9.19.2014

Random Picture Friday

Another football weekend is right around the corner.  Kevin and I are headed to Kansas City for the weekend to have a short 'baby moon' before Baby Girl arrives.  Luke gets to spend ample time with Papa Gary, Grandma Diane, and Grandma Kathy.  His cousin Landon is even coming to play with him for the few days we will be gone.  Hope you have a blessed fall weekend!  

Our Annual Iowa vs. Iowa State game party



The crew

The winners...

Hanging with Grandma as she bottles honey.  Luke was eating it by the handful.


Luke loves smoothies.  Unfortunately, about half of it ended up on him.

Pioneer Woman Cooking Club...making her famous iced coffee!

This smelled SO GOOD.

My friend, Annie, came out to the Trail to help me get some things accomplished before Baby Girl.  Annie filled me in on the ins and outs of dressing baby girls.  Needless to say, I learned a lot!  It was so great to spend the day with her and her daughter, Ellen!


9.15.2014

Tot School: Vehicles {22 months}

My little man is a typical little boy that loves anything with wheels.  Cars, trucks, tractors, machines, he loves them all.  He said 'car' before he said 'mama'...so that tells you how much he adores those moving machines.  

I wanted to take advantage of his love for wheels and did two weeks of Tot School based around the theme of vehicles.  Here is what we have been up to the past few weeks:

Vehicle Puzzles

Rating: 4/5

Skills:
Fine motor development
Vocabulary
Colors

Activity:
We used a Melissa and Doug puzzle to talk about vehicles.  Luke is getting better at putting the pieces in the correct spots, but it only keeps his attention for a few minutes.  We talked about each vehicle, the color and made each vehicle's 'sound'. 



Vehicle Stickers

Rating: 5/5

Skills:
Fine motor development
Art
Colors
Shapes

Activity:
Luke has a HUGE love for stickers.  His Auntie Paige bought him some 'vehicle' stickers awhile back and he has been in love ever since.  Luke is getting better at getting the stickers off himself, but sometimes he still needs help.  We talked about the color and shape of each sticker.  These particular stickers were all square and 'puffy', so they came off the page.  A huge hit with Luke!




Car Color Matching

Rating: 5/5

Skills:
Colors
Sensory development

Activity:
I got out our felt colored mats and a car to match each color.  I also put a cup of the same color on each mat for more reinforcement.  Luke loved this game, at first.  After we put each car on the correct mat, he proceeded to go and get every single car in his playroom.  This was probably his favorite part.




Play-dough and Vehicles

Rating: 5/5

Skills:
Fine motor development
Sensory development

Activity:
I gave Luke a flat piece of play-dough and some of his favorite construction equipment and cars.  He loved going over the play-dough with the equipment to make different marks. 



Vehicle City with Blocks

Rating: 5/5

Skills:
Fine motor development
Gross motor development
Counting

Activity:
Luke and I built a city with his Melissa and Doug wooden blocks and then drove his vehicles through the city.  He knocked over many of the blocks during this time, so we will be working on positioning his body so he can move more efficiently while moving his cars.  We also counted the blocks as we set them up.



Painting with Vehicles

Rating: 4/5

Skills:
Art
Fine motor development
Colors

Activity:
I gave Luke a piece of construction paper as well as some vehicles and water.  He got the vehicle wet and then 'drove' it across the page.  He enjoyed this activity, but only for a short period of time.  Mom warning: the wet construction paper will leave marks on your countertop!



Vehicle Sensory Bin

Rating: 5/5

Skills:
Sensory development
Counting

Activity:
Luke was given a plastic container with his construction vehicles as well as some pebbles.  I was hoping he would be able to dig and stack pebbles, but the vehicles I gave him were a bit too small.  We got out a big truck and he started stacking all the pebbles in the back of the truck.  He really liked this game.












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9.12.2014

Random Picture Friday

Is it fall where you are?  Fall came fast here on the Trail.  I'm pretty sure a week ago we were wearing shorts and flip flops and this week I put a knit winter hat on Luke.  The temperature has dropped, but that means it's time for open windows, cups of warm stuff, and snuggles on the couch.  Hope you enjoy this cool football weekend!

