Monthly Archives: February 2009

Girl’s Day

Friday mornings are Mommy and Lola time. Girl’s day. She may only be 3 years old, but she is already a wonderful shopping partner! This morning we got dressed up and went downtown to the going-out-of-business sale at Cherub. We had so much fun!

Lola Gray looked so pretty and so grown up in this outfit, complete with her puppy purse. I had to take some photos before we left.

          

Coffee and sunshine

Today was a fabulous day! Coffee with the girls this morning, playing at the park this afternoon. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Of course I had the camera with me. Love these shots of Andra and Emilia.

And this one of Melinda and Ollie.

And this one of Linette . . .

Students Stand When Called Upon, and When Not – NYTimes.com

 

MARINE ON ST. CROIX, Minn. — From the hallway, Abby Brown’s sixth-grade classroom in a little school here about an hour northeast of Minneapolis has the look of the usual one, with an American flag up front and children’s colorful artwork decorating the walls.

 

But inside, an experiment is going on that makes it among the more unorthodox public school classrooms in the country, and pupils are being studied as much as they are studying. Unlike children almost everywhere, those in Ms. Brown’s class do not have to sit and be still. Quite the contrary, they may stand and fidget all class long if they want.

And they do.

via Students Stand When Called Upon, and When Not – NYTimes.com.

Endangered Words – Blog – NWF Green Hour

You know I am all for technology, and certainly for blogging, but this is crazy!

Picture this: A father and son are walking home from school. The boy bends down to blow on a dandelion. A classic image of childhood, wouldn’t you say?

Once home, the father reaches for a children’s dictionary — the one with the big colorful pictures and 18-point font, written just for 7-year-olds. The father says, “Let’s look up dandelion, son!”

If parents are rolling their eyes from the sickly-sweet unreality of this scenario, stay with me for a moment. It all goes horribly wrong.

They flip to the D section and … dandelion isn’t there. And near to where the word should be? Database.

That’s right — the Oxford Junior Dictionary has been slowly removing many nature words, and adding more technological ones.

For the record:

In: Blog, MP3 player, broadband, Blackberry (the electronic kind)

Out: Acorn, beaver, otter, blackberry (the purple berry you can eat)

Sure, there are plenty of other things beside lexicography for parents to worry about. But I ask you — is it absolutely necessary that kids understand broadband technology at age 7?

via Blog – NWF Green Hour.

Super Fletcher stikes again!

Last summer, Fletcher wore his cape everywhere. I snapped this photo of him practicing his super hero jumps on the beach during the Waldvogel family beach trip. He really looks like he is flying, doesn’t he? I entered the photo into a contest by Island Realty – they were searching for the best  Isle of Palms beach photo and the winner received a week long beach rental. Cool, no? Unfortunately, I didn’t win. But they contacted me yesterday to say that I was a runner-up and they would like to publish the photo in their Island Guide. That’s pretty cool, too.

Freaking out

Aaahh Freak out!
Le Freak, C’est Chic
Freak out!

I’m dating myself a bit here, but the lyrics to that old 70’s song keep running though my head. Yesterday was a day of freak outs for us – and not the fun dancing kind!

We kept it pretty lazy in the morning, venturing out only for a quick trip to Home Depot and then, on a whim, a stop at the going-out-of-business sale at Circuit City. That place was a madhouse – but they have some really good deals! We left with a new Tag book for Lola Gray (The Little Mermaid – a big coup. Wish they had had more Tag books! At only $5, we would have bought every title they had!) and a DVD of The March of the Penguins (again, only $5!) None of us had seen March of the Penguins, but I have always wanted to see it, so we headed home, popped it into the player, and snuggled in on the couch.

And this is where the first freak out started.

Have you ever seen March of the Penguins? It is an amazing French documentary about the life of Emporer penguins in Antarctica, following them as they journey to their ancestral breeding grounds and endure an unbelievably greuling winter. I knew it would be breathtakingly beautiful, and it was. What I did not know was how emotionally difficult it would be to watch, or the impact it would have on my incredibly sensitive little boy.

