Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Great Weekend.

There are weekends, and then there are great weekends. This weekend was the latter. Not only did the kids have non-stop fun, but so did Seth and I. Saturday started off with a Halloween parade in our town. Of course, my kids went as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. Julia actually believes she is Tinker Bell for real. One thing that was great this year was that both Julia and David were thrilled that they recognized a lot more costumes than last year.

Here they are with their friend, Snow White (a.k.a. Olivia) whose birthday we would celebrate a few hours later that day.

David was so excited to walk in the parade that he was actually skipping.

He shortly ditched his sister and joined Olivia.

Once in the Recreation Center, decorated for the Halloween season, they headed straight for the treats.

The kids were chasing one another like maniacs, and barely paused long enough so that the parents could take a picture of them.

A short time later, they were changed and ready to celebrate Olivia's 4th Birthday. After getting them dressed, Seth and I got ready while they preoccupied themselves with their favorite activity -- "reading."

Party time! For my kids it meant running, eating pizza and then a frozen dessert.

On Sunday, we continued celebrating Halloween by heading to the annual Cabbage Night Family Festival at the James A. McFaul Environmental Center in Wyckoff, NJ, which provided a zillion free activities for the kids. Some of the activities that the kids enjoyed weren't even part of the festival.

We went on a hay(-less) ride.

The kids participated on stage with the musicians and while Julia bolted after the first song, David actually participated for the duration of both songs.

David pushed his way into the bouncy carousel-house and I couldn't get him out.

Pumpkin painting was kind of activity they just wanted to get out of the way, so they could go on having fun again. After slopping on a few splotches of paint, they were on to the next activity!

They both rode ponies.

Over two hours later and with both kids missing their naps, they could barely stand on their feet.

Of course, once the car pulled into the garage at home, the kids' energy skyrocketed and sleeping wasn't in their plans. They both went biking, helped Seth in the garden and then proceeded to turn our living room upside down.

It was indeed a great weekend.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It Took Only Three and a Half Years.

I never thought I would live to see a day my son asks to go the pool. It started off with Seth taking Julia to the pool on a weekend. And just from nowhere, David expressed a desire to join them. The good news? David doesn't want to get out of the water now. Not so good, Julia wants nothing to do with the pool.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Once in a while I have an urge to create something. I don't mean something that involves child size scissors, color paper, a stick of glue or a stick or two of butter. That usually involves the kids. My sort of "creating" occurs after the kids go to sleep while I'm watching repeats of old "House" episodes and continuing through "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" ... and beyond.
The other day as David decided to skip his nap and sat on the floor, quietly copying the book titles into his notebook, he inspired me to create as well. So that night I knitted a hat for Julia which seemed appropriate considering we are in the middle of the fall.

I think Julia approved of it. She loved getting all the compliments the next day and telling everybody that "Mama made it for me".

Unfortunately, the hat came out a bit too small, so it was back to the drawing board. The next night, I made another one that was a bit larger. And what of the first hat that was too small? David inherited it! For some reason, he took to the undersized hat. He even wore it when he went to sleep tonight! I promised David to make him a blue hat that would be his size - after all, it only takes a few hours to knit. But knowing him, he'll probably insist on wearing the small purple hat anyway.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I want to read 'self!

Almost every morning, just minutes before Julia and I pick up David from school, we could be found in our local library. As Julia sits in a children's corner "reading" the books she picked, I look for some new books to bring home. David gets so excited when he comes home and he has a fresh pile of books to go through.
Julia loves when we read to her. But what she likes even more is "reading" by herself. When I ask her if I could read stories to her, she exclaims "No! I want to read it 'self!". As of now, her favorite stories are "Monkey and Me" and "Peter Pan"... still. She recites an entire "Monkey and Me" which doesn't have that many words, but still it surprises me as David didn't do it at her age. She remembers the titles of the books I had read to her only once before.

If Julia loves the books, David is obsessed with them. He "reads" them as soon as he wakes up, at school (and comes home with scratches when another kid tries to pull it away from him), as soon as he comes home from school, before he takes his nap, in the bathroom, while I am cooking dinner and before his bedtime. His favorite book these days? Little Bunny Foo Foo.
A few months ago we stopped letting the kids watch tv not because I think tv is evil (are you kidding me, once the kids are asleep I watch reruns of "House" for hours every night). We do have movie nights twice or so a month. On that particular night I make something new for dinner that David wouldn't eat if his life depended on it. And guess what? He'll take a few bites of it. So, our next movie is "Planet Earth" which I am personally looking forward to.
I noticed that David doesn't learn anything from either Sesame Street or Curious George and I know very well the same can't be said about other kids. I used to call David's name forever while he was staring at the tv and he would never respond to me. On the other hand, while reading the stories both kids are alert. Sometimes I stop to make sure they are paying attention and they will continue a sentence. David learned about mushrooms, musical instruments, Halloween, animals through books. A few months ago we were reading a story about a boy helping his father with the house chores. That night as I was preparing dinner and setting a table, David opened a kitchen drawer and took out four forks and set them on the table. Tonight, he pulled out the same drawer and took out two small forks for himself and Julia, two larger ones and two knives for Seth and me and set them on our table exactly the same way as I always do. Seth and I almost fell over. David could be really helpful when he puts his mind to it.
I am so looking forward to them reading on their own. I really hope as I am sure every parent out there does that our kids will grow to be avid readers.