Friday, October 30, 2009

Corn Cob Montessori

Oh wow, was this a huge hit!!! Removing the kernels from a cob of Indian Corn, one by one. The idea for this actually came from this great book, which is Waldorf Inspired.... but lends itself so nicely to both schools of thought. The first time I put this out for Aurora, she sat and worked for nearly 45mins and finished the whole cob! I've left the activity out, and she's gone back to it several times.... and carried the kernels off for all kinds of other activities too: cooking in the play kitchen, filling various containers, putting some into two duplo blocks to make 'maracas' (loved that one!), several have also made their way to the nature table.

I have many other activities planned to expand on this (hopefully we'll get to at least some of them before we lose steam- things have been moving pretty slowly around here):

~grinding the cobs together to make dust.... then using her little sweeper set to work on sweeping skills

~ using the mortar and pestal to grind some up. I don't think we'll get them fine enough to use in baking, but I plan to print out cultural pictures of stone grinding corn and then using some store bought masa to make corn tortillas.

~putting some in rice and then using a slotted spoon to sift them out and transfer to a bowl

~ soaking some overnight then using a blunt tapestry needle to string them into bracelets.

Any other ideas??

@ the pumpkin patch

We had absolutely beautiful fall weather for our trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend! Aurora was just getting over being sick and cooped up for several days and was so, so happy to finally be outside again. Oh, that's a ladybug on her finger in the last pic- possibly the highlight of the trip for her.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Update

So, my uterus has been a happenin' place, as of late. Our little guy is doing pretty well... We had a fetal echocardiogram done on him because he was high risk for heart issues due to the cystic hygroma he had earlier (which you can read about in this post). Little guy does have a small pinhole between two ventricals of his heart... this is called Ventricular Septal Defect and is the most common congenital heart defect, affecting 1-3% of every 1,000 births. We will be meeting with a Pediatric Cardiologist, but, to our understanding, what this means is basically that for now he'll just be watched. It doesn't change how or where I birth (phew!), but he'll have an echocardiogram done after birth and regularly after that. Hopefully, this will close up on its own, even before birth, or not too long after. My understanding is, that unless it is causing problems, surgery won't be needed.... but it's always a possibility too.

We were thrilled to get a couple of 3D shots of him during the ultrasound!! He looks like his Daddy!

At 27 weeks, he is measuring well at 2lbs 4 oz, which puts him at the 59th %tile- yay!

The other baby news is that I spent yesterday afternoon hooked up to monitors and having tests done because I wasn't feeling *quite right* and pretty sure I was having contractions. Turns out I have what is called Uterine Irritablility, which basically means I'm having frequent, but mild, contractions (lots of fun). My cervix appears to be fully closed and long which is a very good sign, and I had a fetal fibronectin test done, which is supposed to kinda predict whether I was likely to go into labor in the next two weeks, and that was negative-- which is a hugely good thing. So, now, I'm on kind of a partial bedrest.... I can still take Aurora to school and stuff, but for the most part I have to really take it easy... I was told I needed to really reduce my activity level, which I kinda felt like I wasn't doing much as it was~~ but it's better than full on bedrest, which I really hope to avoid. Because Aurora was early, I was already at higher risk for a preterm delivery, and this certaily bumps that risk up. But, like I said, having the fetal fibronectin come back negative is a great sign... and I'm really determined to keep this little guy in as long as possible... so send us lots of 'calm uterus' vibes please!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Late Night WIP Wednesday Update...

It's all done!

The Shore in October

The NJ Shore becomes a very different place in October than when we are there in July. The crowds have mostly gone, and nature returns to reclaim her throne. The colors and light change, the water is still warm- but the air quite cool, and the sights that are somewhat rare in July- live horseshoe crabs, flocks of sandpipers- become common. It's a wonderful treat for all the senses.

then there was this crazy thing/person flying around. He didn't really seem to have great control of it, either, so it was kinda scary. The shore in October also means that the beach patrols are gone, so anything goes, there were a few people driving on the beach too.... annoying.

