Saturday, May 24, 2008

And Speaking of Weddings

A couple weeks ago, Felicity asked to see my wedding dress, so I hauled it out of its resting place. Here are the pictures and video I took:




video

It might be hard to make out all the conversation, but at one point Felicity asks me whether you need to be big before getting married, and asks how one gets married. Then she decides to play hide and seek in the skirt, but finally decides a game of "tidy up" would be more fun. (What a girl!)

Anniversary Pics

Considering that Kwamai and Felicity had been in a sword and shield battle just moments before, these pictures turned out looking rather placid. (And I do mean the sword and the shield were used for punking each other!)

Here is our traditional "with flowers" pose for our wedding anniversary, May 22. I couldn't decide which one to make the official picture, so I'll post a few.

Obviously this does not capture Felicity's best side.


Always so hard to capture just the right pose! But the live action shots are nice, I think.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Reads


We've been hitting read-alouds pretty heavy these last few weeks, as I mentioned awhile back. We are currently on our second Doctor Doolittle book: Doctor Doolittle's Post Office. The version we are reading has nearly 400 pages, but fortunately many of them are pictures, so we are still able to get through it at a fairly good clip.

Kwamai gets absorbed in the story. Felicity, of course, is less able to track and pay attention, especially when I read seven chapters at a sitting! But she is generally patient, or goes off to do her own thing while I read to Kwam.

I happened to note that The Great Turkey Walk that we finished a few weeks ago is considered at a 4th-7th grade reading level. I'm not sure that reading level and being-read-to-level are the same, because certainly children can comprehend more than they can fill their own minds with. When we began Post Office I would ask Kwamai some questions to see if he comprehended, and even though he struggles with coming up with the right words for his thoughts, he was able to convey that he was tracking with me and usually understood the flow of the story. (I actually started doing this because we were experimenting with whether he was actually able to listen and play a computer game at the same time. We discovered that was a no-go.)

Complete aside: today he asked me "What is a Marine Dolphin?" Turns out what he really wanted to ask was what is a Navy SEAL. Close.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Duets

I've mentioned before how much both Kwamai and Felicity love to sing. Today (well, yesterday now that it's after midnight) Kwamai was singing a song about all the different types of birds he knows of. Oh, and we still get bathroom language songs, but at least they are becoming more sophisticated. Kwamai and Felicity will trade off parts: one will do the background "oh, oh, ohs" and the other will sing the, um, lyrics, and then switch back and forth at a prearranged signal.

Felicity also has an excellent sense of rhyme and rhythm. The other day I asked her what she wanted on her toast, and within a few seconds she was off singing "butter, butter, peanut butter, jam and butter -- toast!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It Must Have Been a Mind-Blowing Gathering


Felicity gathers the Nativity scene participants for a pow-wow. As you can see, baby Jesus (with His back to you) is the only one who has managed to keep all of his head.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Feel Like Tom Sawyer


Today I got Felicity and Kwamai both exceptionally interested in the workings of the washing machine. Felicity is already very possessive of helping with the laundry task, so she didn't need much prompting. But we observed all of the cycles and I explained what all the knobs were for.

Then I managed to get Kwamai very excited about using our push mower. He got tired out, but not until after doing quite a good job on the back yard. The structure of the mower has him pushing it with his arms straight above his head, though, not a simple manner.

Oh, and Kwamai cooked his own sausage for lunch.

I imagine myself ten years from now, living a life of ease...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recovery

Kwamai has been struggling with this weird virus now, too. Fortunately he did not have a wheezing attack (his chiropractor will be glad to hear the adjustments have helped), but he still had a hard time breathing yesterday, with his little chest heaving in and out. Sleep seems to be the key to recovery, as he got lots of it yesterday and showed evidence of needing more throughout today.

Kwamai and Felicity's new favorite fight to have is for each of them to hug on to me and say "She's MY mommy." "No, she's MY mommy." How can I get mad at this?

