Saturday, January 31, 2009

Playtime with her Cousin

Last night Piper's cousin, came over to play for a very short while. He hadn't seen the ball pit yet, and was suitably impressed. They both had fun playing together and chasing the other around. It's nice to see how well he is with her, I just wish they could spend more time together. They played with her dress up clothes, which right now just consist of mardi gras beads, hats, and shoes. I have a cute video of them dancing together too. He couldn't stay long since he had a game this morning, but they had a good time together while it lasted. Did I ever mention that Piper thinks she can play the wii?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Arts and Crafts Project

We took a hot chocolate canister after it was empty and I let Piper paint it. Then we filled it with beans and voila...a new toy made espcially by her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blizzard Conditions

I actually remember the blizzard of '78, and it's funny that is how they are comparing this snowfall. I was in kindergarten, and my dad built me this huge snow fort in front of our house with tunnels and slides. The big slide went all the way up to the roof. There was a drift that covered the entire front of the house, and we had to go in and out the back door. This snow doesn't seem that bad to me. We got about 13 inches, but supposedly more is on the way. Schools are closed, and no one is going anywhere. I'm just happy we didn't get ice. Erick helped shovel out cars, and the dog had a blast playing in the snow with the other neighbors' pets.

I took Piper outside to play. She's been out in the snow before, but she wasn't too sure about it today. She definitely was not happy about falling over because it was so hard to walk.

Here is what she wore outside. She looked like the abdominable snowman, and reminded me of the weather commercial from channel 13 years ago.

This is the video montage of all the pictures and videos I took outside. If you are reading this on Babycenter, make sure you click on my blog link, otherwise you can't see the video.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Say Goodbye to the Highchair

I'm such a big girl now that I can sit at the table and eat. There's no need for my highchair now, although I am still very messy. I enjoyed eating my eggs, blueberry pancakes and mexican chorizo. Yum! I even have a new set of utensils which make it easier to stab things with my fork since the tines are metal and not plastic like my others.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Night Night

In the last few days Piper has started doing something new when it's time to go to bed. She will bring me her boppy pillow when she's ready to go to sleep, or if I ask her if she's is tired or ready to go night-night. I'm still nursing her to sleep, so that's why she brings it to me, but I guess I'm amazed that she has starting telling me in her own way that she's ready for bed and it's not so much of a fight now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Balloons and Kids

I wonder what the fascination is with kids and balloons?

Piper absolutely loves balloons, and she's had two this week. One from Bounce U, and another from the car dealership when Daddy took the car in to get an oil change. She will run around the apartment with her new toy and laugh as it bobs up and down.

Then the inevitible will happen. The balloon deflates and won't float anymore, until it is just a sad shell on the floor. Piper gets so upset when the balloon doesn't work as well. In fact, she is so sad and frustrated she doesn't handle it well, and she can't understand why it just won't behave the same as it did yesterday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Please stop climbing through my kitchen window

Yet another example of my monkey child's climbing abilities. She has discovered that there is a real window on her play kitchen, and how convenient it is to simply crawl through it. Why bother to walk around when you can just go straight through to the other side. She is pretty adept at getting herself out of tricky situations, and even when she was stuck on the counter, figured out how to get down all by herself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bounce U

We tried this new place out last night. We were the only people there since it was during the week. They had a birthday party coming later on, but we were able to enjoy it all alone, which was nice since Piper is still so small in comparison to your average kid at this place. Erick even talked them into letting her in for half price since she is still young, and we didn't have to pay anything to play. Yay! She had fun bouncing, crawling through the tunnels, and sliding down the many slides.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Children's Museum

On Monday we went to the Children's Museum downtown. It was the first time Piper had gone and she had a lot of fun. We spent most of our time in the Playscape area, which is a spot designed just for kids 5 and under. Even better, there were two different spaces within Playscape that were specially designed for 2 and under.

I knew that she would love playing in the water. She had fun pouring it out of the containers and splashing. Grandma was worried because she kept trying to put the toys in her mouth. Even though the water was clean and sanitized, it probably wasn't a good idea. It's hard for Piper to understand that these were different toys, and even though she can do this at home in the bathtub, she can't here.

