Friday, December 28, 2007

Pictures from Christmas Day

We had a really beautiful Christmas day together. I carried around a feeling all day long that this was the sort of days that sweet, warm memories are built from, the kind that will come to mind when my children grow up and someone asks them how their family celebrated Christmas. And that kind that Erol and I will think of when we are old and are remembering "Christmas when the kids were little."

We went for opening all the gifts on Christmas Day, despite my hopes of spreading it out over the 12 days. We went to morning Mass, but before that I convinced Felicity that she needed a trip over to Franciscan University to see Baby Jesus in the manger there (she'd been patiently awaiting His arrival). I also convinced Kwamai that he had to be the helper and go along with Erol and Felicity. In the meantime, I unhid all of the presents and put them under the tree. I do think the out-of-sight approach helped them not be so focused on presents and to think more about when Baby Jesus was going to appear.

So, upon arrival home from Mass we opened gifts, and I got dinner cooking bit by bit. There was a curious and natural pause as some really cool toys beckoned to be played with, so we went with that, I got dinner on the table and we ate. Felicity eventually decided we needed to open the rest of the gifts, so we did. Towards evening we went over to some friends' house for, dare I say, yet another Christmas dinner.

And all that was only the first day of Christmas!

Here are some pics:
Felicity opening a gift.



Kwamai contemplating his Avatar book with Erol.



"Could you put Baby Jesus' manger together, please?" (From her Playmobile Nativity set.)

Everyone busily working on their projects.

Felicity and I are ready for dinner.

Kwamai's play-dough creature.


Felicity models a new dress from Mama-Grandma.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's a Wonderful Day




These still photos certainly don't capture the excited mood of the Hosdil kids right now!
This has been a wonderful day, truly. After Mass and a guest for dinner, we did some decorating with lights, put up the Christmas tree, and had our Sunday-of-Advent picnic with our family rosary. Then tonight we all bundled together upstairs (where our TV is residing) to watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Despite all of Kwamai's protestations about not wanting to watch it, he was glued to the whole story. What we will spend tomorrow afternoon doing, I'm not quite sure (since the initial plan was to do the tree then). It just seemed fitting to use the energy while we were all together today. Throughout the afternoon Kwamai occasionally called for a "family hug." A day of joyful togetherness, if you take out the times when I yelled about the glass ornaments, or the odd tussle between Kwamai and Felicity. I guess those things just prove that it is all real!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Sounds of Sanity

After a phone conversation with Mama-Grandma sent both Kwamai and Felicity into a complete excitement tailspin over the nearness of Christmas (think screaming AND streaking through the house), I had a brainstorm! Erol is currently entertaining them at the Pittsburgh Zoo. And I, well, I'm baking, doing laundry, wrapping presents, and will shortly go to cleaning the basement and attic.

What a deal!

Friday, December 21, 2007

'Twas the Week Before Christmas....

We have been busy with the flurry of activities that comes the last few days before Christmas. On Monday, on his way to Catechesis, Kwamai happened to see the Bishop and asked if he received his birthday gift. On Wednesday, the Bishop sent Kwamai a formal thank you letter. Kwamai was very psyched that, first of all, it was addressed to "Master" Kwamai Hosdil... which he thought must have something to do with his excellent karate moves or some such. He also said as he opened it that he hoped the Bishop would be inside the envelope and jump out to give him a big hug.

We put up the first of our decorations the other day, and Kwamai has been put in charge of decorating to his heart's content on Monday. I think that is when we will put our tree up. I'm going for the symbolic meaning this year (tree = Christ), which is handy since I just didn't get around to putting it up any earlier!

As for Felicity, well she is discovering Veggie Tales. We have a stuffed Bob the Tomato that I got for Kwamai "long ago". So, she is familiar with him. But she also wants to call Larry Bob the Cucumber. She has taken to carrying tomatoes through the house, calling them "Bob To-Cookie". Whatever.

She also waits with great anticipation to see baby Jesus make his arrival in the manger.

Merry Christmas from us to you!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pondering Our Gift

I don't generally get ponderous on this blog, but today I shall. This evening I printed out a book of all the blog entries currently recorded here, for Tama Bonnie (her Christmas wish). While reviewing everything I've written, and not written, some thoughts come to mind.

There are times when I haven't written too much about what is new on the Kwamai scene. I believe this stems mostly from the sentiment of "if you can't say anything nice...." All children go through their growing stages and pains, and Kwamai has had his share of them in the last year. But tonight I'm thinking about this reality. At my School of Community today we talked about how every person we encounter is a way that we meet Christ. And this does not just (or even primarily) mean the happy, pleasant encounters. Sometimes we meet Christ in His distressing disguise in others, sometimes we experience a pain and longing in our own hearts in difficult encounters and through this we find Christ's agony, His presence, His longing. Raising any child is, without a doubt, a job meant to bring parents closer to Christ. (We think parenting is all about forming our children to be holy, but think again! Really it is about teaching parents to die to themselves!) Raising Kwamai has been for me thus far an immeasurable gift. I am me, I am made a certain way, I have my comfort zones. Kwamai is Other. Very Other. He draws me out and calls me, requires me, to grow, to change, to challenge myself, in the same way a very large hill challenges a jogger to build endurance, develop lung and muscle capacity, to get strong.

I need sometimes to pause and realize this. I sometimes live as if he is not a hill, but a level path, and then I wonder, grumpily, why I am using up all my energy. Or to make the analogy better, I waste energy meant to be used for my hill workout on things lesser in importance. I take as my inspiration my sister-in-law (hi, Leyla) who can breeze up huge hills with amazing speed and seems to find it nothing but exhilarating. There is something exhilarating about expending one's energies like that. But in my experience at least, the exhilaration comes only after the gradual build up of strength. Attitude is everything.

So, I behold the face of Christ in Kwamai, my joy-bomb of a little boy whose cues I often don't catch, whose heart-language is not my native one, whose natural inclinations and needs are so different from my own. God has entrusted this little soul to me to mother. I have to trust that He knew what He was doing in arranging our lives as they are. And I ask God's mercy as I wheeze up the hill.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lego Creations

Kwamai currently has a growing Lego village in his room. Two of the main buildings were erected primarily by Papa, but the smaller scenes are all of Kwamai's creation. They change a bit from day to day, but here's what it looked like earlier this week.

The creator of the Lego Universe.



