Sunday, September 30, 2007
one more time- one finger up plus ma ma ma, (serious face)
John still says very little for a two year old, but he is learning new words almost every day now and is getting more bold about saying them. He knows his colors and can pantomime the various emotions. My favorite is excited because he shakes his arms and grits his teeth.
He is quite interested in crayons and paper and returns to his coloring books and paper several times a day. He holds his crayon just like a pencil and "writes" very carefully. His hieroglyphics look a lot like letters that he sees his sister writing.
Speaking of sister, she had a bee in her ear today. She started screaming outside and holding her ear. Looking in it, I saw nothing so I got a Q-Tip. There seemed to be nothing in her ear, and then out flew a little sweat bee. It obviously stung her in the ear and she was nothing short of berserk. I put some imaginary cream on it and it seemed to be fine in about ten minutes, but I had to tell her about every bee sting that I had as a child as well as every bee sting that uncle John had as a child.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Yesterday I pulled into the parking lot as Ella's class was filing out the front door. The monarch had emerged from his chrysalis at snacktime and was taken outside. They read a book about butterfly metamorphosis and then went back inside. Back outside an hour later, they saw the butterfly emerge from the butterfly house, spread it's wings, and fly as the children shouted their best wishes for a safe journey.
I know that it is hard to be five, but don't you just wish for a moment that you could work for a tree, study rainbows all morning, and have science unfold itself in front of you like the wet wings of a butterfly.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
She has been playing with the marble run nonstop and already wants more pieces. We brought in our big basket of wooden blocks to add to the building process so she can build castles and cities with a moving component. Even John has been propping up the "running" blocks and sliding marbles down them. I put some more components on the Froogle Wishlist for the holidays if you are a friend or relation with my littles on your shopping list. All in all, it is a toy I can recommend without reservations. I think that means that the grownups in our family like to play with it too.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
4 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
4 cups of water
4 tbsp oil
1/2 cup cream of tartar
Mix in a large pan on medium heat, stirring until glossy not sticky. Let cool and store in a container or plastic bag. I added some vegetable dye and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It is lovely to knead while it is still warm.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
We have had two successful school days. I picked her up every day last week in an attempt to calm her fears about the afternoons on the playground. She arrives home happy but later suggests that she may have to throw up at school tomorrow and would I be able to pick her up if this happens? I'm noncommital, and she moves on to other thoughts.
My mother called with more factual information about my first days at school. I knew she would feel guilty that I thought that I was being kidnapped--thirty six years ago. Apparently I had survived some sort of orientation that involved being wrenched from my mother in a cafeteria and taken to the kindergarden class screaming. Then on the first day of school the kindergarden teacher met us at the elementary school and rode with us to the annex. I must have thought that she was in on the kidnapping conspiracy.
To be honest, I loved kindergarden. I was the smallest and always got to sit on the teacher's lap during story time. I remember playing kitchen and the smell of modelling clay in that room.
I'm pretty sure that Ella will feel the same way. She woke me up very early on saturday morning to whisper Spanish words to me.
Every morning in her classroom we write her a reminder of who will be picking her up in the afternoon and at what time. We draw a clock with the pickup time, and I write her some huge declaration of love. She probably shows her friends thinking that she has more love than they do. At five, everything is compared. She likes it when I make it into a math problem. I love you to the moon seven times plus infinity.
Monday, September 17, 2007
We had a tremendously cheap hotel room, so cheap that the nonsmoking room smelled like a dancehall, but we had loads of fun.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
In the evening when she is tired she starts talking about how scared she is at school. Apparently she is scared every minute that I am not there, but then again I know that she is often playing and working happily.
On my first day of kindergarden I caught the bus, but no one ever told me that I was going to get off of this bus at the big school and take another bus to the smaller kindergarden and first grade annex. I thought that I was being kidnapped, and that I would never get home again. I was wearing a navy blue and red plaid dress with an itchy lace collar. I wonder how many days it took me to realize that I was safe
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Ella has had a hard time with the long days at school lately and doesn't want me to leave her. She also wants me to pick her up the instant that school is over. They usually have a half hour to play outside, but she has been afraid of this afterschool play time. When we are carpooling our neighbors pick her up at three thirty some days and four o'clock two days a week, and she has been having a hard time with that. For the past two days I've been going to school and staying with her while she plays. They have adequate supervision and most of her class is there. She is contemplating dropping out or going back to preschool. All because she misses me. After two years as the big bossy preschooler she is little again.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
practicing deep Prajna Paramita,
clearly saw that all five skandhas are empty,
transforming anguish and distress.
