Catch the Moment: Week 50

Day 345/365

My little chocolate addict couldn’t resist eating an entire row of treats. Advent what?Project 365-Day 346

Day 346/365

I love these little feet!Project 365-Day 345

Day 347/365

Attempt number one to take Christmas card photos of the boys did not go so well.Project 365-Day 347

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Even though it is dark by the time I get home from work I have plenty of subjects with the Christmas season. I am not looking foward to coming up with ideas once the decorations come down and the days are cold and short.
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Day 349/365

Yup another Christmas tree photo. Trust me there will be plenty more.Project 365-Day 349

Day 350/365

My third newborn session- gosh I love doing this.Project 365-Day 350

Day 351/365

Gah, this boy is getting so big!  Right now this seat on the couch is the best in the house with a view of two Christmas trees and our family wall gallery.  
Project 365-Day 351

Don’t forget to link up your posts! With just two weeks left we are almost done with the first CTM 365. We will start fresh on January 1 so be sure to join us!!

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Ryker Owen: 18 Months + VTech Toy Giveaway

Ryker received the VTech toys to play with as part of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  The VTech product, information, and giveaway have been provided by VTech.

I look at him and sometimes I am dumbfounded by the words coming out of his mouth.  “I want cupcake.”, “I want bath.”, “No mine.”, he will exclaim and typically followed by a toddler like shove or open hand slap to the back or arm.  Ah, toddlerhood in the Stavish house is in full force.   Wait, weren’t we just celebrating his first birthday?  These boys have t incredible super powers-  growing faster than their mama is ready and willing to accept.  Yet, here we are half way to two.  DSC_2025

This little boy of mine is smart, funny, silly, and a little bit stubborn.  Ok, A LOT stubborn!  He loves to snuggle, be tossed around, play with trucks, throw a baseball, chuck toys down from the second floor landing, drive his brothers crazy, and splash in water.  He still nurses in the morning, evening, and when he just needs a good snuggle.  His sleep is less than perfect, but it’s improving.  DSC_2783

These past six months have been full of milestones from teething woes to learning new words each and every day, I love watching my little baby grow into an amazing toddler.  I am thankful for his little hands and feet, his hugs, and his huge grin.  His helicopter ride to the hospital last month was enough to scare me for a lifetime.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t squeeze him a bit tighter and breath a sigh of relief that I can still hug and kiss him.  DSC_3105

Ryker I love you more than you can ever imagine.  You are going to do amazing things in life.  As you grow and learn, I can’t wait to see where your story will take you!  

As bittersweet as it is to watch my baby grow, it is fun to play and teach him about the world around him.  His bigger brothers are also great play and language models.  Recently we received three different toys from VTech to play with.   What I love about the VTech brand is their commitment to providing parents with advice about their child’s growth and development through their Expert Panel.DSC_3097

 Six experts including Dr. Lise Eliot, Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, provides information about children’s milestones from newborn to nine-years-old in three different learning categories, Language/Cognition, Social Emotional, and Physical Motor.  In each category, there is information about the characteristics and developments a child will experience during a specific age and what toy products are developmentally appropriate at this specific stage.  As a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, I absolutely love this resource and have referred several of my student’s parents to the website.DSC_3099

To learn more about VTech’s Milestones Information please take a look at Milestones video.   Please share your thoughts or comments about the program with VTech on Twitter or visit them on Twitter.DSC_3102

Please leave a comment below about your child’s most recent developmental milestone.  One winner wil win a VTech gift pack of 3 educational toys.  Winner’s will be chosen random on 12/21/14. 

Catch the Moment Week 49

Wow the year is really winding down.  Three more weeks to go and 2014 is history.  It’s hard to believe and yet it feels like it just began.  Strange how that is.  

