Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Faeries in the Rain

Katie is feeling much better, for which I am so thankful. Now we just have to work on making sure my mom gets well...

We had our art class this morning, with a focus on Georgie O'Keefe. We used a watercolor gradient wash technique to make flowers. We learned about warm color tones and cool color tones. This was probably Katie's best project so far. She really had a knack for the technique and didn't need too much assistance from me at all. It helped, probably, that we use watercolors frequently. Katie loves our teacher, Miss Meagan. Katie gave her the biggest smile when we entered class today, and Miss Meagan commented on how good it made her feel. I have been so satisfied with the Abrakadoodle experience. We have one more class and then our original plan was to take gymnastics for the next six weeks. Then we are signed up for the art class again. I want to see what Katie loves most: art, music, gymnastics, or all three? She has connected with music and art for sure, so we'll see what else catches her passion. I think one of our biggest responsibilities as parents is guiding our children through the process of discovering their passions in life. Bill and I don't believe in pushing children into anything they don't love---except maybe to try it and see and to make informed decisions. Yet we also want to expose our children to many different hobbies and interests and then nuture those enthusiasms. We do not believe in the concept of boredom or in being bored with life; we never understand people who say they are bored, as neither of us have ever felt that way...there is so much to read, learn, and do that living well is a matter of finding what inspires you and following it.

We came home for a moment after art class and finished addressing all of our valentines so that we could swing them by the post office on the way to some errands. Boppa stopped by, and we made plans to meet with a new CPA tomorrow. It is a long story---and not one appropriate for a blog to be sure---but we are no longer going to retain the services of our current CPA. He made a huge mistake, a HUGE mistake on something incredibly important. Anyway, I had to gather up the last three years worth of my returns and she is going to review all the family stuff tomorrow. I want to meet her before I totally engage her services.

Then Katie and I went to the Paperback Shack and really got lucky!!! We found several Berenstain Bear books and not ones I saw recently at Barnes and Noble. In fact, we found all of my favorites. We scored big also on an Eloise Wilkin book. Each book is only a couple of dollars at most. Awesome!

We made a quick dash into CVS in the pouring rain, then came home and splashed around in our raincoat and rainboots.

Later we read all of our new books, cuddling on the couch as the rain poured outside. We watched a bit of The Sound of Music and Katie discovered that, yes, she actually does like peanut butter. Such a perfect food...I knew I just had to be patient. ;-) Katie loves The Sound of Music and likes to sing along. We only watched the first half and then played some more.

We put together some puzzles, worked on our sewing cards, and dressed up as faeries.

Katie and I had several excellent conversations today. During lunch we were discussing our extended family, as we often do, sorting out the relationships. We talk about how people are related to other people, who is a brother and sister, who is married, and how generations work. When I quiz her on the relationships, Katie shows that she understands the complexity of it.

At one point I asked her, "And who is Violet's mommy?"

Katie correctly answered, "Fon."

I asked, "And who is Violet's Daddy?"

Katie said, "Jed."

Then I started asking about Amie's siblings. I said at one point, "Who is Amie's older sister?"

She said, "Aunt Debbie." Then she paused and said, "Sometimes she's Grandma."

I said, "Yes, you are right. Sometimes Aunt Debbie is Grandma. Whose Grandma is she?"

Katie said correctly, "Violet's Grandma."

I sometimes bring out the pictures of people who have passed, as I did today. Katie identified Uncle Eric as Amie's older brother. We talked quite a bit about Grandpa Don today, too. She seemed to make the connection, in particular today, that he is Boppa's daddy. We talked about how he lived at Valley Center part of the time and I said, "Guess what he liked to pick at Valley Center?" Katie's eyes lit up when I reminded her that Grandpa Don liked to pick avocadoes at Valley Center.

We talk about how Amie was Nana's baby and then grew up and married Boppa. Then they had a baby, and I said, "And who was their first baby?" Katie knew it was me. Then I asked her who Amie and Boppa's second baby was, and she knew it was Uncle David. I talked about how I grew up and married Daddy and then we had Katie. And then I said, "And now Uncle David is grown up, and it is his turn to get married. Who is Uncle David going to marry?"

And Katie knew: "Ashley."

Not only do I want Katie to love and appreciate her family, old and new, but also this kind of review and exercise is so good and natural for holding many moving parts and relationships in her head. She is building a whole schema and needing to hold it in her mind as we negotiate different people and how they relate. What I am really asking her to do is almost like a logic puzzle, and I am asking her to visualize all of the elements/people in her mind and connect them in her own way. I love doing this with our family structure, because then the importance of family is likewise impressed upon her.

She also used another simile today, which I loved. As I was cutting her waffles this morning before class, two pieces were still somewhat attached, and one dangled from the other as she picked it up. Katie described, "It is hanging like a windchime." Very cool.

I have some pics to post with this entry, but I might have to do it later! It is getting a bit late!