It’s been a busy past few months and I hope to get back to posting a bit more regularly soon. In the meantime, enjoy this updated video of A.J. drumming. Thanks for watching!

Make Your Own Scratch & Sniff Paint

This is the final post about activities we did in March. Our last craft was creating scratch & sniff paint.
Scratch&Sniff Paint
Here are the directions:

Mix flavored gelatin as directed using very little water. There are many flavors available. We chose strawberry. You don’t want the paint too watery, but instead, stiff and grainy so add very little water.

The first time we made the paint, we used too much water and accidentally ended up making jello, which we threw away because we don’t eat this “frankinfood.”  As you can see from the above picture where A.J. is hunched over the bowl smelling the liquid, we used too much water. The mixture in the the last photo above is a better texture. Simply use the mixture as paint.

From our experience, the dried paint gets really hard which makes scratching the paint very difficult. However the aroma of the “paint” while making it and painting actually smells great!

Scratch&Sniff2Venturing to the library on Wednesdays are a lot fun for us all. Going consistently is a great way to meet new kids and their caregivers. We had an especially good time a few weeks ago when A.J.s friend Yasmine celebrated her second birthday. Her grandmother brought mini cupcakes, goody bags with treats. We also had an Easter Egg Hunt that day, so the day was full of surprises. Instead of hunting for eggs, A.J. was more interested in eating the cup cakes sitting on the tables.

I helped organize an Easter Egg Hunt for our subdivision that turned out really nicely, except I left my phone and digital camera at home. So no pictures. A.J. didn’t have a nap that day and you can guess what happened outside in front of all the neighbors right after I finished praying a grandiose prayer talking about how we want our kids to know that we love them and how they should obey their parents…yada yada yada…and my child starts rolling around the grass screaming because he is now sleepy.

After I dragged and carried him home, he settled down and returned to the egg hunt with his dad like nothing ever happened.

Yasmine's 2nd B-day PartyDo you have any fun paint recipes to share?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Cirque Zuma Zuma

CirquezumazumaI’m still writing posts about some of our adventures in March and attending Cirque Zuma Zuma in Carrollton, GA was certainly a highlight. Cirque Zuma Zuma is the African version of Cirque du Soleil. The entertainers were doing all sorts of crazy feats like climbing a pole upside down, juggling tables with their feet, contorting their bodies, climbing unstable chairs stacked at unbelievable heights and more.

We decided to stay overnight so that we could relax. We took a dip in the warm pool. If I thought  the water was warm, then it was warm. Despite the warm water, A.J. was hesitant to practice his swimming skills that he learned during his Infant Survival Resource (ISR) swim training.  He definitely needs a refresher update. (I just asked A.J. if he wanted to swim again with Ms. Helen, his instructor…he shook his head no, waved his finger and said “no wawa with Ms. Helen!” Oh boy…)

Amira seemed very comfortable in the water. I think she will do very well in the ISR swimming. Hopefully we can get her lessons soon. Perhaps her swimming will inspire A.J.PicMonkey CollageWould you or anyone you know be interested in posting about a fun activity that you do with your little one(s)? If so, shoot me an e-mail at asiamhadley@yahoo.com.

Pray, Persist, and Prosper!

-Asia

 

In Bouncy Bliss

LeapinlizardsLast week A.J. and his buddy ManMan enjoyed a leapin’ good time at Leapin’ Lizards. They bounced and jumped around which of course made nap time seamless. Bouncy houses are great for gross motor skills development, too!

Amira giggled and cooed as she excitedly watched the kids bounce. These are pictures of her before we left the house. Isn’t she a cutie!!AmiraleapinlizardsHow did your little one(s) burn off some energy this week?

-Asia

Noah’s Ark Adventure

Last week we ventured to Noah’s Ark, an animal sanctuary that’s home to over 1,000 animals. Our double stroller came in handy as I strolled A.J. and Amira around the sprawling park. A.J. got out when he wanted so that he could see the animals up close.

This was our second visit and Amira’s first. I was with my good friend Harolyn and her family the first time we went. I didn’t know about this sanctuary until she told me about it.

On this visit, we were able to see all types of birds, peacocks, emus, bison, tigers, bears, ducks, turtles, and snakes. We had such a good time. I look forward to our next visit. Next time, we will go earlier in the morning so that we can eat lunch at the picnic tables.Noahsark Noahsark2They even had a nice play area!
Noahsark3Where did you go for your latest adventure?

