10 Things About Her

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  • She loves Nature, animals, people.
  • She is fearless…almost.
  • She loves to run, climb, jump.
  • She is very affectionate, bubbly and social.
  • She is very independent.
  • She is a Daddy’s girl.
  • She is strong-willed.
  • She understands.
  • She loves water.
  • She is very smart.
  • She never ceases to amaze me.

Toddler Practical Life: Clothespins

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Sixtine had the opportunity to experience clothespins a few days ago. It is part of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum and it helps develop pincer grip (which will later be helpful for writing). I used a small basket filled with clothespins and a plastic bowl. This activity wasn’t a success – Sixtine pinched her finger and was a little nervous at the thought of trying again. She quickly realized that the clothespins could stay on the edge of the bowl without pinching. And she seemed happy with herself. I tried to show her again the mechanism: squeeze, line up, relax grip in vain. She quickly showed lack of interest. I will try again another time but with a different bowl – I wonder if the edge was too thick and therefore, harder to work with?

Toddler Years: Handling Tantrums

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Putting her blocks away without being prompted.

Sixtine is a very bright, wild, energetic and strong-willed little girl. She loves her newly found independence but still needs a lot of attention. I think the hardest part of being 20 months (for my baby anyway) is that she is torn between wanting to be her own individual and needing us – just as much as her 3 months old sister does, but differently.

She has gone through moving out of the country twice, being away from her father half her life in total, changing homes, language, entourage, routine and last but not least, a difficult pregnancy (modified bed rest, hospitalization) and a new baby in the family. Sprinkle with a typical 20-month old attitude and you have a clear picture of what we are going through right now.

She is craving for stability, routine and order which is why the Montessori approach works so well for us. Look at her putting her blocks away at the exact same place! She seems so concentrated and content. I was actually extremely surprised to see that she knew to empty her dirty clothes basket in her sister’s hamper.

One thing though, she is amazing with her baby sister. She kisses her, holds her hand, tells her not to cry, tell her “go” when she wants her to nurse, pour water on her head during bath time (gently – she means to help), shares her toys, will pull my hand when “Coco” is up so I can attend to her right the second ( I think she hears her better than I do ;)…and the list goes on!

However, I have been finding it really hard to keep my cool lately. She whines and cries a lot more than usual, and can be defiant as well. I am not as patient either and I suppose she can feel it too. What I usually do is I will explain to her that I am not happy with her behaviour and will have her sit on a cushion. She knows she has to stay on it until I go get her (usually a couple minutes) and I tell her to think about what happened. She usually gets very offended and cries, eventually, when I come back, I ask her if she is sorry and she will answer: “Yeah” and give me a big cuddle and kisses. It usually works – but for big tantrums, I am totally at lost.

I know I should ignore them but it is easier said than done – raising two young children alone, I have very little time for myself, I get frustrated and tired, I get to miss my husband (and I know Sixtine misses her Daddy so much it breaks my heart) who goes away for work, and at the end of the day, we are all very tensed.

She has also been fighting against wearing diapers but also won’t sit on the toilets. I guess she just wants to say: I want to make decision for myself. And she can make some decisions; I offer choices when possible but it isn’t always.

It makes me very emotional just thinking of it – I love my baby so much and I wish things were smoother between the two of us…

I know that spending quality time together makes a difference – and I sincerely feel that I do that but maybe not as much as she would like – but I would really like to hear how you are going through the toddler stage or how you got through it.

ps: I need a serious plan for potty training. (I can’t let her run around naked anymore as we have mostly carpet in the house!)

Toddler Practical Life Activity: Flower Arranging

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Nature Walk. Sixtine, Victoire and myself went for a nice nature walk this afternoon. I thought we could all benefit from the “fresh” air and that it would be a great way of introducing flowers in our “curriculum” if we have such a thing.  Yes, Sixtine has been showing a lot of interest in flowers lately; first by blowing dandelions, then picking up every living flowers possible.

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Material. A basket, a pair of scissors (although I barely used them – I had to put them away for obvious reason. Silly Mama.), hat and water and we were all set. I let Sixtine wandered around and try not to lead the way too much, letting her explore her own way. I gave her the basket and told her to store her findings in it. I like the rock in there.