Day 338/365

Christmas blur bliss
Project 365-Day 338

Day 339/365

Solo trip to Target happiness
Project 365-Day 339

Day 340/365

First birthday smash cakeProject 365-Day 340

Day 341/365

Project 365-Day 341Breakfast with Santa at school

Day 342/365

Santa XanderProject 365-Day 342

Day 343/365

Cereal BoyProject 365-Day 343

Day 344/365

We love Christmas
Project 365-Day 344

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Creating Holiday Memories: Preparing for a Party

This post is sponsored by Poppy Cat. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The boys and I are getting ready to our holiday cookie baking extravaganza. This year we are having our very first Christmas party and can’t wait to bake treats for it.  In preparation for holiday baking, I have tasked Xander with the job of helping me put together our grocery shopping list. Now that he is starting to spell and read words, this is the perfect job for him.

Grocery shopping can be a bit of a snore but I have found a great way of making everyday adventures extraordinary with the Poppy Cat Cosmic Forces app. The app features Poppy Cat, a preschool series on Sprout which is based on the international award-winning books by Lara Jones. Poppy Cat is full of adventures and is a celebration of imaginative play. This time Poppy Cat and his friends are going to the market to prepare for a picnic. The vocabulary is presented in English and Spanish, making this app a great multi dimensional learing activity. Once Xander was finished shopping at the market with Poppy and his friends, we got to work writing our own grocery shopping list.   This was the perfect time to teach him about the different categories of food that are found in the store including frozen foods, fresh produce, and baking products.  

When we got to the store, I armed him with his list and a clip board.  We even dragged along our play shopping cart for both Xander and Noah to push.  Play shopping carts are pretty cute! The combination of the shopping cart and the list made the entire shopping trip enjoyable and a fun learning experience for Xander. shopping

Now that we are fully stocked up on the necessary baking ingredients for our cookie extravaganza, we are ready for a weekend of baking. Bring on the sprinkles, chocolate chips, frosting and sugar coma!

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Help your child grow his or her imagination with a holiday filled adventure. For ideas and a fun learning app check outPoppy the Cat on Sprout. You can also find Poppy on Twitter and Facebook.
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Our Love Of Bedtime Stories

Adrian and I are very passionate about sharing our love of reading with our boys.  Each night as part of our winding down routine, we read them a few bedtime stories.  My favorite part of this routine is feeling their warm little bodies in my lap.  I love to listen to their little voices as they comment or ask questions about the story.  Now that Xander knows many site words, it’s fun to have him “read” the book.  He often sounds out the words without me asking.  The pride he has for his new-found skill of reading is priceless.  

Oddly enough, none of them have a story they want to read over and over again.  Sure they have their favorites, but they tend to like variety.  One night we might read about superheros and the next about family of animals.  We were recently sent a copy of This House Needs a Mouse by C. Jeffrey Nunnally to review.  

This House Needs a Mouse

This House Needs a Mouse is a charming story about three families, one of which are rodents.  The illustrations in the book look as if they were done with markers.  I love the muted color palate the illustrator uses throughout the book.  The story begins with the main character of the story, the mouse, determined to build better life for himself outside of the pet store.  He works hard to clean up his cage to show that he can keep a neat house.  The human family in the story is fed up with their endless crumbs, so they decide that they need a mouse.  They choose the neat mouse and soon he happily scurries around his new house.  The family is very happy when they no longer have to deal with crumbs on the floor.  

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Of course the story does not end here.  The mouse is thrown a wrench when his happy family decides to move to a different, bigger house for their growing family.  When a new family moves into the house, the mouse is seen as an unwanted rodent.  He meets many obstacles while proving to his new family that he in fact is useful, including mousetraps and a lazy cat.  The mouse does not give up and eventually earns a spot in the family’s hearts and home.  

This House Needs a Mouse is beautifully written.  The text is full of alliterations, rich vocabulary, and a heart warming message.  The boys and I recommend this for any family looking for a new bedtime story.  It is now available on AmazonBarnes and NobleBig Tent Books.  You can also connect with the author on Facebook.