Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I turn to give her the stink eye but she is already facing away from me again.
nervous, concerned laughter
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"Mama, can we go to your classroom at your gool?"
"Last night, I wore my dog classroom."
Sunday, October 31, 2010
The awesome pictures in this blog are courtesy of Evantide Photography. You should check them out!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
"Where did all the steaming went?"
Hmm, how am I going to explain this.
"It disappeared." Furrowed brows. Nope, that isn't going to work.
"Your food is cool now, so there isn't any more steam."
"But where did it go?" Darn.
"Well, it mixed in with all the other air so we can't see it any more." How far do I go explaining diffusion and the molecular make up of matter?
I look over at her. She is bending this way and that, lifting up her placemat and looking under the table.
"I'm looking for the steaming that's all mixed in," she says matter of factly. "I didn't find it."
Thankfully, distracted by something else, she returned to her slow eating process and didn't press me for a better explanation.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Kaleia is s full-fledged walker now. She loves putting small things inside larger containers -- boxes, pots, etc.-- especially if it has a lid. She is not as interested in animals and their sounds as her sister was, but recently she made her first real animal sound, other than screeching for dogs: quack. Right now, almost everything says quack. Or maybe everything is a duck.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
"Don't worry about it.""Goomeez, dogs." You have so many fun word approximations. This one (which was your way of saying excuse me) was one of the first we noticed and still is a favorite. Though, it seems like we barely have time to capture these mispronunctions before they are gone. Already Keia has become Kaleia.
"Oh my gosh."
"Nothing." (You use this one when asked "What are you doing?" and you are afraid the true response will be unacceptable)
"Mama, where Aaare you?" You may look like your Papa, but you are turning into a little mini-me. You watch me closely and I am your preferred parent for most tasks. As your personality emerges, I've watched you start to struggle with things I struggled with as a child. I'm hoping that will help me anticipate your needs. You are definitely more shy lately. But sometimes you declare, "I'm not going to be shy." And you aren't. I love that.
"That's Papa's spot." You are very concerned with doing things correctly and are quick to inform people of their mistakes. This is especially true with Kaleia. Sometimes it is helpful -- like when you inform us that she getting into the dog water or making her way to the stairs when the gate was left open. Sometimes it's annoying, like when you reprimand us for giving Kaleia pain when she's crying on the change table.
"Does the big fork go here, Mama?" This need for reassurance on the correctness of your actions has been combined with your helpfulness. You are still pretty independent and want to do things on your own, but these days you give up more quickly and cry for help in order to do things right.
"Mama, you have blue eyes. Papa has green and brown eyes, called hazel." Along the same lines, you like to rehearse what you know and what is happening. It often feels like we have a play-by-play announcer in our house. You are especially obessed with eye color and whether or not people are girls and therefore have 'ginas or boys and have a penis.
"Mama, that's a red hand, not orange." Another thing you have become obsessed with is traffic lights. While walking together, I taught you about crosswalks and how we know it is safe to cross. You watch for the red hand or the white person all of the time. Papa tried to correct my misteaching by telling you that the hand was actually orange. This totally rocked your world. For days, you repeated that the hand was red. If we disagreed you grew upset, so we dropped it and let you think it was red.
"Papa, Stop! The light is red! That means stop!" Naturally, you developed an interest in traffic lights for cars too. Each time we drive through an intersection you announce your knowledge. One day, Papa turned right at a red light. You freaked out! So we had to explain free right turns. I never expected to have a backseat driver so soon!
"Different eat." In addition to your bossiness, you are pretty opinionated, especially about your clothes, but have also begun to battle over your food. When the options presented do not suit your liking, you request to have different food and, like many things in your young life, you prefer consistency. You have yogurt or a bagel almost everyday for breakfast.
"What is happening after my snooze?" You also want to know what is happening at all times. You want to know what day it is and love to cross days off on the calendar. On the positive side, routine and keeping you informed of what is happening battles your increasing "whys" and "whines."
"When I am 3, I can wear panties to bed." "You have to be 7 to crack eggs." You are pretty much potty-trained and could probably wear panties to bed now. But one day when you asked me when you could wear them I told you three. I've learned that I have to be careful when I tell you what the rule is, because you hang on to and enforce them.
"You are happy, Papa? Why are your eyebrows sad?" You are still very in tune with people's emotions. You've grown more affectionate. Out of the blue, you will rub my back or stroke my face and tell me that you love me. You still need and give kisses as a cure-all for pain. Mona and Baby are still very special and are well cared for. You pour out your love on them, mimicking everything you see us do, including giving them time-outs, announcing that Baby needs to calm down.