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Set up our flower workshop. I used a cutting board (the only tray in this house is very – too? – colorful aka distracting and plastic. I plan to get some wooden trays when I can). A vase (tall glass in this case), and a pitcher (measuring jug – can you tell I am on a budget?) is all she needed to make a beautiful bouquet.

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Pouring water into the vase. Proved to be the most challenging of the activity. Practice makes perfect! I love the concentration look on her face and the movement of her hand. She tried really hard to pour without spilling. Love it.

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Gently place flowers into vase. A couple of flowers she picked got tired from the trip and the heat so they didn’t have an obvious top and bottom. So she misplaced them and eventually got rid of them.

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So proud of my little florist! Call us if you have any flower arrangements needs for your events.

Clean up.

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Display and enjoy.

Toddler Practical Life Activities

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Sixtine showed a lot of interest in all these activities this week. She absolutely loves playing with water but more importantly, she likes the independence they provided. She expressed so much happiness and excitement while doing them.

I love observing her as she concentrates to reach “perfection” and tries and tries again. I did not have to ask her to clean after herself. I simply made a cloth available for her and she naturally used it to sponge the water.

As you can see, I used various objects with their own particularities and challenges. She did unbelievably well with the black spoon. I felt that it may not be the best object as I thought it would probably be too difficult but she actually did great. We used styrofoam balls (they are great little floating machines 😉 and ice cubes (she loved them so much that she ate a couple – however, I felt that it proved a little challenging for her to scoop – they would slide off the spoon and she eventually had to use her hands.)

Inspiration: Books. Internet. Pinterest. Yoghurt container idea: Racheous. I am also an unconditional “fan” of howwemontessori.

I am always looking for new activities to try with her – so feel free to link any related blog post in your comment and I will be happy to check it out! Thank you.

Do It Yourself: Montessori Grasping Beads

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This beautiful infant toy was made with love by myself. It was really easy to make and didn’t require tools or too many materials. I used 5 medium-sized wooden beads and leather cord. Thread, tie, thread, tie. Pretty straight-forward.

This toy is usually introduced at around 3 months when baby starts reaching for objects and has more control of her hands/self-awareness. It can also be used as a teether a later time.

I just love wooden toys, aren’t they beautiful?

Toddler Cooking: Mixed Berries And Banana Smoothie

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Ingredients + Recipe for Mixed Berries and Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (we used organic)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Shake it up
  • Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

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Ingredients + recipe:

  • 1 banana (we used fresh but you could use a frozen one)
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of milk (we used almond milk – I am lactose intolerant and I am nursing Victoire who isn’t doing well on milk products)
  • 1/2 cup of plain yoghurt (we used organic vanilla yoghurt but you could probably go without)
  • 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • optional: 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (we used unsweetened/pure chocolate ones)
  • Blend all ingredients in your mixer and ta da!

Makes two servings. My family enjoyed this smoothie a lot: Sixtine actually licked her spoon dry! I suggest not making it close to meal times as it is quite heavy! I couldn’t finish mine (might try it again without yoghurt, a bit more almond milk and minus chocolate chips haha).

What is your favorite smoothie recipe?

Little Miss Yellow Rubber Boots At The Beach

The 6 Week Growth Spurt & Breastfeeding

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Going through a growth spurt and breastfeeding has proved challenging. I am starving. I am always thirsty (and water doesn’t cut it!). And I am beyond exhausted. (It is past midnight and baby is sleeping. I should go to bed.) So tired that my eyes hurt. I have cried the past two nights. More so last night when Victoire was crying, hungry and I felt empty. Not one drop of milk would come out. And all I wanted to do was sleep. I can understand now why a mother in distress would go to formula! We eventually fell asleep and, a couple hours later, some more milk had come in and she was able to nurse. She actually ate A LOT last night. I am hoping that tonight will be a little easier than last night – but I feel fuller, even tensed so it should be. I was able to get support from some ladies on the French LLL Facebook page and it really helped. Who would have thought that something so natural would be so hard!?