Monday, January 13, 2014

Perkins Pack Pickins

Just some random stuff they're doing lately that didn't fit into any particular post category...

  • hand motions to songs- I love this one!  I've been waiting and waiting for them to copy me while singing "Wheels on the Bus", "Happy and You Know It", and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and they're catching on!  Caroline, Allison, and Andrew are pretty consistent and Levi jumps in from time to time.  Ben doesn't seem to care much about hand motions.
  • communication- I love this one too!  They're only using a few words (yeah, more, mama -when they're upset or need something, dada, duck, done, bye, what's that) but they're starting to show much more understanding and interest in words and using gestures to communicate.  Allison is queen of the head shake- yes and no, but mostly no; she also does the 'I don't know' shoulder shrug quite well.  Caroline only shakes no.  Levi does thumbs up and thumbs down, luckily most things earn a thumbs up (I think because he knows it's so cute).  Ben, Andrew, and Allison spend most of their time asking "What's that?" and Caroline does her fair share too.  I spend a. lot. of. time. labeling things, but it's all for the betterment of their language development, right?  Receptively they can point to all sorts of things and follow simple commands when they so choose.  
  • stacking- Andrew is super stacker.  He's my little helper, at the end of each meal he starts stacking plates and bowls when he's done eating.  He can stack up to 5 blocks by himself!  He'll also help me clean up if it involves stacking cups.  Allison has starting showing interest in stacking.  Ben and Caroline only want to stack if they get to knock it down.  Levi likes to come behind everyone and destroy their work.  But Andrew is still the biggest toy snatcher!
  • dancing- We love to dance!  Most of the time if they hear any sort of music, you'll see at least 2 kids swaying or demonstrating their own moves.  Levi's are by far the most unique :)  By doing many a dance party, I have also learned that the best way to get Andrew dancing is Beyonce's Single Ladies- he can't resist it!
  • fountains- We continue to do evening stroller walks everyday.  Recently I realized they loved seeing the fountains in the fake lakes around the neighborhood and found a route with optimal fountain viewing.  Little did I know that they would learn this route and get upset if I ever try to veer from it!  I'm serious- if I pass up the entrance to the greenbelt they'll start wailing.  So, fountains it is.  
  • eating- They're still good eaters and I can't really complain, but they are still toddlers.  From one day to the next I really don't know what they'll really eat.  I do continue to make one meal or snack for the group and they eat it or they don't.  No short order cooks in this house!  What they have figured out though, is that they can put disliked foods on each others' plates and try to take desired foods from someone else's plate.  It's kind of funny to watch, but I really don't want them to think that's ok to do- especially when eating with non-siblings!  So, we're trying to teach them sharing and trading food.  We'll see how it goes.
  • tv- Andrew has learned to turn the tv on.  He's the only one tall enough to reach.  Once he does they all turn and scream at us to put a show on or they point at the remote to let us know what to do.
  • big tub- They LOVE bathing in the big tub!  It took a few weeks of slowly getting over the crying of a new activity, but it was worth it.  Bath time is so fun now!  The boys scream while the girls are in the bathroom and take off running when I say it's their turn- race to get in first!  They all just play the whole time and think being rinsed off is hilarious.
  • naps- we're transitioning to 1 nap.  It's about at a 50/50 whether they have 2 naps or 1 nap.  I make a judgment call about 9 am every morning, usually based on Caroline's behavior (she gets tired and cranky easiest)
  • pacis- New Year meant No Pacis!  I took away the boys pacis and within 2 days they were good.  The only times they tend to get upset is when they wake up from a nap, but I've put books in their cribs for naps and that's helped a lot.
  • favorite activities- playing outside, sliding, running in the hall, being on the couch, riding in cozy coupes, play kitchens and food, puzzles, Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Blue's Clues, books, songs and dance, balls, and blocks.  Trucks and cars are just beginning
  • discipline- Oh terrible twos, I know you're coming.  The amount of dramatic fits has definitely increased lately.  Not to mention testing limits.  These days when they hear no it's either a throw myself on the floor or giggle type of reaction.  We're trying to stay consistent and follow through and mostly ignore unacceptable behavior, but boy is it hard sometimes!  I think I'll need individual timers once we start time out.
Levi and Allison sharing a cozy coupe

Caroline emptying the kid cabinet- again.

Levi and his guitar

Sweet Leah fell asleep while listening to her music

Caroline reading at her "desk"

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