Saturday, February 28, 2009

Caroline the Author

Caroline has been talking about writing this book for a long time now. The title is based on this book by Kevin Henkes. I put some of the illustrations underneath the text from the corresponding pages (some were really just scribbles so I didn't bother posting those)... in the first one, the big circle is the hospital and the small circle (with the figure inside) is "mommy's tummy." The second drawing is trees, and the third is bunk beds (which were clearer before she made her pen "walk" up and down the ladders). The last picture is the aquarium - you can see the sting rays decently.

Cecilia, the Baby of the World
by Caroline R. Lewis
February 26, 2009

Cecilia is very tiny in Mommy’s tummy. Cecilia has been born in the hospital. Cecilia is special because her sister Caroline is soon going to be a big sister and help out.
Cecilia sees the outside of the world: the trees, the birds, the sky, and the squirrels. Caroline will tell Cecilia as she grows bigger what everything is outside the world.

Caroline says, “Cecilia, you will soon be a big helper and be able to help me clean up when it’s time to clean up, and it will be neat to have a bunk bed. You will sleep on the bottom, and I will sleep on the top.”

Cecilia and Caroline like the merry-go-round and afterward, they go to the little cars and trucks that move back and forth, you know, when you put money in. Let’s pretend that they are going to Wal-Mart. “Isn’t this fun?” said Cecilia. “Yes,” said Caroline, and she said, “We’re going to buy some groceries there, and you said you wanted a saucer chair, so we’re going to buy one while we’re there.”

Cecilia is now one and she is walking. This is the first time she has ever walked.

Caroline and Cecilia and their mommy are going to the aquarium with their friend Jake and his mom and his little brother.
Cecilia loves Caroline and she is now two. Now she has her baby doll that was up in Caroline’s closet, and she loves it.

The End – All Gone

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stations of the Cross Box for Caroline

I found this idea online for making a Stations of the Cross Box for little kids to use during Lent. So, I cannot take any credit for it! It turned out really nicely though, and Caroline is really enjoying it so far.

Inside the box, there are 14 cards - one for each station - that I printed out and covered with clear contact paper. Each one has the number and title of the station which it pictures. Caroline can try to line these up in order, look through the pictures, and just become more familiar with the stations by working with these cards.

There are also 14 items in the box which represent each of the 14 stations. Caroline can match these items up with the corresponding card. She also just likes to do other imaginative things with them! The above picture shows some of the objects: a piece of rope for the first station, Jesus is Condemned to Death, since his hands were probably bound when he was arrested and brought before Pilate. The wooden cross is for the second station in which Jesus takes his cross. The band-aid (of which there are three) represents the third, seventh, and ninth stations, which are the three falls of Jesus as he carried the cross. The red heart symbolizes Simon's help in carrying the cross in the fifth station, and the tissue is for the weeping women whom Jesus meets in the eighth station. The purple fabric represents Jesus's clothing for the tenth station, Jesus is Stripped of His Garments.

Here is Caroline's favorite, and the most time-consuming item I made for the box: a small figure of Mary for the fourth station, when Jesus meets his mother. Also shown are a nail for the eleventh station, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross, and a crucifix for the twelfth station, Jesus Dies of the Cross.

I first saw these wooden figurines of various saints and thought they would be so neat to have. Then I saw these homemade versions and thought, "Hmm, I could do something like that!" Then, a few months later (last week, that is!), I saw the plain wooden figures in the craft store, and I had the idea to make one into a little Mary for the fourth station in Caroline's box. It was funt o make - I will have to do more some time in the future!

For the sixth station, I made this model of Veronica's cloth which she used to wipe the face of Jesus. The laminated Pieta is for the thirteenth station, Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross. Today, while outside, we picked up a small rock for the fourteenth station to symbolize the stone that was rolled in front of the tomb in which Jesus was laid.

Here is Caroline matching up the items with their cards. She also carried the little Mary around with her most of the day, doing various things with her ranging from laying her down next to the crucifix and saying, "She is laying next to jesus and crying," to pretending that this was really a baby Mary and that she was Mary's mother, St. Anne.

My plan is to have the Stations Box out all throughout Lent, and it will be available to Caroline during our afternoon prayer time (and any time she wants it, really). We will also take it in the evenings next week to our parish "mission" in which we have a visiting priest doing talks each evening. She can look through it during the talks. Tonight she commented that she thought she should bring some other things to entertain her, but "I want them to be mostly holy things." :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Appeal of Stashing Small Round Objects

Cecilia occasionally has engaged in this odd activity (during the few minutes each day she is exploring rather than clinging to my legs, climbing all over me, or in my arms, that is ;). First, it was these plastic eggs. She was putting them on the bookshelf one by one. Maybe she can hide the eggs this year.
A few days later, while enjoying emptying the pantry, I noticed that the pearl onions had somehow moved from the bottom shelf to the highest shelf and were no longer in their bag. Cecilia again. She has a thing for onions big and small, it seems!

Here's a close-up of those onions, on top of a Tupperware container...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our Daily Routine

I made these charts for Caroline. They show what our typical daily routine is like, so she has a way to follow along and see what comes up next each day. This is really for days we are at home all day... if we have an outing of some type, then obviously we don't stick to the routine as closely.The first chart shows our morning routine: Get up, Eat breakfast, Get ready for the day, Focused activity with Mommy, Morning chores (Caroline can help or do some free play on her own), Morning snack, Outside time, Lunch time, Rest time. Then the second chart shows the afternoon routine: Afternoon prayer time, Read aloud and Afternoon snack, Chores and Dinner prep, Outside time, Clean up time, Quiet activities, Dinner, Family prayers, Get ready for bed and Sleep.

