Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Songs for Lucy

Adam and I sing to Caroline all the time. Some all time favorites are: "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, "Oh my Darlin'" (substitute "Caroline" for "Clementine"), and "You are my Sunshine" (substitute "Caroline" for "Sunshine").

We had sorta been singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" to Lucy, but we know what people think that song is about. BTW, Adam looked up the history of that song and that is not what it is about. On Lucy's birthday, my dad told me he had found a song for Lucy. He played it for me and I got so excited. It was a song I loved as a young teenager.

So here is "Lucy" by Hanson. We sing it to her often =)


Also, somewhat naturally, Adam started singing "Baby Beluga" to Lucy except we substitute "Baby Beluga" for "Lucy Belue Beam". It goes something like this:

Lucy Belue Beam in the deep blue sea
Swim so wild and you swim so free
With Heaven above and the sea below
You're just a little baby on the go

Lucy Belue Beam
Lucy Belue Beam
Is the water warm? Is your mama home?
With you so happy?

Caroline loves to join in on these songs. One time, completely unprompted, she changed "You're just a little baby on the go" to "You're just a little sister on the go." Sigh...melted my heart =)

Updated for Rachel =): Resources

So...I've had a couple of people ask me where I've gotten the stuff for activities with Caroline. So here are some of my links that I use. I hope you can have fun with these.

First of all, we love Online Storytime on Barnes & Noble's website. You can watch a 5-10 minute video of a book being read by either the author, the illustrator or a famous person (if the author is dead). They always have 12 books available to "watch". A new book is featured each month and one of the other 12 rolls off and can't be viewed anymore. Currently, you can find Eric Carle reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and Molly Ringwald reading "Split, Splat Splash" along with many others. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/storytime/index.asp

Another great website is this homeschool share website. We use Level 1 lesson plans, which is for 2-4 year olds. They have a lot of the printouts I used for Goodnight, Gorilla week. They also have a bunch of file folder games. If you don't know what file folder games are, you have to check them out! Here is the main website: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/. And here is the exact link for Goodnight, Gorilla stuff: http://files.homeschoolshare.com/docs54478/goodnight_gorilla.pdf

More lesson plans and printouts: http://www.first-school.ws/

Here's another one. Most of the stuff on this website is for kindergartners and older, but the Language Arts category has stuff for Pre-K. Goodnight, Gorilla is actually under the Kindergartner link though. I haven't dug through all this stuff yet, but I would assume you could modify some of the kindergarten stuff for a younger child. http://www.lessonpathways.com/Pathways/Detail/13246/language-arts

This is a fun website: http://www.makinglearningfun.com/.
And here are some printouts for Do-a-Dot art: http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/DoaDotMiniMarkerPage.htm. Do-a-Dots are these awesome paint/stamp things that paint/stamp in a perfect circle. We started using them with Caroline as young as 18 months and they are still her favorite art item. The best part is they really aren't messy unless the kid purposefully stamps the floor/couch/whatever. If the stamper falls over, it doesn't leave a mark. Do-a-Dot printouts encourage the child to put the dot stamp exactly in the circles so they are more of a challenge. Here is their website to see what I'm talking about: http://www.dotart.com/. You can find Do-a-Dots at any of the small toy boutiques. I bought ours at Bebeep Toys, but I've also seen them at Creative Kids Toy Shop in Five Points and at Learning Express Toys. They're kind of expensive - $16.99, I think, but totally worth it! We've had ours for over a year and they haven't dried up.

Caroline using Do-A-Dots


And here is a great one my aunt found. In the 2-year old curriculum, they have ideas for how to do a color theme for a week. For example, on "red" week you cook a lot of red foods and one of the books you read is "Llama, llama red pajama" http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/



Fun on ML - Library

We've made a practice of going to the library every week. We've gone to a couple of story times, but most weeks we just go for our own experience. I hope to start up a regular story time in September. Every week we check out roughly 10 books. We put them in Caroline's library bag (a gift from her Aunt Amber and Aunt Alli - perfect size for all those library books!) It's been a good experience for Caroline learning how to use the library.


Returning her books.

We play in the children's area for a while.


Checking out.

We read all 10 of our library books at least 3 times a day. Caroline usually has all of them mostly memorized by the end of the week. She is such a reader! I'm so thankful for that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lucy Smiles =)

You still have to work pretty hard to get a smile out of her. I feel like in a couple of weeks I'm going to have a million pictures of this sweet smile. But for now, here are some of the smiles we have captured as of 7 weeks old.


Very blurry.



Smiley eyes. Her eyes smile a lot. I just had to include these to show that. She has such beautiful eyes! And I totally think she looks like my sister in this top picture.

