January 2017

Sleep stuff

E transitioned to an official big-girl bed this month. C's parents kindly offered to let us have their old bunk beds, and we brought the top bunk home the third weekend of January and set it up for her. She'd been sleeping on the crib mattress on the floor for a few weeks already, and we had zero problems with the transition to the twin bed--in fact, she was ecstatic about it. She basically idolizes her two cousins, both a little older, and was thrilled to have a bed just like them. So now my baby girl is sleeping like a big kid (fun fact: one of the same beds her dad slept in as a kid), and I'm over here daydreaming about the days she used to fall asleep in my arms. My baby isn't so little anymore.


I've done a lot of preschool planning and research this month, too--another reminder that E is growing up fast! We're still keeping things pretty informal, but I've got a much more concrete plan now than I did even a month ago. Our tot schooling sortof fell apart last fall, so we'll be starting over with shapes in February. I ordered a copy of the Catholic ABCs curriculum from Catholic Icing, and I plan to incorporate that into our letter learning--other than that, I've assembled everything myself from various internet resources (God bless bloggers who share their own ideas and resources on this stuff). It took ages and I've only got four months of plans completed-ish so far, so I'm not totally sold on continuing down that road. Someone suggested looking at the Little Saints preschool curriculum, which I hadn't come across previously--the idea of a prepackaged, fairly comprehensive plan does sound appealing. If anyone has experience using that, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Out and about

E and I have been trying to do more activities lately that put her in direct contact with other children. She's in this stage where she's incredibly shy, and I don't want it to develop into any sort of serious anxiety situation. So we've started going to the weekly library story time (where she's been befriended by a 4.5-year-old little girl who is like a little mother to her--it's hilariously cute). We also signed up for a 6-week toddler program at the local children's zoo. I'd originally looked into a toddler music program but hot dog are those expensive! The zoo program isn't as pricey and E loves animals, so it won out. Each week the kids listen to a story about a particular animal, make crafts, have a snack, and then meet an animal. The first week, E held a short-tailed opossum far more bravely than I would have predicted, and the second week the kids got to meet the penguins. Needless to say, she loves it.

I'm finding that these organized activities are easier for us than setting up tons of one-on-one playdates. Not that those aren't awesome, too--they are, and we do them--but they're more labor-intensive. I like having a set time and place to be, and it's nice for E to be around larger groups of kids who aren't necessarily focused on drawing her out of her shell. I'm hoping she learns to relax around them and initiate interactions on her own.

We also headed to the Omaha zoo together early in the month. In the winter, the zoo is pretty much empty. But a lot of the best exhibits are indoor ones, anyway, so it's actually a great time to go. I was pretty thrilled with my plan until something overhead pooped on me as we were exploring the jungle exhibit. E was getting whiney, and I was trying to get her interested in a couple of monkeys so she'd stop throwing a fit--instead I stepped right into the line of fire. And we're not talking about a little dribble here, either. I didn't lose it completely, but I did give it up as a bad job at that point and we headed home. Maybe we'll try again another day.


I had big plans for reading this month that mostly didn't come to fruition. Most of it can be blamed on my recent unwillingness to abandon books that aren't clicking with me. I'm interested in the topic, so even though the book itself may be drudgery, I press on. Combine that with books that require a slower sort of savoring, and the result is that I'm currently in the middle of three or four books at once and seeing very little real progress. I did manage to finish What Falls From the Sky and another book that was a basic introduction to lectio divina, so there's that.

E, on the other hand, is enjoying a steady stream of kidlit. She adores the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina--she reads it every nap time and we listen to the audio version in the car constantly--and the other day I found Circus Caps for Sale at the library. (I didn't know this existed, did you?) She. was. PUMPED. Cue the endless rereadings. We've started settling into a consistent reading time between lunch and nap, so she's getting plenty of repetition with this one.

On the simpler end of the shelf, we've been reading a book called God Made You Nose to Toes. It's a cute little rhyming book that emphasizes the fact that God made us (one body part at a time) and enabled us to enjoy his creation. (We have ears to hear, a mouth to laugh, etc.) It also includes lots of animals--a key selling point for E. It's short and simple with illustrations that aren't overly busy, so in our house it's a fast when-we-have-just-a-few-moments kind of book. To be honest, it's probably more appropriate for a younger child (12-24 months) and would be a great way to teach body parts. But E already knows the basic body parts, so we've been focusing more on the God-created-you idea via extra discussion during and after the story. It's a good conversation starter.


[A moment in our play kitchen]

E: "Here's your food."
Me: "Oh, thank you!"
E: "Can you say 'Thank you, Belle?'" (as in the Disney princess)
Me: "Thank you, Belle."
E: "You welcome!"

1 comment :

  1. Isn't it amazing how absolutely tiny they look in those twin-sized beds? I snuck in to watch Kate sleep about 12 times when we transitioned her. :)