Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast - Soaked oatmeal, strawberries
Lunch - out. My parents are in town
Snack - veggies and hummus
Dinner - Turkey tetrazzini that didn't happen this weekend because we were all too full, salad
To Do: thaw Ham

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch - celery with almond butter and raisins, apples and cheese slices
SnackSeasoned Popcorn
Dinner - Ham, macaroni and cheese (real food makeover), spinach
To do: boil whatever eggs are left after breakfast from last week, bake bread. Pick up eggs and milk.

Breakfast - kefir smoothies and toast
Lunch - ham sandwiches
Snack - Hard boiled eggs
Dinner Turkey Pumpkin Chili with all the fixins
to do: pick up CSA box

Breakfast - toe in the holes, grapefruit
Lunch - leftovers
Snack - Perfectly Frothy Hot Cocoa
Dinner - Ham and Butternut Squash spaghetti, salad
to do: soak quinoa

Breakfast - Bagels and cream cheese
Lunch Roasted Eggplant with feta
Snack - veggies and homemade ranch dip
Dinner Mushroom Quinoa Casserole
to do: thaw dirty rice ingredients, soak rice, prep french toast

 Breakfast Pumpkin french toast
Lunch  - We're going to Wurstfest so lunch will end up being something delicious and German!
Dinner Dirty Rice

Saturday, October 27, 2012

C Week Report

Will and I have started enjoying some early efforts at home education lately. Yes, he's only 18 months. No, I'm not pushing him too hard or expecting too much from him. I don't think we'll formally do school, whether that takes place at home or away until 1st grade anyway. But why not get our feet wet, have a little bit of intentional learning play, and vary our days at home together by following an alphabet path that exposes him to many different areas of interest and skills.
We started with A week about 6 weeks ago when we focused on apples and applesauce mostly, with a little acorn investigation tossed in. B week brought with it talks of birds, bears, bugs, we baked bread, and played ball. By the time we got to C week (really 2 weeks for each), I felt pretty good about what we were doing so I figured I should take a few pics and record some of our most successful activities and our favorite books.
I was initially inspired by Elizabeth Foss and her Along the Alphabet Path. I've been reading her site for years and wishing I had someone to learn with, but the fairy stories don't resonate with me much and of course Will wouldn't really get them at this point, but her book recommendations are top notch, and I love the inclusion of saints stories, and the picture studies. She links to Starry Sky Ranch who hosts Friday Fun School, with more ideas for the little ones. Both of them have been doing this for a long time. Probably next year or the year after we could really do a lot of the learning activities she posts, but for now it's all about exposure for us. Certainly Pinterest is always a source of inspiration as well.

Virtue of the Week - Compassion
Saints of the Week - St. Christopher and St. Cecilia
Shape of the Week - Circle

Comparing, Contrasting and Counting Coins really got the alliteration in with that one, eh?
Fine Motor Skills, Math

Momma cleaned out her purse and donated all the coins at the bottom, about $7 worth, to this activity. My first responsibility was making sure none of them went near his mouth, nose, or ears. Beyond that, I narrated his play with them, talking about their relative size, colors, and value. I sorted them into different combinations of $.50, which is what caps were going for in one of our favorite books this week, Caps for Sale. I also prompted him to make judgments with which one is bigger? which one is silver? which pile has more? etc. The part he enjoyed the most though was dropping the coins into his Tiffany's elephant bank. He worked through that pile of coins, while I counted, in record time. When he was done he signed more, more. Don't we all want more, Will? Don't we all?
Fall Collage
Art, Nature Study, Sensory Play

We took a walk around our neighborhood and collected as many different types of leaves and flowers and berries as we could find. The highlight of our gatherings was a fallen Monarch butterfly. Whenever I was able I told him the names of things, and we talked about their texture, sizes and colors a lot. Coming home, he took a nap and I set this up to make a collage out of our collection. 

I had lofty ideas about how I'd put another piece of contact paper on the other side, and we'd incorporate our art into our fall decorations for the next couple months. I've read enough parenting blogs to know that the projects never turn out as perfect as you imagine, but somewhere along the way the learning and memories that are made are more than you could hope for. So in that spirit, here is our imperfect collage in progress. 
Note: it was not saved. Will wadded up one side and I took down the other a little later.  
 I think he got a lot of experience with texture, especially sticky. And enjoyed seeing all the leaves and things close up. The berries stuck a lot better than I predicted, and the fall leaves did a lot worse.

umm, Home Ec?

We worked on the sign for cookie, which he had used before, but sporadically. I think today he actually said cookie. The Kindermusik curriculum we're enjoying now is Milk and Cookies, so we had a couple books about cookies from there that we read as well as a couple from the library. Together, we baked Pumpkin Kiss Cookies which I think are just about the healthiest cookies to ever go by that name. Will helped pour and stir, continually identified the oven as HOT!, and greatly enjoyed eating them! We watched C is for Cookie courtesy of the Cookie Monster himself and sang and signed along.

