Snow in Houston!!

I was very excited...I have lived in Houston for over four years now, and just found out about this.

Kaia thought it was just about the coolest thing ever.  

There was a part of me that thought the piles of people digging their heels in the snow was a little unsanitary, but Kaia and Harry loved it!

Where did it come from?  The Houston Zoo dumped 15,000 pounds of snow on the lawn by the okapi!

Some of the animals had treats hidden in piles of snow too!

Now, does that make you want to dig into some snow?!

Santa...and Why should I like him?

Last weekend we took pictures with Santa at our church Christmas party.  Kaia was very excited!  

Harry couldn't seem to figure out why he was supposed to smile while sitting on this strange person's lap.

At least there was candy involved! 

Trying to figure out what just happened:

There was another baby at the party (actually she was almost 2!) who seemed pretty terrified of Santa...I was glad Harry didn't burst into tears!  

Do your kids love Santa or scream at the thought of pictures?  I'd love to know!  I might have one of each!

(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Bunny Emotions

Kaia taught me about emotions today.  Apparently bunnies have them too.

Thoughtful Bunny:

Excited Bunny:

Happy Bunny:

Laughing Bunny:

Mad Bunny:

Sad Bunny:

Scared Bunny:

Surprised Bunny:

Christmas Wreath (Preschool/Toddler Craft)

Kids love to make things...especially my kids!  They really enjoyed making these wreaths because they could do all the designing.  They chose the size and color of the pom poms they would use and arranged them how they wanted.  

cardboard "wreath" -- I cut up a cereal box (how's that for recycling?!)
yarn or string
pom poms
glue--you could use craft glue, but I used Elmers...then I put a few reinforcing drops of hot glue on while they napped. ;)

It's So Easy:
1.  Punch a hole and tie the string!

2.  Kaia insisted on decorating the back, so of course the other kids wanted to as well!

3.  Put a nice, thick ring of glue around the wreath and let your kiddos place the pom poms of their choice!  Remind them to push hard and then leave it alone to dry!  (Yes, we craft and sometimes even have School Time in our jammies!)

Ta da! Beautiful and individual!  Merry Christmas!

I linked this post up at Teach Me Tuesday!  Join the Party!

Teach Me Tuesday at Whole Child Creative Curriculum

Happy 18 Months, Harry!

Presenting this amazing little boy to you, in all of his 18-month glory, reminds me just how complicated such a simple person can be!  His happy, easy-going, loving personality are just delightful!  So, without any more introduction, let me introduce our Harry!

Age: 18 1/2 months (Yes, it took me two weeks to get this post out!)
Weight: 24.5 pounds
Shoe Size: 6 1/2 Babies
Clothes: 12-18 months (It's a ridiculous range...half the time I fold his waist over so his pants don't drag!)
Teeth:  6 in and 4 working their way through!
Haircuts So Far: 4
Favorite Place in the World:  The Great Outdoors.  I think he'd like to live outside.

He's even picked out his house!

He likes to dig in the dirt, splash in puddles, play on the swingset, go running, and ride his bike.  Luckily, he also likes to wash his hands and take baths!  Lately, his bike has been his favorite thing to do outside.  He asks for it by pointing at the garage door and grunting or by saying "B-, B-, B-."  (Pointing to the garage is usually more effective because somehow his pronunciation of bike, ball, bite, and The Duck Song all sound identical to me!)

It might just be a driving thing.  The other day, I put him in the car and told him to climb into his seat while I buckled Kaia.  It only took him a few seconds to climb into my seat and start to "drive!"  Really, though, he likes to drive anything in sight!

Favorite Games:  
* Hide-n-Seek!/Peek-a-Boo!  He'll even hide under a blanket and wait for us to find him!

* Freeze Tag (Okay, really, he just likes running around after Kaia and friends!)
* Breaking Down Whatever Cool Tower Kaia Has Made (Can I call this a game?)
* 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (He LOVES to act this one out...on the bed!)
* Follow Kaia Around and Copy Her (She actually deals with this one remarkably well.)
* Tickle You (He comes at someone with his "tickly fingers" and tickles until you laugh!)

Favorite Songs: 
Wheels on the Bus
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Eency Weency Spider
If You're Happy and You Know It

Here, he's singing Five Little Owls with our owl finger puppets.  He hums and waves the puppet around a lot, then sings "To-whi-to-woooooo!"

Language:  Harry says Mama, Dada, boo, B- (take it in context--he uses it for ball, bike, bite, and The Duck Song), tee-tee (means tickle), na-na-na-na (banana), poop, di-ber (diaper), shooz (shoes), cheese (for pictures, not food!), wow, oh!, oh-oh (uh oh), ah-oo (thank you) and tee- (teeth).  It's a good thing I'm late with this post, because most of these have showed up during the last three weeks. Literally.  Three weeks ago, his vocabulary consisted of Mama, Dada, and boo!  He tries to imitate our words, but it is harder for him to make the words than it is for some kids.  Recently, he "counted" with Jon from one to five...the numbers hardly sounded right, but the tone was perfect.

He has distinct grunts for "stuck," "fart," and "I'd like you to help me with something."

He has signs for "more," "please," "thank you," "drink," "hungry," "where" (picture below), "Wheels on the Bus," "One Thousand Steps," "Uh Huh," "yes," "no," and "all done."  He also waves and blows kisses.  He points at toys, the computer, or other objects when he's interested in them.  He passes out shoes and sweaters when he wants to go outside.

He has some pretty cool sound effects for dog, cat, car/truck, elephant, rhino, snake, monkey/chimp, cow, owl, horse, tiger, dinosaur, sheep, duck, pig, and a few others!

* Harry has amazing balancing and climbing skills.  He started walking early and has not stopped moving since!

* Harry is a fabulous helper!  He puts toys away when the clean up music comes on, he grabs things for me or his daddy, he shares his food, and he loves to help his friends!

How Harry Likes To Live: Right in the middle of the action!  Clearly, he was the right person to come to our family at a time when our family so often includes so many friends!

Favorite Books:
My Red Fire Engine Book
My Truck Book
Who Lives In The Wild/Who Lives On The Farm/Who Lives In Your House (a big animal book!)
Ten Little Ladybugs

He really likes books that have things to touch and do--big flaps, fuzzy cloth patches, etc.!

Favorite Person:
Mom and Dad are pretty important, but this little guy really thinks his big sister is a superhero!  He absolutely loves her and loves to be with her.  She sometimes gets frustrated when he colors on her artwork or knocks over her buildings, but she loves him too.

Sometimes they just seem to understand each other!

Food:  Harry's not picky!  He likes foods that he can chew with his small supply of teeth!  His first tooth didn't come through until he was 14 months old, but he is pretty happy about eating anything we give him!

Harry's Favorite Security Item:  Look's not the blanket (though he does love that too)!

Favorite Toys:  Toys that move, make noise, light up, look like they should growl, or let him experiment with them.  And tools--he's such a little boy!

Favorite Test:  Boundaries.  Whether it's the property line, a Christmas tree, or climbing on the table...if it's a boundary, this little guy is going to test it!  And usually, he'll do it smiling!

Biggest Challenge:  
A short attention span!  Yes, I know he's a toddler, but he even gets distracted from eating!  This little costume lasted about 90 seconds!  

Bottom Line: We are so thrilled to have Harry in our family!  He has an energy level and an excitement about life that just can't be beat!  I love how he likes to be right in the middle of the action, and how he can move at such a high speed all day!  His huge grin, ready smile, and quick hugs always brighten my day!  I constantly feel lucky to get to spend so much time with him!  We just love our little Harry!