Living a Little Greener: “Green My Routine”

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photo credit: StockMonkeys.com via photopin cc

I have really been into spending time with S. this summer and writing my Wet Wednesday blog posts about some of our water adventures; however, I realize I have been slacking on posts focused on other topics that I initially intended to write more about, especially “living a little greener”. I feel like I have also been slacking on “living a little greener” in my life as well so I think it is time to refocus a bit. As long as it is warm S. and I will still be playing in water when we can, but I just might not write about every one of our new water activities.

In terms of being green, I know the big thing I need to do is think about my actions and start doing things like grabbing reusable bags instead of plastic when I can, but I also know that there are a lot of products out there that would help Matt, S., and I live a little greener. I have decided that not only do I need to reevaluate some of our green living practices, but I also need to stop being so cheap and buy a few new things that will help us lead greener lives both in terms of better for our environment and better for our health. The problem is that I have trouble convincing myself to go out and buy new things that might not be 100% necessary. I mean, I could just keep using plastic Tupperware instead of investing in glass right? I already have the plastic Tupperware or if I need more I can pick it up cheap somewhere; however I know it would be much better to store our food in glass or stainless steel. So in order to make myself feel better about the money I want to spend on green products, I asked Matt if he would mind using money from various credit card reward programs or other similar programs to buy some products to help us live a little greener. This is money that we look at as “extra” usually since it doesn’t come from a regular paycheck. Matt agreed and I set out to add up how much money I have to spend:

  • Reward points from our Citi Card MasterCard. This used to be the card we used most frequently until American Express swooped in with a better rewards program. Now we just use the card when they have bonus categories where you get extra points. We have a total of 13,401 points saved up that I can cash out for approximately $125 in gift cards (i.e., Amazon, Target, Home Depot).
  • We are currently using our American Express card as our every day card because we get cash back on all of our purchases. Our current cash back amount available is $294.
  • I also have an Amazon credit card that I only use for Amazon purchases. Since I only use the card on Amazon, it takes a little while to accumulate reward points, but I currently have 2,335 points which amounts to about $23 to spend on Amazon.
  • I used to use the website Swagbucks a lot, but now I just use it occasionally for their affiliate shopping rewards program. If I was more diligent about using Swagbucks for searches as well as shopping rewards I am sure the points would add up faster, but I currently have 2,962 Swagbucks, which amounts to about $35-$40 in gift cards.
  • I also recently started using the shopping apps ibotta and Checkout 51. I haven’t been using them as much as I should since I haven’t been very organized with our grocery shopping the past month or two, but I do have $12.50 from ibotta that I can cash out.

That is a grand total of about $490 in either cash back rewards or gift card value. I was pleasantly surprised when I added it all up and I am not sure I will spend it all on “greening my routine”, but I will see how it goes. There are a few other sites where I have some credit, but not enough to get any actual cash back or gift cards at this time so I didn’t count them. They include the stock photo sites iStockphoto, Dreamstime, and Shutterstock, the shopping rewards programs Checkout 51 and Ebates, and the collaborative group invention site Quirky.

So yay! I get to spend our “extra” money. I am way better at saving than spending so we will see how this goes, but I am excited. I know I have some work to do in our kitchen in terms of food storage, but I also want to take a look around the rest of our house and even our yard to see how I can “green my routine”. So please, if you know any great new inventive products or other ways to help me live a little greener let me know! Also, if there is anyone who would like to join me on this journey, it would be fun to share our experiences. I will definitely share how I choose to spend my money, ways I hope to make my life a little greener (even if it is free, which would be even better), and I will try to share follow-ups on the things I do and products I purchase to see if they really are making our lives greener and if I think they are worth the money.