Aditionally, We've been making a letter on cardstock each week and this time I made a capital C, coated it in glue and let Will pour cornmeal on it. It had the effect of being very similar to sandpaper Montessori letters. It hung on the fridge all week except when we practiced clipping clothespins on and off the card. He doesn't quite have the hang of it yet, but thinks its hilarious when I clip clothespins on him.
We also colored with crayons and chalk.

Favorite Books

Caps for Sale Will enjoyed imitating the monkeys who were imitating the peddler.
The Carrot Seed We read this repeatedly during snacks of carrots and hummus
Cookies: Bite Sized Life Lessons loved the extended metaphor for virtues with cookie examples
The Hungry Caterpillar we had a caterpillar caught in a jar which we observed for a couple days then released before we went to Corpus last weekend. Wish I had a picture. I considered a caterpillar craft but decided they were all over Will's head.
In Loyola Kids Book of Saints we read the story of St. Christopher. I also told the story of St. Cecilia, my patron.

I have all my books reserved at the library for the start of D week next week. It should be fun!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast - yogurt with 2 minute raw power breakfast
Lunch - Egg Salad on Triscuits and lettuce salad with grapefruit slices and cilantro cream dressing
Snack - everything bagel with cream cheese (coupon from Einstein Bros)
Dinner - Lentil Vegetable soup and biscuits
to do - Thaw turkey, make bullion sub

Breakfast -  Sausage biscuits
Lunch - Leftover soup
Snack apple pie kefir smoothies
Dinner - ground beef Quesadillas with salsa and sour cream & mexican rice (from freezer)
to do - Make and freeze extra hummus, make and freeze bean burritos, save most of ground beef for Thurs, soak oats, pick up milk and egg drop off

Breakfast - Soaked oatmeal
Lunch - Egg Salad on crackers, roasted okra
Snack -  carrot sticks and hummus
Dinner - Turkey, stuffing, cranberries
to do - Pick up CSA box

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs
Lunch - fried sardines (from Whole Living, can't find it online) on crackers and fruit
Snack - peppers and hummus
Dinner - Tater tot casserole and fried cabbage
to do - bake muffins, freeze most

Breakfast - Anytime Muffins
Lunch - freezer bean burritos
Snack - hard boiled eggs
Dinner - creamed tuna & peas over rice
       dessert - bake cookies with Will as an end of C week celebration. Don't know what kind yet.

Breakfast - Dutch Baby Pancake
Lunch - Eggplant & onions over pasta
Snack - cookies and milk
Dinner - Turkey tetrazzini, whatever veggies or fruit we have left

*note - where appropriate, and I can afford it, real food substitutions are made in all of these recipes.

If you would, suggest a favorite cookie recipe with ingredients I probably already have, or your favorite scratch cranberry sauce recipe, I haven't chosen one yet. Do you make a meal plan each week? Feel free to leave a link, I love new ideas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

an 18 month old linguist

Yesterday was William's 18 month birthday. What a blessing this year and a half has been to us! I sat him on my lap yesterday and told him the wonderful things I love about him, his rambunctious spirit, his generosity with hugs and kisses, how kind he is to dogs and his love of all animals. I told him how much I love the little boy that is quickly replacing my baby. Lately he's been telling me a lot of things too. I thought I should take a few minutes to record his rapidly growing vocabulary at this toddler phase of his life.
Da Da - Da Da
Mom - Mommy (I thought I would get to be Mama or Mommy for a while before switching to Mom in early adolescence, but he's jumped right to it.)
Dog (replacing Dee) - Dog
dat - cat
ssh - fish
boo - peekaboo
boo - poop
boo - potty
boo - stinky
boo - spoon
boo - book
dree - read
go go go - football
bah - ball
car - car
jruck - truck
jruck - duck
choo choo - train
NAK! - snack
NAK - apple
NAK - crackers
jews - juice
jews -shoes
mook - milk
no - no
no - nose
nee - knee
meh - Micky Mouse
meh - Virgin Mary
meh neh - Handy Manny
beeby - his baby doll
beeby - anyone under 5

I bet there are a few more I've missed, but it's wonderful seeing him learn to identify the important things around him. He also does a few signs including please, more, bath, water, and pointing to his forehead with his thumb which is a request for us to bless him or a reminder to say grace, the start of the sign of the cross. It's the sweetest little thing! Even more amazing might be how well he understands us! Given that he's in the mood to take directions, we can tell him pretty complicated things once and he goes and does it right away. Of course that makes the many times he's not disposed to listen to his mommy all the more frustrating because I know he understands me. Which reminds me of the one last not so cute thing he does. doh accompanying a raised hand means he does not like whatever I just told him and I'd better catch that hand or get out of the way because he'll hit! Yes, like I said, the dearest most lovely little 18 month old boy, mostly!