Sunday, December 12, 2010

Teaching Computer Skills to your Toddler

Do you have any idea how many carelessly thrown-together, shoddy games for toddlers are made by advertastic sites in the hopes of making more money for offering something slightly "educational"? It's bite-sized spam and yes, mostly written by non-native English speakers. I wonder how many hours were put into this programming masterpiece:

I don't know what's going on here and frankly, I'm a bit frightened myself.

So Halle, at two and a half, is an alphabet whiz. She knows her colors, her opposites, and her numbers. She doesn't need any educational aids for those - but I would like to encourage her to learn how to navigate a computer. Pressing keys (one at a time, not a blitzkrieg), using a mouse, clicking and dragging, operating the wheel, and so on. It's difficult to find quality games these days. Sigh.

El Buho Boo is the only thing I've found thus far, but Halle adores it! She constantly asks me to start the "ink game!", in which you press any ONE key to animate fish, shellfish, and other sea creatures such as a squid who inks. If you're two years old, it's hilaaaarious.

Since Christmas is on it's way, does anyone have a recommendation for games or software? She's always been fascinated with my laptop but as I've never allowed her to touch it, she'd pretty much given up. Now she's hesitant to use it and I never meant for that to happen. I'm sure it's just a matter of time, and a couple more ink games!

Oh, and since we're talking computer lessons, I couldn't help but let her try out Microsoft Paint. The classic, minimalistic application that the dinosaurs used to make graphics with. Here is her first MS Paint drawing ever, world!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Summer & Autumn 2010 Photos

Although I don't get to see Halle every day anymore, I've been more motivated than ever to make every moment with her count. So we've been exploring the neighborhood...
... and Greensboro's Center City Park, which Halle calls "The Water Park"...

...and enjoying lots of porch time... and treats!
... spending time with family... (and eating the bread for the ducks!)
...making lots of silly faces...

...and getting so tired that we she falls asleep in the strangest places.
(with her bakah over her head.)

(Was going to post a video here but I can't convert the file and Blogspot is taking foreeever! I do make too many empty promises of video.... yikes...)

But it's all so worth it. She's the most well-mannered and obedient kid you'll ever met. She's affectionate, smart, and has a surprisingly good sense of humor, for a toddler. She'll never be a fiend like this hilarious girl was... Allie Brosh, hilarious blogger and owner of an amazingly "simple" dog. You won't be able to help laughing out loud, I promise.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HALLE-ween 2010

You know it's been too long when your grandmother tells you to update your blog. And well it has!
I've got video to post soon as well, so in the mean time, here's my favorite kitty cat there ever was.
Her eyes almost look green in these pictures... maybe it's just the green blanket behind her. 

Also, Halle likes to say "dingbell" instead of doorbell. Love.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cousins Sharing a Secret

My dear, sweet, adorable, impossible-not-to-love niece Nayeli is a big fan of her cousin. She loves to watch the videos I post and likewise, one of Halle's favorite things online is Nayeli's "Sleeping Bunnies" video. Please watch it if you haven't - it's just too cute to miss!

We both got to spend some time with Nayeli and her mom this past weekend and had a BLAST! My dad, the ever ready Papa-razzi - or Puppyrazzi - took a handful of precious photos. It looks like they're sharing some serious toddler secret or posing for a painting of cherubs! Everyone says their kid is a little angel, but these girls seriously look like angels!

Pals. Totally going to be BFFs.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Munch - Now a Universal Term of Endearment.

Halle carried her baby doll around as we sleepily played in her bedroom this morning at the god-forsaken hour of 10AM. As she held it, rocked it and swayed with it, she cooed, "It's okay. Come on, Munch."


My wonderful, 5-month pregnant sister-in-law Rethsey surprised and floored my Mother by flying in from Boston for a visit with my nearly 2 year old niece in tow. It's amazing how much you love your own kids, feeling your heart muscles easily shatter any previous notions your capacity for love; in the same regard, your nieces (and nephews, I'm sure) summon up another new ballfield of tenderness. My little darling niece, Nayeli, who calls me Hae, had me at her"Si". Her pronunciation of the word should be declared a national treasure.


Sometimes Halle has a hard time falling asleep in her new room. Plus, it's been a little over a month that we turned her crib into a big girl bed, so she's got a lot on her plate right now. Just tonight, I laid down next to her on the floor where she was cuddling with her big puppy plush dog and her tiny red wagon and I started singing a couple of Oldies songs to her. She's really into being petted on the head right now, and I love that she lets me fawn over and dote on her.

Most nights, when Brad or I say "I love you!", she'll say, "Uh-huh." or "MrrHrrr" with a pacifier. But at the times of the day she feels closest to you, she'll offer up her most honest, organic declarations of love. This is what I live for. People without children, they just can't possibly understand how a sighing, sleepy toddler unexpectedly saying "I love you" as they move in and out of dreams can make you suddenly realize that you've lived your whole life to be in this one, single moment. My life being put in perspective in a room full of talking Elmos and not resenting a second of it. And it's so much more than I could've wanted it to be.

PS. I know. Pictures. Soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Scooty Spiders and Comfort Food

What an incredibly thoughtful and nurturing spirit Halle has! She's been known to say, "Good job, Mommy!" or "That's a GREAT idea!" in an encouraging fashion but tonight she caught me offguard.

There were two spiders on my ceiling. The quick ones that don't seem to prefer to use their web.. output... function.. whatever. So they eluded me, going behind my couch/BED and into the cracks in the wall where the ceiling fan meets. I didn't have a panic attack but I did sigh fairly heavily, saying things sort of like "Oh MAN!", "Crimony!", and "Where the BERMUDA SHORTS are you buuuuudddddy?". Having a kid makes you improvise cursing, and I'm kind of hoping that Halle will end up the creative benefactor of my arachnophobia vocab. Cursing, if anything, should be colorful, right?

Sidenote: I warned my neighbors in advance about the tendency for tourets-esque, shouty conversation during the evenings. I figured I might as well get it out of the way.

Halle could tell I was a bit flustered but gave little nonchalant eye contact, breaking her rapt focus on The Burbs and her happy tiny bowl of a small handful of post-dinner wavy chips. When I sat down, she asked me, "Did you get'im Mommy?"

"No baby, those guys were really fast. Siiiiiiigh. They got away from me."

"This for you, Mommy," she said, handing me a potato chip and then patting her tummy. "It make you feel better."

She kept insisting on giving me the last of the chips after that. If there's one lesson she's learned about spiders so thoroughly at her young age, it's that Mommy is scared CHIPLESS of spiders.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Preschool

So it's almost been two months since my last post. It's been a very hectic couple of months to say the least and I'm not going to blog about it. I will, however, show you this ADORABLE photo of my big girl on her first day of Preschool! Or Dayschool! Or whatever you want to call it.

My Big Girl!

Brad took the photo on his cell phone but I know there are more to come. I heard she was the only one that cried - I'm guessing that Daddy may have shed a tear or two, though. :)