Wet Wednesday: Maine Lakes

I know I have already had a couple of posts about our recent vacation, but I have just one more adventure to share. Maine has thousands of lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state and it seems like you are never further than a short drive away from one. It is one of the many things I love about Maine and one of the things Matt and I both look forward to when we return to Maine every summer to visit my family. I grew up swimming in, and canoeing on, Maine lakes and I was so happy to share that experience with S. for the first time this summer. So what did we do to give her a memorable first experience? We put her in a life jacket and dropped her off in the middle of a lake to let her float around by herself.IMG_6171

OK, not really. Matt was right below the surface of the water holding her. See, here he is swimming around with her while she practices floating on her back.IMG_6164Wearing a life jacket was a little cumbersome for S. who loves to freely splash around in the water, but it did help her float on her back and for safety we put it on her whenever we were in water where we couldn’t touch the bottom. The water was a little chilly, but not as cold as the ocean. S. didn’t protest the water temperature, but she did get cold easily so we spent some time cuddling on the dock to stay warm and exploring the adjacent parking lot and boat ramp. While she loved being with her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, she is going through a “mommy phase” so she frequently made sure I was close by or pulled me along when she wanted to go off exploring.

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But she did separate from me long enough to sit on the front of a kayak all by herself while her uncle paddled her around. What do they call those mascots they put on the front of boats? Well, whatever they are called, that is kind of what S. was.IMG_5926

OK, I’m joking again. Matt was right there just like before, ready to catch her (and she was ready to grab onto him). IMG_5927I tried to put her on my lap for a little while and paddle her around in the kayak. I think she would have liked it, but once we paddled a short distance away from the shore she looked back and saw a tractor at the property adjacent to where we were swimming and it was all over, she wanted to go see that tractor! In addition to (or should I say in spite of) the tractor obsession, she had fun throwing rocks in the water, watching her cousins swim, and having us chase her into the water.

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And one day we got to watch a little visitor that came up close to us and swam near (and then under) the dock where we were swimming. I think this was the closest I have ever been to a water snake in Maine and it was pretty exciting for everybody, well except the snake, it didn’t appear to be too excited or even bothered by us being there.

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On one of our last days in Maine we were able to take S. on a short canoe ride. We didn’t go for too long because I wanted to make sure she enjoyed it and didn’t have a bad first experience, but she really seemed to have a good time. Luckily she didn’t insist on paddling like I had imaged she might because that probably would have been a little counterproductive to the whole canoeing experience. Instead, she just sat in my lap and floated along with us while we sang songs for her.IMG_6131

And at the end, after she had figured out how to lean over the side and dip her fingers in the water, she was still smiling. I hope this means she loves canoeing and kayaking as much as her dad and I do so that she will sit on our laps before too long and go kayaking with us (we don’t have a canoe).IMG_6152

What a fun way to spend a vacation; introducing S. to the lakes of Maine. It was a great way to escape the heat of Texas, spend time with family, and marvel at how well S. adjusts to every new experience we throw at her. Not only did she adapt to everything while we are were on vacation, she seemed to really be having a good time and enjoying each new activity like it was a grand new adventure we were taking her on.

Wet Wednesday: Swimming and Sea Glass

IMG_6019The Atlantic Ocean along the Nova Scotia coast is cold, but inviting. While we were visiting relatives in Canada, S. got her first chance to swim in the ocean and enjoy the rocky beaches that I love. She and I spent more time swimming in the pool because it was warmer than the ocean, but we did quickly brave the cold so that we could “enjoy” her first time swimming in the ocean.IMG_6008We were trying to wave and look happy, but it was cold! I guess once you get in and start swimming a bit it isn’t too bad (so I was told), but S. wanted to get out and I didn’t argue. We weren’t in the water very long at all and spent a lot more time sitting on the dock warming up and looking for fish or anything else that might float by in the water.IMG_5988

S. also loved all the steps that lead down to a dock where her cousins were fishing. Matter of fact, she was a little obsessed with “steps steps steps” our whole trip. I guess steps are exciting when you are little and you live in a single story house where there are no steps besides your two-step stepping stool. So S. loved the steps going down to the dock and spent time with Grandma playing on them.IMG_5986Maybe I should find some steps in Austin and just take S. there to play. She would have a good time and probably wear herself out, although sometimes she isn’t very careful so letting her play on steps requires me to pay close attention to her every move, even when she refuses to hold my hand and doesn’t want me to touch her.

