Wednesday, January 27, 2010

General Stuff from Today

Tonight Kanoa picked up the telephone (the wire came out as usual, so no real dial tone) and he said Hi/Hello in his sort of baby type talk. It was the first time he ever held the phone to his ear and said some sort of greeting! So cool to witness it!

He has also been climbing more and more up onto the granite in front of the fireplace (yikes).

A week or so ago, we moved the toy dress up box in front of the stairs and that has helped lots (to prevent him from going upstairs case I am not there fast enough).

As of yesterday, he began opening the drawers in the dresser in the living room (where we keep games). He loves digging in there and finding legos and knex (which get strewn all over the house and then get thrown back in the drawer bit by bit as I find them).

Kanoa, Katie, Makana and I went to Belfast to see a movie by Hila Shooter and Clayton Clemenson (homeschoolers). It was really good! We all enjoyed it! Li wanted to play Magic downtown instead of come. Travis was there and said he'd be there until five at least. And I know Li really wanted to, although I was on the fence about it, I agreed (and left my cell number with him just in case). I know Jim and Rosie and Matt or others are still close by. And I felt better knowing Travis was right there too. It all worked out fine.

Karen and Katie working on the Waterfall Arts "Branching Out" Program

Check out Karen's blog on Tuesday January 26, 2010. It shows Katie and Karen working at Zoots this past Saturday and then at Karen's yesterday. The theme is "Taking Wing:"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Li's words of wisdom

Once again, Li had something to say I needed to hear...

Saturday morning, Katie met with her art mentor Karen downtown. Karen was going to bring Katie home (So far only Jim had met her. I was looking forward to meeting her myself.) Our kitchen was still in breakfast mode and smelled of porkroll (Mom brought it up from New Jersey and Jim and I were so enjoying them!! Thanks so much Mom! They made Jim's weekend!). I mentioned that I hoped I could have the house cleaned up before Karen and Katie came. Li commented that he wished I would leave the house messy when people came over. I asked why and he said that then I "would realize it was no big deal" (to leave the house messy)!

He's right....but I do so love a tidy home!!! It's a process.....and Li will help me remember what's more important! Thank goodness! You know what? They came in about five minutes after that was all said and it was totally alright! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scott Noelle's post on Scare City (scarcity vs. abundance)

I love Scott's posts. Every M-F, a thought provoking post helps me contemplate common cultural thoughts. Jim said that I could forward them to him. I really think they helped him have more patience and empathy and understanding regarding our children especially. Truly, they help me (as do the unschooling yahoo group posts) in my thinking in general which although is geared toward parenting, is helpful with relationships with people of all ages, friends, family, community/neighbor friends, and those I don't know. Here's a recent Daily Groove! Read it and sign up for his free newsletter. Scott also has a book available.

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

Get ABUNDANT support for YOUR parenting

:: "Scare City" ::

When you buy into the *scarcity* principle, you live
in "Scare City": a place where you're always afraid of
coming up short.

In Scare City, you can't enjoy what you have -- you're
too busy worrying about what you *don't* have. All the
cups in Scare City are half empty.

Somehow, young children are largely immune to the
distressing effects of living in Scare City...

* They enjoy the abundant *now* while their
parents worry about the lack of time.

* They transform their homes into magical
worlds while their parents worry about the
lack of order.

* They give and receive love endlessly while
their parents carefully ration their limited

To live the Good Life, you have to leave Scare City
and go to a *dance* -- a joyful, magical, healing
dance where you release your fears and *shake your
booty* like nobody's watching: a-BUN-dance!

Are you willing to do A BUN DANCE with your child? :-)
Get "The Daily Groove" BOOK!

Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)
Copyright (c) 2009 by Scott Noelle

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gratitude does lead to Happiness!