WIP Wednesday

It's getting there. We were headed down to the shore last weekend (that post next :)), So i cast on while in the car... and before bed that night I had gotten this far:
Then I tried it on Rory.... TOO SMALL!!!!! argh! Just barely too. I had made up a swatch... adjusted my needle size, made up another and was ready to go making the size medium to fit 1-4 yrs. I kinda forgot that Rory's always been in like the 90th %tile for head circumference. Plus, I think in the actual hat, my knitting was a little tighter than in my swatch.

So, that hat was sadly ripped out, and I'm about 60% done with the second hat, a size large to supposedly fit ages 5- young adult. Hopefully it's not too big....

But I love the way the colors in her yarn are knitting up! She's quite the little dyer, isn't she?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


These are from a while ago... when I was taking a break from the blog, but I wanted to get them up here still, so I'd be sure to have captured the memory of them.

For about two weeks late in the summer, Aurora was all about the sidewalk chalk. She spent hours with it... It was quite the sidewalk, lol. What started out as just scribbles, soon turned into a closed circle shape- a big step in itself. Then one day she ran over exuberantly proclaiming that she "made a people like me! It has eyes!!!" I followed her over to where she was working to find this:
her very first person pictograph
While expressing my amazement, she set to work on another:
Then, a few days later started asking us to write the words for things she had drawn. As well as her name, again and again. One day, after Pete had written her name for her, she picked up the chalk and ...
The letter A's and people drawings have popped up elsewhere in her artwork, but never as many as those two weeks where her whole life was about the chalk.

I just love watching her developing art!

WIP Wednesday....on Thursday

I love looking at everybody's WIP Wednesday (WIP= work in progress), they're always so inspirational and I have gotten so many great ideas from them. However, Wednesday is not a preschool day for Aurora, and I seem to be posting primarily on the days she does have school (hmmm, wonder why?). So, while I will strive to have the actual posts on Wednesdays, I anticipate that this won't be the last WIP Thursday ;)

We've gotten a start on Aurora's winter hat. She picked out the Fae Folk Hat pattern, which I think is so cute, and Tuesday we went to our local yarn store after preschool to pick out yarn. Being my Libra girl, she went straight to the higher end yarns. She really liked a particular color way of Noro Silk Garden Lite... and as I've been looking for an excuse to give Noro a try, said yes.

But.... this yarn is so darn thick and thin! I mean really thick and thin. It's a DK weight yarn, but parts of it were more like an chunky while others were more of a lace weight. I've seen hats done in Noro, but I could tell I was going to struggle with it, and I was worried it wouldn't be warm enough with all those thin spots....

So, the Noro is now being knit up into a lacy scarf for me, which I think its much better suited for.

And, Aurora and I got started Kool-Aid rainbow dyeing some plain white wool worsted for her hat. She had a blast!! I can't wait to see how it knits up and she is so proud. Frontier Dreams has a great kool-aid dyeing tutorial for anybody who looking for one.

And, just for fun, here's the first of the baby knits. A sleep sack in the Sheepy Sack pattern knit with Marlabrigo merino yarn.... so soft and yummy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome, Autumn

Our Autumn nature table

Aurora and her sweet new Waldorf doll, Autumn, handmade by Grandmommy

the joy of Autumn leaves

cranberries cooking on the stove (wow, did that smell good!)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

and Pt. 3: opening presents

Then it was on to the presents

a ribbon wand for my sweet dancer girl

musical instruments which resulted in this impromptu concert (sorry it's sideways!)

Fancy dress up shoes- which had to be shown to each person individually she was so excited

and this really cool rainbow playset. As soon as she opened it, each child grabbed a piece and they all started working together to build this amazing structure. It was a spontaneous and peaceful cooporative exchange that was very sweet to watch.

And Auntie Becca sporting a balloon hat.

Pt. 2 Scenes from the party

We had Aurora's party Sunday in the community room of our apartment complex. It was lots of fun and chaos and mess- just as a 3 yr old's party should be!

There were those fun party blower thingies (I got the ones that didn't make noise)

I put up an area for a collaborative sticky collage... which now hangs in Aurora's room

there were mama-made balloon animals (thankyou Youtube!)

And, of course, cake! We did the whole cake baked in ice cream cones thing.