The overview.




A restaurant, gaurded by a knight.




The local gang of bad guys, and their weapons.




The police station, where the bad guys, no doubt, are headed.




A close-up of the gas station. The tank-filling thingy doubles as a weapon.

Reading Progress

I'm pleased to report that Kwamai is making wonderful progress with reading. He has picked up lots and lots of sight words, but he is also rapidly improving with phonetic reading as well, which is a rather sudden light-switch-gone-on. The other day he was looking at the box of soy milk and said "va-nil-la. Oh yeah, vanilla!" We keep having this on-going debate where he insists I told him English is read right to left, but I'm changing my tune and then telling him to read left to right. His right-brainedness seems to presume there should be no difference -- it's all the same word, right -- so who cares if you say daer or read?

He has accomplished this learning on his own, I'd add. I've held off trying to drill him, realizing it is much easier to guide a moving learner than to entice a balking one. He loves, more and more, to get books at the library and sit around, well, reading them (or trying to). When he asks for a certain word to be read for him these days he is realizing that it goes quicker and smoother if he spells the word out loud to the adult at hand, and he also no longer stumbles over identifying letters as he did just a few months ago.

There is much to be said for the tenet that when a child is ready to learn something, it clicks in and takes off. I'm pleasantly surprised that it has happened at this young of an age for him.

Friday, December 7, 2007

St. Nicholas Day Pictures!

This is the third year in a row we have done pictures on the feast of St. Nicholas. I'm learning why professional photographers are all about speed. Kwamai wanted to orchestrate some more exact poses for Felicity, but I was lucky to get her to hold still for one picture, let alone all that I actually took.

I left out some of the real clunkers, but here they are the formal, the not-so-formal, and the downright goofy.

(Ok, I'm a bit late here because Blogger was not letting me upload pictures yesterday...)



























Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bishop Conlon

Yesterday's fun thing, which I regret I did not capture on film, was that we brought our Bishop a little birthday present, as yesterday was his big day. Sometime ago our lady friend in the nursing home had given Felicity a little blue beany baby bear with a birthday hat. It was a "December birthday bear". I figured that would be perfect. Kwamai created a card for him, with various pictures of people smiling on it. He wrote (rather neatly, I'd add) various greetings, including "I (heart) you" several times. Felicity decided we should include a Marian holy card. We popped it all in a gift bag and made our way down to the chancery office. The Bishop was not in, which did not surprise me terribly, but the receptionist said, with broad smile, that she would make sure he got the gift. And I told Kwamai to be sure to ask him, when next we see him, if he got the card and gift.

Enjoying the Snow

This morning I had Kwamai and Felicity pose in front of the house. Felicity is an adamant Polar Bear; I had to wrestle with her to get her to wear boots (i.e., she wanted to go bare foot outside!!) and a coat. Inside she will peel down to her t-shirt and unders.

By the way, the snow is not quite as deep as it looks. The "banks" are actually piles of leaves!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Advent Celebrations

We got off to a little slow start on our Jesse tree, beginning today rather than yesterday, but better a little late than never. A Jesse tree, if you are not familiar, traces the Old Testament history of God's people up to the time of Christ, and each day gets a symbol which is attached to a little tree. I dug out a tiny Christmas tree from the basement, and I hope it will hold them all. Perhaps in years to come we will plan ahead for a different type of branch. The ornaments I'm using come from this site.

I made onigiri for dinner tonight on account of it being the feast of St. Francis Xavier, missionary to Japan (and India). Kwamai proclaimed "oh, gross, why did you put that yucky red stuff on them" (umeboshi, pickled plums) and Felicity had no interest in eating anything. Erol dutifully ate one, and I ate the rest. So, we're off to a great start in the festive food department.

During the evening rosary and Advent prayer, Kwamai and Felicity both decided they were hungry and went to raiding the cupboards and fridge, in a social, noisy kind of way. The concept of "quiet time" is getting to be quite a laugh around here as every moment of the day both Kwamai and Felicity are asking or telling me something, both taking up to three minutes to get one thought out all the way, and I am generally left with my head spinning and my mouth spewing random answers that I hope will fit something someone has said.

But, in the midst of it all, we are building memories. Kwamai insists on our Sunday picnics, which we are on year three of, if I remember correctly. I remember desperately trying to get him to not grab the Advent candles in years past, and trying to get 30 quiet seconds to say a prayer.... But at least the tradition sticks with him: during Advent on Sunday nights, we turn down the lights, eat food in the living room, and pray. One of these years, the point of Advent will dawn on him, too, I imagine.

So, amidst mess, meltdowns and meal revolts, the celebration and preparation for Christmas continues.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Current Funny Sayings

Kwamai has quite the sense of humor. We still get the treat of knock-knock jokes and riddles at dinner time, and some of Kwamai's jokes are the best, in the round-about sense especially that they are so hard to decipher. He is into homonyms: pair and pear, for example. Felicity comes up with some interesting riddle questions, but then is completely stumped for the answer, so she slaps the table. For example: "Why does the garbage man put the garbage can into the garbage truck?" I guess just saying that is funny enough. The other night we were all laughing to the point of tears: Kwamai and Felicity just because they love to laugh at themselves and each other, and Erol and I because the jokes were so corny or nonsensical that they were hilarious. Felicity's funny habit, which I thought she picked up from a certain video, but Erol assures me predates it, is to ask "Ready for another one, kids?" before telling a new joke.

Speaking of that, Felicity has a habit of asking permission for just about everything she does. We went out tonight to Eat N' Park for dinner, and she asked me if it was ok if she colored the cookie on her place mat orange. She will ask if she can put her Little People in various seats in their vehicles. But if I suggest she do something different, she adamantly refuses, so it certainly isn't about any uncertainty on her part about what to do.

When Kwamai was little, we must have said "what if..." to him too many times. He came to believe that the conditional preposition was pronounced "whiff". And so from time to time he still says "Whiff I do this" or "Whiff we go there". It doesn't help that Erol and I pick up and repeat all these cutisms, and so sometimes say "whiff" to each other. Remember that Bill Cosby comedy routine about teaching kids to speak incorrectly? I fear it has come true.

