Saturday, April 21

Grasping Mobiles

I asked Colin if he could make some Montessori toys for Mavry.  He has a few woodworking tools and wanted to do it, but always has so much in his "pile" (as I call it - I have a pile too!).  When his parents came into town, though, he solicited the help of his dad and they got two really wonderful things finished.  One of which is this toy hanger, inspired by the one at the Michael Olaf Store (a source worth checking out for Montessori toys, activities, and general information).  

They did a great job and I think they enjoyed working on it together.  It's beautiful, the height is adjustable, and it's something Mavry can use for a long time since it will make a fun little teepee and hiding place when she's older.  

We have hung a few different toys from it so far.  The bird toy was a hand-me-down and I attached a jingle bell and a wooden ring to lengths of ribbon with some elastic so she can bat at them and then pull on them when she learns how to grasp and hang on.  It's fascinating to watch her learn how to do all this!


Colin graciously went with me last weekend on a women's retreat type weekend to take care of Mavry.  He was wonderful and he says he got to know Mavry a lot better from spending all day with her for almost three days.  We were at the foot of a mountain and the weather the first evening looked like this.  It was sort of magical.

 Then it snowed the next day!  We knew there was a chance of snow, but I was still entranced. 

 So Mavry got to experience her first snow!  I had warm clothes for Mavry, but not for me!

Along with my warm clothes, we also forgot to pack a bed for Mavry.  She usually only gets up once a night (and has slept through the night a few times), so we could have just made a place on the floor, but since we weren't sure if she'd be thrown off by a new place, we wanted her close by for easy lifting from bed.  So, Colin made a "co-sleeper" out of the luggage rack, a drawer with a towel for cushion, and a chair.  She liked it so well she slept through the night anyhow, but I was glad to have her next to me instead of a few feet down. 

Wednesday, April 18

Montessori Inspired Mobiles

We read How to Raise an Amazing Child and Montessori From the Start to get an idea of how to use Montessori principles with a baby.  We are not following Montessori to the letter (the Montessori method would not include swaddling, for instance, because it restricts movement), but we are interested in creating a learning environment at home for Mavry's absorbent mind. 

One of the things suggested from the beginning is to use different sorts of mobiles for the baby to look at.  I found this post at How We Montessori and this post at Little Red Farm helpful in deciding which mobiles to make. There are some guidelines in hanging and using mobiles here

I made all of our mobiles because they are pretty expensive to buy.  It has been totally worth the time I put into them to see Mavry enjoy them more and more!
In the beginning, we used just black and white ones.  This one is from a mobile picture hanger I already had with some black and white sea creature art cards.  It's hung above her floor bed where she usually takes naps. 

When Laura was here, she helped me finish up the Munari mobile.  It took Colin (an engineer) to figure out how to balance it, so this was a team effort. 

The whale was an easy one to make with pictures found online.  (I just made three sizes of the same whale, printed and glued them to cardstock then laminated them so they have the same image front and back.)  It's not as beautiful as the one sold through Michael Olaf, but Mavry likes it. 
The octahedron mobile is hung above her co-sleeper that is attached to our bed.  She sleeps here at night, so she doesn't get as much awake time with this one, but she sometimes has alert time before or after sleeping when she watches these.  If she's not swaddled, then she'll reach for them.  
We hung the dancers above her changing station in the bathroom.  She just started grasping for this one recently.  It's a fun place because she can see the actual mobile and the reflection in the mirror.

I hung the other mobiles from dowels or some bamboo sticks we had leftover from our wedding, but when I ran out of those, I hung this one from a wire hanger that I cut into three parts. 

The Gobbi Mobile didn't look all that hard to do, but it turned out being the one I started first (well before she was born) and put off til last (just finished it a week or so ago).  I switched it out with the whale/Munari mobile that we had rotated in the living room.  (I think the principle is to rotate in a new mobile every few weeks, but we like having different ones in different places - after making them all, just two weeks of use seems too short!)

