Saturday, April 28, 2007

Chamber Music

This evening we went to Franciscan University's Chamber Music Society spring concert. Kwamai was excited to hear the music, and lasted about two movements. Erol whisked Felicity in just as the music began, and she lasted about a movement and a half. In both cases, longer than I expected ;) Erol took K and F outside, and eventually over to the JC (student union). Then, Kwamai came running in to tell me Felicity had fallen, not that badly, but she was all shaken. And it seemed she was a bit ticked that she was missing the music. I did manage to take in the majority of the concert, and Kwamai had a few of the reception snacks. Which was of course the real reason we did not leave early; Kwamai saw the food being set out, and would have no talk of an early departure.

Culture and kiddos, the early years!

Felicity the Bookworm

And to think I passed up the chance to go to a book (purchasing) party yesterday....

Science Center Trip

This Wednesday we took a trip to the Carnegie Science Center. Here are a few pictures:

Kwamai the builder.

Felicity the scientist.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Few Photos of the Birthday

This is Felicity just woken up and ready for her big day.

Here is Felicity in the playground tube!

If a picture is worth a thousands words, how many words is a shadow worth?

Our family with Felicity's godparents.

Felicity's Birthday

Yesterday Felicity turned a big 2!

Here is video footage of her visiting a Mary statue in our neighborhood. She tells Mary "it's my birthday!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Some Pix of the Birthday-Girl-to-be

And one of Kwamai, who did not wish to be left out.

Two Years Ago, Today

My, what a momentous day: April 19, 2005. After three years of "processing", our adoption of Kwamai was finalized. We wound down our adoption celebration to the news of a new Pope. And a few hours later, I went into labor. It kicked into gear by about 8:30pm, and Felicity made her appearance five hours later.

To quote Larry the Cucumber, "I remember it like it was yesterday." I woke up the next morning with the realization that for the first time, legally at least, I was a Mom -- to two miracles :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What Is Cool?

Here is a conversation Kwamai and I had yesterday

K: Some people think just being black and having a skateboard makes you cool, but I don't think that's true.
M: What do you think makes someone cool?
K: I think, if they are on Jesus' side and they are against the devil's side, that's what really makes them cool.
M: Yeah, that's true.
K: What do you think makes someone cool?
M: I think if someone is being who God made them to be, that's cool.

We parked, got out of the car, and the conversation ended there.
But it was cool :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Somebody Flipped A Switch

I would attribute it to Spring's arrival, only we are still in our winter coats. It seems like a big shift is taking place at home these days. Kwamai has taken a real interest in reading and math. I "caught" him at this morning practicing reading, and he was very excited yesterday about trying out ClickNRead Phonics and a few math worksheets I downloaded for him. As he was using the two reading sites, I realized his skills have taken another step forward, as he is much more fluent in letter recognition and more sight words. (He will still ask me 10 times in a row what letter R or E is; I think he simply cannot bear the thought of making a mistake and choosing the wrong one!) He greedily grasped a book as he was sent off to bed tonight. Ok, so maybe it was more about prolonging his bedtime, but he has quite an aresnal of ways to do that, and reading is not on the top of the list.

It seems ironic that for kids in school, or kids schooled at home, that their school year is just about winding down. I think it is more natural for Kwamai to take winters "off" and be more actively learning the rest of the year.

And Felicity is going through her changes too. She reminds everyone "My birthday is coming. I'm going to be 2!" And to go with the territory, she is practicing shrieking loudly (yes, our little Miss Placid who rarely said a peep in days gone by) and demanding things to be Just So, Right Now (Please). She has to have her statues of Jesus and Mary in the exact places where she puts them for the day. Presently they are sleeping on the pillow next to her.

Her latest thing is to tell me "Stop doing that, Mama... Read this book to me" (or play this game, or let me see those baby pictures, etc.)

News Flash! Kwamai Gives Up Thumb!

Kwamai recently decided to give up sucking his thumb, which ultrasound revealed he began before he was born. In his words, he decided he was giving it up for Easter. His motives are very altruistic: his poor thumb has actually become damaged by his continual sucking. He has a callous on his knuckle which is now as hard an orange peel, since he no longer is lubricating it. So, he has given up sucking his thumb out of love for his dear thumb, which he wants to see healed and grow normal again. He informed me this morning that he has gone four nights without sucking it.