And speaking of speaking incorrectly... the accents! I have to come to grips with the fact that I don't live in Wisconsin (Wiscaaaaaaaaansin) anymore, and my children simply are not going to pronounce their vowels properly unless I make a concerted effort to model. I have already noticed that Felicity has a firm Ohio Valley accent in the way she pronounces food (feud) or blue (bleeoo). And of course Erol who purposefully and willingly force-fed himself a Pittsburgh accent, insists on saying "daaan" (down) and "abaaat" (about), and so Kwamai tries to incorporate these as well, since Papa is of course the coolest thing since sliced bacon. What I wouldn't give for a little Canadian "abouwwt" in our haaaas. Even I sometimes say "kellers" (colors) which always makes me shudder and correct myself.

Ok, back to serious land (but speaking of foreign languages), Kwamai is currently learning to read Japanese characters. We have gone through the first four groups of the first syllabary, hiragana, for a total of 20 characters. He is doing very well, and at this pace he should know all of them by January or so. However, pace is never something I count on staying the same. Sometimes he begs to do more than I think is prudent, and sometimes he has no interest to do any. But he knows that pretty soon he and I will be equals when it comes to learning reading, as I have forgotten much of what I learned. The lure of surpassing someone is very strong for him.

Advent and Christmas

Advent season is upon us, and I am really trying to aim for celebrating it more fully this year as a family. Today I brought home from the University library the cartoons of St. Francis Xavier and St. Nicholas, for their respective feast days coming up. It's a start. Kwamai wants to decorate the outside of the house, but I must say he is the leader and sole member of that crusade. We play to go caroling on December 13 with our parish, and perhaps we will go caroling in the Christmas season itself.

I'm going to shoot for celebrating the 12 days of Christmas this year, opening one gift each day, and observe the Christmas season starting, rather than ending, on Christmas day. We'll see how the approach goes over with Kwamai and Felicity.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Loud Family: Our Trip to the Good Zoo

I'm wondering what it is. I get this distinct feeling that, anywhere we go, we are the loudest group afoot.

We went to the Good Zoo this afternoon, which was a wonderful outing, despite happening without a lot of advance planning. We took in a laser show, a lights show, and the driving tour of the lights. As well as the animals, of course. Other families seemed to calmly move from one set of animals to the next, chatting to each other. We burst from one thing to the next with all manner of exuberance. I'm sure this is partly my perception, and for the record I don't see anything wrong with it. I just notice that we seem to be different in this regard!

Felicity at first was excited to see the piggie, but then when we approached the barn (or more accurately, I think, when she smelled it), she went right off the idea. However she was excited to see the goats (where Kwamai and Erol had dashed in the meantime). Neither Kwamai nor Felicity were game to have the goats lick the 25 cent feed off their hands, although Kwamai tried very hard to toss it to the smaller animals who never seemed to get any attention because of the one giant goat who practically lunged over the fence to gobble up any offerings. In the next stall was the llama. Erol carried Felicity over to see it, and she kept calling out to me "This is the Mama one!" We told her, no, llama, not Mama. "Chickens!!" she screamed as we passed the hen house... At the playground area and Kwamai led us all in imaginative games of pirate ships and sea monsters and space monsters and space walking. Well, then Felicity needed a potty break and that abruptly ended the animal expedition for her and me.

We spent quite a bit of time in the train exhibit in the main building. Felicity absolutely loves trains. She wanted to watch each area for trains to pop out of tunnels or disappear into them. Kwamai was more fascinated by the light shows. I have a feeling we may go another time before they come down in January. Sure would be nice to see if we get a good snowfall!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This Week's Update

Felicity has taken to grazing her way through the day. Meals are non-attractive, but she will ask for bits of things all through the day. At least she eats good food that way, so I'm not complaining.

I'm wishing I had one of those clicky-counters like I've seen ticket-takers use at concerts to keep track of how many times through the day I hear "Mama!" It is a sweet word, of course. Felicity these days repeats it about 10 times before she says anything else to me, often expecting a response each time. So it's:

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama?
Yes, honey?

Mama, can I have some pineapple?

She is also fascinated with the "There Goes A..." series, about bulldozers, firetrucks, helicopters, trains, trucks, boats, etc. Felicity's suggestion for a new video is "There Goes an Ice Cream Truck"! Sounds good to me.

As for Kwamai, he is bursting with imagination as usual. For several days we've had a military formation encamped in the living room. When I asked him what we might do around Christmas time to bring some cheer to those who need it, he suggested going to the Veterans Hospital (in Pittsburgh) to visit or Christmas carol. Kwamai has also been busy coaching Felicity in games they make up together, like how to carry the giant Winnie the Pooh through the house while standing back to back. This week he was begging to be sure he would get to go to the library with us (so that we wouldn't go while he was at Catechesis, which became a moot point because it was cancelled anyway.) He was excited about gathering up books for himself (excitement about books being a very heart-warming thing for me!) I tried introducing him to P. G. Wodehouse for his bedtime listening, but learned he is not really interested in fiction. So, I'll need to find more children's history, or something!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kwamai Looking Handsome


Doesn't he always? And on a particularly nice fall day to boot.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Ok, so not only Felicity but I also had my bout of the tummy virus. Not fun at all.

I was telling Erol, the evening after Felicity got sick, that one moment she was as happy as a clam, and the next she was throwing up. A seriously quizzical Kwamai scratched his chin and inquired "Just how happy are clams, anyway?"

Last night Kwamai volunteered to clean up the entire living room, and put all the toys away. He then proceeded to tidy the dining room as well, and then swiftly went up to bed. All because he knew I was still recovering and it would make me feel better. What a sweet boy. I won't complain that I can't find a DVD I had on the couch. Everything turns up eventually.

I'm not sure that we are entirely out of the sick woods yet, but I sure hope so!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kwamai's Feeling Better

Kwamai had some kind of a stomach virus that had him laid low for about 24 hours. Felicity threw up at almost the same time he first did, but that was all it was for her. Kwamai spent yesterday rather wiped out. So, a quiet day was had by all. We read books, talked quietly, napped. He is so polite when he's not feeling well! I'm glad to report he is feeling better this afternoon. How can I tell? He's back to composing lunch time songs. Today's theme? Going potty in one's pants.

All back to normal, thank goodness.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hey, It's Good to Be Back Home Again

Well, Mama survived her first time ever being away from her kiddos overnight. Special thanks to Papa Grandma for making a special trip to help care for them! Felicity even developed a new repetitive saying while I was gone: "I want to tell you a secret." Kwamai didn't let on that it mattered to him that I was back, but before I left he was glued to me, literally following me everywhere throughout the house.