She also really liked the sand table and spent quite a bit of time there. She wasn't sure if the feel of sand on her arm was okay or not though. It seemed to bother her and we had to keep brushing it off. She was very serious and studious as she explored in the sand. I wish we had a house so I could get her a sand and water table to play with in the backyard.

Of course she loved the physical activities. There were tunnels and padded things to crawl on. She climbed the stairs to go down the slide and loved stacking up the giant blocks just to knock them down again. This was one of the under two areas, and it was nice she wasn't running around with the bigger kids for once.

She also played in the kitchen,where once again she put everything in her mouth. But hey, that's what you do with pretend food, is pretend to eat it. Duh Grandma! We smelled and planted flowers, picked some vegetables, and rode an airplane.

Finally, at the end of the visit we rode the carousel.

If you would like to watch all of the activities, please feel free to look at the video montage of the whole day. It includes photos not already shown, as well as video clips of the different activities.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stepping Up

Piper has gotten a lot better walking up and down the stairs. This is what she learned the other day with her step stool. She also can step up onto smaller steps without holding on to anything now.

*Sorry the video is a little dark.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Little Snow

It's been too cold to go play outside the last few days. They even cancelled school on Friday due to windchills in the negative 30's. It snowed and it seemed so sad to me that I couldn't take Piper outside to play. So I decided to bring the snow inside for her to experiment with. She had a lot of fun picking it up and letting it melt. She liked tasting it too, and Daddy even dipped some in orange juice. She thought that was tasty.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Favorite Books at 16 months

Here are some of Piper's favorite books. Some of these I have read so many times I have them memorized. I'm sure I will have more, but this is just a preview.

This book has large vibrant pictures of one animal per page. She loves to look at this book and say the animal names she knows and ask me what the other ones are.

One of my colleagues bought her a Sesame Street set of four books for her first birthday. She loves these books, along with the one for body parts. Maybe that's how she learned where some many things are located on her body.

This book has been a favorite for many many months. I can remember singing her this song when she was only a couple months old. It always makes her smile. Problem is, that it is paperback and I've had to tape a couple of pages that she ripped when she was younger. Fortunately she isn't doing that anymore and takes pretty good care of her stories.

This is a very fun and interactive book with lots of flaps and things to find. She really likes looking for the animals that are hiding.

She also loves this simple book with flaps to lift. Finding Maisy at the end of the book is always fun.

Another Maisy book that is tactile. She does a good job pointing to the numbers as I count.

You have to love Dr. Seuss' nonsensical rhyme and rhythm, even when you read it a dozen times a day.

This is one of the newest books I have bought for her, and she thinks it is great that there are so many animals in it. On every page there are hidden animals and you open up a new page to find them peeking out at you. Piper likes to pretend she doesn't know where they are and asks me to find them

Tails is a fun
book filled with flaps and levers, tactile pages that are fun to touch, and surprises on every page. No wonder it keeps
Piper occupied.

Remember scratch and sniff stickers? That's what this book reminds me of. We are still working on smelling without licking and tasting. Hey if I were one, I'd probably try to eat the book too if it smelled like food.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Doing Dishes

Hey! How come she doesn't do MY dishes?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

General Update January

Age (in months, or years and months): 16 months

Physical abilities: has learned to jump off the couch, can thread buttons and beads (1 inch) onto a lacing string, better at trying to ride her tricycle- can pedal when I push it and stay in sync, but isn’t strong enough yet to pedal independently, climbing everything still. She climbed up her highchair the other day onto the counter so she could get the phone on the wall at grandma’s house. Enjoys her bounce and spin pony (especially standing up on it and trying to bounce… eek!)

Speech/language: vocabulary, sentence length, etc: about 30 words currently, 1-2 word sentences. She’s really hard to understand though. I think she has more words but I just can’t recognize them completely.

Reading/pre-reading: knows a couple of letters and tries to sing the abc song, loves to read books to herself and demands that we read to her multiple times every day. She really likes the Leapfrog letter fridge magnet set she got for Christmas.