Something that I definitely won’t find in Austin, or anywhere else in Texas, is a nice rocky beach like you find along the Atlantic coast in Maine and the Maritimes. We all really enjoyed morning walks on the rocky beach where there was a lot to look at and cold water to stick our toes in (S. actually sat right down in it too).IMG_6026

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S. watched her cousins collecting sea glass and started her own small collection as well. She found a piece or two by herself and spent some time digging in the sand with Grandma looking for more pieces. IMG_6064

We also gave her a few pieces to hold onto which she shared with me a few times when she wanted to spread them out on my hand and look at them.IMG_6027

But for the most part she clutched them very tight in her little hands and wished she could hold on to even more pieces as she searched her dress for pockets like her cousins had to store their sea glass in. Unfortunately toddler clothes don’t often come with good pockets. IMG_6028

She also enjoyed poking at rocks and staring at the ocean, but she made sure to guard her pieces of sea glass fiercely.

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It is fun to watch S. learn to identify different things like sea glass and it is amazing to me how fiercely she establishes a quick attachment to things, like the small pieces of sea glass. She has definitely learned the concept of mine as well as the word. Now I have to learn to navigate the world of parenting a toddler who wants things she can’t have and is willing to scream for them if you don’t give them to her. I also am going to have to learn to say no once in a while to her as she stares at me with her sweet big eyes and says “peasss” (please) as she frantically swirls her hand around in front of her chest trying to sign please to me. But for the last couple weeks of August we just enjoyed our time together and with our family  in the northeast where S. had plenty of opportunities to run around and enjoy her first trip to the ocean, including swimming in the cold Atlantic water and collecting pieces of sea glass.IMG_6001

 

Wet Wednesday: Traveling by Ferry

We just got home from vacation and we are all tired from traveling, but we had a great time. S. was an amazing little traveler and got a chance to partake in many different water activities; however, since it is late Tuesday night and we just finished unpacking, I am going to keep this post short. I am still in travel mode, so I am going to write about one of our adventures that included both water and travel: a ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy from St. John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia. We were on our way to visit relatives and had the option of driving for 6.5 hours or driving for 1.5 hours, taking a 3 hour ferry ride, and then driving for another 2.5 hours. While the trip with the ferry ride was longer, we decided it would be a lot more fun and way better than keeping S. strapped in a car seat for 6.5 hours. When we arrived at the ferry terminal we had some time to wait so S. got her first view of the Atlantic Ocean. IMG_5943 There was a lot going on, from a train crossing a nearby train track to trucks and cars driving off the ferry, so S. paid more attention to everything else going on around, but she did notice the water nearby. I also have to note here that I still love my Ergo carrier. I don’t use it very often anymore, but when I need to contain S. safely and happily, the Ergo is the way to go, traveling would have been a lot more difficult without it. The ferry across the Bay of Fundy isn’t a small ferry by any means. It has multiple decks to wander, a lounge that S. loved running around, a restaurant, bar, gift store, and a few other amenities. There are natural history lectures, geology lectures, and even a guided whale watching event during the three hour cruise (did anyone else suddenly think of Gilligan?). S. loved running around the decks which of course made me nervous since I had these images of her careening into the hard steel sides of the boat or somehow launching herself over a railing, so I made her hold my hand while she walked around the decks which caused her to emit more than one angry screech and start crawling across the deck a few times. Overall we had fun though, and it was a great way to break up the car ride.IMG_5951 When S. wasn’t running around like crazy she did enjoy looking out at the water. She loved seeing other boats and I think she even spotted a jellyfish with me that floated by just before we started our return trip. IMG_5953I don’t know if S. would agree, but I think the best part of the ferry ride was her nap. I put her in the Ergo against my chest and took her on deck where the hum of the engine drowned out other noises. The air was so fresh and the boat moved through the water with a gentle rocking motion, I can only hope that her nap was as peaceful for her as it was for me. S. napped against my chest for an hour and a half while I watched pods of porpoises swim by. IMG_5961Before our trip I was a little anxious about how safe the ferry would be for S. and if she would nap or not, but I found out that traveling by ferry with a one year old is a lot of fun. She loved the chance to run around and I loved the change of view and the new forms of entertainment it provided for both of us. While we definitely were not in the water for this water activity, for me this was one of my favorite water adventures with S.; it was a perfect addition to our summer vacation and something I hope to do again with S. when she is a little older and can enjoy activities like whale watching, although I might miss her nap.

