The Little Girl and the Bath Tub

I picked up a pack of foam sheets at the dollar store a while back and recently needed a new bath time toy. I finally got around to making these bathtub shapes from I Can Teach My Child (love this website for ideas for fun learning activities). I just freehand cut mine and they came out pretty good.

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They have been a hit! My daughter loves playing with them and goes running to the bathroom when I tell her it’s time to play with them. She’ll stick them up on the wall and take them down 100 times, stick them to herself, stick them on me, pair them up, move them around… All the while we talk about what color they are, what shape they are, is it big or small, etc.

Meanwhile, I had also picked up a magnet fishing set at CVS, nothing fancy, just wanted something for her to play with on a rainy, summer afternoon in the bathtub. The fish were a bit too heavy for the tiny magnet so she was losing interest pretty quickly.

I tried to see if the letter and number fridge magnets would float but they just sank and stuck to the bottom of the tub. Yeah, it was still fun for her to play with but not quite what I was going for.

Then, it dawned on me that the foam shapes float. I did a test run with clipping a paper clip on a shape and the fishing pole picked it up easily. So, I made a batch of fish!

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I basically just freehand cut out fish shapes out of that same pack of foam sheets and put a paper clip on each “nose” and tossed them in the water. I had to show Kelsey to catch them by the nose but she’s had it on her own since.

A day or two later I decided to number them 1-10 with a Sharpie marker since we are working on recognizing numbers. She can count beyond that but some she gets some of the written numbers mixed up still. I think it has helped to be able to repeat them without it feeling like I’m drilling her on them.

It’s also just think she looks cute fishing in the bathtub and she gets so excited when she catches one. For just playing I only put just enough water in to get the fish to float.

"I got one!"

“I got one!”

 

I doubt I am the first one to ever think of this, in fact we played with a paper version at an event a while back. I am, however, happy that I thought to use what we had on hand to create a fun little game that she enjoys.

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My Child Has Expensive Tastes

I recently came to the conclusion that Kelsey is going to have some expensive hobbies. I here about some kids having opinions about their clothes and toys. Kelsey has none, most of her clothes and toys are second hand or presents and she could care less what I put on her. I purposefully avoid clothes and toys with licensed characters because I don’t want her to get a favorite item that will eventually need to be moved on. My biggest arguments come in simply getting clothes on her body to leave the house because I believe she’d be happy to go all day wearing nothing but her pink cowboy boots, a bead necklace and a smile.

Where she is going to cost us money is in her hobbies. At not even 2.5 years old she has already shown an interest in a few activities and, time will tell if she pursues any of them, but, it is giving us the impression that she has some expensive tastes and seems to think we are country club members.

So far her favorite interest are guitars and drums, golf, and horse back riding. Could this child please pick at least one activity that won’t cost an arm and a leg?! Thankfully she also likes swimming which is relatively cheap.

Music – Since she loves to strum the strings on my husband’s guitar (and every time she finds one at a friend’s house) we decided to get her a ukulele. While they were bringing a new one from the back, she discovered the junior drum kit, walked behind it, sat down, and started playing it with her hands like she’d done it 100 times. She now walks around the house with her ukulele “singing” and demanding that you alternate singing and “playing” “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the ABC’s with her. Future rockstar?

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Golf – We went to a St. Patty’s Day event downtown and the YMCA had an activity area featuring their golf program (which she is no where near being old enough to participate in). There wasn’t much interest so she got some one-on-one time with their staff who showed her how to hold the club and where to hit towards. Since then, if she finds anything resembling a golf club and something to whack it with, she will walk around putting it. At a PGA activity area this week she walked up, pulled a golf out of the bag, stood in position and hit the balls that the attendant put down for her. Future LPGA golfer?

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Horse back riding – She had her first pony ride in April and loved it. When we visited my family in Miami we went to an event with pony rides and she somehow got the handler to let her ride around for about 20 minutes. Today she rode her first two horses. Not ponies. Big, huge, full size horses. I am pretty sure looking at them will no longer be an option and riding them will be an expectation. I am screwed. The ladies today noticed she has absolutely no fear of them. When it was time to start riding they told her to say “walk on.” She looked down at the horse and said “Ok, horsey, walk.” Future Olympian?

