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?


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


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).


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.