Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Baby J 9 1/2-10 months

Month 10 has been full of changes and major leaps in development for Baby J.  The major thing for him is that he is now on the move!  In one weekend he went from only being able to sit and reach for things on one knee to crawling, pulling up and cruising.

I was just starting to think that this pull up bar was not really worth the time and money making it when Baby J totally proved me wrong.  At around 9.5 months he started showing an interest in pulling up.  He was too short to reach the bar from sitting so I put the stuffed elephant below the bar for him to sit on.  It totally did the trick and he was able to pull up and have a soft place to land.  Now he can pull up on the bar no problem and he loves to do squats and cruise along it.
Baby J loves to use his walker waggon.  Although Sweetpea is not really interested in it anymore since she started walking she all of a sudden wants to use it when Baby J uses it.  Here they were working together pushing it which was so cute but most times she will push the other end and bowl Baby J over!  She better do it while she can because soon Baby J will be as strong as her!
Although he is moving now and can get to whatever he wants, Baby J has still maintained his focus.  He will move over to the item he wants and then spend time interacting with it.  These two materials that I originally put out for Sweetpea he loves to do.  He is definitely in a sensitive period for putting things into containers and small openings. 
I was surprised that after a demonstration and some experimentation he is able to now easliy put the stars into this slot.  He is also now able to put the rectancluar prism into the imbacure box.

We are still working with feeding himself at the table and most times I am able to put the food onto the spoon and he will take it out of the bowl.  He is starting to put the spoon back into the bowl but this happens about 50% of the time.  He is pretty excitable and we usually end up with the spoon on the floor several times throughout a meal.  If I find that he can't handle the bowl on his table I will remove it and just hand him the spoon for a few minutes and then let him try again.  This seems to work.  I will leave his glass on the table and offer it to him by asking him if he would like a drink and then putting it in front of him.  He will lift it and take a drink and sometimes return it to the table gently.  Sometimes though he will smash it down onto the table with gusto like he's just finished a shot of Tequila and he's all proud of himself!
Baby J is a super potty pooper!  Since starting him on the potty at 9 months he's done about 5 poos in his diapers which is pretty amazing!  At this point I'm not concerned with catching the pees and anything he does I consider a bonus.  He has definitely made the connection though which before having done this I never would have believed a baby of that age capable of doing.  It just blows my mind how much infants are really capable of doing if we just give them the right environment to do it in!!
Baby J continues to delight us with his extreme excitement and joy for everything!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Help me to do it myself-Practical life baby!

Sweetpea is almost 14 months.   Her interests are starting to change.  She is able to walk pretty well now and likes to carry things around with her.  She is not really interested in anything on the shelves anymore but is much more interested in what I am doing.  She will follow me into the kitchen when I'm making meals or clearing up and into the bathroom when emptying the pottys.
I got some wonderful advice from Pilar from The Full Montessori about what to do with a 14 month old and it has been so effective.  Please head over and check out her post on 14 month practical life and the ever changing needs of an infant.  While you are there if you haven't already check out the rest of her incredibly informative blog.
Here at our house there have been many activities going on leading to independence.
Sweetpea gets her place mat and bib from a basket on the shelf and puts it on the table before she eats.  She can eat and drink totally independently and will put her spoon down while eating food from her side plate. 
 Now that Baby J is moving we are working on him coming to the table on his own.
Baby J can pick up, drink and put down his glass and I can now leave his bowl on the table and scoop up a bit of food for him and he will pick up the spoon and eat it.  We are still working on returning the spoon to the bowl.  We are also still working on returning his finger food to his plate when not eating it.  He is pretty rambunctious and it has been a long road to get him to not mess about with his place mat, glass and plate but for the most part after a lot of work and patience he will eat his whole meal without any major incident.
Both Sweet pea and Baby J wipe their table down after meals and snacks. 
Here is Sweetpea peeling her own boiled egg for her snack.  She was so focused on this.  She actually was putting the shells into the little bowl I provided for her but didn't realise she could eat the egg after she peeled it.  After this photo I gave her another bowl to put the edible bits in and I helped her separate them so she could enjoy her snack.

As you can imagine there was quite a significant mess on the floor when she was finished.  After I'd cleaned and swept up I invited her to help me scrub the floor.  
There was mostly dipping of the brush into the water and a tiny bit of scrubbing!
Helping me to make quinoa bites.  She really enjoyed stirring and also helped to pour in some of the pre-measured ingredients.  This was the first time that Sweetpea was handling food without being able to eat it right away.  She did manage to sneak a few bread crumbs out of the measuring cup!
Another cool practical life activity that I can't wait to try with her is peeling a banana.  Check out how it's done over at How We Montessori.
I never would have thought to introduce some of these activities so young however they were all a huge hit!  Thanks Pilar for sharing your wisdom!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


I set up a new activity mainly for Sweetpea this week. I cut a hole in the side of a large milk jug and popped some clothes pegs inside.  The object is to drop the clothes pegs down the top and retrieve them from the bottom to repeat. 
I introduced the activity to both Sweet pea and Baby J.  Sweet pea could do it with some concentration but the container is a bit too high for Baby J. 
Throughout the morning many things were being done with the "material" besides what it was intended for.
Bringing the clothes pegs over to the vent and trying to drop them through the slits, carrying them and dropping them all over the house, trying to eat them,
holding as many clothes pegs in your hand as possible and carrying them everywhere, dropping them in the walker waggon, trying to drink out of the milk jug.

 Baby J even managed to get one of the sensory bottles inside the milk jug!

And then just when I'd given up hope.....