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Busy Year (and It’s Not Even Summer Yet!) Part 1

This calendar year has kind of seemed like a whirlwind so far and it’s hard to believe that it is already half way through June. We found out the first week of January that we would be welcoming a little surprise before the year was over (always interesting to get a call from the clinic and the nurse saying “um, so, you’re pregnant” when you were pretty sure it wasn’t a possibility).

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Aside from watching what I ate and drink, there wasn’t really much to do as far as baby preparations were concerned until we found out the gender so I pretty much tried not to think about. When you have a toddler it is not hard to block out other things since so much energy goes in to entertaining them day to day. So, that still left a lot of time to fill every day with my high energy little monkey.

The best thing we’ve done this year is we got a family membership to the local YMCA. It has been great. Last summer we just got a membership for Kelsey for swimming and gymnastics classes. Now, I get to drop Kelsey off at the Kid’s Zone, aka daycare, for up to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. I get time to myself to take a class, work out on some machines, actually catch up on the news while I walk on the treadmill, or even just sit and thumb through Facebook on my phone while I sip on some coffee. With the warmer weather, we’ve been out and about a bit more recently so I’ve kind of been slacking. Sometimes my husband takes her so I can get a few things done while he works out and sometimes we all go and I get to have a conversation with my husband that doesn’t take place when someone is only thinking about going to sleep or with a toddler, dog, cat or any combination there of underfoot and demanding our attention.

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We try to make it to at least one open gym time a week so Kelsey can bounce like crazy. She has gotten pretty good (for a 2 year old, I think) on the balance beam, doing forward rolls, and getting some height on the trampoline. I love that she gets a good workout every time. We’ve been doing a mom and me swim class once a week since April and I think she’s really improved in her comfort and ability in the water. She’s no Michael Phelps but she can get around the pool by herself with a noodle under her armpits and climb in and out with no problem. During the spring session, I don’t know what happened to the rest of the class but half way through we were the only ones still showing up so she basically had a private lesson every week. I don’t think we are going to get that lucky again this session but that is ok because we still have a lot to work on.

My husband’s parents came for a visit in April which gave us an excuse to see some things we still hadn’t in the Tampa Bay area like the Manatee Viewing Center where we got to see some manatees and learn a little bit about them.

There have also been trips to the zoo, the aquarium, parks, to play in the sand at the beach, and children’s museums. Somewhere in there, Miss Kelsey decided to was time to use the big girl potty. More on method another time, but after about a week we didn’t really have anymore accidents and a few weeks later I stopped putting training diapers on her during the day all together, she just wears a diaper for night time now. This adds a whole new element to going anywhere or doing anything since everything now revolves around where the nearest bathroom is located. It was also around the time of the Great Cloth Diaper Change so that day was one of the last she had a diaper on during the day.

That pretty much takes us through April. I often get comments that we are always out doing things and don’t we ever just stay home. One or two days a week we may be home for part or all of the day, with perhaps the exception of a walk around the park by our house or a trip to the Y for an hour. I catch up on laundry and vacuuming and those types of things but I can’t do much since Kelsey gets into everything I do and is always in the same room as me. Some days I end up running errands all morning around town. So, I’d rather go somewhere. It’s exhausting to chase her down and tell her that she can’t pet the alligator for the third time because it’s someone else’s turn. However, it beats watching a 15th episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for the day and Kelsey literally bouncing off every piece of furniture in the house.

She is also starting to get better about playing by herself or with other children. She used to not play at all if I wasn’t right next to her. This is good because even though I plan to babywear “Jerry” (as she has been nicknamed, aka Baby #2) as much as possible there are certain to be times that I simply can not going climbing through tunnels with her. Although, I do still enjoy that when she gets a sticker or a stamp at an event she insists I get one, too.

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