April Milestones: My Monkey Started Using Tools

April 29th, 2009

This week Katya had a string hanging off her pants. “Cut it off! Cut it off!” When I told her I would when we got home, but that I did not have scissors with me, she thought for a moment, and then asked, “Maybe…hairclip?” We tried. It did not work. But oh, how I love the creative problem-solving.

New things:

Katya: 1st split lip, 1st dog bite (not ours or obnoxious neighbors, skin broken but she’s healthy and not traumatized), learned to open the toilet, 1st telling off (to dog, angrily: “bump you!”), 1st gardening (mostly pouring potting soil)

Bill: 1st time fell asleep while trying to get kid asleep

Alex: gave in and joined Facebook. If it/my computer sent you an annoying email, I’m sorry, I’m still confused. If you are on there and we aren’t whatevered, let me know.

Also, I kicked into high play group gear after not doing that for over a year and joined 3 new ones, 2 of which we’ve met with, 1 of which I absolutely adored.  Bubble day with a kiddy pool full of suds, rackets and hula hoops, people. The groups are all based further north (the direction in which we plan to move) and all include kids who aren’t going to preschool, with some older homeschooled kids. As much as I LOVED the Early Childhood Center as a toddler, we are keeping K home, so it seemed silly to seek out new friends who were probably about to disappear into school during the day.

On an unrelated note, when I told Katya the other day that I wanted to try to fix my hair because “I fell asleep when it was still wet and it dried in a funny shape” she said, “Rectangle?”

Also, Katya loves our Johnny Appleseed book so much that she suddenly started pointing out “apple trees” everywhere we go.

Sensory Experiences

April 29th, 2009

It seems to be widely accepted at this time (and not just among the crafty mamas) that toddlers need lots of hands-on Sensory Experiences. 1 lady whose blog I’ve looked at has a wide array of Sensory Bins for her little girl to run her hands through. There are bins of beans she hides things in, a “spaghetti and meatballs” bin with yarn and pompoms, etc. That was so cute I *almost* wanted to make one.

You could spend a HUGE amount of time researching/planning/making/coordinating this sort of thing.

Or you can just not stop your kid from making the mess they really want to make.


2 lbs of dry dog food provided a spontaneous and hilarious 45 minutes of play around here the other night. It took 6 minutes to clean up. Total. And it covered the whole living room. I just asked Katya nicely to not drop any in open containers.

Getting Ready For Dinner

April 22nd, 2009

K: (mumbling, something that starts with a B)

B: What do you want for dinner, Katya? Burger or bacon?

K: Bur-con.

B: Did she just say “burcon”?

A: I saw someone wearing one of those at the mall, I think.

B: Katya, do you want to eat burger, or bacon?

K: Tape!

And then, my clock started MELTING!

April 21st, 2009

Let’s see…naptime…and already:

K: (handing me a potato chip) Pieces. Break in four pieces.

A: OK. There’s four pieces. 1 2 3 4.

K: (pointing to pieces) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10! (feeds chip to dog)


A: (making a lame effort to connect while walking by the TV on which a duck puppet is feeding a fish in a bowl) Hey, what is that duck doing?

K: Picking blueberries!

A: Oh my goodness.

K: Oh my goodness.


There has also been much Packing Dirt Into Empty Chapstick Tube, as well as gardening by pouring dirt on mom and the dog. And the ever popular, Persisting in Carefully Transferring Dirt With a Spoon Despite the Fact That Zero Percent of the Dirt is Making It Into the Container. Oh, and don’t forget Pantsless Pushing of Toys Around the House in the Potty.

In less surreal news, K’s favorite song is now “Happy Tapping With Elmo”. (“Listen Elmo tapping.”) Probably her favorite book is Jamberry by Bruce Degen. And we started house hunting Sunday! Yay!

YouTube? ITube

April 20th, 2009

Katya Chapsticks the World

Warning: Babies.

April 16th, 2009

I just got out of my shower to find Katya and Bill fishing Cheerios out of the bathtub to eat them. “Giant cereal bowl!” he explained. Then the bathing Miss Katya helpfully pointed to the safety label on the tub and told me, “Warning: Babies!”

I love my family.

