Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I read the book "Seven Blind Mice" by Ed Young to the kids today. It's a great book for learning colors, ordinal numbers, and a great lesson about looking at the big picture. The kids cut out seven mice and colored them according to the mice in the book. They colored and cut out an elephant and glued tails on the mice. I read some math story problems and had the kids act them out with the mice and elephant. That was the end of my plan, but it was only the beginning, as far the kids were concerned. They taped the mice and elephant onto straws to make puppets. Then they disappeared into Noah's room to make a puppet stage. I stayed in the kitchen to make dinner, and I could hear things crashing in his room. They kept making trips to the pantry to get soda cans, apple juice bottles, and lots of other things. Then they started emptying the bookshelves and hauling it all into Noah's room. I tried to ignore them, because they weren't asking for my involvement, and I was enjoying the time alone to cook, but I knew they were making a gigantic mess. I squashed my control issues as long as I could, but once I got the casserole in the oven, I went to see what they were doing. They put on a cute puppet show for me, and then I made them get busy cleaning up. That's the when the arguing, complaining, bossing, whining, and not listening started. Two of us ended up in tears, and Mike came home in the middle of a tense situation. But before it turned ugly, there were a lot of good times.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We spent the morning cleaning the bathroom and making collages. See how happy Noah looks while he's scrubbing that drain plug with a toothbrush? He seriously loves to clean, especially disgusting detailed jobs like that. I discovered that neither of my kids was aware of how many months are in a year (!), so we made a collage of months. Sarah's attitude needed some adjustment (actually, a complete turn-around), so we did another collage of the things on which we SHOULD be focusing. It was supposed to be a lesson for the kids, but every time I look at those dolphins jumping in the sunset, it makes me happy. It's not just the kids who need to focus on what's good and lovely.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This was the artwork in our hotel room in Chicago. When Noah saw it, he said, "That looks like something Sarah scribbled!" I agreed and wondered how much the artist got paid for it. The funny thing is, we kept coming back to it and studying it and commenting on it, and I finally realized that THAT'S what makes it art. If it had been a nice scenic picture, we may have commented that it was pretty, if we mentioned it at all. But we ended up spending a considerable amount of time discussing this "scribble".
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
-the perfect weather
-watching the kids chase pigeons
-the great food
-the Asian taxi driver who loved my little Asians and gave them a candy bar
-beautiful harvest moon over the Chicago River
-eating ice cream at the zoo with Nina and Julia
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
N-catching the escaped crickets
S-knowing where the measuring cups/spoons are
S-using good manners
N-finding the wooden spoon
N-knowing what a pastry blender is and how to use it
N-figuring out that the tablespoon makes a good cottage cheese scooper
S-sharing and being generous
The next challenge was a very difficult treasure hunt. They're used to treasure hunts, but this one had a new twist: the clues were written in code. Noah very impressively decoded the clues and read them to Sarah, who was very good at finding them. The treasure was a painting activity, which they did while I washed dishes. During the painting, Sarah was rushing through it and said, “I want to get this done so I can go to DQ!” (we’re going to DQ tonight to celebrate her Gotcha Day). Noah told her, “Take it easy and enjoy this time in your life. Someday you won’t have this kind of life. You’ll grow up and be an adult and you’ll have to work and then you’ll die.” Sometimes he's so wise and profound! They learned a lot, and I learned that they are capable of more than I realized.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
1) The kids and I gathered up all the board books and other babyish books that they've outgrown and bagged them up to give to my friend with a baby.
2) Sarah and I concocted a soup made almost entirely from leftovers. The only new thing I added was an onion. I cooked it in chicken broth and Sarah threw in leftover broccoli, carrots, pork, and mashed potatoes. She put some cheese on top, and we ate it. The kids loved it and spent several minutes brainstorming a name for it (which I have since forgotten).
3) I washed and de-stinkified our towels, washcloths, and dishrags. How do they get so stinky??? I washed them using nothing but vinegar and very hot water in the first cycle. Then I ran them through again using my usual laundry detergent. Then I dried them on an extra long cycle. They came out smelling good and looking bright and fluffy.
The rest of the day was spent playing together and reading a lot.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Today I was wearing a pair of khaki pants that someone gave me about ten years ago. They used to be too big on me, and now they're too tight. They've always been too short. The button has been missing for a few years. Today the zipper broke. I discovered this when I had to pee really bad, and the zipper was open at the bottom but still zipped up. So I pretty much had to rip it apart in a hurry. It was a liberating moment when I decided to get rid of these pants right then and there. But what to do with them? I certainly couldn't give them to anyone. I hated to take up landfill space, but I decided the only thing to do was throw them in the garbage. On my way to the garbage can, I spotted my kids, who were lolling around in the living room, looking bored. On an impulse, I tossed my pants to them and said, "Who wants to destroy my pants?" Were they ever excited! Their eyes lit up and they headed outside, saying things like, "Get the scissors!" "Bring the markers!" "Hey, I know! Ask Mom for a bowl and some food coloring!" They were busy for a long time and made quite a mess.