I was sitting on the couch this afternoon nursing sleepy one year old Kanoa. The room was lit by steady white Christmas tree lights in case he fell asleep and I could read one of the two new books I just picked up from the library. I typically relax while the baby nurses and think about how lucky I am to have him and how little he still is. I do this because I know how quickly it all will pass. And I believe he will be our youngest child forever. I want to savor all the moments I can! I even try to do this with the other kids as they will shortly be even more grown up. When Makana (4 yrs) makes her certain Mommy and Daddy pictures, I just love how they look! For the way she draws her pictures will change too shortly. It's all about savoring the moment.

As the baby drifted off to sleep, I thought about Jim and Katie out for a walk in the cold daylight. They must be happy connecting with each other and having quiet time to talk and listen. I thought about happy he was when I peeked in on him at the Magic shop downtown and how he wanted to stay longer to finish playing in the tournament. He was able to stay and must have been lovin' it right then! And Kana now has a turn on the computer. And I got to sit and think about all these good things happenning at this very moment. I felt happy. Truly happy. And then I thought that it really is true - that gratitude does lead to happiness!

The baby fell asleep. I couldn't read by the dim tree lights and got up carefully holding baby to turn on the regular lights. Read the introduction to one of the books. Makana came over because she was scared to be in the computer room alone. We read a Marmaduke Mouse Christmas book and began reading a Halllmark book called "Stories of Santa" (with two stories/songs in it: "Up on the Housetop" and "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"). We came across a page at the back of the book that Katie must have filled in when she was young. As I read what she wrote, I again was thankful for what she treasured. I will scan it into the computer. Katie has always had a good grasp of what is really important in life. What more can you ask for?!!

I don't know how old Katie was when she wrote this. Had to be 4, 5 or 6. (Wonder if I can figure out what year it was when she got the Kristin doll?) I'll write what I can make out and you can take a look at the original notes from the book if you'd like. How precious this is to me!!

Favorite gifts from Santa: Kristin Doll, Nutcrackers, Maple Sugar Candy
Christmas Songs and Stories We Love: Jingle Bells
The Best Part of Christmas: Being with my family, Making a ginger bread house, giving presents, ????, snowflakes, happy feelings, having friends and family all love me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Li's enjoying reading

1/6/10 - Wednesday - We went to homeschool group at the gym today and then to the library. We were all checked out, loaded the books/movies in the car and went back in to get Katie, Li and our coats, etc. Li came up to me and asked if he could get a few more books. He had picked out two Captain Underpants books and a Pokeman book.

I said sure! Wow! This was the first time Li was picking out books for himself to read himself. He'd pick out books before, but with the intention of me reading to him. He read one of the Captain Underpants books on the way home aloud to Makana. He showered and then read again at home. He mentioned to me how much he enjoyed it and read some of the funny parts to me. Cool! Love him loving books as I too love to read. Nice that he is enjoying them as I said to him that I like them so much and they can take you to another world if you get into the book. It's also a nice way for me to relax. Now Li can add reading books to his choices of what to do during the day!

Oh, and he read Green Eggs and Ham aloud the other morning (it was to Kanoa or Makana - he had said he wanted to read to them and that they might like that book). He didn't read the last couple pages because the creature eats meat though (and of course Li is a vegetarian).

Also, Li asked when he could join a book club because reading was so much fun. I told him next year he could join the book club that Katie just joined at Camden Library (it is for 4th - 8th graders). I added that he'll especially like it because they have pizza! He was excited. (We'll see if he is able and interested at that point as he is just beginning to read longer chapter books.)

Off topic: Li goes back and forth on whether he feels it is okay with his conscience if he consumes cow milk. He still wants ice cream either way. But now cow milk butter. He prefers Earth Balance. I began making macaroni and cheese from scratch a few months ago. When I first started making it from scratch, Li didn't like the taste of it with rice milk and said I should do it like his friends recipe states..with cow milk so it would taste the same. So I tried it with cow milk and everyone raved about it. Tonight when I was making it, because of his recent conversations about not using cow milk, I told him that I was low on rice milk and usually used cow milk in mac and cheese. He said it was okay to use it and he thought about it and said that maybe he thinks now that the cows don't mind giving us their milk. ( unlike Li to think that way. Maybe he felt bad using the cow milk and is trying to convince himself that it isn't so bad so he can enjoy his mac and cheese the way it tastes best to him.) He added that he still thought the animals would mind sharing their meat. He asked me if I also thought the animals would mind sharing their meat. I agreed. (But I do eat it for now...maybe someday I too will go back to being a vegetarian. I'm just not ready yet. I have to feel good about that to truly embrace it. I want to feel happy with my choice. And yet I think ..yeah, right...and the animals I consume in the meantime...ugh!)