The life of a penguin is tough. I mean really tough. We watched an egg being laid by a proud Mama penguin and we were all sooo excited! And then, it rolled out from under her warm, protective belly for just a second. Literally. Just a second. And that was it. We watched, horrified, and the egg froze and cracked open. And Fletcher, tears welling up in his eyes, asked me if it died. And I had to say yes.

That was the first time he cried. He cried again when a mother penguin was eaten by the scariest seal you have ever seen in your life. He was eleated when the baby chicks hatched out of their eggs, even more so when the mothers came home from the sea in time to feed their babies before they died of starvation, but then was crushed when several chicks froze to death during a sudden wind storm. It was heart wrenching. When a giant seagull started attacking the penguin chicks and pecking them to death in front of our eyes, we finally decided enough was enough. Raymond and I will watch the rest of the documentary at some point. But not with the children. Eeesh. I had no idea.

We recovered from that freak out, but another was not far behind. At bath time, Lola Gray (our little fish) decided she only wanted about an inch of water in the tub. She has done this for the last week or so, freaking out that there was too much water in the tub. I don’t understand it at all, have no idea where this came from, but I’ve just been turning it off and not making a big deal of it. But last night that didn’t work. Fletcher and Lola were taking a bath together, and he wanted more water in the tub. Plus, we were worried about them getting cold. Lola Gray lost it. Crying and freaking out that the house was going to explode if we didn’t turn off the water. Hysterics. Full on hysterics. Raymond had this more or less under control upstairs while I was downstairs fixing dinner.

But then things went quickly from bad to worse.

Raymond called me upstairs to get Lola out of the tub. She was now full on SOBBING and maybe more worked up than I have ever seen her about anything because – get this – the water in the tub WOULD NOT TURN OFF. Raymond turned the knob all the way to off, but hot water was still gushing out of the faucet full force. Oh yeah. Lola is convinced the house is about to explode, Raymond grabs his tools and is trying to take apart the knob to figure out the problem, and Fletcher is just kicking back in the tub enjoying the show! (And adding sound effects, of course!) OMG! In the end, we had to turn off the water main and spend the rest of the evening with no water!

We turned the water back on this morning long enough for me to get ready for school. Lola Gray woke to the sound of water gushing into the tub, and of course immediately concluded that the house was about to explode. Fingers crossed we get this figured out soon.

I imagine Raymond is at home right now taking apart the tub and hoping against hope that he can get it back together again!

Did I mention that the “check engine” light in Raymond’s car came on while he was driving back from Florida Friday night? So we are down to one car while his is in the shop. Not that big a deal for today, but tomorrow when he has to take my car to Florida and I am home with the kids and no car . . . that could be interesting. We can make it work though. We have already discussed the fact that if one of the cars dies, we will do our best to be a one-car family for as long as possible. If I can learn how to pull the bike trailer, I think we can make that work . . .

Monday. Wow.

boy colors

My friend Jessica posted a wonderful tirade about boy colors on her blog, and I just can’t resist linking to it. (I hope she doesn’t mind!)

It wasn’t so long ago that Fletcher’s favorite color was pink. I’m not a big fan of pink myself, but fine. Whatever. We didn’t make a big deal of it. The girls at school however, were pretty fast at “setting him straight.” It broke my heart. I’ve done my best to make sure he knows he can like anything he wants, pink or blue, boy or girl, and I think he is coming around. Part of it is normal gender identification, and I’m ok with that too. Yes, I wanted to beat up the boy who told Fletcher that only girls painted their toenails, when just days earlier Fletcher had been soooo excited to have me give him a pedicure. But in our society boys don’t paint their toenails. I told Fletcher it was still ok with me if he wants to paint his toes. But it is also ok if he doesn’t. He chose not to.

All in all, I think Fletcher is at least starting to understand that boys and girls can both like lots of different things; that just because he is a boy doesn’t mean he can’t have a baby doll (which he does) and being a girl doesn’t keep his sister from loving Star Wars (which she does.) But he still doesn’t like to wear his pink polo shirt – even though both his father and grandfather have pink polos and look incredibly handsome in them. Oh well. One step at a time.

Click here to read Jessica’s post.