Shariputra, form is no other than emptiness,
emptiness no other than form;
form is eactly emptiness,
emptiness exactly form;
sensation, perception, formulation, consciousness are also like this.
Shariputra, all things are essentially empty-
not born, not destroyed;not stained, not pure; without loss, without gain.
Therefore in emptiness there is no form,
no sensation, perception, formulation, consciousness;
no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind,
no color, sounds, scent, taste, touch, thought;
no seeing and so on to no thinking
no ignorance and also no ending of ignorance,
and so on to no old age and death
and also no ending of old age and death;
no anguish, no cause of anguish,
cessation, path, no wisdom and no attainment.
Since there is nothing to attain,
the Bodhisattva lives by Prajna Paramita
with no hindrance in the mind; no hindrance
and therefore no fear;
far beyond delusive thinking,
right here is Nirvana.
All Buddhas of past, present, and future
live byPrajna Paramita
Therefore know that Prajna Paramita
is the great sacred mantra, the great vivid mantra,
the unsurpassed mantra, the supreme mantra
which completely removes all anguish.
This is truth not mere formality.
Therefore set forth the Prajna Paramita mantra,
set forth this mantra and proclaim:
Gate gate paragate parasamgate*Bodhi svaha!
Translated by Diasetz Suzuki as "Gone, Gone, gone to the other shore, landed at the other shore."
Sometimes when you are looking for a new mantra you find it in the drawer of your bedside table where you put it eight years ago.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Ella started her new ballet class tonight, but in even bigger news she really started reading. She has been sounding out words for a while, but I don't think she believed that she could read. Fox in Socks. Box, socks, Who sews crow's clothes? Sue sews crows clothes. Slow Joe Crow sews whose clothes? Sue clothes.
See what eleven days of kindergarden can do.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I picked her up this morning and took both children to the natural foods market for tofu, organic oats, and tempeh. I hesitate to take both of them there because they have child sized shopping carts, and have you ever seen a two year old piloting one of those things down narrow crowded aisles? I alternate putting items in his and her car and then try to instill in them a sense of duty about getting to the cashier calmly. Along the way we gathered some little juice boxes and dried vegetables should we reach the car with decorum intact. All was well until Ella tried to divide the snacks in a numerically even fashion, and he lost patience.
John was home all weekend for the first time since our vacation, and he was feeling domestic. That or just afraid of all the spiders trying to set up housekeeping in our house. He vacuumed the whole place while I was out getting Ella, and every bit of laundry is washed, dried, and put
away. Ella has her first ballet class tomorrow evening. Lunches are packed.
Friday, September 07, 2007
This is my friend Cait, and she is the Mother Teresa of cats. She has been rescuing feral mama cats, taking them in for spaying and then releasing them. She also spays and neuters their kittens and finds homes for them.
Who needs a kitty? This is Maxwell Smart and he needs a family.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
She would also like to make some lists about "what people are really like, what people really are instead of just what we already know."
Recently John picked up a copy of "Little Big Minds, Sharing Philospophy with Kids" by Marietta McCarty. From the back of the book, "Children are no strangers to cruelty and courage, to love and to loss, and in the unique book, teacher and educational consultant Marietta McCarty reveals that they are, in fact, natural philosophers. Drawing on a program that she has honed in schools around the country over the last fifteen years, Little Big Minds guides parents and educators in introducing philosophy to K-8 children in order to develop their critical thinking, deepne their appreciation for others, and brace themselves for the philosophical quandries that lurk in all of our lives, whether we are young or old."
Today we were back to school and then to a kindergarden class meeting tonight. It was interesting to meet the parents of the class that could be together for quite a while if everyone hangs in there.