pool time

it’s still april, yes?

doesn’t feel like it.

also, it’s impossible to take photos of my kid right now.  he makes me look like a terrible photographer.

but he makes me look like a good mom, so i guess i’m alright with that.

little baby mans

that’s my nickname for caleb.  i have a mabillion, but this is the one i have always gone back to since he was a newborn.  nothing special, but it pretty much sums up who he is right now.

he’s still very much a baby in the sense he cannot do everything for himself, but he’s talking and understanding so much!

in this photo he portrays his baby side:  eating the styrofoam of his activity. he just had to try it and there was no way i was sticking my finger in there!  he’s got all but one tooth now!

more babyness:  feeling the styrofoam against his cheeks.  at first i thought he was trying to drown out my voice by covering his ears…but, no, that couldn’t be it.

now touching our nose and crossing our eyes…

and here is where it gets scary to me…he could NOT do this 3 weeks ago.  i have been letting him get the hang of this activity for about a month now and he finally just took over and started putting the rings on the rope all by himself!

more manliness right there…putting those fine motor skills to work!

and this one is just plain teenagerness.  he’s clearly giving me the ‘look’ and covering up his ears to drown out my voice.  and look at that hair?  pshh, didn’t even have the decency to comb it down! teenagers.

i am trying to soak up all of the baby goodness that’s left of my little man.  he is such a joy to be around and i can’t believe he’s already 19 months!

activities – shapes puzzle

oh, melissa & doug, how i loveth thee!

my mother-in-law picked up two puzzles for caleb a few months ago and we LOVE them!  especially this colorful one! the age range on the package said for ages 2 and up, but i figured i would introduce it to him and talk about the colors and shapes, etc.  if nothing else, it was something new to look at and enjoy for a few minutes.

little did i know that he would master matching all of the shapes by age 16 months!

there are definitely different stages of learning to this puzzle which is why i love it so much.

stage 1 – matching colors/sorting/fine motor skills

stage 2 – vocabulary of shapes and colors

and this is why i love melissa & doug products so much.  we will probably have this as an activity each week until he masters stage 2 which will be several months!  at this age, they are growing and learning quickly and you have to find things that aren’t too challenging and not too easy to hold their attention.  this puzzle is, by far, one of the activities that keeps his attention the longest.

we’re all pretty proud when he completes it.

melissa & doug puzzles and activities are more expensive because they are handmade and wooden, but they are so worth it!


activity: dropping clothes pins

age attempted: 14 months

materials: 2 litre coke bottle, one ‘side’ cut out and taped over edges, 3 clothespins.

we have been doing this activity for a few months, but this was the first time it really clicked for him! and he really enjoyed it! 

ha!  i mean, it is a bottle so why wouldn’t he think you could drink out of it? 🙂

so proud of himself!

so cute!!!

LOVE THIS ONE!!! look at that determination!


activity: eating time objects




age attempted: 14 months

items: baby cup, baby bowl, baby spoon, tray

objective: build vocabulary

i first held the bowl (the one i thought he would know the least) and kept saying ‘bowl’.  then i introduced the cup (after he had a few minutes with the bowl so i could easily take it away) and then i introduced the spoon the same way.  after he had a few seconds to play/eat them, then i put the other two back on the tray so he could play with all of them.

i asked him questions like: “where is the bowl/spoon/cup” “can you put the bowl/spoon/cup in the bowl/cup” “can you eat the spoon” “can you drink from the cup”

he did well with placing the objects, but didn’t yet understand i wanted him to ‘show’ me each item. that’s the next step after exploring. we will do this activity at least once a week and i’m hoping it will help with his vocabulary.

this activity lasted about 10 minutes.




sorting activity

age attempted: 13 months

i am trying to post more photos of our activities together.  this one is from an online book that i subscribe to.

activity: sorting figures/animals/balls/blocks into separate spaces of an ice cube tray.

we used leftover monsters from one of my baby showers.  we didn’t have enough so i grabbed other random things.  and then a few days later i received some monster buttons from my mother-in-law! yay! now we have a complete set of different monsters to work with. the book suggested using the same items (farm, monsters, cats, balls) so they focus more on sorting them into each space and not trying to sort the figures.

i set out a bowl with the items next to the ice cube tray.  and then i put each of the items into the ice cube tray and then put them back into the bowl.  then i asked him if he could do it.


he had to ‘feel’ them for himself.  after licking, sucking, eating them he finally made his way over to the ice cube tray after much encouragement from me! ha!  i let him play and eat them, but i didn’t let him carry them off and go play with something else.  he had to ‘play’ with them by the bowl or ice cube tray.


he didn’t understand to put them back into the bowl after putting them in the ice tray so i just helped him with that.

i was very impressed that he sat there for 20 minutes and played/ate/watched me sort the items.  i really thought it would be over in 5 minutes after he tasted each one. 🙂

we have now done this activity 3 times and he still continues to eat each one to ‘feel’ it again.  this last time i encouraged him to place it in the ice tray immediately after picking up a monster.  i think he’s getting the hang of it.  we are going to try it again today and see if he’s ready to sort.

my goal is to take more photos of our activities and post here.