Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kwamai Loves a Good Massage

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I have discovered that Kwamai absolutely adores being massaged. I read up on massage when Felicity was a newborn, and I massaged her for about three or four months... I don't really remember why I stopped. But I found that after I gave Kwamai a brief massage a few days ago, he stopped chewing plastic quite so voraciously. Then today on one of the many parenting/homeschooling/bright kids lists I belong to there was discussion of both chewing and the need kids try to fulfill by doing it, which apparently is also met by massage. So I'll be very interested to see if the pattern repeats and the chewing dwindles again tomorrow. Today at Mass Kwamai bit the end of a pen cap into bits!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Marbie: RIP

We had a funeral this afternoon. Kwamai's beloved marble (as of a few days ago), which survived one smashing on the floor by being crazy glued back together, did not survive a drop from the counter at the post office this morning. It smashed into about eight pieces. Kwamai was very distressed and tearful. So, after Mass we came home for a simple burial and funeral on the front lawn. The clover flowers mark the spot of burial.
Though Kwamai has a very soft heart for created things and inanimate objects of various sorts, some of the emotion may be fueled by rising at about 4:30 this morning!

Some Things Are Way Too Cute

This morning as I was putting away laundry, I heard Felicity in the hallway saying "Scrub-a-dub-dub, scrub-a-dub-dub." She had found a bar of soap (the hotel kind) which she opened, had two cotton rounds, and with them was giving two dolls a "bath". All the while telling them how they should be clean, wash their hands, etc.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wiggles Revisited

On Friday we went to see the Wiggles in Pittsburgh. This was our third such concert. Our first was in Huntington, West Virginia, where we stayed overnight. We we were so psyched in those days; little Kwam was barely 2 and we were so thrilled to be able to take our child to a children's concert. The pictures we took feature us all beaming brightly, despite being stuck in a huge traffic jam on the way there.

The second time was also in Pittsburgh. Kwamai had turned three, and Felicity was a very tiny person yet inside of me. I remember eating burgers before the show and trying to peel Kwamai off the walls of the bar-type place where we ate.

So, third time. It started badly, to be honest, with Kwamai making a big fuss over wanting every snack, complaining about our seats, about why we had to come to see the dumb Wiggles to begin with. I was overwhelmed as huge places and crowds and complainers tend to do for me. As soon as the Wiggles began to appear on stage, Felicity jumped for my lap, also overwhelmed in her own way. Her little feet repeatedly kicked at the people in front of us, not winning us any points with them (I'd love to read their blog about the event -- NOT). But then, Kwamai was really getting into it and was singing and shouting along with the show, finally prompting the dad in front of us to turn around and tell him to stop it. The seats were pretty packed together, so kid level in back meets ear level of adult in front.

The whole show seemed to go by fairly fast. The big change this time around is that the lead singer stepped down last fall and was replaced by his former stand-in. Sam just doesn't cut it as the new lead Wiggle, I have to say. He has a nice operatic voice, but he lacks the volume, the passion, the depth, the lower registers in his voice, not to mention the enthusiastic stage presence that Greg did. The rest of the Wiggles did fine trying to cover for him. And I don't know why, but it seemed the whole audience was extremely chatty. It was hard to hear the singers over the roar of the crowd talking/noise making. One expects some noise at a kids' concert, but I heard lots of adult conversations going on -- very distracting.

On the way home (with of course two sound sleepers) Erol and I discussed finding options in the future for this kind of outing. Kwamai would probably prefer going to a high school football game. Maybe buying a new Wiggles video, having Pizza or Chinese and a few friends over would make for a nice "inning", rather than an "outing" which seems to bring out the difficult in all of us -- except Erol of course!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Famous First Words

This morning as Kwamai was just waking up I happen to be standing right in the room near him. He cracked open his eyes, saw me, and said "Now, what was I saying?"

I hope he had been dreaming he was talking, and wasn't just intent to pick up on whatever conversation we last had as he drifted off to sleep last night.

At least that was a bit easier on me than the mornings I can tell when he wakes up because of a sudden loud shriek, or him calling out "Mama, can we do an activity?"

Some people go from 0-65 in about an hour; I think he wakes up already at about 45.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Catching Up

I've sure been in a blogging slump. How about a nice this-n-that catch up post?

Well, I'm posting this picture to show how cute Felicity looks with her hair up. By the way, she will only let the neighbor girls put her hair up; I can completely forget trying to do so. But as you can also see, featured prominently in this shot is one of those disgusting push-ups that Papa bought. They are "Fear Factor" themed, and the kind Felicity really liked were bright yellow with bright red slime that was supposed to look like blood and a gum ball "eye" in it. Felicity would ask for "one of those Popsicles with the funny eyeball in it". Kwamai was actually far too grossed out by the whole thing to eat any, so lucky Felicity got to finish off the package.