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post

April 15th, 2009

My little girl just spent a really joyful hour or 2 decimating her favorite Chapstick in the company of her dog. Katya kept on shutting the door on me when I stuck my head out on the patio to check on them. It was a nice excuse to do some decadent mommy stuff like fold laundry. Katya found a storage bin that was tipped on its side out there after being hosed out and she  was sitting in it with just her feet peeking out. Many times I looked out and she was rubbing Chapstick on Max’s beard saying, “Help you. Help you.” Later, I peeked out to find Katya digging some out and rubbing it on the door. When she came in, she got really into anointing Flamingo all over. Then, narrating, “Putting Chapstick Maxie. Put on nub tail.” Max at this point is rolling around on his back snorting. I can only imagine what it feels like for him to smell like Grape Craze. Katya got really into it, saying, “Nub. Nub. Nub. Nub tail.” Then, a little bit scooped out and put between his eyes: “Painting… Maxie…Chapstick.”

Toddler Mystery of the Day

April 9th, 2009

Today when we were playing hide and seek, a new favorite, Katya found me all by herself for the first time! It was a multistep process. She ran into the room, giggled, and ran out first. Then when she found me, I asked her, “Who should hide this time?” “Katya!” “Which room do you want to hide in?” “Neck. Neck!” “Neck?” (Points seriously at her neck.) “Neck.”

Generous Little Person

April 7th, 2009


Katya continues to love to share her necklaces, especially with Flamingo, and has branched out into sharing Chapstick too. She holds her sippy cup up to Max, the dinosaur statue,  and the squirrel and bunny lawn ornaments. Katya loves to feed Max stuff, especially freeze-dried mango and woodchips. (We’re working on that last part. If he didn’t poop we were going to have to go to the vet today.) She often holds food up to Bill or me and says, “Eat!”

22 months!

April 2nd, 2009

Preschool curriculum for Katya Sophia (self-developed and mostly self-administered)


  1. Dinosaurs: reading books, watching TV shows, visits to the museum and dinosaur-themed park, singing songs, wearing dinosaur apparel 🙂
  2. All About Animals: visit to the zoo, lots of fiction plus nonfiction books and Sesame Street episodes katya-21-mos-3-wks-zoo-0091
  3. Daily walks and weekly specifically “nature” walks
  4. Horses: visiting and feeding horses at the stables
  5. Ongoing exploration: Where can I make an echo? (Latest discovery: shoebox)
  6. Ongoing exploration: Fixing things with tape/which problems can be fixed with tape (latest no: when Grandpa’s VCR wasn’t working)
  7. Ongoing exploration: dropping things in holes (such as crayons/toothpicks in the guitar)



  1. Ongoing exploration : Measurement of all the toes in our family (including animals and toys)
  2. Shapes: reading books, stacking shape blocks, identifying shapes out in the world
  3. Counting to 10
  4. Identification of things in 1s and 2s

Creative Arts:

  1. Dramatic play with puppets (“Porridge! Yum Yum!”)
  2. Dramatic play without puppets (such as talking on the “octopus phone”)
  3. Exploration of costumes: especially necklaces
  4. Singing duets and solo
  5. Drawing with crayons, chalk, and markers
  6. Painting

Social Skills:

  1. Spontaneous gift-giving

 katya-22-mos-0-wks-002 (every object  in front of Elmo was given one by one to Elmo as a gift while I took a shower)


  1. Research skills: asking the librarian for books on various topics
  2. Singing, listening to, and watching different versions of the alphabet song


3. Reading independently, being read to, talking about the pictures/plot in books

4. Err…talking?


  1. Climbing stairs
  2. Climbing into chairs and onto the bed and boxes
  3. Pushing large stuff aournd the house (boxes, trash can, etc.)

OK, so this was fun/amusing when I started, but I have managed to thoroughly bore myself before listing EVERYTHING. Katya is just so rad. New words include “Stega…saurus,” “T. Rex” and “Mr. Noodle.” Yesterday she asked for a napkin for the first time, to brush crumbs off herself, and told Max to “Lie up!” She just went through  a big developmental leap. She’s saying lots of sentences like  “toilet [paper] fall down” and making many multiword requests like “turn off [the T.V.]”  (Yes, let the record show that my kid can watch TV whenever she wants–and she tells me when she wants to turn it off.)

Favorite books include How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors? and Snappy Little Dinosaurs, which is a pop-up. We also love all the books Grandma Michelle has brought lately, including The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. I think I may need to buy Ernie and Bert’s Flashlight Adventure, which is due to return to the library next week. Katya doesn’t want it very often, but when she does, she asks excitedly out of the blue for the whole shebang–lights off, reading the book with the flashlight, sometimes in a blanket tent.

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