It's very good to be home, and I have some appreciation now for what Erol must feel like being away from home (though not overnight) for such a large percentage of his waking hours.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Good, Loud, Morning

video

Somehow the attraction first thing this morning was having an Indian party, complete with raucous drum music. It was hard to capture video without squelching the creative spirit (!) so this isn't very long. Just extend it in your mind for about 30 minutes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Ugly Man

Felicity has a variety of plastic people that accompany her through life. One is the figure of a man with one of his hands extended. She has taken to calling him "the ugly man". I wondered about this, and finally she managed to explain, and I managed to understand that what seems like an eternity ago (this post reminded me is was actually May 8 of this year) as we were waiting for Erol to finish his work with the spring election, we were looking at a large mural outside his building. I vaguely remember saying that the man depicted on the mural was kind of ugly, and looked like Felicity's toy man.

Man, and I thought no one but Kwamai remembered obscure details from more than half his lifetime ago.

A Day at Salon Mom...

... can yield scary results!

Completely contrary to her usual, Felicity came to me this afternoon and asked me to put all of her hair elastics in. I do not claim any particular ability in the realm of hair styling. She seemed fairly pleased with the results, though!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Felicity Provides Liturgical Accompaniment

Today at the All Saints' feast day Mass we had an organist, but no cantor. So he simply left off playing the liturgical parts that required a cantor, such as the Alleluia verse.

Felicity didn't find this quite satisfactory, so while the priest slowly processed with the gospel book, she sang out:

Alleluia!
Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car
Alleluia!

I didn't dare look around to see if anyone else was stifling laughter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Non-Costumes

I am not a Mom who likes costumes. I don't sew costumes, I don't buy costumes; I just don't do costumes. Needless to say I don't get very excited about Halloween.


Around here, kids generally get to dress up twice, if they want to: once to go trick-or-treating, and again for the All Saints party. Felicity wanted to be a cow, and we even had a cow costume left over from Kwamai's duds that came with him from Wisconsin. But I can't find it anywhere. She wanted to Mary for All Saints day, and since I just (ahem) took down some blue curtains out of our guest room, I was all set for that. I pulled out her white dress which is ankle length, pinned a valence around her head, and viola -- she is the Blessed Mother.





And here she is, veil somewhat askew, galloping exuberantly on her way

to Bethlehem, with one of her best buddies as attendant (ok, so she doesn't look like Joseph...).

Kwamai has been dealing with a cold-gone-asthma so he is still a bit iffy about whether he will join in festivities tonight or tomorrow. He plans to be a ghost tonight (get the nice easy costume theme?) and Jesus tomorrow (he says it is so he can boss all the other saints around. I think we need to work on some Christology issues there...)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gesticulating

My genealogy research verifies quite well that Felicity has not the least drop of Italian blood in her. And yet she has really taken to "talking with her hands". Her favorite stance is the "two hands flung out on either side of her" position which emphasizes the end of her sentence.
So cute :)


Night School

I haven't quite figured out why, but it seems most of what could be seen as our academic learning and exploring happens at night around here. Of course there is learning constantly, but I mean particularly things that involve books. (My inherent bias shows!)

It might be because day time finds Kwamai expending energy a lot faster, and therefore he is in motion more. It is his time to be creative, to work on things on his own. It might also be because it is the time his friends are available to play, or the time when we are out exploring, erranding, working or what have you.

Tonight he used some measurement tools we got in a "learning sack" from the library. I read to him two very nice graphic "novels": one on Hercules' 12 labors and the other on King Arthur. He wanted me to read more, but my voice was shutting down. Then he went up for bed and listened to CD 5 of A Little History of the World. It was his second time through it; he keeps falling asleep before it finishes. He is up to the time of Galileo.

As I was busy reading to Kwam, Erol got to read to Felicity. "Just one more," she kept saying. She is a tiny learning machine, constantly taking in everything around her.

Evening learning suits me fine, as I tend to feel more settled at night, myself. I may need to continue to get books on CD for Kwamai to fall asleep to, however, as that is working so well for him.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Felicity's Order


Felicity has many of her favorite things in order here. Lined end to end are various statues and figurines. Lined up on the far right are the team of firefighters. And of course her favorite books scattered on the couch, which the former seem to be guarding.

I was just remembering when Kwamai used to line up all his cars "just so" as well.

I also have noticed that Felicity counts almost exactly the way Kwamai used to: she will count to 12 and then say "14, 16, 19" and repeat these over and over the rest of the way. Is this some standard small-child formula?

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Sweet First With a Sweet Girl

Tonight I read Cinderella to Felicity for the first time. Shall we all say it together? Awwwwwww...

She, of course, loved it. It is so funny how, without any coaching or much example from me, she loves pink, frilly & sparkly clothes, fancy shoes, purses and jewelry.

And of course, all of her toys are female.

She's our girly girl!

To Quote Felicity

"Do you know where my black horse is so that I can offer a ride to my little people who live in Pittsburgh or California?" (she said as she picked up some of Kwamai's garbage and proclaimed "I'm going to throw this away in the garbage can, ok?")

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kwamai, Bursting into Song: I Created The Cosmos

Yes, burst he does.

Lunch time, for some reason, seems to bring out the songwriter in Kwamai. He goes for loud and long, with lots and lots of verses. Today while I was getting lunch together I grabbed a pen and paper to jot down some of the lines I was able to (speed, memory, and the inability to write while laughing were all obstacles).

The song title today was "I Created The Cosmos". He sang it probably 25 times before he asked me what "cosmos" meant. I missed over half of it, but here are some of the lines of the song. Get the scene of him standing in front of the mirror, singing loudly and repeating most of these lines several times.




My eyebrows are made out of silk.
I made the cosmos.
My shoes are made out of cotton.
My whole entire nose is bright red.
I am so weak I cannot lift up anything.
I am so made out of a platform.
I am the cosmic man.
My Mom is younger than me even if I'm her kid.
She stopped growing and I just keep growing so I'm an old bitty.
And I can become any age I want.
My teeth are made out of hay.
But they are so hard they can bite anything and break it to bits.
I created the cosmos.
I am the cosmic man.

Perceptions?

It is always interesting to me to hear others' perceptions of my children. Of course, others do not know them as closely as we do at home, but sometimes an "outside" perception is a good check on the process of growth and change that is sometimes easier to see when you don't see someone every day.

