Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mary Baby!

This is Felicity's constant exclamation these days: "Mary, Baby!" She is so excited to have a holiday that focuses on someone she can really relate to -- a Baby held by His Mother. She will also include JoeJoe, if he is on the scene. We have been visiting the many creches and little statues and pictures around our home, our church, our neighborhood. I didn't realize how many depictions there are of Jesus' Nativity until she started pointing them out.

Right now she is laying on the floor, finishing a little fit over not getting her brother's candy as her lunch, repeating "Mary, Baby... Mary Baby" I guess that calms her down :)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Eloquent Felicity

Felicity's language development always seems to lunge forward in big strides. Yesterday was one of those days where practically every sound she uttered was a word, and lots of words were strung together as phrases or sentances.

For example, when she woke after an early morning nap, I offered to take her to the potty. She responded, "I don't want the pot." She also said Kwamai's name clearly for the first time yesterday, finally adding on the beginning K/Q sound.

It is so neat to have a more conversational relationship develop with her, and among all of us as a family. Last night during bath time we all had a good laugh over her insisting we call that slippery white bar "pope" (as she can't quite get out the "s" sound).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Bloggable Kwamai

Kwamai's bloggable quote of the day: "When you die, I'm going to live in your house, but I'm going to change the phone number."

Golden Month-Birthday

Have I created a new concept here? Felicity is 20 months old today, on December 20th, so it's her Golden Birthday, month-wise. I figured I missed 20 seconds, 20 minutes, 20 hours, 20 days and 20 weeks, and it will be awhile before we get to 20 years....

Here's the month-birthday girl. Happy 20 months, honey! We love you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Video Mania

Well, we're really getting into these digital camera movies. Sure wish I would have done one every day for the last few years! Here's today's semi-artless offering.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lego Team Tired Out

Ok, so they don't know yet that I took this picture.

If I could have made it larger, you would see a room swimming in lego, and two tired engineers who essentially fell asleep in the middle of them.

I suppose I should go get them to the right beds to save their backs, huh?

Decorating the Tree

Felicity and I decorated our Christmas tree today. Well, ok -- I decorated; Felicity mostly undecorated.
Note that she is holding or touching the same ornament in each shot.

It was one of those moments where absolutely all beauty, truth and goodness sang in heavenly harmony, and the heart ached with the joy of it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kwamai Dancing

Here's Kwamai doing his favorite thing: dancing around, with an audience.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Chin People

Ok, I hope my brother and I are not the only people in the world who have ever discovered chin people.

When I was a kid I remember drawing eyes on my chin, hanging upside down, and laughing for a loooooooong time with my brother (he took a turn with the eyes, too). To this day I often picture a chin person while I'm looking at someone talk (particularly if what is coming out of his or her mouth is not so interesting).

So yesterday I introduced Kwamai to chin people. He found it funny too.

Then imagine my outburst of laughter when later in the day I picked up Felicity to nurse her and her dress slid up, revealing two eyes and a gaping mouth, er, I mean belly button. Her brother obviously decided she would have a turn providing entertainment, too. Felicity wasn't quite sure why I found her belly so hilarious, though...

Helpful Kids

I am very proud of my household helpers.

Felicity loves to put the silverware away after the dishwasher is finished running.

Here is Kwamai washing things the old fashioned way.

St. Nicholas Day Pictures

Last year on the Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), we took some really nice pictures at home. That is, Kwamai and I did. I decided to do it again this year, to make it a tradition. Well, Felicity, who never hesitates to smile pretty for the camera, was not all that excited this time, and I was not having a particularly good day myself. But, we got some shots, so I thought I'd share.

Our "Minister"

For a few years, we have participated in a program at Franciscan University founded by Kimberly Hahn called Ministry to Moms. A young woman volunteers to come to our home three hours a week, and in exchange we share dinner with her one night. This semester we've had Katie come to our house, and Kwamai and Felicity both love her. It is wonderful just to have another grown up on hand if I need to run an errand, or, um, shower or get other luxuries done:)

Thanks, Katie!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Book of Poems

This afternoon we read Tomie dePaola's Book of Poems. Kwamai absolutely loved the one called Bananas and Cream by David McCord. Most of the rest were big hits as well, as long as they had a strong beat to them or weren't too long or conjured up a funny image.

In fact, as I sat down to blog this and asked him to bring me the book, he asked me eagerly if I were going to search the public library website for more poetry books.

I guess I'll do that now!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Greg Page

Erol sent me the email this morning: Unfortunately, Felicity will be heart-broken. The local news reported this morning that Greg Page is in poor health and is thus resigning from The Wiggles.

Now, for those of you not up on toddler music, Greg Page is the lead singer from the hit Australian kiddie group The Wiggles. They are a new favorite of Felicity's. They were a favorite of Kwamai's a few years back, and definitely have etched their mark in our family's culture.

