Thursday, August 30, 2007

Erik's Blog

I encourage everyone to check out Erik's Blog at www.thedahlpod.com. He has been posting a lot lately (perhaps due to a little competition from his wife?). The most exciting thing he has done is uploaded some hilarious videos of Cooper, "Me and My Shadow" and "Cooper Finn-ing Out". Enjoy them!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cooking with Cooper

I have been including Cooper in some food preparation lately. It started with pulling up a chair so that he could watch me get his morning snack ready. I explained each step of preparing apple slices and he actually watched, listened and helped by putting the slices in the bowl. This morning I got some confirmation that he is actually taking it all in as he picked up the apple corer and put the end of it right in the middle of the apple.

A couple days ago I needed to make a dessert to share with my friends for my night out. I included Cooper in the cookie making and I think he got a big kick out of it. I let him add some of the dry ingredients, which he did seamlessly. I also let him partake in the best part of making cookies...stealing some chocolate chips and licking the beaters. I think he is going to continue to enjoy cooking with mom!!

licking the beater

sweet rewards for hard work

enjoying every morsel

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's 3:30am....WHAT?!?!?!

Last night I had a great time hanging out with two friends. We shared a bottle of wine and ate some cookies I had made and sat on my friend Jehnie's couch talking and talking. Finally, Jessie and I gathered ourselves to leave, none of us knowing exactly what time it was. We all knew it was late, but I was dumbfounded when Jessie looked at her phone and said "It's 3:30". All I could think was "what am I going to do when Cooper wakes up in 4 hours?"

I'm feeling tired but everything considered I'm doing pretty well. Mostly, I'm feeling really great about having two friends that I can sit and talk with and totally lose track of the time.

p.s. and it was so wonderful to come home to a clean kitchen....thanks to my wonderful husband!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

What I'm Reading

A Self Study in Early Childhood Education

With Cooper officially in the midst of toddler hood, I've been reading a lot about early childhood education. As an educator I'm naturally drawn to this subject and excited about working on creating the best learning environment for my boy. But, with the plethora of books, magazines, and websites out there addressing this very subject, it is a bit overwhelming.

Though I know that homeschooling is not something that I have any intention of doing, for lack of a better way to describe it, part of my reading is to assist me in creating a home preschool for Coop. Here in Mt. Lebanon, as in may other communities where children and education are highly valued, the norm is to start your child in preschool at age 2 (the whole preschool push will have to be a topic on another day). Since that won't be happening for us this year, or maybe not even next year, I want to make sure that Cooper is learning, growing and exploring the world in a way that I feel good about.

Here are some of the titles I've been reading in this realm:

You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy, a Waldorf early childhood educator. I have had wonderful experiences visiting and studying the Waldorf school in Ann Arbor, MI. Since my introduction to this beautiful way of teaching young people I have desired to make it a part of my child's education. Though we don't have a Waldorf school near us, or the means to send Cooper to private school, I am learning ways to incorporate some of the Waldorf philosophies into Cooper's daily life.

Montessori From the Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen. This book is intelligently written and a great source for understanding Maria Montessori's philosophies of education and child development. I've never studied this before and find it all incredibly interesting. I'm still working on formulating my own understanding of it all. More on this to come.

Teaching Montessori in the Home, The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. This gives some actual lessons to do with preschoolers. A very easy read, but doesn't get as much into the philosophies behind the practice.

These are some books I'm using to find songs, finger plays, and other fun activities to do with Cooper:

The Baby's Lap Book by Kay Chorao
The Baby's Good Morning Book by Kay Chorao
Hand Rhymes by Marc Brown
Finger Rhymes by Marc Brown
Sing Us a Story by Jane Marino

Needless to say, this self-study is keeping me busy.

What I'm Reading

This on-going segment of my blog will take a look at what I am currently (or just finished) reading. At times it will be only a brief summary; at other times I will provide more indepth analysis and discussion of the material.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

18 months

Today Cooper is 18 months old. For some reason this feels like an even bigger land-mark than his first birthday did to me. 18 months means he is really a toddler, compared to the 1st birthday when he was really still a baby, not walking yet, still rolly-polly. I look at him all the time now and think he is such a big kid now. It really blows my mind. What a difference a year and a half makes. I'm not sure who has learned more, me or Cooper. I certainly know I am not the same person I was before he was born.

Happy 18 month Day Cooper!!!

(almost) 18 months
6 months
1 day

Launch

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