I am so glad to not have pursued any way of forcing a stop. It would be a shame to miss my chance to witness this kind of maturity in the making.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quotable Felicity

Tonight while getting dinner prepared I offered Felicity some mixed peas & carrots. Frozen veggies, what a delight. When I looked back at her I noticed she'd eaten all the peas but left the carrots. So I said "You don't want the carrots?" She replied, "No, they're gross!"

This Could Be Our House!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Kwamai the Cook

Kwamai loves turkey sausages, and here he is today cooking some for his lunch. He said he would like to be a cook when he grows up. I assured him I would love for him to make family dinners in a few years :). His plan is to add hamburgers to his repertoire by his 6th birthday, and then expand from there.

The thumb in the mouth was due to this being a stelth photo, but it's a nice touch :)

Their Easter Finery

Here is Kwamai all dressed for the Easter Vigil. It was a very long Mass of course, and Kwamai was excited to recognize the service of light from the Holy Saturday atrium time that morning. But he was also wired to the hilt and sitting still was out of the question, until he just zonked out about 2.5 hours into the Vigil.

Miss Felicity did not consent to posing for a picture as she was absorbed in her book. But I did manage to capture her pretty curls which she allowed me to put in clips for the evening. She was out like a light early on in the Mass, and didn't wake despite my flipping her from arm to arm. But when she finally did awake she desperately wanted a drink of water, so I helped her drink out of the sink in the bathroom -- our only option at the time!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Holy Triduum with Our Kiddos

Yesterday and this morning we attended a special Atrium session at Holy Rosary parish. This was open to all kids involved in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, as well as all kids in the city. There was quite a crowd both days. Tomorrow will be the final gathering of this sort.

These have been great opportunities for the kids to think about the Lord's Passion. I appreciate seeing how the catechists present profound truths in a very simple way, through concrete means like maps, figurines, etc.

I noticed something interesting about Kwamai today. I watched him during the Atrium time, and he was fully attentive, absorbed, and smiling the whole time. The kids were given little presents -- sunflower seeds in a growing cup -- and he was ecstatic. He was reluctant to leave and insisted to me several times that they weren't really finished, even after most of the kids had left. And yet, when we got to the car, he insisted that he didn't like it, didn't have any fun, and just did "praying stuff" (said with exaggerated tone of something dorky). Seems he has a hard time saying he likes something.

Last night we went to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Felicity was excited to hear the Gloria and belted out the parts she knows. The servers rang the bells throughout, which was fascinating to her. Kwamai had his shoe and sock off ready to get his foot washed (even though he wasn't chosen as an Apostle!). Felicity started to lose patience a bit towards the end as she kept telling me "Let's just go, Mama!" But then she changed her refrain as we got our coats to "Let's eat the donut!" Fr. Tuttle has her well trained to expect donuts after every Mass!!

Kwamai was excited to hear there's a service this afternoon :) We will go at 3 for the Divine Mercy chaplet just before the Service of the Lord's Passion. Tomorrow night is the Easter Vigil! Then, Kwamai and Felicity both are looking forward to having the Burton's over for Easter dinner, and going to their house on Easter Monday as Bernadette is confirmed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

We Are Not Amused

I interrupted her snacking for a picture.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

And Then There Was Today... Part Two, the Potty Story

Ok, so by the end of today I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, wondering if there are awards for Mommies somewhere for enduring days like this. (Yeah, right!)

We came home from grocery shopping, immediately after the Lip Episode, and I figured (correctly) that by this time Felicity needed to go potty. I took her up, and I could tell she was doing a poo as I read her her newest favorite selection from the library, a book about Firefighters. After we read that 5 or 6 times, she opted for looking through a Catholic catalogue with lots of pretty statues, etc, rather than concluding her potty business with the customary wipe off.

So, I left her to peruse for a few moments while I went down to put something on for dinner. A moment later, I thought I heard her get up off the potty, so I went up to officiate over the closing ceremonies.