Last night at a potluck, a gentleman who often sits behind us at daily Mass (bless his heart) commented that he thought Felicity was "a very active girl". He also mentioned, with a knowing smile (I think he has 10 or 11 kids of his own) that she did not seem to have a lot of "natural piety". I can see why he says these things. Somehow, though, I tend to see Felicity's tendency to run around at Mass (and crash into the curtain by the Eucharistic chapel) as a little blip of a stage because she is two. I have always thought of her as a quiet child. And natural piety? The one who has spent months carrying statues of Mary around and loves looking at holy cards? Is it piety, or a love of people's faces, or some of each? She will sometimes kneel quietly, but those times are getting shorter and less frequent, come to think of it.

Kwamai, on the other hand, is perceived as the thoughtful, intelligent, helpful young man. Oh, he is, to be sure, I don't deny that. I guess I should be glad that he doesn't run around yelling or singing about excrement at the top of his lungs in public like he does at home! I have noticed, though, that while my concern about him being noisy at gatherings is more in the forefront of my mind, usually he is conscious of the need to stay quiet, while Felicity will be singing away, completely clueless of her surroundings. Felicity has also taken to screaming out her desires if they are not immediately forthcoming.

It's all ok. But it is interesting to me to catch myself pigeon-holing them. If I am trying to instill in them that all of life is a learning process, then I guess I had better be open to shifting my perceptions of them, and continue to learn about them, too!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Literal Felicity

It is so funny to listen to Kwamai and Felicity talk to each other. Felicity's language skills are to the point where there isn't a lot of noticeable difference between her sentences and his sentences, except this thing of using completely literal meanings of everything. She doesn't understand the more advanced nuances, double meanings, humor, etc. that Kwamai does. Everything just means exactly what the words literally convey.

So last night they were both in the bathtub and my goal was to get them out, so I opened the tub drain. Kwamai disappointedly saw the water receding, so he said to her "Look, Felicity, the water!" She dutifully looked down into the water, looked up at him and said, "Yes, I see that Kwamai!"

They almost qualify as a stand-up comedy act. At least we can assume her self-esteem gets quite the boost when everyone is always laughing and smiling whenever she says something.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Two and a Half!

I'm up way too late, but as it is now October 20th I thought I should wish Miss Felicity a happy half birthday! She is now two and a half!

Do you think it's time we stop calling her "Baby"?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kwamai's Contemplations

Today as we ate lunch, Kwamai questioned me at length about how it could be possible that God always existed. Everything is made by something, he asserted, so who made God? He decided that if he were God, he would tell everyone all they need to know about God so they could get it.

I probably should do a lot more listening and attempt fewer explanations. Anyway, as I was trying to score discussion points and sort out how I was going to delve into Philosophy of God 101, Kwamai decided to go play with the neighbor boys.

And people say that being a mother is not intellectually challenging!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Felicity Looks Up to Her Big Brother


I thought it was time for a silly picture. Yes, that is a tambourine Felicity is wearing around her waist. Fortunately it came off :). She isn't actually beginning to levitate, but it sure looks that way!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Little History of the World

I read about this book somewhere (it's where I read about everything, you know). I thought it would be worth checking out from the library and that perhaps I could even interest Kwamai in it.

I got it on CD, to give my vocal chords a rest. Last night I got the idea that it might be a good way for him to settle down for sleeping, which is always a challenge. We listened to six chapters last night, until finally he said "I think this is getting to be a bit much!" at which time I clicked off the CD player and he dropped off to sleep. This morning I asked him a bit about whether he liked it and if he could remember various mentions; I imagined he'd had a hard time listening for such a long time. He first told me he wanted to listen to more tonight, and then proceeded to even quote the author at impressive length for his age. Tonight we listened to three more chapters -- less because it was already late when we started.
This book starts with prehistoric times and marches through all of world history in a way that is engaging (obviously) to children, but also for adults. I was reminded of Egypt, Hammurabi, the Phoenicians, ancient Greece, and how a lot of it weaves in and out of Biblical history as well. Kwamai made sure Erol was in on listening tonight, despite the late hour.
I have a feeling we will finish the whole book, and that he will remember details of world history for a long time to come.

Zoo News

Today we took in the Pittsburgh Zoo for the first time; what great fun! I've not seen that many zoos in my life, but rank this one highest. It was amazing how many animals we were able to see mere feet -- sometimes inches -- from our faces. The habitats and viewing areas are really nicely done. And the zoo has not been decimated by animal rights activists as is rumored of the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison. Of course, that zoo is free. That might explain why there's almost nothing left of it.

Anyway, Felicity was very excited to see the animals, and only became frightened upon entering the elephant house. This is much better than our last two zoo experiences. Even at the Good Zoo, she was a bit jittery. I find myself increasingly interested in nature, which I have to attribute to Kwamai's interest rubbing off on me. My unfeigned, but consciously expressed, interest fueled Kwamai's completely uninhibited glee at seeing every exhibit. Until, I should say, we came across playgrounds, and it was getting towards the time to head for home, and I firmly suggested we see the kangaroos. "Do we have to," he moaned. He then proceeded to jump over the roped-off area (it was easily done, it was kind of a walk-through exhibit). I reacted as if he'd just jumped into a lions den, I think! I probably did far more to scare the poor creatures. But the zoo staff chimed in simultaneously with me to get him back on the path. Nothing like a little excitement.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Playing Pals

Kwamai and Felicity are becoming more and more each other's preferred playing pal. Fortunately Kwamai reserves his rough play for the boys who live to the rear of us. He likes playing with the next door girls, except when they have other girl friends over. He no longer tolerates playing Barbies, and doesn't like to waste his play time watching movies with them, either. I figured it would eventually happen that his one-year-older female best pal wasn't his best pal anymore, as their interests get more gender-specific. (Apologies, I suppose, to those who don't believe gender differences exist.)

So, as I was saying. Kwamai likes playing with Felicity because she is still fairly easy to order around. Felicity likes playing with him because he takes charge with creative ideas that she can play out. It is so fun to watch them lost in a world of make-believe together. And Felicity is getting good at initiating blasting off in a rocket ship or setting up a store or exploring a new planet.

She is currently enamored with Barney. We had Barney's Firehouse DVD out from the library last week, so occasionally I would overhear her playing "firefighter," and even heard her singing the "Stop, Drop and Roll" song to her dollies.

