Saturday, November 25, 2006

trophy wall

trophy wall
Originally uploaded by skweerell.
Roen often rewards himself for his various accomplishments by making himself a trophy. The above picture shows the trophy wall in his bedroom. Most of the trophies are of the Mario theme. It really kills me how much he affirms himself and also others. He's always quick to tell me I'm doing well at something. If I made a good lunch for him, he'll tell me I did a good job cooking. He loves to cheer for Daddy while Daddy plays a video game.

Simone actually explodes affirmation. She's always telling me how much she loves me but she also compliments minor things too. The other day, she complimented me on putting an orange lid on the orange sippy cup. I don't usually bother trying to match the colors. I just throw the nearest lid on the cup. I thought it was so funny, that Simone thought I finally managed to get it right.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by skweerell.
We had a lovely and peaceful Thanksgiving. I made the most delicious sweet potatoes ever and even Roen ate them. My mom got a fresh turkey right from a farm and it was sooo good even Roen ate it. Last year, Ro and Sim cried through Thanksgiving dinner and wouldn't eat any food. So, we've had a big improvement. After we were all stuffed, then we watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Then, my mom kept both kids and we got the rest of the day off. We were thankful indeed.

We worked on a paper thankful turkey for the last week or so. Simone and I made it's body and traced her hands and cut them out for wings. She's been a bit blah about crafts lately, so I was glad she enjoyed it. I think it was the googly eyes that sold her on it. Then, each day we added paper feathers to the turkey's tail with something for which we were thankful. Simone was thankful for the letter A, bubble bath, and candy. Ro's first feathers were for bacon and pigs. Then, ducks, toys, and games. I was really surprised by the ducks, pigs, and bacon but Ro is always full of surprises.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

tiger tiger burning bright

Ever since Halloween, Simone has adopted her fleece tiger costume as her uniform. She wears it as quickly as I can wash it, which is fine because it's a great winter outfit. She also has a tiger bath towel so she she gets plenty of time to run around and shout YAWR! at us all each day. She likes to tell us that tiger roars should make us happy and not scared.

She's even starting to identify with tigers to a degree. She squeals when she sees any pictures of tigers in books and even Tony the Tiger as we cruise down the cereal aisle. I always quote a little William Blake for her. The Tiger was a poem I liked a lot in high school and is one of the few that I remember from English Lit. It's from The Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

a man walking in town

I play a mix of kids music in the car when we drive. One song happens to be instrumental. It's a Hawaiian Guitar song that Daddy got from the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack. The kids always ask me what the song is about and I say it's just music to enjoy. There's no story. However, Roen wasn't satisfied with this explanation at all and asked me for weeks. "What is this song about? What is this song about?" Finally, we asked him, "What do you think this song is about?" He said, "This song is about a man walking in town." We talked for awhile about what the man might be like and how he smiled and waved at people as he walked. He still talks about it a lot. For the imagination, it's funny how less is more so many times.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mouse Soup

I find our evening routine exhausting sometimes. It's hard to get the kids to stop playing and get in the bath. It's helpful if I can figure out a way to transition them into the bath with play. I did this yesterday with Mouse Soup. I was tiger chasing the mice (the kids) around and then I'd catch them and eat them up. Then, they'd run off again. I started the bath last night and let it run very slowly and I caught the kids and told them I was going to make soup out of them. Then, I put them in the bath and gave them big kitchen spoons to stir the soup with. Then, we added spices (packets of Aveeno Oatmeal bath) and stirred it up. Then, I'd taste the soup and say it was yucky and pour some Epsom salts on the kids and in the bath. They'd laugh and stir up the soup. All of our foam bath toys were onions and potatoes and other soup veggies. They had so much fun. They play Soup Shop a lot now and make me bowls of yucky soup in some toy drums we have for the bath.

Mouse Soup is also the title of one of my favorite Arnold Lobel books.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween

jacks, originally uploaded by skweerell.

We've had a good halloween. Ro went as R2D2 and Sim was a tiger. We hit about 10 houses on our street and then the kids were tired and we went home and handed out candy to a few more tricker treaters. Simone kept saying she wanted to get "More Candy" after each house until the end. Then, she said, "I don't want to trick-or-treat again!" and got really grumpy. I'm not sure what part Roen liked best - the trick or treating or giving it out when they came to our door. He seemed to enjoy both.

We carved pumpkins of course. The kids drew the faces on and I cut them out. Simone had a happy pumpkin and Roen had a scary pumpkin. They were both sort of grossed out by digging out the slimey seeds but they both kept at it very diligently. Ro wanted his to stay in his room as his nightlight.

We've also had lots of discussions about the reality of witches, ghosts, mummies, skeletons and vampires and their origins. Ro is quite puzzled by mummies. They are sort of difficult to explain and I feel awkward trying to explain embalming and wrapping dead bodies to a five year old. Ro just doesn't understand why a child would want to pretend to be a cursed dead person and stagger around in all those bandages. I don't either. It's hard to explain why some people enjoy being scared and making up scary and creepy stories.