Wet Wednesday: Toddler Water Activities from Other Blogs

This week S. didn’t really get any water play time. It is hot, and she may end up playing in the hose or her water table a little bit this afternoon, but other than that and a few bowls of water to play with on the kitchen floor in the morning, we have been pretty much water free (except for bath time of course). After last week’s outing to Barton Springs Pool S. was a little congested (I don’t know if it is related) so we haven’t wanted to take her swimming again. On top of that we are packing and traveling this week for our summer vacation, YAY!, so we haven’t had a lot of spare time. I didn’t want to miss a Wet Wednesday post though, so I have been browsing some other blogs and thought I would make a list of five water related activities for toddlers that look fun. Some of these activities I want to try in the near future, others I think I will have to wait a little while until S. is just slightly older.

1) Edible Water Beads

I have seen a lot of posts lately about using water beads for sensory play with toddlers. Most of the posts I have seen use water beads that are manufactured for home decor (i.e. filling vases, etc.), and while they do claim to be “non-toxic” I still wonder exactly what they are made of and what is used to give them those vibrant colors. Here is a picture of some of the traditional water beads that are sold at craft stores or (like the ones in the photo below) from Amazon.

And here is a link to a blog post from TinkerLab about using them with small children. The author actually gave them to a 14 month old who apparently enjoyed them and didn’t eat them, but I don’t know if that would be true for S. I might try them when she is a little older and I don’t have to worry about her putting them in her mouth and choking on them, but in the mean time I was thrilled to find an idea of how to make edible water beads using tapioca pearls. Here is the blog post from A Little Pinch of Perfect, and below is a photo from her blog as well showing the colored tapioca pearls.

Photo credit and source: A Little Pinch of Perfect.

They might not be as perfect and round as the commercial water beads, but they look like they are a little smaller (I don’t think S. would choke on them) and I could use some natural foods to color them like I did with the finger paint I made for S., making them completely safe for her to play with.

 

2) Glowing Bath Water

If I still had one of those black lights from high school around I might give this a try. While I don’t think I am going to go out and buy a black light right now just for an activity I am not sure S. would understand or appreciate, I do think this looks pretty cool. You can crush up and add a vitamin B complex to a tub of water and it will glow under a black light. Here is the post about it from Fun at Home with Kids, and below is a picture from the blog.

Photo credit and source: Fun at Home with Kids.

The author cautions not to serve your kid a “cup of glowing bath water” despite the fact that it is safe and edible. S. drinks bath water by the mouth full, so black light issue aside, I probably should wait on this one. Also, you obviously have to be careful and keep the black light a safe distance from the tub.

Some other ideas for making the water glow that I have seen are to use a black light with tonic water, non-toxic fluorescent paint, or color extracted from a highlighter. I guess some highlighters, but not all, will glow under a black light. I have also seen the suggestion to add glow sticks to a bath tub (or in a water bottle). I have read that people will cut open glow sticks and dump the contents into their children’s bath water, but I would be very hesitant to do that since I don’t know what is inside them.

 

3) DIY Water Wall

You know all those random plastic containers that enter your house with food and cleaning products in them? For us they typically go straight to the recycle bin when they are empty, but here is a great way to reuse them: make a water wall. If you search Pinterest you will find tons of examples of water walls for kids, the possibilities are literally endless, but here is one example from Happy Hooligans:

Photo credit and source: Happy Hooligans.

