Saturday, August 27

waiting for Irene

After a few days of warnings, and a frenzied (and over rushed) trip to get groceries yesterday, we holed up today to wait for the hurricane. Irene is supposed to hit New York hard and parts of the city have been evacuated. Our apartment is on higher ground, so today was just about waiting for the storm to hit.

And it was just a rainy day. I imagine we will be stuck inside all day tomorrow, but somehow we were in Hunker Down Mode, and so stayed inside for most of today too.

Yesterday, a book I ordered came, just in time for the storm:

  First Art : Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos 
Awesome book. It has tons of projects for kids Eamon's age. While Eamon was playing in the other room with Christopher, I whipped up some play dough. (we didn't have any white flour, so it had specks of whole wheat in it. Oh well.)
play dough
And later, when Eamon tired of that (which was pretty soon, actually), I pulled out some tempera and liquid starch and we did a little finger painting.
First finger painting
Probably predictably, he was very interested in the pouring of the paint onto the paper, and kept wanting me to add more. Also, he wasn't so into getting the paint on his hands. He really wanted them to stay clean. So I gave him a brush, which he really liked using.
We went for a walk (it had stopped raining), saw some emergency vehicles and an evacuation center (both around the corner) and when we came back he wanted to do more painting. All in all, he made 3 pictures. Each of them took probably less than 2 minutes, but it is satisfying to see him trying these things out and enjoying them.

Tuesday, August 16

a monthly feature

It is a cliche, but Eamon changes daily. Everything about him shifts. I blink and it is all different. His hair color (brown to blonde to maybe going brown again). His vocabulary and intonation (apparently any day now he will begin to speak in actual words). And toys and books.

We have hand me downs from both Christopher's sister's kids and Christopher's cousin's kids, and we have received gifts on top of that. We have a lot of stuff. Toys oozing out of boxes, books falling off of shelves. Somehow it never seems like enough; Eamon tires quickly of Toy A and suddenly he will only play with Toy M. I put things away and rotate them, which seems to keep things somewhat interesting, but it is always a game of catch up.

For a little while now I have been thinking that it might be interesting to record Eamon's favorite books and toys on the blog every month. Since he just celebrated his 18 month birthday, I thought I'd start now and try to post around this time every month.  Hopefully this won't become a chore, but will show an evolution of a child's interests. (Full disclosure: I have linked to and they will give me money if you buy a product I link to. That is not the #1 reason I am linking there, but I thought I should be up front about that.  My reason for writing this is that I think it will be interesting, not because amazon will pay me. And I hope I present it that way, too.)

So, first off: 


Eamon loves books. We are big fans of the Priddy books - they have fantastic pictures of objects and animals and children and they are really great for little people who are learning words. We have a ton of these books. 

But since I am focussing on the absolute favorite RIGHT NOW, I would choose Tremendous Tractors. 
Eamon has been obsessed with tractors (and lawn mowers) since he got to ride on my dad's tractor (and mower) in Maine.
He still wears his headphones to the playground in memory of the mower.
Yes, this is a picture from June when we were in Maine, but you can see how he loves his headphones.

 Tremendous Tractors (Amazing Machines) 
This book, which I bought recently on, ahem, amazon, is the perfect book for a toddler who loves tractors. There is a rabbit, a chicken (I think it's a chicken) and a mouse who show just how tractors are used. They mow. They plow. They seed. They even haul around some pumpkins. The pictures are beautifully drawn and there are other things to look at too, like the trees next to the field they are mowing. Eamon is particularly interested in showing me the door handle on the tractor on each page. 

Eamon is also very interested in photo albums right now. My iPad has a bunch of photos (mostly of him) and some videos, and we also have a few hard copy photo albums, and one of his favorite things is to look at them. It is fun (though I admit it is getting tiring) to show him each family member and himself when he was a baby. He is clearly storing up who all of these people are and learning names. He also points at tiny things you wouldn't notice, like the out of focus, obscured dog in the background, and does the dog sign. Oh, to know what he is thinking!


To accompany his tractor book, Eamon has a tractor toy.
John Deere - Flashlight
 Amazon is telling me that this is a flashlight, which I honestly think is a bit of a stretch. We got it as a hand me down from Christopher's cousin's kids. If you squeeze the red part, the hood pops up, it makes a revving noise and a light goes on. If you let go of the handle, it closes and the light goes off. 

Things Eamon likes about this: he has mastered squeezing the handle, which took some learning. The noise is fun (and not too loud for Mom to be annoyed by it). And it looks a little like a tractor. It also rolls easily, which is a bonus. He likes to roll things these days. I'm not sure he's noticed that there is a flashlight component to the toy, which is fine with me. 

Construction vehicles are a close second to the tractors, and we end up watching a lot of YouTube videos such as this: