Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

The holidays are always an exciting time. Add children to the mix and the excitement multiplies! While this is Ava's 2nd holiday season it all feels new again. Thanksgiving was relaxing and we enjoyed the day with Ava's paternal grandparents, great aunt Martha, uncle Kevin, aunt Claudia, and cousin Emilia. She had a blast playing with her cousin. The girls read books, played with the Learn & Ride School Bus, climbed into the toy box together, and emptied and reorganized grandma's tupperware cabinet. Ava just recently started using her own fork and loved being able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with her special utensil. Her favorite dish? Sweet potatoes and mommy's tiny cherry pie.

Ava wore a special turkey shirt made by mommy!
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bedtime Stories

At times we are often very relaxed in our routine. We let Ava set the pace without controlling our lives and this has made for a very happy household. However, when it comes to the betime routine we have been pretty strict. I believe this consistency is what has helped foster the positive experience bath and bedtime have become. When told that it is time for a bath, Ava stops what she is doing and heads to the stairs.

Daddy typically takes the lead with bathtime and getting dressed. I do all the prep work (laying out jammies, straightening the crib, searching for pacifiers). We take turns with the the bedtime story. Sometimes Ava chooses who she wants to read.

Lately there has been a clear favorite when it comes to book choice - Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea. This is an excellent picture book with fun, simple, modern illustrations. The story flows well when read aloud and captures the listeners imagination. This book is excellent in reinforcing Print Motivation. If Ava is having a "toddler moment," all we have to do is ask her if she wants to read the dinosaur book and the outburst is over. Last night Kris observed her reading the book to herself. Each time she turned the page she would point and say, "Roar!" This is a new sound and later in the evening we were able to apply it to pictures of lions.

Our favorite bedtime stories include:

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
Hush Little Ones by John Butler
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones by Claire Freedman
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
Song of Night by Katherine Riley Nakamura

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little Red's Halloween Adventure

Halloween was so much fun this year! Dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, Ava strolled through the neighboorhood carrying her basket and smiling at everyone!  Many of you are aware that this was not Ava's original costume.  However, I believe this costume worked out perfectly and she is much more suited to be Little Red rather than a duck.

Ava enjoyed taking candy out of the giveaway basket and adding it to her stash.  All was going well until Little Red encountered the Big Bad Wolf at the very end of the evening.  Two teens dressed in full costume approached; one dressed as a Storm Trooper, the other as the BBW.  Kris said, "Look Ava it is the Big Bad Wolf!" and she freaked!  She calmed quickly once inside and seemed excited to enjoy a few more stories before bed.

My favorite version of our heroines tale is Little Red: a Fizzingly Good Yarn by Lynn Roberts.  This telling sees Red as a boy uses quick thinking and a jug of ginger ale to bring the story to its happy end.

We also enjoyed a few Halloween stories.  This years favorites were Ghost Eats it All by Janee Trasler, Where is Baby's Pumpkin by Karen Katz, Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw, Boo Bunny by Kathryn Galbraith, and Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi.