Monday, February 25, 2008

Mama, I Want to HELP You!!

We have such a helpful daughter. Insistent, yet helpful.

Today as she was watching a new favorite video all about clocks and learning to tell time (she insists it is about clocks; Kwamai insists on the proper title, Time, and yes they will argue it back and forth with great passion), Felicity heard me emerge from the basement with a basket of laundry. She was in a fit of tears. I quickly surmised the problem was that I had dared to do something without her help. Getting things from the dryer has become her job, thank you very much, and how dare I usurp it from her. So, back to the basement we went, and she emptied the entire basket, one item at a time, back into the dryer, and then took them back out again, one item at a time. She allowed me to capture the process in a picture.

While she was busy at work, my thoughts went to the deep freezer behind me and how I could get some hamburger up for lunch tomorrow. I popped over, grabbed the beef, and re-emerged to another flood of tears. She wanted to help! Ok, ok. The beef went back in, she retrieved it for me, and was pleased. She then announced it was far too cold to linger downstairs, so why were we down there so long? Hmmm, why hadn't I thought of that?

Felicity also loves to help me cook, either by holding her hand over mine as I chop, stir, whisk or what not, or by the ever-popular taste-testing.

And yes, you bet that is a summer sun dress in the picture. She occasionally admits to being cold, and she will humor me by agreeing to tights when we go out, but she is almost always down to her barest essentials at home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kwamai Prepares Dinner

Somehow today Kwamai got settled in with the idea that he would make dinner tonight. He began his planning as we were discussing what to have for lunch. (See, first he was going to make lunch, but then he got chatting too long and Felicity and I had our lunches all out, so dinner it became.)

At 5:10 he dutifully set out to accomplish his task. The menu included turkey sausages with pepperoni, macaroni, raw carrots and broccoli (mom's request), and salads for the grown ups. He got everything ready and even did a fair job with some mild multi-tasking. Erol was nearly a half hour late getting home, so it helped that nothing was rushed.

A nice meal was had by all. I, unfortunately I suppose, didn't pass up the childish chance to find something to complain about so he knew what it felt like. But he did tell me, with all seriousness, "Mama, don't you know you shouldn't complain about the dinner? Remember when you put peanuts on my birthday pizza and Papa ate it without complaining?"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Felicity as a Tiny Baby


When trying to upload pictures of bubbles I accidentally uploaded this tiny little movie of Felicity as a not-quite-3 month old trying to sit up in her bouncy seat. Can you believe this is the only video I took of her as a tiny baby? What was I possibly thinking? I was so amazed that she was trying to sit up that I grabbed the camera. I also noticed at the time that she repeated the same vocalization pattern that this little snippet gathered.

To think this was only 2.5 years ago!


On one of those warm days recently we watched this little group of bubbles forming in a tiny stream of water. Kwamai tried engineering the stream in different ways and watching the effects. Fascination was had by all.

Here is a movie version. I keep saying "Shhh!" because we were right outside the adoration chapel at the University.

Kwam the Reader

This is kind of a "more of the same" post, but I am amazed at how Kwamai's reading has taken off. This week at the library he pulled a book off the shelf and started reading it out loud. His ability and his interest have met, and a lot of times I can't get him to stop even when I think his eyes have had enough! The computer game Dragon Fable is largely responsible for igniting his interest. His natural tendency is to figure things out from pictures or graphics instead of words, but he is learning to respect how important words, and being able to read them, are. For example, today he accidentally uninstalled a game program that he meant to open instead, because he clicked the box that said "uninstall" instead of "open". They both had similar icons. Felicity on the other hand is always asking what words say. She's drawn to the text.

There's probably some developmental reason for this, but Kwamai's overall behavior has gotten much milder and happier in the last few weeks as well. That gives me a happy sigh!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Casper Gets Duded Out

Casper poses with his wardrobe technicians.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What We're Up To

We went to the Natural History museum yesterday to see the new dinosaur exhibit. For once, I realized I actually have children in two different age groups. Felicity's basic reaction was fear. She burrowed her head in my neck, wanted out, and pretty much wanted nothing to do with them. Kwamai on the other hand probably could have stayed in the exhibit twice as long as we did, wanting to have me read him all the exhibit display signs and interact with the models, etc.

Most of the time lately Kwamai and Felicity are like two peas in a pod. Today they spent the better part of the afternoon playing together. Felicity played "cooking show" and Kwamai was her opening dancing act. Kwamai played tent-dweller and Felicity was his visitor. They like to play games where they sing songs back and forth, one starting and the other finishing a line or a sound or whatever.

Felicity looks more and more like a giantess to me. When I tell her she is a big girl she always insists "No, I'm little." We've had a few warm days when she's worn lighter dresses that she wore last summer. One in particular that was nearly touching the floor in the summer now hits well above her ankle. Of course I especially notice her size when I hold her, all 30 pounds of her!

Kwamai's reading has taken off to soaring in the last two weeks. He isn't always willing to try to read something on his own, but more and more he can decode words, and more and more I have to figure out how to explain why English is such a weird language where we have know, now and mow, knight, night, enough and all those other nonsensical spellings and pronunciations.

Felicity can read letters nearly without fail. She is like a little preschool text book poster girl and is very into shapes, colors, numbers and letters these days. I'm getting the idea that actually teaching her may work much more simply than with Kwamai, who is adamant about figuring everything out himself. But, so far, so good.

Oh, then of course there is the election coming up. Kwamai is in lock-step with Papa in keeping up with the news on his favorite candidate. And since Mama has a different favorite candidate, we've had some talks about how to hold different opinions than others without feeling the need to resort to name-calling and sign stealing. At least it looks like neither of us will have our favorite candidate running in the general election, which might just break Kwamai's heart.

Quotable Kwam

He says to me tonight: "You know how at Mass sometimes Father says something that's funny to grownups, but the kids don't get it, and so they don't laugh? Well, not even I get it!"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Skate Car

Kwamai watched Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang this afternoon. So currently he is busy creating vehicles. This is the Skate Car, complete with horn and laser.