Friday, August 22, 2008

Fingerpainting

Joshua has always had issues with new textures and getting his hands dirty. Not to an extreme, but just enough to resist new things for the first several times we try it -- like the sand box, textured foods, etc.

He enjoys finger painting, but is a minimalist. He'll get the tips of one or two fingers dirty for a little while, but then he asks for a rag (or wipes his fingers on anything he can find). I have been looking for ways to encourage more exploration of the paints and today I finally succeeded.

I set up the finger paints, a bucket of water and a big rag on the little picnic table on our deck. Then I pointed to the sliding glass door and told Joshua we needed to paint it. He looked a little dubious, but quickly joined me as I slimed the window with green finger paint.

He was very excited to dip his hands in the water whenever he wanted (and it kept the paint on the window from drying too quickly) and moved from hesitantly painting with one finger to enthusiastically painting with his whole hands. It was great fun and easy to clean up later!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Curious Joshua Makes Pancakes

One of Joshua's favorite books lately is Curious George Makes Pancakes. We decided it was time Joshua learned to enjoy pancakes (until today he has completely refused to eat them) and making them for himself sounded like the perfect motivation. It also helped to remind him about Curious George.

Joshua climbed up on his "helper's" stool and prepared to make some Banana-Tofu Pancakes. He got to cut up his own banana and tofu, then popped the pieces into the blender. This was his first time turning on the blender and it scared him a little at first.

Next we got out the mixing bowl and measuring cups and all the ingredients. It was definitely the messiest pancakes I've ever made, but it was worth it. His favorite part of mixing was poking the egg once it was in the bowl.

He watched excitedly as I poured onto the pan the little round circles that would become our pancakes. He soon tired of watching, however, and just wanted to eat. He spread a little butter and applesauce on his big pancake and quickly ate the entire thing, only taking a few breaks for a drink of milk!

What great fun we had learning to eat a new food!
(I wish I had pictures, but a friend was borrowing the camera today)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"I Like My Hat"

Joshua's newest favorite song is "I Like My Hat" by Carole Peterson on her album called Stinky Cake. This summer Joshua has finally learned to wear his hat out in the sun and now, thanks to this song, is excited about it.

For the last few nights, we have enjoyed listening to Joshua sing this song to himself before he falls asleep. I like hearing which verses catch his attention enough that he remembers them. It goes something like this:

I like my hat, I like my hat, I like my hat
so I put it on my knee.
I like my hat, I like my hat, I like my hat
so I put it on my shoe.
I like my hat, I like my hat, I like my hat
so I put it on my fingers.
I like my hat, I like my hat, I like my hat
so I put it on my tummy.
...
I like my hat, I like my hat, I like my hat
so I put it on my head.
That's where it goes.

Nighttime Serenade

Joshua has started singing to himself at night before he falls asleep (or when he wakes up in the middle of the night). It is so funny!

It is the loudest he ever sings, and the longest he sings a single song. He knows the more words to his favorite songs than I had ever guessed.

The songs rotate as he picks a new favorite for the week. Normally it is a song we have listened to again and again and again ... at his request.

For the last few weeks, his favorite song was Rum Sum Sum. It is a simple song that only has a few words, complete with actions:

Rum Sum Sum, Rum Sum Sum
Goolie Goolie, Goolie Goolie, Goolie
Rum Sum Sum

Rafie Rafie
Goolie Goolie, Goolie Goolie, Goolie
Rum Sum Sum

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Butterfly Festival

Today we went to the Butterfly Festival at Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed, about 20 minutes from here. We weren't there for very long, but we had a good time.

Joshua enjoyed the butterfly house. We saw some beautiful butterflies. He wanted to take some pictures to show daddy. While we were looking at butterflies, Darren was getting an Italian ice with Abigail.

We also went for a hay ride through the fields in a trailer pulled by a big tractor. Joshua wasn't very excited about sitting on scratchy hay, but he was thrilled about the tractor. As we rode along, he would look around then turn to see the tractor again and yell out "tractor!"

Everyone was exhausted from our day of play and fell asleep on the way home (except mommy, who was driving).

Friday, August 8, 2008

"On the grass"

Joshua did the funniest thing the other day. I couldn't help laughing.

The parking lot for our apartment building is surrounded by lawn. When we park, the front of our car is normally against the lawn that leads to our building. I normally get Joshua out of the car first and, to keep him from running in front of a car, I tell him to stay on the grass while I get Abigail.

Yesterday, after taking Abigail out of the car, I noticed Joshua was standing in the middle of the parking space next to our car instead of on the lawn. I asked him why he wasn't on the grass and he looked up at me and smiled. I then noticed he was looking back at his feet as he said, "On the grass." He stepped aside and pointed to a little patch of grass that was growing through a crack in the pavement. He stepped back on the little grass spot and smiled.

I started laughing! It was so surprising that he would think this way. I am now learning to be more specific in my instructions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ten Reasons Evangelicals Should Be Concerned About the Environment

Ten Reasons Evangelicals Should Be Concerned About the Environment

Darren is finishing up his summer internship this week at Greenfaith, a faith-based, environmental advocacy group. As part of his work, he wrote this intro to environmental concerns for conservative Christians.

Please Touch Museum

On Saturday Darren and I loaded up the kids and drove down to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia for a day of fun.

The Please Touch Museum is all about learning through exploration. They have several exhibits that bring popular children's books to life -- like Alice in Wonderland and Where the Wild Things Are.


Joshua enjoyed the tree house. He got his own bucket of tools and helped put up siding and paint.


He also enjoyed the transportation area, where he got to drive a truck and ring the bell on a bus.


Abigail laughed and waved her arms and legs furiously in the mirror room.


Barnyard babies was the favorite destination. Both Joshua and Abigail liked this room the most.


They had a padded corner where Abigail could roll around and a wall of shapes to explore -- the bumblebee was her favorite.


Joshua loved all the animals, especially the chickens that would move when you fed them.


We had a great day! Both kids were exhausted and fell asleep as soon as they were in bed.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another tooth...


Abigail cut another two teeth -- one on Saturday and the other today -- the top, front teeth. Now she has four teeth total!

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