As I've mentioned before, Felicity wants to copy everything Kwamai says and does, which can be most disconcerting. The faithful blog reader may recall that some time ago they started into knock-knock jokes. (Felicity greeting me one morning as she woke up with "knock knock!"). Right now their funny joke is to make a burping noise and then say (repeatedly) "Excuse me, I burped." I am a terrible stone face, and Kwamai knows he can get me to laugh pretty easily as long as I am not in a completely grumpy mood.

Kwamai has been growing up in so many ways this year. It is interesting to have him lead us through so many stages, seemingly none of which I feel prepared for. Right now he is a chewer. He started with shirts, but he has moved pretty quickly to plastics. Pens, cups, lids, toys -- he literally chews them up and spits them out. I bought him a package of beef jerky today, and I will probably go back for the larger bag shortly. I give him gum, and after 60 seconds or less he spits it out, saying "it got all yucky". Since he gave up thumb sucking it seems he needs a new oral fixation. Maybe we need to buy him a flute.

Oh yes, how could I forget whistling. At least I always know where he is, even when he plays outside, because when he isn't talking he's whistling. He discovered one day he could do it, and he's not stopped.

We ended up returning the "Click n Read" program as it turned into something we battled over him doing rather than something he enjoyed. Part of the deal was that he do it willingly. He's started doing more Star Fall work instead; it is similar and free. But more important to me is that he is really interested in reading. I really have to lay off and not pressure him, because I know his interest is his own and not the interest I would have. But at the library he spends lots of time looking for books he would like, and he more frequently asks me to read, and he spends time "reading" on his own. I put that in quotes, but I know he is looking for what he can read on his own, which is growing day by day. We recently got some of the Captain Underpants books which are sure to make him love reading.

Other than reading, I know that anything science-oriented will thrill him; cooking is another big theme, nature exploration is big, and the history of things, like who first invented drills.

Felicity likes her books too, and she loves the Wiggles and dancing and she's also into Mother Goose right now. She is very into being 2 and screams and cries a lot when she gets into conflicts with Kwamai over toys.

Just when I get the boy stages down pat I'll have to toss that all out the window and learn Felicity's girl stages!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Today's Day In the Life

Here's what life looks like at home today. Kwamai is building various robots with legos, inspired by this morning's reading of Transformers, an amazingly technical book all about the characters of the Transformer books/movie. Felicity is looking through her stack of library books. She has various dolls and toys down for naps, around the auto shop pop up book which was yesterday's fascination. Oh, the one element you can't perceive here is the jazzy music in the background.
They both had a good sleep in this morning, which means we didn't go to School of Community. The SC is more my thing, but they enjoy playing with the children of the other moms who attend. After a very loud and rousing thunderstorm last night, I figured sleeping in was going to suit all of us better than yet another morning of trying to get somewhere at a certain time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Felicity's Fainting

Poor Felicity had a fainting episode during our trip to Mama-Grandma's house in Wisconsin. We were finishing up a morning at the zoo when she said she needed to go potty. I assisted her in trying to do so, but she found no success, and moments later she went limp in my arms. I carried her out into the open, asked for first aid, and the concessions staff called 911. The hospital was just a block away, so it was a quick ambulance ride, but Felicity did take her time in coming to. After lots of poking and prodding, blood tests, urine test, chest x-ray, heart monitoring, and being admitted to the hospital for more tests and an overnight stay (which ended up not happening, except for the being admitted), the pediatrician on staff concluded that she had a simple vagal vaso fainting episode, possibly aggravated by constipation.

We went for the return-home check up with her doctor here on Thursday, and he agreed that it seemed a simple faint with no further cause for concern.

In Madison they had suggested sedating her for an Echo cardiogram, and sending her for a sleep-deprived EEG to see if she had any seizure activity going on. How you keep a 2 year old awake for 24 hours, including a 45 minute car ride to the closest participating hospital, is beyond me. Eve if one succeeded, I think I'd need to budget about a month for everyone to get back to normal after that! Felicity's had a hard enough time recovering emotionally from a day in the ER!

I've thought many times about how often I fainted as a child, and how it almost never became an occasion of discussion with our doctor, let alone going there. And the only advice we ever received was that my Mom should give me candy when I fainted. Strange to think about that now, seeing as how no one ever tested my blood sugar!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

He Never Ceases to Amaze

Last Friday we went to visit Mrs. Juliano in the nursing home. Kwamai often has a hard time with this and complains about going. But he has discovered that if he brings a book along to show her, he becomes the center of attention, and so all is well. Friday he actually complained when it was time to leave and protested that he wanted to stay longer.

The next morning he decided he likes eggs, which I have been trying to get him to eat since he was a baby, without success.

And next?