Beneath this bowl of stars...

toddler activites, food, photos, and other orbital occurrences

I have been making myself go out and enjoy nature as much as possible before we take off for the big city. Here are a bunch of photos of walks we went on in the last few days

Today we marched in the Wellfleet Halloween Parade! All the kids walked down main street to the playground near the pier. At the playground there were refreshments and candy and decorations, it was fun. Amber is a natural in parades, she waved at everyone, all 20 people watching (b/c everyone else was in the parade).

song: great big stars
baby doll activity: nursing the baby (on either side of her belly button and while walking around)
iPhone game: iBowl (she beats me every time)
Letter: M & W (she likes to take the foam one we have and turn it over calling it 'm' then 'w')
Toy: Magna doodle
Nature item: mushrooms (she can spot them on the trail faster than I)
Stuffed Animal: Panda
Food: Lamb chops (daddy made some yummy lamb and after not eating much other dinner, she ate more lamb than me)
book: Lasso the moon (was reading it to a plasic cow earlier and the baby before that)

--What not to do with your grand cherokee
--And we thought we were going digging for clams
--I guess pick your own oysters CAN be more expensive than at the store
--We needed one more adventure before we left for China
--Working from home
--How to end a toddler nap abruptly

All of the following were self-inspired and achieved by Amber alone:

- Zipped her vest
- put her shoes on the correct feet twice!
- closed and locked the kitchen door
- broke a rice bowl by throwing it across the room
- went to bed 30 min early! (ok so she didnt achieve this all alone, but she insisted on getting started with the bedtime routine 30 min early)

The other day while we were cooking dinner and Amber was entertaining herself all around us, I found her working on a giant sudoku puzzle :-)

Actually what happened is one day I had some puzzle from someplace and I didnt have paper so I used some of her easel paper and just made it really big. She was standing there looking at the numbers with a crayon in her hand tracing over them and saying the number, so from a distance it looked like she was doing sudoku... i tried to get a video, but it was my first video with our D-90 and I didnt get it in focus.

Also on this day, she decided to gallop around the kitchen (you can go around the kitchen to the livingroom and back in a big circle). This continued for at least 20min, all the while she was shouting "neigh neigh... pony galloping". This has since been a common activity at meal time.

this fun activity buys me about 10 min in the morning to get coffee and breakfast made :-) Amber enjoys telling me which is the big banana and which is the new little piece she just cut.

Thanks to Amber's new love of big and little, we have reached another practically overnight, sleeping milestone! For the past 11 months, Amber has gone to bed relatively easily in her own bed but when wakes up a few hours later and finds herself in our bed. Lately the reason is that she does not have her own room (again). She used to wait around 4hrs, about the time I was coming to bed... this worked well. In recent months the time has been getting shorter and shorter.... like an hour and a half the last week or so. What this means is that I either had to go to bed early, let her cry until she feel back asleep, or go in for who knows how long to try to get her back to sleep in her bed (since i was afraid to put her in the our bed alone, and b/c she would not just contently lie there without me). The other night we had a small crisis going on and when she awoke I could not go in and help her get to sleep nor come to bed yet, and she was not giving up on crying, so in desperation as she was shouting out for the "big bed"... "amber big bed" I asked her if she wanted to sleep in the big bed, and if it was ok if she slept there without mommy. She said "Yeah"... I put her there, closed the door and didnt hear a peep from her until 6am! Thats the longest stretch ever! The next night, during bedtime routine, she told me she was ready for "Amber's bed", for the "little bed". When she woke up less than 2 hrs later, she said "big bed" when I entered the room. I repeated the steps from the night before and sure enough, 6am came before she needed me. :-)

(its actually a few days since I originally wrote this, and the big bed is still happening, not always sleeping until 6am, but definitely better at night.)

This week Amber has done several things that I feel should be captured here, I wish I could do a post about each of them, but I dont think I have it in my tonight, so instead here are bullets of each cute thing:

- Amber has been obsessed recently with big and little. She labels just about everything and it is fascinating to me that she understands that a big mushroom (we look for mushrooms on our hikes) is much much smaller than a big car. She gets very excited when she can see both the little and the big at the same time. Sometimes she even says HUGE.

- the other night, Amber was not eating anything for dinner, and she wanted to play... so I said that she had to eat one little grape tomato and then she could. No luck, so eventually I just gave up... then as I was cleaning up she said she wanted a tomato (I was shocked that she remembered that I said she needed to eat one to play)... so she ate it and then went on playing.... about half and hour later I noticed that she had something in her cheek. Sure enough, she had the little tomato tucked away in her cheek just like a squirrel.

- There is a song from music class that Amber sings and requests all the time about a pony who gallops down the country lane. This evening we were doing our little walk down the road to the ocean and I said to emma "run emma run" and emma started running and amber said "emma country, emma country" she was associating emma running down our little road with the pony galloping down the country lane, how does she even know what a gallop is?

- "What's this?" - I guess for a while now I have been asking Amber (as well as other people ask her) what certain things are, animals, letters, numbers, colors... all the basic toddler stuff. In the last couple weeks she has been asking me "what's this" at first it was for things she didnt know, but now its turned into a game and she asks me things that she knows but she wants me to tell her and she claps when i get them right :-) also at bed time she asks me every night what the smoke detector, daddy's armoire and the door hinge are... not sure if its a game or just now part of our bedtime routine.

- Time to ride the bicycle... this evening when we were going on our walk, I asked Amber if she wanted to go rider her bicycle, and she jumped up and went off mumbling something about needing to put on her jacket and her shoes, and she went on and on until I helped her get all ready... it was sooo cute.

- "amber poop on the potty" - every night this week amber has requested to poop on the potty. So far there has been no pooping but it has become part of our pre-bath ritual. She sits and I read the pigs in the tub book and then quiz her on letters (all of this through her request)... so I guess this is a good thing and eventually the poop will make an appearance.
I had at least 2 more little tidbits, but i cannot remember them at the moment.

.. oh wait what happened to the rest of september and first half of Oct? My computer died AGAIN! and we were doing more traveling, this time to oklahoma and back to nyc for a few days. I am sure I will never have time to blog about the gaps, oh well. But its now mid October and Pumpkin food is in full swing. I currently have 3 types of pumpkin ale in the fridge, I have Pumpkin Spice creamer for my coffee, I had pumpkin soup for lunch, pumpkin fudge while in oklahoma, pumpkin bread and muffins in nyc, i watched iron chef pumpkin 2 nights ago. I really love pumpkin and I welcome the fall when I will finally have enough space in a kitchen to cook lots of my own pumpkin goodies :-)