Turns out Greg's illness is not fatal, just chronic, but his departure certainly marks the end of an era. I figure parents will probably be more sad than kids, who might not notice that a different guy is in the bright yellow shirt.

See the related news story

Language Mastery, Part Two

See, I knew that just as soon as I'd record something here, we'd grow past it. I mentioned about a week ago that Felicity was our "Yes" girl. Something clicked shortly thereafter and she'd back into building her vocabulary, out of intent observations, into exploration, and falling over a lot!

Kwamai has been noticing how fun it is that she imitates him. So he's been coaching her on counting to ten. She struggles with those consonants, but she can repeat after him! She also is saying words from books she never had said before, like puppet, blocks, and Mike. Her "stages" seem much more evident to me than Kwamai's ever did. Maybe that's just because I didn't blog then...

Family Jam

This was from Sunday. What started out as "Kwamai saying Mass" in the attic turned into a opportunity for some family music time. What a blast! As we had percussion instruments on hand, that was the theme.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christ the King

This is the crown Kwamai and I made on Friday to mark the Feast of Christ the King, which we celebrate today.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Unexpected Guest

We almost brought home more than our groceries this morning when we went to pick up our food co-op order.

This cute little kitty thought our warm car was just the place to dash into for a quick warm up. Kwamai shot out of his seat, screaming in horror, as Felicity squealed in delight.

Kwamai eventually warmed up to kitty and asked if we could take him home. But then he chatted with some neighbors, who identified the kitty as residing across the street. After much effort we managed to get kitty back out, but not before a quick pic to memorialize the event!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Eepy Bird

If you've never seen the Eepy Bird videos, you simply must check them out.

About a month ago, we saw the Eepy Bird mad scientists live at the Science Center in Pittsburgh. Click the link above, then scroll down the page to Experiment #137 to see the show we saw.

Our humble pics are much less vivid than the website videos.

Kwamai was captivated and was making "explodable" bottles for a couple of weeks.

Language Mastery

Kwamai produces so many bloggable bits. The trick is just remembering them long enough to record them. Here's a great one from today.

The scene: Kwamai is playing Legos with his neighbor friend. "Zap!" he says. "Now your guy is monsterlized -- that means he's been turned into a monster."

And I thought to myself, this is why they call it your "native tongue". Kids can just feel how their language works, and then make it do almost as many interesting things as their Lego sets!

Felicity is our Yes girl. Or more precisely, our "yeah" girl. She says yeah, usually with meaning, all day long. Oh, she will occasionally say no, if that is what she means. I am thinking she is working on right hemisphere development right now, because a few months ago she would babble up a storm, even in sentences. Now, she is engrossed in observations and takes it all in saying "yeah".

Another of Felicity's usual speech patterns is her love for definite articles. "The doggie", "the chair", "a book". And of course "the baby", which usually is a self-reference.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Doing the Steps

Ok, A little back-tracking. A week or two ago we had such nice weather that I insisted on a few walks. We rediscovered that our neighborhood has steps that lead to downtown. If you stand at the beginning of the steps you can see the whole south end of Steubenville (such as it is) and the curve in the Ohio River. Kwamai was enthralled and excited to hike the steps. Felicity got in lots of practice climbing them as well. She's quite a pro! The last time we took note of these steps (a few years back) I recall Erol and I doing quite a bit of Kwam-carrying when it was time for the upwards trip.

Contest Winners -- Again!

We were notified today that Kwamai and Felicity each one a prize in a library drawing. Kwamai has won things at least twice before, and I have also won once. The librarian did mention to me that Felicity was the only one entered in the contest in her age category. I have a feeling the frequency with which we visit and the small population of kids that do the same both play quite a role in our good fortune!

Kwamai won two Matchbox type cars and a bookmark, and Felicity won the book Little Quack's Hide and Seek by Lauren Thompson.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Carnegie Museum

Last Wednesday we went to the Carnegie Natural History Museum, which we fondly refer to as The Fossil Museum, to differentiate it from the Science Center and the art museum. Here are some of the pics of Kwamai and Felicity interacting with one of the more colorful dinos.

Money Math

Yesterday, as Kwamai had Papa home with him, he was upstairs in his playroom doing Money Math. He is interested in coins and likes to have Papa work with him. So we played "donut shop" and sold a Lego donut for various amounts of money. I also demonstrated to him how each coin feels different so that there is more than one way we can tell coins apart.

Felicity enjoyed putting the coins into and out of the Tupperware bank.

Welcome to Our Blog!

Having had so much fun with my own blog, I decided it is time to start one on behalf of the younger family members. My goal here is to record the fun little things we do, the little milestones that would pass by otherwise, unblogged, and post some pictures, allowing Those Concerned to catch up on what is happening in our little corner of the world.