Last night they had campsites set up in the living room, and piece by piece emptied the entire toy box onto the couch (this, during the rosary). They also worked together to put it back in, thankfully. Today they played with the bag of instruments we checked out from the library.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Wow Moment

So, we began our short prayer time this morning, using Children's Daily Prayer. I got to the responsorial psalm, and Kwamai stopped me to interject his thought. "Mama," he said, "what does Jesus have to do with souls?" I thought for a minute, and asked him to clarify what he meant. He went on to elucidate a truly profound thought: "Ok, we say 'God lives in my heart.' But those two things are extremely different, aren't they? God, and my heart?"

Instantly, a conversation from my RCIA instruction went through my mind regarding a former atheist who came into the Church and marvelled at receiving Holy Communion for the first time. His quote was, "Can you believe it? You get to have God in your mouth."

I affirmed Kwamai's insight but assured him the coolest thing was that God made him in order to live in his heart.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Do I Get Humor Points or Mommy Demerits?

The other day on the way into Mass one of the young priests, for some odd reason, asked Kwamai as they stood in front of the chapel, "can you drive me home today?" As he passed me I quipped "If you live up a wall, I'm sure he could!"

He probably felt sorry for the kid with the mean, sarcastic Mommy.

At least I was smiling!

And the Word Became Flesh

Tonight we got our second official welcome by the TORs and TOR aspirants to visit "Mary in the Yard" any time we want. The young man who was living there over the summer had granted us free roaming rights, but since others have been back I've been a bit hesitant to just wander into their fenced off yard to visit their big statue of Mary. We went tonight, though. Felicity and I said a Haily Mary together, and then she looked at me and said "And the Word became flesh." I didn't quite get the context right away, and said "and the world became fresh?" And then it dawned on me that she was reciting the line from the Angelus, where we hear the Hail Marys prayed on an almost daily basis at the Noon Mass.

Felicity's Letters

Lately Felicity has been very interested in learning more about what those funny letters everywhere actually do. I started singing the Phonics Song to her ("the B says buh, the B says buh, every letter makes a sound, the B says buh": to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell) It gets repetitive, but now she comes up to me with a letter (on a card) and says "Sing this letter, Mama!" We have a political sign in front of our house right now for our friend Mr. HERNON, and she insists that he has a zero, not an O in his name.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quotable Kwam

As we were doing some more work with the sentence cards today, I built "Look here! I can jump on his little branch."

And Kwamai's comment? "That's silly. Everyone can jump! Well, except horses."

No wonder I feel like my head is spinning so often...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sentence Building


Our neighbor gave us these word cards, and we had fun building sentences and writing little songs with them. Here is a creation Kwamai is particularly proud of. If you can see it well, it says "Look up! Here I come down on grass and I jump on food!" Sounds like Kwamai, all right!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Where Did This Question Come From?

The other day, as we were driving around town, Felicity asked me, "Mama, where did my hands come from?"

"Uh, you were born with them," said I. Then, trying to get a little more mileage out of the question, "Jesus made them."

And then I used my own to scratch my head and wonder about this odd bit of self-consciousness.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Random Happenings

Today we went to the Good Zoo in Wheeling, WV. We hadn't been there for a year, and this year it seemed a bit bigger hit than last year. Of course it helped that we talked about it for about a week before we were able to get it together to actually go. Felicity especially enjoyed the meerkats which look like this:






Cute, no?






On the way there, Kwamai and I discussed nuclear energy and nuclear weapons (to the best of my ability, I should say; Kwamai constantly shows me up for everything I don't know). We discussed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, and how in the latter case the Catholic cathedral was almost directly hit. He came up with various theories for how electrical wires were able to be strung all the way across the Ohio River (as they are in one spot a few miles out of town).


Yesterday Kwamai started Catechesis of the Good Shepherd again. The jury is still out whether he will stay in the Monday group (which confusingly enough met on Tuesday this week) or whether he will switch to the Wednesday late afternoon group to be with several of his friends.

Felicity and I had a good time grocery shopping without Kwamai. While in one store another little girl who was about 3 or 4 spotted Felicity sitting in the shopping cart and started petting her like a puppy and grabbing at the toy Felicity was carrying. I tried giving the polite verbal signal to the girl's mom that we weren't appreciating the direct tactile experience, but it didn't work so well. So I got more abrupt with the girl. Felicity asked me several times over the next few hours "Who was that little girl? Did she like me?" (I had told her it seemed the girl liked her, but that if she doesn't like someone touching her hair like that she could tell them to stop.) It's the sort of situation where I really wouldn't mind having a screamer child. "Back off, would ya, and get your hands off my head already!!"


Felicity isn't a screamer, but she's getting into the "gotta move" stage, especially at Mass. I've been spoiled with her, really, because I think Kwamai was in the "gotta move" stage at Mass from about age 1 to just before he turned 4. Now he's just in the "gotta occupy myself" stage. I can see him at his First Holy Communion/Confirmation Mass sitting on the floor in his fancy duds and drawing pictures on his bulletin. But Felicity fortunately is satisfied with going off to the Eucharistic chapel and walking around in circles around a chair or draping herself over a kneeler. On the rare occasions when I'm able to go to Mass by myself I almost have a hard time concentrating without behavior to manage.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Phone Talker

Felicity talked on the phone today! Of course there was no one on the other end. But she picked up the phone and said: "Hi. My name is Felicity. I'm wearing a pink dress, ok? Bye."

Felicity's New Habit

Today's new habit for Felicity is to ask "what?" As in:

M: Would you like a fig?
F: Would I like a what?

or

M: We're going to the store.
F: We're going to the what?

I don't think she doesn't hear me, rather it seems a fascination with nouns and pronouns.

She Still Dislikes Tights

The weather has gotten cold here. I was really hoping that with all this time passing Felicity would have forgotten her aversion to tights. But alas, no. She's going for socks and sandals instead. Maybe by the time the snow flies.

Lord, Hear Our Prayer

We have been using this neat book for morning prayer that was written by a friend of mine called Children's Daily Prayer. This morning I had a particularly rough go trying to get everyone seated, quiet, and satisfied enough to participate in these 3-5 minutes of prayer. So when it came time for prayer requests, and Felicity stated her ongoing petition to pray for the Wiggles, and answered Kwamai's query with what she wanted to be when she grew up ("a monkey"), I quietly added, with a sigh, "My hope is to have children who always want to do what I ask." Kwamai added in, equally quiet, "Well, you already have that, so you don't need to pray for it."