-Asia

 

Spell, Listen & Count for Fun!

This week has flown by and so much has happened in such a short amount of time. To start, the family and I are getting over Montezuma’s Revenge. I was hit the hardest. Thankfully, I’m feeling sooooo much better and so is everyone else. It started with food poisoning from an Ethiopian Restaurant but my stomach ache was compounded by a bad veggie patty from a Subway.

Amira’s sniffles have subsided, so I finally put her in her crib for the first time. We’ve been co-sleeping since she grew out of her bassinet. She literally started kicking me out of the bed and sleep became unproductive for the both of us. So it was time. Yay! She adjusted with a hitch. No wailing. A few whimpers, but that was to settle herself in before going to sleep. What a tremendous blessing! I think my early experience with A.J. sort of scared me, but after I was consistent, he adjusted well too.

Here are a few pictures of Amira playing and joining in on the fun A.J. and I have when we play and learn. As you can see, she can now put herself into a crawling position. AmiracrawlSince this month’s theme is “All About Me.” We spent time reinforcing how to spell A.J.’s full name. It was easy for him to learn how to spell his names, but adding the letters in the proper order provided another learning opportunity.Feltname

We’re always counting, so I found this cool balloon hunt activity from The Activity Mom’s site that I modified and played with A.J. He loved it so much that he would scream each time he found a balloon. I simply hid the numbered balloons. Each time he found one he had to put it in the proper clear bin. To make it easier, as finding the balloons were challenging enough, I put the numbered bottled caps in the tops of each bin.Balloon HuntAnother counting activity that we did combined fine motor skills work.CountthebeadsWe are also learning about the senses and for a listening activity I placed bells inside of eggs and had him shake them to see if he could tell which egg had the most bells, or which egg was the loudest. Then he ordered them from loudest to softest. Amira shook the eggs, too!EggbellsI still have some wonderful adventures to post about, but I will have to do it sometime this week. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that if you find any activities that you think other parents may enjoy doing with their little one, by all means share this post and my blog!

Oh, by the way…I surpassed 5,000 views on my blog! Yippee! This is just the beginning! Congratulations to me!

What other fun counting games have you played recently?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

The Power of Imagination

ImaginationOriginally when I planned our activities for the month I didn’t realize Easter falls in March this year. I will include some Easter crafts as well as material about how we at Hillside interpret the meaning of Easter. To put it short, it’s about resurrecting your mind with new thoughts and ideas, something you can do anytime!

A.J. is playing with Easter grass in the photos above. It was his idea to take the grass and feed it to the cow in the picture. He’s really starting to use his imagination.

When we read books he enjoys acting out the various parts and loves when I join him. Usually I don’t mind, but I must admit that sometimes I just want to sit down and read instead of getting up every other second to pretend to climb a mountain or whatever the book is talking about. trainimaginationSince this month’s theme is “All About Me,” A.J. shared about some of his favorite things/people. Talking about what he enjoys encompasses a lot, but I tried to write what he said instead of what I thought he should say. Because I’m going to laminate this project and turn it into a place mat, I helped out more than I probably should have with the placement of the pictures. A.J. did glue most of the pictures.Favoritethings100_2901 100_2902 100_2903I often catch him looking at the pictures with a beautiful smile on his face. PRICELESS!!

How does your little one use his or her imagination these days?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Amira turned 6 months-old!

Yesterday was a beautiful day to turn 6 months-old! It was a sunny 61 degrees outside, birds chirped and the smell of spring was in the air. Congratulations to Amira for being the sweetest most patient daughter I’ve ever had.Amira6months

Since she turned 6 months-old, my DH and I decided to feed her blended oatmeal as her first taste of solid food. She was definitely ready to eat, evidenced by her grabbing the spoon and stuffing it into her mouth. She is increasingly becoming more independent. A.J. is too!

Now, he pours his own rice milk! A.J.independentAsking for milk politely over and over again can get tiresome. I knew I had to step it up and let him take on the empowering task of pouring his own milk. I bought a little glass pitcher that he has used for several months to water plants and practice pouring, but ironically I never put the milk into the pitcher until now. Ooops. He also spreads his own jelly.

He probably can do many more independent tasks if I’d let him or teach him. I have to review some age appropriate tasks he should be performing himself so that I can get back on the ball in this area. I need to revisit practical life activities so that he can continue to make progress in these areas.

