Rub-A-Dub-Dub!

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, three babes in a tub, and who do you think they be?

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The sister, the brother, and one little other–

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Turn them out!  Time to sleep.

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Getting Sappy

This is JDubbs’s second year making his own maple syrup from the maple trees in our yard.  Last year I was either too pregnant or too busy with a newborn to pay much attention to the process.  This year I’m a bit more attentive, if only to capture these Daddy-daughter moments that only Vermont families understand!

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Em was helpful throughout the entire process of tapping the trees, and is the first to volunteer when Daddy is heading out to empty the buckets.  Jax is a bossy little scientist, but Em is also a quiet observer of her world.

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I love the expression on her face; there is so much wonder to be found around children!

Jax was doing a little bit of learning as well–about gravity.

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His expressions are equally priceless, but in more of a Let’s Do It Again! variety.  Another attribute of childhood–being impervious to be exhaustion and freezing cold!

This was day one of the syrup-making process, and it has only just begun to get warm enough during the day for the sap to run.  I will continue to document the process, if only to get more photos of these priceless faces!

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Don’t forget the furry one!  He loves being out there romping around in the snow even more than the kids!

Living the Vermont life!

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Paint Chip Reading Fun

I saw a post about using paint chips for literacy over on Babble and I have been waiting to grab some at Home Depot for a while.  Luckily, we’re doing a bedroom makeover so I’ve found myself in various home improvement stores more often than usual lately!

Paint Chip Reading Fun @ Rub Some Dirt On It

All I needed was some paint chips that have several shades of colors on one sheet and some long solid color ones.

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You add the ending sound to the solid paint chip, then put a bunch of beginning sounds on the long one (one sound per color).  The kids put them together to form words.

Paint Chip Literacy Fun @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Your reader slides the vertical paint chip through the window you cut in the solid color one, sounding out each new word as she goes.  Em loved the colors; it definitely helped motivate her to participate.  She really liked the sliding aspect of it as well.

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Unfortunately I didn’t count on something she loves much more than reading–snipping!  As I’ve said before, Em love to cut, so those beautiful white lines were just calling her name, and it wasn’t long before she had cut all my paint chips to pieces.  Oh, well, just another way to play with her fine motor skills!  At least we could talk about what sounds the letters make as she went along!

Remember to get several long solid paint chips for all your different endings!  We did -at, -an, it-, and -og.  The beginning sounds worked for all the different endings, and sometimes they made silly nonsense words.  That’s half the fun!

Keep reading fun this spring!

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Turning One!

Although we celebrated H’s birthday the weekend before, Em and I still tried to make the morning of her birthday special, mostly just by paying her tons of attention and doing her favorite things.  In this case, playing with Baxter through the stairs’ gate and snuggling Em’s stuffed dog that is normally kept out of reach.

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I tried to get Little H to wear the 1st birthday badge I had bought for Em, but she only cooperated for a few minutes.  She still has a thing or two to learn about accessorizing.

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And nothing beats a little bouncing on Mommy and Daddy’s bed and some snuggles with big sis.

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Oh and taking off her socks.  Her absolute favorite pastime is to take off her socks, then tickle her own toes and say “This this”.  That means she wants me to do This Little Piggy over and over again.  On her birthday, I am happy to oblige!

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Later that day we had cake one more time, with Jax and Em just as excited to help out with blowing out the candle as before.

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And now that she had the hang of it, the cake tasted even better than before!

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Happy Birthday to Little H, my amazing baby girl.  How we love you so!

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Eventually

Eventually she will sleep with a pillow and a comforter, and we will fight about how many books I read and whether or not she is really tired.

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Eventually she will be able to climb in and out of her bed at will, instead of calling to us from the end of her crib, bouncing and smiling and chewing on her rails, yelling, “Da Da! Da Da!” because she knows he’s a sucker and is so much more fun at 6 am.

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Eventually she may not sleep with her blankie, and she won’t be sleeping in feetie pj’s.  She may even be sharing a room with her sister.

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She won’t always sleep with her butt in the air and her feet crossed, as she does now, every time.  Eventually she won’t ask for me to tuck her in and will learn to sleep with the lights off.

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So for now I will delight in it all while I can.  Because there is absolutely nothing more amazing and perfect than a sleeping baby.  Especially mine.

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A Big Girl Birthday Party

Somebody is all grown up and had a fancy big girl birthday party last weekend!

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We gathered at Nana and Papa’s house to celebrate the first wonderful year of Little H’s life, and of course to take the opportunity to dress her up in a beautiful outfit!  In this case, she wore the same first birthday outfit that her big sister Em had worn to hers nearly three years before, with a special new headband purchased here.

PicMonkey Collage

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We went a little light on the decorations this year, but mainly we just had lots of pink and lots of family!

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Jax and Em were so excited for H to finally be old enough for the sweets they’ve been dying to give her her whole life.  Of course they were on hand to help her blow out her candle.

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And after a little bit of investigating, Little H agreed that there is something pretty great about chocolate after all!

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PicMonkey Collage

After lunch we opened her very lovely and thoughtful presents.  Her favorites were some plastic necklaces from Mommy and Daddy, a snow globe from Uncle Chris and a car she can climb in and out of from some of her great aunts and uncles.  But really, she was just happy to be surrounded by all of her loved ones, with lots of people to play with!

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Big brother and sister were more than happy to help her get acquainted with her new toys as well!

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It was a wonderful way to kick off H’s birthday celebration.  We are so grateful for Nana and Papa for always hosting these gatherings, as well as all the family who made the trek up north to be together.  It was a special day that I will certainly always remember–the day our baby became a big girl!  Hooray for Little H!

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Literacy Letters & Snippy Straws

Today I am going to share two simply busy ideas that will keep your kids quiet and happy, with their fingers busy and their brains learning, with materials you definitely have in your home!

Literacy Letters & Snippy Straws

The first activity is one we have done before, but which bears repeating.  Using salt or flour (we’ve done both) in a container of any sort, let your kids explore with their fingers and eventually move to tracing letters, numbers, shapes… The possibilities are truly endless!

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I love this Montessori-style approach; it’s low risk and high reward.  If the kid messes up, they just wipe the slate clean and try again!  And it’s always helpful to have an example for them to look at, no matter how old they are.

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Another great idea for quiet, simple fun is to let them use those scissors they always want to get their hands on and cut colorful drinking straws.  It’s really as simple as that!

Snipping Straws @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Snipping Straws @ Rub Some Dirt On It

There is something incredibly satisfying about the snip! of a straw when it’s cut, as promised here.  The kids did this for two straight days, collecting the pieces in bowls, and then the following day Em strung the pieces onto yarn for a necklace.  A quiet activity that keeps on going!

String Snipped Straws For A Necklace

Teaching the kids to have fun on their own, exploring different textures and using their hands to learn are all awesome reasons to give these simple activities a try.  We definitely will be doing them again very soon!

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