11 May 2012
When Lola returned from school this afternoon, she gave me my Mother's Day gift right away. It was a baby zinnia which she planted herself a few weeks ago at school. Naturally, we could not let the little plant sit in a brown paper bag for three days. While she was at it, she also gave me this:
Happy Mother's Day! I'll be relaxing with my blanket and some tea.
01 May 2012
"Look, look, look!"
I look. All I see is Sandman, the cat, at the edge of our yard. So does she. She thought it was a bunny.
She asks me if bunnies can walk, getting on all fours to demonstrate her meaning. I tell her no, bunnies can only hop.
"I'll ask Mrs. L. tomorrow, see what she says." Clearly she is not convinced I am right about this one.
Slowly but surely I am falling off my 'Mom Knows Everything' pedestal...
28 April 2012
Behind my aunt's house is a small farm with horses. Chickens too, and they frequently jump the fence to dig holes in my aunt's garden. While chasing the chickens back to their own yard, Lola and her cousin Z. struck up a conversation with the owner. And before long, both girls were brushing horses, saddling them up, and learning the basics of horse back riding.
|Mr. Balderdash, the pony Lola rode on|
|Waiting to mount|
|They are doing it, riding all by themselves|
|With a little guidance from the instructor|
|Lola was a little disappointed she couldn't ride the big horse yet|
|Horse talk, I'm sure|
18 April 2012
Today was a reprise of the recital during All Arts Day at Lola's school. And Miss Anne announced at the end that they will be performing again at the Fourth of July Parade right here in town. Some grandparents will be mighty pleased to hear this. Others will have to do with the video footage I shot today. If you're reading this in an email or a reader, you'll have to come over to the blog to play the videos.
(Ryan taped Friday's performance which is of a much better quality and will be made available on DVD for those interested. However, if you have to wait until I figure out how to edit that footage and upload it, DVD players will be obsolete. My crappy camera work will have to do for now.
Lola starts both dances in the back left corner. She is also the one you hear over everyone else in "High Hopes.")
Cute, huh? I am so proud of Lola.
16 April 2012
In the meantime I have downloaded a few dozen pictures from my camera. We have just ended a week filled with festivities. Easter on Sunday, Lola's fifth birthday on Tuesday, her first ballet recital on Friday, and finally her friends birthday party on Saturday.
Easter morning was lovely. The Easter Bunny surprised Lola with a beautiful dress, a handmade basket, a blue play silk, and fifteen colorful eggs scattered about in the yard. (I am fairly certain I supplied the Easter Bunny with sixteen eggs though. I wonder when we will find the last one...)
While Lola played with her new treasures, Ryan painted the first of our living room walls and I worked on opening my Etsy shop Dutch Girl Originals. It was important to me to open it on Easter and even though I had only one finished product to sell, I made my deadline. Every now and then I interrupted my work to search for eggs that Lola had hidden for me or hide some for her.
Lola's fifth birthday started early. Very early. Ryan had to leave for work no later than 5:30 AM and we didn't want to tantalize Lola with a big pile of gifts that she couldn't open until he came home again. When I was setting up the breakfast table the night before, hanging streamers, and arranging presents, I felt a little sad. The nearly five feet tall pile of boxes that had come in the mail for her was awesome of course, but there would be no people to celebrate with her. Just her parents.
I never had a stack of presents like hers but every single birthday my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and local friends would be there. That is not possible for Lola, simply because of distance. I know Lola doesn't know any different and was mighty pleased with her gifts, but I remember from my past the visitors, and not the gifts (with exception of the red bicycle I received for my sixth birthday). I wonder what Lola will remember about her birthdays forty years from now.
Lola had no school on her birthday so we played with her presents all day long. She was happiest with the horses my dad and his wife sent her and the little toy broom she got from us. The internet was down which made for a very peaceful Tuesday once I got passed the initial withdrawal symptoms. Lola requested pizza for dinner and a strawberry birthday cake for dessert. She got both. Happy Birthday, my lovely Lola! I am more in love with you every day.
20 March 2012
09 March 2012
“Guess what? My grandma wants me to stay little forever.”
“Because I am just so cute.”
“So she wants you to be little?”
“Yes. But I just keep growing.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes I do.”
“But I am still taller than you.”
“That’s because I am growing s-l-o-w-l-y …”
01 February 2012
It’s important stuff. You should go watch it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.
It makes you want do something, doesn’t it? It did for me anyway. So I shared it on my Facebook page, and visited www.missrepresentation.org and pledged I will do anything I can to change the message that is being sent out to little girls and boys today. It’s not much, but it’s something.
