Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will as the Grammar Police

It seems that in addition to reading, Will has taken it upon himself to correct grammar. One day, after I picked him up from school early, we went back to my office so that I could wrap up some work. I gave him my calendar and my markers. He did some normal things, such as drawing a picture of him and Alex celebrating Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving and he wrote the month numbers on the little months at the bottom of the calendar. I'm not sure why it looks like July and August are exploding with blue suns, but I'm sure there is a reason. He also wrote "Dec" in green after the last day of November on the calendar grid. So I think it's safe to say he understands calendars and dates.

The remaining question is, "What are all of those orange lines?"

If you look closely, you will see that they all originate from the text "with 's"

The original one points to the 29th where I had written "Read Will Class" My intention was basically "Read - Will's Class" I also had "Read Alex Class." Will decided that it should be, "Read with Will's Class" and "Read with Alex's Class" so he wrote the "with 's" and drew lines to every calendar event where the reading events were mis-labeled.

The end result - when I look at my calendar and realize it is the day to go listen to Will and his classmates or Alex and his classmates read to me, I get the message grammatically.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Pottery Anniversary to Us!

November 16 marked our 9th anniversary. According to the list of traditional anniversary gifts, this one requires a gift of pottery. According to the fact that we have children, out time is not usually our own. (We did get away to Chicago back in July while leaving the kids camping in Michigan with Grandpa and Grandma, don't worry, we have some time to our selves.)

Given the pottery and children combination, the natural conclusion is that we should go to an overpriced pottery 'studio' and paint some pottery. Also, as we just implemented an allowance system, we convinced the boys that their overpriced pottery should be practical piggy banks.

Will, being Will, took this interpretation literally. He got a pig-shaped piggy bank. Alex, on the other hand, got a penguin bank. Will was thoughtful about his choice, and picked the more expensive overpriced piggy bank because, "it will hold more coins!"

Will the Serious Artist

Painting the Penguin Bank

Unfired Painted Pottery

The boys wanted to take the banks home that day, but had to wait a week so that they could be fired. This is how they turned out...

Will's Japanese Picture Pose Required due to presence of cute piggy bank
Alex is taking the stance, I've got a penguin bank, can you dig it?

So next anniversary is the "tin/aluminum" anniversary? Any suggestions? I've already told Dan that he can abandon the traditional gift theme for the modern one. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Spoiled Little Bookworm

For all of your bookworms out there, do you remember bedtime? The time of the day where you would sneak a book into your bed, hidden out of sight until your parents left the room? For those of you who were super sneaky, perhaps a flashlight would accompany this book to assist with the reading under the covers?
As a kid, I didn't think my parents knew that I would read when I was supposed to be sleeping. As a parent, I'm just relieved at night when the kids are quiet and in bed. They could be plotting to paint the outside of the house purple with yellow polka dots for all I care, as long as they are quiet! Perhaps my parents were aware of nighttime reading, but just glad for some peace and quiet. In any case, Will learned to read, and read well, during 2011. And since Alex has given up naps, needs to get in bed early-ish, and refuses to stay in bed unless Will is in the room with him, we have developed a compromise. Will is required to be in bed at the same time as Alex. Once Alex is asleep, he gets his brand-new-early-Christmas-present booklight.

Reading in Bed with his 34 animals
(that's what happens when you avoid attachment to any one item)

No more squinting in the dark trying to read by the hall light! Now he just needs a little pocket to attach to his bed to store the booklight. That way, he won't have to bother us when he is done reading, thus maintaining our peace and quite into the night.

Alex the Fashion-ista

Alex is a California boy. A California boy with specific fashion demands. For example, he will only wear shorts. And he is very specific about his shirts. This started about a year ago when we had his dresser drawers organized into:

Top: Socks, Underwear, Pajamas
Middle: Shirts
Bottom: Pants

We noticed that Alex would complain about specific shirts. "That is a bad shirt!" After a while, we asked him to help us separate the good shirts from the bad shirts. This helped with the process of getting dressed in the morning as we didn't have to search through a drawer to find one of the "good shirts." It turns out that "good shirts" are defined as t-shirts, short sleeves, no collar, no buttons. So we created two different shirt drawers, one for good shirts and one for bad shirts. We were hoping that it was a phase and that he would go back to wearing all of his shirts, not just specific ones. But it was not. Come to think of it, I should probably empty out the bad shirt drawer and use it for something else.

So normally, you find Alex wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Although, sometimes, he gets a little creative and goes aqua-steam-punk on us.

Huntington Appropriate Attire?


Now that Alex has given up napping during the day, getting dressed in the morning has become a bit more challenging because he just doesn't wake up quickly from his deep nighttime sleep. So, we have solved the dressing issue in another way. We dress him for the next day the evening before. Yeah, so we don't really need a place for jammies anymore either.

Back to the shorts versus pants issue... we just took a short vacation to Colorado a couple of weeks ago. I was genuinely worried that we wouldn't be able to convince Alex to wear anything other than shorts. However, by combining the fact that we didn't pack very many shorts with the practice of dressing him the night before, we managed to get him into pants for his trek at higher altitudes. He probably didn't realize how much more fun wearing pants made the throwing of snow balls on Pike's peak. And, thankfully, he wore the coat we brought along too.

Crossing the Stream with Dad

Timely moral of the story: Should you decided that you need to get Alex clothes for Christmas or his Birthday or anytime in the near future... It's going to have to be shorts and t-shirts for now. We tried, we really tried, to get him to wear the long-sleeved t-shirts that Grandma and Grandpa sent to him (since they don't sell short sleeves in the winter in Michigan). He made an effort, pushed the sleeves as close to his shoulders as he could, but they just didn't stay.

Perhaps it's a phase...