Friday, February 16, 2018

Matilda's ABC Book

Matilda's ABC Keep Sake

When I first found out I was pregnant for the first time I knew that I wanted to have some keepsakes for Matilda.  I wanted some things that she could have for a long period of time.  Not just her first pair of shoes or her first curl. (which for Matilda wouldn't exist as she has stick straight hair!)  I of course started her baby book and we have it up to date, and we have a picture book of her family, but I just wanted something else...something different. 

As she has been growing and developing I wanted to make her something that she could use on a daily basis.  I finally figured it out and created an ABC Book for her.  For every letter of the alphabet I placed a different picture of Matilda in it with something or someone that starts with that letter.  So for the letter Aa I placed pictured of Matilda with Aunta (my sister) and Auba (my niece).  For the letter Bb I placed a picture of Matilda with her dad and I on her baptism.

What I love most about this project is that each and every picture symbolizes someone or something that has happened in her life thus far.  Each picture is special to us and to her.

About two years before Felipe and I got married my brother passed away from an unexpected accident.  For me it is so very important that Matilda knew who her Uncle was even though he is not physically here with us on earth.  She prays for him at night.  She knows his name.  She knows that he lives in Heaven.  She knows her Uncle.  It was important for me to make sure there was a picture of the two of them in the book.

This book comes with us everywhere we go.  It is currently in her car seat waiting for us to leave the house!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Day 6 & Day 7 of my Valentine's Day Toddler Activities

Day Six: Simple Valentine's Day Cards 

This project has to be the easiest one yet.  All you need is some paper, stickers, and crayons.  Yup!  That's it!  Can't beat that activity right?!!

Stickers for little ones are great. Having them peel the stickers off of the paper really helps with their fine motor skills.  Matilda loves stickers.  She can sit for fifteen minutes just peeling and sticking and repealing and re-sticking them to her paper!

We made a few Valentine's Day cards for some super special people we love.  We can't wait to be able to give them to them!!

Day Seven: Simple Valentine's Day Breakfast

Matilda loves herself some breakfast.  It is her best meal of the day.  Matilda is not much of a milk drinker at all, but she will take a few sips of milk if it is colored.  She occasionally will drink chocolate milk, but water is her drink of choice.  She has never had anything besides milk and water.  Since she gets so much dairy in other ways we are not that worried!

What I did for this breakfast was simply toast an Eggo Waffle and use a cookie cutter to make the shape of a heart.  I then added some pink food coloring to her milk.  She doesn't need anything on her Eggo Waffle. She loves it just plain!  I always try to add some fruit on her plate with her breakfast.  This morning it was mandarin oranges.  Another favorite in our house!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Day Four and Day Five of my 14 Days Valentine's Toddler Activities

Day Four: Valentine's Day Q Tip Painting

Day four is yet another easy project for your little one.  Another activity that I can almost guarantee you have the materials already at your house!  All you need are three items for this fun and a little messy project!

Construction Paper
Q Tips

Matilda absolutely loved working on this project.  She loves to paint and loves to get the paint all over her!  I don't mind one bit as all I have to do is throw her in the tub!  

We used Valentine colors for our project!

Day Five: Valentine's Day Wood Heart Painting

For this project you will need wood heart shapes.  We already had these from our wedding a few years back and I had been waiting to find some use for them!  (See honey this is why I throw nothing out!  It must be the former teacher in me!)  You will also need paint.  We made ours for our family so on the back we wrote their names with a sharpie marker, but that is optional of course!  

This project was super simple for Matilda.  All she had to do was get messy!  And boy did she enjoy that!  

We plan on wrapping ours in little bags and handing them out on Valentine's Day to our family!  

Have fun with these projects and can't wait to share the next couple with you!  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 3

Day Three: Valentine's Day Wax Paper Heart

Day Three is fun, but a little messier project than the two days prior!  For this project you will need three items!  All of which can be found again at the dollar store, but most of which I can almost guarantee you have in your closets at home.

Wax Paper
Tissue Paper
Liquid or Stick Glue

Cut a medium size piece of wax paper out and set it aside.  You will then need to cut a heart outline out of the construction paper.  Use the glue to glue the heart outline onto the wax paper.  You will need to then cut the tissue paper up into small squares.  The last step before your little one can get messy is to smear the (liquid) glue on the wax paper inside of the heart outline.

Once you have completed the last step it is time for your little one to take the tissue paper and place them on the glue!  Have them fill in all of the empty wax paper.

I hope your little one enjoys getting a little sticky and check back tomorrow for day four!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 2

Day Two: Valentine's Day Ice Painting

Another easy project to do at home with the kiddos!  All you need for this are four items!

