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September 30, 2004

With An Oink Oink Here...

I told you that Kate likes to make a big mess around the house, but I bet you didn't know what a real piggy she is. :-) Actually, as I've mentioned before Kate puts everything in her mouth. One of those most common items is a block from the Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks.

It totally cracks us up when she put the round one in her mouth because she looks like a little piggy crawling around the house on all fours. She just keeps doing whatever it is she is doing with the block in her mouth. And if she happens to be breathing a little heavier you can hear it echoing in the hollow side of the block. The whole scene is just too funny for words.

Today I put her in front of the mirror with this block in her mouth. She smiled at what she saw. But the block never moved from its place.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 10:05 PM

September 26, 2004

Alphabet Baby Soup

Ken is always looking for new toys and games to spice up Kate's bath time. Kate goes through phases of liking a new toy then being completely disinterested. Last weekend we purchased Sassy Bath Time Count 'N Spell letter and number appliques. So far Kate just loves them. They keep her occupied while Ken is sudsing her up, and her baths have actually gotten a little longer. Since becoming more and more mobile she has wanted to get out of her bath sooner and sooner.

Kate likes to do lots of very systematic things with the letters and numbers. One day she's sticking them to the tile wall, then taking them down and piling them on the soap dish. The next day they are being sorted in the different corners of the tub. She also enjoys gnawing on them, as she does with everything lately.

If you look closly at the first picture of Kate chewing away at the letter "D" you can see her first little top tooth poking out. It's only about halfway grown but it's so cute nonetheless.

Every time Kate picks up a letter or number from the tub Ken does a really smart thing -- he says its name aloud. Kate has gotten so used to it that she now mimics him. Of course every letter and number to her is "Ah!" But it is probably a good start to learning letters and numbers...and it's really cute to hear.

Ken also spells out simple words on the wall as he says them aloud for Kate. More enjoyably though, he tries to read aloud the words SHE spells out on the wall. That too is really cute to hear.

September 19, 2004

Clowning Around At Tyler's 1st Birthday

On Saturday Kate had her first clown experience at Tyler's first birthday. She was actually quite fascinated by the clown...and his shoes. These are a few picture of Kate waiting her turn to get a balloon animal. Hers was a cute little white mouse.

Kate made up her own little party game: Bobbing for Fruit Drinks. She loved sticking her hand in the cold water and pulling out whatever she could find -- drinks, ice cubes, a stray spoon and a broken nacho chip that fell off the table. If it's in there Kate will find it. And once she finds it it usually ends up in her mouth. This is one of the reasons we still use a pacifier beyond bedtimes. Generally if there's a pacifier in her mouth, Kate will not put other items in there. But once the pacifier leaves, anything is fair game.

We didn't get to sneak in a pic with the birthday boy this time, but here he is blowing out his candle with mom and dad.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 10:17 PM

September 16, 2004

Storytime At the Library

This morning Kate had her first library storytime. This particular Thursday morning session is hosted for toddlers, 10 months to 3 years old. Unfortunately, there wasn't a very big attendance -- only Kate and two other two-year old twin girls, Gabriella and Carolina. Although Kate didn't really understand what was going on she really enjoyed herself. When the librarian read to Kate, Kate bounced up and down and gave a big smile back. Even the librarian commented on Kate's enthusiasm.

After two stories -- Teddy Bear Teddy Bear and Moonbear's Pet -- we did a little craft project. Since it was a teddy bear-themed storytime it was only fitting that we made a bear mask out of construction paper. Luckily the librarian was prepared for a baby group with a pre-cut bear head and accent pieces. We only had to paste on the pieces and tie the elastic fastener. None of the kids wanted anything to do with putting on the mask once it was done, but it was fun making it.

To finish the project off each child had to write their name on the back of the mask. This was a first for Kate. She held the crayon and I held her hand. Not the best handwriting but it was the first try at it for Kate.

After the project was over the librarian sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Kate enjoyed it but not as much as when I do it for her...a little bit faster with more spunk. Kate also received a hot air balloon stamp on her hand (that washed off in tonight's bath) for being so good. All of the kids were offered the stamp, but Kate was the only brave one to put out her hand.

All in all Kate had a pretty good time. We'll probably try it again next week. But hopefully next week there will be a few more kids for Kate to enjoy.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 08:27 PM

September 11, 2004

All Wet!

This morning Ken decided to hose down the front of the house, as well as give Kate's high chair and Diaper Champ a good Mr. Clean scrubbing. Still in our PJs, we went outside to check on dad. One thing led to another and pretty soon Kate was all wet. It started out with just touching the water coming out of the hose, and it quickly turned into taking the hose and squirting it all around.

Once Kate tired of the whole hose and water thing, she started to collect and inspect the small leaves on our drive-way. It appeared to be a very Zen moment for her.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 10:21 PM

September 10, 2004

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

Kate's latest excitement is walking while holding on to mom's or dad's fingers. A few weeks ago we purchased for Kate her first pair of soft crib shoes at Target for $9.99. At first she acted very oddly with them on her feet. She didn't want to stand up at all. She wanted to only sit, stare and play with the velcro fasteners. But a few days later she was ready to put them to use. Now she just loves taking off wherever she can go.

As you can see from the pictures this walking thing is serious business. Kate gets very focused on learning the mechanics of putting one foot in front of the other. Her only requirement right now is that she has a guiding finger in each hand. If we let loose on one hand or the other, Kate will stop in her tracks and reach out for the finger again.

In these pictures I let her loose on both hands. She stood there for a bit, then started to sit on the floor. When I quickly reached out to her waist to balance her standing again, she started laughing. She thought I was tickling her. Then she was back to her serious business of walking. It won't be long now before we're chasing her and not guiding her.
Posted by Jean-Marie at 08:07 PM

September 04, 2004

Waiting For Frances

As we waited and waited and waited for Hurricane Frances to near the east coast of Florida we resorted to more indoor rather than outdoor play. We read books, stacked blocks, played music and did whatever we could to pass the time and wear Kate out for a good night's sleep. Here are a few pictures of Kate standing. She's been standing more and more these past few weeks. She hasn't taken any steps without holding on to furniture, but it does look like she could do it if she decided to make the bold move.

In the first picture Kate is picking up her favorite book of late, Chugga Chugga Choo Choo. We must've read this one about 30 or 40 times these past 3 days. Kate also really enjoys it because we let her turn the pages on cue.

In the second picture Kate is wondering when this silly little hurricane is going to pass because it's definitely time for a manicure. All of this indoor play has been doing a number on her nails.

In the third picture dad promises to read her Chugga Chugga Choo Choo another 5 times to keep her mind off being locked indoors.

If you can't play outdoors you may have to bring the outdoors to you. Here's Kate playing with her Playskool Walk 'N Ride. We're not sure which way she likes it best -- as a walker to cruise around from room to room or as a car being pushed by mom or dad from room to room. We like the walker since the car tires us out much more than it does her. We're just waiting for her legs to get a little bit longer so she can push herself around.

By the way, the pictures may seem a little dark since the house has been completely shuttered since Thursday, September 2. Shutters don't let much light in, which adds to growing the feeling of being stir-crazy. Let's hope for better days this holiday weekend. But I sure am thankful that our power has continued to hold in there through all of the gusts of hurricane winds.