Thursday, January 31
Tuesday, January 29
Monday, January 28
I am getting excited about gardening with her. We got Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children based on a recommendation from one of my favorite blogs. I hope to do three of the projects described in the book with her this spring. I know. I know. It isn't even February yet and I am already planning my spring gardening. But that is what gets me through the cold of winter.
Saturday, January 26
This is the first one I can actually say was a success. Froggy has pointed at it and referred to it and talked about it. Using the board, I now that she understands the holiday and some of the traditions associated with it. We will see how it goes as we carry it into our second week and finally celebrate the holiday.
And as we did with Hanukkah, here is my review of our TuB'Shevat books.
The Giving Tree Yes the classic Shel Silverstein book. It sweet and sad with the cute line drawings for which he is known. It was a good tie-in to the conservation aspect of the holiday
A Seder for Tu B Shevat (Tu B'Shevat)- A true hagaddah with stories songs and blessings. We may go back and get multiple copies of this like we have of our Passover haggadot.
Sammy Spider's First Tu B'Shevat- This was our third and final attempt with a Sammy the Spider book. They all stink and I will read no more of them.
It's Tu B'shevat (Very First Board Books)- A nice book with a basic description of the holiday. I would recommend as the introductory book for the standard toddler.
Grandpa and Me on Tu B'Shevat- and last but by no means least - our favorite. It is a sweet sweet story. I like the use of poetry and imagery. Froggy liked the repetition. It is done in the style of "the hole in the bottom of the sea" where each step builds on the previous.
And to add some science / nature study into the mix, we read
A Tree Is a Plant (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science) a well done factual book about how trees grow and live. The language and concepts are simple without being infantile. The drawings are detailed and well labeled. The style address the child and engenders a personal interest in the story.
Tuesday, January 22
We have been really talking up the holiday and preparing for it with our learning board and stories. Last night, we did a Tu B'Shevat seder which was fun but not the hit I had hoped. We had friends over and used our holiday dishes. Everyone enjoyed sampling the fruits but the little ones were too focused on drinking the wine(juice - a rare and special treat) to get any real meaning out of it. For dessert, we had birthday cake with candles and sang Happy Birthday to the trees. Everyone blew out the candles since the trees couldn't. I will keep the idea and continue each year adding more pieces and details. Hopefully the meaning will grow.
Today to continue the celebration, we planted seeds instead of a tree. I had wanted to string popcorn to go hang on our special tree but the toddler-safe wooden needle I got demolished the popcorn rather than threaded it. I have never threaded popcorn before but it sounded like a good idea. Thats ok. Froggy and her friend had fun eating the popcorn.
Monday, January 21
I hope you enjoy this different voices as much as I do. And let them know that you visited.
Saturday, January 19
This is a sample of the style
The only company I found that makes just what I am looking for is Hanna Andersson but I cannot abide their prices. I know there must be another source but I have yet to find it and I am getting very frustrated.
Thursday, January 17
Once upon a time there were two people who were very much alike. They decided early on that they were so alike they couldn't be involved. But they talked together, traveled together, and spent so much time together that they realized that they couldn't be anything else. On November 25 1994 they made it official. On November 25 2001 they made it legal. And on every day in between and since they've made it work, in good times and bad, in hard times and easy. From Pittsburgh to Brooklyn to New Jersey to Boston to Virginia, home has always been where they both were.
Today the total did not reach anywhere near that high but we got enough to make two respectably sized snowmen and have some serious snow ball fights. Froggy was delighted with the snow. She is a real rough sort. She had no interest in snowman building other than to note its completion. She wanted snowball fights and nothing but snowballs fights. She was happy with the brief pause in the fighting for trips down a hill-let in her toddler sled. But then is was right back to the snowballs. She would have stayed out until it was ptich-black if she had not gotten caught right in the face with a stray snow ball.
Wednesday, January 16
With the start of the new year, we have added two classes and a coop day to our already established schedule of storytime and Shabbat observances. These added activities have prompted questions about what day it is. So Froggy is starting to learn the days of the week. We are singing a days of the week song every day since Froggy loves songs and learns so well from songs. Part of our bedtime routine now is calendar time. We cross the day off talking about the name of the day, put a star on that day if we have no potty accidents and pack our bag for the next day. I am also getting a few books like this from our library to help explain the cyclic nature of the week. We have had a great deal of success using ideas from Seven Times Around The Sun to help with the cyclic nature of each day but we are still struggling with the larger cycles.
Tuesday, January 15
To me part of being a good parent is knowing/understanding your child(ren). This is especially important to me as a first time parent. Each time Froggy enters a new stage of life, I need to relearn her needs and abilities. Right now closure is an important need for her. Only if she can see the end of something or say good bye to something can she let it go and move on successfully. If I neglect to provide her a closure opportunity, it may not show up immediately but the effects are there.
Until now I have not provided a good closure for Shabbat. This had led to some untimely and urgent requests to go to synagogue or make Challah. This week we will add a new ritual to our family’s routine by celebrating Havdalah at home. For our first Havdalah as a family, we will make a special spice box. We will use our regular Shabbat kiddish cup and hold our Havdalah candle in tin foil.
Saturday, January 12
The winter holiday season is over. There is not even any snow on the ground. Could you please please please stop singing Jingle Bells constantly. I know it is the Batman version and that does make it a little bit better. But Mommy is so so tired of that song and I know you know others.
Your mom of hurting ears.