A.J. wouldn’t take his nap yesterday afternoon. For those of you who have had the privilege of being around  A.J., when he is sleepy or cranky know that he can reallllllly go into a frenzy. While I was putting him back into bed, demanding that he take his nap, through his tears, he started saying the Prayer of Protection. He knows how to calm me down. Now, that’s smart thinking! But then again, he is accustomed to me saying the prayer before tucking him in bed. Nevertheless, praying was a timely thing to do. At least I’ve taught him that. Now, if I can remember to pray during his meltdowns perhaps I could set a better example of how to act when frustrated.

Please share with me the wonderful things your toddler can do or could do by 2.5 years-old.

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Measuring for Fun Learning

Measuringmeasuring2 A.J. was literally tickled to have the outline of his foot, hand, and body traced. Since he recognizes numbers, he can tell me the length of what is being measured. He may not have understood fully what he was doing, but this was a good introduction to measuring.

I know this because the following day after doing the measuring activity, a little girl brought a tape measure for Show and Tell at the Library. When A.J. saw the tape measure, he got so excited because he had just used one. I love synchronistic moments like this!!

A.J. also presented at Show and Tell this week. The first time he presented, he showed two of his bowling pins and little bowling ball. He rolled the ball and actually knocked a pin. Yesterday, he showed his ManMan puppet that we bought from the Center for Puppetry Arts. (He named his puppet after his friend Emmanuel. It’s hard for him to say Emmanuel, so he calls him ManMan. Now we do, too!)

A.J’s been interested in creating puppet shows at home since attending his first puppet show. Check out our homemade puppet theatre.

Currently, his puppet shows are of him singing, dancing and speaking really fast about his day. I need to video tape him performing a show. I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of seeing it later down the road.IMG_2153I have two questions for you today. What fun items have you measured lately? And what has your child presented at a Show and Tell?

Pray, Persist and Prosper!

-Asia

Homemade Addition Board

Simplediceaddition

We do a lot of counting and pre-math around here so I decided to start some simple addition using items I already had on hand. A.J. has tons of blocks so I took two and turned them into numbered dice. I used bottle caps that I already numbered for the answer after the equal sign and bears for the manipulatives.

A.J. likes to simply play with the bears, too.

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A.J. is learning about order, by putting the numbers in order.100_2802

We are also playing more with shapes. I bought a shape sorter to help A.J. with identifying 3-dimensional shapes. I think that’s the term for it. Anyway, he needs to practice putting matching the shapes and putting them in the correct way, which is a bit challenging for him.

Shapesorter

What creative ways do you use to teach simple addition?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Q-tip Fine Motor Activity

q-tip fine motor skillsThis q-tip table top activity helps with developing fine motor skills. It’s one of those DIY projects that requires very little. All you need is a box, q-tips and decorations of your choice.

I have plenty under the sea foam stickers so I decided to use some of them. I also cut the q-tips in half so I could have more by using less.

Precious Snap shots

Brothersisterlove

I had to share these precious snap shots that I took of A.J. and Amira. These are moments that I want to remember and preserve. The days turn into nights and back into days so quickly that if you don’t capture the moment, they fade into oblivion.

We were headed to church when either DH or I snapped a photo of Amira in her pretty purple outfit. The other photos were taken this past Saturday morning (I believe). Amira will be 6 months-old this month and already enjoys playing with her brother. She’d better get ready because her big brother loves to play, too!

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

New Drum and Lessons for A.J. & Family!

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I’m so excited to have Baba Bey come to our home to give us drum lessons. The lessons are really for A.J., but we’re learning, too! Due to Patrick’s schedule, he will miss the first two lessons. He’s pretty coordinated when it comes to drumming so he will be able to catch up quickly.

A.J. was able to play on Baba’s drum and on several of his own drums. A.J. was in a little drum heaven.

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We bought A.J., a floor drum that he can play with mallets, sticks or his hands. The sound quality is clear and robust yet muffled enough that he can play it when Amira is downstairs.

Speaking of Amira, I was able to take a cute 10 second video of her bowling.

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Indulging Our Senses with Homemade Soap

Soaptastic

I finally took the plunge and learned how to make handmade soap. I’ve wanted  to do this for so long, but it seemed too complicated and overwhelming. NOT!!! This was the easiest project ever and A.J. enjoyed it, too!

