I used to despise Mondays. Not because of work. I loved my work. I loved what I did and I loved doing it. I despised Mondays because it meant another five days of only getting a few hours in the evenings with my husband and A. And let's be honest, the A I would get between the hours of 5:30 - 8:30 pm, after ten hours running around at daycare, is not the same person she is at 1:00 pm in the afternoon. She was usually grumpy, tired, and short-fused. And quite honestly, after ten hours away from the house at work, so was I.
Now, I look forward to Monday. I'm a planner by nature. Some (most) would say I am type-A. I love the feeling that Monday starts the week and gives me a whole five days to plan whatever I want with A. We've slowly found a bit of a rhythm and schedule, but there is something exciting about having the flexibility to do what I want, whenever I want with her. Like this morning, we went for a walk and I decided to detour off our normal path and go to the park. She was so excited as soon as she saw the slide, and was racing up the steps before I could even put the brakes on the stroller. Staying at home full-time has given me a freedom I haven't felt in a long time.
One of the websites I have absolutely fallen in love with is No Time For Flashcards. Allie, the website's founder and editor, is one of the most creative people I've ever come across. With her degree elementary education, all of her activities are focused on learning in some capacity. My favorite thing about this website is that she has an entire section dedicated to activities for children under the age of 2 years old. But I must warn you, it is absolutely sensory overload. I have such a hard time trying to decide what to do next with A. The great news is that all of her activities are very budget-friendly and utilize household items.
A and I have done many of the projects already. I couldn't believe how A took to some of them. It's like she knew instantly what to do. Hands down, the favorite activity has been this toddler craft. A and I have made several variations with different cut outs. I have her sit at her little picnic table in the kitchen and I put the scraps of ribbon on a plate next to her cut out. She will sit for an hour and meticulously place each piece of ribbon, carefully analyzing it before she places it down. And while this is a great time for me to get dinner ready or fold the laundry, I find myself mesmerized by A's intensity as she works.
The most expensive material was the contact paper, but it comes in a large roll, so it will be along time before we ever need to buy more. And, I grab $1 ribbon from the clearance bin at Michael's. I think our next version will be leaves and pumpkins!
You will find me posting quite a bit more about some of our different activities we love from No Time For Flashcards. I think I'm going to start doing the Letter of the Week today with A when she wakes up. She's started to show an interest in letters and singing her ABCs.
The letter A. Hmmm... apples, acorns, ants, airplanes... time to go plan!