Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Harvest Time

We dug up our whole crop of carrots today, pictured above. The whopper of the group was the two incher on top. This is close to the size they were supposed to be. You see the tiny pea-sized carrot to its left, which is a bit more typical of the size.

Not bad for our first year of gardening.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yes, Kwamai Actually Said...

We are on round two of exercises that Dr. Sobek has prescribed for Kwamai's vision therapy. Fortunately, we are passed the gruelling gross motor exercises like sit ups, and into repetitive left/right body crossover things. But part of the exercise is to pratice reading with a little frame window, so as to focus on only two to three words at a time. Doing this, Kwamai can read fluently, and he's even getting better at reading with expression.

But what surprised me was that tonight, after the physical exercises, I announced that it was time for the reading exercise. Kwamai said (drum roll, please)

"This is the best part!"

Too cool. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Um, What?

I have often found communication with Kwamai not making any sense. We just had one such exchange, so I thought I'd capture it:

Me: Why don't you help me make dinner?
Kwam: I can't. It's too hard, and besides, we don't know where it lives.

Possible translation: he was worried about a new dog roaming through the neighborhood, which is why he came in from playing, and he probably heard me say something like "why don't you take the dog back home?"

I'll just take it as proof that he has an iron-clad focus on what is going on in his head. It just doesn't involve hearing other people right now.

Felicity's Lexical Pursuits

Some time ago, Felicity received the Dick and Jane reader as a gift. From time to time we pick that book to read through before bed. And recently, I've noticed that Felicity is actually reading some of the words. We also have those magnetic poetry words on our fridge, and she can spot the word "baby," which is one she could identify from Dick and Jane. A few weeks ago we were going through some of the beginning readers friends had given us (who had retired from homeschooling first-graders). She asked if we could read them, and as I slowly read and pointed out words, she said a few of the words ahead of me. She now says she can read all the big words in Dick and Jane (meaning the huge-sized print on the title pages), and will read some of the repetitive words in the "stories". She often asks me to read words on signs or boxes, and some of her favorite games are "what starts with A" or listing rhyming words. Oh, and her other favorite game is to "match" things, so we will find piles of Bob the Builder objects or Thomas the train objects laying in piles around the house. (See, it isn't really just clothes and junk laying around; it's a taxonomist at work!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Shoulda Had a Camera" Moment

Felicity picked up a scarf I had in the attic, which I had draped (with a dose of wishful thinking) over a basket of photos, to keep dust off them. It was one of those sheer scarves that adorned the head of many a woman 50 years ago when they just had their hair done and had to go out on a windy day.

I showed her how I could tie it under her chin. She went to look at herself in the mirror, smiled, and without missing a beat, said "I look like an egg!"

And she did! Such a laugh I had....

Friday, September 12, 2008


In the course of trying to describe for my esteemed blog readers the type of talent by which I find myself surrounded, I have, tonight, learned a new term. Beatboxing. Kwamai perhaps lead the way, but Felicity is currently the most prolific.

I have no footage of them yet, but check this out to get some small idea of what I mean. They don't do much of the "electronic" sound (thankfully!)

I have two questions racing each other for first to be asked: Where did my kids pick this up? and How has this odd childish pastime become a world-wide competitive craze?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Instruction Manuals

Note in the picture that Felicity's book has a big "3" on it. These are child development books, specific to 3- and 7-year-olds. (I actually got the 4-year-old one as well since Felicity always strikes me as being just somewhere between her age and Kwamai's.)

This scene occurred shortly after we had gotten these books home from the library. They each grabbed "their" book, presumably to read up on what they should be up to for their respective ages. I wish I had taken a movie instead of a picture, because it was such a hilarious moment. The chairs represent a school bus (Felicity's invention) and they were actually arguing over whether they were going to school or staying at home. Take a guess which child thought which! They each had their "instruction manual" and were off to learn everything they needed to know.

For the record, the books are not all that helpful, to them or to me!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Karate Monstor

Kwamai did his month of karate lessons. He has decided it wasn't really his cup of tea. I've known he isn't one easily adaptable to formal instruction, but even so I was a little surprised that he described the karate teacher as "bossy". I watched him closely during his first lesson, and he was clearly having a good time trying his hardest to show his skill. The teacher noticed, as well, mentioning something about "oh, you've done this before I can tell." But when Kwamai realized that he wasn't really free to chat with the other kids or form relationships during the lessons he no longer really got the point of why they were all together, if just to be "bossed around" by the man in the black belt, without making any tangible progress.

But, all's well that ends well. Here is Kwamai dressing up a box in his uniform (which came free with the first month's tuition, thankfully!)

He's decided he wants to pursue swimming again as he did last fall.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tooth on the Loose

On Monday, Kwamai lost his very first tooth. He came in from playing and found his tooth much looser than it had been, and before long, out it came. It's the bottom left, the very first of his teeth to have come in (when he was a full year old).

I've read that maturity, learning-readiness, and tooth-losing all seem to occur together. This is proving very true for our Kwam.

The Harvest Begins

Last week we harvested our very first carrot. It is not a bad specimen, considering it grew in almost solid clay. We split it four ways and we all agreed it was one of the most delicious carrots any of us had ever tasted.