Friday, November 13, 2009
It all started when she kind of taught herself how to write the letters and showed me one day... It was crazy! I didn't even know she knew how to do it! I had tried and tried to get her to write and read, but she is so active that it was hard for her to want to sit and figure things out. Then, I gave her a spiral notebook one day and she started writing in it for long periods of time. Then, I drew the elementary lines -- you know, the blue lines with the red dotted middle line? I wrote one example of letters and she was supposed to practice them by writing the letters after the one I wrote. She did this for 3 hours straight!! ?? THREE hours! Now, you can seldom find her without her notebook nearby. She knows how to spell her name, Rowan's name, Mama, and Papa! I'm so proud. I got some "sight words" for Preschoolers at the dollar store and I've posted them on her bookshelf tonight. I hope she finds them in the morning... :)
Rowan is talking up a storm! He's one of those kids who should be on "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Here are a few examples:
The other morning, he had crawled into bed with us and when Ingrid woke up and came in, he looked at her and said, "Good morning, Sissy! What's up?" (even funnier when said with a paci in the mouth...)
The other night during nightly prayers, Rowan thanked God for feet. Then, he proceeded to thank God for EVERYONE's feet. Everyone. :) He probably listed about 20 people's feet to thank God for... :) Made me really think about how thankful I am that my feet work. Out of the mouths of babes....
On another morning, Rowan took Ingrid's face into his hands and said sincerely, "Sissy, you bootiful." AWWWW! :) Now, he says it to all the women in his life... He's learning the art of wooing. It works. When I told him that he was beautiful, too, he said, "No, Mama. I'm a prince." I guess princes aren't beautiful. Apparently, princesses are...and Sissy is a princess. Thumbelina to be exact. Sweet....*sigh...*
The other day, I told him that he needed to do something, and he said no. So I said he couldn't have the thing he wanted (I don't remember what it was...). So he went over to the corner and knelt down on the floor and put his forehead on his hands in front of his knees. When I asked what he was doing, he looked up and said, "I'm angry." and promptly put his head back down. So I asked him why he was angry. He said, "Eeecause I like to." OK then.
He's big into emotions right now. He's labeling emotions very well. Ingrid still isn't always able to label how she feels. Rowan knows absolutely. His favorite game right now is "happy face-sad face." He loves to make different faces for emotions -- he's got quite the repertoire. I'm afraid he's an actor......but I'm sure you knew that already.
One last story on the boy... The other night, we wanted to have "family fun night" and Ingrid wanted to play Candyland, but we couldn't find it. So instead, Andrew decided we could all try to play charades. So, we chose animals as our category and Andrew pretended to be a gorilla. Ingrid guessed right, so we told her she was next. She went up and pretended to be a monkey. With a little encouragement, Rowan guessed what Sissy was trying to be, so we told him it was his turn to pretend! Would you believe that he went right up to the "stage" and got down on all fours and said, "BAAAAA" ;) When we guessed right, he started hopping around and saying, "Ribbit!" :) When we guessed that right, he turned around and ran around on all fours saying, "Nnnneeeeiiiiggghhh!" I could NOT believe my eyes! Do 25 month olds understand charades?? I guess mine does. And the animals he was pretending to be weren't even related to his two examples before! He did this 3 more times before we quit the game to go to bed. It was amazing to watch.
We went to the doctor for their well-child check-ups last week. They saw a new doctor in Oakland (a nurse practitioner named Danny Moon -- he was AWESOME.). Here are their stats:
Ingrid: 75% in weight AND height -- This is very unusual for us. She's been 10%-20% since she was born! ?? It's crazy that she's above average in height... She got two shots and needs two more in a couple of months. That was an unhappy surprise, but we got the meds in her--and she got a baby doll that afternoon! She also got a HUGE welt from her chicken pox shot, but she's feeling fine now. We also talked to her doctor about helping us get permission from the landlord to have an animal at our apartment. She seems much calmer around animals, and I think she could benefit from having something to take care of. She very seldom sits and rests when we're at home, but at the farm, she will sit quietly for a long time with her cat or with Bella. I hope it gets approved.
Rowan: 95% in weight......and 20% in height! Oh well. He's always been a bit of a bruiser, but I don't think you'd look at him and think that those were his stats. I think he's on the verge of hitting another growth spurt. Kids always beef up and then stretch out. We'll see how long he fits into his 18 month pants... He's already out of most of his 18month shirts. :) He's also 33.5 inches tall! Growing boy... He ended up needing a booster shot too that day, however, he didn't seem to care! He squinted his eyes and whispered, "Ow." and that was about it. A bit different when Ingrid followed him with hers. Andrew and I both had to hold her while the nurse gave her the shots. Rowan just willingly gave the nurse his leg. Oh, boys. :)
Well, that's what's going on here. I've got lots of pictures and stuff to post at some point, but my computer is pretty slow uploading pics, so I'll have to do that another time. Until then, take care!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It was Great-Aunt Trudy's birthday while we were there, so we had a family birthday party at Grandpa Darrell's. Here are Ingrid and "Trud-o," as Ingrid calls her, having a deep conversation. :)
The kids are lucky to know their Great-Grandpa Bud. Here's Ingrid making him laugh...something the stoic Swede reserves only for especially funny things. :)
Gramma Camra lives in Turtle Lake, WI. Here they are on her beach playing in the sand. Gramma Camra doesn't hesitate to get her hands dirty with the kids!! They love her.