I made mine with styrofoam balls and embroidery floss.  I started out by threading the floss through the center of each ball, but it took forever and got more difficult, so I ended up just glueing it on.  It made for a less beautiful effect, but at least I finished it!  Mavry reaches up for the balls now and enjoys watching them.  

Another version of the Gobbi that looks prettier than mine and was likely faster/easier to make.

Thursday, April 12

Caine's Arcade

This is so great.  A kid who builds his own arcade in his dad's shop in LA.  The power of imagination, cardboard boxes, and the support of a dad.

Wednesday, April 11


We didn't do anything special for Easter this year (Mavry actually cried for the first time in church so she and I missed the message).  She did well for the Good Friday service though.  She wore a little dress for Easter that she got as a hand-me-down from my friend Ruth and we took another family picture.  She didn't get an Easter basket or egg hunt, but she did get a Steiff puppy in the mail from Misha and GinGin (my parents) that she's looking forward to hanging out with. 

Tuesday, April 10

Mavry Turns Over!

Mavry has been rolling over for a few weeks now.  We're not sure how many because when she first started doing it, we didn't think it was really a milestone.  We thought she was just losing her balance when we put her on her tummy.  I realize now that she had to be able to lift her head high enough to lose her balance, which takes some effort!  Her head being anchored to the ground is the only thing keeping her from turning over back to front now.  The rest of her body twists as far as it can go!

The first video is from when she was just lifting her head from side to side (when her newborn sleeper was still so loose even with a big cloth diaper!) and another where she's turning over.  Unfortunately, the date on my zumi camera was not set so I don't really know when the first two videos were taken.  The third is a recent one from Friday.  Don't worry - she's not always so sad when turning over. 

Monday, April 9

Mavry at 2 Months

Mavry had her two month check-up on Friday and is almost 11 pounds.  She has outgrown all of her newborn clothes and is well on her way to filling out the 0-3 month size with wonderful little fat rolls on the inside of her thighs.  She actually smiled for the doctor this time and impressed her with how she can roll over from front to back.  (The doctor had to see it to believe it and Mavry performed on command!)  I'll have to post a video of that soon.  She's moving around so much.  When I put her on the floor, she squirms off her little rug in no time. Her smiling and cooing has both of us totally charmed, but sometimes we catch her giving a big smile to the ceiling too!

Oops... I didn't put her in the same pose as her 5 week picture with Raggedy Ann.

Sunday, April 8

Time with Daddy

Colin started wearing Mavry in the moby on the first day we came home.  She loves it in there.

He wears her "skin to skin" when he can. 

Mavry's more interactive now and loves it when people talk to her!

Thursday, April 5

Aunt Laura

I'm getting sorta caught up on pictures and posting.  I realized I hadn't posted any pictures of my sister Laura's visit! 

She came when Mavry was just five days old and left her husband and two little boys to stay with us for a week.  It was great to have her here to enjoy little Mavry and keep me company in those first crazy days.  Mavry was working on adjusting to life outside and Laura patiently helped bounce or hold her to keep the peace.  She was in attendance for Mavry's first sponge bath, helped with making her mobiles and lots of other stuff.  We also got to watch the first season of Downton Abbey every evening on her hulu+ which was a treat. :)  Hopefully we'll get to make a Texas visit sometime soon so that Mavry can meet her cousins, who asked to see her every time Laura talked to them while she was here. 

Grandparent Visits

Mavry got to meet both sets of grandparents in the last month!  My parents came during their spring break in the middle of March.  

Colin's parents came (on Amtrak from Arkansas!) and just left on Monday. Even though the visits were only a few weeks apart, Mavry changed a lot in between the two.  She smiles more now and moves around more too.  She's turning over from front to back some and can support her body in standing position with some help to balance.  She's also "talking" more and seems to have new sounds that she makes every day.  Grammy (Colin's mom) discovered that Mavry can hold superman position in the air - holding her head up and legs straight behind her.  The grandparents obviously think she's quite exceptional. 

Wednesday, April 4

Family Photos

We attempted these a few weeks ago with a tripod.  The results were a little less than what I hoped for, but still kinda cute.