With these littles the possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Our little beach?

We live up the hill from the coast.  On Sunday we were coming back from town and decided to drive down along the beach.  We got to the bottom of the hill and were shocked by what we saw.  Our usually quiet, peaceful beach was crowded with hundreds of fishing boats, sea lions, bald eagles and thousands of seagulls.  It was quite the spectacle!
The herring run happens here every March but this year it must have been spectacular because I've never seen so many boats.  The whole town was out taking pictures!
We quickly hurried home and got the camera and had a wonderful photo shoot in the beautiful spring weather.

It once again reminded me how lucky we are to live in such an amazing, beautiful place!

Our day-Life with a 9 month and 13 month old

I thought I would write a post about what we do all day and our schedule.  Maybe some of you might find it interesting and I would also like to record it to look back on.

This is what a typical day looks like at our house.  Of course the times are approximate.

7:45 am  Sweetpea arrives and her mommy takes L to school.  The littles have a play and explore the shelves.  I will introduce any new activities on the shelves.
8:10  Breakfast.  I prepare breakfast while they are playing.  I tell Sweetpea it's breakfast time, pull out her chair and give her her place mat to put on the table.  She then sits down ready for breakfast.  Baby J usually squawks wherever he is and I pick him up and place him in his chair as he's just starting to move now.
8:25 Finish breakfast.  Littles wipe their table and Sweetpea gets down and goes on to play.  I help Baby J down and he plays while I clear the breakfast things.
8:40 Potty time.  Both littles on the potties reading books and playing with animals while I do a quick tidy and put things back on the shelves.
9:00 Get ready and go out for a walk in the double stroller.  Baby J usually has a nap during the walk
10:00 Return from walk.  Baby J is usually still sleeping so I wheel the stroller into the hall and take Sweetpea upstairs.
10:15 Sweetpea has a snack and then we read books and sing songs with actions.  When Baby J wakes up he has his milk.
10:45 Potty time
11:00 More play time
11:30 Music time.  Usually Sweetpea will already be heading over to the instrument basket waiting for me to put on the CD player
11:50 I prepare lunch
12:00 the littles sit down and have lunch
12:30 Finish lunch and have a play while I clear up the lunch
12:45 Potty time
1:00 Sweetpea goes down for a nap.  Once she is down I usually put Baby J in the highchair with a small snack and I have my lunch.  He is super loud and vocal so I have to try to occupy him to keep him quiet to not wake Sweetpea
1:30  Play with Baby J, read books and sing songs.
2:30 Sweetpea wakes up some time around here.  She and Baby J have their milk and then onto the potty.
3:00  More playtime, sometimes I will work on an activity with them or sing songs.  We usually end up doing more music, read books etc.  Most days Baby J will take a nap around 2:30/3:00
4:00 Sweetpeas mom comes home with L and all hell breaks loose!  L is so wound up and excited to see Sweetpea that they chase each other around the house and dance and she whips Sweetpea into a frenzy. 
4:15 Sweetpea goes home.

That has been our approximate routine for the past two months.  When my mom is here we try to take them swimming on Wednesday mornings.  Sometimes we will change things up and have a play date or go into town.  I find that having a daily routine to follow is best for all of us.   The littles feel secure knowing what is going to happen next.

Of course as people with children know as soon as you get a good thing going they go and change everything up on you!  That is what is happening now with Sweetpea.  I think she is transitioning into wanting a later nap so we are experimenting with moving everything back a bit.  It also throws things way off if she falls asleep on our walk like she did today.  It was good though because the weather was nice and we ended up going to the park in the afternoon.

As the weather is starting to get better I'm hoping to spend a lot more time outside and at the park.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Potty Party

It's a potty party over here at the moment!!
Sweetpea has been using the potty for several months now.  The great thing is that she is very regular and if she goes on the potty after breakfast and lunch there is usually a "result".  She is really good and will not try to get off.  I put a basket of small animals out for her to entertain herself.  She loves to transfer them between containers.
I decided to try Baby J on the potty at 9 months.  He had been watching Sweetpea for a month and was super excited to get his own potty.  The first time I put him on after his bottle.  I asked him if he could do a poo and then made a grunting noise.  L joined in.  He caught on right away and low and behold he produced a poo!  It's been like that ever since.  He totally knows the potty is for pooing and does one almost every time.  I honestly didn't know one little person could produce so much poo!!
Baby J and Sweetpea are great on the potties together and super cute! They love to play with the animals and hand them back and forth.  A lot of the time I will sit with them and make the noises of the animals and name them.  They both make the roar sound of the tiger and they know that the shark bites their knees with a chomp, chomp, chomp.  A rather annoying trend which has come up lately is dropping the animals into the potty while sitting on it.  I'm not too impressed with that one when I look down to see one poo, one pee and one badger in the potty!
I have the potties by the wall on the other side of their activity area.  I find this easier than the bathroom because I can see them from the kitchen as well as the living room and it is easy to put them on after their meals.  I usually will put Baby J on after his milk and meals and also after a nap.  I also do the same for Sweetpea.
At the moment neither of them make any sign that they have to go and Sweetpea does not move to the potty if she has to go.  It really is a "catching game" at the moment but I know that at some point they will make the connection on their own.
I think a MAJOR motivating factor in early pottying is cloth diapering.  It is soooo much easier emptying a potty of poo than cleaning it off a diaper!!
So far I am loving the potty party and long may it continue!
On a side note Sweetpea's potty is a Beco Potty which is a completely compostable potty.  You just plant it in the garden when you are done with it and it will completely biodegrade.  How cool is that!!!
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