Uncle Eric and the kids...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Here are a few video highlights (sorry it's so dark...it was a dreary day--and in a couple of these you can't see Ingrid very well, but there are some where you can...if you look hard--she's wearing a white shirt in the front row all the way on the left end...):
1) Here's the intro and the kids singing "Do-Re-Mi" from the Sound of Music using sign language.
Thanks, Carolyne and all the staff and parents of Sacred Meadow Montessori for lending me your children each week! We'll see you again for class in September! :)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Andrew said sadly that he saw one of the little blue eggs broken on the porch that morning....but he didn't see a yolk--
He stopped in mid-sentence and smiled as he hushed me from sighing...
From the top of the light, in the cozy little nest, we heard the faintest "cheep, cheep"! We have babies at our house!
What a cool thing to think our family's energy would attract a nesting Mama Robin and her chicks! It warms my heart. Easter is more than a story. It's a way of life... Thank you Lord, for this very tangible reminder of that.
I LOVE SPRING!
And I appreciate it.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Today, we went to my Mom's church for Mother's Day (Andrew took me out for really yummy Japanese food and gelato and book store time last night while Nicole and Julia took the kids! Thanks, hon!). Of course, the kids woke up WIRED. Not sure why, but Rowan COULD NOT sit still in church this morning. Usually, if I pack a drink and something to munch on, he's OK. I may have to talk in his ear to keep him quiet, but it usually works... Well, this morning NOTHING was working. He went from one person to the other, asking for a "bobble" and refusing anything that might have ordinarily worked. Andrew even had to take him out for a while, which we try not to do so he learns to sit quietly. That worked for about 10 minutes, and then he was back to whining and trying to climb under the pews...
We passed him around, and he finally ended back up on Andrew's lap. By this time, everyone around us was watching him. He decided that he was making a big enough scene that he could perform. He then proceeded to stick his finger up his nose and snort. I don't mean little snorts. I mean big, long snorts. Everyone around us was laughing as quietly as possible, but I felt sorry for the pastor (of course, he was a visiting speaker...) because our family (anita and her family were there too) made up probably a quarter of those in attendance today! Geez...
It doesn't end there...
Later, we went to the farm for the day. After lunch, I was eating a piece of triple chocolate cherry cake (yeah. It was as good as it sounds.) and couldn't eat the whole piece because it was so rich. I put it on the TV tray by the couch where I was sitting, and of course, at that moment, the kids came in and wanted some. I said no, there was some crying...well, who am I kidding? Lots of crying, dramatics, and rolling on the floor. Finally, they got distracted with some toys and books. In the mean time, I forgot about it and accidentally left it on the TV tray. You can probably predict what happened...
About an hour and a half later, we see Rowan coming into the kitchen from the family room with chocolate ALL OVER HIS FACE. ALL OVER. And he was so happy! :) The happiest he had been all day. It had been a bit of a trying day for him...clingy and whiny. Not now! He was in rare form...
Mom asked him where Mama's chocolate cake was, and he opened his mouth as wide as he could! Geesh...
Then, she asked him what he did in church and he stuck his finger up his nose and snorted.
Day over. I'm ready for bed!
Monday, April 13, 2009
We made it through our first Easter where Ingrid understands what's really going on... Rowan, on the other hand, not so much...but he had fun, too! :)
Ingrid was very disappointed that she didn't get to meet the Easter Bunny. She's a bunny-lover! :) At preschool, they have a bunny that the kids get to take care of, and she's in love with this little guy. When we started talking about the Easter Bunny, she gave both Andrew and me the 3rd degree. She wanted to know what he looked like, when he came, how he got the candy, where he came from, and why she didn't get to see him. Shew! It took some creativity, but she was enjoying the stories.
Then, we went down for coffee time with homemade hot cross buns and fellowship and then some attempts at pictures by the lilies. We got one family shot and several of Rowan trying to get away and Ingrid making silly faces.
This is the best one we got:
When I said, "Say cheese!", I actually meant for them to say it to the camera! :) But kids will be kids... It's actually really cute, isn't it?