1/7/10 - Thursday: Last night Li read in bed up to chapter 8 and was so proud of himself. He wanted to read it out loud, but Jim needed to sleep and asked him to be quiet. He tried whispering and kept reading as low as he could. We had to turn off the lights to help baby fall asleep too. I asked where my flashlight was and Li said he had it (he was already prepared for me to turn the lights out as we need to do that to help baby fall asleep usually). Li eventually got tired and stopped saying "I need to take a break" at chapter 8. He was proud he got that far! That night just before he fell asleep, he said "I'm really enjoying the love of reading." I think he is a bit surprised and pleased to find out how nice it really is to him!

This morning, 1/7, I awoke to Li whispering/reading low the same book. (It was so nice that he had a quiet activity to do as he frequently tosses and turns if he is up before me...and we're in a family bed.) Anyway, cool that he is enjoying it so much! Who says you have to force kids to read and make them read aloud in front of others! Bah! They will read when they are ready and like it too! (I guess there probably are some people who don't enjoy reading....sometimes I meet schooled kids who are not interested in reading any more because they have to do it so much for school. I am so glad my kids can read what they want when they want. And they like many books, especially historical fiction and humorous books and Horrible History type books and ghosts/the supernatural. We just read a great book about Henry Box Brown (tied into Li's interest in slavery and freedom) last week. Today on our way to a homeschool group in Belfast, Katie read aloud good parts from a book on Amelia Earheart and her capture by the Japanese military. Interesting for all of us!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Li's Faces....

Li does this face/impression so much, I thought it would be fun to have a file of them!

The First Thing Kanoa seemed uneasy near/afraid of

This Dora head is in Daddy's shower and Kanoa seems to want to be in my arms when he sees it. He knows it is there. It is Kana's. Kanoa first seemed afraid of it in November sometime when he was in the bathroom with me when I was trying to clean the bathroom. Li and Makana were in there too and I brought the Dora head out as well as some other toy to see if he'd be interested in them and play while I tried to clean. But no go...he motioned for me to pick him up and I realized he was upset by the Dora head. The kids had also put on the bubble maker toy which made a constant noise. Perhaps it was too much for him and he felt overwhelmed. Crowded, noisy, and that Dora head. So now if Kanoa ever comes in the bathroom with me, I keep the shower curtain pulled shut. If he does want to see if, he can see it while he's in my arms. I go with the flow. If he wants to see it (by pulling on the curtain to see behind it while he is standing next to the tub), I will do it with him. If he seems okay (and sometimes he does seem curious and is in an okay place), I take the head out and let him touch the PRETEND DOLLY and HER PRETEND HAIR. We then put her back (usually sooner than later) as I don't want to freak him out and I want to let it be a gentle experience for him. We look at the other dolls and their pretend hair too. He may understand more than I think, so I explain that the other dolls are pretend too and offer their hair to touch if he seems okay with that. If not, I stroke their hair to show him. I know he'll eventually understand that the dolls and even the Dora head are just things to play with. And I respect that he really is uneasy by the Dora head. Interesting ...the things that make us feel uneasy, esp when we're little.

January 2010 Happennings

keep above for adding text to pictures

1/1/10 - This afternoon we video chatted with Dad (Pop Pop) and Jeannie (Nonna) via Skype! So cool! Glad they got to see Kanoa!

1/1/10 -Kanoa plays peekaboo behind the play store!

Kanoa looks at all the snow! 1/1/10

1/1/10 - Li on the computer.