What got me thinking were the comments on the original Facebook post by Little Acorn Learning, a Waldorf inspired blog. They boiled down to turning off the TV permanently, not allowing children access to computers, no video games, no cell phones, nothing. While I do understand this knee-jerk reaction, to me it is sticking your head in the sand.
There is no way we will be able to keep our children from the media, and the media from our children. Unless you go off the grid and never return, chances are your child will watch TV or play on a computer at some point. If it’s not at your own house, it’s at school, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, in a restaurant, in a store. It is extremely hard to avoid.
We do not raise strong, confident, and respectful women and men by ignoring the topic. This approach is very popular with some but teenagers still get pregnant and people still get infected with HIV. Time has proven again and again that the ostrich method simply doesn’t work.
Instead we need to be aware of what we watch, what we say, what we do. We need to talk with our children about what they watch, what they say, what they do. This is how we raise children that are not interested in the current message because they know how limited it is.
So this is me, creating awareness. Please pass it on and help me change the message that is sent to our kids. Thank you.
I’ll get off my soap box now.
26 January 2012
Ryan: "Oh, do you?"
Lola: "What's a crush?"
Ryan: "It's when you have romantic feelings for someone whom you want to kiss."
Lola: "Okay." Evidently that is what she meant.
K. explained to Lola how they could just be very good friends since he was not only married but a lot older as well. And then we talked a little about etiquette. About how it's not polite to hit on married people.
Also, don't fart.
18 December 2011
"Far away," she answered me.
"You have to go to school first," I told her.
"I'll go after school," she replied.
"What about your Christmas concert tomorrow evening?"
"Oh. Then I will go after that."
"Where are you going?" I asked her again.
"How are you going to get there?"
"It will be dark out by then. Are you sure you want to walk along the highway in the dark, all by yourself?"
"Just so you know, there is a great big ocean in between America and Holland making it a little difficult to walk all the way there. You could take a boat but it takes four days. I know this from personal experience. It will take you about a year to walk to the coast. When you get there you're going have to buy a ticket for the boat but I'm not sure if you can actually take a boat anymore since they canceled the passenger line years ago. You could fly though."
I could tell Lola was pondering this information.
"Do you think I should go?" she wanted to know.
"No," I replied, "I think you should stay here with me."
"Okay, that's a deal," she said happily.
I'm glad that's settled. I kind of like having her around. And she kind of likes being around. Most of the time anyway.
13 December 2011
And our day started off so lovely. Lola and I were having a great time together, painting salt dough ornaments we had baked earlier and sprucing them up with lots of glitter. Everything was fine and then I left the room. I was only gone for two seconds, maybe three, I swear. Upon my return I walked right into the Great Glitter Explosion of 2011.
When I asked her what happened, Lola answered she spilled just a little bit and must have had some on her feet when she walked to her room. Indeed, there was a great big pile of glitter on the floor with two size 9 1/2 footprints in the middle of it. I could trace her steps all over the upstairs.
So for the second time that day I hauled the bulky, heavy, pain-in-the-butt vacuum cleaner up the stairs. (Why, my good Americans, why do you insist on using these outdated appliances? Don't you know there's a whole continent out there that uses lightweight, easy to handle vacuums with a retractable cord to boot?)
After I cleaned the mess in my room, I asked Lola to pick up her room. Imagine my surprise when I turned around fifteen minutes later and found she had carried all her toys downstairs instead of putting them away. I was just struggling with the impossible task of slicing a fresh baked loaf of bread and I may have lost my patience there for a minute.
Hence the misfit. At least she sparkles.
11 December 2011
For Christmas this year I would like a pink pony with a crown, a unicorn blanket, sparkle shoes, and a stick horse.
Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Just in case she was too shy to tell Santa in person, Lola asked me to write her wishes in a Christmas card for Santa. She insisted on a Christmas card, not just any ordinary note card. She also wanted to bring Santa a present. We chose one of the felt heart ornaments we made.
I am so proud that my daughter thinks to bring Santa Claus a present when she goes to visit him. She is thoughtful and kind like that.
10 December 2011
After days of begging us to trim the tree, Lola was finally allowed to decorate her heart out today. She so loves puttering about with ornaments, lights, and garlands. She got her hands on my stack of felt hearts earlier this week and hung every last one of them in the tree several times over while she waited for the official go ahead.
