Monday, November 30, 2009


Okay - so is a one year old (2 months away from being 2) supposed to be able to count?

We have this "game" we play most mealtimes.

Usually Jaden's food is too HOT ("aht" in Jaden-speak) so we put the plate into the freezer to cool off.
Sometimes it's that the food is too cold and has to be put in the microwave to warm up.
Either way - he agrees that it has to be done and tells you it is okay. But, the second you put it either place, he gets mad.

So....we count.

I hold up fingers and we count to 10. Early on he started saying "TEN" after I would get to nine.

Today, I put his food in the freezer and said, "Can you help me count?"
As I counted he repeated the numbers after me.
one - "un"
two - "oo"
three - "ee"
four - "or"
five - "ive"
six - "ix"
seven - "ven"
eight - "tah"
nine - "ein"

We did this a few times then we took the food out and it was still too hot. So, I put it back in the freezer. As I turned around I heard Jaden say.
"un, oo, ee"



Am I imagining things?

SO....when Daddy got home we told him about Jaden's counting.
Again he repeated all the numbers after me.

Another thing he has been really interested in doing is pointing out numbers on the Thomas Trains in the books we read. He has one book where there is a train from 1 - 10 and each page has you counting things that correspond to the number on the train. He is always really interested in the numbers in this book and points to the numbers on trains in other books. However, it doesn't seem like he ever notices the numbers on his actual train toys.

So, there was a Percy on the floor (#6). I asked Jaden "Where is Percy's number?"
He looked at me for a minute, looked at Percy, and then picked him up and pointed to the number six.
All of a sudden he ran over to a Thomas Train nearby (#1), pointed to the 1 and said "UN!"



Am I imagining things?

Isn't this like pre-reading number identification? baby's ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gift from Grandma K

Even in this age of internet communication I think Jaden is going to learn to LOVE the mail!
A present came from Grandma and Grandpa K a few weeks ago.
Of COURSE, he loves it!

Opening the paper is some of the best fun!
Train puzzle cards!
He spent LOADS of time taking them out of the bag and putting them back in. Of course, they are easier to get in and out of the box so he does that too.

A few days later, he showed me a bit of his ORGANIZED personality and had to line them up in a neat row.
I think he was making a train of trains!

Banana Cake with Caramelized Banana Topping

Somehow I ended up with a whole BUNCH of bananas going bad in my kitchen so I decided to make some banana bread.

But, right before I was going to start, I saw this recipe in a magazine!

First, cut bananas to the length of your loaf pan and then in half.
Heat sugar and water in a skillet
Cook bananas cut side down for a few minutes, transfer to loaf pan, top with extra caramel mixture
Mash some more bananas
Add sugar
Mix. Add vanilla and eggs
Get a little help
This is sometime after adding the flour and cinnamon
Pour into loaf pan
See those yummy caramelized bananas on the bottom?
Put in oven to bake. Start dishes (with help of course)

Let cool
Flip onto serving plate

Now, I'm a die-hard for my mom's mini-chocolate chip banana bread. But, this was VERY good. Moist, sweet (but not TOO sweet) and just YUMMY. More like cake than bread.

Definitely a repeater!

Milk Cartons #1

We drink milk by gallons in our house but I had my M-I-L save these for me.

I have several other milk carton projects in mind but, this is the first one I came up with. It actually wasn't on my list of ones that I wanted to do - it just hit me as an inspiration one night when Jaden didn't seem to be able to find anything fun that he wanted to do.

Cut the tops off
Measure them to make them all the same size.
Tape the cartons together two or three at a time.
Wallah! Car/train parking garage!
I tried to use the tops to make a second back-less one. It didn't work too well. Since there was no rear support it kept toppling over. I put it in the recycling can today!

Animal Puzzle Magnets

I've been wanting to make some games for Jaden for a long time. Before our last trip (to Albuquerque) I get a few of these done for playing in the car.

Mommy didn't have ANY fun with them in the car because Jaden kept throwing the pieces, and after so much work, I didn't feel like losing them!

But, since getting home, he's had a LOT of fun with them!

Here are some of the printables that I used. You can find them here.
First the cutting
Then in half. I found that straight lines worked better than puzzle style pieces because of the overlap on laminating.
All the pieces laminated. I would definitely laminate these pieces because toddlers are rough on toys and the paper would bend so easily. Take advantage of all of the work you put into these and make them reusable for a long time! I recommend finding a teacher supply store or office store near you that can do the laminating the most cost effective way. In pricing it, it was way cheaper than buying the self-laminating sheets.
I put magnets cut from self-adhesive magnet sheets onto the back of each piece. Jaden tried putting the pieces together without them but got frustrated really fast because one piece would move while he tried to put the other piece up to it. This way he really got them together and had a lot of fun.

We started simple placing two or three animals on a small magnetic white board (about $10 at Target or Walmart)

After he got used to the animals and how they fit together I threw all of them up on the refrigerator to see how he would do.

He surprised me by getting all of them. The rabbit, cat and mouse gave him the most trouble. I guess because they are all the same grey color and similar shapes. Because he played with them so much individually first he knew which tail went with which head but, he wouldn't always catch his mistakes right away. Sometimes he would match the rabbit head with the mouse tail and wouldn't realize it until later when he found the rabbit tail. Then he would correct it and keep on going.

I really wasn't sure if he would be able to do this activity yet or not but, he's like a pro already! I'm already looking for some new ideas for Christmas and maybe some 3-piece puzzles!

Here's a little video for you

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Jaden has only ever been mildly interested in coloring but I decided that was maybe because the paper always moved around on him.

So, for Halloween I taped pictures of a few pumpkins down on his work table and let him go to town.

Of course, the fact that I gave him MARKERS instead of crayons probably made a big difference too!

And..I had to throw this one in just because I like it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who Knew

That an old lock could be so much fun for a 1 year old?!?!?!?

Another of Daddy's secret projects while Jaden and I were still in MN was changing the locks on our house. We had been meaning to ever since this incident but hadn't gotten around to it. Instead, we just had a grocery bag stuffed in the hole. Whoops.....

Well, he kept the old doorknobs, deadbolts, and keys. Jaden found it and WOAH! A good time!

Jaden LOVES to say KEY and he always wants to help put the key in the lock. I'm often amazed at how much dexterity he has so early because he gets it in no problem, even before we ever showed him how.

Look - a KEY!
Note the open mouth. This apparently makes the task easier!
See mommy. I did it!


Bedtime seems to be Jaden's SILLIEST time of day.
Althought, that's a tough call. Because he's pretty silly ALL day!

But, reading with Daddy has become a favorite part of the bedtime routine!

Super Duper Secret Surprise

While Jaden and I were still in MN we heard that daddy was back at home after his fishing trip working on a super duper secret surprise. We were SO curious.

When we finally got home we couldn't believe how much work he did!

Jaden had a new GIANT sandbox!

Daddy laid out the boards and varnished them to protect from the weather.

Digging the hole.

It was a BIG hole!

Daddy was behind on homework so he studied Greek while digging!

Assemble the box
Ready to set in the ground
Then he sifted the dirt he already moved once through the metal basket to help fill the GIANT sandbox! Our dirt is basically sand anyway. He just had to get weeds, roots, and rocks out.

It doesn't look level, but it is. It's our ground that's crooked!
There was still some filling and sifting to do after we got home so Jaden and I worked on the sandbox a few hours a day each day that next week.

We'll probably buy some more play sand to fill it up even more sure is fun!

I think he likes it!