"Mona needs to go potty." Your imagination is elaborate and active! In spite of your need to have things predictable and just so, you are able to pretend just about anything. You love imagining yourself as a banana when you are wrapped in your yellow towel and demand that we eat you. In addition to raspberries (or zerberts) you request blackberries and blueberries on your tummy.
"Would you like some pancakes?" You still love to cook -- both pretend in your kitchen and for real in Mama's kitchen. You know about letting dough rest and can handle a whisk pretty well. Holding your knife in one hand and your fork in the other, you cross them back and forth, to cut our pretend food into little pieces. You "read" my recipes and count the ingredients.
"Can you read with me?" Books go with you everywhere, even to bed in the dark. You have memorized lots of lines and say them on the correct page. Sometimes you read front to back, other times back to front. You still love books where you identify things, but books with a plot line are piquing your interest. Your current favorites are The Three Little Pigs, Walter the Wolf, and Curious George.
"I need to take a bath. I'm pretty stinky." So much of what you do and say makes me laugh every day. You brighten my day and challenge me to grow. I cherish you.
Lova you...to the moon and back.
Friday, October 8, 2010
A letter to Magnolia:
These are things that I've noticed, that I love, that I never want to forget about how you are at 2.
You are growing, changing, learning so fast it is hard to keep up. We find you copying almost everything we do. We see elements of ourselves in you as well as your own emerging personality. You get excited, just like me, over little things like a cozy bed or blueberries hiding in your yogurt. You've inherited my ticklishness, but unlike me, you invite it. Papa loves this! Just like your Papa, books go with you everywhere -- to the potty, to bed, in the car. You "read" on your own and to Kaleia. Kid books, contemporary art magazines, it doesn't matter.
Everyday new words come out of your mouth surprising Papa and me. We already miss your baby words like "nu-nu" (bunny). You say things like "Sounds good" and "A-K" (okay) and at 2, call yourself "you," which is no wonder since that is how we address you. Some of your attempts at correct pronunciation are hilarious. "Ho-ho-potty" (Hippopotamus) is one of my favorites. Or like how you can't just call something little or small. It has to be "little tiny baby ho-ho-potty" in a high sqeaky voice. You also still accompany speech with signs when you are really excited. And at times your increasing vocabulary makes you pretty hard to understand.
These breakdowns in communication are beginning to turn into meltdowns because at 2, you are very emotional. When faced with a choice you are often crippled with regret after your first choice and passionately flip-flop between wanting the two choices. (Sorry for the times we could not hold in our laughter. It's just really funny.)
The easy choices for you are whether you want to do something on your own or if you want help. You are independent. For the most part you dress and feed yourself. You love to brush your teeth and floss. Sometimes you even do your own airplanes when you need encouraging to finish food on your plate.
Although you prefer to do things for yourself, you love to be a helper. If you hear the dishwasher open or the dryer door close, you come running to help put dishes away and fold clothes. I can't cook a meal without you running in asking for a chair so you can cook too.
To balance your newfound independence, you've also grown more affectionate. You ask to be held more these days and love to cuddle. You like to give back rubs--and we love receiving them. Much of your days are spent caring for Mona or Baby or the animal of the day, rocking, feeding (both breastfeeding and in the high chair), and putting her to bed.
Your caring nature goes beyond the pretend world. You are in tune to whether people are happy or sad or tired, often equating the last two. You've moved beyond Mama kisses as the cure-all. Your kisses apparently have healing power now too and you generously administer them whenever you hear someone exclaim in pain. You have soothed us all, including yourself and have even taught Mona the art of healing with kisses.
You are especially in tune to your sister's needs, often hearing Kaleia's waking cries before the rest of us. Your peek-a-boo makes your sister laugh the hardest. Recognizing when Kaleia needs a toy, you happily provide one for her, sometimes even sharing your Mona.
But the sharing must be on your own terms. You say "No, no, no Keia" when she gets into something you believe she shouldn't have. But you are your bossiest with the dogs, often banishing them from a room or instructing them to sit. Even so Otis can get you to laugh harder than anyone but Papa. You and he will often chase his tail together. Your animosity may come from the fact that Otis likes to eat your books and wooden puzzles. Usually, you just state that it is sad, and play with the mangled puzzle pieces anyway.
