Friday, January 30, 2009

the I Love You book

A few days ago, Zoe asked to look through our wedding photo album. I suppose this book may have something to do with that... loosely :-)

She says the guy, on the left, "isn't happy, because he's lonely." The girl, "gets curious about him, so she sends him love." The placement of the girl to the right of the guy, inspired her to write the words, "I love you" backwards, on the second to last page. She drew an arrow to him to further illustrate the point that the girl was sending him love.

Finally, they get married on the last page, with "the flower girls on the left and the people who are invited on the right."

Zoe says her wedding, "Will have a chocolate cake with white frosting, and yellow flowers. The cursive writing will say 'marriage,' and the dress will be holded up without straps, and there will be sparkles all down it. Then I'm going to have a white crown and hair up in a ball. The wedding tables are going to be white with green leaves all around it, and two yellow flowers on the leaves. The chairs will be white leather for them to watch the wedding, and there will be a tea area, where you can get tea. It will be the tea set I got at Christmas, from Santa."

What are you going to eat? "Lasagna. Excuse me, I have to go the bathroom."

Bathroom interlude.

"Okay, what else are you going to ask me?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crazy for sheets!

Recently Zoe has been asking for a "fort" in her room, which she shares with her sister. When I asked her what she meant she described a ladder to a room that was closed off, but had a window... or something like that. It's funny because their bed, which is now a trundle, used to be a loft. We chopped off all the legs when we moved here because we knew we would put up a ceiling fan, and you can't have a loft with a ceiling fan! Still, I'm glad we lowered the bed though, because they are still young, and couldn't be in their bedroom alone with the loft.

So, after giving it some thought I decided to install a canopy around the bed, to create a fort. This brings me to the title of my post - I am crazy for sheets! I get them on clearance, because they come in tons of colors and patterns and they can be a great no-sew project. Not that I have anything against sewing, it's just not one of my crafts right now.

Like the girls curtains, for instance, are the cutest purple floral flat sheets that I lined with white sheets. They even came with a ruffle on one side, which I used for the bottom of the curtains.

But back to the fort. So last night I went into Bed Bath & Beyond, looking for a work calendar on clearance for Andrew. All they had were like Hanna Montana and such, so I struck out in that department. Then I remembered I wanted to look for sheets for the canopy, and sure enough I got these huge sheets on clearance half off! I was so excited. They even had a huge decorative hem on one edge, just what I needed for the rod pocket. (All I had to do was make a small slit in the back on either end and voila! Instant curtains!)

So I went next door to Lowes, and found these fantastic curtain rod brackets. They are sold with rods or seperately, and as you can see they are quite different from the creasent shaped brackets for the wall. These brackets are ring shaped because they are meant to be hung from the ceiling. Perfect!

The whole thing went up in a flash, and you can imagine she shrieks of joy when Zoe saw the fort! Ashley was so taken back, all she could do was smile with her eyes all wide :-) We spent most of the day inside the fort. We almost finished the book we're reading, we played Miss Mary Mack, and checkers, we ate apple slices and had a grand old time. It's good to be kids... errr, I mean, an adult who thinks she's a kid :-)

One other side note: The curtains (sheets) really keep the heat in, something I'm really excited about as an added bonus. Ever since the girls started sharing a bed, we have struggled to keep Ashley warm, especially here with the dramatic temperature drop at night. She wont use a blanket of any kind, so we layer her in two sets of long johns, but even so, she sometimes wakes up because she's cold. It dawned on me tonight that before they had heat, this is what people did! They wrapped their bed in curtains! I can see why - it's amazing how it holds the heat!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

72 degrees

For about, I don't know, 10 days now (?), it's been really warm here in the Front Range. Yesterday and today, in fact, have felt like 72 in the sunshine. It's so incredible, I feel like we live in Arizona right now. Well, winter in Arizona anyway :-)

Since we live in a new development the trees are not anywhere near mature yet, so we open up this tent in our front yard for the kids to play in and get some shade from the intense sun. Just a little while ago I added their "egg chair" (which spins all the way around BTW - so fun!) because the wind was blowing the tent away. I thought they looked so beautiful inside, eating their apples, I just had to take some pictures :-) Love, Kelly

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Hello Goodbye Window

The Hello, Goodbye Window was the 2006 Caldecott Award winner. Dear friends of ours gave it to us for Zoe and Ashley's birthdays that year. I didn't actually know it was a Caldecott winner until last summer when I bought it as a present for our neighbor's daughter, and saw the gold sticker. It is such an awesome book. It was instantly a favorite in our house. We've read it so many times that we quote the book :-) "You can be happy and sad at the same time you know. It just happens that way sometimes." And of course, as pictured above, "When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up." hahaha!

As the story and writing are wonderful, equally lovely are the pictures. I just want to jump right in! I would love to know Nanna and Poppy, visit their house in town, and look through their kitchen window to, "see if it's going to rain or be nice."

A side note, on the subject of reading - the book I read when I began homeschooling and have used to teach Zoe to read is: Teach a Child to Read With Children's Books (thanks to Amanda for recommending it!) Simply put, the technique is to just read to your children, from the time they are born. Read, read, and then read some more. At some point we started using our finger as we read, so Zoe could follow the words with her eyes as we spoke (she was probably 3 when we began using our finger as we read). I found I read slower this way, pausing on the first and last words of a sentence so she really sees them. As she picks up more and more "sight words" she enjoys saying them for me when I come to them in the text. There is no pressure, and no pain in learning to read naturally like this. Reading is as it should be, a pleasure.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My daughter talks. Miracles do happen.

This morning; Conversations with Ashley

Put this on her, please. (she says, giving me her babydoll and baby's pajamas)

(downstairs with paper and a pen) What's this say, Kelly? (I smile. She's never called me Kelly. She's also never talked like this either though ;-))
I - Love - You (pretending to write I love you)
Help please! Circle! (she wants me to draw a circle on the paper for her. I do)
Sun! (she exclaims about the circle I drew)
L - E - Y (pretending to be writing her name on the paper)

Drink, please! ("do you want a drink?" I ask) Yea. (it's only like the 4th time she's said "yea" or "yes," and all within the last few weeks)
(she throws the cup I give her)
Uh - Oh! Spilled! Sorry! ("It's okay, no throwing please.")

Bounce, bounce, bounce. (holding a soccer ball)
Catch it! Throw it! ... this is broken. ("it's not broken honey")
Watch this! (she throws the ball)
Catch it for you - thank you!

("Ashley, do you want the purple cup or the silver cup?") Purple. Thank you.

Daddy's sleeping. Tell him. ("tell him what?") I spilled. ("that's okay, no spilling")
Here Mommy. (handing me a dish towel for the spill)
It's all gone. (handing me the cup)
Excuse me. (opening the drawer behind me in the kitchen)
What are you doing? ("making cashew milk")

Jewelry box! (picking it up) Look at this! (showing me a necklace)

What are you doing? ("getting you food")
(she points) ("what do you want honey?") A cookie! ("here you go") (they're raw cookies ;-))

Where you going? ("Taking Cherry outside," says Andy) Bye!

-- This talking began a few weeks ago. Prior to this Ashley had a few phrases, like, "what are you doing," and, "where are you going," as well as single words or labeling, and echoing what other people said. We have been using solely biomedical treatments for a year and a half now. Ashley started transdermal DMSA this fall, at age 4. It was the day after her last round of chelation in December when this talking began. Then she got a stomach flu and was sick for a week over Christmas, and silent. The day she felt better, all the speech came right back. This is the first time she has gotten sick and then recovered her progress. She has been healthy and talking again for a week now.

-- Hallelujah!

Happy New Year!