Munchkin Update: 2 Years, 7 Months

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Many times when Lydia was a baby, I prayed that she might grow to be a good helper to me, and lately I have seen the effects of that prayer. Lydia loves to help! One of her most common phrases is, “Help me?”, which really means “help you?” but we’re still getting the pronouns all figured out. Her very favorite way to help is when I wash dishes. She sits on the edge of the sink with her feet in the water and takes a sponge and washes away. The only unhelpful thing about it is that she doesn’t every want to stop! Even when there are no dishes to be done, she still asks, “help dishes?”.

Lydia also helps me unload the dishwasher (she hands me the silverware, one piece at a time as I put it away), fold laundry (she’s learning how to fold wash cloths), and vacuum (she pushes the on/off switch). She likes to hold Abby and run to get her clean clothes or put dirty clothes in the hamper after Abby spits up. When we tuck her in to her new “big girl bed” at night she often yells out the door as we leave, “help me Mommy?”.

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Whatever Lydia does, she does it with all her heart. Often while she is playing alone I will hear loud yelling from her room. I rush in only to find her holding a book out in front of her and singing at the top of her lungs. She makes up her own songs, sings some that she knows, and mixes up the words of others. Some of our favorites are:

YES! Jesus loves me, the Bible made me so


Jesus, Jesus PRECIOUS Jesus, oh for God so loved the world

While it was on the radio, Lydia would ask for Christmas music every bed and nap time. Now that there’s no more Christmas music, we play a cd of children singing hymns and Bible songs. She knows each song from the beginning and will frequently burst into song at the dinner table or in the car.

When she’s playing, Lydia often gets so absorbed in whatever she’s doing that she doesn’t hear when we talk to her. She’ll come out of her room decked out with a toy tutu, purse, sunglasses, and toy keys and say “bye! see ya later! love you!”. She is all girl and loves accessories and sparkly things. She has two pretty Christmas dresses from Nana and wants to wear them every single day with her silver sparkly shoes. Because she loves to be pretty, Dan and I have been teaching her the two things that make her the most beautiful: to obey, and to smile.

Lately Lydia will occupy herself by removing every single tupperware container from the cupboard. Then she’ll climbs in the cupboard and yell “HIDING!”. If I am ever looking for something and I ask Lydia if she knows where it is, she either says, “hiding”, “all gone”, or “in the closet”.

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Lydia keeps us smiling and laughing. Even when she gets in trouble it’s impossible to stay mad at her when she gives us a smile and a hug. Some of our very favorite things she’s been saying lately include “swabagee salsa” (spaghetti sauce), and “silly goose!”.

Every night as we tuck Lydia in to bed, she asks Mommy, Daddy, and Abigail for a hug and a kiss. Occasionally throughout the day she’ll run up to one of us, grab our legs and say, “I love you Mommy/Daddy!”. She is getting better at sitting quietly for Bible time and often repeats phrases that catch her attention after Dan says them. After doing this for a while she started to perk up every time she heard us say “Jesus Christ”. Then, one Sunday she caught our Pastor say “Jesus Christ” and she burst out, “Jesus Christ?!?” with excitement. It was as if she was thinking, “Hey, Pastor Paul talks about Jesus too!” Lydia also likes to answer his rhetorical questions loudly enough for the people around us (and sometimes the whole church) to hear. Perhaps we should teach her to say “Amen” whenever she gets excited so she’d be less distracting!

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DIY: A Calendar for the New Year

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Last Christmas Dan’s family decided to do all homemade gifts for 2013. For Dan’s Mom, Lydia (with some help from Mommy) made a “handmade” calendar with finger paint. She had a lot of fun doing it, and (although I wouldn’t recommend doing the whole thing in two days like we did) I would highly recommend this as a fun activity/craft/project for other little toddlers.

My original idea was to print off a homemade calendar and then do the painting and get it all bound at Kinkos for about $5. However, I caught a deal online for a $5 photo calendar. So I ordered a photo calendar but left all the photos off so I had a nice template for our painting.

Once our calendar arrived we took the pages apart and made our handprint paintings for each month. I didn’t take pictures of each month at the time, but I still have the links and pictures where we got our ideas.

Side Note: While you can make all these pictures just like the ones shown below, we had only purchased a finger paint set of four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. With some adaptation to the colors in the pictures below and some half-hazardous mixing, we made it work. We left out any black or brown and we left the white portions unpainted since everything was on a white background.

Here are the pictures we used:

January – footprint penguin

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For the penguin we just left the belly unpainted. To do so, I cut out a piece of paper in the shape I wanted and taped it to Lydia’s foot. Then, after she had paint on her foot, I removed the paper to leave the belly unpainted. For older kids, it would probably work better to tape the cut out paper to the calendar and remove it after the painting is done. For younger kiddos with less gross motor control, I recommend taping the paper to the foot.

February – handprint hearts

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March – handprint four-leaf clover

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April – handprint bunny

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We did the bunny on the top left.

May – handprint Very Hungry Caterpillar

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For the eyes we cut out two ovals and taped then on Lydia’s hand. Then we removed them once her hand was painted to leave the eyes unpainted. (similar to the penguin painting technique)

June – handprint goldfish

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July – handprint American flag
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We used a white gel pen to draw the stars. Alternatively you could use white paint or stick on some star stickers. If you want to get real fancy you could use the stickers the same way we used the belly cutout for the penguin, but that could get pretty tricky!

August – hand and footprint lobster

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September – handprint apple tree

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October – handprint fall tree

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November – handprint turkey

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December – handprint Christmas tree

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Here’s Grandma’s reaction as she opened her calendar:

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I think she liked it. Happy Painting!