That you are able to forgive this offense so easily is impressive because you LOVE puzzles. Both jigsaw and magnetic-bear-dressing entertain you for hours. You build towers and lines with blocks, organizing by shapes and color. You are always on the look out for matches. You love to count and say your abc's. You can be distracted while driving in the car by finding letters.
You love to sing. Sometimes you practice songs you know or make up your own. You've got twinkle, twinkle little star down and can almost do the ABCs, but you are pretty shy about singing when you know someone is listening. At bedtime, we sing ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and Rock-a-bye Baby, with the occasional bonus track: Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
There is so much I treasure and love about you at 2. I know you will outgrow many of these things and others will form the building blocks of your character, but either way they make up a layer of your story that I will always love.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"Mama, I have a question for you. What are we having for dinder?"
"Mama, I have a question for you. This is Lion. He is a Papa and he went to the store with me and he went in the car with me two times."
I guess I should go in and remind them to go to sleep. It is getting late.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I give no more and no less.
She stares at the plate bewildered. Then her eyes light up and she says, "Mama, I want five peas and five noodles."
Again, I oblige.
This time her confusion doesn't last as long. As she stares at her near empty plate Maggie exclaims, "Mama, I want EIGHT peas and EIGHT noodles."
This time when I hand her plate back, she is crestfallen. "Mama, I want....I want...," she stammers, eyebrows furrowed.
Sensing that the mounting frustration is going to trump our little number sense lesson, and not wanting to count large numbers of little peas and noodles, I suggest, "You want a lot of peas and a lot of noodles?"
Relieved and enthusiastic, she replies, "Yeah! I want a lot of peas and a lot of noodles!"
As a math teacher, I am more and more amazed at how natural the concepts of number sense come to kids. I am baffled at how students get them so messed up by the time they get to high school (Number sense is one of the most struggled with topics on our state exam). I won't spend too much time on my education soap box here (maybe another blog in the future???), but I think these natural situations are the best way for letting kids develop a solid number sense.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Whenever Brian is gone -- "Is Papa at his djudjio?"
An often repeated story -- "Essherday, we didn't have a car because we didn't have keys so we didn't drive because Papa was at his djudjio and we took the bus so we camed to the Farmer's Market and we had lunch with Papa at his djudjio and Kaleia was in the little stroller and I walked."
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
All quotes from today:
"Essehrday we flew to Califoner on an airplane." (This happened two
"I had yogurt and Papa's cereal essehrday." (This happened this
"Essehrday we went to a park with a playground and the ocean." (This
happened just a little while ago.)
Amorrow: (adverb) 1. the day following this one 2. a future period of time
"Where are we going amorrow?"
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
After letting go of her helium-filled balloon -- "Mama! My bloon flewed away!"
In the bath, with her foam letters -- "The letters are flewing around in the water."
On our way to California -- "We're flewing on a airplane."
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Now, after waiting a few moments to make sure their sleep is sound, I tiptoe over sleeping bags and do my best to silence the obnoxiously loud tent zipper. The river rushes nearby and I successfully escape to the nearby cabin where the Clark parents, whom we’re vacationing with, and my parents, are playing cards.
My teen years, like most people’s, weren’t always the best of times, but I get nostalgic for those summer nights in the tent and cabin. The Clark kids—Sarah, Peter, Becky and Daniel—who made many memories with us at my Grandpa’s river cabin are all grown up now.
The youngest, Sarah, the one I call Little Fred, just graduated from high school. Are those little hands that could barely help make the solar system mural on the back fence during my self-run summer camp, really off to Gonzaga this fall?
Peter, or Pedro -- a nickname I gave him because he always wanted to help with my Spanish homework -- is now a junior at SPU, my alma mater, and a Peer Advisor, just like I was.
Becky, who loved the Pocahontas sound track and candy salad just graduated from Pepperdine and married a Brian of her own!
And I can still see the eldest, Daniel, trying out his favorite Power Ranger moves, a show he made me watch more times than I'd like to admit. Now he lives on his own with his new puppy and works as a bartender and server. I guess it shouldn't surprise me so much...He is 24.
But this summer I have been surprised by how much they all have grown up as I've attended a graduation party, a shower and a wedding. On a couple of occasions these kids also babysat my kids. It all brought so many memories flooding back.
Clark kids, you all have a very special place in my heart. I sure wish we could find that time capsule we buried at Grandpa's cabin. I bet it would bring back even more memories....