But not only had Felicity gotten off the potty, she had taken out the little bucket from inside the potty chair and was in the process of dumping it into the toilet. Which was all fine and good, except....

It hadn't been what we refer to in the Hosdil household as a "good, solid poo". So, somehow, as she was depositing the potty contents into the toilet, she got it in the toilet to be sure, but also on the toilet, on the floor, on her shoe, on her dress and on her face. Oh dear.

One sponge bath later, she was feeling fine.

Fortunately, Erol came home from work with a story about Something Completely Different, so we had a nice relaxing dinner despite it all.

And Then There Was Today... Part One, the Lip Story

I won't go into every detail of today, mostly because I didn't make note of things and so I don't remember every detail of today! But, Poor Felicity, she had a couple unfortunate things happen.

Every Tuesday, more or less, Felicity and I go to visit a 90 year old woman from our parish who lives in a nursing home. Usually this is during Kwamai's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd time. This being Holy Week, there was no atrium, so Kwamai came along. He's a half way decent sport about it, but these outings definitely fall in the category of a sacrifice for him. He's not much for being hugged and kissed by elderly folks. Felicity does fine, perhaps mostly because she can't remember a time when she hasn't gone to visit Mrs. Juliano.

Today as we were leaving, Felicity was so excited about running over to see the statue of Mary in front of the building that she lost her footing and landed smack on her face in the parking lot. Big ouch! She was screaming, of course, as I picked her up, standing there stupidly, lost for what to do. There was someone leaving work who "suggested" I take her inside, so I ran her back in. One of the nurses who absolutely adores Felicity jumped into action and got the cloth to clean her up, and another grabbed ice, and they whisked us into a back room, away from the mutual upset of all the people watching her. Fortunately she's fine, just bit hard into her lip. Someone brought Kwamai in as he was even more frozen than I was outside. He bargained for a bag of M&Ms, which he fed to Felicity, and that cheered them both up. And probably caffeinated them both pretty well, as Kwamai is still squirming trying to get to sleep at 10:45, and Felicity was late in going down, too.

Another Day in the Life

Mel at Slightly Crunchy Catholic suggested posting a day in the life, so I thought I'd give it a try.

This was actually our day yesterday, April 2.

Erol was up and off to work at his usual early hour. Kwamai got up at about 7:30 and played on the computer. I woke up, on and off, for quite a while, but as Felicity enjoys pinning me to the bed as she wakes up and nurses, we both finally got fully awake at around 9. We did our morning hygiene tasks, and she was off to a few minutes of watching Wiggly Safari.

We all had breakfast. I've completely forgotten what it was.

I did some clean up (that chronic task that never ends) while Felicity danced to the "Pata Pata CD" (aka A Child's Celebration of the World), and Kwamai watched an Avatar movie on the computer.

We went out for a walk/pilgrimage/nature study/exercize. We took the route down the steps near our house that lead downtown, and we walked all the way to the big statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Polish parish near the bottom of the steps. Kwamai looked for little bugs and interesting flowers and plants and Felicity had all the practice her little heart desired in climbing down steps and counting. We admired the old houses and ... whatever the opposite of admired is... all the trash that we saw along the way, and made a mental note to bring trash bags along the next time we walked that route. We discussed the dangers of chewing tobacco as we encountered a man who was imbibing some on our way home.

Upon arriving home we decided to clean up all the trash immediately around our own house, a much needed job. Kwamai played outside while I made lunch. After lunch, Kwamai was back outside to play, Felicity watched a Barney video about Manners, I had my "quiet time". Then I washed a few windows while Felicity "helped" and Kwamai kept on playing. Felicity joined Kwamai in the neighbor's yard, I read some of the Catholic newspaper, then I did a load of laundry and got dinner moving. We all went to the playground (with a few neighbor kids along). Upon returning home, Kwamai and Felicity had baths. After Erol came home we all had dinner, got dressed, and went to the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. Upon returning home I was so exhausted I went straight to bed, skipping our family rosary :(. Felicity eventually figured out where I was and joined me in bed, and Erol got Kwamai off to sleep by 10. And a good sleep was had by all!