It is also nice that you can always take it apart and throw the pieces in the recycle bin, or on a cold day when you don’t want your little ones to get wet, you could give them a bucket of sand to pour through the pieces instead of water.

 

4) Toy Boats

There are so many ways to make toy boats that can float in a bath tub, pond, or pool. I am looking forward to sitting down with S. one day and working on different craft projects, but for now I am waiting because the second I bring out scissors she is going to try to run away with them and then throw a small tantrum when I don’t let her (we currently have this problem with forks and no, spoons just aren’t the same, she wants to run around with forks). While I am sure most of us could come up with our own ideas of how to make a toy boat, it is nice to see what other materials people are using. Here is one from the website Instructables that uses recycled materials:

Photo credit and source: Instructables.

While I like using materials that would otherwise go straight to the garbage or recycle bin, the downside is that it uses cardboard so it probably wouldn’t be a toy that you could hold on to very long. For a little toy boat you can make that might last a little longer, you can check out the blog post for the pool noodle boat  from the blog Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. It uses pieces of pool noodles, straws, and foam sheets to make cute little toy boats, here is a picture:

Photo credit and source: Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails.

I think I actually have some pool noodle pieces stashed away somewhere and some straws, so if I get some sheets of foam or figure out something else to make the sails out of, I could probably make some of these little boats. It might be fun to let S. help put the pieces together if I cut them out ahead of time so that she doesn’t see the scissors or other cutting/hole punching implements (maybe the hole puncher, I think she might be able to handle that one).

 

5) Soap Boat Races

I think this one looks like a lot of fun. When I looked at it I thought to myself “S. doesn’t know what a race is”, but then I realized it was more about the activity than the racing part, which is good because I am not ready for S. to learn about competition and competitive games. The boats are similar to the pool noodle boats above, but they are made out bars of soap instead of pool noodles. While you could probably just float these little boats in a pool, pond, or tub, the real fun is the rain gutter “chute” that they go down. According to Jamielyn at i heart naptime, you can get a rain gutter from Lowe’s for $5. You can read more about the activity on her blog post titled Soap boat races, and here is a photo from her blog post:

Photo credit and source: i heart naptime.

 

While these are all activities I look forward to trying with S. at some point, over the next few weeks I hope to post about her first canoeing and kayaking experiences as she explores Maine lakes for the first time as well as her first ferry trip across the Bay of Fundy… aahhh, vacation, here we come.

Wet Wednesday: Exploring Barton Springs Pool

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IMG_5820I often get caught up in trying to create fun activities for S. in our own backyard; however I forget there are so many great places to swim just a short drive away. Or should I say, a short drive away if you don’t miss an exit and get stuck in crazy Austin traffic. This past weekend we decided to take S. to Barton Springs Pool, probably the most famous swimming spot in Austin. I have to admit that this was my first time going even though I have lived in Austin for over four years now. While it is almost embarrassing to say that I had never been swimming at Barton Springs Pool prior to this weekend, I think it is cool  that S. and I got to experience it for the first time together.