Here are pictures of each of them. Cute, huh?After church, we headed back to Mom and Dad's where Aunt B and Isaac were waiting. Uncle B had to work, so he wasn't able to be there, but Bec and Isaac were able to stay. Then, the WHOLE family came over for dinner. It was fun with all the cousins there with the kids. We let them all gorge on candy and then run around and play all evening while I made cappuccinos for us adults. Fun! ;)
Here are cousins Joshua and Katie with Ingrid (the 3 musketeers...):
Here's Rowan and Isaac romping around on the loveseat:
We all tried to have a hand in making dinner. Melissa and her girls made lemon chiffon pies (YUM!) and hot cross buns, Anita made sweet potato/leek fritatta, Mom made the turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy, and dressing, and I made the kids cupcakes (from scratch, thank you!). Here they are decorated. I don't know if you can see what I was trying to do, but if you look closely (and use your imagination...), you can see the grass with easter eggs hidden in them and bunnies going down holes in the lawn (you can only see their white tails and orange feet...see them?).
I know...they're not professional, but we got a kick out of them. And I got pretty good reviews on how they tasted from the kids. ;) Fun.
The kids actually went to sleep last night, even with all the candy! Rowan woke up nasty, but he has been doing that lately... Today, we limited the candy, and we had a good day at the farm again! :)
Now, it's off to help clean up the place after a day of inside fun...
Happy Easter, everyone! Praise the Lord, Jesus is alive! :)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
This is an interview with Ingrid. I thought I might get some interesting answers...I wasn't disappointed.
Here are Ingrid's answers (with my thoughts in italics):
Questions about Mom
1. What is something Mama always says to you?
To feed the goldfish (actually, most of the time I forget...)
2. What makes Mama happy?
3. What makes Mama sad?
when we do rough things (yes!)
4. How does Mama make you laugh?
5. What was Mama like as a child?
6. How old is Mama?
7. How tall is Mama?
As tall as when you reach your arms up (I mean, hello...)
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
9. What does Mama do when you’re not around?
clap your hands (I think she actually meant it as an action, not a reaction to her not being there...)
10. If Mama becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know.
11. What is Mama really good at?
12. What is Mama not very good at?
getting out of bed (does my child know me or what?)
13. What does Mama do for her job?
14. What is Mama's favorite food?
vegetables (nice. That's exactly what I want them to think...)
15. What makes you proud of Mama?
when you work (maybe this redeems the fact that she thinks my favorite thing to do is work?)
16. If Mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
Clifford the Big Red Dog
17. What do you and Mama do together?
18. How are you and Mama the same?
our faces look a lot the same
19. How are you and Mama different?
We don't have the same shirt on
20. How do you know Mama loves you?
because Ms. Carolyne taught me (she had just come from preschool when I did this...I think it was still on the brain...)
21. Where is Mama's favorite place to go?
to church (I don't think the first year and a half of her life is lost on her...)
Questions about Papa
1. What is something Papa always says to you?
Be careful. (actually, I think that's me...)
2. What makes Papa happy?
When we're so good.
3. What makes Papa sad?
When Rowan does something like hitting or biting or pulling hair or hits the windows or hurts the chairs or boxes...
4. How does your Papa make you laugh?
make funny faces (true.)
5. How old is your Papa?
6. How tall is your Papa?
7. What is his favorite thing to do?
8. What does your Papa do when you’re not around?
9. What is your Papa really good at?
making up stories (very true.)
10. What is your Papa not very good at?
I don't know. (I could have prompted her on this question...but I didn't.)
11. What does your Papa do for his job?
does sign language (it's not easy to explain Positive Behavior Support to a 3 yr old...)
12. What is your Papa’s favorite food?
broccoli (really. Hmmm...)
13 If your Papa were a cartoon character, who would he be?
14. How are you and your Papa the same?
We both have silly faces
15. How are you and your Papa different?
We don't have the same shirts on
16. How do you know your Papa loves you?
Because he loves me (said very matter-of-factly.)
17. Where is your Papa's favorite place to go?
fishing (I believe this child might know her Dad pretty well, too...)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
But then, this morning as I was driving to school to substitute teach for Mom--in the dark--after being awakened 3 times during my short 5 hour night of sleep--downing coffee to keep from driving off the road--that my willingness to sacrifice (albeit not a large sacrifice, but enough to make it sting...) this morning and make it to school despite my many excuses not to -- is partly because we fast and give things up--not only for Lent, but as a discipline in the Christian Church. Apart from its parallel meanings to Christ's life and journey, it keeps the feeling of uncomfortability from feeling too foreign, giving us strength at times when life is, well, uncomfortable. And who isn't feeling uncomfortable right now?
