Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Uh-oh!

Killian and his buddy, Ashton, were having fun this morning knocking toys off the shelf just so they could say "uh-oh!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good Ol' Fashioned Toys

I love timeless wooden toys. It makes me happy to see Killian enjoying this classic stacking toy. The hole is actually pretty small, so it is somewhat of a challenge to get the rings on the pole. You can see Killian look up and smile after he gets each ring on. When he finished them all, he turns it upside down and starts again.



About a month or so ago, we finally purged our house of all toys that light up, make sounds, or defy causality. This was not for our benefit, but for Killian's. They don't interest him and as I'll explain, they probably don't do him any good.

A few years ago (before I was pregnant) I read this book, Parenting, Inc.: How the Billion-Dollar Baby Business Has Changed the Way We Raise Our Children, that struck a chord with me. It showed how new parents are easily suckered into buying all sorts of unnecessary baby paraphenalia. Not only is some of this stuff not necessary, but some argue could be damaging to young children's development.

I took away to be wary of anything marketed as "educational." Most of these new fangled gadgets have not been proven to be educational in any regard, and in fact, studies have shown them to be detrimental.

Last year another study was release showing that early television exposure is linked to later problems with attention span. There was a lawsuit against Baby Einstein (the makers of so-called "educational" DVDs for babies) and they offered refunds to anyone who sent their DVDs back.

I loved Sesame Street growing up, and I still sing some Sesame Street songs to Killian on a daily basis. But I recognize it for what it is: entertainment. Not education. And I'm not opposed to some sing-songey TV for little tots - just in very small doses.

The other story that stuck with me from this book was a story told by an older pediatrian. He was reflecting on the children he'd seen come through his office over the years. He noticed this generation of kids was different from the earlier generation. The toys in his waiting room that had been enjoyed for years by many children were no longer of any interest to today's children. He saw one little girl pick up a teddy bear, inspect it, ask her mom what it was. "It's a teddy bear." "Oh. But what does it do?"

What does a teddy bear DO? That question breaks my heart. Kids have become accustomed to being entertained 24/7 and no longer know how to play make-believe and perform self-directed activities. This reminded me of another sad moment for me when I was baby-sitting as a teenager. The kids were obsessed with TV and video games (there was a TV in every room of the house). I asked the 4-year old if we could turn off the TV and try building a fort and he asked me what a fort was.

So hooray for good old fashioned toys! And for using regular household objects for play and make-believe! We've found Ikea has really inexpensive but good quality wooden (and fabric) toys that Killian really enjoys.

Like the Walker Wagon!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Staycation All I Ever Wanted

I didn't realize how much I truly love our home until we went away for a few days.

We really enjoyed ourselves at the beach and LOVED having family time, but I have to admit it was quite daunting at first arriving at a completely non-toddler-proofed house. There was a bevy of cabinet doors just waiting to be opened and its contents dumped on the floor, scattered tiny sharp jigsaw puzzle pieces to explore, a puppy to interrogate and related biological and digestive artifacts from the puppy to be found in surprise places, an open bin of trash just beckoning to be sorted through and of course STAIRS.

Here he is actually involved in a safe activity: re-organizing the contents of the kitchen cabinets:


We didn't realize how much effort we have put into babyproofing our house and setting it up so that we don't have to hover above Killian every second to prevent catastrophe. When we go to other homes, it can be exhausting, as we really can't leave his side for a moment.

Killian has now figured out to climb to reach the top of the stove and open closed (latched) doors. This past week he really seems to be flaunting that babyhood is long gone; he is now a full fledged toddler/little tyke.

So we decided to return home for the remainder of our week off so we could really relax and also enjoy some activities close to home too.

Like floating around our pool! We don't have floaty things for adults, so we stole some of Killian's little tubs to sit in. We did buy a floating device for Killian though.





Killian Rocks Out to 80's Music While Driving

On the way back from the beach earlier this week, we made a stop mid-way at a Harris Teeter so Killian could run around and release some energy. Before we started driving again, Mike gave Killian a shot at the wheel.



Apparently he likes Oingo Boingo and wishes our car was stickshift!

My mom introduced him to Cheerios earlier that morning, so he was excited to see the yellow box again in the store.

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Hey, this looks familiar again! That is, the box of Cheerios from 25 years ago looks remarkably similiar to today's box; I'm noting that their branding hasn't changed much! The mother/son similiarity - well, not so much!
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Mike Walker! You bring so much joy to our lives!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scribbling

Tomorrow Killian has his one-year check-up. I remembered I had a questionnaire to complete on Killian's development (communication, gross motor skills, etc) to take with us to the doctor. Most of the activities on the form I knew immediately if he could (or could not) do yet. But there was one "problem solving" activity I did not know the answer to - "After you scribble back and forth on paper with a crayon, does your baby copy you by scribbling?"

So we tried it... and the answer is Killian likes to color with crayons! And he also likes to try to suck on them when mom's not looking!

Picnic at Dusk

We like going to the Wachovia courtyard for picnics with Killian because of the ample space for toddlin' around, cool water fountains to check out, and tables.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

1st Birthday

Killian had a wonderful birthday.

Thank you to all the friends and family who made it so special!

Killian was surrounded by his favorite people...
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and had a lovely celebration at Freedom Park.
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Later that day, Killian enjoyed reading his cards,
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opening his presents,
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and... carrying them around! Note: this box is not empty! The muscle tee shirt is appropriate - Killian is strong!
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Books!
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Balloons!
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Brushing Teeth

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Today my little toddler brushed his teeth all by himself.

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I had noticed him observing when we brushed our teeth and I thought today would be a good day to give it a try. He knew exactly what to do!

He also enjoyed holding the toothbrush under the stream of water.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Killian

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It is beautiful looking back on this past year.
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