Ice Cube Tray
Food Coloring
Popsicle Sticks (if desired)
**We didn't have Popsicle sticks so I cut plastic straws in half and used those!**

This project will have to be done in advance though so the water can freeze.  What I did with Matilda was have her help me fill the ice cube trays the night before with food coloring and water.  We set them in the freezer and waited until morning for them to freeze!  She was so cute and wanted to keep checking on their progress!  I had to remind her that they would be ready when she woke up from her sleep.  You can do this part int he morning as well and they should be pretty well frozen by late afternoon!

I simply gave her a piece of white construction paper and let her go to town.  She had so much fun creating another craft!  And another activity that was super easy to clean up!  Just a rag was all we needed!

And don't worry about them eating is just water and food coloring!

I hope you guys enjoyed this activity and come back tomorrow for Day 3!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Valentine's Day Activity Day 1

I have decided to create fourteen days worth of toddler activities to do for Valentine's Day!  Most of these items we as moms already have in our pantry and if we don't they are easily bought at the dollar store!  It always has seemed crazy to me to spend a lot of money on messy projects that last only a few minutes!  Throughout all of my years working in education I spent many of hours in the dollar store buying for crafts and activities! 

Day One: Valentine's Day Shaving Cream

For this project it can't get much simpler than two ingredients:  

Shaving Cream and Food Coloring

I mean Come On!!!  I'm sure your husband won't mind if you take a little of his!!!  

We used red food coloring which turned out pink, but hey pink is still a Valentine's Day color so we were good there!  Matilda really enjoyed playing with it.  It is a great sensory activity.  Especially for those little ones that are still a bit hesitant to getting their hands messy!  

When I was teaching preschool we would do this activity all the time.  You can have older children write their names, the letters of the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and so much more!

 It is a simple activity with minimal cleanup as well!  I simply picked Matilda up and placed her and the high chair tray right in the bathtub and washed them both right up!!  It took a whole two minutes for cleanup!  I mean can't complain about that easy cleanup!! 

Hope you enjoy and check back tomorrow for Day 2!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Potty Training

One of the most important things I have learned this far as a mom is not to research things too much and if possible not at all... This goes for potty training as well... Being a child development major and spending most of my professional career working with children newborn to seven years old I have potty trained a lot of kids...but none of them have been my own.

So now our journey begins...

Matilda is always in the bathroom with me whether I like it or not.  She is always watching everything I do...whether it be brushing my teeth, to putting on makeup, to showering...I have a helper...and what a great helper she is... so it only seems fitting that she is ready to be potty trained... she started showing interest at about 18 months old... she wanted to sit on the potty and get the toilet paper... so I decided that it was time to buy a potty for her to use on her own...

Well, that was a mistake...she showed no interest in her own toilet... she wanted to be just like mommy and use the "big girl" potty... so there went that plan... back to target we went... and she picked out a Minnie Mouse toilet seat that goes right over the 'big girl" potty at home.

Our process has been slow and steady...she wears big girl panties all day as long as we are at home or at Gammy and Fuzzy's house... when we are out she is still in a diaper, but tells us when she has to go... seventy percent of the time when we are out it is a false alarm, but we still go to the bathroom.

There are days that she will sit on the toilet for one second and tell me she is done and the process seems like it is taking forever, but one piece of advice is to not get frustrated with the process... it is going to take time... there are days that she goes every time and there are days that she struggles...

Since we are having a new baby in two and a half months we are working a little harder to get the show going... I would love to only have one little one in diapers come April...

Here are a few tips for new potty training families that have helped me... and believe me I am no expert, just going through the process myself right now...

- let your child pick out the toilet/toilet seat that they like and if an actual toilet doesn't work go to a toilet seat

-let your child pick out the undies that they want to wear... we have Ariel, Minnie, Sophia the First, and Elmo and she looks forward to picking out which ones to wear during the day

-let your child pick out the undies to wear each time - we leave ours in a little container that she can easily get into

- sticker chart - we have a sticker chart (a piece of construction paper that we taped to the wall by the toilet) every time Matilda goes potty she gets to place a sticker on the paper (I had a million stickers left over from teaching so we just use those, but get some that they will like)

- some sort of reward food - I know many families will think differently on this one, but for us the m&ms have worked well... she loves to pick out the colors that she wants after she goes potty and feels accomplished

- lots of praise - we sing a potty song every time she goes potty and act super silly and she gets a huge kick out of it

- don't get frustrated... it is hard work and sometimes they just aren't ready... don't push them, when they are ready they will do it... we started at 18 months and Matilda is 21 months now and we are still working on it...

- Patience Patience Patience