I realized that my general mode for creating a blog post is (a) wait until I'm in the mood for it (b) dump the pictures off the camera (c) pick ones I like (d) string some words together in between the pictures. Once in a while, I have something to say and the stringing words together comes first, but not often. So, since I'm taking less pictures lately, I'm not writing as much about what we're up to.
These warm summer days, I'm less likely to be on the shore, knitting and snapping pics, and more likely to be building sand castles with Ayla, playing motor boat with Sylvia, or swimming out farther with Camille. I'm that crazy mama in the water tossing hula hoops around with half the kids on the beach while their mamas are lying out with their sunglasses on, staring at a cell phone or chatting with friends. I'm the crazy one at the park who teeter totters with the three-year-olds and brings out art supplies for everyone. I'm also appreciating meeting more local families and connecting with other friendly mamas whose children get along well with mine.
So, what else are we up to that doesn't involve playing at the park or picture-taking?
Camille is learning to read and write braille. She's playing and learning on BrainPop. She's still interested in learning more Spanish and is slowly pulling in more vocabulary. She is a girl that gets on serious kicks, where she'll dive into one interest for a while, then drop it for a new one. When Camille was really into historical fiction, she wanted to trap and eat rabbits, dress in long skirts and bonnets, and eat foraged plants. Her and Papa built a rabbit trap (a cage with a trap door, basically) out of sticks and chicken wire, but it never got baited or set because by then she was onto something else. Um, yeah. I really didn't want to cook up a rabbit either, although I'm about 99% certain that she would have released any rabbit she caught unharmed anyway. She loves to watch NOVA (especially the NOVA ScienceNOW programs), the Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers clips, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, and Littlest Pet Shop.
All of the girls are into Jem and the Holograms lately, too :) Did you watch them back in the day? I did. They're truly, truly, truly outrageous.
Sylvia has been drawing lately. She loves to dress up in gowns and have tea parties. So, when she draws, it's usually a picture of her in a dress-up gown (or me in a gown :). She likes to play Fetch games online, and cooking games like Penguin Diner. She also loves to help cook, especially chopping fruits and veggies for salads. She's not reading fluently at all, but she loves to ask for spelling quizzes, especially in the car. She can pick out all of the consonants really well, but the vowels are so ambiguous a lot of the time that she often skips them. 'Bird' might be spelled like B-U-R-D, or just B-R-D. She just figured out how to count all the way to one hundred, and she also likes simple math problems. She has a good grasp of how to split three cookies evenly between two people, or how many chickens you'd have all together if you had two hens and they each had two chicks. Both her and Camille often ask for 'car quizzes' for math, spelling, and Spanish words. They came up with the idea of car quizzes and, oddly enough, are usually a lot more excited about it than I am. Although it's sometimes fun to come up with questions such as: If you were making a pyramid with a triangular base out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows, how many toothpicks would you need? (6) How many marshmallows? (4) What if the base was square? (8 toothpicks and 5 marshmallows). Note to self: Add toothpicks and mini marshmallows to the grocery list!
Ayla loves to play with dollies and stuffed animals and be their mama. She likes digging in the sand. She likes Nature 'dock-a-men-trees', and asks to watch them with me before bed most nights. We watched one on hummingbirds last night. Fascinating. She also like Dragon Tales and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. When Ayla was a baby she didn't like to be kissed. She didn't like anyone up in her face at all. I tried hard to respect her space and body autonomy and go against my mama instincts to smooch on my baby. Now, she is the kissingest little one. She regularly grabs my face between her palms and pulls me in for a smooch or five. Every time she rides in a grocery cart, she kisses me at least four or five times per aisle :) I guess she's at just the right height then. She also has a new best buddy. At this age they often need help communicating. When one wants to slide and one wants to teeter totter, they might just grab the other one to pull them where they want them, or block the way to the slide stairs because they want company in the tunnel. Using their words will come more later, for now I try to help them keep it light and playful by way of distraction. "Oops, let's not push each other. Do you want to shake me off of the teeter totter if I balance in the middle? Come on, let's try it!"
I'd like to remember to write more about what the girls are doing and not just post pictures, but in the meantime, between puttering in the garden, hanging laundry, and playing with my kids, I might pop on facebook with a random picture or update. It is quick and easy.
We'll be camping with friends at a little music festival over the weekend in honor of the solstice, so we had to test out ye olde tent. Wishing you all a fabulous summer or winter solstice (hi, southern hemisphere, folks)!