Monday, May 5, 2008

We are Piggies


I think Felicity's fascination with pigs started when she saw a picture of a sow nursing six piglets in a library book. She has felt great affection for the beasts ever since, and she and I regularly called each other "Mama Piggie" and "Felicity Piggie." Of course, the rest of the family are piggies as well (but perhaps they don't quite get into the title as much as we do).

Oink!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Overheard

Kwamai and Felicity calling to each other: "Brother?" "Sister?"

Apparently a take-off on how Kwamai will play with the neighbor girl that they are siblings. How odd; siblings playing that they are each other's siblings.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Update: It's Spring Now!

I'm passed due for something like an update. I think I may need to just change the focus of this blog a bit so that I can have something specific to keep up with, say, funny comment of the day or one interaction or something.

Anyway, while I cogitate on that, here's what we've been doing:

Kwamai and I have dug up a portion of dirt where our garage used to be and we intend to have a garden there. Kwamai chose carrot and corn seeds to plant. The soil is almost solid clay, so I don't know how the growing will go, but we have plenty of leaves to dig in as mulch. I'm thinking of adding some beans, just because it is one veggie we all like. Kwamai is willing to do the work in theory, but muscle man though he is, he has some trouble digging up huge shovelfulls of dirt. We need to wait for that frost threat to go away so we can plant. Then the fun will begin. And hopefully our neighborhood groundhog will leave them alone!

Felicity likes to go through her days singing. So does Kwam, for that matter. She and I have started singing morning and bedtime prayers together, just simple little songs. She likes to do things in set routines, the same thing every day. That's obviously not from my genetic make up. But perhaps she will help me in that department.

Felicity right now has a little wheeze. We took her to her doctor today, and he said he's not worried about it, prescribed a homeopathic remedy and albuterol if the former doesn't take. She at least is sleeping, which hopefully will be an all-night trend.

We've been doing more read-alouds. I've been reading a book on the value of reading aloud to kids of all ages, and I think I'm becoming truly addicted! I just feel so much better after we read several chapters of a novel together. We finished The Great Turkey Walk, a story of a teen who becomes a turkey drover and we are currently reading the first of the Doctor Doolittle books. This along with lots of picture books and story books.

For awhile we were on a Rogers and Hammerstein kick. We watched The King and I and .. what was that other one... but then Oklahoma was not such a big hit. We saw Meet Me in St. Louis. Both Kwamai and Felicity like the dance numbers. Kwamai is considering trying out for a part in a local production of Beauty and the Beast this summer, with the production in the fall. He has to get over the idea that it is too girly, however.

Kwamai still likes his nightly audiobooks. Right now he is listening to an historical fiction book about Bull Run. He seems to like historical fiction or dramatizations about historical figures quite a bit.

He also is showing interest in piano. He used to just bang on the pianos of friends, but he treats them respectfully these days and likes to spontaneously compose little tunes. He wants to take lessons from the father of a friend who teaches using the Suzuki method. We'll see. We never did get around to karate lessons, although I think he gets a lot out of doing his own freestyle work in that department.

Felicity is very concerned with counting things, often starting the first moments after she wakes up. She also has a very good grasp of phonetic sounds and will randomly say things like "Thomas starts with T." Her grammar is going downhill the more she imitates Kwamai however. She no longer says "We went to the store" but rather "We goed to the store."

I never realized how easy parenting becomes at the point where you try to teach the older child how not to aggravate the younger child. "Don't try to force her or you'll lose all hope of getting her cooperation!" It's a great two-fer. But the trick comes in trying not to force him to not force her!

Kwamai has a very busy social life. His circle of friends has expanded beyond just the next door neighbors to include several families round about us. Even among kids close to his age, most of his friends are older, by about two years. (He used to gravitate only to the neighborhood teenage boys.) And while I'm certainly open to him making all sorts of new friends, it is a good thing at this stage that I know the families of all of his friends, most of them quite well. And yes, the girls are starting to try to give him hugs and kisses, especially our goddaughter Lucia, who is 5. She has already decided that she and Kwamai are getting married. Kwamai just rolls his eyes!

Ok, I'll try to get on task with a few "things of the day" here soon.