Of course, I knew these things, but several points were driven home today as I listened to NPR news and the droning on and on about how we need a "quick fix" for the problems we face. This "practice" of feeling uncomfortable is such a radical idea in our world! I'm sure that if there were studies done during hard times on stress levels in people who fast and people who don't, I'll bet that the stress levels in people who fast are lower... Of course, I've never done such a test, but I know that from my own experience that once I took the whole sacrifice thing seriously (anyone with a child has done this to a point....), when hard times hit, I know I felt more prepared to handle them... Of course, you never get rid of the pain, but at least you know a little something about being uncomfortable and can say that you've been there. And at the VERY least, you find that the daily things you thought were uncomfortable, aren't anymore.
It's hard to remember this, though, when you're in the midst of sacrificing. A teacher/author I admire (Brian McLaren) once said that when he fasts, he "doesn't feel closer to God," he "feels closer to pizza!" :) But this week at church, our priest gave a sermon about dying to yourself...and how we immediately feel the effects of it. It's like living the Easter story! It's much easier to sacrifice when you believe that every time you deny yourself those comfortable things, you are dying to yourself so that new life can spring in its place! We are Easter people, after all! What a different end to the story than we are told on the news every night...
I'm still trying to stay true to my sacrifice, and even today, I failed a bit, eating cheese when I was supposed to avoid dairy... But the next time I put something in my mouth, I have a new chance to die to myself...and remember that new life will spring up in me where the old life ended. And who doesn't need a second chance now and then?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
However, this day, instead of chanting the cute little "out, out, out!" with me, after I told him "out, out, out!" he looked up at me and said,
Oh my Lord. I don't think I can handle TWO "super whys" in my house!!!!! I was completely bewildered.
Now, it's MY turn. "Why, Lord, why?"
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
It's Thursday, and Andrew had to go to Fairmont for work today and Ingrid goes to preschool on Thursdays, so it's just Rowan and me home today. I'm enjoying my Thursdays. I can get caught up after a marathon day on Wednesdays (preschool music classes and Fairmont voice lessons). We're starting a new Kindermusik class on Thursday evenings. Rowan gets a morning Kindermusik class with Mama and Ingrid gets one in the evening! I'm enjoying alone time with both of them, playing music and dancing in class. I feel blessed to be able to do this for them and their little friends! :)
Before Andrew took Ingrid to preschool on his way out this morning, I took a video. She was making up really funny songs, but once the video started, she forgot what she was doing. But it's a cute video anyway. Here it is:
Rowan is so funny. He's still an easy-going guy, although he sure knows what he wants! Not sure if that's easy-going, now that I think about it, but he's so easily re-directed and so happy about life that his self-assuredness isn't pushy... He sure knows how to tear things apart, though! He can trash a room in RECORD time!! But he's sooooo happy about doing it, it doesn't make me too crazy. :)
The other day, I was getting him out of the car for Kindermusik class, and he looked at me and said, "Knock, knock." He even got the "k" sound! :) I laughed and said it back to him in disbelief. He frowned and said, "Oooo's dere?" I laughed and laughed!
Later, he looked at me and said, "Knock, knock." I said, "Who's there?" He said, "Pooh." I said, "Pooh-who?" And he crinkled up his face nose-to-nose with me and laughed!! Ever since then, that's his signature joke. I'm trying to get him to say, "Don't cry!" as a punchline, but he doesn't seem to think it needs one. :)
I can't wait to hear what else he has to say to us... Hmmm... Or maybe I can... :)
Anyway, here's a little video of just a few words he can say. He has a vocabulary of probably 40-50 words right now. And he has a new one for us every day! He surprises me daily. Here he is saying a few:
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This is a video of last weekend like I promised...
We have had lots of cold, snow, and ice this winter! It seems like every time I'm scheduled to substitute teach, it snows and we have a snow day! AAAAAAHHH! I'm not in control, though, so I'm trying to stay calm about it...
Today, there's been so much ice and snow that almost every county in WV closed schools--as well as a lot of Maryland. Even Marshall University is closed today, so Andrew has a paid day off! ;) Too bad we're snowed in and can't go anywhere... We can only think of things to do that require driving somewhere! Except cleaning...and NONE of us want to do that on a day off! :) So far, we've taken the cushions off the couch and jumped on them, tickled each other, danced around a little, ate butter sandwiches, caught up on Facebook and Blogger, walked on the treadmill, and asked each other every 5 minutes, "What do you want to do today?!" AAAAAHHH!
And tomorrow's prospects aren't looking good, either. I'm supposed to go to Fairmont for my first week of lessons at the college, but not sure I'm going to be able to get there--or get back... AAAAAHHH!
Really, though, it's kind of nice to be with each other with no agenda. I'm sure that the first day we can get out, we'll think of all kinds of things we could have done today. Hindsight is always 20/20... :)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Good times. Here's a picture journal of our family day....
Rowan & Eli having fun
Rowan had his own runner sled. It used to be Aunt Anita's...and before that, it was Granny's!
Papa being a Papa--or a sledhorse! :)
The whole gang...
A Snowy Day in Aurora...
Stay tuned for some videos...