Goodnight Gorilla week

So last Tuesday we were at the library and I saw "Goodnight Gorilla." I had this great idea that we could have a theme week at our house. I knew where I could find a movie version of the book online (about 10 minutes long) and I thought I could find some activities to go with the book just by googling around. So we checked out the book.

Sure enough, there is a plethora of Goodnight Gorilla activities online. Each day that week we read the book, watched the 10 minute movie while turning the pages of the book, and then did a little craft type activity.

The first day we retold the story placing thumbnail pictures over significant words. For example, we placed a thumbnail picture of a gorilla over the word "gorilla" and a picture of keys over the word "keys". Once all the pictures were in place, I read the story and let Caroline fill in the blanks where the pictures were. We also colored big pictures of all the animals.


I don't have a picture of the second day, but we made a lion face on a paper plate. This one was more fun for me. Caroline got bored half way through and never wanted to put the paper plate over her face. Oh well, maybe she is still a little too young for paper plate masks.

The third day, we matched a colored key with the same color cage. Then we went through the book and put the correct animal in that color cage. (In the book all the animals are in a specific colored cage.) We then glued all of these pages together to make a little book of our own. We made sure to put them in the same order as in the book. This was Caroline's favorite activity all week and she was awesome at it.



The 4th day and the last day, we made finger puppets of all the animals and acted out the story with the finger puppets. I got printouts for these online and so all we had to do was cut them out and tape them to our fingers. Caroline didn't want to put them on her fingers so this was another one that seemed to be more for me =) Oh well. It's a good idea and may work better when she is a couple of years older.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. It bought us about an hour of educational entertainment each day with about 5-10 minutes of prep work for me. I am going to try to do this with more books. I'm thinking "Llama, llama red pajama is next."

Fun on ML - Marionette Theater

On the 3rd Monday of every month, the Children's Marionette Theater does a 10:00 production and then a backstage tour. August was pretty much our chance to go since Caroline starts preschool on Mondays in September. We went and saw The Little Mermaid. Caroline had already seen this show with my aunt so she was really looking forward to it. The show was really awesome and afterwards Caroline acted like she owned the place. She knew exactly where to go for the backstage tour and exactly which puppet she got to play with. I was running with the infant carrier trying to keep up with her!



Fun on ML - Playground

We have a playground about 2 blocks from our house. It has been a go to place when we don't have anything scheduled or when we find out daddy is working late or just when we need to run off some extra energy.

I can't believe how much Caroline has changed physically since Lucy was born. Caroline would never have gone on the playground by herself, but now she climbs the whole thing and does all the slides (even the big one) all by herself. I'm so proud of her. She totally had the ability before, but was nervous. Now she is all over that thing!




This is how Lucy does the playground.

Fun on ML - Zoo

So apparently I need to take more pictures at the zoo because this is all I got and we've been there 4 times now. Sad that the only pics I took were of Caroline with a FAKE animal.




The monkeys are Caroline's favorite at the zoo. She also does really good on the little playground at the zoo.

Fun on ML - Edventure

I also took the girls to Edventure on dollar night when Adam was working late one evening. It is an incredible children's museum and now I understand why it is so expensive for tickets. Even though it is awesome, we will continue to attend dollar night until it is more in the budget.

Here is Caroline in the stroller looking at the fire truck. Kids can put on fire suits and climb on the truck, but Caroline was very nervous and did not want to get out of the stroller. She even turned to me and asked me to put her sun shade over her head - "Mommy, you put my cover on?" - LOL! Like that tiny sun shade was going to protect her from the fire truck - haha!



Grocery shopping was a big hit. This is a miniature Piggly Wiggly. Caroline almost filled up her whole basket with canned goods. I had to drag her away from the can aisle.



And this is what Lucy thought of Edventure - big yawn =)


Caroline loved these doors. It was a giant bone and you could open up the doors to see the insides of the bone. Caroline would say "oooo..pretty picture!" and then she would try to sit in the door.

Mixing up the bones!

Terrible, terrible picture, but you can see she is having so much fun. This is also a good picture of her running - it is really a fast walk, but she calls it running =)

Fun on ML - The museum

The girls and I have been living up my maternity leave time. We have several spots that we love to go. One of them is the museum. Caroline LOVES this place. Over a year ago, I took Caroline here with a friend and Caroline couldn't really do much. She was just starting to walk. This year is totally different. Caroline is all over the place and loves the interactive exhibits. We never see it all when we are there. We usually get to explore 2 floors of the 4 story museum and then we are worn out and ready for a nap.

Pretty much all these pics are from my phone and have terrible quality because my phone is easy and right there, but I just love the memories we are making so I capture the moments anyway.








Riding the train.

Conducting the train.



Sister-Sister

When I see these outfits, the theme song to the tv show "Sister Sister" plays in my head. I love coordinating outfits =)