Kanoa reads his favorite dog book!

Kana holding a stuffed doggie.

1/2/10 - Gamer Kanoa and brother and sister...hey! He wants to join in too! But only for a few minutes, then it is off to explore new things!

1/2/10 - What it looks like outside...jhad snow nyrs eve, yesterday, today (1/2), and we're sup to get more tomorrow! Yikes! That's livin' in Maine for ya!

1/1/10 (it was after midnight on 12/31/09) - Li just sits down and writes lists of new words he is learning to spell.  He makes these kind of lists up all the time.  This was written on blue construction paper, so it is hard to read.  Notice the rhyming of some of them.

This is a paper Katie hand delivered so that she could participate in an a Waterfall Arts program.  If she is able to participate in the program, she will be paired up with an artist for collaborative or side-by-side work of art based on a specific theme.  It will also be exhibited locally.  

1/4/10 - Shirley, Leo, Li and Josiah played with castle blocks.  Love how creative and enthusiastic the boys were!  Like Rosie notices, the boys do make those zooming and other sounds when they play - so funny! 

1/4/10  - Katie encouraged everyone to dress up like Ghost hunters!  They had fun finding ghouls all over the house!

1/7/10 - This is Azure's special polka dot puppy that she generously and kindly let Makana borrow.  As you can see, Polkadot Puppy is relaxing on the couch!

1/9/10 - This is our last photo taken of our Christmas tree for the 2009 holiday.  Many of the ornaments were moved as needed.  The kids did most (and I mean most) of the decorating!  We all enjoyed it and we are so glad we decided to get a real tree again this year.  (Almost didn't because we thought it would be difficult with a one year old - but it did all work out just fine!)

1/9/10 - The tossing out of the tree!

1/10/10 - (this was very late after midnight on 1/9/10..around 1am on 1/10/10) - This was Li's thoughts on how the brain works.  I wrote down what he said on the paper.  He drew a diagram showing how the brain stores memories.  He just came up with this on his own out of the blue.  Not sure what made him think of it, but there it is!  Showed it to Jim this morning.  He said to keep it.  Click on the photo to see the explanation of the diagram. 

 1/10/10 - This is the other side of the paper diagram.  Showing more one thing learned is stored and connected to other thoughts which are also stored, etc.


1/22/2010 - Mom and Bill (Thank you Bill for agreeing to be photo'd!!)

Bill, me, and Kanoa (same date)

Heather (same date)

Katie, Bill and Heather (same date)

Heather, me, and Kanoa

Heather, me, Kanoa, and Mom

Heather, Katie and Mom

Mom outside in back yard.  So pretty!  (Both Mom and the snow!)

What a great photo!!  Li, Katie, Bill and Heather
Li enjoys holding Kanoa on his lap sometimes when he plays on the computer.

View of da boys from the back.  Look at those sweet little heads! 

Kanoa plays with a toy train while being held by Keli'i.  Kana comes to take a look at what is going on.

Here is Kana with all the "saved" papers I will stick in her keepsake bag.  These are things that are special either to me or to her that she made during the past 9 months or so.  I do this for everyone (all ages!). 

Here's Li's special saved things.  Hmmm.  Now that I see things from last Valentines Day, I guess that they are as far as a year old! 

Here are some of the things I saved for Jim and myself.  I just loved Katie's lighthouse drawing (card) she made for Jim for his birthday. 

1/29/2010 - Kanoa (trying to get a picture of him smiling!)

Kanoa and me (just trying to get a photo of our little guy) 1/29/2010

1/30/2010 - Camden Winterfest (lots of beautiful ice sculptures at the library and an ice sculpture contest too!)

The ampitheater where the contest is held. 

What the harbor area looks like in the middle of January 2010.  (1/30/2010)

Another vantage point of downtown.

Li downtown same day (1/30/2010)

2/3/2010 - Li went outside and entertained us by the window.

2/4/2010 - Kanoa is wearing Kana's Dora pajama shirt.  Comfy for him!