Serenity’s Monthly Update

by Chrissie Wainright on September 12th, 2010
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I’ve actually lost track of how many months old Serenity is! Oh my! I could do the math of course but it’s just strange =) Maybe I’ll start posting at the end of the month instead of the 9th…
It’s been an eventful month!
Serenity is reading more and more every day! I am amazed at how many words she recognizes or can sound out. She can easily read every word of the three letter flashcards Jen gave her for her birthday, and she can even read nearly every word of the 50 sight words cards I got at the Target dollar bin. I was so impressed with that I started arranging the cards into short sentences and she was excited to read those too, and asked for more! Her favorites were “I like my green cat” and “We walk to the yellow house.” Amazing! We have started playing on a new website, It’s a great site for literacy skills. It has all sorts of short “I can read” style books. I point to various words in the story and she reads them, and over the last month I’ve started letting her read more and more, including the articles and other little words I used to just fill in between nouns she recognized. Her favorites are “The Robot and Mr. Mole,” “Jake’s Tale,” and “Dune Buggy.” One day Ann was here babysitting, and they found “Dune Buggy” together, and by the end of the day Serenity knew her right from her left! So we are reinforcing that a lot because it’s such a great new skill! Eric was especially proud =)

I found her sitting on top of her tent reading this book to herself =)  Frog on a Log

I found her sitting on top of her tent reading this book to herself =) Frog on a Log

She is also seriously addicted to “the little computer” which is what we call the IPAD. I have downloaded quite a few little apps for her, and she entertains herself with them for long periods of time. One of them is a writing game where she traces letters. She started, as always, wanting Mama to do it. Then she progressed to trying to trace the letters herself, and she got to the point where she could do the straight lines herself. About two days after that, she was even managing to do some of the round shapes! Now she can play it all by herself with no help from Mama, except I sometimes tilt the board for her to help the completed letters slide down the hole. She does have some issues now with sharing the little computer with Mama, but I view it as a good opportunity to exercise a little patience occasionally. =)
Alex stayed with us for a few days =)  They loved being ipad buddies =)

Alex stayed with us for a few days =) They loved being ipad buddies =)

She is still in love with Dora, and it is adding all sorts of cute dimensions to her pretend play. She loves to say she’s going to the “vol-da-cano” and to the “gooey geyser.” She also has to rescue Boots a lot. Dora also has some important lessons. For example, we were playing in the yard outside when she climbed up on the little bike she inherited from Raegan, and she announced, “I need a helmet!” So she got off the bike, went over to her sandbox, and put a bucket on her head before she got back on her bike. Too cute! She also accepted her life jacket a lot better when we were in New York, because Dora has to wear life jackets when she gets on a boat. The thing I love best about Dora though is that it has prompted us to start learning Spanish! She surprised me one day by saying “Vamonos!” as we headed out the door to Target. Since then she’s learned all the colors in Spanish. She sounds particularly cute saying “verde” since it comes out “ver-da-be” She also knows arriba, abajo, alli esta, and several words, including “la lechuza” which is owl. =) She will also say gracias and “heyada” which is de nada. I love it!
She sings more lately, and it is completely adorable. She does “The Wheels on The Bus” with a cute little hand motion, spinning her fists around and around. She also sang a lot of “Row Row Your Boat” when we were paddling the red canoes at Judy and Drew’s house. She did this while swaying back and forth which caused some interesting rocking in our kayak, but it was so very cute. =) She also still loves her music class songs, especially 5 Little Ducklings and Little Raindrops. Also “Shark in the Pool.” She gets the biggest grin on her face when Miss Teresa comes to get her as the shark. =) She also has become more adventurous in music class, even sitting with the teacher when it’s her turn for tonal patterns!
A few times this past week I inadvertently dressed us in matching clothes. Not too matchy, just for example I’ll be wearing a purple shirt and she’ll have on her purple dress. Well, she notices this now and delightedly announces, “I match my mama!” Wonder how long she’ll like that 😉 My sweet ninjakungfu color master in training.

Color matching activity =)  We love rainbows!

Color matching activity =) We love rainbows!

She is still really enjoying her puzzles, although I think she has memorized all the ones we have. We might need to get some more while she’s so excited by them!
She is starting to enjoy dressing up even more, especially hats! I’m not sure if I posted about her dress-up area yet, but it’s a big hit so far. All I did was put up a mirror in her closet, and some hooks to hold dresses, and a big tub that is ready to be filled with fun dress-up items. We have quite a few things already. She loves wearing her princess crown (Actually, she is usually a queen. “I’m the queen!” and when I wear it: “Mama’s the queen!”) She also loves her alpha pig hats and the net she got from Alli’s birthday (her “Alphabet-Net”) It’s so cute and so much fun to see her creativity emerge.
In other interesting news, her hair seems to be getting to the point where we will have to start doing things to it. If I just leave it be, it falls into her eyes just a bit. So I have started trying to part it, which is a challenge as she seems to have cow-licks like I do. So now we sometimes brush it and experiment with ways to keep it out of her eyes to postpone as long as possible the hair-cutting conversation/war. =) If she would leave a barrette or a headband in we’d be good to go! But so far just brushing it helps enough.

Today we did a little st+art. This is story+art, and it’s a thing I see on the blogs I follow all the time. Today one of them posted about doing Chicka Chicka 1-2-3, which Serenity loves! While she was in her crib not napping I overheard her talking about racing to the top of the coconut tree. And, I had enough supplies on hand to do the project, so we went for it! It involved cutting a trunk and coconuts out of brown foam, and tracing her hands onto green foam for the leaves. The foam was sticky so Serenity could stick them onto the paper herself after I cut things out for her. Since the book we actually read was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, we stuck letter stickers all over the tree! It was so much fun Serenity wanted to do it again immediately after I hung the first one up. She even quoted little parts of the book as she was doing it. Like H is tangled up with I, J and K are about to cry. Such fun! We also did a color sorting sticker activity earlier in the day, and a week ago we got to have some fun with glue! I cut out strips of tissue paper and let her paint them with glue and stick them to the paper. I had to help a bit but the results were super cute and she loves seeing them hang on the wall! We also had a bit of painting mishap. We were doing fingerpaints, and before even getting any on the paper, for the first time Serenity decided to taste the paint! She soon discovered it was a bad idea as it tasted bad and I used a paper towel to wipe as much out as I could before brushing and rinsing the rest out. Ick!

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