Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Standing for the first time

She's cruising now. Claxton was taking his afternoon nap when this occurred. My guess is that he will not be very happy when he catches Julia at his new train table. She crawled right up to the table and pulled herself up as if she had been doing it all her life.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Preparing for Christmas

Over the past couple of weeks we've been trying to do an activity every day in preparation for Christmas. It's part of our participation in Advent. Some days we've gone somewhere or attended an event. But typically we take 10-15 minutes right after dinner every night and do something together as a family. That's the time we are all awake and together but it's not yet bed time and part of that routine. Our activities are simple, but enough to keep the attention of a 2 1/2 year old for a few minutes. There's always a one to two minute lesson pertinent to what Christmas means. This is our first year giving it a try and we've missed a few days, but all in all I think we've done a decent job. The best part is that every day around dinner time Claxton starts asking "when are we going to advent?"

Here's some of the things we've done:
  • made an angel ornament
  • made a sheep ornament
  • made cookies and decorated them
  • shopped for a Christmas tree
  • decorated our Christmas tree
  • made a star ornament
  • gave the birds in our yard a special feast
  • donated toys for some other kids to have presents under the tree
  • donated some food for other families
  • talked about the things we treasure
  • talked about who Mary & Joseph are
  • talked about Jesus and his birth
  • talked about good things God has given us
  • attended a Christmas program
  • rode around to look at Christmas lights and decorations
I have to say that this short time each night has been very special for our family and we all look forward to it every night. Hopefully next year I'll get a head start on planning our activities. We definitely want to do it again.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Essentials for great baking

1. Getting flour on your face in the process...

2. Waiting patiently for it to bake

3. Getting to taste what you've just baked as soon as it out of the oven and cool enough to eat

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On to bigger and better toys

Julia has been crawling very well for almost a month now. So we've had to start being more careful with what toys we have available on the floor when she's on the move. And having to share on a regular basis is something new for Claxton. Something that he is not always pleased about. She's very proud of herself here where she has been able to get her hands on his airplane for a little while.

As soon as he is aware that she has something that belongs to him, it usually spurs on a conversation something like this:

Claxton (observing Julia with one of his toys): "Julia don't want that. She don't want it"
Me: "Well she must because she is playing with it."
Claxton (as he is heading towards Julia to politely take it away from her: "No, Mommy, she don't want it."
Me: "Claxton, it's important that we share. Julia is not hurting anything. It's okay for her to play with some of your toys too."
Claxton: "But I don't want her to play with it."
Me: "Life's hard. Get over it."
Claxton: "Oh."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Story time with a surprise guest

The Reading Tree hosted a special Christmas story time with a reading of the Polar Express. At the end of the story, the children were greeted by a surprise guest who gave each child their very own silver bell. Bet you can't guess who it was! It was interesting watching Claxton. He wasn't quite sure what to do when Santa entered the room. He just stood and stared. Our child who is usually very vocal and animated was still, quiet, and watched with his hands behind his back. Once he realized he would get his own bell he came to life again. So Santa handed out the bells, then we talked to Santa for a few minutes and of course I captured a photo of the kids on his lap.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm probably a little biased

But isn't she just adorable. She has gotten into the habit of crawling under the table and looking out the window. Often times she gets herself in a bit of jam and needs help getting out. Who could refuse that sweet smile?

This is just a comfortable position for her. I have no idea how she does it, but she can sit in this position and play for twenty minutes or so. I love watching her play especially when she does not realize it. Every morning I pull out the baskets with her toys and she's usually good to go for 20-30 minutes. More often than not this is the position she likes best. It's rare to find her on her sitting on her bottom playing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A streak of creativity

Claxton had a couple of days where he was just coming up with all kinds of new ways to use different items. These two I captured and thought I would share:

"Look Mom, this is a camera. You have to press the button to take the picture."

"I'm going to take a picture of you, smile!"

(Note: The power strip was not plugged in. It was out in the middle of the room on the floor because we were in the process of decorating for Christmas.)

"Hey Mom, watch me! I'm iceskating."

I gotta give it to him, he's got a great imagination.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

In search for the perfect tree

Every year we go to a local tree farm to search for that perfect Christmas tree. This year Claxton enjoyed running between the trees and of course informing us that he liked each and every one of them. It didn't take very long for us to settle on one. Julia was curious about the tree and kept trying to touch them as we walked around, but mostly I think she just liked watching Claxton run all over the place.