For those of you not from Austin, Barton Springs Pool is a spring fed pool right in the heart of Austin. For me, it is cold in the summer and freezing in the winter, but the temperature is actually pretty consistent year round at 68-70 degrees. The pool is also home to a federally listed endangered species, the Barton Springs Salamander. Luckily the Barton Springs Salamander has survived the millions of visitors that frequent the pool. According to the City of Austin website, Barton Springs Pool can attract 800,000 visitors a year. Matt, S., and I hardly survived all the visitors. On the way to Barton Springs Pool we were talking and missed our exit. We then got stuck in traffic, had to wait in line to pay for parking, and had to wait for a parking spot (I would complain about the person who took forever to get in their car, but I take forever too because S. usually wants to nurse as soon as I go to put her in her car seat). We thought we finally made it through all the obstacles between us and swimming, but then we saw the line to get in the pool area; it was about 200 feet long and full of families with hot tired children and college students drinking twisted tea. Matt was ready to leave when he saw the line, but I thought we should stay and wait it out. There was a playground close by so I figured I could stand in line and Matt could take S. to play. She certainly thought it was a good idea.IMG_5842 When we finally made it to the pool area, we put S. in a life jacket for the first time. She sort of fell over and couldn’t get back up just like a turtle on its back. She wasn’t too disturbed by this and Matt and I found it pretty funny. Don’t worry though, we didn’t leave her flailing around on her back for too long.IMG_5815 Matt loves cold water so he hopped right in and S. happily went with him. She seemed OK with being in the life jacket and contently splashed away like she usually does when we take her swimming.IMG_5816However, we quickly learned that there are a lot of rules the lifeguards enforce at Barton Springs Pools. S. wasn’t allowed in the area where we were swimming, I think it might have just been because she was in the life jacket, but regardless, the lifeguard told us we had to take her to the shallow murky water or an area designated for people with floats. Other rules we learned throughout the day were you can’t walk around with a child on your shoulders and you can’t swim with someone holding onto your back. After the lifeguard came to talk to us Matt and S. climbed out of the pool (no, the lifeguard said they could not just swim to the designated area) and we moved to a baby-in-life jacket approved area. Matt hopped back in the water with S. and they floated around a little bit while I got ready to jump in with them. IMG_5829S. didn’t even complain when Matt took her quite a ways out to the middle of the pool.However, by the time I was ready to put the camera down and go for a swim, S. was calling for me. I usually am such a wimp when it comes to cold water, but having my “baby” calling for me and saying “up up up mama” was a bit of an incentive to jump in quickly. As soon as I got in S. was shivering and ready to get out. I took her out and we sat on the edge for a while so that she could warm up. Matt took her back in when she appeared to have warmed up, but I think she was still a little overwhelmed by the experience so she just wanted me to hold her. We got back out and she and I cuddled in the hot sun while Matt swam for a bit. IMG_5833 A little later we were all sitting on the edge of the pool with S. sitting on my lap when I felt a warm trickle hit my legs. Ah yes, a nice little reminder that swim diapers don’t hold any pee. Thanks S. We cleaned up a bit, I jumped back in the water, and then S. was ready for our swim experience to be over. I think this is the first time a swimming experience has been almost too much for S., usually even if she is shivering she wants to stay in the water. I can’t really blame her though, Barton Springs Pool is cold, and with all the people swimming and sunbathing there is a lot going on. On top of that we put her in a life jacket for the first time so I think it was all a little overwhelming for her.

Despite the fact that it took us a while to actually get to the pool and that S. didn’t last very long in the water. We had a fun time cooling off in the spring water and being true Austinites for an afternoon. There are also a lot of other great swim spots in Austin. We really like Deep Eddy Pool which is also spring fed and cold, but more of a typical pool than Barton Springs Pool. Barton Springs Pool is really more of a channelized, dammed up creek. When S. was little last year we enjoyed taking her to Little Stacy Wading Pool where we could sit in the shallow water and hold her under the shade of a big live oak tree. I found a list of the top five swimming holes in Austin on the website 365 Things to Do in Austin, Texas. Barton Springs Pool is listed as number one, but I really want to check out number five, Krause Springs, so I see more swimming adventures in our future; I don’t think S. will mind too much.

Wet Wednesday: Washing the Car(s)

Lately S. has been into helping us around the house. She usually makes any given household chore take at least twice as long, but she enjoys helping and we enjoy watching her attempts at helping. Her favorite household chore up until this weekend was laundry; she likes taking it in and out of the dryer, pushing the laundry basket around, and unloading it. This weekend she started “helping” with a couple new chores. The first was spraying any surface possible with a squirt bottle and wiping it, the only problem was we gave her an empty soap bottle that didn’t really squirt. She was quick to improvise though and figured out how to make the squirt sound with her mouth which seemed just as satisfying to her. The second chore that she helped with this weekend quickly became her new favorite: washing the car.

