Sunday, September 26, 2010

Interpretation

For the most part, Melina is a pretty good talker. She is loud, has a good vocabulary, and most people can understand what she says. Of course, there is some amount of interpretation that must go on, as she leaves out important words, or references something unknown. Most of what she says is pretty funny (at least to us) so I thought I'd share a few items for those of you that don't see her every day.

1. I DON'T THINK THAT IS AN IDEA! This is in all caps, since she usually says it pretty loudly to her siblings. We are pretty sure she is telling them that it isn't a GOOD idea.

2. Amorrow, Mommy, I go to Peggy's house. On Monday. Today not Monday. Nothing funny there. She is telling the truth most of the time, if it isn't Monday. And she loves Peggy's house.

3. I wake up ah Midnight, Mommy. The ah here is her form of a preposition. I like to think that she already knows French, and therefore chooses to use à, which means to, at, or in. And again, you can't say she isn't truthful. In this slow weaning process, she still sometimes wakes up at midnight.

4. Shadow smiled at me. He did. This one really makes us smile. She goes up to the dog's face, smooches him, and tries to hug him. She always says this, and tags on that, "He did." Somehow, it is just really cute.

5. Daddy, I wike your shirt. So far, the kid hasn't met a shirt she doesn't like. She says this to just about anyone (of course, then she inserts the right name) and to just about any shirt. She just said it to Tim tonight, and all he had on was a white T-shirt.

6. Time to sleep, wittle foal, wittle foal. This is my absolute favorite, and writing it down does not do justice to the scene. She loves to read Mem Fox's Time for Bed. Usually, one of us reads it to her while we lie down on her bed, and then she picks it up and reads it aloud. The way she pronounces the word foal, and repeats the sentence, over and over, is just hilarious and adorable. She also calls the snake a worm -- somehow it is a delight to see.A video would be good here, but alas, we don't have it.

The development of verbal skills is one of my favorite things to witness as a child matures. I can't wait to see what the next couple of years bring.

Friday, September 17, 2010

School Days

The kids seem to be enjoying school. They have been there for almost a month. They like the teachers, and they like their peers. However, this is the conversation we have been having every day:

Me: How was school?
Them: Good.
Me: Did you learn anything?
Them: No.

Now, I can't really remember what I learned in 3rd grade, let alone kindergarten. But I do remember going home, having a snack and doing my homework, and turning in papers at least a couple of times a week. So I wonder if school is going to ramp up a bit, now that the teachers have had time to access their classes, or will things just stagnate?

Up until this year, I have been relatively pleased with the kids' schools. Our school district is a good one, and is considered to be in the "Excellence with Distinction" Category. Who can complain about that?!? Now, I have said that Zoe has always had the more rigorous teacher, but all-in-all, I felt the girls were progressing. This year, our elementary school merged with another one (I think there are about 100 new kids added into the mix) AND we have a new principal. On top of that, the teachers always play musical chairs: Zoe's teacher this year taught 1st grade last year (and for many more before that). I think there will be time needed for adjustment to these changes, but how long do you give them? A month? Two months? Half a year?

You might wonder if I am going just on what the kids say. Nope, I have some things to back me up. The spelling words the kids have been coming home with are literally, first grade words. The math papers are a little better, but the reading work has been a little on the low side. My plan is to see how the girls are doing by the time conferences roll around. I am signed up to speak with both teachers on October 14. If, by that time, I do not have sufficient evidence that the girls are doing 3rd grade or higher work, I will be saying something -- first to the teachers and then to the principal.

You might also wonder about Aaron. Despite the fact that things in the kindergarten arena also seem to be slow to get going, I have faith. Talia had this teacher and learned from her. She became a better reader, writer, and more confident in school after having Mrs. H. Her awareness of math concepts also improved after kindergarten, so I am hoping that the extra kids in the class this year won't take away from Mrs. H's ability to shepherd her flock.

Look for another School Days posting to follow-up, I am sure!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All Clear!

Aaron had his urology follow-up appointment this past Thursday. Aside from waiting to see the doctor for one hour, everything went fine. His circumcision is healing nicely, and the surgeon was glad to see that everything went well. In fact, one of the first things out of the surgeon's mouth was, "Does it look perfect?" My first thought, and one that I shared was, "To be honest, I thought he was perfect before." He didn't have much to say about that, but looked at me and smiled. However, the surgeon did do a nice job, and I told him so.

***
Melina experienced Peggy's house this past Wednesday. When we arrived the kids were at the kitchen table, making banana muffins. I carefully placed Melina on one of Peggy's chairs, and gave her a quick smooch. She was nervous, but interested in making those muffins! When I went back to get her about 2 hours later, she was happily playing with Peggy and the kids in the basement. When she saw me, she finished playing with the toy she had, put it back in the bin, and gleefully ran to the steps for a hug. All weekend she has been saying, "Monday, I am going to go to Peggy's house." I think she enjoys having the other kids around, and it makes me feel less guilty knowing that she is enjoying herself.

***
Just wanted to post a few cool pictures of Melina, as taken by her babysitter, Brooke.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Soccer Mania!

Zoe, Talia, and Aaron have started soccer this season. Aaron is playing with the local rec center, and Tim is the coach. I'll likely have pictures of that at a later date. The girls had their first game yesterday. They are playing with the group from our parish. They are the smallest girls on the team, but can keep up with the other kids in terms of running. They did a great job yesterday...the team didn't win, but the girls had fun, and both Zoe and Talia kicked the ball pretty well. We took a picture of their first game day, just for posterity sake. Go Stags!