Trisha at Two Big, Two Little inspired me to “just do it already!” Once I saw there were kits for this with instructions, I knew that I could do this sooner than later.

I ordered my kit from Lorann Oils. The evening it came, I made a test bar before involving A.J. I used a pipe cleaner with alphabet beads to spell his name. It turned out pretty well for my first attempt.

The instructions are simple and they come with the kit. Here is a simple version:

1. Cut glycerine bar into 1/2 inch chunks (You don’t have to cut the whole block, just enough to make the amount of soap that you want.)

2. Place chunks in a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 seconds.

3. Make sure it melts, you may have to heat and stir for another 10 seconds.

4. Add color (if desired) and essential oil fragrance.

5. Pour into a mold and let set for about 40 minutes and you’re done. (You can add trinkets ect. to the soap by pouring half into the mold, adding your trinket, then pouring more liquid into the mold.)

A.J. helped by choosing what he wanted to add to the soap. I gave him a choice of coins and foam sea creatures. He chose the money. He also placed the cut pieces into the container, added the coloring, and stirred the mixture. Melt and pour soap making requires adult supervision. The soap is really hot when you first remove it from the microwave.

The kit comes with lavender and cucumber melon fragrances. We’ve only used the melon so far and it smells divine.

EasyhomemadesoapHave you made homemade soap before? I’d love to see your photos!!

Pray, Persist, & Prosper!

-Asia

March Theme: All About Me

It’s hard to believe that March is already here. But I’m glad it is! Based on what I have planned it should be an exciting month of activities, outings, and play based fun.

A.J. was up to seeing The Adventures of Mighty Bug, yesterday. We had gone the day before yesterday, but to my surprise,  A.J. was afraid and didn’t want to go inside. We ended up going home without seeing the puppet show or even touring the museum. As soon as we drove away from the building he started crying about how he wanted to see the show. That’s when I decided that we’d try again the next day. I’m glad he was able to muster up the courage to go yesterday because the show was fantastic! I heart puppet shows and I know that as a new member, I plan to see every show this year with or without A.J…preferably with. 🙂

Our theme for March is “All About Me.” A.J. will learn more about his six senses (sound, taste, sight, touch, smell and intuition). He will learn more about his family and friends, his address and birth date. We will explore what he likes to do, how to use the phone and measure things around the house and various body parts. 

Here are some of the main books that we are reading this month.

booksaboutsenses

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Some books are a hit, others a miss. A.J. has read the Brown Bear, What Do You See book several times. I’ll say that’s a hit!

What’s your theme for the month?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Creative Counting Games and more…

PreschoolcountinggamesIt’s hard to believe that February has come to an end! There are several items still on my todo list that I simply will have to move to March. But don’t worry, I’ll still get them done and will share them in due time.

For now, here are the three counting games that we did over the last couple of weeks.

1. Using bottle caps A.J. matched the numbers 20-30. Because I have different shapes and colors, I could also change the activity to have him match the colors and/or shapes.

2. Again, using bottle caps I placed three numbers in a muffin tin and A.J. had to put the correct numbers of hearts in each bin.

3. A.J. counted hearts on pipe cleaners and used foam numbers to put under the correct number of hearts.

Countthehearts

Parenthood is a funny thing. There are moments of bliss, periods of sheer chaos and everything in between. On my birthday, A.J. had a tantrum that lasted about an hour or so. It was other wordly. Then yesterday, as I was tucking him in for his nap he asked me to pray with him. Prayer plus nap equals bliss! So in spite of the turbulence we experience as parents moments like this make it all worth it!

This month, A.J. had an opportunity to meet Sonny Emory. Thanks to Dr. Clint Carter and Steve Michaels who told me about the event! I wouldn’t have this picture if it weren’t for Steve. I was in the back of the auditorium nursing Amira when A.J. met Mr. Emory.

AJ ans Sonny2

Other heart centered ideas…Listeningtomyheart

Family loveNext month I will do a better job sharing about the books we are reading and the songs/finger plays that we are singing. I’d better wrap-up this post. We’re going to see Mighty Bugs at the Center for Puppetry Arts later this morning. So, until next time my Loves!

OHHHH…one more thing… My parents came to visit. Here are some lovely pics from their visit.

How did you celebrate the month of LOVE?

Pray, Persist & Prosper

-Asia