We parked the car on the front lawn because water in Austin is precious and we very rarely water the lawn so when we wash the car we give the yard a little bit of water at the same time. We don’t use any soaps or cleaners either, water and a good scrubbing seem to get the job done just fine. After Matt parked the car on the front yard S. grabbed her rubber duck (because you just never know when you will need your duck) and was ready to assist in whatever task was coming her way.

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You could see her start to get excited when the hose came out and then when the water was turned on she was thrilled.

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She quickly got into the action and loved squirting the car down with the hose. She was actually pretty good at squirting the car, but we were afraid that she would swing the hose around and the metal nozzle would hit the car so after a little while we changed out the metal nozzle for a rubber one.IMG_5758

She did spend a little while hosing herself down as well. She accidentally squirted me with the hose and I shrieked a little while I tried to keep the camera dry. She thought this was hilarious so for a little while I was the primary target instead of the car.

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S. didn’t get quite as into wiping the car down as she did squirting it with the hose. Matt tried to get her to help on the roof, but she wasn’t really sure what to do or think so very little cleaning actually got done.

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“Wheel” is one of her many new words so she has been into wheels lately. Wheels on toys, on office chairs, on bikes, on buses (she loves singing about the wheels on the bus), in books… so of course she didn’t pass up the opportunity to help clean the wheels on the car.

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And S. never passes up a good opportunity to stick the hose in her face and try to drink water straight out of the nozzle. I try to make sure that she waits a little bit after I turn the hose on so that she doesn’t drink the water that has been sitting in the hose, but there is no stopping her from drinking water straight from the nozzle; if the hose is out and water is flowing, at some point it will go in her mouth. IMG_5774

After a while she wandered back into the garage and we emerged with her little push car. It was decided that her car could use a good washing too, so we parked it on the lawn and she hosed it down a bit.IMG_5789

She also decided to clean under the hood which turned into filling the little trunk full of water.IMG_5801And then sticking her head in the trunk full of water. Over and over and over again. It is as if she just cannot resist any opportunity to get her head wet even if it means sticking it inside a small plastic compartment. IMG_5808Some day I am sure household chores really will be just that for S.; chores that she doesn’t necessarily want to do. Watching her help out this weekend made me realize that before I know it we will be telling her to pick up her toys, put her clothes away, wash her dishes, clean her room etc. I know there will be days she doesn’t want to do certain tasks, there will be chores she hates doing, there will be things that we ask her to do that involve more work than her regular day to day household chores (oh no, is that when we have to start making decisions about allowance?), and there will probably be resistance on her part at times. However, right now household chores are more of a game for S. and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. She loves copying us and trying to do what we are doing, she likes it when we play games that involve her following directions, and she over all just loves to learn and do new things. I am hoping if we make chores enjoyable for her now that she will grow into a little kid who loves to help out, and that she will learn to take on responsibility with a smile.

 

Ten Toddlerisms

IMG_5543It seems like S. is always trying to get her point across in one way or another. Even with her words starting to progress more and more every day, there is still a lot of frustration, mind changes, and screeches when she is trying to express her needs and wants. If she could express herself in sentences here are ten things I think I would hear a lot of, I call them “toddlerisms”:

1. If I see it and want it, give it to me or I will scream.

2. All cell phones automatically go to me.

3. I can type better than you can, do not take the computer away from me.

4. Outlets are put on walls at my level for a reason, stop telling me not to touch them.

5. I don’t want it, I don’t want it, I don’t want it, GIVE IT TO ME NOW!

6. Give it to me, give it to me, give it to me, I DON’T WANT IT!

7. I can walk over rocks, down a hill, by a river, or along a cliff all by myself, don’t hold my         hand… Mama, Mama, Mama, I fell, it hurts, I’m bleeding, kiss my booboo.

8. I don’t care what the question is, the answer is NO!

9. Pick me up, pick me up, pick me up, PUT ME DOWN!

10. Hold me, hug me, kiss me, love me Mama.

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