watch netflix movies now?), read through a catalog that came in the mail, anything but just sit there, enjoying a beautiful evening with my family. That didn’t seem right either. Summer will be over in less than a month, and I could barely seem to quiet my mind long enough to appreciate it. I shared these thoughts aloud to David, and he replied that I’ve always been like that. That my mind is always going, and I often seem to be somewhere else. He continued to tease me (I think) with some exaggerations, but there was some truth to what he was saying. Anyway, eventually we lay there on the grass in each others arms, with Chloe and Barkley playing close by, and I was able to focus in on the moment, for which I am grateful. It seems that it shouldn’t be so hard, to be in the present, but sometimes it is. I, in particular, have to work at it. Maybe that is why I enjoy reading so much, because I like to “get away” for a while. But it is nice, and important, to come back, too.

Oh, and two more things: 1) I finally got a decent shot of one of the elusive white butterflies (above) that I mentioned here.  2) The article on how Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime (NYTimes) is worth a read. Goodnight!


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Dear Chloe, 21 months old

Dear Chloe,

You are 21 months old today! Although I recently shared a couple of your big accomplishments, I wanted to include a few more tidbits about you this month:

• Now that you’ve mastered basic animals and their sounds, you’re taking a special interest in transportation vehicles: cars, trucks, trains (choo choo), airplanes, school buses and boats.

• Loud noises still scare you, although you’ve made a tentative peace with the vacuum.

• You like Elmo from Sesame Street. You point him out in the toy store, in books, even on your diapers. You’ve now watched two Elmo dvds and although you enjoy them, you really do not like Mr. Noodle. I’ve learned to fast forward through his segments in Elmo’s world. (Baby Einstein videos remain your favorite).

• Although you’ve always eaten beans (black, kidney, not green beans) you are really enjoying edamame. I think you like the process of opening the pods and popping out the beans by yourself.

• You could finally use a haircut. At least a bang trim to get it out of your eyes. I can’t decide whether to do it myself or just let it all grow out. You look quite nice wearing a clip to pull your bangs back, but your fine hair seems to reject even the “no-slip” kind.

• You’re learning colors, although orange is the only one you get consistently right.

• Today, the head of child care and another child care attendant both remarked on what a large vocabulary you have for such a young age. It does seem like you are surprising me with new words everyday.


Holding hands with Daddy at the zoo

• This past month we made a special trip to Ikea to get you some toddler supplies: the Latt table and chairs, Mala easel, Rusig rocker, Patrull bathtub mat and various art supplies. You were so happy the next morning to see your own child-sized table and chairs! Not a day goes by where they don’t get used. You call the rocker “Horsey” and when you ride it you say “Whoa! Whoa!” I think it won’t be long before you start saying “Giddyup!”


Playing with “Meow”

In your room, with buppy

Overall, we are having a wonderful summer, full of sunny days, splashing water fountains, summer dresses, local adventures and new explorations. We are so lucky to be able to spend this precious time together. I feel grateful to have you in my life and I try to remember that all this innocence and wonder probably won’t last forever. It is in the here and now, and that’s where I want to be too.

I love you my sweet little girl,
Mama


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Chloe update, 20 months

Chloe will be 21 months next week. Normally, I’d wait until then to give an update, but several BIG things have happened and I can’t wait to share. I’m afraid if I don’t, they’ll just go unrecorded. Here’s the biggest news:

Chloe pooped in the potty for the first time today!!!

I noticed her just slightly bearing down while I was talking to her this morning. I immediately asked if she was poopy and suggested she go sit on her potty. She turned and ran to the bathroom, me following so I could whip off her diaper. She sat down just in time for us to hear a tiny thud. I wasn’t sure if I should point out her accomplishment immediately or just keep her seated in case there was more coming. I decided on the later, and we flipped through a magazine to keep her entertained. Turns out that one thud was it, however, when she got up and I showed her what was in the pot, she did NOT like what she saw. As a matter of fact, she got really upset and almost started crying so I quickly ramped up the happy face and voice. The last thing I wanted was for this to be a bad experience, but I simply was not expecting that kind of reaction. Thankfully she settled down quickly, although continued to look disturbed. I dumped the offender into the main toilet so we could say bye-bye as it flushed away. I wonder if there is anything I could have done better, because I really hope she won’t be afraid to try again!

Just as exciting as the potty usage, is the fact that Chloe said her first three word sentence yesterday! She says lots of words and sounds together, just not quite in proper order. I heard it while she was rummaging through one of her toy drawers for her baby doll. When she finally pulled it free she declared “I got it!” At first I wasn’t sure if I heard correctly, but then she repeated it again (and again!).

Lastly, I’ll mention the pasta stringing activity I prepared for her yesterday. The idea was to help her make her first pasta necklace with some dry rigatoni and a piece of yarn. Turns out she didn’t even need my help! I loved just sitting back, watching her dextrous little fingers thread the “beads” onto the yarn and pull them through. And here I thought it would be a challenge for her. Afterwards we took a little trip to the dollar store for some budget art supplies for more at-home projects. I probably think this at every stage, but this is certainly my favorite so far. 🙂


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Dear Chloe, 20 months old

Dear Chloe, You are 20-months-old today!

I love the little surprises that each day brings, especially the smiles and laughter, hugs and kisses. New words especially are starting to flow, including two word combinations like “hold it” (you want to hold it), “see this” (you want to see something), “shoes (or socks, or hat…) on”, “(hair) clip in”, and one of my favorites “bless you!” (after sneezing). At the breakfast table just this morning you said “Daddy! Sit. Down. Eat!”

When I ask you “What’s your name?” you say “Co-eee!” When you see the neighbor’s black cat you say “Meow,” (you are really into animals and their sounds). You like to point out ownership of things, whether they are “Mommy’s,” “Daddy’s,” or “C0-eee’s.” When something is not quite right, like some juice has spilled, you make sure I know about it with choruses of “Uh-oh! Uh-oh!” and when you fall down I’ll hear “Boom!” often followed by “Up!” because you’ll want me to hold you.

You’re just now beginning to learn colors, and are becoming more interested in crayons and play-doh. Recently I suggested you draw with the yellow crayon, and you picked it out and started drawing. So you are paying attention! And you’re a big helper. If asked, you’ll pick up your toys and put them in your drawers, or move piles of laundry, or help wipe down the kitchen after a meal.

Mealtimes are getting much better. While several of your daily calories still come from snacks, you are (dare I say it?) eating more and feeding yourself with increasing skill. I still have to hide certain things (freshly pureed spinach into mayo as a spread on bread, or salmon into your mac and cheese) to make sure you’re getting a varied and healthy diet of foods you won’t eat individually, but overall, you seem to be growing, which I am very happy to see.

Every day you bring joy to my heart. Here’s to another beautiful month of summer with my sweet little girl,
Love Mommy

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