She took care of the bottom half while Ryan and I decorated the top. I only had to move one or two ornaments Lola hung because they were too heavy for the branch she picked. She has a good eye for composition and color. When she was done she told me to turn off the lights, blow out the candles, and simply enjoy the light of the tree.
We had originally planned to set the tree in the entryway but changed our minds this morning. I am glad we did. It looks so much better in the living room. Afterwards we drank hot chocolate with marshmallows and watched Christmas movies together. We watched Home Alone and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Perfect, just perfect.
05 December 2011
We can do that.
I feel it is important to document this. When she and I revisit this topic in twelve years (that seems such a short time from now) I can remind her that all we agreed on was a better booster seat. No license, let alone borrowing the car. You are all my witnesses.
02 December 2011
Lola is practicing "Up On The Housetop" for her school's Christmas concert later this month. While we were perusing the aisles of the store, she was singing: "Ho ho ho, who wouldn't go? Ho ho ho, who wouldn't go? Up on the housetop click, click, click. Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick."
Loud and clear she sang these words, loud and clear for all to hear. I looked at the faces of the other shoppers as we passed them. And without exception, my daughter brought a great big smile to their faces.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. That's my Lola.
01 December 2011
Meanwhile I shoveled the snow from our front and back steps. We wouldn't want the plumber, who is scheduled to arrive in an hour, to slip and break something. I'll never be able to use the dishwasher then.
30 November 2011
Of course we will be bringing the tree out again this year. But in addition to the calendar, there is a great big pile of gift wrapped books waiting for Lola. Every night, before she goes to bed, she can pick a Christmas book to read that night.
I spent all afternoon gift wrapping the books because, let's be honest, it's just more fun to tear off the paper and be surprised. And I did number the books because a) I am that type of person and b) I like reading "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve.
Twenty five books I compiled, half of them found at garage sales this summer. Some we already had and the rest was picked up at bookstores and thrift stores. It is an eclectic collection of titles. This is what we will be reading the next three and a half weeks:
1. The Christmas Story
2. The littlest Christmas Elf
3. A Sesame Street Christmas
4. Madeline's Christmas
5. Frosty the Snowman
6. Little Fairy's Christmas
7. Kleine Muis viert Kerst (a Dutch book about a little mouse looking for the meaning of Christmas)
8. Merry Christmas Splat
9. Stories of Santa Claus
10. The Wild Christmas Reindeer
11. The Twelve Days of Christmas
12. The Nutcracker
13. A Letter to Santa
14. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
15. The Christmas Blizzard
16. Jingle Bells
17. Pooh's Christmas Gifts
18. Barbie: A Perfect Christmas (Don't judge, Barbie is cool! Especially since she underwent a breast reduction and took up acting.)
19. Snow Dance
20. Timmy's Gift
21. A Christmas Carol
22. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer shines again
23. Christmas Trolls
24. The Night before Christmas
25. The First Christmas
This idea is not mine, by the way. You can read more about it here. I don't think Lola and I will do a craft every day as well but I am thankful for the reading inspiration. If you know of a title we should add to the list, please tell me. This is a tradition we will be keeping for years to come, I'm sure.
08 September 2011
|Ready for The Big Day|
That's right, now that she's a kindergartener, she doesn't think she needs a nap anymore. When it was time to rest, Mrs. L. played a movie for the kids that don't take naps and Lola considers herself one of those now.
This is Lola at 6:30 PM. Out like a light on the couch while I was preparing dinner. She murmured something about being super hungry but try as I might, nothing could wake her up.
30 August 2011
29 August 2011
It became very real when we visited the school to register her, two weeks ago. We were given a little tour, took a peek into her classroom, the gym, the cafeteria, the playground, and the Principal's office.
Last week we went back-to-school shopping together to make it even more official. Markers, crayons, glue sticks, and two pairs of new shoes; everything has been checked off the list. We had a wonderful time together.
The only thing we are still going back and forth on is the size of her backpack. I think her current small one can still do for a year. Lola is trying to convince me she needs a big backpack now that she is a big girl. Not to mention that all the other kids at school have a big backpack, too. Or so she claims. Given the importance of the occasion, I will most likely cave before next Wednesday.
I am taking the day off to take her to school on her first day. After that, she will take the bus. Finally she gets to ride the big yellow school bus she always points out to me when we are on the road. In Lola's eyes, that just might be best thing about going to school.
Another milestone. My daughter truly is a big girl now. I just know my emotions are going to get the better of me next week when she disappears into that classroom. And possibly (probably) again when I take her picture as she steps onto the bus for the first time. I apologize in advance, Lola.