Luke enjoying the Hawks last minute win last weekend.

A hot air balloon we spotted on the way to town.  We were the crazy parents who pulled over to show Luke.

Luke went nuts at the Farmer's Market in Omaha.  He was smelling flowers, petting dogs, laughing loudly, checking out wheels...acting completely like a country kid let loose in the city.


9.09.2014

Busy Boxes


Busy boxes are all over Pinterest.  I have been pinning, pinning, pinning, in hopes of having the motivation to make them for Luke before upcoming Baby Girl's arrival.  The past few weeks I have put them together and my hope is they will keep Luke busy while I feed, change, burp, and rock Baby Girl.  

Most of the items I found for the busy boxes I already had.  A few I had to scour cupboards or Hobby Lobby for, but 95% of the objects were already in my house.  My hope is that using only one box each day of the week will provide Luke with an excitement that he is opening up a box of new items everyday. Now, those beginning days will be different, as I will be a milk machine for most of the day, but after that, things should slow down a bit and one busy box a day should work for Luke.

Here is a breakdown of each day of the week box and the contents:

Monday

Contents:

Tuesday

Contents:
Wednesday


Contents:

  • Number puzzle
  • Pencils
  • Dice
  • Highlights Hello magazine
Thursday

Contents:
  • Letter blocks
  • Paper cups
  • Alphabet book
Friday

Contents:
  • Container with straws
  • Plastic bugs
  • Cut up toilet paper rolls
  • Highlights Hello magazine
There are so many options for items to place in Busy Boxes.  I'm sure I will change out items as Luke grows tired of these boxes.  Dollar Tree, Target dollar bins, and Hobby Lobby are perfect places to find items for busy boxes.  Here are some other ideas for Busy Boxes (for me to reference for when I have 'new mom' brain).
  • Poms
  • Buttons
  • Scoops 
  • Clothespins
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Small plastic containers
  • Plastic eggs
  • Beads
  • Pool noodles (cut up)
  • Puzzles
  • Writing boards
  • Foam letters and numbers
  • Magnetic letters and numbers
  • Lacing beads
Good luck with your busy boxes!


9.05.2014

Random Picture Friday

Another week has gone by and it is September.  It's hard to believe fall is upon us.  As much as I love summertime, I am ready for cool nights, football, soup, and pumpkin and apple everything.  Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Mealtime is always interesting with this kid.


Shopping and watching the Hawks with Grandma.


Kevin's early birthday trip to Decorah, Iowa to check out a brewery, Toppling Goliath.



Luke was able to spend some quality time with Grandma and Papa while we were away for the day.



8.26.2014

Lake Vacation

Since most kiddos in Iowa are back in school, the Forristall family decided to take advantage of the quietness that lake life has to offer during the dog days of summer.  Kevin, Luke, and I met Gary and Diane, as well as Hillary, John, and Katie at Lake Panorama for a five day family retreat.  It was the perfect mix of relaxation, boating, swimming, sunning, as well as stuffing our faces pretty much every minute of the day (okay, maybe that was just me and Katie).  Luke came home wondering why we don't open the refrigerator one hundred times a day...it was a bit of an adjustment.  

We spent the days reading, sitting by the lake, going for boat rides, and (you guessed it) eating.  Our nights were spent making yummy dinners, sitting by the fire laughing, watching Hillary put together a massive 1000 piece puzzle (she finished it, by the way), and playing the trademark Forristall family game: Cashflow.  It was nice for everyone to be together for an extended period of time.  Vacations are the best, especially with family.

Uncle Kevin was good at making Katie giggle.

Puzzle time!

This girl and her Cheerios.

Playing with Katie.

Time on the boat!

Luke's first experience driving a boat.



We spent a rainy morning exploring Panora.

He loves giving flowers to Mama...he melts my heart!


Luke enjoyed rock climbing.

Luke was a happy camper in the water.

More boat time.




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