I suppose there is truth to that. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is only 6 and 2 years old.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Laughing and Running

Kwamai has been wondering lately why it is that both Erol and I laugh more often at things Felicity says than at things he says. I try to tell him he relies heavily on the gross factor to make his jokes, only we don't find that particularly amusing.

Felicity, on the other hand, is still completely unselfconsciously funny. Even Kwamai has taken to running over to me to tell me whatever cute thing Felicity has just said. They were out playing in the yard today and Kwamai ran in to say that he asked her to give him a shovel and she said "I'd be happy to!"

She is very intuitive with grammar. One creative flourish she does with it is the expression "she's" as a possessive, like "she's dress" or "he's car" (rather than her dress and his car). I guess he's and his do sound alike, and I think she used to say it correctly, so maybe she's just thinking too hard about it, or maybe all of the silly accents we use around home is what is getting her all confused.

On another note, today at Mass I had one of those suck-in-my-breath-and-pray moments. Right at the consecration Felicity was inspired to get out of her pew (where we sat in the front row) and go running towards the altar. Rather than chase her I opted to hold out my hand and beckon to her (and pray, hard) and she returned to me before getting all the way there. Oh my!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Swimming


Kwamai started swimming lessons today. It was sort of spontaneous decision in response to a need for a few more 4-6 year-olds to sign up so the lessons could move forward. Turns out the woman who organized the recruitment suddenly was offered employment that she needed to accept, so she and her daughter didn't show. But Kwamai is one of about 6 boys and 2 girls. He is doing a great job and of course LOVES the water.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Funny Conversational Tidbits

Last night Felicity was watching the Wiggles and noticed that they sang the word again as a-GAIN. She told the TV screen "It's not a-GAIN, it's a-GEN"!



This morning we had an interesting discussion about this book.


Felicity: My Book of Everything.

Kwamai: No, it's My Big Book of Everything.

Felicity: No, it's not your big book of everything, it's MY big book of everything.

Me (to Kwamai): That's over her head.

Felicity (indicating the book on the chair in front of her): It's not over my head.

Kwamai: That's over her head, too. (Giggles)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hail to the Chief

Indian chief, that is.





Kwamai used his piggy bank money this morning to buy these Indian toys from Old Fort Steuben, which is also the site of the Farmer's Market we try to frequent on Thursdays. He saw these toys there a few weeks ago and decided today he wanted to make the purchase. Eight dollars and fifty-six cents worth. I could tell he was a bit awed by the expense, and the power of being able to buy something. I also have a feeling that money management will be an issue for him as he matures. So I was more than willing to go along with his enterprise. He has so far taken excellent care of his purchase (which didn't include the cute but too-small moccasins, by the way). It includes the headpiece, a toy knife, a canteen and a toy drum type thing. So he has been doing pretend Indian adventures throughout the afternoon.

Oh, and that's Felicity butting into the picture with her huge stack of books she wanted me to read to her.

Felicity, by the way, learned the hard way this afternoon that it is not very pleasant to try to eat whole peppercorns.

____________________

Following up (9-11-07): Although he has taken excellent care of what he bought I find it interesting that he discovered the toys to be not as exciting as he thought they would be. Today I asked him how he would advise another boy who was thinking of buying them, and he said he'd tell him that they are pretty expensive and don't offer all the fun it seems they will.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

School's In Session

For us, school is always in session. But the fact that our neighbors now have their homeschool schedule up and running makes for a different feel in our house. Kwamai pines for his friends during the day, but he is also much more motivated to do academic or creative projects of his own. Today we discussed place values, practiced adding and division, got another oodle of resources from the library (including a neat science kit with a limited-function microscope in it), and he worked on reading to me, all without much of any prompting on my part. He just feels like learning is what he is supposed to do. But I love the fact that he is going after it and that I don't feel the need to force things on him, which I know would have limited value, educational or otherwise.

We are soon going to be in the full swing of fall activities as a family, including atrium for both Kwamai and Felicity this year (as I will be helping out with the 3-6 year olds and Felicity will attend with me).

Shapes

A few days ago, we had a first. We were reading through one of Felicity's Barney shape books (we meaning Kwamai, Felicity and myself), and as we were naming the shapes on the last page, Felicity corrected Kwamai: "No, that's not a rectangle, that's a triangle." Kwamai took being corrected by his baby sister very well, I must say.

An Update on the Chewing Thing

In all fairness to Kwamai, it isn't so much my frustration with him as it is my intense but frustrated desire to figure out *why* the heck he has taken to chewing things that fuels my comments about all the chewing. I've been checking out lots of resources and asking lots of moms. What I have found is that, oddly, kids who are right brained seem to be more likely to chew things. But one mom put me on to the notion that perhaps he is teething. Sure enough, I took a look and feel inside his mouth, and he has four pink bulges where molars should be appearing sometime soon. This makes me feel somewhat better about the possibilities of pica, not to mention toxic plastics. It seems to have relieved Kwamai somewhat as well, and he has actually curtailed his chewing to a significant degree since I calmed down about it myself. He is truly our family's stress barometer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chewer Man

Did I mention that Kwamai chews things?

I pick up crayons with intricate rings carved into them. I pick up little plastic dinos with no heads and no tails. A little plastic octopus with nibbles off of each of his tentacles.

Kwamai loves those inflatable toys the county fairs are always selling. I think he has forgotten and bitten little puncture holes into three or four of them now. (I'll state the obvious: I'm not the one buying them!)

If you find a pen in our house that hasn't been flattened on one end, I think you win a prize. The ends of his sippy cups (ok, his knock-it-over-and-it-won't-spill-as-much cups) are so rough they are barely recognizable as cup lids.

The mouse pad at my fingertips has holes in it and bites all around the edges of it.

I know he grew out of thumb sucking. But I wonder a) how long chewing will last and b) what it will be replaced by!

Mom Stops to Ponder Today

We had valiant plans to wake early today, go to Mass at our parish, and then either go to the zoo in Wheeling or to the Science Center. The zoo idea got nixed by the excessive temps and humidity. Then when I woke at 7, witnessed the pin drop silence of two sleeping children and realized I really wanted more sleep myself, the early Mass idea got nixed. "What the heck," I thought. "We'll just do the 11:30 Mass."