I don't know where the time goes in a day!! We struggle to get in our evening prayer time, during which we say a decade of the rosary for now. If we are running late, we get the girls to sleep and skip our family prayer time. We also don't usually end up with much quiet activity time before dinner... I have noticed a little more calm in the house since I have made time for dinner prep, but I still sometimes can't get it together enough for whatever reason, and we eat a little too late to have our evening prayer time. I want to make that a priority... it is hard with little ones, especially with a baby whose napping is sketchy if she isn't napping with me. And if I am laying down with her, it is harder to stick to our routine when I am not free to move around and do things other than lay nursing the napping baby. I know this will change eventually... that is one thing that is certain, things always change with children as they grow!

Does anyone have any tips or ideas related to your daily routines? Feel free to share!!

Valentine's Day

Caroline and I made sugar cookies for Valentine's Day! I had found a mix (gasp! the horror!) on sale at Kroger... an organic, whole grain mix (sighs of relief), which is why I got it - can't beat $1.29 for an organic cookie mix! So, we added butter and an egg and a bit of water, and we mixed it up.

The mix came with this little duck-shaped cookie cutter, and Caroline wanted the duck to help. So, here she and the duck press the heart-shaped cookie cutter down into the dough.

Then... two days later (blush), we finally got around to frosting them. I made a small batch of frosting using powdered sugar, butter, and a bit of milk and vanilla extract. I used grape juice concentrate to tint the frosting purple. Caroline practiced her fine motor skills by spreading the frosting on the cookies.

Aren't they pretty? You can tell which ones Caroline did!

So, that was our very basic celebration of Valentine's Day. And here is my very late post on it! ;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Big Stuff and the First Sign of Spring

Here's our first sign of spring... the yellow daffodils always bloom first around here, and it seems like they are in everyone's yards. They die off pretty much as soon as they finish blooming, but they are pretty while they last. Caroline picked a few of them so we could bring them in and have a centerpiece on our table. We have been having temperatures in the mid 60s recently... hopefully our blueberry bushes won't get confused gain like they did in 2007, when they began to grow during an early heat wave and then promptly died when the temps went back below freezing (as is normal in March!).

The girls examined these daffodils closely... Cecilia looked and did not try to grab them, surprisingly. This is just one patch we have of them - there are ore that grow around our little pond.

And look at this big girl (disregard the snotty nose, please)! She is not only standing alone - for a long period of time - but she got herself into this position with nothing around her! in other words, she went from sitting to standing position on her own. Now, she is not walking... Caroline walked for months before she could get herself upright without pulling up on something. Cecilia has chosen a different order in which to do things. She did take one small step while standing here, but she still does not seem quite sure of how to move while upright. She is mighty pleased with herself for being so big, though!

She likes to get upright, then squat down, then stand up straight again, over and over. She also will squat so low that she puts both hands on the ground, and then straightens her legs and looks upside-down through her legs.

Here's that teeny little step I mentioned...

I'm big stuff now! Soon I'll be able to keep up with Sister!

"Give her a Bone"

(quote attributed to my Grandpa, who apparently liked to watch us gnaw on bones as babies)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Speech Stuff

Cecilia is not talking yet, which is probably a blessing, seeing as Caroline does more than enough talking for both of them. Caroline was verbal very early, which makes it seem to me that Cecilia is "behind" in talking, but she's probably just more average. Caroline was saying many words at this age (not necessarily that others could understand, but it was clear to me that whenever I put a hat on her head and she said "hah" and looked up at the brim, she was saying "hat," for instance). Cecilia is less... interactive? That's not quite the right word. She just doesn't thrive on the verbal one-on-one exchanges. But she loves books and "reads" them with great interest. I am thinking I need to find a more relaxing bedtime story - she gets way too excited over "Goodnight Moon," I think because it has cats in it. And she discovered the real moon yesterday, in the sky in the late afternoon.

Thinking about baby speech made me start to reminisce about some of the things Caroline used to say... you know, the funny pronunciations kids come up with when they are learning to talk. I realized that I hadn't really written many of them down, and I better do it so I don't forget! I have memories of funny speech from my younger brothers but cannot always remember which one said them - one of us came up with "doonda" for "downstairs" and "nooney" for "naked." I do remember that my youngest brother said "dohdohdoh" for "barracuda." But don't ask me why we tried to get him to say "barracuda" in the first place ;) Obviously it was funny, so we had him say it over and over.

Anyway, I don't want to be trying to remember which kid said what when I'm 70, so I figured I should attempt to write some of it down!

Some of Caroline's early pronunciations:
Clean up - "deeahbah"
All done - "aaaahhhh" (with arms outstretched)
Lowe's - "ohve"
Sam's - "abpt"
brown - "bowah"
please - "psss"
soap - "ohpt"
rhinoceros - "rhinonahserus"
sunroom - "uhbt"
giraffe - "dahwah"
play area (the indoor play space in our mall) - "bayah"
library - "eye-bahbah"
Caroline - "Nah" and later, "Nina"
chick peas - "shck pss"
pumpkin - "punkum" (this is when she was even older, over 24 months of age)

If I think of more, I will add them! And if your kid had any weird pronunciations and you want to share them, feel free!

Definitions by Caroline

Highlighter: the kind of car that "Muh" (Gramma) drives.