Thursday, January 9, 2014
Because of his deep love for cardinals (have I never written about that? In addition to sports, he enjoys birdwatching, and is really into cardinals), his new favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals. We traveled to Arizona this past October to visit a friend and he's still annoyed we didn't go to a football game there. But his second favorite team is often FSU, thanks to a great season and lots of opportunities to watch on TV (and a desire to please Mommy, too). (His other teams are the Bears (to please Daddy), or sometimes the Redskins, again for Mommy.)
Anyway, Sunday night, at dinner, we had this conversation:
M: Guess what - tomorrow night FSU is playing in the championship game!
A: Really? (munch munch on dinner) Who are they playing?
A: Is Auburn any good?
M: Well, Auburn is really good. I'm a little nervous.
A: Auburn is going to win.
M: What?! Why do you say that?
A: You said they were good.
M: Well, FSU is really good!
A: (munch munch)
M: FSU has the best team! Auburn has won two games on last second, weird plays! FSU has really good players! The FSU quarterback won the Heisman!
A: (munch munch, unmoved by my increasingly strident arguments)
Daddy: starts interjecting to also chime in that FSU is good
A: (munch munch, completely unmoved)
M: A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK FSU WILL WIN! [the line, at that point, was FSU by 9]
A: (completely flat tone) I don't.
So, yeah, there was that. I was pretty nervous that FSU could pull it out, and now completely convinced my 5 year old had predicted the game.
Monday night, Rich worked with Elizabeth on her homework assignment that we had all break to do but waited until the last night, and Andrew and I watched the game.
When Auburn went up 21-3, Andrew calmly observed: "They are crushing us." And it was at that point that I decided it was time for him to go to bed.
(But when he came into our bed in the middle of the night, I was pleased to be able to tell him he had been wrong and Florida State had won the National Championship. So there!)
Sunday, January 5, 2014
This post was inspired by Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin where she runs a nine month experiment to create happier surroundings. JoinFrom Left to Write on January 6 we discuss Happier at Home. You can also chat live with Gretchen Rubin on January 7 on Facebook! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
One of Elizabeth's good friends on the street started piano last year, and initially I was going to contact that piano teacher. But then a former music teacher at Elizabeth's school started giving private lessons as her main business, so without hesitation I contacted her the very next day after I bought our piano.
Last year, Elizabeth's school offered a free music class for first graders one afternoon a week after school, taught by her new piano teacher. She seemed to like it a lot, which was great.
At one of the last lessons I asked Ms W how things were going and she said it was all great. Elizabeth was a lot of fun to have in class. Then she paused and added, she is going to be something as a teenager.
And of course, my mind immediately went to, omg, she is going to be a handful, she is so stubborn and determined and willful now……..but before I could say anything in response, Ms W continued, "she is a really cool kid, you can just see she's going to be a really fun, unique teenager. Can't wait to see how great she's going to be."
And I was, simply put, floored. That may be the single greatest compliment I have ever heard about Elizabeth. We struggle, often, with our determined and fiercely independent and stubborn daughter. But those very traits that exasperate us so much can also serve her very well in life. Ms W gave me a great reminder of that, and I remain grateful for that reminder, something that I've tried to keep front of mind since. It's not always easy, but it's important to remember.
There's a lot of space between the first lesson and being able to play the piano. And we have a lot of practice time to get through. But she's off to a great start.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
And this one did make it to Facebook - there are some benefits to dog walking.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
We saw a lot of movies this summer in the theater - it was a fun family outing on a weekend night, and there were some really good movies this past summer I'm glad we saw.
Anyway, standing in line to get popcorn one night, I noticed Elizabeth staring up at this very large promo poster:
Mommy, is that The Beatles?
OMG, Parenting FAIL!
Monday, November 4, 2013
So I picked up Little House in the Big Woods with some level of trepidation. The interesting thing to me about reading children's book now is having the capacity to evaluate the writing choices of the author and the ability to step back a little and put the book into a historical context, as well as imagining the adult perspective of the child's view.
I've decided that Beverly Cleary and Laura Ingalls Wilder are essentially the same books. What both authors do well is to focus on the family as a unit, and the smallest child's place in that family. They remind the reader of how special it feels to be inside a circle of love - the love a child feels for her parents, the love of a family together.
One night this summer I was reading aloud from Little House in the Big Woods and got to this passage:
[Pa] had curried the horses until they shone. He had swept the wagon box clean and laid a clean blanket on the wagon seat. Ma, with Baby Carrie in her arms, sat up on the wagon seat with Pa, and Laura and Mary sat on a board fastened across the wagon box behind the seat.
They were happy as they drove through the springtime woods. Carrie laughed and bounced, Ma was smiling, and Pa whistled while he drove the horses. The sun was bright and warm on the road. Sweet, cool smells came out of the leafy woods.
As I read I could picture the little family setting off on their adventure. In the back of my mind, I was admiring Laura (or Rose's) ability to set a scene so vividly with so few words, while also wishing I was riding along with them.
Suddenly, Elizabeth interrupted me with an outburst: "Oh, I want to be them!"
Sunday, November 3, 2013
As she approached age 5, I kept telling her we were going to start reading chapter books, and she would protest loudly that she DID NOT like chapter books and would not listen. I pulled out a staple I knew she'd love - Ramona! And soon after her 5th birthday I started - and for the first few sentences she protested over my reading, but then suddenly was enthralled. We would read at night before bed, and during the day I'd find her carrying the book around, parroting reading it to her toys or to no one at all. Beverly Cleary uses the word "scowl" a lot, which was a new word to Elizabeth, but one I heard her repeating over and over - she would speak a little jibber jabber when pretending to read aloud, but throw in scowl and Ramon and Beezus and a few other key words.
After the first few books in the Ramona series we read more classics - A Cricket in Times Square, Ralph and the Motorcycle, Charlotte's Web, the Bunnicula books. For a while I joked that we weren't reading anything published past 1980. We did dip into the Magic Treehouse books for a while, but mercifully she got bored with them (but I bet we'll have to revisit with Andrew). Based on a friend's recommendation, we even read The Hobbit last fall and over the winter. It took a while, and I wasn't sure it was a good choice, but she was immediately in love with it. Doesn't hurt that it has one of the best opening sentences in all of literature. I'll have to write more on our adventures with The Hobbit in December (when the next movie comes out). I tried once to start The Wind in the Willows but she was not at all interested, so maybe we'll try that again later on.
We've spent some time with the Disney Fairy books, which are good enough in their own way. The one popular series I simply could not read was the Junie B Jones books. Like fingernails on chalkboard, and I have discovered I share my hatred with all of my book loving friends. AND, I also discovered everyone I know also corrects Junie B Jones's atrocious grammar while reading - it's like simultaneous translation, reading the crappy writing and correcting as you read aloud.
I'm already off NaBloPoMo pace - Sunday was too beautiful to spend any time blogging, so writing this Monday and backdating. So I will end here and divide what would have been a long post into two.