I know, it's not Sunday. It's not a Holy day. We don't *have* to go to Mass. But the day just flows better if we have something predictable in it, and Mass it is. But today's 11:30 Mass at the University was the opening of new student orientation Mass, and the Oath of Fidelity Mass. So there were about 1,200 people in the Fieldhouse with the hot sun beating down on the roof, making it toasty despite the best efforts of the A/C.

Let's just say we spent most of the Mass in the hallway. It bothers me not a whit these days, at least if I can keep Kwamai from jumping off furniture and landing on other small children.

We went out for Chinese for lunch; that was about as much of an outing as we did.

I read a bunch of this blog this afternoon and found that already, in the not-quite-one year that it has existed, my kiddos have grown up quite a bit.

It also made me want to redouble my efforts to record little daily trifles, since that is mostly what life is made of, after all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hot Dog


Kwamai did a great job reading this book which we got from the library yesterday. It is a simple book, but it came much easier to him since the last time I asked him to read to me. I'd say our program of reading non-instruction is working nicely!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Living and Learning This Morning

I was inspired by Leonie's recent Day In the Life post to try one of my own. However my camera batteries went dead around noon, so I only got photos of the morning.

Today was Papa's first day on his new job, so he's not in any of these pictures. :)


Kwamai was up before the females were ready to appear in public, so he watched two library videos: one about how money is made (i.e. the Mint), and a Rand McNally video about Chicago.





Felicity's interest this morning was a Japanese book I have floating around (I'd say "strewn", but it really isn't that organized ;)). It is a child's book about the Lord's prayer, and is just beyond my Japanese capabilities.




Felicity observes my breakfast cooking on the stove.




Kwamai spent quite a while constructing this contraption using pencils and rubberbands. He discovered it could shoot a pencil placed in the middle with some force.






What morning could be complete without a sibling fight? Here is Felicity trying to regain composure after Kwamai insisted on taking a little trinket away from her that they both got interested at the same time. It was a good opportunity for me to discuss with him how he and I are very alike in our intensity, which is sometimes very hard for both of us to control.



We decided on a quick outing, given how cold and rainy it was today. We drove to Chester, West Virginia, to see the World's Largest Teapot. As you can see, we got there and were able to take pictures just before it started to pour rain. Yes, it was about 11 am!



On the drive there, taking a road we'd not taken before, we listened to the Glory Story of St. Martin DePorres and St. Claire. On the way back, Kwamai asked me some deep questions about how it is possible to trust that God exists, and that He's real in our lives. And he also filled me in about everything he learned from watching the money video.

Upon our return, we went to Mass and came home for lunch. Kwamai and Felicity both went to play with the neighbors, who later joined us here. In the meantime, I was able to work on excavating our guest room with a view of transforming it into Felicity's space soon. After dinner, and an excited greeting of Papa by all of us to congratulate him on his first day of his new job, Kwamai and Felicity were back over to the neighbors and I, well, I have a quiet moment to enjoy for myself :).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Parents, By Any Other Name

When Kwamai was on his way to us, we decided to go with parental monikers Mama and Papa. (Maybe it is the 60s music influence in my life?) This is what we have been now for 5 years or so.

Until recently, that is. Felicity has suddenly taken to calling me Mommy. It really is extremely cute. Today she started calling Erol Poppy. Kwamai, in imitation of his older friends, has taken to calling me "Mom", but only in a certain mood, like when he is working on a project and wants my help or input. I've also heard him call Erol "Dad", but that is rarer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fly Season

Once again we seem to have flies literally coming out of the woodwork at our house. Once again I go nuts over the irritation, and once again Kwamai deplores my attacks with cries of "Don't kill God's creatures!"

I have found an effective compromise in sucking the buzzing pests into the dustbuster, and then letting them go outside, where Kwamai has a fly hospital and rehab center.

Do you think he's destined to become a Franciscan?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Isn't English Entertaining?

Tonight Felicity was reading through her "Wiggly ABC" book. She has it mostly memorized, but in a way what she does is true reading, because the letters clue her in to what the page says.

When she got to the "R" page, she was remembering that we have a foam letter R that has been floating around the living room lately. She said, "That's just like our R." Then she said that over again, and again. "our R" "our R".

So much fun to watch a complex linguistic concept come to life for her!

Dismantler

Felicity's latest fascination is taking things apart. Especially CD, DVD, and video cases.

Erol took K and F to the library today, and as usual they came back with a significant stash of videos. Within a few hours, Felicity had enjoyed opening and closing each case several times, and then had taken every video out, opened all the cases, and stacked the open cases on top of each other. I hope, though, that I have persuaded her not to take all of the liners out of the cases, because in the process they tend to get ripped, and the library does not appreciate that very much.

She also likes to go through my stack of classical CDs and separate liners, cases, and CDs. She has also mastered getting a chair and pulling them off of the high shelf, much to my dismay. A few days ago she also put each CD into the CD player, closed it, opened it, took it back out again. All without actually playing any music.

Cause For Hurt Feelings

The other day Kwamai was eager to go to the neighbors' house in the afternoon. So I was a bit puzzled when he was back within minutes. "Are they not available?" I asked. "Oh, they're there." I tried again a few times to work out the puzzle. Finally he spilled the beans: "Someone who is visiting over there said I have a girlfriend, and it hurt my feelings," he emoted with just a hint of intensity.

Hmm, I thought to myself. How many years until he is hurt by someone insinuating he doesn't have a girlfriend?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Birthday Pictures

It was hard to get pictures yesterday due to the fast-moving action, but I did manage to get a few to capture the feel of the day.



This depicts the unwrapping of Tama Bonnie presents. In the background you can see one bulging bucket of water balloons.



Here is Kwamai posing with his new swords.






This shows the balloons: almost finished filling those buckets!




We fast-forward to cake and ice cream time. We tried at least to get a group shot.



Some quieter members of the group (not that I obsess about noise level or anything!)



Kwamai opens his gifts. And he received nice ones, too!





There was, of course, a lot of interest in checking out those nice toys, and seeing who would get to "demonstrate" for Kwamai how they worked.



Birthday boy was a little tired out by all the events of the day. That is, until his next door neighbor friends came home from vacation two hours after the party ended! Here he has a reflective moment watching his jack spin around.