Monday, February 23, 2015


Dear Son,
Week 8 of  Jodi's 52 photo project and we are sick again. This time you had me worried about dehydration. For the past 4 days all you've done is sit on my lap. We had to put you on an all liquid diet. I miss your sparkling eyes and radiant smile. Last night you started to play again and it was the best sign of improvement yet. Feel better soon my love. Shine on once more.
Love, Mum
Week 8,  joining Jodi  and her 52 Photo Project.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toddler Tuesdays: Valentine's Day

Happy belated Valentines day! We started this week's activities on Saturday to celebrate Valentine's day. I know there are a lot of hearts, but bear with me.. This week our sensory bin is filled with dollar store rose petals ( I would have preferred real rose petals, but to be honest.. I was being lazy) Nesting heart shaped cookie cutters, a rubber dipped whisk with a heart in the middle, heart pillows, flowers, and a small cup for stuffing the petals in.
 I found these boxes at the dollar store (this is two sets). I thought they would be perfect for learning shapes, matching lids, colors, stacking, and putting different items in so they make a different sound when shaken.. 
 They are filled with Valentine's day themed treasures. Panda has been loving them. His treasures consist of a heart pillow, a cupid, sparkly pom poms in assorted Valentines day colors (we call them kisses), a family (of ducks), a small heart shaped cookie cutter, a love bug finger puppet, flowers, and the blue bird of happiness. 
 Panda was having so much fun playing with flat marbles at my sister's house last week that I came up with this bucket idea. He likes to pick up the little hearts and drop them into the bucket. A simple activity that works on his pincher grasp. 
 Last, I made several small hearts with pipe-cleaners and put them in a bowl. I set them out with a large magnet and watched Panda go to town with them. I had intended on putting them in a bottle but he ignored the bottle. That's it for us, simple and sweet. What is going on in your home this week? Have a blessed day and shine on!

Monday, February 16, 2015


Dear Son, 
Last week you worked so hard trying to form words. You get so frustrated when we can't understand what you want. We understand and will keep listening. Hang in there little guy. The words will come, and until they do (and even after) remember not all words are spoken.. You are doing just fine. I love you. Shine on,
Week 7,  joining Jodi  and her 52 Photo Project.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Toddler Tuesdays: Rainbows

Welcome to our 9th Toddler Tuesday. This week we are working with colors and rainbows. Our sensory bin this week is made of soap bubbles and food dye. I added a scoop, but Panda pretty much ignored that and just dove right in.
I made a rainbow for his felt board. The layers are just half circles stacked together. Panda enjoyed unstacking and rearranging them on his board. We also matched colors on this cloud pillow. He likes to point out colors as I say them. One of these days we might get lucky and he will start saying them back (fingers crossed). 
This was an invitation to play I set up for Panda. He really has taken to the utensil basket from the dishwasher lately... I don't get it.... So I decided to incorporate it in his play study this week.
He  quickly figured out that he could push the pipe-cleaners through the baskets and closed the pom poms all in the lidded basket for loose parts.
We pulled out his hand kite, bubbles, a rainbow silk.. One of these days we will get a stacking rainbow. There are so many children's toys that are brightly colored. Any of them could work for this unit. Go through your collection, I bet you also have a few on hand that would be perfect for this type of play.
I set up a strand of crystals in front of the window hoping to make some rainbows, but today we are in the middle of more snow and ice.. Hopefully later this week our walls will become a ballroom for dancing light and color.
From our grey part of the world to your home, here's wishing you light and color as our thoughts turn towards the return of spring and rainbows. What are you doing this week? Please leave a message in the comments field below and
Shine On!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Dear son,
Every day you grow and change. This week you have been exploring everything with a new vigor. I have barely been able to keep up with you..
And I wouldn't have it any other way. 
I love you. Shine on.
Love, Mum~
Week 6,  joining Jodi  and her 52 Photo Project.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Toddler Tuesday: Part 8

We're back! This week we are learning about clouds. Well, our learning is cloud themed. Perhaps that is a better way of saying it. I don't expect Panda to be learning about evaporation, condensation and so forth; but by keeping a theme it helps us stay on track and keeps things interesting. Our "lessons" are mainly about moving, trying new things, and using those fine motor skills in fun new ways. Our sensory bin is pretty simple. It's full of cotton balls, a helicopter, an airplane, tongs, an ice cream scoop, a ladle for picking up the cotton balls, and a wooden bowl to sort them into.
I finally got around to changing our clear contact paper tree into a felt board tree. This will stick around as a weather board when Panda starts school. Our felt finger puppets also stick to it for even more fun. Oh! and I even have plans to have a "build your own snowman" felt set up for Panda when he is older. The tree stands about two feet wide and three feet tall.
The felt pieces are on the floor in front of the board in wooden bowls. I left them out like this as an invitation to play. Yesterday Panda spent a long time examining these things and returned to the board several times throughout the day. In the fall we stuck leaves onto the contact board and next fall I will make some felt leaves. We switched to felt because it is reusable this way and contact paper is pretty bad for the environment. 
We made Toddler safe Cloud Dough using vegetable oil and left over formula. I also added a bit of cinnamon and clove for a smelltastic sensory experience. It made our dough a bit speckled, but who cares, it smells good!  I didn't measure the ingredients. Just add oil and mix until the mixture clumps together and is the consistency you want.
We made this picture during our Stars and Moons lessons (forgot to mention it). I gave Panda some stickers and watched him focus his entire being on pealing and sticking them onto the paper. A wonderful thing to do for cabin fever tots... I saved the picture so we could make clouds on it using finger paint, and a cotton ball on a clothes pin. Don't you just love projects that you can keep adding to, and use over and over again?
 For an extra fun sensory experience I opened a bag of fiberfill toy stuffing and dumped it on the carpet. Anyone who has a toddler with cabin fever NEEDS to try this. Oh my! Panda has been having a blast playing in his very own "Cloud"!
 A Lot of Fun!
 So much that I couldn't choose a picture..
 No really.. It was just that much fun. You've got to try this! ; )
Thank you for visiting us and have a blessed week. What are you doing at your house this week? Please leave a message in the comments below and Shine on!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Dear Son,
Things are finally getting better around here. Our first major bout of sickness with you since you were born. I suppose I should be happy that we made it this far without you getting sick, but actually I'm just happy that you are back to yourself. I wasn't going to use these pictures, but I am only starting to feel better myself and these are what I had on hand. The first picture was taken as you quietly played while I rested on the couch. The second, your Poppy was kind enough to send to me. I fell asleep and instead of trying to wake me up, you snuggled up and went to sleep all on your own. Thank you for taking such good care of me little man. I love you. Shine on.
Week 5 (and delayed week 4) joining Jodi  and her 52 Photo Project.