Number stuff: knows one and can show you on her fingers how many one is, points to the numbers in her book when I count them. She sounds like she’s counting when she points to the numbers in one of her books. It sounds the same every time, BUT it doesn’t sound like the actual number words.

Other cognitive stuff: really into her megabloks now, building towers and taking them apart. Can recognize triangle, circle, rectangle, square and the color red, good at doing her peg puzzles and did a new one she got for Christmas on the first try. Starting to sort by color and shape- she really likes circles.

Creativity: starting to draw with more meaningful strokes, not just back and forth scribbling, also beginning to draw in a more circular motion, wants to do “art” all the time now, and gets mad when she has to stop. Loves listening to music and will often stop whatever she is doing to sway her head to any music she hears even for just a second. Her dancing is now mostly stomping and alternating feet.

Imagination: loves her play kitchen and cooks for us and her stuffed animals, likes to make us laugh by doing silly things like wearing her pants on her head or trying to give the dog her phone to listen to. Likes to look at things upside down.

Social: overwhelmed when around a lot of other kids, but plays okay one on one. This is an area she needs more time with as she is still not around other kids much.

Character/personality: independent and focused, does not want to be coddled, happy and silly
Anything else/other: She’s discovered t.v. in the last month and loves to watch Blues Clues, Clifford, and a nursery rhyme dvd I checked out from the library. She doesn’t care about any adult programming or some kids stuff. I’m trying to limit what she’s watching.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fish Kisses

Piper has always loved the aquarium. Lately she has been kissing pictures of animals in books, so I guess it should be no surprise that she kisses the fish too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Pictures

If I hear that song one more time...

Know how you get songs stuck in your head? How about really annoying ones that your children love to repeat over and over? I thought the Fisher Price toy that Munky got for Christmas last year was awful. I think it's finally out of my head now, and I"m trying really hard not to remember how it goes now that I'm talking about it. This year's painfully hard song is the Fridge Magnets song for the Leapfrog letters. "A says ay, and A says aaa. Every letter makes a sound, A says ay and aaa. " Argh! It's not like it changes a whole lot for any of the other letters either. I'm starting to think that maybe she doesn't need to learn her letters this way. Even Cookie Monster's "C is for Cookie" is less bothersome.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm such a big girl now!


She's really trying hard to ride her triycle, but not quite strong enough to pedal. If I push her she can coordinate her feet pretty well with the pedals. Maybe by the time it's warm enough to play outside this spring she'll be able to do it on her own.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Couch Jumping

Another example of my daredevil child. I really thought I'd have a little longer before this started. Thanks Daddy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Little Architect

I wasn't sure if Piper would enjoy the mega blocks she received for Christmas from grandma, but I knew she would eventually grow into them as much as she loves to stack blocks. Tonight she was actually focused and engaged in building and seemed to have grasped the concept of putting the blocks together and making sure they stuck too. However she was equally excited about taking her structures apart and then rebuilding. Either way, I'm glad she's progressing with her spatial abilities and excited to see what she does next.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Piper's Library

I truly think that Piper has more books than any other kid her age. I guess it's a good thing that I've instilled a love of books already in her. We moved about half of her stories into the living room. It was Erick's idea to make her a little library behind one of th chairs. She's always going back there anyway. She still has about five baskets of books in her bedroom, and some at grandma's house too. I even have some stored in the closet for when she is older. Do you think it's possible for her to have too many books? What can I say, I am a teacher and I love books. I'm always finding some for a good deal and she has quite a nice collection. Aunt Jeni and Grandpa Smelser both got her some books that make noises for Christmas-her first. I've never bought her any of these "fun" books before, and she loves them.
Back to the living room library. She has a shelf with books and toys on it, a tub for paperbacks, and she has a large basket for other board books. She likes to climb up on the toybox and sit, but we also have a pillow and chair for her to sit on too. Last night she was sitting in her chair reading and pointing to the pictures in her book asking me "this?" for each picture. Some of them she already knew and I would say "Well what is that?" and she would tell me that it was a bee or a dog, etc. I love listening to her "read" her stories. She babbles mostly and mimics me, pointing to the numbers and saying the few words that she knows that match the pictures. I'm anxious for her to really start talking and learn some more words.